The following is an excerpt from Anando’s book, Osho: Intimate Glimpses.
What happened in these sessions?
‘I am writing notes on your heart,’ Osho said softly, as his finger traced seemingly random patterns on my chest. Once rubbing hard, he said, ‘Take note, Anando, this will be a signature for centuries to remember.’
‘I am doing telegraphy on a heart.’
‘What a notebook, that breathes! I can only write on a notebook that breathes.’
‘I am writing my notes in flesh and bones.’
‘I am writing notes to one who is crying.’
‘I am taking notes on your heart. Can’t you understand, Anando? Take note.’
I didn’t understand.
The ‘note’ giving was happening in a series of dental sessions in the last years Osho was in the body. There were 115 sessions altogether that I was present for, from May 1988 through to September 1989. Each one lasted around an hour, sometimes longer.
I was in in the most privileged position I could imagine, sitting at the right side of my master opposite his chest, in contact with his body. But it wasn’t always fun. Or easy. At times, that gentle finger on my heart became a fist and thumped so hard that it almost knocked me off the stool I was perched on. Three thumps, each accompanied by a single word said so forcefull that it penetrated to my very core. ‘Just! . . . Be! . . . Here!’
He told us that the dental sessions were just an excuse to work on the few of us present. ‘I am trying even in my difficulties to work on everyone of you, although I pretend that you are working on me.’
‘Am I a patient? I wonder. A doctor surrounded by patients.’
He loved us in a way none of us had ever been loved before, but he did not spare our egos. And he didn’t hesitate to expose our unconscious blind spots. It was master laser surgery—precise, and massively uncomfortable.
That was the point of course—to shake us out of our comfort zones, to expose the unconscious blind spots that attached us to our identities and ran our lives. It was what we had all come to him for, but when it was actually happening, I was not at all sure I wanted it.
‘You are the fortunate ones who can be so close to my consciousness,’ he said. Well, when we were in his line of fire, I am not so sure we did feel fortunate. I certainly didn’t, in those precise moments.
He knew he had only a short time left in the body and he said he was determined to work on us until the last moment. ‘Perhaps after my death too, I will have to work on all of you. One day I will have to leave the body. I am just hanging around. You have all loved me and I don’t want to leave you in the middle. My work is finished as far as I am concerned.’
He had a couple of basic themes in these sessions. At one time or another, all of us were told to watch our unconscious desire to be wanted, our unconscious asking to be needed by him. He said it was basically a problem with the female mind, but at times he said both the men—Amrito and Geet—were also asking to be needed. Another favorite theme was reminding us to be present (or rather, reminding us that we were not present). And reminding us that our place was our place, and we couldn’t change with anyone else—we could only be our own individual selves.
Then he hit our individual selves.
‘I am,’ he said with a chuckle, ‘ultimately your master. I know each of you to your very heart.
The devoted doctor sitting on the floor at his feet was often asked to stand up, and then immediately told to sit down again. Just like that, for no reason. ‘You are a scholar . . .’ Osho sometimes told him, which was about the biggest insult imaginable in our milieu. Osho also chuckled at what he called Amrito’s constant stumbling. And he commented on his drinking. (Amrito was somewhat partial to gin and tonic.)
The dentist, who was of course somewhat nervous and tense trying to do his most perfect work, was tortured for exactly that. He was focused on being a dentist, but Osho was being a master. So the dentist’s ego was hit over and over. Fortunately, Geet was also a devoted disciple.
Osho would constantly drive Geet to the point of frustration by refusing to comply with his requests to ‘Open’ or ‘Bite’, and then say to him, ‘Geet you are working with anger. Can you see your anger?’ Or, ‘Please do your job perfectly. You are not.’ Or, ‘Just do the best, Geet. I don’t settle for the small, the mediocre.’
He also worked on the fear and caution of Geet and the dental assistants, Ashu and Nityamo, constantly prodding them to increase the level of the nitrous gas, whatever the cost to his own life. He said he wanted to test them to see if they were ready to go to their maximum. ‘I wanted to test Devageet. I am still saying, Devageet, don’t be worried about death.’
He hit Ashu for being hard like Stalin, and Nityamo for not being present or for fear of going to her maximum.
His strongest hits, however, were reserved for Shunyo and myself. He honed in on the collective unconscious of women—the need to be loved and needed.
‘I am hard because I love you . . . I may say things that may hurt. I say them because I love you, and I want you to be individuals on your own. This whole idea of “wanting” is slavery, but man has forced the condition on women for thousands of years. But I am also determined to destroy this conditioning, at least in a few women.’
At first, he started on Shunyo, saying continually, ‘Yes, I love you. So stop asking.’ She of course had been silent, like all of us. But he said he could hear her asking over and over, ‘Do you love me?’ and it was driving him crazy. He kept sending her out of the room, and I have to confess I felt relieved that it was her and not me. However, having finally banished her from the sessions, he then started on me.
‘Just wait, Anando. Your turn will come. I am not even finished yet with Shunyo. I want you even to be finished by yourself. Just Be! Burn! Just be a flame.’
As I was stubborn, however, it took me quite some time to get the point. ‘Can’t you read your own unconscious mind?’ he asked me. Well, the answer was that at that time I couldn’t.
In fact, it took a massive hammering . . .
I am ashamed to admit it, but as soon as he started saying that now he could hear me also unconsciously asking whether he loved me, I just got up and left the room. Why wait to be thrown out? I thought. I was much too proud. I was immediately called back in, but not before I had had a glimpse of my unbelievable arrogance and pride. But Osho was amazingly patient. And compassionate.
But don’t think for a minute that compassion meant pity—no way. He was determined to crack this deep unconscious pattern, something he said had been in the collective unconscious of women for centuries.
I was still being resistant. My whole identity was built around my belief that I was independent and didn’t need anyone. But, as I realized later, that was just a protection, a cover-up for a longing for love that I felt I didn’t deserve and would never get.
At the time, however, I didn’t appreciate being told that I was also asking to be loved. In fact, I was so pissed off about having that particular layer of my unconscious uncovered that I became quite rebellious, and it wasn’t until Osho threw me out of his house for a day that I was ready to look at the matter seriously.
What happened is that Shunyo and I were told to pack up and leave Osho’s house because our unconscious asking was driving him crazy. Leave our privileged room in Lao Tzu House? That finally got my attention. During the move, which had to happen immediately, I finally touched the deep vulnerability and need he had been speaking about.
I was humbled—no, more than humbled; I was completely dismantled. I felt pieces inside me shattering, without the faintest idea of what was going on. There was just a feeling of a deep shift inside and at the end—fortunately and like a blessing—a beautiful peace. A few minutes later, I was unpacking in my new room, Amrito came with the message we could move back into his house.
In the dental sessions, Osho generally had his eyes closed. So I took advantage and closed mine also, unless he was speaking. However, occasionally he would open his eyes and if he saw that my eyes were closed he would laugh and say with a chuckle, ‘Anando, again meditating’—obviously knowing that I was dozing rather than meditating. Once he said, ‘Anando, don’t close your eyes while I am alive.’
I remember the last week he was in the body, when either his doctor or I were always with him, twenty-four hours a day, as his body was so fragile that he used to fall. He was mostly lying in bed with his eyes closed. I was on the ‘night shift’, and after accompanying him to and from his evening Namaste in Buddha Hall and putting him to bed, I would lie there in the darkened room with him.
It was very tempting to fall asleep, as I had done earlier in the year, when Osho first became too frail to be on his own. It sounds like a very privileged position to be in (and of course it was), but every hour or half hour throughout the whole night Osho would ask, ‘Anando, are you awake?” Previously, this had disturbed me and finally made me really annoyed, as I never got any sleep, and in fact, that was why I had told Osho for the second time that I couldn’t do that job anymore. But in those last nights of Osho’s being in the body—even though I was personally in denial that he was dying—something made me stay awake, and I was always very happy to be able to answer, ‘Yes, Osho, I am awake,’ without any of my old annoyance.
And I really was happy to be in that strange dark situation with him. Previously I used to think about the sleep I thought I needed, or the people I wanted to see, but in those last days, it was enough just to be there.
After he left the body, I was so grateful that those last vestiges of my resistance had completely melted away in that final period. What amazing compassion Osho had to ask me to come and be with him every night for that last week even though I had said ‘No’ to that role before. I can imagine how devastated I would have felt if he had left and I was still unconsciously resisting him. In fact, a friend said Amrito told her that Osho had specifically called me back to the night shift in that last week because he knew he was leaving the body.
From Osho: Intimate Glimpses, ppg. 36-39 and is available from Osho: Intimate Glimpses.