Viha Connections Story - Osho's
HeartBeats Sept 1997
Screaming My Way to Osho
by Ma Puja Supriti
This story is reprinted courtesy of Viha Connection.
It is taken from the May/June 'Taking The Jump' section.
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Not long ago I was at a sannyas party where
almost everyone told their coming-to-sannyas stories. And so I came to
realize that, like so many others there, sannyas came for me on the coattails
of a marriage gone awry.
Honest, I had been a 'good' wife. I had been attentive, and faithful, did the laundry, and dutifully drove the station wagon to pick up his dry cleaning each and every week. We had bought a townhouse outside DC, did some remodelling, and were beginning our plans for the 2.5 children.
We hadn't started out so 'normal.' I mean, we had Lynchburg, Virginia's, first and perhaps only hippie wedding. In my backyard, with my beloved in regulation bellbottoms and me with a wreath of daisies in my hair, my dad walked me down the aisle/gravel walkway to the sound of the Moody Blues singing 'Beginnings.' It was a lovely ceremony. I giggled and Mom and Dad cried. My 'intended' and I had wanted only a big party, not a formal procedure, to proclaim our undying love for each other. I mean, in the seventies, with all the anti-war demonstrations and walks on Capitol Hill to take part in, it was difficult to find an entire weekend one could dedicate to rehearsal dinners and receptions. But our parents put their collective foot down and we had a proper wedding. And it was lovely indeed, though my folks managed to surprise us with two black guys from the country club in red coats serving champagne to the crowd. My new husband and I were not amused!
I also am remembering that during the weeks of planning our wedding, much to my surprise my soon-to-be-husband informed me there would be no wedding cake. In his defiance of anything that came close to tradition, he explained that the act of cutting the cake and stuffing pieces down each other's mouth was symbolic of the act of consummating the marriage! And so we also came to be the first and I'm sure only wedding in Lynchburg to serve cupcakes.
This all should have been a glimpse into my future. I think I came as close to loving this man as I was then capable of, and when my husband came home from work one day a half dozen years later to announce he was unhappy and wanted to move to Pennsylvania to do Primal Scream therapy, I did what any dedicated wife would do - faithfully dusted off my suitcase and naively followed him into therapy.
Primal therapy - where the reality/imagination of my birth and infancy was exposed, stripped raw for the experiencing. A time when I first came to acknowledge that I, big or small, had rights and in many ways - in big ways - they had been violated. It was a revelation to be reckoned with and it brought with it a tremendous rush of emotions - anger, incredible sadness, despair, and primal desperation - as I struggled to make some sense of my life, of any life, following those hours, days, and months, slipping into deep grey places I had never, ever dared go before.
I had been ripe for Primal after all. We had by then been married a few years and I too was unhappy, though not terribly aware of it due to my mostly daily doses of valium. But through Primal I came to know I did not need tranquillizers. I needed permission to 'express' - much the way I had sort of been allowed to as a small child, through my tantrums (though I nearly always later ended up in my room or getting clobbered over the head by my father). Hey, I have serious energy running through this body, and years of growing up in the climate of reserved/repressed Southern ladies, too many hangovers, and way too much guilt had rendered me a nervous wreck.
Primal therapy afforded us the perfect way to end our marriage. Each of us was given the perfect venue for wailing, screaming, and proclaiming at incredibly high decibel levels all the ways s/he had been wronged. And when all was said and done we were reduced to two totally spent people glad to move away from each other and on to something new.
During those years in Pennsylvania I started to take yoga lessons, and they took place in the basement of a sannyas center, a fact unknown and unimportant to me then. Perhaps that is where the connection happened - Master with disciple, disciple with Master. But the time wasn't right for me then, though in retrospect I remember being attracted to a little black book there. It was called Sex.
Those of you who have spent intense sessions in Primal know that we are left with a profound emptiness and a very strong longing to fill that space with something new, something clean, something real. This was a time for me of searching for that and of very deep connections with special friends in my Primal family - friends who had spent time at Findhorn, friends who believed the prophecies of Edgar Cayce, and friends who had found a special alignment with the Sufi path. And so in the fall of 1981 I spent several weeks in the Berkshires of New York, in close and loving contact with Pir Vilayat. I had found my path, and made a date to be initiated into the Sufi religion.
From Pennsylvania I took off to spend a delightful winter living in a tiny village on the coast of Delaware, where for days my feet and the seagulls, made the only footprints in the sand. It was truly deserted and for the first time in my frantic, hyper-life, I found myself utterly and totally relaxed. Somehow in that awesome silence and stillness I could sit for long, long stretches, looking out the window, watching birds, watching myself. And in that little beach village I met a high school teacher who made frequent trips back to DC to visit his ex-wife and kids. I loved and missed the city vibe, so I caught a ride with him one weekend during the winter of '82. I stayed at his ex-wife's house, enjoyed a wonderful evening talking about spiritual stuff, and was invited to get up early the next morning to attend a meditation nearby.
I had lived nearly my entire life in the South. I was certainly prepared for walking into a place where there were about as many black folks as white. But what I was clearly not prepared for was the incredible volume of glorious energy coming from all the people in that center - so much joy, so much happiness, and so much overt love for their Master they called Bhagwan. And so, in my very first Dynamic in the basement there, I was lost and I was found...surrounded by darkness, deafened by loud music, dancing and sweating with so many special new friends and lovers, and all these beautiful black men!
I was swept into a time and space where there was really nothing to do, only the need to stay, moment to moment, on this wondrous wave of existential bliss and good times. Seems all the important decisions were already made or got made without much effort at all. Each day was filled with uncomplicated, ordinary endeavours with playful and thoughtful new friends. Evening brought new relationships that were based in honesty and humility. I began to have a real sense of what it felt like to truly blossom...I seemed to have a great big yes to nearly everything.
A bit before I consciously knew I would take sannyas, I remember returning to Delaware and having this definite feeling of standing outside of myself - watching me pack up all my favorite antique clothes, without any regrets, to take to a vintage consignment shop when back in DC, gathering up what was left and pale in color and putting it in the washing machine with Rit red dye. I don't remember ever thinking much about what it would be like to wear red clothes and a mala. I mean, all the people that mattered to me now dressed like that and I didn't seem to mind! That same innocent part of me that is so willing to walk into a movie theater and suspend disbelief was prepared to follow these lovely people and this totally unknown little Indian man and defer any suspicions and doubts. It was less than a month later that I got on the phone to the Sufi folks, made my apologies, then filled out my paperwork to take sannyas.It was time to let my family know what was going on. I wrote my mom a very special letter, tempered by these very special times. Being more of the jumping type than the agonizing kind, I spent only a few minutes sorting out the kindest way to soften the blows of all this news I needed to tell her, that I knew would be hard for her, and to figure out in what order she would like to hear it. "Dear Mom, I have good news, and some sort of good news. I have decided to become a disciple of a Indian man who has many wonderful followers who are now my dear friends. It would be great to get together soon, as I'll be leaving in a couple of weeks to go to Oregon to live. I have a wonderful new boyfriend. And by the way, he's black."This was the right time. I had never read a single Osho book front to back, never even knew where Osho was back then - what country, what dimension - and I barely knew what He looked like aside from a few little black and white photos.
I came to Osho through the deep, deep love and incredible beauty of the sannyasins at Devadeep. And I will be forever grateful to them - to Shiven, Deben, Nikhilananda, Valerie, Garimo, Gitesho, and others whose names I have surely forgotten but whose love I never will.
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