Page 14DIVINE TIMES 12/75
National News

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Satsang in the Family Satsang in the Family Part 2

Bertha Turner (center) with her kids: "For the first time in our lives we could look at each other and feel the love coming from that pure and perfect thing."

In our last issue we looked at the younger side of family life in Knowledge, with accounts of a premie wedding, a couple's experiences in their first two years of marriage, and another couple's efforts to assure that their baby was born in the most gentle and spiritual way possible. But what happens when the kids grow up? Bertha Turner, premie and mother of five premie children spoke about her experience in an interview with Jonathyn Hayden, Divine Times correspondent in Des Moines, Iowa.

Jon Hayden: From the time that you first heard about the Knowledge until you received Knowledge, what changes took place in the actual day- to-day living in your home?

Bertha Turner: When we first heard about Knowledge from my oldest son Carl, we began talking about it in the family and comparing it with our previous life. As we began to understand that we could place our minds at one point and always be at peace, we also saw that we could share peace with each other; we could have a closer family, knit together in true love, rather than be in our minds and imagine we're experiencing love and peace with each other.

"There came a time - after Carl received Knowledge and the rest of us hadn't - that Carl was able to show us with little examples in the daily routines of a home with five children, that what we were sharing wasn't really love; it was emotions. Especially with me, being the mother. I am or I was a very emotional mother - the hold-on, very protective type toward the children. Listening to his satsang and seeing him living a dedicated life of meditation, satsang and service, opened my eyes. To see a change in my own child's life, the child that I raised, showed me how strong Knowledge is, how it really can affect my life. And it made me more convinced that Knowledge was all that I heard it to be from other premies. Carl is my son and I've known him from birth, I raised him, and he's been what I thought I wanted a son to be - until he received Knowledge, and then he was exactly what I wanted a son to be.

John Hayden: How did you and your other children come to receive Knowledge?

Bertha Turner: It was in June that three more received Knowledge, June 5th as a matter of fact, and then there was one child, Jeffrey, and myself left.

On June 9th, in Davenport, Jeffrey and I received Knowledge. During that time, the other children who had received Knowledge from Bai Ji in Minneapolis, hadn't come home yet, so we hadn't yet met as a family with Knowledge. Around three days later was really the first time that we united as a family of Love.

John Hayden: Bertha, could you describe what it was like the first time that all the Turners got together again in Des Moines; what was the feeling you all experienced then?

Bertha Turner: For the first time in our lives we could look at each other really knowing where the other person was coming from, and we could feel the love coming from that pure and perfect thing. The minute any of us would get off the Holy Word, we would know because there would be that old life there again. But with just the look in another premie's eye you know to get in meditation.

Jon Hayden: You mentioned having the occasion to share your experiences in meditation. Do you have any regular meetings, family meetings, or do you just sit down together when you need to and share satsang concerning a certain issue? Because from my experience in this Knowledge, I know that there have been times when problems have had to be worked out. How do you handle that within your family? Or are there no problems anymore?

Bertha Turner: Well, for one thing, we have a satsang and meditation room and the children and I try to meditate together on a daily basis. A lot of times we meditate separately, but we try to have Arti and meditate together every night. The oldest son is in Minneapolis now but he still meditates with us - we usually all try to start somewhere around 10:00 - this way the whole family is always together in spirit, which is really very nice. A lot of times there are still problems - maybe one child wants to do this and another child wants to do that - but we sit down and meditate and it always works; we come out with the most practical solution to our problem.

Jon Hayden: You are the mother of all these children; is it difficult to not get tied up in the role of being "mother"? Do you all share in decisions about the family or are there times when you have to act as the authorityfigure because you are responsible for all the children?

Bertha Turner: I am the earthly mother. I gave birth to these children. But as each of them received Knowledge, they dedicated their lives to Maharaj Ji. So their decisions are built around the Knowledge, not around what I feel. If they feel in their heart that this is what is best for them, then that's what they need.

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Most premies aren't parents, they are children. And most of the changes that Knowledge makes on the structure of a family happen from the bottom up: it is usually the children, if anyone, who get their parents interested and involved in meditating. A young premie from Denver spoke to us about the effect receiving Knowledge has had on her relationship with her family:

"When I first received Knowledge, I had an urgent feeling that I had to get my parents into it too. Looking back, though, I can see that my motives then were unclear. There was still too much parent-child communication happening in those first few encounters. I still felt as though I had to prove something to my parents; that I somehow had to impress them with the fact that I had finally found what I was looking for and no longer needed them for guidance. It was just disguised rebelliousness.

"Then, as I started to practice Knowledge in earnest, I began to feel myself going through some real inner changes. I hadfound what I was looking for, and when I approached my parents this time, I discovered I had lost that need to rebel. It was a humbling experience; I felt I had met them for the first time in my life.

"Now when I think of my parents, when I write to them or talk to them on the phone, I get a real feeling of love for them. For the first sixteen years of my life, these two people offered me as much love as they had, hoping that their care might have some good effect on me. And now, whether they know it or not, I've gotten involved in something beyond the highest ideals they had set for their daughter. I can't help but feel a debt of gratitude to them. It's almost as if they are not my parents any more, but my brother and sister. I know I am experiencing something that they've always wanted to experience. And I just want to share that experience with them and help them walk along in their human journey through life.

on the wire…

I have a gut-level feeling that this space was never so aptly titled. There is indeed something on the wire. It started with … well it never quite ended after Hans Jayanti.

Early this month Guru Maharaj Ji arrived in Denver, driving back from Florida where he had been taking a short post festival retreat. Shortly after, Maharaj Ji and Durga Ji made a surprise appearance at the Denver community meeting. When Maharaj Ji arrived at the satsang hall, however, there were still a lot of empty seats. The premies were late for satsang and Maharaj Ji had something to say about it. Satsang is an absolute necessity in a premie's life, he said, and then urged us to take full advantage of the opportunity of satsang, and to really make it work for us in our lives.

Yet there's one event on the wire that's far deeper than even these. I'm sure you're going through it in your life right now. And perhaps, with a little help and grace, we'll be able to crystallize some of it in our next issue. In his recent satsang, Guru Maharaj Ji has defined understanding as one of the five most important things in our lives; right along with satsang, service, meditation and darshan.

Understanding. Sit back for a moment and think what you really understand about this Knowledge. Be honest. What is your experience? We'll see you next issue.

What can you give a premie?
Nothing but Satsang.

This season give your friends a gift of inspiration - 1 year of And It Is Divine or Divine Times. And as a thank you well send you a surprise 8 x 10 color photo of Maharaj Ji, taken within the last 4 months.

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Make check or money order payable in U.S. dollars to Divine Light Mission. Do not send cash. Enclose payment, name and addresses in an envelope and mail to: DT/AIID Subscriptions, P.O. Box 2997, Denver, CO 80201.

And it is Divine - Divine Times

ARE YOU NEW TO THIS?

Well, you stumbled onto a copy of Divine Times, and you started to read it, and … what was it all about?

Divine Times is a newspaper written by and about people who practice meditation. And that's interesting maybe, because meditation has been in the news a lot lately. It seems by all accounts that meditation definitely produces a feeling of calm and well-being in the people who practice it. Doctors and scientists recommend it, sporting figures practice it before every game they play, grandmothers swear by it.

Okay, so plenty of people practice some form of meditation, yoga, relaxation, mind control, special diet, therapy or prayer. But they don't all write newspapers about it. Why this Special interest in what our fellow meditators are up to? Isn't it enough just to experience the peace that meditation brings in the privacy of your own life?

Here at Divine Times, we find the meditation we practice does much more than just relaxing and refreshing us. It opens our hearts, and changes us from a taking to a giving way of life. It doesn't leave us alone. It fills us with optimism and clarity, gives us a new perspective, shows us a glimpse of how this planet could be, if we lived together as one big family of love.

So we want to communicate. The meditation we practice actually lifts us out of our isolated, selfish viewpoint, and into a new and universal consciousness. Not all at once, you understand. Gradually, as a flower opens.

Meditation is a way of life. It is a means to melt our hearts. Little wonder we're so excited about it. And little wonder we love Guru Maharaj Ji, who showed it to us.

If you'd like to find out more about this meditation, perhaps we could send you some information. Write or phone:

KNOWLEDGE
Divine Light Mission
International Headquarters
P.O. Box 532
Denver, CO 80201
(303) 623-8280

Peace On Earth