Immediacy, the Whole Insistence of Zen – Osho

God is. Truth is. Love is. There is no way to say it, and there is no way to hide it. There is no word which can express it, and there is no methodology of how to keep it unexpressed. That is the dilemma of the mystic. He has to say it, and it cannot be said. He cannot keep quiet about it; he cannot keep silent. It overfloods him; it starts overflowing; it is beyond him to keep silent. He has to say it, and nobody has ever been able to say it.

God is not a word, neither is truth a word, nor is love a word. And they are not just silences either, because their isness is a singing isness; they are songs. It is not just dull and dead there. It is full of joy, it is overflowing joy. It is celebration, it is ecstasy, it is orgasm, because it is a meeting of the opposites, because it is a meeting of the polarities, because it is a marriage, a marriage of yin and yang, day and night, summer and winter, life and death, sound and silence.

So when it happens, you cannot say it, but you have to sing it, and that is the beauty of the song. It has something of the word and something of silence in it. That is the beauty of poetry, the beauty of dance. Something is visible, something is invisible; the manifest and the unmanifest meet there, embrace each other, are fulfilled in each other.

If you simply say and use words and there is no silence in those words, your words will be like dead stones. They can hit somebody’s head, you can argue with them, but you cannot convert. They don’t have that quality of silence which becomes conversion. When a word has a silence at its innermost core, when a word is luminous with silence, it brings conversion.

Then it is a gospel, then it is good news. Then somebody, who is saying something with silence in it, is not throwing a dead rock at you, but is throwing a flower. It will also hit you, but it will also caress you, and it will go deeper because you can be vulnerable to it and it will reach to your very heart. Because how can you protect yourself against it? You will be nondefensive.

So remember, all the mystics have been singing and dancing, celebrating. They go on saying, “We cannot say it,” and they go on saying all the same.

There is a difference in saying and saying. When you say without knowing it, without realizing it, it is just gibberish, just words and words and words, without any soul in them; it is a corpse; there is no aliveness in it. Those words stink – they stink of death. There is no heartbeat of life. When you know, when you have experienced, when you have fallen into that abyss called God, when you are transformed by that surrender, when you are totally immersed in it, when your every cell is bathed in it, then you say; but your words are not mere words.

They carry silence. They are vehicles of silence; they are gestures of silence. We have a special name for it in the East: mahamudra – the great gesture.

Look at my hand. If it is empty, if there is nobody behind it who has experienced, then it is an ordinary gesture. But if there is somebody behind it who has known, who has lived, who has experienced, then raising this hand is a great gesture, mahamudra. Then the ordinary hand becomes extraordinary. Then ordinary words are no more ordinary words. You cannot go to the dictionary to find their meaning. When a word is full of silence, you will have to go within yourself to find its meaning, not to a dictionary, not to a library. You will have to go within yourself. The meaning will be found in your experience.

The word of a man who knows is loaded, loaded with great fragrance. You will have to decode it in your innermost core of being, into the innermost shrine of your being. Truth is a transcendence, transcendence of all duality. So those who say truth cannot be said, only say a half-truth; and those who say that truth can be said only in silence, they also say a half-truth.

Zen brings the whole truth to the world. Zen is a great blessing to the world; it brings the whole truth.

The whole truth is: Truth cannot be said, and yet can be said. If not said, then showed, indicated. The ordinary duality is transcended. We are always moving from one pole of the duality to the other. Sometimes we say, “Yes, it can be said”; this is one pole. Then we become aware, “How can it be said?” – the other pole. Then we keep silent, but then again we become aware that there is something left: “Yes, it can be said.” This way it goes on moving, it swings.

Zen says truth is a transcendence, transcendence of all duality. The duality between the word and the silence is also to be transcended.

The Bible says in the beginning there was the word. The Vedas say in the beginning there was silence, eternal silence, and the silence brooded over the sea, and it was dark. And the Bible says there was the word. The first thing that happened in existence was the word. God said let there be light, and there was light. Both are half-truths.

If you ask the Zen people . . . They have not written any Bible or any Veda yet, and they will never try, because they don’t believe in scriptures. They say it is beyond the scriptures; it is a transmission beyond the scriptures. But if they ever write a Bible, or if they are forced to, like Lao Tzu was once forced to write the Tao Te Ching because the king wouldn’t allow him to leave the country unless he wrote his experiences . . .

Lao Tzu wanted to go to the Himalayas, to die there; certainly, there cannot be any more beautiful a place to die. Those eternal peaks, those snow – covered virgin peaks, where can you find a better place to disappear in God? What better moment? He wanted to go – he was very old and he wanted to go to the Himalayas to rest and disappear there, nobody ever knowing about him. He wanted to disappear absolutely alone. He wanted his death to be private.

And death is a private thing. Nobody else can be with you when you die; it is absolutely internal. So he wanted to escape and go away from the crowds. He was afraid too many people will surround him and his death will become a public affair.

But the king insisted, “First you write whatsoever you have known.” And he ordered the guards on the boundary saying that “This man is not to be allowed to go out.” So he was caught at a guard post, and for three days he sat in the guards’ room and wrote down the Tao Te Ching.

If somebody, forces a Zen Master to write down a Bible, a Veda, then they will say there was song in the beginning. Neither word nor silence, but song. There was song in the beginning, and God sang and danced. Not “Let there be light”: God sang and danced. And that dance became the beginning of creation.

That dance continues. That dance is what existence is.

The song has a mystery about it because it is a meeting, a marriage of opposites. In the song there is sound and silence. The song says something, but says in such a way that you cannot grasp it. Not that it doesn’t say anything. It makes much available, but you cannot grasp it, you cannot just possess it. If you try to possess, you will kill it. You cannot have a song in your fist; otherwise the song will be killed. It is too delicate; you cannot be that rough with it.

A song has to be preserved in the heart, not in the fist. About a song you have to be receptive, not aggressive. You can keep an argument in the fist; it is hard, rocklike, it will not die. You can keep and possess an argument, you can become the possessor of an argument. That’s why the ego enjoys very much to have arguments, proofs, logic, philosophies. The ego feels very much fulfilled: “I know so much.”

The song cannot be possessed that way; the ego cannot be its possessor. The song can penetrate your being, but the ego has to give way. If the ego comes in between, the song will be shattered. You may get fragments of it, and you may start interpreting those fragments, but you will miss the unity of it. And it was in the unity.

A song has not to be thought about. If you start thinking, about a song, you are already missing it. When you listen to music, how do you listen? Do you bring your mind in? If you bring your mind in, where is the music? Music and the mind both cannot exist together. That is the mystery of music: you have to put your mind aside. You cannot argue with music; you cannot nod your head in agreement or disagreement. You cannot say, “Yes, I agree,” or “No, I don’t agree.” There is no question of agreement or no agreement. With music you simply become one. If you want to feel it you have to put your head aside. The heart has to open towards it. It goes directly to the heart, it showers on the heart. It helps the flower of the heart to open and bloom. It is a nourishment for the inner lotus.

The Zen people will say, “There was song in the beginning, and then God sang and God danced, and that’s what he has been doing since then.” Each moment it is a dance. Look around. Can’t you hear these birds? These are not birds; don’t be deceived by them. These are not birds. It is God singing, the God of the beginnings – because it is always a beginning. Each moment is a beginning. Never think that the beginning was somewhere in the past. This is the beginning, and it is always the beginning and there is no end. It is God singing.

Can’t you hear the silence of the trees? It is God, silent.

In the birds he is singing, in the trees he is silent. Birds cannot exist without the trees, and, let me tell you, the trees cannot exist without the birds either. The birds sing for the trees, and the trees are silent for the birds, and there is a marriage. They are tied together. If trees disappear, birds will disappear. Kill all the birds of the world, and you will one day see the trees are disappearing. Everything is intertwined, everything is interlinked. This is what we mean by the word “ecology” – everything is together.

It is God singing, it is God silent.

Once you understand that God is both, then this highest possibility opens for you. This is the first principle, that you need not divide, all division is false, that you need not create any duality, because existence is nondual, because existence is one.

And all our misery is because we are divided. Why do you feel so thrilled when you are in love? What happens? Is the thrill just chemical, hormonal? No, it is not. The thrill isexistential. When you are in love, at least with one person you feel to be one, at least with one person you have dropped duality, at least with one person you are no more separate, at least with one person the boundaries are not there. You have removed the boundaries. Two spaces have come so close, they overlap. You feel so thrilled with love, so blissful with love, because it is an experience of God, a very limited experience of course.

And if it is so beautiful to be one with one person, how much more beautiful will it be to be one with the whole, to be one with all the persons, men and women, trees and birds and animals and the clouds and the mountains and the stars? How will it be? How much more beautiful? The beauty cannot be imagined, because the difference will not be only of quantity, it will be of quality. It will be utterly different.

Love can at the most be only a glimpse of a ray, not the ray itself, but only a glimpse in the lake. A ray of the sun playing on the lake, and you see the glimpse. That glimpse is love. When you find out the real ray, it becomes prayer. When you start moving through that ray, upwards, you start climbing on that ray and you start reaching towards the source of all light, then you are growing in spirituality. One day you are dissolved into that light. You yourself have become that light. That is the orgasm I talk about. That’s ecstasy.

And Zen people say that when you know, you have to say, knowing well that it cannot be said. You have to sing it.

Zen Masters have been very creative. Either they were singers, dancers, or painters, or in some sort of art, calligraphy, pottery. Whatsoever they could do they did. That became the gesture of their expression. They were not inactive people. Deep down they were not doers, and on the surface, they were not inactive at all. Deep down they were just instrumental to the divine. No doer, no idea of doing anything – just being, but on the surface very creative. The world would have been far richer if every religion had developed such a school as Zen. For example, Hindu monks have lived a very uncreative life. Jaina monks have lived a very uncreative life. Except Zen, even Buddhists have lived a very uncreative life. So has been the case with the Catholics.

Zen brings creativity. And remember, if you want to be one with the creator, you will have to learn some was of creativity. The only way to be one with the creator is to be in some moment of creativity, when you are lost. The potter is lost in making his pottery; the potter is lost while working on the wheel. The painter is lost while painting. The dancer is lost; there is no dancer, only the dance remains. Those are the peak moments, where you touch God, where God touches you.

Now, the scholar, the so-called scholar, becomes wordy. He goes on learning more words, more words, more information, more scriptures. He has no silence. That is a very lopsided phenomenon. Then against the scholar there are a few saints, who keep quiet; they don’t even say a single word. That too is moving to the other extreme. They become uncreative. Of course, they are silent, better than the scholar – at least they will not throw their rubbish into other people’s heads, at least they are not committing any crime – but in a higher sense they are also criminals because they are not benefiting existence. They are parasites. They are not making existence richer by their being here. They are not helping God in his dance, in his song.

Zen brings the highest synthesis. Don’t be afraid of speaking, but don’t go on speaking if you don’t know. Don’t be silent. Just being silent will not help.

It has to be understood because too many times this comes to your mind too: Why go on speaking? Why not keep quiet? But your silence will be YOUR silence. The words will go on moving, revolving inside you. You will become a madhouse inside. You may look silent from the outside; you will not be silent inside. How can you simply drop those words, those old habits of many lives? The mind will go on chattering, the mind will go on saying things, repeating things. The mind is like an automaton; even if you don’t want to talk the mind goes on. If you don’t talk to others it goes on talking to itself. It creates both the parties: it talks from one side and answers from another side; it goes on playing the game. From the outside one can be easily silent, but from the inside?

And if you are silent from the inside, you will be surprised that your silence becomes so loaded with ecstasy that you have to sing. There is no other way. That you have to dance, that you have to share. When you have you have to share. If you have it at all you will have to share. If you don’t have it you can keep quiet, but what is the point of keeping quiet if you don’t have it?

There are two types of people: one who goes on talking without having it, and one who goes on keeping silent without having it. Both are in the same boat.

There is a third type of person, who has come to know it, who has really become silent and in the silence he has heard the soundless sound, in the silence God has delivered his message to him. God has spoken to him. He has had a dialogue with God himself. The silence has filled his heart with so much juice, with so much life, with life abundant, that he is bursting.

He has to say it. There is no way to get rid of it.

And his saying will have a totally different significance because words will not be mere words. If such a person sits silently, even his silence will be a sharing. If such a person keeps completely silent, you will see his silence is singing all around him. You will feel the vibe. His silence is saying something. He is indicating from his silence too. If he speaks he speaks. If he is silent, then too he speaks.

If you don’t sing it, remember, you don’t have it. If it does not overflow in a thousand and one gestures, then it is not there. You cannot hold it if it is there. And you cannot possess it if it is there; it is not your property. You cannot become the owner of it. You cannot hoard it, you cannot be miserly about it. If it is there at all, it drowns you utterly. It possesses you. You cannot possess it; it possesses you. And then it leads you into a thousand and one gestures. In a thousand and one streams you start flowing, and whatsoever you do becomes an expression.

I have heard a very beautiful legend. The legend is, there was a great Master in India, the twenty-seventh successor of Gautam the Buddha; his name was Hanyatara. A king in south India requested him to come to his court. The king himself came, bowed down to Hanyatara, touched his feet, and said, “Please, come to my court, to bless us. And this has been my desire, to listen to some sutras of Gautam the Buddha by a man who is a Buddha himself, so I have been avoiding scholars, pundits, professors. I have been avoiding, I have been waiting, because those sutras that Buddha uttered are so pregnant that only a man who has attained to that consciousness will be able to give expression to them.”

Hanyatara came to the court with an attendant. The king was thrilled; it was his dream for his whole life one day to have a Buddha in his court, in his palace. The whole palace was decorated, the whole town was decorated; the whole capital was celebrating. It was a great day of celebration. But the king was puzzled, a little bewildered: Hanyatara sat silently, not saying a single word, and the attendant recited the sutra. Now, this was not the purpose at all. The king could have found better people to recite the sutra than the attendant. He was just an attendant who looked after Hanyatara, just used to do small errands, a very ordinary man, not even a great scholar. His grammar was faulty, his pronunciation was not exactly as it should be. He was an ordinary man. Just out of respect, the king kept silent. When the sutra was finished, he touched the feet of Hanyatara and said, “Sir, enlighten me about this; otherwise I will remain puzzled. Why did not you recite the sutra?”

And Hanyatara said, “What, I did not recite the sutra? Then what else was I doing the whole time here? You fool!”

The king was even more puzzled, because he had kept quiet, he had not said a single word.

The king said, “Please, explain it to me. I don’t understand. I am an ordinary, ignorant person.

I may not know the ways of the Buddhas.”

And Hanyatara said, “I sat silently, breathing in, breathing out. That was my sutra. What else is there in life? Breathe in, breathe out. Be alert, aware. When I breathed in, I was aware; when I breathed out, I was aware. It was all awareness! What else is a sutra? Awareness. If you had listened to the rhythm of my breathing you would have understood. I have recited it!

Words are one way to recite it. Breathing silently, but with full awareness, is another way to recite it – and far better a way. I have been very expressive today, as I have never been before.

Thinking that you have been waiting for so long, I thought, ‘Why not give the real thing?’ ” The king was thrilled, seeing the compassion. Now he felt there was a certain rhythm in his silence. Now he became aware, retrospectively of course, that this man was not silent in the ordinary way. He had seen silent people; sometimes he himself had sat in silence. This was a different silence. There was a song, certainly there was a song. There was a fragrance around this man. There was a vibe of a different quality; he was vibrating. Strange it was, but now he remembered, yes, it was there. And the way he was breathing was no ordinary way. Not that he was doing anything special in the breathing: his breathing was pure, natural, like a small baby.

When you breathe, your breathing is never natural. If you are a little angry, your anger changes your breathing. If you are full of passion, lust, your lust changes your breathing. If you are greedy, your greed is reflected in your breathing. Continuously your mind mood infiltrates breathing and changes it. You can watch it. When you are angry, try not to disturb the breathing, and you will be completely unable to be angry. Just try not to change the breathing. Let the breathing remain as it was before you became angry, and then try to be angry. It will be impossible. The breathing has to change first. Through the breathing the body changes; the mind first affects the breathing. When you are in a moment of lust, watch, keep the breathing natural, and you will suddenly find the lust has disappeared, the moment came and passed.

By and by you will be able to see each mood is reflected in your breathing, so your breathing is never natural, because there is some mood or other. The natural breathing means there is no mood: that means there is no mind – neither anger nor greed nor lust nor jealousy nor love nor hate. No – mood means no-mind. In that state of no-mind the breathing is natural. Then there is a song to it, then there is a totally different quality to it. Then it is pure life. Then the flame is without smoke.

Yes, the king remembered, there was something strange, something was happening. He had missed it. He started crying. He said, “I have missed it. Why didn’t you tell me before?

Now I know there was something, and I had even felt it, but my consciousness is not so developed, so I could not understand what was happening.

“And I was too concerned about that foolish sutra. I was continuously thinking about why you were not reciting the sutra and why this attendant was reciting the sutra. I was so much concerned about the sutra that I missed.

“But I am grateful that you showed such compassion, that you showed your being so naked, so true, so authentic.”

He presented a great diamond, the most valuable he had, to Hanyatara, and then he said to Hanyatara, “I have three sons. Sir, be kind enough. I will call them. Bless them.”

Thinking that young people are young people, and the youngest was only seven, they may disturb the sutra reciting, he had not called them to participate before.

The three young princes came in.

Rather than blessing them, Hanyatara showed the diamond that the king had presented to him to the first prince, the eldest. He must have been somewhere near fifteen. The prince looked at the diamond and said, “A great diamond, of the finest water, purest water. Where could you get it? It is rare. It is no ordinary diamond.”

Yes, his understanding about the diamond was perfectly true. It was a rare diamond, of the most perfect water. Even Hanyatara had never seen such a thing.

Then he called the second prince, who must have been near about ten, and the second prince looked at the diamond, and he said, “Not only the finest, not only the best, it is certain that it belongs to my father because in this kingdom nobody can have such a diamond. It is rare. Sir, it does not belong to you, it cannot. To protect this diamond you will need a great army, otherwise you cannot have it. Just this attendant won’t do.”

Yes, his understanding was also very correct.

And then the third son was called. He was only seven. He looked at the diamond, looked at Hanyatara  and laughed and said, “What? Do you want to befool me?” He was only seven, and he said, “Do you want to befool me? You cannot! Because the real diamonds are never of the outside. And what are you trying to show me? You have the real diamond within YOU. I can see it! This is just a stone that you have in your hand. Throw it, sir!”

And it is said that Hanyatara hugged this small boy.

This boy’s name was Bodhitara, and Hanyatara changed his name to Bodhidharma. He became the twenty-eighth successor of Buddha; he was the first patriarch of Zen in China, this small boy Bodhitara, whose name Hanyatara changed to Bodhidharma.

Hanyatara said, “This boy has looked into the deepest reality anybody can look into. Dharma means ‘the ultimate reality’. He has penetrated to the ultimate reality.” He said to the king, “Even you could not see who I am. That’s why you missed my sermon, my silent sermon. That’s why you missed my silent song. I was singing here but you missed. But this boy, yes, I cannot befool him. This boy is going to be my successor.”

And then he said to the king, “Sir, forgive me. I have not come for you and I have not come because you requested me to. I had to come because of this boy. I have been in search of this boy! This has been a promise from the past life, and this has been a decided gesture: in the past life I told this boy, ‘I will seek you and find you and I will show you a diamond, and that will be the moment of your examination. If you can see my inner diamond and you are not befooled, you will be my successor.'”

The legend is of tremendous value. First, the silent sermon. Yes, sometimes a mystic can be silent – but he is not silent! His silence is a very telling silence. He may not do anything, he may not even move his eyes, he may not move any of his limbs, but still his presence goes on doing a thousand and one things. Just to be in his presence, just to breathe with him in the same rhythm, and something is transferred: his song, his silence, his dance. You will never be the same again.

Truth is not hidden, from the very beginning. Truth is unhidden; only your eyes are closed. Truth is being preached from every tree and from every bird and from every rock and from every star; just your eyes, your ears, your sensitivity is not there. You are deaf. Truth is not dumb; you are deaf. And truth is not hiding anywhere.

A man came to a Zen Master and asked, “Sir, where should I go to find the truth?” And the Zen Master said, “You just keep looking in front of your nose and go on, and you will find it. It is just in front of your nose! Truth is just in front of you. In fact, wherever you look it is truth, you just need to know how to look for it. But you are looking for other things; that’s why you go on missing.

That great king missed Hanyatara’s sermon. It was a Zen sermon, the same as Buddha preached to the first Zen Master, Mahakashyap, sitting silently, holding a flower in his hand.

This second sermon, of Hanyatara to the king, was even more subtle. He was not even holding a flower in his hand. He was just breathing in and out, a natural breathing, an ordinary breathing, unaffected by the mind. And truth was there and the sutras were recited there through his breathing, but the king missed.

You may have come across a Buddha in your life – or you may have come across many Buddhas in your past lives – but you have missed because you were not sensitive enough to feel that vibe. That vibe is subtle. You were not aware enough to move to that height, to feel the presence.

Be a little more alert. The sermon is preached constantly. From everywhere God is speaking to you. Even when everything is silent he is speaking through silence. His song is eternal.

Zen says, “Truth is not hidden, from the very beginning, so you are not to uncover truth, you are only to uncover your eyes.” You just have a curtain on your eyes. Just pull your earplugs out. Your ears are plugged; hence you cannot hear.

How to unplug the ears? How to open the eyes? How to drop barriers that don’t allow you to become sensitive enough? What is the way? The way is immediacy. Be immediate, be in the moment.

Otherwise Buddhas can go on shouting from the housetops, and you will not hear – or you will hear something which has not been said at all.

A few scenes. First scene:

Warden: “Can’t you see the sign ‘NO FISHING HERE’?”

Angler: “Yes, and I don’t agree. There is good fishing here! Just look at this lot I have landed today. Whoever put that sign up must be crazy.”

The second scene:

The Dean of Women was lecturing to a class on the subject of sex morality. “In moments of temptation, ask yourself just one question: Is an hour of pleasure worth a lifetime of shame?”

One of the girls raised her hand naively and asked, “How do you make it last one hour?”

The third scene:

Ethel was shapely out shy, and visited a doctor for the first time. He ushered her into his private office and said, “Now, my dear, please get completely undressed.” Ethel blushed and replied, “Okay, Doctor, but you first.”

Fourth scene:

The following ad appeared in the Personal column of a London paper: “My husband and I have four sons. Has anyone any suggestions as to how we may have a daughter?” Letters poured in from all over the world. An American wrote, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, and try again.” A Buddhist from Thailand suggested that they should seek the help of Buddha.

A South African recommended a special diet. An Indian proposed yoga.

A Frenchman merely wrote, “May I be of service?”

And the last and the fifth scene:

A lion tamer had quit without notice, and the circus manager needed someone to replace him for the next night’s show. He put an ad in the local paper, and the next morning two  applicants showed up outside his office. One was a rather ordinary looking young man, and the other a ravishing redheaded beauty. Neither one of them looked very much like a lion trainer, but the manager was desperate. “All right,” he said. “Here is a whip, a chair, and a gun. Let us see what you can do with the big Leo over there. We will let you have the first try, miss, but be careful. He is a mean one.”

The ravishing redhead strode past the whip, the chair, and the gun, and empty-handed, fearlessly entered the cage. Big Leo rose, snarling, then came charging across the cage towards her with a ferocious roar. When the lion was almost upon her the girl threw open her coat. Underneath, she was stark naked. Leo skidded to a stop and crawled the rest of the way on his belly. He nuzzled the girl’s feet with his nose, purred, and licked her trim ankles. The astonished circus manager grinned happily and turned to the pop-eyed young man.

“Well, young fella,” he asked, “think you can top that?”

“Yeah,” panted the applicant. “Just get that stupid lion out of there.”

Truth is all around, but your interpretations are your interpretations. God is speaking all the time, but you hear not, or even if you hear, you hear something else. You hear according to you, your mind comes in, and hence you go on missing.

Unless the mind is dropped you will not be able to know what truth is. Truth cannot be discovered by mind; mind is the barrier. It is because of the mind that you have not been able to discover it. It is not a question of how to train the mind to know the truth. The more the mind is trained and becomes capable, the less is the possibility to know the truth. The more skilled a mind, the farther away you are from the truth.

Mind is the barrier. No-mind is the door.

How to attain to no-mind? The only way – the only way – is to be in the present. The only way is not to think of the past, not to think of the future. And you cannot think of the present. That is the whole secret: you cannot think of the present; there is not space enough for thought to move. Thought needs room to move. Can you think anything right now? If you think it, either it will be of the past or of the future.

This moment of silence. If you think, “Yes, this is a moment of silence,” it is already past. Or you say, “How beautiful!” It is already past. Utter a word “beautiful,” and it is already past. You cannot think. Thinking stops when you are in the present. So that is the only key, and it is a master key; it unlocks all the doors of being. Immediacy, that is the whole insistence of Zen.

-Osho

From The First Principle, Discourse #7

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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The Unity of Emptiness – Osho

The world is there because of you – you create it, you are a creator. Every single being creates a world around himself, it depends on his mind. The mind may be illusory, but it is creative – it creates dreams. And it is up to you to create a hell or heaven.

If you leave this world you will not be able to leave it. Wherever you go you will create the same world again, because the world is constantly coming out of you just as leaves are coming out of the tree.

You don’t live in the same world, you cannot because you don’t have similar minds. Just by the side of you somebody may be living in heaven, and you may be living in hell – and you feel that you are living in the same world? How can you live in the same world when minds differ?

So, the first thing to be understood is that you cannot leave the world unless the mind disappears. They are related, they depend on each other, they make a vicious circle. If the mind is there . . . And a mind is always a particular mind. When the mind is no more a particular mind, when it becomes a Mind with a capital M it is no more mind, it has become consciousness. A mind is always a particular mind and it carries a particular aroma around it – that is your world.

The mind creates the world and then the world creates the mind, helps the mind to remain the same. This is the vicious circle. But the source is in the mind; the world is just a by-product. The mind is substantial; the world is just the shadow of it. And you cannot destroy the shadow, but everybody tries to destroy it.

If this wife doesn’t suit you, you think another wife will. You are trying to change the world, and you are the same. You will just turn the next wife into an exact replica of the old. You will again create, because the wife will be just a screen.

And you will be surprised: people who have married many times, their experience is really strange. A person who has been married ten times recognizes the fact that “How does it happen? In such a wide and big world, I always stumble upon the same type of woman? Even by accident it seems impossible! Again, and again!”

The problem is not the woman, the problem is the mind. The mind is again attracted to the same type of woman, again creates the same relationship, again finds the same mess and the same hell.

And the same happens in everything you do. Do you think you will live happily in a palace? You are wrong! Who is going to live in the palace? You will live there. If you are not happy in your hut, you will not be happy in your palace. Who will live in the palace? Palaces don’t exist outside you.

If you can live happily in a hut, you can live happily in a palace, because you create the world around you. Otherwise, as the hut pinches you the palace will pinch – even more so because it is a bigger thing. It will be a hell, just the same – more decorated, but a decorated hell is not a heaven. And even if you are forcibly thrown into heaven you will try to find an exit, or you will create your hell there.

I have heard about one man, a great businessman, a dress manufacturer. He died. Somehow, by some technical mistake, he entered heaven. He met his old partner there. The old partner was as sad as he was on this earth. So the businessman said, “What does it mean? You are in heaven, and so unhappy?”

The partner said, “It is okay, but personally I prefer Miami.”

And the other also came to the same conclusion within days. They again became partners there, and they wanted to start a business firm to manufacture dresses.

The same is going to happen wherever you go, because you are the world. You create a world around you, then the world helps the mind which has created it. The son helps the father, the son helps the mother, your shadow helps the substance – then the mind is strengthened more, then again you create the same world on the same lines. From where to start a transformation? How to change?

If you look, the first look will say to change the world, because it is so apparent around you. Change it! And that’s what you have been doing for many lives: continuously changing the world, changing this and that, changing houses, bodies, wives, husbands, friends – changing, but never looking to the fact that you remain the same, so how can you change the world?

That’s why a false tradition of renunciation came into existence all over the world. Escape from the house and go to the monastery. Escape from the market, go to the Himalayas. Escape from the world! To the Himalayas you can go easily, but how can you escape from yourself? You will create the same world there – the same! It may be a miniature world, it may not be so vast, but you will do the same. You are the same – how can you do anything else?

Deeper insight reveals that: change the mind, then the world changes. Then wherever you are a different world is revealed. You go deeper, and then you understand that if you want to be really without the world around you . . . Because howsoever beautiful the world is, sooner or later it will become a boredom and you will be fed up. Even if it is a heaven you will start longing for the hell, because the mind needs change. It cannot live in the eternal, it cannot live in the non-changing, because the mind hankers for some new curiosity, some new sensation, some new excitement. It is not possible for the mind to stop time and to remain timelessly.

That’s why the mind cannot live in the now, the here, because now is not a part of time. It never changes, it is eternal. You cannot say it is unchanging, it is not permanent, it eternal. It is simply as it is. Nothing happens there. It is emptiness.

Buddha has called it sunyata – absolutely empty. Nothing happens there, nobody comes, nobody goes. There is nobody, because if somebody is there then something or other will happen.

Mind cannot live in the eternal now. Mind wants change and goes on hoping, and goes on hoping against all hope. The whole situation is hopeless, but mind goes on hoping.

I have heard:

Mulla Nasruddin remained unemployed for many, many years because he wanted to be an actor and he had no talent. But every day, religiously, he would go to the agent. Hopefully he would knock at the door, enter the office, and inquire, “Has something happened? Am I booked somewhere?”

And the agent would say always the same: “I cannot do anything, nothing is possible.”

Days passed, weeks passed, then years passed and the Mulla’s knocking became a routine. Whatsoever the season, the climate, good or bad, but one thing was certain for the agent – that Mulla would come. And he would again ask hopefully, and the man would again say the same thing: “Nasruddin, I cannot do anything, nothing is possible.”

Then one day the knock was different, a little sad. And when Mulla came in, even the agent was surprised: “Why is he so sad?”

Mulla said, “Listen, for two weeks don’t book me anywhere because I’m going for a vacation.”

This is how mind functions – goes on hoping, not for many years; but for many lives! You knock on the same door with the same inquiry and desire, and it is always no. What have you gained through mind except nos?

Yes has never come that way, it cannot come. Mind is a futile effort. It is desert like, nothing grows on it, nothing can grow. But it goes on hoping. Even a desert dreams, and dreams of beautiful gardens, rivers flowing, brooks and waterfalls. Even a desert dreams . . . and that is the dream of the mind.

One has to be alert. There is no need to waste any more time – no need to knock on the agent’s door. Enough you have lived with the mind. Nothing have you achieved through it. Is it not the right time to be alert and aware?

Of course, you have gathered many miseries and many hells – if you call them achievements then it is okay – anguish, frustration. And wherever you move with the mind something goes wrong, because mind is the mechanism of the wrong. You look: something goes wrong.

Mulla Nasruddin’s son was entered into the school. The teacher was talking about geography and she talked and explained the shape of the earth and everything. And then she asked Mulla Nasruddin’s son, “What is the shape of the earth?”

He remained silent, so just to provoke his answer she said, “Is it flat?”

The son said, “No.”

She became more hopeful; she said, “Then is it a globe, round-shaped?”

Nasruddin’s son said, “No.”

Then she was surprised. She said, “Only two are the possibilities: either it is flat or it is global, and you say no to both. So what is your idea?”

The son said, “My Dad said it is crooked!”

For the mind everything is crooked, not because everything is crooked – the way the mind looks, anything that penetrates the medium of the mind becomes crooked. Just as you put a straight thing into water, a straight staff, and suddenly you see the medium of the water has done something; it is no more straight. You bring it out of the water; it is again straight. Put it in again . . .

And you know that the staff remains straight even in water, but your eyes still say that it is not straight. A hundred times you can bring it out and put it in. Even if you know well that the staff remains straight, the medium will again give you the false information that it is no more straight.

You have known many many times that the misery is created by the mind, but again you fall a victim. Mind creates misery. It cannot create anything else because it cannot encounter reality. It can only dream – that is the only capacity for the mind. It can only dream. And dreams cannot fulfill, because
whenever they come against the reality they are shattered.

You live in a house of glass, you cannot face reality. Whenever reality comes your house is shattered, and many houses you have lived in are shattered. You carry their ruins in the mind, the anguish that resulted. And that has made you very sour, very bitter.

Taste anybody and you will taste him bitter. And that is the experience of others about you also: everybody tastes bitter. Come closer and everything goes bitter; remain distant, everything looks beautiful. Come closer, everything goes bitter – because when you come closer, minds penetrate
each other and everything is crooked, then nothing is straight.

This has to be realized as your experience, not as a theory from me or Sosan. Sosan can’t help, neither can I. It MUST become your own experienced phenomenon. Experienced, it becomes a truth – and then many things start changing, then you drop the mind.

And when the mind drops, all worlds disappear. When the mind drops, objects disappear; then they are no more objects. Then you don’t know where you end and where things start, then there are no boundaries. Boundaries disappear.

In the beginning you feel as if everything has gone blurred, but by and by you settle in the new phenomenon which is of no-mind. Then stars are there, but they are part of you, no more objects. Flowers and trees are there but they flower in YOU, no more outside. Then you live with the totality.

The barrier is broken – the barrier was your mind. Then for the first time there is no world, because world means the totality of objects. For the first time there is a universe, and universe means one. Remember the word ’uni.’ This you call a universe? Wrongly. Don’t call it a universe, for you it is a multiverse. Many worlds, no more one, it is not yet.

But when the mind drops, worlds disappear. There are no objects. Boundaries mingle and meet into each other. The tree becomes the rock, the rock becomes the sun, the sun becomes the star, the star becomes the woman you love, and everything is meeting and mingling into each other. And you are not there, separate. You are in it throbbing at the very heart, pulsating. Then it is a universe.

Mind drops, objects disappear – the source of dream has disappeared. What have you been doing? You have been trying to get a better dream, to no avail of course. But the whole effort of the mind is to get a better dream. Don’t think that mind can give you a better dream – a dream is a dream. Even if better, it will not be a satisfactory thing, it cannot give you a deep contentment. A dream is a dream.

If you are feeling thirsty you need real water, not dream water. If you are hungry you need real, substantial bread, not dream bread. For a few moments you may be able to deceive yourself, but how long?

Every night it happens: you are hungry, the mind creates a dream – you are eating, you are eating delicious things. For a few minutes it is okay even for a few hours it is okay, but how long? Can you stay in this dream forever and ever? It helps sleep, you don’t get disturbed. Otherwise hunger will disturb you, you will have to get up and go to the fridge. It helps: you can go on sleeping, feeling that you are eating; there is no need to go anywhere. But by the morning you will know that your mind deceived you.

Your whole life is just like a dream, and you are substituting dream objects for the reality. So every day everything is shattered, every day you are shocked into reality, because the reality goes on bumping from here and there. You cannot avoid it! A dream is a very fragile thing; the reality goes on bumping in and breaking.

And it is good, it is for your good, that the reality breaks your dreams, shatters them to pieces. But you again start collecting those pieces and creating other dreams. Drop it! Enough you have done that. Nothing has been achieved. Now no more of it!

Once you understand that dreaming has to be stopped, the world of objects disappears. The world will be there, but not of objects. Then everything becomes alive, everything becomes subjective.

That is the meaning of religious people who say that everything is God. What are they saying? God is just a metaphor. There is nobody sitting somewhere in heaven, controlling, managing, engineering. God is just a metaphor – the metaphor that the things in the world are not like things, they are persons. Deep inside a subjectivity is there. Everything is alive and throbbing. And this throbbing is not a fragmented process, this throbbing is a WHOLE throbbing.

Of course you feel the beat of the heart near the heart, at the heart. But you think it is only in the heart? Then you are wrong – the whole body is throbbing. The heart only indicates, the whole body is throbbing. That’s why when the heart stops, the body is dead. It was not the heart really that was throbbing, the whole body was throbbing through the heart; the heart was just an indicator.

You are throbbing, but the whole is throbbing through you – you are just an indicator, a heart. The universe throbs and beats through you. You are not, the universe is.

And the universe is not a totality of objects, it is a subjectivity. It exists as a person. It is alive, conscious. It is not a mechanical arrangement. It is an organic unity.

Now try to understand these words of Sosan:

When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes, as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.

Things are objects because of the subject; the mind is such because of things.

Things are there around you because of you. You attract them. If you feel hell around you, it is you who has attracted it. Don’t be angry about it and don’t start fighting with it; it is useless. You attracted, you invited – you have done it! And now your desires are fulfilled: whatsoever you needed is around you. And then you start fighting and getting angry. You have succeeded!

Remember always that whatsoever is happening around you is rooted in the mind. Mind is always the cause. It is the projector, and outside there are only screens – you project yourself. If you feel it is ugly then change the mind. If you feel whatsoever comes from the mind is hellish and nightmarish, then drop the mind. Work with the mind, don’t work with the screen don’t go on painting it and changing it. Work with the mind.

But there is one problem, because you think you are the mind. So how can you drop it? So you feel you can drop everything, change everything, repaint, redecorate, rearrange, but how can you drop yourself That is the root of all trouble. You are not the mind; you are beyond mind. You have become identified, that’s true, but you are not the mind.

And this is the purpose of meditation: to give you small glimpses that you are not the mind. Even for a few moments the mind stops… you are still there! On the contrary, you are more, overflowing with being. When the mind stops it is as if a drainage which was continuously draining you has stopped. Suddenly you are overflooded with energy. You feel more!

If even for a single moment you become aware that the mind is not there but “I am,” you have reached a deep core of truth. Then it will be easy to drop the mind. You are not the mind, otherwise how can you drop yourself? The identification has to be dropped first, then the mind can be dropped.

The whole Gurdjieff method is how to get unidentified. When next time when a desire comes, look at it. Say within yourself, “Okay, I will watch where this mind is moving.” And you will feel a distance, you are looking at it. Who is this looker, the spectator? And the desire moves and creates dreams.

Sometimes you may forget, sometimes you may become one with the desire. Pull yourself together again, look at the desire again: the desire is moving on its own. It is as if a cloud has entered, a thought has come into the sky of your being. Just look at it, watch it. And remember, if you can be unidentified even for a fragment of a second – the desire is there and you are here and there is a distance – suddenly there is illumination, a light has happened to you.

Now you know that the mind works on its own, it is a mechanism. You can drop it! You may not use it, you may use it; you are the master. Now the slave, the mechanism, is put in its place; it is no more the master. Then dropping is possible. When you are different from it, only then is dropping possible.

Meditation, witnessing, silently sitting and looking at the mind, will be of much help. Not forcing, simply sitting and looking. Not doing much, just watching as one watches birds flying in the sky. Just Lying down on the ground and watching, nothing to do, indifferent. Not your concern really, where they are going; they are going on their own.

Remember, thoughts are also just like birds: they are moving on their own. And sometimes it happens that people who are around you, their thoughts enter into your sky, your thoughts go on entering into their sky. That’s why sometimes you feel that with some man suddenly you become sad; with some other man suddenly you feel an upsurge of energy and happiness and delight. Just looking at somebody, being near to him, something changes in your mood.

It happens even with places. You go into a house and suddenly a gloom settles on you. You go in another house, and suddenly you feel light as if wings have come to you, you can fly, you are weightless. You enter a crowd and you are no more yourself, something has changed. You enter another crowd, again something has changed.

This is the base of satsang: being with a Master who has no thoughts. Just being with him, sometimes his no-thought, his no-mind, will knock at your door. In some moments . . . it cannot be manipulated, one has to wait, one has just to pray and wait and watch. It cannot be forced because it is not a thought. A thought is a thing; it can be thrown at you. No-thought is not a thing, it cannot be thrown.

A thought has its own movement and propulsion. Whenever you are near a person who has too many thoughts, he will fill you with his thoughts. Just being near he will go on pouring his mind in you – whether he speaks or not, that is not the point. Continuously, thoughts, like sparks, are falling from his head all around – you catch them.

And sometimes you are even aware that this is not your thought. But when it comes you become filled with it, you become identified even with that. This is not your anger; somebody else was angry and you felt something within you. Somebody was hateful and the hate hit you. Everything is infectious, and mind is the most infectious disease in the world. No flu can compete with it, it goes on infecting people all around.

If you can see, you can see just sparks falling from the head of a person. They have different colors. That’s why so many mystics became aware of auras, because if a gloomy person comes he brings a gloomy aura. You can see it if your eyes are clear. You can see when a happy person comes around you. Even if you have not seen him – he is coming from behind you, you have not seen him – but suddenly you feel something happy is happening around.

Thoughts are not your own, they are not you. When you die your thoughts are scattered all around. It has happened, and next time you go near a dying man, watch – it is an experience in itself. When a man is dying, just sit and watch what happens to your mind. You will be surprised; thoughts which have never been there, thoughts you are not accustomed to, thoughts which are unknown, suddenly bubble up in you – pop! The man is dying and he is throwing his thoughts all around, like a dying tree throwing its seeds. It is in a panic; before the tree dies it should throw seeds so other trees come up.

Never go near a man who is dying if you are not aware, because then the dead will influence you. Basically, never be near a man where you feel gloomy, sad, unless you are aware. If you are aware then there is no problem. Then the gloom comes and passes; you never get identified with it.

Have you ever felt, going in a church, people praying, you feel immediately different. So much prayer, even not very real, just a Sunday prayer, but still they are doing it, even for a few moments the windows open – they are different. A fire catches you, you feel sudden changes within you.

Be aware! And then see how thoughts enter in the mind, how you get identified and become one with them. And they are moving so fast, the speed is so great, because there is nothing faster than thought. It is not possible to create anything faster than thought. It takes no time to reach anywhere. It jumps from one infinity to another; space doesn’t exist for it.

Thoughts are there, moving with fast speed. Because of the fast speed you cannot see two thoughts separately. Sit, close your eyes, slow down all processes of the body. Breathing slows, heartbeat slows, blood pressure slows. You slow down everything; you relax, because if everything slows, thought has to slow down, because it is a compact whole. When everything is slow, thought has to get slow.

That’s why in deep sleep thought stops; because everything is so slow and thought is so speedy a thing that there comes a breaking – the process cannot continue. The man is so slow and thought is so speedy, they cannot get together. Thought disappears. In deep sleep, only for a few hours, two hours at the most in the night, thought stops, because you are completely relaxed.

Relax and just watch: as the thought process slows you will be able to see gaps. Between two thoughts there is an interval – in that interval is consciousness. Between two clouds there is an interval – in that interval is the blue sky.

Slow down the thought process and look in the intervals, and pay more attention to the intervals than to the clouds. Shift the attention, change the gestalt. Don’t look at the figure, look at the background.

If I put a blackboard, a big blackboard the size of this wall here, and mark it with a white point and ask you what you see, ninety-nine percent the possibility is you will not see the blackboard, you will see the white dot – because we see the figure, not the background.

Such a big blackboard, but if I ask you, “What do you see there?” you will say, “I see a little white spot.” Such a big blackboard is not seen and only a little white spot, which is almost invisible, is seen? Why? Because this is the fixed pattern of the mind: to look at the figure, not at the background; to look at the cloud, not at the sky; to look at the thought, not at the consciousness.

This gestalt has to be changed. Pay more attention to the background and less attention to the figure. You will be nearer reality. In meditation this has to be done continuously. The mind, because of old habit, will look at the figure. You just shift again… Look at the background.

You are here, I am here. We can look at each other in two ways. I can look at the background; in the background are the trees, plants, greenery, the sky – the vast universe is your background. Or I can look at you, you are the figure. But mind always looks at the figure.

That’s why it happens if you go to a person like Sosan, Jesus or Buddha, you feel that their eyes are not looking at you. You are just the figure and they are looking at the background. Their gestalt is different. You may feel that their eyes are cold because they are not paying attention to you.

You are just a cloud. Persons like Buddha, when they look; you are there, but just as a small part of the background. And vast is the background, and you are just a dot. But you would like somebody to look at you, at the small dot, as if you are the universe, as if nothing exists beyond you.

Buddha’s love will look cold. You need a hot love, eyes which look at you and forget the whole. That is not possible for a Buddha. You have your place, but you are still a small dot. Howsoever beautiful, you are just part of a vast background – whole attention cannot be given to you.

That’s why the ego feels very much hurt near a Buddha, because the ego wants the whole attention: “Look at me, I am the center of the world.” But you are not the center of the world. Really there is no center in the world, because the center is possible only if the world is limited. If it is a finite circle then the center is possible – and it is an infinite circle.

It is absurd to think of a center. There is no center in the world; the world exists without any center. And it is beautiful. That’s why everybody can think, “I am the center.” If there is a center then it is impossible.

That’s why Mohammedans and Christians and Jews will not allow Hindu assertions that “I am God – Aham Brahmasmi.” They say, “This is heresy. What are you saying? Only God is the center. Nobody else is the center.” But Hindus can assert playfully that “I am God,” because they say there is no center, or everybody is the center.

But when you ask that the whole attention should come to you, this is the mind, the old habit of the mind, not to look at the background, just to look at the figure.

In meditation you have to shift from the figure to the background, from the star to the sky. The more this shift happens, the more you will feel you are not the mind, the more you will feel easily it can be dropped . . .

It is just like dropping a dress. You have made it so tight that it feels like a skin. It is not, it is just like a dress you can drop it easily. But one has to understand that one is the background, not the figure. And when this mind drops, says Sosan, then the objective world simply vanishes.

What does he mean? Does he mean that if you are in deep meditation, if you have reached the goal of no-mind, then these trees will disappear, vanish? Then this house will no more be here? Then you will not be sitting here? If I have attained, will this chair I am sitting on vanish?

No. Objects disappear as objects; not this chair, not that tree – they remain, but they are no more limited. Now they have no boundaries. Then this chair is meeting with the sun and with the sky, then the figure and the background has become one. There is no figure separate from the background, their identities are lost. And they are no more objects, because you are no more a subject there.

Krishnamurti goes on saying something very beautiful: that in deep meditation the observer becomes the observed. This is true, but you will feel that this looks absurd. If you are looking at a flower, does Krishnamurti mean that you become the flower? Then how will you get back home? And somebody may pluck you and you will be in trouble.

“The observer becomes the observed.” Does it mean that you become the flower? No – but still, in a sense, yes. You don’t become the flower in the sense that you can be plucked and somebody can carry you and you are no more a man. No, not in that sense. But when there is no mind, there is no boundary to you which separates you from the flower, no boundary to the flower which separates it from you. You have both become a subjective pool, you are merging and meeting. You remain you, the flower remains the flower, nobody can mistakenly pluck you – but there is a merging.

It happens only in your life sometimes in a few moments when you love a person. That too is rare, because man’s mind never leaves him even in love. It goes on creating its own nonsense, creating its own world. And the lover is no more allowed such closeness that he reaches to the background. The figure, the ego, always stands in between. But a few times it happens.

Of course, it must be happening in spite of you. It is so natural that even if you have made all the arrangements, sometimes the reality bumps into you. With all your arrangements, with all your dreams, sometimes it penetrates you; sometimes you are not on guard. Sometimes you forget, or you are so much occupied in a certain thing that a window opens and you are not looking at that window and the reality enters in.

A few moments, in love, this happens, when the observer has become the observed. This is a beautiful meditation: if you love a person then sit with the person and look into each other’s eyes – not thinking anything, not thinking who he is, not creating a thinking process, just looking into each other’s eyes.

There may be a few glimpses when the observer will become the observed, when you will be lost and you will not know who you are – whether you have become the beloved or the beloved has become you. Eyes are beautiful doors to enter into each other.

And why do I say only in love it is possible? Because only in love are you not on guard. You relax. You are not afraid of the other, you can be vulnerable, you can afford it. Otherwise, you are always on guard, because you don’t know what the other will do; you don’t know whether he will hurt you. And if you are not on guard the hurt can go very deep.

In love you can look into each other’s eyes. There will be some glimpses when the background and the figure dissolve into each other. You will be shaken to your very foundations. Suddenly you will have a glimpse: you are not, still you are. Somewhere deep there has been a meeting.

This happens to a real meditator with the universe itself – not that he becomes a tree, but still he becomes a tree. When he is with a tree, boundaries are not there. And when he becomes tuned to this no-boundary land, then he moves without boundaries..

This is what the meaning of Sosan is. When the mind disappears, objects vanish. When the objects vanish, you vanish, the ego vanishes. They are related.

Understand the relativity of these two, and the basic reality: The unity of Emptiness.

You exist because of your objects around you. Your boundary exists because of the boundaries of other things around you. When their boundaries are lost, your boundary is lost – you are relative to each other, you are together.

Your mind and your objects outside are joined together, they have a bridge. If the one bank disappears the bridge falls. And with the bridge the other bank also disappears, because there is no possibility for one bank to exist without the other. This is the meaning of relativity.

And then there is a unity – unity of emptiness. You are empty and the flower is empty, because there is no boundary to the flower, then how can there be a center? This is one of the deepest realizations of Buddha, and only Buddhists have asserted this so beautifully. They say there is no atma, no self.

And this was very much misunderstood, because Hindus say that their whole religion is based on atma, the self, the supreme self. And Buddha says, “When there is no boundary, how can the self exist?” When there is no boundary and the mind has become totally silent, how can the ‘I’ exist? Because the ‘I’ is a noise. How can you say “I am” when the whole is? When the figure and the background have become one, how can you say “I am”?

This is the emptiness of Buddha – anatta. This word is beautiful – anatta, no-selfness. You are no more and still you are. Really, for the first time you are as the whole, but not as the individual, not as the defined, demarcated, fenced. You are as the whole, but you are not as an individual, as a marked, defined separateness. You are no more an island; you are the vast expanse of emptiness.

And the same is with the flower, and the same is with the tree, and the same is with the bird and with the animal, and the same is with the rock, stars and the sun. When your self disappears, the self disappears from everywhere, because it was your self-reflected, it was your self-resounded by the universe, it was your madness reflected. Now it is no more there.

Sosan is saying that when there is emptiness there is unity. If you are, how can there by any unity? Your very being separate creates the disunity.

Mohammedans say that they love Hindus, they are brothers; Christians say they love Jews, they are brothers. Everybody is a brother, but how can you be a brother when you are a Christian? How can you be a brother when you are a Hindu? Your demarcation, your boundary, carries the enmity in it. At the most you can tolerate the other, but you cannot be one with the other. And just saying ’brother’ doesn’t help, because nobody can fight as dangerously as brothers.

Saying that I am a Hindu, I am making myself separate from the whole. Saying that I am powerful, I am separating myself from the universe. Saying that I am extraordinary, I am separating myself from the universe. This is what Chuang Tzu says: Be just the ordinary. That means don’t separate in any way, don’t make clear-cut definitions about yourself. Live with liquid boundaries, which are always ready to meet and melt.

Understand the relativity of these two, and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness. In this emptiness the two are indistiguishable . . .

They cannot be distinguished; they cannot be felt as separate – separate from the other. They are separate, but this separateness is totally different. You can distinguish, but this separateness is not of the ego.

It is just like a wave in the ocean. You can distinguish. The wave is the wave, not the ocean – still it is the ocean. The wave cannot exist without the ocean. The ocean is waving in it, the ocean is pulsating in it. It is separate as a form, and still not separate as existence. You remain separate, and still, you are not separate. This is the most fundamental paradox a man comes to experience when he experiences no-selfness, anatta.

. . .  And each contains in himself the whole world.

Not separate, you don’t lose anything, you gain the whole. And you are always afraid of losing. You always think, “If I lose myself then I am no more. What am I going to gain?” You lose, and you gain the whole. And you lose nothing but your misery, your anxiety, anguish. What have you got to lose?! You don’t have anything to lose – only your suffering, your bondage.

. . .  And each contains in himself the whole world.

When you lose, you become the whole world. All is yours. You are beggars because of yourselves; you can be emperors. Mind is the begging bowl.

I have heard one Sufi story. It is one of the oldest Sufi teachings.

A beggar came to an emperor’s palace. The emperor was just in the garden so he heard the beggar. The man on the gate was going to give something, but the beggar said, “I have one condition. I always take from the master, never from servants.”

The emperor heard. He was taking a walk so he came to look at this beggar, because beggars don’t have conditions. If you are a beggar, how can you have conditions? “Seems to be a rare beggar.” So, he came to look – and he was a rare beggar. The emperor had never seen such an emperor-like man before; he was nothing. This man had some glory around him, a grace. Tattered his dress was, almost naked, but the begging bowl was very, very precious.

The emperor said, “Why this condition?”

The beggar said, “Because servants are themselves beggars and I don’t want to be rude to anybody. Only masters can give. How can servants give? So if you are ready, you can give and I will accept it. But then too I have a condition, and that is: my begging bowl has to be completely filled.”

A small begging bowl! The emperor started laughing. He said, “You seem to be mad. Do you think I cannot fill your begging bowl?” And then he ordered his ministers to bring precious stones, incomparable, unique, and fill the begging bowl with them.

But they got into a difficulty, because the more they filled the begging bowl, the stones would fall in it and they would not even make a sound, they would simply disappear. And the begging bowl remained empty.

Then the emperor was in a fix, his whole ego was at stake. He, a great emperor who ruled the whole earth, could not fill a begging bowl! He ordered, “Bring everything, but this begging bowl has to be filled!”

His treasures . . . for days together all his treasuries were emptied, but the begging bowl remained empty. There was no more left. The emperor had become a beggar, all was lost. The emperor fell to the beggar’s feet and said, “Now I am also a beggar and I beg only one thing. Tell me the secret of this bowl, it seems to be magical!”

The beggar said, “Nothing. It is made of human mind, nothing magical.”

Every human mind is just this begging bowl. You go on filling it, it remains empty. You throw the whole world, worlds together, and they simply disappear without making any sound. You go on giving and it is always begging.

Give love, and the begging bowl is there, your love has disappeared. Give your whole life, and the begging bowl is there, looking at you with complaining eyes. “You have not given anything. I am still empty.” And the only proof that you have given is if the begging bowl is full – and it is never full. Of course, the logic is clear: you have not given.

You have achieved many, many things – they have all disappeared in the begging bowl. The mind is a self-destructive process. Before the mind disappears, you will remain a beggar. Whatsoever you can gain will be in vain; you will remain empty.

And if you dissolve this mind, through emptiness you become filled for the first time. You are no more, but you have become the whole. If you are, you will remain a beggar. If you are not, you become the emperor.

That’s why in India we have been calling beggars swamis. Swami means a master, an emperor. You cannot find a better word for sannyasins. When I was thinking what name to give to the new sannyasins, I couldn’t improve on it. Swami seems to be the best.

It means one who has thrown himself so completely he is no more; he has become the whole world, the master of all. Otherwise even emperors remain beggars; they go on desiring, asking and suffering.

If you do not discriminate between coarse and fin you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.

If you don’t distinguish between coarse and fine, good and bad, beauty and ugliness, this and that – if you don’t distinguish, if you don’t discriminate, you simply accept the whole as it is. You don’t put your mind in it, you don’t become a judge. You simply say, “It is so.”

The thorn is there, you say, “It is so.” The rose is there, you say, “It is so.” A saint is there, you say, “It is so.” A sinner is there, you say, “It is so.” And the whole knows; nobody else can know why a sinner exists. There must be some reason, but that is a mystery for the whole, not for you to bother about.

The whole gives birth to saints and sinners, thorns and roses – only the whole knows why. You simply fall into the whole and you don’t make any discriminations. You will also know why, but only when you have become the whole.

The mystery is solved when you have become the mystery itself. You cannot solve it remaining yourself. If you remain yourself, you will become a great philosopher. You will have many answers and no answer; you will have many theories but no truth. But if you become the mystery itself, you will know. But that knowledge is so delicate it cannot be put into words. That knowledge is so paradoxical it defies all language. That knowledge is so contradictory – because opposites lose boundaries, they become one – no word can say it.

The figure means the word and the background means the silence. In that knowledge the figure and the background have become one, the silence and the word have become one. How can you say it? But still it has to be said, because there are many who are thirsty for it. Even hearing about it, it may be that somebody’s heart starts on a journey. That’s why Sosan is saying these things.

Sosan knows they cannot be said, because whenever you say it you have to make discrimination. Whenever you say something, you have to choose a word. Whenever you have to say something, you prefer this to that and the mind enters.

But nobody has tried better than Sosan. He is incomparable. You cannot find another man who has put that silence into words so beautifully. Even a Buddha will feel jealous. This Sosan is really a Master – Master of silence and Master of words. He has put something into this world which doesn’t belong to this world. He has penetrated into words a deep silence of his experience.

Listen to his words – not only listen, imbibe. Let them melt into your heart. Don’t memorize them. Let them move into your bloodstream and become your blood and bones. Imbibe, eat them, digest them, and forget them. And they have tremendous power to transform.

-Osho

From Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Discourse #5

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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A Cloud of Unknowing – Author Unknown

How a man’s love is wonderfully transformed in the interior experience of this nothingness and nowhere.

How wonderfully is a man’s love transformed by the interior experience of this nothingness and this nowhere. The first time he looks upon it, the sins of his whole life rise up before him. No evil thought, word, or deed remains hidden. Mysteriously and darkly they are burned into it. No matter where he turns, they confront him until after great effort, painful remorse, and many bitter tears he has largely rubbed them away.

At times the sight is as terrible as a glimpse of hell and he is tempted to despair of ever being healed and relieved of his sore burden. Many arrive at this juncture in the interior life but the terrible, comfortless agony they experience facing themselves drives them back to thoughts of worldly pleasures. They seek without for relief in things of the flesh, unable to bear the spiritual emptiness within. But they have not understood that they were not ready for the spiritual comfort which would have succored then had they waited.

He who patiently abides in this darkness will be comforted and feel again a confidence about his destiny, for gradually he will see his past sins healed by grace. The pain continues yet he knows it will end for even now it grows less intense. Slowly he begins to realize that the suffering he endures is really not hell at all, but his purgatory. Then will come a time when he recognizes in that nothingness no particular sin but only the lump of sin itself, which though but a formless mass is none other than himself; he sees that in himself it is the root and pain of original sin. When at other times he begins to feel a marvelous strengthening and untold delights of joy and goodness, he wonders if this nothingness is not some heavenly paradise after all. And finally, there will come a moment when he experiences such peace and repose in that darkness that he thinks it must be God himself.

Yes, he will suppose this nothingness to be one thing and another, yet to the last it will remain a cloud of unknowing between him and his God.

-unknown

From The Cloud of Unknowing, Chapter 69

Osho says about The Cloud of Unknowing:

“One of the most important statements about mysticism in the Western hemisphere is the book called The Cloud of Unknowing. The name of the author is not known; it is good that we don’t know who wrote it. It indicates one thing: that before he wrote it he had disappeared into a cloud of unknowing. It is the only book in the Western world which comes close to the Upanishads, The Tao Te Ching, The Dhammapada. There is a rare insight in it.

First he calls it a cloud. A cloud is vague, with no definable limits. It is constantly changing; it is not static – never, even for two consecutive moments, is it the same. It is a flux, it is pure change. And there is nothing substantial in it. If you hold it in your hand just mist will be left, nothing else. Maybe your hands will become wet, but you will not find any cloud in your fist.”

-Osho

From Theologia Mystica, Discourse #11

 

A Being Energy – Osho

We all think we are aware; that is one of our unawarenesses. We are only functionally aware.

We have learned to do things, to go to bed, to get up early in the morning, to go to the job. Everything has been learned. Even a robot can do the whole process. You are not needed. And that’s exactly what has happened to humanity. It is a robot humanity. You have learned everything that is necessary and given it to your robot mind who goes on doing things on your behalf. And giving the charge to the mind you have gone to sleep.

The whole effort of the buddhas is to bring out your consciousness and to make you clearly aware of the distinction between functioning consciousness and a pure consciousness which has no function, just a mirror. The mirror has no function, it has utility, but even while you are looking in the mirror, the mirror does not do anything. The reflection is spontaneous. Even if you don’t want the reflection, still it will reflect – and the mirror is not in need of you to stand before it.

The way Zen expresses it is this: The full moon shines in the lake. Neither the full moon desires to be reflected – but it is reflected – nor does the lake want to reflect it, but it does reflect it. Both are not at all doing any active work in this reflection. Both are just being themselves and the reflection comes on its own accord. You do your things and only in doing your things can you separate the functioning consciousness and the pure consciousness.

When you walk, do you know you are walking? When you are silent, are you aware that you are silent? When you are eating, is there any awareness standing by the side, watching your function of eating? That awareness is the great enlightenment. It has no function, it has no utility, it is not a means to some end. It is enough unto itself. It is such a contentment, such deep satisfaction with oneself and the cosmos, such a strong let-go, that you don’t have to do anything. Just being is more than you can have conceived – the joy of just being, the blissfulness of just being.

I pass every day Mukta’s pond, and those two swans are just twenty-four hours a day enjoying, doing nothing. And they look so dignified, so utterly contented… not even a shadow around them of any desire or any ambition, or of any position, of any success. All those are stupid things. They are enjoying every moment, just sitting in the pond.

A consciousness is just like what Basho calls, “Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.” What he is saying is, “As far as I am concerned, I am not doing anything, neither am I desiring anything. The spring comes on its own accord, uninvited. The grass starts growing without any effort on my part. I am just a watcher, sitting silently, doing nothing.”

This non-doing awareness, which has no function in the world but is simply a blissfulness, an ecstasy, a drunkenness utterly centered in the present moment… That is the whole idea of the buddhas: to make you aware that something is hiding inside you. But because it is of no use, you don’t care about it.

The world consists of utility, and your consciousness is of no utility. You cannot earn by it, you cannot sell it, you cannot do anything by it. It is not a doing energy. It is simply being – a being energy that stands just like an Everest, silently, for centuries.

-Osho

Excerpt from Isan: No Footprints in the Blue Sky, Discourse #6

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt A Being Energy.

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A Revolution in Religion – Osho

When I first heard you say, “Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself,” my Western mind thought this was a metaphor, and sought to find the meaning. Then I thought you really meant to sit silently—and I felt it was impossible. Now, sitting silently in your presence, doing nothing I find is pure hedonism—and the grass is growing by itself. Beloved Master, I am amazed, and my gratitude is beyond words.

The East and the West have gone so far away from each other that there is always misunderstanding: neither the East understands the West nor the West understands the East. But in the final reckoning, the West is the loser.

For ten thousand years the East has chosen a path which is not of the mind – which is not intellectual, which is not rational, which is not logical, which is not scientific. And the West has chosen just the opposite.

The West is still far away from reaching the final heights of rational flight. And perhaps it will never be able to reach the end, because its enquiry is about the objects outside you. There is an infinity of universe, and the deeper science goes the more it finds that it knows nothing. Its knowledge only helps it to know that much more is to be known and there seems to be no end in view.

On the other hand, the East has reached its goal: it has attained to the ultimate consciousness. In a certain way, it has reached inner perfection. This creates new difficulties of misunderstanding, because the East speaks from the heights of final realization and the West can understand only relative truths which are changing every day.

They have also chosen to speak in different ways. The East speaks in poetic metaphors; the West speaks in terms of mathematics. The East speaks intuitively; the West, only intellectually.

It is one of the greatest problems to be solved – how East and West can come together. Their meeting is absolutely necessary; otherwise, whatever has been attained in the East, or in the West, will all disappear into nuclear smoke.

I can understand Kaveesha’s question. When she first heard the famous haiku – “Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself” – it was natural for her to understand it as poetry, as metaphoric expression. The mind trained in the Western way cannot think otherwise. It is impossible to think this is a description of a reality.

There is no metaphor involved. It is not poetry. Haiku is not poetry. Its formation is poetic, but what it contains is reality. Only its container is poetic, but the content is absolute reality.

But it is difficult, for the simple reason… first, sitting silently is against the Western mind. The West has the proverb, “The empty mind is the devil’s workshop.” Sitting silently, you will be empty. And from your childhood you have heard that the empty mind is the devil’s workshop. The East knows something totally different. It is a workshop – not of the devil but of the divine.

The first sentence creates great hurdles. Everybody in the West is taught to think, and thinking pays in life – sitting silently won’t pay. It is not a qualification; maybe it can be called a dis-qualification. If you apply for a job and tell the employer that your qualification is sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself, he will be simply amazed! They will simply throw you out of the office – “You sit somewhere else, because we don’t want the grass to grow here!” In their eyes, you must be mad.

The West has never developed any meditation – it is poor in that way, very poor. It knows only prayer, which is not even a faraway echo of meditation. Even the so-called prophets and saviors and messiahs have never been able to go beyond prayer – prayer is the last thing, because God is the ultimate goal.

Meditation is a revolution in religion.

It simply drops God, without even arguing against it. It is not even worthy of that, because it is a hypothesis – unproved, unexperienced; it does not deserve to be considered.

I had a friend, Professor Wilson, who was teaching in a theological college in Jabalpur. He could not understand that there can be a religion which has no God, which has no prayer. The West, for the last four or five centuries, has never conceived that religion is possible without God, without prayer. In fact it is only possible without them. They are the disturbances, obstructions on the way to religious revolution. They are the enemies.

The devil has not done any wrong in the world – he does not exist. God also does not exist, but he has done immense harm. God has kept man’s mind focused on something outside, and when you are focused on the outside, you remain in the mind. Meditation cannot be focused outside; only mind has the capacity to be focused outside. Mind cannot be focused inside; only meditation can do that. So meditation and mind go diametrically opposite ways.

It is not without reason that people of meditation have called their path the path of no-mind. But with the mind being dropped, gods, all kinds of theologies, devils, heaven and hell and their details, the ideas of sin and virtue – they are all dropped because they are all part of the mind. And the West has remained mind-obsessed – as if you are only mind and nothing more, your existence consists of mind-body, and that’s all.

Trained in the Western ways, Kaveesha thought that it must be some metaphor, or perhaps there is some meaning in it. ‘Meaning’ is a mind word: if there is some meaning in it, then think about the meaning, find out the meaning of it.

You cannot find any meaning in it. It comes from an inner source of your being, where meaning itself has no meaning, where things simply are – with great splendor, with tremendous beauty, but no meaning. Meaning is a logical concept, and logic is a mind product. Existence knows nothing about it.

So first she thought it may be a metaphor. Obviously, this will come to the Western mind. But a metaphor also has to have some meaning. It must indicate towards something; it must be a metaphor for something, a representative, a pointer. But what meaning is there? Seen with an attitude which is searching for meaning, the haiku is meaningless. It is an experience. And it actually describes everything that happens to consciousness – just in those few words.

And that is the beauty of haiku. It uses the minimal amount of words. You cannot take a single word out of it, it has been already taken: only the most essential has been left.

Sitting silently – there are two words. It starts with sitting, it starts with the body. If the body can sit restfully, relaxed, it helps immensely for the mind to become silent. If the body is restless, tense, then the mind cannot be silent. So the haiku is starting from the very foundation: “sitting” simply means relaxed, restful, at ease, at home, no tensions.

You see millions of statues of Buddha all over Asia – and Buddha himself said before he died, “Don’t make a statue of me.” For almost three hundred years the disciples, generation after generation, resisted the temptation. But as the physical presence of Buddha became far away – four hundred years, five hundred years – the temptation to have at least a marble statue sitting in the same posture as Buddha… It does not matter whether it is a photographic representation or not; that is irrelevant. What matters is that it will help to give you inspiration, understanding of how to sit.

And for that, the marble statue is even better than a real Buddha, because it is completely relaxed – no tensions, no movement. They gave it such proportion, such beauty, such aesthetic sensibility, that if you sit by the side of a Buddha statue, you would like to sit in the same way. And the miracle you will feel is that as you start sitting in the same way, the mind starts settling… as if the evening has come and the birds are coming back to their homes, to their trees. Soon it will be night and all the birds will have settled in their nests, fallen asleep.

And if you are fortunate to be in the presence of a living, awakened being, his restful body will create a synchronicity with your bodies, because it is of the same matter. All bodies are made of the same matter and function on the same wavelength.

If the sitting is right, silence descends on you just as the evening comes and then all becomes dark.

Sitting silently… The second thing is the mind. The body should be non-tense, and the mind should be without any thought.

Sitting silently, doing nothing… This is very significant to understand. Even the idea that you are doing meditation is a disturbance, because every “doing” makes the mind active. Mind can remain passive only when you are in a state of non-doing, doing nothing…

This small haiku contains the whole philosophy of the Eastern approach. It is not even a meditation; you are not doing anything, you are simply rejoicing in rest. You are enjoying the peace that comes on its own; it is not your doing. You are simply waiting, not doing… waiting for things to happen. There is no hurry, there is no worry.

The Spring comes… Remember, existence has no obligation to fulfill your desires; hence, the sentence, the Spring comes… You may be in a different season, and the grass may not grow. Don’t complain that “I was sitting silently and the grass was not growing.” You were out of tune with existence.

You have to follow existence. The spring comes – you have to wait for the spring to come, you cannot bring it, you cannot manufacture it; it is not in your hands. The spring comes – it comes – and the grass grows by itself. And suddenly everything becomes green; suddenly, everywhere grass is growing. Nobody is doing anything, just the spring has come and its coming is enough for the grass to grow.

You are sitting silently, doing nothing, simply waiting for the spring to come. Just as the outside spring comes, the inside spring also comes. There are inner seasons of life. So don’t be worried – the spring is bound to come.

And at the time the haiku was written, the spring used to come exactly the same day every year; for centuries that had been the routine. In my childhood in India, every season was coming exactly on the same day. There was no question about what day the rains would begin, on what day the rains would end. But because of atomic explosions… they have disturbed the whole ecology. Now nothing is certain: sometimes rains come, sometimes they don’t come at all; sometimes they come too much, too early. The old rhythm, the old balance, is there no more.

But fortunately, atomic explosions cannot disturb your inner world. They cannot reach there. There, the spring comes exactly when you are ready. The Egyptian saying is, “When the disciple is ready, the master appears.” The master has to appear when the disciple is ready. The disciple need not worry about the master; he has just to be ready. His readiness is enough to give a call to the master.

And it is absolutely true: the master appears when the disciple is ready. Sitting silently, doing nothing, you are getting ready. No desire, no worry whether the spring will come or not – it always comes, it has never been otherwise. The moment you are ready, it is there.

And when the spring comes to your inner world, as if thousands of flowers have opened up, the whole air changes: it is fresh and fragrant, the birds start singing. Your inner world becomes a music unto itself, a fragrance unto itself – and the grass grows by itself.

By “the grass” is indicated your life, your life force. Green is the symbol for the living. In connection with spring, everything becomes green. And once you have experienced this phenomenon, you have known the greatest secret there is – that there are things which you cannot do, but can only allow to happen.

So it is possible, Kaveesha: sitting here just doing nothing, the spring may come at any moment, and for the first time you will understand the significance of the haiku, because something in you starts growing, so alive – it is pure life. It is you, it is your being. But there is no way to intellectually understand it.

In the East for thousands of years, disciples have been sitting by the side of the master, just doing nothing. It looks strange to the Western mind: what is the point of sitting there? If you go to a Sufi gathering, the master is sitting in the middle and all around his disciples are sitting silently – nothing is happening, the master is not even saying anything. Hours pass…

But something transpires – they all feel a fulfillment. When they come out, they are radiant. The master has not done anything; neither have they done anything. They just fall in tune because both were not doing anything, both were silent.

It is possible that now you understand the haiku. Sitting here every day, just listening to me, a silence descends on you and suddenly there is spring and the grass is growing.

The East has to be understood in its own ways. If somebody tries to interpret it intellectually, he has missed the point from the very beginning.

-Osho

From The Path of the Mystic, Discourse #24

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

A Bigger Container – Charlotte Joko Beck

At the age of ninety-five Genpo Roshi, one of the great Zen masters of modern times, was speaking of the “gateless gate,” and he pointed out that there truly is no gate through which we must pass in order to realize what our life is. Still, he said, from the standpoint of practice we must go through a gate, the gate of our own pride. And every one of us here, since the time we got up this morning, has in some way or another met our pride—every one of us. To go through this gate that is not a gate we have to go through the gate of our own pride.

Now the child of pride is anger. By anger I mean all kinds of frustration, including irritation, resentment, jealousy. I talk so much about anger and how to work with it because to understand how to practice with anger is to understand how to approach the “gateless gate.”

In daily life we know what it means to stand back from a problem. For example, I’ve watched Laura make a beautiful flower arrangement: she’ll fuss and fiddle with the flowers, then at some point she’ll stand back and look, to see what she has done and how it balances out. If you’re sewing a dress, at first you cut and arrange and sew, but finally you get in front of the mirror to see how it looks. Does it hang on the shoulders? How’s the hem? Is it becoming? Is it a suitable dress? You stand back. Likewise, in order to put our lives into perspective, we stand back and take a look.

Now Zen practice is to do this. It develops the ability to stand back and look. Let’s take a practical example, a quarrel. The overriding quality in any quarrel is pride. Suppose I’m married and I have a quarrel with my husband. He’s done something that I don’t like—perhaps he has spent the family savings on a new car—and I think our present car is fine. And I think—in fact I know—that I am right. I am angry, furious. I want to scream. Now what can I do with my anger? What is the fruitful thing to do? First of all I think it’s a good idea just to back away: to do and say as little as possible. As I retreat for a bit, I can remind myself that what I really want is to be what might be called A Bigger Container. (In other words I must practice my ABCs.) To do this is to step into another dimension—the spiritual dimension, if we must give it a name.

Let’s look at  a series of practice steps, realizing that in the heat of anger it’s impossible for most of us to practice as the drama occurs. But do try to step back; do and say very little; remove yourself. Then, when you’re alone, just sit and observe. What do I mean by “observe”? Observe the soap opera going on in the mind: what he said, what he did, what I have to say about all that, what I should do about it . . . these are all a fantasy. They are not the reality of what’s happening. If we can (it’s difficult to do when angry), label these thoughts. Why is it difficult? When we’re angry there’s a huge block that stands in the way of practice: the fact that we don’t want to practice—we prefer to cherish our pride, to be “right” about the argument, the issue. (“Do not seek the Truth—only cease to cherish opinions.”) And that’s why the first step is to back away, say little. It may take weeks of hard practice before we can see that what we want is not to be right, but to be A Bigger Container, ABC. Step back and observe. Label the thoughts of the drama: yes, he shouldn’t do that; yes, I can’t stand what he’s doing; yes, I’ll find some way to get even—all of which may be so on a superficial level, but still it is just a soap opera.

If we truly step back and observe—and as I said, it’s extremely difficult to do when angry—we will be capable in time of seeing our thoughts as thoughts (unreal) and not as the truth. Sometimes I’ve gone through this process ten, twenty, thirty times before the thoughts finally subside. When they do I am left with what? I am left with the direct experience of the physical reaction in my body, the residue, so to speak. When I directly experience this residue (as tension, contraction), since there is no duality in direct experience, I will slowly enter the dimension (samadhi) which knows what to do, what action to take. It knows what is the best action, not just for me but for the other as well. In making A Bigger Container, I taste “oneness” in a direct way.

We can talk about “oneness” until the cows come home. But how do we actually separate ourselves from others? How? The pride out of which anger is born is what separates us. And the solution is a practice in which we experience this separating emotion as a definite bodily state. When we do, A Bigger Container is created.

What is created, what grows, is the amount of life I can hold without it upsetting me, dominating me. At first this space is quite restricted, then it’s a bit bigger, and then it’s bigger still. It need never cease to grow. And the enlightened state is that enormous and compassionate space. But as long as we live we find there is a limit to our container’s size and it is at that point that we must practice. And how do we know where this cut-off point is? We are at that point when we feel any degree of upset, of anger. It’s no mystery at all. And the strength of our practice is how big that container gets.

As we do this practice we need to be charitable with ourselves. We need to recognize when we’re unwilling to do it. No one is willing all the time. And it’s not bad when we don’t do it. We always do what we’re ready to do.

The practice of making A Bigger Container is essentially spiritual because it is essentially nothing at all. A Bigger Container isn’t a thing; awareness is not a thing; the witness is not a thing or a person. There is not somebody witnessing. Nevertheless that which can witness my mind and body must be other than my mind and body. If I can observe my mind and body in an angry state, who is this “I” who observes? It shows me that I am other than my anger, bigger than my anger, and this knowledge enables me to build A Bigger Container, to grow. So what must be increased is the ability to observe. What we observe is always secondary. It isn’t important that we are upset; what is important is the ability to observe the upset.

As the ability grows first to observe, and second to experience, two factors simultaneously increase: wisdom, the ability to see life as it is (not the way I want it to be) and compassion, the natural action which comes from seeing life as it is. We can’t have compassion for anyone or anything if our encounter with them is ensnarled in pride and anger; it’s impossible. Compassion grows as we create A Bigger Container.

When we practice we’re cutting deep into our life as we’ve know it, and the way this process unfolds varies from person to person. For some people, depending on their personal conditioning and history, this process may go smoothly, and the release is slow. For others it comes in waves, enormous emotional waves. It’s like a dam that bursts. We fear being flooded and over whelmed. It’s as though we’ve walled off part of the ocean, and when the dam breaks the water just rejoins that which it truly is; and it’s relieved because now it can flow with the currents and the vastness of the ocean.

Nevertheless I think that it’s important for the process not to go too fast. If it’s going too fast I think it should be slowed down. Crying, shaking upset, are not undesirable things. That dam is beginning to break. But it’s not necessary that it break too fast. Better to slow it down, and if it breaks rapidly, that also is OK—it’s just that it doesn’t have to be done that way. We think we’re all the same; but probably the more repressive and difficult the childhood has been, the more important it is for the dam to give way slowly. But no matter how smooth our life may have been, there’s always a dam that has to busts at some point.

Remember also that a little humor about all this isn’t a bad idea. Essentially we never get rid of anything. We don’t have to get rid of all our neurotic tendencies; what we do is begin to see how funny they are, and then they’re just part of the fun of life, the fun with living with other people. They’re all crazy. And so are we, of course. But we never really see that we’re crazy; that’s our pride. Of course I’m not crazy—after all, I’m the teacher!

-Charlotte Joko Beck

From Everyday Zen, pages 49-52

The Fire of Attention – Charlotte Joko Beck

Back in the 1920’s, when I was maybe eight or ten years old, and living in New Jersey where the winters are cold, we had a furnace in our house that burned coal. It was a big event on the block when the coal truck pulled up and all this stuff poured down the coal shute into the coal bin. I learned that there were two kinds of coal that showed up in the coal bin: one was called anthracite or hard coal, and the other was lignite, soft coal. My father told me about the difference in the way those two kinds of coal burned. Anthracite burns cleanly, leaving little ash. Lignite leaves lots of ash. When we burned lignite, the cellar became covered with soot and some of it got upstairs into the living room. Mother had something to say about that, I remember. At night my father would bank the fire, and I learned to do this too. Banking the fire means covering it with a thin layer of coal, and then shutting down the oxygen vent to the furnace so that the fire stays in slow-burning state. Overnight the house becomes cold, and so in the morning the fire must be stirred up and the oxygen vent opened; then the furnace can heat up the house.

What does all this have to do with our practice? Practice is about breaking our exclusive identification with ourselves. This process has sometimes been called purifying the mind. To “purify the mind” doesn’t mean that you become holy or other than you are; it means to strip away that which keeps a person—or a furnace—from functioning best. The furnace functions best with hard coal. But unfortunately what we’re full of is soft coal. There’s a saying in the Bible: “He is like a refiner’s fire.” It’s a common analogy, found in other religions as well. To sit through sesshin is to be in the middle of a refining fire. Eido Roshi said once, “This zendo is not a peaceful haven, but a furnace room for the combustion of our egoistic delusions.” A zendo is not a place for bliss and relaxation, but a furnace room for the combustion of our egoistic delusions. What tools do we need to use? Only one. We’ve all heard of it, yet we use it very seldom. It’s called attention.

-Charlotte Joko Beck

From Everyday Zen, pages 31-32

He Understands Zen Intellectually – Osho

If I understand him rightly, Hubert Benoit seems to think that one does not need a Master to learn how to let go. He writes, “I have need of a Master to learn some movements that I wish to make with my limbs, but I have no need to learn how to decontract my muscles. I have need of a professor of philosophy, or of poetry in order to learn how to think in the truest or most beautiful way; I have no need of such a person if I wish to learn not to think.”

Would you please comment?

Maneesha, the content of Hubert Benoit’s statement is absolutely true, but in practice it does not happen so. It is true that if you want to learn philosophy you need a professor, but if you don’t want to learn you don’t need a professor. He has forgotten one thing, and that is: you have already learned a philosophy; now what to do with that philosophy? You will need a professor to help you to get rid of that philosophy. In practice, nobody is unconditioned, hence, somebody is needed to indicate that your mind is conditioned, and a conditioned mind cannot know the truth.

So in content, he is right, but in practice, he is just philosophizing. He understands Zen intellectually, and perhaps he has written the most complete treatise on Zen, but what he is writing, he himself has not practiced.

Practice is a totally different phenomenon from learning. You will have to be told how to relax, although you don’t need to be told. But if you don’t need – according to this man who has written extensively on Zen… If nobody needs to relax, if nobody needs to be told to relax, why are people tense? If nobody needs to be told to unlearn, then why are there not innocent people? In practice, things take a totally different standpoint.

I will agree with him philosophically, but I know practically – you have to be told how to relax. You have to be told how to unlearn. You need a master. In reality, there is no need, because you are the Buddha. But who is going to remind you? You have forgotten it for so long that you have become accustomed to the idea that you are not the Buddha.

Maneesha, even beautiful things can be said, but only with intellectual understanding. It is not Hubert Benoit’s experience. His intellectual grasp is clear, but his existential experience is missing.

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself, Discourse #4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Zen is a Deprogramming – Osho

In his book, ‘The Way of Zen,’ Alan Watts writes, “One must not forget the social context of Zen. It is primarily a way of liberation for those who have mastered the discipline of social convention, of the conditioning of the individual by the group. Zen is a medicine for the ill effects of this conditioning, for the mental paralysis and anxiety which come from extensive self-consciousness.”

Beloved Master, First, I don’t see any need to master social conventions to be ready for the way of Zen. On the contrary, trying to master dead, old rules shows stupidity. Why not drop them immediately?

Second, do you see Zen as a medicine for the ill effect of conditioning?

Whenever you are reading a book, remember the man who is writing it, because those words are not coming from the sky, they are coming from an individual mind.

Alan Watts was a trained Christian missionary. That training continues to affect his effort to understand Zen. And finally, when he came a little closer to Zen, the Christian church expelled him. That brought a crisis in that man’s life. He was not yet a man of Zen, and he had lost his credibility as a Christian. Under this stress he started drinking wine, became an alcoholic and died because of alcoholism. If you know this man you will understand why he is saying what he is saying.

His statement that “One must not forget the social context of Zen,” is simply saying something about himself – that if he had not forgotten the social context and remained a docile Christian, things would have been better. His interest in Zen, rather than bringing him freedom, brought him catastrophe. But Zen is not responsible for it; he could not go the whole way.

He tried somehow to make a Christian context for Zen. Neither did Christians like it, nor the men of Zen. They don’t need any Christian context; they don’t need any social context. It is an individual rebellion. Whether you are a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian does not matter. Whatever load you are carrying, drop it. Whatever the name of the load, just drop it.

Zen is a deprogramming.

You are all programmed – as a Christian, as a Catholic, as a Hindu, as a Mohammedan… everybody is programmed. Zen is a deprogramming. So it does not matter what kind of program you bring; what kind of cage you have lived in does not matter. The cage has to be broken and the bird has to be released. There is no social context of Zen. Zen is the most intimate and the most individualistic rebellion against the collective mass and its pressure.

Alan Watts is not right. His understanding of Zen is absolutely intellectual. He says, “It is primarily a way of liberation for those who have mastered the discipline of social convention.” All nonsense. It has nothing to do with social convention. There is no need to master something which you have to drop finally. There is no point in wasting time. In other words, he is saying, “First, get into a cage, become a slave of a certain conventionality, a certain religion, a certain belief system, and then try to be free of it.”

He is simply showing his mind, unconsciously. He was encaged, and for years trained as a Christian priest. You can expel a Christian, but it is very difficult for the Christian to expel the Christianity that has gone deep into his bones, into his blood. He could not expel it, hence his advice for others who may follow: “It is primarily a way of liberation for those who have mastered the discipline of social convention, of the conditioning of the individual by the group.” Absolutely no.

It does not matter whether you are conditioned this way or that way. Conditioned fifty percent, sixty percent, or one hundred percent – it does not matter. From any point freedom is available. And you will have to drop it, so the less you are conditioned the better, because you will be dropping a small load. It is better if your cage is very small. But if you have a palace and an empire, then it is very difficult to drop it.

When Jesus asked the fishermen to drop their jobs and “come follow me,” they really dropped. There was nothing much to be dropped – just a fisherman’s net, a rotten net. A good bargain: dropping this net and following this man, you will enter into the kingdom of God. But when he asked the rich young man to drop everything and “come and follow me,” the rich man hesitated and disappeared into the crowd. The less you have, as far as conditioning is concerned, the easier it is to drop it.

And he is asking that first you should be conditioned by the group, and master the discipline of social convention. Strange… Do you have to become first a soldier just to get retired from the army? If you don’t want to fight, you don’t have to become a soldier. Why not be fresh? But he was not fresh.

He was contaminated by Christianity, and he hopes – according to his programming – that everybody first should be conditioned, chained, handcuffed, put into a jail, so that he can enjoy freedom one day. A strange way of experiencing freedom!

When you are free there is no need of being conditioned by any group, by any belief. There is no need. As you are, you are already too conditioned. Society does not allow their children to grow like the lilies in the field, pure, uncontaminated. They pollute them with all their conditionings, centuries old. The older the conditioning, the more precious it is thought to be.

And contradictorily… the second statement he makes: “Zen is a medicine for the ill effects of this conditioning.”

Zen is not a medicine. Zen is the explosion of health. Medicine is needed only by sick people, but health is needed by everyone – more health, a more juicy life. Zen is not a medicine; Zen is the inner explosion of your wholeness, your health, your ultimate immortality.

The questioner has said, “Beloved Master, first, I don’t see any need to master social conventions to be ready for the way of Zen” – you are right. ”On the contrary, trying to master dead, old rules shows stupidity” – you are again right. ”Why not drop them immediately?” That’s what Zen is asking you: “Why not drop it immediately? Why go part by part?”

I have told you a story in Ramakrishna’s life….

A man had gathered ten thousand golden rupees. And at that time, the rupee was really gold; the word ‘rupee’ simply means gold. And this was his desire – that one day when they were ten thousand, he would offer them to Ramakrishna, of course, to gain virtue in the other life. When small donations are given and people are getting great virtues… for ten thousand gold pieces you can purchase even God’s own house!

He went, dropped his bags of golden coins, and told Ramakrishna, “I want to offer them to you.

Please accept them.”

Ramakrishna was a strange man. Ordinarily, a traditional sannyasin would not have accepted.

He would have said, “I have renounced the world, I cannot accept.” But Ramakrishna was not a conventional type. He said, “Okay, I accept. Now do me a favor.”

The man said, “I am at your feet. Whatever you want.”

“Take all these coins to the Ganges” – which was just behind the temple where Ramakrishna lived – “and drop all the coins into the Ganges.”

The man could not believe it. “What kind of… ten thousand gold pieces?” But now he cannot say that this is not right, he has already lost possession of them. Now they belong to Ramakrishna, and Ramakrishna is saying, “Go and drop them. Just do me a favor.”

Hesitantly, reluctantly, the man went. Hours passed. Ramakrishna said, “What happened to that man? He should have come back within five minutes.”

So Ramakrishna sent a sannyasin to look for him….

The man had gathered a big crowd. He was first checking each golden coin on a stone, and then he would throw them one by one. And people were jumping into the Ganges and collecting, and it had become a great show, and the man was enjoying.

When informed, Ramakrishna said, “That man is an idiot. Just tell him: when you are collecting something you can count them, but when you are throwing, what is the point of wasting time? Just drop the whole load.”

Ramakrishna was, in a simple way, indicating that when you are dropping your conditioning, your mental conceptions, your beliefs, don’t drop by and by. They are all interconnected; drop them all. If you cannot drop them all in a single moment, you will not be able to drop them at all. Either now, or never.

Secondly, the questioner has asked, “Do you see Zen as a medicine for the ill effect of conditioning?”

I don’t see Zen as a medicine, because a medicine sooner or later becomes useless. When your cold is over, you don’t go carrying on with the Greek aspirin!

Mukta keeps them for everybody; she has taken the responsibility. By being Greek she has to carry Greek aspirins. And everybody knows, so whenever somebody needs one, they look for Mukta.

If Zen is a medicine, when you are cured, what will you do with Zen? You will have to throw it away, or give it to the Lions Club. But Zen cannot be thrown away, nor can it be given to the Lions Club. In the first place, there is not a single lion.

Zen is your very nature; there is no way of throwing it away. All that you can do with Zen is two things: you can remember, or you can forget. This is the only possibility. If you forget your nature, your buddhahood… this is the only sin in the world of Zen: forgetfulness.

Gautam Buddha’s last words on the earth have to be remembered: sammasati. Sammasati means right remembrance. His whole life is condensed into a single word, remembrance, as if on dying, he is condensing all his teachings, all his scriptures into a single word. Nobody has uttered a more significant word when dying. His last message, his whole message: sammasati, remember. And when you remember, there is no way to throw your consciousness away.

Zen is not a meditation. Zen is exactly sammasati – remembrance of your ultimateness, remembrance of your immortality, remembrance of your divineness, of your sacredness.

Remembering it, and rejoicing it, and dancing out of joy that you are rooted, so deeply rooted in existence that there is no way for you to be worried, to be concerned.

Existence is within you and without you – it is one whole.

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, Discourse #4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

 

The Key is to be Delivered – Osho

Buddha had many enlightened people around him, yet he felt something special for this one enlightened person. Is there something different in enlightenments?

Yes, Buddha, had many enlightened persons around, but the key can be given only to such a person who can become a master in his own right, because the key is to be delivered on and on. It has to be kept alive. It was not going to become a treasure for Mahakashyap; it was a great responsibility, it had to be given to somebody else.

There were other enlightened persons but the key couldn’t be given to them; the key would be lost with them. Really, Buddha chose the right person, because the key is still alive. Mahakashyap did well. He could find another person who would transfer it to somebody else. The question is to find the right person. Just enlightened is not enough — not all enlightened persons are masters — a distinction has to be made.

Jainas have a beautiful distinction; they have two types of enlightened persons. One enlightened person is known as kaivali, one who has attained to absolute aloneness. He has become perfect but he cannot be a teacher, he cannot give this perfection to somebody else. He is not a master, he cannot guide; he himself has become an ultimate peak, but whatsoever he knows he cannot transmit in any way.

The other type of enlightened person is called tirthankara, one who becomes a vehicle for others. He is enlightened, but he is also a master of a certain art of communicating through words and communicating through silence. He can deliver the message. Others can be enlightened through him. Buddha said, “Whatever can be said by words I have told you. That which cannot be said by words I give to Mahakashyap.”

Mahakashyap was the master of silence. Through his silence he could teach. Others were masters of words, and through their words they could teach and carry on the work. It was not so essential, it was on the periphery; but that too was needed because Buddha’s words had to be recorded. What Buddha did had to be recorded and transferred from generation to generation. This, too, was essential, but it existed on the periphery. His scholars, Moggalayan, Sariputta, Ananda, would record everything. That is a treasure.

Buddha was really happy: all should be recorded, not a single word should be left, because, who knows, that single word may become enlightenment to someone. But the silence also had to be carried. So two traditions exist — the tradition of the scripture and the tradition of silence. Then many can become enlightened. And the moment they become enlightened they become so silent, so content that not even the desire to help others arises in them.

But Jainas say that the tirthankara is a person who has gathered some karma — and this is strange – and has to fulfill this karma by conveying the message to others. It is not a very good thing; karma is not a very good thing. In his past life he has gathered karma to be a master. It is not a good thing, because something has to be done, something has to be completed, and he must do it; then his karmas are fulfilled, then he is relieved completely. The desire to help others is still a desire; compassion towards others is still energy moving towards others. All desires have disappeared but one, to help others. That too is a desire, and unless this desire also disappears this man will have to come back.

So a master is one who has become enlightened, but one desire is left. That desire is not a trouble in becoming enlightened — to help others helps to become enlightened — but you will still be attached to the body. Only one stream, all sources cut, but one bridge is there.

There were other enlightened persons, but the key could not be given to them; it had to be given to Mahakashyap, because he had an inner desire to help — his past karmas. He could become a tirthankara; he could become a perfect master. And he did well. Buddha’s choice was perfectly right — because there was one other of Buddha’s disciples who could have been given the key. His name was Subhuti. He was as silent as Mahakashyap, even more. It will be difficult for you — how silence, how perfection, can be more — but it is possible. It is beyond ordinary arithmetic. You can be perfect, and you can be even still more perfect, because perfection has growth, it goes on growing infinitely.

Subhuti was the most silent man around Buddha, even more than Mahakashyap. But the key could not be given to him because he was so silent. It will be difficult now: you are entering a very complex phenomenon. In the first place, he would not laugh, and the key could not be given to him because he would not laugh. He was not there. He was so silent, he was not there to laugh, he was not there to contain or not to contain. Even if Buddha had called, “Subhuti, come!” he would not have come. Buddha would have had to go to him.

It is related of Subhuti that one day he was sitting under a tree, when suddenly out of season flowers started falling on him. So he opened his eyes: What is the matter? The tree was not in blossom, the season was not there; then from where, suddenly, these millions of flowers? He looked and he saw many deities all around, above the tree, in the sky, dropping flowers. He would not even ask the deities what was the matter. He closed his eyes again.

Then those deities said to Subhuti, “We are thanking you for the sermon you have given on emptiness.” And Subhuti said, “But I haven’t said a single word, and you say you are thanking me for the sermon that I have given on emptiness! I have not spoken a single word.”

The deities said, “You have not spoken and we have not heard — that is the perfect sermon on emptiness.” He was so empty that the whole cosmos felt it, and gods had to come to shower flowers on him.

This Subhuti was there, but he was so silent that he was not there. He was not even bothered why Buddha was sitting with the flower. Mahakashyap was — not like the others, but still in a way. He looked at Buddha, he felt the silence, he felt the absurdity, but there was one who was feeling. Subhuti must have been there somewhere, sitting. There arose no idea why Buddha was sitting silently today, why he was looking at the flower; then there was no effort to contain it, then there was no explosion.

Subhuti was there as if absolutely absent. He would not laugh, and if Buddha had called he would not have come; Buddha would have had to go to him. And no one knows — if the key had been given to him, he might have thrown it away. He was not a man meant to be a tirthankara, he was not a man meant to be a teacher or a master. He had no past karmas. He was perfect, so perfect, and whenever something is so perfect it becomes useless. Remember, a person so perfect is useless, because you cannot use him for any purpose.

Mahakashyap was not so perfect. Something was lacking and he could be used, so in that gap the key could be put. The key was delivered to Mahakashyap because he could be relied upon to deliver it to somebody else. Subhuti was not reliable. Perfection, when absolute, just disappears. It is not there in the world. You can shower flowers on it but you cannot use it. That’s why many enlightened persons were there, but only one in particular, Mahakashyap, was chosen. He was a man who could be used for this great responsibility.

This is strange. That’s why I say ordinary arithmetic won’t help, because you will think that the key should be given to the most perfect. But the most perfect will forget where he had put the key. The key should be given to one who is almost perfect, just on the brink where one disappears. And before he disappears he will hand over the key to somebody else. To the ignorant the key cannot be given, to the most perfect the key cannot be given. Someone has to be found who is just on the boundary, who is passing from this world of ignorance to that world of knowing, just on the boundary. Before he crosses the boundary this time can be used and the key delivered. To find a successor is very difficult, because the most perfect is useless.

I will tell you one event that happened just recently: Ramakrishna was working on many disciples.  Many attained, but nobody knows about them. People know about Vivekananda, who never attained; the key was given to Vivekananda who was not the most perfect, and not only was he not the most perfect, but Ramakrishna wouldn’t allow him to be perfect. And when Ramakrishna felt that Vivekananda was going to enter into the perfect samadhi, he called him and said, “Stop! Now I will keep the key with me for this final entry, and only before your death, three days before, the key will be returned to you.” And only three days before Vivekananda died, did he have a first taste of ecstasy, never before.

Vivekananda started crying and weeping and said, “Why are you so cruel to me?”

Ramakrishna replied, “Something has to be done through you. You have to go to the West, to the world; you have to give my message to people, otherwise it will be lost.” There were others, but they were already in; he could not call them out. They would not be interested in going to the West or around the world. They would say that this was nonsense — they were just like Ramakrishna. Why would he not go himself? He was already in, and somebody had to be used who was out.

Those who are far out cannot be used; those who are almost in, just near the door, can be used; and before they enter they deliver the key to somebody else. Mahakashyap was just near the door, fresh, entering into silence. Silence became celebration and he had a desire to help. That desire has been used. But Subhuti was impossible. He was the most buddhalike, the most perfect, but when somebody is buddhalike he is useless. He can give himself the secret key; there is no need to give it to him. Subhuti never made anybody a disciple. He lived in perfect emptiness, and gods had to serve him many times. And he never made a disciple; he never said anything to anybody, everything was so perfect. Why bother? Why say anything?

A master is fulfilling his past karmas. He has to fulfill them. And when I have to find a successor, many will be there who will be like Subhutis: they cannot be given the key. Many will be there who are like Sariputtas: only words can be given to them. Somebody has to be found who is entering silence, celebrating, and has been caught just near the door. That is why.

 -Osho

From A Bird on the Wing, Discourse #10

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

 

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