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

nintheye, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
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.
nintheye, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
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.


nintheye, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
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.
thumbnail
Ni Nurta, modified 8 Months ago.

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

Posts: 626 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
nintheye:

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.
Why is the practice called "surrender". Why any practice exists with name "surrender"?
This name sounds like someone French person would use emoticon

I am all for being clever instead of sitting for hours and doing something but for me it is never about any surrender or letting go or even relaxation but about actually having the effect of formal meditation without having to do this formal meditation. Like you can concentrate on object and eventually get to jhana but you can get to jhana immediately and mind will keep itself on it because it is pleasant and mind concentrates on pleasure and jhana by itself will lead to concentrated mind without needing to do anything. Same even for Vipassana practices, just the specific taste they create can be cultivated and used and mind will notice all the sensations and be in equanimity. Letting go of everything and having empty mind it also the same, there is quality or how you say a "state" and simply experiencing it, maybe adding some jhana to it to make it more attractive for mind will make mind just keep itself on it with no desire to do anything else like being agitated, restless or bored.

Have you though about maybe inventing better name for the practice you describe than "surrender"?
nintheye, modified 8 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
Why is the practice called "surrender". Why any practice exists with name "surrender"?

Because it's about relaxation and letting go, and that's what the word surrender means.

Like you can concentrate on object and eventually get to jhana but you can get to jhana immediately and mind will keep itself on it because it is pleasant and mind concentrates on pleasure and jhana by itself will lead to concentrated mind without needing to do anything. 

Surrender means letting go even of jhana and pleasantness. Those things come and go. Surrender is about letting go of all changing things.
thumbnail
Ni Nurta, modified 8 Months ago.

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

Posts: 626 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Surrender means stopping any actions directed against someone and submitting to their will.
So if there is low intensity suffering and someone tells me to practice surrender I immediately think "just let it be, nothing can be done to it..."

By saying "letting go of jhana and pleasantness" you suggest that practice is about seeing jhanas and pleasure as a bad thing and when they happen you should perform actions to stop them. I find it unskillful. Jhana and pleasure and all good things like emotions, feeling, happiness and even sadness are not to be stopped but experienced.

What should be stopped are invalid actions that mind tend to do when it experiences invalid experiences. These need to be recognized in timely fashion and stopped gently by aiming mind at right destinations. Do the control incorrectly but still with certain plan and you can make yourself what can be called enlightened zombie with has more to do with zombie than enlightenment but can in fact feel pretty good. I am not even against making people trying these mind states out as I like them too.

What I propose is to consider renaming practices to more meaningful names as these which you tend to use have issues. It is like they are translations of translations and along the way they by itself generated changes in what practices meant and even then their meaning is completely misaligned with what they normally should mean. Just because people read books and there are descriptions for these things it doesn't mean it won't cause confusion in mind. It is like if you read book in which each instance of red is called green and then you are being told "red". Does it mean red or green? This is just confusing is what I am saying. It is better to break with tradition if it is using inadequate names and come up with your own names. As your names change then your understanding what you name also change as well
nintheye, modified 8 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
By saying "letting go of jhana and pleasantness" you suggest that practice is about seeing jhanas and pleasure as a bad thing and when they happen you should perform actions to stop them.

No, I very specifically define surrender as ignoring something and relaxing, not taking action to stop something.

Anyhow, this is not a productive debate. Thanks for your viewpoint.
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 6 Months ago.

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

Posts: 1667 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"No, I very specifically define surrender as ignoring something and relaxing, not taking action to stop something."

Im a simpleton and these things are over my head but I'm trying to understand what people are saying. 

So ... surrender = 2x Intention. Intention to ignore and intention to relax. This needs to be sustained. So ... as Samsara unfolds I keep doing those 2 intentions. Those intentions are also thoughts or? 

So ... to sustain surrender I must apply thinking in form of Ignoring and Relaxing. 

Fight thinking with thinking. 
Isn't me applying 2 Intentions same as taking action? 

I like this as it reminds me of the Applied Thought in Jhana breath meditation, applied Mantra, applied Noting labels etc ... Seems self inquiry is also based on applying a thought only here in form on 2 Intentions. 

It all seems to help objectify experience, whole of experience. 

Nice emoticon 
nintheye, modified 6 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko:
"No, I very specifically define surrender as ignoring something and relaxing, not taking action to stop something."

Im a simpleton and these things are over my head but I'm trying to understand what people are saying. 

So ... surrender = 2x Intention. Intention to ignore and intention to relax. This needs to be sustained. So ... as Samsara unfolds I keep doing those 2 intentions. Those intentions are also thoughts or? 

So ... to sustain surrender I must apply thinking in form of Ignoring and Relaxing. 

Fight thinking with thinking. 
Isn't me applying 2 Intentions same as taking action? 

I like this as it reminds me of the Applied Thought in Jhana breath meditation, applied Mantra, applied Noting labels etc ... Seems self inquiry is also based on applying a thought only here in form on 2 Intentions. 

It all seems to help objectify experience, whole of experience. 

Nice emoticon 
Yes indeed. Fighting thought with thought is exactly right. Reduce all the manifold thoughts to surrender (you can call it two intentions, but ignoring and relaxing are really just two facets of the same single action), and then that thought burns itself up.
thumbnail
terry, modified 6 Months ago.

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

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
nintheye:
Papa Che Dusko:
"No, I very specifically define surrender as ignoring something and relaxing, not taking action to stop something."

Im a simpleton and these things are over my head but I'm trying to understand what people are saying. 

So ... surrender = 2x Intention. Intention to ignore and intention to relax. This needs to be sustained. So ... as Samsara unfolds I keep doing those 2 intentions. Those intentions are also thoughts or? 

So ... to sustain surrender I must apply thinking in form of Ignoring and Relaxing. 

Fight thinking with thinking. 
Isn't me applying 2 Intentions same as taking action? 

I like this as it reminds me of the Applied Thought in Jhana breath meditation, applied Mantra, applied Noting labels etc ... Seems self inquiry is also based on applying a thought only here in form on 2 Intentions. 

It all seems to help objectify experience, whole of experience. 

Nice emoticon 
Yes indeed. Fighting thought with thought is exactly right. Reduce all the manifold thoughts to surrender (you can call it two intentions, but ignoring and relaxing are really just two facets of the same single action), and then that thought burns itself up.


   "Fighting." "Same as taking action." The holy war, jihad, conquering the self. Good vs evil, polarization, a house divided against itself. Fighting and dying for "freedom." Hooah.

   There's really nothing wrong with this attitude but it is so one-sidedly masculine and logical I gag on it. There may be some who need to be encouraged to take charge of their lives and blah blah blah, but I suspect most on this overwhelmingly masculine board need more encouragement to let go of resistances rather than to raise the voltage. To do less rather than more, and come to a generally acceptable and mutually forgiving way of life based on standards and norms we can actually meet most of the time. The lotus flower floats on the surface of the pond, no matter how high or low the water gets.

   My wife asked our 7 yr old granddaughter how she liked virtual schooling and she said she liked it. "It's more chillaxing," she said.

terry




tao te ching, trans feng


20.

Give up learning, and put an end to your troubles.

Is there a difference between yes and no?
Is there a difference between good and evil?
Must I fear what others fear? What nonsense!
Other people are contented, enjoying the sacrificial feast of the ox.
In spring some go to the park, and climb the terrace,
But I alone am drifting, not knowing where I am.
Like a newborn babe before it learns to smile,
I am alone, without a place to go.

Others have more than they need, but I alone have nothing.
I am a fool. Oh, yes! I am confused.
Others are clear and bright,
But I alone am dim and weak.
Others are sharp and clever,
But I alone am dull and stupid.
Oh, I drift like the waves of the sea,
Without direction, like the restless wind.

Everyone else is busy,
But I alone am aimless and depressed.
I am different.
I am nourished by the great mother.
nintheye, modified 6 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
terry:


   "Fighting." "Same as taking action." The holy war, jihad, conquering the self. Good vs evil, polarization, a house divided against itself. Fighting and dying for "freedom." Hooah.

   There's really nothing wrong with this attitude but it is so one-sidedly masculine and logical I gag on it. There may be some who need to be encouraged to take charge of their lives and blah blah blah, but I suspect most on this overwhelmingly masculine board need more encouragement to let go of resistances rather than to raise the voltage. To do less rather than more
To do less rather than more IS a struggle and requires effort. Call it what you like, but it smells as sweet. 
thumbnail
terry, modified 6 Months ago.

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

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
nintheye:
terry:


   "Fighting." "Same as taking action." The holy war, jihad, conquering the self. Good vs evil, polarization, a house divided against itself. Fighting and dying for "freedom." Hooah.

   There's really nothing wrong with this attitude but it is so one-sidedly masculine and logical I gag on it. There may be some who need to be encouraged to take charge of their lives and blah blah blah, but I suspect most on this overwhelmingly masculine board need more encouragement to let go of resistances rather than to raise the voltage. To do less rather than more
To do less rather than more IS a struggle and requires effort. Call it what you like, but it smells as sweet. 

   I remember I took my clinical training year in medical technology at north colorado community hospital in greeley. I was appalled to find when I moved to greeley (and finally understood all the knowing smiles) that the town is the only one in the usa that has a slaughter house within the city limits. The whole town stank of death, fear, offal and excrement. Being as the town already stank, the local university used a top dressing of goat manure on their lawns. I asked the residents what they thought of the stink, infamous throughout the region, and they said, "It's the smell of money." The emperorer vespasian said of his unpopular tax on public toilets, as he lifted a coin with his visage on it to his nose, "Non olet." (It doesn't smell.)

   A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose...but if you call something a rose, does it still smell sweet, by that token? 

   The rose of victory, by any other name not so sweet smelling. Reminds me of georges gurdjieff: "At first it is roses, roses; then it is thorns, thorns." One two-steps forward, then one one-steps back.


terry





Do not conquer the world with force, for force only causes resistance. Thorns spring up when an army passes. Years of misery follow a great victory. Do only what needs to be done without using violence.

~lao tzu



tao te ching, trans feng


Thirty-six

Good weapons are instruments of fear; all creatures hate them.
Therefore followers of Tao never use them.
The wise man prefers the left.
The man of war prefers the right.

Weapons are instruments of fear; they are not a wise man's tools.
He uses them only when he has no choice.
Peace and quiet are dear to his heart,
And victory no cause for rejoicing.
If you rejoice in victory, then you delight in killing;
If you delight in killing, you cannot fulfill yourself.

On happy occasions precedence is given to the left,
On sad occasions to the right.
In the army the general stands on the left,
The commander-in-chief on the right.
This means that war is conducted like a funeral.
When many people are being killed,
They should be mourned in heartfelt sorrow.
That is why a victory must be observed like a funeral.
nintheye, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
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. 
nintheye, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
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.


nintheye, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
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.
thumbnail
terry, modified 6 Months ago.

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

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
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.


   "Coin" means to impress, or something impressed. Both sides are impressed; generally one side has the head of the sovereign, the other his words and symbols.

   A coin may be made of copper, silver, gold. When all the impressions have worn off, we have only copper, silver and gold. A newly minted copper penny crisp with the face of the divinity is worth a penny, and a worn gold coin with no impressions left is worth a thousand of such.

   Besides, surrender precedes self-inquiry, as ramana maharshi's life displayed. One asks, "who am I" when one doesn't know. Give up your widow's mite for treasure in heaven, where thieves do not steal, moths don't eat, and rust sleeps.


terry




from "fihi ma fihi" (discourses) by rumi, trans arberry



God will grant you your heart’s desire—where your ambition is, that will be yours. “The bird flies with its wings, the believers fly with their aspiration.”

There are three kinds of creatures. First there are angels, who are pure spiritual conscience. Worship, service and the remembrance of God are their nature and their food. They eat and live upon that essence. Like fish in the water, their mattress and pillow are the water. Angels are pure and free of lust, so what favor do they gain by not yielding to such desires? Since they are free of these things, they have no struggle against them. If they obey God’s will it is not counted as obedience, for this is their nature, and they cannot be otherwise.

Second are the beasts who are pure sensuality, having no spiritual conscience to restrain them. They too are under no burden of obligation.

Lastly, there remains the poor human being, who is a compound of spiritual conscience and sensuality. We are half angel, half beast. Half snake, half fish. The fish draws us toward water, the snake toward the earth. We are forever in battle. If our spiritual conscience overcomes our sensuality, we are higher than the angels. If our sensuality overcomes our spiritual conscience, we are lower than the beasts.

“The angel is saved through knowledge,
The animal—through ignorance.
Between the two struggle the people of this world.”

Now, some have followed their spiritual conscience so faithfully that they have become entirely angels and pure Light. They are the prophets and the saints. They are freed of fear and hope. In some, lust has overcome their spiritual conscience so entirely that they have taken on the status of animals. Some are still struggling. These last are the people who feel within themselves an agony and anguish, a sorrow and a longing. They are not satisfied with their lives. These are the believers. The saints are waiting to bring them to their own station, to make them like themselves, just as the satans, too, are waiting to draw them to the lowest of the low.

“When God’s help comes through victory, And you see people
Submitting to His Will in throngs,
Then fill yourself with the presence of the Lord, And seek His forgiveness;
For God turns to men and women again.”

Now, commentators offer an outward interpretation to the above Sura, from the Koran, as follows: Mohammed had the dream, “I will make all the world Muslims and bring them to the path of God.” When he saw his death approaching he cried, “Ah, didn’t I come into this life to call the people to God?” God answered, “Do not grieve. In that very hour when you pass away, provinces and cities which you would conquer by armies and by the sword I will convert to obedience and to the faith, every one of them without armies. The sign of this will come at the end when you are dying, you will see people entering in throngs and becoming Muslims. When this sign comes, know that the time for your departure has arrived. Then give praise, and seek forgiveness.”

However, there is an inward meaning to this Sura as well: People think they can drive away evil by great effort and striving. After struggling
and exhausting all their powers and means, they fall into despair. Then God says to them: “You thought you could achieve this goal through your own power, action and work. This is the law I have laid down: Whatever you possess, spend it in Our name. Then Our grace will supervene.

“You must journey upon this infinite road with the feeble hands and feet that you possess. We know well that with feet so feeble you can never accomplish this journey. Indeed, in a hundred thousand years you will not be able to accomplish a single stage of this journey. But even as you collapse and fall, with no strength left to struggle farther, then Our loving breath will carry you on. Even a child, so long as it is a suckling, is carried in the arms, but when it is grown it is set free to walk. Now in this hour when your powers have left you, when your own means fail, behold Our graces, Our gifts and Our love. You will not witness even an atom of such blessings after a hundred thousand strivings.”
nintheye, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
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.
thumbnail
Ashmin Bhandari, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 14 Join Date: 6/11/20 Recent Posts
kekeke I dig this, its information
nintheye, modified 9 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
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.
nintheye, modified 9 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
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.
nintheye, modified 9 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
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.
nintheye, modified 9 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
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’

...
nintheye, modified 9 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
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...
nintheye, modified 8 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
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.
nintheye, modified 8 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Hakuin, Ramana Maharshi's surrender, and kensho

Surrender is often misunderstood as simply doing nothing, exerting zero effort, and concentrating on no words. The Zen monk Hakuin criticized this understanding of surrender, and suggested a focus on insight into one's true Self -- kensho. Yet surrender *properly* understood is far from doing nothing. True surrender is continuous vigilance to avoid falling into thought, relaxation, a staying awake to avoid falling asleep or into trance, and then a desire to surrender the surrenderer. This is in fact the path to kensho.
nintheye, modified 8 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Boredom and depression are pointers to the Self

Boredom and depression suggest a futility and meaninglessness to the outside world and a restless searching for an exit, for a something else. Yet they are actually pointers to the spiritual, to the Self. Give up the expectation of a something else and discover the gold mine on which you sit.
thumbnail
Nick O, modified 8 Months ago.

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

Posts: 317 Join Date: 11/5/17 Recent Posts
Your videos are helpful! Thanks!
nintheye, modified 8 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
Nick O:
Your videos are helpful! Thanks!
You're very welcome!
nintheye, modified 8 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Enlightenment isn't just about sudden insight -- it's about structural change of mental habits

Enlightenment is often seen as a sudden insight, as the aha! moment of insight into the Self. But insights that come can also go. At least as important -- and perhaps more important -- is the gradual change of mental habits that in fact lead to those insights... and that, when prolonged far enough, lead to a situation where the insights don't revert back. That situation is called faith.
nintheye, modified 8 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Three views of the ego: static, dynamic, and structural

There are at least three useful ways of thinking about the ego and how it is generated. One is the static: this is the sense of the subject, of the "I," that is generated whenever you have an experience. The I is generated from and contrasted to the not-I. The I here is a mass of unconscious and unseen assumptions. Self-inquiry and surrender discern away these assumptions, leaving the I by itself, whereupon it disappears.

The second view is the dynamic: this is the sense of the "I" that is generated by the motion of thought. Thought by flowing creates the hallucination of a stable perceiver OF those thoughts. If this motion is slowed down or stopped, that hallucination can be seen for what it is. Self-inquiry and surrender concentrate the mind, redirecting it away from its usual desire-and-fear focused movement, thereby slowing and even stopping it.

The third view is the structural view of the ego: this is the fact that the content of our thought all refers to a self-image, and is validated by all the other thoughts referring to the same image. These form a kind of web or net of mutually reinforcing illusion. Spiritual pointers like the simple question "Who am I?" or the image of the ego as being like a dream try to gesture one away out of this web.
nintheye, modified 8 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Surrender is reducing voluntary, deliberate effort in the physical, attentional, and decisional

You can think of surrender as reducing a certain kind of tension: the tension over which you have deliberate voluntary control. Anything that happens automatically and involuntarily in the mind and body is just fine -- only that which feels like YOUR burden, YOUR decision -- in the body, in the attention, and in the mental decisions of the mind -- should be relaxed. The deliberate, voluntary grasping should be reduced. While grasping has an object, relaxation has none. It should also be clear that relaxation is not about preventing any particular thought or action from occurring -- any kind of rigid prevention of anything would simply be a tension in the other direction.

In this relaxation of voluntary tension... a relative quiet is created. If that quiet is vigilantly maintained without the mind going to sleep, and if one asks intensely and continuously how the surrender may be completed, the door will open and the Truth will become apparent: that there was never anyone to deliberately, voluntarily control anything.
nintheye, modified 7 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Surrender means relaxation, which is neither action nor inaction

I often describe surrender as ignoring all thought except the thought of surrender, and relaxing. What is relaxation? Is it simply doing nothing? It is -- but not in the sense of avoiding all bodily and mental action. It is dropping that effort that feels like YOUR effort, YOUR interference in what is happening... and sometimes starting action can feel like that, and sometimes stopping action can feel like that. In either case, relaxation means moving towards lower tension.
nintheye, modified 7 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Self-inquiry mistake: do not just believe what your mind tells you is the I feeling

When engaging in self-inquiry, seekers often just ask themselves "Where is the I coming from?" but then simply take at face value whatever intuition or feeling that they get in response. The problem is that such a response is often repeatedly misleading. Use a little more discernment: you're looking for the knowledge of how you know that you are. So don't just assume that whatever you think of first when you ask a question like "Who am I?" is correct; use intelligence and understanding and look for the source of your everyday, common sense knowledge that you exist.
nintheye, modified 7 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: The story of the fallen celebrity: insight as an element both "in" the dream and "out" of it

Insights into nonduality are those elements that are somehow both "in the dream" and "outside of it." They appear to have one significance inside the dream, but that significance is in fact pointing to a different reality, a different perspective, of which they are a part... and in which their significance is very different. I illustrate with my made-up analogy of celebrity who has been felled by.a seizure... and plunged into a dream.
nintheye, modified 7 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: The difference between "I am" meditation and self-inquiry

Meditating on the "I am" thought can be helpful: it can concentrate the mind dramatically. However, that thought is *just* a thought. That said, it does not undermine habits as well as either self-inquiry -- which is *chasing the knowledge of the I* -- or surrender. Nor does it touch on the incompleteness of our knowledge of the I, so it does not prompt the final insight we seek as sharply. That said, if it is followed with devotion and energy, it is a powerful spiritual method.
nintheye, modified 6 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Metaphors for the surrendering mind: as offering thought into the fire as it arises... and more

There are some beautiful metaphors for the surrendered mind... At every moment, when the mind arises with a desire or thought, the surrendering mind drops it, and lets it fall into the fire of Self. Thought serves as an offering: and in that continuous motion of sacrifice, there is motionlessness.
nintheye, modified 6 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: How do self inquiry and surrender lead to final enlightenment?

How self-inquiry and surrender lead to final enlightenment is a very tricky topic, since it can be considered from three perspectives, all of which are incomplete. The first perspective is the gradualist perspective, which views the egoic illusion as a set of mental habits. Their eventual thinning out is enlightenment. Then there is the insight perspective, which says that knowledge suddenly destroys all ignorance. Finally, there is the absolute perspective, in which there is no ignorance, egoic illusion, or enlightenment. Self-inquiry and surrender can be viewed from any of these perspectives, and these perspectives themselves link together and go beyond themselves. In the end, considering what enlightenment is is itself a portal hole into something beyond thought.
nintheye, modified 6 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Do surrender and self inquiry interfere with activities that involve thinking?

It is a natural complaint of seekers who pursue self-inquiry and surrender at every waking moment, as they should be, that they seem to interfere with activities that seem to require thought. The truth is, however, it is not self-inquiry and surrender that interfere but an unconscious identification with the mind -- with the thinker of thought. The interference, in other words, is an illusion stemming from a wrong belief. The only true solution is further, deeper inquiry and/or surrender.
nintheye, modified 6 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Surrender and self-inquiry are processes of progressive objectification

What distinguishes surrender and self-inquiry from other techniques which focus on the breath, on a mantra, or on a particular object, is that they are processes of what I call progressive discernment. They are meant to help the seeker recognize what is thought, and, in that recognition, to detach from it. And as you recognize a particular thought, you are caught in another, which you may not even recognize you are caught up in. But through the process of surrender and self-inquiry, you do eventually recognize that that, too -- that strange, vague, feeling, conception, perception, or even silence -- is also a thought. And you recognize and detach from that. Through this process the bounds of thought are eventually and finally recognized and detached from... leaving only the unsayable Self.
nintheye, modified 6 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Trompe l'oeil, the nature of illusion, and enlightenment

Trompe l'oeil refers to a technique in painting that is used to make it seem truly 3D. It's an illusion. The illusion of the I experiencing the world is like that. You might think of it as a series of I-other thoughts, each of which is a painting like that. Self-inquiry and surrender are meant to recognize these illusionary pictures for what they. But the recognition -- or the failure to recognize -- it itself another trompe l'oeil. The illusions are nested, creating an infinite series. One cannot exit them through recognizing them one by one, but, through this series of recognitions, gains the faith that they are ALL illusory, and by that has faith enough to let go into what is continuously beneath all the illusions, what is continuous in their very changes and recognitions.
thumbnail
terry, modified 6 Months ago.

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

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
nintheye:
New video posted: Trompe l'oeil, the nature of illusion, and enlightenment

Trompe l'oeil refers to a technique in painting that is used to make it seem truly 3D. It's an illusion. The illusion of the I experiencing the world is like that. You might think of it as a series of I-other thoughts, each of which is a painting like that. Self-inquiry and surrender are meant to recognize these illusionary pictures for what they. But the recognition -- or the failure to recognize -- it itself another trompe l'oeil. The illusions are nested, creating an infinite series. One cannot exit them through recognizing them one by one, but, through this series of recognitions, gains the faith that they are ALL illusory, and by that has faith enough to let go into what is continuously beneath all the illusions, what is continuous in their very changes and recognitions.,


    And then there is the illusion that one has separated out the ground of being from the manifestations of being, as though they weren't not-two. Another trompe l'oeil. What is transparent is not non-existent.

   "Recognitions" involve placing pictures in their proper sequence and category, while primary cognition confronts the present as immediately and intuitively real. Phenomenologically, directly. Aristotle says that the senses take an immaterial "impression" of the world. We go from being impressed to being manipulative, to creating karma. Living in a world composed almost exclusively of tools.

   There is an underlying sense here - the underlying "self" idea, perhaps - that the ego survives, and "exits" the "illusions" of phenomena through faith in..."what is continuously." One might sum this up as, "there is a god, and I am him." Rather solipsistic, taken as a doctrine rather than as an ecstatic exclamation.

   Perhaps consciousness itself is just a bubble of froth on the surface of a vast ocean. No more the ocean itself than a container of seawater in the desert interior.

    Anyhows, there is  danger of stumbling upon the truth and then trying to use it for any number of purposes. As the truth unfolds there is one blissful sunrise after another, and we're always drawn over the next hill, and the next, the foothills of the great mountain range. Each new vista claims to be the ultimate, but we know deep down, if we can see it, it isn't the ultimate, because we are still here.

   A zen master was sitting with a monk one time, and he asked the monk if he had been to the top of the mountain. The monk affirmed that he had. The master then inquired, "and did you see anyone while you were there?" The monk replied, "No, there was no one." The master then said, "And to think I doubted this fellow!" The monk remarked, "If I hadn't been to the top of the mountain, how would I have known there was no one there?"

terry

   



from the zen teachings of huang po, trans blofeld:


10. When the people of the world hear it said that the
Buddhas transmit the Doctrine of the Mind, they suppose
that there is something to be attained or realized apart
from Mind, and thereupon they use Mind to seek the
Dharma, nol knowing that Mind and the object of their
search are one. Mind cannot be used to seek something
from Mind; for then, after the passing of millions of aeons,
the day of success will still not have dawned. Such a method
is not to be compared with suddenly eliminating conceptual
thought, which is the fundamental Dharma. Suppose a
warrior, forgetting that he was already wearing his pearl on
his forehead, were to seek for it elsewhere, he could
travel the whole world without finding it. But if someone
who knew what was wrong were to point it out to him, the
warrior would immediately realize that the pearl had been
there all the time. So, if you students of the Way are mis-
taken about your own real Mind, not recognizing that it is
the Buddha, you will consequently look for him elsewhere,
indulging in various achievements and practices and ex-
pecting to attain realization by such graduated practices.
Bul, even at er aeons of diligent searching, you will nol be
able lo attain to the Way. These methods cannot be com-
pared to the sudden elimination of conceptual thought, in
the certain knowledge that there is nothing at all which has
absolute existence, nothing on which to lay hold, nothing on which
to rely, nothing in which to abide, nothing subjective or objective -
It is by preventing the use of conceptual thought that you will realize
Bodhi; and, when you do, you will just be realizing the Buddha who
has always existed in your own Mind! Aeons of striving will prove to
be so much wasted efort; just as, when the warrior found his pearl,
he merely discovered what had been hanging on his forehead all the
time; and just as his finding of it had nothing to do with his efforts to
discover it elsewhere. Therefore the Buddha said: 'I truly attained
nothing from complete, unexcelled Enlighlenmenl."

 
nintheye, modified 6 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: How to deal with resistance to the spiritual search and enlightenment

The spiritual search requires a thorough and consistent turning away from the changing world of thoughts. This happens through consistently maintained surrender or self-inquiry. When that is attempted, there is often going to be resistance. Resistance is simply an inability for whatever reason to keep up the self-inquiry or surrender. It results from the ego's belief that it won't get what it wants or avoid what it fears if it turns away from thought. And of course its pursuit of its desires and fears is also what maintains that very ego. The approach to resistance must be to examine where it happens. Are there patterns and particular situations which provoke it? Next, try to listen to it very carefully and empathetically, trying to express what it is saying. The more you can listen to the feelings associated with that resistance, the better. Next, try to address the concerns of that resistance... perhaps by thinking about facts that shows its fears in a new light -- this can come from speaking with a teacher, reading spiritual materials, or simple reflection. If there are recurring resistances which you cannot understand, turning to psychoanalysis or psychoanalytic therapy can be helpful. Finally, be patient with yourself. You can never outrun what you currently want; you can only be honest with yourself about it. That very honesty will propel you forward.
nintheye, modified 5 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Self-Realization and a painting by Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt's famous painting Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer serves as a metaphor for Self-Realization. Realization proceeds in stages. At first, the usual distinction between self and other -- between the woman and her environment -- is punctured by the process of intense concentration, showing that underneath what was thought to be a physical or social or mental environment was this beautiful golden 'stuff': call it silence or bliss or consciousness. But then this very bliss is itself realized to be just another color of paint on this painting, just another object. And so in that sense both the 'egoic' and the 'blissful' states are themselves considered to be merely points of view that are themselves formed by something else, something that is beyond the egoic and the non-egoic, something which is not itself a point of view. And in that process even the very stages of realization are themselves recognized to be occurring only from one of these points of view... points of view which are part of the painting, which is not limited or bound by them.
nintheye, modified 5 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Attachments: the obstacles to spiritual awakening

What are the obstacles to awakening? Those thoughts that distract the mind from inquiry or surrender. And those thoughts come about because of desires and fears that are based on the belief that we are a doing, experiencing person with memories, families, relationships, etc. In order to deal with these attachments, we might need to take a practical or psychological approach of actually pursuing these desires and fears honestly for a while or dealing with them in therapy. Or, if we are courageous, we might simply use self-inquiry or surrender on the negative emotions that arise when we try to combat these distractions... but this takes a degree of faith.
nintheye, modified 4 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Surrender is refusing to sip anything but the sweetest water

In surrender we ignore thought and relax. And what this really is is withdrawing attention away from all the changing objects of the inner and outer worlds. This in turn forces the attention into the subtle, indescribable nameless sweetness that is the Self, that is the smooth and featureless medium within which all else appears to happen. The Self is pure sweetness, pure subtlety, pure effortless, and pure watching -- without watching anything in particular. To surrender, therefore, is to refuse to enjoy any but this highest and most refined bliss, this enjoyment so refined it cannot be called enjoyment -- indeed, it cannot be called anything at all.
nintheye, modified 4 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Self inquiry deals with resistance to the spiritual search by asking whose resistance it is


Resistance to the spiritual search -- in the form of desires, fears, attachments, and so on -- can be dealt with in different ways. It can be dealt with in "non"-spiritual ways, like therapy. It can be dealt with attitudinal changes, like telling yourself that God will take care of everything.But self-inquiry has a different approach to the issue. It simply asks: whose resistance is this? It doesn't directly try to oppose the content of the resistance, doesn't try to argue against it, but merely asks who it is that is aware OF the resistance. That creates a pause and a space that leads to the recognition that these resistances themselves do not belong to the "I" that seems to suffer from them. And this is true not just for spiritual resistances, but indeed for all suffering -- suffering is only a problem if it's "yours," and that's just what self-inquiry questions.
nintheye, modified 4 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: You 'forget' your spiritual practice because part of you doesn’t want to do it

Those who seek Self realization must pursue surrender or self-inquiry at every waking moment. In this effort, many seekers complain that they become forgetful and that their attention wanders. They want to know how to increase their concentration. It's not a matter of increasing concentration.

Forgetfulness happens because of an attachment -- there is an outcome the seeker values or fears, and feels they must focus on to get or avoid. That is what distracts them from surrender or self-inquiry, and it can manifest as forgetfulness. The attention wanders because it *wants* to wander, because there is something that it feels that surrender or self-inquiry will distract it from... and this is what is going on. There is an internal resistance. Just watching and recognizing these resistances helps loosen them.
nintheye, modified 4 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Self-inquiry should feel like looking for something right here and yet is maddeningly elusive


People confuse self-inquiry with trying to *understand* what the I is intellectually, or to seek the nondual Self. This is incorrect. Self-inquiry is simply looking for that most common, fundamental data point of our experience -- the fact that our experience occurs *to us.* That sense of our own existence and awareness -- which is so obvious, so concrete-seeming -- we try to turn our attention to that. When we do, we find ourselves landing on thoughts, feelings, perceptions -- anything but that. And we refocus. And it happens again. And that continuous practice is self-inquiry. How can something so right here feel so incredibly difficult to grasp? That's what self-inquiry should feel like... until there is a perspective shift.
nintheye, modified 3 Months ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Enlightenment is an infinite series of insights that there is no enlightenment

Enlightenment is a contradictory idea because it stands on the border of thought and non-thought. It is the exit from thought, but in that exit from thought there is the recognition that the very idea of 'exit' was itself a thought, and thus that there was never any exit, because there was never any entrance. The insight destroys itself. And yet enlightenment can also be viewed usefully as a series of these very recognitions. The mental habits that chain one in thought, to the belief that one is a doing, experiencing, decision-making person... one attempts to light these on fire through self-inquiry and surrender. When in fact the habits are 'dry enough' -- meaning weak enough -- to 'catch fire' once and for all, they result in enlightenments so continuous they cannot be called enlightenments at all.
nintheye, modified 1 Month ago.

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

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
New video posted: Understand your lack of free will and be free

The fact that we lack free will might seem depressing, but this is only so if we understand ourselves to be people who are chained or controlled by something else. In fact, our lack of free will refers to the fact that we are not people at all. Understood correctly, this lack of free will leads immediately to silence and peace.

Breadcrumb