Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One-On-One with Adyashanti

In a far-ranging, in-depth interview Renate McNay, co-host of Conscious TV, explores the life and experiences of neo-Buddhist teacher Adyashanti. Starting from his childhood spiritual inklings, McNay draws out the story of this popular author and teacher's ongoing spiritual awakening.

Particularly interesting, for those who may have experienced their own awakening and yet continue their search for ultimate enlightenment, Adyashanti describes a plethora of ever-deepening experiences after what he calls "the honeymoon of awakening" wore off. Not for the faint-hearted, perhaps, Adyashanti explores the depths that exist beyond "the perfume of self" and describes (as far as such experiences can be described) what happened to him as he entered into what McNay describes as "the Divine Coma."

Trying to illustrate what happened when "consciousness completely woke up," Adyashanti describes it as being "like the 'knowing' that was dawning then was that 'knowing' arises from 'this,'  (then) that 'oneness' arises from 'this,' (and then) that 'knowing of oneness' arises from 'this.'" It is, he says, as if one experienced an infinity of nothingness and then got rid of the nothingness itself.

"What I would call the ultimate," says Adyashanti, "is that which is inconceivable, unexperiencable, it cannot come into any of the categories we usually put it in."

"If you take something and you then you take absolute emptiness, nothingness, and then you go really completely outside of duality - something and nothing - what," he asks, "is there when there is not even nothing?" Neither mind, nor experience, nor imagination can go there, he notes. But yet, he notes 'it' is there. "If there is a defining characteristic," says Adyashanti, "it is the 'unknowability' that is the defining characteristic."

And yet, Adyashanti points out, having realized this ultimate ground of being, the experiences of an ever-deepening understanding do not stop. "'It' itself has an infinite capacity to reveal itself," he notes. "We can call that revealing of itself  'deepening,' 'never-ending,' or as the Buddhists would say, 'always being, always becoming.'" "There is," he concludes, "never more nor less of it."

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