Michael Taft is the author of Nondualism: A Brief History of a Timeless Concept. Visit www.nondualismbook.com for information. Michael also teaches meditation and mindulness; his website for that is www.meditationwithmichael.com/
Michael writes, “The essence of nondual philosophy could be roughly summed up as: there is no you, no world, no deity, and no reality apart from the One Thing, which is consciousness. Everything else is imaginary.” In his book Nondualism a brief history of a timeless concept, he examines the long history of this interesting and powerful idea.
It’s Michael’s hope that the many people in the West who are currently involved in a nondual tradition will gain a bit more understanding of the background of nondualism, and perhaps where their tradition fits into the greater picture.
0:00 – 3:37 – Introduction to the topic of the history of nondualism and how it seems to be missing in the larger education
3:37 – 9:46 Early Vedic teachings. First definite nondual teachings in the Upanishads. A reading on turiya from the Mandukya Upanishad. Chandogya Upanishad.
9:46 – 11:22 The Upanishads as teaching texts. The current methodological teaching of Advaita Vedanta being a much later development.
11:22 – 14:38 Advent of Buddhism originating from study of the Upanishads and the three turnings of the wheel.
14:38 – 19:07 The refinement of Buddhist teachings. Emptiness teachings. Via positiva and via negativa teachings compared.
19:07 – 21:18 The expression of nonduality by people in general.
21:18 – 22:41 The blossoming of Buddhism very briefly mentioned.
22:41 – 26:13 Advaita Vedanta. Gaudapada.
26:13 – 29:17 Shankara. Buddhism contrasted with Vedanta.
29:17 – 34:43 The Western religions and nondualism. Meister Eckhart. Epiphatic Christianity.
34:43 – 38:30 Modern teachers: Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ramana Maharshi, Poonjaji, J. Krishnamurti. A gap noted in the book’s coverage and discussed.
38:30 – 45:08 Neo-Advaita, the pros and cons. Poonjaji’s teachings. Does neo-Advaita incorporate a practice?
45:08 – 46:54 Adyashanti and a paradoxical offering.
46:54 – 54:30 Michael Taft offers a meditation based on the “do nothing” technique of Shinzen Young. Conclusion