As you observe the thoughts they disappear, but more come, more come, and even when you’re finished with them from this life, they’ll come to you from a previous life. It never stops. So you have to keep asking the question, “To whom do they come? To whom do they come?” And keep observing and follow the I thought, and doing nothing, and one day it will all be gone, and you’ll be free. But you have to have patience and persistence. Remember, it took us so many years to be the way we are, screwy, crazy, insane. So now it’s going to take a long time, perhaps, to get over it. But don’t worry about it, because we’re all hell bent for heaven whether we like it or not. Everybody gets there, sooner or later. Our job is to be relaxed and calm, peaceful, to observe ourselves, not to react to conditions. Remember, every condition that comes upon you is karmic in nature. It’s no accident. When you react to a condition, all you’re doing is accruing more karma for yourself and it will never end. The secret is to just watch, to observe the situation, and not react.
~ Robert Adams
Nothing that exists is without a name and a form. But all that exists has a common factor that subsists as a substratum in all. Just as all gold ornaments have gold as their commonality of content, just as all clay toys, though distinguishable by their name and form, are not distinguishable as clay, just as the movie screen is the base for all the drama that is superimposed on it while the screen itself is unsullied by any of the turmoil that ‘takes place’ ‘on’ it – so also a substratum, subtler than space, permeates everything in the universe and everything ‘takes place’ ‘in’ it, without itself being affected. That, being the common content of all that have name and form, has no name or form for itself. The Vedas speak of it as ‘That’ or also as ‘brahman’. This is the supreme ultimate Reality, the reality that never changes. (To emphasize the supremeness, it is also called ‘para-brahman’, ‘para’ meaning ‘supreme’).
Happiness lies deep within us, in the very core of our being. Happiness does not exist in any external object, but only in us, who are the consciousness that experiences happiness. Though we seem to derive happiness from external objects or experiences, the happiness that we thus enjoy in fact arises from within us.
Whatever turmoil our mind may be in, in the centre of our being there always exists a state of perfect peace and joy, like the calm in the eye of a storm. Desire and fear agitate our mind, and obscure from its vision the happiness that always exists within it. When a desire is satisfied, or the cause of a fear is removed, the surface agitation of our mind subsides, and in that temporary calm our mind enjoys a taste of its own innate happiness.
Happiness is thus a state of being — a state in which our mind’s habitual agitation is calmed. The activity of our mind disturbs it from its calm state of just being, and causes it to lose sight of its own innermost happiness. To enjoy happiness, therefore, all our mind need do is to cease all activity, returning calmly to its natural state of inactive being, as it does daily in deep sleep.
True happiness is therefore the happiness of just being, which is the perfect and absolute happiness that in mystical literature is known as ‘beatitude’. This true happiness of being is also described as ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding’, because it is experienced in full only in the perfectly peaceful state of just being, which is the state in which all mental activity has subsided in the clarity of unobstructed self-consciousness. That is, since it can be experienced perfectly only in the state in which we are conscious merely of our own essential being and not of any thoughts or objects, it is true happiness.
~ Ramana Maharshi
I say to people,
“Sit quietly and watch where the mind goes.” If you observe it you will see that it is always running off to enjoy or suffer experiences that belong to the past.
So, whenever you catch it doing this, bring it back to the present moment.
In this present moment there are no dialogues going on. In this present moment there is nothing to control or repress.
The mind is just like a thief. It is stealing your happiness by making you run after things and ideas that make you suffer all the time.
Bring it back to the present each and every time you find that it is wandering somewhere else. This thief in your head loots your property, your happiness, every waking moment. And you allow him. You make friends with him and let him do what he wants.
Why should you fondle and be friends with a snake that is going to bite you and make you suffer?
Show the mind the way home and don’t let it make you suffer all the time.
~ H. W. L. POONJA (Papaji)
Question: What is happiness?
Ramana: What is called happiness is merely the nature of the Self. Happiness and the Self are not different. The happiness of the Self alone exists; that alone is real. There is no happiness at all in even a single one of the [many] things in the world. We believe that we derive happiness from them on account of aviveka [a lack of discrimination, an inability to ascertain what is correct].
When the mind is externalised, it experiences misery. The truth is, whenever our thoughts [that is, our desires] get fulfilled, the mind turns back to its source and experiences Self-happiness alone. In this way the mind wanders without rest, emerging and abandoning the Self and [later] returning within. The shade under a tree is very pleasant. Away from it the sun’s heat is scorching. A person who is wandering around outside reaches the shade and is cooled. After a while he goes out again, but unable to bear the scorching heat, returns to the tree. In this way he is engaged in going from the shade into the hot sunshine and in coming back from the hot sunshine into the shade. A person who acts like this is an aviveki [someone who lacks discrimination], for a discriminating person would never leave the shade.
By analogy, the mind of a jnani never leaves Brahman, whereas the mind of someone who has not realised the Self is such that it suffers by wandering in the world before turning back to Brahman for a while to enjoy happiness. What is called ‘the world’ is only thoughts. When the world disappears, that is, when there are no thoughts, the mind experiences bliss; when the world appears, it experiences suffering.
~ Ramana Maharshi
The person is merely the result of misunderstanding. In reality, there is no such thing. Feelings, thoughts and actions race before the watcher in endless succession, leaving traces in the brain and creating an illusion of continuity. A reflection of the watcher in the mind creates the sense of ‘I am’ and the person acquires an apparently independent existence. In reality there is no person, only the watcher identifying himself with the ‘I’ and the ‘mine’. The teacher tells the watcher: you are not this, there is nothing of yours in this, except the little point of ‘I am’, which is the bridge between the watcher and his dream. I am this, I am that’ is dream, while pure ‘I am’ has the stamp of reality on it. You have tasted so many things – all came to naught. Only the sense ‘I am’ persisted – unchanged. Stay with the changeless among the changeful, until you are able to go beyond.
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Silence is our real nature. What we are fundamentally, is only silence. Silence is free from beginning and end. It was before the beginning of all things. It is causeless. Its greatness lies in the fact that it simply is. In silence all objects have their home ground. It is the light that gives objects their shape and form. All movement, all activity is harmonized by silence. Silence has no opposite in noise. It is beyond positive and negative. Silence dissolves all objects.. It is not related to any counterpart which belongs to the mind. Silence has nothing to do with mind. It cannot be defined but it can be felt directly because it is our nearness. Silence is freedom without restriction or center. It is our wholeness, neither inside nor outside the body. Silence is joyful, not. pleasurable. It is not psychological. It is feeling without a feeler. Silence needs no intermediary. Silence is holy. It is healing. There is no fear in silence. Silence is autonomous like love and beauty. It is untouched by time. Silence is meditation, free from any intention, free from anyone who meditates. Silence is the absence of oneself. Or rather, silence is the absence of absence. Sound which comes from
silence is music. All activity is creative when it comes from silence. It is constantly a new beginning. Silence precedes speech and poetry and music and all art. Silence is the home ground of all creative activity. What is truly creative is the word, is Truth. Silence is the word. Silence is Truth. The one established in silence lives in constant offering, in prayer without asking, in thankfulness, in continual love.”
~ Jean Klein