Quotes from Adyashanti

One of the most common of these traps is a sense of meaninglessness. From our new view of reality, we are free from the egoic desire to find meaning. We see that the ego's desire to find meaning in life is actually a substitute for the perception of being life itself. The search for meaning in life is a surrogate for the knowledge that we are life. Only someone who is disconnected from life itself will seek meaning. Only someone disconnected from life will look for purpose.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

Often, if we are not careful, these ancient traditions and techniques—many of which I myself was taught, and which have great value—become an end instead of a means to an end. People end up with what is simply a discipline. They end up watching their breath for years and years and years, becoming perfect at watching their breath. But in the end spirituality is not about watching the breath. It's about waking up from the dream of separateness to the truth of unity. That's what it's about, and this can get forgotten if we adhere too closely to technique.

Adyashanti

from True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness

Essentially, we fall into grace. By that I mean that a certain mysterious quality reveals itself and cradles us within an intimacy with all of existence. This is something that many people are looking for without even knowing it. Almost everybody is looking for intimacy—a closeness, a sense of union with their own existence or with God, or whatever their concept of higher reality is. All this yearning actually comes from our longing for closeness, intimacy, and true union. When we open to life in this way, we begin to find an inner stability simply because we're no longer at odds with our experience.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

Meditative self-inquiry is the art of asking a spiritually powerful question. And a question that is spiritually powerful always points us back to ourselves. Because the most important thing that leads to spiritual awakening is to discover who and what we are—to wake up from this dream state, this trance state of identification with ego. And for this awakening to occur, there needs to be some transformative energy that can flash into consciousness. It needs to be an energy that is actually powerful enough to awaken consciousness out of its trance of separateness into the truth of our being. Inquiry is an active engagement with our own experience that can cultivate this flash of spiritual insight.

Adyashanti

from True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness

When we are in the dream state, we do not know what we are doing. We are simply acting out of deep programming. But once we have seen the true nature of things-- once Spirit has opened its eyes within us-- we suddenly know what we're doing. There's a much more accurate sense of whether we're moving or speaking or even thinking from truth or not. When we act from a place of untruth anyway, in spite of our knowing, it's much more painful than we we didn't know our actions were untrue. When we say something to someone that we know is untrue, it causes an inner division that is vastly more painful than when we said the same thing and thought it was true.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

As I watched and observed, day after day, week after week, month after month, even year after year, one day I had an epiphany: "Oh my gosh! Adults believe what they think! That's why they suffer! That's why they get into conflict. That's why they behave strangely, in ways that I don't understand, because they actually believe the thoughts in their head."What I realized was that adults spent a lot of time thinking, and more important than that—and more odd, it seemed to me—they actually believed what they were thinking. They believed the thoughts in their head.All of a sudden, I had an understanding of what was happening when adults communicated with one another; that what people were in fact communicating were their thoughts, and that each person believed that what they thought was actually true. The problem was that all of the different adults had different ideas about what they thought the truth was, and so when they communicated there was this unspoken negotiation, this attempt to win each other over and to defend one's thinking and beliefs.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

And so I was sitting in the back of the church and watching people go through the communion. Reading the mystics, who wrote so eloquently about their own profound experiences, I had felt a deep sense of connection, as if I'd reached back hundreds of years and connected with the living presence of another person. So I had an unconscious expectation that I was going to have the same feeling when I walked into this church and watched the mass. But when the priest started to talk, it was extraordinarily disappointing. He talked about abortion, about how families should be, about intimate issues having to do with sexuality and how you should live your life, and as he talked, I felt that he had taken the presence created by this ritual of communion and thrown it on the floor and stepped on it. I had a sense that he had completely missed the Christian message.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

One's whole sense of passion and of drive belongs to the self, to the ego, even when it's very positive or for the benefit of all beings. It's very hard to convey what moves you when all of that is gone. It comes from a place that is very, very simple. In the Zen tradition, they say, when you're hungry you eat, and when you're tired you sleep. That doesn't sound very exciting, but it's pointing to the simplicity of a life no longer driven by the inner forces of desire and aversion—by wanting to accomplish, or to escape, or even to convey something.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

I remember hearing a talk from a very famous Tibetan teacher, a man who had spent many years in a small, stone hut in the Himalayas. He was crippled, and so he couldn't use either one of his legs. He told a story of how a big boulder fell on his legs and broke them, and he spent many years in a stone hut, because there was really nothing that he could do. It was hard for someone with broken legs to get around much in the Himalayas. He told the story of being in this small hut, and he said, "To be locked in that small hut for so many years was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. It was a great grace, because if it wasn't for that, I would never have turned within, and I would never have found the freedom that revealed itself there. So I look back at the losing of my legs as one of the most profound and lucky events of my whole life." Normally, most of us wouldn't think that losing the use of our legs would be grace. We have certain ideas about how we want grace to appear. But grace is simply that which opens our hearts, that which has the capacity to come in and open our perceptions about life.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

The thought is not the thing that it represents. Try to get that right down to your core, right down to the marrow in your bones and into the blood that flows through your veins: the thought is not the thing. Then embrace that intermediary step of unknowing things, and as you enter the unknown, you'll see it is not a place; it is the living reality of things underneath the idea of the unknown. The point is not to spend the rest of your life saying, "I do not know" to everything; it is to step out of the known and directly perceive. You do this by entering the lived reality of not knowing, which takes you out of the known, out of the idea and into the reality of you, of anything, and of anyone. It's a place where words are useful tools, but you are no longer trapped by them.

Adyashanti

from The Most Important Thing: Discovering Truth at the Heart of Life

When that little button gets pushed, something unconscious arises, and the invitation is to stay awake. That's it. Just stay awake, and then the alchemy happens. Just stay awake. Don't do the spiritual thing, like back up fifty steps and witness it from some infinite distance. That's somewhat better than being lost in it, but even that is a subtle form of unconsciousness because it's a subtle form of avoidance or withdrawing awakeness from what is. Awakeness is just here. You don't need to bring it backward or up or down or behind something to be essentially free of what's arising. It already is free. It doesn't need to back up.

Adyashanti

from Emptiness Dancing

In ancient times, people having this experience entered protected environments such as monasteries—places where those around them would understand. They'd be put in a nice little cell and left alone to let the process happen. They were fortunate to experience awakening in a context in which it was understood, seen as normal, and given the space it required. In today's society, most of us having these realizations are not living in monasteries; we are not in a particularly supportive environment. In fact, in our society it is possible to have an amazing realization on Saturday and be back in the office on Monday morning. If your mind is still blown out in bliss, this can be very disorienting! Yet it's the reality of the situation we live in. Most modern people do not have the luxury of sitting in a cave for a few months and letting things shake down naturally. This is the state of our world, and it can be a challenge for some people.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

The waves of mind demand so much of Silence. But She does not talk back does not give answers nor arguments. She is the hidden author of every thought every feeling every moment. Silence. She speaks only one word. And that word is this very existence. No name you give Her touches Her captures Her. No understanding can embrace Her. Mind throws itself at Silence demanding to be let in. But no mind can enter into Her radiant darkness Her pure and smiling nothingness. The mind hurls itself into sacred questions. But Silence remains unmoved by the tantrums. She asks only for nothing. Nothing. But you won't give it to Her because it is the last coin in your pocket. And you would rather give her your demands than your sacred and empty hands. *** Everything leaps out in celebration of mystery, but only nothing enters the sacred source, the silent substance. Only nothing gets touched and becomes sacred, realizes its own divinity, realizes what it is without the aid of a single thought. Silence is my secret. Not hidden. Not hidden. —ADYASHANTI ...

Adyashanti

from Emptiness Dancing

True Meditation has no direction or goal. It is pure wordless surrender, pure silent prayer. All methods aiming at achieving a certain state of mind are limited, impermanent, and conditioned. Fascination with states leads only to bondage and dependency. True Meditation is effortless stillness, abidance as primordial being. True Meditation appears in consciousness spontaneously when awareness is not being manipulated or controlled. When you first start to meditate, you notice that attention is often being held captive by focusing on some object: on thoughts, bodily sensations, emotions, memories, sounds, etc. This is because the mind is conditioned to focus and contract upon objects. Then the mind compulsively interprets and tries to control what it is aware of (the object) in a mechanical and distorted way. It begins to draw conclusions and make assumptions according to past conditioning. In True Meditation all objects (thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, etc.) are left to their natural functioning. This means that no effort should be made to focus on, manipulate, control, or suppress any object of awareness. In True Meditation the emphasis is on being awareness—not on being aware of objects, but on resting as conscious being itself. In meditation you are not trying to change your experience; you are changing your relationship to your experience. As you gently relax into awareness, the mind's compulsive contraction around objects will fade. Silence of being will come more clearly into consciousness as a welcoming to rest and abide. An attitude of open receptivity, free of any goal or anticipation, will facilitate the presence of silence and stillness to be revealed as your natural condition. As you effortlessly rest into stillness more profoundly, awareness becomes free of the mind's compulsive habit of control, contraction, and identification. Awareness returns to its natural condition of conscious being, absolute unmanifest potential—the silent abyss beyond all knowing.

Adyashanti

from The Way of Liberation

To be everything and nothing at the same time. Is it possible to start to feel, in this very moment, that our bodies, our minds, and even our personalities are ways through which our spiritual essence connects with the world around us? That these bodies and minds are actually sensing organs for spirit? Our physical forms are the vehicle through which spiritual essence gets to experience its own mysterious creation—to be bewildered by its creation, shocked by it, in awe of it, and even confused by it. Spirit is pure potential that contains every possible outcome. From the standpoint of our spiritual essence, nothing is to be avoided. No experiences need to be turned from. Everything, in its way, is a gift—even the painful things. In reality, all of life—every moment, every experience—is an expression of spirit.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

In order to find what the concept of God is pointing to, you must let go of your image of God and every concept you have about God. You must dare to be void of all concepts and enter into perfect Emptiness, perfect stillness, and perfect silence. You must forget everything you have ever learned about God. It won't help you. It may comfort you, but such comfort is imaginary; it is an illusion. Let go of all the false comforts of the mind. Let them all come to an end. The end must be experienced fully in Stillness. When you let all images, all concepts, all hopes, and all beliefs end, Stillness is experienced. Experience the core of Stillness. Dive into it and surrender fully. In full surrender to Stillness, you directly experience That to which the concept of God points. In that direct experience, you awaken from the dream of the mind and realize that the concept of God points to who you truly are...

Adyashanti

from The Impact of Awakening: Excerpts From the Teachings of Adyashanti

Spiritual autonomy is knowing who and what you are—knowing that you are divine being itself, knowing that the essence of you is divinity. You are moving in the world of time and space, appearing as a human being, but nonetheless you are eternal, divine being, the timeless breaking through and operating within the world of time. To Jesus, spirit is everything. Nothing matters more than spirit or, as I like to say, divine being. Divine being is what Jesus is here for; it is the vitality source from which he moves, from which he speaks, from which his critique arises. He is the living presence of divine being. He's a human being too, but he's here to convey divine being, and that comes out most clearly in the Gospel of Mark.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

With a true and authentic awakening, who and what we are becomes clear. There's no longer a question about it; it is a done deal. In this way, one of the hallmarks of a true awakening is the end of seeking. You no longer feel the momentum, the push and the pull. The seeker has been revealed as the virtual reality it always was, and as such it disappears. The seeker has in some sense accomplished its task.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

kind of thing. I don't want to talk to a lot of people about past lives, especially the radical nondualists who say that there is nobody who was born, there is nobody who has past lives, there are no incarnations, and so on. Of course, that is all true; it's all a dream, even past lives. When I talk about them at all, I talk about them as past dreams. I dreamed I was this person; I dreamed I was that person. Personally, I've never tried to gather experiences of past lives and wrap them all up in some sort of metaphysical understanding. I don't have a clear understanding about what a past life is, except that it seems clear to me that it also has the nature of a dream; it doesn't have objective, actual existence. Nonetheless, the experience I had happened. Since it happened, I can't say it didn't happen. But in my own mind, I don't try to figure it all out. All I know is what happened.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

"Jesus said: "I am the light above everything. I am everything. Everything came forth from me, and everything reached me." [Gospel of Thomas 77] Now, that's as clearly as the enlightened state can be put into words. I am the light of everything, the light of divine being, the light of consciousness. I am what lights up the world, I am what sees the world, and that seeing, that consciousness is actually what gives rise to the world. In some spiritual traditions, just to be the divine, eternal witness of all of life is enough; it's the goal. But in the spirituality of Jesus, that's not the goal. He doesn't say only, "I am the light above everything," but "I am everything; everything came forth from me.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

If you strip it of all the complex terminology and all the complex jargon, enlightenment is simply returning to our natural state of being. A natural state, of course, means a state which is not contrived, a state that requires no effort or discipline to maintain, a state of being which is not enhanced by any sort of manipulation of mind or body—in other words, a state that is completely natural, completely spontaneous.

Adyashanti

from True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness

Beyond even any teaching, though, the aspect of spiritual life that is the most profound is the element of grace. Grace is something that comes to us when we somehow find ourselves completely available, when we become openhearted and open-minded, and are willing to entertain the possibility that we may not know what we think we know. In this gap of not knowing, in the suspension of any conclusion, a whole other element of life and reality can rush in. This is what I call grace. It's that moment of "ah-ha!"—a moment of recognition when we realize something that previously we never could quite imagine.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

disappeared into the water. Seeing this lifetime and the confusion at the moment of death, I immediately knew what I had to do. I had to rectify the confusion and explain to the dream of me that I died, that I fell off a boat and drowned. When I did this, all of a sudden the confusion from that lifetime popped like a bubble, and there was a tremendous sense of freedom. Many past life dreams appeared, and each one of them seemed to focus on something that had been in conflict, something that was unresolved from a different incarnation. I went through each one of them and unhooked the confusion. TS Were you lying on a carpeted floor with your eyes closed, or something? ADYA No, actually, the strangest thing was that ...

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

"One of the most important steps in the process of coming to the end of suffering is seeing that there's something deep inside of us that actually wants to suffer, that actually indulges in suffering. As I've mentioned, there is a piece of us that wants to suffer because it is through suffering that we maintain this wall of separation around us. It is through our suffering that we can continue to hold onto everything we think is true. Wearing the veil of suffering, we don't really have to look at ourselves and say, "I'm the one that's dreaming. I'm the one that's full of illusions. I'm the one that's holding on with everything I have." It's much easier to see that the other person is caught in illusion. That's easy. "So and so over there, they're completely lost in illusion. They don't know the truth." It's a whole other thing to say, "No, no, no! I'm the one who is caught in illusion. I don't know what's real, I don't know what's true, and part of me actually wants to suffer because then I can remain separate and distinct.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

"This (liberation) isn't something I can help you with. I can tell you what you need to do, but you have to do it. In the beginning, teachers can help a lot. But the deeper you go, all they can do is point, and clarify, and tell you what you need to do. Only you can take this step. Nobody can push you into this place. It's like Buddha's final night under the Bodhi tree. What did he do when confronted with this? He reached down and touched the ground and said, „I will not be moved." Finally—when everything that could be thrown at him was thrown, and he was still unmoved—it was done. He never looked back.

Adyashanti

from The Impact of Awakening: Excerpts From the Teachings of Adyashanti

It's good to be reminded that hubris, left unchecked, can have serious consequences in our lives. If we don't notice soon enough, we might just realize too late that we've lost some very important things in our lives. The beauty of this story is that it reminds us: keep your feet firmly planted on the soil, keep your consciousness and your heart open, and stay available to this relative world and all the human beings within it.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

Spiritual autonomy is knowing who and what you are—knowing that you are divine being itself, knowing that the essence of you is divinity. You are moving in the world of time and space, appearing as a human being, but nonetheless you are eternal, divine being, the timeless breaking through and operating within the world of time. To Jesus, spirit is everything. Nothing matters more than spirit or, as I like to say, divine being. Divine being is what Jesus is here for; it is the vitality source from which he moves, from which he speaks, from which his critique arises. He is the living presence of divine being. He's a human being too, but he's here to convey divine being, and that comes out most clearly in the Gospel of Mark. This gospel uniquely conveys Jesus' search for himself. Mark's Jesus is a Jesus who is very much a searcher: he's looking for his identity, he's looking for his role, he's experimenting, he's finding out what works and what doesn't. He's on a journey, and he's inviting all of us along for that journey with him as if we were also the disciples.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

So with awakening, the stakes go up. The more awake we get, the higher the stakes get. I remember when I was staying at a Buddhist monastery for a while. The abbess there, a wonderful woman, talked about this process of awakening as climbing a ladder. With each step you go, you have less and less tendency to look down. You have less tendency to act in ways you know aren't true or to speak in ways you know aren't true or do things you know aren't coming from truth. You start to realize that the consequences have become greater; the more awake we get, the greater the consequences are. Finally, the consequences of acting outside of truth become immense; the slightest action or behavior that's not in accordance with the truth can be unbearable to us.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

And then I noticed there were all sorts of other points, points, and I could enter each one of those points, and each one of those points was a different world, a different time, and I was a different person, a totally different manifestation in each one of those points. I could go into each one of them and see a totally different dream of self and a totally different world that was being dreamed as well. For the most part, what I saw was anything that was unresolved about the dream of "me" in a particular lifetime. There were certain confusions, fears, hesitations, and doubts that were unresolved in particular lifetimes. In certain lifetimes, what was unresolved was a feeling of confusion about what happened at the time of death. In one lifetime, I drowned and did not know what was happening, and there was tremendous terror and confusion as the body ...

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

At some point after awakening—sometimes very soon, sometimes not for quite a while—you reach a stage that I call "trials and tribulations." In the Jesus story, this is symbolized by Jesus' forty days in the desert and his encounter with Satan in the desert immediately following his baptism. In Buddhism, this stage is mythically portrayed by the image of Buddha sitting under the bodhi tree, assaulted by Maya, the force of illusion. Maya is an impersonal force of illusion, while Satan is a personification of what we think of as evil, but the source of evil is actually illusion, so these are really two different mythic representations of the same experience.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

The important thing is allowing the whole world to wake up. Part of allowing the whole world to wake up is recognizing that the whole world is free—everybody is free to be as they are. Until the whole world is free to agree with you or disagree with you, until you have given the freedom to everyone to like you or not like you, to love you or hate you, to see things as you see them or to see things differently—until you have given the whole world its freedom—you'll never have your freedom.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

In the Gospels, Jesus repeatedly challenges the religious authorities of the day, but ultimately what he's saying is relevant to all forms of religion. It wouldn't matter if he grew up a Jew, or a Christian, or a Buddhist, or a Hindu, because he's speaking about the structure of religion itself—its hierarchy, its tendency to become corrupted by human beings' desires for power, for influence, for money. Jesus, I think, had a profound understanding that the religion itself, instead of connecting us to the radiance of being, connecting us to that spiritual mystery, could easily become a barrier to divinity. As soon as we get too caught up with the rites and the rituals and the Thou shalts and Thou shalt nots of conventional religion, we begin to lose sight of the primary task of religion, which is to orient us toward the mystery of being and awaken us to what we really are. Of course, ...

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

In the original Greek, one of the meanings of sin [hamartia] is simply "to miss the mark." Now, imagine you've gone to confession, and the priest says to you, "Confess your sins." Imagine that this priest even accuses you of being a sinner; imagine how that would feel in your mind and heart, to be considered a moral failure. Now imagine instead how you'd feel if that priest were to say, "So, tell me, how have you missed the mark in your life?" There's an enormous difference in how these two interpretations of sin are held in our hearts, in our minds, in our bodies. If we understand that sin means to miss the mark, it's not so personal and damning.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

In True Meditation, we're in the body as a means to transcend it. It is paradoxical that the greatest doorway to the transcendence of form is through form itself. And so, when you sit down to meditate, connect with your senses— connect with how you feel, what you hear, what you sense, what you smell. Your senses actually anchor you in the moment. When your mind wanders, anchor yourself in your senses. Start to listen. What are the sounds outside? Start to feel. How do you feel in your body? Enter into the felt sense, the kinesthetic sense of your being. Connect not only with what you feel in your body, but also with what you sense in the room. Start to smell. As you are sitting, what does it smell like? Through your senses, open to the whole world within and around you. This grounds you in a deeper reality than your mind, and it also helps focus you in a place other than your mind. Allowing everything to be is extraordinarily simple, but it's not as easy as people imagine. If you're actually doing it correctly, you'll find yourself vividly present to your five senses, vividly present to your body, vividly present to your experience. If, on the other hand, you find that you're in a hazy dream zone, then it's very important to come back to your senses. Your body is a beautiful tool to anchor consciousness in a deeper sense of reality.

Adyashanti

from True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness

Abiding means letting everything be as it already is—no matter what it is. If you're feeling good, let that be as it is. If you're feeling bad, let that be as it is. No matter what your emotional, physical, or mental state, let it be as it is and don't wish it to be otherwise. If you want it to be different from what it is, you're not abiding; you're picking and choosing and trying to control your experience.

Adyashanti

from The Impact of Awakening: Excerpts From the Teachings of Adyashanti

Real meditation is not about mastering a technique; it's about letting go of control. This is meditation. Anything else is actually a form of concentration. Meditation and concentration are two different things. Concentration is a discipline; concentration is a way in which we are actually directing or guiding or controlling our experience. Meditation is letting go of control, letting go of guiding our experience in any way whatsoever. The foundation of True Meditation is that we are letting go of control.

Adyashanti

from True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness

Allow your suffering to speak. Our suffering consists of two components: a mental component and an emotional component. We usually think of these two aspects as separate, but in fact, when we're in deep states of suffering, we're usually so overwhelmed by the experience of emotion that we forget and become unconscious of the story in our minds that is creating and maintaining it. So one of the most vital steps in addressing our suffering and moving beyond it is first to summon the courage and willingness to truly experience what we're feeling and to no longer try to edit what we feel. In order to really allow ourselves to stay with the depth of our emotions, we must cease judging ourselves for whatever comes up. I invite you to set some time aside—perhaps a half an hour—to allow yourself simply to feel whatever is there: to let any sensation, feeling, or emotion come up without trying to avoid or "solve" it. Simply let whatever is there arise. Get in touch with the kinesthetic feeling of it, of what these experiences are like when you're not trying to push or explain them away. Just experience the raw energy of the emotion or sensation. You might notice it in your heart or your solar plexus, or in your gut. See if you can identify where the tightness is in your body—not only where the emotion is, but what parts of your body feel rigid. It could be your neck or shoulders or it might be your back. Suffering manifests as emotion—often as deep, painful emotion—and also as tension throughout the body. Suffering also manifests as certain patterns of circular thinking. Once you touch a particular emotion, allow yourself to begin to hear the voice of suffering. To do this, you cannot stand outside the suffering, trying to explain or solve it; you must really sink into the pain, even relax into the suffering so that you can allow the suffering to speak. Many of us have a great hesitancy to do this, because when suffering speaks, it often has a very shocking voice. It can be quite vicious. This kind of voice is something that most people do not want to believe they have inside them, and yet to move beyond suffering it's vital that we allow ourselves to experience the totality of it. It's important that we open all the emotions and all of the thoughts in order to fully experience what is there.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

happen, and it's not uncommon for them to happen for some people. What people usually see, if their experiences are real, is what needs to be seen, what needs to be freed. As one great Buddhist abbess said to me, "You usually don't have a past life that shows you what a sterling example of enlightenment you were, because enlightenment leaves no trace; it is like a fire that burns clean. There's no karmic imprint it leaves behind." She said if you have any past lives, you're probably going to see what a grade-A jackass you were—which I loved, and which has corresponded to my experience. I didn't necessarily always see what a grade-A jackass I was, although in some cases, I saw that I was a lot more than a grade-A jackass. Most of the past lives I saw were moments of confusion, moments of unresolved karmic conflict.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

It is much like when you have a dream at night and are identified with some character and think you are different from all the others. When you wake up from your dream in the morning, you realize that you are not the character in the dream. You are the dreamer. Everything in the dream came from you. This is a metaphor for spiritual awakening, because when you wake up spiritually, you realize you are not the body-mind. But what is usually missed is that you are the ultimate source of the entire dream. I think this is pretty easy to understand. In one sense, you see that you are not anyone, but in the other, you realize that you are the source of all.

Adyashanti

from Emptiness Dancing

From that place, the only thing left to do is to be a benevolent presence in the world. I don't say this because one wants to do it or tries to do it. All attempts to be spiritual or pure or compassionate or loving, all of that striving is just what the ego or self tries to do or to be. But when all that falls away, there's literally nothing left to do; there's no life orientation that makes sense other than to be a selfless and benevolent presence. This may happen on a big stage, but it may just mean being a benevolent grandmother or a mother or daughter or son or business owner. It doesn't have to look any particular way, and in fact the resurrected state can actually look quite normal.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

If we ask, "Who am I without the me-concept? What am I without the me?" instantly the wordless can open up, the concept-less can open up. Allow the experience of that, because that is the living answer to the questions, "What am I? Who am I?" This is not the dead conceptual answer, but the living answer. It is alive! In this moment of radiant awakeness there's a mystery unfolding unto itself, moment to moment to moment. This living state of being, call it what you will, is the only thing that you always have been, always will be, and are right now. You are not a human being, you are being appearing as human.

Adyashanti

from Emptiness Dancing

Religion's primary function is to awaken within us the experience of the sublime and to connect us with the mystery of existence. As soon as religion forgets about its roots in the eternal, it fails in its central task. Jesus was so critical of the religion of his time because he saw that not only was it not connecting people to the mystery, but that it was actually an active participant in veiling the mystery of existence, in obscuring the Kingdom of Heaven. And so he was a critic from the inside; he didn't necessarily reject the religion he was brought up in, but he felt called to challenge it, to transform it. Jesus' keen insight into the potential for the corrupting influence of power in all institutions—whether they're political, economic or religious—is very relevant to the modern day. If Jesus existed here and now as a human being, what he'd have to say about these subjects would be as shocking now as it was two thousand years ago. I've talked to many people ...

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

If we're willing to look in a deep way underneath the appearances, what we expect to discover—or perhaps hope to discover—is some great, shining image. Most people, deep in their unconscious, want to find an idea of themselves, an image of themselves, that's really good, quite wonderful, quite worthy of admiration and approval. Yet, when we start to peer underneath our image, we find something quite surprising—maybe even a bit disturbing at first. We begin to find no image. If you look right at this moment, underneath your idea of yourself, and you don't insert another idea or another image, but if you just look under however you define yourself and you see it's just an image, it's just an idea, and you peer underneath it, what you find is no image, no idea of yourself. Not a better image, not a worse image, but no image. Because this is so unexpected, most people will move away from it almost instinctively. They'll move right back into a more positive image. But if we really want to know who we are, if we want to get to the bottom of this particular way in which we suffer, arising from believing ourselves to be something we're not, then we have to be willing to look underneath the image, underneath the idea that we have of each other, and most specifically of ourselves.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

There is a freedom that can be discovered in relationship, whether it be with spiritual community or with another individual, where something much bigger than any individual is born. What I am speaking about is an intimacy that flowers in the presence of Truth. The depth of this intimacy can be a vehicle through which oneness is experienced. For some, this degree of intimacy is positive beyond belief; for others, it is the cause of mistrust and fear. True intimacy always threatens the sense of separateness. ...

Adyashanti

from The Impact of Awakening: Excerpts From the Teachings of Adyashanti

Through the whole trajectory from birth to childhood to adolescence and then into adulthood, we change so much, not only physically but also emotionally and intellectually, yet something remains unchanged. That sense of something unchanged is the eternal spark within. At the beginning it may be felt as a very subtle, almost incomprehensible intuition, but when we bring our full attention to that felt intuition of what's the same throughout our whole lives, then that little seed of divine radiance can begin to reveal itself, can begin to shine brighter and brighter in our lives.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

What is the cause of suffering in the human being? Why is it that human beings have such a difficult time putting their suffering down? What's the reason that we often carry it around, when it becomes such a burden to us?One of the primary reasons we suffer is because we believe what we think, that the thoughts in our heads come uninvited into our consciousness, swirl around, and we attach to them. We identify with them and grab hold of them.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

Who really wants to find out that we're all addicted to qualities like approval, recognition, control, and power, and that none of these things actually brings an end to suffering? In fact, they're the cause of suffering! So the truth is that most of us don't really want to wake up. We don't really want to end suffering. What we really want to do is manage our suffering, to have a little bit less of it, so that we can just go on with our lives as they are, unchanged, the way we want to live them, maybe feeling a little better about them.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

In order to find what the concept of God is pointing to, you must let go of your image of God and every concept you have about God. You must dare to be void of all concepts and enter into perfect Emptiness, perfect stillness, and perfect silence. You must forget everything you have ever learned about God. It won't help you. It may comfort you, but such comfort is imaginary; it is an illusion. Let go of all the false comforts of the mind. Let them all come to an end. The end must be experienced full yin Stillness. When you let all images, all concepts, all hopes, and all beliefs end, Stillness is experienced. Experience the core of Stillness. Dive into it and surrender fully. In full surrender to Stillness, you directly experience That to which the concept of God points. In that direct experience, you awaken from the dream of the mind and realize that the concept of God points to who you truly are....

Adyashanti

from The Impact of Awakening: Excerpts From the Teachings of Adyashanti

We are so busy and obsessed with our restless thinking about everything and everyone that we have mistaken our thinking about everything and everyone for everything and everyone. This tendency to take our thoughts to be real is what keeps the dream state intact and keeps us trapped within its domain of unconsciousness and strife. To many people the very idea that what is is more real than all of their beliefs and opinions about what is is hard to believe. But that's how it is when you are caught up in a dream.

Adyashanti

from The Way of Liberation

This one question -- "What do I know for certain?"-- is tremendously powerful. When you look deeply into this question, it actually destroys your world. It destroys your whole sense of self, and it's meant to. You come to see that everything you think you know about yourself, everything you think you know about the world, is based on assumptions, beliefs, and opinions-- things you believe because you were taught or told that they were true. Until we start to see these false perceptions for what they really are, consciousness will be imprisoned within the dream state.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

All thoughts—good thoughts, bad thoughts, lovely thoughts, evil thoughts—occur within something. All thoughts arise and disappear into a vast space. If you watch your mind, you'll see that a thought simply occurs on its own—it arises without any intention on your part.In response to this, we're taught to grab and identify with them. But if we can, just for a moment, relinquish this anxious tendency to grab our thoughts, we begin to notice something very profound: that thoughts arise and play out, spontaneously and on their own, within a vast space; the noisy mind actually occurs within a very, very deep sense of quiet.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

Enlightenment depends to a large extent on believing that you are born for Freedom in this lifetime, and that it is available now, in this moment. The mind, which creates the past and future, keeps you out of the moment where the Truth of your Being can be discovered. In this moment, there is always Freedom and there is always peace. This moment in which you experience Stillness is every moment. Don't let the mind seduce you into the past or future. Stay in the moment, and dare to consider that you can be free now.

Adyashanti

from The Impact of Awakening: Excerpts From the Teachings of Adyashanti

Unfortunately, when we turn to religion, often the churches box us in even more. They tell us that we are inherently flawed, that we need to be forgiven for this sin, this stain that we carry. The first and most important function of religion is to connect you with the mystery of life and the mystery of your own being. When religion fails to do this, it has betrayed its primary mission, and all we are left with is dogma and belief.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

I was walking across the living room when all of this happened. I can't tell you how long I was walking. It could have been five seconds—because all of this is outside of time—I don't actually know. I could have been walking across the living room floor for five hours, but I was, literally, just walking across the living room. And it's not like I stood still; I was walking, and it all happened right in the midst of what I was doing. I walked across the living room, I went into the backyard, I was doing something, I don't even remember what I was doing, and simultaneously this whole other thing was happening, too. I know it sounds odd. This didn't happen in a moment of meditation; it was completely mixed in as a part of ordinary life. As you know, I haven't talked much about this ...

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

the notion that we are separate is not really true; it's all made up. It's all conjured up in our mind. It's one big dream that we have. The difficulty with this dream is that almost everybody around us is having the same dream. It's essentially the collective dream of humanity. So it's not just you or me that's dreaming; almost all human beings are also having this dream of being separate, of being completely other than the world around them. What this means is that we really have to look within ourselves quite deeply, because we're not only looking beyond our own deluded mind, our own misunderstanding; we're looking beyond the delusion of the entirety of humanity.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

"Spirit never asks itself, "How do I stay within myself?" That would be ridiculous. It just makes no sense, coming from the true nature of things. What makes more sense is to ask how you unenlighten yourself. What is still held on to? What is still confusing? What situations in life can get you to believe things that aren't true and cause you to go into contradiction, suffering, and separation? What is it specifically that has the power to entice consciousness back into the gravitational field of the dream state? We should not ask, "How do I stay awake? ...

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

There is a scripture in the Buddhist tradition called the Heart Sutra, which says that there is no birth, no old age, and no death, and no end to birth, old age, or death. This is a very important part of the sutra. There is no birth, no old age, and no death. This is true from the absolute point of view. But unless we've also realized, simultaneously, that there is no end to birth, old age, and death, then our realization is not complete.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

I have found over the years of working with people, even those who have had very deep and profound awakenings, that most people have a fear of being truthful, of really being honest-- not only with others, but with themselves as well. Of course, the core of this fear is that most people know intuitively that if they were actually truthful and totally sincere and honest, they would no longer be able to control anybody.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

Power is a very dangerous aphrodisiac to the ego; many people are deeply attracted to power. Even in our ordinary everyday world, issues of power arise. If you lead a company or you're a manager, you're exercising power over people's lives; they have to fit in with the structure and power dynamics that were put in place by the people above them. Power at any level, whether its an intrinsic power or a relative power due to your position in the world, can really bring to light and activate desire, because power begets the desire for more power. In every esoteric spiritual tradition there are grave warnings about indulging in these kinds of powers and seeking out the psychic abilities that may come with awakening. The usual counsel is neither to push away or deny these powers, nor to grasp or desire or indulge in them. In Jesus' case, what we get through the story is a vital reflection of what it means to use power wisely. Jesus is a man of great authority, great inner power, and great charisma, and people are deeply attracted to him, whether for healing or spiritual transformation or simply to be in his presence. In example after example, he wields this power with wisdom and love. Throughout the Gospels we see how Jesus utilizes power, when he utilizes it and when he pulls back and leaves things as they are. He's a master of the wise use of power.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

TS Part of the reason I am bringing up the topic of past lives is that I have heard several people say something like this about you: "Adya must have been a realized being in a past life, and that's why he's had such tremendous breakthroughs at such an early age and is able to articulate teachings on awakening in such an original way." What do you think about that comment? ADYA If you ask me point blank, then yes, I've seen myself doing something similar to what I'm doing in this lifetime many times before. But again, I don't know the whole metaphysics of past lives and how they work, and I don't see things happening in terms of linear cause and effect. In fact, my experience of past lives isn't that they are actually past. I call them that, because that's how people relate to them, but if I were to say what my real experience is, it's more like simultaneous lives.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

As long as you perceive that anyone is holding you back, you have not taken full responsibility for your own liberation. Liberation means that you stand free of making demands on others and on life to make you happy. When you discover yourself to be nothing but Freedom, you stop setting up conditions and requirements that need to be satisfied in order for you to be happy. It is in the absolute surrender of all conditions and requirements that Liberation is discovered to be who and what you Are. Then the love and wisdom that flows out of you have a liberating effect on others.

Adyashanti

from The Impact of Awakening: Excerpts From the Teachings of Adyashanti

This is what the virgin birth signifies: time and space being opened up and eternity being embodied as a human being. This is you and I, yet we don't know it. We are eternal, divine beings manifested here and now in our humanity as a particular human being. Our human form comes from the pairs of opposites. The body that feels, the mind that thinks—all this comes from the pairs of opposites. Your mother and father got together and produced a baby, a beautiful, incarnated being, and that being is filled and animated by the vitality of divine being. That is the beauty of what the virgin birth signifies if you can read the metaphor.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

that smallest point of light was a thought, just floating out there. And the thought was: "I." And when I turned and looked at the thought, all I had to do was become interested in it, in any way interested, and this little point of light would move closer and closer and closer. It was like moving close to a knothole in a fence—when you get your eye right up to it, you don't see the fence anymore; you see what's on the other side. So as this little point of "I" came closer, I started to perceive through this point called "me." And I found that in that point called "me" was the whole world. The whole world was contained within that "I," within that little point called "me." There wasn't really an I, but an emptiness that could go into and out of that point, in and out of it, and it's like the whole world could flicker on and off, and on and off, and on and off.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

As we go through life, we eventually have enough experience to see that sometimes profound difficulty can also be profoundly heart opening. When you are in a tough position, when you are facing something hard, when you feel challenged, when you feel like you are at your edge, it is a gift to be willing to stop, to sit with those moments, and not look for the quick, easy resolution for that feeling. It is a kind of grace to be able and willing to open yourself entirely to the experience of challenge, of difficulty, and of insecurity.

Adyashanti

from The Most Important Thing: Discovering Truth at the Heart of Life

When we believe what we think, when we take our thinking to be reality, we will suffer. It's not obvious until you look at it, but when we believe our thoughts, in that instant, we begin to live in the world of dreams, where the mind conceptualizes an entire world that doesn't actually exist anywhere but in the mind itself. At that moment, we begin to experience a sense of isolation, where we no longer feel connected to each other in a very rich and human way, but we find ourselves receding more and more into the world of our minds, into the world of our own creation.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

As soon as you break your fidelity to Truth, you kick yourself out of the freedom of Truth. As soon as anything—power, praise, person, place, thing, outward love, respect, acknowledgment—becomes more important than Truth, you will begin to suffer and feel separate. There is only room for Truth in the Truth. This means there is only room for seeing the Truth, choosing the Truth, and loving the Truth. A fierce commitment to Truth is a moment-to-moment choice.

Adyashanti

from Emptiness Dancing

WAKE UP OR PERISH The world's problems are, by and large, human problems—the unavoidable consequence of egoic sleepwalking. If we care to look, all the signs are present to suggest that we are not only sleepwalking, but at times borderline insane as well. In a manner of speaking, we have lost (or at the very least forgotten) our souls, and we try very, very hard not to notice, because we don't want to see how asleep we are, how desolate our condition really is. So we blindly carry on, driven by forces we do not recognize or understand, or even acknowledge. We are no doubt at a very critical point in time. Our world hangs in the balance, and a precarious balance it is. Awakening to Reality is no longer a possibility; it is an imperative. We have sailed the ship of delusion about as far as she can carry us. We have run her ashore and now find ourselves shipwrecked on an increasingly desolate land. Our options have imploded. "Wake up or perish" is the spiritual call of our times. Did we ever need more motivation than this? And yet all is eternally well, and more well than can be imagined.

Adyashanti

from The Way of Liberation

Everything depends upon your readiness and willingness to let go into the Unknown and live from that mysterious and precious condition. The question is: Are you ready to give up everything when God comes knocking at your door? This willingness to completely let go and surrender to the divine determines how free you will ultimately become. Whatever you hold back for yourself will become your prison. My advice is to give your whole heart, mind, body, and soul to Grace when it comes. Ask yourself now: Am I ready?

Adyashanti

from The Impact of Awakening: Excerpts From the Teachings of Adyashanti

As a spiritual teacher, I've met a lot of people who have meditated for many, many years. One of the most common things I hear from many of these people is that, despite having meditated for all this time, they feel essentially untransformed. The deep inner transformation—the spiritual revelation—that meditation offers is something that eludes a lot of people, even those who are longtime practitioners. There are actually good and specific reasons why some meditation practices, including the kind of meditation that I was once engaged in, do not lead to this promised state of transformation. The main reason is actually extraordinarily simple and therefore easy to miss: we approach meditation with the wrong attitude. We carry out our meditation with an attitude of control and manipulation, and that is the very reason our meditation leads us to what feels like a dead end. The awakened state of being, the enlightened state of being, can also be called the natural state of being. How can control and manipulation possibly lead us to our natural state? ...

Adyashanti

from True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness

When many of the old saints and sages say, "Your world is a dream. You're living in an illusion," they're referring to this world of the mind and the way we believe our thoughts about reality. When we see the world through our thoughts, we stop experiencing life as it really is and others as they really are. When I have a thought about you, that's something I've created. I've turned you into an idea. In a certain sense, if I have an idea about you that I believe, I've degraded you. I've made you into something very small. This is the way of human beings, this is what we do to each other.

Adyashanti

from Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering

One of my favorite definitions of enlightenment comes from a Jesuit priest named Anthony de Mello, who passed away some years ago. Someone asked him to define his experience of enlightenment. He said, "Enlightenment is absolute cooperation with the inevitable." I love that, because it defines enlightenment not just as a realization, but as an activity. Enlightenment is when everything within us is in cooperation with the flow of life itself, with the inevitable.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

In a certain sense, enlightenment is dying into the ordinary, or into an extraordinary ordinariness. We start to realize the ordinary is extraordinary. It's almost like catching onto a hidden secret—that all along we were in the promised land, all along we were in the kingdom of heaven. From the very beginning, there was only nirvana, as the Buddha would say. But we were misperceiving things. By believing the images in the mind, by contracting through fear, hesitation, and doubt, we misperceived where we were. We didn't realize we were in heaven; we didn't realize we were in the promised land. We didn't realize that nirvana is right here, right now, exactly where we are.

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

The ending of Jesus' life in John is completely different than in Mark. In Mark, Jesus' last breath was a loud death cry from exhaustion and torment. In the Gospel of John, Jesus right to the very end maintains his dignity and balance, and remains centered in divine being. With his last breath, Jesus simply says, "It is finished." Jesus has lived out his destiny; he's played his part well, and he has no regrets.

Adyashanti

from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

TS Was there a sense when you looked at each of these dreams that there was some kind of resolution occurring? ADYA Yes. Not only a resolution there, but also a resolution now. Because it's all one thing. Because anything that was unresolved in one of those dreams was unresolved now. Because it's the same; there's a connection. One of the reasons I haven't talked much about past lives is that some people who are extraordinarily awake have never seen a past life at all. Being aware of past lives is not a necessity. I'm not a particularly mystical person. There was a relatively short period of time, a few months, when I had these kinds of experiences happen occasionally, and since then, every now and then, but not with any great consistency. So they don't need to happen; it's just that they did ...

Adyashanti

from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

Being is that which disturbs our insistence on remaining in the life-numbing realm of our secret desperation. It is the itch that cannot be scratched, the whisper that will not be denied. To be, to truly be, is not a given. Most of us live in a state where our being has long ago been exiled to the shadow realm of our silent anguish. At times being will break through the fabric of our unconsciousness to remind us that we are not living the life we could be living, the life that truly matters. At other times being will recede into the background silently waiting for our devoted attention. But make no mistake: being—your being—is the central issue of life. To remain unconscious of being is to be trapped within an ego-driven wasteland of conflict, strife, and fear that only seems customary because we have been brainwashed into a state of suspended disbelief where a shocking amount of hate, dishonesty, ignorance, and greed are viewed as normal and sane. But they are not sane, not even close to being sane. In fact, nothing could be less sane and unreal than what we human beings call reality.

Adyashanti

from The Way of Liberation

there are no enlightened individuals, there is only enlightenment. Enlightenment wakes up. Not you or I. You and I are rendered insignificant and nonexistent. Enlightenment wakes up. That's why it is said that everybody is inherently enlightened. But that statement is misleading because it implies that everybody is a separate, special, unique little somebody who is inherently enlightened, and that misses the point. An illusion can't be enlightened. So it's not really true that everybody is enlightened. It's only true that enlightenment is enlightened.

Adyashanti

from Emptiness Dancing