Inner Work

Self Enquiry by Ramana Maharshi

Who am I?

Is the Fundamental question on the Spiritual Journey

"Self Enquiry means effort to trace thought back to its source.

If you incessantly hold on to the source of thought, there will come a time when emergence from such source becomes altogether impossible.

If Self Enquiry has resulted in a state of mind wherein it abides as identical with pure Subjective Consciousness, then you have done it correctly. Self Enquiry has been done correctly when doing it has resulted in the Self-realisation flashing forth. "

Self Enquiry explained

When a thought rises up “lunch time” – “When is lunch?” As soon as this thought arises rather than taking the thought, you ask yourself “To whom has this thought arisen?”
   This thought about lunch. “To whom did it arise?” You immediately get the answer “to me”. Because you’re completely identified with me. This thought arose to “me”.   And then you ask a second question “Who is this me?” 
    You think you know, but you don’t. The second question doesn’t have a verbal answer. You can say “I’m consciousness”. Well, that doesn’t really answer that question. 
    So you come to Silence, you fall into Silence. You fall into the Emptiness. This is actually Self Enquiry, its that simple. This question is a fundamental part of the spiritual investigation.

Self Enquiry Workshop with John David

In a Self Inquiry workshop we sit together, lovingly asking each other “Who are you?”
    Through this exercise over some hours we notice deeply that all answers that we give to that question are not who we really are and after some time we fall deeper inside, looking for what the question can reveal inside of ourself.
     This Exercise rather quickly, in a few hours, can bring people to have a taste of their True Nature, their being. Its a bit like going down into the clear water and suddenly wow, its so beautiful. 

The Self Enquiry Workshop is part of each of John David’s Retreats

Photo Gallery from the Workshop

Ramana Maharshi, Aham Sphurana

There is a state when
words cease and silence prevails.
Silence is the ocean
into which all the rivers
of all religions discharge themselves.
It is the speech of the Self.
That which Is, is Silence.

More from Ramana Maharshi

Quotations by Ramana Maharshi about Self Enquiry, Surrender and the Role of the Guru

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How shall we kill the mind?

B.: Is it the mind that wants to kill the mind? The mind cannot kill the mind. Anything that you endeavour to ‘do’ with the mind will only reinforce and perpetuate the notion of mind. Rather than pointlessly wondering, ‘How shall I eradicate the mind?’, go on seeking the mind. Incessant search for what mind is results in its disappearance.

The thing to do is to completely ignore the objects that appear by the reflected light of the mind, and instead seek the source of the mind’s illumination. If the source of the mind is continuously sought for, it begins to subside.

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Vichara, Self Enquiry

Q.: What are the indicators based on which I shall be enabled to find out for myself whether I am doing vichara [Self enquiry] correctly or not?

B.: If vichara has resulted in a state of mind wherein it abides as identical with pure Subjective Consciousness, then you have done it correctly.

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Practiced diligently, meditation techniques purify the mind because they bring awareness to unholy patterns of thought and feeling. Unhealthy thoughts cannot survive the penetrating light of awareness. Nothing purifies like experience of the Self, which releases a flood of healing, cleansing, spiritual energy into the conscious and unconscious minds.

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"You may imagine to yourself that you have parted from God, but know that He never parts from you."