"Wonder of wonders! This very enlightenment is
the nature of all beings, and yet they are unhappy
for lack of it!"
— The Buddha's exclamation at the moment of his Awakening
The deeper into the Heart one dives, the greater grows the bliss enjoyed, the intense bliss of the sole Self-Awareness, which once appeared in various forms.
— Verse 451 of Guru Vachaga Kovai: Maharshi Ramana
One who has wisely chosen the straight path of Self-inquiry, can never go astray; or like the bright, clear Sun, the Self-Awareness reveals itself to whoever turns towards it.
— Verse 393 of Guru Vachaga Kovai: Maharshi Ramana
There is the absolute Self from which a spark proceeds as from fire. The
spark is called the ego. In the case of an ignorant man it identifies
itself with an object simultaneously with its rise. It cannot remain
independent of such association with objects. This association is ajnana
or ignorance, whose destruction is the objective of our efforts. If its objectifying tendency is killed it remains pure, and also merges into
the source. The wrong identification with the body is dehatmabuddhi
('i-am-the-body' idea). This must go before good results follow.
After the rise of the 'I'-thought there is the false identification of the 'I' with the body, the senses, the mind, etc. 'I' is wrongly associated with them and the true 'I' is lost sight of. In order to shift the pure 'I' from the contaminated 'I' this discarding is mentioned. But it does not mean exactly discarding of the non-self, but it means the finding of the real Self.
The real Self is the Infinite 'I' - 'I', i.e., 'I' is perfection. It is eternal. It has no origin and no end. The other 'I' is born and also dies. It is impermanent. See to whom are the changing thoughts. They will be found to arise after the 'I'- thought. Hold the 'I'-thought. They subside. Trace back the source of the 'I'-thought. The Self alone will remain.
Initially, in our enthusiasm for our practice, we tend to take
everything we hear or read as the gospel truth. This attitude often
becomes even stronger when we join a community, follow a teacher,
undertake a discipline. Yet all of the teachings of books, maps, and
beliefs have little to do with wisdom or compassion. At best they are
a signpost, a finger pointing at the moon, or the leftover dialogue
from a time when someone received some true spiritual nourishment. To
make spiritual practice come alive, we must discover within ourselves
our own way to become conscious, to live a life of the spirit....
...Our spiritual life becomes unshakable only when we are connected
with our own realization of truth.
— -- Jack Kornfield, A Path With Heart (submitted by Vikram Dravid)