Adyashanti     122 posts


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If you start playing the game of being an "enlightened somebody," the true teacher is going to call you on it. He or she is going to expose you, and that exposure is going to hurt. Because the ego will be there, standing in the light of Truth, exposed and humiliated. Of course, the ego will cry "foul!" It will claim that the teacher made a mistake and begin to justify itself in an effort to put its protective clothing back on. It will begin to spin justifications with incredible subtlety and deceptiveness. This is where real spiritual sadhana (practice) begins. This is where it all becomes very real and the student discovers whether he or she truly wants to be free, or merely wants to remain as a false, separate, and self-justifying ego. This crossroad inevitably comes and is always challenging. It separates the true seeker from the false one. The true seeker will be willing to bare the grace of humility, whereas the false seeker will run from it. Thus begins the true path to enlightenment, granted only to those willing to be nobody. Discovering your "nobodyness" opens the door to awakening as beingness, and beyond that to the Source of all beingness.

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The most direct thing that I can say to you is to not believe your mind. Shift your focus from the mind to the Heart, which means affectionate awareness and stillness. Your mind may not like you doing this at first but with some time and patience, and more than a little love, your mind's reactions to the old beliefs crumbling will become less and less troubling. Relax, breathe, and open. And all will be well.

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“It’s sort of like you’re an alcoholic and you stop drinking, but you live the rest of your life in a bar. You’re in the bar, but you don’t really fit in because you’re not drinking anymore. (laughs) Awakening is a bit like that, like sobering up but spending the rest of your life in a bar where everybody’s drinking, and rather drunk, loaded, and acting weird because of it and wondering why you’re not partaking. And thinking you’re a bit strange, you know?"

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When you rest in quietness and your image of yourself fades, and your image of the world fades, and your ideas of others fade, what's left? A brightness, a radiant emptiness that is simply what you are.

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Step out of the dream of your concepts and ideas.
Step out of the dream of what you imagine enlightenment to be.
Step out of the dream of who you think you are.
Step out of the dream of everything you have ever known.
Step out of your dream of being a deluded person.
Stop telling yourself those lies and dreaming those dreams.
Step out of all of that.
You can do it. Nothing is holding you back.
There are no requirements and no prerequisites to awaken.
There is nothing to be done, nothing to think, nowhere to go.
Just stop all dreaming.
Stop all doing.
Stop all excuses.
Just stop and be still.
Effortlessly be still.
Grace will do the rest.

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“Don’t try to hold onto what is realized, be what is realized. You cannot maintain realization or sustain it. In order for it to always be, you must be it yourself—in your humanity.”

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'My Secret is Silence'

“The enlightened sage abides as the eternal witness
wholly unconcerned, yet intimately engaged.
Resting beyond all definitions he neither clings to
transcendent freedom nor is he entangled
by the dualistic world;
therefore, he is at one with all of life.”

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“As we go through our trials and tribulations, outer circumstances seem to be exquisitely put together specifically to test each part of our realization. These trials and tribulations will also occur from the inside. Your unconscious at some point will start to reveal itself. In the unawakened person, the unconscious never fully comes into conscious awareness, but with awakening our means of suppression and denial are either torn apart completely or wounded so severely that we can’t repress as much. The unconscious elements of our mind come into conscious awareness, and that is another kind of trial. What’s being asked of you is to meet all of that inner material from the standpoint of divine being, from the standpoint of eternity - to meet it, to understand it, to resolve it. That may sound quite easy, but when it’s actually happening it’s a little more gritty and real than the description suggests.
You could think of these inward and outward trials as a form of purification. You’re purifying the vehicle: body and mind, the same body and mind that you woke up out of when you awakened. Now this vehicle has to undergo its own purification so spirit can fully embody your humanity. And this is where the story of Jesus again provides a powerful mirror, because Jesus is someone who embodied in his humaity the divine impulse, divine being.”


- From 'Resurrecting Jesus'

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You see, it's all a creation of the mind, an endless movie, a terrible dream. Don't try to change the dream, because trying to change it is just another movement in the dream. Look at the dream. Be aware of the dream.
That awareness is It. Become more interested in the awareness of the dream than in the dream itself. What is that awareness?
Who is that awareness? Don't go spouting out an answer, just be the answer. Be It.

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Many of you have moments where you feel this seamless flow from what you realize to how you move in the world and it is spontaneous and you don’t need to reflect on it and you don’t need to inquire about it. That gives you a taste for a natural way of being. Bringing a little more attention to embodiment is almost like practicing your instrument so at the critical moments you can just play music, you can just be. But often we try to hop to just being before we really know and understand the inner terrain.
There isn’t a secret to how to embody the deepest things you know beyond staying connected to your caring, courage and openness and availability. When the truth is occupying us spontaneously it is happening without introspection. By exploring what it is to embody our deepest wisdom it does bring a quality of self-reflection but you can think of it as practicing an instrument. You practice your scales, you might practice a lot so when you perform you can let go and improvise. Not only do your fingers but your whole being knows what to do because you put the practice in. If you spontaneously try to make music it is not going to sound so great.

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"In the experience of awakening what's discovered is personal freedom. Personal freedom is freedom from everything that ever happened. It is freedom from identity being confined to the body, mind, memory, and all the ideas that we hold about ourselves. In personal freedom, one has the sense of "I am free." The "I am" has a perfume of the personal. Here, freedom refers to the "I am; later one will go beyond the "I am."
Once you're finished being enamored with your freedom from all that is personal, there arises a love greater than anything that could be called personal. The dawning of this love within the human heart seeks something far greater than anything previously experienced. It's a love that seeks liberation of the whole. In that light, personal liberation starts to seem almost petty.
The expansion from personal liberation into a far greater love and concern for that which could never be called personal is often one of the hardest things for spiritual seekers to come to grips with. This love is so big that often our self-concern and our fascination with our own liberation feels threatened. By "threatened" I mean that it makes much self-concern seem small in the face of something so much bigger.
The Love of which I'm speaking, arises directly out of a profound depth of realization. It has nothing to do with doing the right thing or being a good person. Such notions come from an egoic mind masquerading in spiritual clothing. I am speaking about a force of Love that originates from beyond the mind - from consciousness itself."

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The teacher can light a fire, but the teacher is not going to complete the process for you. Transmission is most powerful for people who feel a sense of resonance with what is being offered. If the resonance is there, a potential is ignited. Once the potential is woken up, then you need to take responsibility for what’s happening. Don’t just sit around waiting for the teacher or the teacher’s transmission to do it for you, because then you come into a dependent relationship. And as soon as you come into a dependent relationship psychologically or emotionally, the effect of the transmission is dampened down tremendously. It just kills it right on the spot. It’s like putting water on a fire. We need to become responsible for our own transformation because no teacher can in any way do everything for us. We’ve got to do it for ourselves. We’ve got to look for ourselves. Being in the presence of somebody might light a fire spontaneously, but you yourself have to tend that fire.

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Enlightenment means the end of all division. It is not simply having an occasional experience of unity beyond all division, it is actually being undivided. This is what nonduality truly means. It means there is just one Self, without a difference or gap between the profound revelation of Oneness and the way it is perceived and lived every moment of life.

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When you start to see the light that you really are,
the light waking up in you, the radiance,
you realize it has no intention to change you.

It has no intention to harmonize.
It has no agenda.
It just happens.

The Truth is the only thing you'll ever run into that has no agenda. Everything
else will have an agenda.
Everything.

That is why the Truth is so powerful.
Give up your agendas and continue to expose yourself (to the Truth), and
harmonization will naturally occur.

Freedom is the realization
that this deep, deep peace
and this unknown
are what you are.
Everything else is just an extension of that unknown.

Bodies are just an extension of that unknown.
The trees outside are just an extension of the unknown
in time, in form.
Thought and feeling are also extensions of the unknown in time.
The whole visible universe, in fact,
is just an extension in time of this unknown,
this mountain of quiet.

So it's really important to get to the point of maturity
where you are willing to look at what is fundamental.
There is a difference between pulling the weeds of confusion out
and getting to the root of Truth.

Did, you ever pull weeds from a lawn, grabbing only their tops,
and discover they were back again so quickly
that it was as if the lawn was never weeded at all?
Clearing out identification is like this.

- From "Emptiness Dancing"

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It is important to understand that when doing meditation, you are making a commitment to something other than your restless mind. Meditation is not the time to be figuring things out or analyzing your experience.

Neither should you be fighting your mind or trying to make it quiet. Just watch thoughts as you would watch clouds passing by in the sky. There is nothing personal about your thoughts. They are just phenomena passing through awareness.

Meditation is not a technique to master; it is the highest form of prayer, a naked act of love and effortless surrender into the silent abyss beyond all knowing.

' The Way of Liberation '

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The silence and stillness of meditation is the bedrock upon which this teaching rests. It fosters an inward stability, objectivity, non- attachment, and depth of understanding unknown to the conceptual mind. Formal meditation is done best while sitting (or lying down if absolutely necessary) in a location where you will not be interrupted. The attitude conducive to meditation is one of surrender, effortlessness, and openness.

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How You Treat Others

Spiritual people often want unconditional support and understanding from their friends, family, and mates, but all too often seem blind to their own shortcomings when it comes to the amount of unconditional support and understanding that they give to others. I have seen many spiritual people become obsessed with how unspiritual others are and assume an arrogant and superior attitude while completely missing the fact that they themselves are not nearly as spiritually enlightened as they would like to think they are.

Enlightenment can be measured by how compassionately and wisely you interact with others—with all others, not just those who support you in the way that you want. How you interact with those who do not support you shows how enlightened you really are.

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 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 has a liberating effect on others. The biggest challenge for most spiritual seekers is to surrender their self importance, and see the emptiness of their own personal story. It is your personal story that you need to awaken from in order to be free.

To give up being either ignorant or enlightened is the mark of liberation and allows you to treat others as your Self. What I am describing is the birth of true Love.

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When your image of the me takes a break, you’ll find all you are doing at that moment is just being open. You feel quite relieved that you are not trying to get to another moment or a better experience. You feel yourself just being in a very relaxed, easy sense of peace. You haven’t gained anything at all—you’re not smarter, you don’t necessarily know more than anyone else, and you haven’t suddenly become holy. If you are resting as your own true nature, then you feel that there is really nowhere else to go.

At that moment, you feel as if your path has ended. It can be hard to end it when so much is invested in your path, but if you really want to be free, you must want to know the truth more than anything else. And when you do, you find that the truth is so damn empty. There is so much nothing to it. There is so much nobody there, just a very vivid awakeness.

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Discerning Healthy Relationships

Q. "I feel the falling away of self happening very gradually, leaving me with an ever-increasing need for stillness, gentleness, and simpleness.

I live in a very negative, hectic, chaotic, and verbally violent environment, with a person who is in constant emotional pain. He yells a lot, and is almost always angry.

I feel like I’m suffocating, and I just want to leave, to walk out. I just want silence. I accept him for where he’s at. But my partner says that if I were truly feeling the falling away of self, that none of this negativity would bother me. Is this true?

When you transcend the ego, or when the self falls away, does this mean nothing bothers you anymore? Is the desire to be away from negative environments, an egoic desire?"

Adya. "Thank you for your question. Let me start by saying that your partner is wrong in assuming that if you were liberated you would feel fine in any situation. The more free you are, the more you can discern what are healthy and unhealthy conditions and relationships, and the more you feel free to take the appropriate action. Freedom is not stupid, nor is it a doormat for others’ dysfunction. It is the freedom to act as life dictates.

Please do not let anyone use these teachings to disempower or dehumanize you. They are meant to serve the liberation of all."

From: No Self Study Course - Q&A - 2013

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The problem is that most people are paying attention to objects, to what they perceive - rather than to the ultimate perceiver, the background. Either way, awareness is happening 100% of the time. The light is on brightly. It never goes off, but where is it looking?

The human condition is characterized by a complete fascination with objects, starting with this object that we interpret as 'me.' Me is only a thought. You are before this me thought.

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Student: I've heard it said that the ego must die in order to be enlightened. What does ego death mean?

Adyashanti: It is said that the ego must die in order for you to truly live. But nothing need die; you simply need to grow up. A child does not die in order to grow into an adult. The child simply grows up; it evolves and leaves behind what is no longer appropriate. See that the ego is no longer useful or appropriate and leave it behind. Only the ego makes its own demise seem dramatic.

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We have long ago forgotten what it means to contemplate some- thing. With the click of a computer mouse we can get the answer, or what promises to be the answer, to almost any question we can imagine. All of the world’s most ancient spiritual teachings are but a click or download away, and yet we remain so lost to ourselves, so cut off from what nourishes the soul, that we are collectively suffocating under the weight of our ignorance and alienation from the sacred dimension of Life.

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Love is a flame that burns everything other than itself. It is the destruction of all that is false and the fulfillment of all that is true.

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As soon as you believe that a label you’ve put on yourself is true, you’ve limited something that is literally limitless, you’ve limited who you are into nothing but a thought.

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Enlightenment has nothing to do with states of consciousness. Whether you are in ego consciousness or unity consciousness is not really the point. I have met many people who have easy access to advanced states of consciousness. Though for some people this may come very easily, I also notice that many of these people are no freer than anyone else. If you don’t believe that the ego can exist in very advanced states of consciousness, think again. The point isn’t the state of consciousness, even very advanced ones, but an awake mystery that is the source of all states of consciousness. It is even the source of presence and beingness. It is beyond all perception and all experience. I call it ‘awakeness’. To find out that you are empty of emptiness is to die into an aware mystery, which is the source of all existence. It just so happens that that mystery is in love with all of its manifestation and non-manifestation. You find your Self by stepping back out of yourself.

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RESPONSIBILITY AND ACTIVE ENQUIRY

There is a fine line between being truly open to the guidance of a spiritual teacher and regressing into a childish relationship where you abdicate your adulthood and project all wisdom and divinity onto the teacher. Each person needs to find a mature balance, being truly and deeply open to their spiritual guide without abdicating all of their authority.
The same can be applied to a spiritual teaching. A spiritual teaching is a finger pointing toward Reality; it is not Reality itself. To be in a true and mature relationship with a spiritual teaching requires you to apply it, not simply believe in it. Belief leads to various forms of fundamentalism and shuts down the curiosity and inquiry that are essential to open the way for awakening and what lies beyond awakening. A good spiritual teaching is something that you work with and apply. In doing so, it works on you (often in a hidden way) and helps reveal to you the Truth (and falseness) that lies within you.

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