The Bliss of Awakening – Adyashanti Warning

Adyashanti issues a warning in these words of wisdom from Tricycle. He warns us that the bliss of awakening can be addicting and we should watch out for it. It is merely a by-product of awakening, and not true awakening itself.

Adyashanti is an American born spiritual teacher with loads of credentials. He teaches non-duality and many have compared him with a Zen masters. He dedicates his life to help others to awaken.

My good friend, Dr. Sara Gordon was once a member of his sangha. She now teaches non-duality herself.
There may be bliss with awakening, because it is actually a by-product of awakening, but it is not awakening itself. As long as we are chasing the byproducts of awakening, we will miss the real thing. 

– Adyashanti, “Bliss is a By-Product”


When I was nineteen, I had three back-to-back experiences of the bliss of awakening within a period of about three to four weeks.

The first one occurred during the choral movement of the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven. It seemed to last forever and I really didn’t know what hit me. Unfortunately, my first love was breaking up with me at the time, so it didn’t last too long. I knew it was something special

The second one happened during Kol Nidre – the evening service of Yom Kippur – the day of atonement (at one ment). I thought, for sure, I had been touched by the hand of God! This feeling led me astray for another nine or ten years.

The third one was at my family dinner table. It may have been the last day we were all together as a family. My sister went off to college and I decided to stay at home instead of going back to Purdue. I went to Washington University instead. I wanted a chance to get back to my girlfriend, which never happened.

For the next nine or more years, I was sill looking for the bliss of awakening. I decided to study physics and figured this would tell me something about the nature of God. This failed on both accounts! No physics, no God.

Eventually, I have found my way to the teachings of the Buddha and through Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, I’m quite happy.

No I recognize the importance of paying attention to what is going on in the present moment and allow bliss to happen naturally in the most usual of circumstances.

Will you take Adyashanti’s warning and stop chasing the bi-products of awakening? Or will you work hard and diligently on the path to liberation?

Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering


Adyashanti asks us to let go of our struggles with life and open to the full promise of mindfulness and spiritual awakening: the end of delusion and the discovery of our essential being. In his many years as a spiritual teacher, Adyashanti has found the simpler the teaching, the greater its power… [Read More…]

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