28 June 2010

Dear Everyone,

I wanted to thank you for the many generous donations I have received during the last six months, which I use to support work on this site, but even more so, to help animals in the Los Angeles area. Usually this money goes to pay for food and medical help for homeless cats living on the streets of Los Angeles, either those I take care of, or those being cared for by other colony managers in the area who themselves, are usually stretched beyond their means because of their love for animals. There are an estimated 2 million homeless cats and dogs on LA’s streets, and over 60,000 a year killed in Los Angeles City and County shelters.

I have dedicated my life to saving and helping these animals and also helping seekers find understanding and peace. Your donations are incredibly helpful in completing these tasks.

I have been blessed/cursed by an inability to ask for money or sell things. Robert, Ramana, Nisargadatta and all the great ones really didn’t want to handle money. What came to them was through spontaneous giving by students and devotees. Robert used to say this was the tacit agreement between devotee/student and the teacher. The teacher took care of your spiritual life, and the student took care of the teacher's needs. (Of course, Robert used to directly ask his closest followers for help when he needed it, but not the general public or seeker.)

In Eastern culture, the seeker understood that escape from suffering and finding release was the most valuable thing to them, and therefore, they took care of all the teacher's needs. In the West, most students are just curious about the teachings, and are not dedicated to awakening. Spirituality is just another research area for them among many.

None of the great ones offered $300 or $3000 weekend workshops, multiple books, CDs, incense, clothes, Satsang or individual audience fees. Mostly they did fine though because their students, along with God, or God through them, provided whatever is needed.

I now sell one book on this site, the story of Rajiv’s awakening, for for some who inquire, additional items of Robert’s teachings.  But I do so only with great difficulty. 

Money--commerce--is a contaminant of the teachings. The teachings are how to transcend the world, life and death, and money is 100% keeping you in this world, much as emphasis on physical health increases attachment to the body. It is truly, truly difficult for me to sell things.
Therefore I earn money editing medical reports and from donations from readers, and now a bit from “selling” stuff.
I would much rather respond to the 20 emails a day I get from students requesting practice advice and taking care of animals. I don’t have that luxury and need to spend much time working.

As it is there are many, many free downloads at the itisnotreal.com website, including Hunting the I, Autobiography of a Jnani, most of Robert's transcripts, and now the complete dialogues with students over the years.

If you find these publications of value, or you value the responses to questions about your practice, or you want to contribute to supporting my animal saving work in Los Angeles, please donate something.
Thank you very much,


26 June 2010

A reader, Julius, was extremely kind and put together a downloadable book with all the posts on this blog since 2005 in very readable form. As he states, it is 315 dense pages long. It looks like 500+ words per page, so we are looking at a 200,000 word books.

This is an excellent manual for beginners. From 2005 to 2009 I wrote hundreds of answers to beginners questions on a wide variety of topics. Sometime in early 2009 I stopped doing that and focused on self-inquiry, meditation, and the best and most direct methods to awaken.

Here is the link, it will take a while to download:


14 June 2010


Hi Ed-

I recently experienced something different from the usual Aha moments that have so often come and gone.

While going to pee, and inquiring into who was doing such a thing, something broke.  I say broke because the closest description is that there was a "snap".  It was like a feather-weight explosion that was neither here nor gone.  There was no me, no practice, no inquiry, no elation, no joy, no sorrow.

I once experienced a kundalini blow out which resulted in myself being locked in laya for 3 days.  Once the state lifted, I nearly had a breakdown.  I figured this enlightenment thing was for the chickens, and wanted nothing more of it.  I was only going mad.  I did not inquire or meditate for nearly 3 years after that.

This was different.  It did not feel temporary because nothing arose to begin with, so there was nothing to go.  Just a flash.

The first concept that came to me was there is no one, so there is no practice, no need to inquire.  A big laugh followed the joke.

I began writing this thinking my "difficulty" would arise, and it has- I am still here.  So much has changed, but nothing really has.  Still I feel a discomfort that I cannot pin down.  Just a blah.

I actually feel much better sharing all of this with you, and thank you for listening.

Thank you, in loving kindness-



   I got my first awakening when taking a shower. You got yours while pissing.

Just spend a lot of time being quiet and introspective.  See if you can locate a witness and abide there.

This state will deepen if you don't lose it by being too active.


11 June 2010

Chapter 6 (Amended 6-12)

Going Beyond the Void

Self-Inquiry According to Ramana Maharshi

Once again I turn towards the Path of Sri Ramana Maharshi, Part I, by Sadhu Om and Michael James to reveal exactly what Ramana meant by self-inquiry or self abidance. Michael is one of two Ramana scholars and practitioners who remain alive and whom I deeply respect. The other is David Godman.

Michael supports his every conclusion with copious quotes from Ramana’s works.
Once again, as with Nisargadatta, you’ll see that Ramana suggests careful attention be paid to the I sense, and in that, the I-thought will be revealed to be a fraud. Later, the waking consciousness is revealed to be temporary and conditional based on words and concepts. Then, even the sleep state is seen to be an experience. All this is revealed by dwelling on the I-sense.

Chapter 8, The Path of Self-Inquiry from PSR1

On account of this fear of death, the concentration of Sri Bhagavan was fixed and deeply immersed in Self- attention in order to find out ‘What is my existence ? What is it that dies ?’. Thus it is proved by what Sri Bhagavan Himself did that, as we have been explaining all along, only such a firm fixing of our attention on Self is ‘Self-enquiry’ (atma-vichara). He has confirmed the same idea in the work’ Who am I’?”, where He says: “Always keeping the mind (the attention) fixed In Self (in the feeling ‘I’) alone is called Self- enquiry’... Remaining firmly in Self-abidance, without giving even the least room to the rising of any thought other than- the thought of Self (that is, without giving even the least attention to any second or third person, but only to Self), is surrendering oneself to God (which alone is called parabhakti, the supreme devotion65)”.
Therefore, discarding the corpse-like body as an actual corpse and remaining without even uttering the word ‘I’ vocally -–
“Discarding the body as a corpse, not uttering the word ‘I’ by mouth, but seeking with the mind diving inwards ‘Whence does this I rise ?’ alone is the path of knowledge (jnana marga) ...”
‘Ulladhu Narpadhu’, verse 29

“When sought within ‘What is the place from which it rises as I?’, ‘I’ (the ego) will die. This is Self-enquiry.”
‘Upadesa Undhiyar’, verse 19
“If without leaving it we just be, the sphurana, completely annihilating the feeling of individuality – the ego, ‘I am the body’, finally will come to an end just as the camphor flame dies out. This alone is proclaimed to be liberation by Sages and scriptures.
“Although in the beginning, on account of the tendencies towards sense-objects (vishaya-vasanas) which have been recurring down the ages, thoughts rise in countless numbers like the waves of the ocean, they will all perish as the aforesaid Self-attention becomes more and more intense. Since even the doubt “Is it possible to destroy all of them and to remain as Self alone ?’ is only a thought, without giving room even to that thought, one should persistently cling fast to Self-attention. However great a sinner one may be, if, not lamenting ‘Oh, I am a sinner! How can I attain salvation?’ but completely giving up even the thought that one is a sinner, one is steadfast in Self- attention, one will surely be saved. Therefore everyone, diving deep within himself with desirelessness (vairagya), can attain the pearl of Self.
 (Comment: Who now can doubt that Ramana advocated very strong concentration or meditation practices such as focusing on the sense of ‘I’ that eventually destroys the I-thought?)
“As long as there are tendencies towards sense-objects in the mind, (since they will always create some subtle or gross world-appearance) so long the enquiry ‘Who am I?’ is necessary. As and when thoughts rise of their own accord, one should annihilate all of them through enquiry then and there in their very place of origin. What is the means to annihilate them? If other thoughts rise disturbing Self-attention, one should, without attempting to complete them, enquire ‘To whom did they rise?, It will “then be known ‘To me’; immediately, if we observe ‘Who is this I that thinks?’, the mind (our power of attention which was hitherto engaged in thinking of second and third persons) will turn back to its source (Self). Hence (since no one is there to attend to them), the other thoughts which had risen will also subside. By repeatedly practising thus, the power of the mind to, abide in its source increases.
(Comment: Again, Ramana is advocating concentrating on the I, not on any object in the world or mind, but on the subject, the unchanging singularity in the subtle body. Like I’ve stated in the book Autobiography of a Jnani, and on the itisnotreal.com website, it is necessary to build spiritual energy that allows for a courageous faith in oneself, but also allows increasing discrimination. Jorika, meditation power, leads to Prajna, wisdom.)
When the mind thus abides in the Heart, the first thought, ‘I’ (‘I am the body’, the rising ‘I’), which is the root of all other thoughts, itself having vanished, the ever-existing Self (the being ‘I’) alone will shine. The place (or state) where even the slightest trace of the thought ‘I’ (‘I am this, that, the body, Brahman and so on’) does not exist, alone is Self. That alone is called Silence (maunam).
“After coming to know that the final decision of all the scriptures (sastras) is that such destruction of the mind alone is liberation (m ukti), to read scriptures unlimitedly is fruitless. In order to destroy the mind, it is necessary to enquire who one is; then how, instead of enquiring thus within oneself, to enquire and know who one, is in scriptures ? For Rama to know himself to be Rama, is a mirror necessary ? (That is to say, for one to know oneself through Self-attention to be ‘I am’, are scriptures necessary?) ‘Oneself’ is within the five sheaths, whereas the scriptures are outside them. Therefore, how can oneself, who is to be attended to within, setting aside even the five sheaths, be found in scriptures? Since scripture-enquiry is futile, one should give it up and take to Self-enquiry” – thus says Bhagavan Sri Ramana.67
(Comment: This is an extremely important point. You will never attain enlightenment just by reading the scriptures or listening to lectures from a third person. Ultimately you have to find out for yourself in your own experience what is true or false, and believe in yourself. In fact, all words and concepts are illusory. Therefore, truth lies outside words, and lies in understanding what is real and not real, self and not self. The best books can do, or talks, is to be a pointer, but when you take the pointer as truth you become bogged down by other people’s concepts. Even this is a concept, so beware.)
At this point Michael James spends a lot of time exploring an analogy to self inquiry in the form of following a beam of light reflected off a mirror, until the seeker finds the mirror, and turns around and sees the world basked in sunlight, analogous to the experience of the Void.)
Because of his mere search for the source of the reflected ray of the sun, does not the man now, after leaving the dark room, stand in the open space in a state of void created by the non-existence of that reflected ray? This is the state of the aspirant remaining in the Heart-space (hridayakasa) in the state of great void (maha sunya) created, through mere Self-attention, by the non-existence of the ego-’I’. The man who has come out of the room into the open space is dazed and laments, “Alas ! The sun that guided me so far (the reflected sun) is now lost”, At this moment, a friend of his standing in the open space comes to him with these words of solace, “Where were you all this time? Were you not in the dark room! Where are you now? Are you not in the open space! When you were in the dark room, that which guided you out was just one thin ray of light; but here (in this vast open space) are not the rays of light countless and in an unlimited mass? What you saw previously was not even the direct sunlight, but only a reflected ray! But what you are now experiencing is the direct (saksha) sunlight. When the place where you are now is nothing but the unlimited space of light, can a darkness come into existence because of the void created by the disappearance of the reflected ray? Can its disappearance be a loss? Know that its disappearance itself is the true light; it is not darkness”.
Similarly, by the experience of the great void (maha sunya) created by the annihilation of the ego, the aspirant is some-what taken aback, ‘Alas ! Even the ‘I’ consciousness (the ego) which I was attending to in my sadhana till now as a beacon-light is lost ! Then is there really no such thing at all as ‘Self’ (atman)?”. At that very moment, the Sadguru, who is ever shining as his Heart, points out to him thus, “Can the destruction of the ego, which is only an infinitesimal reflected consciousness, be really a loss? Are you not clearly aware not only of its former existence, but also of the present great void created by its disappearance? Therefore, know that you, who know even the void as ‘this is a void’, alone are the true knowledge; you are not a void70 !”, in an instant as a direct experience of the shining of his own existence-consciousness by touching (flashing as sphurana) in Heart as Heart!

(Comment: Be careful here. Raman/Michael took two steps in one sentence. He says the I consciousness associated with the body, the ego, disappears leaving no more a discrete I-sense. Instead, the I is now the totality of consciousness, including the Void or space that contains everything.
But then he says, “You are not the Void, the space, you are that knowledge that you are not the Void.” This is complicated, but also contained in that same sentence, is implicit that you are that to which the knowledge occurred that you are not the void.
If you go back to the earlier chapter where Robert discusses prior to consciousness, he says EXACTLY the same thing, including the distinction between individual and universal consciousness, both of which are transcended.
The knowledge you are not the void is the last experiential vestige of you in this world, but more than that, there is an almost immediate recognition that you, as something totally out of the world and mysterious, are that to which the knowledge occurs, as well as the cognition of the Void and the world.
In the end, you transcend even transcendental knowledge, and attain a bold independence from the world, from cognition, from the body and even from awakening. Now you need and are nothing. This is the highest truth.)
Clinging to the consciousness ‘I’ and thereby acquiring a greater and greater intensity of concentration upon it, is diving deep within. Instead of thus diving within, many, thinking that they are engaged in Self-enquiry, sit down for hours together simply repeating mentally or vocally, “Who am I ?” or “Whence am I?”. There are others again who, when they sit for enquiry, face their thoughts and endlessly repeat mentally the following questions taught by Sri Bhagavan. “To whom come these thoughts? To me; who am I?”, or sometimes they even wait for the next thought to come up so that they can fling these questions at it! Even this is futile. Did we sit to hold thus a court of enquiry, calling one thought after another! Is this the sadhana of diving within! Therefore, we should not remain watching ‘What is the next thought?’. Merely to keep on questioning in this manner is not Self-attention. Concerning those who thus merely float on the surface of the thought-waves; keeping their mind on these questions instead of diving within by attending to the existence- consciousness with a keen mind, thereby controlling mind, breath and all the activities of the body and senses, Sri Bhagavan says:
“Compare him who asks himself ‘Who am I?’ and ‘From which place am I?’, though he himself exists all the while as Self, to a drunken man who prattles ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Where am I?’.”

(Comment: This is an extremely important thought. Merely chasing the thoughts by mindless asking, “Who am I?” or “From where did I come?,” is an idiot’s task.
Unfortunately elsewhere, both Ramana and Robert taught a lower form of self-inquiry which is exactly questioning where a thought came from, or asking, “Who am I?” You have to realize that such kindergarten types of meditation are for beginners who have difficulty introspecting at all. If they practice thus for a while, perhaps they will see that thoughts arise and disappear into something beyond consciousness, the causal body, and begin to dive after the thought to find its origin, and later the origin of the I-thought.
The proper technique of self inquiry is to close your eyes and seek within the sense of I ever deeper until you get to the void. Unfortunately, I did exactly that for years and got trapped in the void as a way of living, and the way out of that void is to see that it too, is an object, something that I am aware of and apart from. I am a mysterious beyond and at the same time, nothing at all. Until the last vestiges of the personal is gone, you need to practice following the I, merging with it and transcending of it. This can be felt going on even during the night, when you wake in the morning and still find the searching for I taking place, as if it had never stopped.

However, watching the 'I' while falling asleep can often lead to long periods of sleeplessness, because you stay awake. It is far easier to see the continuance of consciousness, which I can apprehension in sleep, when you awake and watch the transition from sleep or dream to waking, and immediately grasp that you have not been touched by these passing states of consciousness.)

Therefore, all that we are to practise is to be still (summa iruppadu) with the remembrance of the feeling ‘I’. It is only when there is a slackness of vigilance during Self- attention that thoughts, which are an indication of it, will rise. In other words, if thoughts rise it means that our Self- attention is lost. It is only as a contrivance to win back Self- attention from thought – attention that Sri Bhagavan advised us to ask, ’To whom do these thoughts appear?’ Since the answer ‘To me’ is only a dative form of ‘I’, it will easily remind us of the nominative form, the feeling ‘I’. However, if we question, ‘Who thinks these thoughts?’, since the nominative form, the feeling ‘I’, is obtained as an answer, will not Self-attention, which has been lost unnoticed, be regained directly? This regaining of Self-attention is actually being Self (that is, remaining or abiding as Self)! Such ‘being’ alone is the correct sadhana71 ; sadhana is not doing, but being!!

(Comment: This is a very important understanding. When effort is made to focus on an object, what Michael calls a second or third person, that is effort of the ego. But when attention is paid to the sense of I, you are really acting in consonance with consciousness’s primary identification—self attention. Though it feels effortful at first, later it is recognized that that self-attention is the most fundamental property of consciousness, and is really not effortful at all. It only appears effortful because we lost touch with that ever inward flowing consciousness.)

Some complain, “When the very rising of the ego from sleep is so surreptitious as to elude our notice, how can we see whence it rises? It seems to be impossible!” That is true, because the mind’s effort of attention is absent in sleep, since the mind itself is not at all there! As ordinary people are not acquainted with the knowledge of their ‘being’ but only with the knowledge of their ‘doing’ (that is, the knowledge of their making efforts), for such people it is impossible to know from sleep the rising of the ego from there. Since the effort considered by them as necessary is absent in sleep, it is no wonder that they are unable to commence the enquiry from sleep itself! But, since the whole of the waking state is a mere sportive play of the ego and since the effort of the mind here is under the experience of everyone, at least in the waking state one can turn and attend to the pseudo ‘I’ shining in the form ‘I am so-and-so’.
The enquiry begins only during the leisure hours of the waking state when one sits for practice. Just as a thing comes to our memory when its name, is thought of, does not the first person feeling come to everyone’s memory as soon as the name (pronoun) ‘I’ is thought of? Although this first person feeling is only the ego, the pseudo ‘I’- consciousness, it does not matter. Having our attention withdrawn from second and third persons and clinging to the first person – that alone is sadhana. As soon as the attention turns towards the first person feeling, not only do other thoughts disappear, but also the first thought, the rising and expanding pseudo ‘I’-consciousness, itself begins contracting !

 (Comment: Again a very important point. Most everything done on the spiritual path is done from waking consciousness, because the mind is absent in deep sleep, and directed concentration is impossible. Initial awakening also comes in waking consciousness. Ultimately you have to experience the Voidness of the subtle body as being you, then transcending that understanding, and then you need to sink into and through the darkness of ignorance, deep sleep, even while retaining your identity. When the awaking to oneness consciousness takes place may not be the same for all. For me, the awakening to oneness preceded apprehending that I was before all consciousness. Perhaps for others the progression is different. I summarized my second awakening in the phrase, "Everything is One, and the One is not real.")
Just as a rubber ball72 gains greater and greater momentum while bouncing down the staircase, the more the concentration in clinging to the first person consciousness is intensified the faster is the contraction of the first thought (the ego), till finally it merges in its source. That which now merges thus is only the adjunct (upadhi), the feeling ‘so-and-so’ which, at the moment of waking, came and mixed with the pure existence-consciousness, which was shining in sleep as ‘I am’, to constitute the form of the ego, ‘I am so-and-so’, ‘I am this’ or ‘I am that’. That is, what has come and mixed now slips away. All that an aspirant can experience in the beginning of his practice is only the slipping away (subsidence) of the ego. Since the aspirant tracks down the ego from the waking state, where it is in full play, in the beginning it is possible for him to cognize only its removal. But to cognize its rising (how it rises and holds on to ‘I am’) from sleep will be more difficult for him at this stage.

When Self-attention is started from the waking consciousness ‘I am so-and-so’, since it is only the adjunct, the feeling ‘so-and-so’, that slips away (because it is merely non-existent, an unreal thing [the unreal dies and the Reality alone survives, ‘satyameva jayate’), the aspirant even now (when ‘so-and-so’ has dropped off) feels no loss to the consciousness ‘I am’ which he had experienced in the waking state. Now he attains a state which is similar to the sleep he has experienced every day and which is devoid of all and everything (because, ‘The ego is verily all – sarvam’73, since the whole universe, which is nothing but thoughts, is an expansion of the ego). But a great difference is now experienced by him between the sleep that, without his knowledge, has been coming and overwhelming him all these days due to the complete exhaustion of mind and body, and this sleep which is now voluntarily brought on and experienced by him with the full consciousness of the waking state. How?
“Because there is consciousness, this is not sleep, and because there is the absence of thoughts, it is not the waking state it is therefore the existence- consciousness (sat-chit), the unbroken nature of Siva (akhanda siva-swarupam). Without leaving it, abide in it with great love.”
‘Sadhanai Saram’ 74
Whenever the aspirant during the time of sadhana becomes extroverted from this voluntarily brought-about sleep-like state, he feels absolutely certain, ‘I was not sleeping, but was all the while fully conscious of myself’. But, though his real aspect (existence-consciousness) is ever knowing without he least doubt its own existence in sleep as ‘I am’, whenever he becomes extroverted from everyday sleep, since he (the mind) did not even once have the experience of continuing to know ‘I am’ from the waking state, he can only say, ‘I slept, I did not know myself at that time’, The truth is this: since the state of his Self-existence, devoid of the adjunct ‘so-and-so’, is traced out and caught hold of in the voluntarily brought-about sleep with the full consciousness (prajna) continuing from the waking state, the knowledge that the pure existence-consciousness (sat-chit} knows itself as ‘I am’ is clear in this sleep state. That is why the aspirant now says, ‘I did exist throughout, I did not sleep’ ! But prior to his sadhana, since he was throughout the waking state identifying as ‘I’ the mind, which is the form of the adjunct ‘so-and-so’, after waking up from the ordinary daily sleep, where the mind did not exist, this mind (the man) says, ‘I did not exist in sleep’! That is all!!
Those who experience many times this removal of the ego through practice, since they have an acquaintance with the experience of their pure existence-consciousness as ‘I am’ even after the removal of the ego, can minutely cognize, even at the moment of just waking up from sleep, how the adjunct ‘so-and-so’ comes and mixes. Those who do not have such strength of practice cannot cognize, from sleep itself, the ego at its place of rising. The only thing that is easy for them is to find the ego’s place of setting (which is also its place of rising) through the effort started from the waking state. In either case, the end and the achievement will be the same. When the attention is focused deeper and deeper within towards the feeling ‘I am’ and when the ego thereby shrinks more and more into nothingness, our power of attention becomes subtler than the subtlest atom and thereby grows sharper and brighter. Hence, the strength of abidance (nishtha-bala) will now be achieved to remain balanced between two states, that is, in a state after the end of sleep and before waking up, in other words, before being possessed by the first thought. Through this strength, the skill will now be gained by the aspirant to find out the adjunct ‘so and so’, which comes and mixes, to be a mere second person (that is, although it has hitherto been appearing as if it were the first person, it will now be clearly seen to be his mere shadow, non-Self, the primal sheath, a thing alien to him).
 “As you practise more and more abiding in this existence-consciousness (that is, remaining in the state between sleep and waking), the ordinary sleep which had previously been taking possession of you will melt away, and the waking which was full of sense-knowledges (vishayas) will not creep in again, Therefore repeatedly and untiringly abide in it,”
‘Sadhanai Saram’

(Comment: Please note there has been an important progression here. Ramana through Michael and Sadhu Om state there is a first enlightenment which happens when the I-thought, the ego is seen through, and with the disappearance of the ego, one experiences the great Void, a sense of immense space the interpenetrates and contains all the world. The Void is part and parcel of the Oneness state; it is the space that interpenetrates and also contains all phenomena, from external sensations and apparent objects, to all the inner phenomena.
Then one “gets” the knowledge that he or she is not the Void, the void is just another witnessed object or second or third person.
Then one “apprehends” that he or she (by this time neither), are universal consciousness without any identity to anything in the world.
Then one apprehends one is even beyond both the universal consciousness and individual consciousness altogether.
However, then you have to take one more step of maintaining your identity as impersonal universal consciousness even while descending in or coming out of the sleep state. This has to be practiced. Why?
With the “apprehension” that you exist always, in all states, even though before you thought you did not, it is an easy leap to see that you exist entirely separate from the body/mind/sleep and even Turiya. In a sense, you apprehend your” beyondness,” and with that comes absolute freedom and great courage.

By greater and more steadfast practice of abiding in this existence-consciousness, we will experience that this state seems to come often and take possession of us of its own accord whenever we are free from our daily work. But, since this state of existence-consciousness is in fact nothing but ‘we’ (universal), it is wrong to think that such a state comes and takes possession of us! While at work, we attend to other things; after that work is over and before we attend to some other second or third person, we naturally abide in our real state, existence-consciousness. Though this happens to one and all every day, it is only to those who have the experience of Self-consciousness through the aforesaid practice that the state of Self-abidance will be clearly discerned after leaving one second parson thought and before catching another one (that is, between two thoughts).
“Why has it been said (in the above two verses of ‘Sadhana Saram’) that one ought to make effort repeatedly to be in that state (our existence- consciousness) and ought to abide in it with more and more love? Because, until all the tendencies (vasanas) which drive one out of it are completely exhausted, this state will seem to come and go75. Hence the need for continued effort and love to abide in Self.”
 “When, through this practice, our state of existence consciousness is experienced always as inescapably natural, then there will be no harm even if waking, dream and sleep pass across,”
“For those who are well established in the unending Self-consciousness, which pervades and transcends all these three so-called states (waking, dream and sleep), there is but one state, the Whole, the All, and that alone is real! This state, which is devoid even of the feeling ‘I am making effort’, is your natural state of being! Be!!
(Comment: Such advice and understanding is not found among any of the neo-advaitins who think that loss of the ego, the entering and maintaining unity consciousness in the waking state is the beginning and end of spirituality. If you believe them, you will be stuck on the first step.)
Michael and Sadhu Om then spend many pages discussing Ramana’s understanding of the relationship between consciousness and the body. Remember too, Nisargadatta says consciousness only exists with the body, including universal consciousness. However, I will stop here as the point I wanted to make was that Ramana advised rather intense practice which culminated in becoming the Void, then transcending the Void, then penetrating through the ignorance of the causal body by watching the arising and setting of I consciousness.)