Website host comment: I am very grateful to Hellie for telling this story, “Separtion Anxiety”. Here it is some 40 years since this Leela occurred and I am only now hearing the details of it. It allows me to feel so fully the great courage and compassion of Adi Da to serve His devotees so completely. And to see the devotion of Hellie in this leela then, and her devotion now to allow us to hear the full and unedited version of the story. This account reminds me of a modern day version of the Milarepa story of the “probation and penance” whereby he is tested by his Guru Marpa down to the core fibers of his being. At times, Marpa has to turn away so that Milarepa does not see the tears in his eyes, as he requires Milarepa to go through another ordeal of purification. In 2016, Hellie, and hers and Beloved’s daughter Io, remain shining examples of Adi Da’s Blessing and Grace in this world.
Hellie: My Beloved Heart-Master, to the conventional mind, was often “cruel” in His Divine Lessons. But in Reality relative to His Divine Play, one could never understand with the mind alone what He was up to. His Divine Lessons were always a complete body learning experience that took place at every level of conscious existence.
His Lessons are always physically, emotionally, mentally, psychically, spiritually, and Cosmically learned by the whole body-mind, whether you wanted it or not. In fact you would pretty much never know why the lesson took place until the end of the purification process itself, when only then things would become clear. My story is just such a Divine Lesson.
Life in His Company was truly Magical every day. The undoing of time and space as we perceive it was a common occurrence in the midst of the demand for your total surrender. Beloved always demonstrated, simply by living in this world, His Divine Nature in the form of Magical Powers which were witnessed by all of his devotees in one form or another. This Revelation over the years is one of the reasons I have no doubt that He is the Divine Incarnate, and this Lesson will be part of that Revelation. This Lesson will reveal that we absolutely exist as more than just this gross solid body.
First and foremost, His lessons are about staying with Him throughout the Ordeal, by living in Satsang or the Company of the Guru. And if you manage to do that with all the internal turmoil that comes up in consciousness during the purification process itself, then understanding will eventually be your Reward. But your whole body-mind will have to be Transformed in the Process. That is always part of the Ordeal.
During the Teaching years with my Divine Heart-Master Da, I was fortunate to live with Him in such a way that for a period of several years I was not only one of His devotees, but also one of His human intimates. A Lesson in Itself with unique disciplines.
Being close to my Beloved Guru in this way was Wonderful but also Extremely Stressful to the ego. How stressful is it to live with a Being, who constantly demonstrates His Utter Transcendence of this world, by quite literally reading your inner most thoughts and dealing with your deep seeded fears at every given moment?
Beloved Always Demonstrated such Divine Powers to all of us throughout His Human Life. And for those of us living with him closely, it became a common daily occurrence in one form or another. So often He would Reveal to all of us that He could literally read your mind. And every time we were blown away. But this was just one of the Revelation Siddhis He would demonstrate, and it was not even the tip of the iceberg compared to the rest of His Revelatory Gifts.
It was like living on a razors edge, falling one way or another could slice you in half, while balancing on the edge of the razor was both Liberating and Terrifying. Life with Him was totally Exciting. This was the nature of my relationship to living with the Divine Human Guru. It was an Absolute Demand for practice where you were required to surrender and transcend yourself. And if you waiver from that surrender, or your practice starts slipping in the slightest, of course He would notice it.
Hellie and Adi Da (then Bubba Free John) at the Mountain of Attention Sanctuary, 1974
I never wanted children. I never wanted to go through the pain of childbirth or ever felt I had the temperament to even handle children. I never liked to babysit when I was young and so didn’t do it as often as most young girls would do to earn money. I was always too selfish and could see no advantage in having children. Our daughter was a Divine Intervention baby, a so-called accidental pregnancy that caught me totally off guard. Of course now I know better than to assume anything in my Guru’s company is accidental. It’s all part of the Divine Plan for self-transcendence, which is the name of the game around the True Divine Spiritual Master.
When our daughter was born, it was a difficult birth. She was born at home with two doctors and a nurse in attendance. The doctors suspected that she was late and so induced the birth, which ended up being forty-four hours of hard labor on my part. Aside from the drug pitocin, the birth was completely natural. (So much for my not wanting to have a child, and so much for not having to endure the pain of childbirth. I should have known then that this was just the first hint of what was to come.)
One of the first things I noticed after her birth was that there was not only a physical separation, but somehow another kind of separation had occurred. The thoughts and feelings I was experiencing while she was in the womb were no longer there. It was as if my thoughts and her thoughts were mingled until birth. I thought this was a rather an odd thing to observe at the time and wondered if every new mother had experienced as much at birth. And then I was caught up in the arrival itself.
Our daughter was so tiny and so beautiful I could hardly believe it, and I fell so in love with her that it felt unnatural or even impossible to fall in love so completely with another human being. An attachment that seemed to grow overnight and my feelings of love were so totally overwhelming it took me completely by surprise.
I should have known then that like everything in the Guru’s Divine Human Company, I was due for a Lesson with regard to the kind of attachment to another human being that gets you reborn. An attachment so strong and overwhelming nothing else seemed to exist.
But, unlike many mothers, I had the benefit of my Guru to help break the spell of the attachment and bonding that is automatically created between mother and child when an actual piece of your body gets incarnated into this world. I had forgotten that the self-transcending love I had for my Beloved Master is what brought her into this world in the first place. I absolutely knew that I would never have given birth to another human being apart from my love of Beloved’s Human Incarnation. I would have never sacrificed myself in this way ever.
The parent-child bond is usually more naturally broken as the child gets older, but that takes years, and when living in the company of the Divine Human Guru your life lessons come at the speed of light. Mine was no exception.
After four months of completely bonding with this little being and falling so hopelessly in love with this tiny little creature, I almost totally forgot that I even had a Guru. All I wanted to do was spend time with our daughter, play with her and be with her. Just like any new parent. But my Guru would have no part of it, and when He felt my attention wandering from my spiritual practice, that’s when my lesson began.
His greatest discipline of those physically close to Him has always has been the threat and deed of separation from His physical company. A discipline we absolutely all hated. He would always say when our practice would falter that we needed “The Great Straightener” (the world) again to get us back on track, until we could once again return to our practice with a greater strength.
And so, true to Form, when our daughter was four months old, and while I was still nursing He sent me away to live in a girls Nunnery in San Francisco. This was a place that took in single girls until they were able to support themselves again. (Before I came to Beloved, I had a Catholic upbringing, and so I was always struggling with whether to be a whore or a nun, which was why this place of discipline seemed truly ironic to me at the time.) But off I went, bags in hand, tears in my eyes and totally worried as to the fate of our daughter. I was soon to find out this was no ordinary Divine Lesson. This is a Lesson that would undue the karmas below consciousness and at every level of the being.
Needless to say I was completely distraught. I was separated from everything that I held dear, my Guru, my child, family, friends, everything. I was totally an emotional wreck, and physically uncomfortable as I was producing milk that I would never use and so my body was going through some physical pain. But nothing compared to the pain in my heart at the separation from my child. This was unbearable and totally overwhelming.
I never felt so alone or so completely emotionally distraught as when I got my room at the Nunnery. It was a tiny room totally bare and utterly drab. There was a crucifix over my small single bed and a dresser. Other than that, nothing else was in the room.
There was a bathroom down the hall, used by other girls who lived there and it was run by nuns, who although were sympathetic, really had no idea what a horrific Ordeal I was going through on absolutely all levels.
I knew that I had to be straight as an arrow and not dramatize my predicament if I ever wanted to be back with my Beloved Guru again. But I knew in my heart that the price I had to pay for my wandering of attention was that I had to practice and be absolutely straight, in spite of everything I was going through internally. I tried to focus on the notes I got from Beloved and concentrate on the things I needed to do to get back in His Good Graces again.
His notes were very specific. He told me that I should get a job and not have any contact with any members of the community in San Francisco. He virtually cut off all my access to anyone who would support me or sympathize with me in any way whatsoever. I felt this was unimaginably cruel. It just seemed so unnecessary and such a heartless discipline to be shunned in such a manner. I felt totally betrayed, not really understanding why I was in this particular circumstance. All I did was love our child. I was completely clueless, but for the sake of my Spiritual Life I knew I had to comply, whether I liked it or not. After all this was not the first lesson He had given me that seemed completely heartless. I knew I had no choice, I would have to do what He required me to do if I wanted to get out of this situation. First rule is “Guru say, devotee do”.
I began my morning routine of meditation, which I had been neglecting for many months, and which that morning was basically me weeping through the entire meditation, and I think every meditation from then on. Even so I strictly adhered to all the disciplines. It was the only tangible thing I had from my Guru that I could hang on to, and it seemed that it was the only way to connect to Him. And so, according to His basic Teaching, I adhered to the simple disciplines of right diet, study, exercise and meditation. And after fulfilling them on the first day of my exile, the next day I was off to find a job. All the while my breasts were filling up with milk and bursting with pain. But I was determined to cut through all obstacles regardless of what came up either physically, emotionally or mentally. An inner drive took over.
Our daughter was all I could think about throughout the day. I wondered if she were okay and who was taking care of her, if she was getting the care she needed, the milk she needed, and on and on and on, torturing myself at every opportunity, including visualizing the most awful scenarios relative to her care. What if this happened and what if that happened, and I would not be there and bla bla bla. At the time I didn’t realize that I was working myself over, but later realized that I was my own worst enemy regarding the mind forms that would arise, but it seemed I couldn’t help what was coming up in my consciousness, which were not thoughts of my Guru but waves of bad thoughts and constant worry. These were the demons that were coming up in this purification process and regardless it was totally overwhelming.
My best friend had a daughter a couple of months after I did and we would nurse each other’s children, so I knew she was probably nursing both of our children in my absence. But knowing all of this didn’t help. Knowing this didn’t stop the emotions and turmoil I was feeling inside or stop any other demons and fears I was dealing with on an internal level. I knew at heart our daughter was receiving the best of care, but it didn’t help. I had been sent to emotional Hell. It was like my child had suddenly died, had been ripped from my arms. It felt as though my heart were breaking beyond repair, and that I was literally dying as well.
I cannot begin to describe my horrific and desperate emotional state during this time. I simply tried to do physically and strictly what Beloved told me to do to get straight again, and stick with it. It was on a Friday when I secured a job. The first day of my search, Gracefully, and I would start working on the following Monday. (The first place I went to hired me. What are the odds of that?)
I knew that I could not be idle while going through this tremendous whole bodily purification Ordeal and knew that if I had nothing to do on the weekend, except be stuck with my own mind, I would truly go mad. And so I adopted another discipline basic to the Teaching, and that is one of service. I looked in the paper and found a baby sitting job so that I could be occupied with in the evenings on the weekend. It turned out to be a block away from the Nunnery where I was living. (What are the odds of that?)
As I look back on my Ordeal, everything worked out for me Gracefully. It seemed as though the Universe were cooperating with Beloved’s Divine Lesson for my Spiritual Transformation. I had no means of transportation other than public transportation. But even the bus I took to work stopped right in front of the Nunnery, and let me off right in front of my job. (Again, in the scheme of things, what are the odds of that?) And this baby sitting job was no exception.
The two children I sat for were truly a God Sent, and I was grateful to do it. The little girl was only four months old, our daughter’s age. And being with the children took my mind off my troubles. Especially since the woman was in such need relative to having someone she could trust be with her two children while she worked. Feeling needed in my service felt like a Blessing. I could feel that in spite of everything Beloved was not letting me become a black hole in the universe, not yet anyway. He was Gracefully helping me to serve my fellow man, at least that’s how it felt at the time.
And when I wasn’t serving, basically I felt as if I were dying on every level of my being. Every day was a struggle just to survive the emotional turmoil that kept arising in me. Every moment was a moment in which to demonstrate the self-transcending practice of non-dramatization, and non-reactivity, which is at the core of my Guru’s Teaching for all His devotees. And every day I would have to cut through the brutal physical pain of producing milk that was not being used.
I threw myself into work and kept to myself in the Nunnery. How could I possibly describe the inner turmoil I was going through to anybody. And if I did, they would think me crazy for leaving my child at all. And how could I defend my actions when I myself thought it was one of the cruelest Lessons ever and my faith was shaken to the core . And so I kept quiet and endured my pain, trying desperately to transcend myself, which was a moment to moment discipline at that point. I felt I had no choice, I must continue to practice in spite of everything and I could only pray for relief.
The days turned into weeks and it looked outwardly that I was a model devotee. I had been practicing with such intensity every discipline to the letter of the Law for a few weeks, but I noticed that nothing was changing except my physical appearance.
I lost weight and began to become strong physically and my body was being toned through all of the physical exercise I did every day. But I was still in the Nunnery, without a word from my Beloved Guru, and it felt as if I were being pushed over the edge of a cliff and I didn’t care if I were going over or not. By then my fight for self-transcendence was waning and I fell into a deep depression. And so at that point I simply gave up completely. It’s like being close to death to the point where you don’t care anymore. There is a certain freedom in it.
My heart was so broken and so heavy with such great despair. I felt totally abandoned by my Master, feeling sure He never wanted to see me again and feeling totally unloved and unlovable. The slow death I was experiencing on every level became Totally and Utterly Intolerable. Although my practice externally looked and seemed like perfection in terms of my disciplines, nothing internally was changing. In fact it was getting worse. “How could this be?” I wondered. Things should be looking up, but they only seemed to be getting worse.
My depression and despair over my situation became so bad that suicide began to look like a relief. In all my life I have never been a depressed type of person and could never understand how anyone could fall into such a place of despair that they would even consider taking their own life, and yet I was now in it. And on this day I literally could take no more. I was heading over the emotional cliff for real.
The depth of my despair and sorrow was utterly and totally Complete at every level of the being, and it seemed that there was nothing I could do about it. Even surrender seemed totally impossible. All of my prayers remained neurotic and unanswered. All of my silent conversations with my Guru went unheard, and so with a heavy heart and, exhausted from pain on every level, I finally went to sleep.
Over the years, relative to my personal relationship to my Beloved Guru, much karma is worked out in the dream state. I get the most amazing lessons in my sleep and this night would be one of them. I went to bed thinking this would be the same as any other night in Hell, it was not. I had a wonderful dream. It was not just a dream but in every sense of the word felt totally real. In the dream I was standing by my daughter’s crib. I bent down and scooped her up in my arms, holding her close to me and looking into her wonderful face. She was sleeping peacefully, and when I was satisfied that she was well cared for and happy on all levels, I gently laid her back in her crib and woke up.
When I woke up it was exactly three o’clock in the morning, but I knew I had actually been there, to hold her and see her. Beloved had literally taken me there for a visit.
As I opened my eyes, which were full of tears of gratitude, this tiny Nunnery room with all of its plainness and simplicity took on a Divinely Palatial Quality, an Other Worldly Quality that was so tangible I could see it raining down in the form of molecules of light pervading the very space of the room itself. The room became so Filled with my Beloved Heart-Master’s Divine Presence that it hovered in the air like a thick fog. I could see it and feel it. He Filled every aspect of this tiny room with His Grace and also filled my Heart..
The entire space became Bright with His Divine Siddhi and His Love which was Completely Bathing every aspect of my being, as well as everything in the room. I could see His Light raining down Infusing the air, as well as feel Him Healing every aspect of my body, mind and psyche. His Arms were literally wrapped around me in the form of this Divine Light Rain falling down and flowing through me, washing everything, inside and out. It was an Extraordinary Event.
I spontaneously went into this Blissful meditation, wherein we became One, without separation. A place of Oneness, beyond the body and mind. My meditation lasted exactly two hours which were totally Blissful. And when it was over, which was just in time for my morning routine to begin, (Again, what are the odds of that?) I simply got up, did my disciplines and went to work. But this day was completely different. I felt Totally Healed. Everything had changed, both inside and outside.
The feeling of being abandoned and unloved by my Guru completely left me. Where I was clueless before as to why the Master had sent me away, everything became suddenly clear. I totally understood the need for the physical separation, and why it was so necessary to have it be that way in my case. Indeed I understood that it could be no other way for the purification to take place in me successfully. This had simply been an intense Retreat. I could once again feel the Incredible Love from my Heart-Master and internally sang His Praises to myself at His Absolute Genius for accomplishing my purifying Transformation. I realized that He had actually heard my prayers no matter how neurotic they were.
I Realized He was hearing me all along and that He was not separate from my Ordeal, but suffering it with me, making it as easy on me as possible so that I could endure it, while all the while showing Himself to me in the form of these little psycho-physical events like the bus and babysitting and other tidbits too numerous to mention.
Looking back upon the weeks of suffering there were many many signs of Him taking absolute care of me throughout the Ordeal, but I couldn’t notice it at the time. In the midst of the purification given by the Guru, one only feels the self-contraction. And I had only been looking in the mirror, never up.
I came to Realize that He was going through the process with me at every level. All the pain I was feeling was also magnified in His own body. He could take my suffering no more and so contacted me through this Extraordinary experience of Him Cosmically visiting me in my tiny room and taking me for a trip to see our daughter. He had shown me that there is no separation from Him in Truth.
I also noticed that I felt a freedom in relationship relative to our daughter that was not there before. He had purified the negative motherly attachment that took place during the actual birthing process. It was almost as if I had given birth twice, one physically and one spiritually. And my lesson was to let go of both. But in order to do that I had to endure the cutting of the umbilical cord on all levels. The more I felt into this newly found freedom, the more bright I became. I realized that when I had given birth physically, in every other way emotionally, mentally, psychically, spiritually and Cosmically I was still hanging on to my attachment to our child. I awakened to the understanding that she belongs to God, as we all do.
Everything in this world dies, and so we are merely in every sense caretakers for the Divine.
I Realized that sometimes our children pass before we do, and so we must let them go with faith and love, trust and surrender, into the Divine Process, the Great Process in which we are merely participants and which requires our absolute surrender as well, no matter the circumstances. I was completely Grateful for this Lesson and I was truly rested in a place of Freedom beyond all concerns at every level.
I Realized Beloved would go to any lengths necessary for the sake of His devotee’s freedom, including cutting Himself off physically from the one He Loved, which was myself. And most important I absolutely knew that He was aware of my Transformation, and I now knew that it was only a matter of time till He contacted me to find out how I was doing.
And true to Form, at the end of the day, when I got back to the Nunnery, there was a message from Elizabeth, that Beloved wanted to see me. I was ecstatic but not surprised. I knew that He knew what was going on with me, without a word between us apart from the Extraordinary Gift He had bestowed upon me earlier that day. There were no notes, no phone calls, nothing at the ordinary level that would indicate His knowledge of my state. And I also knew He knew it was all good, and it was only a matter of time before I would be going home. My relationship to Him was restored. I had re-connected.
As I look back over the event, I’m sure that my fulfillment of the basic disciplines had helped, but even that was His Grace.
As I waited for Elizabeth to arrive I became more and more ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to see my Guru, to thank Him for my extraordinary dream and the Ordeal of my transformation, which through my physical ordeal created an internal change in consciousness in my case. My love for my Guru had to be restored to a place of rightness before I could once again live in His Company. It’s true, I was stronger and straighter than I had been in a long time.
When Elizabeth arrived we were sitting in the car on the way up to the Sanctuary. I was so at One with my Beloved and my heart so Healed by the night’s events that it didn’t matter whether I was going home or not. The minute I got in the car I told her my extraordinary wonderful dream, after which she then told me that Beloved had sent her down to pick me up before she could relate the following story to Him before she left.
She told me she was sleeping in my daughter’s room when she awoke suddenly in the early morning hours at exactly three o’clock. She said she sat up in bed and saw me standing in the room by my daughter’s crib. She saw that my body appeared to be not quite solidified in terms of a fleshy object, but yet I was absolutely and totally visible as a human form. She said that I reached down and scooped the baby up in my arms, looked at her for a moment and put her gently back in the crib and then just slowly faded from sight. At the end of the event, she said that the room Filled with Beloved’s Presence and she went into a spontaneous meditation for exactly two hours.
As soon as she finished talking I told her more of my Extraordinary experience and of the Divine Healing I had received in the form of a dream of the exact same event. We then began to feel Beloved’s Divine Presence pervading the car infusing everything and all of us including the driver, and we were all reduced to a meditative silence for the rest of the trip.
By now my humor was totally restored and I knew in my heart it was just a matter of time before I would be going home. And at this point it truly didn’t matter. I knew He would transcend space and time to find me no matter what condition I was in.
When we got to the Sanctuary, Beloved was gathering with a group of devotees. I saw our daughter and got to hold her and realized that all of my concerns were absolutely foolish. As long as she was in Beloved’s arms there would be no reason for any concern. Everything was restored, my faith, my trust in my Beloved Heart-Master, all was right with the world again, because I was right with Him.
And so true to Form, He played with me right up until the end of my visit. He refused to see me and sent me back to the Nunnery without even a glimpse of His Divine Bodily Human Form. But I was in such a happy state I recognized the test and kept my humor. Now I could see His Play with me as just that, Divine Play.
Although the Lesson I received, seems Extreme on the surface, harsh and cruel to the conventional mind, there are no words to express my Gratitude for this Ordeal. It was an Ordeal, but one of Transformation, a Lesson of letting go on so many levels, and yet ultimately it was a lesson of Love. To be truly Free is to be Love.
I am so Blessed to have lived in the Human Company of my Beloved Heart-Master, who has only shown this Love to All. I bow at His Feet.
Thank you my Beloved Da for all of your Divine Gifts.