Author Topic: Ajaan Maha Boowa and Bhagavan's Self Enquiry - 1  (Read 1501 times)


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Ajaan Maha Boowa and Bhagavan's Self Enquiry - 1
« on: April 23, 2009, 01:38:33 PM »
The following is an abridgement of a two part article by Reinhard
Jung, who visits Tiruvannamalai regularly.  Wherever the word
"I" appears please take it as told by Reinhard Jung, unless specifically stated otherwise.  The articles appeared in Jan-Mar
and July-Sep issues of Mountain Path, 2008.

Some thirty years ago while strugglingto gain a practical understanding of Bhagavan Ramana's Self-enquiry, I began to
study Buddhism.  Even earlier, I had been deeply touched by
some Zen essays, which stirred up a recognition in me, meeting
as if an old friend after a long time and it was a great delight to
realize that these masters had expressed what I longed for even
though it still seemed to be far away.

Bhagavan Ramana has always been my pole-star of all spiritual
truth itself.  He entered my life through a book that was gifted to me by a friend quite unexpectedly at a time when I lied in deep existential crisis.  That is why, I feel that He came to me.  Although
I did not understand much of the philosophy at first I was completely
drawn in by he photos of Bhagavan Ramana and a serene atmosphere
redolent of a beautiful perfume.  This happened in 1970 but I feel
that on the level of the heart, everything was complete already.

Self enquiry like Bhagavan Ramana Himself was a mystery to me and irresistible.  I had learned Transcendental Meditation and during the
six month TM teacher training course I meditated upto 10 hours
per day.  There were subtle, quiet states of mind which open up the sense of awareness, and a love grows for this acts of turning within.
But self enquiry was then like a Zen koan -- it was active and I strained myself trying to objectify the "I".

I soon came to know about the deep value of sensing and feeling
'into the body'.  But this practical knowledge has been elaborated
in the Theravada school of Buddhism. [This is the original school
of Buddhism, which exists even today in Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka.].  Because to turn the mind to the perceiver was too big a
step, attractive as it might be, I felt I had to start more from the
grund of average experience -- to realize the subject of the experience by starting from the objective stance as has been taught
by Bhagavan Ramana, right at the beginning in Who am I?  [Section 11 of Who am I?, in the translation by T.M.P. Mahadevan.]

"As each thought arises, one should enquire with dialogue,
"To whom has this thought arisen?"  The answer that would emerge would be "To me...."

To realize that the momentary perceived object is to be related to
subject stresses the subjective part and helps let go of clinging to
the object.  This process of abandoning the unconscious relationship between a perceiving ego and its object starts in Theravada schools proceeding from outer to inner levels.  In Vipassana, one starts with a breath or general changing the body sensations.  The practice develops a continuous close watching practice sitting and walking meditation, which can intensify during retreats upto 20 hours or more.

(Source:  As indicated in the beginning of the post.)

Arunachala Siva.