What is Nonduality
Experience Nonduality via Yoga Nidra
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Monday, March 7, 2011 - Editor: Gloria Lee
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will the mind confess to us that it has no idea what
is going on." ~Adyashanti
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Wednesday, March 9
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During this program, Adyashanti will offer a live talk followed by
answers to emailed questions and then invite callers to dialogue
What is inquiry, really? This is a good question. And like most really
good questions, it is very basic. Authentic inquiry is allowing yourself to
care, to take on the weightless burden of caring. Everyone knows what
its like to inquire out of intellectual interestasking for the sake of
asking or because you think you should. This is not caring. When you care
about something, it gets inside of you. It gets inside the shell that keeps
you from being affected or bothered, the shell that keeps anything really
new from happening.
So in the beginning, to deeply inquire about anything, you have to care
about it. You have to care enough to allow it to get inside that shell.
What do you really care about? What pulls you into here and now, this
minute? What is the most important thing to you? For real inquiry, it is
important to be asking about something you sincerely care about. The
question needs to be personal, not about a spiritual teaching or something
thats outside of your experience. It needs to be something thats coming
from the inside.
When you care, you care from the inside. Many people impose ideas from
the outside upon themselves, but this isnt inquiry. When you really care,
you enter a love affair with what you care about. Sometimes it draws you
into bliss, sometimes into confusion. You dont know what to do. You dont
know where you are going. You feel a bit out of control. Youre letting
this caring get under your skin. To find out that you care like this is the
most important thing; otherwise you can spend your whole life caring
about what someone else says you should care about.
Like many people, you may be afraid to find out how much you care
because that caring could just steal you away. What is the one thing that
will matter the most at the end of your life? Without it, you would say:
Thats what it was all about and I missed it. If you had the best job,
lots of money, the perfect lover, or whatever your ideal is, and suddenly
your life was over, what would still be left undone? Thats what its all
When you find that kind of caring, inquiry has some power behind it. You
also find your own inner integrity. You find something inside thats
stable. Theres a place inside you that is willing to be a little
crazycrazy enough to take inquiry seriously and hold nothing sacred.
Holding nothing sacred means that nothing is assumed to be true and all
of your assumptions are fair game. The more spiritual they are, the more
they are fair game. Ultimately it is your most sacred and unquestioned
assumptions about yourself, others, and life that are most important to
Many people find their spirituality taking them outward. They think they
are going inward because they have heard the spiritual teaching, Inquire
and look within. Meanwhile, they are out in the stars somewhere looking
for someone elses experience, looking for the right experience, or
looking for the experience they believe they are supposed to have. This
is spirituality going entirely in the wrong direction. Inquiry is a means of
taking you back to yourself, back to your experience.
When inquiry is authentic, it brings you into the experience of here and
now, bringing you to the full depth of it, pulling you into it. The question
pulls you back into the mystery of your experience. What am I? takes
you right back into the mystery. If your mind is honest, it knows it
doesnt have the answer. You ask, What am I? and instantly, there is
silence. Your mind doesnt know. And when it doesnt know, there is an
experience right here, right now, that is alive. You bump into nothingness
insidethat no-thing, that absolute nothingness which your mind cant
The answer does not come in the form of a description or phrase; it is a
direct experience. And this experience, your livingness, always
transcends any words or intellectual answer. In fact, the truth of your
being is eternally transcending itself. As soon as it projects itself out as
something, even as a profound insight, it has already transcended it. So
eventually the inquiry wears itself out. You wear yourself out. You wear
your ego self out. You wear your spiritual self out. You wear it all out.
Youve inquired yourself out of this whole thing, and youre disappearing
faster than you can put yourself together.
As Nisargadatta Maharaj said so brilliantly and beautifully, The
ultimate understanding is that there is no ultimate understanding. When
its in the head, its an impressive piece of understanding; when its in the
heart, as the Buddha said, its extinguished. You find a living experience
of being, empty of content, empty of you. This is where spiritual
awakening begins. This is the living answer of authentic inquiry.
© Adyashanti 2007
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