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J. Archer visits Osho International Meditation Resort

archer sadhana and amrito watching a buddha statue

archer and amrito in osho's library

The news breezed in that Jeffrey Archer, the celebrated writer, is going to visit the Osho International Meditation Resort on May 23rd 2008 at 9.30 am. By the wave of excitement generated, this news was enough to prove the author's popularity. And he did come at the appointed time.
Osho's personal physician, Dr. Amrito M D, and I showed Lord Archer around the beautiful premises of the meditation resort. The fact that Lord Archer broke into his busy schedule to see the world- famous campus while he was in Pune itself is enough to suggest a glimmer of interest. His publisher, Landmark Publishing House, who also publish Osho's books arranged his visit en route to Bangalore.
Lord Archer was particularly interested in who had replaced Osho as "the leader." And when Dr. Amrito explained about the management team and that the decisions are made by consensus, Jeffrey was naturally skeptical. Because he said he is used to the concept of leadership, when it is one leader who tells the team what to do. So naturally he couldn’t understand how the Meditation Resort could continue to thrive without someone taking "Osho’s place." But when he learnt that here meditation is the base of all activities he saw a possibility of different kind of decision making process.
When Mr Archer entered the book shop where about four hundred Osho titles in English and Hindi are displayed, he exclaimed, visibly impressed, "More books than mine!"
He found the concept of using meditation in daily life intriguing. "Do they use what they learn here when they get back to their awful lives?" asked Jeffrey. To which Amrito replied that this was perhaps the greatest misunderstanding people have of Osho. Osho was never interested in making some escapist Shangri La environment. For Osho, meditation was only relevant if it actually transforms our lives in the midst of our normal busy days.
And when Lord Archer commented that he didn’t know a religion that hadn’t started a war, he was pleasantly surprised to know that Osho had said that he wished his name was never associated with religion. That he describes himself as "irreligious, amoral, and atheistic." Lord Archer was intrigued by the possibility that something like "meditation" or "consciousness" could happen without the trappings of religion. Hence Osho had dropped the word Ashram nearly twenty years before.
He was equally interested in Osho’s concept of Zorba the Buddha, someone whose feet were firmly on the ground, like Zorba the Greek, but whose hands could touch the stars, like Guatama the Buddha. And was amused that Osho had warned that if you have to chose between the two, always chose Zorba, because at least he might be come Buddha, whereas Buddha will never become a Zorba!
Jeffrey was attracted by the Olympic size swimming pool and the club meditation area of the meditation resort. Evidently, he had missed swimming in his hectic tour in India.
While leaving he remarked, " I am more puzzled than I came here." To which Amrito replied, "That is why it is called a mystery school."

Taken from the Osho Bytes Blog.

On May 28th 2008, Jeffrey Archer wrote a follow-up to his visit to the resort in his blog:

In Pune, a thousand people were waiting for me at the bookstore which made another long drive worthwhile. The signing session went on for more than 2 hours so I didn't get to bed until after midnight. The next morning I visited Osho Ashram where people come to meditate. The 28 acre site is an oasis in a jungle of people, but I confess, although they could not have been kinder to me, I was glad to return to the real world.

He was glad to return to "the real world", hmmm....