The One in Which Everything Appears

In order to dis-identify ourselves from the body/form we make the body an object and watch our activities. We watch the body in the world without judging it and by doing so we become aware of the One in which all bodily activities appear.

In order to dis-identify ourselves from the mind we make the mind an object and witness the activity of the mind without judging, without jumping into the fray and by doing so we become aware of the One in which all activities of the mind appear.

In order to dis-identify ourselves from the heart we make the heart an object and feel the emotions, the moods without judging, without pushing away and without grasping. By doing so we become aware of the One in which all activities of the heart appear.

When we are able to let go of all identification and remain conscious, all objects disappear and we become aware of consciousness itself, consciousness without an object. And it is here that we experience,not as an object but as experiencing, the One in which everything appears. This is the non-dual.

-purushottama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Osho speaks on this dis-identification in Make Thoughts Your Objects.

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An Inquiry in Being

Ordinarily we exist in what we might call the outer body. Our identification is through the senses which include the mind. We think of ourselves as others see us. We picture a body and face that we have met in the mirror. Because others have varying opinions of our ‘person’ality our identity is somewhat confused. Sometimes we think of ourselves as kind and generous, other times we are mean spirited. Some people perceive us as direct while still others as arrogant. Some people see us as passive and other people see a weakling.

It is not that one perception is truer than another but rather that our real being resides on a deeper level than the personality. We know that our personality has been shaped in large part by our family, school, religious upbringing, social conditionings and the interactions with the personality type that we were born with.

At some point an inner longing to know ourselves on this deeper level arises and this is the fuel to propel us on our quest. This inner longing wants to know itself. It wants to discover what is real and what is not. And so the conscious journey begins. We look into psychology, we look into Yoga, we explore religion, we are pulled by the path of love or alternatively we discover meditation.

We can call meditation the conscious movement into the center. Meditation begins with an act of will. It begins with a desire to know oneself. In order to know oneself we begin with mindfulness. We begin by bringing attention to each and every act we do. We observe ourselves eating. We eat with awareness. We witness the hand moving towards the plate. We watch the food coming towards our mouth. We pay attention to the tasting and then the chewing. We take note of how the food makes us feel. This attention to our acts can be extended to any of our activities when we remember and allow the time to do so.

Through this process, we are reclaiming our energy, our attention, which normally is being projected out into the world. It is because of this scatteredness of our energy that we have no sense of ourselves. There is no energy at home. We have scattered our energy by chasing dreams. When we begin the journey with mindfulness we start reclaiming that dispersed energy. Now we have begun to reel in our attention, to bring home our awareness. We have begun the conscious journey home.

With this gathered energy we can begin to direct the attention inwards. We enter the inner body. We feel our selves from the inside. It is a more subtle form of sensing. It is not through the senses but behind sensing. It is a sensing in wholeness. It is undivided. We begin to sense a center to our being. We feel an inner flame.

With the help of meditation we practice techniques that are designed to move us from the periphery into the center. These techniques are simply tools to help us make the jump out of the identification with our body-mind into the inner being, into the inner body.

So let us now in this moment direct our attention to our interiority. Let us feel the sense of being in our interiority. Let us find that which is referred to when we say I. What is I pointing towards. When we point to ourselves do we point to our head, no we point to our heart. Let us feel from the inside that reference point, feel our center.

Following the breath is helpful in moving us towards our center. The breath is a link from the outer to the inner because it moves in both worlds. Watching the breath, following the movement of the breath brings our attention and starts focusing it inwardly. We simply observe the breathing. We are not interested in changing the pattern of breath but instead are interested in the observing itself. We want to strengthen the observer and the breath is always available.

We feel our center and resting in this interior space we watch the breath. Incoming and outgoing. Incoming and outgoing. All the while our sense of well-being is increasing because our energy is resting at home. It is self nourishing. It is self healing. It is being in love. It is not love for something or someone; it is love, being in love.

We notice that with this following our attention inwards there is a feeling of energy moving down from the head and into the body cavity, into the torso. We may feel ourselves centered in the heart area or even in the belly but we do notice a movement out of the head. It is through the brain that we project our attention outwards, through the senses including the mind, so when we redirect that energy on to its return journey we feel that the energy moves back out of the head and down into the heart.

It is important to note that we are retracing the steps of the unconscious outer journey that we have made. We made that outer journey perhaps looking for ourselves or perhaps just in the spirit of exploration but then we got distracted. We are now making the same journey but in the opposite direction. This means that at least unconsciously we know the way. We have already traveled the route.

It is in our interiority that we gather our attention. We feel ourselves. We experience Being. It is not the same kind of sensing as when we sense an object in the outer body it is a more diffused sensing mixed with a knowingness. This we can call Being. We know that we are and feel that we are.

It is with this gathered energy, this increased awareness that we are able to begin to witness all that passes before us. Up until this point we had no being with which to observe. We had no one to witness. Now this attention has created the witness. It is because we have moved beyond or below the outer body that we are fully able to be a witness to it. We are now able to observe the workings of the body-mind because we have moved into the inner body. From this vantage point we are able to witness its comings and goings. We are able to watch consciousness emptying itself. It is from here that we allow our unconscious to see the light of day and dissolve into freedom.

Once we come to a knowingness of our being, we come to an individuality, we know ourselves as something quite apart from the outer body-mind. Then the real self-inquiry begins. It is from here that we see that the inner body, the Being is also an object in our awareness and let-go into no-body, no-self.

-purushottama

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Sannyas is Like a Funnel

Sannyas like so many words in India has layers and layers of meanings.

Sannyas is like a funnel. At the top of the funnel and on the periphery are being part of a larger group, the personal love affair with a Master etc. and at the bottom of the funnel, the spout, is initiation into ones own being. Here at the spout all of the outer edge of the funnel is pouring down into the spout.

We have been blessed in this life to have been initiated by our Master into sannyas and so should not squander this opportunity. Sannyas is a door. It is not a conveyor belt. It is not that we just step on the conveyor belt like at an airport and we are deposited at our gate. No it requires us to be vigilant as to what is continuously taking us out through that door. It is not a door that we need to pass through. It is a door which we already are passing through all the time. We pass through the door in search of happiness. But through sannyas we become aware of the door itself and by doing so we discover that it is indeed a door opening into freedom but to our surprise we discover that we have been passing through the wrong side. We have been going out of the door instead of remaining in.

From its very beginning till the very end sannyas is an initiation. It is an initiation into the whole, an initiation into our very own being which for most of us was beyond our experience. Sannyas gave us a taste of life outside of the confines of the ego-mind. Sannyas gave us a glimpse of our dissolution from which we would be reborn living consciously as part of the whole.

Some of us were first attracted by the teachings that were conveyed through one of the hundreds of Osho books or perhaps we heard a discourse. Some of us were attracted by the crazy community that we encountered when we were drawn into the net. And certainly all of us were attracted by the center of that cyclone, Osho, who we saw as a beautiful, amazing and mysterious presence.

But slowly, slowly those attractions began to reveal to us what truly lies at the center of sannyas. We find that each of those attractions began to point to our very own dissolution. The dissolution of separate waves into the ocean of existence.

Sannyas is a movement from the periphery to the center. On the periphery we find community, being a part of something greater than ourselves. On the periphery we are attracted to celebration which we see as dance, song and play. We are attracted to a presence that we see as some kind of mysterious being outside of ourselves which too is on the periphery.

And as we move into these aspects of sannyas we discover that there is less and less of what we began with. We find that more and more of the baggage of conditioning that we came with slowly, slowly starts dropping away. And in this sannyas from time to time we find moments when we find ourselves standing in awareness without any confines of ego-mind. We experience glimpses of life without the shackles of self-identification.

Because Osho has made sannyas so accessible we were able to enter into a land in which we may never have journeyed otherwise. Because of the community that he surrounded himself with, because of the mind-blowing being of truth from which he serenaded us, and because of his simple beauty and grandeur we were able to embark on the greatest journey of all. We were able to begin the return journey to our very own being.

Sannyas is an invitation to make the return journey. It is initiation into our very own being.

-purushottama

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From In a Thought to Out of Mind

In a thought.
Watch a thought.
Watch mind.
Out of mind!

In a thought.

Ordinarily we live in thought. So even “in ‘a’ thought” is a step, because with ‘a’ thought there is already enough awareness separate to recognize having been in ‘a’ thought. But when we are in thought we are simply lost. But it is through this recognizing “in a thought” that we are gradually gaining strength of consciousness for the next step.

 

Watch a thought.

With this newfound seeing we begin to witness, we begin with watching a thought. It is however very fleeting. Either we enter into the stream of the thought and are lost until we remember and are once again at the beginning, or by watching the thought; the thought peters out and vanishes.

Watch mind.

There is a big shift that happens when we move from watching a thought to “watching mind.” Watching mind means we are not getting into the separate thoughts but watching the energy of mind, the movement of mind. It is seen as an object, as a whole. It is in this seeing the whole of mind that we find ourselves in the next step.

Out of mind!

It is from this “out of mind” that we are able to let all the contents of mind unpack itself and still remain the witness.

The sages don’t talk of no-mind in order to create a far off goal to be reached but rather so that it can be recognized when we stumble into it.

-purushottama

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Sitting for the Sheer Joy of It

That which sees is not the mind. That is why Osho has us begin with watching anything. In the beginning it is helpful to watch the clouds passing, watch the leaves falling, watch a stream flowing or even watch the traffic of cars. This is watching the outside world but it is the beginning.

We can then move to watching the activities of the body, watching without identification. This is the magic of the walking meditation. It is allowing us to experience watching the body walking which is strengthening the watcher, the one that sees.

Watching the breath is another way to strengthen this watchingness. We watch the coming and going of the breath and we are coming out of the identification with breathing.

Moving deeper we begin to watch the comings and goings of the mind. The very effort to watch the mind while we are still identified is how we begin to come out of mind. It does not need to be a serious affair, we are not against the mind. We are just interested in finding, discovering the One who sees. This One who sees is always present in watching. The mind does not watch. The ego cannot watch. Our identification with someone who we perceive watching cannot watch. Always in the background the One who sees is present. We have the power to come out of mind because we have the power to identify with mind. It is not that some power makes us identify, we do that ourselves. Watching the activity of the mind without grasping, without rejecting, without judging we begin to become less identified. Slowly, slowly the One who sees becomes less identified.

Osho has said that if we are able to witness the mind without identification then we can easily move into watching the subtle feelings, the heart, also without grasping. Without choosing the feelings we like, without rejecting the feelings that we find hard to witness and without judging ourselves when we forget again and again.

The above description is Osho’s directions but it has also been my own experience of meditation.

Although I must say that there was a long period of time in which I thought I didn’t need to meditate regularly because I meditated all day long, that was a delusion. Although it was not harmful because it was just an extended period of watching the outside. But at some point I could no longer ignore the quiet invitation to begin to sit and watch the inner world on a regular basis. I was not watching because of some duty to practice; I was watching as an exploration as an experiment. Now I am sitting for the sheer joy of it.

So we can begin from exactly where we are, this very moment, by watching what we are capable of, and slowly, slowly the watchingness deepens. We are also very fortunate because Osho has devised his active meditations to jumpstart this awakening and he has illustrated 112 meditation techniques, that are doors in. And finally he has distilled all meditation down to the art of watching, witnessing.

This is the incredible gift that Osho has left us.

-purushottama

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The Journey from non-being to No-Being

We must first come to the recognition that we live outside of our center. We live outside of our body. We know our body from the exterior. We know our senses by sensing objects. Without objects we have no knowledge of ourselves. By our contact with outside objects our body exists. If we had no contact we would have no knowledge of ourselves.

Somewhere along the way our center has been touched and we have become aware of its existence. It may just be a dim flame but we know deep down that it is there. We have the power to move into our center. It is only because of what interests us that we remain on the periphery.

We can move to the center by retracing our steps out. We have made and do make the journey out all day long. Our attention moves from our center out through the senses and chases dreams. Our mind is the sixth sense. By becoming aware of the outward movement of our energy and attention it comes to a halt. When the movement is seen in awareness, the movement ceases.

From where does the thought of “I” arise. What is it pointing to? Is it pointing to this body that people see from the outside? Does it point to this collection of memories, thoughts and dreams that are circulating and referred to as “mind?” Is it not pointing to somewhere deep inside?

Let’s make contact there. Let us feel what it is like to inhabit our bodies. We need not worry about reincarnation let us first learn to incarnate this body here and now. We can move our attention to our interiority. We can feel our bodies from the inside. We can sense ourselves behind the senses. We can find ourselves behind the mind.

It is from this interior position that we are able to allow the unconscious mind to let go of all of its content. By not getting involved but remaining a witness the mind lets go of all of its collectibles, all of its memories, dreams and fears. Without either rejecting or grasping, without judging, we remain a witness and stay rooted in our center, in our interiority, in our being.

It is in this center that the witness grows, that we create our soul. Up until this point we have had no soul. We have had no center. There was not anyone home. Now the fire is lit and we are tending the flame.

The next step will be to let go of this center but we cannot let go of what we do not have. We must first become crystallized. We must first come into Being before we can let go into No-being.

-purushottama

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Meditation is the Bridge Between Yoga and Advaita

Hakuin begins his Song of Meditation, “All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.” Nisargadatta Maharaj tells us to take as a hypothesis that we are the “absolute”, because it is not yet our experience. Osho begins his discourse series on The Heart Sutra with these words, “I salute the Buddha within you. You may not be aware of it, you may not have ever dreamed about it — that you are a Buddha, that nobody can be anything else, that buddhahood is the very essential core of your being, that it is not something to happen in the future, that it has happened already.” But he goes on to say “But you are fast asleep, you don’t know who you are. Not that you have to become a Buddha, but only that you have to recognize it, that you have to return to your own source, that you have to look within yourself.”

This paradox that we are already Buddhas but that we do not recognize it is at the heart of much confusion today. It is here where those who are professing a neo-advaitan philosophy clash with the gradualists, with the yogis. But there should be no conflict. It is just that each side is only seeing half of the situation. We Are already enlightened but it is Not yet our experience. We have not Realized our enlightenment and until we do Realize our natural state then the work continues.

It is important for the neo-advaitans to understand that just intellectually knowing that we are already enlightened does not a Buddha make. And in order to uncover that sleeping Buddha there is a transformation yet to take place. And it is also important for the yogis to understand that we are from the very beginning Buddhas and that our work is not to make us into something that we are not already, but to uncover our already existing true nature. Hence it is not a question of becoming but of uncovering.

So what is the bridge between this gulf of understanding?  What is needed for the transformation from the potential to the realized to take place? When Nisargadatta Maharaj was asked what he did before his enlightenment was realized, he said that he accepted the words of his guru “that he was the absolute” and he meditated on the “I am” for three years.  J. Krishnamurti has said that “seeing is transformation.” He says that it is the observation of the mind itself that is the transformation. And Osho’s entire life work was to illuminate ‘meditation’ as the bridge between our current state of living in the mind and the awakened life of no-mind.

So if my enlightenment is only in words, only in concepts and not in my daily life then perhaps it would be best to continue on the journey back to Self and that journey must pass through no-mind.  On the other hand if I see enlightenment as a goal in the future of becoming then too it would be good to come home to Being and out of the goals in the world of mind.

Meditation is the way in.

-purushottama

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