As meditation practice spread in the western countries, terms associated with meditation and its results have also filtered into western languages and thought. Nondual is one such word. Immediately, however, there is an issue: the mindset of the western culture. Nondual has been part of the Indian sub-continent’s way of thinking about life for thousands of years whereas dual – two that are separated – has been the way of thinking in the west. For example, Ganesha is a god of benevolence, abundance, and wealth. He is an elephant or is elephant-headed. He is big as a display of abundance or, like Santa Claus’ girth symbolizing contentment and satiety, Ganesha’s size symbolizes the same. But, Ganesha’s mount of choice is a mouse. Nondual.
Tantra also is from the Indian sub-continent. And, though Tibetan Buddhist tantrayana is not the same as karmamudra (sexual practices) which are and have been a core practice within Indian tantra, the secular and the sexual actually have nonduality as the essential truth represented.
Nondual is as common as the wetness of water or the spaciousness of the sky. For a meditation practitioner in the west, experiences of nonduality are held before one as a marker or measure or as something to achieve. This attitude is not present in the east. Nondual is life and awareness. Duality is illusion. Various experiences of nonduality await everyone, even in being present to the liquid one is drinking. In meditation training and practice, nondual experiences will naturally come forward as the sense of single self learns to abide in tranquility and then in the pointed awareness of shamatha and insight (vipashyana) combined.
Again, there are many experiences of nondual including awareness itself that lie just waiting within a practitioner. This week we invite one.
May this meditation and its technique serve your practice.