Yoga Nidra And Nonduality

Yoga nidra gives us a very simple yet powerful way of accessing the highest bliss and the state of our supreme undifferentiated truth. Where you shine in all your pristine glory free from the taints of the ego-mind. Normally we only experience the thought-free bliss-filled state during deep sleep (nidra). However by practicing Yoga Nidra you can stay awake as you put the body and mind to sleep, allowing you to enter into the perfect peace and bliss that is your own true nature free from the distortions and modifications of the mind.


Nonduality refers to a state in which there is no differentiation between self and other, subject and object. Both seer and seen arise from that one same consciousness. The objects of perception and the subjective inner Self are both that one same consciousness. And on that level of pure consciousness, pure awareness, we are all totally identical. There is only one Universal Consciousness, and total Oneness in this eternal constant now.


In that state of fully expanded awareness and knowledge – there is no fear nor anxiety for what may come, there is no attachment nor depression about what was… You are fully absorbed in the present moment, where fullness exists.


If you want to really delve into this with me I am offering a Nondual Yoga Nidra Teachers Training starting this Saturday, December 9th. I have given the link in this video’s description.


Now let’s get into the practicalities of this science of using Yoga Nidra to experience the nondual state of featureless awareness.


Yoga Nidra is a deceivingly simple technique, you just lie down on your back and surrender the body. All you have to do is relax and listen. As long as you stay awake and listen to the voice – you can practice Yoga Nidra and have all the fruits of meditation. It gives you a reliable way of diffusing emotions, decompressing the nervous system and regularly relieving stress. From that perspective, it is incredibly useful for anyone suffering from stress related illnesses. In fact, you can find relief from any form of psychosomatic illness with Yoga Nidra.


So that is the first objective: Therapeutic relief and freedom from suffering. Now, there is a difference between pain and suffering. Pain is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to be suffering. In fact, some forms of pain can even be pleasurable, but that’s a talk for another lecture. Suffering is really made in the mind! During yoga nidra you learn a method for detaching yourself from the mind so that you can release the pent up psycho-emotional energies and ventilate in a healthy manner. To do this you must become the silent witness to your thoughts and emotions. Detach from the first person narrative of the ego. Just watch your thoughts, sensations and emotional responses as if from the perspective of an audience.


Knowing the inner formless and silent Self to be on the subjective side of all experience is the dualistic realization. This is enlightenment according to Samkhya philosophy, dvaita vedanta, or dualism. Why is it dualistic? Because it places the real you as the formless Self on the subjective side of experience and therefore everything else is on the objective side. That is a good start, in fact – we have to go through duality to get to nonduality.


For example, first the solar and lunar pathways of Pingala and Ida Nadis must become balanced before the spiritual pathway of Sushumna Nadi becomes active. Ida and Pingala are the two channels of duality, sun and moon – body and mind. Sushumna nadi, which runs through the center of the spine, corresponds to nonduality – spiritual consciousness, and is the fire path of Kundalini Shakti.


How does all this tie into your practice of Yoga Nidra? THe practices for putting the body to sleep, such as body scan and conscious breathing correspond to the solar channel, Pingala. The practices for putting the mind to sleep, such as the visualization sequences, correspond to the lunar channel, Ida.And the structured silence towards the end is for Sushumna and the introverted awareness absorbed in bliss. SO first we balance the dualistic polarities, body and mind, which allows us to transcend the ego complex and experience the supreme happiness of choiceless awareness.


There as these three symbols in Tantra you may encounter again and again if you are studying traditional literature: The Sun, The Moon and Fire. The sun and moon are the symbols of duality. Fire is the symbol of Nonduality. Sun and Moon correspond to Pingala and Ida. Fire corresponds to Sushumna. Sun and Moon correspond to evolution and the extroverted awareness, pravritti. Fire corresponds to involution and the introverted awareness, nivritti.


If you are interested in this topic, I am offering an 8-day intensive starting this Saturday, December 9th. It is both a training in Nondual Meditation and a Yoga Nidra Teachers Training. My intention is to empower the next generation of self realized yoga nidra instructors to help guide more genuine seekers to light and bliss. This is a most empowering training program! I invite you to come join me.


Now, let’s discuss the difference between nondual enlightenment and the dualistic realization we discussed previously here. First we realize we are the formless silent subjective Self, which is of the nature of pure awareness. That is dualism. Next we realize that the objects of awareness can never exist separately from awareness. Consciousness still exists when there are no objects of perception, such as during deep sleep, but the objects can never be known separately from consciousness. If you cannot separate two things, can they be said to be different? Can you separate the gold from the golden ornament? No. The ornament is an appearance of gold, actually only gold exists and ornament is a construct. So too, objects of constructs made out of consciousness. Both the perceiver and the objects of perception are the same consciousness?


The best analogy is the dreaming state. The sister state to the waking state. In the dream state you are the dreamer, and you are also all the objects and people you dream about. THe objects and people in your dream are made of consciousness, also you the dreamer – the experiencer – are also consciousness. Everything is consciousness.

Now in the waking state, we experience a real world but subjectively. You cannot know the world as it is objectively. The brain and nervous system manufactures holographic representations of reality out of consciousness. Oftentimes we distort reality to confirm our prejudices and pre existing biases. This is called confirmation bias, and is well known. The extent to which we are creating our own illusions of reality can only be fully understood when we can transcend the ego-mind fully through a spiritual experience of some kind. There’s many ways to get there, from ayahuasca to hours of sitting meditation. However, in yoga nidra  you get to lay down on your back and see how deeply you can relax while staying awake. It’s quite a nice method for transcending duality and having the experience of nonduality while awake.