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Using the Just One Look Method
Thank you for being a guiding light for so many people. I hope you can answer my questions regarding my practice of self-enquiry. I have always been attracted to this practice because Ramana said that it is the one direct method of realising your Self as opposed to other methods which employ the mind to eliminate the mind, sort of like a thief trying to catch himself. And honestly, it is the only practice that I find myself coming back to time and time again.
But after holding on to myself for so many years, I do not find any result to this investigation. I look at myself for hours, days and weeks, I do not find more peace or any realisation that I am not what I take myself to be. I realise that Nisargadatta said that all quests for progress is pointless and there is nothing more to attain than what we already are. However I fail to see any Truth or any false notions about my self. I do not see myself separate from my ego, my bad habits or my desires. I only remain as I am with no realisation that I am separate from the body and the mind.I only feel more anxious and impatient that I have not come to any realisation about myself despite knowing there is nothing to realise. It all seems like a vicious cycle with nothing in the horizon.
If there is nothing to achieve as I am already Self Realised when I am in contact with myself, what is there to keep me there in a position to continually looking at myself? This is probably the mind distracting me from the practice. But ulitmately it is the love for the Self that keeps the seeker on the pursuit of the Self. But this love does not seem to appear or develop or grow within me. Even after long extended periods of looking at myself I find no more love or desire for myself that I previously had.
Ramana had said that the "I" is merely a thought and he said that the thought could be just as easily be replaced with the thought "John" or "Sherman" as long as we hold on to the same thought till we are absorbed into the thought. Then why the "I'? The practise seems almost arbitrary. How does the thought go on to take the shape of the self?
I have also held on to the feeling but to no avail, to no new experience of truth. What am I to do? Ramana would simply say Do Nothing.
I prefer self-enquiry to doing Nothing because at least in self enquiry, in the process of holding on the I, the mind is engaged in this pursuit and you are less like to drift away than if you are doing nothing. However in the process of holding on to the I, the mind doesn't not seem to lessen its grip or yield after so much practice.
Ramana had always said that self enquiry is different because you are holding onto the source or the subject. But if you were holding on to the source or watching it, then there is a Watcher. Surely, the watcher is the source and not what is being watched? So how is the feeling of "I" or the thought "I", the source? You may say that the observer has to merge with what is being observed.
To me, self enquiry is a very addictive process that continually brings one back to himself but does not yield any further truth that you are What you already are. But I wish to know my full potential, the peace and the happiness that comes with one realising the Self despite the fact that we should shun any thought of progress. I dont want progress, I want to know more about myself but to no avail. What is there no know? Who Am I? Who is he who asks this question?... I don't know. It is only a feeling... a feeling of myself... That is All. Is that All? Is that all the Self is? A feeling?... How am I to realise that which resides in everything?
Lastly Nisargadatta, talked about holding to the "I Am" and then talks about silence being the teacher and doing nothing. This is confusing.Being silent and holding onto the "I Am" are two different things. In holding onto the "I Am', you are holding onto yourself to the exclusion of all other thoughts. In being silence, you are trying to hold on to nothing to the exclusion of all thoughts and ensure you do not fall asleep and remain totally awake and aware. How is the "I Am" nothing?I now that self realisation comes when you realise that you are Nothing. But I don't seem to be any closer to that truth than I was when I first started.
I look forward to you advice. Thank you very much.
I read this post and talked about it at the Worldwide Meeting on June 4, 2011.
You can listen to the entire recording in our podcast. Please let me know if more is needed.
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