Our Summer 2018 issue has officially hit the shelves, and we couldn’t be more excited! We wanted to share an exclusive sneak peek of our interview with the world-renowned spiritual teacher Adyashanti (this issue’s cover star). He spoke to us about awakening on different levels of our being, the student-teacher relationship, and what Ireland means to him. Adyashanti and his wife Mukti will be visiting Dublin this August. To read the full interview, pick up a copy of the Summer issue in your local stockist, or subscribe online today.
The Wisdom of Adya: Opening up and embracing what is
by Aisling Cronin
Interviewers: Daizan Kaarlenkaski and Paul Congdon
Adyashanti is an American-born spiritual teacher who is devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. He promotes non-dual teachings, based on recognising both the infinite spiritual possibilities and the everyday simplicity of our lives. He is the author of a number of successful spiritual titles, including The Way of Liberation, Resurrecting Jesus and Falling into Grace. We were thrilled to interview him recently and hear about his thoughts on the student-teacher relationship, his relationship with his wife Mukti, working with his father, and what Ireland means to him.
Could you tell us about the way you share your dharma teachings? For example, you never answer questions directly, but instead offer questions for people to ask themselves.
When I am dialoguing with somebody, my goal is to help them discover an answer or a resolution inside themselves, for themselves. All true realisations come from within the individual. In my style of teaching, I put a lot of responsibility on the students because I think that in the spiritual community, the students are far too often infantilised and treated like children. It is often encouraged for students to relate to the teacher as a child would, rather than interacting as two adults in a state of mutual trust. Grown-ups make their own decisions.
Do you think there can come a point when the student-teacher relationship needs to evolve for the student to gain true autonomy?
Yes, I think if a student has too much projection around the teacher – if they’re projecting all of their own holiness and light onto them – then the teacher does become a barrier. People put these projections onto the teacher because they hope that the teacher is going to be able to ‘save’ them. To the extent that we allow ourselves to become involved in that projection, the projection is what becomes a barrier. I was with my teacher for about fourteen years before she asked me to teach, and I noticed then that our relationship changed. I was still open to what she had to say, and open to her direction and guidance, but I related to her as an adult and not as a child. Teachers are best regarded as mentors, rather than as ‘gods.’
How do your teachings translate into your day-to-day life, in terms of your relationships?
Mukti and I have one of the most harmonious relationships that I know. I’m not saying it’s the most harmonious relationship in the world or anything, but it’s always been something that comes relatively naturally to both of us, which is really lucky. It has felt so natural for us to be together and part of that may be because we never imagined that it was the other person’s responsibility to ‘make me happy’. It has certainly matured over time. It had a lot of those effortless qualities from the very beginning, but nothing stays static – you are either maturing or regressing, one or the other. For twenty-two years, I have kept thinking to myself, ‘it can’t get any more profound than this’ and the next year, I find myself thinking, ‘wow, it did!’ Relationships can be one of the greatest areas of growth there is. To have a successful relationship, you’ve got to be a clear, adult, mature human being. That applies to relationships of all kinds: lovers, friends, family, even strangers.
Adyashanti and Mukti will be visiting Dublin this August for a Special Intensive teaching event. This will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday August 19th, in the Gibson Hotel, Point Square, North Dock, Dublin 1. For details, go to: www.adyashanti.org