Meditation: dancing, shaking, jumping, shouting
Just another day at Osho Tapoban:
7 - 8 am: yoga while yawning like a lion and rubbing the sleep out of my eyes
8 - 9 am: dynamic meditation. Very interesting and pure madness. Every exercise lasts for 10 minutes and gets crazier every time. First you have to breathe fast through your nose while flapping your arms, then you scream like a mad man (you can also cry, crawl over the floor, kick a pillow around, anything even slightly related to madness), after which you jump up and down while yelling out "HOO" every time you touch the ground, then you freeze like a statue and you dance with your eyes closed. Goodmorning!
9 - 11 am: breakfast buffet
11 am - 1 pm: watching an Osho video and dancing or chakra meditation
1 - 3 pm: lunch buffet
3 - 4 pm: any type of Osho meditation like humming or breathing energy into the chakras, or sitting in silence while observing the sounds of the forest and the monkeys on the roof
4 - 5 pm: tea time
5 - 6 pm: kundalini meditation, one of my favourites! Every exercise is 15 minutes. First you shake your whole body like crazy (exactly, like a mad man), then you lose yourself in the music and dance, after which you sit in silence and let your sweat dry, and then you lay down and rest
6 - 6.30 pm: aarati, worshipping the gods by dancing around their statues in the garden
7 - 8 pm: dinner buffet
8 - 9 pm: watching an Osho video
9 - 10 pm: celebration! Osho believes every day is a celebration and you live a happy life if you dance a lot. So people go absolutely crazy! Your average night club fades away next to the parties in the meditation hall! There is no alcohol, drugs or even meat allowed in the ashram, yet everyone dances like someone slipped something in their drinks. After every song, people yell OSHOOOOO all together. I just can't stop laughing at the hilarious sights of people in white robes dancing like this will be the last party of their lives, and the next day again and again! And the songs, oh the songs! They are even better than the dance moves!
Every song is about Osho, and not only traditional Nepalese songs are played by DJ Krishna (the man who teaches meditation in the day time turns into a DJ after dark). Oh no, there is also house and techno music happening in Tapoban, with lyrics like "Osho, we want to have a love affair with you" or my personal favourite: "Rama on the dance floor, Rama likes to party, Rama loves to move that sexy Rama body". Those Nepalese sure know how to party! Sometimes things get shaken up a bit and the Vengaboys blare out of the speakers in the meditation hall. I feel like I'm 12 again.
At least I look mature in my maroon (for day time) and white (for evening time) robe. A shapeless, sizeless gown not even your grandmother would wear to sleep in. I thought it was obviously to hide any female shapes from eager male eyes. But boys will be boys and the way some of the Nepalese men stare, you feel like you're not wearing anything at all. Conversations start with the same two questions every time: "Where are you from? Do you have a boyfriend?" An ashram would be the last place where you would expect to pick someone up for a night or marriage (we are still in Nepal), but these men worship a master who calls himself the spiritual playboy.
Osho is not your average guru, that's for sure. And his disciples are not your average people. Because life is one big play and seriousness is a disease, people laugh and dance from morning until evening in this meditation center. It's easy to lose yourself in this happiness, and soon I'm running around laughing and jumping for hours on end. I realise this place is a bubble of joy, far away from any reality I'm used to. I'm a happy person, but I can't see myself in any city acting like the wild dancing, body shaking, hysterically laughing child I am here. Because in Tapoban, I've got the feeling judgement doesn't exist. If you start crying or laughing like a maniac, nobody looks at you in a strange way. This is something that set me free. In 'real life' you are always worried of what people might think if you act slightly different. People don't like seeing someone acting crazy or ridiculously happy. They don't know what to do. Here, everyone does whatever they want and they get away with it. They talk to monkeys, sing as loud as they can, smile all day and all night long. And I happily join them during my week in the pink bubble.