Welcome to this week’s edition of The Source!
In Vedanta, the ancient Indian philosophy of self-realization, there is a school of thought known as Advaita (pronounced add-veye-ta), a Sanskrit term for “non-duality.”
According to Advaita, one-ness is the only reality. Everything else is an illusion, known in Sanskrit as maya.
An important part of this philosophy is that our ignorance of our one-ness — which is also an illusion — is the cause for all suffering in the world. Only through the direct knowledge of this one-ness, which means actually experiencing it, can we be truly liberated. In Sanskrit, this liberation is called moksha (moke-sha). Understanding that all of existence is non-dual; not two things, but one pure whole.
Most of us grew up in homes where we were introduced to an all-knowing, all-seeing, infinite being known as God. How else can finite flesh beings such as us, with limited tools and a limited understanding, ingest such a beyond-this-realm concept as one-ness? There needs to be an almighty being that embodies all the characteristics of one-ness so we can better understand them—a sort of middleman between us and one-ness.
Most of us have a similar understanding regarding our God’s nature. Essentially this being created everything; controls or influences everything; is everywhere. It is infinite, immortal, omnipresent, spans the existence of time and, therefore, is timeless. It is capable of resurrection and rebirth; can be worshipped and appealed to; and has the ability to craft what we would consider miracles.
Even if you weren’t brought up in a formal religious or spiritual tradition (if you are an atheist you can still meditate and receive all the benefits you are seeking) it is still likely that you believe there is some form of intelligence beyond ours. So whether your orientation is toward the divine, a god, multiple gods, or a higher power, we define our personal understanding of this universal nature as spirituality. Essentially, spirituality is the journey we take in each moment from our most individual Self to our most universal Self and then back again. From constriction to expansion!
When our mind analyzes this being or power, we see this omniscient, omnipotent, infinite God or spirit at once in everything and yet separate from us and the world. Vedanta would say this separation exists only on the surface, only in our mind. Deeper below the surface, our mind, body, and spirit are all the same things — pure, unbounded consciousness — one-ness wearing different disguises.
According to Vedanta, liberation lies in knowing the reality of this one-ness and experiencing spirit through varying aspects of study (gyan), devotion (bhakti), action (karma), and practice (raja or the royal path).
Don’t get overwhelmed, I talk more about this in “Secrets of Meditation,” and we study it extensively in my Masters of Wisdom & Meditation Teacher Training.
Two of the practices of the royal path that most directly connect us to spirit are meditation (restful awareness) and yoga (body-centered restful awareness). The path to this understanding of spirit is a deeper understanding of who we are, what we really want in life, and why we are here. This is called the expansion of consciousness — moving from a constricted, conditioned space where we identify and define ourselves as the roles we play in life and the things we own (essentially, our positions and our possessions) to the more expansive perspective of who we are, how we are connected to everything, and what we came here to do.
Want to Dive Even Deeper into These Ancient Teachings?
Join me, and an intimate group of like-minded spiritual explorers for my Masters of Wisdom & Meditation Teaching Training beginning in June 2019.
During your time leading up to the final week, you will experience a one-on-one Skype call with me, a live video webinar per month (four total) in which you will interact with your fellow teachers in training, have continuous interaction with me, as well as video and audio teachings each week (16 weekly lessons).
The final week of meditation teacher training concludes your training with an intensive seven-days “in-residence” at The Meditation Nest in Carlsbad, Calif. I will guide you to elevating your meditation practice to a higher and deeper level. You will achieve greater knowledge and understanding of the most esteemed masters and their timeless teachings.