Adyashanti’s No-Self

Bare Tree At Dusk

Bare Tree At Dusk

OWL CREEK PARK, TEMPLE, TX—Most of the sabbatical topics mentioned in the previous post are either self-explanatory or have links to an explanation of them. All except Adyashanti’s concept of No-Self.

Briefly here’s what he went through (taken from my notes during the four week class I had with him about a month ago—dates may not be 100% accurate):

In 1988, after years of zen practice, his ego dropped and he woke up and went through what I’ve been going through since 2009 when the personal self fell away. He waited eight years to start teaching.

For about 5-6 years he taught from this state (what I call Mystical Oneness). In this state, there is still a subtle identity—an “I”—even if it is merged with the Divine (the Witness/Unity/the duplex personality). In other words, there is a Me and a Her (even if they are as intimately connected as Siamese twins). There is still a Self identity—an I.

Around 2002, 14 years after Adyashanti’s enlightenment, that impersonal scrap of identity—his Self—fell away completely. He calls this state “No-Self.”

No identity. There is just stuff that happens. Unlike how I experience the world happening simultaneously both outside me and inside me, from the No-Self point of view there is no “I” for stuff to happen outside of (or inside of). From the No-Self point of view, stuff just happens

Adyashanti says that “all the good stuff” happens in the non-egoic state (Mystical Oneness). The non-ego state is what all seekers want: a (non-personal) Self which experiences the bliss, the Love, the unity with the Divine, the expansiveness, the no-boundaries,….

No-Self on the other-hand is quite ordinary. Boring in comparison. Stuff just happens. No explanations, no magic, no Divine relationship. Stuff just happens. There’s just no I involved.

Anyway, the whole No-Self concept is something I at least want to… contemplate a bit more. I can’t imagine wanting this state—especially in comparison to the benefits of Mystical Oneness—but I at least want to understand it a bit more. I’m not ready to give up on God/Her yet—and I don’t think She’s ready for that either. But as reader Shaina mentioned, we may not have a choice in the matter—No-Self seems to be something that just happens whether we want it or not.

So there’s that.

I’ll probably do one or two more posts before signing off for a bit (two weeks to two months). December 21—the Winter Solstice and the darkest day of the year—seems like a good time to start a bit introspection.

Posted in Enlightenment, Mystical Oneness, No-Self
10 comments on “Adyashanti’s No-Self
  1. Oje says:

    Wayne I have been through this “gate”. Shoot me an email if you like…


  2. Tom says:


    Been reading your blog (silently) for a couple years now.

    Thanks for the view from the other side.

    Enjoy your respite from blogging.

    So have No-Self a merry little Christmas.

  3. Carol says:

    Whew. Solitude.
    What a concept.
    Don’t get married.

  4. JimH says:

    Wayne, thanks for this post. I’m still struggling with feeling oneness with the Divine, though moments of experiences which come close to this occur many times (for short durations) each day. The closest I’ve got to no self whatsoever, is at the end of the outbreath in deep meditation, when there is just isness as some teachers call it. There doesn’t seem to be anybody there any more for a few moments. Afterwards when the self returns, it feels much less solid.
    I think no self at all is what Tony Parsons is talking about. He says things happen but to nobody and nobody does anything. He’s very clear on that, as in the links below (especially number two). But in his case, he seems to describe just going from non-enlightenment straight to no self at all…

    Enjoy your retreat! Beginning it on the winter solstice is a nice symbol.
    Cheers! Jim

  5. Mikel says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful blog entry, Wayne. You have inspired me to take some time away for introspection, much-needed introspection as I find my skin getting thinner by the day. Wishing you a blessed Winter Solstice, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Namaste!

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