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"blooming where planted." She says, "Knowledge has given me a way to control my ego. Everyone appreciates a controlled ego in someone else even if they are not ready to control their own. Now, when I talk to people about lettuce, sesame tahini, our flour mill, the Grateful Dead, TM, Middletown politics - whatever - I realize that each conversation is an opportunity to let through a little light until we can come to the place where we can talk about meditation and the Knowledge. People who work in co-ops understand that in order to make the cooperative work, everyone's joint effort is required. Through working together, they begin to realize the same thing which brought me to Knowledge - that the only way people can have harmony together is to have harmony with themselves first. When someone starts seeing that he doesn't know how to have real harmony with himself, then I'm here with Maharaj Ji's answer."

My Son the Mahatma

Last month it was announced that Guru Maharaj Ji had instructed Bill Patterson to be his first American mahatma. Bill, who has been actively involved in the San Antonio community for the past few months is not yet giving Knowledge, but will begin touring the country in the near future, giving satsang and holding Knowledge reviews. When we heard the news here, we quickly paid a visit to Bill's mother, Virginia Patterson, a premie for four years and the househead of one of the world's only "older premie" premie houses, to ask her what it felt like for her son to be chosen.

How did you first find out that Guru Maharaj Ji had made your son a mahatma?

Bill called me one night and we visited for a little while about this and that and then he just very calmly said: "Well Mum, I'm a mahatma now." At first it seemed that he was being a little light about it, but that was just his way of telling me. Bill was excited that he had been chosen, but there again, he told me later when I was down in San Antonio that to him it was just a service. He was so truly devoted that I was just amazed. There are so many premies that are not that devoted, that they will just give their whole life.

Did he say that he felt any different since becoming a mahatma?

He really felt energy. He was really experiencing words coming through him that he hadn't been aware of his mind directing his mouth to say. I think his first feeling when he heard it was: "Oh, I'm not ready." Then what do you do to be ready? He realized that whatever Guru Maharaj Ji felt - that was best. That was it. That was his service. So he's really excited about getting out, travelling many places to give satsang.

Do you feel this will change your relationship with him?

No, and I think this is where it's helpful me being a premie too, and I'm really tuned in to what he's doing. At first I was wondering how will things be, between the two of us. It's really just that he's a premie and I'm a premie and he's giving his all and his whole devotion, and whatever I'll be doing, I'll do it as a service in my own way. It really has been nice, since he became a mahatma, he has called me three times, and we have had incredible satsang over the phone. It seemed like a thing that he wanted to share with me, he is just so filled with energy that he has to branch out from San Antonio.

Clap Your Hands, Stomp Your Feet

The Supernatural Family Band - a down home, foot stompin', banjo pickin', fiddle playin' crew of premie musicians all sprung from the Hancock clan - is going on a summertime tour of the Northwest.

One of their stops is in Missoula, Montana, where premie John Doe is anxiously awaiting their visit. He invites any and all premies to join him in a hoe-down with the Hancock's this June, when they are in Missoula.

Munch and Mulch

A poster in the window of the Denver Rainbow Grocery: May Third Spring Celebration. "It's garden day. We're rolling up our sleeves and getting out to plant over 100 neighborhood gardens throughout Denver. Afterwards we'll all come for potluck dinner and an old-fashioned barn dance with the Supernatural Family Band.

"We will begin the spring plant at 10 a.m. with a grand opening by the Mayor and us all … we'll put in a good day of digging and fun loving on our Community Gardens, then head on down to the Indian Center for our evening's festivities."

Garden day was as good as it sounded. After the Mayor spoke, Finnegan, a Denver premie of Soul-Rush, herbal clinic notoriety, gave satsang to the assembled group of black folks, senior citizens, college students, politicians, and premies. "This kind of co-operation is only possible by God's love," he said. There were nods of assent as heads and people saw the completely diverse crowd they stood among.

Rappelling in Laramie, Wyo. - mid-air meditation.Only Three Hundred Percent

"There have been times here when just to hear a person walk up to me and say 'Jai Satchitanand' would have made me cry, I was longing for premies so. But gradually I saw that when I had to, I could do it alone just me and Maharaj Ji."
- Jack Mills

Until last month, Jack had to. Living all alone in the wilds of Laramie, Wyoming, he was going to school and practicing Knowledge hundreds of miles from the nearest premie community. Then Mahatma Guru Charnanand was scheduled to visit. Half a dozen premies came up from Colorado to help with preparations. After four days of non-stop satsang, the next Knowledge session saw a three hundred percent increase in the Laramie premie population from 1 to 4.

Jack Mills (top) poses with premie pals.