A writer and seeker - born Raphael Hurst - who travelled extensively throughout India and Egypt. Finally in 1931 he became a close disciple of Ramana Maharshi and perhaps achieved the most balanced expression of Ramana Maharshi's teachings. He lived, and taught a small group of students, in Switzerland near Vevey. My Sufi/Gnostic teacher, Abdullah Dougan, told me that when he was just beginning on the path, he saw Paul Brunton in the distance one day in a park in Auckland, NZ, and felt compelled to approach and talk to him. That moment sparked a lifelong inner friendship.
Your nature as a human being has different areas, each of which needs to be worked on. The body needs cleansing, the feelings need uplifting, the thoughts need calming. Especially in the contemporary individual the critical analytic intellect needs turning away from its destructive tendency and directing constructively, first, to discriminate truth from error, reality from appearance and, second, to discern the ego and its working, as well as its education by experience.
If a person has conscientiously followed this fourfold path, if they have practised mystical meditation and metaphysical reflection, purification of character and unselfish service, and yet seems to be remote from the goal, what are they to do? They have then to follow the admonition of Jesus: "Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you." They have literally to ask for Grace out of the deep anguish of their heart. We are all poor. They are indeed discerning who realize this and become beggars, imploring of God for Grace.
Pray first to be liberated from the heavy thraldom of the senses, the desires, and the thoughts. Pray next for the conscious presence of the Overself. Pray silently and deeply in the solitude of the heart. Pray with concentrated emotion and tight-held mind. The yearning for such liberation and such presence must be unquestionably sincere and unquestionably strong. Begin and close - and even fill - the hour of meditation with such noble prayers. Do this day after day, week after week. For the Overself is not merely a concept, but a living reality, the power behind all other and lesser powers.
Homage and devotion to a guru, study and practice of the teaching, each has its place. For from the first one gains inspiration and from the second, understanding and capability.