Non-Dual therapy is a relatively new concept, though in practice it is arguably quite old. This is a perspective which blends two previously separate domains – a philosophy that is usually termed ‘Eastern Wisdom’, with the more Western approach of psychotherapy.
What is Non-Duality (or nonduality)?
Nonduality is a term used to express what has been pointed at by mystic spiritual traditions, primarily Buddhism and Taoism, as the essence of our true selves, and the ‘ground of all being’. It is called nondual because it is the experience of the collapsing of the subjective and objective. Literally, it is just saying that instead of seeing a world of duality, of me and them, this and that – of 10,000 things – this is a philosophy that suggests we notice that all things are unified in common experience. It is not that the ‘things’ are connected. It is that there is actually, only an inclusive experience for all of us. This is not an abstract, intellectual brain exercise, but the simplicity of our actual experience. When we pay attention and notice this perspective, people report that they naturally connect to feelings of peace and healing.
How does Nonduality fit in Therapy?
Many people agree that when you start to really look at this, it is an obvious connection, and there is no way that Nonduality does NOT fit into therapy. From the perspective of the therapist, a nondual perspective creates a space of unconditional acceptance, true forgiveness and a natural space of integration and healing that can be held for the client, which draws the client to that space as well.
In a more explicit way, Peter Fenner, in the book The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy indicates that nondual therapy is based on the “possibility that we have everything we need, simply by virtue of being conscious.” By directing a client to their own simple experience of their awareness, they can become more present, healthily detached from previous limiting beliefs, heal traumas, and perhaps the best part – to simply experience greater amounts of peace, joy and love.
Ken Wilbur, the leader of Transpersonal Psychology, wonderfully shows that our path of healing and growth as mature human beings, only makes sense when we notice that all of it occurs in a spectrum or progression of consciousness, and that ultimately, this leads to (and occurs within) a nondual awareness. In practice, that suggests that using this as a target will always guide us in a direction of healing and positive growth.
How does this fit with my sense of Spirituality?
While Nondual Therapy tends to appeal to people who are spiritually curious, it is nice to see that nonduality itself is not a ‘spiritual’ concept. It is merely an existential philosophy based on logic and experience. That is partly why it is so refreshing in this post-modern world where many of us are a little done with the tired constraints of tradition.
But the beauty of nondualism is that it is not, and does not need to be, at odds with any belief structures. If you are Christian, Wiccan or Atheist, this is simply about moving towards your own honest experience and has nothing to do with any God or Gods at all. In fact, Nonduality is found in the mystic traditions of almost every world religion – if you look for it – and most people find that if anything, the ideas of nonduality strengthen their spiritual path, regardless of the form that it takes.
Most of the people that are interested in nondual therapy are looking for self-realization and the evolution of their consciousness. If that is what you are looking for then frankly, there is a reason that it is referred to as ‘The Direct Path’. Nonduality skips the middle-man that religions have previously offered, and lets you find out for yourself. Who are you, really? And what is the nature of experience? It is a delight to find out.
Is Nonduality connected to Mindfulness?
Yes! Without saying so, mindfulness is (ideally, anyway) essentially the practice of resting in one’s own nondual nature. In mindfulness we are practicing paying attention, in the present moment only, with an open and non-resistant attitude. When we do all these things at once, we are getting a taste of our nondual nature.
Is Nondual Therapy for me?
If you are interested in this path, it is likely that the ideas of nonduality have already been on your radar in some way, and that you have been on some kind of path of healing, growth and self-discovery for some time. Typically, it is only fairly mature people – seekers – who have tried all sorts of previous paths, who truly find this direct path appealing. If you are interested in cutting through the chaff of jargon and theoretical abstractions, religious mumbo-jumbo and are ready to look at the heart of it all – the heart of your own awareness – then this is the most joyful and powerful work on the planet!
What will we be doing?
- Helping you to experience your true nature via direct experience
- Helping you integrate and make sense of realizations and awakenings
- Using guided meditation to explore and dismantle limitations
- Using inquiry to dig into and expose faulty beliefs
- Using somatic and body-oriented techniques to integrate and anchor awareness in the body
- Helping you integrate awakening into your daily life and relationships
- Giving you support and objectivity while exploring possibly new territory!
- Ensuring that you are not ‘spiritually bypassing’
- Heal and understand the subtle remnants of trauma (often intergenerational)
How can we help?
The idea of Nondual Therapy is a passionate one for Rob, and is at the core of his life. This is nothing new for him – Rob wrote and published a book centered around nondual wisdom (Living As God: Healing the Separation, 2005 & 2012, Namaste Publishing) and eventually wrote his academic thesis on the blending of nondual philosophy and Western psychotherapy. He has visited Ramana Maharshi’s ashram in India, and has been sitting and studying with renowned nondual teacher Rupert Spira for years. Rob’s interest in nonduality comes only from his direct experience – that this philosophy “simply has the language that best describes the way things really are.”