"I offer you a relationship not a technique”: These words by Adi Da Samraj open the engaging and revealing stories of Gerald Sheinfeld’s 45 years with his Spiritual Master. Gerald’s stories give a unique insight into the Guru/devotee relationship, beginning with his confession that feeling Adi Da’s Enlightened State answered his search for God and truth. Then over time Adi Da served that heart-awakened response by revealing more and more of His Awakened Condition, spontaneously generating a deeper devotional response. These stories show how spiritual growth happens as a free gift by the Enlightened Master. A book worth studying, filled with the awakened recognition of Divine Reality and profound lessons in ego transcending self-understanding."Andrew Harvey
Author, Evolutionary Love Relationships, Teachings of Rumi, and The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism
"Starting in the 1970s, the Great Adept Adi Da Samraj began a process of instructing and blessing anyone who entered His Divine Company. Amid this process, Sri Adi Da generated a prolific body of spiritual teachings, detailing how those so inclined may transcend their individuated existence in prior identification with God. Gerald Sheinfeld, a devotee of Sri Adi Da throughout virtually this entire span, has chronicled the miracle and majesty of his Spiritual Master’s Divine “Leela,” or play of consciousness. Anyone who is interested in the nature and transformative power of the Guru-Devotee relationship process will discover in Sheinfeld’s At The Feet Of The Spiritual Master a treasure trove of Transcendental Wisdom never before found in the traditions and annals of Spiritual knowledge and teachings."Lynnea Bylund
Director, Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute
"We all know what we mean when we refer to somebody as being “a good guy”. Most of us would have said that about the Gerald Sheinfeld you find at the beginning of this book. But what would you say about the Gerald you find forty-some years later, having finished writing this book? Profoundly changed? Yes, at least that. Unbelievably blessed? Certainly!—you’ll see. My wife, Gardenia, and I worked with Gerald on the presentation of these stories and that in itself was a great blessing. We were among the earliest witnesses to the marvelous narrative of an ordinary man spiritually transformed through service to the Avatar, service only a few were privileged to perform."
Author of The Zen of Running, The Complete Book of Natural Foods, Dr. Kelley’s Answer to Cancer, and The Smart Food Movement
"Living in times when tribalism is the dominate global paradigm (by which I mean the separation of individuals into oppositional factions based on ego-driven and presumed-to-be irreconcilable differences), it is emotionally potent and spiritually promising to read of one man’s radically unconventional encounters with a teacher unlike any heretofore appearing in the sacred traditions. Gerald gives us entrée into how, over decades of practice as Adi Da’s devotee, he came to understand what it means to surrender the egoic self and be drawn into the state of non-opposition and non-difference made possible by Adi Da’s own spiritual realization. At the Feet of the Spiritual Master is a must-read for any who are fatigued by the politics of “divide and conquer” and who know that there is Something Else to be understood."
Kathy M. Skerritt
Co-Founder, The Anthroposphere Institute; first generation framer, The Great Lakes Commons Social Charter
"Gerald Sheinfeld has written an up-close account of his lifelong devotion and service to his Guru, Adi Da Samraj. In brief vignettes, this Leela book chronicles Gerald’s 45-year struggle for increasingly profound self-understanding aimed at ego-transcendence. The Leelas make abundantly clear that living in the ever-blessing presence of the Guru is an utterly demanding practice, keeping devotees on their toes all the time, out of their comfort zone, without a let-up, moment to moment, day after day. The reader becomes a witness to the intimate play in which the Guru, with no holds barred, creates an endless variety of teachable moments, often out of seemingly innocuous events and circumstances, and thereby confronting devotees with their interminable acts of self-contraction. The Guru mirrors devotees back to themselves, all for the sole purpose, and ultimate reward, of Enlightenment. Sheinfeld takes the reader into that rarefied world of sacred Ashrams, of sublime Darshans and esoteric Teachings. Far removed from the conventional lives of the common people, he offers a peep into the kitchen of esoteric spirituality where it can become uncomfortably hot in the Guru-devotee relationship, but where everyday matters are approached with a radical profundity, subtle humor and, of course, never-ending ego confrontation. He shows what it takes to follow the rigorous path of devotion in the presence of the Living Divine. This Leela book culminates in Sheinfeld’s ecstatic summary-confession about six precious Gifts of Divine Reality that he personally received in the good company of his Guru, finding refuge in Only-God. This Leela book is for anyone curious about life lived with a Living God-Man: devotees’ daily trials and tribulations, their Instruction and the extraordinary Gifts they receive. It gives a glimpse of their fascinating lifestyle. The take away from this book will be different for each reader. For me, it offered a vicarious experience of a road not taken, and a spur to greater seriousness. While the reader may not learn much about how to be and act in our conditional world, that “lack” is more than compensated by the profound, esoteric insights Gerald gains and shares once he has released his struggles and seeking: that greatest Gift of being Blessed to Realize the egoless Prior Unity of Conscious Light, which is always already the case, but which humankind fails to recognize and realize (yet)—to its own misfortune."
Rolf C. Carriere
UN Human Development Specialist in Indonesia, India and Bhutan, 1971-1989. UNICEF Country Representative in Burma, Bangladesh and Indonesia, 1989-2002. Executive Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), 2002-2004. Advisor, Nonviolent Peaceforce (2005-); and Advisor, EMDR Trauma Care programs (2011-)
"A brilliant U.S. scholar once stated, “Adi Da Samraj is the greatest Spiritual Master in all of history.” Gerald Sheinfeld is uniquely blessed to have spent decades in intimate proximity to the God man Adi Da Samraj. Gerald describes some of what it was like to live in the midst of such an incomparable, magnificent, humanity-serving, radiant Force. I felt the presence of God throughout the pages of his book, which is a rare gift to the world."
Charmian Anderson, PhD
Author, The Heart of Success; one of the first individuals to receive an advanced degree in Transpersonal Psychology in the United States
"I read my first book by Heart-Master Da in 1974—and was immediately enchanted, and in love. I felt Him as a completely fearless and boundless being, free of any and every conventional limit; free, even, of identification with the dying body-mind, a God-man, communicating and radiating the “Conscious Light” (as He wrote) of “Reality Itself.” More than 40 years later, I am still in love with the “Constant Lover”—and His lifelong devotee. And so it was with great appreciation and delight that I read At the Feet of the Spiritual Master, by Gerald Sheinfeld. These stories about the life and teachings of Heart-Master Da wonderfully convey His “Divine Play,” or Leela—His unconditional embrace of all beings, and His ego-undermining, freedom-giving force. As I see it, you have found your way to this book by mysterious grace—all events are in His all-pervading Event—and I truly hope the stories told by Gerald in this book help you feel the “Perfect Satisfaction” offered to you, directly and intimately, by Heart-Master Da. As He once said as I sat in heartbroken joy at His feet: “Who doesn’t want to be Happy? Who doesn’t want to know that the Divine is alive in human form?"
Bill Gottlieb, CHC
Certified health coach; bestselling author of Alternative Cures and 15 other self-help books; former editor-in-chief, Rodale Books and Prevention Magazine Books
"In the spiritual traditions of humankind, there are some rare few books that tell of a spiritual aspirant’s time in the company of a great spiritual master in terms that are neither mythological, nor exaggerated, nor merely a handful of brief episodes. Gerald Sheinfeld’s book covers 45 years of his devotional relationship to his Sat-Guru, Avatar Adi Da Samraj. Gerald’s stories are intimate, profound, humorous, and emotionally moving. Adi Da’s “play” with his devotee was continually surprising, provocative, and demanding. He was always drawing Gerald beyond his ego-comfort zone. When you read these stories, you may find Adi Da doing the same with you."
Professor of English (retired), New Mexico State University; abbot (emeritus), Zen Center of Las Cruces; author, A Warrior Blends with Life: A Modern Tao
"This is a unique book of stories told by a devotee who spent 45 years in the company of Adi Da. A true love story about a Realized God Man and his devotee. Don’t miss it."
Psychotherapist, former Diocesan Catholic priest
"I am grateful and delighted to have read the “Leela” manuscript of Gerald Sheinfeld. It is a well-rounded selection of stories that describe how Master Adi Da taught His devotees with humor, compassion, and love. It is a clear and emotional testimonial of Adi Da’s Teachings for all humankind that brought tears to my eyes continuously. Adi Da’s Teaching transmits the Truth simply. Thank you, Gerald. You have created a testimonial that the world urgently needs."
Susana Weingarten Evert
Professional dancer, Ballet Independiente de Mexico and DANCEVERT; choreographer, educator, and massage therapist