News Release, 29 November 2003
The Star Online > News > Meditation the Osho way
BY SHAILAJA MENON PICTURES BY DARRAN TAN
Remember, meditation is not something that is done by the mind, it is the
absence of the mind. When the mind stops, meditation happens. It is not
something out of the mind, it is something beyond the mind Osho on meditation
WHEN I was asked to cover a meditation workshop conducted by a Swami
Keerti from Delhi, India, I was very curious as a practitioner about discovering yet another technique to still the mind.
I was pleased to know that the esteemed Swamiji (as he preferred to be called) was part of the Osho group and the editor of their magazine, Osho World. Swamiji was initiated into neo-sanyas in 1971 by Osho, an enlightened spiritual master, when he was only 21 years old, and since then he has been part of Osho’s group, traveling within and abroad to spread the message.
Participants attempting the Vipassana Walk, a meditative walk taught by Swami Chaitanya Keerti at the two-day meditation workshop held recently in Kuala Lumpur. He was here in Kuala Lumpur, he says, to plant the
seeds of meditation in the minds of people and see what grows out of it.
Because, says Swamiji, We carry within us both the mountains and valleys. We can get high and feel on top of the world, reaching the Everest of our consciousness. We could also feel down in the dumps as if we were in a black hole. Human consciousness can throw us into the dark dismal ditches, or it can help us open our wings, soaring high into the sky.
Meditation offers us the unique opportunity to experience our own potential, to raise our consciousness and to get an inkling about the treasure that lies dormant within ourselves.
Commenting on the many different
techniques practiced, Swamiji explains that meditation itself is a multi-dimensional practice. Thus it is important to experiment with various techniques.
The breathing techniques used over the weekend were the revolutionary techniques introduced by Osho and ranged from Dynamic Meditation yup, meditation can be dynamic, too, believe me to Vipassana Walk and Nadbramha Meditation.
The day began with Dynamic Meditation, which according to Swamiji is Osho’s greatest contribution to the field of meditation. An original technique, it is usually done first thing in the morning and has to be experienced to be understood.
It begins with 10 minutes of what is loosely referred to a chaotic breathing or bhastrika. With music playing in the background and Swamiji egging them on, the
participants were asked to vigorously and continuously inhale and exhale.
This is done to wake up and oxidize every fibre and cell in your being. Through this vigorous breathing, the breath hits at the navel chakra, or energy center, so that the energy lying dormant there awakens and rises. It also awakens and brings to the surface whatever feelings or emotions that you have been suppressing since childhood in your psyche.
Swami Chaitanya Keerti, editor of the magazine Osho World with the participants at the two-day meditation workshop.
For the second 10 minutes of the session, we were asked to give vent to and act out all the feelings that had been released. Says Swamiji, Essentially, you are becoming free of all the unnecessary baggage and emotional junk that you
have been carrying around you for years. It’s a kind of emotional detoxification and cleansing.
Those of you who cannot find it hard to give vent to your feelings, start by acting as that will act as a catalyst to release the rest of the stored-up emotions.
For the next 10 minutes, the participants were asked to repeat the mantra or the sound hoo so as to awaken the energy centres at the navel and below, and draw it upwards. For 15 minutes after that, we were asked to remain frozen in one position so as to allow all the energy that had been awakened to be absorbed into the body. To the soothing strains of music, our bodies filled with fresh energy and bliss, we gently swayed our bodies fully alive and 100% oxidized.
We were then asked to lie in shavasana, or the relaxation
pose, and rest (sheer bliss). I must confess that despite the unorthodox methods I was exposed to in that one hour, I felt completely relaxed at the end of it. After a brief break, rhythmic breathing followed. For 10 minutes we were asked to lie on our back and breathe rhythmically while being conscious of the gentle rise and fall of the abdomen. This process is termed rebirthing as it calms the body after the dynamic breathing session.
For 10 minutes after that, we were asked to merely witness the breath without consciously working on it.
Vipassana Walk, or the Buddha Walk, involves participants having to stand-up, focus on the tip of their noses with half-closed eyes and walk in a circle, being fully aware of every step that is taken.
The eyes remain half-closed because, when the eyes are half-closed the world takes on an unreal and illusionary feel. Everything become maya (Sanskrit for illusion). When the eyes are wide-open, we begin to get attached and take things too seriously. As we walk, it is also important to remember to keep the hands by the side of the body and thus de-programme ourselves from our animal life.
Nadbrahma Meditation requires participants to sit with their spine erect and eyes closed. To the sound of Tibetian bells, we hummed for half an hour with our lips closed and our minds focused on the acoustic vibration.
These were some of the main meditative techniques practiced in the morning session. The afternoon session saw two other techniques being practiced, namely the Kundalini
Meditation and Stop Dance Meditation.
Kundalini Meditation involves four steps of 15 minutes each. First participants shake their whole body continuously to the sound of the music and thus release all the tension and stress that they have been holding on both a physical and mental plane. The second step involves pure dance as they find themselves free and rejuvenated. They then settle themselves on a chair or the floor and listen and absorb the rhythm of the music. And finally, with the music switched off, they lie down and absorb the stillness and quietness around them.
During the Stop Dance Meditation, we danced for half an hour to music. When the music stopped, we stopped moving with a jerk and our awareness and consciousness was sharply drawn inward. This session too ended with 15 minutes of lying down in
stillness and letting the body absorb the energy generated.
A similar session was conducted the next day, ending with participants finding themselves cleansed, rejuvenated and filled with a sense of bliss.