By Susan Ni Rahilly
I thought it was about time I made an editorial decision about including Osho, the Zen Master’s Satsangs (teachings) on our suzenyoga website.
I’m not a great fan of gurus – everyone should be their own guru as far as I’m concerned – but there is definitely a guru mentality and they often draw heavily on certain archetypes to get reactions and give us zen thwacks upside our heads. I mean of course, for example, the typical trickster antics designed to shock us out of our little mental ruts. Something that Osho, the master was good at even when he was a plain “Shree” . . . (Sri Baghwan Rajneesh).
When guru energy is good energy it is powerful. It’s the energy that keeps the Ashram (work and living place for practice) alive and thriving positively. It’s the teacher that brings light out of darkness and seeringly illuminates everything with “truth” . . . (Gu – darkness; Ru – light).
For instance, I love this vintage Osho – “be Zorba the Buddha” . . . and: “your Buddha mind, your Buddha heart, your Buddha nature are all there just waiting to be revealed . . . and existence needs every drop of you.” As the Master, he knew that we could all be the Buddha’s we truly are but that we might need our butt kicking every so often to just sit down and meditate and stop being neurotic.
But . . . if being your true Buddha nature means being a bit bonkers . . . then what? And he certainly was insistent in that guru-type no-messing way that we shouldn’t try to be gurus; gurus are self-gratifiers . . . and promptly guru-ified himself. What a contradiction . . . but as our monk Shinrin told us: “unique”.
Because Osho certainly knew that everyone is still human – that the weeds of co-emergent energy (the crap) come up with the blossoms of living in the magic; that if you spend your day meditating as your medicine then you can’t be watching what the entourage are up to . . . and chaos can break out, because chaos does, and as long as you’re alert and watchful and mindful, then it’s just an experience. But if the leader’s finger is off the button, chaos can get scary.
Shinrin gave us an insight last zen weekend here in Baltimore. He’d been an Osho sannyasin, there at the last in America when things were getting crazy. Osho had given him his orange-people sannyasi name and then turned him onto zen.
They grew up in such poverty in India. They had so many barriers; personal, psychological, emotional, and spiritual to break through as young sannyasins themselves, during the epoch Shri Bagwan Rajneesh (later Osho) and his cohorts were steeped in their Yoga training. I have an old book by one of Satyananda’s students, written from the view point of a yogi, and he poignantly points out that they were trying themselves to break through Victorian values imposed on them by the authoritarianism of an obsolete empire.