Whether or not a spiritual philosophy is dualist or non-dual makes a huge difference in terms of how it formulates our relationship with the world, the meaning of life, the nature of reality, why we are engaging in certain practices, what we are seeking to realize.
Dual [of Dualism] means two—specifically, the two are set up in opposition and separate in some essential, irrevocable way. The appeal of dualism is obvious: if there is a spirit or soul distinct from the body, we can imagine it surviving the death of the body. If there is a second world beyond this world, why, that is where this surviving soul will go after the body dies. Simple. The meat and potatoes of the religious impulse.
“‘Non-duality’ is actually a translation of the Sanskrit word ‘Advaita’, which simply means ‘not two’ and points to the essential oneness (wholeness, completeness, unity) of life, a wholeness which exists here and now, prior to any apparent separation. It’s a word that points to an intimacy, a love beyond words, right at the heart of present moment experience. It’s a word that points us back Home. And despite the compelling appearance of separation and diversity there is only one universal essence, one reality. Oneness is all there is – and we are included.” Author of this definition.
Indic Philosophy and Western Mind/Body Dualism
Examines the division of mind and body in Western philosophy from the perspective of an alternative system of thought: Samkhya/Yoga, a school of Indic philosophy based in the sacred Vedic texts.
In the schools of Yogic Non-Dualism, we primarily have Advaita Vedanta and Tantra. They believe that the inherent nature of all things is Consciousness, or the True Self, and that there is only One Consciousness or Self.
Dualism is the concept that our mind is more than just our brain. This concept entails that our mind has a non-material, spiritual dimension that includes consciousness and possibly an eternal attribute.
“Non-duality’ is actually a translation of the Sanskrit word ‘Advaita’, which simply means ‘not two’ and points to the essential oneness (wholeness, completeness, unity) of life, a wholeness which exists here and now,prior to any apparent separation.”
The vision of Anusara yoga is grounded in a Non Dual Tantric philosophy that teaches us everything in this world is an embodiment of Supreme Consciousness, which at its essence pulsates with awareness and the highest bliss.