Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sitting at the feet of an enlightened master

Yesterday a friend and I went to hear Adyashanti speak. It was our first time attending satsang with him. I hadn't been to satsang in years, not since I left the spiritual teachers whom I had followed. (I don't count Ammachi, as getting hugged by her is a whole different ballgame.) I was curious--after so much time and having changed so much--how I would feel listening to someone "enlightened" speak.

I can say that it was very different from the olden days when I had a teacher. For one, I was pleasantly surprised that Adyashanti wore boots and we didn't have to take our shoes off. I was also glad that he wore jeans and "normal" clothing and didn't try to look like a guru. Furthermore he didn't have pictures of his teachers on the table--only flowers and a candle burning. All this was a relief as I am no longer able to stand anything that smells of guruhood.

I also liked that he spoke in simple English. There were no Sanskrit words in his speech. He said simple things that made sense to me, though there were no ahas. Losing the ego is like losing a 50 pound backpack, he said. I get it. We are born carrying this heavy backpack, and we see everyone else carrying theirs. Most of us don't realize that we can take it off and have a lighter life. Well, I realize how heavy my backpack is. I see that there are a few people who aren't carrying one, and they are joyful and light. My prayer is that my backpack drop off, or that I am able to lay it down. My ego with its fears, angers, grief, and desires is heavy indeed.

I also know that I can't do anything about it. Adyashanti said that all you can do is prepare and set the stage. God's Grace does the rest, and we don't know where and when that will happen. I understand this. I also understand that Adyashanti has nothing to give me beyond a context. He is simply a brother who has realized something that I haven't realized--yet. I used to think that enlightened masters were gods, all powerful, unconditionally loving, ...the list goes on and on. Now I know that they are ordinary people who, by God's Grace, have dropped their backpack and no longer suffer. Being with them simply reminds me of this possibility.

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