After years of reading about Buddhism, Vedanta, and philosophy generally, and after meditating, watching my thoughts and my self in action in daily life, after attending Vipassana courses and spending time in retreat, I thought it would be an interesting learning process to share my observations on these matters with others and listen to their comments and ideas.
I wondered a lot about the format in which to do this sharing. A random guy just spouting off on the net sounds incredibly pompous and vain, and I knew I would be mightily irritated if I came across such a person myself! So I want to avoid inflicting any vacuous generalities onto the innocent blog-reading public out there. Then I thought, finally, of a format which would be comfortable for me, which would structure my writing on a daily basis (or–let’s be realistic–a weekly basis) and which would link my thoughts and perceptions to a serious wider world of enquirers and learners out there.
The three biggest influences on my inner learning have been, in no particular order, Nisargadatta, Krishnamurti and Ramana. And it struck me that one could spend so much energy and attention on just a few of their phrases and teachings. In our age we have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the sayings of these “great ones”: videos, endless reams of text, audio clippings. And we somehow have the feeling that the more we read, the more we watch, the more we visit their shrines, the more we’ll understand. Instead, I have come now to the opposite conclusion: let’s just stay, slowly and patiently, with a phrase, a sentence, perhaps for a day or a week, and see how it plays out in our everyday lives. My writing on this blog will attempt to unravel, very slowly, my thoughts and questions that revolve around some specific quotation or saying by these three thinkers.
My sources will be: I Am That for Nisargadatta (Chetana) and Be As You Are (Penguin) for Ramana. For Krishnamurti, I would like to use a wide variety of sources, including his Notebook and Journal, as well as anthologies prepared by others (mostly published by KFI).
I would also like to share any other exciting material I might find, and to express my thoughts and feelings about it!