Adyashanti (whose name means “primordial peace”) is an American-born spiritual teacher who has been teaching for 25 years. His teachings include evening meetings, weekend intensives, silent retreats, live internet broadcasts, and online courses. READ MORE
Stay connected to Adya during this time through:
We stand for racial equality and social justice. We are for finding actions that speak as loudly as words, perhaps even louder than words. And, we are for creating together a more inclusive Sangha experience for everyone.
Read full statement here: Antiracism and Open Gate Sangha: What We Are For and What We Are Doing
Mukti’s name originates in Sanskrit and is most often translated as “liberation,” a term used in Vedanta and Buddhism much the way the term “salvation” is used in Christianity. Mukti has been a teacher at Open Gate Sangha, in the lineage of Adyashanti, since 2004. Together in 1996, Adyashanti and Mukti founded Open Gate Sangha.
Previously, Mukti was raised and schooled in the Catholic tradition and also studied the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda for over 20 years—two paths that have greatly informed her journeys into meditation, introspection, and prayer.
She holds a master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, a license in acupuncture, and a Hatha Yoga teaching certification. These backgrounds in body awareness and the healing arts, as well as her years of study with Adyashanti, largely inform her presentation style, her recommended inquiry methods, and her interest in the energetic unfolding of realization and embodiment.
Embracing the Reality of Sorrow
Online Course Q&A Excerpted from Adyashanti's "The Way of Liberation Audio Course Q&A"
A participant writes: I am writing this with fear to do so. I have stayed in the background reading only nonduality books daily and listening to your CDs for the past four years. I am aware of this fear of abandonment and rejection from authority and yet also realize the fear keeps me creating and living what I fear.
When my husband passed away (four years ago) I had a profound clarity at his bedside before his passing. After, I had to be profoundly alone. I moved to CA by myself not really knowing anyone and have stayed alone for all this time. In a way, my only friends were nonduality books and CDs which I read and listened to daily.
Nine months ago, my Mom had a stroke and nearly did not make it. I had four brothers and three of them passed away in their 20s. Now the only family I have is my Mom and my one brother.
Somehow I isolate myself even though I also have this clarity. There is such a tiredness feeling that there is nowhere to go and nothing left to trust in this place we call the world. Perhaps I am afraid to love and be loved with having all the loss. The feeling is a feeling of loss, abandonment, rejection, trust, and also realizing and aware that this is the life I am creating from these deep core feelings.
It is huge for me to expose this as it feels like there is no one who is going to care and it just may be easier to not take the risk. It seems that I have created a belief there is no one I can trust to be there to care. I have put myself in a place where I no longer know how to be with the others in the way I once loved to be.
Where do I start to trust being alive again and trust life to be alive?
Adyashanti: Thank you for your question and your courage in opening up and asking for help. Sooner or later we will all experience the tragic quality of life. Perhaps this quality of life is brought to us through illness, or the death of a loved one, or losing a job, or an unexpected accident, or having your heart broken. But we will all experience this tragic quality of life in both small and overwhelmingly large ways over the span of our lives. Whether we want to face it or not, life, with all of its beauty, joy, and majesty, also has a tragic element to it. This is exactly what the Buddha saw, and it inspired his entire spiritual search.
It seems that most people look for various ways to escape from this tragic quality of life, but ultimately to no avail. There is no escaping it. And it must be faced sooner or later. The question is, when we are faced with this aspect of life, how do we respond? Surely, to avoid it only leads to denial, fantasy, life-numbing withdrawal, cynicism, and fear. It takes great courage to face the totality of life without withdrawing from it or trying to protect ourselves from it.
Paradoxically, to face the totality of life we must face the reality of death, sorrow, and loss as well. We must face them as unavoidable aspects of life. The question is, can we face them directly without getting lost in the stories that our mind weaves about them? That is, can we directly encounter this tragic quality of life on its own terms? Because if we can, we will find a tremendous affirmation of life, an affirmation that is forged in the fierce embrace of tragedy.
At the very heart and core of our being, there exists an overwhelming yes to existence. This yes is discovered by those who have the courage to open their hearts to the totality of life. This yes is not a return to the innocence of youth, for there is no going back, only forward. This yes is found only by embracing the reality of sorrow and going beyond it. It is the courage to love in spite of all the reasons to not love. By embracing the tragic quality of life we come upon a depth of love that can love “in spite of” this tragic quality. Even though your heart may be broken a thousand times, this unlimited love reaches across the multitude of sorrows of life and always triumphs. It triumphs by directly facing tragedy, by relenting to its fierce grace, and embracing it in spite of the reflex to protect ourselves.
In the end, we will either retreat into self-protection, or acknowledge the reality of sorrow and love anyway. Such love not only transcends life and death, it is also made manifest in life and death. You give yourself to life out of love, and it is to love more fiercely that you walk through the fires of sorrow that forge the heart into boundless affection.
© Adyashanti 2015
December 9-11, 2022
FROM MUKTI'S RETREAT INVITATION
This year of Adya’s sabbatical has been an opportunity to cherish so many of the teachings that he has poured forth to date, and a time to allow your own wisdom and your living knowledge of his teachings to come to the fore.
During this retreat, I will be sharing pivotal pointers from Adya’s past teachings, particularly those that I have found to be most transformative. And I’ll be recollecting meaningful encounters that I’ve had with him as his student as well as resulting insights that I carry forward into my own teachings. . . .
The Introduction to the Teachings area is designed to help you become oriented to Adyashanti's . . .READ MORE
Retreats are an opportunity to spend extended time over several days in full silence with Adyashanti and . . .READ MORE
Visit the Store for the latest audio downloads, CDs, DVDs, and books by Adyashanti, as well as specially . . .READ MORE