Thursday, October 05, 2006


Brown cow
Originally uploaded by shannonweiland.
I’ve been considering the following fragments of Adyashanti’s Teachings:

“The biggest barrier to awakening is the belief that it is something rare. When this barrier is dropped, or at least you start to tell yourself, I don’t really know if my belief that awakening is difficult is true or not, then everything becomes instantly available to you. Since this is all that exists, it can’t be rare and difficult unless we insist it is.”

Student: Letting go of our egocentricity so we can experience awakening- do you suppose it is peeled off us the way we peel an orange?
Adya: Peeling is like having a dream at night in which you dream you are going to a therapist, and you start feeling better, and you feel like you are getting somewhere. Awakening is as if you are sitting on the couch telling your story, and you are still a mess… Then all of a sudden you realize this is a dream, this isn’t real, you’re making it up. That’s awakening…But the awakeness in you is not dreaming. Only the mind is dreaming. It tells itself a story and wants to know if it is progressing… when you realize it’s all stories, there can be this vast waking up out of the mind, out of the dream. You don’t awaken, what has eternally been awake realizes itself.

“It’s not something you prepare for or earn or deserve. Awakening is a radical shift in identity. You think you’re you, but you’re not. You are eternal being. The time to wake up is now.”

Student: I want it so badly that I’ll give up anything for it.
Adya: Are you willing to give up pretending you don’t already have it?

Student: Why don’t more people become enlightened?
Adya: Because they are still finding entertainment in the dream to some extent.

So end the lessons.

I have always believed in the “peeling” theory. I presumed the serious seeker is willing to dedicate life and lifetime to getting there. And along the way, you’ll get mellower and mellower. I’ve equated “spiritual cultivation” with a cultivation of both mind and body. Ideally, you’ll do something to get to know your shadow and clean up your psychological baggage. You’ll also change your physiology. Just about every spiritual path speaks of “purification.” Be it sweat lodge, yoga, fasting… you work at detoxification and strengthening the body.

So, have I been mistaken? Can it be that quick? Well, for the past few years I have been examining my beliefs that enlightened: 1) is a rare event, 2) is too good to be true or ever happen to me, or 3) “Oh my God, what is happening now?”- (extreme incredulity of direct experience). I find that each of these beliefs merely serve to disrupt and destabilize any awakening I am experiencing. So, I am more open to the possibility that awakening can occur in a flash, than I have been in the past.

Still, even Adyashanti suggests that some preparation is required. He speaks of readiness:

“Readiness is the key to awakening. Anyone can have a glimpse of awakening, but only those who are ready for it will remain awake. Readiness means that we are no longer addicted to attachment, desire, and aversion. It means that we are truly willing to perceive and live from a completely new paradigm. It means that the truth is more important than anything else in life.”

Now I’m wondering if “remaining awake” is actually the real trick?
And if so, what does this entail?