Category Archives: Nonduality

“Plain Words” – 3

“Plain Words” – 3

[The “guest” instructor this time is the great Maharshi disciple Annamalai Swami:]

Continuous attentiveness will only come with long practice. If you are truly watchful, each thought will dissolve at the moment that it appears. But to reach this level of  disassociation you must have no attachments at all. If you have the slightest interest in  any particular thought, it will evade your attentiveness, connect with other thoughts, and  take over your mind for a few seconds. This will happen more easily if you are accustomed to  reacting emotionally to a particular thought.  This “little self” will only give way to the real Self if you meditate constantly.

You cannot wish it away with a few stray thoughts. Try to remember the analogy of the rope which  looks like a snake in the twilight. If you see the rope as a snake, the real nature of the  rope is hidden from you. If you only see the rope, the snake is not there.

When you have that clear and correct perception that the snake never at any time existed, the question of how to kill the snake disappears. Apply this analogy to the “little self” that you are worrying about. If you can understand that this “little self” never at any time had any existence outside your imagination, you will not be concerned about ways and means of getting rid of it.  Don’t make the mistake of imagining that there is some goal to be reached or attained.

If you think like this you will start looking for methods to practice and people to help you.

This just perpetuates the problem you are trying to end. Instead, cultivate the strong  awareness, “I am the Self. I am That. I am Brahman [impersonal Absolute Reality]. I am  everything”. You don’t need any methods to get rid of the wrong ideas you have about  yourself. All you have to do is stop believing them. The best way to do this is to replace  them with ideas which more accurately reflect the real sate of affairs. If you think and  meditate “I am the Self”, it will do you a lot of more good than thinking, “I am the “little  self”. How can I get rid of this “little self” ?   If you desire to gain a proper understanding of your real nature is intense enough, help

will automatically come. If you want to generate an awareness of your real nature you will be immeasurably helped by having contact with a jnani [realized being]. The power and Grace which a jnani radiates quiet the mind and automatically eliminate the wrong ideas you have about yourself. You can make progress by having satang [association] of a realized Guru and by constant spiritual practice. The Guru cannot do everything for you.

If you want to give up the limiting habits of many lifetimes, you must practice constantly.  Most people take the appearance of the snake in the rope to be reality.  Acting on their misperceptions they think up many different ways of killing the snake. They can never

succeed in getting rid of the snake until they give up the idea that there is a snake there  at all. People who want to kill or control the mind have the same problem: they imagine that there is a mind which needs to be controlled and take drastic steps to beat it into

submission. If, instead, they generated the understanding that there is no such thing as the mind, all there problems would come to an end. You must generate the conviction, “I am the all-pervasive consciousness in which all bodies and minds in the world are appearing and disappearing.

I am that consciousness which remains unchanged and unaffected by these appearances and disappearances”. Stabilize yourself in that conviction. That is all you need

to do.  Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] once told a story about a man who wanted to bury his own shadow in a deep pit. He dug the pit and stood in such a position that his shadow was on the bottom of it. The man then tried to bury it by covering it with earth. Each time he threw some soil in the hole the shadow appeared on top of it. Of course, he never succeeded in burying the shadow. Many people behave like this when they meditate. They take the mind to be real, try to fight it and kill it, and always fail. These fights against the mind are all mental activities which strengthen the mind instead of weakening it.

If you want to get rid of the mind, all you have to do is understand that it is “not me”. Cultivate the awareness “I am the immanent consciousness”. When that understanding becomes firm, the non-existent mind will not trouble you.  Every time you go to sleep you have the experience of being without a mind. You cannot deny

that you exist while you are asleep and you cannot deny that your mind is not functioning while you are in dreamless sleep. This daily experience should convince you that it is possible to continue your existence without a mind. Of course, you do not have the full experience of consciousness while you are asleep, but if you think about what happens during his state you should come to understand that your existence, the continuity of your Being, is in no way dependent on your mind or your identification with it.

When the mind reappears every morning you instantly jump to the conclusion “This is the real me”. If you reflect on this proposition for some time you will see how absurd it is. If what you really are only exists when the mind is present, you have to accept that you didn’t exist while you were asleep. No one will accept such an absurd conclusion. If you analyze your alternating states you will discover that it is your direct experience that you exist whether you are awake or asleep. You will also discover that the mind only becomes active while you are waking or dreaming. From these simple daily experiences it should be easy to understand that the mind \is something that comes and goes. Your existence is not wiped out each time the mind ceases to function.

I am not telling you some philosophical theory; I am telling you something that you can validate by direct experience in any twenty-four hour period of your life.  Take these facts, which you can discover by directly experiencing them, and investigate them  a little more. When the mind appears every morning don’t jump to the usual conclusion,

“This is me; these thoughts are mine.” Instead, watch these thoughts come and go without  identifying with them in any way. If you can resist the impulse to claim each and every

thought as your own, you will come to a startling conclusion: you will discover that you are the consciousness in which the thoughts appear and disappear. You are allowed to run free.

Like the snake which appears in the rope, you will discover that the mind is only an illusion which appears through ignorance or misperception.  You want some experience which will convince you that what I am saying is true. You can have that experience if you give up your life-long habit of inventing an “I” which claims all thoughts as “mine”. Be conscious of yourself as consciousness alone, watch all the thoughts come and go. Come to the conclusion, by direct experience, that you are really consciousness itself, not its ephemeral contents.  Clouds come and go in the sky but the appearance and disappearance of the clouds doesn’t affect the sky. Your real nature is like the sky, like space. Just remain like the sky and let thought-clouds come and go. If you cultivate this attitude of indifference towards the mind, gradually you will cease to identify yourself with it.  Whenever obstacles come on the path, think of them as “not me”. Cultivate the attitude that the real you is beyond the reach of all troubles and obstacles. There are no obstacles for  the Self. If you can remember that you always are the Self, obstacles will be of no importance.  Only when one starts to do meditation that one becomes aware of the different ways that the mind causes us trouble. This is very true. But one should not worry about any of the obstacles or fear them. One should merely regard them as being not me. They can only cause you trouble while you think that they are your problems.

The obstructing vasanas [remembered thught tendencies] may look like a large mountain which obstructs your progress. Don’t be intimidated by the size. It is not a mountain of rock, it  is a mountain of camphor. If you light one corner of it with the flame of discriminative attention, it will all burn to nothing.  Stand back from the mountain of problems, refuse to acknowledge that they are yours, and they will dissolve and disappear before your eyes.  Don’t be deluded by your thoughts and vasanas. They are always trying to trick you into believing that you are a real person, that the world is real, and that all your problems are real. Don’t fight them; just ignore them. Don’t accept delivery of all the wrong ideas that keep coming to you. Establish yourself in the conviction that you are the Self and that nothing can stick to you or affect you. Once you have that conviction you will find that you automatically ignore the habits of the mind. When the rejection of mental activities becomes continuous and automatic, you will begin to have the experience of the Self.

If you see two strangers quarrelling in the distance you do not give much attention to them because you know that the dispute is none of your business. Treat the contents of your mind in the same way. Instead of filling your mind with thoughts and then organizing fights between them, pay no attention to the mind at all. Rest quietly in the feeling of “I am”, which is consciousness, and cultivate the attitude that all thoughts, all perceptions are “not me”. When you have learned to regard your mind as a distant stranger, you will not pay any attention to all the obstacles it keeps inventing for you.

Mental problems feed on the attention that you give them. The more you worry about them, the stronger they become. If you ignore them, they lose their power and finally vanish.  When maya [Illusion] is totally inactive, that is, when the identity with the body and the mind has  been dropped, there is an awareness of consciousness, of Being. When one is established in that state there is no body, no mind and no world. These three things are just ideas which are brought into an apparent existence when maya is present and active.  When maya is active, the sole effective way to dissolve it is the path shown by Bhagavan.

One must do Self-enquiry and discriminate between what is real and what is unreal. It is the power of maya which makes us believe in the reality of things which have no reality outside our imagination. If you ask, “What are these imaginary things?” the answer is, “Everything that is not the formless Self”. The Self alone is real; everything else is a figment of our imagination.  It is not helpful to enquire why there is maya and how it operates. If you are in a boat which is leaking, you don’t waste time asking whether the hole was made by an Italian, a Frenchman or an Indian. You just plug the leak. Don’t worry about where maya comes from.

Put all your energy into escaping from its effect. If you try to investigate the origin of maya with your mind you are doomed to fail because any answer you come up with will be a maya answer. If you want to understand how maya operates and originates you should establish yourself in the Self, the one place where you can be free of it, and then watch how it takes you over each time you fail to keep your attention there.

[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]

“Plain Words” – 2

“Plain Words” – 2

Getting back to the issue of counting, comparison can be loosely made to the old movie the “The Matrix“.  One particular aspect of the movie is the high level of programming required to run the VR, Virtual Reality that allows such realistic interaction between the many Avatars, the program tokens representing the point of view of each person sharing in the experience of that Virtual Reality.  When person no.1 does x, person no.2 must be ready to react in a manner consistent with the chosen interaction x.  With many Avatars interacting with many others. all making a number of choices every second or so, the programming has to be very robust to cover all the possibilities.

The ancient sage, Sri Shankara offered as a simple analogy a large earthen vessel with a lamp inside.  Many holes were fashioned through the walls of the vessel so that the light would shine out in many places.  These many holes were to be analogous to the many points of view in Consciousness that seem to be the many Individuals. Yet only one Light, one Consciousness, illumines all. So too, the many computer Avatars in the movie VR are only newly constructed points of view within one master computer program that projects the highly interactive Virtual Reality.  In that Virtual Reality, the many Avatars are not really many Individuals. Nor is the particular computer Avatar, that one identifies as oneself, an Individual either.

So, are there actually many Avatars, are there actually many Individuals in the Waking state, or is there only one Consciousness ?  Furthermore, whether in a supposedly computer program within a movie or, or within the Waking State Dream, the number of enlightened, however few, and the unenlightened, however many, all total to Zero in terms of individuals, and to One in terms of Consciousness.  Computer Avatars and apparent Individuals are fleeting and insubstantial, ever-changing, impermanent, and truly unreal throughout the whole time or lifetime of their appearance.  What is program code ?  What is a Thought–constructed Waking Dream ?  All these are insubstantial, ever changing, appearances without substance.  Consciousness, also Existence – Bliss, is the only changeless, enduring, and truly substantial Reality.

To find and merge in the one self, God, is the sole purpose and meaning of apparent Life.  In the Eternity of the forever Un–born with no beginning in Time, and forever enduring in an Infinite future, each momentary, indefinable, insubstantial thought amounts to nothing.  All these nothings put together seem to constitute the periodic episodes of the Waking Dream life.  And yet the same Self is also aware of the succession of Dreams in sleep and the no–thought Peace of Deep Dreamless Sleep.  Spiritual practice then, to repeat, is to discover and merge in the true Self, God, the sole Non-Dual Reality.  Of the several traditions helpful in this endeavor, Ajata Vata Advaita Vedanta, No–Birth Non-Duality is the tradition represented here, a tradition old and vast in resources, perhaps the widest path to Liberation.

[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]

Plain Words

“Plain Words”

[Lapses in health have delayed blogging for some time.  Finally, with speech-to-text the authors own words become available.  Quotation again should be possible soon.]

One feels that one is a Person characterized by a particular Body experiencing some part of the World in the course of Time.  So to does a Dream character feel himself to be a person characterized by a particular Dream-Body experiencing some part of the Dream World in the course of Dream Time. The 2 impressions are not different in kind, but perhaps only in degree of vividness, seemingly consistent continuation, duration, and so on.  In fact both are the product of Thought projecting a Dream World, projecting a Waking World, and a person in each case experiencing that World. Thought is itself is an insubstantial ripple in the vast Infinite Ocean of Consciousness. That Consciousness which could be called God, or the Self when one has the deep feeling “I exist” – that “I” is the Self; and that Existence is also the Self, is God, is Supreme Consciousness.  To awaken from the Waking Dream into unlimited subjective Consciousness is called Enlightenment, Liberation, and is also known by a number of other terms.

As we continue with “Plain Words”, the course out of the illusion of living in the Waking World as a Person will be charted.  Such is not new information, but has been known for thousands of years by a relatively few enlightened Sages.  However the numbers game between the small number of enlightened Sages and a large number of unenlightened persons is an unreal one, because there are no such persons. And numbers themselves, arithmetic itself, mathematics itself is a thought construct, not fundamental Reality.  So the numbers, the probabilities should not be considered overwhelming because they too are unreal. Among one of the first things to note is the objectivity of the Dream and the objectivity of the Waking State experience.  The Self, God, is purely subjective Consciousness and is the only not known by another.  Not known by another, the Self cannot be described, cannot be conceived of, for all of that is downstream in the objective direction of Mind.

To find the subjective sense of “I” and existence, to deeply experience “I exist” as Consciousness, is to begin the path of Awakening, is to proceed toward Enlightenment in order to enjoy Liberation.

Besides being Consciousness itself and Existence itself, God is said to be Happiness itself.  Happiness, the motivation of all effort, is all the motivation one needs to commence, complete, and enjoy the results of the path to Enlightenment.  The subjective Self–Inquiry as it has been called, centering around the sense of “I”, “Who am I ?”, “Where does this sense of “I” arise from ?”, and “I exist” – this is the path.  That turning inward to subjective sense of “I exist”, to answer the question “Who am I ?”, “What am I ?”. “Where does the sense of “I” arise from ? – this is to move entirely in the subjective direction, away from all the other that is objective, this is to practice.  The practice begins in periods of meditation and spills over into being the background of all other thought and all activity; and finally becomes the entire experience.

Beginning with the next addition of “Plain Words” we draw from ancient & modern Wisdom is hallowed words & words anew.  But inner experience – not words – constitutes the Path.

[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]

Shankara’s Easiest Non-Dual Teaching {continued 5}

Shankara’s “Srih Advaitanubhutih” or “Non-Dual Perception”

(translated by Rmamoorthy & Nome, [with square bracket comments added])

The intent of this text is repetitive analogies that aid transcendence of the strikingly convincing appearance of Multiplicity in the World. Apparent objects are actually only perceptions of such “objects”. Perceptions are actually only thoughts. Thoughts are actually only illusory “waves” (vritti s) in Consciousness, the single Non-Dual Consciousness. The self-luminous & unmistakable Reality of your own Existence is the Self, the only Real,

[33] Even though only 1, the light of the Sun seems to be broken into many when filtered through a grid of netting, Likewise, even though only the 1, the all-pervasive Self appears as if many.

[34] Just as holes & such “deficiencies” in the net do not truly diminish or affect the light of the Sun, so likewise the deficiencies of appearing “many” do not affect the all-pervasive Self.

[35] When holes in a net are destroyed, the passing sunlight is indeed not destroyed. Likewise, when persons, places, & things cease to exist, the all-pervasive Self is not destroyed.

[36] As the Knowing Principle illuminating the Body, Senses, Life Force, the imagining Mind, the discriminating Intellect, Ignorance, & others mental functions, likewise, the Self illumines the Ego, the one who erroneously lays claim to these. Truly the “I” is not the Body, the which I objectively “seen” by the Self, nor the apparently “seeing” Senses, nor the nor the multiple Life functions. I am not the shifting Mind.

[37] The Self is not the changing Intellect, nor insentient ignorance, the Body, Senses, & so on, because they are at best temporary constructions.

[to be continued]

The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]

Shankara’s Easiest Non-Dual Teaching {continued 4}

Shankara’s “Srih Advaitanubhutih” or “Non-Dual Perception”

(translated by Rmamoorthy & Nome, [with square bracket comments added])

The intent of this text is repetitive analogies that aid transcendence of the strikingly convincing appearance of Multiplicity in the World. Apparent objects are actually only perceptions of such “objects”. Perceptions are actually only thoughts. Thoughts are actually only illusory “waves” (vritti s) in Consciousness, the single Non-Dual Consciousness. The self-luminous & unmistakable Reality of your own Existence is the Self, the only Real,

[23] Just as by the shining of the Sun, mirrors & water surfaces seem as if shining, so likewise the Scriptures are as if “shining” by the shining of the Self.

[24] Just as flour & such, being mixed with sugar become sweet, being connected with the Self, Scriptures become uplifting like the Self.

[27] Just as in different containers there exists only the 1 same Space,

so likewise in different Bodies, there exists only the 1 same Self.

[28] Just as in different containers Space itself does not indeed move,

so also in all various Bodies, the Self does not move.

[29] Just as, when containers are destroyed, the Space inside is not destroyed, so likewise when Bodies are destroyed, the Self is not destroyed.

[to be continued]

The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]

Shankara’s Easiest Non-Dual Teaching {continued 3}

Sri Shankara’s “Srih Advaitanubhutih” or “Non-Dual Perception”

(translated by Rmamoorthy & Nome, [with square bracket comments added])

The intent of this text is repetitive analogies that aid transcendence of the strikingly convincing appearance of Multiplicity in the World. Apparent objects are actually only perceptions of such “objects”. Perceptions are actually only thoughts. Thoughts are actually only illusory “waves” (vritti s) in Consciousness, the single Non-Dual Consciousness. The self-luminous & unmistakable Reality of your own Existence is the Self, the only Real,

[15] Just as, by the destruction of the bubble there is not, at any time, destruction of the water, so likewise by the destruction of the apparent manifest Universe, there is not indeed destruction of the Self.

[16] Purity & such pertaining to the shed skin of a snake do not pertain to the snake [snakes shed their skin periodically so the new skin layer underneath compensates for wear & tear & growth]. Likewise, purity & such related to the gross Body & such do not pertain to this [Non-Dual] Self.

[17] Just as the snake does not consider the shed skin that is discarded as being itself, so always the enlightened Sage does not consider the physical Body & the Mind that he/she renounces as being the Self.

[18] Just as by the destruction of the shed skin. there is indeed no destruction of the snake, so, likewise by the destruction of the physical Body & the Mind. there will be no destruction of the Self.

[20] Just as iron, wood, & other substances, when 1st being put into fire, appear like fire, so too the gross Body & the Mind, both being united with one’s own Self, appear as if the Self.

[to be continued]

The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]

Shankara’s Easiest Non-Dual Teaching (continued)

Shankara’s “Srih Advaitanubhutih” or “Non-Dual Perception”

(translated by Rmamoorthy & Nome, [with square bracket comments added])

The intent of this text is repetitive analogies that aid transcendence of the strikingly convincing appearance of Multiplicity in the World. Apparent objects are actually only perceptions of such “objects”. Perceptions are actually only thoughts. Thoughts are actually only illusory “waves” (vritti s) in Consciousness, the single Non-Dual Consciousness. The self-luminous & unmistakable Reality of your own Existence is the Self, the only Real,

[7] Just as Space, though only1, appears as if 2 [as when inside & outside a container like an earthen pot for instance ], being conditioned [by the illusory Mind], so likewise, this Self, though only 1 & complete, being so conditioned [as if all this apparent Universe], appears as if 2 [or some 1080 particles in the apparently knowable Universe].

[8] Consciousness, which is the cause [of Mind & the illusory Universe it projects] seems so conditioned, but stays as the Consciousness, which is also the effect imagined, & is not altered as the Space of a pot, a cloud, or the clay making up the pot. [Consciousness like Space] is not different anywhere.

[9] Just as Space with limitation [as when enclosed in pots & other containers or objects] removed is only 1, likewise, this Self, with limitation [Mind-created Delusion] removed, is only1 ever.

[10] Just as, with or from Space there is not another “space”, so too because of oneness of the Self, there is no other “self” that could originate from the [single Non-Dual] Self.

[11] Just as water can appear as a cloud instead of the form of liquid water, likewise indeed, the Self, by association with Delusion, appears in the form of the Universe.

[12] Water sometimes appears as a cloud. Upon the cloud’s destruction as rain, there is indeed no destruction of the water.

[13] Likewise, this Self indeed appears, by association with Delusion (Illusion), as the manifest Universe. By the apparent destruction of the apparent manifest Universe, there is not indeed destruction of one’s own Self at any time [as with death of the illusory Body, Deep Dreamless Sleep, the “end of Time”, Enlightenment, whatever, ].

[14] Just as a bubble, arising in water, appears as if separate from water, so likewise this manifest Universe & it’s Multiplicity appears as if separate from the Self.

[to be continued]

[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]