"When you feel the sting of separation inside, simply turn inwardly and intuitively around one hundred and eighty degrees and there will be your innocence, your beauty, your completeness. It may seem impossible, but give it a try until you reconnect with what in truth you never lost."

~ Adyashanti

The Story Begins to Live and Breathe

Excerpt from Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic by Adyashanti

Topiary Park, April 20, 2014Transmutation is what transfiguration and relinquishment make possible. In it, your orientation to life is entirely selfless. It's not that you want to be selfless or you're practicing being selfless: rather you're selfless in the sense of no self. 

For this transition to happen, one has to go through the death of the ego. Certain aspects of the transmutation may occur earlier in our own journey, but the crucifixion or relinquishment must be complete for it to happen in full. At that point, really, the only thing left to do is to be a selfless, benevolent presence in the world—there's really nothing else to do, nothing else that makes sense. Whatever that may look like—and it looks different for different people—that's where the whole process ends up. 

In the Jesus story, this stage is termed the resurrection. Out of death is resurrected a new life, which really means a new orientation. That movement, that long turning from self-orientation to selfless orientation now comes to fruition. This is where the journey culminates for Jesus, and this is where it ultimately culminates for anyone who's taken the journey of awakening.  

The story of Jesus mirrors back the journey of spiritual awakening for anyone who has the eyes to see it or the experience to notice it. I believe this is among the most powerful lenses through which to view the story, because from this perspective the story begins to live and breathe as a metaphor. 

Jesus doesn't live anything out in a small fashion; everything in his story is writ large. This makes it easier for us to see that he's depicting a journey of awakening. We shouldn't expect to live out our own journey in the same fashion and, fortunately, we don't have to, though our journey will certainly have its own challenges and intensity. 

The mystery of the story of Jesus is the same as the mystery of you and me and everyone: we are all God appearing as man and as woman, divine being manifesting as human being. They're actually two sides of the same coin. They're one and the same thing; it's only our minds that separate divinity and humanity. We separate them in our mind and in our experience, but the whole spiritual journey is finally to see that they aren't separate, that they never were separate...

And when you reorient your life toward this realization, then you understand: you so loved the world, you had so much compassion, you had so much love that you poured yourself forth into life, and that pouring forth was your birth. You are here to redeem whatever you encounter in this life, to wake up within everything the deep reality of its divine existence. 

The kingdom of heaven is spread upon earth and men do not see it. When you see this, you shift from being a victim of your life and assigning blame for the tragedy you encounter. The truth, I would suggest, is that you poured yourself willingly into form of infinite love in order to redeem the entirety of this life. When seen from that perspective, all of a sudden life looks different. You stop holding back from life, your inner life or the life around you, because the kingdom of heaven is within and all around you. That's the message of the Jesus story.  

See also: 

Question Your Answers

December 29, 2012

Excerpts from The Way of Liberation: A Practical Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Adyashanti

As a guiding principle, to progressively realize what is not absolutely True is of infinitely more value than speculating about what is. Many people think that it is the function of a spiritual teaching to provide answer's to life's biggest questions, but actually the opposite is true. The primary task of any good spiritual teaching is not to provide answer's to your questions, but to question your answers.


In our modern society we expect to have everything given to us in easy-to-consume bite-size portions, preferably very quickly so that we can get on with our hurried lives. But Truth will not conform itself to our frantic avoidance of Reality or our desire to have the whole of something for the very least investment of time and energy. 


Summary of the Teaching

Be still. 

Question every thought. 

Contemplate the source of Reality. 

And keep your eyes open. You never know when something that seems entirely insignificant will split your whole world wide open into eternal delight. 

Download free ebook version of The Way of Liberation...

Not About Positive Emotions

Not About Positive Emotions

"The process of finding the truth may not be a process by which we feel increasingly better and better. It may be a process by which we look at things honestly, sincerely, truthfully, and that may or may not be an easy thing to do."

~ Adyashanti

There is Really No Such Thing as Thought, There is Only Thinking

Life moves, undulates, breathes in and out, contracting and expanding. This is its nature, the nature of what is. Whatever is, is on the move. Nothing remains the same for very long.

The mind wants everything to stop so that it can get its foothold, find its position, so it can figure out how to control life. Through the pursuit of material things, knowledge, ideas, beliefs, opinions, emotional states, spiritual states, and relationships, the mind seeks to find a secure position from which to operate.

~ Adyashanti

Something You Can't Quite Grasp but Can Never Lose

Excerpt from Falling Into Grace by Adyashanti:

Self Portrait, August 3, 2011There's something about each and every one of us that's the same now as it ever was. You can feel that and sense that right now, in this very moment, because it's that which is [seeing] and hearing and feeling, and it's that which is thinking and imagining, right this very moment. Even though you can't conceptualize it, it's there: something you can't quite grasp, but you can never lose. That's what you are: something you can never quite completely imagine, but you can never lose sight of.

Everything—your body, my body, everybody's body, everything you see, every piece of dust, every discarded piece of trash on the roadside—is nothing but a manifestation of that pure potential called spirit.

If you look back over your life, isn't there something about you that always remains unchanged? There's something about you that's the same as it ever was. See if you can feel that. Don't try to understand it. Just feel it. What is it that's there now that has always been there?

The Collective Dream of Humanity

Excerpt from Falling Into Grace by Adyashanti:

All demands, at their essence, are ways that we try to manipulate reality, ways that we insist that life be different than what it is. It's not always obvious the degree to which we approach life in this way. If we look closely, however, we can see how pervasive this tendency is; in any given moment you are likely to be making unconscious, subtle demands upon life to be different.

We look to everything in life to make us happy, not realizing that happiness is actually at our very core. It's natural to our being. There's no way to become happy. We simply need to stop doing the things that make us unhappy. One of the ways that we make ourselves unhappy is through making demands of ourselves and each other. It's very common in human interaction for us to demand that someone change so that we can be happy, or fulfilled. In this process, we completely disregard what might be in the best interest of the other person, or in the interest of the whole. Is this really an expression of love? Is this ultimately what we want? Do we really want everyone around us to be changing to make us happy? Do we really want to be that kind of a tyrant? Does that really speak to our deepest heart, to the love that we all have inside?

When we insist that the things, people, and events around us change so that we can be happy, we're actually denying something very deep within us. We're denying the truth of who we are. We're denying the truth of each other. We're imagining that happiness depends on the events and circumstances of our lives — and on the people in our lives. We believe that if everyone in our life could be "just so," then we'll be content.

So this desire for demands — just like the desire for control — actually arises out of this state of consciousness called the egoic state of consciousness, where we imagine ourselves, and everyone else, to be different and separate. But again, 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.

Allowing the Gap to Close

Excerpt from Emptiness Dancing by Adyashanti:

Commitment to being fully present through all levels of being will close the gap between you and what is happening, the gap between you and experience...Close the gap between what is and what you want it to be, between what is presenting itself and what you want to present itself. This gap of judgment is the separation you feel. You need to totally choose what is and lean into it with your whole being.

Now, it's very important to realize you cannot close the gap by your own will, only by willingness. If you try to close it, it becomes wider and wider. But it can close itself when you are willing to surrender to what is. When the gap between "me" and the truth of the moment is closed, the Truth reveals itself as fully present, fully your very Self.

That is what I mean when I say lean into life, into the moment, and into the richness of what is. This is not a transcendental disassociation. It can be if you want, but that's not what I am talking about right now. Go forward into vulnerability and innocence. It's like when you are having a conversation with someone, and it starts to hit that magic moment when both of you sort of lean in and are vulnerable with each other. That is where the magic happens.

There are so many ways that the gap can get closed. One way to help the gap close and find stillness is when you are sitting in meditation, just sit. If the body moves in response to the mind, it obscures the stillness. But when the body stays relaxed and still, the mind will start to follow the body, and the gap can close. Then the stillness in the moment can begin to shine. Be conscious of what is causing movement. This is just mind manifesting as body. Be slightly at risk, always slightly vulnerable. Be vulnerable enough to stay awake, to feel the cool breeze fanning the fire of the heart.

The real power is the power of love passionately expressing something very deep inside. It comes from the heart, from overabundance, not from trying to fill a lack. You can feel this spark of life and love through everything in existence. You feel it in the air, in the shape of the flower, the shape of the leaf, the shape of your own body. You can't put your finger on it. It's life, and life transcends being alive. Thoughts die, bodies die, beliefs die, life remains. Life, God, love, manifests in so many ways — as wisdom, clarity, and life a fire burning you to get you moving, to get you to let go and wake up to reality...

You are life. The flower and the tree are nothing but life. And life is never caught just in its expression. Life will always offer its expressions. So all this comes, comes, comes, comes. It comes out of nothing, just like the flower that's not even there one day and shows up the next. Life expresses itself as a flower, a human, an insight, and losing the insight. But life is not limited to its expression. If the whole world blew up, there would be no less life, just fewer manifestations. Life would still be there. You would still be there. We make such a conceptual deal out of it, but when the earth blows away, life is still there...

The flower will die, but life is just fine, thank you. Expression goes, insights go, personalities change, beliefs change. You remain.  

Beyond the Mind

Excerpts from Emptiness Dancing by Adyashanti:

The mind can’t fathom that there can be a true intelligence, a transcendent intelligence, that isn’t the product and outcome of thought and conceptual understanding. It can’t fathom that there could be wisdom that’s not going to come at you in the form of thoughts, in the form of acquired and accumulated knowledge.

The true spiritual urge or yearning is always and invitation beyond the mind. That’s why it’s always been said that if you go to God, you go naked or you don’t go at all. It’s the same for everybody. You go in free of your accumulated knowledge, or you are forever unable to enter. So an intelligent mind realizes its own limitation, and it’s a beautiful thing when it does.

When you stop holding on to all the knowledge, then you start to enter a different state of being. You start to move into a different dimension. You move into a dimension where experience inside gets very quiet. The mind may still be there chatting in the background, or it might not, but consciousness is no longer bothering itself with the mind. You don’t need to stop it. Your awareness just goes right past that wall of knowledge and moves into a very quiet state…

…Once your conceptual world of knowledge gets put in its rightful place, it is transcended. You see that you are eternal consciousness now appearing as woman or man, this or that character. But like every good actor, you are not what you are appearing as. Everything that exists is consciousness appearing as, or God appearing as, or Self appearing as, or spirit appearing as. The Buddha called it no-self. When that’s seen, you see Unity. There is only God. That’s all there is: God appearing as floor, as a human being, as a wall, as a chair.

No knowledge, no statement of the Truth touches what’s eternal, what you really are. And no statement about how to get there is true either, because what gets one person there doesn’t get another person there. A mind that likes to look for the one truth path cannot find it. Of course, the mind doesn’t like that. “No right path? Nothing that could be said or read that ultimately, in the end, could be true? The most enlightened being can’t speak the Truth?”

No. It’s never been done, and it never will be done. The only thing you can do is to put a pointer on the way that says, “Look that way.” A false spiritual arrow is one that points to the wall and says, “Look this way.” A true arrow is one that points beyond the wall of concepts.

Our Central Fixation of Self

Emptiness Dancing “Nobody can really explain what the personal self is; we just feel it. It’s a visceral thing. It’s not just how we act and what we say; it’s our central fixation of self. As we see through it, we realize that the personal self is not who we are and that it was not ever anything substantial to begin with. And as we really see into our true nature, there is a paradox that arises: the more we realize that there isn’t a self, the more intimately present we actually are.”

~ Adyashanti, from Emptiness Dancing

How Unimaginably Easy It Would Be

Emptiness Dancing “What is born in awakening is a love of what is—of everything that is. The fact that there is anything at all seems wonderful because when the insight of awakening goes very deep, there is a realization about how tenuous existence is. I don’t simply mean that we could be killed at any moment. I mean we see an unbelievable miracle, we see how unimaginably easy it would be for absolutely nothing to be here. That anything exists at all is seen as an absolute and utter miracle, and from that seeing there is the birth of so much love simply for what is. It’s a different love than when we love getting what we want or we find the perfect partner. This is a love just for the fact that we have shoelaces or for the fact that toenails exist, that kind of love. A tremendous love arises simply for the miracle that is life, realizing that all and everything is the One.”

~ Adyashanti, from Emptiness Dancing

Unaltered State of Consciousness

True Meditation by Adyashanti"So many people associate meditation with altered states of consciousness. Yet this is a profound misunderstanding about the potential of meditation. The potential I'm talking about is spiritual awakening, awakening to the realization of what you and everything actually is, the oneness of all. We are taught, or we assume, that to perceive everything as one and to perceive yourself as not separate is to enter an altered state of consciousness. And yet, it turns out, the truth is just the opposite. To perceive everything as one is not an altered state of consciousness. It's an unaltered state of consciousness; it's the natural state of consciousness. By comparison, everything else is an altered state."

~ Adyashanti, from True Meditation

A Dirty Little Secret in the Center of Humanity

"One does not need to go looking for silence. One does not even need to become still. You just realize that everything's swimming in silence. All the sound is swimming in silence. That silence, that's the sound of reality. And a mind that's thinking can never know how silence operates. Silence created everything you see. You look into the stars, you look into the galaxy, it was all created without a thought. Silence did it through no thought. There was another intelligence operating. There was no belief. There was no should, no shouldn't. There were no good ideas or bad ideas. But what was created was of a precision and complexity that minds have been trying to understand for millennia and still can't catch up with it. That's what I mean when I say a mind cannot know what life is like when life is not lived according to the mind. The only thing a mind can know is life lived according to the mind. It can't know otherwise. And when you really touch upon it, what most human beings start to see is that their whole life--and specifically their whole spiritual life--has been a movement away from this--what I call a dirty little secret in the center of humanity. The dirty little secret in the center of humanity is what is true without thought. And there's a great big emptiness, an enormous silence that's just waiting. And you notice that it's the same silence that's looking through your eyes. That which is looking through your eyes actually has no problem. We move into a totally different way of being. A way where being itself instead of thinking is guiding each action."