…left his body on 5th June 2014.
From Vidya we come to hear that Prem Siddha (Leonard M. Zunin MD) has died, at age 78. He studied psychiatric medicine and in 1978 he came to Pune where he took sannyas in 1978. He was a group leader in Pune 1 and participated in construction work at the Ranch where he also worked at the Multiversity. We remember wondering why he left the Ranch during the night, but figured it out after Sheela left.
Siddha was a senior psychiatric consultant for the California Department of Mental Health, an authority on attachment and loss and a distinguished researcher and lecturer. He is the bestselling author of Contact: The First Four Minutes, which has also been translated into German; and of The Art of Condolence: What to Write, What to Say, What to Do at a Time of Loss. He also wrote various papers for professional journals in the psychiatry field and was the editor of the book Finding Clarity.
He lived in Napa, California, with his wife, Hilary Stanton Zunin, who conducts workshops on issues of loss and grief and also co-authored some of his publications. Together they organised a mental health recovery program following the tragic collapse of a water slide in Northern California.
Obit in the Napa Valley Register
Leonard M. Zunin
He was … then he wasn’t … maybe.
Len left this message for family and friends:
“If you wish to honor my memory, please consider this. Rather than simply writing a check, even to a worthy organization, listen to your heart. Identify someone specific in need: someone living on the street, a mother whose kids are hungry, a student without the resources to buy books. Then, give your food or money or supplies directly, one-on-one. Make eye contact. Be present. It will be a blessed moment for the person you’re helping — a gift to you and a gift to me.”
Siddha’s sannyas darshan: Siddha Means One who Has Arrived
It was back in 1980, Ashram Poona one. Osho, then Bhagwan, had designed a special group for Siddha to run, called “Flow” and stretching over 10 days fully residential in Jesus House.
And he had suggested that I participate in it.
The special thing about the group was that it had absolutely no content and no structure to it. It was to go on for 10 x 24 hours, that was it. There were 16 participants, 8 men, 8 women, plus Siddha as the groupleader (probably called coordinator or facilitator nowadays) with myself being one of the men, 24 years old then and feeling pretty scared at the prospect of not knowing what I was getting into. Just imagine 17 people locked up in a room for 10 days with no idea what they were supposed to do there. And there were those rumours…
In those days Energy Darshan was happening every night at Lao Tzu House garden, and while our group were sitting on the porch Osho was generously showering us with that mystical energy from outer-inner-space. All props of my individual existence seemed to disappear into somewhere far beyond the stars.
This and yet again THIS was all there was – and is and has always been. Something like that, impossible to put into words and yet it has to be tried to express the inexpressible. “There’s no I there’s only you” were the words sung by Music Group in Buddha Hall simultaneously, and for sure nothing was left except THIS.
“Come back” – the climax had been reached and slowly, gently mind returned – rested, calm, purified, nowhere to go, nothing to do – the experience of the mystic, the OSHO experience.
The “otherworldliness” of it of course had repercussions, and later on the question arose for me how to “get it” again, how to “hold on to it”, when it will “finally” happen – in short, greed for this ecstatic and yet deeply silent experience had come in. The old fear-and-greed mechanism even in the “spiritual world”? Oh no! – the prospect being just too depressing I simply went into a spell of despair about it all.
A long deep eye-contact with Siddha, then I heard him say: “Time is boundless, infinite. Remember, Existence always gives you all the time you will ever need.”
I remember this as the essence of those ten blessed days. Right words at the right time.
Thank you, Siddha!
Sw. Gyan Rasiko
(Munich and Koh Samui, Thailand)
The Beauty of Swami Prem Siddha
…it was 1979, Poona One, beloved Siddha, through trusting you, slowly I started to open myself to Osho from within me. I have loved you so much and from the moment I left the Ranch where we met for the last time I never forgot your liveliness till today. I know I’m writing my words as a monologue but my heart communicates live and very much in the here and now. See you, Siddha, beloved great gift on the path of self growth,
Hi Siddha dear
sad to see you here
maybe gone is always near
love you 4 ever now
Above all else I will remember you Siddha for being the willing volunteer, the guinea pig, to experience with me what later became Ptolemics Navel Massage. This was in Poona probably 1978 or 79 and we both had the amazing experience during the session of falling down through a funnel. Your incredible curiosity was responsible for the birth of a whole new way of working with the belly and with the heart. May you find true peace beloved Siddha.
There are two people I owe a great feeling of gratitude toward: Osho and Siddha. Even today, many decades on, I quote both.