1962 (age 50–51)
Cupertino, California, United States
|Occupation||Author, spiritual teacher|
Adyashanti (//; Sanskrit word meaning, "primordial peace"; born Steven Gray in 1962) is an American spiritual teacher from the San Francisco Bay Area who gives regular satsangs in the United States and also teaches abroad. He is the author of several books, CDs and DVDs and is the founder of Open Gate Sangha, Inc. a nonprofit organization that supports, and makes available, his teachings.
Born Steven Gray  in 1962, in Cupertino, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Then at age 19, he found the "idea of enlightenment" in a book. Subsequently, he built a hut in his parent's backyard and started practicing meditation, though he also worked at a bike-repair shop. He studied Zen under the guidance of his Zen teacher Arvis Joen Justi. Justi was a student of Taizan Maezumi Roshi of the Zen Center of Los Angeles. Gray (Adyashanti) was regularly sent by Arvis to Zen sesshins, where he also studied under Jakusho Kwong Roshi of the Sonoma Mountain Zen Center. At age 25 he began experiencing a series of transformative spiritual awakenings (Bodhi).
For the next few years he continued his meditation practice, while also working at his father’s machine shop, when in 1996, around eight years later, he was invited to teach by Arvis Joen Justi. He first started giving talks to small gatherings, in a room above his aunt's garage, which grew over years and he changed his name to “Adyashanti,” a Sanskrit term for “primordial peace.” He has authored books, like The Impact of Awakening, Emptiness Dancing, My Secret Is Silence, True Meditation, and The End of Your World, besides audio and video recordings.
Presently, he lives in the Bay Area, with his wife Mukti.
The nature of these spiritual awakenings was seen as liberation from the sense of an "I", from "me" trying to be happy. He views, like many of his contemporaries, enlightenment as dis-interested in the quality of experience of life, "who cares". As such, it is possible to be enlightened and still experience anger, depression, regret, envy, hatred, sorrow, grief etc. This diverges from the view many have long held about enlightenment - in Buddhism, kleshas and moksha, the liberation of the yogas, free of these "vasanas". The divergent view of enlightenment arises even before these final realizations, for the 3rd stage of Buddhist enlightenment called anagami or "non-returner" is, among other freedoms, the end of these experiences known as "aversions".
Open Gate Sangha
Sangha is a term used in several Sanskrit–derived languages of India to refer to a spiritual "assembly" or community, traditionally a monastic one, but its usage varies. Adyashanti founded Open Gate Sangha, Inc. in 1996 when he began teaching. This Sangha refers to both the organization itself and his student community as a whole. The Organization runs on a small staff, as well as many volunteers, and helps coordinate Adya's (as he is called by his students) teaching and travel schedule. It also produces audio, visual and written material for publication.
A few times a year, the organization also holds retreats , including a six-day silent meditation retreat.
Students invited to teach
Adyashanti, like his teacher, has invited several of his students to "share the Dharma," which means independently teach to other students. A student is considered suitable for teaching once they reach what Adyashanti considers adequate spiritual maturity.
Current student-teachers include: Jon Bernie, Stephan Bodian, Marlies Cocheret, Bonnie Greenwell, Dorothy Hunt, Loch Kelly, Sharon Landrith, Larry Melton, Mokshananda, Mukti (Adyashanti's wife), Muni, Zeida Rothman, Norman Scrimshaw and Shantam.
- The Impact of Awakening, Los Gatos, CA: Open Gate Publishing, 2000. ISBN 1-59179-291-6
- My Secret Is Silence, Los Gatos, CA: Open Gate Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-9717036-1-2
- Emptiness Dancing. ISBN 1-59179-459-5
- True Meditation, Boulder, CO: Sounds True, 2006. ISBN 1-59179-467-6
- The End of Your World . ISBN 1-59179-963-5
- Falling Into Grace, Sounds True. ISBN 978-1-60407-087-3
- Claire Hoffman (April 21, 2008). "On Faith:A Week of Silence". Washington Post. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- Luc Saunders; Sy Safransky (December 2007; Issue 384). "Who Hears This Sound?". The Sun (magazine). Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- "Adyashanti". Omega Institute. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- Open Gate Sangha - Resources adyashanti.org. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- Ardagh, Arjuna (2005). The Translucent Revolution: How People Just Like You Are Waking Up and Changing the World. New World Library. pp. 102–105. ISBN 978-1-57731-468-4.
- Lumiere, Lynn Marie; Lumiere-Wins, John (2003). The Awakening West: Conversations with Today's New Western Spiritual Leaders. Fair Wind. pp. 190–208. ISBN 978-1-59233-010-2.
- Saunders, Luc; Safransky, Sy (December 2007). "Who Hears This Sound? Adyashanti On Waking Up From The Dream Of "Me"". The Sun (384). Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- Starr, Bernard (2007). Escape Your Own Prison: Why We Need Spirituality and Psychology to Be Truly Free. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 201ff. ISBN 978-0-7425-5839-7.