In 2014 when my mother died, I felt that best way to celebrate would be to do Vipassana. It took five years, but I got there, with my beloved. And what a Vipassana it was; in fact, still is. It continues to travel with me. Fifteen hours from Sydney to Doha and then another five to Rome – and then, via Venice – Osho Miasto. There is not anything like Osho Miasto in Australia. Nothing so solid, so full of courses, programs and possibilities. I wanted to do this Maha Vipassana with Shunyo and Marco. I know them, love them and trust them. My trust was well placed. Their touch is loving and light.
I work as a drug and alcohol counsellor in Kings Cross, one of the more colourful parts of Sydney. To say it is intense would be an understatement. By the time I got to Italy, I wanted to relax and go in, with all my heart and soul.
Vipassana in Osho Miasto of course starts with Osho Dynamic Meditation. Now, I’m not 21 as I was when I first did Dynamic 42 years ago. My approach to it varies considerably from how I did it then. I’m less manic, less divided and more inclined to let it do me than me do it. The result was that as each day went on, Osho Dynamic slowly drove me deeper into all the healing, expression, wildness and movement I needed to embrace, in order to really sit still. This was not a repressed or repressive Vipassana. It was a very alive one.
Then came the sitting. Each day, with lunch in the middle, five 45-minute sits and five 15-minute half-paced awareness walks. The amazing thing for me with all this sitting was the lack of struggle. I seem to have lost interest in being a host to struggle these days. With fifty people in the room, the silence seemed to hum. Each day, we slipped deeper and deeper in. Of course, my mind did its dance. I let it. As the days went on, I watched it come, and then in the light of awareness, disappear like smoke.
At one point I did have an extraordinary procession of thoughts about astrology. It was tantalisingly beautiful; but ephemeral, words written on water. Sunset arrived each day with Osho Kundalini Meditation. It amazes me that after four decades, this meditation continues to offer nothing but delight. In the midst of all this there were silent walks up the hill to feast on all the gorgeous food provided, with the added benefit of sensitivity, slowness and deepening wonder. Mother nature kept providing us with mind-stopping moments, as if to tip us even further over the edge into no-mind. There is a mountain behind Buddha Hall that kept being there and then not being there, by courtesy of the mists. The Moon put on a show every evening unlike anything I’ve seen. She was full on day 3 or 4, taking us with her. One night she rose huge and red. The silence was dancing inside by then.
The highlight for me each day was the Evening Meeting. Dancing, music, sound and silence. I’ve often wondered if all these groups that we do and meditations we explore, serve the sole purpose of making it possible to see, hear and feel more of the wonder that is Osho. The silence of this Vipassana seemed to take me behind the words. I felt the hint of a place more vast than I had felt before, in the sound and silence of discourse. In my meeting with Shunyo on day five, I found myself saying that it seemed like there keeps on being layer after layer of initiation available in this dance that is sannyas.
At night we slept in our room surrounded by the oak trees after the gentle la la la’s and latihan of Osho Devavani. There was a buzz of excitement in my sleep.
Ultimately this Osho Maha Vipassana left me feeling deeply satisfied, as if I had come to the well and had a soul feast. It was both extraordinary and profoundly ordinary. The here and now is still here and now, as I sit tapping this out on my computer in a little flat full of boxes, all packed ready for us to move into a new home. I watch my breath on the train going to work. I watch my mind. Every now and again in the midst of identification and forgetfulness, I drop into the relaxation of remembrance. I remember to ride the breath with acceptance and awareness. And……bliss……