Q: My ability to stay personally responsible on a material level is affected greatly by my continuing to let go of ego and self. I’m finding it challenging to pursue this path while also pursuing more complex earthbound goals. Am I limited to becoming a spiritual teacher by pursuing this path, or is it possible to successfully ‘surrender into life,’ as you said recently, and to use this no-self flow to live simply and thoughtfully through the material, everyday world? How am I grasping here?
Adya: Thank you for your question. The trajectory that moves toward the falling away of self can be very disorienting at times. It can lead one to wonder whether the state beyond self is made for this world at all. But I can assure you that no-self ‘eventually’ becomes a very functional state and functions quite well in life in its mature expression. If one retreats too much from life it can actually impede the no-self state from coming into mature expression and functioning. When it is all said and done (in retrospect), all other states of consciousness seem quite altered and strange when compared to the no-self state. No-self is in no way an altered state of consciousness; it is completely and absolutely unaltered. It is simply the One, seen from the One’s point of view. It is a single drop of rain, a cloud passing, the fall of your own breath.
– Adyashanti in “Experiencing No-Self” Online Course
Some say that awakening is not a state. I see how that’s accurate since it’s independent of any change in content of experience, and we can call the changing content of experience states. It’s also possible to call awakening a state. It’s the state of the One (as Adya calls it) recognizing itself as all there is.