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The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  2,431 ratings  ·  122 reviews
For those serious about enlightenment, author and teacher Adyashanti has some advice: better know what you're getting into. Because with spiritual awakening, you find that the strongly held beliefs and perceptions you've taken to be 'you' and 'your world' vanish into the unmanifest nature of all that is. The End of Your World presents a landmark six-CD course on the realit ...more
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Published (first published December 1st 2004)
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Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A Buddhist teacher suggested this book to me. We had just met, and she basically said- by the way, I think you might like this book. Wow- was she right.

I must have something like two hundred spiritual books on my bookshelves. Admittedly, I haven't read all of them all the way through. I am at the point with these books that if, quite undeservedly, some Shams like character showed up and said "Let's burn up all your books and just drink the wine of experience!" I would be up for it. I might give
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listened to this one again and I found more insight. Every time I read or listen to it I see more clearly. still 5 stars. 2/22/23

I have decided after two years to go back and "read".. not "listen" to this book.

Reading the book instead of listening to it, made a difference for me. I was able to re-read things as needed and was able to pause and reflect. For some reason, the audio book, as I remember, gave me the feeling that the author was
Susan Wight
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I took the webinar with Adya in March of 2012 using his book: The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment. This was with many people from around the world.

The entire book is a book carrying the energy of pure awareness and deep insights to awakening. It naturally but directly reveals illusive and often hidden mental programing that Adya calls living in the dream state; a state of illusion that most people don't even realize they are in. Instead of our conditio
Carolina Montague
Oh. My. God.

I read this on the way back to India in 2010. I'd been on a Path since 2000 and FINALLY I see a western Teacher owning up to the crap that happens to you when you even think about getting your feet wet in the spiritual realm.

They told us this stuff in India. Good to see it surface here.
Sep 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: consciousness
This is, in the dimension of awakening, just the most helpful and practical thing I have ever read. I could not get enough of it. He bestows perspective on what it is to flash awake and what people go through after they do...perspective that I have been trying to gather (not too successfully) myself for years. In a very strange way, this was like a deep breath of fresh air. I will read this over and over again.
Sep 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The turnabout in consciousness known as Enlightenment is often badly misunderstood these days and poorly described in much spiritual literature. Among the ancient and early modern texts that do contain accurate descriptions and valid reports, the linguistic style and cultural overlays make it difficult for most modern readers to gain a true understanding of what is being discussed. Too often, readers come away with a mythologized view (because the old texts used myths as metaphors). So people to ...more
Joan Machlis-crasemann
I'm not able to rate this book because it is written for people with much more experience in spiritual awakening and Zen teachings than I have. Much of what was written was foreign to me and I'm sure I missed the deeper levels. None-the-less it opened up many new thoughts about how one seeks truth and about common experiences in the process of discarding illusions. On a personal note it gave me an appreciation of facets of of my nephew, who recommended this teacher.
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A most excellent teacher. His words are very clear, down to earth and to the point, its not hard to hear what he is saying and the Zen Buddhist concepts are presented in a very understandable ordinary way, which makes it extraordinary. His insight is penetrating and sharp. It was easy to read and yet I found had to read it twice. Like all of my dharma books, it is one that I will return to again.

The main insight that I came away with was a new awareness of enlightenment, or 'waking up' and that
This is about what happens after enlightenment.
I have way too much thinking to do about what happens before enlightenment to benefit from this now.
Whoo boy, I've been striking out with spirituality books lately.

So, first of all, Adyashanti immediately lost credibility with me because I instantly become suspicious of anyone who claims to be an "enlightened being". He goes on to cement this suspicion by constantly reminding us of this.

In fact, this entire book is really not much more than Adyashanti tooting his own horn. I'll give you the condensed version of the book: "being enlightened is hard to explain, it's not what you think it is, a
Chris Beal
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first came to Adya (as his students call him), many of the people in his sangha had already awoken to their true nature but didn't know where to go from there. “Now what?” was the implicit refrain coming from his students. This book specifically addresses students who are at this point: they already have experienced the dropping away of the sense of self generated by the stream of thoughts, they know they are everything and nothing at the same time, but when they go back into the world th ...more
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honesty, simplicity and openness radiate from Adyashanti's words. One thing that distinguishes Adyashanti's book from others that talk about Enlightenment is his blatant honesty regarding Awaking. Rather than paint some heavenly vision of Enlightenment, he gives us the dirty, hurtful, painful, infuriating, desperate aspects of it.

He introduces us to Enlightenment via the ego's perspective. The pain, the loss, uncertainty, struggle, and so forth. Instead of all the heavenly promises, we find our
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Watered down, ego-driven, derivative material that fails to cite any of its obvious influences. Adyashanti pontificates at great length on what his definition of "enlightenment" is, and whether or not he'd give you that label. He doesn't link his concepts to well-known/accepted terminology for this domain; instead he makes up all his own definitions to ensure the reader is kept in his microcosm. There's a feel-good bent to it that hooks the reader into seeking his approval. Reading this made me ...more
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in a true and wholehearted life
I have the good fortune of living in the San Francisco Bay Area where Adya also resides and often holds public gatherings. I've just reread this book as part of a course I'm taking with him that focuses on this work. I find that when he "points to the moon," it shines ever more brightly before me. With clear, unadorned prose, he goes to the core of the spiritual journey, honestly reporting from his experience. It can be a demanding journey; these are not fluffy promises. I value Adya's wisdom an ...more
Kanwar Anand
I heard this in audio format. The author delves into spiritual awakening. The language/grasp is easy but to be in the state that the author refers to requires a lot of courage and surrender. This book is vague on how to become awakened. However, it tells you what it feels like to be awakened, the side effects and the qualities of a person who is awakened. I felt it had a lot of good insights but there were many vague holes which I didn't appreciate/grasp. Not sure if I would recommend this to pe ...more
July Wolfe
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Adyashanti book I have read, and it was exactly what I've been looking for. Awakening comes before enlightenment, and I knew I was on the brink of some type of realization. Adya put the process into simple experiential words that helped me drop several preconceptions and refuse to form more. This is one I will read again and again for quite a while.
Dielle Ciesco
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Adya. I love his raw honesty about the awakening process. I love his clarity. This was an excellent read because it was more than a read; it was an experience. There were so many sentences that blew my mind, brought me pause, and opened me up. Not many books can do that.
Aaron Fisher
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's not every day you find a book on a topic you've never seen addressed before. This book is filled with personal advice that, at least for me, rang true - and offered valuable encouragement I've reflected on again and again.
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simple and Clear Teachings...Awesome Methods of Contemplation...
Shawn Minihan
This is a great book! I've read a lot of books on spirituality, but this one is a life changer.
This aptly titled book isn't a sales pitch for enlightenment as much as it's the terms and conditions for it. Adya (as his students call him) attempts to put a realistic damper on some of the enlightenment hype by telling the story (as one reviewer put it) "from the perspective of the ego" and from that perspective it's a story about great loss, struggle and finally defeat and death. I really enjoyed this book; it's so refreshingly down to earth compared to books by people like for example Eckha ...more
Jacob Lopez
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I commend this book for demystifying enlightenment and presenting it as a “spiritual” process rather than a sudden, complete “mystical” experience. Enlightenment is a process attainable by anyone, not just Lord Buddha or Jesus, and Adya proves this. After reading “The End of Your World,” I’m noticeably more in touch with my thoughts and how they influence my feelings and present experience. “All feelings emanate from thoughts, whether conscious or unconscious.”
Zoran Rašković
It is very difficult to write anything about this book, because it talks about something that transcends words.... the author managed to explain in simple terms what Awakening is.... or to be precise: what Awakening is not. .. because it's all about un-learning many things that people have been indoctrinated..... I particularly liked the chapter about "common traps" of Awakened mind.... very good book.
This is the most accurate description of enlightenment I've read so far. It really resonated with me, as his descriptions were so similar to my own experiences. I really love the way he articulates the awakening process. Anyone who has tried to express in words what the awakening process is like knows how difficult this can be. This is by far the most accessible book I've read regarding this topic. I recommend reading this in tandem with periods of reflection and meditation instead of all in one ...more
Giorgi Bazerashvili
Adya gives this lectures for advanced practitioners. But his insights are hugely beneficial for those of us who don't practice much but are willing to follow the path sooner or later.

He differentiates two types of awakening, abiding and non-abiding ones. The main difference between them is that if someone awakes for just a brief period of time, he calls it non-abiding awakening. If ego structure doesn't reassemble itself, which usually does, the awakening is abiding.

But, he also tells us that it
Rahul Verma
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The End of Your World

This book offers a refreshing take on the journey towards consciousness. I feel this book can be very useful for those who have been practicing some form of meditation and are experiencing a change within. My review is not going to be analytical, but about how it felt. This book is on the series of talks given by Adyashanti at California. Since the beginning the book challenged my preconceived notions and belief systems. Much of what was said related well to what I have been
Dennis Stoelwinder
Refreshing insights on the subject of spirituality and enlightenment. Adyashanti does a great job of going deep without getting fluffy. This book is very hands-on and explains what really happens when you awaken. He also focuses on the many ways we fool ourselves when we think we are awakened, but in reality, the ego is still behind the wheel.

Awakening/enlightenment is usually described as some vague and overly mystic experience in which all is awesome, but according to Adyashanti, it is not. G
Bob Page
There is some very good stuff here (including a quote from Anthony de Mello: "enlightenment is absolute cooperation with the inevitable") but it's unfortunately the type of Buddhism that I don't want: "I don't know anything" passivism.

A quote from near the end of the book: "Our greatest contribution to humanity is our awakening."

Awakening is awesome, but neither necessary or sufficient to have a greatly positive contribution to humanity. If you can't think of any contribution you can make that i
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirit
This wonderfully honest and compassionate book reveals a deep understanding of how the process of spiritual awakening may not be what we expect after all. It helps clear up a lot of confusion about how to work with the never vanishing ego and use the nitty gritty of life as a helpful guide to discover where we might still be in disharmony, and how to work with it. It was incredibly useful and reassuring to me to discover that what I was experiencing, is all just a part of the process.
Todd Mayville
Jul 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looking for enlightenment? Bring your own cookies! My review of Adyashanti's The End of Your World is on Elephant Journal.
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Adyashanti is an American spiritual teacher from the San Francisco Bay Area who gives regular satsangs in the United States and also teaches abroad. He is the author of several books, CDs and DVDs and is the founder of Open Gate Sangha, Inc. a nonprofit organization that supports, and makes available, his teachings.

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