Cut the Very Root – Osho

You tell us to be here-now, without goals and without purpose, but then you allure us also by talking about ecstasy, enlightenment, freedom and the possible fulfillment. It looks contradictory. Please explain.

It is not contradictory at all; it is a simple fact. But the mind tends to create problems where they don’t exist. Mind is a problem-creating mechanism.

When I say that ecstasy is beautiful, when I say that enlightenment is blissful, I’m not talking about the future, I’m not alluring you – I’m simply stating a fact.

When I say be here-now without any purpose and goal, I’m showing you the way how enlightenment can happen right now.

Enlightenment is not a distant goal. It is a present possibility. You can miss it. That doesn’t mean that it is far away from you; that simply means that you are fast asleep. You can miss it. That doesn’t mean that you have to work hard to attain it; it simply means that you are not aware of something which is already surrounding you.

I will go on talking about enlightenment, because without it you are not alive at all; without it you only seem to exist but you don’t exist; without it you go on missing.

But remember, I am not creating a goal for your desires. Enlightenment can never be a goal. This has to be understood. Nirvana cannot be desired.

Let me explain it to you. Whenever you desire something, you become tense. The desire creates disturbance. Whenever you desire something, of course, you desire in the future. In the present, how can you desire? There is not enough space for a desire to exist in the present. It can only exist in the future. Desiring can only be concerned with something in the future, with something which is not here. That which is here cannot be desired.

You can delight in it, but you cannot desire it. You can live it, you can dance it, but you cannot desire it.

Hence all the buddhas say, ‘Become desireless.’

But the human problem is that we understand it as if they are saying, ‘Make desirelessness your goal.’

We turn everything into a goal. Put anything into the mind; it immediately reduces it into a goal and the problem arises immediately. Then the mind asks ‘how?’ – how to achieve this, how to get it, how to become it. Again you are on the track; again you have missed.

When buddhas say, ‘Become desireless,’ they are not trying to create a goal for you. They are simply saying, ‘See, look into your desiring. Understand your desire and the futility of it. Look deep into it, penetrate deep into it, and that very penetration will help – desire disappears.’

When you can see the total futility of desire, will you ask how to drop it? If you see the total futility of it, it drops by itself.

You go on asking how, because you still want to cling. You still want to postpone it. You still think there must be something in it. ‘Maybe I am missing, maybe I am not making right efforts, maybe I am not moving in the right direction – but there is something.’ You are still hoping. When you look into the nature of desire, you will understand that it is like a horizon. It appears far away, there. Go, move – it moves with you. When you reach the point where you were thinking that the earth meets the sky, it is not meeting there. Again, at the same far distance, the horizon exists. Again move – the horizon moves with you. The distance between you and the horizon remains constantly the same.

If you look into desire, it is so simple to see. If you meditate on desire, this is a fact; this is not a theory about desire.

You have ten thousand rupees. The mind asks for twenty thousand rupees. The mind says, ‘Unless you have twenty thousand rupees, how can you live happily? It is impossible.’ You can get twenty thousand rupees. You will waste a long time for it; one day you will get it. By the time you have got twenty thousand rupees, the desire has gone further away. Now it asks for forty thousand rupees.

By the time you attain to twenty thousand rupees, you have become more addicted to comforts; now more comforts are needed. Now the old house looks small, the old car looks an insult; it has to be dropped. A new car is needed. By the time you reach the forty thousand line, the horizon has gone further away – it demands eighty thousand. It goes on doubling. The distance remains the same.

Between the desire and the fulfillment, the distance remains the same. It never changes, not even for a single inch. The beggar and the emperor are always in the same plight. If you look at the distance between their desire and fulfillment, you will see they are sailing in the same boat.

Once understood, desire drops by itself, on its own accord. Not that you drop it, so the question of how never arises. And when desire drops, there is desirelessness. Not that you have to make efforts for it to be there; not that you have to work hard to gain desirelessness. It is not a goal.

When desires disappear…. The absence of desire is desirelessness.

Let me say it in another way. Ordinarily whenever the word ‘desirelessness’ is used, you think it is against desire. It is not. Desirelessness is not the opposite of desire. Desirelessness is simply the absence of desire, not the opposite. If it is the opposite then it can become the goal. It is not the opposite. You cannot make a goal out of it.

Love is not opposite to hate. If love is opposite to hate, in that love, hate will go on continuing, an undercurrent of hatred will go on flowing. The authentic love is not opposite to hate. The love of a buddha is not opposite to hate. It is simply absence of hate.

Compassion is not against anger. When anger disappears, compassion is. Compassion is not to be fought for; it is not against passion. When passion disappears, compassion is. Compassion is your nature.

Desirelessness is you. When all desires have gone and you are left alone, in that beautiful aloneness, pure aloneness, crystal-clear aloneness, there is desirelessness. Not even a trace of desire… no goal, nowhere to go.

Then for the first time you live what life is, for the first time your song bursts, spreads all over the existence. For the first time you become capable of celebrating.

This is called enlightenment, nirvana.

Nirvana can never be a goal. When you don’t have any goal, nirvana comes to you. You never go towards nirvana. When you are not going anywhere, it comes to you. Or, if you want to use the language of bhaktas and devotees, you can use the word ‘god’.

You are not to go towards god. One can never go towards god. Where will you go? Either he is nowhere or he is everywhere. Where will you go?

You cannot make an object of god. You cannot make an arrow of your desire moving towards the target of god. Either god is everywhere – so you cannot make a target; or he is nowhere – then too you cannot make a target.

Nobody has ever reached to god. When you stop all reaching, when you drop the whole nonsense of achievement, suddenly god comes to you. And when he comes, he comes from everywhere, from all directions. He simply enters in you from every pore of your being. You never reach to him; he always comes to you.

When people come to me and they say that they are in search of god, I say, ‘Please, don’t make that effort. You are on a futile journey. You simply rest, relax, wait, and allow god to come to you. Your very search will create a barrier.’

A searching mind is a tense mind. A seeking mind is not at rest. A desiring mind is not at home… always wandering, wandering, going somewhere. If I come to you, do you think I will find you there? You may be somewhere else. You are always somewhere else. Wherever you seem to be, you are not there. If you are sitting in the temple, your appearance only is in the temple. You may be in the market. You may be in the shop or in the factory or in the office. When you are sitting in your office or in your shop, only your appearance is there – you appear to be there. Your mind may be anywhere; the world is vast.

You are never where you are. Just be there. Wherever you are, be there. This is the door to the divine and the divine enters in you.

Nirvana becomes a nightmare if you seek it. And then the nirvana is the greatest nightmare there is. Wealth can be found if you seek it. Power, prestige, can be found if you seek it. Of course, it takes a long time, much effort, and is almost useless, because when you have found it you find nothing there. But you can find it. If you are mad enough you can find anything in the world. You just have to be mad enough… almost insane, crazy. Then you will win, because nobody will be able to compete with you – unless somebody crazier than you comes to compete with you.

You can find anything in the world that you crave for. There will be a nightmare, but there is an end to it.

But nirvana is the last and the ultimate nightmare.

Once you start seeking it, it is never going to happen – because the very nature of it is such that the very nature prevents you from reaching it.

So when I say be here-now, I am saying please help nirvana to come to you. Be at home. Just wait. Sooner or later you will see – god has knocked.

Jesus says, ‘knock, and the door shall be opened unto you.’

I say to you, ‘You just wait. God will knock. You just remain alert and open the door when he knocks.’

He has been continuously, constantly knocking, but you are not there to hear, to listen. You are not there to open the door. The guest is always standing-at the door, but the host is missing.

Be a host. That’s what I mean when I say be here – now. This simply means be a host to life, be a host to existence. Remain available. And everything is going to happen to you. Nothing is going to be debarred. There is nobody hindering the path except your own desire, except your own continuous running here and there. Rest a little while.

And when I say rest, I mean rest here-now. Don’t postpone it – because who can rest tomorrow?

And I will go on singing the beauties of ecstasy, but don’t misunderstand me. I’m not trying to convince you that nirvana has to be achieved. It is not a goal. It cannot be made a goal. It cannot be made an object of desire. It is available. Just look. Have an alert look. Life is tremendously beautiful. It is showering on you from everywhere.

This I call meditation. This is what zen calls zazen – just sit, in an infinite waiting… watching, alert, aware, not going anywhere… and the miracle of miracles happens – that which you were seeking and could not find, suddenly happens.

There is no contradiction in it, but your mind will make a contradiction, because unless your mind makes a contradiction out of it then the mind has no function to fulfill. First it creates a problem, then it tries to find a solution. Don’t allow the mind to create a problem where none exists.

I have heard about a physician. A man came to him; he was suffering from a common cold. The physician said, ‘You do one thing. The night is very cold. At midnight, naked, you go to the lake and jump in.’

The man said, ‘Have you gone mad! I am suffering from a cold, and at midnight the lake is going to be just ice! I will get double pneumonia.’

The physician said, ‘Don’t you be worried. I have a perfect medicine for pneumonia – but for common cold I have none. I will cure it certainly. You just follow the instructions.’

The mind goes on creating problems and then it goes on supplying solutions. Have you not watched this nonsense?

Cut the mind from the very root. Don’t allow it to create a problem – that is the solution.

Otherwise the mind will give you a solution. In the first place the problem was false. How can the solution be right? If you solve a false problem, the solution is going to be false. Then you are caught in an infinite regress. Then in the solution the mind will again find problems. Then again solutions have to be supplied. And then you go on and on.

If your own mind cannot give you a solution, you go to greater minds; they can supply solutions. You go to philosophers – people who have theories, doctrines, scriptures in their heads. If you cannot supply your solution then you look at the experts; then they supply you with a solution.

But experts have not helped anybody yet. Fifty centuries’ history of philosophy has not even given a single solution to any problem. On the contrary, it has created more and more problems.

Cut the very root.

Whenever the mind is trying to create a problem, first try to find out whether the mind is playing the old trick again. Because as I see, life is absolutely simple. It has no problems. I don’t mean that life is not a mystery. I mean that life is not a riddle. You cannot solve it.

Life is a tremendous mystery – but very simple. You cannot solve it. You can live it, you can enjoy it, you can merge into it… and doors upon doors open and it is an endless journey of revelations; greater and greater revelations are waiting for you… but it is not a riddle which can be solved. The more you enter in it, the more unknowable it becomes. The more you know, the more you know that you don’t know.

One moment comes when all knowledge seems futile. That is the moment where a consciousness goes through a conversion – from philosophy to religion; from futile, stale theories to a fresh and eternally alive source of life.

Life is a mystery; it cannot be solved. It has no solution. It has no answer. Don’t try to solve it. That is what the mind is constantly doing – trying to solve. Cut the root. Whenever the mind tries to bring a problem, first try to see – is there a problem really?

It is such a simple thing that I have said. Be here-now – and enlightenment happens to you. It has already happened; only you have to recognize it. It has happened even before you were born. It has happened simultaneously with your life. Your very existence is enlightened. Just a turning-in, a conversion… and the recognition.

And the recognition is possible only if you turn here-now. If you go on moving, chasing the shadows, then you will not have time and space to move within. All future is without, and the present is within.

The present is not part of time. The present is eternity. It is now – eternal. It is within you. Once you turn in, you will start laughing.

It is said that when Bodhidharma attained, he started laughing, a deep belly-laughter. He started rolling on the ground and the disciples gathered and they said, ‘What has happened? Have you gone mad?’ He looked really crazy. He was sitting for nine years and nobody had ever seen even a smile on his face. He was a very severe and serious person.

For nine years continuously he was looking at the wall… continuously sitting near the wall and looking at the wall. He had not even turned to talk to any man for nine years – a very serious man. And he had decided that he would not get up unless he came to know what truth is. Tradition has it that his legs withered away. Nine years is a long time; maybe it really happened. But that is not the point. One thing is certain. Legs are representative of activity, movement, desire, going, a goal. Legs are representative of all that. Certainly in those nine years, goals disappeared. There was nowhere to go. All motivation, all desire to achieve disappeared. Certainly legs withered away.

And then one day suddenly this man is rolling and laughing – must have gone mad. People must have been thinking that sitting for nine years watching the wall is bound to create madness. But why was he laughing? He was laughing at the whole absurdity, the very ridiculousness of it – that all that he was seeking he had already within him and he was not aware.

Your treasure is with you. Your treasure is already within you. I can see it but you cannot see it. Being with me is just an opportunity so that you can also see that which I can already see in you.

When you come to me, you are precisely valuable to me. When you come to me, I see a buddha coming.

You are not aware.

I would like to bow down and touch your feet… but that can be dangerous for you, so I resist the temptation. You are already mad – you will go even more mad. But that’s what I would like to do….

You are already there where you would like and wish to be. You are fulfilled. I can see your flower has bloomed, it has always been blooming there, but your eyes are wandering somewhere else.

So when I talk about enlightenment, I am simply stating a fact about your being. I am not giving you a goal to be desired. And then immediately I have to tell you to be here-now, because that is the way you will be able to see the blossoming of your being.

There is no contradiction. If it appears to you, look again. Your mind has deceived you.

Cut the mind from the very root.


From Nirvana: The Last Nightmare, Chapter Two

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

This is Called Turning In – Osho

What is turning inwards?

Turning inwards is not a turning at all. Going inwards is not a going at all. Turning inwards simply means that you have been running after this desire and that, and you have been running and running and you have been coming again and again to frustration. That each desire brings misery, that there is no fulfillment through desire. That you never reach anywhere, that contentment is impossible. Seeing this truth, that running after desires takes you nowhere, you stop. Not that you make any effort to stop. If you make any effort to stop it is again running, in a subtle way. You are still desiring – maybe now it is desirelessness that you desire.

If you are making an effort to go in, you are still going out. Any effort can only take you out, outwards. All journeys are outward journeys, there is no inward journey. How can you journey inwards? You are already there, there is no point in going. When going stops, journeying disappears, when desiring is no more clouding your mind, you are in. This is called turning in. But it is not a turning at all, it is simply not going out.

But in language it is always a problem to express these things.

There is an ancient parable: It was a beautiful afternoon, and a tortoise went for a walk on the land. And he rested under sunlit trees and he roamed around in the bushes just for the delight of it. Then he came back to the pond. One of his friends, a fish, asked ‘Where have you been?’ And he said ‘I went for a walk on the land.’ And the fish said ‘What do you mean by “a walk on the land”? You must mean swimming.’ And the tortoise laughed and he said ‘No, it was not swimming, it was nothing like swimming. It was a walk on the solid land.’ And the fish said ‘Are you kidding or something? I have been to every place, you can swim everywhere. I have never seen a place where you cannot dive and swim. You are talking nonsense. Have you gone mad?’

You understand the difficulty of the fish? She has never been on the land, walking on the land makes no sense. If the tortoise wants to make sense of his statement he will have to say ‘I went swimming on the solid land.’ Which will be absurd. But only the word ‘swimming’ can be understood by the fish.

A mind full of desires can only understand desire. Hence the desire for God. It is absurd, you cannot desire God. God comes to you when desire leaves. The cessation of desire is the coming of God to you. Again, I am using the word ’coming’, which is not true. Because God is already there – you only recognize when the desire has ceased. Nothing ever comes, nothing ever goes, all is as it is. That’s what Buddha means when he says: yatha bhutam – things are as they are. Nothing has gone wrong, nothing needs to be put right. Things are as they are, and they always remain as they are. The trees are green and the roses are red and the clouds float in the sky. Everything is where it has always been, the way it has always been. That is the meaning of the word ‘nature’ – yatha bhutam.

But man has a capacity to dream, to desire. That capacity to dream is the problem. Then you start moving into the future, then you start planning for the future. You remain here, but your mind can move into the future. It is like a dream. You fall asleep in Poona but you can dream of Calcutta or Chicago or Washington or Moscow. You are here the whole night – in the morning you will not wake up in Moscow or Chicago, you will wake up in Poona. And then you will laugh, ‘I have been roaming too much.’ While you are dreaming of Moscow you have not reached there, you remain here.

You always remain here. Here and now is the only reality, there is no other. But desire can create a dream. And in desire you go on moving outwards.

Now, what does it mean to turn inwards? Tao’s question is significant, it is very relevant. What does it mean to turn inwards? It means seeing the futility of desire, seeing the futility of dreaming, seeing the illusoriness of dreaming. In that very seeing, desire disappears. In that clarity, desire cannot exist. And when you are with no desire, you are in. Not that you have to turn in. Not that first you have to stop desiring, then you have to turn in. The cessation of desire is the turning, the transformation – what Jesus calls ‘metanoia’, the conversion. Suddenly another gestalt opens. It was there, but you were not aware of it because you were too much obsessed with the desire. The desire for money, the desire for power, the desire for prestige, does not allow your meditation to bloom. Because the whole energy goes down the drain in desires.

Once the energy is not moving anywhere… Remember, I repeat again, turning in is not moving in. When the energy is not moving at all, when there is no movement, when everything is still, when all has stopped – because seeing the futility of desire you cannot move anywhere, there is nowhere to go – stillness descends. The world stops. That’s what is meant by ‘turning in’. Suddenly you are in. You have always been there, now you are awake. The night is over, the morning has come, you are awake. This is what is meant by Buddhahood – to become aware, awake, of that which is already the case.

Remember Hakuin’s saying: From the very beginning all beings are Buddhas. From the very beginning to the very end. In the beginning, in the middle, in the end, all are Buddhas. Not for a single moment have you been anybody else. But the emperor is having a nightmare of becoming a beggar, and is tortured by the nightmare.


From This Very Body the Buddha, Chapter Nine

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation




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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Witnessing-The Nourishment for Your Buddhahood – Osho

How is anxiety related to desire? It seems easier to see that one is desiring than to see that one is ‘anxieting’ – In fact, there is no verb form for anxiety, at least not in English. Am I desiring my anxiety or anxieting my desire?

The desire is nothing but an escape from the state of anxiety. Desires don’t create anxiety, as ordinarily is believed. Anxiety creates desire.

Man is anxiety.

Just the other day I was telling you: animals have no anxiety, because they don’t have to become – they are. A dog is a dog, and a tiger is a tiger, and there is no problem! The tiger is not trying to become a tiger. He is! He already is! There is no becoming involved.

In the world of animals there is no anxiety. In the world of Buddhas again there is no anxiety, they have arrived, they have become. They are Siddhas – they are beings. Now there is no goal left, no movement. The journey is complete. They have arrived home.

Hence the similarity in the eyes of the animals and the eyes of Buddhas. The same silence! The same innocence. The same depth. The same purity. Yet the difference is also great: animals are’ unconscious, Buddhas are conscious. Hence animals’ eyes are innocent, but not luminous. There is no anxiety, but there is no celebration either. There is no despair, but no ecstasy either. In the eyes of the Buddhas you will not find anxiety, you will not find agony; you will not find the constant urge to be this, to be that. The fever of becoming you will not find. But there will be a constant overflowing ecstasy – peaceful, blissful, a well-being.

Between these two is man: half animal, half Buddha. And that is where anxiety exists. Anxiety is THIS tension. A part of you wants to go back to the animals. It goes on pulling you backwards. It says, “Come back! It was so beautiful – where are you going?”

The other part goes on hoping for the future. In some indirect way you know perfectly well that to be a Buddha is your destiny. The seed is there! And the seed goes on saying to you, “Find the soil, right soil, and you will become a Buddha. Don’t go back go ahead….” This tug-of-war is anxiety. Anxiety is one of the most important words to be understood, because it is not only a word: it is the very situation man finds himself in. This is the human dilemma. The most fundamental dilemma is anxiety: To be or not to be? To be this or to be that? Where to go? Man is stuck on a crossroads, all the possibilities open. But if you choose one, you have to choose against other possibilities – hence the fear. You may be choosing wrong. If you go to the right – who knows? – the path going to the left may have been the right path.

And there are people, shopkeepers, who go on calling, hawkers, who go on calling, “Come to the right! This is the right way.” “Come to the left – THIS is the right way!” “Come our way, this is the only way!” “Follow Christianity, or Hinduism, or Buddhism… all others are wrong. You will fall in hell.”

Man is paralyzed! Standing on the crossroads, listening to all these people, he is paralyzed. Where to go? Whom to listen to? Whom to believe? How to be certain that you are going on the right track? Great suspicion, great doubt, great anxiety.

And deep inside you, something is pulling you back: “Better become an animal again. Fall into  drunkenness. Take drugs, or become a sex maniac. Or become violent – kill people!” Why is there so much violence in the world? The animal past goes on pulling you back. Your humanity is only skin-deep. Any moment you can become a wolf, you can become a tiger; you can tear the other into pieces. Any moment! Any moment you can kill. And not only can you kill others: you can kill yourself too. Suicide and murder, constantly pulling you, destruction calling you, alluring you.

And then there are Buddhas… once in a while you see a man and you are enchanted. He has that enchanted space in him. He has that magic by which your future suddenly becomes your present. At least in his presence, at least when you vibrate with him, you forget all your animal past. You start flying like angels in the sky. Those people are also there.

This is the anxiety: Where to go? What to do? And whatsoever you do, anxiety will remain. If you become an animal, the Buddha part will go on rebelling against it. Go and do something that your animal part feels good doing, but your Buddha part starts creating guilt in you. Even the greatest murderer, before he murders anybody, feels the pangs; a great pain arises in him. His Buddha part tries to stop him, “What are you doing?” He may listen, he may not listen – but he will repent! For years he will repent for what he has done. He should not have done it.

The thief, before he moves into somebody’s house, is again and again warned by the Buddha part, “Don’t do it. There is still time – escape!” If you do it, you feel guilty. If you don’t do it, you will feel guilty. Because if you don’t do it, and you leave and you come home, then you cannot sleep, because the animal part goes on saying, ”You are a fool! So much money, and it was so easily available, and there was nobody in the house, and the whole neighborhood was fast asleep, and there was not a single chance of your being caught – you are just an utter fool! Why have you come back? There is still time – go again!”

If you follow one part, the other part makes you feel guilty. And vice versa. This is anxiety. And this anxiety is very existential. It is not that somebody is suffering it and somebody is not suffering – no. It is existential: everybody is born into it. Humanity is born into it. Human beings are born into anxiety. That is their challenge. That is the problem they have to solve – that is the problem they have to transcend.

Now, there are two ways to transcend it. One is the way of the world – you can call it desire. Desire is the way to hide this anxiety. You rush into earning money, madly. You become so absorbed in earning money that you forget all existential anxiety. Then there is no point, no time to think about real problems. Then you put aside everything and you just go into the search for money, more money. And as you get money, more and more desire arises. This desiring for money or political power is nothing but a cover for your anxiety.

That’s why people are very much frightened when they are left alone and nothing is there to be done. That’s why retired people become very, very uneasy, uncomfortable. They die fast. It is said – now psychological research has proved it – that a man who is retired is going to die ten years earlier than he would have died if he had remained employed. Ten years earlier? Why? Because the anxiety that he has been repressing through his job asserts itself. He was running after money, chasing after political power; there was no time to give to anxiety.

Now there is all the time and nothing to do. Sitting in his armchair he does only one thing –  anxieting. Nothing else to do! Now all the repressed anxieties of his whole life – that denied existential part takes revenge. It kills. He becomes ill, heart attacks come, he becomes paralyzed. But there is more possibility that all this is happening because of the psychology, not because of the body.

When a person is succeeding and his desires are taking him farther and farther away, he remains healthy. Politicians are almost always healthy when they are in power; when they lose power, they suddenly become old. When a person is earning and earning and earning, he remains healthy. When he becomes a failure, when he goes bankrupt, then suddenly, yes, in a single night all his hair can turn white – literally.

Desire is a way to avoid anxiety, but only to avoid. You cannot destroy it by desiring. And desire gives you small anxieties, remember, very small anxieties, which are not existential. Of course, when you are earning money you will have a few anxieties: the market and the share market, and things like that, and prices. And you have put so much money – are you going to earn out of it or are you going to lose? These small anxieties. These are nothing compared to the real anxiety – these are tricks to avoid the real.

Of course, when you are ambitious for political power, you will have anxieties, a thousand and one. But they are nothing! they are play-things compared to the fundamental anxiety.

You ask me: How is anxiety related to desire?

Desire is a cover-up for anxiety. It is a trick, a strategy. And meditation is to uncover it.

That’s why people can’t sit silently even for a few minutes. Because when they sit silently, anxieties start raising their heads. They become very much afraid. That’s why people ask, even in meditation, “What should we do? Can we chant a mantra?” Then it is okay; then the mantra becomes your cover. Then you can repeat, “Ram, Ram, Ram,” and you can go on repeating. This repetition keeps your anxiety repressed.

Real meditation is Zen, Vipassana. Real meditation is nothing but to sit silently, doing nothing. Just doing nothing, sitting silently, that is real meditation. There is no other technique, no technique at all in it. No mantra has to be repeated. No prayer has to be done, no God’s name to be pronounced. You simply sit… but that is the hardest thing to do in the world. Looks so simple!

When I say again and again:

Sitting silently,
doing nothing,
and the Spring comes
and the grass grows by itself…

You think it is very easy: “We can sit and the spring will come and the grass will grow by itself.” This is the hardest and the most difficult and the most arduous thing in the world: to sit silently, doing nothing. And this is the greatest meditation.

What is meditation? Just allowing your existence as it is without covering it in any way. So the Transcendental Meditation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is not meditation at all. It is neither meditation nor transcendental. It is just a strategy to be fool people.

And America needs such people to fool them. America needs something to cover its anxiety.

Because money is there now, so money, and the search for money, cannot become a cover-up for long now. Society is affluent. People have all that you can desire. Now what? Now the anxiety is knocking on the doors, and the anxiety is saying, “Okay, now you have a two-car garage – now what? Let me come in! Now you have a house in the hills, another house on the beach, a beautiful yacht, what else?… now let me come in! You were telling me, ‘Wait! First let me have a house in the hills, another house on the beach. First let me purchase a beautiful yacht.’ Now you have all that – now let me come in. I can’t wait any more!”

Anxiety is knocking on the American door. It always knocks when a society is rich. When a society is poor, Transcendental Meditation is not needed. That’s why in India nobody bothers about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Who bothers? People have so many ways to cover up their anxiety so easily.

But when all the desires are coming to a completion, what to do? Something new is needed. Then in many directions new doors have to be opened: Go to the moon! One company is selling tickets for the moon. Of course, it has to be a Japanese company – ’85, in January. People are purchasing. It is already booked. Tickets are being sold on the black market.

“What to do? Let us go to the moon! At least we can cover up with that. We have to go to the moon. We can say to the anxiety, ‘Wait! First let me go to the moon, then I will look at you. Wait a little more.’” Or do Transcendental Meditation. Any foolish word, repeat it, call it a mantra. Go on repeating it. That becomes a blanket cover.

Real meditation is not a technique. Real meditation is just relaxing, sitting silently, letting it happen, whatsoever it is. Allowing the whole anxiety to come up, to surface. And watching it, watching it. And doing nothing to change it. Witnessing it is real meditation.

In that witnessing your Buddhahood will become more and more powerful. Witnessing is the nourishment for your Buddhahood. And the more powerful your Buddhahood is, the less anxiety there is. The day your Buddhahood is complete, all anxiety is gone.


Excerpt from The Perfect Master, V.1, Chapter Eight

The Perfect Master, Volume 1
The Perfect Master, Volume 1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Awaiting Its Discovery – Osho

What is satori and how to attain it?

Pratima, satori is exactly your ordinary nature; it is not anything special. Hence there is no question of attaining it – it is already the case. You are in it, you have just forgotten. You have become too occupied with the outside world. You have forgotten your own kingdom, you have forgotten your own treasure, you have forgotten yourself. You have become too concerned with others. You are too much in the world and you don’t give any time, any space for your inner nature to have a dialogue with you, to whisper a few things to you. You have become artificial.

You have created a false ego because nobody can live without a center. You have forgotten your real center, and nobody can live without a center, so you have created a false center as a substitute.

That’s the ego. Ego simply means living with a false center.

Satori is dropping the false, entering into the real; just being yourself, your natural self, your ordinary self.

The word “ordinary” has to be remembered because the mind is not interested in the ordinary at all; it wants to be extraordinary, it wants to be special. It is through being special that the ego survives. It is constantly striving to be more special, more special. It wants to be more rich, more powerful, more respectable; it is ambitious. Hence the word “ordinary” has no appeal for the mind. And that is the beauty of the word ”ordinary” – because it has no appeal for the mind.

Mind is an achiever and the ordinary need not be achieved; it is already the case. The extraordinary has to be achieved, the extraordinary becomes the goal. It is far away; you have to make all kinds of efforts, you have to struggle for it, you have to fight for it because there are so many competitors.

To be ordinary… and there is no competition at all. You can just be ordinary, nobody has any objection. People will simply feel sorry for you that you have dropped out of the competitive race.

One competitor less – they will feel good but sorry for you. They will say, “Poor fellow! What happened to him? Why did he have to drop out?” The dropouts are not respectable people.

Buddha is a dropout. All real Masters are dropouts. To be a sannyasin means to be a dropout. To drop out of the rat race is to drop in, because when you are in the race you cannot enter in. When you are no longer in the race there is nowhere to go. You start moving inwards because life is a flow: if there is no outer direction it takes the inner direction. If the goal is not there far away in the future, then you start moving into your nature in the present. That is satori.

Satori is very ordinary. Satori means your nature. You have come with it; it is your original face – all other faces are masks.

Yoka says:
A disciple speaks in accordance with the ultimate, the absolute truth. Remember that one should cut the root and not the branches and the leaves.

What is the root of your misery? The root is your ambition, desiring. One wants to be this and that, one wants to possess this and that, one wants to be somebody, one wants to be significant. Yoka says: Cut the root… only then are you a disciple. And the moment you cut the root – not the branches, not the leaves – you attain the ultimate truth. The ultimate truth is not far away; it is the immediate truth, it is your truth, it is your very being.

Most people do not recognize the perfect jewel, the jewel of supreme wisdom, satori. It is hidden in the secret place of Tathagata, awaiting its discovery. It is to live in your suchness; it is hidden in your suchness. Whatsoever you are, live in it. Don’t create any conflict, don’t live through the ideal. Don’t be an idealist, just be natural.

But everybody is being taught to be an idealist: “Become a Jesus” or “Become a Buddha” or “Become a Krishna.” Nobody tells you just to be yourself! Why should you be a Jesus? One Jesus is enough and one Jesus is beautiful – he enriches the existence. Many Jesuses just carrying crosses, and wherever you go you meet them… It won’t look beautiful, it won’t add to the beauty of existence; it will make the whole world ugly. Wherever you go you meet a Mahavira standing naked…. It is because of this that God never creates the same person again. He never repeats; he is original.

He always creates a new person. You have never been before, and there is no one who is like you, and there will never be anybody else like you again. In the whole of eternity you alone are just like you. Look at the beauty of it and the glory of it and the respect that God has shown to you! What more respectability do you need? See the uniqueness of yourself. There is no need to be unique; you are already unique, just as everybody else is unique. You are unique in your ordinariness, in your suchness.

Satori is hidden, says Yoka, in the secret place of your suchness, awaiting its discovery.

It has not to be created, it is already there; you just have to discover it. Go in and discover it! It is waiting and waiting. And centuries have passed and many many lives have passed, and you have become addicted to extroversion. You never move in.

The first step towards satori is meditation. Satori is the ultimate experience of meditation when meditation is fulfilled, when meditation has reached to its ultimate flowering .

Yoka says:
The world is complete illusion, yet nothing exists which might be called illusion.

The world that you have created through your mind is illusory, but there is another world which is not your creation. When your mind disappears you discover that world: the world of suchness. That is a totally different experience. No words can describe it. Thousands of mystics have tried to describe it, but nobody has ever been able and nobody will ever be able to describe it. It is so mysterious, it is so beautiful that all words fall short. No poetry reaches to its level, no music even touches its feet.

The perfect light of this wisdom enlightens one.

The moment you have put your mind aside – mind means ambition, the ego trip of being this and that – the moment you have put the whole mind aside, a great light explodes in you and you are enlightened. This is satori. It does not come from the outside: you are not delivered by somebody else; you are delivered by your own being, by your own nature.

That is possible only by practicing Zazen beyond speculation. You can see clouds naturally in the mirror but to hold on to the reflection is impossible.

That is possible only by practicing zazen… Satori is possible only by practicing zazen. Zazen means:

Just sitting, doing nothing, the Spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

You are simply relaxing into your own being, not doing anything at all. It is not a question of doing; it is simply a question of being. You go on relaxing into your being. A moment comes when you are in your utter purity, in your utter simplicity, in your utter innocence. That is satori.

Zazen is a beautiful word. It simply means just sitting – not even doing meditation. In fact, you cannot do meditation. Meditation is just sitting silently; it is not a question of doing. If you are doing something you are disturbing your meditation.

Somebody is chanting a mantra; he is disturbing his meditation. Somebody is focusing on something; he is disturbing his meditation. Somebody is concentrating, somebody is praying, somebody is thinking of God: they are disturbing their meditation. All these are the doings of the mind, and if the doing continues the mind continues. Stop doing, and where is the mind? When the doing disappears, mind disappears. And the disappearance of the mind is satori.

It is beyond speculation, says Yoka. You cannot think about it, you can only experience it. It is the ultimate experience, and the immediate experience, too, of truth, of beauty, of love, of bliss, of God, of nirvana.

From Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter Four

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen

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What Does “I” Mean – Osho

Please, in the question “Who am I?” What does “I” mean? Does it mean the essence of life?

“Who am I?” is not really a question because it has no answer to it; it is unanswerable. It is a device, not a question. It is used as a mantra. When you constantly inquire inside, “Who am I? Who am I?” you are not waiting for an answer. Your mind will supply many answers; all those answers have to be rejected. Your mind will say, “You are the essence of life. You are the eternal soul. You are divine,” and so on and so forth. All those answers have to be rejected: neti neti — one has to go on saying, “Neither this nor that.”

When you have denied all the possible answers that the mind can supply and devise, when the question remains absolutely unanswerable, a miracle happens: suddenly the question also disappears. When all the answers have been rejected, the question has no props, no supports inside to stand on any more. It simply flops, it collapses, it disappears. When the question also has disappeared, then you know. But that knowing is not an answer: it is an existential experience. Nothing can be said about it, or whatever will be said will be wrong. To say anything about it is to falsify it. It is the ultimate mystery, inexpressible, indefinable. No word is adequate enough to describe it. Even the phrase “essence of life” is not adequate; even “God” is not adequate. Nothing is adequate to express it; its very nature is inexpressible.

But you know. You know exactly the way the seed knows how to grow — not like the professor who knows about chemistry or physics or geography or history, but like the bud which knows how to open in the early morning sun. Not like the priest who knows about God; about and about he goes, around and around he goes.

Knowledge is beating around the bush: knowing is a direct penetration. But the moment you directly penetrate into existence, you disappear as a separate entity. You are no more. When the knower is no more, then the knowing is. And the knowing is not about something — you are that knowing itself.

So I cannot say what “I” means in the question “Who am I?” It means nothing! It is just a device to lead you into the unknown, to lead you into the uncharted, to lead you into that which is not available to the mind. It is a sword to cut the very roots of the mind, so only the silence of no-mind is left. In that silence there is no question, no answer, no knower, no known, but only knowing, only experiencing.

That’s why the mystics appear to be in such difficulty to express it. Many of them have remained silent out of the awareness that whatsoever you say goes wrong; the moment you say it, it goes wrong. Those who have spoken, they have spoken with the condition: “Don’t cling to our words.”

Lao Tzu says: “Tao, once described, is no more the real Tao.” The moment you say something about it you have already falsified it, you have betrayed it. It is such an intimate knowing, incommunicable.

“Who am I?” functions like a sword to cut all the answers that the mind can manage. Zen people will say it is a koan, just like other koans. There are many koans, famous koans. One is: “Find out your original face.” And the disciple asks the Master, “What is the original face?” And the Master says, “The face that you had before your parents were born.”

And you start meditating on that: “What is your original face?” Naturally, you have to deny all your faces. Many faces will start surfacing: childhood faces, when you were young, when you became middle-aged, when you became old, when you were healthy, when you were ill…. All kinds of faces will stand in a queue. They will pass before your eyes claiming, “I am the original face.” And you have to go on rejecting.

When all the faces have been rejected and emptiness is left, you have found the original face. Emptiness is the original face. Zero is the ultimate experience. Nothingness – or more accurately no-thingness — is your original face.

Or another famous koan is: “The sound of one hand clapping.” The Master says to the disciple, “Go and listen to the sound of one hand clapping.” Now this is patent absurdity: one hand cannot clap and without clapping there can be no sound. The Master knows it, the disciple knows it. But when the Master says, “Go and meditate on it,” the disciple has to follow.

He starts making efforts to listen to the sound of one hand clapping. Many sounds come to his mind: the birds singing, the sound of running water…. He rushes immediately to the Master; he says, “I have heard it! The sound of running water — isn’t that the sound of one hand clapping?”

And the Master hits him hard on the head and he says, “You fool! Go back, meditate more!”

And he goes on meditating, and the mind goes on providing new answers: “The sound of wind passing through the pine trees — certainly this is the answer.” He is in such a hurry!

Everybody is in such a hurry. Impatiently he rushes to the door of the Master, a little bit apprehensive, afraid too, but maybe this is the answer….

And even before he has said a single thing the Master hits him! He is very much puzzled and he says, “This is too much! I have not even uttered a single word, so how can I be wrong? And why are you hitting me?”

The Master says, “It is not a question of whether you have uttered something or not. You have come with an answer — that is enough proof that you must be wrong. When you have really found it you won’t come; there will be no need. I will come to you.”

Sometimes years pass, and then one day it has happened, there is no answer. First the disciple knew that there was no answer to it, but it was only an intellectual knowing. Now he knows from his very core: “There is no answer!” All answers have evaporated.

And the sure sign that all answers have evaporated is only one: when the question also evaporates. Now he is sitting silently doing nothing, not even meditating. He has forgotten the question: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” It is no more there. It is pure silence.

And there are ways…there are inner paths which exist between a Master and a disciple.

And now the Master rushes towards the disciple. He knocks on his door. He hugs the disciple and says, “So it has happened? This is it! No answer, no question: this is it. Ah, this!”


From Ah This!, Chapter Two

Ah This

Ah This CDCopyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Hara, the Third Eye and Zen – Osho

I heard you say that the center of our Buddhahood is at the hara  point inside the body. Is there also a sleeping buddha energy in our hearts and in the third eye? 

Do we all have the same potential of remembering, each one with his or her unique expression of creativity? 

Please comment. 

The hara center is the source of all your energy. It can grow just like a tree grows from the roots into different branches.

According to a different calculation of Patanjali, the energy can be divided into seven centers, but the original source remains the hara. From the hara it can go up.

The seventh center is in the head, and the sixth center is what you call the third eye. The fifth center is in our throat, and the fourth center is exactly in the middle: the heart. Below the heart there are three centers, above the heart there are three centers. But all these seven centers grow like a tree from the original source of the hara. That’s why, in Japanese, suicide is called hara-kiri. People don’t cut their throats, they don’t cut their heads. They simply pierce a small knife into the hara center – just exactly two inches below the navel – and the person dies. And you will not know at all that somebody has committed suicide. Just the energy is released from the body, the source is opened.

I am trying to take you to the very original source. From there, it is up to you to bring your energy into any center you want.

Between the first center, the hara, and the seventh center in the head, the energy can move just like the energy moves into different branches of a tree – from the roots to the uppermost flowering. The hara is the source. When it blossoms, it reaches suddenly to the seventh center, piercing your heart, your throat, and at the seventh center it blossoms as a lotus. Man is also a flowering tree.

These are different ways of looking at things. Patanjali’s yoga is one of the ways; Zen is a totally different approach. To me, Zen seems to be more scientific, while Patanjali seems to be more intellectual and philosophical. Zen begins from the very source.

The buddha is not lying anywhere else other than in the hara; he is not lying in the heart. The energy can be brought to the heart, then the expression will be love. The energy can be brought to the third eye, then you will be able to see things which are not ordinarily visible – auras of people, auras of things, a certain kind of X-ray energy that goes deeper into things. If the same energy moves into the seventh center, according to Patanjali, samadhi is attained – you become enlightened.

But these are different calculations. Rather than talking about samadhi, I would rather encourage you to enter into the source of energy from where everything is going to happen. I don’t like to talk about the flowers much, because that talk will remain simply conceptual. My approach is more pragmatic.

I want you to experience your sleeping energy. And the moment you reach there, it awakens. It sleeps only if you are not there. If your awareness reaches to the source, it wakes up, and in its waking is the Buddhahood. In its waking you become for the first time part of existence: no ego, no self, a pure nothingness.

People are afraid of the word ‘nothingness’. In the second question that fear is clear.

The second question is:

Though you have infused the sutras with life and humor, for me, Zen remains the stark beauty of the desert, and I long for something else.

Why can’t I drop the idea that my way is not via emptiness, but fullness? I still carry this longing for some kind of union, a melting outwards rather than dissolving into nothingness inside.

With whom are you going to melt outside? You don’t know even who you are. And who has told you that Zen is a “stark beauty of the desert”? Zen is perhaps the most beautiful path, full of flowers, songs, joy and laughter.

But the idea of nothingness creates a certain fear of dissolving into a desert. It is just your mind that makes the difference between emptiness and fullness. In realizing either, you will be realizing the other too, because they are two aspects of one thing, of one phenomenon which can either be called nothingness, or can be called fullness.

Zen has chosen rightly to call it nothingness, because fullness can give you misunderstandings. The moment you think of fullness you start imagining. The moment you think of melting into someone outside, immediately a God, a paradise, a heaven, and all kinds of imaginations arise. And those imaginations will prevent you from going anywhere.

I am not helping your imagination at all. I am trying to uproot your imagination in every possible way. I want to leave you without images, in utter silence, in nothingness, because that is the only way to attain fullness.

When the dewdrop disappears in the ocean, it is not that it becomes nothing. Yes, it becomes nothing but it also becomes the ocean. In its disappearing as a dewdrop, on the other side it is also becoming the whole ocean. So the fullness and nothingness are not two things, only two concepts of the mind, but in reality, only two ways of saying one thing. Emptiness, or nothingness, is better because it does not allow any imagination to arise.

Fullness is dangerous. If rightly used there is no problem. Fullness will also dissolve God, and paradise, and heaven and hell, and incarnation. But mind is capable of using the idea of fullness in a way that it cannot use the word ‘nothingness’. To prevent the mind from using the word ‘fullness’ and preventing you from realizing the reality, from Gautam Buddha onwards the word ‘nothingness’ has been chosen. But nothingness is not absence; nothingness is not dead. Nothingness is fullness, but so full that you cannot define it, and you cannot make a limit or a boundary to it.

Unbounded fullness and nothingness, in experience, mean exactly the same. But for the beginner, the word ‘fullness’ is dangerous – and everybody is a beginner.

Begin with something which is less capable of taking you astray from reality. Fullness can be used only by a master who knows that nothingness and fullness are synonymous. But for the beginner it is dangerous, because for him fullness means something opposed to nothingness. If ‘fullness’ is synonymous with ‘nothingness’, then there is no problem. Then the desert becomes the ocean, then there is only beauty and song and dance.

Nothingness gives the idea to the mind that everything will be lost. You will be lost, but the truth is, the moment everything is lost, including you, you have gained the whole universe – all the stars within you, and the vast universe inside your heart. It is not losing anything, so don’t be worried about nothing.

The questioner goes on:

Is this just my refusal to grow up? Am I fooling myself? Are we all to embrace the Zen Manifesto no matter what ‘type’ we feel we are?

There is no question of type. All types are just superficial. At the innermost core there is only one existence. The Zen Manifesto is not for a particular type, it is for all – for men and for women, and for black and white, and for Hindu and Mohammedan, and for Christian and Buddhist. It does not matter what kind of conditioning you have been brought up in, Zen is simply a technique of entering into your veryness. The entrance is so deep that nothing remains, and all is found.

Gurdjieff has written a book, All and Nothing. I would like to withdraw the word ‘and’, because all is nothing; there is no question of ‘and’. Whatever type you are – introvert, extrovert – it does not matter, you are all part of the same existence. And when you relax into existence, all your differences disappear; only oneness remains. You can call that oneness whatever you like, but basically it is nothingness. You can give it any color; you can call it by any name, but don’t start calling it by another name from the beginning, because that can take you astray. Somebody may think that he can call it God, then he will start worshipping a God which is man manufactured.

For the beginner, nothing is the most secure path to avoid the mind playing games. Nothing is beyond the reaches of the mind, so it cannot play games with it. But anything else you name it, mind is capable of playing games with it.

The whole effort of meditation is not to allow the mind to play games. It has been playing games for centuries. One has to come to the point of seeing all the games of the mind: all the gods, all the messiahs, all the prophets, all the religions, all the philosophies.

Existence is available to a silent being, not to the learned, not to the well informed, not to the scholar. It is available to the innocent, and meditation is a way of becoming innocent again. Getting back your childhood, being reborn, knowing nothing, a silence, a joy, a blissfulness arises which is indestructible, which is eternal.


From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, Chapter Seven

The Zen Manifesto

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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All Dreams Must Cease – Osho

Mind has only one capacity and that is to dream. And this dreaming continues even while you are awake. That’s the reason Sosan or Jesus won’t believe that you are ever awake, because dreaming has one quality: that it can happen only in sleep.

These two things have to be understood first: mind is the source of all dreaming, but dream can happen only in sleep. And if you are dreaming twenty-four hours a day, one thing is absolutely certain: that you are fast asleep. Close the eyes any moment and the dream is there; it continues as an undercurrent. Even while you are engaged, for all outward purposes you seem to be awake, but deep down a current of dreaming goes on and on and on.

Any moment, close the eyes and it is there. It is not interrupted by your occupations. You walk on the street, you drive the car, you work in a factory, in the office – it continues. You go to sleep, then you can feel it more because, unoccupied, the whole attention comes to the mind.

It is just like the stars. In the day you cannot see stars in the sky. They are there, because where can they go? But because of the light of the sun you cannot see them. If you go in a deep well, two hundred feet down, from there you can see stars in the sky even in the day. They are there, but because of so much light you cannot see them. Darkness is needed for them to be revealed.

The same happens with dreaming; dreams are there in the day also, but darkness is needed so that you can see them. It is just like when you go to a theater. If the doors are open the film may continue but you cannot see. Close the doors, make the room dark, and you can see.

Dreaming is your continuity, and unless this continuity is broken you cannot know what truth is. The question is not whether truth is very far away or near, the question is whether the mind is in a dream or not.

So the basic problem is not how to seek the truth; you cannot seek with a dreaming mind, because whatsoever will come before you, your dreams will be imposed on it. Your dreams will be projected on it, you will interpret it. You will not be able to see as it is. You will see according to your dreams, you will falsify it. Truth IS there, because only truth can be – untruth cannot be.

So another thing before we enter the sutra: Shankara has divided reality in three categories, and those categories are beautiful to understand. One category is the category of the truth: that which is. In fact nothing else is possible; only truth is and only truth can be.

The second category is of that which is untruth, which cannot be. No possibility of its being there, because how can untruth be? For being, truth is needed. So untruth is non-being, truth is being. Then Shankara finds a third category that he calls dreaming, appearance, illusion, maya: that which appears to be but is not.

So three categories. Truth, that which is. If your eyes are clear, unclouded, if the mind is not dreaming, then there is only one category – truth. But if your mind is dreaming then two other categories come into existence.

Dream is, in a certain sense, because you dream it. And it is not, in a different certain sense, because it corresponds to no reality. You dream in the night that you have become a king. In the morning you find you are just the same beggar. The dream was false, but the dream was, so it has a quality of truth about it because it happened. And in those moments when it was happening you completely believed in its truth, otherwise it would have stopped immediately.

If you become aware that “I am dreaming and this is false,” the dream is broken, you are awake already. The dream existed for a few hours; it had one quality of truth, that it existed. But it is not true because in the morning you find it was not. It was just a thought, a wave in the air, a flower in the sky – appeared to be true but was untrue.

Truth is being, untruth is non-being, and between the two there is a world of dreaming – it carries the qualities of both. And mind is the source of dreaming, so mind IS illusory. Mind is the source of all maya.

You may be thinking that if you leave the world and go to the Himalayas you will attain to truth. You are wrong, because your house is not maya, your wife is not maya, your children – no. Your mind is maya. And how can you leave the mind here and go to the Himalayas? The mind is within you. If you can drop it, you can drop it anywhere. If you cannot drop it, you cannot drop it whether you go to the Himalayas or not.

The wife, the children, the house, the world, is called maya, illusion, in a secondary sense – because the wife exists, she has a being. She is a Brahma in her own right, she is truth – not as a wife, but as a soul.

Your mind interprets her as wife: “She is my wife.” Then a dream is created. She is there, absolutely true! You are here, absolutely true! And between the two a dream happens. You call her your wife, she calls you her husband. Now a dream exists between the two, and dreams always become nightmares. So all relationships ultimately become nightmares, because you cannot tolerate an illusion very long. An illusion is temporary; sooner or later it has to disappear. It cannot be eternal, it cannot be permanent.

You love a woman, a dream is created. But how long can you dream? By the time the honeymoon is finished the dream is gone – even before. Then what will you do? Then you will pretend, because now you are a slave of your own promises.

You will pretend that you still love, you will pretend that “You are still beautiful,” you will pretend that “There exists no person like you.” But now everything is a pretension. And when you pretend, and the dream is broken, and you still carry the dream, it becomes a burden and nightmarish. That’s why you live in such suffering.

The suffering is nothing but broken dreams, broken rainbows, broken illusions, appearances. And you have invested in them so much you cannot look at the truth: that from the very beginning they were dreams.

Rather than looking at the truth you will throw the responsibility on the other. You will say, “This wife has deceived me. She was not as good as she appeared. She deceived me, she didn’t reveal her true reality.” And you will not see that that is not the point at all. You were creating a dream around her, and because of that dream you couldn’t see the reality. She was also creating a dream around you.

So whenever two persons fall in love there are not two persons, there are four: one the lover, another, the beloved, and between these two the beloved that is a creation of the mind of the lover, and the lover that is a creation of the mind of the beloved. These two are dreams, and these two go on moving.

Sooner or later, when the dream is broken, you are two not four. Whenever you are two there will be difficulty. Then you would like to throw the responsibility on the other: “It is because of the other.” You have missed the point again. That means you will create the same dream around another woman because you will think, “This woman is not going to deceive me, and now I am more clever also.”

But mind is never clever. The essence of mind is foolishness, so mind can never be clever. It can be cunning, cunning in its foolishness, but it can never be wise. That is not its nature, because wisdom happens only when dreaming leaves. So if dreaming is the basic reality of the mind then it can never be wise.

A Buddha is wise because now there is no mind. A Sosan is wise because now he lives in no-mind, now all dreams stop. He looks at things as they are. You never look at things as they are; you mix with your illusions. And you are so afraid to look straight because you know, unconsciously, deep down somewhere you know, that things are not as you look at them.

But you think if you look at the reality of things it will be too much, too heavy – you may not be able to stand it. You mix it with dreams just to make it a little sweeter. You think it is bitter so you coat it with sugar. You coat a person in dreams and you feel the person has become sweet? No, you are simply deceiving yourself, nobody else. Hence, so much misery.

It is out of your dreams that the misery has happened, and one has to be aware of this phenomenon. Don’t throw responsibility on the other; otherwise you will create other dreams. Look that it is you who are projecting, but it is difficult to look.

In a theater, in a cinema hall, you look at the screen, you never look at the back – the projector is at the back. The film is not there really on the screen; on the screen it is just a projection of shadow and light. The film exists just at the back, but you never look at that. And the projector is there. Your mind is at the back of the whole thing, and the mind is the projector. But you always look at the other because the other is the screen.

When you are in love the person seems beautiful, no comparison. When you hate, the same person seems the ugliest, and you never become aware of how the same person can be the ugliest and the same person can be the most beautiful. When you are in love the same person is a flower, a rose, a rose garden with no thorns. When you dislike, when you hate, flowers disappear, there are only thorns, no more a garden – the ugliest, the dirtiest, you would not like even to see. And you never become aware of what you are doing. How can roses disappear so soon, in a single minute? Not even a gap of a single minute is needed. This moment you are in love and the next moment you are in hate; the same person, the same screen, and the whole story changes.

Just watch and you will be able to see that this person is not the point, you are projecting something. When you project love the person looks lovely, when you project hate the person looks ugly. The person is not; you have not seen the real person at all. You cannot see the reality through the eyes of the mind.

If you really want to know what the truth is, scriptures won’t help. Neither will going to the Himalayas be of any help. Only one thing can help: start looking at things without the mind. Look at the flower and don’t allow the mind to say anything. Just look at it. It is difficult because of an old habit of interpreting. You go on interpreting and interpretations differ. Interpretations depend on the mind.

Mulla Nasruddin asked the court for a divorce. He said to the judge, “Now it is impossible. Every day I come back home and I find my wife is hiding some man or other in the closet.” Even the judge was shocked and he said, “Every day?” Nasruddin said, “Every day! And not the same person either – every day a new person.”

Just to console Nasruddin the judge said, “Then you must be very much hurt. You come home tired and you think the wife must be waiting for you, to receive and welcome and be loving. And you come home and you find a new man is hiding in the closet every day. It is very Nasruddin said, “Yes, I feel very hurt – because I never had any room to hang my clothes.”

It depends on the mind how you interpret things.

Then Nasruddin deserted his wife and ran away. He was caught, again brought to the court. The judge said, “You are a deserter and you have to be punished.”

Nasruddin said, “Wait! Before you decide you must see my wife. If you see my wife you will never say that I am a deserter. You will simply say, ’Nasruddin, you are a coward!’ And that I accept. I am not a deserter, simply a coward. But first look at my wife.”

How you look at things depends on you, not on things. Unless you come to a point where you drop the interpreting mind and look direct, look immediate, mind is your mediator. It brings you things distorted, it brings you things mixed with interpretations. They are not pure.

So the only way to reach to truth is: how to learn to be immediate in your vision, how to drop the help of the mind… This agency of the mind is the problem, because mind can create only dreams. But beautiful dreams mind can create, and you can get so excited. Through your excitement the dream starts looking like reality. If you are too excited then you are intoxicated, then you are not in your senses. Then whatsoever you see is just your projection. And there are as many worlds as there are minds, because every mind lives in its own world. You can laugh at others’ foolishness, but unless you start laughing at your own you will not be able to become a man of Tao, the man of nature, the man of truth. So what to do?

Try in small things not to bring the mind in. You look at a flower – you simply look. You don’t say, “Beautiful! Ugly!” You don’t say anything! Don’t bring words, don’t verbalize. Simply look. The mind will feel uncomfortable, uneasy. The mind would like to say something. You simply say to the mind, “Be silent! Let me see. I will just look.”

In the beginning it will be difficult, but start with things in which you are not too much involved. It will be difficult to look at your wife without bringing words in. You are too much involved, too much emotionally attached. Angry or in love, but too much involved. Look at things which are neutral – a rock, a flower, a tree, the sun rising, a bird in flight, a cloud moving in the sky. Just look at things with which you are not much involved, with which you can remain detached, with which you can remain indifferent. Start from neutral things and only then move towards emotionally loaded situations.

People start from the loaded situations; they fail, because it is almost impossible. Either you love your wife or you hate, there is no in between. If you love you are mad, if you hate you are mad – and both ways the words will come. It is almost impossible not to allow the words, difficult, because of so much practice in saying something continuously.

One day I was at Mulla Nasruddin’s house in the morning. They were taking tea when I arrived. The wife said, “Darling, in the night while you were asleep, you were saying many nasty things about me.” Nasruddin looked at me and said, “Who says I was asleep? I cannot say things while awake, that’s why I was pretending sleep.”

Even in sleep, or awake, when you are emotionally too much involved, it is difficult to put the mind aside. It will come in. So look at unloaded situations first. When you have the feeling that, yes, you can look at certain things without the mind coming in, then try with loaded relationships. By and by one becomes efficient. It is just like swimming: in the beginning you feel afraid and in the beginning you cannot believe how you will survive. And you have been working with the mind so long you cannot think that without the mind you can exist for a single moment. But try!

And the more you put the mind aside, the more light will happen to you, because when there are no dreams, doors are open, windows are open, and the sky reaches to you, and the sun rises and it comes to the very heart, the light reaches you. You become more and more filled with truth as you are less and less filled with dreaming.

And if while you are awake dreaming stops, by and by when you are asleep dreaming will stop there also, because it can exist only as a continuous circle. If it is broken anywhere, by and by the whole house disappears. You take out one brick and the whole house is already on the way towards being a ruin.

If during the day you can look at things without dreaming, then in the night less and less dreams will be there, because your night is nothing but a reflection of the day, a continuity of the same. When the day is different the night is different. When you are awake – and by ‘awake’ is meant when you are not dreaming, not that you are sitting with open eyes…

Jesus goes on saying to his disciples, “Be awake!” Were they sleeping before him always, continuously? Because he is every day saying, “Be awake!” Buddha teaching his disciples every day, “Be awake!” Why? They were with open eyes, as alert as you are, but Buddha and Jesus go on saying, “Be awake!” They mean, “Don’t dream, just be here! Don’t go anywhere else!” In the memories, in the past, and you dream; in the future, in imagination, and you dream. Be here-now – only then is there no dream.

In the present there is no dream. In the present there is no mind. In the present YOU are there and the truth is there. And then there is no gap between you and truth – -because both are true and there is no boundary. You melt into truth and truth melts into you. You become Brahma, Brahma becomes you. Dreaming is creating a fence around you, very invisible but subtle, powerful.


From Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Chapter Seven

Hsin Hsin Ming

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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