Nonduality is not a mystical state, but a real one. It is abundantly available to us. We fall backwards into it each time the constructed self temporarily falls away. Our practice is a wobbling between the two poles of Self and nondual.
And we should not imagine an unattainable, undifferentiated state. Things continue to exist, but not in the old way. For example, a common metaphor for nonduality in the literature is the mirror. One looks at the mirror and sees apparently separate things, when really they are all part of the whole. But it is not a trick. Differentiation is there also. Differentiation is the face of the world.
Nonduality allows each thing its full expression.
Nonduality is not mystical, but real. It is not undifferentiated. On the contrary, each thing is fully expressed. Each thing fully exerts itself.
Similarly, our practice is not the pursuit of nonduality, but its expression. And each aspect of our practice is an expression of a different aspect of nonduality. So when we bow, we are not bowing to someone or something, because that would be separation. When we bow, we are affirming feelings which are nondual: gratitude, compassion, dignity, faith.
We bow down our head, and the head of the World is lifted up.
Zazen is not the pursuit of nonduality, but its expression. Because nonduality is the complete expression of each thing, each thing is everything. When we say that your zazen penetrates the entire Universe, don’t create a picture of planets and stars, because the Universe which is meant is not this constructed world, but your real experience.
When the constructed world falls away, there is just being. When we fall backwards from this constructed world, we fall into being.