Beezone Interview with Julie Anderson
(Formerly Kanya Samarpana Remembrance)
Julie Anderson, 2016
Ed: After studying the teachings of Adi Da for so many years, there seems to be a fundamental failure, not only on the part devotees inability to ‘hear‘ the teaching but also for Adi Da not to be ‘understood” or as he says ‘Recognized.’ Can you talk about how frustrating it must have been to be in that ‘mood of complaint’ for so many years?
Julie: Yes. There were often times, throughout all the years of his work, when Adi Da’s engagement with his devotees became full of passionate frustration and angst. This was occurring even up until his death in 2008. There have been many devotees who did “hear and see” him, but the depth process leading to divine self-recognition had not fully manifested after years and years of intensive work. He would often voice this reality with a somewhat humorous koan by stating; “I am trying to teach you how to put a coat on when you do not know what a coat IS.” he had numerous amusing and creative ways of reflecting to us the extraordinary nature of his unique revelation work.
These times could also create a tone of dissonance in my relationship to Adi Da and his devotees and also amongst devotees themselves. For example; he would ask a question (practical or profound) or ask for something to be done (simple or difficult), and my response for some reason or other did not meet the mark of what he was looking for, or wanted, needed or perhaps expected. It felt like an awfully dense or twisted stalemate. When the tension released, sometimes it would be clear as to why harmony was restored, and at other times I could be bowing down or shaking my head or throwing my arms in the air in gestures of gratitude, relief or exasperation in not knowing exactly why there was a shift.
I often would turn to feeling that the conundrum was not merely about the content of the challenging exchange or course but had more to do with learning about and surrendering deeper into the asana of true devotional response and resort. I also realized that whatever he was relating to there was a lot more being worked with than what my grosser senses perceived or conceived. Often there was a revelation of some kind associated with the spiritual process, maybe not immediately shown, but in time it was understood and received, feeling in awe of his various siddhis. Or I could also respond at a very human level with various reactive emotions that could take further growth in self-understanding to be clear about whatever was triggered in the exchange. At this time in my life presently there are many of these significant conundrums that have been resolved and some that are still in process! That is why I have always felt it is so important not to dissociate from the root devotional, yogic and spiritual process with no costumes or ritual required here.
As you probably know this kind of turmoil lead to what was called the ‘Divine Self Emergence‘ Event in 1986. This profound yogic event was precipitated by what he felt was a failure in regards to his efforts to ‘teach’ us in the manner he had been. This method of teaching began from the first time he decided or rather realized it was necessary to relate to us in the context of our self-possessed human seeking, limitations and ego errors and to reflect or reveal them to us, directly entering into life with us at all levels of experience. This was not easy for him nor was it merely self-indulgent on his part; I can assure you of this. His relationship to us as teacher was meant to ‘awaken’ us to self-understanding and self-transcendence and ultimately Divine Self-enlightenment. Many of his human characteristics suited the dynamic play perfectly for this kind of interactive relationship to us. He thereby engaged us at every level of our human and spiritual existence with all the various permutations we brought into the relationship, as seemingly separate individuals. Phew!
However, it became clear that Adi Da and his function as teacher in this fashion was not a magic potion for radical 7th stage awakening of divine self-recognition as conscious light. His human and yogic struggle to teach us, as well as devotees, struggle to fully participate and respond effectively, was one colourful aspect that was central to the relationship.
There was no written script for this 7th stage radical process in the context of the traditions and world culture thus far. Except there are the traditionally demonstrated forms of the guru/devotee relationship exhibited throughout time in every religious and spiritual culture. We spent a great deal of time studying about, considering and enacting various aspects of these traditional approaches. The traditionally embraced devotional aspect of the relationship was the core of our process with him. There could be volumes spoken and written about this by his devotees. These accounts would be both about the mistakes we made and that are still made and also about the ecstasy of this devotion when real recognition was and is activated by his shakitpat, in Satsang.
One might assume (as I had); Well if he is an enlightened guru making such significant claims, he should know exactly what needs to be done! You know one plus one should equal two!? I mean isn’t HE the one in charge here, of everything, orchestrating the entire event? (laughing)
In his exasperation in relationship to our persistently wrong assumptions about what he was here to do with us he endlessly pleaded with us to stop relating to him as the manager of our lives, responsibilities, and service and to stop approaching him as the Oedipal other, the answer man, as “Pastor Da”, or Da Santa Claus. Along with many other poignantly descriptive metaphors, some amusing and others painfully not funny at all, he made the point there were very base presumptuous errors that clouded our ability to make use of his person and presence auspiciously.
However, over the course of many years of wending in the wrong direction, I discovered this road of assumptions and actions to be based in childish and adolescent abstractions of him and also mythological, religious and spiritual ego errors in understanding the radically true esoteric nature of God and Guru. This understanding has only become most obvious in retrospect and as the process has deepened and becomes more profound. Both the gifts of intimate proximity and apparent distance have served this growth in understanding the validity of his constant criticisms of my wrong approach and fruitful use of him.
Ed: I would imagine there were times you wanted to get the hell out of there. I remember a devotee telling me after darshan one day Adi Da got into his cart and as he drove away said, as if to the world, “What a long strange trip it’s been”, quoting the Grateful Dead.
Julie: Hmm. I wonder when it was he said that!? Yes, I felt that way many times, and so did Adi Da! Boy, could I tell you many stories of his wanting to leave the whole apparent catastrophe! It was unbearable at times, a horrible checkmate. Even so, for all of the years up until 1992 I did not ever want to leave the direct, intimate relationship itself, but at times surely wanted to get out of the heat of it.
For example; Very early on in my relationship to Adi Da, in the late 1970s, I was adapting to all the various aspects of sadhana in his intimate sphere and also in the ashram at the Mountain of Attention Sanctuary. I do not remember exactly when this occurred, but it was a time when our practice was being examined in more detail. Adi Da, along with the more mature practitioners, was evaluating our ability to sit in very early AM informal mediation with Adi Da. A formal meditation sitting was held after which we were to describe what had been felt and experienced. This was exciting and a bit daunting also as I had not had much experience with this kind of technical process of meditation. I entered a meditation hall that we called Western Face Cathedral. It was an amazing space of stillness, vastness and purity and the first place I had ever seen Adi Da in darshan when I arrived in late 1976. But this type of formal mediation was different than a darshan occasion that was more active, given we offered fruit and flowers and chanted and received blessed gifts of fruit and nuts at the end of the darshan. We were animated in our devotion both physically and verbally. Meditation was very different in that it took place with no lights on in the hall except a very dim light over Adi Da in his seat at the front of the hall. When I came into the hall, I felt like I had stepped off into the unknown. I took a seat about half of the way to the back right of the hall. We were admonished to simply sit in either our lotus or half lotus asana and to breathe deeply of Adi Da’s blessing spirit and to be very still, allowing all to rise and fall, let go, simply turn feeling and attention to receive his blessing grace. This sounded easy enough, and I was eager. UNTIL about ten minutes into the meditation I began to experience pains all over my body plus a literal heat permeating me through and through. And I could not move. I felt pinned to the floor. Soon I noticed that all I could focus on was the discomfort. It was NOT enjoyable or blissful at all, and I could not wait for it to end. So much for blissful meditation, I thought. When it ended, I could not wait to get out of the hall and into the outdoors. As I was leaving the hall one of the male attendants to Adi Da, who was also a cultural leader, asked me how I was feeling. I blurted out “I NEVER want to do that again!” (laughing) I was sincere and embarrassed. He gave a chuckle and assured me not to worry about my response. Sure enough, later in the day, I was told my wish had come true as I was not designated as prepared to sit in the early morning meditations for the time being. I was however given the service to attend to Adi Da’s rooms just as soon as he had left for the meditation hall to prepare the rooms for his return. This suited me just fine!
So, as you see, it was not only was it difficult for him at times, but it was difficult for those of us around him, extending out to the entire gathering and beyond apparently! At times we would be tearing our hair out, and we didn’t want it to be such a difficult course. In feeling this way and feeling the fluctuating heat of it in varying degrees, I understood it all to be necessary and useful if what was experienced was used as fuel for further preparation for advancing practice and growth.
Just a reminder and to put this in perspective, there were just as many occasions when we were all ecstatic, and he was obviously pleased too! (laughing!)
However given that I tended to be functioning as a neurotic emotional-sexual oedipal ego, I often superimposed such points of view on him and all others. At times this human immaturity warped my ability to feel through the drama of it all and appreciate the heat of the lessons and even the fullness of the gifts. Coupled with this challenging aspect of the process, of course, was the paradox of it all. It was powerful, bliss beyond compare, absolutely Divine and at the same time, there was a lot of struggle.
I observed ugliness and frustration in myself and each person individually and in relationships that stemmed from all kinds of ego politics. Because this ego action and consequential structure underlies all our views, choices, actions and is perpetually motivating us, unless and until it is radically understood at the core, this dominated much of our interplay. He bore the brunt of this as he dared to enter into this obvious trap with us. We also had to endure his unique human characteristics and limitations in the context of this too. It was often heartbreaking. We were all, even Adi Da, very vulnerable in this regard and also dependent on one another for the process to continue. We wanted it all to be perfectly easeful and blissful, yet NONE of us were perfectly anything as incarnate beings! Yes, even Adi Da, so sorry! (laughing)
And so yes, it was at times just excruciating. All of what he was relating to in his attempt to turn the tide of our motion of self-possession was infinitely challenging. Not only in devotees but humanity as a whole, in the most esoteric understanding of how he worked. It could be equally as unbearable as it could be ecstatic. At the same time as it was painful, I could synchronously receive an amazing gift. The capacity to sit in his most blissful samadhi and freedom made it all worth it. Dual sensitivity as he called it, sensitized not desensitized, not dissociated but fully incarnate and standing free. It has been my experience that this directly obvious and yet also intuitively felt dual knowledge is pivotal in understanding his Divine Self-Emergence.
Ed: This is where the mind of those not familiar with his work gets baffled and reactive. On one level there is what is happening in the theatre around Adi Da and then there are the larger elements, what is happening on the world stage.
Adi Da’s ‘Divine Emergence’ is described as a ‘cosmic breakthrough’ and a ‘Grand Victory’ in the magnitude of what is described in the tradition as The Ashvamedha. How can people even begin to comprehend something on that level?
In the early teachings he wrote about such things. He said you’d have to be ‘in the position’ of that ‘understanding’ to actually get it, otherwise there is only an abstract understanding and belief, or disbelief.
Julie: Yes, it is always good to remember that whatever Adi Da was working with, it was not just those sitting in front of him. Yes, there was all of that play, but there were levels being worked that we had very little understanding of. For me, it was a lesson in the futility of self-meditation as though the process with him was simply about me or us as individual ego selves. The letting go of this self-possession and focus was a shedding. I felt like I was being sheered to the bone, the core. In this, energy and attention are released for the depth process. This is where attention turns by Spirit grace, and true letting go begins, effortlessly.
Ed: Seems to be what the word ‘tapas’ refers to; sitting in the fire and at the same time required to respond in a complete double bind.
Julie: Yes, even if you didn’t want to hear any more or feel the intensity there was always the call and necessity to respond. It’s the kind of intensity that was inevitably going to turn attention and energy and undo identification with the patterning that is a seeming double bind, the result of this motion of ego “I”. This was happening on many different levels at the same time for everyone. Tapas, however, occurs in Satsang so that by grace (the free blessing sphere of conscious light) I felt liberated from the activity of ego “I”, attention itself and the false presumptions and actions assumed on this basis. The seeking choices that I make that are about reinforcing the ego error and patterning are understood, being freed from this awful grip, turned, resolved and stood free in the divine conscious light itself. Yes, it is very liberating, infinitely blissful. This price of surrender into the fire is required. What kind of tangible offering is required, one cannot know in advance. It is spiritually revealed in reality consideration. My experience is that nothing profoundly real and permanently established occurs against ones will. I have to choose and yield into the fire of grace. Then no effort is required for deep sustenance at heart. I was not a victim of any force but a participant in the yogic fire of liberation, and so it is now in every moment, in the domain of conscious light.
Ed: You can understand why so many people did not want to jump ‘into the fire’ and be around him. It was easy to stay ‘in the bleachers’ and view him from a distance.
Julie: Yes, to be clear about it, if you’re really serious about the yoga of the true spiritual process there is no hunky-dory-ness about it. He would sometimes joke with us saying that to stay with him required a kind of madness and an inability to settle for less. But it is my experience that the ego fights tooth and nail for survival, tricky devilish act.
Ed: I remember the Great Tibetan meditation master, Chogyam Trungpa telling an audience early on in his teaching years: I’m paraphrasing here, but it was, I want to remind all of you, if you think this is going to be a picnic I want you to go back to the door and get your money back. But if you decide to stay you should understand that once you start something, it’s best that you finish it. Sadhana is no picnic.
Julie: Exactly! It’s like the dialogue he had with me about the reality considerations that occurred when we first went to Fiji. He said, O.K., I’m going to take you seriously, and you realize that this means that you’re going to have to confront seeming separation and death. I had to agree to this, which I did. And then, all hell broke loose! (laughing).
The Divine Emergence
Ed: People like the ‘pie in the sky’ ideas but not the reality consideration you had to participate in for so many years. Speaking of death, would you talk about the time leading up to the period or event known as the Divine Emergence? The end of 1985 and the beginning of 1986.
Julie: It was a really interesting time because he was trying to establish more of a private circumstance for himself and this was because he wanted to be able to engage in more intensive work with a smaller group of people. That effort was a reoccurring theme. He was always eager to discover who the people were that he could work the most intensively with. This created an always changing intimate sphere of devotees, from those closest to him on out. It was as though the divinely human stage was always being reset for whatever next phase of his work was about to unfold. It was exhaustingly awesome and mysterious yet also extremely enlivening to watch and participate in, a trial of all kinds of endurance and passion. I loved him for this ordeal of freely and wildly jumping into the “unknown,” with the certainty that truth would be revealed. Again and again, in so many different configurations this happened!
People were always coming and going and being tested. He was seeing if they would remain around him and relate to him auspiciously, either as part of the larger gathering or as part of the intimate sphere of devotees responsible for his immediate circumstance in personal attendance to him. His movements, his work, his writing, art work or whatever he was doing was always flowering as an undulating, shifting ordeal. The event that you refer to, the Divine Emergence occurred in the context of vigorous emotional, sexual reality considerations
Ed: For those not familiar with the term ‘reality considerations’ could you give the readers some background as to what they were.
Julie: Reality considerations were an all consuming samyama (investigation) into any and all aspects of life (both mundane and spiritual) and the processes and practices that related to sadhana. The fundamentally important questions about our existence in and as truth and love were at the core. It was also a way to investigate one’s action as ego “I”, underling motives, perceptions and conceptions about life and relationships, unconscious and subconscious patterns, etc.
For example, the process could refer to one’s diet or exercise, one’s discipline or lack of, habits of speech, emotional and mental patterns, or any addictive behaviour that manifested in your personality, etc. On a more profound level, these considerations focused on yogic, religious and spiritual teachings, understanding and phenomenon. These examinations, of course, inevitably related to one’s emotional-sexual-social patterns. All this content was the fuel for the process of radical self-understanding. For me, the diet was the first difficult inspection. There was another moment early on that was also significant for me that is an example of active reality consideration. Adapting to a healthy lacto vegetarian diet after having lived all my life as a meat eater and rather self-indulgent this was not easy for me. Also, I was in the process of healing, having been anorexic for the two years prior to arrival as a newly adapting devotee. I was plagued by various neuroses when I first arrived. The readaptation to health and responsibly mature living was an essential and necessary course.
To test my resolve and ability to be there as a willing participant, Adi Da suggested that I return home to my family for the time being. So off I went back to the San Fernando Valley to live with my blood family. This was all a bit confusing to me as I did not want to leave him or the devotees or the ashram. However, I did also miss my family, so I was happy I was going to see them! I knew that the choices I was making to live in an ashram with a guru derailed the plans my parents had for me, so I was a little nervous to see them. But all was fine when they saw how well and happy I was. We even took in a football game at the Dodger Stadium! No hot dogs or beer however as I was diligent to maintain the disciplines of practice while I was there…except one indulgence I knew I would inevitably have to confess to. Ah oh!
So, a while on into my stay I received a call from Adi Da himself! This alone was surprising to me and made me very happy. In the context of the call, he asked me about how my continued adaptation was going to all the various disciplines. Yes, I did have to confess. Well good, but there is one thing…Yes, go on, what is it? I had raisins with my fruit and yogurt at breakfast. A roar of laughter came through the phone, to my surprise and relief. Raisins? Out of all, you could have done, and it was raisins?! Laughter bellowed out again. I was happily asked if I wanted to come back. Oh Yes! So I was taken back to the Ashram the next day. I was elated about this; I was going back to my second home. I guess I passed the test. (laughing)
If I thought diet was difficult I had a lot to learn when the emotional-sexual process took centre stage. YIKES! Talk about being vulnerably exposed! No hiding any content in the nooks and crannies of this kaleidoscope when viewed in the light and power of divine truth! It was always a watery storm of testing insight and action that could be purely cleared and calmed only by unqualified love.
These challenges usually began with us engaged in a very intensive dialogue around a particular subject as it related to us personally, our experiences throughout our lives and up to the present time of the consideration. Such considerations were always couched in study of teachings about the subject being examined and practiced. Both Adi Da’s teachings and traditional resources were studied about the subject. Most often Adi Da will have written new dharma which he would read to us or have read to us by others. For those closest to Adi Da these considerations often happened directly with Adi Da himself. At other times these conversations were one on one with fellow practitioners or a smaller group and also then collective considerations, gatherings as they were called, that may or may not have included Adi Da.
As I said before, during intensively concentrated times our considerations with him and one another were about our emotional-sexual-social characters and our emotional-sexual interests or actions. We would talk about and inspect how we functioned as emotional-sexual-social oedipal characters given how these patterns tend to drive us as human personalities. Delving into how we functioned emotionally and sexually as practitioners in the ‘yoga of the heart was a necessary insight for true spiritual practice. It was always a heart matter at the root. This was the ground or sphere within which all was measured, so to speak. Yes, Divine Light and Love Itself. All is measured in relationship to this fundamental reality. Is what we observed and enacted significant and useful or not?
Ed: Yes, the thread of mind, thought or feeling always leads to the heart, but sometimes gets ‘locked’ in the groin!
Julie: Yes, and no one can avoid having to sufficiently deal with this apparent bind or knot and presume or sustain fruitful practicing of spiritually advanced yoga that is ultimately liberating, as Adi Da reveals and awakens.
So around the Divine Emergence Event, it was one of those periods of time where he was working with us in that way. And boy those times were the most difficult times in being around him and with one another. It required of us the necessity to go into ‘places’ where you would rather not, where you did not want to see yourself or for others to see you. You didn’t want to have to deal with that part of your character. It would bring up a lot of resistance. It was not a kind of psychotherapy nor was it a puritanical approach to sexuality and your unconscious and subconscious emotional-sexual character patterns. There were also times when I was really into what we were doing, enjoying the play and interactions immensely, as we covered a lot of interesting, diverse and sometimes murky territory.
Ed: Obviously, this was not a Freudian psychiatric session operating only in the verbal and emotional memory of mind.
Julie: No. It was active and always happening in present time in the swoon of his samadhi. It demanded a yogic capability to be able to stay in the room with him, sometimes literally but always at heart, to conduct the kind of energy and perseverance that would be required.
Not many people wanted to do this because it required you to be brave, capable, vulnerable and honest. I had, to be honest, beyond my agenda, and not be afraid of what the potential consequences would be (hmm, not so easy is it?). Consequences meaning further inspection or active examination or changes that may be necessary for deepened self-understanding and growth and always for furthering his teaching and revelation work.
There are very different subtle nuances to our characters that can tend to remain unconscious. Much of this unconscious or subconscious material is embarrassing (and even possibly painful) to uncover and have revealed. It is necessary to see and be seen in relationship to the degree that energy and attention can be converted and freed and practices embraced that serve the depth spiritual process. This whole vase of body-mind had to be fully opened up and able to receive and conduct the spirit force.
In discovering the roots and patterns of how I functioned trust was required. There also had to be a sufficient degree of self-understanding given this was the basis of this kind of inquiry. I also had to be able to make decisions, in relationship to Adi Da and others, about how to go beyond aspects of my character, in daily life, which was less than love. I, along with many others, definitively discovered in this process, that as an ego “I”. I am tending to function as an automated pre-patterned character, reactive rather than consciously present as love, making free, wise choices. This is a simplified way of describing one aspect of what the emotional-sexual reality considerations were about. The question being; was my fidelity to divine love itself, cultivating that in-love yoga and action in all relationships or to ego “I”?
This is what these reality considerations were about from a dharma perspective as I experienced them and regarding my personal process. More importantly than all I have said here about reality considerations, was that Adi Da was doing profoundly deep work at levels beyond what was merely seen and felt by myself and others. At these times not a lot of people were able to be there with him because he was very unguarded, focused and intense.
That being said the entire gathering of devotees could speak to how whatever he was doing at any time; they surely felt it in all sorts of ways. He and his work reverberated out, wide, very wide, infinitely so. At these specific times, he demanded from those of us who did this with him; that we want to be there, to be unguarded, unhidden, completely honest, vulnerable and capable to stay in the room of the consideration, devotionally, as yoga and spiritually. Hmmm… tall order eh? I guess that is in part why we played the roles so well as “avatars of reluctance”! I fell well and truly short of this calling so many times; it was embarrassing and often humiliating! But, I was in love, which is why I stayed, divinely human love and the promise of freedom in truth.
Ed: I can guess from comments I’ve gotten that many readers would love to find out ‘details of these consideration, most of which are the sexual ones.
Julie: Would they (your readers) expect me to tell you of THEIR private affairs? I wouldn’t expect you to tell me of their private affairs so I would never speak of it at that level. I will say, however, that we never did anything that other good hearted people haven’t done. The curious ones would likely be disappointed! (laughing) I am sure minds could and do go well beyond what took place.
Ed: I understand. But people like gossip.
Julie: Yes, this is natural enough. This curiosity is good, however one responds, reacting either positively or negativing or finding it confusing. I have observed that if attention is drawn to him and his work or to the gathering of devotees in any way, one is blessed, and it will trigger a process that may prove useful and maybe even auspicious. It is very mysterious how this all unfolds given the process is all inclusive, no qualifications at the root!
Anyhow, I can say that we experimented in many different ways. There was nothing perverse about any of it (at least from my perspective…laughing!), certainly not intended to cause harm. Did I experience pain in different ways as a result? Yes; rejection, betrayal, embarrassment, exhaustion, commonly ordinary yet deep feelings came forth. As did many healings occur also. I learned a great deal about many important aspects of human relatedness and in-love yoga. It spurred a necessary growth that will always serve me, even as it continues to do so now. I can understand the curiosity and the fantasizing about it all. I can understand the reactive mind and emotion about it all. All of that, however, can tend to be a way of veering off course in regards to the essentially important process that takes focus, conductivity and occurs spiritually in consciousness itself, if that sacred endeavour is what your impulse is. I have done this a lot myself, wasted too much time in such drama of reactive mind and emotion. I do not recommend staying there too long if you are serious about growth, of any kind.
Ed: So, it was in this context, the inability to ‘breakthrough’ these emotional and sexual patterns, that the ‘Divine Emergence’ event occurred. As he said in his talk a few weeks later: I told certain of my devotees of my grief and sorrow and frustration in my Work, I told them that I just could not endure anymore the rejection, the offensiveness, the abuse, the futility. I told them I wished to leave…
Julie: Yes, it was a very critical moment that was the result of an accumulation of years of work, actually a kind of culmination. As he said later after the event, it was a sign that his teaching work had failed. His teaching method of submission had failed to breakthrough our patterns of resistance and self-attention. Why failed? My humble understanding of this is that it was not his work of submission to us in the context of our ego patterns of the first five stages of life that was required for realization, this revealed failure was inevitable. What IS required is being given over in spirit to his non-separate state, as conscious light. In my experience, nothing in this Way of the Heart has been significantly understood if it is just a mental construct in mind or fabricated emotionalism, or phenomenally based. What is real and true can only ever be proven in the reality of conscious light which activates divine self-recognition. This is not at all abstract, it is fundamental reality.
For me, this event was the succinct proof that egoic self-meditation is fruitless as a path and means to the full realization of divine self, the radical fundamental truth of all. This gift was and is given perpetually; understood and received via Adi Da’s all pervading and all inclusive person, presence, and state. Was I able from that moment on to consistently embrace such selflessness? No. But I am certain that this understanding is at depth irrevocably stable and active. It is my understanding and experience that the only useful relationship I have to this embodied form (at any level of experience) is to be a responsible human being and to live as love, which does require significantly profound insight, yogic conductivity, and self-understanding at the root. This asana makes true radical devotion possible, such that the truth can be revealed as attention and energy are turned at heart into reality itself. No effort, but a profound noticing. Da Om; as one in his fully descended all encompassing sphere of conscious light, not him as other in our seeming spaces of separate “I”.
Again more important than anything I could say about that time of reality consideration and what it showed me, is what the yogic event was for him and his divine self-revelation work. I was in the room with him when the event or what has become known as the Divine Emergence Event occurred. When the event occurred, it was the culmination of days on end of very intense dialogue and active consideration about our relationship to him and to these reality considerations we are talking about. It was a very intimate matter amongst those closest to him at that time, men and women, the consequences genuinely touched and embraced all his gurukula and closest devotees and the entire gathering.
He exhausted himself in this process, and it took a lot to exhaust him because he was a creative genius, an endless powerhouse of energy and passion! he had irrevocably reached the point where he had done everything he possibly could to help us understand the significance of this and all aspect of our lives, and we were unable to stay with him. It wasn’t only about what we were considering then in that very context of time. It was about the way he had worked for all the years since the beginning of his work, even his whole lifetime. It wasn’t only the failure (which was inevitable) of those around him, it was much more than that. It initiated a paradoxical sacred rite of passage prior to mind and form, yet fully down embracing all.
Suddenly in one moment, it was evident the process was not working. His frustration was profound. We were not able to breakthrough, to fully participate and we ended up having to leave his room. Honestly, I felt dumbfounded and speechless, given all I could. I remember feeling like a useless emotional heap of sweaty flesh on the floor. Quite frankly would be happy for it all to stop….impossible to answer. I too gave up, as did those with me, in my observation.
I left his house with others, and we were continuing to have the dialogue amongst ourselves about the consideration. We were all exhausted too. It was then we received a call from Adi Da, he was in his bedroom, and we were in a building right behind him and close by. One of the female devotees in the consideration was on the phone with him, and she was relaying what Adi Da was saying, describing his frustration at our limitations and inability to go further in this active reality consideration. He was very frustrated. He kept saying if he kept dealing with this level of resistance that he couldn’t do it anymore and it wasnt going to be an effective process. In his unique way of expression, he made clear, in very colourful terms, our limitations and our inability to make use of what he was offering. Reality considerations had been going on for a long time at this point, and it just reached a point where he made clear this is not going to work, it isn’t working.
He then started to describe what was occurring in him physically; that his arm was going numb and he was beginning to feel that he was losing sensation and beginning to leave the body and then suddenly he just dropped the phone. Some went running over to where he was and called his doctor. I followed, but slowly as if sunk in woe.
This was not the first time something like this occurred. We were familiar with him having various yogic phenomena happen. He would often become over heated, leave the body to some degree, covered in intensively uncomfortable rashes, experience shaking or chills, swoons, reveries, ecstatic states and things like that. We were used to these extraordinary and exaggerated phenomena in him. Events like these would be going on with him, in some form or other, emotionally, mentally, physically and psychically yet at root always a spiritually yogic process.
I thought that maybe it was another event we had seen him go through and we would attend to him as we had done before. But then it became seriously clear that something extremely significant was occurring. This time he left the body, and for a brief time, all the physical signs indicated that he had died.
Julie Anderson – Beezone Interview, December 11, 2019
I came into his room at this point. His physician came and attended to him. He checked his vital signs and such. All the while this was happening I noticed the room was majorly bright and intense, a fullness of energy filled the room with light. It was a feeling of profound emotion and fullness but sorrow at the same time. He finally began to regain some form of conscious awareness, more present in the physical room. He was lifted to his bed from the floor. As he was sitting on his bed being held up by devotees, he was rocking and weeping and weeping and talking in ecstatic speech about his love, his love just pouring out of him and speaking about his sorrow and his embrace of all beings and his love for all beings and how all beings are forgiven no matter who they are or what they’ve done. This was not recorded, so the memory of this event is that of those who were there. Each would be necessary to add to the full picture.
In his love, which was filling the room overwhelmingly, I remember I had to lie on the floor because the force was so strong I could not sit up anymore. As I lay there listening and feeling, I felt he was speaking in and as the spiritual divine itself, the domain of love itself, how it is all inclusive and directly in relationship with all beings even no matter how dark they seem or how difficult the sorrow of this embodied form is. Again everyone had to be forgiven and embraced in love. We were all weeping at this point and praising him. He embraced everyone and yet he had exhausted his attempt to be able to liberate us through his means of submission to us.
He then started asking, “Where is Remembrance, is Remembrance here?” In asking for me, I kept saying “I’m here Beloved. I’m here”. I was lying on the floor in a heap of ecstasy now where all of it became a bit surreal, and it felt like throughout all of it I was there yet somehow I wasn’t there. It felt like a spontaneous yogic manifestation of profound love, profound embrace, deep sorrow, profound letting go and incredible release of a kind. If I remember correctly actually, and these details aren’t that important, it felt as though I was watching a movie, as though all arising was passing by like watching the weather. I was viewing the happenings and feeling it all but somehow free at the same time. A deep, effortless rest settled in, all fully embraced in his divinely human love.
I have described a feeling of it all being a bit surreal. The next thing that I remember is that I became aware spontaneously as the witness consciousness, not certain at the time what to call this awareness. Being profoundly aware of everything arising and yet being clear that my position was prior to it all. It was incredibly liberating and still. Just prior to that there was so much angst and struggle, so I felt freed because it felt that there was no necessity for me to have to do anything in relationship to what was arising. In the context of our considerations previously just hours before, I was very much involved in all the nuances of trying to work it out and understanding the patterning and going beyond it, prove my fidelity, etc. Suddenly, all of that was released, and the struggle was unnecessary.
Adi Da slowly regained his normal bodily sense. After a time most devotees left the room again, and I was asked to return and stay with him in his room with one other devotee where we simply revelled in the bliss of letting go in his presence and state, laughing and loving. He then took me out to his private home on another part of the island. It makes me feel very emotional to talk about it. I have a feeling when I’m communicating about it that there is probably so much that I am not saying or am forgetting. Also, there is more detail I do not wish to share here. Plus, my account is only a very small part of the picture. It requires a fullness of being(s) to really pass on what occurred!
I was there with him for a few days or more by myself and a few other devotees serving us there. It was overwhelmingly blissful. After a few days had passed it became abundantly clear to me that as much as I loved being there with him, alone, I couldn’t do this on my own. His Siddhi was powerfully overwhelming and descended. I was serving him intimately, attending to his needs, communicating things for him. I was the only (apparent) conduit out to everybody. You can’t imagine what that’s like. Any fantasy of being his one and only was effectively dissolved in a week required for his work. It was clear a big body of real devotees were needed. The door was opened by him in his house. Much more could be said about this time. Soon after that, the beginnings of the Ruchira Sannyasin Order was established, realization and renunciation took place and form.
Adi Da or Love-Ananda, as this, is what we called him at that time, and then began to speak more about what was occurring for him and the magnitude of it. These communications are in his writings and also recorded. I, along with other very close devotees, also began to speak more about the event of the Divine Emergence and communicated to Love-Ananda and others what I felt had occurred and how I experienced it too. The time that followed was a revelation itself in order to grasp what was becoming clear. The other devotees who became part of the renunciate order all spoke to Love-Ananda too and all of us to one another about the remarkable process he initiated. Immediately after the event, he was clearly saying that he didn’t himself know the significance of the event except that it was probably the most important day of his life thus far. As time went on, he became more and more clearly communicative and revealed as to exactly what the significance of it was and what was initiated.
This was a marked change. He began to speak in detail about how he wanted to live. It wasn’t about us and how we were supposed to live or required him to live with us. He’d already done that, tenfold. Previously he was so given over and thoroughly engaged with us, our process, working with us. That all changed. He began to speak about how he wanted to live and how in fact he had always wanted to live. And so he began to make changes upon this basis. There is so much more detail as to how this all unfolded, but I cannot possibly say it all here, and as I have said I do not even know the half of it! Most importantly is that it was not so much about the details of what occurred but what it initiated. It’s profoundly sacred essence was fully and perpetually established spiritually at root in consciousness itself, embracing all. Da Love-Ananda.
For me, the event was his fully incarnate form of the divine self-light and love, even more vulnerably human than before. Then synchronous with that our ability to participate and sit in his room with him and the falling away of the necessity to have to be always engaging attention in the search and feeling the need of having to work all of that out, requiring him to do that with us or for us. It fell away. It’s now: sit as the free witness awakened by grace, be in the room of consciousness itself, love-ananda where all effort and seeking is let go by grace. That’s what his divine emergence meant to me. This was a revelatory awakening into the profundity of true fidelity to the divine person, prior to attention and the feeling of relatedness. There is much to tell beyond that, as the process surely did not end.
Ed: He wrote later it was a sudden and spontaneous Transmission from My Teaching Work to My blessing Work and the progressive Demonstration of Divine Indifference. In 1993 he equated it with the ‘Dissolution of the Circle,’ the death of the ‘man in the middle.’
Julie: Yes, he was freed from having to submit. After that event, he was transformed. His being was more vulnerable and more embodied than he had been previously. He was fullness, utterly yielded, Love-Ananda. There was no effort anymore to have to do anything and synchronous with that then there was an incredible transmission that catapulted us into a depth of profundity. The ‘witness-consciousness’ was even more firmly established as he revealed what was occurring, and that’s when the beginning of the six-stage process, the Perfect Practice, happened, it was his Samadhi. It was the start of the ‘renunciation’ period.
Ed: Yes, I remember that time. Everyone, at least in Marin where I lived at the time, was experiencing all sorts of changes. Some of them real, some of them not. But it did create what I called a ‘cosmic shift’ which later produced an exodus out of the community as nobody was interested in becoming a renunciate. The teaching was okay, but renunciation? No way!
Julie: Yes, so some did not want to stay with him in the process of reality consideration in its new form! (laughing). I totally get it. It was a bugger of a discipline for some. In that period ‘tapas’ was embraced, which was the fire of renunciation, and that came about spontaneously and by choice, and this is when the Sannyasin Order was formed.
Ed: Yes, the beginning of his Renunciation phase.
Julie: This was when his appearance changed, as did our interactions in relationship to him. He started fasting, and all sorts of cleansing occurred, of and with us and his environments and the sacred spaces and all the island too. Everyone was touched. As he said, be dyed in my color.
He was so different in his appearance and feel. The more superficial changes (not to make little of them) were not what was significant. Everything had changed at the core level of the process in relationship to him. It was a spiritually consequential turn about and full descent. It was very different because of what the event initiated and what was occurring for him yogically and spiritually. We were ecstatically love swept into his profound process and samadhi of Divine Emergence. It continues and is always so, all inclusive.
Adi Da Samraj
A Note from Julie
Blessings! I am making this communication via Beezone as a means to explore, remember, understand more deeply and make available the story of my life with Bhagavan Adi Da.Its a deep samyama for me and I am grateful to Ed Reither for this auspicious opportunity and how this gift has come into being.
Coincidentally, my communication may be useful to you the reader in providing a means to reflect on your own life experiences with Adi Da or in relationship to your own spiritual practice and life adventure.
Given I am not currently a formal practitioner of Adidam, my communication is a personal one and it is not intended specifically to be a guide to anyone’s spiritual and life practice. Adi Da has made it abundantly clear that if anyone is serious about His Teaching,they should embrace the full details of practice which He has clearly communicated. Any response made or opinion formed in regards to his offering is a personal matter of responsible free choice.
Whilst I am very serious about my transcendentally spiritual relationship with Adi Da, for some time and for now, I have not chosen to embrace the full details of His Instruction in regards to participation within the formal Institution and Culture of Adidam. This is a personal matter and not a reflection about anything otherwise. There are no “sides” of any camp that I sit within. My heart is filled with great respect, gratitude and profound loving compassion for all devotees that I share a history with.
Om Sri Da Love Ananda
For those interested in studing more about The Divine Emergence go to Beezone Study on the ‘event’.
“You are in the most difficult position of adolescence, the position of being directly contronted by the Absolute Truth. You, more than anyone who might casually observe my Word and …Presence, must exhibit the revolution of response to That Truth.”
Julie Anderson, 1980