Meditation: An Experience of Death in Life – Osho

There is nothing comparable to the death experience in life, except deep meditation.

So those who know meditation, they know something of death—that’s the only way to know before dying.

If I am saying there is no more significant experience in life than death, I am saying it, not because I have died and come back to tell you, but because I know that in meditation you move into the same space as death—because in meditation you are no more your physiology, no more your biology, no more your chemistry, no more your psychology. All those are left far away.

You come to your innermost center where there is only pure awareness. That pure awareness will be with you when you die because that cannot be taken away. All these other things which can be taken away, we take away with our own hands in meditation.

So meditation is an experience of death in life.

And it is so beautiful, so indescibably beautiful that only one thing can be said about death: it must be that experience multiplied by millions.

The experience of meditation multiplied by millions is the experience of death.

And when you pass on you simply leave your form behind. You are absolutely intact, and for the first time out of the prison of physiology, biology, psychology.

All the walls are broken and you are free.

For the first time you can open your wings to the existential.

-Osho

From Ignorance to Innocence, Chapter Five

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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Just Learn to be Aware in all Situations – Osho

Relaxation has always been one of the most valuable states of being for me. “Watchfulness” seems to be possible only then, or at least so much easier. Beloved Master, would you like to comment on how “relaxation” is connected to “awareness”?

Sadhan, they are not only connected with each other, they are almost two sides of the same coin. You cannot separate them. Either you can begin with awareness, and then you will find yourself relaxing… What is your tension? Your identification with all kinds of thoughts, fears, death, bankruptcy, the dollar going down… all kinds of fears are there. These are your tensions, and they affect your body also. Your body also becomes tense, because body and mind are not two separate entities. Body-mind is a single system, so when the mind becomes tense, the body becomes tense.

You can start with awareness; then awareness takes you away from the mind and the identifications with the mind. Naturally, the body starts relaxing. You are no more attached, and tensions cannot exist in the light of awareness.

You can start from the other end also. Just relax… let all tensions drop… and as you relax you will be surprised that a certain awareness is arising in you. They are inseparable. But to start from awareness is easier; to start with relaxation is a little difficult, because even the effort to relax creates a certain tension.

There is an American book – and if you want to discover all kinds of stupid books, America is the place. The moment I saw the title of the book, I could not believe it. The title is, You Must Relax. Now if the ‘must’ is there, how can you relax? The must will make you tense; the very word immediately creates tension. ‘Must’ comes like a commandment from God. Perhaps the person who is writing the book knows nothing about relaxation and knows nothing about the complexities of relaxation.

Hence, in the East we have never started meditation from relaxation; we have started meditation from awareness. Then relaxation comes on its own accord, you don’t have to bring it. If you have to bring it there will be a certain tension. It should come on its own; then only will it be pure relaxation.

And it comes….

If you want to, you can try from relaxation, but not according to American advisors, but in the sense of experience of the inner world.  America is the most childish place on the earth. Europe is a little older – but the East has lived for thousands of years in the search for its inner self.

America is only three hundred years old – in the life of a nation three hundred years are nothing – hence, America is the greatest danger to the world. Nuclear weapons in the hands of children… Russia will behave more rationally; it is an old and ancient land and has all the experiences of a long history. In America there is no history. Everybody knows his father’s name, forefather’s name and that’s all. There your family tree ends.

In India it is very difficult. One of the scholars of this very city, Lokmanya Tilak, proved – and his proof has not yet been disproved by any argument by other scholars. Now almost the whole century has passed, but his evidence is such that it cannot be disproved.

The Western scholars used to argue that Rigveda, the most ancient book in the world, is five thousand years old. There was a difficulty because according to Christianity God created the world four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ, so now it is only six thousand years old. Now they have to put everything, fit everything into six thousand years; beyond that they cannot go. Going beyond means going against Christianity, against The Bible, against Jesus Christ, and it is too risky.

Lokmanya Tilak proved with intrinsic logic that in Rigveda there is a description of a certain constellation of stars about which astronomers are absolutely certain that it happened ninety thousand years ago. There is no way to describe it unless these people had been the observers of that constellation, and it has not happened since then.

Lokmanya Tilak proved that Rigveda may not be older, but it is certainly ninety thousand years old. And one thing brings another thing in. In Rigveda, the founder of Jainism, Adinatha, is mentioned with great respect. That means that if Hinduism is ninety thousand years old, Jainism must be even older, because nobody talks with such respect about contemporaries – particularly contemporaries who are not willing to agree with you.

Adinatha did not agree on any point with Hinduism; that makes it certain that he was not a contemporary. Perhaps by the time Rigveda was written, he had been dead for a thousand years. People have a certain tendency to be respectful about the dead, and the longer they are dead, the more respectful they become. So I am giving you a recipe: if you want to become respectable, be dead, and everybody will be respectful to you.

Have you watched? – When somebody dies, nobody speaks anything against him. It is simply etiquette and mannerism.

In one small town a man died. The tradition is that before a man is lowered down into his grave somebody should say some good things about him. Everybody looked at each other – but because he was such a rascal they could not find single word. He had tortured almost everybody in the town; he was such a harassment that everybody was deep down very happy that finally he had died: “Now we can relax a little.” So nobody was ready to say something good about the man, because everybody knew that people would laugh if they said something good.

Finally one man stood up and said, “Compared to his other four brothers he was an angel. His other four brothers are still alive; you should not forget that fact.” And it was true; those other four brothers were even more nasty, more dangerous. But he managed to say something good about the man – that compared to the four brothers he was an angel. 

Rigveda mentioning Adinatha with deep respect can mean only one thing, that Adinatha was dead long before. About contemporaries, it is very difficult, it hurts your ego… and particularly for those who are not in agreement with you. Not only that, but their arguments are far superior to yours and you cannot even answer them. Then it becomes very difficult to respect them, and condemnation comes on them from all sides. But Rigveda has a whole passage devoted just to making Adinatha almost a god, with not a single word of criticism.

On this point Jainism can be said to be even older than ninety thousand years. Now, these people have history. America is just a baby – or not even a baby, just in pregnancy. Compared to ninety thousand years… maybe it has just been conceived. It is dangerous to give these people nuclear weapons.

There are political, religious, sociological, economical problems, all torturing you. To begin with relaxation is difficult; hence, in the East we have never started from relaxation. But if you want to, I have a certain idea how you should start. I have been working with my Western sannyasins and I have become aware of the fact that they don’t belong to the East and they don’t know the Eastern current of consciousness; they are coming from a different tradition which has never known any awareness.

For the Western sannyasins especially, I have created meditations like dynamic meditation. While I was taking camps of meditators I used a gibberish meditation and the kundalini meditation. If you want to start from relaxation, then these meditations have to be done first. They will take out all tensions from your mind and body, and then relaxation is very easy. You don’t know how much you are holding in, and that that is the cause of tension.

When I was allowing gibberish meditation in the camps in the mountains… It is difficult to allow it here because the neighbors start going mad. They start phoning the police and the commissioner, saying, “Our whole life is being destroyed!” They don’t know that if they would participate in their own houses, their lives would come out of the insanity in which they are living. But they are not even aware of their insanity.

The gibberish meditation was that everybody was allowed to say loudly whatever comes into his mind. And it was such a joy to hear what people were saying, irrelevant, absurd – because I was the only witness. People were doing all kinds of things, and the only condition was that you should not touch anybody else. You could do whatever you wanted…. Somebody was standing on his head, somebody had thrown off his clothes and become naked, running all around – for the whole hour.

One man used to sit every day in front me – he must have been a broker or something – and as the meditation would begin, first he would smile, just at the idea of what he was going to do. Then he would take up his phone, “Hello, hello…” From the his corner of his eyes he would go on looking at me. I would avoid looking at him so as not to disturb his meditation. He was selling his shares, purchasing – the whole hour he was on the phone.

Everybody was doing the strange things that they were holding back. When the meditation would end there were ten minutes for relaxation and you could see that in those ten minutes people fell down – not with any effort, but because they were utterly tired. All the rubbish had been thrown out, so they had a certain cleanliness, and they relaxed. Thousands of people… and you could not even think that there were a thousand people.

People used to come to me and say, “Prolong those ten minutes, because in our whole life we have never seen such relaxation, such joy. We had never thought we would ever understand what awareness is, but we felt it was coming.”

So if you want to start with relaxation, first you have to go through a cathartic process. Dynamic meditation, latihan, kundalini or gibberish. You may not know from where this word gibberish comes; it comes from a Sufi mystic whose name was Jabbar – and that was his only meditation. Whoever would come, he would say, “Sit down and start” – and people knew what he meant. He never talked, he never gave any discourses; he simply taught people gibberish.

For example, once in a while he would give people a demonstration. For half an hour he would talk all kinds of nonsense in nobody knows what language. It was not a language; he would go on teaching people just whatever came to his mind. That was his only teaching – and to those who had understood it he would simply say, “Sit down and start.”

But Jabbar helped many people to become utterly silent. How long you can go on? – the mind becomes empty. Slowly, slowly a deep nothingness… and in that nothingness a flame of awareness. It is always present, surrounded by your gibberish. The gibberish has to be taken out; that is your poison.

The same is true about the body. Your body has tensions. Just start making any movements that the body wants to make. You should not manipulate it. If it wants to dance, it wants to jog, it wants to run, it wants to roll down on the ground, you should not do it, you should simply allow it. Tell the body, “You are free, do whatever you want” – and you will be surprised, “My God. All these things the body wanted to do but I was holding back, and that was the tension.”

So there are two kinds of tension, the body tensions and the mind tensions. Both have to be released before you can start relaxation, which will bring you to awareness.

But beginning from awareness is far easier, and particularly for those who can understand the process of awareness, which is very simple. The whole day you are using it about things – cars, in the traffic – even in the Poona traffic you survive! It is absolutely mad.

Just a few days ago I read about Athens. Athens is even worse than Poona. The government made a special seven day competition for the taxi drivers and they had put golden trophies for those who were the best at following traffic rules, the second and the third. But in the whole of Athens they could not find a single person. The police were getting worried; the days were almost finished, and the last day they wanted to find anyhow three – they may not be perfect, but those prizes had to be distributed.

One man they found was following the traffic rules exactly, so they were very happy. They rushed towards him with the trophy, but seeing the police coming towards him the man went against a red light. Who wants to get unnecessarily into trouble? The police were shouting, “Wait!” – but he did not listen, he was immediately gone, against the light. They tried with two other people, but nobody would stop, seeing the police. So after seven days’ effort, those three prizes are still sitting in the headquarters of the police, and Athens is going on as rejoicingly as ever.

You can have a little taste in Poona, but still you survive because you remain alert, aware. Perhaps the worst traffic situation is in Italy. That’s why I was telling you the other day that the people who sell cars have come to the conclusion that if the man first tries to look at the engine of the car he is a German. If the man first looks at the beautiful lines and curves of the car he is French. But if the man first looks at the horn, whether it works or not, he is an Italian – because the real thing is the horn, otherwise you cannot survive.

You are using awareness without being aware of it, but only about outside things. It is the same awareness that has to be used for the inside traffic. When you close your eyes there is a traffic of thoughts, emotions, dreams, imaginations; all kinds of things start flashing by.

What you have been doing in the outside world, do exactly the same with the inside world and you will become a witness. And once tasted, the joy of being a witness is so great, so other-worldly that you would like to go more and more in. Whenever you find time you would like to go more and more in.

It is not a question of any posture; it is not a question of any temple, of any church or synagogue.

Sitting in a public bus or in a railway train, when you have nothing to do just close your eyes. It will save your eyes being tired from looking outside, and it will give you time enough to watch yourself. Those moments will become moments of the most beautiful experiences. And slowly, slowly, as awareness grows your whole personality starts changing. From unawareness to awareness is the greatest quantum leap.

Hymie Goldberg was on holiday in Ireland, driving his new Mercedes. He came to a small farm where the road went right through a large puddle. Paddy was standing next to it, so Hymie leaned out and asked if the puddle was shallow.

Paddy said, “Yes,” so Hymie drove on, only to have his car sink slowly out of sight.

Spluttering with rage and dripping wet, Hymie shouted at Paddy, “You idiot! Why the hell did you tell me it was shallow enough to drive through?”

Paddy scratched his head and said, “I don’t understand it. The water only came half way up my ducks.”

Just learn to be aware in all situations. Make a point of using every situation for awareness.

A man rushed into the Pig and Whistle pub in great agitation.

“Does anyone own a great big black cat with a white collar?” he said in a nervous voice. There was no reply.

“Well, does anyone know of a large black cat with a white collar?” asked the man again, raising his voice above the general noise of the bar. But still there was no answer.

“Oh dear!” muttered the man, “I think I’ve just run over the priest.”

The difference between a politician and an English lady…

When a politician says yes, he means maybe. When he says maybe, he means no. If he says no, he’s no politician.

When an English lady says no, she means maybe. When she says maybe, she means yes. If she says yes, she’s no lady.

-Osho

From Satyam Shivam Sundram, Chapter 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.

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The End is Always Buddhahood – Osho

What is the best way to encourage people in meditation? 

The first thing: for a patient to go to the doctor you must make him realize that he is sick; otherwise there is no need to go to the doctor.

So the people you want to encourage into meditation: first you have to make them aware that they are frustrated, perhaps for so long that they have forgotten that they are sad. They cannot remember when they laughed from their very hearts. They have become robots – they do things because they have to be done but there is no joy in doing them.

They are living an accidental life. Their birth is accidental, their marriage is accidental, their children are accidental, their job is accidental. Their life has no sense of intrinsic growth and direction. That’s why they cannot feel like rejoicing.

So first you have to make them aware where they are – and almost everybody is in the same situation. Death is coming close – you cannot even rely on your being here tomorrow. And your life is an absolute desert – it has not found any oasis, it has not felt any meaning, any significance – and death may destroy all possibilities in the future.

So first you have to make them aware of their meaningless, accidental, frustrated life. They know it, but they try to suppress their knowing in many ways, because to know it continuously is a torture. So they go to the movies to forget it. They go to parties, they go to picnics, they drink alcoholic beverages; they do everything – just to somehow not remember the reality of their life, their hollowness, futility.

This is the most important part – to remind them. And once a person remembers all this, then to lead him towards meditation is a very simple thing, because meditation is the only answer to all the questions of man. It may be frustration, it may be depression, it may be sadness, it may be meaninglessness, it may be anguish: The problems may be many but the answer is one.

Meditation is the answer.

And the simplest method of meditation is just a way of witnessing. There are one hundred and twelve methods of meditation, but witnessing is an essential part of all one hundred and twelve methods. So as far as I am concerned, witnessing is the only method. Those one hundred and twelve are different applications of witnessing.

The essential core, the spirit of meditation is to learn how to witness.

You are seeing a tree: You are there, the tree is there, but can’t you find one thing more? – That you are seeing the tree, that there is a witness in you which is seeing you seeing the tree.

The world is not divided only into the object and the subject. There is also something beyond both, and that beyond is meditation.

So in every act… and I don’t want people to sit for one hour or half an hour in the morning or in the evening. That kind of meditation is not going to help, because if you meditate for one hour, then for twenty-three hours you will be doing just the opposite of it.

Meditation can be victorious: witnessing is such a method that it can spread over twenty-four hours of your day.

Eating, don’t get identified with the eater. The food is there, the eater is there, and you are here, watching. Walking, let the body walk but you simply watch. Slowly, the knack comes. It is a knack, and once you can watch small things….

This crow, crowing… you are listening. These are two – object and subject. But can’t you see a witness who is seeing both? – The crow, the listener, and still there is someone who is watching both. It is such a simple phenomenon. Then you can move into deeper layers: you can watch your thoughts; you can watch your emotions, your moods.

There is no need to say, “I am sad.” The fact is that you are a witness that a cloud of sadness is passing over you. There is anger – you can simply be a witness.  There is no need to say, “I am angry.” You are never angry – there is no way for you to be angry – you are always a witness. The anger comes and goes; you are just a mirror. Things come, get reflected, move – and the mirror remains empty and clean, unscratched by the reflections.

Witnessing is finding your inside mirror.

And once you have found it, miracles start happening. When you are simply witnessing the thoughts, thoughts disappear. Then there is suddenly a tremendous silence you have never known. When you are watching the moods – anger, sadness, happiness – they suddenly disappear and an even greater silence is experienced.

And when there is nothing to watch – then the revolution. Then the witnessing energy turns upon itself because there is nothing to prevent it; there is no object left. The word “object” is beautiful. It simply means that which prevents you, objects you. When there is no object to your witnessing, it simply comes around back to yourself – to the source. And this is the point where one becomes enlightened.

Meditation is only a path: the end is always Buddhahood, enlightenment. And to know this moment is to know all.

Then there is no misery, no frustration, no meaninglessness; then life is no longer an accident. It becomes part of this cosmic whole – an essential part. And a tremendous bliss arises that this whole existence needs you.

Man’s greatest need is to be needed. If somebody needs you, you feel gratified. But if the whole existence needs you, then there is no limit to your bliss. And this existence needs even a small blade of grass as much as the biggest star.

There is no question of inequality. Nobody can substitute for you. If you are not there, then existence will be something less and will remain always something less – it will never be full. That feeling – that this whole immense existence is in need of you – takes all miseries away from you.

For the first time, you have come home.

-Osho

From Light on the Path, Chapter One

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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Can Meditation be Learned – Osho

Can meditation be learned, or is it, like love, a state of being that comes as a present?

Prem Prabhati, meditation cannot be learned in a positive way, but it can be learned in a negative way. This is very important to understand: the basic method of meditation is negative.

What do I mean when I say meditation can be learned negatively, only negatively? I mean that the mind can be unlearned, and the moment you unlearn the mind you are learning meditation. Unlearning the mind is learning meditation; when the mind has been completely unlearned you have learned meditation. You cannot go directly into learning meditation. All that is needed is to remove the mind.

Mind is like a block. The river is there but blocked, it can’t flow. It is covered with rocks; those rocks don’t allow it any outlet. It is surging inside you, it is longing for the ocean, it wants to get out of this prison. That’s why everybody feels so restless. This restlessness is nothing but your consciousness longing to meet with the ultimate. The river wants to reach the ocean. The seed wants to sprout, but it is covered, blocked by a big rock. That rock is of your mind. And it is a big rock because you have been accumulating it for many, many lives. Your meditation is simply crushed underneath it.

You cannot reach meditation directly, but you can remove this rock chunk by chunk. You can take a chisel and a hammer – that’s what I go on providing you – and go on hammering on the rock. Slowly slowly the rock will disappear. The day the rock disappears, suddenly a flow, a fresh flow of water, will start running towards the ocean. That is meditation.

Hence, Prabhati, in one sense meditation cannot be learned. You cannot practice it, because all practicing is of the mind. All practices strengthen the mind, make it stronger. And the mind has to be made weaker; its power over you has to be destroyed. It has to be put in its right place: it is not the master; it has only become the master. You have to stop cooperating with it; you have to stop giving more and more nourishment to it.

That’s what I mean by unlearning the mind. Don’t support it. Don’t cling to it. Don’t rely on it. Don’t be possessed by it. Don’t live according to its dictates. And then slowly, slowly the master is free from the slave. That master is your meditative quality.

You ask me: “Can meditation be learned, or is it, like love, a state of being that comes as a present?”

It is already there. It does not come like a present – nobody ‘presents’ it to you – it is your very nature, svabhava, it is your very being. And so is love.

When meditation has happened, love is its aroma, its perfume. A meditative person is naturally loving; it can’t be otherwise. A loving person is naturally meditative. If it is not so, then you are deceived, then you are carrying false coins. If a man thinks he is meditative and is not loving, then his meditation is nothing but a mind practice, something false, pseudo. Something which is not meditation is masquerading as meditation. He has been deceived by his mind. If a man thinks that he is very loving and is not meditative, his love is nothing but another name for lust. He knows nothing of love; he can’t know in the very nature of things.

Aes dhammo sanantano. This is the ultimate law: meditation brings love naturally – it is its aroma, its fragrance. And love exists only around the flower called meditation, never otherwise. They are together.

Either search for love or for meditation. And you can only search for one, because things are already too complicated. If you start searching for both you will make them even more complicated, you may become more confused. Hence I say, only seek one. If you can find one, the other is found without any effort on your part. Either find love or find meditation and the other will follow it like a shadow.

But they are not learned in a direct way as you learn mathematics, as you learn geography, history, as you learn a new language. That is not the way to learn meditation or love; they are learned in an indirect way. If you want to learn meditation, you will have to unlearn the ways of the mind. If you want to learn love, you will have to unlearn the unloving ways that have become very ingrained in you. Anger, possessiveness, jealousy – these will have to be unlearned.

And it never comes as a gift because it is already given; it is your innermost nature. Yes, it is a grace, a gift, but it is not going to happen in the future, it has already happened. You have never been without it, you CAN’T be without it. Love and meditation constitute your real essential core.

-Osho

From The White Lotus, Chapter Four

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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Relaxation Without Concentration – Osho

When we start watching our bodies, and then our minds and emotions, there remains an element, although subtle, of concentration. Initially, for example, watching my breathing, I would watch it to the exclusion of everything else – here there was an element of focus. On other occasions, when silence is just there, the breathing may be all there is to watch. This seems to be nearer, but still I feel that more soft focusing of the awareness would take me further and further back, as if relaxing enough to to let the watcher move far enough away so that all is seen, rather than any one thing like thoughts or breathing. Does relaxing allow the watcher to be on the hill?

It is true. Relaxation helps the most. No part of concentration should be in your watchfulness. Concentration is sabotaging the whole process of watchfulness, because concentration is an act of the mind, and watchfulness is something that comes from above, from beyond. If there is any concentration… I can understand, if you start watching your breathing – in the name of watching, you are concentrating on the breathing, you are excluding everything else. Don’t exclude.

Watch your breathing inclusive of all.

Watching your breathing… a temple bell starts ringing, a car passes by, a child starts crying – all that should be included. Your watchfulness should be open. Watching the breathing is simply to begin with. It is not the end. It is just learning how to watch.

But there is a difficulty – you can start thinking that concentration is watching. Concentration is not watching. Concentration is narrow, narrowing the mind, bringing it to a focus on one thing, forgetting everything else. That’s why in relaxing, you will feel more watchful, yet without concentration. If that is happening, that’s perfectly good.

The essential thing is watchfulness, inclusive of all. Concentration can be disturbed, watchfulness cannot be disturbed. These are the differences. If somebody is concentrating on something, anybody can disturb him. Just a small boy can do something and he is distracted and his focus is lost – or not even a small boy, just the wind comes and the door opens and the noise is enough.

So you will find the phenomenon in so-called religious people. They are always angry, because their concentration is continuously disturbed.

Watchfulness cannot be disturbed. It is simply inclusive of all. If the door opens, makes a noise, the wind passes through the trees singing its song, it is available to it. It is not choosing breathing or anything in particular, but simply being there, open, available, present to everything that is happening.

So remember the difference: concentration is sabotaging watchfulness.

To begin with, something has to be given to you so you can have a little taste of what watchfulness is. Then it has to be made wider and wider and bigger, so much bigger that there is no need to do anything. You simply sit, or lie down relaxedly and everything that is happening around you is mirrored in you.

You don’t think about it, you don’t justify it, you don’t condemn it, you don’t evaluate it – you simply watch.

So it is perfectly right. Relaxation, utter relaxation with no focusing of consciousness is real watchfulness.

-Osho

From The Transmission of the Lamp, Chapter Twelve

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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Let Consciousness Be Your Master – Osho

You say: Go beyond the mind. Do not listen to its chatter. Discipline it and make it a servant. Do not be its slave. But how to know when the mind is being disciplined and when it is being repressed. 

Prem Lisa, the difference is so great that it is impossible to miss it. Repression happens through fighting with your mind. Discipline happens through being watchful, aware, alert. In discipline, there is no fight implied. In discipline, there is no condemnation, no evaluation. One simply looks at the mind silently, seeing the whole traffic, without saying what is right and what is wrong, what should be and what should not be, just as, standing by the side of the road, you watch the people walking by – saints and sinners, beautiful people, ugly people, good people, bad people – but you are unconcerned. It has nothing to do with you; you are out of it.

That’s exactly the meaning of the English word “ecstasy”. Ecstasy means to be out of the mind. You are just looking, as one looks at the clouds moving in the sky or at the river flowing by – cool, detached. Neither are you trying to cling to something nor are you trying to push something away from you.

This is pure awareness: you are only a mirror. And in just being a mirror, the miracle happens – the miracle of discipline. Slowly, slowly, the traffic starts disappearing. Less and less thoughts are moving on the road; less and less pictures are appearing on the screen, less and less memories, fantasies. Gaps start appearing.

A mother was telling her child, “Be very careful when you go to school because the traffic is dangerous at rush hour time.”

The child said, “Don’t be worried. I always wait by the side of the road. When a gap comes by, then I cross the road.”

“When a gap comes by…” As you are looking at your mind you will be surprised: gaps come by, intervals when there is nothing to be seen. The observer remains alone and because it is alone it is no longer an observer either. You can’t call it an observer because there is nothing to observe. The mirror is there, but it is not reflecting anything. There is no duality of the seen and the seer. In these intervals discipline arises.

The word “discipline” is also beautiful. It is sometimes very significant to go to the roots of words. “Discipline” comes from a root which means learning. When you are looking at a gap, learning happens. Learning about what? Learning about yourself, because there is nothing else. You are full of awareness. You are just full of your own being, overflowing. And this experience of just being yourself, overflowing, undistracted by anything, undisturbed by anything, is the greatest learning, the greatest possibility of knowing the truth. This is discipline.

From the same root comes the word “disciple.” Disciple means one who is becoming capable of being utterly silent in the presence of the Master. The disciple is one who allows the interval to happen when he is with the Master. With the Master you are bridged only through silence; when there is nothing in your mind you are bridged. Something then transpires between the Master and the disciple. A flame jumps from the Master into the heart of the disciple. The unlit candle of the disciple suddenly becomes lit. All is joy and light and love, and a great dance arises.

Lisa, discipline can never be misunderstood as repression. Repressions are totally different. In repression you have already decided what is wrong – a priori decisions. In fact, others have decided for you what is wrong and what is right. Now you are simply trying to impose the ideas and opinions of others upon yourself. You will have to repress your nature. You will have to force that which is wrong – or which you have been told is wrong – deep into the unconscious. There will be a fight, great turmoil. Instead of bringing silence to you, every method of repression brings more turmoil.

That’s why the so-called religious people are more restless, more worried. You are worried only about this world; they are worried even about the other. You are worried only about this life, they are worried about many, many past lives and future lives. Your worries are nothing compared to the worries of the so-called religious people. And they are sitting on a volcano, because whatsoever is repressed is there; it is not destroyed.  Repression never destroys anything; you are simply sitting on top of it. And the danger is that you cannot sit on top of it for twenty-four hours a day; you have limitations. You will get tired, you will need some rest. And whenever you will be tired and you will need rest, repressions will start arising in you.

Hence, even your greatest saints go on thinking, fantasizing, dreaming about all those things that they have repressed.

Mahatma Gandhi has written in his autobiography: “I have been able to control my sexuality as far as my day is concerned, but in the night, in my dreams, it comes with a vengeance.” This he was writing at the age of seventy… a whole life of repression!

Yes, in the day you can somehow manage, but in the night, in the dreams, that which you have repressed in the day is bound to take revenge. It will come back, it will explode in you.

Hence, down the ages your saints have been very much afraid of sleep. They go on cutting down on their sleep – five hours, four hours, three hours, two hours. And the less they sleep the greater the danger, because all their repressions have to come in those two hours in a very condensed way. Then they are crowding in from everywhere. And people worship them! The less a saint sleeps, the more people worship him. They say, “Look how much he has sacrificed! What a great austerity he is doing – he is not even sleeping! Or he sleeps for only two hours or one hour.”

The reality is that he is afraid of sleep. And from where is the fear coming? The fear is coming from the fact that when you are awake you can control, but when you are asleep, who is there to control? The controller is asleep, is in a relaxed state. He cannot sit on top of all the repressions, and they will assert themselves.

So, Lisa, if you are fighting with anything, then it is not discipline. I don’t teach fight, I teach awareness. It is useless to fight with the darkness, utterly useless and stupid. Bring the light in. Why fight with darkness? And how can you ever hope to win by fighting with darkness? Bring the light in and the darkness is found no more.

You are surrounded by much darkness: greed, anger, jealousy, lust, ambition, ego. These are layers of darkness. If you start fighting with all these layers of darkness you are not going to win, because there is no way to fight with darkness directly. Darkness does not exist in the first place; it is only the absence of light. So if you want to do something with darkness, don’t try to do it directly, do something with light. If you want darkness, put the light out. If you don’t want darkness, put the light on. But do something with the light, forget about darkness. If the light is there, darkness is not there. If the light is not there, you cannot avoid darkness. You can close your eyes, you can try to forget about it, you can become occupied somewhere else, you can take your mind far, far away from it, but it is there all the same. And it will show in your acts, in your thoughts, in your behavior. It will come up again and again. You cannot hide it – it is impossible to hide it. The truth of your being, whatsoever it is, is bound to surface.

Lisa, become aware. And I am not saying what is wrong and what is right. I am simply saying: Be aware; or, awareness is right and unawareness is wrong. When you are aware, things will start changing of their own accord, and then the mind functions as a servant. It is a machine, a beautiful machine, one of the most complex machines invented by nature in thousands of years. Man has not yet been able to create anything comparable to it. Even the best computer is not yet so capable.

A single human mind can contain all the libraries of the world. It is almost infinite. Its capacity is great, its use is great, but it should be your servant not your master. As a servant it is beautiful; as a master it is dangerous.

Let consciousness be your master and mind your servant. It happens through awareness. And I am not telling you to control it, because all control is repression. I am not telling you to fight, because all fight is a sheer waste of energy. You are fighting with your own servant – you are wasting your energy. You need not fight with your servant, you have simply to say, “I am the master”; that’s all.

You have simply to be the master, that’s all, and the servant bows down. The servant immediately understands that the master has come in. And how does the master come in? The moment you become awake, the master comes in.

You ask me, Lisa:

You say: Go beyond the mind. Do not listen to its chatter. Discipline it and make it a servant. Don not be its slave. But how to know when the mind is being disciplined and when it is being repressed? 

It is very simple. Nobody can ever mistake the two; nobody can ever confuse the two. They are so different – just like light and darkness, just like love and hate, just like flowers and thorns, just like poison and nectar. They are so totally different! But if you think about them you may get confused.

In thinking you cannot make the distinction. Don’t think about them – experiment, experience, and the distinction will be absolutely clear.

-Osho

From Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter Three

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 online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Then Know That Nothing Disturbs – Osho

You said that noise and disturbances are not outside in the world, but are because of your own minds and ego, but why do the saints and mystics always live in unnoisy crowded places?

Because they are still not saints and mystics. They are still endeavoring, still working. They are seekers, not siddhas. They have not reached. Noise will disturb them, the crowd will disturb them.

The crowd will pull them back to its own level. They are still weak, they need protection. They are still not confident. They cannot move into temptation. They have to protect themselves in the lonely solitude where they can grow and become strong. When they are strong there will be no problem.

Mahavir moved into the wilderness. For twelve years he was alone, silent, not talking, not moving in villages or cities. Then he became enlightened. Then he came back to the world. Buddha was in total silence for six years. Then he came back to the world. Jesus or Mohammed, or anyone – when they are growing they need protected conditions. When they have grown, then there is no problem.

So if you find a mystic afraid of moving in a crowd, then know well that he is still a child, growing. Otherwise why should a mystic be afraid of moving in crowds? Nothing can be done to him by the crowd, by the noise, by the world, by the objects of the world. With all this madness around him, nothing can be done to him. He cannot be touched. He can move and he can live – anywhere it happens for his emptiness to live, he can live.

But in the beginning it is good to be alone, to be in a harmonious, natural surrounding. So remember, don’t think that because you live in a noisy Bombay you are a mystic, or you have grown up and have become a siddha. If you want to grow you will also have to move sometimes, for some definite periods, into loneliness – out of the crowd, out of the concerns of the world, relations of the world, objects of the world – into such a place where you can be alone and not disturbed by others. As you are now you can be disturbed, but once you have the strength, once you have the inner power, once you are crystallized and you know that now no one can shatter your inner center, you can move anywhere. Then the whole world is lonely. Then wherever you are is wilderness. Then the space of silence moves with you because you are the creator of it. Then around you, you create your own inner silence, and wherever you move, you are in silence. No one can penetrate that silence. No noise can disturb it.

But unless the crystallization has happened, don’t believe that you will not be disturbed. You are disturbed, whether you know it or don’t know it. Really, you are so disturbed that you cannot know it. You have become accustomed to disturbance. Every nerve is on edge; you are continuously disturbed. Right now you don’t feel the disturbance – to feel the disturbance sometimes you need to be not disturbed. Only then can you feel it in contrast. You are continuously disturbed but you have become accustomed to it, habituated to it. You think this is how life is. It would be good if you move into the Himalayas for some time. It would be good to go into some remove village, a remote forest, and be alone for a few days’ silence – as if the whole of humanity has disappeared. Then come back to Bombay. Then you will know what disturbance you have been living in. You will be suddenly disturbed. Now you have a contrast. You had an inner music, now it is shattered. For seekers solitariness is good; for siddhas it is irrelevant.

And there are two types of wrong people. With the first type, if you say to them that it is they who are disturbed, the situation is irrelevant, then they will never go into solitariness to have a glimpse of what silence is. Then they will remain here and they will say, “Nothing disturbs us. It is us really, not the surrounding. So we remain here.” And they are disturbed but their theory will become a rationalization.

Then there are other people, the other type of wrong people, who, if you tell them to move into silence, to solitude, because it will help, they will move – but then they will never come back. Then it becomes an addiction and they will remain weak forever, they will always feel afraid of coming back to the world. Then their solitariness has not been a help; rather, it has become a hindrance. They are not stronger through it, they have become weaker. Now they cannot move in the world. Both these types are wrong.

Be the third type, which is the right type. In the beginning, know well that you are disturbed by circumstances; so sometimes try, manage, to move out of them. Then when you are out of them, whatsoever silence you attain, bring it back to your circumstances and try to preserve it. If you can preserve it in the circumstances, then only will the theory have become an experience. Then you know that nothing disturbs. Then you know it is you ultimately who are disturbed or not disturbed.

But make it an experience – just as a theory it is useless.

-OSHO

From The Book of Secrets, Chapter 80

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 online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.