Community, love and meditation (I) – “The Music of Life” with Presence

As the impresario who brings Presence to Bristol – as the Sergei Diaghilev who will one day book Presence into Colston Hall – as the veritable Lew Grade of Bristol meditation music – I’ve got news of some changes which I feel very excited about.

During 2010 we’ve had a couple of days of meditation in Bristol with live music by Presence. They were beautiful days; and yet, I felt they didn’t realise their full potential.

So I talked with Surabhi and Tarisha about doing something different. One thing we felt was missing was the need which all of us have for connection and community. After all, one of the things which make “the Osho method” unique is Osho’s emphasis on the interplay between love and meditation, between aliveness and stillness. We realised that Presence’s expression is about both love and meditation.

In the end we decided that the days with Presence (the next one, The Music of Life,  is Saturday October 23rd) need to be something more like a community gathering, and with an interplay between silence (Surabhi) and connection (Tarisha.)  Those of you who’ve been to celebrations at Croydon Hall may know the very soft and beautiful ceremonies which Tarisha often leads as the closing event.  Ceremonies like these will be her contribution to the Music of Life days: gentle but deep heart-centered connection.

The new format feels to me to have a big, big potential. We want it to really focus on meditation, and reconnect people with their inner journey. At the same time we want it to be something which non-meditators can relate to, so it will be easy to invite your friends. We want it to be a nourishment for all of us as meditators living in the marketplace. And your feedback will help shape the direction we go in.

The printed flyer reads:

Presence are a group of musicians with a passion and a gift for creating music for meditation and for bringing people together. This day will include both silent meditation and active/dancing Osho Meditations, as well as times to connect and share with one another. The live music will weave its way through all aspects of the day supporting both the silence, the coming together and the celebration. We offer a safe space to open up and try something new. Please bring food to share for lunch.”

So come along on Saturday October 23rd, and invite your friends! Bring food to share for lunch.

There is a special offer: only £40  if you do both the regular meditation day on Oct 9th and this day on Oct 23. (So if you pay £22-50 on Oct 9, then on Oct 23, you pay only £17-50.) Click here for location, cost, times,  etc

… my whole teaching consists of two words, “meditation” and “love.” Meditate so that you can feel immense silence, and love so that your life can become a song, a dance, a celebration. You will have to move between the two, and if you can move easily, you have learned the greatest thing in life. Osho

Introduction to Active Meditations Saturday Oct 9th

Hi everyone,

Just for this one day on Saturday  October 9th, we are returning to the “old” schedule with dynamic at 8:00 am sharp to 9:00 am (arrive by 7:45 sharp if not done it before or not very often).  The rest of the day will start at 9:30 sharp.

This will allow us to meet the needs of both regulars and people who are coming for the first time. The rest of the day will be basically similar to normal. EVERYONE old and new is very welcome.

For more about Active Meditations and for practical information, please see the links on the top left. Don’t hesitate to ring me with any questions, on 0117 968 7307 (which is where the permanent number, 0845-3510604, currently rings.)

Active meditation day SUNDAY Sept 5th

Please note new START time and new PRICING for the Sept 5th day. See:

https://osho-meditation-bristol.co.uk/blog/practical-information-for-active-meditation-days/

I’ve had the phrase “making meditation the first priority” with me a lot recently. So here are some Osho quotes on that theme.

All excerpts (c) Osho International Foundation. You can download the complete discourse of the first 2 quotes inexpensively on www.osho.net – highly recommended.

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I would like you to be more individual, more free, more alert, more conscious, more meditative. And these situations can be great opportunities for meditation. But if you get angry, freak out, start defending yourself, then please don’t ask such questions. I have no interest at all. Your relationship is your business.

My simple concern here is meditation. And this is very strange — rarely do you ask questions about meditation. That does not seem to be your main concern. To me, it is my ultimate concern, the only concern, and to you it seems not a priority — it is not the first item on your mind. Perhaps it may be the last thing on your laundry list, but certainly it is not the first; the first things are stupid things, trivia. You waste your time, you waste my time.

And I am ready even to help you to solve those problems just so that you can get rid of all this nonsense and have simple, loving relationships. But that will be possible only when meditation becomes your priority. Out of meditation, everything else will become graceful; you will be able to see deeply into your own acts, into your own behavior, and you will be able to have some compassion for the other person — his human frailty, the possibility of his committing mistakes.

Osho, The New Dawn, Chapter 12

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One of the Sufis’ sayings is: if you take one step towards God, he takes one thousand steps towards you. But at least one step on your side is absolutely necessary. And your one step is far more important than the one thousand steps of God, because by “God” is not meant any person; by God is meant the intelligence of this whole universe, the consciousness of the whole universe.

You have a very small proportion of consciousness. Your one step is far bigger than the one thousand steps of God, because existence has infinite intelligence. So waiting alone won’t do. Just waiting is a state which is not alive; there has to be tremendous longing, a thirst from every pore of your being. Unless God becomes a question of your life and death, the meeting is not possible.

Almost everybody will be prepared to wait — that means on your laundry list, God is the last item, when you have done everything of the world. And that is not possible, even in eternity; something or other will be left undone. God has to be your first priority. It has to become a kind of haunting in your heart. Breathing in, breathing out, there has to be a rememberance: whatever you are doing is nonessential, and the essential part is to go deep down in meditation.

Osho, The Razor’s Edge, Chapter 12

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So concentrate on meditation. Make it a point that this is the topmost priority in your life, everything else is secondary. I don’t say anything else to my sannyasins, all that I want them to do is to become meditators, and everything else follows of its own accord. Freedom comes, bliss comes, peace comes, celebration comes, virtue comes, transformation comes, and ultimately the experience of god.

Become an image of meditation, become meditation. Walk in meditation, sit in meditation, eat in meditation, sleep in meditation. Let the flavour of meditation spread all over your life — breathe in, breathe out, but meditation continues.

Meditation simply means an awareness of all that is happening. That which is happening outside — that is the outermost circle of your life. Then that which is being done by your body — that is the second concentric circle, closer to you. Then the third concentric circle is that which is done by your mind. And then the fourth is that which is done by your feelings and emotions. And within these four concentric circles is your centre, the fifth.

If you become aware of all that is going on, sooner or later you will become centred at the centre and you will be able to see the whole panorama, the whole drama of the outer world, of physical activity, of psychological activity, of emotional activity. And when you are able to see all this you become free of it because immediately you come to know that you are the seer, you are not the doer. That is the greatest revolution in life, when this shift happens, that you are no more a doer but just a seer, a witness. Than one becomes an image of meditation — a Buddha, a Christ, a Zarathustra.

(From a darshan diary – no audio available.)

Yes, there WILL be an Active Meditations day on August 7th 2010

It’s now confirmed, we are indeed having an Active Meditations day on Saturday August 7th 2010, at St Michael’s Hall in Bristol.

See here for information on Active Meditations, and here for cost, dates, and timings of each day.

The day will be led by me, Islam Andrew White, with help from Suvarna Freeman.

One of the days on the schedule is specially marked as an “introduction to active meditations” but that is only because we are going to do some special publicity for that day. ALL days are introduction days, open to everyone, newcomers will be made welcome, and all the meditations will be fully explained.

… meditation is the only answer to all the questions of man. It may be frustration, it may be depression, it may be sadness, it may be meaninglessness, it may be anguish: The problems may be many but the answer is one. Osho, Light on the Path, Chapter 1

A meditator needs no personal guidance. A meditator, on the contrary, needs only one thing: the atmosphere of meditation. He needs other meditators; he needs to be surrounded by other meditators. Because whatever goes on happening within us is not only within us, it affects people who are close by. In this communion people are at different stages of meditation. To meditate with these people, just to sit silently with these people, and you will be pulled more and more towards your own intrinsic potentiality. Osho, The Invitation, Chapter 12

Active meditation days in Bristol 2010 – next Saturday July 10th

Our next Active Meditation day will be on Saturday July 10th at St Michaels Hall in Bristol.

See here for information on Active Meditations, and here for cost, dates, and timings of each day.

The day will be led by me, Islam Andrew White, with help from Suvarna Freeman.

I’ve been a meditator for over 30 years and I know that active meditations are a wonderful, wonderful support for going deeply inside ourselves.  Even if you already have a meditation practice, chances are excellent that active meditation techniques will help you to go even deeper in mediation. If you have never meditated before, or tried and found it very hard, then active meditations are the perfect way to get started.

One of the days on the schedule is specially marked as an “introduction to active meditations” but that is only because we are going to do some special publicity for that day. ALL days are introduction days, open to everyone, newcomers will be made welcome, and all the meditations will be fully explained.

… meditation is the only answer to all the questions of man. It may be frustration, it may be depression, it may be sadness, it may be meaninglessness, it may be anguish: The problems may be many but the answer is one. Osho, Light on the Path, Chapter 1

A meditator needs no personal guidance. A meditator, on the contrary, needs only one thing: the atmosphere of meditation. He needs other meditators; he needs to be surrounded by other meditators. Because whatever goes on happening within us is not only within us, it affects people who are close by. In this communion people are at different stages of meditation. To meditate with these people, just to sit silently with these people, and you will be pulled more and more towards your own intrinsic potentiality. Osho, The Invitation, Chapter 12

Next day of meditation with live music Saturday June 12 2010

The first live meditation day was wonderful! We plan to run them regularly. The next is on June 12th.

>>> When: Saturday Jun 12th 2010. Starting time is 9:45 for a prompt 10:00 start. (Doors will be open much earlier.)  We need to lock the doors when we start, so if you really can’t arrive by 9:45, please ring me beforehand. [See “Contact and About”]

>>> We will finish by 5:30

>>> Where: St Michael’s Hall, St Michaels Hill, Bristol, BS2 8BE (near Bristol Royal Infirmary.)
For a map see:
http://www.stmichaelsonthemount.bristol.sch.uk/Page%20-%20Contact%20Us.html

On this map, the entrance (people and cars) is by the letter “P” in “Park Ln”. There is free parking in the school grounds. Coming down Whiteladies Road > Park Row, turn left into Lower Church Lane, then left into Old Park Hill. Coming down St Michael’s Hill, turn right into Lower Church Lane, then Old Park Hill.

>>> Cost is £35. There is no early-bird discount.

>>> Please bring: packed lunch; a cushion to sit on;  a shawl or light blanket; and optionally a blindfold.

>>> If you’ve not been before, as well as stillness and silent sitting, Osho meditations involve movement and dance, so you need to wear loose comfortable clothes.

Osho Meditation Day with live music Sat March 27th

I’m delighted to announce a day of Osho meditations with live music by Surabhi and Presence.  It will be held in Bristol on March 27th.

Many of you will know Presence from the meditation events at Croydon Hall. They are a group of amazing sannyasin musicians with a real passion and gift for creating music for meditation.  We’ve very lucky to have them – it was one of those times when the planets align and at quite short notice we could fit people’s schedules together.

It’s very special to do meditations with live music, and an opportunity not to be missed to spend a whole day with Presence.

Where: St Michael’s Hall, near Bristol Royal Infirmary.
For a map see:
http://www.stmichaelsonthemount.bristol.sch.uk/Page%20-%20Contact%20Us.html

On this map, the entrance (people and cars) is by the letter “P” in “Park Ln”. There is free parking in the school grounds. Coming down Whiteladies Road > Park Row, turn left into Lower Church Lane, then left into Old Park Hill. Coming down St Michael’s Hill, turn right into Lower Church Lane, then Old Park Hill.

When: Saturday March 27 2010. Please be there by 9:30 am. We’ll start promptly at 10:00, and finish by 18:00

Cost: £30 on the day or £27-50 paid in advance. Please make cheques payable to Andrew White and on a separate piece of paper clearly write your name and phone number. For address see “Contact and About.”

Please bring: packed lunch; a cushion to sit on;  a shawl or light blanket; and optionally a blindfold.

If you’ve not been before, as well as stillness and silent sitting, Osho meditations involve movement and dance, so you need to wear loose comfortable clothes.

Any questions? For contact details, please see About.

If you want to be kept informed of future events, please enter your name on the mailing list (see Pages on left.)

Music is my contribution to [meditation]. Buddha would not have allowed it. On that point we would have quarreled. He would not have allowed music; he would have said that music is a disturbance. He would have insisted on pure silence, he would have said that is enough. But that is where we agree to disagree.

To me, music and meditation are two aspects of the same phenomenon. And without music, meditation lacks something; without music, meditation is a little dull, unalive. Without meditation, music is simply noise — harmonious, but noise. Without meditation, music is an entertainment. And without music, meditation becomes more and more negative, tends to be death-oriented.

Hence my insistence that music and meditation should go together. That adds a new dimension — to both. Both are enriched by it.

Music comes closest to meditation. Music is a way towards meditation and the most beautiful way. Meditation is the art of hearing the soundless sound, the art of hearing the music of silence — what the Zen people call the sound of one hand clapping. When you are utterly silent, not a single thought passes your mind, there is not even a ripple of any feeling in your heart. Then you start, for the first time, hearing silence.

Silence has a music of its own. It is not dead, it is very much alive, it is tremendously alive. In fact, nothing is more alive than silence.

Music helps you from the outside to fall in tune with the inner.

Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 1

Welcome to this new website

Welcome to this new website.  I’d like it to be a point of reference for anyone in the Bristol area interested in Osho’s extraordinary work.  I also intend to organise some Osho meditation days and other events. It probably won’t be very active as a blog, but the blog format has lots of technical advantages.

So far there are two pages of information. There’s a (very selective) list of Osho-related meditation events in the area, and a pretty comprehensive travel guide to visiting the Osho meditation resort.

For contact details, please see About.

Jai Osho!

Islam