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R e a d  E x c e r p t s

Spiritual Wisdom offered in a direct simple expression to touch your heart.

The eight talks of Arunachala Talks discuss the main issues that need to be considered on the path to Awakening. The Teaching of Ramana Maharshi sets out how to follow Self-enquiry, which he considered the most direct route to Self-realisation. Destiny suggests that everything in our lives just happens, independent of our notion of ‘doing our lives’. The Spiritual Roadmap gives an overview of the Spiritual journey.

In The Fortress I consider the ego or false Self, going into its origin and showing how it creates a filter that covers our True Nature. Authentic Love amplifies what was spoken in The Self is Radiant. Love simply is and you are that. I show how, for so many people, falling in love Hollywood style normally becomes the ultimate illusion, preventing Awakening.

Devotion examines the way of the Heart and shows how this is a necessary component in the search for Truth, more easily available in Asia than the West. Presence makes it clear that this is the simple Truth. When we are not in the past or future then we are present in the Now of this moment. The conditioned mind stops flowing and we are there in the vast power of Emptiness, which is our True Nature. In Truth, Peace and Love.


The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi


Spiritual Wisdom offered in a direct simple expression to touch your heart.

"The Source is constant.
When you keep coming to the Source
you always come to the same place.
It’s you; it’s the Real You.
When you deeply enquire with this question, ‘Who am I?’
then you find out that you are just Beingness,
just Pure Awareness. "

When we take away all the thoughts and the emotions something is still present. It's very peaceful, it's very simple, it has no boundaries, it's very still, nothing moves. The Buddhists call it emptiness, no mind. In the Hindu tradition they call it atman (the Self). This Self is our True Nature. This Presence is your True Nature. So there is no question of getting something; you are this Presence.

There is one difficulty and this is that for many, many years we have been conditioned to always look outside. We completely believe in ‘my story', and that the world and we are separate. We deeply believe this. It is a kind of hypnosis. It's so deep that even as I speak these words your mind is probably telling you that John David is a little bit crazy. It seems that if you want to come out of this game, out of this story, this story of me, then you need some help.

Ramana Maharshi suggested something he called Self-enquiry: to enquire about the nature of the Self, about your True Nature. Self-enquiry, he said, was the most direct method to know the Self. How to do this? What he suggested went like this: whatever you are doing, and it doesn't matter what you are doing, you can ask yourself, ‘Who is doing this?' And the answer is ‘Me.' Then you can ask yourself, ‘Who is me?' There is no answer to this question. You can easily find some intellectual answers, but they don't help very much.

The effect of asking this question is it brings your attention from the outside to the inside, to the Source. If you continue to do this then your attention remains inside. In the beginning you can do this by sitting down with closed eyes and bringing all your attention to this practice. But after you've mastered this looking, or rather enquiring, as you pass through your day, no matter what you are doing externally, you can use it to bring your attention to the Source. The hypnosis, the attachment to the story outside, changes and you stay for longer periods at the Source. It doesn't really matter what you do on the outside because the whole effort is to come to the Source. The Source is constant. When you keep coming to the Source you always come to the same place. It's you; it's the Real You. When you deeply enquire with this question, ‘Who am I?' then you find out that you are just Beingness, just Pure Awareness.

On a deeper level, the Truth is you are nothing. To be nothing sounds a little bit frightening but I know that being nothing is better than being so much! When you are so much, when you are ‘the story', you bring huge baggage to each moment. So you can't really experience this moment. At least you can only experience it through many filters; these filters are, for example, your beliefs. If you are brought up in Japan you have one kind of belief filter, if you are brought up in Brazil you have another kind of belief filter. One is based on Buddhism, one is based on Catholicism. Then we have a certain kind of family, we might be the oldest child or we might be the youngest child, we might have very sweet loving parents or we might have rather tough and tyrannical parents. All this affects our filters. There are many aspects to this filtering and we have grown up to believe that we are all these filters: that's ‘me'. The whole effort with Self-enquiry is to go much deeper than that. We want to find out what is in the very depth; what is our True Nature unaffected by all these filters.


Authentic Love


Spiritual Wisdom offered in a direct simple expression to touch your heart. heart

"Authentic Love simply is.
Authentic Love is given.
Authentic Love is your nature.
When you reside in your being,
when you reside in your True Nature,
then Authentic Love simply is and you are that.
That’s Authentic Love.
There’s nothing really to do."

As far as I can see, relationship puts us all the time deeper and deeper into the stories we are trying to become clear of and it takes us further and further away from the Truth. In all this natural kind of relating we never notice the possibility of simply being with ourselves. Being with ourselves is very beautiful because we discover, when we spend time and become quiet enough, that inside us is what we could call Authentic Love. It's not even inside us, because actually we are this Love. It's just there. You can call it Stillness, Emptiness, the Self, you can even call it God, and we can come to it just by being quiet. In that place there is overwhelming Love flowing like a spring from the mountain.

As soon as we become quiet, as soon as we connect inside to our own nature, we discover there is a pool of Love. It's just there, it's always there. We don't have to do anything. In fact if we do anything we take ourselves further away from that Love. So why not relate with this Love? Why look for a boyfriend or a girlfriend when you could just relate with your own boyfriend or your own girlfriend who is right there. This is not really your own boyfriend or girlfriend as there is nothing to relate to. It's not a question of relationship because this Love we are talking about, this Authentic Love that we are talking about, is you. This is your True Nature.

There is no question of relationship because relationship requires some distance; it requires somebody. There is no somebody, there is just Love. You are not separate from that Love. This Authentic Love just is. It's very, very simple and because it is so, so simple we don't see it. We're so busy with this other kind of love because that is so natural. It's what we've always seen happening and so we don't notice this Authentic Love; we don't notice that by just becoming quiet we feel this Love. You can experience it just walking in the forest. You can experience it sitting by the river. You can experience it beautifully just standing outside in this wonderful nature here and you can even experience it sitting in this ashram.

We're shaken; we are kind of shaken by the beauty and power of this Love. It takes away all our thoughts and we are just Present. Nothing is happening and yet we feel absolutely nurtured. We feel absolutely wonderful; these are the moments we have been searching for our whole life. Somehow we always knew it; there inside us was this knowing because we came into the world with that. We know it. This was our first knowing as a small baby. We couldn't articulate it, we couldn't speak about it, but it was known and then somehow we lost it. We got caught up.

That's really the beauty of us coming together in these Meetings. When you just meet together you can't not see the truth of what I'm saying. We all know it. Sitting here together we know this and it changes our whole life because then we don't have to be always searching for a partner who is going to bring us love. We can just directly connect to that Love because that Love is always constant. Suddenly the whole mode of our life changes. We can be alone. We can be absolutely healthy and absolutely alone. We can be Free. We don't have to consult anybody. We are absolutely allowed. We can go here and we can go there. We can even have a relationship. We can even be with somebody, but the whole course of that relating changes because we are not looking to get something from the other person.

You are there with the other person just out of the joy of being together and playing together. You are not there to get something. It's just a natural coming together. It's very playful, and of course it's lovely to be with somebody, but you can be with anybody, anybody who is open. It doesn't need to be a special ‘mine'. You don't need to be the owner anymore. People are not afraid if somebody is unhappy and miserable. People in society are afraid of happy people, people living in Love. It doesn't depend on any place or any relationship. It doesn't even depend on the world. Because Love is our True Nature and it's always there. It's a constant. We've learned not to trust that.




Spiritual Wisdom offered in a direct simple expression to touch your heart. heart

"When we simply surrender
it’s a bit like a piece of wood floating in the river.
Everything gets very easy
and without really doing anything things seem to work out
– maybe not in the way we thought, but in another way.
If we can accept that as it is, then life is very easy."


You told the story about jumping into the river and I asked myself: how do you get to the Source?

You are the Source. There's nowhere to get. Right now you are absolutely the Source. You are not in the Source, you are the Source. Maybe, even right now, you have some kind of illusion playing in your head telling you, ‘I have to work a bit harder, I have to go to more meetings like this, maybe I need a spiritual practice, I need to read a few more books and I need to find a really good teacher and some time in the future I might get to the Source.' But you are the Source. If you would just stop, and do nothing, you would see it. If you absolutely surrender to this moment you can't avoid realising that you are the Source, right now, here, in this moment. You see the illusion of this movie that plays, and realise ‘that's not me'.

I realise that I fight a lot. I have always done it and I still do it. My question is how is it possible to be a piece of wood in the water?

When you go downstairs after this meeting you might have an idea that you are going to turn left. Wait and see which way you turn, left, right or just straight across the street. Does it matter? If your car is parked on the right, one part of your mind will say, ‘The quickest way is to turn right,' and the other part will say, ‘Well, I want to turn left,' and then you've got a fight, a conflict. But it's all happening in your mind, in nobody else's mind, and nobody else cares. But you care. For you it is a very important decision, and therefore the fight. ‘I've got to make the right choice.' But it doesn't matter, we live on a sphere!

Is your life about going the quickest way to your car, or is your life about finding Peace? It's very interesting because almost everybody in this kind of meeting would be very willing to do some really tough practice. If I said, ‘Okay, if you really want Peace, then for three months or three years, or even thirty years, you have to get up at five-thirty in the morning, take a cold shower and sit in meditation for two hours, then you will find Peace.' You would say, ‘Great! Okay. He's a really tough teacher, but I'll do it.' But if I say you don't have to do anything and that actually it's available right now, then what?

John David
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