Dhyanraj talks about the new project of Ozen Swami Rajneesh.
After seeing this video, Punya was inspired to know more and asked Dhyanraj for more information about the project in Mexico.
Location, aesthetics, spirit of the project, architecture and nature
Ozen Cocom is located where the brilliant aqua blue waters of the warm Caribbean Sea touch the paradise-white sands of the Riviera Maya beaches of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Tulum (well-known tourist destinations), in magical southern Mexico. It is one of the dream projects of Ozen Swami Rajneesh, a disciple and devotee of our beloved master Osho. His vision is to create an oasis, a meditative space for Osho meditations, groups and therapy training courses. It is also planned to give space to creative arts, crafts, music, dance, yoga, massage, and silent retreats.
The difference with other centres or holistic venues is that the meditation events and groups will be offered by the commune for free. All a participant would need to pay is for the rental of a room (inside or outside the commune) and food (offered at cost price). Naturally, any participant who wishes to do so can give a donation to contribute to the running of the commune.
The property that has been purchased consists of 50 acres in the midst of a tropical forest and has a cenote, a sacred Mayan lake. It is located 7 km from the sea, 8 km from the next town called Playa del Carmen, the upmarket sea resort (with many 5-star hotels) opposite Cozumel island, and 40 km from Cancun International Airport.
The plan of this eco-village is conceived in the shape of a mystical Mayan circle with the cenote at its centre, surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens through which run walking paths in stone or wood planks for silent zazen and zen walking.
Plans have been designed for 88 residences plus 18 different separate communal and public structures such as: Buddha Hall, Welcome Center, traditional palapas with thatched roofs made of dried palm leaves for meditation and dance, an Art Centre and an Art Gallery, a hall for martial arts and a building for Vipassana meditation, events, therapy and groups rooms. To relax and enjoy the luxury, a natural swimming pool meandering through the forest is under construction, final touches are given to a massage centre plus spa, Asian and Italian restaurants, a bakery, a juice bar and a café.
The design of the village creates a striking balance between modern and traditional local architecture. While creating a contrast they still blend in harmony: abstract, white concrete forms jutting into the sky opposed to the palapas with their light open roofs which almost disappear into the trees. The overall plan and buildings are designed by Rajneesh himself, who is an international award-winning designer. He has put great attention to detail into the architectural design and insists on high standards of construction. If you are interested in the architectural design, watch this video (16 min): Ozen Cocom project presentation.
Only the finest materials are used; marble or granite for flooring, exotic wood and local stone for facades, high quality finishing for halls and guest rooms, modern fittings in bathrooms and warm wooden furniture to create a beautiful soft ambiance. Mayan statues from Mexico, stone and marble statues and furniture from India are incorporated into the architecture and the gardens.
And, last but not least, the eco-village project is going solar!
Great importance is given to the gardens. 3000 orchids have been planted and a variety of over 6000 plants and fruit trees; the gardens are already blossoming and growing. A new way of watering with sprinklers on trees which spray mist, and as a bonus create beautiful rainbows in the forest, have been designed and implemented. One of the concerns is that everyone respects and protects the natural forest environment: trees have been conserved and keep on growing in the midst of several buildings (and some are even growing through their roofs!). Despite the busy construction activities great care is taken that the forest flora and fauna remain protected, untouched and unpolluted, at least one metre away from the building site.
‘Fauna’ was mentioned above and you might wonder what these are. There are two black and two white swans swimming in the sacred cenote, and two geese. You will be surprised by the eight majestic peacocks when dancing and fanning their tails, by the colourful feathers of a guacamaya parrot or by a toucan screech when you least expect it. Many animals are buzzing around; squirrels, large colourful butterflies, humming birds, iguanas, turtles….
Breakdown of the project with dates
2012-mid 2013: a team of 30 sannyasins from all over the world worked to complete federal requirements of property land titles, topography, bio and environmental impact studies, government application for the project approvals.
2013: completion of the master plan for electric, hydraulic and sanitation studies, structural engineering, and architecture design.
2014: urban development and municipality license and approvals received for the development of the eco-village.
2014-2015: project development and construction together with 4 local contractors and 100 Mexican workers along with 40-50 sannyasin residents and volunteers. Sannyasins and friends have come together from USA, Canada, UK, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Czech, Denmark, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, India, Afghanistan, Mexico, Argentina, Korea, Vietnam, China… a truly diverse meeting of unique individuals.
Visiting the Commune
The commune will open beginning of November this year (2015). The general public and casual visitors are welcome to come and participate in all activities. Entrance will be free. Food is prepared by sannyasins and residents, and will be offered at cost.
The 88 available residences have already been sold to sannyasins (at cost) and they can be rented out to visitors (through the Ozen community desk). Visitors can stay for any period of time, subject to house availability. It is also easy to find inexpensive houses to rent in the touristic Playa del Carmen area, a few miles from the commune. (To become a permanent resident is, at least at present, no longer possible.)
You may book meditation camps, events and therapies as soon as Ozen Cocom is open. Daily Osho meditations in Buddha Hall are also free, as well as the Mystic Rose meditative therapy group that will be offered every 2 months. Yoga, dance, painting, art and pottery classes will be announced soon… all are welcome to join!
The best time to visit Ozen Cocom is from October through to April with tropical and pleasant temperatures of 10-25 degrees, while it will be hotter in summer with rains in June and July.
A dream come true
Reading this article almost gives the impression that it was all free sailing, but it has been a 5-year herculean effort not only for Rajneesh but also for the many volunteers who have put in their hours and money. It has been a difficult journey; capital investment has been huge, financial losses and risks have been great, climbing mountains and treading rocky pathways… yet the unwavering focus was there to create the dream of a free Osho commune.
Even Rajneesh’s heart attack in 2013 and the harsh construction conditions did not deter them from going on. Not to mention the setback the group had with their project in Goa for which the assured building permits have been delayed. The applications are stalled due to (corrupt) government and liaison officers, as are stalled over 800 projects by other developers pending decisions regarding new Goan land development laws.
But now here there is a space for all of us to flower, This very place – The lotus paradise!
Article by Dhyanraj and Punya
Ozen Rajneesh, originally from Bombay, India, became a sannyasin when he was 18 years old. His talks (‘spontaneous gossips’) given over three years have been compiled in 6 playful books, some of his quotes in 4 books, and his journey as a sannyasin was published as ‘Tears of the Mystic Rose’ (translated in 14 languages and downloaded by over 2 million). ozenrajneesh.com – www.youtube.com/channel
Satyam Dhyanraj grew up in northern England where he studied art. He took sannyas from Osho in March 1981 in Pune. He met Rajneesh in the late eighties at Rajneesh Ashram in Pune and connected with him again on one of his India tours in 2009. Since then has been involved in helping his work in various ways, such as transcribing his event videos for books, as well as creating artwork and woodwork for the commune.