Yoga in the Non-Dual Perspective

Yoga, in the non-dual approach, is fundamentally an exploration into the nature of Awareness. It is not in the becoming process, as we cannot become what we already are.

What we are is not an object. Our Presence can never be objectified. We can only come to experience, through attentive listening, what we are not–body, senses and mind. Yoga is therefore an eliminative process -viyoga. It helps us understand and dis-identify from what we are not -body, five senses and mind – to come to what we are – Presence, Being, Joy.

In the practice of yoga it is of the utmost importance that we do not strive to become something, to compete, to compare or to be anything other than how we actually are in this present moment. Otherwise we begin in conflict, pitting how we are against how we would like to be. We must, instead, realize how all striving unfolds in the arena of awareness. Then all of our actions, movements, emotions, feelings, sensations and thoughts, bring us back to the unchanging background that constitutes our real nature. Then, all movement reorchestrates itself into harmonious movement at peace with itself.

Listening is the first step on this path. Next, we rid ourselves of the conclusion that objects exist independently of the one who perceives them. Third, we must not analyze, judge or compare ourselves but observe ourselves with objectivity, without any intention to be other than as we find ourselves.

First, observe the body, breath and mind. Sense them as objects of the perceiver. Secondly, turn and investigate the nature of the perceiver. Thirdly, be only perceiving, only Awareness, only Consciousness. Here, there is no split between what is perceived and That which is perceiving. Now, body, breath and mind have served their fundamental purpose – to bring us back to ourselves as the ultimate perceiving. Finally, come back to the body, breath and mind and experience how these movements, too, are extensions of Awareness, extensions of Consciousness. Now the realization dawns that there is no separate self and that everything is made of the same substance: no self and no other. There is only Consciousness. There is only God.

To understand yoga in this way, to work on the body, the breath and in meditation in this manner, allows us to feel ourselves anew — not as a solid, localized mass but as something subtle and radiant. We observe without strain, without any motive or end result–choicelessly. Body, senses and mind are then experienced as transparent, manifestations of energy, projections of awareness.

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Written by Richard C. Miller PhD

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