Beloved Friends of Osho
I feel inspired to write about Ditis and my journey to Nepal and how it came about; especially as Swami Arun, whom we met in Nepal and invited to come to Australia, will be arriving in a few days. A few months ago I had a phone call from Swami Ramesh, a Nepalese sannyasin in Sydney who then came to visit us at Mevlana with his partner and two other Nepalese sannyasins, Siddhartha and Sanu. They are all students studying in Australia and have been here for 3 years or more without contacting us in all that time for various reasons. It was such a joy having them stay. They jumped in and helped me with all sorts of jobs, the girls helping with the cooking and cleaning and boys helping me with the D.V.Ds and the books. Ramesh offered to take books back to Sydney and go around the bookshops, which he has been doing.
I could see how love and awareness was very much present in their lives. Subsequently Siddhartha and Sanu have visited us four times bringing other Nepalese sannyasins with them. At Oshos birthday recently we had nine Nepalese sannyasins and once again they hopped in and helped me set up for the celebration. Siddhartha said he would like to bring the founder of Osho Tapoban, Sw. Arun to Australia and asked me if I would help this to happen. Of course I said yes and so began the journey of a lifetime for me as I had always wanted to go to Nepal and see the Himalayas that Osho and so many other masters had spoken about but I had never had the courage to venture there.
When Zahira, Diti and I arrived back in Delhi after our visit to Pune, Zahira decided she wanted to spend some time meditating and resting at Oshodham and Diti and I set off for a 5 day visit to Nepal. Thank god Diti was brave enough to come with me as I would never have done it on my own, even though I have travelled to India 20 times sometimes on my own. I usually fly into Mumbai and go straight to Pune and stay there. Hence I have never seen India until just over a year ago when Dharm Jyoti invited me and some other friends to visit other Osho ashrams in North India. This was such a great blessing that last year I invited 3 other friends to come with me to visit the same ashrams Jyoti had taken me to. I acted the as the guide this time without Jyoti, which at times was a bit scary, but travelling with good friends helped me to do it.
Diti and I bought airline tickets to Nepal and set off into unknown territory. I didnt have a re- entry visa into India as I had used up my double entry visa on a previous visit in June last year, so we had to go to the foreign registration office in Delhi to get a re-entry visa which was quite an experience. It took us one whole day but we had fun and enjoyed meeting lots of people in the queue for visas. After a whole day I thought I had one, which turned out not to be the case. However we were not aware of that at the time and set off for Nepal.
We landed in Katmandhu, purchased our entry visas (they have a good system where we purchased our visas at the airport). We were met at the airport by a beautiful Swami Gyan Deepak, who had a taxi waiting for us, and in no time we were on our way to Osho Tapoban, which is about half hours journey by car up into the mountains. It can take much longer due to the traffic jams in Katmandhu which are unbelievable, but one good thing travelling at 5 miles per hour through the streets we had a birds eye view of all the shops which was the most amazing I have ever seen. Truly shopping to die for, but all desire for shopping left me.
We arrived at Tapoban to a very warm welcome. We found that Sanu, our Nepalese friend in Sydney, had put the Osho Mevlana Celebration photos up on facebook, so everyone knew us from seeing us on FB. We had so many hugs its impossible to describe what it was like. My respect for facebook increased 100%.
We began our descent down the 350 steps to our rooms. Tapoban is built on the side of a mountain and in a forest. I had heard about this from a friend and I was a bit worried about whether I could make it or not as my knees are not so good, but the fear was all in my head and I found I could do it easily. Our room was very cosy with all the comforts of home. The dining room was even further down the mountain but we managed to find our way down with no problem. The beautiful meditation hall was on the same level as our room so that was easy.
Forty five people live together in this commune they eat together ,work together and meditate together. I loved the feeling of being together with so many beautiful people. Maroon robes are worn at all times. The weather was chilly in the mornings and at night, sunny during the day. We woke up to the sounds of dynamic meditation every day. There was dynamic at 6a.m. for the people who go to work and dynamic at 7a.m. for the guests. There were a few westerners there participating in a meditation camp and a mystic rose group. There are 5 daily meditations, meditation camps, satsang on Saturdays open to the public which was attended by about 300 people the Saturday we were there.
We had 3 meetings with Sw.Arun as he wanted to hear about Oshos work in Australia and to see if it was a possibility for him to come to Australia. We all agreed it was a good idea and a date for him to visit was set. He suggested we take a quick trip to Pokhara to visit Osho Upaban so of course we said yes as we both wanted to see more of the Himalayas and to visit another Osho ashram. Gyan Deepak arranged tickets for us on a flight to Pokhara. His travel agency in Katmandu, Osho World, arranges tours for visitors. There is one trek that Diti and I would like to do one day. its a 10 day vipassana walk around Mt Kailash. I will have to get fitter if I want to do this one.
We braved the traffic of Katmandu with the help of a driver from the ashram and Swami Gyan he came running from his office and hopped in the car and helped the poor driver find a way to the airport through the back streets. What an adventure that was! Anyway we made it to the airport in time. Gyan had our tickets, came into the airport with us, paid our departure tax and saw us safely into the departure lounge, which was full of people travelling everywhere. No westerners except us. it is a very busy airport as flying is the way to travel in the Himalayas. No more falling off the edge of mountains in buses. Thank god for this swami who took such good care of us. We had a 20 minute flight to Pokhara and yes there at the airport was another gorgeous swami called Yogananda.
He is the organizer of Osho Upaban, a small commune of about 10 people and 3 children which is still in the throes of construction. It is in a huge valley on a ridge between two fast flowing rivers. The ashram looks out to the Annapurna mountains and is right in view of the fishtail mountain, one of the most stunning mountains in the Himalayas and not climable. An absolutely stunning position for an Osho ashram. Yogananda told us that he and Swami Arun had looked at many sites for a ashram before they settled on this one. We had the best time ever at this ashram.
I HAVE TO TELL YOU ABOUT THE Osho white robe meditation that we experienced here. I had all my rigid ideas smashed about how white robe should be. While in India and Nepal the experience at each ashram was different, including Pune, but Pokhara was the best. We showered, got into our white robes and went into the meditation hall. inside was about 50 teenagers and kids not in white robes, and a few oldies in white robes sitting on the sides.
Yogananda put on some good dancing music gave a little talk about dancing to the max and they danced to the max! Then when the music stopped he gave them a little talk about laying down and going inside. The silence was incredible. Then he put an Osho audio tape on and all the teennages got up and walked out leaving the oldies to listen to Osho. I loved it. Yogananda is teaching meditation in his own way. Not exactly how we would do it but it works. What’s more is those teenagers come every night to dance. I might say there is no other opportunity for them to dance in their village except at the Osho centre. I asked him where he gets the teenagers from and he just invites anyone to come for a dance that he meets in his every day life.
Sasil, the little 5 year old boy, one of the children who lives in the commune, can dance like I have never seen a child dance. I was blown away by these 3 kids in this commune and so was Diti. We only could stay for two days but it was the best ever experience. I would love to go there again. Yogananda combines his work as a engineer with the local council and Oshos work. The two seem to go together. We met many sannyasin engineers on our trip and it turns out that Arun is a civil engineer and turned many engineers on to Osho. Yogananda was truly a amazing person. He took us on a little tour of Pokhara which is a tourist city. it is the starting point for treks into the Himalayas. He showed us a resort on the lake that the sannyasins had put a bid in to buy when Osho was looking for a place to settle after the ranch. The only way to the resort was by boat but the Nepalese government refused Osho residency.
Our two days were over in Pokhara we made our way back to Katmandu to Osho Tapoban. Arun orgainizes two other communes in Nepal one where the Buddha was born. I would love to go there one day. Our time in Nepal drew to a close. We had the best time ever! These Nepalese people are so warm and friendly and we felt very much at home with them. Many more experiences happened to us but it would takes pages to write it all. We travelled in our Maroon robes in Nepal which felt so good with none of the discrimination that we feel here in our country. Arriving back in Delhi I had to spend the night at the airport as my re-entry visa wasnt o.k. but I didnt care. I felt so happy, nothing was a worry. Diti and Zahira were worried about me but I was fine. We stayed in touch using our mobiles as we were leaving Delhi at 7a.m the next day bound for home. It wasnt a big drama.
This was a journey to be remembered and I recommend staying in Osho ashrams and seeing the country at the same time to any one who wants adventure and meditation combined.