Authentic religious experience includes both meditation and celebration, according to the twentieth-century Indian guru Osho Rajneesh (1931-90). Blending Tantra, Zen, and Western psychotherapy into his teachings, Osho produced incisive commentaries on religious mysticism and devised unique, “active meditation” that elicited emotional catharsis.
Highly unorthodox, he courted controversy and was condemned for being a “sex guru.” His Oregon headquarters, Rajneeshpuram, proved to be a short-lived utopia that provoked antagonism and only added to his notoriety. But his ashram in Poona, India, continues to thrive, as do Osho centers in Europe and elsewhere. His adherents number in the thousands. His books have become bestsellers around the globe.
Judith M. Fox holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from the London School of Economics, University of London. For more than twenty years, she has researched new religions, culminating in such books as The Way of the Heart: A Study of Rajneeshism and Sahaja Yoga. She edits a series on new religions from Curzon Press. Recently she moved from Bath, England, to the United States.