A beautiful new Osho meditation centre has opened its doors in Valley Center, San Diego County, California.
About six years ago when I was just leaving Osho Tapoban in Nepal on my way to the airport to fly to the US, Arun told me, “You go and look for possibilities of meditation retreats in America. Don’t worry about money! Money will come! I have a dream for Osho’s work there.”
With limited pocket money and not knowing anyone in the US, this vision looked very farfetched. But since that time I learned to trust and now understand what Arun was trying to convey.
When we conducted the first few camps on the East coast, they turned out to be immensely successful. I made so many lifelong friends and had opportunities to meet many Osho lovers. We were welcomed with their love and open hearts which opened the possibilities of more retreats in the US. Many meditation centres either opened or became active and the fire of Osho’s blessings began to spread.
One day, Arun called and said, “Let’s see if we can do some camps on the West coast, it has immense possibilities.” I just said “Yes!” – but had no clue about how, as I didn’t know anybody nor did I have a place to stay. However, out of the blue a sannyasin called (her name was Niranjana) and said that she had seen YouTube clips of Arun talking about Osho and had fallen in love with him. Then another friend from Southern California, Amritananda, called up and said that he could arrange a camp in Victorville, CA. Suddenly things started falling in place. With Osho’s grace, we had great retreats in two Californian cities. Our camp journeys took us to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Toronto, Dallas, New York, Chicago and Atlanta.
During every trip Arun made to America, we went to visit many ashrams: Vivekananda’s place in Chicago, Yogananda’s place in Encinitas and Krishnamurti’s place in Ojai, to name a few. These places felt like oases and we felt an urgency to create an Osho oasis, an ashram, in a manageable size. At several occasions he had mentioned that an ashram had already started on the spiritual plane, it just had to be materialized and brought onto the physical plane. Ideally, there should be three communes in the US – East: New York, West: California, and Central: Dallas.
We experienced that every time we organised retreats we had to rent resorts, hotel conference rooms, etc., and that takes a lot of energy and time. And then after the retreat is over, the energy that was created with meditation and celebration is disturbed by the next people who rent the space. If we could have a commune/ashram, we would conserve and nourish so much energy. So the need of an ashram was, more than ever, highly important.
Together with several friends we started looking for properties and travelled around New York and New Jersey. The vision was to find a place where about 20 people could live in a communal setting and some 70-80 could meditate together. Not too large, not to small, accessible, and in nature. In the beginning we also thought we’d need some big donors to help but soon saw clearly that the best way for it to happen would be through our own efforts.
Meanwhile in California, Amritananda and friends from Osho Niranjana were also actively looking for a property but although there were suitable estates, nothing worked out. Finally, about a month ago, we found a beautiful ranch-style property exactly according to our initial vision. The property was just made for us, it felt! There was no looking back and we decided to risk all and close the deal. Everything in the property was pristine and ready to move in!
Osho Niranjana ashram was born with a soft opening on October 11, 2013. It felt like coming home. We finally had a place dedicated to Osho and we were all flying! We can accommodate up to 20 people on a shared accommodation basis and 70 participants for meditations.
I now realise that those moments of doubts that arose once in a while during the entire time were all tricks of the mind. With his experience of more than 20 years running a centre and a commune, Arun inspired us at every stage to continue and not worry about funds. Having lived in a commune for 4 precious years, I know the joy of living in one!
We hear that already several friends are volunteering in the upkeep and day-to-day activities of the ashram and have also pledged financial support. Krishnananda invites friends to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org if they wish to show love and support for the project and will provide further details.
Several weekend meditation retreats have been planned, longer meditation therapies and other creative work – besides daily meditations and evening satsangs – will be forthcoming in the upcoming year.
Osho Niranjana’s vision is an Osho Sanctuary for seekers to come together and create a milieu for spiritual expansion:
Niranjana is a river in India which has been mentioned several times in Buddhist scriptures. Legend has it that Buddha received his final inspiration from this river before his enlightenment. We hope that Osho Niranjana Meditation Centre will also aspire seekers on the path to enlightenment.”