Awareness Tools


«After the ecstasy, the laundry.» — Jack Kornfield

The major part of the «tools» on this page can be regarded as «conscious self-help methods.» They can be handy for going through intense and challenging experiences and states, as well as purification and integration processes, which can possibly occur both during and after awakening, in the most smooth and non-resisting way possible. When there is a deeper sense of presence, awareness, or more «inner space,» residual energetic emotional «charges» may surface to be released at the cell level and to leave your body system lighter and more liberated. However, such «processes» usually do not last for long, fully in line with the core message of an ancient Sufi story that says, «This, too, shall pass.»

With regard to the LOCs 600 to 699, in which the «no-self» and «non-doing» may be clearly realized and experienced and, therefore, one may happily respond to the crisis, problems, and help requests from others by saying, «There is nothing you can do,» or, «There is no one there to do anything,» Ramaji writes in his book «1000,» «When you have come full circle in this journey, it again makes sense to talk as a human being to human beings and tell them what they can do to help themselves.»

Furthermore, in Ramaji’s book «Who Am I? Meditation,» he quotes an email exchange in which he was responding to a person who had recently gone to LOC 1000, «You have realized the Self. There may still be an apparent process of stabilization. Some go through that, some don’t. People vary in the amount of mental-emotional «karma» they will still have to deal with. If there is a lot of stuff left to deal with, that can be confusing. The typical assumption is that there will be only perfect peace and bliss all of the time. The «highest-level» sage does indeed enjoy that experience. «Lesser» sages, though Self-realized, do have subjective «karmic» momentum that is potentially disturbing or distracting. We will deal with whatever comes up as it is needed.»

Carl Gustav Jung, the famous, awakened Swiss psychologist, says in this context, «One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it «fate».»

The following text is a translation from the German-speaking magazine Happinez, Vol. 13, No. 7, 2022, and further elucidates this process:

«Reconciling with our «shadow»

There is a mysterious place inside us that we don’t know, but which nevertheless belongs to us: the «shadow». It functions like a sort of trash container—here we dump everything that our consciousness finds disturbing—experiences that we repress, emotions that we don’t want to face, and mental pain we think we can’t endure.

Carl Gustav Jung was one of the first therapists to discover this dark area, saying, «The shadow is all the things you also are but definitely don’t want to be.» In the short term, it often makes sense to exile anything too hurtful into the subconscious. But in the long run, these split-off parts block our life force, hinder our relationships, and are responsible for us not living parts of our dreams. Only if we accept our personality’s dark aspects can we evolve. When we say to our unloved traits, «Yes, this is me too,» we gain the freedom to live the life we want. We discover our strength in life. Because the energy that was previously needed to repress and hide is now available to us.

The exciting question remains of how this shadow comes into being in the first place. As a child, we do not initially judge which part of ourselves is good or bad. Later, we learn that some behaviors meet with approval and some with disapproval. In order to be accepted and loved, we now try to discard our «bad» traits or at least hide them. And at some point, we forget that we ever did that. From then on, we are always «good». Jung says about this, «I would rather be whole than good.» But how many of us never show our true colors and deny our needs just to be liked?

The goal of «shadow work» is to forgive our own imperfections and develop compassion for ourselves. Actual self-love means bringing our «shadows» into the light and reconciling with them—to become the «person» we really are.»

An overview of the «tools» on this page

The first three methods can be particularly useful with what at first appears to be complicated and difficult emotions and traumas; the next three with mental «noise», residual self-identifications, etc.; the eighth and ninth might result in an increased sense of awareness—the ability to see what is—and to a deeper sense of «inner freedom» with whatever is there; the 9th—surrenderis universal, almost timeless, and completely natural to most people.

Ultimately, it all boils down to seeing or seeing through, fully experiencing and going, feeling and living through whatever arises with as much awareness of and love, compassion, and empathy for yourself as possible—all the time and with everything—and to surrender to what is or what is currently there—not as another trick of trying to change but as a natural happening in the now. And when all the tools have run out, what remains is THIS AS IT IS always.

Note: The methods on this page are just a small fraction of what is possible today. If you happen to need more, just email me at

Tip: You may take any method on this page that currently speaks to you and apply it calmly and consciously. Also, you may jump to one via one of these links:

1. Being or staying with what is there
2. «Falling into» the feeling
3. Merging with the feeling
4. Exposing the «thinker»
5. No more believing thoughts or «cutting them off»
6. «The Buddha meditation»
7. Self-inquiry according to Ramana Maharshi
8. Becoming aware of the fact that you are aware
9. Surrender

1. Being or staying with what is there

In the beginning, this method may take some practice because we have been so conditioned to avoid so-called «unpleasant» or «uncomfortable» feelings and emotions. But when applied multiple times deliberately, it becomes as simple and natural as breathing.

Be with the feeling that is there. Do not judge. Just be aware of it. Focus your attention on the feeling and the part of the body where the feeling is most noticeable. Now you feel what is going on in your body. Feel the feeling—be it pain, fear, grief, anger, etc. You do not need to name or analyze it. Just feel it in the body and stay with it. Get in touch with it fully and stay there.

If you should get distracted by any thoughts, as soon as you realize it, immediately bring your focus or attention back to the feeling or sensation in the body. Just feel what is going on inside you. Allow it to express itself exactly as it is. If you feel any resistance, turn your attention to the resistance and allow it. Regardless of which emotion is arising or prevailing, let it be, allow it to be expressed and experienced. Even if it is just the feeling of boredom or «I don’t like now.» Allow every feeling by looking at it, getting in touch and staying with it. It’s that simple! Any attempt to avoid it, change it or to get rid of it is just a trick of the mind, you see?

You may apply this method whenever and as much as you like. It may be helpful first to do it at home or where you are undisturbed. If you got used to it, you can apply it anywhere and anytime, e.g., during shopping, while standing in line, etc.

At best, apply this method daily for several weeks until it becomes automatic. Thus, it may result in a complete acceptance of (i.e., an absence of resistance to) whatever arises and is felt and cause an enormous relief and release. Just «do» it.

Imogen Webber says, «Meeting emotions and sensations that arise with tender loving curiosity is a practice of deep transformational alchemy.»

Anssi Antila says, «What are you feeling now? Is this your favorite state? If not, then you are doing no good to yourself now. Admit your defeat for a moment. Say, «It’s okay.» Then, watch your breathing and your feelings. Nothing else needs to be done—just feeling and breathing. Do this until life takes you back to your center. Test it.»

2. «Falling into» the feeling

This approach is similar to the one above, except that you consciously let yourself «fall into» the feeling or the pain. Let yourself fall into it so long and so deeply until you have come to the bottomless bottom of the feeling.

Try it the next time when a painful or oppressive feeling arises in you. First, locate the pain or the oppressive feeling in the body. Just perceive it, feel it, and let yourself fall into the center of it with full awareness. You may also imagine that you’re falling «back into» it. It may be helpful to imagine that you are falling backwards into it.

So «fall in love» with the intensity of feeling itself. Experience it thoroughly and intimately, let yourself fall into this «sweet emptiness,» and discover what remains.

Gunnar Gressl, a friend and RASA facilitator from Austria, writes, «What I experience with many in the post 1000 (and, of course, before that) is dissatisfaction with WHAT IS. That was also the case with me, and I virtually do not experience it anymore. Now, there is a 100% «YES» to WHAT IS (whatever that is).

If someone asks me what I can do, I often say—let yourself completely fall into the dissatisfaction. I have written it several times already, but for me, it is like inner backward tipping or falling back into dissatisfaction. Then you cannot hold on anywhere—free fall into the «black hole.» Let yourself completely be eaten, digested, and puked. So, whatever appears, whatever shows up—as crappy as it might feel—know it is THIS, and surrender to it. Uncompromising.»

3. Merging with the feeling

We are used to saying, «I have pain, anger, fear, depression, etc.,» instead of saying, «I am pain, anger, anxiety, depression, etc.»

Next time a depressing, constricting, or painful emotion or sensation arises, be with it in the knowingness that you are not different from it, that you are «one» with it. There is no separation between you and the feeling. You «are» it.

In case of intense emotions or traumas that may be felt as «charges» in your body, you may apply this method in a 30-minutes to one-hour meditation. During that time, consciously embrace, feel, and experience everything within as «I am.» 

Alexander Trampitsch, a friend and RASA facilitator from Austria, explains, «I AM the blockage. Therefore not pushing it away, but rather bringing it back consciously. I am this blockage (it is part of me), then staying with it in meditation for at least half an hour. Then, Kundalini dissolves it.

That is something different than teaching to stay with the pain or to experience it fully. The difference is to really FULLY integrate it. Not just to experience, but «Yaaahoooo, I AM this blockage!»

Not I + blockage, but becoming blockage, BEING blockage.»

Rumi says, «The cure for pain is in the pain.»

Shunryu Suzuki says, «The only way to endure the pain is to let it be painful.»

Nikita Gill says, «Let it hurt, let it «bleed», let it heal, and let it go.»


1. The blog posts here and here beautifully summarize the first 3 methods on this page.
2. A selection of related writings and sayings is available here.

4. Exposing the «thinker»

If any «negative,» i.e., depressing, anxious, seeking thoughts or such appear, without further bothering about them go to the root, to the «I.» Can you locate the «I» in that mental noise? Who is thinking those thoughts? Can you localize a thing called a «thinker» in you?

Apply this method in a focused manner and then see for yourself what remains of the phantom «thinker» along with its worries, anxiety, and other fantasies.

Another variation of this method is to command the «thinker» in you to «Think!»—and then see what happens.

5. No more believing thoughts or «cutting them off»

A) Decide to no more believe any thoughts with immediate effect. They are not your thoughts. They just come and go like a breeze that passes through the window. Just stop following them, stop dealing with them and they are going to «vanish into thin air.»

Allan Lokos says, «Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that—thoughts.»

Mooji says, «No thought has any power. You have power. And when you identify and believe in the thought, you give power to the thought.»

Ramana Maharshi says, «You can only stop the flow of thoughts by refusing to have any interest in it.»

Shunryu Suzuki says, «… Leave your front door and back door open. Let thoughts come and go. Just don’t serve them tea (i.e. stop dealing with them).

… Don’t try to stop your thinking. Let it stop by itself. If something comes into your mind, let it come in, and let it go out. It will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything. It appears as if something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind, and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer.»

Byron Katie says, «Thoughts are not personal. They just appear, like raindrops. Would you argue with a raindrop?»

Nisargadatta Maharaj says, «Watch your thoughts as you watch the passing traffic. People come and go; you register without a response.

There is no such thing as «peace of mind.» Mind means disturbance. Restlessness itself is mind.

Leave your mind alone; that is all. Do not go along with it.
After all, there is no such a thing as a mind apart from thoughts, which come and go obeying their own laws, not yours. They dominate you only because you are interested in them.
It is exactly as Christ said, «Resist not evil.» By resisting «evil», you merely strengthen it.»

The band «Here 2 Here» sing in their song «Ego?», «… The only thing that’s got beat with the mind is the mind.»

Chris Niebauer says, «The trick is to become less identified with your thoughts; to not take them seriously; to see them as «happenings» rather than «the way things really are.»

Sri Bhagavan says, «According to the natural principle, there is nothing you could do about negative thoughts, except to become more observant, to become more aware that they are there. If you try to fight with them or to push them out, they will become powerful. All fights with negative thoughts must be avoided. The more you fight, the stronger they become. The only way is to realize that they are there, and then accept them. Just accept the truth. Because the truth is that they are there. How could you deny that? By accepting them, they become weaker. As they become weaker, there is a chance that they would slowly fade out.

… I am talking of becoming free of the mind itself. The only way you could become free of the mind is to closely watch it. If you keep watching in a very friendly way without judging, condemning or commenting, it soon becomes very weak and slowly becomes quieter.»

Papaji says, «Don’t waste your time purifying the mind because the mind can never be pure. Even the desire to be pure is a trick of the mind. And you need to drop the mind because it doesn’t exist. How can you drop something that doesn’t exist?

Keep quiet. Don’t touch the thoughts. Let them be.»

Alexander Trampitsch says, «YOU have NEVER thought a single thought.»

B) The next time thoughts arise, cut them off by the power of your awareness. Regardless of what they are about—the content or the story—or how beautiful or ugly they might appear. Whenever any thoughts arise, simply cut them off.

Ramana Maharshi says, «A thought has to be quenched as soon as it arises.»

Robert Adams, a «student» of Ramana Maharshi, says, «Stop the mind as fast as you can. When the mind begins to think about your life, about situations, about conditions, try to catch it. Do not allow it to carry on. Drop it immediately.»

These are some related sayings by Sri Bhagavan that may provide more insights into this and more:

«Thoughts are not mine.
This body is not mine.
Everything is happening automatically.
There is no one there at all.

To see is to be free.

The mere seeing is sufficient.

What is life? Seeing what is going on inside.

The content (of thoughts, emotions, experiences, etc.) is never important, but to experience it is.

Anything experienced fully turns into bliss (joy, peace, silence).

Suffering is never in the fact, but only in the perception of the fact (i.e., never «out there» or in «the other,» but only ever in your—conscious or unconscious—perception of it; never in the experience, the situation, the circumstance, thoughts, emotions, sensations, etc., but only in the mental interpretation or conception of it, i.e., how it «appears»).»

Any movement away from the «what is» is suffering.

Tampering with the flow is the birth of suffering.

Resistance is suffering. Where there is oneness (no divisiveness, or awareness), there is no resistance.

Letting go of resistance is acceptance.

Acceptance is letting everything come.
Forgiveness is letting everything go.
Love is letting everything be.
Wisdom is letting all things arise,
flourish, and release naturally.
Awareness is restful attentiveness,
letting everything happen.

All things should happen naturally and spontaneously.

Life is as it comes.

When the impossibility of change strikes you, you are awakened!»

What you resist, persists.

What is, simply IS.

6. «The Buddha meditation»

This approach taught by the Buddha may help you to recognize yourself as the free awareness that is completely unaffected by what is apparently happening. Its conscious application in meditation or everyday situations is particularly useful if you are struggling with something or identifying with any annoying thoughts or strenuous emotions.

Meditate and observe whatever appears (thoughts, emotions, sensations, body, etc.), contemplate, know and see:

Whatever appears,
1. is not Me,
2. is not Mine,
3. is no statement about Me.

Nisargadatta Maharaj says, «You observe the heart feeling, the mind thinking, the body acting. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive.»

Alexander Trampitsch says, «In fact, You are Never inside of it.»

Ramana Maharshi says, «Let come what comes. Let go what goes. See what remains.»

The Buddha says, «See what is. See what is not. Follow the true «path» (abide by the Truth, Reality).»

7. Self-inquiry according to Ramana Maharshi

Self-inquiry or investigating yourself (Sanskrit Ātma-vichara) might be familiar to you. Here you internally ask the question, «Who am I?» This question need not be answered verbally but can lead you into a more profound «seeing» of your self-nature, i.e., you may penetrate the core of the «I,» find out what that «I» consists of, and let yourself fall into the «bottomless bottom within.» What then remains is It.

You may use this method at any time, either with your eyes open or closed and especially when «disturbing» thoughts pass through. Then ask yourself, «Whom do these thoughts arise?», «Who is aware of these thoughts?» and, «In what do these thoughts emerge?» Do not expect a specific answer, but let yourself be taken into a deeper awareness of yourself by this «open question.»

Another step is to trace the «thinker» or the «I»-thought explicitly. By asking «Who?» or «What?», find out where the apparent «thinker» is precisely located in you. Be aware of the «I»-thought, «stalk» it, and go to the very core of it. «See» what is at the center or the root of the «I»-thought, dwell or abide in that thoughtless «space,» and realize what remains.

One step further down is the «Two-step Self-inquiry,» in which you gently but consistently expose and trace the «I»-thought back to the heart on the right (where it, according to Ramana Maharshi, originally arises from) with these 2 powerful questions,

«Who am I?» or «Who (what) is having this experience?» (Of thoughts, emotions, body, sensory impressions, etc.)

«Where do you come (arise) from?» (Directed toward the «I»-thought.)

As well as, «Who (what) perceives the I-thought?» or «Who (what) is aware of the I?» (And then keep abiding in that.)

Ramana Maharshi says,

«Of all the thoughts that arise in the mind, the «I»-thought is the first thought.

You must turn inward (direct your attention inward) and see where the mind rises from, and then it will cease to exist.

Only the annihilation of the «I» is Liberation. But it can be gained only by keeping the «I-I» always in view. So the need for the investigation of the «I»-thought.

Reality is simply the loss of the «ego» (the «I»-thought). Destroy the «ego» by «seeking» (enquiring) its identity. Because the «ego» is no entity, it will automatically vanish, and Reality will shine forth by Itself.»

Nisargadatta Maharaj says,

«By self-knowledge, I mean full knowledge of what you are not. Such knowledge is attainable and final. But to the discovery of what you are, there can be no end. The more you discover, the more there remains to discover.

To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not. Discover all that you are not—body, feelings, thoughts, time, space, this or that. You observe the heart feeling, the mind thinking, the body acting. Nothing, concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive.

What is really your own, you are not conscious of. What you are conscious of is neither you nor yours. Yours is the power of perception—not what you perceive.
It is a mistake to take the conscious to be the whole of man. Man is the unconscious, the conscious, and the superconscious—but you are not that man. Yours is the cinema screen, the light, and the seeing power—but the picture is not you.

I am like a cinema screen—clear and empty. The pictures pass over it and disappear, leaving it as clear and empty as before. In no way is the screen affected by the pictures, nor are the pictures affected by the screen.»

1. In-depth instructions on this method are available in the books and videos about Ramana Maharshi here
 and here.
2. Also, view the exceptional instructions on this method by Ed Muzika in his short ebook «Hunting the I».

8. Becoming aware of the fact that you are aware

This is another extremely direct method taught by Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, and others. It is also known as «turning around the light» or «directing awareness back to itself.»

Rupert Spira says:

«I» refers to the formless, non-objective presence of pure knowing; being aware of awareness itself, which is temporarily colored by the qualities of experience but never limited by them.»

Eckhart Tolle says:

«When you become aware you are thinking, you become aware you are not your thoughts. You become aware of awareness, as the background of thinking. Becoming aware of awareness is the arising of stillness.

Instead of being aware of something, just be aware that you are aware.
Feel your own presence, and become still.»

Zuna Zahaj says:

«This very moment, stay Still inside. There You are.»

Ramana Maharshi says:

«Consciousness is indeed always with us. Everyone knows «I am!» No one can deny his own being.

Become aware of being aware. Say or think «I am,» and add nothing to it. Be aware of the stillness that follows the «I am.» Sense your presence—the naked, unveiled, unclothed beingness.

Instead of looking outward at objects, you observe that looking. All things now shine as «I», the seer. Perception of objects is mere illusion.

If you observe awareness steadily, this awareness itself as guru will reveal the truth.

Remain aware of yourself and all else will be known.»

Nisargadatta Maharaj says:

«There is nothing to practice. To know yourself, be yourself. To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don’t disturb your mind with seeking.

Put your awareness to work, not your mind. The mind is not the right instrument for this task. The timeless can be «reached» only by the timeless. Your body and your mind are subject to time. Only awareness is timeless, even in the now.

The Unchangeable can only be realized in silence. Once realized, It will deeply affect the changeable, Itself remaining unaffected.

A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without any effort on your part.

You need not worry about your worries. Just be. Don’t try to be quiet. Don’t make «being quiet» into a task to be performed. Don’t be restless about «being quiet», miserable about «being happy». Just be aware that you are and remain aware (of it). Don’t say, «Yes, I am—what’s next?» There is no «next» in «I Am». It is a timeless state.

The awareness that you are will open your eyes to what you are. It is all very simple. First of all, establish constant contact with yourself, be with yourself all the time. Into self-awareness, all blessings flow. Begin as a center of observation, deliberate cognizance, and grow into a center of love in action.

Stay in that love, go deeper and deeper into it, investigate yourself, and love the investigation.

This union of the seer and the seen happens when the seer becomes aware of himself as the seer. He is not merely interested in the seen, which he is anyhow, but is also interested in being interested; giving attention to attention; aware of being aware.»

1. A detailed instruction of this method is available on this website and in the books and videos of Rupert Spira.
2. Another closely related method can be found in the books and videos about Nisargadatta Maharaj, for example, in the Nisarga Yoga Manual — Key Instructions by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj,
 edited by Elias.

9. Surrender

Non-dual surrender (Sankrit Advaita bhakti) is, in short, the final, total, and unconditional surrender to WHAT IS.

Ramana Maharshi says:

«Surrender to the substratum of appearances unreservedly. Then, Reality will be left over as the residue.

It is enough that one surrenders oneself. Surrender is giving oneself up to the original cause of one’s being.
… The Source is within yourself—give yourself up to it. This means that you should «seek» the Source and merge in it.

Surrender is to merge with the Source of the I.

By constantly keeping your attention on the Source, the I is dissolved in the Source like a salt doll in the sea.»

Nisargadatta Maharaj says:

«Surrender to your own Self, of which everything is an expression.

Give up the search and let the impersonal consciousness take over, and it will let you in on the mystery of its own Source, the pure I, the essential subjectivity, the nameless, formless, limitless, timeless, spaceless, imperceptible One, without a second.

When you demand nothing of the world, nor of God, when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect (and hope for) nothing, then the «supreme state» will come to you uninvited and unexpected.

The Absolute can be «attained» by absolute devotion only. Don’t be half-hearted.»

Rumi says:

«If you wish to shine like day,
burn up the night of self-existence.
Dissolve into the Being (Existence)
that is everything.»

Mooji says:

«Hand your existence over to Existence.»

Grace Sharanam writes:

«Nothing is to be done.
Surrender—in every moment,
takes (you) from coming and going
into timeless glory.
Forms disappear into the background.
Nothing is to be done.»

Just stop trying, let go, and relax.

Surrender to WHAT YOU ARE, let IT (do), and «do nothing.»

Allow things to have their own natural course—
without grasping or holding on to anything.

Samarpan says:

«Surrender is the wisest thing we can do.
Surrender is exactly the opposite of controlling.
We just have to look closely—seeing what is.
The only thing we can do for surrender is to notice when we are holding on. This is very easy, because you can feel exactly how the tension builds up when you are holding on.
When you notice that you are holding on, you can stop and just allow and welcome the tension. Then you are back in the flow.
In the First Book of Moses, they write how God created the world in 6 days and how on the 7th day he looks at everything and says, «Ah yes, that’s good.»
That’s how we should look at ourselves.
Yeah, THIS.
Me—the way I am.
My life—the way it is.
Yeah, this.
That is surrender.»

Mooji says:

«Life flows by itself.
How arrogant to think
it is you who makes it flow.
Stop interfering and enjoy
the ride of impersonal witnessing
and of being happily and totally engaged with it
all at the same time!»


Note: There are other highly effective methods for transformation, enlightenment, etc. available that are not listed on this website. If you are sincerely interested in «going deeper», email me at Among others, I can recommend Zero Point Session and Satsang-Darshan.

Go directly to:

Guidance and Integration Satsang, Intensives and Retreats

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