Nonduality has been described as “the realization of a very subtle, non-conceptual, unbounded consciousness that is experienced as the essence of one’s own being [fundamental nature] and of all life. This is a mutual transparency of self and other, in which everything, including one’s own being, is revealed as made of a single, vast expanse of consciousness. It arises together with the phenomena; it pervades the movement of perceptions, thoughts, emotions, and sensations. This nondual consciousness is not known as an object separate from ourselves; rather, it knows itself.”
The Enlightenment Process
“Both our physical and our emotional pain are secondary to our fundamental nature. No matter what we lose or suffer in our life, this core of our being, our true reality, cannot be damaged. It has not moved from the beginning and it will never move.”
Christian Mystics Meister Eckhart and Hildegard of Bingham described nonduality as communion with God. The Buddha introduced nonduality as the avenue to relieve suffering.
Buddha taught that living without grasping or seeking to control the ever-changing stream of life frees humans from pain. This allows for direct, spontaneous participation in life, unhampered by preconceptions. It’s those preconceptions, wants and desires, that contribute to our suffering. They take us out of the present moment, away from the direct perception of our fundamental nature, and into the future or the past, into longing or regret.
“Our bodies remember suffering, even when we claim to have transcended it…”
Why Emboided Nonduality?
Modern interpretations of nondual teachings seem to primarily address perception and action. They often involve using the mind to fix one’s attention in the present moment, or to relax into an all-inclusive awareness. However, there are limitations to this mindfulness approach.
The fixations that obscure nonduality are not only conceptual, so using only the mind at attention will limit awareness of emotions and sensations to only what the mind perceives. Plus, nondual awareness knows wholeness of being as not only the phenomena in the present moment, but also the still, unchanging spaciousness the phenomena pervade.
We cannot use just our minds or hearts or “letting go” to open completely to our fundamental nature. As humans, we have long-held constrictions in our body (based on subtle psychological or emotional choices we made to deal with our environment as children). The “holding patterns” limit our perception, cognition, emotional responsiveness, and physical sensations. It’s not enough for us to simply let go of our grip on ourselves for nondual reality to appear. That grip for the most part is unconscious and deeply entrenched in our bodies.