Add This Technique to Your Mindfulness Practice to Fast-Track Your Journey to Self-Realization (Developed Over 3,000 Years Ago)

Keen on exploring new dimensions of spirituality? The insights in the following article are for you.


Aruni Teaching His Son the Ultimate Reality — by Author

Several millennia ago, back when wisdom was the currency of the profound thinkers known as the sages of India, there was a profound understanding of existence that science is only starting to approach in the modern age.

In this article, I will be discussing a spiritual practice that was developed by the old sages several hundred years before Christ. It is a simple yet powerful practice. I have also included a short story adapted from the Upanishads, which are the ancient sacred texts of India. The story is about a son who asks his father about the meaning of life.

Uddalaka Aruni sat beneath a banyan tree, meditating. His son Svetaketu, fresh from years of study, arrived brimming with knowledge.

“Father, have you found the answer? Have you discovered the true Self?” Svetaketu asked impatiently.

Uddalaka smiled. “Knowledge is a boat, Svetaketu, but it is not the shore. Look around you. See the tree, the river, the fireflies. All this is Brahman (the supreme reality). You are not just this body, Svetaketu. You are the space that contains it, the consciousness that animates it. You are the Atman, the immortal Self, one with Brahman. Tat Tvam Asi, Thou art That.”

A wave of understanding washed over Svetaketu. He saw the world anew, not as separate objects, but as a seamless tapestry woven from the threads of Brahman. Tears of joy streamed down his face. He fell to his knees, not before his father, but before the immensity of his own being. The question had dissolved, the answer realized. Svetaketu had arrived, not at a destination, but at the source, the ever-present, ever-flowing Tat Tvam Asi (you are that).

Tat Tvam Asi (You Are That)

“Tat Tvam Asi” professes a bold truth: that the essence of our individual existence (Tvam) and the vast web of universal reality (Tat) are fundamentally undivided. It’s not solely a philosophy derived from ruminating the meaning of life, but a reality grasped through direct experience, such as deep and unwavering meditation, where the veil of ordinary perception is lifted.

In more recent history, sages such as Ramana Maharshi and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj have illuminated modern paths to grasp this ageless reality, the reality of I AM.

I AM is another way of saying Tat Tvam Asi, the individual Self as existing undivided from All That Is. Nisargadatta, a guy who once sold handmade cigarettes in the backstreets of Mumbai, caught onto this cosmic idea, “I AM,” and it transformed him in just three years. He then dedicated his life to showing others the way from his modest Mumbai home.

What Is the I AM Self

Nisargadatta implored us to focus on this “I AM” awareness, as it is the means to discover one’s real Self. Our true nature is the Self (with a capital ’S’). It manifests a deeper cause, which can be called self, God, Reality, or any other name. The “I AM” is in the world, but it is also the means to transcend the world. It is the link between the inner and the outer, the real and the appearance.

“What you think you become. Therefore, think of the Self and be the Self.” — Ramana Maharashi

When speaking of Self, we are not speaking of our personality or ego self. Self, with a capital ’S,’ is our true nature, our pure essence. This ‘being’ is your divine nature that goes beyond the physical body and the roles played in life. It’s a deeper, more essential level of existence, reflecting what you truly are at your center.

Being Must Be Sensed, Not Thought

Being must be sensed or felt rather than thought. The ego, which is rooted in thought, cannot comprehend ‘being’ as it exists beyond thought. The true nature of ‘being’, the “I AM” as consciousness itself, emerges when one transcends the ego.

I AM — The Doorway to the Ultimate Reality

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj describes ‘I AM’ as the door to the Ultimate Reality.

“The I AM is in the world, but it is the key which can open the door out of the world…The door that locks you in is also the door that lets you out. The ‘I AM’ is the door. Stay at it until it opens. As a matter of fact, it is open. Only you are not at it.” Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Nisargadatta tells us that the I AM is the door to liberation. He says the door is open, but we are not there to go through it.

How Do We Get to The Door of I AM?

Focusing on the felt sense of I AM is sometimes called Self-Abidance or Self-Remembering. Self-remembering was a core teaching of Mystic and Sage George Gurdjieff and his The Fourth Way School. Self-remembering is a method of awakening and is considered essential for personal development and change. According to Gurdjieff, Self-remembering is connected with development and the changing one’s level of being. By becoming more conscious and remembering oneself, higher centers of the brain function, leading to miraculous results.

Self-remembering is essential for effective self-observation, as observations without self-remembering are considered worthless because they do not include the observer in the observation.

Intend to Remember Your Self, I AM

Set your intent to remember your Self, your I AM. I AM is the felt sense of your life force, your existence. Abiding in I AM is always a conscious choice made in each and every moment. It rarely happens naturally. At the same time, I AM is not something you conjure up with your mind. I AM is always inherently present. However, without you consciously remembering it each moment, it might as well not exist.

Establish constant contact with your Self. Be with your Self all the time, merging the mind and feeling into the sense of I AM. It is through consistency and constancy that your mind will be established in the thought-feeling I AM.

Thinking About Self-Remembering is NOT Self-Remembering

Two mental traps are easy to fall into when Self-remembering.

1) Thinking about Self-remembering is not the same as actually Self-remembering. Your mind may naturally analyze Self-remembering, but thinking about it is not the same as practicing it.

2) You are only Self-remembering when you are aware of Self-remembering. When starting to Self-remember, the mind will inevitably get distracted, and Self-remembering stops. In the beginning, Self-remembering for even a minute is difficult to maintain.

It is common for the mind to trick us into thinking that we have been Self-remembering when we haven't. This happens when we start Self-remembering but then get distracted. Later on, we may remember to Self-remember again, but the mind will falsely tell us that we have been doing it all along. This can happen even after just a few minutes or after hours of distraction.

Mindfulness and Self-Abidance — Lost In Translation

In 1881, Thomas William Rhys Davids was translating spiritual texts from Pali into English when he came across the Pali word sati. Not knowing what the exact English equivalent of sati was, he came up with the word ‘mindfulness,’ and it stuck.

Sati comes from the Sanskrit word Snmrti which means to remember. In spiritual terms, it is the memory of our true nature. Another way of saying this would be remembering to abide in Self, the I AM.

Unfortunately, the translation mind-full-ness indicates being ‘full of mind.’ This is in contrast to Self-Abidance, which involves setting aside your thoughts and focusing on the phrase "I AM".

The Power of Adding Self-Remembering to Mindfulness

The good news is that Self-Remembering, being with I AM, can be added to your Mindfulness practice, turning it into a liberating practice.

A Liberating versus a Non-Liberating Practice

“A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order to die he must first awake. “— Carl Sandburg

A liberating practice is a practice that leads to Self-knowledge. Self-knowledge leads to Self-Realization. Self-Realization leads to Enlightenment. Liberation is called Moksha in yogic traditions. Self-knowledge is called Atman-Gyaan, a deep realization of your true nature.

Most times, when people are advised to be more present and mindful, they tend to focus their attention on their mental, emotional, and physical bodies. They become more mindful of their body, their thoughts, and their surroundings. Being more mindful and present has many benefits. But, regarding Self-Realization, this approach is fundamentally non-liberating as it does not direct one back to the Self.

The focus of a liberating practice is the subject, the witness, the Self, the I AM. A liberating practice may ask, who is witnessing? Who am I? The first maxim of humankind is ‘know thyself.’ Adding Self-Abidance to your mindfulness practice transforms it into a liberating practice of Self-knowledge.

Osho on self-remembering:

When the inner flame becomes unwavering, suddenly you are going through a mutation, a transformation, a new being is born. That being will be of the nature of light. Right now, you are of the nature of darkness, you are simply an absence of something which is possible. In fact, you are not yet, you have not yet been born. Your real birth is still going to take place, and this will be the work: that you transform your inner nature from forgetfulness to self-remembering. — Osho


Self-realization is the process of discovering your true Self, the deepest aspect of being that is beyond the mind and the ego. It is the recognition of the essence of who you are beyond your thoughts, personality, and physical form. Self-realization involves a shift in identity from the content of the mind to the presence of pure consciousness. Self-realization is the journey of discovering yourself beyond your egoic identity, which is frequently linked to your personal history, occupation, and physical form.

The most essential question on a spiritual path is: “Who am I?” Understanding who you are goes beyond taking on a set of spiritual concepts or beliefs; it involves experiencing your own essence as a presence that transcends the ego.


You are in a state of enlightenment when you have achieved complete realization of your Self and live in continuous recognition of your oneness with Being. This state is characterized by the absence of suffering and the presence of unshakable peace and joy that emanates from within you. All illusions, especially the illusion of being separate from the rest of existence, are dissolved in this ultimate state of being. You understand that there is no “self” that needs to be safeguarded or elevated, leading you to a life where all your connections are based on love.

Through continually merging your mind and feeling with the sense I AM, you remember Who you are and are Self-Realized. The I AM is the door to Enlightenment where you continuously recognize your oneness with all of existence, the ultimate reality.

Living in a state of enlightenment does not mean that one is free from the challenges of everyday life. Instead, it means approaching these challenges from a place of inner peace and understanding. An enlightened individual sees the transient nature of life and understands that true happiness and peace come from within, not from external circumstances.

The journey to enlightenment is a journey inward, a journey of returning to one’s true essence. It’s a path of shedding illusions and embracing the truth of our existence, which is boundless, eternal, and permeated by love. When one reaches this state, they live in harmony with themselves and the world, a testament to the profound transformation that self-realization and enlightenment can bring.



Carl Gerber (aka Kristopher Raphael)
New Earth Consciousness

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