Should I try not to identify myself with any of the roles that I play?

Don’t “try” not to identify…it is not a matter of trying not to identify.  In asking this, you are admitting you are already identified…and so you must accept this – not resist it.  Instead you need to clearly see you are not what you are identifying with…then you automatically cease identifying with it.  Only through delving into the identification, seeing it thoroughly, and understanding it can you realize the error in identifying with it and ever believing it was who you are.

The focus is not on “trying not to identify” but to clearly see and understand.  Ignorance only continues when uninvestigated.  So I am saying investigate the identification thoroughly.  Do this and you will find you no longer identify with whatever it is and you know exactly why it was in error to believe you were it.  I don’t want to create a practice of “trying not to identify”, so I am attempting to be very clear that you need to cease trying to do anything about it and just look at it deeply.  With understanding, things change on their own.  We see through the illusion and we cease to be fooled by it any longer. Continue reading Should I try not to identify myself with any of the roles that I play?

Why do my old habits of thinking I am a separate self keep returning?

There is a distinction I want to make between thinking you are a separate self and believing/feeling deep down that you are a separate self.  Only you can say for certain which it is for you.

Thoughts of a separate self may always return.  Thoughts are not you.  Thoughts are largely not controlled by you.  Thoughts just happen.  The brain/mind creates most of the thoughts in relation to a “me”.  The brain/mind is trying to protect this organism from danger and to continue living.  And so thoughts about “what could happen to me” may arise…even after enlightenment.  Awakening just means you have seen through the illusion of “me” and so although the thought “what could happen to me” may arise, it simply is not believed.  You do not suffer from worry after the initial random thought. Continue reading Why do my old habits of thinking I am a separate self keep returning?

Can enlightened teachers help ‘others’ to awaken; and if so, how?

Yes.  By just being around them…and/or pointing at the illusions of the mind.

The whole idea of a “guru” is about an enlightened one helping others to awaken.  The whole idea of “satsang” is about sitting with an enlightened one to help awaken.  For both ideas, the top person (i.e. the enlightened one) is called a teacher.  In this way a hierarchy is created – teacher and students…the have and have nots (of enlightenment).  The trick that the enlightened one has to pull off is getting you to realize there is no difference between you and the teacher…and that you too are already the Self.  This involves seeing through the illusion of “me”. Continue reading Can enlightened teachers help ‘others’ to awaken; and if so, how?

I do self-inquiry and what I am is obvious. How will that realization sink in?

You want to know how that realization will sink in and how to keep the knowing when the body/mind is full of fear or suffering.  You say you have awakened (per ‘what I am is obvious’), but I must tell you that you really don’t know who you are.  Maybe on some intellectual level you are trying to believe something, but in your heart and bones you “know” otherwise.

The same kind of thing happened when (for example) a devote Christian told me he was absolutely sure that when he died he would go straight to heaven and enjoy everlasting bliss next to God.  And yet he was terrified about his own death.  Why?  If death truly is going to a “better place”, then what is the problem with death? Continue reading I do self-inquiry and what I am is obvious. How will that realization sink in?

Don’t we have to practice in daily life what we have realized?

With realization / understanding, there is no need to practice…it is just lived automatically.

For example, there is a Tibetan Buddhist saying that goes something like – “if a problem can be solved there is no use worrying about it. If it can’t be solved, worrying will do no good.”

Now you could try to put this saying into practice to overcome your worries…every time worry comes up you could remind yourself about it.  You lose your job and worry arises, and then you can say to yourself the saying and look for things you can do about the situation.  If there is nothing you can do about it, you can try to practice accepting the situation and not worry about it. Continue reading Don’t we have to practice in daily life what we have realized?