Advaita (a – not, dvait – other) means ‘One Undivided’, and 'Without An-Other'. This is the essence of the Vedantic philosophy of non-duality. When we can get to the point of losing that distinction between I/Me and the Other, we are in a state of awareness without conflict or contradiction. This state happens spontaneously but it takes a lifetime to realize the simplicity of the present moment. This involves a life of moderation, meditative practices and sharing life transparently with all sentient beings. This concept of non-dual consciousness exists in most religions, including the Christian and Neo-Platonic traditions (e.g. mystical union).
You may think this is not for you, my friend the reader, at this time in your life for you have much to do and much to accomplish. It is however worth being aware of this so you can keep this on the back burner with the burner set on low all the time, so to speak!
A modern sage from India, Ramana Maharshi (1879 – 1950) is well known for his famous little booklet, ‘Nan Yar’ (written in his native language, Tamil) meaning ‘Who am I?”
"Jnana (knowledge) is given neither from outside nor from another person. It can be realized by each and every one in his own Heart. The jnana, Guru of everyone, is only the Supreme Self that is always revealing its own truth in every Heart through the being-consciousness 'I am, I am.' The granting of true knowledge by him is initiation into jnana. The grace of the Guru is only that Self-awareness that is one's own true nature. It is the inner consciousness by which he is unceasingly revealing his existence. This divine upadesa (instruction from the teacher) is always going on naturally in everyone."
Also from the same booklet, “Who am I?”
'There is no such thing as ‘the world’ independent of thought. There are no thoughts in deep sleep, and there is no world. In waking and dream there are thoughts, and there is also the world. Just as a spider emits the thread of a web from within itself and withdraws it again into itself, in the same way the mind projects the world from within itself and later reabsorbs it into itself…Consequently, when the world appears, the Self is not seen, and when the Self appears or shines, the world will not appear.'
This topic has relevance especially today as more and more philosophical and counseling wisdom appears on the Internet. Almost daily your device offers a new source of anxiety relief in the form of music, podcasts and meditation. They may be good ways to begin a practice but you cannot gain awareness through them. Awareness comes within, from the Atman, the spirit, the divine connection already within yourself.
The location as Ramana Maharshi say, is the heart. Start by quieting yourself by bringing your focus to the size of a pinhead right in your heart center. Can you stay there for 5 seconds? Maybe 20?
Join us for our practical meditation session on the third Sunday afternoon.