Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Who are you, really?

--by Kosi (Nov 17, 2014)

“Any thought that you have had about yourself, however deflated or inflated, is not who you are. It is simply a thought. The truth of who you are cannot be thought, because it is the source of all thoughts. The truth of who you are cannot be named or defined.

Words like soul, light, God, truth, self, consciousness, the universal intelligence, or divinity, while capable of evoking the bliss of the truth, are grossly inadequate as a description of the immensity of who you truly are.

However you identify yourself: as child, adolescent, a mother, a father, an older person, healthy person, sick person, a suffering person, or an enlightened person – always, behind all of that, is the truth of yourself. It is not foreign to you. It is so close that you cannot believe it is you.

The truth of who you are is untouched by any concept of who you are, whether ignorant or enlightened, worthless or grand. The truth of who you are is free of it all. You are already free and all that blocks your realization of that freedom is your own attachment to some thought of who you are. This thought doesn’t keep you from being the truth of who you are. You already are that. It separates you from the realization of who you are.

I invite you to let your attention dive into what has always been here, waiting openly for its own self-realization. Who are you, really?
Are you some image that appears in your mind? Are you some sensation that appears in your body? Are you some emotion that passes through your mind and body? Are you something that someone else has said you are, or are you the rebellion against something that someone else has said you are? These are some of the many avenues of misidentification. All of these definitions come and go, are born and then die.

The truth of who you are does not come and go. It is present before birth, throughout a lifetime, and after death. To discover the truth of who you are is not only possible, it is your birthright.

First seen on this video, by Kosi -- a teacher in the lineage of Ramana Maharishi.  Full transcript here.

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Previous Reflections:

On Nov 16, 2014 david doane wrote:

When I was in psychotherapy, I learned that I had an inner truth, which I learned to trust and value.  This learning gave me a new view on life and about myself and made all the difference in the world.  I learned (and am still learning) to pay attention to my inner truth and use it in my actions and decisions.  At a much later time, I learned that my inner truth is an expression of Truth/Infinity Being/God, which reinforced my valuing of and listening to it.  That awareness and practice has added to my appreciation of life, for which I am grateful.  "The truth of who you are does not come and go" means to me that there is a connection between my inner truth and the Source, and while my ego, thinking, emotions, awareness,and form change, the connection between my inner truth and the Source doesn't come and go, it's a constant, if I am aware of it or not. 

On Nov 18, 2014 Mamta wrote:

 I have had this profound sense of inner knowing a few times now in different contexts, once during a soul plan reading, once during a Reiki retreat, and once during meditation at a QiGong retreat. It seemed like, I knew the truth of these insights that arose, at soul level, some of this was surprising - as in me, can I really be that! Some was accompanied by a flood of emotion. And yes, it seems like I have to let go of attachment to some misperception that has held me back from some of these realisations. I trust that with time, as more of such misperceptions are released, more inner truth will conitnue to be revealed. As I am more at peace, and present, and in my body, I will continue to be able to connect with my inner truth.

On Nov 18, 2014 Srikantam Saibaba wrote:

I am just a BEING.  It is futile to find an answer to this question. It is like a SUN RAY getting a doubt WHO AM I.  If the water bubble is bestowed with the power of thinking. Its starting base will be I AM THE TRUTH.  Its existence is limited as ours. The only thing we can do is THINK and ACT RATIONALLY.  This  RATIONALITY  may change with TIME  as we relax  our adherence to RELIGIOUS and SOCIAL compulsions

On Nov 18, 2014 Guruprasad. wrote:

 I am that Brahma chaithanya covered up by samskaraas.  Gradually when these sanskaras are leaving my picture to myself is slowly emerging. Meanwhile, I believe that I am spec of THAT.

On Nov 18, 2014 Sheel wrote:

Who you are does not come and go - it just is. The ancient sages understood this, across religions. It's being an observer, and the observed at the same time. The physicality of being changes, the emotions and the thoughts change, but the one within, who sees all this, the one who feels, and thinks - that is what one is.

On Nov 18, 2014 Kim wrote:

 This is so beautiful and such a lovely reminder.

On Nov 18, 2014 Sidney DeKoven wrote:

 About a week ago, I was just lying in bed with my eyes closed but I could not fall asleep, when what I would call  waves of awareness passed through my being. It only lasted a few seconds but I feel the experience has changed me forever. A shift from my identity as a personality and body to just awareness. I call it grace because I did nothing to deserve it.  My task as I see it is to lose the attachment to my name, Sidney, and all that is associated with it while still functioning in  my daily life with awareness.

On Nov 18, 2014 GURU wrote:


On Nov 18, 2014 david doane wrote:

 Sidney -- Deepak Chopra says awareness is simply awareness, with no story.  The thoughts and facts about us, even our name, has a story that we attach to.  I thought of that as I read your note which I appreciated.

On Nov 18, 2014 Mish wrote:

 This is brilliant. 

On Nov 18, 2014 Syd wrote:

 “The truth of who you are cannot be thought” is a high level of consciousness. This takes the ability to transcend my self-consciousness and create an opening.  It is a place of listening to my inner voice while remaining open to my impressions of the environment.  This place is a complete letting go and filters raw material through the unconscious.  It is touching these unconscious impulses.  The quality can be inspiration and something which comes spontaneously, even beyond conscious control. 
This light of awareness, a spontaneous response where I renew ad redeem the self by transcending the ego, is soul-making.  This also creates this hole in my soul, like a gap between the inner-observer and my ego personality.   When I can rest here there is real freedom, yet I constantly struggle with my reactive and automatic forces within me.  It creates hidden conflict and contradictions.  My human nature abhors this empty space.  It makes me experience this trap of being powerless and then I project my thoughts on life.
This being powerless is a belief and I am now learning to rest in realistic faith.  Also, to be honest, there are still my doubts and certainties here.  This faith comes and goes like a ghost and my faith cannot be summoned at will.  This space can be unsettling, difficult to identify or resolve.  It seems courage needs to be brought into consciousness so this endless stream of positive and negative thoughts/feelings can be accepted.  Courage draws on the Essential and is imbedded in the real, the vital and the solid.
Courage is no thoughts and is like acquiring a taste for nonidentification.  It is encounter with death, and is wake up call to something deeper.  It is where Essence is felt and experienced.  The moment becomes and doubts, beliefs and learn procedures go.  The moment becomes faith, the Essential, and gives this inner freedom to be spontaneous to whatever emerges in the moment.  My being spontaneous is a measure of my faith, no thoughts, and is an opening --- just a place to begin.                       

On Nov 18, 2014 Sidney DeKoven wrote:

 Thank you so much David for your reply. I will contemplate on the story(s). So nice to communicate with others on the spiritual path-----Sidney.

On Nov 18, 2014 Dave J wrote:

Though  truth of who I am is beyond thoughts and words, I use words to describe the realization of the truth which is beyond the thoughts and words.I am reminded of a story form the Buddhist literature. Buddha, the awakened one, held a flower in his hand and asked a simple question to his listeners, "What do you see in my hand?" All who were present were looking for a word to describe what they were seeing. Mahakashyapa, the one who was sitting quietly, smiled. Buddha said," Mahakasyapa. You got it." Realization of the truth about me is felt in the cave of the silent heart. The thinking mind is completely quiet, Awareness dawns on its own and I realize who I am. I have glimpses of such indescribable beyond the beyond, the beyond experiences in deep meditation, when I feel the presence of the air touching me, seeing the innocent and wondering eyes of a child, the sound of a bird coming from nowhere, watching a humming bird dancing on a flower and a smile flickering on my face effortlessly, words coming out of my mouth spontaneously. Rumi uses the word Presence to describe what is indescribable in words.

I bow to you silently, friends.

On Nov 18, 2014 Jagdish P dave wrote:

 Truth about me-who am I, my true self-is multidimensional.I am born in this world, some where, some time which can be described in words and needs to be described at times. I have grown and developed in my culture which can be described and is helpful to me and others related to me. I have had beliefs about what is right  and good and what is not right and good and I have spiritual core values by which I live my life. I have cultivated tastes for a variety of things. I am different from others and I am also alike others.

Is there something which is universal without out boundaries created by us as human beings? Is there something that bonds all life, which has no name but exists, which is beyond thoughts and words? Do we experience that without the intervention of our mind? Can we feel it, sense it, realize it? 

I am reminded of a story that I had heard in a discourse. It is the story of Buddha holding a flower in his hand and asking the listeners the following question: What do you see in my hand? Everybody started thinking about the flower, looking for words to describe it. Mahakashyapa saw the flower, smiled and said, " I see the flower." He saw the flower. He did not think about it, did not compare it with other flowers. He saw the flower as it was.To me,truth is being fully present as it is revealing, unfolding and emerging on its own, spontaneously and effortlessly. It is perceived as it is without coloring it by past experiences or future anticipations. It is realized in the here and now consciousness. To quote Krishnamurti, it is choiceless awarenes or as Rumi puts it, it is Presence.

When and how do I experience such awareness? When I am in deep meditation I am in the awareness  being zone. When I see a child with an innocent expression of wonderment. When I see a flower blooming, hear a bird chirping, birds flying in the sky in a V shaped design, looking at the twinkling stars and moms holding their babies in  loving hands. I feel it when words come out spontaneously connecting people I have known or have not known. It has has its freshness and fullness. These are precious moments. They are not repeatable as they are always in the here and now flow.

Bow to you  friends.

Jagdish P Dave

On Nov 18, 2014 Staying connected wrote:

 To David, I have had your words on the screen of this iPad mini for over 24 hours (in which time, I have read at least  ten times). I guess before I click the X, I need to say "amen" to your revelation!  

On Nov 18, 2014 John wrote:

Love this. Wonderful summary of some work that I've been working on. The audio was especially well done.

On Nov 18, 2014 david doane wrote:

 Srikantam -- We do have the ability to think and reason, and we have more and greater nonthinking and non reasoning abilities.  We can do much more than think and act rationally.  For example, we can be creative and wise and love. 

On Nov 18, 2014 chitarta wrote:

 GREETINGS from ARUNACHALA in the INDIA,where the saint RAMANA MAHARISHI lives (now in subtle form) WHO AM I ??? (check out RIBHU GITA) his teaching. we LOVE this text as it describes so well who we are NOT, because who WE ARE cant be put in words. but it can be EXPERIENCED  ALL the time....there is some entity in us call it AWARENESS who is ALWAYS present and notices ALL the changing thoughts, feelings of the mind/body....once you live as a CONVICTION in that truth.......mind is freed from its identifications of thoughts and can rest in AWARENESS as your REAL, we are HUMAN BEINGS.......ENJOY & DANCE.......

On Nov 19, 2014 Lfm wrote:

 who am I?  Very little.
it is Christ Who lives in me.  Thanks be to The God of all who/that is.

On Nov 19, 2014 Kristof Sibilla wrote:

Thank You ,great beings.This is such a long you are there this world won,t be destroyed by ignorance,immortality will rule.
When I am on 100% raw nonviolant diet I  have some taste of my real nature.My body feels very light.walking feels like flying ,no fear of death,without any extra intelectual effort i know that I am something more than this body.
Thank You again.

On Nov 19, 2014 Amit wrote:

 We live in this cause and effect world and we see us in relation to the worldly matters. All of us have names and we all have a way to introduce ourselves. We are all so much lost in our relative self that we hardly get the time know our absolute self! Saints like Ramana Maharishi or J. Krishnamurty or many other religious leaders jolt us from this relative reality and we get the glimpse of our absolute self. This glimpse and the moment joy remains in our memory and than we make the grave error of knowing more about it through other worldly sources. More we learn from others or from books written by others, more confused we become! Adding reflection here is confusing our own self. Let us be alive naturally and choicelessly and be aware of peace & happiness!

On Nov 20, 2014 Sleep tight! wrote:

 Thank you, Syd!  
Know that I read you.  People NEED people.  You, me . . . And me, you . . .standing in the gap.  (It is not good for man to be alone.) 

On Nov 21, 2014 Syd wrote:

Sleep tight, you express “standing in the gap.”  This is a very good understanding of what I was writing.  Much of the time this “gap” feels like an existential void, meaninglessness.  Then there are those moments the “gap” creates a deeper and more essential self.  When I can be this inner-observer it seems to be a higher state, and yet this dark force within does not want me to be aware of anything higher.  The best I can tell is learning to accept the conditions I am working with, relaxing, and allowing the energies of life to flow within this darkness.  This creates a serenity within the “gap” seems to allow me to not feel separate from others.
There seems to be no particular image or idea of myself here.  There is just this delightful contact with you and you with me, which you express.  What is true here cannot be separated, a creative flow and cannot be otherwise.  So maybe we are learning the “gap” is the source of everything, the core of our true identity, creating and sustaining us.  It is simply resting in this dynamic force that melts down our barriers and boundaries.  This sense of separateness is dissolving, a bright light, and if I may say is your love. 
I hope I am not reading too much in what you are saying and truly appreciate your love itself which dissolves the sense of separation.  I could write more, yet I do not want my feelings and impulses to be unseemly and unflattering.  I just believe we are communicating in a direct way, reflecting our inner essence, and allowing it to be.  And while this is all seriousness there is also this sense that none of it is serious at all   Just a spontaneous response, an opening, and a meaning beyond what I intended to create. 
May inner peace be with you!                

On Nov 21, 2014 Thankful wrote:

 Little time now (I'll get back to this!)
There use to be a huge gap between God and His people (us) until Jesus stepped in.  Jesus is the bridge to Life.  As Christians, Jesus calls us to be glue . . . To be the cream in an Oreo cookie . . . To be bridge builders (as opposed to bridge destroyers) . . . To be "gap fillers" of every kind . . . That we may bring (bind) two very GOOD things/people together as ONE.  (My initial thought)

On Nov 21, 2014 karen wrote:

 Self realization does not reflect in the mirror- it reflects in all of life experiences as a teaching tool.  Memories of even insignificant moments, along with profound moments come together and become what you are, what you understand, what you feel.  In the end, compassion is the most valuable quality to identify yourself..the rest really doesn't matter.

On Nov 23, 2014 Srikantam Saibaba wrote:

Very well said 

On Nov 23, 2014 david doane wrote:

 Thankful -- Actually, the gap between God and people is in peoples' thinking and lack of awareness.  Jesus pointed out that God and we are one, and it is for us to realize it.

On Nov 23, 2014 karen wrote:

 Thank you for understanding my thoughts.

On Nov 23, 2014 Syd wrote:

This an excellent spiritual thought David and I have had to much overheated mental associations.  My escaping this trap takes tremendous faith, yet when I am centered on what supports me and feel at ease it takes little faith.  There seems to be a point real faith is letting go and even letting go of life itself is faith.  Maybe this creates the union you are writing about.  This union would resolve the gap and it feels like faith is all there is to hold this together.  It seems this faith is not knowing and a quiet mind takes the lead.        

On Nov 23, 2014 Me wrote:

Without burning the bridge, you have chosen to walk away from it, Syd.  (Much courage in this!)  My experience with over heated people:  They really dislike peaceful approaches to problem solving.  Highly reactive people usually do not think before they "blow" . . . It seems to often be an emotional release (a necessary release for health but best done proactively).  I honor people's bridges but do not cross if I am not meant to.  Faith (having a tight relationship with God, thru Jesus and HS) comes in as He directs "my crossings".  If God says, "go" . . . I will go (because He is right beside me in battle)!  Thanks Be
Your words so true, Syd!

On Nov 23, 2014 Me wrote:

 Thank you for being YOU!  (I am a big fan!)

On Nov 23, 2014 Syd wrote:

Thanks Me and your enormous faith offers such a special hope.  In a direct way your confidence offers hope to those suffering deep hopelessness.  I also realize you can transcend your faith being affirmed, as your faith is not motivated for applause.  I just want you to know what your faith offers and the seeds you plant.  Hope, the starting point in life and your Hope makes everything else possible.        

On Nov 23, 2014 Me again! wrote:

 Christ (The King) says LOVE trumps hopelessness.  (Experience tells me this is so!)  When we love each other we are making each other's gray, bright.  It's working two ways here!  (Answered prayer!)  So grateful!  

On Nov 23, 2014 Mick O'Toole wrote:

 There is so much Truth here.  It's a bit hard to get my brain around it.  I only came to a glimpse of this Truth recently.  I spotted Ego, the storyteller in my head.  Ego spins nightmares and beautiful fantasies equally well.  I began to feel free when I told Ego to be quiet, and called it a liar.  My sacred self (connected with Source and with your sacred self) is where I go to find the Truth, now.  I still forget, but not as often.  This concept of attachment will take practice.  Thank you for this beautiful article.

You are already free and all that blocks your realization of that freedom is your own attachment to some thought of who you are. This thought doesn’t keep you from being the truth of who you are. You already are that. It separates you from the realization of who you are. - See more at:
You are already free and all that blocks your realization of that freedom is your own attachment to some thought of who you are. This thought doesn’t keep you from being the truth of who you are. You already are that. It separates you from the realization of who you are. - See more at:

On Nov 23, 2014 karen wrote:

Mick O'Toole- Yes!  Give yourself the Irish way of thinking.  It is mysterious, beautiful and enchanting.  We so need this.  Again- compassion is the answer to it all.  The love of one another cannot be dismissed.  It is crucial in identification of who we really are.

On Nov 24, 2014 guru wrote:

 Sweet truth said with clarity and precision. One should realise this statement. No use of trying to understand  !

On Nov 24, 2014 Mick wrote:
 Hi thank you so much! I am so sorry about the double posting.  I tried to copy and pasted the quote into my comment because it really spoke to my heart.  But I didn't see any text, so I didn't know it went through.  Again, apologies for any misunderstanding. This article is wonderful.  I hope I can do as well when my turn comes on Saturday.

On Nov 25, 2014 Sheel wrote:

 Thank you, Mick O'Toole. Thinking of the Ego as a storyteller in one's (my) head makes it so much easier to distance it and see the love and sacredness within!

On Jan 13, 2015 debbie wrote:

 i sense you dancing at the edge of on dear spirit!

On Aug 15, 2018 asdfasdfasdf wrote: