As online events are not coming to an end very soon, Punya has put together another update, inviting friends to comment on their experiences with these new tools.
Thanks go to Upadhi, Upchara, Satyam, Arpana, Lani, Tarika, Purushottama, Subhan and Shanti, Purushottama, Maneesha, Avinash, Sarita’s Team, Ojas, Arhat and Amar for their contributions to this article.
One Day for Miasto
While updating my most recent pet project, the Online Events Page (a daily ‘chore’ – there are so many events happening and at such short notice), I came across an initiative which compelled me to write yet another of these posts.
A few internationally-known group leaders (Upadhi, Svarup, Svagito, Magna, Siddho and Anurag, Dwari) have ‘come together’ to support Italy’s renowned Osho Miasto Centre by offering a series of one-day workshops, One Day for Miasto, where all contributions will go to the community.
Not meditating alone!
On my list you can find details for online Osho Active Meditations, Satsangs and Regular Events ranging from Pacific Daylight Time to East European Time and get acquainted with calculating your time for something you are particularly interested in.
For a few weeks I have been following Arpita and Jamie‘s Sunday Morning Satsang; maybe next Sunday (24 May) I will want to wait until late afternoon (here in Europe) to catch Milarepa and his One Sky Music band (this time also with Sudhananda and Milind – haven’s seen them for year!) for their Satsang via zoom, organized by Osho Niranjana in California.
From Purushottama I came to know about a vibrant community, Osho Atlanta, that organizes free events: Active and passive meditations, Sunday Satsangs every other week alternating with an Osho Dhamma and the Art of Awarefulness on Saturdays, and much more. Find them on: www.meetup.com
An interesting array of meditations (Quantum Light Breath, Nadabrahma, Kundalini on some week evenings and a Satsang on Sunday mornings) are offered for free via zoom also by Osho Leela Centre in Boulder, CO, writes Avinash.
It is amazing to see how so many of the events are offered for free, others though need a contribution to keep the physical centers running. Upadhi writes from Italy: “After the lockdown started, I realized that the web could be an opportunity to stay connected while meditating and together explore this incredible moment. I’m making sure that for those who are short of money there are meditations that can be accessed for free, and then there are, of course, days for those that can afford it (like the days we are organizing for Osho Miasto).”
Arpana from New Your City also wrote: “On 12 March we had to close Padma’s doors due to coronavirus. To support our community through these uncertain times we decided to continue our meditation schedule through an online platform.
“Since starting virtual meditations, our community has surprisingly grown to other States in the US and also to other countries around the world. We now have a daily yoga class with two meditations happening Monday to Friday. On the weekends we offer various groups like heart meditations, a dance workshop, morning satsang; and now a men’s and women’s sharing has just begun. If you would like to take part in our meditations or workshops, please check out our website: padmanyc.com.”
From Seattle, Subhan writes: We appreciate the support for this strong/fragile Osho community here – and everywhere else! I keep remembering Osho talking about a Noah’s Ark of Consciousness, and how it’s now our responsibility to go within; and share, whenever possible, our deepest understandings with those who are thirsty! Here’s what we are doing regularly – every week online: worldofmeditation.com
And from Maneesha, who almost missed my request for comments because she was busy preparing her Tuesday Dance Alchemy Heart Meditation: “I have offered these classes on Zoom for free and suggested to those who wanted to contribute something to give to a charity that helps those in extreme need, or to the Padma Center in NYC. I may eventually receive donations myself and offer a longer class that is paid for, so that I can afford to continue.
The new tools
From Upchara: “I just found myself writing to someone on Facebook who was ranting against the Internet and Zoom in particular. I said to her, ‘It is like with all instruments. It depends what you use them for… and how you use them.’ I will be using Zoom to continue my sharing with the women that did the Osho Women’s group in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Spain. It is amazing! All of them – in the beginning – were surprised at how energetic it felt.. and how it had an effect on their state of being!
“So, as we will not be boarding planes for quite a while (at least I won’t!), it feels a gift to have these instruments to continue expanding meditation and Self Inquiry, as we are doing in Italy thanks to Satyam of the OMC Treviso.”
Said ‘Satyam from OMC Treviso’ writes that it is the coronavirus that has pushed him into creating a quick way to help people being ‘in touch in a meaningful way’, as a sort of antidote to the ‘virus’ of anxiety, isolation and anguish. Little by little his new creation, called Flying Sofa, is showing itself as a new way to share experiences and open a new vision of a world – free from boundaries.
“I have been giving sessions via the Internet in the past, but they are now increasing by a big notch. There is still some fear of the new, of the change; a lot of people still have misunderstandings of what it means to connect ‘in the air’. It’s surely different, yet it may reveal new opportunities. Already a few ‘pioneers’ are witnessing the beauty, and curiosity overcomes the few difficulties of the beginners.”
And now the word back to Upadhi: “My experience of working online has been very interesting; at the beginning I noticed the EM field, so now I am making sure to walk a lot, so that I can discharge it.
“I am learning slowly slowly how to use this tool [Zoom] and to have people meeting each other, sharing, laughing, celebrating, dancing. I am doing different workshops with Chinese, Brazilian and European friends and so have the opportunity to get a picture of the different steps in the lockdown and also of the different responses to what is happening.
“I notice how most of us feel the need to be connected, feel the sangha, meditate together even if being in different places, to share our inner truth, our difficulties and what surprises us in this unfolding moment.”
Growing through online workshops
They comprise so far events by my beloved friends, Satyam and Upchara (Who in In? in English), by Siddho and Anurag, Shanti and Subhan, and by Anubuddha. Check out also the workshops organized by the Integral Body Institute ‘in Poland’ (Satyarthi, Prema, Giten, Niten, Nisarga).
Apart from the Tantra Workshops I already mentioned in my first article, Radha and the Tantralife Team are now also offering online group courses and individual sessions. “It is a beautiful opportunity to meditate on sexuality, focusing on the inward movement of our own sexual energy,” they write. tantralife.com
New from her Team are two videos by Prem Agostino, I’m not afraid of fear! (Italian with English subtitles) that give some simple tips to help us transform fear.
Sarita was too busy to reply to my questions; she was filming her weekly video which gets launched each Wednesday. She calls it Satsang with Sarita. The pre-recorded video includes questions and her answers about life, love, sexuality, relationship, abundance, wellness, meditation and spirituality, followed by a meditation or self development method.
But through others I came to know that her upcoming commitments are also the Tantric Couple Webinar (with various Tantra teachers, including Sarita – 22-24 May) as well as the online Phoenix Women Summit (5-9 June) where she will be available on day 2 (6 June).
Because of travel restrictions the Tantra Essence Festival will not be in Corfu this year but held online (19–21 June).
Opening and closing
While I hear that some centers will be opening at the end of the month, like Osho Shangri La and Karavanserai, Amar and Bhagat‘s places in Czechia (they will start with a Meditation Weekend and then celebrate their 25th Anniversary on 27+28 June), and the Osho Uta Institute in Cologne – in the meantime continuing their online classes (in German) and this weekend (16-17 May) an online meditation weekend with Anando – I also came across the news that there are changes at the Osho Tel Aviv Centre, about which we reported last year on the occasion of its opening.
Lani tells me today that as the center has been closed since the beginning of March because of the lockdown in Israel, and the property owner is asking for an extension of the yearly contract, the team has decided to close the premises as they cannot afford the obligations, but keep the online activities going.
Part of the team of about 20 sannyasins, who melded together in particular during the refurbishing work and the times they ran the meditations, recently got together to start packing up the center. After Kundalini, they had a toast with wine and a sharing circle. Everybody said that they wished to remain involved and felt that it was the beginning of something new. The physical center is closed but the dream is still alive!
Tarika, who will soon be starting with the Talking to the Bodymind meditation online, wrote a post on Facebook when she announced the closure. It reads:
“How easy it is to hold on to a dream, especially to one that has become a reality. How challenging it is to accept that reality has changed and the dream has to change with it….
“I understand the lesson that Osho teaches us here. Do not cling to neither a physical place nor a physical body. Don’t hold on, everything is impermanent and changing. Learn to let go. Acceptance is the key to relaxation. This is how he guided his disciples a moment before leaving his body: “I leave you my dream,” he said.
“The lessons I go through with our master are not always simple, believe me. Some are painful because the ego refuses to let go. So we say goodbye to the center, but not to the dream. We have created an amazing community, and the feeling is that now we can expand our activities, invest more time and energy in building a virtual space where we can enjoy the essence of Osho’s teachings, share meditations, courses, with our amazing staff and facilitators. So, I take a deep breath and hug myself – and you now – and take a moment to digest it all. I will miss you so much, our sweet beautiful center.” www.oshotlv.co.il
The question was: Are online events here to stay?
Purushottama replied: “I think that they are. It is extremely liberating.”