One of my interests is meditation and my spiritual path. A lot of people get to this page looking for the Miracle of Love (MoL), its Intensive-seminar, the Gourasana Meditation Practice (GMP), or The San Francisco Center for 21st Century Transformation and their meditations and six-day Seminar, which seems to be a rebranded MoL Intensive. Therefore I'll start with my thoughts on MoL, based on my personal experience.
UPDATE: On february 27th 2011, the program Undercover in Nederland ran an episode on the Miracle of Love, the sect that I've been a member of in the past. It made for interesting viewing, to say the least. my thoughts on the tv episode of 'Undercover in Nederland' on Miracle of Love (on my blog). Watch the episode online
The MoL Intensive seminar is a 'Large Group Awareness Training',
LGAT in short. Rather than what MoL says, it is not
unique, but a well-known process.
The Awareness Pages
for a detailed description of how LGATs work.
These pages include a 'fictional LGAT' description which is
pretty close to the actual MoL intensive. It's really not a
Update: Eldon Braun's TAP is offline. It can still be accessed via archive.org. Not all pages seem to be archived. The 'Fictional LGAT section' can be found on Caic.org.au: directory, day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, guest night.
The Intensive breaks you down, to confront suppressed emotions and patterns. In itself, this is not a bad thing per se. You can learn a lot about yourself this way. As long as the programming, which happens while you descend into your unconsciousness, does not hold on you, you'll be fine, you get a nice experience that probably inspires you to improve your life.
However, if you are vulnerable to it, the attempted brainwashing can stick to you, and you can get sucked in the 'Mission lifestyle' and MoLs crazy belief system. And don't think that it won't be you - the tactics behind the MoL Intensive are specifically targetting participants to offer them what they want, using all the information from the sharing sessions and the questionnaires they had to submit before beginning the process.
In recent years, MoL has become a typical cult, and not a benign one. Its finances are unclear, there is widespread nepotism in the top (you can find most of Kalindi's family right there), members expressing criticism are called dissenters.
All this has steadily gotten worse over the years. I would give MoL as it is now 13 out of 14 on the CSJ cult checklist. MoL as when I first joined in 1998 would get 11 out of 14 on this list, which adds to my impression that they have become more and more cultlike.
So a word of warning. If you consider doing an Intensive, inform yourself well, before making the decision. Read a few articles from The Awareness Pages, and check out the links from googling "Miracle of Love" Intensive. If you're a sannyasin, consider doing Path of Love instead, which offers a similar experience, but in an Osho context.
A good source on all things MoL is this victims and survivors support yahoo group. The group is no longer moderated, but you have to become a members to access its very useful archive. If you want to dig deeper, the places to check out are factnet and rick ross. Amidst the noise, there is some good information to be found.
And if you're Dutch, check out the article on Kalindi, Miracle of Love and their efforts trying to recruit in Utrecht from the AD newspaper. This link seems to be defunct on the renewed AD website; but the article can still be found via this archive.org wayback machine link.
I've been doing various forms of meditation for over a decade now.
After baby steps with traditional buddhist meditations and T'ai Chi,
Osho was the first mystic to touch me deeply.
When I came across one of his books, it was the first time that I felt
the words i read were spoken from a deeper truth, whatever that means.
Beyond what i could understand, yet i trusted it. That's what taking
sannyas meant to me, and it still does: I promised myself that I
would let his words touch my heart, beyond my understanding.
Since that time, I've travelled on to different places, seen different live masters, but regardless: Osho's in a corner of my heart. Nodding gently, encouraging me to go where I know I should go.
By the way: note that 'listening' is not equal to 'doing what the man says'. In the end, I decide what I do, with my full responsability. I don't want to become a copy of a guru, I want to become me.
The story of Osho is inevatably a bit of a sad one. The madness of the Ranch was bizarre. The ashram in Pune is becoming more and more the Church of Osho, a commercial venture. They do their best at making Osho salonfähig, and the business appears to be running very well... which goes against everything he stood for. Alas, that's the way things go when the master is no longer there to surprise us.
For a well-written, independent look on Osho's life story, see this article: Osho, Bhagwan Rajneesh, and the Lost Truth.
I took sannyas unglamourously, by filling in a form and sending it to India. On the form was also the question: 'do you want a new name?'. It was simple, really. I ticked the box. I wanted a new name, to symbolise the new phase I was stepping into.
I mailed the form off to India, so it took a while.
Felt great - knowing a new name was coming but not knowing what it would be,
it was like waiting to be born.
Finally, seven weeks later, on a day when the last thing on my mind was the I got the name Bodhi Sakaama: sanskrit for Awareness with love. To me, this name is a gentle hint for the direction to take in this life, an inspiration to keep going, and a reminder that consciousness without love won't work, nor love without awareness. I have to keep going for both.
Having an unusual name turned out to be an interesting experience. It didn't matter to me if my friends and family started calling me Sakaama and or insisted on Driek, but it worked like a real watershed to separate the genuine interested from the indifferent.
The name Sakaama still means a lot to me, though I've stopped using it now.
One of the places I went to in my sannyas time was the Humaniversity. They offer groups and communal living that are, to use that word, rather intense. Very therapy-oriented and certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but sincere (otherwise I wouldn't mention it here, of course).
Back to Driek's space.
This page was last updated on 28 augustus 2005 . © Driek.