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About BrokenYogi

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    Dao Bum
  1. Wayfarer, the path of merely sitting still in silence, or as he advocated, "be as you are", is actually Ramana's primary teaching. It's not a form of self-enquiry, but it may be more fruitful, depending on the person. Self-enquiry is for those who are not able to realize quickly through mere silence and stillness.
  2. Sri Ramana Maharshi......Silent power?!

    Ramana didn't really follow the traditional Advaitic view, especially on practice. He felt that Sankara and he were on the same page, but the traditional Advaitic stages of practice were a different story. For example, Ramana was very critical of the use of neti-neti, which is the core of traditional advaita practice. He felt it introduced a negative attention towards phenomena, which could be just as limiting as a positive one. Instead, his form of self-enquiry always directed attention back upon its source, without any negative viewpoint towards thoughts or phenomenal arising. Ramana also was very critical of the traditional Advaitic approach that was very heavy on study of the scriptures and the development of ideas and concepts about realization. There's a lot of Ramana's teaching that scolds people for resorting to book-learning rather than the direct process of self-enquiry. One example would be when Ramana was asked to come to a gathering of traditional Advaitins to discuss his teaching. Instead, Ramana sent a young devotee of his with very little schooling in the traditions. The meeting went well, apparently, but when the devotee returned, he asked Ramana if he should embark on the traditional path of heavy study of the scriptures such as these traditional Advaitins were steeped in. Ramana told him not to worry, all that was unnecessary, and he should just do the practice Ramana taught him (self-enquiry), and he would learn much more that way. Ramana did say that there were levels or stages of practice however, even of self-enquiry, but they did not correspond exactly to the traditional stages. In fact, Ramana's specific instructions on self-enquiry are not found in the traditions. The course of self-enquiry engaged there is markedly different. So even there, he wasn't a traditionalist.
  3. Wayfarer< When an answer comes it is a "Who am I?" answers "me" which is a lie and if you wish to adopt this method you should keep asking "What is this 'me'; where is 'me'; if you are me, what is asking the question and what is answering?"...and so on. Yes, I like this. The way Ramana described this, is that one must not only locate this false 'I', one must also locate its source, the true 'I'. Fortunately, they are both in the same place. He often used the traditional metaphor of a man coming across a long stick on the road in the dark. Because he can't see properly, he imagines that the stick is a dangerous snake, and gets frightened and rushes to tell the villagers. They bring lanterns and weapons to attack the snake, but when they arrive, the light of the lanterns reveals that it's just a stick. Ramana said the ego is just like this. In our ignorance, we think it is a deadly snake, and we try hard to fight it, to kill it, to eradicate it. Self-enquiry, however, is like bringing a light and shining it on the snake, revealing that it's not a snake at all, but a stick. We see the source of the snake-illusion, rather than the image our imaginations have created and superimposed upon it. So the method of self-enquiry is one of bringing the light of consciousness to this ego-snake of ours, to reveal its source. By holding fast to this contemplation of the ego-sense, we can see through the imagery of our imaginations, and see the formless Self which was always there, and hidden only by our ignorance. Ramana said that the way to do this was to hold fast to the 'I'-thought, and not let go. Sort of like holding fast to the stick, even when it might seem like a deadly snake to us, and very dangerous to hold onto. No trying to escape or go elsewhere, just abide with the ego-self until the light of that contemplation breaks through the darkness and reveals the truth. Then the illusory ego-snake dies, like an image fading from sight, and we see that it was never there to begin with. It was just in our minds.
  4. You're right, not everyone who came to Ramana practiced self-enquiry, and he did give his blessings to people to practice a wide range of things if they were so inclined. He often said the only requirement for self-enquiry was an interest in doing it. And when the interest is there, there's not much need for instruction, other than a few occasional reminders or pointers. The instruction comes from the doing, from the power unleashed by self-enquiry itself. His point of view about the right use of mantras, chanting, and worship was that if you did these correctly, they were the same as self-enquiry, just taking a slightly different form. He also said that self-enquiry was itself a devotional practice - devotion to the Self. In fact, when people told Ramana they wanted to practice devotion to him and do some sort of puja towards him, he always told them that the best form of devotion to the Guru was self-enquiry, because the true Guru was located in the self-position. Not everyone understood that either, but those who did, made significant progress.
  5. Reading that Ed Muzika article on self-enquiry is a perfect example of how not to approach the whole thing, in my view at least. Ed had a decent background, with a genuine teacher named Robert Adams, but he seems not to have actually learned much from him. He keeps talking about this long search within to find the "I", or what he calls "hunting the I". Well, this is just a total waste of time. The "I" is not an object one hunts, and self-enquiry is not a hunt for this "thing" called "I" inside of us somewhere. The "I" is the most obvious thing in the world, the only self-evident thing around, meaning the one who is looking. You don't look for the "I", you simply fall back into the looker. It's right here, right now, not elsewhere, not deep within us somewhere, in some hidden place we have to ferret out. Ramana's primary instruction to people who became distracted by objects or experiences or impulses of some kind, was to simply ask oneself, "to whom is this [experience, object, or impulse] arising?" The very one who asks the question is the subject of the enquiry. And that one is right here in plain view, as something we feel and experience without any kind of mystery - except the mystery of how this sense of being an observing self arises. That enquiry is not an intellectual one, and its not a search for some lost secret hidden away from us. It's not a question of diving into some inner world of thoughts and feelings to find it either. It's merely a matter of living from the perspective of this feeling sense of self, and letting that be the teacher. "That trustworthy vichara [self-enquiry] exists neither in book learning nor in learning from others, but only in one's own sense of 'I'." - Ramana, Guru Vachaka Kovai, David Godman translation, p. 173 So if anyone wants to learn about self-enquiry, just do it. Let the self-enquiry be your teacher. There's some minimum level of mental understanding that is probably useful, but that can be learned literally in a few minutes. No need for internet gurus and other quacks - myself included.
  6. I hope you aren't serious about this. Ed is a nutjob with no genuine understanding of any of these things. I've had some hilarious run-ins with him before. Good for a laugh, but not much else.
  7. Yes, Ramana was not particular about the form of the enquiry. He said it was not a mantra with some special powers that had to be done a certain way. The words are just an aid for turning attention back upon oneself, which is the only essential aspect of the practice. He also recommended just repeating "I, I, I" to help establish the feeling of self in one's awareness. Whatever worked.
  8. Ramana did not consider self-enquiry to be some kind of formal meditative practice to be done with eyes closed in some sort of meditative posture. That he considered only to be useful for beginners. Instead, he considered it to be something one would do in the midst of all daily activities. How is that possible? Well, first, because self-enquiry is not some formal practice of asking the question "who am I?" and intellectually thinking of an answer. It is a very direct examination of the whole feeling-sense of "I" that we have all the time. It may be useful at times to use the formal question, but once one settles into this feeling of "I", the rest is direct, intuitive, and non-mental. So following this feeling of "I" in the midst of life's activities is not really that hard. The "I" sense is always there anyway, it isn't something that needs to be searched for, it's simply what we are. So self-enquiry is very simple and completely compatible with everyday activities. To Ramana, it was something he felt people should be doing constantly, to one degree or another, though of course not everyone did. Simple forgetfulness is so common, we hardly notice how quickly we ignore our own feeling of self in the midst of the world of objects. But obviously this self is always there, observing and feeling everything. So self-enquiry is simply a matter of being aware of the subject rather than being obsessed with the object, and feeling into this feeling of being the subject.
  9. Sri Ramana Maharshi......Silent power?!

    Here's some good quotes from Ramana on silence: “Oral lectures are not so eloquent as silence. Silence is unceasing eloquence.” He further said, “Language is only a medium for communicating one’s thoughts to another. It is called in only after thoughts arise – when one remains without thinking, one understands another by means of the universal language of silence. Silence is the eternal flow of language, unobstructed by words.” “What one fails to know by conversation extending to several years can be known in a trice in silence, or in front of silence.” “…Be still and know that I am God. To be still is not to think. Know, and not think, is the word.” Shaving the Man in the Mirror Once a few very learned Sanskrit scholars were seated in the hall discussing portions of the Upanishads and other scriptural texts with Bhagavan. I felt in my heart, how great these people are and how fortunate they are to be so learned and to have such deep understanding and ability to discuss with our Bhagavan. I felt miserable. After the pandits had taken leave, Bhagavan turned to me and said, "What?" looking into my eyes and studying my thoughts, "This is only the husk! All this book learning and capacity to repeat the scriptures by memory is absolutely of no use. Not by reading do you get the Truth. Be Quiet that is Truth. Be Still, that is God." Then very graciously he turned to me again, and there was an immediate change in his tone and attitude. He asked, "Do you shave yourself?" Bewildered by this sudden change, I answered trembling that I did. "Ah", he said, "For shaving you use a mirror, don't you? You look into the mirror and then shave your face; you don't shave the image in the mirror. Similarly, all the scriptures are meant only to show you the way of Realization. They are meant for practice and attainment. Mere book learning and discussions are comparable to a man shaving the image in the mirror." From that day onwards my long-standing sense of inferiority vanished once for all.
  10. Unable to post

    I joined this forum a few weeks ago, but have been unable to post. I'm not sure why, or how to get approved to post. I sent a private message to the admin, but never got a reply. So I would much appreciate it if someone might help get me some sort of ability to post, however temporary or tentative, so that I might join in on some of the conversations here. If not, I understand, but would appreciate an explanation. ******************** Thanks for adding me! Okay, as to personal stuff, I have a long history as a spiritual seeker, going back to the age of 12. Began with an enquiry into God, moved onto J. Krishnamurti, then Ramana Maharshi, bumped into Papaji in 1974 in Switzerland when I was sixteen, then met Bubba Free John at 17, with whom I enjoyed and suffered a very long relationship up until a decade or so ago, at which point I left and was drawn back to Ramana and self-enquiry. Also have a strong draw to Buddhism, especially through the four noble truths, which I feel is the best route to transcendence and the dzogchen approach. In general, I'm very eclectic and have a lot of rather strange ideas that reflect the strangeness of my background. I came across this forum by accident while looking for links to some obscure Buddhist scriptures and saw a discussion here on them. Don't know if I'll be posting much, I'm more interested in learning than pontificating, but don't get me started. Oh, I'm 56, am married with two grown children, and I live in the Mount Shasta area of northern California, on the edge of the forest, living a very simple and quiet life. hope that suffices as an intro