Your House is on Fire – Osho

I have heard one anecdote. In a conservative party rally, Lord Mancroft was invited to speak. He came right on time, reached the rostrum and said to the public – he was looking a little flustered – he said, ‘Forgive me for shortening my speech a little, but the fact is that my house is on fire.’ And that fact is everybody’s fact. Your house is also on fire, but you don’t even seem a little flustered. Everybody’s house is on fire, but you are not aware – not aware of death, not aware that your life is just passing through your hands. Every moment you are dying, every moment you are losing an opportunity which cannot be regained. The time that is lost, is lost: nothing can be done to regain it, and your life becomes shorter and shorter every moment.

This is what I mean when I say that your house is also on fire. But you don’t seem even a little flustered. You don’t even seem to be worried about it. You are not aware of the fact that the house is on fire. The fact is there, but your attention is not there. And everybody thinks that there is enough time to do something. There is not enough time, because whatsoever has to be done is so much that the time is never enough.

Once it happened that the Devil was waiting for years and years and nobody was coming to hell. He was waiting to welcome people, but the earth was running so well and people were so good that no one was coming to hell. Of course he became very worried. He called an emergency council. His greatest disciples gathered together to discuss the situation. Hell was passing through a great crisis and this could not be tolerated. Something had to be done. So he asked for advice: ‘What should we do?’

One disciple suggested, ‘I would go to the earth and I would talk to people and try to convince them that there is no God and religions are false, and whatsoever the Bible, the Koran and the Vedas say is nonsense.’

The Devil said, ‘This won’t do, because we have been doing this since the very beginning and it has not influenced people very much. Through such teaching you can convince only those who are already convinced. So it is of no use; it is not of much use.’

Then the second disciple, subtler than the first, said, ‘I will go and teach people and try to convince people that whatsoever the Bible, the Koran and the Vedas say is right. There is heaven, there is God, but there is no Devil and no hell, so don’t be afraid. And if we can make them less afraid, they will not bother about religion at all, because all religion is based on fear.’

The Devil said, ‘Your proposal is a little better. You may be able to, you may succeed in convincing a minority, but the majority will not listen to you. They are not as much afraid of hell as they are greedy of heaven. Even if you convince them that there is no hell, they will still want to enter into heaven, and they will try to be good for that. So this also won’t do much.’

Then the third disciple, the subtlest of them all, said, ‘I have an idea. Give me a chance to try it. I will go and say that whatsoever religion says is absolutely true – there is God and there is Devil and there is heaven and there is hell – but there is no hurry.’

And the Devil said, ‘Right? You have the right system. You go!’

And it is said that since then there has never been a crisis in hell. Rather, they are worried about the over-population.

This is how our minds are functioning: we always think there is no hurry. These techniques we are talking about will be of no use if your mind thinks there is no hurry. Then you can go on postponing and death will come first. That day will not come when you think there is a hurry, when you think that now the moment has come. You can go on postponing. This is what we have been doing with our lives.

You have to be decisive to do something. You are in a crisis – the house is on fire. Life is always on fire because death is always there hidden behind it; any moment and you may not be any more.

And you cannot argue with death. You cannot do anything. When death happens, it happens. Time is very short. Even if you live for seventy years or for a hundred years, it is very short. What you have to do with yourself to transform, to mutate, to become a new being, is such a great work. Don’t go on postponing.

Unless you feel it as an emergency, a deep crisis, you will not do anything. Unless religion becomes a very critical process for you, and you feel that unless something is done to transform you, your whole life is just wasted…. If you feel this very keenly and deeply and honestly, only then will these techniques be of any help. Because you can understand them – understanding is of no use unless you do something about it. Really, unless you do something about it, you have not understood them, because understanding must become action. If it is not becoming action then it is only  acquaintance, not understanding.

Try to understand this distinction. Acquaintance is not understanding. Acquaintance will not force you to actions. It will not force you to any change. It will not force you to do something about it. You will gather it in the mind; it will become information. You will become more knowledgeable. But at death everything stops. You go on collecting many things, never doing anything about them. They become just a burden on you.

Understanding means action. When you understand a thing, immediately you start working on it, because if it is right and you feel it is right, you have to do something about it. Otherwise everything remains borrowed, and borrowed knowledge cannot become understanding. You can forget that it is borrowed – you would like to forget that it is borrowed, because to feel that it is borrowed means that your ego is hurt. So you go on forgetting that it is borrowed. By and by you start feeling that it is your own. That is very dangerous.

I have heard an anecdote. The congregation of a church was very bored by the minister. A point came when the members of the church said directly to the minister, ‘Now you have to leave.’ The minister said, ‘Give me one more chance, only one chance, and if then you say so, I will leave.’ So next Sunday the whole town gathered in the church to see what that minister was going to do now that only one chance was given to him. They never suspected, they never imagined, that such a beautiful sermon was going to be delivered on that day. They had never heard such a thing. Surprised, delighted, they enjoyed it, and when the sermon was finished, they gathered around the minister and they said, ‘You need not leave. You remain here. We have never heard such a thing before – never in our lives. Be here and remain here, and of course, with an increase in your stipend.’

But then one man, a very prominent member of the congregation, asked, ‘Tell me one thing only. When you started your lecture, you raised your left hand with two fingers raised, and when you closed your lecture you raised your right hand, again with two fingers raised. So what is the meaning of this symbol? The minister said, ‘The meaning is easy. Those fingers are symbolic of quotation marks. That sermon was not mine – it was borrowed.’

Always remember those quotation marks. It is very good to forget them, you feel good, but all that you know is within quotation marks; it is not your own. And you can drop those quotation marks only when something has become your own experience.

These techniques are to change knowledge into experience. These techniques are to change acquaintance into understanding. That which belongs to a Buddha or to a Krishna or to a Christ, through these techniques can belong to you – that can become your own. And unless it becomes your own, no truth is true. It may be a grand lie, a beautiful lie, but no truth is true unless it becomes your experience – individually, authentically your own.

Three things. First: always remember that your house is on fire. Second: don’t listen to the Devil. He will constantly say to you that there is no hurry. And thirdly: remember, acquaintance is not understanding.

Whatsoever I am saying here will make you acquainted. It is needed, but it is not enough. It starts you on a journey, but it is not the end. Do something so that knowledge doesn’t remain knowledge, doesn’t remain as memory, but becomes your experience and your life.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #61

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.

 

Your Meditation Will Take You, I Cannot Take You Anywhere

 

Krishna said to Arjuna, “Surrender and I promise you moksha.” Jesus also said to his disciples, “Come follow me and I will take you to the kingdom, to God.” But you say to us that you can only show the facts. Why don’t you promise us nirvana?

All promises are poisons because they are political not religious. The people who have promised you that you have only to surrender to them and they will take you to the ultimate goal of light; you have just to follow them and they will take you to the kingdom of God… these promises have created a spiritually slave humanity. These promises have not helped anyone.

Do you have a single witness who can say, “Following Jesus I have reached the kingdom of God”? In two thousand years the promise remains there, and you remain in your misery, in your anguish, in your utter spiritual poverty.

It is very significant to understand that no one can take you to the ultimate goal of light except yourself. That is your prerogative, your privilege. That is your freedom, your individuality and its beauty.

Nobody can interfere with your spiritual growth. You are not cattle that somebody can take you somewhere. But you have been insulted, humiliated so continuously, that you have become almost accustomed to it and you don’t feel the insult of it. Somebody saying to you, “Surrender to me” – and you don’t see the humiliation…? To whom did Krishna surrender? He never surrendered to anybody. To whom did Jesus surrender? He never surrendered to anybody.

And if these people had some beauty, the beauty was their individuality, their freedom, their absolute uniqueness. A surrendered human being has almost fallen below humanity.

Jesus said to the people, “I am your shepherd, and you are the sheep.” And nobody even raised any objection that this was very insulting. On what grounds do you become the shepherd and reduce other human beings who are just like you into animals, into sheep? But any lie repeated again and again starts appearing to be a truth.

These words have been repeated so often by the so-called spiritual masters that you have forgotten what they are doing to your being. They are destroying you. There is no need for any surrender – the very word is ugly. There is no need to follow anybody, because if you follow somebody you will always remain a blind follower, you will never attain in your own eyes. And the most wonderful thing is: the people who are telling you these things have never themselves done those acts. They have never surrendered, they have never followed – and that’s what gives them grandeur, makes them pinnacles of consciousness.

You should try to understand Jesus, not to follow him. You should try to understand Krishna, not to surrender to him. It is your understanding that is going to lead you to higher levels of being. Do not depend on anybody else to help. There have been so many saviors in the world and the world is not saved yet – so many prophets, so many incarnations of God, so many tirthankaras… and what is the result? And they have all claimed that they have come to redeem the world from pain, from misery, from ignorance. They come and go – the world remains the same. In fact, it becomes darker and darker every day. It becomes more and more miserable every day.

Jainas have twenty-four tirthankaras – their quota is finished; they cannot have twenty-five. For one creation, from the beginning of this universe to the end of this universe, they can have only twenty-four tirthankaras. Now, what is the hope? And what have these twenty-four tirthankaras done? How many people have been redeemed? How many people have become enlightened? How many steps has humanity grown towards maturity?

It is strange. Hindu avataras have been here, Gautam Buddha has been here, Moses and Jesus have been here, Mohammed and many others. And this small earth and all these prophets, saviors… and the strange thing is that the world goes on becoming worse and worse. Man goes on becoming lower and lower; he has not become a spiritual being. He has not become more aware, more alert, more meditative, more compassionate. Otherwise there would not have been so many wars. In three thousand years there have been five thousand wars. This is the man that has been created by all your so-called spiritual founders. Just within this century we have already had two great world wars, and now we are preparing for the third.

What spiritual heritage, what spiritual insight is there that makes us destructive rather than being creative, makes us hate each other rather than being loving and compassionate? Even in the name of religion, for centuries there has been bloodshed continuously. In the name of peace, love, and all great qualities, we have done everything that even an animal would be ashamed to do.

It is time to have a look backwards and see that surrender and the idea of following has not helped; in fact, it has degraded you. And you are asking me also to insult you, to humiliate you. Please forgive me, I cannot do that. I can help you as a friend, I can hold your hand as a friend and companion, I can show you the way, but I cannot walk for you. You will have to walk for yourself; otherwise truth will be too cheap. If others can achieve it for you then it won’t have any value. And if others can achieve it for you, they can take it away also.

If, following Jesus, you reach the kingdom of God, remember – if you do something against him, he can kick you out of the kingdom of God because it is not your achievement.

You are living on borrowed spirituality. At least leave something which cannot be borrowed. Leave truth – it can be achieved. Those who have achieved can certainly help, but their help can only be that of a friend not of a master. The very idea of somebody being a master is the idea of spiritual slavery.

You have been asked for centuries to surrender, to trust, and do whatever the master says. And you don’t know whether he is a master or not. Do you have any criteria? Do you have any way to judge that this man is a master?

There is no criterion available, so you have been surrendering to people who are cunning enough to pretend to be masters. A real master will be so humble that he cannot call himself a master. The very claim, “I am the master, and you are just a devotee, a disciple, a follower,” is nothing but pure egoistic assertion. And wherever the ego exists one thing is certain: you cannot get any help towards light, love, life.

Man is capable of spiritual growth – he has the potential. All that he needs to know is the right way. And anybody who can show you the right way – you can be grateful to him; you can be thankful to him. But what is the need to surrender?

I am reminded of a Tibetan story….

Milarepa, a great master, was searching for truth. The story is of the days when he had not found it. And people told him, “There is a certain master – all that is needed is absolute surrender.” Milarepa went to the man and surrendered totally – he must have been a unique individual – and then other disciples of that master became very jealous of Milarepa because he started doing strange things. He would walk on water; he would go through fire and not be burned… And they all asked him, “What is your secret?”

He said, “You are senior disciples of the master, you must know. I have simply surrendered myself to him, so whenever I want to cross the river, I simply remember the master and just say to him, ‘Take me to the other side,’ and I walk on the waters.”

The master heard – he could not believe it. He wanted to see. He told Milarepa to jump from a mountain peak into a thousand-foot-deep valley. Milarepa simply remembered the name of the master, and jumped.

They all were thinking, “We will not be able to find even bits and pieces of the man, the valley is so deep and so dangerous.”

But when they went there – it took hours for them to go down – Milarepa was sitting there in the lotus posture, so blissfully.

The master said, “Just my name helps you…?”

And naturally, and logically, he thought, “If my name helps him so much, I must be a great master. And he thought, “If my name helps him, then what miracles can I not do?”

He tried to walk on the water, and he started drowning and had to be saved by his disciples. That moment Milarepa saw his own master drowning, and the whole idea of surrender to a fake, to a fraud, disappeared. He said to the master, “At least you should not have done it in front of us. You have destroyed our trust, our surrender. You have destroyed us so deeply that now it will be difficult for us to trust in anyone. You have made us skeptical. I came to you in innocence, and I am going absolutely corrupted.”

There is no criterion. Surrender, if it is total – which is very difficult, almost impossible; only a very innocent man can do it – will help you, not the master. The master may not be a master at all. But surrender simply means you have dropped your ego completely. But why call it surrender? Surrender always means to someone.

I am a straightforward, simple person. I will tell you to drop the ego; I will not tell you to surrender to me. That is a roundabout way of dropping the ego, and dangerous because you may be surrendering yourself to somebody who is not right; you may be following someone who himself is lost.

There is a beautiful story by Kahlil Gibran….

A man became a very famous master, and he went from one place to another teaching his doctrine which was very simple: “Come follow me.”

Of course, people have so many things to do they cannot just come and follow you. And they always think, “Next time when you come, perhaps I will be ready; my children are small, my girl has to be married, my wife is sick. What you are saying is right, but the time is not right. I am ready, but the situation does not allow it.”

He went on telling the people, “Whoever follows me, within days, he will attain to the ultimate illumination.”

In one village, one young man stood up and said, “I am ready.”

There was great silence for a moment because this had never happened. The master was a little hesitant. Now where to take him… what to do? He had no knowledge of what it means when you attain to self-illumination, but in front of the crowd he pretended. He said, “Okay, you come with me.” He took him into the hills, into rough places… made the journey as terrible as possible. But the young man was also very stubborn – he continued to follow him. Many times, the master said, “You must be tired; it is better you go back.”

That young man said, “I will never go back. First I will attain self-illumination whatever the cost; only then can I go back.”

But trying to put the young man into hardships, the old master was himself also trying to do the same. He was also terribly tired. Finally, he had a nervous breakdown.

The young man said, “What is the matter?”

The old man said, “To be honest with you – I have to be honest, otherwise you will kill me – you are young and I am old. You can go through all this suffering and I cannot.”

But the young man said, “I have not told you to go through all this suffering. I was simply following you; you were not following me.”

The old man said, “To be honest, I don’t know what self-illumination is. My profession was going so well… my whole life. Because nobody ever followed, no problem ever arose. You are such a rascal that you really followed, and you are still bent upon following me – that means you will kill me.”

The young man said, “But what about self-illumination?”

The master said, “I have forgotten all. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what self-illumination is. I just pray to you to leave me in peace. I will never bother you again, but don’t disturb my business in other parts of the country. The only business I know is telling people, ‘I can give you salvation; you just come and follow me,’ knowing perfectly well that who is going to follow? – everybody has incomplete things to complete. But you are such a stubborn fellow that you dropped all that you were doing and simply went on following me!”

The story is significant. Jesus says, “Follow me and I will take you into the kingdom of God.” But is there any kingdom of God? In Buddhism there is no kingdom of God; in Jainism there is no existence of God. It is simply a hypothesis. And the people who followed Jesus were all illiterate, uneducated, coming from the lowest strata of society – fishermen, farmers, woodcutters, carpenters… He himself was the son of a carpenter. He himself was not educated, not cultured, not civilized. Not a single rabbi of his day, not a single learned person, not a single wise man followed him. The people who followed were following him out of greed.

A fisherman cannot hope that on his own he can enter into the kingdom of God – and this man is not asking for much money, he is simply saying, “Follow me.” Just following him there is no harm, and the promise is great. They were not in love with Jesus.

Even in the last hours before Jesus was caught they were asking him, “Soon you will be reaching to the kingdom of God” – because it was known that he would be crucified. “Before you leave us, we want to know… of course your place will be exactly at the right hand of God. You are the only begotten son of God – but what will be the place of your twelve disciples? Who will be next to you?”

Do you see their mind? Do you see their greed? Do you see their ambition? And what have they done? Just hanging around Jesus, and they have become capable of entering into the kingdom of God. Now they are asking what their position will be. They must have been feeling jealous of each other – “Who will be next to Jesus?” And when Jesus was crucified all the twelve apostles had escaped – great followers – just out of fear that they may be recognized as Jesus’ followers, because they were always hanging around him wherever he was going. Those twelve fellows were always with him; everybody knew them – they may be caught. If Jesus is crucified, the same may happen to them.

They all escaped. They forgot all about the kingdom of God, they forgot all about following Jesus Christ. And those twelve cowards who left the master hanging on the cross have become the twelve great prophets of Christianity.

A whole religion is created on the words of those twelve cowards. Jesus cannot save anyone – he could not save himself. At the last moment on the cross, in deep frustration, he shouted at the sky because he was waiting for some miracle to happen, and nothing was happening. And people were laughing, joking, making a fool of him: “This is the only begotten son of God. Now call your father to save you.”

Finally, he shouted, “Father, why have you forsaken me?”

Even his trust was not total, even he was full of doubt that perhaps God had forsaken him and that’s why no miracle was happening.

Miracles don’t happen.

Nature knows no exceptions.

But on this poor man Jesus, for two thousand years, millions of people have been depending. Just a hope, but that hope is dangerous because it prevents you from changing you; it prevents you from doing something yourself; it prevents you from your own potential, from your own powers, from your own intelligence, from your own inner being that is always present there.

No Jesus, no Krishna – everybody has to be alert, aware, drop all false hopes. Nobody can save you, and nobody has ever saved anybody. Masters have only shown the way. Because they have traveled on the path, they can save you unnecessary wandering, they can show you the straight way. But nobody can walk for you. And it is good that nobody can walk for you. It would have been dangerous if somebody was capable of saving you, because then he becomes your owner, you become a slave.

Even in your kingdom of God you will be a slave. The man who has brought you there – you bribed him by surrender, you bribed him by following him, you bribed him by massaging his ego as much as you could – can kick you out of the gate at any time.

It happened…

I was sitting in my village by the bank of the river. It was evening, and just getting a little dark, and one man started shouting, “Save me, save me!” He was drowning.

I don’t believe in saving anybody, so I looked all around – if somebody else saves… it is good. But there was nobody so, unwillingly, I jumped into the river, and somehow carried the man.

He said, “What have you done? I was trying to commit suicide!”

I said, “This is something! Then why were you shouting ‘save me’?”

He said, “I became afraid!”

I said, “Don’t worry.”

I pushed him back – if I can save him, I can push him back.

And again, he started shouting, “Please save me!”

I said, “No more. Now you do it yourself.”

Do not depend; every dependence is slavery. That’s why I cannot say to you, “Just follow me.” I can say to you, “Try to understand.” In trying to understand me, perhaps you may be able to see the path yourself.

I can help you to see the path, I can help you to open your eyes; I can throw cold water in your eyes – that’s what I am doing every day. And sometimes you get irritated, you get annoyed, because nobody wants cold water in the early morning to be thrown into their eyes. I can shake you; I can wake you; I can drag you out of your bed. I can make you a little alert and give you the full details of how to become more aware, more meditative – and then there is nothing else to be done. Your meditation will take you.

I cannot take you anywhere.

And you will be grateful to me that I did not ask you cheap things – surrender to me, just trust in me and everything will be okay. All that is sheer nonsense. You like it because it is cheap, you like it because you have not to do anything. I am asking you something arduous. You will have to do it; you will have to work hard at it. You will have to sharpen your intelligence, your consciousness, and as it is sharpened the way becomes more and more clear. You are nobody’s shadow, nobody’s follower.

Everybody reaches to the truth alone, not by following anybody. And it is beautiful to reach alone because then it is your earning. Then you deserve it.

-Osho

From The Sword and the Lotus, Discourse #11

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.

Awaken the Master Within

Meditation is both the means and the goal. It is through meditation that we come to know that which we are Not, thus leaving us free to Be, that which we Are, Conscious Awareness.

Meditation is the goal because real meditation is awareness, our own pure consciousness. We have forgotten our own nature because this consciousness has gotten lost in the world of name and form. It has become identified with the body-mind and because of this identification the body-mind has become the master. The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.

Meditation is also the means to right this wrong relationship—to re-establish awareness, consciousness, as the Master.  It is through the witnessing consciousness that transformation is possible. It is through the awakening of intelligence that meditation brings the transformation. This intelligence is not of the mind. It is from beyond the mind. It is the light behind the mind. Once consciousness reclaims its rightful place as the Master then everything is naturally set right.

Awaken the Master within and see for your Self.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama

Take Your Destiny in Your Hands – Osho

In the natural course, after millions of years and lives, one will be enlightened. But we might have already passed through millions of years and lives and yet are not enlightened. Why?

You cannot ask why. You can ask why only if you are doing something. If nature is doing something you cannot ask why; it is up to nature. And nature is not responsible; it is not going to answer you. It is completely silent. And for nature, millions of lives are nothing; for nature it may be just seconds. To you, millions of lives and years is a long history; for nature it is nothing. Nature is not worried, and nature is not interested in you particularly. Nature goes on working – someday it will happen, but you cannot ask why, because nature is silent.

If you are worried about why it has not happened yet, then you have to do something. If worry has entered you, then you have to do something. Only your doing will help you to come to a point where enlightenment can happen. Nature’s ways are very patient, slow. There is no hurry, because for nature there is no limit to time. It is eternal. There is no beginning and no end. But man has come to a point: he has become conscious; he has started asking.

A tree never asks – even the Bodhi tree under which Buddha became enlightened. The tree will never ask, ‘Why have I not become enlightened? – because I have also been existing for as many millions of years as you have existed, Gautam. Why?’ The tree will never ask. The tree is absolutely natural. The questioning makes man unnatural. The unnatural has entered in you: you have started questioning why – why it has not happened yet.

This questioning is good, because it can lead you to a decisive moment where you can start working upon yourself. And man cannot leave it to nature, because man has become conscious. You cannot leave it to nature now. That’s why man has created religions. No animal has any religion. There is no need: they are not asking; they are not in a hurry. In nature everything is unhurried – moving so slowly as if not moving at all; continuously repeating the same pattern, infinitely repeating the same circle.

Man has become conscious. Man has become conscious of time, and the moment you become conscious of time, you are thrown out of eternity. Then you are in a hurry. So as man’s consciousness evolves more, he is more hurried, he becomes more and more time conscious. Go to a primitive society: they are not time conscious. The more civilized a society, the more time conscious. A primitive society is nearer nature: unhurried, it moves slowly. Just as nature moves, it moves. The more you become civilized, the more you become conscious of time. Really, time can be the criterion: how civilized a society is can be known by how time conscious it is. Then you are in a hurry, then you cannot wait, then you cannot leave it to nature. You have to take it in your own hands.

And man can take it in his own hands: he can do something and the process can be finished sooner. It can even be finished in a single moment. All that millions of years have not done, have not been able to do, you can do in a single moment. In that single moment you can become so intense that millions of years and millions of lives are traveled simultaneously.

That’s possible – because it is possible you are worried. Your worry is a symptom that something which is possible you are not making actual – that is the worry, that is the human dilemma. You can do it and you are not doing it – that creates an inner worry, anguish. When you cannot do it the question never arises, there is no worry. The worry shows that it is possible now that you can jump – many lives which are unnecessary you can just by-pass – and you are not by-passing. You have become conscious, and you have come above nature.

Consciousness is a new phenomenon. You have come above nature and now you can consciously evolve. Conscious evolution is revolution. You can do something about it. You are not just a victim, not just a puppet. You can take your destiny in your hands. That is possible, and because it is possible and you are not doing anything, it creates inner anxiety. And the more you become aware that this is possible, the more the anxiety will be felt.

A Buddha is very worried; you are not so worried. Buddha was very worried, in deep anguish, suffering. Unless he attained, he would live in hell, because he was perfectly aware that something was absolutely possible, was just at hand, just by the corner, and he felt, ‘Still I am missing it. If I just stretch my hand it will happen – and my hand is paralyzed. Just a step and I will be out of it – and I cannot take that step. I am afraid of taking a jump.’

When you are near the goal, and you can feel it and you can see it and still you go on missing, then you feel anguish. When you are very far away and you cannot feel it, you cannot see it, you are not even aware that there is a goal, you are perfectly unaware of any destiny, then there is no anxiety. Animals are not in anguish. They appear happy – happier then man. What is the reason? Trees are even more happy than animals. They are perfectly unaware of what can happen, of what is possible, of what is just near at hand. They are blissfully unaware. There is no anxiety. They drift. Man becomes anxious, and the greater a man, the more anxiety will be there.

If you simply live, you are living an animal existence. Religious anguish arises the moment you become aware that something is possible – The seed is there and I have to do something. I have to do something and the seed will sprout. The flowers are not very far away, and I can reap this crop’ – but still nothing is happening. A very impotent state is felt.

That was the Buddha’s condition before he became a Buddha. He was just on the verge of committing suicide. You will have to pass through that. And you cannot leave it to nature; you have to do something about it – and you can do. And the goal is not very far.

So don’t be depressed if you feel anxiety. If you feel a very tense anguish within you, a suffering, agony, don’t feel depressed about it – that’s a good sign. That shows you are becoming more and more aware of that which is possible, and now you will never be at ease unless it becomes actual.

Man cannot leave it to nature because man has become conscious. Only a very minor part of his being is conscious, but that changes everything. And unless your total being becomes conscious, you cannot know again the simple happiness of the animal or of the trees. There is only one way to know it now: to become more and more alert, more and more aware, and more and more conscious. You cannot regress. There is no process for going back; no one can go back. You can either remain where you are and suffer, or you have to go forward and go beyond suffering. You cannot go back.

Total unconsciousness is blissful, total consciousness is blissful – and you are in between. A part of you has become conscious, and the major part of you is still unconscious. You are divided. You have become two, you are not one. The integration is lost. Animals are integrated and then saints are integrated. Man is disintegrated: a part remains animal and a part has become saintly. There is a struggle, conflict, and whatsoever you do you can never do with one heart.

So there are two ways. One is just to deceive yourself – that is to become totally unconscious again. You can take drugs, you can take alcohol, you can take intoxicants – you fall back to the animal world. You drug the part that has become conscious; you become totally unconscious. But this is a temporary deception; you will arise again. The effect of the chemical will be lost and your consciousness will become conscious again. The part which you have forcibly suppressed with alcohol or drugs or something else will arise again, and then you will feel more suffering, because then you can compare. You will feel more suffering.

You can go on drugging yourself. There are many methods – not only chemical. There are religious methods. You can use a japa, a mantra: you can chant it and create an intoxicating effect. You can do many things which can make you unconscious again, but that is going to be temporary, you will have to come out – and you will come out with a deeper suffering with you, because then you will be able to compare. If in unconsciousness this is possible, what will be possible in total consciousness? You will become more hungry for it, you will feel more starved.

Remember one thing: totality is bliss. If you are unconscious totally then too it is bliss, but you are not aware of it. Animals are happy but they are not aware of their happiness. So it is futile. It is just like when you are asleep you are happy, and whenever you are awake you are unhappy. Totality is bliss.

You can be total in consciousness also. Then there will be bliss and you will be perfectly aware of it. This is possible through sadhana, through methods, through practicing techniques which increase your consciousness. You are not enlightened because you have not done anything for it, but you have become aware that you are not enlightened. This has been done by nature; in millions of years nature has made you aware.

You may not be aware of the fact that man has stopped growing as far as body is concerned. We have skeletons that are millions of years old, but there is no visible change; they are similar to our skeletons. So for millions of years there has been no growth in the body, it has remained the same. Even the brain has not grown; it has remained the same. As far as body is concerned, evolution has done whatsoever could have been done. In a sense, man is now responsible for his own growth. And the growth is not going to be of the physical; the growth is going to be of the spiritual.

The skeleton of a Buddha and your skeleton are not basically different, but you and Buddha are absolutely different. Evolution is working horizontally; methods, techniques, religions, they work vertically. Your body has stopped: it has come to a point, an omega point. Now there is no further growth for it. Horizontally, evolution has stopped; now a vertical evolution starts. Now, wherever you are, you have to take a jump vertically. That vertical evolution will be of consciousness, not of body. And you are responsible for it.

You cannot ask nature why, but nature can ask you why you are not enlightened yet, because everything is provided now. Your body has all that which is needed; you have a Buddha’s body. Exactly whatsoever is needed for the buddha to happen to you, you have got. Only a new arrangement, a new synthesis of all the elements that are given, and the buddha will happen to you. Nature can ask you why you are not enlightened yet, because nature has provided you with everything.

And nature asking you will not be irrelevant, but you asking nature is absurd. You cannot be allowed to ask. Now you are aware and you can do something. All the elements are given to you. The hydrogen is there, the oxygen is there, the electricity is there; you have to just make certain efforts and experiments and the water will happen.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #58, Q2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Take Your Destiny in Your Hands.

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

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

A Small and Momentary Gap – Osho

How is it possible that by simply becoming aware at a particular point in the breathing process one can attain enlightenment? How it is possible to become free from the unconscious by just being aware of such a small and momentary gap in the breathing?

This question is significant, and this question is likely to have occurred to many minds, so many things have to be understood. First, it is thought that spirituality is a difficult attainment. It is neither: that is, it is neither difficult nor an attainment. Whatsoever you are, you are already spiritual. Nothing new is to be added to your being, and nothing is to be discarded from your being; you are as perfect as possible. It is not that you are going to be perfect sometime in the future, it is not that you have to do something arduous to be yourself. It is not a journey to some other point somewhere else; you are not going somewhere else. You are already there. That which is to be attained is already attained.

This idea must go deep, only then will you be able to understand why such simple techniques can help. If spirituality is some attainment, then of course it is going to be difficult – not only difficult, but really impossible. If you are not already spiritual, you cannot be, you never can be, because how can one who is not spiritual be spiritual? If you are not divine already then there is no possibility, there is no way. And no matter what effort you will make, effort made by one who is not already divine cannot create divinity. If you are not divine, your effort cannot create divinity. Then it is impossible.

But the whole situation is totally opposite: you are already that which you want to attain. The end of longing is already there, present in you. Here and now, this very moment, you are that which is known as divine. The ultimate is here; it is already the case. That is why simple techniques can help. It is not an attainment, but a discovery. It is hidden, and it is hidden in very, very small things.

The persona is just like clothes. Your body is here, hidden in clothes; in the same way your spirituality is here, hidden in certain clothes. These clothes are your personality. You can be naked just here and now, and in the same way you can be naked in your spirituality also. But you do not know what the clothes are. You do not know how you are hidden in them; you do not know how to be naked. You have been in clothes so long – for lives and lives and lives you have been in clothes – and you have been so identified with the clothes, that now you do not think that these are clothes. You think these clothes are you. That is the only barrier.

For example, you have some treasure, but you have forgotten or you have not yet recognized that this is a treasure, and you go on begging in the streets… you are a beggar. If someone says, “Go and look inside your house. You need not be a beggar, you can be an emperor this very moment,” the beggar is bound to say, “What nonsense you are talking. How can I be an emperor this very moment? I have been begging for years and still I am a beggar, and even if I go on begging for lives together, I am not going to be an emperor. So how absurd and illogical your statement is, ‘You can be an emperor this very moment.’”

It is impossible. The beggar cannot believe it. Why? Because the begging mind is a long habit But if the treasure is just hidden in the house, then from simple digging, removing the earth a little bit, the treasure will be there. And immediately he will not be a beggar again, he will become an emperor. It is the same with spirituality: it is a hidden treasure. Nothing is to be achieved somewhere in the future. You have not yet recognized it, but it is there already in you. You are the treasure, but you go on begging.

So simple techniques can help. Digging the earth, removing a little bit, is not a big effort, and you can become an emperor immediately. You have to dig a little bit to remove the earth. And when I say remove the earth; it is not only symbolically that I am saying it. Literally your body is part of the earth, and you have become identified with the body. Remove this earth a little bit, create a hole in it, and you will come to know the treasure.

That is why this question will occur to many. Really, to everyone this question will occur: “So small a technique like this – being aware of your breathing, being aware of the incoming breath and the outgoing breath, and then realizing the interval between the two – is this enough?” Such a simple thing! Is this enough for enlightenment? Is this the only difference between you and Buddha, that you have not realized the gap between two breaths and Buddha has realized it – only this much? It seems illogical. The distance is vast between a Buddha and you. The distance seems infinite. The distance between a beggar and an emperor is infinite, but the beggar can immediately become an emperor if the treasure is already hidden.

Buddha was a beggar like you; he was not a buddha always. At a particular point the beggar died, and he became the master. This is not a gradual process really; it is not that Buddha goes on accumulating and then one day he is not the beggar and he becomes the emperor. No, a beggar can never become an emperor if it is going to be an accumulation, he will remain a beggar. He may become a rich beggar, but he will remain a beggar. And a rich beggar is a bigger beggar than a poor beggar.

Suddenly, one day Buddha realizes the inner treasure. Then he is no more a beggar, he becomes a master. The distance between Gautam Siddharth and Gautam Buddha is infinite. It is the same distance that is between you and a buddha. But the treasure is hidden within you as much as it was hidden in Buddha.

Take another example…. One man is born with blind eyes, diseased eyes. For a blind man, the world is a different thing. A small operation may change the whole thing, because only the eyes have to be made all right. The moment the eyes are ready, the seer is hidden behind and he will begin to look from the eyes. The seer is already there, only windows are lacking. You are in a house with no windows. You can break a hole in the wall, and suddenly you will look out. We are already that which we will be, which we should be, which we are to be. The future is already hidden in the present; the whole possibility is here in the seed. Only a window has to be broken, only a small surgical operation is needed. If you can understand this, that spirituality is already there, already the case, then there is no problem concerning how such a small effort can help.

Really, no big effort is needed. Only small efforts are needed, and the smaller the better. And if you work effortlessly it is still better. That is why it happens, many times it happens, that the more you try, the harder it is to attain. Your very effort, your tension, your occupiedness, your longing, your expectation, becomes the barrier. But with a very small effort, an effortless effort as they call it in Zen – doing as if not doing – it happens easily. The more you are mad after it, the less is the possibility, because where a needle is needed you are using a sword. The sword will not be helpful. It may be bigger, but where a needle is needed a sword will not do.

Go to a butcher – he has very big instruments. And go to a brain surgeon: you will not find such big instruments with the brain surgeon. And if you do find them, then escape immediately! A brain surgeon is not a butcher. He needs very small instruments – the smaller the better.

Spiritual techniques are more subtle; they are not gross. They cannot be, because the surgery is even more subtle. In the brain the surgeon is still doing something with gross matter, but when you are working on spiritual planes the surgery becomes more and more aesthetic. No gross matter is there. It becomes subtle – that is one thing.

Secondly, the questioner asks, “If something is smaller, how can a bigger step be possible through it?” This concept is irrational, unscientific. Now science knows that the smaller the particle, the more atomic, the more explosive – the bigger really. The smaller it is, the bigger the effect. Could you have conceived before 1945, could any imaginative poet or dreamer have conceived that two atomic explosions would wipe out completely two big cities in Japan – Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Two hundred thousand people were simply wiped out of existence within seconds. And what was the explosive force used? An atom! The very smallest particle blew up two big cities. You cannot see the atom. Not only with your eyes can you not see, you cannot see by any means. The atom cannot be seen with any instrument; we can only see the effects.

So do not think that the Himalayas are bigger because they have such a big body. The Himalayas are just impotent before an atomic explosion. One small atom can wipe out the whole Himalayas. Size in gross material is not necessarily power. On the contrary, the smaller the unit, the more penetrating. The smaller the unit, the more intensely it is filled with power.

These small techniques are atomic. Those who are doing bigger things do not know atomic science.

You will think that a person who is working with atoms is a small person working with small things, and a person who is working with the Himalayas will look very big. Hitler was working with great masses; Mao is working with great masses. And Einstein and Planck, they were working in their laboratories with small units of matter – energy particles. But ultimately, before Einstein’s research politicians were just impotent. They were working on a bigger canvas, but they did not know the secret of the small unit.

Moralists always work on big planes, but these are gross. The thing looks very big. They devote their whole lives to moralizing, practicing this and that, to sanyam – control. They go on controlling; the whole edifice looks very big.

Tantra is not concerned with this. Tantra is concerned with the atomic secrets in the human being, in the human mind, in human consciousness. And tantra has achieved atomic secrets. These methods are atomic methods. If you can attain them, their result is explosive, cosmic.

Another point is to be noted. If you can say, “How is it that with such a small, simple exercise one can become enlightened?” you are saying this without doing the exercise. If you do it, then you will not say that this is a small, simple exercise. It looks this way because within two or three sentences the whole exercise has been given.

Do you know the atomic formula? Two or three words, and the whole formula is given. And with those two or three words, those who can understand, those who can use those words, can destroy the whole earth. The formula is very small.

These too are formulas, so if you just look at the formula it will look to be a very, very small, simple thing. It is not! Try to do it. When you do it, then you will know that it is not so easy. It looks simple, but it is one of the deepest things. We will analyze the process; then you will understand.

When you take your breath in, you never feel the breath. You have never felt the breath. You will immediately deny this. You will say, “This is not right. We may not be conscious continuously, but we feel the breath.” No, you do not feel the breath, you feel the passage.

Look at the sea. Waves are there; you see the waves. But those waves are created by air, wind. You do not see the wind; you see the effect on the water. When you take breath in it touches your nostril. You feel the nostril, but you never know the breath. It goes down – you feel the passage. It comes back – again you feel the passage. You never feel the  breath, you just feel the touch and the passage.

This is not what is meant when Shiva says, Be aware. First you will become aware of the passage, and when you have become completely aware of the passage, only then will you begin, by and by, to be aware of the breath itself. And when you become aware of the breath, then you will be capable of being aware of the gap, the interval. It is not as easy as it looks.

For tantra, for all seeking, there are layers of awareness. If I embrace you, first you will become aware of my touch upon your body; not of my love, my love is not so gross. And ordinarily we never become aware of love. We are aware only of the body in movement. We know loving movements, we know non-loving movements – but we have never known love itself. If I kiss you, you become aware of the touch, not of my love; that love is a very subtle thing. And unless you become aware of my love the kiss is just dead, it means nothing. If you can become aware of my love, then only can you become aware of me, because that again is a deeper layer.

The breath goes in. You feel the touch, not the breath. But you are not even aware of that touch. If something is wrong, only then do you feel it. If you have some difficulty in breathing, then you feel it; otherwise you are not aware. The first step will be to be aware of the passage where breath is felt to be touching; then your sensitivity will grow. It will take years to become so sensitive that not the touch, but the movement of breath is known. Then, says tantra, you will have known prana – the vitality. And only then is there the gap where breath stops, where breath is not moving – or the center where the breath is touching, or the fusion point, or the turning where the breath, the ingoing breath, becomes outgoing. This will become arduous; then it will not be so simple.

If you do something, if you go into this center, only then will you know how difficult it is. Buddha took six years to come to this center beyond the breath. To come to this turning, he had a long, arduous journey of six years; then it happened. Mahavir was working on it for twelve years; then it happened. But the formula is simple, and theoretically this can happen this very moment – theoretically, remember. There is no barrier theoretically, so why should it not happen this very moment? You are the barrier. Except for you this can happen this very moment. The treasure is there; the method is known to you. You can dig, but you will not dig.

Even this question is a trick not to dig, because your mind says, “Such a simple thing? Don’t be a fool. How can you become a buddha through such a simple thing? It is not going to be.” And then you are not going to do anything, because how can this happen? Mind is tricky. If I say this is very difficult, the mind says, “This is so difficult it is beyond you.” If I say this is very simple, the mind says, “This is so simple that only fools can believe in it.” And mind goes on rationalizing things, always escaping from doing.

Mind creates barriers. It will become a barrier if you think this is so simple, or this is too difficult – then what are you going to do? You cannot do a simple thing, you cannot do a difficult thing. What are you going to do? Tell me! If you want to do a difficult thing, I will make it difficult. If you are going to do a simple thing, I will make it simple. It is both – it depends on how it is interpreted. But one thing is needed, that you are going to d0. If you are not going to “do” then the mind will always give you explanations.

Theoretically, it is possible here and now; there is no actual barrier. But there are barriers. They may not be actual, they may simply be psychological – they may just be your illusions – but they are there. If I say to you, “Do not be afraid – go! The thing that you are thinking is a snake is not a snake, it is just a rope,” still the fear will be there. To you it appears to be a snake.

So whatsoever I say is not going to help. You are trembling; you want to escape and run away. I say it is just a rope, but your mind will say, “This man may be in conspiracy with the snake. There must be something wrong. This man is forcing me toward the snake. He may be interested in my death, or something else.” If I try to convince you too much that this is a rope that will only show that I am somehow interested in forcing you toward the snake. If I say to you that theoretically it is possible to see the rope as a rope this very moment, your mind will create many, many problems.

In reality there is no dilemma; in reality there is no problem. There never has been, there never will be. In mind there are problems, and you look at reality through the mind; thus, the reality becomes problematic. Your mind works like a prison. It divides and creates problems. And not only that, it creates solutions which become deeper problems, because in fact there are no problems to be solved. Reality is absolutely unproblematic; there is no problem. But you cannot see anything without problems. Wherever you look, you create problems. Your “look” is problematic. I told you this breath technique; now the mind says, “This is so simple.” Why? Why does the mind say this is so simple?

When for the first time the steam engine was invented, no one believed it. It looked so simple – unbelievable. Just the same steam that you know in your kitchen, in your kettle, the steam running an engine, running hundreds and hundreds of passengers and such a load? The same steam that you are so well-acquainted with? This is not believable.

Do you know what happened in England? When the first train started, no one was ready to sit in it – no one! Many people were persuaded, bribed, they were given money to sit in the train, but at the last point they escaped. They said, “Firstly, steam cannot do such miracles. Such a simple thing as steam cannot do such miracles. And if the engine starts, that means that the devil is at work somewhere. The devil is running the thing, it is not the steam. And what is the guarantee that once the thing starts you will be capable of stopping it?”

No guarantee could be given because this was the first train. Never had it stopped before, it was only probable. There was no experience, so science could not say, “Yes it will stop.”

Theoretically it will stop… but the people were not interested in theories. They were interested if there was any actual experience of stopping a train: “If it never stops then what will happen to us who will be sitting in it?”

So twelve criminals from the jail were brought as passengers. Anyhow they were going to die, anyhow they were sentenced to death, so there was no problem if the train was not going to stop.

Then the mad driver who thought that it was going to stop, the scientist who had invented it and these twelve passengers who were anyhow going to be killed, they alone would all be killed. “Such a simple thing as steam,” they said at that time. But now no one says this, because now it is working and you know it.

Everything is simple – reality is simple. It seems complex only because of ignorance; otherwise everything is simple. Once you know it, it becomes simple. The knowing is bound to be difficult not because of reality, remember, but because of your mind. This technique is simple, but it is not going to be simple for you. Your mind will create difficulty. So try with it.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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.

The Emptiness and the Unknown are One – Osho

In meditation, when the ‘I’ drops temporarily and an emptiness is created within, after it a frustration is felt when that emptiness is not filled by the entry of the unknown. How can one learn to live with that emptiness?

Emptiness is the unknown. Don’t wait and don’t hope that something is going to fill the emptiness. If you are waiting, hoping, desiring, you are not empty. If you are waiting that something, some unknown force, will descend upon you, you are not empty – this hope is there, this desire is there, this longing is there. So don’t desire for something to fill you. Simply be empty. Don’t even wait. Emptiness is the unknown. When you are really empty the unknown has descended upon you. It is not that first you become empty and then the unknown enters. You are empty, and the unknown has entered. There is not a single moment’s gap. The emptiness and the unknown are one.

In the beginning it appears to you as emptiness; that is only appearance, because you have always been filled by the ego. Really, you are feeling the absence of the ego; that’s why you feel empty. First the ego disappears – but the feeling that the ego is no more creates the feeling of emptiness. Just the absence… something was there, and now it is not there. The ego has gone, but the absence of the ego is felt. First the ego will disappear, and then the absence of the ego will disappear. Only then will you be really empty. And to be really empty is to be really filled.

That inner space which is created by the absence of the ego is the divine. The divine is not to come from somewhere else; you are already that. Because you are filled with the ego you cannot realize it, you cannot see it, you cannot touch it. A filmy barrier of the ego prevents you.

When the ego has dropped, the barrier has dropped. The curtain is no more there. Nothing is to come; whatsoever is to come is already there. Remember this: that nothing new is going to come to you. Whatsoever is possible is already there, actual. So the question is not of achieving; the question is only of discovering. The treasure is there, just covered – you uncover it. When he became a realized man, Buddha was asked so many times, ‘What have you gained? What have you achieved?’

Buddha is reported to have said, ‘I have not achieved anything. Rather, on the contrary, I have lost myself. And that which I have achieved was already there, so I cannot say I have achieved it. I was unaware of it. Now I have become aware. But I cannot say I have achieved it. Rather, on the contrary, now I wonder how it was possible that I didn’t know it before. And it was always there just by the corner – just a turning was needed.’

The divinity is not a future. Your divinity is the present. It is here and now. This very moment you are that – unaware, not looking in the right direction, or not tuned to it, that’s all. A radio is there: the waves are passing right now, but if the radio is not tuned to a particular wave, the wave is unmanifest. You tune the radio and the wave becomes manifest. A tuning is needed.

Meditation is a tuning. When you are tuned, that which is unmanifest becomes manifest. But remember, don’t desire, because the desire will not allow you to be empty. And if you are not empty nothing is possible, because the space is not there, so your own unmanifest nature cannot be revealed. It needs space to be revealed. And don’t ask how to live with emptiness. That is not the real question. Just be empty. You are not yet empty.

If once you know what emptiness is, you will love it. It is ecstatic. It is the most beautiful experience possible to mind, to man, to consciousness. You will not ask how to live with emptiness. You are asking that as if emptiness is something like a misery. It appears so to the ego. The ego is always afraid of emptiness, so you ask how to live with it as if it is some enemy. Emptiness is your innermost center. All the activity is on the periphery; the innermost center is just a zero. All the manifest is on the periphery; the deepest core of your being is the unmanifest vacuum.

Buddha has given it a name – shunyata. It means nothingness or emptiness. That’s your nature, that’s your being, and out of that nothingness everything comes, and everything goes back to it. That emptiness is the source. Don’t ask to fill it, because whenever you ask to fill it you will create more and more ego – ego is the effort to fill the emptiness. And even this desire that now something must descend upon you – a god, a divinity, a divine power, some unknown energy – this is again a thought. Whatsoever you can think about God is not going to be God; it is simply going to be a thought.

When you say the unknown, you have made it the known. What do you know about the unknown? Even to say that it is the unknown, you have known some quality about it – the quality of its being unknown. The mind cannot conceive the unknown. Even the unknown becomes known, and whatsoever the mind says is going to be just a verbalization, a thought process. God is not the word ‘God’. The thought of God is not God. Ans when there is no thought, only then will you come to feel and realize what it is. Nothing else can be said about it. It can only be indicated. And all indications are erroneous because they are all indirect.

This much can be said – that when you are not…. And you are not, only when there is no desire, because you exist with desire. Desire is the food through which you exist. Desire is the fuel. When there is no desire, no longing, no future, and when you are not, that emptiness is the fullness of existence. In that emptiness the whole existence is revealed to you. You become it.

So, don’t ask how to live with emptiness. First be empty. There is no need to ask how to live with it. It is so blissful – the deepest bliss it is. When you ask how to live with emptiness, you are really asking how to live with oneself. But you have not known yourself. Enter more and more into it.

In meditation sometimes you feel a sort of emptiness; that is not really emptiness. I call it just a sort of emptiness. When you are meditating, for certain moments, for a few seconds you will feel as if the thought process has stopped. In the beginning these gaps will come. But because you are feeling as if the thought process has stopped, this is again a thought process, a very subtle thought process. What are you doing? You are saying inside, ‘The thought process has stopped.’ But what is this? This is a secondary thought process which has started. And you say, ‘This is emptiness.’ You say, ‘Now something is going to happen.’ What is this? Again a new thought process has started. Whenever this happens again, don’t become a victim of it. When you feel a certain silence is descending, don’t start verbalizing it, because you are destroying it. Wait – not for something – simply wait. Don’t do anything. Don’t say, ‘This is emptiness.’ The moment you have said, you have destroyed it. Just look at it, penetrate into it, encounter it, but wait – don’t verbalize it. What is the hurry? Through verbalization the mind has again entered from a different route, and you are deceived. Be alert about this trick of the mind.

In the beginning it is bound to happen, so whenever this happens again, just wait. Don’t fall in the trap. Don’t say anything – remain silent. Then you will enter, and then it will not be temporary, because once you have known the real emptiness you cannot lose it. The real cannot be lost; that is its quality.

Once you have known the inner treasure, once you have come in contact with your deepest core, then you can move in activity, then you can do whatsoever you like, then you can live an ordinary worldly life, but the emptiness will remain with you. You cannot forget it. It will go on inside. The music of it will be heard. Whatsoever you are doing, the doing will be only on the periphery; inside you will remain empty.

And if you can remain empty inside, doing only on the periphery, whatsoever you do becomes divine, whatsoever you do takes on the quality of the divine because now it is not coming from you. Now it is coming directly from the original emptiness, the original nothingness. If then you speak, those words are not yours. That’s what Mohammed means when he says, ‘This Koran is not said by me. It has come to me as if someone else has spoken through me.’ It has come out of the inner emptiness. That’s what Hindus mean when they say, ‘The Vedas are not written by man, they are not human documents, but the divine, the God himself has spoken.’

These are symbolic ways of saying something which is very mysterious. And this is the mystery: when you are deeply empty, whatsoever you do or speak is not from you – because you are no more. It comes from the emptiness. It comes from the deepest source of existence. It comes from the same source from which this whole existence has come. Then you have entered the womb, the very womb of existence. Then your words are not yours, then your acts are not yours. It is as if you are just an instrument – an instrument of the whole.

If emptiness is felt only momentarily, and then it comes and goes like a flash, it is not real. And if you start thinking about it, even the unreal is lost. Not to think in that moment takes great courage.

It is the greatest control I know. When the mind becomes silent and when you are falling empty, it takes the greatest courage not to think, because the whole past of the mind will assert. The whole mechanism will say, ‘Now think!’

In subtle ways, indirect ways, your past memories will force you to think – and if you think, you have come back. If you can remain silent in that moment, if you are not tempted by the mechanism of your memory and mind…. This is the real Satan – your own mind which tempts you. Whenever you are falling empty, the mind tempts you and creates something to think about – and if you start thinking, you are back.

It is said that when one of the great masters, Bodhidharma, went to China, many disciples gathered around him. He was the first Zen master. One disciple, who was to become his chief disciple, came to him and said, ‘Now I have become totally empty.’

Bodhidharma slapped him immediately and said, ‘Now go and throw this emptiness also! Now you are filled with emptiness – throw this also. Only then will you be really empty.

You understand? You can be filled by the idea of emptiness. Then it will hover on you, it will become a cloud. He said, ‘Throw this emptiness also, and then come to me.’ If you say you are empty, you are not empty. Now this word ‘empty’ has become meaningful and you are filled with it. The same I say to you – throw this emptiness also.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #56, Q1

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.

If I Say Surrender You Ask How – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #58, Q1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt In Your Hands (Book of Secrets #58, Q1).

Osho’s Book of Secrets Meditations

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

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

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A Meditation Before Sleep – Osho

When you go to sleep tonight and every night following, before going to sleep put off the light, sit on your bed, close your eyes and exhale deeply through the mouth with the sound ‘O’ – Ooooo. Go on exhaling with the sound ‘O’, as deeply as possible. Your stomach goes in, the air moves out, and you go on creating the sound ‘O’. Remember, I am not saying aum, I am saying simply ‘O’. It will become aum automatically. You need not make it, then it is false. You simply create the sound ‘O’. When it becomes more harmonious and you are enjoying it, suddenly you will become aware it has become aum. But don’t force it to become aum, then it is false. When it becomes spontaneously aum then it is something vibrating from within. And this sound aum is the deepest sound, the most harmonious, the most basic.

When it happens and you enjoy and you flow in its music, your whole body and your brain relax. With the sound aum you will go on relaxing and your sleep will have a different quality, altogether different. And your sleep has to be changed, only then can you become more alert and aware. So we will start by changing the sleep.

In the night put the light off, sit on the bed, exhale deeply through the mouth with the sound ‘O’. When you have exhaled completely and you feel that now no more exhalation is possible, the whole breath has gone out, stop for a single moment. Don’t inhale, don’t exhale – just stop. In that stop you are the divine. In that stop you are not doing anything, not even breathing. In that stop you are in the ocean.

Just remain in the stop for a single moment and be a witness – just look at what is happening. Be aware where you are: witness the whole situation that is there in that single stopped moment. Time is no more there, because time moves with breaths; breathing is the process of time. Because you breathe you feel the time moving. When you don’t breathe you are just like a dead man. Time has stopped, there is no process anywhere, everything has stopped… as if the whole existence has stopped with you. In that stopping you can become aware of the deepest source of your being and energy. So for a single moment stop. Then inhale through the nose, but don’t make any effort to inhale.

Remember, make all the effort to exhale, but don’t make any effort to inhale; just let the body inhale.

You simply relax your hold and let the body take the inhalation. You don’t do anything. That too is beautiful and works wonders. You have exhaled, stopped for a moment, then you allow the body to inhale. You don’t make any effort to inhale; you simply watch the body taking the inhalation.

And when you watch the body taking the inhalation you will feel a deep silence surrounding you, because then you know your effort is not needed for life. Life breathes itself. It moves by itself of its own cause. It is a river; you unnecessarily go on pushing it. You will see that the body is taking the inhalation. Your effort is not needed, your ego is not needed – you are not needed. You simply become a watcher, you simply see the body taking the inhalation. Deep silence will be felt.

When the body has taken a full inhalation, stop for a single moment again. Again watch.

These two moments are totally different. When you have exhaled completely and stopped, that stopping is just like death. When you have inhaled totally and then stopped, that stopping is the climax of life. Remember, inhalation is equivalent to life, exhalation equivalent to death.

That’s why the first thing a child does when born is to inhale, and the last thing the same child will do when old, dying, will be to exhale. On this earth, the first thing you did while entering life was inhalation, and the last thing you will do will be exhalation. No one can die inhaling. When you die you have to exhale, you die with exhalation. And no one can be born with exhalation, you have to start by inhalation.

Those who know, and those who have watched their inner life process deeply, they say – and you will come to feel it yourself – that with every inhalation you are born again and with every exhalation you die. So death is not something in the end, and birth is not something in the beginning; every moment there is birth and death, every moment you die and are born again. And if you die beautifully you are born again more beautifully, if you die totally you are born totally.

So exhale as totally as possible; that will give you a death moment. That’s beautiful, because a death moment is the most silent, the most peaceful – that is nirvana. Then let the body inhale to the full, and then stop. That moment is a life moment: the climax of energy, power, bio-energy at its peak. Feel it, and feel both. That’s why I say stop twice: when you have exhaled, then; and when you have inhaled, then – so you can feel both life and death, so you can watch both life and death.

Once you know this is life, this is death, you have transcended both. The witness is neither death nor life. The witness is never born and never dies; only the body, the mechanism. You become the third. These two moments are very significant. This very night you have to do this meditation, for twenty minutes you go on doing this and then fall down and go to sleep.

-Osho

From Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Chapter One

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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A Cloud of Unknowing – Author Unknown

How a man’s love is wonderfully transformed in the interior experience of this nothingness and nowhere.

How wonderfully is a man’s love transformed by the interior experience of this nothingness and this nowhere. The first time he looks upon it, the sins of his whole life rise up before him. No evil thought, word, or deed remains hidden. Mysteriously and darkly they are burned into it. No matter where he turns, they confront him until after great effort, painful remorse, and many bitter tears he has largely rubbed them away.

At times the sight is as terrible as a glimpse of hell and he is tempted to despair of ever being healed and relieved of his sore burden. Many arrive at this juncture in the interior life but the terrible, comfortless agony they experience facing themselves drives them back to thoughts of worldly pleasures. They seek without for relief in things of the flesh, unable to bear the spiritual emptiness within. But they have not understood that they were not ready for the spiritual comfort which would have succored then had they waited.

He who patiently abides in this darkness will be comforted and feel again a confidence about his destiny, for gradually he will see his past sins healed by grace. The pain continues yet he knows it will end for even now it grows less intense. Slowly he begins to realize that the suffering he endures is really not hell at all, but his purgatory. Then will come a time when he recognizes in that nothingness no particular sin but only the lump of sin itself, which though but a formless mass is none other than himself; he sees that in himself it is the root and pain of original sin. When at other times he begins to feel a marvelous strengthening and untold delights of joy and goodness, he wonders if this nothingness is not some heavenly paradise after all. And finally, there will come a moment when he experiences such peace and repose in that darkness that he thinks it must be God himself.

Yes, he will suppose this nothingness to be one thing and another, yet to the last it will remain a cloud of unknowing between him and his God.

-unknown

From The Cloud of Unknowing, Chapter 69

Osho says about The Cloud of Unknowing:

“One of the most important statements about mysticism in the Western hemisphere is the book called The Cloud of Unknowing. The name of the author is not known; it is good that we don’t know who wrote it. It indicates one thing: that before he wrote it he had disappeared into a cloud of unknowing. It is the only book in the Western world which comes close to the Upanishads, The Tao Te Ching, The Dhammapada. There is a rare insight in it.

First he calls it a cloud. A cloud is vague, with no definable limits. It is constantly changing; it is not static – never, even for two consecutive moments, is it the same. It is a flux, it is pure change. And there is nothing substantial in it. If you hold it in your hand just mist will be left, nothing else. Maybe your hands will become wet, but you will not find any cloud in your fist.”

-Osho

From Theologia Mystica, Discourse #11

 

Start Witnessing Your Boredom – Osho

For me it’s either high-energy excitement where life is wonderful and a joy to be alone; or very often these days there’s a quietness that’s dull and boring. In the one there’s juice but no awareness, and in the other there’s awareness but no juice. Is there a knack in bringing these two together?

It is a very simple thing. You say you have moments of great ecstasy, full of juice, but you become drowned in that juice; the ecstasy is so overwhelming you forget to be watchful. You become immersed in that ecstasy; the witness is not there. And then you say there are moments when you are sad, bored, but the witness is there.

You just have to put things in their right place. Start from your boredom and sadness, because the witness is there and the witness is going to be the bridge. So when you are sad and bored, just watch it, as if it is something outside of you – it is. You are always a witness – now you are witnessing sadness and boredom.

It is easy to witness sadness and boredom, because who wants to get immersed in boredom? But this is of tremendous importance because you can learn the whole art while you are bored.

Just watch it, and as your witnessing grows you will see there is a distance between you and the boredom, the sadness, the misery, the pain, the anguish. You are not part of all that experience; you are standing high above on the hills, a watcher on the hills, and everything else is moving down deep in the dark valley.

You already have the secret, just practice it more and more. Just sit by the side of a donkey, sit by the side of a buffalo; go on looking at the buffalo and you will be bored! All around you can find objects which will be immensely helpful for you. You need not wait for moments to come, because who knows when the buffalo will come to you? Why not go to the buffalo?

You can just go to our cattle, sit amongst them, and you will be bored. Those cattle will go on munching the grass – do you think you will start munching the grass? You will not get involved in that. Sitting amongst the cattle, amongst the buffaloes, you will find yourself just a witness.

Don’t become sad, don’t become bored. Let the boredom be there, let the sadness be there; you remain just a witness. And it is easier in such situations.

Once you have strengthened your witness, then let those moments of ecstasy, heights… try your witnessing then. It will be a little difficult there; one wants to jump into that groovy space. Who wants to sit on the bank and watch? – because one is afraid one may be simply watching and the moment will go.

Don’t be worried. If you witness, the moment will remain there and will grow deeper, bigger, more colorful. But not at any point have you to become identified with it. Remain detached, just a spectator.

The art is the same; whether it is boredom or ecstasy does not matter. What matters is that you are not involved, you remain aloof, you remain standing there.

There is a Zen story I have loved very much. Three friends had gone for a morning walk, and then they suddenly saw on the hill a Zen monk standing.

One of the friends said, “I think he must have come with his friends; they must have been left behind and he is waiting for them.”

The other said, “I cannot agree with you, because seeing that man I can say one thing is certain; he is not waiting for somebody who has been left behind, because he never looks back. He is just standing like a statue. Anybody who is waiting for somebody who is left behind will once in a while look, to see whether the fellow has come or not. But he is unmoving.

“He is not waiting for any friend. I think… I know this monk; he has a cow and the cow must have been lost in the thick forest. And that is the highest place from where he can look all over the forest and find the cow.”

The third man said, “You have forgotten your own argument. If he was looking for the cow then he would be looking all around. He would not just stand there like a statue, focused in one direction; that is not the way of looking for a lost cow.” He said, “As far as I can tell, he is doing his morning meditation.”

But the other two said that the basic philosophy of Zen is that you can meditate anywhere, you can meditate doing anything. What was the need to go to that hill in the early morning, in the cold, and stand there to meditate? “He could have meditated in his cozy monastery where they have a special meditation temple. He could have been there – what was the need to go? No, we cannot agree.”

They argued; finally they said, “It is better we go to the hill. It will be a waste of time but there is no other way to settle what he is doing.” Such is the curiosity of the human mind – very monkeyish.

Now why trouble yourself? Let him do whatever he is doing. If he is searching for his cow it is his business; if he is waiting for his friend, it is his friend; if he is meditating it is his business – why should you poke your nose into it? But that’s how people are.

They became so excited arguing with each other that they decided, “We have to go.” They forgot that they had come just for a small morning walk, and going to the hill will take hours, then coming down the hill… the sun will be almost directly overhead. But the question… they have to come to a conclusion. And in fact they want to prove that “I am right.” Each of them wants to prove that “I am right.” Now the only man who can decide is that monk.

They reached – huffing, puffing. The monk was standing there with half-closed eyes. That is the Buddhist way – to keep the eyes half closed when you are meditating, because if you close your eyes completely you may doze into sleep; that is more possible than going into meditation. If you keep your eyes fully open you will get interested in thousands of things. A beautiful woman passes by, and meditation is lost, anything can disturb. So keep the eyes half closed so you don’t see exactly what is happening outside, and you have to keep your eyes half open so you don’t fall asleep.

The first man asked, “Master, we have heard much about you but we never had any chance to come to your monastery. Fortunately, we had come for a morning walk and we saw you. We have a question I want you to answer: Are you not waiting for somebody who has been left behind?”

The monk with half-closed eyes said, “I have nobody, I am alone. I was born alone, I will die alone, and between these two alonenesses I am not trying to fool myself that somebody is with me. I am alone and I am not waiting for anybody.”

The second man said happily, “Then certainly your cow has got lost in the thick forest and you must be looking for it.”

The monk said, “It seems strange idiots have come here! I don’t possess a single thing. I don’t have any cow, the monastery has it; that is not my business. And why should I waste my time looking for a cow?”

The third man was immensely happy. He said, “Now you cannot deny: you must be meditating. Is it not so? – you are doing your morning meditation!”

The monk laughed; he said, “You are the worst idiot of the three! Meditation is not done, it is not a doing. You can be in meditation but you cannot do it. It is a state. So certainly I am not doing meditation. I am in meditation, but for that I need not come to this hill; anywhere I am in meditation.

Meditation is my consciousness.

“So you all get lost! And never disturb anybody who is standing with half-closed eyes, remember it.”

But they all three said, “Forgive us – we are stupid, certainly we are stupid to walk miles and to ask you such…. We are feeling embarrassed. But now that we have come and now that we accept we are stupid, just one question from all of the three, not separate: Then what are you doing?”

And the master said nothing.

In that nothing is the witness.

When you witness, you will be surprised that the boredom, the sadness, the blissfulness, the ecstasy – whatever it is – starts moving away from you. As your witnessing goes deeper, stronger, becomes more crystallized, any experience – good or bad, beautiful or ugly – disappears. There is pure nothingness all around you.

Witnessing is the only thing that can make you aware of an immense nothingness surrounding you.

And in that immense nothingness…. It is not empty, remember. In English there is no word to translate the Buddhist word shunyata. In that nothingness… it is not empty, it is full of your witness, full of your witnessing, full of the light of your witness.

You become almost a sun, and rays from the sun are moving into the nothingness to infinity.

One of the Indian mystics, Kabir, has said, “My first experience was that of a sun, and as my experience went on growing… the outer sun is nothing; the inner sun is infinite. Its light fills the whole infinity of existence. And in that moment I am only a witness; I am there.”

So start witnessing your boredom, sadness, because the question is not the object, the question is the art of witnessing. So use any object – anger, hate, love, jealousy – anything will do. If you cannot find anything just put up a mirror and look at your face and witness it. And you will be surprised, immensely surprised; when you are in a complete state of witnessing the mirror becomes empty, you are not there.

In total witnessing the object disappears.

You will be able for the first time to see the mirror just as nothingness.

Start from things which are easier, and then go on moving to things which are groovier. The bridge is simple.

-Osho

From From Death to Deathlessness, Discourse #24

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.