When I was 19 had the feeling that there had to be more to life than marrying someone, buying a house and having babies. In such a magical world as this, surely there must be something else that I didn't yet know about. Some friends were about to do a course in TM so I decided to join them.
The initiation involved being given your own personal mantra and then being guided into meditation using the mantra. I had such a strong taste of meditation during this initiation TM that I knew I had found what I was looking for. Meditation was the missing link.
However, I found the practice of sitting silently reciting the mantra for 20 minutes in the morning and again at night impossible to keep up. I had too many tensions in my body, and my mind was very active.
I struggled for a time with this, and then I felt that I really needed to find another way into meditation.
I turned to some of the traditional Indian gurus first, but I found them laborious to read. Then I met a sannyasin of Osho, and started to listen to and read Osho. At last I had come across a wise man who spoke my language. What he had to say about Westerners needing to do active meditations first, before doing any passive form of meditation, made perfect sense to me.
I started to experiment with his Dynamic meditation particularly.
I should mention here that I discovered marijuana at about the same time as meditation, so it was a struggle between the two for quite some time. I had had an abusive childhood and dope provided instant pain relief.
By the time I reached 40 I knew I had to dive deeply into Dynamic as this would be the only way to free myself from the dope.
It was a real effort to begin with as I had so much resistance to feeling the stuff that Dynamic was bringing up. I was really wanting to feel what it was like to be "in my center." For most of my life I had felt like a cork bobbing on the ocean, with no anchor.
I did Dynamic for two years, almost every morning. Slowly I started to get a glimpse of my center. After a while you get the knack of being able to drop into your center whenever you feel like it.
In the fourth stage of Dynamic, when you are standing with your arms above your head, I realized that if I had been total in the meditation and dropped deeply into my center, I wouldn't even notice my arms in the air. If I were still in my head it would be painful.
Once upon a time it would have been agony because my mind would be saying, "Oh NO!" I'm going to die if I stay here with my hands above my head." I began to notice this change – that I simply wasn't bothered. Nor was the mental noise there – the mind had gone out the window – or the physical tensions I had felt in TM.
To backtrack a bit: When I was still just dabbling in Dynamic, I had attempted to do a few 10-day silent Vipassana retreats but found the same frustrations that I had with TM: I had spent most of the time in my mind, and struggling with bodily tensions.
Then I heard Osho saying in a discourse that people tended to look at the time in Buddha's life when he was sitting silently watching his breath (Vipassana), and they wanted to do the same – without realizing that he had lived a very heated life first and had arrived at that point naturally. I saw that that was what I was doing too.
So I figured that if I hung in with Dynamic there would come a time when I too would feel ready to sit silently.
Earlier this year I went on two 10-day retreats, and they were fantastic. I no longer had such a struggle with body and mind, and the knack of being able to drop into my center is still with me.
I am eternally grateful to Osho for his gift of active meditations.
See also ...TM: Meditation or Sedation?