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Realising What Is Real

Wake up from the dream of your thinking mind and realise what is actually real.

How to get the most out of these Wisdom Quotes:

  1. Put aside everything you think you already know.

  2. Open your mind and heart to receive something new.

  3. Take your time going through each point.

  4. Return to any points that particularly touch you.

  5. In the coming days, listen carefully to the wisdom within you.

* All quotes are by Adyashanti, from the video: A Simple, Immense Thing

1. True Spirituality

Adyashanti quote

"Spirituality in its deepest sense is about the realization of what is real. I say in its deepest sense because spirituality itself can serve an immense array of agendas - cultural cohesion, helping people to feel better, a sense of community - there are many agendas that spirituality can serve.

Very rarely does it actually serve the discovery of what’s real, because almost all of the forces are constructed as a means of avoiding what’s real. So, what’s real is often the very last thing we get down to.

The real. What’s real? This is what spirituality is all about. This is what a human existence with true vitality, with true life force, with a sense of beauty is all about. It is coming into the realization of what is real."


What a refreshing view this is of true spirituality! We tend to get quite hung up on this word, don't we?

  1. Be still for a moment and consider what the word "spirituality" has meant to you all these years.

  2. Unlike many other ideas and concepts about spirituality, there is nothing personal or offensive in it being the realization of what is real. Are you open to receiving this definition?

  3. Notice, in the last paragraph, that the word "spirituality" is synonymous with "a human existence with true vitality, with true life force, with a sense of beauty." This is why true spirituality, spirituality in its deepest sense of realizing what is real, is so crucial and not to be veiled under the guise and distraction of so many other, so-called spiritual things.

2. A Time to Question Reality

Adyashanti quote

"That’s why most human beings don’t even think about what’s real until things in their lives get very difficult.

They start to think, “What’s real? What am I really? What’s this life all about?” When somebody dies, gets very ill, aging will bring it up, addictions of various sorts, losing a job…

For a moment, the clouds part a little. Enough for a question to arise. “What’s really real? What’s worthwhile? What’s true?”

And, for a moment, there’s a sense of a greater possibility than just existing from one drama to the next in this virtual reality the mind creates, which ultimately leads to a very deep sense of separation and isolation."


There are many accounts of people who encountered overwhelming difficulties, which caused them to become genuine seekers of the truth of life. Although it doesn't have to be this way, it often takes some kind of disruption to wake us up from the dream of our daily existence.

  1. What was your reason for seeking something more, something real in this life? Did something happen? Or were you simply aware of dissatisfaction in your being and misalignment with the systems of the world?

  2. When you began your spiritual journey (your quest to realize what is real) what did you do? Did you take any particular steps? What helped and what didn't help?

  3. Notice Adyashanti's analogy of the clouds parting a little. Usually, clouds signify our thoughts. As long as we are giving all our attention to our thoughts, where is the opportunity to see beyond them? This is why the matter of recognizing thought is vital to self-awareness. The quest, then, is to come out of the virtual reality of the mind long enough to recognize reality.

3. The Ultimate Reality

Adyashanti quote

"The nice thing about the real is that, because it’s real, it’s the only thing that actually exists. It’s not like you have to go hunting for the real. The real is what exists. Everything else is but a dream, which is actually a great advantage, that you’re in the real - living in the real, breathing in the real, existing in the real.

You, yourself, are that which is real, what we call ultimate reality, the essence of all. You, yourself, are the real.

As soon as one realizes what’s real, as soon as you realize what you really, really are, as opposed to what your mind tells you you are - when you realize what you really are, then you are completely connected, completely, consciously at one with reality."


Here, Adyashanti refers to reality as the real. He also points out the encouraging fact that "it’s the only thing that actually exists." You would think that this is self-evident, however, when you're living in your mind, it doesn't appear to be that way.

  1. Sit quietly with the first two sentences of this quote, and consider their enormity.

  2. What is everyone in the world looking for (aside from basic provisions for survival)? What do you believe is missing from your life? Aren't we all looking for peace, joy and fulfillment?

  3. Which part of us is searching for these things? The answer must be the part of us that feels separate from them, the part of us that is suffering from lack. But is any of it real? Is the real you separate, lacking and suffering? Or is this the drama that's going on in your virtual reality world of the mind?

4. Stepping Out of the Virtual Reality Show

Adyashanti quote

"The best way to realize the real is when you begin to perceive for yourself, from your own observation. When you perceive for yourself, you start to realize that everything that the mind is creating is this sort of virtual reality show of illusion. And that is not where the real is.

This is an immense step for a human being.

When one starts to see the implications of it, it’s an immense thing because human beings find basically all of their reality in their mind, in their personal psychology. That’s where we decide, “You’re good, you’re not good, this is good, this is not good, this is right, this is wrong…” It’s all found in mind, in concepts, in a mind that’s talking to itself.

It’s an immense step to begin to realize in oneself that the real is not to be found in the creations of mind. I don’t mean that it’s necessarily a difficult step. I just mean that it’s an immense step to consider that the real isn’t something that exists in mind."


The "immense step" which is referred to here is not difficult or complicated. What's difficult is trying to take this immense step with your mind.

  1. In order to take the immense step of seeing through the virtual reality of our psychological existence, there must be a stopping (or slowing down) of our autopilot, business-as-usual daily life. Can you be still for a moment? Would you be still for a moment? When?

  2. The "virtual reality show of illusion," is actually a show. It's something you can become aware of and observe - or you can get caught up in playing your part in it without a break. Have you ever seen the film, "The Truman Show"? When Jim Carrey realized that he was actually the star of a reality TV show, his whole world changed in an instant. You can't unsee what you have seen. Ultimately, in reality, as in the movie, this immense step results in freedom.

  3. How do you wake up from the virtual reality show of your life? No one knows why there is grace for some and not others, but we can trust that everything happens exactly as it's supposed to (otherwise it wouldn't, as Byron Katie says). If you made this immense step, you can be eternally grateful. If not, you're in the right place. Expect it to happen.

5. How Could We Have Missed It?

Adyashanti quote

"One would think that this realization, this seeing, would be so ridiculously and unimaginably obvious that none of us could possibly have ever missed it.

One would think that anybody with a shred of sense, with two brain cells rubbing against each other would be able to have realized long ago that what we can think isn’t necessarily real.

You can think about water all day long, but it’s not going to quench your thirst. You can think about going to Tahiti but it’s not going to get you there.

I can’t imagine that I didn’t see. I still can’t even fathom how long it took me to see this simple thing. This simple thing isn’t really enlightenment, this is just a simple thing. But it’s an immense thing."


Adyashanti's speaking here does not condemn anyone. He says himself in the video that he's not speaking to the audience, but referring to his own inability to see at first. When you're outside the snow globe looking in, it's obvious what's going on, but when your sense of perception is limited, you can't see the obvious.

  1. In order to take the immense step of waking up from the world of the mind, there must be an opening, a crack in the authority of perception. Remember this when you're frustrated with someone for not being as "awake" and "aware" as you are. Sometimes our words can strengthen the closing instead of inspiring the opening.

  2. In one sense, anyone can understand that what we think isn't real. It's logical, after all. On the other hand, so far, only a relative few have grasped the true meaning of this, and had a life-changing insight. The important thing is, humanity as a whole has the capacity to receive this spiritual understanding, no matter what their background or beliefs.

  3. Do you sometimes wonder how you could have missed this truth? I often wonder why I didn't see it until my fifties. Are you amazed at the ignorance of the world when you see people living in oneness with their thoughts, completely missing the truth of life and the truth of who they are? Things are the way they are, without needing constant evaluation. Our responsibility is simply to live according to the vision we have received.

6. The Awakening

Adyashanti quote

"This is why we have often called this, throughout the centuries, awakening, because it is awakening to what is real. And when you awaken to what is real, it literally feels as if you come out of a dream.

It literally is like when you wake up from a dream in the middle of the night and you go, “My God, that wasn’t actually real! A minute ago it was real. It was my whole existence.” And the next second you wake up in the night and realize, “Oh, it wasn’t real.”

There is a sense of knowing that what you once thought was real, you see now, isn’t real. Your whole sense of reality transfers back from illusion to truth, to what you really are.

And this is the yearning within every human heart."


Why do we talk about recognizing thought and waking up from the world of the mind over and over again in the Cafe? Because, otherwise, the state of self-hypnosis in the head (as Eckhart Tolle puts it) remains our reality. And that can be dangerous and depressing.

  1. I resonate very much with the words: “My God, that wasn’t actually real! A minute ago it was real. It was my whole existence..." because this was my experience when I saw "The Aliki Show" for what it was. We all have the capacity to realize what is real as opposed to our thought-created world.

  2. Awakening can come in many different forms, so don't get hung up on anyone's particular story. What matters is that you awaken. It is much simpler and more ordinary than you might think, but the results are profound. All the quotes on this website are to facilitate your awakening and guide your daily living.

  3. There are a lot of concepts about what awakening really means, but the bottom line is, "there is a sense of knowing that what you once thought was real, you see now, isn’t real." This is a wonderful description of the beautiful simplicity of awakening. It really is just waking up from the dream of your thinking mind, and realizing what is real.

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