Non-duality, Zen, Advaita, Enlightenment, Awakening—What's it all about?
It is the dissolution of every answer to that question. Waking up now to the immediacy of this moment—the sounds of rain or traffic, the cheeping of a bird, the sensations in the body, the open, awake presence beholding it all.
Being just this moment, we may find that nothing is as solid as it initially seems, that impermanence is so complete that no persisting thing ever actually forms to even be impermanent. We may find that nothing exists independently of everything else, that the apparently separate forms are like waves in the ocean. Looking closely, we may discover that no actual boundary can be located in our direct experience where "inside of me" turns into "outside of me," that everything is one whole undivided happening.
In the map-world created by thought, this thorough-going flux is solidified and divided up into subject and object, mind and matter, spiritual and mundane, enlightenment and delusion, awareness and content, form and emptiness. But the dividing lines and the apparently separate entities on either side are always conceptual. Maps are useful, but when we mistake them for the territory they describe, we suffer. The living reality is ungraspable.
Liberation is not about controlling life or figuring it all out. It is simply about being awake right now. Being open. Not knowing what this is. Not grasping or fixating. Seeing how we create our suffering and waking up from our entrancement in the story of being a separate, encapsulated fragment searching for wholeness in all the wrong places.
Enlightenment (or liberation, or awakening) is not "out there" somewhere; it is right here. By seeking it, we overlook it. Enlightenment is not some flashy experience that lasts forever or some finish-line that we cross. It is simply the discovery, in this very moment, that there is no one here to become enlightened.
Of course, we're not denying the relative reality of the person or the functional sense of identity, but can we actually find this "me" who seems to be at the center of "my life"? Is there a thinker authoring the thoughts? Or is the thinker itself a thought? We may find that the separate self is a kind of mirage made up of memories, thoughts, images and sensations. And doesn't every thought, feeling, interest, intention and action appear here in the same way that the brain, the breath, the wind, the clouds, the trees, and the galaxies appear here?
Are we separate from this whole, undivided happening?
We may discover that we already are whole and complete, that we are the whole universe. We may find that the turbulent, overcast weather is as integral to this happening as the calm, sunny weather, and that none of it is really a problem.