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How Very Fortunate

Adyashanti's Reflections After Ten Years of Teaching

It has been ten years since I began teaching, and in those years there has been much change and evolution in the expression of the teaching, as well as the emergence of a growing community and supportive organization. Since I began teaching at my teacher’s request, I have focused on only one thing: to express and transmit the fundamental realization of unity that lies at the heart of all forms of true spirituality in the most direct and unadorned way possible. I have always held the conviction that while the various spiritual traditions and lineages are valuable carriers of ancient teachings, practices, and subtle transmissions, they need to have a constant living renewal breathed into them by truly free and creative human beings lest they start serving the needs of the dream state and not those of the awakened state. It is good to remember that the goal of Buddhism is to create Buddhas, not Buddhists, as the goal of Christianity is to create Christs, not Christians. In the same vein, my teachings are not meant to acquire followers or imitators, but to awaken beings to eternal truth and thus to awakened life and living.

To serve this intention my teaching has been, and continues to be, in a constant state of renewal. As more and more of my students come into the deeper realms of spiritual adulthood, so too does the expression of the teachings evolve to address and clarify the deeper reaches of spirituality. I find that as time goes on I can touch upon more subtle and challenging aspects of spiritual awakening as those who come to see me become more established in the deeper aspects of spiritual realization. It is this spontaneous dance and interplay between teacher and student that breathes new life into our shared exploration and expression of truth.

While the expression and scope of this teaching work evolves, it continues to be rooted in the direct experience of awakening from identifying with the body-mind-personality to the universal truth of what we are. For all things and all beings are enlightened Buddhas from the very start and it is only attachment to identity, ideas, and concepts that obscures this fact. Thus the paradox of already being the very truth that you are seeking. Beware though, for intellectual understanding will do as little to bring you to realization as repeating the word “water” will do to quench your thirst. An intuitive leap of remembrance is what’s called for, for you are awake and nothing, expressing yourself as everything in this very moment.

Never did I anticipate or imagine the size or growth of this Sangha. There were some evenings in the early days of my teaching when I was the only one who came. On such evenings I would sit in silence for an hour or so before gathering my things and returning home. Other times two or three people would come, and over time more and more. From the beginning, numbers were unimportant. I always felt that if I could help just one person to truly wake up, I would feel fortunate. And how very fortunate I have been!

I can honestly say that I know much less now than I did ten years ago when I began teaching. Each day that passes now is a deeper step into the unknown, a place far beyond where thought has ever touched. A place where there are no ideas, ideals, or new theories -- but instead a living and dynamic whole which alone can be called sacred, everlasting, and right before our very eyes.

May all beings realize the nature of the ground upon which they stand, and who it is that stands upon it.

© 2006 by Adyashanti.

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