Nonduality means “not two” or “non-separation.” It is
the sense that all things are interconnected and not separate,
while at the same time all things retain their individuality.
We tend to view the world as made up of separated,
pretty much isolated “entities.” By entities is meant
everything: people, political parties, beliefs, nations, objects
in nature, and most importantly one’s very own individual self.
Yet one may know any number of instances in
which you —
your individual self — fades into an experience. You realize you
are not separate from your experience, nor are the apparent
entities making up the experience separate from the experience
or from you, and that all of it — the experience, you, the
players making up the experience — are all essentially one
thing . . . much like a dream.
Such an instance may happen from being in nature,
from enjoying music or art, or from being deeply involved in a
hobby or work. It may be known during sex. It may occur while
walking in the park, while dancing, surfing, or having a few
beers with some awesome people.
The experience of nonduality may be realized during
meditation, yoga, or from reading something that blows your
The nondual moment may happen for no reason at all:
maybe you’re sitting on your deck and geese fly by, or maybe
you’re driving your car and suddenly everything is different, or
perhaps you just woke up from a sleep.
You have almost certainly had at least one such
nondual experience in your life, and probably several.
Arising out of this experience might be an uncommonly
genuine happiness. However, the experience may also rock your
world such that it is never again the same, for now you see the
world not as separate entities struggling for survival, but as a
single experience of non-separation . . . again, much like
The Pursuit of
If the experience of nonduality is important to you —
and no law says it has to be — you may have the need to find out
more. If the experience has altered your life, you may have no
choice but to understand what happened.
Your pursuit may take you to various websites and
online groups, books, and people who might provide guidance and
clarity. You may engage spiritual practices, attend meetings
with nondual teachers, go on retreats. Whatever you do, whatever
happens to you in this pursuit, will be unique for you.
This pursuit could begin at any time. Even if you had
a powerful nondual experience decades ago, but never
investigated it deeply, you could start today. However, don’t
waste your time trying to “bring back” a past experience.
Rather, focus on what it awakened.
How do you initiate the pursuit of nonduality? Lots of
advice could be given. However, there is endless information
online. More essentially, there is you, your existence. You
could begin right there, right here, by attending to the fact
that you are aware. “I am aware.” . . . “I am.”
In this regard, you might like the works of Ramana
Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, and Wei Wu Wei. Effective living
teachers include Adyashanti, Francis Lucille, Greg Goode, Chuck
Hillig, Galen Sharp, Bob Adamson, Rupert Spira. Many other
guides, confessors, realizers, teachers, sages, gurus, both
living and deceased, will be discovered.
descriptions of what nonduality (or Advaita) is:
“Advaita (nonduality) does not mean “one” in the sense
of eliminating all differences. The differences are present in
the one in a mysterious way. They are not separated anymore, and
yet they are there.”
Scholar, Author, Stand up Philosopher:
My experience is that fundamentally reality is characterized by
polarity. For me it’s not nondual or dual. It’s both at the same
time. … Polarity is opposites, but they can only exist together.
… They’re two and one at the same time. The paradox of our
predicament is that it’s two and one at the same time. I see no
reason to prejudice one over the other. In fact, I see a
necessity to be conscious of both. What I’ve looked for is an
image that can capture that experience. For me the image is
lucid living, which is a state comparable to lucid dreaming,
only now. … On the one hand I am Tim … I’m actually so
individual that I inhabit this unique point in space and time
and no one else can or ever will inhabit it. Then there’s the
discovery of this deeper nature, the subject itself, not the
object, the “I”, that which is witnessing this, and if I go
deeply into that now it is a vast spaciousness in which all this
is arising just like in a dream. And those two exist together,
so “here” it’s all one, “here” it’s all separate. Which is true?
They’re both true.
The definition for nonduailty would be that there is one single
reality. We all have the knowledge that we are conscious and
that consciousness is real. That which hears the words is
consciousness. That is beyond a shadow of a doubt. …The world is
only a concept which is inferred from perceptions. Perceptions
are mind stuff. … Consciousness is the reality of our
experience. If there is only one reality … the reality of all
minds must be the same. That is the fundamental understanding of
To discover many more definitions of nonduality,
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