Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression




Verse One

There is only one occurrence: I AM

Like a bright thunder it wakes one out of sleep of ignorance.

And thus begins the birth of Knowledge.



Suddenly the world is seen.

And suddenly the self is seen

As a part of the world.

And the birth of knowledge is a guided birth.

A birth that is watched over.

Verse Two

The way of development proceeds

Not by any personal act or decision,

Nor by any act or decision by anyone.

What appears to be right action or right decision

Is neither right nor wrong;

Neither action nor decision.

The way of development proceeds by attention to I AM.

Verse Three

Initiation is the bringing of attention to I AM.

I AM is always attending to the world.

I AM is always attending to all existence.

Through that attention, existence IS.

To see THAT is initiation.

Verse Four

The eye that sees THAT is buried under the rubble of imaginings.

The eye is THAT.

Seeing itself, it wears imaginings like trinkets

And the Guru -- I AM -- attracts you with silvery objects

As though you were a crow.

Verse Five

Giving up the addiction to baubles and objects

One may attend to I AM,

Even if that giving-up is temporary,

Found in meditation or a meditative condition.

Push aside all imaginings in order to see I AM

It is I AM that does the pushing aside. What else could it be?

Knowing that now, you may come to initiation now.

You may see what is happening.

Verse Six

Using the forms of books, pictures, magazines, incense, tapes, malas, rosaries, email,

And other reminders or attractions,

Stay in the presence of I AM realizers.

They too are imaginings

However they complement I AM, and bring it out, not camouflage I AM so that it cannot be recognized.

Verse Seven

And remember.

Remember, remember, remember:

The time the drum was pounded once and forever,

How you found the string had been stroked and intoned on and on forever,

And the image, the place, the intense focusing that seemed to focus upon you,

The settled interior glance,

That found a home within you

And you a home within it.

And how the brave world passed away then

And the mass of the ocean drew you toward it.

Verse 8

Remember I AM.

Initiation is held within the memory.

And then the re-initiation happens.

Really there is no initiation at all.

Only re-initiation.

There is recognition of initiation having already happened.

There are reflections of I AM:

Sounds of initiation playing off each other,

Intuitions vague and strong,

Recognitions bare and well-formed.

Is it not clear that everything in your room

Signifies initiation having already happened?

Whether or not you hear the thunder of I AM,

You already hear the echoes of that thunder.

Verse Nine

There is no movement toward understanding.

There appear to be movements away from or toward understanding:

Wild or stray circles, sometimes stunning as crop circles.

Understanding in the present is 'no movement'.

No dashing circles.

It is the knowing of I AM.

Verse Ten

So sit and understand the world.

Sit beneath the tree of understanding.

Put the creation of the universe on pause.

The world is the Big Doubt.

Turn the tap off.

Let its rising and sinking fountain stop.

Now hear I AM.

Sit beneath the tree of understanding

And let existence open

Against the thunder of I AM.

Verse Eleven

And through I AM find out who you are.

You are not your name, position, body, thoughts, feelings, desires, or fears.

You are not anything you can attend to.

"Then I am not I AM," you say.

I AM is initiation. It is the way, not the way IT is.

That which can be attended to, may be the way,

But it is not abidance within ultimate reality.

So now you know the limitation of I AM,

The limitation of attention.

Therefore move quickly and straight to the final attention:


So that you will be carried beyond it.

Verse Twelve

What can you stay with moment to moment?

How many precepts, truths, 'bodies', ways, principles, energies,

Commandments, verses, prayers can you stay with at a time?

And what is it that exists or happens in between the remembering, the staying?

I AM is not about studying or remembering.

It is ever-knowing.


To be sung slowly and freely, almost as a melodious chant. In other words, make up your own music! In fact, you will be surprised how easily these verses create their own music. You will the feel the chakras above the neck filling and swirling.

Who am I?
Who am I?
Who am I?
Who am I?

Who am I?
Who am I?
Who am I?
Who am I?

I am I am and I am I am
I am I am and I am I am
I am I am and I am I am
I am I am and I am I am

I am I am and I am I am
I am I am and I am I am
I am I am and I am I am
I am I am and I am I am

Copyright 1999 Jerry M. Katz

Verse Thirteen

There are many delivering the message

To do nothing, to be still and silent.

Silence comes before initiation

And exists after initiation.

Because silence exists after initiation,

It is very attractive

To those who seek initiation.

Initiation silences you.

A certain presence silences you,

But that is not necessarily initiation.

It is a preparation for initiation.

Initiation itself is thunderous

Even though it may last a fraction of a second.

It may even be imperceptible!

It is preceded by a quality of silence

And followed by another quality of silence.

One cannot seek initiation,

But one can achieve silence and, in that way,

Invite initiation.

These verses presume silence.

Verse Fourteen

It is that which fills the spaces in your life.

It is that which you've named and instructed others upon.

It hides behind trees and takes cloud cover.

You weep.

And when it comes out

It is bright and seems to follow you.

It has led you

To a clear night

In the desert.

You see it is simply always there.

You return to those who name you Teacher.

And who ask you

What led you to the desert?

What happened there?

Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression