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14 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, an amazing spiritual guide for secularists
I'm a secular skeptic with a scientific worldview, but I've always been interested in the possibilities, for mental health, of finding a "spirituality" that I could practice without the need for magical thinking. I had recently become interested in some of Sam Harris's blogging for this purpose.

But for many years I have wondered if I'd ever encounter...
Published 6 months ago by Everett H Young

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Up from Adyashanti, Down from Adi Da
Adyashakti, a.k.a. Mark Canter, is an accomplished fiction writer, editor, and academic. Moreover, he is Jewish; and this combined with his professional background assured me this wasn’t going to be another off-the-assembly-line neo-Advaita text.

Canter is very well-read, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he even “borrowed” a couple of...
Published 3 months ago by L. Ron Gardner


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, an amazing spiritual guide for secularists, January 21, 2014
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I'm a secular skeptic with a scientific worldview, but I've always been interested in the possibilities, for mental health, of finding a "spirituality" that I could practice without the need for magical thinking. I had recently become interested in some of Sam Harris's blogging for this purpose.

But for many years I have wondered if I'd ever encounter an easy-to-digest book that could teach me about being spiritual, but in a language that wouldn't raise the red flags of pseudo-religiosity or ask me to be credulous in the face of unverifiable mystical claims.

This, finally, is that book.

I bought it three weeks ago, and it has changed my life. Somehow, this author convinced me to make a commitment to a journey I had vaguely always wondered whether I'd take. He seems to have done so by de-mystifying what this journey is all about. Through de-mystification, the value of committing to it became clear. Whatever threatened me about spirituality was stripped away.

I have now found a path to work on matters of the spirit in my life WITHOUT being asked to give up my evidence-based worldview. I always thought this was possible, and this author has made it a reality for me, and, I hope, for many others.

The author--who also writes fiction--is a terrific writer, too, with an easygoing and fluid prose. It's effortless to read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doing, Going, Waiting and Giving Up...., December 28, 2013
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These activities Doing, Going, Waiting, and Giving Up seem to be the nature and preoccupation of what may be otherwise called Spiritual Seeking and this book makes it clear that these activities have nothing to do with Realization. True teachings, when heard, strike the heart and mind in such a way that we lose our grip on the needs and wants we hold so dear and fall into a way of manifestation that cannot be disturbed or explained...Read the book....listen....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food for deeper thought, December 24, 2013
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I found this book of essays to be very thought provoking and relevant. I began reading one a day during my morning meditation, when a floodgate of insights opened up in my soul. I was even driven to return to my journal to write them down. Mr. Canter's lyrical way of gently investigating various realms of thought will entice you to explore the different concepts for yourself. There is no downside to this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all, February 19, 2014
Everyone will see themselves somewhere in this book, Waking up is not some kind of mystical foo foo, just pull your head out of your butt and pay attention. Realizing that is the crux of the situtation.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Up from Adyashanti, Down from Adi Da, April 14, 2014
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Adyashakti, a.k.a. Mark Canter, is an accomplished fiction writer, editor, and academic. Moreover, he is Jewish; and this combined with his professional background assured me this wasn’t going to be another off-the-assembly-line neo-Advaita text.

Canter is very well-read, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he even “borrowed” a couple of things from my writings. When I saw the word “grokked” in his book, I guessed his book was published after my text “Beyond the Power of Now,” and it was. But it’s possible he used this Robert Heinlein term without seeing it in my book or Amazon reviews.

Interestingly enough, and perhaps more than coincidentally, Canter says the same thing about gurus that I do in “Beyond the Power of Now.” In my book, I write: “In fact, I have yet to meet a spiritual guru or practitioner who has managed to rid himself of his ego.”

And in “Awakening to the Obvious,” Canter writes: “I spent time in the company of a number of famous gurus and not one of them was egoless.”

Adyashakti’s text, which is a collection of essays on spiritual life, displays his considerable knowledge of Eastern mysticism—but the wisdom he dispenses derives mainly from the teachings of Adi Da. Adyashakti, however, never mentions Da, and I find this deplorable, especially since he refers to other teachers and traditions.

When Adyashakti veers from aping Da, his weaknesses as a mystic-philosopher become apparent. For example, he writes: “When you pay attention moment to moment, illusion naturally ceases.” This statement is neo-Advaita/pop-Zen level hogwash. Adyashakti is also sloppy with his terms. For example, he writes: “...a Godhead of Light infinitely above.” Unbeknownst to Adyashakti, the Godhead is the hypercosmic Divine, Siva-Shakti, not a Light infinitely above. Adyashakti writes, “The advent of ego death (nirvikalpa samadhi) is a conscious event.” Nirvikalpa samadhi simply means formless absorption, and does not pertain to ego death.

Adyashakti goes beyond most Advaita Vedanta texts, because he talks about Kundalini and the spiritual Heart—but he doesn’t dig deeply into these subjects, like Da and Ramana Maharshi. In other words, he’s topically, but not informationally, deep.

Adyashakti, a la Adi Da, repeatedly describes the separate [unenlightened ego-] self as an “activity of recoil and contraction.” But when he prescribes meditative inquiries to obviate this separative activity, he fails to provide the (by far) most important one. He recommends the following inquiries: “What is it?” “Who (or What) is aware of this?” “Who (or What) am I?” The inquiry he misses is the radical one that Da used (to become Enlightened), and which I use in my sadhana: “Avoiding relationship?” Despite the numerous times he refers to this contraction, Adyashakti fails to identify what, specifically, causes it: the avoidance of relationship.

In summary, this book is a solid but incomplete regurgitation of Adi Da’s teachings, peppered with some Zen and other mysticism. If you haven’t read Adi Da, you’ll likely find this book good and interesting, but if you’re familiar with his teachings, you’ll find next to nothing new or enlightening in this text. The question then becomes: Why even read this text when you can just read Adi Da’s teachings? Because I find it unconscionable that Adyashakti borrows so heavily from Adi Da without mentioning him, I can’t give this book more than three stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time to become Buddha, June 2, 2014
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Excellent book. It dispels the mith that we the normal seekers of Liberation cannot achieve Enlightenment. We can become Buddha.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic!, May 18, 2014
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Extremely well written book! The wisdom and intelligence of the author shines through every written page! Buy it today. You won't regret it!

Pilar Lopez
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, February 4, 2014
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This review is from: Awakening to the Obvious (Paperback)
The writing is eloquent and moving, the writer's experiences profound. I found myself nodding my head in agreement. A very clear expression of the obvious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, January 19, 2014
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This author has validated my own feelings about not being able to get hooked into other people's "the only way to get their is go my path" ..He states his experience. I feel a sense of freedom to do my own way.. thanks for writing this book. I am onto reading another one of his books ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Daily Reminder, June 20, 2014
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This is a gem of a little book that I now use as my reading before sleep. I bought this book because I resonated with this author's fiction. I knew I felt a connection to his work, and this book is my connection. When I remember . . . my place in this universe becomes ever so clear. A daily reminder keeps me focused and gives me clarity.
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Awakening to the Obvious
Awakening to the Obvious by Adyashakti (Paperback - October 26, 2013)
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