A Story on Accepting the Unexpected

Our beloved teacher, Elizabeth Johnstone shared this inspirational story with me today. It is written by the singer Deva Premal on her life in one of Osho's ashrams. Enjoy!

Many years ago Miten and I were living in Osho’s ashram in Pune, India. At the time, Miten was the ashram music coordinator, which meant being responsible for the music at the evening meditation gatherings. Every day he would choose the musicians who would play in Buddha Hall that evening, and coordinate the afternoon rehearsals.
Often, sometimes at the last minute, Osho would request a certain style (i.e. Zen music, or wild celebration music!) etc...which had to be spontaneously created there and then! A great opportunity for musicians to dive even deeper into living ‘the moment’.

Life in the ashram was a microcosmos of the world, which meant we learned, fast, to deal with ‘life’ as it happened. It was a great opportunity to deal with our egos and those of others, by witnessing our personal reactions to sudden change (Osho always made sure we wouldn’t get sleepy!).

For example, Miten was unexpectedly told to pass his job to someone else, regardless of the fact that he was generally acknowledged as the best person available.

Although surprised, he looked on the change as a challenge, and saw it as something to absorb – the surprise, the shock, of suddenly having the proverbial carpet pulled from one’s feet.
This is a great training for life, which as we all know, contains many unexpected twists and turns, regardless of our ‘best laid plans’.

Miten, being Miten, took it all very gracefully and moved on.

There were many great teachers in the ashram, and we had a lots of chances to learn from each other: Neelam, Osho’s secretary at the time, once told Miten that she’d had occasion to speak to Osho about the chaos and turmoil that had arisen in one of the other departments. She was frustrated with the personality clashes that she felt were unnecessary. To her surprise, Osho seemed very pleased to hear the news. When questioned about his response he gave a mischievous smile and explained; “Neelam, this place is not meant to run smoothly!”

The ashram was designed to give people the opportunity to grow – and how can one grow if everything is mapped out and regulated?
We learnt to welcome chaos, as opposed to trying to control it.
What a huge relief!
To find oneself in an environment where mistakes are forgiven – and even encouraged.

The other day I thought of Osho’s words and applied them to life here on Planet Earth.
What a wondrous and beautiful learning ground we have - where every challenge, every perceived hiccup in our flow, is an opportunity to grow.
We have numerous chances to step back within ourselves, to breathe deeply, and to realize that we can care for our friends and our loved ones, without getting hung up or emotionally overwhelmed.
We have a choice! And to welcome these challenges as a way to practice love, non-attachment, compassion in ways that will help us – and others - to come out the other end so much stronger and clearer.

I know that I am not saying anything new here, but maybe the next time something happens to you which you would prefer hadn’t, just try my new mantra: “Things are not meant to run smoothly” and already half the struggle is gone!

Let’s spend less time complaining about situations and more on using our energy to enjoy – yes, and even to celebrate – the great gift of life and all the lessons we receive from the Great Mother, day to day!
Jai Jai Ma!!

With love,