Nonduality (Advaita)

What Is Non Duality?

Non-dual understanding provides the visceral answer to the age-old question “Who am I?”

It is the perception of our true nature, and confirms what sages have been saying for eons: Who we truly are is neither mind nor body, both of which are transient and therefore illusory. Who we are, essentially, is consciousness or awareness.

What Can Understanding Of Non Duality Do For Me?

Seeing this clearly does not make us essentially different from anyone else. But it distinctly alters our experience. The result is a more graceful life, greater acceptance of what is, and a quantum reduction of psychological suffering.

More than anything, it is the end of the perpetual search for wholeness and completeness that forms the background of most peoples’ lives. It is the end of the sense of “becoming” this or “becoming” that, as well as the seemingly never ending craving to fill the void that began the moment we believed our separateness.

Our True Nature

Consciousness, which was never born and never dies, is our true nature. Another term for consciousness is presence awareness, which describes the present moment – the right here, right now that has always been and will always be. The eternal right here, right now is the ground of being – the very basis – of all manifest creation. How can this be? Because presence awareness, or consciousness, though it is neither physical nor material, is the only independent, non-changing thread running through all existence since the beginning of time. Every human being, every living species, every inanimate object that has ever existed or will exist does so in a right here, right now called presence awareness.

Presence awareness is eternal. Galaxies are created, worlds are destroyed – with no essential consequence. There is no consequence because the basis for worlds and galaxies, consciousness or presence awareness, endures. Presence awareness cannot be “cut by the sword, burned by fire, drowned by water, or dried by wind,” to quote a phrase from Bhagavad Gita. Despite appearances, we are, at core, presence awareness.

How did we lose sight of our true nature? We lost our way the moment we learned language and accepted the mistake that each person is – not has, but is – a separate identity.

Why does consciousness seem hidden? Because it is all-pervasive. There is nowhere it is not. In other words, it is hidden in plain sight. It is who we are.

Dzogchen (pronounced zog-shen) Buddhists describe it well:

“The great perfection (consciousness, out true nature, and so forth) is non-conceptual, ever fresh, self shining presence awareness, just this and nothing else.”

Little wonder so few seekers ever realize their true self. If consciousness is who we already are, then seeking is the very opposite of what is necessary! If consciousness is who we already are, seeking of any kind obscures our true nature. The moment a spiritual search begins, one unwittingly plays a game of hide and seek where he or she simultaneously plays both parts!

Freedom is not a result of bliss, special powers, miracles, samadhi, and so forth. Freedom lies in knowing your true nature.

Your true nature, being infinite and unbounded, cannot be touched or felt, but it is readily knowable because it is who you are. It is your very beingness.

Two Famous Sayings

The only difference between an enlightened soul and an ignorant person is that the ignorant person believes there is a difference.

There is no essential difference between a Buddha and an ordinary person.

These sayings point to the fact that there is no such thing as enlightenment or liberation because bondage is a fiction. Bondage (separation from our Source) never existed, it only ever appeared to exist. Bondage is nothing more than a group of thoughts in the mind that appear to make up a false sense of personal identity. When this is seen clearly, your search is over.

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