Chetna and Swaram talk to Osho News about Love Osho.
Update: Swaram and Chetna have now moved to Singapore. Others are now running Osho’s meditations in London.
What classes and events are you offering in London?
For the past three years we have been organising Osho meditations in Clapham, in a yoga studio called Synchronicity: once or twice a month we offer short programmes (1-4 hour meditation events) followed by a social hang-out at the vegetarian café next door. Together with Pushpita we started these events because we wanted to meditate ourselves, meet other Osho lovers and share Osho. These events are intended for newcomers, as an introduction to the world of Osho, as well as for more experienced meditators and sannyasins who want to connect and practise Osho’s meditations in a group setting.
We also organise residential meditation retreats. These consist of a weekend in the idyllic English countryside. It is an intense programme: 6 meditations per day including Dynamic, Kundalini and White Robe. On the last day there is the Sannyas Celebration where new friends have the opportunity to take sannyas. It’s a delight for us that most people in our group have become sannyasins by now.
Do you also sell Osho books at these events?
Yes, indeed, we do. This year alone we have sold around 500 books and people always ask for new titles because they love reading Osho. We are very passionate about books because this is how we have found out about Osho. We think this is one of the most effective ways to promote him; his books are so powerful and, as many of us have experienced, just one line can be enough to be enthralled.
Where are the meditations and retreats advertised?
We have a website called Love Osho and a Meet Up page. Within two years our group has grown to almost 1400 (and counting). The vast majority of Meet Up members are totally new to Osho and we are excited to be able to reach out to new friends and offer them the opportunity to ‘meet’ Osho.
What kind of people come to your events?
They are mostly professionals who have never done any meditations before or have tried different techniques. They are often impressed by the effectiveness of our meditations and get inspired to continue on this journey. Moreover, there are many people in London who have heard of Osho and are looking for a place to meditate and learn more about him.
Do you feel that the new generation of sannyasins mention their master’s name more openly than the older generation does?
Perhaps they do. What we have noticed is that when new friends take sannyas they bring fresh energy because their journey has just begun. Personally, we do speak freely about Osho and our love for our master. We do not carry any burdens from the past and nowadays society has changed; it is more open and accepting.
This year you have also organised the Osho Festival UK at Osho Leela after the success of the previous year. Can you say something about that?
The Osho Festival UK was an absolute delight. There were around 200 participants and the feedback was extremely positive. People loved the daily schedule of Osho’s meditations alongside the great variety of workshops. The programme was so rich and juicy that in each session there were three choices (one of Osho’s meditations and two workshops with Osho therapists). And the live music by Milarepa and the band lifted everyone’s spirit!
The workshop leaders and meditation facilitators were fantastic and greatly contributed to the smooth running of the Festival, and Osho Leela’s community members worked their socks off, always with a smile.
The Festival concluded with a Sannyas Celebration where many friends plunged into the unknown surrounded by loving sannyasins, live music, devotional songs, dancing and jumping with ecstasy.
I have known you, Chetna, at least virtually for many years. You have been promoting meditation camps since 2006. Does it come natural for you to spread Osho’s message?
Yes! It is a joy and the best way to be with Osho.
Please tell me in short where you come from, what you studied and how you landed in England.
I am Russian and came to London as a student in 2000. Now I work as a compliance officer at an investment bank. I hold a BA in English Language and Literature from Ukraine and a BA in Business Studies from London.
Swaram, what about you?
I am from Rome and moved to the UK in 2008 to be with my beloved Chetna. I hold a MA in Philosophy and am currently working as a commercial relationship manager at DNAFit Ltd, a genetic testing company in the health and fitness industry.
Any plans for the future?
Enlightenment, of course! In the meantime our dream is to open an Osho centre.