"Be Fearless!"

John Bent


John Bent is a longtime devotee of Adi Da Samraj. Here he tells the story of Adi Da's great Blessing Work with His devotee, Tamara McPhail (who was John's intimate partner from 1999 until her death in 2002).

This story is excerpted from the third edition of Avatar Adi Da's classic book, Easy Death.

John Bent and Tamara Mcphail

This story of Adi Da Samraj's Great Blessing Work with His devotee, Tamara Mcphail (my intimate partner from 1999 until her death in 2002), begins in 1993, with a premonitory conversation between Tamara and Adi Da.

She was on a meditation retreat, where she had the opportunity to tell Him about a disturbing vision she was having repeatedly: a huge, terrifying figure stood over the world, cloaked in black, and faceless except for eyes of red coals.

Avatar Adi Da replied, "Oh, that one! He is the vision of death." Then He told her not to worry. "Stay with Me," He said. "I will take care of you."

Tamara left that retreat much relieved but her life was never easy. Over the next few years, her marriage deteriorated and ended. And her health was poor. In 1997 she moved from Canada to the Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary, in northern California. When I met her in 1999, she was suffering from frequent, painful headaches and bouts of nausea.

On a Wednesday in late May of 2001, Tammy got up complaining of numbness in her right arm, but still went to the Sanctuary to do her daily service in the Archives Department, where she sorted and stored photographs of Adi Da Samraj.

Around noon, I got a call from a devotee serving with her, who told me that Tamara had had a seizure and was unconscious. Shocked, I immediately went to the Sanctuary.

* * *

When I arrived, Tammy was just regaining consciousness. She was surrounded by friends, including one of our community's physicians, and everyone was tending to her with great care and concern. An ambulance was on its way.

Tamara was a Canadian citizen and had medical insurance there, so, although she was very weak, we flew to Vancouver two days later. The doctors in California had already determined that she had a fairly large growth in her brain; the doctors in Vancouver operated on her. Our Beloved Divine Heart-Master, Adi Da Samraj, was constantly informed of events as they occurred, and continually sent His Love and Blessings to Tamara.

We were, of course, praying for her recovery, but this was not to be. Tamara was diagnosed with a lethal form of brain cancer and was not expected to live for very long. Also, because of the location of the tumor, she would likely suffer paralysis of her right side.

Six weeks after surgery, we tried radiation treatment, and frantically investigated other ways to stave off her death. Our mutual fear and anxiety was extreme, and Tamara continued to suffer localized seizures that had us in a near-constant state of tension and upset.

We kept Avatar Adi Da up-to-date on every aspect of Tamara's condition and care, but in August of 2001, we wrote to Him in a mood of desperation. He responded as follows:

Individuals in Tamara's situation often get involved in looking for some kind of healing approach that's going to make the threat of death go away.

In other words, the reflex is always to cling to life, to look for some way to survive, to become hopeful about some method that will enable a person to go on. In their letters, both Tamara and John talk about death and doubt and fear. They are asking, "Is she ready for death?"

Instead, they must deal with the other side of it. They must become profoundly involved in what is greater than this mortal circumstance. I mean that they must become profoundly involved in the Divine Life and in what is beyond the body. She must, especially, since she is the one in this moment who has the physical problem.

It is not, however, a matter of becoming hopeless about survival. It is appropriate in these situations to make use of healing means as they are available.

But, fundamentally, it is a matter of becoming profoundly involved in what is beyond this life, involved in the Source of life, the Source of conditions becoming involved in it while alive, tangibly so, living Spiritual Life for real and not merely in terms of Spiritualizing one's human life or making one's human life more positive and so on.

There is a tendency in people to regard a disease that is generally expected to be terminal as a kind of execution. They feel as if they are waiting to be executed. And thus people can also get involved in all kinds of desperate, self-deluding searches for treatments.

It is appropriate enough to be involved in treatment, but not because you regard the whole process to be a kind of execution or some terrible horror to be avoided, and to just be seeking for physical survival as if physical existence is the only meaning of existence altogether.

Tamara should be using her life seriously for this Spiritual purpose, and she should attend to possibilities for healing in a straightforward, non-seeking manner. She is obviously not in a position to live an ordinary life, at present, because of her health condition.

So she should do serious practice. She should find out what that serious practice is and do it. She should live in the manner of a retreat.

Retreat does not mean all isolation and no relations. It simply means that you fully use your life in engagement of sacred practice of a less active kind: meditate, profoundly, according to My Instructions. Go on retreat at the Sanctuaries. Come into My physical Company as possible, and so on.

She should use this time to outgrow her habits of egoity and everything that confines her to the merely conditional and gross point of view.

Death is not an execution, and all the attitudes toward it that are nothing more than reactive emotions have nothing to do with right approach or right preparation for it.

Send My Love and Blessings to Tamara and to John.

Avatar Adi Da Samraj, August 2001

Tamara and I read and re-read this communication from Avatar Adi Da and immediately put into place a retreat schedule in our home.

And, although she was still in the midst of her recovery from surgery and radiation, and still having daily seizures, we began to plan how to move Tammy from Canada back to California, where Adi Da was then residing.

Next: Part 2


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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