For more detailed explanations of the entire path to liberation see this link – I recommend you read and study the two texts found here and put them into practice: The Path of Sri Ramana
Suffering: our predicament
Ever-obsessed with the transient*, we suffer. Ever-involved with that which changes*, the Self remains (seemingly) covered** and unrealised, and so we, taking ourselves to be a separate body-mind entity, remain in bondage and illusion and continue to suffer and feel confused.
Our True Nature
What you truly are has never suffered, has never undergone change, has never been confused and never been subject to birth, death, illusion or delusion. It is beyond both happiness/peace and suffering/sorrow. It is that pure consciousness ‘within’, it is That which you truly are.
How to Attain Liberation (Moksha)
Release yourself from this suffering and destroy ignorance in its totality by turning away from transient things and attending to your Self, that Pure Consciousness which is You. Turn your attention to That Which You Are and in doing this Be What You Are. Know the Knower, attend to the Seer, that is, Be Your Self and abide as such, until illusion/suffering/ignorance/doubt is no more.
Why This Practice is Necessary
For most, without this sadhana (spiritual practice), ignorance will continue to rise up again and again due to the strength of the habitual tendencies (vasanas) to identify as a separate body-mind entity, and so confusion and suffering will continue as will the seeking and various doubts.
So Attend to what You Are, Be what You Are, Abide as the Self until ego/maya/ignorance/delusion is no more 🙏
Turn within? Really?
For objections that the mind throws our way, please see the following posts:
Q. Who or what does Self-Enquiry? Why still the mind? Isn’t this more mind?
*’the transient’ or ‘that which changes’ refers to the body, mind (thoughts, feelings, imaginings, experiences, conceptual knowledge) and the world, also known as Maya or illusion.
**for practice purposes of the teaching, in this context it is said that the Self is covered by Maya, as this is how it seems to the suffering seeker of truth and liberation. This aspect of the teaching has a practical orientation and places instruction on the path to liberation above mere conceptual/intellectual notions such as ‘the Self is never covered’, etc. These intellectual notions are are often used by the ego to avoid spiritual practice and liberation, which is the ending of egotism, and perpetuate ignorance-ego-suffering.
***the True Self is symbolised by the symbol ‘Om’, the Pure Consciousness within, that which is beyond name, form, description, conceptualisation, knowledge or experience. It is beyond both suffering and happiness/peace. It is also the meaning of the terms ‘true knowledge’ (Jnana) and ‘direct experience’ (Aparokshanubhuti), Bliss (Ananda) and Peace (Shanti), and Non-Duality (Advaita). It is what is signified in the Mandukya Upanishad as Turiya or AUM
This first link, The Path of Sri Ramana, contains detailed descriptions and explanations of the entire path in an easy to read way. I recommend you read, study and put into practice these two texts:
The entire path explained: the Path of Sri Ramana (Parts 1 and 2; PDF downloads)
How to know God. How to see God.
Ramana Maharshi: Know the Knower
Ramana’s own writing: Who Am I? (Nan Yar?) by Sri Ramana Maharshi
Q. What in brief is the means to know one’s own real nature? What is the effort that can bring about the sublime inner vision?
Sri Ramana Maharshi: Strenuously withdrawing all thoughts from sense objects, one should remain fixed in steady, non-objective [ie. subjective] enquiry. This, in brief, is the means of knowing one’s own real nature; this effort alone bring about the sublime inner vision.
Sri Ramana Gita, Chapter 3, verses 4-6
The Upanishads and Vedanta
The mind severed from all connection with sensual objects, and prevented from functioning out, awakes into the light of the heart, and finds the highest condition. The mind should be prevented from functioning, until it dissolves itself in the heart. This is Jnana, this is Dhyana, the rest is all mere concoction of untruth.
Advaita Vedanta: Gaudapada’s Method (Mandukya Upanishad Karika):
When the mind…remains unshakable and does not give rise to appearances, it verily becomes Brahman.
The controlled mind is verily the fearless Brahman.
When the mind, after realising the knowledge that Atman alone
is real, becomes free from imaginations and therefore does not
cognise anything, for want of objects to be cognised, it ceases
to be the mind.
Shankara: How to Meditate for Self-Realisation:
Dwelling on external objects will only increase evil propensities, so wisely recognising this fact, one should abandon external objects and and constantly attend to one’s true nature within, the Atman [the Self].
When the five organs of perception become still, together with the mind, and the intellect ceases to be active: that is called the Supreme State [Brahman]
Be absorbed, through samadhi, in the eternal Brahman.
The Self alone is to be meditated upon.