Adyashanti, born Steven Gray, is a fellow from San Francisco who is a spiritual teacher. He studies zen for 14 years, and experienced the grand “awakening” or as it is called by some, “liberation.”
This fellow is fascinating to listen to, and I strongly encourage it. Some of the key things I like about his message:
- He veers away from the charismatic super-star teacher role that so many “self-help gurus” liken themselves to
- He says liberation is not at all perpetual euphoric bliss that so many seem to be seeking
- In his experience, when you let go and awaken, you’ll know that it was always there
- There is no you, there is no attachment to your own genius,
- The harder you look for it, the more elusive it will be (“the seeker is always seeking, as that is what seekers do”)
Adyashanti means is a Sanscrit word meaning, “primordial peace.” If you listen to him, you’ll get that.
Here’s a short quip from his website from a page entitled “Selling Water by the River”:
The funny thing about enlightenment is that when it is authentic, there is no one to claim it. Enlightenment is very ordinary; it is nothing special. Rather than making you more special, it is going to make you less special. It plants you right in the center of a wonderful humility and innocence. Everyone else may or may not call you enlightened, but when you are enlightened the whole notion of enlightenment and someone who is enlightened is a big joke. I use the word enlightenment all the time—not to point you toward it but to point you beyond it. Do not get stuck in enlightenment.
If you’re looking for fame, riches and fortune, enlightenment is not your path. If you’re looking for fame, riches and fortune, perhaps you can in-authentically teach enlightenment in the footsteps of other such gurus. But you probably won’t get there like that.