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#2742 - Monday, February 26, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee


Nondual Highlights




ADYASHANTI – from Initial Awakening 


Conversation with Tom (Tape 5a 49:29-b) 


Tom: Hi! 


Adya: Welcome Tom 


Tom: Good to see you again. I want to go back to this Ultimate Reality or 


Adya: Oh, good 


Tom: Cause I guess I'm getting it piece by piece. I'm one of these really 
slow guys. I mean so slow I may never get it. So, from what you're saying it 
sounds like "gap" or the "gateless gate" or whatever is in fact this 
Presence. And my question is: 'is that it?' I mean is that the end of the 
story, basically and that it all unfolds from that or is there more to it --or 
is that it? 


Adya: That's it! For you right now that's it. What's 'it' is to realize that you
are that simple awake Presence. That's the fundamental realization. Of 
course you can explain it and the mind will go, okay I can buy that, I'll 
understand it. It's not that, it's the realization, it's the fundamental flash 
of recognition: "Oh I'm not Tom! That's not what I am. Tom happening. 
There's nothing wrong with Tom. It's not what I am. Tom is infused, being 
lived by this Presence, Consciousness, whatever you want to call it. That's 
the fundamental realization. That is the fundamental realization. 


Tom: Okay but there's more beyond that I take it. 


Adya: Like what? 


Tom: It seems from the way you talk about it that there's kind of a 


Adya: there's a process of sort of embodying it as a human being through 
the persona 


Tom: but there 's also kind of unfolding of this larger truth of like you said 
yesterday, the many perspectives on any given issue or … 


Adya: those perspectives have nothing to do with Truth. Those are not 
important. They're just perspectives. 


Tom: Yeah but.. 


Adya: It's a total non-attachment to them. 


Tom: Right. 


Adya: An effortless non-attachment to particular perspectives. The only 
thing we attach to is because we have identity wrapped up in it. That's why 
we attach. 


Tom: Right. 


Adya: That's the only reason we attach. That's why we attach to ideas 
because we have identity wrapped up in them. We attach to memories 
'cause we have identity wrapped up in them, attach to personas because we 
have identity wrapped up in them. I don't want to get to much into "what's 
more" because then the mind just goes into the future. That's irrelevant. 


Gap here, next tape: 


Adya: The birds outside; that's the presence, these flowers next to us; 
that's the presence, the microphone in your hand; that's the presence. You 
want to find God, it's in your hand. You want to go to heaven, you're sitting 
in heaven. There's the fundamental realization. We're always going 
somewhere else. Have you ever noticed? Heaven is somewhere. Somewhere 
other than here. Somewhere other than Now, in some situation that's 
better, that's more halo-enshrouded, more whatever. This is it! Your stinky 
socks. That's God. You want to worship something worthwhile? Take them 
off. Put them on your altar, light incense. You know I want to see a clear 
manifestation of the Divine. Unadulterated. Undistorted. It's your sock. 
Take a good sniff. I know it sounds funny but I am also being serious. We 
keep dividing the world up. The fundamental realization is that everything is 
That. And in our most fundamental sense the nature of Everything is 
Nothing. Everything is an emanation and expression of the Nothingness that 
we are. 


Tom: This whole idea or sense of presence is the first time I have kind of 
connected with what you have been talking about. 


Adya: That’s the doorway. You open to the felt sense of Presence. Yes. 


Tom: It's a little 'p' now, it's not a big 'P' … 


Adya: Don't ask for the big one. You pay attention to what's given. Right? 
There's a sense of presence, oh it's given. Put your mind there. As 
Nisargardatta used to say 'affectionate attention', 'affectionate 
awareness.' Putting your 'Oh, the Presence' and the willingness to feel, to 
open to it, to sense of it, giving yourself to it. This can become the doorway,
the invitation. If our mind says 'well, you know it's just like a little sense of
felt Presence, and you know, I want the big explosion or I want the 
Oneness thing or I want to realize that I am the bird or the Chevy outside’ 
….. I'm not there yet. Then we actually start to dismiss what's being given in
the moment. 


Tom: The denial. 


Adya: The denial. And you see the smallest thing contains everything. 
Everything. The smallest thing contains everything. So you give your 
attention to this one small thing and it reveals everything. So if that 
resonates for you, you can get Ah! --that felt sense of presence, right, an 
inner sense of presence, inner sense of silence. That's what to put 
attention on, cause then at least your spirituality is not an intellectual 
pursuit at that point. 


Tom: Right that's my major problem. 


Adya: So presence is going to be a great invitation for you. 


Tom: So the main topic of this whole retreat has been how to make it a 
priority, we have to devote ourselves in some way to this quest. I don't 
know whatever you want to call it but you haven't talked much about that. 
I wondered if… 


Adya: Primarily because either you got it or you don't. You can't bake up any
phony intention in this game. Either you actually want the truth or you 
actually want the awakening of truth, you actually want the truth more 
than you want anything else. You want the truth more than you want to feel 
good. The truth feels good but you can't get there if you want to feel good
more than you want the truth. You want the Truth no matter what. Of 
course, it is there in everybody, and everybody is the truth. It's a matter 
of connecting with that point in yourself. It's not an anxious thing. "I want 
the Truth and I'm just about to explode, I want it so bad." That's a surface
thing. What I am talking about is something that's very deep, very vast, very
broad. Actually, it's quiet. 


Tom: The word intention I think captures it for me. 


Adya: There's the intention of the Truth, of my Being. 


Tom: So out of that will flow whatever needs to be done, I take it. I mean 
you spent 15 years of pretty hard work, it sounds like. Most of the people I 
hear about that have 


Adya: Pretty much 


Tom: achieved something have done that. And yet you talk about it can 
happen in a moment. 


Adya: It does happen, it can happen .. 


Tom: But it seems like to me there is something I need to do. 


Adya: That's the fundamental illusion. I thought that too. If you want to 
play out that fundamental illusion for 15 years like I did, have at it. Go at it. 
Maybe you'll burn out. 


Tom: I've been doing it for ten years. 


Adya: Well hell, that's long enough. That's the fundamental illusion. Right? 
That I have to do something, that I have to do something to get 
somewhere. It just simply ain't true. It's not, not, not, not, true. If it 
takes you 30 years to get yourself to the point where you are willing to 
consider a different possibility then okay. Maybe it took you or maybe it 
took a lot of people 30 years of hard spiritual labor to go "hey, I don't 
have to hang out in the is prison forever." The door has always been open. I 
just thought I had to earn myself a ticket out of here. But there's not 
ticket and there's no gatekeeper. Boy, do I feel dumb now. 


Tom: You look at Buddhism and all this history and you see that they talk 
about lifetimes to achieve what you're talking about. Adya: Yeah, they are 
full of crap. 


Tom: Okay. 


Adya: I tell you -unenlightened people talk about lifetimes, enlightened 
people do not. Period. Tradition I came from, they don't talk about 
lifetimes. You go to Zen …. You meet a real Zen master who’s awake ... any 
of them in history, any of them in history that have been awake …. you will 
not hear them talking about lifetimes. It's always wake up right here, right 
now, this life. This is it. Right here, right now. That's the essence of it.  
Right here, right now. No lifetimes. 


Tom: So those folks that are talking about lifetimes are the ones that 
aren't there. 


Adya: They're propagating a tradition, which is fine. It's just completely 
irrelevant. It is the denial of Truth right now. I'm not saying someone can't 
wake up through that kind of tradition. The problem is when they wake up 
they actually turn around and think it's the tradition that got them there 
and so they keep propagating the same nonsense. You see what I mean? If I
fell off a barstool, hit my head on the ground and I suddenly woke up and 
became enlightened, I might have a propensity to have all my students 
gather in bars and lob themselves off of stools. A rather ridiculous 
endeavor, wouldn't you think? It would be insane, wouldn't it? 


Tom: Yeah. 


Adya: And yet guess what happens? I was in this tradition and I was 
believing in lifetimes da-a-da-a-da and somehow through all that morass of 
complications I luckily, through grace, woke-up. And the tendency of this 
mind is to say "I woke up because of all that." But if you examine it, there 
is no causal relationship. You cannot make a direct cause-effect relationship.
It just can't be done. You see? 


Tom: Yeah. 


Adya: Just think about it, I mean look at it with clear eyes, your own 
intelligence, your own innate intelligence. Look at the traditions, if they are 
in the business of pumping out enlightened beings, if that's what it's really 
all about: "We are here to help you become enlightened, welcome into our 
doors” … right? And you as a good consumer advocate you come and say 
“wonderful”. Okay, how many out of every thousand people that walk into 
your door and join your tradition and go through the process, how many 
enlightened beings do you pump out? And most places they are going to 
start going, "Um, ah”, clearing throat, “um, would you like some tea?" Right?
Maybe one. That's not good for advertising, is it? 


Tom: No, it's not. 


Adya: What is good for advertising is, "it's a long term thing, it's many 
lifetimes, folks, everybody dedicate themselves but don't think that it's 
actually going to work in this lifetime. Come on, get over it, just join in” …. 


Tom: Very interesting. 


Adya: I am just suggesting that we use a little consumer advocacy here. 
What works and what doesn't work. Right? And if we are going to look at 
things with clear eyes it's like a scientific method, either I want to see 
what's true or I don't. And a lot of untruths have been around for 2000 
years, haven't they? Science knows that. Most of science, there was things,
the world was flat — how long was that around before we discovered it 
wasn't? But there were a lot of wise people that thought it was flat, 
weren't there? Really wise people. And we find out it's not. And yet, for 
some immense taboo that surrounds spirituality, that we don't think we can 
actually look and just go … does this stuff work? What works and what 
doesn't? It's not all nonsense by any means. There's some good stuff in it. 


There's some great stuff in it. Unbelievably good stuff. But there is as 
much crap as there is good stuff. There is as much culture as there is truth. 
There's as much baggage … so if we start to see through this. Wait a 
minute, what's true, what's not, what's useful, what's not, what confuses, 
what's not, what causes people to delay, what causes them not to delay, 
what causes them to go into a trance, what doesn't? Anyway, you don't 
want to get me going on this. I encourage people to do what a lot of the 
people who really woke up do. The same people we intend to regard 
(highly), like the Buddha for example. The Buddha, he visited the traditions, 
right? He was very much a Hindu and went through the whole thing, and 
after he went through the whole thing, a lot of teachers, a lot of 
teachings, he said, "You know, I'm not enlightened! Hasn't happened. I am 
going to sit down. I am going to figure this out for myself.” 


{sound of a train whistle going by} 


Thank you Buddha. . It's this essential sense of pulling energy back from all 
the ways we put it, not so we come into an arrogant place where we think I 
know everything, but we pull energy back and we really look. ‘cause you 
see, everything I have talked about, can you see how it keeps attention out 
there? Life-times, and this and that and the other. And this is about you and 
me, isn't it? It's about you, it's about me. It's about, "What am I?" It's 
not about how many damn prostrations I can do. It's about who the hell is 
doing them. It's not about how many hours I can sit twisted up. It's about 
"Who's sitting here and why?” It's not about, "I'm seeking enlightenment", 
it's you don't even know who you are. Why seek enlightenment when you 
don't even know who you are that's seeking it. It's this sort of reality 
check-in. It's this "Oh" the sobering up. This is about me. This is about the 
truth about me. It's always been about the truth about me. Can you feel 
this sort of energy that keeps going out? It starts to come back. What am 
I, right here, right now. this instant. 


Tom: Pretty basic. 


Adya: You get it? Pretty basic, huh? 


Tom: Pretty simple, pretty basic, actually. 


Adya: Very, very, very basic. Through the traditions there's beautiful things,
even through the complicated ones. Through Tibetan Buddhism, you've got 
Dzog-chen. Beautiful pointing-out instructions. Through Zen, of course, 
you've got the questions, "Who am I? What's the face before your parents 
were born?" … that kind of stuff. In the tradition of Ramana you've got a 
very direct, "Who am I?” These are totally direct. Spirituality distilled down
to its least acceptable form. Right? Because it serves no other agenda 
besides awakening. And yet you pick it up and you've got something atomic 
in your hands. Because it is distilled down to what it's all about. And you 
look into yourself and you see a thought is a thought and a feeling is a 
feeling and an experience is an experience and there is something that's 
before thought, there is something that sees thoughts. There is something 
that notices experience or is experiencing experience. There is something 
that is the ultimate perceiver of all perceptions. There is this sort of 
natural moving back into, right, you get back there and this, whatever this 
is, there becomes a sense of presence as you get closer into the core of 
this that's perceiving, this that is awake. It's sort of like getting close to 
the sun. It emanates a warmth. It emanates a presence. That's why 
presence is talked about. And you just sort of are drawn in. You want to go 
to the sun, you don't move away from the warmth, you move towards it. 
You'll run into the sun. The presence is like the emanation from truth, from 
our own emptiness and it draws you in. There is no theory about it, is there? 
There is no "ism" to it. There is nothing to believe. There is nothing to not 
believe. At that moment you are as far away from all the structures of 
thought, religious, philosophical and otherwise as you could ever be, and you 
are finally alone with yourself. And only then can this I reveal itself. It’s 
not who I can become, you see. That's why lives don't mean anything. Many 
lives. It's what I am, this life, the next life, the last 400 lives. What I am 
now, what I have always been. Not what I can become. I do not become 
enlightened. That's a myth. It's what am I now, what I was then, not what 
will I be anytime in the future. 


Tom: Once you have that sense, you are all those lives, you are all the past 


Adya: That's right. You realize this, that's awake, this is what has been 
informing all of them. It was always there. Right? It was always there. 


Tom: Right. 


Adya: That's the marvelously illuminating Buddha Mind, as Bankei used to 
say. Already here. 


Tom: Good. Thank you. 


Adya: Thanks for letting me rant. And having said that, I also quite 
paradoxically have a great, great respect and a real soft spot in my heart, 
believe it or not, given the way I talk about it, but a real soft spot for the 
tradition that I came from. I have a very soft spot for many traditions 
because they're part of the process for a lot of people too. It's like 
everything else that we also have to be willing to see the totality of them. 
So even though I have a tremendous gratitude for my tradition, my 
gratitude did not stop me from seeing what I thought was useful and what I 
thought was useless. But there's a tremendous gratitude for them. Actually 
for all of them. Almost everyone in this room has come through one of them 
in some way or another or at some time or another. 


And so, in that sense, they all serve, if only to get us finally Nowhere. Right.
Then they have served.  I like to say Zen was a great place, it allowed me 
to fail. I needed to fail, so I did. 



Thanks to Mark Scorelle and Helga of Wisdom-l


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