Anand Urvashi writes about her visits to Osho Swan Nest, located in the foothills of the Himalayas.
I will tell you about a beautiful place with amazing surroundings and carrying the flavour of Pune 1 times. It is nestled in the hills around Almora in Uttarakhand, overtowered by majestic snow peaks of the Nanda Devi range. It is called Osho Swan Nest and is nurtured together by Swedish Ma Bodhi Sumito and Indian-born Swami Hari Om Sharan, her husband.
Both lived for many years in Osho’s communes and took sannyas in Pune 1 days. In 1998, the couple left the Ashram to move to the Himalayas. They found their ideal piece of land near Almora in 2000 and very soon set about the creation of their centre. The construction work was a big challenge because they had no work skills and finances were scarce. Hence they began the main building with a one-floor layout and then gradually expanded.
With Sumito being a qualified therapist, they held the first Vipassana retreat in October 2004 and never looked back. During the years also other therapists have come to participate in their retreats.
My impression after I arrived for the first time two years ago was that this place was so clearly devoted to Osho, ‘Ah! Back home – physically, emotionally, and mentally.’ Within 24 hours my heart told me that this was the place I belonged to, and the experiences I had were quite similar to my first visit to Pune in 1979, in Osho’s presence.
I was part of a group of several sannyasin friends, mostly from the West, to join a Vipassana retreat. The first day was dedicated to lovingly and laughingly introduce ourselves and getting to know each other. Recalling this day at the time of writing, I feel like singing a song: “Bhagwan we, your people, from around the world have come!”
Sumito spoke with great ease and care about the practicalities for our retreat and briefed us in particular on Osho Neo-Vipassana.
During the ten days, in complete silence, I sank deep within, felt light, playful, alert and in a zone of no time and no space. The presence of the group coordinator was at all times very gentle, soft and silent.
I have returned to visit Osho Swan Nest several times since. It is a place for sannyasins to stay for a while, living simple and quiet, with meditation being the core of the heart, without anyone guiding or facilitating. Visitors decide on their own the meditation schedule and timing, though every evening all participate in the white robe brotherhood gatherings.
Important is also the experience of community living where friends share the preparation and cooking of food and also make chai. In particular it is such joy to perceive the spectacular view of snow-clad mountains and the surrounding area full of pine trees, flowers and birds, and wonderful tracks to take long walks. As I live year-round in the city, it is a great opportunity for me to immerse myself on all levels in nature.
I would like to say more about Sumito but it is difficult to explain in mere words… in spite of feeling her strongly and seeing her blue eyes!
Let me say it with this song:
You give wings of love
To my heart, Beloved one
And I dance and sing
With the wind, Beloved Osho
I’m a bird on the wing
Reaching for the stars
Flying like an eagle
In the endless sky
Living a child-like life can be challenging outside, but inside of me is leela-leela and love, reverence, and gratitude for the Master.
Two Osho Neo-Vipassana retreats at Swan Nest are scheduled for 21-31 March 2021 (10 days). Although visitors from abroad are not yet able to visit India, it is a beautiful opportunity for Indian friends to celebrate also Osho’s Enlightenment Day. A second retreat will be on 21 September – 11 October 2021 (21 days) and a third one will take place in Sweden from 11-21 November 2021 (10 days) at Osho Risk in Denmark.
Sumito also offers individual sessions such as Touching the Buddha Within, Hypnoanalysis, and Past Life Regression. A new introduction is a one-to-one open online session. sumito.se