Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

The Question of Being

--by Adyashanti (Apr 21, 2014)

Above the entrance to the Oracle at Delphi were written the words, “Know Thyself.” Jesus came along and added a sense of urgency and consequence to the ancient idea when he said, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

What Jesus is saying is that spirituality is serious business, with serious consequences. Your life hangs precariously in the balance, teetering between a state of unconscious sleepwalking and eyes-wide-open spiritual enlightenment. The fact that most people do not see life this way testifies to how deeply asleep and in denial they truly are.

Within each of our forms lies the existential mystery of being. Apart from one’s physical appearance, personality, gender, history, occupation, hopes and dreams, comings and goings, there lies an eerie silence, an abyss of stillness charged with an etheric presence. For all of our anxious business and obsession with triviality, we cannot completely deny this phantasmal essence at our core. And yet we do everything we can to avoid its stillness, its silence, its utter emptiness and intimate embrace.

To remain unconscious of being is to be trapped within an ego-driven wasteland of conflict, strife, and fear that only seems customary because we have been brainwashed into a state of suspended disbelief where a shocking amount of hate, dishonesty, ignorance, and greed are viewed as normal and sane. But it is not sane, not even close to being sane. Nor is it based in reality. In fact, nothing could be less real than what we human beings call reality.

By clinging to the mind in the form of memory and thought, we are held captive by the movement of our conditioned thinking and imagination, all the while believing that we are perfectly rational and sane. We therefore continue to justify the reality of what causes us, as well as others, immeasurable amounts of pain and suffering.

Deep down we all suspect that something is very wrong with the way we perceive life but we try very, very hard not to notice it. And the way we remain blind to our frightful condition is through an obsessive and pathological denial of being -- as if some dreadful fate would overcome us if we were to face the pure light of truth and lay bare our fearful clinging to illusion.

The question of being is everything. Nothing could be more important or consequential -- nothing where the stakes run so high. To remain unconscious of being is to remain asleep to our own reality and therefore asleep to reality at large. The choice is simple: awaken to being or sleep an endless sleep. 

-- Adyashanti

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On Apr 18, 2014 Conrad P Pritscher wrote:

 When I am open and awareI can more easily distinguish between condition thinking and what is truly within me. I think I am so unconscious so often that it is difficult for me to know. As far as I can see, all I can be said about being is: "being is." It is an incomprehensible mystery as is the universe. As Lao Tzu implied, being is the way. He also said: "the way that can be said is not the way." The 1st time I sat to meditate, during my late 50s, tears came to my eyes. That  to me was bringing forth well was within me. The question of being fascinates me but I cannot say what it is. Nor can I say what experiences yet I can more or less describe a particular experience and distinguish it from another particular experience. as I can say some different words about one being and another being. When all beings are part of one being. It is more difficult to speak about.I think questioning being and attempting to use the words surrounding it, are fine if it leads us to be more kind and compassionate to everyone and everything. Thanks for the opportunity to respond. Warm and kind regards to everyone.

On Apr 18, 2014 Jagdish P Daveh wrote:

 This insightful writing rings bell in my mind. I hear the clear sound when I am still. I call it my being zone, the here and now consciousness. It has been very helpful to me to be mindful of my ego created and ego sustained world of illusion. When I go through the cycle of self -created suffering, I give myself space to move into the being zone. I let the thoughts, feelings and emotions be processed mindfully and get connected with the presence of my being. The most precious gift I can to my self is this presence of being. This process helps me to make wise and wholesome choices and bring  peace and deep sense of contentment. It is an ongoing journey that requires me to remain awakened and not go back to sleep. I slip and compassionately acknowledge and accept my slip or nap taking. My mistakes have been a wake up call for me to return to the being zone. I feel like I am coming home.

When I was young I used to listen to a song of awakening. It is in Hindi, an Indian language. It was a call of awakening. The poet sang: O the traveler. The night has gone away, The dawn has arrived. How long will you remain asleep? Wake up.The one who wakes up gains everything, the one who keeps on sleeping loses everything. I enjoyed singing that song everyday like a mantra. When I would take a step leading me to the dark zone, this mantra helps me to wake up. That mantra came to my heart as I was reading this very insightful writing.

This writing also reminded me of the dilemma that Duryodhana, one of the main characters in Indian epic Mahabarat. He says: I know what is the right thing to do but I don't do it. I know what is the wrong thing to do but I do not refrain from it. This prince represents the dark zone we all go through and get stuck with it. Knowing by itself is not enough. Applying it , practicing it even in small measures is the way to ending our suffering. For me , it is an ongoing process. At times the open, vast and clear sky of being gets clouded by me and when I mindfully go though it, the clouds clear up and there I am in the clear light of my being. What a blessing! It is a wonderful life.

I am grateful to Adishanti for reminding me to stay the course of awakening and receiving gifts and blessings from the flow of life, from my own being

Jagdish P Dave

On Apr 19, 2014 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 timely. Here's the blog post I shared on the 17th Every Light Has a Shadow; The Bravery of Acceptance. Indeed when we bring forth and accept all that is within us it frees us and often helps others. Being  all of who we are feels more "real" to others around us too and allows them to be who they are.  I hope the post helps you to be all of who you are too. HUG from my heart to yours. Kristin

On Apr 20, 2014 david doane wrote:

 The author emphasizes that being is what is most important and offers an abundance of criticism of us for avoiding and denying being -- I wish he had said more about being and embracing being.  I think my being is my soul.  Being expresses and differentiates into all beings, animate and inanimate.  My being is my little piece of Being.  It is my essence.  And it is for me to listen to, acknowledge, value, accept, know, express my being.  As is said, what good does it do to gain the whole world and lose one's being or soul.  For me the process starts with being still and listening to my inner being.  What is truly within us is deeper than conditioned thinking.  I think I'm being faithful to my inner being when my inner being/voice/truth is more important to me than what others or society says is right or wrong.  Sometimes I realize that I have fooled myself when I realize that I was listening to conditioned thinking -- sometimes it's hard to know what I'm listening to.  I hope I listen more closely the next time.  Practice helps. 

On Apr 22, 2014 poornima wrote:

 There is an immense potential in each of us, multitudes of possibilities in each one of us. To pretend we are less than what we are is really a sin. As they say each one us are guilty of 'all the good we did not do'.

On Apr 22, 2014 caroline crawley wrote:

My daughter really helps as we rush down our lane to school: she stops and bends towards the ground to explore the exquisite beauty of a flower... so we are late, but inspired and more present! 

On Apr 22, 2014 Deven P Shah wrote:

 Being to me means being aware of my soul and how it's connected to universal conscience. It's detaching myself from ego, emotions, desires, wants and enjoying the every moment.

On Apr 22, 2014 harmony1 wrote:

 Love: Residing and resonating within. Beyond imagination, beyond view, yet closer than anything I have ever known, is this.  The light within us, is.  It is the peaceful way. It is the peaceful knowing of perfect love, perfect truth, and the eternal embrace of life and being.

On Apr 22, 2014 Syd wrote:

 When I felt my value as nothingness when I was small boy I lost contact with my being from within.  I thought I had holes in soul.  I looked at my body to see if I had holes in my soul.  My value being nothingness grew into feeling powerless, overwhelmed and hopeless.  This created overheated mental associations, as my mind became filled with terror.  By gradually releasing my fears from within, forty years, I have now just begun to touch faith from within.  I have noticed this real faith from within has nothing to do with beliefs, as it is more the recognition of the actual support of presence and Being right now.  This faith is an unshakable confidence and allows the moment to emerge without doubts or beliefs.  I notice this faith is stillness and being.    

This faith as being (Presence) feels like just a place to begin.  It is like I will begin over and over and over as being.  The hard part for me is this beginning does not allow my ego to accomplishing something.  It takes me back to having this sensation I have holes in my soul and my human nature abhors this vacuum.  It feels like a death walk, nonidentification with my ego, and faith within says there can be no clinging to the endless activity of my mind as a source of identity.  So if being is a place to begin and faith is real than stillness is the essence of Being. 

This is not totally clear to me as I have just begun.  The best I can tell being is a clear, quiet mind, knowing and recognizing the unity of Being.  The hard part is I do not know, only just faith is the beginning of being with Being.               

On Apr 22, 2014 harmony1 wrote:

Hello Syd, I wanted to comment on how beautifully touching your story is. Thank you for sharing your experience. Peace, unity and blessings on the path :)

On Apr 22, 2014 Syd wrote:

 You are welcome and may you know the significance of your presence  

On Apr 22, 2014 me wrote:

 Dearest Syd,
First off, I love your "holes"!  I know this to be true because I myself have a ton of holes which, at first, I perceived as flaws.  As I have come to learn, "my holes" have not healed with my knowledge of them.  For me, God has allowed them to remain as a means for Him to enter in (me). if God would have never created this hole in me, I would not have IN ME.  For HIM, I am forever THANKFUL!  
"Holes" are not flaws . . . They are blessings, disguised!

i love Syd!

On Apr 22, 2014 Ammi wrote:

 Being means awareness that I am. Just that. I am. I allow myself to happen, just as I am. When I start to think about what is conditioned thinking and what is truly me, I am already moving away from simply being. The conditioned me is also just meant to be, just as it is. Accept it and just be.

On Apr 22, 2014 Jyoti wrote:

 Well said David.

On Apr 23, 2014 Harmony1 wrote:

 Beautifully put, Ammi :)

On Apr 23, 2014 Harmony1 wrote:

 I wanted to comment on the art/picture here. I love the various patches depicting life's "patchwork" accumulated over time and the question of "who's under there?" Love this.

On Apr 23, 2014 Syd wrote:

 It is touching to have you communicate holes in your soul.  It is also touching you communicate these holes are an opening for God to be with you. You appear to recognize your holes are not merely incidental to who you are, but reflect your Essence.  There is also something very human and the depth of feeling in what you write.  The genuineness and depth of feeling is how you express “forever thankful.”  This word “forever” feels like being true to you.  Truly, this immediate contact with you is the true self as Being.  
I too am forever grateful and may you draw inspiration from the significance of your presence!       

On Apr 23, 2014 Carlton wrote:

 Is there a  reason that the audio does not match the text provided ? The first two paragraphs (above) were not included in the audio presentation of the text. 

On Apr 23, 2014 rajesh wrote:

 Please help me understand this passage better. For example: "Your life hangs precariously in the balance, teetering between a state of unconscious sleepwalking and eyes-wide-open spiritual enlightenment." I believe i am on a journey from somewhat darker to somewhat brighter. I don't understand this teetering nor hanging precariously.

I also believe that this journey may not be all stillness, it might also be in doing, in constant motion (not agitation, but deliberate, slow action) - one step, one prayer at at time.

And i am not sure of: "awaken to being or sleep an endless sleep." I accept my 'being' and am happy to awaken. But this life has also some meaning and is part of the awakening. To me, it might not be an endless sleep or a full awakening, but somewhere in the middle. It is a mystery and most likely will remain a mystery after all.

On Apr 23, 2014 gayathri wrote:

 simply ahaa moment!

On Apr 23, 2014 Conrad P Pritscher wrote:

Deliberate, slow, mindful action, I believe is a kind of stillness he is talking about.

On Apr 24, 2014 harmony1 wrote:

 Hello Rajesh, Essentially I gathered the most simple yet meaning-filled message from this: It is the complete awareness,awakening and surrender to Love within. From Love, we are at peace(or stillness) and contentment. From Love, we perceive our self and others with compassion, wholeness, and with the light of truth. From Love, we are complete. For it is love that completes us. It is the core and very essence of our being; for it is always there.  Eternally fixed and unmoved. It is within and forever abiding.

On Apr 24, 2014 A sister wrote:

 Today, in the still/quiet time after communion, I repeated, "I love you . . . I love you . . . I love you . . . " (in the hope, one would reach you).  Still having Jesus on my tongue, I believe these words came from the both of us.

God is Love.  Love is God.  I love you!

On Apr 25, 2014 rajesh wrote:

Thank you all for your thoughts and love.

While we can always distil a message that resonates with us from any of the readings or simplify to one idea, lately i have been trying to understand the author's (or translator's) choice of words and maybe a deeper or different intent and meaning. Sometimes its not easy (often its an excerpt that does not stand well in isolation).

This passage's words really hit me, as they were different from previous readings and experience: "precariously", "teetering". I wonder what the intent was; this passage has an urgency and a dark side that i have not seen before. I have always assumed that moving towards light was not easily reversible and if one got close to the ultimate state of 'being' one was in a safer zone.

Thanks for your responses and support.

With metta,

On Apr 25, 2014 harmony1 wrote:

Thank You Rajesh,  Regarding the "precariously" and "teetering"  words. Perhaps the author was trying to convey the message of carefulness and of the importance of having both awareness and vigilance while on the path. In other words, being ever mindful of distraction, layers of influence, or pseudo-"brass rings" which may inhibit growth and surrender to the ever abiding Truth and Light within us-the authentic brass ring. :)

On Apr 25, 2014 LFMe wrote:

 In medicine, to isolate is to set apart to either keep something/someone from contamination OR to keep something/ someone from contamination (Giving/Receiving).
Isolation is not a state one should REMAIN IN unnecessarily.  By isolating anything/one, something else then gets magnified and becomes unhealthy.  
I am thankful for my job, it takes me out of my self-imposed isolation.
i am thankful for my dog, he takes me from my self-imposed isolation.
i am thankful for my husband, he asked for my life 04/28/84 - until death, and God ordained marriage for man NOT to alone/isolated.
I am thankful for Aunt Delphine, who I now am off to check on (she had a wonderful Easter with us but when back at her home on Monday suffered a TIA), God gives us each other to keep us from isolation.

There is a time and a place for everything . . . We should not isolate ourselves from truth . . .  We have to break uncomfortable barriers we've created.
In the Name of Jesus, we need come out of our tombs.

On Apr 25, 2014 rajesh wrote:

 Oh! i so much more resonate with the words: "awareness" and "vigilance" than "hang precariously" and "teetering" even though my English teacher would say that it was too much a stretch of the imagination to consider them synonymous :) Thank you @harmony1

On Apr 25, 2014 Harmony1 wrote:

 You're welcome Rajesh :)  Blessings.

On Apr 25, 2014 Akanksha wrote:

 Thank you for your sharing, Jagdishji. It spoke to my current state of 'self-created suffering' and resonated with me. It  added to what the piece of writing itself has left with me.

On Apr 26, 2014 amy wrote:

 Amen Ammi!  So true . . . true . . . true . . . true . . . true!  Again, amen!  
May Thy will be done . . . . 

On Apr 28, 2014 Shehnaz wrote:

 Completely agree. Just love the depiction of all the little patches we mistake to be the Fabric of who we really are....who am I ???

On Nov 7, 2014 Eduard Maldus wrote:
Dear Adya , the question of being means everything to me at the moment because I am concious of it now .
I believe that there were moments in the past when I experienced "awakened" moments but they didn´t last because I was not concious of what spirituality meant and was looking in the wrong , or better , equivocal traditional various religions in seach of truth . I have been in search for truth always. 
Once, when I was is St Thomas in the Carribean I used to dance in front of the sea in Magens Bay beach which is a beautiful place . I am a dancer and through the dance I lived this awareness of awakening for many moments . The first day changed my life  because I was dancing and suddenly , when I stood still looking at the sea , I felt a harmony with everything , I  looked back and saw the trees and the huge palm trees and the small plants , and they were all dancing moved by the wind. Then the seagulls were diving to get food and their plunge into the water was a dance too ...... then  everything was dancing and I was dancing in harmony with was sublime and I could even feel the energy of all around me in different ways.This happened some days but when I was alone only , that is without people around making believe something else .
In my last day there I went to Magens Bay to say good bye to that divine and harmonious vision , entered the woods walking barefoot in the snow white colored sand and cried.
When I arrived in New York I started to develop my own style of dance based in that experience and I was able to develop and structure my art from that moment on not only in the dance but singing , painting and writting now.
Last may , when I got in touch with your teachings , I understood profoundly that past experience and ever since then I am changing more and more because I have your orientation and I have faith in the truth of your teachings because you are the embodying of it .
It has not been easy to undo a whole life of make believe , except for those precious moments .
I am embracing the now and being aware of it as it is .
with love from E d U aR d

On Feb 27, 2015 ana avendano wrote:

 last year s.o read me tarot and kept saying I had all the best possibilities if only i trusted my self. so i began to plan how to become succesfull, accepted, make money etc Suddenly i asked myself what does it really mean to trust myself and i realized that the only self that could be trusted goes far deeper than the me that runs for outward things. I feel quiet now, I see my mind can detect all thought as being a thing outside not to be followed. I also sense that i have a desire to let go, that would be to trust myself. Something like to be in being. I don't know how i came to this so i don't know if there is really a lettin go or i am taken by an inner force?