This is a two-part blog post describing Osho’s energy medium phenomenon, first in a more general way, second, as my personal experience.
In my bio here I have described myself as having been one of ‘Osho’s thirteen personal energy mediums’. Thirteen…. I try to recall who we all were. I count them in my head. Yes, it’s not twelve, it’s thirteen – thirteen women in our 20s and 30s. American, British, Italian, French, South African, Australian, Canadian, German.
Nationalities. What difference did it make? None whatsoever.
I am struggling, as you can see… because, after all, what is a personal energy medium? Energy? Medium? Osho’s personal something-or-other…? What on earth does it mean?
In the West we associate mediums with occult ladies with large earrings and tasselled shawls who 100 years ago would sit around tables in the semi-darkness doing voodoo-like incantations to conjure up the spirit of dead family members.
Not so here.
Let’s go back to basics…
The word medium describes “a means by which something is expressed”. While the word energy usually describes physical vitality, (or is reserved for various forms of fuel). All of which serves our meaning well.
But our meaning goes further than the dictionary. It enters the world of bio-electricity. It’s the subtle incorporeal vibration that we experience in the presence of another – meaning those inexplicable visceral feelings the other generates when we are near them or touching them. This is fuel and vitality plus.
In Osho’s case, there is some way in which his energy combined all three meanings at once: a unique vitality expressed through the arcane power that being illuminated conferred on the bio-electric emanations of his physical body.
No, I didn’t think so.
Another way to say it is that an empty, egoless human vessel channels the energy of the universe.
This is what Osho in his body generated – a unique form of subtle energy that sensitive people picked up as soon as they entered his sphere. Understand it as the cosmic energy. When he made a point to actively allow it rush through him in the context of those ‘energy darshans’ that I’ll talk about in a minute, something extraordinary happened.
So Osho’s energy medium was a woman who directly mediated energy between Osho and whoever had come to visit him, the one we shall call the guest. At the time, we energy mediums lightheartedly referred to ourselves as if on an electrical circuit, as step-down transformers – and the metaphor is really quite apt. The idea being, as I understood it, that Osho’s energy was too strong, too high-voltage, for many people to receive directly without either blocking it or passing out (read, fuse). Those of us who could receive it were there to channel it, and to link the subtle to the gross…
OK. Definitions over!
So there we were, the energy mediums, an elite group of thirteen women who weren’t really elite at all, nor any different from any of the other women in Osho’s community, except that he had chosen us for this unusual function – to mediate his energy.
And this all took place in a curious group process known as the ‘energy darshans’ – events each night where a guest would sit at Osho’s feet to receive this transmission. In Hindu tradition the phenomenon is known as shaktipat – transferring of energy – but in Western culture, where there is little understanding of Eastern spirituality and its many side-roads, it is virtually unknown.
Soon after Osho formally introduced these energy darshans, he gave a little discourse about how we, as young, sexually active women, were to use this as our ‘great meditation.’ And so it was…
A Great Meditation
As an excerpt from my diary of the period shows…1.
Last night during darshan he addressed the mediums, and talked again about shifting from the left hemisphere of the brain to the right hemisphere. Balance is bliss.
He said we are all almost one hundred per cent conditioned into the left hemisphere, and energy could only be transmitted if there were flow between left and right. The right hemisphere, which works the left part of the body, represents all that is ‘feminine’: poetry, music, aesthetics, the internal world, receptivity.
When, as lovers, you kiss, he said, the woman shuts her eyes; it is natural to her to go inward. When you keep your eyes open, you are outward-turned, aggressive, male.
“You all have to become my mediums” – this time addressing the whole 150 present at darshan – “Eventually you will all be my mediums, this place has to be totally egoless, a Buddha field, so that whoever enters even the front gate will feel it. The moment he enters he will be turned on.
“But for that you have to let go totally. When you come up here [for an energy darshan] you must hold back nothing. Only then can I enter you.”
It made quite a stirring in my belly. Fear is always lurking somewhere, that one is not good enough, not open enough, not surrendered enough. Yet it goes on coming, his grace, his showerings of love, of blessings, of intoxicating joys and strange inexplicable happenings in the body.
I took his words very seriously.
To have had an illuminated being hit you night after night with his extraordinary energy is a potent experience.
When set in motion, powering through a relaxed and receptive body, energy rose in one tsunami rush, gushing its way upwards and leaving a vast empty void in its place. This was a sense of space-filled wonder; bliss; utter simplicity…
As I learned later, each one of us mediums experienced this differently, both in the moment and over the months – some being very alert to how the energy rose from the sex centre, some witnessing auras, having out of the body moments and doing a bit of astral travelling… One woman described a beam of soft diffused light springing from her heart area and reaching outwards as far as twenty yards.
This was no mean thing, receiving this powerhouse of the master’s energy. It throws back the head, it floods you with ripples of light – a cosmic cascade through the interior world. Inner barriers unfold and unfold and keep unfolding; ecstatic waves pummel the body till their orgasmic impact forces everything to vanish altogether and the being is floating in open space, a twinkling of inner stars, a weightless awe at the bliss of pure silence.
Osho was giving us fragmentary glimpses of what was possible on our spiritual journey, moments he has described as reaching the inner enormity that is our birthright: “…to reach the life force; to reach to that centre where the flower can bloom… […] this centre that leads us to the beyond which has no frontiers, which is a limitless and infinite expanse…2”
Right now, even attempting to say the mysterious unsayable is exhausting. The Chinese mystic Lao Tzu told us something important about the chasm between what is the truth and what can be said about truth. The fact that his great text the Tao Te Ching exists at all, we are told, is because while he was crossing from one region to another, a border guard refused to let the sage go through until he had written down his wisdom to share with others. In response, Lao Tzu is supposed to have written first and foremost that the Tao that can be said is not the Tao – a wonderful riddle-like koan with which to kick-start his readers.
Yet those trying to express even the smallest of the inexpressible have little else to resort to.
I leave you here with Wittgenstein: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” In other words: Don’t try to say what can’t be said.
But there I go again!
To be continued in Part II
1 This period of my life in Osho’s ashram will appear in my book, currently in preparation, called: The Zigzag Diaries.
2 From Osho, In Search of the Miraculous