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When I was younger, I used to sit in class during silent reading time and glance at all the faces around me and ask repetitively and quietly, "What am I, Where am I, Who am I?" After a few minutes, my mind would go blank, completely clear of all thoughts. I'd sit there for so many seconds in this blank state. Eventually, my thoughts and knowledge would start flooding back in. I was quite good at this from doing it daily.

Now that I'm older, I haven't been able to do it, and I wonder if what I used to experience was a form of meditation. It felt good to truly erase all the chaos from life and school from my mind and sit peacefully. I'd like to be able to do it again.

  • No it was not a meditation. Otherwise, thoughts would not flood back in subsequently. You will naturally be in present state without thoughts! Meditation is a state where you gradually transcend the physicality and reach the final stage - of Atman. – Akshay S Oct 31 '18 at 9:27
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    @UdayKrishna It's observed that you put lots of comments underneath many posts and then clear. This irritates the OP. Comments should be used for asking clarification or providing hint. If you want to answer, use answer box. For discussion only, use chat-room instead of posting series of comments randomly. – Pandya Oct 31 '18 at 11:31
  • try researching Neti-Neti – Rudra Oct 31 '18 at 14:15
  • @UdayKrishna dont delete comments after making them. No one is judging you – Rudra Oct 31 '18 at 14:18
  • @PattyWatty27 , the state of your mind in childhood is much sought after. It is a blessing/boon. Try again and see if you can attain it still. – Vineet Nov 1 '18 at 9:43
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The contemplation on the question "Who am I?" is definitely a spiritual exercise and a form of meditation. It is much popular in today's time due to Ramana Maharishi (Just search for example on Google this - "Ramana Maharshi Who am I").

But, in Hindu scriptures too we find references to it.

For example, in YogaVAshishta RAmAyana, the teacher (Rishi Vashishta) instructs the disciple (Sri RAma) that the self-inquiry "Who am I?" eventually leads to the dissolution of mind, which (i.e the mind) according to the text, is the root cause of all our sorrows and sufferings.

Here is the exact verse from Yoga VAshishta SAra book's 5th chapter:

RAma swAtma vichArohayam kohaham swAmiti rupakah |
Chittadurdrumvijasya dahane dahanah smritah ||

O RAma - Know the self-inquiry "Who am I?" to be the fire that burns all the desires (VAsanA), which are like the seeds of the mind-like tree that is filled with sorrow.

YogavAshishtasAra 5.1

Note that in Sanskrit "Who am I" is "Ko aham".

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