When Ron first asked me to join him on his search to study meditation I was very excited about joining him. So with open-eyes and fascination in-my-heart we two traveled to Jaipur and the Vipassana Meditation Center.
As I have written in PART I above .. I could NOT do .. nor did I even WANT TO DO .. the Vipassana Meditation Center Program.
I remained extremely interested in the concept of formally studying meditation. This then propelled me into a scenario of visiting many ashrams over a geographically large part of India from East (Puri, Orissa) to West (Bombay and Pune) and from North (New Delhi) to South (Bangalore and Pondicherry). Not a single one of them was ‘a fit for me’.
The absolute best was the Ashram of Sri Satya Sai Baba down in Puttaparthi near Bangalore. The problem was simple: no English only Hindi!
At one (North of Bombay) I was ‘directed’ to get down on my hands and knees and touch my head to the ground in front of an eight armed lady with a different weapon in each of her eight hands named Durga to ‘worship’ her. I said politely to them that I could not do as they asked me to do because .. “This is not my God-of-Abraham and my God-of-Abraham asks me NOT to worship false idols.” True to their beliefs .. with smiles and good humor and genuine grace and humility they said “We understand. Good luck Sahib in your search.”
I then went to Osho’s (the former Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh of Oregon) Ashram in Pune four hours south of Bombay. Osho’s Ashram was a multi-faceted program. Very good in that they had seven individual ‘colleges’ of various studies and not-so-good in that it seemed to be a ‘money-making-factory’ with (to me) high costs associated with it. To even enter the ashram I had to take a blood test for HIV (I am negative, NO HIV) and I later learned that one of Osho’s many facets was being a ‘sex guru’. I heard at the ashram that HE died of Aids.
I’ll skip-the-details of the other ashrams I visited. Suffice-it-to-say .. to this day and time .. I have not connected with any of them.
Odd-as-it-may-seem .. as I write these words .. well over twenty years after the most active period of my ashram visits .. the Vipassana meditation technique taught in Jaipur appeals to me because it is silent and does NOT overlay one’s mind with verbal ‘chants’. The fact it was free of any charges also (in hindsight) is quite ‘pure’ in principle. IF you liked it .. then .. IF you wished .. you could contribute financially to allow future devotees a chance to learn this technique as prior devotees had made your visit fee-free by their financial contributions. Many of the other ashrams were like a visit to a Doctor or to a Hospital (may we see your money and your insurance NOW up-front and NOT later thank-you).
THE POINT IS THIS:
I absolutely ‘gobbled-up’ the article in DETAILS Magazine.
IF you are interested .. go to www.details.com and then to magazine and then to October 2012 and then to the article written by Scott Carney ..
Try the below hyper-link that I have inserted and see IF you go straight (DO NOT pass ‘GO’) to the article.
(CONTINUE DOWN TO PART III BELOW)
- THE INDIA SYNDROME .. PART III (conclusion) ..
- THE INDIA SYNDROME .. PART I ..