Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Go Holi Crazy

Springtime in Pune Meditation Resort

All the festivals of India have some mythological story attached to them. Because when these festivals were created religion controlled every aspect of human life. Therefore even social events were connected to religious rituals so that everyone participated in them. One of the most popular festivals of India, Holi is no exception to it. It is colourful in every sense of the word. There is a mythological story about it but the most attractive aspect of Holi is the licensciousness it gives to people to celebrate their lower instincts, to cathart and express whatever is suppressed in their unconscious, without feeling guilty.Yes, this is very very important for the sanity of modern man. We all carry baser emotions but feel guilty about them and don't want to accept them. Repressed, they play havoc with our unconscious. Holi is the only occasion where you can arouse your animal instincts and nobody will blame you for that.

This is why Osho appreciates Holi: " This Holi festival is just a catharsis for the whole country to throw out all nonsense. It is good, it cleanses. More days are needed because more nonsense is there. One Holi is not enough. In fact, every month a day for Holi is needed so people can throw stones, rubbish at each other, throw colours, dirt, and can use four-letter words. It cleanses."

The symbolic story of Holi talks about the demon Hiranyakashyapu and his pious son Prahlad. The conflict between them is the conflict between the atheist and the theist, the evil and good, the past and the present. The present always wins because it has the support of life.

Holi is a multidimensional festival : it has fire, colours, catharsis, friendliness and of course delicious sweets. No festival is complete without sweets! Holi is very human hence very endearing to all: the classes and the masses. It accepts the fallibility of humans, their weaknesses and embraces them with mirth and laughter. People don't only throw colour at each other, they throw their morality, culture and the code of conduct to the winds. For one day the river flows breaking all disciplines, beyond the shores.

Osho wants a refined kind of Holi though: "Existence is enjoying Holi every day. In nature the colors flow afresh every day, new flowers open each morning. Even before the old leaves fall, the new buds are bursting out and the new shoots are springing up. The festival does not stop even for a moment. Such will be the life of a religious person.. His every breath is an expression of gratitude and benediction. "


Friday, March 22, 2013

Have a sound sleep

photo:OSHO International Foundation
It is a well known fact that beggars sleep better than emperors; laborers sleep better than intellectuals.
An article in an American woman's magazine says that as many as fifty million Americans suffer from so-called insomnia. According to this article, insomnia, after the common cold and headache, ranks number three for visits to the doctor.
Another online health magazine Health Channel claims that over one third of people experience insomnia from time to time. People who suffer from insomnia are normally frustrated or annoyed by it. Paradoxically, this very emotional state contributes to keeping them awake.

Osho says in The Path of Mystic # 44 , " Insomnia is not a disease, it is a by product of affluence. As a society grows richer, people do not work hard. The modern lifestyle heavily depends on gadgets, caffeine and entertainment which has made life comfortable. Too comfortable to sleep perhaps. In the race for conquering nature the modern living has become anti-nature. Nature has designed the body to work hard, at least for eight hours. Unless man works hard for eight hours he does not earn the right to have a sound sleep.

Nature never intended that a few people should have all the riches in the world and most of other people should be poor. Looking at the intentions of nature, it wanted a classless society where everybody works hard. But this has not been possible so far.

I feel sorry when a millionare riding his BMW or a Merc looks jealously at a stone cutter sleeping soundly on his cart oblivious of the noise and filth of the market.
Osho gives some tips to non-sleepers. First: If the people suffering from insomnia really want to get rid of it they should not think of it as a disease. Visiting a doctor is meaningless. They should start working in their garden instead, or do some manual work without feeling ashamed. And forget all about sleep – it will come. It always comes, you don't have to bring it.

Second: do not judge your sleep. It is the quality of sleep that matters, not the quantity. A deep sleep for a shorter time is much better than long hours of disturbed sleep.
Dance till you drop!

Another Osho tip is quite startling: "Stop socializing!" Because it is hypocracy. This fake and meaningless activity fills your mind with social garbage, puts pressure on your real nature. You pay the price by sleeplessness.

And third: "There should be more meditation centers specially for people who are suffering from insomnia. Meditation will help them relax. And when they come to meditate they should be told, " Meditation alone will not do; it is half of the work. The other half is hard physical exercise."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sex, death and money: three taboos

There are some issues you cannot discuss at the dining table. You have to be polite, pleasent, nice. In short fake! But that which can't be dicussed socially are the real issues that bother people. Eeveryone is looking for a solution to these issues.
These issues are: sex, death and money. They say it is impolite to ask a man about his financial status. And sex, a big no no! And when it comes to death... everyone says, "Not while we are eating."
While browsing Osho books I came across this insightful observation  on these topics. I am sure you will find it useful, too.
This is from his book Beyond Psychology.

Osho: "If you go on digging at the roots -- which are ugly, which nobody wants to see.... That's why words like `sex' or `death' or `money' have become taboos. There is nothing in them that you cannot discuss at the dining table, but the reason is that we have repressed them deep down and we don't want anybody to dig them out. We are afraid.

Death celebration at OSHO International Meditation Resort

"We are afraid of death because we know we are going to die, and we don't want to die. We want to keep our eyes closed. We want to live in a state as if "everybody else is going to die, but not me." That is the normal psychology of everybody: "I am not going to die."

"To bring up death is taboo. People become afraid because it reminds them of their own death. They are so much concerned with trivia, and death is coming. But they want that trivia to keep them engaged. It functions as a curtain: they are not going to die, at least not now. Later on... "whenever it happens, we will see."

"Sex they are afraid of because so many jealousies are involved. Their own life experiences have been bitter. They have loved and failed, and they really don't want to bring the subject up -- it hurts.

"And so is the case with money, because money immediately brings in the hierarchy of the society. So if there are twelve persons sitting around the table, immediately you can put them in a hierarchy; the similarity, the equality, for the moment is lost. Then somebody is richer than you, somebody is poorer than you, and suddenly you see yourself not as friends but as enemies, because you are all fighting for the same money, you are grabbing at the same money. You are not friends, you are all competitors, enemies.
So at least at the dining table when you are eating you want no hierarchy, not the struggle of the ordinary life. You want for a moment to forget all those things. You want to talk only of good things -- but these are all facades.

Why not create a life which is really good? Why not create a life where money does not create a hierarchy, but simply gives more and more opportunity to everybody? Why not create a life where sex does not make bitter experiences, jealousies, failures; where sex becomes just fun -- nothing more than any other game, just a biological game.

Enjoying life at the meditation resort, Pune

A simple understanding... I can't conceive why... if I love some woman and she enjoys some man, it is perfectly okay. It does not disturb my love. In fact I love her more because she is being loved by more people; I have chosen really a beautiful woman. It will be really ugly to find a woman whom only I love, and she cannot find anybody else in the whole world to love her. That will be really hell.
Once we stop the old nonsense that has been poured into our minds continuously -- of monogamy, of one-to-one relationship, of fidelity -- which is all nonsense... When there are so many beautiful people in the world, why shouldn't they be intermixing? You play tennis; that does not mean your whole life you have to play tennis with the same partner, fidelity...! Life should be richer.
So it is only that a little understanding is needed and love will not be a problem, sex will not be taboo. Nor will death be a taboo once your life has no problems, no anxieties; once you have accepted your life in its totality, death is not the end of life, it is part of it.
In accepting life in its totality, you have accepted death too; it is just a rest. The whole day you have been working -- and in the night do you want to rest, or not?

Excerpt: Beyond Psychology # 1/ Courtesy Osho International Foundation/

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The real empowerment of women

A woman meditationg at the Osho International Meditation Resort

 "Woman is what man has made of her,' Osho often says. All the descriptions of ideal women created down the ages are nothing but echoes of ideas propagated by men. This is how they wanted to see women. And women accepted them without a question. Interestingly, among the qualities of ideal woman, she was never portrayed as a meditator. As if this area was fully reserved for men. It was man who left the house to become a monk , all the paths of yoga and other spiritual streams were developed for man's body and mind. Women did not exist for these spiritual sages .

But the wheel of time moves around and things change. Osho was the harbinger of change for women . And how did he bring about the change? By opening the floodgates of meditation techniques to all women of the world without questioning their capability. His trust in the wisdom and capacity of women is unconditional. He created a space inwardly and outwardly where women feel safe and grow their potential. This position that it is very easy for women to go into meditation because meditation is the way of the heart, encouraged women to take this road less traveled by their mothers and grandmothers. Women live in the heart which is the source of trust, love, intuition, aesthetics, poetry and fine arts. They are intimately and strongly routed in their bodies. When women meditate they unearth the subtle sensitivity of the body, their senses blossom like flowers. For the first time they acquire a beauty and grace which is not just physical.

I have come across thousands of women from around the world who come to Osho International Meditation Resort for meditation. They feel respected and accepted here. Their raised self-esteem helps them glide into meditation easily.

Monica, a lovely business woman from Italy says, " These meditations involving body, senses, emotions are more practical and more grounded than the traditional ones. There is a holistic view, not just about the soul and mind. It is body! The Osho vision stimulates one to be more complete, to work more; not just be spiritual. The beauty is that they are not separated from the world. "

Then there is Corina, a journalist from Romania who says that so far, living alone was a curse to women. If they are alone they are looked upon as being abnormal. Doing Osho meditation makes her enjoy her aloneness which is a tremendous inner power.

This inner power is the real empowerment of women.

Osho observes: " The freedom of women is going to be the freedom of men too. The day the woman is accepted as equal, given equal opportunity to grow, man will find himself suddenly free."


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

If the world is run by women...

March 8 is called the International Women's Day. And what does it mean? Seminars, talks and articles written on women's liberation?  Uplifting women? Who will uplift them-- men? They themselves need to be uplifted from repressed sexuality.
No, all this has been going on year after year, and yet the woman is where she was before.
No liberation but revolution is needed, says Osho.

photo:Osho International Foundation

"A tremendous revolution is needed, it has been needed for centuries. And the sooner the whole world understands it the better.
If the world is run by women and the governments and all other functional things are run by women, we will have a tremendous balance. And man can take his place more significantly in scientific research, in the service of life and creativity.
Women have been repressed, so it will need a little time. And once the repression changes into expression, it will be just like land which has been lying fallow for thousands of years gathering all kinds of fertilizers, rain water, and nobody cultivating it. When you cultivate it, it is going to give you a bumper crop.
"The same is the situation of the human mind. The feminine mind has not been used, has not been allowed to function. If it is allowed, it may take a quantum leap. And it will be a blessing for all.
"We can make a better world together. Men and women should be really half-and-half of a whole. There are qualities which men have and women do not have; there are qualities which women have and men do not have. Both together, the human being will be richer in every possible way."
The Last Testament, Vol 1 #19


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Evening meeting meditation

Dance and celebrate
The  Evening Meeting is the time when everyone comes together to dance and celebrate and then to sit silently.
The meditation starts with 10 minutes of high energy celebration where everybody is invited to participate and dance with totality.

It reaches its climax with three shouts "Osho, Osho, Osho". In this context "Osho" is used as a sound, which helps to raise the energy even higher. He says of the word Osho, "It is not my name, it is a healing sound derived from William James' 'oceanic.'"                      

This is followed by ten minutes of sitting silently with closed eyes. The more totality is brought to the celebration, the deeper the silence will go.
During this time music alternates with silence, which is ended by three loud drumbeats.
The silent sitting then continues to the sound of an Osho Videotape.

Why do people listen to Osho every day? Actually they don't listen to his words, they listen to the silence between his words.Osho speaks so as to create silence in the listener.
"My speaking is one of my devices for meditation. Speaking has never been used this way before; I speak not to give you a message, but to stop your mind functioning…
"And it is not only here, but far away...anywhere in the world where people will be listening to the video or to the audio, they will come to the same silence. As you listen to music, listen to me that way. Don't listen to me as you listen to a philosopher; listen to me as you listen to the birds. Listen to me as you listen to a waterfall. Listen to me as you listen to me as you listen to the winds blowing through the pines. Listen to me not through the discursive mind, but through the participant heart. And then something that you are continuously feeling is missing will not be missed.
"Put the mind aside. While listening to me, don't try to understand, just listen silently. Don't figure out whether what I am saying is true or not true. Don't be bothered with it's truth or untruth. I am not asking you to believe in it so there is no need to think about it's truth or untruth. Listen to me as you listen to the birds singing or the wind passing through the pine trees or the sound of running water. " Osho, The Invitation #14