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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #3520, Saturday, May 2, 2009, Editor: Mark

A dialog with Adyashanti about the loss of personal motivation and how one knows what to do:

Q: So my ego has been saying I'm in trouble and that it's your fault (laughter).

A: Ah, it's part of the teacher thing; everything's my fault.

Q: I'm making a little joke here.

A: I know.

Q: So the trouble is that since I'm coming to these retreats, I have a growing feeling of not knowing. It's becoming increasingly uncomfortable.

A: Don't worry, it will only get worse (laughter). Don't say I didn't warn you. I told you this teaching steals everything you have.

Q: It translates these days now into, I used to get off on talking to large crowds and being well-known. I used to get off on getting big advances for books, I used to get off on all sorts of things like that which I felt brought money into the bank and gave me a nice life and now it just seems to be drifting away, unimportant, unmotivating. Like why do another book and why give another talk, why all this struggle in the marketplace to make your place, create more products and to make more money? It just seems pointless.

A: Well, your personal self is dissolving. That's what happens when you personal self dissolves; personal motivations dissolve.

Q: But how am I going to survive, how is money going to come into the bank account?

A: It's too late (laughter).

Q: You mean I'm going to end up a bag lady (laughs)?

A: No, no, no. The divine is much more compassionate than that. It's love. But it's not going to give you any guarantees. Your personal self is dissolving; that's obvious. This is part of the dissolving process. Personal motivations disappear and sometimes the perks that come along with them, as well as the painful elements. The painful elements disappear but what we often don't count on is the perks disappear. There's both, right? It's not all bad. It's not all samsara. There's the illusion of happiness in samsara, right (laughter)?

Q: (laughing) It's not funny (laughter)!

A: They're laughing because they know what you're talking about. They've either been through it, are going through or will be going through it soon (laughter). So I can't give you any comfort except the more you let go, the faster you move through. There is another life on the other side. It may not be big, exciting or extraordinarily successful, but it might be bigger and more successful; you never know. The nice thing is, you won't care.

Q: Yeah, I have a taste of that too.

A: Sure, that's what's in there. The mind sees this as disorienting and alarming but underneath that, is what knows.

Q: Yeah, that's present too, that love is growing; there is unexpressible beauty of feeling guided, that the divine, if I just go like this (makes hand gesture), everything is given.

A: It carries you along, that's right, everything is given. But it won't look like it did, it won't.

Q: That's the thing.

A: The only advice I can give is to dig in your claws as little as possible. Because you're going to be dragged into the truth; the only question is how deep are the claw marks you leave in the ground as you get dragged (laughter). And you will leave some claw marks because everybody leaves some claw marks; everybody holds on. Nobody is a perfect saint in that regard. Everybody holds on but the less you hold on, the easier and quicker it goes.

Q: Hmmm. I hear you and in a concrete and practical way, how to deal with that place of not knowing and what life presents? How to know whether it is better to follow what the agent is asking, to make a film, do a book or not do anything or go sit on your ass in some zen monastery? How do you know?

A: Oh, it's very easy, very simple to know. The first thing you have to do is admit that you don't know the right thing to do. You don't know, cannot know and will not know. In most situations, God is not going to tap you on the shoulder and say, "sweetheart, do this." Every once in a while it will work out that way but you will live the majority of your life in, "you don't know, you can't know, and you won't know."

Q: You mean it never ends, this kind of not knowing phase?

A: It gets worse (laughter).

Q: (laughs) You look pretty happy for someone who doesn't know so there must be some good in it.

A: Of course because you realize it doesn't matter. Now, what I'm telling you, the truth isn't in the words. So what I'm saying isn't the truth; I'm just pointing you in the direction of the truth. What I'm trying to get across is that when you let yourself face your experience ... Right now you have decisions where you don't know what the right thing to do is. Apparently you can't know right now. That's your experience. If you were to face that fully, completely, you'd know, but you wouldn't know here (points to his head). That's not where you'll know. Your mind won't know with certainty because that's not how the divine reality works. That's how ego reality works. "I know this is what I want to do; I know this is right." That's where ego works, from the head. Divine reality isn't knowing up here (points to head). When you face the fact that you can't know, then you feel this, it's a movement. It's like an inner leaning; it leans this way; it leans that way. And where it leans, you go. But if your mind says, "do I know that's the right way?" the answer is always no. Is that the right way? You can't know. But when you always facing that, then you're sensitive enough, you feel the lean and you just follow the lean.

You see; because the truth does not insist. It does not announce itself generally. It just leans this way. That's why it's so easy for us to go in some other direction because the truth leans this way; it's very light, like a feather; it just kind of blows this way. Whereas the mind is very heavy, "I WANT THIS." So it's very dense and it's very easy to follow. When we expect the truth to be that dense and heavy-handed, we keep missing it. It's very soft. It doesn't need to clamor for attention. Even if you go the opposite way, guess where you're going to end up in the long run? Exactly where that truth was going anyway. It's going to get its way and it knows it's going to get its way. The only question is, are you going to take a detour on the way to the truth? But it's going to win out so it doesn't need to insist. So let yourself feel, not just in your head, but feel your experience. "I can't know here, I can't know for sure because assuredness is what's in the mind." It's not going to happen. You're past that place. When you face that you can feel your body relax when you come into what's true for you. You're not fighting what's true for you. Then you'll feel the lean, soft, quiet; that's all. You'll get the feel.

Q: (bows)

A: This is not magic. It's not mysterious. Sit down in a chair or on your couch and don't make a decision when to get up and just feel. And all of sudden it will become obvious. Your body will start to move with the feeling and you'll just be getting up. Try it sometime. It's interesting. Spend a day like that; just feeling, not moving until you feel. If your mind is asking you, "is this the right feeling?" you'll never get it. It's like thirst. When you're thirsty, you're thirsty. That's knowledge, that's direct knowing. What would you say to somebody if they said, "how do I know when I'm thirsty?" Well, you'll feel the flow of it. But if a mind was involved, the mind might even feel thirsty and the mind would go, "how do I know that that's thirst? How do I know?" But on the inside, in quietness, thirst and reaching for the cup would be just one movement. Thirst and the cup; simple.

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