What is Nonduality
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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4060, Saturday, October 30, 2010, Editor: Mark
Always remember deep in your heart that all is well and everything is unfolding as it should. There are no mistakes anywhere, at any time. What appears to be wrong is simply your own false imagination. That's all. You are the Self, that perfect immutable Self. Nothing else exists. Nothing else ever existed. Nothing else will ever exist. There is only one Self and you are That. Rejoice!
- Robert Adams, from Silence of the Heart Vol 1
The key to recognizing our fundamental and essential nature is the experiential Realization that individual, human consciousness has no separate existence independent or apart from this fundamental Background of Awareness:
We are not separate from the Natural Awareness we experience within the present moment.
Since this Infinite Awareness is the backdrop for all individual human experience, the conscious mind has "access" to our innate Awareness within every moment. In fact, the individual identity of the personality or ego cannot exist in the absence of this fundamental, essential Awareness. Wherever the individual "I" appears, it is as a reflection of our inherent, Natural Awareness. In fact, the "I", or individual identity, is nothing other than a reflection of our natural, unitive Awareness within the limits of human consciousness. Recognizing this is simply a matter of focusing our attention (individual consciousness) upon our innate Essence (Awareness).
The Open Secret
Namkhai Norbu has described this Natural Awareness as the "open secret:"
This is the open secret, which all can discover
for themselves. We live our lives, as it were
"inside out," projecting the existence of an "I"
as separate from an external world which we try
to manipulate to gain satisfaction. But as long
as one remains in the dualistic state, one's
experience has always underlying it a sense of
loss, of fear, of anxiety, and dissatisfaction.
When, on the other hand, one goes beyond the
dualistic level, anything is possible.
- Namkai Norbu, p. 68: The Crystal and the Way of Light
The key, then, is to recognize the limitations inherent within dualistic perception, and begin to identify with the larger part of who we are - i.e., with the essential, fundamental, underlying background of Awareness, which is the field within which all consciousness and multiplicity appear.
As long as our self-identification is limited to the individual personality, mind, or ego (i.e., as long as it is limited by the dualism inherent in maintaining an individual perspective), we remain frustrated by the inevitable limitions inherent within an individualized identity.
However, when we begin to shift our attention and identification toward that larger dimension of who we are, i.e., toward our fundamental and essential nature (pure, unconditioned, Natural Awareness), much of our individualized anxiety and restlessness will begin to fall away.
We gradually begin to realize that the essence of Reality is not separate from who/what we are at a fundamental and essential level. And, we recognize the freedom inherent within pure Awareness: the innate freedom to flow through our experience, exactly as it is, without resisting even desire and resistance as they arise.
Acknowledging the absolute completeness and perfection of Reality, as it manifests within our own innate Awareness, enables us to see the frustrations and limitations of individual experience within their larger context: they are not separate from Reality (All That Is), and as such, they, too, are a manifestation of this vast and infinite wholeness. Even our personal, individual desires, and the choices we make to change "unacceptable" circumstances, ultimately can be accepted and recognized as part of the essential and fundamental perfection and completeness of All That Is.
- Metta Zetty
Don't make any effort. Stay quiet and the noisy surface dialogues will cease. Then the substratum will rise up to the top. It is simple. Follow this.
Stop imagining yourself being or doing this or that and the realization that you are the source and heart of all will dawn on you.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj
Since you saw this spring, why didn't
you become water?
Since you saw the Friend near, why do
you still have love for yourself?
Since you are in the shop of the sweet-seller,
why this bitter look?
Since you are swimming in the river of life,
why are you dry and miserable?
Don't be stubborn, do not flee from happiness.
You are imprisoned in a net from which
you can't escape,
Stop struggling! Stop struggling!
- Rumi, Ghazal (Ode) 638, from Breathing Truth - Quotations from Jalaluddin Rumi, selected and translated by Muriel Maufroy, posted to Sunlight
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