…left her body on 31st August 2016
Anand Teera (aka Patricia E MacDonald) took sannyas in the late 70’s by mail, but Osho explained the significance of the name on her visit to Pune in 1980. She was part of the early San Diego sannyasins and participated in the programmes run by Swami Satya Pujari. She lived in Pune many years and was part of the ashram. In Rajneeshpuram she worked as a cleaner and had a few private darshans. After the Ranch she went back to school and became a midwife and then qualified as a nurse practitioner. She also taught at university level.
Teera had two children; Leela and Sean.
Teera passed away in her daughter’s home in Encinitas surrounded by her family and friends. After recovering from a double mastectomy because of breast cancer, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer from which she died.
Teera was always someone a friend could turn to; she always had a giggle and a deep thought to share with all who knew her. She had a strong empathetic streak and you could feel that she got who you were. A wonderful smile and a huge, huge heart.
As a midwife she had chosen to birth her babies at home, so she also chose not to be hospitalized when she became ill. Her main concern before dying was that Leela and Sean would be looked after by her friends. Always the mother to us all, and especially to her children, Teera had the love of others in her heart right to the moment of change.
She had been in bed for about a week and then on Wednesday, 31st August wanted to go and sit outside in the garden. She held her newborn grandchild in her arms for some time, then felt tired and funny, went inside and finally left this world. Everyone present felt blessed to be close by.
Jai Teera, enjoy your journey. You always loved to travel. With love from your longtime friend, from the one who put the mala around your neck.
I first met Teera in La Jolla, California, in 1979 while hanging out with other sannyasins after my trip back from Poona as a newbie sannyasin. Teera became the Sufi dance musician since she was the only one of us who could play guitar and sing. She was bubbly, friendly and had a good smile that attracted me. Since we were both getting ready to go to Poona, we decided to go together in 1980.
After traveling through London, Italy and Corfu we finally arrived in Poona and found a nice upstairs flat near the ashram. But, as with many relationships between sannyasins, we soon got into conflicts.
Late one night she locked me out and I ended having to sleep on the street. Not fun. The next day I went back to confront her. After more discussions she thought I should leave the flat. I gathered my few belongings and made my way to the front door. But she ran in front of me and blocked my exit. “Whoa, you want me to leave but won’t let me!” This made me furious and we began yelling at each other. In a moment of pure and blinding anger I pushed her out the front door and dragged her down the stairs by her feet as her head clunked on each step! Luckily she suffered no head damage. We didn’t see each other much after that though we both kept working in the ashram.
When Bhagwan departed for America in 1981, I decided to join a group of sannyasins led by Santosh, an ashram therapist, heading to Kashmir for a 3-month de-hypnotherapy workshop. Teera heard about it and decided to come along as well. About 80 of us lived on 3 large houseboats on Lake Srinagar, surrounded by beautiful lotuses and awesome idyllic views of the Himalayas.
After establishing a workable living arrangement, people started getting hepatitis, no doubt from drinking the barely boiled water pulled out of the lake. Soon the healthy ones were caring for dozens of hep victims and we convinced Santosh that we needed to halt the spread by getting all the healthy ones tested before more cases developed. Several dozen of us hopped on several shikaras (water taxis) and paddled to the Srinagar hospital.
The Indian doctor who saw us wanted to know all about the sexual activities sannyasins were famous for but we disappointed him. We were getting sick and sex was not a hot topic. We stood in line as one by one gave a blood sample behind a screen. But due to the large number of us, they ran out of needles and, peeking behind a curtain, we were shocked to see that the nurse was using the same needle over and over. Needless to say, we stopped them from getting further samples and we scrambled back to the houseboats hoping the tested ones would not become infected.
A few days later Teera, being so caring for others, accompanied one of the hepatitis victims who had to be hospitalized. Teera told us horror stories of the unsanitary hospital conditions with rats and cockroaches running around patients’ rooms. Soon she and the hospitalized Ma left for the US to get better care. Teera always seemed to put others’ well being ahead of her own. No wonder she became a nurse later on.
She spent a little time on the Ranch but became somewhat disillusioned and left for San Diego. Next thing I knew she was married and pregnant.
By 1995 with two children to take care of, Teera graduated from San Diego State University as a nurse and worked at Kaiser Permanente. In spite of her busy family and work responsibilities, she continued her studies and by 2012 she had obtained higher degrees in Nursing as well as earning the title of Certified Nurse Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. Indefatigable Teera even went on to become an Adjunct Professor at National University where she taught maternal child health nursing.
After her diagnosis of breast cancer in 2012, Teera underwent a mastectomy and standard cancer treatments. All was well until a few years later when the cancer came back with a vengeance as often happens after chemotherapy. Never one to give up she eagerly sought other healing avenues such as John of God in Brazil and alternative cancer treatment clinics in Germany. But the battle was lost by then and she returned home.
Teera packed more juiciness into this life than most people ever experience in a lifetime. She just kept on truckin’ until the very end. I and all who knew you shall miss you tremendously, sweet companion.
Mass and Teera’s Celebration and Life Party will be held on 10th September, 14:00 at the St John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Encinitas, CA. facebook.com/events
Text thanks to Sandesh and Apta, photos thanks to Apta, Nina Leshan, Peter Merrell
You can leave a message / tribute / anecdote using our contact form (please add ‘Teera’ in the subject field)…
I had a visitation from Teera when I was sending her prayers. I felt her incredibly happy, and she was trying to tell me that, rather than fear, there were only good things to look forward to after death. She was really trying to tell me something. Mainly, I felt, “Don’t be afraid. This is wonderful!” She wanted to share her joy with me, as was always her way. Tears while writing this! So strong, whatever this is…
I met her when she came to me pregnant with Sean, because I’m a midwife. Teera loves babies, maybe most in this world. Her birth was a major transformation for her, not only as a mother but as allowing me to love her. She wanted to love and care for mothers and babies after that. I helped her with a second birth, of Leela. She worked really hard to make it through nursing school with two children. She became a newborn intensive care nurse. She would get in trouble for playing classical music for babies…
I trust you found our Chevy van, Teera, just take it to L.A. to do your shopping, as usual. God Bless,