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 Jnana Yoga/Self-Inquiry - Advaita (Non-Duality)
 3 misconceptions
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maheswari

Lebanon
2516 Posts

Posted - Feb 02 2021 :  12:06:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hello all
.
i have noticed that there are many misconceptions about Jnana in the forums
So far there are 3 that are very recurrent in the threads.After explaining each one of them i will mention a quote by Krishnamurti
.
1.Seekers believe that Advaita is non practical , that one will avoid doing his duties or will be aloof
.
"Self knowledge does not come about through self isolation, through withdrawal....that resistance (which is suppression, substitution or sublimation) is to be discovered in relationship , in action."
.
2.Seekers have a set of sitting and or physical practices and believe that they are the good guys on the good path and start projecting their beliefs on others by should and should nots. Also despite all the practices they are unable to accept life as it happens.They are unable to accept people around them or people around the globe as they are (expectations) which keeps their practices in a simplistic mode of sublimation ,nothing too deep
.
"Resistance whether negative or positive, with its comparisons and justifications, its condemnations and identifications, is the denial of what is. What is is the implicit and awareness of the implicit is the unfoldment of it. This unfoldmnent is the beginning of wisdom.Wisdom is essential for the coming into being the unknown"
.
3.Seekers have no genuine interest in examining their knee jerks reactions, to really explore if anything that is being said to them brings something up to the surface.Which lead to reactive behavior and speech
.
"I want to find the truth, whether i am a fool or a marvellous person.Therefore i listen without any reaction.The moment i have a reaction, i have stopped listening and i will not find out whether i am a fool or a marvellous bird...it is important to find out.You may be telling the truth when you said i am a fool.So i am listening and therefore i am learning.If i dont listen i am not learning.But if i listen when you say i am a fool or a marvellous person, i am learning to find out the truth of it.But if i react, i have stopped learning"

interpaul

USA
376 Posts

Posted - Feb 02 2021 :  1:41:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Maheswari, Thank you for drilling down to some of the key issues. #2 seems to be where the meat is for me on this one. It is ironic much of the intense dialogue in recent discussions centered around diet. I personally am no authority on these matters and am just interested in the pursuit of Truth, with a big T. For me it is all about "accept(ing) life as it happens." Based on #1 you are acknowledging the value of interaction in the world. I don't think you will have too many AYP folks challenge you on this point as "silence in action" seems to be a tenet of the practices. If we are commited to interacting with others in the world it seems how we do that should have some relevance. If we walk down the street and see a child drowning in a pond, most of us will run in and help the child. It is an action that comes from a shared humanity. If we choose to accept the drowning as "accepting life as it happens" then I would challenge that belief. It seems the issue around eating animals can take on a similar energy. I stopped eating veal (young cows) years ago after hearing how the young animals were restricted from moving much to keep their muscles softer. It is hard for me to not apply some of code of conduct to my actions in the world. I realize these are all subject to relativism. The other key issue which I saw play out on the forums and you allude to here is telling other people what to do. We could certainly have an in depth discussion regarding any moral obligations to share our values beyond our own actions. Trying to keep my response short but have many other thoughts and would like to hear other people's take on this important topic.
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maheswari

Lebanon
2516 Posts

Posted - Feb 02 2021 :  4:56:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Interpaul
The meat thread was an eye opener but there is no need for me at least to dwell upon it anymore.
The thing is that lots of lessons in ayp are about enquiry but it seems they fall into oblivion.They are towards the end of the lessons list, cause usually that moment to moment noticing of what appears in the mind while being engaged in life ( it is not a on the cushion practice) comes after dm and sbp etc....
As if the forums are just about correct this in your sbp and correct that.
The purpose of yoga is to know who you are and who you think you are. That is done through genuine questioning and going deep in the dark layers of what we don't want to see about ourself.So all other practices are needed and pave the way but they are still running around the bush, ultimately there must be a more cut through direct practice which can not be done unless there is an absolute burning desire to let go of any form of identity as we believe it to be.

Edited by - maheswari on Feb 02 2021 5:02:42 PM
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interpaul

USA
376 Posts

Posted - Feb 02 2021 :  10:22:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Maheswari, I am now in the mid 300s in the lessons and taking my time as self inquiry and non duality are still challenging as my inner silence must not be deep enough. I am all for going deeper into these "dark layers" and knowing my true self. The wonderful thing about this forum is it attracts people of all ages from all around the world and at all different stages on their spiritual path. I find all of the different perspectives interesting and thought provoking. Ultimately if Yogani is correct and the "other" is a manifestation of the one self, then it behooves us to be patient and supportive of each other as we each peel away the layers of confusion that keep us from the ultimate truth.
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maheswari

Lebanon
2516 Posts

Posted - Feb 03 2021 :  03:06:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Interpaul
You are doing fine.I don't think you are ready to add or push more for now.So this post is not really an issue for you.You will in due time start spontaneous enquiry .I feel you are very organised and genuine in your path...
You do tend to be too demanding on yourself and practice too much leading to some discomforts. But now you understood the drill.
You were worried that the direct path is sitting around while a kid in front of us needs help...that was clarified
And you do have expectations about your family members.Which is also something you started to notice how useless it is and just lead to suffering.That is enquiry
Just relax, you are doing good.
I don't care if people keep pushing till the end or not, they are free to see or not see...but I find it is such a waste of time and ressources to stay in the comfort zone that sitting practices tend to form.
There must be a step out of the comfort zone in due time off course. But the intention is to be cultivated.
So that is the purpose of this thread, to clear few misunderstanding which might ring a bell or not.

Edited by - maheswari on Feb 03 2021 03:10:28 AM
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lightandlove

Germany
76 Posts

Posted - Feb 03 2021 :  3:22:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi maheswari,

thank you for your post.

quote:
1. Seekers believe that Advaita is non practical , that one will avoid doing his duties or will be aloof


Yes, that may indeed be true. Still, believing or not, it can happen though and Yogani discusses this throughout all the lessons on self inquiry by talking about relational and non-relational self inquiry. When inner silence is not present, self inquiry through mind can lead to such.
I think what is important here for the teaching of Advaita is to not forget that not everyone is ripe.

In Lesson 84, Yogani says:
"Ramakrishna said yogis are like well diggers, and there are three kinds. The first kind finds the tools, digs the well (to enlightenment) and then jumps in, taking the tools with him. No one knows how he did it. The second kind of yogi finds the tools, digs the well, and jumps in. But this guy leaves the tools behind lying around on the ground where others can find them. The third kind of yogi finds the tools, digs the well, and hangs around for a while, showing everyone who comes around the tools and how to use them.

Maybe there is a fourth kind of yogi — one who is born enlightened, has no recollection about the tools he used in past lives, and tells everyone, “You don’t need tools. Just be enlightened. It is easy. See? Here is the well. Just be aware and you will see you are in it already.” Like that. Who knows? One thing is for sure. While yogis like Krishnamurti are inspiring, they can’t offer much practical help to most people. Maybe a few high souls can benefit from them. It is a pretty exclusive club. The rest of us need a more comprehensive approach. Yoga! We need to do something in order to do nothing."

quote:
2. Seekers have a set of sitting and or physical practices and believe that they are the good guys on the good path and start projecting their beliefs on others by should and should nots. Also despite all the practices they are unable to accept life as it happens.They are unable to accept people around them or people around the globe as they are (expectations) which keeps their practices in a simplistic mode of sublimation ,nothing too deep


Also true that this exists. But this is fine, isn't it? When there are people who can accept life as it happens, there are also people who don't. How is there no place for that? It is fine that this is manifesting as well and wether this is true for those people themselves or not is their business, right? In case this is something that matters for them, they may learn better through their own experience.
There are, will be and have been many great people who did very much change the world by fighting for ideals, like freedom and emancipation. It may not be everyones task to do so, but speaking out loudly against violence, inequalities and iniquities is very much alright. It can come from a place of oneness that you and I are of no difference and from this compassion, wether human, animal or plant.

„It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society“ - Krishnamurti

quote:
3. Seekers have no genuine interest in examining their knee jerks reactions, to really explore if anything that is being said to them brings something up to the surface.Which lead to reactive behavior and speech


This is not ourselves business, right? It's not our job to bring something up the surface in others.
Seekers will find in themselves what matters to themselves at the given moment. The seeker has genuine interest in going his own path, but not necessarily in others paths.
You tell me Advaita quotes, I tell you to try plant based and no alcohol diet. I hope we are both not expecting each other to utterly follow. If you influenced me in some way and I influenced you in some way, then this is fine. If not, then this is also fine. This is relationship, action. And it is our very own action and transformation that matters.

Edited by - lightandlove on Feb 03 2021 5:16:33 PM
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Blanche

USA
761 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  07:51:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit Blanche's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
This discussion reminds me of the dialog between Buddha and Sariputra. Sariputra, one of the most advance disciples, tells Buddha:
“You talk about all these wonderful things, everything is wonderful, but the world is not wonderful. There are a lot of problems, a lot of tragedies in the world. People are suffering.”
Buddha listens to him carefully, and then he answers:
“Oh, Sariputra, you see the world as full of problems? Well, the problem is not with the world, the problem is with your mind. When the mind is not clear, everything appears full of problems. So you better go and meditate to perfect your state.”

Imagine that: The perfectly enlightened Buddha tells someone to meditate! Buddha also teaches others that nothing is real, everything is emptiness, etc. How do we deal with all these apparently contradictory teachings? There are different teachings for different students: First graders learn to count, high-school students learn calculus. It is not helpful to walk in a first-grade class and tell children: “You do not understand. You have the wrong ideas.” There may be something true to it, but it is not helpful for the students. It is not helpful to start the calculus class this way, either.
A good teacher adapts the teaching to students’ level. It is wonderful when some students get to advanced levels, but these teachings may not be appropriate for everybody else. A teacher is meant to serve the students. I may share something I have learnt with others, but I am still a student who knows that spiritual practice is important. Even Advaita (non-duality) is a practice when done well, when the student can operate at the level of the higher mind (cit).

By the way, in his eighties, Buddha was still meditating, sometimes for hours. In the end, the proof is in the pudding – in the experience of yourself, life, and the world.

Edited by - Blanche on Feb 05 2021 07:53:39 AM
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maheswari

Lebanon
2516 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  11:10:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Oh, Sariputra, you see the world as full of problems? Well, the problem is not with the world, the problem is with your mind. When the mind is not clear, everything appears full of problems. So you better go and meditate to perfect your state.”


yesssss....i love that, so well explained
Thank you Blanche
and i agree with your post
The point was always that at some point down the line advaita will be addressed by the student when ready which will lead to a complete change of perspective as explained by the 2 lines quote above.
And the Buddha was very wise in not agreeing with the student by saying yes the world is full of problems, go fix the world etc...he told the student to work on himself and to notice that the mind creates such beliefs and with the use of tools like meditation , discrimination /enquiry will start.
.

Edited by - maheswari on Feb 05 2021 11:18:52 AM
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interpaul

USA
376 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  12:43:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

Lightandlove, I think you did a great job giving a balanced perspective to this dialogue and sharing your point of view in a very open and thoughtful way.
Blanche, You hit it on the head with respect to the stage of the student. A good teacher understands what his/her teacher is ready to hear. Unfortunately AYP is a self directed teaching so many of us struggle along the way needing reassurance.
Maheswari, I'm glad others have shared their views.
quote:
And the Buddha was very wise in not agreeing with the student by saying yes the world is full of problems, go fix the world etc...he told the student to work on himself and to notice that the mind creates such beliefs and with the use of tools like meditation , discrimination /enquiry will start.

Although this makes sense on a conceptual level to be patient (presumably for years in meditation to achieve these rarified levels of awareness)and just keep at the meditation, one feels compelled to take action to fix the world while exploring the deeper truths(and I personally do not see a reason not to do both). Reminds me of that feeling slogging up a mountain you've never climbed before . You hope the effort will be rewarded with a stunning view if you just keep plugging away and yet one foot step after another may only yield another hill without a view. Some people opt to skip climbing the mountain and go into the village to carry on their more mundane business. They at least get some tangeable returns for their efforts.



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Christi

United Kingdom
4054 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  6:05:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Unfortunately AYP is a self directed teaching so many of us struggle along the way needing reassurance.


Hi Interpaul,

"Self-directed" does not mean without support or without a teacher to give guidance. I have never known anyone to get very far on the path without guidance and I have known many who attempted it, who ended up getting lost on the way. Often when people are lost, they do not realise that they are lost.

Yogani mentions the importance of having the guidance and support of a teacher in the lessons. See these lessons in particular:


Lesson 418 - Gurus, Teachers and Self-Sufficiency

"A practitioner's own experiences can provide all the motivation that is needed for ongoing practice and spiritual growth. Which is not to say we don't need hands-on teaching. We do..." [Yogani]


Lesson 57 - The Guru is in Me?

"Maybe your journey means surrendering at the feet of an outer guru for your whole life. Or maybe it means purifying yourself by following a number of teachers over your lifetime. Whatever the outer relationships turn out to be, it is the divine expression coming from inside through your heart's longing that will lead you to them. What happens outside is a reflection of what is happening inside, not the other way around. This is the meaning of, "The guru is in you."..."[Yogani]

So "self-directed" simply means that whatever guidance you are given from outside, it is up to you to decide how to apply it.


Christi
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interpaul

USA
376 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2021 :  7:39:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Christi, Sorry if my message sounded like a complaint. I have felt very supported by you and others in the forum for helping me along this path. Ultimately it is still a solo journey for all of us, even if you have a guru sitting right in front of you.
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maheswari

Lebanon
2516 Posts

Posted - Feb 06 2021 :  03:30:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
"Self-directed" does not mean without support or without a teacher to give guidance. I have never known anyone to get very far on the path without guidance

very true, that was my experience, for years i was helped by a more advanced friend almost daily in seeing through my mind stories and looping
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1723 Posts

Posted - Feb 06 2021 :  04:43:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello guys and gals

I have hesitated to join this discussion because I'm really wondering if it adds anything at all to Yogani's self-enquiry teachings (sorry Maha). At the risk of raining on somebody's parade, I have to say this, because I can see how beginners might be confused by some of the things written in this thread.

I completely agree with Blanche's point:
quote:
Originally posted by Blanche
There are different teachings for different students: First graders learn to count, high-school students learn calculus. It is not helpful to walk in a first-grade class and tell children: “You do not understand. You have the wrong ideas.” There may be something true to it, but it is not helpful for the students.


Some of the things written in this thread can be both true or false, depending on your system of reference. They might give some people the impression than an advanced yogi does not act in the world to change things, because "the are no problems" and all you need to do is retreat into your yoga practice.

And do we have a circular argument here, I wonder?
If you saw no problem, why were you moved to start a topic called "3 misconceptions"? It sounds very much like you are trying to correct something. It seems to me that this discussion has been started in an attempt to solve the mind's problems at the level of the mind. Wouldn't it be more productive to let people practice and when they're ready they will go into self-enquiry and work it out?

Language is really a poor instrument for explaining non-duality. Yogani has given us a simple method. Trying to describe in words where the method will take you will not replace the practice, not even shortcut it.


Edited by - BlueRaincoat on Feb 06 2021 10:44:52 AM
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maheswari

Lebanon
2516 Posts

Posted - Feb 06 2021 :  08:06:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello BRC
I get your point and asked myself the same question
The answer was a post is needed because some disregard enquiry because they did not read its lessons yet or because they picked up some warnings about it in the forums so they have some sort of misebeliefs.The sitting practices will lead to enquiry, there is no escape from that, so if is already seen as a no no or unnecessary then their work will be incomplete. Hence the post.It is like a clarification and I am very reluctant into going into discussions.This clarification is also part of helping others.Helping can be in very small things in our lives at it is.It is a concern yet one is not attached to it.The action appears when needed.
.
I am very happy that all the comments that are a bit hesitant about advaita are an opportunity for me to see if I get any reaction in me or knee jerk.It is a wonderful opportunity to see possible things in me that are unresolved ( the process never ends).Once i do this inner work i might reply to a post in the thread or not, depending if it flows or not...my replies are written in few minutes and the quotes just come cause I have read them somewhere before. So it is all spontaneous not coming from the mind urge to fix things.

Edited by - maheswari on Feb 06 2021 08:10:55 AM
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1723 Posts

Posted - Feb 06 2021 :  10:40:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by maheswari

Hello BRC
I am very happy that all the comments that are a bit hesitant about advaita are an opportunity for me to see if I get any reaction in me or knee jerk.It is a wonderful opportunity to see possible things in me that are unresolved ( the process never ends).Once i do this inner work i might reply to a post in the thread or not, depending if it flows or not...my replies are written in few minutes and the quotes just come cause I have read them somewhere before. So it is all spontaneous not coming from the mind urge to fix things.


I get a sense that you are looking for something. Maybe you are on the verge of a question, not yet knowing what it might be. Keep looking. I'm sure you'll find it.
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maheswari

Lebanon
2516 Posts

Posted - Feb 06 2021 :  2:14:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
@BRC
i genuinely dont know if i am looking for something
But if something does appear i will mention it
thank you dear
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lightandlove

Germany
76 Posts

Posted - Feb 07 2021 :  3:57:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
The sitting practices will lead to enquiry, there is no escape from that, so if is already seen as a no no or unnecessary then their work will be incomplete.


I think its a good point to say that sitting practices will lead to inquiry and there is no escape from that. But for me this implies that their work actually cannot be incomplete in itself. Actually it is already complete as they are on the way to inquiry. Likely, in some way they are inquiring already, which led them to their sitting practice, or their spiritual path.

Lesson 398:
"If a serious meditator using an effective daily practice never gives self-inquiry a second thought, it will happen anyway, because it is perceptual naturally seeing all objects from the point of view of rising inner silence (the witness) more and more, seeing clearly that no object of perception can be the subject."

But what their inquiry looks like? Who knows? It is a very personal process and Yogani adresses this by not teaching a certain philosophy, texts or so.

Lesson 398:
"This is why, in the AYP writings, a particular mode of self-inquiry is not put forth as "the method." Once the witness is coming up, perception will become relational (in stillness), and from there the approach will be quite personal, depending on the practitioner's ishta (chosen ideal) and resonance found with one or more approaches to self-inquiry, or no structured approach at all."

I would like to add a passage from a book "nitya yoga - essays on the bhagavad gita" by Vanamali (Page 89, on chapter 4), which also adds nicely to what Blanche said:

"As Krishna declares in the eleventh verse, it matters not in what form he comes, because in whatever way a person approaches him in that very way does he go to him ... No one is condemned. All approaches are sanctioned, provided they are sincere... The great consoling message of the Gita is that it accepts all humankind at whatever level of evolution it might be. It does not expect everyone to be at the topmost level before approaching him... We stand at many different levels and can only evolve from that level in which we are placed. The Gita makes it clear that yoga is the establishment of harmony on all the different levels of our being.There is nothing superior or inferior in the world, in the ultimate sense. Everything has been created for some purpose and has a value of its own. The level, in which we are now, however low it may seem, is equally valuable. Our action and conduct in this particular level has to be in harmony with that level. There is fitness and beauty in a child, however foolish it might look from the adult angle. To force the child to behave like an adult would be to detract from its intrinsic beauty."

quote:
“Oh, Sariputra, you see the world as full of problems? Well, the problem is not with the world, the problem is with your mind. When the mind is not clear, everything appears full of problems. So you better go and meditate to perfect your state.”


I think this is a very nice message. But not everyone can go and meditate to perfect their state immediately. Most are at the same time engaging in daily life in between their meditation sessions as AYP encourages us to do.

I would like to comment this further by a story of my past.
I remember when my girlfriend and I used to read together, she would always gender, although the author of the book didn't. I would get a bit annoyed, as I think the author may not have intended to be anti-female or so and I was not really educated about gender sciences. We would get into discussions about feminism and I saw that she really suffers of this, not feeling well being female in this world where so often women are oppressed. I told her similarly like above: "Well, the problem is not with the world, the problem is with your mind." (Maybe a bit more gentle) And there is certainly truth to this, I mean how should this ever be overcome if not in the minds of the involved themselves?
Still it is true that also we ourselves are involved in one way or another. It is our deepest nature to be involved in this world. May it be that due to our practice we are able to overcome certain roles or karma, like the oppressor or the oppressed. But in the greater sense, we are still part of a society, where these things are indeed present.
This is were in the discussion after a while I started to ask myself, where and why am I resisting here? There is clear social and scientific evidence that this is real and clearly visible even in our own language. So whats the deal of putting some effort in changing my own language? Why deny? I now think it's very good how people out there work every day to alleviate gender inequalities, even if it may seem picky at first. May they be at the last stage of inquiry or never heard of it, I really honor them for their work. Same goes for all the carers and nurses, peacemakers, environmentalists, psychologists, doctors,... who use their energy to help and heal, be it mental or physical. Thank you.
I mean surely it's your very personal choice what you're doing in this world, but it is certainly no wrongdoing or spiritual misconception if you engage in one way or another to keep the water clean on this planet.

Neem Karoli Baba said: "Food is God. Feeding the hungry is actually worship. God comes before the hungry as food." and so is it clean water for the fish and a happy life for every being.

Edited by - lightandlove on Feb 07 2021 5:12:04 PM
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Blanche

USA
761 Posts

Posted - Feb 09 2021 :  07:40:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit Blanche's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by maheswari


The answer was a post is needed because some disregard enquiry because they did not read its lessons yet or because they picked up some warnings about it in the forums so they have some sort of misebeliefs.The sitting practices will lead to enquiry, there is no escape from that, so if is already seen as a no no or unnecessary then their work will be incomplete.



Hi Maheswari,

You are making a very good point. Inquiry is essential to seeing through the veil. Inquiry rises spontaneously once the inner silence is established, but the process can be accelerated when inquiry is added to a stable meditation practice. Deep meditation is like cleaning and calibrating our instrument/telescope, while inquiry is like using our instrument to study ourselves and the world to realize what they are.

In the same time, deep meditation is the required practice for an effective inquiry: We cannot study anything before we take off the cap from our telescope, clean it, and calibrate it
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Advanced Yoga Practices Book



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The Secrets of Wilder Novel


Enlightenment Series

Deep Meditation Book


Spinal Breathing Pranayama Book


Tantra Book


Asanas, Mudras & Bandhas Book


Samyama Book


Diet, Shatkarmas and Amaroli Book


Self-Inquiry Book


Bhakti and Karma Yoga Book


Eight Limbs of Yoga Book


Eight Limbs of Yoga Book



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