I first heard Adyashanti’s name when I was still living in Vermont. I had already had an enormously transformative change-point at Omega Institute in the presence of Eckhart Tolle, and I was floundering around trying to figure out how to live my life all over again. There was nowhere left to go, nothing to do, and all my old goals and ways of being in the world no longer worked for me.
I read a quote from Adya on an online Eckhart Tolle forum, and I loved it but I didn’t look into it any more fully.
Then I went back to Omega a year later to be on retreat with Eckhart for another five days and I was one of those people who would wait in line in the frosty morning of upstate New York in October for hours, just for the hope of sitting in the front. The person behind me was reading “Impact of Awakening”, Adya’s book that has a picture of his face on it. Somehow his face caught my attention… those awake eyes maybe. Anyway I had to say “what book is that you’re reading?” and when the woman said Adyashanti, that was it, two points make a line and I went home a few days later, searched for him on the internet, found his website and ordered books and tapes.
His talks and writings spoke so incredibly directly to the heart of what I was dealing with. He clearly named what had happened to me with Eckhart as “awakening” and talked about it as something familiar and normal. What a relief! It felt as if he knew me personally because of the way he talked about what was going on with me. I was glad I wrote that “identity switch” essay about my experience before running into Adya because he was describing my experience so exactly that I had to look back at my own writing to verify that I wasn’t a copycat of some sort.
Then I came out to California to go on retreat with him. I asked him to be my teacher and he said it was my decision not his, so I said he was my teacher. Then I said how on earth do we do that from thousands of miles away, and he just didn’t have any answer at all.
The next thing I knew I was moving to California. It just happened, what can I say. I never even decided to move. As I write this I’ve been in the Bay area for over two years already, and living a rather charmed life, working at a place called the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology as an administrator, and Adya gives all of his Palo Alto satsangs directly halfway between where I work and where I live. I don’t think I could have managed that if I’d tried to plan it! I enjoy the companionship of the wonderful Open Gate Sangha folks, and the support of a community of people like me, as I got used to this new life that I’ve stumbled into. I went to almost every bay area satsang that Adya gave for many years, mostly serving as a volunteer involved in setup, greeting people etc.
After being with Adya’s sangha for many years I started to feel like the message was repetitive and I was getting more from living my life and from sitting listening to Adya. I told him I was going to stop volunteering and going to all the satsangs and he was so lovely about it and seemed to say that I was a graduate. No holding on whatsoever. I love Adya. He is one of the most wonderful human beings I know.
For more info about Adyashanti and his teachings, go to his own website at www.adyashanti.org . He has numerous books, CDs, DVDs, retreats, intensives, and satsangs, and is traveling more and more these days. He is even doing internet radio sessions and is generally making his teaching conveniently available to people who live anywhere. I find his message can be received very well through tape, CD, DVD etc.