More on Osho/Rajneesh

Random

I don’t mean to harp on this subject but  the only thing that I have to entertain me are my thoughts and this is what is on my mind lately. I feel like I need to get it out.

There is a writer that I’ve been reading for the past year and I have really liked her work. She writes about intuition and how it pertains to spirituality. She has a podcast that I subscribe to. I have really enjoyed it. My gut (ha) told me to check the bibliography of her recent book to see if Osho is listed there. Osho is, indeed listed in her bibliography. Not once but twice. So not only have I been reading these tarot cards I have been reading books and listening to podcasts by a person who has been influenced by Osho/Rajneesh. I kind of can’t believe it, but there it is in black and white. It makes me wonder about how pervasive Osho/Rajneesh’s philosphy is? Where else can it be found? I feel like I can’t trust anything. I don’t think this is a bad thing, actually. It is another example of non-attachment.

It seems like the only thing I can really trust right now is the practical.  can trust what is right there before me, the issue at hand.  Everything else is just conjecture. The one thing that I continue to do everyday is zazen. That is nothing more than sitting down, shutting up, and breathing. That is all there is to it.  So that is what I will continue to do.

Can I just point out a few things about Osho/Rajneesh that have me baffled? Let’s pretend  for a moment. If you were a spiritual leader and the group of people that you were leading committed horrible acts (like carrying out single biggest bio-terrorist act in U.S. history), wouldn’t it make you think about yourself a little bit? I mean, if you were so bothered by these acts to the point that you reported your own followers to the authorities, wouldn’t you have the tiniest shred compassion? And having that shred of compassion wouldn’t you, at the very least, think, “Hm. maybe, since my own followers are doing these horrible things, there is something wrong with the way I am doing things. Perhaps I should not be a leader for awhile. Perhaps it is time for  me to lay low and figure out why my followers did such horrific things.” Right? I mean, if you were a compassionate person, who cared about the well being of your fellow humans you would do that. But Osho/Rajneesh did not do that. Instead he went back to India and changed his name and reinvented himself as a “zen teacher.” He re-branded himself. He changed anything that had the name “Rajneesh” associated with it to Osho. This tells me that he didn’t care at all about the way his teachings affected those who were listening to them. I don’t find this at all compassionate. I don’t think he cared one bit about his followers.  Because of this, but most importantly, because of the heinous  behavior of his followers, I will never trust anything that comes from him or any organization that is associated with him. I don’t care if his teachings seem like they sound good (they only sound that way because he stole philosophies from other religions). Anything that he taught, or continues to teach byway of his current followers is totally irrelevant. It is irrelevant because he was a freaking cult leader. It is irrelevant because  his followers committed horrible  and terrifying acts. If I find out that a person  has been influenced by him in any way I just can’t trust what they have to say, plain and simple. I don’t care how wonderful or genuine that person is. If they have been influenced by Osho/Rajneesh their philosophy is tainted.

Media Fast: Day Two

Thoughts and Opinions

This exercise, so far, has been amazing. One day of no media clutter  and already I feel healthier psychologically. My mind feel sharper and clearer. I feel happier and less depressed. I haven’t had any thoughts of self-loathing in 24 hours. It’s really kind of awesome.

There are moments when my ego wants to throw a tantrum because it doesn’t have anything to do. But the interesting thing about it is that it is easy to find things to do. Not having the distractions of media makes things so much simpler. I do what is in front of me. What needs to be done? The dishes? Ok. I’ll do the dishes. Now, is it boring to do the dishes? Yes it is. But it’s ok. It is only boring for that moment when I perceive it is boring. As soon as I start doing it I’m fine. And since I don’t have anything entertainment-wise to look forward to I am left with what is in front of me.

Fascinating.

Running without music this morning was interesting as well. I was worried that It would be difficult but it wasn’t at all. In fact, nothing was different aside from not having the distractions of music and Runkeeper in the background.

This is something I am noticing too:  that maybe I shouldn’t have so many things going at one time. And I’m not even talking things that I am doing. I am talking about things going in the background. For example this morning I thought I would work on a scanning project for a friend of mine. While the slides were scanning I decided to knit and work on my French lesson. But as I was doing all of this I felt the heaviness of stress on me and realized that I am probably doing too much at one time. I decided to save the scanning project for later and concentrate on two things instead of three. In fact, it’s probably even better to deal with only one thing at a time but that is something that I will have to work on since I am the queen of multitasking.

Media Fast: Day One

Health and Fitness

In my sangha we are going through the book, “How To Train A Wild Elephant & Other Adventures In Mindfulness” by Jan Chozen. This week’s excercise is a media fast:

For one week, do no take in any media. This includes news media, social media, and entertainment. Do not listen to radio, iPod, or CDs, don’t watch TV, film, or videos; don’t read newspapers, books or magazines; don’t surf the internet; and don’t check social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

I was all, “Hell, no.”  But the fact that I was, and am, resisting it makes me realize that I should try it. It is only a week after all and who knows? Maybe it will be good for me. I am still going to blog because blogging is creating;  it is writing. So I feel like it is o.k. And I thought it would be interesting (mostly for myself) to blog about this experience. I thought it would be interesting to observe how this experience makes me feel. So here it goes!

4:00 am: I woke up from a dream in which one of my friends died. I found out on Facebook (because that is how things are learned these days). I woke up in a slight panic thinking, “what if this really happens?” Eventually I went back to sleep.

5:00 am: My alarm wakes me up and I decide to hit snooze because I think, “I have nothing to do when I get up so what’s the point.”

5:20: I get up and meditate

8:00 am: After getting ready for work I actually have time to practice my ukulele.

11:00 am: I get an email notification that somebody posted a link on my Facebook wall. I go to Facebook so I can turn off e-mail notifications. (I also take a quick peek to what’s up with everyone. Damn it!). I have decided that I can check e-mail because that is how many people communicate with me. I can easily delete the messages that look like cluttery crap. I think that I will not check it very often though. Maybe a couple of times a day.

11:30 am: Busy all morning with training at work. I am wondering what I am going to do at lunch because I am not supposed to read anything. The books says that reading for work is ok so I am tempted to take a Library Journal with me so I can at least read that.

5:14 pm: I just realized that I cheated on this big time today. In researching my blog post about Rajneesh I realized that I surfed around the internet. Actually quite a lot. Hmm. Didn’t even realize it. I suppose it is a job hazard. I will be more careful tomorrow.

7:17 PM: I am home alone with nothing to entertain me but my thoughts (my husband is still at work.) I had a conversation with my friend after work about this Rajneesh post from yesterday so I’ve been thinking about that. She mentioned the Buddhist idea of non-attachment and that really resonated. I think that is the lesson here. When you attach to an idea, person, anything, you never know where you will end up (her words). This is so true. It is very freeing to practice non-attachment. That is what this mindfulness practice is about too. I really felt it when I decided to stop reading the really awesome book I am into right now, “Beautiful Ruins” by Jess Walter. It is very hard for me to give up a really good story but I felt like I should for this exercise. In fact, I really feel like I should return the book to the library so that someone else should read it. I haven’t done that. I am not sure I will. But I feel like I need to let go of my attachment to reading this really wonderful story. I know it will be there in a week when I am done with this exercise.

Other than the few minutes I logged onto Facebook today I haven’t logged onto any other social media sites. I don’t miss the cluttery data smog. At all. I actually feel really good right now. I miss my friends from those sites. But I don’t miss all of the cluttery crap.

I am going to sign off and schedule this to publish very early tomorrow morning. The rest of the evening will be spent getting projects  done.

The Rajneesh Cult

Thoughts and Opinions

I mentioned in my post from the other day that my current read has renewed my interest in cults. Specifically, the Rajneesh cult in central Oregon in the 1980s.

I was talking about the book, Influence, with a couple of coworkers who are also reading it.  In the book’s chapter on Social Proof, the Jonestown Massacre came up as an example. Jonestown and  Rasjneeshpuram became a topic of conversation (this being Oregon and all). My coworker mentioned that the daughter of Leo Ryan, the U.S. Representative that was murdered at Jonestown, was a member of Rajneeshpuram. Did you know that?!? I didn’t. It is hard to find information on this – I watched a documentary on Rajneesh the other night and she was interviewed. I also found an old article in the Spokesman Review (of all places) where she denies that she is in a cult.

I am getting ahead of myself here. As you can see, this conversation sparked some interest and I began to do some research. Later that afternoon I helped a patron find a book.  Guess what the name of the book was. The Rajneesh Chronicles. How serendipitous can you get?!? I mentioned that I was talking about this topic that very afternoon and joked that I would have to read the book when she was done with it. She gave me a tip that there was an older edition for sale in the Friends of the Library Bookstore. So I bought it! I started reading it that night. I learned that this cult planned to poison the water system of The Dalles, and they actually managed to follow through with a bio-terror attack on The Dalles (I actually remember this and remember being terrified by it!). This really hit close to home for me, literally. The Dalles is only a couple of hours away from where I live.

Osho („Rajneesh“ Chandra Mohan Jain)

Osho („Rajneesh“ Chandra Mohan Jain) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, long story short, Rajneesh = cult-leader-murderous-bastard. That was pretty much already established in my head in the 1980s but good reminder, nonetheless.

As I was doing my research and reading the Wikipedia entry on Leo Ryan I noticed the tiniest  little blurb about his daughter’s involvement with the cult:

After his death, Ryan’s daughter Shannon Jo changed her name to Jasmine and joined Osho

It is interesting that it doesn’t mention the Rajneesh Cult. Instead it says that she joined Osho, and it doesn’t say anything about Osho being a cult. However, if you click on “Osho” you will be taken to the Wikipedia entry for “Rajneesh Movement.” Links to the person Osho go to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.

I was familiar with Osho, but didn’t know Osho was  related to Rajneesh.  I am familiar with Osho because I downloaded  a seemingly harmless iPhone app called “Osho Zen Tarot,” which is based on a tarot deck. I bought this app awhile ago and everyday it deals out a “tarot card of the day” in which I am notified. Sometimes I read it and sometimes I don’t.  I don’t take readings very seriously but am amused by them on a certain level. Sometimes these cards help give me perspective on a situation. I liked that this deck came from a zen perspective, for obvious reasons. But in the back of my mind I always wondered who this “Osho” was.

I saw the connection in the Leo Ryan article and thought, “No. They can’t be connected.” But when I did the research I found out that they are! In fact,  Osho = that Rajneesh murderous cult-leader bastard! I couldn’t (and still can’t) believe it! He went back to India and reinvented himself as a zen leader and even from the grave is duping people.  The Osho website is surreptitious. If you surf around the site on the surface you will think you are at a legitimate zen center site. I had to click around to find a connection to Rajneesh. I finally found it when I clicked on the Osho.tv video page.  There you will find  videos from Rajneesh. But the only way that you know that it is Rajneesh, cult leader extraordinaire, is if you know what he looks like.  

I was so afraid of  this cult when I was younger.  I was very aware of what he was, and still am (hence, my lifelong interest in this). And yet,  I STILL got duped in to paying for an app that came from his organization. And I even read his teachings on these cards! Everyday for nearly a year!

I am still blown away by this and am not sure what to make of it. It makes me realize how important critical thinking skills are.   I am so grateful that I have a brain and that I have the capacity to use it.

Wayback Wednesday

Life

Halloween of 1973. I was 4 years old. I remember this. I am with our neighbor. She took me to a halloween party at, I think, her school. I remember having a lot of fun at this party. I have a very clear memory of a trick someone did involving invisible ink. They wrote something on paper and then heated the paper up and the message appeared (or something like that). I thought it was magic and was totally blown away.

When I was looking at this photo album a few weeks ago at my mom’s house my older sister was sitting next to me and mentioned that she was very jealous of this neighbor and that she took me to this party. I had no idea. But I could totally understand.