This title may sound like one of those frog-to-prince or ugly duckling-to-swan fairy tales. But it was beyond any fairy tale I heard as a child, beyond my imagination.
It happened one unusual morning on Dandelion Farm…..Well, really it didn’t start that very day. It began a couple weeks earlier when I signed up to go on retreat on the Mountain of Attention Sanctuary. It was a summer in the early ’80’s. And I was excitedly headed for an ecstatic retreat in the Company of Adi Da Samraj, so I thought.
But as I arrived and settled in on the first day, word came that He was LEAVING! And sadly, He did that indeed, quite soon thereafter. I was in “Great Food Dish” as He walked, staff in hand, up the stairs and past the windows, allowing those inside to see Him pass by as a farewell gift to us all. He stopped in front of 7th Gate on the path and leaned over to kiss little Naamleela good-bye for the time and walked out of sight.
So began my 2 weeks of retreat. There had been so many retreatants before. But suddenly the flood of people from around the globe onto retreat in His Company had withered down to three die-hards…myself among them. Instead of a large, passionate group to share meditation and the long, long “full cycle of devotion” formal recitations and chanting every afternoon, there were 3 of us alone together. Chanting with out accompaniment with non musical types? You have to have done it to appreciate this unique form of torture.
We were as dry as the dearth of devotees. I felt unusually incapacitated in my feelings and in my practice altogether the whole retreat. This is to say it was utterly, painfully BORING. There was nowhere to run from this pain of boredom, other than the devices of a real beginner’s mind…Talk of PAIN! But with no place to run I struggled and persisted all the way through the 2 weeks of minor hell, feeling it was all such a waste of time!
Back home on Dandelion Farm, I was much relieved to simply walk in nature again, contemplating in my heart with a slowly resurfacing feeling ability…Yes, I was beginning to slowly, for some mysterious reason, be able to feel again. I noticed the peace of nature and the sun shining a bit brighter than usual…ahhhhhhhhhh, nature, what a relief!
I enjoyed my relaxed walks a couple more days. Then I headed for the irrigation pond to lap up a bit more of that wonderfully bright sun, swimming leisurely for a bit before rolling over onto my back to bask in the noticeably more radiant sun as I floated on the still waters.
But as I rolled over onto my back it was like a page from one reality to a TOTALLY different REALITY! Instantly my mind fell away as brightness overwhelmed all. But as that wash of brightness swept me away, for an instant I was a lotus flower floating on the waters, unfurloughing all the petals of my being outward from my flowering heart-core in unfettered immense LOVE of the Light. No self…… drifted deep away…no time….nothing…..but at some level of unthinking awareness there was the most exquisite, pervasive, delicious, heart deep and cellular PLEASURE.
I became aware of that unknowable, reality for a fleeting instant as it quickly vanished, pushed out with the reassertion of limited mental self identity and the words of my returning mind, “Is it right to feel such PLEASURE?” Those words arose clearly before my conscious awareness like an ugly blight, a pestilence descending upon Reality free of mind, exquisite in every way beyond description.
Quite quickly I realized this was a Blessed Gift after a difficult retreat, and a sign of “delayed Transmission” from my Master. (I was unfortunately generally slow on reception). But I could only marvel that Adi Da had been able to give this Gift in spite of my devotional incapacity and beginner’s unpreparedness, and with so little time in His Company…through the window as He left.
Clearly I had all kinds of limiting presumptions about His ability to serve me, that this experience drew into sharp perspective. Such amazing Gifts of Help from Adi Da have high-lighted my limited understanding of Who He Is more than once and thrown me into unknowing awe!
You may enjoy “The Cloud of Unknowing Gate” post on this subject.