As you’ve no doubt noticed, the term “nondual” is popping up everywhere nowadays. It’s rapidly become the spiritual marketplace equivalent of “organic”: nobody knows exactly what it means, but if you put it on the package, the product sells. While the specific ingredients may remain a bit fuzzy, the label itself powerfully exudes the connotations of “cutting edge,” “evolved,” and “enlightened.”

Why has the topic of nonduality suddenly become so hot in our times and what does this say about where our planet is headed and what might be called forth from us? These are questions that Cynthia Bourgeault has been holding lately.

She is a modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader. Her signature contribution to the Christian contemplative reawakening has focused on four main areas: 1) Centering Prayer, 2) The Christian Wisdom Tradition, 3) The Western Esoteric and Fourth Way traditions, and 4) The Path of Conscious Love. She is profiled in S&P’s Living Spiritual Teachers Project, and many of her books have received one of our annual book awards. She has created 15 e-courses for us.

In this new e-course, Bourgeault goes behind all the hype to explore what is nonduality anyway. Is it a religious philosophy? A mystical experience? An altered state of consciousness? A permanent state of enlightenment? A whole new way of thinking? Or, conversely, something that only happens to you after you stop thinking? Can you be nondual and still believe in God? Can you be nondual and still use your rational mind?

If you find yourself more than a little confused by all this, you’re not alone. As these questions go swirling around and around in contemporary spiritual circles, we are reminded of that old story of the six blind men trying to describe an elephant. One, touching a leg, describes it as a tree trunk. Another, leaning against its side, calls it a wall. Another, brushing up against its trunk, calls it a snake. Still another, grabbing a tusk, insists that it’s a spear. They all have a piece of the puzzle, but they are all describing the elephant from their own limited perspectives.

The purpose of this short e-course is to begin to sort through some of this confusion and help you put the puzzle pieces together until they form a whole, suddenly recognizable as an elephant. Cynthia will look at some of the top blind men contenders and seeing how their pieces fit together. She will share her own best take on what nonduality is and mention a few non-starters that clearly lead us off in the wrong direction. We’ll focus in on a few of those operational challenges, such as how you make decisions and engage actively in the world without toppling that legendary nondual “impartiality.”

But this course’s even more important purpose is not simply to name the elephant, but to help you climb up on its back and begin to ride it. Whether you initially picture it as a tree trunk, a wall, a snake, or a spear, you soon discover that it is carrying you somewhere, and the direction it’s headed is the direction in which nonduality ultimately lies. As you slowly learn to ride it — that’s what we mean by calling it “Practical Nonduality” — the elephant begins to unfold itself in you, and you will know it not just by words, but by a state of being you have gradually made your own.

“Practical Nonduality” consists of eight emails by Cynthia Bourgeault, each with a short essay on an aspect of nonduality plus some practices for you to do to bring the teaching home into your body and your daily life. The emails will be delivered on Mondays and Thursdays giving you time in between to absorb each email’s teaching. You will have access to an online Practice Circle where you can share your responses to the emails with our worldwide community. As usual, Cynthia will be in the Practice Circle regularly to answer questions and offer encouragement as you work with the material. Then on June 14, 1 – 2 pm PST and in other time zones, we will gather on Zoom for a one-hour talk and Q&A session with Cynthia. The Zoom will be recorded but we encourage you to attend live and participate in the Q&A.

This is the first time that Cynthia has taught an online course on nonduality. Join us for this inaugural teaching! To register, click on the button below.

Monday, June 3 - Thursday, June 27


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