Here are some excerpts from Bill Patterson's satsang to the national headquarters staff in Denver, given on 7 January 1977. Bill, who became an initiator in 1975, was recently appointed coordinator of DLM in North America.
I guess today we just have a chance to get together and have some satsang. I know I feel I'd like to share the different perspectives and feelings and inspirations that I've received over the last month in Malibu.
I know for me I've really understood in the last month that the thing Maharaj Ji wants is that he wants to do it, he really wants to direct. Like when he told me about this service, I got a real shock, because it was something I was completely unprepared for. But Maharaj Ji just explained, he said "Look, legally maybe you can call it President of Divine Light Mission in America, but I don't think that's the real way to look at it. Because if you're going to call yourself 'President' then that means you've got to understand who you're presiding over, and who's presiding over who. And I don't think you're presiding over anything, I think I am." He said "And I want to preside because I know who I want to preside over, and I know that all the premies know who they want to have preside over them." Maharaj Ji was just saying that he feels that he fits that role. Because after all, it is his Mission and it is his purpose, he knows best really how he wants to do it. And the fact that he now wants to be involved and he wants to give that direction, to me is just really exciting. And so he said "Just consider it National Coordinator because that's what it is really, it's just coordinating." And to me I feel really comfortable with that. And finally he said "Look, consider yourself an initiator, because that's the main focus."
I can see that really what Maharaj Ji wants with his staff, is first of all that they're coming from a place of really deep understanding of what we are doing here, of our purpose. And to me, it's a deep thing. What I've experienced in the last month and what I see now just in terms of serving Guru Maharaj Ji is that it's a really big thing. My understanding of service has deepened an awful lot lately: that casual thing of 'Oh yeah I do service' has really been replaced by something much deeper, by a feeling that I really want to serve Guru Maharaj Ji. And by a knowing that service doesn't really happen until there is surrender. And that's such a deep thing. Just to try to keep myself clean of my own ideas and my own concepts about how things should be done and what things should be done, just to try to be in a place that's surrendered enough
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to be a vehicle for Guru Maharaj Ji to use, to me that's a big thing. It's something I feel, I want to dedicate my life to that because I really want to serve Guru Maharaj Ji. I don't want to serve myself because I've understood how little I can accomplish by doing my own thing, how limited my own ideas are: even though they're in the right direction, they're still just enough off.
I never really had a chance before to be around Guru Maharaj Ji, to work with him and see how he works, and in this last month I was all of a sudden in that situation. And I saw that Maharaj Ji works in a way that can be really frustrating. When Maharaj Ji told me to go out to L.A. before his birthday party, he said "Bring all your stuff." I had all these things about the initiator development program and the ashram, I had a big briefcase and I had a box full of stuff, and I went out there expecting we were going to do some business. And sure enough, the briefcase didn't even open up for a good two weeks. Every day I was wondering "Maharaj Ji, do you want to go over things?" and Maharaj Ji was saying "Sure, sure we'll do it today," and by the end of the day nothing came, and the same the next day and the next day and the next day. And yet something was happening that was really beautiful. Then finally after the second day of the Atlantic City program, after the night's program, Maharaj Ji came back and all of a sudden there at one o'clock at night he said "Okay, bring your briefcase" and he just started going. And I understood that it's not that he's putting off anything, it's just the perspective that he has, the vision that he has, the long-range depth he has in dealing with every situation. Something that to me might seem just really insignificant, Maharaj Ji would say "What should we do about this?" So many times Maharaj Ji looks at it from a place of such depth that, you know, it involves so many other things, and it's beautiful.
And a lot of times, Maharaj Ji just will wait, he doesn't even make decisions. In fact he gave a really beautiful satsang while I was out there, about how you can play the game of decisions, and how you can play that game your whole life but sooner or later you'll just get to a point where it'll just turn out empty. Because to play the game of decisions means it's an intellectual process. And you can make good decisions or bad decisions or whatever, but sooner or later you'll reap the harvest of something really limited. And Maharaj Ji was talking about the other alternative, which is that surrender, where you surrender to that grace. And by being totally surrendered to that grace, it's like the grace moves things. Maharaj Ji said he never makes decisions; the only thing that's special about him is that he has totally surrendered himself to that power of grace and he waits until grace moves, he waits until the situation is ripe and then he just acts. And I really see that that's exactly how he works.
And for me, it's difficult. Like for me to really try to understand my postion at this time, it's a really challenging thing. This last month really put me through a lot, really deep internal things. I really found that I had to practise Knowledge like I've never practised Knowledge before and it was beautiful. Lots of meditation, lots of satsang, doing lots of service, just really simple service, mainly during this last month just washing dishes and cooking food for the premies out there, really simple things because I realised that was the number one thing, that I had to be in a place where I was able to serve Guru Maharaj Ji, where I could be in a place of enough humility and enough surrender to serve Guru Maharaj Ji.
I just know for me it was just confirmed so deeply during these last few weeks, so deeply, how much Guru Maharaj Ji understands. I mean, I've felt this and I've certainly had satsang about it, but this is just like that really final confirmation of directly seeing that Guru Maharaj Ji's the one who can do this, that Guru Maharaj Ji's the one who can bring peace on this earth, and that he's going to work with those people who are surrendered enough to serve him. And that it is a really precious thing to serve Guru Maharaj Ji. I just see that it's possible to come down to the DUO office every day and put out lots of energy and make lots of decisions, and they can be good decisions or whatever, but miss the whole boat, miss the whole purpose, because until there's really that surrender, until there's really that understanding of Guru Maharaj Ji and what he's trying to do, then all of it just seems to … it just misses. And sooner or later, sure enough, lots of decisions that have happened all of a sudden turn out to be something that Guru Maharaj Ji wasn't even really feeling.
And I know that now it's just really positive - certainly Guru Maharaj Ji's in a situation where he's really excited, he really wants to move ahead. And he is moving ahead, you know it's incredible what Guru Maharaj Ji's doing. He's spent a lot of time reviewing the whole situation and he's really acting according to what he sees are the priorities. He is really doing a lot, like the initiator development program, Guru Maharaj Ji just took it in his hands and it happened so quickly. One group just went right on through. Actually to me it was more than I could ever even have imagined. It was something so personalised, so natural, but really inspirational. The Knowledge review he gave was to me, extremely, extremely special. It seemed like he was really working, he was operating, he was really being Guru Maharaj Ji - not only Guru Maharaj Ji as some kind of administrator of an organisation, but Guru Maharaj Ji in that real sense of a spiritual master who's guiding people towards something so pure, so high, so perfect.
So Guru Maharaj Ji is really doing something, he's spending lots of time working on things. He was even talking about his method of operating. He'll sit down, he'll throw around ideas, and then he'll sit for a week just to let things settle out, to see. And you know, a lot of times during that week a lot of changes occur and everything happens anyway, and he'll come back and review it again. Maharaj Ji was saying at one time that the way he works is slow, really slow. Like before I came back Maharaj Ji had spent a lot of time going over the ashram situation - it's almost like a handbook that he's put together, lots of information - and before I was going to come here I asked Maharaj Ji if I should bring any of that information here and present it or something. And Maharaj Ji said "Look, you've got to understand, I work really slow, really slow. You'll just have to have patience." And he also said "The thing is I work really slow, but when the job's done, I feel really comfortable." And I know a couple of weeks before that, he explained that the way he always tries to do things is he tries to wait until that ultimate last moment before he makes a final decision, because then everything's just right, our hearts are right. And so many times, Maharaj Ji will make the decision at the same time that something has resolved in our very own hearts, and that's that grace that Guru Maharaj Ji flows with.
The most important thing is us, just our
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hearts, what is our understanding, what's going on inside of us. The day before he finally decided that I should come here for a while, Maharaj Ji was saying that he could come to Denver, but what could he do? It's like, if he came he would really like to do something, but first everybody here has to be in that place where they're ready to just surrender, to really try to understand what Maharaj Ji wants and to do it. And to come from that place of clarity, to come from that place of understanding. Because he really wants to have a staff that can work with him, that can really do what he wants. But the main thing is understanding, the main thing is for each one of us individually in our own lives to be having that experience of Knowledge. Because that's the only thing that really can give us total confidence in serving Guru Maharaj Ji. Like I know even being out there at the residence, there would be days when Guru Maharaj Ji would say something and something inside me would just be opposing, something just didn't feel completely resolved. Sometimes I'd just have to go and sit and meditate, sometimes hours, or go and have satsang or go and just do some kind of simple service until I could just get to a place where I was surrendered enough, deep enough in the experience of Knowledge, really confident enough in the experience of Knowledge, confident enough in my trust of Guru Maharaj Ji as my master, to be able to really understand that what Guru Maharaj Ji was saying, the direction and the guidance that he was giving was something real. And that I could trust it and that that really was my job, that was my duty just to surrender, to serve and to be a channel for him.
I just see that that's really the first priority, for us to look at our own lives and really try to understand, what is this Knowledge to us anyway? To me, I really want to serve Guru Maharaj Ji, to me that's just such a precious opportunity and if Guru Maharaj Ji is going to give me a service that I can do, what a beautiful thing. And I know that that's the main priority, that's the main perspective, to really work at. Just for all of us here, it's to really go into Knowledge, to really get into it. To really have that dedication into Knowledge. To me, I'm convinced, I'm really convinced. I don't think it's in a conceptual way because there's been too much real experience, just in my own practice of Knowledge: I really know that he is real, that Guru Maharaj Ji can do what he's talking about. Even though a lot of his claims are really outrageous, like talking about bringing peace to the world.
Guru Maharaj Ji, before and after the Atlantic City program, talked a lot about exploding the peace bomb. That's something I'd heard a long time ago, but he really talked about it. And I know for me that during this time he sure exploded something inside of me. I don't even know how to begin to describe it, it was something so incredible. Just something total inside, like a concept bomb, but beautiful. Because I just saw that in that context of really practising Knowledge, really, really, really trying to practise Knowledge just to the best of my ability, and something so beautiful, just like a transformation, took place. And it's beautiful. To me that trust that I feel for Guru Maharaj Ji, that love I feel for him, my dedication to really want to serve Guru Maharaj Ji, is just stronger than ever and it feels so beautiful. Because I just feel: yeah, we really can do it. Just like Guru Maharaj Ji was saying almost two years ago when he went to India, about that sword that we have as premies - we've got Guru Maharaj Ji.
I know that when the first group of initiators were out there, Maharaj Ji gave an initial satsang and he said "Look, there is only one thing that I really want to explain to you, there's only one thing I want to talk to you about, the most important thing which is surrender." And he said "Before you can understand surrender, you've got to understand what you're surrendering to." And that's when he talked about how it's not who is Guru Maharaj Ji because that's an impossible question to ever answer, but what is Guru Maharaj Ji. And as soon as you understand what is Guru Maharaj Ji, then the next thing is you've got to surrender. And until there's surrender, there's no service, it's not even possible to talk about service, because it's just going to be actions, it's just going to be a job, it's just going to be something we're doing, and it's not service to Guru Maharaj Ji, it's not that highest thing, it's not that fulfillment of our life.
The Knowledge review Maharaj Ji gave us was a mindblower. I don't know if I'm even ready yet to really appreciate what it was, because it was so pure and simple. There was just nothing in it for mind to grab on to. Just so pure, streamlined down, just ready. Because it's a Knowledge that's based on surrender. It's not that it's really different, like now since I've had the Knowledge review and have been meditating and everything, I'm finding that really it's not so much different but boy, at the time it was just so precious. I feel that Maharaj Ji gave something precious, he gave Knowledge, but he also said "Okay now, meditate." Like now this is your job, to meditate, and meditate a lot.
And it wasn't like he just increased the concept from a one-hour concept back to a two-hour concept, he didn't just double the concept. Because you can talk about an hour of meditation, and it's almost like something you just plug on to the end. You know, you've done everything else that you're going to do, and then you just kind of tag on an hour of meditation. You can just relate to it in that way. But Maharaj Ji completely opened it up. He didn't open it up to the point of saying "Okay now do at least two hours of meditation," because that wasn't it. He said "Do two hours of meditation if you can, do three hours if you can, do four hours if you can, do five hours of meditation if you can, if you have a whole day, do a whole day of meditation." It was just Re fill every minute. And he had explained something so clear, so precise, that I could do with my time. And all of a sudden, it started to encroach on my day with all the things I thought I had to do, because here was something that would encroach totally, a dedication. I've really got to dedicate myself to meditation. Those times when I would normally go off and maybe have time to just do extra things, Maharaj Ji was just saying, "Do meditation, this is the way that you can really know."
The key word for me is simplicity, get back to the simplicity, get back to that focus, get back to that real dedication. Maharaj Ji was talking with one of the new initiators before he was made an initiator, and he just asked him, "Have you dedicated your life?" And he said "Well yeah, Maharaj Ji, I've dedicated my life." And Maharaj Ji said, "Have you dedicated your life, period?" And he said "Well…." And Maharaj Ji said "When you understand that 'period', then I'll give you your service to do." And I see that that's what Maharaj Ji is looking for here too, have we dedicated our lives period? Have we understood Guru Maharaj Ji enough, have we under-
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stood his purpose, his mission, his Knowledge, so that we can really on that deepest level say "Yes, I've dedicated my life to Guru Maharaj Ji period." Because it's then that Guru Maharaj Ji can really have the confidence, he can work, he can go.
And for me, I really like the ring of that period. It's not an exclamation point, because that might be a little bit too fanatical or something; it's not a question mark, it's not a comma or dot dot, it's just period. It's like "What else am I going to do?" It's just that in me, so deep down inside, something is just welling up. There's an inspiration inside that's just so deep that it gets to the point of wanting to really explode out, but yet I know on the other hand to just surrender, to really be patient, just knowing that Maharaj Ji is really working.
I feel really humbled just to be able to serve Guru Maharaj Ji, really humbled. Because I know so clearly that anybody could do this, Guru Maharaj Ji could just have anybody do it. You know, Guru Maharaj Ji will accomplish his job one way or another, but to me it's so precious that I'm able to serve him, and at the same time I can have that service be a realisation. And all I know is that this last month was really a breakthrough for me, on so many levels. It's like that impossible dream. Like, by what authority can Guru Maharaj Ji come and sit up on a stage and put a crown on, what's he trying to do anyway, what's he trying to communicate? By what power is he doing that? It's either by the power of very tremendous ego, or it's by something else that can't be understood through your mind and intellect. And I just know that that is there, and Maharaj Ji is ready to really reveal that to us, he's ready to open us to that deepest experience, that deepest surrender. And I really feel like something just exploded open in me, beyond even any imaginations or ideas or concepts. I see that it's on the basis of something so real, so beautiful, that Guru Maharaj Ji's here.
What he's talking about now, his message … I know over the last month, he gave a few satsangs that … well I don't know, maybe if I live my whole life I'll understand it sometime, but it's just a deep, deep, deep thing. He's talking about total surrender. I saw during the month, right towards the beginning Guru Maharaj Ji gave a satsang at one point where he mentioned that there is a thing called total surrender. And I remember when he was here just before his tour, I was meeting with him and he was giving satsang and he just mentioned that there was a thing called total surrender to that infinite power, and he was saying how it was just so incredible. And then during the course of the month he just talked more and more about it until after the second Knowledge review he had, he said "If you ever want to understand Knowledge, you've got to totally surrender, you have to totally surrender." And it seems like an impossible thing and something inside you goes "But how, how can I even imagine that maybe it really is true, that maybe that impossible dream really is coming true?" And yet I look around, and I see that it is happening.
It just seems that if any of us can really click in any way that this is that Knowledge, this is that incredible Knowledge, and if any of us can in any way surrender … Like I remember Guru Maharaj Ji, a year and a half ago, he called me from South America to the residence, he was giving a little satsang about surrender and he just said "You know, if you've ever even experienced 'that much' of Knowledge, you have to be humble because what we're talking about is so vast, so huge, so enormous, that you have to be humble." It's not putting on the mask of humility, but it's like when you really understand that experience, it's perfect, it's so deep. And then it's not "Oh, I'm serving Guru Maharaj Ji" it's "Wow! What incredible grace it is that I in any way can even just know that something like this exists, even have the hope that something like this exists much less actually experience this in my life, and even take it one step further to not only experience it, but to somehow serve Guru Maharaj Ji as he tries to spread this." And then it just seems that dedication comes naturally. What else is there?
I mean what was it that brought me to Guru Maharaj Ji in the first place? Nothing else was working. And since I've come to Guru Maharaj Ji, it's just been such a beautiful transformation. Am I going to doubt that now, am I going to somehow turn around and say "Maybe it's just a dream, maybe it's just hopeless idealism?" To me, it's just "Okay, I'm ready to just move on ahead." And it's just really exciting, beyond success or failure, it's just the chance to serve, because if we really understand surrender, then surrender is something beyond success or failure.
If there's understanding of surrender, then throughout whatever comes, there can be surrender. Maharaj Ji said that so many times he gives opportunities and sometimes it's way over our head, but all he really wants is just for us to experience that yes, it is over our head, so that we can have that humility and surrender and come to him humbly. And he said that any time a person is put in a situation where it is over their head, where they feel they're completely unable to deal with the situation, he said if they just simply can realise that and come to him humbly, he's ready to just give them more than ever, because that's his grace. But he just wants us to understand that deepest experience. And the way to get there is beyond mind, beyond all the extensions of mind. And I know, I know the beauty of Knowledge, and what a beautiful thing it is to be able to spread it. And if Guru Maharaj Ji has created Divine Light Mission to be able to spread that Knowledge, what a beautiful thing to be involved in.
And I just really see that Divine Light Mission can be so shiny, so shining that it demands respect. Like Guru Maharaj Ji was saying in one satsang, "We've got Guru Maharaj Ji, we've got Knowledge, we've got our faith and we've got our dedication. And if you really go out and show this world that you've got Guru Maharaj Ji and you've got Knowledge and that you've got faith and dedication, nobody's going to be able to ask a single question." And I really see that. If we as Divine Light Mission, if we just as devotees serving Maharaj Ji can simply be in that place, really have that faith and that dedication, we can just go out and show this world. That's the way we relate to this world. We don't relate to this world by going and joining the world, going into all the craziness, the way we relate to this world is by going out and showing them that we have Guru Maharaj Ji and we have Knowledge and we have our faith and dedication. And then people can't ask any questions. Because nobody else has Guru Maharaj Ji and nobody else has Knowledge and nobody else has faith and nobody else has dedication. And that speaks really strongly. And it seems that that's just what we can be. Not as some fanaticism, but just as a real thing, just as human beings living our lives to that wholeness.