Meditation
Divine Grace is Essential for Meditation
Meditation: Get rid of thoughts

What is Meditation? How to do it? 

D.: What should one think of when meditating?
M.: What is meditation? It is expulsion of thoughts. You are perturbed by thoughts which rush one after another. Hold on to one thought so that others are expelled. Continuous practice gives the necessary strength of mind to engage in meditation.
Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 453.

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M.: What is meditation? It consists in expulsion of thoughts. All the present troubles are due to thoughts and are themselves thoughts. Give up thoughts. That is happiness and also meditation.
D.: How are thoughts given up?
M.: The thoughts are for the thinker. Remain as the Self of the thinker and there is an end of thoughts.
Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 452.

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M.: If you go the way of your thoughts you will be carried away by them and you will find yourself in an endless maze.

D.: So, then, I must go back tracing the source of thoughts.
M.: Yes; in that way the thoughts will disappear and the Self alone will remain. In fact there is no inside or outside for the Self. They are also projections of the ego. The Self is pure and absolute.
Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 13.

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M.: Because you think that so-and-so is your wife and so-and-so are your children you also think that you are bound to them.
These thoughts are yours. They owe their very existence to you.
You can entertain these thoughts or relinquish them. The former is bondage and the latter is release.

D.: It is not quite clear to me.
M.: You must exist in order that you may think. You may think these thoughts or other thoughts. The thoughts change but not you. Let go the passing thoughts and hold on to the unchanging Self. The thoughts form your bondage. If they are given up, there is release. The bondage is not external. So no external remedy need be sought for release. It is within your competence to think and thus to get bound or to cease thinking and thus be free.

D.: But it is not easy to remain without thinking.
M.: You need not cease thinking. Only think of the root of the thoughts; seek it and find it. The Self shines by itself. When that is found the thoughts cease of their own accord. That is freedom from bondage.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 524.

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Mr. Ekanatha Rao: How is dhyana practised – with eyes open or closed?
M.: It may be done either way. The point is that the mind must be introverted and kept active in its pursuit. Sometimes it happens that when the eyes are closed the latent thoughts rush forth with great vigour. It may also be dif cult to introvert the mind with the eyes open. It requires strength of mind to do so. The mind is contaminated when it takes in objects. Otherwise, it is pure. The main factor in dhyana is to keep the mind active in its own pursuit without taking in external impressions or thinking of other matters.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 61.

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Lady: What is the difference between meditation and distraction?
M.: No difference. When there are thoughts, it is distraction: when there are no thoughts, it is meditation. However, meditation is only practice (as distinguished from the real state of Peace.)

Lady: How to practice meditation?
M.: Keep off thoughts.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 68.

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Dr. Bernhard Bey, an American Chemist who had interested himself in Vedanta for the last twenty years, now in India, came on a visit to the Master. He asked: “How is abhyasa to be made? I am trying to find the Light.” (He himself explained abhyasa as concentration = one-pointedness of mind.)

The Master asked, what was his abhyasa (practice) till now.

The visitor said he concentrated on the nasal base, but his mind wandered.
M.: Is there a mind?

Another devotee gently put in: The mind is only a collection of thoughts.

M.: To whom are the thoughts? If you try to locate the mind, the mind vanishes and the Self alone remains. Being alone, there can be no one-pointedness or otherwise.

D.: It is so difficult to understand this. If something concrete is said, it can be readily grasped. Japa, dhyana, etc., are more concrete.
M.: ‘Who am I?’ is the best japa.

What could be more concrete than the Self? It is within each one’s experience every moment. Why should he try to catch anything outside, leaving out the Self? Let each one try to find out the known Self instead of searching for the unknown something beyond.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 81.

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A Bengali visitor asked: How is the mind controlled?
M.: What do you call ‘the mind’?

D.: When I sit down to think of God, thoughts wander away to other objects. I want to control those thoughts.
M.: In the Bhagavad Gita it is said that it is the nature of the mind to wander. One must bring one’s thoughts to bear on God. By long practice the mind is controlled and made steady.

The wavering of the mind is a weakness arising from the dissipation of its energy in the shape of thoughts. When one makes the mind stick to one thought the energy is conserved, and the mind becomes stronger.

D.: What is the meaning of the strength of the mind?
M.: Its ability to concentrate on one thought without being distracted.

D.: How is that achieved?
M.: By practice. A devotee concentrates on God; a seeker, follower of the jnana-marga, seeks the Self. The practice is equally difficult for both.

D.: Even if the mind is brought to bear on the search for the Self, after a long struggle the mind begins to elude him and the man is not aware of the mischief until after some time.
M.: So it would be. In the earlier stages the mind reverts to the search at long intervals; with continued practice it reverts at shorter intervals until finally it does not wander at all. It is then that the dormant sakti (power) manifests. The satvic pure mind is free from thoughts whereas the rajasic mind is full of them. The sattvic mind resolves itself into the Life-current.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 91.

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D.: How to get rid of the mind?

M.: Is it the mind that wants to kill itself? The mind cannot kill itself. So your business is to find the real nature of the mind. Then you will know that there is no mind. When the Self is sought, the mind is nowhere. Abiding in the Self, one need not worry about the mind.

D.: How to get rid of fear?

M.: What is fear? It is only a thought. If there is anything besides the Self there is reason to fear. Who sees the second (anything external)? First the ego arises and sees objects as external. If the ego does not rise, the Self alone exists and there is no second (nothing external). For anything external to oneself implies the seer within. Seeking it there will arise no doubt, no fear – not only fear, all other thoughts centred round the ego will disappear along with it.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 146.

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D.: How to control the mind?
M.: Catch hold of the mind.
D.: How?
M.: What is mind? Find it out. It is only an aggregate of thoughts.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 169.

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The ego-ridden mind has its strength sapped and is too weak to resist the torturing thoughts. The egoless mind is happy in deep, dreamless sleep. Clearly therefore Bliss and misery are only modes of mind; but the weak mode is not easily interchangeable with the strong mode. Activity is weakness and consequently miserable; passivity is strength and therefore blissful. The dormant strength is not apparent and therefore not availed of.

The cosmic mind, manifesting in some rare being, is able to effect the linkage in others of the individual (weak) mind with the universal (strong) mind of the inner recess. Such a rare being is called the GURU or God in manifestation.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 188.

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D.: How to destroy the mind?
M.: Seek the mind. On being sought, it will disappear.

D.: I do not understand.
M.: The mind is only a bundle of thoughts. The thoughts arise because there is the thinker. The thinker is the ego. The ego, if sought, will vanish automatically. The ego and the mind are the same. The ego is the root-thought from which all other thoughts arise.

D.: How to seek the mind?
M.: Dive within. You are now aware that the mind rises up from within. So sink within and seek.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 195.

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The Self is the unassociated, pure Reality, in whose light, the body, the ego, etc. shine. On stilling all thoughts the pure consciousness remains over.

Just on waking from sleep and before becoming aware of the world there is that pure ‘I-I’. Hold to it without sleeping or without allowing thoughts to possess you. If that is held firm it does not matter even though the world is seen. The seer remains unaffected by the phenomena.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 196.

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M.: To say ‘I am not this’ or ‘I am that’ there must be the ‘I’. This ‘I’ is only the ego or the ‘I-thought’. After the rising up of this ‘I-thought’, all other thoughts arise. The ‘I-thought’ is therefore the root-thought. If the root is pulled out all others are at the same time uprooted. Therefore seek the root ‘I’, question yourself “Who am I?”; find out its source. Then all these will vanish and the pure Self will remain ever.

D.: How to do it?
M.: The ‘I’ is always there – in deep sleep, in dream and in wakefulness. The one in sleep is the same as that who now speaks. There is always the feeling of ‘I’. Otherwise do you deny your existence? You do not. You say ‘I am’. Find out who is.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 197.

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M.: “I am Brahman” is only a thought. Who says it? Brahman itself does not say so. What need is there for it to say it? Nor can the real ‘I’ say so. For ‘I’ always abides as Brahman. To be saying it is only a thought. Whose thought is it? All thoughts are from the unreal ‘I’. i.e., the ‘I’- thought. Remain without thinking. So long as there is thought there will be fear.

Forgetfulness and thought are for ‘I-thought’ only. Hold it; it will disappear as a phantom. What remains over is the real ‘I’. That is the Self. ‘I am Brahman’ is an aid to concentration. It keeps off other thoughts. That one thought alone persists. See whose is that thought. It will be found to be from ‘I’. Wherefrom is the ‘I’ thought? Probe into it. The ‘I- thought’ will vanish. The Supreme Self will shine forth of itself. No further effort is needed.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 202.

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M.: The mind is only a bundle of thoughts. The thoughts have their root in the ‘I-thought’. He quoted; “Whoever investigates the origin of the ‘I-thought’, for him the ego perishes. This is the true investigation.” The true “I” is then found shining by itself.

D.: This ‘I-thought’ rises from me. But I do not know the Self.
M.: All these are only mental concepts. You are now identifying yourself with a wrong ‘I’, which is the ‘I-thought’. This ‘I-thought’ rises and sinks, whereas the true significance of ‘I’ is beyond both. There cannot be a break in your being. You, who slept, are also now awake. There was not unhappiness in your deep sleep. Whereas it exists now. What is it that has happened now so that this difference is experienced? There was no ‘I-thought’ in your sleep, whereas it is present now. The true ‘I’ is not apparent and the false ‘I’ is parading itself. This false ‘I’ is the obstacle to your right knowledge. Find out wherefrom this false ‘I’ arises. Then it will disappear. You will be only what you are – i.e., absolute Being.

D.: How to do it? I have not succeeded so far.
M.: Search for the source of the ‘I-thought’. That is all that one has to do. The universe exists on account of the ‘I-thought’. If that ends there is an end of misery also. The false ‘I’ will end only when its source is sought.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 222.

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D.: How to know the Self?

M.: See what the Self is. What you consider to be the Self, is really either the mind or the intellect or the ‘I-thought’. The other thoughts arise only after the ‘I-thought’. So hold on to it. The others will vanish leaving the Self as the residuum.

D.: The difficulty lies in reaching it.
M.: There is no reaching it at all because it is eternal, here and now.

If the Self were to be gained anew, it would not be permanent.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 238.

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M.: The sense of body is a thought; the thought is of the mind, the mind rises after the ‘I-thought’, the ‘I-thought’ is the root thought. If that is held, the other thoughts will disappear. There will then be no body, no mind, not even the ego.

D.: What will remain then?
M.: The Self in its purity.

D.: How can the mind be made to vanish?

M.: If the thinker is sought, the thoughts will disappear.

D.: It looks easy to think of God in the external world, whereas it looks difficult to remain without thoughts.
M.: That is absurd; to look at other things is easy and to look within is difficult! It must be contrariwise.

D.: But I do not understand. It is difficult.
M.: This thought of difficulty is the chief obstacle. A little practice will make you think differently.

D.: What is the practice?
M.: To find out the source of ‘I’.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 244.

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Divine Grace is Essential for Meditation
Meditation: Get rid of thoughts
What is Meditation? How to do it?
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