Nondual transmission, sharing the Ultimate Medicine
Nondual awareness—what is also called “buddhamind,” “suchness,” “just this,” “original wisdom” and many other names—is the most precious space that a person can realize. To rest and live in this space is the ultimate medicine because here there is no sense of lack or deficiency. No matter how things are; no matter what sensations are arising in the body, no matter what is being thought, or where we are in terms of health or material resources, nothing more is needed . We live from a space that can’t be enhanced or improved because “here” no one needs anything.
Nondual awareness is the most precious resource available to every human being and for humanity at large; especially as we negotiate our way through this critical phase of human history. There’s no question that the most efficient way to demand less from our delicate environment is to discover the space of authentic self-sufficiency, and live more thoroughly from a place where we’re nourished and fulfilled by awareness itself.
Every day, some people awake in a selfless recognition of their fundamental nature — a sphere of awareness through which life moves—without this being shown to them by a teacher. There are innumerable cases of spontaneous realization throughout human history. But in the majority of cases people come to this recognition through a connection with an Advaita master, Zen practice, the instructions of a Dzogchen lama, working with Western non-aligned teachers, nondual therapists, or timeless texts that directly point to awareness itself.
But don’t I need to be realized before sharing nondual awareness?
Some people feel that it’s impossible to learn how to cultivate and transmit nondual awareness. They hold that it arises without any causes. At one level this is true. Nothing can bring “this” into being, because “nothing” is being created. “This” is always, already here. Still, the wisdom of the “pristine self-sufficient purity of this moment” has also been consciously transmitted, at least from the time when the Buddha held up a flower and the great Kashyapa received a direct transmission of a contentless wisdom revealing the nature of consciousness itself.
Nondual awareness has been consciously revealed in the minds of hundreds of thousands of people through self inquiry, koans, clear seeing or vipashyana, pointing out events, and visionary meetings (darshan). These methods first entered the West 50 years or so ago. Today, half a century later, a significant number of Westerners are maturing as authentic agents for nondual transmission.
While the mind-to-mind transmission of pure awareness goes beyond all agency and contrivance, it’s possible to see how transmission happens, and use a broad palette of tools and sensitivities to awaken this in others. If someone has a clear recognition of the centerless space of nondual awareness and a natural impulse to share at this level, it’s definitely possible to refine the capacity for nondual transmission and extend the reach of the field in which this happens.
Many forms of nondual inquiry
There are many forms of nondual inquiry. Indian Mahayana, Zen, Advaita and Dzogchen all have their preferred methods. Some approaches are confrontational, others are gentle. Some are incremental, others are sudden. Some methods lend themselves to group entrainment, others are more suited to a one-on-one, dokusan-type of exchange. Some approaches build on a foundation of contemplative serenity, others cut through intellectualization in swift, robust dialogues.
Bringing your first-hand experience to the Nondual Training
The Nondual Training brings together a community of new and seasoned teachers, therapists or coaches who have a breadth and wealth of experience in nondual transmission and psychospiritual expertise, that is unparalleled. Together we share and explore the ins and outs of nondual inquiry and transmission. As a group we draw on more than 500 years of first-hand practical experience and accumulated wisdom derived from a very wide range of nondual lineages.
I know that some teachers strongly caution against stepping outside of a particular lineage of transmission, fearing that sharing the path with practitioners from other traditions, can dilute the integrity and authenticity of their teaching. My experience is quite the opposite. People who are clear and confident in presencing nondual awareness know that nothing can threaten this space because there’s nothing here: no beliefs, practices or values that can be distorted or destroyed.
In this case exposure to a variety of ways of sharing nonduality only serves to enrich, empower and bring clarity to our own unique way of embodying and sharing the nondual.
The process of sharing our skills and expertise reveals the structures of effective transmission. We demystify events such as pointing-out instructions and Zen dokusan. The framework of the Training introduces a language and set of subtle distinctions through which participants share and understand the function and relevance of different ways for delivering the same contentless wisdom. These distinctions continues to be enriched as the Training unfolds. A set of core distinctions is offered in a comprehensive Manual that’s been specially written for the Training.