The Whiskers of the Pebble – Osho

What is religion? It is not the howling of the wolves at the moon, but that’s what it has become to the masses. If the masses are right, then animals have a great religious sense – wolves howling, dogs barking at the moon, at the distant, at the faraway.

Paul Tillich has defined religion as the ultimate concern. It is exactly the opposite: it is the immediate concern, not the ultimate concern. In fact, the immediate is the only ultimate there is.

Religion is not a desire for the distant, a curiosity for the faraway. It is an inquiry into one’s own being.

That’s why Buddhism is not concerned with God at all. It is concerned with you, with your reality. It’s whole process is like peeling an onion. Buddhism continues to peel your reality; layer upon layer, it goes on destroying the illusions, the dreams. And just as happens when you peel an onion, ultimately only nothing is left in your hands. That nothing is the source of all. Out of that nothing all arises and slowly, slowly disappears back into that nothing.

Now physicists are coming very close to it. They call that nothing ‘the black hole’ – matter disappears into black holes, is utterly annihilated, and becomes nothing. Now, after black holes, there is talk in scientific circles about white holes too. Out of white holes, matter arises. It seems black holes and white holes are just two aspects of the same reality – like a door. On one side of the door is written ‘Entrance’; the other side of the same door is called the ‘Exit’.

When things appear out of the womb of nothingness, the door is called the white hole – white because it gives birth, white because life comes out of it. By calling it white we are appreciating it, we are valuing it. One day every-thing disappears back into the same door – then we call it black. We have always called death black. Man has always been afraid of the black, of the dark, of death.

But it is the same reality! From one side it is ‘black hole’, from the other side it is ‘white hole’. Buddha calls it sunyata.

There is every possibility that modern physics will come every day more and more close to Buddha. It has to come. It has to recognize Buddha’s insight into reality, because nobody else ever dared to call nothingness the source of all. How did Buddha stumble upon the fact? He was not a physicist. He was not working into the deepest reality of matter, but he was working into the deepest reality of his own psychology.

You have to be reminded of that also: Buddhism is not a metaphysics. Metaphysics is always a concern with the ultimate. Meta’ means beyond – beyond physics, beyond that which can be seen; beyond the earth, beyond the visible, the tangible, the sensuous. Metaphysics means always the faraway, the distant reality, the God.

Buddhism is basically purely a psychology; it is not concerned with metaphysics. Its concern is with the reality of the mind, how the mind functions, what constitutes the mind. And it goes on penetrating deeper into the layers of the mind, and finally comes to the realization that deepest, at the bottom core, there is nothingness.

Buddha was not believed by people, because who can believe in nothingness? Who wants nothingness in the first place? Modern physics is also puzzling people, driving them crazy. But reality is as it is; whether you like it or not is not the question. Your liking or not liking is not going to change it. Your liking and disliking can only keep you in illusions. Reality has to be seen as it is. And to be capable of seeing that is all that is needed to become religious: the courage to see reality in its naked truth, in its nakedness, undisguised, uncovered, undressed.

And once you have seen reality as it is, once you have had a glimpse of the real man, a great transformation happens of its own accord – that very insight transforms you, transmutes you. You are never again the same, because all illusions disappear. Seeing the reality, how can you continue to delude yourself? How can you continue to dream? How can you continue in your prejudices? How can you go on keeping false opinions? How can you carry on with doctrines and philosophies and scriptures? Seeing the reality, all simply disappears, only reality is there. And to be with that reality is liberation.

Jesus is right when he says: Truth liberates. Truth is liberation. There is every possibility that Jesus learnt the secrets of the truth through Buddhist masters. There is every possibility that before he started his work in Israel, he was in India, in Nalanda, with Buddhist masters. Nalanda was one of the most ancient Buddhafields, a great university of monks. Never before and never after has something like that ever existed again.

I am hoping to create something like that again, on a wider scale, a bigger scale. Nalanda was a great experiment, an experiment with truth, an experiment to see truth as it is. Ten thousand monks continuously meditated, worked, penetrated, with no prejudices, with no a priori ideas. They were not bent upon proving anything; they were real seekers.

The unreal seeker is one who is bent upon proving something from the very beginning. The unreal seeker is one who, says, “I am in search of God” – one thing he has accepted, that God exists.  Without knowing? If he knows, then why search? If you don’t know, then how can you search for God? Who knows? – God may exist, may not exist. The search is already based on an a priori belief.

In Nalanda, those ten thousand monks were not searching for God, they were not searching for any heaven. They were not searching in reality for something a priori. They were simply searching into their own being with no idea of what they were searching for. Their search was pure. They were just looking into reality . . . to see what is there. And because they were not preoccupied by any idea, they stumbled into nothingness, they came to know nothingness.

If you are preoccupied by some idea, then you are bound to create the illusion of your own idea in that nothingness, and that nothingness is capable of supporting any idea. Any dream that you are carrying in you can be projected on the screen of nothingness. If you are searching for Krishna, you will find him, and it will be just a projection. If you are searching for a Jewish God, you will find. If you are searching for a Hindu God, you will find. Whatsoever you search for you will find, but it will not be truth and it will not liberate you. It will be your imagination.

Remember, this is one of the most important things in life, that if you start a search with a fixed idea, a fixed attitude, you are bound to find it – and then there is a vicious circle. When you find it you think, “Of course, it is because I have found it.” Then it enhances your belief even more, then you start finding it more, and so on and so forth . . . it becomes a vicious circle. The more you believe, the more you find it; the more you find it, the more you believe. And you go on pouring reality into a dream, and one can go on wasting lives together.

Search without any idea – that is Buddha’s message. Look, just clean your eyes and look. Don’t look for some-thing in particular, just look, a pure look into things, into the suchness of things. The eyes have to be clean and pure, otherwise they can project; even a small particle of dust and it will show on the screen of nothingness. Just a little liking, disliking, a little choice, and you will create reality.

Buddha’s approach is such an absolute experiment – simple once you understand, not complicated. But if you don’t understand, you can go on deluding yourself. […]

The Buddhist approach has been to look into reality without any idea so that reality can reveal itself. Allow reality to reveal itself; don’t enforce anything upon it. All other religions have been enforcing something or other – hence they go on missing. Their work becomes metaphysical; in fact, their work becomes a kind of autohypnosis. Buddhism de-hypnotizes man. Buddha’s work is de-hypnosis: how to drop all kinds of hypnosis, all kinds of suggestions given by the society, by the people. And when you are utterly silent, with no conditioning, truth becomes known. That truth liberates.

If it rain, let it rain;
If it rain not, let it not rain;
But even should it not rain,
You must travel
With wet sleeves.

Now the sutras:

One very precious word in Buddha’s approach towards life is samata. Samata means equanimity, equilibrium, balance, choicelessness. Don’t move to the extremes, avoid extremes.

Pain and pleasure are two extremes – don’t choose. Don’t avoid either and don’t cling to either. Just remain in the middle of it, watching, looking at it, unattached. Pain comes, let it come – you just be a watchful consciousness. You just be awareness. There is a headache, you just watch it. Don’t say no to it, don’t start fighting with it; don’t deny it, don’t avoid it. Don’t try to engage yourself somewhere else so you are distracted from it. Let it be there: you simply watch. And in watching it, a great revolution happens.

If you can watch it without like and dislike, suddenly it is there but you are out of it, you are no more in it. You are standing there unbridged to it. Choicelessness unbridges you from all kinds of moods, from all kinds of minds. That is samata.

Pleasure comes, let it come. Don’t cling to it. Don’t say, “I would like to have you for ever and ever.” If you cling to pleasure, then you will avoid pain. And don’t go to the other extreme: don’t start denying pleasure, don’t start escaping from pleasure, because that is the same. If you start escaping from pleasure, you will start clinging to pain. That’s what ascetics do.

The indulgent person clings to pleasure, avoids pain. And the ascetic person avoids pleasure and clings to pain. Both approaches are wrong; in both you lose balance. Buddhism is neither indulgence nor asceticism. It does not teach anything – it simply says watch!

And that’s what Jesus goes on repeating again and again: Watch! Be watchful! Keep alert, keep awake.

You try it! This is an experiment in psychology – nothing to do with God. And you will be surprised and immensely benefitted. The day you can see that you are neither pain nor pleasure is a great day, is the greatest day – because from then onwards things will be different.

If it rain, let it rain…
If there is pain, let it be so.
If it rain not, let it not rain

If there is no pain, let it be so. If there is pleasure, let it be so. But you don’t get identified with anything.

But even should it not rain,
You must travel
With wet sleeves.

But remember one thing: even if your life has been of convenience, comfort, pleasure, and there have not been great pains, great miseries, then too you must travel with wet sleeves. Why? Because still you will become old, still you will have to die one day. So one can live a very pleasant life, but old age is coming, and death is coming. Death cannot be avoided; there is no way to escape from it; it is inevitable. So whether you lived a painful life or you lived a pleasant life will not make much difference when death comes. And death is coming.

Death has come the day you were born. In the very idea of birth, death has entered in you.

I have heard a very beautiful anecdote about one of the most famous Zen masters, Bankei:

Bankei had a terrible fear of death from his earliest age. When he was a small child, his mother created the fear of death in him. He says that at the age of three, his mother, as a punishment, constantly frightened him with death. Not only that: sometimes, because Bankei had committed something which was not right, she pretended that she had become dead. She would lie down with closed eyes and stop her breath, and the small child would cry and weep around her and would call her, “Come back! And I will never do such a thing again.” Only then would she start breathing.

So from the very childhood the fear of death had entered into him. He was constantly afraid. Maybe that’s why when he was young he became interested in Zen – because Zen people say there is no death. He entered a monastery and way overdid the austerities. Whatsoever was said, he overdid it, out of the fear of death. He wanted to see that there is no death; he wanted to overcome death, he wanted to conquer it. He practiced zazen sitting for such long periods at a time that the places where he sat became covered with sores and boils. He became so ill, he nearly lost his life! Then he withdrew for a few months to recuperate.

It was during a feverish period of his convalescence that he had his first satori. And this consisted of an instantaneous realization that he could not die for the simple reason that he had never been born! The crux of the matter was that he had never been born.

Now, Bankei knew as well as you know and everybody knows that his body emerged from his mother’s womb, that his body had been born. Yet he realized that he had never been born.

With the idea of birth, the idea of death arises. They go together, aspects of the same coin. Unless you get rid of the idea of birth, you will not get rid of the idea of death.

That’s why Zen people insist: Go deep into your being and see your face that you had before birth. If you can have one small glimpse of that original face which you had before birth, then death has disappeared. Attached to birth you are going to die – don’t be attached to birth, then you need not be afraid of death. Watch birth and you will be able to watch death too.

And the greatest experience of life is to die watching death. But you have to prepare for it. If you cannot even watch a headache, if you cannot even watch a small pain in the stomach, if you cannot watch these small things, you will not be able to watch death.

Buddhism says: Watch! Let every moment of life become an experience in watchfulness – pain, pleasure, everything; love, hate, everything; good, bad, everything. Go on watching. Let one taste spread on your being: the taste of watchfulness, and samata arises out of it. One becomes utterly balanced in the middle of the polarities.

In that balancing . . . just like a tightrope walker walks balanced on the tightrope. He remains in the middle, does not lean to the left or to the right; or whenever he finds himself leaning to one side, he immediately balances himself. Between pain and pleasure, day and night, birth and death, go on balancing . . . and then that very balancing will give you an insight of the reality you are.

That reality has never been born. This body has been born; this body is going to die . . .

Another Zen master, Bokoju, was asked by a man . . . Bokoju was ill, old, just on the verge of death, and this stranger came and asked, “Master, where will you be when you are dead?”

And Bokoju opened his eyes and said, “I will be in the grave! All my four limbs raised towards the sky.”

A strange answer. And you will miss the point if I don’t remind you. When Bokoju is saying, “I will be lying in my grave with all my four limbs raised to the sky,” what is he actually saying? He is saying, “The body will be in the grave and I will be watching it lying in the grave with four limbs raised to the sky. I will still be watching, I will still be a watcher. I have always been a watcher. The body was born and I was watching. The body became young and I was watching. And the body became old and I was watching. And one day it will die and I will be watching. I am my watchfulness.”

This Buddha calls samasati – right awareness.

If it rain, let it rain;
If it rain not, let it not rain;
But even should it not rain,
You must travel
With wet sleeves.

So don’t be deceived by your comfortable, convenient life – because death is coming to disrupt all, to destroy all. Prepare yourself!

And the only preparation is balance.

Look at the cherry blossoms!
Their colour and scent fall with them,
Are gone forever,
Yet mindless
The Spring comes again.

Life repeats itself mindlessly – unless you become mindful, it will go on repeating like a wheel. That’s why Buddhists call it the wheel of life and death – the wheel of time. It moves like a wheel: birth is followed by death, death is followed by birth; love is followed by hate, hate is followed by love; success is followed by failure, failure is followed by success. Just see!

If you can watch just for a few days, you will see a pattern emerging, a wheel pattern. One day, a fine morning, you are feeling so good and so happy, and another day you are so dull, so dead that you start thinking of committing suicide. And just the other day you were so full of life, so blissful that you were feeling thankful to God that you were in a mood of deep gratefulness, and today there is great complaint and you don’t see the point why one should go on living. And tomorrow again that blissful moment will come. The cherry blossoms will come again, and there will be fragrance and the singing of birds, and the sunlit days . . . and again the cloudy days, and the dark nights of the soul. And it goes on and on, but you don’t see the pattern.

Once you see the pattern, you can get out of it. Once you see the pattern; that it goes on and on mindlessly, it does not need you . . . People ordinarily think that when they are angry, somebody has created the anger in them. That is utterly wrong! Even if you were alone and there was nobody, you would have been angry in that moment. That has something to do with your inner wheel, with your inner periodicity, inner rhythm – it has nothing to do with somebody outside.

The outside is just an excuse, because it is so ugly to think, “I am creating my anger myself.” The excuse feels good, it relieves you of a burden. Then someday, meeting a friend, you feel so happy and you think, “The coming of the friend has made me so happy” – that too is false. Even if you were sitting alone in that moment, you would have been happy.

That is one of the great realizations that comes to people who move into isolation for a few days. That’s a good meditation, to move into isolation for a few weeks and just to be alone for a few weeks. You will be surprised! Out of nowhere . . . one day you are feeling good – nobody is there and nobody has done anything to you. And one day you are feeling so bad. One day you are dancing, another day you are crying. And then you can see that you create your own states.

Once this is seen you stop throwing responsibilities on others and life becomes a different life. Otherwise, we are all throwing our responsibilities on others. We are making others feel guilty: “It is because of you that I am angry or sad.” And naturally the others have to accept it because they are doing the same thing themselves. And they have to accept it for another reason too, because sometimes they are praised because they make people happy too.

Once you know that you can’t make anybody happy, you have never made anybody happy, and nobody can make you happy and nobody can make you unhappy – once this insight has become settled in your heart, you will never be throwing responsibility on anybody. All struggle, futile struggle, disappears. Then you know that you have an inner wheel that goes on moving. Sometimes one spoke is on top, sometimes another spoke comes on top.

And it moves mindlessly, remember. So the only way to get out of it is mindfulness. It is a robot; it is a mechanical thing; it is an automaton. So all meditations are nothing but de-automatization. All the processes that have become automatic in you have to be de-automatized. Anything that de-automatizes helps immensely.

For example, you walk at a certain pace. Buddha told his disciples: Walk slowly; change the pace. Just walk very slowly. And suddenly you will be surprised: if you walk slowly, you become aware of your walking. In fact, you can walk slowly only if you remain aware. The moment you lose awareness, you will gather speed; then you will become again an automaton.

Buddha’s meditations are to make you aware about life’s activities. Eating, eat with full awareness; chew with awareness of what you are doing. Walking, each single step has to be taken with full awareness of what is happening, what you are doing. Not verbally! but there has to be a consciousness behind: “I am raising my left foot” – not that you have to repeat it, “I am raising my left foot.” That is stupid. There is no need to repeat it. But you can watch it: “I am chewing. I am standing under the shower. The water is cool. It is too hot and the body is perspiring.” Not that you have repeat these words: you have just to be watchful. Then slowly, slowly a new integration happens in you, a mindfulness arises. That mindfulness can take you out of the wheel – nothing else.

Look at the cherry blossoms!
Their colour and scent fall with them,
Are gone forever,
Yet mindless
The Spring comes again.

How many times has it happened to you? You had fallen in love with a woman or with a man, and then there was great frustration and great misery, and you suffered and there was anguish, and you thought you were finished for ever – never again! And after just a few days, again the spring comes, again you are feeling love blossoming in you, again you are falling into the same rut and routine. Again you are saying the same stupid things to another woman. Again you are whispering those sweet nothings, and you are hearing those sweet nothings. And again you are in a dream world, and you have completely forgotten the old experience.

And this will happen again and again! The spring goes on coming. Don’t think you are very much different from a cherry tree. You are angry – and this is so about all your moods – you are angry and you feel the fire of it and the poison of it and the destructiveness of it, and you suffer. And you decide, “No more again. It is ugly and it is foolish and it is a sheer wastage of energy. So why should I be in anger again?” And you decide, and you decide very strongly, “This is the last time. Now I am going to avoid.” And one day, mindlessly, it comes again. Just a small thing triggers it, and you are again on fire, again red, again doing destructive things. And later on you will remember. You will become mindful, but always later on. Then it is of no sense, no meaning. It is impotent.

Mindfulness means in the moment. Everybody is wise when the moment has passed, remember this. Really wise are those who are wise in the moment. When something is happening – you are sad – this is the moment to become so watchful that you are unbridged from sadness, that you are disconnected from sadness; that sadness is there, you are here, and there is no connection. You are no more identified. You are simply seeing it.

You are not sad, you are the seer. Then you are wise.

When sadness has gone, then you think, “It was not good to become sad. It was so trivial, so foolish; there was no meaning in it. Next time I am not going to become so sad. There is no point.” But you will become sad again because awareness can be practiced only in the moment. This repentance is not on the right track.

Everybody repents, and things go on happening the same way they have always been happening. There is such a vicious circle that sometimes you think you are doing the opposite and you are not really doing the opposite but the same thing.

An angry person can decide, “I will never be angry,” and can go on repressing anger. Then by repressing anger, one day he has so much anger that it is uncontrollable, it explodes. If he had not repressed, he may not have been so angry. Now he is more angry because he tried not to be angry.[…]

This happens. You can go on thinking that you are doing something else, something contrary. But if you are mindless, something else is going to happen.

Your life is not lived by you – it is lived by a very mindless process. You are not really living it: you are being lived by a mindless existence. You are born, you are young, you become old; you have emotions, ideas – and they all are happening in you just like the cherry blossoms. And you go on repeating the same, year in, year out; you go on moving in a wheel. To see it, to see it totally, to see it as it is, is Buddha’s way of becoming aware.

The vicious circle of birth and death has to be broken, but it can be broken only if you start looking into things which happen to you in a detached way, in a non-passionate way. What scientists call ‘a detached observation’ is really a Buddhist discovery.

Scientists have been trying this only for three hundred years – in their labs they simply watch, without any prejudice, without for or against. They simply note down the facticity of it. But this is an ancient Buddhist meditation: the same way one has to watch one’s own mind, one’s own mind’s functionings, structures, and slowly, slowly you start becoming aware of a wheel that goes on moving inside you. And you are not moving the wheel; it moves on its own. The spell can be broken only if in this mechanical process of life something of awareness penetrates.

De-automatize yourself.

Buddhism is the shaved part of the saucepan,
The whiskers of the pebble,
The sound that accompanies
The bamboos in the picture.

Still Buddhism is not an ‘ism’, it is not a philosophy. It does not give you any idea of what reality is – because once the idea is given to you of what reality is like, you immediately jump upon it, you start clinging to it. And you will make reality like your idea, you will create it.

Buddhism simply takes all ideas away from you, it is negative. It does not give you any positive notion. It does not say what truth is: it only says what truth is not. It eliminates, it goes on eliminating. It is very severe. It does not allow you any nook and corner to cling to. It takes all, everything that you possess away from you. Only then one thing is left, which cannot be taken away – that is your awareness. Then uncontaminated awareness is left; you become a mirror. In that mirror the reality is reflected. So Ikkyu says:

Buddhism is the shaved part of the saucepan,
The whiskers of the pebble,
The sound that accompanies
The bamboos in the picture.

So Buddhism as an ‘ism’ is as false as The sound that accompanies

The bamboos in the picture, or as false as The whiskers of the pebble. As an ‘ism’ Buddhism is false.

Then what is it? If it is not a philosophy, then what is it?

It is just an approach towards reality, an opening. It is not a belief system. It is utterly devoid of beliefs; it negates beliefs. It is not a positive philosophy. And that is the beauty of it – because all positive philosophies are nothing but creations of the mind.

And people are very much interested in positive philosophies. They appeal – because they enhance your mind, they nourish your mind. They give you great ideas how to live your life, how to achieve more, how to become more, how to be enlightened, and all that.

Buddhism simply says: Just drop your ideas and you are enlightened. Just drop your mind and you are divine.

But Buddha was very, very careful even about saying that, because people are hankering so much to cling to something. He was very careful about making even a single statement positively. If you ask him, “What will happen when all has disappeared and one has become a mirror?” he says, “There will be no pain”; but he never says, “There will be bliss.” Never for a single moment, for a single time does he become positive.

People used to insist to him, because they had heard it down the ages that when the ultimate happens you will be blissful. And Buddha says, “You will not be miserable” – that’s all. “Why don’t you say,” they would ask him, “that we will be happy and blissful?” And he would say, “If I say that you will be happy, then it is never going to happen – then you will search for happiness! And you will fall into new dreams and new imaginations, heaven and paradise and so on and so forth. And you will create your own ideas of what happiness is. And all that you know is misery. So I say only: There will be no misery – and let me keep absolutely quiet about what there will be. You just drop misery and see what is.”

It didn’t appeal to ordinary, mediocre minds. The mediocre mind wants something to possess; he wants some keys which can open new doors to new treasures. Buddha simply takes all the keys out of your hands. He leaves you utterly alone . . . but in that utter aloneness, something immense happens, something infinite happens, something unimaginable happens, something inexpressible happens. And the first condition for it to happen is that you should not think about it, that no idea should be given to you about it – otherwise it will never happen because the idea will prevent it.

Buddhism is the shaved part of the saucepan,
The whiskers of the pebble,
The sound that accompanies
The bamboos in the picture.

Then what is Buddhism? Just a gesture, just a painted picture. There is no sound in it, no wind is blowing. Just Indian ink is there and nothing else – no sound, no wind. You just imagine sound and wind, you imagine movement – nothing is moving there. So people have created Buddhism out of their own imagination.

The religion that exists in the name of Buddhism is just a painted religion. Buddha never delivered this thing to the world. It is a creation of the people; because people cannot live with nothingness they created something.

What I say to you, you may not hear it, it may be too much for you. You may hear something which I have not said at all, because that you can manage. You may hear a few fragments. You may delete something, you may add something; you may create something out of what I am saying; you may create something out of it which is absolutely yours.

That’s how Buddhism has happened. That’s how Christianity has happened. That’s how all the religions have happened. The original expression has been lost in interpretations. What exists in the name of Buddhism is not what Buddha had said. What Buddha had said caul be experienced only if you become a Buddha – there is no other way.

What I am saying to you can be experienced only in the same state of mind, in the same state of awareness. It is impossible to convey it. Once it leaves one state of consciousness and enters into another kind of state, it is transformed, it is translated, it becomes polluted, it is never the same again.

If you can also become silent, quiet, unprejudiced, with no opinion in your mind, then things can happen. But people carry opinions in their minds – such opinions! amazing opinions!

Just the other day I was reading an article by Ashoka. Now he feels doubtful about my enlightenment because sometimes I look at the clock. “How can an enlightened person look at a clock? Can’t he know what time it is? And if he can’t even know what time it is, what else can he know?” And this type of thing continues. It is not only in Ashoka’s mind – in many people’s minds, because minds are minds.

But you have not looked at it without prejudice. You have some idea of how an enlightened person should be. You have some idea – in that idea it is implied that he will know without looking at the clock what time it is. The reality is just the contrary.

You may be able to know what time it is without looking at the clock, but an enlightened person cannot – because for him time has disappeared. For him there is no more time! For him there is only eternal now. Nothing moves. All has stopped. His clock has stopped! Now there exists no calendar in him anymore. He has to look to know what time it is. You can feel the time because your clock, inside clock, is working; you can have a certain inference about what time it must be. And within minutes you will be right; at the most, within ten minutes you will be right. Your mind can calculate. You know what time is; you know how much it feels when one hour passes by.

But to the enlightened consciousness, nothing passes. All simply is . . . and always is. There is no way to infer what time it is. Hence, I have to look at the clock again and again.

Sometimes Vivek becomes very much puzzled, because just five minutes before I had looked at the clock and I look again. And she says, “Just five minutes before you had looked, and you are looking again.” And I can understand her puzzlement: anybody can infer, any child can infer, that only five minutes have passed. But nothing is passing for me. Even for the day I have to inquire what day today is, what date today is.

But you have your mind, your idea, and naturally you can look only from your mind and from your idea. You will go on missing that way. You have to drop your prejudices; you have to drop all ideas. Why bother how an enlightened person should be when an enlightened person is with you? Why not look directly? Rather than having an idea, why not look directly?

You have a certain idea how a rose should be. Maybe you have never seen a black rose, and you think that a rose has to be only red. And there is a black rose, and you will say, “This is not a rose because a rose has to be red, has to be rosy. This is not a rose! It is not rosy – it is black. How can it be a rose?”

Drop the idea. Come close. Smell the flower. Sit silently with the flower. Let its fragrance give you the message. Let it have a communion with you! and you will know. And that will be far better, far truer. Otherwise, this goes on happening.

Buddha was there, and what he was saying people were not listening to – they were listening to something else. They were translating. Please, don’t translate me; otherwise, sooner or later I will be just The whiskers of the pebble, the sound that accompanies the bamboos in the picture.

Don’t create a picture! While the reality is here, why can’t you have a contact with the reality? Why can’t you bridge yourself? What is preventing you? A priori prejudices, opinions that you have gathered.

A Christian comes, and he looks at me and he wants to find Christ in me. And if he can’t find Christ he says, “This man can’t be enlightened!” A Buddhist comes, he looks for Buddha in me. A Jain comes, he looks for Mahavir in me. And if he can’t find . . . and he cannot find, because I am myself.

This rose flower is black, that rose flower is yellow, another rose flower is red – there are thousands of rose flowers. Don’t be too much concerned with the color, with the shape, with the form. But the roseness is the same, that flowering is the same.

There were people in Buddha’s time who followed Jain philosophy. They would look at him, and because he was not naked they would think he was not yet enlightened – because Jains have the idea that when a person becomes enlightened he drops all clothes. It is a beautiful idea, but clothes don’t mean clothes literally. He drops all clothes, he becomes nude, utterly nude, but not literally. But who is going to prevent people from being literal? And Buddha was not nude, so he was not an enlightened person.

Buddha was one kind of rose flower. Jesus was another kind. Bodhidharma, Buddha’s disciple, was a third kind. Buddha was silent and Bodhidharma was laughing. But I say to you: the taste of Bodhidharma’s laughter was the same as Buddha’s silence. But if you have seen Buddha sitting silently under his Bodhi Tree, you will not believe in Bodhidharma because he will be rolling on the floor. Such mad laughter! And you will say, “What is happening? This man must be mad – how can he be enlightened? An enlightened person always sits under a Bodhi Tree and never looks at a clock!”

Your ideas continuously interfere. You can miss this opportunity. It all depends on you. You can use this opportunity. You can be transformed by this opportunity . . .

The puppet-player hangs them
Round his neck, not his heart;
He can take out a devil,
He can take out a buddha.

Buddha has said that mind is a magician. All that it creates is magic work. You must have seen our sannyasin magician, Avinash. He can produce things out of empty boxes . . .  Mind is a conjurer. Once you have a certain idea in the mind, it becomes a seed and the seed starts growing, and soon it will become a reality for you. […]

Buddha says mind is a conjurer; it creates illnesses, it can create cures. Mind creates all kinds of illusions – beauty and ugliness, success and failure, richness and poverty . . . mind goes on creating. And once the idea settles in you, your whole life energy functions to create it, to make it a reality. Every thought becomes a thing, and every thing in the beginning was only a thought and nothing else. You live in a kind of hypnosis.

Buddha says this hypnosis has to be broken, and no other religion has tried so hard to break this hypnosis. Man has to be de-hypnotized. Man has to be made aware that all is mind: pain and pleasure both, birth and death both. All is mind.

And once this has been seen absolutely, the conjurer disappears . . . and then what is left is truth. And that truth liberates.

The puppet-player hangs them
Round his neck, not his heart;
He can take out a devil,
He can take out a buddha.

A tremendously important statement. You can become a Devil, you can become a Buddha – it is all mind game. You can become a sinner, you can become a saint; you can become a criminal, an Adolf Hitler, or you can become a great mahatma – and it is all mind game. In both the ways it is mind playing.

Then who is a real Buddha? If the Devil is a mind thing and the Buddha is a mind thing, then who is a real Buddha? The real Buddha is one who is no more the mind, who has come to see all the games of the mind and has retired from all the games of the mind. That is renunciation, that is sannyas: retiring from all games of the mind, playing no more new games.

Zen people say Buddha was never born, never lived, never uttered a word, never died, never attained enlightenment – and they are right. And obviously wrong too, because Buddha was born, he lived for eighty-two years, he is a historical person, he is not a myth only. He has left immense marks on the sense of time. He was born, he became enlightened, and he uttered millions of words. For forty-two years continuously he was teaching. These are obvious facts.

When Zen people say: Buddha was never born, never lived, never uttered a word, never died, never attained enlightenment, they are not denying these historical facts. Remember it. They are uttering something of more value. They are saying: Yes, he said many things but he never uttered a word – his real reality remained silent. Yes, he was born to a certain mother, to a certain father, in a certain place, but that birth was only a mind phenomenon, a dream that he lived through. But in his reality he was never born.

And, in reality, you are not born either. And in reality he never died, because how can you die if you are not born? Who can die? Who is there to die? And, of course, when you are not born and you cannot die, how can you become enlightened? Who is there to become enlightened? There is no one; there is nobody to become a Buddha.

This is Buddhahood, this is enlightenment: seeing the fact that there is nobody, that the house is utterly empty, that there has lived nobody ever, that we were only playing games of the mind, that we were creating shadows, that we were fast asleep and dreaming things . . . then all disappears.

When in the morning you wake up, it is not only that the bad dreams were wrong or false – the good dreams were also false. Whether you dream in the night that you were a thief or you dreamt that you were a yogi doesn’t matter in the morning – both are false. Whether you dreamt that you were Adolf Hitler or you dreamt that you were a Gautam Buddha doesn’t matter in the morning – when you are awake, all is finished. Gone is Adolf Hitler, gone is Gautam Buddha – all is gone. And what is left has always been there as the substratum. That eternal, that formless, that attributeless, that nirguna, that conditionless, is your reality. On that conditionless all kinds of conditions have been imposed; on that unconditional a thousand and one conditions have been put together. Those conditionings together are called the mind. And the only way to get out of the mind is to see the mind, to be aware of it.

Slowly, slowly, the more you become aware of the dream, the dream starts dissipating, the dream starts receding back. When awareness is perfect, dream has disappeared. Then you are neither a Buddha nor a man nor a woman, neither this nor that. Who are you then? – nothing can be said about it. Only one thing can be said about it: A glimpse of the real man, and you are in love, and you are love.

-Osho

From Take It Easy, Discourse #7

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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

In the Fire of Dancing Stillness

A review of In the Fire of Dancing Stillness – Reflections with Vimala Thakar

A film by Renata Keller

Renata Keller introduces the life and teachings of Vimala Thakar in an extraordinarily accessible way, so very much in tune with Vimala herself.  The opening scene sets the stage for the intertwining of the elements and nature as both background and enhancement.  Waves form, play, and disappear. The boatman intently watches as he punts his craft along the shore, and soaring over this peaceful scene is the crystal-clear voice of Vimala.

Renata uses a delicate touch to tell Vimala’s story, guided by profound gratitude, for Vimala recognized her longing for wholeness, and by so doing changed her life.  This tribute, made some twenty years after this meeting, interweaves interviews with Vimala’s colleagues and friends; an exploration of places she worked and taught; and powerful excerpts from those teachings. Interspersing these scenes is the slow evolution of a chalk image into the goddess Durga.

Vimala is described as a philosopher, spiritual revolutionary, and social activist.  She engaged in land distribution, persuading rich landowners to donate part of their land to landless laborers so all could live in dignity.  She reached out to, and taught, girls and women, encouraging their independence and development of self-respect.  She explains her work as taking care of suffering at all levels.

Vimala’s capacity for love and light extends far beyond her social activism.  J. Krishnamurti invited her to visit him for some healing sessions after a car accident severely damaged one of her ears.  These meetings engendered an upheaval in her consciousness.  Vimalaji wrote, “Something within has been let loose. It can’t stand any frontiers. The invasion of a new awareness irresistible and uncontrollable has swept everything away. The freshness and awareness keep one ever alert, ever keen and ever insecure. Though the journey has come to an end, I have not arrived.  Perhaps there is nowhere to arrive.  Perhaps there is no static destination.  It seems to me that life is its own purpose. Life is its own direction.  Life is dynamic, and those who live are on an eternal voyage.”  Krishnamurti strongly encouraged Vimala to start giving talks from her understanding.

This movie exudes the vast love and concern Vimala felt for the whole of humanity, the global family we are becoming as so much of our way of living is changing.  Vimalaji has tremendous hope in the new generation, in all of us, that though we live in turbulent times, such challenges create the possibility to “emanate out of our being a new human culture” based on truth, love and compassion.

Vimalaji explains how we have become separate from the sacred in life due to the way we live apart from nature, apart from each other, interacting with the manmade. Vimala points out how so much of what is considered human can now be done by artificial intelligence; it has become memory, thought, and even feeling.  She asks, is there something that is untransferable, something that artificial intelligence cannot do?  And this is the search.  What is it that cannot be transferred to a machine?  Let us find out! And this dovetails into another frequent theme.  How can we relate to life without the interference of the mind? Can we learn to look at life in a fresh way born of silence, from emptiness, in touch with the sacred?  Vimala encourages us all to experiment, dive within, disinfect ourselves of knowledge, and find out.

And the threads of this tapestry – scenes of flowing rivers and still lakes, a bird aloft in the vast sky, the beauty of trees, of humanity – the interrelatedness of it all woven together with exquisite music, and the patient creation of the goddess Durga from chalk; and shortly after completion, the destruction.

-Amido

In the sanctuary of silence
Beauty comes to life.
On the altar of silent beauty
Humility plays with life.
In the light of dancing humility
Innocence opens itself.
Freedom is the blossom
Love is the perfume
Compassion its graceful way of walking.

-Vimala Thakar

Download or watch the video: In the Fire of Dancing Stillness.

Here is a link to explore more from Vimala Thakar.

This Very Place the Lotus Paradise – Osho

Man lives in illusion. Man lives through illusion. Man lives for illusion. In short, man lives because of illusion. Hence the fear of truth. Nobody wants truth, although everybody goes on seeking for it. That seeking is a deception, that seeking is an avoidance. To seek truth means to avoid truth.

It has to be understood – how the seeker goes on avoiding truth. To seek means to look far away, to seek means to look somewhere else, to seek means to go on a trip. To seek means to postpone – to seek means it will happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, it is not happening right now. It is not here, it is there. It is not this, it is that.

Man goes on living in illusion. But to live in illusion one needs to avoid truth, because if truth comes it will shatter all your illusions and all your so-called life and all your so-called love. Truth looks like a calamity. And Friedrich Nietzsche is right in a sense when he says: Please don’t give truth to humanity. Otherwise, you will destroy people’s joy, you will destroy their enthusiasm, you will destroy their gusto. Don’t give truth to humanity, otherwise all that they have will disappear. Because all that they have is a kind of dream. Don’t wake humanity, otherwise the dreams will be shattered. And they may be seeing beautiful dreams – or hoping to see, somewhere, sometime.

That’s why Christ is crucified, Socrates is poisoned, Buddha is stoned. They bring truth to people who have become almost illusory. They bring light to people who live in darkness and dream in darkness. And their dreams depend on darkness – when somebody brings light into the darkness the darkness disappears and the dreams and the desires.

One feels hurt by a Buddha or a Christ. The Christ looks not like the saviour but like the enemy. Otherwise, why should you crucify Christ? There is no other reason. The basic reason is: he uproots you, he shatters you. This has to be understood very deeply. And when you live in illusion, you search for truth. That is a double deception, so that you can go on telling yourself and consoling yourself that ‘I am searching. Look what great efforts I am making, how much I am putting my energy into the search – look!’

The search for truth arises out of your lie. It is the lie that puts you on the search for truth. It is a protection for the lie, it is the way of the lie to survive. It says: Go and search for truth. It is there far away in some distant land. You will have to travel, and the travel is long and the travel is not going to be finished soon. It will take lives and lives, it will take millennia, but go! Go on searching, one day you will find it. The lie gives you hope, it gives you a future, it gives you future dreams. Your God is somewhere far away. It has to be far away, because close by He will be dangerous. […]

But in your very destruction is the possibility of a new birth. Out of the ashes the new is going to be born. The myth of the phoenix is not a myth, it is a metaphor for man’s rebirth. You have to die first to be reborn. […]

But if you come close to me – and initiation means coming close, initiation means coming as close as possible – you will be burned. You will be burned to ashes. You will disappear.

But that is the only real hope. If you disappear as you are, you will be born as you really are. Only the disappearance of the lie that you have become can be the birth of truth. And truth is not far away, it is just hiding within you. And you are clinging to the lie. Your personality is the lie. And because of the personality you cannot move towards the essence. The personality is taught by the society; the society creates lies. Lies are very, very convenient. Lies function like lubricants, lies make life smooth. You see somebody and you smile. And the smile is a lie – because it is not coming from your heart, it is just painted there on the lips. You have created it, you have managed it, it is a kind of exercise of the lips. But it lubricates relationship, the other man starts smiling.

If you are true, if you are as you are, it will be difficult, the relationship will become difficult. Psychologists say that if every person starts revealing what is in his heart, friendship will disappear from the earth, love will disappear from the earth. That is true. It will be impossible to find friends if you simply say what is in your heart. If you say what is in your heart your beloved will leave you and your lover will leave you.

You go on keeping it in the heart, and you go on playing something which is not really there – you do something else, just the opposite. You may be angry but you smile. You may be hurt but you smile. You may be boiling within but you smile. You may want to scream but you go on singing. You may want to do something else but it is not feasible, it is not practical, it is not the right thing to do.

The society creates this persona, this mask around you, this personality.

There are three you’s in you. You-1 – that is the personality. The word personality comes from a Greek root ’persona’. In the Greek drama they used to use masks, and the voice would come from the mask. ’Sona’ means voice, sound, and ’per’ means through the mask. The real face you don’t know – who the real actor is. There is a mask, and through the mask comes the voice. It appears as if it is coming from the mask, and you don’t know the real face. The word ’personality’ is beautiful, it comes from Greek drama.

And that’s what has happened. In the Greek drama they had only one mask. You have many. Masks upon masks, like layers of an onion. If you put one mask away there is another, if you put that away there is another. And you can go on digging and digging and you will be surprised how many faces you are carrying. How many! For lives you have been collecting them. And they are all useful, because you have to change many times. You are talking to your servant, you cannot have the same face that you have when you talk to your boss. And they may be both present in the room: when you look at the servant you have to use one mask and when you look at your boss you have to use another mask. You continuously change. It has almost become automatic – you need not change, it changes itself. You look at the boss and you are smiling. And you look at the servant and the smile disappears and you are hard – as hard as the boss is to you. When he looks at his boss, he smiles.

In a single moment you may be changing your face many times. One has to be very, very alert to know how many faces one has. Innumerable. They cannot be counted.

This is your first you, the false you. Or call it the ego. It has been given to you by the society, it is a gift from the society – from the politician and the priest and the parent and the pedagogue. They have given you many faces just to make your life smooth. They have taken away your truth, they have given you a substitute. And because of these substitute faces you don’t know who you are. You can’t know, because the faces change so fast and they are so many, you cannot trust yourself. You don’t know exactly which face is yours. In fact none of these faces is yours.

And the Zen people say: Unless you know your original face you will not know what Buddha is. Because Buddha is your original face. You were born as a Buddha and you are living a lie.

This social gift has to be dropped. That is the meaning of sannyas, initiation. You are a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan, that face has to be dropped. Because it is not your own face – it has been given to you by others, you have been conditioned for it. And you have not even been asked, you have not even been requested. It has been imposed forcibly, violently.

All parents are violent and all educational systems are violent. Because they don’t take any note of you. They have a-priori ideas, they already know what is right. And they put the ‘right’ on you. You squirm, you scream inside, but you are helpless. A child is so helpless and so delicate, he can be molded in any way. And that’s what the society does. Before the child becomes strong enough it is already crippled in a thousand and one ways. Paralyzed, poisoned.

The day you want to become religious you will have to drop religions. The day you want to relate to God you will have to drop all ideologies about God. The day you want to know who you are, you will have to drop all the answers that have been given to you. All that is borrowed has to be burnt.

That’s why Zen has been defined as: ‘Direct pointing to the human heart. Seeing the nature and becoming Buddha. Not standing on letters. A separate transmission outside the scriptures.’ A separate transmission outside the scriptures: the Koran cannot give it to you, neither can the Dhammapada nor the Bible nor the Talmud nor the Gita. No scripture can give it to you. And if you believe in the scripture you will go on missing truth.

Truth is in you. It has to be encountered there. ‘Seeing the nature and becoming Buddha. Direct pointing to the human heart.’ You are not to go anywhere. And wherever you go you will remain the same, so what is the point? You can go to the Himalayas; it is not going to change anything. You will carry all that you have with you. All that you have become, all that you have been made, you will carry all your artificiality. Your synthetic faces, your borrowed knowledge, your scriptures, will go on clinging inside you. Even sitting in a cave in the Himalayas alone you will not be alone. The teachers will be there around you, and the priests and the politicians and the parents and the whole society. It may not be so visible but it will be there inside you crowding you. And you will remain a Hindu there or a Christian or a Mohammedan. And you will go on repeating words like parrots. It will not change, it cannot change. […]

Wherever you go you will be yourself. Even in Heaven or in the Himalayas. You cannot be otherwise. The world is not outside you; you are the world. So wherever you go you take your world with you.

The real change has not to be of place, the real change has not to be outside, the real change has to be inner. And what do I mean by real change? I don’t mean that you have to improve upon yourself, because improvement is again a lie. Improvement means you will go on polishing your personality. You can make it immensely beautiful – but remember, the more beautiful it is, the more dangerous, because the more difficult it will be to drop it.

That’s why it happens that sometimes a sinner becomes a saint. But your so-called respectable people never become. They cannot become – they have such valuable person-alities, so much decorated, polished, and they have put so much investment in the personality, their whole life has been a kind of polishing. Now it is too costly to drop those beautiful personalities. A sinner can drop it, he has no investment in it. In fact he is fed-up with it, it is so ugly. But how can a respectable person drop it so easily? It has been paying him so well, it has been such a profit. It has been making him more and more respected, he is going higher and higher, he is reaching the pinnacle of success. It is very difficult for him to stop going on this ladder of success. It is a non-ending ladder, you can go on and on for ever. […]

When you are succeeding in the world it is difficult to stop. When you are becoming richer it is difficult to stop, when you are becoming famous it is difficult to stop. The more refined personality you have, the more it clings to you.

So I am not saying that you have to improve upon yourself. All the great masters, from Buddha to Hakuin, nobody has said to improve. Beware of the so-called ’improvement books’. The American market is full of those books: beware. Because improvement is not going to lead you anywhere. It is not a question of improvement, because by improvement the lie will be improved. The personality will be improved – will become more polished, will become more subtle, will become more valuable, will become more precious – but that is not the transformation. The transformation comes not by improvement but by dropping the personality utterly.

The lie cannot become the truth. There is no way to improve upon the lie so that it becomes the truth. It will remain the lie. It will look more and more like the truth but it will remain the lie. And the more it looks like the truth, the more you will be engrossed in it, rooted in it. The lie can look so much like the truth that you can even become oblivious of the fact that it is a lie.

The lie tells you: Search for the truth. Improve your character, your personality. Search for the truth, become this, become that. The lie goes on giving you new programs: Do this, and then everything will be good and you will be happy for ever. Do this, do that. This has failed? Don’t be worried, I have other plans for you. The lie goes on giving you plans, and you go on moving in those plans and wasting your life.

In fact the search for truth also comes out of the lie. That will be hard to understand but it has to be understood. The search for truth comes from the lie itself. It is the lie’s way to protect itself – it gives you even the search for truth, now how can you be angry with your personality? And how can you call it a lie? It propels you, it enforces you, it pushes you to search for truth.

But the search means going away. And truth is here, and the lie pushes you to go there. And truth is now, and the lie says ‘then’ and ‘there’. The lie always speaks either of the past or of the future, it never speaks of the present. And the truth is the present. This very moment! It is herenow. That’s what Hakuin means when he says:

This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

So the first ‘you’ is the lie, the act. The pseudo-personality that surrounds you. The public face, the phoniness. It is a fraud. The society has imposed it upon you and you have become a cooperator with it. You have to drop your cooperation with the social lie. Because only when you are utterly nude are you yourself. All clothes are social. All ideas and all identities that you think you are, are social – given by others. They have their motives to give those ideas to you. It is subtle exploitation.

The real exploitation is not economic or political, the real exploitation is psychological. That’s why all the revolutions up to now have been failures. Hitherto, no revolution has succeeded. The reason? Because they have not looked at the deepest exploitation which is psychological. They only go on changing superficial things. A capitalist society becomes communist, but it makes no difference. A democracy becomes dictatorial, a dictatorial society becomes democratic, it makes no difference. These are just superficial changes, like a whitewash, but the structure remains deep down the same.

What is the psychological exploitation? The psychological exploitation is that nobody is allowed to be himself. That nobody is accepted as himself or herself. That nobody is respected. How can you respect people if you don’t accept them as they are? If you impose things upon them and then you respect, you respect your own impositions. You don’t respect them as they are, you don’t respect their nudity. You don’t respect their naturalness, you don’t respect their spontaneity, you don’t respect their real smiles and real tears. You respect only phoniness, pretensions, actions. Their actings you respect.

This you-1 has to be utterly dropped. Freud helped much to make humanity aware of the pseudoness of personality, of the conscious mind. His revolution ii far deeper than the revolution of Marx, his revolution is far deeper than any other revolution. It goes deep, although it does not go far enough. It reaches to the second you, you-2. It is the repressed you, instinctive you, unconscious you. It is all that the society has not allowed, it is all that the society has forced inside your being and locked in there. It comes only in your dreams, it comes only in metaphors, it comes only when you are drunk, it comes only when you are no more in control. Otherwise, it remains far away from you. And it is more authentic, it is not phony.

Freud has done much to make man aware of it. And the humanistic psychologies and particularly growth groups, encounter and others, have helped tremendously to make you aware of all that is screaming inside you, all that has been repressed, crushed. And that is your vital part. That is your real life, natural life. Religions have condemned it as your animal part, they have condemned it as the source of sin. It is not the source of sin; it is the source of life. And it is not lower than the conscious. It is deeper than the conscious, certainly, but not lower than the conscious.

And nothing is wrong if it is animal. Animals are beautiful, so are trees. They still live naked in their utter simplicity. They have not yet been destroyed by the priests and the politicians, they are yet part of God. Only man has gone astray. Man is the only abnormal animal on the earth – otherwise all animals are simply normal. Hence the joy, the beauty, the health. Hence the vitality. Have you not seen it? When a bird is on the wing have you not felt jealous? Have you not seen it in a deer running fast into the forest? Have you not felt jealous of the vitality, of the sheer joy of energy?

Children: have you not felt jealous? Maybe because you feel so jealous, that’s why you go on condemning childishness. You go on condemning. Montague is right when he says that instead of telling people ‘Don’t be childish’ we should start telling people ‘Don’t be adultish’. He is right, I agree. A child is beautiful, the adult is what ugliness is. He is no more a flow; he is blocked in many ways. He is frozen, he is dull and dead. He has lost zest, he has lost enthusiasm, he is simply dragging. He is bored, he has no sense of mystery. He never feels surprised, he has forgotten the language of wonder. Mystery has disappeared for him. He has explanations, mystery is no more there. Hence he has lost poetry and the dance and all that is valuable and all that gives meaning and significance to life, all that gives flavor to life.

This second ‘you’ is far more valuable than the first. That is where I am against all the religions, that is where I am against all the priests, because they cling to the first, the superficial most. Go to the second. But the second is not the end – that is where Freud falls short. And that is where humanistic psychology also falls short – goes a little deeper than Freud but still does not go deep enough to find the third.

There is a third ‘you’, you-3. The real you, the original face, which is beyond you-1 and you-2, both. The transcendental. The Buddhahood. It is undivided pure consciousness. The first you is social, the second you is natural, the third you is divine. Or, if you want to use Hakuin’s terms, the first you is the physical body, the second you is the bliss body, and the third you is the essential body. These are the three bodies of Buddha.

And remember, I am not saying that the first is not at all useful. If the third exists then the first can be used beautifully. If the third exists, the second can be used beautifully. But only if the third exists. If the center functions well then the periphery too is okay, then the circumference too is okay. But without the center, only the circumference, is a kind of death.

That’s what has happened to man. That’s why in the West so many thinkers think that life is meaningless. It is not. It is only because you have lost touch with your source from where meaning arises.

It is as if a tree has lost its contact with its own roots. Now no flowers come. Now the foliage starts disappearing, the leaves fall and no new leaves arrive. And the juice stops flowing, the sap no more exists. The tree becomes dead, the tree is dying.

And the tree may start philosophizing, the tree may become existentialist, a Sartre or somebody else, and the tree may start saying that there are no flowers in life. That life has no flowers, that there is no fragrance, that there are no more any birds. And the tree may even start saying that it has been always so, and the ancients were only befooling themselves that there are flowers – they were imagining. ‘It has always been so, the spring has never come, people have only been fantasizing. These Buddhas and these Jinas, they have been simply imagining, fantasizing, that flowers bloom and there is great joy and birds come and sunlight. There is nothing. All is darkness, all is accidental, and there is no meaning.’ The tree can say it.

And the real thing is not that there is no meaning, not that there are no more flowers, not that flowers don’t exist, not that fragrance is fantasy, but simply that the tree has lost contact with its own roots.

Unless you are rooted in your Buddhahood you will not bloom. You will not sing, you will not know what celebration is. And how can you know God if you don’t know celebration? If you have forgotten how to dance how can you pray? If you have forgotten how to sing and how to love then God is dead. Not that God is dead. God is dead in you, only in you. Your tree is dry, the sap has disappeared. You will have to find roots again. Where to find these roots? Roots have to be found here and now. That is the whole message of Hakuin’s song of meditation. Before we enter into the song, a few things.

A man can seem to be the sum total of his days, of all that he does from the beginning to the end. But this is not the true man. What you do is just on the periphery. What you feel goes a little deeper. What you are is really at the roots. A man is not the sum total of his acts. A politician IS the sum total of his acts, because he lives only on the circumference. That’s why it is easy to write history about the politicians. It is difficult to write history about Buddhas, because they live at such depth where we cannot reach them. They live in such eternity that time takes no record of them. They exist in such a transcendental way that they leave no traces on the earth. They are like birds in the sky: they fly but no footprints are left.

Politicians leave footprints. They live in the mud, in the dirt, they drag themselves in the mundane reality. They leave many footprints; they leave much bloodshed behind them. A Buddha exists as if he has never existed. He exists so absently, he exists like a space, empty space.

Remember, a man is not a sum total of his actions. And if he is, he is not yet a man; he is just a fiction, he is living in illusion. You are not what you do. So don’t be too much concerned with your doing, start going deeper into being. That’s why all meditations are basically a way to sit silently – so silently that all action stops. On the physical plane, on the mental plane, action stops, thought stops. Because thought is also action on the mental plane – you are doing something. When all doing disappears and you are simply there, just there, a presence, then the meditation has happened.

Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

That is the meaning of the word ‘zazen’. ‘Za’ means sitting doing nothing. And ‘zen’ means: in that sitting when you are not doing anything you fall upon yourself, you encounter yourself, you see yourself. That is zen, dhyana, meditation. The word ‘zazen’ is beautiful. ’Sitting and looking into yourself’ – that is the meaning of it.

Man is more than the sum total of his acts, his thoughts, his feelings. Behind the acts, thoughts and feelings there is another man – that which is, that which essentially IS. But many seldom if ever show themselves in their essential being. Very few ever reach to that point of their essential being-hood, to their very ground of being. Those who reach, only they know that life is a benediction. A sheer joy, eternal celebration.

But if you remain on the surface, you know only misery, nothing else. Agony, nothing else. Let me say it in this way: You-1 knows only misery and agony. You-3 knows ecstasy of being and joy of being. And You-2 neither knows ecstasy nor knows agony. It knows pleasure/pain, it is just in the middle. Ecstasy is exceeding joy without any bounds to it, infinite joy. Agony is infinite misery, no bounds to it. Just between the two exists the animal and the child. It knows play, it knows pleasure/pain. It knows neither agony nor ecstasy. It does not know infinity.

If the child moves towards the first, which society forces him to do, he will know agony. If he finds somebody who can help to move him towards the third, he will know ecstasy. To find a master is nothing but to find a man who has known his essential being, so that he can help you to go towards your own essential being.

A master is not to be followed, a master is not to be imitated, a master is only to be understood. In that very understanding is the revolution.

A man’s true life is the way in which he puts off the lie imposed by others on him. Stripped, naked, natural, he is what he is. This is a matter of being, and not of becoming. The lie cannot become the truth, the personality cannot become your soul. There is no way to make the non-essential the essential. The non-essential remains non-essential and the essential remains essential, they are not convertible. And striving towards truth is nothing but creating more confusion. The truth has not to be achieved. It cannot be achieved, it is already the case. Only the lie has to be dropped.

All aims and ends and ideals and goals and ideologies, religions and systems of improvement and betterment, are lies. Beware of them. Recognize the fact that as you are, you are a lie. Manipulated, cultivated, by others. Striving after truth is a distraction and a postponement. It is the lie’s way to hide. See the lie, look deep into the lie of your personality. Because to see the lie is to cease to lie. No longer to lie is to seek no more for any truth – there is no need. The moment the lie disappears, truth is there in all its beauty and radiance. In the seeing of the lie it disappears and what is left is the truth.

To see the lie of striving after truth is to fall into an eternal silence. A stillness comes when you see the lie of your personality. There is nothing more to do. Hence the stillness – what can you do?

Just the other night, a sannyasin was saying ‘What can I do? Whatsoever I do, I fail. What can I do?’ There is nothing really to be done. Doing is not going to help, doing will be again the same rut. Only being is going to transform you, not doing. So when one fails again and again and again, only then the insight arises that ‘Doing is never going to lead me anywhere.’ The day that sword has hit you – that ‘Doing is not going to lead me anywhere’ – what will you do? Nothing is left to do.

In your utter helplessness, the surrender. And silence and stillness. This is the silence that transforms – not the silence that somehow you impose upon yourself by repeating a mantra or doing TM; that is not the real silence, that is a created silence. Any silence that you manage to create will belong to the personality. It will not be of much use, it will not go deeper than that – how can your doing go deeper than you? When you have utterly failed, when you have seen your ultimate failure and you have seen that there is no possibility and no hope for you to succeed, what will you do in that silence? You will just be there. All has stopped. The mind no more spins any thoughts.

And in that very moment the door opens. And that silence is being, that silence is Buddha.

This stillness is not the opposite of action, it is not brought about by will or by withdrawal from the world. One cannot withdraw from the world; one is the world. The want to escape keeps us imprisoned – because the wish to be without desire is still desire, and the will to be still is disturbance. You cannot will your silence, will is the base of all disturbance. Will has to disappear. You can only see into the futility of it. Doing, willing, improving, bettering yourself, achieving, reaching – all these words are just projections of the lie.

When the lie has been seen in its totality . . . the illumination, the enlightenment.

Now Hakuin’s sutras.

The pure land paradise is not far.

Zen people call the state of no-mind ‘the pure land paradise’. So please don’t interpret it in Christian ways. Paradise, to a Christian, is somewhere there in the sky. For a Buddhist, particularly for a man like Hakuin, it is the state of no-mind.

The pure land paradise is not far.

Stop thinking and you are there. And in fact that is the Biblical meaning of the parable of Adam’s expulsion. He has not been expelled, there is nobody to expel him. He has only eaten the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge – he has become a mind. The more knowledge you accumulate, the more of a mind you become. Adam has become knowledgeable, he has become a mind, and that is the expulsion from the paradise. If he can drop his mind he will suddenly find himself again in the paradise, and he will also find that he has been always there. Even when he was thinking he had lost it, it was not lost. It was only forgotten. He became too much obsessed with knowledge, that’s why it was forgotten.

The day the child starts becoming knowledgeable he loses paradise. Each Adam loses it again and again. And don’t think that it happened once in history, and we are suffering for that ancient Adam. No. It has happened to our life – to each life, to each child. For a few months the child lives in the Garden of Eden. He knows nothing. Without knowing, he is a no-mind – he simply exists moment to moment, he has no worries. When he feels hungry, he cries, when he feels satisfied, he falls asleep. When he is happy, he smiles, when he is angry he screams. But he has no ideas about anything. He neither praises a smile nor condemns screaming. He neither feels shy about crying and weeping nor feels very good that he has been a good boy today. He knows nothing about all this nonsense. He knows nothing good, nothing bad, he makes no distinctions. He lives utterly one with reality. And whatsoever happens, happens; there is no rejection.

But by and by he will become knowledgeable, he will start learning things. The day he starts learning things he is trapped by the snake. Now he has started eating the fruit of the tree, sooner or later the paradise will disappear. Beaches will be there but no more beautiful. Butterflies will be still floating in the wind but for the child they don’t exist anymore. What exists is arithmetic, geography, history. Flowers still bloom but they don’t bloom for the child any more, he is too much into his homework. Once in a while still he hears the bird singing on the window, but only once in a while. And the whole society tries to drag him away from that.

The teacher will say ‘Look here at the blackboard! What are you doing there? Concentrate on me!’ The child was concentrating. The birdcall was so beautiful outside the window, the child was in concentration, utter concentration. This teacher has distracted him; now he has to look at the blackboard. And there is nothing to look at it, just a blackboard. But by and by we will manage to distract the child.

The expulsion is not by God but by the society. The society drags each Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. And once you have become too much of the head it is very difficult to enter back into that purity, that pure land paradise. Zen masters say, just like Jesus said: Unless you are like small children you will not enter into the kingdom of God.

A Christian missionary went to a Zen master and started reading the Sermon on the Mount. The Zen master listened and he said ‘Whosoever has said it must be very close to Buddhahood.’ The Zen master had never heard about Christ, he had never read the Bible, but he said ‘Whosoever has said it must be very close to Buddhahood.’ And when the missionary read ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God’ the Zen master said ‘Now stop. Now there is no more to read. Now there is no need to read any more. Whosoever has said it is a Buddha.’

‘Poor in spirit’ means empty of mind. ‘Poor in spirit’ means empty – all thoughts have disappeared. Then you are again back in paradise.

The pure land paradise is not far.

It is just there! Beating in your heart. Your each breath goes and touches the pure land paradise, each moment. You live from it. Every night when you fall asleep and dreams disappear, you are in it again. That’s why in the morning you feel so fresh, again young, rejuvenated. You have been on a short trip to the pure land paradise.

When in reverence this truth is heard even once,
He who praises it and gladly embraces it
Has merit without end.

Hakuin says ‘When in reverence this truth is heard even once.’ The question is not of hearing the truth many times. If you hear even once, if you have understood it even for a single moment in deep trust and reverence, it is yours forever. Doubt distracts. Doubt does not allow you to understand, doubt does not allow you to see it. Listen in reverence, in love. Be en rapport.

That is the way to be with a master – be en rapport, be bridged. But small things, very small things, distract you. Very small things which mean nothing – but you are distracted by those small things, and doubt arises. And doubt becomes a cloud and you become blind.

. . . In reverence this truth is heard even once,

It is enough.

How much more he who turns within . . .

Even hearing the truth is a deliverance. ‘How much more he who turns within’ – who not only hears it but looks within and sees it . . .

And confirms directly his own nature,
That his own nature is no-nature . . .

When you look deep into yourself you will not find anything there obstructing your vision. It is pure space. Your nature is no-nature. It is emptiness, sunyata.

Such has transcended vain words.

Only when you look into your nature . . . and find nothing. You only find an empty infinity there. Words will not have any meaning any more, you have transcended words. You have looked into your nature and now you know no word can explain it, no word can define it, no word can even indicate it. All scriptures become meaningless.

The gate opens, and cause and effect are one . . .

When you look inside yourself and there is no content, and the no-nature has been felt and you have seen your inner sky . . .

The gate opens, and cause and effect are one.

And the source and the goal are one. Now you are not to go anywhere, you have come to your source. And to be at the source is to be at the goal. To be at the beginning is to be at the end.

Straight runs the way – not two, not three.
Taking as form the form of no-form,
Going or returning, he is ever at home.

And once you have seen the form of no-form, once you have seen the thought of no-thought, once you have seen the nature of no-nature, you are a totally new being. What happens . . .

Going or returning, he is ever at home.

Then wherever you are, you are at home. In the prison you are at home, in the temple you are at home, in the shop you are at home, in the Himalayas you are at home, in the marketplace you are at home. You are simply at home. once you have seen your center, your essential being, your Buddhahood, has been glimpsed. Then wherever you are you are at home, because all is your home. Then there is no need to leave the world.

Zen people are not against the world. They say: To be against the world is still to be attached to the world. To go to the opposite extreme is not transformation. When you no more choose between two extremes, you settle in the middle. And the middle is the way.

Straight runs the way – not two, not three.

It is a simple way – one.

Going or returning, he is ever at home.
Taking as thought the thought of no-thought,
Singing and dancing, all is the voice of truth.

Then whatsoever you do, you express truth. Whatsoever. Eating, you express truth. Walking, you express truth. When a Zen master hits a disciple he is expressing truth. When Kabir sings he is expressing truth, when Meera dances she is expressing truth. Jesus expresses truth dying on the cross, and Krishna expresses truth singing on his flute. Whatsoever you do, there is no way to avoid expressing truth. You are truth. The lie has been dropped.

Singing and dancing, all is the voice of truth.
Wide is the heaven of boundless samadhi,
Radiant the full moon of fourfold wisdom.
What remains to be sought?
Nirvana is clear before him,
This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

Remember the word ‘This’.

This very place the lotus paradise

And once you have known your source, wherever you are, you are in the lotus paradise.

This very place the lotus paradise,
And this very body the buddha.

And whatsoever you do – whatsoever, without any conditions – is the expression of truth.

I have heard a beautiful story about Roshi Taji, a great Zen master.

As Roshi Taji approached death, his senior disciples assembled at his bedside. One of them, remembering the roshi was fond of a certain kind of cake, had spent half a day searching the pastry shops of Tokyo for this confection which he now presented to Roshi Taji. With a wan smile the dying roshi accepted a piece of the cake and slowly began munching it. As the roshi grew weaker, his disciples leaned close and inquired whether he had any final words for them.

‘Yes’ the roshi replied.

The disciples leaned forward eagerly. ‘Please tell us!’

‘My, but this cake is delicious!’ And with that he died.

Meditate over it. What a man! What manner of man! A Buddha. Each act and each word and each gesture becomes the expression of truth. In that moment only that was true, the taste of the cake. In that moment anything else would have been false, untrue. If he had talked about God, that would not have been true. If he had talked about nirvana, that would not have been true. In that moment the taste on his tongue was still alive. In that moment that was his authentic gesture.

He said ‘My, but this cake is delicious.’ This cake.

This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

Zen people talk about four wisdoms.

Wide is the heaven of boundless samadhi,
Radiant the full moon of the fourfold wisdom.

The first wisdom is called ‘the wisdom of the mirror’. When there is no thought you become a mirror. This is the first wisdom, becoming like a mirror. The second wisdom is called ‘the wisdom of sameness’. When you become a mirror without any thought, all distinctions in the world disappear. Then it is all one. Then the rose and the bird and the earth and the sky and the sea and the sand and the sun are all one, it is one energy.

When you are a mirror – the first wisdom – the second wisdom arises out of the first: the wisdom of sameness. Duality disappears. And out of the second arises the third wisdom, the wisdom of spiritual vision. When you have seen that all over the world it is one energy, then only can you see inside yourself that you are also that energy. Then the seer and the seen become one, the observer and the observed become one. That is the third wisdom, the wisdom of spiritual vision. Buddha has a special word for it, he calls it dhamma chakkhu – the eye for truth, or the truth-eye. The spiritual vision opens – what yogis call ‘the third eye’. What Christ also calls ‘the one eye’, when two eyes become one. Dhamma chakkhu opens, the wisdom of spiritual vision is attained.

And out of the third arises the fourth, the wisdom of perfection. When you have seen that all is the same, and when you have looked within and seen that without and within are also the same, you have become perfect. In fact, to say that you have become perfect is not true, you have always been perfect. Now it is revealed to you – it is only a revelation. In that moment one knows . . .

This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Discourse #6

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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All Beings are from the Very Beginning Buddhas – Osho

I was thinking what should I give to you today? Because this is my birthday, I was incarnated into this body on this day. This is the day I saw for the first time the green of the trees and the blue of the skies. This was the day I for the first time opened my eyes and saw God all around. Of course the word ‘God’ didn’t exist at that moment, but what I saw was God. I was thinking what should I give to you today? Then I remembered a saying of Buddha: sabba danam dhamma danana jnati – the gift of truth excels all other gifts. And my truth is love.

The word ‘truth’ looks to me a little too dry and desert-like. I am not in much tune with the word ‘truth’ – it looks too logical, it looks too ’heady’. It gives you the feeling of philosophy, not of religion. It gives you the idea as if you have concluded – that you have come to a conclusion, that there has been a syllogism behind it, argumentation and logic and reasoning. No, truth’ is not my word, love’ is my word. Love is of the heart. Truth is partial, only your head is involved. In love you are involved as a totality – your body, your mind, your soul, all are involved.

Love makes you a unity – and not a union, remember, but a unity. Because in a union those who join together remain separate. In a unity they dissolve, they become one, they melt into each other. And that moment I call the moment of truth, when love has given you unity. First, love gives you unity in your innermost core. Then you are no more a body, no more a mind, no more a soul. You are simply one – unnamed, undefined, unclassified. No more determinate, definable, no more comprehensible. A mystery, a joy, a surprise, a jubilation, a great celebration.

First, love gives you an inner unity. And when the inner unity has happened the second happens on its own – you are not to do anything for it. Then you start falling in unity with the whole beyond you. Then the drop disappears in the ocean and the ocean disappears into the drop. That moment, that moment of orgasm between you and the whole, is where you become a Buddha. That moment is the moment Buddhahood is imparted to you. Or, better, revealed to you – you have always been that, unaware.

My word is love. So I say: My beloved ones, I love you. and I would like you to fill the whole world with love. Let that be our religion. Not Christianity, not Hinduism, not Islam, not Jainism, not Buddhism, but love. Love without any adjective to it. Not Christian love – because how can love be Christian? It is so stupid. How can love be Hindu? It is ridiculous. Love is simply love. In love you can be a Christ. in love you can be a Buddha – but there is no Buddhist love and there is no Christian love.

In love you disappear, your mind disappears. In love you come to an utter relaxation. That’s my teaching to you, I teach love. And there is nothing higher than love.

Then I thought I should give you something beautiful on this day. And I remembered Hakuin’s Song of Meditation. It is a very small song, but a great gift. Hakuin is one of the greatest Zen masters. His song contains all: all the Bibles and all the Korans and all the Vedas. A small song of few lines, but it is like a seed – very small, but if you allow passage to it to your heart, it can become a great tree. It can become a Bodhi tree – it will have great foliage and much shade and thousands of people can sit and rest underneath it. It will have big branches and many birds can come and have their nests on it.

See: I have become a tree. You are the people who have come to make their nests on my tree. You can also become this. Everybody should become this – because unless you become this you will go on missing your fulfillment. Unless you become a great tree which has come to its foliage, flowers and fruits – which is fulfilled – you will remain in discontent. Anguish will go on gnawing in your heart, misery will linger around you. Bliss will be only a word, signifying nothing. God will be just gibberish.

When you have fulfillment then there is grace and then there is God. In your fulfillment you come to realize the benediction of existence.

This is a song of meditation. Hakuin has called it ‘song’ – yes, it is a song. If meditation is without a song it is do and dead – it does not beat it does not breathe. It is a song and a dance: sing it and dance it. Just don’t think upon it – then you will miss the messages you will miss its content. You will find this song and its meaning only when you are singing and dancing. When the music of life has overtaken you, has possessed you.

Hakuin’s song is so small and yet so vast, it is unbelievable. How can a man condense so much truth and so much love and so much insight into so few words? But Hakuin was a man of few words, a man of silence. For years he would not speak at all, and then he would speak a word or two.

Once the Emperor of Japan invited him to deliver a sermon in the palace. And the queen and the king and the prime minister and the ministers and the high officials and the generals, they all had gathered with great respect to listen. Hakuin came, stood there for a single moment, looked around, and left the hall. The king was puzzled. He asked his prime minister, ‘What is the Matter with this man? We had come to listen.’ The old prime minister said, ‘This is the greatest sermon that I have ever heard. He has said it! You had asked him to come and teach you about silence. He has taught it! He stood there in silence, he was silence. What more do you ask? What more do you demand? He was pure silence, standing there for those few seconds. He was utter silence. He was silence, throbbing, pulsating. But you were looking to hear some words.’

But about silence nothing can be said. And all that is said about silence will be wrong. How can you say anything about silence? To say something will be falsifying it. That’s why Lao Tzu says Nothing can be said about Tao – and if something is said, in the very saying of it, it has become untrue. Tao is silent. But that silence is not the silence of a cemetery. It is the silence of a garden where trees are alive breathing and yet there is utter silence. It is not a dead silence; it is an alive silence. Hence, he has called it ’The Song of Meditation’.

Buddha says: My approach to reality is not of belief but of seeing. His religion has been qualified as ‘Ihi passika: Come and see.’ Not as ‘Come and believe.’ Buddha says ‘Come and see: Ihi passika.’ It is here, present – you just come and see. He does not require you to believe. He is the only great teacher in the world who dropped belief – and with dropping belief he transformed religion from a very low childish stature to a very mature thing. With Buddha religion became young. Otherwise it was childish. It was a kind of belief – belief is superstition, belief is out of fear. And belief is blind. Buddha has given eyes to religion. He says: See, and there is no need to believe. And when you have seen then it will not be a belief, it will be knowing.

In this song of Hakuin you will see the way of seeing – how to open the eyes. Because truth is always there, has been always there. It is not that the truth has to be produced. Buddha says: Yatha bhutam – It is! It is already there, it is confronting you! It is in the east, it is in the west, it is in the north, it is in the south. It surrounds you – it is without and it is within. But you will have to see it: Ihi passika. Your eyes are closed, you have forgotten how to open them.

Meditation is nothing but the art of opening your eyes. The art of cleansing your eyes. the art of dropping the dust that has gathered on the mirror of your consciousness. It is natural, dust gathers. Man has been traveling and traveling for thousands of lives – dust gathers. We are all travelers, much dust has gathered – so much so that the mirror has completely disappeared. There is only dust upon dust, layers and layers of dust, and you cannot see the mirror. But the mirror is still there – it cannot be lost, because it is your very nature. If it can be lost then it will not be your nature. It is not that you have a mirror: you ARE the mirror. The traveler is the mirror – he cannot lose it, he can only forget it. At the most, forgetfulness.

You have not lost your Buddhahood. Buddha hood means the mirror clean of dust. The mirror again fresh, again reflecting, again functioning – that’s what Buddhahood is. Buddha hood means a consciousness which has become awakened. The sleep is no more and the dreams are no more and the desires have disappeared. The dust gathers, it is natural. But you cling to the dust – your desire functions like a glue.

And what is your desire? That has to be understood. If you have understood your desire you have understood all. Because in the understanding of desire, desire ceases. And when desire ceases, suddenly you have a totally new feel of your being; you are no more the old. What is the desire? What are you searching? What are you seeking?

Happiness. Bliss. Joy. That’s what you are seeking. And you have been seeking for millennia, and you have not found it yet. It is time, the right time, to think again, to meditate again. You have been seeking so hard, you have been trying so hard – perhaps you are missing just because you are trying? Maybe it is trying that keeps you away from happiness? Let us think over it, brood over it. Give a little pause to your search, recapitulate.

You have been searching for many lives. You don’t remember other lives, no need – but in this life you have been searching, that will do. And you have not found it. And nobody has ever found it by searching. Something is wrong in the very search. In the search naturally you forget yourself; you start looking everywhere, everywhere else. You look to the north and to the east and to the west and to the south, and in the sky and underneath the seas, and you go on searching everywhere. And the search becomes more and more desperate, because the more and more you search and you don’t find, great anxiety arises – ’Am I going to make it this time, or am I again going to miss it?’

More and more desperation, more and more misery, more and more madness. You go nuts. And the happiness remains as far away as ever – in fact it recedes farther away from you. The more you search, the less is the possibility to get it. Because it is inside you.

Happiness is the function of your consciousness when it is awake. Unhappiness is the function of your consciousness when it is asleep. Unconsciousness is your mirror burdened with great dust and luggage and past. Happiness is when the burden has been dropped and the mirror has been found again. And again your mirror can reflect the trees and the sun and the sand and the sea and the stars. When you have again become innocent, when you again have again become innocent, when you again have the eyes of a child – in that clarity you are happy.

I was reading a few lines of Michael Adam. They are beautiful.

‘Perhaps trying even makes for unhappiness. Perhaps all the din of my desiring has kept the strange bird from my shoulder. I have tried so long and so loud after happiness. I have looked so far and wide. I have always imagined that happiness was an island in the river. Perhaps it is the river. I have thought happiness to be the name of an inn at the end of the road. Perhaps it is the road. I have believed that happiness was always tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Perhaps it is here. Perhaps it is now. I have looked everywhere else.

‘So: here and now.’

But here and now is clearly unhappiness. Perhaps then no such thing as happiness. Perhaps happiness exists not, it is just a dream created by an unhappy mind. Certainly it cannot be as I unhappily imagine it. Here and now there is not happiness. So happiness is not. I need not therefore waste myself on what is not. I can forget about happiness then; I can cease to care and instead concern myself with something that I do know, can feel and fully experience. Happiness is an idle dream: now it is morning. I can awaken and stay with unhappiness, with what is real under the sun this moment. And now I see how much of my unhappiness came from trying to be happy; even I can see that trying is unhappiness. Happiness does not try . . .

‘At last, I am here and now. At last, I am what I am. I am unpretending, at ease. I am unhappy – so what? . . . But is this what I ran from? Is this really unhappiness? . . . ’

Think over it, meditate over it.

‘And when I cease to try to be happy or anything else, when I do not seek anymore, when I do not care to go anywhere, get anything, then it seems I am already arrived in a strange place: I am here and now. When I see that I can do nothing, that all my doing is the same dream, in the moment that I see this, my mind the old dreamer and wanderer is for the moment still and present.’

Naturally. If you are not searching, not seeking, not desiring, not dreaming, for a moment the mind falls into a silence. It is still. There is nothing to hanker about, nothing to make a fuss about, nothing to expect and nothing to be frustrated about. For a moment the mind stops its constant chasing. In that moment of stillness you are in a strange place, you are in a strange space, unknown, never known before. A new door has opened. For the moment the mind is still and present.

‘For the moment, here and now, the real world shows, and see: here and now is already and always all that I had sought and striven after elsewhere and apart. More than that: I have hunted after shadows; the reality is here in this sunlit place, in this bird-call now. It was my seeking aster reality that took me from it; desire deafened me. The bird was singing here all the while. . . .

‘If I am still and careless to find happiness, then happiness it seems is able to find me. It is, if I am truly still, as still as death – if I am thoroughly dead, here and now.’

Happiness suddenly jumps upon you. When desire disappears, happiness appears. When the striving is no more, for the first time you see who you are. That knowing is what Buddha means: Come and see – Ihi passika. From where is he calling you: ‘Come and see’? He is calling you from your desires. You have gone far away from your home, you have lost your home base. You are not where you appear to be. Your dream has taken you to faraway worlds – imaginary; illusory, your own creation.

Zen people have a special word for meditation, they call it ‘fu-sho’. Fu-sho means ‘unproduced’. You cannot produce it, you cannot do anything to bring it. You have to be passive, in a state of non-doing – then it comes. Then it comes suddenly, from nowhere, from the blue. And in that coming, in that shower of silence and stillness, is the transformation. It is nothing special, Zen people say. How can it be special? It is everybody’s nature, so how can it be special? It is utterly ordinary, everybody has it. You may know, you may not know – that is a different thing – but you have it. Not for a single moment have you missed it. Not for a single moment has it been taken away from you. It has been there, lying and lying and waiting for you to come back home.

Another word Zen people use for meditation is ‘wu-shi’. It means ’nothing special’ or ‘no fuss’.

Now this song of Hakuin.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

This one sentence is enough. It is the beginning and the middle and the end. It is all. The alpha and the omega.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

You are Buddhas. Never for a single moment have you been otherwise. You cannot. You cannot really go away from your Buddhahood, you can only dream. You can only dream that you have gone away, but while dreaming you will still remain here now. This is impossible, to lose your Buddhahood, because God is involved in everything and every being. And when Hakuin says, ‘All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas,’ don’t think that he is talking only of human beings. Animals are included, so are included the birds and the trees and the rocks. All that is, is included.

The English word ‘being’ comes from a Sanskrit root ‘bhu’. Bhu means ‘that which grows’. All that grows is God. The trees grow, the birds grow, the rocks grow. All that grows is God. And everything grows in its own pace. Remember, the root of ‘being’, the word ‘being’, is BHU. It simply means that which breathes, that which grows, that which has life – howsoever rudimentary, howsoever primitive. All is included.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

And what is the meaning of a Buddha? ‘Buddha’ means a consciousness that has come back to itself – is no more wandering in dreams, is no more thinking of the future, is no more thinking of the past. A consciousness that is not possessed by memories or possessed by imagination. A consciousness that has got rid of the past and rid of the future, a consciousness that has only present. A consciousness that lives in the moment, utterly here now. Alert, awake, radiant.

All beings are Buddhas. Zen people call this single sentence ‘The Lion’s Roar’. It is. In a single stroke Hakuin has delivered you, has saved you from yourself. There is no more salvation needed. A single statement is enough to release you from all bondage. You are a Buddha. But remember you are not a Buddha in any special sense. Everybody is – your dog and your cow and your buffalo and your donkey, everybody is! So don’t take it in an egoistic sense, that ‘I am a Buddha’. Don’t make it ambitious, don’t go on an ambition trip. ALL is Buddha. Life is Buddha, being is Buddhahood, existence is Buddhahood.

Just think of it. One of the greatest statements ever made:

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

Hakuin has finished in one sentence. The remaining song will be a repetition, really. The remaining song will be for those who cannot understand the first statement. It is said, when Hakuin was writing this song and he wrote his first sentence – ‘All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas’ – one of his disciples was sitting there and he said, ‘Stop now. Now there is no more to say.’ He left the room, the disciple left the room. He said, ‘Now there is no point. You have finished in the first sentence – this should be the last sentence!’

But still the song is beautiful. It will help you from different directions to come to the same truth. It will help you to see the point from different vantage points, from different windows. You will see the same Buddha sitting, from every window of the temple. But it is good, because from some window there may be more light falling on the Buddha, from some window the green of the trees may be reflected in the Buddha’s face, from some other window a star may be looking at the Buddha, from some other window something else – a bird may be sitting and singing a song.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

The universe is made of the stuff called ‘God’. So God is not in the end. God is in the beginning, in the middle, and the end. Only God is. But let me remind you, when I use the word ‘God’ I mean godliness.

It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.

Hakuin says: It is like water and ice. There is no difference between water and ice, and yet a sort of difference. If you have gone to the market to purchase ice, you will not purchase water. You will purchase ice – you will insist. If somebody says, ‘Take this water,’ you will say, ‘I have come for the ice.’ There is a sort of difference. But not much, not really – only on the surface. The ice will melt and will become water, and the water can become frozen and can be turned into ice. They are two phases of one phenomenon.

You are like ice and Buddha is like water. You are frozen, he has melted. And let me repeat: There is no other alchemy then love to help you melt. Love melts, because love is warmth. People melt only in love. When they are not in love they become cold, and in the cold they freeze. And you must have watched it, even in your small ways. When you are loving you are flowing. When you are flowing you are glowing. When you are loving you expand. When you are not loving you shrink. When you are loving you have warmth around you. When you are not loving you are surrounded by a cold wind – you are freezing, and anybody who comes close to you will freeze.

There are people, if they look at you with their cold eyes you will feel a shivering. And there are people, when they look at you with their warmth, with their love, you suddenly feel this is your home. There are eyes which give you the feeling of being at home, and there are eyes which stare at you and make you aware that you are a stranger here.

Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.

So Buddha hood is nothing but a state of merger. Frozen Ness is gone. Your definition has disappeared. You are no more limited, you are no more confined. At the deepest core, you are no more. Because if you are then there will be some kind of frozenness in you. If you are then you cannot be flowing – something will be hindering and something will be stuck and something will be obstructing. When you are not at all . . . That’s why when two lovers are in deep embrace there are not two persons. There is only one energy, revolving. When two lovers are really in deep embrace there comes a moment, the woman forgets whether she is woman or man and the man forgets whether he is man or woman. If that moment has not come then you have not loved.

In deep love you disappear. Still something is there, a kind of presence – but nobody is present. There is no center as frozen ice, there is no self. That’s why Buddha has very much insisted that your self is the root cause which is hindering you from being a Buddha. The feeling that ‘I am’ makes you ice, icy and cold. If this feeling ‘I am’ disappears, there is no problem. Ice will melt.

It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.

The Buddhist doctrine talks about Buddha’s three bodies. They have to be understood. The first body is called the body of truth, the universal body, the divine body. You can call it God. The second body is called the bliss body – the bridge between the first and the third. You can call it the soul. And the third body is the physical body.

You know only your physical body. You have not known your second body, the bliss body. And unless you know the second body you will not be able to know the third, the deepest – your universal body, your cosmic body, your Buddha body.

This is the Buddhist trinity – the father, the son and the holy ghost. Or, this is the Buddhist trimurti – the three faces of God. Buddha says everybody has these three bodies. The first, the physical, is very frozen. The second is in a state of liquidity. And the third is vaporous. First the ice has to melt into water and then the water has to evaporate. Have you watched? The ice has definition, boundaries; the water has no definition, no boundaries. You pour the water into any jug, into any pot, it takes the shape of the pot. It is non-resistant, it is non-aggressive, it does not fight. It is liquid, it adjusts.

The man of compassion and love is like water, he adjusts. He has no resistance, he does not enforce his form on anybody. He accommodates, he is accommodative, he is spacious.

And then the third, when the water has evaporated and has disappeared and become invisible. Now you cannot even pour it into a pot. It has become part of the sky, it has moved into the eternal, into the infinite.

These are the three states of water, and these are the three states of consciousness too. You have become too gross because you have become too much identified with your first body. As if a man has be fooled himself in believing that the walls of his house are his house. The walls of the house are not the house, you have to go a little in. You have to find the innermost core of your being – and that innermost core is invisible. That innermost core is almost like emptiness.

The first body is essence, the second body is form, the third body is action. People who live only in the physical body live only in doings – what to do, what not to do. Their whole life is just swerving, swaying, between this and that. Their life consists of doing; they don’t know anything else.

The second body is of form. A man starts seeing glimpses of non-action. That’s what happens in meditation – when you are sitting silently doing nothing, great joy arises. From nowhere, for no cause. You don’t know from where it is coming but great joy arises, as if out of nothing. Miraculously, magically. This is the second, the form. The joy takes form.

And then there is the third. If you go on following and go on moving inwards, one day you reach to the essence. That, Buddha calls the body of truth. There, no action and no no-action. All has disappeared, the whole duality has disappeared, you have come to the very essence of existence. That essence is liberating. That essence is nirvana. And you are not to go anywhere to find it, you are carrying it all along.

All beings are from the very beginning buddhas.
It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.
Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar. What a pity!

And if you go on seeking afar for that which is near, you will go on missing. Nobody is at fault. Before you go into the four comers of the world to search for it, first go into yourself. If you don’t find it there, then you can go anywhere you like. But people don’t go within, they start by without. And the without is vast – you can go on and on, you can search all over the earth. And people are searching. People come to me and they say, ‘We have been searching for our whole lives. And we have been to here and there, and we have been to Japan and to Ceylon and to Burma and to Thailand, and we have travelled all over the East. And we have not found it yet.’

The East is within you! It is not in Thailand, it is not in India. And you will not find it anywhere. At the most, if you accidentally come across an enlightened man, he will throw you to yourself. Not that he will give it to you. Nobody can give it to you. It is already there; there is no need to give it.

And because in the modern world communication has become easy, traveling has become easy, people are becoming even more mad. They go jumping from one city to another, from one airport to another airport. They are driving themselves crazy. And to reach home you need not enter into any aeroplane, into any train, into any car. You only need to enter into yourself. And ticket less – no ticket is needed. And nobody is there to debar you; it is your territory.

I have heard:

A party of Americans happened to arrive at Mount Vesuvius during one of its more spectacular eruptions. ‘Say!’ exclaimed one of the Yanks in an awed tone, ‘doesn’t that beat all Hell!’ ‘Sapristi!’ said the Italian guide. ’How you Americans-a travel!’

Now even Hell is in danger, afraid of the tourists.

People go on searching and seeking for something which needs no search, which can be found only when search stops. And I am not saying that you strive to stop it – then again you have started it. If you strive to stop it, then you have missed the point. You have just to see the point of it, that striving will take you away from you, that striving will create more and more tension. Seeing the fact – Ihi passika. Seeing this, striving disappears and there is suddenly a stillness. In that stillness the first glimpse will come of bliss. You will enter into your second body. And when you have entered into the second body then it will be more and more easy, very lucid, to slip into the central most core – the essential body, the body of truth.

Once you have tasted something of your inner bliss then you have the vision where to really search for, where to go now. Disappear into your innermost being and you will find it. Seek, and you will miss. Don’t seek, and find.

Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar. What a pity
It is like one in the water who cries out for thirst;
It is like the child of a rich house
Who has strayed away among the poor.

And has forgotten that he is rich – may have become a beggar. You are rich, infinitely rich. You are all emperors and empresses, gods and godesses. Just recognize. Don’t get too much into begging – and desire creates the beggar. Even a man like Alexander is a beggar, because the desire is there. A man like Napoleon is a beggar, because the desire is there. See the richest people of this earth and you will see just beggars and nothing else. And sometimes it happens, you come across a beggar and you see the emperor sitting there under the tree – having nothing, trot possessing anything.

Just possess yourself and you have possessed all. Be the master of yourself and you have become the master of all. Possessing things, you will remain a beggar. And people go on changing but not really transforming. You possess one thing, then you start possessing another thing, then you possess a third thing. Sometimes you start possessing other-worldly things, but nothing changes. Just form changes. Somebody possesses money and somebody starts possessing virtue. Now it is the same, not much difference. […]

I am not saying start striving to stop striving, otherwise you will simply change the name of your madness and you will remain the same. You will just change the label of your neurosis. There are people who are greedy for money and there are people who are greedy for God. It makes no difference at all, they are the same people. Greed is greed. It makes no difference about what greed is, for what greed is. Greed is greed.

Just see the point that striving is meaningless, that going anywhere is meaningless. Not because I am saying it – you have to see it: Ihi passika. You have to see it, you are not to believe it. Believing won’t help; believing is just a whitewash on the surface. Seeing brings transformation.

It is llike one in the water who cries out for thirst . . .

Hakuin says: You are crying for happiness, and you are like a fish in the water crying for water and crying, ‘I am thirsty.’ You have it! And you are begging everywhere.

It is like the child of a rich house
Who has strayed away among the poor.
The cause of our circling through the six worlds
Is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.
Dark path upon dark path treading,
When shall we escape from birth-and-death?

What is the dark path of ignorance? Looking outward. The farther you look, the more darkness. Because the light burns inside you. Looking closer and closer, and there is more light. That’s why we call a Buddha ‘enlightened’ – he has come to know and realize his light. It is a perpetual light – without any fuel it is there, it cannot be exhausted. Suns will be exhausted and the moons will be exhausted and the stars will be exhausted. But the light that burns inside you as consciousness is inexhaustible. It is eternal. […]

That’s why Buddhas go on giving you whatsoever they have attained, go on shaking. Because the beauty of it is in sharing. That’s why Hakuin has sung this song. That’s why I am here, sharing my being with you, my joy with you, my celebration with you. It is something that has to be shared to keep it alive. It is something that has to be given. The more you give it, the more you have of it.

Never be a miser in your love and in your understanding. Share it. And you will have more and more of it. Don’t hoard it, otherwise you will miss it. One day you will find it has disappeared and there is nothing but stink left. Instead of fragrance there will be stinking. Share your love with everybody and anybody. Don’t make conditions to your love. And the best way to share is to share your understanding, to share your meditation.

Hakuin is doing that in this song. He’s sharing his Buddhahood. What he has known, he is singing about it, he is praising it. He is making it clear to people who have not yet attained but CAN attain. Maybe somebody hears the song, somebody is struck by it, stabbed in the very heart by it. It is a lion’s roar: somebody may be awakened out of his sleep.

The cause of our circling through the six worlds
Is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.
Dark path upon dark path treading,
When shall we escape from birth and death?

Birth means getting attached to the physical body. Death means the frustration of that attachment to the body. Getting free of birth and death means getting free of the physical body. But how can you be free from the physical body? Unless you know the second body you will not be free from the physical body. So it is not a question of being free from the physical body; the basic question is how to enter into the second body. Once you are in the second you are free from the first. And once you are in the third you are free from the second too.

That’s why you don’t see Buddha laughing. Not that he didn’t laugh, but he has not been shown as laughing. Because in the third body, the body of truth, even bliss is meaningless. First, the body, the physical body, is the body of misery. Attached to the physical body you remain miserable. The second body is the body of bliss. Once you reach to it, all misery disappears, you are blissful. But bliss is the opposite of misery – part of duality. The body of truth goes beyond both, it is transcendental. Misery has disappeared, so what is the point of keeping bliss? When there is no misery, there is no point in bliss. When poverty has disappeared what is the point of holding richness? Even that can be dispossessed.

When all duality disappears – pleasure and pain, happiness, unhappiness, day and night, life and death – then for the first time you are in God.

The Zen meditation of the Mahayana
Is beyond all our praises.
Giving and morality and the other perfections,
Taking of the name, repentance, discipline,
And the many other right actions,
All come back to the practice of meditation.

Hakuin says: All that has been done in the name of religion down the ages, can be reduced to one single thing, and that is meditation – dhyana. And what is dhyana? Becoming aware of your physical body – the first dhyana, the first step of meditation. Becoming watchful of your physical body. Watch yourself walking, watch yourself eating, watch yourself running, talking, listening. Watch. And through watching you will see you are different from the physical body. Because the watcher cannot be the watched, the observer cannot be the observed, the seer cannot be the seen, the knower cannot be the known.

Watch the physical body, and the second body will arise. It is there – but you will start feeling. You will start recognizing it, it will start penetrating you. This is the first step of meditation: watch the physical body. Then the second step, and the last, is: watch the bliss body. Watch your ecstasy. And then you will suddenly see, the watcher cannot be the watched. ‘Ecstasy is there, but I am far away from it. Bliss is there, but I am the knower of it.’

Then you start getting into the third body, the body of truth. Then you become a pure witness – sakshin. And that is liberation. Hakuin says it happens through meditation that you discover, or rediscover, your Buddhahood.

By the merit of a single sitting
He destroys innumerable accumulated sins.
How should there be wrong paths for him?

And just in a single sitting it can happen. Hakuin does not preach the gradual path, Hakuin preaches the sudden path. It can happen in a single moment. It can happen now. You need not postpone it for tomorrow. Who knows? Tomorrow may never come. It never comes, really. It can happen this very moment. If your awareness is lucid, if your awareness is there, clear, crystal-clear, it can happen this very moment. This very sitting, and you can become a Buddha. And nobody is hindering the path except yourself. Nobody is the enemy except yourself, and nobody is the friend either.

By the merit of a single sitting
He destroys innumerable accumulated sins.

Hakuin says: Don’t be worried about sins and your past karma. In a single sitting of meditation, all that can be burnt. The fire of meditation is so potential, it can burn your whole past in a single moment. There is no need to be worried about past karma – ‘I have done some bad, so I have to suffer. I have done something, so I have to go to Hell.’ If you want to go, you will have to go! But these are all rationalizations that you are trying to find. If you wish, it is your wish – it will be fulfilled. This existence is very obliging. It goes on obliging – if you want to go to Hell, it supports. It says, ‘Go! I am all with you.’

But if you decide that ‘Enough is enough, and I have suffered enough,’ a single moment of meditativeness is enough to burn all your millions of past lives and millions of future lives too. You are released.

Start meditating. First on the body. Then on your inner feelings of bliss, joy. And go moving inwards. And one day the song of Hakuin will burst forth in you too. You will flower. And unless you flower you have not lived, or lived in vain. You are here to bloom. And unless you bear much fruit and much flowers you will go on missing the meaning of life.

People come to me and they ask, ‘What is the meaning of life’ As if meaning is there somewhere sold in the market. As if meaning is a commodity. Meaning has to be created. There is no meaning in life. Meaning is not a given thing; it has to be created. It has to become your inner work. Then there is meaning – and there is great meaning.

Love and meditate and you will attain to meaning. And you will attain to life, and abundant life.

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, 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.

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The Unity of Emptiness – Osho

The world is there because of you – you create it, you are a creator. Every single being creates a world around himself, it depends on his mind. The mind may be illusory, but it is creative – it creates dreams. And it is up to you to create a hell or heaven.

If you leave this world you will not be able to leave it. Wherever you go you will create the same world again, because the world is constantly coming out of you just as leaves are coming out of the tree.

You don’t live in the same world, you cannot because you don’t have similar minds. Just by the side of you somebody may be living in heaven, and you may be living in hell – and you feel that you are living in the same world? How can you live in the same world when minds differ?

So, the first thing to be understood is that you cannot leave the world unless the mind disappears. They are related, they depend on each other, they make a vicious circle. If the mind is there . . . And a mind is always a particular mind. When the mind is no more a particular mind, when it becomes a Mind with a capital M it is no more mind, it has become consciousness. A mind is always a particular mind and it carries a particular aroma around it – that is your world.

The mind creates the world and then the world creates the mind, helps the mind to remain the same. This is the vicious circle. But the source is in the mind; the world is just a by-product. The mind is substantial; the world is just the shadow of it. And you cannot destroy the shadow, but everybody tries to destroy it.

If this wife doesn’t suit you, you think another wife will. You are trying to change the world, and you are the same. You will just turn the next wife into an exact replica of the old. You will again create, because the wife will be just a screen.

And you will be surprised: people who have married many times, their experience is really strange. A person who has been married ten times recognizes the fact that “How does it happen? In such a wide and big world, I always stumble upon the same type of woman? Even by accident it seems impossible! Again, and again!”

The problem is not the woman, the problem is the mind. The mind is again attracted to the same type of woman, again creates the same relationship, again finds the same mess and the same hell.

And the same happens in everything you do. Do you think you will live happily in a palace? You are wrong! Who is going to live in the palace? You will live there. If you are not happy in your hut, you will not be happy in your palace. Who will live in the palace? Palaces don’t exist outside you.

If you can live happily in a hut, you can live happily in a palace, because you create the world around you. Otherwise, as the hut pinches you the palace will pinch – even more so because it is a bigger thing. It will be a hell, just the same – more decorated, but a decorated hell is not a heaven. And even if you are forcibly thrown into heaven you will try to find an exit, or you will create your hell there.

I have heard about one man, a great businessman, a dress manufacturer. He died. Somehow, by some technical mistake, he entered heaven. He met his old partner there. The old partner was as sad as he was on this earth. So the businessman said, “What does it mean? You are in heaven, and so unhappy?”

The partner said, “It is okay, but personally I prefer Miami.”

And the other also came to the same conclusion within days. They again became partners there, and they wanted to start a business firm to manufacture dresses.

The same is going to happen wherever you go, because you are the world. You create a world around you, then the world helps the mind which has created it. The son helps the father, the son helps the mother, your shadow helps the substance – then the mind is strengthened more, then again you create the same world on the same lines. From where to start a transformation? How to change?

If you look, the first look will say to change the world, because it is so apparent around you. Change it! And that’s what you have been doing for many lives: continuously changing the world, changing this and that, changing houses, bodies, wives, husbands, friends – changing, but never looking to the fact that you remain the same, so how can you change the world?

That’s why a false tradition of renunciation came into existence all over the world. Escape from the house and go to the monastery. Escape from the market, go to the Himalayas. Escape from the world! To the Himalayas you can go easily, but how can you escape from yourself? You will create the same world there – the same! It may be a miniature world, it may not be so vast, but you will do the same. You are the same – how can you do anything else?

Deeper insight reveals that: change the mind, then the world changes. Then wherever you are a different world is revealed. You go deeper, and then you understand that if you want to be really without the world around you . . . Because howsoever beautiful the world is, sooner or later it will become a boredom and you will be fed up. Even if it is a heaven you will start longing for the hell, because the mind needs change. It cannot live in the eternal, it cannot live in the non-changing, because the mind hankers for some new curiosity, some new sensation, some new excitement. It is not possible for the mind to stop time and to remain timelessly.

That’s why the mind cannot live in the now, the here, because now is not a part of time. It never changes, it is eternal. You cannot say it is unchanging, it is not permanent, it eternal. It is simply as it is. Nothing happens there. It is emptiness.

Buddha has called it sunyata – absolutely empty. Nothing happens there, nobody comes, nobody goes. There is nobody, because if somebody is there then something or other will happen.

Mind cannot live in the eternal now. Mind wants change and goes on hoping, and goes on hoping against all hope. The whole situation is hopeless, but mind goes on hoping.

I have heard:

Mulla Nasruddin remained unemployed for many, many years because he wanted to be an actor and he had no talent. But every day, religiously, he would go to the agent. Hopefully he would knock at the door, enter the office, and inquire, “Has something happened? Am I booked somewhere?”

And the agent would say always the same: “I cannot do anything, nothing is possible.”

Days passed, weeks passed, then years passed and the Mulla’s knocking became a routine. Whatsoever the season, the climate, good or bad, but one thing was certain for the agent – that Mulla would come. And he would again ask hopefully, and the man would again say the same thing: “Nasruddin, I cannot do anything, nothing is possible.”

Then one day the knock was different, a little sad. And when Mulla came in, even the agent was surprised: “Why is he so sad?”

Mulla said, “Listen, for two weeks don’t book me anywhere because I’m going for a vacation.”

This is how mind functions – goes on hoping, not for many years; but for many lives! You knock on the same door with the same inquiry and desire, and it is always no. What have you gained through mind except nos?

Yes has never come that way, it cannot come. Mind is a futile effort. It is desert like, nothing grows on it, nothing can grow. But it goes on hoping. Even a desert dreams, and dreams of beautiful gardens, rivers flowing, brooks and waterfalls. Even a desert dreams . . . and that is the dream of the mind.

One has to be alert. There is no need to waste any more time – no need to knock on the agent’s door. Enough you have lived with the mind. Nothing have you achieved through it. Is it not the right time to be alert and aware?

Of course, you have gathered many miseries and many hells – if you call them achievements then it is okay – anguish, frustration. And wherever you move with the mind something goes wrong, because mind is the mechanism of the wrong. You look: something goes wrong.

Mulla Nasruddin’s son was entered into the school. The teacher was talking about geography and she talked and explained the shape of the earth and everything. And then she asked Mulla Nasruddin’s son, “What is the shape of the earth?”

He remained silent, so just to provoke his answer she said, “Is it flat?”

The son said, “No.”

She became more hopeful; she said, “Then is it a globe, round-shaped?”

Nasruddin’s son said, “No.”

Then she was surprised. She said, “Only two are the possibilities: either it is flat or it is global, and you say no to both. So what is your idea?”

The son said, “My Dad said it is crooked!”

For the mind everything is crooked, not because everything is crooked – the way the mind looks, anything that penetrates the medium of the mind becomes crooked. Just as you put a straight thing into water, a straight staff, and suddenly you see the medium of the water has done something; it is no more straight. You bring it out of the water; it is again straight. Put it in again . . .

And you know that the staff remains straight even in water, but your eyes still say that it is not straight. A hundred times you can bring it out and put it in. Even if you know well that the staff remains straight, the medium will again give you the false information that it is no more straight.

You have known many many times that the misery is created by the mind, but again you fall a victim. Mind creates misery. It cannot create anything else because it cannot encounter reality. It can only dream – that is the only capacity for the mind. It can only dream. And dreams cannot fulfill, because
whenever they come against the reality they are shattered.

You live in a house of glass, you cannot face reality. Whenever reality comes your house is shattered, and many houses you have lived in are shattered. You carry their ruins in the mind, the anguish that resulted. And that has made you very sour, very bitter.

Taste anybody and you will taste him bitter. And that is the experience of others about you also: everybody tastes bitter. Come closer and everything goes bitter; remain distant, everything looks beautiful. Come closer, everything goes bitter – because when you come closer, minds penetrate
each other and everything is crooked, then nothing is straight.

This has to be realized as your experience, not as a theory from me or Sosan. Sosan can’t help, neither can I. It MUST become your own experienced phenomenon. Experienced, it becomes a truth – and then many things start changing, then you drop the mind.

And when the mind drops, all worlds disappear. When the mind drops, objects disappear; then they are no more objects. Then you don’t know where you end and where things start, then there are no boundaries. Boundaries disappear.

In the beginning you feel as if everything has gone blurred, but by and by you settle in the new phenomenon which is of no-mind. Then stars are there, but they are part of you, no more objects. Flowers and trees are there but they flower in YOU, no more outside. Then you live with the totality.

The barrier is broken – the barrier was your mind. Then for the first time there is no world, because world means the totality of objects. For the first time there is a universe, and universe means one. Remember the word ’uni.’ This you call a universe? Wrongly. Don’t call it a universe, for you it is a multiverse. Many worlds, no more one, it is not yet.

But when the mind drops, worlds disappear. There are no objects. Boundaries mingle and meet into each other. The tree becomes the rock, the rock becomes the sun, the sun becomes the star, the star becomes the woman you love, and everything is meeting and mingling into each other. And you are not there, separate. You are in it throbbing at the very heart, pulsating. Then it is a universe.

Mind drops, objects disappear – the source of dream has disappeared. What have you been doing? You have been trying to get a better dream, to no avail of course. But the whole effort of the mind is to get a better dream. Don’t think that mind can give you a better dream – a dream is a dream. Even if better, it will not be a satisfactory thing, it cannot give you a deep contentment. A dream is a dream.

If you are feeling thirsty you need real water, not dream water. If you are hungry you need real, substantial bread, not dream bread. For a few moments you may be able to deceive yourself, but how long?

Every night it happens: you are hungry, the mind creates a dream – you are eating, you are eating delicious things. For a few minutes it is okay even for a few hours it is okay, but how long? Can you stay in this dream forever and ever? It helps sleep, you don’t get disturbed. Otherwise hunger will disturb you, you will have to get up and go to the fridge. It helps: you can go on sleeping, feeling that you are eating; there is no need to go anywhere. But by the morning you will know that your mind deceived you.

Your whole life is just like a dream, and you are substituting dream objects for the reality. So every day everything is shattered, every day you are shocked into reality, because the reality goes on bumping from here and there. You cannot avoid it! A dream is a very fragile thing; the reality goes on bumping in and breaking.

And it is good, it is for your good, that the reality breaks your dreams, shatters them to pieces. But you again start collecting those pieces and creating other dreams. Drop it! Enough you have done that. Nothing has been achieved. Now no more of it!

Once you understand that dreaming has to be stopped, the world of objects disappears. The world will be there, but not of objects. Then everything becomes alive, everything becomes subjective.

That is the meaning of religious people who say that everything is God. What are they saying? God is just a metaphor. There is nobody sitting somewhere in heaven, controlling, managing, engineering. God is just a metaphor – the metaphor that the things in the world are not like things, they are persons. Deep inside a subjectivity is there. Everything is alive and throbbing. And this throbbing is not a fragmented process, this throbbing is a WHOLE throbbing.

Of course you feel the beat of the heart near the heart, at the heart. But you think it is only in the heart? Then you are wrong – the whole body is throbbing. The heart only indicates, the whole body is throbbing. That’s why when the heart stops, the body is dead. It was not the heart really that was throbbing, the whole body was throbbing through the heart; the heart was just an indicator.

You are throbbing, but the whole is throbbing through you – you are just an indicator, a heart. The universe throbs and beats through you. You are not, the universe is.

And the universe is not a totality of objects, it is a subjectivity. It exists as a person. It is alive, conscious. It is not a mechanical arrangement. It is an organic unity.

Now try to understand these words of Sosan:

When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes, as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.

Things are objects because of the subject; the mind is such because of things.

Things are there around you because of you. You attract them. If you feel hell around you, it is you who has attracted it. Don’t be angry about it and don’t start fighting with it; it is useless. You attracted, you invited – you have done it! And now your desires are fulfilled: whatsoever you needed is around you. And then you start fighting and getting angry. You have succeeded!

Remember always that whatsoever is happening around you is rooted in the mind. Mind is always the cause. It is the projector, and outside there are only screens – you project yourself. If you feel it is ugly then change the mind. If you feel whatsoever comes from the mind is hellish and nightmarish, then drop the mind. Work with the mind, don’t work with the screen don’t go on painting it and changing it. Work with the mind.

But there is one problem, because you think you are the mind. So how can you drop it? So you feel you can drop everything, change everything, repaint, redecorate, rearrange, but how can you drop yourself That is the root of all trouble. You are not the mind; you are beyond mind. You have become identified, that’s true, but you are not the mind.

And this is the purpose of meditation: to give you small glimpses that you are not the mind. Even for a few moments the mind stops… you are still there! On the contrary, you are more, overflowing with being. When the mind stops it is as if a drainage which was continuously draining you has stopped. Suddenly you are overflooded with energy. You feel more!

If even for a single moment you become aware that the mind is not there but “I am,” you have reached a deep core of truth. Then it will be easy to drop the mind. You are not the mind, otherwise how can you drop yourself? The identification has to be dropped first, then the mind can be dropped.

The whole Gurdjieff method is how to get unidentified. When next time when a desire comes, look at it. Say within yourself, “Okay, I will watch where this mind is moving.” And you will feel a distance, you are looking at it. Who is this looker, the spectator? And the desire moves and creates dreams.

Sometimes you may forget, sometimes you may become one with the desire. Pull yourself together again, look at the desire again: the desire is moving on its own. It is as if a cloud has entered, a thought has come into the sky of your being. Just look at it, watch it. And remember, if you can be unidentified even for a fragment of a second – the desire is there and you are here and there is a distance – suddenly there is illumination, a light has happened to you.

Now you know that the mind works on its own, it is a mechanism. You can drop it! You may not use it, you may use it; you are the master. Now the slave, the mechanism, is put in its place; it is no more the master. Then dropping is possible. When you are different from it, only then is dropping possible.

Meditation, witnessing, silently sitting and looking at the mind, will be of much help. Not forcing, simply sitting and looking. Not doing much, just watching as one watches birds flying in the sky. Just Lying down on the ground and watching, nothing to do, indifferent. Not your concern really, where they are going; they are going on their own.

Remember, thoughts are also just like birds: they are moving on their own. And sometimes it happens that people who are around you, their thoughts enter into your sky, your thoughts go on entering into their sky. That’s why sometimes you feel that with some man suddenly you become sad; with some other man suddenly you feel an upsurge of energy and happiness and delight. Just looking at somebody, being near to him, something changes in your mood.

It happens even with places. You go into a house and suddenly a gloom settles on you. You go in another house, and suddenly you feel light as if wings have come to you, you can fly, you are weightless. You enter a crowd and you are no more yourself, something has changed. You enter another crowd, again something has changed.

This is the base of satsang: being with a Master who has no thoughts. Just being with him, sometimes his no-thought, his no-mind, will knock at your door. In some moments . . . it cannot be manipulated, one has to wait, one has just to pray and wait and watch. It cannot be forced because it is not a thought. A thought is a thing; it can be thrown at you. No-thought is not a thing, it cannot be thrown.

A thought has its own movement and propulsion. Whenever you are near a person who has too many thoughts, he will fill you with his thoughts. Just being near he will go on pouring his mind in you – whether he speaks or not, that is not the point. Continuously, thoughts, like sparks, are falling from his head all around – you catch them.

And sometimes you are even aware that this is not your thought. But when it comes you become filled with it, you become identified even with that. This is not your anger; somebody else was angry and you felt something within you. Somebody was hateful and the hate hit you. Everything is infectious, and mind is the most infectious disease in the world. No flu can compete with it, it goes on infecting people all around.

If you can see, you can see just sparks falling from the head of a person. They have different colors. That’s why so many mystics became aware of auras, because if a gloomy person comes he brings a gloomy aura. You can see it if your eyes are clear. You can see when a happy person comes around you. Even if you have not seen him – he is coming from behind you, you have not seen him – but suddenly you feel something happy is happening around.

Thoughts are not your own, they are not you. When you die your thoughts are scattered all around. It has happened, and next time you go near a dying man, watch – it is an experience in itself. When a man is dying, just sit and watch what happens to your mind. You will be surprised; thoughts which have never been there, thoughts you are not accustomed to, thoughts which are unknown, suddenly bubble up in you – pop! The man is dying and he is throwing his thoughts all around, like a dying tree throwing its seeds. It is in a panic; before the tree dies it should throw seeds so other trees come up.

Never go near a man who is dying if you are not aware, because then the dead will influence you. Basically, never be near a man where you feel gloomy, sad, unless you are aware. If you are aware then there is no problem. Then the gloom comes and passes; you never get identified with it.

Have you ever felt, going in a church, people praying, you feel immediately different. So much prayer, even not very real, just a Sunday prayer, but still they are doing it, even for a few moments the windows open – they are different. A fire catches you, you feel sudden changes within you.

Be aware! And then see how thoughts enter in the mind, how you get identified and become one with them. And they are moving so fast, the speed is so great, because there is nothing faster than thought. It is not possible to create anything faster than thought. It takes no time to reach anywhere. It jumps from one infinity to another; space doesn’t exist for it.

Thoughts are there, moving with fast speed. Because of the fast speed you cannot see two thoughts separately. Sit, close your eyes, slow down all processes of the body. Breathing slows, heartbeat slows, blood pressure slows. You slow down everything; you relax, because if everything slows, thought has to slow down, because it is a compact whole. When everything is slow, thought has to get slow.

That’s why in deep sleep thought stops; because everything is so slow and thought is so speedy a thing that there comes a breaking – the process cannot continue. The man is so slow and thought is so speedy, they cannot get together. Thought disappears. In deep sleep, only for a few hours, two hours at the most in the night, thought stops, because you are completely relaxed.

Relax and just watch: as the thought process slows you will be able to see gaps. Between two thoughts there is an interval – in that interval is consciousness. Between two clouds there is an interval – in that interval is the blue sky.

Slow down the thought process and look in the intervals, and pay more attention to the intervals than to the clouds. Shift the attention, change the gestalt. Don’t look at the figure, look at the background.

If I put a blackboard, a big blackboard the size of this wall here, and mark it with a white point and ask you what you see, ninety-nine percent the possibility is you will not see the blackboard, you will see the white dot – because we see the figure, not the background.

Such a big blackboard, but if I ask you, “What do you see there?” you will say, “I see a little white spot.” Such a big blackboard is not seen and only a little white spot, which is almost invisible, is seen? Why? Because this is the fixed pattern of the mind: to look at the figure, not at the background; to look at the cloud, not at the sky; to look at the thought, not at the consciousness.

This gestalt has to be changed. Pay more attention to the background and less attention to the figure. You will be nearer reality. In meditation this has to be done continuously. The mind, because of old habit, will look at the figure. You just shift again… Look at the background.

You are here, I am here. We can look at each other in two ways. I can look at the background; in the background are the trees, plants, greenery, the sky – the vast universe is your background. Or I can look at you, you are the figure. But mind always looks at the figure.

That’s why it happens if you go to a person like Sosan, Jesus or Buddha, you feel that their eyes are not looking at you. You are just the figure and they are looking at the background. Their gestalt is different. You may feel that their eyes are cold because they are not paying attention to you.

You are just a cloud. Persons like Buddha, when they look; you are there, but just as a small part of the background. And vast is the background, and you are just a dot. But you would like somebody to look at you, at the small dot, as if you are the universe, as if nothing exists beyond you.

Buddha’s love will look cold. You need a hot love, eyes which look at you and forget the whole. That is not possible for a Buddha. You have your place, but you are still a small dot. Howsoever beautiful, you are just part of a vast background – whole attention cannot be given to you.

That’s why the ego feels very much hurt near a Buddha, because the ego wants the whole attention: “Look at me, I am the center of the world.” But you are not the center of the world. Really there is no center in the world, because the center is possible only if the world is limited. If it is a finite circle then the center is possible – and it is an infinite circle.

It is absurd to think of a center. There is no center in the world; the world exists without any center. And it is beautiful. That’s why everybody can think, “I am the center.” If there is a center then it is impossible.

That’s why Mohammedans and Christians and Jews will not allow Hindu assertions that “I am God – Aham Brahmasmi.” They say, “This is heresy. What are you saying? Only God is the center. Nobody else is the center.” But Hindus can assert playfully that “I am God,” because they say there is no center, or everybody is the center.

But when you ask that the whole attention should come to you, this is the mind, the old habit of the mind, not to look at the background, just to look at the figure.

In meditation you have to shift from the figure to the background, from the star to the sky. The more this shift happens, the more you will feel you are not the mind, the more you will feel easily it can be dropped . . .

It is just like dropping a dress. You have made it so tight that it feels like a skin. It is not, it is just like a dress you can drop it easily. But one has to understand that one is the background, not the figure. And when this mind drops, says Sosan, then the objective world simply vanishes.

What does he mean? Does he mean that if you are in deep meditation, if you have reached the goal of no-mind, then these trees will disappear, vanish? Then this house will no more be here? Then you will not be sitting here? If I have attained, will this chair I am sitting on vanish?

No. Objects disappear as objects; not this chair, not that tree – they remain, but they are no more limited. Now they have no boundaries. Then this chair is meeting with the sun and with the sky, then the figure and the background has become one. There is no figure separate from the background, their identities are lost. And they are no more objects, because you are no more a subject there.

Krishnamurti goes on saying something very beautiful: that in deep meditation the observer becomes the observed. This is true, but you will feel that this looks absurd. If you are looking at a flower, does Krishnamurti mean that you become the flower? Then how will you get back home? And somebody may pluck you and you will be in trouble.

“The observer becomes the observed.” Does it mean that you become the flower? No – but still, in a sense, yes. You don’t become the flower in the sense that you can be plucked and somebody can carry you and you are no more a man. No, not in that sense. But when there is no mind, there is no boundary to you which separates you from the flower, no boundary to the flower which separates it from you. You have both become a subjective pool, you are merging and meeting. You remain you, the flower remains the flower, nobody can mistakenly pluck you – but there is a merging.

It happens only in your life sometimes in a few moments when you love a person. That too is rare, because man’s mind never leaves him even in love. It goes on creating its own nonsense, creating its own world. And the lover is no more allowed such closeness that he reaches to the background. The figure, the ego, always stands in between. But a few times it happens.

Of course, it must be happening in spite of you. It is so natural that even if you have made all the arrangements, sometimes the reality bumps into you. With all your arrangements, with all your dreams, sometimes it penetrates you; sometimes you are not on guard. Sometimes you forget, or you are so much occupied in a certain thing that a window opens and you are not looking at that window and the reality enters in.

A few moments, in love, this happens, when the observer has become the observed. This is a beautiful meditation: if you love a person then sit with the person and look into each other’s eyes – not thinking anything, not thinking who he is, not creating a thinking process, just looking into each other’s eyes.

There may be a few glimpses when the observer will become the observed, when you will be lost and you will not know who you are – whether you have become the beloved or the beloved has become you. Eyes are beautiful doors to enter into each other.

And why do I say only in love it is possible? Because only in love are you not on guard. You relax. You are not afraid of the other, you can be vulnerable, you can afford it. Otherwise, you are always on guard, because you don’t know what the other will do; you don’t know whether he will hurt you. And if you are not on guard the hurt can go very deep.

In love you can look into each other’s eyes. There will be some glimpses when the background and the figure dissolve into each other. You will be shaken to your very foundations. Suddenly you will have a glimpse: you are not, still you are. Somewhere deep there has been a meeting.

This happens to a real meditator with the universe itself – not that he becomes a tree, but still he becomes a tree. When he is with a tree, boundaries are not there. And when he becomes tuned to this no-boundary land, then he moves without boundaries..

This is what the meaning of Sosan is. When the mind disappears, objects vanish. When the objects vanish, you vanish, the ego vanishes. They are related.

Understand the relativity of these two, and the basic reality: The unity of Emptiness.

You exist because of your objects around you. Your boundary exists because of the boundaries of other things around you. When their boundaries are lost, your boundary is lost – you are relative to each other, you are together.

Your mind and your objects outside are joined together, they have a bridge. If the one bank disappears the bridge falls. And with the bridge the other bank also disappears, because there is no possibility for one bank to exist without the other. This is the meaning of relativity.

And then there is a unity – unity of emptiness. You are empty and the flower is empty, because there is no boundary to the flower, then how can there be a center? This is one of the deepest realizations of Buddha, and only Buddhists have asserted this so beautifully. They say there is no atma, no self.

And this was very much misunderstood, because Hindus say that their whole religion is based on atma, the self, the supreme self. And Buddha says, “When there is no boundary, how can the self exist?” When there is no boundary and the mind has become totally silent, how can the ‘I’ exist? Because the ‘I’ is a noise. How can you say “I am” when the whole is? When the figure and the background have become one, how can you say “I am”?

This is the emptiness of Buddha – anatta. This word is beautiful – anatta, no-selfness. You are no more and still you are. Really, for the first time you are as the whole, but not as the individual, not as the defined, demarcated, fenced. You are as the whole, but you are not as an individual, as a marked, defined separateness. You are no more an island; you are the vast expanse of emptiness.

And the same is with the flower, and the same is with the tree, and the same is with the bird and with the animal, and the same is with the rock, stars and the sun. When your self disappears, the self disappears from everywhere, because it was your self-reflected, it was your self-resounded by the universe, it was your madness reflected. Now it is no more there.

Sosan is saying that when there is emptiness there is unity. If you are, how can there by any unity? Your very being separate creates the disunity.

Mohammedans say that they love Hindus, they are brothers; Christians say they love Jews, they are brothers. Everybody is a brother, but how can you be a brother when you are a Christian? How can you be a brother when you are a Hindu? Your demarcation, your boundary, carries the enmity in it. At the most you can tolerate the other, but you cannot be one with the other. And just saying ’brother’ doesn’t help, because nobody can fight as dangerously as brothers.

Saying that I am a Hindu, I am making myself separate from the whole. Saying that I am powerful, I am separating myself from the universe. Saying that I am extraordinary, I am separating myself from the universe. This is what Chuang Tzu says: Be just the ordinary. That means don’t separate in any way, don’t make clear-cut definitions about yourself. Live with liquid boundaries, which are always ready to meet and melt.

Understand the relativity of these two, and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness. In this emptiness the two are indistiguishable . . .

They cannot be distinguished; they cannot be felt as separate – separate from the other. They are separate, but this separateness is totally different. You can distinguish, but this separateness is not of the ego.

It is just like a wave in the ocean. You can distinguish. The wave is the wave, not the ocean – still it is the ocean. The wave cannot exist without the ocean. The ocean is waving in it, the ocean is pulsating in it. It is separate as a form, and still not separate as existence. You remain separate, and still, you are not separate. This is the most fundamental paradox a man comes to experience when he experiences no-selfness, anatta.

. . .  And each contains in himself the whole world.

Not separate, you don’t lose anything, you gain the whole. And you are always afraid of losing. You always think, “If I lose myself then I am no more. What am I going to gain?” You lose, and you gain the whole. And you lose nothing but your misery, your anxiety, anguish. What have you got to lose?! You don’t have anything to lose – only your suffering, your bondage.

. . .  And each contains in himself the whole world.

When you lose, you become the whole world. All is yours. You are beggars because of yourselves; you can be emperors. Mind is the begging bowl.

I have heard one Sufi story. It is one of the oldest Sufi teachings.

A beggar came to an emperor’s palace. The emperor was just in the garden so he heard the beggar. The man on the gate was going to give something, but the beggar said, “I have one condition. I always take from the master, never from servants.”

The emperor heard. He was taking a walk so he came to look at this beggar, because beggars don’t have conditions. If you are a beggar, how can you have conditions? “Seems to be a rare beggar.” So, he came to look – and he was a rare beggar. The emperor had never seen such an emperor-like man before; he was nothing. This man had some glory around him, a grace. Tattered his dress was, almost naked, but the begging bowl was very, very precious.

The emperor said, “Why this condition?”

The beggar said, “Because servants are themselves beggars and I don’t want to be rude to anybody. Only masters can give. How can servants give? So if you are ready, you can give and I will accept it. But then too I have a condition, and that is: my begging bowl has to be completely filled.”

A small begging bowl! The emperor started laughing. He said, “You seem to be mad. Do you think I cannot fill your begging bowl?” And then he ordered his ministers to bring precious stones, incomparable, unique, and fill the begging bowl with them.

But they got into a difficulty, because the more they filled the begging bowl, the stones would fall in it and they would not even make a sound, they would simply disappear. And the begging bowl remained empty.

Then the emperor was in a fix, his whole ego was at stake. He, a great emperor who ruled the whole earth, could not fill a begging bowl! He ordered, “Bring everything, but this begging bowl has to be filled!”

His treasures . . . for days together all his treasuries were emptied, but the begging bowl remained empty. There was no more left. The emperor had become a beggar, all was lost. The emperor fell to the beggar’s feet and said, “Now I am also a beggar and I beg only one thing. Tell me the secret of this bowl, it seems to be magical!”

The beggar said, “Nothing. It is made of human mind, nothing magical.”

Every human mind is just this begging bowl. You go on filling it, it remains empty. You throw the whole world, worlds together, and they simply disappear without making any sound. You go on giving and it is always begging.

Give love, and the begging bowl is there, your love has disappeared. Give your whole life, and the begging bowl is there, looking at you with complaining eyes. “You have not given anything. I am still empty.” And the only proof that you have given is if the begging bowl is full – and it is never full. Of course, the logic is clear: you have not given.

You have achieved many, many things – they have all disappeared in the begging bowl. The mind is a self-destructive process. Before the mind disappears, you will remain a beggar. Whatsoever you can gain will be in vain; you will remain empty.

And if you dissolve this mind, through emptiness you become filled for the first time. You are no more, but you have become the whole. If you are, you will remain a beggar. If you are not, you become the emperor.

That’s why in India we have been calling beggars swamis. Swami means a master, an emperor. You cannot find a better word for sannyasins. When I was thinking what name to give to the new sannyasins, I couldn’t improve on it. Swami seems to be the best.

It means one who has thrown himself so completely he is no more; he has become the whole world, the master of all. Otherwise even emperors remain beggars; they go on desiring, asking and suffering.

If you do not discriminate between coarse and fin you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.

If you don’t distinguish between coarse and fine, good and bad, beauty and ugliness, this and that – if you don’t distinguish, if you don’t discriminate, you simply accept the whole as it is. You don’t put your mind in it, you don’t become a judge. You simply say, “It is so.”

The thorn is there, you say, “It is so.” The rose is there, you say, “It is so.” A saint is there, you say, “It is so.” A sinner is there, you say, “It is so.” And the whole knows; nobody else can know why a sinner exists. There must be some reason, but that is a mystery for the whole, not for you to bother about.

The whole gives birth to saints and sinners, thorns and roses – only the whole knows why. You simply fall into the whole and you don’t make any discriminations. You will also know why, but only when you have become the whole.

The mystery is solved when you have become the mystery itself. You cannot solve it remaining yourself. If you remain yourself, you will become a great philosopher. You will have many answers and no answer; you will have many theories but no truth. But if you become the mystery itself, you will know. But that knowledge is so delicate it cannot be put into words. That knowledge is so paradoxical it defies all language. That knowledge is so contradictory – because opposites lose boundaries, they become one – no word can say it.

The figure means the word and the background means the silence. In that knowledge the figure and the background have become one, the silence and the word have become one. How can you say it? But still it has to be said, because there are many who are thirsty for it. Even hearing about it, it may be that somebody’s heart starts on a journey. That’s why Sosan is saying these things.

Sosan knows they cannot be said, because whenever you say it you have to make discrimination. Whenever you say something, you have to choose a word. Whenever you have to say something, you prefer this to that and the mind enters.

But nobody has tried better than Sosan. He is incomparable. You cannot find another man who has put that silence into words so beautifully. Even a Buddha will feel jealous. This Sosan is really a Master – Master of silence and Master of words. He has put something into this world which doesn’t belong to this world. He has penetrated into words a deep silence of his experience.

Listen to his words – not only listen, imbibe. Let them melt into your heart. Don’t memorize them. Let them move into your bloodstream and become your blood and bones. Imbibe, eat them, digest them, and forget them. And they have tremendous power to transform.

-Osho

From Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Discourse #5

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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My Deepest Secret

What to do when my heart and mind are in the midst of tremendous turmoil, confusion, anger, disappointment?

I find a not uncomfortable place to sit and in that sitting just give a little space and time for all of the turmoil to completely reveal itself, the swirling thoughts, the clouds of despair, the murkiness of confusion, the fire of anger, and without turning away, I remain staying with it all. And the key, the most important key, is that I do not try to end any of this. I do not engage in thought to rationalize, I do not push away that which is uncomfortable, nor judge my feelings, I do not analyze why all of this is happening, nor jump onto the bandwagon and go for a ride into the maelstrom, but simply allow all of the thoughts and even more importantly all of the sensations and feelings that come along. And these too are allowed without judging, without hanging on to those that I like and without pushing away those that are uncomfortable. There is no spiritual bypassing of anything that arises. It is all welcome.

But of course, this is not true, I do, do all of those things. I do judge, I do push away, I do grasp, I do analyze, but by seeing that I am doing them, a little space opens up for love. And again, I am back to watching the whole drama but with just a little bit more awareness, a little bit freer of the grasping clutches of mind and emotion. But once again, the cycle repeats itself, not just once or twice but many times. But with each return to center the gap has widened.

And sometimes, there does come those special moments when the thoughts subside completely, when the hot feelings turn into “a peace that passeth all understanding.” In those moments there are no conclusions, just a remaining in a vast unknownness, and there is a gratefulness to all that has preceded, all that has contributed to creating this opportunity, to all that has led to this moment and I bow down to existence.

This secret is the art of watching, the art of witnessing, and it is the greatest gift that I received from Osho, but it is not unique to him. Below is a post where the Zen Master, Charlotte Joko Beck, who lived for some time in Prescott, AZ, describes a similar process which she names, get “a bigger container.”

-purushottama

A Bigger Container – Charlotte Joko Beck

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.

 

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