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What others say about Nothing Personal…

“The beauty of this collection of Nirmala’s talks and dialogues is that it covers much of the spectrum of spiritual awakening, from the initial experience of one’s true nature to the practical challenges, which always call for a deeper seeing and deeper understanding of how spirit manifests as all of life and beyond. Within these talks and dialogues you, the reader, will find Nirmala to be a living invitation to look within.”—from the foreword by Adyashanti, author of Emptiness Dancing and The End of Your World

Nothing Personal: Seeing Beyond the Illusion of a Separate Self is an excellent book, very clear and warm-hearted. I love it and recommend it highly. Nirmala is a genuine and authentic teacher, who points with great clarity to the simplicity and wonder of non-dual presence. He invites you to ‘say yes to the mystery of every moment.’ Good stuff!” –Joan Tollifson, Advaita teacher and author of Awake in the Heartland

“As with most modern books on Advaita, this is a psychological rather than a metaphysical presentation, but it is full of sincere love, wisdom and humor. It is highly practical and readable with many original ways of looking at the situation in which the seeker finds him/herself. I highly recommend this book. A wonderful gift to the Advaita community.” –Dennis Waite, author The Book of One.

“I love this book. Meeting us wherever we may be, Nirmala playfully engages us in an inward investigation to discover the true source of happiness. His message is spiritually profound but practical, incredibly wise but simple. In a down to earth, humble manner, Nimala reveals our false ideas with great understanding, humor, and compassion. He invites us beyond the clutter of conditioned thoughts, emotions and habits, and points us to the boundless source of peace and love within.” –Paul Jozef, Nonviolent Communication Facilitator



Seeing Beyond the Illusion of a Separate Self


Endless Satsang Foundation

Goodreads Edition

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Cover photo: © Andreykuzmin/

Copyright © 2001 by Daniel Erway (Nirmala)

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. This book and others by Nirmala are also available in print at

This book was created from talks and dialogues held from 1999 to 2004 in Montreal, Tucson, Phoenix, Sedona, Santa Cruz, Palo Alto, Boulder, Seattle, and Dallas. Gratitude is extended to everyone who participated. The poems are from Gifts with No Giver: A Love Affair with Truth by Nirmala, available for free at:



To my wife, Gina Lake, for her limitless love and support. This book would not have happened without the countless hours she spent transcribing, editing, and re-editing these talks until they took on the form of a book. This volume is equally an expression of her wisdom, talent, and gifts.

To my teacher and friend, Adyashanti, for his guidance and perspective, which have opened ever-new vistas in this vastness of being.

And to my teacher and friend, Neelam, who first opened my heart to the spacious love we all share.

Finally, with gratitude for the blessings of truth brought to this world by Ramana Maharshi and H.W. L. Poonja (Papaji).