Zen master Seung Sahn said you must become dumb as a rock, meaning see directly, feel directly, act directly, without the intermediary of thoughts or thinking or of ideas. Depend only on your own self.
Krishnamurti said do not depend on any external teacher or guru. You have no idea where they got their teaching. It could have been from their own experience, or passed on information as part of a book or from their teacher without having any corresponding experiences. Also, the teachings may be idiosyncratic, applicable only to them, and not to others with different dispositions and experience.
Robert Adams said, “You do not exist, the world is not real, everything comes from mind, everything is a dream, everything is an optical illusion, ignore your problems, your body is not real, ignore the world because it is not real, everything is preordained, you can change nothing.” “Instead believe you are consciousness itself.”
You see, Robert was selling his own philosophy of reality which he got from Ramana Maharshi. Their story is this: you are not a human being, do not identify with your body, do not identify with your thoughts your mind, do not identify with waking consciousness or sleep consciousness, do not identify or be bothered by your emotions or your situation in life, because you can do nothing because it is all preordained and you have nothing to do with it anyway because you do not exist. Your only true existence is as the totality of consciousness. You are that.
You see, Robert and Ramana say throw away all that you believe yourself to be, body, mind, emotions, family, wife or husband, and instead become aware of awareness and of consciousness, become aware of the emptiness between your various thoughts, or the gap when you first wake up but the mind has not started. This gap, this space, this silence, is what you are, the substance from which all things come. Ignore everything else, only the listen to and feel silence, the gap, the emptiness between thoughts and all things. Drop your present identification as a human, and instead identify with that. With that new identification will come in peace, total happiness, and immortality.
All these teachings, Seung Sahn, Krishnamurti, Robert Adams, Ramana, Nisargadatta, all teach you to leave the mind alone, stop the mind or ignore your mind, but they really give no methods other than to understand that your mind is the problem that to do various kinds of self- inquiry and meditation. But if you can begin to silence the mind, much of what people call suffering will stop, but you still will not be enlightened or awakened. For that, you have to get much deeper into your body through sinking your attention into your heart, and thereby ending the significance of your mind.
Robert’s and Ramana’s teachings for people who are in great suffering, as was Buddha after he discovered disease, death, starvation, and war, or more likely for people that are constantly bothered by their minds and thinking, it can give rapid peace. But it is not enlightenment it is only stopping the mind. Buddha went off into the desert to the forests, seeking some way to end all kinds of suffering and found it after seven years of intense efforts, starvation, and physical abuse, by finding the middle way, a path to peace through ending all ambition, all attachments, all pleasures, all sufferings. You see this was deeper than merely stopping the mind, he said you must get rid of all human desire and attachments, what Hindu philosophy calls Vasanas.
In other words, Robert is also for people who seek escape from the world by escaping into a belief system that is totally incomprehensible to most. Strive to become nothing, strive to have no attachments, strive to be absolutely silent, strive to know yourself by questioning everything, including who you are, and thereby in any idea of who you are.
Now there are other teachings which are not nearly so negative, and these teachings I give now. In a way, I feel I am cleaning up after my own teachers, Robert Adams, and Nisargadatta Maharaj to have gone a long way towards creating the neoAdvaitin dominant presence in contemporary spirituality. Yes, they gave a lot of peace to suffering people, and they taught people how to get out of their minds, their truths depended on accepting only one part of yourself as the totality of yourself. They taught you are only consciousness, or you are the void, or you are emptiness, or you are silence, or you are nothingness as did Nisargadatta, and as such, as a generic experience, or generic lack of experience, you are immortal. This is an escape from suffering by means of accepting a philosophy regarding the nature of human existence, and ignoring all but one small part of that totality, even though it may be a very significant part, such as consciousness or the void.
The truth is you are all of these things. You are your body. You are your mind. You are your emotions. You are emptiness or the void. You are your energetic sense of presence. You are your relationships with others, they also help to define you. You are your family and tribe as well as your race and nationality. Accept all of these things as you. You also are awareness, consciousness, nothingness, the absolute, and most wondrous of all, God.
I teach you how to know God within yourself, to feel your own divinity arising within your sense of presence within you.
I teach several methods. The first is to listen to sacred using, kirtan, and bhajans. They will still the mind and will open your heart and allow you to find emptiness inside, possibly also love.
The second method is to practice “correct self-inquiry self- inquiry means to “feel” inside your chest or inside your four head for that spark of life that makes you you. Feel that inside of you which makes you feel alive. You may have to feel for quite some time, and your first experience may be like small electric spark somewhere inside your chest. Or it might appear as a light inside your head or brain. When you find that spark in your chest, feel it, and stay there, and they can grow.
That spark feeling, the sense of I am, will gradually grow and become a sense of presence, like an energy field throughout the inside of your body and extending outward a few inches or a few feet into the world. I call this energy body, my sense of presence, and within that sense of presence you will begin to feel all kinds of energies flowing, and a sense of presence will feel more real to you than your physical body.
Eventually that sense of presence will be filled with energies, and feelings of bliss, and with a sense of love and openness, that will be conducive to the experience of the divine within yourself.
In any event, even after briefly practicing this way for a few months, your center of your attention, or as Sasaki Roshi said, your center of gravity, will drop into your heart or even lower into your gut. When your attention drops into your heart, eventually your heart will open up feel such wondrous space and relief, as if you have escape from the prison to a wide open space. You will no longer be bothered by the mind because your sense of presence will be not centered around your mind anymore, but your heart, your emotions, your tenderness, your feelings, and you will live from your heart not your mind.
The third method I teach is to find something or someone to love, and to love it, or him, or her, with all your might, all your strength, with a totally open heart, surrendered to that other in divine relationship, and worshiping that other. If you can do this totally, where nothing matters to you in life except loving that person or object, all of the things I have outlined above in methods one and two, will be given to you spontaneously, as it is coming out of nowhere, but indeed coming from your own inner self, from that God within you, who reveals himself to you, by means of loving another. You recognize that all that drama, love, devotion, worship and surrender that you have for the other, is really a story and energy process within you, which is God itself which you have not realized in yourself before, and realize now except through loving another.
This method of loving another is far more Western than the other methods. It is relational, not just so solipsistic, self-involved like listening to Kirtan, or feeling into your chest for the Lifeforce, both of which can be extremely valuable, but neither of which is as quick or as powerful as the experiences that can come to finding God within you through loving another. This method is also far, far more joyful, and with far more drama and suffering, which allows you to be a stronger presence within the world.