Master of Your Own Mind – Osho

Those who have purified the mind by the practice of sannyas and yoga, and those who have come to understand the exact meaning of the spiritual science indicated in the Upanishad’s Vedant, they in the end become capable of attaining brahmalok – the world of brahman. And liberating themselves from everything, they strive to achieve immortality.

Kaivalya Upanishad

The basic problem before a spiritual seeker is not how to know, but how to be. Knowing is not the problem, it is easy. The real problem is how to be, how the being should be strengthened. Knowing can grow easily; knowing has its own ways of growing. But knowing is a parasitic growth.

Knowing grows in the memory, and memory is just mechanical. That’s why we now have mechanical devices which can be fed with memory – we have computers, and a computer is more efficient than any human brain. A computer can do anything that a human brain can do – and a computer can do many more things which a human brain cannot do. Sooner or later, human memory is going to be replaced by mechanical devices. A mechanical device can do whatsoever your mind is doing, and more efficiently, and in less time. A computer can do a mathematical problem in seconds for which you would need an Einstein, or a person of the caliber of Einstein, to work on for at least three months.

Mind is just a mechanical device. It can grow – you go on feeding it with knowledge, with information, and it can grow. You may not be aware of it, but nothing comes out of your mind which has not been put in it before – nothing. Nothing comes out of your mind which is original. In that way, nothing is original as far as mind is concerned; everything is just repetition. Mind is the most repetitive mechanism. You have to feed it, give it something: it will reproduce it. Not a single thought comes to you which is your own – it has been given to you by society, by education, by study, but always it has been given to you. At the most you can make new combinations, that’s all. Nothing more can be done with the mind. This is one growth, a parasitic growth at the cost of your being. By being, I mean the consciousness with which you are born. And by mind, I mean all the accumulation that has come to your consciousness through society, through education, through culture. You are not born with a mind; you are born with a consciousness. Mind is a later growth. That’s why if a person is not taught, if a person is not educated, then he has a lesser mind, a poor mind. If no language is taught to you, you will know no language. If nothing is taught to you, you will know nothing. Mind is a social growth.

Consciousness is part of you, but mind is not part of you; mind is given to you. The whole process of social cultivation, of social imposition, is to produce a mind in you. That’s why a Christian mind is different from a Hindu mind – because a Hindu society is feeding something and a Christian society is feeding something else. A Mohammedan mind is totally different from a Hindu, or a Christian, or a Jaina mind. But a Hindu consciousness or a Mohammedan consciousness or a Christian consciousness, are not different.

Really, a consciousness cannot be called Christian or Hindu or Mohammedan – but minds are. So unless you go beyond your society – you are imprisoned in your upbringing. This mind, which the society gives to everyone . . . it is a necessity; a society has to give it to you. It is good as far as it goes, but it must not become an imprisonment. A moment must be attained where you are freed from your own mind. Then mind begins to work as a mechanical thing in you; you can use it but you are not identified with it.

Of course one has to use language, one has to use mathematics, one has to know history and geography and everything. But it must not be identified with your consciousness. You must remain a witness to it. You must remain separate, unidentified, different from your own mind. This is what meditation means: how to be not identified with the mind – how to create a space between yourself and your own mind. It is difficult because we never make any separation. We go on thinking in terms that the mind means me: mind and me are totally identified. If they are totally identified, then you will never be at peace; then you will never be able to enter the divine, because the divine can be entered only when the social has been left behind.

When whatsoever the society has given you has been renounced, only then you enter the divine, because only then, you enter pure consciousness. Mind is an overgrowth; it must be put aside. By renunciation, I mean renunciation of the social. And your mind is nothing but a social by-product, it depends on your society.

This mind can go on growing. Then you grow in knowledge; go on studying, go on learning new things, more things, and your mind goes on growing. And a mind is infinitely capable to grow; yet scientists cannot say to what extent this mind can grow. It can go on growing, the process seems infinite. It has so much potentiality – seventy million cells working in the mind, and a single cell can have millions of bits of information in it. A single cell of the mind can have so much information stored in it, and the mind has seventy million cells in it. We are not using even a single cell’s capacity – ordinarily, we are not using a single cell’s capacity – and we have seventy million cells. And each cell seems to be capable of infinite accumulation of information. The mind seems to be infinite in its own way – and it is not you! It is just something which has been given to you.

It is useful, it is utilitarian; that’s why we become identified with it. One has to use one’s mind constantly, and one has to use it so constantly that there is no gap. You don’t remember any moment when you were not your mind, that’s the problem: to remember it, and to create a space, a gap, when you are not your mind. You are yourself and mind is just a device which can be used or not used, and you are the master to choose whether to use it or not.

Ordinarily, the mind is the master and you have to follow it. The mind gives you something to think about and you have to think about it. The mind gives you some dream and you have to dream it. And the mind goes on . . .  And sometimes even if you say to your mind, “Stop!” it is not going to stop, it is not going to listen to you at all. Because you have cooperated with it so much, and you have given it your energy and identification so much, that the mind doesn’t remember your mastery at all. You are just a slave.

Meditation means to create a gap so that you can become master, master of your own mind. And mastery means that you are not identified.

I can order my hand to do anything – to move or not to move. Why? – because I am not identified with the hand; otherwise, who is going to order and who is going to be ordered? I can order my hand to move; it moves. But if my hand begins to move and I say, “Stop!” and it is not stopping, what does it mean? It means only one thing: my order is impotent because of too much identification with the hand. The hand has become a master in its own right – it goes on moving. It says, “I am not going to follow your order at all.”

This has happened with the mind. The mind goes on working in its own way; no order can be given to it. There is no intrinsic impossibility – it is only because you have never ordered it, so it doesn’t know that you are the master. The master has remained so silent, has remained so hidden, that the slave has begun to feel himself the master.

If one goes on growing in this mind, one goes on more and more hidden deep down. And the mind becomes such a great thing, it is difficult to assert your consciousness. That’s why a very ordinary villager with a lesser mind, is with more consciousness. An ordinary person – not very educated, not knowing much – has always, of course, less mind but more consciousness. So sometimes a person who has more mind may behave very foolishly, because he has less consciousness. A person who has a developed mind can work very wisely, behave very wisely if the situation is such that the mind knows what to do and what not to do. Then he can behave, work, do anything very efficiently. But any new situation in which the mind is not aware, and he will be stupid, he will behave stupidly.

A villager — an uneducated person, a primitive, with less mind — will behave more consciously in a new situation, because for him new situations are occurring daily, every moment. With no developed mind, he has to work with his consciousness. That’s why the more the world has grown knowledgeable, the less wise it has become. It is difficult not to produce a Buddha, not because we are more ignorant, but because we know more. It is difficult to produce a Jesus, not because anything is lacking — on the contrary, something has grown too much. Knowledge has grown too much, and if knowledge grows too much, the being begins to feel poor.

We value a person because of what he has: knowledge, wealth, power. We never value a person for what he is. If I am a powerful man, then I am valued; if I am a wealthy man, then I am valued; if I am a man of knowledge, then I am valued – but never simply for what I am. If wealth is lost, then my influence will be lost; if knowledge is lost, the my influence will be lost; if power is lost, my influence will be lost, because I was never valued for what I am. Something which I have – having has become so important, and knowledge is a subtle having.

Being means: the purity of my inner existence, nothing added by the outside – neither wealth, nor knowledge, nor anything else – just my inner consciousness in its purity.

This is what I mean, what this Upanishad means by the growth of being. This being can be achieved only by two methods: renunciation – sannyas – and yoga, the science of positive growth. One must renounce identification: one must come to know that I am not the body, I am not the mind. One must renounce all that which is mind, but I am not. One must come to the center point which cannot be renounced.

A Western thinker, Rene Descartes, begins his theosophical speculation with doubt, and he goes on doubting. He goes on doubting everything that can be doubted. He was a very keen penetrating intellectual; really, he was the father of modern Western philosophy. He goes on doubting everything, he makes it a point that “I will not stop doubting unless a moment comes and I encounter something which cannot be doubted. If I can doubt, I will continue to doubt, unless I stumble upon some fact which is indubitable.” So God can be doubted very easily. It is difficult to have faith; it is very easy to doubt, because for doubt you have only to say no. Nothing else is needed.

“No” is a very non-involving word. If you say yes, you are committed. If I say “Yes, God is,” then I cannot remain the same. If I say, “No, God is not,” I will continue to be the same. “No” is the easiest word in a way: you say it, you are not involved, you remain outside. If you say yes, you are involved. You have come in; now you are committed. To say no to anything is very  easy, because then you need not prove anything. If you say yes then you have to prove it – and proofs are, of course, very difficult. Even if things are, proofs are very difficult. Time is. We know time is, everyone feels time is – but can prove that time is?

Saint Augustine says, “Don’t ask about time, because when you don’t ask, I know it is. When you ask, I begin to hesitate – whether it is or not? And if you persist, I become doubtful.” Can we prove time? It is; everyone knows it is. We cannot prove it.

Can we prove love? Everyone knows it is. Even if one has not felt love, one has felt very deeply its absence. Love is felt – either as a presence of absence, but no one can prove it. So anyone can say, “Love is not,” and you cannot disprove their statement.

Descartes goes on denying, doubting: God is denied, then the world itself is denied – even the world which is here and now. You are here, but I can doubt; it may be just a dream to me. And how can I tell the difference whether it is a dream or not? – because sometimes I have dreamt about talking to people. And when I was dreaming and talking, those who were present were as real as you are – and really, in a way more real, because in a dream you cannot doubt. But if you are really present, I can doubt: it may be just a dream, you may not be there at all, but just a dream, a dream happening to me. And I am dreaming that you are, and I am talking to you, to my dream construct. How can I prove that you are really there? There is no way. There is no way to prove that you are. I can touch you . . . but I can touch someone in a dream, and even in dream I can feel someone’s body.

It is difficult – really, in a way, impossible to make a distinction between reality and dreaming. That’s why Berkeley says that this whole world is just a dream, or a Shankara says that this whole world is just a dream. They can say it and they cannot be disproved.

So Descartes says, “This world is not. It is only a thought, a dream. God is not.” Then he goes on denying everything. Ultimately, he comes to himself, and then he begins to thin “whether I am, or not.” Now there is a fact which cannot be denied, because even if all is dreaming, someone is needed to dream. Even if everything is dubitable, someone is needed to doubt. Even if Descartes says “I am not,” this statement has to be made by someone – even to doubt, he is needed. Then he says, “Now I have come upon a point which indubitable. I can doubt everything, but I cannot doubt myself. If I doubt, the doubt proves me. So he gives a very meaningful formula: He says, “Cogito ergo sum. I think – I doubt – therefore I am.”

This “I-am-ness” must be broken apart from mentation, from mind, one has to renounce all that can be renounced – just like Descartes who says, “I must doubt all that can be doubted, unless I come to a point which cannot be doubted.” Just in the same way, one has to continue renouncing – renouncing all that which can be renounced, unless you come to a point which cannot be renounced.

You cannot renounce your being; all else can be renounced. All else you can say, “This I-am.” All that you can say, “This is I,” you can renounce. You can say, “No, this is not I-am. This body, I am not; this world, I am not, this thought, I am not; this thinking, I am not.” Go on, go on denying. Then comes a moment when you cannot deny more. Simple “I-am-ness remains. Not even “I-am-ness,” but only “am-ness.” That “am-ness” is the existential jump.

This is the first part of the sutra: renunciation, sannyas.

So sannyas is a negative process. One has to go on eliminating: “This is I-am-not.” Go on – “This, that, I am not.” This is renouncing, a negative process, elimination. But this is only a part: you have renounced whatsoever you are not; then you have to grow that which you are – that is yoga; that needs the positive, of growth. That is yoga. Now you have to grow that which is in you. How to grow it? – we have been discussing that – by faith, by devotion, by meditation, by practices, bodily and other. That is yoga.

Sannyas plus yoga means religion. Renounce that which you are not, and grow in that, create in that, which you are. Only by such negative and positive processes in a deep harmony, the brahma, the ultimate, is achieved.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #21

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Sakshi Means the Witness – Osho

That which is aware of the creation and dissolution of the knower, the known and the knowable, but is itself beyond creation and dissolution is called the sakshi or the witnessing self.

That which dwells in the minds of all beings, from brahma(the creator) down to an ant, and which lives everlastingly even after the destruction of their gross and subtle bodies is called the kutastha or the crest indweller.

From among the kutastha and its different forms, the self, for the sake of the realization of its nature, permeates the body like a thread threading a necklace, and it is called antaryami or the imminent.

-Sarvasar Upanishad

Now, two more diseases, two more complexes, two more illusions. We discussed three in the night: mind, lust for life, and desiring. Now the fourth is sattva – it means virtue. It means an inner accumulation of being good.

This feeling of being good is also a disease – for so many reasons. One is: you cannot feel you are good, unless you feel others are bad. Mm? that’s impossible. You cannot feel you are good unless you feel others are bad, and the feeling that others are bad is a disease; the feeling of good is just a relative term. So a person who wants to feel good is bound to condemn others as bad; and the more you condemn others as bad, the more you can feel you are good. So these so-called good men go on condemning everyone.

Bertrand Russell has criticized Jesus for this reason. He says, “Everything is divine, everything looks holy, except one thing: why Jesus condemns the sinners so much – that they should be thrown into hell, and they should be condemned? Jesus cannot feel good unless he condemns.” I don’t think that Jesus ever condemned – a person like Jesus cannot condemn. The condemnation has come through the tradition; it is really St. Paul who speaks through Jesus, and he is one of the most deeply involved personalities who feels himself to be good. But whosoever it may be – whether Jesus says so, or St. Paul puts is in Jesus’ mouth – the criticism is valid.

A good man can never be good if he is condemning others as bad, but you can never feel good unless you condemn. So a good man must be unaware of his goodness; only then it is not a disease. He must not be aware at all that he is good; only then is he not aware that others are bad. No religion other than Hinduism has condemned even goodness – even goodness becomes a sin, because it is ego-strengthening. It feeds your ego – of course with very pure food. But sometimes poisons can also be pure, so purity in itself is not something to be hailed. Poisons can also be pure, and when the ego becomes strengthened by purity, by virtue, by being good, it is pure poison – it is dangerous. That’s why you can never feel at ease with any so-called good man. Around him there is always restlessness; no one can feel at ease. and unless you can feel at ease, the man is not good, not good at all.

So around mahatmas you cannot feel at ease – never. There is a very strained atmosphere, because their feeling of goodness can exist only if they create a very tense atmosphere around them. Everyone is bad, and they are on the high pedestal. Only they are good; everyone is bad.

That’s why two mahatmas condemn the other. They have always condemned. So only confirmed sinners, only persons who feel themselves inferior, who are suffering from an inferiority complex, can be around them. Two mahatmas cannot meet, because that is the meeting of two diseases, two strong egos – purified, poisonous. These are the pious sinners.

This disease must cease. Not that goodness is bad, but to feel good is bad, because to feel good is comparative; it is always in relation to someone else. And anything that is related to someone else is not of any worth for the inner journey. And man is so cunning and so deceptive that he can go on being cunning, he can go on being deceptive. He may change methods, he may change devices, but the basic disease remains the same.

For example, one can even boast of one’s humility. This is the deceptiveness: one can boast even of one’s humility, one can say, “There is no one more humble than me!” Now, through humility, ego is strengthened – I am again asserting my superiority in humility! But the contradiction is never seen. You can even say, “I am just a sinner,” and feel good about it.

Tolstoy remembers that once he went to a church early in the morning. The streets were dark and there was no one in the church, only Tolstoy. Then the richest person of the city came. He didn’t know that Tolstoy was there; Tolstoy was praying. This rich man began to pray and confess. He began to say, ‘I am one of the most fallen, deeply fallen, from the right path. I am a sinner. Forgive me” – and he began to relate his sins.

Tolstoy was just bewildered, because this man was known as one of the most virtuous. He listened silently; then the darkness withered away, and the rich man felt someone’s presence. He looked around and he saw that Tolstoy was there. So he said, “Were you here when I was confessing?” Tolstoy said, “I was already here. When you came, I was here; I was praying.” So the man said, “Look, I must make you aware of the fact that I have confessed to God, not to you. So please forget whatsoever I have said! And don’t talk about it in the city, because this was a dialogue between me and my God.”

This is the deceptiveness of the mind. Really, he is confessing so as to feel good. He is not authentic – he is not feeling that he is a sinner. By confessing his sins he is now feeling a very holy man. This is a disease.

The fifth disease is punya – the feeling of holiness, the feeling of serving others, the feeling of doing good to others. And there is a difference: To be good is one thing, and to feel that one is doing good to others, is another. Punya means doing good to others. There are so many do-gooders. Really, the world would be less confused and in less conflict if there were less do-gooders, because their do-gooding just creates more mischievousness in the world. They are not concerned with good at all, really. They are concerned to be doers of good – so anyhow they must do good.

Kirkpatrick has written a book; a very strange statement is in it. He says, “If there will be no poverty, then what will we do service to others?” So poverty must remain, because when you cannot do Service . . . And without service, these scriptures say, you cannot go to heaven. So if poverty is completely destroyed on the earth, then there is no bridge from the earth to the heaven. Kirkpatrick is a good man, and whatsoever he is saying, he means it. It is not just a statement, he means it. He feels it, that if there is no poverty, then how can you serve others? And service is such a necessary thing, that even poverty is needed for service to remain, it must remain.

This is a disease. Then service itself becomes the end, not the served one – he is irrelevant. There are social workers, servants of the people; and psychologists say, “It is their need really – not the need of the people. They cannot remain without doing good to someone else; they cannot remain without serving others. This is an occupation for them.” What will happen to them if a society is really there which needs no service? This has happened so many times.

Revolutionaries are chronic revolutionaries. By “chronic” I mean, if they succeed and their revolution succeeds, they become anti-revolutionary. Stalin had to face these revolutionaries, and he killed all of them. The phenomenon was that those revolutionaries were just chronic revolutionaries. A Trotskyite is a chronic revolutionary; he cannot be without a revolution around him. The revolution must be there; otherwise, where will the revolutionary be?

So there are only two possibilities; whenever there is a revolution, a social revolution, there are two possibilities. If the revolution succeeds, then there are two possibilities: either the revolutionary has to turn traditionalist and orthodox and anti-revolution, or he has to continue his revolution. Stalin chose the first alternative; he became one of the most orthodox minds possible. Not even a czar was such as Stalin was – he became a czar.

Trotsky chose the other, or was forced to choose the other. He continued to be a revolutionary. And how then can you be a revolutionary? You have to go against your own revolution. Trotsky made endeavors for this revolution, and then he was against it. He was trying for a proletarian dictatorship, and then he was against it. And Stalin was doing the same. Stalin, in a way, is more consistent; but he himself turned anti-revolutionary. He was for the revolution he had started, but then he became anti-revolutionary, because no revolution could now be allowed. So Russia, after the great revolution, has been the country without revolutions. So the chronic revolutionaries had to escape and they continued there.

If really, there is a society where no one needs your help and your do-gooding, your service and your revolution and reformation, then all these do-gooders will be just mad, insane – they cannot do anything.

This fifth disease doesn’t mean don’t do good to others – it doesn’t mean that – but don’t be a do-gooder. Let it be just a spontaneous thing. Don’t make it a plan, don’t seek it, don’t go for it; let it be just your spontaneous behavior. Whenever there is a situation, do whatsoever you feel; but don’t plan it, don’t make it a scheme. Don’t sacrifice yourself, because persons who sacrifice themselves are very dangerous: when they sacrifice themselves they begin to sacrifice others. And they have a right because they can say, “We have sacrificed ourselves, so now we have the right to sacrifice others.” They become violent. Persons who have been violent to themselves in doing good to others, ultimately turn to being violent to others. But now they have the credit of being good, and their violence can continue in the garb of being good. And when someone is good and violent, it is the most criminal, the deepest criminal combination.

If the father is good, then he can be a criminal to his son. If the mother is good, then she can be a criminal. This happens daily. Women are more good than men; not that there is any inner necessity, but they are more fearful of being bad, more suppressed. That’s why wives become dictatorial, because the husband feels a bit inferior. He is bad in many ways: he smokes, he drinks, he looks all around at other beautiful faces.

Then the wife becomes dictatorial; she becomes a do-gooder. Now she can sacrifice her husband; now she can virtually kill. And because she is good, the husband is just helpless – he cannot argue. Smoking is bad – of course; and he is smoking, so he is bad. And really, to smoke is not so bad as to feel good on account of someone smoking. It is deeply criminal . . . it is deeply criminal; it is very violent. This is the disease.

Don’t feel good on account of others, and don’t try to be a do-gooder. Be good, simply naturally. That is completely different. If someone feels restless around you, know that you are not a good man, just a do-gooder.

I have read somewhere about a Tibetan mystic, Milarepa. It is written that Milarepa was a saint, because sinners could feel at ease with him – at ease, totally at ease. There was no condemnation in his eyes, in his words, in his behavior. Really, a saint means this: one with whom sinners can feel at ease, friendly; otherwise, the do-gooder is there. That is the ego, and the ego is always destructive of others. And you can destroy in such good ways that you may not even be aware what you are doing. A good mother can destroy the whole life of the child, just by being good – too good.

This, the rishi says, is the fifth disease. And if one is identified with these five diseases, there comes into existence a personality which is not your being. That personality is known a lingasharir – the subtle personality.

This word “personality” is very meaningful. It is a Greek word; it is derived form “persona.” Persona means a mask. Actors use masks in Greek drama; that mask of the actors is known as persona. You are not that, but you use a mask and become that. Mm? You are not a lion, but you use a mask of a lion and you behave like a lion.

Personality is not your being, it is a mask. This mask is very subtle, and this mask is created by being identified with these five diseases. If you become totally identified, and feel that you are this – this disease of the mind, this disease of desiring, this disease of being good, this disease of being virtuous – if you begin to feel that you are a combination of all these five, these five classifications, then you create a persona, a personality. That personality is known as lingasharir – the subtle body. And behind this subtle body, lingasharir – behind this identification, behind this barrier – is the knower.

So to dissolve the personality, to withdraw yourself from the personality, to renounce the personality, is the essential renunciation. That is what is sannyas: to renounce . . . not the world, because how can you renounce the world? – It has never belonged to you. Mm? What nonsense talking about renouncing the world. When? When you are master of it? – it has never belonged to you. Really, again the trick of the ego: one says, “I renounce the world,” and feels very good that one has renounced the world. A beggar renouncing the empire, renouncing the throne, the palace – renouncing everything . . .  It has never belonged to him, so how can he renounce it?

So really, a sannyasin doesn’t mean a person who renounces the world. A sannyasin means a person who renounces the personality – that belongs to you! You are the creator of it, so you can renounce it. Nothing else! You cannot renounce anything that doesn’t belong to you. The personality belongs to you; you can renounce it, but you can renounce only when you begin to be aware that you are not the personality. This is known as kshetragya, the knower of the field. The field is personality, and the knower, the center which becomes aware of this personality. If you become aware of the center, of the knower, then there is not difficulty in renouncing the personality. It is just a clothing, just a clothing, and very dirty and very diseased.

Now, three situational dimensions of the being: We discussed personalities; we discussed bodies; we discussed complexes of diseases. Now the enquiry into the being itself. What is the being? Behind all, beyond all, transcending all – what is the being itself? Three definitions have been given. One is called sakshi; sakshi means the witness. Another is called kutastha; kutastha means the eternal, the indestructible, the immortal. And the third is named antaryami: the innermost, the inner one. It is good and helpful for the seeker to understand these three definitions. They define the one and the same, but they define indifferent contexts.

First is the witness. This is the essential character, the essence, the very essence of the being. Whatsoever is named is never the knower; whatsoever is objectified is never the subject. The moment we know something, we are different form the known, from the object, because the knower cannot be the known, the observer cannot be the observed. A distance is created by knowledge, by knowing. Knowing is the bridge between the known and the knower.

The being is not, and never is the known; it is always the knower – always and always the knower. Whatsoever you know, remember one thing certainly – that you are not that. This much is certain, that whatsoever you have known and experienced, you are not that. That’s why the Upanishads say, “Neti, neti – not this not that.” Whatsoever you say, the Upanishads say, “No, not this, not that – never!” This is the nature of the being; it always transcends objects. It is pure subjectivity, and this pure subjectivity can never be turned into any object. So in a way, you can never know yourself in the same way as you have known all else. So “self-knowledge” is in a way, a very contradictory word, because really the self cannot be made an object of knowledge. But still, self-knowledge exists. But that knowledge has to be defined and guarded, and defined in a specific way. Self-knowledge means: where all knowledge stops. Self-knowledge means: where there is no self.

Self-knowledge means: the knower is not, the known is not, the knowledge is not. But when I say that you are never the known, then one thing must be understood: if you are not the known, how can you be the knower – because the knower is just in reference to the known. The knower is just in reference to the known. If you are never the object, how can you be called a subject? – because subject means in relation to object; it means the other end of the object. That’s why the Upanishads say, “It is just a witness – not even a knower.”

It witnesses all the three: the known, knowledge, the knower. They come up, they dissolve, and the witnesser remains. It will be better not to call it even a “witnesser,” but a witnessing, because when we say “witnesser,” a subtle crystallization comes into the world, a subtle feeling of the ego and “I.” So it is better to say “witnessing.” Then there is simply a process of knowledge without any ego, without any “I” crystallizing it.

And then in the world, there are not things, but processes. This is the difference between a materialist and a spiritualist. This! – a materialist sees in the world, and a spiritualist sees in the world events – not things. The difference is not whether matter is or not; the difference is not whether mind is or not. The difference is basically this: a spiritualist sees in the world energy, processes – energy processes, events, alive events – not dead things.

Now physicists are ready to accept this as far as matter is concerned. They say now, “There is no matter. Matter is dead; matter is not there – only energy waves, only quanta, only processes.” Even a stone is just a process, it is not static; it is dynamic, it is moving. Not only is a river moving, the Himalayas also.

A Zen fakir, Bankei, has said, “I have not seen only rivers moving, I have seen bridges also moving. And once it happened that the river was not moving, and the bridge was moving.” He means by this that there are not things – static, dead – but movement, continuous processes, waves and waves and waves; and each wave is turning into the other. This is what is meant by a spiritual attitude.

So matter is energy, waves. Inside also there is no knower as fixed, as “I,” because the ego is a thing – dead. So it is better to call it not the witnesser, but witnessing – with no center really, just a process.

Buddha says, “There is rebirth, but you are not.” So how can rebirth be? Ordinary logic will say, “How can rebirth be? If you are not, if there is no ego to be reborn, then how is rebirth possible?” Buddha says, it is just a process – a process just like a flamelike process. In the evening you see the flame: the lamp is burning and there is a flame. In the morning you blow it out. You say, “I am blowing out the same flame.” Buddha says not, because the flame is constantly changing. It is a process, it is not a thing, so it cannot be the same. In the evening you saw one thing; this is something else – flame has been constantly changing and going into nothingness, and new flames are being  replaced continuously.

It is continuity. The flame is not a thing, it is a continuity. Every moment the flame is changing, so whatsoever you are blowing out is not the same flame you saw in the night. It is the same continuity – a continuum.

Witnessing is there just like a flame.

It is a continuum.

This is the first situational definition. The rishi talks about it first, because it can be made a means; it can be used as a device; it can become a vehicle towards your being, your center.

The second is kutastha; it means: the eternal, the immortal, that which cannot be destroyed, indestructible. What can be destroyed really? What is destructible? – only the form and the name, namrup. Within these two words is the whole Eastern standpoint: namrup – name and form – can be destroyed, are destructible. Your name can be changed and your form – nothing else.

The ice is transforming itself into water, and the water is evaporating. What changes? – not the essence, but only the form and the name. Now it is ice; now it is water; now it is vapor. What is changing? The essence remains the same, but the name and form change.

This whole world is just name and form. Everything is changing: the child becoming the adult; the adult becoming the old man; life turning into death; birth turning into death; health turning into disease; disease turning into health – everything is changing. Even opposites are not really opposites, because they can change into one another. The north becomes the south, the south becomes the north. The east is also the west, and the west is also the east. It depends. It depends on where you are looking.

Someone asked Mulla Nasruddin, “Where is your house on the road? On the left or on the right?” He said, “It depends: sometimes it is on the left, and sometimes it is on the right. It depends from where you are coming.”

Life is a movement, but name and form change; the essence remains the same. But when I say the essence remains the same, I don’t mean it is a static thing. I mean it is a dynamic force, but still the same. Dynamic and the same must be remembered; otherwise, God becomes just a static phenomenon – dead, with no opening.

Kutastha doesn’t mean a dead thing, it means a dynamic force, essentially remaining the same, but changing its name and form all the time. Beyond name and form, the essential one is known as the kutastha. If you destroy everything – every form and every name – the remaining is the kutastha. If all my five bodies are destroyed, if all my five diseases are destroyed, then the remaining will be the kutastha – that is the essential being which cannot be destroyed. This always is.

This is the end definition; the first one was a means definition. If you proceed by being a witness, you will reach the kutastha, the eternal, but both are far away. Neither we are using witnessing, nor are we standing in the eternal. Then it is, therefore, the third definition: it is called antaryami, the innermost.

This definition belongs to us here and now, as we are. A link must exist between the kutastha, the eternal, and us; otherwise, there can be no traveling towards it, no journey towards it. Somehow, we must be linked in all these bodies, in all these diseases, in all these ignorances. Still the innermost being is here; it is just hidden. it is hidden just like the thread of the beads: the beads are apparent, but the thread is hidden. You cannot see directly, immediately; you have to make a gap between two beads, and then suddenly in the gap is the thread – the innermost running force, the innermost running energy.

So whenever one has to go deep into oneself, one has to make a gap between two diseases or between two bodies or between two thoughts. Wherever you can create a gap between two things inside you, suddenly you become aware of the thread.

For example, there are thoughts in the mind – continuously one thought is followed by another. Bring a gap between two thoughts. There IS a gap, because two thoughts cannot exist without a gap: an interval is a basic necessity. One thought is followed by another, but there is a subtle gap. Be aware of the gap.

We are aware only of the thoughts. From one thought we jump to another, and the gap is lost. Remain in the gap, stand in the interval, slow down your thought process and you will feel a gap. One thought has gone, another has yet to come – there is a gap, a sudden silence. In this silence you will become aware of the thread; that thread is known as antaryami. It is here and now, and we cannot proceed otherwise; we have to proceed from here and now.

So antaryami is the definition for us. Then sakshi, witnessing is the method; then kutastha, the eternal one is the end.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #10

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

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

The Fifth Body is Known as the Bliss Body – Osho

When the self – living inside the food body – and the vital body thinks through the instrumentality of the fourteen organs like mind, et cetera, about objects like sound, smell, touch et cetera it is called the manomaya kosha or the mental body.

When the self, united with these three bodies, knows through intelligence, it is called the vigyanmaya kosha or the knowing body.

When the self, in union with these four bodies – food body, vital body, mental body and the knowing body – dwells in its primeval and causative ignorance it is called the anandamaya kosha or the bliss body.

-Sarvasar Upanishad

In the morning we discussed two bodies: the physical, and the vital. The third is known as the mental body, as the mind-body. This third is constituted of thoughts. But the science of yoga believes that thoughts are not only thoughts, they are things, they are substantial; they are. They have an existence of their own – a very subtle existence, but there is existence. So whenever a thought goes into you, you are changing your mind-body; you are giving food to it.

And we are so unaware about this phenomenon, that the mind is being fed every moment, and we are giving it anything, without any choice – it is just a confusion.

Whatsoever we go on giving to the mind, we are only concerned that it must remain occupied; that’s all. Occupation in itself becomes an aim. One should not be unoccupied, so go on reading anything, go on listening to anything, go on seeing anything, go on . . . do something with the mind! So whatsoever is around, we are vulnerable to it. This is fatal, because then you create a very confused mind-body, very confused – with contradictions, with infinite contradictions. And that’s the reason there is so much anguish, so much tension, and so much misery inside. That’s the reason the mind is just mad.

Now psychologists say that really no one is normal, and there are only two types of abnormalities: one, normal abnormality – another, abnormal abnormality. So there are two types of insane people: one, who are insane in a socially accepted way – another, who are insane in their individual whims.

But everyone seems to be insane. And it is because we have never thought that our mind-body requires an inner harmony, an inner music. Thoughts should not be in contradiction; thoughts must be in a certain harmony, in a certain inner balance; otherwise, you become just a crowd – you are a crowd! C.J. Jung came to realize that no one has a mind: everyone is many minds; everyone is polypsychic. We go on talking about “my mind” – never talk about it again! You are just a crowd, not even a group, but a crowd; and not even a crowd, but a warring crowd – each thought fighting with someone else.

Gurdjieff used to say that man is just like a palace where there are so many slaves, but the master has gone out. And he has been out for such a long time that the slaves have now completely forgotten that there was a master. Now, whenever someone passes by the palace . . . and it is such a beautiful palace that everyone wants to enquire to whom it belongs. So any slave who happens to be on the door says, “It belongs to me. I am the master.” But another time, the same person passes by; someone else is on the door, and he asks, “To whom does this palace belong?” He says, “It belongs to me, I am the master.” So the whole city is confused, “Who is the master?” Everyone says, “I am the master” – every slave.

Gurdjieff used to say, “Such is the condition of man. Every thought that passes, even on your surface mind, becomes the master; and the master is either asleep or has gone for a long journey and has not come back. And it has been so long . . . ”

That’s why we have no will. We cannot have a will if we are just a crowd. You decide to do something, and the second moment you decide not to do it. And the third moment, neither you are decisive to do it, nor even not to do it – you are simply indecisive. You decide that you are going to be awake in the morning at four o’clock; and then at four o’clock you yourself say, “There is no need.” Another slave is on the surface of your mind, not you – the same one is not here who decided. In the morning when you are awake at eight o’clock, you begin to repent, “Why, when I had decided . . . why couldn’t

I get up? Why? This is the third. And these three will never meet; they have no dialogue – they are just atomic thoughts. And any atomic thought on the surface becomes the master. You cannot have the will; really, you cannot have any soul. You are not an individual.

You must know the meaning of the word “individual.” It means indivisible, that which cannot be divided. But we exist in division, so we cannot be said to be individuals. We are just a divided crowd.

Yoga is the science of individuation. It is how to create the individual, how to crystallize this crowd into one, how to create a center which can be the master always, and how to put every slave in its place.

Then you will need a purification of your mind; you will need a catharsis – a deep catharsis is needed then. You have to throw out all that is just contradictory; you have to create a harmony in your thoughts. And don’t allow any thought to come in, because to allow it to be in is easy, but then to displace it from there is very difficult.

So the first thing is don’t allow inside, thoughts which are not going to help create a harmony, and then go on searching for, and observing what contradictory thoughts you have. Be the chosen. Emphasize the thoughts which can create an inner peace and inner silence – then you have a purified mental body. And with this body-transparent you can look beyond, and you can go to another body.

Beyond the mind-body is the fourth, the fourth body. The fourth body is known as the consciousness body – vigyan maykos. It will be difficult, a bit difficult, to distinguish between the mental body and the conscious body, because we don’t know any consciousness except the mind. But if the mind is purified, then you become simply aware that something else is still behind the mind, and the mind becomes a door. But we can understand . . .

You have thoughts – that’s one thing – but you can be aware of your thoughts; and this awareness is not a thought at all. You have anger – this is a thought, a thought process. You can be aware of it: “Now in me is running a thought process, a combination of thoughts which is known as anger, or jealousy, or love.” You can be aware. You can stand out of it and be aware that this is anger.

You can be aware, “This is a thought.” This awareness that, “this is a thought,” this observation, this possibility to observe the thought process, creates the fourth body. So everyone doesn’t have the fourth body really developed, but only as a potentiality, only as a possibility.

When you become aware of your mind, only then you have the fourth body, and then there is a growth. Sometimes we have glimpses, sometimes we become aware. In moments of sudden danger, in accidents, in encountering a situation we have not faced before – we become aware, because for the first time, the mind in the shock of the accident or of a dangerous situation – in that shock the mind stops.

For example: If someone suddenly throws a dagger into you, the mind will stop, because there is nothing to do now or to think. Thought will stop. And when thought stops, you become aware. You become aware that thought has stopped, but still there is consciousness: “I am conscious.”

This is the fourth body, the consciousness body, our conscious body. We have it but in a very undeveloped form. To develop it is arduous, because it needs much effort to remain conscious of every thought that passes through your mind, of every thought that has become an accumulation in your mind – a part of your mind, all the conditionings of the mind – to become aware of them is arduous. It is difficult, but not impossible; and only when this becomes possible, you have the dignity of being called a human being; otherwise, not. Because an unconscious human being means nothing. Then you are just being thrown from here and there by impressions and influences from the outside. When you become conscious then you cannot be influenced! For the first time you become the chooser.

Buddha was passing a village and many people came to him with great abuse; they were condemning him, abusing him, throwing stones at him, and he was just standing there. Then someone asked, “Now what are you going to do?”

Buddha said, “Nothing, because now I have become the chooser. You cannot manipulate me; you can abuse me – that is up to you – but you cannot create the reaction. You cannot manipulate me. If you abuse me and I react – and the reaction can be predicted by you – then it is just a manipulation. I am nowhere in it. You push the button and the anger is there.”

Reaction means that you have no conscious body developed, so you go on reacting. Really, when you go on reacting, those reactions cannot be said to be actions, because actions come only with a conscious body, developed and mature. Then you act; otherwise, you go on reacting. Someone says this, so you say that; someone does this, so you react in that way, and everything is predictable.

We know when the husband comes back home in the evening, he knows what is going to happen. The whole scene is predictable: what the wife is going to ask . . . he knows the question already, and now he is preparing answers. And the wife knows already what answers he is going to give. The whole game is predictable, and daily it is repeated. What are we doing? The husband knows very well that whatsoever he says, whatsoever he may say, it is not going to be believed; and still, he will answer in the same way. And the wife knows that whatsoever and howsoever she may ask, he is going to give the deceptive answer, but still, she goes on asking.

Is there a dialogue? Impossible. There is just a deceptive game that both are playing. And this continues for their whole lives. People go on reacting in the same old routine way. Why? If I know that if I ask this question, that answer is to be given; and if I am conscious, there is no need to ask. The whole thing is just absurd; there is no need to ask. And I have asked many times, and many times I have been frustrated – and – and again the same thing. Really, we are not conscious.

The moment the husband enters the house, the question comes out – it is not the wife who is asking it – it is just mechanical. The question comes out, and the moment there is a question, the answer is manipulated.

Have you ever done anything as a conscious agent, as a conscious action? No. If you have done, then you must have become aware of a different thing than the mind. The awareness of mind, the consciousness of the thought process, this standing outside the mind – beyond, just as an onlooker, an observer – is the fourth body. The third body is constituted of thoughts; the fourth body is constituted of consciousness.

The fifth body is known as the bliss body. This is the last, the innermost body – but still the body. When the fourth body is purified, when the fourth body becomes just a transparency, the fifth is realized, because the fourth becomes so transparent then the fifth is felt directly. That’s why, when you are in deep meditation you don’t feel meditation, you feel bliss. When you are deep in meditation, when you are deep in awareness, you don’t feel awareness, you feel bliss.

When you begin to feel bliss, that means now you have begun to be aware.

Awareness creates the situation in which bliss is felt.

Awareness creates the transparency of the fourth body, and the fifth is seen. The fourth becomes so transparent, that not only you can see through it, you can pass through it without any resistance – it is just a door, it is just an opening. This fifth body is the bliss-body. This bliss is already there. It is not to be found somewhere else, it is not to be achieved; it is there only to be discovered. And you discover it by purifying the fourth body.

But this, too, is just a body and has to be transcended; bliss also has to be transcended. One has to go beyond, because if your cannot go beyond bliss, you are still off the center. Because bliss is still an experience, and the experiencer is still beyond.

So whatsoever you can feel will belong to some body, this or that. All experiences belong to these five bodies.

And when there is no experience, only the experiencer remains. When there is no known object, only the knower remains.

When there is nothing to be witnessed, but only the witness is, then you are centered in yourself – then you are; otherwise, you belong to this body or that.

This is not a body.

This is the original nature.

This is the existential source of all being.

Two or three things more. When you transcend the bliss-body, you transcend individuality also. When you transcend the bliss-body, you transcend life and death also, because life and death are phenomena which exist only in the bodies, and in relation to the bodies. Where there is no body, you cannot die and you cannot be reborn. So once one becomes aware of the no-body existence of the center, then there is no death and no life – then you are existence itself. Then there is no individuality, then you are not, simply the being is. All forms and all names are lost.

Meditation is the method to purify the fourth. Then what to do with the fifth . . . how to transcend it? How to transcend bliss itself? It is difficult to understand because we don’t know bliss at all, so how to transcend it is irrelevant. First one has to know, and the moment you know you will know the key to transcend it.

The key is known very easily because this is the last body. With every body it is difficult, because again you face another body. So you transcend one body, but again you are rooted in another. When you reach the bliss body, the next behind, then behind the bliss body – for the first time – there is no body now. Now you are near the very center of existence. And it has a gravitation of its own: that gravitation is known as grace.

You throw something, and gravitation pulls it down, mm? – the earth pulls it down. But beyond two hundred miles above the earth, around earth, gravitation cannot work. So the moment a spaceship passes the two-hundred-miles’ barrier, the earth cannot pull it down. This is the boundary of earth’s pull – two hundred miles.

The bliss body is just the boundary of the no-body existence. And when you are in the bliss body, you are in the pull. Now a new gravitation begins to work; that gravitation is known as grace. That’s why those who achieve the state beyond all bodies say, “This is not by our effort that we have reached it; it is by God and His grace.”

Really, with the fifth, nothing is to be done anyway. You have only to reach to the fifth – that reaching itself is the doing.

Reach the fifth, and you will be pulled.

The reaching itself is anyway transcendence.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #7

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

The Fifth Body is Known as the Bliss Body is from the evening talk, An Inquiry into the Bodies is from the morning talk of the same day.

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

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

Dreaming has to be Transcended – Osho

The state in which the soul, with the help of the energies of the sun and other gods, and through the instrumentality of these fourteen: mind, intellect, mind stuff, ego, and the ten sense organs – becomes sensitive to sound, touch and such other gross objects, is called the waking state.

When the living being, on account of the unfulfilled desires of the waking state, becomes sensitive to sound, touch and such other gross objects – even in the absence of the latter – it is called the dreaming state of the self or soul.

-Sarvasar Upanishad

 The Eastern mind divides consciousness into four states: one is when we are awake, or the first; the second is dreaming; the third is deep sleep, dreamless; and the fourth is beyond all the three, the turiya, the fourth.

What is this which we call the awake state of consciousness? Knowledge, knowing is possible in two ways: mediate and immediate. Mediate knowledge means knowledge through some means, not direct – indirect. Senses are the means, the windows through which we know the extension beyond us. But the knowledge gained is indirect; it is not a face-to-face encounter; the mediator is in between. The senses are mediators, and when senses inform us of something, it is not a simple information, it is an interpretation also. The senses are not just passive receptors; they are positive interpreters also; they impose something, they add something to the information.

So whenever anything is reported by the senses to the consciousness, it is not a passive receptivity; the senses have added something to it, they have interpreted it, they have imposed something on it.

This imposition creates an illusory world around every consciousness, and everyone begins to live in a world of his own. This world, the Eastern esoteric mind says, is the maya, the illusion. It is not the real, the objective, that-which-is: it is something that you have created.

Everyone is within his own world, and there are as many worlds as there are minds. So whenever two persons are near, two worlds are in collision. And otherwise, is not possible, because you have not known the objective as it is.

The second dimension, the alternative dimension to know the world as it is, is not through senses, but through transcendence of the senses. And human consciousness can be in a direct encounter: the senses are just dropped; and still, knowing happens. That knowing is about the truth, because there has been no mediator. Now you have known directly. To know the truth through the senses is maya; to know the truth immediately, directly, face to face, is brahman. That which we know remains the same, but the knower changes. If he is using senses, then he creates an illusory perception; if he is not using the senses, then he is face to face with the reality.

Meditation is the path of how to drop the senses, how to drop the windows and just to be in reality without anyone in between. The rishi says that this contact with the world through the senses is the first state of consciousness, the awake state of mind, jagrut. When you are in contact with the world through the senses, this is jagrut – the awake state of the mind.

Dreaming is the second state, deeper than the state we call the awake. Dreaming is a substitute state, secondary, but deeper. Whatsoever has been left unfulfilled in the state when you were awake, has to be completed. Mind has a tendency to complete things. If you leave something incomplete, then you will create a dream to complete it. The mind tends to complete a thing. You must complete it; otherwise, there is something restless inside.

You have seen a beautiful figure, but you couldn’t look at it as you liked, as much you liked. Now a lingering incompletion will continue inside. You can suppress it when you are awake – you are occupied in many other things, and the suppression is possible – but when you go to sleep, the incomplete link unfolds a dream and completes the thing.

This state of dreaming, the rishi says, means without the instrumentality of your senses. The senses are closed – they are not aware of the world beyond you; now you are within your cells, within your body, but still you can create your own worlds. This creation of your own worlds in dreams becomes possible because your mind is a conditioning of everything you have known, you have felt; everything has been accumulated in it. It is an accumulation, not only of this life, but of all the lives one has lived; and not only of human lives, of animal lives also; and not only of animal lives, but of vegetable lives also.

So in a dream you can become a tree; in a dream you can become a lion. Sometime you have been a tree: that memory is still there – it can unfold. This unfolding of past memories, of past lives, means only that you have never lived totally – always partially. You have not loved totally, you have not been angry totally, you have not been anything totally. Everything is incomplete. So many things incomplete inside, create the situation in which dreaming happens. The moment one begins to live totally, everything is completed, dreaming ceases.

A christ, a buddha, will not dream, because he has not left anything incomplete. A Jesus says this moment is enough – live it totally. Do not think of the other moment that is to come; do not think of the other moment that has gone. That which has gone is no more, and that which has not come yet, has not come yet. Both are non-existential.

This moment, this very moment, this passive moment is the only existential time. Live in it! And leave all else aside. Be totally in it, then there will be no dreaming, then everything is complete. And by the night, when you are dropping into sleep, nothing is incomplete and needs to be completed. And when dreaming ceases, mind becomes more aware.

This is the second state: dreaming. When dreaming ceases you become more awake; and when there is no dreaming in the night, in the morning when you are awake, you have more innocent eyes, more fresh, more alive. In your eyes there is no dust, there is no smoke; the flame is clear without the smoke. Dreaming creates a smoke around your eyes.

And one who has been dreaming in the night, really goes on dreaming in the day also. Deep down there is always a continuous dream film. You are hearing me: just close your eyes and look inside and there is a dream unfolding.

You are too occupied outside, that’s why you cannot become attentive to your inside dreaming; but the dreaming continues.

Look at the sky; there are no stars now. Where have they gone? They cannot go anywhere; they are where they have been in the night, but only because of the sun, we cannot see them. Our eyes are so occupied with the sun, they cannot penetrate through to them. They are still there. If you can go down into a deep well, even in the day, you can look at the stars, because then there is a gap of darkness and again stars appear.

Just like this, you are continuously dreaming. But when you are occupied in the outside world, the dreaming continues inside without your being attentive to it. The moment you are not occupied, relaxed, you become again aware of the dreaming. This is a constant state – in fact, continuous. And this dreaming is more indicative about your mind than whatsoever we call being awake, because it is less inhibited, less suppressed, more naked and therefore more true.

So, if your dreaming can be known, if your dream can be known, much is known about you. You cannot deceive – in dreams, at least. They are still not a part of your will, they are not voluntary. You are not the controller; that’s why they are so wild, so animal-like. This second stage must be penetrated, must be transcended. Only then we can come to the third – still deeper, the deep sleep, the dreamless sleep.

The more you go deep inside, the nearer you are to existence. The deeper you go to the center, the nearer you are to the center of the universe. These three are concentric circles around the center: awake, dreaming and deep sleep. These are three concentric circles. If you transcend all these three, then suddenly you are face to face with your own center. Then you are centered in it. That centering is all.

That centering is to achieve the deathless.

That centering is to be deep inside the heart of the universe.

That centering is divine realization.

Dreaming has to cease, one must cease dreaming. Dreaming has to be transcended – dreaming is the barrier. A dreaming mind can never know the truth; a dreaming mind is bound to live in illusory worlds. Dreaming is the problem, and if dreaming stops . . . And it stops when ambition stops, it stops when desiring stops, it stops when one begins to live moment to moment, just here and now. If you can remember two words, “here” and “now,” dreaming stops. Be here and now, and there can be no dreaming, because dreaming is always from the past and for the future. It originates in the past; it spreads into the future.

Dreaming can never be in the present. To be in the present and to be in a dream is impossible; they never meet. So if one is awake, aware, attentive of the time that is just here and now, dreaming stops. And when dreaming withers away, you can become aware, really aware; you can really become awake. And when you are awake, this awareness can penetrate the third state of consciousness: dreamless sleep. Really, in no language other than Hindi, is there a word for it – sushupti. In no language is there a word for it – sushupti.

Sleep is not sushupti – that’s why we have to add dreamless sleep. It is not just sleep, it is nondreaming sleep – without any ripple of the dream, with no waves of the dream. The ocean is totally silent, not even a dream is there to disturb. Then you are in sushupti – the third state, dreamless sleep, the non-dreaming sleep. But you can never become aware of it unless dreaming ceases.

The waves must cease; only then can you become aware of the ocean; otherwise, you are always aware of the waves. Waves are on the surface, so when you see, you see the waves, not the ocean.

The waves must stop totally. Only then, for the first time, do you become aware of the ocean, the waveless ocean – the dreamless sleep. And if one can become aware of dreamless sleep, one transcends sleep. One transcends sleep only when one becomes aware of it. And then you are turiya, the fourth; then you have passed all the three.

This fourth is the being; this fourth is the search. For this fourth, effort is needed. And one may go on continuously dreaming and dreaming and dreaming – one can never achieve this fourth state through dreaming. That’s why there is so much insistence on non-desiring, non-ambition. The buddhas go on saying, “Do not desire,” because if you desire then dreaming cannot cease. The buddhas go on saying, “Do not be attached,” because if you are attached the dreaming cannot cease. Do not be ambitious, do not long for any becoming, do not think in terms of the future; otherwise, dreaming cannot cease. And unless dreaming ceases you will never be. You can never be! You will always be a becoming, just a becoming: “a” changing into “b,” “b” changing into “c,” “c” changing into “d” – and always the longing for the far off. And then you go on running, and you never reach; then you go on becoming this and that and you are never a being.

The being is here and now.

Drop dreaming and you are there where you have really been always, but you were never aware. All meditation techniques are just anti-dream efforts, just dream-negating devices.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #4

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

Dreaming has to be Transcended is from the morning talk, This Fourth is the Being is from the evening talk of the same day.

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Dreaming has to be Transcended.

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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Dive a Little Deep – Osho

Dogen said:

In the practice of the highest supreme wisdom, it is most difficult to meet prominent masters. Whether men or women, they must be those who have realized something indescribable . . . This is the realization of the essence of the Way. Therefore, they lead and benefit others, setting aside no causality or making no difference between the self and others.

Once we have met a master, we must practice the Way, aloof from worldly relations and grudging a spare time, even in thinking, non-thinking and neutral thinking. Therefore, we should train ourselves as singleheartedly as if we were saving our head from a burning fire. A Zen master who has dropped away his body and mind is none other than ourselves.

It is inevitably by sincerity and piety that we realize and receive the essence of our master’s Law. These qualities neither come from outside nor rise from inside, but from attaching more importance to the law than to our body, or from renouncing the world and entering the way. If we attach a little more importance to our body than to the Law, we shall be unable to realize and receive the Way.

. . .  When someone has realized the great Law and the essence of the Buddhas and patriarchs, we serve him, reverently prostrating ourselves . . .

Sakyamuni-buddha said: “When you meet a master who expounds the supreme wisdom, do not consider his birth, look at his appearance, nor dislike his faults or worry about his behavior. Rather, out of respect for his great Wisdom, treat him with a large sum of money or celestial meals and flowers, or reverently prostrate yourself before him three times a day, giving him no cause for worry; and you will surely find the supreme bodhi-wisdom.”

Dogen continued, . . . Both men and women can realize the way. In any case, the realization of the Way should be respected, regardless of sex. This is an extremely excellent rule in the Way . . . Even a little girl of seven can become the teacher of the four classes of Buddhists . . . If she practices and realizes the Law . . . We should make a venerative offering to her as if to the Buddhas.

This is a traditional manner in Buddhism. I feel sorry for those who have never known or received it personally.

Maneesha, it is one of the most ancient problems – how to recognize the master? Because without the master there is almost no way. I say almost, because perhaps one person in a million may reach to the truth without the master. But it is just accidental, it cannot be made a rule, it is just an exception that simply proves the rule.

And the great concern of masters has been to explain to people the ways of recognizing the master, because the master is the Way. Unless you have seen someone self-realized, you will not trust yourself that you can be realized. Once you have seen a buddha, an enlightened one, a tremendous flame suddenly starts blossoming in you, “If this beauty, this grace, this wisdom, this blissfulness can happen to any man, then why can it not happen to me?”

As far as human beings are concerned, we have the same seeds and the same potentiality. But a seed can remain a seed and may never become a flower, although there was every possibility available. But rather than disappearing in the soil, the seed can remain safe, hiding in a stone cave, thinking that it is too rainy outside, worrying that it is too sunny outside, fearing the unknown. It feels cozy in the closed silence of the cave, but there it cannot grow, there it will simply get rotten. There it will simply remain something . . . it could have been a beautiful manifestation, it simply remains unmanifested, a song unsung, a poetry unwritten, a life unlived.

It is very essential to find a man who can provoke in you the challenge to attain to your heights. The master is nothing but a challenge – if it has happened to me, it can happen to you. And the authentic master – there are so many teachers propounding doctrines, beliefs, philosophies – the authentic master is not concerned with words; is not concerned with beliefs, atheism or theism; is not concerned even with God, or heaven and hell. The authentic master is concerned only with one single thing – to provoke you to see your potentiality, to see inwards. His presence makes you silent, his words deepen your silence, his very being slowly starts melting your falseness, your mask, your personality.

What is the problem of the seed? It is the problem of you, too. The problem of the seed is that the cover is protective. In losing the cover it becomes vulnerable. The seed is perfectly happy covered, but it does not know that there are more skies beyond skies to be discovered, that unless it goes to the beyond it has not lived; because it has not known the world of stars, and it has not lived as a flower dancing in the rain and in the sun and in the wind, it has not heard the music of existence. It remained closed in its safety and security.

And exactly the same is the problem with man. Every man is a bodhisattva. The word ‘bodhisattva’ means, in essence a buddha. The distance between a bodhisattva and a buddha is the distance between the seed and the flower. It is not much; it just takes a little courage to bridge the distance.

But hidden in the darkness of a cave, who is going to give you the encouragement? Who is going to pull you out from your security? The master’s function is to give you a taste of insecurity, to give you a taste of openness. And once you know that openness, insecurity . . . They are basic ingredients of freedom; without them you cannot open your wings and fly in the sky of infinity.

It is absolutely essential to avoid the teachers, they are fake masters. It is very difficult, because they speak the same language. So you have not to listen to the words, you have to listen to the heart; you have not to listen to their doctrines, their logic and arguments, you have to listen to their grace, their beauty, their eyes; you have to listen to and feel the aura that surrounds a master. Just like a cool breeze it touches you. Once you have found your master, you have found the key to open the treasure of your potentialities.

Dogen is talking about this ancient and eternal problem. Dogen says:

In the practice of the highest supreme wisdom, it is most difficult to meet prominent masters.

It is difficult, and if it was difficult in Dogen’s time it has become more difficult nowadays. The world has become more worldly, education has become irreligious, science predominates – and science does not believe in the insight of your being. Our whole culture for the first time in history is absolutely materialistic. It does not matter whether you are in the East or in the West, the same educational pattern has spread all over the globe.

Although you may go traditionally, formally – just as a social conformity – to the temple, to the mosque, deep down you don’t have any trust, deep down there is only doubt. Deep down you are going into the temple not because of any realization, not because you have to show your gratitude to God. You are going there out of fear of the society in which you live – you don’t want to be an outcast. It is simply a social conformity.

It became very clear when in 1917 the Soviet Union went through a revolution. Before the revolution Russia was one of the most orthodox countries in the world. All kinds of superstitions were believed, there were many saints, a great hierarchy in the church. It was absolutely independent from the Vatican; it had its own church. But after the revolution, just within five years, all those beliefs, cultivated for centuries, disappeared. Nobody bothered any more about God.

That does not mean that everybody had understood that there is no God. That simply means the society had changed and you have to change with society – another social conformity. I don’t believe in Russian atheists, just as I don’t believe in any theists, Hindu, Christian or Mohammedan; for the simple reason that their religion is not their own experience, is not their own love affair, it is just a conformity to remain respectable in the crowd.

What is your religion except conformity?

By conformity nobody has found religion. Today it has become almost a universal conformity, because science overrules the mind, logic prevails on our thinking, logic denies anything irrational, science denies anything eternal. Obviously, it has become more and more difficult to find an authentic master. Even to find a teacher is difficult because that too has become out of date. A teacher will be talking about the Upanishads, will be talking about the Bible, will be talking about the Torah, will be talking about the Koran – all are out of date.

Do you think a newspaper twenty centuries afterwards will have any significance? Just within one day its significance is finished. In the morning you were waiting so curiously for the newspaper, by the evening it is thrown out. It has served its purpose: a curiosity to know what is happening around, just a new and more technical way of gossiping.

Now it is no more possible to continue the old type of gossiping because people are living so far away from each other. Newspapers, radio and television are the new forms of gossiping. They spread all kind of nonsense and stupidity to people. This used to be the work of the priest, of the teacher.

Even in the past, as Dogen says, it was very difficult to meet prominent masters. But they have never ceased to be. Even today it is possible, although it has become more difficult to find a master. Because the whole world and its climate, its mind, has turned away from the inner search. One who goes into the inner search today goes alone, without any support from the society. In fact the society creates all kinds of problems for the man who is going in search of himself.

People simply laugh, “Don’t be foolish, go in search of money, go in search of a beautiful woman, go in search of becoming the richest man in the world, go in search of being the prime minister of a country. Where are you going and what will you do even if you find yourself? You will be simply stuck. Once you have found yourself then what are you going to do? You cannot eat it. It is just useless.” The whole endeavor of the centuries has suddenly become completely useless, because so very few people have dared to cross the line, the boundary that the society creates around you.

These few people have found the very source of life, they have found that we are not born with our birth, and we are not going to die with our death. Neither birth nor death … our essence is eternal, beginningless, endless. Births and deaths have happened a thousand-and-one times, they are just episodes, very small things compared to our eternity.

Whenever anybody finds this eternity, it starts transforming him. He becomes a new man in the sense that his vision is clear. He does not belong to any crowd; he cannot be a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan; because he knows in his innermost core that we are all part of one existence. All divisions are stupid. How can a man who has realized himself belong to a crowd, be a member of a crowd? He becomes a peak of consciousness, standing alone like the Everest. He is enough unto himself, and to find him is certainly difficult, but not impossible. You can make it impossible if you go on your search with certain prejudices, with certain criteria already decided by your mind.

For example, a Jaina, even if he comes across a buddha, will not be able to see him. His eyes are covered with his so-called Jainism. He can respect only a man like Mahavira, that is his criterion. And the trouble is, every realized soul is so unique you cannot make criteria. You will have to be more subtle, more intelligent. The Jaina cannot accept Buddha as self-realized because he still wears clothes. His idea of self-realization is that one renounces everything, even clothes; one stands naked.

But please remember, even an actor can stand naked, don’t make it a criterion. Mahavira is unique – he loves to be naked, in the open air, under the sky and the stars. It is beautiful but it is not a criterion. Gautam Buddha eats once a day. Now that is not a criterion, that if somebody eats twice a day he cannot be understood as a buddha. But even our so-called intelligent and our so-called religious people like Mahatma Gandhi make such stupid criteria.

According to him a man of realization cannot drink tea. All the Buddhist masters have been drinking tea, it has been their discovery. It was Bodhidharma who discovered tea. The name ‘tea’ comes from the mountain Tha in China, where Bodhidharma was meditating. And the name has remained the same in different languages . . . just slight changes. In Hindi it is chai, in Marathi it is cha, in Chinese it is tha, in English it has become tea. But a thousand masters have never denied tea as something unspiritual.

On the contrary, Zen has in its monasteries a special teahouse, and when they go for tea it is called a tea ceremony. They have transformed the simple act of drinking tea into a beautiful meditation. You have to leave your shoes outside as if you are entering into a temple. And there is a master who is going to lead the ceremony. Then everybody sits down in the silence of the monastery, the tea is prepared on the samovar and everybody listens to the music of the samovar boiling the tea. It becomes a meditation. Watchfulness is meditation, what you watch does not matter.

Then the master with great grace brings the tea to everybody; pours the tea with immense awareness, consciousness, carefulness, respectfulness, and everybody receives the tea as if something divine is being received. In that silence sipping the tea . . . and this very ordinary thing has become a spiritual experience. Nobody can speak in the teahouse; silence is the rule. When you put down your cups and saucers you also bow down with gratitude to existence. The tea was only a symbol.

But in Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram you could not drink tea, you could not fall in love with a woman. Every day you had to eat with your meal neem leaves, which are the bitterest leaves in the world, just to destroy your taste; because scriptures say that tastelessness is a criterion of spirituality. It can be a criterion of stupidity, it cannot be a criterion of spirituality; otherwise all buffalos will be spiritual.

Have you watched buffalos? They always chew the same grass, showing in no way whether they are happy or unhappy, remaining so content and aloof. And the whole day it continues, chewing and chewing. It cannot be very delicious. You can try, once in a while it is good to try what other species around the world are doing. But I will not say that tastelessness has anything to do with religion. On the contrary, the more you become meditative, the more your taste becomes deeper. Every sense becomes more sensitive, you hear more, you see better, your touch starts becoming warmer.

Just touch a few people’s hands and you will see the difference. Some people’s hands are warm. The warm hands show that they are ready to give, to share; the warmth is their energy moving towards you, it is really a love symbol. But holding some people’s hands will be just like holding a dead branch of a tree, nothing moves in their hands. But these people in the past have been called spiritual. The more dead you are the more spiritual. Don’t eat for the taste’s sake!

You cannot believe that Buddhist scriptures have thirty-three thousand rules for a person to be spiritual. At least I cannot become spiritual, just because I cannot count that many rules. I cannot remember that much – thirty-three thousand rules! Whenever I count, I count on my fingers and after the third finger I always get lost. But that does not mean that I cannot be spiritual, arithmetic has nothing to do with spirituality. And what are those rules?

One instance I will give to you. A young monk is going to spread Buddha’s word to the masses. Before taking his leave, he touches Buddha’s feet and asks him if he has something to say to him, because he will not be able to see him again until the second monsoon comes.

Buddha said, “Yes, I have a few instructions for you. One thing is, never look more than four feet ahead of you.”

The man said, “But why?”

Buddha said, “It is to avoid women. At the most you can see their feet. Then just move on, don’t look at their face. Keep your eyes glued to the ground.”

Now such a man cannot see the stars, such a man cannot see the sunset or the sunrise, such a man is utterly cut off from existence, his sensitivity has been killed. He has eyes but he is almost blind – eyes that can see only four feet ahead. His tremendous capacity for seeing is reduced to only four feet.

The young monk asked, “If once in a while I forget, or if there is some special situation in which I have to see a woman, what should I do?”

Buddha said, “Close your eyes. I am especially concerned, because once you have seen a beautiful woman you can close your eyes but you cannot forget the face.” In fact with closed eyes she becomes more beautiful.

If I were in the place of Gautam Buddha I would give everybody a magnifying glass! Carry it! Whenever you come across a beautiful woman, just look and then her eyes will look like monsters; her nose will become so big that no Jew could defeat it. But this is not spirituality, carrying a magnifying glass . . .

His restriction is nothing but repression, and a repressed person can never enter into his own being. Those repressed feelings and thoughts become a hard shell dividing him from himself, from his own origin. Only an unrepressed, thoughtless, silent being can break away the barrier and reach to his living source. And the moment you reach your living source . . . you don’t have to do anything, it does miracles. It starts changing your attitudes, your approaches, it starts changing everything that you have known about yourself. It brings to you a new beinghood.

To find a master is easy if you are available not only to words, but to silences too; not only to words because the truth never comes through words, but between the words, between the lines, in the silent spaces. If you are searching for a master don’t carry any criterion, any prejudice. Be absolutely available, so that when you come across a master you can feel his energy. He carries a whole world of energy around him. His own experience radiates all around him. If you are open and not afraid of experiencing a new thing, of tasting something original, it is not very difficult to find a master. What difficulty there is, is on your side.

But Dogen’s statement is right:

. . . It is most difficult to meet prominent masters. Whether men or women, they must be those who have realized something indescribable.

That’s what makes them masters: if they know something which cannot be described, if they have some experience which cannot be explained. The master is a mystery. He knows it but he cannot say it. He can share it if you are ready. He can invite you into his own very being. If you are unafraid and fearless, courageous enough to explore the most unknown part of existence, you can become a guest in the master’s home. But remember, the moment you enter into the master’s home the master enters into you. Two consciousnesses cannot remain separate. Once two consciousnesses come close they become one.

And this is the only thing that has to be remembered: if with someone you feel a deep affinity, a deep synchronicity, as if one soul is in two bodies, then don’t miss this man. He is going to lead you to the same incredible, indescribable, inexpressible experience.

This is the realization of the essence of the way.

Finding the master is finding the Way.

Therefore, they lead and benefit others, setting aside no causality or making no difference between the self and others.

A very famous Sufi mystic used to come to a place where I lived for twenty years, and his disciples always wanted me to meet their master. I said, “The only way is: next time your master can stay with me.”

So the next time the Sufi master came he stayed with me, and I asked him first thing, “Are you still Mohammedan?”

He looked surprised and shocked. He said, “Of course.”

I said, “Then you don’t know the indescribable. These divisions between Mohammedans and Hindus and Jainas and Buddhists are divisions of the mediocre and retarded.”

But he said, “I realized God. I see him.” I said, “It is all nonsense.”

Anando has just brought to me . . . There is in America a new species of priests, television priests, that has never existed before. A very famous television priest has become more famous since he has declared that he sees God every night. God is nine hundred feet long! I told Anando, “Write a letter to him from me, ‘Please tell me, do you carry a ladder and something to measure with? or is it just guess work?’” Nine hundred feet, exactly!

We think we live in the twentieth century. Even in America people are not living in the twentieth century, to say nothing of countries like India. Millions worship that man and nobody even bothers that this is so stupid.

Seeing this, another missionary started declaring that he also sees God and he has a long white beard. So I have sent him my picture, “You don’t be deceived, it is me who visits you in your dreams! In the first place, if God is eternal, he cannot have white hair. He will always be young. It is man who becomes old.”

He has even published his picture, which is similar to mine, so I have told him, “Just look at my picture. Just not to be recognized by everybody else I’m wearing the glasses. But it’s me you have been seeing in your dreams. Don’t exploit people by saying that you are seeing God.”

God is not an object. You cannot see God. God is your very consciousness. It is the seer, not the seen. It is you, not some object somewhere. It is your innermost center, which is the only eternal point, unchangeable, immortal, divine in its beatitude, in its blessings.

 

When you come close to a master just remember one thing: withdraw all defenses. Be as empty as possible, so that the master’s energy can penetrate you, can penetrate your being, can touch your heart. And it is an immediate realization. Just as when you fall in love, you don’t think about love, you don’t consult librarians about love, you don’t ask your elders how to fall in love. There is no school that teaches how to fall in love. But people fall in love, it suddenly happens.

Just as love suddenly happens on the lower level, on the physical and biological level … finding the master is a form of the highest love. The moment you come into the area of his influence – which is called the buddhafield, the field of the master – you suddenly start throbbing with a new energy, you suddenly feel a new freshness, a new breeze passing through you, a new song which makes no sound. All that is left for you is to relax in deep gratitude. Don’t even utter the word ‘thank you’, because that is separating. This is not the time to utter a word . . . just a gesture of gratitude.

Once we have met a master, we must practice the way. If the master himself is the Way, how do you practice? You simply watch how the master moves, what gestures he makes, how he responds to situations. Because he is every moment an absolute awareness. His every action is an indication of his innermost being. Watch him! Watch him when he is sleeping, watch him when he is waking, watch him when he is talking, watch him when he is sitting silently, doing nothing.

Watching the master with deep gratitude and love, absorbing his energy silently . . .  It is almost like drinking water when you are thirsty, a deep feeling of contentment comes to you.

. . . aloof from wordly relations and grudging a spare time, even in thinking, non-thinking and neutral thinking. Therefore, we should train ourselves as singleheartedly as if we were saving our head from a burning fire. A Zen master who has dropped away his body and mind is none other than ourselves.

The buddha and you in your deepest consciousness are one. The Upanishads declare: Aham brahmasmi – I am God. It is not out of any egoistic attitude – those people who wrote the Upanishads have not even signed it. We don’t know who wrote those Upanishads. Their statements are so clear – it is impossible to have an ego and make such clear-cut statements about the truth. And when they declared, “Aham brahmasmi,” they were not declaring it for themselves only; they were declaring for everybody, “You are the God.” Don’t search for him anywhere else. You will not find him in any holy place. If you cannot find him within yourself, you cannot find him anywhere else. The moment you find him in you, he is everywhere. Then you will see him in the song of a cuckoo or the chirping of the birds or in a thunderbolt or in this silence. Then he is everywhere.

Once you know him within you, you know him all over. The whole existence becomes one continent. The ego makes you small islands. And remember, no man is an island, because even the small island deep down is joined with the continent. Just one has to go a little deep, dive a little deep.

It is inevitably by sincerity and piety that we realize and receive the essence of our master’s Law.

This word ‘Law’ is a very difficult translation of the word dhamma. It gives a distorted view; the moment you hear the word ‘law’ you remember your courts and constitution, your legal authorities; you don’t remember the word ‘dhamma’.

Dhamma is a Pali translation of the Sanskrit dharma. And ‘dharma’ means: fire is hot – hot is the dhamma of fire; ice is cold, it is the dhamma of ice. And you are a buddha, it is the dhamma of you. Better translated, law should not be used as a translation for dhamma, but rather ‘nature’. It is your nature to be a buddha. It does not matter that sometimes you forget. You can remain in forgetfulness for your whole life or many lives. Still, as an undercurrent the same dhamma, the same buddha, the same consciousness continues.

Once it happened . . . George Bernard Shaw was traveling to some place from London. The ticket checker came and George Bernard Shaw looked into everything, searched his whole suitcase, perspiring. The ticket was not found, although he knew perfectly well that he had purchased a ticket. The ticket checker said, “Don’t be worried. I know you, everybody knows you. You must have put it somewhere. Don’t be worried. I will take care that nobody harasses you.”

Bernard Shaw said, “That is not the problem, my boy. The ticket is not the problem. The problem is how to know where I am going. Do you think I am searching for the ticket for you?”

You can forget. Forgetfulness is part of our nature, just as remembrance is. Sometimes you all must have come to a point where you were trying to remember some old acquaintance’s name. You say it is just on the tip of the tongue. What do you mean? If it is on the tip of the tongue, spit it out! You know perfectly well that you know, but it is not coming to expression. The harder you try the more difficult it will become, because the harder you try, the more narrow the passage becomes. Mind becomes tense and old memories cannot get through that tenseness. Finally you give up and just start smoking, and while smoking suddenly it comes. You cannot believe, you had been trying so hard, you knew it was just on the tip of the tongue, and still you could not express it. I say to you the buddha is just on the tip of your tongue. It is only a question of smoking a little. A little relaxation, that’s what the smoking gives.

People smoke cigarettes and cigars not knowing that psychologically it is simply their mother’s breast. That’s why it gives them so much relaxation. From the nipple of the mother’s breast lukewarm milk comes to the child; from the cigarette lukewarm smoke comes in – and you have forgotten everything, you have become again a child, innocent, relaxed. No government can stop people from smoking, because smoking is not really the question. It has a deep psychology behind it.

You can see the psychology without much erudition. Poets sing about the women’s breast more than anything else. Painters paint the woman’s breast more than anything else. There are a few painters who only paint women’s breasts and nothing else. They go on improving . . .

Why this obsession? Why this fixation? The reality is that more and more mothers are not willing to breast feed the child, because to feed the child this way is to misshape the breast. The child goes on pulling, it makes the breast longer, and every woman wants the breast to be shapely, round, a full moon, and these young monsters won’t allow it. They are interested in their work, because a round breast, a sculptor’s idea of a woman’s breast, will kill the child. If the breast is round the child cannot have his nourishment, his nose will be closed. Either he can breathe or he can drink; both together he cannot do. So all those Khajuraho paintings and statues, all those great painters, don’t understand that the poor child’s life is at stake!

Every woman becomes interested, and now it is even being discussed in parliaments around the world, “Should women be forced to feed the child, or should they be given the freedom to choose themselves?” No woman wants to distort her breasts. Unless they find some technological device . . . and it can be done. Just join the breast and the baby’s mouth with a small pipe. And the child is almost on a cigar from the very beginning!

I always see simple solutions to very great problems! Just a small plastic pipe . . . the child will enjoy it and he can continue to enjoy it later on also because he is going to be in companionship with women. Nobody can prevent by law something which has a psychological root. And nobody can prevent you from becoming a buddha, because it is your very nature. It is another matter that you get involved in the small things of the world – power, prestige, respectability – and you forget to give some time to yourself. Just a little time to yourself, forgetting the whole world . . . there is no need to renounce it. I am against renouncing anything.

All the religions of the world have been religions of renunciation. They wanted people to meditate, to renounce the world, to go to the mountains, to the forests, to the deserts where nobody comes along. But that did not work, it does not work. Even if you go to the mountain a crowd will follow you there – in your mind, not outside. Outside you will not see anybody, but with your eyes closed you will think about so many things: your wife, your children, your old parents, your friends and all kinds of stupid things – Lions Club and Rotary Club. Things that you have never thought of before will start coming to your mind, because having nothing else to chew . . . even chewing gum is not available, you have to chew something. People start thinking of strange things.

But this is not realizing oneself. I am against renouncing the world, I want you to be in the world as totally as possible. So just once in a while be on a holiday. Just in the early morning for a few moments renounce everything, forget everything, and just be yourself. In the dark night when everybody is asleep sit on your bed and just be yourself.

This is far more successful. The old renunciation was almost violent. Nobody has pointed it out because nobody wants to be condemned, but I am so much condemned now that I don’t care. All the religions are responsible for millions of women who became widows even while their husbands were alive; children who became orphans although their fathers were alive; old parents who became beggars because their young son on whom they were dependent had renounced the world. Nobody has counted how much harm the very idea of renunciation has done, and what is the gain? Just measure both, there seems to be no gain. All those who have renounced are simply dreaming about the same things, clinging in the same way, jealous in the same way.

I was in the Himalayas and I was just going to sit under a tree, when from another tree a monk, a Hindu monk, shouted, “Don’t sit there. That belongs to my master.”

I said, “My God, even here in this forest . . . You have renounced the whole world, but you have not yet renounced the tree. And the tree belongs to nobody.”

He said, “I am warning you; he is a dangerous man.”

I said, “He has to be dangerous, because renunciation of the world can be done only by violent people.”

How can you leave the world? This is your very sea, in which you are the fish. Leaving it you will die. How can a bird leave the sky? It is his very world. If he leaves the sky he will die. You cannot leave the world, but just on the margin you can take a few holidays, a few moments for yourself . . .  and nobody will even know about it.

These small moments in which you drop the whole world as if it is a dream – and your own being remains the only reality – are the greatest moments of joy, peace, silence, blissfulness. These moments are divine. In these moments you are no more the ordinary human being, you have suddenly transcended humanness, you have transcended all form, you have entered into the formless existence. Your heart becomes the heartbeat of the whole existence.

This is the only practice possible, everything else is non-essential and dangerous. Be ordinary in every way, just keep a few small spaces here and there. The world goes on, you don’t interfere in it, neither do you escape from it. You participate in it, and with participation you go on growing inside in these few moments. Remaining in the world and becoming a buddha, that is my message.

When someone has realized the great Law and the essence of the Buddhas and patriarchs, we serve him, reverently prostrating ourselves.

What can we do when somebody radiates consciousness, radiates the dance of existence? What do we have to offer? In the West people have always been concerned why people in the East touched the feet of their masters. They don’t know it has become a traditional thing. Unfortunately everything becomes traditional; but basically, essentially, it has a great beauty. It is not a question of feet. It is simply a question of a gratitude which cannot be said, but only expressed by touching the feet of the master

Sakyamuni-buddha said: “When you meet a master who expounds the supreme wisdom, do not consider his birth.”

Don’t ask what caste he belongs to, don’t ask about his appearance. He may not look beautiful according to your ideas, he may not come from a high caste, from the Brahmins; he may be a sudra like Kabir or Dadu. He may not have renounced a kingdom like Buddha and Mahavira.

But everybody does not have a kingdom to renounce. I used to know a postmaster, a very poor man. He lived just nearby my house, so we used to talk once in a while. When his wife died – he had no children – he renounced the world. The same people who had never paid any attention to the poor man started touching his feet, and soon he became very famous. After twenty years I met him again through one of his disciples who said, “You should see him.”

I said, “I know him.”

But they said, “He has changed, he is a transformed man. He has renounced millions.”

I said, “I know that in his post office account he had kept thirty-six rupees only. From where did he get millions?” But rumors . . . and he was enjoying those rumors. I said, “I am coming to put him in his right senses.”

I asked him, “Please tell to your disciples how many rupees you had left in your post office account.”

He looked so sadly at me. He said, “It will be better if we meet separately, alone, not with all these people.”

I said, “I have to meet here in front of everybody, because these people think you have renounced millions. Now say clearly how many rupees!”

He said, “Thirty-six.”

The disciples said, “Thirty-six? And you never told us before?”

He said, “I enjoyed the idea that I had renounced millions. And I never said anything . . . I simply did not deny it. So you cannot blame me.”

And I said, “Tell these people the real thing.”

He said, “What real thing?”

The real thing was that before he decided to renounce he asked me to write three speeches for him, one for ten minutes, one for twenty minutes, one for thirty minutes. He said, “I will memorize them completely and for a ten minute occasion I will use one; if twenty minutes are available I will use that one. I don’t think more than thirty minutes will be available to me at conferences.”

I said, “I am asking about those three speeches. Are you using them still or not?”

He said, “My God, you have come here to kill me completely! These people think I am a realized man!”

I said, “Tell these people that those three speeches were written by me.”

He said, “I have to admit it.” But he lost all his fame. Suddenly his disciples disappeared, everybody started laughing about the whole thing. But for twenty years continuously he had maintained his great learnedness with those three speeches.

I brought him back to my home. I said, “I need a gardener. You just do the garden and meditate with the plants, with the roses.” And India has so many beautiful flowers, incomparable, because of the climate. The Indian rose has a fragrance that is not possible in a cold country; the fragrance is not released, it needs the sun. India has so many beautiful flowers, unknown to the world. I had a beautiful garden, so I put him to work.

He said, “I was enjoying being an enlightened one, and unfortunately somebody brought you there. In this old age now I have to become a gardener again.”

I said, “This is far more authentic. Just be a gardener. It is a simple job. You can meditate and you can shower the water on the plants. The showering of water on the plants does not disturb your meditation. The flowers are not disturbing, the trees are very loving and very peaceful. I am giving you a really alive temple.”

Dogen is saying that when you meet a master don’t think about his birth, don’t bother about his appearance. All that is needed is a recognition that this is a man who has realized himself; everything else is non-essential. All that is needed now is a deep gratitude. It is a miracle to find such a man, and you have found him.

Your gratefulness will bring a spring to your being. The master’s experience will start flowing towards you just as rivers flow down from the mountains towards the ocean. Your gratefulness becomes just like an ocean: vast, available. And the master’s heights are like the mountains, from where the Ganges and thousands of other rivers come running, rushing, jumping from rock to rock, from valley to valley, reaching towards the ocean. If you are with a master all that you need is a humbleness, a gratitude. And the master is bound to pour himself into you.

Dogen continued, . . . Both men and women can realize the Way. In any case, the realization of the Way should be respected, regardless of sex, this is an extremely excellent rule in the Way. Even a little girl of seven can become the teacher of the four classes of Buddhists . . . if she practices and realizes the Dhamma . . . We should make a venerative offering to her as if to the Buddhas.

Neither age matters nor birth matters, nor country nor race. What matters is your awareness, and awareness is neither Hindu nor Christian nor Mohammedan. It is just a fire, an eternal fire, invisible to the outside eye but visible when you close your eyes and go inward.

A haiku:

Mountains of green
Mountains of blue arise:
My gratitude wells up
And fills my eyes.

Ryokan wrote:

The thief
Left it behind –
The moon at the window.

This is just what Ryokan wrote after the thief had gone. The whole story is beautiful. One night a thief entered into Ryokan’s small hut. Ryokan had only one blanket which he used day and night to cover his body. That was his only possession. He was lying down but he was not asleep, so he opened his eyes and saw the thief entering. He felt great compassion for him because he knew there was nothing in the house. “If the poor fellow had informed me before, I could have begged something from the neighbors and kept it here for him to steal. But now what can I do?”

Seeing that there was nothing, that he had entered into a monk’s hut, the thief started to go out. Ryokan could not resist. He gave his blanket to the thief. The thief said, “What are you doing? You are standing naked. It is a very cold night!”

He said, “Don’t be worried about me. But don’t go empty-handed. I have enjoyed this moment; you have made me feel like a rich man. Thieves usually enter the palaces of emperors. By your entering here my hut has also become a palace, I have also become an emperor. In my joy this is just a gift.”

Even the thief felt sorry for him and he said, “No, I cannot receive this gift because you don’t have anything. How you are going to pass the night? It is so cold, and it is getting colder!”

Ryokan said with tears in his eyes, “You remind me again and again of my poverty. If it was in my power I would have taken hold of the full moon and given it to you.”

When the thief left he wrote in his diary:

The thief
Left it behind –
The moon at the window.

These haikus are not ordinary poems. These are statements of deep meditativeness.

Maneesha has asked:

Our Beloved Master,

What is the essence of our Master’s Law?

Maneesha, here I am not – just an empty space, a hollow bamboo. If you want to join with me, nothing else is needed. Just be utterly empty and silent. This is your master’s dhamma. And in fact, this is all the masters’ dhamma. Become a hollow bamboo so that you can be turned into a flute and songs of immense beauty can pass through you. They will not be your songs; they will be songs of existence.

-Osho

From Dogen, the Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfillment, Discourse #4

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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Go Beyond Emptiness – Osho

Sekiso has a poem:

For six years sitting alone
Still as a snake
In a stalk of bamboo,
With no family but the ice
On the snow mountain . . .
Last night, seeing the empty sky
Fly into pieces,
He shook the morning star awake
And kept it in his eyes.

A tremendously beautiful poem. He is saying, for six years sitting alone – that means meditating; sitting, in Zen, is equivalent to meditation, just sitting and doing nothing. Six years sitting alone, still as a snake . . . When the snake is waiting to catch something to eat, he remains absolutely immobile as if he is dead. The slightest movement, then the bird he was going to catch will be gone, then the butterfly he was going to catch will not be there. He has to remain just dead, no movement.

Still as a snake in a stalk of bamboo, with no family but the ice on the snow mountain. Last night . . . those six years sitting matured. Last night the moment came of great benediction.

Last night, seeing the empty sky fly into pieces, he shook the morning star awake and kept it in his eyes. He is talking about the inner sky, the inner emptiness, that suddenly gave way. For six years he was holding. Last night, suddenly the emptiness also fell into pieces. He was thinking that just to be empty is enough for meditation. Just to be empty is only the beginning. A moment comes when emptiness falls into pieces. You go beyond emptiness.

Last night, seeing the empty sky fly into pieces, he shook the morning star awake . . . He is talking about his own inner being. That emptiness flying into pieces shook the star awake and kept it in his eyes. Now he is carrying that star in his eyes, that clarity, that light, that shining jewel which is not in the sky, which is hidden somewhere inside your emptiness, which is covered by your thoughts and emotions. Your mind is blocking the path, but somewhere inside you, it is shining bright. Just a little turning in, and you will be fulfilled.

-Osho

From Nansen: The Point of Departure, Discourse #2

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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Go on Digging – Osho

The word ‘zazen’ has to be understood before I can start discussing the sutras that you have brought. Zen I have explained to you. It comes from the Sanskrit dhyan. Buddha never used Sanskrit as a part of his revolution. Sanskrit was the language of the learned, it has never been a language of the masses. Buddha broke away from tradition and started speaking in the language of the masses. It was a revolt against scholarship, learnedness, the pundits, the rabbis, the people of the scripture, whose whole heart is in their books. And because of those books they cannot see the reality.

Buddha started speaking in the language of his province, Pali. In Pali, dhyan changes its form a little bit. It becomes jhan. When Bodhidharma reached China, jhan again changed, into Chinese; it became ch’an. And when the school of Rinzai took the same message to Japan from China, the word ch’an came very close to the very original Pali, jhan. It became in Japan, zen.

In English there is no equivalent word. There are words like concentration, contemplation . . . but they are all of the mind. Dhyan means going beyond the mind. It is not concentration, it is not contemplation; it is just letting the mind be put aside and looking at reality and your own existence directly, without the mind interpreting it.

Have you ever tried small experiments? Watching a rose flower, can you watch the rose flower without the mind saying, “How beautiful”? Can you just watch the rose without the mind saying anything at all? In that moment you are in the state of dhyan, or zen.

I am reminded of a story. Twenty-five centuries ago it was a great coincidence that in Greece there was Socrates and in India were Gautam Buddha and Mahavira, and in China there were Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu – all expressing the existential truth, indicating towards it. It is very strange that suddenly, all over the world, there were at least six people fully awakened. Their words may be different because their languages are different, but their indication is to the same moon. That is absolutely certain.

Dhyan means looking, either outside or inside, without thinking – just looking straight forward. Your eyes become only a mirror. The mirror never says anything to anybody. Neither does it condemn the ugly nor does it appreciate the beautiful; it is simply non-judgmental.

Dhyan is, exactly, a non-judgmental state of mirror-like consciousness, just seeing and not saying anything. Then seeing becomes total. And in that seeing is the truth, is the good, is the beauty.

Because of this phenomenon, in the East there is no equivalent word for ‘philosophy’. In the East the word that has become equivalent is darshan, but darshan refers to a totally different dimension than philosophy. Philosophy means love of wisdom. It is love of knowledge. And darshan means just the opposite: not the love of wisdom or of knowledge, but of seeing. Darshan means seeing.

Dhyan is the method, the path; and darshan, seeing the truth with your own eyes, is the goal of the whole Eastern effort.

What is zazen? Zen is, just once or twice a day . . . in the early morning when the sun is rising and the birds are singing, you sit silently by the side of the ocean or the river or the lake. It is not something that you have to do continuously. It is just like any other activity. You take your bath – that does not mean that for twenty-four hours you have to continue taking a shower. Zazen exactly means that: taking a shower continuously. Zen is a periodic effort to see the truth. Zazen is a twenty-four hour, around-the-clock remaining aware, alert, in the state beyond mind. Your activities should show it, your words should show it. Even your walking should show it – the grace, the beauty, the truth, the validity, the authority.

So zazen is an extension of Zen around the clock. Just because of zazen, monasteries came into existence. Because if you are living an ordinary life of a householder you cannot manage to contemplate, to be in the state of Zen twenty-four hours a day. You have to do many other things.

And there is every possibility that while you are doing other things you may forget the undercurrent.

So monasteries came into existence. The society decided that the people who want to go deeper into their being are doing such a great experiment for the whole humanity, because if even one man becomes a buddha, with him the whole humanity rises a little bit in consciousness.

It may not be apparent. It is just like when the Ganges . . . a big river, so big that by the time it reaches to meet the ocean its name, from Ganga, becomes Gangasagar, “the ocean of Ganges.” It becomes oceanic – so vast. As it moves into the ocean, the ocean certainly rises a little bit. The ocean is so vast that even hundreds and thousands of rivers never create a flood in the ocean, but certainly even a single dewdrop raises the level. At least you can comprehend it: a single dewdrop losing itself in the ocean, and the ocean is something more than it was before – one dewdrop more.

The people of those days were certainly more subjective, of more clarity that the real evolution of man is not in developing machines, technology; the real evolution has to happen in the consciousness of man. His consciousness has to become a pinnacle, an Everest, a peak that rises high above the clouds. If even a single man succeeds, it is not only his success, it is also the success of all men – past, present, future – because it gives a clear-cut indication that we are not trying; otherwise, we could also be buddhas. Those who have tried, have become. It is our intrinsic nature.

The society supported the monks, supported the monasteries. There were thousands of monasteries with thousands of monks who were not doing anything. Society allowed them – “We are engaged in production. We will provide you with food and clothes. You go totally into your effort of reaching the highest peak of consciousness. Your success is not going to be only your success.

If thousands of people become buddhas, the whole humanity, without any effort, will find a certain rise in consciousness.”

This was a great insight. And society took over the burden of thousands of monks, of thousands of monasteries; all their needs were fulfilled by the society. Today, that society has disappeared because today even the concept that you are a hidden buddha has disappeared. A strange idea has caught humanity, that every man is an island. And that is sheer nonsense. Even the islands are not islands. Just go down a little deeper and they are joined with the continent.

Everybody is joined, it is just a question of going a little deeper. Our roots are entangled with each other, our source of life is the same.

It was a tremendous insight of those days that they decided – particularly, for example, in Tibet: every family had to contribute one child to the monastery, and in the monastery, he had to do only zazen. He had no other work to distract him.

But now that possibility does not exist. Hence, I have managed different devices in which you can remain in the world – no need to go to a monastery, because there is nobody to support you. You can be in the world and yet manage an undercurrent of fire that slowly, slowly becomes like your breathing. You don’t have to remember it.

Maneesha has asked:

Beloved Osho,
On one occasion, Joshu said to his monks: I have single heartedly practiced zazen in the Southern Province for thirty years.

He is referring to those thirty years with his master, Nansen. He is saying, “I have singleheartedly practiced zazen for thirty years continuously, without ever bothering about how far away enlightenment is.” Is it going to happen or not? Is it a truth or just a mirage? Is it something real or only a fiction created by dreamers? Without any doubt, how can one sustain for thirty years the same routine around the clock – walking, sitting, sleeping?

The whole heart is devoted to one thing: how to become more conscious, how to become a witness, how to remain a witness whatever happens. It is possible only if you have come in contact with a master, exceptions not included. The master is an example that the dream can be fulfilled. That it is not a dream, it is a reality – it is just that we have not tried in the right way.

Joshu could continue for thirty years just because he saw Nansen. The very presence of Nansen filled him with a great explosion of joy. “It is possible! If it is possible for Nansen, it is possible for me.”

Nansen had asked him, “Do you have a master or not?” and he did not reply to exactly the question that was asked. He said, “I am with the master.” He said, “My master is in front of me,” indicating Nansen, who was lying down meditating. And he addressed Nansen as “Tathagata.”

Tathagata is the most lovely word used for Gautam Buddha. Just out of respect, the disciples don’t use the name Gautam Buddha, they use the word “Tathagata.” And tathagata is very meaningful.

It comes from tathata. Tathata means thisness, just here and now – a man who always remains here and now, never wavering towards past or future, is a tathagata. He neither goes anywhere nor comes back, he simply remains here. Time passes by, clouds pass by, but nothing touches him. His being here is from eternity to eternity. That is the most cherished word the followers of Buddha used to address him.

Joshu said to Nansen, “Tathagata, I am with my master.” And in that moment something happened – just in silence. Nothing was said, nothing was heard, but something transpired, something was transferred. In Zen they call it “transmission of the lamp.” And Nansen never asked him to be initiated; neither did Joshu ask to be initiated. The initiation had happened without any ceremony and without anybody ever knowing it. The moment he called him “Tathagata” . . . that moment was very precious.

“I am with my master.”

Nansen accepted him, without saying anything. He simply called the head monk of the monastery and told him, “Take care of this new fellow. He is going to become ripe very soon. If he can recognize me as tathagata, he has already moved half the way. It won’t take long for him to recognize himself as tathagata. He has the right vision, the right direction . . . just a question of a little time.”

But that “little time” took thirty years. Those days of patience are gone. Now you need quick things, the quicker the better. Because of this strange idea of quickness all things that grow very slowly and very silently have disappeared. Consciousness is one of those things which you cannot grow quickly. Thirty years sitting in zazen, Joshu became enlightened. What Nansen said was, “He will take just a little time.” In the eyes of Nansen, thirty years are just a little time compared to the eternity of existence on both sides. What is thirty years? Nothing, not even a little time.

Joshu was talking to his disciples:

“If you want to realize enlightenment, you should realize the essence of Buddhism, doing zazen.”

The essence of Buddhism is not in the scriptures, not in the words of Buddha. It is something to be understood, because it has far-reaching implications. Whatever Buddha has said is as close to truth as possible, but even being close to truth, it is not true. Even closeness is only a kind of distance. So you cannot find the essence of the experience of Buddha through the scriptures. […]

To realize the essence of Buddhism is to realize what Buddha realized, is to go as deep into yourself as Buddha went in. That’s what we are doing here. And we are not Buddhists, we don’t belong to any dead tradition or any dead orthodoxy. There is no need. We are all carrying the buddha within us – why go on searching anywhere else?

That is the purpose of zazen, to search through all the garbage that you have accumulated down the centuries. You have been here on the earth for four million years in different shapes, in different bodies, in different species. You have gathered so much around your small buddha that you will have to dig as deep as possible. And don’t waver in digging.

One great Sufi mystic, Jalaluddin Rumi, one day took his disciples to a field where a farmer had been trying for months to dig a well. The disciples were feeling a little reluctant – what is the point in going there? Whatever he wants to say, he can say here. But Jalaluddin insisted: “You come with me. Without coming you will not understand.”

What the farmer had done was, he would start digging in one place, go ten feet, twelve feet, would not find water and would start digging in another place. He had dug eight holes and now he was working on the ninth. He had destroyed the whole field.

Rumi told his disciples, “Don’t be like this idiot. If he had put all this energy into digging one hole he would have found water, howsoever deep it is. He has wasted his energy unnecessarily.” And that’s what everybody is doing. You start, you go a little bit, and then you start again sometime later, or some years later. You go a little bit from a different direction.

These little bits are dangerous. Your effort should be concentrated, and once you start, and you have a master in whom you can trust and in whom you can see the realization of a buddha, then there is no going back. Then go on digging, even if it takes thirty years.

That’s what Joshu is saying:

In the course of three, five, twenty or thirty years, if you fail to grasp the way, you may cut off my head and make it into a ladle to draw urine with.

I promise you, at the risk of my head, that if you continue . . . one never knows. Three years, five years, twenty years, thirty years – one never knows how much garbage you have gathered. Sometimes it can happen in a single moment. Sometimes it can take years. It all depends on the thickness of the layers of dust, past memories, future aspirations, and how courageous you are to cut the whole thing in a single blow.

Without any rest, go on digging. The water is certainly everywhere; so is the buddha-consciousness in every living being. Only man is so fortunate that he can understand it. Other animals are also on the way . . .Scientists think that the theory of evolution is Charles Darwin’s concept. In the scientific field it is true, but they are not aware of the Eastern concept of evolution. A very different concept – far more relevant and far more valid. It is not that one monkey simply becomes man. It is very difficult. You can force him, massage him, stretch him, operate on his tail, put his tie right, but a monkey is a monkey. I don’t think that suddenly one day some monkey got the idea, jumped out of the tree, stood on his two feet, and started becoming man. If so, all the other monkeys would have become man. They don’t become, they are still there in the trees.

The East does not mean by evolution that a monkey becomes a man, but the consciousness of a monkey may be born into a human being. It is not the body that evolves; it is the consciousness within that goes on taking higher forms, goes on reaching towards higher peaks. Man up to now is the highest peak of all that the animals have been trying to be, unconsciously. This is the fortunate situation for man, that he can do consciously some work that other animals cannot do. It is impossible to teach meditation to a buffalo, although buffalos look more meditative than man. But nothing can be taught, and even if there are a few birds, or a few animals who can be taught a few tricks, that does not become their evolution. They simply become actors. A few animals have the capacity to imitate, but only to imitate. Neither can they add anything nor can they delete anything. […]

The essence of Buddhism is not in the Buddhist scriptures, the essence of Buddhism is in being a buddha.” And one becomes a buddha if he reaches his own center. Joshu is completely certain; otherwise he would not have made such a statement: In the course of three, five, twenty or thirty years . . . because in thirty years he became enlightened.

He thinks, “If a man like me can become a buddha, then anybody can become. There are more intelligent people than me, more courageous people than me. Somebody may become in three years, somebody in five years.”

The question of time is irrelevant. The real thing is to begin now, don’t postpone for tomorrow. Deeper somewhere, there is a life source – that much is certain. You are alive, you are breathing, you are listening, your heart is beating. You are perfectly alive, so there must be a source from where life is coming to you. This much can be said with an absolute guarantee, that you are connected with the universe and that connection is your buddhahood.

Joshu is also reported to have said: Thousands upon thousands of people are only seekers after Buddha, but not a single one is a true man of Tao.

To be a seeker in a lukewarm way, thinking that buddhahood is certain . . . “If I don’t work it out today, there is tomorrow.” The seeker without an urgency – there are thousands of people around the world. There are even more cases now than at the time of Joshu – there are millions of people who have a certain idea that one day they will turn inwards, but that day has not come yet. There are so many other things to be done. There are always, there have always been thousands of people interested, but not interested enough to risk their whole life. And unless you risk your whole life, unless it becomes such an urgency that it has to be done whatever the consequences – whatsoever the losses, you have to know yourself – unless this becomes such a total thirst, you will not become a buddha. Or a man of Tao – which are not two things; a man of Tao is the Chinese expression for the same experience as becoming a buddha.

Before the existence of the world the self-nature remains intact. Now that you have seen this old monk – Joshu is pointing at himself. Now that you have seen this old monk, you are no longer someone else, but a Master of yourself.

If you have seen me clearly, you have seen yourself clearly, because I am nothing but a mirror. Only a blind man can pass without seeing himself in me, his own image.

The master’s basic, fundamental function is to be a mirror to the disciple so the disciple can have a certain idea of what a man of Tao means, what it means to be a buddha.

Joshu, with a lion’s roar, is saying, “When you have seen this old monk, you are no longer someone else but a master of yourself.” A master only reflects your masterhood. He reflects your potentiality, he reflects what originally you are and you have forgotten.

What is the use of seeking another in the exterior?

Joshu is saying, “If you cannot see the buddha in me, then don’t waste your time. You will not be able to see it anywhere.” This certainty comes with self-experience.

I have called this book Joshu – The Lion’s Roar. Normally, buddhas are very humble. Joshu is also very humble but he cannot help but say with absolute authority that “once you have seen me, you have looked into a mirror. If you cannot find your master here, then you will be wasting your time wandering around the world, and you will think that you are a seeker. There is no need to seek; just see that you are fortunate to have come across a master.”

This authority arises out of absolute experience.

Once a monk asked Joshu, “What is your family’s tradition?”

By “family” is not meant the ordinary family; by “family” is meant your master, your master’s master. Once you have become a buddha, you are reborn. Now there is no question of your ordinary family, your ordinary parents. Your master has become the one closest to you. Your master has become a rebirth for you. So, “What is your family’s tradition?” someone asked Joshu.

Joshu responded . . . and you have to learn how these Zen masters respond, they don’t reply.

They don’t repeat. Their response . . . perhaps the questioner has never dreamt that somebody will respond to his question in this way.

Joshu responded: “I have nothing inside, and I seek for nothing outside.

This is the tradition of my family. Inside, an empty heart asking for nothing. Outside, no desire, no ambition. This is the tradition of my family.”

This is the tradition of all the buddhas. This has to become your tradition too.

Ryushu, a Zen poet, wrote:

Three, two, one, one, two, three –
How are you ever going to probe
The mysteries of Zen?

Spring birds busy on my roof
After the rain
Try out some new sound,
Tweeting and chirping.

What does Ryushu mean by three, two, one? Man begins either from the concept of three . . .  just like the Hindu trimurti, three faces of God, or like the Christian trinity. The words ‘trinity’ and ‘trimurti’ both come from the same root, tri. The word ‘three’ comes from tri. Either one can begin from three – the knower, the known and the knowledge, the seeker, the sought and the search – or one can begin in a contrary way: One, two, three. One can start from oneself; then he finds the other, he witnesses it. The other can be anything in your inner experience. And then the third: the third is the very witnessing. The one who witnesses, the other, which is witnessed, and the process of witnessing is the third.

Ryushu is saying: Whatever you do, this way or that, you will not reach to the ultimate. These are all games, which philosophers tend to play. It is better not to get involved in games of spirituality, but just be silent and watch what is happening around you.

Spring birds busy on my roof after the rain – watch these small things, the rain and the mist that it has left behind, and the fragrance that comes from the earth. And the birds who are busy on the roof – they are trying new sounds, tweeting and chirping. Ryushu is saying there is no need to be very serious about the search. You can become a witness of ordinary things – the witnessing is the same, whether you witness a bird chirping or you witness your mind chattering.

Whether you witness a sunrise outside or you witness your innermost being, witnessing is the same. Ryushu is saying, rather than getting involved in controversial philosophies, start from small things. Learn from small things one art – the art of witnessing. And then use that same art inwards. It is easier to learn it in the outside world.

It is because of this that Zen became a very artistic religion. No other religion is so artistic: their monasteries are beautiful gardens, with beautiful ponds, birds, great trees, thick forests, mountains . . .  and all this is for zazen. You sit under an ancient tree and nothing has to be done: just watch.

You know the famous haikus:

Sitting silently,
Doing nothing,
Spring comes
And the grass grows by itself.

Ancient pond,
A frog jumps in
The sound

– of the frog, and then the great silence. And you are just sitting by the side of an ancient tree.

Zen has made the spiritual search very aesthetic. First learn it from outside, watching the flowers and the sunrise and the sunset. The effort is not concerned with the object, the effort is to learn the art of watching without any interpretation, without any judgment. A non-judgmental, mirror-like witnessing . . . if you have learned it from outside, it will be easy for you to enter in with the same art.

-Osho

From Joshu: The Lion’s Roar, Discourse #4

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Ripe Plum – Osho

Maneesha, one of the most important things to be remembered all along is that the Zen master is not a philosopher. He is not rational. Basically he is very irrational and absurd, but miraculously he manages – from his absurdity, from his contradictory statements – to make the message clear to you. Today he may say something and tomorrow something else. If you bring your logical mind into it, you will think that you are being confused. But there are different ways of saying the same thing. In fact even in contradictions the same message can be given.

This is one of the great contributions of Zen, that there are no contradictions. Everything is expressing the same truth, the same reality. The smallest piece of grass and the biggest star are not in any way giving you a different message. Nobody is lower and nobody is higher in existence. There is no hierarchy. And as far as truth is concerned, fundamentally it is inexpressible. But if you want to express the inexpressible, then you can use even contradictory terms to indicate the same thing.

Two different fingers, coming from two different angles, can point to the same moon. The mind may find it difficult. In fact the Zen master’s whole work is to make things so difficult for the mind that you become tired of the mind, tired of thinking, and you put it aside. And that moment of restfulness, when you have put the mind aside, brings you to the door of existence.

This small anecdote is very significant.

Ma Tzu stayed with his master, Nagaku, for more than ten years. On leaving him, he became abbot of the Kai Yuan Temple at Chiang-si.

In his sermons, Ma Tzu followed closely the basic insights of the Sixth Patriarch, Eno – particularly, that there is no buddha outside of one’s own mind.

This word ‘mind’ can be understood as the ordinary mind, full of thoughts, emotions, sentiments and attachments. And this same mind can also be thought of as empty. You can empty it of all thoughts, of all emotions. And the moment this mind is empty, there is no difference between mind and no-mind. So there is no need to be confused.

A few masters will use: “The present mind contains everything, even the buddha.” But the condition is that the mind should be empty. Then it, itself, is the buddha.

Buddha’s own statement is significant. He says, “This very body, the buddha; this very mind, the lotus paradise.” But continuously he is saying that you are not the body, you are not the mind. Then what does he mean with this contradiction? He is simply saying that if you are not identified with the body, this very body is as much a buddha as anything in the world. If you are not filled with thoughts, this very mind is as spacious as the whole sky. He is not contradicting himself, he is simply using contradictory ways to indicate the truth.

Eno was the man who had introduced Ma Tzu to Nangaku. Eno was getting old and Ma Tzu was very young, so he did not take the responsibility of guiding Ma Tzu into meditation. He gave the responsibility to Nangaku who was going to be his successor when he died. But the way Eno introduced Ma Tzu to Nangaku was so insightful: “Be very careful with this young man. He is going to be a buddha, and he is going to be your successor, just as you are my successor. Be very reverent, grateful, that you have got a man who is on the verge of becoming a buddha in your hands.”

Ma Tzu remained closer to Eno’s teachings although Eno was not his master, but Eno had seen his potentiality – the possibility, the invisible future. And at the same time he had seen that his death was coming closer, so taking on the responsibility of a disciple at this moment would be wrong, an particularly of a disciple who needs tremendous care because he is on the very verge of exploding. Being very old he thought it would be better that Ma Tzu should be given into the hands of his successor, Nangaku.

Nangaku was a master in his own right. His teaching was not just a following of Eno. In the world of Zen it is not necessary that a disciple should follow the master in details. All that is necessary is that the disciple should understand the master’s presence, his fundamental realization. It should not remain a belief to the disciple, it should become an actual taste. Doctrines and beliefs don’t matter at all. What matters is the master’s presence and his realization, and the splendor that the realization brings with it.

Eno never asked Nangaku to follow him – Nangaku had his own approach – but he had chosen Nangaku to be his successor. This is very strange. It does not happen in any other place in the whole world. People choose successors to follow them in detail. But Zen is unique in every way. It is not a question of following, it is that this man is also realized. His methods may be different, his devices may be different, his approaches may be different, but he is a realized man, he can be a successor.

But strangely, although Eno had given the responsibility of his initiation to Nangaku, Ma Tzu remained fundamentally close to Eno’s teaching, to Eno’s method of indicating the truth. Eno had caught a glimpse of his future. Nangaku took every care and helped him to become an enlightened master. But he was always more grateful towards Eno for this very reason: that he had refused to initiate him, because his death was very close; and he had put him in the hands of the right person, who would take care of him, because his spring was coming soon. He would be blossoming, and Eno would not be there.

Certainly, Ma Tzu and Eno, without any relationship of master and disciple, came very close in their hearts. Their hearts started beating in the same rhythm. His master’s teaching was in many ways different, particularly from Eno’s teaching that there is no buddha outside of one’s own mind.

But remember it, when Eno says ‘mind’, you can translate it as ‘no-mind’. What he means is ‘empty mind’ which is equivalent to ‘no-mind’. What is left in an empty mind? – just a pure space. It depends on you whether you prefer to call it the empty mind or no-mind. But both are equivalent, not in the dictionaries, but in the existential experience.

One day, when Ma Tzu was on his way home from Chiang-si, he stopped to visit his old master, Nangaku.

He is a master now in his own right. He had gone to Chiang-si and was returning home from there, and he stopped to visit his hold master, Nangaku. When Ma Tzu had burned incense and made bows to Nangaku, Nangaku gave him this verse . . .

This too has to be understood. Even when a disciple becomes enlightened, it does not matter, his gratefulness becomes even fuller. It is not that now there is no need of the master. It is not that “Now I am equal to the master, now I am experiencing the same buddhahood as the master.” No, it is not thought of in that way, because that is the way of the ego. The ego has been lost long ago. The way of gratitude, the way of humbleness is that “Though I may have become a buddha, my master was the indicator towards the right path, and I will remain forever and forever in deep gratitude towards him.”

Sariputta, one of Buddha’s chief disciples, became enlightened. With tears in his eyes he came to Buddha and he said, “I was avoiding enlightenment, but you went on insisting. Now I am enlightened and my eyes are full of tears because I know you will send me away from you, just to spread the fire. And I understand your compassion, that you are continuously aware of the many who can become buddhas; just a little support is needed. Those who have not gone very far away from themselves can be called back very easily.”

Buddha said, “Then why are you crying?”

He said, “I am crying because I will not be able to touch your feet every day as I have been doing for these twenty years.”

Buddha said, “Do one thing. Keep a map with you, and remember in what direction I am dwelling. Just bow down in that direction. Touch the feet symbolically, touch the earth – because after all this body is made of earth, and one day it will go back to the earth. So touching the earth is not only touching my feet, but touching the feet of all the buddhas who have ever happened. They have all dissolved their bodies in the earth. So there is no need, and it does not look right, that an enlightened person should weep and cry.”

Sariputta said, “I don’t care what people think, but the reality is that tears are coming. And according to your teachings, I should be spontaneous and authentic. Even if you say, ‘Don’t weep,’ I am not going to listen. Tears are coming, what can I do? I cannot be a hypocrite, smiling though the eyes are full of tears.”

It is said that Sariputta, wherever he was, in the morning would look at the map, to find exactly where

Buddha was, and in that direction he would bow down and touch the feet of Buddha. He came to have thousands of disciples of his own and they said, “It does not look right. You need not do such a gesture. You are a buddha yourself.”

He said, “It is true, I am a buddha myself, but I would not have been a buddha if I had not met Gautam the Buddha. It is the meeting with this man that triggered something in me, burned all that was false and brought all that was true in its pristine purity and clarity. I owe so much to this man that there is no way to pay him. All that I can do is touch his feet from miles away.”

He continued to his very last breath. Before he died – he died before Gautam Buddha – the last thing he said to his disciples was, “Forgive me because you cannot see those invisible feet. Let me touch the feet of my master for the last time.” And he bowed down, tears flowing from his eyes, and he died in that posture. He did not get up again. This is true humanity – humbleness, devotion, love, trust.

Ma Tzu, visiting his old master, burned incense in front of him as you burn incense before a buddha statue and made bows to Nangaku. Nangaku gave him this gatha, this verse:

“I advise you not to go home.
If you do, the Tao is immovable.
And an old woman next door to you
Will talk of your infant name.”

Ma Tzu respectfully accepted it and swore to himself never to go home, however often he might be reborn. Staying only in Chiang-si, he had disciples come to him from all parts of China.

Very strange but meaningful advice. Nangaku told him not to go home. It implies many things. It implies that now you are homeless. The moment you become enlightened you don’t have a home, not even your body is your home. Now the whole existence is your home, so stop this old habit of going home once in a while. There is no home for you anymore. You are a homeless cloud floating in the sky, in total freedom, unattached to anything.

If you do, the Tao is immovable.

Nangaku is saying, “If you don’t listen to my advice and still go home, remember that your Tao, your empty buddha inside, never goes anywhere. So you are just acting; just a dead body, a corpse is going. Your real being is immovable; it never goes anywhere; it is always now and here.” And he said, “and an old woman next door to you will talk of your infant name.”

Ma Tzu’s childhood name was Baso. Nangaku is making a joke about his name, that the old woman next door to his home will call him Baso. They will not recognize that he is no more Baso, that he is Ma Tzu, that he is a great master. In their eyes he will be just the same; they have seen him born, and they have seen him growing up. It is very difficult for them to recognize that he has become a buddha, and they will think it very insulting to the Buddha.

Ma Tzu respectfully accepted it and swore to himself never to go home, however often he might be reborn.

He is saying that even if he is born again – although an enlightened person is never born again – he is giving his promise that even if he is born again and again, he will never go home. He has understood his homelessness, his aloneness.

Staying only in Chiang-si, he had disciples come to him from all parts of China.

One day a monk called Ta-mei joined a training assembly of Ma Tzu. Ta-mei asked the master: “What is buddha?”

Ma-Tzu replied: “It is the present mind” – the teaching of Eno that he followed all his life.

But remember that the mind is never in the present; it is either in the past or in the future. In the present is empty mind. You can call it the present mind if you are interested in using the positive words or you can call it no-mind, if you want to use the negative. The truth can be expressed both ways, negatively or positively. The present mind in fact means no-mind. For those who understand the presentness, all mind disappears. Mind can be in the past, mind can be in the future, but never in the present. Hence being in the present simply means being out of the grip of the mind.

Ma Tzu replied: “It is the present mind.”

On hearing this, Ta-mei attained his full enlightenment. He took himself off into the mountains, and over the years hardly noticed the passing of time; he only saw the mountains around him turn green or yellow.

One day, Ma Tzu sent a monk specially to test him. The monk asked Ta-mei, “When you once saw Ma Tzu, by what word did you become enlightened?”

Ta-mei replied, “By Ma Tzu’s saying, ‘The present mind is the buddha.’”

“Now his way is another,” The monk told Ta-mei.

“What is it then?” Asked Ta-mei.

“Ma Tzu now says that this very mind which is buddha is neither mind nor buddha,” replied the monk.

This very mind is neither the buddha nor the mind. Now Ma Tzu is teaching this way.

“That old fellow!” said Ta-mei. “When will he cease to confuse the minds of men? Let him go on with his ‘neither mind nor buddha.’ I will stick to this present mind itself is buddha.’”

He has understood clearly that Ma Tzu has changed his expression from positive to the negative. He can confuse an ordinary man, but he cannot confuse an enlightened man anymore.

“That old fellow!” said Ta-mei. “When will he cease to confuse the minds of men?”

There was no need to change, the old expression was perfect.

“Let him go on with his ‘neither mind nor buddha.’ I will stick to this present mind itself is buddha.’”

You may think that he is not agreeing with his master, Ma Tzu, but then you will not have understood it. He is agreeing perfectly well. He understands that it means the same. He has just changed the expression from positive to negative. Only the expression is changed, not the expressed. So he says, “Let the old fellow do whatever he wants, but I am going to insist that this present mind itself is the buddha.”

When the messenger told Ma Tzu of this exchange, Ma Tzu commented: “The fruit of a plum has ripened.”

Ma Tzu understood perfectly well that Ta-mei had become enlightened. Any unenlightened man would have been confused because the unenlightened mind can never think that positive and negative can be of the same significance and have the same meaning. There is a place where yes and no are not contradictory.

Ma Tzu said, “The fruit of a plum has ripened.”

Ta-mei’s name, in Chinese, means ‘big plum’.

Takuan wrote:

The moon has no intent to cast
Its shadow anywhere,
Nor does the pond design to
Lodge the moon.
How serene the water of Hirosawa!

Takuan’s monastery was near the lake Hirosawa. In this small poem is contained the whole essence of Zen. The moon has no intent to cast its shadow anywhere . . .

Do you think the moon has any intention to cast its shadow and reflection into thousands of seas and lakes and ponds? It has no intent at all.

And on the other side, Nor does the pond design to lodge the moon.

Neither the pond, the lake or the ocean are desiring to lodge the moon, or are interested to reflect the moon.

How serene the water of Hirosawa!

It is not even disturbed by the reflection of the moon. It does not care. His poem is saying to you to live without intentions, without any goals, without any desire of achievement, any ambition. Just live spontaneously, moment to moment. Whatever happens, accept it joyfully, rejoicingly, without any complaint or grudge.

Even if death comes, let it be welcomed. Dance, sing a song. That has been the tradition in Zen. Each master is expected – and they all have done it – that before dying they should write a small haiku containing their whole teaching.

It shows two things: that they are perfectly aware of death, and that even in death they are not in any sadness. Their haiku says their joy, their fulfillment. Without your asking for anything, existence has given everything to you.

A man who lives with intentions is bound to feel frustration. A man who lives with expectations is bound to feel frustrated because existence has no obligation to you. But if you live without intentions, without expectations, then miraculously you find that everything that you ever dreamed of is being fulfilled. The moon is reflected in the lake – the lake never asked it, the moon never intended it. Existence goes on spontaneously. Don’t bring your desire, your ambition and your expectation; they are the disturbing points. They create a chaos in your mind. But if there is no intention for anything, How serene the water of Hirosawa!

The moon is reflected but the water is not even thrilled. Such a beautiful moon and the Hirosawa lake takes the reflection naturally, spontaneously. If it was not reflected, there would not have been any frustration. Moon or no moon, nothing matters. The lake of Hirosawa is silent. And that should be your inner consciousness – just a silent lake.

Maneesha has asked:

Our beloved master,

How amazing it would be if turned up one evening in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium, and all you could see was a vast hall of empty mirrors, or rows and rows of juicy, ripe plums.

Do you really think it’s possible? Is anything happening? Or better: is nothing happening?

Maneesha, it is happening every day. The whole hall is full of mirrors and full of big plums. Look at Avirbhava, a dancing plum.

-Osho

From Ma Tzu: The Empty Mirror, Discourse #3

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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Centering is the Method, Not the Result – Osho

If enlightenment and samadhi mean total consciousness, cosmic consciousness, all-pervading consciousness, then it seems very strange to call this state of cosmic consciousness centering, as the word ‘centering’ implies one -pointedness. Why is cosmic consciousness, or samadhi, called centering?

Centering is the path, not the goal. Centering is the method, not the result. Samadhi is not called centering; centering is the technique to samadhi. Of course, they look contradictory because when one realizes, becomes enlightened, there is no center left.

Jacob Boehme has said that when one comes to the divine it can be described in two ways: either the center is everywhere now, or the center is nowhere; both mean the same thing. So the word ‘centering’ seems contradictory, but the path is not the goal and the method is not the result. And method can be contradictory. So we have to understand it because these one hundred and twelve methods are methods of centering.

But once you become centered you will explode. Centering is just to gather yourself totally at one point. Once you are gathered at one point, crystallized at one point, that point explodes automatically. Then there is no center – or then the center is everywhere. So centering is a means to explode.

Why does centering become the method? If you are not centered your energy is unfocused, it cannot explode. It is spread out; it cannot explode. Explosion needs great energy. Explosion means that now you are not spread out – you are at one point. You become atomic; you become, really, a spiritual atom. And only when you are centered enough to become an atom can you explode. Then there is an atomic explosion.

That explosion is not talked about because it cannot be, so only the method is given. The result is not talked about. It cannot be talked about. If you do the method the result will follow, and there is no way to express it.

So remember this: basically, religion never talks about the experience itself, it talks only about the method; it shows the how, not the what. The what is left to you. If you do the how, the what will come to you. And there is no way to convey it. One can know it, but he cannot convey it. It is such an infinite experience that language becomes useless. The vastness is such that no word is capable of expressing it. So only the method is given.

Buddha is reported to have said continuously for forty years, “Do not ask me about the truth, about the divine, about nirvana, liberation. Do not ask me anything about such things. Just ask me how to reach there. I can show you the path, but I cannot give you the experience, not even in words.” The experience is personal; method is impersonal. Method is scientific, impersonal; experience is always personal and poetic.

What do I mean when I differentiate in this way? Method is scientific. If you can do it, centering will result. That centering is bound to result if the method is done. If the centering is not happening, then you can know that you are missing the point somewhere. Somewhere you have missed the method; you have not followed it. Method is scientific; centering is scientific; but when the explosion comes to you, it is poetic.

By poetic, I mean every one of you will experience it in a different way. Then there is no common ground. And everyone will express it in a different way. Buddha says something, Mahavir says something, Krishna says something else, and Jesus, Mohammed, Moses and Lao Tsu, they all differ – not in methods, but in the way they express their experience. Only on one thing do they all agree, that whatsoever they are saying is not expressing that which they have felt. Only on that one point do they agree.

Still, they try. Still, they try to convey somehow, to hint. It seems impossible, but if you have a sympathetic heart something may be conveyed. But that needs a deep sympathy and love and reverence. So really, whenever something is conveyed it doesn’t depend on the conveyer, it depends on you. If you can receive it in deep love and reverence, then something reaches you. But if you are critical about it, then nothing reaches. Firstly, it is difficult to express. And even if it is expressed you are critical – then the message becomes impossible; there is no communication.

The communication is very delicate. That is why in all these one hundred and twelve methods it has been left out completely – only hinted at. Shiva says so many times: “Do this, and then the experience,” and then he becomes silent. “Do this, and then the blessing,” and then he becomes silent.

“The blessing, the experience, the explosion”: beyond them there is personal experience. With that which cannot be expressed, it is better not to try to express it – because if expression is tried with that which cannot be expressed, it will be misunderstood. So Shiva is silent. He is talking simply of methods, techniques, of how to do it.

But centering is not the end; it is just the path. And why does centering happen, develop, grow into an explosion? Because if much energy is centered at one point, the point will explode. The point is so small and the energy is so great, the point cannot contain it; hence the explosion.

This bulb can contain a particular quantity of electricity. If there is more electricity, the bulb will explode. That is the reason for centering: the more you are centered, the more energy is at your center. The moment there is much energy, the center won’t be able to contain it. It will explode.

So it is scientific; it is just a scientific law. And if the center is not exploding, that means you are still not centered. Once you are centered, immediately the explosion follows. There is no time gap. So if you feel that the explosion is not coming, it means that you are still not focused. Still you do not have one center, still you have many centers, still you are divided, still your energy is dissipated, still your energy is moving out.

When the energy moves out you are just being emptied of energy, dissipated. Ultimately you will become impotent. Really, when death comes you have already died; you are just a dead cell. You have been constantly throwing energy outward – so whatsoever may be the quantity of energy, within a period you will become empty. Outgoing energy means death. You are dying every moment; your energy is being emptied; you are throwing your energy, dissipating it.

They say that even the sun which has been there for millions and millions of years, such a great reservoir of energy, is being emptied constantly. And within four billion years it will die. The sun will die simply because there will be no energy to radiate. Every day it is dying because the rays are carrying its energy toward the boundaries of the universe, if there are any boundaries. The energy is going out.

Only man is capable of transforming and changing the direction of energy. Otherwise death is a natural phenomenon – everything dies. Only man is capable of knowing the immortal, the deathless.

So you can reduce this whole thing into a law. If energy is moving out, death will be the result and you will never know what life means. You can only know a slow dying. You can never feel the intensity of being alive. If energy moves out then death is the automatic result – of anything, whatsoever. If you can change the direction of energy – energy not moving out, but moving in – then a mutation, a transformation happens.

Then this energy coming in becomes centered at one point in you. That point is just near the navel – because really, you are born as a navel. You are connected with your mother at the navel. The life energy of the mother is being poured into you through the navel. And once the navel cord is cut, you are separated from the mother, you become an individual. Before that you are not an individual, just part of your mother.

So real birth takes place when the navel cord is cut. Then the child takes its own life, becomes its own center. That center is bound to be just at the navel, because through the navel the energy comes to the child. That was the connecting link. And still, whether you are aware or not, your navel remains the center.

If energy begins to pour in, if you change the direction of the energy so that it comes in, it will hit the navel. It will go on coming in and become centered at the navel. When it is so much that the navel cannot contain it, that the center cannot contain it any longer, the center explodes. In that explosion, again you are no longer an individual. You were not an individual when you were connected with your mother; again you will not be an individual.

A new birth has taken place. You have become one with the cosmos. Now you do not have any center; you cannot say “I.” Now there is no ego. A Buddha, a Krishna, goes on talking and using the word ‘I’. That is simply formal; they do not have any ego. They are not.

Buddha was dying. The day he was to die, many, many people, disciples, sannyasi, gathered, and they were sad; they were weeping and crying. So Buddha asked, “Why are you weeping?” Someone said, “Because soon you will be no more.”

Buddha laughed and said, “But I have been no more for forty years. I died the day I became enlightened. The center has not been there for forty years. So do not weep, do not be sad. No one is dying now. I am no more! But still the word ‘I’ has to be used even to denote that I am no more.”

Energy moving in is the whole of religion, is what is meant by the religious search. How to move the energy, how to create a total about turn? These methods help. So remember, centering is not samadhi, centering is not the experience. Centering is the door to the experience, and when there is the experience there is no centering. So centering is just a passage.

You are not centered now: you are multi-centered really. That is why I say you are not centered now. When you become centered, there is only one center. Then the energy that has been moving to multi-centers has come back; it is a homecoming. Then you are at your center; then . . . explosion. Again the center is no more, but then you are not multi-centered. Then there is no center at all. You have become one with the cosmos. Then existence and you mean one and the same thing.

For example, an iceberg is floating in the sea. The iceberg has a center of its own. It has a separate individuality; it is separate from the ocean. Deep down it is not separate, because it is nothing but water at a particular degree of temperature. The difference between the ocean water and the iceberg is not in their nature – naturally, they are the same. The difference is only of temperature. And then the sun rises, and the atmosphere becomes hot, and the iceberg begins to melt. Then there is no iceberg: it has melted. Now you cannot find it because there is no individuality, no center in it. It has become one with the ocean.

In you and in Buddha, in those who were crucifying Jesus and in Jesus, in Krishna and in Arjuna, there is no difference in nature. Arjuna is like an iceberg and Krishna is like an ocean. There is no difference in nature. They both are one and the same, but Arjuna has a form, a name – an individual, isolated existence. He feels, “I am.”

Through these methods of centering, the temperature will change, the iceberg will melt, and then there will be no difference. That oceanic feeling is samadhi; that being an iceberg is mind. And to feel oceanic is to be a no-mind.

Centering is just the passage, the point of transformation from which the iceberg will be no more. Before it there was no ocean – only an iceberg. After it there will be no iceberg – only ocean. The oceanic feeling is samadhi: it is to feel oneself one with the whole.

But I am not saying to think oneself one with the whole. You can think, but thinking is before centering; that is not realization. You do not know – you have only heard; you have read. You wish that someday this may happen to you also, but you have not realized. Before centering you can go on thinking, but that thinking is of no use. After centering there is no thinker. You know! It has happened! You are no more; only the ocean is. Centering is the method. Samadhi is the end.

Nothing has been said about what happens in samadhi because nothing can be said. And Shiva is very scientific. He is not interested at all in telling. He is telegraphic; he will not use a single extra word. So he simply hints: “The experience, the blessing, the happening.” Not only this, sometimes he will simply say, “Then.” He will say, “Be centered between two breaths and then.” And then he will stop. Then sometimes he will simply say, “Be in the middle, just in the middle between two extremes, and that.”

These are indications – “That, then, the experience, the blessing, the happening, the explosion.” But then he stops completely. Why? We would like him to say something more.

Two reasons. One: That cannot be explained. Why can it not be explained? There are thinkers – for example, modern positivists, language analysts and others in Europe – who say that which can be experienced can be explained. And they have a point to make. They say if you can experience it, then why cannot you tell of it. After all, what is an experience? You have understood it, so why can you not make it understood for others? So they say that if there is any experience, then it can be expressed. And if you cannot express it, it shows simply that there is no experience. Then you are a muddlehead – confused, blurred. And if you cannot even express it, then there is no possibility that you will be able to experience.

Because of this standpoint, they say religion is all hokum. Why can you not express it if you can say you have experienced? Their point appeals to many, but their argument is baseless. Leave aside religious experiences, ordinary experiences also cannot be explained and expressed – very simple experiences.

I have a pain in my head, and if you have never experienced a headache, I cannot explain to you what a headache means. That doesn’t mean that I am muddleheaded; that doesn’t mean that I am only thinking and I am not experiencing. The headache is there. I experience it in its totality, in its full painfulness. But if you have not experienced a headache, it cannot be explained, it cannot be expressed to you. If you also have experienced it, then of course there is no problem, it can be expressed.

Buddha’s difficulty is that he has to talk with non-buddhas – not non-Buddhists, because non- Buddhists can also be buddhas. Jesus is a non-Buddhist, but he is a buddha. Because Buddha is to communicate with those who have not experienced, there is a difficulty. You do not know what a headache is. There are many who have not known headaches. They have only heard the word; it means nothing to them.

You can talk with a blind man about light, but nothing is conveyed. He hears the word ‘light’, he hears the explanation. He can understand the whole theory of light, but still the word ‘light’ conveys nothing to him. Unless he can experience, communication is impossible. So note it: communication is possible only if two persons are communicating who have had the same experience.

We are able to communicate in ordinary life because our experiences are similar. But even then, if one is going to split hairs then there will be difficulties. I say the sky is blue and you also say the sky is blue, but how are we to decide that my experience of blue and your experience of blue is the same? There is no possible way to decide.

I may be looking at one shade of blue and you may be looking at a different shade of blue, but what I am looking at inside, what I am experiencing, cannot be conveyed to you. I can simply say “blue.” You also say “blue,” but blue has a thousand shades – and not only shades, ‘blue’ has thousands of meanings. In my pattern of mind, blue may mean one thing. To you it may mean something else, because blue is not the meaning. The meaning is always in the pattern of the mind. So even in common experiences it is difficult to communicate.

oreover, there are experiences which are of the beyond. For example, someone has fallen in love. He experiences something. His whole life is at stake, but he cannot explain what has happened to him, what is happening to him. He can weep, he can sing, he can dance; these are indications that something is happening in him. But what is happening in him? When love happens to someone, what is happening really? And love is not very uncommon. It happens to everyone in some way or other. But still, we have not been able to express yet what happens inside.

There are persons who feel love as a fever, as a sort of disease. Rousseau says that youth is not the peak of human life, because youth is prone to the disease called love. Unless one becomes so old that love loses all meaning, mind remains muddled and puzzled. So wisdom is possible only in very, very old age. Love will not allow you to be wise – that is his feeling.

There are others who may feel differently. Those who are really wise will become silent about love. They will not say anything – because the feeling is so infinite, so deep, that language is bound to betray it. And if it is expressed then one feels guilty, because one can never do justice to the feeling of the infinite. So one remains silent: the deeper the experience, the less the possibility of expression.

Buddha remained silent about God not because there is no God. And those who are very much vocal about God really show they have no experience. Buddha remained silent. Whenever he would go to any town, he would declare, “Please, do not ask anything about God. You can ask anything, but not about God.”

Scholars, pundits, who had no experience really but only knowledge, started talking about Buddha and creating rumors, saying, “He is silent because he doesn’t know. If he knows then why will he not say?” And Buddha would laugh. That laughter could be understood only by very few.

If love cannot be expressed, then how can God be expressed? Then any expression is harmful – that is one thing. That is why Shiva is silent about the experience. He goes to the point from where a finger can be used as an indication – “Then, that, the experience” – and then he becomes silent.

The second reason is: even if it can be expressed in a certain way, even if it can be expressed only Partially . . . Even if it cannot be expressed, really, then too some parallels can be created to help. But those too Shiva is not using, and there is a reason. It is because our minds are so greedy that whenever something is said about that experience the mind clings to it. And then the mind forgets the method and remembers only the experience, because method needs effort – a long effort which is sometimes tedious, sometimes dangerous. A long sustained effort is needed.

So we forget about the method. We remember the result and we go on imagining, wishing, desiring the result. And one can fool oneself very easily. One can imagine that the result has been achieved.

Someone was here a few days before. He is a sannyasin – an old man, a very old man. He took sannyas thirty years ago; now he is near seventy. He came to me and he said,  ‘I have come to make some inquiries, to know something.”

So I asked him, “What do you want to know?”

Suddenly he changed. He said, “No, not to know really – just to meet you, because whatsoever can be known I have known already.”

For thirty years he has been imagining, desiring – desiring bliss, divine experiences – and now, at this late age, he has become weak and death is near. Now he is creating hallucinations that he has experienced. So I told him, “If you have experienced, then keep silent. Be here with me for a few moments because then there is no need to talk.”

Then he became restless. He said, “Okay! Then suppose that I have not experienced. Then tell me something.”

So I told him, “There is no possibility with me to suppose anything. Either you have known or you have not known,” I said. “So be clear about it. If you have known, then keep quiet. Be here for a few moments and then go. If you have not known, then be clear. Then tell me so.”

Then he was puzzled. He had come to inquire about some methods. Then he said, “Really, I have not experienced, but I have been thinking so much about aham brahmasi – I am the brahman – that sometimes I forget that I have only been thinking. I have repeated it so much, day and night, for thirty years continuously, that sometimes I completely forget that I have not known this. It is just a borrowed saying.”

It is difficult to remember what is knowledge and what is experience. They get confused; they get mingled and mixed. And it is very easy to feel that your knowledge has become your experience. The human mind is so deceptive, so cunning, that that is possible. That is another reason why Shiva has remained silent about the experience. He will not say anything about it. He goes on talking about methods, remaining completely silent about the result. You cannot be deceived by him.

That is one of the reasons why this book, one of the most significant of books, has remained altogether unknown. This Vigyana Bhairava Tantra is one of the most significant books in the world. No Bible, no Veda, no Gita is so significant, but it has remained completely unknown. The reason? It contains only simple methods without any possibility for your greed to cling to the result. The mind wants to cling to the result. The mind is not interested in the method; it is interested in the end result. And if you can bypass the method and reach the result, the mind will be extremely happy.

Someone was asking me, “Why so many methods? Kabir has said, ‘sahaj samadhi bhali – be spontaneous.’ Spontaneous ecstasy is good, so there is no need of methods.”

I told him, “If you have achieved sahaj samadhi – spontaneous ecstasy – then of course no method is useful; there is no need. Why have you come here?”

He said, “I have not achieved yet, but I feel that sahaj – the spontaneous – is better.”

“But why do you feel that the spontaneous is better?” I said. Because no method is suggested, the mind feels good that you have nothing to do – and without doing, you can have everything!

Because of this Zen has become a craze in the West – because Zen says, achieve it effortlessly; there is no need of effort. Zen is right; there is no need for an effort. But remember, to achieve this point of no-effort you will need a long, long effort. To achieve a point where no effort is needed, to achieve a point where you can remain in non-doing, a long effort will be needed. But the superficial conclusion that Zen says no effort is needed has become very appealing in the West. If no effort is needed then the mind says: this is the right thing, because you can do it without doing anything. But no one can do it.

Suzuki, who made Zen known in the West, has done a service and also a disservice. And the disservice will remain for a longer period. He was a very authentic man, one of the most authentic men of this century, and for his whole life he struggled to carry the message of Zen to the West. And alone, with his own effort, he made it known in the West. And now there is a craze; there are Zen friends all over the West. Nothing appeals like Zen now.

But the point is missed. The appeal has come only because Zen says no method is needed, no effort is needed. You do not have to do anything; spontaneously it flowers.

This is right – but you are not spontaneous, so it will never flower in you. To be spontaneous . . . It looks absurd and contradictory, because for you to be spontaneous many methods are needed to purify you, to make you innocent so that you can be spontaneous. Otherwise you cannot be spontaneous in anything.

This Vigyana Bhairava Tantra was translated into English by Paul Reps. He has written a very beautiful book, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, and just in the appendix he included this book Vigyana Bhairava Tantra. The whole book is concerned with Zen; just in the appendix he added this book also, the one hundred and twelve methods, and he called it a pre-Zen writing. Many Zen followers didn’t like this because they said, “Zen says no effort is needed, and this book is concerned only with effort. This book is concerned only with methods, and Zen says no method, no effort is needed. So it is anti-Zen, not pre-Zen.” Superficially they are right, but deep down they are not, because to achieve a spontaneous being one has to travel a long way.

One of Gurdjieff’s disciples, Ouspensky, used to say, whenever someone would come to him to ask about the path, “We don’t know anything about the path. We only teach about some footpaths which lead to the path. The path is not known to us.” Do not think that you are already on the path. Even the path is far away. From where you are, from that point, even the path is far away. So first you have to reach to the path. Ouspensky was a very humble man, and it is very difficult to be religious and to be humble – very, very difficult, because once you begin to feel that you know, the head goes mad. He would always say, “We don’t know anything about the path. It is very far away, and there is no need just now to discuss it.” Wherever you are, first you have to create a link, a small bridge, a footpath which will lead you to the path.

Spontaneity – sahaj samadhi yoga – is very far away from you. In the place where you are, you are totally artificial, cultivated and cultured. Nothing is spontaneous – nothing, I say, is spontaneous. When nothing is spontaneous in your life, how can religion be spontaneous? When nothing is spontaneous, even love is not spontaneous. Even love is a bargain, even love is a calculation, even love is an effort. Then nothing can be spontaneous. And then to explode spontaneously into the cosmos is impossible.

From the situation you are in, from that situation it is impossible. First you will have to throw away all your artificiality, all your false attitudes, all your cultivated conventions, all your prejudices. Only then will a spontaneous happening be possible. These methods will help you to come to a point from where nothing is needed to be done – just your being is enough. But mind can deceive. And mind easily deceives, because then it can get consolation.

Shiva never talks about any result, just methods. Remember this emphasis. Do something, so that a moment may be possible when nothing is needed, when your central being can just dissolve into the cosmos. But that has to be achieved. Zen’s appeal is for the wrong reasons, and the same is true for Krishnamurti, because he says no yoga is needed, no method is needed. Really, he says there is no method of meditation. He is right.

He is right, but Shiva says these one hundred and twelve methods of meditation are there, and Shiva is also right. And as far as you are concerned, Shiva is more right. And if you have to choose between Krishnamurti and Shiva, then choose Shiva. Krishnamurti is of no use to you. Even this can be said to help you – that Krishnamurti is absolutely wrong. Remember, I say to help you. And he is harmful. That too I say to help you, because if you get into his argument you will not achieve samadhi. You will achieve only one conclusion – that no method is needed. And that is dangerous. For you method is needed!

There comes a moment when no method is needed, but that moment has not come for you yet. And before that moment, to know about something that is ahead is dangerous. That is why Shiva is silent. He will not say anything of the future, of what will happen. He simply sticks to you, to what you are and what is to be done with you. Krishnamurti goes on talking in terms which cannot be understood by you.

The logic can be felt. The logic is right; it is beautiful. It will be good if you can remember the logic of Krishnamurti. He says that if you are doing some method, then who is doing that method? The mind is doing it. And how can any method done by mind dissolve mind? Rather, on the contrary, it will strengthen it more; it will strengthen your mind more. It will become a conditioning, it will be false.

So meditation is spontaneous; you cannot do anything about it. What can you do about love? Can you practice any method for how to love? If you practice, then your love will be false. It happens, it cannot be practiced. If even love cannot be practiced, how can prayer be practiced? How can meditation be practiced?

The logic is exactly, absolutely right – but not for you, because by listening to this logic continuously you will be conditioned by this logic. And those who have been listening to Krishnamurti for forty years are the most conditioned persons I have come across. They say there is no method, and still they are nowhere.

I say, “You have understood there is no method and you do not practice any method, but has the spontaneity flowered in you?” They say, “No!”

And if I tell them, “Then practice some method,” immediately their conditioning comes in. They say, “There is no method.”

They have not been practicing any method, and samadhi has not happened. And if you tell them, “Then try some method,” they say there is no method. So they are in a dilemma. They have not moved an inch, and the reason is that they have been told something which was not for them.

It is like teaching a small child about sex. You can go on teaching, but you are saying something which is as yet meaningless for the child. And your teaching will be dangerous because you are conditioning his mind. It is not his need; he is not concerned with it. He doesn’t know what sex means because his glands are still not functioning; his body is still not sexual. His energy has not yet moved biologically to the sex center, and you are talking to him. Because he has ears, do you think that anything can be taught to him? Because he can nod his head, do you think you can teach him anything?

You can teach, and your teaching can become dangerous and harmful. Sex is not an inquiry for him, it has not become a problem for him. He has not reached that point of maturity where sex becomes significant. Wait! When he begins to inquire, when he matures and when he asks questions, then tell him. And never tell more than he can understand, because that more will become a burden on his head. It is the same with the phenomenon of meditation.

You can be taught only about methods, not about results – that is taking a jump. And without getting a foothold on the method, taking the jump is simply a cerebral affair, a mental affair. And then you will always miss the method.

It is like small children doing arithmetic. They can always go to the back of the book and can know the answer. The answer is there; at the back of the book, the answers are given. They can look at the question, then they can go to the back and know the answer. And once a child knows the answer it is very difficult for him to learn the method, because there seems to be no need. When he already knows the answer, there is no need.

And really, he will do the whole thing in reverse order. Then through any false, pseudo method he will arrive at the answer. He knows the real thing, he knows the answer, so he can arrive at the answer by just creating a false method. And this happens so much in religion that it seems, as far as religion is concerned, everyone is just doing what children do.

The answer is not good for you. The question is there, the method is there, and the answer must be reached by you. No one else should give you the answer. The real teachers do not help you to know the answer before the process is done, they simply help you to go through the process. In fact, even if you have known somehow, even if you have stolen some answer from somewhere, they will say that this is wrong. It may not be wrong, but they will say, “This is wrong. Throw this – it is not needed.” They will debar you from knowing the answer before you really come to know it. That is why no answer is given.

Shiva’s beloved, Devi, has asked him questions. He is giving simple methods. The question is there, the method is there. The answer is left for you to work out, to live out.

So remember, centering is the method, not the result. The result is cosmic, oceanic experience. There is no center then.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #14, Q1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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The Emptiness of the Heart – Osho

Maneesha, Bukko has come to the ultimate expression of the experience of one’s own being. Very rarely has a master succeeded to such a point as Bukko has in his statements.

Listen carefully, because rarely will you meet a Bukko again.

Bukko said:

Taking things easily and without forcing, after some time the rush of thought, outward and inward, subsides naturally, and the true face shows itself.

That’s what I have been telling you. To be a buddha is not a difficult job. It is not some achievement for which you need a Nobel Prize. It is the easiest thing in the world, because it has already happened without your knowing.

The buddha is already breathing in you. Just a little recognition, just a little turning inwards . . . and that has not to be done forcibly. If you do it forcibly you will miss the point. It is very delicate. You have to look inward playfully, not seriously. That’s what he means by “taking things easily.” Don’t take anything seriously.

Existence is very easy. You have got your life without any effort; you are living your life without any effort. You are breathing perfectly well without being reminded; your heartbeat continues even in your sleep — so easy is existence with you! But you are not so easy with existence. You are very close-fisted. You want everything to be turned into an achievement.

Enlightenment cannot be an achievement. That which you have already — how can it be an achievement? The authentic master simply takes away things which you don’t have and you believe you have, and he gives you that which you already have. You are having many things which you don’t have at all, you just believe that you have them. The master’s function is that of a surgeon, to cut all that is not you and leave behind just the essential core — the eternal being.

It is a very easy phenomenon; you can do it on your own. There are no problems and no risk in taking things easily, but people take things very tensely. They take things very seriously, and that spoils the whole game.

And remember, life is a game. Once you understand it as a game, a deep playfulness arises on its own accord. The victory is not the point; the point is to play totally, joyously, dancingly.

What is called playfulness is very essential in the inquiry of your own being.

Taking things easily and without forcing, after some time the rush of thought, outward and inward, subsides naturally, and the true face shows itself.

When I say to you that meditation is nothing but thoughtlessness, you can misunderstand me. You are not to do anything to become thoughtless, because whatever you will do will be again a thought. You have to learn to see the procession of thoughts, standing by the side of the road as if it does not matter to you what is passing by. Just the ordinary traffic — if you can take your thoughts in such a manner that they are not of much concern, then easily, slowly, the caravan of thoughts which has continued for thousands of years disappears.

You have to understand a simple thing, that giving attention is giving nourishment. If you don’t give any attention but remain unconcerned, the thoughts start dying on their own. They don’t have any other way to get energy, any other source of life. You are their energy, and because you go on giving them attention, seriously, you think it is very difficult to be free from thought. It is the easiest thing in the world, but it has to be done in the right way.

The right way is just to stand by the side. The traffic goes on — let it go. Don’t make any judgment of good and bad; don’t appreciate, don’t condemn. That is what is meant by being easy. It is all okay.

Without forcing . . . and that is something that has to be remembered, because our natural tendency is that if we have to become thoughtless, why not force the thoughts? Why not throw them out? But by the very act of forcing them, you are giving them energy, you are giving them nourishment, you are taking note of them and you are making them important — so important that without throwing them, you cannot meditate.

Just try to throw out any single thought, and you will see how difficult it is. The more you throw it the more it bounces back! It will enjoy the game very much, and you are going to be defeated finally. You have taken a wrong route. […]

You cannot repress any thought. The very repressive process gives it energy, life, strength. And it weakens you because you become a defeated partner in the game. The easiest thing is not to force but to be just a witness. If a monkey comes, let him come. Just say “Hello!” and he will go. But don’t tell him to go. Just be a witness that a monkey has come, or a thousand monkeys have come. What does it matter? It is none of your business. They may be going to some gathering, some religious festival, so let them go. It is none of your concern. And soon the crowd will disappear, seeing that “the man is not interested.”

All your thoughts are in the same category. Never force any thought to go away; otherwise, it will rebound with greater energy. And the energy is yours! You are on a self-defeating track. The more you throw it away the more it will come back.

Hence, what Bukko is saying is the only way — I say the only way — to be thoughtless: don’t pay any attention. Just remain silently watching all kinds of things . . . monkeys and elephants, let them pass. Soon you will find an empty road, and when you find an empty road, you have found an empty mind — naturally. Everything outward and inward subsides and there is the tremendous silence which easiness brings.

Now body and mind, free from all motivations, always appear as void and absolute sameness.

When you are in the state of no-mind, which is equivalent to thoughtlessness . . . when there is no thought cloud moving in your mind, you attain to the clarity of no-mind. Mind is simply a combination of all the thoughts, of all the clouds. Mind has no independent nature of its own. When all the thoughts are gone and the sky is clean and clear, you will see that everything that you have paid so much attention to is nothing but emptiness. Your thoughts were all empty. They contained nothing; they were void. Whatever you thought they contained was your own energy. You have withdrawn your energy — just the empty shell of the thought falls down. You have withdrawn your identity and immediately the thought is no longer alive. It was your identity that was giving it life force.

And strangely enough, you thought that your thoughts were very strong and it was difficult to get rid of them! You were making them strong, you were cultivating them. Just by forcing them, you were getting into a fix.

I agree with Bukko. I have agreed out of my own experience that you can simply sit or lie down and let the thoughts pass by. They will not leave even a trace. Just don’t get interested . . . and don’t be disinterested either, just be neutral. To be neutral is to be easy, and to be neutral is to take back the very life force that you have given to your thoughts.

Suddenly, a man of no thought becomes so full of energy — energy which he had spread into the thoughts unnecessarily. He was weak because he was nourishing thoughts, which leads nowhere. They promise — thoughts are politicians. They promise great things to come, but the moment they have power, they forget all their promises. This has been going on for centuries.

Those promises are just seductive. Your thoughts are promising you many things: “You can be this, you can be that.” And they drive you, they give you motivation to become the greatest leader in the world, to become the richest man in the world. They drive you into ambitions, they become your masters. It is one of the weirdest phenomena that the servants become masters, and the master becomes just a servant. The moment you take your energy back you become a tremendous force, gathered in your own being and center.

This is the first and the most important thing to understand: never force anything, just let it go easily. If you ever want to find out what the secret of your life is, then you have to go inwards. And thoughts are always going outwards; every thought takes you outwards. When all thoughts cease, there is nowhere to go — you simply are at home.

This at-homeness is meditation.

Utter silence and peace prevails.

In this silence every ambition seems to be stupid; the whole world of objects seems to be nothing but a dream. And your own being shines in its brightness of heaven, at the center of the vast expanse of phenomenal things, and needing no polishing or cleaning.

Your own being is so pure, so unpolluted, not even a particle of dust has ever reached there — cannot reach. Only your consciousness can reach there, and consciousness arises in you with no-mind. With no-mind you become so wakeful, so watchful — nowhere to go outside, because all thoughts are gone. So you turn inwards, and for the first time face your own original being.

This is beyond all concepts . . .

What you are going to face in your meditation is beyond all concepts.

This is a very pregnant statement.  . . . beyond being and non-being. We are using the word `being’ because you will not be able to understand, while your thoughts are there, that something beyond being and beyond non-being is in existence within you. But when thoughts are gone, the first encounter is with a being, an individual being, bright and clean. And as you enter this being, you find yourself going beyond your individuality into the universal, which is beyond being and non-being. This is what ultimate enlightenment is. And Bukko has put it in the simplest possible way.

Leave your innumerable knowings and seeings and understandings, and go to that greatness of space. When you come to that vastness, there is no speck of Buddhism in your heart.

He is really a great master. His love towards Buddha is great, but that does not mean that he is a follower of Buddha. He is saying that when you enter into this great space, you will not find anything — no speck of Buddhism even in your heart. And when there is no speck of knowledge about you — you will not know anything, even about yourself — you will have the true sight of the Buddhas and the great masters.

Buddha himself had a great difficulty. Perhaps no man has had such a great difficulty in explaining his experience. In this country, the self, atma, has been considered to be the ultimate experience. The two other religions of this country, Hinduism and Jainism, have both emphasized that to know your self is all, there is nothing beyond it. Now, Buddha was going against all of India’s traditions by saying that the self is only a door to no-self. Don’t stop at the door, it is a bridge to be passed. Don’t make your house on the bridge because a vaster universe is ready to welcome you if you can leave this small idea of your self.

What is this self that you carry, that all the traditions of this country and other countries think so much of? Hundreds of philosophers came to Gautam Buddha, saying, “What you are saying goes against the Vedas, against the Upanishads.”

He said, “What can I do? It is my own experience; I cannot deny it. The self has to be transcended; only then you become one with the universe. The dewdrop has to disappear into the ocean.”

Why cling to the dewdrop?

What are you gaining by it?

Have you ever observed? — all the religions teach that you should liberate yourself from misery, from sin. You should earn virtue so that you can make a place in paradise. “You” are the center of all the religions — but not of Zen.

All the religions say, “Liberate yourself from your attachments.” Only Zen has the strange courage to say, “Liberate yourself from yourself!” Liberating yourself from your attachments is child’s play. The real, authentic seeker finally liberates himself not only from other things but even from himself. He drops the very idea that ‘I am’. Existence is.

Looked at from this viewpoint, it can be said that you are the center of all misery. And however you try, you will find you are only changing misery, from one misery to another misery. Maybe in the gap you feel a little light. From one marriage to another marriage — just in the meantime, while you have to wait, you feel good. But this goodness is not going to last, you are already filling in the form for another marriage. You are the problem. All other problems are just your children — a bus load of children, and you are the driver.

Buddhism, particularly, introduced the idea that it is not a question of dropping this greed, that anger, this passion, that possession. The question is of dropping yourself completely, disappearing into the universal energy from where we have arisen. In India, Buddha was not understood. I am experiencing the same thing. In India I am not understood, because India has, for ten thousand years or more, believed in the self as the ultimate value.

Self is not the ultimate value. What are you going to do with the self when you find it? Just sitting stupidly, looking weird to everybody. Just for a moment think: You have found your self, now what are you going to do? And remember, once you have found it, you cannot escape from it. It clings like German glue! It is not Indian glue . . .

Buddha took a tremendous step in the world of consciousness when he said, “The self is only a stepping stone. Step beyond it! And going beyond it, you are just empty.” But this “empty” is not nothingness. The word that Buddha used has been translated either as “emptiness” or as “nothingness,” but in English both words have a negative connotation. Buddha’s word was shunyata. It is not a negative phenomenon.

Bukko gives it perhaps the best expression I have come across:

When you can go and come in all regions equally, when there is nothing specially yours, no within, no without, when you conform to high and conform to low, conform to the square and conform to the round, that is it.

When you are simply available, with no self, you don’t have any boundaries anymore. Without boundaries you can conform to anything.

The emptiness of the sea allows waves to rise . . .

And your emptiness will also allow waves of blissfulness, peacefulness, splendor and unknown glory. You are at the highest peak available to any consciousness. But all these are still waves according to Bukko. That’s why I say he has made a great statement.

The emptiness of the sea allows waves to rise; the emptiness of the mountain valley makes the voice echo . . .

It is empty; otherwise how can it echo the voice?

Just nearby in Matheran, there is an echo point. A very clear echo point — I have seen other echo points in other mountains also. Whatever you say it simply repeats, the whole valley. If you bark like a dog, the whole valley barks like a dog. If you sing a song, the whole valley sings the song. Its emptiness allows it to conform to anything.

And Bukko is saying that when you are utterly empty of being and no-being, of mind and no-mind . . . When you are just merged into the universal it can be said from one side that you are empty, but from the other side you are so full that now you can conform to anything. You can be the moon, you can be the rose, you can be the clouds. Or you can just remain the empty sky.

For the first time you are free to be anything you want. For the first time your emptiness allows you to experience existence from different angles. It is a vast phenomenon. We know only small parts of it because our self-ness creates a boundary. We cannot go beyond the boundary.

The emptiness of the heart makes the buddha.

Once your heart is empty, you are the buddha — serene, silent, utterly blissful, at home. When I say to you that you are a buddha, I mean it. It is just that you have to recover from your dreams, afflictions, addictions. You just have to penetrate deeply to the point where even the self starts disappearing and the door opens to the vast, to the infinite. To be a buddha is the ultimate experience of joy, of eternity, of immortality, freedom and liberation.

And nobody else can do it for you. It is simple: you have to do it yourself.

When you empty the heart, things appear as in a mirror, shining there without differences between them. Life and death as illusion, all the buddhas are one’s own body. Zen is not something mysterious; it is just hitting and piercing through.

I am reminded . . . A great industrialist had imported a totally new, sophisticated machine.

It worked so beautifully, a hundred times more productive than the older one, but one day it stopped. Nobody knew what to do.

The manufacturers were informed, and they said, “We can send our man. But his fee is ten thousand dollars plus all traveling expenses.”

The industrialist was losing thousands of dollars every day. He agreed; he said, “Send him immediately, right now.” The man came from the airport and without wasting a single moment, he took from his handbag a small hammer and hit the machine at a certain point and it started working.

The owner of the factory said, “But this is too much! Ten thousand dollars just for hitting it with this little hammer?” The expert said, “No, for hitting with the hammer just one dollar will do. The real thing is knowing where to hit.”

It is true, Zen is not something mysterious. It is just hitting and piercing through.

But don’t believe in Bukko. The point is where to hit. It is not mysterious, but the problem is where to hit. Once you hit at the right time, at the right place, it is really very simple; there is nothing mysterious about it.

That’s what I have been continuously trying to get you to experience, because there is no way to tell you where to hit. Everybody has to find the place by going deeper into himself, seeing where the light is coming from, where the life is coming from, and the moving in that direction without any fear. This is what he means by “hitting and piercing through.”

Then don’t stop. It will be very beautiful. Even in the beginning, the moment you see your light, your life source, it will have a tremendous beauty and there will be a desire to stop, that you have arrived. Don’t do that. Much more lies ahead. Until you are finished completely… when you look all around and you don’t find yourself — that is the goal.

This beyond is the buddha.

If you cut off all doubts, the course of life-and-death is cut off naturally. I ask you all: do you see it of don’t you? — How in June the snow melts from the top of Mount Fuji.

He is saying that just as in June the snow starts melting from Mount Fuji . . . so simply, without making any fuss. As June comes, the snow does not say, “Wait a little, I am engaged in something else and I have to wait a little.” No — no resistance, no delaying, no postponing. As June comes, the snow starts melting.

So when you reach to the point where you feel, “this is my center,” then start melting. Your June has come. Then start melting and disappearing. Your very disappearance is making you the whole universe.

Buddha has said, “When I disappeared, I saw stars within me, sun rising, sunset, full moon nights — everything within me, not without me. It was my boundary that had been keeping them out. Now the boundary is no more; everything has fallen in. Now I am the whole.”

At the time of his death the Zen monk, Guin, wrote:

All doctrines split asunder
Zen teaching cast away
Fourscore years and one.
The sky now cracks and falls
The Earth cleaves open
In the heart of the fire
Lies a hidden spring.

When all is dropping and disappearing, in the heart of all this disappearance is hidden your spring. From this point you will start growing new flowers that you have never seen before.

Maneesha has asked:

Our beloved master,

In the West, they say that love two full hearts makes the world go round. Judging by the casualty rate, full hearts don’t seem to be the answer. What is the world of the empty heart of zen?

In the first place, whatever is said in the West, that “love — two full hearts — makes the world go round” is all nonsense. Whether you are here or not, the world will continue to go round.

And two hearts full of love . . . where are you going to find them?

The world would have stopped long ago if it were dependent on two hearts full of love. Even to find one heart is very difficult; two is too much! But those are just mass-mind oriented proverbs, not statements of a man like Bukko. When Bukko says the empty heart is the buddha, he is talking about a very authentic experience. And it does not depend on anybody else.

Love is both, a joy and a misery, because two are involved. Wherever there is duality, there is going to be conflict. You can put the conflict aside for a few days on the honeymoon, but after the honeymoon the conflict arises on every point. What kind of curtains? — and immediately there are two voices. What kind of carpets, and what kind of literature, what kind of furniture? On every point you will find that those great lovers are in absolute disagreement! There is the beginning of real love, which always ends in divorce.

The world of religion is not the world of duality. It is a world of oneness. You have to find your own heart, utterly empty, empty of all rubbish. And when your heart is empty of all rubbish, you are the buddha. There is no other experience which goes beyond it.

-Osho

From The Buddha: The Emptiness of the Heart, Discourse #1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

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