To Be Or Not To Be

a non-sannyasin view of our community

by Tracy Leigh

o be or not to be – is that the question? Sannyas or not sannyas is the question.

After spending almost three years as a non-sannyasin in a sannyas community, and living in an Osho centre, I have seen a whole range of events from quite bizarre to deeply enlightening. Yet as time has passed, what once seemed quite bizarre doesn't have such an impact today. The paranormal has gotten to be almost normal. I'll never forget the first satsang I attended, whoa boy that was an experience for my virgin eyes! At first it seemed like a normal ritual –whatever that is! – sing some songs, listen to the Master; yet, there were these moments when everyone went nuts! They shook themselves around, throwing their arms up in the air and yelling "Osho!" – and then repeated the whole thing over and over again! But the deeply enlightening thing I witnessed that night was how wildly elated everyone was! I couldn't really understand what was elating them until I realized it was their deep connection with their Master. This connection somehow made them free. As time went on, I learnt that they were also experiencing deep celebration, which Osho enjoins his disciples to engage in – deep celebration within themselves. It's really quite beautiful to watch. A little intimidating at times, but I can never help smiling during those moments, or even joining in! Who could?

Sadness or judgment sometimes arises during these moments also, for I have never experienced such a deep connection with Osho, therefore I can't really understand it. I deeply respect the Old Man's words, especially in regard to the importance of meditation, but I have never felt deeply in love with him. Sure, I have experienced surrender in my life in other entourages, but never towards one Master. I don't really know what one feels being a disciple of Osho, since I am not. Yet, when I hear his sannyasins speak of their beloved, a deep love resonates through their words. At times I have tried to create this love in myself, but it has never happened. So I dropped trying a while back and just remained where I feel comfortable, a friend to Osho and his disciples – and even a lover with one of them! There are not too many communities that I know of where you can be just who you are. I love this of our ever-changing community. And I love that it is "ours," full of disciples and non-disciples who continue to dance in harmony with one another.

At times I want to create divisions by seeing the differences and feeling like the community is not for me, nor am I for it. But I keep going back to the feeling of oneness that arises during Nadabrahma. It is a root feeling of giving and receiving that I feel energetically exists amongst us – beyond labels. The energy that I feel when I really connect with someone, whether they are sannyasin, Buddhist, Christian or atheist, goes beyond what my mind can turn the experience into; it goes to a universal level. My mind wants to create differences while my heart only wants to see similarities in everyone. I have a deep gratitude to Osho and this community for the constant reminder that meditation is the only way to freedom beyond my mind – that there is the possibility of going from mind to no-mind.

[Of course, things being AS THEY ARE, they can never stay as they are for long. Check out the sequel at 2BR02B II]

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