Happiness and the Art of Being: A Layman’s Introduction to the Philosophy and Practice of the Spiritual Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana by Michael James

Happiness is our true nature, our essential being. The transient happiness that we seem to derive from external experiences actually arises only from within ourself, and is experienced by us due to the temporary calming of our mind that occurs whenever any of our desires are fulfilled. So long as our mind is extroverted, attending to anything other than our own essential self-conscious being, we can never experience perfect, permanent and unqualified happiness. To experience true and eternal happiness, we must attain the experience of true self-knowledge – that is, absolutely clear consciousness of our own essential being, ‘I am’. Such is the truth revealed by Bhagavan Sri Ramana.

The philosophy of Sri Ramana derives solely from his experience of true, absolute, non-dual self-knowledge, an experience that transcends all thought, both rational and irrational. However, since we imagine the existence of duality, multiplicity and relativity, we seem to lack the non-dual and absolute knowledge of our own essential self-conscious being that Sri Ramana experienced as his natural state. Therefore he presented his philosophy to us in terms of a rational and logical analysis of our present experience of ourself as a finite individual consciousness, in order to enable us to be firmly convinced of the absolute reality that underlies and supports this finite consciousness that we now mistake to be ourself.

However, the spiritual teachings of Sri Ramana are not only a rational philosophy, but are also a precise science and art. He intended his philosophy to serve only as the theoretical foundation upon which we should practise the empirical science of self-investigation (ātma-vicāra), which is the art of keenly self-attentive and therefore perfectly thought-free being.

This book, Happiness and the Art of Being, is an in-depth exploration of both the philosophy and the practice of the spiritual teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana. Though it is intended primarily to be an introduction to his teachings, it is not a brief one, because in a clear and simple manner it provides a very detailed and deep insight into their core. Therefore though it has been written with the intention that it should be easily understood even by readers who have no previous acquaintance with any form of spiritual philosophy, it should also be useful to readers who already have a good understanding of his teachings.

Like the aim of his teachings, the aim of this book is to prompt each one of us to think more deeply about the reality of all that we as a seemingly limited individual consciousness experience and know, to help us to understand that the only absolute reality in our entire experience of duality and relativity is our fundamental consciousness of our own essential being, ‘I am’, and thereby to reinforce our love and effort to attend keenly and exclusively to this essential self-consciousness ‘I am’ in order to discover its true nature.

The author of this book, Michael James, spent more than eight years studying the original Tamil writings of Sri Ramana and of his foremost disciple, Sri Muruganar, in minute detail under the clear guidance of another close disciple, Sri Sadhu Om. Therefore the central focus of this book is on the teachings of Sri Ramana as expressed in his own original writings, and hence it contains accurate and carefully worded translations by the author of the whole of Sri Ramana’s prose treatise Nāṉ Yār? (Who am I?) and of most of the verses of his philosophical poems such as Upadēśa Undiyār, Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, Ēkātma Pañcakam, Āṉma-Viddai and Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ.

Biography Michael James (or Michael D A James, as he is also known) spent more than eight years studying the original Tamil writings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana and his foremost disciple, Sri Muruganar, in minute detail under the clear guidance of another close disciple, Sri Sadhu Om, and since the passing away of Sri Sadhu Om in 1985 he has continued to study, practise, translate and write about the spiritual teachings of Sri Ramana.

In all his writings on the teachings of Sri Ramana, Michael focuses on their actual practice, which is ātma-vicāra (self-investigation or self-enquiry), a state of simple self-attentiveness — clear and calm contemplation upon our fundamental consciousness of being, ‘I am’ (which is also sometimes described in more devotional terms as the practice of complete self-surrender). While describing and discussing this practice, Michael also discusses its philosophical basis, explaining the rationale for seeking to experience true self-knowledge — perfectly clear consciousness of what we essentially are.

Together with Sri Sadhu Om, Michael translated into English most of the original Tamil writings of Sri Ramana, and also ‘Guru Vācaka Kōvai’, which is the most comprehensive and reliable collection of the sayings of Sri Ramana, recorded in 1255 Tamil verses composed by Sri Muruganar, with an additional 42 verses composed by Sri Ramana himself. Their translations of these works, which include detailed word-for-word meanings of most of the original verses composed by Sri Ramana, and their translations of many of Sri Sadhu Om’s own Tamil verses, have been published in several volumes.

In addition to his translations, Michael has written ‘Happiness and the Art of Being’, which is a detailed introduction to the philosophy and practice of the spiritual teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana, and which contains accurate and carefully worded translations by the author of the whole of Sri Ramana’s prose treatise ‘Nāṉ Yār?’ (Who am I?) and of most of the verses of his philosophical poems such as ‘Upadēśa Undiyār’, ‘Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu’, ‘Ēkātma Pañcakam’, ‘Āṉma-Viddai’ and ‘Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ’.

Available here for free download as a PDF

For more information about Michael’s translations and writings on the teachings of Sri Ramana, please visit his website and blog:

http://www.happinessofbeing.com
http://www.happinessofbeing.blogspot.com

Michael James – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Published on Aug 13, 2013

Between 1976 and 1985 Michael James studied the teachings of Sri Ramana under the clear guidance of one of his foremost disciple, Sri Sadhu Om. Together they translated into English all the original Tamil writings of Sri Ramana, and also Guru Vachaka Kovai (The Garland of Guru’s Sayings) (the most profound, comprehensive and reliable collection of the sayings of Sri Ramana, recorded in 1255 Tamil verses composed by Sri Muruganar, with an additional 42 verses composed by Sri Ramana) and various works of Sri Sadhu Om such as A Light on the Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi: The Essence of Spiritual Practice

Michael’s principal interest is the philosophy and practice of self-investigation (ātma-vicāra, ‘self-enquiry’) as taught by Sri Ramana, and he has written a detailed book on this subject: Happiness and the Art of Being: An introduction to the philosophy and practice of the spiritual teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana (Second Edition).

Interview recorded 8/10/2013.

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The Constitution Of Our Soul: Destiny’s Deliverance of Our Soul’s Rights ~ by Kristy Kaye

The Constitution of Our Soul: Destiny’s Deliverance of Our Soul’s Rights presents an inspirational guide to the process of awakening the soul’s raw potential. Your soul has untapped power, and it is your right to learn how to harness that potential. Inside are helpful tools and techniques to guide your journey, all with the goal of helping you to return to your own innate omnipotence. Angels and confusion are explained in depth, as are the states of consciousness. The climate of their experiences as you travel through them on your return to your powerful true presence is also made clear.

Author Kristy Kaye explains techniques in detail to help you open to your inner truth—the Constitution of the Soul. With the information within, you can learn how to live from the pivot of spiritual laws, thus enabling you to reclaim your inner serenity, peace, abundance, tranquility, and contentment.

Here is an individual blueprint for life, designed to help you navigate your journey of soul discovery with ease and clarity. Explore the inimitable nature of its wisdom from eons of time and open the pages about how knowing your inner truth will expand your education in self-discovery.

Delve deep into the extraordinary participation of the angels in your every moment of life on planet Earth, and you’ll understand more about your transition and beyond. The secrets for how to reveal your soul’s constitution are investigated and portrayed comprehensively.

Kristy Kaye has traveled extensively, researching cultures, beliefs, and traditions throughout the world. She was introduced to religious studies and belief systems early in life, and she continues her education today. Her real training, chronicled here, began in her forties, when she met her mentor and guide. She currently lives in New South Wales, Australia.

Click here to look inside.

The Constitution of Our Soul – Kristy Kaye

Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence ~ Rick Hanson

Publication Date: October 8, 2013

See Through The Lies Your Brain Tells You

Using this book, you can beat the brain’s negativity bias, which is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones. This bias evolved to help ancient animals survive, but today it makes us feel needlessly frazzled, worried, irritated, lonely, inadequate, and blue.

Instead, in just a few seconds at a time in the flow of daily life, you can turn your experiences – the pleasure in a cup of coffee, the accomplishment in finishing a tricky email, the warmth from a friend’s smile – into lasting inner strengths built into your brain, such as resilience, balance, and positive emotions.

Grounded in neuroscience, Hardwiring Happiness is super practical, full of easy-to-use methods and guided practices to grow a steady well-being, self-worth, and inner peace. And it has special sections on children, motivation, relationships, trauma, and spiritual practice.

The book also covers managing the Stone Age brain for life in the 21st century. It tells you how to take in experiences of your core needs being met, so that you gradually leave the “red zone” of fight-flight-freeze stress and get centered in the brain’s “green zone” in which you feel an ongoing ease, fulfillment, and love – even while you deal with life’s challenges.
Dr Rick Hanson is a neuropsychologist whose books include the highly acclaimed Buddha’s Brain View Here and Just One Thing. Founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, and Affiliate of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, he’s taught at Oxford, Stanford, Harvard and other leading universities, and in meditation centres worldwide. He is a frequent keynote speaker, and his work has been widely featured in the media, including the BBC, NPR, FoxBusiness, and O Magazine.