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
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.
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.
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."
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.
* * *
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
should use this time to outgrow her habits of egoity and everything that confines
her to the merely conditional and gross point of view.
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
Send My Love and Blessings to Tamara and to John.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, August 2001
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.