Celebration is the ideal way to live

Veeresh about the Tourist Program

  • Interview with: Veeresh
  • By: Geetanand
  • For: German Osho Times

The Tourist Program has been run at the Humaniversity for over 30 years. It has helped thousands of people to overcome personal crises and direct their lives in a more happy and cheerful direction. What exactly is the Tourist Program? Is it more for beginners to explore their inner world or for people who have already been on the road towards finding themselves?

The Tourist Program is a giant, intensive self-awareness process. It is an introduction to seeing yourself in a different light. You will find what you need, what you are missing, what you want in your life and what you need to do for the future. What do you think, Geetee?

It’s like putting a magnifying glass on yourself. You can see who you are right now, what you feel and how you behave in different situations.

Yes. The program is for anybody, whether you have a relationship or family conflict, a vocational problem or other issues, because it is designed to fit personal needs. Generally, I see three categories of people who come to the Tourist Program.

First there are people who don’t have any outstanding problems. They just want to expand who they are. I call that personal growth, people wanting to explore themselves and improve the quality of their life.

Then there are people who need to change their behavior and attitudes because they have an addiction problem, an eating disorder, relationship conflicts, or some deep crisis, and so on. Something is obviously wrong and they can't function anymore. They are in need of help to heal what's going wrong with their life.

Finally it is for people who want to train to become therapists. We offer an in-depth training program for people working with people.

The foundation of the Tourist Program is to go into meditation and to search for who you are. Meditation begins when you are not only focused on the outside but you also take time to look inside. You ask yourself who am I? What’s my purpose in life? Where am I going?

What are the secrets, the special ingredients? What can happen?

We put you into family structures so that you can act out what you’ve been doing in your real family and then change it. There is social role play, exaggerating certain parts of your personality, which can be hilarious and fun, all for the purpose of gaining more insight into who you are. You also learn to take more responsibility in how you relate to authority figures and how you interact with people. Because most people live an isolated life, being in a community here, you will have plenty of opportunities to practice communicating who you are. You don't have much time to be by yourself and space out. It is like an ongoing limit situation. It’s very structured, everybody works, everybody meditates, everybody eats and everybody goes to seminars, etc.

You can see who you are in each situation. Then you realize that the negative way you act in those structures is what you’ve been doing all your life and that you have the choice to change it.

The Tourist Family is part of the Humaniversity Community. How is that helpful?

Individual therapy takes a long time. Group therapy to me is more advanced, because you have many people showing you who you are at once.

In communal therapy, which is what we do here, your learning process doesn’t stop after group sessions. It goes on all day long. After sessions, you are able to follow up what you have learned and apply it in a living situation here at the Humaniversity. That makes it special, you don't go home in the evening and chill out; it is a 24 hour experience.

And because everybody living in our community has completed the Tourist Program themselves, ‘Tourists’ receive lots of support.

You are not only an individual; it’s not just a group. You get this total support system 24 hours a day, from waking up to going to sleep. Your whole life is involved in the learning process and everybody is your teacher and responsible for everyone.

Is there enough space to be alone, for silence, relaxation and to integrate?

Yes, after you complete the Tourist Program. In actuality we are a yang school. I don’t believe meditation can happen by pouring sugar over something rotten. First you need to clean the weeds before the roses can grow. And every now and then, when you are hugging someone, you experience this silent space.

Also when people have a chance to meet you in Darshan or elsewhere. You embody the inner loving, silent space of meditation and reflection. Around you people can drop into that space and relaxation and integration happens.

Some people describe the Tourist Program as a turning point in their lives. What attitude helps to draw the most benefit out of it?
And how can people at the end of the Tourist Program apply the state of cheerfulness and happiness in their lives?

Osho once said that for him the first quality of being a Sannyasin is to be open to new experiences. When you come to the Tourist Program we want you to do everything we ask of you totally. It helps if you have a positive attitude of ‘Yes – I am going to look at myself and find out who I am in each given situation. I am going to trust myself, the process and the therapists who are running it, because they have over thirty years of experience.’

If you want to create change in your life it is necessary to step out of your usual patterns and behavior, so that you can see yourself and your life from a different angle. Then you will become aware of who you are and what you do. This awareness is the key to initiating and creating change. You ask yourself; Is what I am doing good for me? How do I feel? Does this make me happy?

Finally you need to have courage to adjust your actions accordingly. Then your life will become an exciting adventure. Your problems become facts that you have the power to change and do something about. You are not a victim to the situation around you anymore; you become flexible. You become the master of your own being, and your life. Then you will be able to smile at yourself and the problems you create in your mind and enjoy being alive for the plain pleasure of it. Simply being cheerful will be enough.

Becoming more conscious helps to let go of the past, the luggage becomes lighter. Veeresh, how do you manifest the quality of cheerfulness and easiness in your life?

Whenever I experience any conflicts, problems or frustrations I have learned that the best way for me to deal with this is to find a solution as soon as possible. I am not into postponing anything that I consider negative.

If I am lost, I ask my friends for support. If I am confused, I listen to Osho.

Finally, I listen to my heart and the answer is always there. Yes, No, Good, Bad, Yippee, Booh… my heart is always right.

What tips can you give people to attain easiness and cheerfulness in their life?

  1. Read all of Osho’s jokes.
  2. Take care and appreciate your body, because it is your precious temple.
  3. Learn to smile from your heart.
  4. Become a true lover,  so that when you wake up in the morning all that remains is a loving smile between you and your lover.
  5. Give your parents a box of chocolate and some flowers and say: “Thank you for being my parents.”
  6. Come to the Humaniversity and let us tickle you in a provocative way.
  7. Become god’s ambassador on earth, so that everyone can use you as a role model for how to behave.

Is there anything else you want to add?

The Australians have a saying ‘No worries mate.’

I love the expression because it reminds me to relax. The English use the word: ‘Cheers’ as an expression of mutual good will.

At the Humaniversity we say: ‘Everything is going to be alright.’

I am sure that every language has its own way of cheering each other up.

In the past whenever I was in a black hole, drugs were the solution. Today my friends are the solution.

It’s a fact that we are born alone, we live alone and we die alone.

But if you have friends to celebrate your life, you will find happiness along the way.