Thursday, May 1, 2014

When Does Spiritual Dialog Hit the Mark?

A few of us on Facebook have been discussing Oprah's interview with Adyashanti on Easter Sunday.  The main issue resolves around a certain place fairly early in the interview when Oprah has an "ah-ha" moment -- when she realizes the nature of the connection between her and Adya.  Some people think that this realization wasn't as deep as it could have been; others that it was in fact a glimpse of the nondual dimension of consciousness. 

I'm not so interested here in which view is right as in the fact of the disparity of views.  We all watched the same interview and yet every person that commented saw it differently!  On the one hand, maybe this shouldn't be surprising.  It's common to emerge from a satsang thinking it was a wonderful talk only to overhear someone else say it wasn't that good.  Or vice versa.  To speak about the wordless dimension is in itself a kind of contradiction, so it's not surprising that when words are used, people interpret them differently.

The question that's been teasing me, though, is this:  if you watch the interview, it's clear that Adya himself knew exactly what was going on with Oprah, where she was and how she took what he said, even if the audience obviously wasn't so sure.  So how did he know?

I've watched Adya talk with students over the years, and also spoken with him myself numerous times.  It seems that he particularly has a knack for being "with" the student -- being able to comprehend what is meant by the words someone utters about the inexpressible.  He misses the mark only rarely.  I've always wondered how he was able to do that.

Of course, a satsang is different from a TV show.  Without the commercials on Oprah, the show ran only 36 minutes. With interruptions every four or five minutes, I doubt if anyone watching had the opportunity to sink into a deeper state of consciousness .  So we were watching from the outside.  The participants, though, did not experience these commercials:  they had the advantage of spending the time together uninterrupted, the time to move into a place where they really could meet.  And this is where Adya was when he was dialoging with Oprah, and where he is when he dialogs with someone during satsang.  And it is only when we ourselves are in that place that we even have a chance of knowing what the two participants are experiencing together.

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I love to get comments from readers who want to mutually explore Truth as we at the same time remember that the words are just fingers pointing...