What does ‘we are all one’ really mean?

Yes, I have heard the phrase too.  My understanding is that you and I are literally not two.  Not two is the direct meaning of nonduality.

I am not denying that there are two patterns in the one manifesting as two body/minds.  However, it is only within the mind that we separate into two and this illusion is maintained through ignorance.  Because there are discernible patterns within nonduality does not mean that there is separation.  Like a magnet, there is a north pole and a south pole…this can be discerned…however there is never a north pole without a south pole.  You can’t really divide or separate them.  The one implies the other…they go together. Continue reading What does ‘we are all one’ really mean?

Isn’t saying the nature of the ego is illusory & there are no separate people a denial of human life?

I have never denied human life or the existence of the world.  I only deny that separation and otherness exists (outside of thought and the mind).  The nature of the ego is illusory; the ego is a creation of thought and memory that is believed.  It is an ongoing story we tell ourselves.  This does not deny human life.  Human life is not confirmed or denied by the ego.  Egoically we would like to think so.  From an egoic point of view, there is no human life without a “me”. Continue reading Isn’t saying the nature of the ego is illusory & there are no separate people a denial of human life?

Does the experience of self-realization or awakening naturally give rise to a nondual understanding?

Or is it the other way around – that a nondual concept of reality conditions the very nature and experience of self-realization?

This is a very interesting question.  It is true that our experiences tend to conform to our expectations and concepts.  There is a well known idea in India that God appears to you in the form you expect and conceptualize.  So if you are Christian, God appears to you as Christ.  If you are an ISKCON memeber, God appears to you as Krishna.  If you believe/conceive a formless God, God appears to you without a form.  The experience of the Divine tends to conform to our concepts of the Divine. Continue reading Does the experience of self-realization or awakening naturally give rise to a nondual understanding?

“Problems are really fictions of the mind”…isn’t this spiritual bypassing?

Not at all.  Spiritual bypassing is the tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid dealing
 with uncomfortable feelings and psychological wounds.  Spiritual bypassing causes us to withdraw from ourselves and others, hiding behind a kind of spiritual veil of metaphysical beliefs and practices.  Spiritual bypassing means putting up the facade of inner peace while inwardly in turmoil and conflict.  Spiritual bypassing is a form of escapism. Continue reading “Problems are really fictions of the mind”…isn’t this spiritual bypassing?

How can one be happy in life even when they didn’t get what they want?

Even if you get what you want, you won’t be happy.

If it was a car, a job, a spouse, or whatever…you will fear and worry about losing what you got and so you will never truly be happy even when you get it. There will always be the anxiety of “what if I lose it?”  Happiness does not come from getting the things you want. Continue reading How can one be happy in life even when they didn’t get what they want?

Do we choose our thoughts?

Yes and no.

You can choose to reminisce about your childhood or past trips.  You can choose to imagine and dream about what you want to do in the future and plan trips.  There is no doubt that we do choose some of our thoughts.  However, there are times when we don’t choose our thoughts and they just happen.  Many are plagued by fear, worry, guilt, shame, etc…and no one chooses to put themselves through that kind of suffering.  They can’t help it, the thoughts just arise. Continue reading Do we choose our thoughts?

The world is filled with desires and fears; don’t we need to look beyond the world to find peace?

No, we don’t need to look beyond the world to find peace.  The world is not the one filled with desires and fears.  Your mind is the one filled with desires and fears.  Or more precisely…your thoughts.  For, when there is no thought, we can look around in our world and find there are no desires or fears…there is only peace. Continue reading The world is filled with desires and fears; don’t we need to look beyond the world to find peace?

How do we break the habit of excessive thinking?

By not paying thought any mind and instead being 100% devoted to the experience of now.  By not fretting about the past, nor worrying about the future too much, and being fully conscious of now.  By accepting the present moment as it is for as long as it is…neither clinging nor repelling what (by its very nature) changes. Continue reading How do we break the habit of excessive thinking?

Please explain, “it’s all in the mind.”

The mind is through which we see the world…typically.  Of course, there is what the world looks like when there is no thought…which is something else.  The world, as we see it, is tinted and filtered by the mind.  Mind is just another word for thoughts that arise.  You see what your thoughts allow you to see.  So, it’s all a matter of thought.  Based on our thoughts and beliefs, the world we see is tinted and filtered. Continue reading Please explain, “it’s all in the mind.”

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?