QUOTES FROM THE SOURCE

EFFORTS / DISCIPLINE / EARNESTNESS

"In all cases the effort must be ceaseless and untiring until the goal can be reached." - Ramana Maharshi

"The mind only gets dissolved in the Self by constant practice." - Annamalai Swami

"Be strong and keep up constant effort." - Ramana Maharshi

"Conscious, deliberate effort is needed to attain that effortless state of stillness." - Ramana Maharshi

"There must be a great battle going on inwardly all the time until the Self is realized. This battle is symbolically spoken of in scriptural writings as the fight between God and Satan." - Ramana Maharshi

"Effort is necessary up to the state of realisation. Even then the Self should spontaneously become evident. Otherwise happiness will not be complete. Up to that state of spontaneity there must be effort in some form or another." - Ramana Maharshi

"Unless you make tremendous efforts, you will not be convinced that effort will take you nowhere. The self is so self-confident that unless it is totally discouraged it will not give up. Mere verbal conviction is not enough. Hard facts alone can show the absolute nothingness of the self-image." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"I always teach in earnestness. As I have explained many times, I was always inclined to sacrifice my life for the sake of Dhamma [Dharma, truth]. No one would believe how much effort I put into the practice. Since others haven't done what I have, they cannot imagine the extraordinary effort I made for the attainment of this Supreme Dhamma. But I did put forth the effort, and here are the results. Which demonstrates the power of uncompromising diligence when it is used for the sake of Dhamma. The more determination, the better. Then one will die victorious, not badly defeated. Remember this well." - Ajahn Maha Boowa

"Maya is destroyed only by engaging with supreme effort in mouna [silence]. It is not destroyed by any other means." - Ramana Maharshi

"Being Still is not an effortless state of indolence. All mundane activities which are ordinarily called effort are performed with the aid of a portion of the mind and with frequent breaks. But the act of communion with the Self or remaining still inwardly is intense activity which is performed with the entire mind and without break. Maya (delusion or ignorance) which cannot be destroyed by any other act is completely destroyed by this intense activity which is called 'silence'." - Ramana Maharshi

"Intense effort is necessary until the I-thought disappears completely in the Heart [Self] and all the vasanas [egoistic tendencies] and samskaras [mental impressions and psychological imprints] are fried and do not revive again." - Ramana Maharshi

"You have to make an enormous effort to realise the Self. It is very easy to stop on the way and fall back into ignorance. At any moment you can fall back. You have to make a strong determined effort to remain on the peak when you first reach it, but eventually a time will come when you are fully established in the Self. When that happens, you cannot fall. You have reached your destination and no further efforts are required. Until that moment comes, constant sadhana is required." - Annamalai Swami

"If we perform sadhana to the limit of our abilities the Lord will accomplish for us that which is beyond our capabilities. If we fail to do even that which is within our capabilities, there is not the slightest fault in the grace of the Lord." - Ramana Maharshi

"Out of millions of men who try for the path, only one may endeavor for perfection, and out of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth." - Bhagavad Gita

"If one wants to abide in the thought-free state, a struggle is inevitable. One must fight one's way through before regaining one's original primal state. If one succeeds in the fight and reaches the goal, the enemy, namely the thoughts, will all subside in the Self and disappear entirely." - Ramana Maharshi

"Keep up the practice until there are no breaks. Practice alone will bring about continuity of awareness." - Ramana Maharshi

"Because truth is exceedingly subtle and serene, the bliss of the Self can manifest only in a mind rendered subtle and steady by assiduous meditation." - Ramana Maharshi

"Constant meditation is the only way. If you bring light into your room, the darkness immediately goes away. You have to see that the light is not put out. It has to be continuously burning so that there is no darkness. Until you get firmly established in the Self, you have to continue with your meditation. Doubts take possession of you only if you forget yourself." - Annamalai Swami

"You want immediate results! We do not dispense magic, here. Everybody does the same mistake: refusing the means, but wanting the ends." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Zen practice is of the greatest importance. You must decide to practice and very strongly keep this decision. This requires great faith, great courage, and great questioning. What is great faith? Great faith means that at all times you keep the mind which decided to practice, no matter what. It is like a hen sitting on her eggs. She sits on them constantly, caring for them and giving them warmth, so that they will hatch. If she becomes careless or negligent, the eggs will not hatch and become chicks. So Zen mind means always and everywhere believing in myself. I vow to become Buddha and save all people. Next, what is great courage? This means bringing all your energy to one point. It is like a cat hunting a mouse. The mouse has retreated into its hole, but the cat waits outside the hole for hours on end without the slightest movement. It is totally concentrated on the mouse-hole. This is Zen mind-cutting off all thinking and directing all your energy to one point." - Seung Sahn

"Work. Keep digging your well. Don't think about getting off from work. Water is there somewhere. Submit to daily practice. Your loyalty to that is a ring at the door. Keep knocking, and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who's there." - Rumi

"Merely talking about Reality without doing anything about it is self-defeating." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"By repeated practice one can become accustomed to turning inwards and finding the Self. One must always and constantly make an effort, until one has permanently realized. Once the effort ceases, the state becomes natural and the Supreme takes possession of the person with an unbroken current. Until it has become permanently natural and your habitual state, know that you have not realized the Self, only glimpsed it." - Ramana Maharshi

"It is the earnestness that liberates, and not the theory." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"By doing you succeed, not by arguing." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"To you who are the nature of awareness there is no connection during sleep with the body, the senses, the life force [prana] and the mind. On waking up you identify yourself with them, even without your knowledge. This is your experience. All that you have to do hereafter is see that you do not identify yourself with them. In the states of waking and dream try to remain as you were in the state of deep sleep. As you are by nature unattached, you have to convert the state of ignorant deep sleep, in which you were formless and unattached, into conscious deep sleep. It is only by doing this that you can remain established in your real nature. You should never forget that this experience will come only through long practice. This experience will make it clear that your real nature is not different from the nature of God." - Ramana Maharshi

"Meditation must be continuous. The current of meditation must be present in all your activities. With practice, meditation and work can go on simultaneously." - Annamalai Swami

"Mere listening, even memorizing, is not enough. If you do not struggle hard to apply every word of it in your daily life, don't complain that you made no progress." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"It is earnestness that will take you through, not cleverness, your own or another's." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Self-inquiry must be done continuously. It doesn't work if you regard it as a part-time activity." - Annamalai Swami

"Q: Are there no breaks at all in the jnani's awareness of the Self? For example, if he is engrossed in reading a good book, will his full attention 'be always on the book? Will he simultaneously be aware that he is the Self? AS: If there are breaks in his Self-awareness this means that he is not yet a jnani. Before one becomes established in this state without any breaks, without changes, one has to contact and enjoy this state many times. By steady meditation it finally becomes permanent. It is very difficult to attain Self-abidance, but once it is attained it is retained effortlessly and never lost. It is a little like putting a rocket into space. A great effort and great energy are required to escape the earth's gravitational field. If the rocket is not going fast enough, gravity will pull it back to earth. But once it has escaped the pull of gravity it can stay out in space quite effortlessly without falling back to earth." - Annamalai Swami

"Everything is only a concoction of time, space and energy. All else is the trite talk of people who dislike the effort of sadhana which takes them to the Self. This talk is based on their dense ignorance of the Self. Only by persistent practice and experience of sadhana (practice), can one arrive at the truth that all concepts of souls, world, and the cause thereof are just evanescent shadows on the screen of Siva-Self-Brahman." - Ribhu Gita

"If the meditation is not continuous enough, the other part of the mind becomes predominant. You have to overpower this mind that is taking you away from yourself by repeatedly doing this self-enquiry." - Annamalai Swami

"Firm resolve to discover the truth for oneself is important. It is the heart, it is necessary to hold on to enquiry till one's mind merges into its source, the heart. Ceaseless effort is needed." - Ramana Maharshi

"Abandon this ego-sense with all the strength that lies within." - Yoga Vasistha

"Don't regard the abidance in the "I am" as part-time activity. You must have a life long commitment to get yourself established in it." - Annamalai Swami

"Don't be discouraged by length of the journey, and don't slacken in your efforts to get home." - Annamalai Swami

"The one then in (deep dreamless) sleep is also now awake. There was happiness in (deep dreamless) sleep; but misery in wakefulness. There was no "I-thought" in (deep dreamless) sleep; but it is now, while awake. The state of happiness and of no "I-thought" in (deep dreamless) sleep is without effort. The aim should be to bring about that state even now. That requires effort." - Ramana Maharshi

"Only what you discover through your own awareness, your own effort, will be of permanent use to you." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Effortless and choiceless awareness is our real state. But one cannot reach it without effort, the effort of deliberate meditation. All the age-long vasanas (impressions) carry the mind outwards and turn it to external objects." - Ramana Maharshi

"I cannot solve your problem by mere words. You have to act on what I told you and persevere." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Grace and effort are both necessary. The sun is shining, but you must turn and look at it in order to catch a glimpse. Similarly, individual effort is necessary as well as Grace." - Ramana Maharshi

"Of course, everybody, every book says, "Be quiet or still." But it is not easy. That is why all this effort is necessary." - Ramana Maharshi

"Without spiritual practice (Upasana), there cannot be attainment. This is certain." - Ramana Maharshi

"There is a state beyond our efforts or effortlessness. Until that is realized, effort is necessary." - Ramana Maharshi

"When the rejection of mental activities becomes continuous and automatic, you will begin to have the experience of the Self." - Annamalai Swami

"By repeated practice one can become accustomed to turning inward and finding the Self. One must make incessant effort always until one has permanently realized. After that all effort ceases, the state becomes natural, the Supreme takes possession of the man with unbroken current. Until it has become permanently natural your habitual state, know that you have not realized the Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"You give up this and that of 'my' possessions. If you give up 'I' and 'Mine' instead, all are given up at a stroke. The very seed of possession is lost. Thus the evil is nipped in the bud or crushed in the germ itself. Dispassion must be very strong to do this. Eagerness to do it must be equal to that of a man kept under water trying to rise up to the surface for his life." - Ramana Maharshi

"Our mind does not know that if it goes to the outside world, there is nothing but suffering. It keeps running out in ignorance. When it gets the maturity, it will go inside by itself. Until then, it is our job to put it inside with effort - which we do in meditation." - Ramana Maharshi

"Dhyana [meditation, meditative state] means fight. As soon as you begin meditation other thoughts will crowd together, gather force and try to sink the single thought to which you try to hold. The good thought must gradually gain strength by repeated practice. After it has grown strong the other thoughts will be put to flight. This is the battle royal always taking place in meditation. One wants to rid oneself of misery. It requires peace of mind, which means absence of perturbation owing to all kinds of thoughts. Peace of mind is brought about by Dhyana alone." - Ramana Maharshi

"Self-enquiry (vichara) is to dive deep into yourself and seek the place from which the "I-thought" arises in you and to hold on to it firmly to the exclusion of any other thought. Continuous and persistent effort would lead to the Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"It was my experience that through continuous sadhana (practice) I gradually relaxed into the Self. It was a gradual process." - Annamalai Swami

"Ceaseless practice is essential until one attains without the least effort that natural and primal state of mind which is free from thought, in other words, until the 'I', 'my' and 'mine' are completely eradicated and destroyed." - Ramana Maharshi

"You have to be very alert, or else your mind will play false with you. It is like watching a thief - not that you expect anything from a thief, but you do not want to be robbed." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"It is easy, the concentration on the Self, for him who has qualities like dispassion, discrimination, one-pointed mind, renunciation, etc. For the rest, it is either less or more, depending on how much one has these qualities. For those who are not prepared, it is very difficult, if not impossible." - Ramana Maharshi

"The best meditation is that which continues in all the three states. It must be so intense that it does not give room even to the thought 'I am meditating'." - Ramana Maharshi

"Don't worry about whether you are making progress or not. Just keep your attention on the Self twenty-four hours a day. Meditation is not something that should be done in a particular position at a particular time. It is an awareness and an attitude that must persist throughout the day. To be effective, meditation must be continuous. If you want to water a field you dig a channel to the field and send water continuously along it for a lengthy period of time. If you send water for only ten seconds and then stop, the water sinks into the ground even before it reaches the field. You will not be able to reach the Self and stay there, without a prolonged, continuous effort. Each time you give up trying, or get distracted, some of your previous effort goes to waste. Continuous inhalation and exhalation are necessary for the continuance of life. Continuous meditation is necessary for all those who want to stay in the Self." - Annamalai Swami

"Each time a thought rears its head crush it with the enquiry. To crush out all thoughts at their source is called vairagya (dispassion). So vichara (Self-enquiry) continues to be necessary until the Self is realized. What is required is continuous and uninterrupted remembrance of the Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"To go beyond the mind, you must have your mind in perfect order. You cannot leave a mess behind and go beyond. He who seeks Liberation must examine his mind by his own efforts, and once the mind is purified by such introspection Liberation is obtained and appears obvious and natural. Q: "Then why are sadhanas prescribed?" Nisargadatta: Freedom to do what one likes is really bondage, while being free to do what one must, what is right, is real freedom. Q: "How can the absolute be the result of a process?" Nisargadatta: You are right, the relative cannot result in the absolute. But the relative can block the absolute, just as the non-churning of the cream may prevent butter from separating. It is the real that creates the urge; the inner prompts the outer and the outer responds in interest and effort. You seem to want instant insight, forgetting that the instant is always preceded by a long preparation. The fruit falls suddenly, but the ripening takes time."  - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Just look away from all that happens in your mind and bring it to the feeling 'I am'. The 'I am' is not a direction. It is the negation of all direction. Ultimately even the 'I am' will have to go, for you need not keep on asserting what is obvious. Bringing the mind to the feeling 'I am' merely helps in turning the mind away from everyting else. When the mind is kept away from its preoccupations, it becomes quiet. If you do not disturb this quiet and stay in it, you find that it is permeated with a light and a love you have never known. And yet you recognize it at one as your own nature. Once you have passed through this experience, you will never be the same man again, the unruly mind may break its peace and obliterate its vision, but it is bound to return, provided the effort is sustained, until the day when all bonds are broken, delusions and attachments end, and life becomes supremely concentrated in the present." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Only to such a mind which has gained the inner strength of one-pointedness, Self-enquiry will be successful. But a weak mind will be like wet wood put into the fire of jnana-vichara." - Ramana Maharshi

"You are neck-deep in water and yet cry for water. It is as good as saying that one neck-deep in water feels thirsty, or that a fish in water feels thirsty, or that water feels thirsty. Grace is always there. Dispassion cannot be acquired, nor realization of the truth, nor inherence in the Self, in the absence of Guru's grace. But practice is also necessary. Staying in the Self by one's efforts is like training a roguish bull confined to his stall by tempting him with luscious grass and preventing him from straying." - Ramana Maharshi

"Try to be, only to be. The all-important word is 'try'. Allow enough time daily for sitting quietly and trying, just trying, to go beyond the personality with its addictions and obsessions. Don't ask how, it cannot be explained. You just keep on trying until you succeed. If you persevere, there can be no failure. What matters supremely is sincerity, earnestness. You must really have had surfeit of being the person you are. Now see the urgent need of being free of this unnecessary self-identification with a bundle of memories and habits. This steady resistance against the unnecessary is the secret of success." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"If you have regard for me, remember my words. The knowledge 'I Am' is the greatest God, the Guru; be one with that , be intimate with it. That itself will bless you with all the knowledge relevant for you and in the proliferation of that knowledge it will lead you to the state which is eternal. You will become mature enough to be in the province of that nirguna (without attributes) state. You cannot convert a raw mango into a ripe mango, full of juice, overnight. It must pass through the course of time to maturity." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Be still and know that I AM GOD". Stillness is the aim of the seeker. Even a single effort to still at least a single thought even for a trice goes a long way to reach the state of quiescence. Effort is required, and it is possible in the waking state only." - Ramana Maharshi

"How can you break through the barrier and know personally, intimately, what it means to be immutable? The word itself is the bridge. Remember it, think of it, explore it, go round it, look at it from all directions, dive into it with earnest perseverance: endure all delays and disappointments till suddenly the mind turns round, away from the word, towards the reality beyond the word. It is like trying to find a person knowing his name only. A day comes when your inquiries bring you to him and the name becomes reality. Words are valuable, for between the word and its meaning there is a link and if one investigates the word assiduously, one crosses beyond the concept into the experience at the root of it. As a matter of fact, such repeated attempts to go beyond the words is what is called meditation." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Concentration is not thinking of one thing. On the contrary, it is excluding all thoughts, since all thoughts obstruct the sense of one's true being. All efforts are to be directed simply to removing the veil of ignorance. Concentrating the mind solely on the Self will lead to happiness or bliss. Drawing in the thoughts, restraining them and preventing them from straying outwards is called detachment (vairagya). Fixing them in the Self is spiritual practice (sadhana). Concentrating on the heart is the same as concentrating on the Self. Heart is another name for Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"You have to keep up the enquiry, "To whom is this happening?" all the time. If you are having trouble remind yourself, "This is just happening on the surface of my mind. I am not this mind or the wandering thoughts". Then go back into enquiry "Who am I?". By doing this you will penetrate deeper and deeper and become detached from the mind. This will only come about after you have made an intense effort." - Annamalai Swami

"My advice to you is very simple, just remember yourself, just remember 'I am', it is enough to heal your mind and take you beyond, just have some trust. I don't mislead you. Why should I? Do I want anything from you? I wish you well, such is my nature. Why should I mislead you? Common sense too will tell you that to fulfill a desire you must keep your mind on it. If you want to know your true nature, you must have yourself (I am) in mind all the time, until the secret of your being stands revealed." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Realization of the self comes through both effort and grace. When one makes a steady effort to abide in the self one receives the guru's grace in abundance. The grace comes not only through the form of one's guru. When you meditate earnestly all the Jivanmukthas of the past and the present respond to your efforts by sending you blessings of light." - Annamalai Swami

"A young man from Colombo asked Bhagavan: "J. Krishnamurti teaches the method of effortless and choiceless awareness as distinct from that of deliberate concentration. Would Sri Bhagavan be pleased to explain how best to practise meditation and what form the object of meditation should take?" Ramana: Effortless and choiceless awareness is our real nature. If we can attain it or be in that state, it is all right. But one cannot reach it without effort, the effort of deliberate meditation. All the age-long vasanas carry the mind outward and turn it to external objects. All such thoughts have to be given up and the mind turned inward. For that, effort is necessary for most people. Of course everybody, every book says: "Summa iru" ("Be quiet or still"). But it is not easy. That is why all this effort is necessary. Even if we find one who has at once achieved the mauna or Supreme state indicated by "Summa iru", you may take it that the effort necessary has already been finished in a previous life. So that, effortless and choiceless awareness is reached only after deliberate meditation. That meditation can take any form which appeals to you best. See what helps you to keep away all other thoughts and adopt that method for your meditation." - Ramana Maharshi

"My teacher told me to hold on to the sense 'I am' tenaciously and not to swerve from it even for a moment. I did my best to follow his advice and in a comparatively short time I realized within myself the truth of his teaching. All I did was to remember his teaching, his face, his words constantly. This brought an end to the mind. In the stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am - unbound." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Q: Is it better to meditate for long periods of time or for short periods? AS: Except when one is in the sleep state, the effort to meditate should continue always. Just like the river which is flowing constantly towards the sea, our awareness should flow without a break. We should not have this concept that we should meditate at certain times. The meditation on the Self should continue while walking, working, eating, etc. It should be naturally flowing in all places at all times." - Annamalai Swami

"Self-Enquiry (vichara) is the process and the goal also. 'I Am' is the goal and the final Reality. To hold to it with effort is vichara. When spontaneous and natural it is Realisation." - Ramana Maharshi

"When I met my guru, he told me: 'You are not what you take yourself to be. Find out what you are. Watch the sense 'I am', find your real self'. I obeyed him, because I trusted him. I did as he told me. All my spare time I would spend looking at myself in silence. And what difference it made, and how soon! It took me only three years to realize my true nature." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"No way to self-realization is short or long, but some people are more in earnest and some are less. I can tell you about myself. I was a simple man, but I trusted my Guru. What he told me to do, I did. He told me to concentrate on 'I am' - I did. He told me that I am beyond all perceivables and conceivables - I believed. I gave my heart and soul, my entire attention and the whole of my spare time (I had to work to keep my family alive). As a result of faith and earnest application, I realized my Self within three years. You may choose any way that suits you; your earnestness will determine the rate of progress. Establish yourself firmly in the awareness of 'I am'. This is the beginning and also the end of all endeavour." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Go deeply into this feeling of 'I'. Be aware of it so strongly and so intensely that no other thoughts have the energy to arise and distract you. If you hold this feeling of 'I' long enough and strongly enough, the false 'I' will vanish leaving only the unbroken awareness of the real, immanent 'I', consciousness itself." - Annamalai Swami

"As you persevere more and more in the practice of Self-enquiry, the mind acquires increasing strength and power to abide in its Source." - Ramana Maharshi

"The Guru guides you and tells you that what you have done is not enough. If you are filling a bucket with water, you can always add more if there is still space. But when it is completely full, full to overflowing, it is pointless to add even a single drop. You may think that you have done enough, and you may believe that your bucket is full, but the Guru is in a better position to see that there is still a space, and that more water needs to be added. Don't rely on your own judgement in this matter. The state you have reached may seem to be complete and final, but if the Guru says, "You need more sadhana", trust him and carry on with your efforts." - Annamalai Swami

"I may talk non-duality to some of the people who come here. That is not for you and you should not pay any attention to what I am telling others. The book of my conversations [I Am That] should not be taken as the last word on my teachings. I had given some answers to questions of certain individuals. Those answers were intended for those people and not for all. Instruction can be on an individual basis only. The same medicine cannot be prescribed for all. Nowadays people are full of intellectual conceit. They have no faith in the ancient traditional practices leading up to Self-Knowledge. They want everything served to them on a platter. The path of Knowledge makes sense to them and because of that they may want to practice it. They will then find that it requires more concentration than they can muster and, slowly becoming humble, they will finally take up easier practices like repetition of a mantra or worship of a form. Slowly the belief in a Power greater than themselves will dawn on them and a taste for devotion will sprout in their heart. Then only will it be possible for them to attain purity of mind and concentration. The conceited have to go a very round-about way. Therefore I say that devotion is good enough for you." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Self-enquiry is certainly not an empty formula; it is more than the repetition of any mantra. If the enquiry: 'Who am I?' were mere mental questioning, it would not be of much value. The very purpose of Self-enquiry is to focus the entire mind at its source. It is not, therefore, a case of one 'I' searching for another 'I'. Much less is Self-enquiry an empty formula, for it involves an intense activity of the entire mind to keep it steadily poised in pure Self-awareness. Self-enquiry is the one infallible means, the only direct one, to realise the unconditioned, absolute Being that you really are." - Ramana Maharshi

"Q: Did you get your own realisation through effort or by the grace of your Guru? M: His was the teaching and mine was the trust. My confidence in him made me accept his words as true, go deep into them, live them, and that is how I came to realise what I am. The Guru's person and words made me trust him and my trust made them fruitful. Q: But can a Guru give realisation without words, without trust, just like this, without any preparation? M: Yes, one can, but where is the taker? You see, I was so attuned to my Guru, so completely trusting him. there was so little of resistance in me, that it all happened easily and quickly. But not everybody is so fortunate. Laziness and restlessness often stand in the way and until they are seen and removed, the progress is slow. All those who have realised on the spot, by mere touch, look or thought, have been ripe for it. But such are very few. The majority needs some time for ripening. Sadhana is accelerated ripening. Q: What makes one ripe? What is the ripening factor? M: Earnestness of course, one must be really anxious. After all, the realised man is the most earnest man. Whatever he does, he does it completely, without limitations and reservations. Integrity will take you to reality." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Even after the Truth has been realized, there remains that strong impression that one is still an ego - the agent and experiencer. This has to be carefully removed by living in a state of constant identification with the Supreme non-dual Self. Full awakening is the eventual ceasing of all the mental impressions of being an ego." - Adi Shankara

"Go on practising. Your concentration will be as easy as breathing. That will be the crown of your achievements." - Ramana Maharshi

"If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair." - C.S. Lewis

"You will fight a thousand battles before you capture the citadel of Dharmakaya [transcendence, truth, enlightenment]." - Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

"Q: Is there anything I can do to make myself Enlightened? A: As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning. Q: Then of what use are the spiritual excercises you prescribe? A: To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise." - A. De Mello

"If one wants to abide in the thought-free state, a struggle is inevitable. One must fight one's way through before regaining one's original primal state. If one succeeds in the fight and reaches the goal, the enemy, namely the thoughts, will all subside in the Self and disappear entirely. The thoughts are the enemy. They amount to the creation of the Universe. In their absence there is neither the world nor God the Creator. The Bliss of the Self is the single Being only." - Ramana Maharshi

"Question: But the mind slips away from our control. M: "Be it so. Do not think of it. When you recollect yourself bring it back and turn it inward. That is enough. No one succeeds without effort. Mind control is not one's birthright. The successful few owe their success to their perseverance." - Ramana Maharshi

"Questioner: Then should all spiritual disciplines be dropped? Nisargadatta: At the highest level this is so; at the earlier levels you have to do your homework." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The Necessity of Serious Sadhana - 1. In order that your mind should become firm, observe with full attention your duty, which is the practice of sadhana. 2. Instead of practicing sadhana superficially, follow it intensively in such a way that your mind is totally immersed in it. 3. Only the aspiration towards the fair firmament of supreme consciousness, which has no final goal other than Mauna [Silence], is most worthy endeavor. 4. Grace will not combine with a bat-like mentality. Stick with intensity to one path. Bats nibble at one fruit and fly away, looking for another fruit to nibble at. They never stay long enough in one place to finish a single fruit. 5. All meditation practices are the means that enable the attainment of the strength of mind that is necessary for Atmanishta [Realization]." - Ramana Maharshi

"Does sleep lead you to Mukti [Liberation]? It is wrong to suppose that simple inactivity leads one to Mukti." - Ramana Maharshi

"The Self is found by practice alone, although it is here and now." - Ramana Maharshi

"The 'lazy' state of just being and shining is the state of the Self, and that is the highest state that one can attain. Revere as the most virtuous those who have attained that 'lazy' state which cannot be attained except by very great and rare tapas [deep meditation and effort to achieve self-realization]." - Ramana Maharshi

"It is necessary to practice meditation frequently and regularly until the condition induced becomes habitual and permanent during the day. Therefore meditate. You lost sight of the bliss because your meditative attitude had not become natural and because of the recurrence of vasanas [conditioning and tendencies]. When you become habitually reflective and inwards bent, the enjoyment of spiritual beatitude becomes a matter of natural experience. It is not by a single realization, "I am not the body but the atman" that the goal is reached. Do we become high in position by once seeing a king? One must constantly enter into samadhi and realize one's Self and completely blot out the old vasanas and the ego, before he becomes the Self. If you keep to the thought of the Self, and be intently watching for It then even that one thought which is used as a focus in concentration will disappear and you will BE the true Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"It is not enough to wish from time to time that you could be free of samsara. That idea must pervade your stream of thinking, day and night. A prisoner locked in jail thinks all the time about different ways of getting free - how he might climb over the walls, ask powerful people to intervene, or raise money to bribe someone. So, too, seeing the suffering and imperfection of samsara, never stop thinking about how to gain liberation, with a deep feeling of renunciation." – Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

"Swarupa, the supreme, is in the Heart, the abode of the virtuous. To be qualified to have the darshan of this swarupa one only has to keep the outward-rushing mind fixed fully within, maintaining continuous vigil over it. Know that this is true heroism." - Ramana Maharshi

"You should have nothing less than rock-solid determination, unrelenting resolve, and the courage to fight off 10,000 enemies by yourself rather than fail in your quest for liberation. And if you give your everything towards achieving eternal liberation and sacrifice your all for your buddha nature, you will no doubt reach the goal of eternal life." - Tong Songchol

"A devotee asked Ramana Maharshi: "Why do we need to meditate? I say it is "my mind" - then should it not listen to me and meditate by itself when I tell it to? Why does it keep running outside all the time?" Ramana Maharshi kept silent at that time. At about the same time, a squirrel had given birth in the ashram, and unfortunately a few days later the mother squirrel got eaten by a cat. Ramana Maharishi took the job of taking care of the baby squirrels. He kept them inside a cage that was kept in the mediation hall. After a few days when everyone was sitting in the meditation hall, the same cat came inside. It so happened that the baby squirrels rushed out of the cage at the same time. Ramana Maharishi got up hurriedly, caught all the baby squirrels one by one and put them back in the cage and locked the door firmly shut. He then turned to the devotee that had asked the above question and calmly said - *"These poor little squirrels do not have the maturity to know the dangers of the outside world, that if it goes out, the cat will make a meal of them. When they get that maturity, they will go hide inside by themselves. Until they get the maturity, we have to keep putting them inside. It is the same thing with our mind. Our mind does not know that if it goes to the outside world, there is nothing but suffering. It keeps running out in ignorance. When it gets the maturity, it will go inside by itself. Until then, it is our job to put it inside with effort - which we do in meditation." - Ramana Maharshi

"Bliss will ensue if you keep still, but however much you tell your mind this truth, it will not keep still. It is the mind that tells the mind to be still in order for it to attain bliss,but it will not do it. Though all the scriptures have said it and though we hear it daily from the great ones and even from our Guru, we are never quiet but stray into the world of Maya (illusion) and sense objects. That is why conscious, deliberate effort is needed to attain that effortless state of stillness." - Ramana Maharshi

"Practice is power. If thoughts are reduced to a single thought, the mind is said to have grown strong. When practice remains unshaken, it becomes sahaja (natural)." - Ramana Maharshi

"Q: I was told that the liberating action of satsang is automatic. Just like a river carries one to the estuary, so the subtle and silent influence of good people will take me to reality. Maharaj: It will take you to the river, but the crossing is your own. Freedom cannot be gained nor kept without will-to-freedom. You must strive for liberation; the least you can do is uncover and remove the obstacles diligently. If you want peace you must strive for it. You will not get peace just by keeping quiet." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Even among those in the assembly now who acknowledge what I say, there are some who merely teach the Unborn with their mouths and don't continually abide in the Unborn, people who only know about the Unborn, people of merely intellectual understanding. From the standpoint of the Unborn, intellectual understanding too is empty speculation, so you can't say such a person has conclusively realized the Unborn. When you come right down to it, this kind of approach is worthless. It's worthless if you only talk when to start with, you yourself haven't left everything to the Buddha Mind's unborn and marvelously illuminating [activity]; you don't live by the teaching or function with the Unborn at all times and in all things—you fail to practice it yourself and only teach what you know intellectually, so there's no way others are going to acknowledge it. If you don't truly acknowledge my sermon, truly practice it, truly manifest it, but just teach others what you've grasped intellectually, they can't possibly realize it themselves. In the end, this only leads to blaspheming the Dharma. So, although people who've experienced some 'realization' will turn up from time to time, there hasn't yet been one who acts according to his realization in all his affairs right here and now. To understand is easy; to practice is hard." - Zen Master Bankei Yotaku

"All the age long vasanas [conditioning and tendencies] carry the mind outwards and turn it to external objects. All such thoughts have to be given up and the mind turned inward. For that effort is necessary, for most people." - Ramana Maharshi

"Q: When we fall from the path what is to be done? A: It will come all right in the end. There is the steady determination that gets you on your feet again after a downfall or break. Gradually the obstacles get weaker and your current stronger. Everything comes right in the end. Steady determination is the thing required. Q: The tendencies distract me. Can they be cast off? A: Yes. Others have done so. Therefore, believe it. They did so because they believed they could. It can be done by concentration on That which is free from predispositions, and yet is their core." - Ramana Maharshi

"Effort is necessary so long as thoughts are promiscuous. Because you are with other thoughts, you call the continuity of a single thought, meditation or dhyana. If that dhyana becomes effortless it will be found to be your real nature." - Ramana Maharshi

"Impeccable effort. Dipa Ma's greatest gift was to me was showing me what was possible - and living it. She was impeccable about effort. People with this ability to make effort are not disheartened by how long it takes, how difficult it is It takes months, it takes years, it doesn't matter, because the courage of the heart is there. She gave the sense that with right effort anything is possible." - Joseph Goldstein

"Question: There is the desire to bad habits but the force of the vasanas is very strong. What are we to do? Ramana: There must be human effort to discard them. Good company, good contacts, good deeds and all such good practices must be acquired in order to eliminate the vasanas. As you keep on trying, eventually with the ripening of the mind and with God’s grace, the vasanas get extinguished and efforts succeed. That is called purushakaram (human effort)." - Ramana Maharshi

HUMILITY / SURRENDER / EFFACEMENT

"Only humility can destroy the ego. The ego keeps you far away from God. The door to God is open, but the lintel is very low. To enter one has to bend." - Ramana Maharshi

"Recede. Recede." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." - Rumi

"Die to yourself and lose yourself." - Ramana Maharshi

"Look and where you find yourself, renounce yourself. There is the highest. Know that never anyone has renounced himself enough so that he doesn't find to renounce himself more. Start from there, die on the task: it's there that you'll find real peace and nowhere else." - Master Eckhart

"There are so many who take the dawn for the noon, a momentary experience for full realisation and destroy even the little they gain by excess of pride. Humility and silence are essential for a sadhaka, however advanced." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"To dive into oneself, into the depths of oneself, to forget one's own self. To lose oneself in this divine AHAM (I) which is at the origin of my being, of this consciousness that I have, that I am. It's not me who reaches the bottom, that's the bottom itself which is revealing itself in the annihilation of this "me". All I can do is sink deep, but if I sink, I wake up: resurrexi et adhuc tecum sum (I am born again, and I woke up and still I am with You) - Henri Le Saux

"What you gave up is of no importance now. What have you not given up? Find that out and give up that. Sadhana is a search for what to give up. Empty yourself completely." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"You must become very small. In fact you must become nothing. Only a person who is nobody can abide in the Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"Abandon this ego-sense with all the strength that lies within." - Yoga Vasistha

"You yourself are your own obstacle. Rise above yourself." - Hafiz

"Leave greatness to others. Become so small that no one can see you." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Not until someone dissolves, can he or she know what union is. That descends only into emptiness." - Rumi

"Never stand still on the path; become non-existent; non-existent even to the notion of becoming non-existent. And when you have abandoned both individuality and understanding, this world will become that." - Hakim Sanai (12th century, Persia, Afghanistan)

"Complete surrender to God means giving up all thoughts and concentrating the mind on Him. If we can concentrate on Him, other thoughts disappear. If the actions of the mind, speech and body are merged with God, all the burdens of our life will be on him." - Ramana Maharshi

"If you let go of the branch to which you are clinging without catching hold of another, you fall into the heart. You have to be willing to die. Let everything you know slip away, everything you have been taught, everything you possess, including your life, or at least everything that you think at this stage is your life. This requires courage. It is a kind of suicide." - Francis Lucille

"If you are unwilling to undress, don't enter into the stream of Truth." - Rumi

"When you surrender you're surrendering the ego. The way this is done, is by looking at the world with humility. Looking at the world with love and peace. Saying to yourself "Not my will but thine". Feeling that you have no will of your own any longer. You have no questions, you have no wants, you have no desires, you let them all melt in your heart. You leave it alone. You stop worrying, you stop fretting. You stop trying to accomplish things or to change things. By realizing there is a power greater than you. It's available to you right now. As you do this you're surrendering all of your wants, all of your needs, all of your fears, all of your stuff that you've been carrying on with all these years. You're surrendering it all. Everything must go, everything." - Robert Adams

"Of course, when there is total surrender, complete relinquishment of all concern with one's past, present and future, with one's physical and spiritual security and standing, a new life dawns, full of love and beauty; then the Guru is not important, for the disciple has broken the shell of self-defense. Complete self-surrender by itself is liberation." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Being a Sufi is to put away what is in your head - imagined truth, preconceptions, conditioning - and to face what may happen to you." - Abu Said (The Way of the Sufi)

"Complete effacement of the ego is necessary to conquer destiny, whether you achieve this effacement through Self-enquiry or through bhakti-marga [devotion, surrender]." - Ramana Maharshi

"To praise is to praise how one surrenders to the emptiness." - Rumi

"If you want to become full, let yourself be empty. If you want to be reborn, let yourself die. If you want to be given everything, give everything up." - Lao Tzu

"Take the lowest place and you shall reach the highest." - Milarepa

"Do not seek superiority that much, it is better to be unimportant." - Rumi

"A powerful spiritual practice is consciously to allow the diminishment of ego when it happens without attempting to restore it. I recommend that you experiment with this from time to time. For example, when someone criticizes you, blames you, or calls you names, instead of immediately retaliating or defending yourself - do nothing. Allow the self-image to remain diminished and become alert to what that feels like deep inside of you. For a few seconds, it may feel uncomfortable, as if you had shrunk in size. Then you may sense an inner spaciousness that feels intensely alive. You haven't diminished at all. In fact, you have expanded. You may then come to an amazing realization: When you are seemingly diminished in some way and remain in absolute non-reaction, not just externally but also internally, you realize that nothing real has been diminished, that though becoming "less," you become more. When you no longer defend or attempt to strengthen the form of yourself, you step out of identification with form, with mental self-image. Though becoming less (in the ego's perception), you in fact undergo an expansion and make room for Being to come forward. True power, who you are beyond form, can then shine through the apparently weakened form. This is what Jesus means when he says, "Deny yourself" or "Turn the other cheek."" - Eckhart Tolle

"Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9% of everything you think and of everything you do, is for yourself - and there isn't one." - Wei Wu Wei

"True poverty - Who's the man really poor? The one for whom the world doesn't exist, nor God, nor body, nor soul." - Angelus Silesius

"To find All by losing all is what is wanted." - Sri Anandamayi Ma

"I have seen my Lord with the eye of my heart, and I said: 'Who are You?' He said: 'You'." - Mansur Al-Hallaj

"Between me and You, there is only me. Take away the me, so only You remain." - Mansur Al-Hallaj

"Oh you who have been removed from God in his solitude by the abyss of time, how can you expect to reach him without dying?" - Mansur Al-Hallaj

"A man willing to die for truth will get it." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"All the doors to God are crowded except for one: the door of humility and humbleness." - Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani

"If you completely surrender all your responsibilities to me, I will accept them as mine and manage them. When bearing the entire burden remains my responsibility, why do you have any worries?" - Ramana Maharshi

"There are two ways. One is looking into the source of 'I' and merging into that source. The other is feeling "I am helpless by myself, God alone is all-powerful and except by throwing myself completely on him, there is no other means of safety for me". By this method one gradually develops the conviction that God alone exists and that the ego does not count. Both methods lead to the same goal. Complete surrender is another name for jnana or liberation." - Ramana Maharshi

"Surrender totally to your own Self." - Robert Adams

"Blessed are the poor in spirit. He is a poor man who knows nothing. We have sometimes said that a man should live as if he did not live either for himself, or for truth, or for God. But now we will speak differently and go further, and say: For a man to possess this poverty he must live so that he is unaware that he does not live for himself, or for truth, or for God. He must be so lacking in all knowledge that he neither knows nor recognizes nor feels that God lives in him: more still, he must be free of all the understanding that lives in him. For when that man stood in the eternal being of God nothing else lived in him: what lived there was himself. Therefore we declare that a man should be as free from his own knowledge as he was when he was not. That man should let God work as He will, and himself stand idle." - Meister Eckhart

"Grace is ever present. All that is necessary is that you surrender to it." - Ramana Maharshi

"There are people in the world who do more good than all the statesmen and philanthropists put together. They radiate light and peace with no intention or knowledge. When others tell them about the miracles they worked, they also are wonder struck. Yet, taking nothing as their own, they are neither proud, nor do they crave for reputation. They are just unable to desire anything for themselves, not even the joy of helping others." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"For someone whose guide is love, belief and disbelief are equally a veil, concealing the doorway of the friend; his very being is a veil which hides God's essence." - Hakim Sanai

"Stay without ambition, without the least desire, exposed, vulnerable, unprotected, uncertain and alone, completely open to and welcoming life as it happens, without the selfish conviction that all must yield you pleasure or profit, material or so-called spiritual." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Give me your burdens." - Ramana Maharshi

"The more one gives up the more one gets. When all is given up, ALL is achieved." - Brahmajna Ma

"For if one says that he has experienced the Self, it has implied that he has taken himself to be different from the Self. The real test is when one has no sense of oneself." - Siddharameshwar Maharaj

"It is dangerous for some people to just teach Jnana Marga path [way of knowledge, direct path] by itself. For egotistical people become greater egotists. It builds up your ego. You have to have humility first, and go through all these things we discussed. If you really want to do this, you will. You will not do this by taking action, but by sitting in the Silence and surrendering your mind and your body to your Self. I AM will take care of itself." - Robert Adams

"In soham (the affirmation of "I am He") there is dvaita (dualism). In surrender there is advaita (non-dualism). In the reality there is neither dvaita nor advaita, but that which is. Surrender appears easy because people imagine that, once they say with their lips "I surrender" and put their burdens on their Lord, they can be free and do what they like. But the fact is that you can have no likes or dislikes after your surrender; your will should become completely non-existent." - Ramana Maharshi

"There's something within you that knows what to do. There is a power greater than you that knows how to take care of you without your help. All you've got to do is to surrender to it. Surrender your thoughts, your mind, your ego, to the current that knows the way. It will take care of you. It will take better care of you than you can ever imagine." - Robert Adams

"Nothing can make you happier than you are. All search for happiness is misery and leads to more misery. The only happiness worth the name is the natural happiness of conscious being." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"If you renounce, and give up everything, what remains is only moksha [Liberation]." - Ramana Maharshi

"To be, you must be nobody." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Those whose egos have died have reached the state of immortality. Those with inflated egos are truly dead." - Ramana Maharshi

"Sadhana is a search for what to give up. Empty yourself completely." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"When your mind begins to think, stop it, catch it, put an end to it. Many of you are still under the impression that you come to hear lectures, talks. Let me ask you, how many lectures, how many talks have you been to all of your life? And what has it done for you? It simply adds more confusion. Always remember what you are trying to do. You're not trying to add more knowledge to your ignorance. You're trying to empty yourself of all your knowledge, all of your ignorance, everything that you have accumulated. You want to become empty. Yet most people seem to go to different teachers, read many books, and they add on. They keep adding, adding, adding, adding, adding. Yet the day must come in your life, when you stand naked before God, so-to-speak, when you have no crutches to hold onto. All the books are gone, there are no more teachers for you, there's no one to ask for help, there's no one to ask if you're on the right path. It is then that your sadhana actually begins. Ponder this very well. Your sadhana, your spiritual practice does not begin when you've gone to many teachers, and you've read many books. It actually begins when you give up everything. That's when real sadhana begins, when you have surrendered everything, when you've emptied yourself of all knowledge, all desires for liberation. When you have become an empty shell, then your spiritual life begins. Until that time you're only playing games with yourself." - Robert Adams

"It is only with total humility, and in absolute stillness of mind that we can know what indeed we are." - Wei Wu Wei

"Let whatever happens happen, and don’t be anxious about anything. Have steadfast conviction that you are the Self. One who worries will never be happy. Children are happy. Why is this? This is because children do not worry. One who inspite of having the "Knowledge of Brahman," worries, will not enjoy inner happiness. One who worries will never be happy. One who aims at the "Bliss of Brahman," must give up all anxiety and worry. One who gives up anxiety is supremely happy. There is only one way. One must have the willingness to renounce. There should be no desire even if a kingdom is given, and there should be no care, even if the world is drowned." - Siddharameshwar Maharaj

"If you offer yourself totally, you will be the Supreme Self, Paramatman. You will attain That." - Siddharameshwar Maharaj

"God, whose love and joy are present everywhere, cannot come to visit you unless you are not there." - Angelus Silesius

"When in trouble, you can say, "SELF, here I am again in trouble. I have no idea what to do next, but you are really me, even though you're all-pervading, you're expressing as myself. You know what to do. I therefore, surrender completely to you. I surrender my body, I surrender my affairs, I surrender my world. I have no need to worry or fret. You will take care of everything." And you let go. If you can only learn to do this first, before you take any other action, you will be pleasantly surprised what happens." - Robert Adams

"When you are confronted by a difficult situation and you do not know what to do or how to react, there is something you can do. You can immediately say to yourself, "Consciousness is the only power". This is a very powerful statement." - Robert Adams

"Let any amount of burden be laid on Him, He will bear it all." - Ramana Maharshi

"Do not bear the burden yourself. Throw all responsibility on God." - Ramana Maharshi

"He who gives himself up to the Self that is God is the most excellent devotee. Giving one self up to God, means constantly remembering the Self. Whatever burdens are thrown on God, He bears them all. Since the supreme power of God makes all things move, why should we, without submitting ourselves to it, constantly worry ourselves with thoughts as to what should be done and how, and what should not be done and how not? We know that the train carries all loads, so after getting on it why should we carry our small luggage on our head to our discomfort, instead of putting it down in the train and feeling at ease?" - Ramana Maharshi

"Self-surrender is the surrender of all self-concern. It cannot be done, it happens when you realize your true nature. Verbal self-surrender, even when accompanied by feeling, is of little value and breaks down under stress. At the best it shows an aspiration, not an actual fact." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"There are three main virtues that you have to acquire in order to become liberated. Most of us believe and think, in Advaita Vedanta, that if you hear the right word, if you awaken through the grace of the Sage, you will be free. This is true in some cases. But these people that you have read about in the holy books, who were touched by the grace of the Sage, these people have done their homework, prior to this happening. You have to want it yourself, and when you want it bad enough something will happen to you. When you desire liberation more than anything else in life, this means you have begun to give up the rest of your stuff that we talked about. That's the only way to desire liberation. This is a legitimate desire, because you're not really asking for something, you are giving up the stuff you don't need anymore, your anger, your pettiness, your bad disposition, your temper, your greed, all of the things we were carrying around for so long. This is how you desire liberation, by speaking to the Lord within you, in total surrender. "Lord take my anger, take my greed, take my bad disposition, take my temper", and you give it up totally. Once you do this, automatically you are liberated. So you see, it's not the other way around. It's not trying to find freedom, liberation, self-realization, to add to what we already are. Hear this. You cannot add one iota to what you already are, because you are full up with your own garbage. You therefore have to empty the garbage can, turn yourself upside down and empty yourself out, and it is then that you will find that you are already free. And even as I talk to you about these things, some of you here are so filled with yourself, small "s", with your ego, that you'll never, never, never let go completely and give up all your stuff, for your ego has been telling you all of these years, if you do this you'll be nowhere. But isn't this exactly where you want to be? Nowhere. When you are nowhere you're not somewhere, and in the nowhere there is nothing. This nothing is everything. This no thing, this nothing, is what we call effortless pure awareness, absolute reality, sat-chit-ananda, nirvana. It is what is left over after you have given up all your stuff. Yet there are three virtues that are most important, most important for you to achieve, before enlightenment. Every enlightened person on this earth, everyone who has been liberated, has had these virtues, and you cannot be realized without them. The first one is compassion, the second one is humility, and the third one is service." - Robert Adams

"There are two ways; one is looking into the source of 'I' and merging into that source. The other is feeling "I am helpless by myself, God alone is all-powerful and except throwing myself completely on him, there is no other means of safety for me", and thus gradually developing the conviction that God alone exists and the ego does not count. Both methods lead to the same goal. Complete surrender is another name for jnana or liberation." - Ramana Maharshi

"If you remain in the "don't want" state, everything will come to you." - Ramana Maharshi

SILENCE / NO THOUGHTS / STILLNESS OF MIND

"Stop thinking, and end your problems." - Lao Tzu

"The fastest way to become awakened is to stop the mind from thinking. There's no faster way." - Robert Adams

"The highest form of Grace is Silence. It is also the highest spiritual instruction." - Ramana Maharshi

"For a seeker of reality, there is only one meditation - the rigorous refusal to harbor thoughts. To be free from thoughts is itself meditation." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"To remain without thought in the waking state is the greatest worship." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Keep the mind before thinking." - Seung Sahn

"Your ultimate need is to get established in the changeless peace of the Self. For this you have to give up all thoughts." - Annamalai Swami

"It is within your competence to think and become bound or cease thinking and thus be free." - Ramana Maharshi

"All the present troubles are due to thoughts and are themselves thoughts. So give up thoughts. That is happiness." - Ramana Maharshi

"Silence is the main factor. In peace and silence you grow." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"In samadhi there is only the feeling "I am" and no thoughts." - Ramana Maharshi

"That which is, is peace. All that we need do is to keep quiet. Peace is our real nature. We spoil it. What is required is that we cease to spoil it." - Ramana Maharshi

"To enter into that silence to melt away in its unfathomable bliss is the aim of all who would partake of the holiest of sacraments." - Ramana Maharshi

"Be quiet, that is Truth. Be still, that is God." - Ramana Maharshi

"Be free from thoughts. Do not hold on to anything. They do not hold you. Be yourself." - Ramana Maharshi

"The best meditation is to simply keep quiet. Don't follow any thought and don't activate the mind. This is true meditation." - Papaji

"One must attempt to get at the very bottom from which thought springs and root out thought, mind and desires." - Ramana Maharshi

"All is known in the sacredness of silence." - Rumi

"Self-realization is the cessation of thoughts and all mental activity. Thoughts are like bubbles upon the surface of the sea (Self)." - Ramana Maharshi

"Even as fire finds peace in its resting place without fuel, when thoughts become silence the soul finds peace in its own source. When the mind is silent, then it can enter into a world which is far beyond the mind: the highest End. The mind should be kept in the heartas long as it has not reached the highest End. This is wisdom, and this is liberation." - Upanishads

"The pure state of being attached to grace (Self), which is devoid of any attachment, alone is one's own state of silence, which is devoid of any other thing. Know that one's ever abiding as that silence, having experienced it as it is, alone is true worship. Know that the performance of the unceasing, true and natural worship in which the mind is submissively established as the one Self, having installed the Lord on the heart throne, is silence, the best of all forms of worship. Silence, which is devoid of the assertive ego, alone is liberation. The forgetfulness of Self which causes one to slip down from that silence, alone is non-devotion. Know that abiding as the silence with the mind subsided as non-different from Self is the true devotion to God." - Ramana Maharshi

"The real thing is to achieve "Mano Nasa" or extinction of the mind. That is what is called Jnana." - Ramana Maharshi

"Whatever you think, no matter what you think about, as long as you think, you're covering up the Self. It makes no difference what you're thinking, good thoughts, bad thoughts, or any kind of thoughts. All thoughts are clouds, and they cover up the sun. Similarly the Self will shine all by itself when you stop thinking." - Robert Adams

"The mind must come to a state of silence, completely empty of fear, longing and all images." - Jean Klein

"During meditation that is directed towards the Self, the thoughts actually die down of their own accord. Meditation can be directed to different objects, but when directed to the true Self, it is sent to the highest object, or rather the Subject. Thoughts are our enemy. When we are free of thoughts we are naturally blissful. The gap between two thoughts is our true state, it is the real Self. Get rid of thoughts, be empty of them, be in a state of perpetual thoughtlessness. Then you are consciously Self-Existent. Thoughts, desires and all qualities are alien to our true nature. The West may praise a man as a great thinker. But what is that? True greatness is to be free of thoughts." - Ramana Maharshi

"Silence is meditation without mental activity. The inner silence is self-surrender and that means living without the sense of the ego. Silence comes into being when the individual is completely free from ego, when he surrenders himself totally to the Lord." - Ramana Maharshi

"Maya is destroyed only by engaging with supreme effort in mouna [silence]. It is not destroyed by any other means." - Ramana Maharshi

"The only language able to express the whole truth is Silence." - Ramana Maharshi

"To think is not your fundamental nature." - Ramana Maharshi

"The Self is realised when thoughts subside." - Ramana Maharshi

"The death of the mind drowned in the Ocean of Self-Consciousness is the eternal Silence. The real 'I' is the Supreme Heart-Space which is the great Ocean of Bliss." - Ramana Maharshi

"Be deeper still, stand at Zero." - Rumi

"With complete stillness of mind, samsara [illusion] will disappear root and branch. Only stillness of mind can accomplish the end and nothing else." - Ramana Maharshi

"There is no you, there is only the state of freedom. Be that. Be free like the sky. Be still like the hill. Accept change like the seasons. Be silent like complete emptiness. You are That!" - Ramana Maharshi

"Stop making use of your mind and see what happens. Do this one thing thoroughly. That is all." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Misery is only unwanted thoughts." - Ramana Maharshi

"Now keep quiet. Do nothing more, just keep quiet. Stop, be silent. When thought has no customers, thought vanishes." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"It's in the silence that your problems just dissolve. Try it. It really works." - Robert Adams

"One should gradually, gradually attain quietude with the intellect held steadfast and the mind sunk in the Self, allowing no thought to arise. To whatever side the restless, unsteady mind wanders away, one should check it and bring it back controlled to the Self." - Bhagavad Gita

"My soul at once becomes recollected and I enter the state of quiet or that of rapture, so that I can use none of my faculties and senses. Everything is stilled, and the soul is left in a state of great quiet and deep satisfaction. These interior things of the spirit are so hard to describe, and still more so in such a way as to be understood, especially as they are so quickly gone. There sometimes springs an interior peace and quietude which is full of happiness, for the soul is in such a state that it thinks there is nothing that it lacks. Even speaking - by which I mean vocal prayer and meditation - wearies it: it would like to do nothing but love. This condition lasts for some time, and may even last for long periods." - Teresa of Avila

"Realisation is already here. The state free from thoughts is the only real state." - Ramana Maharshi

"Let silence take you to the core of life." - Rumi

"Sitting is only a small part of practicing Zen. The true meaning of sitting Zen is to cut off all thinking and to keep not-moving mind. So I ask you: What are you? You don't know; there is only "I don't know." Always keep this don't-know mind. When this don't-know mind becomes clear, then you will understand. So if you keep don't-know mind when you are driving, this is driving Zen. If you keep it when you are talking, this is talking Zen. If you keep it when you are watching television, this is television Zen. You must keep don't-know mind always and everywhere. This is the true practice of Zen." - Seung Sahn

"A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The Self is that where there is absolutely no 'I-thought'. That is called Silence." - Ramana Maharshi

"The only way you will ever awaken is through silence, not through analyzation of facts. Not by sorting out good and bad, but through simple silence, letting go. Letting go of all thoughts, all the hurts, all the dogmas and concepts. Letting go of these things daily." - Robert Adams

"Let silence be the art you practice." - Rumi

"Q: Is concentration a sadhana [spiritual practice]? M: Concentration is not thinking on more than one thing. It is the putting off all other thoughts which obstruct the vision of our true nature. All our efforts are only directed to lifting the veil of ignorance. Now it appears difficult to quell the thoughts, whereas in the regenerate [refined] state it will be found that it is more difficult to call in thoughts! Why should we then think of things when there is the Self alone? Thoughts can function only if there are objects. How can thoughts arise at all? Habit makes us believe that it is difficult to cease thinking. If the error is found, one would not be fool enough to exert oneself unnecessarily by way of thinking." - Ramana Maharshi

"The only thing against you, are your thoughts. If you learn to quiet your mind, you will have no problems." - Robert Adams

"Silence where no thoughts exist, is the real state of Realization. The 'I' is a distortion of this state of quietude, being a movement, a wave in the ocean of stillness." - Ramana Maharshi

"You're really the Self, all-pervading, reality. It is your thoughts that cover up the Self. Whatever you allow what you think, you cover up the Self more and more and more. You're only covering up the Self. The Self will shine all by itself when you stop thinking. Stop thinking, totally, unconditionally. Stop thinking." - Robert Adams

"Even the slightest thought immerses a man in sorrow; when devoid of all thoughts he enjoys imperishable bliss." - Yoga Vasishta Sara

"The 'I am' is still there with you, ever present, ever available, it was and still is the first thought. Refuse all other thoughts, come back there and stay there." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The truth of oneself alone is worthy to be scrutinized and known. Taking it as the target of one's attention, one should keenly know it in the Heart. This knowledge of oneself will be revealed only to the consciousness which is silent, clear and free from the activity of the agitated and suffering mind. Know that the consciousness which always shines in the Heart as the formless Self 'I', and which is known by one's being still without thinking about anything as existent or non-existent, alone is the perfect reality." - Ramana Maharshi

"If you want to understand the truth, you must let go of your situation, your condition, and all your opinions. Then your mind will be before thinking. "Before thinking" is clear mind. Clear mind has no inside and no outside. It is just like this. "Just like this" is the truth. An eminent teacher said, "If you want to pass through this gate, do not give rise to thinking". This means that if you are thinking, you can't understand Zen. If you keep the mind that is before thinking, this is Zen mind. So another Zen Master said, "Everything the Buddha taught was only to correct your thinking. If already you have cut off thinking, what good are the Buddha's words?" - Seung Sahn

"The mind is deceiving you; the mind doesn't like to be quiet. The only way the mind can be beaten is not to give rise to a thought. Don't start a thought. So simple. This mind likes to engage in activities and exercises. When you are not active mentally, this is peace." - Papaji

"Silence in its purest absolute form is Self. It is not that that which is the Absolute is silent, there is nothing to be anything. So that which is, the Absolute, is pure silence. You are That. Hence, Absolute Silence without absence or presence of any kind is your natural state. Abiding in your Self is your natural state. This is the state in which you always are. All that has happened is that your attention has rested elsewhere for quite some time." - Jac O'Keeffe

"Rama asked: Holy Sir, kindly tell me, how lay one quickly destroy all these seeds of distraction and reach the Supreme State? Vasistha said: These seeds of sorrow, O Rama, can be destroyed, each by the destruction of the previous one. But, if you can at one stroke cut off all mental conditioning and by great self-effort rest in the state of pure existence (if you rest in that state even for a second), in no time you will be established in it. If however you wish merely to find your foothold in pure existence, you can achieve it, by even greater effort. Similarly, by contemplating the infinite consciousness, too, you can rest in the supreme state: but that demands greater effort. Meditation is not possible on objects of experience: for they exist only in consciousness or the self. But if you strive to destroy the conditioning (the concepts, notions, habits, etc.), then in a moment all your errors and illnesses will vanish. However, this is more difficult than the ones described earlier. For, until the mind is free from the movement of thought, cessation of conditioning is difficult, and vice versa; and unless the truth is realised, the mind does not cease to function, and vice versa. Yet, again, until the conditioning ceases, the unconditioned truth is not realised, and vice versa. Since realisation of truth, cessation of the mind and the ending of conditioning are interwoven, it is extremely difficult to deal with them individually and separately. Hence, O Rama, by every means in your power, renounce the pursuit of wordly matters and resort to all the three simultaneously." - Yoga Vasistha

"Is there any truth apart from the Self? Great men live without the illusory mind-screen, rooted in the reality of blissful no-thought. Abiding in the Self, totally free, they are the wise ones, free from karma." - Isanya Desikar

"Realising that all we have learned is but the work of God, and knowing that we cannot know anything by ourselves, to be in silence is the jnana that vouches freedom from rebirth. Speak not. See the unborn Self as chit, as Siva. That seeing is illumination." - Isanya Desikar

"Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi once remarked, referring to himself, "In this state it is as difficult to think a thought as it is for those in bondage to be without thoughts." I also remember him telling us, "You ask me questions and I reply and talk to you. If I do not speak or do anything, I am automatically drawn within, and where I am, I do not know." - Balaram Reddy

"The mind is here to keep you earthbound. When you stop thinking, the mind becomes the infinite, becomes God, becomes boundless space, nirvana, pure awareness. It doesn't really become that. You've always been that. The mind merely disappears, as a mind, and your true nature is expressed." - Robert Adams

"Be secluded in your secret heart-house, that bowl of silence." - Rumi

"Notice when I stop talking, how quiet it becomes, in your mind. This is the state I'm referring to, that state in between thoughts, where there is nothing going on, in that second, in that moment, when the mind is total quiet, the thoughts are not moving any longer. This is your true Self, in that moment in between thoughts. Stay in that moment. Learn to put yourself in that state, whether you are in the market place or you are in a temple, wherever you are, learn to be still. It makes no difference what is going on around you. It makes no difference what other people are doing. You be still. When you are still, then there's peace. When you are still, there's happiness. Can you ever imagine a person who is being happy all the time, for no reason whatsoever. Most of us have been taught that to be happy we have to receive something good. We have to have something nice happen to us to be happy, otherwise we are miserable. Yet the truth is, happiness is your very nature, unalloyed happiness, eternal happiness, forever happiness." - Robert Adams

"Just be quiet, be still and stop participating in the imaginary world created by your thoughts. There is no identification when the mind is not engaged with thoughts; no suffering is a consequence of no identification." - Jac O'Keeffe

"No thought, no reflection, no analysis, no cultivation, no intention; let it settle itself." - Tilopa

"When the prarabdha [karma] is exhausted, the ego is completely dissolved without leaving any trace behind. This is final liberation. Unless prarabdha is completely exhausted the ego will be rising up in its pure form even in jivanmuktas [self-realized one]." - Ramana Maharshi

"In the perfect silence of my contemplation all widens to infinity, and in the perfect peace of that silence Thou appearest in the resplendent glory of Thy Light." - Mirra Alfassa The Mother

"When there is silence, one finds the anchor of the universe within oneself." - Lao Tzu

"Only the aspiration towards the fair firmament of supreme consciousness, which has no final goal other than Mauna [Silence], is most worthy endeavor." - Ramana Maharshi

"All discord, all inharmony, and all error are experienced because of a sense of separation from God. This means to realize that what you are looking at with your eyes is not I: I am invisible; I am omnipresence; I am omnipotence; I am omniscience. You prove this by not taking thought, by being still, and by letting the Omniscience that I am reveal to you whatever wisdom, guidance, or direction is necessary at this moment. You prove this by being still in the listening attitude, letting Omnipotence prove Itself to be the only power. You prove this by taking no thought for your life or anything that concerns your life, and letting Omnipresence prove Omnipresence. This cannot be done intellectually. It can be done only through unknowing, through silence. Silence is your resting place. Silence is your abiding place, your living place. Live and move and have your being in silence, and then the still small voice will utter itself and live your life. The moment you take thought you are living your own life, and your life then becomes limited to a certain measure of education, environment, circumstances, and conditions. As long as you have no graven image of God in your thought, not praying to a far-off or close-at-hand God, as long as you are abiding in I-I, Omniscience, I, Omnipresence, I, Omnipotence, I, then by the grace of God your needs are met." - Joel Goldsmith (The Mystical I)

"First words, then silence. One must be ripe for silence." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"There is a way between voice and presence where information flows. In disciplined silence, it opens. With wandering talk, it closes." - Rumi

"How do you pray? - I listen until there is no more noise." - Maurice Zundel

"The moment you start talking you create a verbal universe, a universe of words, ideas, concepts and abstractions, interwoven and inter-dependent, most wonderfully generating, supporting and explaining each other and yet all without essence or substance, mere creations of the mind. Words create words, reality is silent." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"To discover your innermost being you must start from where you are at this very moment, wherever that is. You cannot begin anywhere else. Whatever appears before you - your body, sensations, feelings, thoughts, etc. - must be accepted listened to as a whole. This does not mean you should analyze, interpret, understand or look for an inner meaning. What is important is to discover listening itself, which sooner or later will be revealed to you. At first the accent is on what is listened to, the sensation, feeling or thought. But the more the listening is sustained the more the emphasis is shifted to this listening itself without a listened to. Then you are at the threshold of the source from which the listening derives. That very instant listening will become a living reality. Real listening can be neither improved nor perfected, for it is perfection itself. It reveals itself when the mind is struck by wonder, when it no longer refers to the slightest object. This fulfilment is later erroneously attributed to an object but one who is aware of the true perspective knows that the cause of this peacefulness is not to be found in an object, but is a pure reflection of silence, of what Is. Listening arises from wonderment, to which it also points - a state where there is no projection, where nothing appears. It is as if you had suddenly opened the windows of a dark room full of objects, and in streams daylight. Everything becomes clear in an instant." - Jean Klein

"Wisdom doesn't come from speaking. It comes from listening." - Tao Te Ching

"To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinary quiet, still." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"The secret is not to change your thoughts, but to get rid of your thoughts completely. We're not trying to change negative thoughts to positive thoughts, for all positive thoughts lead to negative thoughts, negative thoughts lead to positive thoughts, that's duality. We're trying to transcend the whole bowl of wax, to go beyond." - Robert Adams

"Why are you so afraid of silence, silence is the root of everything. If you spiral into its void, a hundred voices will thunder messages you long to hear." - Rumi

"Be silent in your mind, silent in your senses, and also silent in your body. Then, when all these are silent, don't do anything. In that state truth will reveal itself to you." - Kabir

"A man once asked Rumi, "Why is it you talk so much about silence?" His answer: "The radiant one inside me has never said a word." - Rumi

"That Silence which is not the silence of the ending of noise, is only a small beginning. It is like going through a small hole to an enormous, wide, expansive Ocean, to an Immeasurable, Timeless State. But this you cannot understand verbally, unless you have understood the whole structure of Consciousness." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Mind is the Buddha, while the cessation of conceptual thought is the Way. Once you stop arousing concepts and thinking in terms of existence and non-existence, long and short, other and self, active and passive, and suchlike, you will find that your mind is intrinsically the Buddha, that the Buddha is intrinsically Mind, and that Mind resembles a Void." - Huang Po

"Mentally learn to let go, to think less. Cut down on your thinking and your thoughts." - Robert Adams

"When you sit in the silence the power of the Self is at work." - Robert Adams

"Keep silence, be mute; if you have not yet become the tongue of God, be an ear." - Rumi

"I ask you to abandon at once all the joy you've ever felt in reading the words of the scriptures yourself or when being aroused and instructed by others. Be totally without knowledge and understanding, as before, like a three-year-old child - though the innate consciousness is there, it doesn't operate. Then contemplate what's there before the thought of seeking the direct essentials arises: observe and observe. As you feel you're losing your grip more and more and your heart is more and more uneasy, don't give up and slack off: this is the place to cut off the heads of the thousand sages. Students of the Path often retreat at this point. If your faith is thoroughgoing, just keep contemplating what's before the thought of seeking instruction in the direct essentials arises." - Ta Hui

"You are too full of gibberish, you know too much. Because of your borrowed knowledge and too many words moving inside you, you cannot see the wordless beauty that can only be experienced in silence." - Osho

"Go into the silence whenever you can. Become silent at every opportunity. Again how do you resolve the problems of your life? By becoming still! Not by looking for answers. Why? Because all of the answers come from the same source, the ego. It is the ego that prods you onward, and you're allowing it to happen. The choice is always yours. This is the freedom that you've got. To follow your ego or surrender your ego. That's the truth you've got. And life presents to you all kinds of situations. So you can make a choice. The choice you make determines what happens to you. Is anything more important than your salvation?" - Robert Adams

"Silence is another way of saying to keep your mind stayed on God all the time. God is the silence and you are that. Feel the silence right now. You can feel it. It's a thing of beauty." - Robert Adams

"Withdraw the mind from the senses and fix it in meditation. Control the thought-current. Find out the thought-center and fix yourself there." - Thayumanavar (1742)

"Peace can reign only when there is no disturbance. Disturbance is due to thoughts which arise in the mind. When the mind itself is absent, there will be perfect Peace. Unless a person has annihilated the mind, he cannot gain peace and be happy." - Ramana Maharshi

"What is your life about, anyway? Nothing but a struggle to be someone. Nothing but a running from your own silence." - Rumi

"You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet." - Franz Kafka

"Look past your thoughts, so you may drink the pure nectar of This moment." - Rumi

"Silence is another name for God. Quietness is a name for consciousness, peace. Everything is found in the silence and not too much in the words. In quietness, you should try to be quiet for as long as you can, especially when you are at home. Try to sit in the silence and quietness for as long as you can. It’s in the silence where you will receive the message. It’s in the silence where pure awareness reveals itself to you. Never be afraid to sit in the silence. It's your greatest asset." - Robert Adams

"Take refuge in silence. You can be here or there or anywhere. Fixed in silence, established in the inner 'I', you can be as you are. The world will never perturb you if you are well founded upon the tranquility within. Gather your thoughts within. Find out the thought centre and discover your Self-equipoise. In storm and turmoil be calm and silent. Watch the events around as a witness. The world is a drama. Be a witness, inturned and introspective." - Ramana Maharshi

"This silence, this moment, every moment, if it's genuinely inside you, brings what you need. There's nothing to believe. Only when I stopped believing in myself did I come into this beauty. Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that will say: "Be more silent." Die and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign that you've died. Your old life was a frantic running from silence. Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence." - Rumi

"You believe thoughts, therefore you become easily confused and so peace is hidden. Behind the screen of mind is the realm of unchanging awareness - silent, vast and perfect. The wise leave aside the incessant murmurings of the mind and merge themselves here in the infinite stillness of Being." - Mooji

"Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb." - Pythagoras

"Everywhere there was silence; the hills were motionless, the trees were still and the riverbeds empty; the birds had found shelter for the night and everything was still, even the village dogs. It had rained and the clouds were motionless. Silence grew and became intense, wider and deeper. What was outside was now inside; the brain which had listened to the silence of the hills, fields and groves was itself now silent; it no longer listened to itself; it had gone through that and had become quiet, naturally, without any enforcement. It was still ready to stir itself on the instant. It was still, deep within itself; like a bird that folds its wings, it had folded upon itself; it was not asleep nor lazy, but in folding upon itself, it had entered into depths which were beyond itself. The brain is essentially superficial; its activities are superficial, almost mechanical; its activities and responses are immediate, though this immediacy is translated in terms of the future. Its thoughts and feelings are on the surface, though it may think and feel far into the future and way back into the past. All experience and memory are deep only to the extent of their own limited capacity but the brain being still and turning upon itself, it was no longer experiencing outwardly or inwardly. Consciousness, the fragments of many experiences, compulsions, fears, hopes and despairs of the past and the future, the contradictions of the race and its own self-centred activities, was absent; it was not there. The entire being was utterly still and as it became intense, it was not more or less; it was intense, there was an entering into a depth or a depth which came into being which thought, feeling, consciousness could not enter into. It was a dimension which the brain could not capture or understand. And there was no observer, witnessing this depth. Every part of one's whole being was alert, sensitive but intensely still. This new, this depth was expanding, exploding, going away, developing in its own explosions but out of time and beyond time and space." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Distracting thoughts are like the enemy in the fortress." - Ramana Maharshi

"If one wants to abide in the thought-free state, a struggle is inevitable. One must fight one's way through before regaining one's original primal state. If one succeeds in the fight and reaches the goal, the enemy, namely the thoughts, will all subside in the Self and disappear entirely. The thoughts are the enemy. They amount to the creation of the Universe. In their absence there is neither the world nor God the Creator. The Bliss of the Self is the single Being only." - Ramana Maharshi

"Ground yourself, strip yourself down, to blind loving silence. Stay there, until you see you are gazing at the Light with its own ageless eyes." - Rumi

"Question: But the mind slips away from our control. M: "Be it so. Do not think of it. When you recollect yourself bring it back and turn it inward. That is enough. No one succeeds without effort. Mind control is not one's birthright. The successful few owe their success to their perseverance." - Ramana Maharshi

"At this stage of his life Sri Ramana was speaking very little and so his teachings were transmitted in an unusual fashion. Instead of giving out verbal instructions he constantly emanated a silent force or power which stilled the minds of those who were attuned to it and occasionally even gave them a direct experience of the state that he himself was perpetually immersed in. In later years he became more willing to give out verbal teachings, but even then, the silent teachings were always available to those who were able to make good use of them. Throughout his life Sri Ramana insisted that this silent flow of power represented his teachings in their most direct and concentrated form. The importance he attached to this is indicated by his frequent statements to the effect that his verbal teachings were only given out to those who were unable to understand his silence." - David Goodman

"Peace is our real nature. It need not be attained. Our thoughts must be obliterated." - Ramana Maharshi

"Question: How can I tell if I am making progress with my enquiry? Ramana Maharshi: The degree of the absence of thoughts is the measure of your progress towards Self-realisation. But Self-realisation itself does not admit of progress, it is ever the same. The Self remains always in realisation. The obstacles are thoughts. Progress is measured by the degree of removal of the obstacles to understanding that the Self is always realised. So thoughts must be checked by seeking to whom they arise. So you go to their source, where they do not arise." - Ramana Maharshi

"The thoughts change but not you. Let go the passing thoughts and hold on to the unchanging Self. The thoughts form your bondage. If they are given up, there is release. The bondage is not external. So no external remedy need be sought for release. It is within your competence to think and thus to get bound or to cease thinking and thus be free." - Ramana Maharshi

"Give up thoughts. You need not giving up anything else." - Ramana Maharshi

"Our culture is one which is geared in many ways to help us evade any need to face this inner, silent self." - Thomas Merton

"Being the Self one remains always realized, only be free from thoughts." - Ramana Maharshi

"Deafened by the voice of desire you are unaware the Beloved lives in the core of your heart. Stop the noise and you will hear His voice in the silence." - Rumi

"In order to achieve that state of Silence which is beyond thought and word, either the path of knowledge which removes the sense of 'I' or the path of devotion which removes the sense of 'mine', will suffice." - Ramana Maharshi

"The degree of freedom from unwanted thoughts and the degree of concentration on a single thought are the measure to gauge spiritual progress." - Ramana Maharshi

"When mind is quiet, all is Self. When mind moves the world arises. So be still, throw away everything and be free." - Papaji

"It is folly to waste one's life running in all directions searching different goals. Learn to practice firm abidance, at the feet of the Self supreme, the eternal and auspicious silence, which alone can still the ego's restlessness." - Sri Muruganar

"The death of the mind drowned in the Ocean of Self-Consciousness is the eternal Silence. The real 'I' is the Supreme Heart-Space which is the great Ocean of Bliss. You [the mind] cannot cognize Self, which is the perfect unbroken Existence and the One without a second. The Heart, Sat-Chit-Ananda, which is the same thought-free Self, is Annamalai." - Ramana Maharshi

"Shhh, no more words. Hear only the voice within. Remember, the first thing He said was: "We are beyond words." - Rumi

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo Da Vinci

"Q: Bhagavan often told devotees to 'Be still'. Did he mean 'Be mentally still'? AS: Bhagavan's famous instruction ‘summa iru' [be still] is often misunderstood. It does not mean that you should be physically still; it means that you should always abide in the Self. If there is too much physical stillness, tamoguna [a state of mental torpor] arises and predominates. In that state you will feel very sleepy and mentally dull. Rajoguna [a state of excessive mental activity], on the other hand, produces emotions and a mind which is restless. In sattva guna [a state of mental quietness and clarity] there is stillness and harmony. If mental activity is necessary while one is in sattva guna it takes place. But for the rest of the time there is stillness. When tamoguna and rajoguna predominate, the Self cannot be felt. If sattvaguna predominates one experiences bliss, clarity and an absence of wandering thoughts. That is the stillness that Bhagavan was prescribing." - Annamalai Swami

"To be calm is the greatest asset in the world. It's the greatest siddhi, the greatest power you can have. If you can only learn to be calm you will solve every problem. This is something you must remember. When you are perfectly calm, time stops. There is no time, karma stops, samskaras stop. Everything becomes null and void. For when you are calm you are one with the entire energy of the universe and everything will go well with you." - Ramana Maharshi

"If you push forward with your last ounce of strength at the very point where the path of your thinking has been blocked, and then, completely stymied, leap with hands high in the air into the tremendous abyss of fire confronting you - into the ever-burning flame of your own primordial nature - all ego-consciousness, all delusive feelings and thoughts and perceptions will perish with your ego-root and the true source of your Self-nature will appear. You will feel resurrected, all sickness having completely vanished, and will experience genuine peace and joy." - Bassui

"It was my great debt to Vishnu Bhaskar Lele that he showed me this. "Sit in meditation", he said, "but do not think, look only at your mind; you will see thoughts coming into it; before they can enter throw them away from you till your mind is capable of entire silence." I had never heard before of thoughts coming visibly into the mind from outside, but I did not think of either questioning the truth or the possibility, I simply sat down and did it. In a moment my mind became silent as a windless air on a high mountain summit and then I saw a thought and then another thought coming in a concrete way from outside; I flung them away before they could enter and take hold of the brain and in three days I was free. From that moment, in principle, the mental being in me became a free Intelligence, a universal Mind, not limited to the narrow circle of personal thought or a labourer in a thought-factory, but a receiver of knowledge from all the hundred realms of being and free too to choose what it willed in this vast sight-empire and thought-empire." - Sri Aurobindo

"There are in fact several ways. My own way was by rejection of thought. "Sit down", I was told, "look and you will see that your thoughts come into you from outside. Before they enter, fling them back." I sat down and looked and saw to my astonishment that it was so; I saw and felt concretely the thought approaching as if to enter through or above the head and was able to push it back concretely before it came inside. In three days - really in one - my mind became full of an eternal silence - it is still there. But that I don't know how many people can do. One (not a disciple - I had no disciples in those days) asked me how to do Yoga. I said:"Make your mind quiet first." He did and his mind became quite silent and empty. Then he rushed to me saying: "My brain is empty of thoughts, I cannot think. I am becoming an idiot." He did not pause to look and see where these thoughts he uttered were coming from! Nor did he realise that one who is already an idiot cannot become one. Anyhow I was not patient in those days and I dropped him and let him lose his miraculously achieved silence." - Sri Aurobindo

"To get rid of the random thoughts of the surface physical mind is not easy. It is sometimes done by a sudden miracle as in my own case, but that is rare. Some get it done by a slow process of concentration, but that may take a very long time. It is easier to have a quiet mind with things that come in passing on the surface, as people pass in the street, and one is free to attend to them or not - that is to say, there develops a sort of double mind, one inner silent and concentrated when it pleases to be so, a quiet witness when it chooses to see thoughts and things, - the other meant for surface dynamism. It is probable in your case that this will come as soon as these descents of peace, intensity or Ananda get strong enough to occupy the whole system." - Sri Aurobindo

"Ordinary human minds, Europeans especially, are accustomed to regard thought as indispensable and as the highest thing - so they are alarmed at silence. V. V. S. Aiyar when he was here asked for Yoga. I told him how to make his mind silent and it became silent. He immediately got frightened and said "I am becoming a fool, I can't think", - so I took what I had given away from him. That is how the average mind regards silence." - Sri Aurobindo

"I got three things from Lele: the silent Brahman consciousness with its infinite wideness – an experience which was concrete; the power to speak and write without using the mind; and the habit of putting myself under the guidance of a Power higher than the mind. - Sri Aurobindo

"You need not think at all. Be calm and remain surrendered, leaving everything to the higher power to arrange for you. A voice will wake up in you, be your guide and speak with your tongue. When I am away, this voice will tell you what to do. You have only to obey it and both your Sadhana and your work will develop side by side automatically." - Vishnu Bhaskar Lele

"Make the mind, which always clings to some support (attaching itself to sense-objects), devoid of all such supports. Making the mind, which is restless in clinging to external supports, motionless, do not disturb that tranquillity even a little." - Devikalottara

"Atman is realized with mind devoid of thoughts and turned inward." - Ramana Maharshi

"D: When there is activity in regard to works, we are neither the agents of those works nor their enjoyers. The activity is of the three instruments (i.e., the mind, speech, and body). Could we remain (unattached) thinking thus? M: After the mind has been made to stay in the Self which is its Deity, and has been rendered indifferent to empirical matters because it does not stray away from the Self, how can the mind think as mentioned above? Do not such thoughts constitute bondage? When such thoughts arise due to residual impressions (vasanas), one should restrain the mind from flowing that way, endeavour to retain it in the Self-state, and make it turn indifferent to empirical matters. One should not give room in the mind for such thoughts as: "Is this good? Or, is that good? Can this be done? Or, can that be done?" One should be vigilant even before such thoughts arise and make the mind stay in its native state. If any little room is given, such a (disturbed) mind will do harm to us while posing as our friend; like the foe appearing to be a friend, it will topple us down." - Ramana Maharshi

"Even while I am talking to you, many of you are thinking, thinking, thinking. Can't you see by now? This is what is holding you back from your freedom, from your bliss, from your joy. Your thoughts. Where did your thoughts come from? They really didn't come from anywhere, for they do not even exist. Yet, unfortunately, most of us believe that thoughts exist, for we are bombarded by them day and night. So Sages have to come along and invent methods, means, in order to obliterate the thoughts. Meditation was invented for that purpose. Self-inquiry, all of these yogic exercises, pranayama, mantras, prayer. They're really to stop your thoughts from proceeding, to keep your mind from thinking." - Robert Adams

"In silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God Will speak to you, then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness that God can fill you with HimSelf. Souls of prayer, are souls of silence." - Mother Teresa

"The mind moves without rest alternately going out of the Self and returning to it. Under the tree the shade is pleasant; out in the open the heat is scorching. A person who has been going about in the sun feels cool when he reaches the shade. Someone who keeps on going from the shade into the sun and then back into the shade is a fool. A wise man stays permanently in the shade. Similarly, the mind of the one who knows the truth does not leave Brahman. The mind of the ignorant, on the contrary, revolves in the world, feeling miserable, and for a little time returns to Brahman to experience happiness. In fact, what is called the world is only thought. When the world disappears, when there is no thought, the mind experiences happiness; and when the world appears, it goes through misery." - Ramana Maharshi

"When the ego becomes silent, "Soham" ("I am He"), automatically starts functioning." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"This silence is your true nature. The silence is consciousness. When the "I" dissolves, you become sat-chit-ananda, Brahman, Nirvana, Emptiness. And you become blissful." - Robert Adams

"What does stillness mean? It means destroy yourself." - Ramana Maharshi

"A Great Silence overcomes me, and I wonder why I ever thought to use language." - Rumi

"All thoughts are sorrowful, because they take one's attention away from the Self, which is undiluted happiness." - Ramana Maharshi

"When the mind is silent, then reality comes of its own accord." - Robert Adams

"Samadhi alone can reveal the Truth. Thoughts cast a veil over Reality, and so It is not realized as such in states other than samadhi." - Ramana Maharshi

"In the deep sleep state, we lay down our ego, our thoughts and our desires. If we could only do all this while we are conscious, we would realize the Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"The Heart, where the Supreme Silence of God's Grace is shining, is the only state of Kaivalyam, in the Presence of which the rare pleasure of all the heavens are revealed to be nothing." - Ramana Maharshi

"This natural Self-Consciousness of mere Existence, without any sense of duality, is the Supreme Silence, which is glorified by the scriptures as the perfection of Jnana, and which cannot be known by the ego, the foolish demon-nature." - Ramana Maharshi

"Know and discover that He alone who possesses such Akila Para Shakti, the Power of Supreme Silence which consumes all by remaining as mere Existence-Self-Consciousness, is the Real Guru who can by His unlimited Grace merge any soul who comes to Him into the non-dual Self, the Jnana beyond all speech." - Ramana Maharshi

"When the tricky senses are controlled, when mental conceptions are removed, and when one is unshakably established as Self in the Heart, then the Knowledge which shines in that State of firm Self-Abidance is the Real God [Shiva]. Such a True Seeing, which is devoid of illusion and deception, is the State in which one shines as the Ocean of Bliss. Only in the Supreme Silence which is thus achieved in Self-Abidance, will the soul never again have a downfall." - Ramana Maharshi

"The ending of the ego, by its drowning into the Space of Silence, is our true life of living as the Space of Jnana. Therefore when the ego disappears, like a false dream, into its Source, the Real 'I' [Self] will shine forth spontaneously." - Ramana Maharshi

"Words stand between silence and silence: between the silence of things and the silence of our own being. Between the silence of the world and the silence of God. When we have really met and known the world in silence, words do not separate us from the world nor from other men, nor from God, nor from ourselves because we no longer trust entirely in language to contain reality." - Thomas Merton

"Beyond The Witness, there is the Infinite Intensity of Emptiness and Silence." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The experience of 'I am' is to be Still." - Ramana Maharshi

"God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee; teaches him the Truth; purifies the mind by his teachings and contact; the mind gains strength, is able to turn inward; with meditation it is purified yet further, and eventually remains still without the least ripple. That stillness is the Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"The only burden you've ever had is your mind. There is no other burden. See if you can stop your mind for a few seconds, and see how peaceful you are. Where there are no thoughts, there are no worries, there are no fears, there are no anxieties, there are no desires, no wants, no greed, no hurt, no enemies. It is the mind, the thoughts, that causes these things to come to us. We actually create these conditions. We create our own reality." - Robert Adams

"There is nothing to save, now all is lost, but a tiny core of stillness in the heart like the eye of a violet." - D.H. Lawrence

"Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness. This is the 'I am' that is deeper than name and form." - Eckhart Tolle

"Be quiet. Find acquaintances with silence. Go inside, delve into your heart. Take a day off from the clamor." - Rumi

"Stillness of mind or peace is realisation. There is no moment when the Self is not. So long as there is doubt or the feeling of non-realisation, attempt must be made to rid oneself of these thoughts. The thoughts are due to identification of the Self with the non-self. When the non-self disappears the Self alone remains. To make room anywhere it is enough that things are removed from there. Room is not brought in afresh. Nay, more - room is there even in cramping." - Ramana Maharshi

"Ground yourself, strip yourself down, to blind loving silence. Stay there, until you see you are gazing at the Light with its own ageless eyes." - Rumi

"When you throw out all your concepts, including the primary concept 'I am', then whatever is, is. Be still in quietude." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"This magnificent refuge is inside you. Enter! Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway. Be bold. Be humble. Put away the incense and forget the incantations they taught you. Ask no permission from the authorities. Close your eyes and follow your breath to the still place that leads to the invisible path that leads you home." - St. Theresa of Avila

"When you give up thinking of outward objects and prevent your mind from going outwards by turning it inwards and fixing it in the Self, the Self alone remains." - Ramana Maharshi

"What helps is silence. Look at yourself in total silence, do not describe yourself. Look at the being you believe you are and remember - you are not what you see. 'This I am not, what am l?' is the movement of self-enquiry. There are no other means to liberation, all means delay. Resolutely reject what you are not, till the real Self emerges in its glorious nothingness, its 'not-a-thing-ness'." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Do not try to become anything. Do nothing! Without thinking on any of your words, remain quiet. Once a word sprouts, it creates a meaning and then you ride on it. You follow the meanings of your words and claim that you are in search of your self. So be wakeful to that state which is prior to the sprouting of words." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"When your mind begins to think, stop it, catch it, put an end to it." - Robert Adams

"When the mind is still, absolutely silent, the waking state is no more." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Basically and fundamentally, our mind is utterly empty, sheer bliss, totally naked. We do not need to make it like this; we do not need to cultivate it by meditating, to create this state by meditating. Give up thinking of anything at all, about the past, the future or the present. Remain thought-free, like an infant. Innate suchness is unobscured the moment you are not caught up in present thinking. That which prevents us from being face to face with the real Buddha, the natural state of mind, is our own thinking. It seems to block the natural state. Rigpa, the Natural State, is not cultivated in meditation. The awakened state is not an object of the intellect. Rigpa is beyond intellect, and concepts. This is the real Buddhadharma, not to do a thing. Not to think of anything Like Saraha said, "Having totally abandoned thinker and what is thought of, remain as a thought-free child." Thinking is delusion. When caught up in thinking we are deluded. To be free of thinking is to be free. That freedom consists in how to be free from our thinking. As long as the web of thinking has not dissolved, there will repeatedly be rebirth in and the experiences of the six realms. But if you want to be totally free of conceptual thinking there is only one way: through training in thought-free wakefulness. Strip awareness to its naked state. If you want to attain liberation and omniscient enlightenment, you need to be free of conceptual thinking. Being free of thought is liberation. This is not some state that is far away from us: thought-free wakefulness actually exists together with every thought, inseparable from it... but the thinking obscures or hides this innate actuality. Thought free wakefulness (the natural state) is immediately present the very moment the thinking dissolves, the moment it vanishes, fades away, falls apart. Simply suspend your thinking within the non-clinging state of wakefulness: that is the correct view." - Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche

"No amount of learning can teach one to give up the ego. The best course is to catch hold of what is real, without any support. He who is fully conscious is really God. He is the real nature of one's own true state. The experience is silence; it cannot speak." - Isanya Desikar

"The greatest teaching is in silence. If you're silent enough, things come to you. The wisdom is inside of you." - Jac O'Keeffe

"In the end it's all very simple. Either we give ourselves to Silence or we don't." - Adyashanti

"Your nature is to keep quiet. You came from silence and you have to return to silence." - Papaji

"One is solely responsible for one's own liberation or bondage, since the choice of destroying the restless mind or allowing it to roam at large rests with that one only. Therefore, one should conquer the restless mind by steady abidance in the pure thought-free Alert-Awareness-Self only. This steady abidance is moksha." - Ribhu Gita

"The ultimate truth is so simple. It is nothing more than being in the pristine state. This is all that need be said." - Ramana Maharshi

"This silence, this moment, every moment, if it's genuinely inside you, brings what you need. There's nothing to believe. Only when I stopped believing in myself did I come into this beauty. Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that will say: "Be more silent." Die and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign that you've died. Your old life was a frantic running from silence. Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence." - Rumi

"Deafened by the voice of desire you are unaware the Beloved lives in the core of your heart. Stop the noise and you will hear His voice in the silence." - Rumi

"If you have no mind, then everything is no problem. So if you want to take away suffering, you must take away mind, which means cutting your attachment to thinking. When you practice hard and keep a great don't-know, you see that you already have no mind. Already having no mind, why would you possibly need sutras [spiritual scriptures]? Why would you need dharma speeches and explanation? If you are not sick, why eat medicine? If you have no mind then sutras are not necessary, dharma speeches are not necessary, Buddha' teachings are not necessary, everything is not necessary." - Seung Sahn

"Now I'll be quiet and let silence separate what is true from what are lies as thrashing does." - Rumi

"No thought, no mind, no choice - just being silent, rooted in yourself." - Osho

"Everything you do, all of your sadhana [practice] is to quiet the mind. To make the mind still. That's what you really want. Therefore use whatever method you have to in order to still the mind. There's nothing really profound about it, it's simple, you want to quiet the mind. When the mind is quiet, your real nature ensues all by itself. Everything happens by itself." - Robert Adams

"Silence is our real nature. What we are fundamentally is only silence. Silence is free from beginning and end. It was before the beginning of all things. It is causeless. Its greatness lies in the fact that it simple is. In silence all objects have their home ground. It is the light that gives objects their shape and form. All movement, all activity is harmonized by silence. Silence has no opposite in noise. It is beyond positive and negative. Silence dissolves all objects. It is not related to any counterpart which belongs to the mind. Silence has nothing to do with mind. It cannot be defined but it can be felt directly because it is our nearness. Silence is freedom without restriction or centre. It is our wholeness, neither inside nor outside the body. Silence is joyful, not pleasurable. It is not psychological. It is feeling without a feeler. Silence needs no intermediary. Silence is holy. It is healing. There is no fear in silence. Silence is autonomous like love and beauty. It is untouched by time. Silence is meditation, free from any intention, free from anyone who meditates. Silence is the absence of oneself. Or rather, silence is the absence of absence. Sound which comes from silence is music. All activity is creative when it comes from silence. It is constantly a new beginning. Silence precedes speech and poetry and music and all art. Silence is the home ground of all creative activity. What is truly creative is the word, is Truth. Silence is the word. Silence is Truth. The one established in silence lives in constant offering, in prayer without asking, in thankfulness, in continual love." - Jean Klein

"Don't rely on your mind for liberation. It is the mind that brought you into bondage. Go beyond it altogether." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Meditation is the vibration of silence. Pure listening is the end of the world." - Eric Baret

"As we sat in silence, what thoughts came into mind? Whatever thoughts there were, good or bad, they have got to go. Even if you were thinking, what a wonderful Satsang, that has got to go. All thoughts must go. Your wonderful Satsang will not bring you realization. Emptiness, Silence will." - Robert Adams

"An attentive mind is an empty mind." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Q: So we must rid ourselves of lust (kama), anger (krodha), etc. M: Give up thoughts. You need not give up anything else." - Ramana Maharshi

"Surrender. Let Silence have you." - Papaji

"Silence is the most potent form of work. However vast and emphatic the scriptures may be, they fail in their effect. The Guru is quiet and Grace prevails in all. This silence is more vast and more emphatic than all the scriptures put together." - Ramana Maharshi

"As long as you think, there will be existence, person, place and thing, but when you stop thinking there's no room for existence, because there cannot be the silence and existence. Everything that appears to be opposes the silence. The silence is consciousness, absolute reality, sat-chit-ananda [truth-consciousness-bliss]." - Robert Adams

"The seeker in this way must be busy in rejecting evil whisperings and the ego's insinuations. He might reject them before they reach him; or he might reject them after they reach him but before they control him. Another seeker, however, might not reject them until after they reach him and control him. He cannot get any fruit, because at that time it is impossible to take the whisperings out of the heart." - Bahaudin Naqshbandi

"You have to sincerely want to awaken. And I kid you not, to awaken is simple. You just have to give up everything mentally." - Robert Adams

"Find the best ways to quiet the mind. The instant that the mind is stilled there is meditation. This meditation has to be perennial, permanent - not just sitting for an hour a day. It does not mean chanting the thought, "I have to be free". It means being centered in the Self which alone is true, all else is false." - Papaji

"Give up conceptualizing altogether. Have no beliefs or concepts of any kind. You are the ever-free Consciousness. How can any thinking help you in any way?" - Ashtavakra Gita

"Since the Original Buddha Mind is unborn, it functions without thoughts of delusion or thoughts of wanting to be enlightened. As soon as you think of wanting to be enlightened, you leave the place of the Unborn and go counter to it. Because the Buddha Mind is unborn, it has no thoughts at all. Thoughts are the source of delusion. When thoughts are gone, delusion vanishes too." - Bankei Yotaku

"Freedom from thoughts is one's true nature - Bliss. He who thinks raises troubles. The real 'I' is silent. One should not think, "I am this", "I am not that". To say "this" or "that" is wrong. They are also limitations. "I am" alone is true. Silence is 'I'." - Ramana Maharshi

"Not one thought - not one atom of thought - subsists in me, not even that of the miracle being accomplished, of the fabulous gem I am laying bare, not even the thought of that thought. My thought is dead, the illusion dissipated; that which I considered until that instant as the very armor of my interior existence, as the base of myself, has ceased to be. And for the first time, I discover, I embrace my ultimate unique reality, the unique and resplendent reality of the spiritual act that animates me. I open myself to the infinite bliss awaiting man at the heart of himself and is his destiny and nature. For the first time, in the silence of my thunderstruck thought, in the absolute vacuity of my mind where all form, all movement has succumbed, I AM." - Stephen Jourdain

"Whenever a thought arises, do not be carried away by it. Be rid of thoughts. Why should one attempt meditation? Being the Self one remains always realized. Only be free from thoughts." - Ramana Maharshi

"Emptiness is silence. It is not stillness of the grave. It is midnight silence, when the wind rests, birds sleep, and the sun is hours from rising. It is the quiet that falls with snow, when the fields of labor are covered in white and trees have withdrawn into patience. That quietness is not the cessation of shouts, pounding feet, and pumping arms, but their origin. It is the source of day and the origin of spring. Silence is not the end. It is the beginning. Wuji is essential stillness, the packed potential before the beginning. It is the beginning of the beginning. Only after silence breaks into sound does emptiness become all things." - Deng Ming-Dao

"Can you coax your mind from its wandering and keep to the original oneness? Can you cleanse your inner vision until you see nothing but the light? Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things?" - Lao Tzu

"Q: What are the hindrances to the realization of Reality? A: Memory, chiefly, habits of thought and accumulated tendencies. Q: How to get rid of these hindrances? A: Find out the Self through meditation in this manner. Trace every thought back to its origin which is the mind; never allow thought to go on, if it does, it will be unending; take it back to its source which is mind, and they (thoughts and mind) will die of inaction, for the mind only exists by thought, take away thought and there is no mind. As each doubt and depression arises ask yourself, "Who is it that doubts? Who is it that is depressed?" Tear everything away until there is nothing but the source left. Live only in the present." - Ramana Maharshi

"The original stressful thought is the thought of an I. Before that thought, there was peace. A thought is born out of nothing and instantly goes back to where it came from. If you look before, between, and after your thoughts, you'll see that there is only a vast openness. That's the space of don't-know. It's who we really are. It's the source of everything, it contains everything: life and death, beginning, middle and end." - Byron Katie

"In the Silence is where all the power is. In the Silence is where all the answers are. So sitting in the Silence is magic. This is when things begin to happen, wonderful things. Peace comes to you. Joy comes to you. Happiness comes to you all by itself. When you sit in the Silence, you remember who you are." - Robert Adams

"What are all our experiences but thoughts? Pleasure and pain are mere thoughts. They are within ourselves. If you are free from thoughts, and yet aware, you are that Perfect Being." - Ramana Maharshi

"Do you know what I mean by peace? When you put a doughnut in boiling oil a lot of bubbles will come out until all of the moisture in the doughnut is gone. It makes a lot of noise also, doesn't it? Finally, all is silent and the doughnut is ready. That silent condition of mind which has come about through a life of meditation is called peace. Meditation is like the boiling oil. It will make everything which is in the mind come out. Then only peace will be achieved." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Take this in your hand, in your heart, what you are searching for all this time. Take this! Take this! Stop searching anywhere and be quiet. Be still. You have listened to this, now sit down [outwardly and inwardly]. Do not think and do not worry, but Be - awarely. Awarely Be what you are. And Be that completely." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Be still in the presence of the Lord. Wait patiently for Him to act." - Psalm 37:7

"It is best to learn to silence the faculties and to cause them to be still, so that God may speak." - St. John of the Cross

"The Lord will fight for you, you need only to Be Still." - Exodus 14:14

"Why is it so difficult to find words for what you are, for the Ultimate Self? Because words are a product of the mind and the Self is prior and beyond mind. Remove all thoughts, all concepts and there is infinite rest in that which is prior and beyond. Peace is there, silence is there." - Jac O'Keeffe

"Reporter: When you pray, what do you say to God? Mother Theresa: Nothing. I just listen. Reporter: What does God say to you? Mother Theresa: Nothing. God just listens, too. And if you don't understand that, I can't explain it to you." - Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"The Self is simple being, BE! The experience 'I am' is being still. The Self is God. 'I am' is God. All that is required to realize the Self is to be still. What can be easier than that?" - Ramana Maharshi

"In listening and in stillness there is nobody who is still and this stillness does not refer to any object; it is our real nature." - Jean Klein

"In sleep the person is not afflicted. Sleep state is the normal one. Quest and find out. Does one not find some kind of peace in meditation? That is the sign of progress, that peace will be deeper and more prolonged with continued practice, it will also lead to the goal." - Ramana Maharshi

"At the outset of self-enquiry, it is necessary to make an effort to abide in the Self. This results in a natural abiding in time. The unnatural state of an outward focused mind must be brought around to being inward focused, and this alone is where effort lies. Mind thinks it has something to do in order to realise its true nature. It only has to be quiet, not engage with thought and then it must be bypassed." - Jac O'Keeffe

"Your mind is always active. Your mind waves are always moving. And the only reason you think of course is due to the past. Thoughts about the past create your future. When you begin to understand that there is no past and there is no future there is noone to think. Thinking is your downfall. Whether you're thinking about good thoughts or bad thoughts, makes no difference. Good thoughts lead to bad thoughts and bad thoughts lead to good thoughts. It's all thoughts and you're not supposed to think. You were not put on this earth to think. If only you could realize how beautiful and wonderful it is not to think. Not to have any thoughts coming into your mind. Oh thoughts will come into your mind but you will learn to drop it! The problem is not with the thoughts that come to you but with your holding on to those thoughts. Giving them energy, giving them power. For only you can give them power. They have no power on their own. They cannot hurt you by themselves. Only you give them power by allowing the thoughts to control you, by looking at the thoughts and fearing or reacting to them. That's where all the trouble begins." - Robert Adams

"Do not let a day go by when you do not practice something on yourself, by questioning, by being the witness, by using "who am I?" with your breath. With inhalation you ask, "who am I?" Between breathes you say "I am Brahman" and with exhalation you say "I am not the body". If you practice these things, it should keep you busy from thinking. That is the only purpose - to make you one-pointed, so you can stop thinking so much. As you substitute these mantras, they become stronger and the mind becomes weaker until the mind stops thinking." - Robert Adams

"Meditation is to be aware of every thought and of every feeling, never to say it is right or wrong but just to watch it and move with it. In that watching you begin to understand the whole movement of thought and feeling. And out of this awareness comes silence. Silence put together by thought is stagnation, is dead, but the silence that comes when thought has understood its own beginning, the nature of itself, understood how all thought is never free but always old - this silence is meditation in which the meditator is entirely absent, for the mind has emptied itself of the past." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"When you begin to sit still and you look upon the mind, the thoughts, you witness the thoughts, you watch the thoughts the mind slows down. As you continue witnessing the thoughts, watching the thoughts the mind becomes weaker and weaker and weaker and you become happier and happier and happier. Bliss comes when the mind is at rest. Unalloyed happiness comes when the mind is inactive. As long as the mind is active there will always be problems. For an active mind lives in a world of duality. Good and bad, right and wrong, up and down. Only when the mind is totally transcended will you find real peace. Yet you are already real peace. You are already pure awareness. You are already total joy and harmony. Yet you keep seeking, seeking, seeking, seeking, seeking for something that you already are." - Robert Adams

"Stillness of mind comes from giving up all attachments except that attachment to Self. When mind is quiet, all is Self. When mind moves, the world arises, so be still, throw away everything, and be free." - Papaji

"Keep quiet. The thing is to kill the mind, somehow." - Ramana Maharshi

"The Buddha taught that since the pain and suffering we experience is our fault to begin with, we can therefore free ourselves from it. We can gain release from it by learning to develop wisdom and understanding. We develop this understanding by training ourselves to control our actions, to sharpen our minds and to stop the restless waywardness of our thoughts. When we accomplish that, we can hold the mind still and penetrate deeply with wisdom. At that level, we can use the mind to probe the question of the causes of happiness and suffering. The Buddha called the quest to solve these problems and overcome our discontent the Path to Freedom. It begins with training ourselves in the way of morality, then developing the mind, and thirdly developing wisdom based upon mindfulness and effort. Mindfulness means keeping the mind in the present moment and thus being aware of oneself all the time. It means restraining the mind from thinking and wandering aimlessly; in other words, not forgetting oneself. This teaching of the Buddha forms the basis of Buddhist practice." - Ajahn Panya

"Don't follow past thoughts, don't anticipate the future, and don't follow illusory thoughts that arise in the present, but turning within, observe your own true nature and maintain awareness of your natural mind, just as it is." - Nirmanakaya Garab Dorje

"Detach from all mental objects, stop all thoughts: do not let either good or bad thoughts enter your thinking, do not keep either Buddhist teachings or worldly phenomena in mind." - Huai T'ang

"When the mind, which is subtle, is externalized via the brain and the sense organs, names and forms, which are material, appear. When it abides in the Heart, names and forms disappear. Keeping the mind in the Heart, not allowing it to go out, is called 'facing the Self' or 'facing inwards'. Allowing it to go out from the Heart is termed 'facing outwards'. When the mind abides in the Heart in this way, the 'I', the root of all thoughts, vanishes. Having vanished, the ever-existing Self alone will shine. The state where not even the slightest trace of the thought 'I' remains is alone swarupa [one's real nature]. This alone is called mauna [silence]. Being still in this way can alone be called jnana drishti [seeing through true knowledge]. Making the mind subside into the Self is 'being still'." - Ramana Maharshi

"If you go the way of your thoughts you will be carried away by them and you will find yourself in an endless maze." - Ramana Maharshi

"When we concentrate our attention on the origin of thought, the thought process itself comes to an end." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Put your thoughts to sleep, do not let them cast a shadow over the moon of your heart. Let go of thinking." - Rumi

"To bring about peace means to be free from thoughts and to abide as Pure Consciousness." - Ramana Maharshi

"The nature of thoughts that arise in the mind will be in accordance with the old vasanas [conditioned tendencies]. Vasanas themselves are the mind. If there are no vasanas there is no mind. That which Is, is sat [Pure Existence]. The disturbing agitation of mind that occurs when one attempts to get firmly established in sadhana is a normal occurrence that is prompted by the rising of vasanas. If at that time you hold tightly to the power of the grace of the parasakti that has possessed you (the inner feeling for the 'I am') the vasanas that agitate your mind and distress you will be completely destroyed. Unless the destruction of all vasanas is accomplished, it will not be possible even for Ishwara to bestow the state of liberation." - Ramana Maharshi

"Only in the silence will you find reality. Self-Inquiry leads to silence, surrender leads to silence. Be still and know that I am God." - Robert Adams

"That which is worth enquiring into and knowing is only the truth of oneself. Taking it as the target, it should be known in the Heart with a sharply focused attention. Only to an intellect that has subsided within, having attained a clear silence which is free from the turbidity and agitation of mind that sweats and suffers, will the means for realizing this truth, which shines in an extremely subtle way, be known clearly." - Ramana Maharshi

"Q: But you have often said that one must reject other thoughts when he begins the quest, but the thoughts are endless, if one thought is rejected, another comes and there seems to be no end at all. M: I do not say that you must go on rejecting thoughts. If you cling to yourself, say the I-thought, and when your interest keeps you to that single idea other thoughts get rejected, automatically they vanish. Q: And so rejection of thoughts is not necessary ? M: No. It may be necessary for a time or for some. You fancy that there is no end if one goes on rejecting every thought when it rises. No, There is an enQ: If you are vigilant, and make a stern effort to reject every thought when it rises, you will soon find that you are going deeper and deeper into your own inner self, where there is no need for your effort to reject the thoughts. Q: Then it is possible to be without effort, without strain? M: Not only that, it is impossible for you to make an effort beyond a certain extent. Q: I want to be further enlightened, should I try to make no effort at all? M: Here it is impossible for you to be without effort. When you go deeper, it is impossible for you to make any effort." - Ramana Maharshi

"The whole idea is to be silent. Not to add affirmations or words to your garbage pail. It is already filled with garbage. By garbage I mean, preconceived ideas, dogmas, opinions, samskaras from previous lives, you're filled with these things and you are a reacting machine, you react, that is what you do all day is react, react. react. Therefore when you try to learn more knowledge and you read more books, all you're doing is adding on to the garbage pail. Of course most of you realize, the highest truth is to delete, not to add. To get rid of the things you believe in now. So empty yourself out totally and completely. All of your ideas, your feelings, all have to be emptied out of you. When you become totally and completely empty, there is nothing you have to do to fill it up again. Emptiness is realization. Emptiness is Brahman. Emptiness is the Self. Emptiness is your real nature." - Robert Adams

"I am not interested in attracting hundreds of people, curiosity seekers, giving seminars, or letting people come and look at me. I am only interested in those few people who are tired of living in this world as a body, because they have a feeling that they are absolute reality, they are pure awareness, they are nirvana, they are pure intelligence, and they are ready to go all the way in order to meet the goal. Yet they do not have a goal on their mind. They live spontaneously in faith, and the universe will always appear to take care of them. They take their minds off the body, and the mind becomes weaker and weaker, until they are in the state of no-mind. When there is no mind, there is no I. When there's no I, there's no body. When there's no body, there's no world. When there's no world, there's no universe. When there's no universe, there's no karma, there are no samskaras, there are no past lives, there is no reincarnation, there's no God. There is only the Self, and you are that." - Robert Adams

"One does not know the Self owing to the interference of thoughts. The Self is realised when thoughts subside." - Ramana Maharshi

"Happiness is born of peace. Peace can reign only when there is no disturbance by thought. When the mind has been annihilated, there will be perfect peace." - Ramana Maharshi

"I shall assert with certainty, that when the mind as thoughts has ceased to function, it remains as a temple of Awareness-Bliss, hidden till then behind the veil of time." - Sri Muruganar

"As long as you are believing in concepts, words, preconceived ideas, this will halt your progress. Reality is beyond words. Reality is in the Silence. Really the only thing you have to do is quiet your mind. Make your mind quiescent and reality will shine forth all by itself. But if you go around repeating like a parrot, "I am the Self, I am consciousness, I am ultimate reality." It will actually keep you back. I tell you the truth, it's better to say nothing." - Robert Adams

"All thoughts come from the unreal 'I', that is the 'I-thought'. Remain without thinking. So long as there is thought, there will be fear." - Ramana Maharshi

"All other knowledges are only petty and trivial knowledges. The experience of silence alone is the real and perfect knowledge." - Ramana Maharshi

"The mind is deceiving you; the mind doesn't like to be quiet. The only way the mind can be beaten is not to give rise to a thought. Don't start a thought. So simple. This mind likes to engage in activities and exercises. When you are not active mentally, this is peace." - Papaji

"Whenever the mind wanders, become aware of it. See how thoughts connect with each other and watch how this ghost called mind catches hold of all your thoughts, saying, "This is my thought". Watch the ways of the mind without identifying with them in any way. If you give your mind your full, detached attention, you begin to understand the futility of all mental activities. Watch the mind wandering here and there, seeking out useless and unnecessary things or ideas, which will ultimately only create misery for itself. Watching the mind gives us a knowledge of its inner processes. It gives us an incentive to stay detached from all our thoughts. Ultimately, if we try hard enough, it gives us the ability to remain as consciousness, unaffected by transient thoughts." - Annamalai Swami

"You do not have to go through any rituals. You simply have to make the mind quiescent. Quiet the mind totally and completely. This should be your goal. You should remember this always. By saying, "All I have to do to awaken is to quiet my mind. That's it!" There is nothing else you have to do." - Robert Adams

"You are alive in this moment as sat-chit-ananda. There's nothing else. If your mind was able to remain still. If your mind was able to be totally quiet and totally still you would awaken, you would be totally awakened. But because you cannot still your mind you have to practice sadhana and go through the various techniques. Remember what these techniques are for. To still the mind, to become so one-pointed, that everything in this world will disappear and only the One will be left. You can stop wasting your time practicing meditation, sadhana, if you will simply stop thinking." - Robert Adams

More -> Don Juan / Castaneda / Silence / Inner Dialogue

DISSOLUTION OF MIND / ANNIHILATION OF EGO

"The mind only gets dissolved in the Self by constant practice." - Annamalai Swami

"By constantly keep one's attention on the Source, the ego is dissolved in that Source like a salt-doll in the sea." - Ramana Maharshi

"Only humility can destroy the ego. The ego keeps you far away from God. The door to God is open, but the lintel is very low. To enter one has to bend." - Ramana Maharshi

"Remain as pure witness, till even witnessing dissolves in the Supreme." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"That we may merge into the deep and dazzling darkness, vanish into it, dissolve in it forever in an unbelievable bliss beyond imagination, for absolute nothingness represents absolute bliss." - Gregory of Nyssa

"The ego's death is the blossoming of bliss." - Ramana Maharshi

"The real thing is to achieve "mano nasa" or extinction of the mind. That is what is called Jnana." - Ramana Maharshi

"Kill the ego: there is no fear of recurring death for what is once dead. The Self remains even after the death of the ego. That is Bliss - that is Immortality." - Ramana Maharshi

"Not until someone dissolves, can he or she know what union is. That descends only into emptiness." - Rumi

"Whatever you may have to do, watch your mind. Also you must have moments of complete inner peace and quiet, when your mind is absolutely still. If you miss it, you miss the entire thing. If you do not, the silence of the mind will dissolve and absorb all else." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self." - Francis of Assisi

"Reality is simply the loss of ego. Destroy the ego by seeking its identity. Because the ego is no entity it will automatically vanish and reality will shine forth by itself." - Ramana Maharshi

"No one can triumph before being destroyed. O Beloved! Reconcile me with destruction." - Rumi

"The death of the mind is the birth of wisdom." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The ending of the ego, by its drowning into the Space of Silence, is our true life of living as the Space of Jnana. Therefore when the ego disappears, like a false dream, into its Source, the Real 'I' [Self] will shine forth spontaneously." - Ramana Maharshi

"It is in the mind that birth and death, pleasure and pain, in short the world and ego exist. If the mind is destroyed all these are destroyed too. Note that it should be annihilated, not just made latent. For the mind is dormant in sleep. It does not know anything. Still, on waking up, you are as you were before. There is no end of grief. But if the mind be destroyed the grief will have no background and will disappear along with the mind." - Ramana Maharshi

"Complete effacement of the ego is necessary to conquer destiny, whether you achieve this effacement through Self-enquiry or through bhakti-marga." - Ramana Maharshi

"The death of the mind drowned in the Ocean of Self-Consciousness is the eternal Silence. The real 'I' is the Supreme Heart-Space which is the great Ocean of Bliss." - Ramana Maharshi

"When the prarabdha [karma] is exhausted, the ego is completely dissolved without leaving any trace behind. This is final liberation. Unless prarabdha is completely exhausted the ego will be rising up in its pure form even in jivanmuktas [self-realized one]." - Ramana Maharshi

"The no-mind state is where you come from practicing to the place in Silence where there are no thoughts to bother you any longer. You get there through Self-inquiry. That's the fastest way. But that's not Self-realization. Self-realization is when the mind is pulled completely into the spiritual heart. Liberation, moksha, Self-realization, is when the mind that's left over in the Silence is pulled completely into the spiritual Heart. At that time the whole mind, the I, dissolves completely, and you are free." - Robert Adams

"When there is true awakening, all the sense of 'being' disappears. Even the sense that you are the Self, also dissolves." - Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj

"For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it." - Jesus

"Being Still is not an effortless state of indolence. All mundane activities which are ordinarily called effort are performed with the aid of a portion of the mind and with frequent breaks. But the act of communion with the Self or remaining still inwardly is intense activity which is performed with the entire mind and without break. Maya (delusion or ignorance) which cannot be destroyed by any other act is completely destroyed by this intense activity which is called 'silence'." - Ramana Maharshi

"Oh you who have been removed from God in his solitude by the abyss of time, how can you expect to reach him without dying?" - Mansur Al-Hallaj

"Even after the Truth has been realized, there remains that strong impression that one is still an ego - the agent and experiencer. This has to be carefully removed by living in a state of constant identification with the Supreme non-dual Self. Full awakening is the eventual ceasing of all the mental impressions of being an ego." - Adi Shankara

"Peace can reign only when there is no disturbance. Disturbance is due to thoughts which arise in the mind. When the mind itself is absent, there will be perfect Peace. Unless a person has annihilated the mind, he cannot gain peace and be happy." - Ramana Maharshi

"What does stillness mean? It means destroy yourself." - Ramana Maharshi

"Abandon this ego-sense with all the strength that lies within." - Yoga Vasistha

"The Self is that where there is absolutely no 'I-thought'. That is called Silence." - Ramana Maharshi

"Intense effort is necessary until the 'I-thought' disappears completely in the heart (Self) and all the vasanas [egoistic tendencies] and samskaras [mental impressions and psychological imprints] are fried and do not revive again." - Ramana Maharshi

"Between me and You, there is only me. Take away the me, so only You remain." - Mansur Al-Hallaj

"Firm resolve to discover the truth for oneself is important. It is the heart, it is necessary to hold on to enquiry till one's mind merges into its source, the heart. Ceaseless effort is needed." - Ramana Maharshi

"Ceaseless practice is essential until one attains without the least effort that natural and primal state of mind which is free from thought, in other words, until the 'I', 'my' and 'mine' are completely eradicated and destroyed." - Ramana Maharshi

"If one wants to abide in the thought-free state, a struggle is inevitable. One must fight one's way through before regaining one's original primal state. If one succeeds in the fight and reaches the goal, the enemy, namely the thoughts, will all subside in the Self and disappear entirely." - Ramana Maharshi

"If you want to become full, let yourself be empty. If you want to be reborn, let yourself die. If you want to be given everything, give everything up." - Lao Tzu

"One must constantly enter into samadhi [meditative absorption] and realize one's Self and completely blot out the old vasanas and the ego, before he becomes the Self. If you keep to the thought of the Self, and be intently watching for It then even that one thought which is used as a focus in concentration will disappear and you will BE the true Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"Jnana (Yogic wisdom, or Self Realization) is the annihilation of the mind in which the mind is made to assume the form of the Self (Atman) through the constant practice of dhyana (meditation) or self-inquiry. The extinction of the mind is the state in which there is a cessation of all efforts. Those who are established in this state never swerve from their true state. The terms silence (mouna) and inaction refer to this state alone." - Ramana Maharshi

"They do not know that the finite is the price of the infinite, as death is the price of immortality." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The life of lovers is in death. You will not win the Beloved's heart - unless you lose your own." - Rumi

"A mature mind that has managed to establish itself firmly in the extremely subtle state or pure being will not get enmeshed in the tangle of the world. The delusion-filled mind has caused samsara to merge with you. It will cease when that mind is completely destroyed. Upon destruction of the mind, the appearance of the world that adheres to you in the state of harmful delusion will stand illustrious as pure consciousness. Even the gods in the heavens cannot stir those deeply peaceful ones who shine, having killed their minds." - Ramana Maharshi

"Go deep within it, until you find yourself in your absence." - Jean Klein

"You are not happy, according to you. But you were happy in sleep. What has transpired in the meantime that happiness of sleep has broken down? It is the rise of ego. That is the new arrival in the jagrat state [awakened Consciousness]. There was no ego in sleep. The birth of the ego is called the birth of the person. There is no other kind of birth. Whatever is born is bound to die. Kill the ego: there is no fear of recurring death for what is once dead. The Self remains even after the death of the ego. That is Bliss - that is Immortality." - Ramana Maharshi

"The birth of the 'I-thought' is one's own birth, its death is the person's death. After the 'I-thought' has arisen, the wrong identity with the body arises. Get rid of the 'I-thought'. So long as 'I' is alive there is grief. When 'I' ceases to exist there is no grief." - Ramana Maharshi

"Q: What is the evidence that one is 'realized'? N: The individuality is completely uprooted. There is absence of sorrow and happiness. Your consciousness realizes that it is universal. When this knowledge really comes to 'you', there will not be any individual identity." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The world is but the surface of the mind and the mind is infinite. What we call thoughts are just ripples in the mind. When the mind is quiet it reflects reality. When it is motionless through and through, it dissolves and only reality remains. This reality is so concrete, so actual, so much more tangible than mind and matter, that compared to it even diamond is soft like butter. This overwhelming actuality makes the world dreamlike, misty, irrelevant." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"You must die in order to live; you must melt down to shape anew. You must destroy to build, annihilate before creation. The Supreme is the universal solvent, it corrodes every container, it burns through every obstacle. Without the absolute denial of everything, the tyranny of things will be absolute. The Supreme is the great harmonizer, the guarantee of the ultimate and perfect balance - of life in freedom. It dissolves you and thus re-asserts your true being." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The 'I' is just waves on top. Sink to the bottom of the ocean and dissolve there." - Jac O'Keeffe

"It is because the 'I am' is false that it wants to continue. Reality need not continue - knowing itself indestructible, it is indifferent of forms and expressions. To strengthen and stabilize the 'I am', we do all sorts of things - all in vain, for the 'I am' is being rebuilt from moment to moment. It is unceasing work, and the only radical solution is to dissolve the separative sense of 'I am such and such person' once and for good. Being remains, but not self-being." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The question 'Who am I?' is not really meant to get an answer, the question 'Who am I?' is meant to dissolve the questioner." - Ramana Maharshi

"As salt dissolves in water, so does everything dissolve in pure being." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Let it all go, the body and the mind. Let yourself dissolve." - Ashtavakra Gita

"Where there is not the slightest trace of the ego, there is the Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"The witness only registers events. In the abeyance of the mind, even the sense 'I am' dissolves. There is no 'I am' without the mind. All experience subsides with the mind. Without the mind, there can be no experiencer, nor experience. The witness merely registers the presence or absence of experience. It is not an experience by itself, but it becomes an experience when the thought 'I am the witness' arises. Call it silence, or void or abeyance, the fact is that the three - experiencer, experiencing, experience - are not. In witnessing, in awareness, self-consciousness, the sense of being this or that, is not. Unidentified being remains." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Everything must be scrutinized and the unnecessary ruthlessly destroyed. Believe me, there cannot be too much destruction. For in reality nothing is of value. Be passionately dispassionate - that is all." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The first and foremost of all thoughts that arise in the mind is the primal 'I-thought'. It is only after the rise or origin of the 'I-thought' that innumerable other thoughts arise. In other words, only after the first personal pronoun, 'I', has arisen, do the second and third personal pronouns (you, he, etc.) occur to the mind; and they cannot subsist without it. Since every other thought can occur only after the rise of the 'I-thought', and since the mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts, it is only through the enquiry 'Who am I?' that the mind subsides. Moreover, the integral 'I-thought' implicit in such enquiry, having destroyed all other thoughts, itself finally gets destroyed or consumed, just as a stick used for stirring the burning funeral pyre gets consumed." - Ramana Maharshi

"The ego has to be annihilated, totally annihilated, totally destroyed. And this is how you destroy it by inquiring: "To whom do these thoughts come? They come to me. Who is me. Who am I?" Keep still, that is all you have to do." - Robert Adams

"The search for Reality is the most dangerous of all undertakings, for it destroys the world in which you live." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"If one remains quiet, without abandoning that understanding, then egoity - the individual sense of the form 'I-am-the-body' will be totally destroyed. And ultimately, the final thought, the 'I-thought', will also be extinguished like camphor that is burned by fire. The great sages and scriptures declare that this alone is Realization." - Ramana Maharshi

"When you see that the mind invents everything, all will vanish. The good will vanish, the evil will vanish and you will remain as you are." - Ramana Maharshi

"The practice of Zen is forgetting the self in the act of uniting with something." - Yamada Koun

"When you are absolutely nothing, you find galaxies of love, worlds of peace, oceans of joy. It is a paradox that you have to give up everything to find everything. That is what Christ means when he says, "He who loses everything, finds everything." The one who gives up his life for Truth finds everlasting life. Now you have to solve some of these ancient paradoxes." - Mooji

"Set yourself aside. Contribute to non-being's cause." - Khwaja Bahaudin Naqshbandi (Master of Wisdom, 14th century, Bukhara, Uzbekistan)

"The mind is complex. Let it go. Know the peace of dissolution." - Ashtavakra Gita

"Nobody believes that he does not exist! However, the more important point which is not so easy to grasp, is that the source of this phenomenal presence (which is the manifestation of the unmanifested) is noumenal absence. Further - I wonder how many of you would apprehend this - it means that whenever the mind is 'fasting', totally without any conceptualization, there is phenomenal absence, and this presence of phenomenal absence is noumenal." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"For the more there is self, the less there is of God. The divine eternal fullness of life can be gained only by those who have deliberately lost the partial, separative life of craving and self-interest, of egocentric thinking, feeling, wishing, and acting." — Aldous Huxley

"Unless one looks upon death as a thing that is very near and might happen at any moment, one will not be aware of the Self. This means that the ego must die, must vanish, along with the inherent vasanas. If the ego vanishes thus, the Self will shine as the luminous Self. Such people will be on a high spiritual plane, free from births and deaths." - Ramana Maharshi

"Unless the samskaras [innate mental tendencies] cease to exist, there will always be doubt and confusion." - Ramana Maharshi

"In deep sleep, mind is merged, and not destroyed. That which merges, reappears. It may happen in meditation also. But the mind which is destroyed, cannot reappear. The Yogi's aim must be to destroy it, and not to sink in laya. In the peace of dhyana, laya ensues, but it is not enough. It must be supplemented by other practices, for destroying the mind. Some people have gone into Samadhi with a trifling thought, and after a long time - awakened, in the trail of the same thought. In the meantime, generations have passed away in the world. Such a Yogi has not destroyed his mind. It's destruction is the non-recognition of it as being apart from the Self. Even now the mind is not. Recognise it! How can you do it, if not in everyday activities. They go on automatically. Know that the mind promoting them is not Real - but a phantom, proceeding from The Self. That is how the mind is destroyed." - Ramana Maharshi

INTELLECTUALISM / NOT-KNOWING / NON-CONCEPTUAL

"To expound and propagate concepts is simple, to drop all concepts is difficult and rare." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"You give reality to concepts, while concepts are distortions of reality. Abandon all conceptualisation and stay silent and attentive. Be earnest about it and all will be well with you." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"All metaphysical discussion is fruitless unless it causes us to seek within the Self for the true Reality. One can, and often does, go through numerous books, a whole library perhaps, and yet comes out without the faintest realization of what one is. Learning often renders a disservice, especially when it causes a person's ego and pride to develop; these prove to be serious obstacles to progress. Science is exploring the external universe, when it has not yet explored the Self. Inventions are being made constantly, they will never cease as we can go on inventing one new thing after another. What is the use? All this is Maya. Turn inwards and know your Self first. All these notes you are making of my sayings and so on, are useful for beginners, for friends and to answer the questions of others. But for yourself, you know that they are only pieces of paper. Dive into the Self and find all you want to know there! All controversies about creation, the nature of the universe, evolution, the purpose of God etc, are useless. They do not lead to true happiness. People try to find out about things which are outside themselves before they try to find out 'Who am I?' Only by this means can they gain happiness - not by understanding the whole universe, for the Self is happiness." - Ramana Maharshi

"Spiritual talk gets you nowhere. Spiritual talk is for novices." - Robert Adams

"The ultimate point of view is that there is nothing to understand, so we try to understand, we are only indulging in acrobatics of the mind. Whatever spiritual things you aspire to know are all happening in this objective world, in the illusion; all your activities, material and spiritual, are in this illusion. All this is happening in the objective world, all is dishonesty, there is no truth in this fraud." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Whatever you think of as spiritual knowledge, was gained in the realm of consciousness. Such knowledge is merely a burden upon your head and is going to add more misery. It's nothing more than spiritual jargon." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Preoccupation with theory, doctrine and philosophy can actually be harmful, insofar as it distracts a man from the really important work of spiritual effort, by offering an easier alternative which is merely mental, and which therefore cannot change his nature." - Ramana Maharshi

"However much you may think you have understood this knowledge, so long as you think that you as an individual, have acquired that knowledge, the individual identity is still there." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The purpose of the intellect is to realize its own dependence upon the Higher Power and its inability to reach the same. So it must annihilate itself before the goal is gained." - Ramana Maharshi

"Q: This consciousness is like a screen, and I am the screen. N: Understand what I say without concepts; you are adding new concepts. Now go to zero concepts!" - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Fortunate is the man who does not lose himself in the labyrinths of philosophy, but goes straight to the Source from which they all rise." - Ramana Maharshi

"All are mere words, of what use are they to you? You are entangled in the web of verbal definitions and formulations. Go beyond your concepts and ideas, in the silence of desire and thought the truth is found." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"What one fails to know by conversation extending to several years can be known in a trice in Silence." - Ramana Maharshi

"In the end, understanding through reason will completely disappear and you will forget you own body. Then your previous ideas will cease and the depth of your questioning mind will be sufficient. Your realization will be complete as when the bottom falls out from a barrel and not a drop of water remains." - Bassui

"On the verbal level everything is relative. Absolute should be experienced, not discussed." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Reality is not a concept, nor the manifestation of a concept. It has nothing to do with concepts. Concern yourself with your mind, remove its distortions and impurities. Once you have had the taste of your own self, you will find it everywhere and at all times. Therefore it is so important that you should come to it. Once you know it, you will never lose it." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"You are so used to the support of concepts that when your concepts leave you, although it is your true state, you get frightened and try to cling to them again." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Learning words is not enough. You may know the theory, but without the actual experience of yourself as the impersonal and unqualified centre of being, love and bliss, mere verbal knowledge is sterile." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"For the purpose of discussion you can arrange words and give them meaning, but the fact remains that all form of knowledge is a form of ignorance. The most accurate map is yet only paper." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"To see that all knowledge is a form of ignorance is itself a movement of reality." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"After Realisation all intellectual loads are useless burdens and are to be thrown overboard." - Ramana Maharshi

"When you let go completely, when you surrender totally to the Self, and you stop trying to analyze things, and figure things out for yourself, you stop trying to use your brain, your mind, to come to any conclusions, what we call the Self takes its place." - Robert Adams

"The Absolute cannot be understood. Understanding goes only up to the 'I am' sense. You are not whatever you understand. In non-understanding you understand yourself." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"If you have any problems or questions with which you are concerned, you will find these problems and questions, are based on your identity with the body and mind as an individual. If that identification is not there, then no questions can arise. You will come to this conclusion." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"No learning or knowledge of scriptures is necessary to know the Self, as no man requires a mirror to see himself. All knowledge is required only to be given up eventually as not-Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"Throw out all your talking, concepts and words! After all, what is the mind? It is just the noise that goes on inside." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"You are too full of gibberish, you know too much. Because of your borrowed knowledge and too many words moving inside you, you cannot see the wordless beauty that can only be experienced in silence." - Osho

"You want words where no words apply." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"It is those who are not learned that are saved rather than those whose ego has not yet subsided in spite of their learning. The unlearned are saved from the relentless grip of the devil of self-infatuation; they are saved from the malady of a myriad whirling thoughts and words; they are saved from running after wealth. It is from more than one evil that they are saved." - Ramana Maharshi

"It is due to illusion born of ignorance that men fail to recognise that which is always and for everybody the inherent Reality dwelling in its natural heart-centre and to abide in it, and that instead they argue that it exists or does not exist, that it has form or has not form, or is non-dual or is dual." - Ramana Maharshi

"The scriptures serve to indicate the existence of the Higher Power or Self and to point the way to It. That is their essential purpose. Apart from that they are useless. However, they are voluminous, in order to be adapted to the level of development of every seeker. As a man rises in the scale he finds the stages already attained to be only stepping stones to higher stages, until finally the goal is reached. When that happens, the goal alone remains and everything else, including the scriptures, become useless." - Ramana Maharshi

"The intricate maze of philosophy of the various schools is said to clarify matters and to reveal the Truth, but in fact it creates confusion where none need exist. To understand anything there must be the Self. The Self is obvious, so why not remain as the Self? What need to explain the non-self?" - Ramana Maharshi

"The intellectual quest is exquisite like pearls and coral, but it is not the same as the spiritual quest. The spiritual quest is on another level altogether, spiritual wine has a subtler taste. The intellect and the senses investigate cause and effect. The spiritual seeker surrenders to the wonder." - Mevlana Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi

"There is nobody who can have the knowledge of the Truth, the Eternal. It is one's eternal true state, but it is not a knowledgeable state, you cannot know it. So-called knowledge is boundless and plenty in the state of attributes 'I Am'. Whatever anyone can tell you is not the truth, because it has come out of this 'I Am'. Words negate. The truth is beyond expression." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Don't worry about words. Transcend the words. Have the experience for yourself, and then there will be nothing to say." - Robert Adams

"Be careful. The moment you start talking you create a verbal universe, a universe of words, ideas, concepts and abstractions, interwoven and interdependent, most wonderfully generating, supporting and explaining each other and yet all without essence or substance, mere creations of the mind. Words create words, reality is silent." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Do not try to know the truth, for knowledge by the mind is not true knowledge. But you can know what is not true, which is enough to liberate you from the false. The idea that you know what is true is dangerous, for it keeps you imprisoned in the mind. It is when you do not know that you are free to investigate. And there can be no salvation without investigation, because non-investigation is the main cause of bondage." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"You give reality to concepts, while concepts are distortions to reality. Abandon all conceptualization and stay silent and attentive. Be earnest about it and all will be well with you." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"I have found that people with a strong intellect find this work most difficult, because the intellect has been trusted as the coping mechanism, the primary assistant in life. They think they can solve all problems with this intellect. It becomes a barrier. People with higher IQ find this work most difficult, because the very thing that is their greatest tool is the greatest obstacle. So if you can observe and recognize when intellect is trying to grasp it, you can put it back at its right place, in his toolbox. Intellect is not needed, it's obsolete for this work. If you can see that intellect is just a tool, that can be picked up and dropped, then you're not a slave of it anymore." - Jac O'Keeffe

"The Self transcends the intellect - the latter must itself vanish to reach the Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"After Realisation all intellectual loads are useless burdens and are to be thrown overboard." - Ramana Maharshi

"When you persistently try to understand with the intellect what is beyond the domain of the intellect, you are bound to reach a dead end, completely baffled." - Bassui

"Abandon false ideas, that is all. There is no need of true ideas. There aren't any. If you keep absolutely quiet, then concepts will be strangled to death. You are so used to the support of concepts that when your concepts leave you, although it is your true state, you get frightened and try to cling to them again. That is the meeting point of that immanent principle and the Eternal, the borderland. Why is the intellect puzzled then? That beingness which you are experiencing is melting away. When that concept of "I Am" goes, intellect also goes. So the intellect gets that frightening experience of "I am going". Just watch that moment. One who feels "I am dying" is not your true state. Your true state is beyond the primary concept of "I Am"." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"You can only listen when the mind is quiet, when the mind doesn't react immediately, when there is an interval between your reaction and what is being said. Then, in that interval there is a quietness, there is a silence in which alone there is a comprehension which is not intellectual understanding." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Most of the people see the tree of knowledge and admire it, but what is to be understood is its source - the seed, the latent force from which it sprouts. Many people talk about it but only intellectually; I talk about it from direct knowledge. A small speck of consciousness, which is like a seed, has all the worlds contained in it. The physical frame is necessary for it to manifest itself. All the ambitions, hopes and desires are connected with an identity, and so long as there is an identity, no truth can be apperceived." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Nowadays people are full of intellectual conceit. They have no faith in the ancient traditional practices leading up to Self-Knowledge. They want everything served to them on a platter." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"That, which you do not know and cannot know is your true state. This, which you think is real because it can be objectified, is what you appear to be. Whatever knowledge you are now seeking about your true state is unknowable, because you are what you are seeking. All that you can get as knowledge is at a conceptual level - the knowledge that you would get as an objective appearance. Such 'knowledge' is in no way different from 'ignorance', because they are inter-related counterparts at the conceptual level. In other words, comprehension at the mind level means only conceptualization and, therefore, is totally illusory. Do understand please, the difference between such conceptualized knowledge and the intuitive apperceiving which is not at the conceptual level. Indeed, apperceiving is whole-seeing or in-seeing, which is vitally different from mere intellectual seeing. Once there is apperception, the duality of counterparts, the basis of mere intellectual comprehension, totally disappears. There is no question of any 'one' thinking that he has understood something by the use of reasoning and logic. True understanding is spontaneous apperception, intuitive and choiceless, and totally non-dualistic. Meditate on what I have said." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"By all means do feel lost. As long as you feel competent and confident, reality is beyond you." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Knowledge is not gained, it is there all the time. It is the "veils" which have to be dissolved in the mind." - Idries Shah

"Blessed are the poor in spirit. He is a poor man who knows nothing. We have sometimes said that a man should live as if he did not live either for himself, or for truth, or for God. But now we will speak differently and go further, and say: For a man to possess this poverty he must live so that he is unaware that he does not live for himself, or for truth, or for God. He must be so lacking in all knowledge that he neither knows nor recognizes nor feels that God lives in him: more still, he must be free of all the understanding that lives in him. For when that man stood in the eternal being of God nothing else lived in him: what lived there was himself. Therefore we declare that a man should be as free from his own knowledge as he was when he was not. That man should let God work as He will, and himself stand idle." - Meister Eckhart

"The masters say God is a being, an intellectual being that knows all things. But we say God is not a being and not intellectual and does not know this or that. Thus God is free of all things, and so He is all things. To be poor in spirit, a man must be poor of all his own knowledge: not knowing any thing, not God, nor creature nor himself. For this it is needful that a man should desire to know and understand nothing of the works of God. In this way a man can be poor of his own knowledge." - Meister Eckhart

"There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception." - Aldous Huxley

"Caught in a dream, one speaks of a dream. When you have entered into your own silence beyond silence, there is no room even for a ripple of judgment as to the 'real' or the 'unreal' - your whole tree of knowledge has no relevance here. Truth is inexpressible, it is not something that belongs to the mind, and even your declaring that this is a dream is another idea that is to be emptied out." - Amir Mourad

"When the listener remains in a state of suspension without intruding on the listening as such, what in fact happens is that the relative, divided mind is automatically restrained from its natural proclivity to engage itself in tortuous interpretation of words, and is thereby prevented from maintaining a continuous process of objectification. It is then the whole mind that is enabled to be in direct communion with both the talking and the listening as such, and thereby to bring about the Yoga of words, enabling the words to yield their innermost meaning and their most subtle significance." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The intellectual is always showing off, the lover is always getting lost. The intellectual runs away, afraid of drowning; the whole business of love is to drown in the sea. Intellectuals plan their repose; lovers are ashamed to rest. The lover is always alone, even surrounded by people; like water and oil, he remains apart. The man who goes to the trouble of giving advice to a lover get nothing. He's mocked by passion. Love is like musk. It attracts attention. Love is a tree, and the lovers are its shade." - Rumi

"Consciousness, pure Awareness are only words, go beyond that. To know the ultimate truth, you first must know nothing." - Robert Adams

"Realizing your true Self requires no phenomenal effort. It happens when it is given an opportunity to do so, when obstruction by conceptualization ceases. It appears when it is given a vacant space to appear in." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Of the unknowable only silence talks. The mind can talk only of what it knows. If you diligently investigate the knowable, it dissolves and only the unknowable remains." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Don't mentalize and verbalize. Just see and be." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Our fear is not of the unknown but of letting go of the known. It is only when the mind allows the known to fade away that there is complete freedom from the known, and only then is it possible for the new impulse to come into being." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"All metaphysical discussion is profitless unless it causes us to seek within the Self for the true reality. All controversies about creation, the nature of the universe, evolution, the purpose of God, etc., are useless. They are not conducive to our true happiness. People try to find out about things which are outside of them before they try to find out 'Who am I?' Only by the latter means can happiness be gained." - Ramana Maharshi

"Don't try to understand. It's enough if you don't misunderstand." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality. To assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality. The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking and there is nothing you will not be able to know." - Sosan Zenji

"Remember that language is an instrument of the mind. It is made by the mind for the mind." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The final truth is that ultimate understanding in which there is no comprehender to comprehend the final truth." - Ramesh Balsekar

"By only talking as an advaitin one cannot attain the Advaita state. If one wishes to attain that state one must die while alive; unless one dies to the world, one cannot realize it." - Brahmajna Ma

"The incomprehensible on the surface of which the awareness of being is experienced is called the Satguru." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The Tao gives rise to all forms, yet it has no form of its own. If you attempt to fix a picture of it in your mind, you will lose it. This is like pinning a butterfly: the husk is captured, but the flying is lost. Why not be content with simply experiencing it?" - Hua Hu Jing

"Theories may be good as starting points, but must be abandoned, the sooner, the better. Your own self is your ultimate teacher." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Many people try to define the Self, instead of attempting to know the Self and abide in it." - Ramana Maharshi

"Is it of any use reading books for those who long for liberation? All the texts say that in order to gain liberation one should render the mind quiescent; therefore their conclusive teaching is that the mind should be rendered quiescent; once this has been understood there is no need for endless reading. In order to quieten the mind one has only to inquire within oneself what one's Self is; how could this search be done in books? One should know one's Self with one's own eye of wisdom. The Self is within the five sheaths [layers covering the Self]; but books are outside them. Since the Self has to be inquired into by discarding the five sheaths, it is futile to search for it in books. There will come a time when one will have to forget all that one has learned." - Ramana Maharshi

"The point is to remember the Beloved, while escaping from the letters of the alphabet." - Khwaja Ubaidullah Ahrar (Master of Wisdom, 15th century, Tashkent, Uzbekistan)

"Your capacity to profit from anything is directly proportionate to the efficiency of your system. This is true physiologically as well as esoterically. You cannot, and you know it, expect your body to extract and process sugar if you have no pancreas, and yet, in your arrogant, intellectual way, you expect to be able to profit from the knowledge that others have bought for you. You want to use what you call the "process of thought or logic" to pick over the whole and eat the parts that you consider nourishing. At best your thought processes are surface reactions, at worst you cannot absorb a reaction or thought before it is fallen upon, diluted, dissected and malformed by the infernal process that you call academic reasoning. Reason, you call it! Do you call it reasonable to gulp down great pieces of wisdom and regurgitate them in the form of theory, the speech and the drivellings of a raw mind? The so-called Age of Reason in Europe produced less reason, less real intellectual progress, than one day's activity by a developed man. You aspire, you dream, but you do not do! Tenacity is replaced by hair-splitting, courage by bluster, and disciplined thought by narrow, pedantic attempts at reason. Bend what little you have left of your intellect to practical activity, realising your severe shortcomings. Cease your diabolic "examination of self". Who am I? How many I's do I have? You have not the capacity at all to understand the concept of true self-examination. Follow a valid philosophy or condemn yourself to join the generations who have drowned themselves in the stagnant pools of slime that they call the reservoirs of reason and intellect!" - Sheikh Hassan Effendi ("The teachers of Gurdjieff", Rafael Lefort)

"Any word or name, description or form, idea or thought taints The Purity of It." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Any knowledge can be acquired only in consciousness, and consciousness itself must be realized as being only a concept. In other words, the basis of all 'knowledge' is a concept." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Okay, make no mistakes about it. If you want Jnana, you have to have Bhakti, in other words you have to have an open heart. When your heart opens, automatically the Self appears. But how does the heart open? Through love, through devotion. Through devotion of that Self. Many people do not understand this. When people get involved in Jnana they become very talkative, and they discuss it, and talk about it, and memorize it, and read books about it. The years pass and you become a walking encyclopedia, but you've hardly made any progress. To make progress there has to be devotion. You have to love yourself, not what you appear to be, but your Self, God. When you begin to truly become a bhakta, and you love your Self, the Self you love becomes omnipresence, all-pervading. So naturally, automatically, you love everybody in this world, insects, animals, insentient and sentient beings, everything. You can only do that when you open your heart and you love your Self. That person becomes self-realized." - Robert Adams

"You cannot meet The Reality through the process of objective sensory knowledge. Only confusion is created by those who insist on trying to know it by experiencing. Leave this approach. Leave your efforts to bring Reality to the level of experiencing. Leave knowing, and not knowing. Both are just concepts, your attitudes. When both are left off, only 'Existence', which is The Pure State Of Being, remains." - Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj

"The very nature of argument is to veil the truth. Since it is nothing but an art of illusion and imagination, it will delude and confuse the mind. Therefore, no one who has fallen into the dark hole of arguments will see the Sunlight, Self-knowledge. Words [and thoughts] do not reveal Self. On the contrary, they veil it completely. Therefore, be alert in controlling both speech and thought so that Self, which is hidden by them, will shine of Its own accord." - Ramana Maharshi

"Some knowledge is needed for yoga and it may be found in books. But practical application is the thing needed, and personal example, personal touch and personal instructions are the most helpful aids. Mere book learning is not of any great use. After realisation all intellectual loads are useless burdens and are thrown overboard as jetsam. Jettisoning the ego is necessary and natural." - Ramana Maharshi

"All metaphysical discussion is profitless unless it causes us to seek within the Self for the true Reality. One can and often does go through numerous books, a whole library perhaps, and yet comes out without the faintest realization of what he IS. Learning often renders a disservice when through it, one's egotism develops with study, and also pride. These prove serious obstacles to progress. Science is exploring the external universe when it has not explored the Self. Inventions are being made constantly; they will never cease as we can go on inventing one new thing after another ad lib. What is the good? All this is maya. Turn inwards and know your Self first. All these notes you are making of my sayings etc. are useful for beginners, for friends and to answer the questions of others. But for yourself you know they are only pieces of paper. Do yourself dive into the Self and find all you want to know there. All controversies about creation, the nature of the universe, evolution, the purposes of God, are useless. They do not conduce to our true happiness. People try to find out about things which are outside of them before they try to find out 'Who am I?'. Only by the latter means can they gain happiness - not by understanding the whole universe." - Ramana Maharshi

PRIOR TO CONSCIOUSNESS / ABSOLUTE / NOTHINGNESS

"Your difficulty stems from the idea that Reality is a state of consciousness. Essence is independent of consciousness." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"In the Absolute I do not even know that I am." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"As The Absolute, I am Timeless, Infinite, and I am Awareness without being aware of Awareness. Unless there is space and duration, I cannot be Conscious of my self." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"If consciousness is not there the Absolute cannot know Itself - there is nothing but the Absolute - therefore no witnessing." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"There can be no experience of the Absolute as it is beyond all experience. The Absolute contains everything experienceable, but without the experiencer they are as nothing. That which makes the experience possible is the Absolute. That which makes it actual is the Self." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The Absolute does not know himself. The Absolute does not need anything. In the Absolute there is no need of any kind, even the need to know oneself. The Absolute does not know itself, but the Absolute is offered an opportunity to understand itself through this 'I Amness' [Consciousness]. The Absolute does not know itself at all. Our true state is not knowledge but prior to knowledge. Before beingness came to you, you were all the time there, but you were not conscious of it. The Absolute state is where knowledge is absorbed in knowledge, and knowledge is not aware of itself." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The Absolute gives birth to consciousness. All else is in consciousness." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The Absolute is beyond the consciousness which is manifest. The Absolute has no connection with this consciousness principle, but without the Absolute, consciousness cannot be. The Absolute is the support of the principle of consciousness." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"M: Even pure awareness is a form of consciousness. Q: Then what is beyond? Emptiness? M: Emptiness again refers only to consciousness. Fullness and emptiness are relative terms. The Real is really beyond - beyond not in relation to consciousness, but beyond all relations of whatever kind. The difficulty comes with the word 'state'. The Real is not a state of something else - it is not a state of mind or consciousness or psyche - nor is it something that has a beginning and an end, being and not being. All opposites are contained in it - but it is not in the play of opposites. You must not take it to be the end of a transition. It is itself, after the consciousness as such is no more. Then words 'I am man', or 'I am God' have no meaning. Only in silence and in darkness can it be heard and seen." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"You are the Absolute, the perfect state. Consciousness was not there earlier, and it is going to disappear, and when it disappears you will still be there and witness that consciousness. You are not the consciousness, nor are you in the consciousness, which is full of wants and needs. Your true nature is That which was before the body and the consciousness came into being." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Your true home is in nothingness, in emptiness of all content." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Q: How is is possible to know and feel that Absolute? M: This knowingness, or understanding, is in the realm of consciousness. Whatever you say that you know and feel is consciousness only. The Absolute is beyond this." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Finally you have to transcend the 'I am' to enter the concept-free Parabrahman state, where you do not even know you are!" - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Remember, the source of consciousness cannot be an object in consciousness." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"I have come to the conclusion that consciousness and whatever appears in consciousness is nothing but a gigantic fraud." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Stay in the consciousness as a portal to the Absolute, be the consciousness as a portal to the Absolute. The Absolute is prior to consciousness." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The Absolute cannot be experienced. It is not an objective affair. When I am unicity then that is pure awareness which is not aware of its awareness, and there can be no subject and object - therefore there can be no witnessing. Any manifestation, any functioning, any witnessing, can only take place in duality. There has to be a subject and an object, they are two, but they are not two, they are two ends of the same thing. When consciousness stirs, duality arises. There are millions of objects, but each object, when it sees another, assumes the subjectivity of the Absolute, although it is an object. I, as an object, perceive and interpret all other objects, and I assume that I am the subject, and the witnessing takes place." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"How do you understand anything? Any knowledge of any kind that you think you have can only be in the consciousness. How can the consciousness, which came later, give you any knowledge about that state which exists prior to its arrival? Any thought that you have reached or are going to reach that state is false. Whatever happens in consciousness is purely imaginary, an hallucination; therefore, keep in mind the knowledge that it is consciousness in which everything is happening. With that knowledge, be still, do not pursue any other thoughts which arise in consciousness. What is necessary is to understand with sure conviction is that all is temporary, and does not reflect your true state." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"You are the Reality beyond the 'I am', you are the Parabrahma. Meditate on this and remember this, finally this idea, too, shall leave you. Understand the 'I am', transcend it and realize the Absolute." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The Absolute state cannot be obtained. That is your state. To the Absolute state the witnessing of the consciousness happens." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"By meditating on the knowledge 'I am' it gradually settles down at its source and disappears, then you are the Absolute." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"You must come to a firm decision. You must forget the thought that you are the body and be only the knowledge 'I am', which has no form, no name. Just be. When you stabilize in that beingness it will give all the knowledge and all the secrets to you, and when the secrets are given to you, you transcend the beingness, and you, the Absolute, will know that you are also not the consciousness. Having gained all this knowledge, having understood what is what, a kind of quietude prevails, a tranquility. Beingness is transcended, but beingness is available." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"That awareness will be there provided you are. You must give up all you have read and heard, and just be. Don't be carried away by concepts. Truth is eternal; whatever you can grasp is unreal. Even your experience that you are is not your true nature. You, as the Absolute, are not this 'I Amness', but presently you have to abide in your 'I Amness'." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"[The centre of consciousness] cannot be given name and form, for it is without quality and beyond consciousness. You may say it is a point in consciousness, which is beyond consciousness. Like a hole in the paper is both in the paper and yet not of paper, so is the supreme state in the very centre of consciousness, and yet beyond consciousness. It is as an opening in the mind through which the mind is flooded with light. The opening is not even the light. It is just an opening. From the mind's point of view, it is but an opening for the light of awareness to enter the mental space. By itself the light can only be compared to a solid, dense, rocklike, homogeneous and changeless mass of pure awareness, free from the mental patterns of name and shape. The supreme gives existence to the mind. The mind gives existence to the body." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Your sadhana [practice] consists in reminding oneself forcibly about one's pure 'being', of not being anything in particular. There is nothing wrong in the idea 'I am the body', but limiting oneself to one body is the mistake. The question 'Who am I?', has no answer. No experience can answer it, for the self is beyond experience. It has no answer in consciousness and therefore, helps to go beyond consciousness." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The ultimate purpose is to reach the source of life and consciousness." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The absolute precedes time. Awareness comes first. A bundle of memories and mental habits attracts attention, awareness gets focalized and a person suddenly appears. Remove the light of awareness, go to sleep or swoon away, and the person disappears. The person (vyakti) flickers, awareness (vyakta) contains all space and time, the absolute (avyakta) is." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Of course the self based on memory is momentary. But such self demands unbroken continuity behind it. You know from experience that there are gaps when your self is forgotten. What brings it back to life? What wakes you up in the morning? There must be some constant factor bridging the gaps in consciousness." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"What you think you have understood is only a movement in your consciousness, and you are separate from that consciousness. As far as the Self is concerned there is no question of understanding or not understanding." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Never stand still on the path; become non-existent; non-existent even to the notion of becoming non-existent. And when you have abandoned both individuality and understanding, this world will become that." - Hakim Sanai (12th century, Persia, Afghanistan)

"Q: The person goes and only the witness remains. M: Who remains to say: 'I am the witness'. When there is no 'I am', where is the witness? In the timeless state there is no self to take refuge in. The man who carries a parcel is anxious not to lose it - he is parcel-conscious. The man who cherishes the feeling 'I am' is self-conscious. The jnani holds on to nothing and cannot be said to be conscious. And yet he is not unconscious. He is the very heart of awareness. We call him digambara clothed in space, the Naked One, beyond all appearance. There is no name and shape under which he may be said to exist, yet he is the only one that truly is. Q: I cannot grasp it. M: Who can? The mind has its limits. It is enough to bring you to the very frontiers of knowledge and make you face the immensity of the unknown. To dive in it is up to you." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Forget your past experiences and achievements, stand naked, exposed to the winds and rains of life and you will have a chance." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Let go of everything impermanent, everything permanent, let go of everything. Have no concept or reasoning whatsoever. Make no differentiation between impermanent and permanent. When I say let go I mean, Everything! Everything! Hold onto nothing!" - Robert Adams

"The whole universe is sum up in the Human Being. Devil is not a monster waiting to trap us, He is a voice inside. Look for Your Devil in yourself, not in the others. Don't forget that the one who knows his Devil, knows his God." - Shams Tabrizi (Rumi's master)

"Such things have been revealed to me that now all I have written appears in my eyes as of no greater value than straw." - Thomas Aquinas

"The 'I am' is a thought, while awareness is not a thought; there is no 'I am aware' in awareness. Consciousness is an attribute while awareness is not, one can be aware of being conscious, but not conscious of awareness. God is the totality of consciousness, but awareness is beyond all - being as well as non-being." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

Q: "When I reach the thoughtless stage in my sadhana [practice] I enjoy a certain pleasure, but sometimes I also experience a vague fear which I cannot properly describe." Ramana Maharshi: "You may experience anything, but you should never rest content with that. Whether you feel pleasure or fear, ask yourself who feels the pleasure or the fear and so carry on the sadhana until pleasure and fear are both transcended and all duality ceases and the Reality alone remains. There is nothing wrong in such things happening or being experienced, but you must never stop at that. For instance, you must never rest content with the pleasure of Laya [Mental inactivity] experienced when thought is quelled but must press on until all duality ceases." - Ramana Maharshi

"You can never understand realization. But you can understand what it is not. Everything that exists is not. When everything is gotten rid of, realization appears by itself." - Robert Adams

"At the centre of our being is a point of nothingness, like a pure diamond." - Thomas Merton

"There is nobody who can have the knowledge of the Truth, the Eternal. It is one's eternal true state, but it is not a knowledgeable state, you cannot know it. So-called knowledge is boundless and plenty in the state of attributes 'I Am'. Whatever anyone can tell you is not the truth, because it has come out of this 'I Am'. Words negate. The truth is beyond expression." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Do not decide that stillness or an experience of peace is enough. There is no experience that can give you anything other than experience. Reject all such tricks that the mind presents. In sinking into that which is prior and beyond all thoughts, all states of mind, all experiences, resting in the beingness that sees but cannot be seen, it is revealed that beyond the shadow of a doubt mind itself does not exist. Mind is only a concept." - Jac O'Keeffe

"Through Love, I have reached a place where no trace of Love remains, where 'I' and 'we' and the painting of existence have all been forgotten and left behind." - Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh

"Do not search for the truth, only cease to cherish opinions. Do not remain in a dualistic state, avoid such pursuits carefully. If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong, the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion. Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attached even to the One." - Sosan Zenji

"My lips got lost on the way to the kiss... that's how drunk I was." - Rumi

"Whatever dividing lines you may find - they are all shadows of the intellect. The most fundamental blind spot in human consciousness is the failure to recognize that all of your ideas about reality are none other than projections of your own mind. And this too - is another shadow of the intellect - but as long as we are communicating through language, we have to be dragged into this ridiculous business. Drop your attachments in being for or against and discover what is left." - Amir Mourad

"Q: Why should the unknown interest me? Of what use is the unknown? M: Of no use whatsoever. But it is worthwhile to know what keeps you within the narrow confines of the known. It is the full and correct knowledge of the known that takes you to the unknown. You cannot think of it in terms of uses and advantages; to be quite detached, beyond the reach of all self-concern, all selfish consideration, is an inescapable condition of liberation. You may call it death; to me it is living at its most meaningful and intense, for I am one with life in its totality and fullness - intensity, meaningfulness, harmony; what more do you want? Q: Nothing more is needed, of course. But you are talking of the knowable. M: Of the unknowable only silence talks. The mind can talk only of what it knows. If you diligently investigate the knowable, it dissolves and only the unknowable remains. But with the first flicker of imagination and interest, the unknowable is obscured and the known comes to the fore-front. The known, the changeable, is what you live with - the unchangeable is of no use to you. It is only when you are satiated with the changeable and long for the unchangeable, that you are ready for the turning round and stepping into what can be described, when seen from the level of the mind, as emptiness and darkness. For the mind craves for content and variety, while reality is, to the mind, contentless and invariable. Q: It looks like death to me. M: It is. It is also all-pervading, all-conquering, intense beyond words. No ordinary brain can stand it without being shattered; hence the absolute need for sadhana. Purity of body and clarity of mind, non-violence and selflessness in life are essential for survival as an intelligent and spiritual entity." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The Supreme Self is beyond all that the mind conceives. He is beyond being and not being. He is the Yes and No to everything, beyond and within, creating and destroying, unimaginably real." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Self itself is not conscious of anything as there is nothing apart from it." - Jac O'Keeffe

"There is no peace in knowingness. Mind itself is the absence of peace. He (as Absolute) will be there even when billions of suns come and go. That power is yours when you don't know yourself. The appearance of the world means the appearance of the sky (space). The fact that 'you are' is the appearance of time." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The Absolute cannot be experienced. It is not an objective affair. When I am unicity then that is pure awareness which is not aware of its awareness, and there can be no subject and object - therefore there can be no witnessing. Any manifestation, any functioning, any witnessing, can only take place in duality." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The dream within the dream is your thinking about what is Essential and what is non-essential, and when you realize that you are the Self, Atman, then you have this experience. You felt that the world is illusory. You felt that you are awake and that it is your waking state. You felt that you have obtained 'experience,' but still, your confusion, your illusion, is persisting as it was. You are yet talking about things in the dream. When there is true awakening, all the sense of 'being' disappears. Even the sense that you are the Self, also dissolves." - Shri Siddharameshwar Maharaj

"To be a living being is not the ultimate state; there is something beyond, much more wonderful, which is neither being nor non-being, neither living nor not-living. It is a state of pure awareness, beyond the limitations of space and time. Once the illusion that the body-mind is oneself is abandoned, death loses its terror, it becomes a part of living." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

SELF-ENQUIRY / ABIDING

"Thought rises up as the subject and object. 'I' alone being held, all else disappears. It is enough, but only to the competent few." - Ramana Maharshi

"Q: "What is the easiest way and most effective way to do atma-vichara, self-inquiry?" Ramana: "To always be aware consciously in all situations of the "I Am". No matter what you're doing, where you are, be aware of the "I Am" in your heart. This is the most effective practice." - Ramana Maharshi

"What is essential in any sadhana [spiritual practice] is to try to bring back the running mind and fix it on one thing only. Why then should it not be brought back and fixed in Self-attention (to this feeling of 'I')? That alone is Self-enquiry (atma-vichara). That is all that is to be done!" - Ramana Maharshi

"Beginners in self-enquiry were advised by Sri Ramana Maharshi to put their attention on the inner feeling of 'I' and to hold that feeling as long as possible. They would be told that if their attention was distracted by other thoughts they should revert to awareness of the 'I-thought' whenever they became aware that their attention had wandered. He suggested various aids to assist this process - one could ask oneself 'Who am I?' or 'Where does this I come from?' - but the ultimate aim was to be continuously aware of the 'I' which assumes that it is responsible for all the activities of the body and the mind. In the early stages of practice attention to the feeling 'I' is a mental activity which takes the form of a thought or a perception. As the practice develops the thought 'I' gives way to a subjectively experienced feeling of 'I', and when this feeling ceases to connect and identify with thoughts and objects it completely vanishes. What remains is an experience of being in which the sense of individuality has temporarily ceased to operate. The experience may be intermittent at first but with repeated practice it becomes easier and easier to reach and maintain. When self-enquiry reaches this level there is an effortless awareness of being in which individual effort is no longer possible since the 'I' who makes the effort has temporarily ceased to exist. It is not Self-realization since the 'I-thought' periodically reasserts itself but it is the highest level of practice. Repeated experience of this state of being weakens and destroys the vasanas (mental tendencies) which cause the 'I-thought' to rise, and, when their hold has been sufficiently weakened, the power of the Self destroys the residual tendencies so completely that the 'I-thought' never rises again. This is the final and irreversible state of Self-realization." - David Goodman (Be as you are - The teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi)

"Seal off the entrances and exits to the mind by not reacting to rising thoughts or sense impressions. Don't let new ideas, judgements, likes, dislikes, etc. enter the mind, and don't let rising thoughts flourish and escape your attention. When you have sealed off the mind in this way, challenge each emerging thought as it appears by asking, 'Where have you come from?' or 'Who is the person who is having this thought?' If you can do this continuously, with full attention, new thoughts will appear momentarily and then disappear. If you can maintain the siege for long enough, a time will come when no more thoughts arise; or if they do, they will only be fleeting, undistracting images on the periphery of consciousness. In that thought-free state you wlil begin to experience yourself as consciousness, not as mind or body. However, if you relax your vigilance even for a few seconds and allow new thoughts to escape and develop unchallenged, the siege will be lifted and the mind will regain some or all of its former strength. In the fort of the mind the occupants, which are thoughts, need a thinker to pay attention to them and indulge in them. If the thinker witholds his attention from rising thoughts or challenges them before they have a chance to develop, the thoughts will all die of starvation. You challenge them by repeatedly asking yourself 'Who am I? Who is the person who is having these thoughts?' If the challenge is to be effective you must make it before the rising thought has had a chance to develop into a stream of thoughts. Mind is only a collection of thoughts and the thinker who thinks them. The thinker is the 'I-thought', the primal thought which rises from the Self before all others, which identifies with all other thoughts and says, 'I am this body'. When you have eradicated all thoughts except for the thinker himself by ceaseless enquiry or by refusing to give them any attention, the 'I-thought' sinks into the Heart and surrenders, leaving behind it only an awareness of consciousness. This surrender will only take place when the 'I-thought' has ceased to identify with rising thoughts. While there are still stray thoughts which attract or evade your attention, the 'I'-thought will always be directing its attention outwards rather than inwards. The purpose of self-enquiry is to make the 'I-thought' move inwards, towards the Self. This will happen automatically as soon as you cease to be interested in any of your rising thoughts." - Annamalai Swami

"The question "Who am I?" has no answer in consciousness and therefore helps to go beyond consciousness." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"If you sit in meditation thinking "I am so-and-so meditating", there is no chance that you can become one with the 'I am'. All external links have to be totally severed and only the 'I am' should remain, devoid of the body idea. It should be the 'I am' in its utmost purity, it was in its utmost purity when it arose, that is the reason for the necessity to go back and recapture that nascent 'I am'. Do this repeatedly till you stabilize in that 'I am' that is without words, you have been through that phase, so it is only a question of application and endurance. When the knowledge 'I am' without words abides in itself there is a chance of transcending it." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Q. How to control thoughts? Ramana: The wavering of mind is because of its weakness, due to dissipation of its energy in the shape of thoughts. When one makes the mind stick to one thought, the energy is conserved and the mind becomes stronger. Strength of mind is gained by practice, as the Gita points out. In the earlier stages mind reverts to the search only at long intervals, but with continued practice it reverts at shorter intervals until finally it does not wander at all. It is then that the dormant shakti manifests and the mind resolves itself into the life-current." - Ramana Maharshi [Talk 91 - Conscious Immortality]

"In slightly more elaborate form, as Nisargadatta Maharaj himself so often put it, you clearly and intuitively know or apperceive that you are. No one has any real doubts about this fundamental fact of their consciousness, beingness, knowingness, presence or "I-Am-ness". Maharaj would say, meditate on and remain as this "I-Am-ness", fervently focus on and ponder this fundamental experience or fact of "I Am" free of all limiting identifications with "I am this" or "I am that". Notice the chronic tendency to identify with "this" or "that" as me - "me" in the form of "my mind", "my body", my being a "man" or a "woman", my being "good" or "bad", my being a devotee of this religion or that, this political party or that. Maharaj said: "Just be, and don't get restless 'trying' to be, just be", "Just be in your beingness". Simply and clearly dwelling as the unidentified, undefined "I Am" sense of sheer presence (what Ramana Maharshi always called "the I-thought"), the Grace of One's Real Nature as Absolute Reality or Parabrahman takes over and finally even merges that basic "I Am" presence into Pure, Absolute Awareness, our Infinite, Eternal, Ever-Abiding Identity. This Awareness is more "no-knowingness" than "knowingness", more Absence (of anything or anyone) than presence. Yet this "Absence" is no mere "vacuous emptiness" but is the Stupendous Reality, the Nirguna Parabrahman (quality-less Divine Reality) beyond saguna Brahman (Divine Reality with qualities, manifestation, beingness), as sage Sankara, Nisargadatta and other Indian sages distinguish." - Timothy Conway (Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981), Life & Teachings of Bombay's Fiery Sage of Liberating Wisdom)

"Keeping the mind in the Heart is self-enquiry." - Ramana Maharshi

"The greatest guru is your inner self. Truly, he is the supreme teacher. He alone can take you to your goal and he alone meets you at the end of the road. Confide in him and you need no outer guru." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Q: When I am engaged in enquiry as to the source from which the 'I' springs, I arrive at a stage of stillness of mind beyond which I find myself unable to proceed farther. I have no thought of any kind and there is an emptiness, a blankness. A mild light pervades and I feel that it is myself, bodiless. I have neither cognition nor vision of body and form. The experience lasts nearly half an hour and is pleasing. Would I be correct in concluding that all that was necessary to secure eternal happiness (i.e., freedom or salvation or whatever one calls it) was to continue the practice till this experience could be maintained for hours, days and months together? R: This does not mean salvation; such a condition is termed manolaya or temporary stillness of thought. Manolaya means concentration, temporarily arresting the movement of thoughts; as soon as this concentration ceases, thoughts, old and new, rush in as usual and even though this temporary lulling of mind should last a thousand years it will never lead to total destruction of thought, which is what is called salvation or liberation from birth and death. The practiser must therefore be ever on the alert and enquire within as to who has this experience, who realises its pleasantness. Failing this enquiry he will go into a long trance or deep sleep (Yoga nidra). Due to the absence of a proper guide at this stage of spiritual practice many have been deluded and fallen a prey to a false sense of salvation and only a few have, either by the merit of good acts in their previous births, or by extreme grace, been enabled to reach the goal safely." - Ramana Maharshi

"It is foolish to think that we will enter heaven without entering into ourselves." - Teresa of Avila

"Use your mind. Remember. Observe. You are not different from others, most of their experiences are valid for you too. Think clearly and deeply, go into the entire structure of your desires and their ramnifications. They are a most important part of your mental and emotional make-up and powerfully affect your actions. Remember you cannot abandon what you do not know. To go beyond yourself, you must know yourself." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Therefore, leaving the body as it is, one should inquire keenly thus: "Now, what is it that rises as this feeling of 'I'", Where does this feeling of "I" arise from, what is it's Source. Then, there will shine in the Heart a kind of wordless illumination in the form of 'I' 'I', or the unbroken, continuous 'I', which is Awareness itself. That is, there would shine of its own accord the Pure Consciousness which is alone the unlimited One, the limited and thoughts of the many having disappeared. If one remains very quiet without abandoning that experience, the egoity, or individual sense of separation, and the illusory thought 'I am this body' will eventually be totally destroyed, and at the end of life, the final thought, 'I' am form" will be burned up like the fire that burns camphor. This is what the great sages and scriptures declare that is itself alone release." - Ramana Maharshi

"Q: How to destroy the mind? M: Seek the mind. On being sought, it will disappear. Q: I do not understand. M: The mind is only a bundle of thoughts. The thoughts arise because there is the thinker. The thinker is the ego. The ego, if sought, will vanish automatically. The ego and the mind are the same. The ego is the root-thought from which all other thoughts arise. Q: How to seek the mind? M: Dive within. You are now aware that the mind rises up from within. So sink within and seek." - Ramana Maharshi

"Meditation differs according to the degree of advancement of the seeker. If one is fit for it one might directly hold the thinker; and the thinker will automatically sink into his source, namely Pure Consciousness. If one cannot directly hold the thinker one must meditate on God; and in due course the same individual will have become sufficiently pure to hold the thinker and sink into absolute Being." - Ramana Maharshi

"The more you get fixed in the Self the more other thoughts will drop off of themselves. The mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts, and the 'I-thought' is the root of all of them. When you see who this 'I' is and find out where it comes from all thoughts get merged in the Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"The only inquiry leading to self-realization is seeking the source of the "I" with in-turned mind and without uttering the word "I"." - Ramana Maharshi

"Go deeply into this feeling of 'I'. Be aware of it so strongly and so intensely that no other thoughts have the energy to arise and distract you. If you hold this feeling of 'I' long enough and strongly enough, the false 'I' will vanish leaving only the unbroken awareness of the real, immanent 'I', consciousness itself." - Annamalai Swami

"Become conscious of being conscious. Say or think 'I am', and add nothing to it. Be aware of the stillness that follows the 'I am'. Sense your presence, the naked unveiled, unclothed beingness. It is untouched by young or old, rich or poor, good or bad, or any other attributes. It is the spacious womb of all creation, all form." - Ramana Maharshi

"Your business is to find the real nature of the mind. Then you will know that there is no mind. When the Self is sought, the mind is nowhere. Abiding in the Self, one need not worry about the mind." - Ramana Maharshi

"Q: What is the easiest way and most effective way to do atma-vichara, self-inquiry? Ramana: To always be aware consciously in all situations of the "I-am"." No matter what you are doing , where you are be aware of the "I-am" in your heart. This is the most effective practice." - Ramana Maharshi

"All that is needed is to give up thinking of objects other than the Self. Meditation is not so much thinking of the Self as giving up thinking of the not-Self. When you give up thinking of outward objects and prevent your mind from going outwards by turning it inwards and fixing it in the Self, the Self alone remains." - Ramana Maharishi

SUFFERING

"Each soul runs from poverty and destruction. How sad! It is running away from happiness and joy. No one can triumph before being destroyed. O Beloved! Reconcile me with destruction." - Rumi

"Suffering is a gift. In it is hidden mercy." - Rumi

"I went inside my heart to see how it was. Something there makes me hear the whole world weeping." - Rumi

"Suffering only shows where you are attached. That is why, to those on the path, suffering is grace." - Ram Dass

"Enter the ruins of your heart, and learn the meaning of humility." - Rumi

"The wounds of battle have turned to victory because of the pain. I did not escape." - Rumi

"The fact of pain is easily brought within the focus of awareness. With suffering it is not that simple. To focus on suffering is not enough, for mental life, as we know it, is one continuous stream of suffering. To reach the deeper layers of suffering you must go to its roots and uncover their vast underground network, where fear and desire are closely interwoven and the currents of life's energy oppose, obstruct and destroy each other." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Many afflictions, like thunderbolts, heavily oppress excellent and virtuous devotees. You should know that this happens not to torment them but to firmly establish and make resilient [in tapas] the minds of those pure ones. Without his excellent mind losing its composure, let the sadhaka endure to the very end the tribulations that come to him through prarabdha. He should understand that they [the tribulations] are God's blessed grace which enables him to attain divine fortitude. They have as their ultimate purpose the bestowal of liberation on the mature soul." - Ramana Maharshi

"The Self alone can give you happiness. All happiness is from the Self. All trouble, sorrow and suffering is from the mind." - papaji

"When inward tenderness finds the secret hurt, pain itself will crack the rock and, Ah! Let the Soul emerge." - Rumi

"An uncut gem excavated from a mine will not attain brilliance unless it is cut and polished. Similarly, the true tapas, the sadhana that a sadhaka performs, will not shine except by the ordeals which are the obstacles to it." - Ramana Maharshi

"Abiding in your own being is holy company. If you have no problem of suffering and release from suffering, you will not find the energy and persistence needed for self-enquiry. You cannot manufacture a crisis. It must be genuine." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"O heart, if you recognize any difference between joy and sorrow, these lies will tear you apart. Although your desire tastes sweet - doesn't the Beloved desire you to be desireless? The life of lovers is in death. You will not win the Beloved's heart - unless you lose your own." - Rumi

"There are always moments when one feels empty and estranged. Such moments are most desirable for it means the soul has cast its moorings and is sailing for distant places. This is detachment - when the old is over and the new has not yet come. If you are afraid, the state may be distressing; but there is really nothing to be afraid of. Remember the instruction: whatever you come across - go beyond." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"It is the mind that feels the trouble and misery. If you know the Self, there will be no darkness, no ignorance and no misery." - Ramana Maharshi

"Question: How is it that so much suffering comes to people who behave virtuously? Bhagavan: It is good if suffering comes to devotees. The dhobi [washer man], when washing clothes, beats them hard against a rock. But he does so only to remove the dirt from the clothes. Similarly, all sufferings are given for the sole purpose of purifying the mind of the devotee. If we are patient, happiness will follow." - Ramana Maharshi

"One day your heart will take you to your lover. One day your soul will carry you to the Beloved. Don't get lost in your pain – know that one day your pain will become your cure." - Rumi

"The only way out is through." - Carl Jung

"You are like a child with a lollypop in its mouth. You may feel happy for a moment by being totally self-centered, but it is enough to have a good look at human faces to perceive the universality of suffering. Even your own happiness is so vulnerable and short-lived, at the mercy of a bank-crash, or a stomach ulcer. It is just a moment of respite, a mere gap between two sorrows. Real happiness is not vulnerable, because it does not depend on circumstances." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"To want something leads to suffering because, at the outset, you think you are missing something. If and when you get it, it cannot last. Wanting is suffering. Not wanting is the natural state." - Jac O'Keeffe

"For those who have enjoyed the supreme bliss of profound sleep, devoid of every object, it is foolishness not to cherish pure Awareness, and to long for some other object, pretending it could give dependable relief from suffering." - Muruganar

"Moods are in the mind and do not matter. Go within, go beyond. Cease being fascinated by the content of your consciousness. When you reach the deep layers of your true being, you will find that the mind's surface play affects you very little." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation, and that is called loving. Well then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is only your aversion to it that hurts, nothing else." - Herman Hesse

"There are tears of love that will last longer than the stars in the sky." - Charles Peguy

"The way of Love is not a subtle argument. The door there is devastation. Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it? They fall. And in falling, are given wings." - Rumi

"Once you have grasped the truth that the world is full of suffering, that to be born is a calamity, you will find the urge and the energy to go beyond. Pleasure puts you to sleep and pain wakes you up. If you do not want to suffer, don't go to sleep. You cannot know yourself through bliss alone, for bliss is your very nature. You must face the opposite, what you are not, to find enlightenment." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Above all, we want to remain conscious. We shall bear every suffering and humiliation, but we shall rather remain conscious. Unless we revolt against this craving for experience and let go the manifested altogether, there can be no relief. We shall remain trapped." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Our mind does not know that if it goes to the outside world, there is nothing but suffering. It keeps running out in ignorance. When it gets the maturity, it will go inside by itself. Until then, it is our job to put it inside with effort - which we do in meditation." - Ramana Maharshi

"Suffering is a call for enquiry, all pain needs investigation." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Q: How is it that the question 'Who am I' attracts me little? I prefer to spend my time in the sweet company of saints. M: Abiding in your own being is also holy company. If you have no problem of suffering and release from suffering, you will not find the energy and persistence needed for self-enquiry. You cannot manufacture a crisis. It must be genuine. Q: How does a genuine crisis happen? M: It happens every moment, but you are not alert enough. A shadow on your neighbor's face, the immense and all-pervading sorrow of existence is a constant factor in your life, but you refuse to take notice. You suffer and see others suffer, but you don't respond. Q: What you say is true, but what can I do about it? Such indeed is the situation. My helplessness and dullness are a part of it. M: Good enough. Look at yourself steadily -- it is enough. The door that locks you in, is also the door that lets you out. The 'I am' is the door. Stay at it until it opens. As a matter of fact, it is open, only you are not at it. You are waiting at the non-existent painted doors, which will never open." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

NISARGADATTA MAHARAJ / I AM PRACTICE

* All the glories will come with mere dwelling on the feeling 'I am'. It is the simple that is certain, not the complicated. Somehow, people do not trust the simple, the easy, the always available. Why not give a honest trial to what I say? It may look very small and insignificant, but it is the seed that grows into a mighty tree. Give yourself a chance!

* These moments of inner quiet will burn out all obstacles without fail. Don't doubt its efficacy. Try it.

* Take one sentence of what has been said here, and stay with it. That is enough; that will lead you to your source.

* Be aware of being conscious and seek the source of consciousness. That is all.

* Give all your attention to the question: "What is it that makes me conscious?", until your mind becomes the question itself and cannot think of anything else.

* Relax and watch the 'I am'. Reality is just behind it. Keep quiet, keep silent; it will emerge, or, rather, it will take you in.

* Know yourself to be the changeless witness of the changeful mind. That is enough.

* Stop making use of your mind and see what happens. Do this one thing thoroughly. That is all.

* The 'I am' is the sole capital that you have. Dwell on this, nothing else is necessary.

* Keep quiet, undisturbed, and the wisdom and the power will come on their own. You need not hanker. Wait in silence of the heart and mind. It is very easy to be quiet, but willingness is rare.

* There is nothing to practice. To know yourself, be yourself. To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your nature emerge. Don't disturb your mind with seeking. You have only to look and see. Look at your self, at your own being. You know that you are and you like it. Abandon all imagining, that is all.

* Stay open and quiet, that is all. What you seek is so near you that there is no place for a way.

* Meet you own self. Be with your own self, listen to it, obey it, cherish it, keep it in mind ceaselessly. You need no other guide.

* Abandon all conceptualization and stay silent and attentive. Be earnest about it.

* Go deep into the sense of 'I am' and you will find. Take the first step first. All blessings come from within. Turn within. 'I am' you know. Be with it all the time you can spare, until you revert to it spontaneously. There is no simpler and easier way.

* The Supreme is the easiest to reach for is your very being. It is enough to stop thinking and desiring anything but the Supreme.

* Your dwelling on the fact 'I am' will soon create another chance of self-realization. For attitude attracts opportunity. All you know is second-hand. Only 'I am' is first-hand and needs no proofs. Stay with it.

* Moods are in the mind and do not matter. Go within, go beyond. Cease being fascinated by the content of your consciousness. When you reach the deep layers of your true being, you will find that the mind's surface play affects you very little.

* Your true home is in nothingness, in emptiness of all content.

* Abandon every attempt, just be; don't strive, don't struggle, let go every support, hold on to the blind sense of being, brushing off all else. This is enough.

* Hang on to the 'I am', which is your only capital, meditate on it, and let that unfold all the knowledge that has to come.

* First of all, abandon all self-identification, stop thinking of yourself as such-and-such, so-and-so, this or that. Abandon all self-concern, worry not about your welfare, material or spiritual. Abandon any desire, gross or subtle, stop thinking of achievement of any kind. You are complete here and now, you need absolutely nothing.

* Deepen and broaden the awareness of yourself and all the blessings will flow. You need not seek anything, all will come to you most naturally and effortlessly.

* Give yourself no name, no shape. In the darkness and the silence reality is found.

* In peace and silence, the skin of the 'I' dissolves and the inner and the outer become one.

* Don't talk of means, there are no means. What you see as false, dissolves. It is the very nature of illusion to dissolve on investigation. Investigate - that is all. You cannot destroy the false, for you are creating it all the time. Withdraw from it, ignore it, go beyond, and it will cease to be.

* Keep the 'I am' in the focus of awareness, remember that you are, watch yourself ceaselessly and the unconscious will flow into the conscious without any special effort on your part. Wrong desires and fears, false ideas, social inhibitions are blocking and preventing its free interplay with the conscious. Once free to mingle, the two become one and the one becomes all.

* True awareness is a state of pure witnessing, without the least attempt to do anything about the event witnessed. Your thoughts and feelings, words and actions may also be a part of the event; you watch all unconcerned, in the full light of clarity and understanding. You understand precisely what is going on, because it does not affect you. It may seem to be an attitude of cold aloofness, but it is not really so. Once you are in it, you will find that you love what you see, whatever may be its nature. This choiceless love is the touchstone of awareness. If it is not there, you are merely interested, for some personal reasons.

* Learn to live without self concern. For this you must know your own true being as indomitable, fearless, ever victorious. Once you know with absolute certainty that nothing can trouble you but your own imagination, you come to disregard your desires and fears, concepts and ideas, and live by truth alone.

* All you have to do is to abandon all memories and expectations. Just keep yourself ready in utter nakedness and nothingness.

* All you need is to be aware of being, not as a verbal statement, but as ever present fact. The real is, behind and beyond words, incommunicable, directly experienced, explosive in its effect on the mind. It is easily had when nothing else is wanted.

* First of all, establish a constant contact with your self, be with yourself all the time. Into self-awareness all blessings flow.

* A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without any effort on your part.

* Refuse all thoughts except one: the thought 'I am'. The mind will rebel in the beginning, but with patience and perseverance it will yield and keep quiet. Once you are quiet, things will begin to happen spontaneously and quite naturally, without any interference on your part.

* You need not get at it, you are it. It will get at you, if you give it a chance. Let go your attachment to the unreal and the real will swiftly and smoothly step into its own. Stop imagining yourself being or doing this or that, and the realization that you are the source and heart of all will dawn upon you.

* Try to be, only to be. The all-important word is 'try'. Allow enough time daily for sitting quietly and trying, just trying, to go beyond the personality with its addictions and obsessions. Don't ask how, it cannot be explained. You just keep on trying until you succeed. If you persevere, there can be no failure. What matters supremely is sincerity, earnestness. You must really have had surfeit of being the person you are. Now see the urgent need of being free of this unnecessary self-identification with a bundle of memories and habits. This steady resistance against the unnecessary is the secret of success.

* Your mind is steeped in the habits of evaluation and acquisition, and will not admit that the incomparable and unobtainable are waiting timelessly within your own heart for recognition. All you have to do is to abandon all memories and expectations. Just keep yourself ready in utter nakedness and nothingness.

* Do not bother about anything you want, or think, or do,  just stay in the thought and feeling 'I am', focusing 'I am' firmly in your mind. All kinds of experience may come to you - remain unmoved in the knowledge that all perceivable is transient and only the 'I am' endures.

* You want to know yourself. For this keep steadily in the focus of consciousness, the only clue you have: your certainty of being. Be with it, play with it, ponder over it, delve deeply into it, till the shell of ignorance breaks open and you emerge into the realm of reality.

* Look at yourself steadily - it is enough. The door that locks you in, is also the door that lets you out. The 'I am' is the door. Stay at it until it opens. As a matter of fact, it is open, only you are not at it. You are waiting at the non-existent painted doors, which will never open.

* Give your heart and mind to brooding over the 'I am', what is it, how is it, what is its source, its life, its meaning? It is very much like digging a well. You reject all that is not water, till you reach the life-giving spring. All you need is already within you, you only must approach your self with reverence and love.

* Don't bother about anything, just continue abiding in the 'I am', a moment will come when it will be pleased and reveal all the secrets.

* Go deep into the sense of 'I am' and you will find. How do you find a thing you have mislaid or forgotten? You keep it in your mind until you recall it. The sense of being, of 'I am' is the first to emerge. Ask yourself whence it comes or just watch it quietly. When the mind stays in the 'I am', without moving, you enter a state, which cannot be verbalized, but which can be experienced. All you need to do is to try and try again. After all the sense of 'I am' is always with you, only you have attached all kinds of things to it - body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, possessions and so on. All these self-identifications are misleading, because of these you take yourself to be what you are not.

* Just look away from all that happens in your mind and bring it to the feeling 'I am'. The 'I am' is not a direction. It is the negation of all direction. Ultimately even the 'I am' will have to go, for you need not keep on asserting what is obvious. Bringing the mind to the feeling 'I am' merely helps in turning the mind away from everything else. When the mind is kept away from its preoccupations, it becomes quiet. If you do not disturb this quiet and stay in it, you find that it is permeated with a light and a love you have never known; and yet you recognize it at once as your own nature. Once you have passed through this experience, you will never be the same man again; the unruly mind may break its peace and obliterate its vision; but it is bound to return, provided the effort is sustained; until the day when all bonds are broken, delusions and attachments end and life becomes supremely concentrated in the present.

* The 'I am' has brought you in, the 'I am' will take you out, the 'I am' is the door, stay at it! It's open!

* Distrust your mind and go beyond. Then you will find the direct experience of being, knowing and loving. There are many starting points - they all lead to the same goal. You may begin with selfless work, abandoning the fruits of action; you may then give up thinking and end in giving up all desires. Here, giving up is the operational factor. Or you may not bother about any thing you want, or think, or do, and just stay in the thought and feeling "I am", focusing "I am" firmly in your mind. All kinds of experience may come to you - remain unmoved in the knowledge that all perceivable is transient and only the "I am" endures.

* What prevents the insight into one's true nature is the weakness and obtuseness of the mind and its tendency to skip the subtle and focus the gross only. When you follow my advice and try to keep your mind on the notion of 'I am' only, you become fully aware of your mind and its vagaries. Awareness, being lucid harmony in action, dissolves dullness and quietens the restlessness of the mind, and gently but steadily changes its very substance. This change need not be spectacular; it may be hardly noticeable; yet it is a deep and fundamental shift from darkness into light, from inadvertence to awareness. For this, keep steadily in the focus of consciousness the only clue you have: your certainty of being. Be with it, play with it, ponder over it, delve deeply into it, till the shell of ignorance breaks open and you emerge into the realm of reality.

* Establish yourself firmly in the awareness of 'I am'. This is the beginning and also the end of all endeavour.

* What comes must go. The permanent is beyond all comings and goings. Go to the root of all experience, to the sense of being. Beyond being and not-being lies the immensity of the real. Try and try again.

* Just keep in mind the feeling "I am", merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts, you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection, and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling "I am". Whatever you think, say or do, this sense of immutable and affectionate being remains as the ever-present background of the mind.

* Be fully aware of your own being, and you will be in bliss consciously. Because you take your mind off yourself and make it dwell on what you are not, you lose your sense of well-being, of being well.

* There will be periods of frustration; there will be periods of doubt. Your worldly involvements would hamper your Sadhana and an atmosphere of defeat would prevail. But, come what may, just throw everything aside, don't bother about anything and continue your abidance in the 'I am' with all earnestness. The 'I am' would test your endurance, but a moment would come when it will be pleased with you, become your friend and release its stranglehold on you, and reveal all the secrets.

* Stick to your own consciousness, remain in that. All the burden of your concepts, you should fuse into your consciousness.

* Just sit and know that you are the 'I am' without words. Nothing else has to be done; shortly you will arrive to your natural Absolute state.

* What is it in you that understands this knowledge 'I am' without a name, title or word? Sink in that innermost center and witness the knowledge 'I am'.

* Once you reach the state of 'I am' and are aware of that only, you will have transcended all the tendencies (vasanas).

* The 'I am' is the awareness before thoughts, it cannot be put into words; you have to 'just be'.

* You are in the 'I am' without any effort, so be there. Don't try to interpret the 'I am'.

* To stabilize in the 'I am', which has no name and form, is itself liberation.

* It is the 'I am' that investigates the 'I am' and on realizing its falsehood it disappears and merges into eternity.

* All knowledge including the 'I am' is formless, throw out the 'I am' and stay put in quietude.

* On the state of non-beingness, beingness as the 'I am' has occurred. Who that is, is not important. The 'I am' is important, stay there.

* Go to the 'I am' state, remain there, merge, and go beyond. If you were to dwell in the 'I am' and firmly abide in it, all external things will lose their grip on you.

* You have 'to be' before anything else can be, your sense of 'presence' or the feeling 'I am' is really fundamental to anything that has to follow.

* You have to be there before you can say 'I am', the 'I am' is the root of all appearance.

* You have to understand that the 'I am' is even before the arising of any words, thoughts or feelings.

* Only the 'I am' is certain, it's impersonal, all knowledge stems from it, it's the root, hold on to it and let all else go.

* You are sure of the 'I am', it's the totality of being, remember 'I am' and it's enough to heal your mind and take you beyond.

* Immortality is freedom from the feeling 'I am'. To have that freedom remain in the sense 'I am'. It's simple, it's crude, yet it works!

* This 'I am' is here with you, ever present, ever available, it was and still is the first thought, refuse all other thoughts and come back there and stay there.

* Establish yourself firmly in the 'I am' and reject all that does not go with it.

* Only the 'I am' is certain, it's impersonal, all knowledge stems from it, it's the root, hold on to it and let all else go.

* When the 'I am' goes all that remains is the Absolute. Give all your attention to the 'I am'.

* In deep meditation, infused only with the knowledge 'I am', it will be intuitively revealed to you as to how this 'I-am-ness' came to be.

* The beginning and the end of knowledge is the 'I am'. Be attentive to the 'I am'. Once you understand it, you are apart from it.

* Remain focused on the 'I am' till it goes into oblivion, then the eternal is, the Absolute is.

* Remember the knowledge 'I am' only and give up the rest, staying in the 'I am' you will realize that it is unreal.

* By meditating on the knowledge 'I am' it gradually settles down at its source and disappears. Then you are the Absolute.

* Go on to know the 'I am' without words. You must be that and not deviate from it for even a moment, and then it will disappear.

* Get stabilized in the primary concept 'I am' in order to loose it and be free from all concepts. In understanding the unreality of 'I am' you are totally free from it.

* Sitting quietly, being one with the knowledge 'I am', you will lose all concern with the world, then the 'I am' will also go, leaving you as the Absolute.

* Putting aside everything, stabilize in the 'I am'. As you continue with this practice, in the process you will transcend the 'I am'.

* The very core of this consciousness is the quality 'I am'. There is no personality or individual there. Reside there and transcend it.

* Keep focused on the 'I am' till you become a witness to it. Then you stand apart, and you have reached the highest.

* The one who abides in that principle by which he knows 'I am' knows all and does not require anything.

* Having acquired and understood the knowledge 'I am', stay there in seclusion and don't wander around here and there. Once you stabilize in the 'I am', you will realize that it is not the eternal state, but 'you' are eternal and ancient.

* When knowledge abides in knowledge there is transcendence of knowledge.

* The borderline between 'I am' (beingness) and 'I am not' (non-beingness) is the precise location where the intellect subsides. It's the 'Maha-yoga' state. Be there!

* Do nothing but stay in the knowledge 'I am', the 'Moolmaya', or primary illusion, and then it will release its stranglehold on you and get lost.

* Do you require any special effort to know that 'you are'? The 'I am' without words itself is God.

* That 'Brahman' or 'I am' state alone embraces everything and is all the manifestation. You have to forget everything and merge with 'Brahman'.

* Abiding in the 'I am' (which is God) you won't want to leave it, and then it won't leave you!

* When you go deep inside, nothing is all there is. There is no 'I am'. The 'I am' merges in the Absolute.

* It is the 'I am' that investigates the 'I am'. Realizing its falsehood it disappears and merges into Eternity.

* When you abide for a sufficiently long time in the 'I am', the knowledge 'I am' itself will make everything clear to you. No external knowledge will be necessary.

* To the One who meditates on the knowledge 'I am', everything in the realm of Consciousness becomes clear.

* Once you become the 'I am' it will reveal all the knowledge and you need not go to anybody for guidance.

* The feeling 'I am' is itself an illusion, therefore whatever is seen through this illusion cannot be real.

* There is nobody else but 'me' or 'I am'. This non-dual devotion (Advaita-bhakti) is the highest; to vanish and be lost in the vast unknown.

* The first step is to go and dwell in the 'I am'. From there you go beyond consciousness and no-consciousness to the infinite Absolute, which is the permanent state.

* The 'I am' is only a little distance away from the True state, hence it is unreal, for whatever is away from the True state or Reality is unreal.

* Hold onto the sense of 'I am' to the exclusion of everything else. When thus the mind becomes completely silent, it shines with a new light and vibrates with new knowledge. It all comes spontaneously, you need only hold on to the 'I am'.

* My Guru ordered me to attend to the sense 'I am' and to give attention to nothing else. I just obeyed. I did not follow any particular course of breathing, or meditation, or study of scriptures. Whatever happened, I would turn away my attention from it and remain with the sense 'I am', it may look too simple, even crude. My only reason for doing it was that my Guru told me so. Yet it worked!

* I simply followed my teacher's instruction which was to focus the mind on pure being 'I am', and stay in it. I used to sit for hours together, with nothing but the 'I am' in my mind and soon peace and joy and a deep all-embracing love became my normal state. In it all disappeared - myself, my Guru, the life I lived, the world around me. Only peace remained and unfathomable silence

* My teacher told me to hold on to the sense 'I am' tenaciously and not to swerve from it even for a moment. I did my best to follow his advice and in a comparatively short time I realized within myself the truth of his teaching. All I did was to remember his teaching, his face, his words constantly. This brought an end to the mind. In the stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am - unbound.

* When I met my guru, he told me: 'You are not what you take yourself to be. Find out what you are. Watch the sense 'I am', find your real self'. I obeyed him, because I trusted him. I did as he told me. All my spare time I would spend looking at myself in silence. And what difference it made, and how soon! It took me only three years to realize my true nature.

* No way to self-realization is short or long, but some people are more in earnest and some are less. I can tell you about myself. I was a simple man, but I trusted my Guru. What he told me to do, I did. He told me to concentrate on 'I am' - I did. He told me that I am beyond all perceivables and conceivables - I believed. I gave my heart and soul, my entire attention and the whole of my spare time (I had to work to keep my family alive). As a result of faith and earnest application, I realized my Self within three years. You may choose any way that suits you; your earnestness will determine the rate of progress. Establish yourself firmly in the awareness of 'I am'. This is the beginning and also the end of all endeavour.

* Go back to that state of pure being, where the 'I am' is still in its purity before it got contaminated with 'this I am' or 'that I am'. Your burden is of false self-identifications - abandon them all.

* Before the mind - I am. 'I am' is not a thought in the mind. The mind happens to me, I do not happen to the mind. And since time and space are in the mind, I am beyond time and space, eternal and omnipresent.

* Best is the simple feeling 'I am'. Dwell on it patiently. Here patience is wisdom, don't think of failure. There can be no failure in this understanding.

* By being with yourself, the 'I am', by watching yourself in your daily life with alert interest, with the intention to understand rather than to judge, in full acceptance of whatever may emerge, because it is there, you encourage the deep to come to the surface and enrich your life and consciousness with its captive energies. This is the great work of awareness; it removes obstacles and releases energies by understanding the nature of life and mind. Intelligence is the door to freedom and alert attention is the mother of intelligence.

* You must come to a firm decision. You must forget the thought that you are the body and be only the knowledge 'I am', which has no form, no name. Just be. When you stabilize in that beingness it will give all the knowledge and all the secrets to you, and when the secrets are given to you, you transcend the beingness, and you, the Absolute, will know that you are also not the consciousness. Having gained all this knowledge, having understood what is what, a kind of quietude prevails, a tranquillity. Beingness is transcended, but beingness is available.

* When I say: "Remember 'I am' all the time.", I mean: "Come back to it repeatedly."

* The only thing you can be sure of is 'I am'. Stay with it and reject everything else. This is Yoga. First verbally, then mentally and emotionally, then in action. Give attention to the reality within you and it will come to light. Do it correctly and assiduously and the result is sure to come.

* All I can say is: 'I am', all else is inference. But the inference has become a habit. Destroy all habits of thinking and sleeping. The sense 'I am' is a manifestation of a deeper cause, which you may call Self, God, Reality or by any other name. The 'I am' is in the world; but it is the key which can open the door out of the world.

* In reality there is no person, only the watcher identifying himself with the 'I' and the 'mine'. The teacher tells the watcher: you are not this, there is nothing of yours in this, except the little point 'I am', which is the bridge between the watcher and his dream. 'I am this, I am that' is dream, while pure 'I am' has the stamp of reality on it. You have tasted so many things - all came to naught. Only the sense 'I am' persisted - unchanged. Stay with the changeless among the changeful, until you are able to go beyond.

* All the glories will come with mere dwelling on the feeling 'I am'. It is the simple that is certain, not the complicated. Somehow, people do not trust the simple, the easy, the always available. Why not give a honest trial to what I say? It may look very small and insignificant, but it is the seed that grows into a mighty tree. Give yourself a chance!

* Understand one thing well, and you have arrived. What prevents you from knowing is not the lack of opportunity, but the lack of ability to focus in your mind what you want to understand. If you could but keep in mind what you do not know, it would reveal to you its secrets. But if you are shallow and impatient, not earnest enough to look and wait, you are like a child crying for the moon.

* You need not worry about your worries. Just be. Don't be restless about 'being quiet', miserable about 'being happy'. Just be aware that you are and remain aware - don't say: "Yes I am, what next?" There is no 'next' in 'I am'. It is a timeless state.

* Don't you see that it is your very search for happiness that makes you feel miserable? Try the other way: indifferent to pain and pleasure, neither asking nor refusing, give all your attention to the level on which 'I am' is timelessly present. Soon you will realize that peace and happiness are in your very nature and it is only seeking them through some particular channels that disturbs. Avoid the disturbance, that is all.

* Hold on to the sense 'I am' to the exclusion of everything else. When thus the mind becomes completely silent, it shines with a new light and vibrates with new knowledge. It all comes spontaneously, you need only hold on to the 'I am'.

* True meditation only begins when initially, using your discrimination, you cut off everything that does not go with the 'I am' - which includes the body-mind identification, which is the major obstacle. You should not have the feeling "I am so-and-so meditating" or "I am sitting at this particular place, in this posture, meditating on..." all these externalities must go. It should be only the knowledge 'I am' that should be meditating on itself. It is only when the purity of 'I am' is maintained in meditation that there is a chance that it will disappear.

* Who is going to give you eternal peace? It is only the sun, the 'I am'. If you embrace that Self-effulgent sun everything else will go, but you will prevail eternally.

* If you have regard for me, remember my words: the knowledge 'I am' is the greatest God, the Guru, be one with that, be intimate with it. That itself will bless you with all the knowledge relevant for you in the proliferation of that knowledge, it will lead you to the state which is eternal.

* If you sit in meditation thinking "I am so-and-so meditating", there is no chance that you can become one with the 'I am'. All external links have to be totally severed and only the 'I am' should remain, devoid of the body idea. It should be the 'I am' in its utmost purity, it was in its utmost purity when it arose, that is the reason for the necessity to go back and recapture that nascent 'I am'. Do this repeatedly till you stabilize in that 'I am' that is without words, you have been through that phase, so it is only a question of application and endurance. When the knowledge 'I am' without words abides in itself there is a chance of transcending it.

* Whenever you are quiet, hold on to yourself, meditate on the Self only. That knowledge itself will give you all knowledge. Start with shorter periods and in due course you will realize what 'you are'. Stay in the 'you are' only, then you will realize that everything happens in the knowledge 'I am'.

* Self-remembrance, awareness of 'I am', ripens man powerfully and speedily. Give up all ideas about yourself and simply be.

* It is like cleansing a mirror. The same mirror that shows you the world as it is will also show you your own face. The thought ‘I am’ is the polishing cloth. Use it.

* The concentration on 'I am' is a form of attention. Give your undivided attention to the most important thing in your life - yourself. Of your personal universe you are the center - without knowing the center what else can you know?

* My advice to you is very simple - just remember yourself, 'I am', it is enough to heal your mind and take you beyond, just have some trust. I don't mislead you. Why should I? Do I want anything from you? I wish you well - such is my nature. Why should I mislead you? Commonsense too will tell you that to fulfil a desire you must keep your mind on it. If you want to know your true nature, you must have yourself in mind all the time, until the secret of your being stands revealed.

* No particular thought can be mind's natural state, only silence. Not the idea of silence but silence itself. When the mind is in its natural state, it reverts to silence spontaneously after every experience, or rather, every experience happens against a background of silence.

* Tirelessly I draw your attention to the one incontrovertible factor - that of being. Being needs no proofs - it proves itself. If only you go deep into the fact of being and discover the vastness and the glory, to which the 'I am' is the door, and cross the door and go beyond, your life will be full of happiness and light. Believe me, the effort needed is as nothing when compared with the discoveries arrived at.

* It is not important where you are, once you are established in the 'I am'. It is like space - it neither comes nor goes; just as when you demolish the walls of a building only space remains.

* Begin with feeling 'I am'. All else is neither true nor false, it seems real when it appears, it disappears when it is denied. A transient thing is a mystery. The real is simple, open, clear and kind, beautiful and joyous. It is completely free of contradictions. It is ever-new, ever-fresh, and endlessly creative. Being and non-being, life and death, all distinctions merge in it.

* Theoretically you always have a chance for self-realization. In practice a situation must arise, when all the factors necessary for self-realization are present. This need not discourage you. Your dwelling on the fact of 'I am' will soon create another chance. For attitude attracts opportunity. All you know is second-hand. Only 'I am' is first-hand and needs no proofs. Stay with it.

* You know you are sitting here. Be attentive to that knowledge only. Just be in your beingness. That knowingness 'I am' has created the entire universe. Hold on to that; nothing has to be done. Once you recognize that principle it becomes tranquil. Become one with that and all your needs will be satisfied.

* You must maintain this knowledge 'I am' in proper order. All the dirt, which is not the towel, should be removed. Similarly 'I am' is the tool through which you get all the knowledge. You worship that 'I am', remove all the adulteration, the dirt.

* Remember the knowledge 'I am' - that alone pervades everything - be only that and give up the rest.

* To know these senses, to understand these secrets, you surrender to that very principle 'I am', and that consciousness alone will lead you to this. Presently stabilize in the consciousness. If you don't do that, your very concepts will be very dangerous to you - they will throttle you to death. The knowledge you are, is the very source of all energy, the source of all Gods, of all types of knowledge. This is the simplest method, you know you are, just be there.

* Be one with the knowledge 'I am', the source of sentience, the beingness itself. If you are seeking that peace which is priceless, it can only be in establishing yourself in the consciousness with steadfast conviction. By conviction I mean never doubted, firm, unshakable, never wavering - have that kind of conviction in your beingness.

* I have experienced all four kinds of speech and transcended them. Rarely will anybody follow this hierarchy to stabilize in the consciousness and transcend consciousness. Starting from 'Vaikhari' (word), normally we listen to words; from 'Vaikhari' we go to 'Madhyama' (mind-thought); in watching the mind we are in 'Pashayanti' where the concept formation takes place and from there to 'Para' ('I am' without words), and finally from 'Para' to prior to consciousness. This is the line to follow, but only a rare one follows it - receding, reversing.

* The only spiritual way to understanding you true nature is to find out the source of this concept 'I am'. Before the sense of presence arrived I was in that state in which the concept of time was never there. So what is born?  It is the concept of time, and that event which is birth, living, and death together constitute nothing but time, duration.

* The Guru tells you 'Get rid of concepts, just be yourself'. The seeker having understood what the Guru said gets rid of the concepts, and now, as the first step, the seeker dwells in the state 'I am', just being. First of all there is the knowingness 'I am', without words, with that knowingness the world is. Now when the seeker goes into meditation, that knowingness goes into no-knowingness. This is the highest state in the hierarchy when the body aspect is there because this knowing and no-knowing are aspects of the body, and body means consciousness, and in the realm of consciousness, knowingness and no-knowingness exist. The Absolute transcends knowingness and no-knowingness. So, no-knowingness is the highest in the hierarchy of spirituality, and the destination is the transcendence of knowingness and no-knowingness.

* Ultimately one must go beyond knowledge, but the knowledge must come, and knowledge can only come by constant meditation. By meditating, the knowledge 'I am' gradually settles down and merges with universal knowledge, and thereby becomes totally free, like the sky or the space. It is not possible for you to acquire knowledge, you 'are' knowledge. You are what you are seeking.

* Who has the knowledge 'I am'? Somebody in you knows the knowledge 'I am'. Who is it? It is very obvious that you know you are, but what or who is it that knows you are?

* Get to know that 'I am' without words, which arises in the morning. Knowing the Self, abiding in the Self-knowledge, is not a mere intellectual knowing. You must be that, and you should not move away from it. Remain firm.

* Leave your mind alone, that is all. Don't go along with it. After all, there is no such thing as mind apart from thoughts which come and go obeying their own laws, not yours. They dominate you only because you are interested in them.

* The riddle of spirituality cannot be solved by the intellect. At the most, your intellect can provide you with livelihood. Whatever you try to become, that is not you. Before the words come out, before you say 'I am', that is you. You must be concerned with only yourself. Don't worry about anybody else. What are you?

* Are you not even before you have spoken the words 'I am'? Stay put there only. There begins your spirituality, the foremost 'you', 'I am' without words, before the beginning of words. Be there; out of that grows the experience 'I am'. Witnessing happens to that principle which prior to your saying the words 'I am'. There is no such thing as deliberate witnessing. Witnessing just happens, by itself.

* But how can such a state be attained? Only if one totally accepts the knowledge 'I am' as oneself with full conviction and faith and firmly believes in the dictum 'I am that by which I know I am'. This knowledge 'I am' is the 'Charan-amrita'. Why is it called 'Amrita' - the nectar? Because it is said, by drinking nectar one becomes immortal. Thus a true devotee, by abiding in the knowledge 'I am' transcends the experience of death and attains immortality.

* To be stabilized in that beingness, which has no name and form, that itself is liberation.

* Do nothing, absolutely nothing! Just be, be the knowledge 'I am' only and abide there. To imbibe this, meditate on beingness only. Catch hold of the knowledge 'I am' in meditation. In this process, the realization occurs that 'I' the Absolute am not the 'Guna' 'I am'; therefore in meditation nothing is to be retained in memory. Nevertheless something will appear on the memory screen, but be unconcerned, just be, do nothing. Refrain from grasping anything in meditation; the moment you do, otherness begins, and so does duality. Nothing is to be done. Then all your riddles will be solved and dissolved. 'Moolmaya' - that is, the primary illusion - will release her stranglehold on you and will get lost.

* When you sit in deep meditation, your sense of being is totally infused with the knowledge 'I am' only. In such a state it will be revealed to you intuitively as to how and why your sense of 'I-amness' emerged. Consciousness, beingness, sense of being, 'I-amness', all are the same in you, prior to emanation of any words.

* You have to stabilize in your present true nature, 'I am'. All other secondary and redundant objects should be got rid of. Do not focus you attention on any of these things. The whole process is to be in your source. At present, what is your source? 'I am'. Catch hold of that 'I-amness' and be in it. You have to realize your own self. You must be at the borderline between 'I am' and 'Not-I am'.

* Remember yourself and watch your daily life relentlessly. Be earnest, and you shall not fail to break the bonds of inattention and imagination.

* The discipline ('sadhana'), is only this: the knowledge which is dwelling in this body, the quintessence of these three 'gunas' - the knowledge 'I am', 'I am that' - this is the initial step. You must be one with it; you must abide in that only. You have to think 'I am not the body but I am that formless, nameless knowledge indwelling in this body'; that is 'I am'. When you abide sufficiently long in this state, whatever doubts you may have, that knowledge 'I am' itself will sprout out with life and meaning for you, intended for you only, and everything will become clear. No external knowledge will be necessary.

* This is the greatest miracle, that I got the news 'I am', have you any doubts that you are? It is self-evident. Prior to knowing that you are, what knowledge did you have? 'Dhyana' means to have an objective. You want to consider something. You 'are' that something, just to be, you are. Just being the being 'I am'. You meditate on something; that knowledge 'I am' is yourself. Abide only there. How can you ask any questions at this point? Because, that is, the beginning of knowledge.

* This conviction can be strengthened by meditation, 'dhyana'. And 'dhyana' means the knowledge must remain in meditation with the knowledge. Now, what is meditation? Meditation is the knowledge 'I am' remaining in that knowledge. There is the waking state and the sleep state, and the knowledge that you are, I exist, and I know that I exist. Other than that what capital does anyone have than merely knowledge 'I am'? 'Dhyana' is when this knowledge, this consciousness that I am, meditates on itself and not on something other than itself.

* When you say you sit for meditation, the first thing to be done is to understand that it is not this body identification that is sitting for meditation, but this knowledge 'I am', this consciousness, which is sitting in meditation and is meditating on itself. When this is finally understood, then it becomes easy. When this consciousness, this conscious presence, merges in itself, the state of 'samadhi' ensues. It is the conceptual feeling that I exist that disappears and merges into the beingness itself. So this conscious presence also gets merged into that knowledge, that beingness - that is 'samadhi'.

* What equipment you are having is that 'prana' (life force/energy entering the body through the breath). 'Upasana' means worship, worship of 'prana' itself. For doing that what equipment do you possess? It is 'prana' itself. Along with 'prana' there is that knowledge 'I am', or consciousness. These two things are available to you to do anything, nothing more than that.

* Where there is the vital breath, the knowledge 'I am' is present. There being no vital breath, the knowledge of 'I amness' is absent. Take full advantage of the naturally available capital with you - that is, your life force and the knowledge 'I am'; they always go hand in hand. Right now, exploit it to the utmost. All worldly activities are going on only because of the knowledge 'I am' together with that motive force which is the life force, the vital breath. And that is not something apart from you; you are that only. Investigate and study this exclusively, abide in that, worship that only.

* This primary concept is the knowledge 'I am', it is the mother of all other concepts. In order to get that satisfaction, you must find the source of this primary concept 'I am'. You should give attention to the knowledge 'I am' and meditate on that itself. Knowledge is to be got hold of knowledge only. This will produce the seed, which, through this process of meditation, slowly grows into a big tree, and that itself will give you all the knowledge. It will not be necessary for you to ask anyone what is what.

* These two entities are available to you, the vital force and the knowledge 'I am', the consciousness. They appear without any effort; they are there. Now, in order to be one with 'Ishwara', to understand the non-duality you must worship the vital force. Then that knowledge, which is in seed form, slowly grows. And the seeker becomes full of knowledge; in the process he transcends that, and the ultimate state is achieved.

* If you establish in the vital breath as 'I am', that in itself will get you there. Don't be dishonest to your vital breath, worship it, and when you do so, it can lead you anywhere, to any heights - this is the quintessence of my talks. In such simplified fashion, nobody has expounded this profound teaching.

* Nothing can make you happier than you are. All search for happiness is misery and leads to more misery. The only happiness worth the name is the natural happiness of conscious being.

* Complete self-surrender by itself is liberation.

* Don't fight with what you take to be obstacles on your way. Just be interested in them, watch them, observe, enquire. Let anything happen - good or bad. But don't let yourself be submerged by what happens. The mind must learn that beyond the moving mind there is the background of awareness, which does not change. The mind must come to know the true self and respect it and cease covering it up, like the moon which obscures the sun during solar eclipse. Just realize that nothing observable, or experienceable is you, or binds you. Take no notice of what is not yourself. You are aware anyhow, you need not try to be. What you need is to be aware of being aware. Be aware deliberately and consciously, broaden and deepen the field of awareness. You are always conscious of the mind, but you are not aware of yourself as being conscious.

* Refuse attention to things, let things come and go. Desires and thoughts are also things. Disregard them. Since immemorial time, the dust of events was covering the clear mirror of your mind, so that only memories you could see. Brush off the dust before it has time to settle, this will lay bare the old layers until the true nature of your mind is discovered. It is all very simple and comparatively easy, be earnest and patient, that is all. Dispassion, detachment, freedom from desire and fear, from all self-concern, mere awareness, free from memory and expectation, this is the state of mind to which discovery can happen. After all, liberation is but the freedom to discover.

* Give yourself no name, no shape. In the darkness and the silence, reality is found.

* Your destination is the whole. But you are afraid that you will lose your identity. This is childishness, clinging to the toys, to your desires and fears, opinions and ideas. Give it all up and be ready for the real to assert itself. This self-assertion is best expressed in the words: 'I am'. Nothing else has being. Of this you are absolutely certain.

* Whatever you may have to do, watch your mind. Also you must have moments of complete inner peace and quiet, when your mind is absolutely still. If you miss it, you miss the entire thing. If you do not, the silence of the mind will dissolve and absorb all else.

* Shift your attention from words to silence and you will hear.

* Turn your mind inside out. Overlook the movable and you will find yourself to be the ever-present, changeless reality, inexpressible, but solid like a rock.

* You give reality to concepts, while concepts are distortions of reality. Abandon all conceptualisation and stay silent and attentive. Be earnest about it and all will be well with you.

* The desire to find the self will be surely fulfilled provided you want nothing else. But you must be honest with yourself and really want nothing else. If in the meantime you want many other things and are engaged in their pursuit, your main purpose may be delayed until you grow wiser and cease being torn between contradictory urges. Go within, without swerving, without ever looking outward.

* As salt dissolves in water, so does everything dissolve in pure being.

* How do you understand anything? Any knowledge of any kind that you think you have can only be in the consciousness. How can the consciousness, which came later, give you any knowledge about that state which exists prior to its arrival? Any thought that you have reached or are going to reach that state is false. Whatever happens in consciousness is purely imaginary, an hallucination; therefore, keep in mind the knowledge that it is consciousness in which everything is happening. With that knowledge, be still, do not pursue any other thoughts which arise in consciousness. What is necessary is to understand with sure conviction is that all is temporary, and does not reflect your true state.

* Deal with consciousness only, get to know it thoroughly. That is all that can be done. Know the inside-out of consciousness and recognize it as useless; it is a fraud. When you transcend it you will say: "I can manage without this. This is imperfect!" Therefore, meditate in order to know consciousness.

* Just turn away, look between the thoughts, rather than at the thoughts. When you happen to walk in a crowd, you do not fight every man you meet, you just find your way between. When you fight, you invite a fight. But when you do not resist, you meet no resistance. When you refuse to play the game, you are out of it.

* To remain without thought in the waking state is the greatest worship.

* Once the attention is fixed on the substratum of consciousness, there is nothing left.

* If you just try to keep quiet, all will come - the work, the strength for work, the right motive. Must you know everything beforehand? Don't be anxious about your future - be quiet now and all will fall in place.

* It has nothing to do with effort. Just turn away, look between the thoughts, rather than at the thoughts. When you happen to walk in a crowd, you do not fight every man you meet, you just find your way between. When you fight, you invite a fight. But when you do not resist, you meet no resistance. When you refuse to play the game, you are out of it.

* To know that you are a prisoner of your mind, that you live in an imaginary world of your own creation is the dawn of wisdom. To want nothing of it, to be ready to abandon it entirely, is earnestness.

* To expound and propagate concepts is simple, to drop all concepts is difficult and rare.

* Abandon false ideas, that is all. There is no need of true ideas. There aren't any. If you keep absolutely quiet, then concepts will be strangled to death. You are so used to the support of concepts that when your concepts leave you, although it is your true state, you get frightened and try to cling to them again. That is the meeting point of that immanent principle and the Eternal, the borderland. Why is the intellect puzzled then? That beingness which you are experiencing is melting away. When that concept of "I Am" goes, intellect also goes. So the intellect gets that frightening experience of "I am going". Just watch that moment. One who feels "I am dying" is not your true state. Your true state is beyond the primary concept of "I Am".

* When all names and forms have been given up, the real is with you. You need not seek it. Plurality and diversity are the play of the mind only. Reality is one.

* To be aware is to be awake. Unaware means asleep. You are aware anyhow, you need not try to be. What you need is to be aware of being aware. Be aware deliberately and consciously, broaden and deepen the field of awareness. You are always conscious of the mind, but you are not aware of yourself as being conscious.

* Just give full attention to what in you is crude and primitive, unreasonable and unkind, altogether childish, and you will ripen. It is the maturity of heart and mind that is essential. It comes effortlessly when the main obstacle is removed - inattention, unawareness. In awareness you grow.

* Now keep quiet. Do nothing more, just keep quiet. Stop, be silent. When thought has no customers, thought vanishes.

* Your very search for safety and joy keeps you away from them. Stop searching, cease losing. The disease is simple and the remedy equally simple. It is your mind only that makes you insecure and unhappy. Anticipation makes you insecure; memory, unhappy. Stop misusing your mind and all will be well with you. You need not set it right, it will set itself right, as soon as you give up all concern with the past and the future and live entirely in the now.

* Because of you there is a world. To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not, you must watch yourself carefully, rejecting all that does not go with basic fact: 'I am'. Separate consistently and perseveringly the 'I am' from 'this' or 'that' and try to feel what it means to be, without being 'this' or 'that'.

* Meditation will help you to find your bonds, loosen them, untie them and cast your moorings. When you are no longer attached to anything, you have done your share. The rest will be done for you.

* Consciousness does not shine by itself. It shines by a light beyond it in which it appears, which gives it being. Don't be all the time immersed in your experience. Remember that you are beyond the experiencer, ever unborn and deathless. In remembering it, the quality of pure knowledge will emerge, the light of unconditional awareness.

* Keep very quiet and watch what comes to the surface of the mind. Reject the known, welcome the so far unknown and reject it in its turn. Thus you come to a state in which there is no knowledge, only being, in which being itself is knowledge. To know by being is direct knowledge. It is based on the identity of the seer and the seen. Indirect knowledge is based on sensation and memory, on proximity of the perceiver and his percept, confined with the contrast between the two.

* I am not asking you to look in any particular direction. Just look away from all that happens in your mind and bring it to the feeling 'I am'. The 'I am' is not a direction. It is the negation of all direction. Ultimately even the 'I am' will have to go, for you need not keep asserting what is obvious. Bringing the mind to the feeling 'I am' merely helps turning the mind away from everything.

* Realization of absolute being is here and now. It is not a process that takes time as such. Every breath you take should be looking ever more deeply into "I am", which is like a mantra beyond mere mantra. Every breath, every moment, you have your inmost doorway into the absolute being, absolute awareness, absolute joy and peace. Just keep going through your inner doorway of "I am" and you will find yourself more and more beyond time, effort and anxious struggle, more and more beyond all relative struggle, success or failure about anything whatsoever. Looking into "I am" in every breath is like using time to go beyond time. It introduces the timeless into time, the breathless into breathing, the thoughtless into thought. It cannot possibly fail, for each pulse of this central inquiry into awareness of being is itself an ultimate success. That you would decide to do this central self-realization is central self-realization. All results of this will take care of themselves. Anything you cannot do will be done for you.

SAMADHI

"This consciousness in the life force, when they merge they tend to become steady in the Brahmananda. And then all thoughts cease, even a thought that you are sitting in meditation. And that is the start of samadhi. That state will remain for a while and will discontinue again, whatever the reason. And then normal behavior in the world will start again. That is, the life force will start its normal work or activities." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"In samadhi there is only the feeling "I am" and no thoughts." - Ramana Maharshi

"Bhagavan sometimes went into a trance-like Samadhi state while he was listening to the Tamil parayana [the daily chanting of scriptural works that took place in his presence]. I was told that this had happened quite frequently at Skandashram and in the early 1920s at Sri Ramanasramam, but by the time I arrived at the ashram such occurrences were fairly rare. When I first saw it happening Dandapani Swami was still the ashram manager. Bhagavan had gone into Samadhi during the evening parayana and failed to come out of it even when the dinner bell was rung. In an attempt to wake him up, Dandapani Swami repeatedly blew a conch in Bhagavan's ear while another devotee started shaking Bhagavan's legs. Neither activity had any effect. Bhagavan eventually regained normal consciousness without their assistance about five minutes later. As I was a little intrigued by these states I once asked Bhagavan, "What is Samadhi?" Bhagavan replied by showing me the 25th verse of chapter forty-three of the Ribhu Gita in which Nidaga explains to his Guru, Ribhu, how he attained Samadhi. "I is forever Brahman and Brahman is indeed 'I'. This conviction, when firmly experienced, is known as unshaken Samadhi. That is Samadhi when there is thought-free nirvikalpa [no differences] abidance, freed from all appearances of duality. My Lord, through these two types of Samadhi I have attained the bliss of jivanmukta [liberation while still alive] and become the spotless Supreme." - Annamalai Swami

"It is necessary to practice meditation frequently and regularly until the condition induced becomes habitual and permanent during the day. Therefore meditate. You lost sight of the bliss because your meditative attitude had not become natural and because of the recurrence of vasanas [conditioning and tendencies]. When you become habitually reflective and inwards bent, the enjoyment of spiritual beatitude becomes a matter of natural experience. It is not by a single realization, "I am not the body but the atman" that the goal is reached. Do we become high in position by once seeing a king? One must constantly enter into samadhi [meditative absorption] and realize one's Self and completely blot out the old vasanas and the ego, before he becomes the Self. If you keep to the thought of the Self, and be intently watching for It then even that one thought which is used as a focus in concentration will disappear and you will BE the true Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"Many people are under the wrong impression that one who is in nirvikalpa samadhi should remain inert like an insentient log, knowing neither this body nor the world. After remaining for some time [either days, months or even years] in such a state, which is called kashta nirvikalpa or kevala nirvikalpa samadhi, one's body-consciousness will return, whereupon the mind will become extroverted and all vices such as lust and anger will rise up due to past tendencies [vasanas]. This kind of samadhi, which is an experience that may occur during the early stages of practice of certain sadhanas , is only a temporary abeyance of mind [mano-laya]. However, the right kind of nirvikalpa samadhi is only the annihilation of the mind [mano-nasa], the permanent destruction of the primal vikalpa 'I am the body'. This is the state of true knowledge and is called sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi. Kashta nirvikalpa samadhi may be compared to the state of a pot tied with a rope that hangs under water in a well. Like the pot submerged in the water, the mind is submerged in laya. But at any time the pot can be drawn out by the rope. Likewise, since the mind is not destroyed, it can at any time be drawn out again by its vasanas and forced to wander under their sway. But in sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi the mind is dissolved in Self and loses its form or individuality, like a salt-doll immersed in the ocean. Therefore it cannot rise again. Sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi, in which the mind is destroyed, alone is the real samadhi." - Sadhu Om

"Samadhi alone can reveal the Truth. Thoughts cast a veil over Reality, and so It is not realized as such in states other than samadhi." - Ramana Maharshi

"When you say you sit for meditation, the first thing to be done is to understand that it is not this body identification that is sitting for meditation, but this knowledge 'I am', this consciousness, which is sitting in meditation and is meditating on itself. When this is finally understood, then it becomes easy. When this consciousness, this conscious presence, merges in itself, the state of 'samadhi' ensues. It is the conceptual feeling that I exist that disappears and merges into the beingness itself. So this conscious presence also gets merged into that knowledge, that beingness - that is 'samadhi'." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Kevala nirvikalpa samadhi is temporary, whereas sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi is a continuous state throughout daily activity." - Ramana Maharshi

"You can experience Samadhi only when you are established in Yama, Niyama or Sadachara and when you have a very pure heart. How can the Lord be enthroned in an impure heart? Samadhi comes only after constant and protracted practice of meditation. Samadhi is not a commodity that can be obtained easily. Those who can really enter into Samadhi are very, very rare. In Samadhi or Superconsciousness the Yogic practitioner gets himself merged in the Lord. The senses, the mind and the intellect cease functioning. Just as the river joins the ocean, the individual soul mixes with the Supreme Soul. All limitations and differences disappear. The Yogi attains the highest knowledge and eternal bliss. This state is beyond description. You will have to realise this yourself." - Swami Sivananda

"The ebbs and flows of the consciousness, which constant practice renders increasingly perceptible to the meditator, gradually loosen the consciousness from the body and end by separating them in samadhi, so that the sadhaka [spiritual practitioner] is enabled to perceive the consciousness alone and pure. This is the Self, God the Absolute." - Ramana Maharshi

"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." - Ramana Maharshi

"Sometime in March 1948, I had an interesting conversation with Bhagavan. His health was then rapidly declining and his body had lost much weight. N. R. Krishnamurti Iyer: It is clear that Bhagavan, out of his infinite mercy and grace, cures even the fatal diseases of his devotees. Does not Bhagavan’s body suffer on that account? Bhagavan: (speaking in English) Yes and no. N. R. Krishnamurti Iyer: Please, Bhagavan, explain in more detail. Bhagavan: The mukta purusha [liberated being] does not need his body once he has realised the Self. However, so long as he stays alive, he has the power to drain off devotees’ illnesses into his own body. That is why his body suffers for the time being. That is what is meant by the answer 'yes'. If he retires into the solitude of a quiet corner and remains in kevala nirvikalpa samadhi, completely oblivious of the body-world complex, the disease received in the body gets dissipated. When he returns to his body consciousness the body is cured and restored to its original health. The duration of that samadhi should be in adequate proportion to the seriousness of the disease concerned. Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada, who attained Self-realisation at a very young age with a very healthy and strong body, was engaged in ceaseless activity in the state of sahaja samadhi. Out of his infinite mercy he gave relief to hosts of suffering people who came to him with all sorts of serious diseases. He was continuously active, day and night, and never cared to recoup his health by retiring into the solitude of kevala nirvikalpa samadhi. As a result he gave up his body while he was in his early thirties." - David Godman

"I is forever Brahman and Brahman is indeed 'I'. This conviction, when firmly experienced, is known as unshaken Samadhi. That is Samadhi when there is thought-free nirvikalpa [no differences] abidance, freed from all appearances of duality. My Lord, through these two types of Samadhi I have attained the bliss of jivanmukta [liberation while still alive] and become the spotless Supreme." - Ribhu Gita

"The mere non-perception of differences [vikalpas] outside is not the real nature of firm nirvikalpa. Know that the non-rising of differences in the dead mind alone is the true nirvikalpa." - Ramana Maharshi

"Ananda is the bliss of not being disturbed by any mental activity or characteristics. There is a temporary bliss and a permanent one. The former state is called kevala samadhi. The latter is called sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi, i.e. the state of nirvikalpa that has become natural." - Ramana Maharshi

"Question: What is samadhi? Ramana: When the mind is in communion with the Self in ignorance, it is called nidra [sleep]. Involution in a conscious or wakeful state is samadhi. Samadhi is continuous inherence in the Self in a waking state. Nidra, or sleep, is also inherence in the Self but in an unconscious state. In sahaja samadhi the communion is continuous. Question: What are kevala nirvikalpa samadhi and sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi? Ramana: The involution of the mind in the Self, but without its destruction, is kevala nirvikalpa samadhi. There are four obstacles in this, namely: [i] vacillation of mind. [ii] life breath or prana, [iii] body, and [iv] that which is perceived [drishti]. In kevala nirvikalpa samadhi one is not free from inherent tendencies [vasanas] and does not, therefore, attain liberation. Only after the mental impressions [samskaras] have been destroyed can one attain salvation." - Ramana Maharshi

STRENGTH OF THE MIND / REFINEMENT

"Q. How to control thoughts? Ramana: The wavering of mind is because of its weakness, due to dissipation of its energy in the shape of thoughts. When one makes the mind stick to one thought, the energy is conserved and the mind becomes stronger. Strength of mind is gained by practice, as the Gita points out. In the earlier stages mind reverts to the search only at long intervals, but with continued practice it reverts at shorter intervals until finally it does not wander at all. It is then that the dormant shakti manifests and the mind resolves itself into the life-current." - Ramana Maharshi [Talk 91 - Conscious Immortality]

"What prevents the insight into one's true nature is the weakness and obtuseness of the mind and its tendency to skip the subtle and focus the gross only. When you follow my advice and try to keep your mind on the notion of 'I am' only, you become fully aware of your mind and its vagaries. Awareness, being lucid harmony (satva) in action, dissolves dullness and quietens the restlessness of the mind, and gently but steadily changes its very substance. This change need not be spectacular; it may be hardly noticeable; yet it is a deep and fundamental shift from darkness into light, from inadvertence to awarenesss. For this, keep steadily in the focus of consciousness the only clue you have: your certainty of being. Be with it, play with it, ponder over it, delve deeply into it, till the shell of ignorance breaks open and you emerge into the realm of reality." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee; teaches him the Truth; purifies the mind by his teachings and contact; the mind gains strength, is able to turn inward; with meditation it is purified yet further, and eventually remains still without the least ripple. That stillness is the Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"Because truth is exceedingly subtle and serene, the bliss of the Self can manifest only in a mind rendered subtle and steady by assiduous meditation." - Ramana Maharshi

"When the mind, through the quality of extreme purity, merges in the Heart, it will attain perfection as peace." - Ramana Maharshi

"If the mind that has become one-pointed, like the tip of darba-grass, merges with the Heart, the experience of pure Being, seemingly impossible to attain, will be very easily discovered." - Ramana Maharshi

"Taking a thick fat crowbar (as a needle), it is not possible to stitch together extremely delicate silk cloth using very fine thread." - Ramana Maharshi

"That which is worth enquiring into and knowing is only the truth of oneself. Taking it as the target, it should be known in the Heart with a sharply focused attention. Only to an intellect that has subsided within, having attained a clear silence which is free from the turbidity and agitation of mind that sweats and suffers, will the means for realizing this truth, which shines in an extremely subtle way, be known clearly." - Ramana Maharshi

"Q: How to control thoughts? Ramana: The wavering of mind is because of its weakness, due to dissipation of its energy in the shape of thoughts. When one makes the mind stick to one thought, the energy is conserved and the mind becomes stronger. Strength of mind is gained by practice, as the Gita points out. In the earlier stages mind reverts to the search only at long intervals, but with continued practice it reverts at shorter intervals until finally it does not wander at all. It is then that the dormant shakti manifests and the mind resolves itself into the life-current." - Ramana Maharshi

INTEREST IN THE INNER / MATURING

"Nothing stops you but preoccupation with the outer which prevents you from focusing the inner. It cannot be helped, you cannot skip your sadhana. You have to turn away from the world and go within, until the inner and the outer merge and you can go beyond the conditioned, whether inner or outer." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Nothing stands in the way of your liberation and it can happen here and now, but for your being more interested in other things." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The desire to find the self will be surely fulfilled, provided you want nothing else. But you must be honest with yourself and really want nothing else. If in the meantime you want many other things and are engaged in their pursuit, your main purpose may be delayed until you grow wiser and cease being torn between contradictory urges. Go within, without swerving, without ever looking outward." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"One reaches the Supreme state by renouncing all lesser desires. As long as you are pleased with the lesser, you cannot have the highest. Whatever pleases you keeps you back. Until you realize the unsatisfactoriness of everything, its transiency and limitation, and collect your energies in one great longing, even the first step is not made. On the other hand, the integrity of the desire for the Supreme is by itself a call from the Supreme. Nothing, physical or mental, can give you freedom. You are free once you understand that your bondage is of your own making and cease forging the chains that bind you." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"If the seeker is earnest, the light can be given. The light is for all and always there, but the seekers are few, and among those few, those who are ready are very rare. Ripeness of heart and mind is indispensable." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"No way to self-realization is short or long, but some people are more in earnest and some are less." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"I learned utter devotion to the Search for Truth from a gambler. I watched a gambler lose everything he possessed and when a comrade begged him to give it up, he answered, "Ah my friend, if I had to give my head for this game, I could not do without it." When I heard this, my heart was flooded with amazement and ever since I have pursued Truth with the same single-mindedness." - Bahaudin Naqshbandi

BREATH / PRANA

"Breath controlled and thought restrained, the mind turned one-way inward fades and dies." - Ramana Maharshi

"If you establish in the vital breath as "I am", that in itself will get you there. Don't be dishonest to your vital breath, worship it, and when you do so, it can lead you anywhere, to any heights – this is the quintessence of my talks. In such simplified fashion, nobody has expounded this profound teaching." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"With deep and quiet breathing, vitality will improve, which will influence the brain and help the mind to grow pure and stable and fit for meditation. Without vitality, little can be done, hence the importance of its protection and increase. Posture and breathing are a part of yoga, for the body must be healthy and well under control, but too much concentration on the body defeats its own purpose, for it is the mind that is primary in the beginning. When the mind has been put to rest and disturbs no longer the inner space (chidakash), the body acquires a new meaning and its transformation becomes both necessary and possible." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"In the centre of the cavity of the Heart the sole Brahman shines by itself as the atman (Self) in the feeling of 'I-I'. Reach the Heart by diving within yourself, either with control of breath, or with thought concentrated on the quest of Self. You will thus get fixed in the Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"What equipment you are having is that "prana" (life force/energy entering the body through the breath). "Upasana" means worship, worship of "prana" itself. For doing that what equipment do you possess? It is "prana" itself. Along with "prana" there is that knowledge "I am", or consciousness. These two things are available to you to do anything, nothing more than that." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Where there is the vital breath, the knowledge "I am" is present. There being no vital breath, the knowledge of "I amness" is absent. Take full advantage of the naturally available capital with you – that is, your life force and the knowledge "I am", they always go hand in hand. Right now, exploit it to the utmost. All worldly activities are going on only because of the knowledge "I am" together with that motive force which is the life force, the vital breath. And that is not something apart from you; you are that only. Investigate and study this exclusively, abide in that, worship that only." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Thought and respiration are both different aspects of the same individual life-current upon which both depend. If respiration is forcibly repressed, thought follows suit and is fixed to the usual dominant thought. If thought is forcibly slowed down and pinned to a point, the vital activity of respiration is slowed down, made even and confined to the lowest level compatible with the continuance of life. Thus the mind grasps the subtle and merges into it." - Ramana Maharshi

"If the breath and the mind become one-pointed and steady, then the mind expands to infinity." - Ma Anandamayi

"In the interior of the Heart-cave Brahman alone shines in the form of the Self with direct immediacy as "I". Enfer into the Heart with questing mind (self-enquiry) or by diving deep (meditation) or through control of breath (being aware of breath) and abide in the Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"When life is imperiled the whole interest begins to center round saving it. Similarly, when the breath is held in pranayama, the mind cannot afford to jump at its accustomed external objects; thus there is rest for it, so long as the breath is held. Since all attention is being turned on the breath and its regulation, other interests are lost." - Ramana Maharshi

"In any quiet moment when you are breathing, the breath may flow out and pause of itself, or flow in and pause of itself. There experience opens into an exquisite vastness with no beginning and no end. Embrace that infinity without reservation. Dive into it, drink deeply of it and emerge renewed." - Vijnana Bhairava Sutras

"The wise seeker must safeguard his breath from heedlessness, coming in and going out, thereby keeping his heart always in the Divine Presence; and he must revive his breath with worship and servitude and dispatch this worship to His Lord full of life, for every breath which is inhaled and exhaled with Presence is alive and connected with the Divine Presence. Every breath inhaled and exhaled with heedlessness is dead, disconnected from the Divine Presence." - Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani

"Devotee: Can this path of enquiry be followed by all aspirants? Ramana Maharshi: This is suitable only for ripe souls. The rest should follow different methods according to the state of their minds. Devotee: What are the other methods? Ramana Maharshi: They are stuti, japa, dhyana, yoga, jnana,etc. Stuti is singing the praises of the Lord with a feeling of great devotion. Japa is uttering the names of the gods or sacred mantras like 'Om' either mentally or verbally. Dhyana. When one is in dhyana the mind does not contact the objects of the senses, and when it is in contact with the objects it is not in dhyana. Therefore those who are in this state can observe the vagaries of the mind then and there and, by stopping the mind from thinking other thoughts, fix it in dhyana. Perfection in dhyana is the state of abiding in the Self. Yoga. The source of breath is the same as that of the mind, therefore the subsidence of either leads to that of the other. The practice of stilling the mind through breath control is called yoga." - Ramana Maharshi

"In the interior of the Heart-cave Brahman alone shines in the form of the Self with direct immediacy as "I". Enfer into the Heart with questing mind (self-enquiry) or by diving deep (meditation) or through control of breath (prise de consience de la respiration) and abide in the Self." - Ramana Maharshi

"Question: In Ulladu Narpadu Anubandham, Ramana Maharshi mentions the three paths: self-enquiry, observation of breathing, and diving within the heart. Could you please say something about this diving? What it is, how it happens? Annamalai Swami : The result of following these three paths is the same: Self-realisation. And it can also be said that the three paths are also the same, although at first sight the description of them makes it sound as if three totally different techniques are being described. Bhagavan said, "Do self-enquiry. Find out who you really are. When you are totally absorbed in this problem, this enguiry wil lead you to the Self." Some people, though, said that they found this very hard, or they said that this method somehow didn't appeal to them. Bhagavan would sometimes tell such people to watch the breath, to see where it arose. Bhagavan always maintained that mind and breath arose in the same place, so focusing on the source of the breath is really the same as focusing attention on the source of the mind through self-enquiry. The third option is diving within. This is not a separate path. It is just another description of what happens when you follow self-enquiry, or when you find the source of the breath through intense observation. "Diving within" means putting your whole mind on the Self. When the one-pointed intensity to discover the Self is there, diving in happens and the mind goes back to its source and merges there. Question: So there is no spécial method for diving within. It happens by i itself. Is this true? Annamalai Swami: It doesn't happen by itself. You have to go on making an effort until the point where you become totally efforless. Up till that moment your effort is needed. The mind only gets dissolved in the Self by constant practice." - Annamalai Swami

"This magnificent refuge is inside you. Enter! Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway. Be bold. Be humble. Put away the incense and forget the incantations they taught you. Ask no permission from the authorities. Close your eyes and follow your breath to the still place that leads to the invisible path that leads you home." - St. Theresa of Avila

"Hash dar dam can be translated 'breathe consciously'. The Persian word 'hosh' is almost the same as the Greek nepsis - in Latin sobrietas - used eight centuries earlier by the Masters of the Syrian desert and which appears very often in the Philokalia, a work that Ouspensky attributed to the Masters of Wisdom. He regarded this term as equivalent to Gurdjieff s 'self-remembering'. As used by the Khwajagan, it is always connected with breathing. According to their teaching the air we breathe provides us with food for the second or spirit body, called by Gurdjieff the 'kesdjan body' from two Persian words meaning the 'vessel of the spirit'. The Masters of Wisdom have always possessed the secret of breath. The longevity of the early Masters is attributable mainly to the zikr with breath control. Hash dar dam, conscious breathing, was regarded as the primary technique for self-development. The Rashahat says that the meaning of 'hash dar dam' is that breathing is the nourishment of the inner man. As we breathe, we should place our attention on each successive breath and be aware of our own presence. For this, it is necessary to be in the right state because if the breath is taken inattentively, it will not go to the right place. Mawlana Saad ad-din Kashghan explained that 'hosh dar dam' requires that from one breath to another we should keep our attention open to our goal. Inattention is what separates us from God. He further said that in the way of the Masters, great importance is attached to learning how to retain the breath, because in retaining the breath, our attention is sharpened and it enters into us more deeply. Khwaja Baha ad-din Naqshbandi said; "In this path, the foundation is built upon breathing. The more that one is able to be conscious of one's breathing, the stronger is one's inner life." He added that it is particularly important to keep awareness of the change from in-breathing to the out-breathing. These directions for breath control are supplemented by detailed explanation of the way in which the zikr is to be performed. These were added by later scribes for the benefit of members of the Naqshbandi dervishes. Whereas the earlier Masters regarded 'hosh dar dam' as the basic technique for nourishing the inner bodies of man, teachers outside the Khwajagan such as Najm ad-din Kubra gave it a more mystical significance; he connected it with the syllable Hu which is the universal name of God that is pronounced consciously or unconsciously with every breath from the moment we are born until we die. Mawlana Jami, the great poet of central Asia, said that 'hosh dar dam' is the absolute moment when personal identity is merged into the One. This, he said, is the ultimate secret of breath. Ghayb-i huwiyyat is a technical term used by the Khwajagan to signify the annihilation of self and union with the absolute being which is the final goal of liberation." - J.G. Bennet

"Conscious Breathing [Hosh dar dam]. Hosh means "mind". Dar means "in". Dam means "breath". It means, according to Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani, that "The wise seeker must safeguard his breath from heedlessness, coming in and going out, thereby keeping his heart always in the Divine Presence; and he must revive his breath with worship and servitude and dispatch this worship to His Lord full of life, for every breath which is inhaled and exhaled with Presence is alive and connected with the Divine Presence. Every breath inhaled and exhaled with heedlessness is dead, disconnected from the Divine Presence." Ubaidullah al-Ahrar said, "The most important mission for the seeker in this Order is to safeguard his breath, and he who cannot safeguard his breath, it would be said of him, 'he lost himself'." Shah Naqshbandi said, "This Order is built on breath. So it is a must for everyone to safeguard his breath in the time of his inhalation and exhalation and further, to safeguard his breath in the interval between the inhalation and exhalation." Shaikh Abul Janab Najmuddin al-Kubra said in his book, Fawatih al-Jamal, "Dhikr is flowing in the body of every single living creatures by the necessity of their breath - even without will - as a sign of obedience, which is part of their creation. Through their breathing, the sound of the letter "Ha" of the Divine Name Allah is made with every exhalation and inhalation and it is a sign of the Unseen Essence serving to emphasize the Uniqueness of God. Therefore it is necessary to be present with that breathing, in order to realize the Essence of the Creator." The name 'Allah' which encompasses the ninety-nine Names and Attributes consists of four letters, Alif, Lam, Lam and the same Hah (ALLAH). The people of Sufism say that the absolute unseen Essence of Allah Exalted and Almighty is expressed by the last letter vowelized by the Alif, "Ha". It represents the Absolutely Unseen "He-ness" of the Exalted God. The first Lam is for the sake of identification (tacrif) and the second Lam is for the sake of emphasis (mubalagha). Safeguarding your breath from heedlessness will lead you to complete Presence, and complete Presence will lead you to complete Vision, and complete Vision will lead you to complete Manifestation of Allah's Ninety-Nine Names and Attributes. Allah leads you to the Manifestation of His Ninety-Nine Names and Attributes and all His other Attributes, because it is said, "Allah's Attributes are as numerous as the breaths of human beings." It must be known by everyone that securing the breath from heedlessness is difficult for seekers. Therefore they must safeguard it by seeking forgiveness (istighfar) because seeking forgiveness will purify it and sanctify it and prepare the seeker for the Real Manifestation of Allah everywhere."

"Q: What is pranayama? M: Prana is equivalent to Self, soul, Atman, as it is the life­current. Mind and prana originate from the same source. Pranayama is the control of the body, the senses and the intellect through the breath. Mind is thus controlled and gradually dies down with this practice. Eventually, mind subsides and then an unconscious 'blank' state is produced, a swoon or trance­like state. Although that is the natural state, a person who has not controlled the mind is dazed and merged in it. It is true that it is a state of great peace, but it is temporary, and when it ends the yogi wants to get it back and so begins breath control again. So it is necessary for the yogi to go beyond pranayama and to gain direct control of the mind, and thus practice a permanent peace - sahaja samadhi - not merely temporary samadhi. The thing is to be able to bring the mind to peace, to make it still, and not allow it to wander. For that, pranayama is prescribed, but pranayama is useful only in so far as it helps to attain mind-control. For those who seek mental peace this is enough, but there is also a highly detailed and complicated pranayama for those who seek siddhis. Pranayama is for those who are not endowed with the strength to control the mind directly. For this purpose, keeping the company of sages is the surest way. Pranayama need not be exactly as described in hatha yoga. For one engaged in devotion or meditation, just a little control of the breath will suffice to control the mind. The mind is the rider and the breath is the horse; pranayama is a restraint on the horse, and so by that, the rider is also checked. It may be done just a little. Watching the breath is one way to do it. The mind will be distracted from other activities and focused on watching the breath, and so the breath will be controlled and in its turn the mind. Breath control is particularly appropriate for those who are practicing by themselves without a guru's presence, since mind control arises spontaneously in the presence of a superior power like a guru. When life is threatened one's whole interest centers around saving it. Similarly, when the breath is held in pranayama, the mind cannot afford to jump at its accustomed external objects. Thus there is rest for it, so long as the breath is held. Thought and respiration are both different aspects of the same individual life-current upon which both depend. If respiration is forcibly repressed, thought follows suit and is fixed to the usual dominant thought. If thought is forcibly slowed down and pinned to one point, the vital activity of respiration is also slowed down, eventually settling to the minimum required for the continuance of life. Thus the mind grasps the subtle and merges into it. The control of the breath calms the mind; then see who is aware of the calmness! Mechanical pranayama will not lead to the goal. It is only an aid. While doing it mechanically take care to be alert in mind, and remember the 'I'-thought and seek its source. Then you will find that where prana sinks, there the 'I'-thought arises. They arise and sink together. The 'I-thought' will also sink along with prana. Simultaneously, another luminous and infinite 'I-I' will manifest and it will be continuous and unbroken. That is the goal. It goes by different names, God, bakthi, jnana etc. When the attempt is made, it will itself take you to the goal." - Ramana Maharshi

"The states of the mind occurs beyond the five senses. As long as breathing exists, the kinetic mind is also existent. When the breath becomes still, the kinetic mind loses it's existence. The mind's existence depends on the existence of breath. Thus the breath becomes still and intellect persisting settles in the Kutastha [pure Consciousness] dot. Beyond that intellect - or dot is the Amorphous Brahma Who is pure and the Void." - Yogiraj Sri Shama Churn Lahiree

"All the dealings are done by Prana (vital breath, the life force), hence keep friendship with it. If the Prana is purified by the Guru-Mantra, then it mingles with the universal Prana when one dies. Others, who do not know anything about the Prana, deteriorate. Prana represents all the types of speech (Para - inspiration, Pashyanti - thought-form, Madhyama - word unspoken and Vaikhari - word spoken). The Madhyama is called the mind and when it speaks it is called Vaikhari. Thus the mind is not different from Prana. Prana is Pranava - The Primordial sound OM. Prana, the lifesource, does not differentiate between a worm and a human being. It treats each body the same. The Jnani does not see Prana as an individual form. To Him all is one. The Prana of Jnani becomes the Prana of the whole Universe. Where consciousness is stabilized, the compassion works there. That is the only thing left with a Jnani. When your Prana is pleased, you will come to know who really speaks, is it you or your Prana." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Lord Krishna said: "All are my expressions." This knowledge 'I am' in each species is myself. The very life force – luminous, bright, radiant, indwelling principle is myself." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Instead of identifying oneself with and praying to some word which has been given to denote the life principle, pray to that life principle itself." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Here and now, through all your bodies and souls shines awareness, the pure light of chit [consciousness]. Hold on to it unswervingly. There is in the body a current of energy, affection and intelligence, which guides, maintains and energises the body. Discover that current and stay with it. Find the spark of life that weaves the tissues of your body and be with it. It is the only reality the body has." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Just watch the Self and hear that sound [Om] that is already going on within." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

DON JUAN / CASTANEDA / SILENCE / INNER DIALOGUE

"Inner Silence is a peculiar state of Being where all thoughts are canceled and where you live at a different level compared to that of everyday's Consciousness. The Inner Silence means suspension of the inner dialogue, and is therefore a condition of complete peace." - Carlos Castaneda (The Active Side of Infinity , p. 103)

"Toltec shamans explained that the Inner Silence is accumulated. We need to build a core of Inner Silence in the depths of our Being, that grows, moment by moment, whenever it is practiced." - Carlos Castaneda

"Inner silence is the avenue that leads to a true suspension of judgment - to a moment when sensory data emanating from the universe at large ceases to be interpreted by the senses; a moment when cognition ceases to be the force which, through usage and repetition, decides the nature of the world." - Carlos Castaneda (The Active Side of Infinity , p. 105)

"The internal dialogue is what grounds people in the daily world. The world is such and such or so and so, only because we talk to ourselves about its being such and such and so and so. The passageway into the world of shamans opens up after the warrior has learned to shut off his internal dialogue." - Carlos Castaneda (The Wheel of Time: The Shamans of Mexico Their Thoughts About Life Death & the Universe)

"Another way to learn how to do dreaming is by learning gazing. If you gaze at a pile of leaves for hours your thoughts get quiet. Without thoughts the attention of the tonal wanes and suddenly your second attention hooks onto the leaves and the leaves become something else. The moment when the second attention hooks onto something is called stopping the world. The difficulty in gazing is to learn to quiet down the thoughts. Once you can stop the world you are a gazer. And the only way of stopping the world is by trying. Combine gazing at dry leaves and looking for our hands in dreaming. Once you have trapped your second attention with dry leaves, you do gazing and dreaming to enlarge it. And that's all there is to gazing. All we need to do in order to trap our second attention is to try and try." - Carlos Castaneda

"The effect you are after in gazing is to learn to stop the internal dialogue. To do that you can focus your view as gazers do or, as I've already told you, flood your awareness while walking by not focusing your sight on anything. That is, sort of feel with your eyes everything in the 180-degree range in front of you, while you keep your fixed and unfocused eyes just above the line of the horizon. The essential feature of sorcery is shutting off the internal dialogue. Stopping the internal dialogue is an operational way of describing the act of disengaging the attention of the tonal. Once we stop our internal dialogue we also stop the world . That is an operational description of the inconceivable process of focusing our second attention. Part of us is always kept under lock and key because we are afraid of it. And to our reason, that part of us is like an insane relative that we keep locked in a dungeon. That part is our second attention, and when it finally can focus on something the world stops. Since we, as average man, know only the attention of the tonal, it is not too farfetched to say that once that attention is canceled, the world indeed has to stop. The focusing of our wild, untrained second attention is, perforce, terrifying. The only way to keep that insane relative from bursting in on us is by shielding ourselves with our endless internal dialogue." - Carlos Castaneda (The Second Ring of Power)

"We talk to ourselves incessantly about our world. In fact we maintain our world with our internal talk. And whenever we finish talking to ourselves about ourselves and our world, the world is always as it should be. We renew it, we rekindle it with life, we uphold it with our internal talk. Not only that, but we also choose our paths as we talk to ourselves. Thus we repeat the same choices over and over until the day we die, because we keep on repeating the same internal talk over and over until the day we die. A warrior is aware of this and strives to stop his internal talk." ~ Carlos Castaneda (Quotes from A Separate Reality)

"When a warrior learns to stop the internal dialogue, everything becomes possible; the most far-fetched schemes become attainable." - Carlos Castaneda (Tales of Power)

"You must learn how to stop your internal dialogue at will. At the beginning of our association I delineated another procedure: walking for long stretches without focusing the eyes on anything. My recommendation was to not look at anything directly but, by slightly crossing the eyes, to keep a peripheral view of everything that presented itself to the eyes. If one keeps one's unfocused eyes fixed at a point just above the horizon, it is possible to notice, at once, everything in almost the total 180-degree range in front of one's eyes. That exercise is the only way of shutting off the internal dialogue. The internal dialogue is what grounds us. The world is such and such or so and so, only because we talk to ourselves about its being such and such or so and so. The passageway into the world of sorcerers opens up after the warrior has learned to shut off the internal dialogue. To change our idea of the world is the crux of sorcery, and stopping the internal dialogue is the only way to accomplish it. The rest is just padding. Nothing of what we do, with the exception of stopping the internal dialogue, can by itself change anything in us, or in our idea of the world. The provision is, of course, that that change should not be deranged. Therefore a teacher doesn't clamp down on his apprentice. That would only breed obsession and morbidity." ~ Carlos Castaneda (Tales of Power)

"Seeing happens only when the warrior is capable of stopping the internal dialogue." - Carlos Castaneda (Tales of Power)

"Turn off your internal dialogue and let something in you flow out and expand. That something is your perception, but don't try to figure out what I mean. Just let the whispering of the nagual guide you." - Carlos Castaneda (Tales of Power)

"Stopping the internal dialogue is more than stopping the words. Stop the entire thought process. The passageway to the sorcerer's world opens up after learning to stop the internal dialogue." - Carlos Castaneda (Tales of Power)

"Whenever the internal dialogue stops, the world collapses and extraordinary facets of ourselves emerge, as though they had been heavily guarded by our words." - Carlos Castaneda (Tales of Power)

"The crux of sorcerery is the internal dialogue. When a warrior learns to stop it, everything becomes possible." ~ Carlos Castaneda (Tales of Power)

"Turn off your internal dialogue and let something in you flow out and expand. That something is your perception. There is no future. That is only a way of talking. For a sorcerer there is only here and now." - Carlos Castaneda (Tales of Power)

"Stopping the internal dialogue is the single most important technique an apprentice can learn." ~ Carlos Castaneda (Tales of Power)

"Two techniques that help stop the internal dialogue - erasing personal history and dreaming." - Carlos Castaneda (Tales of Power)

"Power plants have one main purpose: stopping the internal dialogue." - Carlos Castaneda (Tales of Power)

"The articulation point of everything [of the whole teaching] is stopping the internal dialogue - which keeps the assemblage point fixed in its position. Once silence is attained, everything is possible. Stop the internal dialogue by willing it. Your command becomes the eagle's command." - Carlos Castaneda (The Fire from Within)

"Unbending intent leads to internal silence, which leads to the inner strength needed to make the assemblage point move in dreams." - Carlos Castaneda (The Fire from Within)

"No rational assumptions should interfere with the actions of a seer. The new seers do not have an internal dialogue, but a detached manipulation of intent through sober commands. The command is given to oneself, then repeated over and over until lit becomes the eagle's command, and the assemblage point shifts, accordingly, the moment warriors reach inner silence." - Carlos Castaneda (The Fire from Within)

"Stop talking to yourself (in your thoughts). Use your ears to take the burden off your eyes (to stop internal dialogue) - world stops being so and so when we stop the internal dialogue." - Carlos Castaneda (A Separate Reality)

"Inner silence works from the moment you begin to accrue it. What the old sorcerers were after was the final, dramatic, end result of reaching that individual threshold of silence. Some very talented practitioners need only a few minutes of silence to reach that coveted goal. Others, less talented, need long periods of silence, perhaps more than one hour of complete quietude, before they reach the desired result. The desired result is what the old sorcerers called stopping the world, the moment when everything around us ceases to be what it's always been. This is the moment when sorcerers return to the true nature of man. The old sorcerers also called it total freedom. It is the moment when man the slave becomes man the free being, capable of feats of perception that defy our linear imagination." - Carlos Castaneda (The Active Side Of Infinity)

"I ran away from the sorcerers' world once, and I had to nearly die to realize my stupidity. The important issue is to arrive at a breaking point, in whatever way, so that inner silence will become real for you. You have no time to lose. For infinity, the only worthwhile enterprise of a warrior is freedom. Any other enterprise is fraudulent." - Carlos Castaneda (The Active Side Of Infinity)

"Once inner silence is attained, everything is possible. The way to stop talking to ourselves is to use exactly the same method used to teach us to talk to ourselves; we were taught compulsively and unwaveringly, and this is the way we must stop it: compulsively and unwaveringly." - Carlos Castaneda (The Fire from Within)

"The articulation point of everything seers do is stopping the internal dialogue. The internal dialogue is what keeps the assemblage point fixed to its original position. Once silence is attained, everything is possible. You stop talking to yourself by willing it, and thus you set a new intent, a new command. Then your command becomes the Indescribable Force's command. This is one of the most extraordinary things that the new seers found out: that our command can become the Indescribable Force's command. The internal dialogue stops in the same way it begins: by an act of will. After all, we are forced to start talking to ourselves by those who teach us. As they teach us, they engage their will and we engage ours, both without knowing it. As we learn to talk to ourselves, we learn to handle will. We will ourselves to talk to ourselves. The way to stop talking to ourselves is to use exactly the same method: we must will it, we must intend it. Infants are taught by everyone around them to repeat an endless dialogue about themselves. The dialogue becomes internalized, and that force alone keeps the assemblage point fixed. The internal dialogue is a process that constantly strengthens the position of the assemblage point, because that position is an arbitrary one and needs steady reinforcement." - Carlos Castaneda (The Fire from Within)

"The first act of a teacher is to introduce the idea that the world we think we see is only a view, a description of the world. Accepting that seems to be one of the hardest things one can do; we are complacently caught in our particular view of the world, which compels us to feel and act as if we know everything about the world. A teacher, from the very first act he performs, aims at stopping that view. Sorcerers call it stopping the internal dialogue, and they are convinced that it is the single most important technique that an apprentice can learn.
In order to stop the view of the world which one has held since the cradle, it is not enough to just wish or make a resolution. One needs a practical task; that practical task is called the right way of walking. It seems harmless and nonsensical. As everything else which has power in itself or by itself, the right way of walking does not attract attention.
Walking in that specific manner saturates the tonal, it floods it. You see, the attention of the tonal has to be placed on its creations. In fact, it is that attention that creates the order of the world in the first place; so, the tonal must be attentive to the elements of its world in order to maintain it, and must, above all, uphold the view of the world as internal dialogue.
The right way of walking is a subterfuge. The warrior, first by curling his fingers, draws attention to the arms; and then by looking fixedly, without focusing his eyes, at any point directly in front of him on the arc that starts at the tip of his feet and ends above the horizon, literally floods his tonal with information. The tonal , without its one-to-one relation with the elements of its description, is incapable of talking to itself, and thus one becomes silent.
The position of the fingers does not matter at all. The only consideration is to draw attention to the arms by clasping the fingers in various unaccustomed ways. The important thing is the manner in which the eyes, by being kept unfocused, detect an enormous number of features of the world without being clear about them. The eyes in that state are capable of picking out details which are too fleeting for normal vision.
Together with the right way of walking, a teacher must teach his apprentice another possibility, which is even more subtle: the possibility of acting without believing, without expecting rewards - acting just for the hell of it. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I told you that the success of a teacher's enterprise depends on how well and how harmoniously he guides his apprentice in this specific respect." - Carlos Castaneda (Tales of Power)

"Stopping the internal dialogue is, however, the key to the sorcerers world. The rest of the activities are only props; all they do is accelerate the effect of stopping the internal dialogue. There are two major activities or techniques used to accelerate the stopping of the internal dialogue: erasing personal history and dreaming. The secret of all this is one's attention. All of this exists only because of our attention. This very rock where we're sitting is a rock because we have been forced to give our attention to it as a rock. Erasing personal history and dreaming should only be a help. What any apprentice needs to buffer him is temperance and strength." - Carlos Castaneda (Tales of Power)

"Don Juan said that inner silence was the state most avidly sought by the humans of ancient Mexico. He defined it as a natural state of human perception in which thoughts are blocked off and all of man's faculties operate from a level of awareness which doesn't require the utilization of our daily cognitive system.
Inner silence has always been associated with darkness, for the shamans of don Juan's lineage, perhaps because human perception, deprived of its habitual companion, the internal dialogue, falls into something that resembles a dark pit. He said that the body functions as usual, but awareness becomes sharper. Decisions are instantaneous, and seem to stem from a special sort of knowledge which is deprived of thought, verbalizations.
Human perception functioning in a condition of inner silence, according to don Juan, is capable of reaching indescribable levels. Some of hose levels of perception are worlds in themselves, and not at all like he worlds reached through dreaming. They are indescribable states, inexplicable in terms of the linear paradigms that the habitual state of human perception employs for explaining the universe.
Inner silence, in don Juan's understanding, is the matrix for a gigantic step of evolution: silent knowledge, or the level of human awareness where knowing is automatic and instantaneous. Knowledge at this level is not the product of cerebral cogitation or logical induction and deduction, or of generalizations based on similarities and dissimilarities. There is nothing a priori at the level of silent knowledge, nothing that could constitute a body of knowledge, for everything is imminently now. Complex pieces of information could be grasped without any cognitive preliminaries.
Don Juan believed that silent knowledge was insinuated to early man, but that early man was not really the possessor of silent knowledge. Such an insinuation was infinitely stronger than what modern man experiences, where the bulk of knowledge is the product of rote learning. It is a sorcerers axiom that although we have lost that insinuation, the avenue that leads to silent knowledge will always be open to man by means of inner silence.
Don Juan Matus taught the hard line of his lineage: that inner silence must be gained by a consistent pressure of discipline. It has to be accrued or stored, bit by bit, second by second. In other words, one has to force oneself to be silent, even if it is only for a few seconds. According to don Juan, it was common knowledge among sorcerers that if one persists in this, persistence overcomes habit, and thus, it is possible to arrive at a threshold of accrued seconds or minutes, which differs from person to person. If the threshold of inner silence is ten minutes for a given individual, for instance, then once this threshold is reached, inner silence happens by itself, of its own accord, so to speak.
I was warned beforehand that there was no possible way of knowing what my individual threshold might be, and that the only way of finding this out was through direct experience. This is exactly what happened to me. Following don Juan's suggestion, I had persisted in forcing myself to remain silent, and one day, while walking at UCLA, I reached my mysterious threshold. I knew I had reached it because in one instant, I experienced something don Juan had described at length to me. He had called it stopping the world. In the blink of an eye, the world ceased to be what it was, and for the first time in my life, I became conscious that I was seeing energy as it flowed in the universe. I had to sit down on some brick steps. I knew that I was sitting on some brick steps, but I knew it only intellectually, through memory. Experientially I was resting on energy. I myself was energy, and so was everything around me. I had cancelled out my interpretation system.
After seeing energy directly, I realized something which became the horror of my day, something that no one could explain to me satisfactorily except don Juan. I became conscious that although I was seeing for the first time in my life, I had been seeing energy as it flows in the universe all my life, but I had not been conscious of it. To see energy as it flows in the universe was not the novelty. The novelty was the query that arose with such fury that it made me surface back into the world of everyday life. I asked myself what had been keeping me from realizing that I had been seeing energy as it flows in the universe all my life.
"There are two issues at stake here," don Juan explained to me, when I asked him about this maddening contradiction. "One is general awareness. The other is particular, deliberate consciousness. Every human being in the world is aware, in general terms, of seeing energy as it flows in the universe. However, only sorcerers are particularly and deliberately conscious of it. To become conscious of something that you are generally aware of requires energy, and the iron-hand discipline needed to get it. Your inner silence, the product of discipline and energy, bridged the gap between general awareness and particular consciousness."
Don Juan stressed, in every way he was able, the value of a pragmatic attitude in order to buttress the advent of inner silence. He defined a pragmatic attitude as the capacity to absorb any contingency that might appear along the way. He himself was, to me, the living example of such an attitude. There wasn't any uncertainty or liability that his mere presence would not dispel.
He reiterated every time he could that the effects of inner silence were very unsettling, and that the only deterrent to this condition was the pragmatic attitude which was the product of a superbly pliable, agile, strong body. He said that for sorcerers, the physical body was the only entity that made any sense to them, and that there was no such thing as a dualism between body and mind. He further stated that the physical body involved both the body and the mind as we knew them, and that in order to counterbalance the physical body as a holistic unit, sorcerers considered another configuration of energy which was reached through inner silence: the energy body. He explained that what I had experienced at the moment in which I had stopped the world was the resurgence of my energy body, and that this configuration of energy was the one which had always been able to see energy as it flowed in the universe." - Carlos Castaneda

"Inner silence is a peculiar state of being in which thoughts are canceled out and one can function from a level other than that of daily awareness. Inner silence means the suspension of the internal dialogue - the perennial companion of thought and is therefore a state of profound quietude.
The old sorcerers called it inner silence because it is a state in which perception doesn't depend on the senses. What is at work during inner silence is another faculty that man has, the faculty that makes him a magical being, the very faculty that has been curtailed, not by man himself but by some extraneous influence.
Inner silence is the stand from which everything stems in sorcerer. In other words, everything we do leads to that stand, which, like everything else in the world of sorcerers, doesn't reveal itself unless something gigantic shakes us.
The sorcerers of ancient Mexico devised endless ways to shake themselves or other sorcery practitioners at their foundations in order to reach that coveted state of inner silence. They considered the most far-fetched acts, which may seem totally unrelated to the pursuit of inner silence, such as, for instance, jumping into waterfalls or spending nights hanging upside down from the top branch of a tree, to be the key points that brought it into being.
Inner silence is accrued, accumulated. I've guided you to construct a core of inner silence in yourself, and then add to it, second by second, on every occasion you practice it. The sorcerers of ancient Mexico discovered that each individual has a different threshold of inner silence in terms of time, meaning that inner silence must be kept by each one of us for the length of time of our specific threshold before it can work.
Inner silence works from the moment you begin to accrue it. What the old sorcerers were after was the final, dramatic, end result of reaching that individual threshold of silence. Some very talented practitioners need only a few minutes of silence to reach that coveted goal. Others, less talented, need long periods of silence, perhaps more than one hour of complete quietude, before they reach the desired result. The desired result is what the old sorcerers called stopping the world, the moment when everything around us ceases to be what it's always been.

This is the moment when sorcerers return to the true nature of man. The old sorcerers also called it total freedom. It is the moment when man the slave becomes man the free being, capable of feats of perception that defy our linear imagination.
Inner silence is the avenue that leads to a true suspension of judgment to a moment when sensory data emanation from the universe at large ceases to be interpreted by the senses; a moment when cognition ceases to be the force which, through usage and repetition, decides the nature of the world.
Ther sorcerers need a breaking point for the workings of inner silence to set in. The breaking point is like the mortar that a mason puts between bricks. It's only when the mortar hardens that the loose bricks become a structure.
From the beginning of our association I have drilled into you the value, the necessity, of inner silence. You must do your best to follow my suggestions by accumulating inner silence second by second. You have no means to measure the effect of this accumulation, nor do you have any means to judge whether or not you have reached any threshold. Simply aim doggedly at accruing it. The act of accumulating it is a challenge in itself.
Every sorcerer I know, male or female, sooner or later arrives at a breaking point in their lives. Not a mental breakdown or anything like that. Mental breakdowns are for persons who indulge in themselves. What I mean is that at a given moment the continuity of their lives has to break in order for inner silence to set in and become an active part of their structures.
It's very, very important that you yourself deliberately arrive at that breaking point, or that you create it artificially, and intelligently.
Your breaking point is to discontinue your live as you know it. You have done everything I've told you, dutifully and accurately. If you are talented, you never show it. That seems to be your style. You're not slow, but you act as if you were. You're very sure of yourself, but you act as if you were insecure. You're not timid, and yet you act as if you were afraid of people. Everything you do points at one single spot: you need to break all that, ruthlessly.
I think everything boils down to one act: you must leave your friends. You must say good-bye to them, for good. It's not possible for you to continue on the warrior's path carrying your personal history with you, and unless you discontinue your way of life, I won't be able to go ahead with my instruction.
Your friends are your family, they are your points of reference. Therefore, they have to go. Sorcerers have only one point of reference: infinity.
You must simply leave, leave any way you can.
You have never been alone in your life. This is the time to do it. I don't want your body to die physically. I want your person to die. The two are very different affairs. In essence, your person has very little to do with your body. Your person is your mind, and believe you me, your mind is not yours.
I'll tell you about that subject someday, but not while you're cushioned by your friends.
The criteria that indicates that a sorcerer is dead is when it makes no difference to him whether he has company or whether he is alone. The day you don't covet the company of your friends, whom you use as shields, that's the day that your person has died." - Carlos Castaneda (The Active Side of Infinity)

"When I questioned don Juan about what I was experiencing in this respect, he explained, "What is happening to you is that you are feeling the advent of inner silence when your internal dialogue has been minimally offset. A new flux of things has begun to enter into your field of perception. These things were always there on the periphery of your general awareness, but you never had enough energy to be deliberately conscious of them. As you chase away your internal dialogue, other items of awareness begin to fill in the empty space, so to speak. "The new flux of energy," he went on, "which the magical passes have brought to your centers of vitality is making your assemblage point more fluid. Your assemblage point is no longer rigidly palisaded. You are no longer driven by our ancestral fears which make us incapable of taking a step in any direction. Sorcerers say that energy makes us free, and that is the absolute truth." - Carlos Castaneda

"There is nothing intrinsical to transform me into something special. There isn't. I have made energetic inquiries and no, I don't have anything extraordinary. I am an idiot like all of you. The most important key learned from Don Juan was to achieve inner silence, to abolish the hegemony of the mind as a method to find freedom. That's silencing the mind. Don Juan told me that when I achieved 8 or 10 seconds of silence things were going to get interesting, and my question as a fart was: 'And how do I know it's eight seconds?'. No, honey-pie, it's not like that. I don't know what tells you it's eight seconds. Something internal tells us. The point is to accumulate silence second by second. I suddenly got to that threshold without knowing it, accumulating second after second. There is no more mind. Just that silence. That silence is over thirty years old now. From that silence I speak to you." - Carlos Castaneda (interview)