Author Topic: practical tips on self-enquiry  (Read 844 times)

Rajat

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practical tips on self-enquiry
« on: February 20, 2017, 05:46:07 PM »
Namaste,
Perhaps what I'm asking has already been asked and answered somewhere on this forum, but I couldn't find anything so I hope it is okay for me to ask here. What I'm looking for are pointers and guidelines on the practice of self-enquiry, and if somebody could kindly clear the queries I have about it.

Firstly, I feel some amount of stress in my mind when I try to refocus my attention on the I Am after I find out that it has wandered. Bhagavan says we should investigate to whom the thought has come. But sometimes there are so many random thoughts and images streaming through the mind, that to me it sometimes seems simpler to just ignore the thoughts and immediately transition to the I-thought. But this I notice brings in some kind of choice that I don't like, the choice between whether to trace the thought to its source, or to just stop it and ignore it and let it go.

Secondly, is there any difference between the inquiry Who Am I, and dwelling with the I-thought? Does the first lead to the second, so that when the focus is broken, one again raises the question? And of course, the inquiry Who Am I isn't necessarily a thought and words in the mind right? It can be just a kind of attention in a certain direction, simply attention and focus on the fact of Being? Is this approach correct?

Thirdly, nowadays I meditate for atleast half an hour, setting a timer so I can know when the session has ended. Could you give me some suggestions, maybe about the duration of the session, and if there's something one could read or chant some small prayer before self-enquiry? I would like to add that everything I know of self-enquiry I have only read through books and online, and I just want to be sure I'm doing things the right way, whatever the right way is supposed to mean.

Thanks for your time and attention!

Ravi.N

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Re: practical tips on self-enquiry
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2017, 07:00:45 PM »
Rajat,
you may like to go through this thread that deals with all the possible questions you may have.
http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum/index.php?topic=6273.0
namaskar

Rajat

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Re: practical tips on self-enquiry
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2017, 07:22:53 PM »
Thank you very much for this link. This looks like an invaluable resource!

Sadhak

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Re: practical tips on self-enquiry
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2017, 10:38:04 PM »
Rajat,

Quote
  Bhagavan says we should investigate to whom the thought has come.

Realize the significance of this single statement by Bhagavan.  It applies to all other queries you raise. Investigation is for ALL thoughts. It is not selective.

 
Quote
sometimes there are so many random thoughts and images streaming through the mind

Who says this? Investigate.

Quote
to me it sometimes seems simpler to just ignore the thoughts and immediately transition to the I-thought.

Who says this? Investigate.

Quote
I notice brings in some kind of choice that I don't like,

Who says this? Investigate.

Quote
is there any difference between the inquiry Who Am I, and dwelling with the I-thought? Does the first lead to the second

Who says this? Investigate.


I have been deliberately repetitive to your questions. We must realize the significance of what Bhagavan says and how it applies to everything. You will then find out the importance of keeping the focus or attention to every thought.

 

Ravi.N

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Re: practical tips on self-enquiry
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2017, 04:18:24 PM »
Rajat,
It is only natural to have doubts like what you have expressed and it is a good starting point to refer what other seekers have to say on the practice....the 'Talks with Sri Ramana maharshi' is a useful resource in addition to the thread in this forum where Anil and other seekers have deliberated on the nature of self-enquiry.

yet,the true understanding and clearing of doubts can happen only through our own practice...so,towards this,am sharing a few fundamental pointers.

1.If the mind is scattered with too many random thoughts,it is useful to invoke any prayer that comes to one spontaneously...you have asked this question whether a prayer can be resorted to... yes,prayer is a simple and potent way to invoke the Divine Grace,and all the rest follow as a matter of course...if you are familiar with Sri Bhagavan's Akshara Mana Malai,you may dwell on it...even one verse is good enough to unify the fragmented mind with diverse thoughts and arrest the mind from its wanderings.

2.Now ,as for 'nan yar' or self-enquiry.....just what is the essence of this practice?...the essence of the practice is to become aware of the 'being',the 'I am' awareness....This 'I am' is not a thought,not an abstraction but a real,solid being...the Reality that is ever present and self evident...we never doubt its existence even for a second...we never need to think of it or hold onto it as we would to any object...we are simply aware of it all the time....so,the practice is to abide in this 'self awareness'.

3.Where does the difficulty come from?....It comes from trying to KNOW or UNDERSTAND or FIND the 'i'...so,the effort  initiated towards knowing or understanding or finding the 'i'  is obviously a futile thing to do....for the Self is not an object to be known,understood or found.

4.The Right course is to become aware of oneself as the ever present being and dwell simply without struggling to fight the thoughts,without trying to know who one is....with the full conviction that the self is not an abstraction or an unknown thing to be known...it is straight away available as 'I am' presence or awareness....so,dwell as this awareness which is unchanging unlike thoughts that are fleeting and ever changing.

5.Initially the flux of thoughts and the externalized mind may create some difficulty in attending to this being....it may perhaps help to recollect saying 'i' ,'i','i' (not mechanically but attentively) and help the attention to dwell on the 'being' the 'I am'....and once the attention is on the 'I am' ,one would find it easier to return and dwell in it even if the thoughts hijack the attention every now and then....In due course,the practice would become easier and spontaneous for what can be more easier and natural than to be oneself.

Hope the above points help you get a hang on the practice....and no book knowledge or any reading or reference can substitute for the real taste of the practice.

Wishing you the very best.

Namaskar

Jewell

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Re: practical tips on self-enquiry
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 01:22:26 AM »
Dear Rajat,

The question 'Who am I' should certainly lead to self attention. That is the significance of it.
Also,it it is of great help later during the practice,when we start to recognize some thought,fear,desire,or similar feelings patterns,and we begin to see them as they are. In these moments the question 'Who am I' is the great pointer we are not all those things we thought we were. But,at least in my case,that is greatly connected with self investigation.

Self inquiry is mostly turning attention toward our very self,our existence,that knowledge that we are. But it is not possible always,we may get tired or frustrated,so do not force and strain Yourself in these moments. Just rest,read about selfenquiry,or even,do something relaxing,something You like,some walk,sports activity,or anything else which calms You. To much strain is not so good. Intensity is very desirable,but not strain.

You can always pray sure,and repeat some japa or mantra. Something in which You believe and love the most. Or You can simply dedicate all Your sadhana to Your Guru or God. Whatever suits You best.

Duration should not be important. To me,it seems that time is very relative during practice,and flies so fast. An hour when You wake up and an hour before sleep should be enough if You cannot spare more time. But,practically,when we are enthusiastic about our sadhana our thinking about all things connected with it goes all day long. So,like many great Sages said,eagerness and sincerity are the most important.

With love and prayers,
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 04:44:15 AM by Jewell »

jacques franck

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Re: practical tips on self-enquiry
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 07:49:15 PM »
Hello,

You can read this article :

http://happinessofbeing.blogspot.fr/2009/01/what-is-self-attentiveness.html

And also many other :
http://www.happinessofbeing.com/articles.html#list

Namaste :)

ksksat27

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Re: practical tips on self-enquiry
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2017, 12:46:44 PM »
Rajat

you are very right... focussing on the I thought is the right practice...  the question who am i is to be used whenever the attention is wandered from focussing on the innermost being

my tips and also as sadhu om suggested is,  other than half an hour session,  do one minute self enquiry amidst lunch hours, tea time breaks etc. or in bus or train.

just one or 2 minutes spread across the day... concentrate intensely on your innermost feeling of I...

prayer song for self enquiry session can be upadesa saram if you know sanskrit...or upadesa undiyar if you know tamil