Ouspensky’s tragic mistake

Introduction added in 2019 During the two years since this article was published, a number of readers have posted comments below accusing me of misunderstanding Ouspensky. To those readers: this article is my reaction to a section of one of Ouspensky’s books which you can read for free at this link: Self Remembering by Ouspensky […]

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Astonished by the vehemence with which he spoke

I recently posted a link to an article by David Godman that evaluates the accuracy of books that record Ramana’s teachings. One of David’s criteria for judging a book is whether Ramana reviewed and edited it. We can apply this criterion not only to whole books, but also to shorter pieces of text like the […]

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Neti neti

A friend of a friend studied French by reciting sentences like these: ‘Buenos días’ is not French. ‘அறிவே நான்’ is not French. ‘Ausgezeichnet’ is not French. ‘夫妻肺片’ is not French. And so on. He worked hard at it but his French was always awful. That’s neti neti. If you don’t know anything about neti neti, […]

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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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Sadhana 5

Sadhana is an activity that people do in order to become enlightened. Examples: meditation, japa (chanting mantras), Self-enquiry. People sometimes think that sadhana is a step-by-step activity that we learn from a book or guru. They think there are right ways and wrong ways to do it. They think the guru is a sort of […]

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How to Stay Conscious 3

Alec wrote in a commment: I keep reading How to Stay Conscious 1 and some other articles of yours over and over as they have helped me to remain conscious. I am however not able abide in that state for more than a few minutes at a time. I thanked Alec for telling me that […]

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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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How to Stop Pain and Increase Energy Flow

In 2004 a man named Robert Harry Hover published a book that almost nobody has heard of called Internal Moving Healing. It describes a dirt-simple technique for stopping pain and promoting energy flow in the body. I tried it a few months ago on back pain that had hurt for years. After one session, the […]

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