Yo yo yo people
I am currently sat in an internet cafe in Mumbai waiting for my train to Goa. I was supposed to be there 2 days ago but decided to make a last minute change and go to Pune for a 2 day stay at a meditation centre. Yes I know that doesn't sound like me but you have to try everything once, and there was also a rumour of sexual enlightment which was a big reason for going!
So off I went to the Osho resort.
In order to get to Pune I had to make an early morning visit to the train station which was not welcomed after my night out with the Oz lads and in the end a group of 4 yanks too. It was a really good night and it was nice to get drunk. I also got this Indian lad involved because he was out on his own and the last I remember of him was him falling flat on his face outside of the bar (I don't think he is used to vodka). I managed to palm him off onto some other Indian lads and they said they would get him home!
He was a good lad though and his script that he had written and was hoping to get made into a film was brilliant - as in the sexual content offended the yank girls.
So early morning in the station, still a little intoxicated, in a long and hot queue for a ticket. Obviously being English I appreciate an orderly queue so when 2 Indian chaps tried to push in (after already being told to queue by someone else) I lost it. It isn't often I lose my patience but I was just not in the mood so I told them to 'do one' and get to the back of the queue. We had a verbal altercation which I won and people in the queue congratulated me (which was funny) - it left me thinking that perhaps I am in need of some mediation etc.
I sat with a nice bloke on my way to Pune who told me all about the company he works for - providing steel for buildings and took me through a 143 page presentation on his laptop!! After he had finished I slept all the way to Pune as it was that riveting.
Now onto the Osho centre. Having read about the place before I came, I was aware that I would not be allowed to wear my civilian clothes once admitted. Maroon robes are required for the daytime and white for the evening. Still, upon my arrival it was odd seeing all of these people wondering around, dressed exactly the same.
I checked in, which included an on the spot HIV test (high hopes!) and prepared for the 6:30pm meditation session. This is where it got interesting. (but not in the way you are thinking)
Picture the scene - it is dark, I along with about 200 other people are milling around outside the auditorium dressed in white robes and the lighting is provided by flames. I was starting to think that I had gotten myself into some sort of pagan cult. I was looking around nervously for the sacrificial Lamb. (no pun intended)
At 6:30pm sharp, we are allowed to enter the auditorium which is under a big pyramid shaped roof, quite masonic, which also adds to my rising nervousness.
As I enter it is deathly quiet and I sit down on the cold marble floor along with everyone else. After about 10mins still nothing except silence.
Then some people walk to this room at the front that I hadn't really noticed, take their seats behind the instruments and start belting out this little funky little jazz number.
A woman at the front was straight up, raising her hands to the ceiling in a prayer like fashion and then starts dancing in the most random fashion. As I look around, people slowly start to rise and before I know it most of the hall is up, dancing in what can only be described as a loonatic manner.
Just about everyone had their eyes closed and were off somewhere that I clearly was not. I am not joking, I burst out laughing, it was brilliant. One old bloke in front of me was just jumping up and down on the spot, I mean, that was all he was doing and it wasn't even in time to the music. I really wish I could've filmed it to show you all, it was priceless. There were at least 20 David Brent's going on.
So I know you are all wondering if I got involved? Of course I did!! It took me about 15 mins to get my head around what I was seeing but then I got up and let my inhibitions go. The only difference between me and everyone else is that I did not have my eyes closed (I was not going to miss this) and I was the only one laughing. One of the best bits was every 5 mins or so, the music stopped and everyone had to raise their hands and shout 'Osho' in unison. Ha ha, it was so so funny.
The funky band ended their session after about 30mins - and it was the same song all of that time. It is still in my head now!
After that, a big screen was lowered and Osho himself appeared on the screen. Now I do not know much about him except that he is a seriously intelligent, well read bloke and was a famous guru back in the day. So, he begins his pre-recorded (as he is now dead) teachings for that evening. I have to admit, I struggled to understand what he was on about, I couldn't see how him blowing his own trumpet (not literally because that would have been entertainment) for 1 hour benefited my thinking and well-being. I also have an issue with someone calling themselves master (unless it is Yoda) and talking about everyone who loves and is devoted to him. However, the audience were lapping it up.
After Osho had had his say, the screen went blank and his voice came over the speaker system and he told a funny story, which wasn't bad to be fair, and everyone went into laughter overdrive. I think this was some sort of laughter meditation. Then all of a sudden a drum was hit and everyone started shouting the most vile things and talking in the giberish - yes I was getting a little nervous again.
Unbeknown to me, because I arrived late in the day and had missed the orientation session so I wasn't aware of all the stuff that would be going on.
After about 5 mins of shouting the drum was hit again and silence resumed. At this point we all had to lay back and begin the 'meditation' part. We were told reach deep within, blah blah blah and hold onto that happy part etc.
Now as I said, I like to think of myself as being completely open minded and willing to give anything a go (except homosexuality) but I quickly realised that this is not me. I am quite happy and at peace with myself and I know where I am going and what I want from my life, and even if I am not 100% there I know what I need to do to reach my happy place and mediation is not the way for me. It seemed to me that the people around me were still looking for something. Maybe I am completely wrong and they are all sorted, but what happens when they leave this little bubble they live in and return to the real world? (A lot of the people were on 3-6 mth residential courses).
Then it was over. We all filtered out, and lots of people were embracing and holding each other.
I on the other hand got a move on as I had read that there was a disco starting in 30 mins!
The disco was good. It was more of the same of what I had seen in the hall and everyone got involved, many without drinking and they were all happy. Perhaps there is something to be said for it all, but the next day I got up and left. It just isn't for me, but at least I have tried it now.
On reflection, I am not totally opposed to what I have seen, after all I am a great believer in the power of the mind and its ability to overcome any issue and even cure physical illness, but I think it is the way that it was delivered that got to me. I have a major problem with authority, nobody controls me, I am free to make my own choices, there is no fate. You all know that I am an atheist and sincerely believe that I am just an organism that has evolved and under the laws of sheer probability is very lucky to be alive. I will continue to live as I have always tried to and make full use of the finite number of years that I have been given to have as much fun as possible. I also will never be calling anybody my 'master'.
Now reading this back it sounds like I have lost the plot - don't worry mum, I am fine honest. This is what happens when I have too much time on my hands, too much thinking = me getting philiosophical.
And anyway, this is my blog, my forum to air my views, opinions and experiences.
To prove that I am ok, I checked out of the centre, checked into another hotel and watched Arsenal vs Newcastle followed by Liverpool vs Chelsea with a few beers. It was ace.
Bring on Goa and my own brand of meditation - a party.