Two Ways Teachers Point to Nonduality

The two pointings are confessions and teachings.

Examples of confession and teaching are seen in the recent Nonduality Highlights.

Here is confession. It is an utterance of “Truth,” of the way things are:

I am neither the doer nor the enjoyer.
Actions have I none, now or then.
I have no body, nor am I bodiless.
How can there be mine and not mine?
I have no flaws like attachment,
Nor any suffering arising from embodiment.
Know me to be the singular Self,
As vast as space itself.
– excerpt from the Avadhuta Gita, translated from the original Sanskrit by Georg Feuerstein

The following is a teaching. You are being instructed. You are being prescribed something, namely to clarify the mind.

Just as a speck in the eye, by causing inflammation, may wipe out the world, so the mistaken idea: “I am the body-mind” causes the self-concern, which obscures the universe. It is useless to fight the sense of being a limited and separate person unless the roots of it are laid bare. Selfishness is rooted in the mistaken ideas of oneself. Clarification of the mind is yoga.
– Nisargadatta Maharaj

You may see some teaching in confession, and some confession in teaching, and the two are often combined, but they are clearly different ways of pointing to nonduality. One way is confess the nondual “state,” often for no reason other than to confess. The other way teaches you how to turn your attention around, or how to clarify your mind, so that you experience the nondual state.

Silence may be considered a third way, but even in silent teachings your senses are being stimulated: a touch, a hug, incense, photographs and thousands of other visual cues, music, foods.

Be aware of the atmosphere in which you hear confessions and teachings. If the atmosphere seems contrived or extreme, perhaps you are being manipulated. However, even a neutral atmosphere can be contrived.

Two email forums whose members may help identify manipulation are Guru Ratings and Nonduality Salon. Also read the Guruphiliac blog, visit their recommended links, and join their forum.

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