Picture of a finger pointing at the moon, communicating "That art though," or "You are that." 

This reflects the non-dual understanding that the world is a unity and you are an inseparable part of it.
You Are That

Non-Dual Awareness

Relatively few people have heard of non-duality. Yet it represents a powerful means to escape from everyday suffering.

In this article I share some information about non-duality and what is known as “non-dual awareness,” in the hope that it might be of use to you.

Feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss any of this.

Table of Contents

What is Duality?

We can’t understand non-duality until we know what is meant by duality.

The word “duality” comes from the Sanskrit word “dvaita,” which means “two.”

Duality is the state of consciousness in which the individual self is separate from the absolute, unchanging reality. This state is also known as Māyā or Samsara. In duality, the individual self is subject to birth and death, and is trapped in the cycle of suffering.

Duality is characterized by a sense of separation, isolation, and loneliness. In this state, the individual self is cut off from the rest of reality and experiences a sense of disharmony. Duality is a state of suffering because it is based on the illusion that the individual self is separate from (estranged from) the rest of reality.

What is Non-Duality?

Non-duality is the recognition that there is only one reality – Brahman – and that all beings are intrinsically connected to this one reality. The word “Advaita” comes from the Sanskrit words “a” (not) and “dvaita” (duality). Thus, Advaita literally means “not two.”

What is Non-Dual Awareness?

Non-dual awareness is a state of consciousness in which the individual self is dissolved and only the absolute, unchanging reality remains. This state is also known as Brahman or Nirvana. Non-dual awareness is the goal of both Buddhism and Hinduism, and has been taught by many great teachers throughout history.

Advaita Vedanta is a school of Hindu philosophy and religious practice that emphasizes the unity of the individual self (Atman) with the ultimate reality (Brahman). In Advaita, Brahman is understood to be the unchanging, permanent, absolute reality that pervades all things. The tenets of Advaita are based on the Upanishads, which are ancient Hindu scriptures.

The word “Advaita” comes from the Sanskrit words “a” (not) and “dvaita” (duality). Thus, Advaita literally means “not two.” Non-dual awareness is the recognition that there is only one reality – Brahman – and that all beings are intrinsically connected to this one reality.

What is the Direct Path to Enlightenment?

The Direct Path to Enlightenment is a teaching that emphasizes the direct experience of reality, rather than intellectual understanding. It is based on the belief that enlightenment is our natural state and that it can be achieved through the practice of self-inquiry.

How can I learn more about Non-Dual Awareness?

There are many ways to learn about non-dual awareness. One way is to read the Upanishads, the foundational texts of Advaita. Another way is to read the works of Shankara, the most famous proponent of Advaita. You can also read the works of contemporary teachers such as Rupert Spira and Michael A. Singer. Finally, you can attend a retreat or course with a teacher of non-dual awareness.

Non-dual awareness is the highest state of consciousness that a human can attain. In this state, the individual self is dissolved and only the absolute, unchanging reality remains. This state is also known as Brahman or Nirvana. Non-dual awareness is the goal of both Buddhism and Hinduism

How is Non-Dual Awareness understood?

Non-dual awareness is not something that can be intellectually understood; it can only be experienced. When the individual self is dissolved in this state, all that remains is the pure consciousness of the absolute reality. This state is one of complete peace and bliss, free from all suffering.

Can everyone achieve Non-Dual Awareness?

Although it is difficult to put into words, non-dual awareness is a state that everyone has the potential to experience. Not everyone will achieve it, however.

By letting go of our attachments and ego-based desires, we can open ourselves up to this infinite consciousness and find true liberation from all suffering.

Is there a difference between the individual self and the ego?

The individual self is the unique consciousness that we each possess. It is our sense of identity, separate from others. The ego, on the other hand, is the false sense of self that we create when we identify with our thoughts and emotions. This identification gives rise to the illusion of separation and duality, which is the root of all suffering.

In non-dual awareness, the individual self is dissolved and only the absolute, unchanging reality remains. This state is also known as Brahman or Nirvana. Non-dual awareness is the goal of both Buddhism and Hinduism, and has been taught by many great teachers throughout history.

What are ego-based desires?

Ego-based desires are those that come from the false belief that we are separate, individual beings. These desires fuel our sense of attachment to things and lead to suffering when we don’t get what we want or lose what we have. By recognizing the illusion of the individual self, we can let go of these attachments and find true freedom.

What are the benefits of Non-Dual Awareness?

The ultimate goal of both Buddhism and Hinduism is to achieve liberation from the cycle of birth and death (samsara). Non-dual awareness is believed to be the key to achieving this liberation.

Non-dual awareness is said to bring about a profound transformation in consciousness. It is a state of complete freedom from all limitations and suffering. In this state, the individual self is dissolved and only the absolute, unchanging reality remains. This state is also known as Brahman or Nirvana.

Non-dual awareness has been taught by many great teachers throughout history. Some of the most famous proponents of non-dual awareness are the Buddha, Mahavira, Shankara, Ramana Maharshi, and Nisargadatta Maharaj.

In the West, non-dual awareness has been popularized by teachers such as Rupert Spira and Eckhart Tolle. The Direct Path to Enlightenment is a program of study and practice that leads to non-dual awareness.

What are the roots of Non-Dual Awareness?

Non-dual awareness has its roots in ancient Indian philosophy and religion. The Advaita tradition is often traced back to the 8th century CE teacher Shankara, who is credited with systematizing the teachings of Advaita. However, the Upanishads, which are the foundational texts of Advaita, date back to the 6th century BCE.

Non-dual awareness is also found in Buddhism, which arose in India in the 5th century BCE. The Buddha taught that all beings are intrinsically connected and that liberation from suffering is possible by recognizing this fact. Like Advaita, Buddhism emphasizes the importance of understanding the nature of reality in order to achieve liberation.

How does Non-Dual Awareness differ from Dualistic philosophies?

Dualistic philosophies, such as Western philosophy, emphasize the separation of the individual self from the rest of reality. In dualistic philosophies, the individual self is seen as being separate from and independent of the rest of the world. In contrast, non-dual awareness teachings emphasize the interconnectedness of all things.

Non-dual awareness is also different from dualistic philosophies in that it does not require a belief in a separate reality or an individual self. Dualistic philosophies often require that individuals believe in the existence of an objective reality and/or a subjective self. In contrast, non-dual awareness teachings do not require any beliefs; instead, they emphasize direct experience and understanding of the nature of reality.

What are the benefits of Non-Dual Awareness?

Non-dual awareness has many benefits, both practical and spiritual. On a practical level, non-dual awareness can help us to understand and cope with the sufferings of life. By recognizing that all beings are intrinsically connected, we can develop compassion for others and learn to see the world from their perspective. On a spiritual level, non-dual awareness can help us to let go of our attachment to the individual self and achieve liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

What is the Cycle of Birth and Death?

The cycle of birth and death is the belief that individuals are reborn after they die. This cycle is often seen as being caused by attachment to the individual self. In Buddhism, the goal of liberation is to break free from this cycle and achieve Nirvana. In Advaita, the goal is to realize that there is no individual self to be attached to.

Is the Cycle of Birth and Death real?

There is no one answer to this question. Each individual must decide for themselves what they believe.

How can I learn more about Non-Dual Awareness?

There are many ways to learn about non-dual awareness. One way is to read the Upanishads, the foundational texts of Advaita. Another way is to read the works of Shankara, the most famous proponent of Advaita. You can also read the works of contemporary teachers such as Rupert Spira and Michael A. Singer. Finally, you can attend a retreat or course with a teacher of non-dual awareness.

Non-dual awareness is the highest state of consciousness that a human can attain. In this state, the individual self is dissolved and only the absolute, unchanging reality remains. This state is also known as Brahman or Nirvana. Non-dual awareness is the goal of both Buddhism and Hinduism

Some popular books on non-dual awareness include:

  1. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  2. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
  3. The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
  4. The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts
  5. I Am That by Nisargadatta Maharaj
  6. The Nature of Consciousness: Essays on the Unity of Mind and Matter by Rupert Spira
  7. The Transparency of Things: Contemplating the Nature of Experience by Rupert Spira

Who is Eckhart Tolle?

Eckhart Tolle is a popular contemporary teacher of non-dual awareness. He is the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth, which have both been bestsellers. Tolle’s teachings emphasize the importance of living in the present moment and recognizing the interconnectedness of all things.

Who is Michael Singer?

Michael A. Singer is an American author and spiritual teacher. He is best known for his book The Untethered Soul, which has sold over two million copies worldwide. Singer is also the founder of the nonprofit organization Consciousness Explorers Club, which offers online courses and retreats on the subjects of meditation and self-transformation.

Who is Alan Watts?

Alan Watts was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker who popularized Eastern philosophy in the West. He is best known for his book The Wisdom of Insecurity, which promotes the idea that we should not be afraid of change or uncertainty. Watts also wrote many other books on topics such as Buddhism, Taoism, and Zen.

Alan Watts was born on January 6, 1915. He died on November 16, 1973.

Who is Nisargadatta Maharaj?

Nisargadatta Maharaj was an Indian spiritual teacher who is best known for his book I Am That. Maharaj’s teachings emphasize the importance of self-inquiry and direct experience of reality. He is also known for his unique approach to meditation, which he called “the pathless path.”

Nisargadatta Maharaj was born on April 17, 1897 and died on September 8, 1981.

Who is Rupert Spira?

Rupert Spira is a British artist, writer, and teacher of non-dual awareness. He is the author of numerous books on the subject, including The Nature of Consciousness and The Transparency of Things.