Yoga Philosophy

What is non-duality?

Non-duality, often referred to as Advaita in Hindu philosophy, is a profound spiritual concept that encompasses a wide range of teachings and practices. At its core, non-duality points to the fundamental understanding that there is an underlying unity or oneness that pervades all of existence, transcending the apparent duality and multiplicity that we perceive in the world. Non-duality challenges the conventional notion of reality as being composed of separate and distinct entities, whether they are objects, beings, or concepts. Instead, it suggests that these apparent divisions are illusory and that there is a deeper, unified essence that underlies all phenomena. Non-duality recognizes that our perception of separation is a result of our limited understanding and conditioned ways of thinking.

In the context of non-dual philosophy, the term "non-dual" is derived from the Sanskrit word "advaita," which literally means "not two" or "not dual." It emphasizes the inherent unity between the individual self (jiva) and the ultimate reality (Brahman) or consciousness. According to non-dual teachings, the individual self, which is often identified with the body, mind, and ego, is ultimately an expression or manifestation of the same underlying reality that encompasses everything. Non-duality invites us to look beyond the surface-level appearances and to inquire into the nature of our own experience. It encourages us to question our assumptions, beliefs, and concepts in order to discover the truth of our own being. It suggests that by investigating the nature of our thoughts, emotions, sensations, and perceptions, we can arrive at a direct experience of the non-dual reality.

Practices such as self-inquiry, meditation, and contemplation are often employed to facilitate this process of self-discovery. By turning our attention inward and examining our subjective experience, we can begin to unravel the layers of conditioning and identification that perpetuate the illusion of separation. Non-dual philosophy asserts that the realization of non-duality is not something to be achieved or attained, but rather a recognition of what is already and always present. It is a shift in perception that reveals the underlying unity and interconnectedness of all things. This realization is said to bring about a profound sense of peace, freedom, and liberation, as one recognizes their essential nature as pure consciousness or awareness.

In summary, non-duality is a spiritual philosophy that points to the inherent unity of all existence. It challenges the conventional understanding of reality as separate and encourages a direct exploration of one's own experience to discover the truth of one's being. By transcending the limitations of duality and recognizing the underlying oneness, non-duality offers a transformative understanding that can profoundly impact one's perception of oneself, others, and the world.

Opening the heart of compassion

How compassion and love arises naturally with non-dual realization

Compassion, love, and kindness are deeply intertwined with non-dual teachings. Non-duality recognizes the underlying unity and interconnectedness of all beings, and these qualities naturally emerge as a result of that recognition.

Compassion arises when we deeply understand that the apparent separateness between individuals is illusory. When we recognize that we are all expressions of the same underlying reality, it becomes natural to feel compassion towards others. We understand that their joys and sorrows, their successes and struggles, are ultimately our own. Compassion arises from the recognition of our shared humanity and the innate desire to alleviate suffering and promote well-being for all beings.

Love is a central theme in non-dual teachings. It is seen as the essence of our true nature, which is pure awareness or consciousness. Non-duality suggests that love is not merely an emotion or a personal feeling, but rather the very fabric of existence itself. Love is the force that unifies all things, and it transcends the boundaries of individuality and ego. When we recognize this universal love, it naturally flows towards all beings, encompassing both the joys and challenges of life.

Kindness is another quality that is closely linked to non-dual teachings. Non-duality teaches that the underlying reality is characterized by unconditional acceptance and harmony. When we embody this understanding, kindness naturally arises as a way of engaging with the world. Kindness is an expression of recognizing the inherent worth and value of every being. It involves acts of generosity, understanding, and respect, fostering an environment of mutual care and support.

Cedric is head teacher of INEA•YOGA a Yoga School in Corfu, Greece. Check us out to find trainings, retreats and online videos.

Cedric Stein
Cedric Stein
Head Teacher INEA • YOGA

My mission is to create a safe space for you to connect to your inner being. By following your breath, being in the present moment and noticing yourself.

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