Q: How shall I reach the Self?
A (Ramana Maharshi):
"There is no reaching the Self. If Self were to be reached, it would mean that the Self is not here and now and that it is yet to be obtained. What is got afresh will also be lost. So it will be impermanent. What is not permanent is not worth striving for. So I say the Self is not reached. You are the Self, you are already that.
The fact is, you are ignorant of your blissful state. Ignorance supervenes and draws a veil over the pure Self which is bliss. Attempts are directed only to remove this veil of ignorance which is merely wrong knowledge. The wrong knowledge is the false identification of the Self with the body and the mind. This false identification must go, and then the Self alone remains.
Therefore realization is for everyone; realization makes no difference between the aspirants. This very doubt, whether you can realise, and the notion 'I-have0not-realised' are themselves the obstacles. Be free from these obstacles also." (Ramana Maharshi from 'Be As You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi')
"When you give rise to a thought and don't cling to it, what happens? It returns to emptiness and so is no-thought. Only clinging creates unfulfilled desires.
If the thought arises, "I want to be free," it is not clinging, because freedom is not an object. Where does it spring from? It will merge there, and you are conscious of that. Therefore, it is called freedom. Effortless. No practice. Only see what is happening. Enough that you have attention and you are aware all the time. Even when you say, "I was not aware," you are aware that you were not aware. " (Papaji, from 'Wake Up and Roar')
A student asked Mooji: 'Mooji, could you explained Self-inquiry? How do I actually begin?
"Begin thus: 'I am' - This is the most natural recognition and knowledge. The sense of existence is spontaneously felt in you as 'I am'. No-one taught this to you. Be aware of this simple intuition without associating it with other thoughts. Feel how it is to be simply present, in this instant, without holding onto any intention. Don't touch any thought of doing something special. Keep inwardly quiet. If suddenly, a wave of thoughts should come, don't panic. There is no need to control or suppress them. Simply, let them play without your involvement. Observe with detachment. Remain empty of intention. Keep quiet.
Imagine you are standing on a platform at the railway station. One by one the trains come: they stop, doors open, doors close, they move on. You don't have to get on. Like this, simply observe the thought activity appearing on the screen of consciousness without connecting up. Don't log on. Thoughts and sensations will be seen to move on by themselves, without being forced. Stay neutral. Be with the awareness as awareness itself. Feel the breath moving effortlessly without will or strain. observe the senses functioning, the sense of outer and inner, any movement, just 'happening' by itself, unplanned and unforced. Whatever arises as thought, feeling, movement or sensation is quietly observed, only now there is less interest, less pull. All is arising; your self is not aroused. All this is smoothly observed. Now, even the sense of self - the feeling 'I am' - is inside this awareness. Make no greater effort than is required. You are here. That which is neither doing nor undoing, neither directing activity nor being affected by activity, which is effortlessly aware yet unconcerned. That, is your real Self. Not behind nor in front, nor above nor beneath - for it is not another phenomenon. It is unplaced, unborn, boundless Self.
Now, observe the observer: 'Who am I?' Check inwardly but remain quiet with alert attention. Don't collect any answer or clues; an answer would and could only be an opinion, an idea of another concept. Don't tie yourself to any concept. Turn the attention away from objects and toward the viewing subject. What and where is the seer? Remain silent and neutral. There should now be an increased strength of focus in the looking.
Now, again, watch the sense 'I am.' What is 'I'? From where does it arise? Watch. What do you find?" (From: 'Before I am' - Dialogues with Mooji')
Om Namah Shivaya