Self-Inquiry: Discovering the Non-Duality in Duality ~ Gangaji

In order to survive, our minds are hardwired to make the first distinction of me and other. That duality usually becomes our perspective on life. We project that duality on to everything. We either have something or we don’t have it. We are happy or we are sad. We are right or we are wrong. We won or we lost. All distinctions have their place, but only as transitory points of view, present for the survival of an organism. Regarding true self-realization, which is non-dual realization of self, nothing can be excluded. True non-duality also includes whatever appears to be dual. With inquiry, non-dual unity can be found in the core of all perspectives including duality.

Often on the spiritual search, we seek an experience of non-duality by transcending physical, emotional, mental and circumstantial aspects of living. Transcendence implies leaving something behind. In this meeting, Gangaji demonstrates how through self-inquiry, non-duality can be directly experienced, with no need to leave anything. When we are willing to stop rejecting, fixing or controlling our very human experiences, there is the opportunity to discover the ever present truth of non-duality: pure consciousness, pure spaciousness. Gangaji invites us to welcome all aspects of ourselves in all states and forms, even the most difficult of experiences, so that we can discover inherent fulfillment.

Radhanath Swami – 2nd Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Published on Sep 25, 2016

A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for more than 40 years, Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. He is a guide, community builder, activist, and acclaimed author. Rooted in his study of ancient India’s mystic devotional tradition, Radhanath Swami’s message is as profound as it is simple: by cultivating a rich inner life of self-awareness and a genuine practice of service, we can become instruments of compassion and agents of sustainable change in the world.

Today, Radhanath Swami is the founder and coordinator of multiple spiritual communities throughout the world, the most prominent of which is the Radha Gopinath Ashram located in Mumbai, India. Under his inspiration and guidance, the project has grown to include missionary hospitals, orphanages, eco-friendly farms, schools, temples, emergency relief programs, and a food distribution program that feeds more than 250,000 indigent children in downtown Mumbai every day. In spite of his many responsibilities, he also travels widely, teaching Eastern philosophy and spiritually throughout Europe, Asia, and America.

Books: The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami, The Journey Within: Exploring the Path of Bhakti


Mary O’Malley: The Flawless, Methodical Madness of Life

I like to think of Life as flawless, methodical madness. On first glance, it does look like madness. All you have to do is watch the evening news to wonder what in the heck is going on. But the more your mind quiets and your heart opens, you begin to notice something going on here that is way beyond your ability to control or even comprehend. Underneath the dualistic dance of good/bad, right/wrong, easy/difficult, joyous/sorrowful, Life is waking up to Life in its infinite variety. More and more people are being moved out of unconsciousness into consciousness – the ability to see and be with whatever is happening right here right now.

I see it as flawless because it is evident in my life and in the lives of the people I have worked with for the past 30 years that we are each given exactly what we need in order to awaken – the kinds of bodies we have, our minds, our emotions, our parents, next door neighbors, bosses and co-workers, dogs, lovers, and children. When you understand Life in this way, you are no longer the victim. In fact, you become fascinated by how your life is unfolding, and in that curiosity, you begin to see the treasures that are always there in every situation. For there are no ordinary experiences!

An example of flawlessness comes from a friend of mine who received a phone call from a potential employer saying that the job interview she had hoped would bring her an income (so she could make her mortgage payment) was cancelled because the job had been filled. As she ended the call, she dropped the phone in her lap in despair as tears began to flow. Through her tears, she heard a noise and realized she had accidentally turned the phone on in the middle of her emotional storm. She turned it off, but a few seconds later the phone rang and much to her amazement, it was a friend she hadn’t talked to in over a year. This woman asked her, “Did you just call me?” It took my friend a few seconds to realize that a long time ago she had put this woman’s phone number on speed dial and she must have inadvertently hit her number. When this woman asked her how she was doing, she shared her fear and heartache. Much to her amazement, the woman responded by saying that she had just taken her house off the market and had a separate apartment in her basement that my friend could live in for as long as she wanted to. My friend also immediately found a renter for her own home so her mortgage payment was covered.

Extraordinary experiences like this one are happening all the time, but we are so busy in our minds that we don’t see them. Life is supporting us, communicating with us and taking us step by step into our awakening. This flawlessness also includes our suffering. What would happen if you trusted your suffering? What would your life be like if, rather than resisting it, you were curious about it, gathering the treasures that always lie hidden in the midst of your challenges?

Life has given me many challenges over the years and they oftentimes threw me into realms of great darkness. As I contracted over and over again into fear, anger, self-judgment, overwhelm and despair, gradually I learned how to really look at what I was experiencing. I discovered that who I truly am is that which can see all the stories in my head rather than getting caught up in the stories themselves. This helped me to understand that the struggling self we all carry is such a small part of what is going on – that there is a vast, creative, peaceful space in which all of the stories of the ‘mind-made me’ are floating, and that is who we truly are.

I also call it methodical, for Life will take you through very specific steps on the journey from unconsciousness to consciousness. How the steps show up varies from person to person. You may be taught through financial or health issues, difficult relationships, or all of the above. Step by step, as you learn how to listen to your life, you will see that there are no accidents, that you are not doing your life wrong, and that your life is for you. And moment by moment, it is bringing you home.

You never know what is going to happen in your life. But the truth you can come to know and live is that, in whatever experience you are having in any given moment, you are exactly where you need to be on your journey into consciousness which is where the path to your freedom lies. Don’t fight it. Instead, be curious and discover that Life wants you to awaken even more than you do.

Source: Mary O’Malley

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