Make Your Mind as Sharp as Possible – Osho

Since I have been a sannyasin, I have thought that I needed to use my mind less if I was to be in touch with my heart. Yet I heard you say the other day that we should train our minds to keep our intelligence alive and help it become sharper and sharper. Could you please clarify this?

Life is not so simple as you think; it is very complicated. It is true that if you want to be in touch with me, you will be more and more in the heart, not in the mind, because the mind has no qualities for inner growth. It has immense powers for outer research, for objective, scientific work. But for religious growth, it is absolutely impotent.

So if you listen to me through the mind, then what I am saying to you is lost in a desert. It will never reach to your heart. That’s why I have always insisted: put the mind aside and be with me with your heart, with your love, with your trust.

But that is only one part of the story. When I said I would like you to make your mind as sharp as possible, that is a totally different dimension, because unless your mind is sharp enough you are going to be enslaved by the society. You are already enslaved by the society because your mind has not fought against it; it has been obedient to it.

Both these statements belong to different contexts, so don’t get mixed up. When I say be with me with your heart, put the mind aside, it is one thing, one context, that of being a disciple. And if you can really do it totally you can reach to the highest peak that is of being a devotee.

These are the three stages. The student listens only from the mind; he will collect knowledge, but he will not become a knower. The disciple tries to put the mind aside and listen from the heart. He is making an effort. The mind will come again and again in between; the effort will not be total, but still, if something reaches to the heart, even a few seeds, soon it will change the whole color of your being. The season will not be far away when the heart will start blossoming. That is the point when you reach to the boundary line of being a devotee.

Now you are capable of putting the mind completely, totally, away without any interference… as if you are not a mind at all. You are just heart and heart. Your every fiber is simply vibrating with love, openness, vulnerability. The devotee and the master start melting into each other. The disciple once in a while gets a glimpse, but the devotee becomes totally one with the master.

The disciple can fall back, can get into the mind again. The devotee has broken the bridge that leads to the mind. He cannot go back; the past is finished. He has become part and parcel of the master’s energy.

This is one context. And you are mixing it with another context. As far as the society, the outside world, the religions, the governments are concerned, you have to be very sharp and very intelligent; otherwise they will enslave you. They will exploit you. They have been doing it for centuries. They have not allowed millions of people to go beyond the age of thirteen as far as the mind is concerned.

The person may be seventy years old; he has the mind of a thirteen-year-old child. This is what I mean by retardedness.

Society does not want you to grow up; it simply wants you to grow old. It wants you to function as a machine, a robot – absolutely obedient, no argument, no question. It needs you only to be efficient.

To the society you are not an individual to be respected but only a mechanism to be used, and there is no other insult, no other humiliation more ugly than using people as machines, as things.

Against the society, use the mind. Mind is a perfect means to keep you independent, to keep you alert. It is a good fighter, but it is not a lover. So when there is need to fight, when there is need to stand up for your liberty, use the mind; heart will not be of any use. Heart knows no way to fight.

But the context is totally different, and I call that man conscious who can use his capacities in their right context and does not get mixed up. Eyes are for seeing – you cannot hear from them. And ears are for hearing – you cannot see from them. So use them whenever the need is there, and don’t let them come in each other’s way.

Mind is a beautiful instrument. It has to be sharpened, but remember its limitations. It should remain a servant to the heart. The moment it becomes the master, the heart simply dies. In slavery, the heart cannot exist.

So there is no contradiction in what I have said – just two different contexts. And your consciousness is different from both, so a conscious person can use his heart when needed, can use his mind when needed, can put both to silence when he wants to be absolutely in a state of nirvana, where neither the mind is needed nor the heart. When he wants simply to be himself, both are not needed.

If you are the master of your instruments, there is no problem. If you have a flute and I ask you, “Can you stop playing on it for a few moments – I want to talk to you,” and you say, “I cannot do it; the flute won’t stop,” what will be thought about you? You are insane. The flute won’t stop? So you are not playing the flute, the flute is playing you. When you want to stop the mind, just say, “Stop” – it has to stop. If it moves even a little bit, that means something has to be done urgently. This is dangerous: the servant is trying to be the master. The servant should be the servant, and the master should be the master. And beyond both is your being which is neither servant nor master… which simply is.

That ‘isness’ is the goal of all meditations.


From The Path of the Mystic, Chapter 37

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The Enlightenment of Major Chadwick

Bearded Chadwick standing behind his ‘Guru’

Once, I asked Chadwick, “Are you realized?” I have put this question to all of the old devotees like Muruganar, Cohen, Osborne, Sadhu Natanananda, Devaraja Mudaliar and others. None of them either said yes or no – all smiled. When I asked him whether he was realized, he did not say yes or no. Instead, he told me, “I will tell you what happened. After many years of my stay with Bhagavan – four or five years, I committed the mistake of trying to evaluate how much I have progressed spiritually. This is a thing any seeker should not do. I felt that I have not progressed. Many who saw me in Ramanasramam, looked at me like I was a sage or a saint saying, “Oh! He is so fortunate. He is so close to Bhagavan. He meditates so much. He is already in that state.” This created a contradiction in me as I personally felt that I was not progressing spiritually. However, having left the material life I could not go back to a worldly life either. I felt caught between the devil and the deep sea. I was sorrow stricken. I ran to Bhagavan’s hall. He was alone. I told him, “Bhagavan, this is my plight. I am neither here nor there and this causes much sorrow in me.” Bhagavan looked at me compassionately and said, “Chadwick, who says all this?” Immediately, there was a current like shock in my body and I literally ran to my room, shut the doors and went into a neutral state. I was not bothered whether I was spiritually maturing or whether I would be able to stay in the world. I was in a neutral state of silence. A few days passed like that wherein I was neither happy nor worried.” The only luxury that Chadwick allowed himself was taking his bath in a bath tub which he had in the verandah of his cottage. One day, shortly after the above incident, something happened unexpectedly. As Chadwick told me later, “I was taking my bath and very honestly Ganesan, I was not in a spiritual state or in a prayerful mood when it suddenly dawned – the ‘I AM’!” He experienced it – not just as words. He was so ecstatic that he did not even dry himself. He just wrapped a towel around his waist and ran to the Old Hall from where a few days back he had run away. Fortunately, this time too, Bhagavan was alone. In this spiritual ecstasy of experiencing the ‘I AM’, where there was no Chadwick, just the ‘I AM’, he asked Bhagavan, “Bhagavan, is THIS it?” Chadwick recounted, “Bhagavan gave me the most glorious smile, and then confirmed, “Yes, Chadwick, THIS is THAT!” I then asked him, “Bhagavan, is it so simple?” Bhagavan replied, “Yes it is that simple.” Since then, I’ve never had any doubt.”

-Sri Ganesan

From Ramana Periya Puranam

Sakshi, the Witness – Osho

What does sakshi mean? Sakshi means the seer, the witness. Who is this who is experiencing that “I am not the body?” Who is this who is experiencing that “I am not the mind?” Who is this who goes on denying that “I am not this, I am not this?” There is an element of seeing, of watching, of the watcher within us which sees, which observes everything.

This seer is the sakshi, the witness. What is seen is the world. The one who is seeing is who I am, and what is being seen is the world. Adhyas, the illusion, means that the one who is seeing misunderstands himself to be all that is seen. This is the illusion.

There is a diamond in my hand: I am seeing it. If I start saying that I am the diamond, that is an illusion. This illusion has to be broken and one has to come, finally, to that pure element which is always the seer and is never the seen. This is a little difficult. The one who is the seer can never be seen, because by whom will it be seen? You can see everything in the world except yourself. How will you see yourself? – Because two will be needed for seeing, one who sees and the other who is seen. We can grab everything with a pair of tongs except the tongs themselves. That effort will fail. We may find it puzzling that when the tongs grab everything, why can they not grab themselves?

We see everything, but we are not able to see ourselves. And we will never be able to. Whatsoever you can see, know well that that is not you. Thus take one thing to be certain, that whatsoever you are able to see is not you. If you are able to see God, then one thing has become certain, that you are not God. If you have seen light within you, one thing is conclusive, that you are not light. If you have an experience of bliss within you, one thing is determined, that you are not bliss. Whatsoever has been experienced, you are not that. You are that which experiences.

So whatsoever becomes your experience, you are beyond it. Therefore it will be useful to understand one difficult point here, that spirituality is not an experience. Everything in the world is an experience, but not spirituality. Spirituality is reaching towards that which experiences all, but which itself never becomes an experience. It always remains the experiencer, the witness, the seer.

I see you: you are on one side; I am on the other side. You are there, the one who is being seen; I am here, the one who is seeing. These are two entities.

There is no way of dividing oneself into two so that one part sees and the other part is seen. Even if it was possible to divide, then the part that would be seeing is myself, the part that would be seen would not be myself. The matter is finished.

This is the whole process or methodology of the Upanishads: neti, neti – neither this nor that. Whatsoever can be seen, say that you are not that. Whatsoever can be experienced, say that you are not that. You can go on stepping backwards, until nothing remains that can be denied or eliminated. A moment comes when all scenes are lost. A moment comes when all experiences are dropped – all!

Remember, all! The experience of sex is of course dropped; the experiences of meditation are also dropped. The experiences of the world, of love and hate are dropped; the experiences of bliss and enlightenment are also dropped. Only the pure seer remains. Nothing is there to be seen; only emptiness remains all around, only the watcher remains and the empty sky all around. In the middle stands the seer, the watcher, who sees nothing because everything has been denied and eliminated that could be seen. Now he experiences nothing. He has removed all experiences from his way. Now he remains alone, the one who was experiencing.

When there is no experience, there is no seeing; there is nothing seen and there is no object to be seen, and the witness alone remains. It becomes very difficult to express in language what really happens because we have no other word except ‘experience’ in our language, therefore we call it ‘self-experience’ or ‘self-realization’. The word experience is not right. We say “experience of consciousness” or “experience of the Brahma, the absolute,” but none of these expressions are right, because the word experience belongs to that same world which we have eliminated. The word experience does have a meaning in the world of duality, where there was ‘the other’ too. Here it has no meaning at all. Here only the experiencer remains, the witness remains.

The search for this witness is spirituality.


From Finger Pointing to the Moon, Chapter Three

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Witnessing is a Matter of Being – Osho

Should I repeat in my mind, “I am a witness, I am a witness …”?

Witnessing is not a matter of repeating, it is a matter of being. Because I am explaining it to you, I have to say it in words: “Feel in yourself, ‘I am just a witness.’” There are two things in it … This is a very significant question. If you go on repeating in your mind “I am a witness, I am a witness,” it will work as a mantra. Then slowly, slowly, it will become something like chanting, “Rama, Rama. Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama.”

Don’t repeat in words, “I am a witness.” You have to experience, “I am a witness.” There is a difference between these two. You have to experience, “Who am I?” in relation to whatever is taking place. “What is my relationship to it?” Then you will discover the relationship of the witness. Witnessing does not mean you go on repeating the words, “I am a witness.” Otherwise it will have no more significance than a mantra. “I am a witness. My experience of this must go on deepening.”

For instance, with the sounds going on all around, what am I toward this sound? I am a witness. Even these words I am creating just in order to convey it to you. You don’t need to create any words within yourself. Just this much knowing is needed: “This is my situation.” To be a witness is “… my situation.”

When you are eating, for a moment bow down your head and look within: “What am I doing?” Then you will know: “The body is eating, I am just a witness.” This witnessing must be an experiencing. It is not a repeating of words. Repetition in words is pointless.

Because I am explaining it to you, the difficulty arises; I have to explain it through words. If I am talking to you, I have to use words. And then I am aware of the danger that somebody may sit down and start repeating every day, “I am a witness, I am a witness.” If he continues doing it, after just a couple of times it will become a dead routine. He won’t even be aware of what he is saying. He will go on repeating, “I am a witness, I am a witness.” He will look at the clock, get up after half an hour and nothing will be gained. He will remain exactly the same. On top of that, he wasted half an hour. And the stupid work he did during that half an hour – “I am a witness, I am a witness” – also disturbed his mind.

It is not a question of repeating in words – it is an experiencing. Everything which is happening around me, toward that, my attitude is of a witness.


From Falling in Love with Darkness, Chapter Nine

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Meditation is the Primary Preparation – Osho

You have said that inner revolution is a sudden explosion. And then suggest we practice meditation. Isn’t this contradictory?

No, there is no contradiction between these two statements. If I say that when water evaporates it is an explosion, and that it evaporates at one hundred degrees – and also I say to someone that he should heat up the water so that it can evaporate … He can say, “You were saying that water evaporates suddenly, so why do we need to warm it up slowly, slowly? Isn’t there a contradiction between these two?” And I will say to him that there is no contradiction.

When we heat water, water warmed to one degree or ninety-nine degrees does not become vapor. Water warmed to one degree is still water and water heated to ninety-nine degrees is still water. At one hundred degrees, the water suddenly turns into steam. But while heating it up to one hundred degrees, the temperature increases gradually. That level of heat does not happen suddenly.

So when I say that water turns into vapor suddenly, I am saying that it is not that water first turns a little into vapor, and then a little more, and then a little more. The water turns into steam at one hundred degrees with a sudden explosion. The vapor replaces the water. But when I say you should heat it up, it means that the hundred-degree temperature comes slowly, slowly. I say that inner revolution is an explosion, but before the revolution, the warming up of the consciousness takes place slowly, slowly. It does not happen suddenly. Otherwise there would be no need to practice meditation. Hence, I said that when the explosion happens it happens.

But your consciousness is not at that point where the explosion can take place; the explosion has a boiling point and after reaching that point, the explosion happens. But you are not there. If you are at that point, the explosion can happen this very moment. The explosion does not take time, but it takes time to reach the point of explosion.

We plant a seed; it suddenly bursts into a sprout. But before sprouting, it remains underground: it disintegrates, it breaks, it cracks – and then it sprouts. Sprouting happens like an eruption.

A baby is born out of the mother’s womb. The birth is an explosion. It is not that the child is born a little now and then he will be born a little more a while later. Birth is not a gradual happening. The birth takes place in a moment. But before the birth, the baby is gradually growing for nine months. He is getting ready to be born, he is preparing. Then the birth will happen instantaneously. But the preparation will take nine months continuously. When birth happens, there will have been a preparation of nine months behind it. If that preparation is not there, birth cannot happen instantly. There is a gradual growth to reach the point of birth, but birth is an explosion.

Revolution is an explosion and meditation is a gradual growth. And meditation is the primary preparation for that life revolution. I am talking about that preparation; the day the preparation is complete, that very day the explosion will take place. When it happens, you will not say, “I am a little enlightened, I will be more enlightened in a while.” It will not happen like that.

The day enlightenment happens, it happens as a sudden explosion and all the doors will be broken down. But until it happens, the primary preparation for it will continue step by step.

There is no contradiction between these two.


From Falling in Love with Darkness, Chapter Nine

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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God is Seeking Himself – Jean Klein

There may come a moment in life when the world no longer stimulates us and we feel deeply apathetic, even abandoned. This can motivate us towards the search for our real nature beyond appearances. When we no longer find interest in activities and states, when we no longer feel much pleasure in objects and human relationships, we may find ourselves asking: “Is there something wrong with this world or with my attitude towards it?” This serious doubt can lead us to ask: “What is the meaning of existence? What is life? Who am I? What is my true nature?” Sooner or later any intelligent person asks these questions.

As we live with these questions, look at them closely, we become aware that the “me” always seems to be at the center of things playing several roles: “I am cold. I am tired. I am working.” With a more open-minded alertness it becomes apparent that the body feels cold, tired, or is working, not “I.” In the same way when we look at states: “I wish. I am depressed. I remember. I am bored,” we see that we have identified ourselves with the thought or feeling. In looking at this relation between the “I” and its qualifications it becomes obvious that we have taken it for granted and believe ourselves to be this “me.”

This “me” has therefore no continual reality. It is a false appropriation. It lives only in relation to its qualifications, its objects. It is fundamentally unstable. But because we have mistaken our real self for this imposter we feel an insecurity, a doubt, a lack, a sensation of isolation. The “me” can only live in relation to objects so we spend all our energy trying to fulfill the insatiable insecurity of this me. We live in anxiety, fear and desire trying at one and the same time to be as individualistic as possible and to overcome this separateness. The “me” which appears occasionally is taken as a continuum. Actually it is only a crystallization of data and experience held together by memory. Being fractional, its viewpoint is fractional functioning through like and dislike. Its contact with its surroundings is based on this arbitrary choosing. Living in this way is miserable. The loneliness of such an existence may be temporarily camouflaged by compensatory activity but sooner or later, as we said, our real nature will make itself felt and our questioning will become more urgent. We will begin to feel that what we take for the body and mind is not the actual state of things. In deeper inquiry we feel a certain distancing between the inquirer and his environment, activities and opinions. For a time we may feel like an observer of our life, the spectator of the spectacle. Our body and mind are instruments to be used. We observe the changes of the psychosomatic structure as we grow older. We become aware that many, if not most, of our actions are mechanical reactions. All these happenings are seen from the impersonal observer. We begin to feel closer to the knower of these changes and less identified, lost in, the changing. In the end, the seeker is found to be what was sought.

Q: “What do you mean by that last statement, “the seeker is found to be what was sought?”

A: You are seeking your real nature. What you are looking for is what you are, not what you will become. What you already are is the answer and the source of the question. In this lies its power of transformation. It is reality, a present actual fact. Looking for something to become is completely conceptual, on the level of ideas. It has no reality and no effective power. The seeker will discover that he is what he seeks and what he seeks is the source of the inquiry.

Q: It seems to me that not everyone who is a seeker has experienced this deep feeling of unfulfillment or abandonment that you talk about.”

A:  It’s true. There are those who, because of their past, sense the divine anchored deep within them. In these cases there is no motivation. As Meister Eckhart said, “God is seeking himself.”

-Jean Klein

From I Am, pp.67-68

The Garden of Tathagata – Osho

What is the goal of meditation? 

Prageeta, there is no goal of meditation. Meditation is the dropping of all goals; hence it can’t have a goal of its own; that would be against its very nature. Goals exist in the future; meditation is to be in the present. There is no meeting ground between the present and the future – the future exists not – how can the non-existential meet the existential? That is impossible. The future is our creation, it is our imagination. We create it for a certain purpose; the purpose is to avoid the present. We don’t want to be in the present, we want to escape from the present. The future gives us an escape. To live in the future is to be an escapist.

Whatsoever the goal – it does not matter what that goal is – it may be God-realization, it may be attainment of nirvana – still it is a goal and any goal is against meditation. But our whole mind exists in the future; our mind is against the present. In the present the mind dies. How can the mind exist in the present? If you are utterly now, utterly here, there is no question of mind. You cannot think because thinking needs space and the present has no space in it. It is just like a needle point: it cannot contain anything, not even a single thought.

Hence if you want to live in the mind, either you have to live in the past or in the future; these are the two ways. The old-fashioned, the orthodox, the conventional – the Christians, the Mohammedans, the Hindus – they live in the past, and the so-called revolutionaries, the progressives, the avant-garde, they live in the future. The communists, the socialists, the Fabians, the utopians, all kinds of idealists, they live in the future. On the surface they seem to be very different – the Catholic and the communist seem to be antagonistic – t deep down they are not antagonistic at all. They belong to the same category, they are doing the same work: they both are escaping from the present.

The Hindu lives in the golden age that has passed; his golden age was somewhere far far away in the past, it is only a memory, it has never been there. That past is simply a creation of imaginative people, but it helps them to escape from the present. Hindus call it ramrajya – the kingdom of God. It existed in the past and since then man has been falling down. Hence Hindus cannot agree with Charles Darwin, with the idea of evolution. Hindus have a totally different idea: the idea of involution, not evolution. Man is not progressing, man is regressing Man is falling every day, man is going downhill. The peaks are left in the past – the golden peaks, the sunlit peaks.

The communist lives in the future; his golden age has still to come. It will come one day, somewhere far away in the future when the state withers away, when the society becomes classless, when there is no exploitation when there is no need for any government, when people live in equality. That will be the kingdom of God – but that is in the future; that too is never going to happen.

The communist and the Hindu both are doing the same thing; they are partners in the same business: the business is how to escape from the present, how not to live in the present. Hence you will see a strange thing happening: Hindus are against me, Mohammedans are against me, Christians are against me, communists are against me. On one thing they all agree – at least on one thing they all agree. At least I am happy that I give them one point to agree about! But in fact they agree because my insistence is against the past and against the future, my insistence is on being in the present. Hence meditation cannot allow any desire for goals.

I can understand your question, Prageeta, because the mind always asks, “Why are you doing it?” It can’t do anything simply, spontaneously – the “why” is always there. You don’t know any action in your life which is spontaneous, you don’t know any response. All that you do is not action in fact but reaction. You do it because there are reasons for doing it, there are motives for doing it, there are desires behind it. Something is either pushing from behind or pulling from the front. You are never acting out of freedom, you are a slave. Hence you always ask “Why?”

A man was sent by his psychiatrist to the mountains just for a change to rest, to relax, to enjoy nature. The next day his telegram arrived: “I am feeling very happy. Why?”

One cannot accept anything without asking “Why?” Now one thing about happiness has to be understood: misery may have causes, happiness has no cause. And if it has a cause it is nothing but misery masquerading as happiness. When happiness is true – that’s what is meant by bliss – it has no cause, no causality. It is beyond cause and effect; it is beyond the chain of cause and effect. You cannot answer why.

Buddha was asked many times, “Why are you so blissful, so peaceful?” And he always said, “Such is the nature of awareness – tathata. ”

Now his answer has to be deeply pondered over. He says, “There is no ‘why’ to it – such is the case. The trees are green and the flowers are red, and the man who is awakened is blissful. There is no ‘why’ to it.”

But the people who were asking again and again…. I think he must have been asked the same question thousands of times by different people. The people may look different from the outside, but deep down they are all unconscious, so the same question arises again and again out of their unconscious mind: “Why? There must be some reason. Have you discovered some treasure? Have you found some Kohinoor? Have you found some alchemy so that you can transform baser metal into gold? Have you found some secret that can make you immortal? Why are you so blissful?”

The people who are asking are saying something about themselves; they are not really asking why Buddha is blissful – they can’t understand Buddha – they know only themselves. They know they are miserable and that their misery has a cause, and once in a while when they feel happy that happiness is also caused by something. You win a lottery and you are happy; without the lottery how can you be happy? And Buddha has not won any lottery. In fact he has renounced his palace and kingdom and all the riches. The people must be searching, trying to find out: “There must be something that he has found which he is hiding and not telling us. What is it? Why do you look so happy?”

Prabhu Maya has asked me a question – the same question that Buddhas have always been asked is being asked again and again here too. She asks, “Osho, I have recently been discovering the phoniness behind the smile I sometimes wear. Now I wonder about you – the same face, the same smile every morning, year in, year out. Is it for real?”

I can understand her question because whenever she is smiling she knows it is phony, and I am constantly smiling. Naturally, year in and year out, it must be phony; otherwise there must be some hidden cause for it which is not visible to you. Either it is phony or I have discovered something which I am not telling you, which I am hiding from you.

Even Ananda, Buddha’s closest disciple, asked one day when they were walking through a forest. It was autumn and leaves were falling from the trees and the whole forest was full of dry leaves and the wind was blowing those dry leaves about and there was a great sound of dry leaves moving here and there. They were passing through the forest and Ananda asked Buddha, “Bhagwan, one question persists. I have been repressing it, but I cannot repress it anymore. And today we are alone; the other followers have been left behind so nobody will know that I have asked you. I don’t want to ask it before others. My question is: Are you telling us all that you have discovered or are you still hiding something? – Because what you are telling us does not clarify your bliss, your peace. It seems you are hiding something.”

And Buddha laughed and he showed a fist to Ananda and asked, “Ananda, do you see what it is?”

He said, “Yes, I can see it is a fist – your hand is closed.”

Buddha said, “A Buddha is never like a fist.” He opened his hand and he said, “A Buddha is like an open hand – he hides nothing. There is nothing to hide! I have said everything, I am absolutely open.”

Ananda still insisted, “But we cannot explain your constant bliss – and I have been watching you day in, day out. In the day you are blissful; in the night when you go to sleep you are blissful. Your face seems so innocent even in sleep. Even in sleep you look so peaceful, so serene, so tranquil, so calm, as if not a dream is passing within you. You are always a still pool with no ripples. How is it possible? I have also tried, but I can do only a little bit and then I feel tired.

If you are trying you will feel tired.

Prabhu Maya, if you try to wear a smile you will feel tired because wearing a smile means making great effort. You have to practice it like Jimmy Carter… then it is not a smile at all; your mouth is simply open, your teeth are simply showing, that’s all.

I have heard that his wife has to close his mouth every night because once a rat went in his mouth. She phoned the doctor and the doctor said, “I am coming, but it will take time. Meanwhile you hang cheese in front of his mouth.”

When the doctor came he was very surprised: she was hanging up another rat! He said, “What are you doing? I told you to hang cheese in front of his mouth!”

She said, “That’s right, but a cat has entered behind the rat, so first the cat has to be taken out!”

Since then she has to close his mouth every night forcibly. It is dangerous! And the White House is an old building – it has many rats. In fact, who lives in the White House except rats? Who is interested in living in the White House? And because rats live there, cats also live there.

Meditation has no goal; it has no desire to attain anything. The dropping of the achieving mind is what meditation is all about. The understanding of desire and the understanding of the constant ambition for goals for achievement, for ambition brings you to a point, a point of tremendous awareness, when you can see clearly that all goals are false, that you need not go anywhere, that you need not attain anything to be blissful, that to be blissful is your nature. You are missing it because you are running here and there, and in that running, in that hustle and bustle, you go on forgetting yourself.

Stop running here and there and discover yourself. The discovery of yourself is not a goal. How can it be a goal? A goal needs a distance between you and itself.  The discovery of yourself is not a goal because you are already it! All that is needed is that you stop running here and there, you sit silently, you relax, you rest. Let the mind become calm and cool. When the mind is no longer running towards the past and towards the future, when all running has disappeared, when there is no mind as such, when you are simply there doing nothing just being, this is meditation. Suddenly you know who you are. Suddenly you are overflooded with bliss overwhelmed by light, by eternity. And then your life becomes a natural phenomenon. Then you need not wear smiles – a smile becomes natural. Then you need not pretend to be happy.

Only an unhappy person pretends to be happy. A happy person has no idea even that he is happy, he is simply happy. Others may think that he is happy; he has no idea. He is simply just being himself.

Yoka says:

Those who understand always act naturally.

Out of his understanding his actions are natural – his laughter is natural, his smile is natural, his whole life is natural. Your whole life is artificial, arbitrary. You are always trying to do something which is not really there. You are trying to love. Now, trying to love is to start in a wrong way from the very beginning. You are trying to be happy. How can you be happy? It is not a question of trying. You are making all kinds of efforts to be graceful. Now, grace is not an effort; if there is effort, there is no grace. Grace is an effortless beauty. The really graceful person knows no effort.

Yoka says:

Those who understand always act naturally. Most men live in impermanence, the unreal, but the man of Zen lives in the real.

You live in the phony, in the unreal, and when you come across a man of Zen – remember the man of Zen means the man of meditation – then there is a problem for you. Never try to understand the man of Zen according to your ideas; they are irrelevant. You can understand the man of Zen only through meditation. Learn the art of meditation, of being here and now – not for peace, not for bliss, not for anything. Effort without goal… that’s what meditation is: effort without goal.

Now, you only know effort when there is goal. Otherwise you will ask, ”This is illogical – effort without goal? Then why should we make an effort?” You have been making efforts for goals – what have you attained? It is time to try something else. Enough is enough!

Yoka says:

Effort without goal is quite different

Quite different from all that you have done up to now.

It opens the door of truth which leads to the garden of tathagata.

The word tathagata comes from the same word I used just a few moments ago: tathata. Buddha says, “I am peaceful because this is my suchness, my tathata.” Ask him anything and he always says, “This is my nature my tathata.” Slowly slowly it became known to his disciples that tathata is his most important word, his key word. Hence he is called tathagata: one who lives in suchness, one who lives now and knows no other time one who lives here and knows no other space.

If you can also be here and now,

It opens the door of truth which leads to the garden of tathagata. A true student of Zen ignores the branches and the leaves, and aims for the root.

What is the root of your misery? This goal-oriented mind. What is the root of your misery? This constant escape into goals. What is the root of your misery? Your mind is the root of your misery. But you never cut the root; you go on pruning the branches, you go on pruning the leaves. And remember, the more you prune the leaves and the branches, the thicker will be the foliage the tree will become stronger.

I have initiated more than one hundred thousand sannyasins and I have been teaching meditation for twenty years to millions of people, but not a single person has come with a root question to ask. They all come with “How to cut this branch?” and “How to cut this leaf?” Somebody says, I am suffering from anger. What should I do with it?” And somebody says, “I am suffering from too much greed. What should I do about it? How can I drop greed?” Somebody is suffering from jealousy and somebody is suffering from something else – and these are all branches and leaves. Nobody comes and says, “I am suffering from my mind. How should I get rid of it?” And that is the root question.

The day you see the root, things are very easy. Cut the root and the whole thing withers away of its own accord. Anger and greed and sexuality and jealousy and possessiveness – everything disappears.

But you don’t want to cut the root. You are living a very paradoxical life: you go on watering the root, you go on training and refining your mind, you go on making your mind more informed, more nourished, and on the other hand you go on desiring that there should be less anger, less ambition, less greed, less ego. “How to be humble?” you ask. And you go on giving water and you go on giving fertilizers to the roots and you go on cutting the leaves. You cut one leaf and three leaves will come in its place. The tree immediately accepts your challenge and instead of one it brings three leaves!

Hence a society that has been against sex becomes morbid, becomes sexually obsessed. It has happened in India; you will not find such a sex-obsessed country anywhere else for the simple reason that they have been cutting the leaf again and again. They are constantly cutting that leaf and the tree goes on growing more leaves. So sexuality has penetrated in such subtle ways that unless you are very alert you will not be able to see how it has penetrated in different ways, how the Indian mind has become more and more sexual than that of anybody else.

Do you know? India was the first country to think about sexual postures. The Kama Sutra was written in India – the first treatise on sexology. Sigmund Freud came after five thousand years. And Masters and Johnson, and other researchers into sex, are just breaking ground in the West. And they have not yet the sophistication which Vatsyayana’s Kama Sutra has – even the French are not as sophisticated. Vatsyayana has discovered almost everything about sex; nothing is left – his treatise is almost complete. And it is a “how to” book; it gives you all the techniques.

Why did India discover the Kama Sutra? The country which has been celebrating celibacy for centuries, which has been teaching and preaching celibacy, this country discovers the Kama Sutra. This country gives birth to a man like Vatsyayana. And then came Pundit Koka, another Vatsyayana. Now, modern pornography is nothing compared to Koka! Modern pornography is very ordinary. Pundit Koka is a perfect pornographer.

But why were these people born in India? And thousands of temples are devoted to the shivalinga; that is a phallic symbol. No other country worships phallic symbols except India. And it is both; it represents man and woman – both. If you go to a Shiva temple observe well. It represents the feminine sexual organ, it represents the masculine sexual organ, and it represents them in a state of meeting, in a state of orgasm. And this is worshipped.

People have completely forgotten what they are worshipping. If you look into Indian scriptures you will be surprised. You will find them so obsessed with sex: on the one hand continuously condemning, and on the other hand continuously, in subtle ways, depicting it. No other country has temples like Khajuraho, Konarak, Puri. Why? Why did this have to happen in India? For the simple reason that if you cut one leaf, three arrive. You cut three and nine leaves arrive. You cut nine – remember it – twenty-seven leaves will arrive. Nature believes in the magic number three. It believes in trinity.

This is not the way to transform a man, this is a way to deform humanity.

So on the surface the Indian tries to show that he is not interested in sex at all and deep down he is boiling with sexuality, he is constantly looking for sexuality. His whole mind is full of sexuality. If we could make windows in the heads of people, then Indian heads would be really worth seeing!

This was bound to happen. Whatsoever you repress, whatsoever you cut, if it is not cut at the roots, it is bound to grow, it is bound to grow in subtle ways. It may start asserting itself in morbid and perverted ways.

Yoko says:

A true student of Zen ignores the branches and the leaves, and aims for the root. Like the image of the moon reflected in a jade bowl I know the true beauty of the jewel of freedom, for myself and for others.

There is only one freedom: the freedom from all goals.

Prageeta, don’t ask me what the goal of meditation is. Try to understand why you are constantly hankering for goals, and in that very understanding meditation will arise in you, meditation will flower in you.

Meditation is not something that you can enforce, that you can practice; it is something very mysterious, tremendously vast. It comes only when your heart opens its doors to understand everything with no prejudice, with no a priori conclusions.

Being here with me, learn to be without goals. My sannyasins have to know perfectly well that we are not working for any goal at all. Our whole point is to live in the present moment so totally that all past and all future disappear. Who cares about that which is already gone? And who cares about that which has not come yet? Enough is the moment unto itself. And that is the way of meditation: enough is the moment unto itself. Living the moment in its totality, in joy, diving deep into it without holding anything back, is bliss. Getting rid of all goals – worldly and other-worldly, material and spiritual – one knows the taste of meditation. It is the taste of absolute freedom.


Excerpt from Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter Ten

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation








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