This is the original transcript of Maharaji's comments on the first day of a training session that took place in Miami in 1999. The transcript was written by Chuck Nathan, and the only edits that have been done are the replacement of attendees names with initials, and a few very obvious spelling corrections.
M briefing before participants arrive:
Don't get excited - facilitators should take a conservative role
Observe - take your notes on participant's performance
We should have 1 correct solution for the ball exercise (breakout exercise where everyone has to touch ball faster and faster) - since we don't want leaders, the solution shouldn't be that 1 person - correct solution should be rolling ball between everyone's hands
M intro at 9am:
You can make this easy for yourself or hard for yourself - up to you
M comments after first attempt at chair arrangement exercise:
"Is this what you want to offer me?"
You weren't unanimous - the leader didn't vote - and 1 person is sitting on the ground
You are unaware of people who have dropped out of the group - they're saying look at these people messing everything up and judging everyone
M comments 11:37am (yelling)
How many of you feel we are on track?
I told you that was not an event
How many decisions have been unanimous? E.g.: After first break, someone left the room to use the bathroom - was that unanimous?
How many of you are aware that someone joined the team?
Do you know in what role that person is attending?
How can you be unanimous if you don't know if that person has to be in agreement?
Someone raised their hand many times while M was talking with the group = after ignoring it a few times, M asked the person what is so important that you have to say than what I am saying. After a little while, M told the person to tell the group what he had to say. And unless he told the group, M said he wouldn't go on. The person said that we cannot be unanimous because there is a hierarchy in any system. M asked what do you mean? In a plane, when the passengers are told by the stewardess to buckle up, they do - unanimity is easily achieved. Unanimity happens all the time in the world. People from off the street in a jury achieve unanimity all the time. Someone in the group even brought up that example earlier.
How long has a team existed? It has existed since the days of Shri M. Have you seen pictures of Shri M with the mahatmas? The reason he even took that picture was to demonstrate there was a team.
M comments l2:20pm
What were my instructions?
Would you like to reflect on those instructions?
Would you like to understand those instructions?
Have you even proposed to write down those instructions?
After all, what M says must be very important, right? So it should receive the least amount of concern, the least amount of care, right?
What you need to reflect on is exactly what my instructions were
M comments 12:28pm
I want to know how many of you knew the instructions.
Do you understand my predicament? Your actions are speaking louder than your words.
If you didn't understand the instructions, why didn't you ask someone for help?
What kind of message are you giving me if you don't even listen to my instructions?
You never clarified the instructions.
The message you are sending me is that we just asked you for the fun of it what you wanted - we're not really going to listen to you - we're going to do something that's fine with us - if that's the case, I don't think we should go on anymore - would you concur that if you walk into a situation where people won't listen to you, what's the point of walking into that situation? You'd have to be dumb to do that. Either you give me a clear message or we call it quits. The group needs to decide that.
Remember I told you that you would make it easy or hard for yourself? You make it very difficult for yourself by not listening to the instructions.
M called a 15 minute break and said take a 15 minute break and don't talk, think and come back and unanimously come up with one sentence, the shorter the better, giving me a message that will allow me continue on. I refuse to continue
I just hope there's one soul that got it.
M side comment: 2 batteries (in the G3)?
Not good people. I asked you to take a 15-minute break and not talk to each other and think and come up with one sentence, shorter the better, contrary to what you've been doing so that we can continue. How many of you have watches with second hands? Are we without the resources to make this happen? Did someone understand my instructions? I noticed there were a lot of notebooks sitting on the floor. People assumed that it should be the same as yesterday. Even if just one person takes the notes for everyone else, it's OK. Are we without resources on this team?
Is that the sentence you want to offer me (in response to Ted asking M for two more minutes)? I asked for a sentence saying something contrary to what you've been doing all morning.
I'm going to save your ass. Time for divine intervention?
(2 people got up and left the group) Is that OK with you? Was that unanimous?
Write down the instructions on the board. We have this facility, not this room. You all assumed what was being said was this room. That's not what was said.
Analogy: I tell you I'll pay for a vacation for you wherever you want to go and pay for all your arrangements. Would you do any research? When you buy a car, when you buy pants, when you ladies buy perfume, do you do any research? I'm astounded that if you would do this for your dog, why can't you do that here? If you're going to assume what I'm going to say, I better not say anything. Any light bulbs going off yet? (Someone said we should look around) So how can you do this unanimously?
You have the ability to listen to me. All you have to do is take responsibility to listen.
(Someone proposed exploring). Sounds like the smartest person in the world to me. You could take 2 or 3 people and go look around.
The problem is it's too simple. The assumption is that M asks us to do something very complicated. We make it complicated by our not listening and interpretations. What I asked you to do is very simple. We make our assumptions. This is the typical scenario that I have had to live with for 30 plus years. You just got the practical demonstration of how that happens.
I didn't say he was the smartest person. I said sounds like the smartest person.
The disadvantage of following a living Master is obvious. You just can't get away with bullshit. It's becoming obvious that you live the bullshit.
You're not listening. First of all, she said something deadly. She'll go look and decide where is the most comfortable place to set up. She should just go and report.
Why don't you just ask if anyone disagrees and stick with that for the rest of the conference? Does everyone agree?
I'm telling you this is the one that's going to get you. Some people won't participate. They won't raise their hands to object but they will object. I'm just giving you this hint. Is someone going to keep tabs on time? What are you going to do while they're exploring? Just sit down, relax and enjoy yourself.
(In the meeting room with 5 people doing the exploring)
This room has everything you need. It has a microphone, stage, video camera, and screen. Chairs can be brought in here. Probably need someone to set up. There's the stage which goes there.
The premies will set it up. You can find resources on your team who can set it up.
(Back in the room where the rest of the group was waiting)
The one person who objected, do you want to leave them hanging? Why don't you deal with their objection? They just asked if chairs needed to be brought in.
You glazed over one important thing (asking who had experience setting up stages, etc.)
(Someone went into leadership mode)
You love leaders. You don't want to take responsibility.
You have 2 people who have experienced setting up stages.
(In new meeting room with a few people setting up the stage)
M to Chuck: Don't drop that computer.
M told P and D to set up the screen and stage. M reminded people twice about safety while setting up the screen.
(In first meeting room where large group was)
Remember this morning when everyone placed their own chair. It was a disaster. M said 5 people who won't destroy their backs should move the chairs.
(5 people selected) - the rest of you go to the back of the room and relax
(In new meeting room with a few people setting up the stage)
M reminded people 3 times about safety when near misses occurred.
If someone important to me says something, I want to hear it, even if it's just hello.e.g. if the queen said hello to me
(Back in new meeting room)
M said not to put the chairs too close together so that people's hands wouldn't get crushed.
M said to tighten up the chairs a little bit. Then he talked about 2 people in the center having responsibility to move their chairs to make an aisle. He asked where were the two chairs with white tape marking that were to go in the center. Then he asked for a count of the chairs. Then he asked for one person at a time to come into the room. M pointed out to the group the two chairs with white tape and explained the role of the 2 people seated in those 2 chairs. M said every day people should rotate from front to back. He said that anyone with hearing or sight problems should be given chairs closer to M.
M told the group they held the record for the most time taken to set up.
Water OK, nothing else in the room.
If you can't hear, it's your responsibility to say so. And it's each person's responsibility to speak up.
M called a lunch break. " If you don't show up on time, you will not be let in." Is that harsh? (Someone asked if any leeway if someone ill) What does United Airlines do? If you tell them I had a family emergency, do they bring the plane back for you?
One hour lunch break. It's incumbent on you to get back on time.
You're not listening to what I'm saying. If you lose your notebooks, you're in dire trouble. Do you all understand about confidentiality? Not a word of this to anyone,
including your notebooks.
2 famous words: just begun
It's taken you 5 hours to set up.
We have to bring heart and responsibility together. Either we have heart and no resp or we have resp and no heart. We want to abdicate resp. "I was just doing what I was told." But we have to be resp for our actions, our thinking. Bringing these two elements together is not going to be easy. It's totally up to you how difficult you make it.
What are the facilitators there for? To help. If you hanging over the edge, they'll push. You. But if you're going in a good direction, they'll help you. Are we going to play tricks on you? Absolutely not. Who's going to play the tricks? You.
In this team you have the ability and capability to go in the right direction. But if you're not going to listen, if what M says is this hypothetical thing, M's never going to tell us, if you're going to become religious puppets, there's no place for you on this team.
Is this team going to be trained in specific things? No.
Isn't what you wanted to be told specifics, turn left, turn right. That's not going to happen. Because the Vision changes. The Vision evolves. We're not trying to create a vehicle that will go specifically from point A to B. That's not what's needed. Because the Vision will change. You're going to learn how to be a team, how to function as a team. During this training, you're going to have a bunch of opportunities to work as a team.
How many of you think team is a new thing? I want you to understand that in terms of propagation, team has existed for a long time.
Now, how can 73 people come to a consensus? Can you think of examples when more than 73 people reach a consensus? How about all those people driving on a freeway, going and coming? Have the ever seen that? How many people do you think get on those freeways? Maybe thousands? They come to a unanimous decision, right? Is it impossible? What do you think it will require to pull it off?
(Someone said on highway there are consequences if you go the wrong way)
M: so on this team aren't there consequences? Do you see a consequence if you don't work unanimously? How about that that Vision will not get fulfilled? Like for many many many years it hasn't, it won't. How important is that consequence to you? On a scale of one to ten?
Some of you didn't answer me. When people don't answer me, I get really pissed off.
I wasn't really pissed off this morning. I saw that only those speaking loudly were listened to? So I just tried to make my point. You haven't seen me pissed off. Don't piss me off. You won't like it. So answer me when I ask a question. Don't piss me off.
You just had lunch. You're going to get sleepy. But you have to stay awake, stay right there. We don't have enough time to do this. It's going to require a massive amount of effort, massive amount of consciousness to do this.
I'd like to talk about what a team is. There are 20 very athletic people on a bus. Also there are a mixture of 20 200/300/400-pound people. And then you've got 10 really bratty kids. And the driver of course. And they are going from New Orleans to Montgomery Alabama. Right at the Louisiana border, the bus breaks down. The driver gets out, fixes the bus. He removes the starter motor and tells the passengers that the bus is fixed but we have to push it to get it started. So people get out. All the 200-400 pound people get out and are gorging themselves with ice cream, chocolate, Fritolays, and the bratty kids and running in and out of their legs, ten of those kids. And ten of those really healthy people are behind the bus. The driver is sitting in the front. He's got caffeine free diet Pepsi and smoking a cigarette. Ten of the other people are standing by the side of the room. Could you please identify a team for me?
(Several people get answers)
Don't be afraid to give the wrong answer. Just say what you have to say. Just shoot. That's why we have the rule of confidentiality. This is a safe environment.
(Several more people give answers)
She said they're a team just because they got on the bus at the same time.
(Several more people answer)
So now the question becomes, when does a team become a team?
What about winning? Don't they have to win? Can a team come together and not accomplish the goal but still be a team?
Did you guys (facilitators) conclude this group was brainy because they are always disagreeing with each other?
A team can exist without even knowing they exist. For example British Airways employees in Bali and London may not have ever met each other.
First there has to be acknowledge of a team. Are there's benefits of working as a team?
What are the benefits? What one person can't accomplish, a team can accomplish. How many of you think realizing M's vision can be accomplished by one person? How many of you think that because of the nature of the task, it requires a team?
Already you've heard the answer. Everyone is the team. The driver can drink Pepsi and smoke a cigarette without impeding his ability to drive the bus? How many times have you seen people driving while smoking and drinking?
If those people kept travelling for long enough, they will become comrades. By the time they get to LA, they would know each other's names. Everyone is taking care of each other.
The fat people got off the bus. How much weight is that? Does it help when they get off? The kids could become a hazard to everyone. It's a good thing they're playing on the side. They're contained. It's a good thing that 10 strong people are in reserve. If they tried to join in also, there wouldn't be enough room to push. The bus isn't wide enough.
What if they had to push the bus backwards? They're going away from their destination.
That's OK. The point is to get the bus started. Sometimes you might have an objection. But your objection is so trivial, that it would help the team if you stay quiet. Other times your objection might be very important to say. How can you tell the difference?
You've got to listen. How can we facilitate listening? How about, people who are talking do it very nicely. Keep it very nice and concise. Have you ever seen headlines in newspapers? "King blamed. Leaves country." What kind of grammar is that? The kind that gets the point across. Right now grammar is used for scoping out your level of education. That was never the intent of communication. Communicate better. Talk better. You don't need to say "I felt" or "I think". What are we supposed to do? Give you a certificate? A lot of these things need to happen before this team can go anywhere?
And drop your guard that this can't happen.
What is the team decided that it's dark outside but it wasn't? They decided they wanted to be unanimous and decided it's dark.
(Someone says you could show them the light)
What if you showed them the light and the team still decided that it's dark outside? And the team is asking that it be unanimous.
You're a team, right? Please take off your shoes. Would you please take off your socks?
All right, gentleman, you may now take off your pants. You can put your socks back on. It want to make a point. It is always incumbent on you never to do anything you don't feel comfortable with. "I don't like this thing. I was just doing my job." You have to take caution and at the same time understand that the team won't do anything to jeopardize that . The bar is so high that you won't be asked to do anything inappropriate. OK, now it's dark outside. What do you do? What is the team wanted to do a simulation of darkness to train how to put on life vests. There's no harm in pretending that it's dark outside. It's the narrow-minded person that says it's not true. The Truth is much greater than that. Do you understand the dynamics of the team now? Because if you're going to sit there and be stubborn, the team is never going to reach a unanimous verdict. Don't take this example any further. People explain to you the reason why and you accept that. But what if the team decided to jump off a cliff? I want you to understand that the only way to function in a team is to keep your eyes and ears open. You can't just sit back and go along with everybody. But don't be sitting there holding this banner of Truth. You have to be completely aware. If there are no consequences, then fine, no reason to object.
Which portion of this discussion could have helped us most this morning? Listening.
(V puts envelopes in the middle of the room and says "Once separated it cannot be put back together again.")
(Envelope exercise commences)
(15 minute break)
I get this distinct feeling that you don't trust the facilitators. I don't know why you don't feel they're trustworthy. I don't understand why when they bring something up, they're trying to trick you. Everyone's out to get you. We're testing your wits, intelligence. We're testing, testing, testing, testing.
The facilitators who are part of the team are becoming leaders. I propose this. I propose that. You force people to listen to you.
Let me ask you a question. Should the team have competition?
(Several people comment)
If there shouldn't be competition among the team, why is there? I gave this example to the last group: nothing spiritual here. Ram was asked what pleases you. His reply was very beautiful. Cleverness does not please me. But those who obey me, follow my instructions truly please me.
(several people comment)
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Cleverness does not please me. Because it gets you into trouble, again and again and again. You need to listen to each other. You already demonstrated this morning you don't listen to me.
(M plays video of when people grabbed chair in the morning)
You can see very quickly everyone goes to grab a chair. Now that truly looks comfortable doesn't it? How quickly do you disperse? "Have" becomes "grab". You give it your own interpretation.
How many of you feel you are on track? How many of you feel you are not on track? It's not your day, is it? Have you decided what you're going to do?
The facilitators are not going to trick you, not purposefully mislead you. But if you're on the balcony leaning over, they'll push you.
This kind of action happens in a group when you don't take ownership. Someone buys a gun and leaves it on the table and his 5-year-old son picks it up and shoots himself. What would you say to the father?
You got yourselves in a pickle. You weren't listening to each other. You didn't think about the proposal. I told you to listen. You didn't. You don't really care about each other. I'm going to ask you a specific question and I want you to respond to it, but this doesn't relieve you of your responsibility to do nothing. How many of you think that the other 72 people are assholes? Be honest. (D and S raise their hands) Someone is not being honest. When I have already decided that someone is an asshole, I don't listen. You have not been listening. When you don't raise your hand, you are not being honest. The idea only has to cross your mind once.
You didn't listen to the proposal, did you? But you voted on it, didn't you? Did you have any idea how many times that proposal was made? Four or five times. Did you hear it 4 or 5 times? There was a major ingredient missing. What was said was so phenomenal: say or do nothing. No time limit. I sincerely hope you're more intelligent than that. You are, aren't you? I can't let you talk. Did I tell you that this was going to get you? Did you think I was kidding? Do you think I'm doing this to punish you? Do you understand that when you are successful, the facilitators and I have done something right? Do you understand that? We presented you with a scenario that caused you to succeed? Why would it be in our interest to make sure you don't succeed? I've been giving you tips every since the beginning. This is not an event.; This is not a set up. We're not going to try to trick you. Valerio gave a set of instructions. The team was forewarned to listen to the instructions. In this environment I would have thought 100% of you would have gotten the instructions right. The ambiguity between it and they is significant. So people, what's going on? I tell you things that are going to help you. But you don't listen to me. So far, nothing has been asked that is so complicated that you can't do. Do you know how important it is to hear the instructions? Do you know how important it is to be clear on the instructions? Do you know how many airplanes fly every day? Thousands. Every pilot is given instructions from the ground controllers. If they didn't' understand those instructions there could be chaos. Do you want to take any responsibility? You have abdicated responsibility. By creating leaders, creating facilitators and they keep leading you astray. And you voted on a proposal that checkmated you. And who got you there? Is this how you envision you are going to fulfill my Vision? Is this how you see any event coming together? Is this how you see teams coming together in the US to facilitate propagation? Everyone doing their own thing. We have a very serious situation. Extremely, extremely serious. If we have a bright future, we are denying ourselves that future. This kind of situation is only going to lead to bigger and bigger disasters. Who did this to you? The team? The guy sitting next to you? Are you sure it wasn't the 72 other assholes? I don't believe you. I'm convinced that given another opportunity, you'd do the same thing. You've got a real problem. Well, if we're going to go on we better forfeit this exercise or whatever it is. OK people, believe it or not, it's 5:34pm, You've got a lot of thinking to do. You've got things in that bucket that you are convinced are part of the bucket, which they are not. Would you please tonight think about 5 things that you would like to change about yourself and a way, how are you going to do it? And also, 5 things that you feel are hindering your process to go on. Hate, late of respect, whatever it may be. Do you have respect for this group? Do we have respect in this group? How have we demonstrated that we have respect? We talk over each other. Do you know what a brainfart is? When you get indigestion in your stomach you start farting. Brain gets indigestion too. You can't smell brainfarts, but they sure have an effect.
Your thinking is going to be expanded many ;many times more than you thought possible. I hope that's why you came here. Not to walk in and walk out exactly the same. I hope you came here to learn something. I must tell you also that you have not done very well at all. The facilitators said this is such a brainy group. But we got less done today than with the last group. You can't have competition in the team, outside the team is OK, but not in the team. If one wheel of a car decided to go faster, what would happen? Your attempts to be brilliant put you in a pickle. Not by design, but by nature, when you compete the team goes to hell. You can't think everyone on the team is an asshole. You need them. Do you realize that even if you have an incredible idea, that everyone has to agree with it? DO you realize that you did today exactly what you've hatred about DLM, DUO and EV? Do you realize that the problems are not imbedded on the names but in each one of you? Insensitivity. Doing things without thinking. And let's not forget, over the years who has gotten blamed for all this?
Can we change this? Do you really believe we can change it? If we can identify it, we can change it. Yes today has been painful. Tomorrow will be more. I guarantee it. And day after tomorrow more. And day after that more. And you know who's going to make it painful. Not us. You've got to take responsibility. You've got to see me. When the team succeeds, you automatically do. Do you know that everyone here has something here to contribute? Do you realize that not everyone h may not have the same thing to contribute? Do you realize that you don't have to be a rocket scientist? You will be given exercises to prove something different than what you think the point of the exercise is. We have a very weak link. You have mistrust - you have to let go of it. I was right, that person was wrong, that's not going to help. Any thing else I can help you with?
You will open a door and see things that you didn't think existed. And to get rid of it is the most painful process.
What good is a candle that needs a flashlight to shine? Things in this life shouldn't be mysterious, they should be clear. Is there anything mysterious about K, about practicing K, about the Master? Then why is there a mystery? Is there a mystery? There isn't, but there is. But we guard that mystery. Because where are we going to take shelter except in that mystery. Would it really be painful to be clear? Of course. Have many of you disregard the things you know very well? So you can go on.
I'm the one talks about individuality. But when it comes to the team, there's no such animal. When you're not working with the team, you can be an individual and practice K. But when you're working with the team, you take your hat off. Today very little was taught but a lot was learned. That's the best kind of teaching. Tomorrow even less will be taught but more will be learned.