To awaken to the absolute view is profound and transformative, but to awaken from all fixed points of view is the birth of true nonduality.
Enlightenment means the end of all division. It is not simply having an occasional experience of unity beyond all division, it is actually being undivided. This is what nonduality truly means. It means there is just One Self, without a difference or gap between the profound revelation of Oneness and the way it is perceived and lived every moment of life. Nonduality means that the inner revelation and the outer expression of the personality are one and the same. So few seem to be interested in the greater implication contained within profound spiritual experiences, because it is the contemplation of these implications which quickly brings to awareness the inner divisions existing within most seekers.
When you go beyond awareness, there is a state of non-duality, in which there is no cognition, only pure being. In the state of non-duality, all separation ceases.
Nonduality is the living understanding of one’s true nature as that which is empty of itself and full of the unfolding of being. Nonduality is a wave as the living relationship of complementary extremes. Nonduality, like Emptiness or Silence, is not a thing yet no thing can be without it. Nonduality is the Numberless One. Nonduality is the living heart of being. Nonduality is its own knowing as “Form is Seeing and Seeing is Being” (Quote is from Atmananda Krishna Menon). Nonduality is the path that is formed by walking it.
“Nonduality” means, as the Upanishads put it, “to be freed of the pairs.” That is, the great liberation consists in being freed of the pairs of opposites, freed of duality-and finding instead the nondual One Taste that gives rise to both. This is liberation because we cease the impossible, painful dream of spending our entire lives trying to find an up without a down, an inside without an outside, a good without an evil, a pleasure without its inevitable pain.
Advaita means, “not-two” and reveals the truth that all objects are expressions of unqualified Consciousness and always point back to Awareness, our true nature, the unfathomable Vast-ness-that-we-are. Consciousness and its objects are One, not two. This can never be conceptualized, only intuitively realized. Yana is the pathless “path” we traverse as our misperceptions of separation are healed. This path is not developmental. Separateness is not a case of something that exists becoming non-existent. Our ‘self’ never exists in the first place except conceptually. The path reveals the non-existence of the ‘self’ that always was nonexistent. Yoga is the means we utilize in realizing our non-separateness. We investigate all that we take ourself to be (body, senses and mind), and understand That, which we always are Be-ing-unqualified Presence. The body/mind is an expression of Consciousness, and we are That unqualified Consciousness. There is only Consciousness. Our yearning to understand comes from Consciousness. The path we traverse unfolds in Consciousness. The means that we utilize are the tools provided by Consciousness. And That, which we realize is Consciousness. Therefore, the emphasis of Advaitayana Yoga from the beginning, in the middle, and at the end is not on transformation but upon seeing, listening, understanding and welcoming all that is. From the non-dual perspective nothing needs to be changed in order for freedom to be ex-perienced. It takes effort to live our separateness. It takes no effort to be free. This is the final understanding of Advaitayana Yoga.
There’s no way *not* to live non-duality — everyone is being lived this way all the time, even if we think we’re not. This is the teaching of non-duality. Non-duality is not something that we must make true. It can’t NOT be so.
Here are some slice-of-life descriptions of experience that you might call mine, say in the last week. And how the being lived has a certain sweet fragrance that isn’t an experience. Skye and I once had a few wonderful slice-of-life exchanges like this, and I still remember them clearly.
Working, commuting on a crowded, hot, muggy, humid subway. Teaching computers, having to talk 8 hours a day some weeks. Friends breaking up. Girlfriend with Chicken pox. Friends living with AIDS, some smiling, some not smiling. Married couple, husband cheating on wife, telling everyone about it, she in pain. My eating too much too late, waking up with a stomach ache. Riding my bike through the city, no breaks, no gears, fixed-gear track bike, Zen-like motion connected to everything going on around. Taking dance-skating lessons, loving it but not being very good or having much time to practice. Weekly meditation meeting/satsang. Helping a friend buy new wardrobe. Attending the Budha’s Birthday celebration at a local Chan temple. Talking and corresponding with many people on the phone, in e-mail, in person, about non-duality. Going to the gym. Burning special Japanese incense. Not getting enough sleep. Paying bills. Reading Western philosophers who are similar to Nagarjuna in some respects. ….
The basic fragrance is an unbroken totally sweet miraculousness. Totally unaffected by the details of what happens. Things that happen are not really things at all, and do not happen by magic, or through a mechanistic scientific causal process. But a present miraculousness. Nothing left out.
It is not all pleasant, but it is all fine, perfect is-ness, because there’s no other way for IS-ness to be. Good day, Fine! Bad day, Fine! No difference, no distance. The meditation and bike riding can be seen as metaphors for how everything is, smoothly connected and not separate from anything. Things that aren’t pleasant aren’t in any way more or less separate than things that are pleasant – the difference is the same as the color red versus green. None of it ever seems like an “I” or “you” is doing it, it’s all very direct, clear, very here and immediate, “things as it is.” There’s no thought that things should be this way, or that they should be some other way. No thought ever of a Greg or any other entity striving or grasping or letting go of anything. No thought that anything needs to be maintained or chased after or watched or kept. No thought that this is separate from what-is. No thought that a gap exists or must be bridged. Everything taking care of itself, in a smooth, uninterrupted flow. And the flow isn’t even a flow – it is just called a flow, the word arising in the context of this writing.
I really don’t know what nonduality is anymore. Years ago I could have told you a lot about nonduality. The word nonduality is just a pointer. It points to life as it’s happening and the possibility that we’re not separate from life. The moment you talk about nonduality you kind of missed the point. … The moment you talk about it you’ve made it into something separate from something else … which is completely dualistic. So what is nonduality. I guess the answer is there when the question isn’t, somehow