Author Topic: How I Discovered the Awareness Watching Awareness Method by Michael Langford  (Read 2874 times)


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By the year 2001, I had been studying the Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi for 27 years, from age 15 to age 42. I had read around 2,000 spiritual books from the various paths, etc. and I had seen many teachers. Reading those spiritual books, from so many different traditions, was a waste of time, because only Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Muruganar, Sri Sadhu Om and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj teach the Direct Path.

I had, during that 27-year period, placed emphasis on studying the books “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi” and “The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi.” Since “Talks” came from notes taken in Sri Ramana’s presence, and since “The Collected Works” was written by Sri Ramana, I thought they would be the most accurate sources of the Teaching. I had the other Sri Ramana Maharshi books, but I did not place much attention on them. I did not want to read Sri Ramana’s teachings through what might be the distorted vision and opinions of a ‘sleeping’ aspirant.

Sri Ramana Maharshi had said that self-inquiry is more like feeling than like thought. Asking ‘Who am I’ is an easy instruction to follow and asking ‘to whom do these thoughts arise?’ is an easy instruction to follow, as long as one stays in the realm of thought. But when it comes to feeling ‘Who am I’ or feeling ‘I am’, then for me, that had always been a bit vague, because what exactly is the feeling I am? How do I know I am? I wondered is ‘I am’ the ‘I-thought’ or is ‘I am’ just my present awareness?

If ‘I AM’ is this present awareness, just the awareness that is now looking at this room, then paying attention to the I AM is just:

my awareness watching my awareness.

My present awareness watching my present awareness. Awareness watching awareness.

Just to add one more item of confirmation, I asked Sri Ganesan ‘is my present awareness, just this awareness that is looking through these eyes at you, the same as the I AM that Sri Nisargadatta speaks of?’

Sri Ganesan answered yes.

I asked Sri Ganesan ‘is awareness watching awareness, as described by Sri Muruganar, the same as practicing paying attention to the I AM, as Sri Nisargadatta taught?’

Sri Ganesan said yes. Sri Ganesan says he likes to call it ‘attention attending to attention.’

Since then, I have discovered many more quotes by Sri Muruganar on the Awareness watching Awareness method. From: Non-Dual Consciousness, The Flood Tide of Bliss, Sri Ramana Experience (Anubuti) by Sri Muruganar:

212. ‘Those who have sunk within their own inner selves to dwell as pure knowledge, so that their infatuation with worthless desires is abolished, will, through holy silence, establish the fulfillment of the real within their own selves. This practice of meditation upon consciousness itself is the true way.’

The same applies to the following quotes from “The Garland of Guru’s Sayings.” They are not under the heading of practice. They come from all different sections of the book. To discover these buried treasures, a careful study of all of the 1254 sayings was required.

From “The Garland Of Guru’s Sayings” By Sri Muruganar: Awareness watching awareness:

52. ‘If with mind turned towards Awareness and concentrating on Awareness, one seeks the Self, the world made up of ether and other elements is real, as all things are Awareness, the one sole substance of true Being.’

638. ‘If instead of looking outward at objects, you observe that looking, all things now shine as I, the seer. Perception of objects is mere illusion.’

742. ‘In the Self, he stands firm fixed who dwells and truly meditates on himself as pure awareness.’

435. ‘True natural Awareness, which does not go after alien objects, is the Heart. Since actionless Awareness shines as real Being, its joy consists in concentration on itself.’

428. ‘Not like other things unreal, but always by its Being real, the Self as permanent Awareness, has no other dwelling place, than in its own radiant Awareness.’

862. ‘Losing the false ego in awareness, and firm abidance as awareness, is true clarity.’

1068. ‘In that flawless state of Being, the Self, without a sense of ‘I’ or ‘mine,’ the still abidance in and as pure Awareness, this is the noblest victory worth winning.’

1039. ‘That which unaided shines within as ‘I AM, I AM’ without a break, the strong, true Being free from all adjuncts, this pure Awareness, is our firm, authentic nature.’

1038. ‘Awareness is not a quality of the Self. The Self is without qualities. Awareness is not an action of the Self. The Self does nothing. The Self, our Being, IS Awareness.’

Ignoring thoughts:

921. ‘None can confront and overcome the mind. Ignore it, then, as something false, unreal. Know the Self as the real ground and stand firm-rooted in it.’

1192. ‘The ego image moves reflected in the mind’s waves. How to stop this movement, how to regain the state of stillness? Don’t observe these movements, seek the Self, instead. It is wisdom to gain and abide in silence.’

1193. ‘The seers declare that pure silence is firm abidance in egoless, true Awareness. For such thought free silence, the means is clinging to the Self within the Heart.’

917. ‘As in the sky covered with thick clouds no eye can see the glorious sun, one fails to see one’s own Self when the mind firmament is darkened by the dense cloud of thoughts.’

918. ‘Only He who has vanquished thought, sits like an emperor, on the neck of the majestic elephant Knowledge. Know for certain that the mind’s movements alone give rise to birth and every cruel pain and sorrow.’

Ignoring the body, the world, etc.:

Some of the quotes above have already dealt with this subject, such as #638 and 435. Here are some additional quotes:

647. ‘If you refrain from looking at this, that or any other object, then by that overpowering look into absolute Being, you become yourself the boundless space of pure Awareness, which alone is real Being.’

1194. ‘When one refrains from looking out and noting outward objects, and abides within the heart in Self-Awareness, the ego disappears. The silence pure, that then shines forth, is the goal of Knowledge.’

1103. ‘It is folly to waste one’s life running in all directions searching different goals. Learn to practice firm abidance, at the feet of the Self supreme, the eternal and auspicious silence, which alone can still the ego’s restlessness.’

1157. ‘Holding in their hands the mirror, the scripture which declares ‘The Self alone is to be known,’ many, alas, study the text and commentaries; only a few seek the Self and gain true life.’

The following quotes, on the subject of practice, effort, earnestness and zeal, are also important to note:

694. ‘Even in this worldly life, one’s labors bear no fruit, without abundant faith. Hence till one merges in the bliss Supreme and boundless, one’s strong zeal in spiritual practice should never slacken.’

1063. ‘Not knowing the value of this treasure, their own birthright, people perish through mere laziness. The great ones who have found the clue and traced and gained it, they enjoy eternal bliss.’

1066. ‘True wealth is but the gracious silence of steady, unswerving Self-awareness. This bright rare treasure, can be gained only by those who earnestly strive for the extinction of all thoughts.’

1186. ‘Uninterrupted and whole-minded concentration on the Self, our true, non-dual Being, this is silence, pure, supreme, the goal; Not the lazy mind’s inertia, which is but a state of dark illusion.’

612. ‘Undeluded by whatever else may come and go, unwinking watch the Self, because the little fault of forgetting for one moment ones true Being as Pure Awareness, brings tremendous loss.’

692. ‘Since it was one’s own past effort that has now ripened into fate, one can with greater present effort change one’s fate.’

780. ‘Do not swerve from your true state, thinking some thought. But if you do, do not commit the same mistake again. ‘Do nothing that you may later regret. Even if you did it once, never repeat it.’

790. ‘To err is human. When those strong in virtue err, they do not hide it in their pride. Instead, they own up to their lapse and quickly reform themselves.’

826. ‘A superstructure raised without a strong foundation soon collapses in disgrace. Therefore, earnest seekers first ensure by every means their own stern self-discipline, through devotion and detachment.’

Take care,
with Love, in:
Awareness watching Awareness,
Michael Langford

You can read a detailed description of the Awareness Watching Awareness practice instructions by visiting Michael’s Web site at

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