Shruti participated this winter in the Living-In Programme at the Resort in Pune
For my annual visit to my home town Pune, this year I decided to take part in one of the Living-In programmes at the Osho International Meditation Resort for a month. And what a month it has been! When I signed up, I had no idea of what the programme would entail. I filled in my application online and left it at that. I did not look further into what that meant.
But being part of a month of Creative Living was one of the best things for me. All that I knew was that I would be provided with a room and would be given some work as meditation to do. I was completely open to where I would stay or which department I would be requested to work in. So imagine my delight when I was asked to work in the Welcome Centre! I was over the moon. I can still feel the delight inside me.
It was as if nearly 20 years of being away from the place melted away. Like I had never been away. (I did visit the Resort whenever I was here, but only as a tourist.) Of course a lot has changed since I last worked at what was then the Osho Commune International. It has now become the Osho International Meditation Resort where a lot of the work is out-sourced and the departments to work in have shrunk dramatically.
So of course this gave the mind plenty of food – as if it needed any more! Plunging straight into becoming the coordinator of the Welcome Centre (with a 10-minute handover) was my first lesson in totality – diving into the pool, not knowing whether there was water in it or not! Fortunately there was and I had a wonderful coordinator in Gatha, and Dhyanesh too, who were there exactly when needed.
And how I loved welcoming newbies and old-time returnees to the Resort. It was such a game in being in the moment. Not a single day, indeed not a single person who came there was the same. With different requests such as “I have come from very far away (Mumbai!) just to see the place”; “Can I go in for only 20 minutes?” (plenty of head waggle here); expectations (“Why do I need an HIV test if I want to meditate?”) and needs (“Do you do yoga here?”). It was a smorgasbord of the ways of the human mind.
What this month did teach was that I have a choice each moment. I could stay with the old (those were the days and how different it was) or be with the new, the fresh and the present. Each night on my way to the evening Meeting, as I crossed the bridge in the Zen garden where the ‘Egg’ used to be, I would do a little ritual for myself. I would allow the sound of the waterfall to fall on my ears and I would allow the running water to wash away the old cobwebs from the deepest corners of the mind. I would look at the lotuses blossoming with fresh eyes and bathed in this newness, I would go to the Evening Meeting.
Of course the mind would do its merry dance – the bureaucracy, the way things have changed and the politics – and I did go along on the ride some of the time. But when talking with newcomers, I would be infected by their enthusiasm, their freshness and their excitement at being in such a unique place. They carried no baggage like I did. They had no idea of how the ashram/commune/resort used to be. They were here for the first time, accepting the place in the here and now – with all its quirks. Being here for meditation, their own growth and their own development.
I too could be new, see things with fresh eyes or I could continue carrying the heavy baggage. The choice was mine. And each night as I would listen to Osho urging us to come back as Buddhas, I realised what a responsibility I have. To honour Osho’s trust in me that I AM a Buddha – just asleep with deep layers of dust, caught up in aeons of cobwebs surrounding me.
And now the challenge for me is how to drop even this memory of my one month in the Osho Meditation Resort, however beautiful it might have been. How to be present and total in my daily life so that I can respond to Osho’s request to “Come back, but come back as Buddhas!”
Article by Shruti