Emptiness and Luminosity

Seven days of silence, a retreat lead by Adyashanti entitled, “The Embodiment of Insight”.

This was an opportunity to absorb so many pearls of wisdom evoked from the daily dharma talks, the six meditation sittings per day, the beautiful natural surroundings, and 270 beings sharing 3 meals per day, observing together both the stillness and the movement – in total Silence.

Some Pearls of wisdom worth sharing:

Always look inward to the depth of intuitive knowing. The learning comes from what’s evoked within you. The teacher should never actually have an answer to your question.

We are always Being, always Becoming.

Truth is transcendent of the opposites, but can express itself through it.

We’re all attracted to the light of the fire, but unaware of the vast open space around us.

When you meditate, Sit Tall, but let the breath be soft and easy.

Recognize that the dynamic pull of the unknown (God) is not only One Way. It goes both ways. IT needs us as much as we need IT.

There is no separation. The other side of joy is sorrow. The other side of suffering is peace. The other side of light is dark. One will always contain the other.

In the Zen tradition, nothing is explained. It is left to your own experience. I imagine that is why this teacher, Adyashanti, became such a master of dialogue and imagery, to give our rational mind something to understand. 

Meditation toolbox: Look at your thoughts with Kindness, Gentleness, Compassion.

How to go ‘all the way’ through to liberation? Never deny the truth of what you actually and always are.

In the eye of the hurricane: the still point is not separate from the chaos.

BE STILL LIKE A HUMMINGBIRD, (Henry Miller): A title that’s a perfect analogy for the paradox of life.

Deep spirituality begins when we come to realize we don’t know.

This life is going to go by in a flash. Do something for yourself; Take one moment, step back, take a breath, and take it all in. 

Namaste my fellow beings. In deep love I share these simple realizations.

Compassion for our humanity

watching documentary on Steven Spielberg, and re-experiencing the emotions evoked from the movie Schindler’s List.

each time I re-witness scenes of the Holocaust, or read a book describing events of that time in history, I find myself in an emotional state of extreme sorrow where the tears are overflowing, and the tears are so necessary, as if to release all of the (remembered?) horror.

did I live through this?

is that possible?

did we all live through this?

did we all create that experience?

An interesting analogy by Alan Watts about the past:

He likens it to a boat on a lake (The Present) and the wake behind the boat (The Past). The moving water behind the boat does NOT create the boat. It’s just the opposite. The boat (the Present) creates the wake (the Past)

The Present creates the Past

So the past only can exist in the present. Our memories of the Past occur only in the present, and that is what informs our present (and future).

That’s where this innate human quality of compassion comes in. A feeling that is Real and Exists in the Present. And is imperative for the truth of Love to exist in the present moment.

My teacher, Adyashanti, expresses it so exquisitely:

“On a human level, it’s really useful — not just to know, but to feel — that that part of your being that is unconditioned has no problem with your humanity. It’s really important for the humanity to feel that, because that’s what it’s looking for — something in the universe that’s not judging it, condemning it, or even praising it.”

“Dualistic consciousness is also a manifestation of the ultimate ground. There’s no part of us that’s apart or other — even though there are different qualities and different experiences — there is no apartness. It’s so important to let yourself experience that. Because to receive that in the human heart feels like love.”

“Compassion is selfless love. It is what gives all of our other impulses balance. It is why, from the level of consciousness, we can be self-interested and rightly so — and simultaneously — have these very selfless impulses. This is all part of our nature.”

“Compassion literally comes from the ultimate ground because compassion is that feeling that: I will do something for someone even if it is not in my self-interest.”

“Compassion is actually quite a common occurrence in human beings. You don’t have to look very far for it — that feeling that you love something or someone in such a way that your sense of your own well-being is transcended.”

 

Jesus the Revolutionary Mystic

Reminiscing about Adyashanti’s pearls of wisdom always pulls up one of the most memorable learning experiences of my 58 years on this earth – on a topic that there is so much BS about and untruth and misinterpretation. This retreat was the ONLY knowledge about Jesus that ever resonated deeply with what actually felt right to me. It was a 7-day silent retreat called ‘Jesus the Revolutionary Mystic’. Simply, Jesus a revolutionary mystic who told the truth and was killed for it.

Adya’s dharma talks each evening explored a zen-based metaphorical examination of the Gospels of the Bible focused around Jesus’ life and death. These are only a few of my recollections, but if interested in further study, there’s a book (Resurrecting Jesus) you can google, by Adyashanti.

If I could sum up 7 days of deep exploration, I would say that it focused around the idea that Jesus’ life is the epitome of letting go of the egoic self.  Adya brilliantly perceives Jesus as Living in Action, sending those he “healed” (metaphor for awakening to Truth) out into the world to live their life through awakening to Truth.

Adya portrays the question ‘Who is Jesus’ as a metaphor for ‘who am I?’

In classic Zen, in order to fully understand the teaching you must show that you can EMBODY it. Jesus went into it (Form) completely. In a metaphorical way, Jesus completes incarnation fully.

Adya’s interpretation was that Jesus chose the disciples because they were people who needed him the most. Not because they were special. He (Adya) describes the disciples appearing (in his perception reading the Gospels) as bumbling idiots asking for a ‘special place’ on his right side (In the garden of Gethsemane). Instead who gets it? The criminal on the cross next to him.

I especially liked the way Adya described Pontius Pilot’s role in the story; how he is actually the ONLY one who really asks Jesus who he is, where is he from, and what is the Truth. Jesus reveals nothing to him, and when Pilot reminds him he has the power to crucify him, Jesus reminds him that if he wasn’t ‘Given the Power’ he wouldn’t have it. (It’s not Pilot’s persona that holds power, it’s his essence of Being One with God that holds the power).

One of my favorite metaphors:

The Jewish authorities represent any power authority that wants to hold themselves in high power. Pilot actually has to decide what’s more important to him, and so he chooses the power of the Roman Empire over Truth.

And Adya reminds us how the story continues to mirror our present-day reality:

NO AUTHORITY USING POWER TO KEEP CONTROL EVER WANTS ANYTHING LIBERATING OR TRUTHFUL TO INTERFERE WITH ITS AUTHORITY.

And finally, the Crucifixion symbolism: Two criminals to the left and right of Jesus.

Jesus the connection – The joining of Duality to Oneness.

Photo: Alex Grey

Spiritual truths

For many years I regularly listened to the dharma talks of a brilliant sage, Adyashanti. Having been to his silent retreats on several occasions, I had the pleasure of being in his Presence, and even had the opportunity to speak to him once.

I don’t listen anymore. At some point, I just felt like my cup floweth over, and I was filled with all the knowledge I could possibly absorb, for the time being, anyway. It’s been a few years now, not having Adya’s words guiding my days.

However, there are so many pearls that remain in my heart from his teachings. These gems will always be there for me when I forget what my deepest soul always knows.

At those times in life when I find myself absorbed and drowning in family drama and what feels like I’m helpless to witness this total lack of understanding or ability to resolve the conflict, it is then I revisit my well of ‘Adya wisdom’ to restore some inner peace and sanity.

I share these 3 very simple but Eternal Spiritual Truths with the intention that it may serve others in a time of need: (I am paraphrasing, and created a rhyme, these were not Adya’s exact words)

  1. What you BELIEVE so shall you PERCEIVE.
  2. What you RESIST will always PERSIST.
  3. DESIRE is a LIAR, it only creates more DESIRE

Recognizing these 3 spiritual truths is a simple tool to re-cognize where the suffering is born. And as always, it’s WITHIN YOU.

Blessings on the journey ………