Rahasya, 02

Interview with Rahasya

MP:

This material is great and I want to use it as part of this interview, however these interviews I am conducting are particularly useful for readers because in each case those being interviewed are sharing personal experiences that will offer encouragement because they show specific examples of people meditating and getting results. What I would really like to do is get a bit of your own story, from how you got started in meditation in general and then how you gravitated toward this form, and perhaps an example of the experiential benefits. How did you get started meditating?

Rahasya:

My first real taste of meditation happened when i was 14 years old, a couple of months into my time at an old-world Anglican (USA= Episcopalian) style boarding school in South Africa. I found a book on Buddhism, possibly by Suzuki, in the boarding house library. Intellectually, it appealed to my agnostic/atheistic inclinations. I attempted Zsa Zen sitting during the mandatory quiet time after lunch. It did not go well. It seemed to disturb the other fellows and got things thrown at me.

When I tried to explain what I was trying to do, things got worse. I was called a Satanist, which was at least a change from atheist and communist. The violence typical of all male environments happened, first with my fellows, then from authority. One freedom I had discovered from the military regimen of the place was running. Remarkably, a boy wearing running shoes and shorts was free to run as from the school grounds as he could.

Leaving the school grounds for any other reason required explanation and a record of good behavior to merit the privilege. One day after perhaps an hour's running, I came to a particularly beautiful spot, the source valley of a small stream, shaded by large trees. I stopped for a while to enjoy the place while i recovered from the run. I found a flat spot to sit, and although I judged my breathing to still be too fast, I tried the silent sitting thing again.

Beginner's luck … a deep satori occurred. Everything went timeless and still. I felt peace and a sense of connectedness that was lovely beyond belief and completely foreign to me. Cross country running (and, un-admitted, unmentioned, silent sitting) became my sport of choice, and although it was somewhat frowned upon, not being a team sport, it was tolerated. It would be seven years before I next felt anything as moving, as gorgeous as happened at that first attempt.

I now know that silent sitting is generally a pretty much useless practice for beginners. First, purging of the layers of anger and some work with layers of hurt is usually essential. I had not heard of Osho (then Bhagwan) at the time or of his methods of active meditation– but my habit then of run-then-sit was a workable approximation of what he was recommending to Westerners.

A few years after school, my enjoyment of motorcycles had limited my running abilities. I lived in a large city, and secluded, natural places were hard to find. I discovered alcohol and sex, and lost the habit of regular meditation. There was a commune of Osho's Sannyasins in Johannesburg in those years, and it was a great place to party. I dabbled in their meditation techniques. I particularly liked his Kundalini Meditation for the dramatic effect it had on my libido, which in truth needed no enhancement.

Around that community, I met a lovely young woman who was unusually powerful and aware in her sexuality. During a 14 year relationship, we had children, married and learned all we could of tantric practice from the Osho community and elsewhere. We took every group, workshop and retreat that was available and practiced Osho's purging, cathartic techniques. Our sex life was athletic, extreme and sometimes meditative. We explored techniques from most of Western eroticism as well as what we learned of Taoist and Tantric sexuality.

One retreat that I took (unusually) on my own was pivotal. Death and Dying was the cheery topic, presented by Sw. Veetman (http://www.leben-sterben.de/whoweare.htm). I still find what happened hard to define, but from that point on, meditation was a deep passion. For several years after that, I worked my way through hours of cathartic techniques a day, later on gentler, more traditional forms. Eventually, I started silent sitting again, easily accessing what I had experienced first at school.

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