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Playing music for masters
Interview mit Nandin von Birgit Kratz
Nandin hat ihre Musik nicht nur für Samarpan, sondern vorher auch schon für Osho und, durch Osho inspiriert, auf den Straßen von Rom gespielt... (Das Interview ist in englischer Sprache verfasst)
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Quelle: Nandin 19987
Birgit: Samarpan was not the first Master you played your music for - you also lived from time to time close to Osho. As I know, Osho enjoyed music very much. How was it for you to play for Osho?

Nandin: I first heard Satsang music when I went to Rancho Rajneesh in 1985. I was told it was a way to be in communion with the master without words, and it attracted me immediately. Of course, my mind thought this was nuts, but I couldn't stay away. Within a year, I ended up in India and the first time I played for Osho - he looked over at me in the crowd of hundreds of people since I guess I was new to him. (I didn't realize at the time that he had also played the flute earlier on in his life, and was a great friend of the famous Indian flutist, Hari Prasad Chaurasia.) At the end of the discourse (as they were called then) I had tears running down my face - and I didn't know why I was so touched. By then however, I was hooked on this improvised style of music that goes directly from heart to heart.

At one point, the musicians were making a recording, which we did at night in a room by the what was called the 'Gateless Gate'. We did it at night since it was quieter then (except for the occasional mosquitoe flying by the mike). When we gave Osho the recording, he was so happy that he wanted to give us something back, and since he didn't really have any possessions, he went into his bathroom and gave us all the goodies that he had there - towels, soap, whatever. (I got bath oil!) But the greatest gift was just being able to play this type of heartful music in his presence - the ultimate nourishment for the soul.

Quelle: Nandin, 1995
After that I had many opportunities to play for Osho, and with many wonderful musicians (Prem Johsua, Milarepa, Devakant, Karunesh, Shastro, Nadama, Chinmaya, Anugama, Miten and Deva Premal). At that time, (1986) we sat very close to him since the musicians were placed near him in a rather smallish room that everyone crammed into. One day when I was playing, he said 'everyone wants you to be a doctor or a lawyer, no one wants you to just play your flute in the street.' I felt he was speaking directly to me since I had a burning desire to be a street musician. (I had already been a professional orchestral musician and taught in a University, so this may seem strange - but being a street musician simply looked like fun to me.) So, when I had to leave India, my plane made a stop in Rome, and instead of catching the connecting flight back to Canada, I got off with about 40 euros in my pocket to seek my fortune in the streets of Rome! But that's another story...

I returned to Pune almost every year after that, irresistibly drawn. My favourite music to play was the meditative type although Osho also had us play very energetic music since as you may know. (Music was often an integral part of the meditations he developed.) I loved to play music at morning Satsang which for me is one of the most wonderful meditations that he developed - just silent sitting - a little music - a little humming - a wordless communion with the master - bathing in that inner essence that we can so easily overlook.

Birgit: What attracted you to be a street musician?

Quelle: Nandin
Nandin: There I was, having my normal life in my hometown in Canada, teaching flute at the College and University, playing in the orchestra, touring with a trio and having great students. Things were getting rather routine and slightly boring though, but that seemed normal too.

Then I went to a concert of the Cambridge Buskers. They are a couple of guys from England, one of whom is a wonderful flutist, and the other accompanies him on accordion. They had so much fun at their concert, playing Tchaikovsky concertos for violin and orchestra that they had adapted for their instruments, singing the high notes that didn't exist on the flute, or playing them on an ocarina. It was all very non serious, but extremely well done and looked like great fun. I wanted to do it too, and so the seed was planted.

Not too long after that, my life fell apart when my partner left me. He had gone off to Rancho Rajneesh in Oregon, and although I did manage to stay away for a week, at one point the floor at home felt like it was electrified, so that I had to go there too. In a matter of hours, I found someone else to instantly takeover my students for a week and I was off to the Ranch. Even though the place was closing up, I found it amazing. (It was there that heard my first Satsang music).

So, my life was irrevocably changed, and I couldn't just return to my former set up. I felt irresistibly drawn to move to a sannyas community. (Osho was on his world tour then, so he wasn't settled anywhere.) The most attractive community to me was in Montreal, so I moved there.

Being a subway musician was a fairly normal practice there, so I found a guitarist, and we would go off to find a corner of the subway to play in. I was hooked. I didn't really like the subway vibes however, so when the idea came to try out street music in Europe, (thanks to Osho) I thought, why not?

Quelle: Nandin Baker
So, I took the jump, and was terrified for a couple of months. There I was in Italy, a country where the only words I could say were the ones I had learned from my written music scores (piano, forte, allegro, andante, ritardando etc.). Not terribly useful in everyday life.

After a couple of months of just making enough money daily to survive on, I got the hang of where to play, and although I was still nervous about just going out and playing, it was also really great to just play music outside - under the stars on warm summer nights in an ancient square in Rome, or in the sun during the day in front of a famous fountain.

Of course, after some years, this also got to be like a normal job, which is when the desire came up to play Satsang music. I thought that would be an impossibility, outside of the Osho scene, but then I met Samarpan.

Birgit: How did it come about that you started travelling with Samarpan?

Nandin: A lot of the directions my life took have had to do with the presence or absence of a man and that is what also brought me to Germany. I was with a man who lived in Munich and he took another girlfriend at one point. This was very painful for me, and I remember wishing that I would get hit by a truck to escape this awful feeling. I suddenly woke up at that thought, and understood that if I thought getting hit by a truck was going to solve anything, I needed help. So, I sincerely asked the universe for help.

After a few months, I was attracted to another man (you can hear him playing guitar on the 'Secrets... Tea for an Empty Cup' CD) so I left the previous relationship and now expected to live happily ever after with this new guy. He had a friend who told us about Samarpan, and so we ended up going there on his recommendation. This was in December 1997. With that accomplished (by the mysterious workings of life I would say), this fellow basically dumped me for someone else, and I was in what we could politely call 'mental anguish' again. Satsang was the only antidote - and so I simply started following Samarpan around wherever he went. The time in Satsang was blissful and the time outside of Satsang when I was often in my mind was hell.

Birgit: What were the biggest gifts you received by being with Samarpan?

Quelle: Nandin
Nandin: Through all the years I travelled with Samarpan, there were many gifts of course - simply the nectar of being in Satsang was one of them that was very attractive. All the problems dissolving - like magic!

Finding out that I don't have to think was another gift. 'Don't think about it' as Samarpan says. I hadn't realized that this was an option! So much of what we learn in school is based on having to think to succeed that I had forgotten that there was an alternative of mindlessness. Of course, 'not thinking' happens to everyone daily, but as we're not thinking, we don't notice it. ;-) What I'm really referring to is the mind's capability to torture us with a subject by going over and over it. And of course, as Samarpan has pointed out, the mind has it's uses, but contributing to suffering needn't be one of them.

Being in the moment is of course another of Samarpan's 'teachings'. I had heard it before for many years from Osho, but it didn't really sink in for me until I met Samarpan. The gift here is in having a living master that you can communicate with. Osho was so far away and seemingly unreachable that it was easy for me to dismiss his suggestions as being for someone else. I did this unconsciously though, and only realized it after I met Samarpan. He brought what Osho had been pointing to concretely in my life - just being here in the moment!

Unlearning was a lot of what I 'learned' from Samarpan. Letting things be the way they are for example. He has often mentioned the serenity prayer used by AA:"God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference." This one pops up when I finally can't do anything about a situation but accept it.

The knowing that everything is taken care of and that life will give us everything we need was another big one for me on my journey towards a more peaceful existence. This took a few years to sink in, and is challenged regularly in my daily life, but the real knowing deepens in this way. Life teaches us everything we need to learn as Samarpan has said countless times.

To know the real self, where the 'me' isn't anymore was also a major breakthrough. Mystics have spoken of this for ages, and it is very popular these days as well, but the simplicity of just being - that which is still there when everything else drops away (like the personality and the stories and the mind) - this was what Samarpan showed to me in an effortless way.

Doing normal activities in an effortless way was another thing I learned from Samarpan. 'Easy is right' and 'go with the flow' in daily life instead of just word to songs I had learned. :-)

Later on, what I 'learned' in Satsang was that the world did indeed seem to be awakening before my very eyes! People would invariably come up to Samarpan in Satsang with some problem, and leave having been touched by grace somehow - with the problem dissolved.

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