White Star has now written the first of her Autobiography series, describing her amazing life!  It's called The Experience of the Ultimate: The Journeys of a Psychic Mystic.  In easy-to-read conversational language it details all-true stories from her mystical childhood in Hollywood and rural Oregon to her travels around the world to study with Eastern gurus, and Native American teachers on a quest for enlightenment. with tales of the development of her extraordinary psychic career woven in throughout.   

Below are links to the two ways you can download the book - one through Amazon for Kindle, and the other from the Etsy website.  

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Experience-Ultimate-Journeys-Psychic-Mystic-ebook/dp/B07L5VBGBH/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=The+experience+of+the+ultimate&qid=1548095084&sr=8-3

Etsy - https://www.etsy.com/listing/664866909/they-experience-of-the-ultimate-the?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=the+experience+of+the+ultimate&ref=sr_gallery-1-2&organic_search_click=1

Excerpted from the Forward

"The events in this book, even the ones that seem too extraordinary to be true, are true.  All these things happened to me. I'm just an ordinary person in my own mind, but I can't ignore that I've lived a life so far that has been so magical, that at times, when I read my own story back, I am again and again reminded of the miracle that Life can be.


"I can only hope that reading this book will encourage you, if you are so inclined, to take a step onto your own spiritual path and risk stepping out of your box to find the adventure awaiting you too.  For I truly believe that if we all walk this most sacred and blessed path, there will be no interest in making wars, or acquiring huge amounts of money at the detriment of others. The world will change.

"We will be happy, content and loving and kind."

                                                                                   - White Star

Brief reader reviews

- "So Exciting and I couldn't put it down!" - M. C.  Bali, Indonesia
- "Reads like a modern-day Autobiography of a Yogi!" - Iena, Seattle, Washington
- "Some parts of the book were almost unbelievable, but since I have met you, I know you wouldn't make things up, and those incredible experiences have made you who you are. " Shanti, Singapore

EXCERPT FROM BOOK:  At age 19

CHAPTER 5: ONLY ONE SKY
I go back to Eugene when the summer is over but not to U of O. I had talked to a
guidance counselor about my desire to be an architect. U of O has a great
architecture school, but it’s hard to get into. My guidance counselor suggests I
enroll in the carpentry program at Lane Community College and get a year’s
experience with drafting and designing. The carpentry program at Lane is a hands
-on program. We’ll actually get to go out and work on houses that are being built
for low-income people. Some of the houses are passive solar. That clinches it for
me and I enroll in the program. Tami enrolls too; she thinks being a carpenter
would be a cool career for a woman. She likes to break down gender barriers.
I must find a new place to live. Eugene Green has broken up. Nancy and her
boyfriend Andre get an apartment together and Sara hasn’t come back. She misses
her life and a boyfriend in Chicago, so she moves back there. Tami and Tepper
want to live together too. I answer an ad in the paper for a shared living situation
and walk up to a big house with a porch on Onyx Street. The door is open and
there’s a guy doing yoga in the living room. I take it as a sign, and move in. Tami
and Tepper take a room there too, and weird Peter from the Hillyard St. House
moves in too.
Besides me, Tami, Tepper and Peter, there are four other people that live in the
Onyx Street house. Nick is the ringleader, a tall saturnine fellow who loves to play
devil’s advocate. He looks a bit like Frank Zappa and has that type of scathing,
sarcastic wit. He doesn’t work or go to school. He’s a trust fund hippie. He lives
off the interest of his trust fund given to him by his very wealthy parents. Trish is a
mousy blonde student who’s nice to everyone. Owen is a photographer for the
Willamette Weekly. He thinks my face is interesting and uses me as a model for
his professional work, and his portraiture. I end up on the front page of the local
paper, the Willamette Weekly several times. Spencer is Owens’ younger brother.
They are both New Yawk Jews from Queens. Spencer is the most hippy-dippy of
all the people in the Onyx St. house. He lives in a tent in the back yard and works
at the local health food store. He has a disarming way of grinning and staring right
into my eyes. He’s the friendliest of all the people in the Onyx St. house. Spencer
reads books by a guru named Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his outlook on life is
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greatly influenced by the man’s philosophies. He seems very devoted to this guru
with an unconditional belief and faith. He believes this guru gives him subtle
instruction through the etheric realms – and tries to literally follow any instructions
in the books. I don’t believe in gurus. I tell him, “How can you give your power
and will to someone else?” It seems a precursor to spiritual abuse.
We have just as many parties in the Onyx St. house as we used to have at Eugene
Green. Nancy and Andre are over a lot, and so are the Hillyard St. guys. The
parties are creative hippy parties; we dance in the living room, play live music on
the front porch, play backgammon with Nick, cook with Peter, sunbathe topless in
the fenced back yard, and harvest vegetables from our little organic garden. We go
to the Saturday Market on the weekend where I now have a booth. I make and sell
appliquéd jean skirts and other hippy accoutrements and sit at my booth playing
my guitar. I make a decent amount of pocket money from my skirts, which feature
designs of dragons, unicorns and other fanciful creatures hand-embroidered, sewed
and appliqued by me on an old Singer sewing machine my Mom gives me.
I’m more into my schoolwork this year. Tami and I sit together in class and help
each other with homework. When we work on the houses, at first the guys in the
program treat us like we’ve never hammered a nail before. But of course, I have,
I’ve grown up in the country and have been helping my brothers with various
carpentry projects since I was 12. One summer, Carl and I re-roofed the whole
house. And what Tami lacks in experience she makes up in athletic coordination.
Gradually the guys begrudgingly accept us into their testosterone-fueled world.
When I’m not studying or partying I go for long walks with Spencer. Spencer is
fun to hang out with; he’s always upbeat. He bounces down the street singing. He
stops and shows me little things of beauty. He takes me to all his favorite little
green spots in Eugene. He seems to appreciate nature with almost a rapturous
worship. He teaches me how to talk to trees and to feel the silence of a deserted
park lawn. I remember my summers in Corbett and Bridal Veil and my deep
connection to nature. We bond over this and become very good friends. Whenever
I have a problem I’m working on he gives me simple but wise advice.
***
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I pick up one of Spencer’s books by his guru and thumb through it idly. I’m struck
by the photo of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. I feel as though I know him, I’ve seen
him somewhere before, or have been close to him in another lifetime. I’m
intrigued by the feeling and read the first lines of the book. It’s called “Only One
Sky” and the first paragraph reads thus: “The Experience of the Ultimate is not an
experience at all, for the experiencer is lost.” As I read it repeatedly a strange thing
happens to me. I don’t understand the line at all, not intellectually or
philosophically, but I recognize on an intuitive level that to understand that
sentence and to live it is my life’s quest. The recognition of that fills me with joy
of found purpose and shakes me to my core. I hadn’t even known I was looking
for this, and here it is. As I contemplate this, I also feel a distinct connection to the
author. Rajneesh seems to come out of the picture in the book and be in the room
with me, smiling benevolently at me, like Jesus used to do when I was a child.
Then I know he is a great teacher, a great mystic, and I’m awed to be reached in
this way.
Because I’ve made so much fun of Spencer’s guru worship, I don’t tell him about
my connection to Rajneesh. I borrow the book and read it slowly over the next few
months digesting every morsel of it with relish. The book is Rajneesh’s discourses
on Tilopa’s Song of Mahamudra. Tilopa was a Tibetan Buddhist Master Teacher
and his Song of Mahamudra proposes a non-striving method of reaching
enlightenment. It’s all about letting go, letting the river of life take you where it
wants to go, surrender, acceptance and non-attachment. These are familiar hippy
concepts, but now placed in a different context to achieve Enlightenment. I was
always aware that I wanted something desperately, - a way to come home to
myself. Now I realize spiritual enlightenment is what I’ve been craving, and
nothing less than that will do for me. But I envision that occurrence as something
that will happen for me in the distant future, for now I simply want to apply the
principles he recommends and see what happens.
Though Rajneesh talks about let-go in the book, it’s letting go coupled with
awareness. It’s not a haphazard life the way the hippies live. It’s a purpose filled
life that is as gentle as it is deep. It seems like a paradox, but I understand it
intuitively. I’m already tiring of some of the hippy attitudes. I don’t like the
freeloaders, or the people really strung out on drugs. I don’t like the naiveté that
sometimes seems to border on stupidity. I don’t like the subtle arrogance of the
artistic types who think they are groovier than everyone else. I don’t like the
placid roles that a lot of the hippy women take; even in that supposedly
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enlightened society they are the ones saddled with the responsibility of raising the
children and cooking – traditional female roles that I’m not at all interested in. I
don’t like the fact that some of my friends prefer to live a shallow life on the
surface, from one party to the other, and never ponder the deeper questions of life.
I’m realizing that the hippies don’t really have all the answers. But as I don’t
know anybody pursing enlightenment, I keep these observations to myself, and I’m
shy as yet to discuss it much with Spencer.
***
Spencer catches me in his room one evening looking at some of his Rajneesh
books. “Sorry!” I say closing the book and pushing it away. “I didn’t mean to
invade your privacy, I was just curious about Rajneesh.” He looks at the book and
looks at me and grins. “I knew it!” he says triumphantly. “I knew Rajneesh would
find you!” A weird chill passes over me. It is as though Rajneesh found me rather
than I found him. Spencer is more than delighted. He tells me he can teach me
Rajneesh’s special meditations. We start to meditate together every evening, trying
out several of Rajneesh’s meditations that he designed for Westerners. He favors
active, body-oriented meditation to let Westerners get their tension and mind junk
out, and then after dynamic movement of one kind or another, to sit quietly and let
the mind disappear.
The first meditation Spencer teaches me is called the Nadabrahma meditation. We
sit and hum for 30 minutes, feeling the sound expand our heart chakra and our
throat chakras. Then we make a gesture of giving to the world with our arms and
hands for 7 ½ minutes, and then bring all positive energy back into our bodies for 7
½ minutes. Then we sit quietly for 15 minutes. I love it and feel a profound sense
of oneness with the universe. This meditation makes my heart happy.
I don’t really know much about chakras or anything like that, but Spencer explains
how energies pass through seven main gateways in the body. Chakra means
“wheel” in Sanskrit and the chakras are spinning vortices of energy. The first
chakra at the base of the spine rules our survival instincts. The second chakra in
the abdomen rules our emotions. The third chakra in the solar plexus rules our will
and power. The fourth chakra in the chest rules our love. The fifth chakra in the
throat rules our self-expression and creativity. The sixth chakra in the forehead
rules our intuitive abilities and spiritual insight. The seventh chakra at the top of
the head rules our spiritual connections.
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Spencer teaches me another one of Rajneesh’s meditations, called “Kundalini
meditation”. In this meditation, we shake our bodies vigorously for 15 minutes,
then dance wildly for 15 minutes to release any pent-up energies and welcome in
bliss. Then we sit for 15 minutes listening to Tibetan Bowls, (resonate metal bowls
that are played in Tibet to enhance meditation). After that we lie down for 15
minutes in silence. I love this meditation too, as I love to dance, and had already
figured out for myself that dance was a pathway to joy.
We mainly focus on these two meditations, though Spencer will go on to teach me
Rajneesh’s famous Dynamic Meditation and the joyful Nataraj Meditation, which
consists of dancing wildly for 45 minutes and then sitting in meditation. We get
very high from these meditations and I feel like I’ve discovered a marvelous new
mind-altering drug that has no side effects. Plus, meditation does not have the flip
side of bliss that I’ve experienced with drugs - the letdown of coming back to
reality. Because meditation is achieved through one’s own efforts, it’s more real
than drugs, too.
We get a lot closer doing these meditations together and talking about things we’re
reading in Rajneesh’s books. One day we are out for a walk and Spencer takes my
hand and stops me. He looks at me earnestly. “I love you, Meggy” he says. “I’ve
been in love with you for a long time now. Do you love me? “
I look at him and see him clearly. He’s handsome and kind and adores me.
He’s been my best friend for half a year and has never failed to bring me up when I
was down. I realize that I love him too. I let Spencer hold me and as we melt
together we fall deeply in love. It’s my first love and his too and we surrender to
each other whole-heartedly. We spend every moment of our spare time together,
ignoring the rest of our friends. Our love is intense and passionate, and a deeper
dive into expanding consciousness. For a while it becomes all consuming.
***
Spencer and I go camping with Tami and Tepper, Nancy and Andre, Trish and
Owen, and some of Owen and Spencer’s cousins. We introduce them to the
Nadabrahma meditation. We think they will all love it as much as us but we’re
wrong. Tami comments that the intimacy she felt with the whole group is too
much for her. Tepper says, “It was nice” in a sort of non-committal way. It’s not
Owen’s or Trish’s thing at all – both say they couldn’t stop the noise of their minds.
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And Nancy and Andre are always in their own universe anyway. We’re
disappointed and realize that we are at a fork in the road. We can continue to hang
out and idly party with our friends; or we can dive into our experiments with
meditation and Rajneesh’s philosophies. We decide on the latter and become
almost non-available to our friends as we become more and more committed to our
spiritual path. They think we’ve joined some kind of cult.
As we continue our search for inner peace, Spencer and I realize that outer noise
affects our ability to meditate. We’re becoming very sensitive to negative energies,
and what Rajneesh calls “The Collective Unconscious” – the worried, anxious
thoughts that everyone thinks collecting together in an almost palpable force that
influences the mind. We start searching for outer peace, too, wanting to get away
from the city and go to silent places in nature where we can be alone and go deeper
into our meditations and naturalness. We go up into the Cascade Mountains to
wilderness areas and natural hot springs. We go out to the Oregon coast to
Florence, to the deserted sand dunes. We have picnics near wild creeks and rivers.
Often, we bathe in the water, nude, seeking a natural communion with nature.
***
When the school year ends, Spencer and I decide to backpack along the Pacific
Crest Trail from Northern Oregon to California; stopping at wilderness areas along
the way to camp and meditate. It’s a long trail, the entire trail runs from Mexico to
Canada and is 2, 600 miles long. We plan to hike a section from Mt. Hood in
northern Oregon to the Big Sur area in California, about 1,000 miles, and we plan
on hiking it the entire summer. The trail winds up and down through the majestic
Cascade Mountains, and along rivers and through National Parks and Forests.
Some sections are heavily hiked, and some you can hike for days without seeing a
single other soul. We take very little with us, because we must carry everything on
our backs. We have a pup tent and a tarp, two good down sleeping bags, mats to
sleep on, pots and pans, a sveha stove, candles and a candle lantern, dried food,
water, hiking boots, wool socks, a first aid kit, Gore-Tex jackets and one change of
clothes each. I bring my flute and paints and a couple of books by Rajneesh.
Outfitted thus, we set out for the whole summer.
We plan to supplement our diet with wild berries, and by hiking down from the
mountains to stores in villages or towns occasionally. We make our way down the
trail slowly. Sometimes we hike 15-20 miles a day – a brisk pace – but then we
stop at any place we find beautiful and set up camp. We camp at mountain lakes,
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and near rushing wild rivers. We camp on high meadows at the edges of glaciers.
In California, we make side trips down to the Redwoods and camp illegally
amongst the towering trees. We camp along the wild Oregon and northern
California coast.
Spencer leads us in bizarre adventures designed to put our philosophies to test. We
walk barefoot in the snow to learn detachment. We jump off cliffs into waterfall
pools to learn trust. We let rushing rivers carry us downstream to practice going
with the flow. We give our food to the birds one day to learn about letting go. We
camp on the edge of a cliff to conquer fear. We meditate with mosquitoes biting
our flesh to learn discipline. We walk softly and quietly, listening to each sound of
the forest to learn awareness. We lie prone on the ground to strengthen our
connection to the earth. We climb to the tops of tall peaks and stand exhilarated
with arms outstretched upwards to strengthen our connection to the sky. We stop
and become still when we encounter animals in an effort to communicate with
them. We weather out rainstorms learning patience. We are energetic and
enthusiastic about our natural adventures and blissful with our connection to
nature. Every day is magical and holds myriads of spiritual lessons for us. We live
life on a different plane altogether. It’s a plane where everything has deep
connection and meaning, and everything is kind to us. Many times, during this trip
we are in complete bliss and joy for days on end. Sometimes we experience what
the Japanese Zen Masters call Satori, a profound feeling of one-ness with our
surroundings and each other, and an absence of thought in the mind, just Pure
Presence. We stop taking drugs of any kind. We don’t need them. We are high all
the time, on nature, on Life, on Love, on Presence. We are always smiling and
joyful and feel that our hearts are full. We know Rajneesh doesn’t advocate drugs
anyway.
He says in his books:
“Even though I did not understand what was happening, I have had enlightening
experiences through the use of hallucinogenic drugs. I know that LSD is false, but
what is, if any, the truth about mushrooms?’
The question is from Reese Guth.
LSD is not false, LSD is as real as anything else. But the experience that is created
by LSD is a false samadhi. Remember the distinction that I am making: LSD is not
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false, but the experience that is created under the impact of LSD is a false
experience.
You say, “I have had enlightening experiences…”
They were not enlightening experiences. They may have been lightning
experiences, but not enlightening – flashes; you are not enlightened through them,
you don’t become a Buddha through them. In fact, you become more of a mess out
of them. The LSD changes your body chemistry, as mushrooms do. It changes your
body chemistry. It does not change you, it changes your body – just as food
changes your body, air changes your body, climate changes your body, the moon,
the full moon changes your body, but you are not being changed by it. All those
changes happen in the body, all those changes are chemical changes – not
alchemical but only chemical. What is an alchemical change? – when your
consciousness changes. And the consciousness cannot be changed by anything that
comes from the outside.
The consciousness cannot be changed by food, eating this food or that. The
consciousness cannot be changed by non-eating, by fasting. Remember, there is not
much difference between people who take LSD and the people who go on a long
fast, no difference! Both are trying to change the body chemistry. The people who
take mushrooms and other drugs are not doing anything different from the people
who do yoga exercises, because in both ways the body is changed. The change is
not happening in consciousness. Consciousness remains beyond all chemicals.”
We seek remote places to camp; sometimes we don’t see any other people for
weeks at a time. Often, we live naked, bathing in streams. When we hike down to
villages to replenish our food supplies, we feel as though we are from a different
world, a world where we are half human and half wild. A world where we really
live like Native Americans, though Spencer is Jewish and doesn’t have any Native
blood; he looks like a Mountain man with a wild beard. We both look wild; our
hair long and tangled and our clothing worn and torn; but in a healthy way with our
bronzed skin, sun- bleached hair, muscular bodies and grinning white teeth. We
are lean and strong from hiking many miles per day and eating so little, we mostly
subsist on nuts, seeds, berries, and food we forage from the wild.
***
When the summer ends, we’re not ready to go back to Eugene, we want, no we
must, continue our experiments in meditation and natural living. Though I’ve been
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accepted into the architecture school at U of O and awarded a full scholarship, I
decide to drop out of school. The way Spencer and I are living seems much more
vital and real. We are finding states of bliss and connection I never thought was
possible. I don’t want to go back to society just yet. But we need money, so we go
up to Eastern Washington to pick apples in the orchards I had worked in the year
before. We are given a cabin to live in by the orchard owner, and we stay there for
a couple of months, working hard and saving up quite a bit of money. After the
picking season is over, we go to stay with my mom in Corbett for a couple of
weeks and buy a Volkswagen Bug from my brother Carl for $300. We decide to
spend the winter in Southern California.
We drive down to Big Sur and when it gets too cold to camp we stay with
Spencer’s cousins in Sonoma County. They live in a big, shared hippy house like
the ones in Eugene. It’s a good vibe in their house. Spencer goes to work at a
health food store for a few months, and I help tend the garden. Then in the Spring
he quits and we’re off again, this time to raft down the Russian River, stopping to
camp and meditate along the way and then to slowly explore the Northern
California coast.
***
Spencer and I have yet to meet any other followers of Rajneesh. We see a flyer in
Sebastopol advertising a Rajneesh gathering at Harbin hot springs. We decide to go
to the gathering. The neo-sannyasins, which is what Rajneesh calls his followers,
are a strange sight. Sannyasin means one who has renounced the world and is now
devoted to the spiritual path. One can really sense this is the case with Rajneesh’s
followers. Their clothes are all different shades of orange, the traditional color
spiritual mendicants in India wear, with malas, or prayer beads they wear around
their neck. Many spiritual traditions use prayer beads. Tibetans and Muslims wear
them around the wrist and Catholics carry them. Rajneesh’s sannyasins wear them
around their necks or over one shoulder when they work to keep them out of the
way.
The beads are large and strung on elastic, and there’s a picture of Rajneesh in a
wooden oval hanging at the bottom of the necklace. The sannyasins living at
Harbin Hot Springs seem serious and very work oriented. There are nearly 100 of
them living in a communal fashion at Harbin. The owner of the resort became a
sannyasin and donated his resort to the Rajneesh movement. They call Rajneesh
“Bhagwan” which means beloved, and we start calling him that too.
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We rise at dawn and all do the Dynamic Meditation together to start the day. The
Dynamic Meditation consists of five stages. The first stage is chaotic strong
breathing using the whole body as bellows. This gets the energy moving in the
body and brings repressed emotions up to the surface. The second stage is the letgo:
screaming, shouting, acting out and releasing pent up emotions. Rajneesh
believes that Westerners are so full of pent up emotions that they can’t sit and be
quiet. Expelling these emotions in a healthy gestalt style release helps the
meditation go deeper. The third stage is shouting the Sufi mantra “Hoo” and
jumping up and down hammering the heels into the ground. While shouting this
mantra, he advises us to contemplate the question “Who Am I?” This activates the
lower chakras or energy centers and moves the energy higher. The fourth stage is
designed to suddenly stop the mind. The fifth stage is dancing in celebration. The
entire meditation is extremely physical and demanding. But Spencer and I love it.
We’re into extreme challenges with our bodies to “go beyond” the mind and body.
After doing the Dynamic Meditation with the sannyasins, we eat breakfast in an
outdoor kitchen and then go to work. Spencer is helping on a construction project
and I’m to help in the kitchen, preparing food for the upcoming gathering, a
festival called “Guru Purnima” which happens on the full moon in July, a spiritual
holiday in India, where everyone is supposed to be with their guru. Barring that,
they gather and have festivals of feasts, dancing, chanting, etc. We’re delighted to
discover that hundreds of people are expected.
We don’t have enough money to pay for the festival, so we are allowed to do work
trade. After our chores in the morning, in the afternoon there’s a long break, and
we can swim in the Olympian sized pool and sun bathe. At night, we use the
stellar hot pools, under the stars. There is a big communal dinner, and excitement
building among the residents about the upcoming festival. There will be an Indian
music concert, group meditations all day long, and a sing-a-long called “music
group”. There will be Sufi dancing and African dance classes. There will be yoga
and tai chi classes. In addition, people can hike, swim, camp and use the large
mineral hot pools. Spencer and I end up working through most of it, fulfilling our
work trade. I enjoy myself in the kitchen. The cook is a flamboyant, gay
sannyasin who is tremendous fun. We cook delicious curries, and Indian style
food. He gives me lots of breaks, so I can go join in the meditations or dances.
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The festival has a very celebratory atmosphere. Sannyasins are singing, dancing,
holding hands, hugging, smiling and laughing. The guests all seem light-hearted
and frivolous, not as serious as the residents. The mood is infectious, and I bliss
out dancing at the Indian music concert. But at night in the hot pools, the energy
turns flirtatious and overtly sexual. I’m not a prude by any means; all the hippies
believe in free, casual sex; but I’ve never been a big proponent of it, though in
theory I think it’s o.k. Why should there be huge constraints on sexuality? Why
should people have to be married or in a committed relationship to have sex?
Rajneesh is one of the rare Eastern gurus at the time that is not preaching celibacy
or sexual restraint. He doesn’t exactly condone licentiousness, but he talks about
sex in his books openly, and as a path to the Divine. He says the sexual orgasm is
a tiny glimpse of what a Mystic feels when Enlightenment occurs – the final, total
orgasm with Existence. He says that one doesn’t need sex as one advances in
mysticism, but that it should never be repressed, or it will come out in weird ways.
He says enforced celibacy or monogamy does not work. People stray from
marriages and priests secretly break their vows. He views monogamy and celibacy
as mature sexual states that people only reach if they are allowed to freely
experiment first.
His views on relationships follow those on sex. He says people come together out
of freedom and should be allowed to part in freedom too. He doesn’t believe
people should try to possess others or imprison them in unhappy marriages. He
feels that if you are miserable in a relationship you should part and move on.
When asked to counsel people on their relationships, he often gives the same
advice: If you are unhappy more than 50% of the time with this person or because
of this person, leave the relationship. He believes that his dynamic, cathartic
meditations and therapies available in the ashram in India will help people improve
their relationships by improving their relationships to themselves. One can’t truly
love, he says, until one loves oneself.
All this idea of freedom in relationships is exploited by the sannyasins. They are
loose and flowing, which is nice, but somewhat greedy for new sexual experiences
and partners, which is not nice. It creeps me out a little. Because I’m a very
attractive woman, I’m always wary of someone seeing me as just a sex object and
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not wanting to get to know me on a deeper level. I really hate being objectified. By
anyone. Even hippy boys or spiritual boys, or girls for that matter.
And yet, I see that the sannyasins are living in a true, vital energetic way that I
have never seen in any other people including the hippies. They all seem cleareyed,
aware and in touch with themselves intrinsically. They let their hearts out
openly; they love quickly and non-judgmentally. They let themselves bliss out or
laugh in glee. Others let themselves go deep into silence and be asocial.
Everything is O.K.; if someone cries, others come up and hug the crying one out of
compassion and sympathy. The only thing that’s not good is repression, lies or
manipulations of any kind. It’s all about being honest, being true to oneself and
living passionately. And in truth, I’m not really judge-y about what other people
are doing. I don’t really care who’s having sex with who. As long as they are
consenting adults, who really cares? I just prefer a bit of a deeper connection to
someone I have sex with. I view sex as a meeting of souls and hearts, more than
just an itch to be scratched. I don’t, however, condone or support people
manipulating others for sex.
At the festival I see my first video of Rajneesh. Every morning there is a video
projected on a huge screen in the meditation room that was previously recorded
from discourses in India. I love his photos in his books, and think he is the most
beautiful man I’ve ever seen and seeing him on the videos is even stronger for me.
The first time I see his graceful movements and hear his voice with the thick but
strangely familiar Indian accent, I am literally bowled over. I fall back onto my
back and lie staring at the ceiling listening to his words and crying. I don’t even
care what he is talking about that much. It’s his Presence that is so amazing. This
man is a Buddha. I know it. I feel it. I see it. I feel so very, very lucky to have
come across his path.
I feel blessed.
***
After the festival we head up north to the Olympic National Park in Washington.
We hike deep into the park to get away from tourists and other back packers. We
climb up to the top of Mt. Olympus, strapping on crampons to our boots and using
ice axes to test the glaciers. We hike back down to the base in the same day and set
up camp near a river. We’ve had a week of sunny weather, but there in the middle
of the rainforest of course it starts raining heavily. We hole up in our pup tent to
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wait it out, but it continues solidly for a week. After being cooped in our tiny pup
tent for a week, we start fighting. When the rain stops, we angrily decide to part
and hike out to the road. We’ve been living in close quarters for over a year, with
only each other to relate to. We’re on our last nerve with each other and have been
fighting and bickering a lot. So much for all our enlightenment! Bhagwan says in
his books that a good way to test your spiritual progress is to get into a
relationship. He says you will go back instantly into the shit. I guess it’s true. At
least for me and Spencer at this time.
Spencer catches a ride with some tourists and goes off to who-knows-where. I go
to Seattle to stay with my brother Pete who lives there now.Soon after I arrive, my
anger subsides and I’m dreadfully heartbroken. Whatever we were fighting about
seems absurd now, and I miss Spencer terribly. But I have no idea where he is. He
doesn’t contact me for weeks. He has my mom’s number and I expect him to call
her and tell her where he is, so I can get in touch, but he doesn’t call. I seek
consolation in my much-thumbed copy of “Only One Sky” which has become my
Bible. “Let go, let go Meggy,” I tell myself.
I want to be able to flow with whatever life brings me, even if it is painful. I spend
a couple weeks with Pete, working deeply on myself spiritually. I feel very close
to Bhagwan through this process and a longing to go see him in India becomes
acute.
Just when I’ve succeeded in letting go of Spencer, in the sense that I’m not feeling
sick and miserable every day, he calls. He’s hitchhiked to Corbett and is waiting
for me at my parent’s house. I head down there the next day. Our reunion is
joyful. All differences have been put aside. But both of us now crave something
more than our nature experiences. The experiment seems stale now and empty.
Instead of finding deeper connections to Spirit, we feel idle and get on each other’s
nerves. Plus, we desperately need money.
We decide to go to Berkeley where there’s a Rajneesh meditation center that has
just opened. We stay in a seedy motel and get jobs through a temporary agency. I
put my long hair up in a bun and buy a few business-y looking dresses and a pair
of high heels at the Goodwill. I register with Kelly Girls, a temp agency for office
workers. I pass all their little tests, including a typing test, with flying colors.
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They like me and send me out on good jobs. But I only get paid minimum wage
which in 1980 is about $5 an hour after taxes.
We go to the meditation center at 6 am and do the dynamic meditation before
work. After work we go to the center and do the Kundalini meditation. We kind of
keep to ourselves, though, and don’t really connect all that much to the sannyasins.
And they leave us to ourselves in their typical non-pressuring manner. This
certainly isn’t a group that campaigns for members. They act like it’s a privilege
and the coolest thing in the world to be a sannyasin and disciple of Bhagwan.
They don’t need to convince anyone else to be a sannyasin. They don’t care. There
is no motivation to increase the ranks. Yet they keep increasing. I don’t know it,
but there are almost 500,000 sannyasins at this time worldwide.
***
Hanging out with the sannyasins makes me want to become a sannyasin. The
longing to go to India becomes stronger. We don’t have enough money to go to
India. I propose to Spencer that we get real jobs, rent a house and work and save
up money to go. It will essentially mean the end of our free-flowing hippy
lifestyle, but I am willing to do anything to make this dream come true.
We move up to Portland, and my parents help us rent a small house in Southeast
Portland, a kind of hip, artistic section of Portland. I get a job in a welfare office.
Spencer gets a job loading trucks. I’m pleased to be settled somewhere after
almost two years of non-stop traveling.
I want to plant a garden in the back yard and make cozy meals together at night.
But we’re not fated to live here long. Spencer doesn’t take well to this domestic
scene and splits after a couple of months. He’s going to live in the woods again,
and head south for California. I stay put, very sad to lose him, but digging my feet
in to remain on the course I’ve set for myself.
I move out of the little house as I can’t afford to pay the rent by myself and into a
room in a shared house that I find advertised in the paper. I take the attic room in a
huge old house and concentrate on going to work, and when I get home, meditating
in my lovely attic room that I decorate like an Indian temple.
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I notice some sannyasins walking down my street soon after I move in. It’s hard
to miss them, with their orange clothes and malas with Bhagwan’s picture around
their neck. I run to talk to them, and it turns out they live a few doors down. Not
only that, they host meditations at their house, as a kind of a meditation center in
Portland. I’m thrilled by this synchronicity, that I’ve accidentally moved onto the
same street as the main gathering place for sannyasins in Portland! I start to go to
the meditations almost every evening. Even though I’ve been practicing the
Rajneesh meditations on my own and with Spencer, and a little bit at the Rajneesh
Center in Berkeley, now they start going deep. Every time I have a profound
experience. I start to see auras around everything again, and to feel the Oneness,
the Connectedness of all things. It doesn’t scare me this time; I take it as a
confirmation I’m on the right path.
These experiences are incredible, but I’m also bored and lonely. Apart from the
evening meditations, my life is very routine. I get on the bus for the hour ride out
to my job, file and answer phones all day, then ride the bus home. I’m not really in
touch with my friends from college. During our Nature Experiment, as I begin to
call it in my mind, we were not in touch with anyone. Our friends, meanwhile,
have moved on. Nancy has moved back to the Chicago area with her little baby.
Tami doesn’t stay in touch. The Hillyard St. gang never really accepted Spencer;
he is too strange for them. I feel that without Spencer, I am quite alone.
I decide to take advantage of this unsocial time by devoting myself even deeper to
meditation. On the long bus rides, I practice the 108 meditations of Shiva
described in the Vaigya Bharava Tantra. These are simple meditations such as
being aware of the silence between your breaths or visualizing that you are all
expansive and incorporate everything, or very tiny and Existence is very large. If
there is nothing happening at the Rajneesh house down the street, however, there’s
nothing really exciting going on for me. I really don’t have any friends. My
housemates are not very social, and I feel young and shy at the meditation center
and too stoned on energy to talk to people after the meditations.
Spencer calls me once a week and even comes to visit me once or twice. He wants
me to come away with him again, but I refuse. “I’ve got to stick to this,” I assert
firmly. I want to go see Rajneesh more than anything. I have so many questions I
want to ask him. On the weekends, I visit my parents, or siblings who happen to be
in the area, and do my chores.
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I really feel like a sannyasin now. I feel a deep, reverential connection to
Bhagwan. I dye all my clothes shades of red and orange - the sannyas colors.
Somehow no one at work seems to notice. I always wear a shade of red, purple or
orange. I’m 20 now, and my mom takes pity on me after watching me work so hard
towards my goal and gives me a small inheritance from my grandmother that I’m
supposed to get when I’m 21. My mom wants to help me to get to India. It’s
enough money to buy a ticket and to live there for a while.
I’m so incredibly excited. I get my passport, and as is the protocol at this time,
send a telegram to the ashram telling them I am coming. I get a return telegram
and open it eagerly.
DON’T COME STOP WE ARE MOVING NORTH STOP COME IN SIX
MONTHS WHEN NEW ASHRAM IS OPEN STOP
It is signed by someone named Ma Anand Sheela who is Bhagwan’s secretary. I’m
crushed. I’ll have to wait another six months! It seems an interminable amount of
time. So, the next time Spencer calls, I give in, quit my job and take a bus down to
Big Sur, California to meet him.
***
Spencer is living in a cave on Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur. We hike out to it when the
tide is low, and when the tide comes up, we are cut off from civilization. We’re so
happy to see each other and renew our connection that I enter an extraordinarily
blissful state. In this state, I go beyond the mind and have my first Samadhi, or
Enlightenment experience..
No thoughts enter my mind, except for thoughts I need for my basic survival;
which living naked on the sunny California beach is not much. And I’m constantly
in the Present Awareness. There is bliss and profound peace. All the meditation I
have been doing has paid off. I stay in this unwavering Present-ness for several
days, until thought gradually starts creeping in. I don’t mind much when they
come back; I’m just so thrilled to have experienced what I have. I want to be near a
Rajneesh mediation center, so we go to Santa Cruz and set up a camp on the beach.
The Rajneesh Mediation Center in Santa Cruz has a good vibe. Santa Cruz is a
hippy town, and the sannyasins at the center are very friendly. It probably helps
that I wear orange Indian-style clothing now. They see me more as one of them.
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The second day we go there to meditate, there is chaos in the center. Sannyasins
are sitting around crying as if something terrible is happening. “The ashram in
India has closed down”, one of them tells us, “and Bhagwan has fled the country.
Nobody knows where he is.” Someone says it has something to do with unpaid
taxes. Spencer and I are shocked. We weep along with the sannyasins feeling like
we’ve missed our chance to ever see him. We cry all night, holding each other.
In a few days, the rumors are cleared up. The ashram has indeed closed down, but
Bhagwan has come to America with the intention of opening a new ashram. He’s
in a secret location only known to his closest followers, while they search for land
for a new ashram. Our sorrow turns to unbelievable joy. I had been trying so hard
to get to India, and now Bhagwan has come here to America! It seems almost too
magical to be true. We also learn from the center leader, a laid-back hippy guy with
the dubious name of Swami East-West, that we can take sannyas by mail. We can
mail a letter to Bhagwan, he will read it and give us a name. Then we can give the
paper to a Rajneesh Center, and they will give us the mala with his picture on it
and do an initiation ceremony. I decide to do it, and not wait any longer. I already
feel like a sannyasin and feel close to Bhagwan. Spencer does too.
The requirements for taking sannyas are simple. One must be endorsed or
sponsored by a center leader (East-West is happy to do it for us), must have been
meditating for at least one month at a Rajneesh Meditation Center (East-West
willingly bends the rules on this one) , vow to meditate one hour each day (we are
easily doing that if not more), wear clothes the shades of orange or red, and the
mala with Bhagwan’s picture on it we will receive once we receive our new name.
We will receive a new name from Bhagwan, a name in Sanskrit, that is specially
chosen for us by him and will reflect our unique hidden potentials.
We each write a letter to Bhagwan and enclose our pictures and fill out a form.
East-West doesn’t know where to send it, but then gets an address in New Jersey.
He swears us to secrecy, when we mail in our applications, but now we know
where Bhagwan is. We think about hitchhiking out to the East Coast and just
showing up at the address we have. But it seems a little gauche and we don’t want
to commit such an obvious faux pas.
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One really is not supposed to show up uninvited. I’ve given my mom’s address as
my return address for the sannyas letter as we are still homeless and living on the
beach, so I head up north to my mom’s house to wait for my reply from Bhagwan
and my new name.
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