Prem Rawat's Knowledge (Lite) Sessions
This is the personal testimony of a dedicated follower of Rawat's for decades. He was involved in administering these "Knowledge Session" for many years in his local area in the United States.
You are really excited. You have just received that phone call from the premie in charge of the Aspirants' meetings in your city. You are selected. He/she will send you all information by mail, or by fax. (If you failed, don't worry: he/she will be very sweet. Rawat wants to give you Knowledge anyway! That's why he is doing everything he is doing. He cares for you. If you enjoyed the process up to now, just keep enjoying it, things will go better and better. Even if everything is beautiful now, it will get even better; relax! You will receive Knowledge when it will bethe best moment for you.)
But this time you have been successful. It took you 6 to 8 months to get to this point, and now you need a break. Now that you have been selected, you can relax at last. It just so happens that the Knowledge session is scheduled during a week-end (it is usually the case, so that most of the invited people can come).
During each year, Rawat usually does one Knowledge session on the East coast of the US, one the West coast, one in the middle, sometimes one in Canada, some in Europe, same thing on other continents, depending on his schedule and other conferences. He usually gives Knowledge to few hundred people at the same time (thousands in India).
He usually arranges Knowledge sessions during a conference lasting three to four days: two days for meetings for aspirants and/or premies, one day for selection (with the help of the Instructors/Mahatmas), and one day for Knowledge session with a premie/aspirants/new premies conference the same day.
If the session is scheduled for a Sunday, you will be asked to be there on the morning or afternoon of the day before. There will be a two or three hour meeting on that day. If Rawat is available, he might come and have a final meeting with all these ready people. If he doesn't, Belkis and/or Charnanand will take care of this meeting.
You will be there on time to get a pass with your name and find yourself in the same, familiar environment. You will very likely see the premies in charge of the Aspirants in your country there. They will help for the setup of the hall, the ushering and few things: it is their reward. They might have a chance to see Rawat, or at least feel that blissful atmosphere.
The meeting the day before
You might see some beautiful, new videos. Nothing very special will be said. If Rawat comes, he will give everyone inspiration. If he does not come, the Instructor will give you some useful details and check that everybody is doing well. If you have some health problem or if you need some special care, they will find the best way to help you in that field so that you feel good and it does not disturb anybody.
Whatever happens, you will be asked to take a shower the next morning. You can imagine why. Some peope don't have very high standards of hygiene, and it might be very disturbing to sit next to someone like that for a few hours. You will be told where you'll be able to have lunch, etc.
Knowledge Session day
It might happen in the morning or in the afternoon, after lunch, whatever. It will last between four and five hours. (Rawat tries to keep it as short as possible.) You will be ushered into a nice hall, its size depending of the attendance. People needing translation will receive headsets. There is a stage for Rawat, not too high, so that everybody can see him. You will find a very comfortable armchair waiting for you, with plenty of space around it. The only people there will be Charnanand, Rawat and some other guys you don't know yet (instructors), maybe a technician.
It's a very quiet environment, no external noise, some very nice new-age style music playing. You will sit in your armchair, a video you have never seen will be shown, and Rawat will come and speak. He will welcome you with a few words, make you feel good. Then he will ask you if you can keep these three vows: don't reveal the techniques, give Knowledge a fair chance, and keep in touch. He will say briefly what is going to happen. You will be explained the techniques, one by one, and then practice them.
The four techniques that will be explained are ways to focus and go inside, to experience what is already going on inside. (What Rawat calls the 'experience of life'). That means that he will show the first technique and you will practice it, then the second and you'll practice it, etc. Each one of these four techniques are meant to be practiced one after the other, in the same order as they are shown.
First Meditation Technique
He will use a camera and video screen to show it so that everybody can see it well (unless you are in a session with just a few people). You will first watch what he shows on himself, then you will practice yourself.
You first close your eyes. (They have to remain closed during the practice of all four techniques.) Your focus has to stay inside. Starting on the external edges of your eyes and using your thumb and your middle finger, following the rim of the eyelids, you gently and slowly bring your fingers to the median corner of your eyes, in contact with your eyelids. Then you rest them on that spot, these two fingers in touch with your eyelids and the bone of your nose.
You gently rest your index where it is, on a spot in the middle of your forehead, above the top of the nose. There's no need to press. Just keep your fingers steady so that your eyeballs don't move. You can rest your arm (elbow) on the arm of your armchair, on your chest or on a cushion. If you are right handed, use your right hand, if you are left handed, use your left hand. Don't switch hands if you get tired. If you get tired, put down your hand, relax, and then start again. The best thing is to find a good position where you can relax, and use a cushion to support your arm so that you don't have to make any effort creating tensions. Relax and focus inside. Rawat might repeat that explanation, and let people try on them. Then practice this first technique for 15 minutes. (He doesn't call it 'light' anymore: simply the first technique.)
Second Meditation Technique
You are going to use your right thumb to close your right ear, and your left thumb to close your left ear. Use the soft part (fleshy, where your fingerprints are) of the last phalanx of your thumbs (don't stick them into the ears), just gently close the opening of your ears, without pushing. Keep the trigus (small cartilage at the entrance of the ear duct) out. Rest the other four fingers on your forehead and your head. Let your focus go inside. Keep your eyes closed. You can rest your arms on an armchair, or your chest, or on a cushion. If you get tired, put your hands down, relax, and start again. It's no longer called the 'music' technique anymore: simply the second technique.
Third Meditation Technique
Keep your eyes closed. Be aware of your breath going in, and your breath going out. Breath normally. Follow what you feel, and let your focus go inside.
Fourth Meditation Technique
Keep your eyes closed. Roll back the tip of your tongue against the palate. Gently rest your tongue wherever it goes, without pushing. Follow what you feel, and let your focus go inside.
You might wonder what happens whilst you practice the techniques. As your eyes are closed, you won't see any of it, but I can reveal it to you: During the first and the second techniques, some instructors and/or mahatmas will be going around quietly, checking if you're practicing them exactly the way Rawat just showed them. If you don't, they will gently come and show you how to do them right.
During the third and fourth, they are supposed to stay in a corner and just watch in case something weird happens. (You keep practicing the second, or you stand up and want to go to the toilet, fall asleep, anything that's not supposed to happen.) Rawat might come and watch what happens for a while. He sometimes walk in the aisles. Most of the time he stays in a private room backstage, by himself or having a chat with an organizer, instructor or friend.
After you have finished practicing the four techniques, he will re-explain them again, and say a few words; not to be concerned by time, to find a conducive environment, not expect anything special, that the main thing is to go inside.
Then there will be a 20 minutes pause. Then Rawat is going to explain again each technique. He will also give some general advice: you have to sit by yourself (nobody is going to disturb you) in a comfortable position. Don't be tired, otherwise you may fall asleep. Find the best time of the day! You can use an armchair, cushions, sit on your bed, or even lie down, as long as you don't intend to sleep. You have to be able to feel comfortable and to relax. (The beragons have been banned more than 15 years ago and he does not mention them anymore).
And finally you will get to practice them one by one, 15 minutes each, with Rawat (or Charnanand) giving a signal (now practice the second technique, or the third, or the fourth) indicating when you have to change and practice the next technique, without explanations in-between, like you will do home afterwards. Rawat advises against using a timer to give the signal when to change to the next technique. By practice you will know more or less how long it takes. It is not important to do it 15 minutes exactly. What is most important is to focus inside, and practice each technique for about the same time (not to practice the first or the third for 30 minutes because you like it more, and only 10 minutes for the others, for instance). If you want to practice more than an hour, let's say 2 hours, then you should practice each technique for about 30 minutes.
At the end of the session there is usually a time where Rawat asks the new premies to express their feelings. You might say how grateful you are. He will say a few words, he might read some poetry, from him or Kabir, or Mirabai. In some lucky places, he gives darshan (foot-kissing) if the premies (usually from Indian background) ask for it. Then a short beautiful video, and you will be allowed to leave the venues!
That's it. For a minority of the people in this initiation session this can be a life-changing experience. The majority will immediately or shortly realise this is not what they were hoping for and move on.