Just as I predicted, I’ve been enjoying Adyashanti’s “Emptiness Dancing.” But I was disappointed when I read this morning that enlightenment isn’t going to be something like an infinitely extended orgasm.
Well, to be more precise Adyashanti left open at least a slight possibility that this could be the case. So I won’t let my hopes die entirely. He did say, though, that orgasmic enlightenment wasn’t his experience. And since his breakthrough occurred after 15 years of Zen meditation, I’ll take him at his word.
However, my experience of enlightenment was simply the demolition of everything that I thought it was going to be. And I have never met anyone who has truly and authentically awakened to the Truth who has ever said anything other than that.
I have never met a single person who has come back and said, “Adya, you know it’s pretty much like I thought it would be. They usually come back and say, “This is nothing like anything I thought it would be. And this is nothing like any of the spiritual experiences I have had before in my life, including experiences of bliss, love, union with the divine, or cosmic consciousness.”
Makes sense. I like how Adyashanti keeps emphasizing that experiences always are transitory—even mystical ones. So they aren’t what the genuine spiritual seeker is really looking for: enduring truth. A state of being, on the other hand, never ceases to be.
Like, I’ve always been aware of being whatever I am for as long as I’ve existed as a self-aware human being. Yet I’ve also had lots of experiences that have come and gone, most of which I’ve consciously forgotten.
So there’s the being that is the lasting me, and then there is the conglomeration of transitory experiences that I often (or usually) mistake for the entity that I am. My problem, says Adyashanti, is that I’ve never gotten in touch with awareness pure and simple.
Recognize that there is nothing that experiences this moment, but even that nothing is known and experienced. There is something mysterious that knows, something mysterious that experiences in this moment, but you can’t say what it is because, when you say what it is, it’s not that.
It’s closer, more immediate. As soon as you think about it, you see it’s not that thought. It’s before that thought. No description is necessary, so just rest on that edge, on the precipice, on the direct experience, directly feeling as though you do not exist and yet knowing that you do.
One thought about this mystery sets apart heaven and hell. Thought rips the unity into pieces to be analyzed by the mind. But silence unifies…Don’t get lost in thought or you miss your life. Just simply relax, and relax, and relax. It’s the simplest act of faith and trust.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
When there are no voices speaking in my head—my voices, crazily speaking to myself what I already know—everything falsely religious fades away. Where is Jesus when I’m not thinking about him? Where is Buddha, God, Allah, Tao, Guru? Dead and gone, along with all the other fantasies that have only as much reality as my mind gives them.
Silence. Stillness. Simply being what I am when I’m not busy pretending to be someone else. That’s when the wild real things start to appear. They shy away from pretension. They don’t like the company of hypocrisy.
The only way to enter silence is on its own terms. You can’t go there with something, only with nothing. You can’t be somebody, only nobody. Then entrance is easy. But this nothing is actually the highest price we ever pay. It’s our most sacred commodity.
We will give our ideas, our beliefs, our heart, our body, our mind, and our soul. The last thing that we’ll give is nothing. We hold on to our nothingness because that’s our most sacred commodity, and somewhere inside we know this.
Only the nothing enters the silence; that’s the only thing that gets in. The rest of what we are just bangs at the nonexistent door. As soon as you want something from the silence, you are moved outside of silence again.