Ssurrender is not something to practice. For me surrender is what happens when I realize that I, as a person, am actually not in charge anyway. Nisargadatta speaks of ‘total functioning’ which for me is related and perhaps synonymous with David Bohm’s ‘implicate order’. Both concepts point me to there being one Great One, of which we are all expressions.
“Apart, from us where is time and where is space? If we are bodies, we are involved in time and space, but are we? We are one and identical now, then, and forever, here, and everywhere. Therefore we, timeless, and spaceless Being, alone are.” Ramana Maharshi
Once in our yoga seminar one of the students asked Rajo, my first teacher, about something that had happened to her the evening before in her room. She said that she was just looking at the wall when suddenly it started to move and she asked what was the reason for that, and if it was something to be alarmed about. He replied that she had in that moment had a glimpse of reality because actually nothing is as fixed as it appears in our perception. After the couple of days in the yoga seminar breathing deeply and doing the exercises that bring us into a more tranquil state, she was able to relax the programming of the psycho-somatic system and was able to see through the projected version of reality to the actuality. In actuality we find ourselves in a sea of energy that is in eternal flux and it is our particular nervous system that is able to superimpose on this flux of energy the perception of forms that seem to be constant. This is a wonder and allows us the experiences of the ‘phenomenal world’ we live in. Continue reading
Art by Mikko Tyllinen – “Storm of Colors”
“The constant awareness of God prevents the mind from identifying with other objects and enhances the conviction that God (or the Self) alone exists. It also produces a reciprocal flow of power or grace from the Self which weakens the hold of the ‘I’-thought and destroys the vasanas (latent tendencies) which perpetuate and reinforce its existence.”
My Comment: The ‘I’ thought is like a pinch in the fabric of existence. It stops our perception from seeing the flow of perpetual change of the dynamic manifest consciousness. Formless Reality is the timeless and spaceless Being that we all are. We are deluded into perceiving our worldly existence as one of form and we identify ourselves as one of these forms. We are addicted to these forms and spend our precious energy attempting to grasp these chimera. First of all the one we think ourselves to be – as an independent entity – doesn’t really exist except as an integral part of the one timeless, spaceless Being. Second, the objects we attempt to attach ourselves to, do not exist except as projections of our imagination become flesh. In this aberration of consciousness we almost completely lose contact with the natural world and the formless Reality that is the Source. Ramana gave us many pointers that can help us to realize our true Being as the Self. The chapter “Surrender” from David Godman’s wonderful book (source below) is rich in such pointers. Enjoy!
Chapter 7 – Surrender (excerpt)
“Many of the world’s religious traditions advocate surrender to God as a means of transcending the individual self. Sri Ramana accepted the validity of such an approach and often said that this method was as effective as self-inquiry. Continue reading
“16. Apart, from us where is time and where is space?
If we are bodies, we are involved in time and space,
but are we?
We are one and identical now, then, and forever,
here, and everywhere.
Therefore we, timeless, and spaceless Being, alone are.”
(from “Forty Verses on Reality” – Ramana Maharshi)
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
Giridhari Lal was a resident of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry in the 1940s.
In response to Giridhari Lal’s question to Ramana Maharshi, “When the kali yuga, which consists of so many thousand years, would end?” Bhagavan said: “I don’t consider time real. So I take no interest in such matters. We know nothing about the past or the yugas which were in the past. Nor do we know about the future. But we know the present exists. Let us know about it first. Then doubts will cease. Time and space always change, but there is something which is eternal and changeless. For example, the world and time, past or future, nothing exists for us in sleep. But we exist. Let us try to find out that which is changeless and which always exists. How will it benefit us to know that the kali yuga started in such and such year and that it would end so many years from now?”
Regarding the devotee’s query as to why the puranas (ancient Hindu myths and legends) give the exact duration of each yuga, Bhagavan replied: “The immensity of the periods of time assigned to each yuga may be a mere device to draw man’s attention to the fact that even if he lived up to hundred years, his life is such a trifling, insignificant fraction of a yuga. Therefore, he should take a proper view of his humble place in the entire scheme and not go about with a swollen head, deeming himself as of great importance. Instead of saying, What is man’s life compared to eternity? They have taught him to consider how short his span is.”
source (PDF file: FACE TO FACE WITH SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI)
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
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
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