The mind desires this,

And grieves for that.

It embraces one thing,

And spurns another.


Now it feels anger,

Now happiness.


In this way you are bound.


But when the mind desires nothing

And grieves for nothing,

When it is without joy or anger

And, grasping nothing,

Turns nothing away. . .


Then you are free.


When the mind is attracted

To anything it senses,

You are bound.


When there is no attraction,

You are free.


Where there is no I,

You are free.


Where there is I,

You are bound.


Consider this.


It is easy.


Embrace nothing,

Turn nothing away.



~ Ashtavakra Gita (8.1-4)


This is really the essence of Advaita.  Another beautiful expression is within the Hsin Hsin Ming.  You can find a copy on the WWW.  I understand that this sounds like a plea to be joyless; however, perhaps joy and pleasure are not the same.  Also, perhaps the word “mind” may not accurately capture the non-duality message.  It is the thinking function that discriminates and fuels the judgement that in the end results in pain and suffering.  The message is based on the fact that there are NO dualities, just the Dao, just the moment.

All this is clearly expressed in the wonderful treasure which is the Hsin Hsin Ming.  It may take you years of pondering, re-reading, looking at again, asking the universe for understanding – all that before you begin to “get it.”  Then perhaps you’ll lose it again and at one and the same time know and despair that you don’t know, don’t understand.  What might help or maybe put you over the edge of being able to relate is that you cannot “know” yourself, the Dao simply because it does not exist as an object.  You cannot separate it – you- out in an effort to “know” it because you are it.  You are a person looking for eyes to see.  I must put in a word for the late Jean Klein.  If you can obtain any of his books of dialogues, you may find that his clarity may tip you over the edge with the “oh, now I get it” moment.  Oh there is so much that lies around the fringe of Advaita.  Some say that you “get it” when you quit looking.  Others, like The Maharshi tell us that our impediment is thinking that we can’t find “it” when actually we are what we seek.

Lastly, you will never know why you either care about these ideas or just can’t be bothered.  “It” either calls you relentlessly until you don’t feel the need to “be bothered” or will always sound just too weird and you will never “be bothered.”  Either way, you may rest assured, in my not so humble opinion, that there is no separate “you” inside your head looking out onto a separate world.