My year 2011: The Ultimate Shift
A new year, for me, always is a moment to look back and reflect on the previous year. While any of the previous 7 years have been exciting and dynamic with a love relationship ending, a new one starting, moving to another country, personal crisis and spiritual growth, world-wide travel for many months a year and much more, 2011 has been a milestone year like no other.
The last Osho group
The year started, as did the
years before, in India. In the International Osho Meditation Resort in
Pune, to be more precise. On the first of January 2011, I started a week
of silent sitting (meditation) as the last week of a process called
Osho Mystic Rose. The previous weeks were weeks of laughing and crying
in this emotional cleansing process that Osho called a meditative
therapy. In the week before, the last week of 2010 and the crying
stage of the process, something remarkable had happened: On most of the
7 days of crying I could not easily get contact with sadness and my
tears. I dug into all the sad poor me stories I could think of but
almost nothing worked. Sometimes other participants in the process
triggered my crying but that almost never lasted long.
witnessed, this was a meditative process, was that most tears and
sadness came with a story. And never before was it so clear for me that
this was not me, it was just a story. Think about it and the tears come,
forget about it, and the tears go.
The silent sitting week, was
just as remarkable. Since 2006 I have been an avid meditator, and before
the Mystic Rose started I really looked forward to the last week of
silent meditation. Just observing thoughts and feelings and nothing
else, slowly going deeper and deeper into a state of no-mind. But to my
own surprise I got kind of bored with the meditation. There were times
that I just saw thoughts coming and wondered what was the point
observing them dispassionately in the hope that new thoughts would less
and less bother me. Just as the emotions in the second week did not seem
a big deal anymore, the same seemed true for my thoughts in the last
week of the Mystic Rose. While expressing suppressed emotions had been
a beautiful practice in years of therapeutic work and observing
thoughts had been my main practice in just as many years of meditation,
suddenly the question arose: What is the point of all this? Why am I
doing this? This was really really weird
The end of the path with Dolano
my experience in the Mystic Rose confirmed was that I had, as the
enlightened Zen Master Dolano calls it, reached the end of the path. The
spiritual path of groups, emotional work, therapies and meditations was
coming to an end.
This was actually great news, because during most
of 2010, I was contemplating doing what Dolano calls: The last satsang.
Her Intensive Satsang is a process of a month in which, as she calls
it, she throws you of the cliff and with that ends the spiritual path.
Whoever is ready for it is invited by her to do the process. In the
beginning of 2010, I had my doubts as I enjoyed the groups and other
activities on the spiritual path. Actually, the spiritual path was my
life, the utmost priority in my life and I could not imagine ending it.
But neither did the shocking idea of The Last Satsang let go of me.
experience in the Mystic Rose ended my last doubts and with my
girlfriend, who had experienced a similar dissociation from her story
in another process in the Osho ashram, enrolled in the Intensive
I dont want to say much about the experience, apart from
the fact that, it indeed is the end of the path and leads to awakening
(which is not the same as enlightenment), for whoever is ready for it. I
wrote previous weblogs (and Facebook notes) about it.
want to say now is that this process has changed my life beyond my
wildest dreams. The end of the dream world into awakening, as the
masters call it, is unimaginable from the dream state, but changes
everything. In short, to try to describe the indescribable, your
perspective changes 180 degrees. Before there was a me that wanted
certain things and needed certain things to be happy and strived for
that to become happier. Now, I know, that me was an illusion and life
itself, some call it universal consciousness or awareness is the
essence of all and all the activities and content of life, including the
body, is just a play observed from that place of pure and still
Good, this might not make much sense to you, and
it cannot really before you see life from that perspective yourself, but
the nice thing of it is that with it all ego or personality related
issues and problems, such as worry about the future, have largely
disappeared. Dolano calls it knowing what counts. And, if you know
what counts, which she calls who am I, that is dominant and everything
else becomes secondary. So all the doing, achieving, happening in my
life now is secondary to life itself, to this underlying peace and
silence that is who I am. Mindblowing and very relaxing. Now nothing
needs to happen anymore to make myself happy and at ease since with
Dolano I discovered that happy and at ease is my nature.
Back in Holland post Dolano
a few more months of travel in Thailand I came back home to The
Netherlands. Since 2006, home in the Netherlands never really felt
like home. It was more a stopover between long stays in Asia for
meditation, spiritual growth processes, travel and a little work and
shorter travels to Latin America for work. But this time, in April 2011,
I came back to the Netherlands without having to leave. I no longer
needed the Osho Meditation Resort because the path had ended and the
reasons I did not like to be in the Netherlands, such as the weather or
missing India or Thailand, were no longer valid. After Dolano, life was
just life and even the idea that anything should be different from the
way it was, did no longer occur to me.
Yes, soon work projects
ended and my financial situation deteriorated. 2011 had landed me in a
situation of financial indebtedness, and what most people call
unemployment. But I just felt (and feel) happy and at ease. Enjoying
life whatever I did or did not do and being able to see the humour of
the situation and of everything else in life. Still, while I am writing
this, I have no idea what is going to happen and how I am getting back
to finding projects or a job in what appears to be a terrible job market
in my field of expertise here in Holland. But strange enough I am
unable to really worry about it. Yes, there are short moments that I do
worry, but they pass before I know it. The strange reality is that now I
know what counts. And work and money have nothing to do with it.
Birth of Ilse
had taken away all kinds of things. Not just the illusion of me or
ego or self and all the suffering that comes with that, but also my
life as a spiritual seeker, my ambition to become a therapist, spiritual
teacher or anything like that and my need to travel.
one thing ends, something else starts. Over the past years, my
girlfriend and I discussed the idea of getting a child. She was more
certain about it than me. For me the life of travelling 4 to 7 months a
year to Asia doing groups and retreats and having the spiritual path as
the one and only priority in my life, getting a child seemed like a
crazy thing to do. How to do groups and spent many months in the Osho
ashram in Pune when you have to take care of a baby? But at the same
time the idea of having a child sounded nice. Just the practical
consequences seemed too much. I loved my lifestyle and could not imagine
But that changed with the Intensive Satsang. Not only did
the path end, but also getting a child did not look as big an issue
anymore. It helped that I asked Dolano about it who, from the
enlightened view made it clear that it was not such a big deal. When I
asked her about it, I could not really hear what she said yet. But, now I
Knowing what counts, even getting a child, really, is
not such a big deal. Of course, in practical terms it means a big
change, but nothing compared to the shift of consciousness that took
place in India with Dolano.
Having a baby
So how is it
now, or was it in the last weeks of the year, to have a baby? Actually,
it is fun. Of course it means waking up in the middle of the night to
feed her and it takes time and attention during the day. But she is so
cute, sleeps well and doesnt cry. And the fact that I have no job is a
blessing. We just get up later to make up for the hours lost in the
night during the feeds. After so many years of doubting whether or not
to get a child, it is amazing to experience that it is not difficult or
tough in anyway, just a lot of fun.
But I also realise that without
Dolano and with a busy job, things might well have been very different.
Things just worked out perfect the way they did
The end of a lifestyle
practical terms 2011 is the year of transition from a lifestyle of
travelling and doing groups and retreats to a more normal life with a
family in Holland. From the outside it might well look as a step back
from a very exciting, adventurous life, to a more average, boring life.
But that is the outside. Because on the inside, that exciting
lifestyle was also a lifestyle of searching and suffering. Underneath
all the fun was the anxiety that fuelled my search. There was the
feeling that something was not okay or that something will go wrong.
All that has gone. Now there is being at ease with what is. Nothing
needs to change, nothing feels not okay and there is no more this subtle
but permanent underlying fear that something will go wrong even
though many people would say that for me something is wrong After all I
dont have a job at the moment
So I am blessed and grateful that I
experienced what the sages call coming home. Something I never ever
thought was going to be possible in this life.
Osho once described
it nicely, once you are found all anxieties and tensions disappear. It
is like that - even meditation has dropped because whatever I looked
for in meditation is now my permanent reality - and it is indeed very
I wish you all a lovely 2012!
Jeroen Deva Geetesh