The Nondual, Ultimate Reality is the Tree in Your Backyard

Realizing the truth of nonduality does not mean that we have to negate all of the wonderful diversity in the universe and try to erase it all into one bland, homogeneous tapioca pudding of Being. Many try to do this and all to no avail; it cannot be done. The diversity of the One remains, as vibrant and wonderful as ever.

There is no conflict between the particularity of things and nonduality. The particularity and the specificity of things IS nonduality. The particular tree in your backyard with its particular characteristics IS the ultimate reality. The Buddha is the oil in your pan and the potatoes frying in it. God is there in the sweater your grandmother has worn for 30 years. The ultimate reality is your best friend, the gum on the bottom of your shoe, and the lightning that crackles in the stormy sky.

The only apparent obstacle is the illusion of separateness; drop this and dive through the distinctness of things into the deep depths of the nondual.  Once you taste this truth directly for yourself, you can go for a walk and feel in total communion with everything you encounter, with the rocks on the pavement, with the leaves on the trees, with the people you meet.  You’ll see the intrinsic value of all things with your own eyes and feel it in your very being.  Your encounters with all beings you come across will be marked by the deep intimacy that comes from the recognition of nonseparation.

Only by directly tasting nonduality in the wonderfully distinct things of everyday life will you find, here and now, the lasting peace and profound, wordless bliss that is our natural state prior to the arising of the idea of separation.

When you intimately experience the absolute in the relative and the relative in the absolute, then you’ll see that all actions are spiritual practice and that all experiences are mystical experiences.   When this is your lived experience, you’ll find deep fulfillment in the smallest actions.  As Alan Watts once said, “Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.”

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