A number of people at our discussion groups have asked me to give a clearer understanding of Advaita or Non-Dual spirituality.
Advaita, an ancient Hindu philosophy, means nondual or “not two.” Oneness is the fundamental quality of everything. Everything is a part of and made of one nondual conciousness. Things can appear different without being separate. All objects, animals, plants and people in the world are all definitely different in their appearance and functioning, but they are all connected at their source—they come from the same source. This one Consciousness that is behind all life has an infinite number of different expressions that we experience as different objects.
Although there are a number of modern non-dual teachers, Advaita has become best known in the West through the nondual spiritual teachings of the Indian saint, Ramana Maharshi. He taught that self-realization, or the realization of the oneness of who we are, is not some distant goal that only a few can attain. The Self is that which is always and already present, that which doesn’t come and go.
The love, peace, and happiness we have all been seeking is already here and is, in fact, who we are. Through a process called “self-inquiry”, we become aware that our concept of a separate self is nonexistant, we can awaken from the dream of a separate self to the reality of Oneness, to the spiritual truth of who we are as nondual consciousness.
It is only an illusion of our Ego (separate self) that creates all of our suffering.