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  1. This is what I hope to get from my Qigong practice - To allow my mind to enter a state where I can experience "I AM". This conversation with Maharaj Nisargadatta in 'I Am That' seems to say everything that needs to be said. Why is it so hard for us to do? 65. A Quiet Mind is All You Need Questioner: I am not well. I feel rather weak. What am I to do? Maharaj: Who is unwell, you or the body? Q: My body, of course. M: Yesterday you felt well. What felt well? Q: The body. M: You were glad when the body was well and you are sad when the body is unwell. Who is glad one day and sad the next? Q: The mind. M: And who knows the variable mind? Q: The mind. M: The mind is the knower. Who knows the knower? Q: Does not the knower know itself? M: The mind is discontinuous. Again and again it blanks out, like in sleep or swoon, or distraction. There must be something continuous to register discontinuity. Q: The mind remembers. This stands for continuity. M: Memory is always partial, unreliable and evanescent. It does not explain the strong sense of identity pervading consciousness, the sense 'I am'. Find out what is at the root of it. Q: However deeply I look, I find only the mind. Your words 'beyond the mind' give me no clue. M: While looking with the mind, you cannot go beyond it. To go beyond, you must look away from the mind and its contents. Q: In what direction am I to look? M: All directions are within the mind! I am not asking you to look in any particular direction. Just look away from all that happens in your mind and bring it to the feeling 'I am'. The 'I am' is not a direction. It is the negation of all direction. Ultimately even the 'I am' will have to go, for you need not keep on asserting what is obvious. Bringing the mind to the feeling 'I am' merely helps in turning the mind away from everything else. Q: Where does it all lead me? M: When the mind is kept away from its preoccupations, it becomes quiet. If you do not disturb this quiet and stay in it, you find that it is permeated with a light and a love you have never known; and yet you recognise it at once as your own nature. Once you have passed through this experience, you will never be the same man again; the unruly mind may break its peace and obliterate its vision; but it is bound to return, provided the effort is sustained; until the day when all bonds are broken, delusions and attachments end and life becomes supremely concentrated in the present. Q: What difference does it make? M: The mind is no more. There is only love in action. Q: How shall I recognise this state when I reach it? M: There will be no fear. Q: Surrounded by a world full of mysteries and dangers, how can I remain unafraid? M: Your own little body too is full of mysteries and dangers, yet you are not afraid of it, for you take it as your own. What you do not know is that the entire universe is your body and you need not be afraid of it. You may say you have two bodies; the personal and the universal. The personal comes and goes, the universal is always with you. The entire creation is your universal body. You are so blinded by what is personal, that you do not see the universal. This blindness will not end by itself -- it must be undone skilfully and deliberately. When all illusions are understood and abandoned, you reach the error-free and perfect state in which all distinctions between the personal and the universal are no more. Q: I am a person and therefore limited in space and time. I occupy little space and last but a few moments; I cannot even conceive myself to be eternal and all-pervading. M: Nevertheless you are. As you dive deep into yourself in search of your true nature, you will discover that only your body is small and only your memory is short; while the vast ocean of life is yours. Q: The very words 'I' and 'universal' are contradictory. One excludes the other. M: They don't. The sense of identity pervades the universal. Search and you shall discover the Universal Person, who is yourself and infinitely more. Anyhow, begin by realising that the world is in you, not you in the world. Q: How can it be? I am only a part of the world. How can the whole world be contained in the part, except by reflection, mirror like? M: What you say is true. Your personal body is a part in which the whole is wonderfully reflected. But you have also a universal body. You cannot even say that you do not know it, because you see and experience it all the time. Only you call it 'the world' and are afraid of it. Q: I feel I know my little body, while the other I do not know, except through science. M: Your little body is full of mysteries and wonders which you do not know. There also science is your only guide. Both anatomy and astronomy describe you. Q: Even If I accept your doctrine of the universal body as a working theory, in what way can I test it and of what use is it to me? M: Knowing yourself as the dweller in both the bodies you will disown nothing. All the universe will be your concern; every living thing you will love and help most tenderly and wisely. There will be no clash of interests between you and others. All exploitation will cease absolutely. Your every action will be beneficial, every movement will be a blessing. Q: It is all very tempting, but how am I to proceed to realise my universal being? M: You have two ways: you can give your heart and mind to self-discovery, or you accept my words on trust and act accordingly. In other words, either you become totally self-concerned, or totally un-self-concerned. It is the word 'totally' that is important. You must be extreme to reach the Supreme. Q: How can I aspire to such heights, small and limited as I am? M: realise yourself as the ocean of consciousness in which all happens. This is not difficult. A little of attentiveness, of close observation of oneself, and you will see that no event is outside your consciousness. Q: The world is full of events which do not appear in my consciousness. M: Even your body is full of events which do not appear in your consciousness. This does not prevent you from claiming your body to be your own. You know the world exactly as you know your body -- through your senses. It is your mind that has separated the world outside your skin from the world inside and put them in opposition. This created fear and hatred and all the miseries of living. Q: What I do not follow is what you say about going beyond consciousness. I understand the words, but I cannot visualise the experience. After all, you yourself have said that all experience is in consciousness. M: You are right, there can be no experience beyond consciousness. Yet there is the experience of just being. There is a state beyond consciousness, which is not unconscious. Some call it superconsciousness, or pure consciousness, or supreme consciousness. It is pure awareness free from the subject object nexus. Q: I have studied Theosophy and I find nothing familiar in what you say. I admit Theosophy deals with manifestation only. It describes the universe and its inhabitants in great details. It admits many levels of matter and corresponding levels of experience, but it does not seem to go beyond. What you say goes beyond all experience. If it is not experienceable, why at all talk about it? M: Consciousness is intermittent, full of gaps. Yet there is the continuity of identity. What is this sense of identity due to, if not to something beyond consciousness? Q: If I am beyond the mind, how can I change myself? M: Where is the need of changing anything? The mind is changing anyhow all the time. Look at your mind dispassionately; this is enough to calm it. When it is quiet, you can go beyond it. Do not keep it busy all the time. Stop it -- and just be. If you give it rest, it will settle down and recover its purity and strength. Constant thinking makes it decay. Q: If my true being is always with me, how is it that I am ignorant of it? M: Because it is very subtle and your mind is gross, full of gross thoughts and feelings. Calm and clarify your mind and you will know yourself as you are. Q: Do I need the mind to know myself? M: You are beyond the mind, but you know with your mind. It is obvious that the extent, depth and character of knowledge depend on what instrument you use. Improve your instrument and your knowledge will improve. Q: To know perfectly I need a perfect mind. M: A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness inner energies wake up and work miracles without any effort on your part. Q: You mean to say that the greatest work is done by not working? M: Exactly. Do understand that you are destined for enlightenment. Co-operate with your destiny, don't go against it, don’t thwart it. Allow it to fulfil itself. All you have to do is to give attention to the obstacles created by the foolish mind.
  2. The Nisargadatta Sadhana

    The following is a twitter blog by Pradeep Apte called, "The Parabrahman." It consists of 221 tweets he put together. I've taken the liberty of correcting a few textual errors, and marking some divisions for easier reading. It's posted here in 4 sections... Please quote and comment freely. 1. With the grace of the Guru Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, who is the “Sadguru Parabrahman”, Parabrahman tweets… 2. Right now, right here, while reading this, you are Parabrahman. The essence of Vedic science can be experienced directly and immediately. 3. As Parabrahman you are always there, yet unseen. Without the Sadguru’s teaching you can never ‘see’ yourself. 4. As these tweets proceed, always remember throughout that Parabrahman, Sadguru and the Guru Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj are all the same. 5. The direct teaching first, if you are spiritually mature enough to grasp it in one or few more re-readings, instantly you are Parabrahman. 6. The Guru says “You are Parabrahman and nothing else”. Accept it with great conviction and all that appears will seem to be palpably false. 7. I am the Parabrahman only! Adhere to this fundamental principle. 8. Accepting the Guru’s words with total conviction can transform your entire destiny, entire life. 9. The deep sense in you that ‘I am’ must accept that you are Parabrahman, not the mind. For that remain focused on the ‘I am’ without words. 10. By remaining focused or meditating on the ‘I am’ you become a witness to it and then, you stand apart as Parabrahman. 11. Only a non-illusory state can know the illusory state. The no-being state is the Parabrahman. 12. Brahman is manifest; Parabrahman is beyond or prior to that. Parabrahman is prior to consciousness or ‘I am’, it means the unborn state. 13. The eternal means: the Unborn. The truth is like that. The eternal is like that. 14. The one who recognizes all these time-bound stages is beyond time, is prior to time. Stay put there as the Parabrahman. 15. When knowing is transformed into not-knowing, that is liberation, you are Parabrahman. 16. Directly realize Parabrahman and finally know that nothing ever came to be. Thus rest in not-knowing with no need to know or read anymore. 17. Rare is the one bestowed with an extra-ordinary spiritual acumen to grasp the truth and realize Parabrahman at once or in a short while. 18. Such rare embodiments of truth, for the sake of the less fortunate ones, elaborate the teachings on Parabrahman as experienced by them. 19. We proceed with the teachings imparted by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj through his dialogues using the Dasbodh by Swami Ramdas as a guideline. 20. The Dasbodh verse 51/sub-chapter 3/Chapter 8/ forms the very basis of the entire teaching of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. 21. “In the attributeless still expanse of Reality (Parabrahman) the inspiration ‘I Am’ arose. This is itself the primal illusion.” ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 22. Before elaborating on this, just for the sake of a new reader, or even the old one who wishes to brush up his fundamentals – a recap. 23. Knowledge means Self-knowledge where the Self sees only itself. This is called real or pure knowledge or “Jnana”. The Self is Parabrahman. 24. Primarily this means to know God. Knowledge is to reflect deeply upon the Eternal and the ephemeral and know one’s true “Self” (Swaroopa). 25. Nothing is found in the world as pure as Self-knowledge. As long as Self-knowledge is not clear everything is meaningless and useless. 26. The four stages towards Self-knowledge are, the Bound (Baddha), the Seeker (Mumukshu), the Aspirant (Sadhaka) and the Realized One (Siddha). 27. One can judge for oneself at which stage one is, only the One with Self-knowledge, the Siddha, can truly be said to be liberated. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 28. Liberation, though a single step, is divided into four stages for understanding only: Swalokata, Samipata, Swaroopata, and Sayujya Mukti. 29. Swalokata means to live in the abode of God, Samipata means to live very close to God and Swaroopata means to appear like God. 30. In Sayujya Mukti one merges with God. It is ‘liberation as complete identification with the Self’, with no traces of any duality at all. 31. Liberation is a single movement of disappearance (of the false self or ego) and no clear boundaries can be drawn between these stages. 32. Understand well that the first three stages are reversible and one can fall back to old ways but Sayujya Mukti in irreversible and forever. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 33. To acquire Self-knowledge or Parabrahman, meditation is the only way in which it can be done by the two main-stream teachings: Yoga and Vedanta. 34. In Yoga and Vedanta, meditation is a mental process by which the meditator becomes one with the object of meditation. 35. Concentration (dharana) is the preliminary stage, which when it becomes effortless and continuous takes the form of meditation (dhyana). 36. When the mind continuously flows towards its object, meditation culminates in total absorption (samadhi) in the object of meditation. 37. The sacred texts define concentration as one-pointed focus on any object, internal or external. 38. On focusing the mind uninterruptedly for twelve seconds on a specific object, we are said to achieve one unit of concentration. 39. Twelve such successive units of concentration make one unit of meditation, and twelve such successive units of meditation lead to Samadhi. 40. Concentration, meditation and absorption are the three depths of meditation which culminates in absorption into the object meditated upon. 41. The teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and the Dasbodh are essentially of Vedanta, so the Yoga system is only briefly described here. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 42. To attain the goal of Self-realization, the Yoga system employs an eight-fold system of practice consisting of eight steps or ‘limbs’. 43. The first five are restraint (yama), discipline (niyama), posture (asana), control of breath (pranayam) and withdrawal of mind (pratyahara). 44. The next three are concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana) and absorption (Samadhi) already described in earlier tweets. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 45. Meditation according to Vedanta is an intense form of worship (upasana) which eventually leads to the direct perception of Parabrahman. 46. The Vedantic practices for meditation are divided into two groups: foundational and structural. 47. In Vedanta, success in structural practices is proportional to the success in foundational practices. 48. The four foundational disciplines are: discrimination, dispassion, mastery over six virtues and intense longing for liberation. 49. Discrimination is between the real and the unreal and dispassion means giving up all desires, whether for this world or the next. 50. Of the six virtues to be mastered the first three are: control of mind, control of senses and withdrawal of mind from sense objects. 51. The next three to be mastered are: fortitude, faith in the words of the Guru and scriptures and concentration of the mind upon Brahman. 52. The essence of the six virtues is self-control, without which the quest for Self-knowledge is an empty dream. 53. Intense longing for liberation is most crucial as its intensity determines the achievement of the goal which is, Parabrahman. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 54. The three steps of meditation in Vedanta are: hearing (shravana), reflecting (manana) and meditation (nididhyasana). 55. Hearing is listening to the teachings of the Guru, reflecting is thinking constantly on the teachings heard from the Guru. 56. Meditation is constantly doing the practice (sadhana) as prescribed by the Guru to the exclusion of all other ideas or thoughts. 57. Meditation practiced earnestly without interruption for a long time, with intense love for the chosen ideal, culminates in samadhi. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 58. When Samadhi is with effort due to mental disturbances it is savikalpa, when these disturbances are absent it is nirvikalpa. 59. The immersion of the mind in the Self without its complete destruction (manolaya) is Kevala Nirvikalpa Samadhi. 60. With the mind destroyed (manonasa) and remaining permanently in the primal pure state without effort is Sahaja Nirvikapla Samadhi. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  3. Noumenon & Phenomena

    Some consolidated excerpts found in a blog I've been glancing through, put together by Ramesh S. Balsekar, from the book -- "Pointers from Nisargadatta Maharaj" Full post here: https://sri-nisargadatta-maharaj.blogspot.com/2015/02/noumenon-and-phenomena-summary-of.html