If you believe in accidents, then my journey with Osho seems quite accidental.
I don’t, so I suppose I’d characterize the beginning as benevolent ‘sleight of hand.’ Existence needed some tricks up her sleeve to convince this know-it-all seeker there was a better way.
My spiritual practice for most of my life consisted of yoga and Vipassana meditation. And I was a voracious reader. If ever I had any questions, I found a book on the subject. Anyone perusing my bookshelf would think the collection was an attempt to answer a difficult supposition: there must be more to life than this.
Osho was included in my ‘hall of fame,’ but I had tried to read both Love, Freedom, and Aloneness, and Being in Love. Neither one touched me. In fact, my reaction was a bit stronger than that – I found Osho’s words to be arrogant and detached. Who does this guy think he is?! But they sat on the bookshelf, like seeds needing to be soaked before they can germinate.
In the autumn of 2013, I was pretty broken. You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but inside I was burned out (career), disillusioned (relationship), exhausted (physical body), and jaded (mind). I knew I needed something, I just didn’t know what it was. I googled ‘personal transformation processes’ – I didn’t know what I was looking for or how I would know I had found it.
Luckily, it found me. A friend emailed out of the blue to tell me he was about to do a process called ‘Path of Love.’ It sounded a little ‘hippy dippy’ to me. But he’s someone I respect, so I listened. And then I googled. The next retreat was starting in 2 days’ time, 6 hours’ drive away. The logistics seemed tight, and surely they’d be full, right? But curiosity got the better of me and I hit the ‘request a call’ button.
Three minutes later, a Facilitator with a lovely demeanor called. We chatted for half an hour or so about this ‘life changing’ process. I got just enough detail to reassure me that I was ready, without spoiling any of the beautiful surprises it contains. Had I known it was born from the Osho lineage, or that it involved getting up in front of a group and sharing in a deeply vulnerable way, I would have run a mile. I guess you hear what you need to hear when you’re in a desperate space!
Without knowing it, I had taken my first step on my healing journey.
And the rest, as they say, is history. The process was, indeed, life changing. I began to resonate strongly with the teachings of Osho. I studied with other teachers who had been with him and embodied my understanding of his teachings. I found a community in Brazil where I lived for a while. I began to hear the delicate voice of my Soul.
Becoming a sannyasin a few years later was the last thing I thought I’d ever do, but it happened one day when it seemed to be the only response to the gratitude I felt for being given a second chance at life. I’m probably not the toughest ‘nut’ Osho ever had to crack, but I’m glad he took the time to pry me open gently, at my pace. It’s still a slow task as I burn off layer after layer of outdated muck – but I like to think Osho is looking down, smiling in satisfaction.
Fast-forward 5 years: I have a loving relationship with myself, and find it easier to create deep connections with others. I transitioned a soulless career into a soulful one, helping others find their own authenticity and connection. Is it all sunshine and roses? No way. Life still throws lots of curveballs, but I have better tools for staying grounded and being able to contain the discomfort. Thank you, Osho!