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In Bodhidharma's Footsteps: taking Sannyas to Modern China

Beloved Parmartha,
Sharing the Osho meditations here in China is a paradox and sometimes dangerous.
One has to be a little mad to do this! The Chinese government is always watching. For example recently an American friend gave a party near Beijing. Nothing special one would say, but at the party two Chinese people turned up they did not know! These turned out to be Chinese police in civilian clothes. Later 6 police officers in uniform turned up! "Which kind of meeting is this", they asked! Then for example we put our telephone number with our programme on the local internet. We found later that our telephone line was tapped

And then Last Tuesday we thought to give a laughing group. The owner of the place where we were doing it became afraid, for some neighbours complained. She threatened to call the police! One Chinese sannyasin became totally scared in this situation... he had seen such scenarios before. Police here can come into such situations, pick you up and put you behind bars without giving any reason at all. We have met Chinese people who were imprisoned for months or even longer just because they were members of the Falung Gong. One has no rights in China.

And yet paradoxically we love the place very much! It’s strange: In China you can do things that are not possible even in Holland. For example the exhilaration of shouting Hoo..Hoo from a mountain top early in the morning! In the town in Holland I live in people will consider you crazy if you do the Hoo publicly. Or put some music on, and start dancing in the park. Sing your song. Oddly enough this is very normal here!. Every morning I feel free to go out and try my Hoo..Hoo as loud as possible. People will join me, or ask with enthusiasm about it. I will explain how it works, shout from the belly, how this energy gives you a good energetic feeling. So in this aspect I feel paradoxically free in China. To hug a tree is a normal doing here!

However the Government is terribly afraid of any organised groups, or people who organise groups. They are afraid that such groups will undermine their position, their society, their control. For example, at the moment one would never get a license to open an Osho meditation Centre in China. And without a license it is dangerous to organise groups. One could not even open a GENERAL meditation centre. Meditation is seen as dangerous and alien....

How do we manage? We organise exercises and advertise them as good for body and mind! Good for "finding your life". This can be done in sport clubs (tai chi, yoga, etc) or company trainings with headings like, “Get into your power, get into your life”! Anybody who wants to open an Osho centre in China is at great risk. But sannyasins here are very pleased to be able to do the Osho meditations clandestinely as exercises! Whatever name we have to put on them! And it gives them more strength, particularly because as you know, the publishing of Osho books was banned here in 98, and we are the first outside sannyasins to visit and offer to share Osho meditations.

The way the totalitarian regime organise is simple. They have made a LAW forbidding meetings with more then three people, unless you have a company licence.! Speaking in a park and people listening you... forbidden. And police are everywhere. However as I say, one good thing is that dancing is allowed, and… tai chi, yoga, playing tennis — everywhere in China you can see this happening in the early morning.

We will stay three months longer, the visas are arranged. We just could not leave our Chinese sannyasin friends we now live with. We and they love support from sannyasins all over the world. It will help us in a positive way, do encourage it. We continue to try and find out ways how to get round the danger of the Chinese authorities. There are indeed many thirsty people here who are finding us out, and who want to taste more from life.
Big hugs and love,
Leela

Sannyasnews is happy to forward any emails, etc to Leela, Sandesh and the Chinese sannyasins.

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