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On the Edge is the absorbing story of a young woman who, driven to explore the classic question “Who Am I?”, fortuitously finds herself in India, as one of the first westerners at the feet of Osho, an enlightened mystic. His magical presence, his delightful and humourous personality, encourage her to dive into the secrets and wonders of meditation. Her vividly-described vignettes let the reader feel as if inside the commune, living out – alongside fellow travellers from 100 countries – the twists and turns, breakthroughs and setbacks of this unique mystery school. The heroine goes back and forth from west to east as she makes money in ‘normal’ jobs so that she can return to her beloved community; which itself moves from India to Oregon and back again.
Punya is Swiss, and her research as to dates and particulars is impeccable; her voice is earnest, even-tempered, and somehow innocent, as the story unfolds, past and present skipping around, giving us a sense of timelessness. Her calm prose lights up the various landscapes like easy sunshine.
For those of you who were there, this book will delight you with its clear recollections, and will likely tell you things you didn’t know. For those of you who only watched from a distance, or weren’t born yet, Punya is inviting you into an extraordinary time with an extraordinary man.
Punya spent her formative years in Italy and Switzerland and met the Indian mystic Osho (then known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) in 1974. She lived for many years in his communes – Pune, India; Oregon, USA; and then again in Pune. She was also involved in Osho’s meditation centres in Milan, Geneva, Zurich, and Edinburgh. Her work ‘in the world’ has mostly involved design, publishing, languages (she speaks four) and advertising. She now runs the successful online magazine Osho News, and lives in Greece and the UK.
“If you have a longing to know what it means to be the disciple of an enlightened mystic, this book will be a fascinating adventure for you.”
– Anand Subhuti
“Reading this takes me straight into the experience of being part of an experiment in communal living around a unique enlightened mystic. Punya tells it from the perspective of a very ordinary member of the community (a refreshing change from the numerous books detailing special relationships/meetings with Osho).
“The details of her life, work, meditations and spiritual insights are cataloged in (Swiss) detail, so that the reader begins to participate in the transformations she goes through and feel what it was like to yo-yo between making money in straight jobs in the West and living in the presence of an unpredictable and uncompromising Master.”
– Chinmaya Dunster
“Reading this wonderful book, one comes to realize how vibrantly the commune around Osho functioned, how the master worked on the seekers individually and collectively and enhanced the spiritual maturity of anyone open and committed to his vision and work.”
– Satya Vedant (Dr. Vasant Joshi)
“Punya manages to convey the essence of how Osho’s various communes functioned as mystery schools – using work and relationships, as well as meditations, to persuade us to look deeply into the structure of our own consciousness.”
– Pankaja Brooke
“Punya’s narrative meanders through time and space in a style that has a lyrical, musical harmony, like that of a river flowing from place to place.”
– Roshani Shay, Ph.D.
“This very comprehensive and inspiring book is destined to become a classic of the genre. A hugely enjoyable read.”