| Steven Gray|
| Steven Gray|
Writer · adyashanti.org
| 1962 (age 52–53)Cupertino, California, United States|
Author, spiritual teacher
Emptiness dancing, The impact of awakening, My Secret Is Silence
Gangaji, Mooji, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, H W L Poonja
Adyashanti (, ; Sanskrit word आध्या शान्तिः meaning "primordial peace"; born Steven Gray in 1962) is an American spiritual teacher and author from the San Francisco Bay Area who offers talks, online study courses, and retreats in the United States and abroad. He is the author of numerous books, CDs and DVDs and, together with his wife Mukti, is the founder of Open Gate Sangha, Inc., a nonprofit organization established in 1996 which supports and makes available his teachings.
In his 20s, Gray studied Zen Buddhism under the guidance of his Zen teacher Arvis Joen Justi for fourteen years. Justi was a student of Taizan Maezumi Roshi of the Zen Center of Los Angeles. Gray was regularly sent by Arvis to Zen sesshin retreats, 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. While sitting alone on his cushion, Gray had a classic kensho, or awakening experience, in which he “penetrated to the emptiness of all things and realized that the Buddha I had been chasing was what I was.” Besides his hours-long meditations and prayer, he also studied books about Christian mystics and the Gospels.
For the next few years he continued his meditation practice, while also working at his father’s machine shop. In addition to sitting, he spent many hours in coffee shops writing answers to questions that spontaneously came to him. Finally, at 31, Gray had an experience of awakening that put to rest all his questions and doubts. In 1996, 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”. Adyashanti’s talks focus on awakening and embodying awakening. He downplays affiliation with Zen. “The Truth I point to is not confined within any religious point of view, belief system, or doctrine, but is open to all and found within all.” He has authored books, such as The Impact of Awakening, Emptiness Dancing, My Secret Is Silence, True Meditation, and The End of Your World, as well as producing audio and video recordings.
In April 2014, he appeared in an interview with Oprah Winfrey on a Super Soul Sunday episode.
Presently, he lives in the Bay Area, with his wife Mukti.
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.
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.