Day 11: Consciousness
Abc’s of Yoga – Part 3
Who am I?
Know thyself: the Path of Self-Inquiry
“You are awareness. Awareness is another name for you. Since you are awareness there is no need to attain or cultivate it. All that you have to do is to give up being aware of other things, that is, of the not-self. If one gives up being aware of them then pure awareness alone remains . . .” – Ramana Maharishi
Once we’ve aligned our bodies through asana, and connected to the breath, we can bring our awareness into consciousness it’s self.
At this stage we understand that we are far more that just our bodies. We know that our body’s cells completely replace themselves every 7 years. We know that the body we had at age 3 is a different body that when we are 73. Our bodies, are more like the temple of our souls.
We know we are not just the breath, the air we breathe, the food we eat or the water we drink.. Our breath is moving through us without a conscious effort keeping us alive and in rhythm with the pulsation of all things in the universe.
As we slow down the breath, and begin to witness each thought arising, existing, and falling away, we also begin to recognise that we are not our thoughts. Thoughts, feelings, and sensations are but fleeting moments to which we sometimes get attached or identified.
When we let thoughts come and go without attaching our emotions and personal interpretation to them, we see that we are the witness of thoughts. We are the like the clear blue sky, the thoughts are like the passing clouds.
So who are we? Who is the thinker of these thoughts? the perceiver of these sensations? The witness of these experiences?
This is the question that Ramana Maharishi went to the caves for 17 years to contemplate. Ramana Maharishi taught the practice of self-inquiry, as a method of following the “I” – thought in order to find it’s source.
It requires practice, effort and discipline to keep watching the thoughts and rest in our true nature, pure awareness itself. It takes continual and consistent practice to overcome the strong habits of of the monkey mind that likes to jump from thought branch to thought branch, the mind that loves a good dose distraction, attachment, and identification.
“When we begin to see through the illusion we once took to be “me”, there is a simultaneous emergence of our true nature from the background, where it has been waiting patiently for us to sober up from the intoxication of seeking”. – Bob O’Hearn
Learn more about Ramana Maharishi & Self-Inquiry:
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