Wednesday, August 22
- MICHAEL JOHNSON
I have been trying to get my "mind" around Ramana's
path to realization by self inquiry.
He says to consider the world as a dream.
When a thought comes up to inquire:
To whom does this thought come?
It comes to me.
Who am I?
By discarding all thoughts this way my mind will
become quiet by going back to the source of
Has anyone here used this method successfully?
It took 40 years for him to achieve whatever he
achieved. He talked to others like we all do. He
died of cancer like many others have done. He is
like all of us but he became a worldly star like
Mother Teresa or Marilyn Monroe.
I have been doing self inquiry for a short time (2
months) so I can't talk from experience; however, I
have a book, The Path Of Sri Ramana Part I, written
by Sri Sadhu Om who was a disciple of Sri Ramana.
The book is 118 pages all devoted to how to do self
inquiry. Sri Sadhu has gone to a great deal of
explanation to try to help people do self inquiry
correctly. Therefore, if you're looking for
experince in doing self inquiry, I won't be much
help, but if you are looking for information on how
to do self inquiry, the book I have is very
helpful. I would be happy to quote any part of the
book you might find helpful. For example, from page
123, "many, thinking that they are engaged in
Self-inquiry, sit down for hours together simply
repeating mentally or vocally, "Who am I?" or
"Whence am I?". There are others again who, when
they sit for enquiry, face their thoughts and
endlessly repeat mentally the following questions
taught by Sri Bhagavan, "To whom come these
thoughts? To me; who am I?", or sometimes they even
wait for the next thought to come up so that they
can fling these questions at it!" Following on page
124 he states, "Therefore, all that we are to
practice is to be still(summa iruppadu) with the
remembrance of the feeling 'I'." Lastly, on page
125 he states, "The enquiry begins only during the
liesure hours of the waking state when one sits for
I don't know what info you need, but as I said I
will be happy to quote any information from this
book that you might need.
You wrote, "I guess what I am after is a
"testimony" :-)." No one really has a story. How
can anyone say I came from over there; I went this
way; and by doing so I arrived here. The truth is I
was never over there; I was always here. Here is
all there is. There are instructions and practices,
but instructions and practices go nowhere and do
nothing. To immerse oneself in instructions and
practices is to find a home here, where you already
are. Ironic perhaps, but who can say it is a wasted
effort going nowhere, doing nothing.
MELODY AND GARY
I'm saying there is Awareness ....a state of
'being', if you will......in which the 'thought' of
self as separate and distinct from any 'other' does
not ever occur.
It does not 'order' all this.....it just 'sees' all
this, experiences all this....without ever naming
it, or discecting it or making any distinctions
I'll give an example of one of my first experiences
of such an awareness. Some call it an experience of
Thanks for your story. Interesting though that
after the event one looks back and calls this
'Awareness' or 'no self' in order to categorise
what happened. (Having done the same myself) what
then seems to happen is that this 'special'
condition becomes a desired object, so one is then
left with the problem of how to get back to 'it'
and the mind is back in division between how it is
and how it should be (future self). This has
happened countless times. And it is this very
division of the mind that prevents that wholeness
and selfless flow.
This is why in the previous post I hesitate at an
answer. As soon as an answer is identified call it
'Awareness', 'No self' or whatever this becomes an
object, a choice. (Which brings in philosphy
again). Then the mechanical process of changing to
'something' in time is continued with again. The
more subtle queston is 'Is it possible to live
without objective identity?' Without an answer?
It strikes me today how much change is the nature
of things (spontaneous change in fact) and how much
our strategies exist to stop this change and to
make an island of certainty from which to live.
Buddha taught that acts
Are motives of the mind
And words and gestures
You are moved to express.
And loving others
Are seeds that bear fruit
In this life and beyond.
If they lasted 'til they ripened,
Acts would be static.
If acts stopped,
How would they bear fruit?
Seeds turn into plants that bear fruit.
Motives turn into minds that bear fruit.
Seeds are neither severed from
Nor forever fused with fruits of plants,
Motives neither severed from
Nor forever fused with fruits of minds.
No killing and no stealing,
No abusing and no lying,
No slandering, swearing, gossiping,
No coveting, resenting or fixating:
These pristine acts
Are ways to practice
That ripen as beauty and pleasure
Here and elsewhere.
Acts, like contracts,
Are as irrevocable as debts--
Only patient cultivation
Frees you from their grip--
Insight by itself is insufficient.
Were acts transcended
Insight would destroy them.
Irrevocability alone survives
The vexed transition
From one life to the next--
Emptiness does not negate it;
Life does not set it in stone.
My acts are irrevocable
Because they have no essence.
If they had an essence,
They would be permanent.
No one could have performed them.
I would fear the consequence
Of things I did not do.
I would not lead a noble life.
Descriptions would conflict
With one another.
I would be incapable
Of telling good and bad apart.
Having already ripened,
Acts would ripen again.
If acts are compulsive
And compulsions unreal,
How can acts be real?
Acts and compulsions form me.
What could empty acts
And compulsions form?
Blocked by confusion
Consumers consume the fruits of acts,
Which neither they
Nor anyone else committed.
Where are the doers of deeds
Absent among their conditions?
Where are the fruits of doers and deeds
That cannot be found?
Where are the consumers
Of fruits that are not there?
Imagine a magician
Who creates a creature
Who creates other creatures.
Acts I perform are creatures
Who create others.
Deeds, compulsions, bodies,
Doers, fruits are like
Invisible cities, mirages, dreams.
MICHAEL READ responding to Michael Johnson
> Are you saying that the fear of the character going away is also anYup. It is quite the paradox. Fear can be a healthy survival
> illusion? The fear of the play ending is and illusion. The fear of
> the fear is an illusion?
mechanism. It can teach us respect for things that have the potential
to harm us - you know like fire and bears (we have bears here) and
mean folk. On the other hand we can be totally consumed by irrational
fears - you know like 'they' will get me, whoever 'they' are.
One concept that I like to use is this: The reason awakening to our
'true nature' is so difficult is simply that we (as universal
conciousness) have done such a fine job of tricking ourself into
believing we are separate distinct individuals. The reason being - we
do enjoy the drama so much! yahoo! let's be meat and do the things
that meat beings do - yabba dabba doo!
>Good question! We go nowhere and we don't always
> > I gaurantee that if and when 'you' do 'merge' with the infinite
> > conciousness and know beyond a doubt, belief, or concept who you
> > really are - you will come back and continue in the play.
> Where do we go that we have to come back from? :-))
come back! Unless we want to play some more. :-) Of
course my little 'gaurantee' is only a conceptual
way of stating what 'happens' :-)
Well, in the case of 'Michael Read' I did not pass
GO, did not collect $200, did not amass property on
Boardwalk - in other words I did not spend time in
'spiritual realms', hobnob with 'ascended masters',
hang around in 'buddha fields' or any of that
stuff. Which is cool to do if thats the way the
Nope - I went straight to total conciousness. No
brag - just fact. heeheehee - 'Michael Read'
disappeared because he couldn't do anything else. I
'saw' all that so called spiritual stuff go by as
an 'information stream'. The ego wanted to stop the
flow and lock it down, wrap it up, and package it
at almost any point. Man did it go by fast! The
desire to stop the flow was fear.
What a hoot!
Where did I end up? Everywhere and Nowhere. It can
only be described as that - nothing. It wasn't
personal nor was it impersonal. As the old zen
masters say - to describe it is to say too much!
The effect of this 'dramatic and all encompassing
transcendent realization' (hooey) on the character
is where the fun comes in.
Distilled Wisdom of Nisargadatta
Miguel Angel Carrasco produced a compilation of
Nisargadatta's teaching by using excerpts from his
book I AM THAT. I further distilled these excerpts
and produced a tabulated selection. This is in a
easy to print Microsoft Word format. It will print
39 A4 pages of easy to read tabulated material. It
is available for download here:
"So ham" in Sanskrit
means "I am He."
This way is the way of those
who remember I am He, He is me,
"so ham," swan, and "hamsa," all one
soaring beauty and freedom.
No matter that we're busy in business
night and day. We don't care
what profit comes.
We live alone
inside the Lord.
14th Century North Indian mystic
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From "Naked Song"
Versions by Coleman Barks