An Experiment in Awarefulness

Ultimately, we are told, meditation is samadhi, total relaxation in total awareness. And we have heard, “The kingdom of God is within,” “Be a light unto yourself.” But for most of us this is not our experience at this moment. It is only theoretical, philosophical, hypothetical.

So in order to determine the validity of such statements we have to take them only as a hypothesis and we have to experiment scientifically.

All meditation techniques are scientific experiments to discover our own inner landscape; they are tools to remove the tensions that prevent a natural relaxed state and to return unawareness into its natural state of awakened consciousness.

To be able to enter into this scientific experiment we must first put all the hypotheses aside. We have to look without prejudice and see for ourselves.

We begin by entering the inner body. We know the outer body it is the body that we see in the bathroom mirror and mistakenly think that is who we are. It is the body that is an image in our mind made up of what everyone else has said about it or how we imagine others see us.

But to enter the inner body we must sense the body from the inside. We scan the body from the inside and discover any points of tension and make them objects of our awareness. We sense the body’s interiority and discover its wholeness as an object which appears within awareness.

With this strengthened awareness we watch the breath. We watch and follow the breath through its journey in and out of the body. We don’t try to manipulate the breath but just watch its movements. In watching the breath closely we discover the turning points where breath moves from out to in and from in to out. In watching the totality of the movement of breath as an object we discover that it too appears within awareness.

Next we listen, first to the sounds around us. And second to the thoughts passing by and finally to our feelings.  We listen to the sounds around us without rejecting them, without judging them. We watch the movements of the mind without judging, without analyzing, without rejecting and without grasping. We feel the emotions and subtle moods, again, without judging, without analyzing, without rejecting and without grasping. And by this listening we find that both the objects of sound, thought and feelings appear within awareness.

With each of these steps we feel that awareness has been strengthened when the reality is that the identification, the unawareness has been reduced revealing the underlying naturalness of awarefulness. Slowly, slowly we begin to bask more and more in this awarefulness without objects.

By our own scientific inquiry we have shined the light unto ourselves and discovered that indeed the kingdom of God is within.

Now it is up to us to bring this awarefulness into our daily life, chopping wood, carrying water.  And in those times that it seems difficult to be aware we can return to any of the steps of this experiment whenever we wish and rebuild our awarefulness.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama

Grace and Effort – Osho

Does one attain to meditation through God’s grace?

It will be useful to understand this thing, because it has led to lots of misunderstandings and mistakes. A good number of people have thought that if meditation is attained through God’s grace then there is no need to do anything, and they did not do a thing. You are grievously mistaken if you mean by God’s grace that you don’t have to do anything.

Another misunderstanding that flows from it is that God’s grace is not equally available to everybody, that some persons receive more of it and others less. But in fact, no one is God’s chosen one; no one is his favorite. And if even God has his favorites then there is no hope for justice in the world. If you mean by God’s grace that God is kind to some and unkind to others then you are wholly mistaken.

But the statement that one attains to meditation through God’s grace is quite correct in another sense. Really it is not the statement of those who have yet to attain to meditation. It is the statement of the enlightened ones – those who have attained to it. It is so because when it happens, when one comes to it, the efforts he had made seem to be utterly irrelevant. In the context of the attainment, which is so immense, the efforts look so petty that one simply can’t say that he came to it through them. When one comes to it he feels so overwhelmed with its immensity that he says, “How could it have happened through my efforts? What had I done to find it? What price had I paid? What had I staked on it? Did I have a thing that I could have offered? Nothing.” When God’s bliss showers on anyone he just exclaims, “It is through thy compassion, O Lord, it is through thy grace, that I come to thee! Otherwise it was beyond me, impossibly beyond me.”

But remember that this is the statement of the blessed ones, the enlightened ones. If the unenlightened, the initiates cling to it they will be misled forever. Efforts are essential; one must make efforts.

The happening of meditation or enlightenment or whatsoever you call it is like opening the doors of a house in darkness to let in the sun. Although the sun has risen in the east, if we keep the doors of our house shut we will be always in the dark. And if we open the doors and wait, the sun will come in on his own. No other effort is needed to bring the sun in; we cannot put him or his light in a container and take it to our house. He comes on his own accord. The irony is that while our efforts cannot bring him, they can certainly keep him out, prevent him from coming. If we shut the doors or close our eyes, even the sun will be powerless to do anything. We can keep the sun out of our houses, we are capable of stopping the sun; but we are not capable of ushering him in. Only let the door open, and he will come in. And when the sun is in, we cannot say that we brought him in, we cannot take that credit. We can only say that it was his kindness that he came into our house. And we can only say that we were merciful to ourselves that we did not shut our doors.

Man can only be an opening, a door for God to come in. Our efforts only open the door; his coming depends on him, on his compassion. And his compassion is infinite, it is forever present at every doorstep. But what can he do if he finds many doors closed to him? God knocks at every door and goes back when he finds the doors shut. And we have closed our doors so firmly. So whenever he comes and knocks, we rationalize it, we explain it away in so many ways, and we remain content with it.

I would like to tell you a story that I love to tell. There is a great temple with a hundred priests to look after it. One night the chief priest went to bed and dreamed that God has sent word that he will visit their temple the next day. He did not believe it, because it is difficult to come across people who are more disbelieving than the priests. He did not believe his dream for another reason, too. People who trade in religion never come to believe in religion. They only exploit religion, which never becomes their faith, their truth. No one in the world is more faithless than one who turns faith into a means of exploitation. So the chief priest could not believe that God would really this temple.

The priest had never believed in such things, although he had been a priest for long years. He had worshipped God for long and he knew that God had never visited his temple even once. Each day he had offered food to God, and he knew that he had in reality offered it to himself. He had also prayed to God every day, but he knew well that his prayers were lost in the empty sky, because there was no one to hear them. So he thought that the message was not true, it was just a dream, and a dream rarely turns into a reality.

But then he was afraid, too, lest the dream should come true. At times what we call a dream turns into a reality and a reality as we know it proves to be a dream. Sometimes what we think to be a dream really becomes a reality. So the chief priest ultimately decided to inform his close colleagues about his last night’s dream. He said to the other priests, “Although it seems to be a joke, yet I should tell you about it. Last night I dreamed that God said that he would visit us today.” The other priests laughed and they said, “Are you mad that you believe in dreams? However, don’t tell others about it; otherwise they will take you to be crazy.” But the head priest said, “In case he should come, we should be prepared for it. There is no harm if he does not turn up, but if at all he comes, we will not be found wanting.”

So the whole temple and its premises were scrubbed, washed and cleaned thoroughly. It was decorated with flowers and flags and festoons. Lamps were lit and incense burned. Perfumes were sprayed and every kind of preparation made. The priests tired themselves out in the course of the day, but God did not turn up. Every now and then they looked up the road, they were disappointed, and they said, “Dream is a dream after all; God is not going to come. We were fools to believe so. It was good that we did not inform the people of the town; otherwise they would have simply laughed at us.”

By evening the priests gave up all hope, and they said, “Let us now eat the sumptuous food cooked for God. It has ever been so: what we offer to God is consumed by us in the end. No one is going to turn up. We were crazy enough to believe in a dream. The irony is that we knowingly made fools of ourselves. If others go mad, they can be excused, because they don’t know. But we know God never comes. Where is God? There is this idol in the temple; it is all there is to it. And it is our business, our profession to worship him.” And then they ate well and went to bed early as they were tired.

When it was midnight a chariot pulled up at the gate of the temple, and its sound was heard. One of the sleeping priests heard it and thought that it was God’s chariot. He shouted to others, “Listen friends and wake up. It seems he, whom we expected all day, has arrived at long last. The noise of the chariot is heard.” The other priests snubbed him saying, “Shut up, you crazy one. We have had enough of madness all through the day, now that it is night let us sleep well. It is not the sound of a chariot, but the rumblings of the clouds in the skies.” So they explained the thing away and returned to their beds.

Then the chariot halted at the gate, and someone climbed the steps of the temple and knocked at its door. And again one of the priests woke up from sleep and shouted to his associates, “It seems the guest has arrived whom we awaited the whole day long. He is knocking at the door.” The other priests berated him as they had done with the first. They said, “Are you not crazy? Won’t you allow us to sleep? It is just the dash of winds against the door and not a knock of a caller.” So they again rationalized and went back to their beds.

The next morning they woke up and walked to the gates of the temple. And they were astounded to see a few footprints on the steps of the temple. Surely enough someone had climbed them during the night. And then they noticed some marks of a chariot’s wheels on the road, and there was now no doubt at all that a chariot had arrived at the gate in the night. And strangely enough the footprints on the steps were absolutely uncommon and unknown. Now the priests burst into tears and fell down and began to roll on the ground where the chariot had halted. And soon the whole village was at the temple’s gates. Everybody in the crowd asked with bewilderment, “What is the matter?” The priests said, “Don’t ask what the matter is. God knocked at the door of our temple last night, but we rationalized everything. We are now damned. He knocked at the door and we thought that it was the flapping sound of the winds. His chariot came, and we thought that it was the rumble of thunder in the sky. The truth is that we did not understand anything. We only explained them away, because we wanted to enjoy our sleep.”

God knocks at every door. His grace visits every home. But our doors are shut. And even when we hear a knock we immediately rationalize it and explain it away. In the old days they said that “A guest is God”. There is a slight mistake in this maxim. The truth is that God is the guest. God is waiting as a guest at our doorsteps, but the door is closed. His grace is equally available to all. Therefore don’t ask whether one attains through his grace; one attains through his grace alone. And as far as our efforts are concerned, they are a help in opening the door, in removing the hurdles from the way.

When he comes, he comes on his own accord.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, Discourse #6, Q1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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.

Two Difficulties on the Path of Meditation – Osho

What are the difficulties on the path of meditation and how can we overcome them?

There are only two difficulties on the path of meditation: one is the ego. You are continuously prepared by the society, by the family, by the school, by the church, by everybody around you, to be egoistic.

Even modern psychology is based on strengthening the ego. The whole idea of modern psychology, modern education, is that unless a person has a very strong ego he will not be able to struggle in life, where there is so much competition that if you are a humble man anybody will be able to push you aside. You will always remain backward. You need a very strong steel ego to fight in this competitive world. Then only can you become a success in any field. It may be business, it may be politics, it may be any profession – you need a very assertive personality. Our whole society is geared to produce an assertive personality in the child.

From the very beginning we start telling him, “Come first in your class.” And when the child comes first in the class, everybody praises him. What are you doing? You are feeding his ego from the very beginning. You are giving him a certain ambition: “You can become the president of the country; you can become the prime minister of the country…” And he starts the journey with these ideas. His ego goes on becoming bigger and bigger as he succeeds.

In every way the ego is the greatest disease that can happen to man. If you succeed, your ego becomes big – that is a danger, because then you will have to remove a big rock which is blocking the path. Or if the ego is small – you have not been successful, you have proved to be a failure – then your ego will become a wound. Then it hurts, then it creates an inferiority complex. Then too it creates a problem: you are always afraid to enter into anything, even in meditation, because you know you are a failure, you are going to fail. That has become your mind because everywhere you have failed. And meditation is such a great thing, you cannot succeed.

If you enter into meditation with this idea that failure is bound to happen and that is your destiny, that is your fate, then of course you cannot succeed. So if the ego is big it prevents; if the ego is very small it becomes a wound, then too it prevents. In each case the ego is one of the problems.

The second problem… and after stating both the problems I will tell you how to get rid of them. It is not difficult, but first you have to understand the problem in all its complexity….

The second hindrance on the path of meditation is your constantly chattering mind. You cannot sit even for a single minute. The mind goes on chattering: relevant, irrelevant, meaningful, meaningless… thoughts go on. It is a constant traffic and it is always rush hour. Whenever you close your eyes there are so many thoughts running in all directions, that if you sit down for ten minutes and write down whatever is going on in your mind – without any editing, because you are not going to show this to anybody, so don’t be worried…! Close the door, lock it from inside so that nobody comes in, and just write exactly what goes on in the mind for ten minutes. And after ten minutes read it.

And you will be surprised: “Is it my mind or has somebody gone mad?” Just because you have never looked at it, you have never thought about what is going on.

And if you try, as many people try, because studying books on meditation they think that if you can stop the thoughts by chanting a mantra or the name of God then perhaps the mind can be vacated from thoughts… The books are mostly written by people who have never meditated. I know many people who have written books on meditation. They came to me to ask how to meditate, and I said, “But in my library I have your book.”

They said, “Yes, we studied a few books on meditation and wrote the book just to help others.”

I said, “But first you should have tried what you have written. If you cannot help yourself, on what grounds do you think you can help others? You may have destroyed many people’s peace of mind.”

And there are so-called teachers of meditation who will also give you a mantra, that chanted, chanted fast, or any name… Close your eyes, do a certain ritual, take a bath, sit in a lotus posture, start the meditation, and go on as fast as you can – faster and faster, repeating the same name, “Krishna, Krishna, Krishna…” Do it as quickly as possible. After five to seven minutes, you will be in a state of what is scientifically known as autohypnosis. It is not meditation, but it does no harm. After ten to twelve minutes, when you come out of it you will feel a certain peace, a certain well-being; you will feel good, but this is not meditation.

I am not against it if you are trying to do it only to feel good. You can do it, but don’t think that by doing it you are going to realize your godliness. That is not possible because this is simply a deliberately created sound sleep. When you repeat a certain word continuously, fast, the mind has no way to go on chattering. You don’t give it any gap to put its thoughts into. Your chanting is so fast that the mind has to remain almost in a situation of a crossroads where the policeman has stopped the whole traffic. Your continuous chanting creates the situation of a policeman stopping the whole traffic, but the traffic is still there, it has not gone; in fact, more traffic has gathered on all the roads.

And the moment you come out of meditation your mind will have such a rush as it has never had – naturally, because all the traffic that you have stopped will have to pass. This is not meditation.

One more thing before I tell you what exactly is the problem with the mind. A few teachers of meditation – and particularly in this part of the world, in the East – are saying, “Keep your mind fixed on something. Start from something outer – a black dot on the wall – and then slowly, slowly close your eyes, and with closed eyes look at the black dot.”

And if you have been staring at the black dot for a few minutes, naturally with closed eyes you will see the black dot. Just the impression takes time to disappear. It is the negative of the positive black dot; it is part of the science of photography. It is the negative that you have created inside. Now look at this negative black dot and if you can continue looking at it, the same thing will happen after five to seven minutes – auto-hypnosis. You will feel good, and that is the danger. Because you feel good, afterwards you feel a certain well-being; you think you are on the right path – not necessarily.

And these things are also not easy – chanting continuously for five to seven minutes is not easy. A few thoughts will enter in and disturb it.

Keeping your mind fixed on one dot is also not easy. Thoughts may come, move across and disturb you.  And if you ask your teachers they will say, “This is your past karma; you will have to wait.” There is no question of past karma, your method is simply wrong.

If you are learning to ride a bicycle and you go on falling again and again, and you ask somebody and he says, “It is because of your past karma…” It is simply that you don’t know how to ride the bicycle. It has nothing to do with past karma or past life. You simply need the right technique.

I have heard of a story….

A man was very much interested to attain miraculous powers. Wherever he went they said, “First you have to learn meditation. Without meditation you cannot have miraculous powers.”

Finally, he found a very wise old man about whom he had heard, “He is the greatest meditator alive, but you will have to serve him and not to be in a hurry. You just serve him; whenever the time is right he will give you the meditation and his blessing. You should not ask for it.”

The poor man served the man for one year and he was getting tired: “This is too much. The second year has begun and the old man still says, ‘No sign.’” He was getting fed up and thinking of running from that temple. The day he was thinking to run, the old man said, “Listen. I was waiting for the right time, but you cannot wait. The time is not right, but because of your hurry I will give you the method. It is very simple and very suited to you.”

The man said, “My Lord, my God!” He touched his feet. He said, “I was waiting for this day. I am a fool for having such bad thoughts about you. Just forgive me.”

He said, “Don’t be worried about it. This is the method; you go home” – he had written on a small piece of paper just a small mantra and he gave him that. “This is the mantra. You have to chant it for ten minutes. Just remember one thing: while chanting, don’t let any monkey come into your mind.”

The man said, “You must be mad! Monkeys have never come into my mind. In my whole life not a single monkey has come into my mind – why should a monkey come into my mind?”

The old man said, “I don’t know, but this is the condition that goes with this mantra.”

The man said, “There is no problem.” But he was worried. As he was coming down the steps of the temple, he already started seeing monkeys. He would close his eyes – and there were the monkeys.

He said, “My God! I have not even started!”

He went home. He took a good bath and sat in padmasana. But as he closed his eyes, and before he could start the mantra, the monkeys started coming – not one! In a line… giggling…!

The man said, “What happened?” He tried hard, but by the morning he was utterly tired. He went to the master. He said, “Take your mantra back. If this is the condition then I cannot fulfill it ever because of those monkeys. There is not one – you had said one – I don’t know how many there are.

I have been counting – they go on coming! And I am going mad! I simply don’t want any miraculous power, and I don’t want any meditation. I simply want to go home. Just help me to get rid of the monkeys. I am giving your mantra back – but who knows about the monkeys?”

If you try forcibly to keep something out of your mind, it is bound to come. This is a universal law.

Seeing the false methods, understanding that the mind is a constant process of thought, I want to explain to you something very simple, without any conditions. All that you have to do… no special posture is needed; whether you have taken a bath or not does not matter. It does not mean that at a certain time, at a certain place you should do it. No, you can do it anywhere, any time. I want it to be so easily possible for you that it mixes with your ordinary life and you don’t have to take some time out of your life specially given to meditation.

The process is witnessing.

The thoughts are moving in the mind – you have nothing to do with those thoughts. You are not to prevent them, you are not to chant a mantra, you have just to be a watcher. You have just to see that thoughts are passing, and you are standing by the side of the road looking at the traffic, unconcerned. Whether a bullock cart passes or an elephant passes or a camel passes… it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to make any judgment. You are just sitting by the side watching the whole scene.

It takes a few days, because of your old habit to make judgments. Something comes, you say, “This is very good” – and you have lost your capacity of being a watcher, you have already given judgment.

Something comes and you say, “This should not come, this is evil” – you have already fallen back.

Good or evil, beautiful or ugly, you are separate. You are the witness, you are just a mirror. Anything that passes by does not affect the mirror at all. Something good – the mirror reflects. Something bad – the mirror reflects. When they have gone, the mirror is as empty as ever.

Your consciousness is a mirror, and your consciousness is neither good nor bad. Your consciousness may have lived thousands of years, but not even a scratch is possible on your consciousness. It only reflects; its function is reflection. That’s why I say the divine between you and me is the same – there is no difference at all. I just have recognized that the witnessing is a pure mirror, eternally pure – and you get identified, you forget. […]

Once you get the knack of witnessing without judgment you will be surprised: the moment you are utterly a witness all the thoughts disappear. There is simply a plain white screen and no thoughts.

This is the first experience, that you have come to the door of meditation. Just go on looking at the white screen. Don’t do anything. Consciousness has a nature – if it cannot find any object which prevents it, then it goes round and comes back to you.

In existence everything moves in a circle. Remember that: nothing moves in a straight line. If there is no obstacle, the consciousness comes back to its own source. And the consciousness coming back to one’s own source, for the first time sees who is there, who has always been there. That is your real being.

You can call it godliness, you can call it divineness, you can call it truth. Any name will do because it has no name; it is a nameless reality. But once it is realized then there is nothing else left. You have attained to the ultimate flowering of your being. This is enlightenment.

So put your ego aside – whether it is big or small, don’t be worried – and just be a witness to your mind. Wait and be patient. Don’t be in a hurry. It may take a few days for you to get the knack. It is a knack! It is not an art!

If it was an art, it would have been very simple to teach, but because it is a knack you have to try. Slowly you get it.

How do you learn to swim? It is not an art. If it was an art you could have learned it in your bedroom. Just on your bed you could have done all the exercises that are prescribed in the book. But it is not an art; you have to go to water. And you will have to face death a few times, but that is part of the progress. Each time you face death, each time you learn something – the knack slowly comes to you. Within two or three days you will be able to swim.

One Japanese professor of psychology is trying to teach six-month-old children to swim, and he has succeeded. Then he tried with three-month-old children, and he has succeeded. Now he is trying with the newly born, and I hope that he succeeds. There is every possibility because it is a knack. It does not need any other kind of experience, age, education… it is simply a knack.

And if a six-month-old or a three-month-old baby can swim, that means we are naturally endowed with the idea of how to swim. We just have to discover it. Just a little bit of effort and you will be able to discover it.

The same is true about meditation… more true, than swimming. You just have to make a little effort.

And if you don’t succeed, don’t be worried. You are losing nothing – just a little rest.

And whenever you are going to sleep you can try – just lying in bed, or in the morning when you are awake, wait for a minute. Give it a try and then wake up. While taking a shower you can try it, because it is a question of witnessing.

You can witness anything, and anywhere.

There are one hundred and twelve methods of meditation, exhaustive. No more methods can be added to them. And these one hundred and twelve methods are written by Shiva himself perhaps ten thousand years ago. The name of the book is Vigyana Bhairava Tantra. It simply describes one hundred and twelve methods, each method in two lines.

I have tried all the methods, and the most surprising experience was that the basic thing in each of the methods is witnessing. Their strategies differ, but their soul is just witnessing.

So I have reduced the one hundred and twelve methods of Shiva into a single method. I am giving you the essential method which no meditation can afford to drop – it is the most essential. You can add any other structure to it, but I have dropped the whole structure. I am giving you the very soul of meditation. You just try, give it a chance. And if I can succeed, I don’t see why you cannot succeed.

Millions have succeeded in the past. We have just forgotten completely the greatest science of discovering ourselves. It has to be rediscovered and it has to be again spread all over the earth if we want the world to be saved, if we want the world not to be destroyed.

One of my professors, Doctor S.K. Saxena, loved me very much. Most days I used to stay with him instead of in the hostel, because he would not allow me to go to the hostel.

I asked him, “Why do you insist…? Because I am of no use to you – I simply sit in the garden and meditate.”

He said, “That is the reason I want you to be here. I am getting old, I have never meditated. Most of my life I have been a professor in America. I have never given any thought to meditation.”

Despite this, he had written for his doctoral thesis a book, History of the Evolution of Consciousness. He said to me, “When you are here I feel something settling in me. When you sleep in my house” – he lived alone – “I have a better sleep. I don’t know why, but just your presence somehow helps me to be more together.”

I said, “I can tell you why. But rather than depending on me, why don’t you start meditating?”

And by chance, today it happens that his son is present in the audience. S.K. Saxena is dead. I received a message that he wanted to see me before he died. He wanted that I should be present by his side when he died. But I received the message after he had died, months after. Perhaps he wanted to die in the same peaceful silent atmosphere that he had found around me. I feel sad for him, sorry for him, that what he could have attained himself he unnecessarily depended on somebody else for.

Meditation is something that is your birthright. Claim it! Make it a decision, a commitment that whatever happens, you will not die before you have attained to a meditative state. It is only a question of a firm determination. And if you can attain to meditation, your life will become real life, and your death will become a door to the divine.

It will no longer be a death; it will no longer be an end. It will just be freedom from the body and entering into the universal, unlimited, infinite.

Okay?

-Osho

From The Sword and the Lotus, Chapter Eight

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 Awakening of Meditation

We have all gathered to hear a talk on the awakening of meditation. But before we begin talking about the awakening let us first consider what we are awakening from.

Most of us live our life with very little sense of our own being. We simply react to stimuli. There are well laid down patterns in which our behavior travels. We live almost as if we are sleep- walking. We walk around the day in a dream. We rarely have any contact with the real world, the world without the screen of mind.

Even when we are walking in nature, because we desperately want that connection to what is ‘real’, we walk in a dream. We are constantly preoccupied with our thoughts. Occasionally something shakes us momentarily from our slumber; it may be the sound of a bird or the sight of a meadow. But even then, very quickly the mind rushes in and compares to some previous experience. Some memory rushes in and we are taken away to another time and place.

For most of us it is often some tragedy that shakes us to our roots and brings us back out of our dreams, face to face with reality. Some unexpected event throws our life in turmoil and we are brought into the moment away from our itinerary of life. It is in these moments that there is a great opportunity to change our course, to reexamine our priorities and to begin an inquiry into the essential questions of life. But more often than not it is only a brief alteration of our life-program and once the crisis passes we are once again living our life in the world of dreams.

A more potent opportunity for transformation comes when one has lived life fully and has been successful in following one’s dream only to find in the end that one is as empty as when one began. There is more possibility for change here because one has already pursued dreams to the very end. All that energy that was being projected out chasing rainbows suddenly collapses onto itself and a real conversion is possible.

Others have looked deeply into life and seen through the illusions that becoming brings. A keen intelligence can see through the fallacy of the promise of becoming. For them, even the ‘concept’ of living in the now has an appeal.

No matter how we arrived, by being at a talk on “the awakening of meditation” we show that we are hungering for an awakening. We know that the life we are living is not the life of bliss, is not the life of love and laughter, is not the life of celebration, is not the life of enlightenment that we have heard is possible. So we are interested in hearing what the speaker has to say about awakening and about meditation.

The title of this talk has been deliberately chosen because there is ‘an awakening of meditation’ that takes place and it is meditation that brings about that awakening.

In order for us to make the journey out of ‘becoming’ and into ‘being’ we must first come to see how we are continually propping up the straw man of becoming. We must see how we are continually projecting our consciousness out into the idea of a person. We must see how we are reinforcing the identification with a separate limited body-mind.

So we begin by creating the witness. We begin by bringing our attention back home and we find that when we are engaged in any mindful act we have less unconsciousness lying about. We are both stopping sending out energy into unconsciousness and we are creating the witnessing, the awareness. We are beginning the journey home.

With this newfound presence we are ready to begin the journey in.

This is a journey from the outer body to the inner body. What is the outer body? The outer body is the body that everyone sees. It is an image. It is fat or it is trim. It is tall or it is short. It may be male or it may be female. It is the you that everyone sees.

But there is a body that only you can know. It is the inner body. From the outer body you make contact with the outside world through your senses. You feel the floor beneath your feet. You feel the warmth or the coolness of the room. You hear the sounds around you. But with the inner body you just feel, you sense. It is a global sensing. It is not divided into the five senses. It is a total sensing. It is more subtle than your body sensing. We feel a sense of ourselves without any definition. It is being. It is beingness.

It is here in this interiority that we are able to move deeper into meditation, into witnessing. It is here at our center that we learn the knack of watching the traffic of our mind without either rejecting and pushing away or grabbing and rushing into. It is here that we simply watch the flow of the river of thinking. We are not controlling. We are more interested in the watching itself rather than the content of what is being watched. We are becoming familiar with the witnessing, with the watcher. The stronger that the witness becomes the more that we are at home, but this is not part of becoming. In fact it is the opposite of becoming. We have simply stopped the becoming; we have stopped the outward flow of consciousness and energy. Our attention is remaining at home and the more that the outward flow ceases the more the at-homeness increases, the more we are aware of our Self.

When this witness crystallizes, then for the first time ‘we are’, then for the first time the ‘master’ is at home. Then for the first time we know the “Awakening of Meditation.”

Buddha has said that there are only two mistakes one can make on the path. The first is not to begin the journey and the second is not to complete it. So we must begin from wherever we are but we should not stop until the awakening.

We are all part of a global sangha, a global community of those who are moving on the journey. And we can, within this global sangha support each other, we can prod each other, we can challenge each other until each of us comes to our own awakening.

There are many pitfalls along the way and so to guard against falling victim we can share in the wisdom from those who have gone before. And the biggest pitfall that we are warned against is the ‘illusion’ of awakening. The mind is very capable of appropriating the language of awakening and deceiving us into thinking that we have attained. It is very possible to come to an intellectual understanding, and in fact it is helpful to come to this understanding, but it is possible to come to this understanding and think ‘aha, I have attained.’

The real awakening we have been told is found in silence. It is not in language, it is not in words. If we need the use of language for our own experience of awakening then we can know well it is intellectual. When we arrive at the moment when we are able to ‘be’ just ‘be’ in silence without the traffic of the mind, without having to describe to ourselves our situation then it is no longer intellectual. It is ‘being understanding’.

There are many techniques that have been designed to aid us in moving into our interiority and these can be helpful in bringing us to the place where witnessing begins. These techniques have been created in order to help remove the obstacles to our own meditation they are not teaching us meditation but they are helping to make meditation possible. They help to create the space in which our own natural meditativeness blossoms.

Once the witness is awakened then it is only awareness that will carry us on. Then just sitting doing nothing the spring comes by itself is appropriate but not before. First we must clear away that which is preventing us from ‘just sitting, doing nothing.’

The greatest meditation and the core of all meditation is watching. It is the witness, just watching all that presents itself without being drawn out in a fight for or against. Without our involvement eventually the mind loses steam. It is our involvement that powers it on. By just watching the mind; slowly, slowly it begins to break apart and the blue sky begins to appear. By and by the gaps appear and we are left in our pure awareness. This is the “Awakening of Meditation.”

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama

Attention Between Eyebrows – Osho

Attention between eyebrows, let mind be before thought. Let form fill with breath essence to the top of the head and there shower as light.

This was the technique given to Pythagoras. Pythagoras went with this technique to Greece, and really, he became the fountainhead, the source of all mysticism in the West. He is the father of all mysticism in the West.

This technique is one of the very deep methods. Try to understand this: Attention between eyebrows… Modern physiology, scientific research, says that between the two eyebrows is the gland which is the most mysterious part of the body. This gland, called the pineal gland, is the third eye of the Tibetans – shivanetra: the eye of the Shiva, of the tantra. Between the two eyes there exists a third eye, but it is non-functioning. It is there, it can function any moment, but it does not function naturally. You have to do something about it to open it. It is not blind; it is simply closed.

This technique is to open the third eye.

Attention between eyebrows… Close your eyes, then focus both of your eyes just in the middle of the two eyebrows. Focus just in the middle, with closed eyes, as if you are looking with your two eyes. Give total attention to it.

This is one of the simplest methods of being attentive. You cannot be attentive to any other part of the body so easily. This gland absorbs attention like anything. If you give attention to it, both your eyes become hypnotized with the third eye. They become fixed; they cannot move. If you are trying to be attentive to any other part of the body it is difficult. This third eye catches attention, forces attention; It is magnetic for attention. So all the methods all over the world have used it. It is the simplest to train you in attention because not only are you trying to be attentive, the gland itself helps you; it is magnetic. Your attention is brought to it forcibly. It is absorbed.

It is said in the old tantra scriptures that for the third eye attention is food. It is hungry; it has been hungry for lives and lives. If you pay attention to it, it becomes alive. It becomes alive! The food is given to it. And once you know that attention is food, once you feel that your attention is magnetically drawn, attracted, pulled by the gland itself, attention is not a difficult thing then. One has only to know the right point. So just close your eyes, let your two eyes move just to the middle, and feel the point. When you are near the point, suddenly your eyes will become fixed. When it becomes difficult to move them, then know you have caught the right point. […]

Attention between eyebrows, let mind be before thought… If this attention is there, for the first time you will come to experience a strange phenomenon. For the first time you will see thoughts running before you; you will become the witness. It is just like a film screen: thoughts are running and you are a witness. Once your attention is focused at the third eye center, you become immediately the witness of thoughts.

Ordinarily you are not the witness, you are identified with thoughts. If anger is there, you become anger. If a thought moves, you are not the witness; you become one with the thought, identified, and you move with it. You become the thought; you take the form of the thought. When sex is there you become sex, when anger is there you become anger, when greed is there you become greed.

Any thought moving becomes identified with you. You do not have any gap between you and the thought.

But focused at the third eye, suddenly you become a witness. Through the third eye you become the witness. Through the third eye you can see thoughts running like clouds in the sky or people moving on the street.

You are sitting at your window looking at the sky or at people in the street; you are not identified. You are aloof, a watcher on the hill – different. Now if anger is there you can look at it as an object. Now you do not feel that you are angry. You feel that you are surrounded by anger – a cloud of anger has come around you – but you are not the anger. And if you are not the anger, anger becomes impotent, it cannot affect you; you remain untouched. The anger will come and go and you will remain centered in yourself. […]

This fifth technique is a technique of finding the witness. Attention between  eyebrows, let mind be before thought. Now look at your thoughts; now encounter your thoughts. Let form fill with breath essence to the top of the head and there shower as light. When attention is focused at the third eye center, between the two eyebrows, two things happen. One is, suddenly you become a witness.

This can happen in two ways. You become a witness and you will be centered at the third eye. Try to be a witness. Whatsoever is happening, try to be a witness. You are ill, the body is aching and painful, you have misery and suffering, whatsoever – be a witness to it. Whatsoever is happening, do not identify yourself with it. Be a witness, an observer. Then if witnessing becomes possible, you will be focused in the third eye.

The vice versa is the case also. If you are focused in the third eye, you will become a witness. These two things are part of one. So the first thing: by being centered in the third eye there will be the arising of the witnessing self. Now you can encounter your thoughts. This will be the first thing. And the second thing will be that now you can feel the subtle, delicate vibration of breathing. Now you can feel the form of breathing, the very essence of breathing. […]

By being focused in the third eye, suddenly you can observe the very essence of breath – not breath, but the very essence of breath, prana. And if you can observe the essence of breath, prana, you are at the point from where the jump, the breakthrough happens. […]

When you are focused in the third eye, just imagine that the essence of prana is showering from the top of the head, just as if you are sitting under a tree and flowers are showering, or you are just under the sky and suddenly a cloud begins to shower, or you are just sitting in the morning and the sun rises and rays begin to shower. Imagine, and immediately there is a shower – a shower of light falling down from the top of your head. This shower recreates you, gives you a new birth. You are reborn.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #5

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Attention Between Eyebrows.

Osho’s Book of Secrets Meditations

All 112 of Shiva’s meditation techniques (Vigyan Bhairava Tantra)

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.

Body Approach, a Guided Relaxation – Jean Klein

Feel the contact of your feet on the floor.

Give up the weight of your legs. Put all the weight on the contact with the ground.

Feel the contact of your bottom on the chair. Put all the weight on this contact.

Feel the lower part of your lumbar region. Feel the spinal cord. Let the feeling rise up step by step, vertebra by vertebra. In other words, let your spinal cord become straight through the feeling.

Contact the left knee with your left hand; contact the right knee with your right hand. Put all the weight on this contact with the knee. You have three contacts: with the ground, with the chair, with your knees. Let it be one contact.

Feel your shoulder and shoulder blades. Let your left elbow and right elbow go down as far as you can, so that the shoulders are taken with them. In other words, explore how far down your shoulders can go. Be aware, when you feel the rising up of your spinal cord, that simultaneously your shoulders go down. Feel the cervical region. Bring your neck a little backwards horizontally like opening a drawer. Feel as though you touch the wall behind you. And the chin goes a little in the direction of the sternum. Have the feeling now of the whole body structure.

Feel the cavity of your left eye. Feel the left eye itself. Be aware of the tension, the defense there. Feel the cavity of your right eye. The right eye itself. Feel the left and the right eyes dropped several inches down in front, detached from their cavities.

Feel your right brain. Feel the top of your head. Make it a feeling. Feel it in the same way as you listen to waves. Feel the left side in the same way. Feel the waves of the left brain.

Feel the left brain and right brain like water falling down over the neck to the shoulders. Feel your eyes and both sides of your brain taking rest on your shoulders.

Feel the space in your mouth. Feel all the walls which constitute your mouth. Let them be feeling. Feel the roots of your tongue. Let the tip of your tongue rest behind the lower teeth.

Feel your left ear. Feel the architecture of your left ear. Go deep in. Be aware if there is any tension, grasping, taking.

Feel the architecture of your right ear. Go deep in, in the ear canal. Let the music of the sound waves come to you. Let the feeling come up that the left ear occupies the whole of the left part of your body and the right ear occupies the right part of your body, in other words, the whole body becomes one ear. Hear with your whole body the sound of the waves. Hear now the sound waves without any selection, without any choice.

Be only awareness, only hearing without a hearer. There is nothing heard, only hearing.

-Jean Klein

From The Book of Listening, pp.183-184.

When In Worldly Activity – Osho

When in worldly activity, keep attentive between the two breaths, and so practicing, in a few days, be born anew.

When in worldly activity, keep attentive between the two breaths… Forget breaths – keep attentive in between. One breath has come: before it returns, before it is exhaled out, there is the gap, the interval. One breath has gone out; before it is taken in again, the gap. In worldly activity, keep attentive between the two breaths, and so practicing, in a few days, be born anew. But this has to be done continuously. This sixth technique has to be done continuously. That is why this is mentioned: When in worldly activity.. Whatsoever you are doing, keep your attention in the gap between the two breaths. But it must be practiced while in activity.

We have discussed one technique that is just similar. Now there is only this difference that this has to be practiced while in worldly activity. Do not practice it in isolation. This practice is to be done while you are doing something else. You are eating – go on eating and be attentive of the gap. You are walking – go on walking and be attentive of the gap. You are going to sleep – lie down, let sleep come, but you go on being attentive of the gap. Why in activity? Because activity distracts the mind, activity calls for your attention again and again. Do not be distracted, be fixed at the gap. And do not stop activity, let the activity continue. You will have two layers of existence – doing and being.

We have two layers of existence: the world of doing and the world of being; the circumference and the center. Go on working on the periphery, on the circumference; do not stop it. But go on working attentively on the center also. What will happen? Your activity will become an acting, as if you are playing a part.

You are playing a part – for example, in a drama. You have become Ram or you have become Christ. You go on acting as Christ or as Ram, and still you remain yourself. In the center, you know who you are; on the periphery you go on acting as Ram, Christ or anyone. You know you are not Ram – you are acting. You know who you are. Your attention is centered in you; your activity continues on the circumference.

If this method is practiced, your whole life will become a long drama. You will be an actor playing roles, but constantly centered in the gap. If you forget the gap then you are not playing roles, you have become the role. Then it is not a drama; you have mistaken it as life. That is what we have done. Everyone thinks he is living life. It is not life, it is just a role – a part which has been given to you by the society, by the circumstances, by the culture, by the tradition, the country, the situation.

You have been given a role and you are playing it; you have become identified with it. To break that identification there is this technique.

Krishna has many names. Krishna is one of the greatest actors. He is constantly centered in himself and playing – playing many roles, many games, but absolutely non serious. Seriousness comes from identification. If you really become Ram in the drama then there are bound to be problems. Those problems will come out of your seriousness. When Sita is stolen you may get a heart attack, and the whole play will have to be stopped. If you really become Ram a heart attack is certain… even heart failure.

But you are just an actor. Sita is stolen, but nothing is stolen. You will go back to your home and you will sleep peacefully. Not even in a dream will you feel that Sita is stolen. When really Sita was stolen, Ram himself was weeping, crying and asking the trees, “Where has my Sita gone? Who has taken her?” But this is the point to understand. If Ram is really weeping and asking the trees, he has become identified. He is no more Ram; he is no more a divine person.

This is the point to remember, that for Ram his real life also was just a part. You have seen other actors playing Ram, but Ram himself was just playing a part – on a greater stage, of course.

India has a very beautiful story about it. I think that the story is unique; nowhere else in any part of the world does such a thing exist. It is said that Valmiki wrote the Ramayana before Ram was born, and then Ram had to follow. So really, the first act of Ram was also just a drama. The story was written before Ram was born and then Ram had to follow, so what can he do? When a man like Valmiki writes the story, Ram has to follow. So everything was fixed in a way. Sita was to be stolen and the war had to be fought.

If you can understand this, then you can understand the theory of destiny, bhagya – fate. It has a very deep meaning. And the meaning is, if you take it that everything is fixed for you, your life becomes a drama. If you are playing the role of Ram in the drama you cannot change it, everything is fixed, even your dialogue. If you say something to Sita it is just repeating something that is fixed.

You cannot change it if life is taken as fixed.

For example, you are going to die on a particular day – it is fixed. When you will be dying you will be weeping, but it is fixed. And such and such persons will be around you – it is fixed. If everything is fixed, everything becomes a drama. If everything is fixed, it means you are just to enact it. You are not asked to live it, you are just asked to enact it.

This technique, the sixth technique, is just to make yourself a psychodrama – just a play. You are focused in the gap between two breaths and life moves on, on the periphery. If your attention is at the center, then your attention is not really on the periphery – that is just “sub-attention”; it just happens somewhere near your attention. You can feel it, you can know it, but it is not significant. It is as if it is not happening to you. I will repeat this: if you practice this sixth technique, your whole life will be as if it is not happening to you, as if it is happening to someone else.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #5

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt When in Worldly Activity.

Osho’s Book of Secrets Meditations

All 112 of Shiva’s meditation techniques (Vigyan Bhairava Tantra)

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.