What is suffering?

This thing we call suffering — what is it, really? We hate it so much that we take it for granted. Taken to extremes it’s a state in which we wish we didn’t exist. But even if that’s true it doesn’t answer the question. Can we use suffering as a gateway? As a target for […]

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The Hole

You live your life on the edge of a hole incomprehensibly wide and deep. The funny thing is that you think you’re not aware of the hole when everything you do, see, know, and feel including you itself is merely your effort not to fall in. You don’t have to find the hole. It’s what […]

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Ouspensky’s tragic mistake

P.D. Ouspensky and George Gurdjieff came very close to discovering Ramana’s method of Self-enquiry. They even gave their discovery a similar name: Self-remembering. But their method doesn’t work because they made a tragic mistake. I mentioned this the other day in passing, but it deserves to be emphasized in a post by itself. Their mistake […]

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Ramana’s crucial secret

The title of this post refers to an article by Michael James. According to Michael: This is the crucial and extremely valuable secret that Sri Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] has revealed to us all about the nature of our ego or mind: If we attend to anything other than ourself, our mind will thereby rise and […]

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A hint concerning Self-enquiry

The main tool we use for Self-enquiry, at least in the early stages, is attention. In this context the word ‘attention’ means the deliberate, volitional choice of what is evident. When attention succeeds, we become or remain aware of the object of attention. The reason I’m analyzing this common word in microscopic detail is that […]

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Exit signs in the dream

People often say that the world is like a dream and that when we wake up from it, we become enlightened. The first half of this idea has probably occurred to people in all times and places. In the words of the children’s song, “Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.” The second […]

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Free copy of Annamalai Swami: Final Talks

I love this book. I think it’s one of the most important and valuable spiritual books of modern times. The author was truly Self-realized, and he reached that state by practicing Self-enquiry, and he explained how to do Self-enquiry in clear, simple, easily understood words. There are very few spiritual books of which these things […]

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Three simple answers

Alec wrote: I know there are no simple answers to the most difficult questions of life. I’m not so sure about that. How about: Look at things from the other person’s point of view. Be conscious. Yearn to know yourself.

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Ramana Maharshi 2

There are many books of Ramana’s dialogs; some report his words more faithfully than others. According to David Godman, the great scholar of Ramana’s life and works, Maharshi’s Gospel is among the more reliable ones. In Chapter III of that book we find the following dialog: Devotee: There are times when persons and things take […]

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Bask in the Sun

One way to think about meditation is that it’s like a cat basking in the sun.  Gradually our minds dissolve in the sunshine.  The sun does the work.  All we do is enjoy the warmth. The sunshine is consciousness or love.  The cat is the mind. The mind basks in consciousness or love, soaks in it, […]

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