– 17 February 2023.
Puja Dhyan Parsons (1946-2023)
by Udgar, Sheryl and her sister Bonnie
written for the Pagosa Springs Sun
With sadness, we announce the passing of a beautiful soul, Puja Parsons, at the age of 76 on February 17. Tragically and unexpectedly, she developed an aneurysm of the aorta which she did not survive.
Puja was born to Carol and Kenneth Willert, and was raised in Burbank, California with her sister Bonnie. In high school she sang in choirs, acted in school plays, and was head cheerleader. Puja then attended Westminster College, Utah, graduating in 1964 with a degree in Psychology and Philosophy. In 1967, she spent a wonderful year abroad in Norway, thus beginning her love of travel. She went on to San Jose State University to do graduate work in Clinical and Jungian Psychology.
Puja is succeeded by her husband Udgar Parsons and her sister Bonnie Davenport. She was a caring stepmom and grandma to Daven and Dillon Parsons; Heather, Rob, Jade and Erin Adie; Nick and Jen Parsons, and their sons, Harrison and Avery A brilliant woman, Puja was successful in many careers and was the leader of five non-profit organizations that helped people raise their consciousness and live to their fullest potential.
These included Music and Art therapy; the Healing Arts; Aikido, and Sustainable Living. She strived to leave this planet a better place for generations to come. For the last 29 years of her career, she was CEO and Co-founder of Growing Spaces in Pagosa Springs. The staff shared; “Puja was the heart and soul of Growing Spaces and her spirit will always live on within the company and within each person whose life she touched. Her love for life and passion for nature was visible to all and she was a true light in the lives of everyone who knew her. From her impeccable sense of style to her vast knowledge and calm demeanor, she will always be one of the most special and beautiful people we know inside and out. She planted seeds of wisdom in all of us and we will continue to grow with them.”
Selling their company in 2018, Puja and Udgar enjoyed 5 years of retirement together. They traveled extensively, exploring and visiting friends and family all over the world. When not traveling, they lived simply on their land in Pagosa, growing fresh vegetables and beautiful gardens in their greenhouse domes. Puja wrote daily and was writing a book, her dream. She had a true love of the arts, especially poetry, music, dance and photography. She led a deeply spiritual life, was a counselor, author, visionary, and steward of the earth. Everywhere she went she spread light and fairy dust.
Her greatest gift was seeing the highest potential in others and reflecting it in such a sincere loving way, she made everyone in her presence feel special. Her shining heart, deep insight, uplifting humor, and zest for life will be missed by all who knew her. She so wanted to see harmony in the world, and continues showering peace and blessings upon all.
Puja and Osho
Puja was deeply connected with Osho on the inner rather than being attached to the outer form.
She asked him two questions. One was: How is your way different to that of the growth movement? He answered, Your search for a way is driving you crazy. I have no way: my way is the way of the white cloud. To the other question he answered, I simply love you as you are and wish you could love yourself and keep on loving yourself.
The answers to her questions impacted her deeply and have stayed with her all her life.
Light, grounded, organized, intelligent and gentle
by Ma Anand Saarassa
I remember, back in the 80s, when Puja was the Santa Cruz Center Leader. The restaurant, Zorba the Buddha, was very popular for a few years. Most of it’s workers then left for the Ranch. She managed to settle issues with the State over taxes as another sannyasin was on the hook. Her integrity was stellar.
She was light, grounded, organized, intelligent and gentle.
When I attended the last Summer Festival in Rajneeshpuram, I could feel the intoxicating effects of the Festival juxtaposed with an undercurrent of fear and bewilderment of people I loved and respected. It was a Vortex of Paradox.
When Puja moved to Colorado, the circle of her sannyasin friends grew again. Udgar was her husband for many many years.
Puja was a loving and meditative soul, loved and adored by many. Osho’s teachings lived on through her loving being.
Link to a video by Udgar for Puja’s Celebration: drive.google.com
Puja was cremated in Albuquerque on March 7, 2023. There will be a celebration of Puja’s life on Sunday, 19 March at 2 o’clock at the Tennyson Event Center in Pagosa Springs, CO.
Back in the Santa Cruz commune days, Puja served as the adult in the room of unruly teenies. We had so much fun that Sheela shut us down. The conundrum was: who wanted to go to the Ranch and work 14 hrs/day 24/7 when there was great fun to be had? At it’s height there were 250 partying sannyasins from all over the world residing in Santa Cruz. But this too changed like all things. Puja was so grounded and kind in the middle of all this, counseling her wayward people and maintaining a detached composure.
We loved you and still do…
gate, gate, para gate bodhi svaha sister…
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