Adyashanti - Steven Gray, Adya
Born 1962 in Cupertino, California
Lives in USA, California
Philosophy - Zen, Advaita Vedanta
"If you filter my words through any tradition or '-ism', you will miss
altogether what I am saying. The liberating truth is not static; it is alive. It cannot be put into concepts and be understood by the mind.
The truth lies beyond all forms of conceptual fundamentalism. What you
are is the beyond—awake and present, here and now already. I am simply
helping you to realize that."
Emptiness Dancing - "The aim of my teaching is enlightenment-awakening from the dream state of separateness to the reality of the One..."True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness
Adyashanti’s nondual teachings have been compared to those of the early Zen masters and Advaita Vedanta sages.
Though heavily influenced by his Zen background, Adyashanti's teaching structure is unique from, and is not considered, traditional Japanese Zen.
He offers public events known as Satsangs where he gives a Dharma talk and then engages the audience with Questions and Answers. Sometimes these Satsangs are given in an all day, or weekend long, format and are simply called Intensives. He also offers silent retreats several times a year which is an example of his Zen influence. On these retreats participants refrain from speaking for several days, except during the Q&A in Satsangs, and also practice several hours of silent sitting.
Adyashanti's basic teaching methods are his public interactions at Satsangs, and what he calls True Meditation. True Meditation is the form of meditation that he suggests his students practice while on his retreats. It has two components, silent sitting and meditative Self-Inquiry. In silent sitting, the purpose is for the practitioner to let go of control and let his/her attention to rest in the natural state that it is already in.
He states, "When you cease trying to control and manipulate your experience, meditation spontaneously happens (The Impact of Awakening, pg 23)." Then, with meditative Self-Inquiry, the student can ask what are considered to be spiritually significant questions. These questions are meant to expose illusionary thoughts and give rise to insight. An example of such a question is the "who am I?" inquiry, popularized by Ramana Maharshi. In My Secret is Silence Adyashanti explains, "A spiritual question is like an alarm clock thrown into the dream. "Who am I?" calls into question everything the dreamer believes in, namely him or herself. It disrupts the dream. That's its purpose (pg 25)."
Source: Wikipedia Adyashanti
Born as Steven Gray, Adyashanti studied Zen for 14 years under the guidance of his Zen teacher Arvis Joen Justi. Arvis was a student of Taizan Maezumi Roshi of the Zen Center of Los Angeles before he requested that she teach. Steve (Adyashanti) was regularly sent by Arvis to Zen sesshins, where he also studied under Jakusho Kwong Roshi of the San Francisco Zen Center.
At age 25 he began experiencing a series of transformative spiritual awakenings (see Bodhi). In 1996, around six years later, he was invited to teach by Arvis Joen Justi. However, because Arvis never under went the traditional Zen ceremony of Dharma transmission, though still instructed to teach by Maezumi, Adyashanti is not an official Dharma heir of any particular Zen tradition. Rather he is Arvis Justi's successor in a lay Lineage originally authorized by Taizan Maezumi.
Source: Wikipedia Adyashanti