“So what does this teaching [of nonduality] actually do?!”
Well you might ask, young man. Well you might ask.
The clean answer is that this teaching does nothing. How could it? There is nothing that could be done.
But that might be too short a response to an honest question.
Now, just for the sake of this article, take as read that who we are is timeless, locationless, ever-present Awareness.
What do you want most? The absolute most?
You might say something honourable, like world peace, an end to poverty, or a reversal of global warming.
You might suggest something closer to home, like health, wealth and family.
You might have something very specific, like a job, a car, a holiday.
Or an end to an addiction, weight loss, a stable income, a loving partner.
Whatever you want, just for a moment, try this:
Look away from the thing you want, to why you want it. And, for as long as the “why” is another thing, keep going.
Eventually, you will find the root of anything you want is freedom, peace, joy, love, abundance.
And the root of suffering is a feeling of the absence of the same. Suffering shows up as a feeling of limitation, disturbance, depression, rejection, loss and lack.
If who we are is timeless, locationless, ever-present Awareness, then that is, by nature, unlimited, undisturbed, not discouraged, unrejected, without lack.
If we don’t know this, there’s a fair chance we will try to fix suffering by turning to the world: to charity, activism, substances, strategies, relationships or possessions.
Knowing that we are Awareness is to know freedom, peace, joy, love, abundance.
What does this teaching do? It suggests to the seeker that they turn inward. And it is not that the seeker finds freedom from the seeking, but that we find we were never the seeker.
What does this teaching do? It does not aim to remove suffering from a person, but to reveal that we are not that person. That both the suffering and the person appear within us.
What does this teaching do? It puts aside all religion, concept and dogma, and rolls up its sleeves. It engages with practicalities. It cries with you, rages with you, picks you up, stands you on your feet, and stays by your side for the duration.
What does this teaching do? Nothing.