Journeys: Mary Anne

Date: February 25, 2008

The first premie I met, I wanted. It wouldn't say I wanted to sleep with him. I just wanted him. I did sleep with him, and it was pretty uneventful as sex goes. But I wanted to be with him all the time. He was devoted to me in some strange way – he said the love he felt around me made him want to cry with happiness. I thought, that's okay, because as long as I was with him, I heard music and saw light, and I was connected. I was connected to myself in a way that made me feel sure of everything that mattered. He wasn't a stable guy but he wouldn't shut up about the experience he was having and I hung on every word. I wasn't going anywhere.

The second premie I remember seeing was at an Introductory Satsung. I saw her as I was walking into the room and she was bathed in white light, and startling beautiful, nearly archetypal. Someone started talking into the microphone, all breathy and happy to be there. He was glowing too. I kept blinking, the light in the room was so oddly brilliant. I actually wondered if these cult people had messed with the bulbs.

It was 1979 and I had no interest in M. DLM was a cult, everyone knew that. But I would make an exception for guy I was 'dating." He begged me to go. It was a date.

By the fourth or fifth visit to an Introductory Meeting, I was seeing light on my own. It was Aura Borealis when I closed my eyes at night, And, I swear I could hear the air - brilliant, piercing, soothing. I didn't know if it was outside me, inside me. It was the same thing really, and I had the deepest feeling of belonging I'd ever had.

The second premie I actually met was a fun and vibrant character. She talked fast, with her hands – so animated – so alive – sort of dancing all the time. She had no less than fifty pictures of M on her walls, like a tweener's Tigerbeat-papered bedroom, but instead of David Cassidy or Michael Jackson, it was M. The closest I'd ever gotten to "hero worship" was overpaying a scalper for tickets to a Dylan concert. I thought she was quite mad. But I found I wanted to be near her too. It felt as if we'd grown up in the same house.

Then I visited the premie Satsang hall – it looked like a movie set made to look like hippie pad, with pictures of M everywhere. I was a downtown bohemian, a rocker. I rolled my eyes. I thought this was some hellish scene I'd have to endure to get to the source of this experience. I'd learned that M gave Knowledge - without actually needing to be in the room with you. I thought "Okay, I'll just have to tell someone he already gave it to me, that I was seeing light and all the rest and I just needed the techniques."

But no, I needed an Initiator and I had to ask, and it would be along time. Sheesh.

That's when I started meeting a lot of other premies – some absurdly precious about me, like I'd break if they moved wrong around me. Others were like stone, as if the slightest personal connection would break them. I found I preferred the spaced-out ones and the bongos. They struck me as the most real. Of course that worried the Ashram premies. But I was so certain of my experience, I'd just shrug. I figured I'd get these techniques and I'd get out of there.

In the meantime, I learned the rules, and the words to Arti, and the controversies around eating mayonnaise and drinking liquor. While, at home, (I was 21, living with the folks, going to college), my folks were starting to freak out, buying cult books called "Snapping" and we were fighting. I'd had the nerve to suggest to my mom, who's deeply (Catholic) spiritual, that if she checked it out, she'd find it was real too. That only made her panic more. My friends were tightening the circle around me. Even my biology professor was trying to save me. So, as boring as I found M in videos and tape feeds, often sophomoric and tedious about shit I don't care about (car brands?), I started listening to him, wondering "What's up" I'm already having this experience, and I go clubbing, drink gin and tonics, smoke cigarettes, smoke pot and slather mayo on my roast beef. What am I missing here? Why does everyone have to act so weird about it?"

I heard M say it wasn't a religion. Grace didn't put the eggless mayo on the store shelf. That the angels are begging for a life just to have the experience I was having, so as cosmic as it feels, this is purely human. And something about surrender – that he prays to his own Guru Maharaji to help him surrender. I thought, "Okay, so the BIG GM is not really this guy. The teacher is right there in the light and the music." To that, I was willing to surrender – because really it felt more like being open.

I took on the Surrender Challenge, and I did receive K. And by the second or third time I sat down to mediate, my head nearly blew open with light and music, nectar pored in from some part of my throat and, then, from that light, faces of beings rose forward and opened their hands, one after another, dissolving into each other. I knew they were teachers, I just knew it. So I thought, "Good, this stupidity can stop. My parents won't need to get me deprogrammed and I'm happy."

But that isn't what happened. My parents and I ended up fine, they didn't like what I was doing, but I was at every Sunday dinner, our lives hadn't been torn apart. No, what was wrong was the practice.

I stayed vigilant for a few years. And then I stopped. I found the experience was toxic. Nearly all the regular premies seemed depressed and I don't think I heard a word of truth. All anyone talked about was M, seeing him, his feet, Him, Him, Him. M too. He was never much of a teacher, but in the beginning, he did talk about practicing Knowledge, about stepping out of the confines of concepts. I took those nuggets and used them. Now, he just yelled - about propagation and devotion. No one seemed to be talking about their own experience!

I was never asked to give Satsang, anyway, I wasn't to be trusted, it didn't sound like gopi dope. I didn't know who to blame but, as far as I was concerned, the CONCEPT OF M had sucked the air out of the room. I was done. Not with meditation, but with everything else.

That was 1985. I walked away, expecting I'd be back someday when things weren't so F#@cked up. I have a great life, a great job, a great husband, a really great kid. My friends are the best anyone could hope to have. I'm close to my family, I have an experience whenever I mediate. But I always stop doing it. I always stop. I have been a little tortured over that issue – so every few years or so, I check in to see if the M thing is in any better shape – if it is time to go back.

Each time, I like less of what I see. "Prem Rawat" came to our city a few years ago, so it was easy for me to go see him. Being around all the premies was actually pretty nice. But it felt like I was listening to a Luxury Car Commercial from Tony Robin. I was not the least bit inspired to go home and mediate. I did, and it was really focused, and very beautiful. But I wasn't inspired to do it.

Sidebar: I have to say M got to me once. Really got me. That crazy Krishna Dance he did from the stage in '79 or '80/ (I was always bad at the names of events, it was the one we all camped out at for a few days). That was amazing. Really amazing. I didn't even care that I looked like I was drinking the koolaid- it was amazing. And to be honest, the fact that he always seemed a little debauched made him kind of interesting – immature about the big boy toys – but he obviously didn't care what people thought of him.

Okay, back to rest of the time – nope, didn't care for guy. But it never mattered. I was into the BIG GM! I didn't have to like his human personality.

I continued to wonder when I would be going back – when would I feel the draw. Until yesterday, I always assumed I would be going back. Yesterday is when I finally breached the hold and started to read Now, I realize, I didn't walk away from the right thing in 1985.

I saw the Website years ago, but I didn't want to read it. I figured it was more of the same premmie crap that lead to controversies over mayonnaise. There is no doubt in my mind, and there never was, that DLM in all its permutations is a cult. But I didn't think K had made it so. People make cults happen around anything and everything. Middle class parents, Punk music fans, political party members, some give up their wills and identities to be seen in some crazy mirror or another. I'm always pleasantly thrilled when I meet genuinely unique people. So I figured was noise from that sort of park.

Like I said, I had left in 85 or so –before the Ashrams closed. When I heard they closed, I thought it was the best thing yet. But I don't know what I'm talking about. I just learned yesterday about M's Maoist move to burn the history (tapes magazines, etc.). That's just plain stupid. Then I read more about the cold hell so many Ashram premies feel they lived in by following the dictates of M. I really had no idea it was coming from him. I thought they just took all his words to hair-shirt wearing extremes. (Didn't he say something like, if the Master kicked you across seven worlds, it would be a blissful experience – well, I guess not!)

So, I wondered, "Maybe I always stop mediating because M is in the way of my experience. "

It happens every time; as soon as I'm "in" I feel a catholic guilt consume me that I'm not propagating. And I really don't want to. I don't want to drag my husband to a car commercial in a bleak rented room filled with stern, vacant faces. I don't want to tune in the cable-tv show for my son to hear Prem Rawat drone on in platitudes. I don't want to! So I stop meditating.

I have, for all this time, somehow thought I owed him something for this experience. It just never occurred to be how bogus that is! But, last night, I went past that. I thought – "M. you will have to get out of my way" and it was great.

I think the truth of it is, I always wanted to be an ex-premie. I'm excited to see where that takes me. Thanks for putting up this site, Don't be offended by my saying this, but reading your journals is the Holy Company I've always longed to be in.

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