In 1989 before Osho left-the-body, he created a meditation making it possible for people to commune with his essence in the absence of his physical form. The format was simple; in three stages. First, some high-energy dance music for approximately ten minutes to move one’s body and support energy moving upwards. There should be peaks with sudden stops at the crescendo, arms high in the air, punctuated with shouts of Osho! The end of this first stage is signaled by a final energy surge upwards with three shouts of Osho! at the peak. The idea is to use the word “osho” as an energy mantra, not think of it as someone’s name (which it actually isn’t!).
In the second stage, one sits silently and relaxes with eyes closed. There should be some soft Eastern-style music improvisations, leaving gaps between for silence. The end of the second stage is signaled by three explosive drumbeats.
The third stage is a select Osho discourse video. Osho called the meditation the “evening meeting”. It is still referred to as this in Pune.
In the nine months before Osho left-the-body he was not in the best of health. It was plain to see his body was disappearing. He had stopped speaking the regular discourses. When able, he would come to the Hall, celebrate with us on the way in, sit silently for a bit, and then celebrate again on his way out. I was coordinating the music department during this time. It was a very fluid occasion with the music; also the evening format. Osho was quite unpredictable. He would be sitting silently on the podium, then suddenly start keeping time with his hands to the soft music we had been asked to provide. Or sometimes, quite unexpectedly, he would begin lifting his arms as if raising the invisible collective energy of the hall-full of meditators. As musicians, we did our best to follow his indications, all eyes glued to the video monitor, Nishkriya, his cameraman, had supplied us with.
On one such evening, Osho’s arms were high in the air, “directing” the music, when suddenly they stopped. Quite unconsciously, we kept playing on. But, I knew immediately we were out of tune with him. It was not a good feeling. In such moments, one gets a direct look at one’s ego. And believe me, musicians can have a BIG ones. Let me just say, though, we were a group of willing hearts. So after Osho went out, we convened and decided to watch him more closely and should he stop the next night, we all agreed we would also stop.
Sure enough, the next evening, Osho was in full “director mode” when he suddenly stopped. And we did, too. After few timeless moments, His arms and hands slowly relaxed to his lap to a resting position. He sat like this for some minutes and then, wow, we noticed his hands start moving again, ever so slightly. Softly, we picked up his rhythm and off we were again!
Things went on like this, evening after evening, for days, weeks, with Osho getting more and more creative with his movements. One day, we received a message that Osho would like the silent sitting to have three pieces of music and that Nivedano should signal the end with three explosive drumbeats. Also that the dancing part should end with three shouts of Osho! And so, in this way, the format for the Evening Satsang Meditation began taking shape, very much spontaneously and in the moment.
Osho’s entrance and exits during these times was dramatic. He came into the Hall in full celebration mode, taking us higher and higher with each crescendo and shout of Osho! And when Nivedano’s three drumbeats exploded at the end of the music-silence section, Osho would open his eyes and explode out of his chair, and be right back in full swing with us and celebrating. One particular evening, I counted forty-six “Oshos!” during the his exit. On that particular night, his doctor came and found me afterwards, saying we needed to dial back the energy and dancing as there were concerns about pushing his body too much . I replied, “What can we do? He is directing. If he decides to dial it back, fine. We will follow him, not the other way around.” For the record, Osho didn’t dial it back. Things went from peak to peak, night after night, with the energy becoming more wild and intense. At the same time, silence in the Hall was deepening.
Osho’s body grew weaker. One day he sent a message to the musicians indicating what was to become the final format for the evening meeting in his absence: Celebration, Silent Sitting, and his Video Discourse. This organically evolved as time went by to include some soft music as people entered the Hall, a kind of prelude to the dancing.
After Osho left-the-body, the Commune continued to gather in the evenings after work and slowly I began to see the genius of the meditation, how it (just as Osho said it would) provided an opportunity for everyone to put aside their work and daily responsibilities and come together, commune and celebrate, dance, melt in silence, and listen to Osho’s words for inspiration.
In my last year living in the Commune, we still had our little Francis House studio and I had an idea to create a cassette series which would be called “Evening Satsang With The Master”. Osho chose this name before he left-his-body just as he did all the music cassette titles we used to sell in the Commune bookstore. With my musician team, we recorded four “evenings” which were formatted as per Osho’s instructions. The idea being that meditation centers and individuals around the world could play the tapes and enjoy the meditation when unable to make the journey to India. After the series started, others picked up the project. I know the series eventually went on to become seven or eight titles. I also know The Resort in India now still records the live-music evenings and makes it available. I have heard and meditated to lots of them, but my favorites, and the one’s that still work the best for me personally, are the original four created at the beginning of the series. Recently, I discovered my original digital master tapes while going through some old stuff. Most of the tapes have deteriorated and are full of dropouts. But I managed to salvage a few and cleaned up the sound quality a bit using my audio software. What I present here are the original four recorded “evenings” from those two cassettes. The dance music was recorded in Francis House Studio with musicians who were part of the team at that time. The music-silence stage with its three drumbeats, plus the prelude music, are all live-recordings from Buddha Hall made within a year of Osho leaving-the-body. On some of the tracks, you can hear Deva Kant’s inspiring flute. He is also the fiddler on number one and two tracks. As always with music, there are technicians behind the scenes making things work and helping everything (and one) sound great,. So I want to acknowledge Sanjiva and “Danish” Rishi for this. The studio tracks were all live-mixed, hands-on, which doesn’t happen much anymore in this age of automation. On the third track, Narayani and Satyam are featured and join me for the singing. The fourth track is a tribute to the Oshoba-style evenings which always open higher dimensions in me when I dance to it. lt appeals to my wild and groovy side! I’ve bundled together the four evenings with two bonus tracks: some studio recordings from 1991 that never made it onto any tape or cd. They feature songs sung in the Buddha Hall music groups before and after Osho left-the-body. “All The Birds Fly Home” is a touching composition from an Italian sannyasin, Dipamo. “Empty Chair” is from me and inspired by the mystery of Osho being here, but not. The songs feature two beloved musician friends, Disha (who has since left her body, untimely) and Sudhananda.
If the music inspires you to meditate and come home to yourself, my efforts are fulfilled. To download, please visit the shop link here: http://www.oneskymusic.com/meditation/.