Tag Archives: habits

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Ramana Maharshi

It is false to speak of realisation. What is there to realise?
The real is as it is always. We are not creating anything new or achieving something which we did not have before. The illustration given in books is this. We dig a well and create a huge pit. The space in the pit or well has not been created by us. We have just removed the earth which was filling the space there. The space was there then and is also there now. Similarly we have simply to throw out all the age-long samskaras [innate tendencies] which are inside us. When all of them have been given up, the Self will shine alone.

— Ramana Maharshi -“Be As You Are” – The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi – Edited by David Godman

(image source: solidaryart on Flickr)

It is false to speak about realisation.

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You cannot possibly say that you are what you think yourself to be! Your ideas about yourself change from day to day and from moment to moment. Your self-image is the most changeful thing you have. It is utterly vulnerable, at the mercy of a passerby. A bereavement, the loss of a job, an insult, and your image of yourself, which you call your person, changes deeply. To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not. And to know what you are not, you must watch yourself carefully, rejecting all that does not necessarily go with the basic fact: ‘I am’. The ideas: I am born at a given place, at a given time, from my parents and now I am so-and-so, living at, married to, father of, employed by, and so on, are not inherent in the sense ‘I am’. Our usual attitude is of ‘I am this’. Separate consistently and perseveringly the ‘I am’ from ‘this’ or ‘that’ and try to feel what it means to be, just to be, without being ‘this’ or ‘that’. All our habits go against it and the task of fighting them is long and hard sometimes, but clear understanding helps a lot. The clearer you understand that on the level of the mind you can be described in negative terms only, the quicker you will come to the end of your search and realize your limitless being.

— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am Not – To Know What you Are, Find What you Are Not (p. 56)

The impermanence of the illusive self-image

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“One way to understand moods is that they are just the habit patterns of our mind continually playing themselves out in different scenarios. According to the view of Dharma, we don’t need to understand them or consider them so much as we need to replace them with new habits. This is where practice comes in. When we practice, we involve our body, emotions and mind in a new habit which is much more “real” in the sense that it is in line with the reality of enlightenment. This is the definition of purification.
The problem with paying much attention at all to emotional states is that we must on some level believe that they are real if we are considering them at all. We reinforce our sense of egoic reality by examining and exploring them, much in the way Narcissus was enamored of his reflection. When we come to practice from that place, we create extra obstacles and encounter even greater resistance.”

— A’dzom Rinpoche

(…related to the 3 previous articles)

Moods and Habit Patterns

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We carry on like machines with our tiresome daily routine. How eagerly the mind accepts a pattern of existence, and how tenaciously it clings to it! As by a driven nail, the mind is held together by idea, and around the idea it lives and has its being. The mind is never free, pliable, for it is always anchored; it moves within the radius, narrow or wide, of its own center. From its center it dare not wander; and when it does, it is lost in fear. Fear is not of the unknown, but of the loss of the known. The unknown does not incite fear, but dependence on the known does. Fear is always with desire, the desire for the more or for the less. The mind, with its incessant weaving of patterns, is the maker of time; and with time there is fear, hope and death.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Book of Life

The mind anchored in habits and desire

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The west seems to take a pride in thinking that it is subduing nature; as if we are living in a hostile world where we have to wrest everything we want from an unwilling and alien arrangement of things. This sentiment is the product of the city-wall habit and training of mind. For in the city life man naturally directs the concentrated light of his mental vision upon his own life and works, and this creates an artificial dissociation between himself and the Universal Nature within whose bosom he lies.

— Rabindranath Tagore – Sadhana – The Relation of the Individual to the Universe

Attaining truth through interpretation of our being into all objects

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We have come to this world to accept it, not merely to know it. We may become powerful by knowledge, but we attain fulness by sympathy. The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence. But we find that this education of sympathy is not only systematically ignored in schools, but it is severely repressed. From our very childhood habits are formed and knowledge is imparted in such a manner that our life is weaned away from nature, and our mind and the world are set in opposition from the beginning of our days. Thus the greatest of educations for which we came prepared is neglected, and we are made to lose our world to find a bagful of information instead. We rob the child of his earth to teach him geography, of language to teach him grammar. His hunger is for the Epic, but he is supplied with chronicles of facts and dates. He was born in the human world, but is banished into the world of living gramo­phones, to expiate for the original sin of being born in ignorance. Child-nature protests against such calamity with all its power of suffering, subdued at last into silence by punishment.

We all know children are lovers of the dust; their whole body and mind thirst for sunlight and air as flowers do. They are never in a mood to refuse the constant invitations to establish direct communication which come to their senses from the universe.

— Rabindranath Tagore – “MY SCHOOL” (lecture delivered in America published in Personality London: MacMillan, 1933)

A world of living gramophones