A Sufi Approach to Death

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People of all ages are attracted to this process which uses the focus of preparing for death as a way of becoming more open to life. We asked Komala what this course is about, and how it supports daily life.  (O.T, February 2008, www.osho.com/copyrights)

OT: How is it that such a young vibrant person like you is working with death?

Komala: By going deeply into my aliveness – when I am connected with my body and can enjoy dancing, singing, moving – I reach places of relaxation inside. When I feel alive and present in my body I have more resources to deal with the challenges of life.

When life stops being a problem and starts being an opportunity for experiencing and learning and I can enjoy the journey, the mystery of life starts unfolding. Suddenly I go behind appearances: I’m alive, I love life. Then what more is there, what is beyond it? It becomes an adventure. When I go deeper into the experience of being in the body with a friendly approach, it shows something to me which is beyond death. Another kind of experience reveals itself: “I’m not the body.” I’m something much more expansive that is not contained in this body. It’s very paradoxical. That’s just how it is.

OT: The Sufi approach can be very energetic, with a lot of sounds and movements. Does this lead to this experience that you’re talking about?

Komala: We ask ourselves, “When I am on my way to the final let-go when I am going to die, what is there still that I haven’t lived? What is still holding me from the past? When I’m here right now, and I’m going to die, what makes me feel that I’m not ready? It can be some resentment, some story from the past still holding on to me: “I am carrying something with me. At this moment I cannot totally let go because it is still there.” It could be a story with somebody, like a relationship that has finished in an unloving way, and there is still resentment. At some level, these “past stories are still active in the body-mind system. We don’t try to clean the past. If there is something, we invite it to come up and show itself. In the course, we have 50 hours to live and to prepare for dying. So we say “Okay. We don’t have time to solve these problems. I cannot solve any situation with someone right now. But I can find a place – this place which we are creating in the heart – to embrace this situation in my individual journey.” And it really happens magically – old stories from the past are finally integrated and completed.

It might be that someone just needs to take the time to feel the pain of that inability to let go of something, or even to reveal again if there is something which makes them feel angry. We also use specific exercises to go into those emotions and to make friends with them. The way to surpass the emotions is to celebrate them, to honor them. So we do lots of singing. When we want to meet the energy of anger – which is a human quality – we sing it, we go into it, we celebrate it. We go into the pain, we feel it, we connect its vibration through sounds. When we connect the original vibration of an experience we can reconnect and find new ways to relate to it.

OT: What do you do with the fear? That’s often the biggest issue people have in relation to death.

Komala: Fear is an energy that moves in a certain way. The way I work with it is to bring more awareness into it. My own experience is that fear is an energy which is held in the body – I feel it in my belly or in the spine or kidneys – and when I open and allow it to be I may tremble a lot. Then the energy moves through the body and we can experience it as life energy that becomes available. An amazing amount of energy can start flowing. It’s the same with pain, anger, and fear. I also understand that before moving into strong emotions it is important to connect first with resources, to be able to hold such energies. That is how the meditations and the group process are a great support: we practice awareness, self-love and the strength to be able to meet the energies of life.

It’s very beautiful to be meeting everything in existence as energy. When I’m expanding my consciousness I’m just pure energy. And when I’m energy I can meet and be one with everything. Because I am free I can fly in the sky with the birds. I can go into the ocean, I can be the water. I can be the energy of the fish, I can be people …. As energy, we can be everything. Then we can have the experience of oneness. We are not confined to one body. We are this experience.

OT: How does this work support you in your daily life?

Komala: I am doing this work to learn to live my life. Three years ago I was in full surrender in a relationship. I felt that man was my soul mate, my life. We had a very strong connection, very beautiful; we had some difficult times but I had the feeling I would be with this man forever. Then he was away for a week and when he came back from his trip he said that he met someone else. Though it was not easy for him to leave me, after five days he left. Suddenly my life made no sense and I was in deep pain.

I was so grateful for this work with death because I could intensely live everything that I have been talking about in this course – going totally into my feelings. I would cry or feel resentment, and it really happened that going deeply into the feelings that came up kept my heart open. The energy was such that if I closed my heart to him I would close my heart to life, and to me.

The gift of it comes from the meditations I’ve been practicing, from the work with death, and my personal experiences. I could put it all into practice. This happens when I totally let go into the moment and honor the reality I am living.

I can really see that letting go takes practice. This is constantly happening in my life because I am traveling a lot. I may stay in one place for a week and then I move on and stay three weeks in a different place. Wherever I go, I fall in love with the situation – new people become friends. I get involved with the place; I get involved with the work that is happening there. And when it comes time to leave, it feels like death. I may not come back to that place again – So it’s a total goodbye.

I see that the more love I have for a place the easier it is to let go because everything is complete: “I can go now”. And This is very much a result of this work, of these practices. A transformation happens and an understanding on all levels. The body-mind is able to adapt to new situations and to support change.

When I’m driving my scooter or a car, and it comes some challenging situation on the road, I have the tendency to hold the breath. That is a mechanism of protection, to keep me alert. Once the challenge have passed the holding is not necessary anymore. I can let the body relax and expand with a deep sigh of letting go and I can keep on driving and enjoying the way. This is a remembrance to let go of tensions, let go of holdings, and allow relaxation to happen. It is a practice to die and is also a practice to live life fully.

More about the “Die Before You Die” Workshop

Q & A: Healing the Inner Child – Primal Feelings

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Q. Who is this workshop for?

For every person that feels the longing to open more inner spaces at a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. And especially for people that feels still entangled with his/her past story, people that has difficulty with intimate relationships, and for people that feels entangled with parents in a negative way, either by excessive attachment or through resentments.

Q. I am a parent now, sometimes I am not sure if I am a good mother or father, I have fears and doubts, can this workshop help me, why could it be good for me?

The best way to understand your children and to know from inside out their needs and how to communicate with them is by accessing your own feelings and needs through your own experience. When you make connection with your own little boy or girl inside and let the little one touch your heart, you will remember what is the world of a little child. So that when you meet your own child as a parent you are much more open, understanding and have many more skills on how to relate to them.

An important part of the work is to strengthen the adult in you, and from there you meet your inner child (which is simply a psychologically younger part of yourself). You will listen to the child-you and support its feelings and needs. As you do that, naturally you grow wiser and more loving. This work is ultimately a work about self-love and self-compassion.
And I believe only when I can be loving, compassionate and open to my own needs and my feelings I am able to fully attend with my full heart the needs of another being, which may be my children, my husband/wife, or anyone I relate to.

Q. My childhood was very difficult and painful and I don’t want to touch those old “monsters” sitting quietly under the carpet but my wife says it might be helpful for me. How could I benefit from it?

It is absolutely natural that fears come up when we reconnect with our past stories, because sometimes our “story” is stuck in a frozen negative spiral, and just to think about it releases fear in the system. So it seems better to leave the “monsters” to rest. The problem is that they are not really resting, these so called “monsters” is actually our life energy trapped in old memories. And when our life energy is stuck it can create all kind of symptoms, in our bodies and mind, which can reflect in our physical health and our relationships.

So, it is very important that this reconnection happens in a way that we can digest and integrate. Therefore the approach we use is very gentle, playful, and each participant moves in its own pace.

The possibility through this work is to redesign our past, through reconnecting also the resourceful positive moments (which every child in one way or another have experienced, even if through imagination!), and to rewrite ones life’s narrative in a new way, liberating life energy that can be available for more aliveness, lovingness and creativity.

Q. What could be the benefit? the change in my life that I could expect after the workshop?

The possibility is to reconnect with the essential qualities of your child-you. We are born with infinite capacities and qualities, which because of our life experiences have remained dormant and haven’t fully manifested in our life.
Through your process in the seminar you can rediscover your essential qualities, which may be more aliveness, creativity, lovingness, openness, playfulness, sensitivity, strength, etc. These are energies that can become available when the child in you becomes more alive. You can regain your primary life energy.
And at the same time, as we work with strengthening the adult in you, you may connect with more assertiveness, clarity, compassion, self-worth, presence, ability to recognize and honor your needs, capacity to relate more with yourself and others,
The possibility is to have a new way of seeing and experiencing your life

Q. How could men benefit from this work?

The greatest strength of a man is to be able to be present with emotions (which usually are easier expressed by women and children), but that is only fully possible when men can touch their own vulnerability and emotional intelligence.
In most cultures men has been very disconnected emotionally. They have been specially cut off very early from their child’s sensitivity, with the idea that “men don’t cry”, and sometimes being a 4 years old boy and hearing things like “you should be a man”, etc. This can create deep disconnection and conflicting feelings about their sensitivity and his masculine energy.
The possibility for men is to touch his real masculine strength by embracing his needs and sensitivity.
Q. How about that big group of people that have been in therapy for years, have participated dozens of workshops and they still feel that their life sucks , but they are already tired of “working on their issues”, could they benefit form it ?

The approach of this seminar is very dynamic, and the focus is not on the issues, but on reconciliation with oneself and with one’s story.
This is a healing journey where we enter a spiritual dimension by connecting with our essential being. The group’s energy supports the places that are open in each participant to have more space, and that function as powerful resources for healing the areas that are closed. The work is about self-acceptance and forgiveness.We create a safe, loving and caring ambient. And when we bring out our story in a new context, in an environment of love and support, where we feel seeing and accepted, our brain cells rewire into new pathways that can balance our whole body-mind system. When we do that in combination with movements, play, and practices that supports our body structure to open in a gentle way, a transformation in our psyche can happen in a very short time.

Q. About you: Something about your OSHO experience, the style of teaching you are using.

I have been in the path of self-exploration since 29 years, living and working as a group leader at Osho’s meditation resort, in India.
The approach of healing I’ve received from Osho is a combination of various western therapeutic techniques with meditation and energetic healing practices coming from different traditions. The work around Osho is very experiential, and involves opening in all levels: physical, energetic, emotional, mental and spiritual.
Through the different experiences, exploration and studies I have created, together with my partner, a Chakra training, the “Training for Life”, where we work deeply with all levels of human consciousness. This training is based on the different steps of child’s development and the newest discoveries of neuroscience.

My personal way of working with people involves reading the energetic patterns at an individual and collective levels and balancing the group energy, so that what is ready to comes up can be worked in a gentle way, through dialogue, body awareness and somatic experiencing (Trauma Healing). I facilitate the energy to move in the group through movement, play, breathing techniques, sounds and sharing.
Q. Something from your international experience, 2 or 3 short examples from other countries or continents to show international expertise.

Currently I live in Austria with my husband and partner and travel to different parts of the world with my work. I love traveling, meeting people from different cultures and tuning-in to their own unique ways, as a culture and as individuals.
I offer different courses and trainings in Austria, Czech Republic, Russia, Ukraine and China.




Death: The only certainty in life


“Man is immortal
Therefore he must die endlessly
For life is a creative idea
It can only find itself in changing forms”
(Rabindranat Tagore)

Along with life, death is happening in many different forms to give space for life to unfold.

Every moment life is sprouting like a newborn baby, a fresh spring leaf, the sun rising into a new day, the in-breath nourishing the body, a start of a new experience. Millions of people are dying every day, some die with their mind and hearts open, melting gracefully in the miracle of life, and many die in pain and confusion, regretting an unlived life and holding in fear to a death they cannot accept.

Death is the only certainty in life, everything else is a possibility
And death is one of the greatest taboos in our modern world, and that is one of the reasons most people feel confused and fearful in the face of death. because the mind cannot comprehend it, it tries to avoid its reality, pretending it is just a fiction in movies and TV news.  Normally as well as with death, we take life for granted and keep on missing the tremendous miracle of being alive.

Because of the denial of life and death, when the actual death of the body comes,  finding us tight up in our rigid body-mind structure, it can be a very overwhelming experience.  Usually, we accumulate unfinished situations, with people and with ourselves, and keep on postponing, using our time rather accumulating material things and investing on building our personalities. When we realize that none of that we will take with us in death, it may be too late, and much pain and fear comes from a sense of an incomplete, unlived and unloved life.

When we are born, first we breathe in, and when we die the last thing is to breathe out
A similar phenomenon happens each day with sleeping and waking up. Each day we wake up and are surrounded by colors, forms, sounds, sensations,  life is happening, and when we go to sleep there is a falling into the unknown, the formless, and death happens.

Death is present in every situation of life: In the falling of the leaves, when we separate from a loved one, when we move to a new place, when we change work, when someone close to us dies,  when we let go of our ideas and opinions.

Moments of death are opportunities to wake up our emotions, when pain, anger, fear, resentments can come up.

When we don’t fight with our emotions and welcome the ways of life with awareness, allowing those energies to come out from the mind into the body, to be seeing with clarity, a great amount of life energy becomes available and can be directed into love, compassion, and creativity. We start understanding that those moments of “death” are actually a process of renewal, they are moments of transformation and an opportunity to go deeper into the experience of life.

When we start facing death and become conscious that death is inevitable we start enquiring about life, and start understanding life as a precious opportunity and recognizing the uniqueness of each moment. 


“Die Before You Die”, is a workshop inspired in Sufism and Tibetan Buddhism.
These are mystical traditions that understand life as an opportunity to prepare for death, and death as an opportunity to live the life totally. in this work we create a space of love and acceptance, that support us to go deep into ourselves and inquiry about our relationship with life and death,  to review our lives, to release and honor the past and allow our energy to flow in the present.

This is an invitation to go deep into the miracle of being alive as a human being, an invitation to come closer to oneself as body, mind, and emotions.  Sufis are lovers of life, so they don’t choose which aspects to celebrate, whatever life presents is a reason to celebrate. A Sufi lives each moment as the last, in this way the moment is unique and absolute. Each experience of life becomes a great mystery and a great adventure. we allow the experiences to come and let them go and learn from everything that life offers.

Love and acceptance are the guidelines for the journey.
We will use Sufi technics, Zikrs (which means “remembrance”), that combines breath, sounds, and movements and works on the body and mind, waking up our vital energy.  Those exercises are done in a circular form and has a playful and ecstatic quality, and at the same time works deeply in the body and the mind, flushing and energizing the whole system, opening the body for relaxation and bringing out from the unconscious what is needed to be seen. Once the body is energized and alive, we use technics from different traditions, Osho meditations and deep relaxation to practice awareness and let go.

When the relaxation of surrender starts to happen, much energy is liberated, and we bring back this energy to our center, trough singing, poetry, whirling – the Sufi dance, and play. Celebrating the beauty and the mystery of life and death.

“Wholeness is not seen as the duration one has lived but rather the fullness with which one enters each complete moment”. 
 (American Indian Wisdom)