Groups / Workshops

Groups / Workshops

Alan Atkinson, The Advertiser Saturday Review , August 1, 1981: ‘One of the most astonishing aspects of the [Osho] phenomenon was the psychotherapy groups set up by him with top psychologists and psychotherapists from all over the world. The groups, for the purpose of “clearing the mind”, used the widest range of “consciousness-expanding” techniques taught in both the West and East.’

Re Nudo Magazine, Italy, July 1978: ‘Today for the thousands of Western therapists – Reichian or Jungian, followers of the humanistic psychology, American, English, German, friends and colleagues of Rogers, Laing, Janov – Poona has become more a reality than a symbol: it is the greatest center of psychoanalytic therapy in the world. Every month in Poona, or to be more precise at the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Ashram, 40 or 50 encounter groups are held. And that means that in 1977, 10,000 people have gone through them. The group leaders, all Westerners, number about 50 and work full time in the ashram … What impressed me most during my first visit was that all these therapists – well-known, the avant-garde in their own countries – had left their professions and their riches to work in the ashram where they receive two meals a day, a bed, a free-pass for [Osho’s] discourses and nothing else.’

Bernard Levin, The London Times, April 8, 1980: ‘The wide range of consciousness-expanding therapeutic techniques practiced there (they include Massage, Reflexology, Alexander technique, Acupuncture, Rolling, Postural Integration, Hypnosis, Counseling, Rebirthing, Dynamic Meditation and many others) are of the greatest value for the growth towards wholeness of those who shop at this amazing spiritual supermarket.’

Ronald Conway, The Weekend Australian, February 14-15, 1981: ‘The many active techniques taught there have nothing to do with contemplating either egos or navels. A Dutch psychiatrist told me that many of his visiting conferees believed that the ashram now contained possibly the finest group psychotherapy center in the world. Many of the center’s leaders have  been trained in New York, London, Munich and California. Many are fully qualified physicians or psychologists hidden beneath the relative anonymity of their sannyas (Sanskrit) names. [Osho] was admitted even by professionally trained Western skeptics to be one of the most brilliant natural psychologists and therapeutic innovators.’

Marcel Meier, Panorama Magazine, October 13, 1978: ‘It is difficult to describe exactly what happened in these groups. Broadly, we often had tough confrontations with aspects of ourselves which had not been touched upon before. I did things which I had never dreamed of doing before in my everyday life. Sometimes I approached an insight into hell, sometimes it was seventh heaven. Sometimes I saw people undergoing great changes. The therapists must be among the most able in the world. They are themselves sannyasins, which among other things, means that they give their service for nothing. About 20 different methods, including gestalt, encounter therapy, bio-energy, screaming and hypnosis therapy, psychodrama, Eastern techniques such as Zen meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and Buddhist and Hindi meditation techniques, are used to make the participant aware of the reality of everything except his ego, his personality. The group therapy made the strongest impression. In psychological circles, Poona has become known as the most important “growth center” in the world.’

The meditation techniques referred to were developed by Osho specifically for the stresses of modern life. They were adapted from ancient practices of many different schools of mysticism.

Andreas Uhlig, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Switzerland, July 18-19, 1981: ‘In those meditations the ashram truly brings about a change of consciousness’. Uhlig, who visited the ashram in May of 1981 with a group of diplomats from Delhi, attributes the difference he observes between sannyasins and others, to Osho’s ‘psychology of the buddha’, the therapy groups and the meditations. He concludes, ‘In [Osho]’s precinct there is really something exceptional happening: individuals are being liberated, that is, deconditioned from all restrictions and social constraints.’

Maurice Roy, Chatelaine Magazine, Canada, January, 1981: ‘The ashram in Poona actually appears as one of the most audacious and fruitful attempts of mixing thousand-year-old Eastern traditions with modern Western techniques … It is, at the same time a meditation center, a place for celebration and a vast laboratory where new techniques for the exploration of consciousness are devised.’

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