No. 33, October 1976
These are two small articles written by Margaret Crossley, from Brisbane. The second one was written several weeks after the first, and is about her response to the changes that have been happening in the Mission recently.
Community organisation is proving it's worth in Brisbane. One night recently satellite satsang was cancelled and instead we were all invited to attend a presentation given by David McKitrick's AMP area at the hall.
It was so successful that in a month or so, another area-group will do their presentation. But they'll have a high standard to come up to. The night produced so much love, piety and understanding, that we were all alternately spellbound or laughing till it hurt. We were invited to watch "Satsang through the Ages", or rather, satsang since Maharaj Ji came to the West.
A large altar and photo predominated, incense burned, and eastern-dressed premies gave satsang about being "blissed out". Greg Howard incarnated Mahatma Paddy to a stunned and giggling audience - he told us that the purpose of our life was to realise God, to accept this precious Knowledge, and thanked us again and again.
After that Greg Johnson, dressed in a suit, did a David Lovejoy dive at the altar, and gave us satsang from this era. Sandy Klein gooed and gushed in the chair, burst into song, and took the prashad to the kitchen whilst song books were passed around.
Maharaj Ji's picture was reduced in size and Lee Slack gave us satsang about Knowledge equalling concentration, which managed to say nothing at all, and made us hysterical about the recent bending-over-backwards to be normal stage. Lastly Marlene and Dallas gave us today's satsang, which concentrated on what they were actually experiencing. Dallas ended up talking about how she came to Knowledge, and passed through all the scenes we'd just witnessed, which made us laugh even more.
The whole night seemed to encapsulate our experiences over the years so well that some of us danced to the old songs afterwards. But that wasn't for long, because what the night did above all was give us a strong desire to really meditate, to make Knowledge a real experience and not an external trip for our protection from the world.
The changes mean we can now have the structure we feel right with. So it seems we have the opportunity to express what we need to help us practise Knowledge. We know we need to meditate more than ever, and that we need to do service and satsang. And for our service and satsang to be really effective, the general feeling in the Brisbane community is that we need an initiator. Personally, I would dearly love to bring friends along, but it feels strange that I can't really say that meditation is available. It's up to us meditators to see that it is open for others to experience -we don't want DLM to be a social club.
In Brisbane, the energy is really there now to act as a reponsible group of people. The community has opted for increased function of the AMP Committee, with elected reps and chairperson. So far Jody Holloway has been elected chairman, and next week a couple of reps will be elected from each area. Also we're looking for a house as alternative to the hall. Probably something like, but not as fancy as, Auckland's. Things are very low key up here, and there is no big deal about the "politics of it all".
One effect of the recent changes has been to shake loose many of our concepts about the relationship between lifestyle and practising Knowledge. This feels good, too. I'm finding as a result that it is easier to relate to friends and relatives who don't have Knowledge. I've always liked to mix with people outside the Mission so that I can keep a sense of balance, and so that I can be aware of what satsang is appropriate.
Now I can share a piece of cake or a glass of wine with friends or relatives knowing it will only make me closer to them, and them more open to satsang. I've never found vegetarianism much of a bother, especially with all the emphasis on low cholesterol diets and even the Australian Women's Weekly promoting vegetarian recipes. Often I find it gives someone a chance to cook something entirely different from their meat and two veges, which they've always wanted to do anyway. I don't feel that the changes in the Mission will effect my lifestyle drastically, but rather that they will help me be more flexible in different sitautions.
Lastly but most profoundly for me, I've been seeing how the awareness of the problems in the world, and the need for a solution within the individual is growing in people outside Divine Light Mission. Last weekend I attended a committee meeting in Canberra for a conference/ festival named after a similar festival held recently in Canada, call, ed "Down to Earth-a Sharing of Alternatives". Dr. Jim Cairns from Federal Parliament has been giving talks right around Australia about this festival and stating with great humility that no social change can come about till each person comes to know his real self.
And hopefully, 1977 will be the most incredible year for us yet in Knowledge, especially if it begins with Maharaj Ji's visit. I know that his direction for '77 will expand our understanding and our commitment to realising Knowledge even more, and that is something to really look forward to.