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In and Out of Osho

A Chinese Experience

One afternoon in the summer of 1997, I came across a book about Zen in the bookstore of the Chinese city where I was living. I felt this book was just written for me, and I saw the author——Osho.Then I began to read his books. I entered Osho, and he also entered my life. Of course daily life was still full of anxiety and suffering, but once I opened his books, it seemed that I entered another world, there was silence and joy, and my soul would go on rising into an unknown space. This last 7 years I read a lot of his books including both Chinese and the English versions. But just as man cannot live by bread alone, man cannot live by reading books alone either. When I tried to use what Osho said in society, I was frustrated everywhere.

Finally I had to admit that during those 7 years I just used Osho as a drug to avoid the world. The wonderful space Osho described in the books and merciless reality dragged me to different dimensions at the same time, I was on the edge of breakdown.

Now practice was the only way to get out. And practise for what? Of course meditation... In 2004 I started to do the Osho Kundalini, but after a period there was no obvious effect so I gave it up. In that summer a Dutch sannyasin named Sandesh came to mainland China. I then went to do the Dynamic and the Kundalini with him. Only then I came to know it was almost impossible to do the two meditations just according to the instruction in a book. And there are some knacks that can only be imparted face to face. I felt I was fortunate to connect with Sandesh and learn the art of real meditation. We set up a team to do meditation together under Sandesh’s guidance,after the three months Kundalini and 21 days Dynamic practice, Sandesh said the groundwork had been done, now all was up to us.

Many things happened in this period: First many problems in my body were healed by these two meditations. Especially for my throat problem, the doctor said my vocal cord was shorter than the normal and there was no way to heal it. But just by doing the Kundalini for 49 days, it was healed. And something which I can only imagine in a dream also happened, I ate the free lunch and lived for free, it was sort of amazing. I became convinced of the import of the two meditations, I even took them as the foundation of all the transformation.
In 2005, we began to create an Osho commune: We gave up our work, left our families and wandered all around. I thought this was what Osho says to live dangerously, and I was a real sannyas who lived according to Osho’s spirit. In particular when we created our commune in the southwest of China,the conditions were very arduous,we were very short of money and materials. But because of such conditions,we made it and succeeded with organic farming. And I compared our commune to the commune in Oregon, thinking it was rare that we could manage it under such situation. And because there were many indications that the commune in Pune became more and more like a resort, I thought our commune would be a real Osho meditation commune, though because of the political situation in China, we neither mentioned Osho nor meditation!

”To live and work together”was the principal at that time,but to put it into practice was very difficult. For example,Sandesh said everyone should speak his own opinion when we held a meeting, but it became a ritual. It was full of bullshit and the discussion lasted a long time.Sandesh’s intension was obvious,he wanted us to be the master of the commune,not to be passive.But we just discussed the details of the problem, the direction of the commune was still decided by him, so we could not become really positive. And by and bye our habits arose just like in the wider society, :the single relationship, privatism, passivity ,the hidden politics...Everybody knew perfectly well that the commune was here just because of Sandesh, and that’s the reason why he always said we depend too much and none of us put ourselves into running the commune.
In the end of 2006, for many reasons we had to leave the last commune in China(our commune was moved three times in China),Sandesh decided to go abroad. And I decided to leave our team, the main reason was after I talked with Sandesh. He said I had not changed at all,my habits was still there. I myself thought I I had changed much during the 2 years, but if then if that was only on the surface it was meaningless to continue staying with the team and living in the commune.

After I left the gang, I went on doing Osho’s meditations. First I went home and stayed nearly two months, I did the Dynamic and the Kundalini everyday. But now I found their effects were not so powerful as when I did them in the commune. After doing them I could feel silence and peace, but the whole day’s activities would destroy them and the next day the whole process would repeat itself. I felt depressed with this vicious circle. I knew I must change my lifestyle, so though I had not got transcendence by the two techniques, I thought at least I could share how to do them to others, I decided to wander.
I went to a city in the south of China and came across some friends there, and I was touched. First there was a girl who liked zazen. She does not know Osho for a long time. But I find what I experience in the fourth stage in Dynamic, she can have the same experience just by sitting there silently.After I do the Dynamic I think silence can only be experienced after the intense and vigorous activity, it is a by-product when the activity come to its peak. But seeing the alive example in front of me, I have to admit every approach leads to the same goal.Then another friend, who looks really bad, but by talking with him I realized that it is impossible to be fulfilled by being attached to the techniques and going after experiences. And I also got a practical lesson that do not judge people by their figures!
Though I have left the team, there is still a dream of the commune in my heart. But the experiences in the team also made me consider: :What is a real Osho commune? Why was our Chinese commune moved again and again? On one side I discussed it with friends, on the other side I open Osho’s books again, the words are the same as before, but suddenly I have a different understanding!

First of all Osho is not a business band. When we claim we are Osho’s sannyasins, what we teach is Osho’s method, the commune we create is Osho's commune, actually we are doing our own business in the name of Osho. Seeing nowadays the “Osho business” grows bigger and bigger, I am just worried one day he may get out of his grave to ask us for the copyright money. Since Osho is not a band, he is not a new religion either.He said many many times what he teaches is religiousness: the essecce of the religion.So to identify oneself as Osho’s disciple and lover, fight off other masters and religions is very funny and ridiculous. When I am proud of Osho’s sannyas, that’s when I betray Osho because I just take him as a business band.

Secondly Osho is not a savior.He even does not want to be a Master,he just says he is our friend. He always asks us not to postpone and take our own responsibility. We always think an alive Master is important and we are waiting for their appearance.Then we can follow them and get liberated. But now the problem is who is going to be the alive Master? Certainly Osho will not come again, and if Osho will not come again, who is willing to come again? We just postpone and avoid like this way. So when I think I need Osho’s guidance, that’ when I do not respect him. He says we are friends,and as far as friends are concerned,there is no question of guidance but only sharing and communion. He takes me as friend,but I do not take him as friend,it is really disrespecting!
Finally Osho commune is not an actual place on the map,but some qualities as openness, responsibility, friendliness. And I find the reason why our commune is moved again and again,it is not the reason on the surface that we do not have enough money or the interruption from the outside. We do not have these qualities, that’s the root cause of our failure. First we are closed, if inside the commune we should “live and work together”,we are one unity. Then can the commune separate from the world?They are connecting too,so the “self-sufficient” is just an illusion. And our attitude is always of protection,we are protecting ourselves from the interruption and corruption of the outside world, We think that the outside world and ourselves are antipathic. Then of course, if we think this way ,we have only more than 10 members,and how many enemies outside,how can we get succeed? Then the responsibility, nobody in the team is responsible for themsleves. We are just passive and take action according to Sandesh’s order.It looks we are working hard,but it is not different from the hard work under the bylaw in a company.And tha’s the reason when the difficulties arise,we just wait for Sandesh to figure out the way. Finally the friendliness, it means to love and share, not to depend and possess each other. But when we give we think of the reward, I think that’s the basic reason why the single relationship retruned again and again within our group.

It seemed I should leave Osho. I should get out of his world, and step into a wider world. I should empty him from my heart so that it can contain more. But when I approach getting out of Osho, I find I enter him for the first time! He is limitless, and cannot be defined!


Vilas email is: sannyas@163.com