Customer Review

53 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Esoteric, July 24, 2011
This review is from: Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering (Hardcover)
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I must confess that I had my own agenda when I read this book and I believe that is precisely what Adyashanti cautions against. My agenda was to learn how to fall into grace. Adyashanti cautions that when we have an agenda, it gets in our way.

It took me three months to read this book and I'm a quick reader. I've been reading Buddhist and other metaphysical material for 30 years and I'd say this is for the advanced student. In parts, I found it repetitive and rambling. I needed the repetition in order to get the point that grace is that subtle state that comes from not striving for either "good" or "bad" experiences, but instead taking an impartial interest in both experiences letting each go naturally in and out of our lives.

In one section he refers to this in terms of the breath. We can't only exhale even though a long slow deep exhale feels good. Likewise, we can't only inhale even though taking a deep breath feels good too. We need both the inhale and the exhale and it has it's own rhythm that changes over time, ebbs and flows. Falling into grace is like falling into breath in that it's both inhales, exhales and those moments in between. That was perhaps the most useful example for me of what he's talking about.

On the other hand, we all live in the real world with bills, frustrations, joys, etc and many spiritual seekers want to balance the real world with feeling peaceful inside. I can't really describe what frustrated me about this book but my guess is that I can't hold on to this material enough to practice it in my daily life. I'm sure I'm not the only one looking for a how to book on falling into grace.

Having said that, we all vary and you may find that this book may be just what you need so that you don't cling to experiences that are good or bad but instead just take an interest in them, accepting the fleeting nature of life's experiences and being okay with whatever happens. I believe that's what he is calling falling into grace though I find it personally difficult to embody it. What is most helpful to me is to remember that falling into grace is like breathing.

Of course, Adyashanti is the first to admit that embodying these beliefs is simple but not easy. Because it's repetitive and the points don't stick for me or feel practical in everyday life, I have rated it only a 3 star.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 5, 2011 2:40:16 PM PDT
I appreciate your openness and honesty, indeed, vulnerability, as you state your bias and struggles, which we all have. Thank you! I think a constant falling asleep and awakening (repeat), becoming blind and suddenly seeing (repeat) is the dance of life. I don't think you are doing anything wrong at all; you may be experiencing what all of us do, including those who are deemed "realized masters" (which is a descriptor I find to be off-putting).

Posted on Oct 5, 2011 8:18:35 AM PDT
Avid Learner says:
This "review" appears to be more a review of the reviewer's own difficulty in attaining what s/he seeks, rather than of the messages of the book! Is it really fair to downgrade a book's rating (a book which you appear to have appreciated) when, in fact, you are talking about your own struggle to embrace what's offered? You mention repetition in the book, yet you were unable to "fall into grace." Perhaps it's more a question of your practicing what you are attempting to obtain, accepting that it's a process and that the "goal" is not to reach a particular state of enlightenment or grace! Blessings to you in your journey. (And, oh yeah, now I want to READ THE BOOK!) LHF, Massachusetts

Posted on Jan 3, 2012 12:16:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 3, 2012 12:16:41 PM PST
Metalrocker says:
To the original poster - The reason this book is giving you trouble is the very fact that you are trying to "Practice" what it teaches. I would suggest Adya's book "Emptiness Dancing" as a first read. It will take you into a certain kind of flow that you need to experience - I know that "Falling into Grace" was a frustrating read until I got into that flow. Different teachings work best for different body/minds. The Tao Te Ching points to the same truth, as does Eckhart Tolles book "The Power of Now". Falling Into Grace is a book that will strip you of all of your "bundle of thoughts" that you define yourself as, and take you into a pure state of being. If you want to live "everyday life" as you want to, this book is not for you. It's about aligning with the greater intelligence that runs the universe.

Posted on Jan 25, 2012 4:30:27 PM PST
M. Robertson says:
Thanks for your comments, and I would agree. Maybe I had an agenda too, or just a different idea of what falling into grace feels like. I found this book to be anything but a gentle fall into the lap of grace. I actually found it kind of depressing the more I read it. I would recommend David Richo's The Five Things We Cannot Change for a practical application of Buddhist principles.

Posted on Jan 23, 2014 6:51:39 AM PST
batty13 says:
Thanks for your review, I found it very helpful in summarizing what this book's main pointing is about. Your review illustrates how some can actually find further suffering in working with the path adya points to. I can relate to your frustrations with it if you are struggling with the in and out of person and self. To which it is in my heart to say that there is not one way to be.

Falling into Grace and adya's pointings are not the only "path" there is. If it does not resonate with you, than my all means let it go and do not struggle and force and fight with it. This is just your own heart telling you to walk around the brick wall you are now pounding your head against. When I discovered this within my own self there was a tremendous sigh of relief. Teachers can only ever really teach from their own experiential existence which very well may not be in harmony with yours.

I appreciate adya and have found a lot of pointing in his books to be helpful. However, ironically, it's only ever really been from a conceptual standpoint. I find that within my own self, many things that he can say can at times cause more confusion on the realm of conceptual self. If this is found to be true for you, then perhaps this is Grace itself pointing you into a different direction. There is no one way up the mountain that is correct other than where your heart is pointing to.

I would however agree to have a good long look at the thoughts and feelings that are identified with which are in resistance to finding yourself in egoic identification though. Yes it sucks, but look to see if there is a lot of noise that is in resistance to life in the present moment. This later part is kind of a Tolle spin on it because you can then see that by allowing yourself to complain and grab onto the arising conflict only furthers that suffering and identification, that it's a denial of life in the moment. Tolle often times points to suffering and surrender itself as a gateway.

Tolle may or may not be the right teacher for you either, you just have to listen from within and trust yourself. Was it your mind that brought you here? Did you decide, oh I need a new book to study further in how to become or more specific in looking, like how to resolve a problem? Notice that both of those are the mind itself! You must have picked up identity to even want to buy a book on how to be that which you already are.

Posted on Apr 22, 2014 6:43:55 PM PDT
lightdancing says:
Loved your personal honesty and appraisal of this book!

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2014 7:07:58 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 28, 2014 7:09:23 AM PDT
kaiser100 says:
I am not referring to you, but Adyashanti is immune to criticism in the eyes of many students. If you criticize him, the problem is entirely yours because your mind is in the way. That effectively kills all debate. But as long as we are unenlightened, we have to use the tools of the conceptual world, and if Adya does not provide those tools adequately for us, we won't get anywhere.

Adya is a startlingly clear teacher when he describes the nature of enlightenment, and he has done a lot to desmystify it and remove the the taboos around discussing it as the desired goal of all practice. For this, I am deeply grateful to him.

However, I do find it difficult to embody his teachings in daily life, because I find his methods simply aren't powerful enough. He is a great antidote to the hardcore Buddhist teachers of the past who often constructed an idol out of practice, but I fear he has strayed too far in the opposite direction. For instance, he doesn't place much emphasis on developing concentration or focus. But if your mind is scattered, it is difficult to even do self-inquiry in the first place. You may lack the stability to make the experiences of life into your path, as well.

A case in point for me is on Adya's Spontaneous Awakening CD, when he describes how it is impossible to tell someone how to fall asleep, as a metaphor for how it is impossible to tell someone how to become enlightened. While that is indeed the case, what Adya doesn't mention is that there are many things you can do to indirectly help yourself fall asleep (watching your breath, quieting your mind, diet, exercise, counting sheep, etc.). In the same way, there are many ways you can practice to indirectly 'fall into' enlightenment. 'Falling into grace' may just not be enough.
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