Know it as the State of Vairagya – Osho

When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment, know it as the state of vairagya – non-attachment, desireless ness. And when the ego ceases to rise, know it as the highest state of knowledge.

When the moods that have become extinct do not arise again, that state is known as one of the indifference.

And the sage whose wisdom has become steady attains eternal bliss. One whose mind has dissolved into the supreme becomes innocent and inactive. And the moods of the mind then dissolve in the unity of the supreme self, and the purified individual self remains choiceless and in a state of pure consciousness.

This state is called wisdom, or pragya and one who has attained this wisdom throughout is called jivanmukta – one free in life itself.

One who has egoistic feeling in respect of his body and the senses, and besides has ceased to think in terms of “me” and “mine” in respect to other objects, is called a jivanmukta.

When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment, know it as the state of vairagya – non-attachment, desirelessness. And when the ego ceases to arise, know it as the highest state of knowledge.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

Definitions about certain states of inner search, “in-search,” are helpful, because when you enter yourself, you are alone. You will need certain definitions, certain criteria so that you can feel inside what is happening – where you are.

In the in-search one is always alone. One needs certain criteria to feel where one is. And the inner world is uncharted, no map exists which can be given to you. And even if some maps exist, they don’t belong to you; they cannot be applicable to you. Buddha says something – that is about his own inner journey; that may not be your route at all. Really, it cannot be your route. Every individual enters into the inner world differently, uniquely, because every individual stands on a certain spot where no one else stands; every individual is unique. Buddha stands somewhere – you cannot stand on that spot. He starts his journey from there; every journey starts from where you are. So we have different routes to move on, no map can be helpful.

So this sutra is not going to give you a certain map, no. Just certain liquid definitions – you can feel your own path – and certain happenings inside, so that you know where you are, where you are moving, whether you are moving or not, whether you are nearing your goal or not.

First the definition of vairagya – because that is the entrance. Unless you are non-attached to the world you cannot enter inwards. Your back must be towards the world; only then your face is towards the inner center. So vairagya is the door – non-attachment to the world. What is the definition?

You can force yourself to be non-attached, you can force yourself in the about-turn. You can face the inner world forcibly, you can stand with your back to the world, but just your back to the world is not enough. Your mind may be still moving in the world.

It is not very difficult to go away, to leave, to renounce – it is not very difficult. You can escape to the Himalayas and the world is left far behind – but your mind will still be moving in the world. Non-attachment, vairagya means: When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment.

You can close your eyes; you don’t see anything. That is not vairagya, because with closed eyes you can continue desiring. Really, with closed eyes desires become stronger. With closed eyes the world is more charming than with open eyes. Really, if your eyes are open, sooner or later the world loses its charm. The more you penetrate it, the more you know it and see it, the attraction disappears. The attraction is in ignorance; with closed eyes it is more.

Non-attachment is authentic if your eyes are open and objects of enjoyment are there, and no desire arises in you. A naked, beautiful woman is before you and no desire arises. Tantra has used this sutra. Tantra is based on this sutra. Tantra says: Do not escape, because you cannot escape your mind. And the real problem is not the world of objects; the real problem is the mind. So wherever you go, you will be there, and you are the problem! How can you escape from yourself? Go anywhere, the mind will be there. You can escape from the world, but not from the mind, and mind is the real world. So tantra says, “Do not move away; rather go deep in the world, fully conscious, with open eyes, aware of the desires moving in you. Look at the world deeply.” Tantra has developed its own techniques. The tantra technique is that if someone feels sexual desire, then just enforcing brahmacharya, celibacy, will not do. If you force celibacy on someone, if he takes a vow that now he will remain celibate, he will simply suppress sexuality and nothing else. And suppressed sex is dangerous – more dangerous than ordinary sex. Then the whole mind will become sexual. The suppressed energy will move inside; it cannot go out, so it moves more inside. It creates grooves, it becomes cerebral; the whole mind becomes sexual. The sex center gathers more and more energy, and ultimately the whole body becomes a sex center.

Tantra says this is not the way to go beyond sex; this is stupid. Tantra has its own scientific techniques. Tantra says, “Okay, there is desire, there is sex – then move into sex, but move fully conscious.” That is the only condition: If you want to touch a beautiful body, touch, but remain conscious, alert that you are touching the beautiful body. And then when you are touching, analyze your touch – what is happening? Observe your touch – what is happening? If you can observe your touch, the touch becomes futile, absurd, stupid; nothing is happening. nothing is happening.

So tantra has techniques . . . Look at a beautiful naked body; observe it, and observe what is happening inside you. The desire arises: observe the desire, and observe the naked body. And really with a naked body, with a full alert mind, sex is neither suppressed nor indulged; it simply disappears. It may look contradictory – but bodies have become so important only because of clothes. Clothes are deeply sexual. They give the bodies a charm, a hidden charm, a secret attraction which is not there at all. Bodies are just bodies. You hide them and the very hiding creates a desire to look at them, to see. Humanity has become so body-conscious only because of clothes. The clothes create a secret desire to unclothe, to undress. […]

Any desire becomes futile if you observe it, if you know it in its totality. Tantra says do not escape; rather, be aware and move into the objects of enjoyment, and one day suddenly all the objects lose their charm.

This sutra says this is the definition of vairagya:

When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment, know it as the state of vairagya – non-attachment, desirelessness.

And when the ego ceases to arise, know it as the highest state of knowledge.

This is the criterion for knowledge, wisdom – when there is no ego, when ego doesn’t arise.

Ego can arise in any situation. The ego is very subtle and its ways are very mysterious. On anything, ego can feed itself. You meditate and through your meditation your ego can be strengthened: “I am a meditator.” And the whole point is lost, the whole meditation is lost. “I am a religious man. I go to church every Sunday, never miss.” The ego has arisen. It has taken a religious shape, but the shape doesn’t matter. “I fast,” or “I take a certain food,” or “I do this or that” – any ritual. “I do yoga” – whatsoever. If you feel that your “I” is strengthened, know that you are not on the path of knowing, you are falling down into ignorance.

Go on observing whatsoever you are doing. Do one thing continuously: go on observing whether your ego is strengthened by it. If you continuously observe, observation is a poison to the ego, it cannot arise. It arises only when you are not observing, when you are unconscious, unaware, unattentive. Go on observing, and wherever the ego arises just be a witness to it. Know well that the ego is arising: “I am meditating, certain experiences are happening, and the ego feels good.” And the ego says, “Now you are on the path. Now you have known the inner light. Now the kundalini has arisen. Now you are extraordinary. Soon you are going to be a siddha – one who has achieved. The goal is now nearer.” Know well: with this feeling of the goal being nearer, you are missing the goal. This ego feeling good is a fatal disease.

This sutra says, when the ego doesn’t arise, it is the highest state of knowledge. When the feeling of “I” doesn’t arise, you are but there is no “I.”

We go on saying, “I am.” The man of knowledge rarely feels only “am,” not “I” – just “amness,” existence, being, with no “I” attached to it. “Amness” is vast, infinite; “I” is finite. “Amness” is brahman.

When there is no “I,” when there is only simple “amness,” when the “I” is dead, this state is known as the state of a jivanmukta – one who has achieved freedom in lie, one who has achieved freedom while in the body, one who has known the infinite while alive.

You can also become a jivanmukta. The only problem is you. Throw it out, and you are. Nothing new is to be gained; the freedom is there hidden in you, but you are attached to the ego. That creates a boundary, a limitation. Look beyond the ego, and suddenly you enter another world. And it was always there, just to be seen, but our eyes have become fixed; we cannot move our eyes. We go on looking in one direction – the direction of the ego. The reverse is the dimension of the non-ego, and non-ego is the path.

One who has egoistic feeling in respect of his body and the senses, and besides has ceased to think in terms of “me” and “mine” in respect to other objects, is called a jivanmukta.

Egolessness is a great death. When you die only your body dies; when you attain mukti, freedom, your mind dies.

In the old scriptures the master, the guru, is known also as death: acharyo mrityu. The teacher is death, great death. He is, because through him your ego dies; he kills you. In a way he is death, and in a way eternal life, because when the ego is no more, for the first time you are.

Die to be reborn.

Jesus says, “Whosoever loses himself, attains, and whosoever clings to himself loses.”

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #46

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

The Lover Becomes the Beloved – Osho

He is Brahma, he is Shiva, he is Indra. He is indestructible, the supreme, the self-luminous.

He alone is Vishnu, he is prana, his is sun, fire, he is moon. He alone is all that was and all that will be, the eternal.

Knowing him one goes beyond the sting of death; there is no other way to reach complete freedom.

Experiencing one’s own self in all beings and all beings in the self, one attains the highest brahman, and not by any other means.

-Kaivalya Upanishad

The reality is unknown; the reality is unnamed. The reality is, but indefinable. It is; it is felt. We are part of it; we encounter it everywhere. Wheresoever you move, you move in reality; you live every moment in it; you participate in it every moment. It is not something different from you, you are not something different from it, but still you cannot name it, you cannot pinpoint it, you cannot give it a label. What is it?

This is a problem for a religious mind. It is not a problem for a philosophical mind; the philosopher can say it is existence, naked, pure – it is absolute. For a Heidegger it is not a problem; he can call it simple “is-ness,” being. For a Shankara it is not a problem; he can call it the supreme, the absolute, the brahman. But these are not basically religious types.

For a religious person it becomes a problem, because unless he can name it, he cannot be related to it; unless he can personify it, he cannot feel the relatedness. The intimacy is impossible with a pure “is-ness.” An intimate relationship is not possible with something absolute, with something just like a concept. Being, brahman – how can you feel related with being, with brahman, with “is-ness,” with existence? Relationship is only possible when you personify it. That is the basic difference between philosophical speculation and religious search.

Religion is in search of an intimate relationship with existence; it is not only speculation. For a religious man it is going to be life itself. Philosophy seeks in terms of knowledge, religion in terms of love. When you are seeking in terms of knowledge, you can be an observer, an onlooker. But you are not a participant, you are not deep in it – you are just an outsider. A philosopher is basically an outsider; he goes on thinking, but from without. He will not enter into a deep relationship. He will not get involved; he will not be committed. But religion is nothing if it is not a commitment; religion is nothing if it is not an intimate love relationship. So how to change existence into a love object? This sutra is concerned with this.

This sutra says that he is nameless, but we cannot deal with a nameless. He is nameless, obviously, but we must give a name to it; otherwise, we cannot feel related. And to feel related is a great transformation. Not only is the divine nameless, everything is nameless. A child is born a nameless phenomenon, with no name – but if you don’t give a name to him, he will be unable even to live. If no name is given to him, it will be impossible for him to move. Not only that, but others will not be able to understand him; he himself will not be able to understand himself. Even to understand oneself, one has to be addressed, given a name; otherwise, one cannot even think about oneself – who he is. Of course, this name is just a false label, but it helps.

This is one of the mysteries of life: even falsities help, even untruths help, even dreams help, even illusions help. So a person who is bent upon destroying every illusion, every falsity, every untruth, may prove harmful. One has to remember: something may be false, but don’t destroy it. Let it be there, it has a utility. But the utility should not become the truth. Utility must remain a utility, it must not become the truth.

Man cannot feel in deep relationship with the divine, with existence, unless he names it. Many names are possible – it will depend on the man who is naming. Thousands and thousands of names have been given to him. In India we have a book, Vishnu Sahastranam – a thousand names of Vishnu. The whole book consists only of names – nothing else, just names. It is a very beautiful book, consisting only of names, but in its own way showing that the phenomenon is nameless. Only because of that, thousands of names are possible.

So you can name the divine any way. Call him whatsoever you like, but call him. The emphasis should be on the call, not on the name. Call him Rama, call him Hari, call him Krishna, call him Christ; call him any name – but call! Let there be a deep invocation. Use any name. That name is just artificial, but it will help.

Make any image, but make it. The making is significant. Any image will do, but remember that this is just an artificial help; a technical use must be made of it. In this way also, India has tried many, many experiments – particularly Hindus. They make their idols of mud. Stone came only later on, with Buddhists and Jains; otherwise, Hindus were satisfied with mud images. Stone is a more substantial thing, more permanent; it gives a permanency to a thing. A mud idol is just as impermanent as anything in the world. Hindus tried to make their idols only of mud, so that they remembered: this is just an artificial phenomenon made by us. And they insisted that it must be dissolved soon after.

A Ganesha is made, worshiped, everything done – called, prayed, invoked – and then they go and throw it into the sea. This is very symbolic. This means: this image was just an artificial thing. We created it, we used it; now the use is over and we throw it. Hindus are the least idol-worshipers in the world, but everywhere they are known as the idol-worshipers. They are the least, because they are so courageous to throw away their idols so easily, and with such a celebration. They go to throw their idols into the sea with such a celebration. The throwing is as necessary as the creating.

With the stone idols things changed. No stone idol should be there. Clay idols are beautiful, because even if you are not going to destroy them, they will destroy themselves. Sooner or later, you will become aware that this was just something made for a particular purpose. The purpose is solved, now the artificial help can be dissolved with a thankfulness, with a celebration. No country, no religion, no race, has been so courageous with its idols. Really, sometimes strange things happen.

Hindus are the least idol worshipers, and Mohammedans the most – and they have not worshiped at all. They have not made any idol. Not even a picture of Mohammed is available – not even a picture. How did he look? They have persistently denied any picture, any idol, any image. Not only have they denied them for themselves, they have destroyed others’ also. Others’ images, others’ idols they have destroyed – with a very good wish. Nothing is wrong in it, because they feel idol worship is harmful – harmful to a religious man. It must not be in between; God must be faced directly, immediately. There should be nothing in between – a very good wish, but it proved dangerous!

It proved dangerous; they went on destroying; they destroyed much that was beautiful – much. They destroyed Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples, Hindu idols, Buddha’s images – they destroyed. All over Asia they destroyed, with a very good wish that nothing should remain between man and God. But they became too concerned with idols. Idol-destroying became their sole religious practice.

This is worship in a negative way – too much concentration on idols; idols became too significant for them. This is how life is strange. I call Hindus the least idol-worshipers, because they can throw away their idols any time the purpose is solved. They use them, but the idols can never use the Hindus; Hindus can use the idols. Mohammedans are so against, yet so concerned; so against but still so attached. They turn really into negative idol-worshipers. Create an image, create any name, create anything that you feel can help you move towards the divine. All names belong to him.

Old Mohammedan names – old, and still Mohammedans are orthodox and old . . . All old Mohammedan names are names of Allah. All old Hindu names – but now all names are not old – are names of Rama. Not only have we tried to give God a thousand names, we have tried to give everyone a name which really belongs to God. This is symbolic. Every name is God’s name, and every name – to whomsoever it belongs – indicates a god.

This sutra says:

He his Brahma, he is Shiva, he is Indra. He is indestructible, the supreme, the self-luminous. He alone is Vishnu, he is prana. He is sun, fire, he is the moon.

He is everything. Call him moon, call him sun, call him Vishnu – call him anything. Whatsoever you call him, remember that the call – the heartfelt call, the prayerful mood – is important. The name is just a device to help you to call him.

He alone is all that was and all that will be, the eternal.

Knowing him one goes beyond the sting of death;

Knowing him one goes beyond the sting of life and death – why? This has to be understood. Why, if you can understand him, why will you go beyond life and death? – because life and death belong to the ego. If you say he is everything that was, if you say he is everything that is, if you say he is everything that ever will be, that means you are not. That means he is and you are not; that means the ego is not – and only the ego is born and only the ego is to die. If he is everything, then he is birth, he is death, he is life. Then how can you conceive of yourself as being born, and as dying?

Birth and death are just two poles of your ego – the feeling that “I am.” If you drop this feeling, then birth is not the beginning and death is not the end. Then something always was, before you were born. Really, you are a continuity, a continuity of the whole past; and when you die, nothing is dying – only the continuity changes, takes a turn. Around the corner the continuity will continue. But if you begin to feel between birth and death that you are, then you will die, then you will have to feel the suffering of dying.

Remember that you are a continuity. The whole universe is involved in you; you are not alone. No man is an island, no man is alone and separate. The world exists as a net, as an interconnection, as inter-relatedness. The whole world exists as one. You are organic to it; you belong to it.

If this feeling comes to you. Knowing him one goes beyond the sting of life and death; there is no other way to reach complete freedom. And unless you are a non-ego, there is no way to attain complete freedom. Ego is the slavery, ego is the suffering, ego is the anguish. Ego is the anxiety, the tension, the disease. So unless there is egolessness . . . and egolessness and God-consciousness mean the same thing. If you become God-conscious, you will become I-unconscious. If you are I-conscious, then you cannot be God-conscious. This is focusing. If you are focused on the ego, the whole universe goes into darkness. If you are focused on the whole universe, the “I” simply disappears. “I” is a focusing of all the energy on a limited link of an unlimited continuity – one link. One link of the whole chain is the ego. Remember the whole continuity.

It will be good if we can think in this way. Could I exist if something had been different in the universe? – I could not exist. Even a millennium before, if something had been different from what it was, I would not be here, because the whole universe is a continuity. Whatsoever I am saying . . . if a Buddha had not been there in the past, or a Jesus had not been there in the past, I couldn’t say this. The whole universe is a continuity. A single event missed in the past would make the whole universe different. And when I say a Buddha, you can understand. But I say, even if a single tree had not been there in the universe, I would not be here.

The whole universe exists as a continuity; it is an intermittent phenomenon. We are here because the universe was such that we could be here. The whole past was such that this meeting becomes possible. Something missing, and the whole thing will change. This feeling of eternal continuity in the past, of eternal continuity in the future, will dissolve the ego completely. You are not; you are just a part – a part which cannot exist alone.

Then the destiny of the whole universe becomes your destiny, then you have no separate individual destiny. That is what is meant by saying one goes beyond life and death. If you have no individual destiny, the whole destiny of the universe is your destiny. Then who is going to die? And who is going to be born? And who is concerned? Then a total acceptance explodes, a total acceptance comes. A tathata, a total acceptance happens. This is freedom; this is ultimate freedom. Now you cannot feel any limitation.

The universe has never felt limitation. You feel it because you separate yourself. I will die as an individual, but I cannot die as a universe. The atoms in my hand will be there; my eyes will be there as someone else’s eyes; my heart will be there as someone else’s heart. I will exist in the trees, in the stones, in the earth, in the sky – I will be there as a universe. I will not be there as myself. My consciousness will be there as someone else’s consciousness. Or even it may not be someone else’s consciousness . . . just a cloud floating in the sky, or just a silence, or just a drop in the ocean. As myself I am going to die, but not as a universe.

This remembrance, this realization is the only freedom – the only and the ultimate. Unless this happens, you are a slave. You will go on feeling limitations, you will go on feeling boundaries, you will go on feeling that this is going to be death, this is going to be birth, this is going to be pain, this is going to be suffering. To create, or to go on believing in individual destiny, is irreligion. The beginning of the feeling that “I am not an individual destiny – destiny belongs to the universe, I belong to the universe” – is the beginning of freedom, is the beginning of religion.

Religion is the search for total freedom. And unless the freedom is total, it is not freedom at all.

Experiencing one’s own self in all beings in the self, one attains the highest brahman, and not by any other means.

This is what I mean by being aware of a universal destiny: by dissolving one’s individual, petty destiny one begins to feel then that he is everything – all. All penetrates into oneself, and one’s own existence penetrates all. Really, it is saying simply that boundaries dissolve.

The observer becomes the observed.

The knower becomes the known.

The lover becomes the beloved.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #25

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.

Meditation is Objectless – Osho

By meditating upon the lord Parameshwar, consorted by mother Uma, the highest lord, the all-powerful, the three-eyed, and the ever silent, the meditator reaches Him who is the source of all manifestation, the witness of all, and who is beyond ignorance.

-Kaivalya Upanishad

Meditation is object-less. If you use any object, then it is not meditation; it becomes thinking. It becomes contemplation; it becomes reflection, but not meditation.

This is the most essential point to be understood. This is the essence of a meditative state: that it is object-less. Only consciousness is there, but not conscious about anything.

Consciousness without being conscious of anything – this is the nature of meditation. But this may create a very depressed mood; this may create pessimism in the mind. It is so difficult to throw even a single thought out of the mind – how can one conceive of being totally thoughtless? It is so difficult to get rid of one object of the mind, that it is inconceivable how to be totally object-less; how to be just a mirror, how to be just conscious without being conscious of anything.

We are never conscious without being conscious of anything – something is always there. And there are some psychologists, some schools of psychology, who say that it is impossible to be conscious without any object. Consciousness to them means consciousness of something. Something must be there; otherwise, we will go to sleep; otherwise, we will become unconscious. But yoga says that ordinarily this is right: as far as the ordinary mind is concerned, if there is no object the mind will go down into sleep, slip down into unconsciousness.

We also are aware of it. If you are thinking something in the night, then sleep becomes impossible, because if some object is present in the mind then you cannot drop into sleep, into unconsciousness. So if you are thinking, then you cannot go to sleep; you go to sleep only when thinking has ceased. When thinking has ceased but there is no sleep, only then will you understand what is meant by meditation – but we never know any moment like that. When thoughts cease, thinking ceases, sleep takes over. You are not even aware when sleep has come; you become unconscious.

This is what hypnosis uses as a technique. Hypnosis – any method of hypnotism, any method – uses only this technique: to fix the mind somewhere on one object so intensely that the mind becomes bored of one object. This is the tendency of the mind – mind needs novelty; something new every moment, then it feels alert. If you are in a situation where you have to be aware of only one thing repeatedly then the mind feels bored, and boredom becomes the gate to sleep. So hypnotism uses it. It will give you any object to concentrate on, to concentrate your total consciousness on; then you will feel bored, by and by sleepy, and then sleep will take over. The very word hypnosis means induced sleep. So sleep can be induced if mind is devoid of thoughts.

But yoga says that this is right as far as the ordinary mind is concerned, but this is not right for a meditative mind. Through meditation, mind takes on a new quality, and it becomes possible to be conscious without thoughts. But it is difficult, and to take the jump is arduous.

In Zen there are two schools: one is known as the sudden enlightenment school, and another as the gradual enlightenment school. The sudden school says that any enlightenment is sudden. You have to take a jump from thought to no-thought, from ignorance to knowledge, from sleep to enlightenment. You have to take a sudden jump. But there are very few followers of the sudden school; there cannot be, because it is inconceivable.

There is another school which is known as the gradual enlightenment school. There are many, many followers of it, because the moment one says “gradual,” we are at ease – now we can do something. And in steps, gradually, in degrees we can proceed. In a sudden phenomenon there is no time, so you cannot postpone – you cannot say tomorrow. If the phenomenon can happen suddenly, this very moment, then your mind cannot excuse itself; there is no basis to postpone it. With a gradual school you can say, “Okay, we will try in this life, and if not in this life, then in another life. Gradually we will reach the peak. One step, second step – by steps we will reach to the ultimate.” Then you have to divide.

But this Upanishad belongs to neither. This is neither sudden nor gradual. This Upanishad takes a middle way. It says: It is difficult to take a sudden jump, and it is tedious and long to think in terms of degrees. Then you can go on thinking in infinite degrees. So this Upanishad says: Only one step is enough – neither sudden nor gradual. Only one step – only one step in between. To be object-less, to be thought-less and conscious is the goal. Only take one step: from many thoughts to one thought, and from one thought to no-thought. This one thought is suggested in this sutra.

This sutra says:

By meditating upon the lord Parameshwar, consorted by mother Uma, the highest lord, the all-powerful, the three-eyed, and the ever silent, the meditator reaches Him who is the source of all manifestation, the witness of all, and who is beyond ignorance.

From the world to the ultimate, take any image of God as a single step. This will look strange because we think of God as the ultimate. But the Upanishads never think of God as the ultimate. They say,

“God is a step towards the ultimate.” And they always use for the ultimate the term brahman, the absolute. God, Ishwara, Parameshwara, is just a step towards the ultimate. God is not the ultimate end. God is just to be used as a technical help for the jump into the ultimate abyss.

Use God as a jumping board from the worldly mind to the ultimate abyss.

This image of God used as a technical help is very typical and strange, because ordinarily the religious mind feels that God is to be achieved. But yoga says, “God is also just a technical help.” That’s why there are systems of yoga which are godless – for example even Buddha’s system. Buddha never talks about God – he discarded God. He created other steps; he discarded God. Mahavira never, never uses the word “God.” He discarded it – he used other techniques as jumping boards. But the ultimate remains the same: Hindus call it brahman, Buddhists call it nirvana, Jainas call it kaivalya. The ultimate remains the same: God is used as a technical help. Any imagery, any symbolism can be used. But it must be such a symbol that when you have used it, you are capable of discarding it.

Buddha has told a parable. He says:

Some villagers crossed a stream by boat. But then they thought, “This boat has helped us so much; otherwise, to cross the stream was impossible. So we must not discard this boat.” Then they carried the boat on their heads into the town.

Then the whole village gathered and everyone began to ask, “What is the matter? Have you come to sell this boat in the town? or why are you carrying it? The boat seems so old – just a ruin. Who will purchase it? And we have never seen anyone carrying a boat on the head. Why are you carrying it?”

So they said, “This boat is not ordinary; this has helped us to cross the stream. Without this, it would have been impossible to come to this village, so we cannot be ungrateful to it. Now we will have to carry it.”

Buddha always used this parable, and he said, “Every technique, every symbol, every ritual is just a vehicle. The moment you have crossed the stream, discard it. Don’t go on carrying it; otherwise, you will be just stupid.”

We can understand that those villagers were stupid, foolish. But as far as religious vehicles, techniques, boats are concerned, everyone carries them continuously. If I give you a name “Rama” as a japa, as a repetitive method for your meditation, then one day it is bound to happen that you will come to me and say, “Now I feel very blissful with this mantra. Now I am more at peace, more relaxed. Now I am more fresh, now I am less disturbed, now I am less tense. So now what more to do?”

And if I tell you to drop this name now that you have crossed the stream . . . now that you have come to the other shore, now drop this name also, then you will feel disturbed. I have advised many, and when I say to them, “Drop this,” they say, “What are you telling us? How can we drop this? It is inconceivable. We cannot do this. And this seems profane – how can we? This is a very holy name, and this has helped us so much that we cannot discard it.”

No ordinary person – even a Ramakrishna . . . Ramakrishna used the name of Mother Kali as a mantra continually, for years. He achieved much through it, but not the ultimate. He became silent, he became purified, he became holy; he became everything that we can conceive of a religious man. He became totally a religious man – but still a discontent within, still a desire, the desire for the ultimate. He had not reached the end.

Then he met a Vedanta teacher, Totapuri. And he said to Totapuri, “I have reached a very deep silence but still something is missing; I feel it, something is missing. So what to do now?” So Totapuri said, “Now drop the name of Mother Kali. Drop it – you are carrying the vessel; you are carrying the boat. You have crossed the river; now don’t carry this boat.” Ramakrishna was absolutely disturbed. He said, “What are you telling me? – A person like you, a renowned teacher – what are you telling me? To drop the name of Mother Kali? This is simply irreligious, unholy! What are you telling me? Don’t tell me such things!” He began to perspire; he began to tremble – a person like Ramakrishna.

Totapuri laughed and he said, “I knew this. You will feel much disturbed, your whole base has to be destroyed. You have made it a foundation; hitherto this has been your base. Now this has to be destroyed; otherwise, you cannot go further.”

For three days Ramakrishna wept, because he had heard such irreligious words. He couldn’t speak to anyone; he just closed his door, wept; cried, “Mother! Mother!” and wept. And Totapuri would come and knock at the door, and would say, “Ramakrishna, come to your senses. Drop this name.”

After three days, fasting, weeping, Ramakrishna came out, and he said, “If you say, I will do it. But first let me go to the Mother and ask her permission. I cannot do it would her permission.” This is how a boat can become so meaningful . . . and don’t laugh at it; even if you are in the state of Ramakrishna, this will happen.

Ramakrishna went to ask the Mother – of course permission was given, because deep down Ramakrishna himself felt that now this name is the only obstacle. If it drops, consciousness will be totally pure; there will be no disturbance. But he couldn’t utter it, he couldn’t say it. He went to Mother – there was no one; this was his own deep-down unconscious which gave the permission. He asked the Mother . . . If one goes in a very devoted way, continuously, to feel in an image the divine presence, one’s own deep unconscious becomes projected. And even from the image, things can come which are just being put there by oneself. It was his own unconscious; it was his own deep existence which responded. So permission was given. He came back, of course, weeping, because the conscious was still clinging, clinging to the name. His own unconscious was ready. He was totally purified, and this last step was to be taken – had to be taken, it was a must!

So the unconscious allowed him, but the conscious began to feel guilty again. He came back. Totapuri said, “Don’t feel any guilt. When the Mother herself has allowed, now you drop it.” So Ramakrishna sat before Totapuri, closed his eyes, went into deep meditation. Tears were flowing. Hours pass and Totapuri goes on saying, “Now drop it! Don’t continue!” And Ramakrishna is continuing. Tears are flowing; he is weeping and trembling. He cannot stop.

He opens his eyes and says, “It seems impossible. I cannot stop. It seems it is absolutely impossible to stop! How can I myself drop the name? It is my heart of hearts. How can I drop it? This is just . . . it seems suicidal, as if I am killing myself. I cannot.” And poor Totapuri insists, “Try again, try again.”

Then Totapuri says, “This is the last, and I will not remain here for a single moment longer. I am not going to remain here; I will leave this place. So try again, only one.” And he brought a piece of glass, and he said, “When you are meditating and when I feel that the image of Kali has come into your consciousness as an object, I will cut your forehead on the third eye spot with this piece of glass. And when I cut your forehead, you cut the image inside.”

Ramakrishna said, “But how can I cut it? And with what? How can I cut it and with what? There is no weapon!”

Totapuri said, “If you can create an image, so alive, by imagination, why can you not create a sword? You have created the image of Kali so loving, so radiant, so alive, so why not create a sword? You are so capable a man – imagine a sword and then cut it! Otherwise, I am going to leave and you will not find me again.”

And Totapuri was a a rare man; to miss that man was to miss for lives. And Ramakrishna knew this, that this was the only man who could help; otherwise, one would have to wait, for lives even. And one is not certain that even after waiting for many lives, a man like Totapuri will be there. So Totapuri stood, and he said, “Now I’ll leave. You try.”

Ramakrishna closed his eyes – he was weeping, he was crying, screaming; and then Totapuri cut his head. And in a single stroke, Ramakrishna dared – this is the most daring thing – he dared: he cut the image within. The image broke into two. Tears stopped, crying stopped. And Ramakrishna began to laugh and Ramakrishna began to dance. And Totapuri said, “Now I am leaving. Just tell me in one sentence what has happened.”

So Ramakrishna opened his eyes and said, “The last barrier has dropped.” And Totapuri disappeared.

Ramakrishna tried and tried for many years to find the man again, to give him thanks, but Totapuri was not found again.

So don’t laugh. This middle step can become a barrier, or it can become a jumping board – it depends on you. Use any image, but remember continuously that this is just a technical help.

Remember continuously that this has to be dropped. If you can remember it, then you can use any method, any technique, any image, any help. It is artificial, but for our minds – which cannot take a sudden jump – it helps.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #24

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

This State of No Thought is Meditation – Osho

Thus, by meditation, they achieve the ultimate reality, which is unthinkable, unmanifest, the one of endless forms, the ever-auspicious, the peaceful, the immortal, the origin of the creator, the one without a beginning, a middle and an end, the only one, the non-dual, the all-pervading, the consciousness, the bliss, the formless, the wonderful.

-Kaivalya Upanishad

This sutra is basically concerned with meditation: What is to be attained by meditation? What is meditation, and for what does it stand?

The Hindi word for meditation is dhyana; the connotation is very different. By meditation, one thing is meant in English; by dhyana something else is meant. So first we must understand the basic difference between these two words. Meditation is not a right translation, because by meditation thinking is implied. When we say someone is meditating, it means someone is thinking about something. In meditation an object is implied. In dhyan, no-object is a basic condition. By dhyan is meant a meditative mood without any object.

Objects must cease, mind must become just a pure mirror – a mirroring, not mirroring anything – just a mirror without any object in it, a pure mirror. By dhyan, this purity of the mind is indicated.

So first, no object should be in the mind. Mind must remain alone without thinking about anything – with no thought, just a consciousness, just an awareness, just an alertness. This alertness without any object is meditation.

So go on dropping objects. Even if one has to use some object as a help to withdraw other objects from the mind, that one object has to be dropped ultimately. Unless that is dropped, it is not meditation.

For example, there are many thoughts in the mind. You can use a mantra; so now there are not many thoughts, just one thought. You can use a name – Rama, Krishna, Jesus, Maria, anything. You go on repeating, “Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama.” Between two “Ramas” no gap should be left, because only from that gap a thought enters. If your “Ramas” go on overlapping each other there will be no gap for any thought to enter. Now you have a mind with one thought. It is still not meditation, it is still thinking – thinking one thought. Ultimately this “Rama” has to be dropped. When you have become attuned with one thought and other thoughts are not entering the mind, then drop it and remain without thought. Many thoughts have been dropped except one; then drop the one, so you come to a state of no-thought.

This state of no-thought is meditation.

This is dhyana, this is pure consciousness.

In this pure consciousness is achieved that which is known as Brahman. This sutra is concerned with the definition of that indefinable.

It cannot be defined, because definition needs something which becomes impossible with the ultimate reality – definition needs comparison. You cannot define anything without comparing it. That divine is non-dual; it is one, so no comparison is possible. How to define it?

Can you say that the divine is man, or woman? You cannot say, though many religions have defined it in that way. Some religions are man-oriented, so they define God as father. Some religions are woman-oriented, so they define God as mother. But He cannot be defined, because “man” and “woman”… these words are relevant in human language; they become irrelevant for the whole universe. The whole universe is neither male nor female. How to define it? What to say about it?

The moment we use any word to define it, it looks absurd, because every human word implies the contrary also. If you say, “He is light,” then where to put darkness? Then what is darkness? Either you will have to deny darkness absolutely from divine nature, or you will have to imply it somewhere; He must comprehend darkness also. So what to say about Him? – light or darkness? If you say both, they become meaningless. He is both, and He is not both. That is the problem; that’s why He cannot be defined. Every word implies duality: the polar opposite must be there to make the word meaningful. Every word, with the total existence, becomes meaningless.

But this sutra tries to define the indefinable – this is only an effort, it never succeeds. But it has to be made. Even in its unsuccessfulness it helps, it indicates. It may not be able to define the divine; it is capable of indicating it.

Wittgenstein has said somewhere, “There are experiences which cannot be said, but which can be shown.” And he is right. There are experiences – you cannot say what they are, but still, you can indicate them. This sutra is an indication.

Some terms have been used; one is: thus by meditation they achieve the ultimate reality, which is unthinkable – which cannot be thought. Why? – because thinking is not, is not something. It is a process of the known; it never leads to the unknown. The unknown is always beyond thinking: You can think something you know; how can you think something which you don’t know?

And then the whole of thinking becomes absurd. If you can think only that which you know, what is the use of it? You know already, so what is the use of thinking it? If only the known can be thought, then the whole process becomes circular: it leads nowhere, you go on in a circle. You know and you think; and you think and you cannot think the unknown. So you go on in a circle – mind works in a circle.

The mind never achieves anything from the unknown. So mind must cease, thinking must cease; this circle must be broken! You must come to a standstill: not thinking, not thinking at all. And the moment you are in a no-thinking state, suddenly you enter the unknown.

It is not only unknown but unknowable also, because even if you have known it, you cannot make it known to others. By your being, they may feel it – by your movements, by your gestures, by your eyes, by your very presence, they may feel it – but still you cannot make it known to them. You may create a thirst in them for it, but you cannot give them a definition. You may lead them towards it, but you cannot make it known to them – unless they know themselves.

This knowing of the unknown is basically, foundationally, an individual affair. It can never be made collective. You cannot go to it en masse. Alone one has to reach it; alone one has to drop oneself. Alone one has to enter it; alone one encounters it. It becomes known to you, but you cannot make it known to others.

That is the basic difference between science and religion.

A scientist discovers something, and then the discovery becomes that of the whole of humanity. But a religious mystic discovers, and the discovery remains his own. It never becomes a collective phenomenon. A Jesus knows, a Boehme knows, an Eckhart knows, but they are helpless; they cannot make it a common property. It cannot become an object of common knowing; humanity remains in the some grip of ignorance. Each one has to approach it by oneself.

The opening is individual; that’s why it is not only unknown by unknowable. And for one reason more, and that reason is still deeper: even if one comes to know it, one never knows it totally. Even when one comes to know it, no one knows it totally! So the unknowable is infinitely unknowable.

Even if you are satisfied, even if your thirst is no more, the infinite unknowability remains – that’s why it is mysterious. And it is good, and it is beautiful that it is so. Because if you can know the divine totally – if the very moment the divine has been known, you have known it totally – it becomes meaningless.

Anything known totally becomes a thing. Anything known totally creates boredom. Anything known totally will again create a new thirst to know something else.

But once the divine is known, no desire to know anything remains – because you can go on in your knowing . . . deeper, deeper, deeper, infinitely deeper; the abyss is endless. You have a beginning in it, but no end. You drop into it, and then you go on dropping, and there comes no substratum, no bottom where you can stand again and say, “Now the dropping has ended.”

This is the mystery. That’s why this sutra says: the formless, the wonderful . . . the mysterious – God is a mysterium. And when I way a mysterium, I mean that you can know it, but still you cannot say, “I have known it.” You can only say, “I have dropped into it”; you can only say, “I have ceased to be”; you can only say, “Now I am no more and He is.” But you cannot say, “I have known it.”

For one reason more it remains unknowable: because the knower is lost. The moment you enter the divine you don’t enter as a knower; you enter as a drop of water entering the ocean. You become one with it. The knower is not separate, so how can you say, ”I have known it”? How can you say that “I am,” still? You are not; only He is.

This is one of the riddles of religious experience: when the knower is lost, the known is known. When the knower is lost, only then knowledge happens.

Kabir has said, “I was searching and searching and searching. Now He is found but the searcher is not. Now He is there but where is Kabir?” The seeker is no more. There has never been a meeting between the seeker and the sought. Never a meeting! – because the two cannot be together. The seeking ends only when the seeker is lost, and only then the sought is found. You are, then He is not. When you are not, then He is; there is no meeting – or you can call this the meeting. This is the riddle of religious experience.

. . . which is unthinkable, unmanifest, the one of endless forms, the ever-auspicious, the peaceful, the immortal, the origin of the creator, the one without a beginning, a middle and an end, the only one, the non-dual, the all-pervading, the consciousness, the bliss, the formless, the wonderful . . . is known through meditation.

These are just indications, and every indication is a negative. Remember that – every indication is a negative. He is unthinkable – you cannot think about it. He is formless – he is without forms. He has no beginning, no middle, no end. He is non-dual – not two. All these are negatives.

Why use so much negativity for such a positive phenomenon as God? He is the positivity; He is the only positive force. Then why use so many negatives? – without form, without the other, everything – everything that has been used to indicate Him, has remained always negative. Why?

There are reasons. The moment you use a positive word, you create a limitation. If I say that He is beautiful, then the ugly is denied. If I say that He is light, then the darkness is denied. If I say that He is good, then the evil is denied. Whatsoever I say positively will deny something.

To use a negative term is to say that He is so infinite that we cannot use any positive term, because positivity becomes a limitation. We cannot say, “He is one”; rather, it is good to say, “He is not two.” It is better to say that He is not two; then He is left totally without any positive demarcation. If we say, “He is one,” then we have encircled Him.

In meditation, the deeper you go, the more deeply you will come to the positive. But when you want to express it, more and more you will have to use negative terms. The ultimate in using negative terms is Buddha. He has used for this ultimate experience the word nirvana. Nirvana simply means cessation. He has not used moksha, liberation, because it is positive; it says something. He has not used brahmalok; it is positive, it says something. He has not used bliss, consciousness – these are positive. He has simply said, nirvana – cessation of everything, nothingness. And he is right, absolutely right. In meditation you will achieve a positive experience. But when you are expressing it, you will have to use absolute negatives.

If we can create a world consciousness about this use of negatives, there will be no fight between religions. Every fight is because a religion has used something positive. This is strange, but one has to understand it. If you use the negative, then two negatives are never in conflict; but if you use two positives, then two positives are always in conflict.

For example, if Islam says that He is one, and Hinduism says that He is all, one begins to feel some conflict somewhere. Use negatives, and then there is no conflict. If you say that He is not two, then He can be both – He can be one and He can be all. When I say He is not two, I don’t deny that He is not all – He can be all. “He is not two” – He can be all. “He is not two” – He can be one. In saying He is not two, both ends – one and all – are implied. If religions are created around negatives, there will be less fight and more understanding.

In the West, all the three religions which have come out of Jewish mystics have all used positives. Christianity, Islam, and the Jewish religion have all used positives. That is one of the reasons they are mostly fighting religions – too much fighting, too much arrogance. They have never used negatives; they have used positive terms. A linguistic factor has created so much violence . . .

All the Indian religions have used negatives, more and more negatives. And Buddhism is exceptional; Buddhism has used absolute negatives. That’s why Buddhism has been one of the most non-fighting religions.

If you use a negative term to indicate the divine, there is no fight. If you use a positive term, a fight is bound to happen. Someone using another… then two positives are always in conflict. Two negatives are never in conflict. That’s why one other strange phenomenon can be understood: Two theists will always be in a fight, but two atheists will never be in a fight, so there are three hundred types of theists in the world, but only one type of atheist.

What is the reason? An atheist anywhere is the same. What is the reason? – the negative, because he stands only with one statement: that there is no God. So how can there be many types of no- Gods? Only one type, one negative, implies everything. The negative is a universal thing: an atheist anywhere – in Tibet, in Germany, in Japan, in China, anywhere – an atheist is simply an atheist. He stands on a negative.

But theists differ. village to village, neighborhood to neighborhood, theists differ. There are so many brands, and so many types, and so many creeds. Why? The moment you use a positive you have defined an area, and all else is excluded. Unless theists also begin to use negatives more, there will not be a universal religion. If theism also bases itself on a negative definition of the divine, then there can be a universal brotherhood.

Meditation leads you to all. But never define it as positive; always define it as nothingness. […]

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #23

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.

Meditate on the Untainted – Osho

They have undisturbed space, resting in a comfortable posture, clean and pure, with the neck head, and body in one line, held erect, in a mental attitude of sannyas, having controlled all the senses, saluting one’s own teacher, guru, devotedly, meditate within the lotus of the heart; the untainted, the pure, the clear and the transparent, the griefless principle of devotion.

-Kaivalya Upanishad

Meditation is a very complex phenomenon. It looks simple; it is not. It is a science, a complete science in itself. It is bound to be, because meditation means a deep mutation of your total being. The whole being has to be transformed, so it is obviously going to be a complex affair.

Man is a complexity; the mutation is bound to be also a complex thing. Some basic elements must be understood. One: your body – your body must be in a deep cooperation; otherwise, meditation will be unnecessarily difficult. Your body must be in such a state that it helps, not hinders. As it is ordinarily, it is a deep hindrance. Your body goes on hindering you; it becomes an obstacle, and if you want to transform, you must purify the body first. And by purifying the body many things are meant. First, you must not be identified with it; that is the first and the most basic impurity.

One must not be identified with one’s body. One must remain in a beyondness, in a transcendence. Neither one should think, “I am the body,” nor one should think, “I am in the body.” Rather, one should remain in a constant remembering: “I am something beyond the body – neither one with it, nor in it, nor within it, but beyond.” Constant remembrance that “I am beyond my body” gives a different dimension to your whole being. Try it, constantly! You are moving, walking, sleeping – whatsoever the state – remember constantly that you are as if something is hovering over the body, beyond the body. Not in it, not within it, not one with it, just something beyond, moving with the body, living with the body, enveloping the body.

Think of it this way. Ordinarily we think, “I am enveloped by the body.” That’s why the word “body” – body means that in which we are embodied. We are within and the body is without: “Body is a casket, a house, and I am in it. Change the thing totally, upside down. Let the body be in and you be out – beyond the body, hovering, enveloping.

If you can change this attitude from yourself being within, to yourself being beyond, you will feel a sudden change: your body will become light; all the heaviness will be gone and your body will become something with wings. You will feel that now you can fly; you can go now, any moment, beyond the forces of gravitation. Try it! From this very moment, begin to think that the body is within, and you are without, encompassing it. And then the body is purified. Why? – because identity becomes impossible. You can identify only with something which is greater than you. No one identifies himself with something which is lesser; identification is always with the greater. You are within a very small point and the body is big and great and everything; that’s why you begin to be identified. Let yourself be the greater one, and let the body be just a minor thing. You will never be identified with it.

Secondly, if you are within, you will have limits; if you are without, you become unlimited. If I am within my body, then I am encircled by my body, I have a finitude, a limitation. If I am beyond my body, then there is no limitation; then I am not only beyond my body, I am beyond all. Then there is no ending to it – then suns will rise in me, stars will move in me, creations will come in me and go out and will cease – then I become the whole universe. Body becomes the center – just a minor center, an atomic existence – and I become the whole universe, encompassing it.

Heidegger has used this word “encompassing.” It is beautiful – encompassing. Feel it, try it, imagine it, and you will come to a new understanding of your own being. When I say imagine it, I say it consideredly. Really, this feeling that “I am the body” is just an imagination. This feeling that “I am in the body” is also just an imagination. Because the society has taught you, this imagination has become unconscious.

For example, I would like to tell you: Many cultures, in different ages, different religions, different thinkings, have considered the body center to be in different places. For example, as far as this contemporary world is concerned, more or less everyone thinks that he is somewhere in the head – not in the legs, not in the hands, not in the belly. If someone insists and asks you, “Where are you? Point it out!” Then you will begin to feel something in the head; you are in the head. But ask a Japanese and he will say that he is in the belly, not in the head – because the whole of Japanese culture has always thought that the spirit lives in the belly. So if you think with your head, the Japanese think with their belly – they say, “We think with our belly.” They say, “The belly must be strong. The belly is the center.” But there have been other cultures – some cultures think that the heart is the center. Then if that culture has been imposed on you, you begin to think that the heart is the center. Really, these are just imaginative identifications.

In a sense, the spirit is nowhere in the body; it encompasses it. Or, it is everywhere in the body and everywhere outside of the body. If any center is maintained in your imagination, the body becomes impurified, burdened with the center – tense, diseased. Let there be no center in the body; let yourself be outside, just encompassing the body. And then the body becomes fresh, young, flowing, liquid, an energy – without any burdened feeling upon it. Then the body cooperates. This light feeling of the body becomes a basic source of help for meditation.

Not only the body, but your heart also must be prepared for meditation to flower in it. Unprepared, much energy is wasted unnecessarily. Prepare the heart.

This sutra says you can prepare the heart by throwing all the impurities out of it. But instead, we go on accumulating. You can forget if someone has helped you, but you cannot forget if someone has harmed you. You can forget something which has been a bliss, but you cannot forget something which has been a suffering. We go on accumulating negatives; these negatives become the impurities for the heart. Everyone goes on accumulating negatives. If someone is friendly to you for years, and for a single moment is not friendly, then all that friendship will go down and that moment of unfriendliness will become the most significant thing – and you will remember it.

This attitude must be changed. One must go on accumulating positives and throwing out negatives; then the heart becomes purified. Go on accumulating positives. Never accumulate anything negative; it is not going to help you, it is going to destroy you.

Someone has been angry to you: don’t remember it. What to do? – one has to remember something – find something positive. Someone is angry – why be so much concerned with the anger? Why not be concerned with the phenomenon of anger? There are some people who are beautiful only when they are angry – why not look at the beauty of it? Even if they are not beautiful, everyone when he is angry, is vital. Why not look at the vitality, the energy, the aliveness, the radiance of it?

Why be so much concerned with anger? Why not be concerned with the phenomenon? Something is happening – a beautiful phenomenon in itself, a very radiant phenomenon – energy expressing, alive. Why not look at it in that way? Why not look – when someone is angry – why not look at yourself? What happens to you when someone is angry? If you are also angry then he has won, you are defeated. Why not be victorious? Why not be indifferent? Look at the anger, look at it as if you are looking at a psychodrama – someone is playing a role and you are just a witness. Why not be a witness? And then you will feel grateful to the person who has been angry with you. If you can be a witness when someone is angry, you will feel grateful, because he has given you a situation in which you could know your own mastery.

Whenever someone was with Gurdjieff, he would create many situations. He would create unnecessary situations in which someone would become angry, so angry that everyone would feel that he was going to explode. And then suddenly Gurdjieff would tell him, “Now be aware! Now be a witness to it!” – and everyone would begin to be a witness. Anger becomes a situation, an object to be studied, and that person himself who is angry feels a sudden change, because it has become a study project. Now it is not anger, it has become a drama. So why not look at a thing from the positive, with something to learn from it? Why go on accumulating the negative? This is just a habit – it is not inevitable; it is not.

Buddha could send his disciples to the burning places, to cemeteries to look at dead bodies, to contemplate death, to meditate on death: The body is burning – the dead body is there – it is burning. And Buddha would send his disciples there, to sit there and meditate on death. And meditating on death, the disciple would soon come to realize a different quality of life which never dies. Then he would come dancing, singing, to Buddha – from the dead body burning in the cemetery, he would come running, dancing – why? he should come sad, sorrowful, depressed, dead himself in a way. But he has not accumulated the negative even from a dead body. He has accumulated something positive. He has been meditating on death, and if you meditate on death you become more and more aware of life. He comes running, dancing, grateful – grateful to Buddha, grateful to the dead man also.

Why go on accumulating the negative? – we go on; that’s just a wrong habit. Change it! Always look at the positive, and soon you heart will be purified. Negativities are the diseases of the heart. It begins to feel sore, and then the whole of life will become just a suffering, because you live through your own heart. You go on accumulating negatives; then you have to live through this negativity; then everything becomes just a suffering, a long suffering – meaningless, purposeless, leading to nowhere.

This is suicidal. A negative attitude is suicidal. Purify the heart by looking at the positive. Find everywhere something which can become a cherished accumulation in the heart. When I say, now remember, remember the face which was angry at you in the past – remember the face. Feel the beauty of it, and the whole thing suddenly changes. Someone was abusing you… remember the past, and feel when someone abuses; feel the energy, feel the aliveness, and everything changes – it is up to you.

The body must be purified by encompassing it. The heart must be purified by a positive foundation given to it, negatives denied. Be negative only to negatives, and then, then you can meditate.

On what is one to meditate? – the untainted, the pure, the clear, and the griefless.

Meditate on the untainted.

What is untainted? – only the sky, space is untainted. Meditate on space, pure space, and you will become like it. Whatsoever one meditates on one becomes.

Meditate on purity.

Everyone has felt somewhere a glimpse of purity . . . a flower, a virgin – anywhere. Many moments are there when one begins to feel purity. Meditate on purity . . . a flower, a virgin – anything. Meditate on purity and you will become pure. Whatsoever one meditates on one becomes.

The clear, the transparent – meditate on any transparency. A silent lake – you can look to the very bottom, everything clear; a glass window – so pure, so clear that even you don’t see the glass, that the glass is there. Meditate on any transparency, and you will become transparent, you will become clear.

The griefless – meditate on the griefless . . . anything which is blissful, which is a beauty-tude. We go on meditating on grief; we go on meditating on grief continually. We go on meditating on suffering, then we become part of it. Meditation is the way to make oneself just like the object of the meditation.

Remember a Buddha, a griefless one. Remember a Krishna, a joyous one. Remember anything – a Chaitanya dancing, a Meera singing. Remember anything – a cloud passing in the sky, dancing, rays of the sun coming to you. Remember anything which is blissful to you. Meditate on it and you will become blissful. Don’t continue to meditate on things which you would not like to be like. We go on meditating on wrong things.

Everyone is a meditator, remember. It is not that there are a few people who meditate. Everyone meditates, no one can be without meditation. So what is the difference between a meditator and a non-meditator? The difference is not of meditation, the difference is only of objects. The difference is only of objects. Someone is meditating on sex – he becomes sexual. Someone is meditating on anger – he becomes angry. Someone meditating on some sad event, he becomes sad. Everyone is meditating.

Only Mahavira has divided meditation into four types. Really, this is strange because Mahavira alone has divided meditation into four parts. Many divisions are there, but nothing like Mahavira’s, because Mahavira divides two such things, two such types which no one would like to call meditation. The first he calls raudradhyan – anger meditation. The second he calls artadhyan – suffering meditation. No one has named these. The third he calls dharmadhyan, and the fourth he calls shukladhyan. Dharmadhyan – religious meditation; and shukladhyan – the purest meditation. But he calls all four meditation. The first two, anger meditation and suffering meditation – no one will call these meditation.

If someone is angry, have you felt that he is in a deep meditation? Everything has gone out of his mind, only one point of anger remains. He is focused, the whole world has dropped. Really, when someone is in anger, he is not in this world at all. He is not looking at you, he is not looking at anything; he is not even aware that the whole world exists – only anger exists.

When someone is suffering, deeply suffering – some loved one has died – then he is not aware of anything, only of his own suffering. His suffering encompasses him. Only now the suffering is there, everything has become just illusory. He is in a deep meditation, of course, of the wrong type.

Everyone meditates. The difference is: someone meditates on wrong objects, and someone meditates on right objects. Meditate on some blissful moment. Meditate on something you would like to become like, then meditation becomes a mutation. First, wrong objects are to be dropped, then ultimately right objects are also to be dropped.

When there is no object, and only a meditative consciousness remains, you have achieved the ultimate.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #22

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.

Master of Your Own Mind – Osho

Those who have purified the mind by the practice of sannyas and yoga, and those who have come to understand the exact meaning of the spiritual science indicated in the Upanishad’s Vedant, they in the end become capable of attaining brahmalok – the world of brahman. And liberating themselves from everything, they strive to achieve immortality.

Kaivalya Upanishad

The basic problem before a spiritual seeker is not how to know, but how to be. Knowing is not the problem, it is easy. The real problem is how to be, how the being should be strengthened. Knowing can grow easily; knowing has its own ways of growing. But knowing is a parasitic growth.

Knowing grows in the memory, and memory is just mechanical. That’s why we now have mechanical devices which can be fed with memory – we have computers, and a computer is more efficient than any human brain. A computer can do anything that a human brain can do – and a computer can do many more things which a human brain cannot do. Sooner or later, human memory is going to be replaced by mechanical devices. A mechanical device can do whatsoever your mind is doing, and more efficiently, and in less time. A computer can do a mathematical problem in seconds for which you would need an Einstein, or a person of the caliber of Einstein, to work on for at least three months.

Mind is just a mechanical device. It can grow – you go on feeding it with knowledge, with information, and it can grow. You may not be aware of it, but nothing comes out of your mind which has not been put in it before – nothing. Nothing comes out of your mind which is original. In that way, nothing is original as far as mind is concerned; everything is just repetition. Mind is the most repetitive mechanism. You have to feed it, give it something: it will reproduce it. Not a single thought comes to you which is your own – it has been given to you by society, by education, by study, but always it has been given to you. At the most you can make new combinations, that’s all. Nothing more can be done with the mind. This is one growth, a parasitic growth at the cost of your being. By being, I mean the consciousness with which you are born. And by mind, I mean all the accumulation that has come to your consciousness through society, through education, through culture. You are not born with a mind; you are born with a consciousness. Mind is a later growth. That’s why if a person is not taught, if a person is not educated, then he has a lesser mind, a poor mind. If no language is taught to you, you will know no language. If nothing is taught to you, you will know nothing. Mind is a social growth.

Consciousness is part of you, but mind is not part of you; mind is given to you. The whole process of social cultivation, of social imposition, is to produce a mind in you. That’s why a Christian mind is different from a Hindu mind – because a Hindu society is feeding something and a Christian society is feeding something else. A Mohammedan mind is totally different from a Hindu, or a Christian, or a Jaina mind. But a Hindu consciousness or a Mohammedan consciousness or a Christian consciousness, are not different.

Really, a consciousness cannot be called Christian or Hindu or Mohammedan – but minds are. So unless you go beyond your society – you are imprisoned in your upbringing. This mind, which the society gives to everyone . . . it is a necessity; a society has to give it to you. It is good as far as it goes, but it must not become an imprisonment. A moment must be attained where you are freed from your own mind. Then mind begins to work as a mechanical thing in you; you can use it but you are not identified with it.

Of course one has to use language, one has to use mathematics, one has to know history and geography and everything. But it must not be identified with your consciousness. You must remain a witness to it. You must remain separate, unidentified, different from your own mind. This is what meditation means: how to be not identified with the mind – how to create a space between yourself and your own mind. It is difficult because we never make any separation. We go on thinking in terms that the mind means me: mind and me are totally identified. If they are totally identified, then you will never be at peace; then you will never be able to enter the divine, because the divine can be entered only when the social has been left behind.

When whatsoever the society has given you has been renounced, only then you enter the divine, because only then, you enter pure consciousness. Mind is an overgrowth; it must be put aside. By renunciation, I mean renunciation of the social. And your mind is nothing but a social by-product, it depends on your society.

This mind can go on growing. Then you grow in knowledge; go on studying, go on learning new things, more things, and your mind goes on growing. And a mind is infinitely capable to grow; yet scientists cannot say to what extent this mind can grow. It can go on growing, the process seems infinite. It has so much potentiality – seventy million cells working in the mind, and a single cell can have millions of bits of information in it. A single cell of the mind can have so much information stored in it, and the mind has seventy million cells in it. We are not using even a single cell’s capacity – ordinarily, we are not using a single cell’s capacity – and we have seventy million cells. And each cell seems to be capable of infinite accumulation of information. The mind seems to be infinite in its own way – and it is not you! It is just something which has been given to you.

It is useful, it is utilitarian; that’s why we become identified with it. One has to use one’s mind constantly, and one has to use it so constantly that there is no gap. You don’t remember any moment when you were not your mind, that’s the problem: to remember it, and to create a space, a gap, when you are not your mind. You are yourself and mind is just a device which can be used or not used, and you are the master to choose whether to use it or not.

Ordinarily, the mind is the master and you have to follow it. The mind gives you something to think about and you have to think about it. The mind gives you some dream and you have to dream it. And the mind goes on . . .  And sometimes even if you say to your mind, “Stop!” it is not going to stop, it is not going to listen to you at all. Because you have cooperated with it so much, and you have given it your energy and identification so much, that the mind doesn’t remember your mastery at all. You are just a slave.

Meditation means to create a gap so that you can become master, master of your own mind. And mastery means that you are not identified.

I can order my hand to do anything – to move or not to move. Why? – because I am not identified with the hand; otherwise, who is going to order and who is going to be ordered? I can order my hand to move; it moves. But if my hand begins to move and I say, “Stop!” and it is not stopping, what does it mean? It means only one thing: my order is impotent because of too much identification with the hand. The hand has become a master in its own right – it goes on moving. It says, “I am not going to follow your order at all.”

This has happened with the mind. The mind goes on working in its own way; no order can be given to it. There is no intrinsic impossibility – it is only because you have never ordered it, so it doesn’t know that you are the master. The master has remained so silent, has remained so hidden, that the slave has begun to feel himself the master.

If one goes on growing in this mind, one goes on more and more hidden deep down. And the mind becomes such a great thing, it is difficult to assert your consciousness. That’s why a very ordinary villager with a lesser mind, is with more consciousness. An ordinary person – not very educated, not knowing much – has always, of course, less mind but more consciousness. So sometimes a person who has more mind may behave very foolishly, because he has less consciousness. A person who has a developed mind can work very wisely, behave very wisely if the situation is such that the mind knows what to do and what not to do. Then he can behave, work, do anything very efficiently. But any new situation in which the mind is not aware, and he will be stupid, he will behave stupidly.

A villager — an uneducated person, a primitive, with less mind — will behave more consciously in a new situation, because for him new situations are occurring daily, every moment. With no developed mind, he has to work with his consciousness. That’s why the more the world has grown knowledgeable, the less wise it has become. It is difficult not to produce a Buddha, not because we are more ignorant, but because we know more. It is difficult to produce a Jesus, not because anything is lacking — on the contrary, something has grown too much. Knowledge has grown too much, and if knowledge grows too much, the being begins to feel poor.

We value a person because of what he has: knowledge, wealth, power. We never value a person for what he is. If I am a powerful man, then I am valued; if I am a wealthy man, then I am valued; if I am a man of knowledge, then I am valued – but never simply for what I am. If wealth is lost, then my influence will be lost; if knowledge is lost, the my influence will be lost; if power is lost, my influence will be lost, because I was never valued for what I am. Something which I have – having has become so important, and knowledge is a subtle having.

Being means: the purity of my inner existence, nothing added by the outside – neither wealth, nor knowledge, nor anything else – just my inner consciousness in its purity.

This is what I mean, what this Upanishad means by the growth of being. This being can be achieved only by two methods: renunciation – sannyas – and yoga, the science of positive growth. One must renounce identification: one must come to know that I am not the body, I am not the mind. One must renounce all that which is mind, but I am not. One must come to the center point which cannot be renounced.

A Western thinker, Rene Descartes, begins his theosophical speculation with doubt, and he goes on doubting. He goes on doubting everything that can be doubted. He was a very keen penetrating intellectual; really, he was the father of modern Western philosophy. He goes on doubting everything, he makes it a point that “I will not stop doubting unless a moment comes and I encounter something which cannot be doubted. If I can doubt, I will continue to doubt, unless I stumble upon some fact which is indubitable.” So God can be doubted very easily. It is difficult to have faith; it is very easy to doubt, because for doubt you have only to say no. Nothing else is needed.

“No” is a very non-involving word. If you say yes, you are committed. If I say “Yes, God is,” then I cannot remain the same. If I say, “No, God is not,” I will continue to be the same. “No” is the easiest word in a way: you say it, you are not involved, you remain outside. If you say yes, you are involved. You have come in; now you are committed. To say no to anything is very  easy, because then you need not prove anything. If you say yes then you have to prove it – and proofs are, of course, very difficult. Even if things are, proofs are very difficult. Time is. We know time is, everyone feels time is – but can prove that time is?

Saint Augustine says, “Don’t ask about time, because when you don’t ask, I know it is. When you ask, I begin to hesitate – whether it is or not? And if you persist, I become doubtful.” Can we prove time? It is; everyone knows it is. We cannot prove it.

Can we prove love? Everyone knows it is. Even if one has not felt love, one has felt very deeply its absence. Love is felt – either as a presence of absence, but no one can prove it. So anyone can say, “Love is not,” and you cannot disprove their statement.

Descartes goes on denying, doubting: God is denied, then the world itself is denied – even the world which is here and now. You are here, but I can doubt; it may be just a dream to me. And how can I tell the difference whether it is a dream or not? – because sometimes I have dreamt about talking to people. And when I was dreaming and talking, those who were present were as real as you are – and really, in a way more real, because in a dream you cannot doubt. But if you are really present, I can doubt: it may be just a dream, you may not be there at all, but just a dream, a dream happening to me. And I am dreaming that you are, and I am talking to you, to my dream construct. How can I prove that you are really there? There is no way. There is no way to prove that you are. I can touch you . . . but I can touch someone in a dream, and even in dream I can feel someone’s body.

It is difficult – really, in a way, impossible to make a distinction between reality and dreaming. That’s why Berkeley says that this whole world is just a dream, or a Shankara says that this whole world is just a dream. They can say it and they cannot be disproved.

So Descartes says, “This world is not. It is only a thought, a dream. God is not.” Then he goes on denying everything. Ultimately, he comes to himself, and then he begins to thin “whether I am, or not.” Now there is a fact which cannot be denied, because even if all is dreaming, someone is needed to dream. Even if everything is dubitable, someone is needed to doubt. Even if Descartes says “I am not,” this statement has to be made by someone – even to doubt, he is needed. Then he says, “Now I have come upon a point which indubitable. I can doubt everything, but I cannot doubt myself. If I doubt, the doubt proves me. So he gives a very meaningful formula: He says, “Cogito ergo sum. I think – I doubt – therefore I am.”

This “I-am-ness” must be broken apart from mentation, from mind, one has to renounce all that can be renounced – just like Descartes who says, “I must doubt all that can be doubted, unless I come to a point which cannot be doubted.” Just in the same way, one has to continue renouncing – renouncing all that which can be renounced, unless you come to a point which cannot be renounced.

You cannot renounce your being; all else can be renounced. All else you can say, “This I-am.” All that you can say, “This is I,” you can renounce. You can say, “No, this is not I-am. This body, I am not; this world, I am not, this thought, I am not; this thinking, I am not.” Go on, go on denying. Then comes a moment when you cannot deny more. Simple “I-am-ness remains. Not even “I-am-ness,” but only “am-ness.” That “am-ness” is the existential jump.

This is the first part of the sutra: renunciation, sannyas.

So sannyas is a negative process. One has to go on eliminating: “This is I-am-not.” Go on – “This, that, I am not.” This is renouncing, a negative process, elimination. But this is only a part: you have renounced whatsoever you are not; then you have to grow that which you are – that is yoga; that needs the positive, of growth. That is yoga. Now you have to grow that which is in you. How to grow it? – we have been discussing that – by faith, by devotion, by meditation, by practices, bodily and other. That is yoga.

Sannyas plus yoga means religion. Renounce that which you are not, and grow in that, create in that, which you are. Only by such negative and positive processes in a deep harmony, the brahma, the ultimate, is achieved.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, 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.

Osho’s Smoking Meditation

“A man came to me. He had been suffering from chain-smoking for thirty years; he was ill and the doctors said, “You will never be healthy if you don’t stop smoking. ” But he was a chronic smoker; he could not help it. He had tried – not that he had not tried – he had tried hard, and he had suffered much in trying, but one day or two days, and then again, the urge would come so tremendously, it would simply take him away. Again he would fall into the same pattern.

Because of this smoking he had lost all self-confidence: he knows he cannot do a small thing; he cannot stop smoking. He had become worthless in his own eyes; he thought himself just the most worthless person in the world. He had no respect for himself.

He came to me; he said, “What can I do? How can I stop smoking?” I said, “Nobody can stop smoking. You have to understand. Smoking is not only a question of your decision now. It has entered into your world of habits, it has taken roots. Thirty years is a long time. It has taken roots in your body, in your chemistry, it has spread all over. It is not just a question of your head deciding; your head cannot do anything. The head is impotent; it can start things, but it cannot stop so easily. Once you have started and once you have practiced so long, you are a great yogi – thirty years’ practicing smoking. It has become autonomous; you will have to de-automatize it.” He said, “What do you mean by ’de-automatization’?”

And that’s what meditation is all about: de-automatization.

I said, “You do one thing: forget about stopping. There is no need either. For thirty years you have smoked and lived; of course it was a suffering, but you have become accustomed to that too. And what does it matter if you die a few hours earlier than you would have died without smoking? What are you going to do here? What have you done? So what is the point – whether you die Monday or Tuesday or Sunday, this year, that year – what does it matter?”

He said, “Yes, that is true, it doesn’t matter.” Then I said, “Forget about it; we are not going to stop it at all. Rather, we are going to understand it. So next time, you make it a meditation.”

He said, “Meditation out of smoking?” I said, “Yes. If Zen people can make meditation out of drinking tea, and can make it a ceremony, why not? Smoking can be as beautiful a meditation.”

He looked thrilled. He said, “What are you saying?” He became alive! He said, “Meditation? Just tell me – I cannot wait!”

I gave him the meditation. I said, “Do one thing. When you take the packet out of your pocket, for a moment go slowly. When you are taking the packet of cigarettes out of your pocket move slowly. Enjoy it, there is no hurry. Be conscious, alert, aware; take it out slowly, with full awareness. Then take the cigarette out of the packet with full awareness, slowly – not in the old hurried way, unconscious way, mechanical way. Then start tapping the cigarette on your packet – but very alertly. Listen to the sound, just as Zen people do when the samovar starts singing and the tea starts boiling, and the aroma. Then smell the cigarette and the beauty of it . . . ”

He said, “What are you saying? The beauty?” “Yes, it is beautiful. Tobacco is as divine as anything. Even Morarji Desai is divine, so why not tobacco? Smell it; it is God’s smell.”

He looked a little surprised. He said, “What, are you joking?” “No, I am not joking.”

Even when I joke, I don’t joke. I am very serious.

“Then put it in your mouth, with full awareness, light it with full awareness. Enjoy every act, small act, and divide it into as many small acts as possible, so you can become more and more aware. “Then have the first puff: God in the form of smoke. Hindus say, ‘annam brahm’ – ‘food is God.’ Why not smoke? All is God. Fill your lungs deeply – this is a pranayam. I am giving you the new yoga for the new age! Then release the smoke, relax, another puff . . . and go very slowly.

“If you can do it, you will be surprised, soon you will see the whole stupidity of it. Not because others have said that it is stupid, not because others have said that it is bad: you will see it. And the seeing will not be just intellectual. It will be from your total being, it will be a vision of your totality. And then, one day, if it drops, it drops; if it continues, it continues. You need not worry about it.”

After three months he came, and he said, “But it dropped.”

“Now,” I said, “try it on other things too.”

This is the secret, the secret: de-automatize.

-Osho

From The Secret, 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.

Inscape – The Ultimate Annihilation – Osho

Apparently sex was used by some Zen masters – for example, Ikkyu – as a way to transform energy. However, in no translation to date does evidence of this appear. It seems disciples excluded from their records about their master any mention of sex, for fear that their master would be misunderstood. Would you like to comment?

It is a long story . . .

Zen has moved from one country to another country, from one climate to another climate. It was born in India.

Hinduism, as such, in its early stages, was very natural, very existential. It had no taboos about sex, its seers and saints had wives. Celibacy was not an imposition; it came on its own accord through the natural experience of sex. Hinduism in its early stages was a very natural, very existential approach – almost like Zen.

But then there was another tradition which is represented by Jainism. It is a very puzzling question, and historians are almost silent, because nobody wants to stir any controversy. It is left to me to create all kinds of controversies.

Jainism is not a part of Hinduism; it is far more ancient than Hinduism. […]

And Jainism has never indicated that it belongs to Hinduism. Its whole approach is different. […]

Jainism has nothing in common with Hinduism. Its language is different, its conception about the world is different, it has no God. It does not have any yoga system, it does not have any Tantra. It is absolutely against sex, it is repressive of sex. But this repressive tradition of Jainism influenced the whole of India.

Of course, their saints looked far more deeply holy than the Hindu saints who were married, who had children. And not only children, but they were allowed to have concubines. These saints were just householders and lived in the forests, they had all the possessions that anybody can have. In fact, they had more possessions than ordinary people, because thousands of disciples brought presents to them. Each seer had become almost a university in himself. Around him thrived hundreds of teachers, disciples, visitors. But compared to the Jaina saint, these Hindu saints looked very ordinary.

Because of this comparison, Hinduism also became contaminated with the idea of repression of sex. Otherwise, you can see beautiful statues of men and women in deep embrace, in different postures even in the temples in Khajuraho, in Konarak, in Puri. Such beautiful sculpture you cannot find anywhere else. These temples were Hindu. Of course, sex was accepted by the Hindus – not only accepted, but a system of transforming the sexual energy, Tantra, was developed by the Hindu saints.

Jainism has remained a very small current, but very influential. It is one of the very important things to understand: the more miserable your saint, the holier he seems. If the saint is happy, joyous, loves life, and enjoys everything that existence allows him, you cannot think of him as very holy. To be holy, one has to be miserable.

In short, pleasure in any direction is condemned. Jaina saints looked more saintly, more holy, and Hindus felt that they had to change – and by and by, they did change, but not consciously. They started respecting the repressed person. Tantra became taboo, and Hindus became completely disoriented from their own sources. It happened again when Christianity came, and Hindus became even more repressed.

Gautam Buddha is the original source of Zen. He was born into a Hindu family, but he lived a very different life than is possible for ordinary people. From his very childhood he was allowed everything that he wanted; he was kept surrounded by beautiful girls; he was married. His whole life up to the age of twenty-nine years was wrapped in pleasure, in dancing, in music, in women, in wine, because the astrologers had predicted that this boy either would become a great saint or would become a great conqueror of the world.

And of course, his father was concerned and worried – he did not want him to become a saint. He was his only son, and he wanted him to become a world conqueror. He asked the astrologers how to prevent him from becoming a saint. Those idiots advised that he should be surrounded with pleasure: “Don’t let him know that there is misery. Don’t let him know that there is sickness, old age, death. Don’t let him know at all about these things. Just let him be drowned in music, in dancing, surrounded by beautiful girls. Make three palaces in different places for different seasons: a cooler place when it is summer, and a warmer place when it is winter . . . ”

And the father followed all the instructions of all those so-called wise men; in fact, their advice made him a saint. Twenty-nine years of continuous luxury – he became fed up. And suddenly, when he saw one sick man, it was a shock, because for twenty-nine years he had been kept unaware of sickness, old age, or death. And when he saw these things… how long can you prevent? Even twenty-nine years must have been very difficult for the father to manage him not to see a flower dying, or a pale leaf falling from the tree. In the night, the garden had to be cleaned of all dead flowers, dead leaves. Gautam Buddha should not know that there was something like an ending.

But this created exactly the situation in which he became first, exhausted, bored . . . so many beautiful women. By the age of twenty-nine years, he became as old as a man cannot experience in three hundred years. In twenty-nine years, he saw everything of luxury, of sex, of licentiousness. And when he suddenly came to know old age, and saw the body of a dead man being carried, he was shocked. He would not have been shocked if from the very beginning he had known that people become old – it is natural. These twenty-nine years of protection proved dangerous. When he saw the dead man, he inquired of his charioteer, “What has happened to this man?”

The charioteer said, “I am not allowed . . . in fact, the whole city has been told that you are passing by this road, so no old man, no sick man, no dead man, should be allowed on this path. How he has entered . . . but I cannot be untruthful, he is dead.”

And the second question immediately was, “Is the same going to happen to me?” And the charioteer said, “I don’t want to say it, but the truth is, it happens to all. Nobody is an exception.”

And just then he saw a sannyasin in orange robes. He asked, “What kind of man is this, and what kind of uniform . . . ?”

The charioteer said to him, “This man is in search of the eternal. He has become aware that this life is momentary, made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. Hence, he has started a search to see whether there is something inside him which will survive even death, or if there is nothing. He is an inquirer.”

Gautam Buddha was going to inaugurate the annual festival of youth. He told the charioteer, “Take me back home. I am no longer interested in the festival. I have been cheated. For twenty-nine years I have not been allowed to know the truth.”

That very night he escaped from the house. And because he was bored and fed up, those who followed him after his enlightenment obviously thought that sex was dangerous because it keeps you attached to the world. Naturally those who followed Gautam Buddha became escapists. For Buddha it was right, it was not an escape; it was simply getting out of the prison. But for others, it was not getting out of the prison. They had not even lived in the prison, they did not know the prison, they had not explored the prison. It had not come to their consciousness that it was a bondage. They simply followed Gautam Buddha. For them, sex became repressive, pleasure became contaminated.

But fortunately, Bodhidharma took Gautam Buddha’s message to China. That was a different climate. Tao was the climate in China, and Tao is very life affirmative. So in China, a new development happened: the meeting of Bodhidharma and Tao, a totally new concept. Zen is not just Buddhism; in fact, the orthodox Buddhists don’t accept Zen even as Buddhism, and they are right. Zen is a crossbreed between Gautam Buddha’s insight and Lao Tzu’s realization, the meeting of Buddha’s approach, his meditation, and Tao’s naturalness.

In Tao, sex is not a taboo; Tao has its own Tantra. The energy of sex has not to be destroyed or repressed, it is not your enemy. It can be transformed, it can become a great help in the search of your ultimateness. So in Zen, the idea of celibacy was dropped. There was no insistence on it, it was your choice, because the question is meditation. If you can meditate and live your life in a natural way, it is acceptable to Tao.

And then another transformation happened: Zen reached from China to Japan, where Shinto, the native religion, was very natural. There it became absolutely affirmative; hence it is not even talked about. There is no need, it is not a question.

You are asking, “Apparently sex was used by some Zen masters – for example, Ikkyu – as a way to transform energy. However, in no translation to date does evidence of this appear.” That does not mean that sex was a taboo. It was so natural that there was no need to discuss it. You don’t discuss urination. That does not mean you have stopped urinating. You start discussing things only when you start going against nature. If you are natural, there is nothing to discuss.

Life is to live, not to discuss.

Live as deeply and intensely as possible.

Ikkyu is certainly known to have used Tantra as a way of transformation. The sexual energy is nothing but your very life energy, it is only the name. You can call it sex energy, but by it ‘sex’, it does not become different, it is life energy. And it is better to call it life energy, because that is a wider term, more inclusive, more comprehensive. When you are going deeper into your center, that experience can be explained in many ways. It can be explained the way Hindus have explained it: it is realization of the ultimate, brahmabodh. But Brahma is not a person. The word is dangerous; it gives an idea as if we are talking about a person.

Brahma is simply the whole energy of the existence.

Jainas will call it self-realization, atmabodh, but their self is not synonymous with the ego. It is synonymous with Brahma. You are no more – in your self-realization you are no more. Buddha and Mahavira were contemporaries, and Buddha insisted again and again, that if you are no more, then why do you call it self-realization? That gives a very distorted description. Call it no-self realization. But Mahavira has his own reasons not to call it no-self realization – people are afraid of no-self realization; if you are going to be nothing, then it is better to remain something. And Mahavira knew that it does not matter whether you call it self-realization or not, you are going to disappear. But keep a positive word which is more attractive.

I can see Mahavira’s compassion in it, but I also can see Buddha’s truthfulness. He says, “If it is really no-self realization, then call it what it is. Don’t deceive people.”

Tantra will call it samadhi.

The names are different, but it is exactly life, pure life without any contamination. Once you reach to your center you can think in different categories. You can use the yoga method, then you can say this is the very center of your being: sambodhi. You can use the Tantra method, then you can say this is the center of your sex energy. And sex energy in Tantra is equivalent to life energy. These words have unnecessarily kept people discussing and discussing.

The reality is one. It is better to experience it.

Zen masters don’t talk about it for the simple reason Zen is a very natural phenomenon. It is not anti-life; it is not escapist. But most of the Zen masters have left their household life. Tired, seeing no point in the marketplace, they moved to the mountains. It was not against the marketplace, it was simply that the mountains were more silent, more peaceful. They allowed you to be yourself without any interference.

Sex is not mentioned in the records, for the simple reason that there is no reason to record it, it is accepted. If one has lived it, and there comes a time when you have outgrown it, then there is no point to go on and on, tired and disgusted. While it is beautiful, enjoy, and when it becomes a tiring, disgusting phenomenon, then just leave it for others. But there is no reason to condemn it.

A natural person simply passes beyond stages without condemnation. He has lived life, he has known life, now he wants to know something more. He wants to know something of the eternal. He has reproduced children, now he wants to know who he is in his innermost core. He has lived the world of the outside, he has been a Zorba. Now a moment comes of turning in. The outside reality has been explored without any inhibition, then you will naturally one day turn inwards.

It is the inhibition, the repressive mentality, that goes on forcing you to think of sex, because you have never lived it. Your Christianity, your Jainism, did not allow it, or allowed it and then created guilt in you that you were doing something which should not be done. Then you are living halfheartedly.

And when a thing is lived halfheartedly you never transcend, you never go beyond it. Dance to the moment when you stop automatically.

Live everything in life so you can transcend joyfully without any guilt. That is difficult for people who have been programmed with taboos: sex should not even be mentioned; death should not be mentioned either.

Sex and death are the two points: one is the beginning, the other is the end. People are kept unaware of both. About sex, it is dirty; about death, it is dangerous and gloomy . . . don’t talk about it. It is always somebody else who dies, don’t be worried. But in reality, you are born out of sex, and you are going to die. That which is born out of sex is going to disappear in death. Sex and death are the two points of the same energy. That which appears in sex, disappears in death. And both have to be understood, because both are the most important points in your life, and both have to be accepted and lived.

But religions like Christianity and Jainism are very repressive. Their very repression makes people guilty, sinners. They cannot live their life with totality, intensity, and they cannot meditate, because meditation’s first condition is to be total, to be total in everything. Then everything becomes meditation. Even making love, if you are total, then it becomes a meditation.

My own understanding about meditation is that in the beginning it must have happened to someone while making love, because that seems to be the only thing in which you can come to such a totality that time stops, mind stops, and everything becomes absolutely silent.

But that silence can be created by meditation also. The secret is known through sex, that if there is no time and no mind, you have entered into the ultimate. Through sex you enter for a single moment, and you fall back into the temporary. Through meditation you can remain in the ultimate, twenty-four hours around the clock, in an orgasmic joy. Your every moment becomes a dance. Knowing that you are not, there is nothing to fear.

Knowing that you are the whole, there is nothing to lose.

Sex is not talked about by Zen masters, simply because it is taken for granted.

One of our sannyasins has been working with John Stevens, author of One Robe, One Bowl.

He claims to have found ancient manuscripts never before published, in which Zen masters speak of sex as a tool for transformation. He has compiled a book of this material, which he is calling Lust for Zen. He anticipates that he is going to “upset Buddhists everywhere” by publishing this material.

Do it quickly, because without upsetting, it is very difficult to bring people to come to a settling. First upset, only then can they settle down in a zazen.

But there is nothing upsetting to the real Zen masters; only Buddhists may be upset. The Buddhists of India will be upset, because they have borrowed the sex-repressive idea from Jainism, from Hinduism, and from Buddha’s own experience.

But you cannot afford Buddha’s experience, because he was first a Zorba. Even Zorba was not such a Zorba as Buddha. His father found as many beautiful girls as possible from his whole kingdom . . .  and he became tired.

One night after much drinking and dancing, everybody had fallen asleep. He looked around – those beautiful faces… Foam was falling from their mouths, their makeup was upset, their hairdo was not in the right place . . . and it was disgusting. But that kind of experience is not available to everybody.

It should be available to everybody, then at the age of thirty everybody is going to escape from the world. But this escape will not be out of fear.

This escape needs a new name. It is inscape. One has lived outside, now one wants to live inside. One is bored of repetition, but because of the guilty, life-negative religions predominating over humanity, nobody ever comes to meditation through his love life. Nobody comes to an orgasmic experience where time stops, where mind stops, where suddenly a new sky opens its doors.

Tantra has used the method in India. And in China, Tao has used its own different technique of Tantra to bring people through sexual experience to a meditative state. But it is not a necessity that you should come to a meditative state through sexual experience. You can come by the direct route, by the immediate . . . this very moment, through meditation.

Sex is a long way. Nothing is wrong if somebody chooses the long way; if he enjoys the journey, there is no harm. But if somebody wants a shortcut, then meditation is available as a shortcut. It is really reaching to the same experience, but by a shortcut.

And as far as my sannyasins are concerned, there is no question of renouncing anything unless something renounces you. Many things will renounce you. By and by, you will start seeing – “Why go on playing these games . . . ?” Sooner or later, you will be sitting silently, doing nothing, rejoicing in the ultimate annihilation, disappearing into the ocean, losing all your boundaries.

[…]

The sutra:

Beloved Osho,

A monk asked Daiten, a disciple of Sekito, “How is it when one meets the person-in-there?”

Daiten replied, “The person is not in there anymore.”

When you go in, you don’t meet any person, you simply meet the whole; you simply meet the impersonal existence. You are only on the surface; once you go deeper you disappear. The deeper you go, the less you are. And when you are not, then only have you touched the real depth.

You don’t meet any person, you simply meet the impersonal existence.

Daiten was right when he said, “The person is not in there anymore if you go in.” It is only when you don’t go in . . . it is a conception, an idea. If you remain in the mind, you remain a person. The moment you go beyond the mind, the person starts melting. There comes a point you are no more, everything is – you have become one with the whole.

The monk asked, “What is ‘in there’? If there is no person, then who is there?”

Mind cannot conceive of nothingness; it can only conceive of something limited. If the person is not there, then who is there? God is there?

Buddha is reported to have said, “If you meet me in you, immediately kill, immediately cut my head! Because you have loved me, when you meditate, the image of your master may come to you. It is just an image, don’t let that image prevent you from meeting the whole. Cut the head.”

The monk asked, “What is ‘in there’?”

Daiten said, “Don’t ask that question. That is the only question that cannot be answered. You better go in and see who is there.”

Daiten is a very clear master. Without much philosophy he simply says, “Don’t ask that question. Simply go in and see.”

The monk then asked, “In the ocean of misery, the waves are deep. With what can we make a boat?”

Daiten replied, “Make a boat with wood.”

The monk said, “If we do, can we go across the ocean?”

Daiten replied, “The blind are still blind, the dumb are still dumb.”

He is showing his frustration. This monk cannot understand. You don’t have to go to the other shore of the ocean, you have to melt in the ocean. You don’t need a boat for melting. The other shore will be just like this shore. You can change places, but that is not going to change your inner space.

Hence, he said, “Whatever the masters say, people still remain blind and still are dumb.” They don’t change. They go on listening. If it is a philosophy, they can understand it, but if it is an existential experiment, they simply remain blind, deaf and dumb.

Going in is not a philosophical question. Who is there inside you? What is the point of asking when the inside is yours? Go in and see who is there. You will not find any person. You will find a pure nothingness, an existential grace, a beauty, a song without sounds, a great drunkenness, a tremendous ecstasy. You will not find any person, just experiences, but those experiences are going to transform you. Those experiences are going to change your individuality, because you will now know there is absolute silence inside, no individuality.

Then, if somebody insults you, you will not feel insulted, because you don’t exist. He is throwing stones at nothing. Then even in your ordinary life you will function like a buddha – aware, alert, compassionate.

On another occasion a monk from Korea came to see Daiten. When the monk unrolled the sitting mat to make a bow, Daiten said, “Before you leave your country, get the single phrase!”

The monk had no answer. He could not understand what Daiten was saying to him. He is saying, “Before you leave your country, get the single phrase!” By “country” he does not mean Korea. By country he is meaning, before you go from your personality, the boundary that you have lived in, get one phrase. What is that phrase?

Rather than asking, the monk had no answer. He could not understand Daiten. That single phrase is zazen. Before you leave your personality and your individuality and your mind, remember to sit silently without asking any question, and without creating any hallucination, and without creating any dream.

Just get one thing: sitting silently.

In Japanese it is one word: zazen.

Daiten then came forward and said, “If you ask about the single phrase here,

I will answer with two phrases.”

He is saying that if you don’t go in by yourself, and somebody else has to show you the way, the oneness of inside becomes two, a duality of the mind. Anything said is dual; only the unsaid is non-dual.

You say day and it includes night; you say life and it includes death. You say man and it includes woman.

You say this – and it includes that.

You cannot say anything without implying its opposite. But inside, you can experience oneness without any duality – a pure silence not against sound, a beauty not against ugliness, a truth not against lies.

The function of the master is not to tell you what is in, but to lead you inwards, force you inwards. All that is said is in the service of that which cannot be said.

Basho wrote:

The wild heron
Sleeping –
Undisturbed nobility.

Have you seen a wild heron sleeping? Basho says, “undisturbed nobility.” That’s what you are when silence happens to you – an undisturbed nobility. Suddenly you become an emperor. The insight gives you the whole universe. It takes away all that is false, and it gives you all that is truth, all that is beauty, all that is grace, all that is sheer joy.

A man like Basho – a man of deep meditation – will start seeing it everywhere. Even in a heron sleeping, he will see an undisturbed nobility. In a wild bird on the wing, he will see immense freedom.

In the sky, he will see his own nothingness.

He will start having a new sight about everything – even a wildflower will become more beautiful.

Jesus says, “Look at the wild lilies in the field. They are more beautiful than even Solomon the emperor was in all his splendor.”

Solomon was an ancient Jewish king of great beauty, and of great understanding. In the whole of the Holy Bible, only his song, Solomon’s Song, has some truth; otherwise, everything is ordinary. But Jesus says, “These wild lilies are more beautiful even than the splendor of the great King Solomon.”

To the man of meditation, everything becomes totally new and fresh, young, alive. He radiates love and compassion and joy.

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, 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.

Then Nothing is Negative – Osho

A meditator who is vulnerable, passive, open and receptive, feels that with these characteristics he suffers due to the influence of the non-meditative, negative and these vibrations around him. Please explain how he can preserve his vulnerable psyche from the harmful vibrations.

If you are really vulnerable, nothing is negative for you – because the negative is your interpretation. Nothing is harmful to you – because the harmful is your interpretation. If you are really open, then nothing can harm you, nothing can be felt as harmful. You feel something is negative and something is harmful because you resist, because you are against it, because there is no acceptance of it. This has to be deeply understood.

The enemy exists there because you are protecting yourself against him. The enemy is there because you are not open. If you are open, then the whole existence is friendly; it cannot be otherwise. Really, you will not even feel it as friendly – it is simply friendly. There is no feeling even that it is friendly, because that feeling can exist only with the contrary feeling of enmity.

Let me put it in this way: if you are vulnerable, it means you are ready to live in insecurity. Deep down it means you are ready even to die. You will not resist, you will not oppose, you will not stand in the way. If death comes, there will be no resistance. You will simply allow it to happen. You accept existence in its totality. Then how can you feel it as death?

If you deny, then you can feel it as the enemy. If you don’t deny, how can you feel it as the enemy? The enemy is created by your denial. The death cannot harm you, because the harm is your interpretation. Now no one can harm you; it has become impossible.

This is the secret of Taoist teaching. Lao Tzu’s basic teaching is this: if you accept, the whole existence is with you. It cannot be otherwise. If you deny, you create the enemy. The more you deny, the more you defend, the more you protect, the more enemies are created. The enemies are your creation. They are not there outside; they exist in your interpretation.

Once you can understand this, then this question can never arise. You cannot say, ‘I am meditative, I am vulnerable, open. So now how am I to defend myself against negative vibrations around me?’ Nothing can be negative now. What does the negative mean? The negative means that which you want to deny, that which you don’t want to accept, that which you think is harmful. Then you are not open, then you are not in a meditative state.

This question arises only intellectually, this is not a felt question. You have not tasted meditation, you have not known it. You are simply thinking, and that thinking is just a supposition. You suppose, ‘If I meditate and become open, then I will be in insecurity. The negative vibrations will enter in me and they will be harmful. Then how am I to defend myself? This is a supposed question. Don’t bring supposed questions to me. They are futile, irrelevant.

Meditate, become open, and then you will never bring this question to me, because in the very opening, the negative will have disappeared. Then nothing is negative. And if you think that something is negative, you cannot become open. The very fear of the negative will create the closure. You will be closed; you cannot open. The very fear that something can harm you . . . how can you become vulnerable? That’s why I emphasize the fact that unless the fear of death disappears from you, you cannot become vulnerable, you cannot be open. You will remain closed in your own mind, in your own imprisonment.

But you can go on supposing things, and whatsoever you suppose will be wrong, because the mind cannot know anything about meditation, it cannot penetrate that realm. When it ceases completely, meditation happens. So you cannot suppose anything, you cannot think about it. Either you know it, or you don’t know it – you cannot think about it.

Be open – and in the very opening of yourself, all that is negative in existence disappears. Even death is not negative then. Nothing is negative. Your fear creates the negativity. Deep down you are afraid; because of that fear you create safety measures. Against those safety measures the enemy exists.

Look at this fact – that you create the enemy. Existence is not inimical to you. How can it be? You belong to it, you are just a part of it, an organic part. How can existence be inimical to you? You are existence. You are not separate; there is no gap between you and the existence.

Whenever you feel that the negative, the death, the enemy, the hate, is there, and if you are open, unguarded, existence will destroy you, you feel that you have to defend yourself. And not only defend – because the best way to defend is to be aggressive, to offend. You cannot be simply defensive. When you feel that you have to defend yourself, you become offensive, because to offend, to be aggressive, is the best way to defend yourself.

The fear creates the enemy, and then the enemy creates defense, and then defense creates offense. You become violent. You are constantly on guard. You are against everybody. This point has to be understood: that if you are in fear, you are against everybody. Degrees may differ, but then your enemy and your friend are both your enemy. The friend is a little less, that’s all. Then your husband or your wife is also your enemy. You have made an arrangement, that’s all. You have become adjusted. Or it may be that you both have a common and a greater enemy, and against that common and greater enemy you both have become joined, you both have become one party, but the enmity is there.

If you are closed, the whole existence is inimical to you. Not that it is so. It appears to you that it is inimical. When you are open, the whole existence has become your friend. Now, when you are closed, even the friend is the enemy. It cannot be otherwise. Deep down you are afraid of your friend also.

Somewhere, Henry Thoreau or someone else has written that he prayed to God, ‘I will take care of my enemies, but you take care of me from my friends. I will fight with my enemies, but protect me from my friends.’

Just on the surface is friendship; deep down is enmity. Your friendship may be just a facade to hide the enemy. If you are closed you can create only the enemy, because when you are open only then is the friend revealed. When you are open totally to someone, the friendship has happened. It cannot happen in any other way.

How can you love when you are closed? You live in your prison, I live in my prison, and whenever we meet, only the prison walls touch each other and we are hiding behind. We move in our capsules: the capsules touch each other, the bodies touch each other, but deep down we remain isolated.

Even while making love, when your bodies have entered into each other, you have not entered. Only bodies are meeting; you remain still in your capsule, in your cell. You are just deceiving yourselves that there is communion. Even in sex, which is the deepest relationship, communion is not. It cannot happen because you are closed. Love has become an impossibility. And this is the reason – you are afraid.

So don’t ask such questions; don’t bring false questions. If you have known openness, you cannot feel that something can be harmful to you. Now nothing is harmful. That’s why I say even death is a blessing. Your approach has become different. Now wherever you look, you look with an open heart – that open heartedness changes the quality of everything. And you cannot feel that something is going to be harmful; you cannot ask how to defend – there is no need. The need arises because you are closed.

But you can go on supposing questions. People come to me and they say, ‘Okay, if we have realized God, then what?’ They start with the question – if? There are no ‘ifs’. In existence you cannot raise such questions. They are absurd, stupid, because you don’t know what you are saying. ‘If I have realized God, then what?’

That ‘then what?’ never arises, because with the realization, you are no more, only the God is. And with the realization, there is no future, only the present is. And with the realization, there is no worry, because you have become one with existence. So the question ‘then what?’ never arises. This question arises because of the mind which is in constant worry, constant struggle, constantly thinking for the future.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #54, Q1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

 

A Way Out

Not long ago, I wrote a piece describing some of my childhood events; parents separating, sometimes harsh disciplinary tactics employed, the benefits of having multiple parents, early rebellion, etc. and then received a message on FB from a longtime friend. He wrote about how his parents had shielded him and his brother from the reality of African American life of the 1950’s and 1960’s and how he felt he had been left unprepared to face adversity. So I started considering the situation of our conditioning.

What arose is that all of us come through our lives with various flavors of conditioning; there does not seem to be any way to avoid it. Some of us have endured the conditioning of the post-World Wars, some of us the conditioning of the effects of the Great Depression. Some of us were conditioned by the effects of the Holocaust, some by fascism, some by communism. Some of us were conditioned by democrats, some by republicans, some of us by life in the suburbs in the 50’s, some by the upheaval of the 60’s. Some of us may have been conditioned by the Ku Klux Klan, and some by the Civil Rights movement. Some of us were conditioned by Baptists, some by Jews, some by Catholics, some by atheists, some by Hindus, and some by Buddhists. Some of us were conditioned by shielding, and some by exposure. Some of us have been neglected and exposed to some terrible circumstances, and some of us have been crippled by lack of exposure to the elements. Some of us have even been conditioned by those who were escaping all of the conditionings above and so were conditioned by communal life, by new age thinking, by borrowed Eastern thinking. In fact, it is probably true that we have all been conditioned by all of the above, more or less.

Some of us, through recognizing the degree of conditioning that we had been subjected to, might have even tried to formulate a different way of raising children to try and minimize the amount of conditioning that is passed on from one generation to the next. Regardless, in the end, there is no way to escape being conditioned, being impressed with ways of thinking, beliefs, ideas, philosophies. And we continue in our lives to gather new conditionings. We appropriate new ways of thinking, new philosophies of living, but still, these too are conditionings. They are all part of what makes up the mind, the “me.”

There seems to be no way out of this quagmire.

And yet, there have been those who have gone before, all of the mystics; the Buddhas, the Christs, the Zen masters, the Sufi masters, the Krishnamurtis, the Ramanas, the Oshos, who have proclaimed that there is a way out.

Having heard this news, it becomes incumbent upon me to look for myself, to explore, to experiment and see if what they have said is true or not.

So I embark on an experiment to discover for myself.

And what I discover is that there is a way to come out of this conditioning. The way is not out, but in.

By in, I mean meditation.

For me, meditation is not about bypassing anything I wish to avoid, and it is not about imagining some fantasy world. No, for me, mediation is just giving a little time and space to have a look at what presents itself, what arises in my inner landscape and to stay with it totally, not by thinking about it, analyzing it, judging it, but by being with unconditionally, by staying with, without saying no and rejecting that which is uncomfortable, and by not clinging to that which feels good, just watching without prejudice. And I have found that in this watching without prejudice, slowly, slowly, the procession of the stream of consciousness begins to lessen, begins to lose steam, and I begin to discover that which is bigger than this small “me” conditioned by all that has come before.

This is the transformative power of meditation. This is how conditionings, impressions, memories, and desires are transformed from dense matter into spaciousness.

And it is clear to me it is not enough to have an intellectual understanding that there is a way out, that it cannot remain just another belief, just another conditioning, it has to be discovered in my very own experiencing. This experiencing is meditation.

Perhaps someone has found another way “out,” other than “in,” but it would be negligent of me not to share this personal discovery.

By the way, I do understand that there those, in fact most, who have no interest in discovering a way out of conditioning, a way out of mind, a way out of the “me,” because our entire identity is wrapped around it tightly. In many ways, the end of conditioning is the end of me. For those who have no interest in coming out of mind, then I truly hope that you are able to find love, peace and happiness in some other way. But for the rest of us, let’s get cracking until the goose is indeed out!

-purushottama

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