Monistic Mysticism is the basis of the school of Advaita Vedanta taught by the eighth-century Indian Sage Shankara; in the Mahayana or "great vehicle" branch of Buddhism, especially the Madhyamika (literally "Middle Path"; also called Shunyavada or "Emptyness-teaching") school of the second century master Nagajuna and his followers, and the Yogachara or Vijnanavada ("Consciousness-only school") of Asanga and Vasubandu (4th Century); to give some prominent Indian examples.
Monistic practice emphasises approaching the Absolute through a kind of intellectual or conceptual realisation; that is, holding the thought that "I am that" (the Absolute), as in the radical Monistic teachings of the Advaita Vedanta school and its recent advocates; or alternatively through a standing back and simply watching the thoughts and sensations arise and pass away; realising all the time that they are not a part of one's true Self. Both these approaches could be termed the path of JNANA or "Knowledge". The goal of this spiritual path is the realisation of one's own identity with the Absolute Reality. By doing so, you become that Absolute.
By realising your own innermost Self, you also realise the Absolute as well. For, as Shankara explains, it is the Absolute that is the eternal sub-stratum of the individual consciousness and the ego, the innermost Self, whose essence is constant infinite Bliss. (Vivekacudamuni, vv128-131)
And as the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodel) puts it:
"This mind of yours is inseparable luminosity and emptiness in the form of a great mass of light, it has no birth or death, therefore it is the buddha of Immortal Light....When you recognise this pure nature of your mind as buddha, looking into your own mind is resting in the buddha-mind."
Reality, according to this spiritual path, is unitary; consisting of only one absolute principle. Rather than seperate God from Soul, the Monistic position sees the two as being ultimately synonymous. God is not something external and separate from oneself, as in the Theistic religious position, but rather internal and the same as one's innermost self. Hindu monism calls this Absolute the Atman (literally "Self"), whilst in Buddhism it is sometimes referred to as the "Buddha Nature".
|Who Are You?
|Tibetan Book of the Dead