The Agony and the Ecstasy


Leela writes about the search for the essential.

Imagine. You’re driving along a wet and windblown road at night. Broken branches litter the road from a storm that has rushed in from the East. Your windscreen wipers can barely cope with the force of the rain. You slow down just a bit but also want to get home and out of this wild weather.

Oncoming lights blind you and the next thing you know your car is out of control. Split seconds, and then impact. You feel yourself out of your body looking down at the scene. You know you are injured and might well die here against this tree you have crashed into. All seems very silent and still.

After life

You contemplate the possibility of your death. Somehow you also feel disconnected from the drama that is unfolding. Your awareness moves to those who would suffer the consequences of your death. Your family, your friends and your life begins to run before you. The deepening reality of this being ‘the end’ begins to sink in and what you feel right at this moment will have a profound effect on your life if you survive this crisis.

You are utterly helpless, lying injured and alone. At this moment in time you may come to your deepest awareness of how you have lived your life up to now. It is as if you have been given an opportunity to review your life from a far wider and more penetrating perspective than you ever experienced before. You are now perceiving from within ‘the big picture’. In this expanded and aware state you may begin to see where you have not allowed yourself to live to your potential. Or you may realise the value and gift of life and how important certain fundamental ingredients have been overlooked or excluded such as love, joy, caring and sharing. The list could be just one word or many but what really hits you, is a clarity that brings you to a cross road of what is truly essential for you now should you get out of this disaster alive and be given a second chance to manifest these essentials.

You hear voices nearby and you become aware that help is on the way. You’re breathing with difficulty because you have pressure on your chest. You know too that you are bleeding. You hear voices reassuring you, but still you remain in this slightly disconnected feeling where you are expanded in perception. You are overcome by a wave of gratitude and love as you realise that maybe, just maybe you will get that second chance.

Noise, many voices, metal being cut and hands reaching out for you. Then ambulance sirens and pain shrieking through your body as you are rushed to hospital. Bright lights, urgent energy, rushing along corridors and then – darkness.

You seem to be rising from a deep and silent place as you slowly become aware of your body lying in a bed. You open your eyes and see that you are in a hospital ward. It takes time for you to remember why you are here. You close your eyes again and feel overwhelmed that you seem to be OK. Again the gratitude surges through your heart and you begin to cry. Your tears are those of overwhelm from the shock of the accident but more deeply still is the realisation that life is such a precious gift and that you very nearly lost it.

When you wake again your family and dear friends have come. They too are now crying with relief that you are OK. You realise that you are still in ‘the big picture’ perspective where your heart feels enormous and filled with love and understanding.

This possible scenario does in fact happen to many people who go through a life changing near death experience that brings them to live with a far deeper understanding of what is truly essential for them.

Hopefully most of us won’t have to suffer such a severe crisis to bring us to a place of re-evaluation and greater depth of perception. On the great journey of the seeker, the longing for the essential may already be in place. The divine discontent – the questioning and enquiring for something of greater depth and significance to life.

In my understanding Osho’s work was to take us from our dream world of unconsciousness to our inner reality of consciousness. Over many years of listening, absorbing and re-evaluating my life, what I ‘thought’ was essential began to dissolve in awareness. It was a much slower process than crashing in a car but this was my way of finding what is fundamental and essential for me.

From fear to love. A realisation not to take life for granted. The simple delight of everyday things. Nature in its beauty that is always inviting us to melt in the sound of the crickets, the croak of the frogs or the early morning bird songs. An early morning walk on the beach with a dear friend. To wake, thankful that I have one more day to dance and to laugh, often mostly at the silliness of myself. To listen to beautiful music or share a pancake breakfast with my beautiful daughter.

The shift is from the preoccupation with mind and life on the periphery to awareness within and the essentials that enrich our lives. It is a profound choice of living from the heart and spirit where joy, grace and gratitude replace greed, fear and anxiety. Not an easy choice when all our conditioning and ego/mind want us to run with the status quo. This change is about a great insight and the courage to seek it. People think that climbing Everest is a big deal. But what do you get when you finally stand there at the peak – a good view that’s what. This inner journey is monumental by comparison and those who are embarked on it know the agony and the ecstasy of it.

Leela TNPrem Leela was born in South Africa and took sannyas in 1973; in Pune 1 she worked in the press office, while in Rajneeshpuram she was running the Welding Shop, part of RBG. It was in Pune 2 that Osho asked her to start conducting the Mystic Rose Group by giving her a few suggestions, which she then further developed into its present concept. When she is not abroad conducting workshops, she lives in Australia.

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