Your House is on Fire – Osho

I have heard one anecdote. In a conservative party rally, Lord Mancroft was invited to speak. He came right on time, reached the rostrum and said to the public – he was looking a little flustered – he said, ‘Forgive me for shortening my speech a little, but the fact is that my house is on fire.’ And that fact is everybody’s fact. Your house is also on fire, but you don’t even seem a little flustered. Everybody’s house is on fire, but you are not aware – not aware of death, not aware that your life is just passing through your hands. Every moment you are dying, every moment you are losing an opportunity which cannot be regained. The time that is lost, is lost: nothing can be done to regain it, and your life becomes shorter and shorter every moment.

This is what I mean when I say that your house is also on fire. But you don’t seem even a little flustered. You don’t even seem to be worried about it. You are not aware of the fact that the house is on fire. The fact is there, but your attention is not there. And everybody thinks that there is enough time to do something. There is not enough time, because whatsoever has to be done is so much that the time is never enough.

Once it happened that the Devil was waiting for years and years and nobody was coming to hell. He was waiting to welcome people, but the earth was running so well and people were so good that no one was coming to hell. Of course he became very worried. He called an emergency council. His greatest disciples gathered together to discuss the situation. Hell was passing through a great crisis and this could not be tolerated. Something had to be done. So he asked for advice: ‘What should we do?’

One disciple suggested, ‘I would go to the earth and I would talk to people and try to convince them that there is no God and religions are false, and whatsoever the Bible, the Koran and the Vedas say is nonsense.’

The Devil said, ‘This won’t do, because we have been doing this since the very beginning and it has not influenced people very much. Through such teaching you can convince only those who are already convinced. So it is of no use; it is not of much use.’

Then the second disciple, subtler than the first, said, ‘I will go and teach people and try to convince people that whatsoever the Bible, the Koran and the Vedas say is right. There is heaven, there is God, but there is no Devil and no hell, so don’t be afraid. And if we can make them less afraid, they will not bother about religion at all, because all religion is based on fear.’

The Devil said, ‘Your proposal is a little better. You may be able to, you may succeed in convincing a minority, but the majority will not listen to you. They are not as much afraid of hell as they are greedy of heaven. Even if you convince them that there is no hell, they will still want to enter into heaven, and they will try to be good for that. So this also won’t do much.’

Then the third disciple, the subtlest of them all, said, ‘I have an idea. Give me a chance to try it. I will go and say that whatsoever religion says is absolutely true – there is God and there is Devil and there is heaven and there is hell – but there is no hurry.’

And the Devil said, ‘Right? You have the right system. You go!’

And it is said that since then there has never been a crisis in hell. Rather, they are worried about the over-population.

This is how our minds are functioning: we always think there is no hurry. These techniques we are talking about will be of no use if your mind thinks there is no hurry. Then you can go on postponing and death will come first. That day will not come when you think there is a hurry, when you think that now the moment has come. You can go on postponing. This is what we have been doing with our lives.

You have to be decisive to do something. You are in a crisis – the house is on fire. Life is always on fire because death is always there hidden behind it; any moment and you may not be any more.

And you cannot argue with death. You cannot do anything. When death happens, it happens. Time is very short. Even if you live for seventy years or for a hundred years, it is very short. What you have to do with yourself to transform, to mutate, to become a new being, is such a great work. Don’t go on postponing.

Unless you feel it as an emergency, a deep crisis, you will not do anything. Unless religion becomes a very critical process for you, and you feel that unless something is done to transform you, your whole life is just wasted…. If you feel this very keenly and deeply and honestly, only then will these techniques be of any help. Because you can understand them – understanding is of no use unless you do something about it. Really, unless you do something about it, you have not understood them, because understanding must become action. If it is not becoming action then it is only  acquaintance, not understanding.

Try to understand this distinction. Acquaintance is not understanding. Acquaintance will not force you to actions. It will not force you to any change. It will not force you to do something about it. You will gather it in the mind; it will become information. You will become more knowledgeable. But at death everything stops. You go on collecting many things, never doing anything about them. They become just a burden on you.

Understanding means action. When you understand a thing, immediately you start working on it, because if it is right and you feel it is right, you have to do something about it. Otherwise everything remains borrowed, and borrowed knowledge cannot become understanding. You can forget that it is borrowed – you would like to forget that it is borrowed, because to feel that it is borrowed means that your ego is hurt. So you go on forgetting that it is borrowed. By and by you start feeling that it is your own. That is very dangerous.

I have heard an anecdote. The congregation of a church was very bored by the minister. A point came when the members of the church said directly to the minister, ‘Now you have to leave.’ The minister said, ‘Give me one more chance, only one chance, and if then you say so, I will leave.’ So next Sunday the whole town gathered in the church to see what that minister was going to do now that only one chance was given to him. They never suspected, they never imagined, that such a beautiful sermon was going to be delivered on that day. They had never heard such a thing. Surprised, delighted, they enjoyed it, and when the sermon was finished, they gathered around the minister and they said, ‘You need not leave. You remain here. We have never heard such a thing before – never in our lives. Be here and remain here, and of course, with an increase in your stipend.’

But then one man, a very prominent member of the congregation, asked, ‘Tell me one thing only. When you started your lecture, you raised your left hand with two fingers raised, and when you closed your lecture you raised your right hand, again with two fingers raised. So what is the meaning of this symbol? The minister said, ‘The meaning is easy. Those fingers are symbolic of quotation marks. That sermon was not mine – it was borrowed.’

Always remember those quotation marks. It is very good to forget them, you feel good, but all that you know is within quotation marks; it is not your own. And you can drop those quotation marks only when something has become your own experience.

These techniques are to change knowledge into experience. These techniques are to change acquaintance into understanding. That which belongs to a Buddha or to a Krishna or to a Christ, through these techniques can belong to you – that can become your own. And unless it becomes your own, no truth is true. It may be a grand lie, a beautiful lie, but no truth is true unless it becomes your experience – individually, authentically your own.

Three things. First: always remember that your house is on fire. Second: don’t listen to the Devil. He will constantly say to you that there is no hurry. And thirdly: remember, acquaintance is not understanding.

Whatsoever I am saying here will make you acquainted. It is needed, but it is not enough. It starts you on a journey, but it is not the end. Do something so that knowledge doesn’t remain knowledge, doesn’t remain as memory, but becomes your experience and your life.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #61

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.

 

I Have Taken All Those Props from You – Osho

When you wiped out temples and worship and gachchhamis, I got a sinking feeling that maybe you had given up on us. The most shocking revelation of the past month has been the gross stupidity we have shown with our petty grievances and demands. We have been like a bunch of Bolshevik mice, acting like we want a revolution all by ourselves. We are not the mature, responsible people you are encouraging us to be, and I fear we are destroying the commune ourselves with our tinpot fantasies of freedom.

 Please provide some guidance about the order or discipline we need to keep the commune together and please, don’t give up on us.

 Even without your asking, even if I want to give up, I cannot. My love does not allow it. Order and discipline you have to find. I would not like you to depend on anybody to give you order and discipline. Just make a little effort – and it is not difficult.

If you go on depending on something, somebody, then any day there will be disorder. One day I may not be in my body. Then you will find yourself completely helpless. You don’t have even a father figure in God to pray to. I have taken all those props from you. I want you to be responsible of your own accord.

I had said yesterday that I will withdraw the buddhafield. I cannot do it. Whatever you are, I have loved you unconditionally, and I will love you to the very end, without expecting anything from your side.

The buddhafield remains. It was just to give you a shock, so that you can wake up a little and see that freedom does not mean disorder, freedom does not mean no discipline. Freedom means more order, more discipline, because now you are the master of yourself; nobody is dictating to you.

I have destroyed all dependence. Dependence keeps you helpless, and I want you to be independent, absolutely independent.

So just a little awareness – and whenever I find that you are missing that awareness, I am going to give you bigger shocks. I will not hesitate even to give you an electric shock. I am determined to wake you up. But it will be a joy if you wake up yourself.

So, don’t be worried about that. I know there are stupid people – it is not their fault; they have been brought up in a stupid society, educated by stupid teachers, professors, priests, churches. They are victims. They need all the compassion possible.

I know you can start taking advantage of freedom. But while I am here, it is not possible to take advantage. I will hit you directly on the head. That you will remember even after your enlightenment!

-Osho

From From Bondage to Freedom, Discourse #25

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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 Energy Body – Jean Klein

When we emphasize the observer, our consciousness, there is no longer a doer who manipulates the body, who moves the body. There is a completely impersonal approach to the body. All tensions, reactions, even those deeply rooted in the body, have no more hold, and sooner or later this tension is eliminated and we become more aware of the energy body which underlies our physical body. We become familiar with the deep layers of sensitivity of the body and we come to know our original body. But knowing our original body is still more or less a by-product, because what is emphasized is consciousness, our presence.

When we emphasize the feeling sensation, we use our muscles in a different way. Our muscle is in antagonistic function. This means that in this movement there is an agonist and antagonist. In other words, there is one part of the muscle which contracts and the other which expands. When the muscle is wrongly used, there is an over-contraction and an over-stretching, but when we use our muscles with aware feeling, these over-activities are reduced and the muscles, in a certain way, come together and function harmoniously. Then you feel no more hindrance. So the body must become an object of our awareness. When it is felt—allowed to be feeling—it comes to life. This coming to life begins on the level of the skin with tactile sensation. I would say there is a resurrection of the flesh.

-Jean Klein

From  Living Truth, page 91-92

Here you can read more from Jean Klein.

 

The Fire of Awareness – Osho

When I become more and more aware, my attention develops and there remains a feeling that I exist, I am present, I am aware. Please explain how this feeling can be dissolved into an egoless state of just awareness. 

This is again a supposed question. When I become more and more aware, my attention develops and there remains a feeling that I exist, I am present, I am aware.

This never happens, because as awareness grows, the I decreases. In full awareness, you are, but there is no sense that I am. In words, at the most, this can be said – that you feel a subtle amness, but there is no I.

You feel existence, and you feel it in abundance, a fulfilled moment, but the I is not there. You cannot feel I exist; you cannot feel I am present; you cannot feel I am aware. That I is part of unawareness, inattention; part of your sleeping state. It cannot exist. It cannot exist when you are really alert and aware and conscious.

This is how supposed questions can arise. You can go on thinking about them, and nothing will be solved. If this happens – that you feel I am; I am aware – then you only have to note one thing, and that is that you are not alert, you are not aware. Then these feelings – I am aware, I am conscious, I exist – these are thoughts, you are thinking them. They are not realized moments. You can think I am aware; you can go on repeating I am aware – that will not do. Awareness is not this repetition. And when you are aware, there is no need to repeat I am aware. You are simply aware; the I is no more.

Try awareness. Right now, be alert. Where is the I? You are – rather, you are more intensely – but where is the I, the ego? In the very intensity of consciousness, the ego is no more. Later on, when you lose awareness and thinking starts, you can feel I am, but in the moment of awareness there is no I. Right now, experience it. Silently you are here, you can feel your presence, but where is the I? The I never arises. It arises only when retrospectively you think. When you lose awareness the I arises immediately.

Even if for a single moment you can experience simple awareness, you are, and the I is not there. When you lose awareness, when the moment has slipped, gone, and you are thinking, the I comes back immediately. It is part of the thought process. The very concept of I is a thought, it belongs to thinking. I am is a thought.

When you are alert and there is no thought, how can you feel that I am? The amness is there – but that too is not a thought, it is not thinking. It is there existentially; it is a fact. But you can turn the fact into thinking immediately, and you can think about this gap that existed where there was no I. And the moment you think, the I has come back. With thinking, the ego enters – thinking is the ego. With no-thinking, the ego is not. 

So, whenever you want to ask a question, first make it existential. Before giving me the question, test whether whatsoever you are asking is relevant or not. Such questions look relevant, just verbally, but they are like this: I say that the light has been put on, and then I ask, ‘The light has been put on and still the darkness remains, so what is to be done with darkness?’ The only thing is that the light is still off, it has not been put on, otherwise how can the darkness remain? And if the darkness is there, then the light is not there. And if the light is there, then the darkness is not there. They cannot be both together.

Awareness and the ego cannot be together. If awareness has come on, if it is there, the ego has disappeared. This is simultaneous; there is not even a single second’s gap. The light is on and the darkness has disappeared. It is not that it disappears by and by, in steps, gradually. You cannot see it going outside; you cannot say that now the darkness is going out.

The light is there, and the darkness is immediately not there. There is not a single moment’s gap, because if there is a gap then you can see darkness moving out. And if there is a single moment’s gap, then there is no reason why there can’t be a gap of one hour. There is no gap. The act is simultaneous. Really, the coming of the light and the going out of the darkness are two aspects of one phenomenon.

The same happens with awareness: when you are aware, the ego is not. But the ego can go on playing tricks, and the ego can say, ‘I am aware.’ The ego can say, ‘I am aware,’ and can befoul you. Then the question will arise. And the ego wants to accumulate everything, even awareness. The ego not only wants wealth, power, and prestige; it wants meditation also, it wants samadhi also, it wants enlightenment also.

The ego wants everything. That which is possible must be possessed. The ego wants to possess everything – even meditation, samadhi, nirvana. So, the ego can say, ‘Now I have achieved meditation,’ and then the question will arise. The meditation has been achieved, the awareness has come, but the ego remains, the misery remains. The whole burden of the past remains. Nothing changes.

The ego is a very subtle braggart. Be aware of it. It can deceive you. And it can use words, it can verbalize things. It can verbalize anything, even nirvana.

I have heard that once it happened that two butterflies were winging their way through the canyons of New York. Just passing near the Empire State Building, the male butterfly said to the female, ‘You know, if I wanted to, just with one blow I could cause this Empire State Building to collapse.’

One wise man happened to be there who heard this remark, so he called that male butterfly and asked, ‘What were you saying? You know very well that you cannot cause that Empire State Building to collapse with a single blow. You know it well, there is no need to tell you, so why did you say such a thing?’

The male butterfly said, ‘Excuse me, sir. I am very sorry. I was just trying to influence my girlfriend.’

The wise man said, ‘Don’t do it,’ and dismissed the butterfly. 

The male butterfly went back to his girlfriend. Of course, the girl friend asked, ‘What was the wise guy saying to you?’

So, the male braggart said, ‘He begged me and said, “Don’t do it!” He was so afraid, trembling, nervous. He had heard that I was going to cause this Empire State Building to collapse, so he said, “Don’t do it.”’

The same is happening continuously. Those words were uttered by the wise man with a very different meaning. He meant, ‘Don’t say such things,’ but the ego exploited him. Your ego can exploit anything, it is deeply cunning. And it is so experienced in cunning – experiences of millennia – that you cannot even detect where the cunning enters.

People come to me and they say, ‘The meditation has happened. Now what to do about my worries?’ This is how the ego goes on playing tricks – and they are not even aware of what they are saying. ‘The meditation has happened; the kundalini has arisen – so what to do? The worries still continue.’

Your mind wants to believe things, so without doing anything you go on believing, deceiving – wish fulfillments. But the reality doesn’t change by your wish-fulfillments: the worries continue. You can deceive yourself; you cannot deceive the worries. They will not just disappear because you say, ‘The meditation has happened and the kundalini has arisen, and now I have entered the fifth body.’ Those worries will not even hear what you are saying. But if meditation really happens, where are the worries? How can they exist in a meditative mind?

So, remember this: that when you are aware, you are, but you are not the ego. Then you are unlimited, then you are infinite expanse, but with no center. There is no focused feeling of I; just unfocused existence, beginning nowhere, ending nowhere – just infinite sky. And when this I disappears, automatically the you disappears, because the you can exist only in reference to the I. I am here; that’s why you are there. If this I disappears from me, you are no more there. You cannot be. How can you exist?

I don’t mean that you will not be there bodily, that you will not be there physically. You will be there as you are, but for me, you cannot be you. The you is meaningful in reference to my I; my I creates the you. One part disappears; the other disappears for me. Then simple existence is there; all the barriers have dissolved. With the ego disappearing, the whole existence becomes one. The ego is the divider – and the ego exists because you are inattentive. The fire of awareness will destroy it.

Try it more and more. Suddenly become alert. Walking on the street, immediately stop, take a deep breath, become alert for a moment. And when I say alert, I mean simply alert of whatsoever is happening – the traffic noise, people passing and talking, everything that is all around. Simply become alert. You are not there in that moment: existence is and the beauty of it.

Then the traffic noise doesn’t appear to be noise, it doesn’t look like a disturbance, because there is no one to resist it and fight it. It simply comes to you and passes; it is heard and heard no more. It comes and passes. There is no barrier against which it can strike. It cannot make a wound in you, because all wounds are made in the ego. It will pass. There will be no barrier to it on which it can strike; there will be no fight, no disturbance.

Remember this: the noise on the street is not the disturbance. When the noise of the street struggles against you, when you have a fixed notion that it is a disturbance, it becomes disturbance. When you accept it, it comes and passes. And you are simply bathed by it; you come out of it more fresh. And nothing tires you then. The only tiring thing, that which goes on dissipating your energy, is this resistance which we call the ego.

But we never look at it in this way. The ego has become our life, the very gist of it. Really, there is no ego. If I say to someone…. Many times, it happens. If I say to someone to dissolve this ego, immediately he stares at me as if with the question, the nude question, that ‘If ego is dissolved, then where is life? Then I am no more’.

I have heard that one very great politician, a big leader of a country, was asked, ‘You must be getting tired. The whole day, wherever you move, there is a crowd of autograph seekers.’

That politician, that leader said, ‘It almost kills me – but this is only half of the truth.’ He must have been a very rare, honest man. He said, ‘It almost kills me – but almost. If there was no one seeking my autograph, it would kill me completely. This continuous crowd almost kills me, but the other thing would be more dangerous. It would kill me completely if there was no one to ask for my autograph.’

So howsoever tiring the ego, howsoever wearing, you still feel it is life, and if the ego is not there, you feel life will disappear from your mind. You cannot conceive how life can exist without you, without there always being a reference point of I. It is logical in a way, because we have never lived without it. We have lived through it, we have lived around it; we know only one type of life, which is based on ego. We don’t know any other life.

And because we have lived through it, we have not been really able to live. We are simply struggling to live, and the life never happens to us, it just by-passes us. It is always just in the reach, in the hope – just tomorrow, the next moment, and we will be living. But it never comes, it is never achieved. It always remains a hope and a dream – but we go on moving. And because it is not coming, we move fast. That too is logical: if life is not happening to us, the mind can think only one thing – that we are not moving fast enough. So, make hurry, be in a speed.

Once it happened that one of the great scientists, T.H. Huxley, was going to deliver a talk somewhere in London. He came to the station, to the suburban station, but the train was late, so he jumped into a cab and told the driver, ‘Hurry! Go at top speed!’

They were racing fast, when suddenly he realized that he had not given the address. But then he also remembered that he had himself forgotten the address. So he asked the driver, ‘Cabby, do you know where I am supposed to be going?’

He said, ‘No, sir. But I am going as fast as possible.’

This is happening. You are going as fast as possible. Where are you moving? Why are you moving? What is the destination? – the hope that someday life will happen to you. And why is it not happening right now? You are alive – why is it not happening right now? Why is the nirvana always in the future, always in the tomorrow? Why is it not today? And the tomorrow never comes – or whenever it comes it will always be the today and you will miss again. But we have lived only in this way. We know only one dimension of living – this so-called living we are already living – just dead, not alive at all, just pulling together anyhow, just waiting.

With the ego it will always remain a waiting – and a hopeless waiting. You can do it fast, you can make haste, but you will never reach anywhere: just by hurrying you will dissipate energy and you will die. And you have done that so many times. You have always been in a hurry, and in that hurry dissipating energy, and then only death comes and nothing else. You are hurrying for life, and only death comes and nothing else. But the mind, because it is accustomed to only one dimension, because it has known only one way – which is not even a way, but just appears to be a way – will say that if there is no ego, where is life?

But I say to you, if there is ego, there is no possibility of life, only promises. The ego is a perfect promise-maker. It goes on promising you. And you are so unaware – no promise is ever fulfilled, but again you believe. When the new promises are given, you again believe.

Look back! The ego promised many things, and nothing has been achieved through it. All the promises have fallen down. But you never look back, you never compare. When you were a child there were promises for youth: life will be there when you are young. Everyone was saying it, and you also were hoping that when you become young, all that was to happen would happen. Now those days have passed, the promise remains unfulfilled, but you have forgotten. You have forgotten the promise, you have forgotten that is has not been fulfilled. It is so painful to look at it that you never look at it.

Now you hope for the old age – that in old age the sannyas will flower, the meditation will happen to you. Then the worries will be over: your children will have gone to the college, and everything will have become established. Then there will be no responsibility on you. Then you will be able to seek the divine. Then, in the old age, the miracle is going to happen. And you will die unfulfilled.

It is not going to happen, because it never happens in the hope, it never happens with the hope. It never happens with the promise of the ego. It can happen right now. It can only happen right now. But then a very intense awareness is needed, so that you can throw all the promises, and all the hopes, and all the future programs, and all the dreams, and look directly here and now at what you are.

In that returning to yourself – your consciousness not moving somewhere ahead but returning to yourself – you become a circle of consciousness. This moment becomes eternal. You are alert and aware. In that alertness, in that awareness, there is no I; simple existence, simple being. And simplicity comes out of that awareness.

Simplicity is not a loin-cloth, simplicity is not living in poverty, simplicity is not becoming a beggar. Those are very complex and very cunning things, very calculated. Simplicity is born when you have achieved a simple existence where no I exists. Out of that, simplicity arises; you become humble. Not that you practice it, because a practiced simplicity can never be simplicity. A practiced humbleness is just a hidden ego.

It happens: if you can be aware, it starts flowing through you. You become humble; not against the ego, because a humbleness against the ego is again a different sort of ego – a more subtle ego and more dangerous, more poisonous. It is humbleness as the absence of ego; not as the opposite of the ego, just the absence. The ego has disappeared. You have come to yourself and known that there is no ego: simplicity arises, humbleness arises – they simply flow. You have not done anything for them; they are by-products – by-products of intense awareness.

So, this type of question is foolish. If you feel that you are aware and still the I remains, know well that you are not aware. Make effort to be aware. And this is the criterion: when you are aware, the I is not; when you are aware, the I is not; when you are aware, the I is not found there. This is the only criterion.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #54, Q2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt The Fire of Awareness.

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.

Awaken the Master Within

Meditation is both the means and the goal. It is through meditation that we come to know that which we are Not, thus leaving us free to Be, that which we Are, Conscious Awareness.

Meditation is the goal because real meditation is awareness, our own pure consciousness. We have forgotten our own nature because this consciousness has gotten lost in the world of name and form. It has become identified with the body-mind and because of this identification the body-mind has become the master. The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.

Meditation is also the means to right this wrong relationship—to re-establish awareness, consciousness, as the Master.  It is through the witnessing consciousness that transformation is possible. It is through the awakening of intelligence that meditation brings the transformation. This intelligence is not of the mind. It is from beyond the mind. It is the light behind the mind. Once consciousness reclaims its rightful place as the Master then everything is naturally set right.

Awaken the Master within and see for your Self.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama

A Small and Momentary Gap – Osho

How is it possible that by simply becoming aware at a particular point in the breathing process one can attain enlightenment? How it is possible to become free from the unconscious by just being aware of such a small and momentary gap in the breathing?

This question is significant, and this question is likely to have occurred to many minds, so many things have to be understood. First, it is thought that spirituality is a difficult attainment. It is neither: that is, it is neither difficult nor an attainment. Whatsoever you are, you are already spiritual. Nothing new is to be added to your being, and nothing is to be discarded from your being; you are as perfect as possible. It is not that you are going to be perfect sometime in the future, it is not that you have to do something arduous to be yourself. It is not a journey to some other point somewhere else; you are not going somewhere else. You are already there. That which is to be attained is already attained.

This idea must go deep, only then will you be able to understand why such simple techniques can help. If spirituality is some attainment, then of course it is going to be difficult – not only difficult, but really impossible. If you are not already spiritual, you cannot be, you never can be, because how can one who is not spiritual be spiritual? If you are not divine already then there is no possibility, there is no way. And no matter what effort you will make, effort made by one who is not already divine cannot create divinity. If you are not divine, your effort cannot create divinity. Then it is impossible.

But the whole situation is totally opposite: you are already that which you want to attain. The end of longing is already there, present in you. Here and now, this very moment, you are that which is known as divine. The ultimate is here; it is already the case. That is why simple techniques can help. It is not an attainment, but a discovery. It is hidden, and it is hidden in very, very small things.

The persona is just like clothes. Your body is here, hidden in clothes; in the same way your spirituality is here, hidden in certain clothes. These clothes are your personality. You can be naked just here and now, and in the same way you can be naked in your spirituality also. But you do not know what the clothes are. You do not know how you are hidden in them; you do not know how to be naked. You have been in clothes so long – for lives and lives and lives you have been in clothes – and you have been so identified with the clothes, that now you do not think that these are clothes. You think these clothes are you. That is the only barrier.

For example, you have some treasure, but you have forgotten or you have not yet recognized that this is a treasure, and you go on begging in the streets… you are a beggar. If someone says, “Go and look inside your house. You need not be a beggar, you can be an emperor this very moment,” the beggar is bound to say, “What nonsense you are talking. How can I be an emperor this very moment? I have been begging for years and still I am a beggar, and even if I go on begging for lives together, I am not going to be an emperor. So how absurd and illogical your statement is, ‘You can be an emperor this very moment.’”

It is impossible. The beggar cannot believe it. Why? Because the begging mind is a long habit But if the treasure is just hidden in the house, then from simple digging, removing the earth a little bit, the treasure will be there. And immediately he will not be a beggar again, he will become an emperor. It is the same with spirituality: it is a hidden treasure. Nothing is to be achieved somewhere in the future. You have not yet recognized it, but it is there already in you. You are the treasure, but you go on begging.

So simple techniques can help. Digging the earth, removing a little bit, is not a big effort, and you can become an emperor immediately. You have to dig a little bit to remove the earth. And when I say remove the earth; it is not only symbolically that I am saying it. Literally your body is part of the earth, and you have become identified with the body. Remove this earth a little bit, create a hole in it, and you will come to know the treasure.

That is why this question will occur to many. Really, to everyone this question will occur: “So small a technique like this – being aware of your breathing, being aware of the incoming breath and the outgoing breath, and then realizing the interval between the two – is this enough?” Such a simple thing! Is this enough for enlightenment? Is this the only difference between you and Buddha, that you have not realized the gap between two breaths and Buddha has realized it – only this much? It seems illogical. The distance is vast between a Buddha and you. The distance seems infinite. The distance between a beggar and an emperor is infinite, but the beggar can immediately become an emperor if the treasure is already hidden.

Buddha was a beggar like you; he was not a buddha always. At a particular point the beggar died, and he became the master. This is not a gradual process really; it is not that Buddha goes on accumulating and then one day he is not the beggar and he becomes the emperor. No, a beggar can never become an emperor if it is going to be an accumulation, he will remain a beggar. He may become a rich beggar, but he will remain a beggar. And a rich beggar is a bigger beggar than a poor beggar.

Suddenly, one day Buddha realizes the inner treasure. Then he is no more a beggar, he becomes a master. The distance between Gautam Siddharth and Gautam Buddha is infinite. It is the same distance that is between you and a buddha. But the treasure is hidden within you as much as it was hidden in Buddha.

Take another example…. One man is born with blind eyes, diseased eyes. For a blind man, the world is a different thing. A small operation may change the whole thing, because only the eyes have to be made all right. The moment the eyes are ready, the seer is hidden behind and he will begin to look from the eyes. The seer is already there, only windows are lacking. You are in a house with no windows. You can break a hole in the wall, and suddenly you will look out. We are already that which we will be, which we should be, which we are to be. The future is already hidden in the present; the whole possibility is here in the seed. Only a window has to be broken, only a small surgical operation is needed. If you can understand this, that spirituality is already there, already the case, then there is no problem concerning how such a small effort can help.

Really, no big effort is needed. Only small efforts are needed, and the smaller the better. And if you work effortlessly it is still better. That is why it happens, many times it happens, that the more you try, the harder it is to attain. Your very effort, your tension, your occupiedness, your longing, your expectation, becomes the barrier. But with a very small effort, an effortless effort as they call it in Zen – doing as if not doing – it happens easily. The more you are mad after it, the less is the possibility, because where a needle is needed you are using a sword. The sword will not be helpful. It may be bigger, but where a needle is needed a sword will not do.

Go to a butcher – he has very big instruments. And go to a brain surgeon: you will not find such big instruments with the brain surgeon. And if you do find them, then escape immediately! A brain surgeon is not a butcher. He needs very small instruments – the smaller the better.

Spiritual techniques are more subtle; they are not gross. They cannot be, because the surgery is even more subtle. In the brain the surgeon is still doing something with gross matter, but when you are working on spiritual planes the surgery becomes more and more aesthetic. No gross matter is there. It becomes subtle – that is one thing.

Secondly, the questioner asks, “If something is smaller, how can a bigger step be possible through it?” This concept is irrational, unscientific. Now science knows that the smaller the particle, the more atomic, the more explosive – the bigger really. The smaller it is, the bigger the effect. Could you have conceived before 1945, could any imaginative poet or dreamer have conceived that two atomic explosions would wipe out completely two big cities in Japan – Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Two hundred thousand people were simply wiped out of existence within seconds. And what was the explosive force used? An atom! The very smallest particle blew up two big cities. You cannot see the atom. Not only with your eyes can you not see, you cannot see by any means. The atom cannot be seen with any instrument; we can only see the effects.

So do not think that the Himalayas are bigger because they have such a big body. The Himalayas are just impotent before an atomic explosion. One small atom can wipe out the whole Himalayas. Size in gross material is not necessarily power. On the contrary, the smaller the unit, the more penetrating. The smaller the unit, the more intensely it is filled with power.

These small techniques are atomic. Those who are doing bigger things do not know atomic science.

You will think that a person who is working with atoms is a small person working with small things, and a person who is working with the Himalayas will look very big. Hitler was working with great masses; Mao is working with great masses. And Einstein and Planck, they were working in their laboratories with small units of matter – energy particles. But ultimately, before Einstein’s research politicians were just impotent. They were working on a bigger canvas, but they did not know the secret of the small unit.

Moralists always work on big planes, but these are gross. The thing looks very big. They devote their whole lives to moralizing, practicing this and that, to sanyam – control. They go on controlling; the whole edifice looks very big.

Tantra is not concerned with this. Tantra is concerned with the atomic secrets in the human being, in the human mind, in human consciousness. And tantra has achieved atomic secrets. These methods are atomic methods. If you can attain them, their result is explosive, cosmic.

Another point is to be noted. If you can say, “How is it that with such a small, simple exercise one can become enlightened?” you are saying this without doing the exercise. If you do it, then you will not say that this is a small, simple exercise. It looks this way because within two or three sentences the whole exercise has been given.

Do you know the atomic formula? Two or three words, and the whole formula is given. And with those two or three words, those who can understand, those who can use those words, can destroy the whole earth. The formula is very small.

These too are formulas, so if you just look at the formula it will look to be a very, very small, simple thing. It is not! Try to do it. When you do it, then you will know that it is not so easy. It looks simple, but it is one of the deepest things. We will analyze the process; then you will understand.

When you take your breath in, you never feel the breath. You have never felt the breath. You will immediately deny this. You will say, “This is not right. We may not be conscious continuously, but we feel the breath.” No, you do not feel the breath, you feel the passage.

Look at the sea. Waves are there; you see the waves. But those waves are created by air, wind. You do not see the wind; you see the effect on the water. When you take breath in it touches your nostril. You feel the nostril, but you never know the breath. It goes down – you feel the passage. It comes back – again you feel the passage. You never feel the  breath, you just feel the touch and the passage.

This is not what is meant when Shiva says, Be aware. First you will become aware of the passage, and when you have become completely aware of the passage, only then will you begin, by and by, to be aware of the breath itself. And when you become aware of the breath, then you will be capable of being aware of the gap, the interval. It is not as easy as it looks.

For tantra, for all seeking, there are layers of awareness. If I embrace you, first you will become aware of my touch upon your body; not of my love, my love is not so gross. And ordinarily we never become aware of love. We are aware only of the body in movement. We know loving movements, we know non-loving movements – but we have never known love itself. If I kiss you, you become aware of the touch, not of my love; that love is a very subtle thing. And unless you become aware of my love the kiss is just dead, it means nothing. If you can become aware of my love, then only can you become aware of me, because that again is a deeper layer.

The breath goes in. You feel the touch, not the breath. But you are not even aware of that touch. If something is wrong, only then do you feel it. If you have some difficulty in breathing, then you feel it; otherwise you are not aware. The first step will be to be aware of the passage where breath is felt to be touching; then your sensitivity will grow. It will take years to become so sensitive that not the touch, but the movement of breath is known. Then, says tantra, you will have known prana – the vitality. And only then is there the gap where breath stops, where breath is not moving – or the center where the breath is touching, or the fusion point, or the turning where the breath, the ingoing breath, becomes outgoing. This will become arduous; then it will not be so simple.

If you do something, if you go into this center, only then will you know how difficult it is. Buddha took six years to come to this center beyond the breath. To come to this turning, he had a long, arduous journey of six years; then it happened. Mahavir was working on it for twelve years; then it happened. But the formula is simple, and theoretically this can happen this very moment – theoretically, remember. There is no barrier theoretically, so why should it not happen this very moment? You are the barrier. Except for you this can happen this very moment. The treasure is there; the method is known to you. You can dig, but you will not dig.

Even this question is a trick not to dig, because your mind says, “Such a simple thing? Don’t be a fool. How can you become a buddha through such a simple thing? It is not going to be.” And then you are not going to do anything, because how can this happen? Mind is tricky. If I say this is very difficult, the mind says, “This is so difficult it is beyond you.” If I say this is very simple, the mind says, “This is so simple that only fools can believe in it.” And mind goes on rationalizing things, always escaping from doing.

Mind creates barriers. It will become a barrier if you think this is so simple, or this is too difficult – then what are you going to do? You cannot do a simple thing, you cannot do a difficult thing. What are you going to do? Tell me! If you want to do a difficult thing, I will make it difficult. If you are going to do a simple thing, I will make it simple. It is both – it depends on how it is interpreted. But one thing is needed, that you are going to d0. If you are not going to “do” then the mind will always give you explanations.

Theoretically, it is possible here and now; there is no actual barrier. But there are barriers. They may not be actual, they may simply be psychological – they may just be your illusions – but they are there. If I say to you, “Do not be afraid – go! The thing that you are thinking is a snake is not a snake, it is just a rope,” still the fear will be there. To you it appears to be a snake.

So whatsoever I say is not going to help. You are trembling; you want to escape and run away. I say it is just a rope, but your mind will say, “This man may be in conspiracy with the snake. There must be something wrong. This man is forcing me toward the snake. He may be interested in my death, or something else.” If I try to convince you too much that this is a rope that will only show that I am somehow interested in forcing you toward the snake. If I say to you that theoretically it is possible to see the rope as a rope this very moment, your mind will create many, many problems.

In reality there is no dilemma; in reality there is no problem. There never has been, there never will be. In mind there are problems, and you look at reality through the mind; thus, the reality becomes problematic. Your mind works like a prison. It divides and creates problems. And not only that, it creates solutions which become deeper problems, because in fact there are no problems to be solved. Reality is absolutely unproblematic; there is no problem. But you cannot see anything without problems. Wherever you look, you create problems. Your “look” is problematic. I told you this breath technique; now the mind says, “This is so simple.” Why? Why does the mind say this is so simple?

When for the first time the steam engine was invented, no one believed it. It looked so simple – unbelievable. Just the same steam that you know in your kitchen, in your kettle, the steam running an engine, running hundreds and hundreds of passengers and such a load? The same steam that you are so well-acquainted with? This is not believable.

Do you know what happened in England? When the first train started, no one was ready to sit in it – no one! Many people were persuaded, bribed, they were given money to sit in the train, but at the last point they escaped. They said, “Firstly, steam cannot do such miracles. Such a simple thing as steam cannot do such miracles. And if the engine starts, that means that the devil is at work somewhere. The devil is running the thing, it is not the steam. And what is the guarantee that once the thing starts you will be capable of stopping it?”

No guarantee could be given because this was the first train. Never had it stopped before, it was only probable. There was no experience, so science could not say, “Yes it will stop.”

Theoretically it will stop… but the people were not interested in theories. They were interested if there was any actual experience of stopping a train: “If it never stops then what will happen to us who will be sitting in it?”

So twelve criminals from the jail were brought as passengers. Anyhow they were going to die, anyhow they were sentenced to death, so there was no problem if the train was not going to stop.

Then the mad driver who thought that it was going to stop, the scientist who had invented it and these twelve passengers who were anyhow going to be killed, they alone would all be killed. “Such a simple thing as steam,” they said at that time. But now no one says this, because now it is working and you know it.

Everything is simple – reality is simple. It seems complex only because of ignorance; otherwise everything is simple. Once you know it, it becomes simple. The knowing is bound to be difficult not because of reality, remember, but because of your mind. This technique is simple, but it is not going to be simple for you. Your mind will create difficulty. So try with it.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, 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.

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If I Say Surrender You Ask How – Osho

Techniques are shortcuts, revolutions, but are not these against tao, swabhav, the nature?

They are. They are against tao, they are against swabhav. Any effort is against shabhav, tao; effort as such is against tao. If you can leave everything to swabhav, tao, nature, then no technique is needed, because that is the ultimate technique. If you can leave everything to tao, that is the deepest surrender possible. You are surrendering yourself, your future, your possibilities. You are surrendering time itself, all effort. This means infinite patience, awaiting.

If you can surrender everything to nature then there is no effort, then you don’t do anything. You just float. You are in a deep let-go. Things happen to you, but you are not making any effort for them – you are not even seeking them. If they happen, it is okay; if they don’t happen, it is okay – you have no choice. Whatsoever happens, happens; you have no expectations and of course, no frustrations.

Life flows by, you flow in it. You have no goal to reach, because with the goal effort enters. You have nowhere to go, because if you have somewhere to go, effort will come in; it is implied. You have nowhere to go, nowhere to reach, no goal, no ideal; nothing is to be achieved – you surrender all.

In this surrendering moment, in this very moment, all will happen to you. Effort will take time; surrender will not take time. Technique will take time; surrender will not take time. That’s why I call it the ultimate technique. It is a no-technique. You cannot practice it – you cannot practice surrender.

If you practice, it is not surrender. Then you are relying on yourself; then you are not totally helpless; then you are trying to do something – even if it is surrender, you are trying to do it. Then technique will come in, and with technique time enters, future enters.

Surrender is non-temporal; it is beyond time. If you surrender, this very moment you are out of time, and all that can happen, will happen. But then you are not searching for it, not seeking it; you are not greedy for it. You have no mind for it at all: whether it happens or not, it is all the same to you.

Tao means surrender – surrender to swabhav, to nature. Then you are not. Tantra and Yoga are techniques. Through them you will reach to swabhav, but it will be a long process. Ultimately after every technique you will have to surrender, but with techniques it will come in the end; with tao, in tao, it comes in the beginning. If you can surrender right now, no technique is needed, but if you cannot, and if you ask me how to surrender, then a technique is needed. So, rarely in millions and millions of men, one can surrender without asking how. If you ask ‘how’, you are not the right type who can surrender, because the ‘how’ means you are asking for a technique.

These techniques are for all those who cannot get rid of this ‘how’. These techniques are just to get rid of your basic anxiety about ‘how’ – how to do it. If you can surrender without asking, then no technique is needed for you. But then you would not have come to me, you could have surrendered any time, because surrender needs no teacher. A teacher can teach only technique.

When you seek, you are seeking technique; every seeking is a seeking for technique. When you go to someone and ask, you are asking for a technique, for a method. Otherwise there is no need to go anywhere. The very search shows that you have a deep need for technique. These techniques are for you. Not that without technique it cannot happen. It can happen, but it has happened to very few persons. And those few persons are also really not rare: in their past lives they have been struggling with techniques, and they have struggled so much with techniques that now they are fed up, they are bored. A saturation point comes when you have asked again and again ‘How? How? How? – and ultimately the ‘how’ falls. Then you can surrender.

In every way technique is needed. A Krishnamurti, he can say that no technique is needed – but this is not his first life. And he couldn’t have said this in his past life. Even in this very life many techniques were given to him, and he worked on them. You can come to a point through techniques where you can surrender – you can throw all techniques and simply be – but that too is through techniques.

It is against tao, because you are against tao. You have to be deconditioned. If you are in tao then no technique is needed. If you are healthy then no medicine is needed. Every medicine is against health. But you are ill; medicine is needed. This medicine will kill your illness. It cannot give you health, but if the illness is removed, health will happen to you. No medicine can give you health. Basically every medicine is a poison – but you have gathered some poison; you need an antidote. It will balance, and health will be possible.

Technique is not going to give you your divinity, it is not going to give you your nature. All that you have gathered around your nature it will destroy. It will only decondition you. You are conditioned, and right now you cannot take a jump into surrender. If you can take it, it is good – but you cannot take it. Your conditioning will ask, ‘How?’ Then techniques will be helpful.

When one lives in tao, then no yoga, no tantra, no religion is needed. One is perfectly healthy; no medicine is needed. Every religion is medicinal. When the world lives in total tao, religions will disappear. No teacher, no Buddha, no Jesus will be needed, because everyone will be a Buddha or a Jesus. But right now, as you are, you need techniques. Those techniques are antidotes.

You have gathered around yourself such a complex mind that whatsoever is said and given to you, you will complicate it. You will make it more complex, you will make it more difficult. If I say to you, ‘Surrender,’ you will ask, ‘How?’ If I say, ‘Use techniques,’ you will ask, ‘Techniques? Are not techniques against tao?’ If I say, ‘No technique is needed; simply surrender and God will happen to you,’ you will immediately ask, ‘How?’ – your mind.

If I say, ‘Tao is right here and now: you need not practise anything, you simply take a jump and surrender,’ you will say, ‘How? How can I surrender?’ If I give you a technique to answer your ‘how’, your mind will say, ‘But is not a method, a technique, a way, against swabhav, against tao? If divinity is my nature, then how can it be achieved through a technique? If it is already there, then the technique is futile, useless. Why waste time with the technique?’ Look at this mind!

I remember, once it happened that one man, a father of a young girl, asked composer Leopold Godowsky to come to his house and give an audition to his daughter. She was learning piano. Godowsky came to their house; patiently he heard the girl playing. When the girl finished, the father beamed, and he cried in happiness and asked Godowsky, ‘Isn’t she wonderful?’

Godowsky is reported to have said, ‘She is wonderful. She has an amazing technique. I have never heard anyone play such simple pieces with such great difficulty. She has an amazing technique. Playing such simple pieces with such great difficulty, I have never seen anyone do before!’

This is what goes on happening in your mind. Even a simple thing you will make complicated, you will make difficult for yourself. And this is a way of defense, this is a defense measure, because when you create difficulty you need not do it – because first the problem must be solved and then you can do it.

If I say surrender, you ask how. Unless I answer your ‘how’, how can you surrender? If I give you a technique, your mind immediately creates a new problem. ‘Why the technique? Swabhav is there, tao is there, God is within you, so why this endeavor, this effort?’ Unless this is answered, there is no need to do anything.

Remember, you can go on in this vicious circle continuously for ever and ever. You will have to break it somewhere and come out of it. Be decisive, because only with decision is your humanity born. Only with decision do you become human. Be decisive. If you can surrender, surrender. If you cannot surrender, then don’t create philosophical problems; then use some technique.

In both the ways the surrender will happen to you. If you can surrender right now, it is okay. If you cannot surrender, then pass through techniques – that training is needed. It is needed because of you, not because of swabhav, not because of tao. Tao needs no training. It is needed because of you. And the techniques will destroy you. You will die through the techniques, and the innermost nature will evolve. You have to be shattered completely. If you can shatter it in a jump – surrender. If you cannot, then piecemeal – through techniques work on it.

But remember one thing: your mind can create problems which are tricks – tricks to postpone, to postpone decision. If the mind is not settled, you don’t feel guilty. You feel, ‘What can I do? Unless something is absolute, clear-cut, transparent, what can I do?’ Your mind can create clouds around you, and your mind will not allow you to be transparent ever – unless you decide. With decision clouds disappear. Mind is very diplomatic, mind is political, and it goes on playing politics on you. It is very tricky, cunning.

I have heard, once Mulla Nasrudin came to visit his son and daughter-in-law. He had come for three days, but then he stayed for one week. Then the one week passed, and he stayed for one month. Then the young couple started worrying – how to get rid of the old man? So they discussed how to get rid of him, and they hit upon a plan.

The husband said, ‘Tonight you prepare soup, and I will say that there is too much salt in it, it cannot be eaten, it is impossible to eat. And you have to say that there is not enough salt in it. We will argue and we will start quarrelling, and then I will ask my father what his opinion is, what he says. If he agrees with me, then you get mad and tell him to go away. If he agrees with you, I will get sore and I will tell him to go away immediately.’

The soup was prepared, and as it was planned, they started quarrelling and arguing. And then the climax came. They were just on the verge of hitting each other and Nasrudin was sitting silently watching. And then the son turned towards him and said, ‘Pa, what do you say? Is there too much salt or not?’

So Nasrudin dipped his spoon in the soup, tasted it, meditated a moment upon the taste, and then said, ‘It suits me perfectly.’ He didn’t take any side. The whole plan was futile.

Your mind goes on working in this way. It will never take any side, because the moment you take a side, action has to be there. It will not take any side; it will go on arguing. It will never decide anything; it will be always in the middle. Whatsoever is said will be argued, but it will never become a decision. And you can argue ad infinitum; there is no end to it. Only decision will give you action, and only action will become transformation.

If you are really interested in a deep revolution within you, then decide – and don’t go on postponing. Don’t be too philosophical; that is dangerous. For a seeker it is dangerous. For one who is not seeking really but just passing time, it is good, it is a good game. Philosophy is a good game if you can afford it. But I don’t see that anyone can afford it because it is wasting time.

So be decisive. If you can surrender, then surrender. Then there is no ‘how’ to it. If you cannot, then practice some technique, because only then through technique will you come to a point where surrender will happen.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #58, Q1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt In Your Hands (Book of Secrets #58, Q1).

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.

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Utterly Empty and Yet Utterly Full – Osho

My question concerns the quantum leap. How to jump, where to jump and who or what is doing the jumping? 

Jamia, the meaning of the quantum leap is that you find nobody there inside you who can jump.

You find no place where you can jump and you find no means to jump. That is the meaning of a quantum leap. The quantum leap is not a leap, it is a disappearance. The quantum leap is utter discontinuity with the past. If it is continuous it is just a leap, not quantum. That is the meaning of the word “quantum”.

You have been somebody up to now; if you do something, then you will remain continuous with the past because the doer will be the past. If you ask how to take the quantum leap, who will use the methodology? The old, the past, the mind, the accumulated mind will use the methodology. But how will you become new? It is the old trying to become new. You may have new clothes, a new face, new varnish, but you will remain the same; you continue.

A quantum leap is a moment of understanding that the past is no more there, that it is just a memory, just a figment of imagination now; it has no reality. If the past is no more there, who are you? – because you consist only of your past.

Krishnamurti says, “The process of thought creates the thinker.” And he is right – it is not vice versa.

Ordinarily you think, “I am a thinker, hence the process of thought.” It is not so. There is no thinker in you but only a process of thought. And when you think about the whole process of thought and you take it together, the thinker is born.

The thinker is not there. Let thoughts disappear, and as thoughts disappear, the thinker will disappear. If there is no thought, there is no thinker inside. So ‘thinker’ is nothing but another name for the whole thought continuum.

If you can understand this – that the past is just nothing but thoughts – suddenly a great emptiness will arise in you, a great abyss. You are not, nobody is there inside. This is what Buddha calls anatta, no-self, no ego. In that moment when you cannot find yourself, the quantum leap has happened.

The Emperor Wu of China asked Bodhidharma, “My mind remains very tense, in anxiety. I am always feeling restless, uneasy. I never find any peace of mind. Help me, sir.”

Bodhidharma looked into his eyes. And that was not an ordinary look – Bodhidharma was a very ferocious Master. The king was a very brave man, had fought in many battles and won, but he started trembling when Bodhidharma looked into his eyes.

And he said, “Okay, come tomorrow, early in the morning at four o’clock, and bring your mind to me and I will put it at ease forever.”

When the king was going down the steps, Bodhidharma shouted again, “Listen, don’t forget to bring your mind! Come at four o’clock and bring your mind. And I am going to put it at ease forever!”

The king was a little puzzled. “What does he mean, ‘Bring the mind, don’t forget’? Can I come without the mind too? I and my mind are the same. This man looks mad! And the way he looked at me… those ferocious eyes… And he looks murderous too! And going alone, early in the morning at four o’clock when it is dark, to this madman… and one never knows what he will do, how he will treat me.”

But he could not sleep. Many times he decided not to go, but there was a great attraction too, something like a great magnetic pull. The man was ferocious, but there was great love in his eyes too. Both were there – his eyes were like swords and also like lotuses. He could not resist. He said, “I have to take this risk.” And at four o’clock he had to go.

Bodhidharma was waiting with his big staff. He told the king, “Sit in front of me. And where is your mind? I told you to bring it with you!”

And the king said, “What nonsense are you talking about? If I am here, so is my mind. Mind is something inside me. How can I forget it? How can I ‘bring’ it?”

Bodhidharma said, “So, one thing is certain: that mind is inside. So close your eyes and go inside and try to find it. And whenever you catch it, just tell me and I will put it at rest forever. But first it has to be caught, only then can I treat it.” The king closed his eyes. The whole thing was stupid, but there was nowhere to go now – it had to be done. He closed his eyes. And the Master was sitting there with his staff – and he might beat or he might hit, so it was no ordinary situation. He could not go to sleep. He had not slept the whole night – he had been thinking of whether to come or not to come… And the presence of the Master and the silence of the forest and the darkness of the night and the whole weird situation: that this man could even cut his head… He became very alert. The danger was such that he became very attentive. For the first time in his life he looked inside himself – what the book, The Secret of the Golden Flower, calls “turning the light inwards”. For the first time he looked inside, he searched inside. He really searched, sincerely he searched. And the more he searched, the more aware he became that there is no mind, there is nobody inside. It is an empty house; we had only believed in it. We have accepted others’ belief about the soul, the self, the ego. We never looked at it, we never checked it. And the more he found that there is nobody to be found, the more happy, joyous, he became. His face relaxed; a great grace surrounded him. Hours passed, but for him there was no question of time at all. He was sitting and sitting, and enjoying this blissfulness that he was tasting for the first time in his life.

Something immensely delightful was descending on him.

Then the sun started rising, and with the first rays of the sun, Bodhidharma said to him, “Sir, it is time enough! Now open your eyes. Have you found yourself inside or not?”

And the king opened his eyes, looked at the Master, saw the beauty, saw that the ferociousness was out of compassion, saw the love, bowed down, touched the feet of the Master and said, “You have put it at rest forever. It is not there. Now I know that I was creating an unnecessary fuss about something which doesn’t exist at all.”

This is the quantum leap. Searching inside you find you are not. Then there is no question of “how” and no question of “where”. It has already happened.

Jamia, I would like to tell you: just close your eyes for a few hours every day, become as alert as Emperor Wu became, remember me just in front of you with a sword in my hand, ready to cut you at any moment if you fall asleep, and go in. And, one day the quantum leap. You will know only when it has happened. You don’t do it, it is nothing of your doing, it is a happening. You can’t do it because you are the hindrance – how can you do it? There is nowhere to jump, nobody to jump, no method to jump. When all these three things have been realized, it has happened.

Then one lives as an emptiness, utterly empty and yet utterly full.

-Osho

From The Secret of Secrets, Discourse #8

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.

Life is an Occasion for Meditation – Osho

The essential teaching of Gautam the Buddha is not a teaching at all, but an awakening.

A way to become more aware. He does not give you a doctrine about existence, but he gives you a methodology to see that which is. He is not concerned with God; he is not concerned with the other world beyond. His whole concern is you – the awareness within.

Hence Buddha has been misunderstood by almost everybody. The religious people have not been able to understand him because he does not talk about God. They have not been able to appreciate him because he does not talk about the other world. And all the religions have depended on the other world. They are against this world and for some illusory world somewhere there in the future – beyond this life, beyond this body, beyond this moment. Their whole world is a fantasy world. They persuade people to sacrifice the real for the unreal, they persuade people to sacrifice that which is for that which is not yet and may not ever be. They persuade people to sacrifice the present for the future – how can they understand Buddha? Because he does not talk about the other world at all. He is not an other-worldly one.

But he has not satisfied the materialists either, the atheists either. Because they think this is all that there is – eat, drink, be merry. And Buddha says: This is not all that there is. You are living only on the surface of things. There is a depth to things – but that depth can be known, fathomed, only if depth to you go deeper into your own being, into your own consciousness.

The more conscious you are, the more intensely you live. The more conscious you are, the more reality becomes available to you. You earn reality only through being conscious. When one is absolutely conscious, one is absolutely real.

Naturally, the materialists, the this-worldly people, cannot agree with Buddha, because they say, “This is all. The surface is all, the outside is all, there is no inside to it.”

So nobody is agreeing with him. The religious don’t agree, the irreligious don’t agree. His approach is a very radical approach – it is against the worldly, it is against the other-worldly. He brings a new light; he brings a new understanding. That understanding he calls ‘mindfulness’.

You have to understand this word ‘mindfulness’. If you can understand this single word ‘mindfulness’ you will have understood Buddha’s whole being, his whole approach. And he is one of those who have known. If you want to ask anybody, ask a man like Buddha.

But his approach is a methodology, not a doctrine. It is a way of life. People live like robots, they live mechanically. Buddha says: Live non-mechanically. Each of your acts has to be luminous with awareness. And then each act starts revealing reality to you.

And he does not make any distinction between the profane and the sacred – there is none. The profane is the sacred, if you live it consciously.

Just going for a morning walk – if you can walk consciously, this is prayer. There is no need to go to any church. Prayer has no relationship with a church or a temple, prayer has something to do with your quality of awareness. You can do a thing prayerfully, and the thing may be anything, cleaning the floor, cooking the food, washing the clothes, taking a bath, going to sleep.

It reminds me of one of the most beautiful stories about Buddha’s closest disciple, Ananda. Ananda lived with Buddha for forty years – and he lived like a shadow. He never left Buddha for a single moment, not even in the night; he would sleep in the same room where Buddha was sleeping. He had taken a promise from Buddha…

When Buddha became enlightened, Ananda came to him to be initiated. He was a cousin brother of Buddha and older than Buddha. He asked Buddha, “I am your elder brother. Once I am initiated, I will be your disciple. Then whatsoever you say, I will have to do – then I cannot say no.

That is the meaning of disciplehood – a person decides, “Now I will say yes to my master, whatsoever he says. If he says ’Jump and kill yourself’ I will jump and kill myself.” Surrendering the no is the secret of disciplehood.

So Ananda said, “I am going to be your disciple. Before I become your disciple, as your elder brother I want one promise. Right now I am your elder brother and I can order you” – the old Indian tradition – “you are my younger brother and I can say this to you. You have to give me this promise, that you will never tell me to leave you. I will stay with you; wherever you go I will be with you. I will follow you like a shadow, I will serve you like a shadow. Even in the night I will be sleeping just by your side, continuously ready to serve you.”

Buddha promised. And Ananda lived with Buddha for forty years. No other disciple lived so close. But because he was so close, he started taking Buddha for granted – naturally. He was so close, he started forgetting Buddha. He was so close that he never tried what Buddha was saying. And the day came when Buddha dropped his body…

Many who had come after Ananda had become enlightened. Ananda was not yet enlightened. He wept bitterly. His misery was great; there was no consolation. Now suddenly he became aware that forty years had been a wastage. “I lived with this man – a rare opportunity, very rare. To find a Buddha is rare, and to live with a Buddha for forty years continuously – it has not happened before, it may not happen again. Forty years in a long time. And still I have missed.”

He stopped eating food, he stopped all kinds of other activities. He decided to become enlightened before it was too late – it was already late. Day and night, he was trying to be aware…

And a great council was going to be arranged soon – all the enlightened disciples were going to gather together to collect the sayings of Buddha. Ananda was not invited. And he was the most reliable source, obviously – nobody had lived with Buddha so long, nobody had as much information as he had. Nobody had listened to Buddha so much – morning and evening, day and night, he was always there, just watching. Whatsoever Buddha had said, he had heard it. And he had a miraculous memory, absolute memory – he had the power of absolute recall. But still he was not invited to the council.

It was not possible to invite him. He had known Buddha, his word was reliable, his memory was perfect – but he had no inner validity. He himself was not yet a Buddha. Yes, to collect facts he was the right person. But what about truth? And facts and truths are different dimensions. A fact may be a fact and yet may not be true. And a truth may be true, yet may not be a fact.

Truth is not the sum total of all the facts – truth is something more. Facts are mundane, superficial.  Truths are not on the surface, they are inner. Ananda could say everything factual, but he had no inner validity. He himself was not a witness. So even those who had not lived with Buddha were called to the council, but not Ananda.

He worked hard, he staked all. Each moment he was trying to be aware, alert, mindful.

And the last night came – tomorrow morning the council was going to gather. Ananda was going mad: it had not happened yet. He was becoming more and more tense and he was putting in all that one could put, all that was humanly possible. He was ready to die for it.

The middle of the night had come and nothing had happened yet. And he was driving himself crazy. For days he had not eaten, he had not slept, he had not taken a bath – there was no time to waste. One o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock, four o’clock in the morning… and he was just on the verge of either going mad or becoming enlightened. It looked more like madness: he was exploding, he was falling apart.

Then suddenly he remembered, Buddha had always said: Be aware, but in a relaxed way. Be aware, but without any tension. Attention without any tension. Calm and quiet. Alert, but with no strain.

That memory came in the right moment – he relaxed. He was so tired, dead tired, that he went to bed. When he was just going to put his head on the pillow – fully aware, relaxed – he became enlightened. The moment his head touched the pillow, he became enlightened.

He slept, for the first time in his whole life, a different kind of sleep. He was asleep as far as the body was concerned, but his inner light was aflame. Deep within his being, he was alert and aware.

Morning came, and he was still asleep. Other monks came to see whether he had been able to make it. They looked in the room, and it had the same fragrance as that of Buddha – the same luminosity, the same grace and grandeur. And Ananda was fast asleep but his face had the light, the light that comes from within. Even in his sleep he was mindful. There was grace, there was a silence surrounding the room, there was a new space.

He was invited immediately. He asked the other monks, “Why? What has happened now? Why were you not asking me to come to the council?” And they said, “Just one day ago, your memory was just the memory of the outside of things. Now you know from the inside – you yourself have become a Buddha.

Buddhahood means when you become so alert that even in your sleep the alertness continues as an undercurrent. Even when you die, you die fully alert – now there is no way to lose your alertness, your alertness has become your nature.

This is the essential message of Buddha. And unless you understand this, you will miss all the sutras of Ikkyu. Many have commented on the sutras, and particularly the Western commentators go on missing the point – because they think what the sutra is saying is a philosophy. The best commentator is R. H. Blyth – but even he misses, because he also seems to have no inner validity. He thinks these sutras are pessimistic. They are not. Pessimism has nothing to do with Buddha. They look pessimistic because they go against your so-called optimism.

Buddha does not give you any hope. But his message is not that of hopelessness. He takes away hope, and with hope he takes away hopelessness too. That is very difficult to understand, unless you have an inner validity. He destroys all optimism, but remember, he is not a pessimist. Once there is no optimism, how can there be pessimism? – they go together. His vision of life is not dismal, but it looks dismal to people.

Even R. H. Blyth, who is the most perceptive commentator from the West on Ikkyu’s sutras, goes on missing the point. He goes on showing where Buddha is wrong, he goes on saying where Ikkyu is morbid.

If you look at the sutras themselves, without making any effort to be mindful, you will miss the whole point. These sutras are just a device to make you mindful.

Buddha gave an example of just how mindful we should be. He told of a person who was ordered to walk through a very crowded marketplace with a water jug, full to the brim, balanced on his head. Behind him walked a soldier with a big sword. If a single drop of that water were to fall, the soldier would cut off his head. Assuredly, the person with the jug walked pretty mindfully. But it has to be mindful in an easy way. If there is too much forcing or strain, the least jostling will cause the water to spill. The person with the jug has to be loose and rhythmic, flowing with the changing scene, yet staying very attentive in each moment.

That is the kind of care we should take in developing awareness: a relaxed alertness.

These two words look diametrically opposite – they are. Because whenever you are relaxed you lose alertness, and whenever you are alert you lose relaxedness. And unless they both happen together you will go on missing Buddha’s message. It is a very strange message – it wants you to bring this polarity together. It is the highest synthesis of human consciousness: one polarity is relaxedness, another polarity is alertness, attentiveness.

If you are only attentive then sooner or later you will be tired of it. You cannot be attentive for twenty-four hours; you will need holidays. You will need alcohol, drugs, to drop out of that attentiveness.

That’s what is happening in the West. People have become more attentive; attentiveness has been cultivated. The whole educational mechanism forces you to become more attentive. Those who are more attentive succeed, those who are less attentive fail. It is a very competitive world – if you want to succeed you have to be very attentive. But then it tires you. Then the tension becomes heavy on the head, then it drives you neurotic. Then madness becomes a very, very natural by-product of it.

Many more people go neurotic in the West than in the East. The reason is clear: in the West, attentiveness has been practiced, down through the ages. It has paid much. The technology, the scientific progress, affluence – all that has come through being attentive. In the East, people have remained in a relaxed state. But if you are relaxed without being attentive, it becomes lethargy. It becomes passivity, it becomes a kind of dullness. Hence the East has remained poor, unscientific, non-technological, starving.

If Buddha’s message is rightly understood, there will be a meeting of East and West. In Buddha, both can meet. His message is of relaxed attentiveness. You have to be very very relaxed, and yet alert. And there is no problem; it is possible.

And I say it to you from an inner validity: It is possible. And only this possibility will make you a whole man, a holy man. Otherwise you will remain half – and a half man is always miserable, in one way or other. The West is miserable spiritually, the East is miserable materially. And man needs both – man needs a richness of the inner and the outer, both.

With Buddha, a new age can dawn. And the secret is simple: learn relaxed awareness. When you are trying to be attentive, simultaneously keep in mind that the body should not become tense. It should be relaxed, loose, in a kind of let-go.

I like this story of Ananda becoming enlightened when his head touched the pillow. You cannot find a better place to become enlightened. Remember it.

And Buddha has not given you any objects to meditate upon. He has not told you to meditate on God, he has not told you to meditate on a mantra, he has not told you to meditate on an image. He has told you to do the small things of life with a relaxed awareness. When you are eating, eat totally – chew totally, taste totally, smell totally. Touch your bread, feel the texture. Smell the bread, smell the flavour. Chew it, let it dissolve into your being, and remain conscious – and you are meditating. And then meditation is not separate from life.

And whenever meditation is separate from life, something is wrong. It becomes life-negative. Then one starts thinking of going to a monastery or to a Himalayan cave. Then one wants to escape from life, because life seems to be a distraction from meditation.

Life is not a distraction; life is an occasion for meditation.

Walking, just be watchful of the breath going in, the breath going out. You are putting one of your feet ahead: watch, feel it from within. You are touching the earth: feel the touch of the earth. And the birds are singing and the sun is rising… One has to be multi-dimensionally sensitive. This will help your intelligence to grow; this will make you more brilliant, sharp, alive. And religion should make you more alive, more sensitive. Because life is God, and there is no other God.

Buddha would have agreed with Toscanini…

On Toscanini’s eightieth birthday, someone asked his son what his father ranked as his most important achievement. The son replied, “For him, there can be no such thing. Whatever he happens to be doing at the moment is the biggest thing in his life – whether he is conducting a symphony or peeling an orange.”

Peel an orange as if you are conducting a symphony, and you will be coming closer and closer to Buddha. Peel an orange as if you are painting the greatest painting in the world – with that alertness, with that care, with that love, with that totality. Peel an orange and be multi-dimensionally aware of it – the smell that is coming from it, the feel, the touch, the taste. Then a small orange, an ordinary orange, is transformed – transformed by the quality of the consciousness that you bring to it.

And if life can be lived in this way then religion is not life-negative – it affirms. It does not take you away from life – it takes you into it, to the deepest core of it. It takes you into its mysteries.

That’s my approach too. And any religion that has to be maintained separate from life – a prayer that you have to do in the temple, and a meditation that you can do only in a Himalayan cave – is not worth much, because you cannot do it for twenty-four hours. Even the man who lives in a Himalayan cave will have to go to beg for his food, will have to collect wood for the winter that is coming, will have to protect himself because the rain is there, will have to think of something because in the night the wild animals are there. Even in that cave he will have to do a thousand and one things. You cannot simply meditate for twenty-four hours; it is not possible.

But Buddha makes it possible. He says: Don’t separate meditation from life – let them be together. Turn each opportunity of life into meditation. Do it fully aware, alert, watchful, witnessing.

A disciple had come to see Ikkyu, his master. The disciple had been practicing for some time. It was raining, and as he went in, he left his shoes and umbrella outside. After he paid his respects, the master asked him on which side of his shoes he had left his umbrella.

Now, what kind of question…? You don’t expect masters to ask such nonsense questions – you expect them to ask about God, about kundalini rising, chakras opening, lights happening in your head. You ask about such great things – occult, esoteric.

But Ikkyu asked a very ordinary question. No Christian saint would have asked it, no Jain monk would have asked it, no Hindu swami would have asked it. It can be done only by one who is really with the Buddha, in the Buddha – who is really a Buddha. The master asked him on which side of his shoes he had left his umbrella. Now, what do shoes and umbrellas have to do with spirituality?

If the same question was asked to you, you would have felt annoyed. You would have felt that this man is no master at all. What kind of question is this? What philosophy can there be in it?

But there is something immensely valuable in it. Had he asked about God, about your kundalini and chakras, that would have been nonsense, utterly meaningless. But this has meaning. The disciple could not remember – who bothers where you have put your shoes and on which side you have put your umbrella, to the right or to the left. Who bothers? Who pays so much attention to umbrellas? Who thinks of shoes? Who is so careful?

But that was enough – the disciple was refused. Ikkyu said, “Then go and meditate for seven years more.”

“Seven years?” the disciple said. “Just for this small fault?

Ikkyu said, “This is not a small fault. Faults are not small or big – you are just not yet living meditatively, that’s all. Go back, meditate for seven years more, and come again.”

This is the essential message of Buddhism: Be careful, careful of everything. And don’t make any distinction between things, that this is trivia and that is very very spiritual. It depends on you. Pay attention, be careful, and everything becomes spiritual. Don’t pay attention, don’t be careful, and everything becomes unspiritual.

Spirituality is imparted by you, it is your gift to the world. When a master like Ikkyu touches his umbrella, the umbrella is as divine as anything can be. And if you touch even God, God will become trivia. It depends on your touch.

Meditative energy is alchemical. It transforms the baser metal into gold; it goes on transforming the baser into the higher. The more meditative you become, the more you see God everywhere. At the ultimate peak, everything is divine. This very world is the paradise, and this very body the Buddha.

-Osho

From Take It Easy, Discourse #26

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.

Start Witnessing Your Boredom – Osho

For me it’s either high-energy excitement where life is wonderful and a joy to be alone; or very often these days there’s a quietness that’s dull and boring. In the one there’s juice but no awareness, and in the other there’s awareness but no juice. Is there a knack in bringing these two together?

It is a very simple thing. You say you have moments of great ecstasy, full of juice, but you become drowned in that juice; the ecstasy is so overwhelming you forget to be watchful. You become immersed in that ecstasy; the witness is not there. And then you say there are moments when you are sad, bored, but the witness is there.

You just have to put things in their right place. Start from your boredom and sadness, because the witness is there and the witness is going to be the bridge. So when you are sad and bored, just watch it, as if it is something outside of you – it is. You are always a witness – now you are witnessing sadness and boredom.

It is easy to witness sadness and boredom, because who wants to get immersed in boredom? But this is of tremendous importance because you can learn the whole art while you are bored.

Just watch it, and as your witnessing grows you will see there is a distance between you and the boredom, the sadness, the misery, the pain, the anguish. You are not part of all that experience; you are standing high above on the hills, a watcher on the hills, and everything else is moving down deep in the dark valley.

You already have the secret, just practice it more and more. Just sit by the side of a donkey, sit by the side of a buffalo; go on looking at the buffalo and you will be bored! All around you can find objects which will be immensely helpful for you. You need not wait for moments to come, because who knows when the buffalo will come to you? Why not go to the buffalo?

You can just go to our cattle, sit amongst them, and you will be bored. Those cattle will go on munching the grass – do you think you will start munching the grass? You will not get involved in that. Sitting amongst the cattle, amongst the buffaloes, you will find yourself just a witness.

Don’t become sad, don’t become bored. Let the boredom be there, let the sadness be there; you remain just a witness. And it is easier in such situations.

Once you have strengthened your witness, then let those moments of ecstasy, heights… try your witnessing then. It will be a little difficult there; one wants to jump into that groovy space. Who wants to sit on the bank and watch? – because one is afraid one may be simply watching and the moment will go.

Don’t be worried. If you witness, the moment will remain there and will grow deeper, bigger, more colorful. But not at any point have you to become identified with it. Remain detached, just a spectator.

The art is the same; whether it is boredom or ecstasy does not matter. What matters is that you are not involved, you remain aloof, you remain standing there.

There is a Zen story I have loved very much. Three friends had gone for a morning walk, and then they suddenly saw on the hill a Zen monk standing.

One of the friends said, “I think he must have come with his friends; they must have been left behind and he is waiting for them.”

The other said, “I cannot agree with you, because seeing that man I can say one thing is certain; he is not waiting for somebody who has been left behind, because he never looks back. He is just standing like a statue. Anybody who is waiting for somebody who is left behind will once in a while look, to see whether the fellow has come or not. But he is unmoving.

“He is not waiting for any friend. I think… I know this monk; he has a cow and the cow must have been lost in the thick forest. And that is the highest place from where he can look all over the forest and find the cow.”

The third man said, “You have forgotten your own argument. If he was looking for the cow then he would be looking all around. He would not just stand there like a statue, focused in one direction; that is not the way of looking for a lost cow.” He said, “As far as I can tell, he is doing his morning meditation.”

But the other two said that the basic philosophy of Zen is that you can meditate anywhere, you can meditate doing anything. What was the need to go to that hill in the early morning, in the cold, and stand there to meditate? “He could have meditated in his cozy monastery where they have a special meditation temple. He could have been there – what was the need to go? No, we cannot agree.”

They argued; finally they said, “It is better we go to the hill. It will be a waste of time but there is no other way to settle what he is doing.” Such is the curiosity of the human mind – very monkeyish.

Now why trouble yourself? Let him do whatever he is doing. If he is searching for his cow it is his business; if he is waiting for his friend, it is his friend; if he is meditating it is his business – why should you poke your nose into it? But that’s how people are.

They became so excited arguing with each other that they decided, “We have to go.” They forgot that they had come just for a small morning walk, and going to the hill will take hours, then coming down the hill… the sun will be almost directly overhead. But the question… they have to come to a conclusion. And in fact they want to prove that “I am right.” Each of them wants to prove that “I am right.” Now the only man who can decide is that monk.

They reached – huffing, puffing. The monk was standing there with half-closed eyes. That is the Buddhist way – to keep the eyes half closed when you are meditating, because if you close your eyes completely you may doze into sleep; that is more possible than going into meditation. If you keep your eyes fully open you will get interested in thousands of things. A beautiful woman passes by, and meditation is lost, anything can disturb. So keep the eyes half closed so you don’t see exactly what is happening outside, and you have to keep your eyes half open so you don’t fall asleep.

The first man asked, “Master, we have heard much about you but we never had any chance to come to your monastery. Fortunately, we had come for a morning walk and we saw you. We have a question I want you to answer: Are you not waiting for somebody who has been left behind?”

The monk with half-closed eyes said, “I have nobody, I am alone. I was born alone, I will die alone, and between these two alonenesses I am not trying to fool myself that somebody is with me. I am alone and I am not waiting for anybody.”

The second man said happily, “Then certainly your cow has got lost in the thick forest and you must be looking for it.”

The monk said, “It seems strange idiots have come here! I don’t possess a single thing. I don’t have any cow, the monastery has it; that is not my business. And why should I waste my time looking for a cow?”

The third man was immensely happy. He said, “Now you cannot deny: you must be meditating. Is it not so? – you are doing your morning meditation!”

The monk laughed; he said, “You are the worst idiot of the three! Meditation is not done, it is not a doing. You can be in meditation but you cannot do it. It is a state. So certainly I am not doing meditation. I am in meditation, but for that I need not come to this hill; anywhere I am in meditation.

Meditation is my consciousness.

“So you all get lost! And never disturb anybody who is standing with half-closed eyes, remember it.”

But they all three said, “Forgive us – we are stupid, certainly we are stupid to walk miles and to ask you such…. We are feeling embarrassed. But now that we have come and now that we accept we are stupid, just one question from all of the three, not separate: Then what are you doing?”

And the master said nothing.

In that nothing is the witness.

When you witness, you will be surprised that the boredom, the sadness, the blissfulness, the ecstasy – whatever it is – starts moving away from you. As your witnessing goes deeper, stronger, becomes more crystallized, any experience – good or bad, beautiful or ugly – disappears. There is pure nothingness all around you.

Witnessing is the only thing that can make you aware of an immense nothingness surrounding you.

And in that immense nothingness…. It is not empty, remember. In English there is no word to translate the Buddhist word shunyata. In that nothingness… it is not empty, it is full of your witness, full of your witnessing, full of the light of your witness.

You become almost a sun, and rays from the sun are moving into the nothingness to infinity.

One of the Indian mystics, Kabir, has said, “My first experience was that of a sun, and as my experience went on growing… the outer sun is nothing; the inner sun is infinite. Its light fills the whole infinity of existence. And in that moment I am only a witness; I am there.”

So start witnessing your boredom, sadness, because the question is not the object, the question is the art of witnessing. So use any object – anger, hate, love, jealousy – anything will do. If you cannot find anything just put up a mirror and look at your face and witness it. And you will be surprised, immensely surprised; when you are in a complete state of witnessing the mirror becomes empty, you are not there.

In total witnessing the object disappears.

You will be able for the first time to see the mirror just as nothingness.

Start from things which are easier, and then go on moving to things which are groovier. The bridge is simple.

-Osho

From From Death to Deathlessness, Discourse #24

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