There was a naked sage in India who, by even Indian standards, was quite bizarre and very direct with those who would seek his consul. The word was that even just being around this guy would elicit an almost overwhelming blissful and loving state of consciousness. I recall this same guy would even poop in his own hand and throw it at the hoards of people that wouldn’t leave him alone. This may be a good best practice we could all benefit from adopting, as it seems likely it could be quite effective.
One of the visitors approached this crazy naked sage and said, “What do I need to do to become enlightened?” To which the sage responded, “You want to become enlightened? YOU do not exist!”
This is kind of a bad-ass cool thing to say to someone but what does it really mean?
Note: This post is epic. Sadly, not in that the content is superb, but rather in length. With close to 3000 words, the average read time is 15 minutes. You’ve been warned.
I’ve recently returned from my first silent retreat with Adyashanti. I’ll just refer to him as Adya from now on, as that’s what his friends call him… so I hear.
Although the majority of his retreats seem to take place in his home state of California, I was fortunate to catch him on an east coast stop at The Omega Institute. The Omega Institute is a lovely property close to the Hudson River in upstate New York. It’s a non-profit organization that has an almost unbelievable number of events (seemingly every week) with topics ranging from spirituality to holistic health to personal empowerment, to name just a few.
Let’s be clear, Omega is much more of a “retreat center” or maybe “retreat camp” than any type of resort. It bears little resemblance to a place like the Canyon Ranch Resorts.
It’s a more crunchy or hippie scene than those types of resorts. Let’s just say that there were a lot of “Birkenstocks and Socks”.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s actually my personal preference.
Correlation and causation aren’t the same thing, no matter how inviting it is to act otherwise. Our quick attempt to equate them is a fool’s game. Take it from a fool who’s played this game like a drum.
What the hell am I talking about and what does this correlation/causation distinction have to do your spiritual practice?
And more importantly, how does bullshit spirituality work its way into this messy mix?
Well I’m not talking about the bullshit fact that most tantric practitioners realize they’ve contracted crabs about 7-10 days after a practicing session on their “path”.
That’s bullshit spirituality for a different post (note to self).