Deeva reviews Sagarpriya’s new book ‘The two shores of Love: inner man & inner woman’
I first read Sagarpriya’s book “The two shores of Love: inner man & inner woman” when it was published in Danish in 2007. An Italian version followed and now the English version of this inspiring book is finally available. You can get it in paperback or buy it as an e-book from amazon.com.
Right from the beginning the book is captivating. Sagarpriya shares her insights into what it means to be a human being, a meditator and a ’spiritual seeker’. She describes in great detail what meditation is. She is very precise, factual – almost technical – in her description. But at the same time her language, and the feeling that comes through, is totally mystical. This coming together of the factual and the mystical is one of the things I love most about the book.
The book is structured into 12 chapters and also contains quite a few exercises and instructions you can practice while reading it. I tried some of them with a girlfriend and was surprised at how powerful they were. Sagarpriya generously shares many of the tools she uses when working with people.
She starts off by describing how we all have an ’inner man’ and an ’inner woman’ inside us. In this book the inner man is not a swaggering cowboy pursuing a prettily dressed woman; the basic premise is that we, as human beings, contain two energetic polarities. To put it very simply: an active (male) polarity and a resting (female) polarity. These are the two shores of love referred to in the title of the book. When energy flows naturally between these two shores, life flows like a river of love. However, many of our problems in life come from some disharmony between the polarities. Maybe the inner female has low self-esteem and the inner male thinks he is fantastic. Maybe one polarity has too much power and the other is asleep. Maybe one polarity is afraid of being alone and therefore compromises his/her own freedom etc. In a harmonious inner landscape both polarities have space and freedom.
In the book Sagarpriya describes her method for working with these two polarities. She gave this work the name ‘Star Sapphire’ – a reference to the precious stone with the same name. If you throw a casual glance at a star sapphire, it may look ordinary, but if you hold it at a particular angle and look closely, you will see the bright light sparkling inside.
The foundation of the Star Sapphire work is to be able to ‘tune in’ to the quality of relaxation/acceptance in a client. How relaxed/accepting is this person with the current ‘inner’ state of affairs? Sagarpriya describes with great precision how she tunes in, and some fine pencil drawings (by Sidd Murray-Clark) help illustrate it. From tuning in she gathers an understanding of what is possible for the client. She calls this understanding the ‘potential’, and it helps her set realistic expectations for the outcome of a session.
Another tool is how to ’read’ energies – in particular male and female energies – in a person. In the book Sagarpriya gives specific guidance and there are exercises you can practice with. She teaches how to receive an image of the inner male or inner female while touching the feet. If you are a rather rational person you may find this a little outlandish, but if you give it a try, you may be surprised at how easy it is!
Once you have ’read’ an image of the inner man / inner woman in the client, Sagarpriya shows you how to work with them in a setup similar to gestalt therapy. In this setup you use chairs to represent the inner man, the inner woman and an observer. The book describes very precisely how to work with a client in this way, even giving you the kind of sentences you may use when talking, and when asking the client to shift from one chair to another.
In the next chapters Sagarpriya uses case studies to illustrate this work. Some of the case studies evolve like a Sherlock Holmes mystery, and she even teases the reader and challenges them to think of therapy as detective work. The case studies show possible ways of working with clients with big issues such as: love, work, money, relationship, meditation, freedom and trust. Towards the end there is also a chapter which deals with issues stemming from a past life. This chapter comes with a disclaimer: you need to have an open mind for this!
Finally, I want to say that in my opinion this book is a good read for therapists, for Osho lovers and for anyone interested in inner growth. For me, the most touching and profound part is the fact that Sagarpriya’s own understanding of what it means to be a ‘seeker’ comes through so strongly. She sees the bigger picture for all of us, as souls developing over many lifetimes. She understands how most of us are caught up in the web of desire and therefore miss the ‘real’ thing: love and freedom. Her passion for her work is very apparent and this made it such a delight and inspiration to read this book again.
Review by Deeva for Osho News
Read an excerpt from Chapter 7: What is Love
Sagarpriya DeLong was co-creator of the Rajneesh Counselor Training when it first began in Osho’s Pune commune in 1978. Since that time she has been leading therapist trainings in Counseling, Psychic Massage, and Star Sapphire Energywork. She is the author of ‘Psychic Massage’, ‘The Master’s Touch’ and ‘The two shores of Love’. Sagarpriya now lives in Italy. sagarpriya.it