In the stages of self-inquiry I teach, choiceless awareness of ‘what is’ is a form of meditative inquiry that I teach to prepare a student for the more advanced Advaitic inquiries. At this stage, the duality between the thinker and thought has been negated and through choiceless awareness, the student is ready to understand the true nature of all experiences, rather than how experience presents itself to a deluded mind. In this article, I discuss the three marks of all experiences that are experientially revealed in meditative inquiry: the impermanence of all objects, the illusoriness of the thinker-doer-experiencer that controls experiences, and how the thinker-doer-experiencer is the very cause of human suffering. Only when a student has totally and experientially understood these three marks of experience does he become qualified for further Advaitic inquiry that leads to liberation … Read More Choiceless Awareness: Seeing Things As They Are
In this article I am presenting a dialogue with a student of the NEEV Psycho-Philosophy Group, where he starts out examining the notion of success, failure and comparison in society, in his journal. The dialogue starts going deeper as it moves from the leaves, to the branches to the trunk of the mind. It reveals the overwhelming tendency of the mind to land on an answer, to arrive at a certainty, to land on a conclusion on which it can build its comfortable nest. It is the task of the teacher to keep demolishing the nest the student is trying to build by advancing answers, so that he/she find quick relief from suffering. In my last article, “The Difference Between Thinker and Observer in Advaita: A Dialogue” I had talked about how one needs to shift from being a thinker to an observer if one has to undergo the subtle level of inquiries in Advaita. The dialogue in this article shows how one can make this shift and the massive difficulties encountered by a student’s mind in making this shift. Without this step, none can hope to make any progress in any path of self inquiry or Jnana Yoga. It is the base on which all future self inquiry at the most advanced levels rests upon.… Read More The Network of Thought and the Mind’s Need for Answers: A Dialogue
A modern seeker of truth is faced with a plethora of paths and schools in this digital age. While this is a boon, it also presents a challenge for the seeker to decide which path to take, because more often than not, paths conflict and critique each other. In this dialogue, a seeker raises some of these dilemmas. One dilemma he raises is that of the issue of practice vs no-practice. Many new age teachers, like Neo-Advaitins scorn effort, path and methods of traditional paths as useless baggage. In this article I show how this can be very self-defeating and disorienting for the vast majority of seekers who need a structure, path and practices for preparing the mind. I show how Advaita Vedanta teachings have a sophisticated methodology to lead a seeker through alternate superimposition and cancellation of concepts, and from practice to the final state of no-practice. One can enter the spiritual path at any point on the scale of practice to no-practice. I show how my teachings start just a shade beneath the point of no-practice but I do not totally discount practices.… Read More Advaita & Paradox of Practice vs No Practice: A Dialogue
That we all suffer conflicts of various kinds in our life is an undeniable fact. Self Inquiry is about unearthing and ending the root of all conflicts. In this dialogue with a seeker, I examine the conflict of the division between the thinker and thought. What sustains this division is the process of psychological becoming. One of the processes of psychological becoming is seeking to be virtuous. In this article, I differentiate between dharma/virtue as a process of psychological becoming and adhyatma/the spiritual science of eternal being, to help the seeker appreciate the difference, and overcome the conflict caused by this form of becoming. Finally, I introduce the various stages of self-inquiry, by which I help a seeker completely transcend the duality between the thinker and thought, as a means to ending of all conflict.… Read More You (Self) Are Not (Your) Thoughts: A Dialogue
Fear is the most basic emotion of man. For those who are inquiring into the question of whether man can live in total freedom, the feeling of fear has to be understood. Fear exists at various levels. It’s like a tree with various branches, trunk and root. How does one come to the root of fear? In this article, I address this question through a dialogue which I shared with a student in my FB Psycho-Philosophy Inquiry Study group.
Normally, as thinking people, we analyze fear. But this analysis does not go to the root of fear. In fact, as the dialogue shows, analysis is a device of mind to escape fear. … Read More Choiceless Awareness of the Tree of Fear