Our Love Story (Osho Times, Italy, 2007)
Premartha: The uniqueness, I guess, is that the relationship was born in the commune, so, we don’t know each other any other way than sannyasin, we don’t know each other as non-sannyasin.
If I tell the story of how it started, is that we had met in Amsterdam already but really re-met in Berlin on the time the ****** was still there, the big Osho commune was there and I was coming to lead a group. In that time it was the 80s, so I looked very 80s, with cover ***** , half long hair, fur jacket….
and Svarup was living in the commune, she had been coming from Milano, and we met. She was a voluptuous Italian curly-head. It was Prasad, the therapist Prasad, who once told me in a group that I was assisting, he asked me: “ do you know what it means to be a Scorpio?”. I said “no”, I was innocent, I had no information about that and he said: “it means you are probably very jealous in the relationship, are you aware of that?” and I said “no, not at all, usually the women are jealous” and he said “well, being a Scorpio is little like being Italian, so try to hang out with Italians”. Probably it had gotten in my mind, when we met, the fact that she was Italian and she looked beautiful. So at night we went out, we went to a disco, and we started to talk and then we ended up talking about past lives and we went through several serious past lives until…..
Svarup: ….. until suddenly while I was looking into his eyes I had a deep recognition of the dark side of his soul- because his appearance is rather light and angelic – and finally I looked deep in his eyes and I recognized something else. And that immediately created a very real bounding within us because it was not based only on the romantic projection, which anyway was also very important for me because in my life I had never ever ever really had the opportunity to completely also giving to that romantic side of the relationship. I had been married, I had a child who was living with his father, I had had many other relationship but something like that had never happened to me before.
P: But to be romantic in a commune is something. Especially in the time of the Ranch, romance was basically for most people having sex late at night after working or “worshipping” many hours a day. It was juicy, it was sexy, but romance was not something that was up- front, and since we both are pretty romantic that was a thing we longed for and connected us, but it also took a long time before it could flower, because after our first meeting I went on. Then by accident we ended up both living in the commune in Zurich for quite a while, and there really our love affair started, but Svarup was in charge of the commune and I was a therapist and we were very busy, and so we couldn’t really dive deep into the relationship. I had the feeling of the potential, like that it was something we really felt, we could go deep, but it wasn’t actually really possible because we had to go deep in other ways, we had to go deep in the work we did and in the surrender to the commune and sooner or later also I was sent to another commune again so we had to learn to separate even if we didn’t want. And I moved on and I went with other women and Savrup went with other men and there was a very potential memory inside that it could be something incredible, but it wasn’t really possible to actualize if we wanted to follow the flow of the commune. Until at the end of the commune, when the commune basically started to change when Osho left the Ranch, I asked to come back to be permanent in Zurich and then for the first time we had the time waste to say in the evening, “shall I make a pasta”. We didn’t know all these things, it was a surprise- nobody made food themselves in the commune, there was the kitchen-and we used the commune car and could go to the movie and it was a big thing already, like a new thing, also very shaky because at that point to start a romance after knowing each other already… two years I think…
S. One year…. and I think that at that point looking back, existence was really conspiring because in a way not having the possibility to consummate our union except than sexually, made it so that for some mysterious reason the longing was growing in the heart, and so something which actually was a mutual recognition that had happened. And somewhere deep down in the bottom of my heart I knew that there was something more with this man, the fact that I could not consummate it and just finishing and completing it so fast made it grow in the***** very very very much and also was a very scaring space because it meant admitting my longing and admitting that I was yearning for something that was not inside me, I was not independent. So after our meeting in Zurich then again the commune was dissolved, after our first attempts of going to the movies together and eating pasta together, again existence conspired to separate us once more time and P. went to the north of Germany to do a group with somebody else and I went to Toscana together with a bunch of friends to staff in the Rebalancing training. So we where in this very very romantic surrounding of Tuscany near Miasto, in Casale, and there I started really for the first time being not busy enough to start facing my longing and my missing and that was like a jump in the deep bottomless ****** to feel “I miss a man, I miss him”.
P. I had moved on also meanwhile, there was another Italian girl I had met, beautiful, in Hamburg, and it started to really happen with her, but somewhere in the back there was something incomplete, even though I didn’t know if we were able to have a normal love affair not in the commune, I was a bit scaring also as if maybe we had missed the chance to have that. But then one day S. called, and she got the girlfriend on the phone, for her a big shock because it was clear that it was not real anymore, but the girlfriend passed on the call to me and I called and out of the blue I heard myself saying “I want to come to Tuscany, I want to meet you” and so I went to Tuscany, I had made good money with the group, it was the first time we made the money for ourselves, not for the commune, until then there was not private money, but suddenly I had for that moment an incredible amount of money, I felt super rich and I met S. in Florence, she came to pick me up and it was like very shy, very *****, we were not in maroon anymore, we were not with the mala anymore, so also unprotected, like everybody else looking, with a very strong connection but also with a lot of insecurity if this can work out, in the middle of the winter, Tuscany full of snow. S. takes me in the house where she is living with the staff of the rebalancing training, with this big, huge fireplace that we can sit in, and the feeling it’s organic, it’s in the countryside, and it’s long dark night, and we started to connect, we started to talk, especially in the beginning we had to talk a lot, to talk through all the wounds, and abandonment, and the feelings of disappointment, and there had many wounds that we cannot address in the commune, it was not the thing to look at, it was more to just move on and we all moved on. And then also we started to make love more intimately, more including the heart, until then the heart wasn’t really upfront, the heart came in because maybe it was a love affair after all, maybe we had the chance to make it really happen. And at some point I realized I had to take a risk, so that I invited Svarup to come with me, which was a big thing to do because that meant commitment, as sannyasin was not something appreciated, valued, and she was in a very good place with the rebalancing training so it was taking her out of her little family, *****, and we’d start working together. That I did it, in the grass in Tuscany, in springtime. She said “yes”.
S. … and then I felt myself in a big big panic, because it was, like P. was saying, like letting go of all the security and following completely a man that I did not really know, even if we had shared on a soul level. I was very intimate with his soul, I was very intimate with his body, but I wasn’t sure of who this person was and weather I could really trust him or not. Yet at the same time I felt it was absolutely the way to go, to leave everything behind and go with him, just like take a jump, just surrender to a man, which I had never done before.
P. Then we made the decision that we were gonna have honeymoon, because some how it was clear that we needed to experience that too. We went to Greece, we went to the most beautiful places in Italy, to the South of France, to all places where we stayed and had honeymoon, just meditate together, and got to know each other, have time to make love, no groups around, just long mornings, just tuning in, getting in sintony with each other. And actually when we were in Greece, in Corfu – we went long before there was an Osho Center – we were at the seaside and there really the click happened for me, because at some point we were at the beach doing vipassana, alternating sitting on the shore and going in the sea, and at some point S. was going for a long walk, and then I could see her from far away, and I could see from far away, also knowing her story, that “ if I am going to move with this woman I am going to move with a very strong woman, she is no the woman who has to pattern on life, it’s a powerful woman, it’s a beautiful woman, she is a woman that is a challenge also, she is not a little girl”. And for a moment I got really panic, like “no, this is too much, I don’t wonna grow up that quickly, no, maybe I just keep on moving around and find different affairs, as a therapist it’s really not difficult, I move from place to place, I meet many people in the commune…..”. Then I realized that exactly that, her ability of being strong, that touched me more deeply, because also it meant that I would have to live my strength with her. So something clicked on: “ what is the challenge of this relationship? It’s both growing equally, not one on top, or the man as the boss and the woman following, being able both to become, or be, or remain ourselves”. That went so deep at that moment on that beach that something settled inside, I felt “maybe it is for that we will carry us through many different moods and spaces and difficulties”. A deep seed was falling inside that this was like an opportunity. After that Osho came to Bombay, we went to Bombay, we had to plan to continue our honeymoon in Goa, and Ananda (???), who was arranging the sitting for Osho, whispered to us that Osho was going to Puna and said “Don’t tell anybody, but go as soon as you can so you will be there when as he arrives and it’s really a unique moment, it’s a secret….” It was also a painful moment because it was again surrendering and letting go of our honeymoon and our romance because we knew that if we’d go to Puna the commune would start again and the dilemma between the Master and the love affair was very very big and also traumatic in a way, because we were still needing to be on our own, but we had to decide, we could not say if in two months or three months it was moving that way. So we said “ok, we go to Puna”.
S. As we arrived in Puna, our first work was to clean up the therapy chambers that have been closed for the last seven years, so we had to go the dojo (?????) and start from scratching, it was much more than just cleaning, it was like exorcising that place, so much psychic material was hanging in the air, and it was a very interesting moment for me because just going down to these room I would cry and feel desperate as if something was lost, and partly I was also absorbing what was hanging in the air. And yet it was also someway to really start from scratch in our relationship to Osho. In a way also that, although it was sudden and psychologically traumatic to interrupt our honeymoon, maybe it was again another blessing, because it didn’t allow us to bring it to a point of completeness, or *****, we had every time to move on and recharging that longing inside, that waiting, and at the same time we had to completely shift our focus from each other to the Master, to the life Master. So it was like as if there was so much love in our hearts for each other, that then all that love was turned into an alchemy and brought back to the Master. That was very beautiful and yet also difficult for us that period of time in Puna, because if there was something that was not so much supported or acknowledge was relationship, the focus was on aloness, or the focus was on sharing with many people, but certainly not to be in a relationship. The first period that we lived in Pune we lived inside what was called then the “ashram” and we were living in veggie villas, which were little huts that were standing where now Osho house is standing, so very close to Lao Tzu, where Osho was living, and the transition between us being together and us sharing in a larger commune was not always so soft, so at times we would find each other facing our first big fights. The funny thing was that Osho was living very close-by and regularly in the evening discourse after our fights he would start talking about fights and relationship, making fun of relationship, and I in particular was feeling my mind would stop, luckily I would not feel that I had to decide between the Master and my beloved, somewhere in that shock there was a part that would understand “ok,this is a great mirror, this is a great way of growing, this is a juicy way of growing”.
P. Sometimes there was also the feeling to be ashamed to be in a relationship, because it was a feeling like “are you so needy that you need somebody else?”. People would regularly ask, when we would come back after being out working for a while to make the money , “are you still together?” as if we had a disease that hadn’t gone. Also we ourselves had the same attitude towards ourselves, and we were watching ourselves: “what are we doing?”. Also being in a commune with many juicy people and such open exchange and possibility was a big challenge, because we could not hide behind the fact that we were only attracted to each other and nobody else existed because it was not true, we also had many attractions and many energy connections to others, but somehow without making it a real rule we held on to not to having sex with others and I think that that was something that deepened the relationship a lot, even though it came sometimes very very close to breaking up and moving on.
It was beautiful to be with Osho in that time, it was really really beautiful, but very intense, like all morning discourse, evening discourse, starting at six in morning, finishing the day at eleven at night, not much time for sex, for playing, except playing in the commune with all the others, and being divided also, having different jobs, having different social scenes, different friends, always with a certain longing of wanting to spend more time together, and at the same time the beauty of it too, because the sharing was very deep, the sharing the space to be with Osho, the sitting each in front of Osho and feeling the individual connection to Osho and yet the fact that we were together in this journey, sharing the pain sometimes and sharing the ecstasy. It was also very nice the fact that we had that possibility: after one or two years Osho was asking everybody to make their own money, the commune was not anymore supporting people to stay in Puna, except very few. We could have been in those very few, because we were included in the therapists; but we decided ourselves “no, this is true, we do want to make money ourselves”. So we started to focus a little more on how could we make money and we started organizing our groups with Miasto and with Colone, and that was nice because then we would travel together, we would leave the commune and suddenly we would be in the world together and suddenly we would realize what gift we had gotten in the time we were there, because when we were there we were like a fish in the water, you know, we couldn’t really be aware of what it was. But when we went out in the world we were so full of treasures, and we also had more time to share it and to talk about it, more time to be intimate together.
S. It was beautiful to come back every time, and it was also traumatic because we learned at our expense that the moment we would enter the main gate again we would have to just let go of each other, even if at night we would find each other back -because we always had (that’s another rarity, another oddity that we had) we always had one common space, we always lived together, all that time in Puna we did not have separate spaces ever – we still would have to let go of each other. But that was also an amazing school and an amazing teaching: we were doing the same work, we were leading primal and tantra groups and the agreement within the commune was that lovers could not lead the same group together, we would have the same group or pass each other the same people but not working in the same room – and the device that we had to learn was “as soon as you enter the group room you would abandon completely your personal issue and let something larger, which we called Osho, through”. So that was also something that was in a way stretching our capacity to the limit and in another way it was a great blessing, a great teaching because it somehow trained us to step outside of ourselves, to desidentify and that from a certain point in which the heart remains open – we would not be able to work with a close heart – so that was part of it. It was really like opening and closing, jumping in, jumping out, a real teaching in emotion, psychological flexibility. Yet there was also another part which I loved very much about us being together, it was also that we preserved and kept a sense of humor, and a sense of not taking the whole thing too serious, not becoming too over-religious, be able just to say “ok” and enjoy the simple things of life. We never lost completely the touch with enjoying the simple things of life.
P. Also in that period what we explored a lot next to love was respect to each other, because we could only continue being with each other if it only there was a certain respect towards each other’s individuality, which also meant that by moments we had incredible fights and dis-respect. As we continued for periods we’d almost fight all the time, fight because we had to test out each other, because we were stressed, because maybe we didn’t know any other way to connect each other than to fight, maybe we had lost the feeling of love for a moment, but the respect, the underline respect – thanks God – remained and grew also. When Osho left the body we were there together, which was incomparable I think, it was one of the greatest gift. In the morning of the day I had learned that Osho left the body, in a dream I went straight back to Holland and I realized that I made a mistake and that I would have needed to stay longer in the commune after his leaving the body, and that evening he had left the body. So when we heard that Osho left the body and we both remembered that dream, in that moment it was so clear: “ we have to stay, we have to stay now”. And with that force of “we have to stay” somehow we were almost naturally drown to the center of the cyclone, Osho was being carried by his beloved caretakers and sannyasins, and there was Prasad – who started the whole thing telling me “check out Italians” – who was my teacher and I loved him very much, he was also Svarup’s teacher, he died one year after Osho left the body – he was carrying Osho’s body and he was not rather the body himself at that time, and he called me “Premartha, come, stay around, those people are pushing too much into Osho’s body”, so I hold the hand with Svarp and we were immediately at the core, and that was also very silent and very like a great transmission, and we sat together at the fire until early morning, and we cried together the biggest lost I think one can have, to loose the Master, and we stayed for many years after.
S. For me, that particular night when Osho left the body and we were sitting near the fire I had tangible experience, that I think many thousands of us felt, which was that as the body was burning, love, substantially, not just the idea or the feeling of love, but the essence of love was spreading and was just showering on us, it was really a physical feeling, a real feeling, a sensation mixed with the tears, mixed with the not-knowing anymore what would happened. And that for me was a transmission that entered also our relationship, because I felt that in some moments, when we were getting in the fights that we used to get in – we don’t get so much anymore – at the bottom of those fights the only way where transformation would happen would be if I would connect with that space of letting go everything, allowing everything to disappear, not holding on to anything, just letting it go, if it wants to disappear it’ll disappear with my heart present, like it was when Osho left the body and then I would experience exactly that spreading of love and not knowing, just having to let it go. And coming together again there was no shadow of doubt anymore, because we had gotten to the bottom. The transmission from that night it concerned our relationship and I feel also all every other areas of my life, but in particular with us, like the readiness to completely let it go, not hold on in anyway, and then the love would come.
P. Then came the unavoidable point where we started to feel more attracted to be in the west or out of the commune than in the commune, and it materialized itself in a great longing to write a book. Like we knew we had to do something new, something we hadn’t done yet together, and I knew that Svarup was a good writer and always wanted to write a book, I had the same dream so it started to grow in us and at one point we said “ok, let’s do it” and then we had the concept of the book in two seconds, as if it already was there, we knew it would be about our work and about our own stories in the work, exposing our own primal issues, honestly declaring that as therapists we are exactly in the same boat as our clients. We started in Goa, because we always went to Goa, and then it was clear, in the commune when we came back, that we had to make a choice. It was hard that we had to make a choice because the commune put us in front of a choice: if we want to do our own things, if we want to write a book then we could not continue to work in the commune as we did, or if we want to be full time involved then we have to give up that dream. It was really hard because we really loved working in the commune, but the feeling was strong that “we have to follow our own creativity now”. And we were the first, everybody was still there and there was no moving out of the commune yet and it was very exciting and very painful at the same time because no one really understood this urge, not even me, just we knew we had to do it and we said “ok”. And we arranged it and we started to drop our groups in the commune – we still did some sessions – and started to write the book, and the book came out and it was the next step because as the book came out it also brought that we worked more. And over one year or two years we slowly started moving on and on, in a way our beautiful house disappeared because somebody bought it in Puna, then we had another house but we couldn’t settle anymore as if we were pushed out.
S. And on almost the day that we were about to ******* the last tie of living in Puna, something like five days before, Premartha had a ring, which was a ring of massive gold with a turquoise that I had given him when we had really met, one year after we met, when we really came together, so it symbolized our union. This ring got stolen, at the same time the computer in which we were completing the book, at home in ABCfarm, died, just from one moment to another it didn’t boot anymore – likely most of the work was saved, but most, not all- so it was a kind of absolute, terrifying let go situation. On that very day we had our first meeting with the Greeks, the Greek commune which was in itself an amazing experience because we had worked in many countries and when we would have a meeting – because we had heard that the Greeks wanted to invite us – we would have a lunch meeting with one or two people…. so in the space that we were in, just having declared the fact to the police and having come to face the fact that we had lost part of our work when the computer was broken, we went to Sangamitra, which was a restaurant next to our house, to meet the Greeks and we found ourselves welcomed by a table where there were at least twenty people eating merrily and celebrating because they were our future next family – we did not know yet.
P. We love being in Italy, Italy has always been our home, like our real love affair started in Italy when Svarup picked me up in Florence, I was much happier in Italy than in Holland, we wanted to settle in Italy, we did settle in Italy, but we definitely would have never had the money to really buy something or do one step further. we would have needed to rent a place, which we did and it was beautiful, but somewhere maybe deep down we had a different dream, even if we didn’t know it, and that dream only came to the surface when we actually went to Greece and we did offer groups in Afroz in Lesbos, and the center leader said “Let me show you around some pieces of land, because they still are very very cheap” and they truly were very very cheap, and I didn’t really dream to live in Greece, it was too extreme, to far away, but to my surprise Svarup looked at the first piece of land, it was on a hill overlooking the sea, and she said “ I’m falling in love, I felt in love”, and within two hours it was arranged, we bought the property, we didn’t know what to do with it because it was such a big step, after writing the book this was another very shaky step to manifest together as a relationship a property it was almost like saying “oh, this is too much, now we are really going to be stacked, completely stacked, it’s a disaster”. So we decided “ok, we have the property, it is nice to have it, but we are going to do nothing with it”. But the year after we came and the center leader said “ if you have the property, why don’t you make a little holiday home there so you can stay a little longer and just be a little bit pioneer?”. “ok” we said, “we can do that”. Then we had a friend who offered to build that holiday home, but anyway by the way she said “maybe after years you would expand it or you want to make it bigger so let’s make official plants of something bigger and then we start very small and she said she would happy to do it over winter, with her boyfriend for us for free. We had to pay of course the costs but she was doing it just because she loved doing it. So we made plants for an extensive house with a beautiful courtyard and rose garden, but that would be maybe in the far-away-future. And then when we came back half an year later she had built the whole plant, so suddenly we arrived and we had this incredible, beautiful house on top of the hill, overlooking the sea…
S. …. even with the rose garden. It was the next very big adventure to come to this earth, to land on this planet, to land in our bodies, to just have a taste of getting roots and to just have a taste of daily ordinary life. For us having flight with the Master for so many years it was really a scary scary landing of just having time for ourselves, having a dog, having a cat, to go shopping in the local green grocer, having a life. That was for us as big as meeting a Master, in fact it was meeting the Master in another form, meeting the Master through life. We are still enjoying the process, we are still enjoying, sometimes I feel we are like two children in this big world pretending to be grown up, other moments I feel that we are really finally enjoying life as it is, learning how to celebrate what we had gathered in these years of search and travel and adventure and that being together in this space is very very precious, wonderful.
P. When we had the house, when we came and we saw the house was ready, I think I freaked out more than S., being a Scorpio and S. being a Taurus, she was happy to come back and have a home, I thought “ This is it, now it’s finished, I don’t want to.” And the first year we only could be there if I was sure that we were going to sell the house the next year, we had to make an agreement with each other “ok,we will sell the house and as long as we haven’t sold it yet we use it a little bit”. I was amazed because S. was really loving the house and I was not loving the house at all, it was like an enemy, but at the same time we went in another equally confusing path which was that we decided “to get our administration together somehow we have to merry”. And this is something I always said to myself “I will never marry, it is not my thing, it is not a sannyasin thing, it is usually the end of the relationship as Osho says”, I had many quotes in my head of Osho about marriage all negative, so we decided “we take the last day of the possibility that we can marry in Italy, so we can cancelate still”. That half year was hell, really hell; we broke up for a while, it was that such a fear it came to make that step, was such a feeling of betrayal of Osho, and betrayal of the commune. Very deep a deep stuff was started up, but somehow we continued with the idea and then when we finally arrived – we married in Milano – when the day started to arrive, like one month before, we started to enter in this very particular golden atmosphere, very golden, something I only knew by being close to Osho, something like an initiation, something very precious, maybe it was the longing that we had in the beginning that we had never fully expressed years before (because we were already together 18 years at that point), I mean that longing to give a celebration to that commitment, we had never done it, we have never celebrated “we are together”. And we had always still kept a little bit of guilt or shame in our backpoket of “ how stacked we are, we are already 18 years together”. And then to make the celebration and to say “we are 18 years together and now we are marrying” that means really: “we want to continue together on this journey, we love this journey together, it’s beautiful, it’s intense, it’s deep, it’s awful, it’s terrible, it’s painful, it’s gorgeous….” To declare it for me, maybe I was the one- typically the man- who had being holding that back all the time…
On the day we married it was a pure golden experience, smooth, liquid, gold feeling of an incredible love for the two of us. We had made it and the fact that we were allowed to say that finally, to say “we have made it and we made it, even if we went through hell we did”. We married, we didn’t invite any family. Samadan was marrying us, he’s a sannyasin, only sannyasins came, there were sannyas music, Osho quotes…
S. …in the town hall. And all the employees that were around were totally taken and really enthusiastic about the celebration, it started with “just say yes to life, just say yes to the master…” and everybody was clapping, and the official that was marring us, with the “fascia tricolore” was standing and moving like this…. it was an osho marriage. And then the funny detail was that we had carefully selected the quote that we would like to be played, but somehow the quote did not arrived in time from Miasto so at the last time we had to choose from what was available from a friend’s computer and so the quote that was played in our marriage turned out to be a quote on cosmic orgasm. That was also beautiful that even at the last moment we had to let go of control and just receive the blessings in whatever form they wanted to come. Mahamudra.
P. And that golden atmosphere continued and in that golden atmosphere we returned to Greece, we had the house and I loved it, I was so surprise that existence had pulled this joke on us, that against our will we had gotten the house and against our will we had made it and almost against our will we married and suddenly all together was an experience…. maybe the most ordinary experience but it was also very special. Now the house is beautiful, it is close to the Afroz center and there are other sannyasins living down the road, building houses, groups are happening, it is in an Osho field, we are not isolated, we are next to an Osho field, we come to Puna, we go to Goa…
Marga: The golden age.
P. The golden age, yes. And now also in a way we are aging, we are mid-50s, and now around us we see that more and more people are making this choice of settlement into relationship, appreciating it, using it also as a meditation, going deep in it.
S. and it’s beautiful because it is an honor, and a privilege, and a great gift also to be able to share with our younger friends just that space, telling them “just relax with each other, don’t mistake drama for intensity, intensity can be a very silent, subtle and deep phenomenon and just can happen when it wants to happen, you just have to ride it, but just enjoying being together and relaxing together because life anyway carries you where it wants you to be”. It’s beautiful to have that experience and that wisdom to transmit.