Author Topic: Self-Enquiry Practical Questions  (Read 2188 times)

Light

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Self-Enquiry Practical Questions
« on: May 15, 2013, 06:42:32 PM »
Namaste everyone,

I have had a few questions for a while now and I would like to hear different people's input.

The first question has to do with this quote from the book Who Am I?:
"As each thought arises, one should inquire with alertness, “To whom has this thought arisen?” The answer that would emerge would be “to me”. Thereupon if one inquires “Who am I?” the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will subside."

#1: When I enquire "To whom has this thought arisen?" (also with similiar questions) the answer "to me" doesn't usually come up but a silent state, the thought subsides but no answer emerges, I then usually continue to ask who am I.
I guess it has to do that I don't see the thought as me or mine? Would like to hear your input.

#2: what does Bhagavan mean with holding on to the I,  most of the time I spontaneously keep repeating I,I,I,I (slowly) and continue to enquire, is that what Bhagavan means with I,I?

#3: How do you personally practice Self-Enquiry do you only ask Who Am I? or also enquire with questions like who is doubting or who is frustrated etc?

Looking forward to hear from you.

Aum Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya!
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 06:51:21 PM by Light »

Beloved Abstract

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Re: Self-Enquiry Practical Questions
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2013, 08:17:58 PM »
who is this "i" that has a few questions ?
who is this "i" that you say is enquiring ?
to practice self-enquiry simply ask yourself the hard questions and be WILLING to tell the truth in response
when you realize who you think you are ( the "i" ) is only a story the mind is telling then there is a choice to stop telling it .... simply stop telling the story of the self and see who you are without it
 :)
simply stop telling the story of the self and see who you are without it

paul

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Re: Self-Enquiry Practical Questions
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2013, 03:43:55 AM »
Hello Light, in answer to point 1, I don’t think an answer is meant to emerge from the question who am I ?. The question is a prompt to bring you back to the technique of Self enquiry.

For point 2 I use exactly the same technique as yourself that is described in question 9 of Who am I.

There are a number of other occasions when Bhagavan has described exactly the same technique. There might be more, I have listed the ones I have found:

Ramana Maharshi: His Life
A biography by Gabriele Ebert.
An extract taken from pages 128 and 129


Sometimes devotees would not ask their questions orally, preferring to write them down on a slip of paper. Once a simple woman had written to him, “I am not learned in the Scriptures and I find the method of Self-enquiry too hard for me. I am a woman with seven children and a lot of household cares, and it leaves me little time for meditation. I request Bhagavan to give me some simpler and easier method.” Sri Ramana gave her the following practical advice, “No learning or knowledge of Scriptures is necessary to know the Self, as no man requires a mirror to see himself. All knowledge is required only to be given up eventually as not-Self. Nor is household work or cares with children necessarily an obstacle. If you can do nothing more, at least continue saying ‘I,I’ to yourself mentally all the time, as advised in ‘Who am I?’, whatever work you may be doing and whether you are sitting, standing or walking. ‘I’ is the name of God. It is the first and greatest of all mantras. Even OM is second to it.”

The Song of the Poppadum.
Verse 3.


In the Heart-mortar place the dough. And with the mind-pestle
Inward-turned, pound it hard with strokes of ‘I-I’,
Then flatten it with the rolling pin of stillness on the level slab
of Being. Work away, untiring, steady, cheerful.
Make poppadums, just try — and these
Eat, your longing to satisfy!

When I first came to this website Arunachala did not mean anything to me but over the years after looking at the photographs of Arunachala, reading about the writing of the mountain and the hymns of Arunachala by Bhagavan, slowly it’s power can be felt and if you ask Arunachala for help in your spiritual quest you will receive Arunachala’s grace.

Lord Siva said: “What cannot be acquired without great pains – the true import of Vedanta (Self-Realization) – can be attained by anyone who looks at (this hill). from where it is visible or even mentally thinks of it from afar.” - Arunachala Mahatmyam (Skanda Purana)

Paul.



Subramanian.R

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Re: Self-Enquiry Practical Questions
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2013, 09:14:34 AM »

dear Light,

If there is no answer to the question Who am I? - that is a great progress.  Then as Paul said you try to keep the mind free
or be engaged in chanting I, I, I, within the lips.  The quiescent mind will then get into the Self and that is Realization. 

Arunachala Siva.

Light

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Re: Self-Enquiry Practical Questions
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2013, 05:36:41 PM »
Thank you everybody for your guidance, it is very appreciated.
May Bhagavan continue to shower you with Grace.

Aum Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya!

latha

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Re: Self-Enquiry Practical Questions
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2013, 07:19:51 PM »
Dear Light,

When I started self-enquiry, I drew a blank and that really frustrated me a lot. Until I understood that it is the process itself that is important and cleansing. There is no right or wrong way, but most important is that we stick with it. Reading books on Bhagavan, listening to discourses and chanting prayers has strengthened my devotion for Bhagavan and Arunachala.

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

Subramanian.R

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Re: Self-Enquiry Practical Questions
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2013, 07:52:20 PM »
Dear latha,

When there is blankness, find out to whom this blankness.  The answer is for me.  That means me is still there to witness the
blankness.  Sri Bhagavan says, go beyond the blankness.  Vivekachudmani also mentions about this blankness of the disciples,
and the guru explains how to proceed further.

Arunachala Siva.

Jewell

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Re: Self-Enquiry Practical Questions
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2013, 05:02:14 PM »
Dear Light,

I am practicing Self enquiry in the same way,by saying I,I,I. But it is not just repeating,it is more to bring attention back to myself. Then i simply hold it and watch it. These days i am doing it without saying mentaly anything,but just watching myself. I have read somewhere writen by Saddhu Om,explanation on that same Self attention,or Awareness,that it can be in some way partial,and there is Self attention in its fullness,or better to say Selfenquiry,when you meet yourself practicaly. Like watching in mirror,or even more close. I am not sure how to describe it,but i experienced same thing about Sri Saddhu Om is talking,like degries of Self Attention,or complete and partial Self enquiry. Not sure where i read that,but if i find it i will post.

About Who Am I question,in my case i also dont answer but stay struck. Anyway,i am using that question more in example You gave. Like:"Who is this who feels this,Who is this who think think this?..."
And i believe that Bhagavan ment,by telling us to ask those questions,and repeat I,I,to every time bring attention back to ourselves,and stay put there.

With love and prayers,

jimrich

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Re: Self-Enquiry Practical Questions
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2013, 01:00:08 PM »
Namaste everyone,

I have had a few questions for a while now and I would like to hear different people's input.

The first question has to do with this quote from the book Who Am I?:
"As each thought arises, one should inquire with alertness, “To whom has this thought arisen?” The answer that would emerge would be “to me”. Thereupon if one inquires “Who am I?” the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will subside."

#1: When I enquire "To whom has this thought arisen?" (also with similiar questions) the answer "to me" doesn't usually come up but a silent state, the thought subsides but no answer emerges, I then usually continue to ask who am I.
I guess it has to do that I don't see the thought as me or mine? Would like to hear your input.

#2: what does Bhagavan mean with holding on to the I,  most of the time I spontaneously keep repeating I,I,I,I (slowly) and continue to enquire, is that what Bhagavan means with I,I?

#3: How do you personally practice Self-Enquiry do you only ask Who Am I? or also enquire with questions like who is doubting or who is frustrated etc?

Looking forward to hear from you.

Aum Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya!
Hello Light:

Re: #1: When I enquire "To whom has this thought arisen?" (also with similiar questions) the answer "to me" doesn't usually come up but a silent state, the thought subsides but no answer emerges, I then usually continue to ask who am I.
I guess it has to do that I don't see the thought as me or mine? Would like to hear your input.
>>> Hmm, when I ask myself: To whom has this thought arisen?, the only answer that I can find is: to me - Jim - a person, so I have no idea what your "silent state" is other than maybe you are about to enter the Deep, eternal silent Awareness that exists PRIOR to and behind or beyond the personal state of a "me" or person.   
If I asked you or anyone:  "Who is having this thought?", you would have to say: "Me, Light, I am having this thought".  Then if I said "OK, the thought is occurring to you, Light, now, who are you?"  Then you might say: "I am not just a person named Light." and at that point you might REALIZE that you are something other than a person - perhaps: Consciousness, Awareness, Spirit, Nothing, etc. or your "silent state" and I believe this is where Ramana wants us to go if and when we realize that we are not simply a separate, temporary person in a temporary world.  My problem was that I always believed there was a "thing" called the Source somewhere but I never found it using Ramana's sytem!  I could never "leave" my little self and go into any "Source"!   Now I see that I AM THIS ETERNAL SOURCE and always was but mistakenly took myself for a person called Jim!

Re: #2: what does Bhagavan mean with holding on to the I
>>> I suspect that he wanted us to stay with the "I" so the mind could not go jumping about and take us on long pointless adventures any more.  By staying on the "I" thought, I believe Ramana thought that we would some day REALIZE that the "I" thought springs from a special place within us that he called the Source and that we would eventually re-discover this Source or, more to the point, our Self before or beyond the little "i"/me self.  My current process is aimed at GOING TO the Awareness or Space PRIOR TO the personal I thought.  (I am that which exists PRIOR to any personal thought or feeling, etc.)

I worked with the technique Who am I? but could never experience my mind going back to the Source (whatever that is?) as Ramana says.   My process went like this:  Who am I?   Me - a little person/individual by the name of Jim.   Who is this Jim individual?   I'm not an individual called Jim!   But it never went anywhere from there!
Well, thanks to other "hints", I no longer believe that I am just a person named Jim so I assumed that I would go beyond my ego and enter some special place or state known as the Source but I never did!  I am OK with the "void" or emptiness beyond a personal me but never did go to a "Source" so I finally gave up that method.   
Same with I, I, I - where does it take me?   Nowhere that seems worth going to so I stopped all of that.  Then I encountered a student of Ramana's = A. Ramana at the AHAM institute (http://www.aham.com/) who teaches a process where we go to the Awareness PRIOR to the "I" thought or the mind.  (See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97B5opd39-M&list=PLE74AB80A8FF48368) and stay there as long as possible.  So I tried that and - WHAM! - I found myself in the special empty place before mind activity and, the last time I did this simple process, I entered the wondrous and beautifully peaceful state/place/condition (not sure what to call it) that must be the Source where there is no little egoic me or any temporary object of any kind.  I realized that the Awareness PRIOR TO my mind and my little "i" is a kind of FELT Nothingness and all things and objects outside of me (the Nothing) are temporary while the Nothingness is eternal FELT bliss.   This going to the condition of Nothingness PRIOR to my little self and mind activities is the best one I've found so far and is quick and simple compared to other methods so I keep using it whenever I remember to or loose my Real Self in the maze of daily life.  I have heard other "awakening" people call it "Nothing" as well.  Now, when I ask:  What am I?, I instantly recall the impersonal Nothingness/Awareness that is PRIOR to personal thoughts and busy mind and absolutely permanent.  This is my process for now and way more direct than most others that seem unable to take me instantly & directly back to my REAL self that exists eternally PRIOR to the emergence of an "I", body & mind.
Blessings and good luck getting back to your REAL self.