Michael Bolton (Bolotin) and his ex-wife Maureen became premies in the mid-1970's in the New Haven, Connecticut community. The premie gossip is that he left during the 1980's but he writes positively about Rawat and meditation in his book, "The Soul Of It All" which will be realeased in 2013. I am one of the few people in the Western world never to have heard him sing and as I'm the sort of person whose musical tastes run to Otis Redding, Percy Sledge and Sam Cooke I'd probably despise his music as much as do virtually all music critics. He has, however, been incredibly successful selling over 50 million albums. He was divorced in 1991 despite the meditation supposedly allowing both Michael and Maureen "to be more compassionate instead of being a victim or getting caught up in the stress and drama around you."
This excerpt from the book discusses his life in Divine Light Mission in the 1970's in a fundamentally dishonest and deceptive way while not actually lying. It contains only the slightest resemblance to what Guru Maharaj Ji taught and what life in the cult was like. Now Bolton may be a nice guy and might find meditation relaxing but poking your middle finger and thumb on your eyelids and your index finger between your eyebrows, sticking your thumbs in your ears, thinking about your breathing and rolling your tongue backwards and up towards your sinuses does not allow you to access the "peace, enlightenment, love, and wisdom" residing within. Of course it may not prevent you from doing so but Bolton's guru taught that this was possible only by His divine Grace, that he was the incarnation of God in a human body and that he was the Ultimate Ruler and Lord of the Universe. Maybe Michael has forgotten the Five Commandments and maybe he has forgotten to whom those devotional songs were sung. It's not like I don't understand his embarassment but he could have been a little more forthcoming but then it's very cringeworthy stuff especially when you consider who the "divine presence in our midst" actually was and how that divinity was manifested
I was fiercely independent and unwilling to compromise my standards, and yet I often found myself swept up in cultural waves. In some cases, there were great benefits to be found in those waves. Enter the guru Maharaj Ji, the Indian teenager who led me out of the darkness and into the light, and a much healthier and saner lifestyle. My cosmic brother, Orrin, once again was among the first of our American generation to embrace the teachings of Indian gurus, whom he discovered in his travels abroad. Maharaj Ji expanded his realm into the United States in the 1970s and, before we married, Maureen and I joined our friends who'd become regular visitors at his ashram on Whitney Avenue in New Haven. Maharaj Ji was four years younger than me, but he'd been attracting followers around the world since childhood. When I first learned of him, he was known as a "Perfect Master," as was his father. His teachings were called "the Knowledge," which was a form of meditation that allowed one to become connected to the infinite. I felt confirmation in having the Knowledge revealed to me. It validated everything I'd read or been taught in school or the Bible. These teachings seemed to be directing people to the same spiritual place as the major faiths. I don't believe anyone should force spiritual beliefs on others. Khalil Gibran advises us to not say, "I have found the path of the soul," but instead to say, "I have found the soul walking upon my path."
By the time we began studying the Knowledge, the Beatles had already found their guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and embraced Transcendental Meditation, or TM (not to be confused with TMZ). Many young people were looking for similar ways to tap into a more spiritual, tranquil, and contemplative lifestyle.
Our guru, who is now known as "Prem Rawat," held that "peace, enlightenment, love, and wisdom reside within each of US." The "Knowledge" taught by him and his followers consisted of meditation techniques that allowed one to access those elements
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within. The Knowledge came without the social structure found in most churches and faiths. There was no Bible, no Koran and no commandments to follow, though there were elements of Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian faiths in his teaching.
Maureen and I went to the New Haven ashram and took the introductory course before we were married. We were asked to keep an open mind and to give the teachings a chance. Each of us was given our own techniques for meditating anytime, anywhere. I had studied other religions over the years because I needed a spiritual element in my life, something benevolent to ease my soul.
The Knowledge was the greatest awakening for me. It felt like the key to everything I'd read about , search for some sort of spiritual connection that provides true peace. All religions I'd studied seemed to be talking about the same thing: becoming one with your creator. This guru taught that the Knowledge was the key. Once you have that key, you always have access to your true home and a sense of peace. The Knowledge fast-tracks you to a place where you can be wiser and not reactive. Whatever your hair trigger is, when you consistently meditate you are calmer and you make decisions not out of anger or fear but from a more thoughtful state of mind. You become more of an observer, and that allows you to be more compassionate instead of being a victim or getting caught up in the stress and drama around you.
I still meditate to quiet my mind. The goal is to slow the activity of your brain in a way that allows , to actually hear, sense, feel, and experience what is known as the "primordial vibration," or your spirit, which is your true essence beyond your body. We were taught that we are all part of something greater than ourselves, and that there is always a divine presence in our midst. We acknowledged that spiritual presence at every meal by meditating quietly before eating.
Meditation is still my path to inner peace during difficult times when stress threatens to send me into a raging panic. I go there automatically now. It's like diving into a pool of calm. The longer you stay immersed in a meditative state, the less likely you are to be reactive because you feel threatened or intimidated or angry. The Knowledge reinforced my efforts to look inward for strength. It became very clear to me that this was a life choice. I wanted to aim inwardly through meditation instead of dealing with stress by drinking or getting high. Today, I will have wine with friends to be social, but I don't want to be around heavy drinkers or smokers of any kind. One of my favorite memories of going to the ashram in New Haven was being asked to sing by the other members. At first I preferred not to, because I was still trying to focus on learning to meditate properly, but as I became more skilled in the Knowledge, the more I found peacee and comfort in singing the devotionals. I found some of the soul of it all in those sessions because singing wasn't about entertaining anyone. It was about feeling inspired and inspiring others, which isn't far from what I try to do onstage, except no one at the ashram threw panties. Seriously, meditation helped me stay on course even as I struggled in my musical career.