Adi Da > David Ward
The Book Fell Down at My Feet
David Ward has been a devotee
of Adi Da Samraj for many years. He is an artisan who works with a unique medium: tree branches, creating stick art in many forms (including wall-mounted sculptures). His contributions to contemporary interior design have been recognized in the national media (for example, this article in The San Francisco Chronicle) and are showcased in numerous luxury homes across the nation. He lives and works in an artistic spiritual community near Nevada City in Northern California.
In the 1980's, I moved to California from Utah to be with my girlfriend,
who was living in San Francisco. When I got to California, everything
was so different! People were into all kinds of New Age things:
spiritual teachers like Osho, Muktananda,
you name it. I found out my girlfriend had had an affair with
her teacher at the New Age school she was attending. I was pretty
repulsed by the whole thing. I would not be following any teacher
or Guru! We broke up after a short emotional time.
So there I was, living in California, with no friends, no job — by myself. It was no surprise that I got sick. I was staying home, with not much to do and emotionally in a crisis, to say the least. I lived in Mill Valley. My home at this time was a yurt up in the hills. I would drive down to the Depot bookstore and look at all the books and magazines, self help, Ram Dass's Grist for the Mill, etc.
Depot Bookstore in Mill Valley
One day I was reaching up for a book — a Steven Levine book, if I remember correctly. I happened to hit the book next to it and the book fell down at my feet. I picked it up and put it back, and pressed on it so it would stay in place.
As I did, it sprang back and fell back down once more. It was like juggling books!
The woman next to me saw what had happened and said to me, "You should buy that book!"
I replied, "ha ha", uncomfortably. But I ended up buying it. It was Adi Da's book, The Four Fundamental Questions.
I took the book home. One night, I tried to read it before bed, and could not relate to it or follow it at all. It took some days before I cared to pick it up again.
This time, I read it. Or — it would be more accurate to say — it read me. . . all the way through! I was like, "Wow, this is so 'The Truth'". . . as I had never heard it before. It was the "root" Truth that explained all of my seeking and why it had never worked.
I was part ecstatic and part mind-blown. I was smiling ear to ear! And after finishing it, I was ready for more!
So I bought another book. . . And another. . . And pored over Adi Da's Teaching, copies of Laughing Man magazines, whatever I could find. After the third or fourth, I noticed the address on the book and realized that it was near where I was living in Mill Valley. So I thought: I am going to go and get closer to where Adi Da is and check it (Him) out in person.
This and many moments like this were — and are — perfectly choreographed to bring me to God. . . as I had really always wanted for as long as I can remember: a tangible, personal God — in the form of Sweet, Beloved Adi Da Samraj: I bow down to You!