| MA PREM tAO
Enough for Today
About a year or so ago I added the following quote from Osho into my wedding ceremonies. “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived”. I wasat discourse the day Osho, then Bhagwan, gave that beautiful quote that has stayed with me ever since for good reason, as it's still working its way through, and meanwhile I share it with lots and lots of people. Then Osho told this great story and it goes like this.
After lecture an Italian swami was heard to say to another;
...that Bhagwan, he really knows. Like today when he said,
life is not a problem to be solved, but a misery to be lived...
We all howled at that one, relating very well to the joke, to the Italian and to the truth underneath it for each of us. When I say it during the ceremony, using the first quote, invariably there is a response that I see, in the eyes, in a breath that releases, in a light that goes on, a nod of the head, or flash of a smile.In that moment we make that loving connection in a deep but light-hearted way. Compliments of our Osho, who lives on.
Today there are many masters, guides, wise men and women who have seen, know and have come home, and now wish to help in every way they can to be of service on a planetary scale. There are so many different paths and different words that touch peoples' hearts, so the message is disseminated in many different ways, and needs to be. Different languages, different metaphors, forms, practices, different vernacular and perspectives actively exist to guide those who wish to, to turn in. But ultimately at the highest, deepest level, they all give the same message and take you from the same distracted places to thesame cherished place; to existence, essence, love, let-go, to nothingness, God, satori, self-realization, emptiness, fullness, joy, awakening, bliss, valhallah, ecstasy, samsar, enlightenment, being, peace, and we can continue ad infinitumand still be describing the similar inner experience.
So is He relevent today? Absolutely, unquestionably. Not only relevent but current and essential. Everything he offered was for precisely this time, for showing the way to this moment and also how to be within it. Furthermore, I am here. You are here and so Osho is here and will always be, within us and through us.
These days I experience such intensity of love and gratitude, feeling so infinitely blessed, supported and held with love by life itself. This despite the chaos, insecurity and radically changing energies and circumstances all around and within, literally moment to moment. I know that without having opened to sannyas (as if I could have done anything else) and my three blessed years in Poona and all that transpired since, that none of this would have been possible.
I often think of Osho's words... the 180 degree turn... and that is what happened. So many miracles and so much freedom and lifting up from ancient burdens, discovering who we are and who we are not.The sannyas name is in itself a guiding force, the finger pointing to the moon, actually directing us to our true nature and if we wish to, to recognize whom we have always been. I hear Osho's words loud and clear at various times guiding in that moment. He has taken us on and we are his and he is ours forever, side by side. So, enough for today, from me. Now take a moment and listen to his words. So beautiful and we can all use a little reminder now and again.
Being never develops. Being simply is. There is no evolution, there is no time involved in it. It is eternity, it is not "becoming."...Spiritually, you never develop; you cannot. As far as the ultimate goal is concerned, you are already there. You have never been anywhere else. Then what is development? Development is only a kind of awakening to the truth that you are. The truth does not grow; only recognition grows, remembrance grows. That's why I don't talk about the "development of being." I talk about all the hindrances that are preventing your recognition. And knowledge is the greatest hindrance; hence I have talked about it extensively. It is the barrier. If you think you already know, you will never know. If you think you already know, what is the point of searching? You can go on sleeping and dreaming. The moment you recognize that you don't know, that recognition of ignorance goes like an arrow into the heart, it pierces you like a spear. In that very piercing, one becomes aware - in that very shock.
Knowledge is a kind of shock absorber. It does not allow you to be shaken and shocked. It goes on protecting you, it is an armor around you. I speak against knowledge so that you can drop the armor; so that life can shock you into awareness.
Life is there, ready to shock you every moment. Your being is there inside you, ready to be awakened any moment. But between these two there is knowledge. And the more of it there is, the more your self-awakening will be delayed.Become unknowledgeable.
And never think of spirituality as a process of growth. It is not a growth. You are already gods, buddhas from the very beginning. It is not that you have to become buddhas - the treasure is there, only you don't know where you have put it. You have forgotten the key, or you have forgotten how to use the key.You are so drunk with knowledge that you have become oblivious of all that you are. Knowledge is alcoholic; it makes people drunk. Then their perception is blurred, then their remembrance is at a minimum. Then they start seeing things that are not, and they stop seeing things that are. That's why I have not talked about how to evolve your being. Being is already as it should be, it is perfect. Nothing needs to be added to it, nothing can be added to it. It's a creation of existence. It comes out of perfection, hence it is perfect. Just withdraw all the hindrances that you have created.
Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO.
Awakening - A Sleepy Story
I just turned 70. And now have to admit that my days are numbered. It's not a new concept that we live and then we die. But somehow it had not really struck home, despite all the evidence. And I have fought it my whole life. Until now.
I came into this beautiful body to awaken as Libby Kelson, then Ma Prem Tao and now Libby Tao Kelson-Fulcher. When I enquire why I am here, what I am to do, it always comes back to this. Awaken. Earlier in my life I thought I was here to love freely with abandon and have great orgasms. Later, to live large, inspire, be a pioneer, to create new dynamics that delight, encourage and assist others; to move via the outskirts of life, avoiding well-traveled roads and the greater masses of people, seeking the company of those kindred spirits found along the way.
I've always wanted to contribute to life in some meaningful way, make things better than they were and be a blessing, not a pain in the okole (the backside). Be an Osho, a Lao Tzu, a Libby Tao. Not too long ago I heard from Jewish friends that this is part of the Jewish heritage, in the Jewish DNA, to want to make the world a better place. I thought it was from the ancient, wise, spiritual part of me. But where this drive actually comes from doesn't matter.
The careers I've created over the years have all come from an inner calling, an inner guidance and that has been very satisfying, to work from the inside out which feels the right way to me anyway. And what I have given has been appreciated and of service. The past few years the work part of my life has been slipping away and it's been a bit scarey, to see my passion, ambition, my unstoppable energy, enthusiasm and creative mind disappear, seeming to have gone to sleep on a very long hibernation. So I packed up my house, stuffed it into a storage locker, referred clients to colleagues and began to unwind from all that has brought me to this place.
I've been deeply examining my core wound beliefs. Yes, again. Another round. And listening to my inner child who I've kept abandoning, now paying sincere attention with love and affection. And this morning a great insight arose. Let me say first though that I've felt myself to be a bit of a lost cause, a hopeless case as it seems the sorrow deep within never dries up. No matter how many insights, releases, healings, epiphanies or going to the core, the bottomless well of sorrow is always still there somehow, waiting. If I were to guestimate how much salt water I have contributed to this planet over my 70 years and two months, I bet I'd have at least an Olympic size swimming pool!
So coming back to this realization. Turning my full attention to the child part, aiming for a harmonious relationship at long last, merging the yin and yang, child and adult, male and female, she told me that she can open so far, trust so much. And I thought she was talking about me, but it wasn't me she was referring to.
Even with all the work I've done therapeutically, spiritually for greater oneness there always seemed to be a part underpinning everything that I could feel but not reach, access, or name. And it had all the signs of early trauma that for the life of me I've not been able to identify and I feared that there would always be this invisible something hiding behind this impenetrable something else that keeps eluding me.
About 15 years ago during a healing session in Honolulu, I had the experience of a past life come vividly alive. At first there was a rolling movement in a mist, then as the mist began to clear I could see wheels turning and then there was a train attached to those wheels and lots of cars to that train. I saw that they were cattle cars. Then I saw that I was inside one of those cattle cars with hundreds of other people squashed together and I realized it was a scene from the holocaust. I was a young Jewish child, maybe 2 or 3 years old in this place of horror, terror and death, for people were dying all around me. Some details are a little sketchy now as I didn't record it, but what I do recall feeling is that not even the family is safe.
Years before this, I found myself looking at situations in my life as if I were in a concentration camp. I could never understand why I'm feeling imprisoned or asking the questions that I am asking, or thinking the thoughts that I am, because I live in North America and was never personally in the war although my parents' families died in the war. I thought I had picked up the emotions from them, imbibed their fears and their stories. I used to have nightmares as a young child in Toronto that the SS were climbing through the bedroom window to get me.
As this recall was taking place during a healing session, I shared what I was experiencing and set out to heal it, filling that cattle car with light and pouring love, light and healing into everyone there, including myself in that lifetime wishing to help transform the lingering wounds in all of us. This re-living also answered many questions about why I was having these recurring thoughts and feelings about the camps and my seeming obsession with it. And they stopped. Mostly.
So this morning I am listening to my child who is opening up more and more and she is telling me that she trusts only so far, and she can open to life only so far and all of a sudden, in a flash of light, the pieces came together. Of course!! This poor kid is coming from that lifetime and carrying residue trauma from those experiences! Immediately I empathized with her, held her, and later explained to her what was happening, and that it is in the past. Now I am with her and I'm strong, capable and resourceful, able to care for her and she is safe, and no longer alone. And something melted.
This was a very quick lifetime, just before this present one, as I was born in 1941.
It's not that my little one doesn't trust me, she doesn't trust life! Not all the way. Although when you look at my life and the way I've lived it, you wouldn't guess that there's a safety issue. You'd think that I trust life 1000%. I thought I did too. I've taken a lot of risks, a lot of chances. I've lived adventurous sometimes dangerous chapters....I think we call it Sannyas....and have felt very protected during these times. I have felt that life is on my side. So isn't this paradox wild? Around the core there has been such a wound, such immense pain and anguish.
I have been able to draw her to me, for us to come together and I understand now where all this sorrow has come from and why I've had this returning image in my mind of a small child locked in a dark cave, unable and afraid to come out.
Since this took place I feel an alignment. I feel fuller inside with a new sense of substance, all oneness and an inner quiet. I don't feel so alone or so isolated and my guess is that something really has awakened today. It feels soft and very sweet inside.
The child never dies…nothing ever dies. The child is there, always is there, wrapped by other experiences…Wrapped by adolescence, then by youth, then by middle age, then by old age…but the child is always there. You are just like an onion, layers upon layers, but if you peel the onion, soon you will find fresher layers inside. Go on deeper and you find more and more, fresher layers. The same is true about man: if you go deep into him you will always find the innocent child…And to contact that innocent child is therapeutic......
The Wild Geese and the Water
You will see yourself reborn again, being born again, arising out of the past, out of the clouds and confusion---thoughts, prejudices, egos, minds, conditionings—arising out of them, virgin, pure. Then you will again see the power that you are, the being that you are.....
The Alpha and the Omega, Vol. 10
Each child is born as a pagan, but sooner or later he will lose that simplicity. That is part of life; it has to happen. It is a part of our growth, maturity, destiny. The child has to lose it and find it again. When the child loses it he becomes ordinary, worldly. When he regains it he becomes religious. The innocence of childhood is cheap; it is a gift from existence. We have not earned it and we will have to lose it. Only by losing it will we become aware of what we have lost. Then we will start searching for it. And only when we search for it and earn it, achieve it, become it - then we will know the tremendous preciousness of it....
The Book of Understanding
Well, So Much For That Idea!
Religiously speaking, when I came to Poona in 1977, I came in absence;
All ideas, about life, about God, about oneself, dissolve away when seen,
absent of religion even my family's which was Judaism, loosely speaking. My parents although Jewish were agnostics and most of the other parts of my family were strong atheists. I myself was brought up with an absence of God. God just did not exist in our house. The first I heard of God in fact was at school at the age of 7.
I considered myself spiritual but it never extended to God. I talked about Spirit and Life and The Synchronistic Throb and I definitely had a goal of awakening and acknowledged a Higher Power but I just could not bring myself to speak in terms of, refer to, talk about or accept God. It felt too much like religion. And I suppose I was anti-religious.
In Poona over the three years I lived there, I discovered a sense of what I call religiousness, a place inside me that I had not known before in this way and it was vast, deep and beautiful. I felt so connected to all. I felt as if this world now is mine, so much so for example, that I would no more throw anything on the ground, just chucking it because I didn't need it and didn't happen to see a trash can anywhere. So out it would go onto the road or out of the rickshaw somewhere.
I could no longer do this because now it was my road and in taking ownership, my heart opened. Or maybe it was the other way around, that as my heart opened, I embraced all. However it came about, I now wanted to care for my surroundings and my environment and felt such a love and appreciation for it all. For the trees and flowers as I walked through Koregaon Park, for all the beauty in the ashram and in all of the nature that I beheld. This was a new level of exquisite awareness for which I will always be grateful.
The other turn of events was when Osho (I still want to say Bhagwan) gave his Jesus series, I think it was a year of Jesus and something new happened to me. First of all I could say the word Jesus which was always a big no-no to begin with. You just don't speak the words, Jesus, Christ, Lord, Holy Spirit, I mean you just don't, if you're Jewish. That's a foreign territory, the enemy at a deep level.
The amazing thing was that I could relate to Jesus, the Jesus Osho presented. Not only did he make sense to me for the very first time, but I knew I had been there with him. I felt such a kinship with this Jesus and this was a revelation, a huge opening and understanding whose effects are still taking place today. It did not mean I'd become a Christian. For sure it it didn't mean that, On the contrary this was a Jesus that the world is seeking and not the Jesus in the Christian Church.
I am and have been a working Spiritual Minister for many years and because of my connection to Source, or God, or Spirit, and of what was born in me in the ashram, I can marry anyone with any religious belief system and speak the words that touch their hearts and are meaningful to them. And I do so eagerly, sincerely and with great reverence. I no longer reject or judge people for being members of an organized religion, even though I see that all religious paths divide us, not only within ourselves but also from one other through conflicting isms and tenets.
Rodney, the eldest son of a respectable Boston family,
announced to his shocked father that he intended to
live with his swishy boyfriend on Beacon Hill.
"Damn it, Rodney," the parent responded,
"our family came over with John Winthrop,
and we've never had a scandal such as this."
"I can't help it, father, I love him."
“But Damn it Rodney, he's a Catholic!!'
I connect to the Source at the core of the paths, from which place the path has come, so that the path itself becomes less and less important. When I perform a ceremony, I am sharing with others from the vibration of Spirit, soul, heart, essence and love. I am sharing God. I remember a line in one of the Carlos Castaneda books,
“All paths lead nowhere. So choose the path with the heart”.
When I left Poona I took with me an inner quality and receptiveness that has been growing and maturing ever since. It has reverence for what surrounds me and an open door to all people of all religions, or no religions. So I am in full acceptance, willingness and eagerness to write and officiate ceremonies that use the religious language and rites that will resonate with that particular couple and open their hearts. It's their belief not mine, however where we relate from on their wedding day has nothing to do with beliefs. It is the pure energy of love and spirit. Whatever serves to trigger and heighten that, I will happily do.
If you become too sceptical, you become scientists.
If you become too childlike, you become religious.
Science exists with doubt. Religion exists with wonder.
If you want to be religious then create more wonder, discover more
wonder. Allow your eyes to be more filled with wonder than anything
else. Be surprised by everything that is happening.
Everything is so tremendously wonderful that it is simply unbelievable
how you go on living without dancing, how you go on living
without becoming ecstatic. You must not be seeing what is
happening all around.......OSHO
felt and known through the clear eyes of love.
Courage, Loss And Freedom... The Indomitable Human Spirit
The events in the news have been unrelenting. Japan's catastrophic experiences still ongoing with losses heaped one upon the other. The wildfires in Texas, the devastating rogue tornadoes hurtling across the U.S. even through the airport in St. Louis. Floods, droughts, loss of lives, of homes, of all that people have built around them to reflect them and reassure themselves of their security, identity and normalcy. It is natural to slip into feeling like a victim and suffer the excruciating fates that this position provides. The victim is a terrifying and painful place to live in, a really awful feeling as it comes with a sense of helplessness and powerlessness. From here it is difficult to find one's edge and certainly a sense of true self and stability.
The Middle East has exploded again in violence and bloody battle but this time the freedom cries are self-directed which in itself is valiant and a worthy fight as they literally stand up for their basic human rights, rebelling against the fear that has enslaved them, against the cruelty, oppression and madness of their leaders whom they have out of ignorance, terror and futility, supported in the past. They have said, no more! Life as it has been can not be tolerated. We no longer allow our spirits to be crushed. We shall risk all to do what is right for ourselves and with courage bring the life we deserve. They have arisen to claim their freedom, their dignity and their right to live life as they choose, to be free to express themselves and to enjoy the positive abundance they have created.
Imagine losing everything.
When there is such disaster, catastrophe, loss and pain, where does one go to, to find peace, a sense of meaning, balance and acceptance? To find one's higher heart. There is only one direction. And that is in. And the precious qualities needed. Patience and trust.
What has been so uplifting and inspiring in the midst of so much human suffering is not only the way the world has jumped on the bandwagon sending and giving needed support in physical, material, basic and compassionate ways but even more impactful are the many stories coming out of Japan from the very people who are living through this. Reports of how individuals are reaching out and helping each other, sharing whatever they have and giving of their precious selves in such a moment of need. Marveling at how they are conducting themselves with such dignity and grace, coming together in many small but mighty ways and rising up from their true hearts.
In such a moment this is indeed mighty for it would be so easy, natural, to contract and cling to what little one has out of survival instinct. On the other hand it seems to be, as I myself discovered during our earthquake here almost five years ago, that when you lose everything you have tangibly amassed around you, something else can kick in and you can immediately graduate if you so choose, to an expanded place within that has let go and brings a subtle but radiant freedom.
We can all help in this moment and in a very simple and powerful, viable way. This is to send love from your strongest feeling of love and compassion and just flood everyone with this showering of your love, compassion and light. How fabulous is this! Assist in ways big beyond our knowing and give to oneself also at the same time at this pristine level.
I tend to look at events and happenings from a perspective of their bringing us ultimately closer to our own spirit and freedom, to a place of benediction, however difficult in the moment it may be to see and identify this. It is much easier to be here when there is nothing to draw you away, when all your distractions, pleasures and normal ways have gone. But we are all dancing the same dance really, albeit at different levels and in different dimensions of our lives. Gratefully, I and probably you reading this, don't have to fear for our physical lives from others and we have a modicum of luxury and ease of living to be thankful for. What is the same in our awakening journey is the overcoming of fear and illusion, the courage to say no more to the repression and misunderstandings that we have supported in ourselves and to stop, turn and fully face ourselves, knowing there is no longer anything of true value to lose.
I remember in 1977, in Poona, just a few days after arriving at the ashram and taking sannyas, my handbag was stolen. I was meditating in Radha Hall and remained there after the meditation was over. When I stood up ready to go I saw that all the other people had left and when I went to collect my handbag, saw that it was also gone. In it was everything I owned in the world apart from my clothes. All the money I had, some jewelery, I. D's, passport, my address book with irreplaceable information, everything in fact. When I left Radha Hall that evening it was with empty hands. It ended up being the best thing that could have ever happened to me at that time.
Coming to one's true identity and joy beyond imagination does not necessarily have to come through violence, loss, pain and suffering, but it certainly is one well-known popular way...that seems to work.
Awareness, Acceptance and Love
Judgement and acceptance cannot by their intrinsic natures co-exist. One puts you in an energy pattern that negates, criticizes, reduces, minimizes and essentially rejects and condemns and is hard felt, as we are doing this to ourselves. And the other elevates to a soft, easy, relaxed place, like a rosy soft cheek radiating love and well-being, smiling and open, nourishing and unafraid.
This is a universal issue but a subject very personal to me. Judgement, criticism comparison, perfection/imperfection, seeing through a critical eye, had been issues of mine for almost a whole life. A familiar state of mind, even in relationships, the worst of places for these habits. I was born with Venus in Virgo. For those of you who know even basic astrology, this is a difficult place for Venus who loves to simply emote and ooh and ah, love and be loved without restriction or having to think. Venus in Virgo, and in my case not well-aspected either, needs to first pull out the check list and see whether various criteria are being met before opening the heart and any possibility of melting. A tough place for one whom at the deepest levels wishes to be love.
It has been very natural for me to see how people, things, scenarios, can be better than they are. I will, for example, look at a printed page and if there is a typo on that page, my eye will immediately go to it. I should have been an editor as a career choice and made good use of that innate quality of mine! Having a critical eye can be a wonderful tool for improving, uplifting and creating greater beauty and harmony. Whether it's a curse or a blessing, a divider or a unifier, depends upon where you are sitting in your understanding.
If you are familiar with the Arica Foundation (Oscar Ichaso's school for scientific mysticism, very active in the 70's and 80's) and their work with ego fixations, quite brilliant as road maps of the ego, my ego fix in that system is Venge. The one polarity of Venge and relevant here is judgment, criticism, cruelty (through harsh and unrelenting demands of self) including perfection in every situation.
The common denominator for these states is unhappiness and misery. That is where you end up. Each side of the polarity is off-balance. The whole pattern of comparing (you either come out on top or on the bottom of the barrel), measuring, envying or disapproving, believing what you see and hear and emotionally reacting to it, is a recipe for ultimate disappointment and despair. Far from the ease and spontaneous, fun-loving joy one truly wishes to feel.
But, and this is a beautiful but, the way out of a critical viewing of life is through acceptance. By accepting the judgments that exist at any time, by accepting whatever one's behavior has been labeled as, you can be released from their castigating grip. Whatever is going on, you simply allow it to be there. Even accepting when judging the judgments. You acknowledge, accept and fuel it no more.
When you are fighting you are pushing away parts of yourself and it's impossible to have any influence at that point. You have dissipated your own powerful energy, whatever name one gives it.
Accepting what is here in this moment, like it or not, and allowing it to be - stops the cycle and you are back. To this moment now. There is a peace and a stillness because you are not pushing or pulling, separating or dividing yourself. You are not feeding the struggle that existed a few moments ago. Settling into this place you are now yours and in the driver's seat, free to respond to the new in this moment.
Who we are is Love. Take everything else away and what is left is pure love. I know without a doubt that this is who I truly am. When you know that who you are is love, it is easy to see through anything else that tries to dress itself up as real and from the heart. But actually isn't. The first step is acceptance and this then slides you into your heart.
In the case of Venus in Virgo, the glory of this position lies in its transcendent qualities and potential. The higher octave of it, is purity of love not perfection.
Not following a mental list of what love should be or look like according to someone else's measure. Loving fully, naturally, instinctively, in harmony with oneself in truth and innocence brings freedom, beauty and wholeness, a dissolving into spirit.
"Whenever you judge anything, try a small experiment: try to find out who has given you this idea. And if you go deeply into it, you will be surprised: you can even hear your mother saying it, or your father, or your teacher in school. You can hear their voices still there resounding in your memory, but it is not yours. And whatsoever is not yours is ugly; and whatsoever is yours is beautiful, it has grace."
I have recently come free. And it's a big deal as I turned a corner that axed the power of judgment in all its forms and formats. I have become a lover instead of a fighter. And it started with myself, the only place really. Upon realizing how hard and heavy-footed I have been on my own sweet self (let alone anyone else) I decided to pick myself up, dust myself off and just love and embrace who I am in all the flavors and temperaments. And everyone else around will also reap the rewards as then others are accepted as they are, and life becomes so much smoother and easier.
When you go deeply and I mean right to the nitty gritty core of your being and feel what is there you will find a beautiful, rippling, gurgling, loving energy. Who I am is Love. Who you are is Love. The radiating, pulsating, freeing, courageous, inviting energy of love. The first step is acceptance. Then the door to love opens. There is no longer anything in its way.
I cannot imagine what life would have been without Osho, Sannyas or Poona and all the magic, mystery and mayhem that has transpired since. My coming to Him and to willing disciplhood was an organic process that took its own time, was cooking inside and growing unbeknownst to me until that first moment of awakening in St. Francis Woods, San Francisco.
I awoke that morning, climbed out of bed and knew instantly I was going to Poona. There was not a doubt anywhere. Just as immediately as that decision arose, the phone rang and it was my mother asking me if I'm okay. I have spoken about this before, the invisible but tangible thread that binds mothers and daughters. She had felt a sense of alarm. Had I said I was going to Israel, (a war-torn zone at that time) she would have felt much better. How funny we are with our beliefs.
I first knew about Osho when Hugh Milne (Shiva) who lived upstairs in Kaleidiscope our Growth Center in Swiss Cottage, London went to India and came back after a time in a loose-flowing orange robe with a very long beard to match his very long orange/red hair. He spoke to me of his passion and devotion for this new Master. Poonam from the other London growth center Quaesitor had also made this then-mysterious journey returning as an orange-clad devotee bringing Dynamic and Kundalini meditations to our neighborhood. More and more people I knew well, even intimately,went to India and became sannyasins.
It wasn't until I left England behind moving to San Francisco a year or so later, mid-1975, that my time came. The little seeds that had been planted suddenly burst open. Love had a lot to do with it, in fact everything to do with it. I noticed one day that absolutely everybody around me was a disciple with a mala and orange wardrobe. That was a stunning realization. At that time I had been involved with a channeler, then called a psychic medium, and I was in his healing circle, following the rules and ways of his Chinese Entity, Chung Fu. I felt very at home, always have, with an eastern (especially Chinese) philosophy and way of being. Instinctively so when dealing with health matters and well-being how-to's.
My San Francisco flat-mate, Sharda moved to Geetam, the Sannyas Center in the desert and I visited her one weekend. Geetam was an eye-opener for me mainly because of the respect and love towards one another that the people radiated and their easy-goingness, as well as the immense beauty of the surroundings. I credit my time there with really opening the door and unsuspectedly moving me forward towards sannyas by what sannyas living was like. I had a love affair with one of the residents that also kept bringing me back there. So it was that wonderful morning back in S.F. when my time arrived and I awoke to the message: Go to Poona. Come to Bhagwan. My goose was cooked. Time to fly.
Arriving in Poona was a coming home. It seemed as if everyone I met on that first day was somebody I knew from the growth movement in England and I was entirely at ease. When I sat before Osho in darshan and looked into his eyes I felt a complete connection and peace. When he asked; “well, what about sannyas? “I could only shout “YES, YES, YES!” June 16th, 1977, I became Ma Prem Tao, a devoted disciple of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and of my spiritual blossoming.
Since taking sannyas I have gone through various stages but my gratitude to my master is stronger and even more real than before. I know that he, just as we, are on our evolutionary journeys and am very accepting of what has transpired even though I don't fully know or understand all that took place, or why. But it also doesn't matter. Here we are and more connected than ever and I feel more aligned, with myself and with him, than ever before. He has been an impeccable master, transformer, teacher, catalyst and awakener of love in me.
Our sannyasins surrendered, showing their commitment by having new names, wearing the colors of the rainbow and a mala with Osho's photo. Changing the name is also a brilliant way of having a periscope into your soul, seeing what exactly you need in order to wake up. I feel that some commitment is needed, then and now, certainly until love blooms. Otherwise how would one manage to stay on the path? It gets pretty thorny at times. And I think many Masters are here with us in physical body, perhaps not Buddhas or Jesus or Osho (who are here in Spirit) but masters nonetheless and there always will be this relationship, as people reach a point where assistance is crucial to continue to full awakening.
Having said this, this is such a rarified time right now and so many of us have done the work and walked the walk, been shown, experienced, received all that can be, and we continue. So it's just a matter now of a slight shifting.
When I say that I achieved enlightenment, I simply mean that I decided to live it. It is a decision that now you are not interested in creating problems - that's all. It is a decision that now you are finished with all this nonsense of creating problems and finding solutions.
It is essential to come to the point where you DECIDE that enough is enough. You decide that the seeking is over. You have already closed the door to problems and now you also stop seeking. All leaks are gone. You just live here-now, accepting life as it is.
As we tend to our daily lives we pass on to all we meet who we are and all that has been given, understood, experienced and is vibrating in us. I daresay that all who have spent any time with, and have partaken of the energy of an Awakened One, carry this energy within them and like a flower share the scent with all who pass.
A Passion For Beauty
The beauty of beauty, is that it makes us beautiful.
And if not all that beautiful, at least it makes us feel beautiful.
Most of us as children were exposed to Beauty and the Beast, being read the story at bedtime or seeing the movie. It's an allegory. The story of our journey from the underworld to paradise, from darkness into light, an ongoing miniseries that is reflected all around us all the time, in the ever played out themes of good vs evil. Good is generally portrayed by beauty. Evil on the other hand is generally in some form of ugly.
I have a passion for beauty. On the outside, the harmony of colors that are pleasing to the eye and the spirit, a spaciousness and that which soothes that savage beast who erupts from time to time. Beautiful things, beautiful people, beautiful language, beautiful music, beautiful passion and fire stirring the juices, beautiful peace and tranquility. And the beauty in ease and well-being.
I have chosen to be surrounded by nature in all her magnificent aspects. Beautiful and not always so beautiful to look at, but beautiful nonetheless. Hawaii, as a good example. Everywhere I look, there is something visually appealing and fulfilling, such as the ocean in all her moods, real and passionate flowing and alive; the mountains and the incredible sky, the flowers everywhere vibrating color and scent and disseminating it for all to have and enjoy, free of charge. And all of whom also transmit their beauty into feeling, so that one feels beautiful in the experiencing, as well as being surrounded by it.
As I get older I notice that beauty for me includes more and more a radiance, just as when an inner twinkling of an individual pops out and is made manifest. In that moment the person's essence is suddenly present and beaming, showing the light of who they are. And what it is, is not all that important here. It can be funny or serious, profane or sacred (as that wonderful phrase says). What matters here is that this precious moment in truth's radiance, is filled with such immense beauty and joy. It's delicious, palpable and transforming.
Beauty transforms our moment. Art, music, flowers, scents, peace, kindness, gentleness, lovingness, consciousness. They truly are the art of beauty in our lives and far from being one-dimensional. Multi-dimensional absolutely! Its true greatness lies in the fact that beauty transforms all who come into her presence.
Bhagwan, our beloved Bhagwan, Osho to many, still Beloved Bhagwan to me is the Master example of this quality, this presence of multi-dimensional beauty the transformation to love, to the core and absolute. This is the ultimate beauty, the awakening of our consciousness flowering throughout every cell of our being.
I remember lifetimes ago in Poona during groups when an ordinary woman or man like all of us, would be sitting there in the group. Perhaps not a particularly attractive woman or man physically, maybe a bad complexion or just somehow put together in a way that is not very pleasing. Then during the group, things begin to happen. Burdens are released. Restrictions, ancient emotions, our connection to love are all unblocked, and you look at the same person with the same complexion or the same physicality, but he or she is not the same anymore. There has been a flowering.
You feel a warmth, a love, a heartful feeling now when you gaze upon them and there is a beauty that is shining out of them. Their inner person, their inner light suddenly is brightly beaming through the superficial and they have been transformed. The clothes are the same. The external is the same but they are completely different. They are now living, breathing, radiating their beauty of who they are.
I listened to a radio interview of Irishman John O'Donohue a few years ago, before he passed away at a relatively young age. Here was a consciousness awake and even though I was driving at the time, I was so deeply moved and shifted into my heart; into hope and love and understanding, wanting to go right away and share this rapture with another, do something wonderful for someone. All this in an instant, simply by his sharing his loving heart and his clear seeing and understanding of life, and by his generosity of spirit, his redolence of tremendous beauty and acceptance of life.
I immediately bought his book entitled Beauty, together with the beautiful by-line which says it all. Beauty…The Invisible Embrace. His book of poetry (blessings) which I also bought and just love, is called To Bless The Space Between Us and that could also be a description of Beauty. Beauty does bless the space between us (isn't that what love is?) and within us.
Thank God for beauty.
Thank God for those who have written books and poetry, created sculptures and architecture and gardens and paintings and beautiful places, animal sanctuaries, beautiful music, beautiful children, beautiful moments, those who have given their love and talents to assist others to be free, who have preserved ponds and oceans and forests and shelters, all of which were created specifically to delight and sustain us.
Thank God for harmony in all the ways it exists.
And thank God for those who create it.
And finally, gratefully, simply, thank God.
And thank those who are transforming themselves and living their divine God-ness, their divine beauty.
...“It is up to you to make whatsoever you want out of your life. An enlightened consciousness makes even death beautiful. An unenlightened consciousness makes even life ugly. For an enlightened consciousness, only beauty exists — only beauty; only bliss exists — only bliss.”
...“A creative act enhances the beauty of the world; it gives something to the world, it never takes anything from it. A creative person comes into the world, enhances the beauty of the world — a song here, a painting there. He makes the world dance better, enjoy better, love better, meditate better. When he leaves this world, he leaves a better world behind him. Nobody may know him; somebody may know him — that is not the point. But he leaves the world a better world, tremendously fulfilled because his life has been of some intrinsic value.”
Power: Beautiful And Not So Beautiful Humanity Seeking Itself
Power is as misunderstood as is love.
And for that matter as is anything, with significance.
“Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee.”
“Walk softly and carry a big stick”
Just about everything is power-driven in our 2010 world. I look around my little Hawaiian Island neighborhood as a reflection of the bigger world and what do I see? Power foods, power tools, power walk, power dating, power up, power balance. Remember flower power? I really like the softness of that one. How about Power to the People? That's a mixed metaphor, that's for certain.
What all this says to me though is that most, if not all of us, are actively seeking empowerment. And more power to us!! This is a worthy search, whatever the direction of that search might mean to the individual. One could rattle off from now until forever what those might be, from an unending myriad of perspectives. Power means something unique, something specific to each person and their circumstances, to each culture, each level of awareness. And there are so many meanings, not only amongst different individuals, but also within the same individual at different moments.
So I shall narrow this to my own particular take on power being ultimately a re-finding of and melting into SELF. Through stepping above the past and thus fear, its influence and intrusion into NOW, you reconnect to Being; free, fearless and vast, opening and freshly awaiting each moment's experience. This is a powerful place to be. Actions and responses taken from here, this stress-free heaven-on-earth space, have a charisma, a contagiousness and a definite, positive impact and influence on everything around, gentle though it might be, or not.
As a child I felt powerful when adults actually listened to me and when I felt acknowledged. Wow, I really am a person after all!! Feeling powerful is synonymous with connecting. And re-connecting. Being given attention, the space and time to be heard and one's spirit acknowledged was how this learning for me came about. From being received by others whom I looked up to, I discovered much later the power point of reuniting to my inner heart and own acceptance.
The thing is though that mostly people are looking outwards to find their authority, their resolutions, their power, purpose, comfort, meaning and raison d'etre. As well as that inner resolve, fulfillment, safety, security, and ease of well-being that one so desperately seeks; and knowing one's purposeful place in this world. But it's no longer possible to get t(here) in that way, even if it appeared so in the past. It just isn't there. We have entered another parallel. And that is the big difference these days, where so much seems in a way to be the same; the same dance, the same history repeating itself. Yet nothing is really the same. Even things I thought I knew and knew how to navigate, suddenly what did I come to when I headed in that usual direction, that direction that happened to be outwards?
It's not easy to be a human in the world when you're really an unboundaried soul. A soul of pure energy and love's pristine power in a human existence, an existence where one's gifts and presence have been mostly forgotten (and mostly by oneself), or in some cases not yet truly experienced. Tough to be a planetary pioneer coming in with the fullness and goodness of one's heart and true radiant joyfulness and not be able to find a reflection of yourself out there or a connection with all that surrounds you.
True power is for me a feeling knowing, an experiencing that comes from merging into our love and accepting and embracing our humanness, all of whom we are rather than struggling with it and all its parts. Then we are no longer divided and disconnected. In connection with the Divine Self all is, and here is where our true creative, expansive power PLAY is born. Although people have my whole life spoken about what a powerful woman I am I have only rarely felt it and it has taken me a long time to understand what it is, feels like and looks like. I have had to fully look inwards.
Rest within your own embrace and align. Be. Stop fighting. Stop resisting. Stop pushing ahead and trying to get...Then it's a different world seen with eyes misty with compassion, understanding and clarity. Power is the ability to awaken oneself over and over in each moment showering that awakening everywhere. Then everything, everyone is benefited, touched, made more alive, more real, vibrated in the same place and similarly empowered.
In the end all goes, all that we are.
At death the only thing left is essence.
In the end, and throughout our lives, that is what’s real.
There is something in man which is higher than man, bigger than man, and there is no way to bury it somewhere in the finite. You can see. You can seek money and power, but each time you succeed, you will find that you have failed. Each time you succeed, the success will bring nothing but the awareness of the failure. Money is there but you are as dissatisfied as ever, or even more so. Power is there and you are as impotent as ever. Nothing makes man more aware of powerlessness than power. Nothing makes man more aware of inner poverty than riches -- because of the contrast. You can see that there are riches outside but inside you are a beggar, still desiring and asking and hankering and searching.
I remember in 1992, when hurricane Iniki hit our island shores. We were fortunate here in Kona on the west side of the island to have only a severe tropical storm. I was walking along Ali'i Drive watching 30' waves rise up on the shoreline. In the distance I saw a man right there as close as he could get to the beach. I laughed to myself as I thought of the phrase that is so easily spoken...man conquers nature. This tiny, almost insignifcant human dot beside these enormous ocean waves, waves crashing and emitting such exciting, invigorating, inspiring energy. A direct source energy, source power that, in that instant I was re-connected inwards into ecstasy. Of now and of here.
Prayer is like meditation. It's a practice. Rehearsing for the main event which is life. Living life. Enjoying life. Really enjoying, opening up and squeezing out the richness and best of what there is, feeling wonderful and drinking in those moments that happen, with or without us, that are ecstatic, blissful, love-filled and nothing short of divine. Prayer helps us prepare for all of this.
If I really feel the essence of what the mystics, awakened ones and enlightened religious leaders are pointing us to, it's a melting. Into such simple existence as love for life is. Such a relaxation and radiance.
Watching the birth of a baby; experiencing the gentleness and kindness of a friend just in the right moment when you really need it; playing a piece of music that has such soul depth and beauty and gorgeous musical shapes to its phrases. And playing it well, with buttery-smooth movements from phrase to phrase, so that the love that you feel from this tremendous beauty, that comes from deep within you, flows out with your breath through the mouthpiece and is transmitted. Heart to heart. Soul to soul.
These are a few of the many moments of prayer, of meditation, of God and where they are all leading us, to more of these moments. A journey to the silent and not so silent joy. At one end, it is a death, from all that is surface, past, weighted, not pure, and less than who we truly are. The unveiling of the treasure within.
Prayer really has nothing to do with religion. Although when you hear the word that is its immediate association. Along with a vision of someone at a level of suffering or desperation begging God to please, please bring this one request, or prevent this one happening, or see that they and their loved ones are safe, healthy and prosperous. And in turn they promise their devotion from hereon in.
We know that is not the true essence of prayer as it is meant.
I was the least religious person I know. Well perhaps not the least. My parents were agnostics and I heard the word God spoken for the first time in elementary school. It meant nothing to me. In fact even up to today, hearing God spoken about in the usual context of an all-powerful,albeit varying force (depending upon who is speaking) way out there somewhere, meting out rewards or punishments according to one's behaviors, thoughts and level of obedience, totally turns me off. I dismissed this God concept early on.
And with it prayer. The connotations given by devoutly religious people (in and out of the church) seemed so ingenuous in the light of their lives. The word prayer as it is generally used still grates a bit today. It seems too often too small and restrictive, shallow and void of connected energy. And we know that is not what prayer really is.
Coming from this background and having these feelings, how could I presume to speak about prayer? I can talk about what real prayer is to me, as I have since experienced this divine place. Living in the ashram for three years was the turning point and the revelatory awakening to a sense of religiousness that arose from within me, through moments of experiencing and feeling an adoration so strong, for no one reason at all, such that I wanted to kiss the ground in thanks.
The nature of prayer is gratitude, feeling so blessed, fortunate and steeped in love and ecstasy. It is a thank you note to God and/or the Divine and/or Existence for our being here, alive, present in this skin to experience this tremendous everything. Miracle! Thank you! Mahalo!
OSHO What is Prayer?
Prayer is wonder, reverence. Prayer is receptivity for the miracle that surrounds you. Prayer is surrender to the beauty, to the grandeur to this fantastic existence. Prayer is non-argumentative dialogue with existence. It is not a discussion… it is a love-dialogue. You don’t argue… you simply whisper sweet nothings.
When a man falls in love with a woman he whispers sweet nothings into her ear. When a man falls into love with existence… the same romance: prayer is romance. It is fantasy; it is becoming available to the miraculous. Many people have lost the capacity to pray, because many people have lost the capacity to wonder. They have lost the capacity to be surprised. You go on seeing millions of wonders every day but you are not surprised at all. Your eyes are so full of dust and knowledge that you don’t see anything. A seed is sprouting, and you don’t see any wonder. A new leaf coming out of the tree, and you don’t see any wonder. A bird singing, and nothing happens inside you. A peacock dances, and nothing dances inside you. A white cloud floats in the sky, and you remain untouched. Then prayer is impossible.
Prayer needs a poetic heart, a loving heart. Approach reality more poetically — don’t be too much of a scientist, don’t be too much of a rationalist. don’t think that you know; nothing is really known — ignorance is absolute, ignorance is ultimate. Once you understand that nothing is known, and ignorance is ultimate, you will again be full of those beautiful eyes you had when you were small children.
Open your wondering eyes again, and you will find him pulsating again. He’s very close by… he’s all around you… he is within and without.
The Divine Melody
Loving What You Do
The man lay dying, a sprinkling of people silently sitting around his death-bed. He made a motion for the nurse to come close and as she did he ever so slightly turned his head to say something to her. She leaned closer and with his last words he said...
“I only regret one thing. I wish I had spent more time at the office.”
Not very likely!!!
Why do so many people work day after day in jobs they hate? It's the majority of the world's population in fact. I reckon it's the successful collusion between all of Society's institutions; the family, the educational system in schools at all levels, in churches and in the belief system that is floating around us in the very air waves, that keeps all of this mis-information in place.
In short (because I'm not very tall) people don't know that it can be different. And that they are supposed to love their life, find work that is exhilarating and to expect joy and satisfaction. There it is. If you are amongst those who know that life is to be abundant and exquisite, then realize how lucky you are. You have graduated from the mass (un)consciousness.
Many studies have been done on this subject, some to educate those caught in the old thinking and help them leap out, expect more from life, to reach in and reach out and find creative, meaningful, rewarding career goals, not least of which is to be happy and fulfilled. Alexander Kjerulf, AKA Chief Happiness Officer, is one of the world's leading experts in happiness at work and the best-selling author of 3 books including Happy Hour is 9 to 5. See his Top Ten Reasons below linking happy workers with greater productivity..
An extensive survey carried out by the Conference Boards Consumer Research Center a couple of years ago suggests that more people at this time are unhappy with their jobs than at any other time in the last twenty years. And I quote:
“Most Americans Hate Their Jobs
...The statistics vary according to age group, with older people generally being happier in their work. Maybe we're more likely to have found a job we like as we grow older, or maybe we have just learned to accept our situation for what it is.
The shocking figures are as follows:
Less than 39 percent of Americans under 25 are satisfied with their jobs.
Less than 45 percent of Americans aged 45 to 54 are satisfied with their jobs.
Less than 50 percent of Americans over the age of 55 are satisfied with their jobs.
However, twenty years ago when the survey was first conducted, 61 percent of all Americans said they were satisfied with their jobs. It looks like things are getting worse...”
I actually think it's a good sign, that people are wanting more from their lives and not just mechanically settling for whatever is handed to them. There’s a clear link between happiness at work and productivity. This only leaves the question of causation. Does being productive make us happy or does being happy make us productive? The answer is, of course, yes! The link goes both ways. It is a proven scientific fact that people who are happy in their work live healthier, richer, fuller, more stress-free lives and produce a better product in their job. For simplicity's sake product here can be any result of their work, including a service of some kind.
These are people whom either enjoy their work environment, their colleagues, job title, rewards and benefits, or simply enjoy what they are offering, feeling a sense of pride, purpose, accomplishment, or meaningful contribution through what they do.
In my business, I hire outside people to provide creative services for my weddings such as florists, lei-makers, photographers, musicians, caterers, limousine drivers, butterfly growers, helicopter pilots and so on. My choice of individual has always been towards those who absolutely love what they do, as well as being very good at it. How I came to this, was noticing that people who worked with passion and joy had a special quality to what they offered, which was superior to other providers of similar services. And of those whose service meant participation in the wedding I found them more fully present and happy to be of service to the couple. They were much more fun to work with, more relaxed and adept at creatively going with the flow when we had unexpected kinks in the works. And it felt to me during the event as if an unspoken universal love factor bound us all as into one big rolling ball of bliss as we offered our gifts to the wedding couple.
I have to love what I do, feel a sense of meaning or purpose with it otherwise I'm left flat, even if appreciated by others. I have found that creativity and creative ideas are stimulated from joy and enthusiasm; from expansion not contraction. If someone feels like a cog in a wheel questioning the value of what he is doing, his life force ekes out more and more from lack of feeding and watering, until he is like a dead man working. Where people are treated as insignificant and their contribution unappreciated, they also tend to give less and less as time goes on, so it's very important for employers to keep this in mind and consider how they can motivate and appreciate those who are in service to their business.
Here are Alexander Kjerulf's top 10: Why happiness at work is the ultimate productivity booster.
1: Happy people work better with others
2: Happy people are more creative
3: Happy people fix problems instead of complaining about them
4: Happy people have more energy
5: Happy people are more optimistic
6: Happy people are way more motivated
7: Happy people get sick less often
8: Happy people learn faster
9: Happy people worry less about making mistakes and consequently make fewer ones.
10: Happy people make better decisions
I'm taking a left turn here now to give at least honorable mention to the Spiritual side of things and use myself as an example. Being intrinsically lazy, I am not willingly a draft horse or wanting to work for the sake of working. Nor do I wish to do things that I don't like doing, where I use very little of my heart and soul self, or where it is hard to find any intrinsic value, or real meaning and purpose. What really rocks my boat though and sincerely moves me to action, without hesitation or thought, is when it comes from within. Spirit speaks, rises up through me and I feel lit up and have to jump into action and make it happen. This comes with such passion and enthusiasm and with an unstoppable energy that has nothing to do with efforting. It is like a well-spring that rises up and never tires, seeming to always replenish itself with even more freshness. These are my moments of absolute joy and knowing without a doubt why I am here. These moments are heaven.
Unfortunately, they are the less frequent moments that come between long dry spells with no particular inspiration, guiding feeling or specified direction. As I really love some modicum of comfort and beauty, dare I say luxury and enjoy eating regularly, I have to find things to do in between, even though these are not even distantly related to the calling to ecstatic action which is effortless, pure bliss and always rewarding. At these other times I am either doing what is needed, or forcing myself to do, or working hard to love what I am doing in the moment, while waiting for doing what I love to come along.
It is essential, more so for some, to be inspired and for our hearts and souls to sing with joy while we are engaged in our work, and to feel that a contribution beyond oneself is being made. And when that is not possible, it is possible through meditation and a sheer willingness to enjoy whatever we are doing, to elevate ourselves and those moments. And although that is admirable on one hand, to bring an upbeat quality to as many moments as possible even if not perfect, it is still at a fundamental level, a false and forced act.
Each man comes into this world with a specific destiny -- he has something to fulfill, some message has to be delivered, some work has to be completed. You are not here accidentally -- you are here meaningfully. There is a purpose behind you. The Whole intends to do something through you
I wish for all men and women: find a way to see your uniqueness and value, to feel that your work, your presence, your personal offering, has been in some way of undeniable contribution to the whole. And to live in this world knowing this very particular quality of joy, and leave it knowing you have sung your song.
Ho... Hum...Yawn...A Treatise On Boredom
As a child at different ages I can remember saying to my mother,”I'm so bored. I want to do something! Let's go somewhere, play a game......let's just do something!!” Rarely did this mini-explosion produce something that was exciting, fun, stimulating, or a new adventure, or an awakening of my joy or pleasure, in fact any connecting of any kind. At the back of my mind I can faintly hear my mother sending me somewhere, to find something interesting on my own to do in the house, or to to find someone to do something with. But it was always left to me. And I wanted out!! I wanted to move, go!!! And I needed an adult to get me there!!
I was generally a high energy, excitable but very loving child, a creative one, making things, doing things, creating stories and scenarios and being a bit of a drama kid. I was filled with fantasy worlds of all kinds. Sexual fantasies in an on-going series (I started very early) and fantasies where I saved the world in one way or another. One that I still remember was standing up in the middle of a meeting of the United Nations' Representatives announcing that the true meaning of Communism was Peace instantly uniting the entire globe. (My parents were socialists and as a child I thought that is what communism was – a peaceful way of living - and only the rest of the world misunderstood....until I enlightened them).
When I cleaned my room, I had the radio on loud, playing the latest pop tunes and I sang and danced around and imagined that I was secretly being filmed. It became a kind of game with myself, where I was always being filmed and if there were something I didn't want seen, I'd have to either duck under the covers or go into a closet.
I craved adventure and the feeling of being fully alive, engaged, visiting faraway places, having pleasurable, out of the ordinary experiences, feeling special enough to be taken somewhere nice, new and interesting, being loved enough to be shown new things, secrets, new places; to be inspired, entertained, taken out and having time and money spent on me.
As an adult I can't remember when I last felt bored. Perhaps it's all the years of travel, fulfilling a lot of my childhood and early adulthood desires and need for having adventures and every experience possible, living around the world in foreign countries and cultures in a variety of lifestyles, meeting all sorts of people from all aspects of life, some extraordinary in their milieu. And being in the excitement and drama of the entertainment world, living in wealth far beyond what I would ever expect to achieve myself and living for several indescribable, unimaginable years in the rarified Buddhafield of our beloved enlightened Master. Thus I now feel that there is nothing I have missed out on.
Perhaps it's all the years of meditation, learning to step inwards when I feel disgruntled in some way or feel disconnected, recognizing that there is an inner need for something, to hook myself up again. And I have spent a percentage of my life fending for myself, spending a majority of my time alone with myself. At least as much time as in the past I have spent engaged with others.
My parents ran a business that was 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. They had little time to devote solely to their kids and my mother who would come home to prepare dinner some evenings didn't drive, so little jaunts were out of the question and we didn't have a summertime at the cottage. It was mainly in our family, a life devoted to work and making a living.
Whether this is the reason for my travel itch or just a part of it, along with an intense curiosity about what lies beyond my little area, together with a wild imagination and great need for enjoyment and hands-on-discovery, around the age of 7, I used to, on Sundays, buy a pack of 25 streetcar tickets and spend the day getting on and off one streetcar and on another one, and off that one and onto another one and so on, at will and whim, spending the day traveling around, exploring the big city of Toronto, whatever sections I happened to land in. And I did it alone. That seems to have set the rhythm and style for my later lifestyle of travel. Unplanned, spontaneous, enthusiastic, innocently fearless and wide open to whatever might lie ahead.
And it also set the tone for a spiritually driven life. I had my first remembered experience of the Divine on one of these Sunday trips. I had gotten off the streetcar in a residential area and was wandering around when I came around a corner and suddenly there in front of me, the most beautiful, utterly exquisite garden possible. Stopped me in my tracks, a 7 year old. I felt embraced, taken in by a bevy of beings and a feeling so beautiful, something I had never before experienced that matched the glorious brilliance of the flowers in that divine garden. I was in the presence of Love, complete safety and joy and spent the entire afternoon there, an invited guest to an angels' cocktail party
When I get a (restless) feeling that I call divine discontent, sometimes it wants meditation and stillness to settle and sweeten and sometimes it is pushing for outer movement so going out, getting in the car and visiting, exploring another part of the island is what I do, or go downtown, walk along the ocean, smell the fresh, clean salt air, be invigorated feeling the physical joy of movement and the pleasure of connecting with the people wandering around. And that seems to do the trick. Sometimes I will pick up my French Horn and play music we're currently rehearsing for a concert, polishing it, getting immersed in the music itself, its beauty, its variations; the playing, the physicalness of it, the joy and pleasure of it, the accomplishment of it and that too seems to shift the energy into a contentment, union, harmony.
What really is boredom? It seems to me that although boredom is a state of mind, it isn't really a substantive thing itself but rather the symptom, the town crier announcing that there are needs to be met, that there is something going on under your surface that you should know about. And I see that boredom is at its source, a disconnection from spirit and heart, from passion, from the viscera, the guts and gusto of us. Maybe a big shot of Seratonin would take care of it.
Ultimately it's a reconnecting within, back into the source of one's juices that is wanted, back into the experience of each moment at a time. Could be some emotion needs to be felt and an inner joining happening as a result. The main thing is to notice and heed its inner calling.
Boredom is a call to action! Life is calling!! That which makes life worth being alive, is lovingly shouting your name calling you close.
Live more authentically. Drop the masks; they are a weight on your heart. Drop all falsities. Be exposed. Of course it is going to be troublesome but that trouble is worth it because only after that trouble will you grow and become mature. And then nothing is holding life. Each moment life reveals its newness. It is a constant miracle happening all around you only you are hiding behind dead habits.
Become a Buddha if you don’t want to be bored. Live each moment as fully alert as possible, because only in full alertness will you be able to drop the mask. You have completely forgotten what your original face is. Even when you stand before the mirror in your bathroom and you are alone, nobody is there, even standing before the mirror you don’t see your original face in the mirror. There too you go on deceiving.
Existence is available for those who are available to existence. And then I tell you, there is no boredom. Life is infinite delight.
Ancient Music in the Pines
GUILT: Illusion Of Unworthiness - Another Path to Freedom
Guilt appears most often to be related to religion. You hear things like...well it comes from my Jewish Guilt, or, my Catholic Guilt, said with a particular, slightly-held, downward inflection in the voice that presumes....well, you know what I mean, and generally the listener does. The head nods. We all understand and that it's an old, imposed belief or genetic moral code, one that probably no longer applies but yet we are stuck to it like velcro, and can relate. In the meanwhile even though aware of it, one is still split by it so peace and well-being are nowhere to be found.
What we call guilt can be a very self-deprecating, demeaning feeling, bringing up the illusion of unworthiness, where something you've done or said or haven't done, or said in quite the right way, is weighing heavily on your mind, heart and conscience. Guilt more often than not is created when, what you truly feel and desire to express, or perhaps desire to remain silent and still in that moment, is opposed to what is expected of you in your milieu, and what has been imprinted in your brain.
You might have said what others wanted to hear, playing it safe, but this was not the way that was authentic to yourself and the end result is the same. It's guilt and feeling sorry either way. In this scenario you didn't feel safe enough to honor your own feelings or instinct and now feel guilty of repressing and minimizing yourself.
So guilt, or that particular pang that we call guilt, can be a really good thing, a wake-up call. If in a moment of unconsciousness you take an action that is not in synch with your integrity and causes some sort of unnecessary havoc, hurt or disturbance on the other end, then that intense, relentless emotion is good. Gives you a chance to take stock, take responsibility for what you have done, to check into your inner guidance and to heal whatever you can inside and out, learn from it and move on to better things in the future that are in alignment with Spirit.
So even what we call guilt has been in service.
Here are two different definitions of Guilt.
Guilt: A la Wikipedia:
Is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes—accurately or not—that they have violated a moral standard, and bear sole responsibility for that violation. It is closely related to the concept of remorse.
Guilt: A la Osho:
Guilt means you have an unnatural idea in your mind about how life should be, what should be done, and then one day you find yourself following nature and you do the natural thing. You go against the ideology. Because you go against the ideology, guilt arises, you are ashamed. You feel yourself very inferior, unworthy.
All of those things I have felt in the past as I am sure have you. It is a journey that we all take, a preset course inbuilt into the system of awakening. Sooner or later one has to simply do what the Spirit moves you to do, no ifs, ands or buts and trust it, take the leap as that ultimately is the correct way for all concerned.
And this does not mean that others will necessarily realize it at that moment or even agree with you. There is no road map and that is more true today than ever before. The one assurance that we do have, or the one sure thing, is the alignment with your soul. Peace and harmony within are a pretty good barometer, even if you can't always bring it to those around you.
That what we call guilt is a teacher.
An example of this and the biggest learning leap for me was when someone close to me in my family turned 70. It so happened this was a difficult transition for her. Of course I had no idea that this is how she felt as she kept it to herself.
I told her I would be there and had planned to fly from Hawaii to be with her at her birthday party in Canada. But as it happened a close friend and colleague, a marvelous seer was holding a very special workshop in which she was recreating an Egyptian Temple with its immense, loving vibration and I was invited to take part. I knew without a doubt and with every cell in my being that I had to be there and was thinking about the best way to connect the two geographical places, as the workshop was taking place in Australia.
However, as the Master Choreographer would have it, this event was on the exact same weekend as the 70th birthday party so I had to figure out how I was going to spring the news that I would not be there and why. Because it is difficult to deliver news that you know will be received with pain and disappointment, with a sense of victimhood, having being hurt by you, I think I stated it with a defensiveness, bracing myself for what was to follow.
I discovered later, a couple of years later, when I was finally forgiven that my sister had been facing her mortality and felt that my presence would have eased it. Of course all of this really had nothing to do with me or my decisions and we could have dealt with this real fear anyway, before the birthday, after the birthday, at anytime. I would have been overjoyed to be of service to her in this way. It was an opportunity for her, unfortunately unseen and unrecognized and to me, unknown.
And with this same situation I was facing the recurring pattern which I referred to as me versus them. Where I had to choose between something important to me or attending something the family or the group wanted me to. Always came at the same time and I mostly, it at all possible, chose the family or the group. I felt the pain of what we call guilt and knew that I had not caused her pain, but still I was wracked with it.
What I uncovered was a very old fear of my sister, who is a generation older, and a need for her to be happy with me; her feelings having been of paramount importance as I was growing up. This awakening situation brought the beginnings of authenticity and freedom into our relationship.
Guilt really is an illusion. Doesn't really exist. It's not a thing, an emotion or a state of being. It's made up of somethings-else hidden underneath. It's like tolerance or ambivalence. These are words that really do not express anything real or tangible. But rather highlight something other than what they are. Just think about it for a moment. Tolerance is a holding back of other emotions or opinions. Ambivalence talks about a void, a deciding to not make a decision, but hang out in no man's land here called ambivalence.
So guilt is actually a state mostly of fear with a regretful sense of valuelessness, provoked by an assortment of situations under various guises.
But at its essence, guilt is a struggle taking place between your knowing and your conditioning; between choosing your heart, your essential truth, over following your head. It asks you, forces you, to examine yourself deeply, gives you the opportunity to take a leap, to trust and lovingly choose your Self. And in this way you are also including all essential beings and generously choosing freedom for all.
Beautiful Quotes By Osho:
Drop guilt! -- because to be guilty is to live in hell. Not being guilty, you will have the freshness of dewdrops in the early morning sun, you will have the freshness of lotus petals in the lake, you will have the freshness of the stars in the night. Once guilt disappears you will have a totally different kind of life, luminous and radiant. You will have a dance to your feet and your heart will be singing a thousand and one songs.
Be respectful of yourself, and be respectful of others. Be proud of your freedom. When you are proud of your freedom you want everybody else to be free, because your freedom has given you so much love and so much grace. You would like everybody else in the world to be free, loving, and graceful.
Loneliness: An Awakening Journey
This is a subject close to my heart, very personal to me and at the core of things for as long as I can remember. And I have a couple perspectives to offer.
Firstly, looking back at the past, my mother had never been alone in her entire life. She was part of a family of 5 siblings who were her social group from the very beginning, until almost to her death. At her end she spent the last two to three years struggling with an existence of aloneness more akin to isolation, almost all her siblings having died and my father having also recently died. She entered into a reclusive life spent pretty much on her own, with a selective, declining memory. I don't know how those years really were for her, what it felt like inside of her. I could feel however a deep, empty loneliness and a loss of her outgoing nature. It seemed as if she had entered into a surprising and unexpected place where no one else but she, seemed to belong...
There were other factors at play but I saw this as her transitioning into a new sense of identity, at least facing that doorway for the very first time ever, and I spoke with her about that on one of my last visits to Canada. I also spoke of the Virgo hermit phase to offer a helpful example to relate to, she being a Virgo, and how beneficial, albeit emotionally difficult, this phase could be. She listened and shrugged her shoulders. Then patted my hand affectionately with a kind of sweet smile in the way she always did when I spoke of things that seemed idealistic to her, or unrelated to real life. As to any kind of other response, or a sense of what she thought or felt, there was nothing. She died peacefully in her sleep and fortunately I had had a conversation and connected with her only hours earlier.
My mother was always encouraging me to be with others and to do things in a group. Go join a group, she would say over and over. Well she always had, and my tendency to do things on my own, in my own way were very exasperating and worrisome for her. I didn't understand it then but what it grew in me was a resistance to being part of a group, a clan, a party, a mass identity; yet wishing to feel included in the life around me. And I steered clear of anything I had to join.
But when I joined the growth movement in England and was very much part of a group situation, I had to deal with this contradiction. In fact not only was I a fully participating member of this community, I also created exactly that group structure as a co-director of Kaleidoscope, then Community, and then Arica. And I lived in the facilities, with others, so it was 24/7. Coming to Poona and being an integral part of the ashram and loving it, took me deeper into this dichotomy which was further served by re-opening Satdharm, the Sannyas center in Toronto and nourishing it with all my heart.
It seemed I was so often confronting within myself the dilemma of me or them? Whether to speak out as I felt, saying my truth of the moment where it was different or contrary to the fashionable norm or way of the group, whichever group it was, or swallow it.? Do I do what I want or what “they” want?
I discovered that the culprit at the root of all of this, was the fear of being alone. As much as I had my own opinions on almost everything and vivid responses to what was being said and done around me, I had also experienced being ostracized and shunned through freely expressing these thoughts and feelings. As I can fairly easily sense what people want, it is hard sometimes to stay so true when I know what their reaction is going to be and I also want to be loved and accepted.
Our whole society creates such a stigma towards those who are not a part of the couple/family structure and to those seeking their own individuality, towards becoming All One. Many inbuilt prejudices and roadblocks are there. I discovered that the fear of being alone was really the fear of feeling lonely. And further, the feeling we call loneliness is really a mixture of a whole variety of different feelings ultimately having little to do with anyone else but oneself. To throw out just a few; failure, inadequacy, futility, fear of being left behind, feeling not deserving of the sweetness of life, fear of vulnerability, fear of being unlovable, fear of showing one's true face and....the fear of freedom. And thus we create inner and outer prisons for ourselves.
When Osho spoke of alone being all one, that resonated completely and everything lined up and has stuck with me ever since. Being All One has been and is my ultimate goal. I have perhaps sometimes taken it to extremes as my earnest search and desire to be all one is paramount. If you cannot be happy with yourself as yourself (all your selves), you cannot truly be happy.
You cannot tolerate yourself; you feel yourself intolerable. You are bored with yourself -- that's what being lonely means -- utterly bored. To be alone is totally different: it is utterly ecstatic. You are enjoying yourself. You are not bored by yourself, you are intrigued. A great challenge comes from your innermost core. You start a journey of interiority. When there are others you are occupied with them, your consciousness remains focused on them. When you are alone, your consciousness moves inwards. When you are with others you have to be an extrovert -- your consciousness turning upon itself, showering upon itself. When you are with others your light shows their faces; when you are alone your light shows your own original face.
The Dhammapada: the Way of the Buddha Vol-3, Chapter-6
At the root is a disconnection from one's soul and true heart. At the root is a misunderstanding that is coming from the ego.
Secondly, as a child at a very young age, I recall having the realization that terrible things like massacres, holocausts, landslides, earthquakes, floods, violences of all sorts seemed to happen mostly to a mass of people living in the middle of the normal life. And that while all that is happening, there are people living outside this norm, above the valley as it were, who are having their own experience untouched by that which affects the general population en masse. And I decided in that moment that I would, when I grow up, go on the less traveled path, rubbing shoulders with those who had a similar understanding.
And also where it seemed to me to be much safer and freer, and much more interesting and fun as well.
All of this proved to be true but traveling this path so often on my own, also brought to the surface the reality of my loneliness and separation from the whole. So I set out to discover ways of coping and thriving while being alone. Aloneness was in some moments an experience of richness, fullness, all oneness and a shimmering happiness. But more often it was a deep, longing loneliness.
Osho spoke so often of the difference between these two. That one must be able to be joyously, contently, consciously, with oneself in order that love truly blossom and flower within, making possible the kind of relationships that I had always wanted. It became obvious that this path, the challenge of loneliness and being alone, was #1 on my hit parade for awakening. I had spent the last 15 years living on my own, a large number of hours in those years spent very much in my own company, which I have to say I also enjoy a lot.
Certainly one has to be able to live alone, but to live alone does not mean that you cannot relate; on the contrary, a man who can live alone becomes so full of joy, becomes so brimful, that he HAS to relate. He becomes a raincloud -- he has to shower. He becomes a flower so full of fragrance that he has to open its petals and allow its fragrance to be released to the winds. A person who knows how to be alone becomes so full of song that he has to sing it. And where can you sing a song? You can sing a song only in love, in relating, in sharing with people. But you can share only if you have in the first place.
The Dhammapada: the Way of the Buddha Vol-3, Chapter-6
There are so many levels of loneliness in the world today requiring different levels of solution. For many simply having a companion will be all that is needed to feel satisfied and to look no further. What this time is pushing for however is a more enlightened, bottom-line, core understanding. Loneliness can be experienced in the midst of a group of people, even whilst in the embrace of a love relationship. It has nothing to do with the other, at the core of it.
Through aloneness, the ego is shattered. It has nothing to relate to, so it cannot exist. So if you are ready to be alone, unwaveringly alone, neither escaping nor falling back, just accepting the fact of aloneness as it is -- it becomes a great opportunity. Then you are just like a seed that has much potential in it. But remember, the seed must destroy itself for the plant to grow. Ego is a seed, a potentiality. If it is shattered, the divine is born. The divine is neither "I" nor "thou," it is one. Through aloneness, you come to this oneness.
I went through a phase of acute, anguished loneliness several years ago that I thought would just tear me apart and after struggling with it, gave into it, applying my way of working with the internal. This is stepping into the center, the most intense part of the feeling and hanging out with it. Feeling it. Not thinking about it but feeling and merging with it, via full, loving breath. Breathing love and compassion into the feeling.
This is meditation through the body and would help the intensity to somewhat mellow and subside as the energy also shifted gears into the essence and away from the mind. After doing this for some time, a light bulb went on. And the understanding that came is this:-
Everybody, absolutely everybody, no exceptions, who are at this point of their journey have to face this place. This is a passageway. This is a point of awakening that breaks that particular ancient, karmic, genetic, universal pattern of pain and limitation and opens the door wide to the heart and to experiencing what all oneness is. It's a point of freedom. It's a point of love. Whether they are alone in theirs lives. Whether they are in a loving family surrounded by their children. Whether they are successful, fulfilled. Or whether they live on the street. It matters not. Each person alive on earth will sooner or later come to this point.
And it's through this opening that I have come to a genuine freedom which I never before had. I cannot say that I've experienced a dissolution or a movement from loneliness to all oneness. All I know is, by ceasing to struggle with or resist those painful feelings. By physically, emotionally, mentally accepting where I am, an integration has happened and that pain is gone.
"What is needed is not something in which you can forget your loneliness; what is needed is that you become aware of your aloneness - which is a reality. And it is so beautiful to experience it, to feel it, because it is your freedom from the crowd, from the other. It is your freedom from the fear of being lonely."
“You have to come to terms with your loneliness, so much so that the loneliness is transformed into aloneness. Only then will you be capable of moving into a deep enriching relationship. Only then will you be able to move into love.”
What does it mean to be "A Disciple in the Modern Day"?
“I would like my sannyasins to live life in its totality, but with an absolute condition, categorical condition: and that condition is awareness, meditation. Go first deep into meditation, so you can cleanse your unconscious of all poisonous seeds, so there is nothing to be corrupted and there is nothing inside you which power can bring forth. And then do whatsoever you feel like doing.”
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 6. Number 40
It is more important than ever for disciples to be in the world now. It is more relevant than ever to have more and more people turning in, asking themselves the important life questions; questioning their values, past choices and the results of them. Examining who and where they are and what their life goals have really accomplished. Have they brought happiness, joy, fulfillment? Does life have a sense of meaning? People are now deeply desiring to find the answers, so much so that they take the steps that have never been taken before, empowering their courage that is now called upon to step beyond past and current limitations, hesitations and procrastinations, towards the call of their hearts and Spirits. The inner turn.
“Sannyas means courage more than anything else, because it is a declaration of your individuality, a declaration of freedom, a declaration that you will not be any more part of the mob madness, the mob psychology. It is a declaration that you are becoming universal; you will not belong to any country, to any church, to any race, to any religion.”
Finger Pointing to the Moon, Number 7
So this critical and exceptional time right now is provoking the greatest intensity creating an urgent need everywhere for peace, security and well-being, for answers. As a result people are looking around in places and directions they never noticed before, paying attention to more immediate and simplistic needs and qualities of life, as well as to the people around them who seem to flow quite easily and have a special quality, or a calm openness and who may have crossed their paths before but whom they had not previously really seen.
Osho's sannyasins throughout the world and other disciples of other masters as well as those souls who are at peace with who they are, or moving more and more towards that, can be such a positive, radiating force at this time. Present when needed most like a beacon in the dark simply by the quality of their living. They can be of such service now, vibrating others and drawing them to take the same inner path to meditation, to self-discovery inducing inner transformations, from the external to internal, from feeling lost, confused and fearful, to making the 180 degree turn. And finding the way towards living a relaxed, expansive, glorious, joyous, meaningful life with an awakened consciousness.
“A sannyasin need not be officially one. Any seeker, anyone in search of truth s a sannyasin. And a sannyasin need not be mine. A sannyasin is not a follower, but at the most a fellow traveler. If you are seeking and searching for the truth, the meaning and significance of life, it is enough.”
Hari Om Tat Sat, Number 17
What does it mean to be a disciple today in the modern world?
To me it means being as true to my true self as is possible and sharing who I am from here in all my facets, especially so during this time, knowing that whether for good or ill, wise or foolish, happy or sad, drenched in meaning, or meaningless, my song is my song and if I don't sing it, then who will. Having such intrinsic trust in life, and in the loving spirit that seeks life through me, that here is where I am to be. And what I have to offer is what I've been given to do. Through this surrender and non-judgment, acceptance and its empowerment, through this continued meditation and self-enquiry, my love blossoms.
What are the prerequisites for being a disciple?
“None at all.”
“An open heart, a loving heart, a deep trust in oneself and nothing else is needed. You don't have to surrender to some master, you don't have to worship some God, and you don't have to do some prayer to some hypothetical deity. You don't have to go to man-made temples and churches to find that which is hidden within you. A disciple is the seed of a master. The disciple is also a lotus flower, it is just that you are looking somewhere else and not within yourself.”
Live Zen, Number 7
Osho said we are all his reflections so there doesn't have to be and there cannot be a uniform or particular “look” or “way” or “jargon” that describes a disciple. It has to do more with a quality, an essence, an energy, a feel and radiance that denotes sannyas. It could be an openness, a loving lightness, deep devotion, unreasonable feeling of freedom, a being-who-you-are-ness, confidence, comfort in living in your own skin, a simple joyousness of being alive, a glass of wine, dancing, blissing-out, trusting life, yourself and the flow of things. It could be the way one faces problems and deals with challenges, with the same trust and acceptance that says somehow this is of ultimate benefit. And it could be none of these as well. Each disciple expresses his spirit in his own way.
“Sannyas simply means they have accepted a way of meditation and a life of joy and rejoicing. It is accepting to create your life into a blissfulness. So sannyas is a totally different thing. Sannyasins will continue. I have dropped all outer symbols of sannyasins. If they want to keep them, it is up to them. From my side I have dropped. They don't need any mala. They don't need red clothes. All that I would like... My advice to them, that if you are a sannyasin, that meditation is the only essential thing that you should carry.”
The Last Testament, Vol. 3, Number 11
All disciples of all masters are needed now more than ever. All those who have taken a stand to be optimistic, to make their life and the lives around them better and instill hope and balance in the midst of disasters, catastrophes and a global terror, not only from the threat of terrorists, but from the fear in peoples' hearts; all those are the lamplighters of this time, the saviors in this modern world. There are so many layers of existence, of consciousness going on all at once and what we ask for are simply more meditators, more passionate lovers of life, more people kissing the earth in gratitude, more souls ready to be uplifted to the immense opportunities and miraculous heights that this very chaotic time can bring.
“The day you take the initiation into sannyas is not necessarily the beginning of sannyas. It is simply your indication that, ‘I am willing to wait for sannyas to happen to me.’ Initiation is only your saying yes to existence, and opening all your doors and windows for the fresh breeze and the sun to enter and cleanse you and make you part of the whole. “Some day sannyas will begin. It can begin in the moment of initiation, if your intensity, integrity, your trust and your love are total, but it is rarely so. It is always sixty percent, forty percent; seventy percent, thirty percent…There are people who may have ninety-nine percent trust, but that one percent doubt is enough to prevent…years, even lives. Unless you are one hundred percent open, unless the very word no has dropped from your vocabulary, the great revolution of sannyas will not happen to you…
“Sannyas needs a total yes and then it can happen this very moment. But your small doubt – it may be just very small – is just like a small piece of sand in your eyes, and you cannot open your eyes. Just a small piece of sand can deprive you of seeing this whole beautiful world. Doubt is just like a small piece of sand in your inner eye. It can prevent you from seeing the splendor and the glory of life, your own potential and your own flowers which have been waiting for lives to grow and blossom, but you have not given the chance.”
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih, Number 26
I am forever grateful for my time in Poona, those magical three years in the buddhafield, drenched in His energy that was also radiating out from each and every one of us at the ashram. What a magical time, that I look back on as the Garden of the Child. We were so indulged. And years later, the time on the Ranch, a whole different story. They were the launching pad for what has followed on, on an individual basis. Now we are all, individually and when we come together, forming the Buddhafield.
Osho And His Still-Unique Vision
Osho was and still is an indescribable presence; unlimited, totally one of a kind, even in the world of enlightened masters. He had a way of bringing together people of all backgrounds, all religions (and no religion), all cultures, education, nationalities, penchants, idiosyncrasies, sexual preferences, karma and belief systems. All the beloveds, all the divine and not so divine misfits who gathered around him, he called to him. And for those multi-multi-thousands who did come and who came to love him so totally, he brought them together, with themselves. And he still does, through his books, tapes, DVDs and meditations.
In Poona I basked in the title of misfit when he so endearingly called us that one morning in lecture. Misfit, just fit. It brought with it a satisfaction and sweet sense of relief. I had finally found a place in the world where I did fit, and belong.
This is one enormous quality that has set him well apart from other spiritual mentors. His draw was universal and equally unlimited. There were none if any conditions or beliefs required to follow that would preclude or eliminate sincere seekers from coming to his ashram and mystery school. On the contrary, all his efforts were to take away, to dissolve our limiting beliefs, dogma and conditioning in all areas of life, and anything that kept us from experiencing the magnificence and radiance of who we are, and of the ecstasy and celebration of life in each moment and potential in each situation. Even his teachings in the moment contradicted one another so that there could never be a fixed philosophy to define him or his work.
I am not creating any religion. It is only a religiousness, a diffused kind of religiousness, not very tangible. You cannot make a creed out of it, you cannot make a church out of it--impossible! I am not leaving a single Bible or Koran or Gita so you can make a church out of it. When I will leave the world I will leave at least one thousand books, so contradictory to each other that anybody trying to make out any dogma out of them will go crazy. It is impossible to make any dogma out of my ideas, but you can transform your being through them…Yes, you can have a loose community, a commune. Remember the word loose: everybody independent, everybody free to live his own way, to interpret me in his own way, to find whatsoever he wants to find. He can find the way he wants to live--and everybody unto himself…
The Golden Gate 2
Yes there are many, many teachers, many spiritual masters, many religious leaders and transformers present and available today, all valuable and doing good work, as there were also in the 70’s when I answered the call and went running, dancing to India, to Osho. Many doorways were open, but I was drawn only to him in Poona India.
People came seeking God, seeking freedom, seeking happiness, joy and peace, seeking love, bliss, security, seeking something. All are and were welcome. All could and can find a place within him and find their own way through him.
“My whole teaching consists of two words, meditation and love. Meditate so that you can feel immense silence, and love so that your life can become a song, a dance, a celebration. You will have to move between the two, and if you can move easily, if you can move without any effort, you have learned the greatest thing in life.”
Come, Come, Yet Again Come
He was by his only example being that which we were seeking and showing us how to be.
What I am saying is not important at all.
What I am being here is important.
So don't be lost in my words:
they are just toys to play with.
Listen to my being,
to my presence.
Discipline of Transcendence
His call was certainly true for me. It was one day in San Francisco. The year was 1976. I awoke, stood up and said to myself,” I’m going to India“. The moment that those words were uttered, my phone rang. It was my mother calling from Canada and she asked me in a very concerned voice how I am. She had had a sudden urge to call and wondered what was happening. I told her to sit down. Then gently announced that I have decided to go to India, to the ashram of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. I am planning to leave very shortly, as soon as I can make all the arrangements and I will stop over in Toronto to see her on the way.
There is an intuitive thread between mothers and daughters, so her immediate phone call was not so much a surprise, but still an awesome reaffirmation of this relationship. I also knew that she would not be happy hearing this news, so I presented it in the best way I could in that moment, to raise as few fears as possible. I would have loved to have shared with her my passionate fearlessness immense excitement and anticipation to reach the mysterious place to which my spirit was pushing me. I had no idea what awaited. I remember thinking that I only hope I feel something when I get there and am sitting in front of him, unlike when I sat in front of one of the Karmapa who’d invited a few sannyasins to a private blessing and nothing at all stirred in me. It was a long way to go to find out, but go I must.
Osho saw the future and what was coming. He was working with a whole picture far beyond what most of us could imagine, encompassing all of life, encouraging an opening in us to everything. His vision is vast, complete and serves to take us beyond all dualities, to oneness in every way. There was no place for division, for in truth there is none. Not even the commonly wrong splitting of spiritual and material, which does pervade so many of the spiritual circles.
To destroy man, to destroy his power, a great strategy has been used ― and that is to divide man in two. Man has lived with the concept of either/or: either be a materialist or be a spiritualist. You have been told you cannot be both. Either be the body or be the soul ― you have been taught you cannot be both.
This has been the root cause of man's misery. A man divided against himself is going to remain in hell. Heaven is born when man is no more divided against himself. Man split means misery and man integrated means bliss.
Up to now, humanity has been schizophrenic ― because you have been told to repress, to reject, to deny, many parts of your natural being. And by rejecting them, by denying them, you cannot destroy them ― they simply go underground. They go on functioning from your unconscious; they become really more dangerous.
Man is an organic whole. And all that God has given to man has to be used; nothing has to be denied. Man can become an orchestra; all that is needed is the art of creating a harmony within oneself. But your so-called religions have been teaching you ways of disharmony, ways of discord, ways of conflict. I want my people to know themselves, not to be according to someone else. And the way is in."
And when you are fighting with yourself you go on dissipating your energy. You remain dull, unintelligent, stupid ― because without great energy nobody is ever intelligent. When energy overflows there is intelligence. Energy overflowing is what causes intelligence to grow. And man has lived in an inward poverty.
My message to humanity is: Create a new man ― unsplit, integrated, whole. Buddha is not whole, neither is Zorba the Greek. Both are half and half. I love Zorba, I love Buddha. But when I look into the deepest core of Zorba something is missing: he has no soul. When I look into Buddha something again is missing: he has no body.
A great meeting I teach: the meeting of Zorba and Buddha. I teach Zorba The Buddha ― a new synthesis. The meeting of the earth and the sky, the meeting of the visible and the invisible, the meeting of all the polarities ― of man and woman, of day and night, of summer and winter, of sex and samadhi. Only in that meeting will a new man arrive on the earth. My sannyasins, my people, are the first rays of that new man, of that homo novus.
Philosophia Perennis, Chapter 2
Just stepping in to consider the fullness of this vision and the complexity of bringing others to see it, viscerally feel it and live it, especially when so few on earth reflected it, is absolutely mind-boggling. And then to devise multi ways and methods for assisting humanity to break down and dissolve all that clouds this awakening vision, is an unparalleled spiritual training plan. The ashram offered all kind of workshops and groups using western therapies, daily meditations, music groups in the evening to sing your heart out, to dance and explode your passion, an administration to push your buttons. His active meditations designed specifically for the active western mind are brilliant, allowing the most stressed, impatient person to, at the end, have a sweet taste of stillness and bliss.
This is another aspect of what makes Osho the exceptional, living, enlightened master that he was and spiritual guide that he is to this day, his still-unique vision holding strong and being more and more applicable and prophetic for this time. His methodology has never been replicated. In the short 35 years or so that he was actively Osho on this earth, he sent awakening and provoking shock waves throughout the planet sufficient to vibrate the hearts, minds and souls of hundreds of thousands of people. He leaves no one untouched and it matters not what you believe. A master of promotion, he said, good publicity, bad publicity, it does not matter. “All publicity brings my people to me.”
And it did, as well as recognition from others in the global community.
Dr. Deepak Chopra: "These brilliant insights will benefit all those who yearn for experimental knowledge of the pure potentiality inherent in every human being."
Tom Robbins, author: "...he was the greatest spiritual teacher of the 20th century... He understood us better than we understand ourselves."
Dr. A. Schleger, Ph.D., Institute of Technology, Switzerland: "Never before or after have I encountered anybody having such a harmonious and immensely creative view encompassing art, science, human psychology and religiousness. Certainly we would lack substantially without his vision of the new man."
Los Angeles Times: “Summarizing the thoughts of a man whose transcribed teachings have sold a purported 15 million volumes worldwide is not easy. Perhaps the kernel is Osho’s notion that the perfect human being combines the earthly zest of Zorba the Greek and the transcendental spirituality of Buddha
I was so happy sitting at his feet listening to his lectures, his words of wisdom, his humor with his own unique vocabulary, watching his zen sticks delivered with surgical precision and the stitching up afterwards with skill and copious amounts of compassion and love. In darshan, being with him with only a few other people, I drank in the pleasure of his enjoyment with his beloved sannyasins, giving simple, smart, more often hilarious and uncanny answers to their problems, laughing at his jokes… rolling on the floor in Buddha Hall to the fuck tape…and loving him more than seemed possible, with his distinctive, outrageous, flat-line delivery.
I trusted him with my soul. When I think of Osho, the first image that washes over me is a feeling; a comforting, releasing, gratifying feeling of acceptance and unconditional love, together with a clear vision attached of an expansive, spacious presence; of freedom, intelligence together with a calm sense of order and harmony. He reinforced in me and reassured the knowing within, that we will succeed. As he said one morning in lecture while answering my question, “the greatest flowering of consciousness is going to happen in you.” I believe it and I’m waiting.
Last night, sitting around the dinner table with good friends and with new friends, I was asked about my time in India. I love to talk about it and that led to very specific questions about Osho and the ashram from which I started to differentiate how this ashram was so different from the typically understood ashram of discipline, daily breathing techniques during 4:00am meditations and ascetic silence. I spoke of the joy, of freedom, of the incredible awakenings, of
depths of being, the challenges for the ego, ecstasies and the simple bliss of life.
He leaves no one untouched and it matters not what you believe, what country you came from, the language you speak or how much money you have. And it didn’t matter whether there were 10 people or 10,000 people in attendance. He would speak the same nonetheless. He used words to set our hearts on fire from the energy that came with them. He used our own desires to help set us free.
In Osho’s own words:
I want to make it very conscious in my sannyasins not to be serious; be sincere but don't be serious. And remember continuously that existence is in a constant celebration. When you are in celebration you are in tune with existence, in tune with God, in tune with Tao. When you become serious you fall apart….. My sannyasins have to be laughing, dancing, singing. That is their prayer. If you can laugh a heartful laugh, it is prayer. If you can dance to abandon, it is prayer. If you can sing your being, that is prayer. And there is no need to take religion seriously. Seriousness is pathological. Children are not serious, because they are very close to the source of life. The birds are not serious; nobody has ever come across a bird who is serious. The trees are not serious; nobody has ever seen a tree serious. It is all joy...it is continuous celebration…
“Be simple, be natural, be spontaneous. I teach ecstasy—and ecstasy in the ordinary life. The life has not to be in any way renounced but transformed. Renunciation is escapism, it is cowardliness…….“My sannyasins have to live in the world, totally in the world, responding to every challenge, because the more you respond to the challenges of life the more intelligent you become. Intelligence is like a sword: the more you use it the more it remains sharp. If you don't use it, it starts getting rusty, it loses its sharpness—it becomes absolutely useless.”
A mystery school comes into existence with a master, and disappears. And that's how it should be. In nature, in existence, everything that is real... A roseflower opens itself in the morning and by the evening it is gone.
Transcending Fear and Anxiety in Life and Death
The anticipation of December’s arrival seems to attract a deep inner-going movement, somewhat womb-like. For years, mostly when I lived in cold climates, I became more introverted, often gloomy in December and when I look at the poems I wrote during winter-time, they were pretty dark. Looking back, this magazine’s December 2008 issue also had Death as its subject, albeit a different perspective from this one. Winter with naked tree branches and snow flurries, shorter days and longer nights seems to naturally refocus one back inside into inner reflections. It’s a time to burrow in and get cozy, take stock and keep warm, to dive deeply, shed the unnecessary, and rest more.
Living in Hawaii however has completely dissolved this pattern, and now we can muse on death for 12 months a year – anytime in fact - without a calendared schedule. In actual fact though, death and Life are becoming more and more interwoven in my life, that at times it’s difficult to distinguish which one is beginning and the other ending. Quite like Einstein’s taking Science outward to its penultimate point and beyond, and coming to a place of faith, awe and a religiousness. Life to its fullest leads to a completion, to death and diving deeply into dying (in whatever way) brings you once again to new life.
The simplicity of the answer to the question of transcending fear of life and death is this; and although it’s totally personal to me, and my view I hope, beloved reader, that you will find a parallel. When I am living (myself) fully I have no fear of dying. I am so filled with life and fullness of being, so free, feeling connected and extended to all four corners of the earth and above. In fact in that moment I would welcome death. Were it to come at that precise instant, it would be such a joy and fulfillment at a peak’s point, with zero resistance to this transcendence and with my arms outstretched willingly, ecstatically, so blissed to be going now. I clearly recall living such exquisite moments. At such times, there is no life and there is no death. There is no separation and there is no difference.
When I think of where and when my fear and anxiety arise, it is at other moments
normally those that are feeling unsure, or restricted in some way, my energy holding back and firmly attached to all that is mortal. Missing in that moment, is awareness of this simply being another old, familiar, retrospective space seeking healing, and instead I am caught, believing it is true and who I am. And thus, suffering and fear results for as long as I am forgetting. The good part of this is that my stay in forgetfulness seems to be getting shorter and I owe this to the powerful awakening experiences that have also been happening.
However a few weeks ago the perfect situation arose for giving an example here. It still haunts me somewhat, although gratefully lessening, so perhaps going through it here with you will help me gain new understanding that will fully free me.
Before I get to that story, I’d like to first talk about what I’m seeing happening globally with fear, death and specifically the fear of death. Yes, life and Hollywood have always been very much about living the American Dream and thwarting death and all steps (hinting) towards it. But man is clearly processing all of this, these days, and the subject of death has broken through the old taboos of silence and denial.
Just turn on any channel on TV and see a scene from the coroner’s office in the mortuary. So people are now exposed to death and dead bodies galore on a daily basis. There are more shows on autopsies than almost anything else, apart from murder and crime and maybe the upcoming surge of Ghost Whisperer shows. Here you see the spirit of the person and we can see him or her and hear the message to be given, so people are now seeing en masse, the fact that the spirit does not die.
I watch with interest as to what the movies, the newspaper and the TV are doing, because they are the mediums reflecting what humanity is presently dealing with, where we have evolved to and the level of consciousness that is being brought to light. Kind of like the digging up and uncovering of archaeological finds, to see where a civilization was at that time. Now you just need to turn on the TV and you
can see what old conditioning, what karma, is being addressed and cleared out.
I see the other current (show) craze, that of plastic surgery and of tummy tucks and neck tucks and augmentations, as a sign of society’s desperation, the final, vainglorious attempt to resist and deny the natural aging process and face the fact of getting closer to an ending of life as they have known it. Of course it begins in L.A. Hollywood is the mirror for glitz, glamour, and not only of compassionate, heartfelt and generous giving to causes, but of the penultimate ego and its layers; reflecting all of ours in neon lights, in gold, and in diamonds with a sense, false though it may be, of eternal life and eternal youth, and of having escaped the cycles of mere, ordinary mortals. And even that old façade is fading somewhat.
All that glitters is notta always so hotta...
So now here is my story.
Out of the blue I had a phone call from a smaller, albeit well known, national airline company. One of their sales and marketing people was on the island to select various vendors to promote in their travel guide, for the purpose of recommending them to their passengers. They were choosing only one wedding company for the entire island. So he was calling around to invite interested people to respond. I was immediately excited and arranged a meeting for the next morning, a day before he was to meet any of my colleagues.
He arrived, gave me the shpiel and it turns out that this is a brand new project with some good potential to open a whole new stream of clientele and increase business, which would be a good thing right now.
Some details didn’t make a lot of sense to me, but my energy was hopping around like crazy saying yes, yes, yes. I told him that I was very interested and needed though to check up on some things before signing on the dotted line. In the process that ensued during the next few hours, my mind kicked in.
Was this something I should jump into because my energy was saying so, and therefore never mind delving too much into checking into the practical side of things? Was this yes, yes, yes, simply the fact that I’d be scooping the other companies, especially one relatively new, but hard-hitting competitor?
And was this the risk, the leap into a new, expansive and out-of-the-box direction that I had been waiting for? Should I follow my energy implicitly, a rule of thumb for me, and not be concerned about the $$$$ investment asked for, or clarify some details that were unclear, so as to have a better idea if this is a good move? Maybe I should try to balance the two arenas? Be at least a little attentive to the practical as well as jumping in, as in: Trust in Allah and Tether my Camel. Yes that’s what I’ll do. I had only a few hours in which to decide and I also had a wedding that day to focus on.
Listen to the energy. Never mind the mind.
All sorts of thoughts arose. Something I read in a Chinese astrology book how many years ago, suddenly came in clear as a bell. The Snake Woman should not gamble with money. The memory of investing a few years ago and going for it because it felt right, and then losing $5,000 swirled back into my mind. Although I did not want to lose my money, I was not as worried about losing the money, as I was of how I would feel about myself if I did.
Thus I was plunged into 24 hr of hell, and putting aside the actual reason I was in this place, I could just as well have been making a decision that would mean my life or death, for that is how it felt. I agonized over it, as I felt that Spirit was bringing me an opportunity and I didn’t want to miss it. Yet….Was it really?
- Saying yes and thereby saying yes to life. Opening the door to a new opportunity, expansion and new dimension of ecstatic freedom.
- Saying no, and therefore saying no to going forward, remaining where I am, feeling limited. No felt like a shrinking back, afraid to take a risk, lacking courage -- my worst crime; and the most difficult place to accept within myself.
- Realizing that I was engaged in, lost in this struggle of the minds and energy, made it all the worse.
I am in the midst of selling my business and I thought that this contract would look very good indeed on the sales package and sweeten the pot, perhaps hasten the sale.
And were it to work well as promised and certainly hoped for, the amount of money invested would quickly become a moot point, with a booming new stream of business. I did check on some of the details given me, to corroborate them and they didn’t pan out.
So why wasn’t any of this helping?
Finally in the evening, a breakthrough. I got past the money. I don’t know what will happen but I have to find out. Let’s go for it! I lost already so much in the stock debacle, so what’s to say about this amount? And with that decision, I felt elation and joy and I wanted to call everyone I knew and celebrate. I called the airlines’ sales rep said yes and went happily, at last, to bed with a morning appointment set up to seal the deal. I remembered Osho saying, better to make any decision, right or wrong, and just get out of that awful hellish place of indecision. Done!
All night long, I tossed and turned. And I awoke in the morning with a huge feeling of dread in my belly. I recalled then that when I decided to give that $5,000 years ago it was a good decision when I first made it, but then afterwards I had awful feelings of dread about it, which I ignored. This time I would listen.
I called to cancel. Could not reach my sales rep. Could not even leave a message on his phone, so I called head office and reached his boss. Told him the story and he started wheeling and dealing with me, said I could pay a portion and then in 6 months if I’m satisfied with the business, then I could pay the balance. Sounded very reasonable on that level, but inside was screaming, nol no! no! So I said no. And that was the end of it.
Afterwards, not so much a feeling of completion, but rather glad a decision had been made and I did not wish to change it. I still had a niggling, nagging feeling inside and did not know whether I missed a fabulous opportunity, or not; whether I had resisted Spirit’s assistance to open a new door for me out of fear, or not. My sense was that this whole upheaval was designed by the Master Choreographer, but is multi-faceted, a layered process, so not one size fits all, nor does one decision touch or resolve everything, whether or not it was even a correct decision. Did I shrink, hold back on a gift from Spirit? The little guiding voices inside say not, but if not, then what is this lingering feeling? I pulled cards and got the Ace Of Wands – Spirit pushing, invoking, catalyzing, vigorously, relentlessly stirring the fires within. You are not in control and the best you can do, all you can do, is go moment by moment.
What is left in the embers from that event, is an even more acute desire to fully live and trust everything; drop out again from the status quo part of my makeup as a motivator and inspiration for my actions and flow with what is, whether I like it or not, whether it’s pleasant or not. Something got cleaned out and I feel simplified, less ambitious, less driven, more here. Is this good? And is it good for business? We’ll see. One thing for sure, it’s good for the business that I have come to perfect, the dissolving and reawakening of Tao.
Chaitanya Bharti, death is always close by. It is almost like your shadow. You may be aware, you may not be aware, but it follows you from the first moment of your life to the very last moment. Death is a process just as life is a process, and they are almost together, just like two wheels of a bullock cart. Life cannot exist without death; neither can death exist without life.
Our minds have an insane desire: we want only life and not death. We don’t look at the existential truth, we always cling to our own insane desire. Any desire that goes against nature is insane. And this desire is in almost every living creature, not only human beings. Even the trees are afraid of death, but trees can be forgiven. They are not conscious beings, they are only unconscious – fast asleep.
But you are a little bit awake: you can sense the presence of death. Hence the possibility opens for a deeper understanding, that life and death are all together, two extremes of one energy. Life is the active force and death is the inactive force. Life is the positive electricity and death is the negative electricity, but they cannot be separated.
You are saying, “When I was coming for discourse, my heart was trembling with fear; I felt as if I was going to die.” Those who are aware that death is possible at any moment – the very next moment and you may be gone – this awareness is going to help you to live this moment as deeply as possible, because death can cut your roots without informing you, without any previous intimation that “I am coming.” It simply comes. You know only when it has happened. But it is not the greatest misery. The greatest misery is when there was the chance and the opportunity, you did not live – you went on postponing.
Life is an opportunity. Death is the end of the rope. If you understand death your life will become intense and total. But instead of understanding death, you become overwhelmed by it. Hence the heart starts trembling with fear. And fear is not going to help at all, fear is going to cloud your mind even more. Out of fear, there has never been any understanding.
So whenever you feel fear, it is a tremendous opportunity to understand that life is momentary, it is ephemeral, it is made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. How real the dream looks when you are asleep – in fact, more real than your experiences when you are awake. You may never have thought about it, but while you are awake you can doubt: “Perhaps what I am seeing may be just a dream.” I may be a dream, you may be a dream, this whole communion may be happening just as a dream. Soon you will be awake and you will find, “My God! It was just a dream.”
There is the possibility when you are awake to suspect, to doubt the reality that surrounds you. But when you are asleep, you cannot even doubt the existence of the dream. It is so real, it is more real than reality. Have you ever doubted any dream, thinking that perhaps what you are seeing is a dream? The moment you doubt, you are awake, and the dream is immediately finished. The dream can remain there only if you are totally asleep, so deep that no doubt, no suspicion, can arise in you.
But to those who have understood both life and death as nothing but two aspects of one reality, the dream and the so-called reality of your waking consciousness are not basically different. Just as in the morning you wake up and the dream life is finished, one day in death you wake up into another reality and all that was real up to then – for seventy years – becomes just a dream. Not even a trace of it is left anywhere in your consciousness.
Death is a constant reminder that, “I can come any moment. Be prepared.” And what is the preparation? The preparation is: live life so totally, so intensely, be so aflame with it that when death comes there is no complaint, there is no grudge. You are absolutely ready because you have lived life so totally, you have known all its mysteries – there is no point in living anymore. Death has come exactly at the right time, when you may have thought to die yourself. I call that death perfect which comes at the moment when you yourself may have thought, “It is enough.”
Death comes and you understand that life has been lived totally, so now there is no point to go on breathing and go on waking and sleeping unnecessarily – because nothing new is going to happen. Now everything is past and there is no future. In such a moment, death is a welcome guest. And unless you are ready to welcome death, know well that you have missed life. Those who feel sadness and fear about death are the people who have missed the train. But in our unconsciousness, we are all continuously missing the train. The train is moving every moment, just in front of you, but somehow you go on missing…..
….But as long as you are alive, the possibility of death is absolutely certain. Only the timing is not certain. But the happening is absolutely certain. What does it matter whether you die after seven days or seven years or seventy years? One thing is certain: that you are going to die. Life is not something that you can go on missing. Otherwise at the moment of death, you will feel the greatest misery and pain, the deepest agony, from missing the whole opportunity that was given to you.
And existence gives so abundantly, it is not miserly. You are just not alert enough to use the opportunity to transform yourself into something immortal, eternal, into some experience which will make you beyond the reach of death. Just fearing death is not of any help. If you see that death is following you, it is time to start searching deeper into yourself for that point which is beyond death. We have been calling that point satchitanand: the truth of your being, the ultimate consciousness of your life and the tremendous blessing of your coming to flower.
You are also saying that as you sat in the discourse you felt “an infinite joy from some unknown source.” There is nothing mysterious about it. You came to the discourse trembling, overwhelmed by the fear of death, and here you saw laughter and music and you became one with the commune. You forgot your tiny ego and its fear of dying. You fell into deep harmony with all who are present here.
This harmony is the source of your joy, not any unknown source. This harmony is the source of your infinite joy, and this harmony is also the source of your deep feeling of love for me.
It is not something unknown, it is something very clear, you just have to be a little more conscious. Then this clarity will give you all the clues to things that go on happening in your being, but you don’t know from where they come, where they are going. Everything seems to be a misunderstanding. But out of harmony, out of love, out of joy, arises understanding.
Excerpted from Sat Chit Anand
Health, wealth, happiness and peace in today’s turvy- topsy world
A flock of birds
A tall Norfolk pine
The Trades come
The tree sways
Wings flutter and perch
I just returned from Canada and what captured me again and again, were the enormous flocks of birds of all kinds literally swooping through the skies in awesome, constantly changing formations as they gathered to head south. Their energy, the shifting of leaders, shapes and designs, and the obvious communication going on at light-speed, took my breath away. I like birds, but quite frankly, had not really gone out of my way to observe or engage them.
Now for some reason, every time a flock is airborne their movement grabs my attention and I am with them, rapt and enchanted. A peaceful corps on their journey uses so many skills and multi-faceted talents and abilities, not only of inter-dimensional communication but of oneness, teamwork and intuition, and a well- honed sense of space and kinetics. I bow to them and their innate intelligences, and am drawn since then to their group momentum. From my window in Hawaii, I have the perfect perch from which to be continually awed and enthralled, as the opening poem illustrates. And this is so good.
Being present with simple events, especially natural ones as they are happening and enjoying the liveliness of life’s moments is a healthy return. Our present time of life is filled with greater intensity, daily chaotic turns of events, pressures, speed, fewer and fewer external securities and the illusions of them, and all the myriad things that we have and that have us, that can so easily take one away from the core of oneself. As well as unparalleled moments of indescribable bliss.
And I know. As all that happened to me. But let’s face it. You have to get lost, first. You have to lose yourself, and be really lost, in order to begin finding yourself again. It’s part of the process we all know so well. By way of example, I am reminded of Osho’s illustration of the good fortune and assistance of disruptions and crises by saying; “the fish in the water is not thirsty”.
I am just so happy that I started a long time ago, because it takes a long time and this juncture of heightened everything, actually makes it easier. Easier to reach down deeper than ever before, being impelled to do so, and touch that true place inside, where all structure falls away and you feel the immense ahhhh that issues from there. Letting go of the seductive peripheries of life, the madness-making activities, the illusions of well-being through what one has, coming to the real thing.
In my case I made the decision to stop yo-yoing in all aspects of life, not only food, but emotions, actions, focus and intention; in essence who it was I listen to and followed. I no longer wish to sacrifice this moment or any other for the now obvious water-treading, time-wasters of the past. Those thoughts that carry those little pitchforks over their heads. Rather now to live from the core which is through my deeper belly, the place of truthful knowing and live a simpler, easier, calmer life. Or put another way, to live from this quiet, calm, exquisite place that truly belongs to me. Here I have been experiencing the exquisite joy that my life is. I’ve given up the dramas! And everything is different, changed. It’s the same life but a completely different perception and focus.
From where I sit, health and well-being comes from finally listening to this patient and persistent place of peace-making within, bringing the inner ha. Creating from here in my work, eating from here, taking care of my body from its needs, living my heart and being from this exquisite source. In short living in conjunction with the core is the way that has not only been forced upon me by all the chaos of this time but is also what has always wanted to be.
Sounds almost trite when put into words, but the experience of discovering this truth and of living from it, is anything but. This has been the source of my incomparable joy since this awakening understanding. And I hope it is a long-lasting relationship.
Yes it’s true that the very accelerated madness of our time wears us down, but it is this same phenomenon that is also saving us. The beauty of having too much, more than we need, certainly to be happy; doing too much, more than the operating system can take, is that a point comes where something has to give.
And thank God for that, and that is was me. I also realized a deep heart’s desire that has been tugging at my coat tails as long as I can remember, but in the old routine would never ever have made it to actually being lived.
For those people struggling under the weight of overwhelm and not enough time or money or peace and running to try and keep up to God knows what, the problem is only that they are at that time, completely disconnected from their core, their precious, essential, inner adviser; their inner guru. All that’s needed is to stop. And sometimes what’s needed to make us stop is exactly all the frenzy and chaos, challenge and discontent that is so easy to experience at this time.
So I am getting much more sleep than I allowed before. I am eating what my body enjoys and is nourishing for it and what feels good inside as it goes down. And I am listening within to my own inner counsel. Everything in life is assisting us to find our way now, not only to who we are, but to what we are doing here. I am here to make myself happy and to spread that infectious happiness and joy everywhere. I like that purpose!
Recently I had an experience that changed everything and led to the decisions above-described. All of a sudden I was experiencing myself as the soul who was looking at my body-being and realizing that this is one of many, many bodies I have lived in and been responsible for. The soul made it clear that my job is to make my body happy and balanced. Body here means body, mind, emotions, the whole shebang.
It was such an amazing feeling to be looking at what I know as me, from a very different, albeit loving and concerned place, but separate, although connected. My love for all of this body was stronger than ever before and the compassion I felt from seeing and understanding now, has only grown and so it’s been much easier to take a different kind of care of it all. And that this wonderful, wonderful, strong system has been waiting for me to get it and finally take charge And I know that I am the soul and have great reverence for my truly courageous and miraculous body.
A story: About 22 years ago when I lived on Maui, I was working at the Tarot Patch giving readings, when a couple came and sat down for a session. Their conversation intrigued me, especially their comments following information given them about patternings of their various emotional and psychological systems. They would say things such as, “ oh so that is what they are experiencing. Hmmm. How interesting”, or, “ oh, now I see how this body is working and dealing with things”. And they were so happy! As I mentioned a pattern or a critical shift coming that needed attention, they commented from, it seemed to me, a distanced place although with full enthusiasm. And I was very curious about them. I had never before met this kind of energetic.
It was only later that they told me that they had come as walk-ins. I had no idea what that was and so they explained it to me. They were a soul who entered and took over a body by request. They were learning about their new bodies and working very hard at it, to try and understand, harmonize and balance this body mind system that they now inhabited. And their love and commitment was 100%.
My experience was not unlike theirs. I, like they, are devotional in this drive to bring harmony, balance, love and well-being to this one. It is a mission no less, and I can’t describe how thrilled I am to be in this position, to live as radiantly as possible for whatever time we have left together. And I know that I am the one who has been brought in for this purpose. I cherish this time in my life.
...All the stones on your path can become stepping stones. They need not hinder you, you just have to know that they are steps. Look into your suffering, find out that good and bad are all together there. You cannot separate them, so the question of dropping does not arise. You have to use them together -- not as opposites, but as complementaries. And that is possible. Even poison can be used as medicine -- it is used. In fact, on most of the medicines you will find written: POISON -- in red letters. Poison is to kill, but by understanding it you can use it to save somebody who is dying. But if you are foolish, even nectar will kill you; you may drink too much of it. In fact you will drink too much nectar if you can find it.
I am reminded of one of the experiments of Delgado. He had put an electrode in a white rat's brain. And he put a small remote control in front of the rat and taught him to push the button. That button gave the rat the same experience as sexual orgasm. Remember, sexual orgasm does not happen in our genitals, it happens in your brain. Genitals are only the outermost posts of your brain, they simply inform the brain, they simply say, "Okay." The brain goes berserk -- the actual orgasm happens in the brain. So it is possible to have a man's brain just kept in alcohol, and he can have a sexual orgasm without anybody, without any genitals. Nothing is needed because the real experience happens in the brain.
And that white rat ... these white rats are poor fellows. Scientists are after them, they are being imported from all over the world. Once the rat learned the trick, how to push the button, you cannot believe what happened to him: in one hour he pushed the button six hundred times! He wouldn't stop, he went on pushing it. He died! -- because that much orgasm nobody has ever had: six hundred times in one hour. Good food was provided there; everything that he liked...beautiful white rat girls -- no interest at all in anybody. His only interest was in the button.
He forgot food, he forgot the women, he forgot even to drink, or just to take a little rest. What was happening was so far out, he could not miss a single second. He died on that red button. You just have to be a little alert about your inner composition and you will be surprised to know many things. You will come to know that all your joys are within you, all your miseries are within you. Nobody else creates them, you simply find an excuse in somebody. Everything is within you, and except you nobody else is responsible...
…Once all that confusion is gone, suddenly from the background a new concept of your being emerges. It is more like am-ness than I; it is more existential. It is not egoistic, it is simply a feeling of am-ness. And then you know that it was simply foolish to ask, "How can I drop misery?" because I is the misery, I is the jealousy, I is the hell. And you don't know your real I. The real I you can know only when the false is gone.
The moment the false disappears the real appears.
The death of the false is the birth of the real.
And that quality which I am calling am-ness is the very center of life, the very center of bliss. You will remain the same person in a way, but in another way you will be absolutely discontinuous with the old; you will be absolutely new…
From Darkness to Light. #20 Q. 1
Meditation for the Busy Man
The world is not going to be slowing down anytime soon.
In fact it’s spinning faster and faster.
And there is no shortage of things to do, or problems to be solved.
From what I see, this is what life’s focus becomes, should meditation be absent in your life. I cannot even imagine life these days without taking times during the day to stop, relax, be, close eyes and bring the breath back into the body; filling up again and returning the energy to oneself by stopping it going out. What a divine moment, coming back to the essential feeling of self, remembering what is important now, in this moment, and who you are.
Ahhh… Yes… The sweetness…I am back in…connected.
A natural, inner, taking-stock as the unessential just melts away.
The frenetic emotions dissolve along with the driving, demanding thoughts.
This is my first choice meditation.
There are a myriad of meditation methods.
Busy, busy, busy, stressful busy, running, running, trying to keep all those balls in the air is exhausting and what’s worse is it’s become a way of living life for a majority of people.
You know what I’ve noticed? The more you run, the tighter time becomes and the more it seems to shrink. The faster it goes, the more you are anxiously running to beat it. Osho says:
“The West has made people too time-conscious, not knowing where they are going, but speeding to get there because time is short.
I have heard: Once a pilot communicated on the intercom to his passengers: It seems everything has gone wrong: the radar is not functioning, the radio is out of order, even the compass has ceased to function; but don't be worried, we are keeping the same speed.
But this is what is happening to the modern mind: everything is out of order except speed. Where are you going? For what are you going? Of course, you are going fast, but you are going so fast that you have no time to look at where you are going and why you are going there.”
Returning to the Source Chapter-3
Let me share something quite marvelous with you. I have found that when I am relaxed, connected, even with many things on my plate to accomplish, and I move in a deliberate, organized, yet natural flow from this place of meditation, that time seems to expand and I can hardly believe that so much has taken place and yet not much time has passed. It’s an interesting phenomenon. What does it depend upon? Where I am, in context with myself. That’s it! Nothing else.
It is all too common for one’s inner space to feel limited and confined, as almost every moment can be filled with something. But that feeling is in itself a signal to turn one’s eyes within just for a moment, and come back home; that you are too scattered and your energy too diffused out there. Though this may seem a simplistic philosophy, it is well-tested, and the crazier life becomes the more I cherish this loving practice as it works for me; and even more profoundly in super-active times.
There are an untold number of methods of meditating. For new meditators and for people who are not accustomed to stepping back in and unsure how that actually happens, Osho’s active meditations are ideal. Exercising, more folks are doing now, not only a select few, and that’s a good basic start towards the next step, having experienced the zone. Living here in gorgeous Hawaii all one needs to do is stop and gaze at the beauty all around. Stepping into the salty ocean, having a swim in silky, living, water or even just looking at it will help somewhat. And we all are surrounded by beauty wherever we live. Nature everywhere is magnificent and calls us home.
Recipe For The Modern (Wo)Man.
1. Exercise (any kind) to release the excess physical energy and potential demons. Make room for it wherever you can in your day. You’ll feel better.
2. Get a good night’s sleep. In intense times getting enough rest is a precious pearl. Replenishes the body’s nervous system; balances the hormones.
3. First thing in the morning do your meditation of choice. Set yourself and your compass for the day. Radiating an intention from the deep, silent core creates and flavors your day.
4. As (if) the compass needles get out of whack during the day, just duck in somewhere quiet and reconnect. That alone would change our world.
5. Acknowledge your good fortune, often. For me a big source of gratitude is the life that I have. I have so many choices and am free to make them. My world is what I perceive it to be.
6. Love, love, love and laugh. Even if alone. Make yourself laugh. And do what warms your heart. Each day do something that makes your heart rock.
7. If you run (solely) after money, it will in all likelihood run faster. Let your heart and your passion lead you to success.
8. Let your energy be active in the way it wants to be. Don’t stifle your life force.
My definition of being successful today is: having immense love in your life.
This is an extraordinary time.
The very nature of our present world is making us all meditators, some sooner than others. Times are tough for many people and yet tough times invariably produce soul-searching, no matter who you are. People look within to see what really matters to them, as they no longer can look outwards for their old signs of security, balance and harmony. And that is the glory of this amazing, anguishing, awesome, demanding time of our lives. I saw the dark era of Bush that we just gratefully passed through, as being the vehicle for awakening the most number of people in the quickest possible time. Well it did take two terms! And I see the challenges now as being the next stage of our full awakening.
Meditation, the means by which each human being can connect, not only to the glory of his/her humanness, but experience the beloved grace of essence.
Multi-tasking? Oh my God! Just yesterday I announced that I am moving away from any lifestyle that requires multi-tasking. I’m heading to the rhythm of my heart allowing time to day-dream, be still, dance and love and let the voice of my inner guidance have its way with me.
Cell phones/I-Phones/Blackberrys and The New Ones To Come
Convenient, now an essential of life, but there is no longer a moment when we are not available. I have emancipated myself. I am no longer taking the phone into the bathroom with me...
I consider myself a good example of the ordinary person on the street. I have to deal with the same issues, go through the same everyday processes and life choices that everyone has to make and I feel what everyone feels. I always thought that was so, so that I would know from my own experience what others feel and have gone through and that would make me a better counselor. But who knows? Whether I have spent time in Poona or in Tibet or in Shangri-La, or have been of help to others or have been of help to myself, it seems to make no difference. There are no shortcuts and we are all on the same journey.
If ever there were a time to drop out, this is it. Everything that has been learned felt and intuited, has been a preparation for this time. I’m dropping out. I don’t mean dropping out of the world per se, that I will no longer do anything. I have to still support body and soul and enjoy doing things, but rather dropping out of the outer frenzy, the worldly machinations made to draw us into itself. I am dropping out by dropping in, deliberately, to squeeze the juice out of life as Osho said, a phrase and a philosophy that I just love. I like to imagine that this will support my deep desire and intention to live fully until I die, the essence of tao in every way and in every moment, that no matter what is taking place, to experience it as meditation, present and accounted for, with a fully operational heart and head.
Closing Story – Enjoy.
STORY - Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007.
The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle- aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.
4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at
his watch and started to walk again.
10 minutes: A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.
45 minutes: The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money, but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.
1 hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100. This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the Metro Station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and peoples’ priorities. The questions raised: "In a common place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?"
One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.... How many other things are we missing?
Relationships Sailboat? Submarine? Battleship? Loveboat?
There are relationships, and there are relationships.
What I’m going for here is the relationship, the evolved relationship I guess you could say, of two people who are determinedly discovering who they are and sharing that together in great delight.
Relationships are here to help us uncover what love really is. It is thought that people fall in love and then marry but actually it’s through marriage, or through some other mutually committed relationship that we have the opportunity to come to know what Love truly is and what it isn’t. And we don’t have it automatically. It takes the often long and arduous process of going through and stirring all the stuff of oneself, buried and otherwise, that comes to the surface when relating with others. Especially when relating deeply and with heart fully involved, not to mention one’s hopes and dreams, illusions, desires and experiences.
I used to be a (fairly) jealous person. In fact, I might still be, I’m not sure, but I know I’m going to find out, hopefully sooner rather than later. Looking at my relationships’ history though, the interesting thing is that my jealousy was not across the board. I felt those awful demon-feelings in some moments, in some of my relationships but not in all. So why would this be? Either you’re a jealous person or you’re not. Right? Isn’t it like saying you’re either pregnant or you’re not, for how can you be pregnant only some of the time? Well, apparently not.
Don't repress, otherwise the relationship will never be really a relationship. Jealousy is not good, but a repressed jealousy is far more dangerous than an expressed jealousy. No jealousy is the best thing to have, but if it is not there then the next choice should be jealousy expressed; the next best is jealousy expressed. Hope for the first but you will have to try the next; the first comes very, very late in your personal growth. It is indicative of a very, very integrated person, that he doesn't feel jealous. Only a person who has accepted himself so totally and one who is so happy with himself and does not have any idea of comparison with anybody else can be non-jealous. Jealousy arises because of comparison.
Far Beyond the Stars...Chapter11
I would say, firstly, that feeling jealous depended upon how secure I felt within myself, within the relationship, and also with the person with whom I was relating. Another factor might be that in some instances, the jealousy was sparked by a reality, like an inner warning of something to come, an intuitive heads-up. Thirdly, the feeling of jealousy (fear/panic/outrage) because that’s what it is, a fear of loss, of love, as well as a sense of betrayal, depended very much on my mood at the time and how connected I was to my own true self-love. Lastly and hesitantly as it’s an emerging awareness, that a relationship based on a deeper-heart connection, a soul connection between two people who are fully aware of and committed to this powerful level of union with one another as well as to themselves, will spend more time supporting their soul connection and the lightness that accompanies it and place less emphasis and interest on any changing daily drama potentials.
Bottom line, it seems that successful relationships depend upon where you are within yourself and how much of your past patterning you intimately and consciously know and have taken at least some steps beyond their power over you. One great joy that I have found in relationship is the spontaneous flowing together in the moments, sometimes gently banging up against one another and moving here and there responding, playing with the energies taking place. It is so delicious and satisfying, no matter what it is that is in play; invigorating and inspiring being so fully alive, present and fully responsive to life. Shared, it is much greater than alone.
When you are in relationship with people, in a thousand and one ways you are provoked, challenged, seduced. Again and again you come to know your pitfalls, your limitations, your anger, your lust, your possessiveness, your jealousy, your sadness, your happiness all moods come and go, you are constantly in a turmoil. But this is the only way to know who you are.
Tao: The Pathless Path Vol-2 Chapter-6
The average status quo relationship model is between people who do not necessarily look within themselves, but look outside at what comes to them or what should be coming and react to it. And they expect that the other will fill certain needs of theirs, bear certain responsibilities, behaviors and actions. Each assumes a certain understanding of what each partner’s role and duties should be, in accordance with their own upbringing and neighborhood standards. But when one partner doesn’t comply, then all hell breaks loose. Because of the need to be with another in relationship and not be alone, people often make choices that, like them or not, they live with them, happily or not. And in too many instances, they are choices that limit living the fullest possibilities of life.
When I look way back at my many relationships in the past, with each person there was such a different experience, as if an aspect of myself would be highlighted while being with that person. I recall one interesting encounter in London, England with a dear man who had just arrived from Maui and showed up at our flat in the midst of an evening meeting. This was a beautiful, large flat that I shared with 3 other seekers in the Arica Foundation. Out of all the people present, he came and sat by me and I wondered why. But from that moment we were together the entire time. Together we amplified each other’s core strengths and I found that energetically I could never fall beyond a certain level of buoyancy. While we were together, it seemed as if we created quite naturally and effortlessly, a heightened support (energetically) under our feet. I felt totally present and connected within myself and the emerging strength was utterly delicious. We were totally who we are with one another and it was so easy. Together we flowed. The Foundation was going through some challenges at that time and we contributed some good insights and solutions. Everything was clear, straightforward, simple, easy to see clearly and to pass on that insight very lovingly and without any anxst or judgments.
As the relationship was so much fun, so very inspiring, effortless and simply a treat we decided we should take it to a new level, be lovers and see how that was. Well it was hilarious! There was absolutely nothing there at that level. We just laughed and laughed as we tried to go through the motions. What we had, that’s what it was. And it was a lot! In fact it was such a precious gift that it is still remembered after 33ish years.
This is a very interesting topic for me, because I have not been in a relationship for 20 years, since my second marriage ended. And it was a deliberate choice certainly at the beginning. I wanted to be in full relationship with myself, taking time and glorying in the freedom I felt and the lightness of living my all-oneness. Life suddenly became simple, so enjoyable and in the moment. Pursuing my new career was very beloved and meaningful to me. Doing so with totality as I was able to now give it everything I had, was pure ecstasy. I felt the joy of flowing in my moment without being attached to, or distracted by another, or being pulled away to honor his commitments and away from what was calling to me. And I no longer had to give up something that had always felt like an enormous sacrifice at the time and a loss of my self for the other; so gone too were the resulting feelings of being less, rather than whole and the conflicting questions as to whether I was just being selfish and thereby unable to be in a relationship or truly living authentically. Some parts of us know that it’s not about losing yourself or sacrificing yourself (although that’s what happens at times as part of the journey) but Love is not defined by those acts.
Love is the mirror. Let your meditation be mirrored in love. If you find that something is missing, meditate more -- but never escape from love; let it be mirrored in love again and again, because that will be the only criterion of whether you are growing or not. If you are really growing in love soon you will see that love has remained and jealousy has disappeared; love has remained and possessiveness has disappeared: love has remained and hatred has disappeared. A great purity arises; a great innocence. A fragrance is released into your soul. Go on meditating and go on loving. Let love and meditation be two wings. Let them help each other. I am showing you a path which is arduous, which is really arduous. Love alone is good because there is nothing to reflect, meditation alone is simple because there is no mirror to reflect, but meditation and love together.... I am throwing you into the very eye of the storm. But that is the only way one comes home. And when things become silent after the storm, the silence is alive. It is not the dead silence of a cemetery.
Tao: The Pathless Path Vol-2 Chapter-6
For some time now the desire has been surfacing for a mate and for a quality of relationship that is truly a gift for one another. My longing for a beloved emerged from a very, very deep place and seems to have crept to the top of the charts, as much as I resisted this feeling. The resistance came from an idea that the very desire and need that I felt is in itself false but parading itself as true. So it must be some kind of an avoidance. Well, that idea kicked around for a very long time and I bought it, along with the belief that this is a spiritual concept, both of which are seen to be quite nonsensical now.
As we are in physical bodies and are indeed physical, emotional beings as well as transcendental ones living on planet earth, a most awesomely beautiful and very corporeal planet, then all this too must be honored and lived. Only the mind and its ideas stand in the way.
Self-knowledge is not the knowledge of a dead self, self-knowledge is the knowledge of the process of the self. It is an alive phenomenon. The self is not a thing, it is an event, it is a process. Never think in terms of things the self is not there inside you just like a thing waiting in your room. The self is a process: changing, moving, arriving at new altitudes, moving into new planes, going deeper into new depths. Each moment much work is going on and the only way to encounter this self is to encounter it in relationship.
Tao: The Pathless Path Vol-2 Chapter-6
My profession is marrying people and I marry people all the time and have a front-row seat to love; what it is and what it isn’t, and to a myriad of relationship styles between a whole melting pot of people who love and are in love with one another. I see what it means to them and what it looks like from the outside and how it translates into their lives. I have written thousands of wedding ceremonies and renewal of wedding ceremonies. Just by being in this hallowed process of creating each ceremony, attuning to each of their souls and being involved in the inter-communications with brides and grooms, I have been transforming my own relationship karmas. I say this with wonder, awe and delight and with great gratitude. Everything has changed and matured from where it was and so many of the old ideas, limits and boundaries, fears and wounds have dissolved. All by themselves. It’s as if through my cherished work, I have been going to school, Spirit School, and taken through a relationship re-training program without having to be in one.
Each ceremony that I write offers each couple a message, a hint, for their evolving relationship, and a direction for their journey within it; all of it said very poetically of course. At yesterday evening’s wedding, the groom was responding to the Surprise Question I generally, but not always, ask and in so doing he turned to his beloved and said:
“I want you to always feel safe. Know that I’m going to take good care of you so you will always be safe and have all that you need”.
Of course he was speaking primarily financially, but not only. And as we know the feeling of security really comes from within, still, having someone take care of all the financials is very nice to hear. And as I listened I thought to myself, I would love to have someone say that to me:
“Let me take care of all the bits and pieces of this world and know that I, and my loving arms, are here for you so you are free to have a clear shot at whatever your heart desires.”
It can be wonderful, and it can be terrible. It all depends from where each person is offering; whether they are in their true power of self, and unconditional Love, or from some other place more akin to dependency and control.
Relationship grows only out of overflowing energies, never out of needs. If one person is needy and the other is also needy, then both will try to exploit the other. The relationship will be that of exploitation, not of love, not of compassion. It will not be of friendship. It will be a kind of enmity -- very bitter, but sugar-coated. And sooner or later, the sugar wears out; by the time the honeymoon is over the sugar is gone and all is bitter. And now they are caught. First they used to be lonely separately, now they are lonely together -- which hurts even more. Just see a husband and a wife sitting in the room, both lonely. On the surface together, deep down lonely. The husband lost in his own loneliness, the wife lost in her own loneliness. The saddest thing in the world is to see two lovers, a couple, and both lonely -- the saddest thing in the world!
The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty Chapter-2
When teaching IntuitiveTarot classes in the 80’s and 90’s, I spoke about different levels of relationship, using the 3 Major Arcana relationship cards in the deck as examples; The Lovers, The Moon and the Sun. The Sun card relationship is the one I wish to discuss. It is the relationship at the highest level, describing a merging of two equal individuals who have done their work; equal here meaning each knows who they are and that they are at their root male and female. They have learned through their experiences to come to a union with their inner male and inner female, so they are not at odds with each other’s masculine and feminine qualities, but rather looking for them. The man looks to the woman for her wisdom, her insight and intuitive guidance and values what she has to offer as he recognizes it. He looks to her for her unwavering truth and her compassion, and honors that role in her. She honors the fact that she is truly seen and loved as who she is and in this way her deepest gifts are valued and needed, so she can be helpful to him. And thus she is willing and wanting to share herself, all of herself, without reservation. She values his strength, his smarts, his willingness to be vulnerable and his wisdom in surrendering to the feminine, and trusts him because of it. They will stay and love together and go deeper and deeper together.
I had dinner tonight with two friends from my yoga class who met each other in class and have just announced their engagement. They are in their 40‘s, both havebeen married before and they are the perfect partners. I say this without any reservation whatsoever. They are like two peas in a pod. They have asked me to officiate and I’m delighted. In fact I offered it. We spoke about relationships at some length (not surprisingly as I was finishing up this article and they are planning their wedding.
The bride, an artist, was speaking of her previous lifestyle being a very insular, solo life which she had enjoyed, focusing on her art and her massage and herself. But when she met this sweet man, which is such an apt description of her fiancée, she said that she loved being in his company so much and vastly preferred it over her previous seclusion. Being with him is so nourishing and they enjoy the daily small things they do, because they do them together. Everything in life is better because they are together. And he nodded his head in agreement with a big smile on his face.
All For Now.
Environment And Nature
All healing, whether of the body, the being, the psyche of the individual, or of the planet, really comes down to union, harmony, alignment, peace, cessation of division, opposition and struggle between parts. It is the personal journey of a seeker to bring a harmoniousness to himself, herself, make friends of opposing parts, bring the light of consciousness and love to what has unknowingly been torn apart in one’s nature, resulting in suffering and an inability to see union and harmony reflected around, and from within.
The word nature conjures up visions of forests and streams, beautiful ocean and mountains, a garden, brilliant sunshine, trees, and plants and scent and gardenia and vegetables, animals, deep breaths, well-being and a stillness that is alive, growing and full of being. Nature reflects back to us how good it is to feel and smell, to taste and touch, to be alive.
Nature is also that which is us, our very who-we-are-ness. No accident that it is the same word. We can no more live without the external abounding nature all around, healthy and burgeoning, than we can live without our selves recognized and realized, honored and appreciated.
When people come here to the Big Island of Hawaii, they comment a lot and often on the beauty flourishing here and how relaxing it is to be here, how good they feel. I am often asked what life is like and apart from the obvious that is, that living here is an ubiquitous pleasure, a gift, and paradise; I say that we get stuck in our own ruts just like in the big cities but the enormous difference is that one can’t stay stuck for that long here, because of the ever-present life and beauty of nature, with its vitality close at hand in every moment, reminding us about being connected. Whereas in city streets with concrete and buildings and lots of people, cut off from living nature, it is easy to get disconnected and not know it, not be reminded so quickly. Daily life can be a huge distraction. One gets caught up so easily into doing, achieving, running after something that you can’t remember anymore why you are running. You are just running.
So our environment is crucial to well-being and we must value it, care for it, (malama) and honor it. We must now restore our nature and its balance back into the environment. We have brought ourselves yet again to a peak of possible destruction of the planet, which is an option that is on some peoples’ lips. I myself don’t happen to feel that that is what the outcome will be, but at the same time I can indeed see the textbook signs of a global civilization waning and faltering, with clean resources drying up and becoming scarcer, the warming of our earth and melting of the poles, various plagues, big holes in a nature previously thriving and abounding, environmental issues a plenty and infertility a huge issue. I remember years and years ago hearing somewhere that when a civilization is coming to an end it has problems reproducing itself. That is one of the signs; infertility. I’ve never forgotten that.
I also remember an ancient Chinese health system whereby as long as the patient is healthy, the doctors gets paid. When a patient becomes ill, all payments stop immediately. Doesn’t that make absolute sense? This is what we need here. And to completely take the health system and turn it on its head and start all over again from a sane basis, with wholeness being the ultimate goal and the way to it. Wholeness individually with good health on all fronts, and wholeness with the whole of life on our planet being referenced and included. Focus on health and healing, not sickness. Have all the great medical (all medical paths) and researching minds and resources available, focused on keeping people healthy and my oh my, just think what that would change. The, whole premise, the whole thinking would focus on creating health on earth and staying healthy and all the money now being spent on curing diseases with profits dependent upon there being diseases, would take a 180 degree flip before our eyes. How wonderful that would be!!!
Our whole society, each sector, has been too focused on struggle, division, on dualities in every way, on pain and suffering, us and them, winners and losers and energy split everywhere you look.
Enough of the fighting. For uncountable lives you have been fighting, just as every-body else has been fighting. We have been taught and brought up for centuries to fight.There are three wars that are going on continuously: one is with nature, which has finally culminated in science; the second is with the society, which becomes politics; and the third is with oneself, which becomes so-called religion. And all have been destructive. Science has destroyed the ecology, the whole balance of nature; politics is nothing but crimes and crimes against humanity; and the so-called religion has destroyed all that is beautiful and graceful in man. But the whole approach of war has failed. We have to start a new human being. A totally new vision of life has to begin: the life of surrender, the life of let-go. Be in tune with nature; there is no need to fight. Be in tune with other people; there is no need to be ambitious. And be in absolute tune with yourself. Don't divide yourself, don't' become schizophrenic; remain one, integrated, individual. And that's what sannyas is all about: a different lifestyle the lifestyle of let-go.
Don't Let Yourself Be Upset by the Sutra, rather Upset the Sutra Yourself # 13
All that I have to offer in terms of suggestions for our current planetary plight is to seek union and harmony. And begin the only place we can, with ourselves; and from there reflect it and spread it outwards, become more aware of what we offer to the balance of nature around us. And it’s not so airy-fairy as it might at first seem. When I look at our President I see that that is where he is coming from, so that energy is indeed universally being spread now. And enough people living from a place of union and well-being for all, will indeed engender that all around them into their environment. Pro-life is for life in every way.
Another lesson I have learned is that life always goes on. You cannot destroy it utterly and completely for ever and ever. Forever has a shelf life (another learning). Life will always begin again at a different level. I have seen this as fact and truth and it’s been shown to me in so many ways. For example, in the volcano, tramping around in an area of total desolation, with othing but a’a lava (the small, sharp pieces of lava that look as if a bulldozer has just been there) together with paho’e ho’e lava (the smooth lava with wrinkles), there is nothing but lava and utter stillness. Not even a bird.
But then, what do I see? A beautiful red flower poking up from I don’t know where it came, or how it broke through the hard lava, but there it is. And I know that it is saying, “life goes on. Celebrate me!”
The whole existence is nothing but a great brotherhood. We are all interdependent. Nobody is independent, nobody is dependent; it is an organic unity. Even if a pebble is missing in the world, the world will not be the same. There is no hierarchy, it is not that something is higher and something is lower; there is immense equality. In fact existence is very communistic: it exists in equality, it exists in brotherhood. And man has destroyed that harmony; he has destroyed the whole ecosystem of existence. Man has poisoned ecology because of a mad desire to be at the top, the stupid longing to conquer nature. It has been the greatest calamity. We are now on the verge of committing a universal suicide. To me, to be religious means to fall in harmony with all that is. You are neither lower nor higher. Trees are brothers, rocks are brothers, birds and animals are brothers. I love Saint Francis because he used to call his donkey 'brother'. He would always address the donkey as 'brother' and trees were 'sisters'. That should be the approach of a religious person. Start feeling a kind of brotherhood towards all that is; let that be your meditation and your prayer.
Turn On, Tune In and Drop the Lot # 8
The New Man: Solution for a Modern Global World
We Are All Just Vibrating Together- But Good To Know That
I can recall in the Poona days of the late 70’s hearing Osho talk about the New Man. It sounded so inspiring, reverberating with freshness, unity and strength, freedom and a sense of emergence, harmony, stability and victory. We as the new man and new woman would be the incarnations of love realized and we would be the embodiments of the triumph of Spirit, awakened awareness within and reflected outwards. We will have found our way past our individual limitations and the divisive separation techniques learned from the past, whether genetic, ancestral or karmic. And we would create an earth and planet, which had previously only been spoken about by mystics, masters, prognosticators and science fiction writers.
The New (Wo)Man, strong in being of who (s)he is, lives and designs a world where everyone is for everyone else being free, joyous, abundant, creative and who they are, pulsating with their energy and open to rooting for one another as well as themselves. A world where people are compassionate, smart and live smart, create with healthy, burgeoning longevity, with the big picture in mind (as in future generations) as well as what is right in the present. And where an individual is respected and accepted for the unique who (s)he is.
Fast-forwarding to today April 25th, 2009, I see the concept of the new man and new woman in a whole different way than 30 + years ago. Firstly it’s now not a concept. I see the shift already happening. It is much more pragmatic and down-home basic with simpler, clearer steps to take and fewer fancy words and fuss and muss about it all. And we are in critical mass, so it is easy to see that something has to shift. Even going to the lowest common denominator, there is global consensus that times are not the same as they were and the unknown is seeping in on a daily basis. Considering the global flow at present and our personal place within it and within ourselves, it just makes good sense to be moving in this direction; let alone that it’s essential that we do; emotionally, spiritually, psychologically and materially.
I believe that at the very source, who we are really is an energetic with our own distinct vibration and feel and it is this energy that actually interacts with others and with life itself, silently and behind our words and actions pushing them forward. I watch my close friends and the people around me really working hard, dedicatedly, to free themselves from the bonds of their core conditionings that have covered up, diverted and weighed down their true energetic presence. They desire to 100% be and live their essence, the pure expression of the spirit they truly are. And this is utterly a description of my own present continuing journey.
At this energetic level we then influeznce all that takes place around us, beyond us and all that comes back to reflect us, whether a word is spoken or not. And when this is seen and understood then personal responsibility takes on a whole new depth of reality and implication. It’s very freeing, and accepting this loving empowerment of responsibility just feels good. We all share equally here.
I feel the New Man and his and her birthing process is in fuller gear now. What will happen ultimately is still to be seen, but I can see the process in action all around me, in so many significant and smaller, encouraging ways. I see it trying persistently to burst through the old restraints that are still resisting hard. We’ve all witnessed it in the political arena first with our recent election here in the U.S. Because of the travesties of the Bush regime almost all people were touched in some way, roughly shaken and awakened, certainly a majority of the mass of people and the collective unconscious. The old ways were brought to a pinnacle and could no longer be ignored by the silent majority and so they spoke up; they acted; and a shift happened. Obama was allowed in.
To me it appears that he is the representative of the leader operating from an emptiness in his center, neither this nor that, but a larger viewing screen so that he remains and offers a calm centeredness; being neither purposely confrontational nor provocative and speaking a level of truth that is new to the Presidency and not only the Presidency of this country. He reflects it for all and
we are all in this together. And doesn’t it feel good? Although I had difficulty at the beginning with his voice, now I find that the neutral pitch of it and the empty of baser emotions energeticof it, come more as a 6th chakra vibration and is very soothing and reassuring. And one is drawn to come up to meet his level leaving the bickering behind. There is a calming because he’s not inflammatory. I feel that he is the perfect model for a new energetic shift for all. A good teacher for we the masses.
Another part of the New Man vision is being reflected in the fad of going green. Green is the current buzz-word and it’s good, in that its message is to love and to care for the earth (malama as the Hawaiians say) and to love our own physicality
our own bodies and selves and care for them in every way. If not now, when? A lot of it is hype and a manipulation for profits by companies. But the source of this movement, the go-green movement, is creating and awakening awareness over and over through TV ads, radio, magazines, newspapers and everywhere you go, with the message to protect, love and save the environment, our external home and all interactive, interdependent and living parts of it. But it’s not a slam dunk yet.
This is an important aspect of the birthing of the New Man (..in the New Ashram) trying to be born worldwide. There are those who always knew about being green, to whom it was a natural no-brainer and have been green, as well as red and orange for a long, long time.
The subliminal message we’re getting through all these different avenues is that of being in harmony with ourselves, with those around us, in union with all that is, to step up to the plate and take responsibility, think, feel and consider beyond yourself as well as yourself and realize that we are all linked to everyone else over and above the differences which are superficial; and we need this connection to be fruitful and creatively cooperative more than ever before. We depend upon each other.
On a perhaps lesser significant note, (significant to me as another sign of these connected times) I will tell a little story. I was on the telephone with a friend in Western Canada, with my sister in Eastern Canada and via email with a friend in Europe as well as speaking to a friend on the island of Oahu who had just been talking to a friend in Berlin. And I was saying how glorious our weather is, that we have our beautiful, delicious, hot, sunny Hawaii weather back; that it’s been cold (relative to us) and rainy, more and longer than ever before, but that just the other day our beautiful weather returned. And each of them said to me, that exactly the same thing has happened in their part of the world. Well there it is.
I rest my case.
I end by quoting Beloved Osho in this full excerpt. It may also have been quoted by my fellow writers but it is so beautiful and each word and phrase is precious and deserves to, needs to be repeated anyway. The time is so ripe and His words fill my heart.
The new man will be earthly. And by 'earthly' I don't mean materialistic. The new man will be a realist. He will love this earth. Because we have not loved this earth and our so-called religions have been teaching us to hate this earth, we have destroyed it. It is a beautiful planet, one of the most beautiful, because one of the most alive. This planet has to be loved, this planet has to be rejoiced in. It is a gift. This body has so many mysteries in it that even a Buddha is possible only because of this body. This body becomes the temple of the greatest possibility: Buddhahood, nirvana. This body has to be loved. This earth has to be loved.
The new man will find his religion in nature -- not in dead stone statues, but in living dancing trees in the wind. He will find his religion surfing on the sea, climbing on the virgin mountain. He will find his prayer with the snow, with the moon, with the stars. He will be in dialogue with existence as it is. He will not live with abstract ideas, he will live with realities. His commitment will be to nature, and through that commitment he will come to know super-nature. God is hidden here in this earth, in this very body. This very body, the Buddha. This very earth, the paradise.
The new man will read the scripture of nature. This will be his Veda, his Koran, his Bible. Here he will find sermons in the stones. He will try to decipher the mysteries of life, he will not try to demystify life. He will try to love those mysteries, to enter in those mysteries. He will be a poet, he will not be a philosopher. He will be an artist, he will not be a theologian. His science will also have a different tone. His science will be that of Tao, not an effort to conquer nature, because that effort is just foolish. How can you conquer nature? -- you are part of nature. His science will be of understanding nature, not of conquering nature. He will not rape nature, he will love and persuade nature to reveal its secrets.
The new man will not be ambitious, will not be political.
Politics has no future; politics has existed because of the neurosis of humankind. Once the neurosis disappears, politics will disappear. Ambition simply means you are missing something and you are consoling yourself that you will get it in the future. Ambition is a consolation. Today it is all misery, tomorrow there will be joy. Looking at tomorrow you become capable of tolerating today and its misery: today is always hell, tomorrow is heaven. You keep on looking at heaven, you keep on hoping.
But that hope is not going to be fulfilled ever because tomorrow never comes. Ambition means you are incapable of transforming your today into a beatitude; you are impotent. Only impotent people are ambitious: they seek money, they seek power. Only impotent people seek power and money. The potential person lives. If money comes his way, he lives the money too, but he does not seek it, he is not after it. He is not afraid of it either.
The old man was either after money or afraid of money, either after power or afraid of power; but in both ways his whole focus was on power and money. He was ambitious. The old man is pitiable. He was ambitious because he was unable to live, unable to love. The new man will be able to live and able to love. And his herenow is going to be so beautiful, why should he be worried about tomorrow? His concern will not be with having more, his concern will be with BEING more -- another very important distinction to be remembered. His concern will be with being more, not having more. Having more is just a substitute for being more. You have more money, so you think you are more. You have more power, so you think you are more. Deep down you remain the same beggar.
Alexander dies as empty-handed as any beggar.
Being more is a totally different dimension. Being more means getting in touch with your reality, getting in tune with your being, and helping yourself to fall in harmony with the universe. To be in harmony with the universe you become more. The more you are in tune with existence, the more you are. If the harmony is total, you are a god. That's why we call Buddha a god, Mahavira a god -- utter total harmony with existence, no conflict at all. They have dissolved themselves into the whole, they have become the whole -- just as a dewdrop disappears into the ocean and becomes the ocean. They have died in their egos, now they live as existence itself.
The new man will have no use for sham, facade or pretense, he will be true, because only through truth is there liberation. All lies create bondages.
The Secret of Secrets….Vol-1…#14
Gurus and Wanna be Gurus I have known and loved
This delicious subject immediately brings to mind something I heard Osho say one morning in discourse and I can hear His words right at this moment ringing in my brain. For whatever reason not only did they come right into me when spoken but they have stayed to this very day, and it’s been only about 30+ years. They must have anticipated having much meaning in store for me and have certainly made enormous sense over the years, coming up to the surface in appropriate moments when observing (certain) others. What He said, and I can’t quote His exact words, but I remember the meaning as being...A true disciple will find a true master.
And He went on to say that even a not- true Master can be of enormous help.
And I’ve seen that to be true. You find your own level and receive the experiences you need at the time. For instance, when one has filled a gap that was there, when one has experienced and learned what was needed to be learned with the help of one teacher and still is unfulfilled, then one continues the search. You’ve moved past the old place, perhaps seeing is now clearer, and you go on elsewhere as the Universe beckons, to discover a new depth. One can go on forever. All teachers no matter their level or degree of beingness, lead one eventually to seek the true one. It all depends upon the disciple, where they are in their search and what is needed to get them on their true path.
...It is a pilgrimage, the greatest, the most adventurous, of coming to oneself. It is a strange journey. You have gone so far away from yourself that you have to come back. You have forgotten the way how to come back home. You need a guide, but only somebody who has come home can guide you. And there are thousands of pretenders. It is very easy to pretend. Anybody can talk, advise, say beautiful things; it costs nothing. Anybody can read the scriptures, anybody can quote the scriptures -- and that's what is happening all around the world. And religion is a good business. You can exploit people very easily;
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol-9, Chapter – 5
There are several perspectives that are calling me. One is the Spiritual Teacher pretending to be more than he or she is and perhaps truly believing how evolved they think they are, but not having fully walked their own walk to enlightenment and not having fully dissolved their ego, which is now much more honed and subtle. And stands out like a sore thumb shouting in pain. I have recently met such a “Master” although subtle was far from my experience of him and whom I will mention in more detail a little further down. Osho’s words really perfectly apply to this type of wanna be guru who is sure he is God’s Gift as the Greatest Guru and calls himself a Master.
A pseudo-master is one who has already a readymade formula, a pattern. He imposes that pattern on each and everybody, whosoever comes to him. The man who comes is irrelevant to a pseudo-master. The man who comes is just a number, not a person, just something on which he can project, impose his discipline -- which is a readymade phenomenon. He has already the blueprint in his mind. A pseudo-master kills many people, destroys many people, because everybody has his own blueprint of growth within him. No outer discipline is needed.
The authentic master is not concerned with gathering a following, more followers, and becoming a great master because of his following. The authentic master is interested in the disciple and his potentiality. And if he sees that this is not the right place for him to flower, the right climate, then he will send him to another master. That used to be in the past a very common phenomenon. There was no rivalry between masters because they were all working for the same truth, for the same ultimate experience. But the pseudo masters are different and they have taken over the world. The pseudo master forces the disciple to surrender to him. He makes it almost a commitment and if the disciple leaves him, he will feel guilty for it, it will be called betrayal. And the pseudo master never sends his disciples to another master because he sees that this climate, this atmosphere is not perfectly suitable for his growth. I want you to see the distinction clearly. The pseudo master is interested in satisfying his own ego, how many disciples he has. He is not really concerned with the welfare of the disciple or his growth. His concern is political...
The Empty Mirror #7
This kind of guru seems mostly to be a teacher of something, of some aspect; Perhaps a healer of some part. Even spiritual teacher tend to be spiritual teachers of something. And every one of them can contribute and can assist others to a certain extent, in so far as they have themselves come. But it’s still superficial. The disciple is coming to improve himself or his/her life in some way; but for the true Guru and the true Disciple, the goal is not yet close enough to the center, to the 180 degree turn that has to come, to the move towards the vision and the fire of the True Awakened Master.
The Awakened One is a whole other level and a much more rarified group, with very few members, maybe only one, and it is not about just one aspect or one part or another. It is about dissolving the lot and becoming, living the energetic, the essence of who you essentially are.
The search depends on the seeker. Masters can only show the way. The search depends on the seeker -- what quality of being, what quality of inquiry the seeker brings to the search. Everything will depend on it, on why he is in search, what the reason is, because the reason of the search will become the cause of his growth. If the reason is wrong, from the very beginning he has taken a wrong step, and the right end cannot follow a wrong beginning. The first step is the last step also, because the first step implies in it, has in it already, the last step as a potentiality.
The seed is the tree because the seed will become the tree. The end will come out of the growth of the seeker, and if from the very beginning a wrong reason exists to seek and search, then everything is going to be in vain. The masters can only show the way, they can only indicate. Everything else has to be done by you, by the disciple. The discipline is not going to be imposed; no master ever imposes a discipline on anybody. He helps you to find your discipline -- that is the difference between a pseudo-master and a real master.
Just Like That #2
I have had the good fortune to meet and know more than one Awakened One. How do I know that they were Awakened? Because they said so. And I accept it because of their vibration, their energy, their compassion, generosity of spirit and what transpired and transformed in all of us around them. The first and the only of my Spiritual Gurus was Osho, my Beloved Bhagwan. Certain non-sannyasin friends of mine have raised the doubt that He was in fact enlightened. Well, no way to argue one way or the other and I have not even stepped foot into that trap. I only know what has been given to me and what I feel on the subject. And it is true that I never knew Osho personally, in His everyday life or at home in His house. I was with Him only in lectures and Darshan, to the extent that was of being with Him. I knew him more ethereally and loved him.
Another was the beautiful Grace S. I do not know what being enlightened really looks like and I feel that everyone will express it in their own way, as they do everything else. And I feel there are levels here too. I noticed with Grace that her old trips are still present and evident, but I also noticed that she is not caught in them nor really troubled by them when they do appear. And it’s here one minute and gone the next and really gone. And she is still working on certain aspects of things, but she doesn’t carry anything over from one moment to the next and is, in flow. She is extremely ordinary, present as who she is and personally available
but her presence has a regal, if unaffected, quality and tells the story, as well as her energy and her beauty.
I also once sat in the presence of Gangaji in Northern California in the mid-90’s and remember her and my experience of her, being in her presence. She feels like a true Master, a true Guru. But do I really know? I don’t. The peace and stillness that arise around her and that I felt. Her gentle ways and her non-judgmental, wise responses to questions that dissolved confusion and ego; and her simplicity and practical wisdom and beingness, inspired me to find my own center of simplicity. Her insights led people to themselves. What is this, if not true Mastership.
A real master, a master like Bahauddin, does not impose anything on you. He simply helps you to find your discipline, he helps you to seek your way. He helps you to grow, not according to him but according to your own being -- because you are the seed and the tree is going to come out of you. The master can at the most be a loving gardener, a compassion which goes on showering on you. But it nurses you, it does not impose anything upon you. With a real master also you will die. But there will be a resurrection. With a pseudo-master you are simply destroyed with no possibility of any creation out of it...
Just Like That #2
I feel lucky to have been drawn towards people, who walked their talk and if they didn’t always, at least were trying to, and had it as an ultimate goal which in itself makes a difference; a quantum difference to the quality of the teachings and to the osmosis of learning. Working in the Human Potential field over the years from the 60’s in London and onwards, coming across so many superstars in the self-help and spiritual movements, I so often felt a hesitation in whom I personally moved towards. I didn’t know exactly at the time what it was that held me back or why but there was something that just did not jive for me. So I kept my distance obeying my feelings, although questioning myself at the time as to why I was holding back when others flocked to them. I just could not do otherwise and later came to understand it in this way.
I found out that the common denominator that these gurus, these teachers shared is that they speak it, but are not living it. They speak it well, even inspiringly and humorously with wit, but their words are still only superficial, still ego-limited and there is a separation between their own being and their words. And therefore a separation in the all-important energy, the vibration of the message they impart. And so there is only so far they can stir you.
And this is the enormous, palpable difference to those enlightened ones who are what they speak, who have become the message and whose souls are the messenger. Here the message comes as a connecting force. The energy of the words touches your soul and takes you, slides you within yourself and you are re-connected to essence. The moment is transformed and so are you. And I could feel it, although I didn’t have the words yet to interpret what I was feeling.
I was pulled to Shalara, an incredible spiritual medium in Australia in 1993/94 who visited Hawaii and we met and recognized each other as soul sisters and became fast loving friends. In fact we had the same birthday although different year. She stands out as the most amazing channel I’ve ever known and she had a community of people around her, disciples if you will. I took part in one of her workshops where she created an ancient Temple as the peak of the workshop and it was a Temple! The energy was so divine and pulled you right within yourself. I felt that I was in; in heaven and bliss. When the workshop was over, and it was a channeled workshop with she as the vehicle, the Chinese Master Energy asked me how the workshop was for me. I remember my answer. I said: “I really enjoyed it, but I’m still here”. And I recall it was with some big regret.
She did amazing things. Channeled Husan, an incredible healer who healed many physical ailments in the people around her and taught valuable, ancient Chinese healing techniques. She channeled Lao Tzu and I recall the room becoming icy cold when he came in. She channeled the Yellow Emperor, and one evening at her home as we were just sitting around, Bhagwan came in. I knew it was He as soon as she started to say how strange she felt. So still. She could hardly move her body which had gotten so heavy, and didn’t feel like doing anything and this was very unlike her. She could never sit still for long. Then He began to speak and it was clearly Osho. As accomplished as she was in this way and as big as her heart was to be of service, she had not yet discovered her self nor had time, or the inclination to look within. Her energy was always outwards directed.
As this winds to a conclusion, I want to say a few words about a current new global healer and teacher whose healings are remarkable. He is a Master healer, a magician as Osho would call him. He really does make magic. And I’ve watched him do miracle healings in front of hundreds of people. Osho’s quote that I gave earlier for him fits so perfectly. This healer transmits in part of his work, a divine and beautiful source of essential love and soul connection. And in another, is a messianic kind of figure with an ego that is so crunchy and palpable, it’s shocking. He has amassed an enormous network and if one is not careful it can all be very confusing as his energy is so enormous and charismatic. And the purity and truth of his heart does come through in some ways. If you have had some experience with teachers and masters and healers, then you can make distinctions. But for those people who are new…I wonder. But I remember Osho’s words and I trust that we all will get exactly what we need to grow and thrive and truly be a blessing unto ourselves.
A true disciple will find a true master.
Sannyas of Tremendous Freedom
June 16th, 1977, I took sannyas and became Ma Prem Tao. I shall always remember that beautiful Poona evening, sitting in the center of an extraordinarily beautiful and magical amphitheater waiting for the show to start and a whole, new, unimaginable experience ahead. I believe that it was this precise moment that brought me all the way from San Francisco. I had awakened one morning and not 30 minutes later, some wonderful part of me decided, out of the blue, to head to Poona to meet Osho, then called Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.
Now a short few months later I’m here feeling calm, yet thrilled just to be in this rarified place. Two very close friends of mine from London and the growth movement, Maneesha and Shiva, were part of the Darshan so I had been led to prime seating very near the front. Sitting on the tiled floor felt so good and everything looked rich and exotic. The amazing jungle of trees all around Chuang Tzu Auditorium, the smells, the flowers, the sounds, the expectation in the air from the 15 or 20 of us who were sitting there waiting. All of this created such a magical atmosphere.
Then a faint sound of a toilet flushing, the door opened and out He flowed.
My first glimpse of Osho; the first tongue-tip taste of Him. I was a part of every word, every sound, every movement, every gesture from that moment on. It was my first experience also of unconditional love and from sitting in Darshan that evening watching Him, listening to Him, feeling Him and every person who came up to speak with Him I could see, I understood what that actually meant. I fell into love and I wanted to go with the flow, go with the river wherever it was taking me and be a vast emptiness, be another nameless name for God. All of this he said
directly to the deepest part of me as he explained the meaning of my name.
The message given was clearly surrender, allow, be. Be still and know. Allow the wave to return, to rightly be part of the ocean, dissolving, expanding into the greater whole and no longer keeping her separate and weak. As a brand new sannyasin this was now my goal. It’s ironic actually for the wisdom of wei wu wei the non-doing of surrender, was something that was already known to me, already a part of me and practiced years ago, although I would never have thought at that time to use the term surrender. So thinking more about this and telling the following story shows that actually I have been learning all these years what already instinctively existed. Only one thing was, I didn’t really know I had it, knew it, or was it.
So what would my sannyas story be, my take on sannyas to others (as each of us has our own) who might want to know what being a disciple is, or who might even deduce some idea from knowing me?
“If you listen to Tao, then the message is very simple. Be rooted in your being, and you will be saved from all the troubles, all the troubles that having brings, and the troubles that not having brings. You just be. Being is the goal of Tao. And one thing more to be understood: being, you already are, there is no becoming; you are not to become—it is already the case, you have it within you.”
And here is the promised old-story example. Several years before, in fact circa 1971-ish at Community Growth Center in London, England I was sitting in one of our evening groups and all of a sudden I could feel an asthma attack coming; my chest tightened up and my breath began to be labored with progressively smaller quantities of air coming in and out.
For whatever reason, I decided in that moment to just stay with it, sit there still and quiet, feel what’s happening and go with it, literally surrender to the whole experience wherever it was taking me. Granted I didn’t think surrender. I also did not alert anyone. No one in the group knew what was happening and I just sat there completely focused on, and aware of what was happening inside me. I could feel my lung capacity diminishing and each breath becoming less and less. Finally I knew that I had only one more breath to come and it was so miniscule, hardly a breath at all. It was like I was holding my breath in a kind of suspension, only my breath was holding me.
“I could die with that last bit of breath done”, I thought to myself.
Everything in my upper body was completely tight, constricted, and full up, and no more breath was possible. Looking back at that scene, I was surprisingly open for anything, even death, and I also felt quite calm.
And then the most amazing thing happened.
With that last tiny bit of breath suddenly everything opened up! My whole chest, lungs, diaphragm were open, empty and full of air, expansive, flexible, as if nothing at all had happened. All these years later I have no real explanation. I can’t tell you what happened, or why, or how. I don’t know. What I do know though, is that when you literally go 100% with anything and no resistance to it, the whole quality changes. At that point there seems to be a quantum leap. And the unexpected can happen
“You are on the verge of a new birth. If you can wait, a new life will arise; what Taoists call Wei Wu Wei – action without action.”
The other big, huge part of the message that really sets apart (our) Sannyas is the message of celebration and of enjoying life, the proverbial squeezing the juice out of each moment; and creating a life that is a celebration of who one is. Not that this is always realized, but it is a great directional neon sign. He has bequeathed to us a sannyas of tremendous freedom.
Ma Yog Laxmi - Happy Birthday
I remember Ma Yoga Laxmi with great affection. I can’t say I knew her very well personally although I interacted with her for 3 years; nor did I try to, as at the time I saw her as an extension, an aspect of Osho, His right hand. She was the boss of the Inner Office, sitting there most of the time, welcoming and smiling with very beautiful, soft, open, big sparkling eyes. She was the exalted one who reported directly to Him and then sat in the office dispensing policy decisions. (Just writing this I have to laugh at myself). Laxmi was very distinctive and although diminutive in size (I wondered whether she actually ate anything), she had strength. I had never met anyone else quite like her and her referring to herself in the third person actually fit, not feeling at all pretentious or egoistic. “Oh yes you’re working in the ashram”
Laxmi was responsible for my moving into the ashram nine months after being in Poona. The story begins when within 10 days of arriving at the ashram all my money was stolen. Someone took my handbag while I was meditating in Radha Hall. Everything I had in the material world had been in that bag and now was gate gate. We welcome you to Sannyas and the gift of let-go.
So nine months later, a significant length of time, I wandered in to see Laxmi after unsuccessfully trying to raise the money for that month’s rent. I lived in Hemheera, the pottery building in a really large apartment complete with furniture that had been given to me after my money was stolen and the rent paid up for 3 months. Since then I had managed to raise it every month, albeit using techniques I wouldn’t have been caught dead doing in the past, such as asking for money and half the time from people in the ashram I really didn’t know.
Actually a lot of amazing, heart-warming, freeing experiences came about because of this loss. I met lots of new people, had so many opportunities to feel immense gratitude for unexpected and freely given acts of generosity and I was able to watch the natural flow of the universe coming in and going out and its giving-ness taking place over and over again. Apart, it seemed, from this time.
This time, three different people whom I’d approached for a donation, not only said “no”, but told me to “go see Laxmi”. In the Buddhist tradition, the 3rd time you hear something, pay attention if you haven’t already. So off I headed for the office and Laxmi. She was sitting there all smiles, bright energy, her straight, raven-black hair wrapped around by a pale orange scarf that she always wore together with her matching pale orange robe. To this day she comes to mind as the most devoted of any devotee ever, certainly of Osho.
So there I was in the office. I told her the story of the rent and the big apartment and how I’ve been managing to beg, borrow, not steal, the rent each month, but that this month for whatever reason it’s just not happening. And I’ve been trying for a few days now.
“And three different people said to me to come see you. So here I am”.
Her head tilted side to side in Indian yes-acknowledgment fashion, and she looked in a folder, took a moment or two and then she flashed another smile and said:
I was leading groups and offering energy bodywork sessions, foot reflexology, navel massage and face/head massage and had been working since I arrived at the ashram.
Then she asked, and this totally took my breath away:
“And would you like to move into the ashram and become an ashramite?”
I don’t know what I was expecting, but this was not it.
I was thrilled, excited and amazed.
I was moving into the ashram.
Few years later somewhere around 1982-1983, Osho had left Poona and I was on the mainland USA, I think still in Massachusetts, at Sambodhi, the center outside Boston that Stephan Gersh (forget his sannyas name) opened initially as a workshop, retreat center and lab for Polaroid executives, for whom Stephan worked. Then when he became a sannyasin, a whole other story, he converted it to a pretty fabulous live-in, play-in, work-in, full on Sannyas center.
I do believe that it was there that we held a big fundraiser for Laxmi. She’d gotten a pretty raw deal, could not go to Rajneeshpuram, rumors were spread, and I believe she may have also been sick at that time; memory a bit hazy here, and the center was raising funds for her and basically showing our love and support.
I remember that she came into the room and I recall her looking like a young girl. She was dressed in civilian clothes, no longer in her pale orange uniform and I remember thinking how courageous she is and how incredibly and amazingly surrendered. Not one whining word issued forth from her during all of this, rather her continued devotion and trust in life.
One other lingering landmark remembrance with Ma Yoga Laxmi took place in the hallowed inner office in Poona. I related some incident to her, the details of which I don’t recall at the moment, but her response is something I’ve remembered ever since and have borrowed, using it to say at the appropriate moment to others. Ma Yoga Laxmi with head tilting left and right and with big proud smiles said:
“He works with slaps and tickles”
From Death to Deathlessness
Death is one of my favorite subjects.
As I pondered this topic for this article, I realized that I have spent a lot of time so far in my life focusing on death and how to properly die, or we could call it letting go, evolving, surrendering, releasing, or becoming, all pretty good expressions for the same thing. In fact death has been a metaphor for me in many peak moments. And this kind of death is not to be mourned. Rather the cause for great celebration.
In days long ago when I wanted to gain clarity on where I was, really, essentially, and what I truly wanted, I would use this therapeutic technique. To begin with, you set up a specific scenario and steep yourself in it, so that you really feel the truth of this picture. And the set-up question is as follows: If you were to be told that this is your last day on earth to live, what would happen? How would you feel? And how would you spend your last day? I found this to be very interesting and very revealing. You can try it for yourself.
So death here was experienced as a stripping away of all that is non-essential, cutting straight through to the core, to the juicy fruit. And to self knowing, peace, to freedom.
Here in Hawaii I live surrounded by the most pristine, exquisite, clean, clear, warm, blue-blue ocean, but when I first moved here 23 years ago I was afraid to step in very far. My hubby said he’d teach me to get over my fear of deep water and I jumped at the chance, as I so wanted to. I longed to walk straight out from the shore, jump in and swim out as far as I felt to; relaxed, happy, enjoying the feel of the warm, silky ocean caressing my skin, tasting its wet saltiness and being in bliss simply by being here.
Facing fears, really old crunchy fears, has been one of the best opportunities for transforming through death and rebirth. But I found that it works only when the desire to move forward is profound and unstoppable. You have to be ready.
So beloved hubby decided that he would introduce me to snorkeling and that was fine, but he didn’t take me to the beach. Instead this wild man drove me to a secluded area not far away and we walked out, stopping at the edge of a cliff. I’m thinking, hmmm, I wonder why we’re here. Let’s get to the beach. He pointed below to a small inlet where all I could see was white water whooshing around and the ocean rising up and then drawing back. Then he said,
“ Okay. Here, I’ll help you put on your snorkel gear and then jump over”.
There is so much death around at all levels especially at this time where with communication being as instantaneous and as vast as it is, we are connected globally with all that is going on everywhere and in the now. There is so much physical death, people leaving their bodies in seeming droves.
And there is the death that is a psychological death, a spiritual death, being stripped of old patterns, old limitations thereby becoming freer. There is the ultimate death to which we aspire; the death of deaths as I call it. Enlightenment, the death of the old story in entirety, in the cells, the bones, the marrow and the complete old-place reality gone. And one is transformed. Actually one is transported. Transported by the gift of grace into the freedom of emptiness and being. You are the freedom, the unboundariedness, the essential energy, the light, the joy, the expansiveness, the exquisite love that emerges naturally all by itself. I have experienced it, albeit for far too short a time.
I looked at this madman and sat down on a flat lava rock. There was no way in hell that I was going to leap over this cliff. What was he thinking? And then he just rolled over the cliff and into the ocean, into that little cove of white water. He called to me but I ignored him. After a while though I got up from my rock and peeked over. There he was, relaxed and so comfortable, just moving with the water easily, freely, not doing a thing really. When it moved up, he came up. When it receded, he did too. His arms were folded and he was effortless. He said:
“Tao, the water is totally supporting me and it will totally support you too.
You won’t have to do a thing”.
Only jump over the cliff.
I looked down and thought, what if I hit the rocks on the way down?
Then I realized with horror and with heart pounding that I was going to do this.
What changed in me?
I saw that he was doing exactly what I said I wanted, what I knew I wanted with my whole heart and soul. To be comfortable in the water, with the water. So I knew I had to do it.
I decided that even if I died on the way down, if I fall crooked and hit the rocks on the sides or if something goes amiss, I’d rather die on my way to fulfilling a deep soul wish and rising past fear. And if that happened, then this would be a good death. I could live with that.
Shrinking back with fear, away from what I knew I truly wanted, just was not an option. Not a good way to live.
I am prepared to die.
So I jumped.
I, like you have gone through so many mini-deaths. And mini-satoris too and we continue in many ways to die over and over and be pruned and honed, restored renewed and revealed.
When my body reached the water, I went way under the surface and then popped up breathless, heart pounding with excitement and adrenalin, snorkel mask thrown off somewhere. I hadn’t been instructed to hold onto it and of course didn’t think of it.
He showed me how to go with the ebbs and flows and how to be in that watery environment. And so began my first incredible experience of being in deep water with the water, relaxed, fearless and in indescribable ecstasy. My joy was unparalleled and I will never forget it. I and the ocean were one and a whole underwater world opened to me for the first time. I forgave B. for what I first saw as his insensitivity and felt such overflowing gratitude and immense love for his wild man compassion. And it was true. In that spot with the white water, there was nothing to do but give in and go with where the water moved me, (like flowing in tao), and it did totally support me. Today all these years later, the ocean is my playground, loved more, appreciated more all the time, embraced and enjoyed more than ever.
…Embrace it. And live with the consciousness that each moment you die and each moment you are born. Allow it to happen. Don't cling to the past -- it is no more, it is already gone. Why go on carrying dead things? Why be so burdened with corpses? Drop them. And you will feel weightlessness; you will feel unburdened. And once you drop the past the future drops on its own accord, because the future is nothing but a projection of the past. In the past you had some pleasures; now the mind projects those same pleasures into the future. In the past you had some sufferings; now the mind projects a future in which those sufferings are not allowed to happen. That's what your future is. What else is your future? Pleasures that you enjoyed in the past are projected and miseries are dropped. Your future is a more colorful and modified past, repainted, renovated, but it is the past. Once the past drops, suddenly the future drops -- and then you are left here and now; then you are in existence, you are existential, and that is the only way to be. All other ways are just to avoid life. The more you avoid life, the more you become afraid of death.
A person who is really living is not in any way afraid of death. If you are living rightly you are finished with death, you are already too grateful, fulfilled. But if you have not lived, then the constant worry continues, 'I have not lived yet and death is coming. And death will stop all; with death there will be no future.' So one becomes apprehensive, afraid, and tries to avoid death. In trying to avoid death, one goes on missing life. Forget about that avoidance. Live life. In living life, death is avoided. In living life, you become so fulfilled that if this very moment death comes and the future stops, you will be ready. You will be happily ready. You have lived your life; you have delighted in existence; you have celebrated it; you are contented. There is no complaint, no grumbling; you don't have any grudge. You welcome death. And unless you can welcome death, one thing is certain -- you have not lived...
from 'Ancient Music in the Pines', Ch 8
Death is an ongoing subject let alone an ongoing reality. There is so much to be said, so many experiences at so many levels wanting to be expressed and shared. They are all popping up now to say, “use me”. I can still feel the presence of those who have died, even though they are physically missed.
I feel Osho around me often and experience him almost more than when he was in his body, certainly more personally now.
My mother who has passed away has come to me in very still moments. Dear animal companions, who were so beloved and very close to me, come in waking time and in dreamtime. The non-physical world is full, vibrant and ever present and so in this way really there is no death. Just close your eyes and feel their presence. The essences of those we love are still here. I feel that our real journey individually is to deathlessness. The others already know.
A mystery school comes into existence with a master
And that’s how it should be.
In nature, in existence
everything that is real...
...A roseflower opens itself in the morning and
By the evening it is gone...
The Osho Upanishads
The world is going through a huge death process right now as we are all witnessing. Releasing so much and seemingly all at once, We are on the fast track now. It feels like the Tower card in the Tarot. It is the tower time as described in the Tarot. Cleansing everything from the past, bringing it up and throwing it out from all the arenas. All that has been submerged is now coming to the surface to be merged with the light of day. And I’m participating side-by-side, by taking care of my own old business and releasing it to the winds and to the fire of Mme Pele of Volcano fame. To clean up a mess you have to make a mess first.
What I experienced in my first mini-satori in Poona 1 was that there is emptiness and a delicious nothing. The mind is actually empty, a vast, vast spaciousness. And there is no need to think about anything, worry about anything, absolutely nothing at all to do. There is no future, and no planning necessary. When something needs to be done or needs to be known, or a direction seen, there is a kind of text messaging that takes place, appears in that moment and so you spring into that action. Anything that requires movement or a something, will be given in that moment as needed.
What brought it on to begin with, was extreme fear, closer to terror and a decision to go forward despite it and perhaps because the fear was so big, going forward anyway just blew the door down. I am just so happy that it all happened. Challenges come and they come for a reason. A good reason. What do you do? Say thank you.
At the age of 16 I learned my first meditation technique through extreme postoperative pain without the benefit of additional painkillers. It has also remained to this day as my main meditation method and it’s also what I teach and what I use in my daily life specially in challenging moments. It is very simple. Breathe into where the pain or disturbance is in your body/mind/soul being. It’s a technique of surrender, of dying into, no matter what the inner object is.
Not struggling, not resisting, not fighting, but giving in and handing over to the powers that be there. Interestingly enough this will ultimately take you to your belly, the hara, the dan tien and to tremendous peace and healing.
The operation was in the belly so that is where I went with my breath discovering that the deep, empty, quiet inner belly area is the place from which all things are possible. If you begin here or soon go to the deep belly, you find that you can slip out of the mind into peace simply by focusing on the breath going in and out here and you can also slip into altered states if you want, be merged with the whole. You can most definitely ease your experience of pain of all kinds and you can bring your self back to yourself and find God.
My choices at that moment writhing with pain at the age of 16, were to either find a way through this pain to cease it, or to jump out of the window. By a very lucky and compassionate fluke, I stumbled into it.
Death is good. It brings more life.
Zorba The Buddha - A New Religiousness
Ah, to be Zorba the Buddha! Be at one with heart and spirit and just enjoy! Here in Hawaii there is so much to squeeze the juice from, as Osho said so often and I say over and over and over again like a mantra. Squeeze the juice out of life. What a divine recipe for living! We have sunshine, warmth on our bodies pretty much all the time, a clean, clear, blue, silky ocean water, grand pali (mountains), beaches, black lava to step upon in two varieties, low buildings, spaciousness and a saner, quieter, still often relaxed, small-town ambiance to walk in each day. It's beautiful. It's paradise. Why is it that with all of this, that everyone isn't living constantly in bliss and ecstasy?
Well at least one more ingredient needs to be included, that of being awake heart and soul, free to fully be the energy of who one is aware and present, in the exquisiteness (or not) of the moment.
Yes, it all seems so very simple really, thinking about it. So many lifetimes already spent living and peeling all the extraneous layers through so much experiencing: so many successes and failures, joys and sorrows, loves and lovers, pain and ecstasy; so many dances and characters played out on so many varying stages.
All to bring one to the place, the very simple, blessed place of being the one you are and knowing who that is, and cherishing her/him in all the varying moments and guises, totally fulfilled. So full of blessings and love and enthusiasm to share it all and vibrate the world with joy. And somehow, and I think miraculously, coming to gratitude and true exquisite sweetness knowing that you are indeed a blessed one. I know no greater goal or honor to be this being who has managed through much and many to find the way home to the true one and to that place which God honors in you, that is God reflected.
Zorba the Greek never became a buddha for the simple reason that his zorbahood is incomplete. He is a beautiful man, full of zest, but a poor man. He wants to live life in its intensity, but he has no opportunity to live it. He dances, he sings, but he does not know the higher nuances of music. He does not know the dance where the dancer disappears.
The Zorba in Buddha knew the highest and the deepest parts of the outside world. Knowing it all, now he was ready to go on an inner search.
The world is good, but not good enough; something more is needed. It gives momentary glimpses; the Buddha wants something eternal. And all these joys will be finished by death. He wants to know something, which cannot be finished by death.
OSHO, From Bondage to Freedom # 40 Q-1
From a very young age I had a HUGE desire to live life fully. I remember looking at a very large globe of the world in my room, trying to find the city where I lived, Toronto. Finally I found it, a tiny dot on the edge of a lake across from another tiny dot, Buffalo. I could hardly see it. Were I not seeking it, I would easily have missed it. I was shocked. Here is this gigantic city the city that is my whole entire universe is hardly a dot in the world. I longed with all of me to discover and find out what is there in the rest of it. And, to live!!!!!
I did begin my world travels in 1964, first a trip to the Continent, then moving to London in 1965. What excited me were those living passionately and expansively, freely in every way possible, as well as sex, artists, the intelligentsia, the unusual and creative, the witty and truly humorous and those being unconventional by being natural and just flowing with whatever came.
The main thing was to live on the edges, away from what I then called the Bourgeoisies, the normal life, the masses. I saw from a young age that every-thing seemed to happen to the larger masses of people, noticing that floods, droughts, hurricanes, earthquakes and massacres all seemed to take place where mass humanity lived. And I noticed also that there were pods of people who seemed to do their own thing and were separate, unaffected, untouched by what encompassed others, safe from this other existence. And I vowed from that moment on to travel a different path, a more rarified, less populated path and to live where and how the interesting, creative, self-aware, self-empowered people lived and REALLY lived. And my nature longed to be as one who found the juices in life and squeezed them, fully. And so I did.
The moment the child is born he opens his eyes, and the first thing he sees is the whole panorama of existence around him. He sees everything except himself -- that is for more experienced people. That is for those who have seen everything of the outside, lived it, and are freed from it. Freedom from the outside does not come by escaping. Freedom from the outside comes by living it totally, and then there is nowhere to go. Only one dimension remains, and it is natural that you would like to search in that remaining dimension. And there is your buddha, your enlightenment
A point arose when all that had been exciting, all the passions, the emotions, the experiences, the drama, highs and lows, achievements and successes were just noisy, fussy, self-indulgent and exhausting, in fact boring. Three years in the ashram in Poona 1977-1980 and 9 months at the Ranch 1985-1986 and lots of new living in between began the shift. And the old goal was not the goal anymore as it did not fill or quiet or nourish. The spirit and the deeper heart were not fed and the soul's passion was dried. Peace was missing.
Zorba is beautiful, but something is missing. The earth is his, but the heaven is missing. He is earthly, rooted, like a giant cedar, but he has no wings. He cannot fly into the sky. He has roots but no wings. Eat, drink and be merry is perfectly good in itself: nothing is wrong in it. But it is not enough. Soon you will get tired of it...
The Perfect Master Vol-1 # 4 Q-2
..and you forget completely the twenty-nine years of Buddha's life which were far richer. Day in, day out, he was simply living in luxury, surrounded by everything that he could imagine. He was living in a dreamland. It was this experience that turned him into a buddha. It has not been analyzed this way. Nobody bothers about the first part of his life -- which is the very base.
He became fed up. He tasted every joy of the outside; now he wanted something more, something deeper, which was not available in the outside world. For the deeper you have to jump in. At the age of twenty-nine he left the palace in the night in search of the inner. It is Zorba going in search of the buddha. Zorba the Greek never became a buddha for the simple reason that his zorbahood is incomplete. He is a beautiful man, full of zest, but a poor man. He wants to live life in its intensity, but he has no opportunity to live it. He dances, he sings, but he does not know the higher nuances of music. He does not know the dance where the dancer disappears.
The Zorba in Buddha knew the highest and the deepest parts of the outside world. Knowing it all, now he was ready to go on an inner search. The world is good, but not good enough; something more is needed. It gives momentary glimpses; the Buddha wants something eternal. And all these joys will be finished by death. He wants to know something, which cannot be finished by death.
The next important stage in this journey, a truthful direction, of becoming Zorba the Buddha has been my work and true passion in giving. As a minister I created soul ceremonies for all occasions and in the process have engaged with people from every religion, no religion, country and nationality. I married Catholics, Christians from many other denominations, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims and people from Africa, Asia, Europe, Russia, Scandinavia, South America and of course North America. In the process I have had an education, not only in love and what that really is and isn't, but also in religion. And even more importantly, I've come to total familiarity and acceptance of my own spiritual nature and beliefs, which I can now proudly express. Even to radical Christians whom I've also encountered during the course of my ceremonies.
I'm so happy to be in this core understanding of what religiousness really is and the many levels of its roles for others as they journey. And I accept everyone's path to God and to themselves. I understand the Source, which is calling each person and so I will perform a ceremony using the words that trigger the couple's hearts and spirits. As a Jewish born, I can now perform a traditional Christian ceremony, which I've warmed up a bit, and be moved by the words. And I can speak with total integrity and truth honoring Jesus Christ. I feel the source from which he has sprung and the love from which the words come. And so it is with all the pathways. I feel free here and that I can truly be of service simply by my presence, radiating peace, acceptance, understanding and love from my very soul. I also understand now why going to church is so necessary and helpful for those who do.
Zorba the Buddha is the end of all religions. It is the beginning of a new kind of religiousness which needs no labels.
OSHO, From Bondage to Freedom # 40 Q-1
And with great enjoyment and anticipation, Zorba the Buddha has conjured up a memory from the Ranch in a whole other color range. In Poona 1 my closest girl friends were Samadhi (Bodhi's Booking Office), Sue (lived outside the ashram in Poona, but was mom of Construction at the Ranch) and Shanti Bhadra (who ran the cleaning department in Poona). We all know them from the cataclysmic events of the Ranch. In Poona days though we were all still young and innocent playing the child in the garden, as Poona was to me. We had great times, such fun and juicy, tender times together. When I think of all three beautiful women, I see devotional women. Each one of them poured from their hearts and needed to be invested in something bigger than themselves. I often think about that and conclude that they, for whatever reason, shifted their devotion. What I remember though is one night at Zorba the Buddha Disco, I bumped into Sue and she came over to me, close to me and said, very wistfully I thought;
"let's get together and talk, just talk about the old times, the good times..
And we set a date and time. There I was sitting in the lobby (of sorts) of the restaurant and I waited and waited and waited. Our meeting time came and went and no Sue. Finally someone in the restaurant came over to where I was sitting and asked me what I was doing and I told her that I was waiting for Sue.
She looked at me and said, you mean you haven't heard???? They've all gone. Flew out earlier tonight.
In The Blink of an Eye
November, 2008: Special Issue
The clock-stopping, historic events of November 4th, 2008, brought up such passion, in me as well as the entire world. It was a moment equal to a classic Hollywood ending, only much, much more, and of much greater significance.
In the blink of an eye, we went from a dead-end, no way out, dejected, horror-story projection of our planet’s future, to utter joy, hope and faith restored. To a lit-up world with unlimited possibilities ahead and with the citizens of America once again proud to be so.
In that moment, all peoples and souls around the planet united, linked by the same grace, the same relief, the same unbelievable trust and the restoration of humanity’s hope and virtues desiring fullness of life, and peace.
A whole earth is possible, but the earth has not been whole. Now, for the first time, barriers arc breaking. This breakdown of the old barriers will have to be consciously worked out. Unconsciously, it will take a longer time. Consciously, it can be done very easily and with less pain and less suffering. Now men should not belong to any land, to any culture, to any civilization, to any religion. Now, for the first time, men must belong to the whole earth...
The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol-2 #7
That day in 2000 that GW Bush became President of the USA I raised my arms upwards and demanded, WHY? WHY? And again four years later. We were all in such utter disbelief and anguish; for ourselves and all the people of the world, for all the animals, plants, forests, oceans, for all of nature’s bounty seeming to be slipping away to extinction with no hope and no power to save us; I said to myself; “I know there is a reason. I know there is a bigger picture here even if I can’t see it right now. I know there is!”
Then I understood.
It is Existence’s goal to awaken all of humanity, nothing less, as Osho has reminded us so often and this is how it is being done. Four years of extreme Bushism, representing the madness of ego’s darkness totally out of control. But they weren’t enough. We needed another four years to push us to the brink, to gather more awakening souls. Now we are on the brink and ready.
Things have come to such a point that it is possible to awaken the whole humanity And if people stop going to the churches, stop going to the synagogues, stop calling themselves Americans, Russians, Indians, burn their passports, visas, green cards -- all over the world.... If they declare that the whole earth is one, and that the whole earth is going to provide the scientists with means to work for creating better life, more life, better consciousness, more consciousness, we can fill the whole world with such enlightened people that even flowers will not be so fragrant. Man is capable of doing it, somebody just has to shake people, throw cold water in their eyes and tell them, "It is time to wake up, you have slept enough!"...
From Death to Deathlessness #19
The tide is now turning. Glory Halleluiah!! And stepping up to the plate is Barrack Obama, speaking the words of unity, harmony, brotherhood, shining the light into all the areas of darkness, but also bringing hope and empowerment to individuals and the collective as well as solutions. He’s a charmer as is his message and he has thus far been living and exemplifying the wholeness and wholesomeness of which he is speaking; and as such as brought a new quality, the quality and flavor of the new man.
What a perfect time to bring Osho and Obama together.
People of Berlin - people of the world - this is our moment. This is our time. I also know how much I love America. I know that for more than two centuries, we have strived - at great cost and great sacrifice - to form a more perfect union; to seek, with other nations, a more hopeful world. Our allegiance has never been to any particular tribe or kingdom - indeed, every language is spoken in our country; every culture has left its imprint on ours; every point of view is expressed in our public squares. What has always united us - what has always driven our people; what drew my father to America's shores - is a set of ideals that speak to aspirations shared by all people: that we can live free from fear and free from want; that we can speak our minds and assemble with whomever we choose and worship as we please.
These are the aspirations that joined the fates of all nations in this city. These aspirations are bigger than anything that drives us apart. It is because of these aspirations that the airlift began. It is because of these aspirations that all free people - everywhere - became citizens of Berlin. It is in pursuit of these aspirations that a new generation - our generation - must make our mark on the world.
People of Berlin - and people of the world - the scale of our challenge is great. The road ahead will be long. But I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope. With an eye toward the future, with resolve in our hearts, let us remember this history, and answer our destiny, and remake the world once again. Obama .. Excerpts from his Speech in Berlin
Too many national anthems have been sung, too many flags have been flown, too many idiocies have happened on this earth. Accept the unity of mankind now. Now, one world and and one mankind... These national governments must go. And until they go man's problems cannot be solved, because man's problems are bigger than nations.
Death is Divine #6
And I have immense trust in the intelligence around the world. If one country takes the risk, others are bound to follow. Don't wait for there to be an agreement amongst all the nations to do it simultaneously. Then it is never going to happen. That agreement is impossible. One has to start, knowing perfectly well the danger and the risk. But I remind you, nothing happens without risks -- no evolution, no progress.
Yes, the earth has to be one. Without the earth being one, we cannot solve its problems. It is now so clear that even blind people can see it, that unless the earth is one, without boundaries ... in a world without boundaries we can dissolve all the problems from which humanity is suffering immensely...
Yakusan: Straight to the Point of Enlightenment Chapter #1
The Relevance of Meritocracy
The concept of meritocracy has never looked so good or so appealing, as it does right now. And the timing in our global community couldn’t be better. We are ripe! And ripe for change - real change. And not the back and forth that has been going on, that looks in one moment like expansion and one thinks that at last we have reached a new, solid and higher ground; but then when the daylight comes one sees that nothing much or new has really been accomplished. This can be easily seen in our politics; one political party taking turns with the other at election times and we know exactly what we’re going to get, more or less. And ultimately this level of change has not brought any intrinsic, or quantum change. Not until now anyway.
I want a government by the people of merit.
Beware of Socialism #4
The dictionary defines meritocracy as follows:
1. The belief that rulers should be chosen for their superior abilities and not because of their wealth or birth.
2. An elite group of people whose progress is based on ability and talent rather than on class privilege or wealth. A system in which such persons are rewarded and advanced
And what about now? Is it possible that this very rarified time can actually produce an authentic shift; a new society on a new basis, selecting leadership in a whole new way? One that is based on ability, experience, knowledge, accomplishment in their particular field of expertise.
It is undeniable that it would be better to choose executives and leaders in this way but I wonder though whether that alone is enough, whether education is enough. I feel that we need other qualities present in our new leaders as well; people skills such as heart, capacity to see the whole picture, patience, ability to communicate their vision, compassion, judgelessness, selflessness, as well as merit and good old common sense.
Is it possible that we can have a global society that actually works as a whole in a harmony with one another, in a connected and natural in and out flow? Just writing this, makes my heart sing at the thought. One connected, whole world.
We have been ruled, chained, by (ferocious) monkeys in human form. To see this, one doesn’t have to look very far, only to the Presidency of the United States. And it’s not subtle. Anyone can see this. And perhaps that’s the reason that we have had George Dubayya Bush; for two terms yet, eight long,excruciating years. I can only conclude that Existence is so determined that the whole of humanity gets it and from the deepest core, the deepest source, that nothing less will do.
“When the fruit is ripe, it falls off the tree,.”
It’s been just too much hearing the news filled with politicians’ peccadilloes; Hearing over and over about their dishonesties, their greed, their psychoses, their gross and disgraceful behaviors. their criminal acts and their disregard for those whom they represented (who believed in their power to help them and so elected them into office).
I hope that in witnessing all of this mayhem from local and national leaders around the globe, will have been sufficient to take them down from the pedestals upon which ordinary man and woman has placed them. And that they are no longer being worshipped as gods. I don’t want to hear any more about it and I want another system entirely in place. I do not want to repeat history. And I hope billions of people feel the same way. Treasured, hopeful people that we are, we have been waiting, enduring and willing to experience it all, with lots of opportunities and devices to help awaken us. So many of us have used this time and are still using this time to come to see clearly what is and what is not and to know who truly we are and whom we are not.
I remember Osho’s saying that water will boil only at 212 degrees, not a mili-degree less. There will be no transforming of elements until that exact point is reached. I have referenced this so often in my life, and being reminded of this has enabled me to go the distance when I’ve felt that it’s “enough already&rldquo; and has allowed me to find from within, the extra capacity to surrender the anxst, the resistance and sally forth until Existence herself shifts things. It’s this time now in a global setting to, in the midst of all the chaos and unknowns, go the distance. I think we’re almost at the point.
...Democracy is not succeeding; it has failed. It was better than its predecessors, but now we have to find a new alternative, because democracy has failed. It has not been of any help...
...It is simple... a world government can look at the whole world as one humanity. Problems are not so much as they appear. At one time, in Soviet Russia, they had a bumper crop of wheat. Rather than giving it to the countries who were dying without food, they started burning wheat in their railway trains instead of coal. Now, those poor countries where people were dying have enough coal: if the world is one, the coal can be given to Soviet Russia, the wheat can move to the poor country. And if there is one world, then there is no need for seventy-five percent of every nation's wealth to be wasted on nuclear weapons, on armies, on other kinds of war materials. Seventy-five percent! Humanity is living only on twenty-five percent. If there are no longer any nations, the question of war does not arise. A hundred percent of all energy, money, income becomes available to the whole world. And the same is the situation about everything. All this can be changed by people of genius coming to the top. And the simple way is, make categories so universities become your centers of power, not governments; universities create your governors, your presidents, your vice-presidents, your senators. And that should be the right thing to do...I call it meritocracy. The future belongs to meritocracy.
From Bondage to Freedom # 31
I wonder about these things and I ask you:
Do you think that at this time the consciousness has awakened sufficiently and similarly in greater numbers of people than ever before, so that they are envisioning and wishing and intending that something completely new must happen now? That we have to look somewhere else, or look in a fresh new way that has not been before; and that we don’t even know if it really is possible, but that we must try anyway. And do you think that there is enough energy in this awakening, so that the new can actually happen?
The old options we know we don’t want anymore. And no longer can one look back (in history) for a model to follow. It has to be created now. And I’m thinking of the ordinary man and woman in life who probably doesn’t seriously consider meditation, or spend much time thinking of esoteric or spiritual causes and effects of things. And it is this everyday human being who has been put through a crash course and roughed up the most, twisted and turned inside out, pruned and buffed, and whose usual measure of security has been pulled away by the economic failures. This is whom Existence has now chosen out of its deepest love and compassion to focus on and free.
You know this sounds a lot like seeking the lost city of Shangri-la, looking for Utopia. But this is an unprecedented time we are in, and one in which the impossible dream may come true. It might well have found its right time. I hope so! Even though doubt and a certain skepticism is also lurking as I think these thoughts. However, to experience this great awakening, to be a part of this shift in my time here in the body, on planet earth, would be the greatest, most unbelievable blessing of all time and on such a vast scale. And I’m shooting for it.
There are already signs of a new kind of coming together. I’ve seen it here in token ways amongst businesses on the Big Island. I’ve seen it with new communities of people being created, with people joining together in active creative solutions to some of our problems. I see it with the economic crisis where people around the world are unifying and not so much fighting against one another in survival reaction. It’s being seen here and there, that we have to support each other, like it or not. I really like Osho’s idea to choose the right people for the right positions based upon their abilities, their individual expertise, and a practical yet universal concept of wholeness and unity.
The spiritual forces are stronger than ever. And together with all the non-physical support that is exploding at this time, there are so many people praying and meditating and visualizing a universal earth where there is joy, prosperity and peace for all; a new man, a new woman, a new form, a new way of life.
That's why I say, drop the old completely. It was sick, it was schizophrenic. And let us have a new man; organic, healthy, whole. And with the new man comes a new world into existence, which will not be divided by politics into nations; which will not be divided by religions into different sections, fighting, murdering, killing, burning living people. We can make this earth a paradise, if we are together. If there are no nations and no churches, no religions, nothing dividing man from man. Then we will have so much energy available which is being involved into wars, into fighting, into organizing; that this whole earth can blossom into new flowers of consciousness.
The Last Testament, Vol. 5, Number 27
“This time the transmission of the lamp is going to happen to millions of people. The old buddhas had a very small company; my company is worldwide. I don't belong to any nation, to any religion, and I don't want you to belong to any nation or any religion. I want you to belong to the whole universe and spread the fire. It is going to happen to millions of people. Belong to the whole universe and spread the fire!”
OSHO: The Original Man - Aug 1988.
Globalization in its literal sense is the process of the transformation of things or phenomena into global ones. It can be described as a process by which the people of the world are unified into a single society and function together. This process is a combination of economic, technological, sociocultural and political forces. Globalization is often used to refer to economic globalization, that is, integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, migration, and the spread of technology…..Wikipedia Online.
Here’s a little history of the term from Wikipedia Online:
"Globalization" has been used by economists since the 1980s although it was used in social sciences in the 1960s; however, its concepts did not become popular until the latter half of the 1980s and 1990s. The earliest written theoretical concepts of globalization were penned by an American entrepreneur-turned-minister, Charles Taze Russell, who coined the term 'corporate giants' in 1897.
I’d like to take this a step further out, to the personal and social spheres that must surely follow the economic survival and material trends of these new partnerships, mergers and expanded levels of cooperation. I personally am excited by this new turning of the tides and by the vaster concept and vision to which globalization refers, namely union; and a greater union at that. Caring about others doing well and thriving, as well as yourself.
I was sitting in a marketing meeting with the Marketing and Sales Directors from our local resorts and hotels, along with representatives and owners of our Big Island’s top Visitor businesses, organizations, activity and adventure companies. As the owner of a wedding company, I was there representing the Romance Industry. Because of a slowed-down economy, some enterprising and visionary people are globalizing islandwide.- And THAT was fantastic to see and experience. Businesses from the east side of the island partnering with those of the west side of the island, something previously unheard of. Joint ventures and some very exciting, out-of-the-box, mutual mergings are taking place, where none had happened before and in fact, those who are now joining forces were until very recently, staunch competitors.
What I saw so clearly in that meeting is a REBITH now occurring on our island. And I’m sure, well at least I hope and energize this thought, that this is what is also happening world-wide. Although the initial catalyst for globalizion is survival, the outcome can be oneness, alignment, harmony, cooperation and mutually contributing to the greater whole and its well-being…. Rebirth.
We as human beings of this often two-dimensional-reality world, have been getting more and more separated from one another, and are conditioned to do just that, with the learned us and them mentality; the me/me rather than I/Thou. So I see one of the higher octave potentials of this global movement as being Existence’s way of tackling that hard nut, beginning to bang away at the structures and dividing walls that people have placed around themselves.
I can see much good coming from a “hooking up” internationally in all ways, and for a dissolving of boundaries and borders, distinctions and restrictions, limitations and divisions.
For people, just people, sharing their vast wealth of resources, ideas, knowledge, wisdom, their creativity and passion and working cooperatively. I’d like to see a blurring of what has needlessly separated us from one another.
If the whole existence is one, and if the existence goes on taking care of trees, of animals, of mountains, of oceans from the smallest blade of grass to the biggest star -- then it will take care of you too. Why be possessive? The possessiveness shows simply one thing that you cannot trust existence. You have to arrange separate security for yourself, safety for yourself; you cannot trust existence. Non-possessiveness is basically trust in existence. There is no need to possess, because the whole is already ours.
OSHO: (discourse source unknown)
From a whole other perspective, it is a natural stage in one’s growth to evolve away from the group (consciousness) and seek oneself, to discover oneself as an individual; what one feels, thinks and understands, who one is. The timeless question, who am I?
I see the journey, for example, in the religious context. As people are newly being introduced to God and exploring the world of divinity, love, a higher consciousness, they first join a Church or some religious grouping and follow those teachings (as Gospel), merging with the group and the teachings, becoming a part of them and integrating them into oneself. And that needs to happen. The organized religion serves a very important purpose at a certain stage/s of one’s life.
However a point will come sooner or later, maybe lifetimes later, when questions arise, incongruities, inconsistencies or contradictions may emerge and there is a desire, a need for a shift, independent of the group philosophy and away from it. And so begins the creation and development of one’s own philosophy, the awakening of one’s true essence.
22 years ago a woman came to me as a client. She was a very courageous woman and my heart just opened to her. I felt an instant rapport with her. She was a very loyal and long-standing Catholic and for a long time now was troubled by certain behaviors of Church members and Clergy which to her seemed hypocritical and inconsistent with what she believed to be loving, holy, compassionate and integrous with Spirit. She was palpably shaken and frightened coming to see me, not only as this might be considered devil-worship and worthy of excommunication, but she was frightened at how she felt and what she wanted to do. At the same time, she could no longer believe that her thoughts and feelings were wrong or evil, or something for which she should be eternally damned.
So she came to see me and to consult the cards. She had spiritually but not yet physically left the Church. When she left me, she was calm, reassured, strong, fear and judgment dissolved ready for her new life.
Only a ripe fruit falls to the ground. Ripeness is all. An unripe ego cannot be thrown, cannot be destroyed. And if you struggle with an unripe ego to destroy and dissolve it, the whole effort is going to be a failure. Rather than destroying it, you will find it more strengthened in new subtle ways. This is something basic to be understood: the ego must come to a peak, it must be strong, it must have attained an integrity — only then can you dissolve it. A weak ego cannot be dissolved.
OSHO (discourse source unknown)
I remember when I was doing psychic readings at the Tarot Patch, a darling booth, a calm peaceful oasis in the middle of the Lahaina Marketplace in Maui, where you could come and sit on a stool and be welcomed as you are and enter into your inner world. The Tarot Patch is no longer there but I believe the Lahaina Marketplace is still, and it’s a gorgeous place! It certainly was then; filled with art and artifacts, surrounded by lush trees and tropical, dynamically-colored, fragrant flowers, and the local marketplace kitties and generally a most pleasant and divine place to be. I would sit there like a queen on her throne which is how I felt – in heaven, in pure bliss and joy simply to be there. I’d lean back relaxed on my comfy stool with a big fat smile on my face, waiting for people to come for a reading and enter into our (short but) rarified partnership. I found out about the smile when people came over to tell me that I was sitting there beaming and that is what drew them over. I was happy as a clam to be there, sitting in my power spot, waiting eagerly to step in and share the goodies.
It was my favorite thing to do, to give these readings. They were wonderful and I believe it’s because of the people who dropped by my booth. They were from all over the world and of every age. The youngest person I read for was 8 years old. She came with her father. I saw her pull him over to the booth and he translated for her as she spoke no English. They were from Finland. How lucky she was to have such a father. I remember their amazing and mutually respectful relationship. So rare between parents and children.
I started taking pictures of my clients mostly after their readings, sitting or standing by their card spread. Every once in a while I get out that photo album and have a look through. And I remember the people, and the stories around them. Almost all of them, and especially certain ones. It was pure pleasure, a real love affair and a deep, albeit short relationship. One of the folks I recall was a well-known comedian/writer from Hollywood whom I later visited in their home to do full readings for both husband and wife. Down to earth, funny, good people.
Our world is getting smaller and smaller. We have to eventually come to see beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are all the same. No matter what religion, education, language look, color or style we represent. I believe that the opening towards globalization is the palpable beginning of this movement. I can watch the wars on TV that are going on in the various countries (although I don’t). And the people, irrespective of which country it is, feel, think, long for, suffer and hope in the very same ways that we do in this country or in any other country that I know of.
I remember listening to a radio interview of one of the villagers in some out of the way village/town in Iraq. As I listened to the language and the way he spoke, I imagined (I don’t why exactly) a relatively uneducated, more simple, countrified-style of man speaking. Maybe it was the rough sound of the dialect, or the halting way in which he spoke. In any case, I won’t be thinking like that again. When the interviewer began to translate what the man was saying, it was mind boggling.
The man being interviewed could have been standing in Manhattan, or in Chicago, or Honolulu, or London, commenting on the effect of the war on his village, his business, his family, his neighbors, his children and his country. And he spoke about what he wanted for them; and for the war to be over and for their lives to begin to rebuild and begin again; for stability; and for his children to be able to play in the street once again and lead a life free of constant terror. His comments about society in general and about his neighbors and about the occupation showed such intelligence, compassion under the most difficult circumstances and was absolutely the same as anyone from anywhere else, no matter where on the globe.
Each person comes into this world with a specific destiny - he has something to fulfill, some message has to be delivered, some work has to be completed. You are not here accidentally - you are here meaningfully. There is a purpose behind you. The whole intends to do something through you."
OSHO (discourse source unknown)
We are indeed in a time unlike any other that I have experienced. Anything is possible. Nothing is fixed. We have, none of us, any idea what exactly lies ahead, not that we ever
did, but at least now we know we don’t. We are moving in a new way, towards a new grouping with globalization, yet it’s different. It can be different. It can be better, more conscious and from a stronger essential base, so that not only do we harmonize globally
and become one world, but we do not lose the individual essence.
A free man belongs to himself and nobody else. A free man is simply an energy with no name, no form, no race, no nation. The days of nations and races are past, the days of the individual are coming. In a better world there will be no Germans, no Americans, no Indians, no Hindus, no Christians, no Jews ... there will be pure individuals, perfectly free, living their life in their own way, not disturbing anybody's life and not allowing anybody to disturb their lives.
Suppression and Repression: Seed of Terrorism
Coming from the psychological, inner perspective that I do, I think first, always, of the individual and the story of our lives. I have tended to use my life and all the myriad experiences that I have had since the very beginning, as examples, metaphors, as touchstones to understanding; and through feeling and sensing what is happening in the other to find a context to make some sense of it; a way to bring equanimity and peace to my heart through it all; and to bring positive change in some way, even if so small as to hold the light over individuals in their challenges, over distressed countries and their people in such suffering and pain.
And yes even with the current out-of-all-proportions world situation; all the killing, hurting, bombing, kidnapping, terrorizing and imprisoning; the earthquakes, floods, droughts and hurricanes; the disenfranchisement of millions of individual men, women, children and animals who seem to be so innocently caught in the midst of all these horrendous situations. Whether they are “natural” or man-made, the fact is that it is a distress that everyone feels and a little light although so needed, seems pitifully small.
I see suppression and repression as being behind the terrorism that has broken out like a wildfire in our time. We are reaching an apex where all that has been held down is bursting open and can no longer be contained; in people and also in governments, conglomerates and institutions. All the dirty laundry is now coming out to be aired, to be cleaned. As people are erupting, their good, bad and ugly is coming out and rising to the surface.
Every man is living in a disagreement with himself. So whenever he can find a chance ? for a beautiful cause; freedom, democracy, socialism ? any beautiful word can become an umbrella to hide his ugly unconscious, which simply wants to destroy and enjoys destruction. Now the world war has become almost impossible; otherwise there would have been no terrorism.
Everything is deeply related with everything else that happens. The event of terrorism is certainly related with what is happening in the society. The society is falling apart. Its old order, discipline, morality, religion, everything has been found to be wrongly based. It has lost its power over people's conscience.
And coincidentally here in Hawaii a new eruption of Kilauea Volcano has just happened, not even two months ago, at Halema’uma’u Crater and has changed the climate where I live, has changed everything in fact. There is a new feeling in the air because of increased vog (volcano fog or cloud) and people’s moods are different because the weather is altered and an over-reactive and inaccurate press story has frightened off some visitors so tourism is down. On top of that, one of our local long-time airlines, Aloha airlines, has gone out of business as well as a mainland airlines that flew directly to the Big Island. And with rising oil and gas prices, food and everything else prices, the local economy is of some concern.
The discussion of the over inflated oil prices could also nicely fit into this category of suppression and terrorism on an economical level. It is this writer’s guess that there are only a few maybe one or two hands on the oil spigot shutting it on and off at will chuckling all the way to their bank and I mean their bank.
But all of this has motivated Big Island businesses to partner with other businesses around the island, ostensibly for survival, but in the process bringing a welcome unifying force here where before there was separateness, division and competition. So I see the new eruption as heralding a rebirth on the Big Island. And I hope that this is what will also be happening on a larger scale in the world.
In the meanwhile it’s as if the world has split itself up into two parts. Well at least two parts. We’ve always had the good guys and the bad guys; the dark horse and the white horse; those with higher values and goals far beyond only themselves and those whose concerns are closer to the surface and shallower surfaces at that. But now the dualities have reached catastrophic proportions and everywhere I look in the world there is some catastrophe taking place.
I notice that the word terrorists (formerly called rebels, criminals, mobs, gangs, revolutionaries) waiting to murder people they have no idea who they are, has become so familiar, like a buzz-word, that it almost no longer strikes terror.
Let me here try to make a distinction between suppression and repression as they are so interchangeable and might be still in this article. I will tend to use suppression to mean something that is kept pushed down, hidden away mostly by ourselves. And repression here is the act of suppressing or forcing suppression upon others, as well as ourselves.
We know about the repression that we go through from the start of life. And Osho has spoken so much and so often, of our conditioning from parents, from society in general, from each country, each religion, each era and of how our conditioning came about and its consequences.
First of all, the child has to learn to curb his/her crying and then his/her laughing. This was certainly so in my case. The parent has to feel it’s appropriate in order for it to be acceptable. How to speak and when to speak and when not to speak. The suppression of one’s truth is learned here, and not so much learned as painfully experienced. And one learns about the two faces. The face at home alone and the face when with company. One learns about no longer touching the body and because of that becoming ashamed of it and afraid of it and all the feelings stored there in the delicious little parts. And so sexual repression and the suppressed feelings stay waiting, and building pressure within. And so it goes on growing, getting bigger in school, in Sunday school perhaps, in church, synagogue or in the temple and into greater society, getting heavier and stronger. And we are further and further away from the delectable kernel of who we are.
Nobody is what he was meant by existence to be. The society, the culture, the religion, the education that have all been conspiring against innocent children. They have all the powers-the child is helpless and dependent, so whatsoever they want to take out of him, they manage to do it. They don’t allow any child to grow to his natural destiny. Their every effort is to make human beings into utilities. Who knows, if a child is left on his own to grow, whether he will be of any use to the vested interests or not? The society is not prepared to take the risk. It grabs the child and starts molding him into something that is needed by the society. In a certain sense, it kills the soul of the child and gives him a false identity so that he never misses his soul, his being. The false identity is a substitute. But that substitute is useful only in the same crowd which has given it to you. The moment you are alone, the false starts falling apart and the repressed real starts expressing itself. Hence the fear of being lonely. Nobody wants to be lonely. Everybody wants to belong to a crowd-not only one crowd, but many crowds. A person belongs to a religious crowd, a political party, a Rotary Club and there are many other small groups to belong to. One wants to be supported twenty-four hours a day because the false, without support, cannot stand. The moment one is alone, one starts feeling a strange craziness. For so many years you believed yourself to be somebody, and then suddenly in a moment of loneliness you start feeling you are not that. It creates fear: then who are you?
And years of suppression…it will take some time for the real to express itself. The gap between the two has been called by the mystics, “the dark night of the soul” - a very appropriate expression. You are no more the false, and you are not yet the real. You are in a limbo, you don’t know who you are.
Particularly in the West, the problem is even more complicated because they have not developed any methodology to discover the real as son as possible, so that the dark night of the soul can be shortened. The West knows nothing as far as meditation is concerned. And meditation is only a name for being alone, silent, waiting for the real to assert itself. It is not an act, it is a silent relaxation-because whatever you “do” will come out of your false personality… all your doing, for so many years, has come out of it. It is an old habit. Habits die hard. So many years of living in a false personality imposed by people whom you loved, whom you respected…and they are not intentionally doing anything bad to you. Their intentions were good, just their awareness was nil. They were not conscious people-your parents, your teachers, your priests, your politicians-they were not conscious people, they were unconscious. And even a good intention in the hands of an unconscious person turns out to be poisonous.
The Courage To Be Just Yourself
I can relate all of this to myself and the inner process within me. The right side of my body has been tightening, contracting its movement and flexibility, shutting down bit by bit, hurting and I have been watching this happening. The right wrist, ankle, right hip, the knee, the right side of the neck, the right shoulder, the right eye, canine tooth, and as of 3 days ago, the liver. Now this didn’t just happen all at once and altogether. It has been little by little, so I didn’t connect the dots until recently.
It seems that the dark is taking over. So the only power that the right side of the body has had, has been to stop, contract, refuse to move. And that is what it’s done. With a sore liver I realized that I can’t keep going on as I’ve been. My body had taken on as much as it could for me and my nervous system is overloaded.
I have felt such anger. Surprising as I thought it had been cleared out years ago. Then moments of anxiety, almost panic. It seems to me that this must have been inside and very deep for a very long time. Maybe eons and clearly whatever has been there is now wanting to release so I let it. Never before have I allowed so much. And the taunts come.
Here you are in a life that is finished, your passion and joy gone, and you are still holding onto the old, and the new you don’t take any steps towards. Where is your courage? What has happened to you? Have you lost yourself? Are you mad? Things are happening around you and you do nothing. You are getting left behind.
And together with this, such emptiness has arisen and where there used to be a natural confidence, an ebullient energy, a knowing, nothing seems to be stirring apart from these suffering feelings and corrosive thoughts. I know from the signs I am given in meditation that this has to be and it’s okay, that it has not been fully allowed in the past and I must simply allow now, for it all to release.
If I were someone else, then maybe I would pick up a rifle or a machine gun or a grenade and go and kill someone responsible for my plight or join a worthy cause of someone else’s. What man does to man I can understand because aspects within me represent the tortured and the torturer, the repressor and the repressed.
When I am working, performing a lovely ceremony, all I experience is love and beingness. But as soon as I come back to myself, I am back to my civil war. What I have just gloriously found is that the antidote, and the only one, is to be absolutely present in each moment. Taking the advice I gave to someone a couple of days ago : “Slow down. Be in the moment and don’t get too far ahead of yourself”. When playing music that means I focus on the note I am about to play, not anything behind or ahead. And this is bringing a union within myself, moment by moment. A rebirth.
And this is what I see in the world. People with all these instabilities and huge emotions, fears and insecurities have not been able, or have chosen not to go within, but to find a reason outside themselves for whatever their complaints seem to be and then act them out becoming violent and terrorists.
I think of those poverty-stricken young boys and young men in the third world countries, specifically Afghanistan and that region. They have been taught to not expect too much, that they don’t deserve a lot and will not receive it anyway. And they believe it. They don’t want to believe it, but deep down they are afraid even to dream, for their dreams can never come true. But they are corruptible for those desires, those dreams that they see realized in others, in the wealthy and well-endowed, in the west; they see the ease and elegance that exists for others. How can they possibly achieve that?
So their dreams can be bought and brought to life when told that by fighting for their homeland and their religion, for the Glory of God and the financial betterment of their families, rewards will come. They themselves will be rewarded later after death and then their dreams will come true. All their suffering and sacrifice on earth will bring glory afterwards. And glory at least is something!
To feel useful and powerful, looked up to by those around you even for a very short time, is something after all. It doesn’t happen in everyday life nor is there hope for it in the future. And looking around at the elders, their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, nothing much seems to be acquired at the end, that looks any better than was at the beginning.
“And you cannot condemn the man for killing a stranger... because he is not a thief; he did not take anything from him. He is not an enemy; he did not even see who was the man he was killing. He was simply bored with life and he wanted to do something that made him feel significant, important. He is happy that all the newspapers have his photo. If they had published his photo before, he would not have killed; but they waited ? until he kills they will not publish his photo. And he wanted to be a celebrity... just ordinary human desires. And he was ready to pay with his life to become, at least for one day, known to the whole world, recognized by everybody. Until we change the basic grounds of humanity, terrorism is going to become more and more a normal, everyday affair. It will happen in the airplanes, it will happen in the buses. It will start happening in the cars. It will start happening to strangers. Somebody will suddenly come and shoot you ? not that you have done anything to him, but just, the hunter is back. The hunter was satisfied in the war. Now the war has stopped and perhaps there is no possibility for it. The hunter is back; now we cannot fight collectively. Each individual has to do something to release his own steam.”
Beyond Psychology #18
But what is wrong at the root of everything are the divisions within us suppressing our wholeness, joy, hope, happiness and creativity, as well as the divisions between people, classes countries, between religions. We should be one world, one people and everyone with equal opportunity to everything. Otherwise there is always going to be the dualities of fairness and unfairness; have and have not; those controlled and those controlling; the repressors in authority and the repressed who have to obey. And there will always be rage suppressed by all the layers of pain, lack and disappointment, insecurity and inequality and always be conflict in one way or another.
I know this view of being one people is impossible, that it’s also very unrealistic for this world. Sounds a bit naïve I know, but doesn’t it sound wonderful? And I do come from a family background of socialists, so there it is leaking out. I happen to believe that this earth is a university and has to provide every level of experience that is needed for a soul to grow and evolve, from its very first incarnation onwards to graduation, and to a different existence. Earth is the place to learn about all of life, from the gross to the subtle, from hell to heaven and everything in between.
The difference between people relative to terrorism, from an abusive neighbor to the uni-bomber, is that the less evolved soul will take all that is lacking in his life or festering within him and blame it on someone, be it a person, a race, a job, an animal, a child, or a country and use it against them. A soul who has lived long enough, who has experienced and learned from many lifetimes, when faced with repressed feelings and old painful patterns, will look within and find ways to release the inner freedom yearning to come to full life and expression. Not pick up a gun or fight for something that does not resolve or release the old source.
This holds the key to what follows and how we can return to our natural state of joy and spontaneity, be the true essence of who we are, the intelligent, creative, abundant, full expansive beings that we are all capable of being, and living from here bring such grace, gratitude and enlightenment to the world around us. Fill the air with the buzzing of joy and the fragrance of sweetness.
So having said that, it means to me that there will always be, as has historically been, peace and war and peace and war. And the conflicts and difficulties, the challenges, pleasures, achievements and lessons for the individual and the collective that this world has always dealt with, will continue. And it remains that evolution happens on an individual level or with groups of like individuals who are totally committed to their awakening. Business as usual.
Although with each generation, with each millennium, each eon, we see development, advances, progress and quantum shifts previously unimaginable. So the same personal experiences keep on happening in us individually but in more rarified environments and lifestyles, as the level of progress of that time dictates.
I mentioned this theory to a dear friend who is a beautiful and enlightened woman and she just looked at me and then looked away. Said nothing but looked and in such a way that I had the feeling that she was not in agreement. But as nothing was said, I still have my theory intact.
Look at the last 100 years and what has transpired! Unbelievable. I remember as a child the biggest treat I could have would be if, when walking back from school, the milkman would stop and let me get into his milk wagon and hold the horse’s reins. Wow! That was really something special! And that was far less than 100 years ago. Now we have digital everything and instant communication everywhere, super jets, a level of advanced technology, cloning, stem cell medical miracle potentials and more of what not too long ago was sci-fi.
There is so much potential while at the same time our planet is almost all used up. It’s a quixotic irony. I just read in the paper this morning that President Bush has given permission across the board to seven oil companies in Alaska in the Chukchi Sea to “annoy and potentially harm” the polar bears, meaning of course kill them if not by a bullet then by destroying their home and environment. This in pursuit of oil and natural gas.
The terrorism is not in the bombs, in your hands; the terrorism is in your unconscious.
“My understanding is that the way he has lived, man needs -- every ten to twelve years -- a war. He accumulates so much anger, so much rage, so much violence, that nothing short of a war will give him release. So, war after war, there is a gap of only ten to fifteen years. That gap is a kind of relaxation. But again you start accumulating because the same psychology is working -- the same jealousy, the same violence. And man is basically a hunter; he is not by nature vegetarian.
First he became a hunter, and for thousands of years he was just a meat-eater, and cannibalism was prevalent everywhere. To eat human beings caught from the opposing tribe you were fighting with was perfectly ethical. All that is carried in the unconscious of humanity. Religions have imposed things on man very superficially; his unconscious is not in agreement. Every man is living in a disagreement with himself. So whenever he can find a chance -- for a beautiful cause; freedom, democracy, socialism -- any beautiful word can become an umbrella to hide his ugly unconscious, which simply wants to destroy and enjoys destruction…… It can only be prevented if we change the very base of human understanding -- which is a Himalayan task because these same people whom you want to change will fight you; they who’d allow you to change them easily. In fact they love bloodshed; they don't have the courage to say so.”
Beyond Psychology #18
Exploiters of Humanity
"It is not just accidental that priests are against me, politicians are against me, parents are against me, the whole establishment is against me; it is not accidental. I can understand the absolutely clear logic of it. I am trying to undo what they have done. I am sabotaging the whole pattern of this slave society."
When you look at the state of the world at this present time it seems as if everyone has gone stark raving mad. And to such unimaginable extents:
• Take the Iraq war for example. Insanity borne out of the basest of motives with such devastating results far beyond what anyone could have predicted.
• The US government’s disregard and open lack of concern for their own disaster victims, refugees from Katrina in New Orleans, USA, and whose slow recovery still continues.
• China and its brutality and attempts to destroy the peaceful Tibetan community, a harmonious civilization based on love of God and harmony to all of man, while the world stood by and let it happen, and still stands by and lets it happen.
• Myrramar in Butan, terrible things in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, the genocides, ‘natural’ disasters on many continents, the base inhumanity of man to man, the worst that can be imagined of the human psyche exploding on this planet, at this time.
"Politicians cannot be loving, they know only war. That's natural; they exist hrough conflict. So they may talk about peace, but their whole talk is just nonsense, just gibberish. They talk about peace and they prepare for war. They never prepare for peace. They prepare for war and they never talk about war, they talk about peace. And when the time comes, they even war and fight for peace. They say it has to be done to save peace. But basically, the mind of the competitor is violent. One who is ambitious is violent and cannot be loving. The hippie slogan -- Make love not war -- is very, very meaningful. If the world were more loving, war would disappear automatically, because who would be ready to fight? For what? No country wants its people to be very loving. No country wants its people to be deep in love -- because if they are deep in love they become incapable of war. Their sex, their love, has to be repressed. When love and sex are repressed, people are ready to jump out of their skins. They are so boiling; they are always ready to fight. That's why a poor country can fight better than a rich country"
I remember when I first came to Poona in the 70’s, listening to Osho telling the truth about the priests and the politicians, spilling the beans about their tainted roles in our lives, which we had been unknowingly empowering. I had never thought about it before and it was an eye-opener, the manipulation and grossness of intentions so obvious once seen. The sacred and the profane easily evidenced now.
"'You have to be aware who the real criminals are in this world. That's why I speak against the priests and religions, because I don't want any single loophole for you. You have to be aware who the criminals are. The problem is that those criminals are thought to be great leaders, sages, saints, mahatmas, and they are respected tremendously around the world, so you will never think that they can be criminals. So I have to insist continuously, every day. For example, it is easier to understand that perhaps politicians are the causes of many problems: wars, murders, massacres, burning people. It is even more difficult when it comes to religious leaders, because nobody has raised his hand against them. They have remained respectable for centuries, and as time goes on their respectability goes on growing. The most difficult job for me is to make you aware that these people -- knowingly or unknowingly, that does not matter --have created this world. "
Priests and Politicians : The Mafia of the Soul
Can a priest serve both God and the Sandinistas? Yes, say the four Roman Catholic clergymen who have held top posts in the Nicaraguan government since the Sandinistas came to power in 1979. Said D'Escoto of his dual role as priest and politician: "There is no conflict. I am serving my people." Excerpted from an article in Time Magazine.
We have been watching the truth rising to the surface out of the churches; eg) the Catholic Church no longer able to hold hidden, their unholy secrets as that arena of our community begins to heal itself.
“This is sounding very dismal”, I am saying to myself and yet I feel there is a divine purpose behind it all, the greatest of all devices. What I see from every point of view and every angle are the intensifying polarities, the two sides of the duality reality screaming. These polarities have always existed, but have widened and broadened so much so that they are now very easy to see, and by almost anyone, which is perhaps why we have arrived at this intense critical point.
"I don't see any point of dividing the outer and the inner. I have been poor, I have lived in utter poverty, I have lived in richness. And believe me, richness is far better than poverty. I am a man of very simple interests: I am utterly satisfied with the best of anything, I don't ask for more."
We are seeing in action, truth and lies, hypocrisies, injustices, immense greed, the self-serving and the egalitarians. We see the destroyers of our planet, wanting to chow down on more natural resources. And at the same time the balancing rise of GREEN awareness with greater respectability given to conservationists and environmentalists. In fact it is now more socially acceptable to be on a mission of environmental protection and consciousness. Out of our gaggle of politicians speaking what they say is their truth and so transparently not, comes a formerly active politician whose hitherto-ridiculed passion for restoring our planet to good health is now heralded, his inconvenient truth having been heard.
The same strength of polarities is rising up within the individual as well. I see this within myself and with those close around me. Sometimes I feel as if I could be going crazy as both sides of my old patterns lift up and with a megaphone take turns to shout and try and take control and I feel sometimes as if someone/something else is living my live for me. And each side of the duality is seemingly now stronger in struggle with the other.
I feel though that what is being forged is unity, integration and oneness. And it makes perfect sense to my inner knower. Living through the bopping back and forth of these old, sometimes horrific illusions and thoughts and outgrown yet still nightmarish beliefs hanging around, it’s too much, too heavy, too painful, to keep those balls in the air. And that’s the point of the story. Letting go of all of this allows the unity, oneness, simple, relaxation and beingness that has always existed, to now resume. It has been waiting patiently for this time.
In the world it seems incomprehensible how unity can happen with such huge divisions and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. I do believe that will be the outcome, most certainly within individuals. The world has always continues in one form or another no matter what we have done to it. Life cannot be stopped. I have no idea what we as an earth are going to look like. But individually, I know that all this is not for naught. Love is too strong. The desire to share, give celebrate, laugh and be in ecstasy, in harmonious connection with the whole are stronger than anything else. And I believe that our planet, our universal home ultimately has a spirit and love stronger than any forces that can pull it apart.
Separation and division means everyone loses, It’s as if one arm is against the other and it’s obvious that the body will lose no matter which arm is triumphant. Both must win for there to be a victory. The truth is there is no real separation.
"Love knows nothing of responsibility. It does many things, it is very creative; it shares all that it has, but it is not a responsibility, remember. Responsibility is an ugly word in comparison to love. Love is natural. Responsibility is created by the cunning priests, politicians who want to dominate you in the name of God, in the name of the nation, in the name of family, in the name of religion -- any fiction will do. But they don't talk about love. On the contrary, they are all against love, because love is unable to be controlled by them. A man of love acts out of his own heart, not according to any moral code. A man of love will not join the army because it is his responsibility to fight for his nation. A man of love will say there are no nations, and there is no question of any fight."
Sat Chit Anand
As I begin this writing, it’s the last few hours of St. Patrick’s Day. Have just returned home from my wedding tonight, had some dinner and now settling in for the rest of the night. No, I have not gotten married again. Weddings are my business. I create ceremonies that have a message for the couple that is meaningful, spiritual and very heartfelt. And we often have good belly laughs as well. I like to shift the energy specially when we‘ve delved into a very deep place in the ceremony and have paused, so it‘s time to let that energy rise, shimmer, shine and shower throughout the entire system, nourishing it. There is nothing like a spontaneous comment that touches just in the right way and ignites an appreciative, releasing laughter. It’s also a poignant moment of connection between everyone there. And this is one of the ways in which I share who I am with others.
Sharing is a huge subject, much more involved than I first thought when considering it and a strange one for me personally, as I have spent the greater part of my life living on my own. I have said tongue-in-cheek, that I have a PhD in living alone and I could write a manual on it. So it seems that in speaking about sharing, one thinks first about relationships and one-on-one intimate relationships, but sharing has actually a much broader vista and this is what I‘ll be sharing with you.
What really is sharing?
The word to me really means sharing oneself, and with others. Showing who you are through your words, your actions and deeds, through how you respond to life‘s situations. It’s about being yourself and letting that shine through. For some people it’s more difficult to let themselves be seen, to express their true feelings and open their inner doors and windows. So some may find it easier to show their caring and compassion through doing. Such as a neighbor offering to lend a hand or lend a tool, something that will make a moment’s task that much easier. And simply the energy of this help, lifts everything up, including the task at hand.
As you move above to the fourth center - that is the heart - your whole life becomes a sharing of love. The third center has created the abundance of love. By reaching to the third center in meditation, you have become so overflowing with love, with compassion, and you want to share. It happens at the fourth center, the heart. That’s why even in the ordinary world people think love comes out of the heart. For them it is just hearsay, they have heard it; they don’t know it because they have never reached to their heart. But the Meditator finally reaches to the heart. As he has reached to the center of his being - the third center - suddenly an explosion of love and compassion and joy and blissfulness and benediction has arisen in him with such a force that it hits his heart and opens the heart. The heart is just in the middle of all your seven centers - three centers below, three centers above. You have come exactly to the middle.
I know that I share best in two ways, if I look into my past, that is. One is on the service level. The other is in friendship. Where I have far less experience is in long-term, intimate relationships. My two marriages were short-lived; one about 4 years and the other 3 years at best. What I do have though, are long-term friendships and strong ones, and forever-beloved friends amongst many of my clients. I had always been involved in providing a service to others, certainly through my work: energy work, intuitive counseling, psychic readings, classes and workshops to open to one’s intuition. In a teaching or facilitator role, even an officiants role, it seems to bring out the better aspects of who I am. My heart naturally open in such a scenario, opening the door to Spirit and to sharing essential truths. I had two radio shows for a few years, one here in Kona and the other in Honolulu, which were live call-in shows, engaging people deeply and quickly while responding to their questions, albeit for only a short period of time.
The moment you become miserly you are closed to the basic phenomenon of life: expansion, sharing. The moment you start clinging to things, you have missed the Target; you have missed because things are not the target. You, your innermost being is the target. Not a beautiful house, but a beautiful you. Not much money, but a rich you Not many things, but an open being, available to millions of things.
Excerpted from: Ancient Music in the Pines Chapter 2
Someone coming to tell a good joke brings an enormous gift with him or her in the ensuing laughter. There is nothing like bringing laughter. It changes a moment. It can change a life.
When my father was dying, and I didn’t know he was dying and that this very phone conversation would be the last time we spoke together, I started to tell him a joke I had heard just the night before at a gallery opening here in Kona. Two friends for 2.5 hours non-stop took turns telling the funniest jokes. I don’t think I ever laughed so much before or since. They were great jokes and these two guys should have been knighted for their gifts to humanity. In any case this is the joke I now began to tell my father.
A Jewish man is walking on the street and gets run over by a bus. It just so happens that a Catholic Priest is there and sees the accident and runs over to the man now lying on the ground to ask how he is...
My father stops me here and says, Oh I’ve heard that one and he proceeds to finish it like this:
The Priest takes off his shawl, folds it up and places it tenderly under the man’s head and asks him in very concerned tones, if he’s comfortable. To which the Jewish man looks up and says. “Ehh, I make a living.”
I then say to my father who has just interrupted my joke. No, that’s not it! And I continue.
The Priest is standing over the man lying on the ground and wants to help him but checks first to see if he’s one of his flock and asks: “Do you believe in the Father and the Son and The Holy Ghost?” To which the distressed Jewish man replies, “At a time like this, you’re asking me riddles???”
My father roared with laughter and confessed that he had never heard that punch line before. Miracle upon miracles, I had just told my father a joke he’d never heard. Unbelievable!!
That was a very special moment and my last with him. He and I had healed a very difficult relationship together, by sharing jokes and becoming friends and now our last time together finished in this marvelous way - laughing together as two good friends.
LOVE deeply, love without jealousy, love blissfully and help each other to be more meditative. Because what else can we do and what can we share? Man is born naked without anything. Love should be the beginning of sharing something. Your love becomes a spiritual phenomenon.’
Life spans such a short period of time really in the larger scheme of things and there is so much to be done. So much learning to take place on how to live and how to love and how to be. Our whole journey takes us from our souls to our heads to our hearts to ultimately back to the depth of our soul and spirit, to be a blessing upon this earth; a blessing of unhindered joy to ourselves and to all those whom we touch. If I imagine what the best is that I could share in this life, it would be the full spectrum essence of who I am. The essence of Tao.
"My way has been described as that of the heart, but it is not true. The heart will give you all kinds of imaginings, hallucinations, illusions, sweet dreams -- but it cannot give you the truth. The truth is behind both: it is in your consciousness, which is neither head nor heart."
When depressed, simply be depressed
Little did I know in the 60’s what that word was to mean to me, and the journey it would take me on.
I discovered that depression is multi-dimensional. It means and relates to many different feelings and experiences and although very painful, is here in true service to us.
I was in the growth movement in the 60’s and early 70’s in London, England. Quaesitor, a center for Human Potential, arrived in London, England. the brainchild of Paul and Patricia Lowe, of future Poonam and Teertha fame, fashioned after Esalen in Big Sur, California from which all the other centers were borne. It was followed closely on by Kaleidoscope opened by Bill Grossman whose lover and center partner, Mitsou Naslednikov was later to become Ma Anand Margo. And in the basement of this abandoned and resurrected 3-story house, innovative Primal Therapy was also going on under the direction of Zulma, who was to arrive in Poona and become a sannyasin later on. What an amazing bunch were these pioneers, the lamplighters for a wave that began with self-exploration through alternative therapies and became a search for consciousness and higher love, that just kept on intensifying, spanning several continents. Our passionate search brought us to many hitherto unknown dimensions becoming a universal throb that continues to this day greater and with us more determined than ever.
I visited Quaesitor and did a group or two, but didn’t feel comfortable there and then heard about Kaleidoscope, the humbler cousin. When I arrived on the steps of Kaleidoscope Growth Center on Harley Road in Swiss Cottage, London, I had the distinct sense that I was going to be deeply involved here possibly in running this place, even though at that point I really had no idea what it was all about.
What brought me to the Growth Centers was David Boadella, considered then to be The Reichian Man in England. I had been doing Reichian therapy with him and after a series of sessions, he suggested I do some groups because of my need to talk and express my feelings. I’d experienced a kind of emotional meltdown, or as I like to think of it, an emotional breakthrough after a short trip to Canada visiting my family and estranged husband, Bill. Upon returning home to London, I felt all of a sudden that I couldn’t cope. I felt terrified to be left on my own with my three Afghan hound dogs and a house full of wonderful guys who were London medical students from out of town, boarding at my house. Nothing scary about any of this yet this feeling, that I had never felt before had overtaken me. I begged my friends who were looking after everything to please stay on a bit longer and they did. In a couple of days I was back to myself, the whole fearful episode gone and ready to take over my own life again. But it was something that I knew I had to investigate and I began looking around to see where I could get help.
“...pain is not to make you sad, remember. That’s where people go on missing.... This pain is just to make you more alert--because people become alert only when the arrow goes deep into their heart and wounds them. Otherwise they don’t become alert. When life is easy, comfortable, convenient, who cares? Who bothers to become alert? When a friend dies, there is a possibility. When your woman leaves you alone--those dark nights, you are lonely. You have loved that woman so much and you have staked all, and then suddenly one day she is gone. Crying in your loneliness, those are the occasions when, if you use them, you can become aware. The arrow is hurting: it can be used. The pain is not to make you miserable, the pain is to make you more aware! And when you are aware, misery disappears.”
It wasn’t until 40 years later that aspects of this feeling state returned. It’s an awfully painful place to be, to feel and be lost in, specially for a Leo like me. When Osho named me Ma Prem Tao I thought that He had a lot of chutzpah in doing so. Take a person with lots of will and the feeling that if something is going to happen, she needs to make it happen and stand over it until it does, and tell her to flow with the river wherever it takes her and not only that, but to let go, relax, enjoy and trust it! And then while she’s still reeling from that tell her that her name is another name for God. This particular Tao was born into a family of agnostics and God and religious curiosity were something very far away and not a part of her life at all.
Well this is what I thought much later after I came out of my Darshan Swoon absolutely in love with Him and absolutely convinced that that is the absolutely perfect name for me. How did He know that when I was a child and thought of a wise man to go to, it was always an elegant Chinese sage sitting in an exquisite forest, up against a most beautiful and unusual quirky-looking Asian tree.
In the London growth movement I was participating in groups led by Michael Barnett aka Somendra, notably the Mariners 3-month intensive, in which Vasumati and Aniketa and other beloved sannyasin friends also participated; and doing gestalt therapy with beautiful Clive Cazes originally from Gibraltar. Depression was something that came about from repressed anger. That was the theory. So beat a pillow, whack a mattress with a tennis racket, kill your parents on the cushion a few more times and that will take care of it! And indeed that level of it seemed to, at that time.
I have resisted putting a label on things, or feelings and physical body symptoms as they can relate to so many different sources and mostly often non-physical ones. It seems to me that as soon as you put a caption or a name on something, it makes it concrete and then you stop investigating. And maybe the name you have applied is not even right. Over the years I have learned many ways of addressing the to-ings and fro-ings of my emotional states. And everything at the time has helped in one way or another. From astrology, to therapies, to Arica techniques, to meditation and then more levels and types of meditation, to energywork, to the tarot, to bodywork of all kinds, to teaching others, to EFT (emotional Freedom Technique) and to my own instinctive inner knowing; methods I have brought with me from other lifetimes.
For example, one evening sitting in a group at Harley Road, I felt an asthma attack coming on and my breathing began to diminish as my chest was closing down. I decided in that moment to just let it be and do its own thing. Why I don’t know, but it came very clearly to do so. No one in the group knew what was happening. I breathed each moment to the extent I could, watching the intake become smaller and smaller. I remember thinking when I had only one more, slight bit of breath left to take in, that I might die now. Still I stayed with it. The amazing thing that happened was that in the next moment, which could have been my last, everything fully opened and my lungs were clear...all by themselves.
I can think of two more really notable experiences; one when I was 16 right after a major operation and had to deal with the pain without painkillers and the other in Poona I, when terrified I went to lead my very first (Gestalt) group as a stand-in for Pragreet, who had broken a rib or two in a fight that first morning, wondering what the heck I was going to do. These memorable experiences, actually journeys, which I don’t have room to fully describe here, both taught me in different ways about being and being still, trusting, surrendering and fully flowing with what is happening no matter what, going moment to moment, one of the most difficult things for me to do.
I can remember spending 1-2 years going to work, coming home, eating and sitting by the TV. I spoke with a psychic colleague about it and she said that so much is happening inside. A transition has begun and as always begins deep within. So that although it may look like I’m sitting around being depressed, inactive, I am allowing an inner process to take place, which is using most of my energy. I really liked that, and it made sense to me at a soul level. After all, my beloved Osho didn’t call me Tao for nothing. Flowing with what is, is a big part of the message of which my name constantly reminds me.
“...When depressed, be depressed. Simply be depressed. Don’t get depressed about your depression. When depressed, simply be depressed. Don’t fight it, don’t create any diversion, don’t force it to go. Just allow it to happen; it will go by itself. Life is a flux; nothing remains the same. You are not needed; the river moves by itself, you don’t have to push it. If you are trying to push it, you are simply foolish. The river flows by itself. Allow it to flow.”
The Book of Secrets : 112 Keys to the Mystery Within
Because of an amazing recent personal experience, I see that the true source of depression is a shutting down of the heart. Going from the whole to the partial, from the unlimited vastness that is joy and fearlessness, to the limited, contracted, two-dimensional world. In those moments I have forgotten who I really am. Something has triggered this knee-jerk protective closing. And it’s painful, this place of futility, hopelessness and contraction; this place of negative judgment. It’s helpful though as one must explore and find a way through. My desire from childhood has always been to live life to the fullest. Now when that sinking, tight solar plexus and depressed feeling comes it reminds me that I have again forgotten. I have lost sight of my Self. Something may have scared me or I have in some way diminished myself and have shut down. All that is needed is to come back in, breathe, be and feel. And then I can remember the essence of whom I truly am and have come to live fully: Ma Prem Tao, Ultimate Love. To live in the fragrance of Love. To be love, radiate love unconditionally and fully feel beloved.
“The heart is like a flower - unless it is open it cannot release its fragrance into the world. The fragrance of the heart is made up of the qualities and virtues of our spirit. Most of us have learned how to keep our heart closed in a world that would trample all over us if we let it. Being open hearted today seems to require tremendous courage. It is a courage, which comes only when we realize that no one can hurt us no matter what they say or do. They may hurt our body, but if we have realized we are spirit, nothing outside can touch us, if we so decide. Little by little practice opening your heart to those you think have hurt you. Realize it wasn’t them that hurt you. It was yourself. And it taught you not to trust and you closed your heart. A closed heart is in need of opening. And when you do, you will have begun to heal yourself...”
In my wedding ceremonies I nearly always mention in some way, leaving the past behind with any old stories or wounds or emotions, and beginning anew. And that is addressing one aspect. But today I proclaim that you and I are to remember and to look back and pick up and embrace and own all the amazing attributes and scenes and experiences and this lifetime’s lifetimes that we have been privileged to create and to live. And from this day forth to go forward in fullness and richness and accomplishment and not as empty beggars humbly asking for our cups to be filled. They are already full!!!!!
“...the Emperor is having a nightmare of becoming a beggar and is tortured by the nightmare...”
This Is The Body, Lecture 9