Bhajana

Satsang and Soul

An Introduction to Non Duality

The essential discovery of all the great spiritual traditions, including Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zen, Sufism, Kashmir Shaivism and Judaism, is that experience is not divided into a perceiving subject, an entity known as ‘I,’ and a perceived object, world or other.

The apparent separate entity and the apparent separate, independent world or other are understood to be concepts that are superimposed onto the reality of experience.

If we look for this Reality, for the essential ingredient in every experience of the mind, body and world, we find Consciousness or Awareness, a Knowing Presence that we intimately and directly know to be our own Being, and that is experienced simply as ‘I am.’

This understanding, sometimes referred to as Non-Duality or Advaita, lies at the core of all these traditions and although it cannot be expressed directly, teachers, sages, mystics and poets use the language of their culture to point towards this Reality.

This non-conceptual or experiential Reality or Knowingess, although in fact always present, embedded in all experience, is veiled in most cases by beliefs. The primal belief, upon which all others are based, is that Consciousness or Awareness is located in and/or as the body.

With this fundamental mistake we shrink ourselves into a separate entity that resides in and as the body. That is, Consciousness seems to contract into a tiny, vulnerable entity and, as a result, the peace and happiness that are inherent in our true nature, in Consciousness, are veiled and seem therefore to be lost. This is the beginning of the search for happiness.