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#4185 - Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights

Today's issue is an excerpt, featuring Greg Goode, from the Nonduality America site. Greg responds to the question, What Is Nonduality?

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What Is Nonduality?

In the last few years I’ve encountered more and more people who don’t resonate with the usual teachings in which nonduality is explained as singularity, unity or awareness. They feel a deep yearning to realize that they aren’t limited to an objective, pre-existing body or mind, but don’t have the intuition that the basis of everything is awareness. The idea can seem arbitrary.

So for these folks, I’ve used the emptiness teachings descended from Nagarjuna. There has been great and intuitive response where the awareness teachings didn’t hit the spot. Since these are fairly different from the teachings on awareness, I’ll switch gears here and discuss these round-table questions as from the emptiness teachings. The awareness teachings are already quite well represented here on NDA (Nonduality America)!

For more on the background to the emptiness teachings click here:

In the emptiness teachings, nonduality is a mode of existence. It’s how things exist. They exist like the jewels in Indra’s Net or like a magician’s illusion. Things aren’t substantial and they aren’t lacking. Things don’t exist in an independent, self-powered way, and they don’t utterly lack existence either. Things are contextual; they’re present in a way that can perform functions. Emptiness-style nonduality avoids both of these extremes.. Things exist in a sort of pragmatic way. When I was in the Army, we said we were done with a project not because it had an absolute, fixed endpoint, but rather when it was “good enough for government work!”

The direct realization of emptiness is a non-conceptual nondual experience in which subject and object don’t appear, not even in the most subtle way. After this experience, the self and world of phenomena return, but forever changed. There are no more afflictive emotions, no more metaphysical or cosmic yearnings, and no more gestalt that says things are really truly there or truly missing. Instead, things are free, light, and joyful.

~ ~ ~

Greg Goode is one of the original members of Nonduality Salon and the author of the popular book, Standing As Awareness:

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