(8 February 1949 – 18 January 2018)
Veet Nisha (Annemarie Staudinger) was born in Stuttgart, Germany and after her college education she worked for the Metallurgy Basic Research at the Max-Planck-Institute. A job as a scientific associate for the Basic Research Department at Bell Telephone Company, later known as AT&T, that she landed in the 70’s, brought her to the States. She worked there for 10 years.
After a few visits to India, she took sannyas in Pune in the late 70’s. She became part of the crew at the ‘Castle’ in Montclair, New Jersey, when Osho arrived from Pune. She then moved to Rajneeshpuram, Oregon, where she was the ‘mom’ of the Sariputra (sheet metal) department, a supervisor in the Chuang Tzu construction department. She also drove heavy equipment after the first couple of festivals.
After the Ranch ended she went back to the East Coast for a short time before moving to the San Diego area, where a growing community of Ranch ‘refugees’ had banded together, living communally, getting jobs and starting businesses.
Nisha became a healer and worked for many years as a massage therapist with a loyal clientele. She became involved in the Miracle of Love (Kalindi) group of San Diego, where she took on a leading role and eventually helped assist in the Intensives that were a mainstay of that group.
In July 2015 she started having balance problems, finally being unable to stand without aid. That’s when she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. In November 2015 she suffered a stroke and became paralyzed. She was given only a few months to live, but she survived for over 2 years. It was a difficult journey, but she increasingly surrendered to her situation with grace and gratitude to everyone that attended to her. She spent most of that time at home, but was moved to a lovely facility in La Jolla for the last few months of her life. She had 24/7 nursing care, but was regularly visited by Ana, neighbour Jill, Shara, and Damien/Yashen who cooked meals for her and visited every week.
The amazing thing was, whenever I would arrive and ask how she’s doing, she’d always say something like, “Couldn’t be better,” or “Great, how about you?“ Toward the end she couldn’t talk much so I started reading to her. The last few weeks we were reading from Let Go, a darshan diary. The last time I saw her she couldn’t wake up, so I just sat with her for a while. The next morning, she had passed on.
Nisha and I were both massage therapists and would exchange massages. We often met for coffee, our favorite beverage. Nisha and I had this strange propensity to always find something knee-slapping funny and would end up belly laughing until we had tears rolling down our faces. We continued to run into each other at sannyasin parties and would pick up where we left off – laughing our asses off together! Sometimes all we had to do was just look at each other and we would start laughing. I somehow get the feeling that Osho had something to do with this unexplainable mirth we evoked in each other.
We had a few soft drumming and chanting circles at Nisha’s home. We would wheel her bed out through the double doors of her bedroom out into the living room. After playing the guys wheeled her back in and “tucked her in” properly! Thus the picture with all the guys around her: Qadin, Apta, Govindo, Steve (Shivam’s husband), Mark, Anudipa…
Nisha’s last message
graphic by Peggy
Nisha’s Life Celebration was held on 25th February 2018.
Bio and photos thanks to her sister Gudrun, Shivam, Stan/Saguna, Damien/Yashen, Arlen, Sherry, Shahido – alert thanks to Bettina – coordination by Shahido
Read Nisha’s sannyas darshan:
Seeing is light
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The first time I remember meeting Nisha was in the townhouse where we both lived. We had nearby bedrooms and almost every early morning we’d see each other in the bathroom, either going into or out of the shower as we sleepily scrambled to get ready to catch a bus to Magdalena cafeteria. I must say, seeing her gorgeous and voluptuous naked body first thing in the morning did wonders to wake me up thoroughly! Nisha always seemed to be in a cheery mood, even at such predawn hours, and this naturally brought my sleepy spirits up.
After the Ranch we both ended up in San Diego where for the next 20 years our paths kept crossing on numerous occasions – at parties or, our favorite, at drum circles with other sannyasins. She always seemed like a ray of sunshine with her husky German accent announcing that life is wonderful and worth living. Even when she lost mobility during her last two years she managed to attend an Osho festival held nearby. Arriving on a wheelchair, Nisha proceeded to join the group circle and balance herself while we danced joyfully in celebration. I’ll never forget Nisha’s wide engaging smile and contagious belly laughter. May your spirit soar in laughter and love!
Beloved Nisha, When I think of you, I smile and laugh out loud! ALL my memories of you include lots of belly laughter, tears of laughter, dancing and more laughter…
Even the last time I visited you in San Diego, two years ago, we laughed lots then too, despite you being bedridden… To be sure, with your sharp wit and mind we shared many deep evocative and poignant conversations too, and then laughed more….
Thank you for sharing yourself so heartily! Fly High, my Dear Friend – Love,
Oh Nisha, the best flight to your next journey in eternity. You were my first mom at the ranch and you win gold in my heart. I will never forget when, at the plumbing meeting, this most puzzled look with a big grin said that Osho had told Sheela that one day we will go into caves, and that they are already built. Love always,
Fly High, sweet Nisha, I had beautiful moments with you in Boston in the eighties. Such a wonderful loving soul and great sense of humor.
My friendship with Nisha formed through Miracle of Love and the wonderful massage business she had created through relationships with concierges at hotels in San Diego. She shared so much work with me, and we enjoyed meeting for coffee at our favorite spots and doing couples massages together.
My most profound and memorable moment with Nisha happened this past December, when I was in San Diego. I had planned to visit and sit with her, and was taking an Uber ride to La Jolla. All was flowing smoothly until the driver abruptly exited the highway and started to drive through neighborhoods and traffic jams, apparently to pick up another passenger. I watched the clock move quickly forward, and at the same time stand still, as the car was hardly moving to the destination. A friend who was in the back seat suddenly became aware of thousands of Angels around Nisha. She saw a pathway of Light, a pathway to God being opened for Nisha, and Angels coming from all over creation. I felt them, the presence, and was instantaneously having the most heartfelt loving conversation with Nisha. I was shown many memories of moments with her, while expressing love and immense appreciation for all we had shared together. Tears were streaming out of my eyes as Nisha and I were held in God’s love. For me, it was a huge blessing, because the feeling of my connection with Nisha was more real than what I might have experienced in the room with her that day. By the time the car reached the facility, it was time to head to the airport. We drove around the building, the window to Nisha’s room was open and I continued our loving exchange, praying and knowing that the Angels were blessing her on her way home. And this is the TRUE miracle of love. I will forever be grateful.