The Unitive Experience: How to Embrace It


There is an unseemly coarseness and tumult to our times that robs the grace from the fabric of our interrelatedness. At first, it sounds completely naïve to suggest that now might be the time to embark on the ancient journey from separation to union, the journey from our own Self back to a state of Oneness. Yet, that is exactly the claim that this article explores. It is a call to a deeper spiritual consciousness by which awareness becomes “centerless” and the dichotomy of I-Other is transcended.

Much of what is noisy about our times is we are beholden to surface reality: Facebook, Twitter, news feeds, texting, busy daily life. Abandoning the surface of things takes something more than curiosity or a need for depth or solitude — it is to risk being moved: moved from the person we were to the person we may become.

The development of the unitive experience (or nondual awareness) requires us to abandon surface impressions and patterns, to abandon what has become comfortable and to embrace a depth of being that asks us to enter that which is wholly unknown — the depths and dimensions of silence. Silence was here before anything else, and it resides inside and around all things. It is the most primary phenomenon in existence and the home of union.

Our body has an innate capacity for experiencing union. There is a palpable silence that is a substance — textured and layered, permeating every cell of our body. As we enter the mystery of silence, its presence resonates throughout the fibers of our flesh, extending inwardly, and is connected to the same silence of the cosmos outwardly. Our body is the necessary meeting point where the inward stillness meets up with the immense silence of the cosmos, and the unitive experience is born. Upon entering the great layers and folds of silence, the infinite appears on its own accord inside the body and consciousness of it may be stabilized, enriched and defined. When we find the entry into this vast stillness, our lives are irrevocably changed, and a monumental transition takes place.

I consider the emergence of nondual awareness an organic development. It is an interior process, disclosing what is already present inside us, rather than setting out on a path looking for something new. There is only attention and its awakening. New capacities emerge by developing dimensions of attention that go beyond our usual awareness. Silence must be entered, and one must deeply participate. Participation in the silence is the remaking of consciousness. From here the body’s innate perceptual gift emerges.

So, if we are going to explore unity consciousness, we simply can’t leave out the medium in which union emerges. Silence is its medium, just as the painter’s medium is color and the musician’s medium is sound. In the development of unity consciousness, the medium is silence, and it is a reservoir to which we may endlessly return. Here, we are privileged to drink as often and deeply as we desire.

Until you have tasted the degree of this inner fulfillment, you hardly dare dream that it is possible. This fulfillment gets deeper and deeper, more and more complete; and you know, with a certainty that is born of experience. We can slip into unity consciousness with the same ease as we slip into the seamless embrace of water. Something very ancient, eternal within us, already trusts that this embrace will hold us. The source of these waters is stamped in the very core our being.

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Christina Donnell, Ph.D.
Christina Donnell, Ph.D., is director of the Winds of Change Association, an educational organization dedicated to offering programs that tend our evolving consciousness. Christina is a natural born, pragmatic mystic, spiritual teacher and public speaker. She is the author of the award-winning book, Transcendent Dreaming: Stepping Into Our Human Potential. Her latest offering is the Unitive Life audio series which is a foray into silence and the emergence of nondual awareness. Visit


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