Rashid writes about finding peace through Meditation, Celebration, Creativity and Nature.
Peace is found within. Most people know this some of the time. Some people know it most of the time and a few know it all of the time. They help the rest of us to make the daunting, golden journey deep within ourselves where true peace resides.
Those who have found this peace have travelled the Way; they are the Masters. For our benefit and our self-realisation they have often set up a Mystery School, a place that will protect and provoke us. That is what we were granted in Poona One. There, in the seventies and eighties, thousands of people of all nations, creeds and ages, gathered to sit at the feet of Osho, a man who lived in peace, transmitted peace, was peace.
Before he left his body, Osho had one of his devoted disciples, Om Prakash Saraswati, build an embryonic Mystery School not far from Delhi. I will come there, he said. Osho never came in the physical body, yet nevertheless his presence there is powerfully marked by all who visit Oshodham; who see its cloudless hall of meditation and wander in its tranquil groves and those scores of people taking sannyas every weekend.
We travellers on the Way within are undertaking what the great historian of the spirit, Joseph Campbell, called The Hero’s Journey. You reading this are almost certainly on that journey. The hero is you yourself. The story of this journey is embedded in all the myths of all the cultures of the world.
The journey begins with a dawning – or abrupt – feeling of separation, of being absent from – or denied – something that is our very birthright. The symptoms may include pain, boredom, loneliness, frustration, rage. Existence – sometimes known as The Gods – will often give us a hefty whack to get us off our asses.
Our journey will take us to places of disaffection; will edge us into trials demanding courage and persistence. This is the stage of Initiation. Dragons are everywhere. Through challenges and tests we begin to acquire discrimination and power. Not the power of the sword and the mind but the power of the flower, of peace, of the heart.
I remember arriving in Poona in the late seventies. Walk through the gate of the Ashram and you were hit by the brilliant freshness in the air, the brightness of the colours, the ever-present feeling of excitement. I remember the sense of people leaning forward into the unknown, the thrill of adventure in new realms.
At that time I asked Osho, “How do I find my Way?” He replied, “Rashid, there is no Way. And no-one to find it either. The very idea of a Way misleads, misguides. Rather than thinking of going, think of coming. A Master is a flow, a river. Get into it. You need not even swim. I am the Way.”
These paradoxes re-present themselves to me when I visit Oshodham. Oshodham, near Delhi, is the place where I feel again the magic that was Poona One; the excitement and the encouragement, the colours and the shapes of human aspiration.
There is no Way. The Master is the Way. In Oshodham the river flows; this mystery school is vital, pulsating and expansive.
Oshodham is not a residential commune. It is a place to visit; a place to pore over the inner maps, to meditate, to recharge batteries, to celebrate and be with open-hearted friends; to drift in the waters of Osho.
Recently I watched Him in a video answering a question as to why enlightened ones did not keep coming back, re-incarnate here on earth to help this struggling humanity. I understood him to be saying that there was no need for that. While the clay of His body and brain would return to the soil, His consciousness forever remains. It is added to the rising tide of consciousness across this planet. I heard Osho say that the consciousness of the master, no longer limited by the body, is more available to help after death.
In the final stages of the hero’s journey, something has to die for something to live. The hero becomes a new man or woman who is more truly him- or her-self. The telling of their story is in the living of their lives.
Oshodham is a place of initiation. And a place of heroes.
Over the last decades I have wandered this earth looking for community, for my Sangham. I was looking for a place dedicated to the inner search. Time and time again the egos that we still maintain made that impossible. Here in Oshodham the egos don’t intrude – perhaps because Indians have more devotional DNA than we in the West – and the gates to the inner lie open. The Way beckons. And with Osho we know that the Way includes, as it does in Oshodham, not just meditation but celebration, creativity and nature.
There are spacious grounds in Oshodham; lawns and spinneys and avenues of stately trees, there are marble fountains and fields of growing vegetables. There is nature in ascendant; a habitat for birds and butterflies and bees. It is a paradise too, for those of us from the high-rise, shopping-mall, industrial-park, multi-lane cities starved of nature.
Creativity is nurtured here in Oshodham. There’s a studio for art with artists in attendance, there is live music, there are weekend courses for children and, being an Osho place, there are frequent opportunities for ecstatic dance in the huge, marble floored Buddha Hall. The many different meditations that Osho evolved to help us find our pathless path are all practised here at different times with different meditation leaders.
This year there are big plans underway to expand the accommodation and the dining area in addition to building a large amphitheatre. Oshodham is a Mystery School on the move, a bountiful Buddhafield.
Amongst the trials and monstrosities of this life it is good to know that there are havens for us to explore the way within, the path to peace.