The Way of Liberation by Adyashanti
Sit Down and Read
One Line Summary
Step by step guide to Enlightenment
Adyashanti is the author of The End of Your World, which I just reviewed the other day. In it, he talks about what Enlightenment is, traps people face who have an awakening experience and generally what to expect from the spiritual path. It’s a fantastic book for anyone who is interested at all in this subject.
But how to get there? Let’s say you’re totally on board. You can see the value in examining these spiritual truths for yourself and want to get started. Where to start?
The Way of Liberation is one place you can start. This book less of the “theory” behind Enlightenment and much more of a simple, practical, step by step guide to spirituality.
The book focuses on what Adyashanti calls the three “Core practices” in order to achieve awakening. They are Meditation, Inquiry and Contemplation.
Why it’s Awesome
In true Adyashanti style, you won’t find any new age spiritual fluff in this book. His approach is one of straight talk that is easily understood. So let’s jump into the Core practices.
Meditation, or True Mediation, is the first and perhaps most important. The type of meditation Adyashanti recommends is an advanced style, which you could simply describe as “doing nothing”. Sit down, close your eyes, and then release all control. Don’t try to focus on or suppress anything that might come into your awareness. Just let things flow.
The next technique is Inquiry. This requires you to sit down and ruthlessly drill yourself on what is True. Who are you? Who are you not? What is God? Etc.
You can try this technique writing down if that helps. But the key point is that you’re just looking to answer the question on the surface. You need to examine your assumptions.
For instance, let’s take the question “what is God?” If you’re a religious person, you may already have an intellectual answer to this question. God is omnipotent, God is love, blah blah blah. So that didn’t get you very far. Instead, examine your assumptions. Have you already verified that God exists before you attributed characteristics to him? Why or why not?
This can be a painful process, because you’re going to be pulling away layers of delusion here. You’re going to see that many cherished things you assumed to be true may not be true. But this is what spirituality demands.
The last technique is Contemplation. Contemplation is not “thinking”. Instead, take one of the specific phrases that Adyashanti provides and just sit with it. Don’t try and find an answer, let it germinate in your subconscious mind. My personal favorite phrase was “There is no such thing as an absolutely true thought” but pick one that you resonate with.
Why Does It Suck
As nice as this book is, realize that Enlightenment is not going to be like going to lift weights at the gym. Everyone wants to believe there’s a predetermined “step by step process” for awakening, but it doesn’t exist. Everyone’s journey, if they make it at all, it totally unique. And realize it’s ultimately not in your power to become Enlightened.
So while I still believe there is massive value in reading and applying these Core practices, don’t make the mistake of thinking this going to be like your “next self-improvement project”. You are not in control on this one.
The Wrap Up
The Way of Liberation is am amazing, short little book on Enlightenment techniques. If you’re seriously about this, apply these Core Practices with every ounce of determination you have. That’s what it’s going to take. That’s the process. But also realize that if Spirit is waking up in you, nothing will stop it. You’re either on a crash course to awakening with no way out or you’re not…it’s as simple and as contradictory as that.
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