By Purnima Coontoor
A three-day osho retreat at fireflies, bangalore, leaves the author rejuvenated in body, mind and spirit
The setting was perfect for a weekend spiritual getaway. The lovely resort on the outskirts of Bangalore, charmingly called Fireflies, beckoned around 25 Osho enthusiasts, new and old, to celebrate life with laughter and meditation for three days of bliss. For us city slickers, the place was pure paradise, with its gently swaying trees, tiled cottages, narrow walkways leading to tiny nooks of natural splendour, little kitchen gardens and pitch-dark nights of silence, blessed silence. Organised by the Savvy Sanyasins of the Osho Celebration Centre in Bangalore, this Osho retreat (March 27 to March 30), as always, left everybody rejuvenated in body, mind and spirit.
Spearheaded by Ma Divya Gandha, a petite and passionate Osho disciple, the events took place in the spacious meditation hall adorned with a huge picture of the spiritual master. The days began with a resounding yell of ‘Yahoo!’ followed by let-go laughter. Next would be Osho’s trademark Dynamic Meditation which allows for total loosening up of the body and emptying the mind, by working with the breath. Evenings were for Kundalini Kriya and celebration. Nights ended with ‘Evening Satsang with the Master’ – celebrated in exactly the same manner that Osho himself used to conduct in Oregon, USA, followed by ‘Yahoo!’ and celebration. Tea and celebration, breakfast and celebration, lunch and celebration … Everybody seemed to eat a lot, joke a lot, laugh a lot, dance a lot and meditate a lot! It was a great opportunity for the meditators, generally bogged down by all sorts of limitations in their daily lives, to enjoy their very own space, to be totally uninhibited, allowing themselves to just ‘be’ and float in an ocean of consciousness. The Celebration Centre’s MJ (Meditation Jockey), played an excellent collection of soulful music for all occasions, transporting us to higher realms of being. When the dancing to the bhajans reached a crescendo, Osho’s mesmeric voice with wonderful insights on life transported us to a world of utter silence deep inside our beings. In the evenings, the resort was suffused with the light of candles lit by Osho lovers.
As always, the three-day retreat ended with the initiation of new sanyasins into the fold on the last day. Contrary to popular belief about sanyas, Osho’s sanyasins are not expected to reject anything in life, but embrace all and everything with more joy and enthusiasm. The only commitment the Master demands of his sanyasins is a promise to live life the way they wish to, and to be meditative. Live life spontaneously, says Osho, do not dream of a secure future since it is an oxymoron. “Life is a dangerous game to be lived dangerously, moment to moment, and if you want security, please enter your grave,” says the Master! The initiation ceremony of Osho sanyasins is a sight to behold… a pure treat for the senses. At Fireflies, the meditation hall wore a festive look for the event, with marigolds, roses and assorted blooms adorning every nook and corner. The sweet scent of rajnigandha wafted in the air, and Osho looked resplendent, his eyes penetrating the atmosphere from his life-like photograph, pervading it with divinity. It was as if the gods had descended to personally shower their blessings on the gathering. Amid the music, dancing, cheering and cries of ‘Osho’ rending the air, the neo sanyasins were born. They received a new name and a new life as they happily joined Osho’s caravanserai of joyous sanyasins, journeying through life with a skip in their step. Wow! If this is sanyas, who wouldn’t want more!
The retreat ended and the meditators left to reclaim their lives back at home and office, but they did so happily, with a mandate to fill their lives with Celebration, Joy, Yahoo and Let Go…
At Fireflies, it was a perfect Osho event. Thank you, Osho.
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Resolutions and Affirmations
Most of us would agree that we rarely stick religiously to the resolutions that we make in a moment of remorse or introspection (or madness?) as a step towards leading a more enlightened lifestyle. Osho says that this is because we are not totally present in the moment when we make the resolution – only a part of our mind is participating in the act, as happens with most of what we do. Only when we are meditative and aware will all our thoughts, words and actions fructify, as our entire being will then be involved in the process. Osho says that only when the moment of death arrives, our total energies are gathered and concentrated, and when a resolve is made in such a state, it is sure to last (which is why it is said that the last thought that we hold before death irrevocably decides the course of our next birth). Since we cannot wait until death to make a resolution, the next best thing is to create a similar situation when we are alive. This can be done during inhalation and exhalation. Osho says one should inhale deeply and hold the breath as long as possible, and make the resolution when a bursting point is reached, when you feel like you are dying. Then empty the breath out slowly and hold again, and repeat the resolution when you can no longer hold your breath. This counts as one cycle, and this has to be done five times twice a day – first thing in the morning as soon as you wake up, and the last thing before dropping off to sleep, in bed.
Another simple method is to repeat the affirmation (Eg: ‘I shall go deeper and deeper into meditation every day, and experience inner joy’) 20 times to yourself just loud enough to be heard only by you, before going to bed every night and before getting up from bed every morning.
Dealing with negative emotions
Osho says that purification of the body, mind and emotions is the preliminary step to get into meditation, since all three have much garbage accumulated through several lifetimes of ignorance. This garbage is collected only because we are used to suppressing our emotions, or expressing them destructively. Osho says that all emotions are good, as they give rise to tremendous energy in the body. When one is angry, jealous, happy, sad, energy is produced. These have neither to be suppressed nor expressed. If an emotion like anger is suppressed, it will result in blocks in the energy body which will manifest as mental and physical illnesses. If it is expressed, it will become destructive and hurt somebody else, setting off a chain of reactions. Hence, the only way to deal with it is to transform it. Osho says, be aware of the energy arising in you when your emotions are running high, then clench your feet, or stomach, or fist, or face, or any part of the body, hold for a few moments, and relax. You will observe that the emotion has passed, and the energy has been transformed and directed to a body part used constructively to strengthen the muscles!
Another way to deal with a negative emotion is to become aware of it, direct the awareness to the navel and exhale vigorously twenty times. A creative way to transform negativity into a pranayam!
For details of Osho activities and workshops, contact Shamala, Osho Celebration Centre,