ecstasy and calm



Q: So one should not try to perpetuate blissful or ecstatic states?

Ramana: The final obstacle in meditation is ecstasy; you feel great bliss and happiness and want to stay in that ecstasy. Do not yield to it but pass on to the next stage which is great calm. The calm is higher than ecstasy and it merges into samadhi. Successful samadhi causes a waking sleep state to supervene. In that state you know that you are always consciousness, for consciousness is your nature. Actually, one is always in samadhi but one does not know it. To know it all one has to do is to remove the obstacles. Continue reading

the “me and the “not-me”

donald zolan the thinker painting


“…worshiping the formless reality by unthought thought…”



The “me” creates the “not-me”. When the feeling of “I-ness” arises, it almost instantaneously turns into the “me-thought” due to its identification with the body. When this happens a center is created and with it a periphery, which is the “not-me-thought”. Continue reading

we look for objects

Q: How did the ego arise?

Ramana: Ego is not. Otherwise do you admit of two selves? How can there be avidya (ignorance of the Self) in the absence of the ego? If you begin to inquire, the avidya, which is already non-existent, will be found not to be, or you will say it has fled away.

Ignorance pertains to the ego. Why do you think of the ego and also suffer? What is ignorance again? It is that which is nonexistent. However the worldly life requires the hypothesis of avidya.

Avidya is only our ignorance and nothing more. It is ignorance or forgetfulness of the Self. Can there be darkness before the sun? Similarly, can there be ignorance before the self-evident and self- luminous Self? If you know the Self there will be no darkness, no ignorance and no misery. Continue reading

not different

The Self proclaims itself at all times as ‘I, I’.

It is self-luminous. It is here. All this is that.

We are in that only. Being in it, why search for it?



Everything has been like it is forever. There is a sense of being different from all that is around me and this is the basic characteristic of dissatisfaction, the ‘hair in the soup’, suffering or also called bondage. It is only an idea: there is the world and here am I. To say ‘only’ makes it sound easy to correct, but our lives are what we see through the lens of the all of the accumulated ideas of humanity. Our lives are all of the sequence of events since THE BEGINNING solidified into what we see through our mind’s eye. Continue reading

unthought thought

donald zolan the thinker paintings

Artist: Donald Zolan – The Thinker

I have a meditation coloring book of my own creation. In it I usually draw some few words that are significant for my morning meditation on each day. About six weeks ago I had the three words “no thought thought” which were a connection for me to a sense of the mind in abeyance. It was the feeling of being poised on the verge of a thought but with a fine restraint so that the mind energy did not form into an actual thought. Continue reading

the universe is real

Something to contemplate:

Ramana Maharshi:

“Shankara was criticized for his views on maya (illusion) without being understood. He said that

(1) Brahman (creative principle which lies realized in the whole world) is real,

(2) the universe is unreal, and

(3) The universe is Brahman.

He did not stop at the second, because the third explains the other two. It signifies that the universe is real if perceived as the Self, and unreal if perceived apart from the Self. Hence maya and reality are one and the same.”

Source: David Godman, “Be As You Are, The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi” p. 180

My Comments:
Recognize the Self when in the world. Everything shines equally. Nothing can be less than anything else. As long as anything is treated with disdain or any lack of respect, then one is perceiving ‘apart from the Self.’ Continue reading

instantaneous creation – Ramana

Related image


My comment: In this exchange with a visitor Ramana explains why he doesn’t insist on only the absolute view of Reality that he sees, but rather varies his response according to the willingness of the listener to accept what he says. This I find especially educational for me as one who has had the strong tendency to always hold to ‘my’ point of view and hold diverging ones to be at least limited, if not incorrect. I recognize that focusing only on the ‘correctness’ of a view is very limiting as it leaves out the most important element of any exchange: the heart connection. Continue reading

special states

Am I in a “special state” after a particularly remarkable shift in perspective?

The question as to as “special state” is an interesting one – this shift that I am in shows me more clearly what all the sages mean, especially Ramana and the Zen masters when they say that there is no enlightenment and no liberation when one realizes that everything already is the Big Mind, or the Self, and only our little mind taking a limited perspective creates a world of separation from Self, Buddha Mind, or God, which are all the same thing.

To say “only the little mind” is, of course, an understatement, since it sounds like the “little mind” should not be a big hindrance to just remaining as “what is”, which is the one vast and mysterious Universal Being showing up as many. Continue reading

Birth and Rebirth – Ramana

My Comment: The following questions by visitors and answers by the modern sage Sri Ramana Maharshi were compiled by David Godman according to various subjects. Here is an excerpt from the chapter on reincarnation.

Q: How long does it take a man to be reborn after death? Is it immediately after death or some time after?

Ramana’s answer: You do not know what you were before birth, yet you want to know what you will be after death. Do you know what you are now?

Birth and rebirth pertain to the body. You are identifying the Self with the body. It is a wrong identification. You believe that the body has been born and will die, and confound the phenomena relating to the body with the Self. Continue reading