Friend: I’m sober now. I have been a heavy drug user most of my life and through self-inquiry and surrender, I’m 3 weeks clean. But I feel like I’m barely touching the depths of what I truly am but I’m in love with remaining in the center of the I - it feels safe. My mind still gets drawn out continuously but I’m getting better at it.
R: That's wonderful, X !
Can you see that the question immediately puts you in a free zone? The body/ mind may be tired but 'I' is not tired!
Stay close to the I sense, that is the royal road.
Friend: Thank you! Yes, it really does and it’s like nothing is there. In that zone, it’s outside of understanding. I have been allowing the I-sense to come up into my being and then surrendering it- is that a good practice?
R: But YOU are present, as nothing, 'no thing'. It is perfect!
All practices can support inquiry when we know that awareness is the ultimate and no experience as such is stable or lasting.
F: Yes I am. I guess I need to ask who is aware of the nothing?
R: Yes, keep the edge sharp without stressing out.
As long as we question the 'I' we cannot proceed from it. It cannot germinate as much any longer.
The hidden enemy is the unconscious i- it is constantly dreaming and creating its worlds, mostly half-consciously.
As soon as you ask the question it becomes objectified, which means we are aware of that. This gives free space.
F: And when I think of liberation or wanting liberation I realize it’s all a thought-feeling form and I see it as separate from me as well, although there still remains unconscious attachment to the desire.
R: No desire is without the hook of an 'I'. Ask WHO desires, never fight (which would be desire as well) it but see what you truly want which is to BE I AM.
F: So let the feeling do what it does and inquire into whom the feeling appears?
R: Yes. My teacher once said: 'If you love something, let it be as it is'. A great thought, easily misunderstood. The false i is the controller who constantly tries to fight or grasp experiences. Only pure awareness can perceive like a mirror without influencing the seen. THAT really frees and also changes the experience! A paradox. 🙂
F: Ohhhh wow, that makes a lot of sense! Do you also find it useful to repeat I - I to oneself and probe deep into that sense?
R: Yes, a very good reminder during activity. As much as possible be interested in the content of the word. But even repeating it mechanically is valuable. Bhagavan said, 'I' is the most sacred mantra, even more than OM itself.
F: Oh wow I can feel it too. It’s sucking me into it more than I am doing anything.
R: Yes, give it your love and stay with it, come back when lost. The 'I' is the essence of all the world and can lead into absolute freedom.
F: Do you have absolute freedom? What is your practice like?
R: I am like you, only have lived this for 50 years. It is a part of my life. The 'I' is absolute in its essence here and now. We become conscious of that fact to the degree we can let go of all that attaches to it - which is all. But the process is a lifelong task, nothing we can generate easily on the sidewalk 🙂 and make a business out of it 🙂.
F: Have you ever experienced a state where all else was let go of and only the true I remained?
R: Yes, that happens at times. But one thing is important: what we seek, the pure awareness is HERE- though covered by all thoughts and emotions. It is eternal. We cannot adorn ourselves with this understanding but, on the other hand, it is important to realize: we are not seeking anything new but our own true nature. Diligent practice can make it flower and blossom.
F: Okay, wonderful thank you! I have one more question: often when I feel into the “I” there’s a lot of tension I feel in my body and I try to release it. Is that normal?
R: Yes, i know it well. It is a sign that you observe with too much willpower. Behind this is the lack of Self-confidence which is that we ARE the Self already. Let go and feel the tension in your body, relaxing it again. The body is like a mirror and very useful.
This led me to study Buddhism many years ago. In Vipassana, they 'slice' the experience, starting from gross towards subtle. In Ramana Hridayam you can listen to a guided meditation, starting with looking into space (Tibetan Buddhism), sensing the inner sensations in the body (Vipassana), and progressing to awareness. Very practical - most people tense up when starting with the inquiry without preparation.
F: This is very helpful thank you! “It’s a sign you observe with too much willpower.” That’s very true, in fact, I not only observe with willpower but with expectation as well.
R: It will settle. Take it like practicing a musical instrument. Clumsy first but you get the knack of the right balance.
The very word samadhi shows it. 'Sama' means evenness, 'dhi' is intellect. Like yin and yang. The female relaxing factor and dhi is the active part, the interest.
F: Ahhh I see. Sometimes when it feels like I become aware of a separation between the false I and myself, I wish to let it go but it feels like if I do I will lose control of everything.
Also is it normal for when I am holding onto the I, that things get done by my body and I’m not aware of it sometimes? I only glance in every once in a while and make sure it’s getting done right haha. But it always is getting done on its own.
R: That separation and fear of loss of control is part. Ask WHO is the experiencer of it. Our true being is not the doer, yes!
Now i say good night, it was a nice exchange. Feel free to ask when needed.
F: Thank you so much, goodnight!