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Read more about nonduality and the nondual approach to therapy, coaching and other modalities

Waking Up: A Journey of Inclusivity

By Lisa Meuser, Senior Living Inquiries Facilitator and Trainer  

“Not everything can be changed when it is faced. And yet nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

- James Baldwin

  Enlighten what? In a way, my journey of embodiment started with Facebook. One click led to another, and all of a sudden, I discovered a word I had never come across: “enlightenment.”  In spiritual and nondual Facebook groups, I met people who claimed to be enlightened, talking about “oneness” and “no self.” I could relate to their descriptions, as I too had had many awakenings (later what I’d call “head awakenings”), leaving me with experiences of clarity and expanded perspectives. It sounded good and all, this enlightenment, but it was confusing. The people in these groups were often competitive, mean-hearted, and fragmented from life itself. Some of them talked about love, light, and positivity, and yet t…
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The Third Level of Practice: Felt Sense

By Anna Pittman, PHD  When working with a judgement, point of view or trigger, there are generally three levels of response which each yield a very different consequence. Typically, when a person first comes to nondual therapy, they share a story about something or someone that causes a sense of internal discomfort. They focus on the story and the people or events that trigger their discomfort. The mind looks to answer the who, when, where, why and how of the event and assign meaning to the outer circumstances. The binary and outwardly focused mind may look for someone to blame, make comparisons, and even attempt to come to terms with the event by rationalizing and reasoning, unknowingly dismissing any connection to feelings or the body. In nondual therapy, we witness the mind attempting to create order by making assumptions and blind deductions. When there is ‘chaos’ in the inner or outer environments, the mind tends to decide on one fixed and reasoned idea that becomes …
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The Power of Attention

  Our brain’s capacity to direct, allocate, and prolong our attention is quite remarkable. Attention is important because it regulates and directs our mindfulness, which itself can move us to an expansive Awareness, and therefore to our fullness. Selective in nature, attention is constantly shifting; our curiosity and interest attract and reallocate it. Think of attention as a spotlight that illuminates specific aspects of what you perceive and causes everything else to diminish. It focuses on the object or task that is presently most significant and heightens your brain’s engagement with it. Although your mind most likely wanders and you might occasionally get bored, preoccupied, tired, or distracted, you can probably get your focus back most of the time and intuitively alternate your attention accordingly. You may have had moments of complete absorption through intense concentration. Your mind was focused one-pointedly on an object, so much so that you became one w…
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Fear of the Unknown and Spiritual Awakening

“One fear to rule them all, one fear to find them, one fear to bring them all and in the black box bind them.”

- Tolkien (1954)

  Why do we fear the unknown? What is fear of the unknown? Fear without a cause: pure, existential fear, frustrating freedom without rhyme or reason. A fear in which the familiar suddenly appears strange, even our own face in the mirror. This, in essence, is not fear of the content of life, although some have called it the fear of being alive. It is the fear of direct, unadulterated perception through the physical organs of consciousness, of which the brain is the headquarters. Driven by an aversion to fear, we’ve produced volumes of psychological texts. We’ve categorized fears as learned and inherited; as the result of trauma and the consequence of biology. We’ve divided them into collective, individual, epigenetic and inevitable. We’ve stud…
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The Fertile Ground of Not-Knowing – Nondual Therapy

“What is wrong with not knowing? You need not know all. Enough to know what you need to know. The rest can look after itself, without your knowing how it does it. What is important is that your unconscious does not work against the conscious, that there is integration on all levels. To know is not so very important.” - Nisargadatta Maharaj   Not-knowing is fertile ground, not a barren wasteland. Before we can discover anything fresh and new, we need to rest into a relaxed but attentive state of not-knowing. Not-knowing is the foundation on which the conceptual arises and falls. This may be obvious, but if we’re honest, we’re not very comfortable with not-knowing, are we? Avoiding the apparent ignorance and ambiguity of not-knowing, we instead look for confirmation of what we believe we are sure of, therefore defeating the purpose of spirtual inquiry. At the same time, avoiding ambiguity has a function. Not-knowing is death to the mind, and death is the most ext…
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Neutral Body – Relaxing Into Natural Presence in Nondual Therapy

By Anna Pittman, PHD In Nondual therapy we are inviting the experience of relaxing back and in to our natural presence. From this perspective we can more spaciously allow all thoughts, feelings and images associated with trauma and outdated, often unhelpful beliefs to be known and released experientially. The systems and fascial structure of the body have dutifully carried the karmic effect of these conscious and unconscious beliefs while itself striving for harmony and health. Our bodies often hold the past in its present state as tension and pain and may have parts that are not in our field of awareness at all. Even our conditioned, highly focused mind state draws our bodies into tension – the tension of narrow focus. As we come to experience the mind in its wide and open state, the perennially peripheral unfocused mind invites the body to open as well. Yet, we may need to more directly meet the chronic tension of the body through nutrition, body work such as massage an…
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Move into alignment with your True Nature

"Nondual Therapy is emerging to address the collective need to unwind conditioning and to move into increasing degrees of alignment with our True Nature."

“Nondual Therapy is not about achieving a status, or becoming a new, improved person. Rather, it’s about undoing the web of personality to allow the flow of pure Nondual Qualities...”

“Rather than trying to fix the personality, it sees individuality as a precious manifestation of Source in motion – a flow of unique moments of experience that can be celebrated as part of the evolutionary dance of the whole."

- Georgi Y. Johnson

Untangle your personal story

"This fresh way of being is not just for enlightened sages or monks living on mountaintops. The nondual nature of reality is the essence of all present-moment experience, which means it is practical, real, and alive in you right now...

You feel hurt, rejected, disappointed, or ignored, and since these everyday experiences stick to you like glue, they need to be addressed... In my work as a therapist, I’ve seen many people cling to the belief that they are damaged and broken, playing it out in their daily lives with painful results...

The good news is that your personal story of unworthiness and even self-hate can be untangled, because it’s built on confused thinking and it’s not the essence of who you are.”

- Gail Brenner

Free of all pressure to change or be the same

"In the nondual approach to therapy, therapists facilitate the natural release of fixed beliefs and frozen emotions by creating a space that is free of all pressure to change or be the same. They offer people an open and nonjudgmental space that lets things be, just as they are.

We could say that therapists offer a clearing for a client’s suffering. From this experience of pure spaciousness therapists can authentically question the structure, the texture, the nature of someone’s suffering in a way that begins to dissolve a contracted and self-serving interpretation of the present moment."

- Peter Fenner

Heal by reconnecting to wholeness

"More and more of us are experiencing self as multiplicity, self with porous boundaries, self beyond definition… Many of us are willing to investigate our inner worlds, to let go of who we thought we were and learn to be simply as we are. Through inner inquiry and spiritual breakdown, we get to know ourselves as we are for the first time since childhood. We return to who we were before our stories and wounds. It’s not so much that we discover anything new about ourselves; it’s more that we remember who we have always been, as interconnected beings in presence. We heal by reconnecting to the wholeness that has always been."

- Jen Peer Rich

(From the foreword to ‘The Dark Night of the Soul’ by Fiona Robertson)

Bring the patterns of suffering into consciousness

"The hard truth is that spiritual realizations often do not heal our deep wounding… Often what is needed here is psychological work that allows us to bring the underlying psychodynamics that maintain these patterns into consciousness."

- John Welwood

Notice and welcome energies in the body

"We store memories in our body as sensations or feelings velcroed to thoughts (words and images). In Mindfulness Inquiry, we notice the energy in our body and welcome it. We attend to the sensations. We invite it to reveal thoughts and memories associated with it...

We look from awareness and see what arises. We become familiar with the transitory nature of our stored material and beliefs. We intimately witness the integrated mindbody experience of thoughts and energy. We know what is flowing through in the space of awareness and we begin to know the space itself."

- Lynn Fraser

Limiting beliefs, feelings and patterns unwind

"We welcome beliefs, feelings and patterns that dominate your everyday life and seem to confirm that you are a limited individual… Gently, mistaken beliefs at the level of the mind and habitual contractions at the level of the body are exposed, explored and begin to unwind naturally."

- Ellen Emmet

Clarification of mind

"The Supreme State is universal, here and now; everybody already shares in it… Who does not like to be, or does not know his own existence? But we take no advantage of this joy of being conscious, we do not go into it and purify it of all that is foreign to it. This work of mental self-purification, the cleansing of the psyche, is essential… It is useless to fight the sense of being a limited and separate person unless the roots of it are laid bare… Clarification of the mind is Yoga."

- Nisargadatta Maharaj

A sanctuary to explore your direct experience

"…psychotherapists are in a unique position in modern society to offer a sanctuary for individuals to sort out their lives and more intimately explore their direct experience. Further, people may be more at ease working individually with a therapist who has a nondual orientation than with joining a spiritual organization or community that has its own specialized rules, roles, and rituals."

- John J. Prendergast

There are as many nondual therapies as there are nondual therapists

"Nondual therapy is not a special method, approach, or set of techniques, and certainly not a particular viewpoint. There are as many nondual therapies as there are nondual therapists. It’s actually an interaction between two people that occurs in the absence of a viewpoint, agenda, or interpretive lens; if it’s truly nondual, it unfolds in a shared, resonant space or field in which the apparent separation between client and therapist has dissolved—or, more accurately, doesn’t apply."

- Stephan Bodian

A repertoire of techniques to assist the therapeutic process

"Therapists with a nondual perspective may have access to a repertoire of techniques... These techniques may arise spontaneously in the moment in a way that is naturally appropriate for the client, greatly assisting the therapeutic process."

- Sheila Krystal

A full-spectrum path of spirituality and healing

"These days, it’s clear that a full-spectrum path of spirituality and healing must address multiple dimensions of what it means to be an open, awake, and compassionate human being. Meditation, emotional healing, psychological work, relational maturity, and being grounded in the body are all required to live lives of freedom, connectedness, and presence...

...explore the ground of a loving, embodied, nondual presence – the place where spirituality and therapy meet, the Home we never leave."

- Matt Licata