What To Do When Self Inquiry Doesn’t Work

Those who are interested in or who are currently practicing Self Inquiry (aka Atma Vichara or simply Vichara) for the purpose of Self Realization may know that it can be quite challenging at times. This, perhaps, is due to its direct nature. It is going straight to the root of the mind and suffering. Anyone who has tried to practice it knows there are times where it is hard. Prasant suggests to try working with music during these times and then approach the inquiry again rather than getting “stuck” and frustrated or discouraged.

Music is known to relax the mind. A verse from Indian scriptures states that music makes even the fierce animals peaceful. Similarly, when the “wild animals” of our minds and habitual tendencies overwhelm us, they can be relaxed and made more receptive through the power of music. A fresh attempt at Self Inquiry can then be made if necessary. It is possible that simply the change of pace in itself will allow the awareness to present Itself strongly and clearly enough that only subsequent resting is all that is needed.

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Download Prasant’s solo saxophone tracks for effortless meditation, Peace and Self Realization here:
http://music.prasantmusic.com/album/meditations-ragas-on-saxophone-vol-2

New video: Self Inquiry (Who Am I?) for Musicians and Music Lovers

In this video, Prasant demystifies the powerful technique of self inquiry for Self Realization including common misunderstandings and shares how it can be used in a unique way by musicians and music lovers. This can extend to visual artists, dancers etc…just about everyone actually! When you attempt self inquiry while you are active doing something you love, like listening to or practicing music, it can be easier to experience the results of tasting or resting in your Self. This experience makes a lasting impression that can then be recalled during a difficult time when it may be much harder to practice self inquiry successfully. Be happy always… you are the Self.

Subscribe to Prasant’s YouTube channel for more videos

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prasantmusic

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Download Prasant’s solo saxophone tracks for effortless meditation, Peace and Self Realization here: http://music.prasantmusic.com/album/m…

Video: How Ramana Maharshi’s Teachings Relate to Music

In this video, Prasant talks about the great Master Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi and how his teachings relate to Music. He talks about why many have difficulty following the instructions of self inquiry and “who am i” and how utilizing music can help you easily transcend these challenges and confusions created by the mind.

Music arises from the depths of Source and easily goes beyond any and all thought forms. It delivers you into your natural home in Silence and Truth. Prasant describes briefly how the sound of music Itself can trigger a spontaneous inquiry into your nature and allow for immediate relief from and transcendence of the mind. This results in the deep rest of the Self.

Quick links to topics covered in the video:

1:23 Music is a direct path to Freedom and Peace. What do I mean by freedom?
2:24 Why people often have difficulty with self inquiry and some clarifications on self inquiry (atma vichara)
4:48 Music can help go deeper and beyond thought forms. How can sound and music be so powerful and helpful on the path of Self Realization?
6:07 Ramana Maharshi’s beautiful analogy comparing the Self to fundamental sruthi note (pitch or key) in Music.
9:00 How to apply Ramana’s teachings music practice by allowing sound and music to trigger an automatic inquiry and experience of the Self.
11:11 Stay with the feeling vs. going after something mentally. Music takes you out of your mind!
12:53 Distractions…see that ALL sounds (and everything else) are the music in the awareness of Truth, not only pleasant music. All sounds are leading you back into Silence.
13:50 Ramana Maharshi, his Grace and Presence and infinite instructions to express the Self.
16:00 Realization through Music helps you to NOT get caught up in piles of thoughts. Self inquiry and football. 🙂

Ramana-Maharshi

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prasantmusic
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Download Prasant’s solo saxophone tracks for effortless meditation, Peace and Self Realization: http://music.prasantmusic.com/album/m

One Step to the Supreme

How many steps to the Supreme?

Actually, there are no steps. You are the Supreme, the Self, the Infinite, freedom itself.

But if you still do not feel that way, if that is not your experience yet, there is at least one step.

Take it. Resolve to take it. Resolve to be free asap. Don’t wait any longer.

Just be (“Summa Ire”). Keep quiet. That’s all.

Don’t follow around the activities of your so called mind. Don’t even try to not follow.

Just be yourself. Not becoming this or doing that. Just be exactly as you are right now. Really, that is all. It really is.

You are already doing it right now…see? 🙂 You ARE it!

Or…

When a difficult (or pleasant perhaps) situation or series of thoughts or emotions arise, immediately inquire who is experiencing it.

The experiencer is the mind. Rest in the space, awareness, presence, silence that comes forward.

Or…

See that every experience is arising in awareness. There is no experience of any kind (thoughts, emotions, perceptions etc.) or any object (person, place or thing) without your awareness being there first. 

Rest in the awareness. Just simple awareness. Nothing special or sparkly. There is no mind and there never was. Just natural experience, endlessly arising by itself from itself. It simply is.

Or…

If you want to know God, experience God, you see that if it is really God, than nothing can be apart from God, even slightly. 

Everything is God. This is the truth. Everything is God. That means every object prior deemed pure or impure, auspicious or not, intelligent or foolish, the worst offender you can imagine in your view, is quite literally God. 

Finally, it is seen you are God and “Wait, that means I am God?! Oh no, that can’t be” says the mind. Oh yes. So it is. Even that thought just now, was God. So is the screen you are reading. The field is completely leveled. 

Since everything is God, there is no need to refer to it in any way, name or form. That is why it is often referred to as simply That…or maybe This. Or anything you like. This is how an atheist and an ardent devotee of God in any form can realize the same Truth. It is the only Reality. Silence and Peace remain, simply and easily as it always was. All dreamed up divisions dissolve once and for all.

Or…

Seeing that all activities in the universe are done by a power that we could never figure out with the mind (did a human mind design the big bang? No.), surrender completely, let go into, dissolve in that power that does everything anyways, whether we think we are doing something or not.

Right now, not later. Remember…one step.

Digestion happens by itself, breathing and just about everything else. If you think it otherwise, you are in the mind! Just see.

If you trying to figure how to do all the things you want (or dont want) to do, don’t! Like Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi says, it would be like carrying all your luggage on your head while on a train. Put everything down and relax. Total surrender means the mind is out of a job. The mind might say no, but pay him/her no heed. You are not the mind. The mind is not your boss. It was just pretending to be. It was a poor mid level manager anyways. You know, the kind that pretends to do all the work but doesn’t really do anything. It just wants to keep showing up and making your head hurt.

He might still get coffee at the office but he won’t be causing any havoc anymore. All his noisy ramblings have no bearing on what actually ends up happening. All the work still gets done, even better. Seeing and feeling this, there is finally peace.

There are as many ways and nuances to return to freedom as there are people. These examples are direct. It can feel like jumping off a cliff for the mind. But you are definitely safe.

When you realize you have ended up far away from home and you can get back home in one step, wouldn’t you want to?

When you come back Home you realize you have always been here. You have always been free. You already had everything you ever wanted and everything you need to do has been done for you.

Now, simply enjoy the view.


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What you cannot find must be found

Have you ever picked up a cable or cord from an electronic device and couldn’t find where it’s plugged in or even what device it came from? It is tangled up in so many other cables and cords that it seems an almost impossible task to untangle it, get behind the desk and then find where it’s actually plugged in! Move even a tiny amount and there are other cables blocking the way. Often times, you might just shrug your shoulders and forget about it. But if it is really important, you will need to sit down and look and sort it out. If your child wants to watch her favorite show and the internet stops working you’ll have to sit down and look. Or you have a term paper or major work project due and the printer isn’t connected. Is the cable I’m looking for even in this mess? Maybe it’s not even here.

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“This is too messy, I’ll just figure it out later…”

This is a bit like attempting to find the root of the mind. Just when you notice that everything is just a thought, a whole group of other thoughts distract you from this seeing. You attempt to look for the mind but you can’t find it. It hides behind so many other thoughts, experiences and temporary states. Yet there is still the feeling of having a mind that often gives you a hard time. Sorting out all of these thoughts, memories and concepts can feel tedious and painful. “This is just too messy,” you might say.

But when you finally get to the point that you absolutely must find out what is happening, something changes. You see that you have to get to the bottom of this. This cannot go on any longer. You slow down and become patient as the task becomes very important. You realize you need all your attention for this task. It’s like the lion on the hunt. Like the person who diffuses a dangerous bomb. Like the tightrope walker. You become totally still and just LOOK. All these thoughts and experiences come back to you. Notice each experience arising. Who is watching? What is the same and what is different? Keep looking and seeing where it comes from, setting aside whatever thoughts arise to interrupt your task. You cannot ignore these thoughts. Similar to sorting the cables, you cannot ignore the tangled cables, you will have to carefully inspect each one using full awareness.

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The mind keeps you identified with the whole mess, but actually it is just a bunch of separate strings that happen to be bundled together.

When a thought arises, something catches hold of it and claims it. Keep going, keep going, keep tracing back every single thought to its source. Follow the trail. Don’t lose the scent. See where it goes.

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The tree branch is like an experience or thought. The monkey is the I-thought, the root of the mind. Catch him when he tries to grab the next experience! Catch him in the act or he will hide in those branches again.

Don’t sleep! LOOK. Suddenly, you catch it. I had this experience, I had this thought. This feeling I is arising in you as well. It is not the real you. Now the real lion, Awareness, is on the hunt and has identified the prey. Now it is only a matter of time until everything gets sorted out. The mind is becoming clear and transparent. The cables are getting untangled and loosening up.

At last you find the main cable and strip away all the other cables. You go to plug it in and realize that it’s already plugged in! It always was. This is like exposing the I-thought and watching it dissolve in the Self, or pure Awareness with nothing to cling to. Similarly, you already are free and always were. Awareness has always been free. But you had to sort everything out to see it.

Now you feel it.


Download Prasant’s meditation music and visit his YouTube Channel.

This a response to the wordpress prompt: Elusive

Who has all these worries?

 

Looking around today, it is easy to be swept up in a whirlwind of worries and problems happening in the world.  On top of this, there is the day to day matter of completing your work and taking care of your needs and that of your family, or if you are a student, getting into the best school or doing well on your exams.

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What am I going to do? What are WE going to do??

Many of us want to be free of this. We want to be peaceful and happy. Naturally, if you are to do your work and possibly help others, it would not help to be overwhelmed by the problems of your life and the world. Some feel they must maintain some level of stability and peace to fend off stress and get their work done. This is difficult to do and you may become frustrated. The alternative of being angry at the world and pointing out everyone’s mistakes doesn’t always work either. It is equally frustrating.

The direct way is to look and see: who has all these worries and problems? Examine even one thought, emotion or situation and you will see that it is you that is experiencing it. Even the you that is trying to maintain a peaceful, calm state is the same you. This you is not the real you, but the mind.

In simply seeing that, the part of you that was not visible to you before, that is already always free, peaceful and happy with no effort comes forward.

That part of you is totally unaffected by whatever the mind interprets and seems to experience. That is free of any worries or cares, buoyant and open, with no reference points of any kind that can be found or measured.

Feeling this, all worries fall away and all doubts fall away. True freedom dawns and you see that what you are doing right now at this very moment is perfectly ok. It is just as it is. You can relax and be yourself.

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The clear sky doesn’t mind a few clouds and birds. It’s still the sky.

You see that everything is already taken care of and there are no worries. There are no problems. There is peace. Now you can do your work again, in peace. And if you like, you can help others more than you ever thought possible.


This post is in response to the wordpress daily prompt: Carefree

Send all your desires back to their source to taste real peace

The appearance of the world and the universe provide endless things and experiences to enjoy and chase. The next delicious meal, the next tech gadget, the next movie, the next website, the next relationship, a great career move, the next house, car, book, so on and so forth. The kind of immersive entertainment available for the senses is only becoming more and more astounding.

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Plenty of things to chase after, but there may be a cost…your peace! 😉

These are all natural things, not a problem. It is all part of the Infinite play, the Infinite Self, the universal dance. But when this infinity feels limited to a mind and body and then identifying with this limitation, chases after separate objects in the world for happiness, it creates a problem.

waves

Are you the infinite ocean or the just the wave?

It is a problem because in order to do this, you have to leave your undivided pure perfection as Infinite Being to arise as the mind within the appearance of the body. This creates separation. Once there is separation, there is suffering. Once there is suffering you attempt to remedy it with an object and the cycle continues on and on. It imprisons you.

Rather than you enjoying the food, the foods eats you. Instead of possessing beautiful things, those things possess you.

mo money.jpg

Very enticing, but what IS it really?

The mind is always on the hunt in an illusory world of its own making for the next hit. The next rush. Of course, once a desire is fulfilled, it only brings temporary happiness because both the mind and the object rest for a moment and enjoy their Source. But the mind does not want you to know that. It will immediately rise again to seek another object once the previous one seems insufficient. The objects become more and more complex, more grand and seem to never end. More often than not, the intense desire for objects and experiences ends up causing more harm than good.

The mind also has this habit because it does not want you to be HERE and NOW. If you did stay HERE and NOW, then you will know what it is up to. You will discover and liberate all the hidden thoughts and concepts you have that it does not want you to see and examine. It is too embarrassed of them and would rather keep them in the dark.

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Don’t look in here, it’s dark and scary. Too dangerous. It’s also embarrassing…says the mind.

How then do you reverse the process and discover lasting happiness and peace? See that all the thoughts and desires are only arising in you and appearing to you. Inquire into the source of each and every desire, especially when you see its pattern. You will have to see that nothing in this world will give you lasting peace, happiness and freedom. Only your own Self, your very own Being can give you that, because you are That.

When you trace the experience of the object back to its Source in pure awareness then it is no longer another thing or experience. It dissolves in being. The illusory string of attachment is cut. Even doing this one time is extremely powerful and liberating. You will taste peace uncaused by any experience or thing. After all, in deep sleep you are perfectly peaceful and happy without any objects at all.

Having done this the mind will kick and scream, but with practice it will slowly relax and breathe. This present moment becomes quite inviting with its peace, rest and contentment. Then, all the hidden content comes to light and dissolves as you continue to stay right here, without the slightest need to leave THIS.

Now you have the entire kingdom and you are free of it all. You can have all the riches, cars, houses, food or not and it wont make any difference. All experiences purified and completely liberated, you enjoy your Self as your Self.

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Free to be, just to be yourself. Like the sky or the ocean.

This post is a response to the daily wordpress prompt: Feast