“There’s a dimension of being, the foundation of being, that is always in the state of open, aware ease and peace.” ~ Adyashanti

Welcome to the Spring 2020 issue of the Peace Room Project Quarterly, Open Gate Sangha’s quarterly publication to support our Peace Room Project. Here you can read personal stories of what some of the members of our sangha are doing to embody, spread, and encourage peace within ourselves and in the world in which we live. The outpouring of stories of and ideas for peace submitted since our last issue was heartwarming, and you’ll find them below.

In this issue, you’ll also find a complimentary guided meditation and a short discussion of the sitting Buddha’s mudra, Touching the Earth, along with a link to a recording of Adya's teachings based on that story.

We hope this publication will serve to inspire you to bring more peace into your life—not only through the teachings of Adya and Mukti, but also through the experiences and good work so many of us are doing every day.
A Message from Mukti

Peace is something we can nurture. We can have peace of mind, peace of heart, and peace of being . Sometimes it takes leaning in and moving forward with a sense of welcoming.
Being a Safe Place for All of Ourselves
by Ameya Specterman
Program Manager and Registrar, Open Gate Sangha

“Don’t make allowing everything to be just the way it is into a goal. Make it into a discovery. What happens when you allow all your experience to simply be the way it is?”
~ Adyashanti       

Three years ago, just after the contentious U.S. presidential election, I attended Adyashanti’s events in Seattle. Although Adya doesn’t comment on political issues, I hoped that he might offer some guidance about how to be with the division in the air.

In one talk, Adya spoke about being a safe place for all of ourselves. He invited us to hold space for those parts of ourselves that we tend to shun or criticize, that make us feel bad about ourselves, that we reject and wish would just go away. He said that those parts . . .
Nurturing Peace ~ Stories from the Sangha
Who Is It That Is Suffering?
by Marada

I started finding peace through exploring my relationship with anger. At first this was through asking why it was so hard for me to resist its pull. Then I read a fantastic article on how two hormones are released in the anger process—one that numbs pain, one that energizes—and are part of the flight or fight response. This process can . . .

Peace, Love, and Politics
by Stephanie

I have five siblings who have political views that are very different from mine. With most of them, I can bob and weave in conversation well enough to keep . . .

An Incident of Peace
by Alex Merrin

One day, while driving home from the grocery store, I was relistening to Adya’s online course I Am That: Exploring the Teachings of Nisargardatta. I came to the . . .
Order a New World
by Kai

Dear Beautiful People,
I believe peace is a goal that we, as human beings, as one race, could create. We could create a movement . . .

Dancing the Dance of Peace
by Dru

We have a dance group, Peace Dancing, that meets once a month in a sacred space. All the dances are simple and meditative—even people new to dancing can follow fairly easily, and we are very inclusive. . . .

Live by the Sword
by Branko

I have been going through a tough time with depression and am currently hospitalized in a mental health clinic so I can take some time out and get better. 
I have been training in the martial arts for many years, which includes training with the sword. The other day, I found a stick and went out into the courtyard . . .

Peace Is Already Here
by Joseph T. McMahon

You may imagine that there are wars or violence happening somewhere on the planet right now. According to the Global Peace Index , Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Ukraine, Libya, and India/Pakistan are currently involved in wars or . . .

This Metta Stuff Really Works!
by Rosemary Ottavino

Throughout my life, my brother John and I have had a very schizophrenic relationship. We either love each other or hate each other with almost no middle ground. Several years ago, after my father’s death, we had such a falling out that for seven years we couldn’t stand to be . . .

What is Your Story of Peace?
Invitation and Guidelines

How are you manifesting more peace and love in the world? In what ways are you practicing peace and bringing more love and wisdom into your daily life and the lives around you?

Please consider sharing your experiences of practicing peace and bringing more love and wisdom into your lives and on our planet. We hope that highlighting and giving voice to the peaceful movement among us will hearten us as we encounter the events of our daily lives and will help us sow and grow the seeds of peace, love, and joy.

If you would like to contribute a story of peace for consideration to be published in the Peace Room Project Quarterly, we welcome short submissions of 200–500 words (sorry, no videos will be accepted at this time). By submitting your story of peace, you agree to allow it to be edited as deemed necessary by the Open Gate Sangha publishing staff. Let us know your full name (for our reference), and how you would like your story to be signed. Not all stories will be published. 
Email your submission to Publications .

 Thank you, and we look forward to hearing your story of peace!
Sitting in Silence
Meditation Mondays

Join us and our friends from around the globe on Mondays at 2:00 pm Pacific Time for 25 minutes of silence. As we sit together on Mondays, no matter what time it is for you locally, we are connecting with others from all over the world and adding to the possibility of peace in our world.

This quarter s free guided meditation, Tending the Heart, is available for downloading. Remember that there is also a link to a guided meditation available Mondays on Adyashanti’s home page.

Join us and be part of the great wave of peace that the Peace Room represents for all of us!
Quarterly Contemplation

That beingness which is
prior to the world of space and time
is here, now, and always.
It is a single drop of rain, a leaf falling from a tree,
a single heartbeat.
It is the world-less world,
the substance of emptiness.

~ Adyashanti
Buddha ~ Touching the Earth

Simply remain as the light of awareness. Don’t be too scared by the scary stuff. Don’t be enticed by the good stuff. Just stay as the light of awareness. ~ Adyashanti
While there are various images of the Buddha, one of the most prevalent is one that depicts the most important moment in the life of Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha. He is seated with his left hand in his lap, palm up, and with his right hand positioned with the palm facing inward and his fingertips down, touching the earth in the “earth-touching mudra.” This is believed to capture the moment of his enlightenment.

According to the story, the demon Mara appeared to Shakyamuni as he sat under the Bodhi Tree and attempted to disrupt his meditation with threats, temptations, and insinuations. The last of these disruptions was the suggestion that Shakyamuni had no right to occupy the “seat” of enlightenment. The Buddha-to-be replied, “Let the earth be my witness,” and extended his hand to touch the earth. At that moment, the earth goddess rose up and confirmed his enlightenment.

Adyashanti tells this story of the Buddha and how he encountered these dark, nightmarish visions that were visited upon him. He points out that when the Buddha reached down and touched the ground, he was using it as a reference point for reality.
Adya teaches that by allowing whatever is present within your experience to arise, you let go of restrictions on how the moment should be and simply open to what is. He points out the healthy balance of both not grasping at the good moments nor indulging in the fear that can so fiercely captivate our attention. By remaining as the simple light of awareness, you, like the Buddha, are able to rest into: “I am here for this to unfold.”

Listen to an excerpt from Adya’s talk You Can Choose Peace wherein he tells the story of Buddha touching the ground while dark, nightmarish visions were visiting him, and how that story can serve our own lives .
How Your Generous Donations are Used

Open Gate Sangha’s Peace Room Project was developed in 2017 to build a new, larger studio in which to video and record our broadcasts and to hold our online courses and programs. The vision we held—Building Community through Peace—was met with an amazingly generous outpouring of heart, artwork, and contributions from our sangha. The studio is finished, and last year alone it was home to many free broadcasts, Adya’s 2019 online retreat, and Mukti’s most recent online course. This year already there have been a number of free broadcasts, and Adya’s 2020 online retreat has just begun.

As we focus on our Peace Room projects for this year, we invite you to join us in spirit or, if you are so moved, through a donation. Below are just a few ways we use your generous gifts:

  • Offering scholarships for online retreats and courses
  • Making free audio and video teachings available
  • Broadcasting Adya’s and Mukti’s teachings to our world sangha
  • Providing support to our Gathering Hosts and bolstering efforts to grow our Gatherings community

We thank you for your support and for being a part of our sangha, and we wish you the very best this year and beyond.
About Our Teachers

Adyashanti and Mukti are spiritual teachers based out of Northern California. Both teach throughout North America and Europe, offering talks, weekend intensives, silent retreats, online live video broadcasts, and online retreats and courses.

Open Gate Sangha supports the teachings of Adyashanti and Mukti by making them available to all who sincerely yearn for peace and freedom.
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