The change of year, for me, is always a time to look back on the past year. What has happened? Have I grown? What where the challenges and difficulties?
Rough rides in Pune
2010 was, again, a very very special year for me. It started where I am now, at the Osho Meditation Resort in Pune, India and last year, on the first of January, I was in the middle of a 3-week breath work training. A group that was so intense that my girlfriend said I was green and I felt fucked up most of the time apart from just after Dynamic Meditation. It was a beautiful healing journey, but not an easy ride. But as with these processes; rough rides often lead to blissful states. My next group was Path of Love, not a beginners group either, but after 3 weeks of breath work I sailed through it and gave myself so totally that I had never imagined I could.
Path of Love gratefulness
In Path of Love, a one-week residential group, miracles happened for me. I found myself crying and crying and crying from gratefulness for all the healing and growth I had experienced over the past years and most of all, grateful to Osho who, not even in the body anymore (but very alive through videos, books and his meditations and meditation resort), had taught me so much and given me permission to just be who I am by showing his unprecedented unconditional love. This was a weird experience for me as I am not a religious person in the traditional sense and keep myself far from any guru-trip. But Osho was not a guru, but a master. Not a guru to follow but a guide that teaches you how to look and walk your own path. This gratefulness to have found the path to freedom I cannot express in words. What I could maybe say about it is that many groups and processes lead through pain and wounds to bliss and relieve. In Path of Love there was both that aspect, with plenty of cathartic work, but also this devotional part. What you could call the longing for the divine. This realization that the spiritual path does not only lead away from suffering and pain, it also leads towards something else. That something else, so I felt it at least, I found in the Path of Love. Call it gratefulness, call it devotion, call it the divine, whatever you like
The shock of being back in Holland
Four more groups in India followed and in the middle of April I found myself back in the Netherlands wondering what the hell I was doing there. All I wanted was to leave. Just a few days before in India I was not at all worried about the fact that I was going deep into the red and had no projects coming up yet. Back in Holland, however, the Dutch conditioning that work is about the most important thing in life hit me and I started to worry. For the first time in my life, money had become an issue and the trust I felt in India was gone. Soon after, however, the first project came emerged and things started to shift. But still, after 6 strong groups in Pune, being back in the so-called normal world with a conditioning that I was all too familiar with was a big challenge. The organized life with schedules and programmes (even though I myself was much freer), the lack of feeling and emotion of the people (showing emotions is not done in Holland) and many other things freaked me out. After the emotional freedom and ecstasy I experienced after all the groups in India, I didnt want to be sucked back into a way of life I would now describe as not being really alive. Having experienced what I had, just the thought of sinking back in that halfhearted so-so life I knew so well, hurt.
Settling in and discovering Jed McKenna
So by the end of May I was back working. But something else happened too: I read a spiritual newspaper which I had read already many years before. My attention was drawn to an article about a series of books of a contemporary (still alive and quite young) enlightened master in the US: Jed McKenna. When I read the article years ago it did not resonate at all. But this time it did. I ordered the three books from Amazon and started reading and reading and reading. In the previous years I had mainly read Osho books and some other spiritual books but since a very long time no book had gripped me like these books did. On my work trip to Turkey I wasnt too interested in the work nor in the socializing after work: all I was interested in was the book.
All spiritual masters talk about enlightenment as the ultimate human flowering. The highest consciousness, the true potential of any human being. But for me it was an interesting thing to hear about, Osho being enlightened himself talked a lot about it, but not something I bothered about assuming that that was not within my reach anyway. After all, how many people get enlightened? Very, very, very few. And for me the spiritual path of healing and meditation had been so amazing, so fulfilling, so beautiful that I did not bother at all where it would end. If life just gets better with every next therapeutic group, with every next meditation retreat, who bothers about where it ends? All you can do is look back and see how things get more real, fuller, more alive
. What more can you want?
Jed McKennas books
But still the book grabbed me like nothing else. And the interesting thing is that McKenna doesnt talk about enlightenment like Osho does. When Osho talks about enlightenment it is all about relaxation, blissfulness, unconditional love. All the fruits.
Jed McKenna talked differently. He talks about the process of awakening as being a very painful process. The dissolving of the ego as a difficult death we choose only because we feel there is no other choice. He talks about truth before everything else. So does Osho, but Jed McKenna is far more confronting. For me it somehow didnt matter. While not sure what this had to do with me, I loved it.
Hating what is untrue
One of the interesting things in Jed McKennas books are his statements saying that nobody consciously chooses awakening from the dream of ego-identification. But what drives people who get there, and many people got enlightened while being with Jed McKenna, is there discontent. Not just a plain discontent with life but an awakening to what is true and seeing that all they believed to be true was bullshit. This hate of anything untrue then becomes the drive.
I recognized how in my therapeutic meditation groups it was a similar energy of anger and frustration when seeing a previously buried emotional wound clearly drove the transformations and breakthroughs that changed my life in such a positive way.
And now, reading Jed McKenna, I felt the pain of not yet fully living my truth. I was doing work that was okay but did not reflect my deep longing of sharing what inner riches I had acquired in the previous years. And I felt the frustration and pain of not living my truth stronger than before. I connected with this fire of awareness and frustration inside which burns anything fake, unreal, unessential and unnatural that Jed McKenna talks about in his books as the fuel for the process that ends in enlightenment, no matter the consequences.
That at least was how I felt it. What he wrote resonated deep inside me. But although I tried to put fuel on that fire of discontent and used a bit his autolysis process of questioning anything untrue till there is nothing to ask anymore, it was clear that what he wrote was resonating inside me but that, for the moment was it. The hell that needs to break loose to be able to crumble my ego-structure wasnt there (yet). The fire was not (yet) strong enough you might say.
Two weeks alone in summer
In July 2010 I spent two weeks alone at home because my girlfriend was doing a course in Dutch in another part of the country. These two weeks, this was when I read the last of Jed McKennas books (the Enlightenment Trilogy), interesting things happened. While each day I was procrastinating starting with work, a familiar pattern of mine, I was more at ease with it then before. Reading my book, sitting in my chair, I actually felt good. What happened over time was that I become more and more still. Sometimes I was just looking at the tree in front of our apartment and felt connected, like I felt many times in or after doing groups or meditation retreats. A beautiful stillness and presence and seeing everything more bright and more alive, while at the same time feeling very much at ease with the now.
Later I read a book on Awakening experiences which described this experience as a lower intensity awakening experience.
Now, as mentioned above, this wasnt a new experience for me. But to experience this in Holland without doing any group, therapy or multi-day meditation retreat was new. And the reason I write about it here is that this was very significant for me. After all the beautiful groups and retreats and the lovely months I spent every year in Asia, this experience showed me that this state of mind, or maybe way of being, was something I could experience independent of meditations and groups and spiritual places. Something was changing.
Parallel to the McKenna awakening experiences story I wrote about above, there was something else happening. Already in 2006, through a Sannyasin friend, I heard about an enlightened woman called Dolano, who lived in Pune. But I never was interested. I came to Pune for the Osho Meditation Resort and Dolano did not draw my attention. Until March/April 2010, when I was in Pune to do groups in the Osho Meditation Resort and a roommate was doing a one month process with Dolano called: intensive satsang. This time, for whatever reason it did draw my attention. Then my roommate told me that it was, what Dolano called, the last satsang. The end of the spiritual path. In other words: the end of the search, the end of therapy, the end of doing groups. When I heard that I was in my sixths group in four months in India, and loving it. Doing groups and meditation retreats had become a way of life. A way of life more real and alive then I had ever known before. Intense and fulfilling and often beautiful, touching and also simply fun. Experiencing healing and transformation is beautiful, sharing this with a group of people and seeing how they change and open is simply amazing.
So why would I like to give that up? Thats how I felt at that moment. But at the same time my interest in Dolano stayed, I went to an open satsang (where you can ask questions) and ended up listening to many more open satsangs on the internet in the months afterwards in Holland.
Back in Pune
More happened in the months after the summer, but in this report Ill stick with the most important. By mid December, 8 months after leaving Pune, I (with my girlfriend) was back in Pune.
This time I came to do the Mystic Rose, a three week long meditative therapy of which Osho said that everyone should do it and that it could change humanity if everyone did. Many people who did it advised it to me and for me after so many groups it was one of the last long and intensive groups I had not done yet. So more than anything I was curious.
Without telling you the details I can say that it was interesting. Other groups I had done at times were challenging: getting up very early, not getting much sleep, very physical, emotionally challenging, but that never bothered me. My drive to grow and heal was always so strong that I went for it 200% and the healing and often feeling amazing afterwards were always worth the work.
This time it was different. Neither did I find the process very challenging, nor did I have as strong a drive to go through it as before. I found myself observing myself and actually often got kind of bored with the process. In the second week (which, took place in the first week of 2011), three hours for 7 days in a row of crying, I often could not cry; but I did not really mind. I had cried plenty in many previous groups so it wasnt that I was stuck, it was just that no matter how deep I searched inside: nothing seemed trigger a cry. And when something got triggered it only lasted a very short period of time. After that I immediately saw the drama and was unable to go with it. No catharsis like in the groups. There just wasnt anymore the energy and identification behind it. Not that nothing happened, I cried plenty in the first and seventh day, but nothing impressed me and nothing was like it always had been: amazing. Other people in the group expressed their gratitude and said they loved everybody in the group feelings I knew all too well from groups I did before but I just was looking forward to the end of the process.
What seemed to be happening was that after more than 5 years and a total of some 35 weeks of groups and meditations retreats, I was done with groups, therapy and in a certain way even with meditation. Only silent sitting meditation still really interested me.
Not just that: For the first time it really felt like I had arrived at the end of the path as Dolano called it.
I had planned to do the 30-day intensive satsang with Dolano before coming to Pune. But still there was a slight doubt if I was truly ready for it. There was still a part of me that did not want to let go of the idea of doing groups: Something that had been so important and fulfilling for me in the previous years. But with my experience in the Mystic Rose this had changed. Now I was sure I was done with groups and ready for Dolano. So I wrote my letter to her and got admitted to do the intensive satsang (just like Liliana, so we were doing it together).
So the process to liberate the mind and getting to know who am I started.
I leave it at this, the last part of this year review anyway already happened in January 2011. At this moment I am doing the Intensive Satsang a very radical process that in a way makes everything I wrote before history. But that is a different story. The story of 2011 ;-)
Jeroen Deva Geetesh
P.S.: For those who wonder. Yes in 2010 I also worked. I went to Turkey four times and to Mexico twice. I celebrated my parents 50-year wedding anniversary in Spain. And also I enjoyed my time together with my girlfriend.
But in this year overview I wanted to stick with the essential, the most important. And that,for me, was what I wrote before. The rest, in comparison, is irrelevant: Stuff that, in one way or another, repeats itself year after year without really ever making a difference in your life. Therefore I decided to write about all that in 2010, has made a difference. A real difference. And I am very very grateful for that.