I have been doing Vichara - or asking myself the question “Who am I” - for some years now - sometimes more intensely, over a period of time, and in a focused way, at other times I experience periods of forgetfulness and do not do it for a while. I have been to Satsang a lot for some years and then I have been away but never lost an inner thread connecting me to either Vichara or the Satsang or the inner Truth shining through all this. I am aware of who I am - on some level - and have experienced flashes of the deeper Truth of being - not sure how to put this in words I suppose… But I am not free nor enlightened nor at peace… Or rather should I say - I have not on a deeper, more authentic level reached the state where knowing the real self would become freeing, pervasive, stronger, and overpower/overshadow/enlighten/reveal/move me beyond the cycle I keep repeating - that of suffering on many levels of my earthly existence. I realize that pushing and striving is not necessarily the answer. I realize that Guru’s presence is not necessarily going to push me through to the “other” side… (I guess I always hope it is, and I have met many beautiful Beings) I realize there is no other side to be pushed to… So the question for me is: how do I realize the Truth on a deeper level? so it sinks in? So the awareness is full and never leaves me? so the cycle of suffering although still here but loses its grip enough not to overshadow the Truth of being?
What you seem to be telling me is: in my case, self-inquiry doesn’t work, listening to the Truth in satsang doesn’t work, surrendering to the Presence of the guru doesn’t work. How do I get established in peace and happiness?
What I am telling you is: Self inquiry seems not to work because you are not really interested enough in discovering what you are, at whatever cost, listening to the Truth seems not to work because you don’t trust your understanding enough yet to apply it to daily life situations, and surrendering to the Presence of the guru doesn’t work because your surrender is not total. Any of these paths could get the job done.
My advice to you: investigate deeply whether or not consciousness is limited, based on your own experience, and do this when and only when you feel naturally inclined to; listen to the truth only from the purest sources (your own heart will tell you which ones, there are not too many these days -too many half truths from half teachers not having integrated the Truth), reflect upon the teachings and try to live your daily life in accordance with your understanding; surrender to the Presence of the guru at every moment.
This could get the job done faster. You are a real truth seeker. Don’t quit.