Campbell, California, USA
Foundation of Teaching
Zen, Adavaita, Self-Realization, Love, Oneness, Non-Duality
Example of Teaching
“The truth is that you already are what you are seeking.”
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ContactOpen Gate Sangha P.O. Box 112107 Campbell, CA 95011-2107 408.299.0201
Adyashanti was born in 1962 in Cupertino, California. His given name is Stephen Gray. At the age of nineteen, he came across the idea of enlightenment in a book, and it ignited a desire to experience that ineffable state. He built a hut in his parents’ backyard and practiced meditation there with all the vigor of a competitive athlete, training under the guidance of Zen teacher Arvis Joen Justi.
When he was twenty-five, he experienced an awakening, which he describes as “a realization of the underlying connectedness and oneness of all beings.” For the next eight years he continued to meditate — though he says that all sense of effort and anxiety vanished — and work in his father’s machine shop. In 1996 Justi encouraged Gray to start teaching on his own.
gave his first talks in his aunt’s spare room above a garage to just a handful of students. Sometimes no one would show up. Over a few years the small gatherings grew, until there were hundreds of students in attendance each week. During this time Gray took the name “Adyashanti,” Sanskrit for “primordial peace.”
Adyashanti’s teachings are rooted in the heritage of the early Chinese Zen masters, as well as the Advaita – non dualistic tradition, whose basic tenet is that a separate self, distant from the rest of the world, is an illusion.
“In the end spirituality is not about watching the breath. It’s about waking up from the dream of separateness to the truth of unity.”
These days Adyashanti gives talks and weekend “intensives.” He also leads five-night silent retreats, which have become so popular that registration now takes place by random lottery. The nonprofit organization Open Gate Sangha supports his work and sells his books and recordings of his talks.
Adyashanti is married and lives with his wife in the Bay Area, not far from his childhood home.
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- “The mind may accept or deny that you are awareness, but either way it can’t really understand. It cannot comprehend. Thought cannot comprehend what is beyond thought.”
- "The more you awaken, the more you feel, 'I might not want to repeat the past, but I wouldn't have one second of it any other way."
- "This teaching is not so much a raft to carry you to enlightenment as it is a fire to ignite the raft you are now holding on to."
- "Be a true representative of the goodness in your heart, and don't expect it to be easy or even noticed."
- “Enlightenment means waking up to what you truly are and then being that.
- "Truth has no finality to it. It is not something to be held on to. Truth is discovered minute to minute or not at all."
- "A quiet mind married to integrity of heart is the birth of wisdom."
- "Real meditation means don't go to thought. It may be there, it may not -- just don't go there. It's not who you are."