An old man asked: I am constantly harassed by thoughts. This was not so till I started meditating. Day and night, all twenty-four hours, I am conscious of a disturbed state of mind; in fact, at times I doubt if I am sane! Please tell me what I should do; show me the cure for my feverish mind.
This experience has its benefits, because when you feel disturbed by the constant traffic of thoughts, you realise the futility of over-thinking. You are fortunate, because others not in the same category as you, are so dull, they do not feel disturbed by such mental hyperactivity. Your disturbance is a welcome sign; it shows that the trouble can be remedied.
Normally, so long as you are carried away by your speeding thoughts, you do not feel disturbed by the thoughts. But if you pause in-between, and study your mind, you realise how feverishly it works, and disturbs your peace. This pause is essential for curbing the over-activity of mind. You have to halt and watch your thoughts; for, if your thoughts are running fast, you cannot know your mind.
Therefore, I reiterate, your experience is a good omen. Do not be worried about it, on the contrary, be glad. But then take the next step: take a completely impersonal view of the thought process. Be only an observer of thoughts; have nothing to do with them except to observe them. When thoughts cloud your mind, and harass you, ask them, ‘Oh thoughts! To whom do you belong? Do you belong to me?’ You will get no reply to this inquiry! Because the thoughts do not belong to you! Try and find out.
Thoughts are your guests. They have made a lodging house of your mind. It is wrong to think of them as yours; and this same mistake comes in the way of getting rid of them. If you identify as yours, you stand in the way of their exit. And the thoughts which are your temporary guests become permanent lodgers. By looking at thoughts impersonally, you sever connection with them. Whenever a thought or desire is born in you, watch its birth, see it grow before the mind’s eye, and then observe its decline, and the final departure.
Repeat this observation with the second thought that enters the mind; watch also its birth, and growth, decline and death. Thus, in a quiet and detached manner—that is, as a witness—observe the constant stream of thoughts. Feel nothing about them, good or bad. Form no opinions about them, favourable or unfavourable. Just watch. Thus, by silent choiceless observation, the traffic of thoughts slows down; and finally, a state of thoughtless Bliss is achieved. In this state of Samadhi all thoughts vanish, and yet, paradoxically, the capacity for clear thinking develops. This capacity is what I call pragna. It is essential to empty oneself of all thoughts, to develop this faculty of wisdom.
The questioner then asked: would you suggest anything else for me?
Yes; I would like to give you two pointers. They are important for those who seek truth, or want to realise themselves. One: make a beginning. Two: keep going.
From Lead Kindly Light, Questions 12 & 13
Copyright© OSHO International Foundation