Red Sea Explorer blog The Psychometric Measure of Non Dual Awareness

The Psychometric Measure of Non Dual Awareness

The concept of non dual awareness is central to contemplative wisdom traditions and defines a background field of consciousness that is unified, empty of mental content, and retains a quality of cognizant bliss. In addition, it is thought to be ever present and typically unrecognized due to the obscuration of discursive thoughts, emotions, and perceptions (Josipovic, 2014).

Multiple philosophical and mystical traditions suggest that a special state of nonduality facilitates fundamental insights into reality’s underlying unity. In this sense, non duality may be considered the sine qua non of perennial philosophy (Huxley, 2009).

Each nonduality tradition presents unique interpretations of experience. For instance, Advaita Vedanta within Hinduism emphasizes the unity of the individual self (Atman) and ultimate reality, whereas Zen Buddhism focuses on the direct experience of interconnectedness that transcends superficial distinctions. Moreover, the mystical traditions of Gnosticism and Sufism also offer profound insights into the non dual nature of awareness.

Transcending Duality: Embracing Non-Dual Awareness

The purpose of this study was to develop and test the psychometric properties of a new measure for non duality, the Nondual Awareness Dimensional Assessment-state (NADA-S). Principal component analysis revealed two interpretable dimensions that constitute the NADA-S. One of these, self-transcendence, captures the primary methods of transcending the duality of subject-object through the meditative experiences of jhanas and the unified states of samadhi. The other, bliss, reflects the feelings of joy and well-being that accompany these nondual states of awareness. A randomized controlled experiment utilizing this measure to compare mindfulness practice with an attention control group showed that the NADA-S is sensitive to meditation induced changes in nondual awareness.


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