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The Icing on the Cake
The Icing on the Cake

[The following article is based on one medical doctor's experience of combining meditation with his role as a health-carer....]

For those of us who see ourselves as on a journey of self-discovery through meditation, it can be a challenge to keep the meditative part of ourselves alive and well amid the hurly-burly of a regular life.
More often than not, we are surrounded by colleagues, friends and family who have no interest in what we regard as the most significant aspect of our life.
Dr Lukas Forschner, (a.k.a. Gyanodaya), a medical doctor from Germany and meditator of nineteen years, is in the unusual position of having been specifically selected to join the staff of an addiction clinic because he is a meditator. Three years after first joining, he was appointed assistant medical director of the clinic....

     I was offered the work of being a medical doctor in a special clinic in Sachsen-Anhalt (formerly East Germany) for people with addictions: mainly alcoholism, but also drug addiction, gambling and eating disorders. The medical director of the clinic had visited the Osho Meditation Resort in Pune, specifically looking for a doctor who was an experienced meditator, and one particularly involved in the Osho vision.
     This was perfect for me. The years before I had worked in clinics or other situations where I offered to teach meditation, but this was different. I was introduced as Gyanodaya and a meditator. Even the owner of the clinic and the officials who supervise it were all told I was an Osho meditator. It was almost like a positive discrimination!
     My main job is as a medical doctor, and I enjoy it immensely; being asked to implement a program of meditation is the icing on top of the cake.
     In the beginning, I introduced Osho meditations – Dynamic, Kundalini [an evening method of release], Nadabrahma [a method using humming] and Devavani [verbal release] – to the staff of twenty-five, for whom attendance was compulsory. Some objected, but the medical director was very clear that he wanted the staff to start each morning with a small meditation.
     Some people try to avoid it and others really appreciate it. I know meditation has an impact on the collective unconscious of the clinic. We've been doing it for three years now and it feels like one of the most intelligent things the medical director has asked everybody to do.
     Every day the whole team (doctors, nurses, therapists, cooks, cleaners etc.) meets at 8 a.m. and we start our meeting with a short meditation of a reading from a book and some minutes' silence. Some of the team love it, some hate it, some try to avoid it, so it has some impact, for sure.
     It brings the energy together. It brings everybody or most people to the present and it's a signal for the day in some way. For a moment everything stops ... and then it starts again. Every day it is a demonstration of who belongs to the team, who is sick or missing. For a moment no hierarchy, no fighting. For a moment, there is the possibility for us all to be as one, and I am sure that sometimes, in some rare moments, we are.
     Here, in these few moments, when the silence space is initiated by some who are used to meditation, everybody can get a taste of silence and meditation without any effort.

     As far as the patients are concerned: they are anywhere between fifteen to twenty-five years old, and they are invited on a voluntary basis to the weekly hour of meditation I run. There I talk about what meditation is, and how to include it in daily life. I say that you don't have to give a full hour to meditation but if you have just five minutes you can do it. Mostly I do the Kundalini or Nadabrahma method with them. When I have felt there is the interest, I have led a whole day of meditation.
     The real challenge for me is to be there doing a normal job, living within the hierarchy of a clinic and keeping the perspective of being a meditator alive – of celebrating life, enjoying life and finding a way to include my creativity – in spite of whatever else may be happening there.
     People don't necessarily love you because you are very creative and overflowing with energy. They can feel attacked and resentful, and may try to manipulate others so you feel isolated. They project much on you, and you have to cope with it. Sometimes it would have been very easy to say, "Okay, this is not a place where I can be" – and leave.
     It was very important to me that the medical director was supporting what I represent. On the other hand, he was neither protecting me nor necessarily protecting the way I was doing whatever I was doing. So it continues to be a real fire test and a great learning for me in how to put in action all that I have received and understood from Osho.
     To use a medical analogy: on one hand, I have a pill that is one hundred percent the Osho vision. For these people, that is often just too strong. So the art I have had to learn is to find the right dose, which people can digest. I don't change anything of the medicine, just the dosage.
     What I have learnt, too, is to be patient, to wait, to let the flowers grow and not to pull them out of the earth.
     I am not a missionary, and any missionary attitude would be lethal in this setting. It would just kill any possibility of me working there and working together with others of the staff, because they are not into anyone being on a religious trip or proselytizing.
     Anyway, who am I to tell anyone how to live this life?

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