One thing

View of the Himalayas from Kunjapuri Devi temple in Northern India.

View of the Himalayas from Kunjapuri Devi temple in Northern India.

The Vedic world view

Advaita means non-duality. It simply means "There is only one thing," or more specifically, "There are not two things." In other words, I cannot be apart from that which created me, just as I cannot be apart from any element of existence. The persistent illusion of separation is the parent of all my suffering. If I wholly accept the nature of the universe, then I am identified as both Atman (individual self) and Brahman (the whole of reality).

This is the Vedic world view. It is not a view supported by the modern way of thinking, in which the small "s" self rules supreme. The idea that one has everything one needs in this moment is antithetical to the incessant striving, the constant pushing to achieve more, to acquire more, to be more that is the hallmark of the western way of life.

When we engage in a diligent and consistent meditation practice, we disengage from striving, from effort, from the loneliness of the isolated ego, and we begin to transcend the endless disparaging chatter and negative assessment that we may have been subjected to for a lifetime. A more peaceful and loving view of nature and humanity becomes possible.

One meditation at a time.

Events in the modern world can seem at times horrific and confusing. We meditators can be far more effective at influencing the shift toward a new and more peaceful existence for everyone if we are diligent and serious about the consistency of our daily practice.

Protest commentary in a front yard, Ashland, Oregon.

Protest commentary in a front yard, Ashland, Oregon.