Osel, the Spanish ‘lama boy’: “Life has had to give me many hosts to open my eyes”

little was expected Osel Hita when he was born, back in 1985 in Bubión –a town of Grenade of little more than 300 inhabitants–, that his life was going to become a reason for documentary film. This is not to say that thousands of people would consider him the reincarnation of the Lama Yeshe.

The Spaniard, who in the 90s made headlines on the news, is the protagonist of the latest self-produced documentary by HBO Max, Oseldirected by Lucas Figueroa. During four chapters the life of this man who became a freak and then it disappeared.

a life of extremes

For those who do not know its history, it is worth knowing the background. In 1986, a boy from the Alpujarra was recognized as the reincarnation of one of the greatest Buddhist teachers of the Tibet. He was transferred to India for his enthronement and training. his mother kidnapped him at one point to get him out of there, but then it was his father who did the same to return him to the temple.

Everything took an even more unexpected turn when, upon turning 18, the so-called reincarnated man went to live in Ibiza with his modern family and discovered the party. The first time it lasted half an hour, then already enjoyed the night. The documentary talks to all the family members and devotees of the temple and Chronicle Direct He does the same with Figueroa and Osel so that they can tell us all the details.

–Question: Lucas, how did you come up with the idea of ​​the documentary?

–Lucas Figueroa (L): I had no reference to the story. I was finishing a fiction series in Ibiza and, as I meditate, they asked me if I knew the story of Osel. I had no idea. They introduced me to Maria, the mother, who had written a book, and I was fascinated. From there I started to travel the world to talk to the people who appeared in the book. Except Osel, who was missing and it was impossible to contact him.

–How do i do it?

L: I didn’t go. Osel contacted me. After spending two years with the story and talking to people, he called me one day and told me that he chose me to tell the story.

–To you, Osel, what made you contact Lucas?

–Osel Hita (O): I thought it was a very nice story because it was gathering all the threads and connecting all the dots. To me They were telling me their movements those two years and in the end I decided to contact him because I thought: this is not going to stop, this guy is unstoppable and if I don’t get on this train, this train leaves without me.

–L: He gives lectures all over the world. I found out that he was giving a conference on the east coast of USA and I went there. I contacted his secretary, who gave me nonstop. I followed him through a few cities and they kept giving me long and I thought that when it has to be it will be, because the story seemed very attractive to me.

Still from'Osel' / HBO MAX

Still from ‘Osel’ / HBO MAX

–Osel, you left the temple at the age of 18. I don’t know if he turned away from Buddhism, but do you feel reconciled with everything he went through?

–O: I never moved away from Buddhism. I went to get closer to myself, to understand myself, to get to know a little about society, the world, the cultures of other countries. later when I felt more comfortable with myself and to identify myself I was able to reconnect, but there was never a disconnection with Buddhism or with my past. I just had to understand it better and for that I had to understand myself and at that time I did not have the tools to achieve it.

–And do you think he is the reincarnation of Lama Yeshe?

–O: I don’t care. Nothing is going to change me.

But many people do continue to believe it. How did the people who turned away live?

–L: Kike Mantecon, a key character in the series, explains it very well. He says that if you are a devotee or faithful follower of Lama Yeshe, respect Osel and, if you don’t believe it, let him live in peace. But listening to all the protagonists of the story I came to the same conclusion as Osel: it doesn’t matter. The rich thing is the interconnections and the history that they co-created. It is almost the least interesting point, because what surrounds it is much more so.

–That that surrounds him is a great paraphernalia. A childhood lived in a temple, television talking about you in the news and specials, people who were going to worship you… How do you feel now with all that weight that they put on you and how do you live it now when people go to listen to it? ?

–O: It depends on the context. If I go to a center buddhistpeople want me to talk about Dharma, but in an interview like now, my life is more interested. It is always important to understand the context. I already made peace with my past a long time ago and I am very happy to be able to be a little bit the bridge between the east and the west.

The director Luis Figueroa / JC

Director Lucas Figueroa / JC

–Let’s talk about the religious part. How do you see spirituality now?

–O: There are many aspects that are now linked to spirituality. For example, quantum physics talks about things very similar to the buddhist philosophy. In the 21st century, we live in a time in which science and religion their paths cross. This is very special to me because science confirms many things that I studied as a child. It is a very special moment, very magical.

–And what would you say to those who believe that Buddhism has something of a sect?

–O: All religions began as a sect. Then they became general and became a religion. The buddhism for me it is a tool to improve your own life and be happier, more functional and more harmonious. It is a universal technique that has always existed, to be called Buddhist, Christian, Muslim or Hindu I don’t care. The important thing is the warm heart. And all religions have that warm heart base.

–What do you call a pure heart?

–It is infinite love, but there are many levels. Empathy is very different from compassion., for instance. It is one thing to identify with the suffering of the other person, compassion is already wanting to do something for that suffering, it is an activity, not just an intention. Empathy does not carry an action behind it. The next level is already bodhichitta, which is dedicating your entire life to helping others. That is already an extreme. What I like is moderation, balance, finding the middle ground where there is no extreme is healthy.

–But you did experience many extremes.

–I have lived many extremes, my life is made up of extremes. And for me the miracle is being able to reach a balancefind a point of harmony and integration.

Still from'Osel' / HBO MAX

Still from ‘Osel’ HBO MAX

Q: Do you think it is necessary to go through extremes to get there?

–O: It depends. There are people who already understand it, carry it inside and others who have to put it in front of them or who have an attitude that creates conflict. It took me a long time to learn. Life has had to give me many hosts to open my eyes and it’s not bad at all. I have learned a little better that way.

Let’s go back to the documentary. What do you think people will think of ‘Osel’ after seeing it? What will you discover?

–L: The importance of the series is that for the first time the story is told with a context, with unpublished and exclusive data that make you understand the whole story. Many people knew the story of Osel for a week, the part about when they take him to the temple and the shock of coming back and nothing else. It was known the sensationalism of the news. The exercise of the series is to discover the history of Osel and of a family from the beginning and until now, because it creates much more.

–One of these unseen parts is the familiar. The kidnapping, the differences between your parents, how did you experience it?

–O: For me it was all an adventure. She arrived first in a pair of jeans with a T-shirt heavy metal

–L: For me it is fundamental not to judge, but to plant the facts within a narrative structure that is understood and entertaining, without having the imprint of my point of view. The point of view must be the one chosen by the viewer, it fills me with satisfaction if I achieve that everyone can choose the character or the vision they want. If the narrative structure leads you to position yourself in favor of some and after another, it is achieved. It’s an extraordinary family story. and each one can draw teachings and conclusions that go far beyond any conclusion.

–And you, Osel, what did you feel when you saw the series for the first time?

–O: Before I saw the series I was quite scared. I thought it was going to affect me and make me trigger mechanisms that are inside me that I don’t know about, because deep down we are constantly getting to know each other. Many times we react to things that happen to us in life without knowing how or why. We thought, let’s see how it will affect me. In this sense, I was surprised because It is a very neutral documentary, very beautiful with a message of love and in a natural, mature context and with an objective tone. He was healer.


‘Osel’ poster

–And have you come to discover familiar things? Because the jealousy of his brothers appears, for example.

–O: I found out about that now, because my brothers never told me anything. I have found out many things and details through the interviews. It has also been a great discovery for me and has helped me to understand and reposition things. I start to fit things a little better and it has helped me to give context and understand why my brothers reacted as they did.

Q: Are you afraid of becoming a media phenomenon again?

–O: Whether famous or not, fame is not going to change me. Authenticity is what it is, it is what I offer. I don’t give it much importance either, really. If I gave it to him, he would change and I don’t want to. I want to keep a natural attitude.

–Finally, after all, you make talks for the world. How has Buddhism helped you? Do you still feel Buddhist?

–It’s not Buddhism, it’s not a belief, it’s an attitude, a way of living in relation to others, not something that helps you feel better about yourself because you wear a rosary, do meditation And you dress a certain way. It’s about understanding a bit of universal law and how to relate to others, because it’s a cycle in which everything else returns. It is a circle where there is a relationship and interdependence between all beings. It is not a concept, but a lifestyle and an attitude that transforms you. It is just a universal tool, it has nothing to do with religion. I am not religious, nor am I a Buddhist. I don’t identify with religion.

Osel, the Spanish ‘lama boy’: “Life has had to give me many hosts to open my eyes”