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Effort vs no-effort


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#1 Bindi

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 07:19 PM

David Godman, who has written many books about Ramana and his followers, responds to a question about whether effort or no-effort is needed to realise the Self.
 

Here is a paradox for you. Ramana Maharshi realized the Self without any effort, without being interested in it, and without any practice, and then spent the rest of his life telling people that they must make continuous effort up till the moment of enlightenment. Papaji spent a quarter of a century doing japa and meditation prior to his climactic meetings with Ramana, but when he began teaching, he always insisted that no effort was necessary to realize the Self. 

 

Papaji's attitude to self-inquiry was, "Do it once and do it properly." Ramana's was, "Do it intensively and continuously until realization dawns." Although you could never get Papaji to admit that there were differences between his teachings and those of his Guru, they clearly didn't agree on the question of effort. 

 

With regard to the question of the difference between the effortless state and the state of abiding in the Heart, I would refer to Lakshmana Swamy. He agrees with Ramana that hard, continuous effort is needed up till the moment of realization. He also says that by effort the mind can reach the effortless thought-free state, but no further. If that state has been achieved, and if one has the good fortune to be with a realized Guru, then the power of the Self will pull the mind into the Heart and destroy it. In the effortless state, mind is still there, but when one abides in the Heart it is gone.

 

http://davidgodman.o...views/rs3.shtml


Edited by Bindi, 16 February 2017 - 07:20 PM.

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#2 3bob

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 07:28 PM

One has to have a will to surrender a will,

 

 The Self chooses the Self, thus personal will only reaches as far as the threshold where only Self can pass through...otherwise a willful ego would take over. 


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#3 Bindi

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 08:29 PM

An alternative topic title could have been 'the role of the mind in Self-realisation'. Both approaches seem to require 'destroying the mind', but the point at which this happens is the difference.

 

I personally envisage the journey to the heart and into its depth as necessarily being accompanied by the mind, as long as the mind is properly directed by the guru (whether that be the internal or external guru).

 

Ultimately the mind and the ego in the form we know them must both collapse, and IME it is the mind which acquiesces to this necessity, and takes the necessary steps to actualise this as the ego is not capable of making this decision or accepting this reality.


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#4 3bob

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 10:38 PM

I'd say that the mind can not be Self realized as in the company of same, for it is of memory and memory can not hold the Self - thus it is the Self that is Self realized... with mind being like an derived aspect of It but still always limited to time and space - so again not Self Realization Itself which is unbound and free. (and independent from the limits of time, space and related mind processes)


Edited by 3bob, 16 February 2017 - 10:43 PM.

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#5 Jetsun

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:46 PM

It's worth bearing in mind that what Ramana or Papaji would say to you as an individual may differ from anything written in the books. Also it is much easier being in the Gurus presence, you start to resonate with their silence, where effort is more likely to interfere rather than help. But really there is a time for effort and a time for no-effort, for one no-effort could be avoidance, for another it could be a letting go.
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#6 3bob

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 03:34 AM

part of my post #4 may sound like double talk as in, "it is the Self that is Self realized"...after which one might ask (or might not) how could it be otherwise thus why such a statement?   All I can say for now is that it seems otherwise when the veil of mind/identity/ego is in action.  But when true identity of Self is in action the mind/identity/ego is clearly seen through for the software like program that it is.

 

Some more points about effort:  there are universal laws related to it for instance from Christian teachings we have in Matthew 7:7: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”;  then add to that Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God" and we see that there is more than just one aspect to work with or through.  


Edited by 3bob, 17 February 2017 - 03:49 AM.

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#7 Marblehead

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 03:57 AM

But regardless, you've gotta' have faith.


I reserve the right to be wrong.

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#8 3bob

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 04:25 AM

faith as in the "Mystery" pointed to in T.T.C. is real?



#9 Marblehead

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 04:46 AM

faith as in the "Mystery" pointed to in T.T.C. is real?

 

Well, Mystery is real.  There is a lot we don't "know" therefore it is still a Mystery.

 

From the Taoist perspective Mystery = wu.  Wu is the root of yu, the Manifest.

 

Faith really has nothing to do with it.  I was just being an ass.

 

In the state of wu (Mystery) there is no will, there is no ego.  There is no self.  These exist only in the state of yu, the Manifest.

 

Realizing the "self" can be done only in the state of yu, the Manifest.  And this is no mystery.  Touch your self.  You exist.  Yea!!!!  Self realization.

 

Now, realizing our "true self" or "true nature" is the next step.  And this involves ego and will.  (And balls too.)


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#10 Jeff

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 05:36 AM

part of my post #4 may sound like double talk as in, "it is the Self that is Self realized"...after which one might ask (or might not) how could it be otherwise thus why such a statement?   All I can say for now is that it seems otherwise when the veil of mind/identity/ego is in action.  But when true identity of Self is in action the mind/identity/ego is clearly seen through for the software like program that it is.
 
Some more points about effort:  there are universal laws related to it for instance from Christian teachings we have in Matthew 7:7: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”;  then add to that Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God" and we see that there is more than just one aspect to work with or through.


I would be interested in hearing about how you see Christianity describing a universal "Self". Also, here is the actual verse of Psalm 46:10...

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
‭‭
In context, Psalms 46 is very dualistic in it's textual view.
No worries... I am only speaking on my own authority.

#11 Bindi

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 05:37 AM

It's worth bearing in mind that what Ramana or Papaji would say to you as an individual may differ from anything written in the books. Also it is much easier being in the Gurus presence, you start to resonate with their silence, where effort is more likely to interfere rather than help.

But really there is a time for effort and a time for no-effort, for one no-effort could be avoidance, for another it could be a letting go.

 

Ramana and Papaji have recorded similar responses regarding temporary experiences in the presence of a Guru.

 

Many people have had temporary glimpses of the Self. Sometimes it happens spontaneously, and it is not uncommon for it to happen in the presence of a realised Master. After these temporary glimpses, the experience goes away because there are still thoughts and latent desires which have not been extinguished. The Self will only accept, consume and totally destroy a mind that is totally free from vasanas. (Papaji in Nothing Ever Happened, vol. 3, p. 405) [Though this is rather at odds with his ususal prescription.]

 

And from Ramana - “In the presence of the Guru, Samadhi can occur. To be further established in this state, however, effort is needed.”



#12 dwai

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 07:02 AM

An alternative topic title could have been 'the role of the mind in Self-realisation'. Both approaches seem to require 'destroying the mind', but the point at which this happens is the difference.

 

I personally envisage the journey to the heart and into its depth as necessarily being accompanied by the mind, as long as the mind is properly directed by the guru (whether that be the internal or external guru).

 

Ultimately the mind and the ego in the form we know them must both collapse, and IME it is the mind which acquiesces to this necessity, and takes the necessary steps to actualise this as the ego is not capable of making this decision or accepting this reality.

 

imho, the mind resting in the witness is the first step towards effortlessness. It takes some effort to get the mind to rest in the witness initially. Slowly it becomes natural for the mind to rest in the witness. Resting in the witness is being Present. Being present, one can then begin to act as action is needed, without worrying about the past and projecting into the future.

 

The hardest part imho is patience...ie for the mind to accept that patience is a necessary virtue in this path. Until there is Presence. That is the effort...to take a practice and keep doing it, without feeling bored, tired, exhausted etc etc. It takes a "trick" of not attaching to the results of said effort...if we think about the effort, we become impatient. 

 

So if we don't expect any results and just do the practice, it will become effortless after the initial effort. This is the effortlessness that is being referred to in terms of Wu Wei or Nishkama Karma. 

 

Also imho, Mind and Ego are non-different. 


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#13 Jeff

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 09:35 AM

imho, the mind resting in the witness is the first step towards effortlessness. It takes some effort to get the mind to rest in the witness initially. Slowly it becomes natural for the mind to rest in the witness. Resting in the witness is being Present. Being present, one can then begin to act as action is needed, without worrying about the past and projecting into the future.

 

The hardest part imho is patience...ie for the mind to accept that patience is a necessary virtue in this path. Until there is Presence. That is the effort...to take a practice and keep doing it, without feeling bored, tired, exhausted etc etc. It takes a "trick" of not attaching to the results of said effort...if we think about the effort, we become impatient. 

 

So if we don't expect any results and just do the practice, it will become effortless after the initial effort. This is the effortlessness that is being referred to in terms of Wu Wei or Nishkama Karma. 

 

Also imho, Mind and Ego are non-different. 

 

 

If one is resting in the witness, how do you know that there are still many subconscious issues (or as bindi's post pointed out, many vasanas) still hanging around under the surface?  If there is no "doing", how does one ever find such subconscious issue and fears?

 

As they say, it is easy to be an enlightened guru sitting on a mountain top with people serving you, but a little harder when you are interacting with a spouse, children and coworkers?  Or just being stuck in bad traffic... :)


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#14 dwai

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 09:44 AM

If one is resting in the witness, how do you know that there are still many subconscious issues (or as bindi's post pointed out, many vasanas) still hanging around under the surface?  If there is no "doing", how does one ever find such subconscious issue and fears?

 

As they say, it is easy to be an enlightened guru sitting on a mountain top with people serving you, but a little harder when you are interacting with a spouse, children and coworkers?  Or just being stuck in bad traffic... :)

 

The vasanas will come and go. If we don't attach to them, they don't attach to us. 

Haha I was once stuck in terrible traffic - took me 1 hr to cover 2 miles. This was a time when I was spontaneously resting in the witness by the grace of my Master. Traffic didn't bother none...it was as if there was no time elapsed at all. People were cutting into my lane left, right and center. And I just smiled at them, sent them love and let them do that - completely in the flow. So I know how it feels to do so. All these vasanas are associated with the body-mind. If the mind rest in the I AM, there are only happenings...


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#15 Jeff

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 09:44 AM

Ramana and Papaji have recorded similar responses regarding temporary experiences in the presence of a Guru.

 

Many people have had temporary glimpses of the Self. Sometimes it happens spontaneously, and it is not uncommon for it to happen in the presence of a realised Master. After these temporary glimpses, the experience goes away because there are still thoughts and latent desires which have not been extinguished. The Self will only accept, consume and totally destroy a mind that is totally free from vasanas. (Papaji in Nothing Ever Happened, vol. 3, p. 405) [Though this is rather at odds with his ususal prescription.]

 

And from Ramana - “In the presence of the Guru, Samadhi can occur. To be further established in this state, however, effort is needed.”

 

Is there such a thing as a mind totally free of vasanas? Is there no "grace" of God/Self? 

 

Your Papaji quote seems to say that even the latent desire to extinguish your thoughts in the first place, dooms you to never realize the Self.


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#16 3bob

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 09:46 AM

MH,  In Vedic teaching Self with a capital is not limited to a human self, a "concept" as you like to put it that has often been presented.  I'd also say that if the author of the T.T.C. had no faith then the book would not have been written by him.


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