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many people that more and more have elected to stay on. Gradually, the hotel has turned into a household. And, as this year's new wave of devotion has grown, the focus in that household has become sharper and clearer.
"We have been talking about going to an ashram living style,".Talley explains. "It is like Maharaj Ji said in one of the recent conferences: If you want to live in an ashram, make your house as close to an ashram style as you can make it."
Sometimes, if they bring themselves to stay away from the community satsang, many of the Prem Rosers stay home on Friday nights for a small circle of sharing within the family. On Monday nights, they open it up for a publicized household satsang.
A Family of Love
It is still possible, if you are lucky enough to find a vacancy at the Prem Rose, to stay there for $8 a night, $48 a week or – if you stay on – for $165 a month. Some of the money goes to cover – or nearly cover the monthly mortgage payments. But, like most premie projects, this one counts on a lot of grace to balance its books.
At mid-April, there were 15 people in the Prem Rose, with a California family expected the next day. Tally said the couple was planning to settle in Denver. The house was nearly full at that point.
To Tally, the household is "just really a family." It's youngest member is Andy Crozier, who was born at the Prem Rose in January 1976.
Today, the family is waiting to see what use Maharaj Ji will make of the big, old house in the months to come. Since Jim has worked closely with Denver's aspiranStreetram editorial couple of years, he and Brian McDermott have been pondering the idea of opening up a few rooms for aspirants, so as to fill some of the need that the shelter filled in that other era.
Whatever the Prem Rose does, it will be service, in keeping with Jim's observation that "premieseere the easiest people to serve."
And, if there is any decision to be made about the future, it willproofoubtedly come of its own accord flowing out of the consciousness which seems to pervade the big old house on Vine St.
In the meanwhile, as Jim and Art and Pat and Dave and Tally and their housemates know, all they have to do is to keep on feeding the roses. With love.
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Consider Holy Name,
watch it, be within its embrace.
See, it is so humble, always
serving the servants of the Lord.
It alone is the true servant,
never giving thought to reward or recognition.
It alone does not hesitate
from fear of rejection or neglect.
Here it is,
always ready to teach you
the lesson of pure devotion.
– Erika Anderson
Dear brothers and sisters,
Wherever you are at this moment: Montreal, your kitchen table, the backseat of a Cadillac, please stop for a moment now. Like children releasing balloons into blue skies, let this world and all your thoughts go for awhile. Softly close your eyes and enter Holy Name …
Crossing the worldly ocean or jaywalking on a city street this Holy Name carries us ever onward. We are within it and it is within us. Delicate as silkworm thread, it eases us down and draws us up higher again and again with a butterfly's breath of grace.
Do we dare trust this infinitely invisible thing? Do we dare trust that which we do not completely comprehend?
Consider the sun. Can you explain the intricacy of chemical reaction taking place 98,000,000 miles away? Do you know exactly how our atmosphere screens us from its ultra-violet rays? Or why your skin turns a deeper brown? And yet, consider how you bathe and glory in the warmth of the sun's healing rays. Does a child understand the inner workings of a 358 horsepower engine? What does 'carburetor' mean to a 9 year old? And yet, with mother and father in the front seat knowing the way to grandma's house, these questions become utterly unnecessary.
And so it is with our Guru Maharaj Ji.
Who among us completely understands? Which one of us truly thinks he has it down? In fact, somehow it seems that the more we experience, the less we know. The older we get, the younger we grow. Circles within circles. Fortunes within cookies. And God within our hearts.
What we are realizing (and what the sun bather and child also intuitively realize) is that trust is the key. Quite naturally, especially for people raised in a culture where the 11:00 news is almost always bad, we habitually maintain a "healthy" degree of skepticism We put our large toe in the ocean of grace and wonder why we're not completely refreshed. We test anc measure, divide and try to conquer, cut and try to seE the apple tree within the seed. Employing scientific methods, the doubting Thomas within looks for proo of that beyond science.
And then, quite unexpectedly, something very wonderful happens. Call it what you will – grace, good karma, luck, or good connections. You see someone floating in this ocean upon whose shore you stand. They wave and smile, singing something about Guru Maharaj Ji's love. You can't quite hear over the sound of wsomeonerashing all about you. Yet there's something so irrepressibly buoyant in their voice, you edge closer, shrug shoulders and dive … Or perhaps you tall in … or are pushed in … or simply realize it's not the shore you're standing on, but water in the first place.
Something very profound is happening to all. of us, individually and collectively. It's deep and wonderful and real and totally unable to be described. Through our faith in Guru Maharaj Ji and our practice of Knowledge a transformation is occurall; caterpillars into butterflies, coal into diamonds, premies into devotees. For those of us who have at least tried to heed Maharaj Ji's call these last few months our earthly routines and dependencies have been totally subverted. No longer can we take them so seriously. Limitations and obstacles time and again prove to be only our own miscalculations of Almighty Lord's infinite supply of whatever we need to get closer to Him. Simply due to our determination and openness to Grace they are eventually overcome. Where 6 months ago a 12 block walk to the laundrymat might have seemed a lot, now we find ourselves not even blinking twice about a 2,000 mile journey to Montreal.
What can it be? What is this energy?
Powered by this Holy Name we begin to see, taste, touch, smell, and feel that the world is shrinking. Or perhaps our sight is fixed on something so much larger that it just appears that way. Truly, there is only one thing happening – the play of the Perfect Master. And though the mind keeps wanting updated instruction manuals, Guru Maharaj Ji continues to give us the same clues: satsang, service, meditation, and darshan. Through our practice and His grace we enter a world where the only language is love – a world where there is no history, only His Story.
So let yourself enter. Trust in the One who has entrusted you with the Holy Name. Give yourself to it and receive everything in return. Then give that back again to the infinite Giver of all … .
Oh my Guru Maharaj Ji, allow us to bathe in the warmth of your presence. And when, as you wish, you chill us to blindness, wearing clouds like a sultan's shy bride, let the rain we receive grow us closer to you …