Meditation on Your True Self

May 24, 2024

The great Indian sage Ramana Maharshi brought many seekers into a direct experience of nondual oneness where they saw that everything is part of One thing and that they themselves are that One thing.

For those who wish to find their True Self in this way, Ramana taught that constant meditation on the question “Who am I?” is the principle practice necessary. By turning awareness inward on its source we discover who we are as the awareness that is aware of everything else.

Let’s look closely at this practice because the key is not in what you do, but how you do it.

Asking the question “Who I am?” as merely a verbal exercise is not going to get you very far. You need to use the question to guide you to the source of awareness, your True Self.

Ramana states “Apart from thought, there is no such thing as mind.” What he means is that there is no separate thing called a mind that thoughts come from. We are trained to think of the mind as something like an inner space within which thoughts arise. Ramana is telling us that thought is all there is, that thought does not arise out of anything else.

He explains that we must learn to destroy thoughts completely as they arise at their origin without leaving any residue. This kind of message might sound harsh and unappealing, like it did to me when I first heard it, but when I experienced this depth of practice myself I saw that it was supremely loving.

This level of practice can never come from any amount of willful effort, it can only come from the deepest love for the mystery of being. If you practice Ramana’s self-enquiry with your full energy and attention you will begin to discover who you really are.

You will discover that you are not a thing, you are the imperceptible unimaginable nothingness out of which all of existence is constantly emerging. You might be tempted to say that you are the space out of which everything arises, except space is still something, and you are nothing. You cannot be seen, felt, known, or experienced in any way. You are what IS before anything exists.

As your True Self, the ground of being, becomes clearer, you fall in love with it. You become infatuated with your Self. In this state of inner rapture it becomes clear how the arising of thought tempts you to turn your eyes away from your beloved invisible Self.

We don’t want to turn away, we don’t want to allow our gaze to move anywhere else besides the majestic and immaculate beauty of who we are. We are not anything that we see. We are the seer, but the seer is not separate from what is seen. We see ourselves on the other side of everything. We are the birthplace of all that exists. We are the ground of being that continuously gives birth to what is.

As your practice deepens, you find yourself clearing thoughts as soon as they arise like plucking the tiniest sprouts out of the ground. Your attention is fixated on that mysterious ground of being, the true source of yourself and everything else. As soon as you feel a thought beginning to tempt your gaze away from your True Self, you resist the temptation to move. You don’t work at it, you don’t struggle with it, you simply turn away from the feeling of the thought before you even know what it's saying, and you never look back. You don’t remember it, you don’t think about it, it’s totally and completely gone, as if it never happened, and your gaze remains fixed on the mystery of the unimaginable.

Nondual meditation is single pointed focused concentration on the unknowable mystery of being. It is a state of deep infatuation with your True Self that is held so deeply that your separate sense of self dissolves and disappears.

Twenty years ago I discovered how spiritual practice can reveal the mystery of being. I have been infatuated with my True Self ever since. I see it just on the other side of everything. I am here and there. I am the seer and the seen and the birthplace of both.

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