“The primary task of any good spiritual teaching is not to answer your questions, but to question your answers.” ~ Adyashanti
Read this Introduction to The Way of Liberation, Adyashanti’s stripped-down, practical guide to spiritual awakening. The Way of Liberation is available as a free download from Free Spiritual Books. All text taken from the book is italicized.
The book’s Preface capture’s Adyashanti’s nourishing and challenging intent…
“This book is a clue left behind, a means of remembrance, and a guide to waking up from your imagined status as a person to what you really are. The teachings contained within this book are a condensed version of my core teachings. In order for the teaching to have any effect, you must apply it with utmost dedication. Be forewarned, applying these teachings may be damaging to your beliefs, disorienting to your mind, and distressing to your ego. From the perspective of waking up to reality these are good things to be cultivated. From the perspective of ego they are to be avoided at all costs. The choice is entirely yours.”
The Way of Liberation is a simple and practical guide to liberation, self realization, or awakening. According the Adyashanti, self realization is simply seeing what is absolutely True. He invites readers and students to find out for themselves what this means…
“…it is of no use to speculate about what enlightenment is; in fact, doing so is a major hindrance to its unfolding. As a guiding principle, to progressively realize what is not absolutely True is of infinitely more value than speculating about what is.”
Adyashanti disputes the idea that spiritual teaching provides answers to life’s big questions….
“The primary task of any good spiritual teaching is not to answer your questions, but to question your answers. For it is your conscious and unconscious assumptions and beliefs that distort your perception and cause you to see separation and division where there is actually only unity and completeness.”
Adyashanti warns his readers to neither approach his book as a spectator or to interpret it through the lens of other teachings.
“The Way of Liberation is a call to action; it is something you do. It is a doing that will undo you absolutely. If you do not do the teaching, if you do not study and apply it fearlessly, it cannot effect any transformation. The Way of Liberation is not a belief system; it is something to be put into practice. In this sense it is entirely practical.”
“If you compare The Way of Liberation to other teachings, or interpret it through the lens of other teachings, you will inevitably misinterpret the Way to be something that it is not. In the modern age, with its instant access to all the world’s spiritual teachings, this is an especially pervasive problem. People often misinterpret what I say because they are filtering it through the lens of other spiritual teachings that may use a similar vocabulary.”
Engaging and grappling with these liberating teachings which confront Reality is critical…
“In our modern society we expect to have everything given to us in easy-to-consume bite-size portions, preferably very quickly so that we can get on with our hurried lives. But Truth will not conform itself to our frantic avoidance of Reality or our desire to have the whole of something for the very least investment of time and energy. “
We are called to wake up, out of our egoic sleepwalking, not just for our individual selves, but for the planet as a whole. Adyashanti urges us … Wake up or Perish…
“It is not the pursuit of greater and greater states of happiness and bliss that leads to enlightenment, but the yearning for Reality and the rabid dissatisfaction with living anything less than a fully authentic life.”
“The world’s problems are, by and large, human problems—the unavoidable consequence of egoic sleepwalking. If we care to look, all the signs are present to suggest that we are not only sleepwalking, but at times borderline insane as well. In a manner of speaking, we have lost (or at the very least forgotten) our souls, and we try very, very hard not to notice, because we don’t want to see how asleep we are, how desolate our condition really is. So we blindly carry on, driven by forces we do not recognize or understand, or even acknowledge.”
Stay tuned for additional posts from The Way of Awakening focusing on specific, practical teachings: the Five Foundations, Three Orienting Ideas and Core Practices. Check out our Teacher’s Page for more details about Adyashanti’s writings, videos and teachings.