Author Topic: Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss  (Read 4411 times)

Illuminatus

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 570
    • View Profile
Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss
« on: January 02, 2018, 09:01:23 PM »
I thought this Q&A with LuminousBliss (www.jhanabliss.com) would make a good "starter pack" for those interested in the nondirective meditations associated with Self-Inquiry (such as Awareness Watching Awareness).



1) I am rather sketchy on the details and history of Self-Inquiry / Awareness Watching Awareness. Can you answer the following please?
  • Does it have an "official" name?
  • Who created it?
  • So far you have talked about the following meditations: "Awareness Watching Awareness", "Abandon Release Method" and "I-feeling". Are there any more? Is there an "official" meditation for this practice as laid out by its creator?

2) How did you hear about Awareness Watching Awareness? Why did you go here?

3) What is the goal of Awareness Watching Awareness? You have talked about practitioners finally "no longer perceiving a universe". Can you explain what you mean by that please?

4) Step by step, what is your current practice? How do you know when you're doing it right? What results are you looking for?

You can reply to these by clicking Quote. Then add "/quote" in square brackets after the bit you are replying to, write your answer, then add "quote" in square brackets again, then repeat for the next question.

I would also recommend you use Chrome with the Lazarus form-saver extension installed; that way replies are saved as you type them so they are not lost by any misfiring software when you press "Post".

Thanks! It's really helpful. :)

Luminous Bliss

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 09:30:52 PM »
I thought this Q&A with LuminousBliss (www.jhanabliss.com) would make a good "starter pack" for those interested in the nondirective meditations associated with Self-Inquiry (such as Awareness Watching Awareness).



1) I am rather sketchy on the details and history of Self-Inquiry / Awareness Watching Awareness. Can you answer the following please?
  • Does it have an "official" name?
  • Who created it?
  • So far you have talked about the following meditations: "Awareness Watching Awareness", "Abandon Release Method" and "I-feeling". Are there any more? Is there an "official" meditation for this practice as laid out by its creator?

2) How did you hear about Awareness Watching Awareness? Why did you go here?

3) What is the goal of Awareness Watching Awareness? You have talked about practitioners finally "no longer perceiving a universe". Can you explain what you mean by that please?

4) Step by step, what is your current practice? How do you know when you're doing it right? What results are you looking for?

You can reply to these by clicking Quote. Then add "/quote" in square brackets after the bit you are replying to, write your answer, then add "quote" in square brackets again, then repeat for the next question.

I would also recommend you use Chrome with the Lazarus form-saver extension installed; that way replies are saved as you type them so they are not lost by any misfiring software when you press "Post".

Thanks! It's really helpful. :)

Does it have an "official" name?

The "official" name is self inquiry recommended by the famous Ramana Maharashi.
Yogis would come to him and ask what is the fastest way to get self realized and he would recommend this practice.

There is a big misunderstanding that self inquiry is suppose to be practiced by asking yourself every time a thought arise "Who am I?"
But this is false and wasn't what ramana taught.
The correct way is to just get a sense of this awareness or I-feeling.
Read Sadhu OM, he understood his teachings the best.

So far you have talked about the following meditations: "Awareness Watching Awareness", "Abandon Release Method" and "I-feeling". Are there any more? Is there an "official" meditation for this practice as laid out by its creator?


AWA = Self inquiry, (AWA is just a name michael langford coined, but it's just self inquiry in the end) ARM = something Michael Langford "invented", it's more about the surrendering path, it's pretty much the same as you are not meant to lose awareness.

I-feeling = AWA, Self Inquiry and ARM.

The key in everything here is awareness.

You are awareness itself, that's why you don't have to look for it anywhere else (like some object).

You are it, so be aware of yourself but try not to be aware of yourself like some object, but just BE IT which you already ARE so BE.

2) How did you hear about Awareness Watching Awareness? Why did you go here?

Self Inquiry is a very popular method, I heard about it years ago but I was very ignorant back then so I didn't give it any thought.
Months ago I was exchanging messages with someone I know that for a decade have done many many many spiritual practices and had zillions of experiences.

So he brought my attention to this practice.

3) What is the goal of Awareness Watching Awareness? You have talked about practitioners finally "no longer perceiving a universe". Can you explain what you mean by that please?


The goal is self realization, meaning you realize who you truly are which is conscious itself.
You realize that this world is just a dream, everything you knew about yourself were just illusions. you lose the sense of "you".
You see that the body moves on it's own without you "doing" anything.

Suffering ends.
No anxiety, no worries.
eternal love-bliss-peace.

Self Realization is basically enlightenment
About the no universe and body thing, this happens when the ego dissolves. I have no idea what it means.

I think nisargadatta maharaj talks quite a lot about all that stuff.
But the ego mind can't understand non-duality anyway so words are useless to convey.

4) Step by step, what is your current practice? How do you know when you're doing it right? What results are you looking for?

It's only one step, being aware, the knowing of it :)... you see me using different words but it's all the same, it's just to get a more accurate pointers.

My daily routine is sitting practices + all day awareness during activity

I know I am doing it right because of the bliss peace and love and the non-duality experiences from time to time.
But like I said even at times when it doesn't happen doesn't mean you aren't doing it correct and nothing is progressing.
Even if you don't experience any of this doesn't mean you are doing it wrong.

My goal is Self Realization of course anything before that is just masturbating, but fun :)

Just adding a few more words:

Self Inquiry is the Direct Path, it's the fastest way to self realization.

Any other spiritual practice will most likely not land you there in this life time unless you are really lucky

« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 09:37:43 PM by Luminous Bliss »

Illuminatus

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 570
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 09:41:49 PM »
Thanks. Another... :)

5) How do you identify other "self-realized" individuals? How are you locating them in order to communicate with them?

Luminous Bliss

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 09:50:31 PM »
Thanks. Another... :)

5) How do you identify other "self-realized" individuals? How are you locating them in order to communicate with them?

Mostly on Facebook and Reddit (usually I would never recommend reddit)
But from time to time I can see that they know what they are talking about by replying to a person that asks for help or something.

Then I just privately message him/her and asks if he realized the self? if he still feels suffering and sees the world as a dream etc etc...

If he is truly self realized he will answer honestly, yes, yes and yes. if still honest but not self realized, no, no, no... but if he starts to go around my questions then I run as far as I can away :)

Btw, everyone that claimed to be self realized practiced self inquiry and no other spiritual method.

Most did sitting practice + all day awareness and some just sitting practices.

Some it took just a few months, some 2-3 years, and some 25 + years.

Also there is the batgap youtube/site channel where Rick interviews people that "awakened"

Illuminatus

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 570
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 10:10:43 PM »
Then I just privately message him/her and asks if he realized the self? if he still feels suffering and sees the world as a dream etc etc...

If he is truly self realized he will answer honestly, yes, yes and yes. if still honest but not self realized, no, no, no... but if he starts to go around my questions then I run as far as I can away :)

Should the second question be: "Do you no longer experience suffering?"

So the criteria are:

  • Says he is self-realized
  • Has no suffering
  • Sees world as a dream

Is this correct?

Luminous Bliss

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 10:17:11 PM »
Then I just privately message him/her and asks if he realized the self? if he still feels suffering and sees the world as a dream etc etc...

If he is truly self realized he will answer honestly, yes, yes and yes. if still honest but not self realized, no, no, no... but if he starts to go around my questions then I run as far as I can away :)

Should the second question be: "Do you no longer experience suffering?"

So the criteria are:

  • Says he is self-realized
  • Has no suffering
  • Sees world as a dream

Is this correct?

Yes but,
Well of course there is much "more" when self realization occurs, but the whole point is to end suffering completely!

If 4 guys tell me they have ended their suffering and are in a constant state of bliss.
And 4 other guys tell me yes I have realized the self but I am still able to feel suffering even though I see this world as a mere dream...

Obviously they still have work to do...

Who am I going to listen to and follow? of course the ones that ended their suffering.

I am also not really interested hearing that suffering is essential and part of life, or it's impossible not to suffer.
Only someone who didn't realize the self will talk like that, so I am just ignoring them completely.

Luminous Bliss

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 10:21:24 PM »
One knows self realization occurred when he truly know his true nature, it's suppose to be a realization, it's not like WOW yes! finally I realized the self!

But more like, wait a second... I always was the self... why did I look for it to begin with? it's more of a natural occurrence that always was.

Arpan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 408
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 05:43:51 AM »
History of Self Inquiry:
There are two very ancient texts that were favourites of Raman Maharshi:
1. Yoga Vasishth(I am reading this slowly, too vast) YV
2. Tripura Rahasya TR ( I have read)

YV started as an instruction of enlightened Sage and royal priest Brahmarshi(the highest possible kind of Sage/Rishi) Vasishth to a detached and morose Prince Rama(also a Hindu God), after which he became Enlightened.
 [To be categorized as a manifestation of Divinity incarnate in Nature(Avatar) rather than a spark of divinity evolving through Nature(i.e. Enlightenment), the being must possess the 6 perfections of: Strength, Wisdom/Jnana, Wealth, Beauty, Fame and Detachment. However, the pressure of Ignorance of physical nature makes everyone either totally or partially unconscious of their true stature, which is part of accepting the play of material nature.]

TR is a conversation between 2 rishis, one teaching another, the "Mystery of the Goddess of the 3 realms".

Both of them are replete with stories of how people engaged in worldly duties, including powerful kings became enlightened via methods same as or similar to Self Inquiry.

Ramana Maharshi was particularly fond of narrating this story of Queen Chudala from Yoga Vasishtha:
https://lotusyoga.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/story-of-a-tantric-yogini-queen-chudala/

This also shows how:
1. One need not be a hermit to be enlightened.
2. One need not practice self mortification.
3. One need not possess siddhis(Queen developed siddhis After enlightenment, for a particular altruistic motive).

Btw, everyone that claimed to be self realized practiced self inquiry and no other spiritual method.

This is a bit dubious. Ramana himself accepted other paths like Bhakti etc.. This quote from LB can be considered true in the sense that at its ultimate level("ultimate" in the sense if you don't consider "perfection" important and just want to be Realized, which is one aspect of perfection), any spiritual practice leads to "self inquiry", and that is what Ramana has saud in statements like:
" Bhakti and Self Enquiry are one and the same.  The Self of the Advaitins is the God of the bhaktas.  All systems agree on self-surrender. Attain it first."

"Surrender is complete only when you reach the stage Thou are all’ and ‘Thy will be done’. … you can have no likes or dislikes after your surrender; your will should become completely non-existent, the Lord’s will taking its place. The death of the ego in this way brings about a state which is not different from jnana or oneness. So by whatever path you may go, you must come to jnana."

Also for Mantra, meditation on deity etc he said: You learn to exclude all other thoughts from your mind, so that only your object of meditation remains. Once that too is dropped, only Self remains.

He called Bhakti as Jnana Mata(Mother of Jnana/Knowledge).

Let's not forget, Ramana Maharshi was an ardent bhakta of Shiva and Shakti. He advocated bhakti to plenty of people. In Western adaptations of teachings of various yogis, the "emotional approaches" are often edited out, as they were adapted by a batch of early 20th century Europeans who had a strong strain of intellectual-arrogance in them, being colonial rulers. As a matter of fact, emotional and other soft processes of a culture usually trickle down last to other cultures, understandably so, because they are dependent on symbolisms that are alien to foreign cultures.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 07:46:30 AM by Arpan »

Luminous Bliss

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 08:43:11 AM »
"This is a bit dubious."

I am talking from my own experience of my research and people I talked to on how they realized the self and all directed me to self inquiry.

I don't know anyone who realized the self by meditation on objects and those few who claim they do I am very skeptical as they still suffer and I Feel they themself don't even know what the hell they are spouting.

for the record I also don't think ajahn brahm and pa-auk are self realized... actually it's their fault for being so secretively on their "attained" states.

Arpan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 408
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2018, 08:59:14 AM »
"This is a bit dubious."

I am talking from my own experience of my research and people I talked to on how they realized the self and all directed me to self inquiry.

I don't know anyone who realized the self by meditation on objects and those few who claim they do I am very skeptical as they still suffer and I Feel they themself don't even know what the hell they are spouting.

Yes, that qualifier makes it fine.
I have met a chunk of people who fit all criteria of enlightenment you mention eg 24 hour bliss, no negative emotion. And most of them are JUST BHAKTI people(some are quite erudite and versed in Yoga too, they give very coherent and sensible answers). It is called the Sunlit Path, or Baby Kitten(carried by his mom in her mouth) path, in which you go through same difficulties with an innocent trust, as opposed to Lamp lit Path where one struggles with small light of his knowledge. For that matter there is a midway: Baby Monkey surrender(u surrender, but u clutch to something like God like baby monkey clutches his mother, as he still feels responsible for his own safety. There is some imperfection in reliance here).
Object or no-object does not matter here, "Attitude" is of prime importance. Thus Ramana, Sri Anirvan, Sri Aurobindo(all 24 hour blissful) emphasise so much on "Bhava".
You maybe less likely to meet Bhakti or Surrender types cz I guess you met them only via internet or if physically then only in West(i guess). On internet and in West you will be likely to meet only those people who were more based in their head than heart, and thus pure Self-Inquiry is what they would be drawn to.

 I think Ramana's statements make sense because you CAN settle on awareness by other processes that settle your mental turbulence, like Surrender(to God, Universe or anything) or Do Nothing etc.
Also, almost all texts I have read including sayings of realised masters indicate:
You cannot judge with 100% surety whether someone's enlightened until you are too. Else you are again working on a mental conception of what it should look like Outwardly. Your pointers are quite fine, however these pointers given by such masters are to gauge your own inner state.

Here Ramana Maharshi mentions how "heart" awakens as part of realization as well as attainment of Unity Consciousness:

"Kundalini is awakened
which is said to rise up from the coccyx to the head. The yogi is later
advised to come down to the Heart as the final step.
The Vedas say: “The Heart is like a lotus turned down, or a plantain
bud.”

“There is a bright spot atom-like, like the end of a grain of paddy.”
“That spot is like a flame and in its centre, transcendental Brahman
is seated.” Which is that Heart? Is it the heart of the physiologists?
If so, the physiologists know best.
The Heart of the Upanishads is construed as Hridayam, meaning:
This (is) the centre. That is, it is where the mind rises and subsides.
That is the seat of Realisation. When I say that it is the Self the people
imagine that it is within the body. When I ask where the Self remains
in one’s sleep they seem to think that it is within the body, but unaware
of the body and its surroundings like a man confined in a dark room.
To such people it is necessary to say that the seat of Realisation is
somewhere within the body. The name of the centre is the Heart; but
it is confounded with the heart organ.
When a man dreams, he creates himself (i.e., the ahamkar, the seer)
and the surroundings. All of them are later withdrawn into himself.
The one became many, along with the seer."
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 09:53:16 AM by Arpan »

Illuminatus

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 570
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2018, 03:14:16 PM »
6) Can you please furnish us with a list of (who you consider to be) self-realized individuals, hopefully with links to their websites, YouTube videos or other materials?

Luminous Bliss

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2018, 09:00:52 PM »

6) Can you please furnish us with a list of (who you consider to be) self-realized individuals, hopefully with links to their websites, YouTube videos or other materials?


Later on I will post some more guys as I am very busy, only the ones that own a video or some blog or site or whatever I will post:

http://sri-summairu.blogspot.co.il/
Summa Iru is a non duality teacher, his posts are pretty much "non-duality material". he is self realized and mentions it in some of his posts.

There is this guy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33yEIpR1Zak
It's a long video but watch it it's worth it.

If you have facebook you can join the "'Shiva At The Convenience Store'" group, there are some nice videos of people telling their awakening stories.


https://nazarahsjourney.com/
She is mostly activate on her facebook page, she realized the self in a very short time and ever since she is experiencing constant bliss and peace.

This is all I can think of right now.

I have seen your comment about the posture and in my opinion and from my experiences it really doesn't what posture you are in, like always sitting practice for me is just laying down the way I feel like, I don't believe that certain postures makes the practice more effective no matter what tradition says. but if you fall asleep while laying than perhaps a posture that doesn't make you fall asleep is better.

The same regarding celibacy, it's not something to worry about and it doesn't matter if you practice it or not... the best is to let the body do what it wants, no punishing one's self thinking it will bring self realization any faster... no one knows if it really helps or not, there is no proof, it's all assumptions and "awakening" cases doesn't seem to proof that it is nessecary.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 01:31:14 PM by Illuminatus »

Arpan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 408
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2018, 12:31:27 AM »
I don't know anyone who realized the self by meditation on objects

I listened to the Tony Daniels youtube vid you shared:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33yEIpR1Zak

He actually mentions it between 20:00 and 25:00 while mentioning his 1st Non Dual experience as a kid that: I was intensely thinking of an alternative scenario to the bullying I had faced. At some point the thought became intense to the point of mental exhaustion. Then a spontaneous letting-go occured which led to the seemingly Universe-scale spaciousness.
This is effectively an intense meditation on an "object" of sorts. Around 31:00 to 32:00 he recounts similar experience with TM(a gentle mantra meditation)which he seemed to have turned into a life-practice.He did not really mention Self Inquiry much(just his initial definition of meditation hinted at that).
This thought-concentration on idea(anti bullying) and later TM is quite similar in principle to what I stated Ramana Maharshi's view to be, here:

Also for Mantra, meditation on deity etc he said: You learn to exclude all other thoughts from your mind, so that only your object of meditation remains. Once that too is dropped, only Self remains.
People who practice these exclusively, make these a life-practice(on and off the cushion), just like Self Inquiry. Infact, a convergence on the Self occurs. Eg. In TM like practice, as mind calms, Mantra becomes subtler and becomes a simple "pulse" on a subtler and sublter level of awareness.I have practiced something like TM for sometime, and the ease and spontaneity of the Bliss just Floored me. Good thing was, it was easy to carry on the practice off the cushion and was quite similar to Do Nothing(infact I sometimes start off with a mantra to slip into Do Nothing).

Also: in this comment of yours:
http://www.personalpowermeditation.com/concentration-meditation-find-the-object-be-with-the-object/#comment-92757
you posted a link about Lakshmana Swamy + Sri Sarada.
She is an example of Realization by Bhakti. She automatically centres into the Self due to her Guru-Bhakti
.
Advantage of Bhakti in my view is tbat it keeps one's emotional side very fulfilled. This makes a person quite invulnerable to distraction of desires, especially lust(lust is very antithetical to awakening of the heart centre/love).

Ramana Maharshi had a spontaneous awakening experience similar to Tony, as a kid(though he totally went for a spiritual pursuit after that experience), when he thought he was dying and was gripped by an intense fear or death. Later, he meditated for years to really integrate this state, just like Tony.

Eckhart Tolle recounts a similar experience of extreme anxiety and hopelessness about life that "popped" him into a transcendent state one night.

As an aside: Tony thankfully says it aloud that there is a Realized Individual(and a Universal aspect). Unlike Buddhism, which considers individuality as only a function of Ego.

His views on Maya/Illusion too are quite developed and not like what most modern/western superficial readings of Adwait Vedant spout out(material world is "just" an illusion).
He also confirms my emphasis on cultivation of Silence.
I also went through Summa Iru's link you posted: This is the 1st resource(barring ancient Indian ones) that settled the Do Nothing vs AWA/Self-Inquiry dichotomy for me. I have posted about it here:
http://www.personalpowermeditation.com/forum2/nondirective-meditation-self-inquiry/convergence-of-do-nothing-and-non-dualistic-awa/msg366/#msg366

Sorry for a such a long writeup, but this material just gave a lot of hope for my current and future practice, thus quite excited.
Thank you!
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 01:31:28 PM by Illuminatus »

Luminous Bliss

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2018, 08:17:24 AM »
Well first regarding Tony, he is one of the guys (there are others) that advised me to practice the way I am right now.

Regarding summa, he also has a post about watching awareness method.

I believe objects can lead to awa, but it's just slower and not really a shortcut.

Arpan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 408
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness Watching Awareness – Q&A with LuminousBliss
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2018, 08:31:54 AM »
Re Tony: I am not saying he does not acknowledge Inquiry..or even hold it in high-esteem. I was merely pointing out that he acknowledges other ways to Silence, and has practiced these primarily(TM). If you have a very "clinical intelligence" and good concentration/clear mind, it's very sensible to suggest Inquiry to you.

Re Summa: I agree. I merely mentioned him cz he very clearly postulates his views on Do Nothing vis a vis Inquiry.

Re Objects: I believe, spirituality is a very subjective pursuit. Shortest path for an individual is one that is most aligned with his natural tendencies.
If you as an intellectual, cultivate bhakti, it would be ardous. For an emotional person, Direct Inquiry would be ardous. For some, multiple paths resonate equally with different sides of their persona(these yogis have the most magnificient outer personality, and ability to  communicate spiritual experience from different angles).

-------------------
Let me introduce one yogi I have been quite impressed by lately:
One yogi who is a very experienced meditator(the traditional way, going to Himalayas etc, and now 24 hour blissful) , claims realization, vision of Goddess, is modern educated, erudite(he does know his stuff for sure) and articulate is Om Swami. Some of his youtube videos are in Hindi and some are in English(including his blog). He seems to speak very genuinely, with no dilution in explaining the rigours of practice(primary thing done by people with eye on money and followers) and is unsparing towards disciples. He is quite dismissive of all kinds of religious/social superstitions. Some people I know had tremendous experiences with him:

http://omswami.com/2011/06/my-truth.html (This article on his blog is a brief one about his attainment of vision and state he has achieved).

https://youtu.be/b6jNT5d8mNM (on Aham Brahmasmi: I am That. Experience of Oneness from his personal experience).

https://youtu.be/xsJ7nDfEUy8 (A very rational discourse I found on vision of form of God)

Some of his real gems on youtube are, unfortunately, in Hindi, including his self-realization as well as one about his vision.

Disclaimer: I don't claim that he is enlightened. I am only going by what others have narrated and my own intuition.
@ Edd: If you want, I can make a new post out of this section about the yogi instead of pasting it in this Q and A.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 02:20:02 PM by Arpan »