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Sifting to the Truth: helping seekers walk the path of self-inquiry

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My website, Sifting to the Truth, is a modern interpretation of the seeker's path which is a contemporary interpretation and contextualization of  the self-inquiry teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi. It is a fundamentally based on the tenets of the Hindu school of nonduality -- advaita vedanta, but it takes a more direct approach than the traditional. In addition to the "purely spiritual," there are articles on the psychology and philosophy of the path that are critical for one who wishes to walk that path successfully. New content continues to be added regularly.

Some prominent resources include: a complete guide to self-inquiry, the fundamentals of the spiritual search, my first book How to Find What Isn't Lost (a broad overview of the spiritual search including its philosophical justifications and certain useful psychological tools to quiet the mind), my second book Spiritual Dialogues with Akilesh (a large collection of Q&A on all topics related to the nondual and spiritual), and links to my Youtube videos, including for example, this one which summarizes the core technique of self-inquiry very briefly.

I also offer one-on-one mentorship on the path. Contact me if you're interested.

RE: Sifting to the Truth: helping seekers walk the path of self-inquiry
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5/25/20 10:00 PM as a reply to nintheye.
Some recent videos of interest:

Self-Inquiry Misunderstood: It's not about figuring out the answer to the question 'Who am I?'
Many people get stuck in self-inquiry because they believe it's about trying to *figure out* the answer to the question "Who am I?" This prompts them to all kinds of misleading thought processes. Self-inquiry is really about the consistent redirection of attention towards the I, recognizing that every time you think you have it, you are actually focusing not on the I, but on an object of thought. But that gives another opportunity to redirect. So keep redirecting: every waking moment. That's self-inquiry.

Surrender Misunderstood: The problems with do nothing meditation
'Do nothing meditation' is popular among seekers, but it misunderstands spiritual surrender. One variant suggests simply letting go of all effort. No. Surrender requires effort. Nor is surrender simply the 'doing nothing' of locking out all thought. Both are serious errors.

To cut identification with thought, we search for it and find it doesn't exist
Thought -- or rather, more specifically, taking thought seriously, 'identifying with it' -- is the root of all our dissatisfaction, unhappiness, and existential confusion. To pierce the identification, we repeatedly attempt to discern the background against which thoughts occur, and the end result is that identification is realized to be a fiction. No one was affected by it, no one pierced it. But paradoxically, great effort is required for this to happen.



RE: Sifting to the Truth: helping seekers walk the path of self-inquiry
Answer
5/26/20 7:24 AM as a reply to nintheye.
Ah, you are back again with you website!

You can use Google Adsense for your purpose. I don't see any advertise button on this forum.

RE: Sifting to the Truth: helping seekers walk the path of self-inquiry
Answer
5/29/20 1:07 PM as a reply to nintheye.
How can a seeker do self-inquiry or surrender even while doing mentally challenging tasks? (Video)

Seekers of enlightenment or nondual liberation must do self-inquiry or surrender at every waking moment.  But how is this compatible with complex mental tasks in daily life? It seems like they must interfere with each other. There are a few different ways to answer this question. At one level the answer is that practice makes perfect. At another level the answer is that the very issue is rooted in the egoic illusion, which inquiry and surrender are aimed at destroying. You are not the thinker of your thoughts and doer of your actions. 

RE: Sifting to the Truth: helping seekers walk the path of self-inquiry
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6/2/20 2:41 PM as a reply to nintheye.
New video: Chasing reflectivity: seek to notice the 'mirror' quality of each moment

Reflectivity is a central concept for the seeker... each moment has a kind of unchangeable quality which isn't about its content, but is a reflection of the experiencer, of the Self. The seeker needs to chase that reflectivity, which is nothing but being, awareness, bliss and, the I. The chase for reflectivity can never result in catching it, but it can result in a restructuring of the mind that destroys the ignorant belief that "I am an experiencing, doing person" that conceals the *true* reflectivity.



RE: Sifting to the Truth: helping seekers walk the path of self-inquiry
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6/7/20 5:45 PM as a reply to nintheye.
New video: Self-inquiry and Surrender are two sides of the same coin

Ramana Maharshi would often equate self-inquiry and surrender, and they are indeed the same process from two different angles, with slightly different emphases. Self-inquiry chases the "I am," seeks to localize it, and thus moves away from all other thought. Surrender backs away from all thought, and so walks backwards into the "I am." Both involve continuous vigilance and increasingly subtle discernment.

RE: Sifting to the Truth: helping seekers walk the path of self-inquiry
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6/14/20 11:17 PM as a reply to nintheye.
New video: Enlightenment is discernment driven all the way to the end

Spiritual awakening or liberation is essentially a matter of immense, intense discernment -- an act of focused distinguishing away of all the things one is not, which then reveals what one really is, though that revelation is not to the one who originally sought it. That's the paradox of seeking: you seek as you know that you are what you seek. The intense discernment required for the search is driven by equally intense desire for liberation, which generates, through practice, a relatively quiet mind, and focus... which must be then be channeled all the way through -- to discerning away ALL the things that you are not. There is an end to the process, but it is not what you think it is.

RE: Sifting to the Truth: helping seekers walk the path of self-inquiry
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6/15/20 2:02 AM as a reply to Siavash.
kekeke I dig this, its information

RE: Sifting to the Truth: helping seekers walk the path of self-inquiry
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6/16/20 11:46 PM as a reply to nintheye.
New video: The Great Spiritual Secret: Without Identification, Anxiety is Ecstasy

Anxiety, which stands for the all the difficult and negative emotions stemming from desire -- desire which basically comes from the sense of division created by a sense of individuality -- is only anxiety when one identifies with the entity that it burdens, that it inflicts with work and pain and wanting. If the mind is pure and no longer so identifies, all those anxieties transform into nothing other than the ecstasy and the bliss of Self.

RE: Sifting to the Truth: helping seekers walk the path of self-inquiry
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6/25/20 11:39 AM as a reply to nintheye.
New video: The feeling of Knowledge on the way to enlightenment

There is a difference between the feeling of the still mind, that is, bliss, and the sense or coming of Knowledge of the Self, whose nature is insight... Even insights are temporary and *not* the real Self, but they constitute the 'gate' part of the 'gateless gate', and there are certain distinguishing characteristics that can be helpful for the seeker: the inversion of in and out in what I've called in the past the spacious mind. You thought you were a body inside the world; now you see that you are a world within which a body is. Insights are revisited over and over again through self-inquiry and surrender until they burn away all residual ignorance and become steady, at which time it becomes clear that insights and ignorance were both illusions.

RE: Sifting to the Truth: helping seekers walk the path of self-inquiry
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6/28/20 10:12 AM as a reply to nintheye.
New video: The feeling of Knowledge on the way to enlightenment part 2

A little bit more on these insights that are markers of Knowledge: these insights have to be marked by freedom, peace, effortlessness, and the sense that it was always the case.

RE: Sifting to the Truth: helping seekers walk the path of self-inquiry
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6/30/20 11:36 AM as a reply to nintheye.
New video: How do you make decisions the spiritual way?

How does one deal with difficult decisions? From the psychological perspective, it's important that one be clear and honest about what you want. Therapy and artistic expression can help with this. But from a purely spiritual perspective, you simply recognize that you are not the doer and that you have nothing to do with decisions. You let the mind fall absolutely quiet through surrender or inquiry. The funny thing is that these approaches are not actually opposed. They occur in different contexts.

RE: Sifting to the Truth: helping seekers walk the path of self-inquiry
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7/10/20 3:08 PM as a reply to nintheye.
New essay: Clarifications on Ramana Maharshi, samadhi, self-inquiry, surrender, and Self-Realization

In this essay I want to clarify certain ambiguous terms and states with respect to the teachings of Ramana Maharshi and advaita vedanta. Some (but not all of the terms) that I will clarify include the below. 

Bliss sheath

Samadhi

Laya

The Self

The “I am” thought / the ego

Knowledge / aham sphurana / the I-I / the Self ‘as distinguished from non-Self’

...

RE: Sifting to the Truth: helping seekers walk the path of self-inquiry
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7/12/20 1:20 PM as a reply to nintheye.
New video: Ramana Maharshi's concept of enlightenment as waking deep sleep (jagrat sushupti)

The bliss of the Self is nothing other than the bliss of deep sleep, which does not actually end when deep sleep ends. It is in fact continuous, and is hidden only by identificatory (egoic) thought. It is in truth not even hidden...

RE: Sifting to the Truth: helping seekers walk the path of self-inquiry
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7/27/20 7:59 PM as a reply to nintheye.
New video: Ramana Maharshi's distinction between samadhi and laya

A tricky and very interesting distinction is present in Maharshi's work between samadhi -- a profound state of concentrated absorption where the distinction between "I" and "not I" breaks down -- and laya, which is also absorption... but in which ignorance does not break down. Both are states or profound peace. 

Samadhi can easily turn into laya, Maharshi says, so seekers should be warned. Elsewhere, however, he says that states of peace need not be interrupted. So which is it? Well, the answer lies in where the seeker is along the path. The mind has to be turned inward and concentrated, and various methods that produce laya can result in this; but the ultimate samadhi is not one that turns into laya, but is that which is seen when even laya is questioned, self-inquired into, or surrendered.