How to do self enquiry? Ramana Maharshi

mih999's picture

Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Hello all I don't know if I'm doing Ramana Maharshi's self enquiry correctly.

"Beginners in self-enquiry were advised by Sri Ramana to put their attention on the inner feeling of ‘I’ and to hold that feeling as long as possible. They would be told that if their attention was distracted by other thoughts they should revert to awareness of the ‘I’-thought whenever they became aware that their attention had wandered. He suggested various aids to assist this process- one could ask oneself ‘Who am I?’ or ‘Where does this I come from?’- but the ultimate aim was to be continuously aware of the ‘I’ which assumes that it is responsible for all the activities of the body and the mind."

From this I understand that I should ask myself "Who am I?". After asking, I feel a sensation in my chest. So I'm focusing attention on this sensation at all times, excluding other thoughts. Is this self enquiry or am I mistaken? Thanks in advance

nalabonga's picture

The best way to understand

The best way to understand if u do ramana's self enquiry correctly is at:

it is a well know excellent description!

you can also ask questions there.

nalabonga | Sun, 03/06/2011 - 13:59
ksksat27's picture

tips on self enquiry

Hi Devotee,

I reviewed your method of self enquriy. There are some corrections and useful tips coming to my mind. Please go through and get back for further questions:

You should not focus your attention on chest or any part of your body at any stage in self enquiry. To start with, you will have only two things -- the sensations or sense impressions throughout the body (you may call it body feelings) and the other is a group of thoughts. Now treat both sense impressions and thoughts alike -- as and when they arise , please focus your attention on the thing that experiences it. For example, if you get itching in your hand, slowly ask yourself "who feels this itching" "who is the experiencer". The moment you ask this quesion, there will be a slightly subtle "I" that will come to the forefront and claim that "it" feels that itching. Now ask "who is this I", "From where this I is suddenly rising" -- after you ask this question there will be a blank ,vague no answer feeling. Ignore it. Give a pause. Meanwhile some thought will come like "what will happen to my job in next year?" -- again dont try to supress this fear thought -- slowly ask "who is worried about this thought" -- there will be a very very rough vague feeling of "I" that will claim that it fears about this thought. Now slowly drag your attention to the "I" and ask "who am I"

It is very important that at every stage you need to switch the attention to the experiencing substance which will be your personal "I". After shifting the attention start analyzing this "I"

Dont sit, exclusively allocate time and do self enquiry. Rather, do it all the time, whenever you are relatively free like going in a bus, eating, walking etc.

Secondly introduce this self enquiry in painfule and pleasureful times -- particularly when you experience pleasures do this self enquiry.

The best way to get it right is to do it again and again keeping in mind the basic facts: The basic facts are below:

i) who am i should not be repeated like a mechanical mantra.

ii)instead "who am i" must constantly look for, focus its attention to the experiencer and scrutinize the experiencer.

iii)This self enquiry should not concentrate on any part of body.

iv)There should be no assumption or guessing of answers like -- "who am I " then saying "I am that"

v)At all stages, it should apply recursively. For example if you feel self enquiry as dry and boring, you should slowly ask "who is doing this practice and who feels boring now"

I will continue this sometime later.....

ksksat27 | Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:16