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Archive for the ‘Osho’ Category

The banality of good morning posts and our positivity fixation – Mint

Posted: November 10, 2020 at 12:56 am


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I woke up on the morning of 5 November to a pleasant surprise on Whats-App. There were less than 10 good morning" messages with pictures of sunrises (or sunsets, who can tell?) accompanied by pious banalities. Most of the posts were on the United States presidential election results. At least on one day of the year, I had been spared the task of scrolling through 50 platitudes and deleting them.

The success we see in someone else is the proof that it is possible for us too!" My pain may be the reason for someone elses laugh. But my laugh must never be the reason for somebodys pain" (this one with a Charlie Chaplin picture). May the shells on the beach remind you that treasures arrive every day in the form of simple things!" There is always another chance for everything in life. But the fact is there is no chance of another life." Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already." Yesterday is the memory we made for today. So make today a good day to remember tomorrow."

The ones involving God particularly get my goat. God loves you. He will be there for you. He will make way for you. He will wipe away your tears. He will be your best friend. Have a wonderful day." God never takes a day off to love, to care, to keep us safe and guide us in every moment in our lives. May His presence be with you always." I am unsure about the grammar here. Shouldnt it be God never takes a day off from loving, caring. keeping us safe" and so on?

But even more irritating are the folks who reply to each and every such post. I mean, do you really have nothing better to do? Like watching cat videos, cutting your toenails, or pondering the deeply metaphysical question about why only that part of your back itches which you cant reach with your fingers? So one has to endure messages like: Thank you X for your wonderful message (various emojis here). You have a great day and the same to all my dear friends." What a lovely thought! We should all try to live by this principle." Or the most inane of all: What a bright message Y (emoji). You have a good weekend (emoji)." What is the point of sending these notes of appreciation? What purpose do they serve? Do the persons posting these pointless thank-yous get actually inspired and decide to spend the rest of their lives following these noble tenets? Or do they just want to be popular, acknowledging mass messages? Or are their limbs so flexible that their fingers can reach every part of their backs?

I have met a few people in my life who were great devotees of the Dale Carnegie philosophy of self-improvement and interpersonal skills (essentially salesmanship), who tried to make friends" with any stranger they met, and I dont want to see them again. Their constant and often forced good cheer was unbearable. Why this desperate need for everyone to like you?

However, I do grudgingly admire the people who send these good morning messages. These are disciplined human beings. Wake up every day (this species, I have found, invariably gets out of bed at dawn or even before that), do your ablutions and whatever else you domorning walk, jog, Surya namaskarand then search the net for an inspirational quote, keeping in mind not to repeat yourself or anything others may have posted. Many of them may also be selecting a quote, then a picture, and laying that quote out on the picture in what they think is a fitting and aesthetic manner. Following this routine for years surely improves memory and keeps Alzheimers at bay. These people must also be big consumers of the motivational industry and are contributing billions of dollars to the global economy. Whether this improves ones aptitude in anything, though, is open to doubt.

The human impulse driving these good morning messages, one assumes, is the pressure that many people feel to stay positive all the time. But why should we be that way? From Gautam Buddha to Osho to modern psychologists, many have seen the relentless pursuit of positive thinking as, at best, unnecessary and, at worst, harmful. Osho went so far as to say: The philosophy of positive thinking means being untruthful; it means being dishonest. It means seeing a certain thing and yet denying what you have seen; it means deceiving yourself and others."

All of us have a subconscious self, and denying the negative feelings down there gets us nowhere. This renders our smiles and attitudes hypocritical and in the end stresses us out. There is nothing wrong in feeling low for a while, or seeing a dark cloud without a silver lining. Maybe what we need is to attack that cloud methodically, calmly, rationally, removing ones personality from the process, and not pointlessly stay positive", or trust in the ineffable workings of the universe.

There is surely nothing wrong with feeling angry or disappointed, or to express these feelings, at least for us ordinary souls who have not achieved enlightenment. The challenge is to recognize our inner demons and overcome them in their dark lairs, than in believing in the power of a five-step positive-thinking formula. That is deluding ourselves, which is dangerous. For, one day the levee may just break.

Sandipan Deb is a former editor of Financial Express, and founder-editor of Open and Swarajya magazines

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The banality of good morning posts and our positivity fixation - Mint

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November 10th, 2020 at 12:56 am

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Reflections on Zen Practice Now and What Comes Next – Patheos

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Now that were moving past the 2020 election and into the transitional period, it seems like a good time for personal reflections about Zen teaching. So in this post, Ill share what Ive been up to since the pandemic struck with my Zen teaching venues, Nebraska Zen Center(NZC) and the Vine of Obstacles: Online Support for Zen Training. Ill also make some connections with the larger context of the Zen Center model, consider where Id like to go from here, and offer one way to express the purpose of our training both for students and for me, one of the teachers.

First, a little background. I started the Vine in early 2013 in response to requests from nonlocal students that Id connected with through this blog, Wild Fox Zen. Together with an intrepid group of students, we developed a Moodle platform and began doing Zen study with online courses and interactions among students via the Moodle forums.

In addition to the Vine, Ive been co-teaching with Tetsugan Osho at Nebraska Zen Center for the past four-and-a-half years. During this period, she has been much more involved with the day-to-day, nitty-gritty of running the temple. With the advent of the pandemic, NZC began a period of rapid adaptation. Tetsugan Osho shifted to co-teaching with me on the Vine, and most NZC students have moved to studying on the Vine as well.Merging, of course, has gone both ways. The Vine has also merged with NZC in a commendably smooth manner.

The two entities are now almost indistinguishable. And we expect this transformation to continue over the next year as the pandemic, tragically, appears now to be on the way to becoming more serious, and then might wind down, perhaps in the second and third quarters of 2021. This will allow for a new Zen normal to be established which will include a strong online presence.

Its important to understand where weve been in order to appreciate the present and shape where we might go in the future. When Katagiri Roshi and other Zen pioneers established the Zen Center model in the 60s and 70s, it was more akin to martial arts training in Japan than to a Western church. Zen Centers were focused on intensive training, including zazen, study, and in some places, koan training as well. Most students were householders, but most were involved in daily training sessions at the dojo. Their practice was closely supervised by one of the founding teachers for example, Katagiri Roshi, Maezumi Roshi, or Chino Roshi.

During my thirteen years of training as a student in this model, I came to regard it as quasi-monastic. As the saying goes, we werent monks nor were we lay people. Like most other students, I usually worked a full time job, while also spending about twenty hours a week at the Zen Center not counting sesshin or practice periods at the monastery we were developing, Hkyji. This was more or less what was happening at most of the small number of other Zen Centers in the US, although some also had a residential component, and some, like us, were attempting to establish rural monasteries as well.

Let me insert a short note about monastic practice here. In my view, monastic practice is an enormously important experience for any Zen student. Notably, the monastic narrative runs deep in our tradition. My own monastic experiences at Hkyji and Bukkokuji where essential to my process. And I encourage anyone with life circumstances that allow it to dive into monastic practice. However, during the past 40 years, although there has been dramatic growth in the number of householder Zen students, the number of monastic practitioners has remained almost what it was in 1980. Why?

Most people that are interested in Zen practice now do not have life circumstances that allow for dropping everything and going up the mountain (unless they drop children, spouses, and careers as well) and so other forms practice are clearly necessary. Id like to see those forms of practice legitimized in order to tune down the impact that the monastic fantasy has on householder practitioners. That fantasy runs something like this: If only I was doing monastic practice, then I could sit in samadhi, experience kensh, live in peace and harmony.

Nevertheless, if youd like to hear some of my stories about my early period of my training in the old Zen Center modle, and some monastic ones too, check out this podcast from Corey Hess Zen Embodiment:

Although training in the old Zen Center model was excellent, it was difficult for students to take good care of their home lives, particularly for those with partners and children. The partners of Zen students who were engaged in this model often reported feeling like their partner was having an affair. Indeed, for many of us, it was like that our hearts were as divided as our time. I know mine was.

Since those early days, there has been a large and not-often discussed shift in what I think of as the Zen Center model, concomitant with the first generations of Westerners emerging as Zen teachers, and a dramatic increase in the number of Zen Centers. Simply put, many Zen Centers are now more like Christian churches than the early Zen training centers. Members attend a gathering at most once a week, practice in-between is spotty and largely unsupported, and that practice is often based on the Boomer philosophy of do whatever feels right for you.

In addition, there are now a plethora of resources available for practice advice, including books, websites, and social media, so that many students or perhaps members is a more fitting label now practice with minimal direct supervision from a teacher. Some members, of course, are more engaged in practice and volunteering, and there are usually circles of participation that extend from a core group of students outward to the casual visitor.

Granted, there is considerable variations to this model when we look at any particular group. What Im aiming for here is a general model and as such it may not fully represent what youve experienced in any one group. And as for what constitutes a fair general current Zen Center model, I imagine that opinions will vary.

Be that as it may, Im suggesting that just as the original Zen Center model took practice from the monastery and into the community, online practice takes another step. Practitioners homes become the temple. Their bodies become the stupa. Let me give an example with what were doing with the Vine.

It might not surprise you to hear that, in my view, the Vine is quite different than the current Zen Center model. One of the key differences is that we aspire for everyone involved to work together as a training group. What were doing on the Vine then is more like a school (with a small s we have no intention to start a School/Order), a Zen school focused on zazen, study, and engagement that comes with considerable connections with other practitioners and ongoing guidance and feedback from teachers.

In this way, the Vine is more like a late-70s-80s Zen Center than a church, although we embrace modern technology to allow for a much wider range of offerings than either.The intensiveness of the training, combined with the online format, allows students to do much of their work at home, and their sangha is always as close as their phones. This reduces the impact of the training on home life that was such a negative aspect of the early in-person Zen Center model described above.

In addition, the Vine is explicitly for people who want to godeeplyinto the work, and not so much for people who want to exploreifZen might be right for them, or for whom belongingness needs are paramount. We also arent primarily directed toward those interested in well-being. Theres nothing wrong with exploring, belonging, and well-being of course. And for some people, exploring, belonging, and well-being are enough. I have no argument with that. However, Tetsugan Osho and I, along with Ed Goshin, assistant teacher on the Vine, choose to focus our time and energy working with people who have already crossed the threshold into Zen, who have aroused the Way seeking mind, who have some sense of Great Doubt, and are ready to jump into Zen training in order to realize the ground of being.

For us, that training includes:

As we say,

The Vine is designed for those who are determined to awaken (kensh) and actualize the great matter of life and death (post-kensh training). And, who arent shy about it.

An important aspect of Vine training is participation in the forums. We use forums both for general discussions and as the basis of dharma study. The forums have become increasingly important over the years both as a place for students to receive peer support, and for teachers to give practice pointers to students based on how students are showing up. Through involvement in the forums, Vine students get to know much more about each others lives and practices than in the in-person communities that Ive been involved with, either as a teacher or a student. Students also receive at least as much guidance and feedback as students are likely to receive in in-person communities. Finally, although this guidance and feedback arises in an online context, it is much the same that students receive in in-person training.

Another difference between the Vine and the current Zen Center model is that the latter is based on membership contributions and the former is a tuition-based program. Offering this intensive householder training comes with a cost. In order to spend our time in this way, Tetsugan Osho and I have given up other occupations. But our landlord, grocery store, and utility companies havent given up being compensated for their services. So students pay a monthly tuition fee to access the training, although we sometimes make allowances for students who have limited financial means.

One consideration for me is that as I approach 65 years on this planet, Im aware that my teaching shelf life might be in the ten-year range. Given that limitation, it is important to me to continue the process I began with my upcoming book, The Record of Empty Hall: One Hundred Classic Koans (now available for preorder), that is, doing what I can to share some of the deep wealth of dharma resources of the Zen tradition, much of which has yet to be translated and made available in English. I estimate that less than ten percent of the Taish Tripitika has been translated. My next project is Going Through the Mysterys One Hundred Questions, but thats another story.

In terms of my teaching practice with the Vine and NZC, as I said above, I dont see us going back to the pre-pandemic world with a division between in-person and online groups. Rather, in the post-pandemic world, I see us going in the direction that we started when the Vine was created. That direction has only accelerated during the pandemic an emphasis on weekly online teacher-student meetings and ongoing study through the Vine Moodle, now supported by sessions like Open Zen, daily Zoom zazen, and online retreats.

The missing ingredient in our pandemic training is in-person seven-day sesshin, but well get those going again as soon as it is safe to do so. We also recommend solo retreats and have begun supporting students in solo retreats by offering guidance before, during (through practice meetings), and afterwards (debriefs can be an essential ingredient of these experiences).

Thanks to the recent changes, I have a renewed sense of what were doing and a longer-range vision of what well be offering, including a more clearly articulated and scaffolded curriculum of classic Zen texts. This curriculum entwines with zazen, engagement, and the koan curriculum as well.

For students, the intended outcome of these offerings is to provide a vehicle for them to settle deeply in the buddhadharma, so that they can live in peace and harmony in daily life, meet the self, other, and the details of this one great life with wholehearted intimacy and delight. In other words, to actualize the Great Vows. This requires a kensh as clear as the palm of the hand and years of post-kensh training. A good minimum amount of time for intensive householder training is ten years after kensh.

Weve verified through experience that what Ive outlined above is a reliable way for householders to accomplish the intended outcomes of Zen. The mix of online and in-person work provides a sufficient basis for students to go deeply into the Zen way, at least as well (and probably better, in my view) as the current in-person Zen Center model.

Finally, as with any Zen training endeavor, rites of passage are a vital aspect, rites that acknowledge the work thats been done receiving the precepts, ritually acknowledging the transformation thats taken place (analogous to home-leaver ordination), training as a senior student (analogous to head monk training), and perhaps dharma transmission, if an appropriate person or persons appear.

For me, these offerings are about transmittingto the next generation the dharma that Ive received from my teachers, especially Katagiri Rshi and James Myun Ford Rshi, toward whom I feel an unrequited debt of gratitude due to their compassionately sharing the dharma with me.

If you are interested in participating in the Vine, contact doshoport@gmail.com.

Dsh Port began practicing Zen in 1977 and now co-teaches with his wife, Tetsugan Zummach sh, with theVine of Obstacles: Online Support for Zen Training,an internet-based Zen community and at theNebraska Zen Center. Dsh received dharma transmission from Dainin Katagiri Rshi and inka shmei from James Myun Ford Rshi in the Harada-Yasutani lineage. Dshs translation and commentary onThe Record of Empty Hall: One Hundred Classic Koansis due out in February, 2021 (Shambhala). He is also the authorofKeep Me In Your Heart a While: The Haunting Zen of Dainin Katagiri.

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Reflections on Zen Practice Now and What Comes Next - Patheos

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November 10th, 2020 at 12:56 am

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Creating a safe space to speak – Free Press Journal

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Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.

-Rumi

But, in todays times, the most difficult thing is probably to find someone to listen to you even when you do manage to raise your words. Spoken, an initiative by Kommune does just that. It not only gives one a platform to raise their words but also amplifies it so that it is heard by a wider audience. Here one can use their words to articulate their intensely intimate thoughts as well as their robust reactions to the society. Kommune was able to get so many people to speak their truths simply because I think we started with a belief that we are a safe space for people. Even when we used to initially do our catch ups four years ago, we would get people together into almost like a sharing circle. And they would tell their stories, and come up and speak on a microphone, and we would record them. But we would always seek their permission saying, do they want to share what they have to say. I think all people wanted was a way to creatively express themselves, which is what I've managed to do with the team at Kommune, says Roshan Abbas who co-founded Kommune with Gaurav Kapur and Ankur Tewari in 2015.

Kommune is a platform where artists, producers, patrons and collaborators come together to support artists and performances. It is a place where new performance concepts are discovered and nurtured; ultimately helping them reach the right audience.

We really feel that there is a there is a hierarchy of needs that a creator has at the very basic level, a creator just wants to maybe consume creative things. At the next level, they want to know the tools of how to develop it. They want to be challenged and want to be able to earn money from it and be recognised. And then they want to collaborate with bigger people. So I think that's what Kommune is trying to provide them a platform for creative expression, a stage for every story. And to do it truthfully, honestly with no filter. I think the other joy is that we are a very young, very small team and we respect each other's views. We respect our audiences views and of course our creators views. And that's where I think this whole ecosystem has grown," explains Abbas, who has hosted two seasons of The Storytellers (by Kommune) on Amazon Prime.

Spoken has been one of the most noteworthy initiatives by Kommune, a festival where poets, spoken word artists, storytellers from India and abroad come together. This year, due to the pandemic, the festival went digital. During the pandemic from being a big celebration of the live performance art, we went into being a virtual celebration of the performance art. And the one new thing that it actually gave us was this whole focus on learning because they realized that they were able to create e-learning modules around creativity was so much more exciting. We also tried about 20 different formats. And these are something that people really enjoyed. And people started coming back to us and saying that these are great. I think we built a largely loyal audience. So I think that's the one unique thing that's happened. We did a spoken reunion that happened online, we had about 2000 people who attended it," says Abbas, a distinguished theatre actor, TV anchor, director and RJ, and heads the event management company, Geometry Encompass.

In the past, Spoken has seen participation by artists such as like screenwriter-lyricist Varun Grover, comedian Rohan Joshi, journalist Faye D'Souza, actor Kubra Sait, actor Radhika Apte, commentator Harsha Bhogle, and social media influencers like Srishti Dixit and Kusha Kapila.

In January, we hope we can do a hybrid spoken by when we will have it online, but we'll also have smaller physical gigs that will happen and maybe not in one city when maybe in multiple cities simultaneously, he adds.

It was in March last year when Kommune launched an initiative, creating an anthem, which brought 100 poets together, who created a poem on theme, My Right To Write. This effort had been inspired by Rakesh Tiwaris Sau Hazaar Likhne Wale (A Hundred Thousand Writers Can). This year, Kommune decided to celebrate Diwali by inviting entries with a line on their idea of home.

The entries are being currently reviewed, after which Osho Jain shall compose Kommunes first ever song, which shall release on November 11. Abbas was pleasantly surprised at the number of entries that they received, and is looking forward to make people enjoy the Diwali spirit.

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November 10th, 2020 at 12:56 am

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Line of Duty’s Arnott, Fleming and Hastings unite to tackle bent coppers in behind-the-scenes pic – RadioTimes

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Series boss Jed Mercurio has shared some new snaps from set.

This competition is now closed

Jed Mercurio has regularly been teasing fans with new behind-the-scenes images during the ongoing shoot for Line of Duty series six, and now the series creator has taken to Twitter to share some more snaps.

Mercurio has posted two images of Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure), and Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) before and after interrogating a bent copper.

The first image shows the trio alert and ready to deliver a good grilling, while in the second they are slumped over a desk, clearly exhausted by their efforts. (Given how long some of those interrogation scenes run, who can blame them?)

In a second set of images, Arnott and Fleming are seen to be having some fun behind their bosss back, with Mercurio writing, Poor Gaffer he gets no respect around here!.

Fans of the popular police drama are waiting patiently for the next batch of episodes, with production having been postponed by the coronavirus pandemic back in March meaning the originally planned 2020 release date could not be kept.

Production resumed in September and the BBCs official position is that season six is now due to air on BBC One next year although an exact date has not been provided at this stage.

The sixth series will once again see AC-12 dealing with corrupt police officers, with guest star Kelly McDonald playing this seasons chief suspect DCI Joanne Davidson, who has been described as the most enigmatic adversary AC-12 have ever faced.

The cast will also include Shalom Brune-Franklin (Our Girl), Andi Osho (Kiri), Prasanna Puwanarajah (Doctor Foster) and Perry Fitzpatrick (This is England).

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Line of Duty's Arnott, Fleming and Hastings unite to tackle bent coppers in behind-the-scenes pic - RadioTimes

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November 10th, 2020 at 12:56 am

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Manbeena Sandhu: Ma Anand Sheela is still the queen of her kingdom – The Indian Express

Posted: October 11, 2020 at 5:58 pm


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Written by Devyani Onial | Updated: October 11, 2020 9:39:48 am Manbeena Sandhu and Ma Anand Sheela.

She was 16 when she accompanied her father to meet godman Rajneesh in Baroda, the beginning of a complex relationship that endured until she fled his ashram in the US in 1985. From setting up a commune in a wild outpost of Oregon and unsettling a conservative local community along the way, the flamboyant Ma Anand Sheela (born Sheela Ambalal Patel) was personal secretary to Osho, as Rajneesh later came to be called, and the face of the movement till her falling out with him, which ended in a 39-month prison spell for a series of charges, including immigration fraud, wiretapping and poisoning. In this interview, Manbeena Sandhu speaks on what led her to document the story of an unconventional life and the inner world of a controversial cult. Excerpts:

Your biography of Ma Anand Sheela comes after having followed the Osho movement for two decades. When did you know that you wanted to write on her?

As soon as I was introduced to Oshos work, I got introduced to Sheela as well. Not through the Gurus books or talks, but through his sannyasins. In my opinion, Ma Sheela and Rajneesh are inseparable. I havent heard one story of Rajneesh without the mention of Sheela. As I got seeped into the movement, information about Sheela started pouring from all directions. A few of Gurus disciples loved her, a few despised her but none could ignore her. She seemed intriguing. Right off the bat, I knew that I wanted to meet her, know her and write about her. Even though the information of her whereabouts was not easy to access, the desire to capture her life story kept getting stronger over the years.

It was Chapman and Maclain Ways Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country (2018) that drew everyones attention to Ma Sheela. She was, in many ways, the anti-hero of the series. When you met her last year, how much of that tough-talking, controversy-courting woman did you see?

Other than catching a glimpse or two of that old time Sheela in her sharp eyes, brisk gait and quick wit, I couldnt see much of that controversy-courting woman that the world knows her as. Time doesnt stand still, it moves on and with time we evolve and change; so has Ma Sheela.

What was your first meeting like?

I first met Ma Sheela in May 2019 in Switzerland. Prior to meeting her, I had, over the phone, expressed my desire to write her story. But she was not convinced just by a voice at the other end of the line and wanted to see me in person. I first saw her at the airport. I stayed in Switzerland for about 10 days, and, during those days, I spent six to eight hours each day in her company. Before meeting Ma Sheela, I was a little intimidated by the personality that I had seen and heard of. She was very different from what I, and the world, perceives her to be she was soft and full of emotion.

How open was she with sharing the unsavoury episodes of her life with you?

The unsavoury episodes were rather interesting to talk about. She could sense my hesitation and would rather come to my rescue by answering most openly and candidly. She is very bold that way.

Did she ever express remorse about some of the things that she was accused of?

Ma Sheela maintains that she has dedicated her life to Bhagwan (Osho) and she served him the best way she possibly could. Yes, there was insurmountable pressure that she was reeling under and she made her judgements according to the demands of place and time. Ma was (or, rather, still is) head over heels in love with Bhagwan. So much so, that at times her emotion in the past may have coloured the reality to appear different than what it actually was. It happens to all of us. But in her case, she may have gone a step further, or maybe 100 steps further, than an ordinary human being in pursuing her love and her goal of upholding the entity of the ashram.

Besides Wild Wild Country, there is also Ma Sheelas memoir, Dont Kill Him! The Story of My Life With Bhagwan Rajneesh (2012). What made you feel the need for a biography on her?

Even after reading her memoir and watching the series, I was not satisfied. Just like me, I felt there would be many who had questions. In Nothing to Lose, I have answered those questions, filled in the vibrant colours, the intricate details, followed the timelines and have covered the gaps, as much as possible. Through this book, the reader will walk through the Orange world, along with Ma Sheela. He will be able to peep into her heart and her mind; and hear the conversations and witness the actions that took place behind closed doors.

How do you assess her feelings for Osho now?

She still has photographs of him at her home. She explains her 39-month prison term as simply her guru dakshina. She is still dearly in love with her Bhagwan. His pictures hang in the living room of her care home and her bedroom is full of images of Bhagwan and Sheela in love. One gets thrown back in time as one steps in her bedroom. Suddenly, Bhagwan, Sheela and the Orange world come alive. From running a sprawling commune to running care homes in Switzerland at age 70, its been a long journey. Her life is very different now, it is purely a life of service dedicated to those in need. But she still is the queen of her kingdom. She has a staff of over 30 people who are constantly at her beck and call and a number of chauffeurs to drive her and her patients around.

In interviews from those heady Oregon days, she is supremely dismissive and deliberately provocative. What was the most provocative thing she said to you?

Honestly, nothing! I had once jokingly asked her to say tough titties for me and she laughed and said, Oh Manbeena, those kinds of words are only for those shrewd journalists who deserve every bit of it and who need to be set straight, not for a person like you.

Nothing to Lose: The Authorised Biography of Ma Anand Sheela By Manbeena Sandhu HarperCollins India 332 pages Rs 599

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October 11th, 2020 at 5:58 pm

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5 arrivals, 14 exits – every Reading FC transfer in and out this summer – Berkshire Live

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It has been a busy summer transfer window for Reading.

FC Porto full-back Tomas Esteves was the final arrival on deadline day on Monday evening.

Striker Marc McNulty was the final departure, joining Dundee United on loan in the Scottish Premiership for the rest of the season.

Find out how you can get the latest news from BerkshireLive delivered straight to your inbox

There is still just over a week before the domestic window shuts, so Royals still have some time to do deals with Premier League sides or fellow EFL clubs.

Several players could still head out while Veljko Paunovic will be trying to strengthen further with a few more additions no doubt.

Here is a full list of the senior players who have left and joined Reading over the past couple of months.

Josh Laurent - Shrewsbury Town, free

Ovie Ejaria - Liverpool, 3m

Lewis Gibson - Everton, loan

Alfa Semedo - Benfica, loan

Tomas Esteves - FC Porto, loan

Chris Gunter - end of contract, free agent

Garath McCleary - end of contract, free agent

Vito Mannone - end of contract, Monaco

Adrian Popa - end of contract, free agent

Tyler Blackett - end of contract, Nottingham Forest

Jordan Obita - end of contract, free agent

Gabriel Osho - end of contract, free agent

Danny Loader - end of contract, FC Porto

Charlie Adam - end of contract, Dundee

Mo Barrow - undisclosed, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

Lucas Boye - end of loan

Matt Miazga - end of loan

Pele - end of loan

Ayub Masika - end of loan

You can get the latest news on our dedicated Reading FC page

We're also on social media:

Twitter: You can follow our Twitter account @readingfclive and our Reading FC reporter Jonathan Low @jonathanl50

Facebook: Get the latest news and views on our page Reading FC Live

You can also get the latest news for Berkshire straight to your mobile or tablet when you download the free BerkshireLive app.

You can sign up to receive push notifications - including Reading FC specific ones - which means you'll always be the first to know what's happening.

You can find it for Apple devices here and Android devices here.

Reading are back in Championship following the two week international break.

They travel to Teesside to take on Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

Kick-off is 3pm on Saturday, October 17.

Join us for live coverage of the game throughout the day with all of the build-up starting in our live blog from 12pm.

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Books of the week: From An Anthology on Climate Change to Kalpish Ratnas A Crown of Thorns, our picks – Firstpost

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We love stories, and even in the age of Netflix-and-chill, there's nothing like a good book that promises a couple of hours of absorption whether curled up in bed, in your favourite coffeehouse, or that long (and tiresome) commute to work. Every Sunday, we'll have a succinct pick of books, across diverse genres, that have been newly made available for your reading pleasure. Get them wherever you get your books the friendly neighbourhood bookseller, e-retail website, chain store and in whatever form you prefer. Happy reading!

For more of our weekly book recommendations, click here.

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FICTION

A Drop of Blood By Joginder Paul; translated by Snehal ShingaviPenguin Random House India | Rs 399 | 184 pages

Author and associate professor of English at University of Texas Snehal Shingavi translates award-winning Urdu writer Joginder Pauls debut novel Ek Boond Lahoo Ki. It follows Mohan Karan, blessed with good looks and a rare blood type. While his degree in English literature makes him little money, he discovers that selling his blood to a private blood bank has promising returns. While unexpected possibilities open up, little does he realise the personal cost these come at.

Read more about the book here.

POETRY

Open Your Eyes: An Anthology on Climate Change Edited by Vinita Agrawal Hawakal Publishers | Rs 500 | 202 pages

Award-winning poet Vinita Agrawals anthology investigates the relationship between human beings and the natural world, and aims to bring to readers attention the threat that is climate change. Each contributor has interpreted the theme differently, looking at climate change through physical, emotional, and spiritual lenses. The book also includes a foreword by poet Ranjit Hoskote.

Read more about the book here.

MEMOIRS and BIOGRAPHIES

Nothing to Lose: The Authorized Biography of Ma Anand Sheela By Manbeena Sandhu HarperCollins India | Rs 599 | 272 pages

Writer Manbeena Sandhu followed the Osho movement for two decades before finally meeting Sheela. In this book, she outlines Sheelas life, from her intense relationship with Bhagwan to heading an ashram at Rajneeshpuram, Oregon, in the 1980s. The book also discusses her alleged spearheading of the largest bio-terror attack in American history, and the 39 months she spent in jail.

Read more about the book here. Read an excerpt from the book here.

NON-FICTION

The City-Makers: How Women are Building a Sustainable Future for Urban India By Renana Jhabvala and Bijal Brahmbhatt Hachette India | Rs 399 | 208 pages

Social workers Renana Jhabvala and Bijal Brahmbhatt tell the story of the Mahila Housing SEWA Trust (MHT), established in 1994 with the aim of mobilising and empowering the urban poor women, who are living in slums and bearing the burdens of housework, childcare, and earning a livelihood. Over 25 years, MHT has affected the lives of over 1.7 million individuals. The book records this journey, sharing accounts of courageous women who have taken steps to bring change at the personal and community level.

Read more about the book here.

Fractured Forest, Quartzite City: A History of Delhi and it's Ridge By Thomas Crowley SAGE Publications India and Yoda Press | Rs 795 | 368 pages

Researcher Thomas Crowley tells the history of Delhi, placing its environment at the centre of the narrative, focusing especially on the Ridge, referred to as Delhis green lung. Even as the city has been a hub of politics, warfare, trade, and religion, the Ridges trees cant be separated from the stones below them, nor the cities that rose and fell around them. Through an ecological vantage point, Crowley offers a new light in which to understand the citys historical and geographical interconnections.

Read more about the book here.

COVID-19

And We Came Outside and Saw the Stars Again: Writers from Around the World on the COVID-19 Pandemic Edited by Ilan Stavans Penguin Random House India | Rs 799 | 400 pages

As COVID-19 has become a defining global experience, writers, artists, and translators from over 30 countries including translator Arshia Sattar from India come together to offer a portrait of the time, and be an antidote to the confines of isolation. Edited by writer Ilan Stavans, the book takes its name from the last line of Dantes Inferno, when the poet and his guide emerge from hell to observe the beauty of heaven once again. The stories, essays, poems, and artwork follow in that spirit, pointing toward a more connected future.

Read more about the book here.

A Crown of Thorns: The Coronavirus and Us By Kalpish Ratna Context | Rs 399 | 264 pages

Surgeons Ishrat Syed and Kalpana Swaminathan write together as Kalpish Ratna. They assess the current narrative of COVID-19, which has so far focused primarily on the virus. But instead of just the novel coronavirus, the book considers the relation between the virus and humanity. We have coexisted with viruses since the dawn of evolution. So, what has changed? Have we disrupted something crucial in nature? The book combines science, history and the human story, offering the long view of the pandemic.

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Books of the week: From An Anthology on Climate Change to Kalpish Ratnas A Crown of Thorns, our picks - Firstpost

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Sunday Long Reads: Of coding, Gandhis assassination, Louise Glcks best books, and more – The Indian Express

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New Delhi | October 11, 2020 11:04:50 am

Is coding a must-have life skill of the future?

The digital native that she is, eight-year-old Hirranya Rajani, with her experience of building an app and multiple skirmishes with pesky bugs, takes no time to break it down. Coding is like, say, your friend comes home and asks for a glass of water. You are busy. She doesnt know your house, and you have to tell her how to go about it, step by step. Tell her where the glass of water is kept, which way to turn till she gets there . . . Coding is like that, communicating with your computer and telling it what to do, and how to do it, she says. For over a year, Hirranya has been learning the elements of the language on the ed-tech coding platform, WhiteHat Jr, that helps her do just that.

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How UK-born Barry John turned generations of Indians into theatre professionals

In 1968, 22-year-old Barry John from centralEnglands Black Country, an area cloaked in soot and smoke from factories and mines, arrived in India and began to create theatre that would free the minds of children. People were not used to the idea that children have voices and opinions. I was working from my heart, rather than my head, in fighting for the right of children to make their own choices instead of being told what to do, when to do or how to do, he says over phone from Dharamshala, where he has been living in retirement since 2015.

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How social media kills information by overproducing it

What do you do with dead information? Not information that is no longer valid. Not information that is no longer relevant. Not information that has fallen out of fashion. But the information that has become truly and profoundly dead scrambled in an irreversible glitch, corrupt on fickle storage devices, residing in formats that nobody reads, written in machine languages that are long since forgotten. What do you do with information that is inaccessible, illegible, and not intelligible?

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Why animals fear us more than we could ever fear them

When faced with danger, every living creature responds in two ways, only one of which can be used at a time fight or flight. Usually, when the threat is smaller and weaker, the creature will fight and vanquish it. At times, the threat is on a par with it and the animal has to decide whether its worth getting injured in a do-or-die fight or to simply retreat and live to fight (a weaker enemy) another day. Sometimes, of course, tempers short-circuit and a fight to the death commences: usually, no one comes off a clear winner. The loser may lose its life and the winner limp away, ready to be taken on by another challenger, which it is, now, in no condition to do.

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The essential Louise Glck reading list

After its controversial selection of Peter Handke for the 2019 Nobel Prize for Literature, the Swedish Academy returned on course this year with a Laureate who met with all-round approval: Louise Glcks mastery at laying bare the inner life of the individual has long been acknowledged. Heres a list of four collections that give a glimpse of Glcks poetic genius:

The House on Marshland (1975)

Glcks second book of poetry, which came seven years after her debut volume, Firstborn, is considered to be the one that announced the arrival of a powerful new voice in American poetry. One of the poems in the collection, Gretel In Darkness, in particular, drew both censure and acclaim for its exploration of the theme of familial and cultural trauma, told from the perspective of Gretel, one of the protagonists from the Grimm Brotherss fairytale.

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Did the First Amendment to the Constitution lay the foundation for an authoritarian state?

The story of Indian politics is one of continuities more than ruptures contrary to the popular imagination, bolstered by arguments by several mainstream political analysts that the period since 2014 has paved the way for a new regime that has jeopardised democracy and tarnished the idea of India. Singhs book, which narrates the story of the passage of the First Amendment to the Indian Constitution by theJawaharlal Nehrugovernment in June 1951, provides an important interruption to this narrative.

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Manbeena Sandhu: Ma Anand Sheela is still the queen of her kingdom

She was 16 when she accompanied her father to meet godman Rajneesh in Baroda, the beginning of a complex relationship that endured until she fled his ashram in the US in 1985. From setting up a commune in a wild outpost of Oregon and unsettling a conservative local community along the way, the flamboyant Ma Anand Sheela (born Sheela Ambalal Patel) was personal secretary to Osho, as Rajneesh later came to be called, and the face of the movement till her falling out with him, which ended in a 39-month prison spell for a series of charges, including immigration fraud, wiretapping and poisoning. In this interview, Manbeena Sandhu speaks on what led her to document the story of an unconventional life and the inner world of a controversial cult.

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How Gandhis assassination left one family not only shocked, but also politicised

I like to call myself and those of us who were young adults in India in the 1950s, the before midnights children. Unlike Salman Rushdies protagonists who were born at the very midnight hour of August 15, 1947, the moment that India was declared free from British rule, I was born in 1933 and was a teenager at the time of Independence, and a young adult as we threw ourselves into the work of a new and free India. I would say that we experienced an India which we still fantasize about, and which also shaped our politics profoundly. I would go further and suggest that we got deeply attached to some ideas, ideologies and aspirations that were born of that experience that we are not able to shed, even today, in our eighties.

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Line Of Duty: Adrian Dunbar dances with Vicky McClure and Martin Compston – Metro.co.uk

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The Line Of Duty cast appears to be having a hoot behind-the-scenes of filming the long-awaited sixth series thats if Vicky McClures latest video is anything to go by.

The actress recorded herself dancing with her co-stars Adrian Dunbar and Martin Compston as they took a break in-between shooting scenes, and its exactly what we needed today.

Good day at work with my besties! Vicky captioned the footage on Twitter.

Taking to Instagram as well, she added: Breaking these two gently into TikTok! When Im down Im gonna watch this on loop!!!

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips was impressed by the trios moves and commented: 10 for effort and actually making this happen.

Meanwhile, Line Of Duty fans couldnt get over Adrians skills and flooded social media with compliments.

Adrian has loose hips, observed one, while another wrote: Mr Dunbar has the moves.

Echoing a similar sentiment, another penned: Ive had a crush on Adrian Dunbar (Hastings) for the best part of 30 odd years! And the way he moves those hips, confirms I always knew he was a hottie!

The Line Of Duty team has resumed production on the hotly-anticipated sixth series and have been sharing all the goings-on from behind-the-scenes on social media.

Earlier this week, Vicky was seen pointing a gun at Martin, while showrunner Jed Mercurio teased explosive scenes are coming our way as he shared images of stunts.

Line of Duty fans spot huge Steve Arnott spoiler in series six photos

Line Of Duty season 6: Vicky McClure points gun at Martin Compston in new BTS pics

Line Of Duty fans fear for DS Steve Arnott's safety as showrunner shares stunt pics

The upcoming season will also see newcomers Shalom Brune-Franklin, Perry Fitzpatrick, Andi Osho and Prasanna Puwanarajah join the cast.

We knowLine of Dutyfans are desperate for series 6 and we hope we can get it on air as soon as possible, Jed wrote.

Thanks so much for your patience in these difficult times.

Line Of Duty is available to stream on BBC iPlayer

Got a story?

If youve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with theMetro.co.ukentertainment team by emailing uscelebtips@metro.co.uk, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page wed love to hear from you.

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Applications are On for the 2021/2022 AIG Scholarships for Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxfor – BellaNaija

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Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) has announced the recipients of the 2020/2021 round of the AIG Scholarships, the organisations fully funded scholarship programme for young, outstanding West Africans with a passion for public service.

Every year, since 2017, AIG has made available at least five scholarships to talented West Africans from all academic backgrounds, who are passionate about the public sector, to pursue the Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. Upon graduation, AIG Scholars are expected to return to their home country and apply their learning experience as change agents in their countrys public sector. For the fourth round, six AIG Scholarships were awarded.

The 2020/2021 AIG Scholars are Adejoke Are, Murjanatu Mohammed Audu, Uchechukwu Nwokediuko, Chioma Oparadike, Folasade Osho and Victoria Udom.

AIG has a vision of a public sector in Africa that is effective, values-driven, service-oriented and results-focused, said Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Founder and Chairman of AIG.

To support the attainment of this vision, we are proud to invest in the development of a critical mass of transformation champions who can lead this transformation process.

In June 2016, AIG signed a partnership with the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, based on a shared vision of improving the world through good governance and public leadership.

AIG also awards the AIG Fellowships at the School, to outstanding senior public service officials from West Africa. To date, twenty-five men and women have benefited from AIG Scholarships and Fellowships.

The AIG Scholarships selection process is particularly rigorous and, each year progressively attracts exceptional talent with potential for great achievement, said Chienye Ogwo, Chief Executive Officer of AIG.

We are pleased to announce this new cohort of five women and one man, and honoured to support their commitment to public service.

I am beyond grateful for the opportunity that AIG has given me, said Murjanatu Mohammed Audu, a first-class graduate of Law from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, and one of the 2020 AIG Scholars. I have a passion for public service and believe in my ability to lead transformations in the public sector. The AIG Scholarship provides me with a platform to build my capacity and contribute to the emergence of an effective and efficient public service in Nigeria.

I believe the public sector is a platform through which I can make an impact at scale, said Uchechukwu Nwokediuko, another 2020 AIG Scholar and first-class Electrical and Electronics Engineering graduate of Covenant University, Nigeria.

One of the things I hope to gain at the Blavatnik School of Government is a refreshed way of thinking on how to deliver positive change through governance, especially in uncertain and difficult times.

AIG also today, announced the opening of the application window for the 2021/2022 AIG Scholarships. The application window will close on Thursday, October 15, 2020.

For media enquiries, contact: Modupe Phillipsor send a mail to[emailprotected]

ABOUT AFRICA INITIATIVE FOR GOVERNANCE (AIG)

Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) is a not-for-profit founded to inspire the transformation of Africas public sector. AIG works with governments, academic institutions and other partners to improve governance and transform public sector performance.

AIGs pioneering initiative brings proven private sector innovation, leadership and funding to the public sector, in a private-public partnership that seeks to attract, inspire and support future leaders of Africas public sector. With AIGs continuing support, these high-calibre individuals will be able to drive best practice standards of governance in Africa, ensuring sustainable economic growth and social justice.

For more information, visit http://www.aigafrica.org.

ABOUT THE BLAVATNIK SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT

Founded at the University of Oxford in 2010, the Blavatnik School of Government exists to inspire and support the government better and public policy around the world. The Blavatnik School teaches current and future public leaders through innovative programmes conduct deep research into pressing issues facing policymakers around the world and convenes leaders and experts to foster better public policy.

With a strong global outlook, the school combines insights from a range of academic disciplines and derives lessons from the public, private and third sectors. http://www.bsg.ox.ac.uk

-Sponsored Content.

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