The dance remains
On the old Sannyasnews chatboard there was once a thread of mine entitled:
What happens after sannyas?
I think it could also have been called:
What happens after Pune?
I started writing it when I realised that Number 17 was no longer, as it had long seemed, my obvious home.
So what does come after?
For me, what came was… wait for it… a resort.
Now (to paraphrase J D Salinger) if you really want to know about this resort, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where it is and how it started and what it consists of, and all that kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
And I really don’t need to go into all that crap, because if you want to know all that crap, just look at the website: www.the-rising-phoenix.com.
However, that will not tell exactly why this resort of mine, the Magic Beach Resort, in Accra, Ghana, follows Osho Resort.
Best of all would of course be to come visit, see for yourself.
You will soon notice, at the highest point, raised above the dance floor, the words Dance… until the dancer disappears and only the dance remains. (Osho’s words; his instructions for Nataraj, unless I remember wrongly.)
Significant words. I long equated the dancer with ego, and the dance with existence.
But another way to read the words is to equate the dancer with form, and the dance with formlessness. And that long thread on the Sannyasnews chatboard was written to discard all outdated forms of sannyas, leaving only essence…
Let us move on from the dance floor. My office is in one corner. There I will explain to you how I want to develop the Rising Phoenix further into a focus for conscious discovery and evolution, operating, alongside/within the obvious beach resort, as a ‘Subtle School’ visible to those with eyes to see. I will tell you I hope to do this partly by creating parties, performances, and other events on and around the dance floor; partly by building a spa for physical well-being; and partly by attracting new collaborators to craft other offerings (for instance, such as once gave shape to daily life in Pune).
This project has already started, but the beach front premises are spacious, and there is room for much more.
Currently, our main bunch of ‘seekers’ are local Rastafarians, whose vegetarianism at least suits me. Some claim to be attuned to my work, though I am not always sure. In any case we have many other visitors from around the world, some with the eyes to see what I seek to reveal.
Now leave the office, wander outside the gate. You will soon see a large and very busy church. Christianity is overpowering in Ghana, the main fabric of spirituality, the dominant provider of social life. This is still a challenge for me after six years. Having said that, many of its practices – the gibberish (talking in tongues), the dancing, the casting out of spirits – bear an uncanny resemblance to what happened in and around Buddha Hall!
After inspecting me, my premises, and the outside world, I suspect that you, dear visitor, might, given the heat of the tropics, be in need of a drink. What better place to relax over a chilled fresh juice than our cliffside summer hut, overlooking the semi-private beach and the ancient fishing harbour?
Take the menu in your hands. There you will find the following texts. The first describes the Subtle School as it is today; the second is a mission statement.
The subtle school
The subtle school is to be found in many places, for instance: in the yoga classes and massage sessions; in the artworks all around; in the words above the dance floor; in those you encounter here, in their words, their smiles, their movements, their dance; and within yourself.
The workings of this school may be sensed rather than known. The school cannot be contained in words or in a curriculum or in a subject matter. It transcends all, transcends itself and yourself.
So look above the dance floor.
The dancer too is transcended and disappears.
Only the dance remains.
If you leave happier than when you came, we will be happy too.
If you open your eyes to beauty while you are here,
and if you let that beauty infuse you and inspire you,
and if in that inspiration you see deeper into the truth,
and if then a new intelligence awakens…
Then the phoenix is fulfilled.