Is forgiveness and prayer dualistic as followers of advaita claim?
Yes, what most followers of Advaita miss is the simplicity of those ‘practices’ in bringing about the true understanding of Advaita. Most followers of Advaita I have met are hardcore non-dualists and, as a result, are intellectual and stiff, devoid of joy and innocence. For example, through real forgiveness we eventually see the obviousness that there’s nothing to forgive. People do what they do because that’s their present consciousness. It is through conscious forgiveness that we start to see this simplicity and obviousness. Prayer is powerful and leads to inner guidance, which is the activation of inner wisdom. I remember when Bhagavan came into my life I became devoted to him. In my devotion I found that there was no separation between us. The grace of seeing this obviousness placed ‘Burt’ aside until all that was left was NOW. The result of putting ‘Burt aside’ resulted in simplicity, clarity and freedom plus the ‘knowing’ that there was nothing to know but BE! Bhagavan stated that through using inquiry we use the mind to go beyond the mind.
In the year 2000 I realized I AM a human being -- A being playing the role of Burt. I learned more in that experience than many lifetimes would have done. When I listened to teachers of Advaita stating the non-reality of the world and time/space I ‘saw’ clearly that it was true but it also created confusion, frustration and fundamentalism among followers who became addicted to the teaching and thus ended up intellectual devoid of compassion, deep love and innocence. Working as a hypnotherapist I knew the importance of dealing with the ‘becoming’ process of the human and the necessary integration of both human and being. I found through my practice that forgiveness and prayer lead to Direct Knowing in the Heart.
Advaita is a true teaching, of that there is no doubt, but the average ‘person’ reading the words of Advaita will end up intellectually inclined with very little heart, sensitivity, understanding, softness and clarity of how it really is. Unless we start seeing the truth of our human side, how can we see clearly the Being side (pure awareness, one’s true nature)?