Don’t Miss this Opportunity – Osho

I feel so much resistance against meditation and I don’t have this desire for God that you speak about. Is this the right place for me?

If you feel much resistance against meditation, it simply shows that deep down you are alert that something is going to happen which will change your total life. You are afraid of being reborn. You have invested too much in your old habits, in the old personality, in the old identity.

Meditation is nothing but trying to clean your being, trying to become fresh and young, trying to become more alive and more alert. If you are afraid of meditation, it means you are afraid of life, you are afraid of awareness, and the resistance comes because you know that if you move into meditation, something is bound to happen. If you are not resisting at all it may be because you don’t take meditation very seriously. you don’t take meditation very sincerely. Then you can play around. What is there to be afraid of? It is exactly because you are resisting that this is the right place for you. This is precisely the right place for you. The resistance shows that something is going to happen. One never resists without any cause.

You must be living a very dead life. Now you are afraid that something is becoming alive, something is changing. You resist. Resistance is an indication; resistance is a very clear indication that you have suppressed much. Now in meditation that suppression will surface, it will be released. You would also like to be released of the burden but in that burden, there are investments.

For example, you may be carrying pebbles in your hands but you think they are diamonds. And then I tell you, ‘Clean yourself. Drop these pebbles. They have become a burden and you cannot move because of them.’ You would like to be unburdened but then you are afraid that your diamonds will be lost. And they are not diamonds. Look again at your diamonds. If they were really diamonds, you should be happy. If they were really diamonds, you would not have come to me at all. There is no need. If you have come, it shows that you are seeking. You may say that you are not interested in God — I am also not interested in God — but you are interested in yourself. Are you interested in yourself?

Forget all about God. If you are interested in yourself. then this is precisely the place for you. If you are interested in your own being, in your own wholeness and health; if you are interested in becoming a blossomed flower, then forget all about God — because in that blossoming you will know what God is. When your fragrance is released then you will know what God is. God is your ultimate flowering, your final flowering; your destiny fulfilled is what God is all about.

A woman seeing Turner’s pictures said once, ‘Making a lot of fuss over him, are they not? I never saw anything in him myself.’ And another woman said to Turner himself, ‘But you know, Mr. Turner, I never see sunsets like yours.’ She received the mild yet devastating reply, ‘No. Don’t you wish you could?’

When a Turner paints a sunset of course he sees a sunset in a totally different way to you. He brings all his sensitivity, his whole being, to see it. In fact, you may not have ever seen a sunset the way a painter looks at it. Turner says rightly, ‘Don’t you wish you could?’

I’m here. I know you can’t see what I am talking about, but don’t you wish you could? I know that many things I am saying are almost nonsense to you because to see them you will have to attain different eyes, you will have to clarify your being; to see them you will have to pacify your turmoil within. I know you cannot see the green that I am seeing in the trees. Your green is bound to be very dusty because your eyes are full of dust.

It happened once, that a man was staying with a friend at somebody’s house. The host and the guest were standing near the window — the window was closed — and in the neighbor’s house, clothes were hanging out to be dried.

The host said, ‘These people are very dirty. Look at their clothes.’

The man looked, he came closer to the window and he said, ‘Those clothes are not dirty.

Your window glass is covered with dust.’ They opened the windows and it was so. Those clothes were not dirty.

Life is tremendously beautiful. It is Divine. When we say ‘Life is God’ we simply say that life is so tremendously beautiful that one feels a reverence for it. That’s all. Life is so tremendously beautiful that one feels like worshipping it. That’s all we mean when we say ‘Life is God.’ When we say ‘Life is God’ we only mean, ‘Don’t see that life is ordinary. It is extraordinary. There is tremendous potentiality. Just open your eyes.’ I have never seen a person who is not interested in God — although he may not know it — because I have never seen a person who is not interested in happiness. If you are interested in happiness, you are interested in God; if you are interested in being blissful, you are interested in God.

Forget all about God. You just try to be blissful, and one day, when you are dancing in your inner bliss. when the inner juices are flowing, suddenly this life is no longer ordinary. Everywhere some unknown force is hiding and you will see God in the flowers and in the stones and in the stars. I talk to you just to plant a seed, a song, a star. If you can become happy, you become religious. A happy person is a religious person — let that be the definition. A religious person is not one who goes to the church or the temple if he is unhappy, he cannot be religious. A religious person is happy. Wherever he is, he is in the temple. A happy person carries his temple around him. I know it because I have been carrying it. I need not go to any temple. Where I am is my temple. It is a climate. It is my own inner juice overflowing. God is nothing but you realized, reached, fulfilled.

Yes. I say to you, I have never seen a man who is not interested in God. There cannot be. That man is not possible. Even people who say they don’t believe in God, who are atheists, are not uninterested in God. They are interested. Their denying, their saying that they don’t believe may be just a trick of the mind to protect themselves; because once you allow yourself to be possessed by God you disappear, only God remains. So people who are afraid of being, of disappearing, of moving into non-being, people who are too egoistic and cannot allow their drop to drop into the ocean, say there is no ocean. That is the trick of their mind so that they can protect themselves. They are fearful people, afraid, scared of life.

If you are interested in being happy, this is the place for you. And you are already here. Nobody has brought you; nobody has forced you; you have come on your own. Some inner search that you may not be aware of has brought you here. Maybe something is in the heart and your head does not know anything about it. There are desires of which the head is completely unaware — the head is concerned only with rubbish. The heart may have brought you here.

Break that resistance — and when you are here, be really here. Don’t miss this opportunity.

In the New Testament the Greek word for sin is antinomic or anomeia. It means to miss the point; or, as in archery, to miss the mark. The word ‘sin’ comes from a root which means to miss the point, to miss the mark. If you are here and you miss me, that will be a sin. If you are here then why waste time? Be totally here. Drop the resistance. Or if you cannot be totally here, then go away from here. But go totally away. Then never again remember me, otherwise that will be a sin.

The word ‘sin’ is beautiful. It has been badly corrupted by Christianity. It has nothing to do with guilt, nothing to do with something bad, evil. It has nothing to do with morality but it has something to do with consciousness. If you are here, be consciously and totally here; your unconscious heart has brought you here. Groping in the dark you have come to me, now don’t miss this opportunity. Either be totally here, or go away. Turn your back against me and never remember me again; because going away, if you remember me, then you will not be totally there — wherever you are going. Wherever you are, be totally there, that’s the only way to open the secrets and mysteries of life.

And don’t be worried about whether you are interested in the concept of God or not. In fact, people who are too interested in the concept of God will not be able to know him. I have come across a very beautiful book, written somewhere in the Middle Ages by a certain man known as Dionysius Exegius. His book is Theologica Mystica. He says in that book that the highest knowledge of God is through what he calls in Greek agnostos, which means unknowing. You must have heard the word ‘agnostic’, it comes from the same root, agnostos. Agnostos means unknowing. And this Dionysius says that God is known only by unknowing. No need to be worried about the concept; no need to accumulate knowledge, theories, doctrines about God; forget all about the word and the theory. You be simply interested in your happiness, in your bliss, and one day you will find God has entered in you. It is another name for ultimate bliss.

-Osho

From Ancient Music in the Pines, Discourse #4, Q3

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.

Not Twoness

One summer day when I was Junior High School age, I must have been 13 or 14, I was sitting across the street from the house of two brothers who were friends of mine. They were eating lunch and I was waiting for them to finish so that we could continue on our day’s routine of playing in the neighborhood, riding our bikes, smoking in the woods, all the things that we liked to do.

While I was sitting on the ground under a big tree with stick in hand and drawing circles in the dirt, time stopped, and for a brief moment a window of nowness opened. In that moment, all movement of time came to a standstill, and I was being in the eternal now. It was as if a portal into reality had opened. I knew it was significant but that was all I knew. It only lasted a couple of moments, seconds probably, but it made a deep impression in my consciousness. Of course, at the time, I would not have used such terminology as eternal now, portal, consciousness. In fact, I didn’t even mention the experience to my friends when they came out of their house, but this was my first experience of what we could call Oneness. In that moment, there was no separation, no demarcation, only beingness, conscious beingness.

Looking back, I can see that this experience unconsciously became a litmus test, a North Star, that guided my life on through experimentation with drugs, psychedelics, and finally, to discovering meditation. I would be willing to bet that every one of us who has found themselves interested in a life of discovery, anyone who is reading this now, has had some brush with naked reality.

It is clear that this reality I stumbled upon is always present, it is only that most of the time I am not present to meet it and dissolve into it. Meditation has been the key to shining a light on what it is that is standing between my consciousness and this experience of nowness, and that is mind, thought. It is thought, the me, which obscures the perception of reality. It has been my experience that through meditation the movement of thought becomes illuminated. And it is this ‘seeing’ of thought that is the exit.

For many years following this first awakening, I was unconsciously searching to replicate that profound happening, beginning with becoming unconscious through alcohol. Unconsciousness is a type of oneness, as is sleep, but it is unconscious, and so is missing a key element of the experience that had happened years before. Next it was on to smoking marijuana, certainly much closer to the happening but dependent on a foreign substance, not a natural state. Then it was on to psychedelics, which were incredibly helpful in seeing how mind works, first in seeing thought in action, and then in seeing that I was the one who was supporting the movement of thought through identification.

This discovery of the workings of mind inevitably led to discovering meditation, first through the teachings and being of Meher Baba, and eventually, of course, to Osho.

I arrived in Poona in 1976 and every nook and corner of the Ashram was exuding Oneness. Upon entering the gate, one was absorbed into the vastness that lived in Lao Tzu house. We sang in Music Group and were lost in ecstasy. We did our groups and had glimpses of being outside of our little ego selves. We did the active meditations and rays of sunshine would find their way out from the center of our being. And, of course, we sat in discourse and darshan and the sun itself lovingly dismantled all the clouds obscuring the brilliance of our inner light, the Oneness within.

At the Ranch we witnessed Oneness in action. We saw what could happen when a group of meditators worked without the need for approval or compensation. We worked and loved the working, but this oneness was a group oneness, a collective. It did give us another opportunity to experience a certain type of oneness, but because it was a group oneness, it was a oneness that was by definition opposed to the ‘not group,’ to the outside, and therefore could not be sustainable, definitely could not be eternal.

It was after the Ranch that I realized I had to dive deep into inquiry, into meditation. I had to find that oneness that had been experienced so many years before for myself, without the aid of drugs or others. I had to rediscover exactly what was standing in the way of my own experiencing of oneness in this moment.

And so, it was time for doubling down on meditation. It was time to discover for myself what is this ‘witnessing’ that Osho keeps talking about. Do I really know for myself? And in this quest, I became deeply attracted to self-inquiry and the path of advaita, non-duality.

In one of the discourses where Osho is talking about advaita, he says something that had a strong impact on me. He says, and I am paraphrasing here, that advaita means not-two, and so it is easy to translate that as one, or oneness, but he says that there is a difference in how the two words or phrases feel or act on you. When you say or think the word ‘one’ or ‘oneness,’ there is a contraction, a solidification, it feels like an object. But when you say ‘not-two,’ there is a letting go, and so is a much better pointer to the actual experiencing of oneness.

Similarly, in a workshop that Jean Klein, a Western Advaita teacher gave in Boulder, Colorado, in one of those moments when meditation is exuding all around, I asked Jean, “So is this it, just more and more subtle?” And Jean responded, “I would say less and less conditioned.”

And that is the key. It is not that we need to be searching for this thing called ‘oneness,’ but that we have to simply see what it is that is preventing us from Being in this Eternal Now that we refer to as oneness, or perhaps better described as not twoness. And that takes me back to meditation.

By meditation, I mean closing my eyes, sitting in a not uncomfortable but alert position and watching whatever appears on the screen of my consciousness. Sometimes it is a cacophony, and sometimes it is just a meandering quiet stream. But whichever, I watch, and every time that I forget and I become aware that I have forgotten, I am back to watching. Slowly, slowly I discover how to watch without judging, without grasping, without rejecting, and without analyzing. And in this watchingness, the flow of traffic decreases and occasionally gaps appear, gaps in which there are no thoughts. And when there are no thoughts, there is no movement of time, there are no obstructions to experiencing this same Eternal Now that was stumbled upon so many years ago. But this time it is conscious, it is not accidental, and it does not depend on any circumstance, substance, or any other person. And these moments cannot but infuse our everyday life with more lightness of being.

-purushottama

This is from the collection of stories, essays, poems and insights that is compiled to form the book From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva. Download a PDF or order the book Here.

Negative Projection, a Technique of Visualization – Osho

Mind itself means projection, so unless you transcend the mind, whatever you come to experience is projection. Mind is the projecting mechanism. If you experience any visions of light, of bliss, even of the divine, these are all projections. Unless you come to a total stopping of the mind you are not beyond projections; you are projecting. When mind ceases, only then are you beyond the danger. When there is no experience, no visions, nothing objective – the consciousness remaining as a pure mirror with nothing reflected in it – only then are you beyond the danger of projections.

Projections are of two types. One type of projection will lead you to more and more projection. It is a positive projection; you can never go beyond it. The other type of projection is negative. It is a projection, but it helps you to go beyond projections.

In meditation, you use the projecting faculty of the mind as a negative effort. Negative projections are good: it is just like one thorn being pulled out by another thorn or one poison being destroyed by another poison. But you must be constantly aware that the danger remains until everything ceases, even these negative projections, even these visions. If you are experiencing something, I will not say it is meditation; it is still contemplation, it is still a thought process. However subtle, it is still thinking. When only consciousness remains with no thought – just an unclouded, open sky – when you cannot say what “I” am experiencing, this much can be said: I am.

The famous maxim of Descartes, “Cogito ergo sum – I think; therefore, I am,” in meditation becomes “Sum ergo sum – I am; therefore, I am.” This “I am-ness” precedes all thinking; you are before you think. Thinking comes later on; your being precedes it, so being cannot be inferred from thinking. You can be without thinking, but thinking cannot be without you, so thinking cannot be the basis upon which your existence can be proved.

Experiences, visions, anything felt objectively is part of thinking. Meditation means total cessation of the mind, of thinking, but not of consciousness. If consciousness also ceases, you are not in meditation but in deep sleep; that is the difference between deep sleep and meditation.

In deep sleep projection also ceases. Thinking will not be there, but simultaneously, consciousness will also be absent. In meditation projections cease, thinking ceases, thoughts are no more there – just like in deep sleep – but there is consciousness. You are aware of this phenomenon: of total absence around you, of no objects around you. And when there are no objects to be known, felt and experienced, for the first time you begin to feel yourself. This is a nonobjective experience. It is not something that you experience; it is something you are.

So even if you feel the divine existence, it is a projection. These are negative projections. They help – they help, in a way, to transcend – but you must be aware that they are still projections, otherwise you will not go beyond them. That is why I say that if you feel you are encountering bliss, you are still in the mind because duality is there: the duality of the divine and the nondivine, the duality of bliss and nonbliss. When you really reach to the ultimate, you cannot feel bliss, because nonbliss is impossible; you cannot feel the divine as divine because the nondivine is no more.

So remember this: mind is projection, and whatever you do with the mind is going to be a projection. You cannot do anything with the mind. The only thing is how to negate the mind, how to drop it totally, how to be mindlessly conscious. That is meditation. Only then can you know, can you come to know, that which is other than projection.

Whatever you know is projected by you. The object is just a screen: you go on projecting your ideas, your mind, upon it. So any method of meditation begins with projection – with negative projection –and ends with nonprojection. That is the nature of all meditation techniques, because you have to begin with the mind.

Even if you are going toward a state of no mind, you have to begin with the mind. If I am to go out of this room, I have to start by going into the room; the first step must be taken in the room. This creates confusion. If I am just going in a circle in the room, then I am walking in the room. If I am going out of the room, then again I have to walk in the room – but in a different way. My eyes must be on the door and I must travel in a straight line, not in a circle.

Negative projection means walking straight out of the mind. But first, you have to take some steps within the mind.

For example, when I say “light,” you have never really seen light. You have only seen lighted objects. Have you ever seen light itself? No one has seen it; no one can see it. You see a lighted house, a lighted chair, a lighted person, but you have not seen light itself. Even when you see the sun you are not seeing light. You are seeing the light returned.

You cannot see light itself. When light strikes something, comes back, is reflected, only then do you see the lighted object and because you can see the lighted object, you say there is light. When you do not see the lighted object, you say it is dark.

You cannot see pure light, so in meditation I use it as a first step – as a negative projection. I tell you to begin to feel light without any object. Objects are dropped, there is just light. Begin to feel light without any objects . . . One thing has been dropped, the object, and without the object you cannot continue to see light for a long time. Sooner or later the light will drop, because you have to be focused on some object.

Then I tell you to feel bliss. You have never felt bliss without any object; whatever you know as happiness, bliss, is concerned with something. You have never known any moment of bliss that is unconcerned with anything. You may love someone and then feel blissful, but that someone is the object. You feel blissful when you listen to some music, but then that music is the object. Have you ever felt a blissful moment without any object? Never! So when I say to feel blissful without any object, it seems to be an impossibility. If you try to feel blissful without any object, sooner or later the bliss will stop, because it cannot exist by itself.

Then I say to feel divine presence. I never say, “Feel God,” because then God becomes an object. Have you ever felt presence without someone being present there? It is always concerned with someone: if someone is there, then you begin to feel the presence.

I drop that someone totally. I simply say, feel the divine presence. This is a negative projection. It cannot continue for long because there is no ground to support it; sooner or later it will drop. First I drop objects, and then, by and by, projection itself will drop. That is the difference between positive and negative projection.

In positive projection, the object is significant and the feeling follows, while in negative projection the feeling is important and the object is simply forgotten, as if I am taking the whole ground from under your feet. From within you, below you, from everywhere, the ground has been taken and you are left alone with your feeling. Now that feeling cannot exist; it will drop. If objects are not there, then the feelings that are directly connected to objects cannot continue any longer. For a while you can project them, then they will drop. And when they drop you alone remain there – in your total aloneness. That point is the point of meditation; from there meditation begins. Now you are out of the room.

So meditation has a beginning in the mind, but that is not real meditation. Begin in the mind, so that you can move toward meditation, and when mind ceases and you are beyond it, then real meditation begins. We have to begin with the mind because we are in the mind. Even to go beyond it, one has to use it. So use the mind negatively, never positively, and then you will achieve meditation.

If you use the mind positively, then you will only create more and more projections. So whatever is known as “positive thinking” is absolutely anti-meditative. Negative thinking is meditative; negation is the method for meditation. Go on negating to the point where nothing remains to be negated, and only the negator remains; then you are in your purity, and then you know what is. Everything that is known before that is just the mind’s imaginings, dreamings, projections.

-Osho

From Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy, Appendix 1

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.

Tathata Means Suchness

In my sannyas darshan, Osho assigned two groups for me to do in the couple of weeks that I would be in Poona before heading to the States. The first was Tathata which was somewhat modeled on the EST trainings. The second was a group with Amitabh called Tao.

 

The Tathata group was my first group experience. Until then I had never participated in groups so I really had no idea what to expect. Two experiences from the group have remained in my memory. The first memorable experience was one of the meditations we did, Osho’s Mandala Meditation. The first stage of the meditation is running in place for 15 minutes. You begin rather slowly and gradually increase the speed and bring your knees up as high as possible. In the group this was accompanied by the group leaders pushing you on like a couple of drill sergeants, shouting “faster, faster” and “higher, higher.” As you can easily imagine this brings up quite a bit of resistance. But the amazing thing was that there came a point when resistance just melted and the legs picked up speed and they were just running on their own. The contrast between the effort needed to fight the resistance and the resistance free running was stark.

Another exercise in the Tathata group that was quite instructive was one where we were lying on the floor with blindfolds on and the group leaders came by and laid a large snake on my naked chest. If one wants to witness fear — that is the way to do it. And you are also able to see the result of fear. The snake would react to fear, but when you let the fear go, the snake was just a cold smooth moving object in your senses. It wasn’t just the dropping of fear that was so instructional, but it was also the perceiving the fear as an object, a perception within my awareness but not my self, something separate from my self.

The Tao group didn’t provide the same degree of insight. Although during one break I went out the front gate of the ashram and someone handed me a joint from which I took a couple of tokes before heading back into the group. It was an interesting mix – the energy of the group and a couple of tokes. At one point, I suggested we sit together in a circle holding hands and just feel the love, which we did. That was the only time I was ever stoned on some substance anywhere near Osho’s presence.

When I arrived at the ashram, I had been outside of the States for three years, and very soon I realized the trip that I had been on up to that point had come to an end. Sannyas was truly the beginning of something new for me and I had no idea what that would entail, but I knew I had to return to the States and to Kansas City where I had left some friends with whom I would have to share what I had found.

This is from the collection of stories, essays, poems and insights that is compiled to form the book From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva. Download a PDF or order the book Here.

 

What is Zen – Osho

What is Zen? Zen is a very extraordinary growth. Rarely does such a possibility become an actuality because many hazards are involved. Many times before the possibility has existed – a certain spiritual happening could have grown and become like Zen, but it was never realized to its totality. Only once in the whole history of human consciousness has a thing like Zen come into being. It is very rare.

So first I would like you to understand what Zen is, because unless you do that these anecdotes won’t be much help. You need to know the complete background. In that background, in that context, these anecdotes become luminous – suddenly you attain to the meaning and the significance of them, otherwise they are separate units. You can enjoy them; sometimes you can laugh at them; they are very poetic; in themselves they are beautiful, unique pieces of art, but just by looking at these anecdotes you will not be able to penetrate into the significance of what Zen is.

So first try to follow me slowly through the growth of Zen – how it happened. Zen was born in India, grew in China, and blossomed in Japan. The whole situation is rare. Why did it happen that it was born in India, but could not grow here and had to seek a different soil? It became a great tree in China, but could not blossom there, it had to again seek a new climate, a different climate – and in Japan it blossomed like a cherry tree, in thousands of flowers. It is not coincidental; it is not accidental; it has deep inner history. I would like to reveal it to you.

India is an introvert country, Japan is extrovert, and China is just in the middle of these two extremes. India and Japan are absolute opposites. So how come the seed was born in India and blossomed in Japan? They are opposites; they have no similarities; they are contradictory. And why did China come just in the middle, to give soil to it?

A seed is introversion. Try to understand the phenomenon of the seed, what a seed is. A seed is outgoing; a seed has really turned upon itself. A seed is an introvert phenomenon, it is centripetal – the energy is moving inwards. That’s why it is a seed, covered and closed from the outer world completely. In fact a seed is the loneliest, most isolated thing in the world. It has no roots in the soil, no branches in the sky; it has no connection with the earth, no connection with the sky. In fact, it has no relationships around it. A seed is an absolute island, isolated, caved in. It does not relate. It has a hard shell around it, there are no windows, no doors; it cannot go out and nothing can come in.

Seed is natural to India. The genius of Indian can produce seeds of tremendous potentiality, but cannot give them soil. India is an introverted consciousness.

India says the outer doesn’t exist and even if it exists it is of the same stuff that dreams are made of. The whole genius of India has been trying to discover how to escape from the outer, how to move to the inner cave of the heart, how to be centered in oneself, and how to come realize that the whole world that exists outside consciousness is just a dream – at the most beautiful, at the worst a nightmare; whether beautiful or ugly, in reality, it is a dream, and one should not bother much about it. One should awake, and forget the whole dream of the outer world.

The whole effort of Buddha, Mahavir, Tilopa, Gorakh, Kabir, their whole effort through the centuries, has been how to escape from the wheel of life and death: how to enclose yourself, how to completely cut yourself from all relationships, how to be unrelated, detached, how to move in and to forget the outer. That’s why Zen was born in India.

Zen means dhyan. Zen is a Japanese change of the word dhyan. Dhyan is the whole effort of Indian consciousness. Dhyan means to be so alone, so into your own being, that not even a single thought exists. In fact, in English, there is no direct translation.

Contemplation is not the word. Contemplation means thinking, reflection. Even meditation is not the word because meditation involves an object to meditate upon; it means something is there. You can meditate on Christ, or you can meditate on the cross. But dhyan means to be so alone that there is nothing to meditate upon. No object, just simple subjectivity exists – consciousness without clouds, a pure sky.

When the word reached China it became ch’an. When ch’an reached Japan, it became Zen. It comes from the same Sanskrit root, dhyan.

India can give birth to dhyan. For millennia the whole Indian consciousness has been travelling on the path of dhyan – how to drop all thinking and how to be rooted in pure consciousness. With Buddha the seed came into existence. Many times before also, before Gautam Buddha, the seed came into existence, but it couldn’t find the right soil so it disappeared. And if the seed is given to the Indian consciousness it will disappear, because the Indian consciousness will move more and more inwards, and the seed will become smaller and smaller and smaller, until a moment comes when it becomes invisible. A centripetal force makes things smaller, smaller, smaller – atomic – until suddenly they disappear. Many times before Gautam Buddha the seed was born – Gautam Buddha was not the first to meditate and to become a dhyani, to become a great meditator. In fact he is one of the last of a long series. He himself remembers twenty-four Buddha’s before him. Then there were twenty-four Jaina Teerthankaras and they all were meditators. They did nothing else, they simply meditated, meditated, meditated, and came to a point where only they were, and everything else disappeared, evaporated.

The seed was born with Parasnath, with Mahavir, Neminath, and others, but then it remained with the Indian consciousness. The Indian consciousness can give birth to a seed, but cannot become the right soil for it. It goes on working in the same direction and the seed becomes smaller and smaller, molecular, atomic and disappears. That’s how it happened with the Upanishads; that’s how it happened with the Vedas; that’s how it happened with Mahavir and all others.

With Buddha it was also going to happen. Bodhidharma saved him. If the seed had been left with the Indian consciousness, it would have dissolved. It would never have sprouted, because a different type of soil is needed for sprouting – a very balanced soil. Introversion is a very deep imbalance, it is an extreme.

Bodhidharma escaped with the seed to China. He did one of the greatest things in the history of consciousness: he found the right soil for the seed that Buddha had given to the world.

Buddha himself is reported to have said: My religion will not exist for more than 500 years; then it will disappear. He was aware that it always happened that way. The Indian consciousness goes on grinding it into smaller and smaller and smaller pieces; then a moment comes when it becomes so small that it becomes invisible. It is simply no longer part of this world; it disappears into the sky.

Bodhidharma’s experiment was great. He looked all around the world and observed deeply for a place where this seed could grow.

China is a very balanced country, not like India, not like Japan. The golden mean is the path there. Confucian ideology is to remain always in the middle: neither be introvert, nor be extrovert; neither think too much of this world, nor too much of that world – just remain in the middle. China has not given birth to a religion, just morality. No religion has been born there; the Chinese consciousness cannot give birth to a religion. It cannot create a seed. All the religions that exist in China have been imported, they have all come from the outside; Buddhism, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Christianity – they have all come from the outside. China is a good soil but it cannot originate any religion, because to originate a religion one has to move into the inner world. To give birth to a religion one has to be like a feminine body, a womb.

The feminine consciousness is extremely introvert. A woman lives in herself; she has a very small world around her, the most minimum possible. That is why you cannot interest a woman in things of great vastness. No. You cannot talk about Vietnam to her, she doesn’t bother. Vietnam is too far away, too outer. She is concerned with her family, her husband, the child, the dog, the furniture, the radio set, the TV. A very small world is around her, just the minimum. Because she doesn’t have a very big world around it is very difficult for man and woman to talk intelligently – they live in different worlds. A woman is beautiful only when she keeps quiet; the moment she starts talking then stupid things come out of her. She cannot talk intelligently. She cannot be very philosophic; no, that’s not possible. These things are too far away, she doesn’t bother. She lives in the very small circle of her own world, and she is the center. And whatsoever is meaningful is meaningful only in concern to herself – otherwise it is not meaningful. She cannot see why you are bothered about Vietnam. What is the matter with you? You are not related to the Vietnamese at all. Whether there is a war happening or not, it is no concern of yours. And the child is ill and you are bothering about Vietnam! She cannot believe that she is present near you and you are reading the newspaper.

Women live in a different world. A woman is centripetal, introvert. All women are Indian – wherever they are it makes no difference. Man is centrifugal, he goes out. The moment he can find an excuse he will escape from the home. He comes to the home only when he cannot go anywhere else; when all the clubs and hotels are closed, then, what to do? He comes back home. Nowhere to go, he comes home.

A woman is always home-centered, home based. She goes out only when it is absolutely necessary, when she cannot do otherwise. When it has become an absolute necessity she goes out. Otherwise she is home based.

Man is a vagabond, a wanderer. The whole of family life is created by women, not by men. In fact, civilization exists because of woman, not because of man. If he is allowed he will be a wanderer – no home, no civilization. Man is outgoing, woman is in-going; man is extrovert, woman is introvert. Man is always interested in something other than himself, that’s why he looks healthier. Because when you are too concerned with yourself, you become ill. Man is more happy looking.

You will always find women sad and too concerned with themselves. A little headache and they are very concerned, because they live inside – the headache becomes something big, out of proportion. But a man can forget the headache; he has too many other headaches. He creates so many headaches around himself that there is no possibility of coming upon his own headache and making something out of it. It is always so little he can forget about it. A woman is always concerned – something is happening in the leg, something in the hand, something in the back, something in the stomach, always something – because her own consciousness is focused inwards. A man is less pathological, more healthy, more outgoing, more concerned about what is happening to others.

That’s why, in all religions, you will find that if there are five persons present, four will be women, and one a man. And that one man may have only come because of some woman – the wife was going to the temple so he had to go with her. Or, she was going to listen to a talk on religion, so he came with her. In all churches this will be the proportion, in all churches, temples, wherever you go. Even with Buddha this was the proportion, with Mahavir this was the proportion. With Buddha there were fifty thousand sannyasins – forty thousand women and ten thousand men. Why?

Physically man can be healthier; spiritually woman can be healthier, because their concerns are different. When you are concerned with others you can forget your body, you can be more physically healthy, but religiously you cannot grow so easily. Religious growth needs an inner concern. A woman can grow very, very easily into religion, that path is easy for her, but to grow in politics is difficult. And for a man to grow in religion is difficult. Introversion has its benefits; extroversion has its benefits – and both have their dangers.

India is introvert, a feminine country; it is like a womb, very receptive. But if a child remains in the womb forever and forever and forever, the womb will become the grave. The child has to move out from the mother’s womb otherwise the mother will kill the child inside. He has to escape, to find the world outside, a greater world. The womb may be very comfortable – it is! Scientists say we have not yet been able to create anything more comfortable than the womb. With so much scientific progress we have not made anything more comfortable. The womb is just a heaven. But even the child has to leave that heaven and come outside the mother. Beyond a certain time, the mother can become very dangerous. The womb can kill, because it will then become an imprisonment – good for a time, when the seed is growing, but then the seed has to be transplanted to the outside world.

Bodhidharma looked around, watched the whole world, and found that China had the best soil; it was just a middle ground, not extreme. The climate was not extreme, so the tree could grow easily. And it had very balanced people. Balance is the right soil for something to grow: too cold is bad, too hot is bad. In a balanced climate, neither too cold nor too hot, the tree can grow.

Bodhidharma escaped with the seed, escaped with all that India had produced. Nobody was aware of what he was doing, but it was a great experiment. And he proved right. In China, the tree grew, grew to vast proportions.

But although the tree became vaster and vaster, no flowers grew. Flowers did not come, because flowers need an extrovert country. Just as a seed is introvert, so a flower is extrovert. The seed is moving inwards; the flower is moving outwards. The seed is like male consciousness. The flower opens to the outer world and releases its fragrance to this outside world. Then the fragrance moves on the wings of the wind to the farthest possible corner of the world. To all directions, the flower releases the energy contained in the seed. It is a door. Flowers would like to become butterflies and escape from the tree. In fact, that is what they are doing, in a very subtle way. They are releasing the essence of the tree, the very meaning, the significance of the tree to the world. They are great sharers. A seed is a great miser, confined to itself, and a flower is a great spendthrift.

Japan was needed. Japan is an extrovert country. The very style of life and consciousness is extrovert. Look . . .  in India nobody bothers about the outside world very much: about clothes, houses, the way one lives. Nobody bothers. That is why India has remained so poor. If you are not worried about the outside world, how can you become rich? If there is no concern to improve the outside world you will remain poor. And India is always very serious, always getting ready to escape from life, with Buddha’s talking about how to become perfect drop-outs from existence itself – not only from society, ultimate drop-outs from existence itself! The existence is too boring. For the Indian eye life is just a grey color – nothing interesting in it, everything just boring, a burden. One has to carry it somehow, because of past karmas. Even if an Indian falls in love he says it is because of past karmas, one has to pass through it. Even love is like a burden one has to drag.

India seems to be leaning more towards death than life. An introvert has to lean towards death. That’s why India has evolved all the techniques how to die perfectly, of how to die so perfectly that you are not born again. Death is the goal, not life. Life is for fools, death is for those who are wise. Howsoever beautiful a Buddha, a Mahavir may be, you will find them closed; around them a great aura of indifference exists. Whatsoever is happening, they are not concerned at all. Whether it happens this way or that way makes no difference; whether the world goes on living or dies, it makes no difference . . . a tremendous indifference. In this indifference flowering is not possible; in this inner-confined state, flowering is impossible.

Japan is totally different. With the Japanese consciousness it is as if the inner doesn’t exist, only the outer is meaningful. Look at Japanese dresses. All the colors of flowers and rainbows – as if the outer is very meaningful. Look at an Indian when he is eating, and look at the Japanese. Look at an Indian when he takes his tea – and the Japanese.

Japanese create a celebration out of simple things. Taking tea, he makes it a celebration. It becomes an art. The outside is very important; clothes are very important, relationships are very important. You cannot find more out-going people in the world than the Japanese – always smiling and looking happy. For the Indian they will look shallow; they will not look serious. Indians are the introvert people and the Japanese are the extrovert: they are opposites.

Japanese is always moving in society. The whole Japanese culture is concerned with how to create a beautiful society, how to create beautiful relationships – in everything, in every minute thing – how to give them significance. Their houses are so beautiful. Even a poor man’s house has a beauty of its own; it is artistic, it has its own uniqueness.

It may not be very rich, but still it is rich in a certain sense – because of the beauty, the arrangement, the mind that has been brought to every small, tiny detail: where the window should be, what type of curtain should be used, how the moon should be invited from the window, from where. Very small things, but every detail is important.

With the Indian nothing matters. If you go to an Indian temple, it is without any windows; there is nothing, no hygiene, no concern with air, ventilation – nothing. Even temples are ugly, and anything goes –dirt or dust, nobody bothers. Just in front of the temple you will find cows sitting, dogs fighting, people praying. Nobody bothers. No sense of the outer, they are not at all concerned with the outer.

Japan is very concerned with the outer – just at the other extreme. Japan was the right country. And the whole tree of Zen was transplanted in Japan, and there it blossomed, in thousands of colors. It flowered.

This is how it has to happen again. I am again talking about Zen. It has to come back to India because the tree has flowered, and the flowers have fallen and Japan cannot create the seed. Japan cannot create the seed: it is not an introvert country. So everything has become an outer ritual now. Zen is dead in Japan. It did flower in the past, but now, if by reading in books – reading D. T. Suzuki and others – if you go to Japan in search of Zen, you will come back empty-handed. Now Zen is here; in Japan it has disappeared. The country could help it to flower, but now the flowers have disappeared, fallen to the earth, and nothing is there any more. There are rituals – the Japanese are very ritualistic – rituals exist. Everything in Zen monasteries is still continued the same way, as if the inner spirit is still there, but the inner shrine is vacant and empty. The master of the house has moved. The God is there no more – just empty ritual. And they are extrovert people, they will continue the ritual. Every morning they will get up at five – there will be a gong – they will move to the tea-room, and they will take their tea; they will move to their meditation hall, and they will sit with closed eyes. Everything will be followed exactly as if the spirit is there, but it has disappeared. There are monasteries, there are thousands of monks, but the tree has flowered and seeds cannot be created there.

Hence, I am talking so much about Zen here –because, again, only India can create the seed. The whole world exists in a deep unity, in a harmony – in India the seed can again be given birth. But now many things have changed around the world. China is no longer a possibility, because it has itself become an extrovert country. It has become communistic: now matter is more important than the spirit. And now it is closed for new waves of consciousness.

To me, if any country can in the future become again the soil, it is England.

You will be surprised, because you may think it is America. No. Now the most balanced country in the world is England, just as in the ancient days it was China. The seed has to be taken to England and planted there; it will not flower there, but it will become a big tree. English consciousness – conservative, always following the middle way, the liberal mind, never moving to the extremes, just remaining in the middle – will be helpful. That is why I am allowing more and more English people to settle around me. It is not only for visa reasons! Because once the seed is ready, I would like them to take it to England. And from England it can go to America, and it will have flowering there, because America is the most extrovert country right now.

I tell you that Zen is a rare phenomenon, because only if all these situations are fulfilled can such a thing happen.

-Osho

From The Grass Grows by Itself, Discourse #1

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.

Feel Alone and Feel Love – Osho

Never before have I felt so much love and never before so alone. Thank you, Osho

Prem Turiya, it is something very deep to be understood, something of great significance. Love always brings aloneness. Aloneness always brings love. They are never separate.

People think just the opposite. People think, “When you are in love, how can you be alone?” They don’t make any distinction between two words: loneliness and aloneness. Hence the confusion.

When you are in love, you cannot be lonely; that is true. But when you are in love, you are bound to be alone — that is even far truer. Loneliness is a negative state. Loneliness means you are hankering for the other. Loneliness means you are dark, dismal, in despair. Loneliness means you are frightened. Loneliness means you are feeling left behind. Loneliness means nobody needs you. It hurts. Loneliness is like a wound.

Aloneness is like a flower. I know your dictionaries will say that loneliness and aloneness are synonyms — they are not. They are totally different phenomena. Loneliness is a wound and can turn into a cancer. Many more people die of loneliness than of any other disease. The world is full of lonely people, and because of their loneliness they go on doing all kinds of stupid things to somehow stuff that wound, that hollowness, that emptiness, that negativity.

The lonely person starts eating too much, just to feel full. The lonely person starts gathering fat. The lonely person starts taking alcohol or other drugs, from soma to LSD — because he wants to forget himself the loneliness is so ugly, so scary, so deathlike that one wants to escape from it. The lonely person sits before his TV glued to the chair for four, five, even six hours. The average American sits for six hours before the TV — just burning his eyes. But what else to do? Where to go? With whom to commune?

Communication has stopped. People are not talking to each other; at the most they talk at the other, but not to the other. People have forgotten how to reach the other; people have become parallel lines, running very close but meeting nowhere. Even husbands and wives, even friends, even so-called lovers, are parallel lines never meeting anywhere. Running very close, hoping that tomorrow the meeting will happen, but that is just a hope, that is just an illusion. That keeps people somehow going on.

It is like if you go to the rail-track and you see the rails running parallel — far away in the distance they appear to be meeting, but they never meet. You can go to that place and you will not find them meeting. As you move closer, the meeting-point will move farther away. The distance between you and the so-called meeting-point will remain the same.

The world is very lonely; hence people go into drugs or into sex, or into any kind of entertainment that keeps them, at least for the time being, forgetful of the loneliness. The wound is oozing with pus. We hide it in many ways — with great possessions, with a big palace, with much money, with new gadgets — but the wound continues, gadgets won’t hide it. You can have the biggest house in the world and still you will be as lonely in it as you were in your small cottage. It is not going to make any difference — possessions cannot change your inner loneliness.

And then people go on relating with others, but because they are both lonely, relationship is not possible; relationship cannot grow out of need. Relationship grows only out of overflowing energies, never out of needs. If one person is needy and the other is also needy, then both will try to exploit the other. The relationship will be that of exploitation, not of love, not of compassion. It will not be of friendship. It will be a kind of enmity — very bitter, but sugar-coated. And sooner or later, the sugar wears out; by the time the honeymoon is over the sugar is gone and all is bitter. And now they are caught. First, they used to be lonely separately, now they are lonely together — which hurts even more. Just see a husband and a wife sitting in the room, both lonely. On the surface together, deep down lonely. The husband lost in his own loneliness, the wife lost in her own loneliness. The saddest thing in the world is to see two lovers, a couple, and both lonely — the saddest thing in the world!

Aloneness is totally different. Aloneness is a flower, a lotus blooming in your heart.

Aloneness is positive, aloneness is health. It is the joy of being yourself. It is the joy of having your own space.

Yes, when you are in love, Turiya, you feel aloneness. Aloneness is beautiful, aloneness is a blessing. But only lovers can feel it, because only love gives you the courage to be alone, only love creates the context to be alone. Only love fulfills you so deeply that you are no more in need of the other — you can be alone. Love makes you so integrated that you can be alone and ecstatic. Love becomes the contrast: love and aloneness are two polarities of one energy.

And it is good to understand it, because sometimes it happens that lovers don’t allow each other space enough to be alone. If lovers don’t allow each other space to be alone, then love will be destroyed, because it is out of aloneness that love gets fresh energy, fresh juices. When you are alone, you accumulate energy to a point from where it starts overflowing.

That overflowing becomes love — then you can go and share with your friend, with your woman, with anybody you love. You have enough to share now; in fact, too much — you have to share. And it is not that you are obliging the other; in fact, you are being obliged by the other. When the cloud is heavy it has to rain, and it is grateful to the earth that it allowed it to rain, that it absorbed it, that it received it like a guest, that it welcomed it. When the flower opens, it has to release its fragrance. It is thankful to the winds that they have taken its fragrance in all directions.

When alone, one gathers energy. Energy is life and energy is delight, and energy is love and energy is dance and energy is celebration. Then everything is possible if energy is there.

Then it will become a song, then it will become a dance, then it will become love. And when energy is too much there, only then can it become orgasmic.

Many people make love but have no idea of what orgasm is, because they are already dissipated. When they are making love, they are empty; when they are making love there is no energy to be shared. When they are making love, they cannot overflow. Their orgasm is at the most genital. Their orgasm is a very small, mediocre thing; nothing of any spiritual value. It is like a sneeze. Yes, after a sneeze you feel a little better. Or like scratching your back — it feels good. You are relieved.

Orgasm is not a relief: orgasm is a celebration. And orgasm is a meeting of you, through the other, with the whole. Orgasm is always divine — the other becomes the door and you enter into the divine. Orgasm is always spiritual; it is never sexual. Those who think that orgasm is sexual have not understood anything at all; they don’t know anything about sex and they don’t know anything about orgasmic experiences. Orgasm is always samadhi, ecstasy. But people don’t know because they meet out of need, not out of overflowing energies.

So when you are in love, a great need arises to be alone — only in love, remember, a great need arises to be alone. And real lovers are those who give freedom to the other to be alone. They will be full of energy soon and they will come together and shower their energy on each other. When alone, the great desire to share will arise. See the rhythm: when in love, you would like to be alone; when alone, soon you would like to be in love. Lovers come close and go away, come close and go away — there is a rhythm. Going away is not anti-love; going away is just getting your aloneness again, and the beauty of it and the joy of it. But whenever you are full of joy, an intrinsic, inevitable necessity arises to share it. Nobody can contain joy — and the joy that can be contained by you is not of much worth. The joy is bigger than you, it cannot be contained by you. It is a flood! You cannot contain it; you have to seek and search for people to share it with.

What happens in your love affairs happens on a higher plane to all the Buddhas. When Buddha became enlightened, he became so full of energy, so full of joy, that he had to share it. For forty-two years he went from one village to another, constantly sharing his joy.

That’s what I am doing with you. I am not a teacher. I have nothing to teach, no teaching to impart, no information … but I am here to share my being. I am too full, the cloud is too heavy. And if you can receive me, I will be grateful to you.

It is out of too much that sharing arises. And enlightenment, Buddhahood, Christ-consciousness, bridge you with the God. Infinite sources of energy become available to you. Inexhaustible sources are yours. You can go on sharing, and the more you share, the more goes on coming to you.

Aloneness has reached its ultimate peak. The Master is the most alone person in the world, and hence the Master is the greatest lover in the world. You cannot find a greater lover than a Buddha or a Christ. But now the love is so qualitatively different that it has the quality of friendship, compassion, empathy. The passion has disappeared.

Passion is tiny, small; compassion is immense, huge, enormous, infinite. When passion becomes infinite it is compassion.

Turiya, your experience is beautiful, and you have understood its beauty; hence, you have felt like thanking me.

You say: Never before have I felt so much love and never before so alone. Those are two aspects of the same coin.

And you say: Thank you, Osho.

You have understood it. I am happy that you have been able to see the connection between love and aloneness. Enjoy both. Never choose one out of the two, because if you choose one both will die. Allow both to happen. When aloneness happens, move into it; when love happens, move into it. Aloneness means moving in, love means moving out.

Aloneness is the breath going in, love is the breath going out. And if you stop one, you will die. You cannot hold the breath in; you cannot hold the breath out. Breathing is a total process, and in the total process the incoming breath is as much essential as the outgoing breath. Love is the outgoing breath; aloneness is the incoming breath. And that’s how your soul lives; that’s how you become soulful.

Allow both. Never choose! Choicelessly allow both. And go with wherever the breath is going. Aloneness is interiority, love is exteriority.

Carl Gustav Jung has made these words very famous. He divided people basically into two types: the introverts and the extroverts. That is a wrong division. People cannot be categorized that way. People cannot be pigeon-holed this way. I have never come across anyone who is just introvert — he will die immediately, because he will have only the in-breath. I have never come across a person who is just extrovert — he will die too. People are both.

It is possible that one is more of an extrovert than an introvert, and vice versa. And that’s what brings imbalance to your personality. One should be both simultaneously. One should be balanced.

My sannyasins have to be extrovert introverts, introvert extroverts — both together. This is one of the most important things to be understood, because in the past the monks have tried to be just introverts. They were called the other-worldly people, the people who renounce the world and move into the monasteries and the mountains and the deserts. They decided that only to be an introvert is the right way to connect with God — as if God is not without, but only within.

And the other, the worldly person, has remained extrovert. He thinks he has nothing to do with introversion, meditation, prayer. His interest is in money, power, prestige, people, crowds — the world. He never looks in. This is a very schizophrenic arrangement.

I would like my sannyasins not to be schizophrenic but whole. Be in the world and yet be not of it. Move between the outside and the inside, and let the movement become as smooth as possible, as simple as possible. Just as you come out of your house into the garden: it is too cold inside, you come out. It is too sunny outside; soon you start feeling hot, soon you start perspiring, and you move in — into the house, into the coolness and the shade of the house. Just as you move inside the house and outside the house, go on moving in and out — both are yours.

The old sannyasins, the old monks, claimed only the inner, they denied the outer. My message is: Nothing has to be denied — the whole belongs to you. I give you the whole universe, the inner and the outer both. And I would not like you to become introverts, because those who are introverts against extroversion become ill, pathological, dormant, stagnant, closed, disconnected, uprooted. They start living a windowless existence. They start living in unnecessary misery. They never come to know what aloneness is, because aloneness cannot be known without love — they only know loneliness. And loneliness is not health; loneliness is illness.

And the people who live only in the outside world and never think of the inner, they are on the other extreme. They know something of love, but their love is never more than lust — because love cannot happen unless aloneness has also happened in you. Their love is a beautiful name for lust. They need the other, they exploit the other, they possess the other. And when you possess the other, the other possesses you. People become slaves, and people are reduced to things. People are no more people.

The person who lives only on the outside, without knowing his inside, is poor, very poor — unaware of his inner treasures. And the person who lives only in the inside is also poor, because he never becomes aware of the beauty of existence, of the stars, of the sands and the sun, of the trees and the birds.

The inner and the outer are not two. The inner is the inner of the outer, and the outer is the outer of the inner. My sannyasin has to be both together. I would like to create a new man whom Carl Gustav Jung cannot categorize, whom he cannot call extrovert or introvert, for whom he will have to find a new word — because he will be whole, he will be both. He will be as much in his body as in his soul; he will be a materialist as much as a spiritualist. He will be of this world as much as of that, and he will have no division in his mind, and no choice.

Turiya, something beautiful has happened to you go on moving in the same direction.

Don’t go astray, because it is very easy to go astray. Our old habits, our old concepts, go on dragging us back to the old patterns. Your mind will say, “This is not aloneness, this is loneliness.” Your mind will try to destroy it by calling it loneliness. Beware! Beware of your own mind! because there is no greater enemy than your own mind.

And by ‘mind’ I mean your past. Go on dying to the past and go on learning new things.

You have stumbled upon something tremendously valuable, utterly new and fresh. Love brings aloneness: aloneness brings love. That too will happen.

Now you have said: Never before have I felt so much love and never before so alone.

I would like each of my sannyasins to feel like Turiya — feel alone and feel love. And never create any conflict between the two. Create a symphony out of the two, and you will have a richness which is very rare.

-Osho

From The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty, 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.

Osho Speaks on Nadabrahma Meditation

It is a mantra meditation, and mantra is one of the most potential ways. It is very simple yet tremendously effective, because when you chant a mantra or you chant a sound your body starts vibrating; your brain cells particularly start vibrating.

If rightly done your whole brain becomes tremendously vibrant, and the whole body also. Once the body starts vibrating and your mind is already chanting, they both fall in a tune. A harmony – which is ordinarily never there – between the two. Your mind goes on its way, your body continues on its own. The body goes on eating, the mind goes on thinking. The body goes on walking on the road the mind is moving far away in the stars. They never meet – they both go on separate pathways, and that creates a split.

The basic schizophrenia is created because the body goes in one direction, the mind goes in another direction. And you are the third element – you are neither the body nor the mind, so you are pulled apart by these two. Half of your being is pulled by the body and half of your being is pulled by your mind. So there is great anguish – one feels torn apart.

In a mantra meditation – Nadabrahma or any chanting – this is how the mechanism works: when you start chanting a sound – and any sound will do; even abracadabra – if you start resounding inside, the body starts responding. Sooner or later a moment comes when the body and the mind are both together in one direction for the first time. When body and mind are both together, you are free from the body and the mind – you are not tom apart. Then the third element which you are in reality – call it soul, spirit, atma, anything – that third element is at ease because it is not being pulled in different directions.

The body and the mind are so much engrossed in chanting that the soul can slip out of them very easily, unobserved, and can become a witness – can stand out and look at the whole game that is going on between the mind and the body. It is such a beautiful rhythm that the mind and body never become aware that the soul has slipped out… because they don’t allow so easily, mm? they keep their possession. Nobody wants to lose his possession. The body wants to dominate the soul, the mind wants to dominate the soul. This is a very sly way to get out of their hold. They become drunk with the chanting, and you slip out.

So in Nadabrahma, remember this: let the body and mind be totally together, but remember that you have to become a witness. Get out of them, easily, slowly, from the back door, with no fight, with no struggle. Mm? they are drinking – you get out, and watch from the outside…. This is the meaning of the English word ‘ecstasy’ – to stand out. Stand out and watch from there… and it is tremendously peaceful. It is silence, it is bliss, it is benediction.

This is the whole secret of chanting – that’s why chanting has prevailed down the centuries. There has never been a religion that has not used chanting and mantra. But there is a danger also! If you don’t get out, if you don’t become a witness, there is a danger – then you have missed the whole point. If you become drunk with the body and the mind and your soul also becomes drunk, then  chanting is an intoxicant. Then it is like a tranquillizer – it will give you a good sleep, that’s all. It is a lullaby. Good – nothing wrong in it – but not of any real value either.

So this is the pitfall to be remembered: chanting is so beautiful that one wants to get lost. If you are lost, then good, you enjoyed a rhythm, an inner rhythm, and it was beautiful and you liked it, but it was like a drug – it is an acid trip. By chanting, by the sound, you created certain drugs in your body.

Chanting creates chemical changes in the body, and those changes are no different than marijuana or LSD. Some day, when research goes deeper into meditation, they are going to find that chanting creates chemical changes – just as fasting also creates chemical changes. After the seventh or eighth day of fasting, one feels tremendously jubilant, weightless, very glad for no reason, delighted – as if all burden has disappeared. Your body is creating a certain chemical change.

I am as much against LSD as I am against fasting. And if chanting is used as a drug, I am against it. So the point to be remembered is that you have to use the sound, the chanting, the mantra, not as an intoxicant for your being. Let it be an intoxicant for the body and the mind but you slip out of it before you become intoxicated; you stand out and you watch. You see the body swaying and you see the mind feeling very very peaceful and calm and quiet. Watch from the outside and be alert like a flame.

If this is not done you will have a good sleep but nothing more. Then it is a good thing for health but nothing for the ultimate growth.

Good – pay attention to Nadabrahma, mm? And sometimes sitting silently, start chanting anything, ‘aum’, will do, or choose anything, any word, and get in tune with it. Meaning is not important: it can be meaningless – it can be meaningful. ‘Aum’ has no meaning. Or you can create your own mantra and chant it. But remember to slip out of it.

Let the body get drunk, let the mind get drunk, let them fall into a deep love-affair with each other, and you slip out of it. Don’t stay there longer – otherwise you will fall asleep. And if one falls asleep, it is not meditation. Meditation means awareness. So remember it!

-Osho

From The Buddha Disease, Chapter 31

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Also see OSHO Nadabrahma Meditation

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.

Be Like a Hollow Bamboo – Osho

Now we will enter into the sutra.

Do nought with the body but relax; shut firm the mouth and silent remain; empty your mind and think of nought. Do nought with the body but relax. 

Now you can understand what relaxation means. It means no urge to activity in you. Relaxation doesn’t mean lying down like a dead man; and you cannot lie down like a dead man – you can pretend only. How can you lie down like a dead man? You are alive; you can only pretend. Relaxation comes to you when there is no urge to activity; the energy is at home, not moving anywhere. If a certain situation arises you will act, that’s all, but you are not finding some excuse to act. You are at ease with yourself. Relaxation is to be at home.

I was reading one book a few years ago. The title of the book is You Must Relax. This is simply absurd, because the “must” is against relaxation – but such books can only sell in America. “Must” means activity, it is an obsession. Whenever there is a “must” an obsession is hidden behind it. There are actions in life, but there is no “must,” otherwise the “must” will create madness. “You must relax” – now relaxation has become the obsession. You have to do this posture and that, and lie down, and suggest to your body from the toes to the head; tell the toes, “Relax!” and then go upwards.

Why “must”? Relaxation comes only when there is no “must” in your life. Relaxation is not only of the body, it is not only of the mind, it is of your total being.

You are too much in activity, of course tired, dissipated, dried up, frozen. The life-energy doesn’t move. There are only blocks and blocks and blocks. And whenever you do something you do it in a madness. Of course the need to relax arises. That’s why so many books are written every month about relaxation, and I have never seen a person who has become relaxed through reading a book about relaxation – he has become more hectic, because now his whole life of activity remains untouched. His obsession is there to be active, the disease is there, and he pretends to be in a relaxed state so he lies down. All turmoil within, a volcano ready to erupt, and he is relaxing, following the instructions from a book: how to relax.

There is no book that can help you to relax – unless you read your own inner being, and then relaxation is not a must. Relaxation is an absence, absence of activity, not of action. So there is no need to move to the Himalayas. A few people have done that: to relax, they move to the Himalayas. What is the need to move to the Himalayas? Action is not to be dropped, because if you drop action you drop life. Then you will be dead, not relaxed. So in the Himalayas you will find sages who are dead, not relaxed. They have escaped from life, from action.

This is the subtle point to be understood: activity has to go, but not action – and both are easy. You can drop both and escape to the Himalayas, that’s easy. Or, the other thing is easy: you can continue in the activities, and forcing yourself every morning, or every evening, for a few minutes, to relax. You don’t understand the complexity of the human mind, the mechanism of it. Relaxation is a state. You cannot force it. You simply drop the negativities, the hindrances, and it comes, it bubbles up by itself.

What do you do when you go to sleep in the night? Do you do something? If you do, you will be an insomniac, you will move into insomnia. What do you do? You simply lie down and go into sleep. There is no “doing” to it. If you “do,” it will be impossible to sleep. In fact, to go into sleep all that is needed is, the continuity in the mind of the activities of the day has to discontinue. That’s all! When the activity is not there in the mind, the mind relaxes and goes into sleep. If you do something to go into sleep, you will be at a loss, then sleep will be impossible. Doing is not needed at all.

Says Tilopa, Do nought with the body but relax. Don’t do anything! No yoga posture is needed, no distortions and contortions of the body are needed. ”Do nought!” – only absence of activity is needed. And how will it come? It will come by understanding. Understanding is the only discipline. Understand your activities and suddenly, in the middle of the activity, if you become aware, it will stop. If you become aware why you are doing it, it will stop. And that stopping is what Tilopa means: Do nought with the body but relax.

What is relaxation? It is a state of affairs where your energy is not moving anywhere, not to the future, not to the past – it is simply there with you. In the silent pool of your own energy, in the warmth of it, you are enveloped. This moment is all. There is no other moment. Time stops – then there is relaxation. If time is there, there is no relaxation. Simply, the clock stops; there is no time. This moment is all. You don’t ask for anything else, you simply enjoy it. Ordinary things can be enjoyed because they are beautiful. In fact, nothing is ordinary – if God exists, then everything is extraordinary.

People come to me and ask, “Do you believe in God?” I say, “Yes, because everything is so extraordinary, how can it be without a deep consciousness in it?” Just small things …. Walking on the lawn when the dewdrops have not evaporated yet, and just feeling totally there – the texture, the touch of the lawn, the coolness of the dewdrops, the morning wind, the sun rising. What more do you need to be happy? What more is possible to be happy? Just lying down in the night on the cool sheet on your bed, feeling the texture; feeling that the sheet is getting warmer and warmer, and you are shrouded in darkness, the silence of the night …. With closed eyes you simply feel yourself. What more do you need? It is too much – a deep gratitude arises: this is relaxation.

Relaxation means this moment is more than enough, more than can be asked and expected. Nothing to ask, more than enough, than you can desire – then the energy never moves anywhere. It becomes a placid pool. In your own energy, you dissolve. This moment is relaxation. Relaxation is neither of the body nor of the mind, relaxation is of the total. That’s why buddhas go on saying, “Become desireless,” because they know that if there is desire, you cannot relax. They go on saying, “Bury the dead,” because if you are too much concerned with the past, you cannot relax. They go on saying, “Enjoy this very moment.”

Jesus says, “Look at the lilies. Consider the lilies in the field – they toil not and they are more beautiful, their splendor is greater than King Solomon. They are arrayed in more beautiful aroma than King Solomon ever was. Look, consider the lilies!”

What is he saying? He is saying, “Relax! You need not toil for it – in fact, everything is provided.” Jesus says, “If he looks after the birds of air, animals, wild animals, trees and plants, then why are you worried? Will he not look after you?” This is relaxation. Why are you so much worried about the future? Consider the lilies, watch the lilies, and become like lilies – and then relax. Relaxation is not a posture; relaxation is a total transformation of your energy.

Energy can have two dimensions. One is motivated, going somewhere, a goal somewhere; this moment is only a means and the goal is somewhere else to be achieved. This is one dimension of your energy, this is the dimension of activity, goal-oriented. Then everything is a means; somehow it has to be done and you have to reach to the goal, then you will relax. But for this type of energy the goal never comes, because this type of energy goes on changing every present moment into a means for something else, into the future. The goal always remains on the horizon. You go on running, but the distance remains the same.

No, there is another dimension of energy: that dimension is unmotivated celebration. The goal is here, now; the goal is not somewhere else. In fact, you are the goal. In fact, there is no other fulfillment than of this moment – consider the lilies. When you are the goal and when the goal is not in the future, when there is nothing to be achieved, rather, you have just to celebrate it, you have already achieved it, it is there. This is relaxation, unmotivated energy.

So, to me, there are two types of persons: the goal-seekers and the celebrators. The goal-oriented, they are the mad ones; they are going, by and by, crazy, and they are creating their own craziness. And then the craziness has its own momentum: by and by, they move deeper into it – then they are completely lost. The other type of person is not a goal-seeker – he is not a seeker at all, he is a celebrator.

And this I teach to you: Be the celebrators, celebrate! Already there is too much: the flowers have bloomed, the birds are singing, the sun is there in the sky – celebrate it! You are breathing and you are alive, and you have consciousness – celebrate it! Then suddenly you relax, then there is no tension, then there is no anguish. The whole energy that becomes anguish becomes gratitude; your whole heart goes on beating with a deep thankfulness – that is prayer. That’s all prayer is about: a heart beating with a deep thankfulness. 

Do nought with the body but relax.

No need to do anything for it. Just understand the movement of the energy, the unmotivated movement of the energy. It flows, but not towards a goal, it flows as a celebration. It moves, not towards a goal, it moves because of its own overflowing energy.

A child is dancing and jumping and running around; ask him, “Where are you going?” He is not going anywhere – you will look foolish to him. Children always think that adults are foolish. What a nonsense question, “Where are you going?” Is there any need to go anywhere? A child simply cannot answer your question because it is irrelevant. He is not going anywhere. He will simply shrug his shoulders. He will say, “Nowhere.” Then the goal-oriented mind asks, “Then why are you running?” – because to us an activity is relevant only when it leads somewhere.

And I tell you, there is nowhere to go: here is all. The whole existence culminates in this moment, it converges into this moment. The whole existence is pouring already in this moment; all that is there is pouring into this moment – it is here, now. A child is simply enjoying the energy. He has too much. He is running, not because he has to reach somewhere, but because he has too much; he has to run.

Act unmotivated, just an overflow of your energy. Share, but don’t trade, don’t make bargains. Give because you have, don’t give to take back – because then you will be in misery. All traders go to hell. If you want to find the greatest traders and bargainers, go to hell, there you will find them. Heaven is not for traders. Heaven is for celebrators.

In Christian theology, again and again, for centuries it has been asked, “What do angels do in heaven?” This is a relevant question for people who are goal-oriented: “What do angels do in heaven?” Nothing seems to be done, nothing is there to do. Somebody asked Meister Eckhart, “What do angels do in heaven?” He said, “What type of a fool are you? Heaven is a place to celebrate. They don’t do anything. They simply celebrate – the glory of it, the magnificence of it, the poetry of it, the blooming of it, they celebrate. They sing and they dance and they celebrate.” But I don’t think that that man was satisfied by Meister Eckhart’s answer, because to us an activity is meaningful only if it leads somewhere, if there is a goal.

Remember, activity is goal-oriented, action is not. Action is overflowing of energy; action is in this moment, a response, unprepared, unrehearsed. Just the whole existence meets you, confronts you, and a response comes. The birds are singing and you start singing – it is not an activity. Suddenly it happens. Suddenly you find it is happening, that you have started humming – this is action.

And if you become more and more involved in action, and less and less occupied in activity, your life will change and it will become a deep relaxation. Then you “do” but you remain relaxed. A buddha is never tired. Why? – because he is not a doer. Whatsoever he has, he gives, he overflows.

Do nought with the body but relax; shut firm the mouth and silent remain.

The mouth is really very, very significant, because that is where the first activity landed; your lips started the first activity. Surrounding the area of the mouth is the beginning of all activity: you breathed in, you cried, you started groping for the mother’s breast. And your mouth remains always in a frantic activity. That’s why Tilopa suggests: “Understand activity, understand action, relax, and… shut firm the mouth.”

Whenever you sit down to meditate, whenever you want to be silent, the first thing is to shut the mouth completely. If you shut the mouth completely, your tongue will touch the roof of your mouth; both the lips will be completely closed and the tongue will touch the roof. Shut it completely – but that can be done only if you have followed whatsoever I have been saying to you, not before it.

You can do it! Shutting of the mouth is not a very big effort. You can sit like a statue, with a completely shut mouth, but that will not stop activity. Deep inside the thinking will continue, and if thinking continues you can feel subtle vibrations in the lips. Others may not be able to observe it because they are very subtle, but if you are thinking then your lips quiver a little – a very subtle quivering.

When you really relax, that quivering stops. You are not talking, you are not making any activity inside you. Shut firm the mouth and silent remain. And then don’t think.

What will you do? Thoughts are coming and going. Let them come and go, that’s not the problem. You don’t get involved; you remain aloof, detached. You simply watch them coming and going, they are not your concern. Shut the mouth and you remain silent. By and by, thoughts will cease automatically – they need your cooperation to be there. If you cooperate, they will be there; if you fight, then too they will be there – because both are cooperations: one for, the other against. Both are sorts of activity. You simply watch.

But shutting of the mouth is very helpful. So first, as I have been observing many people, I will suggest to you that first yawn: open your mouth as wide as possible, tense your mouth as wide as possible, yawn completely; it even starts hurting. Two or three times do this. This will help the mouth to remain shut for a longer time. And then for two or three minutes, say loudly gibberish, nonsense. Anything that comes to the mind, say it loudly and enjoy it. Then shut the mouth.

It is easier to move from the opposite end. If you want to relax your hand, it is better to first make it as tense as possible. Clench the fist and let it be as tense as possible, do just the opposite and then relax – and then you will attain a deeper relaxation of the nervous system. Make gestures, faces, movements of the face, distortions, yawn, say two or three minutes nonsense – and then shut. And this tension will give you a deeper possibility to relax the lips and mouth. Shut the mouth and then just be a watcher. Soon a silence will descend on you.

There are two types of silences. One, silence that you can force upon yourself. That is not a very graceful thing, it is a violence; it is a sort of rape on the mind, it is aggressive. Then there is another sort of silence that descends on you, like night descends. It comes upon you, it envelops you. You simply create the possibility for it, the receptivity, and it comes. Shut the mouth, watch, don’t try to be silent. If you try, you can force a few seconds of silence, but they will not be of any value – inside you will go on boiling. So don’t try to be silent. You simply create the situation, the soil, put the seed and wait. 

Empty your mind and think of nought.

What will you do to empty the mind? Thoughts are coming, you watch. And watching has to be done with a precaution: the watching must be passive, not active. These are the subtle mechanisms and you have to understand everything, otherwise you can miss anywhere. And if you miss a slight point, the whole thing changes its quality. Watch; watch passively, not actively.

What is the difference? You are waiting for your girl, or your lover – then you watch actively. Then somebody passes by the door and you jump up to look whether she has come. Then, just leaves fluttering in the wind, and you feel maybe she has come. You go on jumping up; your mind is very eager, active. No, this will not help. If you are too eager and too active this will not bring you to Tilopa’s silence or my silence. Be passive as you sit by the side of a river and the river floats by, and you simply watch. There is no eagerness, no urgency, no emergency. Nobody is forcing you. Even if you miss, there is nothing missed. You simply watch, you just look. Even the word “watch” is not good, because the very word “watch” gives a feeling of being active. You simply look, not having anything to do. You simply sit by the bank of the river, you look, and the river flows by. Or, you look in the sky and the clouds float, and passively.

This passiveness is very, very essential; that is to be understood, because your obsession for activity can become eagerness, can become an active waiting. Then you miss the whole point; then the activity has entered from the back door again. Be a passive watcher.

Empty your mind and think of nought.

This passivity will automatically empty your mind. Ripples of activity, ripples of mind-energy, by and by, will subside, and the whole surface of your consciousness will be without any waves, without any ripples. It becomes like a silent mirror. 

Like a hollow bamboo rest at ease with your body.

This is one of Tilopa’s special methods. Every Master has his own special method through which he has attained, and through which he would like to help others. This is Tilopa’s specialty: Like a hollow bamboo rest at ease with your body.

A bamboo: inside completely hollow. When you rest, you just feel that you are like a bamboo: inside completely hollow and empty. And in fact this is the case: your body is just like a bamboo, and inside it is hollow. Your skin, your bones, your blood, all are part of the bamboo, and inside there is space, hollowness.

When you are sitting with a completely silent mouth, inactive, tongue touching the roof and silent, not quivering with thoughts, mind watching passively, not waiting for anything in particular, feel like a hollow bamboo – and suddenly infinite energy starts pouring within you, you are filled with the unknown, with the mysterious, with the divine. A hollow bamboo becomes a flute and the divine starts playing it. Once you are empty then there is no barrier for the divine to enter in you.

Try this; this is one of the most beautiful meditations, the meditation of becoming a hollow bamboo. You need not do anything else. You simply become this – and all else happens. Suddenly you feel something is descending in your hollowness. You are like a womb and a new life is entering in you, a seed is falling. And a moment comes when the bamboo completely disappears.

Like a hollow bamboo rest at ease with your body.

Rest at ease – don’t desire spiritual things, don’t desire heaven, don’t desire even God. God cannot be desired – when you are desireless, he comes to you. Liberation cannot be desired because desire is the bondage. When you are desireless, you are liberated. Buddhahood cannot be desired, because desiring is the hindrance. When the barrier is not, suddenly Buddha explodes in you. You have the seed already. When you are empty, space is there – the seed explodes.

Like a hollow bamboo rest at ease with your body. Giving not nor taking, put your mind at rest.

There is nothing to give, there is nothing to get. Everything is absolutely okay – as it is. There is no need for any give and take. You are absolutely perfect as you are.

This teaching of the East has been very much misunderstood in the West, because they say, “What type of teaching is this? Then people will not strive, and then they will not try to go higher. Then they will not make any effort to change their character, to transform their evil ways into good ways. Then they may become a victim of the devil.” In the West, “Improve yourself” is the slogan; either in terms of this world, or in terms of the other, but improve. How to improve? How to become greater and bigger?

In the East we understand it more deeply, that this very effort to become is the barrier – because your being you are already carrying with you. You need not become anything – simply realize who you are, that’s all. Simply realize who is hidden within you. Improving, whatsoever you improve, you will always be in anxiety and anguish because the very effort to improve is leading you on a wrong path. It makes future meaningful, a goal meaningful, ideals meaningful, and then your mind becomes a desiring.

Desiring, you miss. Let desiring subside, become a silent pool of non-desiring – and suddenly you are surprised, unexpectedly it is there. And you will have a belly-laugh, as Bodhidharma laughed. And Bodhidharma’s followers say that when you become silent again, you can hear his roaring laugh. He is still laughing. He has not stopped laughing since then. He laughed because, “What type of joke is this? You are already that which you are trying to become! How can you be successful if you are already that, and you are trying to become that? Your failure is absolutely certain. How can you become that which you are already?” So Bodhidharma laughed.

Bodhidharma was just exactly a contemporary of Tilopa. They may have known each other, maybe not physically, but they must have known each other – the same quality of being.

Giving not nor taking, put your mind at rest. Mahamudra is like a mind that clings to nought.

You have achieved if you don’t cling; nothingness in your hand – and you have achieved.

Mahamudra is like a mind that clings to nought. Thus practicing, in time you will reach buddhahood.

What is to be practiced then? To be more and more at ease. To be more and more here and now. To be more and more in action, and less and less in activity. To be more and more hollow, empty, passive. To be more and more a watcher – indifferent, not expecting anything, not desiring anything. To be happy with yourself as you are. To be celebrating.

And then, any moment, any moment, when things ripen and the right season comes, you bloom into a buddha.

-Osho

From Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, Discourse #4

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.

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Meditation Means No-Mind – Osho

You said last night that the more the mind grows, the more we know that the nature of the mind is confusion. But isn’t it true that this growth of the mind also leads to clarity?

Whatsoever I was just saying is related to this.

Yes, it leads to clarity, because only when you have a very mature mind do you become aware that you are confused. Even to become aware that mind is confusion, a very developed mind is needed. Those who are not aware that their mind is confusion are really not mature minds. They are childish, juvenile, still developing. Only a very mature mind can become aware of the quality of the mind, that it is confusion. And when you have developed the mind, only then is meditation possible, because meditation is the opposite goal.

Meditation means no-mind. But how can you achieve a no-mind if you have not achieved a mind? So, achieve a mind just to lose it. And don’t think that if ultimately one has to reach the state of no-mind, then what is the use of achieving a mind? – because if you don’t achieve a mind, the ultimate is not going to happen to you. It can happen only if the mind is there. So I am not against mind, I am not against intellect. Really, I am not against anything. I am for everything, because everything can be used to reach the opposite pole.

There is a polarity, and the opposite pole cannot be reached if the polarity is not there. A madman cannot meditate. Why? Because he has no mind. But this no-mind is not the no-mind of Buddha. No-mind can have two dimensions: below mind and above mind. The above mind is also no-mind, and the below mind is also no-mind. You can fall down from the mind: the mind is not there, but it is not meditation. You have to go beyond mind, only then is the Buddha’s no-mind achieved. And always remember it, because they are so similar you can misunderstand the whole thing. They are so similar.

For example, a child is innocent. A saint is also innocent – a Jesus or a Krishna – but their innocence is not childish. It is childlike, not childish; because a child is innocent only because he is ignorant. He is innocent only as a negative thing, just the absence. Sooner or later everything will erupt; he is a volcano waiting to erupt. The innocence is just the silence before the volcano erupts. A saint is one who has gone beyond. The eruption has happened; the volcano is silent again. But this silence is different. The first silence was very pregnant; something was present there. The silence was just on the surface; deep down that child was getting ready to be disturbed. The saint has passed the disturbance. The cyclone has gone. This silence, the innocence, appears similar, but there is a deep difference.

So sometimes an idiot can also appear to be saint-like. And idiots are saint-like. They are not cunning; to be cunning, intelligence is needed. They are not calculating; to be calculating, mind is needed. Idiots are simple, innocent, non-cunning, non-calculating. They cannot deceive anyone. Not that they would not like to; they cannot. The very capacity is not there. They look like saints, and sometimes saints look like idiots, because the same thing has happened again, in a different, altogether different, dimension.

You can fall down below the mind: then too, a no-mind happens, but it is not meditation. You have simply lost even that mind which was going to become a step towards meditation. So I am not against mind. Develop mind, develop intellect, but remember well – this is just a means, and a means which has to be forsaken, thrown away. It has to be used like a boat. You reach the other shore; you leave the boat. You forget about the boat completely.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #50, Q3

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.

Sudden Enlightenment and its Obstacles – Osho

You said that either one sees the world or the Brahman and that no gradually increasing perception of the Brahman is possible. But in experience we feel that as we become aware and more silent and still, the feeling of the divine presence becomes gradually clearer and clearer. What is this gradual growth and clarity if the authentic experience is never gradual, but sudden?

This has been a very ancient problem: “Is enlightenment sudden or gradual?” Many things have to be understood. There has been a tradition which says that enlightenment is gradual and that everything can be divided into degrees, everything can be divided into steps – that like anything else, knowledge can also be divided; you can become more and more wise, you can become more and more enlightened. This has been widely accepted because the human mind cannot conceive of anything sudden. Mind wants to divide, analyze. Mind is a divider. Degrees can be understood by the mind, but suddenness is non – mental-beyond mind.

If I say to you that you are ignorant and that gradually you will become wise, this is comprehensible, you can comprehend it. If I say to you, “No, there is no gradual growth. Either you are ignorant or you become enlightened, there is a sudden jump,” then the question arises of how to become enlightened. If there were no gradualness, there could be no progress. If there were no degree of growth, no degrees, then you could not make progress, you could not proceed. From where to begin? In a sudden explosion, the beginning and the end are both the same. There is no gap between the beginning and the end, so from where to begin? The beginning is the end. It becomes a puzzle for the mind, it becomes a koan. But sudden enlightenment seems to be impossible. It is not that it is impossible, but that the mind cannot conceive of it. And, remember, how can the mind conceive of enlightenment? It cannot. It has been widely accepted that this inner explosion is also gradual growth. Even many enlightened persons have conceded that to your minds, and they have said, “Yes, there is a gradual growth.”

It is not that there is. They have said it and accepted your attitude, your way of perception. They have been in a deep compassion for you. They know that if you start thinking that it is gradual, the start will be good, but there will be no gradual growth. But if you start, if you go on seeking it, someday the sudden thing will happen to you. And if it is said that enlightenment is only sudden and no gradual growth is possible, you are not even going to start and it will never happen. Many enlightened persons have said that enlightenment is a gradual thing just to help you, just to persuade you to start.

Something is possible through gradual process, but not enlightenment – not enlightenment, something else. And that something else becomes helpful. For example, if you are making water to evaporate it, heating it, evaporation will come suddenly. At a certain point, at a hundred degrees, evaporation will happen – suddenly! There will be no gradual growth between water and vapor. You cannot divide; you cannot say that this water is a little vapor and a little water. Either it is water or it is all vapor. Suddenly the water jumps into the state of vapor. There is a jump – not gradual growth. But by heating you are gradually giving heat to the water. You are helping it to reach the hundred degree point, the evaporating point. This is a natural growth. Up to the evaporating point, the water will grow in the sense of being more and more hot. Then evaporation will happen suddenly.

So there have been masters who were wise, compassionate, who used the language of the human mind which you can understand, telling you, “Yes, there is a gradual growth.” It gives you courage and confidence and hope, and a possibility that it can happen to you also. You cannot attain in a sudden explosion, but by and by, step by step, with your limitations, with your weaknesses, you can grow to it. It may take many lives, but still there is hope. You will just get heated by all your efforts.

The second thing to remember: even hot water is still water. So even if you become more clear in your mind, more pure in your perceptions, more moral, more centered, you are still man, not a buddha, not enlightened. You become more silent, more still, calmer. You feel a deep bliss, but still you are a man, and your feelings are really negative, not positive.

You feel calm because you are now less tense. You feel blissful because now you are clinging less to your miseries; you are not creating them. You feel collected. It is not that you have come to realize the one, but only because now you are less divided. Remember this: your growth is negative. You are just hot water. The possibility is there that at any moment you will come to the point where evaporation happens. When it happens, you will not feel calmness, you will not even feel blissful, you will not feel silent, because these attributes are relative to their opposites. When you are tense, you can feel silence. When you feel noise, you can feel stillness. When you are divided, fragmentary, you can feel oneness. When you are in suffering, anguish, you can feel bliss.

That is why Buddha was silent – because language cannot now express that which is beyond polarities. He cannot say, “Now I am filled with bliss,” because even this feeling that “Now I am filled with bliss” is possible only with a background of suffering and anguish. You can feel health only with a background of illness and disease; you can feel life only with a background of death. Buddha cannot say, “Now I am deathless,” because death has disappeared so completely that deathlessness cannot be felt.

If the misery has disappeared so completely, how can you feel blissful? If the noise and the anguish are so absolutely non-existent, how can you feel silence? All these experiences, feelings, are related to their opposites. Without their opposites they cannot be felt. If darkness disappears completely, how can you feel light? It is impossible.

Buddha cannot say, “I have become light!” He cannot say, “Now I am filled with light.” If he says such things, we will say he is not yet a buddha. He cannot utter such things. Darkness must be there if you want to feel light; death must be there if you want to feel deathlessness. You cannot avoid the opposite. It is a basic necessity for any experience to exist. So what is Buddha’s experience? Whatsoever we know, it is not that. It is neither negative nor positive, neither this nor that. And whatsoever can be expressed, it is not that.

That is why Lao Tzu insists so much that truth cannot be said, and the moment you say it you have falsified it. Already it is untrue. Truth cannot be said because of this: it cannot be divided into polar opposites, and language is meaningful only with polar opposites. Language becomes meaningless otherwise. Without the contrary, language loses meaning.

So there is a tradition which says that enlightenment is gradual, but that tradition is not really the truth. It is just a half-truth uttered in compassion for human minds. Enlightenment is sudden, and it cannot be otherwise. It is a jump! It is a discontinuity from your past! Try to understand: if something is gradual, the past goes on remaining in it. If something is gradual, then there is a continuity.

There is no gap. If from ignorance to knowledge there is gradual growth, the ignorance cannot completely disappear. It will remain, it will continue, because there has been no discontinuity, there has been no gap. So the ignorance may become more polished, the ignorance may become more knowledgeable. The ignorance may appear wise, but it is there. The more polished it is, then, of course, the more dangerous. The more knowledgeable it is, then the more cunning one is and the more capable of deceiving oneself.

Enlightenment and ignorance are absolutely separate, discontinuous. A jump is needed – a jump in which the past dissolves completely. The old is gone; it is no more, and the new has appeared which was never there before.

Buddha is reported to have said, “I am not that one who was seeking. The one who has appeared now never was before.” This looks absurd, illogical, but it is so. It is so! Buddha says, “I am not he who was seeking; I am not he who was desiring enlightenment; I am not he who was ignorant. The old man is dead completely. I am a new one. I never existed in that old man. There has been a gap. The old has died and the new is born.”

For the mind to conceive of this is difficult. How can you conceive of it? How can you conceive of a gap? Something must continue. How can something disappear completely and something new appear? It was absurd for logical minds, it was absurd for scientific minds, just two decades before. But now, for science, it is not absurd. Now they say that deep down in the atom electrons appear and disappear, and they take jumps. From one point the electron takes a jump to another; in between the two it is not. It appears at point A, then disappears and reappears at point B, and within the gap it is no more. It is not there. It becomes absolutely non-existent.

If this is so, it means that non-existence is also a sort of existence. It is difficult to conceive of, but it is so: non-existence is also a sort of existence. It is as if something moves from the visible to the invisible, as if something moves from form to formlessness.

When Gautam Siddharth, the old man who died in Gautam Buddha, was seeking, he was a visible form. When the enlightenment happened, that form completely dissolved into the formless. For a moment there was a gap; there was no one. Then from that formlessness a new form arose.

This was Gautam Buddha. Because the body continues in the same way, we think that there is a continuity, but the inner reality changes completely. Because the body continues in the same way, that is why we say “Gautam Buddha” – that “Gautam Siddharth has now become Gautam the awakened; he has become a buddha.” But Buddha himself says, “I am not he who was seeking. I am a totally different one.”

It is difficult for the mind to conceive of this – and for the mind many things are difficult, but they cannot be denied just because they are difficult for the mind. The mind has to yield to those impossibilities which are incomprehensible to it. Sex cannot yield to the mind; the mind has to yield to sex. This is one of the most basic inner facts – that enlightenment is a discontinuous phenomenon. The old simply disappears and the new is born.

There has been another tradition, a later tradition, of those who have been insisting all through history that Enlightenment is sudden – that it is not gradual. But those who belong to it are very few. They stick to the truth, but they are bound to be very few because no following can be created if sudden Enlightenment is the case. You simply cannot understand it, so how can you follow it? It is shocking to the logical structure and it seems absurd, impossible. But remember one thing: then you move into deeper realms. Whether of matter or of mind, you will have to encounter many things of which a superficial mind cannot conceive.

Tertullian, one of the greatest Christian mystics, has said, “I believe in God because God is the greatest absurdity. I believe in God because mind cannot believe in God.” It is impossible to believe in God; no proof, no argument, no logic can help the belief in God. Everything goes against him, against his existence, but Tertullian says, “That is why I believe – because only by believing in an absurdity can I move away from my mind.”

This is beautiful. If you want to move away from your mind, you will need something of which your mind cannot conceive. If your mind can conceive of it, it will absorb it into its own system, and then you cannot transcend your mind. That is why every religion has insisted on some point which is absurd. No religion can exist without some absurdity just as a foundation in it. From that absurdity you either turn back and say, “I cannot believe so I will go away.” Then you remain yourself – or you take a jump, you turn away from your mind. And unless your mind is killed the enlightenment cannot happen.

Your mind is the problem, your logic is the problem, your arguments are the problem.

They are on the surface. They look true, but they deceive. They are not true. For example, look how the mind’s structure functions. The mind divides everything in two, and nothing is divisible. Existence is indivisible; you cannot divide it – but mind goes on dividing it. It says that “this” is life and “this” is death. What is the actual fact? The actual fact is that both are the same. You are both alive and dying this very moment; you are doing both. Rather, you are both -death and life.

Mind divides. It says, “this” is death and “this” is life. Not only does it divide; it says that both are opposites, enemies, and that death is trying to destroy life. And it looks okay: death is “trying to destroy life.” But if you penetrate deeper, deeper than the mind, death is not trying to destroy life!

You cannot exist without death. Death is helping you to exist. It is every moment helping you to exist. If for a single moment death stops working, you will die.

Death is every moment throwing away many parts in you which have become non-functional. Many cells die; they are removed by death. When they are removed, new ones are born. You are growing: something is dying and something is being born continuously. Every moment there is death and life, and both are functioning. In language I have to call them both two. They are not two; they are two aspects of one phenomenon. Life and death are one; “life-death” is a process. But mind divides.

That division looks okay for us, but that division is false.

You say “this” is light and “that” is dark; you divide. But where does darkness start and where does light end? Can you demarcate them? You cannot demark them. Actually, whiteness and blackness are two poles of a long greyness, and that greyness is life. On one pole blackness appears and on another pole whiteness appears, but the reality is grey, and that grey contains both in itself. Mind divides and then everything looks clear-cut. Life is very confusing; that is why life is a mystery.

And because of this, mind cannot understand life. It is helpful to create clear-cut concepts. You can think easily, conveniently, but you miss the very reality of life. Life is a mystery, and mind demystifies everything. Then you have dead fragments, not the whole.

With the mind you will not be able to conceive of how enlightenment is sudden, how you will disappear and something new will be there which you had never known before. But don’t try to understand through mind. Rather, practice something which will make you more and more hot.

Rather, try to attain some fire which will make you more and more hot. And then one day suddenly you will know that the old has disappeared; the water is no more. This is a new phenomenon. You have evaporated, and everything has changed totally.

Water was always flowing downwards, and after evaporation the new phenomenon is rising upwards.

The whole law has changed. You have heard about one law, Newton’s law of gravity, which says that the earth attracts everything downwards. But the law of gravity is only one law. There is another law. You may not have heard about it because science has yet to uncover it, but yoga and tantra have known it for centuries. They call it levitation. Gravity is the pull downwards and levitation is the pull upwards.

The story of how the law of gravity was discovered is well known. Newton was sitting under a tree, under an apple tree, and then one apple fell down. Because of this he started thinking, and he felt that something is pulling the apple downwards. Tantra and yoga ask, “How did the apple reach upwards in the first place? How?” That must be explained first – how the apple reached the upward position, how the tree is growing upwards. The apple was not there; it was hidden in a seed, and then the apple traveled the whole journey. It reached the upward position and only then did it fall down. So gravity is a secondary law. Levitation was there first. Something was pulling the apple upwards. What is that?

In life we easily know gravity because we are all pulled downwards. The water flows downwards; it is under the law of gravity. When it evaporates, suddenly the law also evaporated. Now it is under levitation, it rises upwards.

Ignorance is under the law of gravity: you always move downwards, and whatsoever you do makes no difference. You have to move downwards. In every way you will have to move downwards, and struggle alone will not be of much help unless you enter a different law – the law of levitation. That is what samadhi is – the door for levitation. Once you evaporate, once you are no more water, everything changes. It is not that now you can control: there is no need to control, you simply cannot flow downwards now. As it was impossible before to rise upwards, now it is impossible to flow downwards.

It is not that a buddha tries to be non-violent; he cannot do otherwise. It is not that he tries to be loving; he cannot do otherwise. He has to be loving. That is not a choice, not an effort, not any cultivated virtue, it is simply that now this is the law: he rises upwards. Hate is under the law of gravity; love is under levitation.

This sudden transformation doesn’t mean that you are not to do anything and that you are simply to wait for the sudden transformation. Then it will never come. This is the puzzle. When I say – or someone else says – that enlightenment is sudden; we think that if it is sudden nothing can be done that we must simply wait. When it will happen, it will happen, so what can one do? If it is gradual you can do something.

But I say to you that it is not gradual, and yet you can do something. And you have to do something, but that something will not bring you enlightenment. That something will bring you near the phenomenon of enlightenment. That something will make you open for the phenomenon of enlightenment to happen. So enlightenment cannot be an outcome of your efforts; it is not. Through your efforts you simply become available for the higher law of levitation. Your availability will come through your effort, not enlightenment. You will become open, you will become non-resistant, you will become cooperative for the higher law to work. And once you are cooperative and non-resistant, the higher law starts functioning. Your efforts will yield you; your efforts will make you more receptive.

It is just like this: you are sitting in your room with closed doors. The sun is outside, but you are in darkness. You cannot do anything to bring the sun in, but if you simply open the doors your room becomes available. You cannot bring the sun in, but you can block it out. If you open your doors, the sun will enter, the waves will come; the light will come into the room.

You are not really bringing the light; you are simply removing the hindrance. The light comes by itself. Understand it deeply: you cannot do anything to reach enlightenment, but you are doing many things to hinder it – to hinder it from reaching to you. You are creating many barriers, so you can only do something negatively: you can throw the barriers; you can open the doors. The moment the doors are open, the rays will enter, the light will touch you and transform you.

All effort in this sense is to destroy the barriers, not to attain enlightenment. All effort is negative. It is just like medicine. The medicine cannot give you health; it can only destroy your diseases. Once the diseases are not there, health happens; you become available. If diseases are there, health cannot happen.

That is why medical science, Eastern or Western, has not yet been able to define what health is. They can define each disease exactly – they know thousands and thousands of diseases and they have defined them all – but they cannot define what health is. At the most they can say that when there is no disease you are healthy. But what is health? Something which goes beyond mind. It is something which is there: you can have it, you can feel it, but you cannot define it.

You have known health, but can you define it – what it is? The moment you try to define it you will have to bring disease in. You will have to talk something about disease, and you will have to say, “No-disease is health.” This is ridiculous. To define health you need disease? And disease has definite qualities. Health also has its own qualities, but they are not so definite because they are infinite. You can feel them; when health is there you know it is there. But what is it? Diseases can be treated, destroyed. Barriers are broken and the light enters. Similar is the phenomenon of enlightenment. It is a spiritual health. Mind is a spiritual disease, and meditation is nothing but medicine.

Buddha is said to have said, “I am a medicine man, a vaidya – a physician. I am not a teacher and I have not come to give you doctrines. I know a certain medicine which can cure your diseases. And don’t ask about health. Take the medicine, destroy the disease, and you will know what health is. Don’t ask about it.” Buddha says, “I am not a metaphysician, I am not a philosopher. I am not interested in what God is, in what soul is, in what kaivalya, aloneness, moksha, liberation, and nirvana is. I am not interested! I am simply interested in what disease is and in how it can be cured. I am a medicine man.” His approach is absolutely scientific. He has diagnosed human dilemma and disease. His approach is absolutely right.

Destroy the barriers. What are the barriers? Thinking is the basic barrier. When you think, a barrier of thoughts is created. Between you and the reality a wall of thoughts is created, and thoughts are more dense than any stone wall can be. And then there are many layers of thought. You cannot penetrate through them and see what the real is. You go on thinking about what the real is and you go on imagining what the real is, and the real is here and now waiting for you. If you become available to it, it will happen to you. You go on thinking about what the real is, but how can you think if you don’t know?

You cannot think about something which you don’t know; you can only think about something which you already know. Thinking is repetitious, tautological; it never reaches to anything new and unknown. Through thinking you never touch the unknown; you only touch the known, and it is meaningless because you already know it. You can go on feeling it again and again; you may enjoy the feeling, but nothing new comes out of it.

Stop thinking. Dissolve thinking, and the barrier is broken. Then your doors are open and the light can enter. And once the light enters, you know that the old is no more. You know now that that which you are is absolutely the new. It never was before; you had never known it; but you may even say that this is the “ancient-most” – it was there always, not known to you.

You can use both expressions; they mean the same. You can call it the “ancient-most” – the brahman who has always been there, and you can say that you were missing it continuously.

Or you can say that this is the newest – that which has happened only now and never was before.

That too is right because for you this is the new. If you want to speak about the truth, you will have to use paradoxical expressions. The Upanishads say, “This is the new and this is the old. This is the most ancient and this is the newest. It is the far and the near both.” But then language becomes paradoxical, contradictory.

And you ask me, “What is this gradual growth and clarity if the authentic experience is never gradual, but sudden?” This clarity is of the mind; this clarity is of a lessening of disease; this clarity is of the falling of barriers. If one barrier falls you are less burdened, your eyes are less clouded. If another barrier falls you are still more unburdened, your eyes become still more clear. But this clarity is not of enlightenment; this clarity is only of a lessening disease, not of health. When all barriers disappear, with those barriers your mind also disappears.

Then you cannot say, “Now my mind is clear, it is no more.” Then you simply say, “Now there is no mind.” When there is no mind, then the clarity is of enlightenment. Then the clarity is of enlightenment! That is absolutely different. Then another dimension has opened. But you will have to pass through clarities of mind. Remember always that no matter how clear your mind becomes; it is still a barrier.

No matter how transparent your mind becomes, even if it becomes a transparent glass and you can look to the other side, still it is a barrier and you will have to break it completely. So sometimes it happens that when one is meditating one becomes more and more clear, more sane, more still; silence is felt. Then one clings to meditation and thinks that everything is achieved. Great masters have always been emphasizing that a day comes when you have to throw your meditation also.

I will tell you one story – one Zen story. Bokuju was meditating – meditating very deeply, meditating with his whole heart. His master would come every day, and he would just laugh and go back.

Bokuju became annoyed. The master would not say anything, he would just come and look at him, laugh and go away. And Bokuju was feeling very good in meditation. His meditation was deepening, and he needed someone to appreciate him. He was waiting for the master to pat him and say, “Good, Bokuju. You did well.” But the master just laughed. The laughter felt insulting – as if Bokuju was not progressing, and he was progressing. As he progressed more, the laughter grew more and more insulting. It was impossible to tolerate it now.

One day the master came, and Bokuju was feeling absolutely silent as far as mind can go; there was no noise within, no thought. The mind was absolutely transparent; no barrier was felt. He was filled with a subtle deep happiness, joy was bubbling all over, he was in ecstasy. Thus, he thought, “Now my master will not laugh. Now the moment has come, and he is going to tell me, ‘Now Bokuju, you have become enlightened.’”

That day the master came: the master came with a brick in his hand, and he started rubbing that brick on the rock on which Bokuju was sitting. He was so silent, and the rubbing of the brick created noise. He became annoyed. At last he couldn’t tolerate it, so he opened his eyes and asked his master, “What are you doing?”

The master said, “I am trying to make this brick a mirror, and by continuously rubbing it I hope that someday this brick will become a mirror.”

Bokuju said, “You are behaving stupidly. This stone, this brick, is not going to become a mirror. No matter how much you rub it, it is not going to become a mirror.”

The master laughed and said, “Then what are you doing? This mind can never become enlightened, and you go on rubbing and rubbing it. You are polishing it, and you are feeling so good that when I laugh you feel annoyed.” And suddenly, as the master threw his brick, Bokuju became aware. When the master threw his brick, suddenly he felt that the master was right, and the mind broke. Then from that day on there was no mind and no meditation. He became enlightened.

The master said to him, “Now you can move anywhere. Go, and teach others also. First teach them meditation; then teach them non-meditation. First teach them how to make the mind clear, because only a very clear mind can understand that now even this clear mind is a barrier. Only a deeply meditative mind can understand that now even meditation has to be thrown.

You cannot understand it right now. Krishnamurti goes on saying that there is no need of any meditation, and he is right. But he is talking to wrong persons. He is right; there is no need for any meditation, but he is wrong because of to whom he is saying this. Those who cannot even understand what meditation is, how can they understand that there is no need for any meditation?

This is going to be harmful for them because they will cling to this idea. They will feel that this idea is very good, there is no need of meditation, so “We are already enlightened.”

Listening to Krishnamurti, many feel that now there is no need of meditation and that those who are meditating are foolish. They may waste their whole life because of this thought, and this thought is right. There comes a point when meditation has to be thrown; there comes a point when meditation becomes a barrier. But wait for this point to come. You cannot throw something which you don’t have. Krishnamurti says, “No need of meditation; don’t meditate.” But you have never meditated, so how can you say, “Don’t meditate”?

A rich man can renounce his riches, not a poor man. To renounce you need something to renounce in the first place. If you meditate, you can renounce it one day – and that is the last renunciation, and that is the greatest. Wealth can he renounced; it is easy. Family can be renounced; it is not difficult.

The whole world can be renounced because everything is outer and outer and outer. The last thing is meditation, the innermost wealth. And when you renounce it, you have renounced yourself. Then no self remains – not even the meditating self, the great meditator. Even that image is broken. You have fallen into nothingness. Only in this nothingness, the discontinuity. The old has disappeared and the new has happened. You become available through meditation.

Whatsoever is felt through meditation, don’t think that it is enlightenment. These are just glimpses of a lessening disease, of a dispersing disease. You feel good. The disease is less, so you feel relatively healthy. Real health is not yet there, but you are more healthy than before and it is good to be more healthy than before.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #40, Q1

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