This is for inspiration purposes only. Every one is unique in that the advice from the Master will differ based on their level of spirituality. Only Master can give you the right advice for you. So find a master and they can advice you.
Once again this is only meant to inspire you on the road to achieving the SelfQU: I have been holding onto the sense "I am" all through out the day....I do this every moment I can...and I seem to become more detached from the body, worldly attachments.
I have also been doing Japa’s with "I am"- again not mechanical recitation but trying to feel "I am", and in between every few repetitions of "I am", I dive into the question "who am I?", there is nothing but blackness-nothingness, silence!
I have been averaging 50,000 chants of a mantra. I figure that for every breath I take I must recite the name of God..."I am" seems to operate mechanically by itself for the most part. and when I do forget "I am" I do know that I think of nothing else....my question is - I am feeling suffocated...like the mind is tired ...I wake up in the morning I think of I am, I fall asleep with "I am", the mind is not rebelling but it feels "suffocated or tired" is this normal...?
You should try to stay focused on the guidance that I am giving you and not try to incorporate what you have read elsewhere, or advice from others into what I say to you. This will only create confusion and doubt instead of clarity and Self-Knowledge.
True spiritual practice is all about understanding who you really are, what your true nature is, and not about some technique or method, or acquiring more knowledge or opinions from many sources.If you have the book Master of Self-Realization, I suggest that you become familiar with the teaching presented in the first section of that book which is entitled Master Key to Self-Realization.
This book was written by Shri Siddharameshwar Maharaj, who is the guru of Ranjit Maharaj and Nisargadatta Maharaj, and outlines in very clear and direct words the foundation for understanding and Self-Knowledge.
It is natural that if you are trying to maintain this practice 24 hours a day that you would become exhausted and even frustrated. The mind has other duties it needs to fulfill and also needs rest at times.
This type of Japa practice can have some benefit initially for a short period of time, but then should be set aside. The main goal of this type of practice is to make the mind more subtle so that the attention is lifted from objects of the world and the objects called thoughts. As long as one's attention is focused on worldly objects and thoughts, even noble thoughts such as "I Am," one's progress will be limited.
It sounds like your mind is sufficiently subtle, so I would suggest that you might not need to pursue this line of thinking any longer.
In fact, I would say that what would be more beneficial for you at this time would be to take up the practice of forgetting. Forget everything that you have read so far, forget the Japa, forget "I Am," forget about THE person you think is you, forget all thoughts that may come into your consciousness as soon as they appear, and even forget about the forgetting, and just abide in your own Beingness without asserting any thoughts whatsoever. Spend 10-15 minutes a day sitting quietly for some time just practicing this forgetfulness, and I assure you that your experience will not be that of fatigue.
Once you have practiced this forgetfulness for some time, you will naturally find yourself just in a state of effortless Beingness. Thoughts will come and go, simply notice this. Appearances in the world will all come and go, so simply notice that all of them have a beginning and an ending.
You need not do anything with thoughts or even act on them, simply notice the appearances, and notice that the place where you are noticing from never changes. This is your changeless existence. It is always aware of all comings and goings, yet remains ever unaffected. Even the thought "I Am" is sure to come and go. There is no thought of "I Am" when you are in deep sleep, yet this changeless existence which is your true nature is still existing.
Become more and more identified with the changeless existence and notice that all thoughts or appearances have a beginning and an ending, yet your existence remains unaffected. With this type of noticing, you will naturally feel more energized, and instead of feeling suffocated, you will feel expansive. Notice that your existence is space-like and that all appearances appear and disappear in this space of your existence.
The space always remains as space. It contains and permeates all appearances yet never becomes anything other than space. Sometimes it is filled with appearances, and sometimes, when forgetting, it becomes empty, but the space has not changed. Become more identified with this changeless space and notice that you are never affected by appearances or concepts. You never became any appearance, and no thought ever defined you, even the thought "I Am." All appearances are false as they come and go, your changeless existence is True and is always as it is, before, during, and after the appearance and disappearance of all things.Try this for some time, and see what happens..