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Nisargadatta - A Quiet Mind is All You Need: If it's so simple why is it so hard?

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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.

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The “I am” is ever present. Try this as an exercise (repeat it several times a day if you don’t get it). In a fraction of a second, without thinking, answer this question “who am I?”. After a while, you will have a sense of the answer. That is the “I am”...it is the gate to our underlying reality. 

 

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On 3/15/2019 at 9:33 AM, dwai said:

The “I am” is ever present. Try this as an exercise (repeat it several times a day if you don’t get it). In a fraction of a second, without thinking, answer this question “who am I?”. After a while, you will have a sense of the answer. That is the “I am”...it is the gate to our underlying reality. 

 

 

So does this really work!? I was always skeptical because the document that this technique was published in said it was written down by an interpreter during a time when Ramana was not speaking, only giving non-verbal gestures.

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4 minutes ago, escott said:

 

So does this really work!? I was always skeptical because the document that this technique was published in said it was written down by an interpreter during a time when Ramana was not speaking, only giving non-verbal gestures.

Works like a charm. It actually works immediately, but it takes some time to understand what that means :) 

What was your observation after trying it out?

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I don't think I've done it enough to have a very insightful answer. The process, though, seems similar to something known as "The 5 Whys" except in this case we are asking "what" instead of "why".

 

Nisargadatta always says to remember 'I Am', but repeatedly telling myself that has not produced a result for me. Intellectually I can identify with what he says, but I have yet to FEEL it. It just seems like there is something missing from just saying "I Am". Perhaps "Who Am I" is a better way to phrase it to produce realization...

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1 hour ago, escott said:

I don't think I've done it enough to have a very insightful answer.

Even one time, is sufficient. Do it now, as you read this post. Slow everything down. Just do it, answer the question "who are you?" without thinking. Immediately record the answer. I bet you, you have the correct answer, but you think it is not the right answer. :) 

1 hour ago, escott said:

The process, though, seems similar to something known as "The 5 Whys" except in this case we are asking "what" instead of "why".

 

Not why or what, but to whom? Before you can do that exercise, you need to find the answer "Who am I?".  Ask the question "Who am I?"

Underlying that is the process of trying to see if you get an answer without thinking (hence, in a fraction of a second, without thinking, tell me who you are). If you don't get any answer without thinking, that should lead to the question, "if you don't know who/what you are without thinking, is there anything at all you DO know"?

 

If someone explains the process to you any further, it will actually set you back. Because this is stuff you need to contemplate over and come to some conclusions/deductions. Then you cross-reference your understandings with a guide/mentor or teacher. It has to arise organically. It took me a while to understand this, but when I did, everything sort of clicked into place! 

Quote

Nisargadatta always says to remember 'I Am', but repeatedly telling myself that has not produced a result for me. Intellectually I can identify with what he says, but I have yet to FEEL it. It just seems like there is something missing from just saying "I Am". Perhaps "Who Am I" is a better way to phrase it to produce realization...

If you don't know what this "I am" is, how can you remember it? The "who am I" is the way to realize what "I am" is. 

Edited by dwai

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The "Mind" that is not quiet is in Trance - the trance of your habituations:

 

Imagine that instead of just your one personal phone, tablet and computer - you had 10,000 of them.

 

It is tough for many to put down just 3 of these for a day or two - but imagine 10,000 of them and you are always using one or 100 of them with a tension extended to all of them all of the time. This is the state of "Mind" - this is Waking Sleep - this is constant Trance - this is the illusion, the cloud, the veil.

 

It is all the things you like, don't like, believe in - and definitely do not believe in - it is every diversion you have a proclivity too and hold dear or resist. The fickle flighty Timbuktu of me-ness that you happen to be played by. 

 

It is relatively easy to give up hatchet murdering and picking your nose in public - but this is not the greater thick trance cloud of mesmerizing sleep - its far more the positions of little things and things "you are certain of" and about which you identify yourself.

 

Try:

 

I Awareness

 

I cognition

 

"I am" can be taken as possessive - the root of the sleep

 

Move to just your Awareness - to the center of the head - Cogito - Sum

 

Sometimes you may open a door and suddenly a breathtaking view stops all thought and momentums - you are simply awareness taking in the beauty and smells with no judgement - for a moment you are Awareness - Awake - Presence.

 

Then Mind labels it and describes it and contrives it and diminishes it - or not - but think back to those times when for a moment your breath stopped and time stopped and Presence was breathing striking golden light.

 

This resides in you - it is YOU - Self - but the mind has places to go that must be gotten too - until it is realized that the the Mind was never meant to be the driver.

Edited by Spotless
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9 hours ago, dwai said:

Slow everything down. Just do it, answer the question "who are you?"

 

I am that I am (but not Popeye the sailor man).

 

I'm something that has been billions of years in the making, perhaps even eternity.

 

I am not just this body. Everything in existence was required to make this thing that thinks thoughts. It's all connected.

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5 hours ago, Spotless said:

you are simply awareness taking in the beauty and smells with no judgement

 

That's what I want. Like Jesus said, "to be as a little child." I can remember a time when I was a child, laying in the grass looking up at the clouds in the sky, just watching them go by and feeling the breeze and the sun on my body. There was no judgement, no fear, no worry. It seems as those who become 'Realized' are in that state all the time.

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9 hours ago, escott said:

 

I am that I am (but not Popeye the sailor man).

 

I'm something that has been billions of years in the making, perhaps even eternity.

 

I am not just this body. Everything in existence was required to make this thing that thinks thoughts. It's all connected.

How do you know this? With your mind or without your mind? It’s very easy to end up relying on the mind. Forget about all else. Billion years, eternity etc etc are descriptions generated by the mind and superimposed on what really is. 

 

Try again, without thinking, without the mind. What do you get? 

Edited by dwai
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12 minutes ago, dwai said:

How do you know this? With your mind or without your mind? 

Only with my mind from an intellectual/scientific standpoint. I have yet to become Realized and enter into a state of bliss.

 

It seems like there is a fine line between everything is wonderful and nothing really matters at all.

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Just now, escott said:

Only with my mind from an intellectual/scientific standpoint. I have yet to become Realized and enter into a state of bliss.

 

It seems like there is a fine line between everything is wonderful and nothing really matters at all.

Yes. Stop using the intellect. The exercise as outlined will not make sense to the intellect. It cannot be done with the mind. Before your mind can activate, can you know who you are? If not, what CAN/DO you know? 

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27 minutes ago, dwai said:

Yes. Stop using the intellect. The exercise as outlined will not make sense to the intellect. It cannot be done with the mind. Before your mind can activate, can you know who you are? If not, what CAN/DO you know? 

 

That's why I didn't think my answer would be very insightful. There's still much work to be done to place myself in a state to where I can be receptive to this.

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6 minutes ago, escott said:

 

That's why I didn't think my answer would be very insightful. There's still much work to be done to place myself in a state to where I can be receptive to this.

This is a common misunderstanding. The intellect/mind expects to answer in a certain way. Forget all the rules. Just say it like it happens. Maybe if you're interested, and would prefer to pursue this further, we can do it by PM. :) 

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1 hour ago, escott said:

 

That's why I didn't think my answer would be very insightful. There's still much work to be done to place myself in a state to where I can be receptive to this.

It is not a project - the You that you wish to be receptive to is blocked by you and it will always be just one step away from "placing yourself in a state where you will be receptive to this".

 

Breath in and Be the light that You already are - You are spotless, unstained, complete.

 

The projections and modeling in your mind - the holdings of past models and "understandings" make a linear map of where you are not and where you need to go.

 

there is no time and no space - every bar that jails You is of your own making.

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On 3/21/2019 at 10:20 AM, escott said:

t seems like there is a fine line between everything is wonderful and nothing really matters at all.

Good observation. The biggest problem with the big stuff the advanced stuff  is it is the simplest.

 

This is very advanced stuff.

 

Unti it is intuited and known to be true  use crutches like Kriya Yoga and so many other paths. These crutches do help. 

 

By experience you can get this, I know I am is still working on this since 1986.

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