Try the Suppository

Da-vid Forsythe


Da-vid Forsythe has been a devotee since the mid 1970s. He was in a Ph.D. program in neurophysiology and behavior at Princeton University, with the intention of pursuing a career in science, when he came across the Teaching of Adi Da Samraj. He has lived and served on Adidam Sanctuaries for many years. For the past eight years, he has been living and serving at Adi Da Samrajashram. Da-vid's born name is David. It was during the time of this story that Avatar Adi Da reshaped his name to "Da-vid", acknowledging his devotion. His name, now hyphenated, it means one whose life ("vid") is in Da, or one whose real life is given by Da.

Da-vid ForsytheIn the late 1970s, I was invited to play a role in a videotaped skit for the Spiritual Master's entertainment. I played an extremely serious scientist in a satirical commercial for "Preparation K, the Kundalinioidal Gel," which, as I said in the commercial, "could relieve the fixation of attention in the lower life and speed relief to the whole body by shooting energy up, up, up the spine." I delivered my lines in a tight, almost angry monotone, illustrating them with a cartoon that showed the "Life-Force" rising up the spine like mercury in a thermometer. I had been instructed specifically not to show any emotion, just to read the lines, which is what I did. The role, therefore, placed a minimal demand on my acting ability because it called for essentially the same angry, uptight character that I animated all the time. At the end of the commercial, when a voice-over intoned, "Preparation K available at your druggist's in ointment or suppository form," I winked knowingly and said, "Try the suppository."

I later heard that Beloved Adi Da had loved the commercial and asked to see it over and over, roaring with laughter, especially at the last line. I was delighted that He had enjoyed it, even though I was somewhat puzzled. I really didn't see what was that funny about it. Avatar Adi Da remembered it, however.

Some time later, at Da Love-Ananda Mahal (His Sanctuary in Hawaii), at an occasion when I was invited, along with other devotees, to gather with Adi Da, He reminded me of it. As He received a gift of several Lingams [ovoid stone forms, worshipped as forms of the Divine in some traditions]. from a devotee, He held a small one up and said, "Try the suppository." Once again, I was delighted, but although I was extremely grateful for His Regard on that occasion, I didn't really get any particular message from what He had said.

In fact, it was years later that I finally, through the Grace of the Spiritual Master, understood the humor of the skit and the lesson that it contained for me.

In mid-November of 1982, I returned to Da Love-Ananda Mahal. I was invited to another gathering at the Sanctuary and again had the opportunity to see Adi Da. I offered a gift of a flower at His feet when I arrived. He grabbed it from me fiercely, then embraced me with tremendous love, chastising me for staying away so long. I was overwhelmed by the force of His love and the passion with which He moved.

Avatar Adi Da began to consider the central question with which He had been challenging devotees in recent gatherings: "Why is no one practicing?" After a time, He motioned me toward Him. He took His right hand and placed it on my head, and poured out the tremendous Force of Transforming Power that His body communicates. I really didn't have any idea how to receive It I just relaxed as best I could, since it was completely obvious to me that I just had to let It do what It would do. Avatar Adi Da gave me a few minutes to relax and let the Energy do Its Work then the consideraton of the Great Question began. 

Having just been embraced and overwhelmed by His Love and Force of Transmission, I now also had to explain why I had not been practicing! I offered a couple of stock answers, first blaming my own stupidity, and then "habits."

Neither answer satisfied the Avatar Adi Da. In response to the second answer, He demanded, "And who exactly is it that has these habits?" Seeing my minimal level of understanding, He took another tack. He said, "All right, then, think of the mental image of a cat."

I was tremendously relieved here was something I could do. So I mentally formed the image of a cat.

"Now," He continued, "you aren't identified with that cat, are you?"

"No," I said.
 
He responded, "Why should it be any different with the body-mind?"

And I immediately saw that it was true. I could feel the body and see a mental image, but I was not identical to either one. Adi Da had shown me the unnecessary and arbitrary identification with the body-mind.

Then He gave me His most summary advice, instructions that I had been given years before but that only now had real meaning to me. He told me to "try the suppository." He went on to explain in detail that the suppository He had in mind was the wealth of Teaching, of Spirit-Blessing, of Baptism I had received. No wonder that line, coming from me when I was so deeply embroiled in suffering and struggling with my life, had seemed so humorous to Avatar Adi Da.

Beloved Adi Da went on to remind me that the effects of His great Blessing would be only temporary unless I became responsible for the understanding and practice that It demanded. He could show me the Truth of "the suppository" but it was up to me to notice It, locate It, grasp It, gravitate to It, and submit myself to It. He went on to explain that it was not necessary to wait until one was in some exalted plane in order to practice! Certainly I had bodily limitations to overcome some of them substantial, He noted but that was no reason why I couldn't take up the Way and practice.

By now I felt completely full of joy, and in such intimate relationship with Adi Da that I could not tolerate all the ways whereby I had always withdrawn from the relationship before. I blurted out, "Master, I have always been afraid of making a fool of myself in your company!" He roared with laughter and said, "Nonsense! I've made much more a fool of Myself in your company than you could ever be in Mine." Everyone was laughing uproariously now, when suddenly someone yelled out, "Master, as he said that, he put a piece of cheese on your tray!"

It was true. The devotees serving at the occasion had slipped me a plate with cheese and crackers. I had eaten most of the cheese except for a small cube, which had fallen on the floor. I had picked up the scrap of cheese from the floor and deposited it on the Master's tray a faux pas if there ever was one and I had done this just as I was confessing my fear of making a fool of myself! Adi Da looked down at the cheese and in a quick motion picked it up and fed it to me from His own hand. As I received His Prasad, I was amazed at how in the midst of all of that, I had somehow, unconsciously even, made a gesture toward Him that, in a crazy way, had demonstrated the sacrament that is alive in the relationship with the Adept. [Note: Da-vid is referring to the Sacrament of Universal Sacrifice.]

A short time later, Adi Da began to listen to recordings of opera, as He often did during these gatherings. As He requested one particular recording, I gave a start. He had asked to hear the duet from The Pearl Fishers, by Bizet. Another devotee noticed my surprise and pointed it out to Him. I told Avatar Adi Da that when I was young, my parents had always played classical music on the radio, and that this particular piece, even this specific recording, had always been my absolute favorite, one that had always seemed to me unbearably beautiful.

As we listened to the recording and devotees sang along, I was overcome by emotion. My body was alive with love and bliss beyond endurance. My head was full of light and energy, an energy that pervaded everything. It was not limited to a force in my body. The Life-Current did not seem to be contained in my body, but rather my body was contained in the Life-Current. I had no sense, in fact, of a defined body. I just felt a Current of Bliss and Love.

I cried out to Avatar Adi Da that I loved Him and bowed, sobbing. I was seeing the Vision of the Divine One as a feeling recognition that transcended body, mind, time, and space.

When I returned again to my home in California, I knew I was taking with me a precious Gift. The time I had spent in Avatar Adi Da's Company had Awakened in me a new Energy, and I felt that His Touch had made an indelible mark on my heart. I realized that the greatest gift I could give Adi Da in return was to stop acting as if the process were somehow in doubt and instead to start living with the passion and freedom that He had demonstrated to me. I discovered a tremendous enjoyment in my relationships, and I became more real, direct and emotional with others.

I saw that the pious and "churchy" character I had always animated was rooted in fear. I had always tried to look like a practitioner but my practice had been a means to protect myself from feeling desire and conflict. My navel had been chronically in a knot, holding off feelings that had always seemed threatening and dangerous to me. But I could relax my fearful contraction in the lower body and allow the Force of Life to circulate. I noticed that when I practiced this I became effective in my work and things seemed to "work out." At times the contraction in my navel released completely, and I would feel the full circle of conductivity just as Avatar Adi Da describes. It is a great pleasure in the body.

When I returned to Da Love-Ananda Mahal after a month, I was again invited to gather with devotees in Avatar Adi Da's Company. I bowed in surrender. Avatar Adi Da looked up and asked in mock gruffness, "Who's this?" I offered a garland of flowers at His feet and as I started to rise, He motioned me to Him and embraced me. We held one another for what seemed a long, long time. In that embrace, I could only allow my body to relax and dissolve into Him. He had no limits. As I surrendered more and more deeply, every form that arose of body or mind became obvious as only a limit on Love, only a contraction of Feeling, and I couldn't do anything about any of it except surrender. Adi Da gave me a last loving squeeze and released me. We sat for a moment gazing at one another, resting in the fullness of Feeling. "So what have you been doing?" He asked.

All I wanted to do was express my love and my gratitude for everything He had given me. I said, "Master, I've been feeling your Presence everywhere, in California, everywhere. I went back there and felt you there. My body has been full of a Life, Light, and Energy that have blown my mind. And when I surrender into It, I can feel You living me." He responded softly, "Tcha."

Devotees who had been at Da Love-Ananda Mahal during my time away told me that Avatar Adi Da had asked many times to hear the duet from The Pearl Fishers "for Da-vid."

Postscript [December 2006]: At the time of this story I didn't grasp the full significance of Adi Da's Revelation that I am not the body-mind, which He drew me to feel for a moment when He asked me to picture a cat. I knew something about its profound implication, but at the time, I had presumed that it was something to consider only when one had entered the ultimate stages of practice in the Way of Adidam (which are devoted to the contemplation and Realization of Consciousness Itself, rather than the body-mind). For this reason, I had always wondered why Adi Da had brought it up with me.

However, Avatar Adi Da has recently made clear that this Revelation that "you are not the body-mind" is a part of His Teaching that is fundamental even to beginners of His Way of Adidam. Thanks to Adi Da's Persistence in bringing this "Radical" consideration to my attention, I am finally seeing that everything else has always been really secondary, made necessary by my own fixation and fascination with the content of bodily and mental life. How remarkable that He brought this Argument forward so strongly and directly with me in the midst of the these particular gatherings!


Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
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