Osho Birthday Event in Freiburg

Shantam reports

Every Friday, my mailbox gets one circular mail about spiritual activities in Freiburg. Most of the time I delete it without even opening. I know what is happening: every week, two or three events are of Bhajan Singing, three or four  workshops about Man/ Woman healing, Tantra, Reiki etc. Someone is coming for Satsang and workshops, two or three events about Non-Osho Meditations and dance classes. Also there are ads about renting the rooms or rooms for healing,  counselling etc.

One sannyas lady, Taruno, is doing this professional work. Every advertisement per week costs 10 euros. I think around 1500-2000 people subscribe to this weekly mail. When I open this mail it is mainly to feel the semi-spiritual happening scene in Freiburg and also with curiosity, whether something related with Osho activities mushroom again or not.

The circular mail arriving at  the beginning of this month  was different. Subject was Osho Birthday Satsang.

Naturally, I opened this with childlike curiosity.  When was the last time that I have read about some Osho activity?

It was mentioned that on the evening of the 10th there will be an Osho Satsang for an hour starting at 6.30 pm and later on some music for dance. Also snacks and drinks will be available. Please inform in advance for practical purposes.

I wrote Taruno about my joining the event and also that I would bring some spicy food to share.

Osho Germany 217

After years of sabbatical  from my astrology work I have again printed the flyers and was thinking to connect with Taruno for my ad. So it was a good opportunity to connect.  A few days later there was another circular mail to inform that the organisers were overwhelmed by the response. They were expecting 30-35 people but 70 people had registered – so it is requested few of us bring our own meditation cushions!

For this event, one yoga studio was rented out. It surprises me all the time to see how many Yoga Studios exist in this city. In a way, more Yoga studios then Pizza delivery services!

It always gives some joyful thrill to go to an unknown place and  then see some familiar person.  Just at the entrance I saw two known faces and one after another, after 15 minutes I thought, “My God, when was the last time to hug so many Osho people in one day?”  If around 70 people were gathered for an evening Satsang, approx. 20 Herr (Mr.) Swamis and 50 must be  frau (Ms.) Mas!

In my observation, 70 Germans are more than 700 Indians in term of presence.

When I looked around me a man at 54 was the youngest man in the gathering.
Among the women, must be two or three in their forties,  rest in my age group or generation before.

Before the Satsang, Taruno again expressed her surprise how the news of Osho celebration has created resonance in so many people. One Ma in her late sixties starting communication with me with the sentence, “You were not in the commune? Must have taken sannyas afterwards?”

 

It was clear, from the commune, she meant Pune One and Rajneeshpuram. I told her that I was in Pune most of the years once Osho came back. I enquired, “Are you living in Freiburg? I have not seen you before?”She lives 170 kms. away and had come just for this evening.

This incident shows how much longing is in the heart of sannyasins to meet and greet each other. Though only an Indian, I was simply feeling part of the family gathering.

One hour Satsang was simply eternal – Osho Style. Music, silence, Osho Talk, silence, music. Osho talk, silence and then a song.

Somehow it is a macabre feeling to imagine, once Sannyas was a movement of young blood and now there is no generation next. So my observation is to the point, “As far as West is concerned, was Neo-Sannyas a one generation affair?”

One thing which I can say after four days, all the people who came had some serenity around them. Their presence felt like, ‘Life well lived in the pursuit of something higher and divine.’

This is what India has shared with the world through Osho….

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60 Responses to Osho Birthday Event in Freiburg

  1. Parmartha says:

    Thanks, Shantam.
    I can see your heart in this, and a good feeling of innocence refound.
    And nice to see you enjoying life where you actually live, and in the here and now, and not in some distant memory of the late eighties!

    Start a weekly group there in Freiburg around some Osho activity – kundalini, satsang, dancing, etc. Go on, you can do it!

    • shantam prem says:

      Parmartha, first of all you have to tell me your opinion why most of the enthusiastic sannyas start-ups in most of the cities have dried up?

      Was there some Osho birthday celebration in and around London?

      • Parmartha says:

        I meet with between a dozen and 18 people weekly in London, and we even have a picture of Osho when we meet!

        We sit, listen to Osho, and dance. Someone even wears a mala on the outside of his clothes!
        It has happened consistently for three and a half years.

        I think you could do something similar in Freiburg?

        • shantam prem says:

          In the coming days I will discuss with Freiburger sannyasins about the idea.

          I have much time-limited resources yet enough to contribute my part if a flat is rented out for daily meditation. I can also use that place for my astrology work.

      • sannyasnews says:

        There was an Osho Birthday Celebration at Osho Leela, not so far from London, and stretched over a number of days and well attended.

  2. satchit says:

    “Somehow it is a macabre feeling to imagine, once Sannyas was a movement of young blood and now there is no generation next. So my observation is to the point, “As far as West is concerned, was Neo-Sannyas a one generation affair?” ”

    I guess it was a one generation affair. Sometimes these people have second generation Sannyas kids, but they are not so focused on Osho but on other stuff too like Pachamama and so on.

    So these old Sannyas veterans meet from time to time for a few hours.
    And then they disappear again into the night.
    Nobody knows where they came from – nobody knows where they go to.
    Howl, howl!

  3. shantam prem says:

    This string is not about the past, it is not about Pune and also not about politics; curious what projections come in the regular bloggers’ minds.

    If someone else has written this piece my first comment will be: “Sugar Sweet – and Now?”

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      You say, Shantam Prem:
      “If someone else has written this piece my first comment will be: “Sugar Sweet – and Now?”

      You got this kind of comment, it’s the first one written by by Parmartha. Maybe re-read it again, as it seems you overlooked it.

      The friends of the Black Forest did choose a very beautiful photo of the Master and a beautiful spot inside-outside to meet. Obviously.

      You came back with another Selfie?

      Madhu

      • shantam prem says:

        Madhu,
        I don’t think there was any Osho celebration in Munich this year or previous years. But if in Freiburg, Osho leaving the body day is celebrated with a Satsang, you are welcome for overnight stay on my guest couch. And I assure you I won’t click any photos, your privacy will remain guarded as of now.

        • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

          Shantam Prem,
          Satsang and silent sitting with sannyasins is happening for many decades to go weekly (Sundays) here in Munich without intermission, sometimes (rather rarely even musicians are coming to join for live music – like this year).

          I´ve been a regular participant up to the very few last years; this year, Prabodh wanted to pick me up with the car and as I was not feeling well I wasn´t able to join.

          However – “Satsang” – re “Sitting and Living in the Truth that IS” – alone-together, together-alone, is for me a daily happening anyway since quite a time, I´d say, whatever the circumstances.

          I wish you well and thanks for your offer.

          Madhu

  4. Lokesh says:

    Shantam’s big night out report made me smile. Had I been around I would have popped in purely out of curiosity. I am sure I would have had a laugh.

    • sw. veet (francesco) says:

      Finding out that the oldest was you?

      On the contrary, I laugh because the youngest was my age. But I’m the oldest in the swing club near my house, that’s where one has to proselytise in the name of the Master.

      • Sw.Veet, alas, it was so.
        Young people in Germany live very clean and pious life, trying their best to maintain work/life balance. They neither care about guru business nor hedonist swinging.

        • sw. veet (francesco) says:

          Then you can relax, a hospice you do not have to open necessarily in Pune, or, with a little patience yet, the cemetery is an honourable plan B for your battle.

    • shantam prem says:

      Lokesh, if you arrange some informal Osho gathering, surely I will visit.
      Osho photo on the rocks of ancient mountains and feeling the eternal ocean under the blue sky in the silent company of friends….

      • Lokesh says:

        Shantam, there are many sannyasins living on Ibiza and we often get together. Thing is, those ement of get-togethers also include friends who are not sannyasins. For instance, our singing group of two dozen individuals is composed of 50% non-sannyasins. For most of us, Sannyas is something we went through a long time ago. We still keep our sannyas names but we do not sit around Osho pujas feeling the master’s presence etc.

        I find this all perfectly fine. There is a general acknowledgment of the good times spent with Osho but in essence it is viewed as ancient history in our lives. I can’t remember the last time that I met a sannyasin who felt Osho’s presence was a living factor in their life today. If I did I would smile and think this must be some kind of joke.

        • shantam prem says:

          I can relate with this feeling, Lokesh. As a prologue to this memorial, I can add one paragraph.

          Euphoria of this social, meditative event did not last long. On the way back home, I was waiting for the next day when I go to one of the churches again. Amazing architecture, clean and warm atmosphere, to sit in aloneness with closed eyes, it creates feeling of thankfulness. I don’t miss community.

          If Commune is resurrected again, maybe I get managerial job and play important. For any spiritual reasons I am contented with empty German churches.

        • bodhi heeren says:

          Well, maybe, ‘Lokesh’, you meet the wrong people, or you make sure you only relate with the like-minded. From what I see and hear, many feel Osho as a living presence in their life. Why on Earth should they be sannyasins if that was not the case? But by all means feel free to have a little cynical laugh – which seems to be a widespread attitude here – although the joke might very well be on you.

          And as said before: Osho gave unconditional sannyas so having once been wearing a mala and using an Indian name doesn’t necessarily mean that you ever were a sannyasin in the real sense of the word. Which I feel is the case with most of the contributors here and what is responsible for the fake humour and all the darkness in this place.

          Does that mean that I am a real sannyasin? No, unfortunately not. But at least I am aware of it and still trying my best to become one. In the sense of being devoted to living Osho’s vision as best as I can and be devoted to – gosh and ha ha ha – meditation and the inner search!

          But each to his own. Interesting, though, that I have no problem with people being ex-sannyasins – as long as they are honest about it. Whereas it seems to be a thorn in the side of most here that there are quite a number of people – all ages – that have a different view and still try to connect with Osho in the eternal Now ;-)

          • swamishanti says:

            Osho’s energy is still felt by people through the heart connection. He has merged with the Whole in Mahaparinibana, the ultimate cosmic orgasm.

            Do you think “He” cares what people do or say in his name?

            There are people feeling his presence who hate the Resort, believing they are “doing his work”, whilst other people who feel his presence still meditate and visit the Resort.

            There are people who feel his energy a lot, who feel they are enlightened and have video cameras built into their houses and post revenge porn all over the internet.

            Other devotees feel him but remain celibate.

            Do you really think Osho gives a shit or has any say in what people do in his name?

            He has probably completely dissolved as an individual and is simply the Whole, everywhere.
            On this plane at least. The Whole seems to love diversity.

            Lots of groups feel their Master’s energy and think they are doing his work and they are better than all the rest.

            • sw. veet (francesco) says:

              Swamishanti, after your advaitic considerations I did not understand which group you belong to, or, if in the same evening there is an event of Osho sannyasins and a satsang with a guru, you prefer to stay at home.

              • swamishanti says:

                “Swamishanti, after your advaitic considerations I did not understand which group you belong to, or, if in the same evening there is an event of Osho sannyasins and a satsang with a guru, you prefer to stay at home. ”

                I have not visited Poona ashram since 1989. From what I’ve read online it sounds shit, or they have made a lot of changes which may be unnappealing, but of course this is only what I’ve read in these limited spaces.

                Occasionally I meet sannyasins in India who still visit the place and enjoy; for me there is no real pull to visit the place at this time.

                I’ve ‘sat’ in satsangs with quite a few sannyas teachers, and a couple of others, although not for some time now.

                The last satsang or event I attended was with Mother Meera in London.

                A couple of those sannyasin teachers still seemed to still be carrying Osho’s energy and I recognised that presence immediately, that I had not felt for many years.

                I spent some time with some of those sannyas satsang wallahs. I couldn’t say that they were all enlightened or not, Maitreya Ishwara ‘gave’ me a satori and seemed authentic to me.

                Although it was obvious that these people carry the same limitations as anyone else mentally, even sometimes perhaps being a little deluded, some of them do appear to have it where it counts.

                As far as White Robe Brotherhood is concerned I never do it, and grew bored of watching Osho videos for some years.

                A couple of times over the last several years I felt his energy after watching some clips of his which touched me or listening to some music created in Poona.

                The last sannyas event was probably back in London sometime back in late 90s. Although I have spent a little time with sannyasins in India.

                I dislike the idea of having a regular structured ‘programme’ of meditations, no disrespect to the techniques.

                Who knows what the future may bring?

  5. Prem says:

    Why are there less young people in the sannyas movement? Because Osho’s revolution was hijacked by contemporary plastic fake gurus like Mooji and the hundreds of youtube pseudo-gurus.

    There are many young people interested in meditation. You will find them at Mooji’s feet.

    What? You had your time with a living master. Did you think the young people will worship a picture? They want a living guru of their own.

    Alas, the only living gurus are fake-plastic-pseudo ones. But that doesn’t stop they young ones from enjoying the ego-trip that they “have an enlightened master”.

    You want me to name other fake gurus, besides Mooji? I will simplify it for you. All of the gurus I have met online so far are fake, and nowhere near the energy-calibre of Osho or Papaji.

    Are there any genuine gurus out there? I’m certain. They just stay away from this satsang circus.

    But if you want to know where the young people are: go listen to wordsmith Mooji, and you will find them sitting at his feet.

    • shantam prem says:

      “But if you want to know where the young people are: go listen to wordsmith Mooji, and you will find them sitting at his feet.”

      Prem, don´t you think being with any living guru, even not so glamorous, is million times better than to listen the youtube videos of late wordsmith of last century!

      Waiting for your answer!

    • swamishanti says:

      Look. Baba’s and Mooji meet in Rishikesh.

  6. Lokesh says:

    A local band brought out an album titled, ‘Beware of Fake Gurus’. I thought that sounded pretty naff.

    Of course, fake gurus exist. They always have. If you end up with one then that is just what you need. If you are intelligent you will soon wake up to the fact and move on. Many people regard Osho as one of the biggest fake gurus in history. So what? Plenty of sannyasins learned a great deal from being around him.

    What is the yardstick for defining a fake guru? They serve their purpose. That’s all. Basically we are all fakes. Consciousness is attracted to the limitations made available through the human form and plays at being you and me. Perhaps it is real in the moment, but one day you and me disappear because we are a by product of the interplay between consciousness and matter.

    Consciousness can be defined as a refined form of matter because it is quantifiable. In reality we are no more real than a can of beans. There is nothing of reality in who we imagine our self to be. Of course, there is something of the eternal in our lives but the majority of people have no idea what that might be, nor are they interested in finding out about it.

    Fake gurus are recognized when one rises above the level of their falsehood. If you can’t see it it simply means you you are not ready to see it.

    I do not know if Mooji is a fake or real guru because I have never met him. From a distance he appears like a very good man, a man of peace, meditation and humour. If I meet anyone looking for a guru I usually recommend Mooji, because he looks to me like a cut above the rest.

    MOD:
    Lokesh, RE: Consciousness can be defined as a refined form of matter because it is quantifiable.
    SHOULD THAT BE unquantifiable?

    • dominic says:

      I used to go and see Mooji in Brixton, when we would all huddle and try to fit into his tiny flat. It was an intimate vibe, and part of the rich satsang scene happening in london at the time. Like Osho, he was charismatic, hospitable (we would sit together and drink chai and eat cake after in silence), and could spin a good yarn.

      He attracted sannyasins, young hippie types and musicians, and recorded everything. He had become a big act, by the time he got to Tiru and drew large crowds, but it had become boring and cult-like by then for me, even more so today.

      If you think that a one trick pony will sort you out, in the tradition of Papaji etc. and you have nostalgia for that, you might be drawn. Does he believe his own rap? I suspect most gurus do, however ‘fake’ they may be. Be aware, there have been 2 suicides recently, I believe. He rotates young girlfriends from his following, and is increasingly devotional with singing and malas of him sold and worn.

      If you look at the videos, there’s much more of a cross-section of young and old now. He offers much hope and the warm fuzzy of a large community. He’s not looking that healthy to me as his girth grows, nor is he vegetarian (you can take the boy out of Jamaica, but not the Jamaica out of the boy). You might want to include a seventh day adventist background in that mix.

      I think he’s a ‘spiritual bypasser’, encouraging people to avoid their stuff with the old one-two advaita shuffle…”Who is the one who is feeling so bad?” “Oh look, you can’t find anyone, you’re enlightened. Go forth and teach!” Whereas Osho, never favoured anyone’s enlightenment (competition), Papaji, (and downstream Mooji,) encouraged that sort of thing (as promotion of their brand), although Papaji, when he got pissed, rescinded it all by calling his proteges “leeches”!

      Fake or real, living or dead, gurus are always going to remain confusing and enigmatic. Unless you’ve lived with someone for years, you’re only seeing their stage presence, a lot of projection, and one mighty big carrot!

    • Lokesh says:

      Quantifiable. Because it can be measured and there is only so much to go round. Most people are not interested in claiming their share and that is why there are so many zombies around.

      Meanwhile, us conscious folks can have a good yahoo about it and celebrate in the light. Or…ehm…something like that. Certainly nothing to get serious about.

      • shantam prem says:

        Lucky are the religious founders who were born centuries ago. It was easier to churn mythologically powerful stories and see them through the cultivated stories and their inspiring words.

        In this age, every act and omission is before the rotating eyes of cctv cameras. Human side of masters and their hidden desires pop up faster than expected.

        For this reason, masters like entrepreneurs enjoy their success story till the expiry date.
        Posthumous glory is not for many. It is wonderful. Market makes the space of new start-ups!

        • Dominic says:

          Some 24/7 reality TV, Big Brother House, Guru Show would be the next big thing! It could happen. There is more information than ever before for the consumer, but still for many, they neither seek it or want to know. Thinking and doubt is troublesome, simple certainties and devotion gives a better high.

          Andrew Cohen was here last month and Amma too, I wonder how many educated westerners bother to dig up the dirt on them. Perhaps better not to talk at all, like Mother Meera here next spring. In India, the guru factory, it’s one scandal after another, but still they come.

          Do you need a guru? It’s as much about community as getting that very rare taste of ‘ultimate reality’. It’s one option, among several. South America is the new frontier today, with sannyasins and seekers going for entheogens and shamans, perhaps a quicker and more direct route. In any case, the future is bright and more realistic, but it’s not orange.

          • frank says:

            Dom,
            ‘Ultimate Reality’ TV shows can`t be far off.

            Sensation in the Big Brother Temple today:
            Did You-lube sensation Brian get it on with kundalini babe in the shower? Exclusive pictures.
            Or
            This week in the jungle:
            ‘Diane eats jungle pie and gets good kicking’ in `I`m a wannabe, kick me out of here` jungle bust-up!

            Or a series of Jeremy Kyle shows for spiritual seekers. This week: Andrew Cohen Special:
            “I threw my abusive guru out years ago, but he is in total denial and keeps wanting to come back” etc. etc…

            ‘Sannyas Has Got Talent’
            Panel of judges vote on up-and-coming wannabe advaita stars, maybe.

            Or most obviously:
            ‘The Guru`s Apprentice’
            “You`ve missed!”

            • Lokesh says:

              I’m sticking to Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men. The most educational series ever. Well, next to Captain Pugwash, that is.

              • frank says:

                Any aspiring westerner satsang guru needs to watch: ‘Keeping up with the Smart Asians’.

                All the masters have stressed the importance of being a watcher…and you`ve gotta have the X factor to get enlightened.

                When I finally leave my body and I slip into nirvana, I fully expect a goddess to appear at the last moment and say to my disintegrating ego:
                “You are the weakest link. Goodbye”

            • dominic says:

              Frank,
              I think you’re on to something, file the patent!

              ‘Keeping Up With The Trustafarians# – following a bunch of spoilt baby-boomers, squandering their parents’ inheritance on designer guru labels!

              ‘Extreme Makeover’ – Gurus caught with their pants down and high on drugs and abuse, get a name change and a PR makeover to relaunch their brand!

              ‘Guru Swap’ – Two seekers from different social classes, swop gurus for a week. Each seeker is given a manual on exactly how to behave. Often descends into violence!

              ‘Hoarders’ – the real life struggles of gurus who have accumulated the biggest stash!

              ‘Survivor’ – A group of gurus are dropped on a desert island, and must compete in being the best smartypants to avoid elimination!

              • frank says:

                Dom,
                Cultertainment is here, now!
                It`s exciting:
                Things can change from ‘Love Island’ to ‘Hell`s Kitchen’ in a split second, and usually do.

                I hear there`s a spin-off from ‘King of the Jungle’ – a retro thing featuring Dhyan Raj called: ‘It`s a Knockout’, but that`s just gossip.

          • shantam prem says:

            Dominic, were you visiting the gatherings of Andrew Cohen and Ms. Meera Mother? Is Andrew Cohen back in the business after long holidays?

            • dominic says:

              No way, Shantam, my immune system has become allergic to their siren calls! Yes, AC is up to his new old tricks again!

          • satyadeva says:

            “Do you need a guru? It’s as much about community as getting that very rare taste of ‘ultimate reality’.”

            Well, that may be the case for some or even many, I don’t know, but no one goes to the three you mention here for “community” unless they’re in the minority who join Amma’s ashram in India, because there aren’t any such communities here (and in Amma’s and Mother Meera’s cases, never have been).

            But if by “community” you mean spending an hour or two (or several, in Amma’s case) every 6 to 12 months or so with a crowd of others, then I don’t think that really qualifies, do you?

            As for “South America is the new frontier today, with sannyasins and seekers going for entheogens and shamans, perhaps a quicker and more direct route.” – Sounds like just another version of chasing drugs and excitement, as per 40/50 years ago. As if any shaman could really help any westerner beyond perhaps a relatively brief psychic ‘opening’. Bah, humbug, I say!

            • dominic says:

              Community, is in the mind of the beholder, real or virtual, live in or a weekend here and there. You may belong to several ‘communities’, as a satsang ‘junkie’, including social media. Even a few hours spent in the company of vaguely likeminded souls may be enough to repurpose and nourish you.

              There’s drugs for entertainment and ‘highs’ and there’s entheogens, plant medicines, psychedelics etc. for self-exploration and self-discovery. Know the difference.

              Shamanism predates religion and has existed across the globe. I haven’t been to any of these ceremonies myself, nor feel I have to, but there is much reporting on their profound effects, and psilocybin, lsd, mdma, dmt etc are being researched again by the scientific community for healing.

              Doesn’t sound like you’ve had much experience with psychedelics, or have done any research, if you think you can just chase excitement with it!

              I say, humbug to your humbug! ;)

              • satyadeva says:

                Ok, so you don’t mean actually joining an ongoing live-in community.

                For the rest, yes, I see your point, but as I said, I suspect that the primary reason people attend a Mother Meera darshan (about 90 mins.) every 6-12 months here, or see Amma once a year for a few hours, or any other spiritual teacher they feel a genuine connection to, is to receive a helpful personal and/or energetic input from that teacher, with any ‘community benefits’ very much a secondary consideration.

                As for drugs, I wasn’t born yesterday and I know what I need to about the difference between psychedelics, plant medicines etc. and drugs simply to get ‘high’, including certain radical mental health treatments. Yes, my personal experience of the former is limited (to lsd, mescaline and marijuana many years ago) but that, plus what I had to deal with in my life, together with a feeling for what’s right and what’s probably harmful for my system, was enough for me.

                However, from what I understand, I’m not saying these things can’t help, of course they can, to a degree, likewise, a shaman (I wonder how many genuine ones are left), in a few cases a lot, but I’m extremely sceptical about whether they can take the place of meditation (and/or therapy) and a genuine spiritual teacher who, crucially, really understands the plight of us westerners.

                I don’t care how long the traditions have been there, they come from a place so radically different from our own, physically, mentally, psychically. Which, as well as genuine ‘searching’, is one reason why westerners like to go there, ie for the excitement of the new, the different, the exotic, the promise of ‘liberation’, an ‘easier way out’. If only it were that easy…

                Moreover, apart from reading about bad or disappointing episodes, as it happens, various people I know, including a couple who were hoping both their lives as individuals and as partners and would be profoundly healed and others who had a mixture of motives (as in above parag.) have reported adverse effects or simply ‘nothing very much’ from their experience of ayahuasaca, even when taken in the South American jungle under the auspices of a so-called shaman*, so I’m hardly likely to be much of an advocate.

                *I say “so-called shaman” as it seems these days many are fake, cashing in on the lucrative trade from gullible, inexperienced westerners. Do you intend to expose a few, Dominic?

                • frank says:

                  I had a vision recently of a parallel universe that gave me a glimpse into the reality of certain aspects of shamanism…

                  Some foreign people, not native English speakers, told me about a place where they had all had amazing life-changing experiences. They enthused wildly about a magical brew and an initiate in a lineage who was responsible for making it himself according to a time-honoured secret old recipe and conducted incredible rituals which involved strange incantations, various odd substances, heady incense and much, much more.

                  By all accounts, it had had extraordinary effects: and people far and wide sang the praises of this paradigm-changing happening and the concoctions used therein.

                  I had to check it for myself…
                  I found myself magically, by way of a series of extraordinary synchronicities and serendipitous events in an ancient, tucked away, holy place somewhere obscure in the hills.

                  There I was in a weird place with a lot of freaky-looking people of all nationalities: South Americans, Asians, Russians, Africans, Indians etc. wearing long dark robes, odd hoods, weird hairstyles, crosses round their necks, strong smell of incense, mumbling and intoning verses that sounded strangely familiar. And they were indeed were drinking some kind of ritual brew, quite large amounts of it, and sitting at the feet of a holy man who was presiding over the proceedings, surrounded by some very young, fresh-faced initiates who were singing angelically.

                  Suddenly I recognised it!

                  It was Holy Mass at Buckfast Abbey. Everybody was drinking Buckfast Wine and the holy man leading the service was Father Pete O` Foyle, the Abbot.

                  I woke with a start and I must admit, I`ve never seen shamanism in quite the same light since.

                • dominic says:

                  Yes, community in its broadest sense where people come together to share a common interest. I suspect the primary reason they come to Mother Meera and Amma is magical thinking, no less spurious than the shameless shamans you speak of. What people get, more than hype and a sweaty hug contaminated with other people’s bacteria, is anyone’s guess!

                  People tend to focus too much on the superstar’s presence. I think the collective energy of everyone’s intention and longing, and the just being together, is maybe just as important, if not more so. The Buddhafield, for me, was as much about everyone’s creativity and energy as the focus on a central character, who I never got to meet.

                  Plant medicines are just one more tool in the arsenal that have come into fashion, not that I have any direct experience, apart from pixie caps. Like everything else, there’s a bright and dark side. There’s gurus and therapists and shamans who heal and who abuse, and do a bit of both.

                  The long-term strategy, for me, must be awakening your own inner guide and cultivating self-reliance and autonomy, with a good balance of head and heart. Devotion to grandiose ‘avatar’ types like Meera and Amma seems to me to put devotees in a regressed state, in which because they say so little, you can project so much. What little I have heard from Amma has been mostly trite platitudes. But hey-ho, each to his own.

                  Who is this mythical beast, the genuine spiritual teacher you have found btw?

                  I agree, it’s very wise to be sceptical about everything, just not overly cynical, although that’s fun sometimes!

                • frank says:

                  Late-night thoughts from the Orange Sunshine Retirement Home…

                  Look at this crap from a shamanic aya freak site:
                  “Most people are energetically very polluted as well from negative experiences in this life as from previous lives. They also need to know how to liberate people from dark and evil energies.The only method for that that really works is the technique which is called Shamanic Pleghm. This means that the shaman sucks out the dark spirit and spits it out. We (the healers from the Awakening) learned that from the Amazon shamans and during ceremonies we can spit out many demons and negative attachments.”

                  Can you imagine getting stuck in a smelly room with sick all over the floor with these jokers?

                  I`m glad I took my acid and mushrooms either by myself or with a small group of trusted friends in mostly beautiful, interesting outdoor places!!

                  These guys sound like they`ve got shamanic depression.

                • Dominic says:

                  Yes, Frank, it does sound like a lot of phlegm-flam, but with a sannyas rebranding, ‘Osho Neo-Shamanic Demon Detox Training’, it could catch on!

      • swamishanti says:

        I think what Lokesh meant to say, what he worked out whilst snorkelling in the bath one day was:

  7. frank says:

    Apparently, Alan Watts did indeed write about 50 pages of this novel just before his death. Not enough to make the manuscript publishable, very sadly.

  8. shantam prem says:

    Western crowd bowing before the bearded Indian masters during the last century have come home to realisation, “It is a fake business.”

    Blame is on the masters or holier-than-thou followers?
    At least in case of Osho-created order, Neo-Sannyas, shit has hit the fan because of whom?

  9. shantam prem says:

    South America will remain new frontier for new age spirituality because it is as corrupt as India yet more liberal with drugs and sex.

    South America is so generous, even North American or British women cannot sue the Bosses of the sects for sexual misadventure and earn millions out of it.

    Just imagine, Rajneesh Agarwal is not in Mexico but in Texas! Next ‘Bikram Choudhury’ in the line!

  10. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    Shantam, South America is not a political entity comparable to India; Chile and Uruguay are not Mexico.

    While, if it is true that in the US there is a record prison population and in prison they are almost all poor, then this does not mean that there is no corruption, but that it costs more money (घूस).

    • shantam prem says:

      Veet, I was comparing in context of spoiled sexual liberties Swamis take with the female participants. Such acts can land them in big soup in developed countries, but not in many South American countries.

      I am 99% sure, Rajneeshpuram after Osho would have gone embroiled in cross action suit by some female participants against management.
      This thing about Rajneesh would have also gone full-blown if in America!

      • swamishanti says:

        Adi Da Samraj, aka Da Free John, although a guru not very similar in style to Ozen Rajneesh, certainly had a lot of complaints and law suits filed against him in the US by pissed off women.

        There was also the complaint and court case of a an ex-devotee who said that Adi Da had instructed her to give three other men blow jobs while he watched, after she had told him that she had been sexually abused as a child, and the woman who complained that Adi Da had given her herpes and then told her he had freed her of her “bad cunt karma”. Then there were the home-made porn movies and the orgies which were orchestrated whilst he watched and wanked.