Divine Times - Volume 5, Number 7, August 1976
Everything is Beautiful … Keep on Truckin' Guru Maharaj Ji in Indianapolis, Indiana on July 5, 1976
So just really put that effort in, just really keep on truckin', because everything is really beautiful. I mean, it's just really fantastic. It's exactly the way I would have imagined it, exactly the way I dreamed about it, exactly the way I have foreseen it, the way it is right now. Everybody is really trying to experience it and everybody is, in fact, experiencing it. It isn't just the word "love." We don't even have to say it, because we are experiencing it in our hearts. It's not just the letters that exist anymore, it actually exists, and we now know the meaning of that. All that we usually talk about truly exists. We don't have to go around talking about it. You know? We are really experiencing it. So now we have to all really come together, all really come close in such a way as to be able to help Guru Maharaj Ji.
And the message of the program for me was you're a big girl now. Maharaj Ji has stopped holding my hand. Or I've finally hit a point in awareness where I can see that he never was holding my hand. That In my life is my own, my decisions are my own and this Knowledge is for me to experience and enjoy - or ignore. But this whole "father image," and the accompanying anxious feeling that I had to be behaving according to certain set standards, took a good beating.
Well, the program was just beautiful. The stage looked as if Barbara and Steve had just liberated Maharaj Ji's living room from the residence foundations and floated it into the University of Florida Gym. The crowd of a thousand stretched just back to half court and the premies created a very at-home atmosphere with their concentration. For awhile during Guru Maharaj Ji's satsang, the balconies offered a cheering section of little children, but you can't have everything (see Indy article). Darshan was homey and quiet. The band, Pure Grace, was graceful and the evening ended perfectly.
Guru Maharaj Ji gave a powerful address stressing confidence in the manifesting promise of Knowledge. This was followed by a very gracious and orderly darshan and Arti. As premies exited in the night beneath a reddish half moon to return to homes in the midwestern U.S. and Canada, one felt a family unified by the day's experiences, parting to resume the unfolding of their lives until the next regional gathering. Our reporter, Doug Bernard, attended the program and what follows are sketches from his notebook
The second half of Guru Maharaj Ji's nine-country European tour took him to Hamburg, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Paris, and Leicester. The programs ranged from the very intimate atmosphere in Amsterdam, where two hundred people attended, to the largest gathering of the tour which was four thousand, three hundred people in England. … I'm so afraid of exaggerating my experience to impress people, or whatever, but I really came to know that flamboyant statements like "Satguru" or "Living Perfect Master" were impossibilities.
A week or more has passed since I left a jam-packed room of eighty-five teachers from around North America, tape recorder strung over my shoulder and armed with several pages of hastily scrawled notes. Time to let the jumble of impressions settle. What emerges is a slight sense of awe at what took place. The purpose of the convention, held in Denver during the last two weeks of June, was to bring premies working in the field of education together to find out about each other, to be exposed to the Waldorf system of education (which is what Unity School, the school for premie kids in Denver, uses), and to see if some long-term means of working together could be established. All of that happened. But the real "event," I think, was the simple joy of premies recognizing each other.
But this rebirth took place only after what Gary calls the "Long Winter," a term I'm now familiar with - a time when almost a quarter of the residents left the Canadian ashram, and when DLM Canada experienced its first financial crisis in its otherwise affluent history. A time when, even two months ago, there would be meetings where "just the idea of having satsang wouldn't be accepted." "Many activities stopped," Gary told me, "or crumbled or just fell into a lull. … the National Headquarters staff was recently cut in half from 24 full-time workers to twelve.