The source of the I-thought is Silence!
Concentration on ‘I’ thought seems to be an on and off process. I get a glimpse that concentration on ‘I-thought’ will remove the identification with the body but the more I concentrate on the ‘I’ the more I feel the presence of my body. Am I doing something wrong?
Ramana Maharishi has very clearly instructed that one must take attention to the source of the ‘I-thought’. There is no concentration involved here. If one is concentrating then definitely he has moved in the incorrect direction. There is no need to concentrate on anything.
Then what is the correct methodology?
Whenever you see that there are thoughts in the mind, ask “Who is having the thought?”
The answer will be, “I am having this thought”.
Then ask the question “Who is this l?”, “What is the source of this I?”
Keep looking within, explore within what is the source of the ‘I’. It is not an intellectual exercise. You cannot answer it intellectually. You have to actually explore within the mind and find the ‘I’.
Can you find the ‘I’ there?
If you are doing it correctly you will see that there is no ‘I’. You cannot find it. There is nothing. Just be in that nothing. Just be in that quietness.
That was the intention of Ramana Maharshi. He wanted to take you into nothingness, into silence. Now bear the power of silence. Silence is not easy to hold. Keeping quiet is not easy. I am not talking about keeping quiet on the lips. I am talking about keeping quiet in the mind. Refraining from internal mental chatter is not easy. Therefore whenever mental chatter begins, direct it to the ‘I-thought’.
Here the ‘I-thought’ implies any mental chatter. Irrespective of the content, ask yourself the question “Who has this thought arisen to?”. The answer will always be “to me”. “Who is this me?” Look carefully, can you find that me? Can you find that I?
Again and again and again repeat this process. Even if it means repeating it a zillion times in one day, only when you come to that point where the mind gives up on you, where there is no engagement in any pursuit, just silence, then you have reached there.
The only purpose is to reach the source of ‘I’ and remain established is the silence that follows.
Just stay, just stay, just stay there. Initially, it might be hard, says Ramana but with practice, you will start noticing that it is actually easier. There is more effort in mental chatter. Refraining from that previous effort of engaging in constant mental chatter is just a relaxation of the previous effort. Be in that relaxation of the previous effort. The more you relax, the quieter you become.
Get to that silence, get to that silence…The source of the ‘I-thought’ is silence!
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