Osho’s Tapoban and Upaban Buddhafields Call Out to Me
Upaban Buddhafields Call Out to Me
by Ma Govind Prateeksha
In September of 2011, I left Fort Worth for a one-month stay in Nepal’s Osho Tapoban Commune. Kathmandu is a major air-travel hub and easily accessed from Bahrain, New Delhi, and Korea, to name a few. I flew from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Kathmandu with short layovers in London and Bahrain.
Osho Tapoban, a forest meditation retreat center created by Swami Anand Arun, a devoted 41-year disciple of Osho, is a 30-minute drive out of Kathmandu, in the Nagarjuna Hills. Tapoban is located on the grounds where the enlightened mystic Nagarjuna and his monks lived. The portion of Osho’s ashes given to Tapoban is placed in an Osho Samadhi on the very spot where Nagarjuna became enlightened. Meditation here is worth the 20,000+ miles round trip from Texas. I plan to go again next year. All are invited to join me in partaking of the Osho Commune juice.
Tapoban is situated in the forest, on the side of a hill. You arrive street-side, at the admitting office/bookstore, where maroon and white robes and shawls, books, etc. are available for purchase. There are also safes for storing valuables. Alongside is the fabulous, reasonably priced Zorba Restaurant, a nice break from the general dining hall.
Beautiful landscaping and flowers surround descending stairways, from which you can see scattered resident and guest housing, a gorgeous meditation hall, a computer office where “all things Osho” are created for you to take home with you at very reasonable prices. Across the way, you’ll find a tourist book store, a library where private use of computer and phone are available, and down a few more stairs is the Sujata indoor/outdoor dining hall, from which you may gaze out to the hill where Nagarjuna lived in a cave 35 km (approx. 21 miles) long. Adjacent to Sujata are a few guest residences and the Osho Samadhi, as well as the Shivapuri Baba Temple. Beyond the temple is a waterfall.
Next to Osho Samadhi is the sacred spot of the Indian enlightened mystic Shivapuri Baba, where I had a sudden, surprising, esoteric experience. As I entered the door to his temple the eyes of his statue “came alive.” After a sitting meditation, I looked up and seeing his
photograph on the wall, discovered the same eyes. A sign at the temple reports that Osho said that to find a man like Shivapuri Baba is really either luck or else a tremendous work of research, and that to find a real man like him among this crowd is almost impossible.
The cost of staying in Tapoban is very reasonable and includes accommodation in semi-private rooms, meals, and meditation camps. One may have a private or semi-private room, if available; however, during the camps, space is tight, so book early! Non-availability would possibly mean staying at a hotel in Kathmandu and commuting by taxi, which is also inexpensive. Construction of new guestrooms, as well as an “international” dining hall for Western’ tastes, is under way now. Osho therapy groups, i.e. Mystic Rose, No-Mind, are an extra cost. You can see photos of the meditation camps at www.tapoban.com/meditation.
During meditation camps, active meditations are available for 10 hours every day, as well as White Robe. Participation is not mandatory. The energy is very high, and taking a little time to rest and absorb the deep energy work happening is also encouraged, if that is what you need.
Wild monkeys entertain with early morning screeches, interspersed with sounds of birds and insects you can’t identify. The monkeys’ bravado has outsmarted the 50 or so residents, who installed spikes on the dining hall roofs to deter them from joining us for a meal.
March, October, and November are the high seasons as far as attendance goes and also have the best weather for the very popular and well attended meditation camps run by Swami Arun. Usually monsoon ends in September but in 2011 it went into the first week of October. An umbrella and a hooded rain cape and thongs take you through.
I felt a nourishing, loving energy field at Tapoban that supported me to become more open, vulnerable, and receptive to our Master Osho’s gifts, many of which were so powerfully and purely flowing through His medium and compassionate mystic, Arun. Consequently, words are inadequate to describe my heightened and deepening experiences of heart expansion in this safe space, or the no-mind and the rising joy and ecstasy of my very own true bliss nature.
Between two meditation camps at Tapoban, five of us spent three days in a trip to Osho Upaban, in Pokhara, 200 miles from Kathmandu. We took a 30-minute flight; by bus, it takes five hours on a crowded, narrow, winding road. Swami Yogananda is the leader of this sparkling, three-year old, four-acre Upaban commune, which is located in a valley between two rivers and overlooks the indescribably beautiful and awe-inspiring snow-covered Himalayas. The temperature ranges year-round between 75-80 degrees. Thanks to Yogananda’s expertise as an electrical engineer, Upaban now enjoys solar heating, filtered water, beautiful gardens with a sprinkler system, and an Osho Samadhi that is truly wonderful to behold and experience. The meditation hall, adjacent to Osho Samadhi, lends itself to all the grandeur around it and our White Robe and sannyas celebration that evening was truly a gift of our Master
Upaban’s open dining area and balcony give striking views of the mountains, creating a peaceful energy field of Oneness with the whole Universe. Bhagwati’s organic vegetable garden and fresh milk and yogurt from the cow, with recipes created with so much love and sharing, were almost more than one could receive. The others and I easily moved into a state of ecstasy in Pokhara, and spent considerable amounts of our precious time wondering how we could live there. The change in Nepal visa laws would allow a foreigner to stay longer than five months and no longer have to stay out of Nepal one month after leaving. It takes time, I’ve been told, to get this in the works, but I am affirming that before long, I’ll be enjoying a permanent residence in Nepal!
“Leela, leela, life is but a play.”