“...the Long Path leads to the Short Path, and the Short Path leads to the Grace of an unbroken egoless consciousness.” – Paul Brunton (1)
Unlike many of us who appreciate the teachings of Ramana Maharshi but were born too late to travel to see him, Paul Brunton (“PB”) had the good fortune to meet the Maharshi in the 1930s. The reverence that PB felt for the Maharshi is evident in what he wrote after Maharshi left his body: “One night in the spring of 1950, at the very moment that a flaring starry body flashed across the sky and hovered over the Hill of the Holy Beacon, there passed out of his aged body the spirit of the dying Maharshi. He was the one Indian mystic who inspired me most, the one Indian sage whom I revered most, and his power was such that both Governor-General and ragged coolie sat together at his feet with the feeling that they were in a divine presence. Certain factors combined to keep us apart during the last ten years of his life, but the inner telepathic contact and close spiritual affinity between us remained--and remains--vivid and unbroken. Last year he sent me this final message through a visiting friend: "When heart speaks to heart, what is there to say?"” (paulbrunton.org/notebooks/15/2#453)
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Tyrolean Talk by P.B., June 1965: Short Path and Long Path:
All ways of spiritual seeking divide into two classes. The first is basic, elementary, the second for more advanced people. The first for beginners is the Long Path. It takes a long time to get results, and a lot of work has to be done on it; much effort is necessary for it. The second is the Short Path. The results are more quickly got; it is an easier path, and requires less work. To the Long Path belongs the methodical yoga. It takes a lot of work to practise daily: building of character and removing of weaknesses and overcoming of faults, developing concentration of attention to stop the distraction of mind and to get control over thoughts, strengthening of willpower, and all the activities for the beginners. These are the earlier stages of meditation.