This excerpt from a book I wouldn't recommend anyone should bother to read gives a pretty accurate description of the process of being involved in and initiated into the "Knowledge" of Prem Rawat and Divine Light Mission in late 1973 though he certainly seemed to get overly excited repeating the mantra. The only part that doesn't ring true describes the vows taken before the initiation ceremony. At the time a prayer was first repeated: "Oh my Guru Maharaj Ji, I dedicate myself to your lotus feet. I am weak and ignorant and am filled with the impurities of this world. Oh Guru Maharaj Ji, please take my mind and purge me of the impurities I possess. Reveal to me the knowledge of all knowledges. Strengthen me, uplift me and reveal the kingdom of heaven within inside of me. Bring me from hate to love, from darkness to light, death to immortality. I will OBEY you implicitly and will never reveal this Knowledge to anyone for any reason. I will keep in contact with you through my DEVOTIONAL LOVE, satsang, meditation and service. Thank you my LORD for everything." There were 5 commandments to be obeyed: Never put off 'til tomorrow what you can do today. Never delay in attending satsang. Always have faith in God. Constantly meditate and remember the Holy Name. Never leave room for doubt in the mind. I suspect that author has forgotten and got his information by reading the mundane promises currently made by people before they are "Revealed Knowledge."
October 3, 1973
We parked right in front of this large brick and log home. Amazingly, there was a space right out in front, because there were cars everywhere and some still driving around looking for a spot.
We quietly entered the grand room of the home. Some guy standing at the door told us we were very late and missed most of it. He was just wrapping up. The room was packed with people of all ages, but mainly young guys and girls, sitting on the floor. Almost as tightly as they sat for Sai Baba in Bangalore.
Maharaj Ji sat on a couple of white cushions on a riser draped in red velvet and all eyes adored him, just as they had when they looked up at Sai Baba, and melted at his feet.
Trudy and I wriggled our way to the center of the floor and, just as in Bangalore, the crowd adjusted itself to accommodate us. There must have been 250 to 300 people crammed in there. But all were silent, hanging on Maharaj Ji's every word.
I didn't care for the vibes in the room. They were too worshipful. They were too focused on this chubby kid. OK, so he had a great presence about him. He was still just a kid!
And precisely as I thought that, he spoke about it in very good English, with just enough of an accent to make you have to pay attention to him.
"I see many of you look at me with this reverence I don't want. I don't want it! I personally think it's cuckoo! Give your energy to the Knowledge! I am just a kid! You take the Knowledge my father gave to me. You use it. You practice it until it is second nature to you and you are doing it while you are buying groceries or filling the car up with gas or making out with your girlfriend or boyfriend. (The crowd giggles.)
"As you understand more and more the infiniteness of this Knowledge, and it brings you joy more and more, then maybe you can thank me sometime, OK? But don't look at me like I'm something special. I am just a kid. I am just a human being." He gestures to people sitting on either side of the riser. "This is my mother, Mata Ji. These are my brothers, Raja Ji and Bhole Ji. This is Mahatma Rajeshwaranand, who has been in our family longer than I have. I am just the kid."
The crowd laughed politely, trying to act as if he were normal, but regarding him more than ever as an avatar. I took him at his word. I didn't have any kind of aversion to anything he said or did. There was nothing to disagree with. I tried, but I couldn't fault him on anything. To me he was just a teenager, nothing more. Precocious, yes. He spoke of truths so broad, I couldn't disagree with any of them. But he was no one who made me feel like doing pranam at his feet. He was just another teenager who smiled a lot.
"I told you when I first got here," Maharaj Ji continued, "I warned you that this would not be a Knowledge session. I just wanted to visit you and thank you for all the wonderful work Divine Light Mission is doing here." He looked over at his older brother Raja Ji. There was a curious smile on his face. Almost a smirk. Raja Ji acknowledged it with a practiced loving smile similar to the one he'd received.
It felt like the rest of the family was promoting him as something more than he was, when what he was, was enough! Would he have the guts to tell his family where to get off when the time came? Like when Krishnamurti came of age and told Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbetter to stop promoting him like he was the second coming of Christ or something! Not that Krishnamurti didn't know a lot! Not that he wasn't a great teacher and philosopher! Not that he wasn't enlightened! It was just that he wasn't the second coming of the christ. He was just Jiddu Krishnamurti and what he was, was enough.
I was lost in possible scenarios like this when there was a restlessness that swept through the crowd. Desperateness. Maharaj Ji was starting to stand and leave the podium. People sitting on the floor in front of him leaned toward him, hands outstretched as if he would let sacred ash fall from the palm of his hand into theirs. "Please, I want the Knowledge, Guru." "Maharaj Ji, I have traveled so far, please let me receive Knowledge." Others joined in begging for the Knowledge. A respectful pandemonium broke loose.
As if coming back on stage for an encore, Maharaj Ji sat back down on the cushions and held his hands in the air. The crowd quieted down.
Maharaj Ji laughed. "Oh, you are so hungry for the Knowledge. And I recognize faces that have followed me from Los Angeles and Portland and forth and back between Victoria and Vancouver. OK! I give in. I will let Mahatma Rajeshwaranand hold a Knowledge session after I leave. I will pick out 12 people only. You shall be my chosen ones, my apostles. You shall spread the word of the Knowledge."
He held out his hand, extending his index finger, and starting at one side of the room, he slowly swept his arm across the crowd. Every now and then he pointed to someone and simply said, "You!" And then he pointed again to another and said, "You!" He picked a couple of people from the back, a couple from the front. He asked a premie who was sitting up front and who lived in the house, how many he had so far. The premie said he needed two more.
Though he had picked no people who sat adjacent to one another, he scanned the room quickly and then pointed to Trudy and me. "You and you!" he said, as he smiled broadly. Trudy and I exchanged wide-eyed glances that confirmed we were thinking the same thing. Magic!
Then looking right at me, Maharaj Ji said, "You shall be my Peter." He hesitated, and then asked, "Or will you end up being my Judas?" He chuckled and the crowd parted as he walked with his entourage out the front door, the enchanted crowd following him outside.
Mahatma Rajeshwaranand took the podium and, in excellent English dusted off with a fine Oxford accent, asked the 12 chosen ones to follow him into a back room of the house.
It was obviously a meditation room, with photographs of Maharaj Ji and his family adorning the walls and icons of all the major religions joining them there. There were pillows scattered on the floor. Mahatma Rajeshwaranand politely ordered one of the members of the household to pile the pillows against the wall and to find 12 folding chairs.
When he and two other guys brought in the chairs, some of us helped unfold them and place them in a straight row across the room, following Mahatma's directions. All three premies sported close-cropped haircuts and wore sports jackets. One even wore a tie. This scared me. They looked so Mormon-ish or Jehovah's Witness-ish. What was with the clean-cut look, when most of the people in the audience were freaks and flower children? Were they going to turn into these robots after they got the Knowledge?
The chairs were all set up. The three premies smiled at us, and then at Mahatma, who turned to them and said, "Jai Satchitanand." That was their cue to leave. In unison they replied, "Bhole Shri Satgurudev Maharaj Ki Jai!" They left the room, closing the door behind them.
The premies sounded just like altar boys responding to a priest's Gregorian command. I felt like an altar boy. An altar boy in training for the Mahatma as the priest and Maharaj Ji as the pope. I so easily recognized and denied my strong Sicilian Catholic indoctrination at the early age of 16 that I never went to mass again, much to my parents' constant chagrin, and now here I was, watching rituals, rules and regulations resurrect themselves around me. I made a vow never to let that happen.
It was bad enough Sister Penetrate of the Wood, or whatever the hell her name was back in Catechism class, told us that if we were ever kneeling on the pew during Mass and our ankles were crossed, then our prayers didn't count and we would have to stay and go to the next Mass. And that was true as well if you happened to think a dirty thought or swear word while you were saying the Lord's Prayer or Hail Mary. Then the prayer didn't count and you'd have to start all over again. And so it took me forever to say my bed-time prayers. And getting through a rosary? Forget it! Sister Penetrate is the one who gave me an extreme aversion to anything that smacked of religion. The aversion served me very well so far to keep me cult-free and perennially skeptical.
These Sanskrit greetings and praises might have been Heil Hitlers in disguise, spoken by brainwashed Hitler Jugend. I immediately went into my averted and skeptical mode. I didn't go into the "session" with a very good attitude, though Trudy already looked "blissed out!"
Oh, the power of suggestion. The power of mass hysteria, mob behavior, peer pressure. I am above all that. I just want the facts. Just give me the fact's, ma'am, just the facts! And that of course means the Knowledge. Just give it to me. That's it, just hand it over. I'll take it from there.
This is what I was thinking as the Mahatma walked around the room lighting candles and incense. He spoke to us in a very serious and intentional way.
"Prem Rawat! That is his family name. He was initiated in the Knowledge by his father, Satgurudev Sri Hans Ji Maharaj, at the age of six and became Satguru, or Perfect Master when his father died in 1966. He is now Guru Maharaj Ji. But premies, which is what you will be after you receive this gift, affectionately call him Maharaji."
Mahatma suddenly stopped and turned to a young woman at the end of the row. He asked her in an offhanded way, "What did you bring Guru Maharaj Ji as a gift for this Knowledge you are about to receive?"
She answered, "I brought him a painting I did from photos I took of him last year at the Celebration in Miami."
"And you?" he asked me.
"I brought him these blades of grass from the lawn outside," I answered honestly and without a hint of sarcasm because I meant none.
Mahatma smiled at me. The kind of smile that says, "Hey you, I've got your number."
My smile back said, "I'm still looking for yours. But if I find it, watch out!" We definitely had a gentleman's agreement.
After we were seated, Mahatma told a bit about his own life. Affluent. Studied abroad. A successful lawyer and judge in Bombay for 20 years. Then he received Knowledge from Maharaj Ji's father. "I gave up everything to devote my life to helping my master's family after he died," Mahatma confided. "I could never show enough gratitude for the Knowledge. Never!"
"And just as Christ sent his apostles forth to spread the word that "Heaven was at hand," once we receive Knowledge, we want to propagate it so eventually the nations of the world will realize peace. And Maharaj Ji has declared you 12 to be his apostles. It is a wondrous honor! And I am honored to be giving you this Knowledge."
Oh shit, I knew there was a catch! By the way, Mr. Mahatma, no way am I going to be an apostle for the Goomer. Not Peter nor Judas. So don't expect me to start propagating for you! Just give me the damn facts and let me out of here!
"Giving the Knowledge will be easy to do," he said as he walked behind our chairs, "because the Knowledge is an immediate and direct experience of the truth, of pure consciousness, of pure love. There are no rites or rituals to perform that separate you from the path. There are no mantras to occupy the mind. Mantras help focus the mind, but it is still a process of thinking, which does not help achieve mindlessness, only concentration."
Hmmm. Nice! I like the way he put that. He's saying all the right things. Like he knows what works on me or something! The way he says them. The references. He's a fucking intellectual! No talking down! Right on!
"The Knowledge is a physical experience. You cannot attain it by reading about it or hearing about it. It must be demonstrated for you and there must be a laying on of hands Maharaji has ordained, such as mine. If you do as I say, you will have a physical response to the Knowledge. Responses vary. Yours may be brief and modest, or it might be overwhelming. The true understanding of the Knowledge comes to different people at different times. It is only with practice that you will truly understand this gift Maharaj Ji gives you."
OK. Are you through with the disclaimers?
"But it is immediate and you will recognize it. It will be an 'aha' experience. Your ancient souls will recognize it and you will call it Divinity."
Alright! We are ready! Lay it on us!
"This is the Divine Yoga. There are four kriyas, or techniques. And each technique will produce what seems to be a different sensation. But I tell you they are all part of the one vibration that sustains you, all life on earth, and the universe. It is the energy that permeates everything but you will feel it in different ways. You can use one technique at a time, all four, or in any combination."
But wait! There's more!
"The more you practice the kriyas, the more internalized they will become, to the point where they will be second nature to you and that is where you will retreat when there is imbalance or disharmony in your life. The more you practice the techniques, the more you will understand them. You will be able to meditate while you are working, while you are studying, while you are driving, even while carrying on a conversation."
And that's not all. If you call right now…
"And at the moment of death, if you can be in the Knowledge, your passing will be seamless into pure consciousness and bliss. This is the real reason we practice the Knowledge. To be prepared at the time of our deaths."
You now have my undivided and total attention, Mahatma Rajeshwaranand, Sir!
"But I stress this point. The Knowledge is beautiful, it is everything, it will bring you the answers to all you ask, and it will bring you peace. It is direct, immediate, simple … and a secret!"
Aye, there's the rub! This is where there's going to be trouble. I can tell already!
"Guru Mahara Ji asks that you promise only three things before he gives you this gift." Mahatma walked in front of each of us, making eye contact. "One, to attend satsang whenever possible. Two, to give Knowledge a fair chance. And three, not to share these techniques with anyone. Is there anyone who can't promise that?"
Hmmm. I can promise that. If I want to. You didn't ask will I promise that! Hey, you're the lawyer. You should know the loopholes!
"Are there any questions before I begin?" Mahatma asked, having finished circling us and standing once again before us.
I spoke up. I could feel Trudy burning. "Mahatma Rajeshwaranand, if this Knowledge is for everyone, and if it transcends religion, why is it a secret? Why do you make people jump through so many hoops to get it?"
Trudy kicked me, and the other 10 people gave me odd looks, like they were afraid I was going to blow it for all of us. But I figured I was really asking something everyone wanted to know.
Mahatma stepped up to me, squatted down until he was at eye level, and gently said, "The reason it is a secret, is precisely because it is so simple." Then he looked me in the eyes a long time, as if trying to pass on information. Maybe he was just wondering what Maharaj Ji was thinking when he picked me of all people. Trying to figure me out. Trying to convince me he wasn't a hoax.
He stepped back, stood tall, and in a louder voice stated with absolute certainty, "If anyone, who is not directly appointed by Guru Maharaj Ji to do so, shares these secrets with others who have not been initiated, they will spend their next 10,000 incarnations as a cockroach!"
Well, that was a low blow, and a rapid devolvement from lawyer to practitioner of voodoo and superstition! Shades of Sister Penetrate! You bastard! You know a recovering Catholic like me is going to have a hard time with that one! Just for that, I'm gonna take your damned Knowledge now, and figure out what to do with it later! And think about what you said later! Much later! Maybe later than you think! Now let's get on with it!
October 3, 1973
"Remember, every time someone takes your breath away, they kill you and your ego does not exist. If it is only for a moment, it may be an infatuation. If it is for too long, it might be murder. But if you are in control of your own breath, you may kill your ego at will, and with great practice, your body as well, when it is time. Now close your eyes and follow my breath. Get your breath in time with mine. To help you, listen to how my breath sounds. Then listen to yours."
He inhaled deeply through his nose but not strenuously. He paused noticeably before he exhaled, again, through his nose. He paused. He inhaled a little bit slower. A longer pause. Then the exhale. Another pause.
"If you have trouble finding the sound of your breath, think to yourself 'soooooo' on the inhale, pause, and then 'huuunng' on the exhale. Like this." And Mahatma audibly imbedded the sound of 'soooooo' within his inhale. He paused slightly longer than the previous breath. Then he slowly sounded the 'huuunng,' hardly noticeable within his exhale.
"Soooooo." He breathed in. Then an even longer pause. "Huuunng," with the exhale. "Once again, I tell you this is not a mantra. Forget it as soon as possible. This is just for now, in the beginning. To get you used to the sound of your breath. Once you are used to it you must drop this 'soooooo' and 'huuunng' and just let the sound of your breath guide you."
If he says soooooo huuunng one more time, it's going to be impossible to take this seriously! In fact, now I'm so horny, I just want to get it on with one of those buzz-cut premie security guards out front! Hey! Giacco! Stop that! Pay attention! Fuck, I am more in my mind than ever. What am I gonna do with myself? I should be flogged! I gave Josie the benefit of the doubt back in Laguna. Why am I giving this guy such a hard time? I just don't … Soooooo, (pause) Huuunng. Soooooo, (longer pause) Huuunng.
I was getting the drift. I was getting into a nice rhythm. My breaths were very even, slowing slightly each time. The space between my exhale and my next inhale was getting longer and longer. And the "soooooo, huuunng" really did help my whole body find the sound of my breath and not just my ears.
"Continue breathing so," Mahatma said softly. "This space between the breaths. This is where it resides. The universal vibration. It is very subtle. But as you practice this technique, you will begin to feel the vibration more and more. Between the breaths as those spaces lengthen, you will come to recognize the vibration immediately. You will get to glimpse pure consciousness and love. If you should ever stay there too long, you will die. But with a smile on your face."
Yikes! Tell it like it is, Mahatma! Now this was more like it! Finally, some confirmation I was on the right track all along. I knew it had something to do with the breath! I even knew it had something to do with the space in between the breaths! Damn I'm good. I was so close. I didn't need this. Couple more acid trips under a blanket and I would've had it.
"This is the 'Word' of Judaism and Christianity," the Mahatma explained. "This is what is meant in the Old Testament, when it says, 'in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.'
"This is what Jesus meant when he said, 'The Kingdom of God is within you.' He meant it literally, as he did so many other things that have been interpreted merely as poetic metaphors. He meant the simple reality hiding just beneath the surface of the metaphor. He meant that spot just below the solar plexus. The vacuum there created between the exhalation and the next inhalation. That vibration. You can feel it. Become it. This is where pure energy, consciousness, and bliss reside. This is the Kingdom of God. And you can go there with the Divine Word."
Damn you're good! Man! You just made a whole bunch of books and a whole lot of acid trips make perfect sense. I like that intellectual approach of yours. The way you talk and the way your voice sounds. Like we're all smart! It turns me on. I can relate. Now if you say something about walking in the way of the lord, I'm gonna freak out!
"This is the first and most important of the four kriyas, or techniques. The other three are all facets of the same energy in different forms. Once you understand how to use the Knowledge, it will put you in touch with that which connects us all. That which sustains the universe. That which makes us one. But only if you use the techniques! Only if you practice them!"
Mahatma walked up to the first person in the row. "Keep your eyes closed and keep breathing, slowly, steadily, meditating on the Word. I will place my hands on each of you in turn. You will feel some pressure, but do not back away. When I know it is time to move on, I will replace your hand in the same position where mine was. Keep it there and be amazed."
As he went down the row, I heard some quiet gasps, a man started crying, and a young girl giggled like a three-year old.
"Look through the center of your forehead. Some of you may see fireworks and stars, others a bright sun, still others a donut with a black hole. Concentrate on the sun. Let it burn as colorfully and as brightly as it wants to."
I felt a strong hand grab my head from behind and a thumb and middle finger each firmly press an eyeball in and toward the tip of my nose between my brows. I felt an index finger come gently down upon my forehead and press the center of it just above my nose. My attention was immediately drawn there.
"If you see a black hole, fall into it. Just stare into it. Keep breathing the Word. As your thoughts slow, the black hole will fill with light. It will become the sun. Stay there. Be the light. This is the opening of the Third Eye. This is Divine Light."
Or was it just the stimulation of a plexus of nerves? Phosphenes or something. I'm always seeing things behind my eyelids anyway, for chrissakes! Floaters and stuff. And Mahatma, if anyone is into the Third Eye, it's me! But I'm just seeing some nerve endings being bullied. And what's about if I don't have any hands or arms? Huh? What happens then?
"Some of you may be thinking that this light you see is nothing more than the stimulation of the nervous plexus where the three principal nerves of the body converge. But I assure you, that with practice, you will see this light brighter and brighter, and without using your hands or stimulating the nerves in any way. It isn't needed. This is the opening of the Third Eye and it has always been there. You just had to be shown."
Damn! Can he hear me thinking? I can see why it's a secret. You really have to want it badly for it to work. This stuff's just too easy! It's begging to be mocked! By anyone with half a brain of how the human body works!
"Once again, this is all part of the vibration that is the Word, but a visual one, the Divine Light. Jesus said, 'If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be filled with light.' This is what he meant by the single eye, the Third Eye, the Divine Light."
Too much, man! All those acid trips back in New York when we spent hours tripping underneath those blankets. Shit. I've seen that light. So what if I didn't know what it was or what to call it? I know what he's talking about. Does everything have to have a name? This news is no news! Especially since I already read about it in the "Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ," for chrissakes!
I could hear Mahatma coming around the back of the chairs. Once again he went down the row, letting each person experience his hands on them. When he came to me, he arranged my thumbs just so in each ear and then placed what remained of my hands on top of my head. There they rested quite comfortably. I could almost intertwine my fingers. Then he pushed gently on my thumbs, which pressed on my eardrums. At first, I just heard my pulse beating loudly. Then it quickly became more complex.
Hey fella! This isn't subtle at all! I can hear layers of sounds! No problemo. You can't sing to it, though. That's too bad. And I wish I could adjust the volume. It's a bit loud. It sounds like stuff we might be listening to in the year 3050. Music of the spheres and all that. I bet it's just the aural sensation of blood circulating through the brain, but I say, so what! This is cool!
"This is Divine Music. The more you meditate on Divine Music the more you will hear the richness of the cosmic symphony. But, again, this is just another manifestation of the Divine Word, of that vibration which causes all things to be. None is separate from the other. They are all the same thing, the same energy."
Hell, I knew this back in New York! The place between the breaths, and the trippy light shows behind the eyelids, and when I put Kleenex in my ears to drown out the traffic, the sci-fi music waiting for me just behind my eardrums. Damn. I should've had more faith I knew what I was doing. At least he hasn't said anything about the blankets yet!
I could feel the Mahatma looking at me. "The last kriya is Divine Nectar."
Hmmmm. Nectar, eh? I don't know about this one! It had better be good!
"Simply place the tip of your tongue as far back as it will go along the roof of your mouth. Stretch it until it can go no further. If you keep it there long enough, a sweet, electric-tasting juice will begin to flow. Use this technique with all the others. Especially when meditating on the Word. Soon, your tongue will be reaching back there without even thinking. The Nectar will flow and you will instinctively meditate on the Word. Whenever you are in need of centeredness in the midst of chaos, that is where your tongue will instinctively go. To the back of the roof of your mouth. And the Nectar will remind you to become the Word.
Well, I have to admit he had me on that one! Nectar? God! Would've never thought of that one! But three out of four? Not bad. Not bad at all!
"And a personal tip," Mahatma confided, "In the beginning of practicing the Knowledge, it will help to remove as many distractions as possible. Until you have truly internalized all the kriyas, you should find a quiet place. Create a meditation room in your home. And if that is not possible, sit underneath a heavy blanket in your room."
Damn him again! Will he leave me nothing to claim as my own? Not even a damn blanket?
He said a few more things about attending satsang often, and only hanging out with other premies, and something about doing service for the mission and propagating the Knowledge and stuff, but it sort of went in one ear and out the other.
I got what I came for. Thanks so very much. Really. But I think I must be on my way now. Later, brother Goomer. The Knowledge seems harmless enough, but you gotta get a new ad agency and campaign going! Please! As far as the Knowledge goes, cripes, call it something else! But I will admit, nothing happened to me today that aren't experiences every human on the planet has in common whether they know it or not. So I guess you could say the Knowledge is the lowest common denominator of humanity. At least we have something in common!
"You are now premies, devotees of Maharaj Ji, keepers of the Knowledge, the highest common denominator of humanity. Some know it; some are waiting to be told. As long as everyone is aware of its existence and how to get it. That is all we ask.
"You must keep this Knowledge a secret. Some of you will have friends that will bother you until you give in and give it to them. And maybe you think some of your friends are ready to receive the Knowledge. Only Maharaj Ji can say who is ready and who is not. You may think you do your friend a service when you give him the Knowledge. But no! You do him a disservice! He may not appreciate it because he may think it too simple, too mundane, or too subtle. So he may never use it. He will never learn of its infinite depth because it can only be realized by diligent practice. And if he doesn't practice it, you have deprived him of being prepared when he is on his death bed."
On that jovial note, a young man neatly dressed as were they all, walked in and said, "Mahatma Rajeshwaranand. Excuse me. We are late. We must go." We all stood up and gathered around him. I felt him looking obliquely at me.
OK, for the time being I'll compromise. I won't give away the secret, but I also will not spread the word. Deal?
"And so I must go, my dear premies." The Mahatma bowed before us and pressed his hands together in the namaskar mudra. "Jai Satchitanand!"
October 3, 1973
Everyone either knew the phrase from attending so much satsang or mumbled something that sounded very much like it in response. I knew that phrase and others that were being bandied about from my travels in India and what was now called Sri Lanka. There the Sanskrit words sounded holy and meaningful. Here, they sounded pretentious.
Most of us were still a bit spaced out from the constant deep breathing, but we did remember our manners and thanked him many times for initiating us. The premie escorted Mahatma Rajeshwaranand to a nice limo waiting out front, the rear door already open.
We "apostles" followed him, stood on the front porch, and watched as the limo disappeared down the street. When we turned to go back inside, we looked at one another for varying degrees of bliss. Or maybe just some kind of validation something had really happened.
A couple of the "apostles" took pillows on the floor and sat opposite each other re-enacting, confirming techniques for each other, but stopped immediately when someone that lived in the ashram chided them for doing so in public.
I hadn't really studied my fellow recruits before the session began. I realized one of them was a young girl, maybe nine or 10 years old. She seemed the most content, the most fulfilled, the most at ease. As if she "got it" right away.
Another apostle's middle-aged head seemed to float in mid-air. This was partially because he was dressed in a black suit, black vest, black shirt, and a white collar worn backwards around his neck. The minister seemed more than satisfied, as if parts of today's experience could be worked into many Sundays' worth of sermons.
And Trudy. Trudy always had a bit of a stunned look about her anyway, but now she had outdone herself. She walked over to me and said, or rather asked, "Is the Knowledge incredible or what? I mean did he blow our minds or what?"
I didn't mean to question her state of bliss, but I replied, "Well for the time being, I think I'm going to have to say 'or what.'"