Openness by Adyashanti


Awakening to the truth is a deep realization of what you are as an experience. What is it that is feeling? What is it that is thinking or sensing? This is not about coming up with the right name for it, so don’t name it for a moment. It’s about just noticing, just experiencing.

Feel it. Sense it. Welcome it. Spiritual awakening is realizing what occupies the space called “me.” When you listen innocently, you’ll see that there really is something more here than a me.

Your me is always experiencing this moment in relation to some other moment. Is this moment as good as it was two weeks ago? Will it be the same today as it was yesterday? The me worries about what it knows and whether or not it is good enough to get enlightened.


Your me might call itself Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Advaitan, atheist, agnostic, believer, or nonbeliever, but no matter what your me is identified with, when you become very open and relaxed, you can suddenly be aware that something else is occupying your body-mind.

Something else is looking out from your eyes, listening from your ears, and feeling your feelings. That something has no qualities. Realizing your true nature is realizing what is present without qualities.

We can call it the emptiness of consciousness, the Self, or the No-Self. To directly experience this emptiness— the aliveness of it— is spiritual awakening. It is to realize yourself as beautiful nothingness, or more accurately, no-thing-ness. If we say it’s just “nothing,” we miss the point.


When your image of the me takes a break, you’ll find all you are doing at that moment is just being open. You feel quite relieved that you are not trying to get to another moment or a better experience.

You feel yourself just being in a very relaxed, easy sense of peace. You haven’t gained anything at all— you’re not smarter, you don’t necessarily know more than anyone else, and you haven’t suddenly become holy.

If you are resting as your own true nature, then you feel that there is really nowhere else to go.


Openness has not accumulated anything, so it’s free. It has a profoundly innocent but wise relationship to everything. It is something primary, awake, and alive. You can sense how incredibly precious it is. When you look right into it, there is nothing there.

Let yourself experience this openness, this nothingness. Let yourself see how it experiences your body and mind right now, in this moment. It’s so different from the experience of the me.

This nothingness is the peace that surpasses all understanding, and it’s right here at your fingertips.


Awakeness is inherent in all things and all beings everywhere, all the time. This awakeness relates to every moment from innocence, from absolute honesty, from a state where you feel absolutely authentic.

Only from this state do you realize that you never really wanted whatever you thought you wanted.

You realize that behind all of your desires was a single desire: to experience each moment from your true nature.

You find that simply walking outside and seeing a leaf in the breeze or seeing a street person on the corner is the most exquisite of experiences.

You don’t need anything big; each moment has a beauty all its own.