Beezone Interview with Julie Anderson
(Formerly Kanya Samarpana Remembrance)
Julie Anderson, 2016
From the Beginning
Ed: I would like to read the portion of ‘The Pleasure Dome Is Organized Water’, that I alluded to earlier because it relates to what you just said and have you comment.
“Your problem about Me, your problem about the Divine, is a construct of your own, made by self-contraction, but in the midst of human exchanges. You have trouble about God because in the human scale you’re not only self-contracted but you’ve rejected the woman – the other half of the play of the world. The seat of Divine Realization is the heart. Therefore the domain of feeling is fundamental. There is no integration with the Divine Light without integration with the feminine. In other words, the domain of feeling, and the senses must be embraced by you. Cease to reject the feminine, you will cease to reject the world, and you will also cease to reject Me.
You all have an immense emotional-sexual problem based on your self-contraction. It’s the root of all of your difficulty. You cannot accept to be in the feeling-place, comfortable (or uncomfortable) in the senses as you would be with a true woman if you were a man – or a true man if you were a woman. You cannot accept it as the foundation of life. You think it’s not serious, or it’s wrong, or it’s dissociating you from the Divine.”
Julie: (long pause) Ah…..Well, that brings me way back. (long pause). This is where it is difficult to speak about my experience or knowledge because language can be so limiting, both in expression and reception. There is so much esoteric detail in what you just read that is key spiritual understanding in the uniqueness of Adi Da’s radical revelation. His transcendentally spiritual revelation embraces the most profound samadhis of both consciousness and energy and sublimely turns them to rest in a perpetual single reality awareness of non difference and no separation. Only One, Da Om.
For whatever reason, what comes to mind when I listened to what you just read was how Adi Da communicated himself to me in my whole feeling being before coming into his physical company, before even knowing what he would feel like as a human being, and all together.
As you know, I came to know of Adi Da (then Bubba Free John) in 1975 via his teachings. One afternoon in early 1976, I was listening to the record of ‘Garbage and the Goddess’ in my Westwood flat in Los Angeles, which I was sharing with my boyfriend at that time. I was a student at UCLA majoring in art. Around this period I was also singing in a Catholic choir, playing the piano and often visiting various art galleries and enjoyed the local beaches. This was the time I was also suffering anorexia and bulimia. I felt mostly fearful, craven and lonely with a heart-wrenching need for self-knowledge, love, and growth. I was most often alone and was not well at heart.
While sitting on my bed in my flat listening to the “Gorilla Sermon” I remember hearing his voice and laughter while also looking at an image of him in the book “Garbage and the Goddess” (the one where he is standing at the top of a set of stairs at “Huge Helper”, a central building at the Mountain of Attention). His unusual physical form (wearing just briefs) and the way he held himself reminded me of Michelangelo’s human male drawings and sculptures, which I loved and studied a lot. I spontaneously fell into contemplation of his form which captivated all my feeling senses, rapturously so.
As I continued to do so my physical body gradually became so abundantly full of infilling energy that it was rather uncomfortable at first. I began to feel desire all over in a way that felt insatiable. Very quickly, however, the shape of the room and my feeling body began to be abstractly transformed into an energetic fullness while I continued listening to his voice, laughter and the words he was speaking. The force of energy that felt insatiable moved from the base of my body up through the center, so up that there seemed to be no end to the upness. All of what was happening and the familiar form of associations with the room started to dissolve. My whole being became extremely open and relaxed, vulnerable, receptive and wide with the heart becoming prominent as an obvious center of deep rested love, where craven need was forgotten. All there seemed to be was his voice and form and my spontaneous responsive participation. The force of “his” entry as both a simultaneous desent and ascent into this physical form of my body seemed to turn “me” inside out. This is all occurring in the feeling being; this had nothing to do with mind or words or even intending it to happen. “He” had entered me, and I had no words to reference what was occurring. It was beyond comprehension and at the same time profoundly pleasurable. The feeling was blissful with no sense of beginning or end. It had a fullness and intimacy to it that was extremely penetrating and yet boundless at the same time. I did not want it to end. It was absolute joy and freedom from feeling limited to any familiar form. Having my eyes open or closed made no difference whatsoever. Being still or moving made no difference either. There was the obliteration of the feeling of inside or outside. Everything was so luminous with a feeling of roundness and fullness. Being able to locate a sense of a familiar ‘me’ in the midst of that was dissolved, except I was fully conscious of what was occurring. The breath was there, but there was no sense of a familiarly defined bodily awareness. There was no effort; it was all completely spontaneously full. All the feeling senses were filled with bliss; taste, touch, smell, all over physical sensations, feeling, hearing….all of it intertwined and integrated. And at the same time the parameters of my actual body were not what I was used to. There was a feeling of absorption in an incredible embrace of profound love and enjoyment. The feeling was deep and throughout the soft vulnerable feeling being, the whole body; every part of it was enlivened in a rapture of loves embrace. The sense of up was way, way, up and rounded and also very connected to the base of my being, sexually awake too. There was a core connecting the two at heart as love. Both the sense of up and down seemed to become resolved in a single force at the heart. That was something I had never felt before. I could never have generated such a feeling nor could I ever have imagined such a feeling existed. That kind of feeling, intensity, depth of openness and blissfulness was entirely new. I was in love in a manner never known to me before this afternoon. I have told very few people of this event. I did not tell anyone at the time as I did not know what to make of it altogether.
There is part of me that is cautious to continue talking in detail about this event because of the possibility of some misunderstanding.
Ed: Because it is embarrassing?
Julie: Not really�.hmm, maybe too vulnerable and personal. At the time there was a bit of apprehension, both a not knowing if this was “OK” and also a new kind of “knowing”. In addition feeling such strong sexual force associated with the experience was unexpected and overwhelming. It is because it had to do with what I now understand to be subtle and spiritual energy related to seeming male and female sexual energy too. Yes that, but the going beyond the differences in spontaneous spiritual conductivity. I have since understood this as an initiatory awakening. Obviously, this had nothing whatsoever to do with any ability or intention to make such an event happen. I was entirely unaware of spiritual anatomy, yoga, tantra nor what conductivity is.
Ed: Isn’t that what we’re talking about?
Julie: Yes, but should I speak about it in full detail it can tend to feed the fascination in some people and their obsession, ambivalence, and difficulty with the emotional-sexual being and processes. Just as Adi Da speaks of it in what you just read. We all have tended to project this problem onto Adi Da and his work. So I have chosen to keep these kinds of more intimate details private. I and my intimates, especially Adi Da, have suffered abuse by others in their lack of real mature insight and informed understanding, yogic experience and tolerance of him and my relationship to him spiritually and intimately. This kind of abuse and lack of full understanding has been extremely painful for him and for those of us who have been gifted with such initiations. I have also had to go through an immense fire of purification to come to be awakened into real insight and understanding in this regard. I have literally been to hell and back! (laughing)
Ed: That’s too bad. I think the only person who has written anything about sex and Adi Da is Meg McDonnell in her book, ‘Tasting the Moon‘. In her chapter ‘Virgin Suite‘ Meg talks about her relationship to Adi Da sexually, in a tantric and spiritual manner. She talks about her femaleness, and her sexuality was not only in the obvious physical centers but also in subtle levels, energies that go beyond the physical.
She clarifies this by saying that the body is a medium, a magnetic channel, without definite form or shape, morphing into a realm of bliss. She describes her union with Adi Da as a spiritual and passionate event, an unrestrained worship of love.
Julie: Yes, I was very happy to read what Meg wrote and thanked her for doing so. She was true, brave and honest.
I have gone round and round about this issue in mind and feeling how to speak of this given the often vulgar and spiteful responses we have had to suffer. It is not as though Adi Da was hidden about the fact that he was a “tantric Master” or that he instructed and engaged devotees in tantric practices or that we did this with one another at concentrated times with smaller select groups. I also understand that before I arrived at the sanctuary in northern California in 1976, there were earlier larger gatherings with Adi Da with almost anyone who came around and he worked spiritually with all who came, in a way that also engaged them “nakedly”, so to speak, genitals were not hidden, not excluded, not taboo! These kinds of gatherings continued after I was there with him but the devotees who attended were not simply off the streets.
For example; many devotees who have been with Adi Da at the Mountain of Attention will remember Ordeal Bath Lodge. It is an amazing healing center that has been there for a very long time. It is a very large old bath house that holds sacred mineral waters in various rooms with different sized baths, plunges and a large pool. The baths are all of different temperatures. It is an amazing place. I loved it there as did anyone who entered the space. It was used and served as a temple. As soon as you walk into it, you are enveloped by the warmth and nurturing embrace of healing mist, sounds, and smells. Water is surrounding you, literally. Over the years Adi Da has spent a great deal of time there with various individuals and groups of devotees, his family, and children. But the times I am remembering now are of times we all would bathe with him, men and women, naked in the waters together. The first time I did this naked group bathing I was struck by how easeful everyone was about nakedness. I imagined that others must have to go beyond various emotions about being naked, just as I did. But the whole sacred process of being with him in the water naked together undermined any sense of taboos, embarrassment around our bodies and the differences. What would always inevitably happen is that we as a group would be sublimed into a swoon of watery love-ananda. Floating, swaying, swishing, splashing, loving, embracing, playing, laughing, chanting, listening to music live or recorded would eventually culminate into stillness, fullness and oneness. The fluidity of our beings, no matter how they appeared and no matter how different they seemed, no one really cared, as the focus was his love-blissful transmission that rested us in the enveloping womb, waters of healing love. One of Adi Da’s most favorite pastimes was being submerged in water! And mine was with him, there.
This openness was a necessary foundation in how we related to him and one another, to go beyond such troubled sexual self-identity, immaturity and lack of feeling discrimination. He engaged us in a lot of “theatre” around puritanical and ascetic assumptions, as well as forms of addictive habits of degenerative self-indulgence and promiscuity, all of which are symptoms of the self-contraction in the feeling dimension of the emotional-sexual being, just as you read about in his words. The real divine self is not abstract, or elsewhere, bereft of whole bodily surrender into love-bliss! “Feeling without limitation” is essential. He epitomized this all the time. This could be very confronting to those who want control energy and sense of self! (laughing)
In his speaking and writings he communicated extensively about such processes and practices based upon our considerations and experimentations together. But I agree there has not been much detail in the “formal” literature about this. Mainly what is spoken of and written about is the conclusive dharma as a result of all of the experimentation and progressive learning about it all, including practices assumed.
I honestly feel that if the dissident reaction and threat in the mid-1980’s did not occur as it did, perhaps the unfolding of our communications about our sexual yoga with him may have been different. Even so, this reaction, as I have said earlier, is simply indicative of what Adi Da addresses in all assumed ego “I”s. The self-contraction is the cause of this skewed point of view, argument and reactivity. This painful torque has warped us all! Yet freedom from this knot is a realization that is all inclusive of both the so called “male aspect” of existence as consciousness AND the “feminine aspect” as energy. Each of these aspects is also present in any individual being, both male and female. Both men and women have to embrace and integrate both qualities equally. There is only one conscious happy self, not achieved, but as the ground upon which real growth and full reality liberation occur.
Consciousness and energy are one in the realization that awakens in his yogic transmission. Atma Nadi Shakti Yoga, the matrix above and the atman at heart, as one; is conscious light. As he characterized earlier on it is “the enlightenment of the whole body”! Yes! No dissociation or abstraction at all. There are no taboos in relationship to embodiment as the heart of divine conscious love. It is ALL sacredly auspicious in this awakening, divinely self-recognized.
I feel if we, as those who have been gifted with such initiatory access, limit our ability to communicate about the uniquely tantric aspects of our relationship to Adi Da perhaps this will make it more difficult for interested others and new initiates to fully understand the significance of his divine leela. But the reality is that there is a reluctance to do so. Just as I speak of it here in regards to going into details. For example: because these are very intimate details of the process, to whom and how should they be communicated most effectively and for what purpose, if at all? Stories of our history with him can tend to become problematic or taken out of context in various ways by either ourselves or others continued naive, uneducated, inexperienced, dissociative and disgruntled dispositions. I have enacted such characteristics at times. I understand the subjective and dramatic storyline of narcissus all too well! (laughing)
Again Adi Da’s work, in the seventh stage all inclusive way he has revealed, is where male and female energy are realized as one, as consciousness and light embracing both mind and body fully. These attributes are genital-less when the spiritual dimension is fully opened. This communion is Love-Bliss; non differentiation is realized to be true of the conscious self in this radically transcendental bhakti yoga. This awakening was given as a gift in intimacy with him over and over again in all contexts of life, including sexual intimacy, necessarily and obviously.
Ed: What you have also communicated is that the experience you are talking about is an initiation, not the result of something.
Julie: Yes it was. It was grace given, clearly. So in many ways, it could be foolish for me to go further into describing more details of my initiation event with Adi Da that day in West Hills, Los Angles. Not only that event but so much of my life with him! How could people understand it? The only way one would be able to respect and appreciate such a process is to be able to have had a similar relationship to an adept, initiation or experience. Recipients certainly cannot hold puritanical taboos in regards to sexuality and understand such profundity. They must be able to embrace the entire body mind as one sacred, whole being. Also, going into the depths of such samyama in the domain of sexuality (body, emotion, and mind) requires a brave soul. One who is not afraid of what may be seen or revealed, will understand what kind of insight and process is required here, given many aberrations can inevitably tend to be lurking there, hidden, secret, and even locked away. That cheeky kooky patterned id! Got a minute! (laughing)
I can also say that it was an initiation then and this continued necessarily as a lot of my process occurred in the arena of sexual intimacy with him and others. But not as an ego “I” imagines it to be! The first time I was intimate with him. I thought “this is not sex, as I have ever experienced it”! (laughing) Also what we did with one another as devotees were not conventional sexual self-indulgence. Of this, I can assure you! It was always an intense confrontation, in true love.
Again regarding the event in West Hills, even though Adi Da was not in the room and we were not physically together; it completely encompassed my sexual being, and it was clear to me this was related somehow to him but exactly how was the question! All of this occurred in spontaneously given love-bliss, which I knew nothing of. There was no withholding; it was absolute reception and release, not as conventional orgasm as the goal though. It felt that there was a point of dissolution of any sense of separation or need and that was my first initiation in feeling him, which included every part of my being. It was yoga. To have it taken in any way negative would be to sadly misunderstand it. That’s why I’m reluctant to talk more fully about it in intimate detail. It is personal and not necessary. I especially feel reluctant to speak to those who would not understand. This must be why in the ancient tantric traditions such practices were often considered secret. One had to exhibit a certain level of maturity, trustability, honesty, insight, seriousness, and practice to be given such instruction and initiation.
However! This gift for me was given before I was prepared or in his physical company! (laughing) The experience was about Love, entering into the domain of divine love, with the entire feeling being. Amazing eh? How can I account for this? I cannot, except this is the mystery of Adi Da and his gift of reality awakening. Truly miraculous and heroic, I reckon! (laughing)
In this initiation, the feeling experience gradually subsided, and I regained my normal state of consciousness, to some degree. My mind started to grasp for an understanding of what just happened, “what was that?” As I was trying to reorient myself, I began to hear his voice, his laughter on the record again. I then started to envision his play with devotees, his ecstasy and theirs. My heart leapt out; “I want this! I want this!” (laughing), “I never want this to end.” I then realized I needed to go and see Bubba! Curiosity was all consuming!
It was at this point the mind started to come to the forefront. “Wait a minute; this can’t be him. What I just felt could not be related to a person! This is too big and way out there for that! I continued with that inner dialogue for awhile until I understood something about the seeming dichotomy of form created by the ego act. There are his form and mine, and this is what it must feel like to be his devotee as he described in the books I had read so far. Something significant had occurred, and I wanted to understand more.
The feeling of that intimacy, that communion was there. The yearning for that feeling is what later brought me into his direct physical company in a short amount of time.
When I finally sat with Adi Da is his close physical company the Love that I felt in my flat in Westwood was confirmed, “Oh, yes, this is “him”. This is the gift; “He” is the gift. The initiation, transmission, the shaktipat was all “Him”. I became spontaneously one pointed from then on. All those words “Love-Bliss”, devotion, transmission, shaktipat, which were the feelings I felt now, were not yet even part of my vocabulary. But when I heard them now I knew in my body, in my feeling heart, what they were, they were “Him”, his gift of being. I then knew, not only in my mind but in my feeling he was an extraordinary being, and there was nothing I wanted more than to be close to him.
Fortunately for me, I did come into and got to remain in his close physical company very quickly. What was the first and lasting ‘feature’ of his transmission was it did not depend on ‘proximity.’ Whether I was close to him physically or not, his ‘presence’ was always available. Access had nothing to do with physical location.
Of course, locating his presence, his transmission was dependent on my response, my receptivity. There is the Gift, yes. But there is the response that is the responsibility. The more one becomes receptive to the spirit of his transmission and the giving-way in feeling, the more you do not want it to end. This is where I want to be forever. This is it! (laughter). I think this is fairly common with anybody who has had significant and profound spiritual experiences. Why would you want it to end?
So, when he talks about connecting and not rejecting the female, he’s talking to both men and women. He’s talking about feeling itself. We have to let go of the verbal mind, the conceptual mind. The mind and its conceptual capability have more male energy associated with it (which is not a negative). Yet, for the feeling capacities to awaken you have to develop the truly feminine side of energy which allows one to enter into the sensually feeling being, unguarded, receptive, to be penetrated. Let the spirit open you and allow ALL feelings to be felt, both pleasurable and painful. Feel it ALL. Yes, feeling conductivity is what it is entirely about! Of course, transcendental self-discrimination is also awakened simultaneously. Now that is uninhibited bliss beyond mere pleasures!
Ed: This seems to be primary, this feeling dimension as he teaches in the second stage of life. It’s easy to get caught up in the conceptual understanding of feeling!
Julie: Absolutely. To feel, to feel deeply does not depend on a physical location or definition. It is about energy.
Ed: This is where the patterning of the various dimensions comes into play. As you were sitting in your Westwood apartment as you described there clearly was a transcendental transmission given to you.
Julie: Yes, and in his company that was confirmed by virtue of proximity. This was very specific and at the same time paradoxical (laughter). His unique transmission is not only transcendental it is all-inclusive.
This was an initiation, a preparatory process because ultimately the awakening goes deeper than any one experience, this reality becomes or is fully realized to be prior and perpetual. Such transmission is the necessary foundation of the entire process of awakening.
Ed: You make that very clear and so does Meg in her book when you speak of your experience as an initiatory experience. It’s not a path; it’s not something that needs to be recreated.
Julie: Yes, when you think about how that initiation occurred it did not take place with anyone physically in the room, not with Adi Da nor anyone else. I wasn’t intoxicated, drunk or taking any drugs. Just his voice and blessing-being moved me open to receive the truth. It began as just one normal, ordinary afternoon and it changed my life!
Ed: Adi Da has always given all of it up front. Nothing is ever held back.
Julie: Yes, everything was given before even coming into his physical company. ‘The whole ball of wax’! (laughter)
As he said, it’s a validation of the fact that the Gift is given from the beginning. The way begins, and the entire gift is given from the beginning. No qualifications required. This is the Reality Truth; This is the Free Gift and as he admonishes us; “now choose what you will do”!
“The Yoga in My Company is about receiving Love, knowing Love from the beginning. My direct Revelation without justification, without words at all, without your being a particular individual who for some remarkable reason is worthy of the Revelation. All are Given it. It is Divinely Given from the beginning. It is God from the beginning. And then the yoga or all of the process springs from this heart conversion.”
The Characteristic Samadhi of My Life and My Work Is the Thumbs, Adi Da Samraj, February 1993
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
Julie Anderson, 1980