Anam reminds us of the dimension of celebration, one of Osho’s legacies
To the best of my knowledge, no other master accentuates the value of celebration to the extent that Osho does. He says,
“I am in tremendous love with life, hence I teach celebration. Everything has to be celebrated; everything has to be lived, loved. To me nothing is mundane and nothing is sacred. To me all is sacred, from the lowest rung of the ladder to the highest rung. It is the same ladder: from the body to the soul, from the physical to the spiritual, from sex to samadhi – everything is divine!”
Osho, Come, Come, Yet Again Come, Ch 2, Q 1
Celebrating everything means keeping a balance by allowing the shadow sides of my character to be exposed to the light and integrated. Awareness of our shadow aspects is an essential to integration. Shadow aspects are those that are difficult to accept and therefore are withheld from surfacing. They tend to stem from early childhood experiences, of which we mostly have no conscious memory due to painful or unpleasant associations and therefore have been stored in the basement of the unconscious. The shadow contains, besides the personal shadow, the shadow of society… fed by the neglected and repressed collective values. The media is a major contributing factor, promoting comparisons and ideals which take our focus away from ourselves.
The term ‘shadow’ originates from Jungian psychology. It refers to the aspects in a person’s character, which they are not fully conscious of. These aspects are those that continuously bring us into conflict in our lives, giving us the sense that we keep stubbing our toes upon the same rocks along life’s way. Our perception of them is indistinct. We do not see them as part of our identity. They create situations in our lives in which we suffer and do not see that we have a part in creating. Jung also believed that “in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness – or perhaps because of this – the shadow is the seat of creativity.”
We can also call these shadows our Blind Spots, the attitudes, behaviour patterns and motives that we are not even aware of but that certainly are perceived by others. In my case, I grew up not wanting to be the kind of man my father was, having instead, my maternal grandfather as a preferred role model. The course of life has led me to discover that I have behaved exactly the same as my father in many situations, in spite of my preference for being different.
As long as these aspects remain unconscious, they keep adding to our problematic nature. Mostly, they present themselves as irrational emotions. They are most obviously to be seen in matters of relating, when there is a tendency for us to project our deficiencies on to others. The shadows exist within all of us. It is a part of us and yet we spend most of our life avoiding them. Our shadows make themselves known every day, as the reason we get furious over a friend showing up late for appointments, for yelling at our parents or kids when they have done nothing wrong, and sabotaging our own efforts at the worst possible times.
Observing the shadows
Meditation brings light into the shadows; observation is simply a matter of noticing, without criticizing. When we criticize ourselves about our irrational emotions, we compound the hurt that was suffered by our budding personalities in childhood and youth. There is a power within each of us that is not identified with intellect. This power enables us to see ourselves from a distance, to witness as a spectator.
Osho’s Dynamic Meditation
Osho’s active meditations such as Dynamic are among the most effective means to become familiar with the irrational aspects which are not easily expressed or come to terms with. Osho created Dynamic Meditation in the late 1960’s, claiming that the western mind could not be brought easily into stillness and silence, without a preceding period of activity.
The first three phases of Dynamic Meditation require totality in movement, breathing and expression. They are designed to move the participant into a state of increased energetic flow in the body, starting with intense chaotic breathing. The breathing in turn stirs up the deep emotions which have been held in the muscular structure of the body in physical tension. Expression of these emotions through acting them out is effective in clearing them without the need to intellectualize. Further clearing takes place with the chanting of the sound ‘Hoo!’ while activating the body. The fourth stage is standing still in silence. It is a phase where insights are arrived at. This is followed by a stage of celebration, of dancing.
Dynamic was my very first meditation almost 40 years ago. It is still a method I return to in times of needing integration of issues that would take me longer to ground and integrate with most other meditation techniques.
No-Mind Meditation is a method that calls up the shadow aspects through the use of gibberish. Gibberish is a language that is made up spontaneously. Children often do this as a game. As it does not make logical sense, it has the effect of scrambling logical thoughts and bypassing mental interference to tap into the emotional layers.
It can be done playfully, to deep-reaching effect, and has a celebration phase after the silence.
Osho Mystic Rose
Osho’s Mystic Rose is a meditative therapy that raises the energy through laughter, dissolving blocks which in turn gives in to tears. Just allowing these, instead of repressing them, creates the space inside for witnessing and integration.
Actually, as I go through the list of means of introspection, I could count quite a few that bring the shadow aspects into recognition through involving our entire physiology, not simply by observing our thoughts. Osho’s Mystery School stands out as a place where therapies are used to identify and transform all of the objects that stand in the way of being fully present and alive in the moment.
As I write, my sentimental mind wanders back to a time when days such as Osho’s birthday, the anniversary of his enlightenment and the July full moon, had a distinct significance in the calendar during Osho’s lifetime. Upon these occasions sannyasins would gather in the auditorium to sing and dance in the presence of the master. These were special occasions, the likes of which I look back on with a sense of gratitude for having been a part of.
During the years that Osho lived on the Ranch in Oregon USA, he took a drive daily in one of his many colourful Rolls Royces. His people would line up along the roadside, with musical instruments, all joining in to sound like a Brazilian carnival with all of its rhythm and harmony. There were only a few skilled musicians in the line-up, but the atmosphere that was created remains outstanding in my memory.
“Remember one thing: that each of my sannyasins carries something of me, each of my sannyasins becomes a part of me, spiritually, physically, in every possible way. My sannyasins are not believers; my sannyasins are in a love affair. It is a mad phenomenon! So wherever my sannyasins meet, my presence will be felt. Wherever my sannyasins celebrate, my message is realized, because celebration is my message.
“Rejoice! Sing! Dance!
Dance so totally that your egos melt and disappear.
Dance so totally that the dancer is no longer there, but only the dance remains. Then you will find me wherever you are.”
Osho, Come, Come, Yet Again Come, Ch 2, Q 3
Anam was initiated into sannyas in London in 1973 while just starting his Therapist Training. After its completion, in 1975, he came to Pune and became one of the first of Osho’s therapists, leading Primal Therapy groups in the ashram. He made his home there for the next six years and later moved to the Ranch in Oregon. He currently lives in Hamburg, Germany, where he runs a consulting company with his wife, Martina. Anam is a regular contributor of articles in the German OTI. people-in-process.de