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Dialogues

All Search for Happiness Is Misery

Q: When do I know that I have discovered truth? M: When the idea “this is true”, “that is true” does not arise. Truth does not assert itself, it is in the seeing of the false as false and rejecting it. It is useless to search for truth, when the mind is blind to the false. It must be purged of the false completely before truth can dawn on it. Q: But what is false? M: Surely, what has no being is false. Q: What do you mean by having no being? The false is there, hard as a nail. M: What contradicts itself, has no being. Or it has only momentary being, which comes to the same. For, what…

The Poetry of Ramana Maharshi

How does the poetry of a Ramana Maharshi compare with traditional written prose or oral teachings? What makes this poetical format especially effective? Like the poetry of other sages, the verses of Ramana Maharshi’s differ from traditional written prose or oral teachings, by reason of its content. The words of a sage disclose to the inner eye and ear the ineffable, unconditioned, infinite, eternal, and free. In Upadesa Saram, The Essence of Instruction, the Maharshi writes in the eighth verse: The lofty attitude “He am I” is preferable to the attitude “He is not me.” The reader need not grasp the deep meaning of these words in their entirety to be moved by them, for they also speak directly to…

There’s No Way Out of Totality

When we look into a mirror, we see a reflection — an image, shapes and colors, a visual sensation―and we say, “That’s me.” But what we don’t see is the seeing. We don’t see awareness. We mistake an image or a sensation for what we are, and we overlook the boundless awareness or the presence in which it all appears. When you look across the room and see somebody else, you say, “I see Lucy.” But again, you’re seeing an image―shapes and colors. You aren’t seeing the seeing that is seeing you. What you see and identify as “Lucy” is nothing but an image, a shape, a sensation, along with an overlay of memories and ideas and stories that you…

On Transmission and Teaching

Questioner One: I would like to ask you a question. I have deep respect for you—I’ve listened to your tapes and read your books. I also have deep respect for the others present here, and for myself. We have been talking a lot about the future of Buddhism in America. Many people here are from different traditions, and some are not affiliated with any. Generally, traditions have a concept of transmission and lineage—lineage from master to teacher to support the traditions passed down through the centuries and support the teachings that will succeed us. Your discovery, your approach is seen by many people as a stripping away of form, and I think many people would see something of the future…

Revolution in Consciousness

An Interview with Robert Powell Robert Powell is a well-known writer and editor of books on the teachings of Advaita, or non-duality. This interview was recorded in the summer of 1993 at Robert Powell’s home. Rick Moore and Cortland Harris talked with Robert, on behalf of The Claremont Forum, located in Claremont, California. The Claremont Forum: Did you ever meet Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj? Robert Powell: I never met the man. I had planned to visit him the very year he passed away, but for personal reasons was not able to do so. Maharaj succumbed to throat cancer from which he had been suffering for some years. He was a member of a succession of spiritual teachers, the Navanath Sampradaya, all…

Extraordinary Sense of Spaciousness: Nisargadatta Maharaj

“The essential point of his teaching is that we already are absolutely free and that there is nothing that we have to do or make or become or change ourselves into; we simply have to see the truth of life which is that we are not this body nor this mind, but they are plays of the elements as your will and that, when one understands this, there comes extraordinary happiness and freedom.” —Jack Kornfield I first heard of Nisargadatta Maharaj in 1970 while staying at a Buddhist (forest) monastery in Thailand. I had been writing to one of my best friends from high school saying, “You must come visit me; you must try this monastery and this practice of…

Find Out Who You Are

Jean Dunn speaks about life with Nisargadatta Maharaj. This interview was recorded by Malcolm Tillis in 1981, while Jean was living in Bombay, India. Jean Dunn: I am just a normal person of fifty-nine who has been searching all her life until, ten years ago, she heard of Ramana Maharshi. She visited his ashram, went back to the States, then returned to India, where she has been living for the past four years. Two years ago she met Nisargadatta Maharaj, and he became her guru. Did he give you some form of initiation? He gave me a mantra and initiation. How did you first hear about him? At Ramana Maharshi’s ashram. Many people come to see him; ­there seems to…

In the Meadow

An Interview “You already are your perfect Self. It’s only a matter of recognition. There never was, is, or will be more perfection than you are at this perfect moment.” —David Manners David Manners was an actor and writer, the author of several books and articles; including Look Through: An Evidence of Self Discovery and Awakening from the Dream of Me. David was a rising Hollywood film star in 1930s cinema when he left to spend over 30 years in the Mojave Desert in California. It was during this stay in the desert that David began to deeply inquire into his real nature and ask himself, “Who am I?” During this period he awoke to life in the truest sense…

Let Your Heart Be Your Guide

An Interview with Francis Lucille Francis Lucille was born in France in 1944. He is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris where he was trained as a mathematician and physicist. In 1973, an encounter with Vedantic and Zen scriptures triggered a deep self-inquiry that found its resolution through meeting his teacher in 1975. Besides working as a scientist and diplomat, he has held dialogues, meditation sessions, and workshops in both France and the U.S. over the past 15 years. After retiring from formal employment, he has been meeting with truth-seekers throughout the U.S. and Canada, sharing his understanding of life. Francis has recorded a collection of interviews on non-duality. This interview is taken from an edited transcript. He…

Living in the Presence of the Infinite

An Interview The infinite a sudden guest Has never assumed to be, But how can that stupendous come Which never went away? —Emily Dickinson Thelma Rappold spent three years with Ramana Maharshi (1947-1950) at Sri Ramanasramam, in Tiruvannamalai, South India. At that time, the township of Tiruvannamalai was still a rural area, with none of the everyday amenities a Westerner would be used to. Remarkably, Thelma met her husband (also an American) in Tiruvannamalai during those years. This article is a transcript of the complete conversation, which was recorded for the DVD Abide As the Self. How did you first find your way to the hermitage of Ramana Maharshi? I went to India with the idea of finding a Guru….

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