Sunyawad, The Philosophy of Emptiness – Osho

These techniques are concerned with emptiness – they are the most delicate, the most subtle. Even to conceive of emptiness seems impossible. Buddha used all these four techniques for his disciples and bhikkus, and because of these four techniques he was totally misunderstood. Buddhism got completely uprooted from Indian soil just because of these four techniques.

Buddha said that there is no God. If there is God, you cannot be totally empty. You may not be there but the God will be there, the Divine will be there. And your mind can deceive you, because your Divine may be just your mind playing tricks. Buddha said that there is no soul, because if there is any soul, atma, you can hide your ego behind it. Your ego will be difficult to leave if you feel that there is some self within you. Then you cannot be totally empty because you will be there.

Just to prepare the ground for these techniques of emptiness, Buddha denied everything. He was not an atheist but he appeared to be an atheist because he said that there is no God, he said there is no soul, he said there is nothing substantial in existence – existence is empty. But this was just to prepare the ground for these techniques. Once you enter emptiness you have entered all – you may call it the Divine, you may call it God, or atma, soul, whatsoever you like – but you can enter the truth only when you are totally empty. Nothing should be left of you.

Hindus thought that Buddha was destroying religion, that he was teaching irreligion. And people who heard him, even they couldn’t follow, because whenever you go somewhere, you go to seek something – you never go to seek emptiness. So those who went to hear him were seeking something – nirvana, moksha, the other world, heaven, truth – but they were seeking something. They had come to gratify their ultimate desire: to find the truth. That is the last desire. And unless you are completely desireless, you cannot know the truth; the very condition of knowing is to be totally desireless.

So one thing is certain, you cannot desire truth. If you desire it, the very desire will become the barrier. There were masters before Buddha who were teaching, “Don’t desire, be desireless.” But they were talking about God, about the kingdom of God, heaven, paradise, moksha, the ultimate freedom and liberation – and they were saying, “Be desireless.” Buddha felt that you cannot be desireless if there is something to be attained. You may pretend that you are desireless, but this pretension, desirelessness, is also from some desire to be fulfilled. It is false. The masters say that you cannot attain to ultimate bliss with desire, and you want to attain ultimate bliss – so you start being desireless, you try to be desireless, so that you can attain the ultimate bliss. But the desire is there. You are trying to be desireless just because of the desire. So Buddha said that there is no God to be attained. Even if you desire, there is no one to be attained… so be desireless. There is no moksha somewhere, there is no goal. Life is meaningless and goal-less.

His emphasis is beautiful and wonderful – no one has tried that way. He destroyed all the goals just to help you to be desireless. If the goals are there, how can you be desireless? And if you are not desireless, you will not attain to the goal – this is the paradox. He destroyed all the goals – not that those goals are not there, they are there and they can be attained – but if you want to attain them, if you desire to attain them, it becomes impossible. The very basic condition is you must be desireless – then the ultimate happens to you. So Buddha says there is nothing to be desired, desires are futile. Drop all desires and when there is no desire you will be empty.

Just imagine, if there is no desire within you, what will you be? You are nothing but a bundle of desires. If all desires go, you simply disappear. Not that you will not exist – you will exist, but as an emptiness. You will be there, just like a vacant room: no one is there, just a sunya, a nothingness. Buddha has called this nothingness anatma, anatta, no-soulness. You will not feel any center, that “I am”; there will be just “am-ness”, no “I” to it, because “I” is nothing but accumulated desires, condensed desires, crystallized desires – many, many desires have become your “I”.

It is just as in physics. Physicists say that if you analyze matter, then matter is nothing but atoms; there is nothing to join the atoms, each atom is surrounded by vacant space. If you have a rock in your hand, there is no rock, just atoms of energy, and between two atoms, infinite space. Even a rock is spacious, porous. They say that soon we will be able to pull that space out from anything.

H.G. Wells has written a story.

In the twenty-first century, a passenger starts calling for coolies in a big station. Other passengers who are traveling in the same compartment with this passenger cannot understand, because he has no luggage, just a packet of cigarettes and a small matchbox. That is all his luggage. And he goes on calling for coolies. A big group gathers and a passenger asked, “Why? Why are you calling? You don’t have anything. You can carry this matchbox and this packet of cigarettes yourself. What are you going to do with these two dozen coolies?” The passenger laughs and he says, “Try, try that matchbox. That matchbox is not ordinary. One railway engine is condensed into it.”

It is possible soon. Space can be pulled out and then it can be again forced in, and the engine will take its shape again. Then big things can be carried without much problem. The weight will remain the same but the shape, the form, will become smaller and smaller. A matchbox can contain a railway engine, but the weight will remain the same, because space has no weight. You can pull out the space but you cannot pull out the weight. The weight will remain the same because weight is contained by the atoms, not by the space. They say that the whole earth can be condensed into the form, the shape, of one apple, but the weight will remain the same. And if you pull apart all these atoms; if you take one atom out, and then another, and then another; if you take all the atoms out, nothing will be left behind – so matter is just an appearance.

Buddha has analyzed the human mind in a simpler way: he is one of the greatest scientists possible. He says your ego is nothing but desires, atomic desires. There are millions of desires; they make you. If you go on pulling out desires one by one, a moment will come when there is no desire left, you have disappeared… just space, just vacant space remains. And this, Buddha says, is nirvana. This is the cessation of your being completely; you are no more. And Buddha says this is silence: unless you are completely gone, silence cannot descend on you. Buddha says you cannot be silent because you are the problem; you cannot be peaceful because you are the disease; and you can never be blissful because you are the only barrier. The bliss can come at any moment but you are the barrier. When you are not, bliss will be there; when you are not, peace will be there; when you are not, silence will be there, when you are not, ecstasy will be there. When your inner being is totally empty, this emptiness itself is bliss. That’s why Buddha’s teachings are called sunyawad, the philosophy of emptiness, or the philosophy of zero.

These four techniques are to attain this state of being, or you can call it this state of no-being – there is no difference. You can give it a positive term, as Hindus and Jains have called it, soul, or you can give it a more appropriate but negative term, as Buddha has called it, anatta, no-selfness or no-soulness. It depends on you. But whatsoever you call it, there is no one to be named and called, there is just infinite space. That’s why I say that these are the ultimate techniques, the most delicate, the most difficult – but the most wonderful. And if you can work with any of these four techniques, you will gain the unattainable.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #79

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

See the first technique Suppose Your Passive Form to be an Empty Room.

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.

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Death is Not the Enemy – Osho

Death is not the enemy. It appears to be so because we cling too much to life. The fear of death arises out of the clinging. And because of this clinging we are unable to know what death is. Not only that, we are unable to know what life is too.

The man who is not able to know death will not be able to know life either, because deep down they are two branches of the same tree, If you are afraid of death, basically you will remain – because it is life that brings death. It is through living that you come to dying.

You would like to become stagnant frozen, so that you don’t flow, so that death never happens. You would like to get stuck somewhere on the way, so that you never come to the ocean and disappear.

A man who is afraid of death clings to life too much; but the irony is that even if he clings too much to life, he is not able to see what life is. His clinging to life becomes a barrier to understanding life too. He cannot understand death, he cannot understand life; he remains in a deep misunderstanding, in a great ignorance.

So this is one of the most fundamental things to see: that death is not the enemy. Death cannot be the enemy. In fact, the enemy exists not. The whole existence is one. All is friendly. All is yours, it belongs to you and you belong to it. You are not strangers here.

Existence has given birth to you; existence has mothered you. So when you die, you simply go back to the original source to rest and to be born again.

Death is like a rest. Life is activity: death is rest. And without rest activity is not possible. Life is like the day and death is like the night. And without the night, the day cannot exist on its own. It is night that prepares you for the day, it is night that rejuvenates you, gives you energy back. You move in your deep sleep to the very point where death will lead you.

Every night you go into death – it is a small death – hence in the morning you feel so alive. Unfortunate are those people who don’t die every night. In the morning they are more tired than they were when they went to bed. They were dreaming, they were still clinging to life in their dreams. They didn’t go in a let-go. They didn’t allow death to take possession of them and mend many things and give rest, relaxation, new energy. These are the unfortunate people. The fortunate people are those who go into a tremendously deep sleep, a dreamless sleep. In the morning they are again alive, ready to face life in its manifold forms, full of joy, full of response, ready to take any challenge that life proposes.

Death is like the night. Life is yang and death is yin. Life is male, death is female. Life is aggression, ambition – a great effort to conquer many things. And death is relaxation from all aggression – an inward journey. One relaxes into oneself. Zen people call it ‘the asylum of rest’.

Life is an adventure; you go away from yourself; you go farther and farther away. The farther away you are, the more miserable you become. You go in search of happiness, but the more you search for happiness, the farther you are from it. And you can see it in your own life. This is not a philosophy; this is a simple statement of fact. Everybody goes in search of happiness. But the farther away you go, the more miserable you become.

Life is a search for happiness – but brings misery. One day you are fed up and tired and bored. That adventure no longer appeals. You relax into yourself, you come back. The closer you come to yourself, the happier you become. The more you forget about happiness, the happier you become. The day you stop seeking and searching for happiness, you are happy.

Life is a promise for happiness, but only a promise. It never fulfills. Death fulfills it. Hence, I repeat: death is not the enemy. Death is your home where you come after many, many journeys – tired, frustrated, exhausted – to seek shelter, to seek rest, to gain again the lost vitality. One thing.

Second thing: life and death are not so much apart as we think. You think life happened the day you were born, and death will happen the day you die. So there is a seventy or eighty or one hundred years’ gap. It is not so. Birthing and dying go on together your whole life. The moment you start breathing you start dying too. Each moment there is life and there is death – two wheels of the same cart. They go together. They are simultaneous. You cannot put them so far apart – seventy years is too much distance. You cannot put them so far apart – they are there every moment. Every moment something is being born in you and something is dying.

Dying and living are together. In seventy years’ time you are finished with this dying and living. You are tired of the game. You would like to go home. You have played with sand castles. You have argued, fought for your sand castles: This is mine and that is thine, and enough is enough! Evening has come and the sun is setting and you want to come home. After seventy years you slip into deep rest. But dying and living continue together. To see it in that light will bring great insight to you. Each moment both are there.

So there is no need to be afraid. It is not that death is going to happen somewhere in the future. The future creates problems: It is going to happen somewhere in the future – how to protect yourself? How to create Great China Walls against it? What arrangements should be made so it doesn’t happen to you, or at least so it can be postponed a little more?

But it is already happening! It is not a question in the future. It has been happening since you have been here. You cannot postpone it; you cannot do anything about it! There is no way to do anything about it. It is the very process of life – dying is part of the very process of life.

For example, it comes very, very prominent and loud and bold when you make love. Naturally, because love gives you the feeling of life. But have you watched? After each love act you become depressed. Relaxed, silent, but a kind of frustration is also there. At the peak of your love you are at the peak of life, and then suddenly you fall into death. Each love act brings life to a peak, and, naturally, gives you a glimpse into the abyss of death that is surrounding it. The valley of death is very clear when the peak of life is very high.

Out of this experience, two types of culture have arisen in the world. One is sex-against, and one is death-against.

The sex-against culture emphasizes more the frustration that follows the sex act. It is more concerned with the valley. It says, “Look, nothing is achieved, only frustration. That was all illusion; that peak, that orgasm, was just illusory, momentary. See what really comes in the end – just frustration. Again, you are flat on the ground. So it was a kind of illusion that you have created, but this is reality.”

After each sex act, everybody starts thinking of how to become celibate, how to drop this whole miserable wheel, how to get out of this vicious wheel. The idea of celibacy and Brahmacharya has arisen because of that second part. It is there! People who are sex-against see only it. People who are death-against don’t see it. People who are death-against, they simply see the peak, they don’t look into the valley. Once the peak is there, they close their eyes and go into sleep. They don’t think about the valley. The valley is there, but they have chosen only the peak.

But see, there is a corollary to it. If you only see the peak then you will be very much afraid of death, because you will not have any experience of it. Then death will remain unknown forever. Only when you are dying, then you will come across it. Then it will be too much and too new, and too unfamiliar and unknown, and it will shock you very much.

So the people who are death-against and only see the peak of life, the orgasmic peak of the sex act, will avoid the valley, they will not look into it. Then ultimately, one day, that valley is there. They are very afraid. Hence, in the West, where sex has become more free and people are less sex-against, hey are more death-against. They are fighting against death. Somehow death has to be destroyed.

In the East, people are sex-against. They look only into the valley. They don’t look at the peak; they say the peak is just illusory. Because they look into the valley, they have become more and more death-prone, ready to die. In fact, waiting to die; in fact, hoping to die, desiring to die, dreaming to die. In the East the greatest ideal is how to die so utterly that you are never born again. That is the ultimate death.

In the West the idea is how to create a situation where you don’t die at all; you go on living – on and on and on. Both attitudes are lop-sided. Both attitudes create a kind of imbalance in you, and that imbalance is the misery of man.

A real man, an authentic man, will face all; he will not choose. He will not say, “I will see only the valley and I will be oblivious of the peak,” or “I will only see the peak and I will remain oblivious of the valley.” He will see both as they are. He will not choose.

Not to choose is Zen. To be choiceless is Zen: to see things as they are in their totality – good and bad, heaven and hell, life and death, day and night, summer and winter – to see them as they are. Zen is not an either/or philosophy. It does not give you a choice because it says, “If you choose, you will always be afraid of the one that you have not chosen.”

See into it: if you choose something, you will remain constantly trapped with that which you have not chosen, because the not-chosen is the rejected, the not-chosen is the repressed. The not-chosen is a hankering to take revenge. The not-chosen is getting ready – someday, in a weaker moment, it will explode with a vengeance.

So the man who is sex-against is always afraid of the vengeance of sex – it can explode any moment. And the man who is afraid of death, death-against, is naturally always trembling death is coming. He knows, there is a tacit understanding. Whether you see it or not, it makes no difference. Just not seeing it will not make it disappear. It is there. You know it is there and it is coming. And it is coming closer every moment.

The man who is sex-against will be afraid of sexuality erupting any moment in his consciousness. And the man who is death-against will be afraid of death coming any day and possessing him and destroying him.

Both kinds of people remain fear-oriented; and both kinds of people remain in a fighting state, continuously conflicting. They never come to a calm tranquility, an equilibrium. Equilibrium is when you don’t choose, when you see the fact as it is. Life is not an either/or question, there is nothing to choose. It is all together. By your choice, nothing is changed. By your choice, only you get into a kind of ignorance. That which you choose is part, and that which you are not choosing is also part of reality. The unchosen part of reality will remain hanging around you, waiting to be accepted. It cannot disappear, there is no way for it to disappear. If you love life too much and you don’t want to see the fact of death… death is there hanging around like a shadow.

Zen says: See both – they are one piece, they are together. Seeing them together, without any choice, without any prejudice, you transcend them. Seeing them together, you are no more identified with life and no more identified with death. When you are not identified, you are free, you are liberated.

Identification is what imprisonment is. Let this be understood perfectly, because that is the root cause of all our misery, slavery.

Identification – this word is very significant. It means you get identified with a part. You become one with one part of life, that part you start thinking of as if it is the whole. Nothing is wrong with the part as such, but the part is the part; it is not the whole. When you start thinking of the part as the whole, partiality arises. When you start claiming for the part as if it is the whole, you are becoming blind to the whole. Now you will be in conflict with reality. And you cannot win against reality, remember it. You cannot win against reality. It is impossible. It does not happen, it cannot happen. You can win only with reality, never against reality. Victory is with reality. That’s why all the great Masters have put so much emphasis on surrender. Surrender means to be with reality. Then victory is certain – because reality is going to win. It is always the reality that wins. If you are with it, you will be a winner; if you are against it, you are going to be a loser. And we are all losers, we have been fighting.

We choose a small part and claim that this is the whole. We choose life, we take life out of its basic context – death – and we say, “This is me. I am life.” Now you are getting into trouble. You will be encaged in this identification. How will you manage death then? – and it is there, and it is happening every moment, and it is going to take you unawares one day.

You get identified with the body, “I am the body,” then there is trouble. You get identified with the mind, “I am the mind,” then there is trouble. Getting identified is getting into trouble. Identification is the very stuff ignorance is made of. Once identification is dropped, once you don’t get identified with anything, you simply remain a witness – not saying, “This I am” or “that I am.” You simply remain a witness. You see life as passing, you see death as passing, you see sex as passing, you see frustration, joy, success, failure. You go on seeing; you remain a pure seer. You don’t get hooked with anything; you don’t claim “I am this.” Without claiming, who are you? Without confining and defining yourself, without giving a limitation to yourself, if you can remain flowing, just seeing, there is liberation. There is great liberation.

Unidentified one is free. Identified, one is encaged.

Zen says: Don’t be identified with anything whatsoever. And then, naturally, transcendence happens. You see misery coming and you remain a watcher. You see misery arising, engulfing you, surrounding you like great dark smoke, but you remain a watcher. You see it, you don’t judge. You don’t say, “This is me,” or “This is not me.” You don’t say anything at all, you remain non-judgemental. You simply see this is the fact, that there is misery. 

Then as it had come one day, one day it starts disappearing. Clouds had gathered and now they are disappearing, and there is great sunshine and happiness. You don’t get identified with that either. You just see that sunshine has come back; clouds have disappeared. You don’t say, “This is me,” you don’t say, “This is not me.” You don’t make any statement at all about yourself. You simply go on watching.

Many times, it will happen – misery will come, happiness will come – many times you will succeed, many times you will fail. Many times, you will be depressed, and many times you will feel very high. Watching all this duality, by and by you will see that you are beyond all these dual pairs of things.

And so is a pair – life and death. And so is a pair – mind and body. And so is a pair – the world and nirvana. All are dual pairs. When you can see thoroughly, when you can see transparently, and you don’t choose, you are something transcendental – the witness. That witness is never born and never dies.

Death and life come into that witness’ vision, but that witness is eternal. It was there before you were born, and it will be there when you are gone. You have been coming into the world millions of times, and you may yet be coming – and still you have never come. The world appears in you just like a reflection appears in a mirror. Nothing, in fact, happens to the mirror. Or do you think something happens to the mirror?

You are standing before a mirror and the mirror reflects your face. Do you think something is happening to the mirror? Nothing is happening. You are gone, the mirror is empty. Somebody else comes before the mirror, the mirror reflects that face – beautiful or ugly – it has no choice, it is choiceless. You bring a beautiful rose-flower, it reflects; you bring an ugly thorn, it reflects. You bring a beautiful face, it reflects; you bring an ugly face, it reflects. It has no choice. it does not say, “This is not good and I am not going to reflect,” and, “This is very good and I will cling to it. Please don’t go away from here. remain here. I am you; you are me.” No, the mirror simply reflects.

This mirror-like quality is what is meant by witnessing. And that’s why the mirror remains clean of all impressions. It goes on reflecting, but no impressions are collected on it. This is the state of awareness. This is what meditation is all about.

Watch, see, be alert, but don’t choose. And don’t get into any part. The part is not the whole. The part is part, and sooner or later the part will go, because the part cannot stay long enough. And when it goes you will be miserable because you will not be willing to leave it; you will cling to it, because you got identified with it. But it will have to go, and you will feel miserable and you will cry and you will weep – but that is your creation. If you had remained like a mirror there would be no problem. Whatsoever happens, happens. You remain undis-turbed and undistracted.

This is the very essential core of all religions. It is not a question of practice, it is not a question of learning concepts, dogmas. It is not a question of reciting sutras. It is a question of insight! And this insight is available to you. There is no need to go to anybody for this insight. You have been carrying it all along. From the very beginning it has been so. It is there, the mirror is there. Just start using it.

Try sometimes and you will be surprised! The same thing that has been disturbing you in the past no more disturbs. Somebody insults you – you simply watch, you don’t get identified with it. You don’t say, “He has insulted me.” How can he insult you? You don’t know yourself who you are, how can he know who you are? He cannot insult you. He may have been insulting some image that he carries of you, but that is not you. He may be having some idea about you, and that idea he is insulting. How can he insult you? He cannot see you at all.

If you remain alert and watchful, you will be surprised – the insult came and went and nothing happened inside you, nothing was stirred, The calmness was radiant. No vibration, no wave, not even a ripple arose in you. And you will be tremendously blissful knowing this mirror like quality. Then you are becoming integrated.

Then somebody comes and praises you. Try it again. Be watchful. Don’t think he is praising you. He may be praising somebody he thinks you are. He may be praising you for some ulterior motives of his own. That is none of your business. You simply see the fact that “this man is praising me.” But remain a mirror. Don’t swallow it! Don’t cling to it! If you swallow it you will be in difficulty. Then ego arises – with identification, ego.

And then you start expecting that everybody should praise you like this man. Nobody’s going to praise you like that. Then there is hurt and misery. And tomorrow this man may not praise you again. His motive may have been fulfilled. Or tomorrow he may start thinking that he was wrong, or tomorrow he may take revenge. Whenever somebody praises you, some day he is going to insult you too – because he has to take revenge, he has to put things right.

An imbalance arises. When somebody is praising you, he is not feeling really very good; it hurts him to praise you. He has to show you that you are higher than him – that hurts. He may not show it right now, but he will keep the hurt, the wound, inside. And some day if the opportunity arises, he will show you who you are; he will put you in your right place. And then you will be very much hurt. This man has been praising you so much, and now he hurts you. But he has not done anything. It is you – you started clinging to the idea that he had put in your mind.

Not getting identified with anything, watching, keeping the mirror-like quality is what brings one, by and by, closer to enlightenment.

Rinzai was giving a lecture one day on the ‘True Man of No Title’. That’s what I mean when I say the mirror-like quality – the ‘True Man of No Title’. There is inside you a True Man of No Title. It is neither man nor woman, neither Hindu nor Mohammedan, neither good nor bad – it has no titles – neither educated nor uneducated, neither Eastern nor Western, it has no titles – neither a saint nor a sinner, it has no titles. And that is the true man inside you.

Rinzai was giving a lecture one day on the ‘True Man of No Title’. This was the title of his lecture:

A monk, quite perplexed, went up to him and asked, “What is this True Man of No Title?” Rinzai grabbed him by the neck and yelled, “Speak! Speak!” The monk was dumbfounded and could say nothing. Rinzai let go of him and exclaimed: “What worthless stuff is this True Man of No Title!”

What Rinzai did was to create a situation. The man asked, “What is this True Man of No Title?” Rinzai grabbed him by the neck and shouted, “Speak! Speak!” He has shocked him. In that shock all titles have disappeared. In that shock he is nobody, simply nobody, a mirror. In that shock the mind is no more spinning. In that shock he is simply dumbfounded. Rinzai has created a situation for him to look into this real man of no title, this mirrorlike quality.

But the man missed, he started thinking how to answer. “What is my Master doing to me? Is this the right thing to do to a questioner?” He must have got into thoughts like that. He missed the point. That’s why Rinzai exclaimed: “What worthless stuff is this True Man of No Title!”

The moment your mirror starts clinging to something, you become worthless. The moment your mirror is covered and attached to something; it is collecting dust – you become worthless. The moment the mirror collects no dust, you have immense worth – you are a god. The only difference between a Buddha and you is this much: that your mirror has collected much dust and Buddha’s mirror has become completely clean of all dust. Your thoughts are nothing but dust.

But sometimes you value dust very much. You say, “This is golden dust, this is no ordinary dust. This is pure gold! I have to hold it. I should not allow anybody to rob me of it; it is very valuable.”

That’s how you have become attached to life. You think it is very valuable. And because you become attached, you think of death as the enemy, the robber. Death is coming and it will rob you of all your gold, of all the precious stones that you have carried all along. It will take all the dust off your mirror – and that’s all you have been thinking is your life. Hence, you are afraid.

If you see the point, death is a friend. In fact, a far greater friend than life itself. Why do I say so?

I say so because in life you get attached, you collect dust. Death takes all your attachments and all your dust away. If you can see the point, you will feel tremendously grateful to death. What you cannot do, death does for you. That’s why if you can do it, then there is no death for you; then there is no need for death. If a man can clean his consciousness through meditation, then he will never die.

I’m not saying that he will not die in the body – that is a natural thing. But he will never come across death. Death happens only to the dust that collects on the mirror. The mirror never dies! The mirror itself is undying. This witnessing is an undying process, it is eternal. The traveler continues; only the clothes become torn and rotten, and they have to be changed. The traveler continues; only dust gathers on the body and you have to take a bath.

But if you start thinking that your dust is you, you will not take any bath. There are people who are very much afraid of taking a shower – as if they will lose something, something valuable. There are people who are afraid of meditation because meditation is a shower. It takes all the nonsense thoughts that you have collected, accumulated – all the junk that you go on carrying in your head.

And your head is suffering, is very heavy, and you are miserable, but still you go on carrying it thinking that it is valuable.

Death is a great friend, it unburdens you. It unburdens you of all that you have accumulated. Once this unburdening is allowed voluntarily, death becomes samadhi. If you don’t allow it voluntarily, then death is not a samadhi, it is a pain. Now see the point. The same thing can be utter pain, and the same thing can be utter joy. It depends on your interpretation – how you look at things, how you penetrate a certain experience, how deep you go into it. 

If you are a clinger, very possessive, then death will be very painful and will be a great anguish. You will suffer. You will not suffer because of death, you will suffer because of your clinging, because of your possessiveness, because of your attachments, because of your greed, and all that.

But if you are not a clinger, you are not very possessive, you are not greedy, you are not egoistic, you are not aggressive, suddenly death’s quality has changed. It comes like a fresh breeze of God. It comes and cleanses you. It gives you a great rest much needed. It purifies you. It takes you into the eternal source from where you will rise again. If you go voluntarily into it you will rise in a better form, because you have learned something from the last form. If you don’t go voluntarily, then too death will throw you into the furnace, will burn you, but forcibly, and you will come back again into the same form because you have not learned anything.

The student who has not learned anything has to be sent to the same class again and again and again. A Buddha is a person who has learned all the possibilities of all forms. He has been a rock, and he learned it. He has been a tree, and he learned it. He has been a tiger, and he learned it. He has been a man and a woman, he learned it. He has been a god and he learned it. And he went on learning and learning and learning…. And one day he has finished all forms. He has gone through all forms – watching, choicelessly alert, keeping his mirror bright, un-clouded, he has come through all the forms. And he has now come to a point where no more learning is needed. He has learned the lesson. Then he disappears. Then death becomes nirvana. Then he spreads all over existence, then he becomes a fragrance. Then he enters the cosmic form. Now small forms are no more needed. He has learned all that was there in those small forms. All that was contained in those small forms he has decoded. He has become a grown-up. Now there is no need for him to go back to school. He becomes part of the whole. He spreads over the whole. Then he is a song in the heart of the cosmic mind, a blessing, a peace. He does not come any more, he has gone beyond the point of return.

This is the ultimate learning. But one has to go through all the forms. And death brings a great lesson, far greater than life. And death brings a very intense possibility to understand, because life is spread long range – death comes in a very, very potential way in a very short time. In a single moment it shakes you. If you are not alert you will miss that moment, the moment is very tiny. If you are alert, then that very moment becomes a door into the divine.

Once you are not attached to death, once you are not afraid of death, death becomes a game, a play.

Listen to this beautiful story:

Almost blind at the age of ninety-six and no longer able to teach or work about the monastery, Zen Master Yamamoto decided it was time to die, so he stopped eating. When asked by his monks why he refused his food, he replied that he had out-lived his usefulness and was only a bother to everybody.

Now ninety-six… it is enough. And the old man thinks that now it is time to die, so he stops eating food. Death is just a rest. It is time to rest. He starts preparing to retire. This is the understanding that is needed. 

The disciples told him, “If you die now” – it was January and very cold – “when it is so cold, everybody will be uncomfortable at your funeral and you will be an even greater nuisance, so please eat!”

Those were also great people. Mm? – the reason they give: “Please just think of the cold. You will be dying, it is January and much too cold, and you will be a greater nuisance to all of us. We will have to go to your funeral – so start eating.”

This can happen only in a Zen monastery with a Zen Master and Zen disciples. Nobody is worried about the death. Death is okay. The Master is ready to die, but look at the disciples. Those disciples are also very close to enlightenment. They say, “Stop your nonsense! Right now it is not a good time. Why do you want to create trouble for us? Yes, you are a bother – ninety-six years old – but that will be even more bothersome, dying in the middle of January. Please eat!”

So the old man laughed, he resumed eating, but when it became warm again he stopped, and not long after quietly toppled over and died.

Death, too, is then a game, something to be played with. Then you are not afraid. There is nothing to be afraid of. Then you are not even serious. Look at the non-seriousness of the whole thing. Can you think of something like this happening in the West? Impossible! It can only happen in the East where people have accepted life and death both, as they are.

And this can happen only when you know that nobody is going to die – that’s why they could joke with the old man, and the old man laughed. He was not offended. Just think of the disciples saying, “This will be a nuisance, sir, dying in the middle of January. It is so cold and it will be a great bother for all of us to go to the funeral.” Just see the point of it, the humor of it – as if life and death are nothing but jokes, as if the old man is just going to play an act, as if it is not truth!

That’s how it is. Simply as if he is going to play an act. “Please don’t play it right now, later on you can do it when the days are warmer.” The old man laughed; he didn’t feel offended. He must have enjoyed it tremendously. This was a great insight in his disciples. Now they even take death humorously. When you start taking death also humorously, you are a man of under-standing. You are, by and by, turning into The Man of No Title, the real Man of No Title. When you take death also with humor, you have already gone beyond it. And to go beyond life and death is to go into your reality.

Another anecdote:

When Tozan was dying a monk said to him, “Master, your four elements are out of harmony, but is there anyone who is never ill?”

“There is,” said Tozan.

He was very ill. The whole body was just disintegrating. The four elements were no more together. It was a kind of riot inside his body, Elements were trying to get free of each other. Tozan was old and dying, and the disciple asks, “Your four elements are out of harmony, but is there anyone who is never ill?”

“There is,” said Tozan.

“Does this one look at you?” asked the monk.

“It is my function to look at him,” answered Tozan.

“How about when you yourself look at him?” asked the monk.

“At that moment I see no illness,” replied Tozan.

In you there are two worlds: the world of birth and death, and the world that is transcendental. Yes, the body can be very ill, and yet there may be no illness in you – if you don’t get attached to illness, if you don’t get identified with illness, if you don’t start thinking “I am ill.” It is only a kind of hypnosis. It has to be learned through many many doors.

When you feel hungry, what do you say? You say, “I am hungry.” You are not – the body is hungry; the organism is hungry. You are just a watcher, you are just seeing that the body is hungry. Then you eat and you fed satisfied, and you say, “Now I am satisfied, fully satisfied.” You are not satisfied, because you were not hungry in the first place! First you had seen hunger in the body, now you feel satisfaction in the body – but you are just a witness. First your mirror was reflecting the hungry man standing in front of you, and now your mirror reflects the satisfied man standing before you – but the mirror was never hungry and the mirror is not satisfied either.

One day you are healthy, another day you are ill – the mirror reflects! One day you are young, another day you are old. One day you are loved, another day you are hated. One day appreciated, another day condemned. The mirror goes on reflecting. The function of the mirror is just to reflect whatsoever is the case. But each time you get identified.

Stop this identifying yourself with things that are standing in front of you, and suddenly you will see you have never been ill and never been hungry and never been born, and never are you going to die. You are the very source of eternity. You are eternal.

-Osho

From Zen: The Path of Paradox, V.3, Discourse #7

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

 

A Truly Remarkable Woman, Worth Remembering – Robert Rabbin

I think it’s important to honor the lives and legacies of people who have touched our hearts in some way, who have touched the lives of others in uplifting and inspiring ways.

It’s important to celebrate the qualities we admire and respect and want to pass on to our children by shining a light of gratitude on those who embody those qualities. And so I want to remember Jean Dunne, a truly remarkable woman worth remembering.

I lived in Mill Valley, just north of San Francisco, from the late ’80s through the mid-’90s. At some point during those years—I can’t remember precisely—I heard that Jean Dunn lived not too far away, in Vacaville, about half way between San Francisco and Sacramento, on I-80.

Jean had lived in India for many years, first as a disciple of Ramana Maharishi, and later as a disciple of Nisargadatta Maharaj—both popular, if misunderstood, gurus from India. Nisargadatta had acknowledged that Jean had realized her true nature and was to carry on his work after he passed from this world, which he did in 1981.

I, too, had lived in India with a guru, though to the best of my knowledge he never publicly said I had realized my true nature. (Inasmuch as he passed from this world in 1982, I’ll have to say that on my own behalf. But not here, not know. Later. Stay tuned lovers.)

With our mutual back-story of living in India with gurus, and being mindful of her standing in the non-duality culture, I wanted to speak with her.

I held her in high regard based on her years of study and service. I contacted Jean and asked if I could come for a visit. She was most welcoming. I set off with two friends, Monika and Norman. We were full of expectant good cheer for the prospects of a great adventure.

It didn’t take long to drive the 45 miles from Marin County to Vacaville. Once there, we had to locate the trailer park Jean lived in, which was situated right behind a cement factory. We found the park, then her single-wide mobile home—standard issue it seemed to me. I remember pausing for a moment, trying to take this in. I could see bits of the cement factory sticking up nearby, and could see and smell the dust of it, which I knew so well as I worked as a mason’s apprentice for a year in 1969.

It seemed odd that someone with the quiet notoriety of being a realized being would end up living in a mobile home park behind a cement factory. Jean was around 68, maybe 70, years old when we knocked on the door that day.

This tiny little thing, couldn’t have been bigger than a bird, weighing 75 pounds, but bright and energetic as all get out, opened the door and enthusiastically welcomed us in to her home. She was thrilled we came and said she had baked some brownies for us and had made come coffee. Did we drink coffee? Yes, of course. (Actually, Monika and Norman didn’t, but how could they refuse her home-brewed coffee?)

She took us to the kitchen area, where she asked us to sit around a card table, on which was a plate stacked high with brownies, a pot of coffee, and a carton—not a pack, a carton—of Marlboro cigarettes. Next to the table was an oxygen tank and mask, as Jean was suffering from emphysema at that time.

As she served us coffee and we helped ourselves to the brownies, she asked, “Would you like a cigarette?” Well, Monika and Norman said no, very politely. While I didn’t smoke, I just felt that I should accept. It felt to me as if the cigarettes were a kind of sacred thing, a ritual thing, such that if I didn’t smoke I would have somehow spurned her heartfelt hospitality.

So I said, “I’d love to have a cigarette with you, thanks.” Well, I don’t believe I’ve ever made anyone so happy in my life. She just beamed and offered me a pack. Well, for the next hour or so, we sat around the table talking, eating brownies, drinking coffee, and smoking up a storm.

At one point, Norman asked about the paradox of taking a drag on a cigarette and then a drag on the oxygen mask. (He later said to us he was afraid she’d blow us all up, smoking right next to the tank.) Norman and, to a slightly lesser extent, Monika, were keenly and religiously health-conscious. They just nibbled on their brownie and barely touched their coffee. They kept shushing and waving the cigarette smoke away. I was, let’s say, not as concerned with my health. I seem to recall gulping down brownies and cups of coffee. I probably went through half a pack of Marlboros, too.

Well, it was quite a scene: here is this lovely, dear, sweet-as-sugar woman, reputedly self-realized, having lived and worked with one of the great non-dual masters of the last century, sitting at a card table in a mobile home behind a cement factory eating brownies and drinking coffee and smoking Marlboros, all the while taking great gulps of oxygen from a tank to help her breathe in the face of her emphysema.

When Norman (I’m sure it was Norman) asked, politely, she just broke out one of her best smiles and chirped, “Well, dearie, what can I do? The body seems to like smoking. I don’t interfere.” (All these years later, I can’t swear this is a direct quote, but it reflects the spirit of what she said.)

And that was that. After about an hour or so, we could see that Jean was getting tired, so we thanked her, and we left.

I don’t remember anything from our conversation. Not a word, except those words of wonderful welcome and offers of brownies and coffee and cigarettes. I do remember her beautiful sweet smile and gentle eyes. I met her once, maybe 25 years ago. I am telling this story now for the first time. I don’t know why it’s popped into my consciousness, but it has.

I have no idea if dear Jean had realized her true nature. I tend to scoff at those terms and claims these days. But I can say that she was completely, utterly gracious and charming and sweet and vulnerable and transparent and loving—I can say those things based on my experience. I haven’t met many like her. I don’t think I’ve met anyone like her. She was a beauty. A rare, authentic beauty.

She passed from this world in 1996, at 75 years of age. Her legacy? Insofar as I see it, her legacy is the fragrance she emitted, the fragrance of authenticity, the smell and scent of deep beauty, peace, kindness, humor, self-acceptance and loving nature. All this seemed, in her, to be the most natural thing in the world. Oh, yes, that’s what a real human being looks like. Simple, basic, natural, original-self kind of beauty. A child. A true child. An embodiment of simple kindness, open-hearted, friendly, welcoming, respectful, joyful. I’ll take those as meaning she was self-realized.

-Robert Rabbin

Thank you to Parvati Devi for pointing me towords this article which was first published in Elephant Journal.

You can read more on Jean Dunn here.

Here you can download Jean Dunn Journals – Being with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

 

The Fire of Awareness – Osho

When I become more and more aware, my attention develops and there remains a feeling that I exist, I am present, I am aware. Please explain how this feeling can be dissolved into an egoless state of just awareness. 

This is again a supposed question. When I become more and more aware, my attention develops and there remains a feeling that I exist, I am present, I am aware.

This never happens, because as awareness grows, the I decreases. In full awareness, you are, but there is no sense that I am. In words, at the most, this can be said – that you feel a subtle amness, but there is no I.

You feel existence, and you feel it in abundance, a fulfilled moment, but the I is not there. You cannot feel I exist; you cannot feel I am present; you cannot feel I am aware. That I is part of unawareness, inattention; part of your sleeping state. It cannot exist. It cannot exist when you are really alert and aware and conscious.

This is how supposed questions can arise. You can go on thinking about them, and nothing will be solved. If this happens – that you feel I am; I am aware – then you only have to note one thing, and that is that you are not alert, you are not aware. Then these feelings – I am aware, I am conscious, I exist – these are thoughts, you are thinking them. They are not realized moments. You can think I am aware; you can go on repeating I am aware – that will not do. Awareness is not this repetition. And when you are aware, there is no need to repeat I am aware. You are simply aware; the I is no more.

Try awareness. Right now, be alert. Where is the I? You are – rather, you are more intensely – but where is the I, the ego? In the very intensity of consciousness, the ego is no more. Later on, when you lose awareness and thinking starts, you can feel I am, but in the moment of awareness there is no I. Right now, experience it. Silently you are here, you can feel your presence, but where is the I? The I never arises. It arises only when retrospectively you think. When you lose awareness the I arises immediately.

Even if for a single moment you can experience simple awareness, you are, and the I is not there. When you lose awareness, when the moment has slipped, gone, and you are thinking, the I comes back immediately. It is part of the thought process. The very concept of I is a thought, it belongs to thinking. I am is a thought.

When you are alert and there is no thought, how can you feel that I am? The amness is there – but that too is not a thought, it is not thinking. It is there existentially; it is a fact. But you can turn the fact into thinking immediately, and you can think about this gap that existed where there was no I. And the moment you think, the I has come back. With thinking, the ego enters – thinking is the ego. With no-thinking, the ego is not. 

So, whenever you want to ask a question, first make it existential. Before giving me the question, test whether whatsoever you are asking is relevant or not. Such questions look relevant, just verbally, but they are like this: I say that the light has been put on, and then I ask, ‘The light has been put on and still the darkness remains, so what is to be done with darkness?’ The only thing is that the light is still off, it has not been put on, otherwise how can the darkness remain? And if the darkness is there, then the light is not there. And if the light is there, then the darkness is not there. They cannot be both together.

Awareness and the ego cannot be together. If awareness has come on, if it is there, the ego has disappeared. This is simultaneous; there is not even a single second’s gap. The light is on and the darkness has disappeared. It is not that it disappears by and by, in steps, gradually. You cannot see it going outside; you cannot say that now the darkness is going out.

The light is there, and the darkness is immediately not there. There is not a single moment’s gap, because if there is a gap then you can see darkness moving out. And if there is a single moment’s gap, then there is no reason why there can’t be a gap of one hour. There is no gap. The act is simultaneous. Really, the coming of the light and the going out of the darkness are two aspects of one phenomenon.

The same happens with awareness: when you are aware, the ego is not. But the ego can go on playing tricks, and the ego can say, ‘I am aware.’ The ego can say, ‘I am aware,’ and can befoul you. Then the question will arise. And the ego wants to accumulate everything, even awareness. The ego not only wants wealth, power, and prestige; it wants meditation also, it wants samadhi also, it wants enlightenment also.

The ego wants everything. That which is possible must be possessed. The ego wants to possess everything – even meditation, samadhi, nirvana. So, the ego can say, ‘Now I have achieved meditation,’ and then the question will arise. The meditation has been achieved, the awareness has come, but the ego remains, the misery remains. The whole burden of the past remains. Nothing changes.

The ego is a very subtle braggart. Be aware of it. It can deceive you. And it can use words, it can verbalize things. It can verbalize anything, even nirvana.

I have heard that once it happened that two butterflies were winging their way through the canyons of New York. Just passing near the Empire State Building, the male butterfly said to the female, ‘You know, if I wanted to, just with one blow I could cause this Empire State Building to collapse.’

One wise man happened to be there who heard this remark, so he called that male butterfly and asked, ‘What were you saying? You know very well that you cannot cause that Empire State Building to collapse with a single blow. You know it well, there is no need to tell you, so why did you say such a thing?’

The male butterfly said, ‘Excuse me, sir. I am very sorry. I was just trying to influence my girlfriend.’

The wise man said, ‘Don’t do it,’ and dismissed the butterfly. 

The male butterfly went back to his girlfriend. Of course, the girl friend asked, ‘What was the wise guy saying to you?’

So, the male braggart said, ‘He begged me and said, “Don’t do it!” He was so afraid, trembling, nervous. He had heard that I was going to cause this Empire State Building to collapse, so he said, “Don’t do it.”’

The same is happening continuously. Those words were uttered by the wise man with a very different meaning. He meant, ‘Don’t say such things,’ but the ego exploited him. Your ego can exploit anything, it is deeply cunning. And it is so experienced in cunning – experiences of millennia – that you cannot even detect where the cunning enters.

People come to me and they say, ‘The meditation has happened. Now what to do about my worries?’ This is how the ego goes on playing tricks – and they are not even aware of what they are saying. ‘The meditation has happened; the kundalini has arisen – so what to do? The worries still continue.’

Your mind wants to believe things, so without doing anything you go on believing, deceiving – wish fulfillments. But the reality doesn’t change by your wish-fulfillments: the worries continue. You can deceive yourself; you cannot deceive the worries. They will not just disappear because you say, ‘The meditation has happened and the kundalini has arisen, and now I have entered the fifth body.’ Those worries will not even hear what you are saying. But if meditation really happens, where are the worries? How can they exist in a meditative mind?

So, remember this: that when you are aware, you are, but you are not the ego. Then you are unlimited, then you are infinite expanse, but with no center. There is no focused feeling of I; just unfocused existence, beginning nowhere, ending nowhere – just infinite sky. And when this I disappears, automatically the you disappears, because the you can exist only in reference to the I. I am here; that’s why you are there. If this I disappears from me, you are no more there. You cannot be. How can you exist?

I don’t mean that you will not be there bodily, that you will not be there physically. You will be there as you are, but for me, you cannot be you. The you is meaningful in reference to my I; my I creates the you. One part disappears; the other disappears for me. Then simple existence is there; all the barriers have dissolved. With the ego disappearing, the whole existence becomes one. The ego is the divider – and the ego exists because you are inattentive. The fire of awareness will destroy it.

Try it more and more. Suddenly become alert. Walking on the street, immediately stop, take a deep breath, become alert for a moment. And when I say alert, I mean simply alert of whatsoever is happening – the traffic noise, people passing and talking, everything that is all around. Simply become alert. You are not there in that moment: existence is and the beauty of it.

Then the traffic noise doesn’t appear to be noise, it doesn’t look like a disturbance, because there is no one to resist it and fight it. It simply comes to you and passes; it is heard and heard no more. It comes and passes. There is no barrier against which it can strike. It cannot make a wound in you, because all wounds are made in the ego. It will pass. There will be no barrier to it on which it can strike; there will be no fight, no disturbance.

Remember this: the noise on the street is not the disturbance. When the noise of the street struggles against you, when you have a fixed notion that it is a disturbance, it becomes disturbance. When you accept it, it comes and passes. And you are simply bathed by it; you come out of it more fresh. And nothing tires you then. The only tiring thing, that which goes on dissipating your energy, is this resistance which we call the ego.

But we never look at it in this way. The ego has become our life, the very gist of it. Really, there is no ego. If I say to someone…. Many times, it happens. If I say to someone to dissolve this ego, immediately he stares at me as if with the question, the nude question, that ‘If ego is dissolved, then where is life? Then I am no more’.

I have heard that one very great politician, a big leader of a country, was asked, ‘You must be getting tired. The whole day, wherever you move, there is a crowd of autograph seekers.’

That politician, that leader said, ‘It almost kills me – but this is only half of the truth.’ He must have been a very rare, honest man. He said, ‘It almost kills me – but almost. If there was no one seeking my autograph, it would kill me completely. This continuous crowd almost kills me, but the other thing would be more dangerous. It would kill me completely if there was no one to ask for my autograph.’

So howsoever tiring the ego, howsoever wearing, you still feel it is life, and if the ego is not there, you feel life will disappear from your mind. You cannot conceive how life can exist without you, without there always being a reference point of I. It is logical in a way, because we have never lived without it. We have lived through it, we have lived around it; we know only one type of life, which is based on ego. We don’t know any other life.

And because we have lived through it, we have not been really able to live. We are simply struggling to live, and the life never happens to us, it just by-passes us. It is always just in the reach, in the hope – just tomorrow, the next moment, and we will be living. But it never comes, it is never achieved. It always remains a hope and a dream – but we go on moving. And because it is not coming, we move fast. That too is logical: if life is not happening to us, the mind can think only one thing – that we are not moving fast enough. So, make hurry, be in a speed.

Once it happened that one of the great scientists, T.H. Huxley, was going to deliver a talk somewhere in London. He came to the station, to the suburban station, but the train was late, so he jumped into a cab and told the driver, ‘Hurry! Go at top speed!’

They were racing fast, when suddenly he realized that he had not given the address. But then he also remembered that he had himself forgotten the address. So he asked the driver, ‘Cabby, do you know where I am supposed to be going?’

He said, ‘No, sir. But I am going as fast as possible.’

This is happening. You are going as fast as possible. Where are you moving? Why are you moving? What is the destination? – the hope that someday life will happen to you. And why is it not happening right now? You are alive – why is it not happening right now? Why is the nirvana always in the future, always in the tomorrow? Why is it not today? And the tomorrow never comes – or whenever it comes it will always be the today and you will miss again. But we have lived only in this way. We know only one dimension of living – this so-called living we are already living – just dead, not alive at all, just pulling together anyhow, just waiting.

With the ego it will always remain a waiting – and a hopeless waiting. You can do it fast, you can make haste, but you will never reach anywhere: just by hurrying you will dissipate energy and you will die. And you have done that so many times. You have always been in a hurry, and in that hurry dissipating energy, and then only death comes and nothing else. You are hurrying for life, and only death comes and nothing else. But the mind, because it is accustomed to only one dimension, because it has known only one way – which is not even a way, but just appears to be a way – will say that if there is no ego, where is life?

But I say to you, if there is ego, there is no possibility of life, only promises. The ego is a perfect promise-maker. It goes on promising you. And you are so unaware – no promise is ever fulfilled, but again you believe. When the new promises are given, you again believe.

Look back! The ego promised many things, and nothing has been achieved through it. All the promises have fallen down. But you never look back, you never compare. When you were a child there were promises for youth: life will be there when you are young. Everyone was saying it, and you also were hoping that when you become young, all that was to happen would happen. Now those days have passed, the promise remains unfulfilled, but you have forgotten. You have forgotten the promise, you have forgotten that is has not been fulfilled. It is so painful to look at it that you never look at it.

Now you hope for the old age – that in old age the sannyas will flower, the meditation will happen to you. Then the worries will be over: your children will have gone to the college, and everything will have become established. Then there will be no responsibility on you. Then you will be able to seek the divine. Then, in the old age, the miracle is going to happen. And you will die unfulfilled.

It is not going to happen, because it never happens in the hope, it never happens with the hope. It never happens with the promise of the ego. It can happen right now. It can only happen right now. But then a very intense awareness is needed, so that you can throw all the promises, and all the hopes, and all the future programs, and all the dreams, and look directly here and now at what you are.

In that returning to yourself – your consciousness not moving somewhere ahead but returning to yourself – you become a circle of consciousness. This moment becomes eternal. You are alert and aware. In that alertness, in that awareness, there is no I; simple existence, simple being. And simplicity comes out of that awareness.

Simplicity is not a loin-cloth, simplicity is not living in poverty, simplicity is not becoming a beggar. Those are very complex and very cunning things, very calculated. Simplicity is born when you have achieved a simple existence where no I exists. Out of that, simplicity arises; you become humble. Not that you practice it, because a practiced simplicity can never be simplicity. A practiced humbleness is just a hidden ego.

It happens: if you can be aware, it starts flowing through you. You become humble; not against the ego, because a humbleness against the ego is again a different sort of ego – a more subtle ego and more dangerous, more poisonous. It is humbleness as the absence of ego; not as the opposite of the ego, just the absence. The ego has disappeared. You have come to yourself and known that there is no ego: simplicity arises, humbleness arises – they simply flow. You have not done anything for them; they are by-products – by-products of intense awareness.

So, this type of question is foolish. If you feel that you are aware and still the I remains, know well that you are not aware. Make effort to be aware. And this is the criterion: when you are aware, the I is not; when you are aware, the I is not; when you are aware, the I is not found there. This is the only criterion.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #54, Q2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt The Fire of Awareness.

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

If I Say Surrender You Ask How – Osho

Techniques are shortcuts, revolutions, but are not these against tao, swabhav, the nature?

They are. They are against tao, they are against swabhav. Any effort is against shabhav, tao; effort as such is against tao. If you can leave everything to swabhav, tao, nature, then no technique is needed, because that is the ultimate technique. If you can leave everything to tao, that is the deepest surrender possible. You are surrendering yourself, your future, your possibilities. You are surrendering time itself, all effort. This means infinite patience, awaiting.

If you can surrender everything to nature then there is no effort, then you don’t do anything. You just float. You are in a deep let-go. Things happen to you, but you are not making any effort for them – you are not even seeking them. If they happen, it is okay; if they don’t happen, it is okay – you have no choice. Whatsoever happens, happens; you have no expectations and of course, no frustrations.

Life flows by, you flow in it. You have no goal to reach, because with the goal effort enters. You have nowhere to go, because if you have somewhere to go, effort will come in; it is implied. You have nowhere to go, nowhere to reach, no goal, no ideal; nothing is to be achieved – you surrender all.

In this surrendering moment, in this very moment, all will happen to you. Effort will take time; surrender will not take time. Technique will take time; surrender will not take time. That’s why I call it the ultimate technique. It is a no-technique. You cannot practice it – you cannot practice surrender.

If you practice, it is not surrender. Then you are relying on yourself; then you are not totally helpless; then you are trying to do something – even if it is surrender, you are trying to do it. Then technique will come in, and with technique time enters, future enters.

Surrender is non-temporal; it is beyond time. If you surrender, this very moment you are out of time, and all that can happen, will happen. But then you are not searching for it, not seeking it; you are not greedy for it. You have no mind for it at all: whether it happens or not, it is all the same to you.

Tao means surrender – surrender to swabhav, to nature. Then you are not. Tantra and Yoga are techniques. Through them you will reach to swabhav, but it will be a long process. Ultimately after every technique you will have to surrender, but with techniques it will come in the end; with tao, in tao, it comes in the beginning. If you can surrender right now, no technique is needed, but if you cannot, and if you ask me how to surrender, then a technique is needed. So, rarely in millions and millions of men, one can surrender without asking how. If you ask ‘how’, you are not the right type who can surrender, because the ‘how’ means you are asking for a technique.

These techniques are for all those who cannot get rid of this ‘how’. These techniques are just to get rid of your basic anxiety about ‘how’ – how to do it. If you can surrender without asking, then no technique is needed for you. But then you would not have come to me, you could have surrendered any time, because surrender needs no teacher. A teacher can teach only technique.

When you seek, you are seeking technique; every seeking is a seeking for technique. When you go to someone and ask, you are asking for a technique, for a method. Otherwise there is no need to go anywhere. The very search shows that you have a deep need for technique. These techniques are for you. Not that without technique it cannot happen. It can happen, but it has happened to very few persons. And those few persons are also really not rare: in their past lives they have been struggling with techniques, and they have struggled so much with techniques that now they are fed up, they are bored. A saturation point comes when you have asked again and again ‘How? How? How? – and ultimately the ‘how’ falls. Then you can surrender.

In every way technique is needed. A Krishnamurti, he can say that no technique is needed – but this is not his first life. And he couldn’t have said this in his past life. Even in this very life many techniques were given to him, and he worked on them. You can come to a point through techniques where you can surrender – you can throw all techniques and simply be – but that too is through techniques.

It is against tao, because you are against tao. You have to be deconditioned. If you are in tao then no technique is needed. If you are healthy then no medicine is needed. Every medicine is against health. But you are ill; medicine is needed. This medicine will kill your illness. It cannot give you health, but if the illness is removed, health will happen to you. No medicine can give you health. Basically every medicine is a poison – but you have gathered some poison; you need an antidote. It will balance, and health will be possible.

Technique is not going to give you your divinity, it is not going to give you your nature. All that you have gathered around your nature it will destroy. It will only decondition you. You are conditioned, and right now you cannot take a jump into surrender. If you can take it, it is good – but you cannot take it. Your conditioning will ask, ‘How?’ Then techniques will be helpful.

When one lives in tao, then no yoga, no tantra, no religion is needed. One is perfectly healthy; no medicine is needed. Every religion is medicinal. When the world lives in total tao, religions will disappear. No teacher, no Buddha, no Jesus will be needed, because everyone will be a Buddha or a Jesus. But right now, as you are, you need techniques. Those techniques are antidotes.

You have gathered around yourself such a complex mind that whatsoever is said and given to you, you will complicate it. You will make it more complex, you will make it more difficult. If I say to you, ‘Surrender,’ you will ask, ‘How?’ If I say, ‘Use techniques,’ you will ask, ‘Techniques? Are not techniques against tao?’ If I say, ‘No technique is needed; simply surrender and God will happen to you,’ you will immediately ask, ‘How?’ – your mind.

If I say, ‘Tao is right here and now: you need not practise anything, you simply take a jump and surrender,’ you will say, ‘How? How can I surrender?’ If I give you a technique to answer your ‘how’, your mind will say, ‘But is not a method, a technique, a way, against swabhav, against tao? If divinity is my nature, then how can it be achieved through a technique? If it is already there, then the technique is futile, useless. Why waste time with the technique?’ Look at this mind!

I remember, once it happened that one man, a father of a young girl, asked composer Leopold Godowsky to come to his house and give an audition to his daughter. She was learning piano. Godowsky came to their house; patiently he heard the girl playing. When the girl finished, the father beamed, and he cried in happiness and asked Godowsky, ‘Isn’t she wonderful?’

Godowsky is reported to have said, ‘She is wonderful. She has an amazing technique. I have never heard anyone play such simple pieces with such great difficulty. She has an amazing technique. Playing such simple pieces with such great difficulty, I have never seen anyone do before!’

This is what goes on happening in your mind. Even a simple thing you will make complicated, you will make difficult for yourself. And this is a way of defense, this is a defense measure, because when you create difficulty you need not do it – because first the problem must be solved and then you can do it.

If I say surrender, you ask how. Unless I answer your ‘how’, how can you surrender? If I give you a technique, your mind immediately creates a new problem. ‘Why the technique? Swabhav is there, tao is there, God is within you, so why this endeavor, this effort?’ Unless this is answered, there is no need to do anything.

Remember, you can go on in this vicious circle continuously for ever and ever. You will have to break it somewhere and come out of it. Be decisive, because only with decision is your humanity born. Only with decision do you become human. Be decisive. If you can surrender, surrender. If you cannot surrender, then don’t create philosophical problems; then use some technique.

In both the ways the surrender will happen to you. If you can surrender right now, it is okay. If you cannot surrender, then pass through techniques – that training is needed. It is needed because of you, not because of swabhav, not because of tao. Tao needs no training. It is needed because of you. And the techniques will destroy you. You will die through the techniques, and the innermost nature will evolve. You have to be shattered completely. If you can shatter it in a jump – surrender. If you cannot, then piecemeal – through techniques work on it.

But remember one thing: your mind can create problems which are tricks – tricks to postpone, to postpone decision. If the mind is not settled, you don’t feel guilty. You feel, ‘What can I do? Unless something is absolute, clear-cut, transparent, what can I do?’ Your mind can create clouds around you, and your mind will not allow you to be transparent ever – unless you decide. With decision clouds disappear. Mind is very diplomatic, mind is political, and it goes on playing politics on you. It is very tricky, cunning.

I have heard, once Mulla Nasrudin came to visit his son and daughter-in-law. He had come for three days, but then he stayed for one week. Then the one week passed, and he stayed for one month. Then the young couple started worrying – how to get rid of the old man? So they discussed how to get rid of him, and they hit upon a plan.

The husband said, ‘Tonight you prepare soup, and I will say that there is too much salt in it, it cannot be eaten, it is impossible to eat. And you have to say that there is not enough salt in it. We will argue and we will start quarrelling, and then I will ask my father what his opinion is, what he says. If he agrees with me, then you get mad and tell him to go away. If he agrees with you, I will get sore and I will tell him to go away immediately.’

The soup was prepared, and as it was planned, they started quarrelling and arguing. And then the climax came. They were just on the verge of hitting each other and Nasrudin was sitting silently watching. And then the son turned towards him and said, ‘Pa, what do you say? Is there too much salt or not?’

So Nasrudin dipped his spoon in the soup, tasted it, meditated a moment upon the taste, and then said, ‘It suits me perfectly.’ He didn’t take any side. The whole plan was futile.

Your mind goes on working in this way. It will never take any side, because the moment you take a side, action has to be there. It will not take any side; it will go on arguing. It will never decide anything; it will be always in the middle. Whatsoever is said will be argued, but it will never become a decision. And you can argue ad infinitum; there is no end to it. Only decision will give you action, and only action will become transformation.

If you are really interested in a deep revolution within you, then decide – and don’t go on postponing. Don’t be too philosophical; that is dangerous. For a seeker it is dangerous. For one who is not seeking really but just passing time, it is good, it is a good game. Philosophy is a good game if you can afford it. But I don’t see that anyone can afford it because it is wasting time.

So be decisive. If you can surrender, then surrender. Then there is no ‘how’ to it. If you cannot, then practice some technique, because only then through technique will you come to a point where surrender will happen.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #58, Q1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Osho’s Book of Secrets Meditations

All 112 of Shiva’s meditation techniques (Vigyan Bhairava Tantra)

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Death is Making Love with God – Osho

Is there a difference between the Shunyavada of Nagarjuna and Avyakritopadesh, the unspoken and the undefinable teaching of Lord Buddha? 

There is no difference at all. If a difference appears to be there, that is only because of the formulation. Nagarjuna is a great philosopher, one of the greatest of the world. Only a few people in the world, very few, have that quality of penetration that Nagarjuna has. So, his way of talking is very philosophical, logical, absolutely logical. Buddha is a mystic, not a philosopher. His way of saying things is more poetic than philosophical. The approach is different, but Nagarjuna is saying exactly the same thing as Buddha. Their formulation is certainly different, but what they are saying has to be understood.

You ask — the question is from Omanath Bharti — “Is there any difference between shunyavada…” shunyavada means the theory, the philosophy of nothingness. In English there is no word which can be equivalent, appropriately equivalent, to shunya. Shunya means emptiness; but not negative, very positive emptiness. It means nothingness, but it does not mean simply nothingness; it means no-thing-ness. Shunya means void, void of everything. But the void itself is there, with utter presence, so it is not just void. It is like the sky which is empty, which is pure space, but which is. Everything comes in it and goes, and it remains.

Shunya is like the sky — pure presence. You cannot touch it although you live in it. You cannot see it although you can never be without it. You exist in it; just as the fish exists in the ocean, you exist in space, in shunya. Shunyavada means that everything arises out of no-thing.

Just a few minutes ago I was telling you the difference between truth and reality. Reality means the world of things, and truth means the world of no-thing, nothing — shunya. All things arise out of nothing and dissolve back into nothing.

In the Upanishads there is a story:

Svetaketu has come from his master’s house, back to his parents. He has learned all. His father, Uddalaka, a great philosopher, looks at him and says, “Svetaketu, you go outside and bring a fruit from yonder tree.”

He goes out, brings a fruit. And the father says, “Break it. What do you see in it?” There are many seeds in it. And the father says, “Take one seed and break it. What do you see in it?”

And he says, “Nothing.”

And the father says, “Everything arises out of this nothing. This big tree, so big that one thousand bullock carts can rest underneath it, has arisen out of just a seed. And you break the seed and you find nothing there. This is the mystery of life — everything arises out of nothing. And one day the tree disappears, and you don’t know where; you cannot find it anywhere.”

So does man: we arise out of nothing, and we are nothing, and we disappear into nothing. This is shunyavada.

And what is Buddha’s avyakritopadesh, the unspoken and the undefinable teaching? It is the same. He never made it so philosophically clear as Nagarjuna has made it. That’s why he has never spoken about it. That’s why he says it is indefinable; it cannot be brought to the level of language. He has kept silent about it.

You know the Flower Sermon? One day he comes with a lotus flower in his hand and sits silently, saying nothing. And the ten thousand disciples are there, the ten thousand bhikkhus are there, and they are waiting for him to say something, and he goes on looking at the lotus flower. There is great silence, and then there is great restlessness too. People start becoming fidgety — “What is he doing? He has never done that before.”

And then one disciple, Mahakashyapa, smiles.

Buddha calls Mahakashyapa, gives him the lotus flower, and says to the assembly, “What can be said I have said to you, and what cannot be said I have given to Mahakashyapa.”

This is avyakritopadesh, this is the indefinable message. This is the origin of Zen Buddhism, the transmission. Something was transmitted by Buddha to Mahakashyapa, something which is nothing; on the visible plane nothing — no word, no scripture, no theory — but something has been transmitted. What?

The Zen monks have been meditating on this for two thousand five hundred years: “What? What was transmitted? What exactly was given?” In fact, nothing has been given from Buddha to Mahakashyapa; Mahakashyapa has certainly understood something. He understood the silence, he understood the penetrating silence. He understood that moment of clarity, that moment of utter thoughtlessness. He became one, in that moment, with Buddha. That’s what surrender is. Not that he was doing it: Buddha was silent and he was silent, and the silences met, and the two silences dissolved into each other. And two silences cannot remain separate, remember, because a silence has no boundary, a silence is unbounded, a silence is simply open, open from all sides. In that great assembly of ten thousand monks there were two silences that day — Buddha and Mahakashyapa. The others remained outside. Mahakashyapa and Buddha met: that’s why he smiled — because that was the greatest sermon that Buddha had ever preached. Not saying a single thing and he had said all, all that could be said – and all that could not be said, that too.

Mahakashyapa understood and laughed. In that laughter Mahakashyapa disappeared totally, became a Buddha. The flame from the lamp of Buddha jumped into Mahakashyapa. That is called the ‘transmission beyond scriptures’ — the Flower Sermon. It is unique in the history of human consciousness. That is what is called avyakritopadesh: the unspoken word, the unuttered word.

Silence became so substantial, so solid; silence became so real, so existential; silence became tangible in that moment. Buddha was a nothing, Mahakashyapa also understood what it means to be a nothing, to be utterly empty.

There is no difference between Nagarjuna’s shunyavada and Buddha’s unuttered message. Nagarjuna is one of the greatest disciples of Buddha, and one of the most penetrating intellects ever. Only very few people — once in a while, a Socrates, a Shankara — can be compared with Nagarjuna. He was very, very intelligent. The uttermost that the intellect can do is to commit suicide; the greatest thing, the greatest crescendo that can come to the intellect is to go beyond itself — that’s what Nagarjuna has done. He has passed through all the realms of intellect, and beyond.

The logical positivists say that nothing is merely an abstraction. In the various instances of negative assertions — for example: this is not sweet, I am not healthy, I was not there, he did not like me, etcetera, etcetera — negation has no substance of its own. This is what the logical positivists say. Buddha does not agree, Nagarjuna does not agree. Martin Heidegger, one of the most penetrating intellects of the modern age, does not agree.

Heidegger says there is an actual experience of nothing. It is not just something created by language; there is an actual experience of nothing. It is inseparably bound up with being. The experience that attests to this is that of dread. Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, also asks, “What effect does nothing produce?” and answers, “It begets dread.”

Nothing is an actual experience. Either you can experience it in deep meditation, or when death comes. Death and meditation are the two possibilities of experiencing it. Yes, sometimes you can experience it in love too. If you dissolve into somebody in deep love you can experience a kind of nothingness. That’s why people are afraid of love — they go only so far, then panic arises, then they are frightened. That’s why very few people have remained orgasmic — because orgasm gives you an experience of nothingness. You disappear, you melt into something and you don’t know what it is. You go into the indefinable, avyakrit. You go beyond the social. You go into some unity where separation is no longer valid, where ego exists not. And it is frightening, because it is deathlike.

So it is an experience, either in love, which people have learned to avoid — so many go on hankering for love, and go on destroying all possibilities for it because of the fear of nothingness — or, in deep meditation when thought stops. You simply see there is nothing inside, but that nothing has a presence; it is not simply absence of thought, it is presence of something unknown, mysterious, something very huge. Or, you can experience it in death, if you are alert. People ordinarily die in unconsciousness. Because of the fear of nothingness they become unconscious. If you die consciously… And you can die consciously only if you accept the phenomenon of death, and for that one has to learn for the whole life, prepare. One has to love to be ready to die, and one has to meditate to be ready to die. Only a man who has loved and meditated will be able to die consciously. And once you die consciously then there is no need for you to come back, because you have learned the lesson of life. Then you disappear into the whole; that is nirvana.

The logical positivists look very logical, but they miss something —because reality is far more than logic. In ordinary experience we come only to what they say: this chair is here, this will be removed, then you will say there is no chair there. It simply indicates absence – the chair has been removed. These are ordinary instances of nothingness: there was once a house and then it has been dismantled, it is no longer there. It is only an absence.

But there are nothingnesses deep inside your being, at the very core. At the very core of life, death exists. Death is the center of the cyclone. In love you come close to that, in meditation you come close to that, in physical death also you come close to that. In deep sleep, when dreams disappear, you come close to it. It is very life-giving, it is life-enhancing. A man who cannot sleep deeply will become ill, because it is only in deep sleep, when he dies into his deepest depth, that he regains life, energy, vitality. In the morning he is again fresh and full of zest, gusto — vibrant, again vibrant.

Learn to die! That is the greatest art to be learned, the greatest skill there is.

Heidegger’s standpoint comes very close to Buddha’s, and his language is very modern, that’s why I’m quoting him. He says: “Every being, so far as it is a being, is made out of nothing.” There is a parallel Christian doctrine too — very neglected, because Christian theologians cannot manage it, it is too much. The doctrine is creatio ex nihilo: the creation is out of nothing.

If you ask the modern physicist he will agree with Buddha: the deeper you go into matter, things start disappearing. A moment comes, when the atom is divided — thing-hood completely disappears. Then there are electrons, but they are not things anymore, they are no-things. It is very difficult to understand. But physics, modern physics, has come very close to metaphysics — because it is coming closer and closer to reality every day. It is approaching through matter, but coming to nothing. You know matter no longer exists in modern physics. Matter is just an illusion: it only appears, it is not there. The solidity of it, the substantiality of it, is all illusion; nothing is substantial, all is flux and energy. Matter is nothing but energy. And when you go deeper into energy, energy is not a thing, it is a no-thing.

Death is the point at which knowledge fails, and we become open to being — that has been the Buddhist experience down the ages. Buddha used to send his disciples, when somebody had died, to see the body burning on the funeral pyre: “Meditate there, meditate on the nothingness of life.” Death is the point at which knowledge fails, and when knowledge fails, mind fails. And when mind fails, there is a possibility of truth penetrating you.

But people don’t know. When somebody dies you don’t know what to do, you are very embarrassed. When somebody dies it is a great moment to meditate.

I always think that each city needs a Death Center. When somebody is dying and his death is very, very imminent he should be moved to the Death Center. It should be a small temple where people who can go deep in meditation should sit around him, should help him to die, and should participate in his being when he disappears into nothing. When somebody disappears into nothing great energy is released. The energy that was there, surrounding him, is released. If you are in a silent space around him, you will go on a great trip. No psychedelic can take you there. The man is naturally releasing great energy; if you can absorb that energy, you will also kind of die with him. And you will see the ultimate — the source and the goal, the beginning and the end.

“Man is the being by whom nothing comes into the world,” says Jean-Paul Sartre. Consciousness is not this or that object, it is not any object at all; but surely it is itself? “No,” says Sartre, “that is precisely what it is not. Consciousness is never identical with itself. Thus, when I reflect upon myself, the self that is reflected is other than the self that reflects. When I try to state what I am, I fail, because while I am speaking, what I am talking about slips away into the past and becomes what I was. I am my past and my future, and yet I am not. I have been the one, and I shall be the other. But in the present, there is nothingness.”

If somebody asks you, “Who are you?” what are you going to say? Either you can answer out of the past, which is no more, or you can answer out of the future, which you are not yet. But who are you right in this moment? A nobody, a nothingness. This nothingness is the very core, the heart — the heart of your being.

Death is not the ax that cuts down the tree of life, it is the fruit that grows on it. Death is the very substance you are made of. Nothingness is your very being. Attain to this nothingness either through love or meditation, and go on having glimpses of it. This is what Nagarjuna means by shunya. This is what Buddha transferred that day when he delivered the Flower Sermon. This is what Mahakashyapa understood when he laughed. He saw nothingness, and the purity of it, the innocence of it, the primal innocence of it, the radiance of it, the immortality of it — because nothingness cannot die. Things die; nothingness is immortal, eternal.

If you are identified with anything, you will suffer death. But if you know that you are death, how can you suffer death? Then nothing can destroy you; nothingness is indestructible.

A Buddhist parable narrates that the king of hell asked a newly arrived spirit whether during life he had met the three heavenly messengers. And when he answered, “No, my Lord, I did not,” he asked whether he had ever seen an old man bent with age, or a poor and friendless sick man, or a dead man?

Buddhists call these three ‘the messengers of God’: old age, sickness, death — three messengers of God. Why? — because only through these experiences in life do you become aware of death. And if you become aware of death and you start learning how to go into it, how to welcome it, how to receive it, you are released from the bondage, from the wheel of life and death.

Heidegger says, and so does Soren Kierkegaard, that nothingness creates dread. That is only half of the story. Because these two people are just philosophers, that’s why it creates dread.

If you ask Buddha, Mahakashyapa, Nagarjuna, if you ask me, death looked at only partially creates dread; looked at absolutely, totally, it frees you from all dread, from all anguish, from all anxiety, it frees you from samsara… because if you look partly then it creates fear that you are going to die, that you will become a nothing, that soon you will disappear. And naturally you feel nervous, shaken, uprooted. If you look at death totally, then you know you are death, you are made of it. So nothing is going to disappear, nothing is going to remain. Only nothingness is.

Buddhism is not a pessimistic religion as has been thought by many people. Buddhism is the way to get rid of both optimism and pessimism, to get rid of duality.

Start meditating on death. And whenever you feel death close by, go into it through the door of love, through the door of meditation, through the door of a man dying. And if some day you are dying — and the day is going to come one day — receive it in joy, benediction. And if you can receive death in joy and benediction, you will attain to the greatest peak, because death is the crescendo of life. Hidden in it is the greatest orgasm, because hidden in it is the greatest freedom.

Death is making love to God, or God making love to you. Death is cosmic, total orgasm.

So drop all ideas that you carry about death — they are dangerous. They make you antagonistic to the greatest experience that you need to have. If you miss death you will be born again. Unless you have learned how to die, you will go on being born again and again and again. This is the wheel, samsara, the world. Once you have known the greatest orgasm, then there is no need; you disappear, and you remain in that orgasm forever. You don’t remain like you, you don’t remain as an entity, you don’t remain defined, identified with anything. You remain as the whole, not as the part.

This is Nagarjuna’s shunyavada, and this is Buddha’s unspoken message, the unspoken word. They are both the same.

-Osho

From The Heart Sutra, Discourse #2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

All Feelings of Self are False – Osho

The void needs no reliance, Mahamudra rests on nought.

You cannot find more significant words ever uttered. Try to understand every nuance of what Tilopa is trying to say.

The void needs no reliance….

If there is something, it needs a support, it needs a reliance. But if there is nothing, emptiness, there is no need for any support. And this is the deepest realization of all the knowers: that your being is a non-being. To say it is a being is wrong because it is not something, it is not like something. It is
like nothing: a vast emptiness, with no boundaries to it. It is an anatma, a no-self; it is not a self inside you.

All feelings of self are false. All identifications that “I am this and that” are false.

When you come to the ultimate, when you come to your deepest core, you suddenly know that you are neither this nor that – you are no one. You are not an ego, you are just a vast emptiness. And sometimes if you sit, close your eyes and just feel who you are – where are you? And go deeper and you may become afraid, because the deeper you go, the deeper you feel that you are nobody, a nothingness. That’s why people become so scared of meditation. It is a death. It is a death of the ego – and the ego is just a false concept.

Now physicists have come to the same truth through their scientific research deepening into the realm of matter. What Buddha, Tilopa and Bodhidharma reached through their insight, science has been discovering in the outside world also. Now they say there is no substance – substance is a parallel concept of self.

A rock exists; you feel that it is very substantial. You can hit somebody’s head and blood will come out, even the man may die; it is very substantial. But ask the physicists: they say it is a no-substance, there is nothing in it. They say that it is just an energy phenomenon; many energy currents crisscrossing on this rock give it a feeling of substance. Just as you draw many lines crisscrossing on a piece of paper: where many lines cross a point, a point arises. The point was not there; two lines crossing and a point arises: many lines crossing and a big point arises. Is that point really there? Or just lines crossing give an illusion of a point being there?

Physicists say that energy currents crisscrossing create matter. And if you ask what are these energy currents – they are not material, they have no weight, they are non-material. Non-material lines crisscrossing give an illusion of a material thing, very substantial like a rock. Buddha achieved this illumination twenty-five centuries before Einstein, that inside there is nobody; only energy lines crisscrossing give you a feeling of the self. Buddha used to say that the self is just like an onion: you peel it, one layer comes off, another layer is there. You go on peeling, layer by layer, and what remains finally? The whole onion is peeled and you find nothing inside.

Man is just like an onion. You peel layers of thought, feeling, and finally, what do you find? A nothing.

This nothingness needs no support. This nothingness exists by itself. That’s why Buddha says there is no God; there is no need for a God because God is a support. And Buddha says there is no creator because there is no need to create a nothingness. This is one of the most difficult concepts to understand – unless you realize it.

That’s why Tilopa says:

Mahamudra is beyond all words and symbols.

Mahamudra is an experience of nothingness – simply you are not. And when you are not, then who is there to suffer? Who is there to be in pain and anguish? Who is there to be depressed and sad?

And who is there to be happy and blissful? Buddha says that if you feel you are blissful you will become again a victim of suffering, because you are still there. When you are not, completely not, utterly not, then there is no suffering and no bliss – and this is the real bliss. Then you cannot fall back. To attain nothingness is to attain all.

My whole effort with you is also to lead you towards nothingness, to lead you to a total vacuum.

The void needs no reliance, Mahamudra rests on nought. Without making an effort, but remaining loose and natural, one can break the yoke – thus gaining liberation.

The first thing to understand is that the concept of self is created by the mind – there is no self in you.

It happened: a great Buddhist, a man of enlightenment, was invited by a king to teach him. The name of the Buddhist monk was Nagasen, and the king was a viceroy of Alexander. When Alexander went back from India, he left Minander as his viceroy here; his Indian name is Milanda. Milanda asked Nagasen to come and teach him. He was really interested, and he had heard many stories about Nagasen. And many rumors had come to the court: “This is a rare phenomenon! Rarely it happens that a man flowers, and this man has flowered. He has an aroma of something unknown around him, a mysterious energy. He walks on the earth, but he is not of the earth.” He became interested; he invited him.

The messenger who went to Nagasen came back very much puzzled, because Nagasen said, “Yes, if he invites, Nagasen will come – but tell him there is no one like Nagasen. If he invites I will come, but tell him exactly that there is no one like ‘I am.’ I am no more.” The messenger was puzzled, because if Nagasen is no more, then who will come? And Milanda was also puzzled. He said, “This man talks in puzzles. But let him come.” And he was a Greek, this Milanda, and the Greek mind is basically logical.

There are only two minds in the world, the Indian and the Greek. The Indian is illogical, and the Greek is logical. The Indian moves into the dark depths, wild depths, where are no boundaries, everything is vague, cloudy. The Greek mind walks on the logical, the straight, where everything is defined and classified. The Greek mind moves into the known. The Indian mind moves into the unknown, and even more into the unknowable. The Greek mind is absolutely rational; the Indian mind is absolutely contradictory. So if you find too many contradictions in me, don’t be bothered. It is the way… in the East contradiction is the way to relate.

Milanda said, “This man seems to be irrational, gone mad. If he is not then how can he come? But let him come, I will see. I will prove: just by coming he is proving that he is.”

Then came Nagasen. Milanda received him at the gate and the first thing he asked, he said, “I am puzzled: you have come and still you said that you are not.”

Nagasen said, “Still I say. So let us settle it here.”

A crowd gathered, the whole court came there, and Nagasen said, “You ask.”

Milanda asked, “First tell me: if something is not, how can it come? In the first place it is not, then there is no possibility of its coming – and you have come. It is simple logic that you are.” Nagasen laughed and he said, “Look at this ratha” – the bullock cart on which he had come. He said, “Look at this. You call it a ratha, a cart.”

Milanda said, “Yes.”

Then he told his followers to remove the bullocks. The bullocks were removed and Nagasen asked, “Are these bullocks the cart?”

Milanda said, “Of course not.”

Then, by and by, everything from the cart was removed, every part. Wheels were removed and he asked, “Are these wheels the cart?”

And Milanda said, “Of course not!”

When everything was removed and there was nothing, then Nagasen asked, “Where is the cart I had come in?… and we never removed the cart, and all that we have removed you confirmed that this is not the cart. Now where is the cart?”

Nagasen said, “Just like this Nagasen exists. Remove parts and he will disappear.” Just crisscrossing lines of energy: remove the lines and the dot will disappear. The cart is just a combination of parts.

You are also a combination of parts, the “I” is a combination of parts. Remove things and the “I” will disappear. That’s why when thoughts are removed from consciousness, you cannot say “I,” because there is no “I” – just a vacuum is left. When feelings are removed, the self disappears completely.

You are and yet not: just an absence, with no boundaries, emptiness.

This is the final attainment, this state is Mahamudra, because only in that state you can have an orgasm with the whole. Now there is no boundary, no self exists; now there is no boundary to you to divide.

The whole has no boundaries. You must become like the whole – only then there can be a meeting, a merger. When you are empty, you are without boundaries. Suddenly you become the whole. When you are not, you become the whole. When you are, you become an ugly ego. When you are not, you have all the expanse of existence for your being to be.

But these are contradictions. So try to understand: become a little like Naropa, otherwise these words and symbols will not carry anything to you. Listen to me in trust. And when I say listen in trust, I mean I have known this. This is so. I am a witness, I bear witness for it. This is so. It may not be possible to say it, but that doesn’t mean that it is not. It may be possible to say something, that doesn’t mean that it is. You can say something which is not, and you may be incapable of saying something which is. I bear witness about it, but you will be able to understand me only if you are a Naropa, if you listen in trust.

I am not teaching a doctrine. I would not have been at all concerned with Tilopa if this was not my own experience also. Tilopa has said it well:

The void needs no reliance Mahamudra rests on nought.

On nothing Mahamudra rests. Mahamudra, the literal word, means the great gesture, or the ultimate gesture, the last that you can have, beyond which nothing is possible. Mahamudra rests on nothing. You be a nothing, and then all is attained. You die, and you become a god. You disappear, and you become the whole. Here the drop disappears, and there the ocean comes into existence.

Don’t cling to yourself – that’s all you have been doing all your past lives: clinging, afraid that if you don’t cling to the ego, then you look down: a bottomless abyss is there….

That’s why we cling to tiny things, really trivial, we go on clinging to them. The clinging shows only that you are also aware of a vast emptiness inside. Something is needed to cling to, but your clinging
is your samsara, is your misery. Leave yourself in the abyss. And once you leave yourself in the abyss, you become the abyss itself. Then there is no death, because how can an abyss die? Then there is no end to it, because how can a nothingness end? Something can end, will have to end –
only nothing can be eternal. Mahamudra rests on nothing.

Let me explain it to you through some experience that you have got. When you love a person, you have to become a nothing. When you love a person, you have to become a no-self. That’s why love is so difficult. And that’s why Jesus says God is like love. He knows something about Mahamudra –
because before he started teaching in Jerusalem, he has been to India. He has been to Tibet also. He met people like Tilopa and Naropa. He remained in Buddhist monasteries. He learned about what it is that these people call nothingness. Then he tried to translate his whole understanding into
Jewish terminology. There everything got messed up.

You cannot translate Buddhist understanding into Jewish terminology. It is impossible, because the whole Jewish terminology depends on positive terms, and the Buddhist terminology depends on absolutely nihilistic terms: nothingness, emptiness. But here and there in Jesus’ words there are
glimpses. He says, “God is love.” He is indicating something. What is the indication? When you love, you have to become nobody. If you remain somebody, then love never happens.

When you love a person – even for a single moment love happens and flows between two persons – there are two nothingnesses, not two persons. If you have ever had any experience of love, you can understand.

Two lovers sitting by each other’s side, or two nothingnesses sitting together – only then the meeting is possible because barriers are broken, boundaries thrown away. The energy can move from here to there; there is no hindrance. And only in such a moment of deep love is orgasm possible.

When two lovers are making love, and if they are both no-selves, nothingnesses, then orgasm happens. Then their body energy, their whole being, loses all identity; they are no more themselves – they have fallen into the abyss. But this can happen only for a moment: again they regain, again they start clinging. That’s why people become afraid in love also.

In deep love people are afraid of becoming mad, or going to die – of what will happen. The abyss opens its mouth, the whole existence yawns, and you are suddenly there and you can fall into it. One becomes scared of love, then people remain satisfied with sex and they call their sex “love.”

Love is not sex. Sex can happen in love, it can be a part, integral part to it, but sex itself is not love – it is a substitute. You are trying to avoid love through sex. You are giving yourself a feeling that you are in love, and you are not moving into love. Sex is just like borrowed knowledge: giving a feeling of knowing without knowing; giving a feeling of love and loving without loving.

In love you are not, the other is also not: then only, suddenly, the two disappear. The same happens in Mahamudra. Mahamudra is a total orgasm with the whole existence.

That’s why in Tantra – and Tilopa is a Tantra master – deep intercourse, orgasmic intercourse, between lovers is also called Mahamudra, and two lovers in a deep orgasmic state are pictured in tantric temples, in tantric books. That has become a symbol of the final orgasm.

-Osho

Excerpt from Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, Discourse #1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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A Bridge to No-body – Osho

Truth is always here. It is already the case. It is not something to be achieved in the future. You are the truth just here and now, so it is not something which is to be created or something which is to be devised or something which is to be sought. Understand this very clearly; then these techniques will be easy to understand and also to do.

Mind is a mechanism of desiring. Mind is always in desire, always seeking something, asking for something. Always the object is in the future; mind is not concerned with the present at all. In this very moment the mind cannot move – there is no space. The mind needs the future in order to move. It can move either in the past or in the future. It cannot move in the present; there is no space. The truth is in the present, and mind is always in the future or in the past, so there is no meeting between mind and truth.

When the mind is seeking worldly objects it is not so difficult, the problem is not absurd; it can be solved. But when the mind starts seeking the truth the very effort becomes nonsense, because the truth is here and now and the mind is always then and there. There is no meeting. So understand the first thing: you cannot seek truth. You can find it, but you cannot seek it. The very seeking is the hindrance.

The moment you start seeking you have moved away from the present, away from yourself, because you are always in the present. The seeker is always in the present and the seeking is in the future, you are not going to meet whatsoever you are seeking. Lao Tzu says, “Seek not; otherwise you will miss. Seek not and find. Don’t seek and find.”

All these techniques of Shiva’s are simply turning the mind from the future or the past to the present. That which you are seeking is already there, it is the case already. The mind has to be turned from seeking to non-seeking. It is difficult. If you think about it intellectually it is very difficult. How to turn the mind from seeking to non-seeking? – Because then the mind makes non-seeking itself the object! Then the mind says, “Don’t seek.” Then the mind says, “I should not seek.” Then the mind says, “Now non-seeking is my object. Now I desire the state of desirelessness.” The seeking has entered again, the desire has come again through the back door. That is why there are people who are seeking worldly objects, and there are people who think they are seeking non-worldly objects. All objects are worldly because “seeking” is the world.

So you cannot seek anything non-worldly. The moment you seek, it becomes the world. If you are seeking God, your God is part of the world. If you are seeking moksha – liberation – nirvana, your liberation is part of the world, your liberation is not something that transcends the world, because seeking is the world, desiring is the world. So you cannot desire nirvana, you cannot desire non-desire. If you try to understand intellectually, it will become a puzzle.

Shiva says nothing about it, he immediately proceeds to give techniques. They are non-intellectual. He doesn’t say to Devi, “The truth is here. Don’t seek it and you will find it.” He immediately gives techniques. Those techniques are non-intellectual. Do them, and the mind turns. The turning is just a consequence, just a by-product – not an object. The turning is just a by-product.

If you do a technique, your mind will turn from its journey into the future or the past. Suddenly you will find yourself in the present. That is why Buddha has given techniques, Lao Tzu has given techniques, Krishna has given techniques. But they always introduce their techniques with intellectual concepts. Only Shiva is different. He immediately gives techniques, and no intellectual understanding, no intellectual introduction, because he knows that the mind is tricky, the most cunning thing possible. It can turn anything into a problem. Non-seeking will become the problem.

There are people who come to me who ask how not to desire. They are desiring non-desire. Somebody has told them, or they have read somewhere, or they have heard spiritual gossip that if you do not desire you will reach bliss, if you do not desire you will be free, if you do not desire there will be no suffering. Now their minds hanker to attain that state where there is no suffering, so they ask how not to desire. Their minds are playing tricks. They are still desiring, it is only that now the object has changed. They were desiring money, they were desiring fame, they were desiring prestige, they were desiring power. Now they are desiring non-desire. Only the object has changed, and they remain the same and their desiring remains the same. But now the desire has become more deceptive.

Because of this, Shiva proceeds immediately with no introduction whatsoever. He immediately starts talking about techniques. Those techniques, if followed, suddenly turn your mind: it comes to the present. And when the mind comes to the present it stops, it is no more. You cannot be a mind in the present; that is impossible. Just now, if you are here and now, how can you be a mind? Thoughts cease because they cannot move. The present has no space in which to move; you cannot think. If you are in this very moment, how can you move? Mind stops, you attain to no-mind.

So the real thing is how to be here and now. You can try, but effort may prove futile – because if you make it a point to be in the present, then this point has moved into the future. When you ask how to be in the present, again you are asking about the future. This moment is passing in the inquiry, “How to be present? How to be here and now?” This present moment is passing in the inquiry, and your mind will begin to weave and create dreams in the future: some day you will be in a state of mind where there is no movement, no motive, no seeking, and then there will be bliss – so how to be in the present?

Shiva doesn’t say anything about it, he simply gives a technique. You do it, and suddenly you find you are here and now. And your being here and now is the truth, and your being here and now is the freedom, and your being here and now is the nirvana.

The first nine techniques are concerned with breathing. So let us understand something about breathing, and then we will proceed to the techniques. We are breathing continuously from the moment of birth to the moment of death. Everything changes between these two points. Everything changes, nothing remains the same, only breathing is a constant thing between birth and death.

The child will become a youth; the youth will become old. He will be diseased, his body will become ugly, ill, everything will change. He will be happy, unhappy, in suffering; everything will go on changing. But whatsoever happens between these two points, one must breathe. Whether happy or unhappy, young or old, successful or unsuccessful – whatsoever you are, it is irrelevant – one thing is certain: between these two points of birth and death you must breathe.

Breathing will be a continuous flow; no gap is possible. If even for a single moment you forget to breathe, you will be no more. That is why you are not required to breathe, because then it would be difficult. Someone might forget to breathe for a single moment, and then nothing could be done. So, really, you are not breathing, because you are not needed. You are fast asleep, and breathing goes on; you are unconscious, and breathing goes on; you are in a deep coma, and breathing goes on. YOU are not required; breathing is something which goes on in spite of you.

It is one of the constant factors in your personality – that is the first thing. It is something which is very essential and basic to life – that is the second thing. You cannot be alive without breath. So breath and life have become synonymous. Breathing is the mechanism of life, and life is deeply related with breathing. That is why in India we call it prana. We have given one word for both – prana means the vitality, the aliveness. Your life is your breath.

Thirdly, your breath is a bridge between you and your body. Constantly, breath is bridging you to your body, connecting you, relating you to your body. Not only is the breath a bridge to your body, it is also a bridge between you and the universe. The body is just the universe which has come to you, which is nearer to you.

Your body is part of the universe. Everything in the body is part of the universe – every particle, every cell. It is the nearest approach to the universe. Breath is the bridge. If the bridge is broken, you are no more in the body. If the bridge is broken, you are no more in the universe. You move into some unknown dimension; then you cannot be found in space and time. So, thirdly, breath is also the bridge between you, and space and time.

Breath, therefore, becomes very significant – the most significant thing. So the first nine techniques are concerned with breath. If you can do something with the breath, you will suddenly turn to the present. If you can do something with breath, you will attain to the source of life. If you can do something with breath, you can transcend time and space. If you can do something with breath, you will be in the world and also beyond it.

Breath has two points. One is where it touches the body and the universe, and another is where it touches you and that which transcends the universe. We know only one part of the breath. When it moves into the universe, into the body, we know it. But it is always moving from the body to the “no-body,” from the “no-body” to the body. We do not know the other point. If you become aware of the other point, the other part of the bridge, the other pole of the bridge, suddenly you will be transformed, transplanted into a different dimension.

But remember, what Shiva is going to say is not yoga, it is tantra. Yoga also works on breath, but the work of yoga and tantra is basically different. Yoga tries to systematize breathing. If you systematize your breathing your health will improve. If you systematize your breathing, if you know the secrets of breathing, your life will become longer; you will be more healthy and you will live longer. You will be stronger, more filled with energy, more vital, alive, young, fresh.

But tantra is not concerned with that. Tantra is concerned not with any systematization of breath, but with using breath just as a technique to turn inward. One has not to practice a particular style of breathing, a particular system of breathing or a particular rhythm of breathing – no! One has to take breathing as it is. One has just to become aware of certain points in the breathing.

There are certain points, but we are not aware of them. We have been breathing and we will go on breathing – we are born breathing and we will die breathing – but we are not aware of certain points.

And this is strange. Man is searching, probing deep into space. Man is going to the moon; man is trying to reach farther, from earth into space, and man has not yet learned the nearest part of his life. There are certain points in breathing which you have never observed, and those points are the doors – the nearest doors to you from where you can enter into a different world, into a different being, into a different consciousness. But they are very subtle.

To observe a moon is not very difficult. Even to reach the moon is not very difficult; it is a gross journey. You need mechanization, you need technology, you need accumulated information, and then you can reach it. Breathing is the nearest thing to you, and the nearer a thing is, the more difficult it is to perceive it. The nearer it is, the more difficult; the more obvious it is, the more difficult. It is so near to you that again there is no space between you and your breathing. Or, there is such a small space that you will need a very minute observation, only then will you become aware of certain  points. These points are the basis of these techniques.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #3

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Osho describes the first technique here Between Two Breaths.

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The Last Technique – Osho

This is the last technique Osho gives in The Book of Secrets. With the first techniques he begins with watching the breath and onto developing the witness, he continues through 112 techniques in total, introducing many doors into our interiority, and then finally, he leaves us here in our utter aloneness.

Enter space, supportless, eternal, still. 

Three qualities of space have been given in this technique. Supportless: there can be no support in space. Eternal: it can never end. Still: it will be soundless, it will be silent. Enter this space, it is within you.

But the mind always asks for support. People come to me and if I say to them, “Just sit silently, with closed eyes, and don’t do anything,” they say, “Give me some avalamban, some support. Give me some mantra as a support, because I cannot sit.” Just sitting is difficult. If I give them a mantra, it is okay. They can go on repeating the mantra. Then it is easy. With support you are never empty, that’s why it is easy. Something must go on, you must be doing something. Doing, the doer remains: doing, you are filled. You may be filled with aumkar, aum, Ram, Jesus, Ave Maria, anything – you may be filled with anything, but you are filled. Then you are okay Mind resists emptiness. It wants always to be filled by something else, because if it is filled it can be. If it is not filled it will disappear. In emptiness you will attain no no-mind. That’s why mind asks for support.

If you want to enter inner space, don’t ask for support. Drop all supports, mantras, gods, scriptures, whatsoever gives you a support. If you feel you are supported, drop it, and just move inside – supportless. It will be fearful; you will feel scared. You are moving to where you can be lost completely. You may not be able to come back because all supports will be lost. Your contact with the bank is lost and where this river will lead you, no one knows. Your support is lost. You may fall into an infinite abyss. Hence, fear grips you, and you ask for some support. Even if it is a false support, you enjoy it. Even a false support is helpful. Because for the mind it makes no difference whether a support is real or false – it must be a support, that’s the point. You are not alone, something is there and supporting you.

It happened once that a man came to me. He was living in a house where he felt there were spirits and ghosts. And he was very worried. Through worries, he started seeing more illusions. Through worries, he became ill, weak. His wife said, “If you live any longer in this house, I am leaving.” His children were sent to some relative’s house.

The man came to me and he said, “It has become very difficult now. I see them clearly. They walk in the night. The whole house is filled with spirits. You help me.” So I gave him one of my pictures and said, “Take it. Now I will tackle those spirits. You simply sleep silently, you need not worry. Really, I will tackle them, I will see to them. Now it is my business. And don’t interfere. Now you need not be concerned.” The man came the next day. He said, “I slept, it was so beautiful! You have done a miracle!”

And I had not done anything but give a support. Through support the mind was filled. It was no longer vacant; someone was there.

In ordinary life you are leaning on many false supports, but they help. And unless you become strong enough, you will need them. That’s why I say that this is the ultimate technique – no support.

Buddha was dying and Anand asked him, “Now you are leaving us, what shall we do? How shall we attain? How shall we proceed now? When the master is gone, we will be wandering in darkness for many, many lives. No one is there to lead us, to guide us, the light is going out.” So Buddha said, “It will be good for you. When I am no more, you become your own light. Move alone, don’t ask for any support, because support is the last barrier.”

And it happened. Anand had not become enlightened. For forty years he was with Buddha, he was the closest disciple, he was just like a shadow to Buddha, moving with him, living with him; he had had the longest contact with him. For forty years Buddha’s compassion was falling over him, raining over him – for forty years. But nothing happened, Anand remained as ignorant as ever. And the day after Buddha died, Anand became enlightened – the next day, the very next day. The very support had been the barrier. When there was no more Buddha, Anand could not find any support. It is difficult. If you live with a Buddha, and the Buddha goes, then no one can be a support to you. Now no one will be worth clinging to. One who has been clinging to a Buddha cannot cling to anybody else in this world. This whole world will be vacant. Once you have known a Buddha and his love and compassion, then no love, no compassion can compare. Once you have tasted that, nothing else is worth tasting. So Anand was alone for the first time in forty years, totally alone. There was no way to find a support. He had known the highest support; now lower supports would not do. The next day he became enlightened. He must have moved into the inner space, supportless, eternal, still.

So remember, don’t try to find any support. Be supportless. If you are trying to do this technique, then be supportless. That is what Krishnamurti is teaching, “Be supportless. Don’t cling to a master.  Don’t cling to anything.”

That is what every master has been doing. A master’s whole effort is first to attract you towards him, so that you start clinging to him. When you start clinging to him, when you become close and intimate with him, then he knows that the clinging must be cut. And you cannot cling to anyone else now – that is finished. You cannot move to anyone else – that is impossible. Then he cuts the clinging and suddenly you are left supportless.

Enter space, supportless, eternal, still. 

That space has no beginning, no end. And that space is absolutely soundless. There is nothing – not even a sound vibrating, not even a ripple. Everything is still.

That point is just within you. Any moment you can enter it. If you have the courage to be supportless, this very moment you can enter it. The door is open. The invitation is for all, all and everyone. But courage is needed; courage to be alone, courage to be empty, courage to dissolve and melt, courage to die. And if you can die within to your inner space, you will attain to the life which never dies, you will attain to amrit, to immortality.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse 79

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

All 112 of Shiva’s meditation techniques (Vigyan Bhairav Tantra)

Here you can listen to the complete meditation technique Enter Space, Supportless, Eternal, Still.

Osho’s discourses on the meditation techniques of Vigyan Bhairav Tantra

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.

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I am Not Asking You to Start Seeing God in Everything – Osho

The method that you have shown us for realizing the truth or the universal self is of negating everything and knowing oneself. Is the opposite of it not also possible: that we try to see the universal self in all, that we feel it in the whole?

It will be helpful to understand this.

One who cannot realize godliness within himself can never realize it in all. One who has not yet recognized godliness within himself can never recognize it in others. The self means that which is nearest to you; then anyone who is at a little distance from you will have to be considered as being farther away. And if you cannot see godliness in yourself, which is nearest you, you cannot possibly see it in those far from you. First you will have to know godliness in yourself; first the knower will have to know the divine — that is the nearest door.

But remember, it is very interesting that the individual who enters his self suddenly finds the entrance to all. The door to one’s self is the door to all. No sooner does a man enter his self than he finds he has entered all, because although we are outwardly different, inwardly we are not.

Outwardly, all leaves are different from each other. But if a person could penetrate just one leaf, he would reach to the source of the tree where all the leaves are in unison. Seen individually, each leaf is different — but once you have known a leaf in its interiority, you will have reached to the source from which all leaves emanate and into which all leaves dissolve. One who enters himself simultaneously enters all.

The distinction between “I” and “you” remains only so long as we have not entered within ourselves. The day we enter our I, the I disappears and so does the you — what remains then is all.

Actually, “all” does not mean the sum of I and you. All means where I and you have both disappeared, and what subsequently remains is all. If “I” has not yet dissolved, then one can certainly add “Is” and “yous,” but the sum will not equal truth. Even if one adds all the leaves, a tree does not come into being — even though it has had all the leaves added to it. A tree is more than the sum of all the leaves. In fact, it has nothing to do with addition; it is erroneous to add. Adding one leaf to another, we assume each one is separate. A tree is not made of separate leaves at all.

So, as soon as we enter the I, it ceases to exist. The first thing that disappears when we enter within is the sense of being a separate entity. And when that I-ness disappears, you-ness and the other-ness both disappear. Then what remains is all.

It’s not even right to call it “all,” because “all” also has the connotation of the same old I. Hence those who know would not even call it all; they would ask, “The sum of what? What are we adding?” Furthermore, they would declare that only one remains. Although they would perhaps even hesitate to say that, because the assertion of one gives the impression that there are two — it gives the idea that alone one has no meaning without the corresponding notion of two. One exists only in the context of two. Therefore, those who have a deeper understanding do not even say that one remains, they say advaita, nonduality, remains.

Now this is very interesting. These people say that “Two are not left.” They are not saying “One remains,” they are saying “Two are not left.” Advaita means there are not two.

One might ask, “Why do you talk in such roundabout ways? Simply say there is only one!” The danger in saying “one” is that it gives rise to the idea of two. And when we say there are not two, it follows that there are not three either; it implies that there is neither one, nor many, nor all. Actually, this division resulted from the perception based on the existence of “I.” So with the cessation of I, that which is whole, the indivisible, remains.

But to realize this, can we do what our friend is suggesting — can we not visualize God in everyone? To do so would be nothing more than fantasizing and fantasizing is not the same as perceiving the truth. Long ago some people brought a holy man to me. They told me this man saw God everywhere, that for the last thirty years he had been seeing God in everything — in flowers, plants, rocks, in everything. I asked the man if he had been seeing God in everything through practice because if that were so then his visions were false. He couldn’t follow me. I asked him again, “Did you ever fantasize about or desire to see God in everything?” He replied, “Yes indeed. Thirty years ago I started this sadhana in which I would attempt to see God in rocks, plants, mountains, in everything. And I began to see God everywhere.” I asked him to stay with me for three days and, during that period, to stop seeing God everywhere.

He agreed. But the very next day he told me, “You have done me great harm. Only twelve hours have passed since I gave up my usual practice and I have already begun to see a rock as a rock and a mountain as a mountain. You have snatched my God away from me! What sort of a person are you?”

I said, “If God can be lost by not practicing for just twelve hours, then what you saw was not God — it was merely a consequence of your regular exercise.” It is similar to when a person repeats something incessantly and creates an illusion. No, God has not to be seen in a rock; rather, one needs to reach a state in which there is nothing left to be seen in a rock except God. These are two different things.

Through your efforts to see him there, you will begin to see God in a rock, but that God will be no more than a mental projection. That will be a God superimposed by you on the rock; it will be the work of your imagination. That God will be purely your creation; he will be a complete figment of your imagination. Such a God is nothing more than your dream — a dream which you have consolidated by reinforcing it again and again. There is no problem seeing God like this, but it is living in an illusion, it is not entering truth.

One day, of course, it happens that the individual himself disappears and, consequently, he sees nothing but God. Then one doesn’t feel that God is in the rock, then the feeling is “Where is the rock? Only God is!” Do you follow the distinction I am making? Then one doesn’t feel that God exists in the plant or that he exists in the rock; that the plant exists and, in the plant, so does God — no, nothing of the kind. What one comes to feel is “Where is the plant? Where is the rock? Where is the mountain?”… because all around, whatever is seen, whatever exists is only God. Then seeing God does not depend upon your exercise, it depends upon your experience.

The greatest danger in the realm of sadhana, of spiritual practice, is the danger of imagination. We can fantasize truths which must otherwise become our own experience. There is a difference between experiencing and fantasizing. A person who has been hungry the whole day eats at night in his dream and feels greatly satisfied. Perhaps he does not find as much joy in eating when he is awake as he does when he is dreaming — in the dream he can eat any dish he wants. Nevertheless, his stomach still remains empty in the morning, and the food he has consumed in his dream gives him no nourishment. If a man decides to stay alive on the food he eats in dreams, then he is sure to die sooner or later. No matter how satisfying the food eaten in the dream may be, in reality it is not food. It can neither become part of your blood, nor your flesh, nor your bones or marrow. A dream can only cause deception.

Not only are meals made of dreams, God is also made of dreams. And so is moksha, liberation, made of dreams. There is a silence made of dreams, and there are truths made of dreams. The greatest capacity of the human mind is the capacity to deceive itself. However, by falling into this kind of deception, no one can attain joy and liberation.

So I am not asking you to start seeing God in everything. I am only asking you to start looking within and seeing what is there. When, to see what is there, you begin to look inside, the first person to disappear will be you — you will cease to exist inside. You will find for the first time that your I was an illusion, and that it has disappeared, vanished. As soon as you take a look inside, first the I, the ego, goes. In fact, the sense that “I am” only persists until we have looked inside ourselves. And the reason we don’t look inside is perhaps because of the fear that, if we did, we might be lost.

You may have seen a man holding a burning torch and swinging it round and round until it forms a circle of fire. In reality there is no such circle, it is just that when the torch is swinging round with great speed, it gives the appearance of a circle from a distance. If you see it close up, you will find that it is just a fast-moving torch, that the circle of fire is false. similarly, if we go within and look carefully, we will find that the “I” is absolutely false. Just as the fast-moving torch gives the illusion of a circle of fire, the fast-moving consciousness gives the illusion of I. This is a scientific truth and it needs to be understood.

You may not have noticed, but all life’s illusions are caused by things revolving at great speed. The wall looks very solid; the rock under your feet feels clearly solid, but according to scientists there is nothing like a solid rock. It is now a well-known fact that the closer scientists observed matter, the more it disappeared. As long as the scientist was distant from matter, he believed in it. Mostly it was the scientist who used to declare that matter alone is truth, but now that very scientist is saying there is nothing like matter. Scientists say that the fast movement of particles of electricity creates the illusion of density. Density, as such, exists nowhere.

For example, when an electric fan moves with speed, we cannot see the three moving blades; one cannot actually count how many there are. If it moves even faster, it will appear as if a piece of circular metal is moving. It can be moved so fast that even if you sat on top of it, you wouldn’t feel the gap between the blades; you would feel as if you were sitting on top of solid metal.

The particles in matter are moving with similar speed — and the particles are not matter, they are fast-moving electric energy. Matter appears dense because of fast-moving particles of electricity. The whole of matter is a product of fast-moving energy — even though it appears to exist, it is actually nonexistent. Similarly, the energy of consciousness is moving so fast that, because of it, the illusion of I is created.

There are two kinds of illusions in this world: one, the illusion of matter; second, the illusion of I, the ego. Both are basically false, but only by coming closer to them does one become aware they don’t exist. As science draws closer to matter, matter disappears; as religion draws nearer I the I disappears. Religion has discovered that the I is nonexistent, and science has discovered that matter is nonexistent. The closer we come, the more we become disillusioned.

That’s why I say: go within; look closely — is there any I inside? I am not asking you to believe that you are not the I. If you do, it will turn into a false belief. If you take my word for it and think, “I am not; the ego is false. I am atman, I am brahman; the ego is false,” you will throw yourself into confusion. If this merely becomes a repetitive thing, then you will only be repeating the false. I am not asking you for this sort of repetition. I am saying: go within, look, recognize who you are. One who looks within and recognizes himself discovers that “I am not.” Then who is within? If I am not, then someone else must be there. Just because “I am not,” doesn’t mean no one is there, because even to recognize the illusion, someone has to be there.

If I am not, then who is there? The experience of what remains after the disappearance of I is the experience of God. The experience becomes at once expansive — dropping I, “you” also drops, “he” also drops, and only an ocean of consciousness remains. In that state you will see that only God is. Then it may seem erroneous to say that God is, because it sounds redundant.

It is redundant to say “God is,” because God is the other name of “that which is.” Is-ness is God — hence to say “God is” is a tautology; it isn’t correct. What does it mean to say “God is”? We identify something as “is” which can also become “is not”. We say “the table is,” because it is quite possible the table may not exist tomorrow, or that the table did not exist yesterday. Something which did not exist before may become nonexistent again; then what is the sense in saying “it is”? God is not something which did not exist before, nor is it possible that he will never be again; therefore, to say “God is” is meaningless. He is. In fact, another name for godliness is “that which is.” Godliness means existence.

In my view, if we impose our God on “that which is,” we are pushing ourselves into falsehood and deception. And remember, the Gods we have created are made differently; each has his respective trademark. A Hindu has made his own God, a Mohammedan has his own. The Christian, the Jaina, the Buddhist — each has his own God. All have coined their own respective words; all have created their own respective Gods. A whole great God-manufacturing industry abounds! In their respective homes people manufacture their God; they produce their own God. And then these God-manufacturers fight among themselves in the marketplace the same way the people who manufacture goods at home do. Everyone’s God is different from the other’s.

Actually, as long as “I am,” whatsoever I create will be different from yours. As long as “I am,” my religion, my God will be different from other people’s because they will be the creation of I, of the ego. Since we consider ourselves separate entities, whatever we create will have a separate character. If, to create religion, the appropriate freedom could be granted, there would be as many religions in the world as there are people — not less than that. It is because of the lack of the right kind of freedom that there are so few religions in the world.

A Hindu father takes certain care to make his son a Hindu before he becomes independent. A Mohammedan father makes his son a Mohammedan before he becomes intelligent, because once intelligence is attained, a person won’t want to become either a Hindu or a Mohammedan. And so there is the need to fill a child with all these stupidities before he achieves intelligence.

All parents are anxious to teach their children religion right from childhood, because once a child grows up he will start to think and to cause trouble. He will raise all sorts of questions — and not finding any satisfactory answers, will do things difficult for the parents to face. This is why parents are keen to teach their children religion right from infancy — when the child is unaware of many things, when he is vulnerable to learning any kind of stupidity. This is how people become Mohammedans, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Christians — whatsoever you teach them to become.

And so, those we call religious people are often found to be unintelligent. They lack intelligence, because what we call religion is something which has poisoned us before intelligence has arisen — and even afterwards it continues its inner hold. No wonder Hindus and Mohammedans fight with each other in the name of God, in the name of their temples and their mosques.

Does God come in many varieties? Is the God Hindus worship of one kind, and the God the Mohammedans worship of another? Is that why Hindus feel their God is desecrated if an idol is destroyed. Or Mohammedans feel their God is dishonored if a mosque is destroyed or burned?

Actually, God is “that which is.” He exists as much in a mosque as he does in a temple. He exists as much in a slaughterhouse as he does in a place of worship. He exists as much in a tavern as he does in a mosque. He is as present in a thief as he is in a holy man — not one iota less; that can never be. Who else is dwelling in a thief if not the divine? He is as present in Rama as he is in Ravana — he is not one iota less in Ravana. He exists as much within a Hindu as he does within a Mohammedan.

But the problem is: if we come to believe that the same divinity exists in everyone, our God manufacturing industry will suffer heavily. So in order to prevent this from happening, we keep on imposing our respective Gods. If a Hindu looks at a flower he will project his own God on it, see his God in it, whereas a Mohammedan will project, visualize his God. They can even pick a fight over this, although perhaps such a Hindu-Mohammedan conflict is a little far-fetched.

Their establishments are at a little distance from each other — but there are even quarrels between the closely related “divinity shops.” For example, there is quite a distance between Benares and Mecca, but there is not much distance in Benares between the temples of Rama and Krishna. And yet the same degree of trouble exists there.

I have heard about a great saint… I am calling him great because people used to call him great, and I am calling him a saint only because people used to call him a saint.

He was a devotee of Rama. Once he was taken to the temple of Krishna. When he saw the idol of Krishna holding a flute in his hands, he refused to bow down to the image. Standing before the image, he said, “If you would take up the bow and arrow, only then could I bow down to you, for then you would be my Lord.” How strange! We place conditions on God also — how and in which manner or position he should present himself. We prescribe the setting; we make our requirements — only then are we prepared to worship.

It is so strange we determine what our God should be like. But that’s how it has been all along. What, up to now, we have been identifying as “God”, is a product based on our own specifications. As long as this man-made God is standing in the way, we will not be able to know that God who is not determined by us. We will never be able to know the one who determines us. And so we need to get rid of the man-made God if we wish to know the God which is. But that’s tough; it’s difficult even for the most kindhearted person. Even for someone we otherwise consider a man of understanding, it’s hard to get rid of this man-made God. He too clings firmly to the basic foolishness as much as a stupid man does. A stupid man can be forgiven, but it is difficult to forgive a man of understanding.

Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan arrived in India recently. He is preaching Hindu-Mohammedan unity all over the country, but he himself is a staunch Mohammedan; about this, there is not the slightest doubt. It doesn’t bother him that he prays in the mosque like a loyal Mohammedan, yet he is going about preaching Hindu-Mohammedan unity. Gandhi was a staunch Hindu, and he also used to preach Hindu-Mohammedan unity. As the guru, so is the disciple: the guru was a confirmed Hindu; the disciple is a confirmed Mohammedan. And so long as there are confirmed Hindus and confirmed Mohammedans in the world, how can such unity come about? They need to relax a little, only then unity is possible. These zealous Hindus and Mohammedans are at the root of all the trouble between the two religions, although the roots of these troubles are not really visible. Those who preach Hindu-Mohammedan unity do not have the vaguest idea how to bring it about.

As long as God is different things to different people, as long as there are different places of worship for different people, as long as prayers are different and scriptures are different — Koran being father for some and Gita being mother for others — the vexing troubles between religions will never come to an end. We cling to the Koran and the Gita. We say, “Read the Koran and teach people to drop enmity and to become one. Read the Gita and teach people to drop enmity and to become one.” We don’t realize, however, that the very words of Koran and Gita are the root cause of all the trouble.

If a cow’s tail gets cut off, a Hindu-Mohammedan riot will break out, and we will blame ruffians for causing the fight. And the funny thing is that no hoodlum has ever preached that the cow is our sacred mother. This is actually taught by our mahatmas, our holy men, who put the blame for creating riots on “hoodlums”. … Because when the tail does get cut off, then for the mahatmas’ purpose, it is not the tail of the cow, it is the tail of the holy mother! When they bring this to people’s attention, the riots begin, in which the hoodlums get involved and are later blamed for starting them.

So the people we call mahatmas are in fact at the root of all such troubles. Were they to step aside, the hoodlums would be harmless, they would have no power to fight. They get strength from the mahatmas. But the mahatmas remain so well hidden underground that we never ever realize they could be at the root of the problem.

What is the root of the problem, really? The root cause of all the trouble is your God — the God manufactured in your homes. Try to save yourselves from the gods you create in your respective homes. You cannot manufacture God in your homes; the existence of such a God will be pure deception.

I am not asking you to project God. After all, in the name of God, what will you project? A devotee of Krishna will say he sees God hiding behind a bush holding a flute in his hand, while a devotee of Rama will see God holding a bow and arrow. Everyone will see God differently. This kind of seeing is nothing but projecting our desires and concepts. God is not like this. We cannot find him by projecting our desires and our concepts — to find him we will have to disappear altogether. We will have to disappear — along with all our concepts and all our projections. Both things cannot go hand in hand. As long as you exist as an ego, the experience of godliness is absolutely impossible. You as an ego will have to go; only then is it possible to experience it. I cannot enter the door of the divine as long as my I, my ego, exists.

I have heard a story that a man renounced everything and reached the door of the divine. He had renounced wealth, wife, house, children, society, everything, and having renounced all, he approached the door of the divine. But the guard stopped him and said, “You cannot enter yet. First go and leave everything behind.”

“But I have left everything,” pleaded the man.

“You have obviously brought your ‘I’ along with you. We are not interested in the rest; we are only concerned with your ‘I’. We don’t care about whatever you say you have left behind, we are concerned with your ‘I’,” The guard explained. “Go, drop it, and then come back.”

The man said, “I have nothing. My bag is empty — it contains no money, no wife, no children. I possess nothing.”

“Your ‘I’ is still in the bag — go and drop it. These doors are closed to those who bring their ‘I’ along; for them the doors have always been closed,” said the guard.

But how do we drop the I? The I will never drop by our attempts to do so. How can “I” drop the very itself? This is impossible. It will be like someone trying to lift himself up by his shoelaces. How do I drop the I? Even after dropping everything, I will still remain. At the most one might say, “I have dropped the ego,” and yet this shows he is still carrying his “I.” One becomes egoistic even about dropping the ego. Then what should a man do? It’s quite a difficult situation.

I say to you: there is nothing difficult about it — because I don’t ask you to drop anything. In fact, I don’t ask you to do anything. The I, the ego, becomes stronger because of all the doing. I am merely asking you to go within and look for the I. If you find it, then there is no way to drop it. If it always exists there, what is there left to be dropped? And if you don’t find it, then too, there is no way to drop it. How can you drop something which doesn’t exist?

So go within and see if the I is there or not. I am simply saying that one who looks inside himself begins to laugh uproariously, because he cannot find his I anywhere within himself. Then what does remain? What remains then is God. That which remains with the disappearance of the I — could that ever be separate from you? When the I itself ceases to exist, who is going to create the separation? It is the I alone which separates me from you and you from me.

There is the wall of this house. Under the illusion that they divide space into two, walls stand — although space never becomes divided in half; space is indivisible. No matter how thick a wall you erect, the space inside the house and the space outside are not two different things; they are one. No matter how tall you raise the wall, the space inside and outside the house is never divided. The man living inside the house, however, feels that he has divided the space into two — one space inside his house and another outside it. But if the wall were to fall, how would the man differentiate the space within the house from the space without? How would he figure it out? Then, only space would remain.

In the same way, we have divided consciousness into fragments by raising the walls of I. When this wall of I falls, then it is not that I will begin to see God in you. No, then I won’t be seeing you, I’ll only be seeing God. Please understand this subtle distinction carefully.

It will be wrong to say I would begin to see godliness in you — I won’t be seeing you any more, I will only be seeing the divine. It’s not that I would see godliness in a tree — I would no longer see a tree, only the divine. When somebody says godliness exists in each and every atom he is absolutely wrong, because he is seeing both the atom and godliness. Both cannot be seen simultaneously. The truth of the matter is that each and every atom is godliness, not that godliness exists in each and every atom. It is not that some God is sitting enclosed inside an atom — whatever is, is godliness.

Godliness is the name given out of love to “that which is.” “That which is,” is truth — in love we call it godliness. But it makes no difference by which name we call it. I do not ask, therefore, that you begin to see godliness in everyone, I am saying: start looking inside. As soon as you look within, you will disappear. And with your disappearance what you’ll see is God.

-Osho

From And Now and Here, Discourse #3

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