If you haven’t seen Fred Davis on YouTube or read any of his books, you’re missing out on a source of deep nondual wisdom and understanding.
In this post, I’ll share my favorite Fred Davis books, impactful lessons you’ll find in them and do my best to convince you to read what Davis has to say about permanently ending the search for nondual awakening.
Why Fred Davis Is One Of The Best Nonduality Teachers
In just a few words, it’s his no-nonsense approach.
So many people in the “spiritual marketplace” mystify the simple concepts of nonduality, but not Davis.
Davis calls a spade a spade and keeps nonduality and related concepts simple – because they are simple.
He also uses humor to explain and demonstrate why so many struggle to “get it” or make the switch to enduring awareness.
When it comes to self-realization, Davis is also good about continually pointing out that there are no secrets here. As he points out in The Book of Unknowing: From Enlightenment to Embodiment, the real problem is that people “mistake the path for the destination.”
As he explains, this misattribution leads people to turn the path into a religion – which nonduality most certainly is not.
If nonduality is real… how could it be? Where would such a religion exist? Where would you find such a path?
Fred Davis Books You Need To Read
Fred is a prolific blogger on top of being a great nondual teacher. It seems like a lot of his website provides the source for many of his books. I really appreciate this adaptation into print because I find reading from screens inferior when it comes to serious study and reflection.
But some of the books take you behind-the-scenes of his interpersonal work. These nonduality books are particularly useful because you can play out the procedures in your own mind and experience nondual awareness as you read.
In no particular order of importance, these are the books I’ve read and what I find useful and interesting in each:
The Book of Undoing: Direct Pointing To Nondual Awareness
The keyword here is “direct.”
In order to take you into the thick of things, Davis reproduces some of his sessions with clients.
A lot of the book consists of Davis asking questions and he urges you in the introduction to answer them yourself. This follow-along aspect is essential because it will get you to practice self-inquiry.
If you read the book a few times, you’ll start to develop your procedural memory for running some of these questions through your mind on your own. That is a very good outcome because it will help you experience nondual awareness more directly, more often.
There’s no way to ruin the surprise here, but basically what Davis leads you to is the fact that in all of your seeking, you’ve been experiencing the very same awareness you seek all along. It’s easy to understand why a session with him would be so powerful after reading this book.
The Book of Unknowing: From Enlightenment to Embodiment
This book combines short reflections with in-depth essays that probe multiple aspects of nonduality. Davis also shares some of his harrowing life experiences and research into practices like Zen.
As he shares his life stories and conclusions, it’s important to underscore that his goal is not to “transform” the reader. Rather, he continually brings home the important theme that you are already tasting the experience of being you seek. Realizing this “will not transform you. It will dissolve you.”
As I experience this dissolution in my own practice, it is like a resolving or surrendering oneself to the fact that whatever appears in consciousness is exactly that: stuff appearing in consciousness. I use the word “neutralize” more than “dissolve” based on the James Swartz translation of the Atma Bodha and perhaps the semantics matter. Perhaps they don’t.
At the end of the day, to have that “direct” experience of the now really is neither to dissolve or neutralize the horrible pain that comes from thinking you are separate from reality or Being with a capital B. It’s to simply understand that all those words and thoughts and experiences cannot be separated from your experience of consciousness because they take place within that field. The work is already embodied in that respect and The Book of Unknowing is a great collection of meditations on this irrefutable fact.
The Book of Unveiling: From Awakening to Abidance
There are a few things I love about this book.
First, it tackles all kinds of niggling hesitations and doubts that are bound to arise for just about anyone who starts practicing any kind of nondual philosophy. The word “unveiling” is useful here in two respects because Davis shares:
- How he has unveiled the underlying reality that is, as Eckhart Tolle might put it, “beyond name and form.”
- How these conclusions have appeared throughout the ages.
- How you can reach these conclusions yourself by optimizing your practice and shifting your perspective along the way.
A huge part of this book is about how we react to circumstances in the world. Again, words like “dissolve” or “neutralize” can be useful here when we want to rid ourselves from the suffering brought on by our negative responses.
A fun part of this book that comes out more than in some of the others is Davis’ humor. As a marketer myself, I always get a kick out of his “self-promotion” trigger-warnings. In a Davis book or video, however, “self-promotion” takes on more nuance because he is also promoting your progress towards realizing the Self as it is described in traditions like Advaita Vedanta.
Awaken Now: The Living Method of Spiritual Awakening
This book ends with a key suggestion, “The opening never ends so long as you remain open.”
Yet, how many of us fall shut again completely outside our own awareness? And just how frustrated do we get?
It’s normal, and reassuring to note throughout this book how Davis practices precisely what he’s talking about. In many ways, it is an argument that to really learn to remain open, we need to engage in dialog about the main goal: not to “wake up,” but remain “awake.”
And since the “now” is the only time we can do it, this book is worth reading and re-reading. But don’t treat it as some kind of voyeuristic opportunity to peer behind the curtains of how such awakening and clarity sessions run. Work to understand the self-inquiry technique behind Davis’ expert care in the sessions.
You can run this software yourself, to frame self-inquiry as Gary Weber has in books like Happiness Beyond Thought. From what I can tell, Davis is very happy for you to do so on your own without booking a session. Perhaps there’s some “reverse psychology” marketing in creating scarcity around his time, but I don’t think so. From all I’ve seen and read, Davis is the real deal and I’ve learned a ton from spending time with his material.
Best Fred Davis Nonduality Videos On YouTube
There are countless sessions I could recommend, but here are a few of my favorites:
Attention practice is essential and I would urge you to notice how Davis himself is generally practicing exactly what he teaches as he teaches it. You can do this inside of your own head.
This video provides an important means of resolving the notion that your intellectual ideas are somehow not an experience. On the contrary, all the circles we run ourselves around in are precisely the experience we seek. But somehow we trick ourselves into thinking that they are separate – and this is what causes our separation.
This Fred Davis “satsang” lets you enjoy the Living Method in an intimate setting – almost as if you were there yourself.
If you really pay attention while watching, it’s more than that. It is happening within you – and that experience of “you” is all there is to experience. Sessions like these can help you realize that quickly and continuing to study and practice helps maintain the self realization.
This video reinforces the core points discussed on this page: What you seek is already happening right now. You just need to start noticing it and then develop the means for holding on to that awareness.
How do you develop the ability to maintain awareness? One answer is to develop “procedural memory” around that, which requires systems or processes that make it happen nearly on autopilot. Try these books about willpower for help in that regard.
Do You Want Clarity Now?
If you’re still struggling to experience these concepts and it still sounds like some kind of mind-puzzle when someone says that your confusion is the experience you’re seeking, here’s what I suggest:
1. Read all the Fred Davis books you can get
- Visit his Awakening Clarity Now website
- Get subscribed to his YouTube channel
- Start practicing and keep practicing
These practices are easier than they seem and a lot of fun. All the teaching you need is on tap and just waiting for you to realize it within yourself.
Where else would Fred Davis and his incredible nondual teachings be found?