A review by Indivar (Gerald Bronstein, MD) of Leela Itzler’s history and guide.
Osho’s Mystic Rose Meditative Therapy
A Revolutionary Process of Healing and Transformation through Laughter, Tears and Silence
by Leela Itzler
Independent Publishing Network (23 June 2022)
ISBN-10 : 180068794X
ISBN-13 : 978-1800687943
113 pages, 12.85 x 0.69 x 19.84 cm
Available on Amazon worldwide – amazon.com – amazon.co.uk – amazon.de
This book is an in-depth record of the origin and development of Osho‘s Mystic Rose meditative therapy process, written by Leela Itzler, the woman whom Osho appointed to develop this process. He invented Mystic Rose in 1988 as the crown jewel of his innovative, active, and cathartic meditation methods designed for the modern man.
In reviewing the book I first have to admit that I am an unabashed lover of the Mystic Rose and Leela. I have participated in the Mystic Rose Group, facilitated it for many years, and have taught trainings. I am therefore grateful and excited that Leela has written a book about it. Her profound experience and depth of understanding of Osho‘s meditative therapy processes permeates every page. The section on crying touched me so deeply it brought me to tears.
The Osho Mystic Rose meditative therapy group is a three-week process, three hours per day: the first week laughing, the second week crying, and the third week sitting in meditation; that phase is called the Watcher on the Hill.
Osho has stated, “I have invented many meditations, but perhaps this will be the most essential and fundamental one. It can take over the world.” 1)
This book gives many clues as to why the Mystic Rose is so unique and profound – and so valuable in the world today. (As we all know this world is deeply in need of healing.) Leela explains why she feels Osho made the group so long and intense, and why this is so necessary to break through the repression and the energetic blocks we all have.
When Osho introduced the group he said, “In old Mongolia they had an ancient idea that in every life, whatever pain is suppressed… and pain is suppressed, because nobody wants it. You don’t want to be full of pain, so you suppress it, you avoid, you look somewhere else. But it remains.
“And the Mongolian idea was – and I agree with it – that life after life it goes on accumulating in you; it becomes almost a hard shell of pain. That’s why all the saints and the sages have been telling you, shouting, ‘Go into yourself!’ You listen to them, but you don’t go. There is a reason why you don’t go; you know that going in, you have to encounter pain; going in, you have to encounter misery, suffering, agony.” 2)
Who is this book for?
- It is an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to facilitate Mystic Rose groups. It has advice on set-up, music, and ways to help people go through difficulties.
- It is also of great interest to anyone who has done or is doing the group and wants to understand and appreciate what has happened. It adds a cognitive background to the group. It is helpful because, as Leela explains many times, the group in itself is a pure energy process, not a cognitive process. The healing and opening happen by moving energy, through laughter and tears, and then relaxing into silence and being.
- Anyone interested in Osho‘s approach to meditation will enjoy this book. There are two sections on the other two Osho meditative therapy groups: Osho No-Mind, which involves Gibberish before sitting silently, and Osho Born Again, which involves becoming a child fully and freely, and then sitting quietly. Learning about these, one may discover that there are many ways to approach meditation, including through moving energy first, then relaxing – which is Osho’s major and unique contribution to the world of meditation.
Leela gives many examples from her life and participants’ lives of how transformation has happened. I quote, “One woman who had suffered sexual abuse expressed to me that although she had spent several years in trauma therapy, nothing came close to the healing she experienced through the Mystic Rose. She needed to cry out all that anger, disgust, and hatred towards her abuser. All of it came up and all of it was cried through. She did a number of Mystic Rose groups, which were deeply healing for her.“
I remember one case when I was offering evening sessions of No-Mind at the center in Germany. On the first evening a woman joined the group and I could tell that she was not comfortable with this new and strange meditation. Nevertheless she gave it a go. I thought she may not return, but the next evening she came to me very enthusiastically before the session began. She told me that she had been an insomniac her whole life, but that she had gone to bed the night after the session and had not woken up until 8:30 the following morning. This had never happened to her before. It was clear the gibberish had a profound effect on deepening relaxation and also facilitating deep sleep.”
Leela’s book is immensely readable and inspiring:
“As a young married woman with two children, there came a time when I began to look for a greater significance and meaning, going beyond the routine of daily life. I had a deep longing within me for something more profound, but I was unable to discover how that could happen. I can only describe the feeling as discontent at the deepest level of my being…
“I believe that this inner voice is present in everyone. It is a calling, a longing to remember our true essence and intrinsic divinity. It is the invitation in the seeker within us all to start a journey of self-discovery, or conscious evolution.”
There is a section in the book on research done on laughter and tears which is very helpful, but all of that research was done only on short periods of laughing and crying.
My hope, as a physician, is that reading Leela’s book will encourage research scientists who are studying laughter, tears and meditation to do in-depth studies on the effects of this longer immersion in all three together. This has never been studied scientifically, so it would be a wonderful pioneering study for someone to undertake who has the necessary resources, time and expertise.
If you are new to meditation and Osho, read this book. If it sparks a knowing that you want to do this process and then you do it, I guarantee you will be forever grateful. I know of nothing in the world so transformative and so opening to the inner being.
1 and 2) Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose, Ch 30, Q 1
Related Osho discourse
- Yaa-hoo! Yaa-Boo! – Osho announces a new meditative therapy, the Mystic Rose; “You cannot conceive how much transformation can come to your being.” (Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose, Ch 30, Q 1)
- A gift given by the Master – Leela shares a few excerpts from her recently launched book, Osho’s Mystic Rose Meditative Therapy
- Roots of the Mystic Rose – Leela reveals the beginning of the Mystic Rose Meditation (September 2010)
- Osho’s Mystic Rose Meditation – A letter from Leela about the use of the name Osho Mystic Rose for the group process she developed (October 2016)