Vipassana – Looking within…

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looking within

In Vipassana, one simply sits in a comfortable position (lotus or half-lotus if possible, cross-legged if not), and one gives “bare attention” to whatever is arising, externally, and internally, without judging it, condemning it, following after it, avoiding it, or desiring it. One simply witnesses it, impartially, and then lets it go. The aim of this practice is to see that the separate ego is not a real and substantial entity, but just a series of fleeting and impermanent sensations like anything else. When one realizes just how “empty” the ego is, one ceases identifying with it, defending it, worrying about it, and this in turn releases one from the chronic suffering and unhappiness that comes from defending something that isn’t there. As Wei Wu Wei put it:

‘Why are you unhappy?
Because 99.9% of everything you think,
And everything you do,
Is for yourself,
And there isn’t one.’

~ Ken Wilber, Grace and Grit

Experience the supreme silence…

Only those who have known their reality to be Shiva [the Self], are those who are soaked in the perfect and natural state of silence. Therefore having removed the ‘I’-sense in anything other than Shiva [that is, having given up one's identification with all adjuncts such as the body], abide without action in Shiva.

The glory of the state of silence – in which one has merged and dissolved in the real principle, God, who is the egoless Self, by enquiring “Who am I, the false first person?” – alone is the nature of the observance of self-surrender.

If we scrutinise what the method is to end forever the movements of the wavering mind or ego, which is like a reflection in wavy water, we will discover that the method is for one to remain silently attending to oneself alone, and not for one to attend to that wavering mind, which will make one slip down from the state of Self.

Those who have perfect knowledge say that the state of true knowledge, in which one remains without ‘I’ [the ego], alone is silence. In order to experience that silence, which is devoid of the feeling “I am this body”, clinging to the Self in the Heart is the spiritual practice.

The pure silence which shines forth when the ‘I’-sense is lost by abiding in the Heart, knowing one’s own real existing state instead of going outwards cherishing and attending to other things, alone is the limit of true knowledge [jnana].

Since, just as the activities seen within and by a dream-person become laughable and non-existent in the outlook of the waking person, even the activities of the individual self [such as his birth and death], which are an imagination seen by him within himself, become non-existent in the true awakened outlook of Self-knowledge, all of those activities, including his bondage and liberation are unreal and are a mere play of illusion.

When the pure gracious Supreme reveals the nature of Self, he who was in the dark room of ignorance will merge in the silence of Self-abidance, drowning in God-knowledge or existence-consciousness, which is the beauty of the Reality.

Know that silence – which is the perfect knowledge of the form of Self and which shines within when the ego reaches the Heart by rejecting all the juggleries of thoughts, which are rarely rejected – alone is the glorious Supreme word [paravak].

Only those who have not keenly listened to the Lord’s language of grace [silence], which is the Supreme word, which shines forth when the wandering mind subsides, will say that the sound of a flute is sweet, that the sound of a veena is sweet, or that the prattling speech of their own babbling children is very sweet.

If the noise of thoughts rising incessantly within does not subside, the ineffable state of silence will not be revealed. Those whose thoughts have subsided within, will not leave the strong and perfect state of silence even in a big battlefield.

Tell me, is not the vocal silence observed by those who do not engage in Self-enquiry and who do not know the real goal, which is the silence that shines forth when the ego, “I am the fleshy and filthy body”, subsides and reaches the Heart, a mere mental endeavour?

The life of Self – the true knowledge which shines forth devoid of the ego-sense due to the drowning of the ego in its source when the madness of desire for the petty, illusory and delusive sense-objects has been completely destroyed – alone is That which can truly satisfy the mind.

Those whose Hearts are surging with joy by experiencing the ever-new ambrosia [amrita] of Self, which shines brightly in the pure silence, will not be spoilt in the world by experiencing the petty sense-objects, which give a little mad pleasure caused by mental delusion.

The Reality which is very clearly known by sages as the goal of all Vedas and Agamas, and the observance of Reality recommended by all the spiritual instructions, is nothing but silence, the state of Supreme peace.

The complete giving up of the other three objectives [purusharthas] of human existence beginning with righteousness, is the glorious state of peace, which is the nature of liberation [the fourth and only true goal]. Therefore completely giving up all thought of the other three false objectives [wealth, desire and righteousness], cling only to silence, the knowledge of the Supreme Self, which is Shiva.

Keep your mind still. That is enough. You will get spiritual help sitting in this hall if you keep yourself still. The aim of all practices is to give up all practices. When the mind becomes still, the power of the Self will be experienced. The waves of the Self are pervading everywhere. If the mind is in peace, one begins to experience them.

Source: http://www.inner-quest.org/Ramana_Silence.htm

in this moment…

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moment

When we let go of our battles and open our heart to things as they are, then we come to rest in the present moment. This is the beginning and the end of spiritual practice. Only in this moment can we discover that which is timeless. Only here can we find the love that we seek. Love in the past is simply memory, and love in the future is fantasy. Only in the reality of the present can we love, can we awaken, can we find peace and understanding and connection with ourselves and the world.

~ Jack Kornfield