Osho answers frequently asked questions about meditation
What is meditation?
Meditation is a simple process of watching your own mind. Not fighting with the mind not trying to control it either just remaining there, a choiceless witness. Whatsoever passes you simply take note of it With no prejudice for or against. You don’t call it names that this should not come to my mind that this is an ugly thought and this is a very beautiful and virtuous thought. You should not judge you should remain non-judgmental because the moment you judge, you lose meditation. You become identified. Either you become a friend or you become a foe. You create relationships. Meditation means remaining unrelated with your thought process utterly unrelated, cool, calm watching whatsoever is passing. And then a miracle happens: slowly slowly one becomes aware that less and less thoughts are passing. The more alert you are, the less thoughts pass the less alert you are, the more thoughts pass. It is as if traffic depends on your awareness. When you are perfectly aware even for a single moment, all thinking stops. Immediately, there is a sudden stop and the road is empty, there is no traffic. That moment is meditation.
Slowly slowly those moments come more and more those empty spaces come again and again and stay longer. And you become capable of moving easily into those empty spaces with no effort. So whenever you want you can move into those empty spaces with no effort. They are refreshing, rejuvenating and they make you aware of who you are. Freed from the mind you are freed from all ideas about yourself. Now you can see who you are without any prejudice. And to know oneself is to know all that is worth knowing. And to miss self-knowledge is to miss all. A man may know everything in the world but if he does not know himself he is utterly ignorant he is just a walking Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Freedom without awareness is only an empty idea. It contains nothing. One cannot be really free without being aware because your unconscious goes on dominating you your unconscious goes on pulling your strings. You may think, you may believe that you are free But you are not free, you are just a victim of natural forces, blind forces.
So there are two types of people. the majority follows the tradition, the society, the state. The orthodox people, the conventional the conformists – they follow the crowd They are not free. And then there are a few rebellious spirits drop-outs, bohemians, artists painters, musicians, poets; they think they are living in freedom but they only think. Just by rebellion against the tradition you don’t become free. You are still under the rule of natural instincts. You are possessed by lust, by greed, by ambitions. And you are not a master of these things you are a slave. Hence I say freedom is only possible through awareness. Unless one transforms ones unconsciousness into consciousness there is no freedom.
And that is where only very few people have succeeded – a Jesus, a Lao Tzu a Zarathustra, a Buddha just a few people Who can be counted on one's fingers. They have really lived in freedom because they lived out of awareness.
That has to be the work for every seeker: to create more and more awareness. Then freedom comes of its own accord. Freedom is the fragrance of the flower of awareness.
Osho, Eighty Four Thousand Poems (This title is no longer available at Osho's request)
Will meditation help me to be happy?
Many people come to me and they say they are unhappy, and they want me to give them some meditation. I say: First, the basic thing is to understand why you are unhappy. And if you don’t remove those basic causes of your unhappiness, I can give you a meditation but that is not going to help very much – because the basic causes remain there.
The man may have been a good, beautiful dancer, and he is sitting in an office, piling up files. There is no possibility for dance. The man may have enjoyed dancing under the stars, but he is simply going on accumulating a bank-balance. And he says he is unhappy: Give me some meditation… I can give him! – but what is that meditation going to do? What is it supposed to do? He will remain the same man: accumulating money, competitive in the market. The meditation may help in this way: it may make him a little more relaxed to do this nonsense even better.
That’s what TM is doing to many people in the West – and that is the appeal of transcendental meditation, because Maharishi Mahesh Yogi goes on saying, "It will make you more efficient in your work, it will make you more successful. If you are a salesman, you will become a more successful salesman. It will give you efficiency." And American people are almost crazy about efficiency. You can lose everything just for being efficient. Hence, the appeal.
Yes, it can help you. It can relax you a little – it is a tranquillizer. By constantly repeating a mantra, by continuously repeating a certain word, it changes your brain chemistry. It is a tranquillizer, a sound-tranquillizer. It helps you to lessen your stress so tomorrow in the marketplace you can be more efficient, more capable to compete – but it doesn't change you. It is not a transformation.
You can repeat a mantra, you can do a certain meditation; it can help you a little bit here and there – but it can only help you to remain whatsoever you are.
Hence, my appeal is only for those who are really daring, dare-devils who are ready to change their very pattern of life, who are ready to stake everything – because in fact you don’t have anything to put at the stake: only your unhappiness, your misery. But people cling even to that.
What else do you have to put at stake? Just the misery. The only pleasure that you have is talking about it. Look at people talking about their misery: how happy they become! They pay for it: they go to psychoanalysts to talk about their misery – they pay for it! Somebody listens attentively; they are very happy. People go on talking about their misery again and again and again. They even exaggerate, they decorate, they make it look bigger. They make it look bigger than life-size. Why? You have nothing to put at stake. But people cling to the known, to the familiar. The misery is all that they have known – that is their life. Nothing to lose, but so afraid to lose anything.
With me, happiness comes first, joy comes first. A celebrating attitude comes first. A life-affirming philosophy comes first. Enjoy! If you cannot enjoy your work, change it. don’t wait, because all the time that you are waiting you are waiting for Godot. Godot is never going to come. One simply waits – and wastes one's life. For whom, for what are you waiting? If you see the point, that you are miserable in a certain pattern of life, then all the old traditions say: You are wrong. I would like to say: The pattern is wrong. Try to understand the difference of emphasis.
You are not wrong! Just your pattern, the way you have learned to live is wrong. The motivations that you have learned and accepted as yours are not yours – they don’t fulfill your destiny. They go against your grain, they go against your element….
Remember it: nobody else can decide for you. All their commandments, all their orders, all their moralities, are just to kill you. You have to decide for yourself. You have to take your life in your own hands. Otherwise, life goes on knocking at your door and you are never there; you are always somewhere else.
If you were going to be a dancer, life comes from that door because life thinks you must be a dancer by now. It knocks there but you are not there – you are a banker. And how is life expected to know that you would become a banker? The divine comes to you the way it wanted you to be; it knows only that address – but you are never found there, you are somewhere else, hiding behind somebody else's mask, in somebody else's garb, under somebody else's name.
The divine can find you only in one way, only in one way can it find you, and that is your inner flowering: as it wanted you to be. Unless you find your spontaneity, unless you find your element, you cannot be happy. And if you cannot be happy, you cannot be meditative.
Why did this idea – that meditation brings happiness – arise in people's minds? In fact, wherever they found a happy person they always found a meditative mind. They become associated. Whenever they found the beautiful, meditative milieu surrounding a man, they always found he was tremendously happy – vibrant with bliss, radiant. They became associated. They thought: Happiness comes when you are meditative.
It was just the other way round: meditation comes when you are happy. But to be happy is difficult and to learn meditation is easy. To be happy means a drastic change in your way of life, an abrupt change – because there is no time to lose. A sudden change, a sudden clash of thunder…a discontinuity.
That’s what I mean by sannyas: a discontinuity with the past. A sudden clash of thunder, and you die to the old and you start afresh, from ABC. You are born again. You again start your life as you would have done if there had been no enforced pattern by your parents, by your society, by the state; as you would have done, must have done, if there had been nobody to distract you. But you were distracted. You have to drop all those patterns that have been forced on you, and you have to find your own inner flame.
Osho, A Sudden Clash of Thunder, Talk #7
What is the connection between inner and outer beauty?
The outer beauty comes from a different source than the inner. The outer beauty comes from your father and mother: their bodies create your body. But the inner beauty comes from your own growth of consciousness that you are carrying from many lives.
In your individuality both are joined, the physical heritage from your father and mother and the spiritual heritage of your own past lives, its consciousness, its bliss, its joy.
So it is not absolutely necessary that the outer will be a reflection of the inner, nor will vice versa be true, that the inner will correspond with the outer.
But sometimes it happens that your inner beauty is so much, your inner light is so much that it starts radiating from your outer body. Your outer body may not be beautiful, but the light that comes from your sources, your innermost sources of eternal life, will make even a body which is not beautiful in the ordinary sense appear beautiful, radiant.
But vice versa it is never true. Your outer beauty is only skin-deep. It cannot affect your inner beauty. On the contrary the outer beauty becomes a hindrance in search of the inner: you become too identified with the outer. Who is going to look for the inner sources? Most often it happens that the people who are outwardly very beautiful, are inwardly very ugly. Their outer beauty becomes a cover-up to hide themselves behind, and it is experienced by millions of people every day. You fall in love with a woman or a man, because you can see only the outer. And just within a few days you start discovering his inner state; it doesn't correspond to his outer beauty. On the contrary it is very ugly.
For example, Alexander the Great had a very beautiful body but he killed millions of people, just to fulfill his ego that he is the world conqueror. He met one man, Diogenes, when he was on his way to India, who lived naked, the only man in Greece who did, unique in a way. His beauty was tremendous, not just the outer, but the inner radiance was so much and so dazzling that even Alexander had to stop his armies when he was close by in a forest near a river. He stopped the armies and went to see Diogenes alone; alone, because he did not want anybody to know that there exists a man who is far more beautiful than Alexander himself.
It was early morning and Diogenes was taking a sunbath, naked on the riverbank. Alexander could not believe that a beggar… He had nothing, no possessions – even Buddha used to have a begging bowl, but that too Diogenes had thrown away. He was absolutely without any possessions, exactly as he was born, naked.
Alexander could not believe his eyes. He had never seen such a beautiful personality and he could see that this beauty was not just on the outer side. Something infiltrated from the inner; a subtle radiation, a subtle aura surrounded him. All around him there was a fragrance, a silence.
If the inner becomes beautiful – which is in your hands – the outer will have to mold itself according to the inner. The outer is not essential, it will have to reflect the inner in some way.
But the converse is not true at all. You can have plastic surgery, you can have a beautiful face, beautiful eyes, a beautiful nose; you can change your skin; you can change your shape. That is not going to change your being. Inside you will still remain greedy, full of lust, violence, anger, rage, jealousy, with a tremendous will to power. All these things the plastic surgeon can do nothing about.
For that you will need a different kind of surgery. It is happening here: you are on the table. As you become more and more meditative, peaceful, a deep at-onement with existence happens. You fall into the rhythm of the universe. The universe also has its own heartbeat. Your heartbeat, once it starts in rhythm with the universal heartbeat, will have transformed your being from that ugly stage of animality, into authentic humanity.
And even the human is not the end. You can go on searching deeper and there is a place where you transcend humanity and something of the divine enters in you. Once the divine is there, it is almost like a light in a dark house. The windows will start showing the light; even the cracks in the wall or the roof or the doors will start showing the inner light.
The inner is tremendously powerful, the outer is very weak. The inner is eternal, the outer is very temporary. How many years do you remain young? And as youth fades away you start feeling that you are becoming ugly, unless your inner being is also growing with your age. Then even in your old age you will have a beauty that the youth may feel jealous of.
Remember, from the inner the change to the outer happens, but I am not making it inevitable. Most often it happens, but sometimes the outer is in such a rotten state that even the inner radiation cannot change it.
There have been cases on record: one very great mystic of India – I have spoken on him for almost half a year continuously. His name was Ashtavakra. And what he has written is tremendously important; each sentence has so many dimensions to be explored, but the man himself was in a very difficult situation.
Ashtavakra – the name was given to him, because he was almost like a camel. In eight places he was distorted in the body – one leg was longer, one arm was shorter, his back was bent – in eight places he was distorted. That’s how he was born, with a crippled, distorted body. But even in a crippled and distorted body the soul is as beautiful as in the most beautiful body.
He became enlightened, but his body was too rigid to change with his inner change. His eyes started showing something of the beauty, but the whole body was in such a mess.
The story is that the emperor of India in those days was Janak and he was very much interested in philosophical discussions. Each year he used to call a big conference of all the scholars, philosophers, theologians or whoever wanted to participate. It was a championship competition.
One very famous philosopher, Yagnavalkya came a little late. The conference had started and he saw standing outside one thousand beautiful cows. Their horns were covered with gold and diamonds. This was going to be the prize for the champion. It was a hot day and the cows were perspiring.
He told his disciples, "You take these cows. As far as winning the competition is concerned, I am certain. Why should the cows suffer here? You take them to our place." They had their own place in the forest.
Even Janak could not prevent him, because he knew that he had been the champion continuously for five years, and he would be the champion this time, because there was nobody else who could defeat him. It is not right to take the reward before you have won, but his victory was so certain to everybody that nobody objected. And his disciples took away all the cows.
While Yagnavalkya was discussing, a very unknown scholar was also present in the conference. Ashtavakra was this unknown philosopher's son. His mother was waiting for her husband to come home. It was getting late and the meal was getting cold. So she sent Ashtavakra to bring his father home, because he could not win the competition. Why should he unnecessarily waste his time? He was a poor scholar and there were great scholars there. Ashtavakra went. There were at least one thousand people in the conference, the highly cultured and sophisticated scholars of the country.
As Ashtavakra entered, looking at his distorted body they all started laughing. But Ashtavakra was a man of tremendous integrity. As they started laughing, he laughed even louder. Because of his loud laugh they stopped. They could not believe that he was laughing.
Janak asked him, "I can understand why they are laughing – because of your body; but I cannot understand why you are laughing. And you stopped all their laughing with your laughter." A single man stopped one thousand people's laughter.
Ashtavakra said to Janak, "I thought this conference was for scholars and philosophers, but these are all shoemakers. They can understand only the skin. They cannot see the inner, they can only see the outer."
There was a great silence. What he was saying had a great truth in it. Janak dissolved the conference and said, "Now I would like to inquire of Ashtavakra only. He has defeated you all just by his laughter and his statement that, `You can’t see the inner, you can only see the outer; you are all shoemakers.' Shoemakers work with the skin of different animals. I dissolve the conference and, Yagnavalka, return those one thousand cows, because you also laughed. And when Ashtavakra laughed, you also stopped!"
It was a very strange situation; it had never happened before. And then began the long inquiry of Janak, the emperor. He asked questions and Ashtavakra answered them. Each answer in itself carried so much meaning and significance.
Because his body was in such a bad shape he could not get identified with it. Sometimes blessings come in such disguise. He could not go out, because wherever he went people would laugh, "Look at that man! Have you seen anything uglier than this?"
So most of the time he was in the house, meditating, figuring out, "Who am I? Certainly I am not this body, because I can be aware of this body, I can observe this body from within. Certainly that awareness has to be different from the body."
Because of his crippled body he experienced enlightenment. The only barrier is identification with the body. But he could not identify, the body was so ugly. He never looked in a mirror; it would have been such a shock.
But Yagnavalkya had to return those one thousand cows to Ashtavakra's house. He was young and he defeated one thousand old philosophers in the ancient scriptures.
It is one of the strangest things in this country that on every book written by any prominent mystic there have been hundreds of commentaries, but nobody has commented before me on Ashtavakra. And he must be at least five thousand years old. For five thousand years nobody has bothered to look into his statements, which are so significant.
But his inner enlightenment, his inner understanding could not change his outer appearance. And yet for those who are going deeper into themselves, the outer does not matter. They would have seen even in Ashtavakra tremendous beauty, but it would not have been of the outer circumference, but of the center.
Most often the inner change changes the outer, if the outer is not too rigid. But the outer never changes the inner.
You need to have eyes, going deep into people's beings, which is possible only if you are going inwards yourself. The deeper you go into yourself the deeper you can look into other people's beings. And then a totally new world opens its doors.
Flanagan is on his deathbed and Father Murphy has come to give him the last rites. "Open your eyes," says the priest. "We have got to save your immortal soul." Flanagan opens one eye, closes it and tries to doze off. He is having such a nice snooze.
"Come on now!" says Father Murphy. "If you don’t want to confess, at least answer me this: do you renounce the devil and all his works?"
"Well, I don’t know," says Flanagan, opening one eye again. "At a time like this it doesn't seem very smart to upset anyone."
The inner comes out, you cannot hide it much. Now he is being very calculating. At the time of death, unnecessarily annoying anybody … and who knows where you are going? It is better to keep silent.
A wealthy widower and his beautiful daughter are on a sea cruise. By chance the girl falls overboard, and Rubin Fingelbaum, aged seventy, splashes in afterwards and rescues her. After the two are brought on board the ship, the widower throws his arms around Rubin.
"You saved my daughter's life," he cries. "I'm a rich man – I will give you anything! Ask for whatever you want!"
"Just answer me one question," replies Rubin. "Who pushed me?"
What is inside is bound to come outside.
How can you hide it?
An old black preacher had used the letters B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. after his name for many years without ever having had anyone from his congregation ask what they meant. Finally a nosey old woman questions him about it.
"Well, sister," he answers. "You know what B.S. stands for, don’t you?"
"I sure do," says the lady indignantly. "Bull shit!"
"Right," says the preacher. "And M.S. just means more of the same, and Ph.D. means piled high and deep."
That’s the inner side of most people: bull shit, B.S.; M.S., more of the same; and Ph.D., piled high and deep.
No plastic surgeon can change it. But you are capable of changing it yourself. It is within your hands. Nobody can do anything about your inner being except you. You are the master of your inner world. And as the inner world becomes silent, naturally your eyes become deeper, with an oceanic depth. As your inner being becomes cloudless your face also becomes cloudless, just an open sky. As your inner being comes to discover the source of your life, the flame of your life, something of that flame starts radiating from every pore of your body.
This is the rule. Ashtavakra is an exception. Exceptions don’t make the rule, they only prove the rule. But it has never happened vice versa before, and I don’t think it can ever happen.
We are all trying to be beautiful on the outside: all kinds of make-up, all kinds of things are going on to make your outer beautiful.
I Have Heard…
A man was catching flies. Finally after two or three hours' effort he caught four flies. He told his wife, "I have caught four flies: two are male, two are female." The wife said, "My God, how did you figure out who is male and who is female?" He said, "Easy! Two were sitting for almost two hours on the mirror and two were for two hours reading the newspaper!"
We are so much identified with the periphery of our being that we have forgotten that the periphery does not exist in itself. There must be a center inside. And the search for the center is the only religious search – not for God, not for heaven, not for any rewards for your virtues, not to avoid hell and punishment.
There is only one authentic religious search and that is to know your innermost being. It is the being of the whole universe. By entering your innermost temple you have entered the real temple. All other temples are false, man-manufactured; all other gods in those temples are false, they are man-manufactured.
Only one thing is not man-manufactured and that is your innermost dignity, your innermost grace. That grace starts flooding your outer being too. And that grace transforms not only the inner, but gives a new look to your outer being: an innocence, a serenity, a depth, a peace, a love, and these are all flowers blossoming around you. Then even your periphery becomes so beautiful, so musical, such a dance of rejoicing. But you should start from the inner.
Osho, Sat Chit Anand, Talk #27
What will meditation do to solve my problems?
Problems are all around you. So even if you somehow get finished with one problem, another problem arises. And you cannot prevent problems arising. Problems will continue to arise till you come to a deep understanding of witnessing. That is the only golden key, discovered by centuries of inward search in the East: that there is no need to solve any problem. You simply observe it, and the very observation is enough; the problem evaporates.
Osho, The Rebellious Spirit, Talk #6
If you are clear, if you can see, your life problems dissolve. Let me remind you about using the word dissolve. I am not saying you find the answers, solutions to your problems, no. And I am only talking about life problems.
This is the most important thing to understand about life problems: they are created by your unclarity of vision. So it is not that first you see them clearly, then you find the solution and then you try to apply the solution. No, the process is not that long; the process is very simple and short. The moment you can see your life problem clearly, it dissolves.
It is not that you have now found an answer that you will apply, and someday you will succeed in destroying the problem. The problem existed in your unclarity of vision. You were its creator. Remember again, I am talking about life problems. I am not saying that if your car is broken down you just sit silently and see clearly what the problem is: the problem is clear, now do something! It is not a question of you simply sitting under a tree and meditating and just once in a while opening your eyes and seeing whether the problem is solved or not.
This is not a life problem, it is a mechanical problem. If your tire is punctured you will have to change the wheel. Sitting won’t do; you just get up and change the wheel. It has nothing to do with your mind and your clarity; it has something to do with the road. What can your clarity do with the road? Otherwise, three thousand meditators here cannot mend one road? Just meditation would have been enough!
But the question is only about life problems. For example, you are feeling jealous, angry; you are feeling a kind of meaninglessness. You are dragging yourself somehow; you don’t feel that life is juicy anymore. These are life-problems and they arise out of your unclarity of mind. Because unclarity is the source of their arising, clarity becomes their dissolution. If you are clear, if you can see clearly, the problem will disappear.
You have not to do anything other than that. Just seeing, just watching its whole process: how the problem arises, how it takes possession of you, how you become completely clouded by it, blinded by it; and how you start acting madly, for which you repent later on…. You realize later on that it was sheer insanity, that "I did it in spite of myself. I never wanted to do it, still I did it. And even when I was doing it I knew that I didn't want to do it." But it was as if you were possessed….
Osho, From Misery to Enlightenment, Talk #20
There are so many, very different kinds of techniques. Do they have some common meeting ground?
There are one hundred and twelve methods of meditation, but witnessing is an essential part of all one hundred and twelve methods. So as far as I am concerned, witnessing is the only method. Those one hundred and twelve are different applications of witnessing.
The essential core, the spirit of meditation is to learn how to witness. You are seeing a tree: You are there, the tree is there, but can’t you find one thing more? – that you are seeing the tree, that there is a witness in you which is seeing you seeing the tree. The world is not divided only into the object and the subject. There is also something beyond both, and that beyond is meditation.
So in every act…and I don’t want people to sit for one hour or half an hour in the morning or in the evening. That kind of meditation is not going to help, because if you meditate for one hour, then for twenty-three hours you will be doing just the opposite of it. Meditation can be victorious: witnessing is such a method that it can spread over twenty-four hours of your day.
Eating, don’t get identified with the eater. The food is there, the eater is there, and you are here, watching. Walking, let the body walk but you simply watch. Slowly, the knack comes. It is a knack, and once you can watch small things…. A crow crowing…you are listening. These are two – the object and the subject – but can’t you see a witness who is seeing both? The crow, the listener, and still there is someone who is watching both. It is such a simple phenomenon. Then you can move into deeper layers: you can watch your thoughts; you can watch your emotions, your moods.
There is no need to say, "I am sad." The fact is that you are a witness that a cloud of sadness is passing over you. There is anger – you can simply be a witness. There is no need to say, "I am angry." You are never angry, there is no way for you to be angry; you are always a witness. The anger comes and goes; you are just a mirror. Things come, get reflected, move – and the mirror remains empty and clean, unscratched by the reflections.
Witnessing is finding your inside mirror. Once you have found it, miracles start happening. When you are simply witnessing the thoughts, thoughts disappear. Then there is suddenly a tremendous silence you have never known. When you are watching the moods – anger, sadness, happiness – they suddenly disappear and an even greater silence is experienced.
When there is nothing to watch – then the revolution. Then the witnessing energy turns upon itself because there is nothing to prevent it; there is no object left. The word object is beautiful. It simply means that which prevents you, objects you. When there is no object to your witnessing, it simply comes around back to yourself – to the source. This is the point where one becomes enlightened.
Meditation is only a path: the end is always buddhahood, enlightenment. To know this moment is to know all. Then there is no misery, no frustration, no meaninglessness; then life is no longer an accident. It becomes part of this cosmic whole – an essential part, and a tremendous bliss arises that this whole existence needs you.
Osho, Light on the Path, Talk #1
How to know when to change methods
Always remember, whatsoever you enjoy can go deep in you; only that can go deep in you. Enjoying it simply means it fits with you. The rhythm of it falls in tune with you: there is a subtle harmony between you and the method.
Once you enjoy a method then don’t become greedy; go into that method as much as you can. You can do it once at least or if possible, twice a day. The more you do it, the more you will enjoy it. Only drop a method when the joy has disappeared; then its work is finished. Search for another method. No method can lead you to the very end.
On the journey you will have to change trains many times. A certain method takes you to a certain state. Beyond that it is of no more use, it is spent.
So two things have to be remembered: when you are enjoying a method go into it as deeply as possible but never become addicted to it, because one day you will have to drop it too. If you become too much addicted to it then it is like a drug; you cannot leave it. You no more enjoy it – it is not giving you anything – but it has become a habit. Then one can continue it, but one is moving in circles; it cannot lead beyond that.
So let joy be the criterion. If joy is there, continue, to the last bit of joy go on. It has to be squeezed totally. No juice should be left behind…not even a single drop. And then be capable of dropping it. Choose some other method that again brings the joy. Many times a person has to change. It varies with different people but it is very rare that one method will do the whole journey.
Osho, (This title is no longer available at Osho's request)
All the methods that I have given to you are such that you will not need to drop them. Just use them to perfection, and the moment they are perfect they will drop on their own – just like ripe fruit falling from the tree. And when a method disappears on its own, it has a beauty; then your watchfulness is unscratched. Just continue till the method disappears of its own accord, and you are left simply a watcher on the hill.
Osho, The Transmission of the Lamp, Talk #29
What are these different paths, like Yoga, Tantra, Devotion and so on?
All the methods that lead man to realization are, essentially, awareness. Their non-essential components may be different.
I have spoken on yoga, on tantra, on Hassidism, on Tao, on Zen, on all possible methods that humanity has tried. I wanted you to be aware of all the ways through which man has been searching to reach the truth that liberates – but each method is essentially awareness.
That’s why now I am emphasizing only awareness.
So whatever you are doing, whatever method you are practicing, it makes no difference. Those are different names given by different people in different ages, but they were all practicing awareness.
In essence, it is only awareness that leads you to the ultimate goal. There are not many paths. There are many names for one path, and that one path is awareness.
Osho, The Osho Upanishad, Talk #13
Is it good to start with a sitting meditation or an active meditation?
You can go into meditation just by sitting, but then be just sitting; do not do anything else. If you can be just sitting, it becomes meditation. Be completely in the sitting; nonmovement should be your only movement. In fact, the word Zen comes from the word zazen, which means, just sitting, doing nothing. If you can just sit, doing nothing with your body and nothing with your mind, it becomes meditation; but it is difficult. You can sit very easily when you are doing something else but the moment you are just sitting and doing nothing, it becomes a problem. Every fiber of the body begins to move inside; every vein, every muscle, begins to move. You will begin to feel a subtle trembling; you will be aware of many points in the body of which you have never been aware before. And the more you try to just sit, the more movement you will feel inside you. So sitting can be used only if you have done other things first.
You can just walk, that is easier. You can just dance, that is even easier. And after you have been doing other things that are easier, then you can sit. Sitting in a buddha posture is the last thing to do really; it should never be done in the beginning. Only after you have begun to feel identified totally with movement can you begin to feel totally identified with nonmovement.
So I never tell people to begin with just sitting. Begin from where beginning is easy, otherwise you will begin to feel many things unnecessarily – things that are not there. If you begin with sitting, you will feel much disturbance inside. The more you try to just sit, the more disturbance will be felt; you will become aware only of your insane mind and nothing else. It will create depression, you will feel frustrated. You will not feel blissful; rather, you will begin to feel that you are insane. And sometimes you may really go insane.
If you make a sincere effort to "just sit," you may really go insane. Only because people do not really try sincerely does insanity not happen more often. With a sitting posture you begin to know so much madness inside you that if you are sincere and continue it, you may really go insane. It has happened before, so many times; so I never suggest anything that can create frustration, depression, sadness – anything that will allow you to be too aware of your insanity. You may not be ready to be aware of all the insanity that is inside you; you must be allowed to get to know certain things gradually. Knowledge is not always good; it must unfold itself slowly as your capacity to absorb it grows.
I begin with your insanity, not with a sitting posture; I allow your insanity. If you dance madly, the opposite happens within you. With a mad dance, you begin to be aware of a silent point within you; with sitting silently, you begin to be aware of madness. The opposite is always the point of awareness. With your dancing madly, chaotically, with crying, with chaotic breathing, I allow your madness. Then you begin to be aware of a subtle point, a deep point inside you that is silent and still, in contrast to the madness on the periphery. You will feel very blissful; at your center there is an inner silence. But if you are just sitting, then the inner one is the mad one; you are silent on the outside, but inside you are mad.
If you begin with something active – something positive, alive, moving – it will be better; then you will begin to feel an inner stillness growing. The more it grows, the more it will be possible for you to use a sitting posture or a lying posture – the more silent meditation will be possible. But by then things will be different, totally different.
A meditation technique that begins with movement, action, helps you in other ways, also. It becomes a catharsis. When you are just sitting, you are frustrated; your mind wants to move and you are just sitting. Every muscle turns, every nerve turns. You are trying to force something upon yourself that is not natural for you; then you have divided yourself into the one who is forcing and the one who is being forced. And really, the part that is being forced and suppressed is the more authentic part; it is a more major part of your mind than the part that is suppressing, and the major part is bound to win.
That which you are suppressing is really to be thrown, not suppressed. It has become an accumulation within you because you have been constantly suppressing it. The whole upbringing, the civilization, the education, is suppressive. You have been suppressing much that could have been thrown very easily with a different education, with a more conscious education, with a more aware parenthood. With a better awareness of the inner mechanism of the mind, the culture could have allowed you to throw many things.
For example, when a child is angry we tell him, "Do not be angry." He begins to suppress anger. By and by, what was a momentary happening becomes permanent. Now he will not act angry, but he will remain angry. We have accumulated so much anger from what were just momentary things; no one can be angry continuously unless anger has been suppressed. Anger is a momentary thing that comes and goes: if it is expressed, then you are no longer angry. So with me, I would allow the child to be angry more authentically. Be angry, but be deep in it; do not suppress it.
Of course, there will be problems. If we say, "Be angry," then you are going to be angry with someone. But a child can be molded; he can be given a pillow and told, "Be angry with the pillow. Be violent with the pillow." From the very beginning, a child can be brought up in a way in which the anger is just deviated. Some object can be given to him: he can go on throwing the object until his anger goes. Within minutes, within seconds, he will have dissipated his anger and there will be no accumulation of it.
You have accumulated anger, sex, violence, greed, everything! Now this accumulation is a madness within you. It is there, inside you. If you begin with any suppressive meditation – for example, with just sitting – you are suppressing all of this, you are not allowing it to be released. So I begin with a catharsis. First, let the suppressions be thrown into the air; and when you can throw your anger into the air, you have become mature.
If I cannot be loving alone, if I can be loving only with someone I love, then, really, I am not mature yet. Then I am depending on someone even to be loving; someone must be there, then I can be loving. Then that loving can only be a very superficial thing; it is not my nature. If I am alone in the room I am not loving at all, so the loving quality has not gone deep; it has not become a part of my being.
You become more and more mature when you are less and less dependent. If you can be angry alone, you are more mature. You do not need any object to be angry. So I make a catharsis in the beginning a must. You must throw everything into the sky, into the open space, without being conscious of any object.
Be angry without the person with whom you would like to be angry. Weep without finding any cause; laugh, just laugh, without anything to laugh at. Then you can just throw the whole accumulated thing – you can just throw it. And once you know the way, you are unburdened of the whole past.
Within moments you can be unburdened of the whole life – of lives even. If you are ready to throw everything, if you can allow your madness to come out, within moments there is a deep cleansing. Now you are cleansed: fresh, innocent – you are a child again. Now, in your innocence, sitting meditation can be done – just sitting, or just lying or anything – because now there is no mad one inside to disturb the sitting.
Cleansing must be the first thing – a catharsis – otherwise, with breathing exercises, with just sitting, with practicing asanas, yogic postures, you are just suppressing something. And a very strange thing happens: when you have allowed everything to be thrown out, sitting will just happen, asanas will just happen – it will be spontaneous.
You may not have known anything about yoga asanas but you begin to do them. Now these postures are authentic, real. They bring much transformation inside your body because now the body itself is doing them, you are not forcing them. For example, when someone has thrown many things out, he may begin to try to stand on his head. He may have never learned to do shirshasan, the headstand, but now his whole body is trying to do it. This is a very inner thing now; it comes from his inner body wisdom, not from his mind's intellectual, cerebral information. If his body insists, "Go and stand on your head!" and he allows it, he will feel very refreshed, very changed by it.
You may do any posture, but I allow these postures only when they come by themselves. Someone can sit down and be silent in siddhasan or in any other posture, but this siddhasan is something quite different; the quality differs. He is trying to be silent in sitting – but this is a happening, there is no suppression, there is no effort; it is just how your body feels. Your total being feels to sit. In this sitting there is no divided mind, no suppression. This sitting becomes a flowering.
You must have seen statues of Buddha sitting on a flower, a lotus flower. The lotus is just symbolic; it is symbolic of what is happening inside Buddha. When "just sitting" happens from the inside, you feel just like the opening of a flower. Nothing is being suppressed from the outside; rather, there is a growth, an opening from the inside; something inside opens and flowers. You can imitate Buddha's posture, but you cannot imitate the flower. You can sit completely buddhalike – even more buddhalike than Buddha – but the inside flowering will not be there. It cannot be imitated.
You can use tricks. You can use breathing rhythms that can force you to be still, to suppress your mind. Breath can be used very suppressively because with every rhythm of breath a particular mood arises in your mind. Not that other moods disappear; they just go into hiding.
You can force anything on yourself. If you want to be angry, just breathe the rhythm that happens in anger. Actors do it, when they want to express anger they change their breathing rhythm; the breathing rhythm must become the same as when there is anger. By making the rhythm fast they begin to feel anger, the anger part of the mind comes up. So breathing rhythm can be used to suppress the mind, to suppress anything in the mind. But it is not good, it is not a flowering. The other way is better; when your mind changes and then, as a consequence, your breath changes; the change comes first from the mind. So I use breathing rhythm as a sign. A person who remains at ease with himself constantly remains in the same breathing rhythm; it never changes because of the mind. It will change because of the body – if you are running it will change – but it never changes because of the mind.
So tantra has used many, many breathing rhythms as secret keys. They even allow sexual intercourse as a meditation, but they allow it only when your breathing rhythm remains constant in intercourse, otherwise not. If the mind is involved, then the breathing rhythm cannot remain the same, and if the breathing rhythm remains the same, the mind is not involved at all. If the mind is not involved even in such a deep biological thing as sexual intercourse, then the mind will not be involved in anything else.
But you can force. You can sit and force a particular rhythm on your body, you can create a fallacious buddhalike posture, but you will just be dead. You will become dull, stupid. It has happened to so many monks, so many sadhus; they just become stupid. Their eyes have no light of intelligence; their faces are just idiotic, with no inner light, no inner flame. Because they are so afraid of any inner movement, they have suppressed everything – including intelligence. Intelligence is a movement, one of the most subtle movements, so if all inner movement is suppressed, intelligence will be affected.
Awareness is not a static thing. Awareness, too, is movement – a dynamic flow. So if you start from the outside, if you force yourself to sit like a statue, you are killing much. First be concerned with catharsis, with cleaning out your mind, throwing everything out, so that you become empty and vacant – just a passage for something from the beyond to enter. Then sitting becomes helpful, silence becomes helpful, but not before.
To me, silence in itself is not something worthwhile. You can create a silence that is a dead silence. Silence must be alive, dynamic. If you "create" silence, you will become more stupid, more dull, more dead; but this is easier in a way, and so many people are doing it now. The whole culture is so suppressive that it is easier to suppress yourself still more. Then you do not have to take any risks, then you do not have to take a jump.
People come to me and say, "Tell us a meditation technique that we can practice silently." Why this fear? Everyone has a madhouse inside and still they say, "Tell us a technique that we can do silently." With a silent technique you can only become more and more mad – silently – and nothing else.
The doors of your madhouse must be opened! don’t be afraid of what others will say. A person who is concerned about what others think can never go inward. He will be too busy worrying about what others are saying, what they are thinking.
If you just sit silently, closing your eyes, everything will be okay; your wife or your husband will say that you have become a very good person. Everyone wants you to be dead; even mothers want their children to be dead – obedient, silent. The whole society wants you to be dead. So-called good men are really dead men.
So don’t be concerned with what others think, don’t be concerned about the image that others may have of you. Begin with catharsis and then something good can flower within you. It will have a different quality, a different beauty, altogether different; it will be authentic.
When silence comes to you, when it descends on you, it is not a false thing. You have not been cultivating it; it comes to you; it happens to you. You begin to feel it growing inside you just like a mother begins to feel a child growing. A deep silence is growing inside you; you become pregnant with it. Only then is there transformation; otherwise it is just self-deception. And one can deceive oneself for lives and lives – the capacity to do so is infinite.
Osho, Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy, Talk #5
Is it always necessary to close my eyes while meditating?
Most, but not all, techniques and all stages of a particular technique, tend to require that you have your eyes closed. Some, on the other hand, specifically require you to have open eyes; still others leave the option to you.
Below is Osho's understanding about how closing the eyes facilitates going inside.
There is no naturally given way to go inwards, but it is not needed. If enough consciousness is gathered in, it will create its own way, just as water creates its own way – no map, no guidelines, just enough quantity and the water will start flowing towards an unknown sea. It has never heard about, knows nothing about, where it is going.
The same is true about consciousness. Enough consciousness gathered inside immediately makes a way upon which nobody has ever trodden, and starts moving inwards. Outward senses are closed; that’s what I mean when I say in your meditations to close your eyes, to leave the body completely behind…because all the senses are joined to the body. Just be a watcher of the mind, so the mind cannot take your energy outside. With body and mind both closed, energy gathers upon itself spontaneously and, at a certain point, it starts moving inwards. You don’t have to do anything except to close all the doors that lead you away from yourself.
It is one of the simplest things because you don’t have to do it. But just because of its simplicity, its obviousness, it has become difficult, the most difficult thing, because nobody can teach you; nobody can indicate to you where to move, how to move. The master can only create a situation in which the spontaneous movement of the energy will happen.
That’s what I call meditation. It is not your doing. You have to stop doing everything. It is your non-doing. The moment when you are not doing, all your energy that was involved in doing a thousand and one things is released. It gathers to a point where it starts flowing inwards, and the innermost center is not far away.
Osho, The Miracle, Talk #9
Does meditation have anything to do with religion?
I have dissolved any religious connotation – a Hindu can remain a Hindu and still meditate – to make meditation available to all without any condition, whether he is Hindu, Jew, Christian…. Anybody can participate.
The beauty is that if somebody meditates, sooner or later his Hinduism will disappear. It cannot remain with meditation. So why bother about Hinduism when we have a secret which will automatically disperse all darkness in their minds?
I want meditation to become almost universal. It can become universal only if it is not attached to any religion, to any politics, to any ideology – and it is not. It is a simple method. Even an atheist can do it; there is no problem. We don’t ask him to believe in God, we don’t ask him to believe in anything. We simply say to him, "Here is a method you can try. Hypothetically, if you find something, good. If you don’t, drop it." And anybody who has tried meditation has never come back empty-handed.
Osho, Unpublished Press Conference
At what point can catharsis be dropped?
It drops itself when it is finished. You need not drop it. By and by you will feel there is no energy in it. By and by you will feel that you are doing catharsis but they are empty gestures, the energy is not there. In fact, you are pretending to do it, acting it; it is not happening. Whenever you feel that it is not happening and you have to force it, it has already dropped. You just have to listen to your heart.
When you are angry, how do you know when the anger has disappeared? When you are sexual, how do you know that the sexuality has gone? Because the energy from the thought is no longer there. The thought may remain but the energy is no longer there; it is an empty thing. You were angry a few minutes before: now, your face may be still a little angry but deep down you know now there is no anger; the energy has moved.
The same will happen in catharsis. You are doing catharsis; it is an energy phenomenon. Many emotions are suppressed: they are uncoiling, they are coming up, bubbling up. Then there is much energy. You are screaming – there is energy – and after the screaming you feel relieved, as if a burden has disappeared. You feel weightless; you feel more at ease, calmed down, slowed down. But if there is no suppressed emotion, then you can do the gesture but after the gesture you will feel tired because you were unnecessarily wasting the energy. There was no suppressed emotion. Nothing was coming up and you were unnecessarily jumping and screaming; you will feel tired.
If the catharsis is true, you will feel rejuvenated after it; if the catharsis is false, you will feel tired. If the catharsis was true you will feel very, very alive after it, younger than before, as if a few years have disappeared. You were thirty; now you are twenty-eight or twenty-five. A load has disappeared; you are younger, livelier, fresher. But if you are just making the gesture, you will feel tired. You were thirty; you will feel thirty-five…old.
You have to watch. Nobody else can tell what is happening within you. You have to be a watcher. Continuously watch what is happening. Don’t go on pretending…because catharsis is not the goal; it is just a means. One day it has to drop. Don’t go on carrying it. It is just like a boat, a ferry boat: you cross the stream and then you forget about it; you don’t carry it on your head.
Remember, catharsis can become your obsession. You can go on doing it, and then it can become a rut, a pattern. It is not to be made a pattern. At what point can catharsis be dropped? It drops itself. You simply remain alert and watch it. And when it wants to drop, don’t cling to it; let it be dropped.
Osho, Yoga: A New Direction, Talk #10
What about any aches or pains I might feel during or after meditating?
If you have some concerns about your physical health, for example if you know you have back problems or a heart condition, check with your physician before trying the active methods. Once you begin the methods, if an ache or pain persists after three days, it is advisable to see a doctor.
This is Osho's response to one questioner about pain on doing one of the active techniques:
Go on doing it – you will get over it. The reasons [for the pain] are obvious. There are two reasons. First, it is a vigorous exercise and your body has to get attuned to it. So for three or four days you will feel that the whole body is aching. With any new exercise it will happen. But after four days you will get over it and your body will feel stronger than ever.
But this is not very basic. The basic thing goes deeper, and the basic thing is what modern psychologists have come to know. Your body is not simply physical. In your body, in your muscles, in the structure of your body many other things have entered through suppressions. If you suppress anger, the poison goes into the body. It goes into the muscles, it goes into the blood. If you suppress anything, it is not only a mental thing, it is also physical…because you are not really divided. You are not body and mind; you are bodymind – psychosomatic. You are both together. So whatsoever is done with your body reaches the mind and whatsoever is done with the mind reaches the body, as body and mind are two ends of the same entity.
When an animal gets angry, he gets angry. He has no morality about it, no teaching about it. He simply gets angry and the anger is released. When you get angry, you get angry in a way similar to any animal. But then there is society, morality, etiquette, and thousands of other things. You have to push the anger down. You have to show that you are not angry; you have to smile – a painted smile! You have to create a smile, and you push the anger down. What is happening to the body? The body was ready to fight – either to fight or to fly, to escape from the danger, either to face it or escape from it. The body was ready to do something: anger is just a readiness to do something. The body was going to be violent, aggressive.
If you could be violent and aggressive, then the energy would be released. But you cannot be – it is not convenient, so you push it down. Then what will happen to all those muscles which were ready to be aggressive? They will become crippled. The energy pushes them to be aggressive, and you push them backwards not to be aggressive. There will be a conflict. In your muscles, in your blood, in your body tissues, there will be conflict. They are ready to express something and you are pushing them not to express. You are suppressing them. Then your body becomes crippled.
This happens with every emotion and this goes on day after day for years. Then your body becomes crippled all over. All the nerves become crippled. They are not flowing, they are not liquid, they are not alive. They have become dead, they have become poisoned and they have all become entangled. They are not natural. So when you start meditating, all these poisons will be released. And wherever the body has become stagnant, it will have to melt, it will become liquid again. This is a great effort. After forty years of living in a wrong way, then suddenly meditating….
The whole body is in an upheaval. You will feel aching all over the body. But this aching is good and you have to welcome it. Allow the body to become a flow again. Again it will become graceful and childlike; again you will gain the aliveness. But before that aliveness comes to you the dead parts have to be straightened and this is going to be a little painful.
Psychologists say that we have created an armor around the body and that armor is the problem. If you are allowed total expression when you get angry, what will you do? When you get angry, you start crushing your teeth together. You want to do something with your nails and with your hands, because that’s how your animal heritage will have it. You want to do something with your hands, to destroy something. If you don’t do anything your fingers will become crippled; they will lose the grace, the beauty. They will not be alive limbs. And the poison is there, so when you shake hands with someone, really there is no touch, no life, because your hands are dead.
Your body has to release many poisons. You have become toxic, and you will have pain because those poisons have settled down. Now I am creating a chaos again. This meditation is to create chaos within you so that you can be rearranged so that a new arrangement becomes possible. You must be destroyed as you are; only then can the new be born. As you are you have gone totally wrong. You have to be destroyed and only then can something new be created. There will be pain, but this pain is worthwhile.
So go on doing the meditation and allow the body to have pain. Allow the body not to resist; allow the body to move into this agony. This agony comes from your past but it will go. If you are ready it will go. And when it goes, then for the first time you will have a body. Right now you have only an imprisonment, a capsule…dead. You are encapsulated; you do not have an agile, alive body. Even animals have more beautiful, more alive bodies than you.
We have done much violence to our bodies. So in this chaotic meditation I am forcing your bodies to be alive again. Many blocks will be broken; many settled things will become unsettled again and many systems will become liquid again. There will be pain, but welcome it. It is a blessing and you will overcome it. Continue! There is no need to think what to do. You simply continue the meditation. I have seen hundreds and hundreds of people passing through the same process. Within a few days the pain is gone. And when the pain is gone, you will have a subtle joy around your body.
You cannot have it right now because the pain is there. You may know it or you may not know it but the pain is there all over your body. You have simply become unconscious about it because it has always been with you. Whatsoever is always there, you become unconscious about. Through meditation you will become conscious and then the mind will say, "Don’t do this; the whole body is aching." Do not listen to the mind. Simply go on doing it.
Within a certain period the pain will be thrown out. And when the pain is thrown out, when your body has again become receptive and there is no block, no poisons around it, you will always have a subtle feeling of joy wrapped around you. Whatsoever you are doing or not doing, you will always feel a subtle vibration of joy around your body.
Osho, The Supreme Doctrine, Talk #5
How to deal with distractions like pain and itching during meditation?
Osho, In meditation, the distraction is often physical pain. Would you talk about meditating on pain while pain is happening?
This is what I was talking about. If you feel pain be attentive to it, don’t do anything. Attention is the great sword – it cuts everything. You simply pay attention to the pain.
For example, you are sitting silently in the last part of the meditation, unmoving, and you feel many problems in the body. You feel the leg is going dead, there is some itching in the hand, you feel ants are creeping on the body and you have looked many times – there are no ants. The creeping is inside, not outside. What should you do? You feel the leg is going dead – be watchful, just pay total attention to it. You feel itching – don’t scratch, that will not help. Just pay attention. Don’t even open your eyes. Just pay attention inwardly and just wait and watch, and within seconds the itching will disappear. Whatsoever happens – even if you feel pain, severe pain in the stomach or in the head… It is possible, because in meditation the whole body changes. It changes its chemistry. New things start happening; the body is in a chaos. Sometimes the stomach will be affected because in the stomach you have suppressed many emotions, and they are all stirred. Sometimes you will feel like vomiting, nausea. Sometimes you will feel a severe pain in the head because the meditation is changing the inner structure of your brain. You are really in a chaos passing through meditation. Soon things will settle. But, for the time being, everything will be unsettled.
So what are you to do? Simply see the pain in the head; watch it. Be a watcher. Just forget that you are a doer, and by and by everything subsides and subsides so beautifully and so gracefully that you cannot believe it unless you know it. And it is not only that the pain disappears from the head: if the energy which was creating pain is watched, the pain disappears and the same energy becomes pleasure. The energy is the same. Pain and pleasure are two dimensions of the same energy. If you can remain silently sitting and paying attention to distractions, all distractions disappear. And when all distractions disappear, you will suddenly become aware that the whole body has disappeared.
In fact, what was happening? Why were these things happening? And when you don’t meditate they don’t happen. You are there the whole day and the hand never itches, the head has no pain and the stomach is perfect and the legs are okay. Everything is okay. What was really happening? Why do these things suddenly start in meditation?
The body has remained the master for so long, and in meditation you are throwing the body out of its mastery. You are dethroning it. It clings; it tries in every way to remain the master. It will create many things to distract you so the meditation is lost; you are thrown off balance and the body is again on the throne. Up to now, the body has remained the master and you have been a slave. Through meditation, you are changing the whole thing; it is a great revolution. And, of course, no ruler wants to be thrown out of his power.
The body plays politics – that’s what is happening. When she creates imaginary pain, itching, ants creeping, the body is trying to distract you. And it is natural, because the body has remained in rule for so long, for many lives it has been the emperor and you have been the slave. Now you are changing everything upside down. You are reclaiming your throne, and it is natural the body will try whatsoever it can do to disturb you. If you get disturbed, you are lost. Ordinarily, people suppress these things. They will start chanting a mantra; they will not look at the body.
I am not teaching you any sort of suppression. I teach only awareness. Just watch, pay attention, and because it is false, immediately it will disappear. When all the pains and itches and ants have disappeared and the body has settled in its right place of being a slave, suddenly so much bliss arises you cannot contain it. Suddenly so much celebration arises in the being you cannot express; you are overflowing with a peace that passeth understanding, a bliss which is not of this world.
Osho, Yoga: The Mystery Beyond Mind, Talk #2
Anything else I should know about meditating?
Once negativities have been allowed expression it is easier to watch when they do resurface from time to time. You’ve let off the pressure, so they won’t have as great a hold on you. Boredom is another feeling that commonly occurs. Just recognize it as a symptom of the mind and yet another passing mood to be watched, without becoming involved in it, without acting on it.
We’d all like to be able to be detached from our pain, our hurt, and our boredom, but not from the good times, the lovely experiences. However, the secret to learning the art of detached observation is to start practicing with positive feelings. Once you’ve mastered that, it is easier not to be dragged down by the negative. Remember, all experiences are of the mind – and the way lies far beyond the confines of the tiny mind.
The old habits of the mind can make themselves felt even when you are meditating. For example, you might start competing with yourself – urging yourself to go beyond your limits, even if your body is in pain. [Of course the mind can also try and sabotage your intention to meditate by telling you that you have reached your limit before you’ve barely begun!]
…Yet going for it…
If there is a key word to guarantee success in your meditative practice it’s totality or wholeheartedness. So for example, when you are dancing in Osho Nataraj Meditation, really dance – not just going through the movements with your mind engaged in something completely different, such as what you are going to do later, or ruminating over a conversation you had yesterday. Be present, on every level of your being.
Follow the instructions of the method given, but then gauge for yourself, by tuning into your body and staying in contact with yourself, how much to exert yourself. There is a fine line between totality and over-zealousness to the point of causing yourself physical harm. By and by your level of awareness and sensitivity will be heightened, and will act as reliable barometers. At the same time the habit of your interfering mind will begin to loosen its hold on you.
This is an Osho introduction to meditation as a way of life rather than a method only approach::
My only work is to give you a clear-cut idea how you can become more conscious; I call it meditation – working, walking, sitting.
I don’t believe in what others call meditation, that ten or twenty minutes you do it and then just be your ordinary self for twenty-four hours and again for twenty minutes meditate. This is stupid. It is like saying to a person that every day in the morning breathe for twenty minutes and then forget all about it, because you have to do many other things. Then the next morning you can breathe twenty minutes again. To me, meditation is exactly like breathing. So whatsoever you are doing and wherever you are, do it more consciously.
For example, I can raise this hand without any consciousness, just unconsciously, out of habit. But you can raise your hand with full awareness, and you can see the difference between the two. The act is the same: one is mechanical, the other is full of consciousness, and the quality is tremendously different. Try it, because it is a question of taste and experience. Walking, just try for a few minutes to walk consciously. Each step be alert, and you will be surprised that the quality of your walk is totally different; it is relaxed. There is no tension and there is a subtle joy that is arising out of your relaxed walking. The more you become aware of this joy, the more you would like to be awake.
Eating, eat with awareness. People are simply throwing food into their mouths, not even chewing it, just swallowing it. People who are suffering from obesity, fatness, cannot resist eating more and more. No doctor is going to help them, unless they become aware while they are eating, if they become aware. A few things happen as a by-product of awareness. Their eating will be slowed down. They will start chewing, because unless you chew your food you are putting an unnecessary burden on your whole system. Your stomach has no teeth. One has to chew each bite exactly forty-two times; then anything that you are eating becomes liquid.
A man of awareness only drinks, because before he swallows he has changed the solid food into liquid. And the strange thing is that when you chew forty-two times you enjoy the taste so much. One bite of an unconscious man gives forty-two times more taste to the conscious man. It is simple arithmetic: the unconscious man will have to eat forty-two bites just to have the same taste, and then he becomes fat and is still unsatisfied. Still he feels to eat more. The man of awareness eats only as much as his body needs. He immediately feels that now there is no need; the hunger is gone, he is content…doing anything.
My meditation is a totally different kind of approach. It has to be spread all over your twenty-four hours. Even falling asleep, remain alert how sleep is descending on you, so slowly, so silently, but you can hear the steps. The darkness is growing, you are relaxing – you can feel the muscles, the body, the tense parts which are preventing sleep – and soon you will see the whole body has relaxed and sleep has come. But slowly, slowly a great revolution happens. Sleep comes to you, but something deep inside you goes on remaining awake, even in sleep.
The situation is: you are asleep even when you think you are awake, and I am awake even when you think I’m asleep. Unless a man becomes aware in his sleep he is not aware, not awake; that is the criterion. There are so many by-products that you can judge by. Dreams disappear, because dreams need you to be completely unconscious; they come from the unconscious mind. But if you are conscious they cannot come.
Sigmund Freud would have been immensely enriched if he had come to a man like me who has no dreams. He would have been puzzled also and he would have had to change his whole idea of psychoanalysis. But he only came across people who were asleep. He himself was asleep – he had no idea of any spiritual awakening; otherwise he would certainly have realized that there is a space when man is conscious, just conscious, and there are no dreams at all.
If dreams disappear in the night, the second thing will happen to you: thoughts will disappear in the daytime. That does not mean you will become incapable of thinking; that simply means you will not just go on thinking mechanically, unnecessarily. You will be capable of thinking if you want to think, otherwise you will be silent. And a man who can remain silent for hours is gathering energy so whenever he wants to think his thinking has some strength, some power, some tremendous energy. Ordinary people’s thinking is just impotent, their thoughts are just vagrant…clouds floating in their mind.
A man of meditation will find that dreams disappear, and then sleep is incomparable beauty. Then sleep becomes spiritual; to transform sleep into spirituality is religion. Then your whole day becomes a day of silence. You will talk but something deep down in you will remain a silent witness. So you will not say things which will unnecessarily create trouble for you and trouble for others. You will say only that which is absolutely needed. You will say only the truth; otherwise you will be capable enough to say, "I do not know." You will not believe in anything. Either you will know it or you will not know it.
Belief is a deception: you don’t know, yet you pretend as if you know. All these people in temples, in churches, in synagogues, what are they doing? To whom are they praying? They don’t know God. Their priest does not know God. They don’t know that any prayer has ever been heard by anybody. They don’t know that any prayer has ever been answered by anybody. Still, they are praying to a god….
Religion is a very simple phenomenon. Theology has nothing to with religion. It makes things unnecessarily complex. Religion is a simple awareness of whatever you are doing, wherever you are. And when this awareness surrounds you always like a luminous aura, you become aware for the first time of the universe – its beauties, its music, its eternal song. And to me, that is the religious experience. In religious experience you don’t encounter a god. There is nobody there, just this pure existence. But it is all alive – these flowers, these birds on the wing, these stars – everything is alive, but because you are asleep you cannot experience the aliveness that surrounds you.
And we are not islands. No man is an island. We are part of this whole living, infinite continent. Those flowers are part of us just as we are part of them. Those faraway stars are within us as we are within the universe. That experience of unity, of at-onement, is liberation.
So my teaching is very simple: meditation is the key, becoming totally aware is the result. Experiencing oneness with the whole is the reward.
This is my trinity: meditation, awareness, oneness.
Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 2, Talk #7
How does Osho's approach to meditation differ from that of Transcendental Meditation (TM)?
If you cannot fall asleep in the night, if you suffer from sleeplessness, then methods like Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Meditation are perfectly good. That method has nothing to do with meditation; it is neither meditation nor transcendental. It is simply a non-medicinal tranquilizer.
It is good as far as it can bring sleep and can do it without any drug – I appreciate it – but it has nothing to do with meditation. You can repeat your own name again and again and you don’t need to pay a fee to anybody and you don’t need any initiation. Just repeat your own name; repeat it fast so that nothing else enters your mind, only your name resounds. Repeat it loudly inside so that from your toes to the head it is resounding inside. Soon you will get bored, fed up. And that is the moment when you start falling asleep because there seems to be no other escape.
All mothers know it. It is one of the most ancient methods women have been using on their children. They didn't call it Transcendental Meditation; they used to call it a "lullaby." The child tosses and turns, but the mother goes on repeating the same line again and again. Finding no other escape outside, the child escapes inside; that means he falls asleep. He says, "I am so fed up that unless I fall asleep, this woman is not going to stop." And soon he learns: the moment he falls asleep the woman stops, so it becomes a conditioning; then it becomes a conditioned reflex. Slowly slowly, the woman just repeats the line one or two times and the child is fast asleep.
This you can do to yourself. It is a process of auto-hypnosis; good as far as sleep is concerned but it has nothing to do with meditation. In fact, it is just the opposite of meditation, because meditation brings awareness and this method brings sleep. Hence I appreciate it as a technique for sleep, but I am totally against it if it is taught to people as a method of meditation.
Osho, Ah, This! Talk #5
Is there a connection between sports like running and meditation?
You will not think of running as a meditation, but runners sometimes have felt a tremendous experience of meditation. They were surprised, because they were not looking for it — who thinks that a runner is going to experience the divine? — but it has happened, and now running is becoming more and more a new kind of meditation.
It can happen in running. If you have ever been a runner, if you have enjoyed running in the early morning when the air is fresh and young and the whole world is coming back out of sleep, awakening, and you were running and your body was functioning beautifully, and the fresh air, and the new world again born out of the darkness of the night, and everything singing all around, and you were feeling so alive…. A moment comes when the runner disappears; there is only running. The body, mind and soul start functioning together; suddenly an inner orgasm is released.
Runners have sometimes come accidentally on the experience of the fourth, turiya, although they will miss it because they will think it was just because of running that they enjoyed the moment; that it was a beautiful day, that the body was healthy and the world was beautiful, and it was just a certain mood. They will not take note of it. But if they take note of it, my own observation is that a runner can come close to meditation more easily than anybody else. Jogging can be of immense help, swimming can be of immense help. All these things have to be transformed into meditations.
Drop old ideas of meditations, that just sitting underneath a tree with a yoga posture is meditation. That is only one of the ways, and may be suitable for a few people but is not suitable for all. For a small child it is not meditation, it is torture. For a young man who is alive, vibrant, it is repression, it is not meditation.
Maybe for an old man who has lived, whose energies are declining, it may be meditation. People differ, there are many types of people. To someone who has a low kind of energy, sitting underneath a tree in a yoga posture may be the best meditation, because the yoga posture is the least energy-expensive – the least. When the spine is erect, making a ninety-degree angle with the earth, your body expends the least energy possible. If you are leaning towards the left or towards the front, then your body starts spending more energy, because the gravitation starts pulling you downwards and you have to keep yourself upright; you have to hold yourself so that you don’t fall. This is expenditure. An erect spine was found to need the least spending of energy.
Then sitting with your hands together in the lap is also very very useful for low-energy people, because when the hands are touching each other, your body electricity starts moving in a circle. It does not go out of your body. It becomes an inner circle; the energy moves inside you.
You must know that energy is always released through the fingers; energy is never released from round-shaped things. For example, your head cannot release energy; it contains it. Energy is released through the fingers, and the toes. In a certain yoga posture the feet are together, so one foot releases energy and it enters the other foot; one hand releases energy and it enters the other hand. You go on taking your own energy; you become an inner circle of energy. It is very restful, it is very relaxing.
The yoga posture is the most relaxed posture possible. It is more relaxing than even sleep, because when you are asleep your whole body is being pulled by gravitation. When you are horizontal it is relaxing in a totally different way. It is relaxing because it brings you back to the ancient days when man was an animal, horizontal. It is relaxing because it is regressive; it helps you to become an animal again.
That’s why in a lying posture you cannot think clearly, it becomes difficult to think. Try it. You can dream easily but you cannot think easily; for thinking you have to sit. The more erect you sit, the better is the possibility to think. Thinking is a late arrival; when man became vertical, thinking arrived. When man used to be horizontal, dreaming was there but thinking was not there. So when you lie down you start dreaming, thinking disappears. It is a kind of relaxation, because thinking stops; you regress. The yoga posture is a good meditation for those who have low energy, for those who are ill, for those who are old, for those who have lived their whole life and now are coming closer and closer to death. Thousands of Buddhist monks have died in the sitting position, the lotus posture, because the best way to receive death is in the lotus posture – because in the lotus posture you will be fully alert, and because energies will be disappearing. They will be becoming less and less every moment: death is coming. In a lotus posture you can keep alertness to the very end, and to be alert while you are dying is one of the greatest experiences, the ultimate in orgasm.
If you are awake while you are dying you will have a totally different kind of birth: you will be born awake. One who dies awake is born awake. One who dies unconscious is born unconscious. One who dies with awareness can choose the right womb for himself; he has a choice, he has earned it. The man who dies unconsciously has no right to choose the womb; the womb happens unconsciously, accidentally.
The man who dies perfectly alert in this life will be coming only once more, because next time there will be no need to come. Just a little work is left: the other life will do that work. For one who is dying with awareness, only one thing is left now: he has had no time to radiate his awareness as compassion. Next time he can radiate his awareness as compassion. And unless awareness becomes compassion, something remains incomplete, something remains imperfect.
Running can be a meditation.
Jogging, dancing, swimming – anything can be a meditation. My definition of meditation is: whenever your body, mind and soul are functioning together in rhythm it is meditation, because it will bring the fourth in. If you are alert to the fact that you are doing it as a meditation – not to take part in the Olympics, but doing it as a meditation – then it is tremendously beautiful.
If we give only a fixed pattern of meditation, then it will be applicable only to a few people. That has been one of the problems in the past: fixed patterns of meditation, not fluid — fixed, so they fit certain types and all others are left in the darkness. My effort is to make meditation available to each and everybody.
Whosoever wants to meditate, meditation should be made available according to his type. If he needs rest, then rest should be his meditation. Then "sitting silently doing nothing, and the spring comes and the grass grows by itself" – that will be his meditation. We have to find as many dimensions to meditation as there are people in the world. The pattern has not to be very rigid, because no two individuals are alike. The pattern has to be very liquid so that it can fit with the individual. In the past, the practice was that the individual had to fit with the pattern.
I bring a revolution. The individual has not to fit with the pattern, the pattern has to fit with the individual. My respect for the individual is absolute. I am not much concerned with means; means can be changed, arranged in different ways.
That’s why you find so many meditations going on [in the meditation resort]. We don’t have enough opportunities here; otherwise you would be surprised how many doors the temple of the divine has. You would also be surprised that there is a special door only for you and for nobody else. That’s existence's love for you, its' respect for you. You will be received through a special door, not through the public gate. You will be received as a special guest.
But the basic fundamental is, whatsoever the meditation, it has to fill this requirement: that the body, mind, consciousness – all three should function in unity. Then suddenly one day the fourth has arrived: witnessing. Or if you want to, call it God; call it God or nirvana or Tao or whatsoever you will.
Osho, The Book of Wisdom, Talk #23
Is creativity somehow related with meditation?
Art can be divided into two parts. Ninety-nine percent of art is subjective art. Only one percent is objective art. The ninety-nine percent subjective art has no relationship with meditation. Only one percent objective art is based on meditation.
The subjective art means you are pouring your subjectivity onto the canvas, your dreams, your imaginations, your fantasies. It is a projection of your psychology. The same happens in poetry, in music, in all dimensions of creativity – you are not concerned with the person who is going to see your painting, not concerned what will happen to him when he looks at it; that is not your concern at all. Your art is simply a kind of vomiting. It will help you, just the way vomiting helps. It takes the nausea away, it makes you cleaner, makes you feel healthier. But you have not considered what is going to happen to the person who is going to see your vomit. He will become nauseous. He may start feeling sick.
Look at the paintings of Picasso. He is a great painter, but just a subjective artist. Looking at his paintings, you will start feeling sick, dizzy, something going berserk in your mind. You cannot go on looking at Picasso's painting for long. You would like to get away, because the painting has not come from a silent being. It has come from a chaos. It is a byproduct of a nightmare. But ninety-nine percent of art belongs to that category.
Objective art is just the opposite. The man has nothing to throw out, he is utterly empty, absolutely clean. Out of this silence, out of this emptiness arises love, compassion. And out of this silence arises a possibility for creativity. This silence, this love, this compassion – these are the qualities of meditation.
Meditation brings you to your very center. And your center is not only your center, it is the center of the whole existence. Only on the periphery we are different. As we start moving toward the center, we are one. We are part of eternity, a tremendously luminous experience of ecstasy that is beyond words. Something that you can be… but very difficult to express it. But a great desire arises in you to share it, because all other people around you are groping for exactly such experiences. And you have it, you know the path.
And these people are searching everywhere except within themselves – where it is! You would like to shout in their ears. You would like to shake them and tell them, "Open your eyes! Where are you going? Wherever you go, you go away from yourself. Come back home, and come as deep into yourself as possible."
This desire to share becomes creativity. Somebody can dance. There have been mystics – for example, Jalaluddin Rumi – whose teaching was not in words, whose teaching was in dance. He will dance. His disciples will be sitting by his side, and he will tell them, "Anybody who feels like joining me can join. It is a question of feeling. If you don’t feel like, it is up to you. You can simply sit and watch."
But when you see a man like Jalaluddin Rumi dancing, something dormant in you becomes active. In spite of yourself you find you have joined the dance. You are already dancing before you become aware that you have joined it.
Even this experience is of tremendous value, that you have been pulled like a magnetic force. It has not been your mind decision, you have not weighed for pro and for against, to join or not to join, no. Just the beauty of Rumi's dance, his spreading energy, has taken possession of you. You are being touched. This dance is objective art.
And if you can continue – and slowly you will become more and more unembarrassed, more and more capable – soon you will forget the whole world. A moment comes, the dancer disappears and only the dance remains.
There are in India statues, which you have just to sit silently and meditate upon. Just look at those statues. They have been made by meditators in such a way, in such a proportion, that just looking at the statue, the figure, the proportion, the beauty… Everything is very calculated to create a similar kind of state within you. And just sitting silently with a statue of Buddha or Mahavira, you will come across a strange feeling, which you cannot find in sitting by the side of any Western sculpture.
All Western sculpture is sexual. You see the Roman sculpture: beautiful, but something creates sexuality in you. It hits your sexual center. It does not give you an uplift. In the East the situation is totally different. Statutes are carved, but before a sculptor starts carving statues he learns meditation. Before he starts playing on the flute he learns meditation. Before he starts writing poetry he learns meditation. Meditation is absolute necessity for any art; then the art will be objective.
Then, just reading few lines of a haiku, a Japanese form of a small poem – only three lines, perhaps three words – if you silently read it, you will be surprised. It is far more explosive that any dynamite. It simply opens up doors in your being.
Basho's small haiku I have beside the pond near my house. I love it so much, I wanted it to be there. So every time, coming and going…. Basho is one of the persons I have loved. Nothing much in it: An ancient pond…. It is not an ordinary poetry. It is very pictorial. Just visualize: An ancient pond. A frog jumps in…. You almost see the ancient pond! You almost hear the frog, the sound of its jump: Plop.
And then everything is silent. The ancient pond is there, the frog has jumped in, the sound of his jumping in has created more silence than before. Just reading it is not like any other poetry that you go on reading – one poem, another poem… No, you just read it and sit silently. Visualize it. Close your eyes. See the ancient pond. See the frog. See it jumping in. See the ripples on the water. Hear the sound. And hear the silence that follows. This is objective art.
Basho must have written it in a very meditative mood, sitting by the side of an ancient pond, watching a frog. And the frog jumps in. And suddenly Basho becomes aware of the miracle that sound is deepening the silence. The silence is more than it was before. This is objective art.
Unless you are a creator, you will never find real blissfulness. It is only by creating that you become part of the great creativity of the universe. But to be a creator, meditation is a basic necessity. Without it you can paint, but that painting has to be burned, it has not to be shown to others. It was good, it helped you unburden, but please, don’t burden anybody else. don’t present it to your friends, they are not your enemies.
Objective art is meditative art, subjective art is mind art.
Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 3, Talk #24
What is vipassana?
Vipassana is such a simple thing that even a small child can do it. In fact, the smallest child can do it better than you, because he is not yet filled with the garbage of the mind; he is still clean and innocent….
Vipassana can be done in three ways – you can choose which one suits you the best. The first is: Awareness of your actions, your body, your mind, your heart. Walking, you should walk with awareness. Moving your hand, you should move with awareness, knowing perfectly that you are moving the hand. You can move it without any consciousness, like a mechanical thing. You are on a morning walk; you can go on walking without being aware of your feet. Be alert of the movements of your body. While eating, be alert of the movements that are needed for eating. Taking a shower, be alert of the coolness that is coming to you, the water falling on you and the tremendous joy of it…. Just be alert. It should not go on happening in an unconscious state.
And the same about your mind: whatever thought passes on the screen of your mind, just be a watcher. Whatever emotion passes on the screen of your heart, just remain a witness – don’t get involved, don’t get identified, don’t evaluate what is good, what is bad; that is not part of your meditation. Your meditation has to be choiceless awareness.
You will be able one day even to see very subtle moods: how sadness settles in you just like the night is slowly, slowly settling around the world, how suddenly a small thing makes you joyous.
Just be a witness. don’t think, "I am sad." Just know, "There is sadness around me, there is joy around me. I am confronting a certain emotion or a certain mood." But you are always far away: a watcher on the hills, and everything else is going on in the valley. This is one of the ways vipassana can be done.
And for a woman, my feeling is that it is the easiest, because a woman is more alert of her body than a man. It is just her nature. She is more conscious of how she looks, she is more conscious of how she moves, she is more conscious of how she sits; she is always conscious of being graceful. And it is not only a conditioning; it is something natural and biological.
Mothers who have experienced having at least two or three children, start feeling after a certain time whether they are carrying a boy or girl in their womb. The boy starts playing football; he starts kicking here and there, he starts making himself felt – he announces that he is here. The girl remains silent and relaxed; she does not play football, she does not kick, she does not announce. She remains as quiet as possible, as relaxed as possible. So it is not a question of conditioning, because even in the womb you can see the difference between the boy and the girl. The boy is hectic; he cannot sit in one place. He is all over the place. He wants to do everything, he wants to know everything. The girl behaves in a totally different way….
The second form is breathing, becoming aware of breathing. As the breath goes in, your belly starts rising up, and as the breath goes out, your belly starts settling down again. So the second method is to be aware of the belly, its rising and falling. Just the very awareness of the belly rising and falling… And the belly is very close to the life sources because the child is joined with the mother's life through the navel. Behind the navel is his life's source. So when the belly rises up, it is really the life energy, the spring of life that is rising up and falling down with each breath. That too is not difficult, and perhaps may be even easier, because it is a single technique.
In the first, you have to be aware of the body, you have to be aware of the mind, you have to be aware of your emotions, moods. So it has three steps. The second sort has a single step: just the belly, moving up and down. And the result is the same. As you become more aware of the belly, the mind becomes silent, the heart becomes silent, the moods disappear.
And the third is to be aware of the breath at the entrance, when the breath goes in through your nostrils. Feel it at that extreme – the other polarity from the belly – feel it from the nose. The breath going in gives a certain coolness to your nostrils. Then the breath going out… breath going in, breath going out….
That too is possible. It is easier for men than for women. The woman is more aware of the belly. Most men don’t even breathe as deep as the belly. Their chest rises up and falls down, because a wrong kind of athletics prevails over the world. Certainly it gives a more beautiful form to the body if your chest is high and your belly is almost non-existent. Man has chosen to breathe only up to the chest, so the chest becomes bigger and bigger and the belly shrinks down. That appears to him to be more athletic. Around the world, except in Japan, all athletes and teachers of athletes emphasize breathing by filling your lungs, expanding your chest, and pulling the belly in. The ideal is the lion whose chest is big and whose belly is very small. So be like a lion; that has become the rule of athletic gymnasts and the people who have been working with the body.
Japan is the only exception, where they don’t care that the chest should be broad and the belly should be pulled in. It needs a certain discipline to pull the belly in; it is not natural. Japan has chosen the natural way; hence you will be surprised to see a Japanese statue of Buddha. That is the way you can immediately discriminate whether the statue is Indian or Japanese. The Indian statues of Gautam Buddha have a very athletic body: the belly is very small and the chest is very broad. But the Japanese Buddha is totally different; his chest is almost silent, because he breathes from the belly, but his belly is bigger. It doesn't look very good because the idea prevalent in the world is the other way round, and it is so old. But breathing from the belly is more natural, more relaxed.
In the night it happens when you sleep: you don’t breathe from the chest, you breathe from the belly. That’s why the night is such a relaxed experience. After your sleep, in the morning you feel so fresh, so young, because the whole night you were breathing naturally…you were in Japan!
These are the two points: if you are afraid that breathing from the belly and being attentive to its rising and falling will destroy your athletic form…men may be more interested in that athletic form. Then for them it is easier to watch near the nostrils where the breath enters. Watch, and when the breath goes out, watch.
These are the three forms. Any one will do. And if you want to do two forms together, you can do two forms together; then the effort will become more intense. If you want to do all three forms together, you can do all three forms together. Then the process will be quicker. But it all depends on you, whatever feels easy. Remember: easy is right.
As meditation becomes settled, mind silent, the ego will disappear. You will be there, but there will be no feeling of "I." Then the doors are open. Just wait with a loving longing, with a welcome in the heart for that great moment, the greatest moment in anybody's life – enlightenment.
It comes… it certainly comes. It has never delayed for a single moment. Once you are in the right tuning, it suddenly explodes in you, transforms you. The old man is dead and the new man has arrived.
Big Chief Sitting Bull had been constipated for many moons. So he sent his favorite squaw to the medicine man for help. The medicine man gave the squaw three pills and told her to give them to the chief, and then report back to him the next morning. The next morning the squaw came back with the message, "Big chief no shit." So the medicine man told her to double the dose. The next day, she came back with the message, "Big Chief no shit." So again he told her to double the dose. Again she came back with the same message. This went on for a week, and finally the medicine man told the squaw to give Sitting Bull the whole box. The next morning, she came back with a very sad expression. "What is wrong, my child?" asked the medicine man. The little squaw looked at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Big Shit, no chief!"
One day it will happen to you, and that will be a great moment. That’s what I am calling the right moment.
Osho, The New Dawn, Talk #16
When and how often do I need to meditate?
Even if you have to give up a meal, do it… but do not give up meditation. The more regular you are, the greater depth you will attain. Meditation is such a delicate thing that it takes months to grow but just a day or two to wither away. A delicate thing needs much regularity, continuity. Meditation is the highest; everything else is secondary.
You will not miss much by missing a day’s sleep. One can do without sleeping for five to seven days. It is okay if you miss a meal; man can survive without food for three months. You can go without drinking water for a day; you will not die.
But usually, people give much more importance to such petty things and think that for a day or two they can do without the things that are really significant. But let it be remembered that nothing will go wrong if you do not fulfil the petty things of your routine. You will not gain anything by doing them; nor will you be a loser by not doing them.
But meditation is of the highest, and through it the divine is attained. If you do not meditate, you will not know what you were to gain and what you have missed; you will really not know what you have lost.
The greatest misfortune that can befall people is that they never come to know what they have missed. Apart from missing, people never come to know what they were to gain, they never become aware of it.
So always devote energy to meditation.
Osho, Won’t You Join the Dance? (This title is no longer available at Osho's request)
Is it possible to meditate without any technique?
The question you have asked is certainly of great importance because meditation, as such, needs no technique at all. But techniques are needed to remove the obstacles in the way of meditation. So it has to be understood very clearly: meditation itself needs no techniques, it is a simple understanding, an alertness, an awareness. Neither alertness is a technique nor is awareness a technique. But on the way to being alert, there are so many obstacles. For centuries man has been gathering those obstacles — they need to be removed. Meditation itself cannot remove them, certain techniques are needed to remove them.
So the work of the techniques is just to prepare the ground, is just to prepare the way, the passage. The techniques in themselves are not meditation. If you stop at the technique, you have missed the point. J. Krishnamurti was insisting his whole life that there is no technique for meditation. And the total result was not that millions of people attained to meditation; the total result was that millions of people became convinced that no technique is needed for meditation. But they forgot all about what they were going to do with the obstructions, the hindrances. So they remained intellectually convinced that no technique is needed.
I have met many followers of J. Krishnamurti, very intimate ones, and I have said to them, "No technique is needed – I agree absolutely. But has meditation happened to you or to anyone else who has been listening to J. Krishnamurti?" Although what he is saying is essentially true, he is saying only the positive side of the experience. There is a negative side also. And for that negative side all kinds of techniques are needed – are absolutely needed – because unless the ground is well prepared, and all the weeds and wild roots are taken away from the ground, you cannot grow roses and other beautiful flowers. Roses are in no way concerned with those roots, with the wild plants that you have removed. But the removal of those weeds was absolutely necessary for the ground to be in a right situation where roses can blossom.
You are asking, "Is it possible to meditate without any technique?" It is not only possible, it is the only possibility. No technique is needed at all – as far as meditation is concerned. But what are you going to do with your mind? Your mind will create a thousand and one difficulties. Those techniques are needed to remove the mind from the way, to create a space in which the mind becomes quiet, silent, almost absent. Then meditation happens on its own accord.
It is not a question of technique. You don’t have to do anything. Meditation is something natural, something that is already hidden inside you and is trying to find its way to reach to the open sky, to the sun, to the air. But the mind is surrounding it from all sides; all doors are closed, all windows are closed. The techniques are needed to open the windows, to open the doors. And immediately the whole sky is available to you, with all its stars, with all its beauty, with all its sunsets, with all its sunrises. Just a small window was preventing you…just a small piece of straw can go into your eye and it will prevent you from seeing the vast sky because you cannot open your eyes. It is absolutely illogical that just a small piece of straw or sand can prevent you from seeing the great stars, the infinite sky. But in fact they can, they do. Techniques are needed to remove those straws, those pieces of sand, from your eyes.
Meditation is your nature, is your very potential. It is another name of alertness.
The young father, taking his baby for a walk in the pram in the park, seemed quite unperturbed by the wails emerging from the pram. "Easy now, Albert," he said quietly. "Keep calm, there's a good fellow." Another howl rang out. "Now, now, Albert," murmured the father, "keep your temper." A young mother, passing by, remarked, "I must congratulate you. You certainly know how to speak to babies." Then, patting the baby on the head, she cooed, "What is bothering you, Albert?" "No, no," interrupted the father. "His name is Johnnie; I am Albert." He was simply trying to keep himself alert: "Albert, don’t lose your temper." He does not want to forget; otherwise he would like to throw this baby into the lake!
Meditation is simply awareness without any effort, an effortless alertness; it does not need any technique. But your mind is so full of thoughts, so full of dreams, so much of the past, so much of the future – it is not here now, and awareness has to be here now. The techniques are needed to help you to cut your roots from the past, to cut your dreams from the future, and to keep you in this moment as if only this moment exists. Then there is no need of any technique.
Hymie Goldberg was visiting his friend, Mr. Cohen, who was dying. "Do us a favor," said Hymie Goldberg, "when you go to heaven could you find a way of letting me know whether they play baseball up there?" Mr. Cohen said he would certainly try to contact his old friend if at all possible. Only a few days after Mr. Cohen died, Hymie Goldberg had a phone call. "Hello, Hymie," said Mr. Cohen, "it is your old friend here." "Cohen? Is it really you?" asked Hymie. "Sure," answered his friend. "I have some good news and some bad news. First, there sure is baseball in heaven. And the bad news is that you are pitching next Sunday."
Life is a complicated affair. There is good news, and there is bad news. The good news is that there is no need of any technique; but the bad news is, without any technique you are not going to get it.
Osho, The Rebel, Talk #24
The three basic fears: sex, love, and death?
Working with people, three fears continuously come up in them. It is the fear of going crazy, the fear of letting go in sexual orgasm, and the fear of dying. Can you please comment on this?
It is really very significant an existential question. In these three fears humanity has lived for thousands of years. They are not personal, they are collective. They come from the collective unconscious.
The fear of going crazy is in everyone, for the simple reason, because their intelligence has not been allowed to develop. Intelligence is dangerous to the vested interest. So for thousands of years they have been cutting the very roots of intelligence.
In Japan they have a certain tree, which is thought to be a great art, but it is simply murder. The trees are four hundred, five hundred years old and six inches high. Generations of gardeners have taken care of them. The technique is the trees are put in a pot without any bottom. So they go on cutting their roots. They don’t allow their roots to go into the earth. And when you don’t allow the roots to go deeper, the tree simply grows old, it never grows up. It is a strange phenomenon to see that tree. It looks ancient, but it has only grown old, old, old, but it has never grown up. It has never blossomed, it has never given any fruits.
And that is exactly the situation of man. His roots are cut. Man lives almost uprooted. He has to be made uprooted, so that he can become dependent on the society, on the culture, on the religion, on the state, on the parents, on everybody. He has to depend. He himself has no roots. The moment he becomes aware that he has no roots, he feels he is going crazy, he is going insane. He is losing every support, he is falling into a dark ditch… because the knowledge is borrowed, it is not his own. The respectability is borrowed. He himself has no respect for his own being. His whole personality is borrowed from some source – the university, the church, the state. He himself has nothing of his own.
Just think of a man who lives in a grand palace with everything conceivable for his luxuries. And one day suddenly you make him aware that the palace does not belong to him, neither this luxuries belong to him. They belong to somebody else who is coming and you will be thrown out. He will go crazy.
So in deep therapy you will come across this point and the person has to face it and allow it. Go crazy. Allow in the therapy the situation that the person can go crazy. Ones he goes crazy, he will drop the fear. Now he knows what craziness is. The fear is always of the unknown. Let him go crazy and he will soon calm down, because there is no real base to his fear. It is a fear projected by the society.
The parents say if you don’t follow us, if you disobey, you will be condemned. The Jewish God says in Talmud "I am a very jealous God, very angry God. Remember that I am not nice, I am not your uncle." And all the religions have been doing it.
So just go off the way, which is followed by, the mob and they will declare you crazy. So everybody goes on clinging to the crowd, remaining part of a religion, a church, a party, a nation, a race. He's afraid to be alone, and that’s what you are doing when you bring him to his own depths. All that crowd, all those connections, disappear. He's left alone and there is nobody else on whom he has always depended.
He has not of his own intelligence – that is the problem. Unless he starts growing his own intelligence, he will always remain afraid of being crazy. Not only that, the society can make him crazy any moment. If the society wants to make him crazy, if that is in their favor, they will make him crazy.
In Soviet Union it happens almost everyday. I am taking the example of Soviet Union because they do it more scientifically, methodologically. It happens everywhere all over the world, but their methods are very primitive. For example, in India if a person behaves in a way, which is not approved, he is made an outcast. He cannot get any support from anyone in the town. People will not even speak to him. His own family will close the doors upon his face. The man is bound to go crazy. You are driving him crazy.
But in Soviet Russia they do it more methodologically and they have done it to such people who were Nobel prize winners, who had intelligence, but an intelligence, which was always under control, under the obedience of the state. And just a single disobedience… because they got the Nobel prize, and Russian government did not want them to have it, because it comes from a capitalist world, and to the government of Russia it seems like a bribery. This is how they purchase people, and these are the people who have all the secrets of science. They don’t want to be world known, they don’t want to be in contact with other scientists, they don’t allow them to accept Nobel prize. But if the person insists, then the result is he is put into a hospital.
He goes on saying that, "I am perfectly healthy; why I am being put in the hospital?" They say, "Because the doctors feel you are going to be sick. The early symptoms are there, you may not be aware." And they go on injecting the person, he knows nothing of, and within fifteen days he is mad. They have made him through their chemicals mad. And when he is perfectly mad, then they produce him in the court that this man is insane, that he should be removed from his job, and that he should be sent into a mental asylum. And then nobody ever hears what happened to those people.
This is doing it scientifically. But every society has been doing it, and the fear has entered into to very deep realms of unconsciousness. And the work of therapy is to make the person free of that fear. If he is free of that fear, he is free of society, free of culture, free of religion, free of God, heaven, hell, and all nonsense. All that nonsense is significant because of this fear, and to make that nonsense significant the fear has been created. It is the ugliest crime one can think of. It is being done to every child around the world every moment, and the people who are doing have no bad intentions. They think they are doing something for the best of the child. They have been conditioned by their parents. They are transferring the same conditioning to their children.
But basically the whole humanity stands on the verge of madness. In deep therapy the fear grips suddenly, because the person is losing all the props, supports; the crowd is disappearing farther and farther away; he is being left alone. And suddenly there is darkness and there is fear. He has never been trained, disciplined for being alone and that is the function of meditation. No therapy is complete without meditation, because only meditation can give him his lost roots, his strength of being an individual. There is nothing to fear. But the conditioning is that you have to be afraid on each moment, each step.
The whole humanity lives in a paranoia. This humanity could have lived in paradise; it is living in hell. So help the person to understand that this is nothing to be worried, there is nothing to be afraid. It is a created fear. Every child is born fearless. He can play with the snakes with no fear. He has no idea of fear or death or anything. Meditation brings the person back to his childhood. He is reborn.
So help the person to understand why the fear is. Make it clear that it is a phony phenomenon, imposed upon him. So there is no need to be worried: in this situation you can go crazy. don’t be afraid. Enjoy for the first time you have got a situation in which you can be crazy and yet not condemned, loved, respected. And the group has to respect the person, love the person – he needs it, and he will cool down. And he will come out of the fear with a great freedom, with great stamina, strength, integrity.
The second fear is of sexual orgasm. That too is created by religions. All religions are existing because they have turned man against his own energies. Sex is man's whole energy, his life energy, and religious prophets and messiahs, messengers of God, they all are doing the same work in different words, different languages, but their work is the same… to make man an enemy of himself.
And the basic strategy is – because sex is the most powerful energy in you – sex should be condemned, a guilt should be created. Then arises a problem for the individual. His nature is sensuous, sexual, and his mind is full of garbage against it. He is in a split. Neither he can drop the mind, because dropping the mind means dropping the society, the religion, the prophet, Jesus Christ, and God, everything. He's not capable to do that unless he has become an individual and is able to be alone without any fear.
So man is afraid of sex as far as his mind is concerned, but his biology has nothing to do with the mind. The biology has not received any information from the mind. There is no communication. The biology has its own way of functioning, so the biology will draw him towards sex and his mind will be standing there continuously condemning him. So he makes love, but in a hurry. That hurry has a very psychological reason. The hurry is he is doing something wrong. He is doing something against God, against religion. He is feeling guilty and he cannot manage not to do it, so the only compromise is: do it, but be quick. That avoids the orgasm.
Now there are implications upon implications. A man who has not known orgasm feels unfulfilled, frustrated, angry, because he had never been in a state which nature provides freely, where he could have relaxed totally and become one with the existence, at least for few moments.
Because of his hurry he cannot manage the orgasm. Sex has become equivalent to ejaculation. That is not true as far as nature is concerned. Ejaculation is only a part, which you can manage without orgasm. You can reproduce children, so biology is not worried about your orgasm. Your biology is satisfied if you reproduce children, and they can be reproduced only by ejaculation, there is no need for orgasm.
Orgasm is a tremendous gift of nature. Man is deprived and because he is so quick in making love that the woman is deprived. The woman needs time to warm up. Her whole body is erotic, and unless her whole body is throbbing with joy, she will not be able to experience orgasm. For that there is no time.
So for millions of years women have been completely denied their birthright. That’s why they have become so bitchy, so continuously nagging, always ready to fight. There is no possibility of having a conversation with a woman. You are living with a woman for years, but there is not a single conversation that you can recall when you both were sitting together talking about great things of life. No. All that you will remember will be fighting, throwing things, being nasty, but the woman is not responsible for it. She's being deprived of her whole possibility of blissfulness. Then she becomes negative. And this has given chance to the priests. All the churches and the temples are filled up with women because they are the losers, more than men. Because the more man's orgasm is local; his whole body is not erotic. So his whole body does not suffer any damage if there is no orgasmic experience, but the woman's whole body suffers.
But it is good business for religions. Unless people are psychologically suffering, they will not come to the churches. They will not listen to all kinds of idiotic theologies. And because they are suffering, they want some consolation, they want some hope, at least after death. In life they know there is no hope; it is finished. And this gives a chance to religions to show to men and women both that sex is absolutely futile. It has no meaning, no significance. You are unnecessarily losing your energy, wasting your energy, and their argument seems to be correct because you have never experienced anything.
So by preventing the orgasmic experience religions have made men and women slaves. Now the same slavery functions for other vested interests. The latest priest is the psychoanalyst. Now he's exploiting the same thing. And I was amazed to know that almost all new priests, particularly Christians, study psychology in their theological colleges. Psychology, psychoanalysis have become their necessary part of education. Now what psychology has to do with Bible? What psychoanalysis has to do with Jesus Christ? They are being trained in psychology and psychoanalysis, because it is clear that the old priest is disappearing, losing his grip over people. The priest has to be made up-to-date, so he can function not only as a religious priest, but also as a psychoanalyst, psychologist. Naturally the psychologist cannot compete with him. He has something more: religion.
But this whole thing has happened through a simple device of condemning sex. So when in your groups you find people fearing of orgasm, help them to understand that orgasm is going to make you more sane, more intelligent, less angry, less violent, more loving. Orgasm is going to give you your roots, which have been taken away from you. So don’t be worried. And mixed will be the fear in orgasm that one may go crazy. If in orgasm one goes crazy, help him to go crazy. Only then he will be able to have it in its totality. But the orgasm relaxes every fiber of your mind, your heart, your body.
It is immensely important for meditation that a person has the experience of orgasm. Then you can make him understand what meditation is. It is an orgasmic experience with the whole existence. If the orgasm can be so beautiful and so beneficial, so healthy with a single human being, meditation is getting into oneness with the whole that surrounds you, from the smallest blade of grass to the biggest star, millions of years away.
This… once he experiences…. The question is always the first experience. Once he knows it, that that craziness was not craziness, but a kind of explosion of joy, and that cools down and leaves him behind, healthier, more whole, more intelligent, then the fear of orgasm is disappeared. And with it he is finished with the religion, with the psychoanalysis and all kinds of nonsense for which he is paying so tremendously. And the third fear you say is of death. The first is of being alone. Much of the fear of death will be destroyed by the first experience of being alone and having no fear. The remaining much of the fear of death will be immediately destroyed by the experience of orgasm, because in the orgasm the person disappears. The ego is no more. There is an experiencing, but the experiencer is no more.
These first two steps will help to solve the third step very easily. And with each step you have to go on deepening his meditativeness. Any therapy without meditation cannot help much. It is just super fear, touching here and there, and soon the man will be same again. A real transformation has never happened without meditation, and these are beautiful situations as far as meditation is concerned.
So use the first to make him alone. Use the second to give him courage and tell him to drop all thoughts, just go crazily orgasmic. don’t bother what happens. We are here to take care of you. With these two steps the third will be very easy. That is the easiest. It looks the biggest fear of man. It is not true. You don’t know death; how can you be afraid of it? You have always seen other people dying. You have never seen yourself dying. Who knows, you are maybe the exception, because there is no proof that you are going to die. Those who have died have given proof that they were mortals.
When I was in the university and learning logic from my professor, in every logic book, in every university around the world, the same Aristotelian syllogism is being taught. Man is mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore Socrates is mortal. And when I was taught that syllogism for the first time, I stood up and I said, "Wait. I may be the exception. Up to now I have been the exception. Why not tomorrow? About Socrates I accept the syllogism is true because he is dead, but what about me? What about you? What about all these people who are living? They have not died yet."
Experiencing death – people dying in disgust, in misery, in suffering, in all kinds of pain, old age – that gives you the fear of death. Because nobody has known the death of an enlightened man, how beautifully he dies, how joyously he dies. The moment of his death is of tremendous luminosity, silence, as if joy is radiating from every pore of his being. Those who are near him, those who have been fortunate to be near him, will be simply surprised that death is far more glorious than life has ever been.
But this kind of death happens only to people who have lived totally, without fear, who have lived orgasmically, without bothering about idiots what they are saying. They know nothing about it, and they go on saying about it.
The fear of death will be the simplest out of the three. You have to solve the first two, and then you tell the person that death is not the end of life. If you meditate deeply and reach to your innermost center you will suddenly find an eternal life current. The bodies… there have been many. There have been many forms to your being, but you are just the same. But it has to be not just a belief – it has to be made their experience.
So remember one thing: your therapy groups should not be ordinary therapy – just somehow whitewashing and giving a man a feeling that he has learned something, he has experienced something and after a week or two he is the same. There is not a single person in the whole world who is totally psychoanalyzed. And there are thousands of psychoanalysts doing psychoanalysis, and not a single case they have been able to complete yet, for the simple reason because they have nothing to do with meditation. And without meditation you can go on painting on the surface, but the inner reality remains the same.
My therapists have to introduce meditation as the very center of therapy, and everything else should revolve around it. Then we have made therapy something really valuable. Then it is not only the need those who are sick or of those who are somehow mentally unbalanced, or of those who feel fears, jealousies, violence. This is a negative part of therapy.
Our therapies should be that we give the person his individuality back. We give him his childhood and innocence back. That we give him integrity, crystallization, so that he never fears death. And once the fear of death disappears all other fears are very small, they will follow it, they will simply disappear.
And we have to teach people how to live totally and wholly, against the teachings of all the religions. They teach renounce. I teach rejoice.
Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 2, Talk #16
What is the role of therapy in meditation?
Buddha never needed any psychotherapy for his sannyasins; those people were innocent. But in these twenty-five centuries, people have lost their innocence, they have become too knowledgeable. People have lost their contact with existence. They have become uprooted.
I am the first person who uses therapy but whose interest is not therapy but meditation…just as it was with Chuang Tzu or Gautam Buddha. They never used therapy because there was no need. People were simply ready, and you could bring the rosebushes without clearing the ground. The ground was already clear. In these twenty-five centuries man has become so burdened with rubbish, so many wild weeds have grown in his being that I am using therapy just to clean the ground, take away the wild weeds, the roots, so the difference between the ancient man and the modern man is destroyed.
The modern man has to be made as innocent as the ancient man, as simple, as natural. He has lost all these great qualities. The therapist has to help him – but his work is only a preparation. It is not the end. The end part is going to be the meditation.
Osho, The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here, Talk #27
What is the relationship between consciousness and energy?
Modern physics has discovered one of the greatest things ever discovered, and that is: matter is energy. That is the greatest contribution of Albert Einstein to humanity: e is equal to mc squared, matter is energy. Matter only appears; otherwise there is no such thing as matter. Nothing is solid. Even the solid rock is a pulsating energy, even the solid rock is as much energy as the roaring ocean. The waves that are arising in the solid rock cannot be seen because they are very subtle, but the rock is waving, pulsating, breathing; it is alive.
Friedrich Nietzsche has declared that God is dead. God is not dead – on the contrary, what has happened is that matter is dead. Matter has been found not to exist at all. This insight into matter brings modern physics very close to mysticism, very close. For the first time the scientist and the mystic are coming very close, almost holding hands.
Eddington, one of the greatest scientists of this age, has said, "We used to think that matter is a thing; now it is no more so. Matter is more like a thought than like a thing."
Existence is energy. Science has discovered that the observed is energy, the object is energy. Down through the ages, at least for five thousand years, it has been known that the other polarity – the subject, the observer, consciousness – is energy.
Your body is energy, your mind is energy, your soul is energy. Then what is the difference between these three? The difference is only of a different rhythm, different wavelengths, that’s all. The body is gross – energy functioning in a gross way, in a visible way.
Mind is a little more subtle, but still not too subtle, because you can close your eyes and you can see the thoughts moving; they can be seen. They are not as visible as your body; your body is visible to everybody else, it is publicly visible. Your thoughts are privately visible. Nobody else can see your thoughts; only you can see them – or people who have worked very deeply into seeing thoughts. But ordinarily they are not visible to others.
And the third, the ultimate layer inside you, is that of consciousness. It is not even visible to you. It cannot be reduced to an object, it remains the subject.
If all these three energies function in harmony, you are healthy and whole. If these energies don’t function in harmony and accord you are ill, unhealthy; you are no more whole. And to be whole is to be holy.
The effort that we are making here is to help you so that your body, your mind, your consciousness, can all dance in one rhythm, in a togetherness, in a deep harmony – not in conflict at all, but in cooperation. The moment your body, mind and consciousness function together, you have become the trinity, and in that experience is the divine.
Your question is significant. You ask, "Please say something about the relationship of consciousness and energy."
There is no relationship of consciousness and energy.
Consciousness is energy, the purest energy. The mind is not so pure; the body is still less pure. The body is much too mixed, and the mind is also not totally pure. Consciousness is totally pure energy. But you can know this consciousness only if you make a cosmos out of the three, and not a chaos.
People are living in chaos. Their bodies say one thing, their bodies want to go in one direction; their minds are completely oblivious of the body – because for centuries you have been taught that you are not the body. For centuries you have been told that the body is your enemy, that you have to fight with it, that you have to destroy it, that the body is sin.
Because of all these ideas – silly and stupid they are, harmful and poisonous they are, but they have been taught for so long that they have become part of your collective mind, they are there – you don’t experience your body in a rhythmic dance with yourself.
Hence my insistence on dancing and music, because it is only in dance that you will feel that your body, your mind and you are functioning together. And the joy is infinite when all these function together; the richness is great.
Consciousness is the highest form of energy. And when all these three energies function together, the fourth arrives. The fourth is always present when these three function together. When these three function in an organic unity, the fourth is always there; the fourth is nothing but that organic unity. In the East, we have called that fourth simply the fourth – turiya; we have not given it any name. The three have names, the fourth is nameless. To know the fourth is to know the divine. Let us say it in this way: the divine is when you are an organic orgasmic unity. The divine is not when you are a chaos, a disunity, a conflict. When you are a house divided against yourself there is no divinity.
When you are tremendously happy with yourself, happy as you are, blissful as you are, grateful as you are, and all your energies are dancing together, when you are an orchestra of all your energies, the divine is. That feeling of total unity is what the divine is. The divine is not a person somewhere, The divine is the experience of the three falling in such unity that the fourth arises. And the fourth is more than the sum total of the parts.
If you dissect a painting, you will find the canvas and the colors, but the painting is not simply the sum total of the canvas and the colors; it is something more. That "something more" is expressed through the painting, the color, the canvas, the artist, but that "something more" is the beauty. Dissect the rose flower, and you will find all the chemicals and things it is constituted of, but the beauty will disappear. It was not just the sum total of the parts, it was more.
The whole is more than the sum total of the parts. It expresses itself through the parts but it is more. To understand that it is more is to understand the divine. The divine is that more, that plus. It is not a question of theology; it cannot be decided by logical argumentation. You have to feel beauty, you have to feel music, you have to feel dance. And ultimately you have to feel the dance in your body, mind and, soul. You have to learn how to play on these three energies so that they all become an orchestra. Then the divine is – not that you see it; there is nothing to be seen. The divine is the ultimate seer, it is witnessing.
Learn to melt your body, mind, soul. Find ways in which you can function as a unity.
Osho, The Book of Wisdom, Talk #23
Is meditation a belief?
A belief simply means you don’t know – still you believe. My effort here is that you never believe unless you know. When you know, there is no question of believing, you know it. I destroy all belief systems and I do not give you any substitute. Hence, it is not easy to understand me.
Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 1, Talk #4
Beliefs are like colored glasses: they will make the whole existence of the same color as your glasses. It will not be the true color of existence; it will be imparted by your glasses. You have to put aside all your glasses. You have to contact reality directly, immediately. There should be no idea between you and existence, no a priori conclusion.
A real seeker has to be in the state that Dionysus calls agnosia – a state of- not-knowing. Socrates said at the very end of his life, "I know only one thing, that I know nothing." This is the state of a true seeker.
In the East we call this state meditation: no belief, no thought, no desire, no prejudice, no conditioning – in fact, no mind at all. A state of no-mind is meditation. When you can look without any mind interfering, distorting, interpreting, then you see the truth. The truth is already all around; just you have to put your mind aside.
The seeker has to fulfill only one basic thing: he has to drop his mind. The moment the mind is dropped, a great silence arises – because the mind carries your whole past; all the memories of the past go on hankering for your attention, they go on crowding upon you, they don’t leave any space within you.
And the mind also means future. Out of the past you start fantasizing about the future. It is a projection out of the past. You have lived a certain life in the past: there have been a few moments of joy and many many dark nights. You would not like to have those dark nights; you would have your future to be full of those joyous moments. So you sort out from your past: you choose few things and you project them in the future, and you choose a few other things and you try to avoid them in the future. Your future is only nothing but a refined past – a little bit modified here and there, but it is still the past because that’s all that you know.
And one thing very significant to be remembered: those few moments of joy that you had in the past were basically part of those long dark nights, so if you choose those moments those dark nights will come automatically; you cannot avoid them. The silver linings in the dark clouds cannot be chosen separately from the dark clouds. In the dark night you see the sky full of stars; in the day those stars disappear. Do you think they evaporate? They are still there, but the context is missing. They need darkness; only then you can see them. In the night, you will be able to see them again. Darker the night, the more shining are the stars.
In life everything is intertwined with each other. Your pleasures are intertwined with your pains, your ecstasies mixed inevitably, inseparably with your agonies. So your whole idea of the future is sheer nonsense. You cannot manage it, nobody has ever been able to manage it, because you are trying to do something which cannot be done in the very nature of things. It will be simply a repetition of your past.
Whatsoever you desire is not going to make any difference. It will be again and again a repetition of your past, the same past, maybe a little bit different, but not because of your expectations – a little bit different because life goes on changing, people go on changing, existence goes on changing. So there will be few differences but not basic differences, only in the non-essential parts. Essentially it will be the same tragedy. Dropping the mind means dropping the past, and with it of course the future disappears. Dropping the mind means you are suddenly awakened into the present, and the present is the only reality there is. Past is non-existential, so is future. Past is no more, future is not yet, only the present is. It is always now – only the now exists. And the meditator starts merging and melting with the now.
Osho, I Am That, Talk #11
Does meditation have anything to do with morality or sin?
The English word “sin” is very significant; not in the way Christians interpret it, not according to the dictionaries, because they have been influenced by the religions, but according to its original roots: the word “sin” simply means forgetfulness. And that gives a totally new dimension to the word – a beauty. It is nothing for which you can be thrown into hell. It is something that you can manage. It is not concerned with any action in particular; it is concerned with your awareness.
To be aware is to be virtuous. And to remain in unawareness is the only sin. You may be doing good things without awareness. But those good things are no longer good, because they come out of darkness, unconsciousness, blindness. And as far as awareness is concerned, a man who is full of awareness, alert, cannot do anything wrong. It is intrinsically impossible.
Awareness brings so much clarity, so much perception, so much understanding that it is impossible to do anything that can be harmful to anyone. It is impossible to interfere with somebody's freedom or somebody's life. You can only be a blessing to existence, nothing else. So to forget that you are a seeker is dangerous. It is falling into sin. This is the only sin I accept as sin.
Osho, Sat-Chit-Anand: Truth-Consciousness-Bliss, Talk #26
What is the wisdom of the heart?
Common sense carries fragments of knowledge. It knows that the people who are compassionate, people of heart, have a certain wisdom which is not knowledge, a certain insight, a certain intuitiveness which cannot be taught. They can see things, feel things. They are sensitive to things which are not available to the mind. So people start thinking that there are possibilities of the heart having wisdom.
But they don’t know that the heart is your emptiness. And out of your emptiness a clarity, a transparency arises which can see things which you cannot intellectually infer. This is wisdom.
To make it complete, it has to be said, "the wisdom of the empty heart." The heart, as the physiologist knows it, is just a blood-pumping system. Out of your heartbeats no wisdom can arise. Have you ever felt any wisdom arising from your heartbeats? Has any doctor ever heard some wisdom while checking your heartbeats through his stethoscope? This heart is not the one we mean when we are talking about the emptiness of the heart. Actually, we are talking about throwing away all the contents of the mind. Then, the no-mind itself becomes your heart. It is not a physiological thing. It is your no-mind – no prejudice, no knowledge, no content. Just purity, simple silence, and the no-mind can be called the empty heart. It is only a question of expression. What you want to choose, you can choose: the wisdom of the empty heart, or the wisdom of no-mind – they are equivalent.
When you are in deep meditation, you feel a great serenity, a joy that is unknown to you, a watchfulness that is a new guest. Soon this watchfulness will become the host. The day the watchfulness becomes the host, it remains twenty-four hours with you. And out of this watchfulness, whatever you do has a wisdom in it. Whatever you do shows a clarity, a purity, a spontaneity, a grace.
Osho, The Buddha: The Emptiness of the Heart, Talk #2
What is meant by the head? And what is the way of the heart?
The first thing to be understood is that there is no way, either of head or of heart. Every way leads you away, away from the truth that you are.
It would have been so easy if there were a truth somewhere. Howsoever difficult the way, people would have reached. The more difficult, the more far away the truth was, the more challenging to the ego. If man's ego challenges him to reach the highest peak in the Himalayas, Everest, where nothing is to be found; if man's ego gives him incentive to waste billions of dollars to reach the moon, risking lives…. But man has reached the moon. And the first man who walked on the moon must have looked silly to himself – there was nothing for which so much endeavor, technology, preparation was needed.
Remember, the ego wants challenges. It lives through challenge. Why have so few people been able to have a glimpse of the truth? – because it is not a challenge; it is not there, it is here within you. It does not need any way, you are already it.
But the question has one other implication too: Will it ever be possible for the head and heart to be married, or are they going to remain forever divorced? It all depends on you, because both are mechanisms. You are neither the head nor the heart. You can move through the head, you can move through the heart. Of course you will reach different places because the directions of the head and the heart are diametrically opposite.
The head will go round and round thinking, brooding, philosophizing; it knows only words, logic, argument. But it is very infertile; you cannot get anything out of the head as far as truth is concerned, because truth needs no logic, no argument, no philosophical research. Truth is so simple; the head makes it so complex. Down the centuries philosophers have been seeking and searching for the truth through the head. None of them has found anything, but they have created great systems of thought. I have looked into all those systems: there is no conclusion.
The heart is also a mechanism – different from the head. You can call the head the logical instrument; you can call the heart the emotional instrument. Out of the head all the philosophies, all the theologies are created; out of the heart, come all kinds of devotion, prayer, sentimentality. But the heart also goes round and round in emotions.
The word "emotion" is good. Watch…it consists of motion, movement. So the heart moves, but the heart is blind. It moves fast, quick, because there is no reason to wait. It does not have to think, so it jumps into anything. But truth is not to be found by any emotionality. Emotion is as much a barrier as logic. The logic is the male in you, and the heart is the female in you. But truth has nothing to do with male and female. Truth is your consciousness. You can watch the head thinking, you can watch the heart throbbing with emotion. They can be in a certain relationship….
Ordinarily, the society has arranged that the head should be the master and the heart should be the servant, because society is the creation of man's mind, psychology, and the heart is feminine. Just as man has kept the woman a slave, the head has kept the heart a slave.
We can reverse the situation: the heart can become the master, the head can become the servant. If we have to choose between the two, if we are forced to choose between the two, then it is better that the heart becomes the master and the head becomes the servant.
There are things which the heart is incapable of. Exactly the same is true about the head. The head cannot love, it cannot feel, it is insensitive. The heart cannot be rational, reasonable. For the whole past they have been in conflict. That conflict only represents the conflict and struggle between men and women.
If you are talking to your wife, you must know it is impossible to talk, it is impossible to argue, it is impossible to come to a fair decision, because the woman functions through the heart. She jumps from one thing to another without bothering whether there is any relationship between the two. She cannot argue, but she can cry. She cannot be rational, but she can scream. She cannot be cooperative in coming to a conclusion. The heart cannot understand the language of the head.
The difference is not much as far as physiology is concerned, the heart and the head are just a few inches apart from each other. But as far as their existential qualities are concerned, they are poles apart.
My way has been described as that of the heart, but it is not true. The heart will give you all kinds of imaginings, hallucinations, illusions, sweet dreams – but it cannot give you the truth. The truth is behind both; it is in your consciousness, which is neither head nor heart. Just because the consciousness is separate from both, it can use both in harmony. The head is dangerous in certain fields, because it has eyes but it has no legs – it is crippled.
The heart can function in certain dimensions. It has no eyes but it has legs; it is blind but it can move tremendously, with great speed – of course, not knowing where it is going. It is not just a coincidence that in all the languages of the world love is called blind. It is not love that is blind, it is the heart that has no eyes. As your meditation becomes deeper, as your identification with the head and the heart starts falling, you find yourself becoming a triangle. And your reality is in the third force in you: the consciousness. Consciousness can manage very easily, because the heart and the head both belong to it.
You know the story of a blind beggar and a crippled beggar…. They both lived outside the village in the forest. Of course, they were competitors to each other, enemies – begging is a business. But one day the forest was on fire. The cripple had no way to escape, because he could not move on his own. He had eyes to see which way they could get out of the fire, but what use is that if you don’t have legs? The blind man had legs, could move fast and get out of the fire, but how was he going to find the place where the fire had not reached yet?
Both were going to die in the forest, burned alive. It was such an emergency that they forgot their competition. In such emergencies only a Jew can remain a businessman, and certainly those two beggars were not Jews. In fact, to be a beggar and a Jew is a contradiction in terms.
They immediately dropped their antagonism – that was the only way to survive. The blind man took the cripple on his shoulders, they found the way out of the fire. One was seeing, and the other was moving accordingly.
Something like this has to happen within you – of course, in reverse order. The head has the eyes, the heart has the guts to move into anything. You have to make a synthesis between the two. And the synthesis, I have to emphasize, should be that the heart remains the master, and the head becomes the servant. You have as a servant a great asset – your reasoning. You cannot be befooled, you cannot be cheated and exploited. The heart has all feminine qualities: love, beauty, grace. The head is barbarous. The heart is far more civilized, far more innocent.
A conscious man uses his head as a servant, and his heart as the master – just the opposite of the story I told you.
And this is so simple for the man of consciousness to do. Once you are unidentified with head or heart, and you are simply a witness of both, you can see which qualities should be higher, which qualities should be the goal. And the head as a servant can bring those qualities, but it needs to be commanded and ordered. Right now, and for centuries, just the opposite has been happening: the servant has become the master. And the master is so polite, such a gentleman, that he has not fought back, he has accepted the slavery voluntarily. The madness on the earth is the result.
We have to change the very alchemy of man. We have to rearrange the whole inside of man.
And the most basic revolution in man will come when the heart decides the values. It cannot decide for war, it cannot go for nuclear weapons; it cannot be death-oriented. The heart is life's juice. Once the head is in the service of the heart, it has to do what the heart decides. And the head is immensely capable of doing anything, just right guidance is needed; otherwise, it is going to go berserk, it is going to be mad. For the head there are no values. For the head there is no meaning in anything. For the head there is no love, no beauty, no grace – only reasoning.
But this miracle is possible only by disidentifying yourself from both. Watch the thoughts, because in your watching them, they disappear. Then watch your emotions, sentimentalities; by your watching, they also disappear. Then your heart is as innocent as that of a child, and your head is as great a genius as Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Aristotle.
But the trouble is far bigger than you can conceive. It is a male-dominated society; man has been creating all the rules of the game, the woman has just been following. And the conditioning has gone so deep, because it has been going on for millions of years.
If in the individual the revolution happens and the heart is re-enthroned, given its right place as the master, and the head given the right place as a great servant, this will affect your whole social structure. You can see it happening in my commune.
The woman is the master; she is not longer mistress, and the man is no longer master. People go on asking me why, for all significant posts, I have chosen women? For the simple reason that the woman will not create the third world war. It has been a historical fact that each war is created by the man, but the woman suffers most. Strange – the man is the criminal and the consequence happens to the woman! The woman loses her husband, the woman loses her children. The woman loses her dignity, because whenever a country is invaded, the soldiers are so much repressed – just like the monks…. Sexually they had no opportunity while the war was going on. When the opportunity arises – they invade a city and conquer it – their first attack is on the woman.
And the war has nothing to do with the woman, she is simply outside of the game – it is a male game, just like boxing – but she has to be raped. Those soldiers are hankering not to be victorious for their nation's glory – that is a faraway thing – they are hankering to get the women of the enemies as quickly as possible. I am putting women in all significant, powerful positions. It is symbolic. Man has a tremendous capacity to do things, but he should not be the guide anymore. He is hung up in his head. He can also become the master if he puts his heart above his head. That’s why I said that all of my sannyasins are women – even those who biologically, physiologically, are men. The moment they become sannyasins they have accepted a new structure, they have put something above their head – their heart.
This is what I mean: that even men around me start learning feminine qualities. And feminine qualities are the only qualities worth having.
So there is a possibility, but the possibility has a basic condition to be fulfilled: you become more conscious, a witness, a watcher of all that goes on inside you. The watcher becomes immediately free from identification. Because he can see the emotions, it is an absolute certainty that "I am not the emotions." He can see the thoughts; the simple conclusion is, "I am not my thought process." "Then who am I?" – a pure watcher, a witness. And you reach to the ultimate possibility of intelligence in you: You become a conscious man.
Amongst the whole world sleeping, you become awake, and once you are awake there is no problem. Your very awakening will start shifting things to their right places. The head has to be dethroned, and the heart has to be crowned again. This change amongst many people will bring a new society, a New Man in the world. It will change so many things, you cannot conceive.
Science will have a totally different flavor. It will not serve death anymore, it will not make weapons that are going to kill the whole of life on the earth. It will make life richer, discover energies which can make man more fulfilled, which can make man live in comfort, in luxury, because the values will have completely changed. It will still be mind functioning, but under the direction of the heart.
My way is the way of meditation. I have to use language, unfortunately, that’s why I say my way is the way of meditation: Neither of head nor of heart, but of a growing consciousness, which is above both mind and heart. This is the key to open the doors for a New Man to arrive on the earth.
Osho, From the False to the Truth, Talk #31
Is meditation just another program or conditioning?
Changing from one belief to another belief is changing the conditioning, but you remain conditioned. I am saying you have to remain without any belief system, and you yourself enquire into reality – and whatever you find is your own truth.
There is no need to believe in it because once you know it, the question of belief does not arise. You believe only in things which you do not know. When you know them, you know: belief is irrelevant.
So I am not giving you another set of beliefs, another set of values: I am giving you a certain technique so that you can destroy all conditioning. That technique itself is not a conditioning. It cannot be, because you are not required to believe in it; you are required to experience it, and unless your experience supports it, there is no need to give it any credibility.
Not that you have to believe in living totally because I am saying so. I am saying that I am living totally, and this is the only way that I have found to live. You can also try. I am not saying to believe in living in totality; there is no need of any belief. Either live or don’t live. But if you decide to taste, to explore, you are going with a clean mind, with no belief, just to see what it is, and if it happens to be a joy, a rejoicing, a celebration, then it is up to you to continue it or to discontinue it.
All conditionings are based on belief. And my whole effort is that experience should be the only criterion, not belief. All beliefs are lies. Even my truth is not your truth: Only your truth can be your truth.
So there is no question of conditioning. But whoever has asked the question is simply thinking intellectually, not trying it. And logically he can convince himself: this is a new set of values, again it is a conditioning. So what are you going to do? – whatever you will do will be a new set of values; if you don’t do anything, that will be a new set of values, so you cannot get out of conditioning.
Your question is less a question than a statement. You are saying there is no way of getting out of conditioning, so why bother? Remain with the old because the new will also be a conditioning. The old is at least well known, a well-trodden path – our forefathers' inheritance, ancient truths. Millions have believed in it – why change it? You are simply trying to find a shelter in logical jargon.
Look again at your question and you will be able to see that meditation is not a conditioning. It is unconditioning, because it is not going to give you any thought, any thinking, any ideology. It is simply cleaning everything and making you utterly empty. How can it be a conditioning?
Awareness cannot be conditioning. It is your own. You have brought it with your birth. Nobody can give it to you; you have simply to throw away all the rubbish that is clinging to it.
My effort is to give you your own individuality. I don’t want anything to be added to you. You are born perfect; the society is keeping you imperfect. I want you just to be aware of your perfection, of your beauty, of your joy, of all the blessings that are possible to you which the society is hindering by conditioning your mind.
I am not giving you any conditioning. If it was possible to make people more aware by conditioning, things would have been very simple. If it was possible to make people blissful, just by conditioning, things would have been so simple. You have been made to believe in utter lies – God, prophets, saviors, incarnations – but nobody could condition you for blissfulness, for spontaneity, for totality, because these are qualities which you already have; they just have to be discovered.
Things that are conditioned are qualities that you don’t have, but the society can manage by constant repetition to fill your mind with thoughts, and slowly slowly you start believing in them, because people are afraid of emptiness and these thoughts give you a feeling of fullness.
But the miracle is that if you are courageous enough to be empty, you will be filled with all your natural qualities, which are tremendously beautiful and have the ultimate character of being eternal. Once found, they are never lost.
Osho, The Path of the Mystic, Talk #37
I dont understand what is meant by mind and no-mind.?
Your mind is constantly projecting – projecting itself. Your mind is constantly interfering with reality, giving it a color, shape and form which is not its own. Your mind never allows you to see that which is; it allows you to see only that which it wants to see.
Just twenty years ago, scientists used to think that our eyes, ears, nose and our other senses, and the mind, were nothing but openings to reality, bridges to reality. But within twenty years – the last twenty years – the whole understanding has changed. Now they say our senses and the mind are not really openings to reality but guards against it. Only two percent of reality ever gets through these guards into you; ninety-eight percent of reality is kept outside. And the two percent that reaches you and your being is no longer the same; it has to pass through so many barriers, it has to conform to so many mind things, that by the time it reaches you it is no longer itself.
Meditation means putting the mind aside so that it no longer interferes with reality and you can see things as they are. Why does the mind interfere at all? – because the mind is created by society. It is society's agent within you; it is not in your service, remember! It is your mind but it is not in your service; it is in a conspiracy against you. It has been conditioned by society; society has implanted many things in it. It is your mind, but it no longer functions as a servant to you; it functions as a servant to society.
If you are a Christian then it functions as an agent of the Christian church, if you are a Hindu then your mind is Hindu, if you are a Buddhist your mind is Buddhist. And reality is neither Christian nor Hindu nor Buddhist; reality is simply as it is. And you have to put these minds aside: the communist mind, the fascist mind, the Catholic mind, the Protestant mind….
There are three thousand religions on the earth – big religions and small religions and very small sects and sects within sects – three thousand in all. So there exist three thousand minds, types of mind – and reality is one, and God is one, and truth is one! Meditation means: put the mind aside and watch. The first step – love yourself – will help you tremendously. By loving yourself you will have destroyed much that society has implanted within you. You will have become freer from the society and its conditioning.
And the second step is: watch – just watch. Buddha does not say what has to be watched – everything! Walking, watch your walking. Eating, watch your eating. Taking a shower, watch the water, the cold water falling on you, the touch of the water, the coldness, the shiver that goes through your spine – watch everything, today, tomorrow, always.
A moment finally comes when you can watch even your sleep. That is the ultimate in watching. The body goes to sleep and there is still a watcher awake, silently watching the body fast asleep. That is the ultimate in watching. Right now just the opposite is the case: your body is awake but you are asleep. Then you will be awake and your body will be asleep. The body needs rest but your consciousness needs no sleep. Your consciousness is consciousness; it is alertness, that is its very nature.
Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 5, Talk #5
Are mind and consciousness two separate things or is the silent mind what is called consciousness?
It depends. It depends on your definition. But to me, mind is that part which has been given to you. It is not yours. Mind means the borrowed, mind means the cultivated, mind means that which the society has penetrated into you. It is not you. Consciousness is your nature; mind is just the circumference created by the society around you, the culture, your education.
Mind means the conditioning. You can have a Hindu mind, but you cannot have a Hindu consciousness. You can have a Christian mind, but you can’t have a Christian consciousness. Consciousness is one; it is not divisible. Minds are many because societies are many; cultures, religions are many. Each culture, each society, creates a different mind. Mind is a social by-product. And unless this mind dissolves, you cannot go within; you cannot know what is really your nature, what is authentically your existence, your consciousness.
The effort to move into meditation is a struggle against the mind. Mind is never meditative, it is never silent, so to say 'a silent mind' is meaningless, absurd. It is just like saying 'a healthy disease'. It makes no sense. How can there be a disease that is healthy? Disease is disease, and health is the absence of disease.
There is nothing like a silent mind. When silence is there, there is no mind. When mind is there, there is no silence. Mind, as such, is the disturbance, the disease. Meditation is the state of no-mind. Not of a silent mind, not of a healthy mind, not of a concentrated mind, no. Meditation is the state of no-mind: no society within you, no conditioning within you. Just you, with your pure consciousness.
In Zen they say: Find out your original face. The face that you are using is not original; it is cultivated. It is not your face; it is just a facade, just a device. You have many faces, each moment you change your face. You go on changing it. The changing has become so automatic by now that you don’t even observe it, you don’t notice it.
When you meet your servant you have a different face from when you meet your boss. If your servant is sitting on your left side and your boss is sitting on your right, you have two faces. The left face is for the servant and the right face is for the boss. You are two persons simultaneously. How can you have the same face for your servant? Your one eye has a certain quality, a certain look. Your other eye has a different quality, a different look. It is meant for the boss and the other one is meant for the servant. This has become so automatic, so mechanical, so robot like that you go on changing your faces, you have multi-faces, and not a single one is the original.
In Zen they say: Find out your original face, the face you had before you were born, or the face you will have when you are dead. What is that original face? That original face is your consciousness. All your other faces come from your mind.
Remember well that you don’t have one mind; you have multi-minds. Forget the concept that everyone has one mind. You don’t have, you have many minds: a crowd, a multiplicity; you are poly-psychic. In the morning you have one mind, in the afternoon a different mind and in the evening still a different mind. Every single moment you have a different mind.
Mind is a flux: river like, flowing, changing. Consciousness is eternal, one. It is not different in the morning and different in the evening. It is not different when you are born and different when you die. It is one and the same, eternal. Mind is a flux. A child has a childish mind, an old man has an old mind; but a child or an old man have the same consciousness, which is neither childish nor old. It cannot be.
Mind moves in time and consciousness lives in timelessness. They are not one. But we are identified with the mind. We go on saying, insisting, "My mind. I think this way. This is my thought. This is my ideology." Because of this identification with the mind, you miss that which you really are.
Dissolve these links with the mind. Remember that your minds are not your own. They have been given to you by others: your parents, your society, your university. They have been given to you. Throw them away. Remain with the simple consciousness that you are – pure consciousness, innocent. This is how one moves from the mind to meditation. This is how one moves away from society, from the without to the within. This is how one moves from the man-made world, the maya, to the universal truth, the existence.
Osho, The New Alchemy: To Turn You On, Talk #27
Does the mind have to be thrown out?
Nothing has to be thrown out of your system; everything has to be transformed and absorbed. The mind is not ugly; your use of the mind is ugly. Change your use. Mind is not ugly – you are unconscious. The chariot is beautiful, it is a golden chariot, but the charioteer is drunk and fast asleep; and he calls the chariot names, condemns the chariot. When he finds himself in a ditch he beats the horses, he condemns the chariot, he condemns the chariot-maker, and he never thinks that it is not the fault of the chariot, not the fault of the horses, not the fault of the chariot-maker. It is his fault – he was drunk, he was fast asleep. If the chariot has fallen into a ditch it is natural, the whole responsibility is yours.
It is not a question of destroying the mind or throwing the mind out. Mind is a beautiful mechanism, the most beautiful mechanism in existence, but you have become a servant to the mind. You are the master and the master is functioning as a servant; the mind is a servant and you have made the servant the master.
I have heard an ancient story: A king was very happy with one of his servants. He was so devoted, so totally devoted to the king; he was always ready to sacrifice his life for the king. The king was immensely happy, and many times he has saved the king, risking his own life. He was the king's bodyguard.
One day the king was feeling so happy with the man, he said, "If you desire anything, if you have any desire, just tell me and I will fulfill it. You have done so much for me that I can never show my gratitude, I can never repay you, but today I would like to fulfill any of your wishes whatsoever it is."
The servant said, "You have already given me too much. I am so blessed just by being always with you – I don’t need anything."
But the king insisted. The more the servant said, "There is no need," the more the king insisted. Finally the servant said, "Then it's okay. You make me the king for twenty-four hours and you be the guard."
The king was a little apprehensive, afraid, but he was a man of his word and he had to fulfill the desire. So for twenty-four hours he became the guard and the guard became the king. And do you know what the guard did? The first thing that he did, he ordered the king to be killed, sentenced to death!
The king said, "What are you doing?" He said, "You keep quiet! You are simply the guard and nothing more. It is my wish and now I am the king!" The king was killed, and the servant became the king forever.
Servants have their own devious ways to become masters. The mind is one of the most beautiful, the most complex, the most evolved mechanisms. It has served you well, it serves you well. Because of its services you have repeated the same story in your life, everybody has repeated the same story: you have made the mind the master and now the master treats you just like a servant. This is the problem, not that the mind has to be thrown out.
And that’s what meditation is all about: the art of moving away from the mind, being above the mind, becoming transcendental to the mind, knowing that "I am not the mind." That does not mean that you have to throw out the mind. Knowing that "I am not the mind" makes you again the master. You can use the mind. Right now, mind is not within your hands. You are not a good charioteer.
Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 6, Talk #10
Mind has not to be rejected at all; if you reject it, it will remain. Rejection means repression. Anything rejected never leaves you; it simply moves from the conscious to the unconscious, from the lighted part of your being to the dark layers where you cannot face it. You become oblivious of it, but it is there, more alive than ever. It is better to face the enemy than to keep the enemy at your back; that is far more dangerous.
And I have not told you to reject the mind. Mind is a beautiful mechanism, one of the miracles of existence. We have not been able yet to make anything comparable to human mind. Even the most sophisticated computers are nothing compared to it. A single human mind can contain all the libraries of the world; its capacities are almost unbounded. But it is a machine, it is not you. To get identified with it is wrong, to make it your master is wrong, to be guided by it is wrong. But to be the master and the guide is perfectly right. The mind as a servant is of tremendous value, so don’t reject it. To reject it will impoverish you, it will not enrich you.
I am not against the mind; I am in favor of transcending it. And if you reject you cannot transcend. Use it as a stepping-stone. It all depends on you: you can make it a hindrance if you start thinking that the mind has to be rejected, denied, destroyed; or you can make it a stepping-stone if you accept it, if you try to understand it. In the very effort of understanding it, transcendence happens. You go beyond it, you become a witness.
Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 9, Talk #6
Isn’t the mind the source of our sanity?
The mind can try to be sane. But it will be very superficial sanity, just skin-deep, or perhaps not even that much; a little scratch and the insane will come out. Real sanity consists only in going beyond the mind and entering into a state of meditation. Thoughts can never become sane. Only a thoughtless silence brings you to the world of sanity.
And when silence deepens inside you and goes on opening doors upon doors of your heart till you have reached your very being, don’t stop, because the mind is very old and your meditation will be a very new experience. The old has weight, the old can pull you back again and again. The new experience of meditation and intelligence has to be given time to grow roots, has to be given time to start influencing your actions and your behavior. You should not leave the effort to create your meditation, your silence, your peace and its depth till you are absolutely certain that your mind is under your control and you are not under the control of the mind. That is the criterion of a sane man: the mind is his servant. For the insane man, the mind is his master.
Osho, The Golden Future, Talk #34
What do we do with our thoughts?
Your thoughts have to understand one thing: that you are not interested in them. The moment you have made this point you have attained a tremendous victory. Just watch. don’t say anything to the thoughts. don’t judge. don’t condemn. don’t tell them to move. Let them do whatsoever they are doing, any gymnastics let them do; you simply watch, enjoy. It is just a beautiful film. And you will be surprised: just watching, a moment comes when thoughts are not there, there is nothing to watch.
This is the door I have been calling nothingness, emptiness. From this door enters your real being, the master. And that master is absolutely positive; in its hands everything turns into gold. If Albert Einstein had been a meditator, the same mind would have produced atomic energy not to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki but to help the whole of humanity to raise its standard of living. Without meditation the mind is negative, it is bound to be in the service of death. With meditation the master is there, and the master is absolute positiveness. In its hands the same mind, the same energy, becomes creative, constructive, life affirmative.
So you cannot do anything directly with the mind. You will have to take a little roundabout way; first you have to bring the master in. The master is missing, and for centuries the servant has been thinking he is the master. Just let the master come in, and the servant immediately understands. Just the presence of the master and the servant falls at the feet of the master and waits for any order, for anything the master wants to be done – he is ready.
The mind is a tremendously powerful instrument. No computer is as powerful as man's mind – cannot be, because it is made by man's mind. Nothing can be, because they are all made by man's mind. A single man's mind has such immense capacity: in a small skull, such a small brain can contain all the information contained in all the libraries of the earth, and that information is not a small amount.
Just one library, the British library, has so many books that if we put those books in a line side by side they will go three times around the earth. And a bigger library exists in Moscow, a similar library exists in Harvard; and there are similar libraries in all the big universities of the world. But a single human mind can contain all the information contained in all these libraries. Scientists are agreed that we may not be able to make a computer comparable to the human mind which can be put in such a small space.
But the result of this immense gift to man has not been beneficial – because the master is absent and the servant is running the show. The result is wars, violence, murders, rape. Man is living in a nightmare, and the only way out is to bring the master in. It is there, you just have to get hold of it. And watchfulness is the key: just watch the mind. The moment there are no thoughts, immediately you will be able to see yourself – not as mind, but as something beyond, something transcendental to mind.
And once you are attuned with the transcendental then the mind is in your hands. It can be immensely creative. It can make this very earth paradise. There is no need for any paradise to be searched for above in the clouds, just as there is no need to search for any hell – because hell we have created already. We are living in it.
Osho, The Osho Upanishad, Talk #4
Is there a time to use the mind?
Against the society, use the mind. Mind is a perfect means to keep you independent, to keep you alert. It is a good fighter, but it is not a lover. So when there is need to fight, when there is need to stand up for your liberty, use the mind; heart will not be of any use. Heart knows no way to fight.
But the context is totally different, and I call that man conscious who can use his capacities in their right context and does not get mixed up. Eyes are for seeing – you cannot hear from them. And ears are for hearing – you cannot see from them. So use them whenever the need is there, and don’t let them come in each other's way.
Mind is a beautiful instrument. It has to be sharpened, but remember its limitations. It should remain a servant to the heart. The moment it becomes the master, the heart simply dies. In slavery, the heart cannot exist.
So there is no contradiction in what I have said – just two different contexts. And your consciousness is different from both, so a conscious person can use his heart when needed, can use his mind when needed, can put both to silence when he wants to be absolutely in a state of nirvana, where neither the mind is needed nor the heart. When he wants simply to be himself, both are not needed.
If you are the master of your instruments, there is no problem. If you have a flute and I ask you, "Can you stop playing on it for a few moments – I want to talk to you," and you say, "I cannot do it; the flute won’t stop," what will be thought about you? You are insane. The flute won’t stop? So you are not playing the flute, the flute is playing you. When you want to stop the mind, just say, "Stop" – it has to stop. If it moves even a little bit, that means something has to be done urgently. This is dangerous: the servant is trying to be the master. The servant should be the servant, and the master should be the master. And beyond both is your being which is neither servant nor master… which simply is. That "isness" is the goal of all meditations.
Osho, The Path of the Mystic, Talk #37
What is the meaning of identification?
All that I say is: to watch is right; not to watch is wrong. I make it absolutely simplified: Be watchful. It is none of your business – if greed is passing by, let it pass; if anger is passing by, let it pass. Who are you to interfere? Why are you so much identified with your mind? Why do you start thinking, "I am greedy… I am angry"? There is only a thought of anger passing by. Let it pass; you just watch.
There is an ancient story…. A man who has gone out of his town comes back and finds that his house is on fire. It was one of the most beautiful houses in the town, and the man loved the house. Many people were ready to give double price for the house, but he had never agreed for any price, and now it is just burning before his eyes. And thousands of people have gathered, but nothing can be done.
The fire has spread so far that even if you try to put it out, nothing will be saved. So he becomes very sad. His son comes running, and whispers something in his ear: "don’t be worried. I sold it yesterday, and at a very good price – three times…. The offer was so good I could not wait for you. Forgive me."
But the father said, "Good, if you have sold it for three times more than the original price of the house." Then the father is also a watcher, with other watchers. Just a moment before he was not a watcher, he was identified. It is the same house, the same fire, everything is the same – but now he is not concerned. He is enjoying it just as everybody else is enjoying.
Then the second son comes running, and he says to the father, "What are you doing? You are smiling – and the house is on fire?" The father said, "don’t you know, your brother has sold it." He said, "He had talked about selling it, but nothing has been settled yet, and the man is not going to purchase it now." Again, everything changes. Tears which had disappeared, have come back to the father's eyes, his smile is no more there, his heart is beating fast. But the watcher is gone. He is again identified.
And then the third son comes, and he says, "That man is a man of his word. I have just come from him. He said, 'It doesn't matter whether the house is burned or not, it is mine. And I am going to pay the price that I have settled for. Neither you knew, nor I knew that the house would catch on fire.'" Again the father is a watcher. The identity is no more there. Actually nothing is changing; just the idea that "I am the owner, I am identified somehow with the house," makes the whole difference. The next moment he feels, "I am not identified. Somebody else has purchased it, I have nothing to do with it; let the house burn."
This simple methodology of watching the mind, that you have nothing to do with it…. Most of its thoughts are not yours but from your parents, your teachers, your friends, the books, the movies, the television, the newspapers. Just count how many thoughts are your own, and you will be surprised that not a single thought is your own. All are from other sources, all are borrowed – either dumped by others on you, or foolishly dumped by yourself upon yourself, but nothing is yours.
The mind is there, functioning like a computer; literally it is a bio-computer. You will not get identified with a computer. If the computer gets hot, you won’t get hot. If the computer gets angry and starts giving signals in four letter words, you will not be worried. You will see what is wrong, where something is wrong. But you remain detached.
Just a small knack… I cannot even call it a method because that makes it heavy; I call it a knack. Just by doing it, one day suddenly you are able to do it. Many times you will fail; it's nothing to be worried about… no loss, it is natural. But just doing it, one day it happens.
Once it has happened, once you have even for a single moment become the watcher, you know now how to become the watcher – the watcher on the hills, far away. And the whole mind is there deep down in the dark valley, and you are not to do anything about it. The most strange thing about the mind is, if you become a watcher it starts disappearing. Just like the light disperses darkness, watchfulness disperses the mind, its thoughts, its whole paraphernalia.
So meditation is simply watchfulness, awareness. And that reveals – it is nothing to do with inventing. It invents nothing; it simply discovers that which is there.
And what is there? You enter and you find infinite emptiness, so tremendously beautiful, so silent, so full of light, so fragrant, that you have entered into “the kingdom of God.” In my words, you have entered into godliness.
And once you have been in this space, you come out and you are a totally new person, a new man. Now you have your original face. All masks have disappeared. You will live in the same world, but not in the same way. You will be among the same people but not with the same attitude, and the same approach. You will live like a lotus in water: in the water, but absolutely untouched by water.
Osho, From Unconsciousness to Consciousness, Talk #19
What has meditation to do with wisdom?
Wisdom is a by-product of meditation. It does not come in any other way. It does not come through accumulating information. It comes only through the transformation that meditation brings to you. And meditation means a state of no-mind, a consciousness without content.
That’s the goal of sannyas. We have to become more and more aware of thoughts, desires, imagination, memory, because this is the secret, that if you watch your mind, slowly slowly it evaporates – just by watching. One day it happens that there is no mind; you are left absolutely alone, in solitude. There is nothing surrounding you, infinite nothingness.
You are fully aware, absolutely aware, but there is nothing to be aware of. You are pure light, but the light is not falling on any object; there is no object left. That is meditation or a state of no-mind. And wisdom is a by-product of it.
Osho, Fingers Pointing to the Moon(This title is no longer available at Osho's request)
Do I need to make an effort to be aware?
It is not a question of making efforts to be aware. If you make efforts to be aware, you will create tensions inside yourself – all efforts bring tensions. If you try to be aware, you are fighting with yourself; there is no need to fight. Awareness is not a by-product of effort: awareness is a fragrance of let-go: awareness is a flowering of surrender, of relaxation.
Just sit silently in a relaxed state, doing nothing… and awareness will start happening. Not that you have to pull it up from somewhere, not that you have to bring it from somewhere. It will shower on you from nowhere. It will well up from within your own sources. You just be silent, sitting.
But I understand your problem. It is very difficult to sit silently; thoughts go on coming. So let them come! don’t fight with thoughts and you will not need any energy. Just let them come – what can you do? Clouds come and clouds go; let the thoughts come and let them go whenever they want to go. don’t be on guard, and don’t be in a certain attitude that thoughts should come or. should not come – don’t be judgmental. Let them come, and let them go whenever they want. You be utterly empty. Thoughts will pass, they will come and go, and slowly, slowly you will see that you remain unaffected by their coming and going. And when you are unaffected by their coming and going, they start disappearing, they evaporate… Not by your effort, but by your cool, calm emptiness, your relaxed state.
And don’t say that relaxation will need great energy. How can relaxation need great energy? Relaxation simply means you are not doing anything.
Sitting silently, Doing nothing, The spring comes And the grass grows by itself….
Let this mantra sink into your heart. This is the very essence of meditation!… Sitting silently…doing nothing…the spring comes…and the grass grows by itself…. Everything happens! You are not to be a doer.
don’t make awareness your goal, otherwise you have missed my point. I have simply defined. I have said: awareness is virtue, unawareness is sin.
Osho, Philosophia Perennis, Vol. 2, Talk #4
Silence with no effort…?
A lion was walking through the forest taking a poll to determine who was the greatest among all the wildlife animals. When he saw the hippopotamus, he inquired, "Who is king of the forest?" "You are," said the hippopotamus. Next he met a giraffe. "Who is king of the forest?" he inquired. "You are," said the giraffe. Next he met the elephant. He gave him a good rap on the knee and said, "And who is the king of the forest?" The elephant picked him up in his trunk and swung him against the tree. As the lion slid down, brushing himself off, he said, "You don’t have to get so mad just because you don’t know the right answer."
Unfortunately I know the right answer. I will not get mad at you, but certainly I will tell you where you are wrong and where you are right.
First, sitting with me in these discourses is nothing but creating more and more meditativeness in you. I don’t speak to teach something; I speak to create something. These are not lectures; these are simply a device for you to become silent, because if you are told to become silent without making any effort you will find great difficulty.
That’s what Zen teachers have been telling their disciples: "Be silent, but don’t make any effort." Now, you are putting the person into such a difficult fix: don’t make any effort and be silent…. If he makes any effort he is wrong – and there is no way to be silent without making any effort. If it were possible to be silent without any effort there would have been no need of any master, there would have been no need of teaching meditation. People would have become silent without any effort.
I have gone as deep into Zen efforts as possible. They have been working for almost fourteen centuries, since Bodhidharma. They are one of the greatest groups in the world, totally devoted to a single thing, and that is meditation. There is no other experiment anywhere which has been done for so long a time continuously. But still there are not many Zen masters.
Yes, there are more masters in the stream of Zen than in any other stream in the world, but still they are very few compared to the people who have been working. I have been searching out what was the basic mistake – and this is the basic mistake: those Zen masters told them the right thing, but not in the right way. I am making you aware of silences without any effort on your part. My speaking is for the first time being used as a strategy to create silence in you.
This is not a teaching, a doctrine, a creed; that’s why I can say anything. I am the most free person who has ever existed as far as saying anything is concerned. I can contradict myself in the same evening a hundred times, because it is not a speech, so it has not to be consistent. It is a totally different thing, and it will take time for the world to recognize that a tremendously different experiment was going on.
Just in a moment, when I became silent, you become silent…. What remains is just a pure awaiting. You are not making any effort; neither am I making any effort. I enjoy to talk. It is not an effort.
I love to see you silent. I love to see you laugh. I love to see you dance. But in all these activities, the fundamental remains meditation.
Osho, Satyam Shivam Sundram, Talk #28
I wouldn't mind doing Dynamic except for getting up at the ungodly hour of 6.00 a.m. to do it! Is any other time just as good?
Morning is the best time to meditate. After the whole night's rest you are very close to the center of your being. It is easier to move into the center consciously early in the morning than at any other time – because for the whole night you have been there at the center, you have just left it.
The world of a thousand and one things has not yet arisen. You are just on the way, moving towards things, moving into the outside world, but the inner center is very close, around the comer. Just a turning of the head, and you will be able to see that which is: truth, the divine, enlightenment…. You will be able to see that into which you had gone when dreams had stopped and sleep was profound, but then you were unconscious.
Deep sleep rejuvenates because, although unconsciously, you enter into the core of your being – you still enter. All the tiredness of the outside world is taken away, and all the wounds are healed, and all the dust disappears. You have taken a bath...you have dived deep into your own being.
In the morning when you have just awakened and you are very close to the center... Soon the periphery will take you, will possess you; you will have to go into the world of occupations.
Before you go into that external journey, have a look, so that consciously you can see who you are. This is what meditation is all about.
Hence, down through the ages, the morning, early morning, when the earth is awakening and the trees are awakening and the birds are awakening and the sun is awakening, when the whole atmosphere is full of awakening…you can use this situation. You can ride on this tide of awakening and you can enter into your own being, awake, alert, aware…. Your whole life will be transformed.
Your whole day will be transformed because then you will have a different orientation. Then you can go into the marketplace and still you will remain in contact with your inner core. And that is the greatest secret, the secret of the golden flower.
Osho, "The Secret of Secrets"
Cleaning the Mind Mirror
Thoughts are like dirt, clinging to the mirror of the mind. Thoughts, desires, imaginations, memories – all are forms of dirt. Because of them the purity of the mind is lost. Because of them the capacity to reflect, the mirror like quality of the mind is lost. A continuous cleaning is needed.
So, meditation is not something that you do once and forget about, because each moment of life you go on gathering dust. It is just like a traveler who is traveling. Each day he goes on gathering dust on his clothes, on his body. Every day he has to take a bath to cleanse his body. Again the next day he will be gathering.
Meditation is like a daily bath. It is not something that once you have done it, you are finished. It should become like a natural thing, matter of fact.
As you eat, as you go to sleep, as you take a bath, meditation should become a natural part of your life. At least twice a day you should cleanse your mind.
The best times are the morning, when you are getting ready for the day, the workaday world…. Cleanse your mind so you have clarity, so you have transparency; so you don't commit errors, mistakes; so you don't have any evil thoughts, so you don't have any egoistic thoughts. You go in a purer way to the world, you don't go with corrupting seeds. And the next best time is before you go to sleep, again meditate. The whole day the dust collects. Clean the mind again…fall asleep.
If you really start cleaning it, you will see tremendous changes happening. If you clean it rightly before you go to sleep, dreams will disappear because dreams are nothing but the dust gathered the whole day; it goes on moving inside you, goes on creating fantasies, illusions.
If your meditation is going rightly, your dreams will by and by disappear. Your night will become a peaceful sleep with no dreams. And if the night is without dreams, in the morning you will be able to wake up very fresh, very young, virgin.
Then meditate again, because even if there have been no dreams, with the very passage of time, dust collects.
Even if you have not been traveling on dusty roads, just sitting in your house, dust collects. Even if your windows are closed and doors are closed, in the morning you will find your room has gathered a little dust. Dust collects. The very passage of time is dust collecting.
In the morning, again meditate. If you meditate rightly and you become a silent pool of energy, you will move in the world in a totally different way – non-conflicting, non-aggressive, in harmony. Even if somebody hates you, you will transform that energy into love.
Then you will move in the world deeply skillfully… with the attitude of Aikido. Whatsoever is happening, you will take it, receive it, in a deep love and gratitude. Even if somebody insults you, you will accept it in deep love. Then the insult will be no longer an insult. Then you will be nourished by it. By the insult the other has thrown away a certain amount of energy. He is losing it – you can gain it. You can simply receive it, welcome it.
If this becomes your natural way of every moment you will feel things are growing into a new light and your mind is becoming more and more illuminating.
Osho, "The Discipline of Transcendence"