Advaita Vedanta and Non-Dual Tantra: alternative approaches to eliminating fear

Advaita Vedanta and Non-Dual Tantra (not to be confused with the modern Neotantra) are both non-dual philosophies. Both philosophies originated from India, the origin of Advaita Vedanta being dated as far back as 1500 BCE and Non-Dual Tantra dating back to 800 CE.

Advaita Vedanta states that as absolute reality alone exists, nothing exists but that. Non-Dual Tantra states that the manifest reality does exist as the animated aspect of the absolute.

In simple terms it can be understood that Advaita Vedanta advises the enquirer to negate and turn away from the subject and emotional energy of the experience towards absolute oneness. Non-Dual Tantra advises the enquirer initially to turn away from, but then back towards the inner most aspect of the experience with absolute neutrality, allowing the emotional energy to be reabsorbed into the system, and the discovery that oneness is at the heart of it .

Though the approaches appear different, both require an absence of attachment to ones mental thinking, and both lead one to an awareness free from the limitations of ones personal story. 

If fully understood and realised, both philosophies present the opportunity for the enquirer to be free from the sense of division that can be described as the root cause of all human suffering. This in turn leads to the recognition of our true nature as Pure Consciousness.

Traditionally speaking, Advaita Vedanta was thought of as the path for the ascetics and Non-Dual Tantra the path for householders. 


Different paths to the same goal

Personally I have found both paths to be compatible with each other, and equally transformative.

There are times when to apply a advaita vedantic approach to one’s internal unease is the most powerful way to rise above it. Meaning to turn directly towards a higher awareness and away from engaging with the individual physical, mental or emotional body in any way. 

But there are also times when to apply a non-dual tantric approach seems much more accessible. It enables one to be fully aware of the energetic quality underlying an emotion with complete courage and neutrality, without any need to impose a particular narrative. This leads one to the understanding that a feeling in itself is nothing but a fluctuation in consciousness, therefore fundamentally can cause us no harm, so in actual fact never need be feared. 

Some schools of philosophies say that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. This allows us to differentiate between the two, and accept that physically we do feel many things and at times we will feel pain. Yet it also makes us aware that if suffering only ever happens within the mind, then with the correct guidance, tools and techniques, we really are able to over come it. 

My work is about finding the central point in one’s awareness, and discovering a path of self enquiry that enables one to never lose sight of that awareness. After all, what ever we pull towards us will inevitably swing away from us, and likewise what ever we push away from us will swing back towards us. So it is of paramount importance to cultivate the ability to come back to one’s centre, that which remains even and stable under all circumstances, free from mental narratives that do not serve us.

In essence, my work is all about removing the basic reflexes of “fight or flight” which are useful human responses to physical stimuli but quite damaging in dealing with difficult emotional situations.