Center for Non-Dualism
Continuation of the
Center for Non-Dualism
announcement was distributed October 26, 2010 to announce the
continuation of the Center for Nondualism. Please also see the
"History" link in the left column.
October 26, 2010
Dear Friends of the
Center for Nondualism,
You may have been informed of changes with the Center for Nondualism
through various newsletters and emails. I want to personally share with
you some of what has happened recently, some mistakes I have made, and
what is planned for the future of the Center for Nondualism.
The Center for Nondualism was founded in July 2007 because the dominant
worldview in our Northwest Florida area was dualistic Christian
monotheism and there needed to be at least some small presence of a
nondualistic (advaita)/monistic worldview in the community for the few
who share that perspective. That need is still present and the Center
for Nondualism will therefore be continued for the benefit of those who
like to meet with others of like mind in a spirit of friendship and
One of the three directors of the Center for Nondualism along with the
newest of the council members has started a new spinoff group known
simply as "The Center", having dropped the heart of the Center for
Nondualism by removing both the word "nondualism" and the organization’s
orientation to that worldview. To my knowledge no public information
(such as a website or Facebook page) has yet been made available about
this group and their mailing list and subscription information are
secret (I know of this because people have forwarded me copies of the
secret newsletters). If a public presence of this group is made
available, that contact information will be made available through the
Center for Nondualism website at
and other communications, including the Facebook pages and newsletters.
Unfortunately, I have made several significant mistakes during the past
month and I sincerely apologize for these mistakes. I promise you that I
will work hard to rectify the mistakes, to serve the people of the
Center for Nondualism, and to continue to make the nondual/monistic
worldview available to the people of our Northwest Florida community.
The first mistake I made was in trusting that there was sincerity in
continuing the Center for Nondualism and its statement of purpose.
Rather than simply reorganizing the Center for Nondualism in ways they
wished, they have removed “nondualism” from the Center for Nondualism. I
acknowledge that I completely missed the intent to takeover and convert
the Center, its principles and people, and its assets. I had mistakenly
thought that there was a sincere wish to continue the Center for
Nondualism as such.
I also made a mistake in agreeing to allow one of the directors to
manage the Center alone without the balance of at least one other
director. For a very long time, we had been having difficulty with
volunteers for various presentation activities in the Sunday morning
programs. Attendance was erratic and weekly donations were not covering
the cost of room rental at the Brooks Beal Center where we met (we were
only able to continue to pay the rent because of the donations from the
February 2010 conference). In July 2010 I let the directors, council
members, and participants know that I wished to step aside as a
director, with this to be effective December 31, 2010, which is six
months notice (I had promised that if I were to leave as a director, I
would not do as others have done and walk off without notice).
I offered to remain as a council member if that was the wish of the
directors at that time. I also explained that I intended to be available
for speaking or any other of the Sunday volunteer activities such as
inspirational readings or guiding meditations. I did this only after a
very long time of asking Center council members and participants what
their wishes were in relation to the nature of our programs, the
appropriateness of our statement of purpose to their wishes, and our
style of guiding the Center. These questions have been asked
continuously during the more than three years of the Center’s history,
especially in the council meetings of April and July 2010. I felt that
if I stepped aside, maybe others would come forward who wanted to share
in service to the Center and its people, and that this might also bring
out new ideas for the Center. I made a mistake and should have stayed
with it until the end of December, not allowing the one director to
change the Center for Nondualism in any way she wished.
In what initially appeared to be in the best interest of the Center for
Nondualism and its participants I gave up control over the nearly $5,000
of accumulated donations. That money has now been appropriated by the
new spinoff group. While I am requesting it be returned to the Center
for Nondualism, I accept the likelihood that we will have to start over
financially. The good news is that we will now use the facilities of
Abhyasa Ashram and no rent will be charged for the Sunday morning
meetings. Therefore, the Center for Nondualism will not need so much
money. I admit feeling unsettled about this, however, in light of the
fact that three of us have donated over $6000 in the past three years,
including over $3000 that I have personally donated. The three annual
conferences have raised substantial donations, including more than $5000
during the February 2010 third annual conference (our next conference,
if there is one, will need to be significantly smaller due to the
probable loss of the cash reserves).
Another mistake I made was giving total access to the newsletter which
was managed through a Yahoo Group site, a benefit of which is that it
allows people to freely subscribe and unsubscribe as they wish. The
first thing that they did with the newsletter was to reduce me from
being one of the owners of the site to merely a member, effectively
removing my ability to use the Center newsletter, removing my
communication with the participants of the Center. It appears they have
now abandoned this newsletter site in favor of their secret newsletter.
I am asking that they restore my access to the newsletter site. In the
meantime I have started a new newsletter site which is at
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/center-for-nondualism/ . You can
subscribe at that site or simply send a blank email to
firstname.lastname@example.org . Alternatively, you
can contact me and I will add your address directly.
Finally, I acknowledge that I have, in effect, given away the sound
system which was purchased through the donations to our Center for
Nondualism. I am asking that this be returned, while recognizing that it
may not and that we may have to purchase a new system if we find one is
The good news which I hope even slightly counterbalances the mistakes I
have made is that access was not given to the website, the Facebook
pages, or the Meetup.com page of the Center for Nondualism. These can be
The only regular activity of the Center for Nondualism has been a Sunday
morning program which has been publicly referred to as “a Sunday
alternative” (in addition to the three annual conferences in February).
The Sunday morning programs will continue, but with a new format that
will evolve over time. Felicia McQuaid and I will continue to guide the
Center for Nondualism as it moves forward in its new format. The next
gathering of will be Sunday, November 7, 10:00-11:00am at Abhyasa
Ashram, 505 Hooper Drive, Fort Walton Beach.
Exact dates, times, and details of other upcoming programs will be
determined as a result of the November 7 gathering. Those will be
published through the new newsletter, the Facebook pages, and the
Meetup.com page. Please contact me if you have any comments or
questions. Despite the recent problems, I sincerely look forward to the
next phase of the evolution of the Center for Nondualism.
I understand that each person will decide where and with whom to spend
his or her time. I look forward to seeing all of the people involved
over these past three years wherever and whenever that may happen. I
wish the people of the new organization “The Center” the very best and
hope they feel similarly towards the people of the Center for Nondualism.
In loving service,
Center for Nondualism
c/o Abhyasa Ashram
505 Hooper Dr.
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548