Tribute to Meera, part 5

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It is now 9.35 sometimes in December 2000, it is a beautiful misty morning in Koregaon Park, and Meera’s painting training is about to start. This part will last six weeks and has to be booked as one course. Over sixty participants will soon be picked up in the Multiversity Plaza and brought to the group room. In the last three days, Meera’s experienced staff had been busy setting up the space, mixing hundreds of litres of acrylic colours, gluing papers together to create huge pieces of canvas, sorting out brushes and watercolours, and organising so many many details. I had just been part of the crew for two weeks and I knew what a major happening it was.

I had decided not to join and obviously Meera could not force me, but something in my heart felt heavy as I wandered around the commune. I watched all those people arriving, excited and ready to embark on a journey that would change many lives.

Meera arrived in her black robe, smiling. The plaza was packed. “Where is Nirav?” she asked one of her assistants.

Here I was, sitting on a table at the back, partly in shock, partly sad, but also deep down knowing that something was soon going to happen and change the course of my life. There was a sense of urgency, a bubbly intensity, and magic was in the air. We were in the heart of Osho’s garden, between His Samadhi and the Buddha Hall where He spoke for many years, and there was never a doubt as who was actually running the show.

The group was starting in less than five minutes and there was no more time for discussion. Meera walked over to me “Nirav, did you find the money and are you coming?” “No, I am not coming, sorry!” I replied. “Oh, Nirav, this is not possible. Come! You join the staff now, I will find a way.”

She gave me a hug, took my hand and pulled me with her to the centre of the plaza. She gave me a list and a pen which I ticked as she called the names of the participants.

I was silent as we all walked together to the group room. I was hardly realising what had just happened, and how I suddenly found myself here; but obviously a match had just been thrown into my inner chambers and fire would soon engulf all my ideas and concepts of who I stubbornly believe I am. Most importantly my creativity was going to explode into thousands of rainbows and transform the very way I experience life.

 ( part 6 …)

 

Tribute to Meera, part 4

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I had not understood how Meera could have seen my potential as an artist during our short meeting the week before. How she could now see my untapped possibilities on this paper is something that will probably remain unexplained till my death. The fact is that this was not a painting but a dark mess; it was ugly and it made no sense whatsoever; it was an energetic expression of those dark and primal forces inside; black and white paints were basically just thrown, most strokes were done with my hands and feet rather than with brushes, there was no mind, no urge to create, no desire for beauty, no one to please, no goal and no ego.

The Primal Painting group went ahead, and Meera encouraged me to keep going, to keep playing and exploring, to be myself and be wild.

This first part was soon ending and the Swiss friend I was translating for was not staying for the rest of the training. Meera’s training was in two uneven parts that season, the first one lasting two weeks, and the second lasting six weeks. Part 2 would among other things include water colours, nature painting, self-portrait…

Meera explained that I wouldn’t be able to translate anymore and that she would not take me as a helper for the next major section of the training; the staff was already full and since I had never participated in at least a shorter group of hers, joining the staff was simply impossible. She wanted me to join as a participant. I understood her point, and yet I was clearly not ready to pay for a creativity group. I honestly could not see the point. Yes I was enjoying the process and had fun exploring and painting, but No I didn’t feel that painting was my thing and this idea that I was a born painter was completely removed from anything I could feel or understand.

I told her that I would leave after the Primal Painting part. She told me that No, I could not leave. I told her that I was not a painter and that I was not that interested. She told me that I was a painter and had to keep painting.

The Primal Painting part ended, my Swiss friend left, and there was now a three days break before Meera’s creativity caravan would keep rolling for the next month and half. I was ready to call it a day and an interesting experience and I was completely unwilling to join as a participant. Meera could not take me in her staff for numerous very good reasons and was absolutely not ready to let me go. In the heart of Osho’s garden in Pune, those three days had the flavour of an arm wrestling match.

( part 5 …)

Tribute to Meera, part 3

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After a couple of hours, the music eased, lights were slowly dimed up and Meera gently brought us back.

We were all dumbfounded at the sight that met our eyes; those large pieces of paper now all looked like greyish chocolate and the room was a complete mess.

Meera ordered us all to go back to our painting and stand in front of it. Finding one’s own painting in this was quite a challenge but somehow everyone made a move.

I was still out of it from what had just happened in this session and was stumbling around trying to figure out where my painting could be, and quite frankly I had little clue what it did look like.

I was not alone in this case and a few other friends were also without their painting; Meera meanwhile collected the unclaimed papers.

I still remember that moment, the space, the energy, Meera standing in the middle of the room, and about seventy people obviously shaken and out of their minds.

“Who painted this?” Meera asked, starring into one of the paper that was yet without owner.

She seemed to have forgotten everything else and was completely absorbed in this horrible grey mess. “Who painted this?” she continued… “Who?”

She stopped the music, turned the lights to the max and called us all around. I had no idea what she was doing and why she suddenly seemed so frantic. She was staring at this painting, ignoring everything else and kept repeating “Who painted this?”

I was still looking for my paper, and I came closer to the one she pointed to. To me they all looked the same. Litres of black and white acrylics had been poured in all possible ways on all those papers, and really, I was unable to see any value or beauty anywhere here.

After a few moments I figured out that yes this was mine. “Me, I painted it”.

She looked at me, looked again at the paper lying on the floor in front of her, and nodded her head in her very unique way. There was a long silence in the room as everyone gathered around starring at this mysterious painting. I looked at it, looked back at Meera; I was completely blank, puzzled, and I had no idea what was going on and what she possibly could see in this. After such a wild high energy session, this silence was such an unsettling contrast. Meera would keep the suspense and the energy in the group moved inwards. What a magical moment! What a divine spontaneous happening was unfolding in front of us!

Meera was obviously startled by what she had just seen. I certainly had no idea what it possibly could be and why it seemed such a big deal, and looking around at my friends I suspected that no one really had more clues than I did.

She finally said in a grave voice “Nirav, you are a born painter! “

I was in shock.

We had been in that underground chamber the whole afternoon and it was certainly high time to get some fresh air, clean up the mess and get ready for the evening meditation in Osho’s Buddha Hall; but instead, Meera gave us a five minutes break before spending the next hour explaining why that painting was so special. I had no idea what she was talking about, and I felt more and more uneasy being put on the spot like that. I guess that some of my advanced painter friends present could follow and be touched by what she shared. I didn’t.

When we finally came out of the chamber the sun had set long ago, and the full moon was shining bright.

( part 4 )

 

Tribute for Meera, part 2

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I didn’t know that then, but Meera had just gotten hold of me and was not about to let go. She would only let go years later, tears running, when I would push her so hard that she had no more choice.

Primal painting? I had done so much primal therapy work during the last few years, and I loved the intensity of it.  Primal Painting sounded deep and dark, and I suddenly found myself excited.

Meera’s creativity caravan started, and this year I joined her staff of a dozen people. It was a big group with at least sixty participants, and as a translator I was participating for free but was also helping the crew. Helping with Meera was intense; we were fully involved in the process and on top of it we were taking care of the whole set up and cleaning, mixing colours, preparing brushes and paper… It was an incredible happening that would last for almost three months.

The Swiss friend I was translating for was rather good in English and my job was easy. I joined this unbelievable caravan and started to paint and play with colours and energies. It was fun and intense and I enjoyed what Meera was offering; but still, I clearly had this feeling that I was wasting my time and that painting was not my thing.

Halfway through this first part Meera brought us all to a dark and soundproof room deep underneath the commune; there we would explore our darkness. We got given a very large piece of paper each, big brushes and 2 buckets of acrylic paints, one black and one white. Music was bumping loud and Meera was guiding us to connect with those hidden places inside. We danced, we moved and we played with those large quantities of black and white acrylics. We were encouraged to dive into our darkest corners and express with movement and paints. It was one of the wildest and most intense session I ever experienced anywhere, and except from a few candles burning in the room we were practically painting in the dark with mostly black paints.

( part 3 …)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The falling of the veil

One day the veil falls and you find yourself out of the wheel, out of the dream, out of all you knew to be real.

Or the veil never falls, no matter how hard and how long you’ve tried.

Or maybe on the very last breath it falls anyhow, uncalled and in spite of you.

The veil may still be in front of you, or it may be gone. You may never have been interested in what could possibly lie behind it; or maybe you have been a spiritual seeker for decades, digging alone into your inner world and searching out there for someone to guide you.

It all doesn’t matter really. Who you are doesn’t care. Covered or uncovered, aware or unaware, free or in bondage it doesn’t make the slightest difference. Your essence, your true face, your original nature remains unchanged.

Being awake is who you are. Being awake is the ocean behind the waves. Being awake is the very stuff existence is made of. There is nowhere to hide. Even death cannot help you. Being identified with the dream and losing the connection with what you are is a very human struggle. It is part of a bigger unfolding where consciousness plays with all possible combinations. Consciousness is all there is and consciousness doesn’t care if it moves through Nirav or through a tree or through a lightbulb. Whether Nirav is aware or asleep and identified makes no difference at all. Consciousness couldn’t care less. In fact consciousness means that there is no one here to care. What an extraordinary absence!