Smell the Evening meeting of the White Robe Brotherhood

Posted on September 25th, 2008 by Jim

Well flower smellers, I’ve had some nights out in my time and here at the OSHO meditation resort in Pune, India with my open mind ramping up the old karma dollars, despite me being encouraged to have NO MIND since my arrival here! I’d like to give you my honest as-it-happened feedback on what is considered the most important, must attend event of anyones stay here.

The Evening meeting of the White Robe Brotherhood.

I welcome all pro / anti or indifferent OSHO comments following this article so I too can learn from my time here. It is a unique opportunity, according to the OSHO meditations handbook is to experience ‘alertness with no effort’ the essence of the meditative experience.

This is not a teaching, a doctrine, a creed; that’s why I can say anything. I am the most free person who has ever existed as far as saying anything is concerned. I can contradict myself in the same evening a hundred times, because it is not a speech, so it has not to be consistent. It is a totally different thing, and it will take time for the world to recognize that a tremendously differ­ent experiment was going on. Just in a moment, when I became silent, you become silent…. What remains is just a pure awaiting. You are not making any effort; neither am I making any effort. – OSHO

Sounds good – I’m in. Another day at the power plant for Homer, turn up and do nothing?

Preparation for the meditation

At 18:15 having showered I stepped into my clean plain white robe, showered but couldn’t use any smelly stuff like shower gel, shampoo or any perfume, left the oh-so minimal OSHO guest househeaded over to the pyramid auditorium, the meditation hall, which reminded me of the Dark side of the moon LP cover. All those flowers to smell and no smelling allowed?

The entrance flanked by a 30m expanse of water with a central walkway. Groups of very peaceful, white robed guests congregated outside watching a selection of the 400 species of birds hovering above us with the largest bats I have ever witnessed as dusk fell. Not a word was spoken.

Standing 28m in height, sound proofed with air-conditioning, air-purification and a multi-dimensional lighting system the doors closed at 18.40 to re open at 21.00 at the latest. Note that the campus is closed at this point and anyone left has to stay in their rooms of stay offsite, period.


To avoid any green side of the moon no coughing or sneezing is allowed in the audi­torium and ‘people with infections are banned.’ So as I took my croc sandals off having passed the ‘non smelly’ test by a couple of elders at the door I promptly sat at the very back of this huge hall, with it’s capacity of 4,999 other fans of OSHO on this journey of self discovery and whatever it meant to them. No bags allowed in the auditorium so left my ipod in my room as Pink Floyd’s Dark side of the moon ran through my mind -give this time to load up and it makes sense around the 4 minute mark….open mind remember:

YouTube Preview Image

As I carefully walked into the hall enjoying the ice cold contrast between my feet and the gleaming black marble floor…

Part 1 : (Meditation)

….my fellow white robe folk filed in alongside me like a big school assembly but in total silence. Some sat crossed legged on yoga mats, others on the black marble floor and a few with special portable meditation chairs. Within 10 minutes there were 400 people sat in facing the stage and I have to admit it was very relaxing just being there, self aware of even swallowing let alone flashing back to my days of nudging a schoolmate, pointing and giggling.

As the OSHO band (like a robed version of a David Letterman type support group) ramped up their high-energy music for ‘dancing with totality’ the sound was awesome and they were a good football field width away from where I was sat. The script is to let the energy of celebration build up inside you and not to waste this energy in shouting or whistling or looking around at others – many wore blindfolds and closed their eyes to intensify this warm up.

I remained seated in a plastic chair squinting at the back wall taking it all in. This spot was largely reserved for elders, frail or clueless Brits so I tapped my foot in a ‘cool Dad at the kids party’ type way – don’t mind me – you kids enjoy yourself at the disco but watch you don’t knock anything over.

This period of full on lose yourself dancing included two or three climatic shouts of “Osho” and ends with three shouts of “Osho” when the music reached fever pitch. This is believed to be ‘a sound without meaning’ simply using sound to reach the soundless silence, after calling out someones name a few times, you understand and it was very effective as the OSHO induced ravers all came up together in this special place.

The raising of the hands to the stars indicates the longing for higher consciousness so the shout should be really sharp, like the lion’s roar, which comes from the belly, not just from your tongue – not even from your throat or your heart. It hits just under your navel you see, that’s where you are coming from. The life center is just under your navel, two inches under the navel you know, not in Springfield as Homer would believe – as if Matt Groening is a 33 degree mason, right?

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You have to watch from what source it is coming and go inwards to that source, your very being to realise a tremendous feeling of joy, laughter, dance which from watching the gang around me seemed to be doing exactly that. The more totally one dances, I’m told, theb the easier it is to sit silently afterwards and enjoy the contrast whilst gasping for air.

This silent sitting then began with intermit­tent Indian music of three bellowing ‘the circus are in town’ struck home by a white bearded elder. All I wanted to do was juggle as I’ve mastered 3 balls OR oranges now but this wasn’t the time or the place.

Part 2 ( Satsang)

Then the Osho Video Discourse was then played on a huge screen – everyone sat silently and watch Osho in action and he did remind me of yoda, I have to say – a timeless wizard but a bit of Osama Bin Laden as well, just facially you understand.

Osho Says :

“Satsang happens when you are sitting with a person in whose presence you cannot forget yourself, where you can only remember yourself. It is not an intoxicant but an awakener. Satsang means being in the presence of someone where you become aware of your aloneness, of your pure being. If a thousand people are sitting in Satsang, then also there is no crowd. Each person is sitting alone. Each person is sitting in his aloneness.”

“My speaking is one of my devices for meditation. Speaking has never.been used this way before; I speak not to give you a mes­ sage, but to stop your mind functioning -

“And it is not only here, but far away…anywhere in the world where people will be listening to the video or to the audio, they will come to the same silence.”

“First, sitting with me in these discourses is nothing but creat­ing more and more meditative ness in you. I don’t speak to teach something; I speak to create something. These are not lectures; these are simply a device for you to become silent, because if you are told to become silent without making any effort you will find great difficulty.

“That’s what Zen teachers have been telling their disciples: ‘Be silent, but don’t make any effort’. Now, you are putting the person into such a difficult fix: Don’t make any effort and be silent…. If he makes any effort he is wrong – and there is no way to be silent without making any effort. If it were possible to be silent without any effort there would have been no need of any master, there would have been no need of teaching meditation. People would have become silent without any effort.

“I have gone as deep into Zen efforts as possible. They have been working for almost fourteen centuries, since Bodhidharma. They are one of the greatest groups in the world, totally devoted to a single thing, and that is meditation. There is no other experiment anywhere which has been done for so long a time continuously. But still there are not many Zen masters. Yes, there are more masters in the stream of Zen than in any other stream in the world, but still they are very few compared to the people who have been working. I have been searching out what was the basic mistake – and this is the basic mistake – those Zen masters told them the right thing, but not in the right way. I am making you aware of silences without any effort on your part. My speaking is for the first time being used as a strategy to create silence in you.

“This is not a teaching, a doctrine, a creed; that’s why I can say anything. I am the most free person who has ever existed as far as saying anything is concerned. I can contradict myself in the same evening a hundred times, because it is not a speech, so it has not to be consistent. It is a totally different thing, and it will take time for the world to recognize that a tremendously differ­ent experiment was going on. Just in a moment, when I became silent, you become silent…. What remains is just a pure awaiting. You are not making any effort; neither am I making any effort.”

“Awareness means you listen to me and you listen to the bird also, to the wind passing through the trees and all that is happen­ ing right now. Don’t listen to me with a narrow mind, closed to everything else and only open to me. Then you will not be able to listen to me, because what I am saying will be less if the sound of the bird is not included in it. What I am saying will not be true if all that is happening in this moment is not included in it. Don’t listen to me exclusively. Listen to all, inclusively: everything is included – you are simply a silent mirror reflecting everything that is happening all around. Nothing is distracting. In those moments, in those crystal clear moments, again and again you will come to hear the best song. Otherwise you hear one thing, you miss another, you hear again one thing – one word here, one word there – then you connect them. Then whatsoever comes out is not what I have said, it is what you have heard.” Osho

Then follows the Gibberish and letting go stage – hold tight people and rather than write what I did for this part best you read what to do if you want to give it a GO! in the office, perhaps:

Part 3 Gibberish (Politicians may find this easier than most)

1) Sitting, close your eyes and begin to say nonsense sounds – any sounds or words, so long as they make no sense. Just speak any language that you don’t know! Allow yourself to express whatever needs to be expressed within you. Throw everything out. The mind thinks, always, in terms of words. Gibberish helps to break up this pattern of continual verbalization. Without suppressing your thoughts, you can throw them out. Let your body likewise be expressive.

2) After some minutes of Gibberish, there is a drumbeat, at which point the Gibberish stops. Osho’s voice then guides the listener into a space of deep silence, stillness and relaxation, saying, for example, “Be silent, close your eyes…no movement of the body – feel frozen. Go inwards, deeper and deeper, just like an arrow. Penetrate all the layers and hit the center of your existence.”

3) Another drumbeat and, without arranging yourself, just allow yourself to fall down “like a bag of rice,” so you are lying, utterly still and relaxed, on your back as you are guided even more deeply into a silent stillness.

4) At the final drumbeat, Osho’s voice guides you back to a sitting position, with the reminder to carry the glimpse of silent awareness one may have had into everyday activities.

“Remember, the first step of the meditation is Gibberish. Gibberish simply means throwing out your craziness, which is already there in the mind, piled up for centuries. As you throw it out you will find yourself becoming light, becoming more alive, just within two minutes.” Yoda – sorry , I mean Osho.

YouTube Preview Image

The finale was when the video of the discourse finishing OSHOS voice came over the loudspeaker and 2 or 3 barely audible jokes were played BUT the laughter also came with it from the original recording as others around me started to laugh after what they thought was a punchline.

Then at around the 20:40 mark (where did those TWO HOURS GO? ) the soft lighting was on and people gradually pit-patted out of the main meditation hall heading back to get changed into civilian clothes.

So there we have it, my first attempt at evening meeting and may get into the groove more next time and zone out near the front – who am I to question why? Would you go back for a repeat performance and throw yourself in or leave it at that?

Comments welcomed to help me make sense of this as I aim to live the GO! Smell the flowers tagline of ‘one journey, many discoveries’.

Don’t we all, brother?

36 Responses to “Smell the Evening meeting of the White Robe Brotherhood”

  1. Urban Pagan says:

    the key word there is ‘gibberish’


    how did you stop yourself laughing at it? it sounds like cheech and chong trying to remake an alan partridge corporate video.

  2. Urban Pagan says:

    so it sounds like he was ‘osho the pimp’

    I am actually tempted to go to this nut house to get a look at this loon!

    seriously- it sounds hilarious.

    and who can forget the song by the selecter (or was it the beat) ‘on my radio’

    I am sure the chorus went ‘oh show on my radio’

    perhaps a subliminal message from OSHO OBL- Osho Benny Lisp

    I have visions of him sounding dutch- for shure we shmoke shome sheeet and then you make love shex wishhh my wife’

    he sound bonkers

    I love the idea of the osho band

    and the fact he gets round all his rubbiish withh nonsensical gibberish that naive westerners take to mean something deep

    in the uk he would just be another loony stood outside oddbins waiting for his ten a.m spiritual journey to the land of speciial brew and white lightning. ohmmmmmmm

  3. Urban Pagan says:

    he also predicted the world ending by nuclear war in 1983, 1984 and 1986.

    and was wrong with that.

    so if he was the god he claimed – then retracted, then claimed he was the reincarnation of buddha you would have thought he would have got it right. only he didn’t.

    and lets face it predicting humans will kill each other in wars is hardly an earth shattering revelation is it?

    here’s guru gary’s predictions

    over the next 12 months

    a war will occur
    a war will end
    people will die
    people will be born
    someone of great significance will appear in a country or continent with an ‘a’ in it- this person will always have an ‘a’ or an ‘o’ in their name.

    right- who would like to buy some robes off me- Massimo Osti designed stone island robes for a mere 300 notes. Join my movement

    • Jim says:

      What colour robes do you suggest, oh Urban one,

      Tell me more.

      While my mind is empty.

      Not vulnerable you understand.

      • Urban Pagan says:

        Leopard Print

        to follow the words of guru Rodney Stewart

        ‘we are sailing we are sailing home again across the sea’


        and sleep

    • O'DB says:

      Guru Gary – i’m in. On condition that you give me this week’s Lottery numbers (before they’re drawn).

      See you in the WIndies – think i’ll buy me an island next to Branson’s. Maybe invite Jade Jagger & page 3, ahem, stunna Keeley along.

  4. aussiecynic says:

    GDay Jim

    Have a little serious info for you this is experience taking not cynicism hmmm…lol
    Having been in a similar arena not on this grand scale and certainly not this elaberate.. I would issue a string note of caution…
    this is not because of any who what or where I might add but a sense of unease at several things….

    1. if you are searching for that inner silence, a sence of self and perhaps some enlightenment (there I said the ‘E’ word) through meditation…. the group should be smaller, personal, with a person monitoring the group….. in the spiritual meditation and relaxation meditation groups I have been a part of… you need a person to guide the group through watching a maximum of 8-10 people no more… because anything can happen… even a anxiety attack in the midst of a meditation..
    2. The Video and the calling of OSHO is troubling in respect to giving validity and also when a person is an extremly relaxed state they are easily manipulated and suggestable…. many religious groups use music in there pray and spiritual sessions .. it can induce almost a hypnotic state within the recipiants….
    3. The wearing of the robes each person exactly the same as the next with nothing to tell them from apart even the slightest I hate to say it but it has the smattering of something to be a little more cautious of….

    By all means experience it, view it, take the time relax and learn about it, but try and maintain your sense of self and the reason you are there…..
    sometimes when people go to retreats to find themselves they find what the retreats wants them to find not what they themselves were for…. my intial feeling on this place is be careful….

    As to your question:
    Unfortunately I the sort that for the first I would sit in the back a watch the goings on.. possibly lurking in a dark corner and watcing on… The frenzy musical interlude is the sort of thing which instantly turns me off….. sorry not into mass hysteria… and in this situation as a prelude to a meditation it is simply not the way I would do it… a cup of tea and a friendly chat… perhaps, a quite moment to settle my thoughts and then a guided journey into the well trodden path but never ever from frenzy to meditation unless you are in ancent tribe and a sharman …..
    I personally would try the yoga and perhaps the Tai Che and a few of the other oferings but this is one thing I would not do again…
    The rest sounds interesting but watch out for the pyramid and the Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon might not be to far from the reality….

    • Jim says:

      Cheers AC and rest assured, my ‘Dad sat at the back squinting’ means I’m doing exactly that…..I love writing about it (2,500 words last post) and SO MUCH to reveal!

      Open mind yet not closed.

      All good – about to out the Sopranos on the DVD as the white robe meeting goes on tonight…99% of residents attend its a ‘Oh you must’

      Nah – not tonight.

      • aussiecynic says:

        I must admit being relieved… hmmm… images of Jim the elder….lol…
        My mind is open to the new and at times strange… but yeh a video night sort of shows my mind set with this meeting… Great post and the longest yet from you…. nearly fell of my chair when i saw the length…. lol… very interesting and terribly informative…. keep setting at the back squinting…. enjoy the experience, and forget the retoric…. hehehhehhe (thats the cynic peeking on for a look)…;)

  5. After your explanation, I would not go back. It sounds a lot like mindfulness or meditative/deep prayer or a Quaker meeting. I’d rather do that then listen to someone like that guiding me. The focus was a little too “me.” I would rather go to a church prayer meeting where the focus is on God once you get past the point of quieting your mind. Still seems a bit cult-like to me. I’m not saying it is a cult either.

    • Jim says:

      Well me neither, yet but the insights I’m getting with the regulars, guests & staff are something else…

      So much to write about and it was the right call extending my stay here.

      The comments here help me along nicely, not taking it too seriously but there are so many lost souls here.

      • Lost souls looking for something to guide them…very vulnerable to cults and a variety of whatever is popular at the time. From a Christian point of view, everyone is born with a God size hole that only God can fill and satisfy…not just any God. But, I firmly believe that everyone has their own journey to take and if it OSHO, then let them experience it.

        • Jim says:

          AGREED CC!!

          Exactly why I’m here – experiencing it, reporting back and getting a sense of guidance from you folk here in comments.

          I can’t write quick enough……

  6. Urban Pagan says:

    why not for a bit of fun

    turn up to the white robe thing tonight in a maroon robe

    when they tell you its the wrong colour just tell them that they should open their minds and that all robes are white underneath it all.

    I like the ‘people with infections are banned’ thing- how can they tell?

    also the no smells stuff to be at one with oneself and nature……..

    erm yeah in a sound proofed building, with air-con, air purifiers watching a video of a dead drug addict spouting nonsense.

    oooh welcome mother earth!!

    enjoy the soprano’s. glad you are watching that rather than yoda spouting nitrous oxide fuelled ‘gibberish’.

    but please promise me you’ll go laughing and drumming- but instead of actual drumming just beatbox instead

    and on your next dancing thingy drop into a caterpillar and a windmill – I’d pay to see some 50 something crusties having a crack at that.

    what is the minibar like?

    • Jim says:

      There are plenty of outdoor activities and I’ll be exploring those soon – more 1 on 1, team & group stuff….

      I’ll do the laughing / crying / drumming thing as you wish but breakdancing maybe a tall order :-) Maroon robes don’t do anything for street cred on the beat street scene.

      Tried the couple of the meditations and will write them up soon – same with a work ‘ life course I turned up to where true colours were revealed, not just maroon either – I’ve left campus 2 or 3 times and am writing about that as well.

      No minibar in the room Urban but wine with dinner if required!

      You know to walk around campus with my ipod on is great – Vitamin me.

      • Purple13 says:

        this robe colour thing sounds like the bit out of Heartbreak Ridge – the clint eastwood film where the recruits had to second guess what colour shirt he’d wear in order to keep theirs on. V funny.

  7. Jim says:

    Also with all the access to campus locked from 6.30pm till 9pm it’s either:

    1) White robe on and attend
    2) Leave campus before 6pm – back anytime from 9pm
    3) Stay in the room.

    I’ve done 1) once
    2) Once
    3) Twice

    Lots to report on 2) & 3)

    Anymore thoughts on why this white robe gig is a MUST DO and ‘ What, you’re NOT going – well why are you here then?’

    OH and robes -the instructors / staff where black robes with white belts – seriously.

    Proceeding with interest, caution and determined to get my Osho vouchers / Rupees worth :-)

    • Urban Pagan says:


      so the robes essentially seperate the people into a hierarchy? so it is a form of social control as I suspected.

      And this nonsense about if you don’t join in you either go out and away form our secret club or sit in your room like a naughty child.

      again simple control techniques.

      would they physically force you back to your room? would they stop you from going into the meeting in a red robe?


    • Purple13 says:

      sounds like Butlins at Skeggy (Skegness) or possible Center Parcs……….

    • Shopping question? Love shopping. Can you purchase the robes? What else is for purchase?

  8. Fertile Fish says:

    There’ omething seriously wrong with this blog.

    I’ve posted loads of comments that have not appeared today, on different posts, this one provbably won’t appear either… but I followed the link on the front page of the blog under ‘Recent Comments’ wherein Deep has made comment according to this list. However on opening the post there is nooooooo Deep comment that I can see.

    Hmmmmm, could it be due to blog overlaoding with everyone wanting a youtube clip?

    Fertile Fish.

    PS I love everybody, GIT and Reallycrossthepartimerfromellesmereport in particular I admire, they are so masterful and commanding.

    There that’s bound to get accepted now.

    Snigger snigger snigger snigger

    • Jim says:

      Sorry about the tech issue fertile – Deep has addressed this in TECH – FORUMS section as Taylor Blue & CC have had the same problem – all tech issues explained over a forums – thanks for letting us know anyway.

  9. Purple13 says:

    crikey Elton – you’ve got hair!

  10. Gareth in Thailand says:

    Jim, a freind of mine plays guitar for Pink Floyd.
    Did a cracking gig recently in Bogota. I’ll get you his autograph if you want.
    He occasionally guests with another friends Jazz fusion band on Thursdays at ‘The Basement’ in Chelmsford.

  11. Svasti says:

    I’ve been reading your OSHO updates and I have to say it all sounds really just a bit odd to me.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a yogini initiated into a traditional lineage, so I’m more than familiar with Gurus and meditation and so on.

    I’ve just… never heard of this sort of stuff before.

    Some of the OSHO quotes above also sound pretty odd. It doesn’t sound particularly instructive, or practical.

    And… don’t you find it weird that no one seems to be in charge?!?

  12. Think I am lost for comments. You survived. lol

  13. Lynda Lippin says:

    Remember that Osho, while renamed due to the lousy publicity of the 80s, is Rajneesh. Weird sex rituals, only dressing in sunset colors (not white!), Rolls Royce collections, tax evasion, and sexual abuse of minors. Sounds like his followers just keep on going.

  14. O'DB says:

    Large video screens with imploring platitudes from a wizened old man … all sounds a bit Wizard of Oz

    Was there a scarecrow with no brain, a tinman with no heart, a lion with no courage & cutesey little girl with scarlet shoes? & the behind a curtain, just off stage the frailities of the power are readily disarmed by simply drwaing back the curtain & revealing the truth.

    As an allegory – broken people, with broken hearts, minds & lacking the courage of their own convictions, all searching for meaning through a higher being/spiritulaity in a far off land – it’s scarily prescient & accurate of the apparent situation at the OSHO retreat.

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