Ivano is a historical presence within Miasto, both for the long period that he has spent within the commune and for the contribution he has given to the development and growth of the place. He spends his days in the garden, where he takes care of the land with care and love. His dedication is admirable and despite his 73 years, every pumpkin, every tomato, every little carrot, passes through his hands. He is always willing to give some advice: you could define him as a man with a thousand resources and knowledge that makes simplicity the style of his life.
With the same simplicity, he chose to tell us the story of Osho Miasto through his eyes, who were able to enjoy this immense history and transformation almost forty years long…
“In the late ’70s, a group of about a dozen friends gathered around Pratiti, a fundamental presence in the history of this place, the founder and leader of the first important years of Miasto, which at the time was called Sagar. I arrived in Miasto for the first time in 1980, my presence was initially due to some work I did for the commune, I had known for some years those who lived here and at the same time, I was beginning to be actively interested in meditation. At the time, I, like many others, came to the inner search after a past made up of religious commitment first and then political, many were those disappointed by the political struggle who approached meditation and specifically in Osho, bringing the revolution from the outside world to the inner one.
Before Miasto, this place was an abandoned farm with only a couple of renovated places and used as holiday homes for some American families, while the remaining part was unusable. Pratiti bought the place with the initial idea of founding a self-sufficient agricultural commune that was able to sustain itself with the produce grown inside it. This idea soon clashed with the poor productivity of the land, but for a long time continued to work according to a specific development plan that contributed to the construction of some functional structures such as the stable and the greenhouse where we raised earthworms before and built heather brooms later. We launched into different occupations, that of earthworms was perhaps the most curious, but it turned out to be quite profitable and allowed us to sustain ourselves for a long time, as well as funding trips to Oregon during the Festivals.
The spaces were basic and the work very hard, in 1981 I moved here permanently and in the immediate preceding period a group of Germans joined the commune, bringing the number of residents to about thirty. We began to clean the fields, to build the pond and to structure a small vegetable garden. We had bees for the production of honey and a small carpentry that worked both for the commune and for the outside. Around the middle of the 80s, with the end of Rajneeshpuram, many European communes closed and dozens of people arrived in Miasto bringing the number of residents to about sixty. We bought and rented additional accommodation to accommodate the new residents and then looked for new jobs to do to support ourselves. Many of us worked in nearby restaurants as waiters, others instead dedicated themselves to the collection of heather for the production and sale of brooms.
With the outside, there was an important mutual exchange, and the territory easily received us: we initially became very close friends of the farmers who lived near the commune, this friendship served as a filter, allowing us to merge with what surrounded us and teaching us at the same time working the land. Also thanks to the proverbial Tuscan welcome, they accepted us very easily and a wonderful collaboration was born. In addition to this, we were excellent customers as we purchased raw materials and food for over sixty people and this certainly had relevance.
The days took place in a very precise and structured manner. Dynamic meditation took place at the first light of dawn, followed by a small meeting and we divided the jobs according to the needs of the commune and those of personal growth. Pratiti in this was very good, was first of all a researcher and in her experience she had learned to orient, support and develop our potential, in addition to this coordinated activities very well and managed the commune. The most difficult thing of the early years was probably inherent in the different ways of being of each of us, living together is not always easy and pleasant, some moments were so intense just because amplified by the sharing, and other difficult moments instead tempered by the presence in itself. In the same way the simplest thing of the first years concerned our experience and the world of everyone, for me personally it was simple and natural to entrust myself completely. There is also to add that the lifestyle of the early years was, aside from intense, also very hard and tiring. Certainly not for everyone because at the time we worked a lot, “from dark to dark” and it was a life that a I liked a lot but at the same time it precisely selected the people who passed by Miasto.
The only thing that has remained the same in these forty years has been the change. If I think about it there is really nothing that has remained that way but everything has changed constantly and inexorably, starting from the spaces to reach the people who came here. Despite this, Miasto today is very similar to what Pratiti imagined many years ago, her vision was a small city in the making and if today I observe it I can say that this is the direction that this place took. Living so much time inside it has allowed me to grow a lot, my responsibilities have been many and different, today my job is to take care of the land and the garden, it is a job that I like and that gives me joy and I think that I will continue to do so. If I think about everything that happened, it is very difficult to choose particular moments, every day here it contains many things, faces and moments. For me every day is a small story and I am happy to be a part of it.