Tribute to Meera, part 3

fullsizerender[1]

After a couple of hours, the music eased, lights were slowly dimed up and Meera gently brought us back.

We were all dumbfounded at the sight that met our eyes; those large pieces of paper now all looked like greyish chocolate and the room was a complete mess.

Meera ordered us all to go back to our painting and stand in front of it. Finding one’s own painting in this was quite a challenge but somehow everyone made a move.

I was still out of it from what had just happened in this session and was stumbling around trying to figure out where my painting could be, and quite frankly I had little clue what it did look like.

I was not alone in this case and a few other friends were also without their painting; Meera meanwhile collected the unclaimed papers.

I still remember that moment, the space, the energy, Meera standing in the middle of the room, and about seventy people obviously shaken and out of their minds.

“Who painted this?” Meera asked, starring into one of the paper that was yet without owner.

She seemed to have forgotten everything else and was completely absorbed in this horrible grey mess. “Who painted this?” she continued… “Who?”

She stopped the music, turned the lights to the max and called us all around. I had no idea what she was doing and why she suddenly seemed so frantic. She was staring at this painting, ignoring everything else and kept repeating “Who painted this?”

I was still looking for my paper, and I came closer to the one she pointed to. To me they all looked the same. Litres of black and white acrylics had been poured in all possible ways on all those papers, and really, I was unable to see any value or beauty anywhere here.

After a few moments I figured out that yes this was mine. “Me, I painted it”.

She looked at me, looked again at the paper lying on the floor in front of her, and nodded her head in her very unique way. There was a long silence in the room as everyone gathered around starring at this mysterious painting. I looked at it, looked back at Meera; I was completely blank, puzzled, and I had no idea what was going on and what she possibly could see in this. After such a wild high energy session, this silence was such an unsettling contrast. Meera would keep the suspense and the energy in the group moved inwards. What a magical moment! What a divine spontaneous happening was unfolding in front of us!

Meera was obviously startled by what she had just seen. I certainly had no idea what it possibly could be and why it seemed such a big deal, and looking around at my friends I suspected that no one really had more clues than I did.

She finally said in a grave voice “Nirav, you are a born painter! “

I was in shock.

We had been in that underground chamber the whole afternoon and it was certainly high time to get some fresh air, clean up the mess and get ready for the evening meditation in Osho’s Buddha Hall; but instead, Meera gave us a five minutes break before spending the next hour explaining why that painting was so special. I had no idea what she was talking about, and I felt more and more uneasy being put on the spot like that. I guess that some of my advanced painter friends present could follow and be touched by what she shared. I didn’t.

When we finally came out of the chamber the sun had set long ago, and the full moon was shining bright.

( part 4 )

 

Advertisements

Tribute for Meera, part 2

fullsizerender[1]

I didn’t know that then, but Meera had just gotten hold of me and was not about to let go. She would only let go years later, tears running, when I would push her so hard that she had no more choice.

Primal painting? I had done so much primal therapy work during the last few years, and I loved the intensity of it.  Primal Painting sounded deep and dark, and I suddenly found myself excited.

Meera’s creativity caravan started, and this year I joined her staff of a dozen people. It was a big group with at least sixty participants, and as a translator I was participating for free but was also helping the crew. Helping with Meera was intense; we were fully involved in the process and on top of it we were taking care of the whole set up and cleaning, mixing colours, preparing brushes and paper… It was an incredible happening that would last for almost three months.

The Swiss friend I was translating for was rather good in English and my job was easy. I joined this unbelievable caravan and started to paint and play with colours and energies. It was fun and intense and I enjoyed what Meera was offering; but still, I clearly had this feeling that I was wasting my time and that painting was not my thing.

Halfway through this first part Meera brought us all to a dark and soundproof room deep underneath the commune; there we would explore our darkness. We got given a very large piece of paper each, big brushes and 2 buckets of acrylic paints, one black and one white. Music was bumping loud and Meera was guiding us to connect with those hidden places inside. We danced, we moved and we played with those large quantities of black and white acrylics. We were encouraged to dive into our darkest corners and express with movement and paints. It was one of the wildest and most intense session I ever experienced anywhere, and except from a few candles burning in the room we were practically painting in the dark with mostly black paints.

( part 3 …)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tribute to Meera, part 1

CIMG0117.JPG

Few people have influenced the course of my life the way Meera did. 

As I look up and around right now, I see my walls full of amazing paintings, filled with leaves and trees and mysteries; filled with the taste of the unknowable. So much beauty and love and movement and silence in every stroke, so much depth, so much of the divine shining through. How I became the painter that I am today is a story that started in 2000 in Osho’s commune in Pune, India.

I was a bodyworker then. I was working in the Commune giving individual sessions, and I had spent basically every day of the last decade in bodywork and therapy trainings. Meera was a unique character in the commune, she was obviously full of Osho and she was around every winter leading her creativity workshops and trainings. I had often stopped by to watch her incredible demos in the Multiversity Plaza, and I had been to many of her exhibitions which she organized every year at the end of the season.  But really painting was never my thing and to be honest I had never held a paint brush!

One day in November 2000, Meera was about to start her yearly two and half months painting training in Pune, and one of her participant had requested a French translator. I was finding myself in a gap then; I was going through a heartbreak and was getting tired of giving so many sessions. I was still very involved in the commune but sensed a wind of change. I approached Meera and we had a little chat. She explained that she never takes someone on the staff who hasn’t first participated in at least one of her groups, and that maybe I could do that. I replied that I had never painted and was not that interested, and clearly if I seemed to have unlimited money for heavy therapy and inquiry groups, I was not ready to spend a cent on something like a creativity workshop.

I remember that moment when she paused and looked so deeply into my eyes that time simply stopped. It seemed that she was seeing something I had no clue about, something like a hidden diamond I could not even dream of considering. I had often experienced this feeling of being seen so deeply and so totally, but right now it was something different. Meera was looking at something beyond my depths, something beyond everything I think I am, contemplating a potential I had no mean to comprehend.

Meera took my hand and broke the silence:  “Wao… yes, come and join, this participant will only do the first part, it lasts two weeks, and it is Primal Painting! You will like it. Come. I will make an exception.”

We never talked again about this very first meeting. So much had transpired, so much had been said, and yet…all what remained was a mystery that left me deeply shaken.

 

( part 2 …)

Still around after all these years

 

For 21 years the Osho commune in Pune was my home. There I took Sannyas, and day after day I listened to Him, did His meditations, participated in all possible groups and trainings, worked, gave sessions, and I also managed to find plenty of time to be constantly involved in the juiciest and most dramatic intimate relationships. Those were beautiful years of a richness hard to describe. I feel that I absorbed the full rainbow of His vision, lived to the fullest a life of meditation and celebration, and squeezed the juice out of everything to an extend I would never have dreamed possible.

I have been a spiritual seeker for as long as I can remember, sometimes not knowing what I was after, sometimes groping in the dark, often confused about what my real longing was. When Osho appeared in my life everything suddenly made sense; with him my heart opened and every word he spoke hit the spot. With Him I could explore the depths of my darkness, watch my love and creativity catch fire and take me to heights I didn’t know existed. With him I felt whole again.

When I look at my life today, I see that nothing has changed about my connection with Osho. I feel that His vision and His very breath got absorbed within and that somehow He has become part of me. My circle of friends is largely of Sannyasins, but in some strange ways I also feel a connectedness with the Osho Community as a whole, even with those who seem to create walls. A few years ago, after I had reposted on Facebook an article about the fake Osho will that I found interesting, I was banned from entering His garden in Pune, my home for so many years. Regardless of the incredible hurt that this incident created I always felt that this unfolding was part of my life with Osho; beyond what appears to be right and what appears to be wrong there is an open space where I always find Osho giggling at the absurdity of the human condition. No matter how hurt and angry I can be, I always feel Osho ‘s presence near me; and even when a door closes I know that He is about to open a bigger one for me to keep growing.

Creativity

Creativity has nothing to do with you. Creativity is the very heartbeat of the universe; it is that which is prior to all your ideas of what is right and what is wrong, what is beautiful and what is ugly. Creativity is what was bubbling before you came in, what remains when you are not, and what will be here long after you are gone. Creativity it the stuff that fuels every breath you take, every feeling and thought going through you, everything that happens within and without. Creativity is the beyond in action, every moment and forever. The starry night in a movement beyond the speed of light, or that magic in your heart, it is what keeps you not just alive but thriving. What this universe is about we have not the fraction of a clue. Creativity is the unknowable manifesting itself.

Teaching creativity is a contradiction in terms, and the concept of getting somewhere on the path of creativity is a fallacy. There is no path and nowhere to go. Some advertise “meditative art” but art is always meditative, because art only happens when you have disappeared. Anything else isn’t art. It is vomiting, and the modern art galleries all over the world are full of just that.

What I want to convey and share through painting is my experience of the divine, what I want you to maybe get a glimpse of is the space beyond who you think you are, what I can maybe point to is the magic of existence throbbing through your every breath

A taste of the beyond, the slightest disengaging with the illusion of being someone at all, and creativity shines in a million rainbows.

Forms and shapes appear and reveal the ever-present mystery of life and death. Explosions of lights and colours are bound to destroy your false identifications and bring forth the ecstatic nature of who you really are.

“I am an invitation”

It all started in 1984 in the bookshop of my little town where I grew up through rather tough and isolated years. I was 17 then, not yet the hard core spiritual seeker that I would soon become, but I knew there was more to life and was open to everything that would mirror that mysterious longing.

It was one of those days where I had spent hours looking through so many books, in search of the one that would touch me to the core and change my life. I was about to walk out when I stumbled upon a picture of Osho that caught my eyes. It was a big book on spiritual masters of our times, and I only read the back flap; it ended with words of Osho “I am an invitation”. I looked again at the picture of this long bearded man on the front cover, starred into those big piercing eyes and that unique giggle, and left the shop. How looking into someone’s eyes on a book cover and reading 4 simple words could change the course of my life so radically is something beyond my understanding; but it so happened for me.

“I am an invitation” has since that day remained a very strange and mysterious call in my heart, a whisper rather, a sweet and irresistible provocation. It has brought me on the most incredible inner journey, to India and then Pune where I spent 21 years in Osho’s garden absorbing the full rainbow of His vision.

For me, “I am an invitation” has always been associated with the picture of Osho that I saw that afternoon in the book shop. Looking into those eyes and everything relaxes; looking into those eyes and remembrance shines forth; looking into those eyes and life finally makes sense in the most senseless ways. All I always knew to be real is right here and right now; all I always knew to be false immediately vanishes as thin air.

“I am an invitation” is an unusual Koan, it is an open door. It is a gentle tingling in my heart, a vast space in front of me; it is Love and Freedom free dancing under skies of possibilities.

Each time I hear those four words my sense of separation instantly disappears, Oneness becomes obvious again, and my connection with the divine is all there is.

A few years after that “incident” in the bookshop, I decided to receive His invitation with all I had and commit to living a life where my highest potential could have a chance. I took Sannyas and Osho gave me Dhyan Nirav as a new name. Meditation was from now on going to be the basis of my daily life and slowly guide me home. I had no idea what home meant then, no idea even that I ultimately would find myself where I had always been. I enjoyed the journey, squeezed all the juice of everything, and let the invitation do the work. Osho’s eyes and smile were a constant reminder that I was right on track even when it didn’t feel like it.

His invitation has been the greatest gift I ever received, and accepting it is the smartest thing I ever did.

Walking the Path

 

After 21 extraordinary years with Osho in his commune in Pune, India, experiencing his mind blowing vision of celebration and meditation, I rather recently discovered The Path of Love, a beautiful 7 day process that has the potential to change your life. I was facing the biggest loss ever and was at a tough and dark place inside as I joined for the first time. I desperately needed help and I found it there in the most miraculous and magical ways. Since then I have supported that process and staffed a number of times all over the world and I am forever grateful to everyone involved in the POL .

The Path of Love has grown and evolved and is constantly offering new retreats and trainings, the latest one being “Walking the Path”, an advanced 4 days process for anyone who has already done the basic one.

Since I first read this tittle I have been inquiring inside as what it means for me to “walk the path”.

Today I am in the kitchen in the beautiful community where I live with dear friends. There is no Guru here, and on the door is a sign that reads “Centre for Conscious Living”.  Many people here have participated and staffed the POL and are excited to join the new “Walking the Path” soon. I can hear a friend in the living room explain to a newcomer that to her going to staff POL is like taking a vitamin shot, and it feels so good!

I feel grateful to be here and in a good place inside, but I am also burning with some intense issues; commune life is very intense and challenging, and I am constantly confronted and stretched.

This morning I notice that I would love some support. I also notice that reaching out isn’t as easy as I wish it was, that retreating is an obvious option, that looking for confrontation would feel safer and more comfortable, that I could instead go for a walk or keep cleaning the house or move this energy that is building inside in other ways. I could engage in small talks, I could even have a glass of wine or lie in the hammock with a book…the list seems endless.

Yesterday already I had mentioned to my friend here that I am facing something I need help with and would love his support. He was busy and unavailable then, but I took it personally and felt he was not here for me when I needed him; I felt hurt, pissed, disappointed…blablabla…

If groups have always helped me in some ways and have usually been intense and juicy rides, walking the path is obviously now, here, in this kitchen, facing this very situation and confronting the volcano boiling inside this body mind organism.

How am I going to deal with this all? How much Seeing can be allowed? How much Intelligence can shine through? How much space can be created? What is the next move, if any?

I want it here, now, every moment and forever.

I want this very breath to be my path, and I want it to be an ongoing lightning setting my being on fire. I want those words right now to carry my heart’s deepest longing; I want my passion to shine here, wild and unhindered.

As I grow older I have little space for compromise; I want it all and I want it now, and I would rather be alone than in relationships where I don’t feel met at my deepest core.

Walking the path is being fully present with whatever is happening, inside and outside; it is being fully open and ready to take real risks; the risk to be seen as I am, in all my glories and in all my imperfections, in my sweetest expressions as well as my ugliest and darkest ones; the risk to speak up, or the risk to keep my mouth shut for 24 hours before I open it again; the risk to be seen and take my space or the risk to instead take a deeper breath and give space to others.

Being alive is an art I keep fine tuning; allowing the creative fire to burn through and shine and take me to unexpected places is an ongoing challenge.

Real is what turns me on. Real is what brings my heart and sex on fire. Real is my passion and the love of my life.

There is no walk and there is no path.