Not Two—Non Dual Teachings
The teachings of love, the teachings of truth are one. There are not two, there are not many. The prayer of this world is to know that experience. It is to know our very nature, to know our essence, to know our very being, which is love. This is the core of, non dual teachings. And what I teach is the how.
Many people have said that all is one and all is love and all is God. It is taught in many ways in many different cultures. My experience is one of that unity, of the brotherhood and sisterhood, that everyone, everyone is included in this love. The big question that people ask is: How to do I rise up from what seems to be everyday consciousness and the consciousness of the human being into the consciousness of the one, Unified consciousness?
The Universe gives us everything abundantly and freely. Our main goal in life is really about being honest with ourselves and not hiding or protecting any thoughts that are unloving. I call it forgiveness, but you can call it healing, awakening, Self-realization or anything that you want to call it. Allowing unloving thoughts to come up from the unconscious mind to the conscious mind causes them to disappear in the light. When they are kept hidden from the light, they seem to play out in a story, in a scenario, in a game that we call this world. They play out in time when they are hidden, but when they are exposed to the light they disappear. What remains is just a pure experience of Presence, of the Presence of love or the Presence of God.
So just for simple terms the closest approximation that this world offers to eternity, to nirvana, to heaven, is the present moment.
All the perennial wisdom, all the great traditions and teachings in all cultures teach that if you become present you come closer and closer to that which is oneness or God. And the past and the future are distractions away from the present moment. When our mind is drawn into the future we have many worries, many concerns. We can get into planning and making big plans.
I come from a culture in the United States, where there are many programs in the mind about attaining something in the future: bigger, better, faster, more, achieve, accomplish and accumulate, much materialism. It’s just a driving force, trying to be a better person in the future, to have more power, to have more of anything. That drive takes you away from peace of mind. Some of the most successful people in the world are also some of the most stressed people in the world, because even when they accumulate, even when they achieve, even when they accomplish, there is always a desire to protect that accomplishment or protect that achievement.
The same is true with the past. When we are thinking about the past, that is where we could have regrets. I could have, I should have, I would have, I wish I had done this differently, if only I had done this differently, all kinds of gyrations of the mind occur. Sometimes it has been called the monkey mind, because it just goes round and round and round. Back and forth between coulda’ and woulda’ and shoulda’, when actually it has always been perfect, everything.
So the past and the future are distraction from this joyful present moment of experience. We must release our ambitions, and I’m not talking about just ambitions for family or for partnerships or for business ambitions, I’m even talking about religious ambitions. I am talking about Spiritual ambitions. It is really a contradiction in terms to have Spiritual ambition. Ambition is always about the future and Spirit is always about the present. It’s ridiculous to have ambition. However, we have to be convinced, we have to be shown that pure happiness resides only in this moment. There is nothing in the future that will ever bring about this happiness, nor has anything in the past has ever brought about this happiness.
So, we are opening to a state of mind that simply is, it is what it is. When we watch the world from a state of what is, we have complete acceptance. We can accept anything that we see. We can accept anything that our ears hear. We have no yearning to reject and no yearning to possess. That is what makes “what is” so free and so happy. It is not trying to possess anything; neither is it trying to reject anything. The present moment, “what is”, transcends everything! It transcends ethics; it transcends morality, the rights and the wrongs. All the conditions that we have been raised with are all judgments and when we try to do more good, more right, we find that we are stressful.
“The present moment, what is, it transcends everything! It transcends ethics; it transcends morality, the rights and the wrongs.” –David Hoffmeister
When we try to avoid doing wrong we find there is great stress. But when we come back to the simple moment of what is Present right now, there is rest. There is absolute stillness. There is no sense of destruction, no sense of wanting things to be different than they are. The song that goes through my mind giving praise to the one is “let all things be exactly as they are.” In this state of acceptance, everything is taken care of. There are no needs in what is. Needs are inventions of the error or the ego, of a self-deception. Needs arise out of a sense of wanting to be something different than what God created, to be something artificial. It is like saying to God I want to be fiction instead of real. This world of Maya is an attempt to be fiction instead of Reality, but all reality sings to us constantly, you are so wonderful, you are so perfect, you have always been perfect. You have never done anything wrong. And you have never done anything right either. It is so far beyond right and wrong that it doesn’t even come down to a pronouncement or a declaration.
I find that the present moment is absolutely practical. It is the most practical. I seemed to grow up in this world, and I had parents, and they wanted me to do the practical thing. Then I went to school and my teachers wanted me to do the practical. Then I went to University and for 10 years I was in University, and they wanted me to do the practical things. At some point I began to say well, what really is practical? Is a career practical; is a job practical? Can I not live as the birds’ do and the trees? The trees do not wander about and the trees are not begging for sunlight or rain. A tree is very stationary and it is perfectly provided for. It goes nowhere. It has no sense of action involved with it. And yet, the tree is perfectly provided for. It has its needs met perfectly. Isn’t it possible to live where all your needs are met effortlessly? That is while you believe you have needs, because the present moment doesn’t really have any needs. It doesn’t need anything to be what it is.
Human beings seem to need things, and it can be very stressful when you believe you are lacking something and your needs are not met. There can be a great stress that arises in the mind. But things start to soften, things start to get easier, more relaxed when it seems that your human needs are being met consistently over and over and over again. There seems to be more of a flow, a Divine flow, when you don’t have this preoccupied sense of want. I want this, I need this, I must have this, I must have that.
In my life, I have gone from a condition of confusion, wanting and needing many things and of having conflicting wants and needs to a harmonious state, where it seems that whatever is needed is provided. I have just observed that there is a flow, a divine flow. If I really just trust and relax into it, then everything is taken care of. But I have noticed another thing as well, that my seeming needs have started to shrink. They have become smaller. Now that they are being met and I am not putting my effort into getting my needs met. The needs are shrinking. It seems like having shrinking needs is coming even closer to simplicity. There are not many needs to be met but, rather, few needs to be met. It’s very simple, almost like a flower. The flower needs sunshine and water and soil. It does not need many things. It does very well with these few things. If you try to bring more into the flower, it can make it much more complicated and the flower may loose it’s petals. If you add too many pesticides or other chemicals on it, you make the equation more complicated. You can make things complicated for the flower.
We are on the same kind of journey. When we open ourselves and open our hearts up to God, I would say that our life becomes simple, very simple. So I have come to the point where I no longer understand the problems. I no longer understand the problems. The Spirit, which is just always helpful, always seems to have words that are helpful, that can address anything. For absolutely anything that a human being can come up with, Spirit can offer comfort, peace and a blessing, no matter what that question or perceived problem is. As we open our hearts, the problems disappear. Then, all we are is a beautiful flow of love and light expressing itself through us and through everything.
So, it is a very simple teaching. It’s a very simple philosophy. It’s actually a state of mind, and what is so glorious is when this Holiness, this Holy state of mind, seems to come together with a problem and then the problem evaporates in the presence of Holiness. That is an amazing thing considering this world of complexities, of seemingly so many problems on so many different levels. And yet, amazingly, when you bring a little problem, a little dark thought to the light, the problem…the shadow disappears. The light is so strong, the shadow cannot even seem to exist. This is very practical. This is very relevant.
What is so dear to us is seeing the beloved in everyone that we meet, seeing that light, that sparkle, that happiness and joy in everyone that you meet, without exception.