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On Dairy Products at the Meditation Resort

I'm back to Italy after a two-month stay at the meditation center in Koregaon Park,‭ ‬Pune,‭ ‬India.‭ ‬On my way back I kept thinking about this experience.‭ ‬I had visited the meditation center before,‭ ‬last time in‭ ‬2011.‭ ‬Back then I had a hunch that many things were changing in relation to Osho's‭ "‬Commune‭" – ‬the place and community that for many years had attracted a large number of Sannyas‭ (‬disciples‭) ‬from all over the world.
Now the Commune has a new name,‭ ‬it's called‭ “‬Resort‭”‬.‭ ‬This new formula marks a change of spirit,‭ ‬I think.‭ ‬It's likely that the concept of a recreational center came about‭  ‬with the increasing maintenance duties of the Commune.‭ ‬Such duties demanded considerable involvement of all resident disciples,‭ ‬and ended up becoming a distraction from meditation.‭ ‬On the other hand,‭ ‬now with the hiring of external caretakers who maintain buildings,‭ ‬and cooks who prepare and serve meals,‭ ‬expenses have shot up,‭ ‬and personal ties and sharing among community members have weakened.
I can attest,‭ ‬by direct daily experience,‭ ‬to the decreased quality and considerably more expensive checks that external cooks and catering services have brought about for the guests.
Even though the‭ “‬vegetarian cooking‭” ‬seal has been kept around,‭ ‬it does not help.‭ ‬Abolishing meat does not necessarily imply that healthier meals are being prepared.
Every day I scanned the menu and ate there.‭ ‬Most dishes could not be considered healthy,‭ ‬due to the widespread use of dairy products,‭ ‬sugar,‭ ‬eggs,‭ ‬abundant spices,‭ ‬and nightshades,‭ ‬such as potatoes,‭ ‬eggplants,‭ ‬tomatoes and peppers.‭ 
For lunch‭ – ‬the main meal of the day‭ – ‬two self-service restaurants were open.‭ ‬The first one,‭ ‬Meera,‭ ‬regularly offered brown rice and boiled vegetables,‭ ‬as well as many traditional Indian cooking dishes.‭ ‬Since the second half of February‭ – ‬when fewer guests visit the resort‭ – ‬only one restaurant was open,‭ ‬Zorba the Buddha.‭ ‬Getting brown rice and boiled vegetables entailed a special order in advance.‭ ‬So,‭ ‬following a simple and healthy diet became more difficult.
My description might make you think I am a healthy-food zealot‭ – ‬follower of a very restrictive diet.‭ ‬No.‭ ‬My aim is to investigate what teachings Master Osho gave us about eating.
Every evening all disciples gather in the big pyramid,‭ ‬the resort auditorium,‭ ‬to celebrate together by way of listening to Osho's recorded speeches.‭ ‬In one particular speech Osho tells us that he has stopped eating dairy products,‭ ‬at his personal physician's recommendation.‭ ‬From doing so he has considerably improved his health and curbed his ailments.
In the same speech Osho reflects about the ethical standards of livestock exploitation‭ – ‬animals are mercilessly and cruelly abused to increase milk production.
A citation from Chapter‭ ‬25‭ ‬of‭ ‬From personality to individuality‭[‬1‭]‬:

My feeling has been always‭ […] ‬milk is just like meat.‭ ‬It is not vegetarian,‭ ‬it is animal food.‭ […] ‬From where does the milk come‭? ‬It is the mother’s mechanism,‭ ‬biological mechanism,‭ ‬which transforms her blood into milk.‭ ‬You are really drinking white blood.

Osho‭ ‬goes on‭ ‬describing some Indian cattle‭ ‬keepers‭'‬ violent practices that aim at increasing milk production.‭ ‬Then he comments about his resolve not to consume dairy products and the healing that comes from it:

Everybody was harassing me:‭ “‬If you drop milk then there is nothing in the food.‭ ‬If you drop curd then there is nothing in the food.‭ ‬If you don’t take butter then you will lose weight.‭” ‬But that weight was causing me all kinds of difficulties.‭ ‬Right now all my difficulties have disappeared.‭ ‬My breathing is no longer a trouble,‭ ‬and my weight has come down,‭ ‬my back has been getting better.

Now I need to reminder readers that Osho didn't generally speak out about macrobiotics or eating because he absolutely didn't want to give rise to rigid or fanatic ways in his listeners.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬I am convinced that he did speak out about dairy products‭ – ‬in line with his more general teaching:‭ ‬we must respect our body,‭ ‬and so be aware of how we eat.‭ ‬In summary,‭ ‬I believe Osho is encouraging us to experiment dropping dairy products,‭ ‬and observing the positive personal changes that ensue.

‭[‬1‭] ‬From Personality to Individuality,‭ ‬Osho Media International,‭ ‬p.‭ ‬504