Nondual Quotations – 2

These pages contain nondual quotations, many of which I originally posted on the nondual quotes group on Yahoo!


Whoever knows that the mind is a fiction and devoid of
anything real knows that his own mind neither exists nor
doesn’t exist. Mortals keep creating the mind, claiming
it exists. And arhats keep negating the mind, claiming it
doesn’t exist. But bodhisattvas and buddhas neither
create nor negate the mind. This is what’s meant by the
mind that neither exists nor doesn’t exist…

from The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma,
translated by Red Pine (North Point Press, 1987)

Meditating deeply… reach the depth of the source.
Branching streams cannot compare to this source!
Sitting alone in a great silence, even
though the heavens turn and the earth is upset,
you will not even wink.
~ Nyogen Senzaki

From: “I AM THAT” by Nisargadatta Maharaj

“Use your mind. Remember. Observe.
You are not different from others.
Most of their experiences are valid for you too.
Think clearly and deeply,
go into the structure of your desires
and their ramifications.
They are a most important part of your mental
and emotional make-up
and powerfully affect your actions.
Remember, you cannot abandon what you do not know.
To go beyond yourself, you must know yourself.”

Dualistic views lead to confusion. What is the relationship of spirit
and body? Might as well count the number of angels on the head of
a pin. Spirit and body are one substance, the word is flesh.

This is what Krishnamurti was trying to point people to, that we are not
separate from feelings and situations, not to split ourselves but to accept
life whole. Duality is a function of the conventions of language, but truth
cannot be held in words, we have to point beyond and look beyond, into
our own natures.

~Terry Murphy

Keep your heart clear and transparent
And you will never be bound.
A single disturbed thought, though,
Creates ten thousand distractions.
Let myriad things captivate you
And you’ll go further and further astray.
How painful to see people
All wrapped up in themselves.


“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t
compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”


If you want to cut directly through, don’t entertain doubts about Buddhas, or
doubts about life and death – just always let go and make your heart empty and

When things come up, deal with them according to the occasion. Be like the
stillness of water, like the clarity of a mirror. Whether good or bad, beautiful
or ugly approach, you don’t make the slightest move to avoid them. Then you will
truly know that the mindless world of spontaneity is inconceivable.

~Ta Hui (1088-1163)

Every thought in consciousness has been born into form,
a temporary form and then it dies and goes onto another
form. You could say the whole world is consciousness
having taken birth as form, manifesting as form temporarily,
and then dying which means dissolving as form. What always
remains is the “essence” of all that exists – consciousness

~Eckhart Tolle

For no reason
I start skipping like a child.

For no reason
I turn into a leaf
That is carried so high
I kiss the sun’s mouth
And dissolve.

For no reason
A thousand birds
Choose my head for a conference table,
Start passing their
Cups of wine
And their wild songbooks all around.

For every reason in existence
I begin to eternally,
To eternally laugh and love!

When I turn into a leaf
And start dancing,
I run to kiss our beautiful Friend
And I dissolve in the Truth
That I Am.

Hafiz/ Trans. Ladinsky

It is as if a raindrop fell from heaven into a stream or fountain
and became one with the water in it so that never again can the
raindrop be separated from the water of the stream; or as if a
little brook ran into the sea and there was thenceforward no
means of distinguishing its water from the ocean; or as if a
brilliant light came into a room through two windows and though
it comes in divided between them, it forms a single light inside.

~St. Teresa of Avila
Quoted in The Virago Book of Spirituality Ed. Sarah Anderson

from: The Color Purple

I BELIEVE God is everything. . . Everything that is or ever was
or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to
feel that, you’ve found It… My first step from the old white
man was trees. Then air. Then birds. Then other people. But
one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless
child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of
everything, not separate at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my
arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I run all round
the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you
can’t miss it.

Quoted in The Virago Book of Spirituality Ed. Sarah Anderson

From: Zen Wisdom Ed. Timothy Freke

Vimalakirti asked Manjusri what was the Buddha’s doctrine of
nonduality. Manjusri answered, “The doctrine is realized by
one who sees beyond forms and who knows beyond argument.
This is my understanding – what is yours?” In response to this
question, Vimalakirti closed his lips and was silent.

From: Zen Wisdom Ed. Timothy Freke

The One and the All. Mingle and move
without discriminating. Live in this awareness
and you’ll stop worrying about not being perfect.

~ Seng-T’San

From: Zen Wisdom Ed. Timothy Freke

Zen opens a man’s eyes to the greatest mystery
as it is daily and hourly performed; it enlarges the heart to
embrace eternity of time and infinity of space in its every
palpitation; it makes us live in the world as if walking
in the garden of Eden.

~D. T. Suzuki

It is not the body, nor the personality that is the true self.
The true self is eternal. Even on the point of death we can
say to ourselves, “my true self is free. I cannot be contained.”

from: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

From: The Direct Path Andrew Harvey

When you look past the different terminologies employed by the
different mystical systems, you see clearly that they are each
talking about the same overwhelming truth–that we are all
essentially children of the Divine and can realize that identity
with our Source here on earth and in a body.

Although each of the mystical systems expresses it in subtly
different ways, this realization that we can all have of our
essential identity with the Divine is always described as a
nondual one–that is, as a relationship in which we wake up
to the overwhelming and glorious fact that our fundamental
consciousness is “one” with the Divine Consciousness that is
manifesting all things, all worlds, and all events. In other
words, we are each of us parts of Godhead who, when we are
aware of it, enter into a naked, nonconceptual identity-of-
consciousness with the Source from which all things and all
events are constantly streaming.

From: The Direct Path Andrew Harvey

The Paradox of the Journey

All major mystical traditions have recognized that there is a
paradox at the heart of the journey of return to Origin.

Put simply, this is that we are already what we seek, and that
what we are looking for on the Path with such an intensity of
striving and passion and discipline is already within and around
us at all moments. The journey and all its different ordeals are
all emanations of the One Spirit that is manifesting everything in
all dimensions; every rung of the ladder we climb toward final
awareness is made of the divine stuff of awareness itself; Divine
Consciousness is at once creating and manifesting all things and
acting in and as all things in various states of self-disguise
throughout all the different levels and dimensions of the universe.

The great Hindu mystic Kabir put this paradox with characteristic
simplicity when he said:

Look at you, you madman, Screaming you are thirsty And are dying
in a desert When all around you there is nothing but water!

And the Sufi poet Rumi reminds us:

You wander from room to room
Hunting for the diamond necklace
That is already around your neck!

From: ‘Zen Wisdom’ Ed. Timothy Freke

Even to hold to Oneness is to miss it.


From: ‘World as Lover, World as Self’
Joanna Macy

The self is a metaphor. We can decide to limit it to our skin,
our person, our family, our organization, or our species. We
can select its boundaries in objective reality As the systems
theorists see it, our consciousness illuminates a small arc in
the wider currents and loops of knowing that interconnect us.
It is just as plausible to conceive of mind as coexistent with
these larger circuits, the entire “pattern that connects,” as
Bateson said.
Do not think that to broaden the construct of self this way
involves an eclipse of one’s distinctiveness. Do not think that
you will lose your identity like a drop in the ocean merging
into the oneness of Brahma. From the systems perspective this
interaction, creating larger wholes and patterns, allows for
and even requires diversity. You become more yourself.
Integration and differentiation go hand in hand.

A billion times God has turned man
Into Himself

You stand in line for the
Highest gift
For his generosity cannot end.

But best to bring an instrument along
While waiting in the cold desert

And make some dulcet sounds
To accompany the palms’ swaying arms
That are casting silhouettes
Against the sky’s curtain
From our fire

Remind the Friend of your desire
And great patience.

A billion times God has turned man
Back into Herself.

We all stand in line
For the highest


From: The Gift Daniel Ladinsky

Profound and tranquil, free from complexity, Uncompounded
luminous clarity, Beyond the mind of conceptual ideas This is
the depth of the mind of the Victorious Ones. In this there is
not a thing to be removed Nor anything that needs to be added.
It is merely the immaculate Looking naturally at itself.

~Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche
Quoted in The Direct Path Andrew Harvey

From: The Rose Garden by Sa’di

I remember, being in my childhood pious, rising in
the night, addicted to devotion and abstinence. One
night I was sitting with my father, remaining awake
and holding the beloved Quran in my lap, whilst the
people around us were asleep. I said: ‘Not one of these
persons lifts up his head or makes a genuflection. They
are as fast asleep as if they were dead.’ He replied:
‘Darling of thy father, would that thou wert also asleep
rather than disparaging people.’
The pretender sees no one but himself
Because he has the veil of conceit in front.
If he were endowed with a God-discerning eye
He would see that no one is weaker than himself.

From: The Direct Path Andrew Harvey

The Sublime Joke of the Journey

Knowing that we are looking for something we already have
and are does not, of course, mean that the journey is
unnecessary, only that there is a vast and sublime joke
waiting to be discovered at its end.

The great mystery is not that we should have been
thrown down here at random between the profusion
of matter and that of the stars; it is that from our
very prison we should draw, from our own selves,
images powerful enough to deny our nothingness.

Andre Malraux

The flower invites the butterfly with no-mind;
The butterfly visits the flower with no-mind.
The flower opens, the butterfly comes;
The butterfly comes, the flower opens.
I don’t know others,
Others don’t know me.
By not-knowing we follow nature’s course.

from Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf translated by John Stevens

The Chief Hoodlum

To learn the Way we first kill off the chief hoodlum. What
is the chief hoodlum? It is emotions. We need to wipe out
that den of thieves to see once again the clear, calm, wide
open original essence of mind. Don’t let conditioned
senses spy in.
What is this about? It is about quelling the mind. One
removes emotions to quell the mind, then purifies the
mind to nurture its great elixir.

~ Ancestor Lu

From: The Spirit of Tao
Translated and Edited by Thomas Cleary

Beyond ambition,
beyond attainment,
is home.
without content;

~ A. H. Almaas

Words cannot describe everything. The heart’s message cannot
be delivered in words. If one receives words literally, she will
be lost. If she tries to explain with words, she will not attain
enlightenment in this life.

-Mu-mon 1228

He who loves does not think about his own life; to
love truly, a man must forget about himself, be he ascetic
or libertine. If your desires do not accord with your spirit,
sacrifice them, and you will come to the end of your
journey. If the body of desire obstructs the way, reject it;
then fix your eyes in front and contemplate.
~ Attar

From: Travelling the Path of Love
Ed. Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

From: The Mind and the Way
Ajahn Sumedho

*Seeing the True Nature of Conditions*

The Buddhas teaching points to the fact that all conditions are imper-
manent (*P. sabbe sankhara anicca*). By the word “condition” (*P. san-
khara*), we mean a formation of the mind, such as a thought or opinion.
Men and women are conditions. Similarly, Jews and Gentiles,
Buddhists and Christians, Asians and Europeans, Africans, the work-
ing class, the middle class, the upper class-all these are only forma-
tions that go through the mind. They aren’t absolutes. They are merely
conventions that are useful for communication. We must use these
conventions, but we must also realize that they are only conventions-
not absolutes. In this way, our minds are no longer fixed in our views
or opinions. Views and opinions are seen simply as conditions that
arise and cease in the mind, because that’s what they really are. All
conditions are impermanent; they arise and cease.

The morning breeze comes back
and from the southern desert
the lapwing returns
The dove’s soft song about roses
I hear that again.

The tulip, who understands what the lily says,
went away, but now she’s back.

With the sound of a bell,
strength and gentleness.

Hafiz broke his vow and damaged his heart,
but now, for no reason, his Friend forgives that,
and turns, and walks back up to his door.

~ Hafiz From: The Hand of Poetry Inayat Khan/Coleman Barks

From: The Book Alan Watts

The sense of “I ” which should have been identified with the
whole universe of your experience, was instead cut off and
isolated as a detached observer of that universe. In the
preceding chapter we saw that this unity of organism
and environment is a physical fact. But when you know
for sure that your separate ego is a fiction, you actually
feel yourself as the whole process and pattern of life.
Experience and experiencer become one experiencing,
known and knower one knowing.
Each organism experiences this from a different
standpoint and in a different way, for each organism is
the universe experiencing itself in endless variety.

From: The Book Alan Watts

To go anywhere in philosophy, other than back and
forth, round and round, one must have a keen sense of
*correlative vision*. This is a technical term for a thorough
understanding of the Game of Black-and-White,
whereby one sees that all explicit opposites are implicit
allies-correlative in the sense that they “go with” each
other and cannot exist apart. This, rather than any miasmic
absorption of differences into a continuum of ultimate goo,
is the metaphysical unity underlying the world. For this unity
is not mere one-ness as opposed to multiplicity, since these
two terms are themselves polar. The unity, or inseparability,
of one and many is therefore referred to in Vedanta
philosophy as “non-duality” (advaita) to distinguish it from
simple uniformity. True, the term has its own opposite,
“duality,” for insofar as every term designates a class, an
intellectual pigeon-hole, every class has an outside polarizing
its inside. For this reason, language can no more transcend
duality than paintings or photographs upon a flat surface can
go beyond two dimensions. Yet by the convention of
perspective, certain two-dimensional lines that slant towards
a “vanishing-point” are taken to represent the third dimension
of depth. In a similar way, the dualistic term “non-duality” is
taken to represent the “dimension” in which explicit differences
have implicit unity.

It is not at first easy to maintain correlative vision.
The Upanishads describe it as the path of the razor’s edge,
a balancing act on the sharpest and thinnest of lines.
For to ordinary vision there is nothing visible “be-
tween” classes and opposites. Life is a series of urgent
choices demanding firm commitment to this or to that.
Matter is as much like something as something can be,
and space is as much like nothing as nothing can be.
Any common dimension between them seems incon-
ceivable, unless it is our own consciousness or mind,
and this doubtless belongs to the side of matter-
everlastingly threatened by nothingness. Yet with a
slight shift of viewpoint, nothing is more obvious
than the interdependence of opposites. But who can
believe it?

More Quotations:
Allspirit Quotations Index