Who would have thought that an addiction to sweets, and hot fudge sundaes in particular, could have brought this one into the Divine Company of the Ruchira Avatar?
In the 1970's, having abandoned matriculation from a university whose tenets in philosophy had led me to despair, I applied what I had studied to union organizing. What else practical could one do with a philosophy degree anyway? Mornings were dedicated to union work. Late afternoons and evenings were spent driving public transit. Whenever I could, I took my mid-shift break at a place called Mountain High Ice Cream Parlor, specializing in organic ice cream. I may have been addicted to sweets, but at least I chose the best in town.
Over a summer of accomplishment in contract negotiations, helping the handicapped travel from one side of town to another, and extreme personal dissatisfaction, I became close to the lady who happily served up that ice cream. We talked a lot about love, learning, music, art, study, and spirituality. Since union meetings were held the same evenings her spiritual study group met, I had no opportunity to attend any considerations there. So one early autumn afternoon when I stopped by for my break (by now this queen of healthy sustenance had weaned me off of ice cream and hot fudge onto frozen yoghurt with home-made carob sauce), my newly found heart-friend added a surprise gift to my regular menu item. She slipped a glass (spiraled full of sweet concoctions) across the counter toward me, along with a book, saying something like: I know you're busy, but I feel you'd appreciate this.
For some uncharacteristic reason, I turned my gaze away from the frozen raspberry yoghurt dripping with carob toward a most unusual image: a Supremely Attractive Being whose photograph graced the book's jacket, smiling mysteriously, touching His ear. I lost myself immediately. . . in an instant, a shift occurred. There was no granite topped counter and wooden stool with music in the background. There was not a shred of bodily awareness whatsoever. There was only a Bright, Radiant Field of Whitest Light, a tiny point of witness, and the most extraordinary, limitless, astonishing feeling of extravagant and limitless Joy. And then Boundless and Heart-Melting Laughter tumbled and penetrated and dissolved everything altogether.
The counter and the stool returned to awareness. My friend stood with folded arms across the counter chuckling. Apparently I had been "gone" for some two or three minutes, fallen into His Bright Image. I took the book home. It was titled The Way That I Teach, by Bubba Free John (Adi Da's name at the time). Sitting cross-legged on my futon, I opened the pages to "Love Is the Sacrifice of Man", an excerpt from "The Paradox of Instruction" displayed across from an opening chapter. I read. My heart dissolved in recognition, and I felt deeply at rest for the first moment in a very long time. I intuited that this very special, very unique Being and Person was my long awaited Spiritual Teacher.
I read more. And within a year, I moved to California and became a student-beginner in The Way of the Heart (now called "The Way of Adidam"), and began a life of surrender at the Radiant Blessing Feet of the Ruchira Avatar, Adi Da Samraj.
story appears in the sections
Finding Adi Da and
Blessings, Miracles, and Extraordinary Evidence