Leela looks at early sexual conditioning and the journey to liberation and wellbeing.
Sexual repression has a long history of denial, guilt and corruption of humanity’s basic life force. For centuries, the so-called religious leaders who condemned our vitality and naturalness controlled much of mankind. Our bodies, we were told, were vessels of sin, our sexuality repressed to such a degree as to kill our very love of life. “Born in sin” is the dark past we carry within our collective memory.
Popes, bishops, nuns and monks of all various religions were portrayed as the truly “good” people. Sworn to a life of celibacy that supposedly brought them closer to God, it implied that sex was something God condemned. The rabble, the ordinary folk, needed to be controlled, so how better to control man than through guilt of our basic natural energy.
On a more personal note my parents never undressed in front of me. They had single beds and looked very embarrassed if I came into their room and found them together in the same bed on those rare occasions that they did have sex. I was sent to convent schools and later a Catholic boarding school because in those days it was regarded as the best education one could get. Neither my mother or step father was religious but I had a good insight into Catholic conditioning. At home there was never any discussion about sexuality. As with most households in those days it was the big taboo; ignorance and avoidance was the order of the day. Looking back on it all I wonder how we all managed to cope in this sick atmosphere of guilt.
So many of us who came to Osho in the early years of Pune had the opportunity to become aware of how the repressions of the past and that of our own childhood conditioning had so deeply perverted our natural sexual energy. Listening to Osho’s discourses, we became aware of all the different levels of our guilt, negative beliefs and patterns of behaviour. A great sense of liberation began to permeate through us as the weight of the past was lifted each day more and more. Groups and meditations were created to release these repressive blocks from our systems.
As our understanding grew so too did our capacity to trust. We began to openly show affection, hugging and melting with each other. It was a common site on the pathways of the ashram in those days. You could walk past a couple of friends giving each other a loving hug and pass by 15 minutes later and they would still be lost in the melting of two hearts. Through Osho’s guidance the ashram became a place of permission and love.
I was working in the Press Office in the ashram at that time and many of the journalists from around the world who came to investigate the phenomena that were taking place around Osho, could simply not see beyond their own guilt and repressions. In their ignorance of what was really happening they labelled Osho as the ‘Sex Guru’. That title of course carried with it all the condemnation of the past. In fact Osho was a Master of sexual health and wellbeing.
What in fact was happening was a great liberation and shift in the consciousness of those who understood that Osho was leading us out of the darkness and guilt of the collective past, and as awareness grew, so too did our understanding of how to move
beyond many of our sexual repressions and reclaim a more natural and healthy attitude to our basic vital energy.
Osho’s revolutionary discourses entitled From Sex to Superconsciousness, helped transform our understanding of the Tantric methods used to raise energy to its highest peak through meditation. It was a great experiment and opportunity for liberation and transformation for the many thousands who gathered there from all around the globe.
In 1981, when Osho moved from India to America and Rajneeshpuram — The Ranch — was created, another huge shift developed. Aids had arrived. This was in the early eighties and most of us had not even heard of this dreaded sexually transmitted disease. Osho sent out a message that to protect ourselves from Aids we needed to take on a far greater responsibility in our sexual encounters. Condoms were a must. Even wearing plastic gloves were recommended. Staying with one partner and even celibacy came into the picture. Unaware of what impact Aids would have on humanity, we nonetheless took basic precautions seriously. By the time the impact of Aids became clear we were extremely grateful that Osho had instilled in us the care and responsibility this new situation demanded. We all had regular blood tests to ensure that we did not infect each other.
As we moved into meditation more deeply, it seemed to coincide with a general cooling down of sexual encounters and a greater maturity began to arise in relation to our sexual behaviour and our relationships.
Returning to Pune, India in 1987, after his worldwide tour, the third phase of Osho’s Community began, fondly known as Pune 2. It was wonderful to have Osho back in India again. Many of us who had been with Osho over the past years once again gathered in his Buddhafield, to continue our transformative work in his profound presence. We sat again in the beautiful Buddha Hall, drinking in his wisdom, melting in his love and grace.
Over time I felt that I, and many of my fellow travellers, were able to move from sex and guilt to sex and freedom, and slowly we focused less on sex and more on love and meditation. That is not to say sex did not happen, it did, but many of the neurosis that accompanied our relationships and sexuality were far less in evidence.
More groups were established to help anyone still needing to work on specific areas of fear and old negative patterns of behaviour. Co-dependency, Primal and Tantra workshops were now a regular feature in the large group programmes offered. Osho always emphasised that therapy was needed just to clear the garden so that the flowers of love and meditation could grow in us. Meditation is the remedy for all that ails us.
Osho has left such a wealth of discourses for everyone to benefit from. His enlightened vision on every subject relevant to modern man’s inner journey continues to free us all and bring joy to the journey of life. Amen.
Essay by Leela
Prem 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. mysticrosemeditation.com
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