I was brought up with an ateist father and he used to be anarcho-syndicalist. So there was a certain air of rebelliousness to him. When the other kids had to go to church a few times each year my father wrote notes to the school and told them that I didn’t have to go. So I stayed gladly at home those days. I didn’t learn my social security numbers until I didn’t have any choice anymore. My father told me that it was not necessary as it was only the states invention:”You are not a number”. It was very funny when I for example attended evening children activities and teachers or leaders got frustrated when I said I didn’t know when they asked for the last last digits to put on participant lists.
My father has been a great inspiration to me. He liked to tell jokes and I learned early to entertain when my parents had guests for dinner with telling some myself. The first joke I learned was this:
Three kids where sitting on the ground and playing with horse shit and the village’s priest came passing by and asked:
- What are you doing, dear children?
Without looking up the kids explained:
- We are playing with horse shit. Here is the people, the farm, all the animals, the school, the teachers and the church.
- And where is the priest? asked the priest, eagerly, as he also wanted to be part of their game.
- We haven’t found such a big shit yet!!!
“The forest is my temple” my father always said. I grew up in the countryside in the south of the Swedish county Dalarna in the woods. It surely was a sacred place but as I grew older I wanted to see more of the world and flew out from the nest at the age of 16 and moved to a collective in another town. As a teenager I started to ask myself what the meaning of life was and who am I? I only found emptiness and it made me think that it was something wrong with me as everything else in society was just about being someone. “It has to be more to life then this” I thought and started to search deeply inside for answers. Like many other in that age I went through “the dark night of the soul” and truly experienced that “it’ always darker just before dawn”. Luckily I came out on the other side with more balance and aware about the necessity of accepting both the light and the dark.
During my travels, I stayed in a retreat center in Thailand on the island Koh Pha Ngan “The Sanctuary” it turned out to be run by a couple who where sannyasins. It didn’t say me anything at the time. There was a course held by Ma Deva Damini (rest in peace…) in Divine Healing that I joined. I had already come to the conclusion that the media business and my own art making was a rather selfish work and I wanted to learn something to help others by using my hands. Damini introduced me to meditation, chinese medicine, shiatsu and someone who was called Osho that was on a photo she had on display. He was a funny looking fellow with a long beard, like Santa and when she said that the man on the image was her guru it didn’t really mean anything to me either. What I learned about myself through the experiences while practicing Osho’s meditation techniques made me want to explore more.
A little less then a year I landed at the Osho Commune in Pune, India and the year was 1998. I was extremely puzzled why everyone was dressed in the same kind of coloured chemise (maroon robe) and seemed to be a way of being a nobody. Opposite of what society tells you! Just to be part of something greater, how odd. What kind of strange sect have I come to? I thought to myself. Once again I let the experience talk instead of my mind and went through a two months ODHA-training with Prashantam. We had full schedule with meditation from 6 in the morning till 9 in the evening. In between we had theory, practice and more meditation. It was a very liberating time and lots of my conditioning came up to the surface so I could let go of some of what was holding me back. For the first time probably since I was a toddler (before school system) I felt really free.
The rebellious man in the beard, beloved Osho, became a bright star on my sky. Like my father he was super-intelligent and told funny jokes. Osho went straight to my heart. Meditation also felt natural to me as I had seen my father sitting totally unreachable for an hour a day while growing up. I like listening to Osho’s discourses as he is totally contradicting himself, like there is no dogma. Often Osho says in his discourses things like:
- Don’t listen to my words, listen to the silence in between.
- Don’t follow me, be your own master.
My father used to say when one in surprise would burst out OMG: -Yes, what do you want? And if my father saw himself as God then I also most be divine so the idea of being the master myself was really easy to grasp, it was already a truth for me. I took sannyas when I was 21 and got the name Prem Suparni which means Love Lilly. – Lilly means innocence, explained the woman who gave me the name in the ceremony. It might have been Ma Neelam (who runs beautiful Osho Nisarga) but I’m not sure as it was a rather overwhelming celebration on Osho’s birthday and about 100 people took sannyas at the same time.
The initiation gave me a new, fresh start and made me understand that the past is not something we have to carry around with us. It’s behind us so drop the luggage and be here now! Our birth name goes easily hand in hand with our identity, like who people think we are. Sometimes it might limit us and we are just walking through life being in one way when we are so vast… Nowadays I am at peace with my emptiness… it’s like having an inner limitless sky. Emotions, thoughts, stars, sun and moon come and go as clouds;)
Here comes one of my absolute favourite Osho video extracts. I love to laugh, it makes me feel free:
“After Friedrich Nietzsche declared that “God is Dead” – the word FUCK has become the most important word in the English language.”