Inquiry: He is a new age charlatan

Adyashanti is a new age charlatan.

I came across someone on a Buddhist themed blog who expressed that view. And since it is a foreign view for me – at least about Adya! – I thought I would step into their shoes, or rather the shoes of that belief, and see what happens. (His comments were triggered by the Globaloneness interview with Adya.)

  1. True?
    No. But I will step into that belief here for the sake of this inquiry.
  2. Can you absolutely know it is true?
    No. Even believing it, I couldn’t say it is true. (Although it would feel true, my stories would tell me it is true, and I could find others who would agree.)
  3. What happens when I hold onto that belief?
    • I watch the Adya video and everything there tells me he is a new age charlatan. His clothes. (Thin pastel colored shirt!) His name. (What a silly name, obviously taken on only to impress the gullible.) His blissed out smile. (What arrogance and smugness.) His language. The whole setting with him in a sunny garden. (Yeah, another white middle class “spiritual” teacher.)
    • I get annoyed. Irritated by his manners. Uncomfortable. Jittery.
    • I go into stories about how he is just another new age charlatan. A light weight. A fraud. Someone who is just out to trick people out of their money.
    • I make myself right and him – and his followers – wrong. I get it, he doesn’t.
    • I experience separation from myself, him, life.
    • I go into stories about how some other teachers get it, but people in general don’t. I feel disappointed. Alone.
  4. Who would I be without that story?
    • Receptive. Receptive to what he has to say. Receptive to recognizing that I don’t know all that much about him or his background or his teachings in other settings.
    • Sense of connection. A more sane relationship with his teachings and life in general. A sense of us.
    • Free to explore and still differentiate, even within this sense of connection and being in the same boat.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • Adya is not a new age charlatan.
      • Well, the truth is I don’t know. I am not all that familiar with him. I guess his teachings in other context may be different. And I may misinterpret what I hear in this video.
    • Adya is a traditional and solid teacher.
      • Hm. That could be as true, I guess. Again, I don’t know much about his background. (Some guy said he had a long Buddhist training.)
    • I am a new age charlatan.
      • Not easy to accept that one. I can see that if I get caught up in beliefs such as this one, my views tend to get very simplified and one-sided. My approach to it gets a little light-weight.
    • My thinking is a new age charlatan.
      • Yes, that is easier to see. When I get caught up in beliefs, my thinking is a charlatan. It tries to prove a story, and no story is really true.

Doing this inquiry, I get a better sense of what may happen when that story is taken as true. The main shift is that I now recognize myself in the one who expressed a story of Adya as a new age lightweight. I see that I have done the same in other situations, and about other people. We are not so different.

What I did here is obviously what happens when I go into that belief for myself. It says nothing about what is going on for the guy I imagine had that belief. I am only seing myself here.

4 thoughts to “Inquiry: He is a new age charlatan”

  1. Awesome and hilarious illustration of wise observations and insight onto how we color our experience.
    A joy to read brother, thank you.

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