Nonduality Explained Spirituality by James Traverse
What is Non Duality?
Non duality is the English rendering of the Sanskrit term Advaita of Advaita Vedanta. Advaita means without duality; Dvaita means duality and the prefix 'A' at the beginning of Advaita means without. Vedanta literally means end of the vedas; veda means knowledge and anta means end. The vedas are a huge body of Sanskrit knowledge texts from ancient India. Advaita Vedanta is the oldest extant sub-school of Vedanta, which is one of six classic Indian philosophies regarding the true nature of being.
Non-duality also refers to the approach of other eastern wisdom traditions such as Yoga, which means union, and Buddhism where the term Advaya signifies the non duality of conventional and ultimate truth. In modern western terms nonduality, non-duality, is also known as nondualism, and the most common definition is that it means not-two or non-separation.
Non Duality | Nondualism | Not-Two | 1 without a 2nd
Can you give an example of Nonduality?
Nonduality, like spirituality, is experiential in nature. A good example of Nonduality is Awareness and Consciousness. Many people use these terms interchangeably, yet a distinction can be made that is both helpful for their use and the understanding on Nonduality.
Nondual Awareness is the homeground of Consciousness. Consciousness is the expression of Awareness.
Some other examples of Whirlpool-Spirals
The primal experience of being is the experience of being aware. This is what sages like Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj spoke of as 'I am' and it is also what the Biblical expression 'I am that I am' means. In Kashmir Shaivism Nondual Awareness is spoken of as having the quality of spanda, which means vibration.This is illustrated in the image on the top left above - note that it is not moving and yet it appears to shimmer. This represents the potential motion of awareness.
You can test that this is true by asking the question, "Am I aware?" and then taking note of how you answer it. Notice that you do not have to go anywhere to answer this question as it is self-evident that you are aware [note that this is not the same as being aware of being aware described below]. This is what the Biblical direction 'be still and know' means.
Consciousness is the motion of Awareness. Motion is energy, it is called prana in yoga and chi or ki in other wisdom traditions. The whirlpool image on the top right above depicts motion in an ordered form.
You can test whether Consciousness is the motion of Awareness by asking a question like, "What was your paternal grandmother's maiden name?" and then taking note of how you answer it. Notice that in order to answer this question that there is motion as you search memory for the answer. This experience illustrates that Consciousness as the motion of Awareness means being aware of something [this includes being aware of being aware, because in this case it is necessary to objectify the experience of being aware and that objectification is motion]. Sages like Sri Ramana Maharshi and Jean Klein used this approach by directing you to ask the question, "Who am I?" and not accepting a mentally generated answer, which exhausts the motion generated by the question and thereby you rest and take your stand as Primal Awareness [Primal Awareness is the experiential, non-verbal answer to the question "Who Am I?"].
In this light Awareness and Consciousness are not-two.
The true nature of being is prior to, includes, and transcends duality.
Ultimately it is not possible to speak about the true nature of being, yet we objectify it to be able to point to it. In general this means stating what the true nature of being is not and then attempting to directly point to it with names like Nondual Awareness, while understanding that this naming is for functional purposes [for example to say that Awareness is prior to Consciousness is ultimately a mis-statement, because temporal and spatial term do not apply to the true nature of being, by whatever name it is called].
It is the nature of a mistake to end once it is clearly seen. In the case of Non Duality the mistake is deriving identity via the content and activity of the mind, which causes the duality of 'me' and 'not-me' [separation as subject and object] that veils the true nature of being. Clearly seeing this is insight that unveils the true nature of being and there is mental functioning without duality.
In the image above the background space represents Nondual Awareness. The whirling waves represent appearances [like whirlpools in a river], which is Consciousness as the expression-motion, of the true nature of being. The mistake is to identify with appearances. The solution is to see the mistake such that it ends, which unveils the true nature of being.
You refer to wisdom traditions like Advaita Vedanta, Yoga, Buddhism and Kashmir Shaivism are there other pointers to what Nonduality, Nondualism or Spirituality is in these traditions?
You mean is Nonduality explained in these traditions. Yes. In fact there are too many pointers to list here, yet I will share a couple.
The invocation of the Isha Upanishad is one pointer [the Upanishads are spoken of as a summary of the vedas; the knowledge of the vedas is said to be so vast that it would take lifetimes to properly study them].
Here is the invocation of the Isha Upanishad followed by my translation and commentary.
Om Purnamadah Purnamidam
Om shanti, shanti, shanti
Om, That is the whole, This is the whole;
from That whole, This whole comes;
yet That whole is not diminished in any way,
the whole remains whole.
Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!
Om, Awareness is the whole, Consciousness is the whole;
from Awareness, Consciousness comes;
yet Awareness is not diminished in any way,
Awareness remains whole.
Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!
What is being described here is what scientists call a hologram, which they describe by saying, "all of it is in every bit of it". It is clear from the text that the wholes named 'That' and 'This' are not-two. [note that although all of the image is represented is smaller and smaller pieces of a hologram that some resolution is lost, yet in this invocation it is clear that the 'whole remains whole'][it is also helpful to note that when one candle lights another the first candle is not diminished in any way].
Another example is the Om symbol.
Omkara believed to be the first Om Mother
The Omkara that is believed to be the most ancient depiction of Om clearly illustrates motion. The dot, called a bindu, and sem-circle at the top of the image represents apparent separation [actual separation would be represented by the dot being completely enclosed in a circle]. The wavy lines at the bottom, which look like a flowing river, and the three levels of waves above them represent degrees of motion. The background space represents the stillness out of which motion arises. This ancient image is said by many to represent mother nature, the divine feminine energy [the womb of creation], which is seen as a pregnant woman giving birth.
The Sanskrit word for sound is Nada, which has the root Nad and that means to flow. The Sanskrit Nada Brahma is rendered in English as the world is sound. This corresponds to the Biblical creation story that begins with the words "In the beginning was the word..."
These images illustrate that just as Consciousness arises out of Primal Awareness as its expression, the universe arises out of the silent space of Primal Being as its expression [in this case Primal Being is a verb not a noun]. In this way Silence and Sound are not-two. This is pointed to in the statement of Avalokitesvara in the Heart Sutra that says "Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is Form" and all of the Buddhists teachings on Sunyata [the closest English rendering of Sunyata is Full Solid Emptiness].
Om as it is depicted today
Today Om is represented as the image above. It is said to be the primal sound and its wave nature is more clearly emphasized in this version. The dot and semi-circle continue to represent apparent separation and the three waves represent the Great Triad, which can be interpreted as Waking Consciousness, Dream Consciousness, Dreamless Consciousness or Deep Sleep, and other trinities.
The more ancient Om symbol has wavy lines at the bottom that look like a flowing river and when you consider the nature of waves it is evident that there is no such thing as half of a wave. In other words it is the nature of a wave to wave, which means that it consists of opposites as ebb and flow, rise and fall, etc. A flowing wave folding back and harmoniously interfering with itself is called a standing or stationary wave by scientists. Although the wave appears to be standing still its substance is motion, like the whirlpool shown above that is sustained by flow, which is also its substance.
"Curving back on my own nature I create, again and again, all this multitude of beings under the regime of Nature." ~ Bhagavad Gita Chapter 9 verse 8
In this light waves are motion, which is energy, that is functioning in a pattern, and, energy functioning in a pattern is what modern science calls matter. Modern scientists also say, "everything vibrates" and "at the core of all matter is energy", and, Albert Einstein not only stated that matter and energy are not-two, he quantified the relationship with his famous equation E = mc2
I understand that your background is in yoga, how is Non Duality and spirituality approached in yoga practice?
Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means union. There are many forms of yoga and they all involve an understanding of nonduality in one way or another. One pointer is the definition of Yoga given in the first four sutras of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.
Here are the first four yoga sutras followed by my translation and commentary.
Sutra 1.1 atha yoga nuasanam
Sutra 1.2 yogas citta vrtti nirodhah
Yoga is the cessation of deriving identity via the whirl of the thinking mind
Sutra 1.3 tada drastuh svarupe vasthanam
then true being abides in its own nature
Sutra 1.4 vrtti sarupyam itaratra
at other times being assumes the waveforms of the mental fluctuations
In paragraph form this reads:
Now Yoga. Yoga is the cessation of deriving identity via the whirling of the thinking mind, then true being abides in its own nature. At other times being assumes the waveforms of the mental fluctuations.
A way to understand the nondual nature of Yoga is to explore these sutras in reverse order such that you begin with being that has assumed the waveforms of mental fluctuations. Sutra 1.4 points to the global cultural conditioning of deriving one's identity via the content and activity of the mind. This mental activity is a way of seeing as an understanding that is like a veil or cloud that obscures the true nature of being. Like all so called things the substance of this understanding is Consciousness as the motion of the thinking mind and the form that appears is what is called the ego.
The practice of yoga is a means to clearly see this situation whereby the very seeing of the situation is the ending of it. Then true being is unveiled. The cessation of deriving identity via the content and activity of the mind is spoken of in other sutras as the distinction of seeing with the mind and seeing through the mind. Seeing with the mind means seeing that is filtered by memory and knowledge; seeing through the mind is clarity or insight that flowers when there is the right turning of the mind.
There is a parallel here to the Buddha's teaching of the Four Noble Truths: 1) there is suffering [the Buddha's term for suffering is dukkha]; 2) suffering has a cause; 3) the cause of suffering is the wrong turning of the mind; 4) there is a solution to suffering and that is the Noble Eightfold path [the first step of the Noble Eightfold path is Right Understanding, which can be described as the right turning of the mind, the other seven are derivatives of this].
The Buddha gave an analogy to help folks understand suffering, dukkha, its cause, and the means to end it as follows: You are riding in a vehicle that has an axle that does not fit properly into the centre hub of a wheel [at the time of the Buddha the vehicle would have been a cart or a chariot]. In this case you will suffer a bumpy ride as compared to the experience of a smooth ride in a vehicle that has an axle that fits properly in the wheel's hub.
The suffering of the bumpy ride is what the Buddha called the wrong turning of the mind and what the Yoga Sutras speak of as seeing with the mind. The right turning of the mind means that there can be mental activity, a smooth ride, as Sound that does not break Silence, which is insight that is experienced with the cessation of deriving identity via the content and activity of the mind. Then Yoga is Now.
Another nondual pointer is the Bhagavad Gita's definition of Yoga as skill in action.
"One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is a yogi; she/he is in the transcendental position [perspective], although engaged in all sorts of activities" ~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 4 Verse 18.
Singing and music are examples of sound that doesn't break silence; dance and play are movements that don't disturb stillness; art and architecture are examples of objects that do not displace space. Action in these examples is yoga as skill in action, which is the action of the right turning of the mind. In other words, these are examples of non-separation of seeing and doing as seeing is doing; there is doing yet no doer.
I can relate some personal experience that helps show that Nonduality and Yoga are the same as the experience of non-separation.
I studied Iyengar Yoga for some 15 years and was one of just 40 people worldwide to qualify for the last 3 week intensive study that B K S Iyengar himself would lead in his home studio in Pune, India, before stepping back somewhat and letting his daughter, Geeta, do more of the teaching. I am not sharing this to brag, rather it is point out that all the participants of this intensive were advanced practitioners of the Iyengar Method of Yoga and therefore aware of his teaching style.
On the second day of the intensive I was doing the pose pictured above, Utthita Trikonasana, and Mr Iyengar was observing me. He didn't say anything to me about my alignment or technical detail as they were correct, yet he was not impressed with how I performed the asana, because he could see that I was in my head. He promptly hit me on the top of my head, just above my forehead [it was not a forceful blow, yet it was more than a mere tap], and said "Drop your brain!"
This kind of thing happen a couple of more times during the first week until I got it and understood the yoga of this approach. Once I understood Mr Iyengar never did anything like that to me again [note some folks are uncomfortable with the fact that Mr Iyengar hit folks as I just described; my experience is that the rap on the head he gave me was very precise, like a surgeon's scalpel that removed something that was strugglesome and hindering my understanding - this experience happened more that 30 years ago; I moved on to study other yoga approaches, Mr Iyengar's teaching has stayed with me throughout and I am grateful].
Still another pointer that is tremendously helpful, because of its experiential nature, is the practice of Yoga Nidra. Below there is much more information on Yoga Nidra.
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According to Sri Ram Sharma Acharya (1998), Yoga Nidra can be understood as scientific sleep.
It is a total practice of yoga itself [Nidra Yoga]. The practices of Sithilasana, Savasana, Sunyavastha and Samadhi
are of great importance in conditioning the body and mind for Yoga Nidra.
In usual sleep one does not have any control over his dreams.
Autosuggestion is impossible in this case.
The practice [Nidra Yoga] of Yoga Nidra on the contrary allows one to attain a state of ‘awakened’ sleep.
In this state, the body and the external mind (and hence the thought process) are made to sleep as per the order of the inner will.
The determination, the willpower of the individual self, remains active in this state and endeavor
auto-suggestive experience of the power of the unconscious mind and its linkage with the soul.
Yoga Nidra is actually an altered state of consciousness. It is neither sleep nor dream nor is it the state of Samadhi.
The aim of practicing Yoga Nidra Yoga for the saints and rishi’s in India was to develop the witness attitude,
i.e. being aware of the subconscious and unconscious states and ultimately to enter the state of super consciousness.
The author of Hatha Yoga Pradipika, great yogi Swatmarama, classifies Yoga Nidra as the state of turiya;
means the all expansive and encompassing ‘fourth dimension’ in which Shakti neither contracts nor expands,
but is in union with Shiva or supreme consciousness.
Abhyaset Khecharim Tavadyavat Syadyoganidritah, Sampraptyoganidrasya Kalo Nasti Kadachana.
Which means, Khechari should be practiced until yogic sleep occurs.
For one who has attained yogic sleep, time becomes non-existent.
Here, the term yoga nidra has been used as the state of Samadhi.
Yogic sleep or yoga nidra is the state in which the conscious mind subsides but awareness remains.
Yoga nidra according to Swami Rama (1925) is a state between sleep and Samadhi.
It is a state of conscious sleep in which one can record what is going on.
There is a fine demarcation between Yoga nidra and Samadhi.
In yoga nidra one can record those things which he cannot receive in the conscious state.
When one cannot register something properly in the waking state, they can go into yoga nidra to register it.
Yoga nidra is used to develop that wisdom that cannot be developed otherwise.
He has divided the practice of yoga nidra in three phases
– in the first phase, one lies down in shavasana and does sixty-one point exercise.
In the second phase, there is shithilikaran and in the last phase, breathe awareness with the visualization of different chakras
(the different psychic centers of subtle body).
Swami Satyananda Saraswati (1975) explains Yoga Nidra as a state of mind between wakefulness and dream.
When someone practices yoga nidra he opens the deeper phases of the mind.
During the practice of yoga nidra the consciousness is at different levels.
Sometimes it is very close to the senses and at other times it is at a very remote distance.
When the consciousness is at a remote distance, it is possible to understand only through the auditory channels.
During yoga nidra, the consciousness is suspended for a few moments periodically,
which means that it alternates between the subconscious and unconscious states.
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Non Duality Quotes
"Nonduality is prior to duality. It is a return to pure being awareness, as in infancy, without losing the functional knowledge of the adult." ~ James Traverse
"Spirituality is another name for Awareness that is prior to its expressions, which is Consciousness. Consciousness is the material realm of appearances that is governed by the laws of space and time. Since the appearances that make up the material realm are the expression of Awareness, they point to their homeground, Awareness, which is beyond space and time." ~ James Traverse
“It is always the false that makes you suffer, the false desires and fears, the false values and ideas, the false relationships between people.
Abandon the false and you are free of pain; truth makes happy, truth liberates.” ~ Nisargadatta
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ~ Nisargadatta
“Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom,
life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet.
As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind.
In the light of calm and steady self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without any effort on your part”
‘Enlightenment does not happen in time. It happens when time stops.' ~Poonjaji
It is the non-conceptual Wisdom Mind, non-arising, non-abiding, and non-perishing.
It is primordially existent and endowed with qualities.
It is empty in the sense that it is free from all the obscurations created by the conceptual mind.
Therefore when the conceptual mind tries to grasp it, it finds nothing and so it experiences it as emptiness.
Thus, it is empty to the conceptual mind, but from its own
point of view it is the Clear Light Nature of Mind together with
all its qualities.”
“You are never alone. You are eternally connected with everyone.”
“Om is not just a sound or vibration. It is the entire cosmos, whatever we can see, touch, hear and feel. Moreover, it is all that is within our perception and all that is beyond our perception. If you think of Om only as a sound, a technique or a symbol of the Divine, you will miss it altogether. Om is the mysterious cosmic energy that is the substratum of all the things and all the beings of the entire universe. It is continuously resounding in silence on the background of everything that exists.”
“Your greatest awakening comes, when you are aware about your infinite nature.”
“We all are so deeply interconnected; we have no option but to love all. Be kind and do good for any one and that will be reflected. The ripples of the kind heart are the highest blessings of the Universe.”
“Feel nothing, know nothing, do nothing, have nothing, give up all to God, and say utterly, 'Thy will be done.' We only dream this bondage. Wake up and let it go.”
“Never say, "O Lord, I am a miserable sinner."
Who will help you? You are the God of the universe; where can you seek for help?
In your ignorance, every prayer that you made and that was answered, you thought was answered by some Being, but you answered the prayer yourself unknowingly. The help came from yourself, and you fondly imagined that someone was sending help to you. There is no help for you outside of yourself; you are the creator of the universe. Like the silkworm, you have built a cocoon around yourself. Burst your own cocoon and come out as a beautiful butterfly, as the free soul. Then alone you will see Truth.”
“The Taoists realized that no single concept or value could be considered absolute or superior. If being useful is beneficial, the being useless is also beneficial.
The ease with which such opposites may change places is depicted in a Taoist story about a farmer whose horse ran away. His neighbor commiserated only to be told, "Who knows what's good or bad?" It was true. The next day the horse returned, bringing with it a drove of wild horses it had befriended in its wanderings. The neighbor came over again, this time to congratulate the farmer on his windfall. He was met with the same observation: "Who knows what is good or bad?" True this time too; the next day the farmer's son tried to mount one of the wild horses and fell off, breaking his leg.
Back came the neighbor, this time with more commiserations, only to encounter for the third time the same response, "Who knows what is good or bad?" And once again the farmer's point was well taken, for the following day soldiers came by commandeering for the army and because of his injury, the son was not drafted. According to the Taoists, yang and yin, light and shadow, useful and useless are all different aspects of the whole, and the minute we choose one side and block out the other, we upset nature's balance. If we are to be whole and follow the way of nature, we must pursue the difficult process of embracing the opposites.”
"God is peace, bliss, beauty and truth. Focus your energy on that, life will be like that.”
“Spirituality is not adopting more beliefs and assumptions but uncovering the best in you.”
“Brahman is the ultimate reality; it is simultaneously Saguna and Nirguna; divisions are due to ignorance. Mind and intellect can never catch hold of it; they have only one option and that is to merge with it.”
“Spirituality is not creating boundaries but creating space for others to come into your life.”
“In our life there is one side which is finite and another side which is infinite. I want you to think about both the sides and design the best life and stand in their true values.”
“Beyond the corridor of our space-time there are infinite numbers of universes, each of them is governed by its own set of laws and physics.” ? , Like “ Refutation of the Assertion That the (Phenomenal) Appearances Are Mind Although forms appear to the mind, the (objective) appearances are not mind....
When the reflection of your face appears in a mirror, it appears as the face looks, because the clear surface of the mirror is capable of making the reflection appear and the face has the potential of appearing or of projecting the reflection. At that time, the reflection of the face is not the face, nor is there any other face than the face which imprinted it. Likewise, various kinds (of phenomena) are appearing in the deluded mind because of the interdependent origination of the causes and conditions of delusion. The various objective appearances, such as mountains, are not mind. Also there is nothing in the mind which truly exists, but (merely) appearances (created by the) delusory habituation of the mind.
They are wrong appearances, just as the person who has "hairy vision" will see hair before his eyes....”
“Although other (y?nas) assert that liberation will be achieved by renouncing the objects, one will not be bound by the mere appearances or the mind and the objects (Yul Dang Ch'os-Su sNang-Ba), but will be bound if one attaches (Zhen-Pa) to them. So it is taught (in scriptures) that one should renounce apprehension and attachment. Tilop? said: 'Appearances do not bind, but attachments do. So, N?ropa, cut off the attachments....”
“Have you ever had a dream that you were certain was real, only to wake up and realize that everyone and everything in the dream was really you? Well this is how many mystics describe the nature of our reality, as a dream in which we think we are individual personalities existing in the physical universe. But eventually, like in all dreams, we will wake up. Except in this dream we do not wake up to realize we are still in the world, we awake from the world to realize that we are God.”
"The foundational Vajrakilaya is the sun shining in the sky behind the clouds. The path Vajrakilaya is the removal of the clouds from the sky through the force of wind and rain, or whatever; it is the path of method and wisdom, combined. And the resultant Vajrakilaya is the nature of your mind, the nature of your rigpa, which is the same mind as the mind of the primordial buddha, Kuntuzangpo. The path Vajrakilaya is the removal of the adventitious veil of obscuration that covers rigpa. Applying the method by practicing generation stage (kyerim) and completion stage (dzogrim), accumulating merit and purifying negative karma, removing that veil, is the path. The result is realizing that ones own self nature is buddha. In the beginning you are buddha, and in the end you are buddha.”
“All of Nature follows perfectly geometric laws. The Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Peruvian, Mayan, and Chinese cultures were well aware of this, as Phi—known as the Golden Ratio or Golden Mean—was used in the constructions of their sculptures and architecture.”
“In Advaita Vedanta, and in many other ancient wisdom traditions, the world is said to be an illusion. This illusion is commonly referred to as maya, a Sanskrit name which refers to the apparent, or objective reality which is superimposed on the ultimate reality in order to generate the phenomena of what we call the material world. Maya is the magic by which we create duality—by which we create two worlds from one. This creation is an illusory creation—it is not real—it is an imaginary manifestation of the one Universal Consciousness, appearing as all of the various phenomena in objective reality. Maya is God’s, or Consciousness’s, creative power of emptying or reflecting itself into all things and thus creating all things—the power of subjectivity to take on objective appearance.”
“I once renounced my home in Calcutta, and roamed around the villages of Bengal as a monk. But after I attained the Absolute Divine state of Unification with the Universe, I realized that the purpose of life is not renunciation of anything, but the realization of the purpose itself.”
“So what is transgressive in the practice of this secret Tantra is the gesture not to elide the difference that women present. That women represent not merely objects, property, or the possibility of sexual gratification, but an opening point to the possibility of difference as the subjectivity of the other. Rather, a recognition of the difference women present offers the possibility of a choice not to objectify women. This recognition recodes gendered relations inscribing woman discursively in the place of the subject.”
“God is the ultimate ground of Being, and this ultimate ground of Being is YOU. For one who realizes their true nature as God, as Consciousness, life becomes a joy without end.”
“The world exists because your mind exists. If your mind didn’t exist, there would be no world. As you look at these words, you see them in what appears to be a reality outside of you. What you are really seeing is the image that your mind is creating from the electrical signals being sent to your brain.
While they may appear to be outside of you, this is an illusion, they exist within your own mind, and are being projected to appear as if they are outside of you. This apparent reality that is projected by our minds, is maya, and to believe that maya is the ultimate reality is a result of ignorance, or avidya in Sanskrit.”
“The true essence of vedanta focuses upon subject rather than object.” ? Like “Isn't Existence is the only thing that make us feel as ONE.” ? Like “Love is the weapon of mass illumination.”
“What we do is dictated by what we are doing.”
“Can we feel the freedom of a bird? When we feel it outside, we’re already feeling it inside. A healing process begins.”
“One could not become two without the one that feeds, sustains and outlives the dance of two. Two are always formed of the one, which means that all duality is formed of Nonduality.”
“It is only through silent awareness that our physical and mental nature can change. If we make an effort to change we do no more than shift our attention from one level, from one thing, to another. This only transfers energy from one point to another. It still leaves us oscillating between suffering and pleasure, each leading inevitably back to the other. Only living stillness, stillness without someone trying to be still, is capable of undoing the conditioning our biologoical, emotional and psychological nature has undergone. There is no controller, no selector, no personality making choices. In choiceless living the situation is given the freedom to unfold. You do not grasp one aspect over another for there is nobody to grasp.
When you understand something and live it without being stuck to the formulation, what you have understood dissolves in your openness. In this silence change takes place of its own accord, the problem is resolved and duality ends. You are left in your glory where no one has understood and nothing has been understood.”
“Brahman is the ultimate reality; it is simultaneously Saguna and Nirguna; divisions are due to ignorance. Mind and intellect can never catch hold of it; they have only one option and that is to merge with it.”
“Om is the things, Om is the ingredient, Om is the container and the content of this universe.” ? , Like “You do not need to go to any temple or church to worship God. You do not need to subscribe to any religion to experience God. The only religion you need to experience God is love, kindness and respect to all beings.”
“If I want to understand an individual human being, I must lay aside all scientific knowledge of the average man and discard all theories in order to adopt a completely new and unprejudiced attitude. I can only approach the task of understanding with a free and open mind, whereas knowledge of man, or insight into human character, presupposes all sorts of knowledge about mankind in general.”
“Life is a series of events and sensations. Much is lost in translation and added in assumption / projection”
“Om is that God of love. Like a loving mother Om cleans us of our clutters collected through many incarnations.”
“You do not need any preacher or prophet to learn about God. The teaching is spread on the trees and the mountains, on the stars and the river, on the Sun and the moon. You just need to wake up and see.”
"We are one at the root - we just part at the branch”
“Om was there in the existence, when no religion was formed or founded. It will be there in the existence, if all the religions are demolished.”
“The right method of philosophy would be this. To say nothing except what can be said, i.e. the propositions of natural science, i.e. something that has nothing to do with philosophy: and then always, when someone else wished to say something metaphysical, to demonstrate to him that he had given no meaning to certain signs in his propositions. This method would be unsatisfying to the other - he would not have the feeling that we were teaching him philosophy - but it would be the only strictly correct method. My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.) He must surmount these propositions; then he sees the world rightly. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”
“Mind makes a man of God.”
“Relationships only work in a spiritual sense when you and I really see that we are one.”
“I am a lonely figure when I run the roads. People wonder how far I have come, how far I have to go. They see me alone and friendless on a journey that has no visible beginning or end. I appear isolated and vulnerable, a homeless creature. It is all they can do to keep from stopping the car and asking if they can take me wherever I'm going. When I see the runner I have much the same thoughts. No matter how often I run the roads myself, I am struck by how solitary my fellow runner appears. The sight of a runner at dusk or in inclement weather makes me glad to be safe and warm in my car and headed for home. And at those times, I wonder how I can go out there myself, how I can leave the comfort and warmth and that feeling of intimacy and belonging, to do this distracted thing. But when finally I am there, I realise it is not comfort and warmth I am leaving, not intimacy and belonging I am giving up, but the loneliness that pursues me this day and every day. I know that the real loneliness, the real isolation, the real vulnerability, begins long before I put on my running shoes.”
“Om is the signature sound of this Universe. It is the soundless sound of existence.”
“Wisdom tells me I am nothing, love tells me I am everything. Between the two, my life flows.”
“Om is the presence which steals away. It steals away the ordinary mundane existence of strife, struggle and duality; it steals away anxiety, aggression, fear, grief and sorrow; it steals away the debris of anger, hatred, confusion and ignorance, to fill us with the nectar of joy, immortality and life eternal.” ? , Like “The philosophic outlook rises above all sectarian controversy. It finds its own position not only by appreciating and synthesizing what is solidly based in the rival sects but also by capping them all with the keystone of nonduality.”
“If we are nothing, there is nothing at all to serve as a barrier to our boundless expression of love. Being nothing in this way, we are also, inevitably, everything. 'Everything' does not mean self-aggrandizement, but a decisive recognition of interconnection; we are not separate.
Both the clear, open space of 'nothing' and the interconnected mess of 'everything' awakens us to our true nature.”
“No Soul is identical – yet all Souls are unified.”
“...all that we do is governed by the law of opposites in which every so-called positive act is exactly and equally balanced by its opposite.;”
“Maybe that is the purest and most radical kind of religion – simple attention. Instead of a belief system, awareness sees through all beliefs.”
“Some of the verses in "AshthavakraGIta" are so powerful that will take you to the far beyond cosmos and you will feel oneness with everything in the universe and all cosmos will be projected inside you. The day you know that all the things are the object is perceivable by the subject (knower) that is you, and you are not the body not the mind but the pure consciousness that illuminates the entire world.”
“Meditation brings Nirvana, and Nirvana brings Buddhahood.”
“If you can remain aware of your awareness, that is the present state of mind.”
“A free spirit is not bound by this, that, matter, materialism or opinion. They sing, dance and flow on the wind - for they are at one with it.
They are nothing and everything - void and expanse. Even space and time does not confine or define them. For they are pure energy itself.”
"The runner is coming to know, or will know if he runs enough...that the universe is the smallest divisible unit.”
“Om is the creative vibration, the seed vibration. The whole existence is hidden within it, just as a giant tree is hidden within a seed.”
“The Self, when finite, is Human and when infinite, is God.
"A nondual operating system perceives from oneness."
Common terms associated with Nonduality, Nondualism and Non Duality.
In Sanskrit Nonduality is known as Advaita Vedanta where Advaita means 'without duality' and 'vedanta' means 'veda' knowledge + 'anta' beyond
- when these are put together Advaita Vedanta means the nondual understanding that is beyond knowledge.
Turiya is a Sanskrit word that means the 'fourth' - it refers to Pure Consciousness as the fourth state [some sages speak of Turiyatita as Pure Consciousness, Pure Awareness].
The four states of consciousness:
Two other Sanskrit terms that are important are Atman and Brahman.
Atman refers to the real self beyond ego or false self.
Brahman is a name for ultimate truth.
The other very important Sanskrit term is Manas.
manas (Sanskrit: ????, "mind") from the root man, "to think" or "mind"
Manas is the recording faculty; it receives impressions gathered by the sense from the outside world.
It is bound to the senses and yields vijnana (information) rather than jnana (wisdom) or vidya (understanding).
It is that faculty which coordinates sensory impressions before they are presented to the consciousness.
Relates to the mind; that which distinguishes man from the animals.
One of the inner instruments that receive information from the external world with the help of the senses
and present it to the higher faculty of buddhi (intellect). manas is one of the four parts of the antahkarana ("inner conscience" or "the manifest mind")
and the other three parts are buddhi (as above - intellect), chitta (the memory) and ahankara (the ego).
A key connection is that manas,which is from the root man, is related to the word 'human'; the connection here is the human experience as 'mind' and 'thinking'.
The Asian idea of Nondualism developed in the Vedic (body of knowledge) and post-Vedic Hindu philosophies
The oldest traces of nondualism in Indian thought are found as Advaita in the earlier Hindu Upanishads (A Upansihad is an end part of a Vedas that presents its key points)
such as Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (Brihadaranyaka is said to be the 10th of the Muktika, or canon, of 108 Upanishads),
as well as other pre-Buddhist Upanishads such as the Chandogya Upanishad (the 9th in the Mukita canon of 108 Upanishads),
which emphasizes the unity of individual soul called Atman and the Supreme called Brahman.
In Hinduism, Nondualism has more commonly become associated with the Advaita Vedanta tradition of Adi Shankara
(or Shankara, was an early 8th century Indian philosopher and theologian who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta.
The Buddhist tradition added the teachings of Sunyata (emptiness); the two truths doctrine (the nonduality of the absolute and the relative truth),
and the Yogachara (yoga practice)
notion of "mind/thought only" (citta-matra) or
Vijñapti-m?tra and the two truths doctrine, coupled with the concept of Buddha-nature,
have also been influential concepts in the subsequent development of Mahayana Buddhism,
not only in India, but also in China and Tibet, most notably the Chán (Zen) and Dzogchen traditions.
Western Neo-Platonism (is a modern term for a strand of Platonic philosophy that started with Plotinus in the 3rd century CE)
it is an essential element of both Christian contemplation (Christian practice of "looking at", "gazing at", "being aware of" God or the Divine)
and Mysticism (becoming one with God or the Absolute, and,but may refer to any kind of ecstasy or altered state of consciousness that has a spiritual meaning),
and of Western esotericism (Western mystery tradition) and Modern Spirituality (modern notions of spirituality developed throughout the 19th and 20th century,
mixing Christian ideas with western esoteric traditions and elements of Asian, especially Indian, religions),
especially Unitarianism ( a Christian theological movement named for its belief that the god in Christianity is one entity),
Trancendentalism (a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern United States.
It arose as a reaction to protest against the general state of intellectualism and spirituality at the time ),
Universalism (a theological and
philosophical concept that some ideas have universal
application or applicability), and
Perennialism (a perspective in modern spirituality that views each of the world's religious traditions as sharing a single, metaphysical truth or origin
from which all esoteric and exoteric knowledge and doctrine has grown).
Non Duality and Nondual Yoga with James Traverse
What is Non Dual Yoga?
Nisarga Yoga is Nondual Yoga is yoga that honours the wisdom of the ancient founders of yoga.
Nisarga, like Nonduality, means without parts, which also means without separation.
It is a practice that gives emphasis to space rather than the limited localized pose.
The practice is an invitation for a switchover from emphazing the pose to the aware space in which the pose and all else unfolds.
What is non duality? – A dialogue [video transcript].
Non-duality can only be understood experientially.
It cannot be understood via the thinking mind.
Why can't nonduality be understood via the thinking mind?
Nonduality cannot be understood via the thinking mind
because the thinking mind causes duality that negates non-duality.
How does the thinking mind cause duality?
The thinking mind is a function
that conceptualizes experience
its nature is to measure, define, label, and thereby
separate things as separate things.
Try this thinking mind experiment…
You visit New York City and go to the top of the Empire State Building.
What is the first name of the first person you see at the top of the Empire State Building?
Is it obvious that you do not know and that it is not
possible for you to know from the information you have
Now see that when you do not know the thinking mind
is silent and there is no discontinuity to being.
This is highly significant because it reveals that another way of knowing is available.
If necessary, pause the video now to confirm this - only proceed once this is clear.
Then I tell you that the first person you will see at the top of the Empire State Building is female.
At this point you still don't know, but if you had to
do you see that it makes sense for you to guess what you understand to be female names.
Finally I tell you that the first person you see has the same name as the mother of Jesus.
Now you know that the first name of the first person
you see at the top of the Empire State Building is
and you also know what it is not. And you know this via the activity of your thinking mind.
Thus you know the person's name and you also know
that it cannot be anything else.
You know what it is and what it isn't via the thinking mind. That's duality!
In a similar way once you determine your identity via
the content and activity of the thinking mind you
define me and not me.
Thus your thinking mind conceptualizes the experience
of being and answers the question, ‘Who am I?’
with an idea, a concept, that simultaneously defines all that you are not - That's duality!
Similarly when the thinking mind labels a space as
here, it causes there,
and, thinking now generates then - That's duality!
Non-duality is the experiential answer to the
question, ‘Who am I?’ when the thinking mind is
Then there is knowing as being and Non-duality is understood experientially.