PLANO, Texas, USA. Six months ago, as part of the media push in all American
centers to bring the auspicious event of Shri Mataji's 80th Birthday celebration
to the attention of the press, we compiled a list of Dallas area media contacts
and proceeded to call them. Only one of them, the Plano Profile, which is the
main monthly magazine of one of the largest suburbs in Dallas, returned our calls
and manifested interest. We sent them more information, both in print as well
as by email, and followed up with another call, but for some reason the timing
was not right based on their content schedule.
We kept calling and inviting them to our public programs every couple months,
and every time we were assured that they were interested, but no one came. At
one point we told them quite plainly that we don't understand how their content
schedule works and how come every time is a bad time, and perhaps we should
forget about the whole thing, it's no problem for us. Somehow it is at that
point that they got interested and, after several more weeks, we got a call
that one of their freelance writers wanted to visit with us. Shri Mataji had
showed us once again that patience and persistence pay off.
By the play of the Paramchaitanya, this writer turned out to be a bit of a
seeker, and our meeting at a local Starbucks originally scheduled for one hour
lasted for two and a half hours. She was really interested and we talked about
many aspects of the vast subject at hand. At one point - "would you like
to try it? you mean right now?" - she got her Self Realization by just
holding her hands towards the photograph and felt the cool breeze clearly, even
though we were outside. That of course triggered deeper discussions as her newly
enlightened consciousness guided her in directions she had not thought of before.
Even though I had given previously an interview over the phone, it was for
me the first time I was spending time at leisure with a freelance writer, and
it was quite a learning experience. She even adviced me on what I should say
and not say at future interviews with other press people, to suit the angle
from which these people view things - from small things like "use the word
'discernment' or 'discretion' instead of 'discrimination' due to its connotation"
to bigger things like "writers always target a certain audience, and then
they try to make it is large as possible within the given parameters, so this
would be too strong; this might scare some people away, even though I can personally
fully relate to it; you've got to stick to your 'angle', so that the story has
the right 'spin' on it". She was really on our side, but when I realized
this and saw she was a seeker, I opened up a bit too much on the deeper aspects
of Sahaja Yoga, and while she was interested in them, she knew exactly where
to draw the line as far as the article was concerned.
One more thing to mention is that, surprisingly, what had made her and the
editor in chief do a story on us in the first place was the fact that we were
offering it for free, as a community service. For them this was the most important
thing, the "hook" that drew them in, and it was only later on that
they realized that there are many other aspects of Sahaja Yoga far more interesting.
The public program day came. Since our course at a local library was over (they
were late two months since we had last launched our invitation), we booked the
room especially for the writer and the editor in chief who took photographs,
and called all the new and old people. Luckily there was also a first time person
at the meeting, so we gave an introductory program. Four more people were interviewed,
including a teenager and a medical doctor (over the phone) from our collective.
The outcome was a very positive and balanced article that sprawled on several
pages (including various ads), and the only minus was that they didn't include
Shri Mataji's photograph which we had provided. It appeared during the Labor
Day weekend, with the title "Sahaja Yoga" featured on the front page
together with other titles. Their circulation is approximately 60,000.
I actually found out that it had come out when one colleague of mine from work
said "hey, I saw your picture in a magazine" and got me startled for
a second. Then we started to receive phone calls and emails which was very heartening
- in two days about 30 people have signed up for the class, and we're hoping
the library room will be big enough for the upcoming program on September 13.
The editors were gracious enough to include all possible information at the
end of the article, such as program details, main web site, etc. and a few seekers
told us that they were very impressed with the article and really excited to
join the class. I called the editor in chief and the writer and thanked them,
mentioning the success the story had had based on the emails and phone calls
The text of the article and the main photograph was also posted on the magazine's
web site as the featured article of the Fitness section, and can be found at
To download it as a Adobe Acrobat document, please
All we can say is "Jai Shri Mataji!" - the way all this has worked
out is truly a miracle, but it proved to us once again that good things can
and do happen with the press. We are now hoping to leverage this article for
giving Sahaja Yoga visibility to other forms of mass media, such as television,
and we thank the Media Team for all the support provided in this sense. We hope
and pray that the media giant will soon wake up and make positive news about
Sahaja Yoga, and realize that it is in their interest to promote it in a big,
sweeping way, in America and around the world!
JAI SHRI MATAJI !