Free From Feeling Like a "me"

a devotee

This story is republished from the March-April 2009 issue of the Adidam DC Newsletter.

The author is from the Southeastern U.S. Region of Adidam. She became Bhagavan Adi Da's devotee only a few months before His Divine Mahasamadhi, and was never in His physical Company while He was alive. This is her personal account of traveling to Naitauba for the first time, for a 10-day pilgrimage retreat during the Vigil following the Divine Mahasamadhi of Adi Da Samraj.

When I heard the news on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, that Adi Da had left His physical body, I went into shock like everyone else.

Then I heard we were all invited to Naitauba. I had wanted to go for some time, so when I heard this, I immediately made travel arrangements. Two days later, I was on a flight to Fiji along with a lot of other devotees. The flight itself stood out to me because it was very rough, very bumpy. I was not worried, but I remember the bumpiness.

I'm a new devotee, not even a year old. So my emotional state was different from a lot of devotees. I was saddened and affected by the news of Adi Da leaving the physical, but because I'd never had personal contact with Him, I was not in a mourning state like those who'd had a lot of personal contact with Him. I was in shock, but it was a different process for me, and, altogether, it was quite an adventure for me to go to Naitauba so quickly. I felt very compelled to go. We arrived on a Monday evening, and it was already dark. We were invited to go up to The “Brightness”, where Adi Da had been buried the day before, but I was so tired from the long journey and the seasickness pills I'd taken that I don't remember much.

The next day, we were again invited to go up to The “Brightness” to chant, hear recitations of Bhagavan's Word and what not. This time I went up, and I found that The “Brightness” is quite an incredible and special place. It's exquisite, and you can't put into words the energy there. It's a “bright” feeling — not like a kundalini energy. It is truly exquisite. As we approached The “Brightness” Temple, we walked around it three times, then sat down and listened to recitations and chanted. We did this each day for the next few days.

The Brightness

The chanting took me out of myself. It was a very effective means to enter a receptive frame of mind. And it was so beautiful sounding that it opened me up. This opening allowed me to sense and feel the energy descending there.

It was during such an occasion that I became aware of the appropriateness that it was the Thanksgiving time of year. It was not a coincidence that it was Thanksgiving because it was so appropriate to receive the whole event in gratitude.

Adi Da's Incarnation is such a mystery and an absolute utter Grace. I find it the most inspiring thing ever, the most amazing and Hopeful event ever to have occurred. So it felt totally right that Avatar Adi Da's Passing be on Thanksgiving.

When I was at The “Brightness”, I felt absorbed. The weather was hot, even dangerously hot, and the island itself is physically challenging. However, it struck me that the physical stuff didn't matter because my attention was drawn Elsewhere.

In the evenings there were kava ceremonies with the Fijians, and that was interesting, to participate in the Fijian culture. And it moved me to see the Fijians' true and real respect in how they related to Adi Da. That really struck me. There was a culmination at the lovo ceremony that occurred four days after Bhagavan was interred. A lot of Fijians came from Ciqomi and from many other islands because they recognized Adi Da as "Tui" (chief), and they came to pay their respect in the Fijian manner. But there was no feeling of separation between Fijians and devotees — I felt everyone was in it together. It felt very open and I think everyone's hearts blended together. There was an energy or mood there of peace and calm that seemed to be patting us on the back, saying, “It's okay.” It felt wonderful to be a part of that. This was exactly one week after Adi Da Passed.

There were two things going on for me then. There was the process of the Mahasamadhi; and the process of retreat, for which there was a general daily schedule — but, because of its coincidence with Adi Da's Divine Mahasamadhi, the daily form was loose compared to a regular retreat.

One evening, just as I was about to go to sleep, I remembered I had left something in Temple Adi Da. I didn't want to leave a personal item in the Temple, so I went back to get it. When I walked in, I saw that there was only one person in there, and she was getting up to leave. She offered me her chair. Up to this point, I had not been able to properly meditate, because I need a chair to be comfortable, and, because there were so many people on Naitauba, all the chairs were always taken. So this was the first time I had a chair. . . plus, I was there alone, which was also unusual.

Temple Adi Da

I sat down, and it was maybe one minute, when I had this Insight, a direct Gift Given to me. It was direct because there was no build-up to it; it was Given instantly. It enabled me to see things arising to my attention and what I typically did with everything that arose. I saw that what I did was take what arose and essentially call it “my experience”. I modified what I observed arising by making it my experience. And there was Instruction that came hand-in-hand with this Insight. If I don't add my usual activity of identifying what arises as “mine”, and just let things arise, there is a whole different feeling about everything.

I faintly remembered something similar from when I was young. So this Instruction felt familiar, but it was so free from feeling like a “me”.

It was very interesting. It stayed with me quite strongly over the next couple of days — I was able to not do that activity, and also notice more readily when I did do it. It felt like a prison when I was doing it. The activity was a way of clouding everything up. This Instruction was a huge Gift because I found I can go back to that moment at any time.

There was a point a couple days later when I noticed the magnitude of this Gift. I was in Temple Adi Da again, and there was a presentation by Ben Grisso, who gave his account of being in Picture Perfect when Avatar Adi Da Passed. A slideshow of the Interment was also shown, so it was a very emotional presentation. I noticed that when I did not clamp down on what was arising, and made use of the Gift I had received, there was no feeling of loss. It struck me there were two ways of perceiving: when I looked at the photo of Adi Da in the Temple I saw there was no separation, so there was no loss; “loss” is not even relevant at that point. But if I identified with my body and clamped down, then I would feel the loss.

* * *

The last day I was there, boat trips around the Island were offered, so I did that, and it was really the most amazing thing. You could really see the island from out on the water. It was a different perspective and I could see how profound the place is. It is really profound. That Island is literally Ecstasy, a Spiritual Wonderland — profound and Sublime; I could see the Ecstasy pouring off of it. When I was there on the Island and walking around being myself, I could also sense the Ecstasy, but this new perspective highlighted it. I would say, if you are on Naitauba and aren't experiencing that Bliss, you are doing something that is preventing that, because it is definitely there. It was really extraordinary. . . A Sacred place for sure.

I would also say that for anyone who has never been, it is a place you really should go to at least once in your life. I can't really put it into words. It is the kind of place you would want to visit at least once. It is a physically challenging place, but nonetheless you get beyond that because you are drawn into Beloved Adi Da and the Real World.



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