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The Way of Silence: An Interview with Adyashanti

When people allow themselves to connect with what their spiritual life is about for them—what their deep questions are, what their deep yearning is—then they have all the vitality they need

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Adyashanti headshot

Photo by Doug Ellis

Born in 1962 in Cupertino, California—with the given name Stephen Gray—Adyashanti is a well-known spiritual teacher devoted to serving the “awakening of all beings.” Although he often sounds as though he might belong to the Zen or Advaita Vedanta traditions—and, indeed, he practiced Zen for 14 years—Adyashanti attracts students from all backgrounds and says that his teachings are “not confined within any religious point of view, belief system, or doctrine.” He is the author of The Way of Liberation, Falling into Grace, True Meditation, and The End of Your World.He recently spoke with S&H from his home in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains.You’ve spoken openly about having awakening experiences. How would you describe enlightenment?Enlightenment involves waking up to our true nature. One way you might describe it is that it’s like having a lucid dream, the experience of suddenly becoming aware that you’re dreaming. All of a sudden there’s another dimension of awareness that is conscious of the dream while you’re in it.When you’re not conscious of the dream, you think that everything that’s goi …

Sam Mowe is a regular contributor to Spirituality & Health. He splits his time between Brooklyn and Garrison, New York, where he lives and works in a former monastery on the Hudson River.


Sam Mowe is a writer living in Portland, Oregon. His interviews have also appeared in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and The Sun. He is also the editor of Lineages, a publication of the Garrison Institute. Sam is a regular contributor to Spirituality & Health. 


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InterviewsEnlightenmentAwakeningSelf InquirySpiritual Leaders

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