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Non-duality

misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a HinduIndia Veteran

Hi All,
What does non-duality actually mean? Can a person live a worldly life from the point of view of non-duality? Thanks.

Jason

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yes, if you're not Buddhist, no if you are.

    Non-duality means "not two" or "one undivided without a second". Nondualism primarily refers to a mature state of consciousness, in which the dichotomy of I-other is "transcended", and awareness is described as "centerless" and "without dichotomies".

    I think you could safely say we have a way to go before we attain such a level.

    You're asking questions again, wasting time that would be better spent addressing your immediate situation, rather than prevaricating and procrastinating, and distracting yourself from the essential.

    BuddhadragonFoibleFull
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    In general, you can treat those kind of writings as a kind of koan. You carry on washing the rice, chopping the wood and carrying water from the well in a mindful fashion, and then at a certain time you hope that wisdom matures.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    A non dual view of the world May be an ultimately truer view of the world, but we still live in the conventional world. A common danger of thinking only of the ultimate state of the world is falling into a view of nihilism, that nothing really matters.

    KeromeCarameltail
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited November 23

    What do you mean by living a worldly life from the point of view of non-duality? What to you is non-duality? What is worldly?

    federica
  • Conceptual mind is ego grasping past, present and future, manipulating, substantializing and solidifying Buddha Nature that cannot be grasped, manipulated, substantialized and solidified.
    That is why, in order to awaken to our Buddha Nature, the Mahasiddha Tilopa said:

    "Let go of what has passed.
    Let go of what may come.
    Let go of what is happening now.
    Don’t try to figure anything out.
    Don’t try to make anything happen.
    Relax, right now, and rest."

    lobstermisecmisc1TravellerBuddhadragon
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited November 24

    @misecmisc1 said:
    Hi All,
    What does non-duality actually mean? Can a person live a worldly life from the point of view of non-duality? Thanks.

    I would say non-duality is the conceptual opposite to duality but it actually negates opposition. There are no opposites, just complimentary aspects of the same process.

    As a smaller example, man and woman are complimentary aspects of human and the only opposite to human is no-human just as the only opposite to woman is no-woman. We know there are humans and women so their opposition are concepts. After all, since there are humans, the potential for humans has always been.

    Duality as far as I can tell is a natural consequence of self awareness which is the ability for one aspect of all that is to distinguish itself from the rest.

    As such, duality is like a tool we use and without it, there is no distinguishing of any kind.

    So I guess my answer is no. There is only skillful means and unskillful means but to live as an aspect/person is to use duality.

    personFosdick
  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    @person It's just a question of realising those feelings of meaningless as being just as much dukkha as everything else.

    Buddhadragon
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    To the extent of my knowledge, all of us here live in the world.
    Non-duality is an all-encompassing outlook on life that helps us grasp the concept of forest beyond the trees that stand in the foreground.
    There is death and there is life, there is night and there is day, there is good and there is bad.
    But what appear to be complementary opposites are not quite that, because in fact, they are interdependent concepts, and either could not exist without the other.
    We may lead a life in the world -though not quite what could be termed "worldly"- and still have an outlook on life that helps us rise above the notion of opposites.
    A conciliatory way of looking at the world that sees no boundaries between "this" and "that," or me and others.

    personCarameltail
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:
    Hi All,
    What does non-duality actually mean? Can a person live a worldly life from the point of view of non-duality? Thanks.

    federica
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited November 25

    @misecmisc1

    What is Non-duality?

    The Middle Way...

    Can a person live a worldly life from the point of view of non-duality? Thanks.

    Yes ....By following ....

    (and keeping to the middle)

  • The essence of Dependent Origination is "this that conditionality":
    "Dependent on this, that arises."
    "If this doesn't occur, that doesn't arise."

    If there is a in here, there is an out there; us-them; subject-object; thinker-thoughts; experiencer-experienced; knower-known etc.

    This is the path: clean up your act, learn to concentrate, use your concentrated mind to gain wisdom by clearly seeing what is truly happening. When you truly understand the inconstant/impermanent nature of creation (anicca), that nothing gives lasting satisfaction (dukkha), and/or that no solid essence can be found for any phenomena (anatta), then the disenchantment can set in - the spell is broken, the enchantment is lifted. One becomes dispassionate (viraga) - ones mind is no longer colored (raga) by the allure of creation (sankara). Cessation (nirodha) of craving occurs - no craving, no dukkha. This is liberation; this is Nibbana.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.leighb.com/essence.htm&strip=1&vwsrc=0

    lobster
  • I think the best way to understand it is that it's similar to equanimity. So what is equanimity? A monk once told me that equanimity is kind of like "letting go without the stress"

    lobster
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    Nonduality means seeing past conventional wisdom, conventional ways of seeing, speaking, and understanding. It means seeing left as being relative to something else from a certain point of view, but that such a thing as left doesn't ultimately exist. It means being able to see beyond our limited, human perspective, glimpsing the greater whole and totality of life, its oneness where our experience is relative and ephemeral, like globs of foam floating down a river. It means being able to take in the present, as it is. It means that, in the words of Richard Rohr, "You learn not to divide the field of the moment or eliminate anything that threatens your ego, but to hold everything—both the attractive and the unpleasant—together in one accepting gaze." And that is something I think one can certainly do living a worldly life, although such a life can present challenges to developing (or uncovering) such a way of seeing. Things arise and cease, but things are also empty, like foam on a river—and nonduality is being able to switch our gaze from one reality to the other.

    ShoshinlobsterKerome
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited November 26

    @Jason said:
    Nonduality means seeing past conventional wisdom, conventional ways of seeing, speaking, and understanding. It means seeing left as being relative to something else from a certain point of view, but that such a thing as left doesn't ultimately exist. It means being able to see beyond our limited, human perspective, glimpsing the greater whole and totality of life, its oneness where our experience is relative and ephemeral, like globs of foam floating down a river. It means being able to take in the present, as it is. It means that, in the words of Richard Rohr, "You learn not to divide the field of the moment or eliminate anything that threatens your ego, but to hold everything—both the attractive and the unpleasant—together in one accepting gaze." And that is something I think one can certainly do living a worldly life, although such a life can present challenges to developing (or uncovering) such a way of seeing. Things arise and cease, but things are also empty, like foam on a river—and nonduality is being able to switch our gaze from one reality to the other.

    I don't wish to argue or anything but that actually sounds like duality if you're talking about 2 realities.

    I think that with non-duality (the absolute of the two truths) there is no distinction or distinguishing period. There would be no space between observer and observed. No eyes, ears etc.

    What you described sounds more like the Middle Way between the absolute and the conventional which to my understanding is to use duality knowing the truth of non-duality.

    Sorry about the run-on sentences. I still have trouble with that.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @David said:

    @Jason said:
    Nonduality means seeing past conventional wisdom, conventional ways of seeing, speaking, and understanding. It means seeing left as being relative to something else from a certain point of view, but that such a thing as left doesn't ultimately exist. It means being able to see beyond our limited, human perspective, glimpsing the greater whole and totality of life, its oneness where our experience is relative and ephemeral, like globs of foam floating down a river. It means being able to take in the present, as it is. It means that, in the words of Richard Rohr, "You learn not to divide the field of the moment or eliminate anything that threatens your ego, but to hold everything—both the attractive and the unpleasant—together in one accepting gaze." And that is something I think one can certainly do living a worldly life, although such a life can present challenges to developing (or uncovering) such a way of seeing. Things arise and cease, but things are also empty, like foam on a river—and nonduality is being able to switch our gaze from one reality to the other.

    I don't wish to argue or anything but that actually sounds like duality if you're talking about 2 realities.

    I think that with non-duality (the absolute of the two truths) there is no distinction or distinguishing period. There would be no space between observer and observed. No eyes, ears etc.

    What you described sounds more like the Middle Way between the absolute and the conventional which to my understanding is to use duality knowing the truth of non-duality.

    Sorry about the run-on sentences. I still have trouble with that.

    Brings to mind the line, "These are the world's designations, the world's expressions, the world's ways of speaking, the world's descriptions, with which the Tathagata expresses himself but without grasping to them" (DN 9).

    Language itself is conventional, limited, and incapable of fully describing what we're talking about; it can only point towards such experiences. Perhaps mode of seeing/being would be more accurate than reality. Whatever the case, generally speaking, we don't tend to see life through the prism of nonduality, but quite easily see and make distinctions, likely due to the evolutionary advantages of such. However, we do seem to have the ability to perceive the world from a nondualistic POV, penetrating into this ultimate reality or whatever you want to call it, while still functioning in, and speaking about, regular, conventional, everyday life. To use an image from SN 22.95, one can see and interact with the mirage of dualistic experience (existence vs. non-existence, etc.) even while apprehending its underlying emptiness.

    Davidpersonlobster
  • Things arise and cease, but things are also empty, like foam on a river—and nonduality is being able to switch our gaze from one reality to the other.

    Useful quotes @Jason B)

    That is my experience.
    Non-duality is the river and our minds are just froth ...

    Ultimately we are not single minded (a form of concentration or river direction) but un-minded ...

    Ay caramba!

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Jason said:
    It means that, in the words of Richard Rohr, "You learn not to divide the field of the moment or eliminate anything that threatens your ego, but to hold everything—both the attractive and the unpleasant—together in one accepting gaze." And that is something I think one can certainly do living a worldly life, although such a life can present challenges to developing (or uncovering) such a way of seeing.

    Certainly some such things are difficult, such as when your mind presents to you visions that are threatening to you, or frightening. You can feel in one place with things that are on an atavistic level very difficult to just look at simply, or to cope with in a way that is both just and compassionate. It can be immensely challenging to not signal a reckless attack in such a situation.

    I find dream visions hard to cope with because they can be so intense, and present situations which are not present in the real world. In normality the scariest thing you will encounter is a man with a gun - an incarnation of death - while in a spiritual vision any fear that the mind can conjure up can be encountered... becoming a cripple, pain, loss, many quite extreme things.

    Doubting the reality of such conjurings is in a way an avoidance, not truly coping with the inner fear. It puts me in mind of Thich Quang Duc, the Vietnamese monk who burnt himself in 1963, who managed to conquer the reality of fire and death. I don’t think we need to go to such an extreme to put dream visions to bed, we need to build on trust and steadfastness and resilience.

    Things arise and cease, but things are also empty, like foam on a river—and nonduality is being able to switch our gaze from one reality to the other.

    Well said, I like the image very much.

  • @namarupa said:
    I think the best way to understand it is that it's similar to equanimity. So what is equanimity? A monk once told me that equanimity is kind of like "letting go without the stress"

    Tee Hee.
    Stressed out by equanimity? Practice stress free being/sitting ... don't get swallowed by a doughnut ... ;)

    namarupa
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited December 1

    @misecmisc1 just a general comment on trying to figure things out precisely. Often the answer is not forthcoming and you just have to have a light touch that is steady and consistent but that can let things come and go without trying to find an intellectualized answer. Just let questions come and go with a light touch and a curiosity but not a push to find like an intellectualized theory of who the self is or whatever.

    Shoshinmisecmisc1
  • Duality co-exists with non-duality. The more you awaken the more you are in touch with non-duality but duality still persists within life

    lobsterHozan
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