The simplest thing in the world
A great Indian sage, Ramana Maharshi — people came to him and said, O master, I want Self-realisation, I want to see who I am, and so on. Because this is such a marvellous thing, and it is shining out of him. He said, You ask me about this! How can you avoid Self-realisation? It is the simplest thing in the world. All it consists of is attending to how it is where you are. You are the sole authority on how it is now where you are. You are the one who can see what it's like where you are. When you submit to this and just, in all simplicity and honesty, notice what it's like where you are, and notice, I imagine, that you are not in a box, that you are empty and at large and therefore full of the world — full of what is confronting you – when you notice this, you are Self-realised. Now Ramana Maharshi didn't put it in these terms, but he said, How can you fail to notice what it is like being yourself? This is not the achievement of something, it is not something you’ve built up to. It is not something you gradually cultivate yourself to achieve. It is not something for cultivation, it is something simply for noticing. All we have to do is to be simple and honest enough to see what it's like being first person singular, present tense. From 'Enlightenment and Social Responsibility', a talk by Douglas Harding given to the London Buddhist Society in 1972.