By Ritu Bhatia
She revels in her femininity, her creativity, nurturing spirit, spontaneity, capacity for enjoyment and self-fulfilment. A recent workshop, led by on Oshoite, taught that this is the essence of all women which often gets lost
‘‘The future belongs to women, not to men—because what man has done, down through these ages has been so ugly. Wars and wars and wars—that is his whole history.’’
—from The Book of Wisdom
‘‘My own vision is that the coming age will be the age of women. Man has tried for five thousand years and has failed. Now a chance has to be given to the woman. Now she should be given all the reins of power. She should be given an opportunity to allow her feminine energy to function. Man has utterly failed. In three thousand years, five thousand war—this is man’s record. Man has simply butchered, killed, murdered; he has lived as if only for war.’’
—from Dhammapada: the Way of the Buddhas
On a beautiful spring morning a group of women gathered at the India International Centre to celebrate their femininity and power. Full Circle, in collaboration with Osho’s Lifetrainings, brought a unique workshop to Delhi called ‘Celebrating the New Woman’. Led by Ma Shunyo, who has been a disciple of Osho for quarter of a century and is the author of My Diamond Days with Osho, this one-day workshop was intended to help women to reconnect with their inner source of energy, joy, receptivity and silence.
The atmosphere in the room was festive, and most had come to have a good time. One lady had been sent by her father-in-law, and others had simply liked the idea and decided it was worth looking into. There were teachers and doctors and writers and housewives, all united by the idea of discovering a new way of being.
Who is this new woman being referred to, you may wonder? She is one who revels in her femininity, her creativity, nurturing spirit, spontaneity, capacity for enjoyment and self-fulfilment. She doesn’t need feminist dictates because she knows what she wants and believes in, and doesn’t hesitate to express herself. She is gentle and speaks softly, because she understands the enormous power of her softness. Her intense awareness of herself and other people adds to her attractiveness, as she is an active listener and takes a great deal of interest in everything around her. This is the essence of all women, which sometimes gets lost in the struggle to be heard and respected. The quest to revive this spirit was what brought women here today.
Osho was perhaps the first mystic to revere women and from the beginning, women have held managerial positions in all his centres and led meditation camps world wide. He always maintained that women are more receptive, more loving and make better disciples.
Women’s conditioning is deeper than that of men. We have accepted being objects of desire, we have accepted our need to be needed, and the need for security. Many of us have financial freedom and opportunities in workplaces and education that appear to make us equal to men. But we still carry the conditioning our mothers have bestowed upon us. Guilt is a woman’s companion, as is worry about other people’s welfare, often to the detriment of her own. We watch our mothers and learn about a woman’s role; the way to be with a man, with children, with life. The key to discovering our unique ways of being lie in becoming aware of the ways in which we are conditioned, and whether these patterns hinder or help us in living the lives we seek. Cultivating awareness, then, is the first step on the path to becoming a new woman.
The first hour of the morning was spent discovering our natural, inherent qualities and those handed down by our mothers. Groups of three explored and shared ideas. Some common themes that emerged were that women were naturally nurturing, supportive of other people, and mothered instinctively. “We even mother our dogs,” said someone.
In the meditation that followed, the group had to say the word ‘No’ as loudly as possible, and actually feel the impact of this in the solar plexus. Many experienced difficulty articulating the word ‘No’, and also relief when they managed. They felt the rigidity in their bodies at this time. Ten minutes of this was followed by moving into saying ‘Yes’, and feeling the sensation in the fourth chakra in the heart. This was a lesson in experiencing the sensation in our solar plexus that arises when we feel something is not right in our lives, and also the lightness in the heart when all is well.
The music of Gypsy Kings filled the room and Ma Sadhana began dancing, and then beckoned to everyone to follow. Everyone moved with great abandon and expressions of enjoyment suffused all the faces in the room. I was struck by how much energy is generated when a group of women get together!
Followed a powerful exercise that involved making eye contact for a length of time with many women. Establishing this degree of intimacy was difficult for most of us, and yet everyone felt that the eyes were the ‘mirrors of the heart and soul’. It also became apparent to some that they mostly avoided eye contact and in doing this, lessened the degree of connection to other people, yet people’s eyes reveal the state of their inner being.
Participants lay down and did a self-massage based on a Japanese technique, guided by Ma Sadhana; this was a way to reconnect to our bodies. The workshop ended with a short Sufi prayer meditation. We all sat in Vajra Asana, lifted our arms towards the sky and shook our bodies, then touched the ground (earth), palms-down. This was done seven or eight times, and was supposed to induce feelings of ecstasy.
Seemingly unconnected, all these meditations and exercises were tools to help us look within to create a supportive environment for ourselves. Cultivating body awareness is the beginning. Instead of being lost in the past and future, feeling the body moving, and becoming aware of the breath are ways of bringing oneself into the present. Watching your body while taking a shower, eating, drinking, and exercising is a way of turning your energy inwards and helping the consciousness grow.
Contact: Full Circle, Ph: (011) 24655641-3, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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