More and more friends are expressing their wish to live together with like-minded people, or embark on joint adventures and travels. In particular, Vidya and Punito’s community project (see May/June 2006 Viha Connection) has taken wings. In addition to the property they are developing in Costa Rica, which most likely will turn out to be a yoga village, they have started on another venture, this time in Panama. The prime motivator in this exciting project is Swami Nityanando, and Vidya said that Swami Deva Avesh and Ma Nirava Varsha have also joined in, and many other friends have already expressed their keen interest.
The site is on the Pacific Coast of Panama, about one and a half hours from the city of Santiago. It lies on a totally new costanero (coastal highway; polish your Spanish, folks!). The property is 128 acres of gorgeous, soft, rolling hills that go right to the beach, with a breathtaking 180-degree view. Just envision the big expanse of turquoise-blue water, blue sky, green hills, great temperatures…
Vidya said, “We are in the process of designing one large two-story main building, which will have reception, restaurant/kitchen, swimming pool, boutique, a big lounge area, and offices. Then next to it there will be a huge hall overlooking the ocean, which will accommodate the wellness/healing center and spa facilities. Up on the hill we are planning 40 to 50 guest accommodations. The overall concept is a residential development surrounding a core transformational retreat center, a place where meditation, yoga, groups, dance, and trainings can be held. It will be a place of personal learning and transformation and have an ongoing flow of fresh energy. The residential area is designed as titled lots where people can either live or just holiday; they can build their own houses.
“I know we can create something magical. We have all played with this idea forever, it seems, and we have a ton of ideas and experiences. We know how much work, vision, dedication, and commitment is needed, and how many problems seem to plague most projects. We see this as a heart-centered business that allows us all to both make a living and to share and give freely and generously of what we have.” Vidya and Punito look forward to your inquiries! firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Swami Deva Mutribo (you may remember him being behind a video camera, always video!) presently lives in India, spending much of that time in the Himalayas. Last year he journeyed for 24 days with a group of 11 other people into Tibet. They visited Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, Sakya, and then went far out into Western Tibet, where they did the kora or circumambulation of Mount Kailash. The Tibetans call this mountain Khang Rinpoche, and many believe it to be the center of the world.
Mutribo said, “For many years I had a desire to visit Tibet and walk around Mount Kailash. It is hard for me to say exactly where this impulse came from. I had always been fascinated by the seamless connection the Tibetans had apparently achieved between their religious beliefs and their daily lives. To my eyes their beliefs infused almost every activity in their day.
“The most immediate inspiration for this Tibetan journey was a long-held desire to make a film that examined this strange destiny of becoming a spiritual seeker that so many of us share. We shot the movie, and my time was busy. It is still a work in progress. I will be going back to Tibet in May 2007, to take more time and space to breathe in all that I have seen and felt in this land, this place that long ago made a unique decision to give so much emphasis to the inner world.”
The next expanded journey will revisit the places from last year’s trip and also include a drive across the vast Changtang Plateau in Western Tibet. Mutribo invites interested friends to come along. “If you have any feeling of connection with Tibet and its people, I just want to urge you to go there sooner rather than later. It was such a precious personal experience for me, and it is unlikely that what is there now will be there for too much longer.” You can find details of the upcoming trip and contact Mutribo at www.yogawithneo.com/tibet07/
Once upon a time, Germany was abounding with successful sannyasin discos. One of the oldest ones, called Far Out Disco, sadly had to declare bankruptcy last year, after more than 23 years of entertaining an entire generation or two, every day of the year. Swami Gyan Mandiro was involved with the founding of the disco and was also the Osho Vihan Center’s brilliant accountant for years; we became friends during my residence in Berlin in 1981 and 1982.
Without his skills, and those of all Vihan workers, (I would love to list all their names here but there just isn’t enough space!) and those supportive Berlin sannyasins who donated funds from time to time, we would have had to close the center back then. We were so broke we couldn’t afford to buy oil to heat the building, so we would wear winter coats while working in the office. But somehow we managed to pull through.
Mandiro said, “For many years the disco was part of the commune and therefore had a low overhead. Already before the year 2000 when contracts were changed and salaries had to be paid according to local requirements, the business and turnover began to suffer. The 2006 Soccer World Cup was the last kick: As the weather was so hot Berliners were outdoors celebrating in the streets rather than dancing in the disco. In addition, there is high unemployment in Germany, and those who are employed are keen on saving their money.”
He too is among the unemployed as he is deemed too old to rejoin the workforce, although he is not yet 60 years old. The Berlin unemployment office has now arranged some activities for him. “German law grants all people who are able to work but can’t find a job the chance to show their gratefulness for the unemployment benefits they get by working on a social plan. In reality we are not paid at all; it is called the 1-Euro job (actually it is 1.50 Euro per hour), and is considered an additional expenditure remuneration, not a payment. This is similar to what we used to have at Vihan when everybody was working/worshipping on his/her own but the center provided the room rent, food, and toiletries to those workers who didn’t have money of their own.”
Mandiro further said, “I remember when a few Berliners were sent to Medina and then to work on a building site in London. We slept in a dormitory, had breakfast on the building site, went for supper to another place, and for dinner to the Body Centre! That was a fun time because we all wanted to be with Osho and part of His vision. Now a similar thing is happening to the Germans who get unemployment benefits and give their work skills to the government or urban organizations!” firstname.lastname@example.org
You might remember Ma Prem Nalini in particular from Saswad in Pune One times, where she was involved with the soap production and went by the name of Ute. I met her during her latest visit on Bali, which she considers her favorite holiday spot – this time with her very active 78-year-old mother, Olga. Over a long and excellent Italian dinner Olga told me how happy she was to have learned so much about life from her daughter and Osho.
For many years now Nalini has been living in Western Australia. Always a very creative person and deft with her hands (she went through a four-year apprenticeship in glass painting) she started to paint a few years ago and has already exhibited her unique paintings in a gallery. She loves to hear from old friends. email@example.com
Swami Anand Bhikkhu and Ma Prem Waduda
of New Earth Records are offering a real treat. They have launched their new website featuring full album downloads and over 1,000 individual track downloads. Have a go! www.newearthrecords.com/web/pc/