Journeys: Michael Dresbach

Date: June 12, 1997

I recieved knowledge in Oct. of 1973 in Santa Cruz, CA. I was introduced to DLM by a friend who came out from Georgia, Don Lynch. I thought that he was nuts but agreed to go to satsang in San Jose during the summer of 1973. Mahatma Gurucharanand gave satsang and it made sense to me. I didn't feel worthy of knowledge but one night at a program in Santa Cruz, Sulakshna Bai (I probably misspelled that name!) asked if I had knowldedge and told me to show up at the Ashram. My room-mate Saeed and I were both initiated that night with about six other people.

Saeed and I both argued with Sulakshna Bai after 'knowledge was revealed' to us. Of course this will happen if you do that! etc. She told us to be quiet and meditate. I kept trying for years, and there were so high moments, especially at festivals, but overall, I never really felt fulfilled spiritually or that I was making any progress.

I was bothered by the anti-intellectualism of the premies, by their mindless devotion, and by their lack of reflection. I remember talking with some premies one night after attending a show at Winterland in San Francisco. I was commenting that I would be unable to meditate on the music that night because my ears were ringing. They said that that was the best time to meditate on the music.

In my experience, the music was a very sublte phenomena, totally different from ringing in the ears, but they held strongly to their definition. I was also troubled by the total lack of real love among the premies; we called ourselves lovers, but no one could keep a relationship together and marriages were breaking up all around me. But I kept trying to fit into the group, and I kept meditating. I never was able to fully surrender, though, and I felt inadequate spiritually. The final straw was when a premie, in a fit of devotion, told me that 'if Maharaji told me to slit your throat right now I'd do it,' to which I answered, 'if he told me to slit your throat I'd tell him to get fucked because I'd know that he wasn't Perfect Master.'

I began to slowly separate myself from the premies in 1977. I met the woman that I would soon marry, and she was interested in DLM. I took her to a few satsangs, but I also began to tell her about my doubts regarding DLM and Maharaji and the premies. One day, I finally sat down and did some serious reflection. I had to decide how much of this was real, and how much was I fooling myself to fit in and because I wanted it to be true. I realized that I had been fooling myself; the knowledge gave me no real peace, I had way too many doubts about the group, and Maharaji was suspect, too. I disassociated myself from DLM at that time and quit paying my tithe.

I recieved calls from premies for a while but they finally gave up. I continued searching spiritually, got married and started a family. I realized how far I had removed myself from them when, on the day I brought my wife and newborn daughter from the hospital, my premie friend Don showed up at the door. I couldn't turn him away even though it was very inconvenient. We talked and caught up while Mona and Tara slept. Don told me that all he wanted to do in this life was follow Guru's Agya. I told him that all I wanted to do was raise children and love my wife. That was the last time I saw him.

Since that time I spent several years working in Corporate America while playing in bands. I became a footnote in San Jose Rock history in the 1980's by starting a Musician's Collective. I played in two bands and released indie records and videos. I also worked as a church musician for the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose for seven years. This experience led me back to the church. It also reawakened all call to ministry that I had been denying for years. In Sept. 1994 I began studying theology at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Ca. It is a seminary of the Episcopal Church and part of the Graduate Theological Union. I will be ordained a transitional deacon on Jun 22, 1997, and a priest six months to a year from now.

I see my time with the premies as important to my spiritual formation. It helped me remember that critical thinking is important in all areas of life, and that blind faith is not true spirituality; it is dangerous to one's soul.

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