Wednesday, June 13, 2007

From Uma

Dear Nicky,

Thanks so much for starting this blog, and giving us all a way to share our memories and love for your mother.

Annapurna was always a mentor to me, as well as a beloved friend these last 30+ years. I first met her in New York in the 70s, when we shared a house in Queens (along with about 10 other people). Gita was 2 years old, and in some ways I felt like Annapurna's other child. I was fairly new to the spiritual path, and Annapurna took me under her wing, sharing stories of her meetings with great saints, turning me on to the Tarot and I Ching, recommending "good" psychics and astrologers, and taking me to meet Tibetan lamas. I got a kick out of watching her stand in front of her closet each morning, vibing out what colors she wanted to wear that day. And she always looked very put together and pukka, in her long skirts and hippie blouses. I also chuckled when she threw the I Ching or Tarot again and again, until she got a reading she liked! She used to have what I called the "garage-sale siddhi." She could look at a pile of junk at a garage sale, and pull out an amazing Buddha image or a perfect clear crystal. She taught me kirtan songs, and exposed me to a range of spiritual practices.

Annapurna always had great stories to share about experiences she had had -- and she had some pretty amazing ones. One of my favorites was about a time when she was pregnant with Gita. She was hospitalized after a bad asthma attack, and was being given Cortisone. She was so worried about the effect of the drugs on the baby, and she prayed to Maharajji (Neem Karoli Baba) for a sign that the baby would be okay. She said she prayed for "a really clear sign, like a lotus or something." Shortly thereafter, Dhammadipo showed up at the hospital with a lotus-seed mala. He had owned the mala for a while, and when he picked it up on this day, one of the lotus seeds had sprouted!

She was a wonderful role model in her dedication to her practice. She never strayed from the path. Her advice to me always came from the highest perspective, and in the kindest terms. Her presence in my life was, without a doubt, a great blessing, and I will of course miss her deeply.

We send our prayers and blessings to you and Gita and all your family.

With much love,


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