Adi Da > Wes Vaught
"What Have You Been Doing with Your Life?"
by Wes Vaught
Wes Vaught was one
of Adi Da's earliest devotees. He worked as a proofreader at CSA
Press, in Atlanta, Georgia, the original publisher of Adi Da's
autobiography, The Knee Of Listening.
It would prove to be the means by which he discovered his Spiritual
Master, "by chance", before Adi Da began His formal Teaching Work
in 1972. Wes now lives in Northern California.
years, I had been desperately seeking to make sense of existence.
While studying Adi Da's autobiography, The
Knee Of Listening, and contemplating its
Truths, the intuition of the silent, free depth of the Heart dawned
in me. I had found my Guru, and I began to feel irresistibly attracted
to that Graceful Source.
The editor at the press where I was working showed me a letter
from "Franklin Jones" [Adi
Da's birth name]. In it, He Wrote, "There is not the slightest
difference." Those Words stopped my mind. My entire life had been
a warfare of differences and opposites, and I felt the profound
Freedom communicated in this one sentence. I had to go see Him.
I traveled to Los Angeles and found the way to His home in Laurel
Canyon. It was late April 1972. I knocked, and Adi Da Answered.
"Who is it?"
I explained that I had read His book, and that I had felt compelled
to come and see Him. Adi Da opened the door, and I followed Him
into the living room.
I felt welcomed into a "Bright" Space, free of any sense of problem.
On the walls were Disney posters and images of holy men. It felt
natural to sit on the floor before His Chair. I had brought with
me a bag of oranges and pears as a gift. I extended it: "I brought
this for You."
He received it with both Hands and with such loving care. Everything
about Him was absolute strength, sublime vulnerability, perfect
clarity, and delight. Time stood still while He removed the fruits
from the bag and arranged them on a little table next to His Chair.
Then He Graciously folded the paper bag neatly and tucked it by
He received the whole gift!
Looking at me directly and with what seemed like an infinity
of loving humor, Adi Da asked, "What have you been doing with
I felt the weight of my twenty-five years of waiting for God
lift and, with what must have been a ridiculous gush of information,
I spilled out my story. I do not know how long I talked. I tried
to say everything of importance all at once!
Adi Da listened. His was not the kind of listening where someone
is waiting to say something when it is their turn. His listening
became a perfect Intensity and a perfect Silence. At some
point, His Silence became the entire import of the moment. I noticed
this and stopped mid-sentence.
Sitting up straight, I was overwhelmed with His Blessing Force.
Suddenly, I was shaking and breathing extremely deeply in the
Current of His Communicated Force. My verbal mind ceased with
the immediacy of His Presence.
I felt that Adi Da was Offering me the perfect opportunity in
God, but I felt my gross unpreparedness and the obstructions in
me that prevented me from fully cooperating with what He was Communicating.
I wanted to get out of the way, but how?
Wanting to remove anything in the way of my freedom, anything
that I could lay my hands on, I felt suddenly moved to take off
my clothes. I began, and then paused for a moment, feeling foolish,
and looked at Avatar Adi Da as if to ask, "Is this okay?"
With an almost imperceptible tilt of His Head, I felt Avatar
Adi Da Communicate that it was of no significance to Him what
I did with regard to clothing. I could suit myself in the matter.
He was most obviously Demonstrating His Divine Mood, clearly
Indifferent to any sense of limitation, Shining with Blessing
Force, replete with native Freedom and the certainty of unqualified
Love, Transparent to the pure, sweet Grace of God.
I took everything off, even the band-aid on my heel, and threw
myself face down and full-length at His Feet.
His Feet, somehow, were a perfect point of contact with this
Blessing Force. I wept and kissed His Feet, wetting them with
tears of relief, joy, gratitude, and also with the anguish that
I could not completely let go of myself. Still I tried to surrender,
straining with my heart and brain to open more.
But I could surrender no more.
Quietly, Adi Da lifted His Feet and placed them on my head. All
stress left my being. A golden balm of sweet light poured through
every cell in my body. A knot opened. I let go, and His brilliant
Radiance washed through me. I was Home.
After a bit, I got up, dressed some, and told Adi Da that I felt
that I belonged with Him. He looked at me and Said, "There is
something about this Teaching you have not understood. It is about
this matter of Consciousness."
He gave me everything in that moment: a living relationship to
an absolute source of Grace, the most profound experience of my
life, and the admonition to join Him in free relation to all phenomena.
I fell in love with Him. I had begun the life of understanding
in devotion to the One Who is that. The principle of my search
was obviated, and the momentum of my self-contraction, my separative
and loveless adaptation, began to wind down.
He said He had established a bookstore and small center and invited
me to sleep there that night. From that night, I joined the small
gathering of people who were studying His Teaching and sitting
in formal Communion with Him at the time.
* * *
In June 1972, Beloved Adi Da was sitting in lengthy silent Darshan with us three times a week. I was learning to trust the process of love-surrender into the Blissful Unknown in His Company. I was so in love with Him. On this evening, He showed up at the Melrose Ashram wearing a dashing outfit, with Italian shoes and a very handsome blazer and ascot. It was the first time we had seen Him dressed this way. He was going up to Monterey to spend the week with some devotees. As He was leaving, we embraced and I whispered in His ear, "Knock 'em dead!" This photo (below) was snapped a moment later as we gazed at one another.
Wes Vaught with Adi
Los Angeles, 1972