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Thread: Self-Enquiry vs Open Awareness confusion

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    Light Self-Enquiry vs Open Awareness confusion

    Namaste, I noticed specifically in some gurus teaching Advaita that either attention to the "I" is suggested until (stemming from Ramana Maharshi's teachings) the individual ego falls and the true Self is revealed, and/or open awareness meditation where the body, sensations, thoughts, external activities are simply allowed to come and go within awareness without grasping onto any of these.

    Speaking on the regular level (to simplify if we are to avoid a leap of faith in saying it doesn't matter as you already are that) is it that different results will be reached via these two methods? For example if I listen to an audio recording of Mooji discussing to remain as awareness and simply notice breath, body, activities happen by themselves, not controlling or grasping after anything, sure during the audio it's easy. But when walking around in daily life what does one do? Remain as awareness and even what arises to the visual field, not to grasp or hold onto? Or is it the thoughts we tend to have? See mindfulness, the term when unspecified, can be confusing as there is only internal mindfulness but also open awareness of apparently all that arises towards conscious awareness.

    From the perspective of Sanatana Dharma, isn't even the witness during open awareness, mindfulness supposed to be obscuring the true Self? One could argue that the witness is that subjective independent remainder of awareness that lets everything come and go in spacious awareness?

    Now from the other perspective, the focus on the subjective sensation "I", attention towards the "I" thought, ahamkara, was advocated by Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri Nisargadatta. Focusing on the sensation of your own subjective existence, I have to admit, feels a bit hard at times considering it's a vague feeling or very subtle as we are so used to at the very least, identifying with some portion of our body. Do you have any tips about this practice?

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    Re: Self-Enquiry vs Open Awareness confusion

    Hari Om!

    So don't identify with any of it - body, "I", or breath that is - simply let the rest be and see what remains. That is what you truly are. It goes with you everywhere, does everything with you, breathes, but doesn't encounter death. Keep it simple. Meditation will take you there.

    So many guides, teachers, Gurus, "Gurus", etc will give you tools. You must simply use what works for you and avoid all of the other nonsense. Unless you are truly into Jnana Yog, stick with a primary focus and sadhana - you will be much better served.

    Om

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    Re: Self-Enquiry vs Open Awareness confusion

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    Quote Originally Posted by IntenseEffort View Post
    Namaste, I noticed specifically in some gurus teaching Advaita that either attention to the "I" is suggested


    Now from the other perspective, the focus on the subjective sensation "I", attention towards the "I" thought, ahamkara, was advocated by Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri Nisargadatta. Focusing on the sensation of your own subjective existence, I have to admit, feels a bit hard at times considering it's a vague feeling or very subtle as we are so used to at the very least, identifying with some portion of our body. Do you have any tips about this practice?
    One must ask why attention to this 'I' is suggested? Well the second part of your question assists with an entry point to this whole matter.

    Finding what comes before I
    When one arises from sleep , just before awaking there is a moment ( or moments pending the aspirant) when there is no 'I' nor is there sleep. This in-between/junction (sadhi1) time is the moment of pure awareness, some call
    4th turīya (caturtha2). After this junction one comes to being awake and the 1st thing to rise is 'I'. The first thing that begins is 'I' for the day, before anything else.

    So two things are occurring with this inspection of 'I'... one, you will come to find that 'I' cannot be found definitively. Second, you (your awareness) is inward facing and traveling closer and closer to
    pure awareness (turīya). We wish to be inward facing as a practice. We wish to come familuar with turīya and make this our 'normal' frame of reference. So, practicing this silence in the A.M. when one awakes, to experience ( not look) for this turīya, is a reasonable start. This turīya will be found between sleep then wake, between wake and sleep and between dream and sleep. It is there all the time, but is quite delicate, very simple and nothing that one grabs at. It is behind 'I'. Yet if you chase after it, the chase is being done with 'I' and therefore will keep this 4th aloof.

    If you spend time with rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi's book, 'Talks with rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi' he reveals why this practice is done.

    Remember, all practices are to remove obstacles or blemishes to one's Self. That is all that needs to be done. Self is there all the time, it never takes a vacation. It is not 'gained' as that is your Being already.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    terms
    1. sadhi - a conjunction or transition from one to the other
    2.
    caturtha - the 4th or 4th part; I use 'part' loosely, as it is not fractionated.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Self-Enquiry vs Open Awareness confusion

    Namaste,
    I have noticed that if I focus on the breath flowing into and out of my nostrils for a prolonged time, that after mental chatter ceases, I can let go of my deliberate attention and simply be aware. Sensations of the body, the senses move about through this awareness and with no grasping, they come and go. I'm not so sure this is what some of the great non-duality teachers such as Ramana Maharshi spoke about.

    I did another technique where after quieting my mind, I tried hard to focus on the subjective sense of existing itself but gave up as I'm not certain what would happen if I kept doing it, let alone the point, as I'm not sure if that's what the great masters had in mind either. If so, was I supposed to keep maintaing the attention to my own subjective existence and where would that get me?

    Thank you for all your helpfulness

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    Re: Self-Enquiry vs Open Awareness confusion

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    Please consider reading this thread and the conversation thereof:
    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...ghlight=breath

    Also, you can do a search within this forum on breath, gap, meditation (each individually)... Look for posts that talk of the gap.

    I think you may find it of use.


    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Self-Enquiry vs Open Awareness confusion

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    I wrote,
    Finding what comes before I
    When one arises from sleep , just before awaking there is a moment ( or moments pending the aspirant) when there is no 'I' nor is there sleep. This in-between/junction (sadhi1) time is the moment of pure awareness, some call
    4th turīya (caturtha2). After this junction one comes to being awake and the 1st thing to rise is 'I'. The first thing that begins is 'I' for the day, before anything else.
    One thing worth mentioning. This 'I' does not announce itself. That is important to note. We has humans work better when there is contrast, yet when this 'I' rises it is such a smooth transition no one notices it from the ~condition~ prior to it. That condition was sadhi, that transition gap, filled with pure awareness, some call 4thturīya (caturtha).
    If you trying to observe this it can be done, yet again it is quite subtle. If you find your self saying 'now where is this I yajvan said to look for ? ' clearly suggests that the intellect was engaged, which suggests 'I' has risen already. It is always first to rise, then the other perception organs ( like intellect) engage and the motor ( mind) starts running... see the point?

    It is like the dawn of the day... just before the sun rises.




    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  7. Re: Self-Enquiry vs Open Awareness confusion

    Anyone recites mantra while meditating?

    Mantras are sacred words of prayers, which have great healing powers. They could also be called secret divine codes. The ancient saints formulated and wrote down Mantras for deities, Gods and planets for propitiating them, and for spiritual benefits. Words have a lot of power. Prayers said with a meditative mind and sincerity works wonders. But there are certain procedures to follow to activate these Mantras. Certain Mantras are to be recited for a certain number of times, daily. Some have to be done for a particular purpose only. Once that purpose is accomplished, then you can discontinue the Mantra - By. Dr.RakeshKumar@ishwarcenter.org

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    Re: Self-Enquiry vs Open Awareness confusion

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    I wrote,

    One thing worth mentioning. This 'I' does not announce itself. That is important to note. We has humans work better when there is contrast, yet when this 'I' rises it is such a smooth transition no one notices it from the ~condition~ prior to it. That condition was sadhi, that transition gap, filled with pure awareness, some call 4thturīya (caturtha).
    If you trying to observe this it can be done, yet again it is quite subtle. If you find your self saying 'now where is this I yajvan said to look for ? ' clearly suggests that the intellect was engaged, which suggests 'I' has risen already. It is always first to rise, then the other perception organs ( like intellect) engage and the motor ( mind) starts running... see the point?

    It is like the dawn of the day... just before the sun rises.
    This gap ( madhya) resides within these transitions or avasthāḥ ( plural for conditions or states) upon awaking:
    Sleep (suṣupti) is just ending and just before waking, free from thoughts,
    --> there is this gap (madhya) -> a sense of happiness of being free from thoughts (rasāsvāda1) arises --> then there is movement in the mind and ~awakening~ of vāsanāḥ2 (past impressions) --> brings one to be completely awake (jāgrat) with distractions (vikṣepa3).

    This condition (madhyāvasthā) can be experienced and is beneficial. First one needs to be aware that it exists. Most pass this gap by upon awakening or are not attuned to it, and as I have mentioned before, it does not announce itself. Therefore many people that ~ might have~ experienced it pay it no mind, as they think it is nothing. Well from one point of view it is no-thing. There is no object (or feeling, or emotion, or idea, as these are considered objects too) within ones purview. It is just pure awareness itself by itself.

    Why should one be interested in this
    madhyāvasthā ?
    Well, this is the same condition that one wants to recreate when meditating. With meditation it is the notion to create this even-ness ( sāmarāsya ) within mind/awareness. Pure awareness is that stainless even-ness that can be re-established with patience and practice.

    Note when done correctly you are doing nothing – you are actually getting out of the way for this even-ness ( sāmarāsya ) to occur on its own. This is one approach to meditation – setting the conditions to get out of the way. But what is getting out of the way? Excessive trying, instituted by the ego, intellect, wishful thoughts, etc. The art of meditation is learning how to get out of the way.

    But why isn’t ‘trying’ advisable? Simply said by the words of sureśvarācārya4 , svarūpāvasthāna or one’s own natural condition is not something that is produced. It would be like saying, I want you to take actions to become human. You do not need to pursue something that you are already is the point. I want you to add space to the inside of a pot... how is this done ? The space has already been there, forever.

    Rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi said it this way – there is no greater mystery that this: being Reality ourselves we seek to gain Reality.


    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    1. rasāsvāda – the perception of happiness/pleasure
    2. vāsanāḥ - brings on kaṣāya which = fragmentation . The notion is wholeness of awareness has been lost or it subsided. The term also meaning coloring, impurity, attachment to worldly objects. The notion here is, wholeness subsides and the person once more is ~colored~ with the impurity of diversity. Note impurity is not that of ‘dirt’ but that of multiplicity of the world ( vs. wholeness and unity) as one's frame of reference.
    3.vikṣepa – scattered; with scattered thoughts, impressions, ideas, notions.
    4. sureśvarācārya was the author (vārttikakāra) of a treaty (prakaraṇa-grantha) named naiṣkarmyaṣiddhi. It is considered a compendium of the philosophy/darśana of vedānta and hence the advitīya (without a second, non-dual) view.
    Last edited by yajvan; 01 May 2017 at 01:21 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Self-Enquiry vs Open Awareness confusion

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    I offered the following in post 8 above,
    This condition (madhyāvasthā) can be experienced and is beneficial. First one needs to be aware that it exists. Most pass this gap by upon awakening or are not attuned to it, and as I have mentioned before, it does not announce itself.


    • madhyāvasthā can be experienced and is beneficial
    • First one needs to be aware that it exists.
    • most pass this gap by upon awakening or are not attuned to it,
    • it does not announce itself

    2 of the 4 items above have been checked off the list from the posts above (yet we can go deeper and wider pending the HDF reader’s interest). The question must be asked, why do most pass up this gap or are not attuned to it ? In a word, ‘chatter’.

    Within one’s daily experience the mind may take on the following 5 forms:
    • kṣipta - ‘scattered’, distraction or absence of mind ; thrown , cast , sent , dispatched , dismissed
    • mūḍha - stupefied , bewildered , perplexed , confused , uncertain or at a loss about
    • vikṣipta - sent , dispatched i.e. being dispersed in different places
    • ekāgra - one-pointed , having one point , fixing one's attention upon one point or object , closely attentive , intent , absorbed
    • nirodhaḥ - suppression , destruction ; some prefer stilling, cessation, restriction


    Most to many reside in the first 3 conditions listed above – the mind going here and there, being dispatched to things ( objects, feelings,thoughts that are past, present or future related). On occasion when one needs to focus then one-pointed-ness may be exercised, yet this it too dispersed. example: the student that studies , yet continues to wear head phones and listen to music, the news, etc. while studying. I know of many that say I need to have the radio on to fall asleep ; a distraction of background noise to entertain the mind to finally dose off ( while the chemical i.e. adenosine1 does its work).
    You see, even if this madhyāvasthā ( gap) manifests or makes itself available it is being filled-in with chatter.
    This ~excessive noise~ of the mind is curtailed by sādhana ( practice); The intent of sādhana is to groom the mind that brings one-pointedness (ekāgra). Then the excessive ‘rolling around’ (vṛtti) over time subsides. It is the intent of this practice to unfold, make available nirodhaḥ - the stilling of the mind.

    Now this term is not mine, we find it in patañjali-muni's work, 2nd sūtra2 ,samādhi-pāda ( 1st chapter) of his sūtra's:
    yogaś citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ ||2
    my translation of this is simple,
    yoga is the stilling (nirodhaḥ) of the active (vṛtti 'rolling around' ) mind (citta).

    Many to most want this to occur over a very short time period ( who wouldn’t?). For some this may occur, for many it takes some time. What is the desired result ? Sātatya सातत्य - consistency, uninterruptedness. A very well balanced mind that is beyond fragmentation ( rolling around from this thing to that).

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    1. adenosine – see this if there is interest: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/hea.../sdd/whatmakes
    2. 2nd sūtra ,samādhi-pāda ( 1st chapter) of his sūtra's:
    yogaś citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ ||

    • yogaś - process of yoking; union from 'yuj'
    • citta - as neuter gender - it is thinking , reflecting , imagining , thought; some put this as active mind
    • vṛtti - ' rolling , or rolling down' i.e. patterning, turnings, movements.
    • nirodhaḥ - suppression , destruction ; some prefer stilling, cessation, restriction


    Last edited by yajvan; 30 May 2017 at 03:01 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  10. #10
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    Re: Self-Enquiry vs Open Awareness confusion

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    Further explaining two points mentioned in the posts above.

    · madhyāvasthā ( code for the 'gap' , pure awareness)
    · not announcing itself
    These two notions will be explained by an example. There are always flaws in examples, but this I think may be worth one’s consideration if this gap, the 4th, pure awareness has not been part of your conscious experience.

    madhyāvasthā1
    Consider the pattern shown here, called a moiré2 pattern.



    In this pattern the red is this gap of pure awareness I have mentioned. It is madhyāvasthā from the previous posts. To be more specific and to make this example concrete, it is NOT the red sheet itself but the gaps between the red lines, which on your screen should be seen as white. By using the red fabric it allows me to define the white area underneath it - that is this pure awareness in this example.
    This same white extends from the borders behind the red area to all parts of your screen. This white area allows the red pattern to show up but also all the text that is on your screen that you are reading now. The white area allows/provides the area for the colors of the boxes and for the text you are reading to reside. Now hold that thought for a moment. As we go to the green square\pattern.

    Within this example the green square is your internal mechanisms . This can be intellect, ego, mind. As this internal mechanism of thoughts feelings ideas, etc. function throughout the day, there's potential moments when there is no thought, no feelings, no ideas, no wavering of the mind, no vṛtti-s ('rolling around' of the mind).

    Note that when you watch this pattern ( of the green moving back and forth) there comes a brief pause where both the red pattern and white pattern are perfectly aligned. What then is perceived (just for a movement) is the white of the gap ( the pure awareness) that shines through. It is there just for a moment , and then the green box movement obscures seeing this gap clearly.


    Like that, This is what occurs during the day. When there is this pause, when the intellect, mind, feelings are not engaged, the opportunity for this gap (madhyāvasthā) to be noticed becomes available.
    Yet too there is another time that this gap is a bit more apparent. It is when one goes to bed and sleep has not yet come , this gap is once again revealed. And, upon awakening it is there again. For some it also is apparent between dream and sleep. Why so? It is because the internal mechanisms ( intellect, mind, ego, feelings, etc) have becoming less dominant, they are not ‘on guard’ as much as in the fully awakened mode of activity with so many senses that are engaged ( mind, perceptions, smells, engaged intellect, movements, driving,communicating), its a more quieter time and hence this gap may be noticed.

    Not announcing itself
    If you looked at post 6 & 8 above, I mentioned this gap, pure awareness , the 4th, etc. does not announce itself. Why so? Because it is present all the time; It does not come and go.
    If you look to the red-green pattern above the white screen is always there while the green movement goes on. Something gets announced when it leaves the premises. This pure awareness never leaves as it has no place to go; the wise tell us there is no place it is not.
    It is like the ocean and waves. The waves may rise and fall; they may come into the shore line, then recede, yet the ocean never goes anywhere. It is like that. Once all the waves calm down ( intellect, mind, body, feelings, ideas, thoughts, rolling around) then the ocean’s vastness is perceived.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    1.madhyāvasthā = madhya+ avasthā = middle most , center, gap + condition
    2. moiré - a French term for a type of textile. The term originated from an Arabic term mukhayya ‘chosen’ as in the chosen pattern or chosen cloth inferring a ‘choice’ cloth
    Last edited by yajvan; 01 June 2017 at 07:02 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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