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The story of Jesus has not waned in its power to change lives. Yet today, even though the majority of us grew up in a culture suffused by the mythos of Jesus, many of us feel disconnected from the essence and vitality of His teachings. In this presentation Adyashanti invites us to rediscover the life and teachings of Jesus, recounts his own personal encounter with Christ, and offers some much-needed guidance to help you transform your own relationship with the Christian story.
Watch as Adyashanti reflects on:
- Adyashanti’s own personal encounter with Jesus Christ in the midst of his Zen Buddhism practice, and how that encounter forever changed the course of his spiritual development…
- How we can transform our relationship with the story of Jesus, and how the story of Jesus can transform our lives…
- The importance of spending as much time in the “quiet places” of the heart as we do talking about those places…
- How the Jesus of the Gospels is so much more radical and revolutionary than the “Theological Jesus”, or the versions of Christ we typically see represented in culture…
- How the “Descent of Grace” at the heart of the Christian story completes the circle of our spiritual growth, allowing us to complement effort with surrender, transcendence with embodiment, non-attachment with radical engagement…
- Identifying the “core wound” of Western culture, and why the Christian tradition is uniquely suited to mend that primoridal wound of separation in the West…
An Integral view of the Christian tradition allows us for the first time to deeply consider the multitude of stories and interpretations that surround Jesus Christ. More than anything, the integral view appreciates the fact that human beings possess a very real “spiritual intelligence”, and that spiritual intelligence evolves throughout our lifetimes, as does our cognitive intelligence, our emotional intelligence, our interpersonal intelligence, etc. And as our collective spiritual intelligence continues to develop, our religions must also evolve in order to quench our newfound thirst for more depth, more insight, more inner transformation.
Our religions must evolve just as every other field of human inquiry has evolved — as astrology evolved into astronomy, alchemy into chemistry, phrenology into psychology, theocracy into democracy, etc. When our religions fail to evolve, we become spiritual vagabonds starving in a desert of postmodern fundamentalism, scientific materialism, and postmodern cynicism — or worse, our growth and development become stunted and we get hopelessly locked in a prison of pre-modern beliefs and dangerously obsolete views of the world.
As our religions evolve, they become less ethnocentric, and more world-centric. Less exclusionary, and more inclusive. Less mythological, and more mystical. Less belief-based, and more experience-based. Our interpretations of the Divine shift radically as religion evolves, away from “us vs. them” mentalities and absolutistic thinking and toward more multiplistic, pluralistic, and integrative expressions of Spirit. Considering the current state of the world, with monsters killing people in the name of some archaic, pre-modern interpretation of religion, we could use a little more religious evolution right about now.
Furthermore, because the integral stage of development marks the momentous shift from “scarcity needs” to “abundance needs”, our identities become that much more permeable to the ever-present light of Christ Consciousness, our hearts become that much more incandescent, our expressions of our inner light become that much more resplendent. There is a renewed emphasis upon states of consciousness — a direct experience of the same spiritual states of consciousness described by Christian mystics throughout history, from Jesus Christ to Teresa of Ávila to Meister Eckhart to Fr. Thomas Keating. These advanced states of consciousness form the mystical core of every religion, and likewise every religion has developed its own unique lineage of spiritual practices we can use to invoke these states for ourselves — prayer practices, contemplative practices, meditative practices, body practices, etc.
There is an innate proclivity for spiritual practice that comes online at the integral stage, a much more sophisticated way to interpret the states of consciousness these practices invoke, and a much more informed understanding of how these states have been interpreted all around the world, all throughout history. Taken together, our direct experience and more advanced interpretations of the Divine enrich our spiritual lives to a degree never before possible. Our hearts awaken more fully to ever-present Christ Consciousness, and we can no longer turn away from our our responsibility to use our lives to enact this ever-abundant Love in the world.
Written by Corey deVos
Other pieces in this series
Adyashanti (Sanskrit word meaning, "primordial peace"), is a spiritual teacher from the Bay Area who gives regular Satsangs in the United States and also teaches abroad. He is the author of several books and is the founder of Open Gate Sangha, Inc. a nonprofit organization that supports, and makes available, his teachings.