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.

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Start from the Outer – Osho

On the path of meditation many seekers find it difficult to know clearly whether they are making any progress or whether they are just suspended on one plane, simply moving in repetitions. Will you please explain in detail about those factors which indicate the meditator’s constant progress?

When meditating, working on yourself, if you wonder whether you are making any progress or not, know well that you are not making any progress – because when progress is made you know it. Why? It is just like when you are ill and you are taking medicine. Won’t you be able to feel whether you are getting healthy or not? If you do not feel it and the question arises whether you are getting well or not, know well that you are not getting well. Well-being is such a clear feeling that when you have it you know it.

But why does this question arise? This question arises for so many reasons. One, you are not really working. You are just deceiving yourself. You are playing tricks with yourself. Then you are less concerned with what you are doing and more concerned with what is happening. If you are really doing it, you can leave the result to the Divine. But our minds are such that we are less concerned with the cause and more concerned with the effect – because of greed.

Greed wants to have everything without doing anything. So the greedy mind goes on moving ahead. Then the greedy mind asks, “What is happening? Is something happening or not?” Be really concerned with what you are doing, and when something happens you will know it. It is going to happen to you. You need not ask anyone.

Another reason for asking this question is that we think that there are going to be some signs, some symbols, some milestones we can reach that show: “I have progressed so much,” that “to this plane or to that plane I have reached so much.” We want to calculate before the ultimate goal is reached. We want to be confident that we are progressing.

But, really, there are no milestones – because there is no fixed road. And everyone is on a different road; we are not on one road. Even if you are following one technique of meditation, you are not on the same road; you cannot be. There is no public path. Every path is individual and personal. So no one’s experiences on the path will be helpful to you; rather, they may be damaging.

Someone may be seeing something on his path. If he says to you that this is the sign of progress you may not meet the same sign on your path. The same trees may not be on your path; the same stones may not be on your path. So do not be a victim of all this nonsense. Only certain inner feelings are relevant. For example, if you are progressing, then certain things will begin to happen spontaneously. One, you will feel more and more contentment.

Really, when meditation is completely fulfilled, one becomes so contented that he forgets to meditate – because meditation is an effort, a discontent. If one day you forget to meditate and you do not feel any addiction, you do not feel any gap, you are as filled as ever, then know it is a good sign. There are many who will do meditation, and then if they are not doing it a strange phenomenon happens to them. If they do it, they do not feel anything. If they do not do it, then they feel the gap. If they do it, nothing happens to them. If they do not do it, then they feel that something is missing.

This is just a habit. Like smoking, like drinking, like anything, this is just a habit. Do not make meditation a habit. Let it be alive! Then discontent will disappear by and by; you will feel contentment. And not only while you are meditating. If something happens only while you are meditating, it is false! It is hypnotic! It does some good, but it is not going to be very deep. It is good only in comparison. If there is nothing happening, no meditation, no blissful moment, do not worry about it. If something is happening, do not cling to it. If meditation is going rightly, deep, you will feel transformed throughout the whole day. A subtle contentment will be present every moment. With whatsoever you are doing, you will feel a cool center inside – contentment.

Of course, there will be results. Anger will be less and less possible. It will go on disappearing. Why? Because anger shows a non-meditative mind – a mind that is not at ease with itself. That is why you get angry with others. Basically, you are angry with yourself. Because you are angry with yourself, you go on getting angry with others. 

Have you observed that you get angry only with those people who are very intimate with you? The more the intimacy, the more the anger. Why? The greater the gap between you and the person the less the anger that will be there. You do not get angry with a stranger. You get angry with your wife, with your husband, with your son, with your daughter, with your mother. Why? Why do you get more angry with the persons who are more intimate with you?

The reason is this: you are angry with yourself. The more intimate a person is with you, the more he has become identified with you. You are angry with yourself, so whenever someone is near to you. you can throw your anger upon him. He has become part of you. With meditation you will be more and more happy with yourself – remember, with yourself.

It is a miracle when someone becomes happier with himself. For us, either we are happy with someone or angry with someone. When one becomes happier with oneself, this is really falling in love with oneself. And when you are in love with yourself, it is difficult to be angry. The whole thing becomes absurd. Less and less anger will be there, more and more love, and more compassion. These will be signs – the general signs.

So do not think you are achieving much if you are beginning to see light or if you go on seeing beautiful colors. They are good, but do not feel satisfied unless real psychological changes are there: less anger, more love; less cruelty, more compassion.

Unless this happens your seeing lights and colors and hearing sounds are child’s play. They are beautiful, very beautiful; it is good to play with them – but that is not the aim of meditation. They happen on the road, they are just by-products, but do not be concerned.

Many people will come to me and they will say, “Now I am seeing a blue light, so what does this sign mean? How much have I progressed?” A blue light will not do because your anger is giving a red light. Basic psychological changes are meaningful, so do not go for toys. These are toys, spiritual toys, but you can become a paramahansa if you see a blue light!

These things are not the ends. In a relationship, observe what is happening. How are you behaving toward your wife now? Observe it. Is there any change? That change is meaningful. How are you behaving with your servant? Is there any change? That change is significant. And if there is no change, then throw your blue light. It is of no help. You are deceiving and you can go on deceiving. These are easily achieved tricks.

That is why a so-called religious man begins to feel himself religious: because now he is seeing this and that, but he remains the same. He even becomes worse! Your progress must be observed in your relationships. Relationship is the mirror: see your face there. Always remember that relationship is the mirror. If your meditation is going deep, your relationships will become different – totally different! Love will be the basic note of your relationships, not violence. As it is, violence is the basic note. Even if you look at someone, you look in a violent way. But you are accustomed to it.

Meditation for me is not a child’s play. It is a deep transformation. How to know this transformation?  It is being reflected every moment in your relationships. Do you try to possess someone? Then you are violent. How can one possess anyone? Are you trying to dominate someone? Then you are violent. How can one dominate anyone? Love cannot dominate, love cannot possess. 

So whatsoever you are doing, be aware, observe it, and then go on meditating. Soon you will begin to feel the change. Now there is no possessiveness in relationships. By and by, possessiveness disappears, and when possessiveness is not there relationship has a beauty of its own. When possessiveness is there, everything becomes dirty, ugly, inhuman. But we are such deceivers that we will not look at ourselves in relationships – because there the real face can be seen. So we close our eyes to our relationships and we go on thinking that something is going to be seen inside.

You cannot see anything inside. First you will feel your inner transformation in your outer relationships, and then you will go deep. Then only will you begin to feel something inner. But we have a settled attitude about ourselves. We do not want to look into our relationships at all because then the naked face comes up.

Mulla Nasrudin’s marriage was arranged by his father. It was an arranged marriage, so Mulla had not seen the face of his would-be wife. Then on the wedding day, when the ceremony was over, the wife unveiled her face. She was terribly ugly, and while Mulla was just stunned by the shock she asked, “Now tell me, my love, your commands.” That is a Mohammedan system. The first thing the wife asks is, “Tell me your commands, my love. To whom do I have to remain veiled? To whom am I allowed to show my face?”

Mulla Nasrudin said – rather, groaned – “You can show your face to anyone you like, as long as you do not show it to me! This is a contract.”

We are also in a contract with ourselves. We go on showing our faces to everyone, but never to ourselves. That is a deep contract we have with ourselves – not to feel one’s face. And the way to remain veiled is not to look into your relationships, because relationship is the only mirror. So probe, penetrate into your relationships, and look there to see whether your meditation is progressing or not.

If you feel a growing love, unconditional love, if you feel a compassion without cause, if you feel a deep concern for everyone’s welfare, well-being, your meditation is growing. Then forget all other things. With this observation you will also observe many things in yourself. You will be more silent, less noise within. When there is need you will talk, when there is no need you will be silent. As the case is now, you cannot be silent within. You will feel more at ease, relaxed. Whatsoever you are doing, it will be a relaxed effort; there will be no strain. You will become less and less ambitious.

Ultimately, there will be no ambition. Even the ambition to reach moksha will not be there. When you feel that even the desire to reach moksha has disappeared, you have reached moksha. Now you are free, because desire is the bondage. Even the desire for liberation is bondage. Even the desire to be desireless is bondage.

Whenever the desire for anything disappears, you move into the unknown. The meditation has reached to its end. Then samsara is moksha. Then this very world is liberation. Then this shore is the other shore. But do not go for childish signs. Do not go! They are easy to create. If you think, if you imagine, you can create them.

I do not mean that every feeling of those signs is imagination, but if you think in those terms you can imagine them. If you think that a blue light will happen at a particular stage, you can create it without reaching to that stage. This is very easy; to reach to that stage is very difficult. To create this blue light is very easy. Close your eyes, concentrate on it, and within a few days you will begin to feel it. Then your ego will be strengthened. Now you are “on a spiritual path”. Think of kundalini, and you will begin to feel it in your spine. That is imagination. It is easy, not difficult. But then you are misleading yourself.

I do not say that every experience of that type is imagination, but if you are concerned, it is going to be imagination. Forget it completely. Be concerned with meditation, with your changing relationships, with your silence, with your contentment, with your love. Be concerned with these, and suddenly sometimes, there will be an upsurge of energy into your spine. But do not be concerned with it. Note it down and forget it. Suddenly, you will see a particular light: note it and forget. Suddenly a particular chakra will begin to revolve: note it and forget it. Do not be concerned with it. Your concern is harmful. Remain concerned with contentment, peace, silence, love, compassion, meditation.

These things will go on happening. Then they are real. When you are not concerned and they happen, then they are real. And they show many things, but you need not know what they show because when they happen you know what they are showing. Because the human mind is stupid, if I tell you what they show you will be less concerned with love, silence and compassion. These are very difficult things. It is easy to create a blue light and it is very easy to feel a snake rising in your spine. It is very easy; there is nothing difficult about it.

So, remember, there are two types of inner experience. One type is created by your imagination, another is of happenings. But for happenings, you are not needed; for imagination you are. Do not play with imagination. It is a dangerous game. One can imagine anything, you can imagine anything, but that is not going to help you in any way. And the mind is such that it always tries to find some false substitute, because false substitutes are cheap.

If you have to grow a real rose in your garden, it takes time. It demands patience, effort, and then too nothing is certain. The rose may come, it may not come. It is easy to buy a rose, but then it is not yours. It looks just as if it has come up in your garden, but it has not come up. When you purchase a rose-flower, it has no roots in you: it is just in your hand. It has not been a part of your being. You have never waited for it; you were not patient for it. It is not a child – not your child. You have purchased it. It is there, but like a foreign element in you, not an inner growth.

But there are even more cunning people. They will not purchase a real flower. They will purchase a paper flower, a plastic flower, because it is more permanent. A real flower will fade away. By the evening it will be no more – “So purchase a plastic flower! It is economical, less troublesome, permanent!” But then you are deceiving. Real growth needs time, patience, work. Imaginative growth is imitation. Remember this distinction always.

One thing more: whatsoever you are doing, do not think that results will be coming in the future. If you are doing something real, results are here and now. In inner work, if you have meditated today, results are not going to be tomorrow. If you have meditated today. the perfume of it, howsoever little, will be there. If you are sensitive you can feel it. Whenever something real is done, it affects you here and now.

So do not think that something will happen in the future. If whatsoever you are doing is not changing you now, it is not going to change you at all. Time will not help. Time alone will not help. Time will deepen it, but time alone will not help.

But you may not be sensitive. Whatsoever you are doing, you may not be sensitive. We have become insensitive because in insensitivity there is a certain security. If you do not feel much, you suffer less. The person who feels much suffers much. Because of this, we have tried to make ourselves insensitive. So when something happens so intensely that it is impossible to avoid it, then only do we become aware. Otherwise we go dead, asleep. We move on. That insensitivity will create problems. Then when you meditate, you will not be sensitive to what is happening to you.

So be more sensitive. And you cannot be sensitive in one dimension. Either one is sensitive in all dimensions or one is not sensitive in any. Sensitivity belongs to your total being. So be more sensitive; then every day you will be able to feel what is happening.

For example, you are walking under the sun, feel the rays on your face; be sensitive. A subtle touch is there. They are hitting you. If you can feel them, then you will also feel the inner light when it hits you; otherwise you will not be able to.

When you are lying in a park, feel the grass. Feel the greenness that surrounds you, feel the difference of moisture, feel the odor that comes from the earth. If you cannot feel it, you will not be able to feel when inner things begin to happen. Then you will go on asking whether you are progressing or not.

Start from the outer, because that is easier. And if you cannot feel the outer, you cannot feel the inner. Be more poetic and less businesslike in life. And sometimes it costs nothing to be sensitive. You are taking your bath: have you felt the water? You simply take it as a business routine, and then you are out. Feel it for a few minutes. Just be under the shower and feel the water: feel it flowing on you. It can become a deep experience, because water is life. You are ninety percent water. And if you cannot feel water falling on you, you will not be able to feel the inner tides of your own water.

Life was born in the sea and you have some water within your body with a certain quantity of salt. Go on swimming in the sea and feel the water outside. Soon you will know that you are part of the sea and that the inner part belongs to the sea. Then you can feel that also. And when the moon is there and the ocean is waving in response to it, your body will also wave in response. It waves, but you cannot feel it. So if you cannot feel such gross things, it will be difficult for you to feel such subtle things as meditation.

How can you feel love? Everyone is suffering. I have seen thousands and thousands of people deeply in pain. The suffering is for love. They want to love and they want to be loved, but the problem is that if you ever love them they cannot feel it. They will go on asking, “Do you love me?” So what to do? If you say yes, they won’t believe it because they cannot feel it. If you say no, they feel hurt.

If you cannot feel sun rays, if you cannot feel rains, if you cannot feel grass, if you cannot feel anything that surrounds you – the atmosphere, then you cannot feel deeper things such as love or compassion; it is very difficult. You can feel only anger, violence, sadness, because they are so crude. Subtle is the path that goes inward – and the more subtle your meditation goes, the more subtle will be the feelings. But then you have to be ready. 

So meditation is not just a certain thing which you do for one hour and forget. Really, the whole life has to be meditative. Only then will you begin to feel things. And when I say that the whole life is to be meditative, I do not mean to go and close your eyes for twenty-four hours and sit and meditate – no! Wherever you are you can be sensitive and that sensitivity will pay. Then there will be no need to ask, “Am I progressing or not?”

You are like a blind man. You cannot feel the path because you have never felt anything. And the way we are taught, educated, cultivated, is for insensitivity. A child is weeping; the whole house is against him: “Do not weep! Guests are coming.” Guests are very important, and the child weeping is not at all important. Now you are crushing him for his whole life.

He will stop his weeping, but to-stop weeping is a serious affair. It will change the whole metabolism of his body. To stop weeping he will have to be tense; he cannot be relaxed. He has to push something under which is coming up. He will have to change his breathing. Really, he will stop his breathing – because if the breathing moves easily, weeping will move with it. He will pull in his stomach; everything will be disturbed in his body. Then he will not weep, but he cannot laugh either. Then you are crippling him for his whole life.

Everyone is crippled and paralyzed. We live in a paralyzed world. Now there will be continuous suppression. He cannot laugh, he cannot weep, he cannot dance, he cannot jump. Whatsoever his body feels to do, he cannot do. Whenever the body feels to have something, it cannot have it. And then, when you allow him to play, it is not spontaneous. Even his play becomes fake. You say, “Now you can play.” He was not allowed to play when his whole being was ready to play, and now you tell him to play. But now he tries to play, and it is a work.

Ultimately we create a human being who is more or less an automaton. Can you weep? Can you laugh spontaneously? Can you dance spontaneously? Can you love spontaneously? If you cannot, how can you meditate? Can you play? It is difficult!

Everything has become difficult. Man has become insensitive. Bring your sensitivity back again. Reclaim it! Play a little! To be playful is to be religious. Laugh, weep, sing, do something spontaneously with your full heart. Relax your body, relax your breathing, and move as if you are a child again. Then when you meditate, you will not ask, “What is happening to me? Am I progressing or not, or am I moving in a circle?” You will know.

I understand your difficulty. You cannot feel it now because you have lost feeling. Regain feeling – less thought, more feeling. Live more by heart, less by head. Sometimes, live totally in the body; forget about soul, Self, atman. Live totally in the body – because if you cannot even feel your body, you are not going to feel your soul. Remember this. Come back into the body. We are really hanging around the body; we are not in the body. Everyone is afraid to be in the body. Society has created the fear; it is deep-rooted. Go back into your body; move again; be like an innocent animal.

Look at animals jumping, running. Sometimes run and jump like them, then you will come back to your body. Then you will be able to feel your body, the rays of the sun, the rains, and the wind blowing. Only with this capacity of being aware of all things happening around you will you develop the capacity to feel what is happening within.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.2, Chapter 18

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Freedom is Being – Anand Amido

Fall leaves fallen

Fallen fall leaves

This offering has been pondered over, allowed to slosh around in my mind, in my interiority, and even spilled over onto a white page to be fiddled with, adjusted, and examined for tone.  (Light but not pedantic!)  No fight picking here, simple exploration, seeking understanding, and then deeper understanding.

When I sit of a morning, Japanese style since my knees protest the least in such a pose, fragments of thought cruise, gallop, creep seemingly through my skull!  Little strips of data from last night’s TV viewing, an old memory of something that jars and gnaws and has to be forgiven and laid to rest (again and again), self-reminders to watch my breath, closely followed by some genuine breath watching, until off I go again climbing onto that endlessly spinning merry-go-round.

At a certain point, my legs suggest we have all been sitting for quite long enough.  Now my legs respond very gracefully to a little wiggle, a little twitch, and we all settle down again.  But then, the mind with some considerable force declares, “Let’s stand up.”  At that point, I have to be really alert and not automatically follow its dictates! For, I have recently read Osho saying that we always stop “meditating” before something happens.  So, I ignore my mind.  Rude of course, but when someone doesn’t have your best interests at heart, is one obliged to listen carefully to their point of view and respond as your upbringing dictates?!  Sorry mind.  If I engage with you, I am lost, and so I turn away!

So then, I settle and yummy is the best word to describe it.

-Amido

The Deceptions of the Mind – Osho

If I try this method of being aware of my breathing, If I pay attention to my breathing, then I cannot do anything else, the whole attention goes to it. And if I am to do anything else then I cannot be aware of my breathing.

This will happen, so in the beginning choose a particular period in the morning, or in the evening, or at any time. For one hour just do the exercise; do not do anything else. Just do the exercise. Once you become attuned to it, then it will not be a problem. You can walk on the street and you can be aware.

Between ‘awareness’ and ‘attention’ there is a difference. When you pay attention to anything it is exclusive; you have to withdraw your attention from everywhere else. So it is a tension really. That is why it is called attention. You pay attention to one thing at the cost of everything else. If you pay attention to your breathing, you cannot pay attention to your walking or to your driving. Do not try it while you are driving because you cannot pay attention to both.

Attention means one thing exclusively. Awareness is a very different thing; it is not exclusive. It is not paying attention, it is being attentive; it is just being conscious. You are conscious when you are inclusively conscious. Your breathing is in your consciousness. You are walking and someone is passing, and you are also conscious of him. Someone is making noise on the road, some train passes by, some airplane flies by – everything is included. Awareness is inclusive, attention exclusive. But in the beginning, it will be attention.

So first try in selected periods. For one hour just be attentive to your breathing. By and by you will be able to change your attention into awareness. Then do simple things – for example, walking, walk attentively with full awareness of walking and also of breathing. Do not create any opposition between the two actions of walking and breathing. Be a watcher of both. It is not difficult. Look! For example, I can pay attention to one face here. If I pay attention to one face, all the faces will not be here for me. If I pay my attention to one face, then all the rest are bracketed out. If I pay attention only to the nose on that face, then the whole face, the remaining face, is bracketed out. I can go on narrowing down my attention to a single point.

The reverse is also possible. I pay attention to the whole face; then eyes and nose and everything are there. Then I have made my focus wider. I look at you not as individuals, but as a group. Then the whole group is in my attention. If I take you as different from the noise that is going on the street, then I am bracketing out the street. But I can look at you and the street as one whole. Then I can be aware of both you and the street. I can be aware of the whole cosmos. It depends on your focus – on its becoming greater and greater. But first start from attention and remember that you have to grow into awareness. So choose a small period. The morning is good because you are fresh, energies are vital, everything is rising; you are more alive in the morning.

Physiologists say that not only are you more alive, but your height is a little more in the morning than in the evening. If you are six feet tall, then in the morning you are six feet and one half inch and in the evening you go back to six feet. Half an inch is lost because your spine settles down when it is tired. So in the morning you are fresh, young, alive with energy.

Do this: do not make meditation the last thing on your schedule. Make it the first. Then when you feel that now it is not an effort, when you can sit for an hour together completely immersed in breathing – aware, attentive – when you only know this, that you have achieved attention of breathing without any effort; when you are relaxed and enjoying it without any forcing, then you have attained it.

Then add something else – for example, walking. Remember both; then go on adding things. After a certain period you will be capable of being aware of your breath continuously, even in sleep. And unless you are aware even in sleep you will not be able to know the depth. But this comes, by and by this comes.

One has to be patient and one has to start rightly. Know this, because the cunning mind will always try to give you a wrong start. Then you can leave it after two or three days and say, “This is hopeless.” The mind will give you a wrong start. So always remember to begin rightly, because rightly begun means half done. But we start wrongly.

You know very well that attention is a difficult thing. This is because you are totally asleep. So, if you start being attentive to breathing while you are doing something else, you cannot do it. And you are not going to leave the task, you will leave the effort of being attentive to breathing.

So do not create unnecessary problems for yourself. In twenty-four hours you can find a small corner. Forty minutes will do… so do the technique there. But the mind will give many excuses. The mind will say, “Where is the time? There is already too much work to be done. Where is the time?” Or the mind will say, “It is not possible now, so postpone it. Sometime in the future when things are better, then you will do it.” Beware of what your mind says to you. Do not be too trusting of the mind. And we are never doubtful. We can doubt everyone but we never doubt our own minds.

Even those who talk so much of skepticism, of doubt, of reason, even they never doubt their own minds. And your mind has brought you to the state you are in. If you are in a hell, your mind has brought you to this hell, and you never doubt this guide. You can doubt any teacher, any master, but you never doubt your mind. With unflinching faith, you move with your mind as the guru. And your mind has brought you to the mess, to the misery that you are. If you are going to doubt anything, doubt first your own mind. And whenever your mind says something, think twice.

Is it true that you do not have any time? Really? You do not have any time to meditate – to give one hour to meditation? Think twice. Ask again and again to the mind, “Is this the case, that I do not have any time?”

I don’t see it. I have not seen a man who does not have more than enough time. I go on seeing people who are playing cards, and they say, “We are killing time.” They are going to the movies and they say, “What to do?” They are killing time, gossiping, reading the same newspaper again and again, talking about the same things they have been talking about for their whole lives, and they say, “We don’t have any time.” For unnecessary things they have enough time. Why?

With an unnecessary thing mind is not in any danger. The moment you think of meditation, mind becomes alert. Now you are moving in a dangerous dimension, because meditation means the death of the mind. If you move into meditation, sooner or later your mind will have to dissolve, retire completely. The mind becomes alert and it begins to say many things to you: “Where is the time? And even if there is time, then more important things are to be done. First postpone it until later. You can meditate at any time. Money is more important. Gather money first, then meditate at your leisure. How can you meditate without money? So pay attention to money, then meditate later on.”

Meditation can be postponed easily, you feel, because it is not concerned with your immediate survival. Bread cannot be postponed – you will die. Money cannot be postponed – it is needed for your basic necessities. Meditation can be postponed; you can survive without it. Really, you can survive without it easily.

The moment you go deep in meditation, you will not survive on this earth at least – you will disappear. From the circle of this life, this wheel, you will disappear. Meditation is like death, so the mind becomes afraid. Meditation is like love, so the mind becomes afraid. “Postpone,” it says, and you can go on postponing ad infinitum. Your mind is always saying things like this. And do not think I am talking about others. I am talking particularly about you.

I have come across many intelligent people who go on saying very unintelligent things about meditation. One man came from Delhi; he is a big government official. He came only for the purpose of learning meditation here. He had come from Delhi, and he stayed seven days here. I told him to go to the morning meditation class on Chowpatty beach in Bombay, but he said, “But that is difficult. I cannot get up so early.” And he will never think over what his mind has told him. Is this so difficult? Now you will know: the exercise can be simple, but your mind is not so simple. The mind says, “How can I get up in the morning at six o’clock?”

I was in a big city, and the collector of that city came to meet me at eleven o’clock at night. I was just going to my bed, and he came and said, “No! It is urgent. I am very disturbed. It is a question of life and death,” he told me. “So please give me at least half an hour. Teach me meditation; otherwise I might commit suicide. I am very much disturbed, and I am so frustrated that something must happen in my inner world. My outer world is lost completely.”

I told him, “Come in the morning at five o’clock.” He said, “That is not possible.” It is a question of life and death, but he cannot get up at five o’clock. He said, “That is not possible. I never get up so early.”

“Okay,” I told him, “Then come at ten.”

He said, “That will also be difficult because by ten-thirty I am to be present at my office.”

He cannot take one day’s leave, and it is a question of life and death. So I told him, ”Is it a question of your life and death or my life and death? Whose?” And he was not an unintelligent man, he was intelligent enough. These tricks were very intelligent.

So do not think that your mind is not playing the same tricks. It is very intelligent, and because you think it is your mind you never doubt it. It is not yours; it is just a social product. It is not yours! It has been given to you, it has been forced upon you. You have been taught and conditioned in a certain way. From the very childhood your mind has been created by others – parents, society, teachers. The past is creating your mind, influencing your mind. The dead past is forcing itself upon the living continuously. The teachers are just the agents – agents of the dead against the living. They go on forcing things upon your mind. But the mind is so intimate with you, the gap is so small, that you become identified with it.

You say, “I am a Hindu.” Think again, reconsider it. You are not a Hindu. You have been given a Hindu mind. You were born just a simple, innocent being – not a Hindu, not a Mohammedan. But you were given a Mohammedan mind, a Hindu mind. You were forced, encaged, imprisoned in a particular condition, and then life goes on adding to this mind and this mind becomes heavy – heavy on you. You cannot do anything; the mind starts forcing its own way upon you. Your experiences are being added to the mind. Constantly, your past is conditioning your every present moment. If I say something to you, you are not going to think about it in a fresh way, in an open way. Your old mind, your past will come in between, will begin to talk and chatter for or against.

Remember, your mind is not yours, your body is not yours; it comes from your parents. Your mind is also not yours; it also comes from your parents. Who are you?

Either one is identified with the body or with the mind. You think you are young, you think you are old, you think you are a Hindu, you think you are a Jain, you are a Parsi. You are not! You were born as a pure consciousness. These are all imprisonments. These techniques which look so simple to you will not be so simple, because this mind will create constantly many, many complexities and problems.

Just a few days before, a man came to me and he said, “I am trying your method of meditation, but tell me, in what scripture is it given? If you can convince me that it is given in my religious scripture, then it will be easier for me to do.” But why will it be easier for him to do if it is written in a scripture? Because then the mind will not create a problem. The mind will say, “Okay! This belongs to us, so do it.” If it is not written in any scripture then the mind will say, “What are you doing?” The mind goes against it.

I said to the man, “You have been doing this method for three months. How are you feeling?” He said, “Wonderful. I am feeling very wonderful. But tell me… give some authority from the scriptures.” His own feeling is not an authority at all. He says, “I am feeling wonderful. I have become more silent, more peaceful, more loving. I am feeling wonderful.” But his own experience is not the authority. The mind asks for an authority from the past.

I told him, “It is not written anywhere in your scriptures. Rather, many things which are against this technique are written.” His face became sad. And then he said, “Then it will be difficult for me to do it and to continue it.”

Why is his own experience not of any value?

The past – the conditioning, the mind – is constantly molding you and destroying your present. So remember, and be aware. Be skeptical and doubting about your mind. Do not trust it. If you can attain to this maturity of not trusting your mind, only then will these techniques be really simple, helpful, functioning. They will work miracles – they can work miracles.

These techniques, these methods cannot be understood intellectually at all. I am trying the impossible, but then why am I trying? If they cannot be understood intellectually, then why am I talking to you? They cannot be understood intellectually, but there is no other way to make you aware of certain techniques which can change your life totally. You can understand only intellect, and this is a problem. You cannot understand anything else; you can understand only the intellect. And these techniques cannot be understood intellectually, so how to communicate?

Either you should become capable of understanding without intellect being brought in, or some method should be found so that these techniques can be made intellectually understandable. The second is not possible, but the first is possible. 

You will have to start intellectually, but do not cling to it. When I say “Do,” try doing. If something begins to happen within you, then you will be capable of throwing your intellect aside and reaching toward me directly without the intellect, without any effort, without the meditator. But start doing something. We can go on talking for years and years, your mind can be stuffed with many things, but that is not going to help. Rather, it may harm you because you will begin to know many things. And if you know many things you will become confused. It is not good to know many things. It is good to know a little and to practice it. A single technique can be helpful; something done is always helpful. What is the difficulty in doing it?

Deep down somewhere there is fear. The fear is that if you do it, it may be that something stops happening – that is the fear. It may look paradoxical, but I have been meeting so many – so many persons – who think they want to change. They say they need meditation; they ask for a deep transformation, but deep down they are also afraid. They are dual – double; they have two minds. They go on asking about what to do, never doing it. Why then do they go on asking? Just to deceive themselves that they are really interested in transforming themselves. That is why they are asking.

This gives a facade, an appearance that they are really, sincerely interested in changing themselves. That is why they are asking, going to this guru and that, finding, trying, but they never do anything. Deep down they are afraid.

Eric Fromm has written a book, Fear of Freedom. The title seems contradictory. Everyone thinks that they like freedom; everyone thinks that they are endeavoring for freedom – in this world and in “that world” also. “We want moksha – liberation – we want to be freed from all limitations, from all slaveries. We want to be totally free,” they say. But Eric Fromm says that man is afraid of freedom. We want it, we go on saying that we want it, we go on convincing ourselves that we want it, but deep down we are afraid of freedom. We do not want it! Why? Why this duality?

Freedom creates fear, and meditation is the deepest freedom possible. You are not freed only from outward limitations, you are freed from inner slavery – the very mind, the base of slavery. You are freed from the whole past. The moment you have no mind, the past has disappeared. You have transcended history; now there is no society, no religion, no scripture, no tradition, because they all have their abode in the mind. Now there is no past, no future, because past and future are part of the mind, the memory and the imagination.

Then you are here and now in the present. Now there is not going to be any future. There will be now and now and now – eternal now. Then you are freed completely; you transcend all tradition, all history, body, mind, everything. One becomes free of the fearful. Such freedom? Then where will you be? In such freedom, can you exist? In such freedom, in such vastness, can you have your small “I” – your ego? Can you say “I am?”

You can say, “I am in bondage,” because you can know your boundary. When there is no bondage there is no boundary. You become just a state, nothing more… absolute nothingness, emptiness. That creates fear, so one goes on talking about meditation, about how to do it, and one goes on without doing it.

All the questions arise out of this fear. Feel this fear. If you know it, it will disappear. If you do not know it, it will continue. Are you ready to die in the spiritual sense? Are you ready to be not?

Whenever anyone came to Buddha he would say, “This is the basic truth – that you are not. And because you are not you cannot die, you cannot be born; and because you are not you cannot be in suffering, in bondage. Are you ready to accept this?” Buddha would ask, “Are you ready to accept this? If you are not ready to accept this, then do not try meditation now. First try to find out whether you really are or you are not. Meditate on this first: is there any self? Is there any substance within or are you just a combination?”

If you manage to find out, you will find that your body is a combination. Something has come from your mother, something has come from your father, and all else has come from food. This is your body. In this body you are not, there is no self. Contemplate on the mind: something has come from here, something from there. Mind has nothing that is original. It is just accumulation.

Find out if there is any self in the mind. If you move deep, you will find that your identity is just like an onion. You peel off one layer and another layer comes up; you peel off another layer and still another layer comes up. You go on peeling layers off, and ultimately you come to a nothingness. With all the layers thrown off, there is nothing inside. Body and mind are like onions. When you have peeled off both body and mind, then you come to encounter a nothingness, an abyss, a bottomless void. Buddha called it shunya.

To encounter this shunya, to encounter this void, creates fear. That fear is there. That is why we never do meditation. We talk about it, but we never do anything about it. That fear is there. You know deep down that there is a void, but you cannot escape this fear. Whatsoever you do, the fear will remain unless you encounter it. That is the only way. Once you encounter your nothingness, once you know that within you are just like a space, shunya, then there will be no fear. Then there cannot be any fear, because this shunya, this void, cannot be destroyed. This void is not going to die. That which was going to die is no more; it was nothing but the layers of an onion.

That is why many times in deep meditation, when one comes nearer to this nothingness, one becomes afraid and starts trembling. One feels that one is going to die, one wants to escape from this nothingness back to the world. And many go back; then they never turn within again. As I see it, every one of you have tried in some life or other some meditative technique. You have been near to the nothingness, and then fear gripped you and you escaped. And deep in your past memories, that memory is there; that becomes the hindrance. Whenever you again think of trying meditation, that past memory deep down in your unconscious mind again disturbs you and says, “Go on thinking; do not do it. You have done it once.”

It is difficult to find a man – and I have looked into many – who has not tried meditation once or twice in some life. The memory is there, but you are not conscious of it, you are not aware of where the memory is. It is there. Whenever you begin to do something that becomes a barrier, this and that begin to stop you in many ways. So, if you are really interested in meditation, find out about your own fear of it. Be sincere about it: are you afraid? If you are afraid, then first something has to be done about your fear, not about meditation.

Buddha used to try many devices. Sometimes someone would say to him, “I am afraid of trying meditation.” And this is a must: the master must be told that you are afraid. You cannot deceive the master… and there is no need – it is deceiving yourself. So whenever someone would say, “I am afraid of meditation,” Buddha would say, “You are fulfilling the first requirement.” If you say yourself that you are afraid of meditation, then something becomes possible. Then something can be done because you have uncovered a deep thing. So what is the fear? Meditate on it. Go and dig out where it comes from, what the source is.

All fear is basically death-oriented. Whatsoever its form, mode, whatsoever its shape, name, all fear is death-oriented. If you move deep, you will find that you are afraid of death.

If someone came to Buddha and said, “I am afraid of death, I have found this out,” Buddha would say, “Then go to the burning ghat, go to the cemetery, and meditate on a funeral pyre. People are dying daily – they will be burned. Just remain there at the marghat – cemetery – and meditate on the burning pyre. When their family members have gone, you remain there. Just look into the fire, at the burning body. When everything is becoming smoke, you just look at it deeply. Do not think, just meditate on it for three months, six months, nine months.

“When it becomes a certainty to you that death cannot be escaped, when it becomes absolutely certain that death is the way of life, that death is implied in life, that death is going to be, that there is no way out and you are already in it, only then come to me.”

After meditating on death, after seeing every day, night and day, dead bodies being burned, dissolved into ashes – just a smoke remains and then disappears – after meditating for months together, a certainty will arise: the certainty that death is inevitable. It is the only certainty really. The only thing certain in life is death. Everything else is uncertain: it may be or it may not be. But you cannot say that it may be or it may not be for death. It is; it is going to be. It has already occurred. The moment you entered life, you entered death. Now nothing can be done about it.

When death is certain there is no fear. Fear is always with things which can be changed. If death is to be, fear disappears. If you can change, if you can do something about death, then fear will remain. If nothing can be done, if you are already in it, then it is absolutely certain that fear will disappear. When fear of death had disappeared, Buddha would allow you to meditate. He would say, “Now you can meditate.”

So you also go deep into your mind. And listening to these techniques will be helpful only when your inner barriers are broken, when inner fears disappear and you are certain that death is the reality. So if you die in meditation there is no fear – death is certain. Even if death occurs in meditation, there is no fear. Only then can you move – and then you can move at rocket speed because the barriers are not there.

It is not distance that takes time, but the barriers. You can move this very moment if there is no barrier. You are already there but for the barrier. It is a hurdle race, and you go on putting up more and more hurdles. You feel good when you cross a hurdle; you feel good that now you have crossed the hurdle. And the idiocy of it, the foolishness of it, is that the hurdle was placed there by you in the first place. It was never there. You go on putting up hurdles, then jumping over them, then feeling good; then you go on putting up more hurdles, then jumping. You move in a circle and never, never reach to the center.

Mind creates hurdles because mind is afraid. It will give you many explanations as to why you are not doing meditation. Do not believe it. Go deep, find out the basic cause. Why does a person go on talking about food and yet never eat? What is the problem? The man seems mad!

Another man goes on talking about love and never loves, another man goes on talking about something else and never does anything about it. This talking becomes obsessive; it becomes a compulsion. One goes on, one sees talking as a doing. By talking you feel that you are doing something, so you feel at ease. You are doing something – at least talking, at least reading, at least listening. This is not doing. This is deceptive; do not fall into the deception.

I will be talking here about these one hundred and twelve methods not to feed your mind, not to make you more knowledgeable, not to make you more informed. I am not trying to make you a pundit. I am talking here in order to give you a certain technique which can change your life. So whichever method appeals to you, do not start talking about it – do it! Be silent about it and do it. Your mind will raise many questions. Just inquire deeply first before asking me. Inquire deeply first whether those questions are really significant or if your mind is just deceiving you.

Do, then ask. Then your questions become practical. And I know which question has been asked through doing and which question has been asked just through curiosity, just through intellect. So by and by I will not answer your intellectual questions at all. Do something – then your questions become significant. These questions which say, “This exercise is a very simple one,” are not asked after doing. This is not so simple. In the end I must repeat again: You are already the truth.

Only a certain awakening is needed.

You are not to go anywhere else. You are to go into yourself, and the going is possible this very moment. If you can put aside your mind, you enter here and now.

These techniques are for putting your mind aside. These techniques are not really for meditation; they are for putting the mind aside. Once the mind is not there, you are!

I think this is enough for today, or even more than enough.

-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.

Surrender and 112 Meditation Techniques – Osho

On the path of surrender, how does the seeker come to the right technique out of one hundred and twelve methods? 

On the path of will there are methods – these one hundred and twelve methods. On the path of surrender, surrender itself is the method, there are no other methods – remember this. All methods are non-surrendering, because a method means depending on yourself. You can do something; the technique is there, so you do it. On the path of surrender, you are no more, so you cannot do anything. You have done the ultimate, the last: you have surrendered. On the path of surrender, surrender is the only method.

All these one hundred and twelve methods require a certain will; they require something to be done by you. You manipulate your energy, you balance your energy, you create a center in your chaos. You do something. Your effort is significant, basic, required. On the path of surrender only one thing is required – you surrender. We will go deep into these one hundred and twelve methods, so it is good to say something about surrender because it has no method.

In these one hundred and twelve methods there will be nothing about surrender. Why has Shiva not said anything about surrender? Because nothing can be said. Bhairavi herself, Devi herself, has reached Shiva not through any method. She has simply surrendered. So this must be noted. She is asking these questions not for herself, these questions are asked for the whole humanity. She has attained Shiva. She is already in his lap; she is already embraced by him. She has become one with him, but still she is asking.

So remember one thing, she is not asking for herself; there is no need. She is asking for the whole humanity. But if she has attained, why is she asking Shiva? Can she herself not speak to the humanity? She has come through the path of surrender, so she doesn’t know anything about method. She herself has come through love; love is enough unto itself. Love doesn’t need anything more. She has come through love, so she doesn’t know anything about any methods, techniques. That is why she is asking.

So Shiva relates one hundred and twelve methods. He also will not talk about surrender because surrender is not a method really. You surrender only when every method has become futile, when you cannot reach by any method. You have tried your best. You have knocked on every door and no door opens, and you have passed through all the routes and no route reaches. You have done whatsoever you can do, and now you feel helpless. In that total helplessness surrender happens. So, on the path of surrender there is no method.

But what is surrender and how does it work? And if surrender works, then what is the need of one hundred and twelve methods? Then why go into them unnecessarily? – the mind will ask. Then okay! If surrender works, it is better to surrender. Why go on hankering after methods? And who knows whether a particular method will suit you or not? And it may take lives to find out. So, it is good to surrender, but it is difficult. It is the most difficult thing in the world.

Methods are not difficult. They are easy; you can train yourself. But for surrender you cannot train yourself… no training! You cannot ask how to surrender; the very question is absurd. How can you ask how to surrender? Can you ask how to love?

Either there is love or there is not, but you cannot ask how to love. And if someone tells you and teaches you how to love, remember, then you will never be capable of love. Once a technique is given to you for love, you will cling to the technique. That is why actors cannot love. They know so many techniques, so many methods – and we are all actors. Once you know the trick how to love, then love will not flower because you can create a facade, a deception. And with the deception you are out of it, not involved. You are protected.

Love is being totally open, vulnerable. It is dangerous. You become insecure. We cannot ask how to love; we cannot ask how to surrender. It happens! Love happens, surrender happens. Love and surrender are deeply one. But what is it? And if we cannot know how to surrender, at least we can know how we are maintaining ourselves from surrendering, how we are preventing ourselves from surrendering. That can be known and that is helpful.

How is it that you have not surrendered yet? What is your technique of non-surrendering? If you have not fallen in love yet, then the real problem is not how to love. The real problem is to dig deep to find out how you have lived without love, what is your trick, what is your technique, what is your structure – your defense structure, how you have lived without love. That can be understood, and that should be understood.

First thing: we live with the ego, in the ego, centered in the ego. I am without knowing who I am. I go on announcing, “I am.” This “I-am-ness” is false, because I do not know who I am. And unless I know who I am, how can I say “I”? This “I” is a false “I”. This false “I” is the ego. This is the defense. This protects you from surrendering.

You cannot surrender, but you can become aware of this defense measure. If you have become aware of it, it dissolves. By and by, you are not strengthening it, and one day you come to feel, “I am not.” The moment you come to feel “I am not,” surrender happens. So try to find out whether you are. Really, is there any center in you that you can call your “I”?. Go deep down within yourself, go on trying to find out where is this “I”, where is the abode of this ego.

Rinzai went to his master and he said, “Give me freedom!” The master said, “Bring yourself. If you are, I will make you free. But if you are not, then how can I make you free? You are already free. And freedom,” his master said, “is not your freedom. Really, freedom is freedom from ‘you’. So go and find out where this ‘I’ is, where you are, then come to me. This is the meditation. Go and meditate.”

So the disciple Rinzai goes and meditates for weeks, months, and then he comes. Then he says, “I am not the body. Only this much I have found.” So the master says, “This much you have become free. Go again. Try to find out.” Then he tries, meditates, and he finds that “I am not my mind, because I can observe my thoughts. So the observer is different from the observed – I am not my mind.” He comes and says, “I am not my mind.” So his master says, “Now you are three-fourths liberated. Now go again and find out who you are.”

So he was thinking, “I am not my body. I am not my mind.” He had read, studied, he was well informed, so he was thinking, “I am not my body, not my mind, so I must be my soul, my atma.” But he meditated, and then he found that there is no atman, no soul, because this atma is nothing but your mental information – just doctrines, words, philosophies.

So he came running one day and he said, “Now I am no more!” Then his master said, “Am I now to teach you the methods for freedom?” Rinzai said, “I am free because I am no more. There is no one to be in bondage. I am just a wide emptiness, a nothingness.”

Only nothingness can be free. If you are something, you will be in bondage. If you are, you will be in bondage. Only a void, a vacant space, can be free. Then you cannot bind it. Rinzai came running and said, “I am no more. Nowhere am I to be found.” This is freedom. And for the first time he touched his master’s feet – for the first time! Not actually, because he had touched them many times before also. But the master said, “For the first time you have touched my feet.”

Rinzai asked, “Why do you say for the first time? I have touched your feet many times.” The master said, “But you were there, so how could you touch my feet while you were already there? While you are there how can you touch my feet?” The “I” can never touch anybody’s feet. Even though it apparently looks like it touches somebody’s feet, it is touching its own feet, just in a round-about way. “You have touched my feet for the first time,” the master said, “because now you are no more. And this is also the last time,” the master said. “The first and the last.”

Surrender happens when you are not, so you cannot surrender. That is why surrender cannot be a technique. You cannot surrender – you are the hindrance. When you are not, surrender is there. So you and surrender cannot cohabit, there is no coexistence between you and surrender. Either you are or surrender is. So, find out where you are, who you are. This inquiry creates many, many surprising results.

Raman Maharshi used to say, “Inquire ‘Who am I?’” It was misunderstood. Even his nearest disciples have not understood the meaning of it. They think that this is an inquiry to find out really “Who am I?” It is not! if you go on inquiring “Who am I?” you are bound to come to the conclusion that you are not. This is not really an inquiry to find out “Who am I?” Really, this is an inquiry to dissolve.

I have given many this technique, to inquire within “Who am I?” Then a month or two months later, they will come to me and say, “I have still not found ‘Who am I?’ The question is still the same; there is no answer.”

So I tell them, “Continue. Someday the answer will come.” And they hope that the answer will come. There is going to be no answer. It is only that the question will dissolve. There is not going to be an answer, that “You are this.” Only the question will dissolve. There will be no one to ask even “Who am I?” And then you know.

When the “I” is not, the real “I” opens. When the ego is not, you are for the first time encountering your being. That being is void. Then you can surrender; then you have surrendered. You are surrender now. So there can be no techniques, or only negative techniques like this inquiry into “Who am I?”

How does surrender work? If you surrender, what happens? We will come to understand how methods work. We will go deep into methods, and we will come to know how they work. They have a scientific basis of working.

When you surrender you become a valley; when you are an ego you are like a peak. Ego means you are above everyone else, you are somebody. The others may recognize you, may not recognize you – that is another thing. You recognize that you are above everyone. You are like a peak; nothing can enter you.

When one surrenders, one becomes like a valley. One becomes depth, not height. Then the whole existence begins to pour into him from everywhere. He is just a vacuum, just a depth, an abyss, bottomless. The whole existence begins to pour from everywhere. You can say God runs from everywhere to him, enters him from every pore, fills him totally.

This surrender, this becoming a valley, an abyss, can be felt in many ways. There are minor surrenders; there are major surrenders. Even in minor surrenders you feel it. Surrendering to a master is a minor surrender, but you begin to feel it because the master begins to flow into you immediately. If you surrender to a master, suddenly you feel his energy flowing into you. If you cannot feel energy flowing into you, then know well you have not surrendered even in a minor way.

There are so many stories which have become meaningless for us because we do not know how they happened. Mahakashyap came to Buddha, and Buddha just touched his head with his hand, and the thing happened. And Mahakashyap began to dance. So, Ananda asked Buddha, “What has happened to him? And I have been for forty years with you! Is he mad? Or is he just fooling others? What has happened to him? And I have touched your feet thousands and thousands of times.”

Of course, to Ananda, this Mahakashyap will either look like he is mad or as if he is just deceiving. He was with Buddha for forty years, but there was a problem. He was his elder brother, Buddha’s elder brother; that was the problem. When Ananda came to Buddha forty years before, the first thing he said to Buddha was this: “I am your elder brother, and when you will initiate me, I will become your disciple. So allow me three things before I become your disciple, because then I cannot demand. One, I will always be with you. Give me this promise, that you will not say to me, ‘Go somewhere else.’ I will follow you.

“Secondly, I will sleep in the same room where you sleep. You cannot say to me, ‘Go out.’ I will be with you like your shadow. And thirdly, if I bring anyone at any time, even at midnight, you will have to answer him. You cannot say, ‘This is not the time.’ And give me these three promises while I am still your elder brother, because once I become your disciple I will have to follow you. You are still younger than me, so give me these promises.”

So Buddha promised, and this became the problem. For forty years Ananda was with Buddha, but he could never surrender, because this is not the spirit of surrender. Ananda asked many, many times, “When am I going to attain?” Buddha said, “Unless I die, you will not attain.” And Ananda could attain only when Buddha died.

What happened to this Mahakashyap suddenly? Is Buddha partial – partial to Mahakashyap? He is not! He is flowing, constantly flowing. But you have to be a valley, a womb, to receive him. If you are above him, how can you receive? That flowing energy cannot come to you, it will miss you. So bow down. Even in a minor surrender with a master, energy begins to flow. Suddenly, immediately, you become a vehicle of a great force.

There are thousands and thousands of stories… just by a touch, just by a look, someone became enlightened. They do not appear rational to us. How is this possible? This is possible! Even a look from the master into your eyes will change your total being, but it can change only if your eyes are just vacant, valley-like. If you can absorb the look of the master, immediately you will be different.

So these are minor surrenders that happen before you surrender totally. And these minor surrenders prepare you for the total surrender. Once you have known that through surrender you receive something unknown, unbelievable, unexpected, never even dreamed of, then you are ready for a major surrender. And that is the work of the master – to help you in minor surrenders so that you can gather courage for a major surrender, for a total surrender.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Your Aloneness Cannot be Destroyed – Osho

Death is always there. You may be unaware of it, but it is always confronting you with immediacy.

You cannot be certain of the next moment.

But we go on living – and nobody believes that he is going to die; it is always the other who dies. You have seen people dying, many people of all kinds – children, young people, old people – but you have never seen yourself dying. So obviously somewhere in your mind the idea persists that it is always the other who dies. But remember, those who are dead also had the same idea; for them you are the other. And one day you will be dying, and the people who will take you to the graveyard will not feel at all the immediacy of death.

It is always there – just like a shadow to you. From the very first moment of your birth you have been dying. It is a fallacy to think that death comes like an accident, suddenly when you are seventy, eighty, ninety. No. Death and life are together. The moment you are born you start dying.

But man is very clever in deceiving himself.

Each of your birthdays is an effort to forget that it is not your birthday, it is your death day; you have died one year more. But with flowers and candles and cakes, one forgets the immediacy of death.

It is always with you. Birth is the beginning of death. […]

This immediacy of death should wake you up. Now there is no more time for you to fool around, no time for you to deceive yourself. Death is just there waiting for you, and you are fortunate that you know it. Knowing of your death can become a transformation. […]

Otherwise people are always postponing; they will meditate tomorrow – and tomorrow never comes. And there are so many other things to do, you don’t have time for meditation. […]

But a man who is fully aware that now there is no way, that tomorrow is finished, all that you have in your hands is this moment…. […]

The time for meditation has come. Now you can forget those small, stupid things in which you were involved.

There are millions of people who are playing cards, watching football matches – not at all aware of what they are doing. And if you ask them, they say they are killing time. Great! Time is killing you, and you remain with the idea that you are killing time. How can you kill time? You have never even seen it. Your swords cannot cut it, even your nuclear weapons are unable to touch it. How are you going to kill time?

But time is killing you every moment.

The very closeness of death makes it possible for you to understand the deathless which is within you. That’s the whole art of meditation: to go within as deep as you can to the very center of your being. And you will be surprised, amazed that at the center of your being you are eternal. There is no death, there has never been any death. Nothing dies in reality, it only changes forms. […]

No help from the outside is available, you have to depend on your inside. You are left alone.

In fact everybody has always been alone.

From birth to death, the whole journey is alone.

You may be in the crowd, but your aloneness cannot be destroyed. It is there. You make every effort to camouflage your aloneness, but nobody has ever succeeded in it. A truth is a truth – you may postpone it a little bit…. Whatever has to be done has to be done now! […]

You cannot find a better time for meditation, at least in my commune. And don’t feel serious, because death is natural; what causes it is meaningless. Don’t be in a paranoia. In fact, rejoice that you are the chosen few; everybody else is in darkness about his death, you are not. And the very fact that you know death is coming is bound to create space for you to know yourself.[…]

And knowing your eternal being, knowing that you have been here always and you will be here always, is a tremendous revelation.

In that revelation is celebration.

-Osho

From From Death to Deathlessness, Discourse #21

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.

How Not to Get Identified – Osho

Not to be identified with mind and body – still I don’t know how to do it. I tell myself: You are not the mind, don’t listen to your fear, love yourself, be content, etc., etc. 

Please explain again how not to get identified or, at least, why I still don’t understand you.

It’s not a question of telling yourself that you are not the mind, you are not the body, because the one who is telling it is the mind. That way you are never going to get out of the mind. All telling is done by the mind itself, so you will be emphasizing the mind more and more. The mind is very subtle; you have to be very, very alert about it. Don’t use it. If you use it you strengthen it. You cannot use your mind to destroy your mind itself. You have to understand that this mind cannot be used for its own suicide.

When you say, “I am not the body,” it is the mind saying so. When you say, “I am not the mind,” it is again the mind saying so. Look into the fact; don’t try to say anything. Language, verbalization, is not needed. Just a deep look. Just look inside. Don’t say anything. But I know your trouble. From the very beginning we are taught not to see but to say. The moment you see the rose flower you say, “How beautiful!” Finished. The rose flower is gone – you killed it. Now something has come between you and the rose. “How beautiful it is!” – These words now will function as a wall.

And one word leads to another, one thought to another. And they move in association, they never move alone. You will never find a single thought alone. They live in a herd; they are herd animals. So when once you have said, “How beautiful is the rose!” you are on the track; the train has started moving. Now the word “beautiful” will remind you of some woman you once loved. Roses forgotten, the beautiful is forgotten, now the idea, a fantasy, imagination, memory, of a woman. And then the woman will lead to many other things. The woman you loved had a beautiful dog. Here you go! And now there is no end to it.

Just see the mechanism of the mind, how it functions, and don’t use the mechanism. Resist that temptation. It is a great temptation because you are trained for it. You work almost like a robot; it is automatic.

Now the new revolution that is coming into the world of education has a few proposals. One proposal is that small children should not be taught language first. First they should be allowed time to crystallize their vision, to crystallize their experiencing. For example, there is an elephant, and you say to the child, “The elephant is the biggest animal.” You think you are not saying anything nonsensical, you think it is absolutely reasonable and the child has to be told about the fact; but no facts need to be told. It has to be experienced. The moment you say, “The elephant is the biggest animal,” you are bringing something which is not part of the elephant. Why do you say the animal is the biggest animal? Comparison has entered, which is not part of the fact.

An elephant is simply an elephant, neither big nor small. Of course, if you put it by the side of a horse, it is big, or by the side of an ant it is very big; but you are bringing the ant in the moment you say the elephant is the biggest animal. You are bringing something which is not part of the fact. You are falsifying the fact; comparison has come in.

Just let the child see. Don’t say anything. Let him feel. When you take the child to the garden, don’t say the trees are green. Let the child feel, let the child absorb. Simple thing, “The grass is green” – don’t say it.

This is my observation, that many times when the grass is not green you go on seeing it as green – and there are a thousand and one shades of green. Don’t say that the trees are green, because then the child will see just green – any tree and he will see green. Green is not one color; there are a thousand and one shades of green.

Let the child feel, let the child absorb the uniqueness of each tree, in fact of each leaf. Let him soak, let him become like a sponge who soaks reality, the facticity of it, the existential. And once he is well grounded and his experience is well-rooted, then tell him the words; then they will not disturb him. Then they will not destroy his vision, clarity. Then he will be able to use language without being distracted by it. Right now your language goes on distracting you.

So what is to be done? Start seeing things without naming them, without labeling them, without saying “good,” “bad,” without dividing them. Just see and allow the fact to be there in your presence without any judgement, condemnation, appreciation whatsoever. Let it be there in its total nudeness. You simply be present to it. Learn more and more how not to use language. Unlearn the conditioning, the constant chattering inside.

This you cannot do suddenly. You will have to do it by and by, slowly. Only then, at the very end of it, can you simply watch your mind. No need to say, “I am not this mind.” If you are not, then what is the point of saying it? You are not. If you are the mind, then what is the point of repeating that you are not the mind? Just by repeating it, it is not going to become a realization.

Watch, don’t say anything. The mind is there like a constant traffic noise. Watch it. Sit by the side and see. See this is mind. No need to create any antagonism. Just watch, and in watching, one day, suddenly the consciousness takes a shift, changes, a radical change – from the object suddenly it starts focusing on the subject, if you are a watcher. In that moment you know you are not the mind. It is not a question of saying, it is not a theory. In that moment you know – not because Patanjali says so, not because your reason, intellect, says so. For no reason at all, simply it is so. The facticity explodes on you; the truth reveals itself to you.

Then suddenly you are so far away from the mind you will laugh how you could believe in the first place that you were the mind, how you could believe that you were the body. It will look simply ridiculous. You will laugh at the whole stupidity of it.

“Not to be identified with mind and body – still I don’t know how to do it.” Who is asking this question, “How to do it?” See it immediately; who is asking this question, “How to do it?” It is the mind who wants to manipulate, it is the mind who wants to dominate. Now the mind wants to use even Patanjali. Now the mind says, “Perfectly true. I have understood that you are not the mind” – and once you realize that you are not the mind you will become a super mind. The greed arises in the mind; the mind says, “Good. I have to become a super mind.”

The greed for the ultimate, for bliss, the greed to be in eternity, to be a god, has arisen in the mind. The mind says, “Now I cannot rest unless I have achieved this ultimate, what it is.” The mind asks, “How to do it?”

Remember, the mind always asks how to do a thing. The “how” is a mind question. Because “how” means the technique. The “how” means, “Show me the way so I can dominate, manipulate. Give me the technique.” The mind is the technician. “Just give me the technique and I will be able to do it.”

There is no technique of awareness. You have to be aware to be aware. There is no technique. What is the technique of love? You have to love to know what love is. What is the technique of swimming? You have to swim. Of course in the beginning your swimming is a little haphazard. By and by you learn… but you learn by swimming. There is no other way. If somebody asks you, “What is the technique of bicycling?” – And you do bicycle, you ride on the cycle – but if somebody asks, you will have to shrug your shoulders. You will say, “Difficult to say.” What is the technique? How do you balance yourself on two wheels? You must be doing something. You are doing something, but not as a technique; rather as a knack. A technique is that which can be taught, and a knack is that which has to be known. A technique is that which can be transformed into a teaching, and a knack is something which you can learn but you cannot be taught. So learn by and by.

And start from less complicated things. Don’t suddenly jump to the very complicated. This is the last, the most complicated thing: to become aware of the mind, to see the mind and see that you are not the mind. To see so deeply that you are no longer the body and no longer the mind, that is the last thing. Don’t jump. Start with small things.

You are feeling hungry. Just see the fact. Where is the hunger? In you, or somewhere outside you? Close your eyes, grope in your inner darkness, try to feel and touch and figure out where the hunger is.

You have a headache. Before you take the aspirin do a little meditation. It may be that the aspirin is not needed then. Just close your eyes and feel where the headache is exactly, pin it, point it, focus on it. And you will be amazed, that it is not such a big thing as you were imagining before, and it is not spread all over the head. It has a locus, and the closer you come to the locus, the more you become distant from it. The more diffused the headache, the more you are identified with it. The more clear, focused, defined, demarked, localized, the more distant you are.

Then there comes a point where it is just like a needle point, absolutely focused; then you will come to have a few glimpses. Sometimes the needle point will disappear; there will be no headache. You will be surprised, “Where has it gone?” Again it will come. Again focus; again it will disappear. At the perfect focusing, the headache disappears, because at the perfect focusing you are so far away from your head that you cannot feel the headache. Try it. Start with small things; don’t jump to the last thing so immediately.

Patanjali also has travelled a long way to come to these sutras of viveka, discrimination, awareness. He has been talking about so many things as preparatory, as basic requisites, very necessary. Unless you have fulfilled all that, it will be difficult for you just to non-identify yourself with the mind and body.

So never ask “how” about it. It has nothing to do with “how.” It is a simple understanding. If you understand me, in that very understanding you will be able to see the point. I don’t say you will be able to understand it. I say you will be able to see it. Because the moment we say “understand,” intellect comes in, the mind starts functioning. “Seeing it” is something which has nothing to do with the mind.

Sometimes you are walking on a lonely path and the sun is setting and the darkness is descending, and suddenly you see a snake crossing the path. What do you do? You brood about it? You think about it, what to do, how to do it, whom to ask? You simply jump out of the way. That jumping is a seeing; it has nothing to do with mentation. It has nothing to do with thinking. You will think later on, but right now it is just a seeing. The very fact that the snake is there, the moment you become aware of the snake, you jump out of the way. It has to be so because mind takes time and the snake won’t take time. You have to jump without asking the mind. The mind is a process; snakes are faster than your mind. The snake will not wait, will not give you time to think what to do. Suddenly the mind is put aside and you function out of the no-mind, you function out of your being. In deep dangers it always happens.

That is the reason why people are so attracted to danger. Moving in a speedy car, going one hundred miles per hour or even more, what is the thrill? The thrill is of no-mind. When you are driving a car one hundred miles per hour, there is no time to think. You have to act out of no-mind. If something happens and you start thinking about it, you are lost. You have to act immediately; not a single moment is to be wasted. So the greater the speed of the car, the more and more the mind is put aside, and you feel a deep thrill – a great sensation of being alive – as if you have been dead up to now and suddenly you have dropped all deadness and life has arisen in you.

Danger has a deep, hypnotic attraction, but the attraction is of no-mind. If you can do it sitting just by the side of a tree or a river or just in your room, there is no need to take such risk. It can be done anywhere. You have just to put the mind aside – wherever you can put the mind aside – and just see things without the mind interfering.

I have heard:

An anthropologist in Java came across a little-known tribe with a strange funeral rite. When a man died, they buried him for sixty days and then dug him up. He was placed in a dark room on a cool slab, and twenty of the tribe’s most beautiful maidens danced erotic dances entirely in the nude around the corpse for three hours.

“Why do you do this?” the anthropologist asked the chief of the tribe who replied, ”If he does not get up we are sure he is dead!”

That may be the attraction of forbidden things. If sex is forbidden it becomes attractive. Because all that is allowed becomes part of the mind. Try to understand this.

All that is allowed becomes part of the mind; it is already programmed. You are expected to love your wife or your husband; it is part of the mind. But the moment you start becoming interested in somebody else’s wife, it is not part of the mind; it is not programmed. It gives you a certain freedom, certain freedom to move off the social track, where everything is convenient, where everything is comfortable – but every. thing is also dead. You become deeply interested in somebody else’s woman. He may be fed up with that woman, he may be just trying to find out some other way to become alive again – he may even get interested in your wife.

The question is not of a particular woman or man. The question is of the forbidden, the not allowed, the immoral, the repressed – that it is not part of your accepted mind. It has not been fed into your mind.

Unless man is completely capable of becoming a no-mind, these attractions continue.

And this is the absurdity of the whole thing: that these attractions were created by the people who think themselves moral, puritan, religious. The more they reject something, the more attractive it becomes, more inviting; because it gives you a chance to get out of the rut, it gives you a chance to escape somewhere which is not social. Otherwise the society goes on and on, crowding you everywhere. Even when you are loving your wife the society stands there watching.

Even in your privacy the society is there, as much as anywhere else, because the society is in your mind, in the program that it has given to your mind. From there it goes on functioning. It is a very cunning device.

Once in a while everybody feels just to do something which is not allowed, just to say yes to something for which always one has been forced to say no – just to go against oneself. Because that “oneself” is nothing but the program that the society has given to you.

The more strict a society, the more possibility of rebels. The more free a society, the less possibility for rebels. I will call a society revolutionary where rebels disappear because they are no longer needed. I will call a society free when nothing is rejected, so there is no morbid attraction in it. If the society is against the drugs, drugs will attract you, because they give you an opportunity to put the mind aside. You are burdened with it too much.

Remember, this can be done without being suicidal. The thrill that comes to you when you are doing something which the society does not allow is coming from a state of no mind, but at a very great cost. Just look at small children hiding somewhere behind a wall smoking. Watch their faces – so glad. They will be coughing and tears will be coming to them because taking smoke in and throwing it out is just foolish. I don’t say it is a sin. Once you say it is a sin it becomes attractive. I simply say it is stupid, it is unintelligent. But watch a small child puffing a cigarette – his face. Maybe he is in deep trouble, his whole breathing system is feeling troubled, nauseous, tears are coming, and he is feeling tense – but still glad he can do something which is not allowed. He can do something which is not part of his mind, which is not expected. He feels free.

This can be attained very easily through meditation. There is no need to move on such suicidal paths. If you can learn how to put the mind aside….

When you were born you had no mind; you were born without any mind. That’s why you cannot remember a few years of your life, just the beginning years, three, four, five years. You don’t remember them. Why? You were there, why don’t you remember? The mind was not yet crystallized. You go backwards, you can remember something that happened near the age of four, and then suddenly there is a blank, then you cannot go more deeply. What happened? You were there, very alive. In fact more alive than you will ever be again, because scientists say that at the age of four a child has learned, known, seen, seventy-five percent of all his knowledge that is going to be there in his whole life. Seventy-five percent at the age of four! You have lived seventy five percent of your life already, but no memory? Because the mind was not yet crystallized. The language was to be learned, things were to be categorized, labeled. Unless you can label a thing you cannot remember it. How to remember it? You cannot file it in your mind somewhere. You don’t have a name for it. So first the name has to be learned; then you can remember.

A child comes without mind. Why am I insisting on this? To tell you that your being can exist without the mind; there is no necessity for the mind to be there. It is just a structure that is useful in the society, but don’t get too fixated with the structure. Remain loose so you can slip out of it. It is difficult, but if you start doing it by and by you will be able to.

When you come home from the office, on the way try to drop the office completely. Remember again and again that you are going home, no need to carry the office there. Try not to remember the office. If you catch yourself red handed remembering something of the office again, drop it immediately, get out of it, slip out of it. Make it a point that at home you will be at home. And in the office forget all about the home, the wife, the children, and everything. By and by learn to use the mind and not to be used by it.

You go to sleep and the mind continues. You again and again say, “Stop!” but it doesn’t listen because you have never trained it to listen to you. Otherwise the moment you say, “Stop!” it has to stop. It is a mechanism. The mechanism cannot say, “No!” You put the fan on, it has to function; you put it off, it has to stop. When you stop a fan, the fan cannot say, “No! I would like to continue a little longer.”  It is a biocomputer, your mind. It is a very subtle mechanism, very useful; a very good slave but a very bad master.

So just be more alert, try to see things more. Live a few moments every day, or a few hours if you can manage, without the mind. Sometimes swimming in the river, when you put your clothes on the bank, then and there put the mind also. In fact make a gesture of also putting the mind there and go into the river alert, radiant with alertness, remembering continuously. But I am not saying verbalizing, I am not saying that you go on saying to yourself, “No, I am not the mind,” because then this is the mind. Just nonverbal, tacit understanding.

Sitting in your garden, lying down on the lawn, forget it. There is no need. Playing with your children, forget it. There is no need. Loving your wife, forget it. There is no need. Eating your food, what is the point of carrying the mind? Or taking a shower, what is the point of taking the mind in the bathroom?

Just by and by, slowly… and don’t try to overdo, because then you will be a failure. If you try to overdo, it will be difficult and you will say, “It is impossible.” No, try it in bits.

Let me tell you one anecdote:

Cohen had three daughters and was desperately looking around for sons-in-law. One such young man came on the horizon and Cohen grabbed him. The three daughters were paraded in front of him after a lavish meal. There was Rachel, the eldest, who was decidedly plain – in fact she was downright ugly. The second daughter, Esther, was not really bad looking but was decidedly plump – in fact she was disgustingly fat. The third Sonia, was a gorgeous, lovely beauty by any standards.

Cohen pulled the young man aside and said, “Well, what do you think of them? I have got dowries for them – do not worry. Five hundred pounds for Rachel, two hundred fifty pounds for Esther, and three thousand pounds for Sonia.”

The young man was dumbfounded: “But why, why have you got so much more dowry for the most beautiful one?”

Cohen explained, “Well, it is like this. She is just a teeny-weeny itsy-bitsy little bit pregnant.”

So start getting a little bit pregnant every day – with awareness. Don’t just become pregnant in a wholesale way. A little bit, by and by. Don’t try to overdo, because that too is again a trick of the mind. Whenever you see a point, the mind tries to overdo it. Of course you fail. When you fail the mind says, “See, I was all the time saying to you this is impossible.” Make very small targets. Move one foot at a time, inch by inch even. There is no hurry. Life is eternal.

But this is a trick of the mind. The mind says, “Now you have seen the point. Do it immediately – become non-identified with the mind.” And of course the mind laughs at your foolishness. For lives together you have been training the mind, training yourself, getting identified; then in the sudden flash of a moment you want to get out of it. It is not so easy. Bit by bit, inch by inch, slowly, feeling your way, move. And don’t ask too much; otherwise you will lose all confidence in yourself. And once that is lost, the mind becomes a permanent master.

People try to do this many times. For thirty years a person has been smoking, and then suddenly one day, in a crazy moment, he decides not to smoke at all. For one hour, two hours he carries on, but a great desire arises, a tremendous desire arises. His whole being seems to be upset, in a chaos. Then by and by he feels this is too much. All his work stops; he cannot work in the factory, he cannot work in the once. He is almost always clouded by the urge to smoke. It seems too disturbing, at such a great cost. Then again in another crazy moment he takes the cigarette out of the pocket, starts smoking, and feels relaxed; but he has done a very dangerous experiment.

In those three hours when he didn’t smoke, he has learned one thing about himself: that he is impotent, that he cannot do anything, that he cannot follow a decision, that he has no will, that he is powerless. Once this settles, and this settles in everyone by and by…. You try once with smoking, another time with dieting, and another time with something else, and again and again you fail. The failure becomes a permanent thing in you. By and by you start becoming a driftwood; you say, “I cannot do anything.” And if you feel you cannot do, then who can do?

But the whole foolishness arises because the mind tricked you. It always told you to immediately do something for which a great training and discipline is needed; and then it made you feel impotent. If you are impotent the mind becomes very potent. This is always in proportion: if you are potent, the mind becomes impotent. If you are potent, then the mind cannot be potent; if you are impotent, the mind becomes potent. It lives on your energy, it lives on your failure, it lives on your defeated self, defeated will.

So never overdo.

I have heard about one Chinese mystic, Mencius, a great disciple of Confucius. A man came to him who was an opium taker, and the man said, “It is very, very impossible. I have tried every way, every method. Everything fails finally. I am a complete failure. Can you help me”’

Mencius tried to understand his whole story, listened to it, came to understand what had happened: he has been overdoing. He gave him a piece of chalk and told him, “Weigh your opium against this chalk, and whenever you weigh, write “one,” next time write “two,” again write “three,” and go on writing on the wall how many times you have taken opium. And I will come after one month.”

The man tried. Each time he took opium he had to weigh it against the chalk, and the chalk was disappearing by and by, very slowly, because each time he had to write “one,” then with the same chalk “two,” “three”…. It started disappearing. It was almost invisible in the beginning; each time the quantity was reduced, but in a very subtle way. After one month when Mencius went to see the man, the man laughed; he said, “You tricked me! And… it is working. It is so invisible – that I cannot feel the change, but the change is happening. Half the chalk has disappeared – and with half the chalk, half the opium has disappeared.”

Mencius said to him, “If you want to reach the goal never run. Go slowly.”

One of the most famous sentences of Mencius is: “If you want to reach, never run.” If you really want to reach, there is no need even to walk. If you really want to reach, you are already there. Go so slow! If the world had listened to Mencius, Confucius, Lao Tzu, and Chuang Tzu there would be a totally different world. If you ask them how to manage our Olympics, they will say, “Give the prize to the one who gets defeated fast. Give the first prize to one who is the slowest walker, not for the fastest runner. Let there be a competition, but the prize goes to one who is the slowest.”

If you move slowly in life, you will attain much, and with grace and grandeur and dignity. Don’t be violent; life cannot be changed by any violence. Be artful. Buddha has a special word for it; he calls it upaya, “Be skillful.” It is a complex phenomenon. Watch every step and move very cautiously. You are moving in a very, very dangerous place, as if moving between two peaks on a tightrope, like a tightrope walker. Balance each moment, and don’t try to run; otherwise failure is certain.

“Not to be identified with mind and body – still I don’t know how to do it. I tell myself: you are not the mind, don’t listen to your fear, love yourself, be content….” Stop all this nonsense. Don’t say anything to the mind, because the sayer is the mind. You rather be silent and listen. In silence there is no mind. In small gaps when there is no word there is no mind. Mind is absolutely linguistic, it is language. So start slipping into the gaps. Sometime just see, as if you are an idiot, not thinking just seeing. Sometimes go and watch people who are known as idiots. They are simply sitting there – looking but not looking at anything. Relaxed, perfectly relaxed, their face has a beauty. No tension, nothing to do, completely at ease, at home. Just watch them.

If you can sit for one hour like an idiot every day, you will attain.

Lao Tzu has said, “Everybody seems to be so clever except me. I look like an idiot.” One of the most famous novelists, Fyodor Dostoevski, has written in his diary that when he was young he had an epileptic fit, and after the fit, for the first time he could understand what reality is. Immediately after the fit everything became absolutely silent. Thoughts stopped. Others were trying to find medicine and the doctor, and he was so tremendously glad. The epileptic fit had given him a glimpse into no-mind.

You may be surprised to know that many epileptics have become mystics and many mystics used to have epileptic fits – Ramakrishna even. Ramakrishna will go into a fit. In India we don’t call it a fit. We call it samadhi. Indians are clever people. When one is going to name a thing, why not name it beautifully? If we call it “no-mind” it looks perfectly good. If I say, “Be an idiot,” you feel disturbed, uneasy. If I say, “Become a no mind,” everything is okay. But it is exactly the same state.

The idiot is below mind, the meditator is above mind, but both are without any minds. I am not saying that the idiot is exactly the same, but something similar. The idiot is not aware that he has a no-mind, and the no-mind man is aware that he has a no-mind. A great difference, but a similarity also. There is a certain similarity between mad people and the realized ones. In Sufism they are called “the mad ones”; the realized ones are known as the mad people. They are mad in a way: they have dropped out of mind.

By and by, learn it slowly. Even if you can have a few seconds of this superb idiocy, when you are not thinking anything, when you don’t know who you are, when you don’t know why you are, when you don’t know anything at all and you are deep in a non-knowledge state, in deep ignorance, in the deep silence of the ignorance; in that silence the vision will start coming to you, that you are not the body, you are not the mind. Not that you will verbalize it! It will be a fact, just as the sun is shining there. You need not say that there is the sun and the shine. As the birds are singing – there is no need to say that they are singing. You can just listen and be aware and know that they are singing, without saying it.

Exactly the same way, prepare yourself slowly, and one day you will realize you are neither the body nor the mind – nor even the self, the soul! You are a tremendous emptiness, a nothingness – a no-thingness. You are, but without any boundary, with no limitation, with no demarcation, with no definition. In that utter silence one comes to the perfection, to the very peak of life, of existence.

-Osho

From Secrets of Yoga (Previously titled Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega V.8), Discourse #8

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.

As Breath Turns from Down to Up – Osho

The second technique – all these nine techniques are concerned with breath.

As breath turns from down to up, and again as breath curves from up to downThrough both these turns, realize.

It is the same, but with a slight difference. The emphasis is now not on the gap, but on the turning. The outgoing and ingoing breath make a circle. Remember, these are not two parallel lines. We always think of them as two parallel lines – breath going in and breath going out. Do you think that these are two parallel lines? They are not. Breath going in is half the circle; breath going out is the other half of the circle.

So understand this: first, breathing in and out creates a circle. They are not parallel lines, because parallel lines never meet anywhere. Secondly, the breath coming in and the breath going out are not two breaths, they are one breath. The same breath which comes in, goes out, so it must have a turn inside. It must turn somewhere. There must be a point where the incoming breath becomes outgoing.

Why put such emphasis upon turning? Because, Shiva says, as breath turns from down to up, and again as breath curves from up to downThrough both these turns, realize. Very simple, but he says: realize the turns and you will realize the self.

Why the turn? If you know driving you know about gears. Each time you change the gear, you have to pass through the neutral gear, which is not a gear at all. From the first gear you move to the second or from the second to the third, but always you have to move through the neutral gear.

That neutral gear is a turning point. In that turning point the first gear becomes the second and the second becomes the third. When your breath goes in and turns out, it passes through the neutral gear; otherwise it cannot turn out. It passes through the neutral territory. In that neutral territory you are neither a body nor a soul, neither physical nor mental, because the physical is a gear of your being and the mental is another gear of your being. You go on moving from gear to gear, but you must have a neutral gear where you are neither body nor mind. In that neutral gear you simply are: you are simply an existence – pure, simple, unembodied, with no mind.

That is why there is the emphasis on the turn. Man is a machine – a large, very complicated machine. You have many gears in your body, many gears in your mind. You are not aware of your great mechanism, but you are a great machine. And it is good that you are not aware; otherwise you could go mad. The body is such a great machine that scientists say if we had to create a factory parallel to the human body, it would require four square miles of land, and the noise would be such that one hundred square miles of land would be disturbed by it.

The body is a great mechanical device – the greatest. You have millions and millions of cells and each cell is alive. So you are a big city of seventy million cells; there are seventy million citizens inside you, and the whole city is running very silently, smoothly. Every moment the mechanism is working. It is very complicated. These techniques will be related at many points with the mechanism of your body and the mechanism of your mind. But always the emphasis will be on those points where suddenly you are not part of the mechanism – remember this. Suddenly you are not part of the mechanism. There are moments when you change gears.

For example, in the night when you drop into sleep you change gears, because during the day you need a different mechanism for a waking consciousness – a different part of the mind functions. Then you drop into sleep, and that part becomes non-functioning. Another part of the mind begins to function, and there is a gap, an interval, a turning. A gear is changed. In the morning when you are again getting up, the gear is changed. You are silently sitting, and suddenly someone says something and you get angry – you move into a different gear. That is why everything changes.

If you get angry, your breathing will suddenly change. Your breathing will become irritated, chaotic. A trembling will get into your breathing; you will feel suffocated. Your whole body would like to do something, shatter something, only then can the suffocation disappear. Your breathing will change; your blood will take a different rhythm, a different movement. Different chemicals will have to be released in the body, the whole glandular system will have to change. You become a different man when you are angry.

A car is standing… you start it. Do not put it in any gear, let it be in neutral. It will go on pulling, vibrating, trembling, but it cannot move; it will get hot. That is why, when you are angry and you cannot do something, you will get hot. The mechanism is ready to run and do something and you are not doing – you will get hot. You are a mechanism, but, of course, not only a mechanism. You are more, but the “more” has to be found. When you get into a gear, everything changes inside. When you change the gear, there is a turning.

Shiva says,

As breath turns from down to up, and again as breath curves from up to downThrough both these turns, realize.

Be aware at the turn. But it is a very short turn; very minute observation will be needed. And we are just without any observing capacity; we cannot observe anything. If I say to you, “Observe this flower; observe this flower which I give to you,” you cannot observe it. For a single moment you will see it, and then you will begin to think of something else. It may be about the flower, but it will not be the flower. You may think about the flower, about how beautiful it is – then you have moved. Now the flower is no more in your observation, your field has changed. You may say that it is red, it is blue, it is white… then you have moved. Observation means remaining with no word, with no verbalization, with no bubbling inside – just remaining with. If you can remain with a flower for three minutes, completely, with no movement of the mind, the thing will happen – the beneficence. You will realize.

But we are not at all observers. We are not aware, we are not alert; we cannot pay attention to anything. We just go on jumping. This is part of our heritage, our monkey heritage. Our mind is just the growth of the monkey mind, so the monkey moves on. He goes on jumping from here to there. The monkey cannot sit still. That is why Buddha insisted so much on just sitting without any movement, because then the monkey mind is not allowed to go on its way.

In Japan they have a particular type of meditation which they call Zazen. The word ‘zazen’ in Japan means just sitting, doing nothing. No movement is allowed. One is just sitting like a statue – dead, not moving at all. But there is no need to sit like a statue for years together. If you can observe the turn of your breath without any movement of the mind, you will enter. You will enter into yourself or into the beyond within.

Why are these turnings so important? They are important because on turning, the breath leaves you to move in a different direction. It was with you when it was coming in; it will be with you again when it goes out. But at the turning point it is not with you and you are not with it. In that moment the breath is different from you and you are different from it: if breathing is life, then you are dead; if breathing is your body, then you are no-body; if breathing is your mind, then you are no-mind… in that moment.

I wonder whether you have observed it or not: if you stop your breath, the mind stops suddenly. If you stop your breath just now, your mind will stop suddenly; the mind cannot function. A sudden stoppage of breath and the mind stops. Why? Because they are disjoined. Only a moving breath is joined with the mind, with the body; a non-moving breath is disjoined. Then you are in the neutral gear. The car is running, the power is on, the car is making a noise – it is ready to go forward – but it is not in gear, so the body of the car and the mechanism of the car are not joined. The car is divided into two. It is ready to move, but the moving mechanism is not joined with it.

The same happens when breath takes a turn. You are not joined with it. In that moment you can easily become aware of who you are. What is this being? What is it to be? Who is inside this house of the body? Who is the master? Am I just the house or is there some master also? Am I just the mechanism or does something else also penetrate this mechanism? In that turning gap, Shiva says, realize. He says just be aware of the turning, and you become a realized soul.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #3

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt As Breath Turns from Down to Up.

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.

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.

Resources to Nourish Our Inner World

During these extraordinary times when many of us are self-isolating or in quarantine we have a unique opportunity to gather our energies and explore and nourish our inner world.

We are extremely fortunate that there are so many resources at our fingertips, here are a few.

Enjoy and Be Well!

Reading:

Osho reading library

OshoWorld discourse PDF’s

Osho Books hardcopy

Ramana Maharshi resources

O-Meditation Sangha posts

O-Meditation downloads

Listening:

Osho.com audio downloads

OshoWorld audio downloads

O-Meditation downloads

The entire J. Krishnamurti audio collection

Meditating:

Osho Active Meditation CD’s

Osho Book of Secrets Meditations

Osho No-Mind Meditations