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Nondual Highlights Issue #2091 Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Q: What is to be meditated upon?
A: Anything that you prefer.
Q: Siva, Vishnu and gayatri are said to be equally efficacious. Which should I meditate upon?
A: Any one you like best. They are all equal in their effect. But you should stick to one.
Q: How do I meditate?
A: Concentrate on that one whom you like best. If a single thought prevails, all other thoughts are put off and finally eradicated. So long as diversity prevails there are bad thoughts. When the object of love prevails only good thoughts hold the field. Therefore hold on to one thought only. Dhyana (meditation) is the chief practice. Dhyana means fight. As soon as you begin meditation other thoughts will crowd together, gather force and try to sink the single thought to which you try to hold. The good thought must gradually gain strength by repeated practice. After it has grown strong the other thoughts will be put to flight. This is the battle royal always taking place in meditation.
One wants to rid oneself of misery. It requires peace of mind, which means absence of perturbation owing to all kinds of thoughts. Peace of mind is brought about by dhyana alone.
Q: Since Sri Bhagavan says that the Self may function at any of the centres or chakras while its seat is in the Heart, is it not possible that by the practice of intense concentration or dhyana between the eyebrows this centre may become the seat of the Self?
A: Any consideration about the seat of the Self is theoretical if you fix your attention on a place in the body. You consider yourself as the subject, the seer, and the place where you fix your attention becomes the object seen. This is merely bhavana [mental imagery]. When, on the contrary, you see the seer himself, you merge in the Self and you become one with it. That is the Heart.
Q: Is the practice of concentration between the eyebrows advisable?
A: The final result of the practice of any kind of dhyana is that the object on which the seeker fixes his mind ceases to exist as distinct and separate from the subject. They, the subject and object, become the one Self, and that is the Heart.
Q: Why does not Sri Bhagavan direct us to practise concentration on some particular centre or chakra?
A: Yoga Sastra says that the sahasrara [the chakra located in the brain] or the brain is the seat of the Self. Purusha Sukta declares that the Heart is its seat. To enable the sadhaka to steer clear of possible doubt, I tell him to take up the thread or the clue of `I'-ness or `I am'-ness and follow it up to its source. Because, firstly, it is impossible for anybody to entertain any doubt about this `I' notion. Secondly, whatever be the means adopted, the final goal is the realization of the source of `I am'-ness which is the primary datum of your experience. If you therefore practise self-enquiry, you will reach the Heart which is the Self.
- excerpt from Be As You Are, The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, edited by David Godman, posted to MillionPaths
Some visitors ask me, "Please show us a path that will lead to Reality." How can I? All paths lead to unreality. Paths are creations within the scope of knowledge. Therefore, paths and movements cannot transport you into Reality, because their function is to enmesh you within the dimension of knowledge, while the Reality prevails prior to it. To apprehend this, you must stay put at the source of your creation, at the beginning of the knowledge "I am." So long as you do not achieve this, you will be entangled in the chains forged by your mind and get enmeshed in those of others.
The quintessence of the talk is clear. Your most important asset is the "knowledge" that "you are" prior to emanation of mind. Hold on to this "knowledge" and meditate. Nothing is superior to this, not even devotion to a guru -- or devotion to God.
- from The Nectar of Immortality by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, posted to JustThis
John: Ultimately, you have no control over the mind states, so let them be. Lose the concern that there is something significant about the mind and emotional states. They are simply passing states. End of story. They don't mean anything about you at all. As you clear up your real identity, the mind will take care of itself.
'Who' is there in you to pay attention or lose interest? There can creep in the subtle idea that what you are is someone who is a separate person with the ability to choose or pay more attention. This is not really the case. You are always what you are, presence-awareness. It is perfectly whole and complete now. There is no improving it, getting it or losing it. There is no person in the machine whose attention, lack of attention, competence or whatever is a critical factor in understanding your true nature. This idea subtly keeps the idea of a person going. Who or what is there to do or to get, to be competent or anxious? As long as this idea of being a separate 'ghost in the machine' survives, everything in life is bound to give some sense of trouble. Fundamentally, this I is not tenable and cannot survive close scrutiny.
So instead of being concerned with the states or actions, realize that the real existential problem, if there is one, is the subtle sense of being a separate person that can tend to creep back into the picture. Even when this happens, it does not in fact change what you really are. You are actually free and unaffected all the time. But there is the apparent sense of suffering due to fixation on the false idea.
Q: The downside of losing interest in the story is that the mind can misinterpret this as a pulling away from or aversion to activity.
John: Who is pulling away? Who has aversion? Can the mind really do anything except produce words and memories of past events and label things after they have happened? Living, perceiving and feeling are happening full on all the time, without reference to the mind at all. With the emphasis off of thought, which is just a small slice of everything going on, you are more fully alive and present with what is. It is going into the mind and thoughts that is the pulling away from life as it is happening. All aversion and resistance is based on ideas and concepts about how things should be or should not be. Without that focus, you are much more fully energized and present and alive.
Q: It seems that it is still a good idea to be wholehearted and fully involved in daily activities. At least in my experience, I have found that to be the case, because my job demands that I be fully engaged at all times.
John: With the emphasis off of the mind and the conceptual story, you will be much more present, because there is no filter. There is no person with all of its preferences and partialities trying to negotiate every experience. But who is the one who is going to try to be wholehearted and fully involved? It would only be the separate person who would try to make an attempt to become something, even wholehearted and fully involved. Awareness, the light of life that you are, is always wholehearted and fully involved, because it is the factor that informs and supports all experience. There is no need to try to become something, even some more present and engaged person. This will subtly emphasize the sense of separateness, under the guise of trying to become something.
The real clarity comes from seeing the absence of the person. It is the person that gums up the works and creates all the problems and supposed solutions. Just keep coming back to the fundamentals. Your nature is luminous, ever-present, radiant, perfect, being-awareness. This is fully realized and complete right now. There is literally nothing you need to do or practice. Just notice what is here and see that. It is actually completely present. We just overlooked it due to the old concepts and habits.
Instead of getting wrapped up in the states and doing this or that, question who is the one who imagines that the states and actions are so important. You will find that it is the sense of being a separate person, something apart from the source (which is the reality, the presence, or whatever you want to call it). Question that till you see that there is no separate person there. See this deeply, and all the issues will resolve with no additional effort. It is almost unbelievable, but it is true. All problems are for the I. See that there is no I and all problems must resolve. There is a logic to it that you can confirm by direct experience.
- John Wheeler, extract from Awakening to The Natural State, Non-Duality Press, Sept. 2004,
Blayne: What is the essence of the teaching which happens through you?
Wayne: The essence of the teaching is the same as that of my guru, Ramesh Balsekar, and the many true sages before him, which is that all there is, is Consciousness. Consciousness is all there is. If that is understood intuitively and deeply then there's nothing else to say. Anything else that is said after that is superfluous because the ultimate understanding is a non-intellectual state.
Blayne: The ultimate understanding?
Wayne: Yes, the ultimate understanding. First, there is a deepening of intellectual understanding that is part of the process. Intellectual understanding may result in a phenomenal experience of Oneness. That phenomenal experience of Oneness is what is normally thought of as a mystical experience, and the mystics for centuries have written about that experience using a variety of terms that reflect their spiritual culture. The ultimate understanding can be said to be the result of an impersonal event that happens in phenomenality, but the ultimate understanding is not phenomenal in nature. It is that which transcends and yet encompasses phenomenality.
Blayne: What do you have to say to the seeker seeking something, whether it be peace, or freedom, or enlightenment?
The seeking happens. There is no denying that the seeking arises
in certain body-mind organisms. The process through which it
arises is that a normal, everyday, average person gets the notion
that there must be something more to life than the pursuit of
money, sex, relationships, success. She or he begins to wonder
who or what she or he truly is. This is the point at which Ramana
Maharshi says that your head goes into the tiger's mouth, the
jaws close, and there is no escape. That is the point at which
the seeking starts. You are a seeker, and as long as there is a
sense of personal doership associated with the body-mind
mechanism of the seeker, he or she will believe that it is he or
she who is seeking. With the final or ultimate understanding what
is revealed is the seeker is that which is sought.
- excerpt from interview with Wayne Liquorman, by Blayne Bardo, May 1998
More here: http://advaita.org/blayneinterview.htm
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