Mindfulness Meditation: Living in the Nondualism of Awareness

The true mindfulness meditation is living in the awareness of the nondualism of the present moment.

"What is this true meditation? It is to make everything: coughing, swallowing, waving the arms, motion, stillness, words, action, the evil and the good, prosperity and shame, gain and loss, right and wrong, into one single koan."--Hakuin

"Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment." -- Thich Nhat Hanh

True mindfulness meditation is to reside in the awareness of observing who you are. When you practice such mindfulness you no longer need any meditation technique. For being in the present moment you gain the awareness that there is nothing to be gained. To be mindful of all that you do is the meditation of living. To focus on anything there must be interest. And to have full interest there must be love. And in love there is no separation. And lover and loved are united in a nondualistic embrace.

We do not really love ourselves, and so actually we have little interest in our self. We seem to be fixated on our selves. But we are not. We don't watch ourselves with an eye that is as open as the sky. We look at our selves with the speculation of what we might be in the future, and selectively we think about what we were in the past. In other words, we have become ghosts and projections. We (the ones we think we are) are not real. We have become figments of our imagination.

To be mindful is to be present, where there are no ghosts or projections. You are just being present with your self, lovingly aware of what your thoughts are doing, what your emotions are up to, and what your body is experiencing. There is no judgment as to what any of these bodies of yours should be doing. To be in that awareness, you are no longer identifying your self with any of the bodies.

For example, when I am just being present and observing my physical body, let's say as I am writing this piece. I am aware of my slow breathing as it moves through my nose, the slight discomfort of my left groin, how my hip is slightly turned to the right, and how only my toes are in contact with the floor. I have no judgment about my posture, only that my posture is what it is. And from that place of observance, I can make adjustments to find more comfort.

This awareness, this mindfulness meditation, can extend to emotions at any given moment, whether there is the expansion of happiness or the contractions of fear. It is also beneficial to observe the multitude of thoughts that most people have fluttering around. Thoughts fly one moment back into the past and then zoom ahead to future possibilities. Usually, thoughts will not be on the same track for more than a minute in actual sequential thinking, of one thought leading logically to the next thought. If thoughts are not jumping around like a monkey on the loose, they are fixated on an issue in some obsessive loop.

I remember the days when I would go over conversations that I wish I had said or rehearsing for upcoming discussions. And over and over, the exchanges would play themselves out in rerun after rerun. How boring!

The pleasant consequence of becoming more conscious of my thoughts, by making my life a mindfulness meditation, for example, was that the thoughts eventually became more behaved and became less frequent. You know those annoying people who will be in your face. They will keep up the behavior until they find that you are not reacting to their shenanigans. Finally, they just shut up. Ahh! Peace.

By practicing mindfulness, you can do it at all times and in all places. Even in traffic. You do not have to sit in particular positions. You do not even have to be alone. Being with people offers excellent opportunities to watch how your bodies are responding. Every moment is mindfulness meditation.

Everywhere is the opportunity to know about who you are and who you are not. With any mindfulness meditation technique, expect no results. Just be conscious of the experience.

What is Nondualism?

Swirling colors in an abstraction of nondualism.

Nondualism means, "Not two," What the heck does that mean? Nondualism takes us back to the foundation of our Being, to the timelessness before the Big Bang, and the multiplicity of things emerging in the sea of time. To live in such a state of mind is to see that there is only One, only the Godhead. I studied with a Christian sage, named Bernadette Roberts, who carried around with her a lump of clay. To picture this state for us, she would hold this lump and say that this was God. Then she would create out of this clay, pinching out various forms. Then she would say, "Here is Saint Francis. Here is a rock. Here is a tree, etc. While they each look different, they are all made of the same stuff and connected to the same substance. And that stuff is God."

We are all made out of God and are connected to God. (If the word God causes you mental discomfort, substitute a name that you can use that is beyond definitions. Some aspect of Being far beyond what our mind, and thus our words, can grasp.) A typical example in Indian teachings is that all pieces of gold jewelry are made out of the same substance. Gold. The separated mind, or the egoic mind, sees only the differences in the jewelry, while the enlightened one, the sage who lives in a state of nondualism, sees only the gold.

When you live in that place of "not two," all is revealed as divine. Whether you hold a lump of clay or a lump of gold, both are divine. A perfect example is how a baby sees the world. She wants to consume it all; everything goes into her mouth. It reminds of a passage in the Bhagavad Gita when Arjuna is granted the cosmic vision of Krishna. He beholds Krishna devouring all the warriors and all things.

When you live in that state of Being, all is yummy!

Janaka Stagnaro

Self Meditation: Inquiry into the Self
Traffic School of Awareness Meditation
Nondualism and Envirionmentalism
Ten Commandments: A Nondualism Perspective
Advaita Vedanta (Nondualism) and Compassion
Nondualism and the Art of Becoming Human
Enlightenment in the New Age
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