Meditation and Healing
Up until the age of 33 Frenchman Manish was a cook and a restaurateur. His restaurant was even awarded with a Michelin star. Then, in 1981, something strange happened: Manish suddenly saw fields of light emerging from the centre of human bodies and around them. He met a doctor who explained to him that these were not hallucinations but that he had acquired the rare ability of seeing people’s auras and chakras. It was in cooperation with this doctor and other medical people that Manish began to work as a healer. Some years later, in 1988, he visited Osho’s Ashram in Poona. Only a few days after his arrival Osho spoke with scathing irony about the “nice French gentleman” who thought he could heal people in a spiritual way. “Why this desire… [to heal]. They don’t want to learn something here; they don’t want to heal themselves here.” But Manish wouldn’t be deterred and stayed in the Ashram and even became a sannyasin. A few days later Osho picked up Manish’s story in his evening discourse: “Even after my criticism he became a sannyasin. That shows the authenticity of a person. He may have a healing power which very rarely healers have.”
In the following interview conducted by the Oshotimes in September 2012 Manish describes how Osho’s meditations influenced his work as a healer.
? What role does meditation play in the process of healing?
! It is the decisive element! It is not the technique that heals. The technique can only be as good as the technician or the therapist who deploys it. All methods – be it allopathy, homoeopathy or other alternative methods – are more or less effective. But even the best method will fail if it is carried out by a bad technician. It will not change anything or it might even have the opposite effect. You can only become a good technician if you develop consciousness for yourself and your work. And consciousness mainly arises from meditation. It’s the meditation that makes the difference. A healer who doesn’t practise meditation cannot achieve good results. Meditation will give you presence and awareness. You learn to listen and be open and to approach any situation whatsoever without expectations. These are very important abilities, both for the healer and the patient.
? How do you explain what meditation is to someone who comes to one of your groups without any previous knowledge?
! Meditation is an encounter with yourself and this you can’t learn from books, you can only experience it. So I say this to the participants:
Close your eyes.
Feel your feet on the ground.
Relax your lower jaws and let go of all tension.
Keep your mouth slightly open and pay attention to your breathing.
This kind of presence is already meditation. It gets you into contact with your inner self. Meditation helps you get to the centre of your house. Our problem nowadays is that we are so much oriented towards the exterior world that we have lost contact with our inner self. Everything is related to the exterior: What are the others going to say? What are they likely to think? This orientation makes you forget about the inner you.
This is also the danger in the work of a healer: Perhaps he directs all his energy to the exterior in order to help someone, but doesn’t really know himself very well. The first sentence Osho said to me was: “Healer, heal yourself.” This was a real revelation to me.
? Did you regard this as a request related to yourself?
! Of course! I took it to mean that I needed to discover myself a lot better. Osho said to me: “You don’t know meditation.” This wasn’t quite true as I had already gained some experience with meditation but perhaps not enough. So I then practised Osho’s meditations for many years. I did the Dynamic Meditation every day for more than nine years. I realized back then that healing oneself meant to meditate. That’s why I keep saying in my groups that Osho’s meditations are the best therapeutic methods when it comes to healing oneself.
? What are the things that have changed for you due to practising meditation for so many years?
! Above all, I have become much more present. That helps me a lot with my work. When facilitating a group I never follow a standardized pattern. I totally float with the energy of the group which is determined by every single participant. I work with this energy and am open to all possibilities. I trust in what wants to emerge and happen.
It is as Kabir said: “Your failure equals you without God.” That’s how I see it, too: My failure equals me without existence, without my master, without Osho. This kind of receptivity for existence was brought to me by meditation.
When I have an individual session with a client, then that is meditation for me. I offer what I have. I don’t just pay attention to what the client needs but above all I look at what I can offer to him. And at the same time I also receive from my clients. Giving and receiving are two very important aspects. Meditation creates the space for both.
? When you say that meditation is the basis for healing how do you explain the fact that so many enlightened masters such as Ramana Maharshi or Osho were very ill?
! (Laughs) That is indeed a question which I have posed myself more than once. If I had to look for an answer I could say with a positive note that an enlightened person lives in a space beyond his physical body, so much so that his body doesn’t get enough energy. This makes his body fragile and susceptible to illnesses.
Another answer could be: Perhaps they weren’t conscious enough about their bodies. (Laughs) Osho certainly made mistakes regarding his health. But actually, this has its own beauty: Even an enlightened master is above all a human being, which means that he makes human mistakes. But even if Osho was ill, his energy and his soul weren’t affected by that.
? People who are seriously ill and who have heard about the healing power of meditation understandably often come with great expectations. Then they often find out that healing hasn’t happened just like that and they are often disappointed. Isn’t it therefore important to recognize the limits of one’s own possibilities right from the start?
! Certainly! I often work with people who are seriously ill or are even faced with their life coming to an end. But even if they cannot be healed, meditation can still help them live with their illness in a different way and prepare themselves for their death. In this way a totally new view of one’s own life and death can be found. Such a period – even if it is very short – can become an important and beautiful part of life. I am convinced that life doesn’t stop with death. If someone suffers, let’s say, from cancer and has only one year to live then this year can become a very precious time. Specifically in the case where this person says: I want to become aware of who I am! I want do understand! And in the case where these people become aware of themselves during this year through meditation and healing therapy. Then these people may die, but this year of awareness and healing won’t. It remains and is given to mankind. Osho always said that mankind was an organic entity. So even a small amount of awareness work that is carried out before one’s death can become something big for those alive. That is healing, too.
? Can you give an example of that?
! I have experienced it myself. For the first three years of my life I was paraplegic and couldn’t walk. At the age of three I said to myself: I do not want to sit in a wheelchair all my life – I want to be able to walk. And it worked. Today only very small traces of this illness can be found in my body. Who was it who gave this little boy back then the impulse for his healing? It wasn’t me. It was other people before me who struggled with this illness perhaps for the whole of their lives or even died of it so that a little boy of three could walk. There is a wider context in which healing can take place.
Of course, we have our limits. Our limit is death. But as long as death hasn’t arrived no awareness work will be in vain. And it doesn’t die. All work in this respect will be taken up and carried on by someone else. That’s the wonderful thing I learned from Osho: We all work for our individual healing, for our awareness, but we offer it to all of mankind.
? What do you say to someone who is seriously ill and comes to you with the expectation: You are a healer, please heal me?
! With such an expectation you are always on the wrong path. You can only heal yourself. I can help people with that, but they have to do the work themselves. If you want that someone heals you take some medicine. But even with that I would say: It can only heal you if you take it with the understanding that you will heal yourself. Only that can work. That is the great truth I learned from Osho: We are one hundred per cent responsible for ourselves, for our life and for our body. There is no point in waiting for miracles to happen from outside.
? And if your patient then says: Ok, I understand that – but what can I do to heal myself?
! Meditate! (Laughs) Practise the Dynamic Meditation! That is almost always the right answer. Become aware, do work on yourself!
? But the Dynamic Meditation might be too strenuous for a patient with a terminal illness…
! That is right, but even in a state of terminal illness you can start becoming aware of your emotions and express them. Healing is not possible without expressing your emotions! Whether it be laughter, tears, anger or fear: express yourself! Awareness is the most important ability when it comes to healing. Meditation creates this awareness. Meditation makes you become aware of your emotions, your life and your death. This awareness is healing. Perhaps this healing will not be a physical healing but it can happen on a psychological and spiritual level. And that is the real healing!