Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression

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James Traverse has over 40 years of experience in the art and science of yoga. He is a yoga educator and writer who communicates the direct approach to understanding your true nature. This experiential means, which is founded on a switchover from conceiving to purely perceiving, flowered principally out of Jamesí studies with his teacher, Jean Klein, who initiated him in the ways of Advaita Vedanta and Kashmiri Shaivism. His other influences include the works of J. Krishnamurti, David Bohm, Rumi, Adi Shankaracharya, Ramana Maharshi, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Atmananda Krishnamenon and the yoga of B K S Iyengar, whose method he studied intensely for the first 15 years of his yoga journey.
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#3084 - Friday, February 23, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz  

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Two Ways of Moving Through Life

by Alice Gardner

One way is the movement to accomplish something; to know what to do from an idea of "how" it is to be done. To change something, fix something, improve something. This is "me" affecting something or someone else, or "me" adding to myself some experience, idea or thing with an intention to change myself for better or worse. It is movement following mind, following the core belief in the separate "me" being in charge of life.

The other way is a movement of revealing what already is inherently so. Nothing is being added that can later be lost. Nothing is being taken away that can later return. If mind tries to understand this movement it is confused, jammed. This movement has a feeling of vitality in it--a warm dampness quite unlike the dry deciding of mind. This movement is happening by itself, beyond comprehension, perfectly orchestrating the bodies and lives of millions of people, the ocean tides, the circling planets. It moves with ease beyond all reason or understanding. It moves because it is motion, it is life in motion, and at the same time total stillness. It is where stillness and motion meet.

The first way is useful and appropriate for practical matters, for taking an idea into form, such as for building a house. It is not helpful for deciding whether to build the house in the first place. It is useful for the "how" but not for the "what". To know what to do, it is much more helpful to rest the overactive mind and instead to open up to what is already true outside of mind, to see what wants to happen outside of all of our ideas about pros and cons. It is a relaxing into a more natural way of being, where all that is needed is already given, such as the needed energy to tackle building a house. The sweet at-home feeling of being in the house when it is completed may be available now, along with a picture of what it looks like. This already-complete knowing is the way that Love/Life/God uses our humanness, and directs our course. We block this flow when we try to use the "how to" way of moving at our life's decision-points. Our mind-made self really can't do a very good job of being in charge of our life. It tries so hard, but it is just not capable. It is much more helpful as a servant.

We so often forget about the second way of moving until our situation becomes untenable, only then consulting the deeper intelligence that is also in us. But the possibility of moving through life--being used by a deeper intelligence than mind--is open to us at all times and offers us a way forward into a way of living that is a recognition of the one life that moves all things.

© 2008 Alice Gardner

Alice Gardner is author of the new title: Life Beyond Belief, Everyday Living as Spiritual Practice, available at or on or  You are invited to also visit,  a sister website written by Alice as a support and inspiration for spiritual awakening no matter what your tradition. Alice also offers mentoring services by telephone.

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