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#2249 Saturday, September 3, 2005


Wise-one! Thou are Nature,
the silent saint.
Thou are the silent Bodhisattva's action
that blooms and falls in Spring and Autumn.
Oh oh, what more can I wish for?

- Kyunghoon Sunim, from Living Peace, Poetic Reflections of a Korean
Zen Master, published by IRIS International, and posted to


They are completely fulfilled by spiritual wisdom and Self-
realization. Having conquered their senses, they have climbed to the
summit of human consciousness. To such people a clod of dirt, a
stone, and gold are the same. They are equally disposed to family,
enemies, and friends, to those who support them and those who are
hostile, to the good and the evil alike. Because they are impartial,
they rise to great heights.

- excerpt from the Bhagavad Gita, posted to MillionPaths


Between God and His servant are just two veils;
all other veils become manifest from these two: health and
wealth. He who is healthy says, "Where is God? I don't know
and I don't see." As soon as he begins to suffer, he says, "Oh
God! Oh God!", and he begins sharing his secrets with Him
and talking to Him. So you see that health was his veil, and
God was hidden under his pain. So long as man has riches, he
gathers together all the means of achieving his desires. Night
and day he busies himself with them. But as soon as he loses
his wealth, his ego weakens and he turns round about God.

- Discourses of Rumi (Fihi ma fihi) 233/240, translation by Prof.
William C. Chittick, The Sufi Path of Love, posted to Sunlight


The dual characteristics of the mind-the essential consciousness
aspect and the accretions, the world of thoughts, would have been
noticed. The consciousness in the "I" is the scent to which one must
hold on for the journey back to the source. This is the clue which
should not be lost sight of. Ramana cites the analogy of a dog
tracing its master by his scent. "The master's scent is the
infallible clue for the animal, nothing else such as the dress he
wears, his build or stature etc. To this scent the dog holds on
undistractedly while searching and it finally succeeds". If one
holds on to the consciousness aspect of oneself then the quest must
lead one to the pure mind.

How does one hold on to the consciousness in the "I"? The movement
of the mind is twofold-the inner movement, the return to the source
which is either involuntary, when sleep overpowers, or is
voluntarily achieved by practices which turn the mind inward. What
prevents this inwardness of the mental movement is the second aspect
of the mind, namely, the outward thrust of the mind caused by latent
thoughts in the mind. The very vastness of these thoughts is
frightening. They represent the whole weight of the past. Since
every action leaves behind a memory mark, it is just waiting in the
wings to reappear when the circumstances are appropriate for the
repetition of the wanted experience.

So, the first step without which one cannot proceed at all is to arm
oneself with a technique which sterilises the past and renders it
impotent. For achieving this, Ramana suggests an approach which
leaves all desires, all thoughts severely alone. He would say, "Do
not run with the running mind". For, any effort in which the
attention is paid on the thoughts themselves, good, bad or
indifferent, is no better than shadow chasing. It is said that when
a child ties to catch a shadow by running after it and is distressed
at not being able to do so, the mother prevents it from running.
Similarly, one should closely look into the essence in any thought
formation and not deal with the shadow, the rest of the thoughts. In
this light, it is only the thinker, it is only the individual, who
matters. Shifting the mind's attention to its core, to the first
person, is what is to be attempted. The second and the third person
thoughts would no longer have the power to damage, since the
attention of the "I" is not cast on them. An analogy would serve to
highlight this point. To say "do not have desires is like asking one
to take medicine without thinking of the monkey". Sure enough the
dominant thought would then be the monkey. Instead Ramana's method
gives a positive turn by saying, "drink the medicine thinking of the
elephant". In other words it is like advising one who has
to "abandon the east" to "go west".

Care is needed not to bestow attention on any particular thought.
The danger in paying attention to any thought "even if it be to deny
it, to recall a memory even if it be only to reject it is that one
runs the risk of investing it with fresh strength". When someone
complained that he was unable to prevent the rush of thoughts,
Ramana said that all that needs to be done is "to catch hold of the
leading thought, the "I"-thought, giving thereby no chance to other
thoughts to distract you". This was the basic tune of Ramana from
the early days of his spiritual ministration. An early seeker said
in dejection, "What can I do? If I reject one thought, another
thought takes its place"-Ramana promptly advised, "cling to the "I"-
thought-when your interest keeps you to that single idea, the other
thoughts automatically vanish". The past in the form of the thought
power flowing from vasanas, the inherent tendencies, is pulverised
by attention. Those thoughts just wither and fade away. "Thought
grows with thought as fire with fuel. When attention is withdrawn
thoughts die like flame without fuel". True, to begin with they
distract and one has to repeatedly bring the attention back to the
thinker. Soon one is off the outward mental movement. The shifting
of attention to the subject does the trick.

The advantage of keeping the thinker in focus, instead of thoughts,
should be apparent, for we then deal with the root of the tree
instead of its branches and leaves. A single life-giving thought is
held firmly without bothering about other latent and surface
thoughts. The phrase "life-giving" is used advisedly for one
perceives that the other thoughts, however strong, cannot operate
till the individual gives them attention, consciously or
unconsciously. When one hold on to the "I" for inspecting it, one is
on the trail of the mind. Attention to the single thought which
waters the entire thought structure opens the door to an
understanding of the mind.

- from The Silent Mind - The Ramana Way, by A. R. NATARAJAN,
Published by Ramana Maharshi Centre for Learning, Bangalore, 8th
edition, 2004


It is the clinging to the false that makes
the true so difficult to see. Once you
understand that the false needs time and
what needs time is false, you are nearer
the Reality, which is timeless, ever in the
now. Eternity in time is mere repetitiveness,
like the movement of a clock. It flows from
the past into the future endlessly, as empty
perpetuity. Reality is what makes the present
so vital, so different from the past and future,
which are merely mental. If you need time to
achieve something, it must be false. The real
is always with you; you need not wait to be
what you are. Only you must not allow your
mind to go out of yourself in search. When you
want something, ask yourself: do I really need
it? and if the answer is not, then just drop it.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj, from I Am That- Talks with Sri Nisargadatta
Maharaj, The Acorn Press, 1973, posted to AlongTheWay

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