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Removing YOU From My Language

by Robert Meagher on 10/04/23

Photo Credit: - Helena Lopes

I am an avid student of non-dual spiritual teachings. Like with any spiritual teaching, my passion is in a lived experience of the spiritual teaching. That is, how do I live the spiritual teaching in my life? For me, one of the purposes of spiritual teaching is to live it in my life. Otherwise, why study it?!

But living spiritual teaching, dual or non-dual alike, can be a challenge. These wonderful, philosophical prose sound great on paper (or on the screen), but what do they look like in real life? How can I integrate them into my daily life to live a life the teachings profess and guide us toward?

One of the foundational, non-dual spiritual teachings relates to a transition from separative perception to union with all life. Separation in non-dual teachings is merely to experience something as separate and distinct from myself. This separative experience is most clearly demonstrated in our perception of other people. We see others as separate entities, separate bodies. And with more 8 billion people reportedly living on our planet, there are no shortage of opportunities to see others as separate from ourselves.

In non-dual teachings, we are taught that nothing and no-one is separate from us. We are all ‘one.’ But what does that look like? What does it feel like? How can I experience that oneness? Are there exercises I can do to practice this oneness in my life?

Last month I began to experiment with a practice that is intended to help train my mind to stop treating other people as separate from me. The practice involves removing the word ‘you’ from my language. What does this look and sound like?

The word ‘you’ is ubiquitous in our language. If we watch the words we speak, we may be surprised how often we use the word ‘you’ on a daily basis. The word ‘you’ immediately supports a dualistic viewpoint. The object of our ‘you’ presupposes something is separate and distinct from us. By virtue of the fact we use the word ‘you,’ we have assumed that ‘you’ is separate from us. But how can I change this language behavior?

Here are some examples of common, everyday speak, that I am playing with to change my language…

Common phrases we may use


“But you said…”

“What I heard was…”

“Do you want to…”

“How about we…”

“It’s all your fault…”

“What parts did we play in this?”

“How are you today?”

“How are things?”

“How’s it going?”


The above examples are not merely neuro-linguistic programming techniques. The above examples are practices to help remove the basis of separative thought and thinking. In the first example (changing “But you said…” to “What I heard was…”), I am taking responsibility for what I heard and not defaulting to blaming another. In the second and third examples, I am removing ‘you’ and replacing it with ‘we.’ At least these practices set the stage for a united perception. Instead of seeing another as separate from me, I am beginning to use language that facilitates togetherness and union.

Have you played around, experimented, with this linguistic practice? Are there other examples of instances where the word ‘you’ was removed from spoken language? If so, I’d would love to hear of these practices so we may support ONEanother and support our growth toward unity.


Robert Meagher has been ordained as an Interfaith Minister and certified as a Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) Therapist. Robert is the Founder and Spiritual Director for Spiritual Guidance and Co-Founder of the Center for Human Awakening.

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Shanti, Namaste, Agapé,

Rev. Robert Meagher