May 29

Advice on Self Inquiry

I am often asked for advice regarding self-inquiry.
I have no how-to to provide that would contribute anything new to what has already been adequately explained by others. But I will say this.
Self-inquiry has a high failure rate. In fact, very few people who begin the practice continue with it and most eventually abandon it altogether. This is the case because there has not been an understanding that its key challenge is not how to integrate self-inquiry into one’s life but rather how to integrate one’s life into self inquiry.
You see, self inquiry demands that high a degree of prominence.
The sellers of pacifiers and warm comforters whose satsangs and retreats you may have attended, whose DVDs, YouTube videos and mp3s may be in your library, would lead you to believe that self inquiry is not difficult and is available to all.
However, even Grand Master Ramana made it quire clear that this was not the case and that, in fact, there are prerequisites for undertaking the practice. These are discrimination, detachment, peacefulness, self-control, renunciation, endurance, faith or conviction, deep formless meditation, and of course, the desire for liberation itself.
In the same way that one needs a thorough understanding of neuro-anatomy before tackling brain surgery, self inquiry too has its preconditions. Only with these in hand can one be considered ripe for inquiry.

May 25

How You See

Note-taking is discouraged here. What I say should not be something that is studied. It must be imbibed, here and now.
Sometimes, I say that the world is a dream. Other times, I refer to it as an illusion. However, this is based on what an individual needs to hear more than anything else. The best word to describe the world is that it is a projection, the mind’s interpretation of the incoming sensory data.
What you see depends on the eye that you use. The physical eye sees physical forms, the subtle eye sees subtle forms.
Ultimately, you never see things as they are, you only see things as you are.

May 23

Life Lives as Us

All animals operate via stimulus-response. In humans, this process has been perverted by the psychological mind which filters the stimulus. This generates a reaction rather than a response. In this sense, humans are stimulus-reaction systems.
That which arises in the physical body as ‘I’ is this psychological mind. As the locus of thoughts, it is like your shadow in that it will accompany you wherever you go.
The process of I, which is experienced as the person, is an aspect of the Great Process of human life. To see the process as process is to see understand that your experience of the movie is not conditional on your identification with the protagonist.
Take every conditional phenomena and point it back to the Unconditional Precondition until this Unseen becomes visible. Give attention to what you are.
You see, enlightenment itself is a paradox in that it is an identification with formlessness, with that to which ‘I’ ultimately refers.
Enlightenment is literally a revelation. Out of the mysterious caldron of possibility, the Self reveals Itself.
And after said revelation, the functioning continues; one functions in the world as if it was real, as if one were real.
In this sense, life lives as us.

May 20

Any Method Will Suffice

The taking to any spiritual practice is evidence of an erroneous belief system, that is to say that there is something that is lacking that can be developed or attained at a future date.
It is like using a telescope to look for the earth.
There is no button to push, nor any series of buttons to be pushed, that results in transcendence.
The best one can do is to adopt the pose of Self Remembrance. Turn your attention around to look the other way, to see who is looking at, or through, you. This is an abidance in the underlying Always Already Antecedent, the source of all phenomena.
The method you use to maintain the attention on the Self doesn’t matter …… reading scripture, chanting, meditation ….. doesn’t matter.
It is not uncommon for Hindus to visit inquiring what they should do to gain realization. I remind them that Krishna taught that you have the right to work, but not to the fruits thereof. So make all the effort that you want, in whatever manner you want to, but have no investment in the outcome of the efforts.
This is not what they wanted to hear. What am I to do?
I’ve provided them with the address. No theories or philosophies are required. I advise that they go there and wait; It too is waiting there to take them into Itself. Whatever ensues is done wherein the individual has no role in the outcome.