One of my all-time favorite practices is Meditation Into Being. I love this meditation because it’s easy, enjoyable, profound, includes chanting (always a selling point for me); and there’s a gorgeous piece of music by Nirinjan Kaur to accompany it. As you practice this meditation, you come into a more expanded “beingness.” Its mantra and its movement connect you at once to your finite sense of self, and the fact that you are part of something bigger than your finite self. It’s beautiful!
The mantra is simply “I Am, I Am.” It’s so simple yet so deeply meaningful. It’s significant that it’s repeated in pairs. If we stopped after the first I am, our minds would try to complete the sentence: I am what? I am strong; I am a parent; I am young; I am an accountant, etc. But because we answer right away with another I Am, we guide ourselves to think, believe, and feel,“I Am What I Am.”
In her book The Eight Human Talents, Gurmukh explains the “I Am What I Am” concept: “It’s important to remember that you are not your job or your race or your income or your spouse or your kids. You are not your face or your body or the car you drive or the clothes you wear. Ultimately, you just are.”
You just are. I Am, I Am. I Am What I Am. And that is enough.
How often do we really believe that we are enough? Honestly, I would guess that for most of us it’s not often. I’d love to be wrong about that, but, in my experience, and what I hear from others, the judgmental world we live in, the messages we received in childhood, and maybe continue to receive in adulthood, run counter to the belief that each of us is enough. Meditation Into Being can help with that.
This practice utilizes a movement which expresses the meaning of the mantra and therefore helps you to fully embody I Am, I Am. You move the left arm toward your body (this particular body, this finite flesh and bones self) with the first I Am, and you move it away from your body (into the universal realm) with the second I Am. I Am me and my identity AND I Am part of something much bigger than that.
In addition to reinforcing this message in your heart and mind, the gesture of the meditation also massages, nurtures, and strengthens the electromagnetic field of the practitioner. This is the protective and projective space around us, also known as our radiance.
Here are the instructions for Meditation Into Being:
- Sit tall in easy pose pulling the chin in toward the throat lightly to keep the back of the neck long.
- Place the right hand in gyan mudra (thumb and pointer finger touching) at the knee and keep the elbow of the right arm straight.
- Place the left hand in front of the heart center (about 6 inches away) with the palm facing the body. This is the neutral position.
- Chant “I Am, I Am” aloud. As you chant the first I Am, move the arm from the neutral position closer to the heart center but not touching (about 4 inches away). When you chant the second I Am, move the arm further away from the heart center beyond neutral (about 12 inches away). Then, take a short breath in through the nose as you return to neutral (about 6 inches away) and prepare to begin again.
- Continue for 11-31 minutes.
- To end, inhale deeply, hold the breath and the posture, and then relax completely.
I recommend using Nirinjan Kaur’s “I Am Meditation” on her album Restoring Your Personal Power. Her version evokes both a longing quality and a vastness. When we sing along, we can express our own desire to connect to something deeper than our finite identities, and we can simultaneously feel the truth that we are part of that Infinite. We are. I Am, I Am.
May you enjoy and reap the benefits of Meditation Into Being. Sat Nam.
Cate Baily discovered Kundalini Yoga by accident nearly 20 years ago and was surprised and thrilled by how engaged, energized, and inspired it made her feel. She’s been practicing ever since and now co-owns Montclair Kundalini Yoga, a yoga studio in New Jersey dedicated to community and keeping up. Cate is grateful to her teachers and to all of her students who show up to find inner peace and connect to their inner wisdom.