Guru Nisargadatta Maharaj said: "I used to sit for hours together, with nothing but the 'I am' in my mind and soon peace and joy and a deep all-embracing love became my normal state. In it all disappeared — myself, my Guru, the life I lived, the world around me. Only peace remained and unfathomable silence."
When I used to do a lot of sitting meditation for more than fifteen minutes, my back would ache and my knees would hurt.
Then it came to me that I need not suffer in pain doing Zen meditation with my left kneecap shattered and never touched by doctors. Instead, when I did Nembutsu meditation, and chanted for all humanity, my left knee healed on its own.
In my mind, how can there truly be "I am" when only Buddha Nature exists? The answer is, that which is "I am" is Buddha Nature. However, this "I am" is the consciousness stream itself.
Indeed, all the joy and deep love for humanity could be encountered after chanting Nembutsu with love for all sentient beings in this invisible net of Indra spread around the world!
Suppose then that my highest state of consciousness achieve is when insomnia has overtaken me and only the psychiatric professionals are left to worry if I am ready to crack.
However, the only crack to come out of all this Nembutsu chanting is, "You don't need to sit on your ass for hours to chant."
Sometimes when chanting it even seems like the whole world has gone, myself, my home, my present life, and even traffic noise.
In that silence, I find peace because Amida is calling without words.
Namu Amida Butsu!