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About Sat Sangha Salon

Inspired by the salons of the Enlightenment which were gatherings to discuss truth and life as they saw it.

Here we will gather and commune with the words from those who have known that which cannot be said. You will find words from those in whom the greatest transformation has taken place. Although you can find differences in expressions, it is remarkable how much you will find in common.

It is my interest to look where they are pointing and occasionally explore their unique observations. I hope you find them inspirational, inviting, instructive and ultimately Enlightening.

Their words can only point us to the truth. But in order to live a life of truth it is necessary for each of us to make the inquiry individually for ourselves into our own Being and finally into the mystery of non-Being.

“All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.” -Hakuin’s Song of Meditation

If for any reason you wish to contact me, you may do so at: pgoodnight(at)yahoo(dot)com.

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On Considering the Story of Sisyphus – Anand Amido

dsc_0026On considering the story of Sisyphus, an ancient Greek, destined to forever push his rock up a hill, resonated this morning.  Thinking about this story has filled many a lapse in attention.  To begin with, what a waste of time, how dedicated, how stubborn, how relentless rattled around the paltry brain but today the inter-relatedness of the two emerged.  Sisyphus would have been unable to accomplish his life’s work without the friendly rock.  No rolling down, no pushing up.

Years and years of grappling with the rock’s surface must have engendered in both of them friendliness, compassion for each other’s task, even love for the skill of the other.  Perhaps the rock felt playful on some days, giving Sisyphus a break, wiggling to stay in place while he wiped his sweaty brow or downed a much needed snack.  Other days, perhaps the rock dug in its heels and refused to budge causing Sisyphus to despair, rage, weep and possibly, ultimately, laugh.  Some days Sisyphus may have handled the rock with appreciation for the handholds provided by its ridged surface.  Others he blamed it for his ceaseless, apparently futile, labor.  Day after day, what goes up must come down, toiling in frustration, joy, pain, anger, impatience, even love, in all weathers of emotion and the elements.

Is there a deeper meaning to this tale? Sisyphus is attempting to rise.  He is putting his life on the line.  There is nothing more important to him than to reach the peak.  To do so, he must struggle against gravity, the world, all that attempts to return him to a base condition.  Is the rock totally indifferent to its position?  Would it prefer to be the peak or the base?  Its level of cooperation bespeaks indifference.

And so it is!  Engagement with the world is colored by demands and desires.  It cares not, playfully tossing the waves of humanity this way and that.  The conundrums faced provide the strength, and determination to continue on (provided self-pity is not indulged in overly)!

-Anand Amido

Much More is Possible – Osho

To me, your discourses feel like an inside deep cleaning. Whatever load of pain, anger, or any negative feeling I carry with me when I come into discourse, it has disappeared when I walk out, and I feel light and refreshed. Sometimes, it doesn’t take me long to create another one, but I know it is not going to last longer than the end of the next discourse. When away from you, although I used to meditate every day, things were taking much longer to disappear. Can you comment?

Away from me you were trying to meditate, and that doer was your disturbance.

With me… I am not even telling you to meditate. I am just talking to you and creating a certain atmosphere in which meditation happens to you.

So while you are here, see the difference between doing and happening. Alone also, let it happen. If you become accustomed to my voice, perhaps you can put on the tape recorder: forget about meditation; you just listen and the meditation will come. And, slowly, slowly, this coming of meditation can be detached from listening to me.

You can sit by the side of the sea and listen to the waves crashing on the shore – so joyfully, so dancingly they come, and they have been doing that for millennia and they are not tired yet. Just listen to them. Or sitting under a tree, just listen to the birds, or the wind blowing through the tree.

Slowly, slowly, get rid of listening too. Just sit silently – because that listening was only a device. This is only a device to help you avoid doing. But the device is only for the beginning; soon you have to drop the device and it will be happening anywhere you are, and it will cleanse you the same way it does here.

And remember one thing: if it cleanses you that does not mean you have to be careless about collecting the garbage again because you know in meditation it will be cleaned away. You are using meditation for a very small job. It is not meant for that.

I have heard – it happened in Burma after the Second World War – a small airplane was left in the forest. The Japanese were surrendering, but a few stubborn samurais still wanted to fight, so they escaped in an airplane. Then they left the airplane in the forest, and were hiding somewhere in the forest.

But a tribe lived there, a very ancient tribe. They had seen airplanes in the sky, but they could not connect the two things, that this was the same thing they had called “the great bird.” They tried to figure it out: “What is it? It has wheels, so one thing is certain, it is a vehicle.”

They used it with two horses as a bullock cart. And it was working well and they were very happy: “This is great!” Then somebody who had been to the city, said, ”You don’t know – this is not a bullock cart, it is a car. Just… I don’t understand why these wings are there, but let me try…” And he tried, and it started.

Then they started using it as a car, and the man suggested, “You will need fuel, so somebody who goes to the city should bring fuel. No horses, no bullocks are needed, just fill it with fuel and use it as a car.” And they were immensely happy.

Then a man who had been in the army passed by and he said, “What are you doing! You are using a small aircraft as a car? This can fly.”

They could not believe it. They asked, “Is it a great bird?”

He said, “Yes,” and he was a pilot, so he showed them how to fly it.

Meditation can be used as a bullock cart – and that’s how you are using it, just cleaning the rubbish that you accumulate. But you will accumulate that rubbish every day and you will have to clean it every day. Meditation is a great bird, and you are using it for something it is not meant for, although it can do that work too.

So when it cleanses your burden, be careful not to collect it again. What is the need to collect the burden? – Just unawareness. And what you collect is all rubbish. You know it – that’s why, when through meditation it is cleaned away, you feel fresh. So why destroy your freshness? Don’t collect it. And the way is to be more alert, to be more meditative, even while you are doing other things. It is a great defense, it won’t allow any rubbish to collect. And slowly, slowly, you will be collecting less, and one day you will find, between two meditations, that you have not collected anything.

Now the bullock cart can become a motor car – and there is a great distance between the two. Now you don’t need the bullocks or the horses to carry it, and it can go faster. Now you have speed; otherwise, you can do the same thing every day and you will die the same.

And when there is nothing else to cleanse, then the meditation, your energy, starts rising up because there is no work on the ground. You can take off. You can become a bird in the inner sky. Then it will not be only refreshing, it will be growth. You will be growing, maturing, getting more centered, becoming more individual. And the higher you will go, the more and more you will see new things happening to you – the spring coming to you and the grass growing all around. The whole of life becomes so green, so full of juice.

You have found the way – now go on. There is so much to discover. It is your own territory you have forgotten, your own empire that you have forgotten. Remember it. The remembrance will come also by itself.

So what is happening is good, but not good enough. Much more is possible. Don’t be satisfied with small things.

Unless you have come to a point where you feel absolutely contented, don’t stop. That is the culmination of evolution, where each individual becomes a god.

-OSHO

From The Path of the Mystic, Chapter 24

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Path of the Mystic

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

All and Nothing Mean the Same – Osho

You said that really there is no one inside us, there is only a void, an emptiness, but then why do you often call it the being, the center?

 Being or non-being, nothing or all – they look contradictory but they both mean the same. All and nothing mean the same. In dictionaries they are opposites but in life they are not. Nobody understands. Look at it in this way: if I say that I love all, or if I say that I love no one, it means the same. If I love someone, then only is there a difference. If I love all, it means the same as loving no one. There is no difference then. The difference is always in degrees, relative. And these are both two extremes, they have no degrees: the total and the zero have no degrees. So you can call the total a zero, or you can call a zero the total. That’s why some enlightened persons have called the inner space emptiness, sunya, the void, nothingness, non-being, anatma – and some have called it the inner being, the absolute being, the Brahma, atma, the supreme self. These are the two ways to describe it. One is positive, the other is negative. Either you have to include all or have to exclude all – you cannot describe it with any term which is relative. An absolute term is needed.

Both the contradictory poles are absolute terms.

But there have been some enlightened persons who have remained totally silent. They have not called it anything, because whatsoever you call it – whether you call it being or non-being – the moment you give it a name, a term, a word, you have erred, because it includes both.

For example, if you say, “God is alive,” or “God is life,” it is meaningless, because then who will be death? He includes all. He must have death in him as completely as life, otherwise to whom will death belong? And if death belongs to someone else and life belongs to God – then there are two Gods, and then there will be many problems which cannot be solved. God must be both life and death. God must be both the creator and the destroyer. If you say God is the creator, then who is the destroyer? If you say God is good, then who will be evil? Because of this difficulty, Christians, Zoroastrians, and many other religions have created a Devil side by side with God, because to whom will the evil belong? They have created a Devil. But nothing is solved – the problem is only pushed one step back because then it can be relevantly asked, “Who has created the Devil?” If God himself creates the Devil, then he is responsible. And if the Devil is something independent, not related to God, then he himself becomes a God, a supreme power. And if God has not created the Devil, how can God destroy him? It is impossible. Theologians go on giving some answers to a question but that answer again creates more questions.

God created Adam, then Adam became evil. He was expelled. He disobeyed God and he was expelled from the heavenly world. It has been asked again and again, and relevantly, why did Adam become evil? The possibility must have been created by God in him – the possibility to be evil, to go wrong, to disobey. If there was no possibility, no inherent tendency, then how could Adam go wrong?

God must have created the tendency. And if the tendency for evil was there, another thing is also certain: the tendency to overcome it was not so strong. The tendency to fight it was not so strong. The evil tendency was stronger. Who created this strength? No one except God can be responsible. Then the whole thing seems to be a hoax. God creates Adam: he creates an evil tendency in him, a strong evil tendency which he cannot control; then he goes wrong; then he is punished. God should be punished, not Adam! Or, you have to accept that some other force exists side by side with God.

And that other force must be stronger than God, because the evil can tempt Adam and God cannot protect him. The Devil can provoke and seduce and God cannot protect. The Devil seems to be a stronger God.

There is a church, recently born in America, called the church of Satan, the church of the Devil. They have a high priest, just like the pope of the Vatican. And they say that history proves that the real God is the Devil. And they look logical. They say, “Your God, the God of good, has always been defeated, and the Devil has always been the victorious. The whole of history proves it. So why worship a weak God who cannot protect you? It is better to follow a strong God who can seduce you but who can protect you also – because he is stronger.” The church of the Devil is now a growing church. And they seem logical. This is what history proves.

This duality – to save God from the negative pole – creates problems. In India we have not created the other pole. We say God is both: the creator and the destroyer, the good and the bad. This is difficult to conceive of because the moment we say “God” we cannot conceive of him being bad. But in India we have tried to penetrate the deepest mystery of existence – that is, oneness. Somehow, good and bad, life and death, negative and positive, meet somewhere, and that meeting point is existence, oneness. What will you call that meeting point? Either you will have to use a positive term, or a negative one, because we don’t have any other terms. If you use positive terms, then you call it “Being” with a capital B – God, Absolute, Brahma. Or if you want to use s negative term, then you call it nirvana, nothingness, sunya, non-being, anatma. Both indicate the same. It is both and your inner being is also both. That is why sometimes I call it being, and sometimes I call it non-being. It is both. It depends on you. If the positive appeals to you, then call it being. If the negative appeals to you, then call it non-being. It depends on you. Whatsoever feels good, whatsoever you feel will give you maturity, growth, evolution, call it that.

There are two types of persons: one who cannot feel any affinity with negativity and the other who cannot feel any affinity with the positive. Buddha is the negative type. He cannot feel affinity with the positive, he feels affinity with the negative. He uses all negative terms. Shankara doesn’t feel affinity with the negative. He talks about the ultimate reality in positive terms. Both say the same thing. Buddha calls it sunya, and Shankara calls it Brahma. Buddha calls it the void, nothing, and Shankara calls it the Absolute, the All. But they are saying exactly the same thing.

Ramanuja, one of Shankara’s greatest critics, says that Shankara is just a hidden Buddhist. He is not a Hindu, he only appears to be because he uses positive terms. That is all the difference there is. Wherever Buddha says nothing, he says Brahma – all else is the same. Ramanuja says that Shankara is the great destroyer of Hinduism because he has brought Buddhism in from the back door by just using a trick – wherever a negative term is used, he uses a positive term, that’s all. He calls him a Prachhana-Bouddha, a crypto-Buddhist. And he is right in a way because there is no difference. The message is the same.

So it depends on you. If you feel an affinity with silence, nothingness, then call that great being Emptiness. If you don’t feel an affinity, if you feel afraid, then call that emptiness The Great Being.

But then your techniques will be different. If you feel scared with emptiness, aloneness, nothingness, then the four techniques I talked about last night will not be of much use to you. Forget them. There are other methods about which I have been talking. Use positive techniques.

But if you are ready and have the courage to be supportless, to move into emptiness, alone, ready to cease completely, then these four techniques will help you tremendously. It depends on you.

-OSHO

From The Book of Secrets, Chapter 80

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

The Book of Secrets

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Forget All About the World – Osho

Many times in my meditation I asked you not to show me directly the tremendous tragedy that is happening on Earth today, as I know I could never tolerate such suffering. Yet I’m sensing this all the time, even with my buffers. I know you are the light for this whole planet, and knowing this carries such a responsibility. I would be so grateful to hear you speak to me on helping, knowing I can’t help, and the angst of feeling helpless—and also of relaxing when feeling such a state of urgency. 

Prem Kaveesha, I can understand your anguish about the whole of humanity, about this planet earth; because every day we are coming closer and closer to a disaster.

It is because the disaster is coming very close; even with your buffers you cannot forget it – and it hurts. And it hurts more because you feel you cannot help; you cannot do anything. It is simply beyond the capacity of any individual to prevent this calamity, this disaster, this global suicide that seems to be almost certain. But I have a way of my own.

You feel helpless because you think in terms of helping other people to understand, and that is an impossible job. The world is so big, and people are so full of violence that it seems the calamity is not coming from outside, but it is the accumulated violence in people themselves that is going to explode this earth.

But don’t think in terms of helping. Then you will not feel helpless and you will not feel tense. I don’t feel helpless, I don’t feel tense, I don’t feel any anguish – and I am more aware of it than you can be – because my approach is not of helping anybody, but just for you to raise your own consciousness to the highest peak possible… of which you are perfectly capable.

If we can create only two hundred enlightened people in the world, the world can be saved.

Kaveesha was born in a Jewish family, hence she will understand a beautiful story. In the Old Testament it is mentioned that there were two cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, and both became sexually perverted. In Gomorrah, homosexuality was so prevalent, and in Sodom people had fallen even lower in their perversion: they were making love to animals. Hence, the English word “sodomy” – it comes from the city of Sodom. And God decided to destroy those two cities completely.

He destroyed those two cities completely – and it is very strange that those two cities had the same population as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by man, but the Old Testament story is that God destroyed those two sexually perverted cities. What I am going to tell you is a Hassidic story based on the Old Testament version of the destruction by God of two sexually perverted cities.

Judaism has blossomed in its totality in Hassidism. Hassidism is a rebellious, and essentially religious, phenomenon. All the religions have given to the world something beautiful – although those religions were against that something beautiful – except Christianity.

Mohammedanism has given Sufism, although Mohammedans have killed Sufis. Buddhism has given Zen, although Buddhists don’t accept Zen as an authentic teaching of Gautam Buddham. Hinduism has given Tantra, but Hindus are very much against Tantra – and that is their very truth. It is a very strange thing… and the same is the situation with Judaism.

Hassidism is a small, rebellious phenomenon within the world of Judaism. The man who founded Hassidism was Baal Shemtov. He also relates the story and you can see the beauty and the difference. Somebody asked him, “What do you think about Sodom and Gomorrah?”

And Baal Shem said, “That story is not written in its completion. I will tell you the whole story.” And he said, “When God declared that he was going to destroy these two cities, one Hassid, a mystic, approached God and asked him, ‘If in these cities there are one hundred people who have experienced you, what will you do with these one hundred people? Are you going to destroy them too, with the whole cities?’

“For a moment God was silent and then he said, ‘No. If there were one hundred awakened souls in these two cities, because of those one hundred people these two cities would be saved; I would not destroy them.’

“The Hassid mystic said, ‘If there were only fifty, not a hundred? Will you destroy these cities, and those fifty awakened people?’

“Now God saw that he had been caught by the mystic. He said, ‘No, I cannot destroy fifty awakened people.’ And the Hassid said, ‘I want you to know that there is only one man who is awakened; six months he lives in Sodom and six months he lives in Gomorrah. What do you say about it? – Will you destroy the cities?’

“God said, ‘You are a very cunning fellow. Who is this man?’ He said of course, ‘I am.’”

And God could not deny him because it is not a question of quantity, it is a question of quality: one awakened person or one hundred awakened persons. The awakened person cannot be destroyed by existence, because the awakened person is the longest dream of existence itself, the deepest longing of existence itself – to reach to the stars.” And Baal Shem said that Sodom and Gomorrah were never destroyed.

Jews are angry about Baal Shem, that he is just inventing this story; the whole story is written in the Old Testament. The Jews don’t accept the Hassids as authentic Jews. In the same way, everywhere the really religious person will be condemned by the so-called religious.

Whether Baal Shem invented the story or whether he was telling the true story, I am with him. In the first place a God who believes in destruction is not a God. A God who cannot transform people from their perversions is not a God. Baal Shem is not only saving those two cities, he is also saving God’s godliness: his compassion, his love, his understanding.

Kaveesha, forget all about the world. You become the one Hassid, the one mystic. And if we can create around the world just two hundred enlightened people…. That number is also exactly like Baal Shem’s Hassid. When he started talking with God, negotiating, it was only a question of two cities.

The world has become big and it is a question of the whole world – so I am starting negotiating with two hundred. But I want to tell you that even two enlightened people will be enough, and the world will be saved; because existence cannot destroy its own ultimate flowering.

So you forget about the world; otherwise it will create unnecessary anxiety and will destroy your own awakening, which is the only possibility to save the world.

Anybody who wants to help the world should forget about the world and concentrate upon himself. Raise your consciousness to such a height that existence has to think a second time whether to destroy this world or to save it.

The masses as they are don’t matter; existence will not care about them. In fact, existence would like this whole humanity – this rotten humanity – to be destroyed, so that evolution can start from scratch again. Something has gone wrong….

But if there are a few enlightened people, they are far weightier than billions and billions of people on the earth. Existence cannot destroy the world – not only because of those few people who are enlightened; but because of their enlightenment, the unconscious masses also become valuable, because it is from these unconscious masses that those Himalayan peaks have arisen. They were also unconscious yesterday, today they are conscious. And existence is very patient: if it sees that unconscious people can become fully conscious, then this great mass of people, which is absolutely unconscious, also has a possibility.

I depend on the individuals, not on the collectivity. The collectivity is so rotten that it will be an act of compassion to destroy it. But we have to prove that out of this unconscious, almost dead humanity, a few lotuses can blossom. Then, just given time, perhaps more lotuses will be coming. Some may be just buds, some may be just in the seed; but even if there is one man who is enlightened, with him the whole of humanity becomes valuable, because that man shows the hope that every man is capable of the same miracle.

So, Kaveesha, forget about helping. You cannot help; nobody can help. But you can become a mystic, a Hassid, and you can argue with God, that “I am here; are you going to destroy me? And these people who are somnambulists, walking in their sleep – I was also one of them. That is my yesterday. These people should be given their tomorrows. There is every possibility that every human being can become a Gautam Buddha.”

This is the only way to save this beautiful planet earth.

-OSHO

From The Rebellious Spirit, Chapter 14

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Osho's mulshree tree

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Mind: the Real Fascist Leader – Swami Dayanand Bharati

Today, reflecting on the world situation with so many fascist leaders arising. Trump, Erdogan, Netanyahu, Duterte and others. It gave me an insight about the ranch experience.

The ranch would have never happened without Sheela, our very own fascist leader. Sheela was the holy trinity of creator, maintainer and destroyer of Rajneeshpuram. It would have never happened without her, it could not have been built and maintained without her and it was rightfully destroyed by her to complete the circle.

And our beloved Master the witness the absolute awareness above it all. And the question of many, did he know? Was he involved? Is right here.

As a disciple, as a lover I feel: Of course he knew, of course he saw, of course he responded but he was never involved or attached to any outcome. He is the pure witness, the watcher on the hill, the Master. The background to it all. The ultimate example! This experiment was his device for us the wake up, to drop out, to see the game and be free, to become aware and to join him in his awareness, to rise above the mind.

Obviously many could not do it then, I could not! I just kept going, trusting in spite of not understanding what it was all about. Now it looks like to me it was all a preparation for this time, for now. The small Ranch game is played on the world stage right now, it always is, it always has, it always was, only now it is very obvious. This time it is pushed right into our faces, so close it hurts! Thank you! It may be the last chance to wake up for a long time to come.

I am forced to do something now, it cannot be ignored anymore, we are being openly conned, deceived, exploited, oppressed! We always have been and it is not really others that do it to us, we do it to ourselves, our minds do it, we exploit, con and deceive ourselves all the time.

On the Ranch our minds and hearts were all deeply involved in our personal utopia of the perfect world, the perfect enlightened society. We all brought our personal ambitions with us and we did what we thought would help these ambitions to be fulfilled either by doing the dirty work, or the creative work, or the spiritual work. We as a Sangha were striving for the impossible goal of wholeness, oneness, enlightenment as a group. Impossible!!! Even with an enlightened being on top. Impossible, proven impossible!!

At the end of the Ranch some walked away confused, some angry, some in handcuffs, some still hoping, projecting some positive future fulfillment or trying it all again or thinking that it could have worked … If only ….. Or blaming our beloved Master for the failure of our dream, why didn’t he stop Sheela? All the possible reactions of the mind arose in many of us, arise again now, if only……………Trump would not be president…if only….

So here it is all again, big scale, am I ready now? Have I been prepared? The situation is perfect, I can blame, I can react, I can freak out, I can protest and rebel, I can shut down, get drunk, smoke a joint, watch some good movies, I can do all the things the mind will do in its hope to survive, to feel good and safe again, to keep the illusion alive that someday………the happiness, the golden age….Peace, Freedom, the utopia!

Or I can see that there is no way out through the mind. There is no way out!! Period! Except awareness, witnessing, watching the mind.

Because the mind is the real fascist leader!

-Swami Dayanand Bharati

 

 

The Music of the Sea – Osho

I have heard a story:

Thousands of years ago, a town which had many temples dedicated to the gods was drowned beneath the sea.

The bells of those drowned temples are still ringing. It may be that the tidal waters make them ring, or maybe they keep ringing because the fish strike them as they swim here and there. But whatever the reason is, the bells are still ringing even today, and even today, their sweet music can be heard from the seashore.

I also wanted to hear that music, so I went in search of that shore. After several years of wandering, I finally found it. But all I could hear was the loud tumult of the sea. The sound of the waves crashing on the rocks resounded again in that lonely place, but there was no music nor were the temple bells ringing. I kept listening intently but on the shore nothing could be heard except the sound of breaking waves.

Even so I waited there. In fact, I had forgotten the way back and now that unknown, lonely seashore seemed destined to witness the end of my life. And by and by, even the thought of listening to the bells disappeared. I settled down on the beach.

Then one night, I suddenly heard the bells of those submerged temples ringing, and their sweet music began to fill my life with joy.

On hearing the music I awoke from my sleep, and since then I have not been able to sleep again. Now someone is constantly awake within me, sleep has vanished forever, and my life has been filled with light—because where there is no sleep, there is no darkness.

And I am happy. In fact, I have become happiness incarnate, because how can sadness exist when music from God’s temple can be heard?

Do you also want to go to that that seashore? Do you also want to hear the music of those underwater temples? Then let us then go, let us move within ourselves. The heart is the sea, and in its depth is found the city with the underwater temples.

But only those who are, in every way, calm and alert will be able to hear the music of those temples. How can this music be heard when there are the loud conflicts of thought and desire? Even the desire to hear this music becomes an obstacle to discovering it.

-OSHO

From Earthern Lamps, Chapter One

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

earthern-lamps

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

This is Called Turning In – Osho

What is turning inwards?

Turning inwards is not a turning at all. Going inwards is not a going at all. Turning inwards simply means that you have been running after this desire and that, and you have been running and running and you have been coming again and again to frustration. That each desire brings misery, that there is no fulfillment through desire. That you never reach anywhere, that contentment is impossible. Seeing this truth, that running after desires takes you nowhere, you stop. Not that you make any effort to stop. If you make any effort to stop it is again running, in a subtle way. You are still desiring – maybe now it is desirelessness that you desire.

If you are making an effort to go in, you are still going out. Any effort can only take you out, outwards. All journeys are outward journeys, there is no inward journey. How can you journey inwards? You are already there, there is no point in going. When going stops, journeying disappears, when desiring is no more clouding your mind, you are in. This is called turning in. But it is not a turning at all, it is simply not going out.

But in language it is always a problem to express these things.

There is an ancient parable: It was a beautiful afternoon, and a tortoise went for a walk on the land. And he rested under sunlit trees and he roamed around in the bushes just for the delight of it. Then he came back to the pond. One of his friends, a fish, asked ‘Where have you been?’ And he said ‘I went for a walk on the land.’ And the fish said ‘What do you mean by “a walk on the land”? You must mean swimming.’ And the tortoise laughed and he said ‘No, it was not swimming, it was nothing like swimming. It was a walk on the solid land.’ And the fish said ‘Are you kidding or something? I have been to every place, you can swim everywhere. I have never seen a place where you cannot dive and swim. You are talking nonsense. Have you gone mad?’

You understand the difficulty of the fish? She has never been on the land, walking on the land makes no sense. If the tortoise wants to make sense of his statement he will have to say ‘I went swimming on the solid land.’ Which will be absurd. But only the word ‘swimming’ can be understood by the fish.

A mind full of desires can only understand desire. Hence the desire for God. It is absurd, you cannot desire God. God comes to you when desire leaves. The cessation of desire is the coming of God to you. Again, I am using the word ’coming’, which is not true. Because God is already there – you only recognize when the desire has ceased. Nothing ever comes, nothing ever goes, all is as it is. That’s what Buddha means when he says: yatha bhutam – things are as they are. Nothing has gone wrong, nothing needs to be put right. Things are as they are, and they always remain as they are. The trees are green and the roses are red and the clouds float in the sky. Everything is where it has always been, the way it has always been. That is the meaning of the word ‘nature’ – yatha bhutam.

But man has a capacity to dream, to desire. That capacity to dream is the problem. Then you start moving into the future, then you start planning for the future. You remain here, but your mind can move into the future. It is like a dream. You fall asleep in Poona but you can dream of Calcutta or Chicago or Washington or Moscow. You are here the whole night – in the morning you will not wake up in Moscow or Chicago, you will wake up in Poona. And then you will laugh, ‘I have been roaming too much.’ While you are dreaming of Moscow you have not reached there, you remain here.

You always remain here. Here and now is the only reality, there is no other. But desire can create a dream. And in desire you go on moving outwards.

Now, what does it mean to turn inwards? Tao’s question is significant, it is very relevant. What does it mean to turn inwards? It means seeing the futility of desire, seeing the futility of dreaming, seeing the illusoriness of dreaming. In that very seeing, desire disappears. In that clarity, desire cannot exist. And when you are with no desire, you are in. Not that you have to turn in. Not that first you have to stop desiring, then you have to turn in. The cessation of desire is the turning, the transformation – what Jesus calls ‘metanoia’, the conversion. Suddenly another gestalt opens. It was there, but you were not aware of it because you were too much obsessed with the desire. The desire for money, the desire for power, the desire for prestige, does not allow your meditation to bloom. Because the whole energy goes down the drain in desires.

Once the energy is not moving anywhere… Remember, I repeat again, turning in is not moving in. When the energy is not moving at all, when there is no movement, when everything is still, when all has stopped – because seeing the futility of desire you cannot move anywhere, there is nowhere to go – stillness descends. The world stops. That’s what is meant by ‘turning in’. Suddenly you are in. You have always been there, now you are awake. The night is over, the morning has come, you are awake. This is what is meant by Buddhahood – to become aware, awake, of that which is already the case.

Remember Hakuin’s saying: From the very beginning all beings are Buddhas. From the very beginning to the very end. In the beginning, in the middle, in the end, all are Buddhas. Not for a single moment have you been anybody else. But the emperor is having a nightmare of becoming a beggar, and is tortured by the nightmare.

-OSHO

From This Very Body the Buddha, Chapter Nine

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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