085. Adyashanti

“AdyAdyashantiashanti” means primordial peace. Adyashanti dares all seekers of peace and freedom to take the possibility of liberation in this life seriously. He began teaching in 1996, at the request of his Zen teacher with whom he had been studying for 14 years. Since then many spiritual seekers have awakened to their true nature while spending time with Adyashanti.

Adyashanti offers spontaneous and direct nondual teachings that have been compared to those of the early Zen masters and Advaita Vedanta sages. However, Adya says, “If you filter my words through any tradition or ‘-ism’, you will miss altogether what I am saying. The liberating truth is not static; it is alive. It cannot be put into concepts and be understood by the mind. The truth lies beyond all forms of conceptual fundamentalism. What you are is the beyond—awake and present, here and now already. I am simply helping you to realize that.”

A native of Northern California, Adyashanti lives with his wife, Mukti, and teaches extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area offering satsangs, weekend intensives, and silent retreats. He also travels to teach in other areas of the United States and Canada.

Books and other media:

Other interviews with Adyashanti

Interview transcript

Interview recorded 8/30/2011

Video and audio below. I’m sorry about the video quality. We had technical problems which we weren’t able to surmount. Audio also available as a Podcast.

YouTube Video Chapters:

  • 00:00:00 – Adyashanti’s Teachings on Spiritual Awakening and Inquiry
  • 00:04:11 – Intuition and the Spirit of Inquiry
  • 00:07:23 – Connecting through Fresh Inspiration
  • 00:10:46 – Letting go of Attachments to Thoughts and Ideas
  • 00:14:11 – Different Strategies for Awakening
  • 00:17:03 – The Thorn and the Boat Analogy
  • 00:19:50 – The Capacity for Infinite Truth
  • 00:22:19 – The Beginning of Awakening
  • 00:25:41 – Understanding Awareness and Awakening
  • 00:28:08 – The Complexity of Defining “Ego” and “Awakening”
  • 00:31:13 – The Complexity of Truth and Viewpoints
  • 00:34:12 – The Resistance to What Is
  • 00:37:18 – The Concept of Self and its Functionality
  • 00:40:06 – The Subtle Sense of Self
  • 00:43:40 – The Disappearance of Ego in Awakening
  • 00:46:19 – The Absence of Seeking and Fear
  • 00:49:00 – Surrendering to Death for Truth
  • 00:52:43 – Seeing the Hidden Secrets
  • 00:56:05 – The Process of Letting Go
  • 00:59:00 – The Erosion of Personal Will and False Notions of Awakening
  • 01:02:04 – The Disappearance of Personal Will
  • 01:05:22 – Letting Go of Personal Relationship to Existence
  • 01:08:17 – The Importance of Taking Action
  • 01:10:41 – The Breaking of the Heart’s Shell
  • 01:14:15 – Awakenings in the Head, Heart, and Gut
  • 01:17:45 – The Nuanced Nature of Understanding and Awakening
  • 01:20:52 – Insight and Action in Zen
  • 01:23:03 – Maturing in Spiritual Awakening
  • 01:25:50 – The Fear of Aloneness and Loneliness
  • 01:29:04 – The Maturity of the Process
  • 01:31:46 – A Conversation with Adya