Your last words at this morning’s discourse were ‘Meditate on this.’ What do you mean? How does one who only knows how to think about things learn to meditate on things?
Knowing what thinking is, is the beginning of knowing what meditation is. Thinking is the negative part; meditation is the positive part. Thinking means mind in turmoil; meditation means mind in silence. But the turmoil is the beginning of silence, and only after the storm there is silence.
If you can think, then you are capable of meditation. If a man can be ill, then he can be healthy. Health becomes impossible only when you cannot even be ill. Then you are dead. Only a corpse cannot fall ill. If you can fall ill, then there is still hope. Then you are still alive.
And so is the case with thinking and meditation. Thinking is mind which is ill—not at ease, not reconciled with itself, disturbed, fragmented, divided. Meditation means the division is no more, the fragments have disappeared into oneness—you are at ease, at home.
It is the same mind. Divided, it becomes thinking; undivided, it becomes meditation. If you can think, then you are capable of meditation, although meditation is not thinking. Thinking is an ill state of affairs, a pathology. But one can transcend it, and the transcendence is easy; it is not as difficult as you think. The difficulty comes because you don’t really want to go into meditation. Because in meditation not only is thinking going to disappear, you also are going to disappear. Only an ill man is, a healthy man disappears. In health you are not; you exist only in illness, you exist only in pain, in suffering, in hell. You can’t exist in heaven, because to feel one’s existence means to feel pain.
Have you ever not observed it? When you have a headache, then you have a head. When the headache disappears, the head disappears too. If your body is perfectly healthy and everything is running smoothly, humming smoothly, you don’t feel the body at all: you become bodiless. In the ancient Indian scriptures, health is described and defined as bodilessness: you don’t feel your body. How can you feel your body if it is not ill? Only illness creates knowledge; self-consciousness is created by it, self is created by it.
So meditation is not difficult if you really want to go into it. It is the simplest thing possible—the most simple, the most primal. In your mother’s womb you were in meditation. There was no distracting thought; you were not thinking about anything, you simple were. To regain that state of womb is what meditation is all about. When you see a person meditating, what do you see? He has disappeared into the womb again, he has made his whole body like a womb and he has disappeared into it. Buddha sitting under the Bodhi Tree…what is he doing? He has moved back to the source. He is not there. There is nobody sitting under the Bodhi Tree. That’s what a Buddha means: There is nobody sitting under the Bodhi Tree.
When Jesus goes to the mountains away from the multitude, where is he going? He is going inwards, he is trying to make contact again with the original source, because from that original source is rejuvenation. From that original source there is again freshness, vitality, and the waters of life are flowing again—one is bathed, one is resurrrected.
In the world thinking is needed. In your inner being thinking is not needed. When you are communicating with somebody, thought is a must. When you are just communing with your self, what is the need of thought? Thought will be a disturbance.
Try to understand why thinking is needed and what thinking is. When there is a problem thinking is needed to solve it. You have to go round about, look from every angle of the problem, think of all possible solutions. And then there are many alternatives, so one has to choose which one is the right one. And there is always the possibility of error, and there is always fear and anxiety—that is natural and still no guarantee that you are going to succeed in finding the solution. One gropes in the darkness, one tries to find a way out of it. Thinking is the confronting of a problem. In life there are millions of problems, and thinking is needed.
I am not saying thinking is not needed. But when you relate with the outside, it is needed. But when you are facing your own being, it is not a problem, it is a mystery. And let it be very clear what a mystery is. A problem is something that can be solved; a mystery is something that cannot be solved by its very nature. There is no way out of it, so there is no question of finding the way.
You are a mystery. It is never going to be solved, because you cannot go behind yourself, how can you solve it? You cannot stand outside yourself and tackle yourself as a problem, so how can you solve it? Who is going to solve whom? You are the solver, and you are the problem, and you are the solution. There is no division at all. The knower and the known and the knowledge are one—this is the mystery.
When the knower is different from the known, then there is a problem. Then there is something objective there. You can think of a way out, you can find out something which becomes knowledge. But inside yourself you are facing the eternal—the beginningless, the endless—you are facing the ultimate. You cannot think. If you think you will miss. Only through non-thinking you will not miss. You can only see into it—with awe, with great wonder. You can go into it deeper and deeper, you can dive into it. You can go on digging, and the more you dig, the more you will understand that this is a mystery to be lived not a problem to be solved. So thinking is irrelevant. And when thinking is irrelevant, there arises meditation.
The failure of thinking is the arousal of mediation.
Science is thinking, religion is meditation. If you think about God, it is philosophy, it is not religion. If you live God, then it is religion.
If you are looking at a lotus flower and thinking about it, then it is science, philosophy, aesthetics. But if you are simply looking at the lotus flower. . .the look is pure, uncontaminated by any thought, and the lotus flower is not thought to be a problem but just a beauty to be experienced . . . you are there, the lotus flower is there, and there is nothing in between—just empty, nobody is standing between you and the flower—it is meditation. Then the flower is not outside you, because there is nothing to divide as the in and the out. Then the lotus flower is somehow within you and you are somehow within the lotus flower. You melt into each other; divisions are lost, boundaries become blurred. The lotus starts touching your heart, and your heart starts touching the lotus. There is communion. It is meditation.
Whenever thought is not functioning, it is meditation. Listening to me, sometimes it becomes meditation to you. I say ‘sometimes’ because sometimes you start thinking and then you lose track. When you are just listening, not thinking at all about what is being said—neither for nor against, not comparing with your past knowledge, not being greedy to accumulate it for your future use, not trying to justify, rationalize, not doing anything at all . . .I am here, you are there, and there is a meeting. In that meeting is meditation. And then there is great beauty.
You ask me: Your last words at this morning’s discourse were ‘Meditate on this.’
Yes. Whether I say it or not, that is my message every day, in the beginning, in the middle, in the end—that’s what I am saying: Meditate on this. Meditate.
The English word ‘meditation’ is not very adequate for what we mean by dhyana is the East; ‘meditation’ again carries some idea of thinking. In English, ‘meditation’ means to think about, to meditate upon something. Dhyana does not mean to meditate upon something. Dhyana simply means to be in the presence of something, just to be in the presence. If you are in the presence of a tree, it is meditation on the tree. If you are in the presence of the stars, then it is meditation on the stars. If you are in the presence of me, then it is a meditation. And when you are alone, and you feel your own presence, that is mediation.
From dhyana came the Chinese word ch’an; from ch’an came the Japanese word zen. They are all derivations of dhyana. Dhyana is a beautiful word. It is not translatable into English, because English has words like ‘meditation’, ‘contemplation’, ‘concentration’—they all miss the point.
‘Concentration’ means concentrating on one thing. Meditation is not a concentration, it is an absolutely de-concentrated state of consciousness–it is just the opposite. When you concentrate there is a tension, you start focusing, there is effort. And when you concentrate on one thing then other things are denied, then you are closed for other things. If you concentrate on me, then what will you do with this plane passing by, and the noise? Then you will close your mind to it, you will focus on me, you will become strained because you have to deny this roaring aeroplane. A bird starts singing–what will you do? You will have to close yourself. That’s what is being taught in the schools and the colleges and the universities. It is concentration.
Meditation is not concentration, it is just openness, alertness, presence. You are listening to me, but your are not listening to me exclusively. You are simply listeneing. And the aeroplane goes roaring by—you listen to that too. And the bird starts singing, and you listen to that too. And there is no division; you don’t choose. All that happens in the surroundings is accepted: it becomes part of your listening to me. Your listening is not exclusive, it is inclusive of all.
So concentration is not meditation. Then the word ‘meditation’ itself is not meditation, because in meditation somebody meditates on Jesus, somebody meditates on the Bible, somebody meditates on God. Again it is not meditation. If there is a God as an object and Jesus as an object, then there is a distinction between the knower and the known: there is duality. And in duality there is conflict, and in conflict there is misery. In non-duality conflict disappears; and when conflict disappears, hell disappears. Then there is joy.
So meditation is not ‘meditating upon something’, meditation simply means a different quality of your inner being. In thinking your mind goes on weaving, spinning thoughts. In meditation your mind is simply silent, utterly silent, not doing anything at all—not even meditation! Not doing anything at all. Sitting silently, doing nothing…and the grass grows by itself. The spring comes, and the grass grows by itself. Meditation is a natural state of silence. It is not contemplation either.
In contemplation you think about ‘high thoughts’, spiritual things—not mundane things, not about the market, not about the family, but high values, truth, beauty, bliss. But you contemplate on these. You try to think about these high values of life, then it is contemplation.
But meditation is not even that. Meditation is a state of stillness. And this state of stillness has not to be forced, because it cannot be forced. If you force it, it will not be the right stillness. If you force it, you will be there forcing it; it will not be natural, it will not be spontaneous. So what has to be done?
One has to understand the ways of thinking. One has to understand the stupidity of thinking. One has to understand that thinking creates conflict, division, struggle, that thinking fragments you, that in thinking you start falling apart. One has to see what thinking does to you. In that very seeing arises meditation. In that very understanding, suddenly you feel breezes of silence coming to you. For a moment everything becomes still, utterly still, a standstill. And the taste of it will bring more of it. And by and by you will know the knack of it. Meditation is a knack. It is not science, it is not even art, it is a knack. You have to learn it slowly, slowly, through your own experience. So when I say ‘Meditate on this’ I mean don’t think upon it. Just close your eyes, be in silence. Let it be there.
For example, Jesus’ story: Jesus and the woman of Samaria are standing at that well, Jacob’s well, and Jesus is asking ‘Give me some water to drink’—the dialogue that ensues, just let it be there.
And you be utterly silent in front of this parable. Let this parable be like a lotus flower; it is. Just let it be there, throbbing, pulsating with a beating heart. Let it become alive in front of you, and then become silent. What can you do? You can only be silent. Let this drama be enacted in front of you. In deep silence you see it, and that will reveal to you the meaning of it. And that will reveal to you all the dialogues that have happened between any enlightened person and the disciple. And it will become not only a Jesus parable, it become a parable between you and me too.
It is happening every day. That’s what I mean when I say ‘Meditate upon this.’
From I Say Unto You, Vol. 1, Discourse #10
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