Noduality, called Advaita-Vedanta in the East, says that everything in the Universe is part of the One Spirit, which is everywhere. Everything is an inseparable and indivisible part of this One Spirit.
The meaning of nonduality is – “not two” – or non-separation”.
This philosophy also says that the world is an illusion, created by the mind and the play of the five senses, which make us regard other people, the world, and everything in it, as real, and as separate from us. This illusion makes us think that the world is made of an endless number of different, separate units.
For someone not familiar with this philosophy, it might sound strange, but once understood, it can completely change one’s attitude and perspective about life.
Imagine a state, in which you are aware of your Oneness with the Universe, enjoying a state of bliss and inner peace, but at the same time acting and functioning normally in your day-to-day life.
Imagine a state, in which you are active in the external world, but at the same time, being free and unattached.
Imagine that you are aware of your Oneness with the One Spirit, knowing that this Spirit is acting and manifesting through everything – matter, plants, trees, animals and people.
This is the experience of nonduality in its highest form.
Normally, we are not aware of this state, because our thoughts, desires, and the five senses, draw the mind outside, to the external world, and obscure the the consciousness that is beyond the mind.
It is through meditation that we can gain inner peace and the ability to silence the mind, and therefore, rise above the obscuring veil of thoughts.
In a state of inner silence we are able to rise above the identification with the mind, thoughts and ego, get beyond the illusion of separateness, and realize our oneness with the One Spirit. It is, as if a new sort of consciousness dawns, and we see the world from a different perspective.
We act in the material world, yet, our roots are in pure, calm and limitless consciousness, which is not attached to anything and not limited by anything. In this state, we live and view the world from the non-duality point of view.
Separteness and Oness
Though in our day-today life we look at other people, as separate from us, as separate units, this is only a mental viewpoint, convenient for functioning in our day to day life.
From a higher state of consciousness, all are One, and the terms “I”, “you”, “he”, “she” and “they” are not real.
There is only the One Spirit, Consciousness, which manifests in limitless forms and ways. The external forms may be different, but the Spirit within them is one undivided Spirit. It is the mind, which lets us believe and feel that we are separate from others, but we are all part of the same One Spirit manifesting and expressing itself through different forms.
The Nonduality Concept
This concept is not a strange idea. It can be experienced and lived right here and now, no matter where you are, and without attracting anybody’s attention. It is an inner state of consciousness, not an external state.
It is possible to realize and experience it in an ashram or a cave, and it is also equally possible to do so while living in a town or city, with family and a job. This requires dedication, an open mind, inner work, and turning the mind inwards.
Most people cannot afford to leave everything behind, in order to meditate and lead a purely spiritual life. They need to work and support their family, and therefore, can devote only part of the day to spiritual pursuits.
The good news is that you can walk on the inner path of spirituality, without abandoning your family, job or external lifestyle.
With proper planning, it is possible to find the time and the energy for the inner work.
Meditation, and walking on the spiritual path, can be practiced everywhere, without making external changes in your life. You can stay with your job and family, and still make spiritual progress.
Look within you, be aware of what is going in your mind, search for the source of your thoughts and where they come from, learn to make your mind peaceful, and you will begin to be aware of your true essence and the consciousness beyond your mind. This will lead to a better understanding of of this subject.
How to Experience Nonduality
- Strengthen your concentration ability, to the point of being able to silence the mind.
- Practice meditation regularly.
- Achieve a certain degree of emotional detachment, a necessary factor for silencing the mind.
- Read articles and books on nonduality.
- Study the teachings of nonduality teachers, like Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj.