Friday, November 30, 2007

What is Advaita Vedanta? by Katie Davis, Author, Awake Joy

In the East, non-dual teachings are referenced by the term Advaita Vedanta. In Sanskrit, "Advaita" means "not two" and "Vedanta" means "the end of knowledge." Non-dualism is beyond knowledge.

However, in non-duality, there is no experiencer and no experience. There is no perceiver or perception. The points of reference of the experiencer, the perceiver, as well as the witness, are limited and therefore, all objects of perception can only exist in limitedness.

Self-realization is the discovery of oneself as the infinite Peace, the eternal formless, the indescribable Love, the unfathomable Sacred that is transcendent of conditioned thought. It is transcendent of you, as you think that you are, as well as transcendent of the world and all objects. It is the Mystery beyond the mind. With integration and the full embodiment of enlightenment, all form is recognized as none other than the Real and is cleary the manifestation of the formless as Itself. There is no self-referencing whatsoever and no abidance anywhere.

Who you are is beyond the mind and cannot be intellectually understood. When the illusory veil of the ego is lifted, the perception of duality culminates, which removes the illusion of separation and the illusion of all opposites. The concept of individuality is released into the Ocean of Love. Like water pouring into water, without the possibility of return, it then manifests as waterfall, river, or ocean.

Sacred Love is the topic of enlightenment. Although we speak about it and use words to point to it, the Love remains untouched. Presence shines to Itself, by Itself and in Itself. The unconscious mind is freed and it realizes the incredible beauty of it's true nature, which is the eternal Silence. Then, in service, becomes the hand-maiden to Truth.

Consciousness recognizes Itself by being fiercely now, by intense investigation and, once the mind is tranquil, by making no effort. At this point, effort is seen to be a future endeavor and a moving away from the Truth of Being. Until that time, it is essential to observe the functioning of the unconscious mind and recognize that you are the spaciousness in which all comes and goes. You remain still, immovable, being vigilant, being Heart. It is the realization that Love is all there is, Love is all there ever was and that you are this Loving now and naturally free. The illusory pain and suffering were caused by the shadow cast by the unconscious mind and the uninvestigated assumption of "me."

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