We consider the most productive use of this life to make available the teachings of Self-Realization to those who are interested. The ancient teachings and the well regarded teachers lives are great reminders to pay attention to Self. As is simply being alone and keeping quiet. As well as regular association with people who live truthfully, share honestly, and are aware that the recognition and realization of who we truly are is ongoing and deepens daily the depth of love and compassion that is the essence of human experience. Services Offered: A space to take a break from the routines of daily life and focus exclusively on Self-Realization. Investigation and dialogue with others who are living a life of inquiry is available. Resources to books, videos, and music that reflects an interest in Self-Realization are available. Assistance with obtaining work is available. Participation in community service is offered.
Advaita does not point to a dry, emotionless, intellectual way of living. While it is necessary to challenge personal attachments to family and friends, it is not necessary to renounce natural love for family and friends.
Renouncing the possessiveness that arises from the sense of being a separate egoic person is what is required. Without this falling away of the delusional division, authentic love is not experienced and expressed.
June 8, 2013
Silence is not the absence of words or thoughts or even of identification. Silence is the absence of the speaker, the thinker, and the identifier. Silence is Life’s or God’s expression. No matter how loud nature is, it is silent. No matter how loud a jnani is, he or she is silent. It is relevant to understand that even identification, which is typically dismissed as something that can only happen with the ego, can be the expression of silence. This is seen and known when one no longer sees what they once saw as a separate ego as actually separate. Even what we once referred to as an ego becomes the expression of Life, God. What else can anything be but the expression of Life or God.
June 10, 2013
The duality that appears in nondual awareness is embraced. There are distinct forms but they are not separate in essence only in appearance. Irony and paradox are appreciated. To live from this understanding is natural. It includes everything. It is so inclusive it includes exclusivity. Life moves its various expressions into new situations and dynamics every moment. This world is a living mandala. The pictures and structures that are appearing in the sand rise and fall and return to sand. It is the consciousness or the spirit that is animating every single form. Not seeing this clearly leads to attachment to one’s own form and to others’ forms. This attachment leads to suffering. Suffering ends when the attachment is no longer possible. The attachment is no longer possible when the illusion that anyone or anything is other than your own Self is completely realized and accepted.
Very clearly conveying Ramana’s teaching of Self-inquiry and significant articulation of ‘no-self’ vs. real Self.
Recent Sharing by Robert Wolfe:
This is the clearest articulation of what Adaita IS and what the traps of not truly understanding Advaita are:
FROM ANNAMALAI SWAMI
Bhagavan once said to me :’The one who limits the Self by believing himself to be the body and the mind has ‘killed’ his own Self. For killing the Self he has to be punished. The punishment is birth and death and continuous misery.
Q.: Is the ending of misery determined by prarabdha karma, or can we bring it nearer by personal effort?
Annamalai Swami: The misery comes to an… end only by realizing the Self, not by any other means.
Q: Can this happen at any time?
AS: Here and now you are already the Self. You don’t need time to realize it, all you need is correct understanding. Each moment you identify yourself with the body and the mind, you are going in the direction of ego and misery. The moment you give up that identification, you are moving towards your real Self, towards happiness.
Q: … If I try to generate this feeling ‘I am the Self’’ it will not be the real thing. It will be just another idea in the mind. Can thinking about this idea really help me?
AS: When I say, ‘Meditate on the Self’ I am asking you to be the Self, not think about it. Be aware of what remains when thoughts stop. Be aware of the consciousness that is the origin of all your thoughts. Be that consciousness. Feel that this is what you really are. If you do this you are meditating on the Self. But if you cannot stabilize in that consciousness because your vasanas are too strong and too active, it is beneficial to hold onto the thought, ‘I am the Self; I am everything.’ If you meditate in this way you will not be cooperating with the vasanas that are blocking your Self-awareness. If you don’t cooperate with them, sooner or later they are bound to leave you.
If this method doesn’t appeal to you, then just watch the mind with full attention. Whenever the mind wanders, become aware of it. See how thoughts connect with each other and watch how this ghost called mind catches hold of all your thoughts, saying,’ This is my thought. ‘ Watch the ways of the mind without identifying with them in any way. If you give your mind your full, detached attention, you begin to understand the futility of all mental activities. Watch the mind wandering here and there, seeking out useless and unnecessary things or ideas, which will ultimately only create misery for itself. Watching the mind gives us a knowledge of its inner processes. It gives us an incentive to stay detached from all our thoughts. Ultimately, if we try hard enough, it gives us the ability to remain as consciousness, unaffected by transient thoughts.
– ‘Living by the Words of Bhagavan’, p. 283
I found this in the recent Ramana Ashram Newsletter, which you can have emailed to you by getting on their mailing list here: Ramana Ashram
From the Periapuranam: Poosalar’s Kumbhabhishekam
Poosalar of Ninravoor was versed in the Vedas and devoted to Lord Siva. His life’s longing had been to build a temple to the Lord. He roamed far and wide in the effort to raise funds but, alas, all in vain. Finally he made up his mind that he would erect the sacred edifice in his own heart. He immediately gathered and
stored in his mind all that was required: artisans, workers and the many specialized tools. After laying the foundation stone with the appropriate rites, he began the construction—in his mind. With love and care, unknown to anyone, he strove with all his might day and night to raise the temple little by little, by the power of his imagination. He carefully constructed the tower of stones carved with great skill, the rounded dome at the top, the ancillary pavilions, the holy tank, stucco on the sides of the vimanam and gopruam, high walls encompassing the site as prakarams.
Finally when all was completed, he consulted the panchangam (almanac) for an auspicious day for mahakumbhabhishekam. Meanwhile, the king of the Pallavas had built a temple of brick and stone at
Kanchipuram, lavish and splendid, the famous Kailasanatha Temple. Royal astrologers selected a muhurtham during which to install the Lord. The night before, however, the Lord spoke to the king in a
dream: “Tomorrow, I intend to enter the shrine built by my devotee, Poosalar of Ninravoor. You had better fix another date for your kumbhabhishekam”. Waking from the dream, the king was eager to meet the devotee spoken of by the Lord and set out immediately for Ninravoor. Once there he inquired about a newly constructed temple, but no one seemed to know about it.
When the king asked of Poosalar, they directed him to a little hut nearby, where the king fell prostrate to the ground: “Where is the great shrine you have built, so highly praised? The three-eyed Lord directed me here telling me that this is the day of mahakumbhabhishekam”. The blessed devotee then explained that the shrine which had evidently found favor with the Lord was raised only in his generous heart. At these words, the king discovered the secret of true devotion: all outward exertions must be complemented with an inward purity of intention.
* * *
“You will recognize that you have returned to your natural state by a complete absence of all desire and fear. After all, at the root of all desire and fear is the feeling of not being what you are. Just as a dislocated joint pains only as long as it is out of shape, and is forgotten as soon as it is set right, so is all self-concern a symptom of mental distortion which disappears as soon as one is in the normal state.”
A.H. Nonprofit is located in Ojai, California
“The true goal of life is to get back to the source from which we came. Just as the river flow restlessly till they join the ocean, the ultimate source from which they got their supply of water, just as fire leaps and burns furiously till it merges in its own origin, so too, we should be restless here till we obtain His grace and become one with him.
All is God: God is all. This world is your best teacher or Guru. There is a lesson in each and every experience. Learn it and try to become wise. Every failure is a stepping stone of your faith in God. Every disease is a Karmic purgation. Every unpleasant incident is test of your inner spiritual strength.
If you have faith and absolute trust in the Lord the source for everything, your only deliverer, the only Reality, the power within you the powerful fountain of eternal Bliss and joy, you are indeed most blessed. He will surely take his seat in your noble and pure heart. Think of the beautiful lotus flower within your heart. Everything that comes your way is an expression of his beautiful grace. God is your Divine parent, friend, guide, goal and support. He is your all. Faith in the Lord will lead you to Him.” Swami Sivananda
~ ~ ~
Have you seen God?’ I asked. ‘And if you have, can you enable me to see him? I am willing to pay any price, even my life, but your part of the bargain is that you must show me God.’
‘No,’ he (Ramana Maharshi) answered. ‘I cannot show you God or enable you to see God because God is not an object that can be seen. God is the subject. He is the seer. Don’t concern yourself with objects that can be seen. Find out who the seer is.’ He also added, ‘You alone are God,’ as if to rebuke me for looking for a God who was outside and apart from me.
* * *
When I appeared before him (again),
the Maharshi asked, ‘Where have you been? Where are you living?’
‘On the other side of the mountain,’ I replied.
‘And what were you doing there?’ he inquired.
He had given me my cue.
‘I was playing with my Krishna,’ I said, in a very smug tone of voice.
I was very proud of my achievement and felt superior to the Maharshi because I was absolutely convinced that Krishna had not appeared to him during that period.
‘Oh, is that so?’ he commented, looking surprised and interested. ‘Very good, very nice. Do you see Him now?’
‘No, sir, I do not,’ I replied. ‘I only see Him when I have visions.’
I was still feeling very pleased with myself, feeling that I had been granted these visions, whereas the Maharshi had not.
‘So Krishna comes and plays with you and then He disappears,’ said the Maharshi. ‘What is the use of a God who appears and disappears? If He is a real God, He must be with you all the time.’
The Maharshi’s lack of interest in my visionary experiences deflated me a little, but not to the extent that I was willing to listen to his advice. He was telling me to give up my search for an external God and instead find the origin and identity of the one who wanted to see Him. This was too much for me to swallow. A lifetime of devotion to Krishna had left me incapable of conceiving the spiritual quest in any other terms than that of a quest for a personal God
From the biography of H.W.L. Poonja aka Papaji
“Nothing Ever Happened”
by David Godman
~ ~ ~
The Sense of “I am” (Consciousness)
When I met my Guru, he told me: “You are not what you take yourself
to be. Find out what you are. Watch the sense ‘I am’, find your real
Self.” I obeyed him, because I trusted him. I did as he told me. All
my spare time I would spend looking at myself in silence. And what a
difference it made, and how soon!
My teacher told me to hold on to the sense ‘I am’ tenaciously and not
to swerve from it even for a moment. I did my best to follow his
advice and in a comparatively short time I realized within myself the
truth of his teaching. All I did was to remember his teaching, his
face, his words constantly. This brought an end to the mind; in the
stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am — unbound.
I simply followed (my teacher’s) instruction which was to focus the
mind on pure being ‘I am’, and stay in it. I used to sit for hours
together, with nothing but the ‘I am’ in my mind and soon peace and
joy and a deep all-embracing love became my normal state. In it all
disappeared — myself, my Guru, the life I lived, the world around
me. Only peace remained and unfathomable silence.