Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Universal Absolute Being

"This impersonal absolute Being, or God, as the essential constituent of creation, is pervading all fields of existence. It is omnipresent, It is of transcendental nature beyond everything of relative existence. It is beyond belief, thought, faith, dogma and ritual.It lies beyond the field of understanding, beyond mind and intellect. Being transcendental, it cannot be comprehended by thought; It is beyond contemplation and intellectual discrimintaion and decisions. It is the state of Being. The Being of all is the omnipresent, impersonal God.

It is beyond knowing; It is knowingness itself. Because it is the Being of all, to realise It means just to be what one is. Being is realisation of the impersonal, omnipresent God. For anyone to be it is only necessary to be. No path to one's own Being could be thought to exist, no path of realisation of the impersonal God, omnipresent Being, could be shown, because the very conception of "path" takes one's self out of one's own Being. The very idea of a path introduces the conception of something far away, whereas Being is the essential oneself. A path means a link between two points, but, in omnipresent cosmic Being, there cannot exist two different points or states. Omnipresent means "present everywhere"; It pervades everything, and, therefore, there is absolutely no question of a path. It is just a question of Being, and, even when one is established in the different states of manifested creation, one is established in the state of Being, but in a different form. So Being cannot be different from what one already is, and this leads us to conclude that the question of a way for the realisation of the Absolute just does not arise.

Therefore, the realisation of the omnipresent almighty impersonal God is the natural state of one's Being. If a way to realise the impersonal omnipresent could be expressed, it could only be said to be a way of coming out of what one is not. To be is of an impersonal nature, so, in order to be one's Self, it is only necessary to come out of the personal nature, come out of the field of doing and thinking, and be established in the field of Being. Being is the realisation of the impersonal."

Pg 270 Science of Being and Art of Living, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Francis Lucille – Awakening to Reality

Awakening is the experience of consciousness seeing itself, in the absence of objects, in its total freedom and independence, in its autonomy. It is a revelation of absolute happiness, of absolute splendor, of absolute love and intelligence. That would be awakening or enlightenment. As a result of this transforming event a gradual elimination of the residuals of ignorance takes place. That could be called the self-realisation process and ends up in the experience of our natural state which is the absence of any illusion as to what we are, either at the level of thought, of concepts, or at the level of bodily sensations, feelings or sense perceptions.

Duality is the belief in the existence of more than one reality. Non-duality could be expressed by the simple formula ‘there is only one reality’. Another word I think deserves to be defined is the word consciousness, or awareness. In my vocabulary I use both as synonyms. Consciousness is that, whatever that is, that is hearing these words right now.

We are absolutely certain that these words are not lost, there is a receiving end, there is some entity in this moment which hears and understands these words, they are not lost in some nothingness, some oblivion. They are being heard, being perceived, and consciousness is precisely that, whatever it is [that perceives].

We usually believe it to be, if you come from the materialist vantage point, the physical body that does the perceiving. If we come from the idealist vantage point we believe it to be the mind. In other words we identify this consciousness in most cases with some kind of an object which is limited, the limited human body or mind. Now, my contention is that there is no evidence of such limitation, that there is no experiential evidence that there is such a limitation of consciousness or in consciousness. We believe that there is plenty of evidence that consciousness is limited, we believe there is a full body of evidence, but we believe that only for as long as we don’t try to take this evidence into consideration, to look at it. As we try to look at we discover there is none.

All questions boil down to one single question ‘Who or what am I?’ If we look at our human experience, everything we know we know it either as a thought, or as a sensation in the body, or as an external sense perception, something we hear, something we see. That’s the nature of everything we know at the phenomenal level. Now our experience is composed of two sides if you will, on the one side phenomena and on the other the consciousness that knows. That’s all there is to our experience, that which is known and that which knows.

Also, there is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, an element of reality to our experience. If I come to you and say that your experience is a complete illusion, it is non-existent, you would say now wait a minute, in my experience there is something rather than nothing. What I perceive may be a dream, however the fact that there is consciousness, that there is perceiving is beyond a shadow of a doubt at least to me, and that is sufficient for me to say that there is something rather than nothing.

There is an element of reality to experience, so where does this element of reality lie? Where is it to be found? Certainly not on the perceived side of things, because, that which is perceived always changes, is never the same. Thoughts, perceptions, sensations, they come and they go. Since they are not lasting, they are impermanent, reality cannot be found there.

The only thing that is permanent in our experience is the consciousness. Therefore the reality of our experience, the centrality of our experience, the core of our experience is the consciousness. It is that which we call ‘I’ or the Self. So ‘I’ or the Self is the reality of our experience.

See for yourself, on the one hand without a shadow of a doubt there is an element of reality to your experience, and this reality cannot belong to that which is perceived, because after all what you are perceiving could be a dream in this moment. When we are in the midst of a dream we are not aware that we are dreaming, the implication being that right now we could be in some kind of a dream. I am not saying a night dream, but some kind of a dream. However that which is common to the dream and all the states is consciousness. Therefore since everything we perceive could be an illusion the only place where reality could be found is in the consciousness. Since we are so certain that there is an element of reality to our experience then that reality could only be found in and as the consciousness which perceives. I think I rest my case.

Culled from the Francis Lucille non-duality interview on (between the 4th and 16th minute)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Life and Teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

I found an excellent and comprehensive article on Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj available here: 

The multidimensional article is written by Timothy Conway who is the author the well received book 'Women of Power and Grace: Nine Astonishing, Inspiring Luminaries of Our Time'.
"My Guru told me: “...Go back to that state of pure being, where the ‘I am’ is still in its purity before it got contaminated with ‘I am this’ or ‘I am that.’ Your burden is of false self-identifications—abandon them all.” My guru told me, “Trust me, I tell you: you are Divine. Take it as the absolute truth. Your joy is divine, your suffering is divine too. All comes from God. Remember it always. You are God, your will alone is done.” I did believe him and soon realized how wonderfully true and accurate were his words. I did not condition my mind by thinking, “I am God, I am wonderful, I am beyond.” I simply followed his 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 the peace and joy and 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. (I Am That, Dialogue 51, April 16, 1971)"

"The Maharaj always taught that one must stand prior to all identifications with "I am this" or "I am that" and dwell in the basic "I am" sense until the Divine Grace of one's Real Nature awakens one to the Absolute Awareness beyond even the "I am"-sense." 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dr. Jean Klein and Truth

"My master always pointed out to me during our life together that all perceptions need an Ultimate Perceiver. The ultimate perceiver can never be the object of perception. Once false identification with the body is understood, we are led to the question 'Who am I?'--and the one who asks is himself the vivid answer. The searcher is himself that which is sought." (Neither This Nor That I Am, vi) 

Then one morning, "between deep sleep and awakening, there was a sudden vanishing of all the residues of 'my persons', each having believed themselves hitherto to be a doer, a sufferer, an enjoyer. All this vanished completely, and I was seized in full consciousness by an all-penetrating light, without inside or outside. This was the awakening in Reality...... In this non-state there was a freedom, full and objectless joy." (ibid., vii)

Like all teachings that hold that our real nature is truth, what Dr. Klein says is essentially simple:

"You are primal awareness. Life is only primal awarenss. Between two thoughts or two perceptions you are. You know moments in your life when a thought completely disappears into silence, but still you are." (The Ease of Being, 13)

This primal awareness is that which underlies all other kinds of awareness.

"At first you may experience silent awareness only after the dissolution of perception, but later you will be in the silence in both the presence and absence of objects." (ibid., 15)

Dr. Klein also calls this ultimate subject, the witness (ibid., 17) and the Self (ibid., 63). And though it may sound very removed from ordinary life, in fact it is the opposite because, no longer caught up in objects and therefore in desire and fear, it is open and free. So its true nature is love.

"If you let your attention go to your ear, you'll feel that it is constantly grasping. It is the same with the eye, the mind and all your organs. Let the grasping go and you will find your whole body is spontaneously an organ of sensitivity. The ear is merely a channel for this global sensation. It is not an end in itself. What is heard is also felt, seen, smelled and touched. Your five senses, intelligence and imagination are freed and come into play. You feel it is being completely expanded in space, without centre or border. The ego, which is a contraction, can find no hold in this presence, and anxiety, like and dislike dissolve." (Who Am I?, 72)

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Excerpted from the David Godman interview on Ramana Maharishi linked in the previous posting (Pg4).

"JD: With regard to the actual technique, would you say that it is to be aware, from moment to moment, what is going on in the mind?

DG: No, it's nothing to do with being aware of the contents of the mind. It's a very specific method that aims to find out where the individual sense of 'I' arises. Self-enquiry is an active investigation, not a passive witnessing.

For example, you may be thinking about what you had for breakfast, or you may be looking at a tree in the garden. In self-enquiry, you don't simply maintain an awareness of these thoughts, you put your attention on the thinker who has the thought, the perceiver who has the perception. There is an 'I' who thinks, an 'I' who perceives, and this 'I' is also a thought. Bhagavan's advice was to focus on this inner sense of 'I' in order to find out what it really is. In self-enquiry you are trying to find out where this 'I' feeling arises, to go back to that place and stay there. It is not simply watching, it's a kind of active scrutiny in which one is trying to find out how the sense of being an individual person comes into being.

You can investigate the nature of this 'I' by formally asking yourself, 'Who am I?' or 'Where does this ''I'' come from?' Alternatively, you can try to maintain a continuous awareness of this inner feeling of 'I'. Either approach would count as self-enquiry. You should not suggest answers to the question, such as 'I am consciousness' because any answer you give yourself is conceptual rather than experiential. The only correct answer is a direct experience of the Self."

"It needs practice and commitment. You have to keep at it and not give up. The practice slowly changes the habits of the mind. By doing this practice regularly and continuously, you remove your focus from superficial streams of thoughts and relocate it at the place where thought itself begins to manifest. In that latter place you begin to experience the peace and stillness of the Self, and that gives you the incentive to continue."

A transcript of the introduction and the three chapters on self-inquiry from David Godmans book 'Be As You Are' is available here:

'Even if one thinks constantly 'I' 'I', one will be led to that place.'
from 'Who Am I?' the earliest record of Ramana Maharshi's teaching.

It will be noted that the inward repetition of 'I' can be an effective support to help keep the attention turned inwards towards the inner feeling of 'I', the inner feeling of oneself.

The word itself is not the focus, but rather that which the word signifies.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Life and Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharishi

A good introduction is available here:

Be As You Are

As I understand it, the higher teaching of self-enquiry is that there is no need to do anything inorder to Be; You already Are. There never was any bondage so there is no question of any liberation; the Self is already realised. The screen of the Self is always present and is not effected by any movie playing on it. Fire cannot burn it, water cannot wet it and wind cannot blow it away. Simply recognising this is enough. However the Self tends to get identified with the movie giving rise to the mental fiction of 'I'. Simply withdrawing attention from thoughts, and back onto Self is enough. If identification is stronger then apprehending the aham-vritti is recommended. The aham-vritti is the feeling or sense of 'I' at the root of the mind. By isolating the aham-vritti with the attention the mental process is arrested and what remains is simply You. The experience may be intermittent at first but with repeated practice it becomes easier to reach and maintain. Gradually the quality of Conscious Being overtakes that of doing and is maintained even in the midst of activity. There is no problem in thoughts; only in identification and attachment. The Self already is; mind only appears to veil it. All efforts are simply to dispell ignorance and what remains is You. 'Be As You Are' is the title of the excellent compendium on the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi as edited by David Godman. Read a review of 'Be As You Are' here

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In Conclusion...

When caught up in the mind ask 'who is?'
naturally 'I am'
who or what is this 'I'?

before 'I am this' or 'I am that' or any other concept or identification
see that 'I' indicates a wordless sense of self
a silent feeling of oneself 'I,...I,...I,'

a sense of self existence, that 'I am'

From 'I Am That' Talks with Nisargadatta Mahraj

(excerpted from the appendix and foreword)

The Nisarga Yoga, the ‘natural’ Yoga of Maharaj, is disconcertingly simple -- the mind, which is all-becoming, must recognise and penetrate its own being, not as being this or that, here or there, then or now, but just as timeless being.

To delve into the sense of ‘I’ -- so real and vital -- in order to reach its source is the core of Nisarga Yoga. Not being continuous, the sense of ‘I’ must have a source from which it flows and to which it returns. This timeless source of conscious being is what Maharaj calls the self-nature, self-being, swarupa.

This dwelling on the sense ‘I am’ is the simple, easy and natural Yoga, the Nisarga Yoga. There is no secrecy in it and no dependence; no preparation is required and no initiation. Whoever is puzzled by his very existence as a conscious being and earnestly wants to find his own source, can grasp the ever-present sense of ‘I am’ and dwell on it assiduously and patiently, till the clouds obscuring the mind dissolve and the heart of being is seen in all its glory.

Return again and again to ‘I am’ until it is your only abode, outside of which nothing exists; until the ego as a limitation of ‘I am’, has disappeared. It is then that the highest realisation will just happen effortlessly.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Musings on the Road to Nowhere

My feeling is that as long as I am alive then I need a healthy sense of ‘I’. Much of what I have spoken of in this blog about my learnings and experiences in India relates to dissolving and transcending the sense of ‘I’, or ego identification as a seemingly separate, autonomous individual, but as written in the last posting, I now feel that the situation is somewhat more of a balance between the sense of being an individual and that of simply Being.

In the fullness of time, if even that sense of individuality is permanently consumed in some ascension to a higher experience of reality then so be it. I don’t even know if that is possible but the testimony of some of the greats, like Ramana Maharishi, seems to indicate that something like that is indeed the case. However, unless we are established in the same experience, then we can only have a very limited idea of what Ramana’s experience of reality actually was based upon our own limited frame of reference.

Even Ramana said that the sense of ‘I’ is still there as long as the body persists but that in the case of a Gnani (a liberated one) then it is like the shell of a burned rope, it looks the same but it no longer has any power to bind. Certainly, in the practical operation of the ashram Ramana demonstrated that he had a clear sense of right and wrong with many reports of his stepping in and reprimanding the management staff when he became aware of any favoritism or unjust policy being practiced. Not in any sense of his assuming some dogmatic or moralistic positionality but in the sense of a natural impeccability in upholding the equality and inter-relatedness of all life.

This question of behaviour in relation to Liberation is an interesting one. Some take the view that Liberation means that ones behaviour should be beyond reproach (in other words a transformation or divinisation of the human personality) while others take the view that Liberation simply means that we are no longer attached to and identified with the personality (which may continue to partake in all kinds of behaviour which some would judge as being decidedly ‘unspiritual’).

As with many things, perhaps the truth of the matter is not easily grasped by the rational mind and we should be wary of indulging in any tendency towards sanctimony or arrogance in this regard, prematurely thinking that we know when all we may have is a cherished or convenient opinion rather than any actual real Knowledge, or alternatively falling prey to a state of confusion.

There certainly seem to have been many reported cases, as in Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, where the sometimes bizarre and even violent behaviour of a Master has appeared to result in the sudden enlightenment of a disciple. Equally there are many cases where one considered as such has appeared to abuse their position usually in some controversy involving sex, money, intoxicants and power. Indeed one could say that sex, money and power are the greatest intoxicants of them all.

So, bringing it back to the common experience, I know for myself that I seem to be living this life and making choices based upon my current level of understanding, realised potentials and limitations (unrealised potentials and natural boundaries). I also know that as my view of the world becomes more fluid, my understanding of life grows and my shortcomings are transformed into strengths (e.g. stubborn-ness into tenacity, anxiety into alertness) then I appear to be able to make better choices and to live a more satisfying and adventurous life.

So there seems to be a process of participative and even proactive evolution taking place based upon ones life experiences and how one consciously responds to them (the alternative being to remain entrenched in unconscious reactivity and thereby compounding ones ignorance). This process of evolution and living of life seems to necessitate an ‘I’ who experiences and interacts with life and at the same time the process of evolution seems to be accelerated by the ability to observe oneself objectively.

To be able to observe oneself in the sense of self-reflection upon ones thoughts, emotions, feelings and actions, but also in the sense of simply Being. That is in having an experiential and stable sense of the ground of Being, unconditioned by any identification with being this or that; simply to Be; the fundamental and underlying sense of existing which is inherently conscious and peaceful.

It would appear that these two aspects are complimentary. That the more we come to know, accept, transform and liberate ourselves as an individual then the more we naturally come to rest in the ground of Being. Simultaneously, the more we cultivate the natural resting in, and as, the ground of Being then the more our existence and growth as an individual seems to go more smoothly. If we appear to tip too far to one side, neglecting the other, then we may be temporarily out of balance with our self because surely if we are all inseparable units of the one life then there can be no separation or conflict between who we truely are at our core and how we express ourselves in life.

Then it becomes a case of gradual refinement and sudden transformations until one day, sometime in the Now, we become at-one with ourselves and come to realise that in reaching the supposed goal on the path to nowhere, it was indeed the journey which was and continues to be most significant.

"We must not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place as if for the first time."

T.S. Elliot