by Mort Jonas
On Memorial Day weekend the rocket of love in Los Angeles rose to a new level. Once in a while, every sincere premie feels a boost of the heart and a bit of mind fall away, like a missile losing its first stages to become more and more concise and refined. But sometimes we all take a jump together, and this is what happened to some 200 premies at the Divine Meditation Retreat in Malibu, California.
Held at the Cottontail Ranch, the purpose of the Retreat was to help the L.A. premies grow in love for Guru Maharaj Ji and each other through practicing meditation, satsang and service together. An idea came out of the increasingly obvious need for total unity and cooperation in premie communities, and the retreat was an attempt made by L.A. DUO to help fulfill this need. But the thing which is best able to unite us all is the darshan of our Lord, and for this ultimate Grace the premies' hearts called loudly. Guru Maharaj Ji responded with a visit to the camp on Saturday evening, June 1st, and gave satsang outdoors as the sun set.
"Share that Experience"
He said that it was "a really good thing that all the premies have started this retreat idea, because everybody can assemble then and really try to experience, and really try to understand." Guru Maharaj Ji emphasized the need for premies to give satsang to each other "to share that experience. It's like taking two glasses and taking syrup in a glass, taking water in a glass, and just jiggling them and mixing them completely together. So by the time it's all finished, if there is a little bit of syrup missing from this glass, that's completed; and if there is a little bit of water missing from this other glass, that's also completed. It's ail perfectly mixed."
"Love Starts Flowing"
But our Lord's main emphasis was on meditation, because "that's where love really opens up. Because today we have really, really mistaken love. But there is something else, and that love flows from every person. And it's like the Knowledge itself, which is strong love, really, really strong love, just starts flowing down, from everybody to everybody, and it just makes a person completely glorious."
Love manifested in many different ways at the camp. Premies went swimming, played volleyball and basketball, tried their skill on a trampoline, had workshops in astrology, dance, the "inner game" of tennis, made a 5-foot high wedding cake for Guru Maharaj Ji and his wife, Marolyn, (who visited the retreat with him), prepared very elaborate meals for each other, and lots more.
"Everything in Tune"
One premie described the weekend as perhaps "the most perfect experience I've had since Knowledge." To him it felt like a capsule view of the Divine City, and unity with Guru Maharaj Ji and with brothers and sisters came very naturally because everyone was in meditation. He commented that the retreat was organized just enough, but not too much. "The Word was the structure; everything was in tune."
All in all, the experience inspired many premies to work harder toward making the Knowledge the focus of their lives. Premies who have been disillusioned with the Mission found themselves asking, "Why can't it always be like this?" and at the same time realized that the answer is very simple. Guru Maharaj Ji ended his satsang with the words, "Try to understand, because it's not difficult at all."
by Betty Boulanger
On Memorial Day weekend the New England premie community did a pre-Guru Puja "wet run." At the Second Annual Rummage Sale for Peace sponsored by Divine Light Mission *** … missing words *** Cod the sun within did not manifest without, and rumor was dancing about that someone in the DUO office had filed the sun behind the clouds! The scene of the action was a 17 acre field on Route 28 between Falmouth and Mashpee, belonging to Mr. and Mrs. William L. Connell, parents of a premie, who also donated the land last year for DLM's use.
For weeks before the rummage sale-festival, the Cape Cod premies and Divine Sales collected jumble from throughout New England and arranged for the premie accomodations (i.e. the National Guard provided the use of large military tents and water tanks) … "Everyone we contacted remembered us from last year and was most enthusiastic to help us" - commented Larry Shea a Cape Cod premie.
Premies poured in from every corner of New England to join together and celebrate - celebrate being premies, being together again, and being in Maharaj Ji's love… Although the rain dampened sleeping bags, clothes and used goods, it could not and did not dampen the spirits of the prernies. About 300 premies served together (sorting clothes, being human billboards, making meals, leafletting in the town) … lived together (many tents dotted the field and peeked out through the trees)… and boogied together (4 bands and miscellaneous musicians entertained throughout the festival with tunes ranging from good jazz to Hawaiian music). "It was great. We learned a million things and had a great time!" "It was just meditation, we all relaxed together … ""It was so mellow!" - commented premies on the festival of service.
Darting through the crowds which were gathered around the bargains, were clowns and strolling musicians and just happy people. An observant ear could hear the 60 year old woman exclaim, "This is such fun … I'm so glad I've come!" and the young housewife with three small children exclaim to her husband, "God, I've been to so many rummage sales, but there's something special about this one … everyone's really enjoying himself - it's just great!"
The New England Rummage Sale for Peace at the Cape which had its birth last year on Labor Day Weekend also featured bake sales (by both DLM and Cape Cod community societies), a "kid city," a kool-aid and beer-ale stand, and a publications booth. In retrospect, everyone agreed that although the festival did not raise too much money (we cleared a few hundred) due to the bad weather, it did raise our awareness, our love and our joy in the recognition that we are really one - it was a smashing success!
by Ken Creek
Meditation, satsang and fun were the highly successful ingredients of the second annual Midwestern Premie Conference held over the Memorial Day weekend near Independence, Missouri. The site for the retreat was a Salvation Army camp where between one hundred fifty and two hundred premier from seven states gathered for the festivities. All told, two ashrams and nine Information Centers were represented.
During the day the premies swam, played tennis and basketball, had satsang in small groups or went into the woods for meditation. At night the main attractions were films, satsang and music. Besides the old favorite "Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?" the premies were delighted by the cartoon "The Sunshine Makers" and the Australian premie production called "High as a Kite."
Erica Anderson, composer of the Millennium oratorio "In the Beginning was the Word," performed with the Omaha Divine Light Center band. A visitor from Denver, Joe Natter, national ashram coordinator, related the spectacular events of Maharaj Ji's month long stay in Denver and told them about the plans for Guru Puja.
Joe said later that the weekend drew premies from South Dakota, Iowa, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. They all came to meditate together and enjoy each other's company in a relaxed and open setting. Camp facilities included cabins, a comfy satsang hall and a dining area where the devotees ate like gourmets. The weather, like everything else, was perfect.