Cutting the Roots of Drama:

beyond my childhood abuse story

by Ma Dhyan Amiyo

n 1986 at 41 years old I started remembering my childhood sexual abuse. When my memories began to surface I was working as a doctor; I’d been a sannyasin for six years. I didn’t handle the process of remembering well. Instead of relaxing into it I struggled and denied. The more I fought, the more terrified I became; the more terrified I became, the more I fought. I got so scared I couldn’t keep doing my job.

I’d been pretending all my life that everything was OK and now it was time to get real. I couldn’t go on living a lie – with a master who was there to expose what was false in me. My identity of 41 years began to crumble.

Around this time Osho’s lawyer Niren asked him a question in which he said he was afraid of connecting deeply with him and “falling apart and then not being able to function anymore in this world.” (See discourse, “Falling Apart”). Osho answered that “If you come in deeper communion with me...I guarantee: you will fall apart.” Uh-oh. This was getting scary. Osho continued, “Fall apart, and let us see what falls apart...Nothing that is really yours is going to fall apart – your personality, your ego, your knowledgeability, these are the things which are going to fall apart.” Oh no. Oh shit.

When you start to fall apart like this it’s tempting to blame the master and run away. But somehow through it all I knew that this was my stuff, my buried pain and terror surfacing as my masks burned in the fire of Osho’s presence. In Pune One I’d heard him compare his work to that of a surgeon – warning that if we ran away in the middle of the operation with our guts hanging out we’d be in worse shape than before we took sannyas. So as my world and professional career collapsed, I just held on – sometimes by my fingernails – and tried to trust.

It wasn’t easy. There wasn’t a lot of support in the outside world to keep walking this path. After a former close friend and colleague reported me to the BC College of Physicians as unfit to practice medicine (which I was) and a “cult” member, I had to explain to the Assistant Registrar of the College what was going on with me. He remarked that I came to BC highly recommended by my medical school and former teachers. He showed me a picture of myself taken at the time of my application to practice medicine in BC – robust, self reliant, confident, assured, smiling. “What happened to her?” he asked me. In a profound moment of self discovery I answered, “She was a very good actress.”

At the end of the interview he questioned me further. “This process you’re going through,” he said, “You welcome it, don’t you?” “Yes,” I answered. “I do.” I could see that he thought I was totally crazy. Sometimes I wondered about it myself.

Things got worse. In 1989 I started remembering the really scary stuff.

I’d heard Osho say for years that my only problem was my mind, that the mind loved suffering and drama, that the only way out was to disidentify from it – becoming a witness and just watching it. I’d heard the words but I didn’t understand what they meant. I mean, what I was remembering was big. It was bad. It had to be serious.

I’d also heard Osho say that our suffering wasn’t following us around and clinging to us, that we were clinging to it and refusing to let it go – but of course I didn’t realize that I was doing this by insisting on the awfulness of my story.

I got so scared I couldn’t stand it anymore and went back to Pune. It was August 1989. Osho was just starting the meetings of the White Robe Brotherhood.

When he came out to dance with us in Buddha Hall I had my first taste of the real.

Tears streaming down my face, finally open to him and to myself, I realized that I had never let go before. Now that my lies and masks had crumbled I could enter the present moment and just be here.

The fire from Osho’s eyes jumped into me as I felt a vast and unknown energy take over my body. This was the real – this joy, this dance, this celebration. My childhood abuse had happened, but it didn’t have the reality of this present moment of joy. The memories of abuse were part of the mind. Now I was dancing in a timeless no-mind space with my master.

I’d heard him say that past and future were part of the mind, that only the present – beyond the mind – was real. Now I could taste what that meant.

This was a bhakti experience – the melting of the disciple into the being of the master, the melting into my own being through the doorway of my master’s eyes. But insight was needed too.

For me the greatest paradox in what I’d heard Osho say over the years was always his emphasis on the importance of let go and melting on the one hand and the need to watch and witness on the other. Now I knew how to melt. I could let go of my mind in darshan for timeless seconds. But I needed to learn how to witness my mind also to truly disidentify from it.

I wrote to Osho about my childhood memories. “Don’t be worried,” he answered. “Do Mystic Rose and Deprogramming.” The laughter and tears of Mystic Rose led me into silence. Deprogramming was a deep trance group. Over and over the groupleader repeated, “A new channel of understanding is opening up in you now.”

The key to cutting the roots of fear was understanding.

Three days after the group was over I was meditating in Osho’s samadhi – the marble temple for his body’s ashes. Suddenly I realized that fear and fight were the building blocks of my whole ego. No fear? No fight? Without them I would be nobody, I would be nothing.

In a moment of blinding clarity I saw that my mind loved the child abuse drama, lapped it up, ate it for breakfast. One part of my mind welcomed the abuse, adored the abuse – so that another part of my mind could fight it. This was the conflict that my identity fed on. This was the conflict that kept my ego alive.

I would have screamed aloud if I hadn’t been in Osho’s samadhi. It was so simple. My child abuse story was my ego’s purest fuel.

I’d like to say that since then I’ve gone beyond fighting and fear and all my stories. In fact of course I still get scared, and when I get scared I fight.

But I know how to celebrate now – and I see what my mind is up to.

more by this author

Contents 3