“The desire to be extraordinary is a very ordinary desire.
To relax and to be ordinary is really extraordinary”
Osho – The Art of Dying.
I was beginning to see how my mind could play tricks on me, because one consequence of becoming a sannyasin was that I began to create an image of myself as a very serious and dedicated seeker. I certainly was totally involved in meditation, doing Dynamic every morning and another technique called ‘Kundalini Meditation’ every evening. I was also experimenting with meditation techniques given by Osho in darshan and in his discourses. But I wasn’t planning on years of discipleship. In fact, I was expecting to become enlightened in a matter of weeks or months. Not surprisingly, the level of tension, seriousness and expectation in me was very high, and I had not yet gathered enough experience to see how such an attitude is itself a hindrance to being ‘loose and natural.’ Fortunately, Osho was available to keep my feet on the ground.
I remember in one of the discourses on Tilopa’s ‘Song of Mahamudra’ I was so completely ‘gone’ that I felt as if I had left my body. I was outside the body. The body was sitting there in total stillness – the back completely straight, not a movement, not a flinch – and at the same time something in me was watching it from the outside. Clearly, this was another good reason to see Osho as soon as I could and tell him about this great spiritual experience. He looked at me and said,”No, no, no, that’s nothing. Just wait a few months, just be here for a while, then I will teach you real astral traveling. Then you will really know what astral traveling means.” For weeks, I was excited. Sooner or later, I was going to learn astral traveling. But then, as time went by, my interest in this esoteric subject faded and I began to see a different purpose in Osho’s response. It became clear how he would create situations that would appeal to our minds so that we would be hooked into staying longer, sitting longer, meditating longer, and in this way come to know – or at least touch – that inner emptiness for which we had made the spiritual pilgrimage to India. The mind is a restless creature that needs a lot of entertainment, so he would sometimes talk about occult powers, or siddhis, as a way of keeping out mental bio-computers engaged. He was not supporting people in learning such things, but playing the rascal with us – tricking our minds into remaining occupied while the real work happened on another plane.
Apart from the time I asked about having a baby, Osho was always laughing at my questions. It didn’t matter what I was saying, whether I had come with a serious problem, or a half-made-up spiritual experience, he was always chuckling, being playful, and dissolving my seriousness with one of his smiles. Slowly, I understood that humour was one of the most precious keys on my new-found Tantric path, because it kept deflating my otherwise ballooning spiritual ego. This did not mean that Osho was devaluing the sincerity with which I was plunging into meditation. On the contrary, he was encouraging it. But at the same time he was making sure that no serious spiritual attitudes developed that would keep me ‘stiff and unnatural.’
In 1968, Osho was invited to give a lecture to a big, open-air, public gathering of several thousand people in Mumbai. The theme he was asked to speak on was love. Instead he talked about sex. He told the audience that the condemnation of sex by religion has created a loveless world – full of phony and fake expressions of love – because it is only out of transformed sexual energy that a loving heart is created. He said that the repression of sex, rather than destroying it, has made everyone sexually obsessed, so that instead of being a natural phenomenon, sex fills our minds with pornography and perversion – and religion is to blame. By the end of the lecture those who had arranged the talk, sitting behind Osho with their white Gandhi caps, had fled from the platform and the gathering. To give some idea of the shock this created in Indian society, one woman present at the lecture said afterwards, “I knew that the word‘sambhog’ meant sex, but until that moment I had never heard it uttered in public” Osho gave four more discourses on the subject, ignoring public objections and threats to his life. In one of them, he asserted that meditation must have been discovered during sexual intercourse; because at the moment of orgasm the mind stops – time and space disappear – giving a glimpse of expanded consciousness. This glimpse provided the clue for seekers to explore ways of having the same experience without dependence on sex, hence the birth of meditation. The five discourses were published as a book titled, ’From Sex to Superconsciousness, which made Osho famous throughout the country.
Tantra is a dangerous way to live your life. This is especially true about your love life, because Tantra knows nothing about relationships. It knows everything about love, but has never heard the word ‘marriage’. It respects the individual but does not recognize couples. And if this does not make you shiver down to your very bones then perhaps you have not understood what I am saying, because to be honest it even scares me sometimes, when I see the truth of how life really is, rather than how I want it to be. The basic choice for all of us, at any time, at any moment, is the choice between life and death. If we choose life, we are on the path of Tantra, because Tantra is nothing but awakening, celebrating and transforming life energy. If we choose death, we have abandoned Tantra. Of course, nobody really thinks they are choosing death. What intelligent human being would do such a thing? But the truth is that every time we suppress an impulse of life and instead choose security, safety, comfort, or compromise then we are choosing death. We are announcing that we don’t want to live.
Excerpts from the book Tantralife by Radha C. Luglio
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