Exactly That Same Embrace
Attardi has been a devotee of Avatar Adi Da Samraj since 1976.
She has been a principal person involved in sacred and cultural
overview of the community of devotees. She has lived and served
many years at all of the Hermitages and Sanctuaries established by Avatar Adi Da.
Jane also serves in the Art Department as a framer.
grew up in a large Italian family, on the east
coast of the United States, in which the
masculine force was very dominant. My mother also tended to be a
strong, domineering character. The men were regarded with great
respect and nurtured constantly by the women.
As a result, I developed an intense desire
to identify with men in order to also feel loved and taken care
of. This desire manifested in several ways over the years including
physical complications and a bisexual orientation.
For many years I was in conflict with these
I brought this confusion
with me when I became Avatar Adi Da's devotee in 1976. From that
moment I was required to understand myself, as was everyone else
regardless of their sexual orientation. I discovered the real weaknesses
in my character and how they prevented me from fully engaging Spiritual
practice. I observed my uncertainty and insecurity about my feminine
character. During this period, in 1987, I observed that I was more
easily able to express my relationships to men through anger and
conflict than through loving or attraction.
This understanding was not abstract but the
result of self-observation in real-life circumstances.
I discussed my emotional-sexual orientation
in devotional groups, I experimented with several intimate relationships
with both men and women, I studied Avatar Adi Da's Wisdom-Teaching
about sexuality, and I was Graced to have many personal conversations
with Him about this area of my life. In those conversations, He
worked to undermine my sexual complications. He always presumed
no-problem and simply drew me to understanding. Thus, I learned
many lessons for which I was very grateful.
But when Indoor
Yajna began, I still felt that some aspects of my sexual orientation
were unresolved. I was and had been in an intimate partnership
with a man for several years, and I could feel that this lack
of resolution in me was a limitation in our relationship. More
importantly, I could also feel that my practice could not grow
while I was still complicated.
Avatar Adi Da continued to do His Gracious
Work, discussing the matter with me and helping me to see that
I characteristically remain invulnerable to masculine energy,
feeling my energies as a woman to be somehow stronger and even
One evening in particular marked a turning
point. Avatar Adi Da was full of very Happy and forceful Energy.
I also felt strong and full of energy to participate with Him.
I wanted to dance with Him that evening.
The music began. It was a very vital rock
song, exactly my favorite dance music. Before I knew it, I was
inside a circle of my friends and dancing with Avatar Adi Da.
I danced as wildly and freely as I could. I did not "decide" to
do this. That is just how intense and alive the energy was. I
was so excited to be with Him, dancing close to His physical Form.
I also felt submitted and receptive to His Blessing Force.
I was granted the Grace of being able to touch
His Body. We danced cheek to cheek, shoulder to shoulder. It was
Love-Blissful, full of energy. I leaned into Him, touching my
cheek to His ear. He swung me around. I wrapped around His navel,
leaned on His back, clung to His legs. We were all over the dance
floor — from one end to the other. I relaxed into and with Him.
We danced with abandon, in intimacy. I was drawn into His State.
At one point in the dance, He flipped me around
and I landed on the floor. The dance continued as I got up and
kept moving with Him. Before long, another flip and again I was
on the floor. And again and again. The dance had taken on a very
wild quality. I had to learn how to let go and yet still respond.
I was not in control. To keep participating at the level of energy
He was manifesting required a great openness and responsive self-submission.
I felt Avatar Adi Da's Love, as always, and
my friends, knowing what this dance required of me, were cheering
all around us.
By the time the dance ended, I felt very raw
and vulnerable. The energy of the dance was so intense and the
self-submission it required of me was so uncharacteristic that
I was disoriented. I did not have the energy for my usual state
of defensiveness and superiority.
My dancing lesson was not over, however. Avatar
Adi Da came over to where I was standing on the stage still catching
my breath. He stood behind me, rubbing my shoulders and urging
me on, like a coach preparing his prize-fighter for another round.
When the music began, I was joined by a group of several men.
He yelled things like "Atta girl, Jane. You can do it! Go get
'em!" into my ear. It was not a very feminine drama, and it reflected
my aggressive, self-defensive mood toward men.
As we began to dance, Avatar Adi Da walked
in and out of the dancing circle, still making "prize-fighter"
comments to me, reflecting my competition with men. The men I
was dancing with, all friends of mine, all practitioners of the
Way of Adidam who had witnessed my ordeal of self-understanding
over the years, knew very well what this moment was for me. They
manifested great masculine strength and energy in their movements.
This was offensive to me, and I could feel how my reaction to
such strength prevented my being open and ecstatic.
The music finally ended, and I went back to
my place while others danced. I felt undone at a deep level of
my being. I had been met with the most intense Sweetness, Love,
and Fire I had ever embraced. From
that moment forward, I experienced an ever increasing sensitivity
to this characteristic obstruction in me and how it prevents the
Great Happiness and Transmission Offered by my "Bright" Guru,
Avatar Adi Da.
In the weeks that followed, I began to become
glaringly aware of my state. My egoic characteristics were magnified,
much as they had been in the dancing. By being made so utterly
aware of my tendencies and the degree to which I had been meditating
on them, the need for self-transcendence began to break through.
The capability for self-transcendence began to awaken, and I no
longer identified so strongly with these tendencies.
I began to feel freer as a woman, more vulnerable.
A clarity emerged in me that allowed me to submit, receive, and
cooperate with the Grace that is the Way of Adidam.
My relationship to Avatar Adi Da grew as I
acknowledged Him to be the Blessing Power that moves me. I observed
that my relationship to Him is that of surrender and cooperation
— exactly as I experienced it on the dance floor. My relationship
to Him as that Blessing Force became just as tangible and full
of ecstasy as our dance had been. It is exactly that same embrace.