Search & Read
Mandy: Dear James, my name is Mandy and two years ago after years of seeking I was introduced to the teaching of Sri Ramana Maharshi. While I learned this beautiful teaching and practiced self-inquiry, I got to know that I don’t need to seek anymore and that I do have it all, but to understand that doesn’t make it easy and simple to attain.
So these past two years I read many books on Advaita Vedanta, yoga, enlightenment, self-knowledge, etc. and practiced this teaching as best as I could (and understand). As result of this practice combined with self-abidance, I experienced many weeks of joy and clarity and I really felt like I was being held by the Lord of Love.
But this didn’t last for long. I found myself always swimming against the mainstream. I couldn’t do what you did, to follow and be with your guru for so many years of learning and practicing in such a beautiful spiritual environment that gave you guidance and nourishment at every step…
I have a family that I need to take care of and I don't live in a spiritual place. I’m practicing karma yoga as devotion as I can, but the fire of knowing the self is burning so intensely in my heart that I wonder if it’s possible to attain enlightenment while not living in a cave in Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai.
After reading several of your books and watching many of your YouTube recordings on Vedanta, I understood that I can’t just study the knowledge of Vedanta by myself because the ignorance colors the teaching with my belief and tendencies, and as a result I unable to see the truth in it.
That is why I need a teacher to help me to understand the teaching correctly and reveal the truth from it.
I want to grow my spiritual wisdom and to know “who am I?” more than anything!!
Are you teaching personal sessions? Do you have any openings? How can I find a teacher that I can work intensely with? And where?
James: I am very happy to hear from you. It gives me great pleasure to meet someone who has such a burning desire to know the truth. In answer to your question “I wonder if it’s possible to attain enlightenment while not living in a cave in Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai?” the answer is a definite yes. In fact, most of the “cave-dwellers” I know of don’t get enlightened, because they are not taught how to inquire. They think that some kind of magic will happen as a result of dropping out of the world and thinking only of the self. Even Ramana went to the cave AFTER he knew who he was because he was so happy in himself that he didn’t need the world. He could just as well have gone into the world but that was not really an option for him considering his caste and his contemplative nature. Karma yoga leads to liberation and it is for people who have families, etc. Having said that, it is absolutely necessary to have a teacher. I have too many students now and I have many duties related to ShiningWorld so I can’t teach you personally. However, I can suggest a very good teacher for you, someone who is free and who knows how to teach Vedanta. He is one of my very best disciples. He is honest and is not in it for the fame or the money, but you should donate what you can as you go. If you decide to let him teach you, please write to me after a few months and tell me how it is going. I wish you all the best.
Mandy: Thanks so much, James, for your response. I will definitely contact the teacher you recommended for me, and hope you will come soon to teach in Silicon Valley area so I can attend.