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Nonduality for the People

Your very ordinary mind is the mind of Buddha. Your very ordinary body is the body of Christ


by Michael Read

The other day I did a web search on Advaita. There were 10,700 hits! This leads me to think aboout religion in general. How many there are! And how divided each one of them is! Sects within sects abound. So many belief systems, so little time! :-)

In the introduction for this site I say that I hold no beliefs. Oh, but I used to! At the age of eight I was a Baptist, at the age of 12 a Mennonite, and at the age of 16 a Catholic. Now I wasn't seeking at those young ages. No, it was the circumstances of life and who I was living with at the time. Baptist - living with Dad. Mennonite - living with Mom. Catholic - living with foster parents.

A basic tenent of these forms of Christianity is that we are separate from God. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Another belief is that God is everywhere. Infinite. Beyond understanding. All we can hope to so is to have faith and to worship God. And, if we are judged worthy, upon death we get to go to heaven and live with God.


When I asked (at age fifteen) the older people in my life what their understanding of the teaching that God is infinite. I had come to realize that if God were indeed infinite we were all God. Not just a part of God but God in the flesh. Oh! How I got chewed out for that! What an impertinent little shit I was! HAHAHAH! I had developed my own little belief that was more comfortable to me than what I had been taught up to that point.

In the early seventies, after being discharged from the Navy, I found myself following a guru. He was 'Guru Maharaji - the fifteen year old Perfect Master'. His knowledge, it was said, was the only true way to see God. He taught that guru was greater than God. If the followers had not 'realized' the knowledge (four meditation techniques) we had been given, it was because we had not surrendered sufficiently to the guru.

Phooey! After about four years of that, I walked away from it.

In 1999 I joined a Qi-Qong group. At first I really enjoyed it. I still do the exercises. They have some health benefit for the body and can aid one in calming. This group would meet Monday evenings for an hour of Qi-Qong exercises and then we would form a 'talking circle' to discuss what was going on with us and our 'path'.

After some time, I realized that this small (5-6 people) group was rapidly becoming a mini-cult. It wasn't about exploring the wonders of being alive. It was about justifying the belief that this group had the truth and everybody else was deluded.

More phooey!

I set for myself the goal of becoming enlightened. Nothing else mattered. I did not work. With great intensity I studied the Bagavahd Gita, the Christian bible, Buddhist scripture, and did a lot of meditation.

All of my energy was focused on attaining this thing called enlightenment. Nothing else mattered. Slowly but steadily the concepts that I was holding about enlightenment began to fall away. As the concepts fell away a profound shift in perception began to take place.
The shift was away from thinking and into being.

One afternoon everything 'fell away'. The circumstance was that I was reading a passage about Buddha's words about when he attained enlightenment. The passage is "When I attained pure and perfect enlightenment, I realized that there is no such thing as pure and perfect enlightenment! Marvelous, marvelous!"

What 'fell away' were the fears and concepts about 'who I was' and 'what does it all mean?'. What was there was pure conciousness. Just that. I cannot really describe that moment. What I might say is this - the importance of being me ( a separate individual) was gone. And nothing was in it's place.

How very ordinary and beautiful we all are! The light of Buddha shines in all. The love that is Christ that sustains us is everywhere. Truly it is all the play of Brahma!

Phooey! Phooey? Yeah - phooey. I did not do it. It happened. No one is special. No one has a lock on the 'ultimate truth.' I cannot 'teach' the ultimate truth to anyone. Yet, it is readily available to all.

This I will say. Your very ordinary mind is the mind of Buddha. Your very ordinary body is the body of Christ. Every random atom - each passing molecule is the body of God.

If this helps, all well and good. If this doesn't help, just say Phooey!


Peace - Michael

Michael Read runs The Way Station and has made many contributions to this website.