Shazar makes a difference…and her entire world changed…
Leaving Pune, and the Ashram in Koregaon Park in 1980, I had no thought in my mind that 33 years later I would be living just down the road on the edge of a little village near Lonavala in Maharashtra.
I have followed my heart almost in a full circle, but these days my early morning meditation is done with a group of young men – Shaolin Kung Fu Trainees, with a focus on the Buddha – on the top of a partially completed building that houses 67 small boys, the Shikshangram Shelter for Homeless Children.
Osho visits me often as I ‘let go to let God’ in my life in these days. The strongest message I receive from all the beings who surround me – who sometimes are quite a crowd – is simply to allow and to invite the support that is there for me.
I am now 65 years old and my sister Sahaja reminded me that I once said when I am ready I will go back to India and live in a place where I can give back – perhaps grow a garden and spend some time looking inside. And here I am… growing a garden of children – helping out in whatever way I can with this amazing and inspirational vision of a young man called Satish Moon and his wife Yogita.
I am a volunteer – and this is my story…
About three years ago, I was searching for something ‘else’ to get involved in and I ‘happened’ to meet two Indian ladies; one of whom showed me a few photos of a project she is involved in; photos of children and their home – and a realisation hit me… I had been waiting to be asked to help out… waiting for an invitation, but it was up to me, up to my initiative to invite myself where I wanted to go. So in that moment, I stepped up and told my new friends I intended to come and visit them and see what I could do to contribute.
A month later I began the journey back to India, and took myself right out of my ‘comfort zone’. I felt somewhat like Alice, falling down the rabbit hole! But no, I didn’t shrink, I expanded. And my whole world changed.
As my new life took hold, the principles of trust that I have lived by for many years became the pillars that stand beside me to guide my way. I returned to my practice of daily meditation. I rediscovered the immense support and the magic of synchronicity in my life.
Although it was obvious that anything I could do to help was worthwhile here, I wanted to contribute in the fullest possible way. So I asked myself: “What is my role in this world? How can I shine a light on the incredible work being done here? How can I share this on a much bigger scale? And most important how to let go and allow what I am to do flow through me with joy and grace?”
Many of you as Osho News readers have lived and worked in India, but I found my experience of being in the Ashram or the Resort is a far cry to life in the village. I discovered my ideas and way of doing things to be often vastly different to those of the people around me… it became clear that it was fine to offer my opinion or thoughts but then I had to step back and practice the art of detachment from all expectation of outcome. To take any other position just leads to frustration and difficulty and who am I to say my way is better than another? Everything took time. Now almost three years later I am seeing the effect of my work, finding the way in to connect with the local people – discovering through the synchronicity that things happen often in very surprising ways – letting go and letting God is a daily practice. And of course there are constant challenges thoroughly mixed in with the joy. Sometimes my drama queen self finds the triggers to flip out in an extravagant display of emotion that is totally alien to my Indian family.
But fortunately they are very forgiving of my strange Western ways and I know that despite my differences and my difficulties particularly with communication, my contribution is valued and of value.
The children here have reached deeply into my heart and become family. I always thought I was a generous person until I met these kids. They have taught me so much about sharing. They have names, faces and wonderful smiles. I have begun to know their stories and their potential as human beings and their intense need for love and care just like the child who lives next door to you and me.
The consequence of this project can build future leaders – and is bringing joy into the hurt eyes of these children who were in their past, simply thrown on the scrap heap of their lives. Satish has a huge vision reaching far beyond these 107 children he is caring for now – he is seeking to change the face of education in India and to empower the rural villagers so that the huge deluge of people migrating to the cities can slow to a trickle and their children have safety and quality of life in their family homes.
Big visions need good teams.
Maybe you might like to join us?
If you have been attracted by this story we invite you to come by for a week, or a month or a year and spend some time with us.
We know the experience will exceed your imagination.
To find out more about volunteering with us you can visit our website shikshangram.com
You could join one of our voluntourism journeys – for those of you who would like to combine some tourism with giving back, or you can simply come and visit.
Shazar (aka Anand Sattha) was born in Perth, Australia and took sannyas in 1978. She worked as an alternative health practitioner in Australia for many years together with her sister, Prem Sahaja at the Best Health Centre. A few years ago she returned to India to live and work at a Shelter for Homeless Children on the edge of a village near Lonavala. Here amongst many other roles, she facilitates volunteer journeys to India.
Contact Shazar on info at shikshangram.com and check out their Facebook page – Connect with Shazar on Skype: shazarr