Spiritual Heroes 2013: Q&A with Adyashanti

Spiritual Heroes 2013: Q&A with Adyashanti

Author, speaker, and teacher.

Photograph by Mukti Gray

Do you have a favorite quote, prayer, practice or credo that gives you strength or inspiration?

My favorite quote is from Meister Eckhart from his sermon on spiritual poverty. It sums up my experience in a very direct and concise way. He says, "As I flowed out of God all things were saying "God is". But this cannot possibly make me happy because in this I recognize myself as a creature. In my breakthrough, however, wherein I stand empty of my own will, of God, of God's will, and of all His works and of God Himself, there I am above all creatures, I am neither God nor creature, rather I am whatI was and will remain, now and forever."

What current project are you most passionate about?

Currently I am writing these words, so there is no experience of a project other than this that I am passionate about. This is my project and my passion now. There are projects nearing completion, a new book, an upcoming online course, but they are not here now as I am writing these words, and so are not relevant to me at this moment. All of my passion is momentary, that is, it is only in the moment. Whatever I am doing is my passion, there is no past or future to it. Each step is total completion, absolute satisfaction. My joy has no reason or cause.

What motivates you to do the work you do?

Motivation, in the way it is commonly thought of, is not something that moves me anymore. It is not the impetus for any of my actions. My experience is that I am like any other form of nature, the wind blows, flowers flower, and I give talks on awakening to reality. It is simply what I do, like breathing or walking. That my talks are sometimes meaningful or helpful to others is a wonderful thing to behold, but I do not teach for any specific reason or outcome other than because it is how life expresses itself through me for some unknown reason. At the moment of giving a talk I am inspired to share something and so the speaking happens. It is all contained within a specific moment that leaves as fast as it appears. It is like a breeze suddenly appearing and moving about the leaves in a tree. It has no reason, it is a force of nature. I call it love in motion. The teaching is love in motion, the wind blowing through the trees.

What do you consider your spiritual roots?

Conventionally speaking my spiritual roots are in Zen Buddhism. It was my Zen teacher who asked me to teach. But growing up within Western culture I also have roots within the Jesus story that has shaped both our spiritual and secular culture to a great degree. But both of these backgrounds served as means to pursue an interest in the nature of reality that I was born with. So in this sense my spiritual roots transcend all of the various conventional forms of spirituality and have as their ground an innate, inborn, experience of eternity that has always been there as long as I can remember. I experience eternity appearing as, and functioning through, the entire latticework of endless forms, both religious and material. Therefore, my fundamental spiritual roots are not contained within any form or tradition of teaching, but are grounded within my experience of eternity and its infinite variety of expressions.

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