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 amongst 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 sun as I floated on the still waters.
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 unfurloughing all the petals of my being outward from the flower’s core, out in unfettered love of that brightness upon the waters. 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 fully aware of that unknowable land only as it quickly vanished with the words of my returning mind, “Is it right to feel such PLEASURE?” Those words arose clearly to even my mind like the ugly blight they were. a pestilence upon a space exquisite beyond description.
But I did quickly recognize that this was a Blessed Gift after a difficult retreat. I could only marvel that Adi Da had been able to give this in spite of my devotional incapacity and beginner’s unpreparedness, and with so little time before He left. Clearly I placed all kinds of limiting presumptions on Him that this tampered with. Such sudden and stark high-lighting of my limited presumptions has, more than once, thrown me into unknowing awe!
Cloud of Unknowing gate on Dandelion was named after a 14th century book by an anonymous Christian mystic. The experience of “unknowing” has come and relieved my being like a descending peace dove over a battlefield. There were times it was so blatant as to remain etched in memory forever, and other countless times when as it became a door to heart meditation. Perhaps I will share some of those stories too…the most special ones… after you have tread in the shoes of my mind a bit further.
Unknowing and drifting in the “Sea of Infinity”. That is Where I drifted that day. That became the name of Dandelion’s first pond. Most of the time this is a froggy, fishy little watery place of grasses and weeds and critters coming to drink or fly around. But it is to me always, truly, a different bliss and Light filled Reality, the Sea of Infinity.
And thus a little prayer arose: “Ah, Love, Let it be that You and I may fly as One, beyond the sun and through the Sea of Infinity….And thus also, a theme I began to make in jewelry… fanciful versions of a woman swept away in Love.