Tim , a reader, recently donated and received some books, and I went over to his site, and found this little gem on Ramana Maharshi, and I had to lift it. Thanks, Tim!
Ramana Maharshi was a great teacher. He promoted Inquiry—a passive looking at thoughts. For a time, because of problems in translation from Tamil to English, it was thought that Inquiry—Vichara—meant analytical investigation. It does not. It means a passive looking, not through the mind, but through awareness, without analysis or effort.
Ramana Maharshi in a nutshell:
1. There’s no need to change or avoid changing anything you’re currently
2. The only problem there is, is a false belief about what you are.
3. The only solution that will work, is to see the truth of what you are.
4. There’s no need to understand what you falsely believe yourself to be,
nor is it possible to do so.
5. This false belief is entirely unconscious and cannot be seen.
6. There’s nothing you can do that can rid you of this false belief, other
than directly seeing for yourself the truth of what you are.
7. All that you can know for sure about yourself is that you are here. All
the rest is story and conjecture.
8. Self-inquiry is therefore nothing other than turning your attention to
your simple and certain “here-ness, ” and seeing it directly for yourself.
9. Consistently practiced, self-inquiry acts like a medicine that gradually
dissolves the false belief that’s causing your problems, and gradually
replaces your concerned control with peaceful ease and trust.
Just be here, and look. Look at what is here and now directly, not through the mind. Of course, many of us find this very difficult. In my books and on this site I try to keep to techniques that lead to direct seeing and that are easy to integrate into daily living. But sometimes we may find even these too difficult.
When it is difficult to rest in Awareness Now, or release, or to observe thought or meditate, here is a technique that is easy and effortless. When the mind is resistant, you can simply decide to be momentarily aware—just for a second or two. Then you are free to slip back into auto-pilot mode. Whatever you are doing, driving, working, talking, listening, thinking, longing, wondering, or daydreaming about how grand life will be when you are finally enlightened—whatever it is, just use your inner stop to stop and look and momentarily slip into a witness mode, and watch yourself, just for a second or two. Watch thought. Watch the inner body for sensations or emotions. It’s a quick wake up. And then allow yourself to go about whatever it is you were doing.
As you do this, you will do it more and more frequently and it will become easier to be a witness to what’s going on inside you.
Do you have a technique or quotation you want to share? Do you find it difficult to meditate?