All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.

Swami Vivekananda

I am no mystic or spiritual teacher. I didn’t practice meditation for thirty years; I never had “unitive mystical experiences”.

Nonduality, or nondualism, is a very abstract concept. And it is found in Hinduism and Buddhism, but in other philosophies and religions as well.

Below are my own personal thoughts and interpretations of it, and I hope they will help you get closer to its understanding.

Which, again, is very subjective, and very hard to reach or define. Either way, here are my thoughts, followed by a collection of 40 quotes.

Nonduality: my first interpretation

You can imagine the universe as all there is, an eternal flow of energy in time, space, and change. This is the nature of actual reality.

The reality we perceive as finite, limited human beings cannot be the same, just because our finite, limited senses cannot perceive the infinite. Even science agrees on this.

Now, with that in mind, think of sound waves. I, as a human being, can call a sound high-pitched, or low-pitched, but in the universe there is no such thing.

I, as a human being, can only perceive a limited scale of musical notes, and will say that notes closer to the highest threshold are high-pitched, but that’s my definition of them.

Same with colors. Same with past and future — past and future are nothing but our own separation of the infinite flow of time, are they not?

And that’s the key word: separation. What if all definitions, separations, divisions were nothing but a creation of psychic energy — in other words, the mind?

Nonduality, in this example, would be the highest level of awareness, beyond the mind and its duality; the perception of one rather than the perception of many.

Nonduality: my second interpretation

Let’s go back to psychic energy. If I look at the color green, then I can say that my psychic energy is directed toward the color green; I give energy to the color green.

However, I can also say that it is the color green that gives energy to me, to my mind, to my thoughts. The color is in my mind… and vice versa.

This is the experience of nonduality in the sense of non-separation between subject and object (observer and observed).

During mindful or contemplative practices we learn to focus our energy exclusively on one thing, and during those moments it’s almost as if we and the object disappeared.

What’s interesting, though, is that in contemplative practices this is simply more obvious, because in reality the same process/experience happens all the time.

The world creates your perception of the world. But you can also say that it is your own perception that creates the world around you.

Hypothetically, if awareness disappeared all of a sudden, if nobody and nothing could be aware of the universe, would the universe disappear as well?

Beautiful nonduality quotes

Wherever you are, you are one with the clouds and one with the sun and the stars you see. You are one with everything. That is more true than I can say, and more true than I can hear.

Shunryu Suzuki

When we live in memory we cut ourselves off from the universe, we live in isolation. This is the root of all suffering.

Jean Klein

Love is the experience that others are not others. Beauty is the experience that objects are not objects.

Rupert Spira

You will come to realize that you do nothing. You will come to know that you are only the observer of what happens.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

The wise should surrender speech in mind, mind in the knowing self, the knowing self in the Spirit of the universe, and the Spirit of the universe in the Spirit of peace.

Maitri Upanishad

In silent surrender there is bliss and prayer without request or demand. There is no doer, experiencer, lover, or beloved. There is only a divine current.

Jean Klein

Once you are rooted in the non-dual and play with the dual, the dual has no impact upon you. You can play with it and enjoy it whichever way you like, but it doesn’t take a toll on you.


Remember your connection with the cosmos. Remember your connection with the infinity, and that remembrance will give you the freedom.

Amit Ray

What you are is the memory (…). When you understand that, look at it, observe it; and when you observe it, see in that observation that there is no duality between the observer and the observed.


You are the self, that perfect immutable Self. Nothing else exists. Nothing else ever existed. Nothing else will ever exist. There is only one Self and you are That. Rejoice!

Robert Adams

This uncontrived state is prior to effort, prior to grasping, prior to avoiding. It is the real world before you do anything to it, including the effort to “see it nondually”.

Ken Wilber

From out of all the many particulars comes oneness, and out of oneness come all the many particulars.


I find that somehow, by shifting the focus of attention, I become the very thing I look at, and experience the kind of consciousness it has; I become the inner witness of the thing.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

I am infinite. I am spaceless, I am tireless; I am beyond body, thought, and utterance; beyond all matter and mind. I am endless bliss.

Paramahansa Yogananda

Absence of thoughts does not mean a blank. There must be one to know the blank. Knowledge and ignorance are of the mind; they are born of duality. But the Self is beyond knowledge and ignorance. It is light itself.

Ramana Maharshi

The mind creates time and space, and takes its own creations for reality. All is here and now, but we do not see it. Truly, all is in me and by me. There is nothing else. The very idea of “else” is a disaster and a calamity.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

Nothing outside yourself can cause you any trouble. You yourself make the waves in your mind. If you leave your mind as it is, it will become calm.

Shunryu Suzuki

You are not limited to this body, to this mind, or to this reality — you are a limitless ocean of Consciousness, imbued with infinite potential. You are existence itself.

Joseph Kauffman

Once you are able to look and see no difference at all, there is no need for harmony. For here there is only Oneness. This is the place the story began. And this is the end toward which all consciousness strives to return.


Child, you are pure awareness, nothing less. You and the world are one. So who are you to think you can hold on to it, or let it go?

Ashtavakra Gita

A person experiences life as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from this self-imposed prison, and through compassion, to find the reality of Oneness.


Give your attention to the experience of seeing rather than to the object seen and you will find yourself everywhere.

Rupert Spira

Boundary lines, of any type, are never found in the real world itself, but only in the imagination of the mapmakers.

Ken Wilber

When you accept everything, everything is beyond dimensions. The Earth is not great nor a grain of sand (…).

Shunryu Suzuki

In things spiritual, there is no partition, no number, no individuals. How sweet is the oneness — unearth the treasure of Unity.


All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.

Swami Vivekananda

The world is but a show, glittering and empty. It appears exactly as it looks, but there is no depth in it, nor meaning. Only the onlooker is real.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

This state is not something you can bring about. This nondual state, this state of One Taste, is the very nature of every experience before you slice it up.

Ken Wilber

Whatever happens, happens to you by you, through you; you are the creator, enjoyer, and destroyer of all you perceive.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

Short nonduality quotes

Great knowledge sees all in one. Small knowledge breaks down into the many.

Zhuang Zhou

Everything you need is already inside.

William J. Bowerman

The idea of being a person, an ego, is nothing other than an image held together by memory.

Jean Klein

Only in love are unity and duality not in conflict.

Rabindranath Tagore

You are never alone. You are eternally connected with everyone.

Amit Ray

Nothing exists by itself alone. We all belong to each other; we cannot cut reality into pieces.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Oneness is the source of love. Real Love is the One celebrating itself as the two.

Ram Dass

All separation, every kind of estrangement and alienation is false. All is one.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

The universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you already are.


Within you is the light of a thousand suns.

Robert Adams

The Self is the only Reality.

Ramana Maharshi