Adyashanti     97 posts


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Sincerity, one-pointedness, and courage are indispensable qualities in awakening from the dream state of ego to the peace and ease of awakened Being....

Spirituality is essentially about awakening as the intuitive awareness of unity and dissolving our attachment to egoic consciousness....

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All things—all beings and all activities, no matter how ordinary—are equal expressions of the Infinite...
There is no more or less Infinite, no higher or lower Infinite. Therefore, all attempts to either find or hold onto the Infinite are based in illusion...
And illusion itself is none other than the Infinite.

The Infinite uses all measures in order to awaken in all the various forms in existence....
It uses birth, life, death, happiness, sorrow, clarity, and delusion in order to awaken. All of your seeking is in reality the activity of the Infinite as well....
No matter how far astray or deluded you become, you can never get a single step away from the Infinite’s embrace....
If you could all at once stop believing your dreaming mind and be completely still right in the midst of your present state, the Infinite would effortlessly present itself..

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How do I integrate spirituality into my everyday life?
Throw out the concept of "spiritual life" and "everyday life."
There is only life, undivided and whole.

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Gratitude is the appreciation of what is,
of life, of existence, of anybody and anything,
for just the way It Is.

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Freedom is not necessarily exciting; it’s just free. Very peaceful and quiet, so very quiet. Of course, it is also filled with joy and wonder, but it is not what you imagine. It is much, much less. Many mistake the intoxicating power of otherworldly charisma for enlightenment. More often than not it is simply otherworldly, and not necessarily free or enlightened. In order to be truly free, you must desire to know the truth more than you want to feel good. Because if feeling good is your goal, then as soon as you feel better you will lose interest in what is true. This does not mean that feeling good or experiencing love and bliss is a bad thing. Given the choice, anyone would choose to feel bliss rather than sorrow. It simply means that if this desire to feel good is stronger than the yearning to see, know, and experience Truth, then this desire will always be distorting the perception of what is Real, while corrupting one’s deepest integrity.

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You have to become more interested in the silent background than in the foreground, the phenomena: thoughts, emotions, sounds, smells, etc. Most people are focused on the foreground and what their five senses bring them, but the Self is discovered in the background. The Self is the source from which the phenomena spring and the ground in which this display of phenomena is happening, from the subtlest feelings and experiences to the grossest matter. When you rest in this background, you can taste your Self. You just give yourself to it.

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Our illusions—the beliefs we hold on to—are the very doorways to our freedom. We simply have to enter through them without grasping or pushing away. We must not believe them, but we must not run away from them either. We need to see each moment of apparent bondage as an invitation to freedom. Then it becomes an act of love, an act of compassion, to stop running away.

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It’s coming to grips with the fact that
the only person who can cause us to suffer,
who can cause us to misperceive illusion and separation,
who has this much power, is ourselves.

Nothing in the exterior environment causes us
to lose a sense of the awakened state.

Nobody we meet, no situation we deal with
has the power to cause us to fall out of awakening.

It is one of the most important realizations we can make.
It’s all an inside job.
It’s all something we do to ourselves—
mistakenly, unknowingly,
and often times unconsciously.

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To tell ourselves—to tell life—that it shouldn’t be the way that it is is a type of insanity. This insanity destabilizes us. It’s a bit like going up to a brick wall, telling it that it shouldn’t be there, and then continuing to walk into it. Every time you bump “your head on it, you judge the brick wall for being there, and then you walk into it again, again bumping your head. Then you say it shouldn’t be there, at which point you condemn yourself for the pain you have in your head. It’s a kind of insanity to be constantly arguing with what is and thinking it should be different. It’s a way that we keep bumping into life. When we collide with life in this way, we always feel interior friction, and we can never find the inner stability for which we yearn.

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One of the most important things in life is to be able to find a sense of “inner stability,” because it’s this foundation that allows us to look into the nature of our experience in a clear and objective way. Unless we can find this inner stability in our lives, we’ll always be pushed around by the next experience, by the next thing that happens to us, by the next person or situation that we encounter that is difficult or challenging. Yet, for many of us, a real inner stability—on an emotional and an intellectual level—is very hard to come by.
A helpful analogy for this stability is that it is like the ballast of a boat. Deep in the bottom of every boat is a ballast, which helps prevent the boat from tipping over in the face of the wind. It keeps the boat tracking straight. For a human being, this kind of ballast, or inner stability, comes from our capacity to be open to an interior silence. It’s through this inner silence—this inner stillness—that we find a certain stability, so that we’re not always pushed around by our minds, by the conditioning that[…]

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If you are a true seeker of liberation you’ve got to be willing to stand alone. At the moment of Liberation everything falls away…everything. Suddenly the ground beneath your feet is gone, and you are alone. You are alone because you have directly realized that there is no other, there is no separation. There is only you, only Self, only limitless emptiness, pure consciousness.

To the mind, the ego, this appears terrifying. When the mind looks at limitlessness and infinity, it projects meaninglessness and despair. To the ego Absolute Freedom can look terrifying. But when the mind is let go of, the view changes from meaningless despair and fear to the unending joy and wonder of Liberation.

In Liberation, you stand alone. You stand alone because you need no supports of any kind. You need no supports because you have realized that the very notion of a separate you no longer exists; that there is nothing to support; that the whole ego experience was a flimsy illusion. So you stand alone but never, never lonely because everywhere you look, all you see is That, and You are That.

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If you stop in this place of not knowing who you are, if you resist the temptation to conceptualize an identity, you’ll begin to touch a lived sense of an inner presence. You’ll open to what I call an “alive, pregnant nothingness.” This is not a “nothingness” that is blank or absent of any qualities, but rather one that is extraordinarily vital and rich with potential. Here we can enter a mysterious dimension that is not accessible through our normal routes of thinking and understanding; we can see clearly that what we are isn’t something we can think about. We can only think about what we’re not. What we are in reality is alive, awake, and conscious, existing as pure potential.

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The Reality that these teachings are pointing toward is not hidden, or secret, or far away. You cannot earn it, deserve it, or figure it out. At this very moment, Reality and completeness are in plain sight. In fact, the only thing there is to see, hear, smell, taste, touch, or feel, is Reality, or God if you like. Absolute completeness surrounds you wherever you go. So there is really no reason to bother yourself about it, except for the fact that we humans have long ago deceived ourselves into such a confined tangle of confusion and disarray that we scarcely even consider, much less experience for ourselves, the divinity within and all around us.

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Asking, “What is the Truth?” is a demolition project. Most of spirituality is a construction project. We’re ascending and ascending…. It just keeps building, and a person feels, “I’m getting better and better.” But enlightenment is a demolition project.

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Many people ask, “How do I integrate my spirituality into everyday life?” You don’t. You can’t. How could you integrate it? You can’t stuff the infinite into your limited life.

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There is a very strange thing that can occur at exactly the point where you realize that there is no escaping the imaginary world of your illusions. You bare your heart open to illusion, surrender your eternal struggle against it, and admit to being bound by its cunning imagination. I don't mean that you become despondent or resigned to your fate. I mean that you truly let go in the face of your utter defeat and stop struggling. And when all the struggle ceases, we realize that the prison of our mind cannot hold us in anymore, because the prison was all along something we imagined into existence. And imagined things aren't real, they don't exist. But we could never really see this as long as we were fighting the phantoms of our minds. We needed the one thing that our imaginary minds could not bring about, could not fake or create: the genuine surrender of all struggle. In the blink of an eye, we are no longer confined within illusion nor our attempt to avoid illusion. When all struggle ceases, there is nothing to bind us to a distorted perception of existence and we can finally see. What we see is that we do not simply exist within existence, but all of existence exists within us as well. And although everywhere we look we see the endless diversity of life, we also now see our own true face in everything under the sun.

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It is useful when experiencing fear in meditation to anchor your attention in something very grounding, such as your breath or even the bottoms of your feet. But don’t fight against the fear because this will only increase it. Imagine that you are the Buddha under the Bodhi tree, or Christ in the desert, remaining perfectly still and unmoved by the body-mind’s nightmare. It may feel very real but it is really nothing more than a convincing illusion.

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The Infinite uses all measures in order to awaken in all the various forms in existence. It uses birth, life, death, happiness, sorrow, clarity, and delusion in order to awaken. All of your seeking is in reality the activity of the Infinite as well. No matter how far astray or deluded you become, you can never get a single step away from the Infinite’s embrace. If you could all at once stop believing your dreaming mind and be completely still right in the midst of your present state, the Infinite would effortlessly present itself.

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When the mind is free of all of its content, all of its conditioned thinking, it enters into the solitude of silence. That silence can only arise when one sees the limitations of one’s thinking. When one sees that his or her thoughts will not bring truth, peace, or freedom, there arises a natural state of silence and inner clarity. And in that silence there is a profound solitude, because one is not seeking a more advantageous relationship with thought or with the accompanying emotions that are derived by thought.

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Spiritual people can be some of the most violent people you will ever meet. Mostly, they are violent to themselves. They violently try to control their minds, their emotions, and their bodies. They become upset with themselves and beat themselves up for not rising up to the conditioned mind’s idea of what it believes enlightenment to be. No one ever became free through such violence. Why is it that so few people are truly free? Because they try to conform to ideas, concepts, and beliefs in their heads. They try to concentrate their way to heaven. But Freedom is about the natural state, the spontaneous and unselfconscious expression of beingness. If you want to find it, see that the very idea of a someone who is in control is a concept created by the mind. Take one step backward into the unknown.

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Ego is the movement of the mind toward objects of perception in the form of grasping, and away from objects in the form of aversion. This fundamentally is all the ego is. This movement of grasping and aversion gives rise to a sense of a separate “me,” and in turn the sense of “me” strengthens itself this way. It is this continuous loop of causation that tricks consciousness into a trance of identification. Identification with what? Identification with the continuous loop of suffering. After all, who is suffering? The “me” is suffering. And who is this me? It is nothing more than a sense of self caused by identification with grasping and aversion. 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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When you begin to become conscious, more aware, when your eyes begin to open, the first thing you see is how deluded you are and how much you’re holding onto that which makes you suffer. This is, in many ways, the most important step: Are you willing to be aware?

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Question your thoughts. Question your stories.
Question your assumptions.
Question your opinions. Question your conclusions.
Question them all into utter emptiness, stillness and joy.
The keys to freedom are in your hands.
Use them.

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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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Ramana Maharshi’s gift to the world was not that he realized the Self. Many people have had a deep realization of the Self. Ramana’s real gift was that he embodied that realization so thoroughly. It is one thing to realize the Self; it is something else altogether to embody that realization to the extent that there is no gap between inner revelation and its outer expression. Many have glimpsed the realization of Oneness; few consistently express that realization through their humanness. It is one thing to touch a flame and know it is hot, but quite another to jump into that flame and be consumed by it.

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