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The Nature of Now

Our very nature is that of presence. We are not in the present. We are the present.

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Without a calm mind, one cannot experience the ultimate reality, the underlying oneness, as one’s own Self.

Spiritual practices (prayer, meditation, deep breathing, yoga) have value because they remove the agitation of the mind.

A peaceful mind, steady in awareness, can understand the purest teaching at the most subtle level.

Therefore the practical advice of the sages is to not bother anyone and not be bothered by others.

To reach the highest state and to know one’s own Heart as the Self, one has to become absolutely indifferent to both external and internal perceptions.

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To accept

Awareness Aware Of ItSelf

Sri Ramana used to say that what we give to others, we give to our self. That is the basic truth of the spiritual path.

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Awareness quietly aware of itself is the subtlest spiritual practice.

Its power can be understood fully when the mind is free from agitation.

The ancient sages knew that to make the mind calm and peaceful we must reflect on the interconnectedness of life and treat all life as precious and sacred.

Sri Ramana used to say that what we give to others, we give to our self.

That is the basic truth of the spiritual path.

May all beings be free from sorrow.

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Self, Shakti, Heart, and Enlightenment in Advaita: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

As Sri Ramana has said, — that which is real is ever present—. We have to see what is present right now in this very moment. If we become quiet, we are able to feel our ordinary awareness, the sense of “I Am” as being present in this moment. That is the seed. If we water it and give it food, it grows and the Reality reveals it Self from within.

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Often on the spiritual path, the topics of best postures, best techniques of meditation, best behaviors conducive to spiritual growth, best gurus, etc., come up. All of these questions are appropriate to their time and circumstances.  Such questions were frequently put to Bhagavan Ramana.

Underlying all such questions is the fundamental theme or inquiry as to what constitutes superior spiritual practice that will lead to improvement in one’s mental and physical conditions and finally to Self-Realization or Enlightenment. From this perspective, Self-Realization is viewed as an attainment. It is something that is achieved by an individual by making the right effort. This approach in its methodology is not too different than that of a talented world class athlete, who after having trained rigorously, wins a gold medal at the Olympics.

This point of view emphasizes the need to focus the mind in order for it to expand and evolve to…

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Shiva and Shakti-Jnaneshwar

I offer obeisance to the God and Goddess,
The limitless primal parents of the universe.

They are not entirely the same,
Nor are they not the same.
We cannot say exactly what they are.

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Here are some selected verses from Jnaneshwar, a 13th century Indian mystic.

Amritanubhav (The Nectar of Mystical Experience)

Siva Shakti

Chapter One: The Union of Shiva and Shakti

I offer obeisance to the God and Goddess,
The limitless primal parents of the universe.

They are not entirely the same,
Nor are they not the same.
We cannot say exactly what they are.

How sweet is their union!
The whole world is too small to contain them,
Yet they live happily in the smallest particle.

When He awakes, the whole house disappears,
And nothing at all is left.

Two lutes: one note.
Two flowers: one fragrance.
Two lamps: one light.

Two lips: one word.
Two eyes: one sight.
These two: one universe.

In unity there is little to behold;
So She, the mother of abundance,
Brought forth the world as play.

He takes the role of Witness
Out of love of watching Her.

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On Ordinariness of Awakening: By Latha Ramanan

“We discover the ordinariness of awakening. Gratitude, compassion and universal love encompass us, as we realise that everything in this universe is part of us – the oneness is felt. There are no more enemies, no peaks to achieve and no resistance to the ordinary flow of life”. ~ Latha Ramanan

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It is the simple things in life that teach the greatest lessons in our lives.

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The Destructive Dance of Monkey Mind

From the sacred journey of Mira Prabhu now residing at the holy mountain of Arunachala in India.

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6d683d43b8fae0a1465e0c51199d5190-1Last night something happened that disturbed my mind. Unable to sleep, I stayed awake until the wee hours, reading an illuminating book a friend had given me containing the reminiscences of those fortunate enough to have had personal contact with Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.

I woke up feeling bedraggled—but the sun was shining through many windows, and doggies and humans would soon be calling for my attention, so I rose. I did my morning practice of diving into the Self and was able to dispassionately view the antics of my mind—as if I was a wise old grandfather indulgently watching his rambunctious grandson mess up the living room. Simply being watched with love stopped my mind from spinning into even more chaos—and then bliss arose in a strong wave.

FB_IMG_1472401603075As Gautama Buddha said so beautifully over two thousand years ago, sometimes the mind is like a drunken wild elephant in rut. Somehow we must…

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The Path to Enlightenment: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

In this essay, I suggest that the philosophies and perspectives of the gradual or the direct path are not inherently meaningful. Their truth lies only in being teaching tools. Words and concepts such as the “direct path” and the “gradual path” are meant to point at the truth but they are not themselves the truth. The Truth must reveal itself to us in our own Heart.

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A Popular Dichotomy

A popular dichotomy has emerged about Enlightenment in the West since the 1970s between the schools of “gradual enlightenment” and “instant enlightenment”. Some of this can probably be traced back to Poonja ji’s and Nisargadatta Maharaj’s disciples returning to the west in the 1970s and 1980s from India and bringing their understanding of Advaita Vedanta with them as given to them by their teachers. However, because many of these students deviate from traditional Advaita as taught in the classic lineage of Adi Shankracharya, they are referred to as neo-advaitins.

Given this thesis and antithesis between the gradual path and the direct path, I address the following question:

It is said that there are two approaches to the Truth of Being or Reality which some call Enlightenment or Self-Realization. A gradual path and a direct path. What is the truth of it? Are their really two paths? If…

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