Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Encounters of the Spiritual Kind 2
An encounter between a master and a disciple is always a powerful experience. It decides the course of your life for you for all times to come and makes you what you are forever. Here is the story of a fascinating encounter of Ma Prem Madhuri with her master Osho as described by her.
It is a warm night. Monsoon is almost over; my second in India. Walls of forest garden bursting darkened green. Red flowers black in deep hiding. I’m waiting at the gate to the Master’s house with a dozen others; orange robes, quiet apprehensive faces, a little talk like the rustling of animals in night, in the home of a forest. I’m not expecting anything; expectations and their hundred duplicates and shadows are resting and aside. We are weary of each other, these expectations and I, past the point of weariness – for now, we have cancelled one another out. We wait long. I am waiting. For the past fifteen months I’ve put every kind of effort into meditation – the last being a two-week primal therapy intensive in which I screamed out waves of pain from the infant body, the body which had remained in me as prompter and cue for all the dramas of life. Small fears ripple up my body and vanish and come again. I watch the breath which passes through my body in gentle swells – it is nature’s, I am almost clinging to it.
At last we go through the gate and walk up the dark gravelled drive by the side of the house, each in his own world, around to the porch where the Master sits sudden in light on a dark chair, light around him, robe light, at ease in darker flesh and the surrounding shells of light and night. One leg crossed over the other, one sandal off, one amazing sculptured living foot beautiful and tawny to bow to – shoes slipped off, we hurry on suddenly delighted feet over the marble tiles to be pulled as by magnet to his feet, to sit as though parted invisibly and silently and exposed to the gaze which is him. To feel transparent and alone and non-existent and completely here – with him, of him, in him.
He is smiling. We are settle in a half circle at his feet as before a storyteller, a Christmas tree – an impossibly dense concentration of love. His smile is a child’s in innocence and totality, and it is the smile of something most of us have never seen – a grown-up so uncovered, so full, so realized, so matured, that he has exploded again into childhood. He is so human before us that he is superhuman – he is all of realized to fullest glory, fullest depth. Whatever thought were clinging to my mind are simply put out by his brilliance. I can only watch. Thought becomes a movement of hopelessness in the body. I watch myself wanting to be with him, to feel him speak to me.
He visits with a couple of us – problems of love or meditation, what to do, somebody is feeling a lot of fear and is given a meditation of saying aaah while feeling the sound emanate from the center of the fear, then lying on the mother’s breast in perfect stillness, feeling the energy.
Then he is looking at me. He does not wait for me to say anything and he speaks into my surprise. ‘Madhuri – this will be a very decisive evening for you. Yes, I say, and not as though I had known it, for I had and hadn’t. He takes a small flashlight with a narrow beam, and saying ‘Now sit very still – close the eyes – ‘ he shines it into my third eye: center of forehead, above the brows. I am inside watching the light on the movements within, as though a light were suddenly shone on dark and beetling insects, a nest of cockroaches and moths in a dark corner. They scatter and rise and there is nothing but blooms of energy, tiny births of movement, some fluid, some difficult. Heat presses into the center. Then it’s over. I open my eyes. He is looking at me with his whole force and being and saying in a lively, friendly way –
‘From now on, you just be completely ordinary.’
I say yes and oh and nod and am a sort of non-existence transparent confusion, a not-there surprisedness, bathed in light and waiting like an idiot’s open mouth and he says:
‘Just be completely ordinary. Move in an ordinary way – just move as you feel. You drop all future, all goals. There is no future for you. Be happy. There is nothing to be done – you drop all effort.’
Duh – should I meditate? I ask.
‘If you feel,’ he says. He is so bright and present and total that I am blinded and my eyes keep wanting to drop and then look again. ‘But you don’t make any effort in meditation. If you feel like, then meditate; but just enjoy, and you are not going anywhere – do not even think of feeling guilty if you don’t feel like meditating. No more ‘Madhuri needs prati prasav. Madhuri needs primal therapy.’ No. Finished. And remember – no should. What I am saying to you is, relax. Just relax.
And he says, looking into me, ‘No more problems. Never bring a problem here again. Yes? You understand? From tonight, you drop all control. Okay, Madhuri? Good!’ as though saying enough.
And I am nodding and my mind is gulping and I say I guess I don’t know if I can trust just to be . . . and he says, ‘You just relax. Be ordinary.’ – as though ignoring my effort to make a problem. And I fell in pranama and then was back in my place laughing and half collapsed and watching and he moved his totality of attention and love around the circle to meet with each of us.
When darshan was over I laughed, bowing to him with the others as he glided back into the house, laughing as I slipped my sandals on and ran weightless up the path and out the gate and laughing home on bicycle in dark laughter.
I hadn’t thought that I had that I had to be extraordinary anymore. But the next day I found myself feeling angry, resentful, trapped. I felt every avenue of escape cut off. No should! Relax! Be happy! No problems! No should about no problems! He had cut off all my games. I was petulant and blew up and calmed down and the next day happened and the next and I am happening into the day.
It is just constant meditation.
What he said is still sinking in. To be ordinary. My striving ego, the companion of a lifetime, must a hundred times look at itself as it starts to try to strive, and must trust that striving is over. It is like trusting to walk a tightrope over a gorge – to trust that worry is no longer necessary. Effort has become a habit with me, a deep pattern. Many thoughts fly around it, thoughts I can remember cultivating and inviting from far and wide, from books and people and school. Always my mind is saying – if you just try a little harder – if you just do this – you’ll break through. And this is the secret thought behind – then, they will love you. Like you. Know you.
And now Bhagwan says no-drama. The movement of the present , of emptiness, of spontaneity – of seeing the mind as the insect-husk it is, the servant, the friend, the old coat – of moving between the thoughts rather than into them. In three months of continuous prati prasav I had relived everything I could possibly drag out of the mind. In meditation I had dived into neuroses, images, memories upon memories, unlocking them from body-tissue and feeling the explosion as they vanished. Everywhere I went inside I bumped into my own nose. In meditation I was an achievement-junkie – sucking thoughts dry and finding more to devour. My life was a striving for more memories, feelings, plains. Subtle thoughts accrued about what a good meditator I was, a good girl, a hard worker, a fanatic faithful. I was a goody-goody; perhaps I will always be. Only the surprise is not, and the movement between the thoughts.
It was a shock, that word ordinary. By its very simplicity, a shock. Something is opening behind the shock – a death, a placidity, a fragile everpresent awareness –in exactly the opposite direction of striving.
Enough mindstuff. Here I sit.
[Courtesy: Tao, the Three Treasures. This article is culled from Ma Prem Madhuri’s Introduction to the book.]