Teachings as pointers

 

Spiritual teacher Adyashanti describes how in the development of human consciousness, there comes a shift from a sense of a separate self toward the experience of unity. He points out that the fear of losing our individual identity keeps us from making this shift, and by confronting our fear we come into love. Adyashanti also suggests that reaching a point of crisis can allow an opportunity for consciousness to shift, individually and collectively.

Any teaching is an explicit pointer for inquiry. Is it true? What do I find when I explore it for myself?

And any thought – independent of source or content – is really a question. Is it true? What happens if I use it as a temporary guideline for action? Is there another that seems more appropriate in this situation? When is this particular thought helpful as a guideline? If I can’t find anything else, maybe it can help loosen identification with its reversal?

So even a simple summary of a teaching – such as the one above – can be very helpful. (Here is the video it refers to.)

In this case, it can lead to a set of questions and explorations.

Find that sense of a separate I, or any sense of individual identity that is taken as true. How does it feel in the body? Is there a (often subtle and quiet) fear behind it? How is that fear experienced in the body? What happens when I resist that fear? What happens when I meet it, welcome it, as it is?

When I explore this for myself, I find that resisting fear – even slightly, and even a subtle and quiet fear – fuels a movement into taking a story as true. When I notice and welcome that fear, as it is, something shifts. Either, the impulse to take a story as true becomes more transparent (fades) or falls away, or the identification with that impulse fades or falls away. What is left is a sense of spaciousness in all directions, and a felt sense of don’t know.

Taken this way, even a short blurb like that can be a complete teaching in itself. It gives a practical pointer for practice, and that practice – as so many others – can take us all the way if it is done with some sincerity and curiosity.

Of course, in real life, such a pointer is one of many. A supplement. And it can be very helpful if we are receptive to it.

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