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Our authors and book editors offer these choice written selections for your contemplative reading and inspiration.

Adyashanti: Falling into Grace

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Your own mind is the place to start

There are ways that you can avoid being sucked into the vortex of suffering and sorrow—and in any given moment, whether you are alone or in relationship, you have the opportunity to evade the vortex. Your own mind is always the best place to start. It will be very easy for us to be caught and sucked into suffering when we haven’t first dealt with and understood how our own minds can pull us into the vortex. Even when things are going our way, eventually everything changes and shifts; the ego has a way of coming up with some reason to suffer eventually. At some point, despite how well things seem to be going, it will come up with a reason to contract.

One of the curious reasons why the ego always brings us back to suffering is that, strangely enough, our ego actually has to be in some resistance to what is. Otherwise, our sense of separation begins to dissolve, we move from our head into our heart and go from a place where we think we know into a very soft space in the heart. From the egoic point of view, it’s vital that we remain in conflict to some extent, and that’s why, when we look at the world around us, we see so much conflict among human beings. It’s not just because conflict is inevitable. It’s because, as long as we’re stuck in the egoic state of consciousness, we’re extraordinarily prone to be pulled into this vortex of suffering, because the ego needs the vortex to maintain its sense of separation and to survive. When you watch the mind, you will notice that it is always trying to make itself separate. It is expert at drawing distinctions and pitting itself, in one way or another, against something or someone else. And the more deeply we’re in a trance, the less likely it will be that we’ll even consider that we might be in a trance. The ego is very intelligent that way. This is the dilemma that human beings have been in for thousands of years: collectively caught in a trance state of ego and thus prone to being sucked into this vortex of suffering and sorrow.

The opportunity to wake up out of this egoic trance, to break out of the vortex of suffering, is something that, historically speaking, has been reserved for a select few. In the past, it was only a small minority who looked at themselves and their minds in a profoundly deep way. These were the great mystics and masters of the past, those who felt a deep call to move beyond the egoic state of consciousness. They felt the suffering inherent in the state of consciousness that most human beings exist in, and for some reason, they were compelled to move beyond it with enough force and enough drive that they actually succeeded. Today, this same invitation, this same yearning, this same necessity is calling out to all of us. It’s no longer something that’s reserved for the mystics, for just a very few, because our collective survival depends on our consciousness awakening from this dream of separation and isolation.


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