(10 August 1946 – 4 January 2023)
Her light and leontine fierceness
by Ma Arjuna
Adeha told her brother, Ed, that she wanted her life to be regarded as just a “ripple” in time. That ripple has gone deeply into many hearts, dozens who showed up to spend the three-day Bardo period (or wake) with her flower-petaled body.
Prem Adeha Feustel grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with three older brothers and two foster sisters. She arrived in Pune in 1978 and took sannyas from Osho. She went to the Ranch pretty early on to help run the truckfarm. She was an asset because, unlike others, she had previous experience in working on a farm. She worked at Surdas in the pleasure of its remoteness from the hubbub and came to know Rätus there, who eventually became a buddy in the growing sannyas circle of Western North Carolina.
When the Ranch disbanded in 1985, she spent a short time back in Fort Wayne, where her mother still lived into her 90s. The following year she became housemates with two other sannyasin women, Gangotri and me, her friends to this day. Studying massage at the Florida School of Massage near Gainesville, FL, Adeha made the most of all the trainings and systems offered in the School and beyond, learning from ancient and modern schools of the East and West. She was strong, agile and very interested in how the body worked structurally. She had always been interested, inspired by her nutritionally-oriented mother, to understand the nature and effects of foods and chemicals.
Adeha returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains in the early 90s (she’d done a stint as a goat farmer near Blacksburg, VA before Pune One), and made friends with locals with a community bent and wound up being a significant co-founder of Earthaven Ecovillage outside of Asheville, which is still thriving today. She did not settle in but chose instead to remain in her own Leicester homestead on the other side of Asheville and to focus on her massage practice and studies in Taoism and alternative healing. There she lived alone for years with a series of adorable pups and a small circle of devoted and out-of-the-box thinkers to meet or have a meal with.
She knew the value of placing the attention on the delights of life. In fact, she had inspired a local clay artist to make a series of plaques with her favorite advisory phrase, “feed delight” on them.
In July 2022 she discovered she had pancreatic cancer and decided not to have chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. She entered Hospice in December 2022 and was helped by a dedicated cadre of close friends until her death on January 4, 2023.
Adeha’s irreplaceable friendship, light and leontine fierceness made her the most treasured of her friends. Her advice will continue to be sought in our dreams! I am alert to see and feel how she continues to influence my life. Beloved friend, be free!
Her friends arranged for her body to remain in state at the Center for Conscious Living and Dying for three days. She was cremated on January 9, and her ashes will be scattered on the rural hillside where she walked her dogs for many years.
Thanks to Sadhvi for creating the necessary connections
Great to work with
by Anand Rätus
Adeha and I worked very closely together at the Surdas truck farm. We pretty much ran the 64-acre operation, did all the complex planning and organized the work for the crew and helpers throughout the year. The official ‘Coordinators’ of the truck farm changed and were not growers, and neither was Neehar, the overall and wonderful farm coordinator (and Adeha’s ‘legal’ husband). So, Adeha with her experience and I with a degree in organic farming were the grower specialists.
We produced every possible vegetable that grew in the Central Oregon hot summers and cold winters, all irrigated – organic of course – with hundreds of batches parallel and in succession. It was a grower’s dream because we had whatever equipment we could dream of, plus plenty of crew and temporary helpers for planting, weeding, harvesting.
Adeha was great to work with, consistently present and engaged, mellow, kind. She felt like a sister to me. I still see us discussing and arranging crop plans, experimenting with new ideas, solving problems over the four – was it four? – years of truck farming.
sannyas darshan with Osho
Prem means love, adeha means bodiless. Love is basically a bodiless experience. Even though it is felt through the body, even though it is expressed through the body, it is not part of the body. It is something that hovers around the body, it is an aura around the body. The body is only a field that attracts it, but it is not produced by the material of the body, it is not the same stuff. It comes from the beyond: it lives on the earth but it is a penetration of the sky into the earth.
That’s why the moment you start feeling love you start soaring high; you become more and more astral, less and less physical. When one is in love, one immediately becomes weightless, as if gravitation has no effect on one, because something in one starts growing which is beyond the field of gravitation; and it is so close to one’s heart that the earth and the earthly heaviness disappear.
But I am not saying that one has to love only bodilessly. The body is just the language. The poetry has to be expressed through it but the poetry does not consist only of language; it is more than language, more than grammar. It is like music. The guitar is physical but the music that comes out of it is non-physical. The body is a guitar and the music that can come out of it is love; but love itself is bodiless.
Osho, Turn On, Tune In and Drop the Lot, Ch 11 – 12 December 1978
Adeha was a seeker of knowledge in many aspects. Her love of conscious sustainable living continued after leaving the ranch. She was my co-conspirator in the beginning stages of establishing Earthaven Eco-Village in the 1990’s. Adeha was also my beloved health guru for over 30 years. Her knowledge of the physical body was only surpassed by her knowledge of her spiritual bodiless Self. When her time was up, she peacefully made the transition without artificial support. Her life impacted so many of us and her physical absence is deeply mourned.
Valerie Naiman Paramanand
You can leave a message / tribute / anecdote by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org (pls add ‘Adeha’ in the subject field).