Non-duality vs. meditation

1 Replies, 314 Views

I don't know if this interests anyone here but I'm just posting it because it's helpful to me in my current "seeking".

I'm attracted to both meditation/mindfulness (Buddhism, Zen) (the observer watching the thoughts) and "nondual teaching" à la Vedanta (leave behind the fiction that there is an observer and thoughts, it's all just consciousness/awareness, so no need to meditate). They seem to contradict one another on what I've written in the parentheses, but I like the way this blogger sees them both as useful additions to one another.

Nonduality vs. meditation by Jeff Warren

Quote:The ordinary-strangeness and accessibility and completeness of your own Being is what the nondual teacher points us to, again and again. The idea that there is somewhere to get to actively prevents us from seeing the freedom that is all around us. My own opinion is this top-down nondual understanding should be central to every practice – it is a necessary corrective to the striving and angst of long developmental processes. Where top-down “work” feels to me like a relaxation or a melting backwards, bottom-up work feels like a pushing forward or a breaking through.
But here is the thing: developmental processes like meditation in turn seem to be a necessary corrective to the complacency and blind-spots that nondual teachers and practitioners can fall into. What’s more, despite that truth that in one sense we are all of us already free, every single nondual teacher on the planet moved into their wakeful perspective developmentally. They had to have, otherwise there’d have been no contrast.
[-] The following 2 users Like Ninshub's post:
  • Sciborg_S_Patel, tim
Possibly this is only of interest to me right now! But I'll allow myself to post this as a sort of a forum "bookmark" that I can return to.

As an aside, I'll say that exploring spiritual paths and teachings, it can be a bit dizzying to enter into the antagonism between adherents of one school/religion vs. another, even in the Eastern\non-dual teachings. Theravada Buddhism vs nondual Buddhism, Buddhism vs Advaita, Classic Advaita vs. Direct Path (Stephen Bodian, Spira, Lucille, etc.), Advaita/Direct Path vs. Almaas' Diamond Approach, "pure" nondualism vs. nondualism attitudes that recognize psychology and the issue of spiritual bypassing, and on and on...

By nature I'm a bit of a generalist, a jack of all trades who likes to dip his toe in different pools (at the sacrifice most likely of the benefits of taking a deeper plunge through commitment to one path).

Anyway, I like this article by Michael W. Taft:
Nonduality and Mindfulness — Two Great Traditions that Go Great Together.

Quote:At the extremes, these two traditions can become very critical of each other. Some nondualists think that mindfulness meditators are caught in the trap of working hard to get somewhere, and end up just building a meditator ego to replace their everyday ego. Some mindfulness practitioners think that nondualists are just playing a recursive word game (“Who is playing a word game?”) and narcissistically kidding themselves about how enlightened they are, while complacently denying their own foibles.

Quote:Mindfulness has a lot to offer a nondual practitioner. For one thing, the practice of self-inquiry is a kind of mindfulness practice. Investigating the nature of the Self, asking yourself, “Who am I” and looking for the answer to that question can all be considered a kind of “mindfulness of the Self.” Most mindfulness practice as it is taught in America focuses on body sensations, but there is no reason that a practitioner cannot use the same kind of focus on the sense of self and deconstructing that sense of self into its components. In more advanced mindfulness practice, this is exactly the point.

But advaita also has something very useful to contribute to mindfulness, because the advaita critique of mindfulness is legitimate and important. Again, it’s the idea that mindfulness strengthens the sense of being somebody (you, the meditator) doing something (practicing meditation) – a sense which, in the long run, is still an ego. Because mindfulness teachers very often talk about the practice as “becoming a witness of experience,” they are actually creating a safe haven for the ego, which can keep the person from realizing their fundamental awakening.

Note that Buddhism has its own non-dual meditation traditions that go beyond mindfulness, like Dzogchen.

(This post was last modified: 2022-08-20, 04:23 PM by Ninshub. Edited 1 time in total.)
[-] The following 2 users Like Ninshub's post:
  • Typoz, Sciborg_S_Patel

  • View a Printable Version
Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)