(extracted from the Uk Guardian newspaper, 3rd February)
“It keeps people a bit sane,” says Sandberg, 56, who has called Osho Leela his home for 16 years. “Living in a community with a lot of similar people can cause emotional stuff like disagreements, so the way we get round it is quite therapeutic.”
Sandberg, a therapist, lives with 14 other long-term residents at Osho Leela in Gillingham, which describes itself as a “personal development centre” and was founded in 1996. However, as part of a community experience programme, the site regularly welcomes external guests, with prices starting from £7 a night to share a dormitory.
While short-term dwellers have to pay to stay at Osho Leela, long-term residents don’t have to pay to live there; rather, the core group members take on roles within the community – for instance, Sandberg also works as a maintenance manager – and each receives between £150 to £450 a month from the income Osho Leela makes.
With regular communal meals and weekly meetings, Sandberg says the close-knit community at Osho Leela, UK attracts a certain type of person. “It suits people who want to change, and those who want to be among people,” he adds. “A lot of the people [at Osho Leela] have gone through life, got married and had kids, and are just not happy with life. Then they turn to something like this.”