Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What First Caught My Eye

Originally uploaded by impersonne.
I have become quite interested in the teachings of Adyashanti. I simply stumbled across him on a poetry site. I liked his poetry on enlightenment. It was modern. It was hard hitting.

So, I went to his website. There I was startled and then pleased by his description:

“Adyashanti dares all seekers of peace and freedom to take the possibility of liberation in this life seriously.”

“Take the possibility seriously”… this is exactly what my current practice does not do, and I have always struggled with that.

So, I started reading what I could about Adyashanti online.

And I started posting some of his writings here on this blog.

What I didn’t post were a couple of teachings that struck quite close to home and stayed most vivid in my memory.

Do not think that enlightenment is going to make you special, it's not. If you feel special in any way, then enlightenment has not occurred. I meet a lot of people who think they are enlightened and awake simply because they have had a very moving spiritual experience. They wear their enlightenment on their sleeve like a badge of honor. They sit among friends and talk about how awake they are while sipping coffee at a cafe. 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.

I felt some guilt in reading this.
I also understood exactly how “there is no one to claim it.”

The second teaching addressed a confusion I have had since a Thanksgiving dinner several years ago with an old friend who claims to be enlightened, yet seems to possess such an ego that I am quite uncomfortable around him.

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 noticed 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."

This teaching also brings up so many questions for me that I am not even going to start.
I’m just putting this out there for whomever to take whatever.

Instead, I’ll end with something that has come into my head, a bit of a koan:

“Enlightenment: if you don’t want it, you don’t get it.”

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