Each morning I start the day up on the roof at 5 AM with Arunachala. First I listen to a bit of Nome’s teaching, then meditate (inquire) until about 6 AM. Some days I am particularly taken by the teaching I listen to, and the meditation has great depth. Sometimes I make a post from the teachings that I have just listened to. This is such a posting.
Meditation instructions from Nome, August 15, 2008.
Society of Abidance in Truth (SAT) www.satramana.org
Self- knowledge is the quintessence of meditation. It is the absorption of your identity in the Being-Consciousness-Bless which is your true nature. In essence it is meditation upon the nature of the meditator. That nature, your real being, cannot be objectified, cannot be perceived through the senses or conceived in the mind. It is ever existent, with neither a beginning nor an end, neither an increase nor a decrease. Therefore the inquiry is primarily that of a negation of misidentification, the confusing the Self with what is not the Self, the superimposition of the attributes of what is not you upon you. Such false identification, or superimposition, is only made of the stuff of imagination. It is mere ignorance.
Inquire to know your nature as you are, free of a body, a mind, or the assumption of existing as an individual, an ego.
Start with your own existence. It is invariable. It is irrefutable. Start with your own existence, the fact that you are, and discern how this existence is not the body, not a mind, not a differentiated individual at all. The knowledge of your existence is the innermost of the innermost. This is starting where we end. Absorption of your very sense of identity, as what you regard as real, in That, the unformed existence, so that neither the idea of “I” nor anything else arises is known as silence.
Focus on your existence, inquiring, “Who am I?,” without name, without form, without the conceived, without the perceived. Inquire.
A recording of this teaching, and of others from Nome is available at the SAT website, at http://store.satramana.org/recordings.html
Nome is an American spiritual teacher of Advaita Vedanta, in the tradition of 20th Century Indian sage Ramana Maharshi.
Nome was born on January 23, 1955 in Long Island, New York, and spent most of his childhood in New Jersey. His family was opposed to all religions.
Early Spiritual Experiences and Practice
Despite having no training in any religious tradition, Nome’s first spiritual experience, of nirvikalpa samadhi, occurred at age 15 spontaneously in a park in New Jersey. At age 16, without graduating from high school, he left his home and family in New Jersey and traveled to California in search of enlightenment.
In San Francisco Nome met Swami Swanandashram, who introduced him to the traditional scriptures of Hinduism such as the Upanisads, the Avadhuta Gita, and the Astavakra Gita, and to the teachings of Adi Sankara and Sri Ramana Maharshi.
After three years of intense spiritual practice (Ramana’s Self-inquiry), on May 14, 1974, at 19 years of age, Nome gained Self-Realization.
For several years Nome was mainly silent, and sometimes answered questions from spiritual seekers.
In 1978, a group of spiritual seekers, first called “The Avadhut Ashram,” formed around Nome. He held satsang in Boulder Creek, Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Later, the Society of Abidance in Truth was created from this group, and a temple, dedicated to Sri Ramana Maharshi, was built in Santa Cruz, CA, USA, and opened in 1989. Satsang and retreats have been offered in this temple since that time.
Books – Translations, commentaries and original works
Although he had no formal education in Hinduism, Nome dedicated himself to reading and studying the classical scriptures and the Sanskrit language. From 1988 to 2001, Nome worked with Dr. H. Ramamoorthy, a scholar of Hinduism and the Sanskrit and Tamil languages, to translate classic Advaita Vedanta works into English (many for the first time). This work encompassed about 20 manuscripts, and continued until the death of Dr. Ramamoorthy in 2001.
Many works have been published, including classics of Hindu thought such as both the Sanskrit and the Tamil versions of the Ribhu Gita, and Sankara’s Svatmanirupanam. There are more manuscripts still to be published. This collaboration produced the only complete English translation of the Tamil-language Ribhu Gita, titled Song of Ribhu. This work has been reprinted in India by Ramanasramam, and has been translated into Hindi and Italian.
Original written works by Nome include Timeless Presence and Self-Knowledge. A commentary on Sri Ramana’s “Self-Inquiry,” Essence of Inquiry has also been published and is available from the Ramanasramam bookstore, Ramana Centre for Learning in Bangalore, and SAT.
Since the founding of SAT
Nome was invited by Sri Ramanasramam to participate at the 1996 centenary celebration of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s arrival at Arunachala. He has also spoken at The Ramana Centre for Learning in Bangalore, by request of A.R. Natarajan. Both Ramanasramam and The Ramana Centre for Learning have published books written or translated by Nome.
New books continue to be published each year, including original material, and collections and translations of important work of advaita Vedanta.
More about SAT can be found at www.satramana.org. More about Nome is on Wikepedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nome,_Spiritual_Teacher.
A series of discourses from Nome’s book, Self Knowledge can be found at the advaita.org.uk site. They start with this url http://www.advaita.org.uk/discourses/teachers/self1_nome.htm.