Open letter to Osho Leela

Dear Osho Leela,

This letter is about your use of Osho’s name. It is an open letter,  made public on the Bristol Osho website [ie this page] (https://www.osho-meditation-bristol.co.uk/open-letter-leela/). Please read it in conjunction with this document: www.osho-meditation-bristol.co.uk/osho-24-karat This collects some of the things that Osho said about his work after his death.

Your printed programmes consistently contain no editorial reference to Osho or meditation, and your website has only the most perfunctory mention. It seems clear you have effectively made a constructive choice to not focus on Osho. We propose that the time has finally come to stop using the word “Osho”, and become just “The Leela Centre” or something similar.  (You can of course continue to run Osho events just as at present.) Otherwise, you are causing damage to Osho’s work.

Perhaps you’ll be incredulous to hear that. Perhaps you feel that by using Osho’s name you are honouring him, bringing people towards him, and garlanding him as a revered ancestor.

But looked at squarely, the practical effect of how you use his name is not to bring people to Osho. Instead, in those new to Osho it creates deep confusion about Osho’s work. You attract a crowd by using his name. But you then present, not Osho, but a random unenlightened understanding of growth and psychological wellbeing. Though innocent, this is switch selling. Osho specifically wants to avoid that people feel “confused and exploited” in this way.

New people come away from Leela having never heard Osho speak. They come away having done no Osho meditation beyond perhaps Dynamic and Kundalini. Some don’t even know that Osho is the name of a person. They get the impression that Osho’s work consists of psychological expansion, social and sexual connection, and fun experiences.

Osho’s name belongs to him and he lends its use for only one purpose, to promote his own work. He has specific guidance that if people come to an Osho centre they should find Osho and nothing else.

Your workshops may well be excellent and deservedly popular. But unless they follow the guidelines Osho created, the mishmash creates a damaging confusion as to what Osho’s work is.

To be an Osho centre you would need to:

  • As residents, meditate together at Evening Meeting complete with Osho discourse
  • In every workshop every day with every workshop leader, likewise stop for Evening Meeting to meditate together and to watch an Osho video.
  • Make sure that every workshop leader is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the Osho method and fully understands why therapy is only the foothills of the journey
  • Make space on the programme for the outstanding Osho therapists who are right for types of people different from those Veeresh’s work is good for
  • Make a central feature of Osho’s longer “therapy-meditation” methods such as No Mind, Born Again and Mystic Rose
  • Make Osho the one and only focus.

No fudges. This would need to come from your passion for Osho and Osho’s method, and not be done to improve, to comply or to oblige.

No figleaves. It is not enough that some weekends are labelled Osho weekends and others are not. Osho’s guidance is that if people come to an Osho centre, they get pure Osho at all times.

People other than us have been troubled by your lack of focus on Osho. As a paradoxical result you now for the very first time have a few Osho meditation weekends in your programme, run by protesting sannyasins from outside Leela. More Osho meditation in the UK has to be good news. But sadly at the same time this makes the underlying problem worse. The more it looks like Leela really is an Osho centre, the more the weird tantra and assorted Western-mind workshops are taken by newcomers to be Osho’s work. The toxic confusion gets worse, not better.

We are clear that it is no longer appropriate that you are listed on the Global Connections page of www.Osho.com as an Osho Centre. We invite you to discuss the following issues with Vatayana at Global Connections:

  • Explain why your programme contains nothing editorial about Osho, and your website only perfunctory reference.
  • Explain why you are inviting people who claim to be enlightened to give satsang in an Osho Centre, against Osho’s explicit wishes
  • Explain how you reconcile hosting teachers promoting BDSM with Osho’s vision of tantra
  • Explain how you only run weekend Osho meditation events because a group of protesting outside sannyasins have stepped in
  • Mention the reputation which Veeresh therapy has for being heedless of retraumatisation, and how this has made some new seekers view Osho negatively
  • Explain how you have held workshops where newcomers to Osho are invited to have sex with strangers, with no warning or informed consent prior to the start of the workshop
  • Go through the list of workshop leaders and presenters for the past year and explain how each has passion to represent Osho and why he or she is qualified to do so
  • Detail the efforts you make to get newcomers to visit the Osho Meditation Resort in Pune
  • Explain why fifth-rate non-sannyasin therapists have priority in your schedule over world-leading Osho therapists
  • Detail the list of Osho videos you have watched in the past year

And ask if you qualify to be listed as an Osho centre.  (To repeat, you can of course continue to run Osho events just as at present, no matter what.)

We have worked in Osho’s communes for many years and we know the dedication, hard work, the capacity to rise to challenges and the willingness to look into oneself that it takes to create what you have done. You deserve your success and we wish you every joy for the future. But the time has come to be clear which path you are on. No fudges, and no figleaves.

With love

Chetan and Islam

Correspondence: Anand Chetan <chetan@spaceupstairs.co.uk>,
Islam islam@osho-meditation-bristol.co.uk