What is Nonduality
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The Essence of Chutzpah
The Yiddish word Chutzpah
can be translated as gall, brazen
nerve, effrontery, sheer guts plus arrogance; but, as Leo Rosten
observes, no other word, and no other language, can do it justice.
Here's a sterling example...
A little old lady sold
pretzels on a street corner for 25 cents each.
Every day a young man would leave his office building at lunch
time and as he passed the pretzel stand he would leave her a
quarter, but never take a pretzel.
And this went on for more
then 3 years. The two of them never
spoke. One day as the young man passed the old lady's stand
and left his quarter as usual, the pretzel lady spoke to him.
Without blinking an eye she said:
"They're 35 cents now."
Just look. See what is
there within you; it is within us all.
It is already right there, as plain as the nose on your face.
If one is All One, there is only connection; not I am connected.
Only here for an instant, fully expressing itself, and never to be seen again in the same way.
There can only be what is, and nothing more.
The only level is wherever you are.
Where is the person doing all this moving and attaining all of this bliss?
There is no motive or anything that might view the experience of pain as being important.
When one is awake, when
reality realizes itself, every action is taken without
It is through that wholeness that compassion is expressed.
The self might need to
know or need to be, but it can never grasp compassion and own it
like a possession.
It is not something cultivated, and it cannot be held, stored away, and pulled out for later use.
There are no degrees of compassion or love, as measurement occurs within memory and thought.
There is no moment to be
in. But what can you do?
Wait for the next moment in order to find out? ;)
Seeing what you are, how
you truly behave
and sitting with no condemnation, or no lust toward changing
that alone may be enough to thrust you beyond the veil.
The believer is full of conclusions, and empty of curiosity.
If one discounts their own answers, the gurus become meaningless.
The I is no different from what it wishes to be free from.
All of the teaching you could ever hope for is there, hidden within your words.
Youll come to the end on your own soon enough.
Can memory tell us
anything about the present moment?
Or can it only be held in front of reality as a filter?
It is the greatest
difficulty one might come up against
how to see.
The ego is built from
what has come before.
This is clear, and easy to see.
See this for yourself,
and do not take my word for it.
Go there and find out, and you will never again ask how to live your life.
We sit to see, not to change.
How have you lived your life during the last 365 days?
In the end, only you will
know where youve been, what youve done, and what youve
seen, but all of these things
are insignificant when faced with the truth of what you are. I can say over and over You are All One. You
need nothing, but it is your own energy that will discover if this is true or not.
It is only for you to see. For you, and no one else
by Paul Marvelly
Arriving at the Embassy
Yet another Mind Body Spirit Festival. My heart sank.
Then my companion pointed
out they were associated with the catering van outside the hotel.
I was ushered to the registration desk where a very polite,
well-dressed assistant asked me to collect my identity badge
whilst handing me a batch of glossy fliers, conference
particulars and an assortment of stationery. The fact that the
bag containing such effects was orange and had
Running concurrently with the Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy Conference, which is already in its tenth year, the Science and Nonduality Conference (SAND) is very different from what you would expect, given its brief. The worldwide phenomenon that is nonduality has seen many disciplines hijack the concept for its own purposes thereby rendering any exact definition defunct.
Nevertheless, conference organizer, Maurizio Benazzo of Neti Neti Media is undeterred. A willowy, self-effacing Italian, he outlines his vision on the SAND website: So what is nonduality? We are well aware that in the exact moment in which we use words, our concept as an attempt to describe nonduality automatically fall[s] into a world of dualisms ... no word will ever describe what is beyond time, beyond space, beyond a sense of I, beyond a sense of self.
He goes on: ... the
scientific research of quantum physics, neuroscience, cosmology,
biology and mathematics are giving us theories and results, which
increasingly and curiously are comparable to the conclusions
reached by the ancient spiritual masters. Thus Maurizios
mission, as he sees it, is to reconnect these seemingly opposite
worlds in a synergic event.
With presentations from some of the worlds leading exponents in their fields scientists, philosophers, psychologists, nondual teachers the SAND conference offered a smorgasbord of ancient and contemporary thinking: the enigmatic Stephen Wolinsky and his workshop, Experience the Teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj: The Primordial Advaita; Greg Goodes practical and humorous presentation, Stumbling Block to Nondual Realisation; and a lecture by the impressive Marilyn Schlitz, inspiration for one of Dan Browns protagonists in his latest novel, Consciousness Matters: Mapping the Process of Transformation and Nondual Awareness; not to mention screenings from the Cinéma Nondualité Film Series, an Experiential Room, and the obligatory meet and greet parties to finish it all off.
Indeed, the choice was almost overwhelming; the fact that so many of the events were run concurrently was, retrospectively, a blessing in disguise. By the end of the conference, I felt as if I couldnt take anything more in. So what, then, is nonduality? After hearing so many viewpoints some intellectually mind-blowing, others exquisitely simple it feels even harder to offer a precise definition. But then, perhaps, thats the point.
To quote Maurizio again: There are many shades of meaning to the word nonduality. As an introduction, we might say that nonduality is the philosophical, spiritual, and scientific understanding of non-separation and fundamental oneness. Our starting point is the statement we are all one, and this is meant not in some abstract sense but at the deepest level of existence. Duality, or separation between the observer and the observed, is an illusion that the Eastern mystics have long recognized and Western science has more recently come to understand through quantum mechanics.
Dualities are usually seen in terms of opposites: Mind/Matter, Self/Other, Conscious/Unconscious, Illusion/Reality, Quantum/Classical, Wave/Particle, Spiritual/Material, Beginning/End, Male/Female, Living/Dead and Good/Evil. Nonduality is the understanding that identification with common dualisms avoids recognition of a deeper reality.
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