Do We Not Look?

Most of us spend almost all of our time in becoming. We are constantly moving to the next great thing. We are projecting out into the world towards a goal in the future. We are rarely here at home in this moment, in being.

What is driving this movement? What is powering this constant chase for the next? Is it not the hope of being happy sometime in the future? If we were happy now, would we still be chasing the future?

I wonder why it is that we are not happy now. Is there something that we have to obtain first and then we will be happy? Is there something that we have to do first, to make our claim on contentment? Or is it the chasing that is the source of our discontent? Is it not the desire for more, that is not only the driving force for tomorrow but also the seed of our discontent today?

If we truly see the situation that we are in, do we need to do something to get ourselves out of it? How did we get in? If we bang our head into the wall, do we not change course the next time to avoid the pain? So if we continue on a course that has never brought any real happiness, it must be that we have not really seen the situation. We have perhaps thought about it a bit, but not existentially seen what is going on.

So, how to see? What do we do if we want to see something? Do we not Look?

So, let’s Look, and that is where meditation comes in. Meditation is simply giving some space to Look, to see what the situation is. We create an opportunity for life to expose itself, life itself, not our projection of life, but life as it is. We give space for reality to blossom.

And the miracle is – when we give that space and we Look at what life is offering at this very moment – then we are no longer in becoming. We are no longer, in that moment, chasing dreams. We are in this moment – Being. And Being Is Happiness.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama.

The Decisive Moment is at Hand – Osho

The coming few years are going to be very significant years in man’s history. Now a handful of people will be of no help in matters spiritual. Unless a mighty spirituality is born, unless a mighty and massive spiritual movement sweeps the earth, making its impact on millions of people, it will be impossible to save the world from the mire of materialism. It will be a very, very momentous moment in man’s life; the coming fifty years are going to be fateful and decisive. Either religion will live, or stark irreligion, all that is against religion, will live.

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These fifty years will also decide about Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna, Jesus, Mohammed, Rama and the rest of them. All these luminaries will be on one side of the scales while on the other side will be the large crowd of insane politicians, materialists and other ignorant people bent on deluding themselves and others too. They are in huge numbers, while only a handful of people will be on one side of the arraignment. And in fifty years’ time the decision will be made.

The struggle that has been going on from time immemorial has reached its moment of decision. And looking at the situation as it obtains at present, there is not much hope. But I am not disappointed because it seems to me that very soon a simple and natural and easy way can be found which will revolutionize the lives of millions of people spiritually.

A few individuals can be of no help in the present times. In olden times it was enough if only one person became enlightened. Now this won’t do. In view of the tremendous explosion of population taking place in the world, a few individuals cannot do a thing. Now something tangible can be possible only if, commensurate with the huge population, hundreds of thousands of people are influenced and involved in spiritualism. And it is possible as I see it. If a few people form a nucleus and begin the work, then India can play a significant role in that momentous fight. No matter how poor and miserable, how degraded and slavish, how misled and misguided this country has been, yet this land has some well-preserved treasures with it. Down the centuries such people have walked this land that their light, their fragrance, their longings have left their vibes in the air, have left their imprint on every blade of grass here. Man has of course gone wrong, but the dust of this land still remembers Buddha’s feet walking it. Man of this country has gone wrong, but the trees still cherish the memory that Mahavira had once stood in their shade. Man has really gone wrong, but the seas surrounding this country still know a different voice they had heard in the past. Man has no doubt gone astray, but the skies of this country are still full of hopes. Everything is there, only man has to come back home.

Of late, I have been constantly praying with the hope that collective explosion in the lives of millions of people may be possible. And you can be of great help in this endeavor. Such explosion in your own life will have immense value not only for you, but for all mankind. With this hope and prayer that you will not only light your own lamps, but that your light will help other extinguished lamps to be lighted, I bid you farewell. I am grateful to you for having listened to me in peace and with such love, and I bow down to God sitting within each one of you. Please accept my salutation.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, Discourse #8

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation 

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. 

Cancer Provided the Poke I Needed – Devageet

Devageet left his body on January 26, 2020. A beautiful tribute page can be found on OSHONEWS.

 

I have a cancer.

It has stripped away my tomorrows.

My tree of life has been stripped down to essentials.

There is a new purity of intent.

Priorities are put to the test.

Cancer has dissolved procrastination, and

I am left joyous and grateful.

Cancer stole my baggage,

Now, unexpectedly, I fly higher.

Perhaps I am fooling myself.

How can I know?

Simply by reaching deep into my heart.

There I find joy, good humour, gratitude and delight.

Alone in the night; I wake several times nowadays, the cancer reveals itself as an awakener.

My sleep has been deep but now,

Thanks to oncology, I have surged beyond psychology.

What a Laugh!

I do not need to know what comes next.

I do need to simply be present here-now.

Laughter, joy, meditation, love, friendship,

Are with me on this surprising journey.

They are here, now, as I write.

Even this chemotherapy is proving an unexpected friend.

Who could have guessed? Not me.

I remember Osho saying,

Never act out of fear.

Acting out of fear, even if it appears to be right, it is always seen, sooner or later, as wrong.

I search myself for fear.

Is it hiding?

I have not found it yet.

But the search has found another unexpected jewel:

Meditation and awareness can now penetrate even my sleep.

Cancer provided the poke I needed.

I had long regarded myself as chairman of the ‘slow learners’ club.

Slow or not, cancer has shown something has happened, and continues to happen.

Yes, I may be fooling myself.

So what!

I am in truth, consciousness and bliss.

Sitting here-now, an ancient meditator, full of cytotoxic drugs, quietly grieving over the loss of his beard,

I find myself smiling, then laughing out loud.

I am dancing inside.

I love the ridiculousness of this paradox that is happening.

Who would have guessed?

Not me.

But then, didn’t Osho say, Death comes dancing.

This here-now does not feel like death, more like enhanced life.

Whatever comes, whenever, I am ready,

Grateful far beyond these poor words.

-Devageet

Your Identification Breaks in the Fifth Body, Now You will be the Master – Osho

On which plane does the meditator reach the no-thought state? Are thoughts possible without identifying the consciousness with objects or is identity essential for thought?

The perfect no-thought state is attained in the fifth body but small glimpses begin from the fourth body. Thoughts continue in the fourth body but one begins to observe the gaps between two thoughts. Before the fourth there are thoughts and thoughts and only thoughts; we do not see the gap between the thoughts. In the fourth the intervals begin to appear and the emphasis changes. If you have observed gestalt images you will be able to understand this. Suppose there is a picture of a flight of steps: it can be so drawn that if you look attentively you will observe the steps going up; then if you look again you will see the steps coming down. But the most interesting part is that you cannot observe the steps going up and down simultaneously. You can see only one of the two. When you observe the second picture the first picture will have vanished.

We can make a picture in which two faces can be seen facing each other, complete with nose, eyes and beard. First it will appear as if two men are facing each other. Now paint the faces black leaving the intervening space white. Now you will say that there is a flower pot in this intervening space, and the nose and eyes become the outlines of the pot. You will not be able to see the pot and the two faces at one time. When you see the two faces the pot will not be seen; when the pot is observed the faces will vanish. No matter how hard you try to see them all together the gestalt will change its emphasis. When your emphasis shifts to the faces the pot will vanish; when the emphasis is on the pot the faces will vanish.

Up to the third body the gestalt of our mind has its emphasis on thought. Rama comes, so Rama is visible and his coming is visible. The empty space between Rama and his coming, or the empty space before Rama’s coming and after Rama’s going, is not visible to us. The emphasis is on Rama’s coming; the intervening space is not observed. The change starts from the fourth body. All of a sudden it will strike you that Rama’s coming is no longer very important. When Rama was not coming there was the empty space; when Rama has gone there is the empty space. The empty space begins to come within the focus of your mind: faces disappear; the pot becomes visible. And when your attention is on the empty space you cannot think.

You can do only one of the following two things: as long as you see thoughts you will think, but when you see the empty space you will be empty within. However, this will keep alternating in the fourth body. Sometimes you will see the two faces and sometimes the pot: that is, sometimes you will see thoughts and sometimes the gap. Silence will come and so will thoughts.

The difference between silence and emptiness is only this: silence means thoughts have not yet ended, but the emphasis is changed. The consciousness has shifted from thought and takes pleasure in silence, but thought still remains. It is only that the consciousness has shifted: the attention has shifted from thoughts. Then the attention is on silence. But thought returns sometimes – and when it manages to draw your attention, again silence is lost and thought begins.

In the last moments of the fourth body the mind will keep alternating between the two. On the fifth plane all thoughts will be lost and only silence will remain. This is not the ultimate silence, because this silence exists in comparison to thought and speech. Silence means not speaking; emptiness means a state where there is neither silence nor speech. Neither the faces remain nor the flower pot; only the blank paper. Now if you are asked whether the faces are there or the flower pot, you will say neither.

The state of no-thought occurs in its totality in the fifth body. At the fourth we get glimpses of this state; it will be observed off and on between two thoughts. At the fifth the no-thought state will become evident and thoughts will disappear.

Now the second part of your question is, “Is identification necessary for the formation of thoughts, or can thoughts occur without any identification?” Up to the third body identification and thought come simultaneously. There is your identification and there is the coming of thought: there is no interval between the two. Your thoughts and you are one – not two. Now when you are angry it is wrong to say that you are angry. It would be more correct to say that you have become anger, because in order to be angry it should also be possible for you not to be angry.

For instance, I say, “I am moving my hand.” Then suppose you say, “Now stop your hand,” and I say, “That is not possible; the hands keep moving” – then you may well question what I mean when I say, “I am moving my hand.” I should say, “The hand is moving,” because if I am moving the hand I should be able to stop it. If I cannot stop my hand I cannot claim to be its owner. It has no meaning. Because you cannot stop your thoughts, your identification with them is complete up to the third body. Up to there you are thought.

So up to the third body, by hitting someone’s thoughts we are hitting the person himself. If you tell such a person, “What you say is wrong,” he will never feel that what he says is wrong; he will feel he is wrong. Quarrels and fights take place not because of a statement but because of the ‘I’ – because there is complete identification. To attack your thoughts is to attack you. Even if you say, “It is all right if you do not agree with my way of thinking,” within you will feel that you have been opposed. Many times it happens that the idea in question is left aside and we begin to fight for it merely because we put forth the view and not for any other reason. You support it merely because you have put it forth as your viewpoint – because you have declared it as your scripture, your principle, your argument.

Until the third body there is no distance between you and your thoughts. You are the thought. In the fourth wavering begins. You will begin to get glimpses of the fact that you are something apart and your thoughts are something apart. But so far you are unable to stop your thoughts, because deep within the roots the association still exists. Above on the branches you feel the difference. You sit on one branch and the thoughts on the other and you see they are not you. But deep within you and thoughts are one. Therefore, it seems that thoughts are separate, and it also seems that if my association with them is broken thoughts will stop. But they do not stop. At some deeper level the association with thoughts will continue.

Changes begin to take place on the fourth plane. You begin to get a vague notion of thoughts being different and you being different. You still cannot proclaim this, however, and the thought process is still mechanical. You cannot stop your thoughts, nor can you bring them about. If I can say to you, “Stop anger and show that you are the master,” it can also be said, “Bring about anger and prove that you are the master.” You will ask, “How can this be done? We cannot bring about anger.” The moment you can you are its master. Then you can stop it at any moment. When you are the master the process of bringing on anger and stopping it are both in your hands. If you can bring on anger you can stop it also.

It is also interesting to note that stopping it is a little difficult, but bringing it on is easier. So if you want to be the master first begin by bringing on anger, because this is easier. In the situation of bringing it on you are tranquil, but in the situation of having to stop it you are already angry and so you are not even aware of yourself. Then how will you stop it? Therefore, it is always easier to start the experiment by bringing on anger rather than by stopping it. For instance, you begin to laugh but then you find that you cannot stop laughing; it is difficult. But if you are not laughing and you want to bring on laughter you can do it in a minute or two. Then you will know the secret of laughter – from where it comes and how – and then you will know the secret of stopping it also, and it can be stopped.

At the fourth plane you will begin to see that you are separate and thoughts are separate; that you are not your thoughts. Therefore, whenever the no-thought state occurs – as I said before – the witness also comes, and wherever there are thoughts the witness will be lost. In the intervals between thoughts – that is, in the gaps between thoughts – you will realize your separate identity from the thoughts. Then there is no association between you and the thoughts. But even then you will be a helpless observer. You will not be able to do much, though all efforts are to be made in the fourth body only.

So I have defined two possibilities of the fourth body – one that is natural and the other that is obtained through meditations. You will be alternating between these two. The first possibility is thought and the second is understanding. The moment you attain the second potential of the fourth body – vivek, or understanding – the fourth body will drop as well as the identification of consciousness with mind. When you attain the fifth body two things will drop: the fourth body and this identification.

In the fifth body you can bring on thoughts or not bring them on, as you wish. For the first time thoughts will be a means and will not depend on identification. If you wish to bring on anger you can bring on anger; if you wish to bring on love you can do so. If you do not wish to bring on anything you are at liberty not to do so. If you wish to stop anger that is half-formed you can order it to stop. Whatever thought you want to bring will come to you, and that which you do not wish to bring will not have any power to invade your mind.

There are many such instances in the life of Gurdjieff. People considered him a peculiar man. If two people were sitting before him, he would look toward one with the utmost anger and toward the other with the utmost love. So quickly would he change his expression that the two would carry away different reports about him. Though both had met him together, one would say, “He looks like a dangerous man,” while the other would say, “How full of love he is.” This is very easy on the fifth plane. Gurdjieff was beyond the understanding of people around him. He could instantly bring any kind of expression to his face. There was no difficulty for him in this, but there was difficulty for others.

The reason behind this is that in the fifth body you are the master of yourself; you can bring about any feeling you please. Then anger, love, hatred, forgiveness, all your thoughts, become mere play things; therefore, you can relax when you please. To relax after play is very easy but to relax from life is difficult. If I am only playing at anger I will not sit in anger after you leave the room.

If I am playing the game of talking I will no longer be talking after you go. But if talking is my life-breath, then I shall keep on talking even after you leave. Even if nobody listens, I will listen. I will keep on talking because that is my very life; it is not a play after which I can relax. It is my very life, it has taken hold of me. So such a man will talk even at night. In dreams also he will gather a crowd and speak. In dreams also he will quarrel, he will fight and do all that he has been doing in the daytime. He will keep doing this all the twenty-four hours, because that is his life; that is his very existence.

Your identification breaks in the fifth body. Then for the first time you are at peace, you are empty, by your own free will. But when the need arises you think also. So in the fifth body, for the first time you will be putting your power of thinking to use. It would be better to say that before the fifth body thoughts make use of you; after the fifth you make use of thoughts. Before that it is not correct to say, “I think.” In the fifth body you also come to know that your thoughts are not your own: thoughts of people around you also enter your mind. However, you are not even aware that the thoughts you think to be your own could be someone else’s.

A Hitler is born and the whole of Germany is permeated with his thoughts – but each German feels it to be his own thought. A very dynamic person diffuses his thoughts into the minds of others and they become echoes of the same. This dynamism is as serious as it is deep.

For example, it is two thousand years since Jesus died. The thought waves that he left in the world still grasp the minds of Christians who think that these are their own thoughts. The same is the case with Mahavira, Buddha, Krishna and others. Any kind of dynamic person’s thoughts, whether they are of a good person or an evil one, can catch the hold of the human mind.  The hold of Tamerlane and Genghis Khan upon our minds has not yet been released, nor has the hold of Krishna and Rama. Their thought waves move forever around us, and you are able to catch those thought waves that are conducive to your particular state of mind.

It always happens that a man who is very good in the morning becomes evil by noon. In the morning he moves in the waves of Rama; in the afternoon he may be caught by the waves of Genghis Khan. Receptivity and time cause the difference. The beggar always comes to beg in the morning, because the effect of evil vibrations is at the minimum at the time of the rising sun. As the day progresses and as the sun gets tired of its long journey in the skies the influence gains strength, so the beggar has no hope of charity from others in the evening. If a beggar asks a man early in the morning to give two rupees he will not be able to refuse right away; as the day progresses it is more difficult to say yes to the beggar. By evening the man is tired with the day’s work so now he is fully prepared to refuse. The condition of his mind is quite different now; so also is the entire atmosphere of his surroundings. So the thoughts we feel to be our own also do not belong to us.

This you will experience only in the fifth body, and you will be surprised to see the way thoughts come and go. The thought comes, then it goes; it catches hold of you, then it leaves you alone. There are a thousand kinds of thoughts – and very contradictory ones too; therefore, there is confusion in our minds. Every single person is confused. If thoughts were entirely yours there would be no question of confusion. Your one hand catches hold of Genghis Khan and the other catches hold of Krishna, so there is bound to be confusion. Both of these sets of thought waves lie in wait for you, and as soon as you show your readiness they enter within. They are present all around you.

All this you will come to know when your identification with thoughts breaks completely. The biggest change will be that until this time you will have thoughts, but now you will have thinking. There is a difference between the two. Thoughts are atomic: they come and go and they are always alien. To say that thoughts are always alien is quite correct. Thinking is ours, but thoughts are alien. This thinking will start within you after the fifth body. Then you will be able to think; you will no longer be merely collecting the thoughts of others. Therefore, the thinking of the fifth body is never a burden upon you, because it is your own. This thinking that is born in the fifth body may be called wisdom or understanding or whatever you like to call it.

At the fifth plane you have your own intuition, your own understanding, your own intelligence. At the fifth the influence of all outside thoughts will end, and in this sense you will be the master of yourself; you will attain your being; you will become your self. Now you will have your own thoughts, your own power of thinking, your own eyes and your own vision. After this only what you wish will come to you; what you do not wish will never come near you. You can think just what you want to think; other thoughts cannot invade you. Now you will be the master. Here the question of identification does not arise.

In the sixth body thinking is also not required. Thoughts are necessary up to the fourth body; thinking and wisdom are necessary in the fifth. On the sixth plane even these end, because there they are not required at all. You become cosmic; you become one with the Brahman. Now there is no other.

In fact, all thoughts are always related to the other. The thoughts before the fourth body are unconscious links with others. The thoughts of the fifth body are conscious links but they are still related to others. After all, why are thoughts necessary? They are required only to establish a relationship with others. Until the fourth they are unconscious links; at the fifth they are conscious links. But at the sixth no “other” remains for establishing links. All relatedness is finished; only the cosmic remains. I and thou are now one. Now there is no place, no reason for thought to exist.

The sixth is the Brahman – the cosmic reality, where there are no thoughts. In the Brahman there are no thoughts; therefore, it can be said that in the Brahman there is knowing. Actually, the thoughts which exist up to the fourth body are unconscious thoughts; they contain a deep ignorance. It shows that we need thoughts to fight with this self-ignorance. At the fifth there is knowing of the self within, but we are still ignorant about that which is other to us; the other is still there for us. Therefore, there is the need to think in the fifth body. At the sixth there is no inside or outside, there is no I or thou, there is no this or that. Now there is no distance to justify thoughts. Now what is, is. Therefore, at the sixth there is only knowing, not thoughts.

At the seventh knowing also does not exist, because he who knew is no more and that which could be known is no more. So even knowing is not on the seventh plane. The seventh plane is not knowing-less, but beyond knowing. If you like you can call it a state of ignorance also. That is why it is always the case that a man of ultimate consciousness and an absolutely ignorant person seem identical – because their behavior is often similar. This is why there is always a great similarity between a small child and an old man who has attained enlightenment: they are not actually the same but superficially they seem alike. Sometimes an enlightened sage acts in a childlike way; sometimes in the behavior of a child we get a glimpse of saintliness. Sometimes an enlightened one looks like an absolutely ignorant person, an absolute fool, and it would seem that no one could be as foolish as he. But the sage has gone beyond knowledge and the child is still below knowledge. The similarity lies in the fact that they both are outside of knowledge.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, Discourse #20, Q3

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Related post: Mysteries of the Seven Bodies

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.

Enlightenment is Not Superhuman – Osho

In discourse I followed past words, disregarding feelings, into air and the pattern of my being.  Is it really this simple? Now moving into mysterious depths, no universal visions – just me, here amongst the birds, the trees, the people – In all its suchness. No searching, no longing, just living me… I know this to be true, but I also need your answer. In this context, then what is enlightenment?

Dhyan Sarvam, the question that you have asked is not a question, but an expression of what you are feeling. What you are feeling is, “no universal visions – just me, here amongst the birds, the trees, the people – in all its suchness. No searching, no longing, just living me… I know this to be true, but I also need your answer.” Then your knowing is not complete. Your knowing has hidden behind it a doubt; otherwise there is no need of any answer. If you know, then what is the need of my answer?

But I can understand your problem – on the one hand you know the beauty of this moment, the blissfulness of here-now, and yet there is a suspicion underground raising the question, “Is it really true? Is it all? Or is there something more?” And this doubt is arising because of a simple thing. If you had looked at your question a little more deeply, you would have found, “No universal visions – just me.” This “me” is the source of your doubt. If you had said, “No universal visions, no me, here amongst the birds, the trees, the people – in all its suchness. No searching, no longing, just living me….” That “me” is the block. In suchness there is no “me,” only a pure isness – no “I,” no “thou.” And when there is no searching, no longing, the ego cannot exist even for a split second. The searching, the longing, the desiring – these are the very heartbeats of the ego.

You say, “I know this to be true.” You do not know, your mind is deceiving you, because you are still there – in knowing you cannot be. Knowing drowns the “I” and then there is a certainty, “This is true.” But wherever you find the “I” lingering in some way, beware of it. Its deception is going too far.

You are asking, “In this context, what is enlightenment?” In this context there is no enlightenment. But if the “I” and the “me” have also dissolved in the suchness of things, in the isness of existence, then this would have been the enlightenment. Just a little more awareness… you are very close to it. But don’t take it for granted that you have arrived. The old mind tries to the very end; when you are entering the boundaries of enlightenment, then too, it goes on trying with all its power to hold you back.

The experience is beautiful, but your ego is making it not reach to its ultimate climax. You drop the “me,” you drop the “I”, and there will be no need to answer there will be no need for recognition – you will know. But you will not be there, only the knowing will be there, that, “This is it.”

Everybody has to remember about the old mind. It is such a long habit; for many, many lives you have remained attached to it. So it is not surprising that when you are departing from it, it clings to you – perhaps just the last hug, but the hug can go on being prolonged.

I have heard…. An old Jew is run over in front of a church. A priest runs out and whispers in his ear, “Do you believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost?” The Jew opens his eyes and says, “I am dying and he is asking me riddles!”

Although he is dying he has a Jewish conditioning and the priest is asking from the background of a Christian mind.

You were very close. You just missed by inches, not even miles. When you again feel this – and you will feel this…. It is a great achievement to feel the pure space of no searching, no longing, no universal visions, to feel only the birds singing in the trees, the people all around. But you are missing; you are no more there. Just gather courage not to be, and this very experience becomes enlightenment.

Enlightenment is not something superhuman; it is your basic right. But your ego goes on postponing it, goes on bringing itself between you and your enlightenment. And in such subtle ways that unless you are very alert, you are going to be deceived. When you felt no searching, no longing, you could have felt just life, just living. Why just “living me”? Why confine living to a small prison of “me”?

Feel the heartbeat of the whole universe and let your own separation be dissolved into it. Then you would have said, “The knowing has happened; this is it and there is no other enlightenment.” The absence of the ego and the presence of universal consciousness is what enlightenment means.

-Osho

From The Razor’s Edge, Discourse #18

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.

An Inquiry in Being

Ordinarily we exist in what we might call the outer body. Our identification is through the senses which include the mind. We think of ourselves as others see us. We picture a body and face that we have met in the mirror. Because others have varying opinions of our ‘person’ality our identity is somewhat confused. Sometimes we think of ourselves as kind and generous, other times we are mean spirited. Some people perceive us as direct while still others as arrogant. Some people see us as passive and other people see a weakling.

It is not that one perception is truer than another but rather that our real being resides on a deeper level than the personality. We know that our personality has been shaped in large part by our family, school, religious upbringing, social conditionings and the interactions with the personality type that we were born with.

At some point an inner longing to know ourselves on this deeper level arises and this is the fuel to propel us on our quest. This inner longing wants to know itself. It wants to discover what is real and what is not. And so the conscious journey begins. We look into psychology, we look into Yoga, we explore religion, we are pulled by the path of love or alternatively we discover meditation.

We can call meditation the conscious movement into the center. Meditation begins with an act of will. It begins with a desire to know oneself. In order to know oneself we begin with mindfulness. We begin by bringing attention to each and every act we do. We observe ourselves eating. We eat with awareness. We witness the hand moving towards the plate. We watch the food coming towards our mouth. We pay attention to the tasting and then the chewing. We take note of how the food makes us feel. This attention to our acts can be extended to any of our activities when we remember and allow the time to do so.

Through this process, we are reclaiming our energy, our attention, which normally is being projected out into the world. It is because of this scatteredness of our energy that we have no sense of ourselves. There is no energy at home. We have scattered our energy by chasing dreams. When we begin the journey with mindfulness we start reclaiming that dispersed energy. Now we have begun to reel in our attention, to bring home our awareness. We have begun the conscious journey home.

With this gathered energy we can begin to direct the attention inwards. We enter the inner body. We feel our selves from the inside. It is a more subtle form of sensing. It is not through the senses but behind sensing. It is a sensing in wholeness. It is undivided. We begin to sense a center to our being. We feel an inner flame.

With the help of meditation we practice techniques that are designed to move us from the periphery into the center. These techniques are simply tools to help us make the jump out of the identification with our body-mind into the inner being, into the inner body.

So let us now in this moment direct our attention to our interiority. Let us feel the sense of being in our interiority. Let us find that which is referred to when we say I. What is I pointing towards. When we point to ourselves do we point to our head, no we point to our heart. Let us feel from the inside that reference point, feel our center.

Following the breath is helpful in moving us towards our center. The breath is a link from the outer to the inner because it moves in both worlds. Watching the breath, following the movement of the breath brings our attention and starts focusing it inwardly. We simply observe the breathing. We are not interested in changing the pattern of breath but instead are interested in the observing itself. We want to strengthen the observer and the breath is always available.

We feel our center and resting in this interior space we watch the breath. Incoming and outgoing. Incoming and outgoing. All the while our sense of well-being is increasing because our energy is resting at home. It is self nourishing. It is self healing. It is being in love. It is not love for something or someone; it is love, being in love.

We notice that with this following our attention inwards there is a feeling of energy moving down from the head and into the body cavity, into the torso. We may feel ourselves centered in the heart area or even in the belly but we do notice a movement out of the head. It is through the brain that we project our attention outwards, through the senses including the mind, so when we redirect that energy on to its return journey we feel that the energy moves back out of the head and down into the heart.

It is important to note that we are retracing the steps of the unconscious outer journey that we have made. We made that outer journey perhaps looking for ourselves or perhaps just in the spirit of exploration but then we got distracted. We are now making the same journey but in the opposite direction. This means that at least unconsciously we know the way. We have already traveled the route.

It is in our interiority that we gather our attention. We feel ourselves. We experience Being. It is not the same kind of sensing as when we sense an object in the outer body it is a more diffused sensing mixed with a knowingness. This we can call Being. We know that we are and feel that we are.

It is with this gathered energy, this increased awareness that we are able to begin to witness all that passes before us. Up until this point we had no being with which to observe. We had no one to witness. Now this attention has created the witness. It is because we have moved beyond or below the outer body that we are fully able to be a witness to it. We are now able to observe the workings of the body-mind because we have moved into the inner body. From this vantage point we are able to witness its comings and goings. We are able to watch consciousness emptying itself. It is from here that we allow our unconscious to see the light of day and dissolve into freedom.

Once we come to a knowingness of our being, we come to an individuality, we know ourselves as something quite apart from the outer body-mind. Then the real self-inquiry begins. It is from here that we see that the inner body, the Being is also an object in our awareness and let-go into no-body, no-self.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama.

Sannyas is Like a Funnel

Sannyas like so many words in India has layers and layers of meanings.

Sannyas is like a funnel. At the top of the funnel and on the periphery are being part of a larger group, the personal love affair with a Master etc. and at the bottom of the funnel, the spout, is initiation into ones own being. Here at the spout all of the outer edge of the funnel is pouring down into the spout.

We have been blessed in this life to have been initiated by our Master into sannyas and so should not squander this opportunity. Sannyas is a door. It is not a conveyor belt. It is not that we just step on the conveyor belt like at an airport and we are deposited at our gate. No it requires us to be vigilant as to what is continuously taking us out through that door. It is not a door that we need to pass through. It is a door which we already are passing through all the time. We pass through the door in search of happiness. But through sannyas we become aware of the door itself and by doing so we discover that it is indeed a door opening into freedom but to our surprise we discover that we have been passing through the wrong side. We have been going out of the door instead of remaining in.

From its very beginning till the very end sannyas is an initiation. It is an initiation into the whole, an initiation into our very own being which for most of us was beyond our experience. Sannyas gave us a taste of life outside of the confines of the ego-mind. Sannyas gave us a glimpse of our dissolution from which we would be reborn living consciously as part of the whole.

Some of us were first attracted by the teachings that were conveyed through one of the hundreds of Osho books or perhaps we heard a discourse. Some of us were attracted by the crazy community that we encountered when we were drawn into the net. And certainly all of us were attracted by the center of that cyclone, Osho, who we saw as a beautiful, amazing and mysterious presence.

But slowly, slowly those attractions began to reveal to us what truly lies at the center of sannyas. We find that each of those attractions began to point to our very own dissolution. The dissolution of separate waves into the ocean of existence.

Sannyas is a movement from the periphery to the center. On the periphery we find community, being a part of something greater than ourselves. On the periphery we are attracted to celebration which we see as dance, song and play. We are attracted to a presence that we see as some kind of mysterious being outside of ourselves which too is on the periphery.

And as we move into these aspects of sannyas we discover that there is less and less of what we began with. We find that more and more of the baggage of conditioning that we came with slowly, slowly starts dropping away. And in this sannyas from time to time we find moments when we find ourselves standing in awareness without any confines of ego-mind. We experience glimpses of life without the shackles of self-identification.

Because Osho has made sannyas so accessible we were able to enter into a land in which we may never have journeyed otherwise. Because of the community that he surrounded himself with, because of the mind-blowing being of truth from which he serenaded us, and because of his simple beauty and grandeur we were able to embark on the greatest journey of all. We were able to begin the return journey to our very own being.

Sannyas is an invitation to make the return journey. It is initiation into our very own being.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama.