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Highlights: Issue #2982, Saturday, November 10, 2007, Editor:
The presence of thoughts and feelings means only that thoughts and feelings are present. We interpret our experience to mean something about who we are. This interpretation creates suffering when it passes itself off for truth. But if it's seen to be what it is - an interpretation - it presents no problem; it's simply there too in the vastness.
- Suzanne Segal, from Collision with the Infinite
To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation. This creates an endless preoccupation with past and future and an unwillingness to honor and acknowledge the present moment and allow it to be. The compulsion arises because the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.
Eckhart Tolle, from The Power of Now
You are your own teacher.
Looking for teachers can't solve your own doubts.
Investigate yourself to find the truth - inside, not outside.
Knowing yourself is most important.
- Ajahn Chah, posted to DailyDharma
Any life, no matter how long and complex it may be, is made up of a single moment - the moment in which a man finds out, once and for all, who he is.
- Jorge Luis Borges
The shock of the fear of death drove my mind inwards and I said to myself mentally, without actually framing the words: `Now death has come; what does it mean? What is it that is dying? This body dies.' And I at once dramatised the occurrence of death. I lay with my limbs stretched out stiff as though rigor mortis had set in and imitated a corpse so as to give greater reality to the enquiry. I held my breath and kept my lips tightly closed so that no sound could escape, so that neither the word `I' nor any other word could be uttered. `Well then,' I said to myself, `this body is dead. It will be carried stiff to the burning ground and there burnt and reduced to ashes.
But with the death of this body am I dead? Is the body `I'? It is silent and inert but I feel the full force of my personality and even the voice of the `I' within me, apart from it. So I am Spirit transcending the body. The body dies but the Spirit that transcends it cannot be touched by death. That means I am the deathless Spirit.' All this was not dull thought; it flashed through me vividly as living truth which I perceived directly, almost without thought-process. `I' was something very real, the only real thing about my present state, and all the conscious activity connected with my body was centred on that `I'.
From that moment onwards the `I' or Self focused attention on itself by a powerful fascination. Fear of death had vanished once and for all. Absorption in the Self continued unbroken from that time on. Other thoughts might come and go like the various notes of music, but the `I' continued like the fundamental sruti note that underlies and blends with all the other notes. Whether the body was engaged in talking, reading or anything else, I was still centred on `I'. Previous to that crisis I had no clear perception of my Self and was not consciously attracted to it. I felt no perceptible or direct interest in it, much less any inclination to dwell permanently in it.
- Ramana Maharshi, from Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge: A Biography by Arthur Osborne
When we concentrate our attention on the origin of thought, the thought process itself comes to an end; there is a hiatus, which is pleasant, and again the process starts. Turning from the external world and enjoying the objectless bliss, the mind feels that the world of objects is not for it. Prior to this experience the un-satiating sense enjoyments constantly challenged the mind to satisfy them, but from the inward turn onwards its interest in them begins to fade. Once the internal bliss is enjoyed, the external happiness loses its charm. One who has tasted the inward bliss is naturally loving and free from envy, contented and happy with others' prosperity, friendly and innocent and free from deceit. He is full of the mystery and wonder of the bliss. One who has realized the Self can never inflict pain on other.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj, from Self Knowledge and Self Realization
What is left then? Well, there is only Oneness, and maybe the natural notion of being without limits. Simply being with what is, without anyone claiming It, without anyone trying to turn it into a religious system with symbols, rules, expectations and spiritual heroes.
Jan Kersschot, from Nobody Home
Know yourself. Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.
- Ann Landers
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