There is a field…

Letters / Notes

Marita remember visiting her father in India after she left school.

Poem by Rumi

When I was nine years old I wrote an angry letter to the Indian guru Bhagwan, later known as Osho. I believed that he had taken my father away and if he could take him away, then my childlike logic commanded that he could also send him back. But as I grew up I learned this: it was my father’s free will to arrange his life with Osho in the center and to give up living with his family for it.

Nine years later I wanted to go to Osho’s ashram in India. I wanted to find out what had moved my father to become a swami. The plan didn’t charm the people in my life. If an ‘orange cult’ could uproot someone from his bourgeois life of husband, provider for the family and father, how would this affect a young woman fresh from high school? It took many sleepless nights, internalizing the voices of my surroundings, to finally decide that I wanted to form my own opinion of my father. So I took off.

The ashram in Poona looked like a palace garden, right in the middle of an ‘urban jungle.’ Buddha once needed to flee from a similar gorgeous city garden to fathom the causes of suffering and I was returning there, trying to understand my childhood, missing a father. So many questions in my mind, why must it be this way, why must it be that way? Why did you do this and why that?

Yet all these questions kept me standing on the sideline with my criticism, still loyal to everyone regarding my father that same way. The real meeting happened in the silences that fell between us while travelling around India. We explored Goa on a scooter and Kerala by boat, sat in a train to Calcutta for 34 hours, rode on a bus to Nepal in agonies and stayed overnight in the Rajasthan desert with camels.

A field opened up, in the words of Rumi:

Out beyond ideas
of doing right or wrong
there is a field
I’ll meet you there

First published on Marita’s blog – English translation by Srajan – maritacoppes.nl

Marita Coppes

Marita Coppes is an artist and author. She runs a storytelling school in the Netherlands. maritacoppes.nl

Comments are closed.