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#2835 - Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
By day shines
by night, the moon;
in armor, the warrior;
in jhana, the Brahmin.
But all day & all night,
every day & every night,
the Awakened One shines
-Dhammapada, 26, translation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
difference between thinking and awareness.
Thinking connects with the past, with memory, and works by opposites,
such as good and bad, you and I. It is rightly used in everyday
matters, such as cooking. It is wrongly used when one tries to gain a
self-identity, like labeling oneself a success or a failure.
Awareness is an impartial observation of the whole of life. It does
not proceed from a sense of individuality; it is the whole tree, not
just branches which are opposed to roots. Awareness is sanity, peace.
Would you like something to challenge and strengthen your mental
forces? At the next disappointing event, reflect, 'This is also just
as much a part of life as what I label a favorable event. As a whole
person, I see both sides equally; I do not split events into good and
bad. Being whole, I see the whole.' Do this, even if you don't
understand it, for it contains a tremendous secret."
From the book: Esoteric Mind Power
published by New Life Foundation
www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0911203273/angelinc --from Daily Dharma
This chapter describes the practices that allow us to carry through our desire for nonduality: enquiry, or attention to I-thought so that we may know its source, and surrender to Self or God.
We are reminded that we are not separate from the Self. Because we are not separate from the Self, the Self cannot be reached as though it is at Point B while we are at Point A. But the Self can be realized or recognized. Sri Ramana Maharshi talks about the nature of Self, the nature of mind and ego, and where and how to turn our attention. This material was selected by David Godman from published works of Ramana Maharshi.
Some of the passages used in this chapter have been translated directly from the original Tamil work, Upadesa Manjari, by T. V. Venkatasubramanian and David Godman.
Bhagavan: That from which the I-thought, the first thought, rises is the Heart, the Self, consciousness of being. Pursue in the Heart the enquiry Who is this I that is the source for the manifestation of the ego and all the rest?1
That which arises in the physical body as I is the mind. If one enquires, In what place in the body does this I first arise? it will be known to be in the Heart. That is the birthplace of the mind. Even if one incessantly thinks I, I, it will lead to that place. Of all thoughts that arise in the mind, the thought I is the first one. It is only after the rise of this [thought] that other thoughts arise. It is only after the first personal pronoun arises that the second and third personal pronouns appear. Without the first person, the second and third persons cannot exist.2
The Heart is used in the Vedas and the scriptures to denote the place whence the notion I springs. Does it spring only from the fleshy ball? It springs within us somewhere right in the middle of our being. The I has no location. Everything is the Self. There is nothing but that. So, the Heart must be said to be the entire body of ourselves and of the entire universe, conceived as I. But to help the practiser [abhyasi] we have to indicate a definite part of the universe, or of the body. So this Heart is pointed out as the seat of the Self. But in truth we are everywhere, we are all that is, and there is nothing else.3
Until one enquires into and knows ones own real nature, the agitation experienced by the mind will not cease. For your true state to merge in your Heart as your own nature, you must enquire and know that true state. This is the only way.
Those who leave the path of self-enquiry, the way of liberation, and wander off along the myriad forest tracks, will encounter only confusion. The state of the Self is reached by going back the way one came.
Whatever other paths one travels on, it has to take you here and take refuge here.4
This path is the direct path; all others are indirect ways. The first leads to the Self, the others elsewhere. And even if the latter do arrive at the Self it is only because they lead at the end to the first path which ultimately carries them to the goal. So, in the end, the aspirants must adopt the first path. Why not do so now? Why waste time?5
Do not ruin yourself by repeatedly rising and subsiding as the thinking I. Attain true life by abiding as the being I.6
Question: This I-thought rises from me. But I do not know the Self.
Bhagavan: All these are only mental concepts. You are now identifying yourself with a wrong I, which is the I-thought. This I-thought rises and sinks, whereas the true significance of I is beyond both. There cannot be a break in your being. You who slept are also now awake. There was not unhappiness in your deep sleep. Whereas it exists now. What is it that has happened now so that this difference is experienced? There was no I-thought in your sleep, whereas it is present now. The true I is not apparent and the false I is parading itself. This false I is the obstacle to your right knowledge. Find out wherefrom this false I arises. Then it will disappear. You will be only what you are i.e. absolute being.
1 Venkatasubramanian, T. V.; Butler, Robert; and Godman, David, trans., Padamalai. Boulder, Colorado: Avadhuta Foundation, 2004, p. 201.
2 Ramana Maharshi, Who Am I?, unpublished translation based on one by Sadhu Om and Michael James, and modified by David Godman.
3 Venkataramiah, Munagala S., ed., Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Tiruvannamalai, India: Sri Ramanasramam, 1984, talk no. 29.
4 Padamalai, p. 200.
5 Brunton, Paul, Conscious Immortality. Tiruvannamalai, India: Sri Ramanasramam, 1984, p. 176.
6 Padamalai, p. 202.
We depend on nature not only for our physical survival. We also need nature to show us the way home, the way out of the prison of our own minds. We got lost in doing, thinking, remembering, anticipating - lost in a maze of complexity and a world of problems.
We have forgotten what rocks, plants, and animals still know. We have forgotten how to be - to be still, to be ourselves, to be where life is: Here and Now.
Whenever you bring your attention to anything natural, anything that has come into existence without human intervention, you step out of the prison of conceptualized thinking and, to some extent, participate in the state of connectedness with Being in which everything natural still exists.
To bring your attention to a stone, a tree, or an animal does not mean to think about it, but simply to perceive it, to hold it in your awareness.
Something of its essence then transmits itself to you. You can sense how still it is, and in doing so the same stillness arises within you. You sense how deeply it rests in Being - completely at one with what it is and where it is.
In realizing this, you too come to a place of rest deep within yourself.
When walking or resting in nature, honor that realm by being there fully. Be still. Look. Listen. See how every animal and every plant is completely itself. Unlike humans, they have not split themselves in two. They do not live through mental images of themselves, so they do not need to be concerned with trying to protect and enhance those images. The deer 'is' itself. The daffodil 'is' itself.
All things in nature are not only one with themselves but also one with the totality. They haven't removed themselves from the fabric of the whole by claiming a separate existence: "me" and the rest of the universe.
The contemplation of nature can free you of that "me," the great troublemaker.
Bring awareness to the many subtle sounds of nature - the rustling of leaves in the wind, raindrops falling, the humming of an insect, the first birdsong at dawn. Give yourself completely to the act of listening. Beyond the sounds there is something greater: a sacredness that cannot be understood through thought.
You didn't create your body, nor are you able to control the body's functions. An intelligence greater than the human mind is at work. It is the same intelligence that sustains all of nature. You cannot get any closer to that intelligence than by being aware of your own inner energy field - by feeling the aliveness, the animating presence within the body.
from Stillness Speaks
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