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.

-Osho

From Falling in Love with Darkness, Chapter Nine

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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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.

-Osho

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

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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On Meditation – J. Krishnamurti

A meditative mind is silent. It is not the silence which thought can conceive of; it is not the silence of a still evening; it is the silence when thought—with all its images, its words and perceptions—has entirely ceased. This meditative mind is the religious mind—the religion that is not touched by the church, the temples, or by chants.

The religious mind is the explosion of love. It is this love that knows no separation. To it, far is near. It is not the one or the many, but rather that state of love in which all division ceases. Like beauty, it is not of the measure of words. From this silence alone the meditative mind acts.

Always to seek for wider, deeper, transcendental experiences is a form of escape from the actual reality of “what is,” which is ourselves, our own conditioned mind. A mind that is awake, intelligent, free, why should it need, why should it have, any experience at all? Light is light; it does not ask for more light.

Meditation is not a means to an end; there is no end, no arrival; it is a movement in time and out of time. Every system, method, binds thought to time, but choiceless awareness of every thought and feeling, understanding of their motives, their mechanism, allowing them to blossom, is the beginning of meditation. When thought and feeling flourish and die, meditation is the movement beyond time. In this movement there is ecstasy; in complete emptiness there is love, and with love there is destruction and creation.

Meditation is to be aware of every thought and of every feeling, never to say it is right or wrong but just to watch it and move with it. In that watching you begin to understand the whole movement of thought and feeling. And out of this awareness comes silence. Silence put together by thought is stagnation, is dead, but the silence that comes when thought has understood its own beginning, the nature of itself, understood how all thought is never free but always old—this silence is meditation in which the meditator is entirely absent, for the mind has emptied itself of the past.

The whole point of meditation is not to follow the path laid down by thought to what it considers to be truth, enlightenment, or reality. There is no path to truth. The following of any path leads to what thought has already formulated and, however pleasant or satisfying, it is not truth. It is a fallacy to think that a system of meditation, the constant practicing of that system in daily life for a few given moments, or the repetition of it during the day, will bring about clarity or understanding. Meditation lies beyond all this and, like love, cannot be cultivated by thought. As long as the thinker exists to meditate, meditation is merely a part of that self-isolation which is the common movement of one’s everyday life.

Meditation is  state of mind which looks at everything with complete attention—totally, not just parts of it. And no one can teach you how to be attentive. If any system teaches you how to be attentive, then you are attentive to the system, and that is not attention.

Meditation is emptying the mind of the known. The known is the past. The emptying is not at the end of accumulation, but rather it means not to accumulate at all. What has been is emptied only in the present, not by thought but by action, by the doing of “what is.” The past is the movement of conclusion to conclusion, and the judgment of “what is” by the past or of the present, and it is this conclusion that prevents the constant emptying of the mind of the known; for the known is always conclusion, determination.

-J. Krishnamurti

From Meditations

Self-remembering vs Witnessing

The technique of self-remembering seems easier for me than witnessing. Do they both lead to the same goal?

They both lead to the same goal, but the technique of self-remembering is harder, longer and dangerous. Only very few people in the whole history of mankind have attained to enlightenment through the technique of self-remembering.

Many have tried, but utterly failed – it looks easy. The reason is that your self-remembering is not going to be your self-remembering, it will be your ego remembering; that’s why it looks easy.

You don’t know the distinction between the self and the false self. The false self is our ego, and the ego is very subtle, very cunning, and tries in every way to pretend to be the real self. That’s why in the beginning it will look easier than witnessing, because in witnessing there is no place for the ego. From the very beginning the ego is avoided.

In witnessing, the ego cannot enter. But in self-remembering, there is every possibility of the ego pretending to be your Self. Then the more you will practice, the more your ego will become stronger.

If somebody wants to travel on the path of self-remembering, he absolutely needs a master. He cannot move alone, because he cannot make a clear-cut distinction of what is false and what is true.

He knows only the false; he is not acquainted with his true being. Unless he is under a very rigorous master it will be very difficult to create a separation between the ego and the self.

I will explain it to you by an ancient Chinese story….

A great master had a big monastery – five hundred monks – and they were all practicing the path of self-remembering. Self-remembering is one of the paths Buddha has recommended.

One man entered into the monastery – he wanted to become a disciple. The master accepted him, but he was a very simple man from a village, almost uneducated. The master told him, “Your job is cleaning the rice in the kitchen.”

It was a big kitchen – five hundred monks. The poor man was cleaning the rice before sunrise and late into the night. He had no time to go to the sermons, to go to the prayers; he had no time to read the scriptures or listen to the wise talks. Those five hundred monks were great scholars, and the monastery was known all over the country.

Twenty years passed and the man continued just cleaning the rice and doing nothing. He forgot even to count the years – what was the point? He forgot the days, the dates, and finally he became suspicious about his own name. For twenty years nobody had used it, nobody had called him by his name – perhaps it was his name, perhaps it was not. For twenty years continuously he was doing one small thing: cleaning the rice, from the moment he woke up until he went back to bed again.

The master declared that his time to depart from the body had come. He wanted to choose his successor, and the way he did it was this: “Anybody who thinks he has succeeded in self-remembering should write on the wall of my hut some insight which shows that he has seen the truth.”

One person, who was thought to be the greatest scholar in the commune, tried. But he was so afraid to write that sentence there, because it was not his insight. He knew – how could he not know it – he knew it was not his insight, it was just borrowed from scriptures. It was not his experience – and it was difficult to deceive the old man.

In the morning the old man came out, asked the servant to erase what had been written, and said, “Find out who this idiot is who has spoiled my wall.”

It is said that the great scholar had not even signed, out of fear that he would be caught. If the master appreciated that this was really a great insight, then he would come out and say, “I have written it.” Otherwise he would remain silent… who knows? Out of five hundred people anybody could have done it!

Almost one dozen great scholars tried, but none of them had the courage to sign his name. And the master behaved in the same way; he erased the line and said, “None of you has come to the point of self-remembering. You have all been feeding the ego in the name of self. I reminded you again and again, but having a big ego is such a joy. And a spiritual ego, the otherworldly ego, the divine ego, becomes even more delicious. Now I will have to find the person myself.”

In the middle of the night the master went to the man who had come twenty years ago. For twenty years the master had not seen him, he had simply been cleaning rice. He woke the man up. The man asked the master, “Who are you?” Because twenty years… he had just seen him once for a few seconds when he was initiated – “And what is the idea of disturbing my sleep?”

The master said, “I am your master. You have forgotten…? Do you remember your name?”

The man said, “That is the difficulty. The work you have given me is such that it needs no name, no fame, no scholarship, no austerities. It is so simple that I have forgotten everything. I cannot be certain that this is my name. A few names come to my mind and I cannot decide which one is mine, but I am grateful to you.” He touched the feet of the master. “Please don’t change my job. I have forgotten everything, but I have also achieved everything. I know a peace that I had never dreamed of, a silence that no word can express. I have known such moments of ecstasy that even if I had died there would not have been any complaint that life has not been fair to me. It has given me more than I was worthy of. Just don’t change my job. I am doing it perfectly well. Has somebody complained about my work?”

The master said, “No, nobody has complained, but your job has to be changed because I am choosing you as my successor.”

The man said, “I am only a rice cleaner. I don’t know anything about being a master or a disciple. I know nothing. Please forgive me, I don’t want to be your successor because I cannot handle such a big job, I can only handle this rice cleaning.”

The master still insisted, “You have achieved that which others have been trying to achieve but have failed. You have achieved it because you were not trying. You were simply doing your small work. Slowly, slowly there was no need for thinking, no need for emotions, no need for anger, no fight, no comparison, no ambition – your ego died. And with the ego died your name. You are not born with a name. It is the ego that is given a name – that is the beginning of the ego. With the death of the ego, you even forgot your own master, because it was the ego that brought you to me.

“Up to that moment you were on a spiritually ambitious trip. You are absolutely the right person, so take my robe, my hat, my sword, which have always been given by the master to the successor. But remember one thing: take them and escape from this monastery as far away as you can, because your life will be in danger. All these five hundred egoists will kill you. You are so simple and you have become so innocent that if they ask you for the robe, the sword, the cap, you will give them. You simply take them and go as far away as you can into the mountains.

“Soon people will start arriving to you just as bees start finding their way towards the flowers when the flowers blossom. You have blossomed. You need not bother about the disciples, you simply remain silently in a faraway place. People will come to you; you simply teach them whatever you have been doing.”

“But,” he said, “I have received no teaching and I don’t know what to teach them.”

The master said, “Just teach them to do small things, silently, peacefully, without any ambition, without any motivation to gain something in this world or in the other world, so that you can become innocent like a child. That innocence is real religiousness. Not being Hindu, not being Mohammedan, but being utterly innocent – just a tabula rasa, a clean sheet on which nothing is written. No Bhagavad Gita, no Koran, no Bible…”

It is possible… a few people have attained through self-remembering. One of the great masters of this age, George Gurdjieff, used the method self-remembering, but you have to be aware that not a single person of his disciples became enlightened – and he was one of the most perfect masters.

But the problem is that the ego and the self are so close and so similar that whatever you think is your self is most probably, in ninety-nine percent of cases, just your ego. The master’s function is absolutely necessary for this method, because he has to destroy your ego. And he has to be hard, harsh. Unless he destroys your ego, self-remembering is going to lead you, not to enlightenment, but to darker spaces of being.

It will strengthen your ego more – you will become a very strong ego, very assertive. In any ordinary field of life you will be very successful. You can become an Adolf Hitler; you can become a Joseph Stalin… Stalin was not his real name, it was given to him because he was such a strong man. ‘Stalin’ means man of steel.

But these people are not a benediction to humanity, they are a curse. If they had not been there man would have been in a far better space, in a far better consciousness.

So if you feel that it is easier for you, then be very careful. I will still suggest that though witnessing may be difficult in the beginning, it is the most safe method without any dangers. It cannot lead you anywhere other than towards enlightenment. So it can even be practiced without a master.

I would like to give you something in which you are not to be dependent on somebody else.

How long have you lived, how many lives? In all these lives you may have come across many saints, many masters, but where have you reached? Your darkness is the same, your unconsciousness is the same. Perhaps they all gave you methods, but the methods were such that they needed constant supervision. Those methods are called school methods. You have to enter into a monastery, live in a monastery, function under a strict discipline – then perhaps you may be able to achieve something from a school method. And there are such monasteries.

In Europe, there is a monastery in Mount Athos; it is one thousand years old. There are almost three thousand monks inside the monastery, and anybody who wants to become a monk in that monastery can decide to enter, but only his dead body will go out.

If there is such a commitment, only then is a person accepted. Once a person enters Mount Athos, you will never see him till he is dead. This is a school for absolute self-remembering, but you cannot put the whole world in monasteries. Who will take care of these monasteries? Hence my preference is to use a method which keeps you free from any commitment, from any dependence – which keeps you in the world and yet not of the world.

Witnessing is the most simple and the most infallible method; it is the essence of all meditations. Even self-remembering, finally, is witnessing – but at a later stage, when you have dropped the ego. And if you start looking inside yourself, you can understand what I am saying. Can you see your ego and self separately? You simply know one thing: that is I. You don’t know two things: that I is the ego, and that the ego is capable of nursing itself through anything.

I have heard…

A small child was passing by the side of a palace. He had failed his examination and was feeling very angry with the teachers. He was ready to do something, and suddenly, he found a pile of stones by the side of the road. He took one big stone from the pile and threw it at the palace. Now the palace had nothing to do with his failing, nor had the stone anything to do with it, but he was in such anger he wanted to do something; the energy was there, and it needed to be released. The boy went on his way, but what happened to the stone?

As the stone started rising up he looked down – his brothers and sisters and cousins were all there. And the stone said to them, “I am going on a pilgrimage. I have been thinking about it for a long time. God willing, I will succeed in my adventures and come back to you to relate all that I experience on the way.”

All the other stones looked at this stone with their mouths open: “What is happening? He has no wings.” He was just a stone like themselves. They also wanted to fly, but they knew that they could not. “But he is flying, you cannot deny it…” So they all said, “Okay, just remember us; don’t forget us. You are a hero. In the centuries of time sometimes one stone gets wings the way you have, and we are proud that you belong to us, to our family.”

They were even feeling great pride because one of the stones was flying towards the palace. The stone hit against a glass window, and naturally, when a stone hits glass it is the glass that is broken, not the stone – it is just the nature of things. But the stone said to the pieces of glass, “You idiots. I have always said, ‘Never come in my way. Whoever comes in my way will be shattered to death.’ Now look what happened to you. Let this be a lesson to everyone who is listening.”

At that very moment the guard on the gate heard the noise of the stone falling on the floor, the glass being broken… he rushed in. He took the stone in his hands, and the stone said – although the guard could not understand his language, because he talked in Nepalese…! He said, “Thank you my lord, you are the owner of this palace – I can see from your beautiful dress. I will never forget this honor that you have given to me – taken me in your own hands.”

The situation was totally different, but the ego goes on turning every situation in its favor.

The guard was afraid that if the king came to know then he would be caught: “What are you doing? Who has thrown the stone?” He threw the stone back out of the window.

And these are the ways of the ego: the stone said, “Thank you! You are not only a great host; you understand the hurts of other people too. You know I am longing to meet my friends. I want to tell them the whole story of my visiting the palace of the king – the meeting with the king, the conversation with the king, the destruction of the enemies who came in my way.” And as he was falling back into the pile of the stones, he said to them, “Brothers and sisters, I am back. You should all be proud. My name should go down in history, and with me, my family’s name. This pile of stones is no ordinary pile, it is something historical.”

The ego has its ways of fulfilling itself even in situations where it should be shattered. So beware of it.

Self-remembering can be done only in a school where you are devoting yourself to the discipline twenty-four hours a day, because it is the moment you remember yourself… While walking you remember, “I am walking” – then walking is no longer natural. It becomes divided: you are separate, and the walking is separate.

Walking is a simple process, but in life you are doing a thousand and one things which are very complex. If you are going to remember yourself while using a machine, while driving a car… it could be very dangerous because your whole focus is in remembering yourself. You could cause an accident which could be dangerous to you, which could be dangerous to others.

Life has its own wisdom. The body has its own wisdom. For example, try one thing and you will understand what I mean: you have been eating every day your whole life but you have never thought about what happens to the food when it goes down your throat – you forget about it. Don’t forget about it. Just for three days try to remember that the food has gone in. Remember that the food is being digested, that juices, chemicals and other things are coming in from different directions, that the food is being mixed with them and the food is being transformed into different things. It is becoming blood, it is becoming your flesh, it is becoming your bones.

In three days’ time you will have such a disturbed stomach, you cannot imagine. It will take at least three months to get it back to its normal state. You are not needed to remember it. It knows its function, and it does its function perfectly well without your remembering.

That’s why when you are sick it is better to rest, because the body needs you to sleep so it can work better without any disturbance from you.

You must have heard the famous story about a centipede….

A centipede has one hundred legs – that’s why it is called centipede. And for centuries, centipedes have been in the world, walking perfectly well – no problem. But one day a rabbit became curious. He saw the centipede, he tried to count his legs and said, ”My God! One hundred legs! How does he manage to remember which one to put first, which one to put second?

“If I had one hundred legs,” the rabbit thought, “I would get entangled and I would fall immediately; I could not walk at all. This centipede is performing a miracle.”

He said, “Uncle, uncle, wait, wait! I have a question if you don’t mind…”

The centipede said, “There is no hurry. I was just going for a morning walk. You can ask your question.”

He said, “My question is simple: you have one hundred legs…?”

The centipede said, “One hundred? In fact, I have never counted. It would be too difficult for me to count them, but if you say so then perhaps I must have.”

The rabbit said, “My curiosity is: how do you manage to walk with such a trail of one hundred legs? How do you manage which one comes first, then second, then third, then fourth…?”

The centipede said, “I have never thought about it. I will try. Just now – I will try here.”

And then and there he fell on the ground. He called the rabbit and said, “You idiot! Never ask another centipede such a question, otherwise centipedes will die. We cannot live with this curiosity. I have been doing perfectly well up to now, and just as I started becoming alert about what leg is going when… as I started remembering one hundred legs, my mind got very much puzzled.”

Self-remembering is a school method. And school method means you are in a safe monastery, not doing work that could be dangerous. Otherwise your remembering… working in a factory, working in a carpentry shop and trying to remember, you are bound to get into the same position as the centipede.

I don’t want anybody to get into any trouble in the name of spirituality, hence my suggestion again is just pure witnessing – no question of I. And that too, very playfully, not seriously, with a sense of humor.

If you forget, there is no harm. Whenever you remember, again you start. You will forget many times, you will remember many times. There is no question of guilt; it is human.

Very slowly, bigger and bigger gaps of witnessing will arise in you, and as the gaps of witnessing become bigger, your thoughts will become smaller, less. The moment your witnessing comes to a peak – at certain times with a crystal clarity – the thoughts will simply disappear. You will be in an absolute silence. Whatever you are doing will not be disturbed by your silence, but on the contrary, your workmanship, your creative effort will be enhanced.

If you are making statues, or painting, or playing music… with such a mad mind, with all kinds of thoughts running around, and you can still manage to create beautiful music – just think of a silent mind, how much deeper and higher music you could create.

The same applies to every area of life. I make it a point to be remembered that if your meditation is right, everything in your life will start falling into better shape. That is the only criterion. No need to ask anybody else; you can see yourself.

Everything in your life will become better with your meditation. When your meditation is at its highest peak, all your efforts will have a beauty and a grace and a creativeness that you cannot imagine. That’s why I say; don’t divide spiritual life from the ordinary life. Don’t create any division at all. Let this life remain one single whole.

So if your consciousness changes, then everything that surrounds you also changes.

I cannot imagine a man of meditation renouncing his wife. No, a man of meditativeness will love his wife more. Perhaps his love will become more and more purified, less and less sexual, more and more prayerful. But he cannot renounce her, that is ugly.

Leaving a poor woman and escaping – that is not the work of a brave man. It fits to a coward, but not to a man who is meditating.

In my village I loved to sit in an old man’s small shop. He used to sell sweets. I was attracted, not by his sweets, but by the sweetness of the man. He would say, “The cost price of this many sweets is one rupee, and if you are willing, just for my labors and for my family, you can give me one anna more – that is my profit.”

First he would tell the cost price, and then he would tell his profit. And that too he would leave up to you: “If you don’t want to give it to me, you can take it at the cost price – of course, I am a poor man, I cannot give it to you below the cost price. I can give you my labor, I can give you my profit, but I cannot go below the cost price.”

And I inquired – because it was a sweet market and there were many shops, I inquired in other shops about what he was saying cost one rupee. And others were selling for two rupees, two and a half rupees – the same quantity, but not the same quality, not the same love.

While he was preparing his sweets, I used to sit. He even asked me, “You are the only one. Why do you come and sit here?”

I said, “I simply like it – to see you work. You work so lovingly, as if you were preparing these sweets for your beloved who is coming after many years – and you don’t know who the customer will be.”

And he laughed. He said, “As far as I know it is the same customer who always comes – different faces, but the customer is the same. That’s why I cannot deceive. I cannot cheat, I cannot exploit because it is the same customer with different faces. I have recognized him.”

His whole life I would describe as the life of a great saint, although nobody in the world would recognize him as a saint because we have this idea so deeply rooted in our minds that a saint should renounce life, get away from life. That anti-life attitude has proved so poisonous that it has destroyed the whole beauty of human existence. It has taken away the whole dignity of man.

Hence I still insist – even if you feel self-remembering is easier – that you try witnessing. Even though it is difficult in the beginning, it becomes very easy as you go ahead.

Gautam Buddha has said, “My teaching is bitter in the beginning but sweet in the end.”

-Osho

From The Sword and the Lotus, Discourse Ten

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 online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Fear of Transformation – Osho

Many people seem to be interested in meditation, but that interest cannot be very deep because so very few are transformed through it. If the interest is really deep, it becomes a fire by itself. It transforms you. Just through intense interest you start becoming different. A new center of being arises. So many people seem to be interested but nothing new arises in them, no new center is born, no new crystallization is achieved. They remain the same.

That means they are deceiving themselves. The deception is very subtle but it is bound to be there. If you go on taking medicine, having treatments, and the illness remains the same – rather on the contrary, it goes on increasing – then your medicine, your treatment, is bound to be false. Maybe deep down you don’t want to be transformed. That fear is very real – the fear of transformation. So on the surface you go on thinking that you are deeply interested, but deep down you go on deceiving.

The fear of transformation is just like the fear of death. It is a death, because the old will have to go and the new will come into being. You will be there no more, something totally unknown to you will be born out of you. Unless you are ready to die, your interest in meditation is false, because only those who are ready to die will be reborn. The new cannot become a continuity with the old. The old must be discontinued. The old must go. Only then can the new come into being. The new is not an outgrowth of the old, the new is not continuous with it – the new is totally new. And it comes only when the old dies. There is a gap between the old and the new – that gap gives you the fear. You are afraid. You want to be transformed but simultaneously you want to remain the old. This is the deception. You want to grow, but you want to remain you. Then growth is impossible; then you can only deceive; then you can go on thinking and dreaming that something is happening, but nothing will happen because the basic point has been missed.

So there are many people all over the world who are very interested in meditation, moksha, nirvana, and nothing is happening. There is so much noise about it but nothing real is happening. What is the matter?

Sometimes the mind is so cunning that because you don’t want to be transformed, the mind will create a superficial interest so that you can say to yourself, “You are interested, you are doing whatsoever can be done.” And you remain the same. And if nothing happens, you think that the technique you are using is wrong, the guru you are following is wrong, the scripture, the principle, the method, is wrong. You never think that even with a wrong method transformation is possible if the real interest is there; even with a wrong method you will be transformed. If you are really interested in transformation, you will become different even if following a wrong guru. If your soul and your heart is in your effort, no one can mislead you except yourself. And nothing is a barrier to your progress except your own deceptions.

When I say that even a wrong master, a wrong method, a wrong principle, can lead you to the real, I mean that the real transformation happens when you are intensely involved in it, not through any method. The method is just a device, the method is just a help, the method is secondary – your being involved in it is the fundamental thing. But you go on doing something – not even doing, you go on talking about doing. And words create an illusion: because you think so much about it, you read so much about it, you listen so much about it, that you start feeling you are doing something. So-called religious persons have developed many deception devices.

I have heard that a motorist, driving along a road, saw the school building on fire. The teacher of the small school of that small village was Mulla Nasruddin. He was sitting under a tree. The motorist called to him, “What are you doing there? The school building is on fire!” Mulla Nasruddin said, “I know about it.” The motorist was much excited. He said, “Then why are you not doing something?” Mulla Nasruddin said, “Ever since it started I have been praying for rain. I am doing something.”

Prayer is a trick to avoid meditation, and the so-called religious mind has developed many types of prayer. Prayer can also become a meditation – when it is not only a prayer, it is a deep effort, a deep involvement. Prayer can also become meditation, but ordinarily prayer is just an escape. To avoid meditation, people go on praying. To avoid doing anything they pray. Prayer means that God must do something. Someone else must do. Prayer means that we are passive – something must be done to us. Meditation is not prayer in that sense: meditation is something you do to yourself. And when you are transformed, the whole universe behaves differently to you, because the universe is nothing but a response to you, whatsoever you are. If you are silent, the whole universe responds to your silence in thousands and thousands of ways. It reflects you. Your silence is multiplied infinitely. If you are blissful, the whole universe rejects your bliss. If you are in misery, the same happens. The mathematics remains the same, the law remains the same: the universe goes on multiplying your misery. Prayer won’t do. Only meditation can help because meditation is something to be done authentically by you, it is a doing on your part.

So the first thing I would like to say to you is be constantly alert that you are not deceiving yourself. You may be doing something and still deceiving yourself.

I have heard that Mulla Nasruddin once came running into a post office, grasping the postmaster by the lapel, shook him, and said, “I have gone crazy. My wife has disappeared!” The postmaster felt sorry and he said, “Really, she has disappeared? Unfortunately this is a postal department – you have to go to the police department to report this disappearance.” Mulla Nasruddin shook his head negatively and said, “I am not going to be caught again. In the past my wife also disappeared and when I reported it to the police department, they found her. I am not going to be caught again. If you can take the report, take it, otherwise I am going.”

He wants to report to feel good, to feel that he has done whatsoever can be done. But he doesn’t want to report to the police department because he is afraid.

You go on doing things just to feel good, just to feel that you are doing something. But really you are not ready to be transformed. So all that you do just passes as useless activity – not only useless, harmful also, because it is a wastage of time, energy, and opportunity. These techniques of Shiva are only for those who are ready to do. You can ponder over them philosophically – that means nothing. But if you are actually ready to do, then something will start happening to you. They are alive methods, not dead doctrines. Your intellect is not needed; your totality of being is required. And any method will do. If you are ready to give it a chance, any method will do. You will become a new man.

Methods are devices, I will repeat again. If you are ready, then any method can do. They are just tricks to help you to take the jump, they are just like jumping boards. From any jumping board you can jump into the ocean. The jumping boards are insignificant: what color they are, which wood they are made of is irrelevant. They are simply jumping boards and you can take a jump from them. All these methods are jumping boards. Whatsoever method takes your fancy, don’t go on thinking about it, do it!

Difficulties will arise when you start doing something – if you don’t do anything there will be no difficulty. Thinking is very easy doing because you are not really traveling, but when you start doing something, difficulties arise. So if you see that difficulties have arisen, you can feel that you are on the right track – something is happening to you. Then old barriers will break, old habits will go, there will be change, there will be disturbance and chaos. All creativity comes out of chaos. You will be created anew only if all that you are becomes chaotic. So these methods will destroy you first, then only will a new being be created. If there are difficulties, feel fortunate – that shows growth. No growth is smooth… and spiritual growth cannot be smooth, that is not its nature. Because spiritual growth means growing upwards, spiritual growth means reaching into the unknown, reaching into the uncharted. Difficulties will be there. But remember that with each difficulty that is passed you are crystalized. You become more solid. You become more real. For the first time you will feel something centering within you, something becoming solid.

As you are now you are just a liquid phenomenon, changing every moment, nothing stable. Really you cannot claim any ‘I’ – you don’t have one. You are many ‘I’s’ just in a flow, a river-like flow. You are a crowd, not an individual yet. But meditation can make you an individual.

 This word ‘individual’ is beautiful: it means indivisible. Right now as you are, you are divided. You are only many fragments clinging together anyhow without any center being there, without any master in the house, with only servants. And for a moment any servant can become the master.

Every moment you are different because you are not – and unless you are, the Divine cannot happen to you. To whom can it happen? You are not there. People come to me and they say, “We would like to see God.” I ask them, “Who will see? You are not there. God is always there, but you are not there to see. It is just a passing thought that you want to see God.” The next moment they are not interested; the next moment they have forgotten all about it. A persistent, intense effort and longing is needed. Then any method will do.

Now, we should enter the methods.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Chapter 73

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 online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Don’t Abandon Existence – Osho

Is it not necessary to desire, to long and to seek truth and avoid the untrue, to seek truth ad renounce the false?

Divyananda, there is no way to seek truth because truth is not far away. Truth is not “there” somewhere so that you have to go to it, so that you have to reach to it; truth is not to be sought because truth is the very being of the seeker. How can you seek the seeker? How can you know the knower? That is impossible. You cannot encounter yourself. You are the truth.

Hence all seeking is futile, but one learns only through seeking. One learns this tremendously important fact, that all seeking is useless, only through seeking; there is no other way to learn it. You seek and you fail, you seek again and you fail; slowly slowly it becomes clear to you that seeking itself is the cause of missing it. Then seeking drops of its own accord. And when there is no longing, no desire, when you are utterly silent, when the very mind of the achiever has disappeared, you are surprised that what you have been seeking all along has always been with you.

Yoka says:

It is not necessary to look for truth or avoid illusion.

Why? – because to look for it is to begin in a wrong direction and to avoid illusion is foolish because illusion means that which is not. How can you avoid that which is not and how can you seek that which is? That which is is, and that which is not is not.

Yoka also says:

We know that both are comprised in emptiness, that they have no form and bounds. Non-form is neither empty nor non-empty. It is the true reality of Buddha.

One has simply to become utterly empty. And when I say “utterly empty” I mean one has not to be just empty “utterly empty” means empty of everything and also empty of emptiness. Otherwise the mind is so cunning it can now cling to a new idea of emptiness.

A disciple of Yoka was coming again and again to him, bringing his experiences that were happening in his deep meditation, and Yoka was hitting him. Whatsoever he said he would be hit, irrespective of what he was saying. He was bringing beautiful experiences: the rising of the kundalini, a great experience of light, a beautiful inner fragrance, the sound of one hand clapping – whatsoever he had heard that people had achieved through meditation he was bringing – but he was being hit again and again.

One day he came with absolute trust: “Now the Master is going to accept my experience, to recognize it – the time has come,” because that day he was going to say, “I have achieved emptiness.”

That is the ultimate. What more can there be? What can there be beyond emptiness? He was very happy that for the first time he was not going to be hit – but even before he had spoken, the Master hit him.

He said, “This is too much! I have not even uttered a single word!”

Yoka said, “It doesn’t matter what you say, it does not matter whether you say it or not – I know. I knew the moment you entered in the room that you were again here with some foolish idea.”

He said, “But sir, you should have listened. This is not a foolish idea; this is the experience of all the Buddhas!”

So Yoka said, “Yes, so you say. It seems you are hankering for another hit!”

And the disciple said, “Sir, I have experienced emptiness!”

Yoka laughed, hit him and said, “Throw it away! It is all nonsense!”

The disciple said, “How can I throw emptiness? I can throw everything else!” That was the first time that he argued with the Master; obviously, his argument seems to be logical. You can throw the experience of light because you are the experiencer. You can throw the experience of energy – you are the experiencer. Any experience can be thrown, but how can you throw the experience of emptiness? There is nothing to throw!

The disciple said, “How can I throw emptiness?”

Then the Master hit him hard and said, “Then carry it out – but do something. Either throw it or carry it out.”

And the disciple said, “What are you asking me? I cannot carry it out because it is just empty, and I cannot throw it either.”

The Master said, “Now you are clinging to the idea of emptiness. This is not emptiness – this is not true emptiness. Now you are full of the idea of emptiness. Once it was light, once it was energy, once it was fragrance now it is emptiness. It is nothing but labels changing. And unless you throw this too you will not be truly empty. A truly empty person is neither empty nor nonempty. There is nothing to experience, not even emptiness. And in that state of silence when there is nothing to experience – no object, no content, but only consciousness, only the observer and nothing to observe only the seer and nothing to see – one attains truth.”

Yoka says:

Our spirit is like a clear mirror thus it reflects the universe harmoniously. Our spirit and the universe are one.

Once you are utterly empty you are a mirror. You are not only aware of your inner truth; you become aware of the truth of the whole existence. And they are not two; they are two aspects of the same phenomenon, two sides of the same coin – the outer and the inner.

All manner of troubles arise if we abandon existence to obtain emptiness; that too is sickness.

Listen to these tremendously significant words of Yoka. Yoka is one of the great Zen Masters. He says: 

All manner of troubles arise if we abandon existence to obtain emptiness; that too is sickness. It is like throwing oneself into the fire to escape drowning. 

Don’t abandon existence. Don’t abandon the ordinary existence in any effort for some illusory truth, for some illusory longing for God. Leave that for the fools. The intelligent person simply lives moment to moment with no desire to seek anything, with no expectation of finding anything. He simply lives moment to moment, joyously. His life is very ordinary; he has no desire to be extraordinary. He has no desire to be a Buddha, hence he is a Buddha. He has no desire to be extraordinary, hence he is extraordinary. Because every ordinary person has the desire to be extraordinary; only extraordinary people don’t have that desire.

If we try to grasp truth or if we wish to escape error and illusion, we practice discrimination, an artificial and erroneous attitude.

Once you say, “This is truth and that is untruth,” you have started discriminating – and to discriminate is the disease of the mind. That is the function of the mind: to discriminate. “This is right, that is wrong. This is true, that is false. This is worldly, that is spiritual. This is materialist, that is religious.” Once you start discriminating there is no end to it and you are in the grip of the mind. Drop discriminating and you are out of the grip of the mind. To be out of the grip of the mind is to be free, is to know what freedom is.

Most men forget spirit treasure, they have to recourse to dualist thinking and abandon the true nature of spirit. To pass the barrier of Zen by means of zazen, we should finish with reason, knowledge, illusion. Then we shall attain to supreme wisdom and enter into the palace of nirvana.

Nirvana is not somewhere else; it is your inner space. Just get out of the clutches of the mind. Your mind is like an octopus: if somehow you get free of one of the legs of the octopus, there are other legs. There are gross legs and there are subtle legs, and by the time you start getting free of the other legs you are getting entangled into other legs. It goes on and on in circles.

The man who escapes from the world, what is he saying? In the East for thousands of years people have been renouncing the world because they say it is illusion. If you truly understand that it is illusion, then what is there to renounce?

These fools even come to me and they ask, “What kind of sannyas are you teaching people? Sannyas means renunciation. They should leave the world, but they live in the world. Not only do they live in the world, they live more deeply and totally in the world than other worldly people! What kind of sannyas is this?” They think I am teaching a wrong kind of sannyas.

I am teaching the ultimate sannyas, not a wrong kind but for the first time the right kind. The wrong kind has prevailed for a long time, for centuries. See the stupidity of the whole thing: you call something illusory and then you escape from it. If it is illusory there is no need to escape. It should be so simple! If it is real then why escape? If it is real then how can you escape?

Nobody renounces their dreams. Or do you renounce them every morning when you wake up – “I renounce all my dreams. I renounce all the treasures that I had in my dreams. I renounce the kingdom of my dreams”? You don’t renounce them, otherwise people would laugh at you – you have gone mad! Dreams are dreams.

And these so-called spiritual people have been telling the world that the world is a dream – renounce it. What nerve – to call it a dream and in the same breath to say, “Renounce it”! Either it is not a dream or it is a dream – make sure what it is. And either way you cannot renounce it. If it is a dream there is no point in renouncing; if it is a reality, how can you renounce reality? – Because reality is synonymous with God.

Hence I teach: Rejoice! There is no need to renounce anything – there is nothing to be renounced. Rejoice, and rejoice more totally! Rejoice in a multi-dimensional way. Dance, sing, be blissful. Let laughter be your life, let love be your life. That is the only true way to know what is.

-Osho

From Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter 14

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