Provisional definitions of ‘know’ and ‘consciousness’

To explain things clearly, fundamental words must be carefully defined.

I’m toying with the idea of writing a book about enlightenment. To help sort out my ideas, from time to time I may write chunks of that potential book on this blog. One of the ways we can clarify ideas is by choosing technical terms and defining them carefully. The word “know” I’ll give “know” […]

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Saul Bellow

What kind of wise man flunks kindergarten?

I recently got back in touch with an old friend from graduate school for the first time in 40 years. We’re in our late sixties now. Our conversation reminded me of the following event which I would like to tell you about. We were students at the University of Chicago in a department called the […]

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Destroy vasanas or meditate?

At the bottom of this post I’ll link a terrific new video by my friend Padmé. It speaks for itself but first I want to offer a few short comments. 1. The most elementary ideas are often the most important. But people often overlook them because they are in a rush to get to the […]

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Does anyone know who this lady is?

The woman in the center of this photo has intrigued me for years. It’s not just her face. Look how relaxed her hands are. The photo was taken in 1948 or 1949 at Sri Ramana Maharshi’s ashram by Eliot Elisofon for Life Magazine. She is sitting front and center in a crowd of people. Most […]

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Walking Upanishads

A friend of mine just sent me an email that reminds me of a comment that somebody once made about Ramana Maharshi: I think our Bhagavan has attained Self-realisation. Such beings are walking Upanishads.* My friend wrote: I don’t say that my (there’s really no ‘my’ I just see hands typing and thoughts being expressed) […]

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Enlightenment of head, heart, and belly

I plan to write about Julia’s state within the next few days because it seems wonderful and interesting to me. But before I do, as a sort of prequel, I’d like to give readers a chance to familiarize themselves with the following ideas. The first idea is that our sense of “me” or awareness is […]

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After my kundalini woke up

Twenty years ago I wrote an article for Realization.org called ‘The Day My Kundalini Woke Up‘. The article says nothing about the long-term effects of that experience because when I wrote it, I didn’t yet know what the long-term effects would be. Today I’m going to tell the rest of the story. As I explained […]

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The most surprising thing that ever happened to me

Instead of the title you see on this article I could have chosen, “The night I completely lost interest in my thoughts.” Both names are accurate. The experience that I’m about to describe occurred about 20 years ago, shortly after I became an earnest seeker, on a particular night when I made a much greater […]

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How to pick a good spiritual teacher

Because of my limited experience in this area, you probably shouldn’t pay much attention to what I’m about to say. In fact that’s probably good advice in general. But for whatever it’s worth here’s what I think. Ideally, you should choose a spiritual teacher who is Self-realized. Unfortunately Self-realization is rare and you may not […]

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What is it that says ‘my experience’?

Instructions for Ramana’s method of Self-enquiry usually suggest that people ask themselves “Who am I?” But some books recommend a different question, “Whence am I?”, which means in modern American English, “Where do I come from?” I would like to suggest a third possibility. Ask yourself, “What is it that says ‘my experience’?” What I […]

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