Frequently Asked Questions
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What is Advaita?
Advaita means “not two” and is a branch of Vedanta, which stems from the Hindu Vedas.
‘Ramana Maharshi’, (a revered Indian sage) , encouraged persistent Self Enquiry into the nature of self, with the question “Who am I”? In this question all other questions dissolve, as it cannot be answered with the mind.
Advaita states that all suffering is only a result of being ignorant of ones true nature. That ones true nature is consciousness and there is nothing that exists that is not consciousness. Once there is a direct recognition that you are THAT, then there is no longer any suffering, just reality as it is. It is seeing through the false belief that you are living this life, but rather; life is living you. Pain can still come and go, but there is no more suffering in the pain, because there is no longer a problem with pain.
What is Non Duality?
Non Duality again means oneness. It is when the duality or paradox of life comes together as one, (like the personal and impersonal) and you see both exist simultaneously. This is why when one speaks of the Reality behind all life, one cannot help but speak in paradox.
Non Duality is not about belief, it’s all about true direct experience, the discovery of reality as it actually is. You see what is real and not real. What is permanent and impermanent.
Everything that is transitory, that which comes and goes and is impermanent, is unreal.
Only that which never changes, the hereness of consciousness is real.
It is an immediate knowing within the unknown mystery of life.
You are the world and the world appears in you, not you appearing in the world anymore.
As Jesus said “I am the father and the father is in me”
One sees all is one and so now one can simply enjoy the many manifestations and appearances of creation. There is no longer a problem with separation and it it is simply enjoyed for what it is.
It can happen spontaneously as a permanent shift in clear understanding and is often followed by a deepening release as one lives this shift in the apparent life. Just an ordinary human being.
It can also happen as a gradual dawning in the life and then seen. It is unique to each apparent individual , yet it is the same clear understanding that is seen.
We are in the play of opposites, the play of duality, sadness and happiness, love and hatred etc. If you fight or resist the play of duality, suffering ensues. It’s that simple!
How does one see one’s true nature?
There is no concrete how, but to see that you are here, right here right now. This is a full stop.
Just see that you are here just as you are, with no need to fix or change. just see that you exist. You are here!
That is all, and keep your attention on the feeling of you. The feeling of you in that body right now, not the thoughts , just the overall feeling sensation in the body, is a great place to start.
In this you will see that everything arises and moves within you, but you are actually unchanging. You are just simply pure existence itself, pure consciousness, the unmoving awareness that is always here. Your true nature is THAT. It’s not an experience, it’s what’s here before , during and after any experience. Bring that which doesn’t move to that which is arising and moving.
Stop, relax and rest . See the human being, feel into the body, into the aliveness within and sense what embodies and gives life to this human being. It’s not what you think it is either. You cannot fathom it, so don’t try to , it’s obvious and mysterious.
Some will speak and write about it and others won’t, it’s unique and different in it’s expression and that’s why there are so many ways of speaking or writing about it, but ultimately everyone is saying the same thing, just with a different twist on it and flavour and from their own direct experience which is unique and from their own character and/or personality. It is often repetitive yet never boring, because it can be said in so many different ways.
What is Presence?
It is the sense of ‘I Am’, it is the embodiment of the pure ‘I’ , which is prior to “I Am” .
This is the Radiance, which expresses itself as ‘I Am’. This sense of ‘I Amness’ is the ‘I am here’ as pure existence, as presence. It is the one being expressing through the vehicle of the body/mind or ‘little I’ which is just an idea of the ‘Pure I’. The ‘Pure I’ is the true identity that is giving life to the ‘little I’, the ‘little I’, (god bless it), is an idea of the mind and therefore a false identity. One identifies more with the true identity or nature and is absorbed by that, rather than being totally mind absorbed by the little story of you.
When you see the presence, (the present awareness inhabiting the body), one embodies more and more as the pure presence of life, which one already is.
Is there Choice or Choicelessness?
Well it’s both and it’s neither and it’s beyond both in Truth. Confusing, don’t worry, it’s meant to confuse the mind.
However in the life one sees it’s ultimately choiceless, yet choices and decisions apparently still get made, but one see’s that one isn’t doing it. Things just get done, things just happen.
Personalities are just the way they are. Tendencies, habits and patterns arise and actions happen as a result, which is cause and effect.
However, who you are is causeless and if you look closely you will see you aren’t choosing to do any of it. Choices get made even at the 11th hour, life unfolds, but there is a profound sense of knowing, beyond any concepts of the mind and a deep trust in the unknown, that life is doing it, living you and that no separate individual is doing it.
You are not that powerful!
Actions occur but no individual is doing them, only an apparent individual is doing them. Once seen you just rest in this understanding. It doesn’t mean do nothing. You do what you do till you don’t, or you don’t do anything until you do. Don’t sweat it!
Just live your life and examine and see if this is true or not. This must be seen your self and not taken on as another concept. Enjoy the investigation. It’s fascinating.
However there is a space of choice that is already there, waiting, in the choicelessness of what is arising. You have no control over what is arising but you can turn your attention to you. The only actual choice in the choicelesness is to just see you are here, right now, to be present to what is arising and in that everything get’s done, without you doing a thing.
You are lived, so relax and let life live you! It is anyway. This is why resistance is futile, but resist till you don’t!
What about Enlightenment?
There is no enlightenment except ‘light in this moment’, to see you are here, just as you are, reality is what it is, right now. It is just to see every moment freshly and innocently.
It’s very simple and easily seen.
Self doesn’t need to be enlightened. There is no seperate ‘I’ to be enlightened anyway. It already ‘just is’ and everyone or no one is enlightened , it’s really an old myth or idea conjured up by the mind. It’s great to see through this myth of enlightenment.
What about pre destination or making your own destiny?
They are one and the same. They appear to both exist, yet again it is beyond both.
There is no making your own destiny nor is it all pre destined. It is the paradox again.
There is an apparent ‘doership’ in the life, but in truth, only the pure ‘I’ or Self is the doer,or unfolder of life. Life itself unfolds life itself, It is enjoying the mystery too and You are life Itself.
Once you see, then what?
Many many many, so many are seeing this true nature, it is not a rare occurence any more, as it was in the days of Buddha or Jesus. It’s like the 100th monkey or the dominoe effect. It is freely available to all now.
Those who are aware of their true nature, are still everyday ordinary human beings, no different from one who apparently hasn’t seen. I say, ‘apparently’ because in truth no one is never not aware of their own true nature, not for one instant. This is the truth. However that’s all semantics. Once this is recognized one still experiences periods of challenges and difficulty, they are not exempt. I am not exempt nor have been exempted I can tell you! There is no escape from life as it is, for anyone! there is just no problem with it anymore.
There is no need to escape, whereas the tendency before is to escape from reality. When the need to escape relaxes and drops then this affords an ease of being through any difficulty and thus a fresh seeing, deepening, releasing, softening and surrendering into the reality of life ensues. This release is known as liberation.
This is true of every one , no difference. You see very clearly that you are no different from any one else and there is now no need to be different from anyone else. This is the only difference between recognition and not yet recognising! There is also no need to see or recognise as well!!! If you do you do, if you don’t you don’t. It will be clear in it’s own way.
There are no levels, just embodying and resting more and more, through fresh seeing.
What about Existence?
The only certainty is that you exist, you are here are you not?.
The tendency is to follow the ramblings of the mind. The suggestion is to not follow the story, stop, be still and just see what life reveals to you. Ask life itself to reveal itself to you.
Trying to communicate this, which can’t be communicated through words, concepts and ideas is challenging, but all we have is words and concepts to try and describe that which is beyond all concepts!
Really all we have is the direct silent communication of being. This is why we love nature so much because it’s just being itself, nature reflects back to us our very own nature, the still silent beingness.
Non Duality can only be expressed in the paradoxical, so it often appears contradictory. Direct seeing then can only be seen for one self, because none of it actually makes any sense at all, till one sees directly. Those who speak of non duality are just human beings and have different ways of expressing it and no one can express it perfectly. That’s the impossible task, yet some try anyway.
I enjoy being an ordinary human being immensely. It’s an extraordinary thing to just rest and relax into being very ordinary. An exquiste tenderness in the humanity is where the profound beauty and joy of life is seen. There is a deepening hamaneness for self and for all that unfolds. That’s why being a human being is so beautiful, in these beautiful bodies of love, which is nothing and nobody. Trying to be somebody drops when you see you are nobody.
What about evil in the world?
A good question, and of course there are atrocities inflicted by the human race upon the human race and for that matter on animals and the planet.
You can’t say it’s not evil and that it’s okay, for it does appear to be against life. There is no rhyme or reason for it. I don’t know. Yet there does appear to be some strange expansion/contraction process going on in the evolutionary process of humanity. The shadow , the unconscious acting out? ……possibly, ……trying to be seen and met…… perhaps, ……..who can really say, it appears that way, so it seems to me that bringing the consciousness to that which is unconscious is what life is potently calling for,…… maybe so …… and that is all I can say on this matter.
What about Evolution?
Well there is definately an evolutionary impulse!
That is obvious.
The universe seeing itself through myriad forms, waking up to itself in myriad ways.
The next big evolutionary leap is the leap of Consciousness.
This is happening NOW!
Everything is coming together for this next big leap in the timeline of evolution.
Yet in pure consciousness, in the absolute, prior to all, nothing has ever existed , so evolution doesn’t exist, it is a relative truth and yet here we are, all evolving through and as consciousness.
We will witness the conscious evolution of humanity on this planet. What was rare in the past is not rare any more. Many are waking up now to see they were already awake in the first place. Then we will all bring this consciouness that we are here through form en masse!
A new age is dawning in this grand story of evolution!
Written by Jane Rosaline Hunter