Is there a difference between awareness and consciousness?

They are synonyms.  They are different words for the same thing…with perhaps minor differences.  It is said the Eskimos have 50 words for snow.  This might be a myth, but we have many English words for shades of the color blue (and I am removing the ones that have blue as part of the name – like baby blue): azure, celeste, cerulean, cyan, denim, glaucous, indigo, iris, periwinkle, sapphire, teal, turquoise, ultramarine, viridian, and zaffre.  Then we have other languages in the world that use different terms for the color blue like azul in Spanish, glas in Welsh, mavi in Turkish, modra in Slovenian, bru in Sicilian, niebieski in Polish, and uliuli in Hawaiian to name a few. Continue reading Is there a difference between awareness and consciousness?

The Self has always been free. The Self is always awake. Right?

This is really a nasty question.  If I say “yes”, then you will think there is nothing to realize and remain stuck in suffering.  If I say “no”, that is not correct and limitations on the Self could be inferred.

You see…it is not as simple as saying “the Self has always been free.”  While true, the question is do you feel free?  Also, are you free from suffering?  If you do not feel free and are not free of suffering, then you are not awake and are not free.  However, it is a figment of your imagination.  An illusion of the mind.  You are hypnotized…and hence asleep…within a prison of your own thoughts.  As long as the illusion is attached to and believed…it is a delusion of being trapped and that delusion has effects. Continue reading The Self has always been free. The Self is always awake. Right?

Where is the responsibility in nondualism?

Nisargadatta Maharaj said, “love says ‘I am everything.’ Wisdom says ‘I am nothing.’ Between the two, my life flows.”  Likewise, for me, love says, “100% responsibility for everything” and wisdom says “0% responsibility for anything.”  Between the two, my life flows. Continue reading Where is the responsibility in nondualism?

How can I actually use nondual philosophy in my every-day life?

You don’t.  It is not about trying to implement concepts and beliefs into life.  This question comes from the viewpoint of the ego or “me.”  How will this make “my” life better…how do “I” use this to get what “I” want?  Enlightenment and awakening is about seeing through the “me” and realizing the nondual nature of what-is.

Don’t use the pointers and concepts you learn by studying nondualism to create a philosophy you want to implement in life.  That is not how it works.  This is like hearing that the enlightened do not have attachments, so you go out and start practicing detachment in the hopes of gaining some of the benefits of enlightenment based on imitating the enlightened. Continue reading How can I actually use nondual philosophy in my every-day life?

Why are we here in the first place? How come there is suffering?

No reason really.  We are here to simply experience…to play is another way to put it.  There is suffering because challenges and antagonists are needed to make a good play (to make it more entertaining and fun).

There is no meaning or purpose to life beyond living it.  Any reasons or purposes given are mental fictions and imaginations we attribute to life.  When there is no thinking, you see no purpose or meaning…it just is as it is. Continue reading Why are we here in the first place? How come there is suffering?

Where are the ethics in nondualism?

Many nondual teachers don’t put much attention on ethics.  Unless asked…I often don’t talk about ethics either.  Usually, it is assumed you are already fairly ethical.  I don’t know of many people with an interest in nonduality who are not ethical, because nonduality is not the first stop of the spiritual journey for most people.  Often, people have been spiritual seekers for years before they encounter nondualism.  In my experience, spiritual seekers tend to have higher ethical standards than the rest of the population. Continue reading Where are the ethics in nondualism?

Where is compassion in nondualism?

Advaita / nondualism often gets heady and dry, but compassion is very much included.  Love brings togetherness in unification.  The Self is love.  Nisargadatta Maharaj said, “love says ‘I am everything.’ Wisdom says ‘I am nothing.’ Between the two, my life flows.”

With love, there is compassion.  Nondualism does not mean a homogeneity of experience….only that you realize it is not the experience of separate things.  So although it is Self-love and Self-compassion, it may be expressed through acts done for an “other” person.  There can be a recognition of that is a dog, that is a tree, that is my friend, etc.; and yet still not be fooled into thinking those are separate others.  There is only the Self. Continue reading Where is compassion in nondualism?

Can you really speak about nondualism? Isn’t that duality?

In speaking about nonduality, you can only point at it using words.  Words are inherently dualistic.  Chair only has meaning because there are things that are not chairs.  But when I say “nonduality”, I mean that which does not have an other.

Now, you can logically and linguistically say there is duality and nonduality – as if they are opposed and that it is dualistic.  Quite right.  But that use of the term “nonduality” would not really be nonduality.  That would be pointing at something with an other or opposing view.  If you focus too much on the words and take them literally, then you will not understand what is being pointed to. Continue reading Can you really speak about nondualism? Isn’t that duality?

What does “when I woke up”…exactly mean?

I woke up in November 2005. I simply mean that a happening occurred…a realization. A kind of aha moment when the illusions of the mind are clearly and deeply seen through…in particular this idea of “me”. This is not just a mental realization, but undeniably through the whole being. I sometimes say it hits you to the core or in your bones. Continue reading What does “when I woke up”…exactly mean?

What is the importance of not being attached to things and people?

None.  No importance what so ever.  The ego is what is looking for “shoulds” and “should nots” and rank by importance and trying to do something (like – not being attached).

It is true that the enlightened are not attached to things and people.  When there is a seeing through the illusion of “me”, the illusion of attachment also falls away as it is founded upon an illusory “me”.  However, there is no such thing as “the importance of not being attached”.  There is no need to try to not be attached.  In fact, the enlightened don’t really think about attachment or detachment. Continue reading What is the importance of not being attached to things and people?