Finding 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.

Wes VaughtFor 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 His thigh.

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 your life?"

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 Da in 1972
Wes Vaught with Adi Da
Los Angeles, 1972

Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
Copyrighted materials used with the permission of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as trustee for The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam. All rights reserved. None of these materials may be disseminated or otherwise used for any non-personal purpose without the prior agreement of the copyright owner. ADIDAM is a trademark of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as Trustee for the Avataric Samrajya of Adidam.

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