What is this You in Yourself? – Osho

So we have to understand what meditation is.

Gautam Buddha, the founder of Zen, the founder of all great meditative techniques in the world, defines it in one word. Somebody asked him one day, ‘Bhagwan, what is meditation? What is it all about?’ And Gautam Buddha said a single word, he said: Halt! That was his definition of meditation. He says, “If it halts, it is meditation.” The full sentence is: “The mad mind does not halt. If it halts, it is meditation.”

“The mad mind does not halt. If it halts, it is meditation.” Meditation is a state of thoughtless awareness: Meditation is a state of non-emotional, non-sentimental, non-thinking awareness. When you are simply aware, when you become a pillar of awareness. When you are simply awakened, alert, attentive. When you are just a pure awareness.

How to enter into it? The Zen people have a special word for the entry, they call it hua t’ou. This Chinese word means ante-thought, or ante-word. The mind, before it is stirred by a thought, is called hua t’ou. Between two thoughts there is a gap, that gap is called hua t’ou.

Watch. One thought passes on the screen of your mind – on the radar screen of your mind one thought passes like a cloud. First it is vague – it is coming, it is coming – then it is there suddenly on the screen. Then it is moving, then it has gone out of the screen, again it becomes vague and disappears… another thought comes. Between these two thoughts there is a gap – for a single moment or a split second the screen is without any thought.

That state of pure no-thought is called hua t’ou – ante-words, ante-thought, before the mind is stirred. Because we are not alert inside, that’s why we go on missing it – otherwise meditation is happening each moment. You have just to see it happening, you  have just to become aware what treasure you are carrying always within you. It is not that meditation has to be brought from somewhere else. The meditation is there, the seed is there. You have just to recognize it, nurture it, take care of it, and it starts growing.

The interval between two thoughts is hua t’ou. And that is the door to enter into meditation. hua t’ou – the word literally means ‘word head’. ’Word’ is a spoken word, and ‘head’ is that which precedes the word. hua t’ou is the moment before a thought arises. As soon as a thought arises it becomes a hua weihua wei literally means ‘word tail’. And then when the thought has gone or the word has gone and there is a gap again, it is again hua t’ou. Meditation is looking into this hua t’ou.

“One should not be afraid of rising thoughts,” says Buddha, “but only of the delay in being aware of them.” This is a tremendously new approach towards the mind, never attempted before Buddha. Buddha says one should not be afraid of rising thoughts. One should only be afraid of one thing – of not being aware of them, of being delayed in awareness.

When a thought arises, if with the thought your awareness is also there – if you can see it arising, if you can see it coming, if you can see it there, if you can see it going – then there is no problem at all. This very seeing, by and by, becomes your citadel. This very awareness brings you many fruits. You can first see, when you see that you are not the thought. Thought is separate from you, you are not identified with it. You are consciousness and it is content. It comes and goes – it is a guest, you are the host. This is the first experience of meditation.

Zen talks about two words: foreign dust. “And this is just where we would begin our training.” Zen says, “For instance, a traveler stops at an inn where he passes the night or takes his meal. And as soon as he has done so, he packs and continues his journey, because he has no time to stay longer. As for the host of the inn, he has nowhere to go.

“The deduction is that the one who does not stay is the guest, and the one who does stay is the host. Therefore, a thing is foreign when it does not stay. Again, in a clear sky when the sun rises and sunlight enters the house through an opening, the dust is seen moving in the ray of light – whereas the empty space is unmoving. Therefore that which is still is voidness, and that which moves is dust. Foreign dust illustrates false thinking and voidness illustrates self-nature – that is, the permanent host who does not follow the guest in the latter’s coming and going.”

This is a great insight. Consciousness is not the content. You are consciousness: thoughts come and go, you are the host. Thoughts are the guests – they come and stay for a while, take a little rest, or their food, or stay overnight, and then they are gone. You are always there. You are always the same, you never change you are eternally there. You are eternity itself.

Watch it. Sometimes you are ill, sometimes you are healthy, sometimes you are depressed, sometimes you are happy. One day you were very very small, a child, then you became young, and then you became old. One day you were strong; one day comes, you become weak. All these things come and go, but your consciousness remains the same. That’s why, if you look inside, you cannot reckon how old you are – because there is no age. If you go inside and look and try to find out there how old you are, there is no age, because there is no time. You are exactly the same as when you were a child or when you were young. You are absolutely the same inside.

For age you have to look at the calendar, at the diary, at your birth certificate – you have to look for something outside. Inside you will not find any age or aging. Inside there is timelessness. You remain the same – whether there is a cloud called depression or the cloud called happiness, you remain the same.

Sometimes there are black clouds in the sky – the sky does not change because of those black clouds. And sometimes there are white clouds also, and the sky does not change because of those white clouds. Clouds come and go, and the sky remains. Clouds come and go, and the sky abides.

You are the sky and thoughts are the clouds. The first thing, if you watch your thoughts minutely, if you don’t miss them, if you look at them directly, will be this understanding – and this is a great understanding This is the beginning of your Buddhahood, this is the beginning of your awakening. You are no more asleep, you are no more identified with the clouds that come and go. Now you know you abide forever.

Suddenly all anxiety disappears. Nothing changes you, nothing will ever change you – so what is the point of being anxious, in anguish? What is the point of being worried? No worry can do anything to you – these things come and go, they are just ripples on the surface. Deep in your depth, not a single ripple ever arises. And you are there, and you are that. You are that being. Zen people call it the state of being a host.

Ordinarily, you have become too much attached with the guests – hence your misery. One guest comes, you become too much attached. And then the guest is packing and is leaving, and then you cry and you weep and you run around and you go with him – at least to see him off, to give him a send-off. And then you come crying and crying – one guest has left and you feel so miserable. And another guest comes and again you fall in with the guest, again you become identified with the guest, and again he is going.

Guests come and go, they don’t stay! They can’t stay, they are not to stay, they are not meant to stay.

Have you watched any thought? It never stays, it cannot stay. Even if you want to make it stay, it cannot stay. Try. That’s what people try sometimes – they try to keep one word in the mind. For example, they want to keep one sound aum in the mind. For a few seconds they remember, and then it is gone, slipped. Again they are thinking of their market, of their wife, of their children…. Suddenly they become aware – where is that aum? It has slipped.

Guests are guests – they have not come to stay there. Once you see that all that happens to you is going to move away from you, then why be worried? Watch: let them be there, let them pack, let them leave. You remain. Can you see the peace that arises if you can feel that you always abide? This is silence. This is an unworried state. This is non-anguish. Suffering ceases the moment identification ceases. Don’t get identified – that’s all. And if you can watch somebody who lives in such eternal timelessness, you will feel a grace, a coolness, a beauty, around him.

It happened – the story is about Buddha, a beautiful story. Listen to it carefully, because you can miss it.

One day, at mealtime, the World Honored One put on his robe, took his bowl and entered the great town of Sravasti to beg for his food. After he had begged from door to door, he returned to his place. When he had taken his meal, he put away his robe and bowl, washed his feet, arranged his seat, and sat down.

Go slowly, as if the film is moving very slowly. It is a Buddha film, and Buddha films move very slowly. Again, let me repeat it…

One day, at mealtime, the World Honored One put on his robe, took his bowl and entered the great town of Sravasti to beg for his food. After he had begged from door to door, he returned to his place. When he had taken his meal, he put away his robe and bowl, washed his feet, arranged his seat, and sat down. 

Visualize Buddha doing all this and then sitting down on his seat.

This shows the Buddha’s ordinary life and daily activities which were similar to those of others and had nothing special about them. There is, however, something which is uncommon, but very few know it.

What is that? What is that uncommon unique quality? – because Buddha is doing ordinary things. Washing his feet, arranging his seat, sitting down, putting away his robe, putting away his bowl, going to bed, coming back – ordinary things everybody is doing.

At the time, one of Buddha’s disciples – a great disciple – Subhuti, who was in the assembly, rose from his seat, uncovered his right shoulder, knelt upon his right knee, respectfully joined the palms of his hands and said to the Buddha: “It is very rare, O World Honored One! It is very rare!”

Now, nothing rare seems to be there on the surface. Buddha coming, putting away his robe, putting away his bowl, arranging his seat, washing his feet, sitting on the seat – there seems to be nothing unusual. And this man, Subhuti….

Subhuti is one of the most insightful disciples of Buddha – all great beautiful stories about Buddha are concerned with Subhuti. This is one of those stories, very rare.

At the time, the elder Subhuti, who was in the assembly, rose from his seat, uncovered his right shoulder, knelt upon his right knee, respectfully joined the palms of his hands and said to the Buddha: “It is very rare, O World Honoured One, it is very rare!

Never seen before, it is unique.

The Tathagata’s daily activities were similar to those of other men but there was here one thing which was different, and those who sat face to face with him did not see it. That day, suddenly Subhuti uncovered it, praised it, and said: “Very rare! Very rare!”

Alas! The Tathagata had been thirty years with his disciples and they still did not know anything about his common acts of daily life. As they did not know, they thought these acts were ordinary and let them pass unnoticed. They thought only that he was similar to others and were, therefore, suspicious of and did not believe what he said. Had Subhuti not seen clearly, no one would really know the Buddha. 

So say the scriptures.

If there was not a Subhuti, nobody would have seen what was happening inside. What was happening inside? Buddha remains the host. Not for a single moment does he lose his eternity, timelessness. Buddha remains meditative. Not for a single moment does he lose his hua t’ou. Buddha remains in his samadhi – even when he is washing his feet, he is washing so alertly, so aware, so consciously. Knowing well that “These feet are not me.” Knowing well that “This bowl is not me.” Knowing well that ’This robe is not me.’ Knowing well that “This hunger is not me.” Knowing well that “All that is around me is not me. I am just a witness, a watcher of it all.”

Hence the grace of Buddha, hence this unworldly beauty of Buddha. He remains cool. This coolness is what meditation is. It has to be attained by being more alert of the host, by being more alert of the guest, by getting disidentified with the guest, by disconnecting yourself from the guest. Thoughts come and go, feelings come and go, dreams come and go, moods come and go, climates change. All that changes is not you.

Is there something that remains unchanging? That’s you. And that is God. And to know it, and to be it, and to be in it, is to attain to samadhi. Dhyana is the method, meditation is the method, samadhi is the goal. Dhyana is the technique to destroy this identification with the guest. And samadhi is dissolving into the host, abiding in the host, getting centered there.

Each night one embraces a buddha while sleeping,

Each morning one gets up again with him.

When rising or sitting, both watch and follow one another.

Whether speaking or not, both are in the same place.

They never even for a moment part,

But are like the body and its shadow.

If you wish to know the Buddha’s whereabouts,

In the sound of your own voice there is he. 

This is a Zen saying: “Each night one embraces a Buddha while sleeping.” The Buddha is always there, the non-Buddha is also there. In you meet the world and nirvana, in you meet God and matter, in you meet the soul and the body. In you meet all the mysteries of existence – you are a meeting-place, you are a cross-roads. On one side the whole world, on the other side the whole of God. And you are just a link between the two.

Now, it is only a question of emphasis. If you go on focusing yourself on the world, you remain in the world. If you start changing your focus, if you shift your focus and you start focusing on consciousness, you are God. Just a small change, as if one changes a gear in the car – just like that.

“Each night one embraces a Buddha while sleeping, each morning one gets up again with him.” He is always there, because consciousness is always there; not for a single moment is it lost.

“When rising or sitting, both watch and follow one another.” The host and the guest, both are there. Guests go on changing, but somebody or other is always there in the inn. It is never empty – unless you become disidentified with the guest. Then an emptiness arises. Then sometimes it happens your inn is empty; there is only the host sitting at ease, not being bothered by any guests. Traffic stops, people don’t come. Those moments are of beatitude; those moments are of great blessing.

“Whether speaking or not, both are in the same place.” When you are speaking, there is also something silent in you. When you are lusting, there is something beyond lust. When you are desiring, there is somebody who is not desiring at all. Watch it, and you will find it. Yes, you are very close, and yet you are very different. You meet, and yet you don’t meet. You meet like water and oil; the separation remains. The host comes very close to the guest. Sometimes they hold hands and hug each other, but still the host is the host and the guest is the guest. The guest is one who will come and go; the guest will go on changing. And the host is one who remains, who abides.

“They never even for a single moment part, but are like the body and its shadow. If you wish to know the Buddha’s whereabouts, in the sound of your own voice there is he.” Don’t go on looking for the Buddha somewhere outside. He resides in you – he resides in you as the host.

Now, how to come to this state of the host? I would like to talk to you about a very ancient technique; this technique will be of tremendous help. To come to this unknowable host, to come to this ultimate mystery of your being, this is the way – one of the very simple ways Buddha has proposed.

Deprive yourself of all possible relationships, and see what you are. Suppose you are not a son to your parents, nor the husband to your wife, nor the father to your children, nor a relative to your kindred, nor a friend to your acquaintances, nor a citizen to your country, and so on and so forth – then you get you-in-yourself.

Just disconnect. Some time once a day, sit silently and disconnect yourself of all connections. Just as you disconnect the phone, disconnect yourself of all connections. Don’t think any more that you are a father to your sons – disconnect. You are no more a father to your son, and you are no more a son to your father. Disconnect that you are a husband or a wife; you are no more a wife, no more a husband. You are no more a boss, no more a servant. You are no more black, no more white. You are no more Indian, no more Chinese, no more German. You are no more young, no more old. Disconnect, go on disconnecting.

A thousand and one connections are there – just go on disconnecting all the connections. When you have disconnected all the connections, then suddenly ask: Who am l? And no answer comes – because you have already disconnected all those answers that would have come.

Who am I? And an answer comes, “I am a doctor” – but you have disconnected with the patients. An answer comes, “I am a professor” – but you have disconnected yourself from your students. An answer comes, “I am Chinese” – but you have disconnected it. An answer comes, “I am a man or a woman” – but you have disconnected it. An answer comes, “I am an old man” – but you have disconnected it.

Disconnect all. Then you are in yourself. Then for the first time the host is alone and there is no guest. It is very good sometimes to be alone without any guest, because then you can see into your hostness more closely, more carefully. The guests create turmoil, the guests create noise, and they come and demand your attention. And they say, “Do this, and hot water is needed, and where is the breakfast? And where is my bed? And there are bed bugs’… and a thousand and one things. And the host starts running after the guest. Yes, of course, you have to take care of these people.

When you are completely disconnected, nobody bothers you – nobody can bother you. Suddenly you are there in all your aloneness – and that purity of aloneness, that pristine purity of aloneness. You are like virgin land, the virgin peak of a Himalaya where nobody has ever traveled. This is what virginity is.

This is what I mean when I say, “Yes, Jesus’ mother was a virgin.” This is what I mean. I don’t agree with Christian theologians – whatsoever they say is all bull. This is what virginity is – Jesus must have been conceived by Mary when she was in such a disconnected state. When you are in such a disconnected state, of course if a child enters he can only be a Jesus, nobody else.

In ancient India there were methods for how to conceive a child. Unless you are tremendously in deep meditation, don’t make love. Let meditation be a preparation for love: that is the whole meaning of tantra. Let meditation be the basis – only then make love. Then you invite greater souls. The deeper you are, the greater soul will be invited.

Mary must have been absolutely disconnected in that moment when Jesus penetrated her. She must have been in this virginity; she must have been a host. She was no more a guest and she was no more clamored at by the guest and no more identified with the guest. She was not the body, she was not the mind, she was not her thoughts, she was not a wife, she was nobody. In this nobodiness she was there, sitting silently – a pure light, a flame without any smoke around it, a smokeless flame. She was virgin.

And I say to you, exactly the same is the case when Buddha is conceived or when Mahavira is conceived, or Krishna is conceived or Nanak is conceived – because these people cannot be conceived in any other way. These people can enter only the most virgin womb. But this is my meaning of being a virgin. It has nothing to do with the foolish ideas that go around – that she never loved a man, that Jesus was not conceived with a man, that Jesus was not the son of Joseph.

That’s why Christians go on saying: “Jesus the son of Mary.” They don’t talk about his father; he was not a father. Son of Mary and son of God – there was no Joseph in-between. But why be so angry about poor Joseph? Why can’t God use Joseph too, if he can use Mary? What is wrong in it? He uses Mary for the womb – that does not spoil the story. Then why not use Joseph too? The womb is half the story, because one egg from the mother has been used. Then why not use another egg from Joseph? Why be so angry at this poor carpenter?

No, God uses both. But the state of consciousness must have been of the host. And really, when you are the host there is no wonder if you receive the greatest guest: Jesus comes in. If you are dis-identified from all the guests, then God becomes your guest. First you become the host, pure host. Then God becomes your guest.

When you are disconnected… you-in-yourself. Now ask yourself: “What is this you-in-yourself’?”  You can never answer this question – it is unanswerable, because it is cut off from all knowable relationships. This way one stumbles upon the unknowable; this is entering into meditation. When you have become settled into it, utterly settled, it becomes samadhi.

-Osho

Excerpt from Zen: The Path of Paradox, V.2, Chapter Three

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

The Dilemma of the Bodhisattva

‘Therefore, Subhuti, listen well and attentively. Someone who has set out in the vehicle of a bodhisattva should produce a thought in this manner;’

It does not look very good in the English translation. The Sanskrit word is chittopad.

One should create such a mind, such a decision; one should create such a great decision, determination—chittopad in this manner:

‘”As many beings as there are in the universe of beings, comprehended under the term ‘beings’, all these I must lead to nirvana...”‘

“Not one or two, Subhuti, not one or two, but all the beings — men, women, animals, birds, trees, rocks, all the beings in the world. One should create such a determination that ‘I will lead all of them into Nirvana.'”

‘… Into that realm of nirvana which leaves nothing behind. And yet, although innumerable beings have thus been led to nirvana; no being at all has been led to nirvana.’

That too you have to remember, you should not forget; otherwise, leading others, you will fall into ignorance again.

All the beings have to be led to the other shore, and still you have to remember that their miseries are false, so your remedies are also false. And you have to remember that they have no selves; neither do you have any self. So don’t forget; don’t think that you are helping people, that you are a great helper, this and that, otherwise you will fall again.

Again you will grow roots on this shore. So two things have to be remembered. You have to remain on this shore with great determination, otherwise you will be pulled by the other; and yet you are not to grow roots, again otherwise you will not be of any help. You will destroy yourself, you will fall into the dream again.

‘And why? If in a bodhisattva the notion of a “being” should take place, he could not be called a “bodhi-being”. And why? He is not called a “bodhi-being” in whom the notion of a self or a being should take place, or the notion of a living soul or of a person.’

“So you have to remember, Subhuti, two things. One, that you have to lead all the beings to the other shore, and still you have to remember that nobody has a being—neither you nor they. All egos are false and illusory.

“Go on remembering this and go on with great determination. Help people to the other shore. They are already there; you just have to make them alert and aware. But don’t get lost, don’t become a saviour—these two things.”

And again and again Buddha will repeat in this sutra The Vehicle of the Bodhisattva. I would like you all to become bodhisattvas.

Enough for today.

-Osho

Excerpt from The Diamond Sutra, Chapter One

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

The Essence of Buddha Dharma – Osho

What is the essence of Buddha Dharma – The religion of the Buddha? 

Mouna,

Yoka says:

If you reach the Zen of Buddha, at that very moment you accomplish everything. 

In your dream there are many pathways, but when you wake up, they are reduced to nothing. Neither error, nor happiness, nor loss, nor gain. 

Do not try to find anything in the essence of your being. It is a long time since you wiped the dust from your mirror, now it is time for you to see its brilliancy perfectly. 

Who can not-think, all is his. If you practice charity in order to become Buddha when will you succeed? Never – A thousand times never. 

Drink and eat according to your true nature. All things in the universe are impermanent, and therefore all existence is void. That is the whole understanding of Buddha.

This is the essence of Buddha Dharma, the religion of the Buddha. First: it is not a philosophy that you can understand intellectually; you have to become a Buddha to know it. Hence Yoka says: 

If you reach the Zen of Buddha – the state of the Buddha – at that very moment you accomplish everything.

Nothing is missing when you reach the ultimate state of awakening; all is fulfilled, you are utterly contented. Life is known for the first time as a great significance, as a great dance, a celebration. Life is known for the first time as absolutely perfect. There is no complaint, no desire, no hankering for things to be other than they are. One is simply contented, totally contented. All desiring disappears.

And what is the state of Buddha? What is this “Zen of Buddha” Yoka is talking about? It is the state of no-mind. Hence Yoka says:

Who can not-think, all is his.

The greatest thing in life to experience is a state of no-thought. The greatest art of life is to be able to be without mind. Even if it happens for a single moment – just a glimpse – you have reached the beyond and you have crossed the point of no-return.

Don’t go on thinking about it – what it is. By thinking you will go on missing it. Thinking is the sure way of missing the Buddha Dharma; non-thinking is the way to achieve it. It is your own nature!

Buddha does not talk about some great mysteries, hidden secrets, esoteric knowledge. He does not believe in mythology; he is not an occultist. He is a very simple man, very ordinary. He believes in the ordinary existence. He says your day-to-day life is all there is. If you can live it joyfully, silently, understandingly, watchfully, there is nothing else to be done. Your very ordinary life starts becoming extraordinary. 

Drink and eat according to your true nature.

Just remember: don’t distort your nature, remain true to your nature. Listen to your own nature and follow it. Don’t follow anybody else.

Buddha says, “Even if you meet me on the way, kill me immediately.” He is saying: Don’t follow me, just take the hints. Try to understand, imbibe the spirit. Feel my presence and then go on your way. Live according to your own light, howsoever small it is; but if it is yours and you live according to it, it will go on growing.

Buddha says, “Be a light unto yourself.” That is his greatest message. Nobody else in the whole world, in the whole history of humanity, has been so respectful towards others as Gautam the Buddha. “Be a light unto yourself.”

Buddhas only point the way – fingers pointing to the moon. You have to follow, and you have to follow according to your nature. You have to be silent, quiet, so you can listen to the still small voice within you, and then follow it. Wherever it leads it is good. Go in deep trust, following your own voice.  Be spontaneous, natural, ordinary. This is the way of being extraordinary. Be ordinary but aware, and the ordinary becomes the sacred. 

All things in the universe are impermanent

So don’t be worried. All things are impermanent: pleasure and pain, friendship and enmity, poverty and richness, success and failure, birth and death. All is in a flux, all is impermanent, so why be worried? Everything goes on changing. Don’t cling – clinging brings misery, clinging shows your misunderstanding. The moment you cling to something you are living with the idea that it can be permanent. Nothing can be permanent, and nothing can be done about it. It is just the nature of things to be impermanent.

You are trying to catch hold of rainbows. They are beautiful, but you cannot catch hold of them – one moment they are there and another moment they are gone. So don’t cling to anything because everything is impermanent. And don’t desire anything because even if you get it, you will lose it. If you don’t get it, you will be frustrated. If you get it and lose it, you will be frustrated. Either way you will be in misery, you are inviting misery. So don’t desire anything and don’t cling to anything.

Whatsoever comes, accept it. Buddha calls it tathata, suchness. Just accept it, live through it silently, without being disturbed by it. Misery comes, it will go. Happiness comes, it will go. Everything passes away, nothing abides, so there is nothing to worry about.

Go on passing through all kinds of experiences, and then you will know that one can pass through the world uncontaminated, uncorrupted. One can live in the palaces without clinging, then he is a sannyasin; and one can live in a hut and can cling to the hut, then he is not a sannyasin.

That’s why I don’t tell you to renounce the world, I simply say: Be watchful. That is the essence of Buddha’s message.

People ask me, “But Buddha renounced the world. Why did he renounce?” He renounced when he was not a Buddha. He renounced when he was as ignorant as anybody else. He renounced in ignorance.

When he attained the truth, when he experienced the truth and came back home, his wife asked him only one question. “Just tell me one thing,” she asked. ”Whatsoever you have attained… I can see you are a transformed being. You have become luminous, you are no longer the same person. The old is gone, you are reborn. It is so clear to me – even a blind person like me can see it. But just answer me one question. Whatsoever you have attained, was it not possible to attain it living here with me in this palace?”

And the story is: Buddha remained silent, looking downwards. The wife was right. He didn’t say anything.

In the East, not saying anything is thought to be a sign of agreement: Mounam sammati lakshanam. ”To be silent means I agree with you.” It says more than Buddha saying yes. His silence says more, it is more pregnant with meaning.

He immediately felt it: “She is right.” Whatsoever he had attained could have been attained anywhere. There was no need to go into the jungle.

There is no need for you to go anywhere. Wherever you are you can assert your Buddhahood, you can become awakened.

The essence is to slip out of the mind, to get out of the mind. The mind is the world. The mind is full of desires, full of clingings, attachments, longings. Get out of the mind! Create a little distance between you and the mind. Be a watcher, a watcher on the hills, and you will be surprised: as you watch the mind, the distance becomes bigger and bigger. As you watch the mind, as you become more and more established in watching, the mind recedes farther and farther away. One day it happens: you cannot hear the chatter of the mind; it is no longer there. It is simply, absolutely silent. In that silence, truth descends in you. In that silence, you encounter yourself, you encounter your innermost core. And that is the innermost core of the whole existence. Your being is the being of all.

We are separate as minds, as bodies, but not as consciousness. In consciousness we meet, we are one. That consciousness is God. That meeting, that oneness where all differences dissolve, where we are no longer separate ice cubes, where we have melted and disappeared into the universal, Buddha calls nirvana. The word is beautiful; it means cessation of the ego. When the ego ceases you are God, you are a Buddha, you are a Christ. It is the ego that is giving you a limitation. It is the ego that is making you live in a prison. Get out of the ego! And nobody is preventing you – it is your own clinging, it is your own attachment. You have become too attached to your chains, you have become too attached to your prison cell. You think it is your home, and it is not. Come out of it! Wake up!

To be awake is to be a Buddha. And Yoka is right.

If you reach the Zen of Buddha – the state of Buddha – at that very moment you accomplish everything.

-Osho

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

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

See the False as False and Follow Your Nature – Osho

Truth is. It needs no effort on your part to invent it. Truth has to be discovered, not invented. And what is hindering us from discovering it? We have been taught many lies, mountains of lies. Those are the barriers which go on falsifying the truth, which do not allow our hearts to reflect that which is.

Truth is not a logical conclusion. Truth is existence, reality. It is already here — it has always been here. Only truth exists. Then why cannot we find it? How do we manage not to find it? Because from the very childhood we are taught falsities, prejudices, ideologies, religions, philosophies…all lead you astray.

Truth is not an idea. You need not be a Hindu to know it, or a Mohammedan, or a Christian. If you are a Hindu you will never know it; your very being a Hindu will keep you blind. What do we mean when we say, “I am a Hindu, or a Mohammedan, or a Jew”? We mean, “I have already got ideas about truth — ideas from the Bible or the Koran or the Gita, but I have got ideas already. I don’t know the truth, but I know much about it.” And that knowing much about it is the only problem that has to be solved.

Once you drop your ideas about truth you will be confronting it, within and without both. You will be facing it — because there is nothing else!

But the parents, the society, the state, the church, the educational system, they all depend on lies. As the child is born they start trapping it into lies. And the child is helpless. He cannot escape his parents, he is utterly dependent. You can exploit his dependence…and it has been exploited down the ages.

Nobody has been exploited so much as children — neither the proletariat nor women, nobody has been exploited so much and so deeply and so destructively as the innocent children. Because they are helpless and dependent they have to learn whatsoever you teach them. They have to imbibe all the falsehoods that you go on forcing upon them. It is a question of survival for them — they cannot survive without you. It is a question of life and death! They have to be Hindus, they have to be Mohammedans, they have to be Jainas, they have to be Buddhists, they have to be communists. Whatsoever you are interested in putting into their minds, you go on putting it in.

Instead of making them more alert, more aware, more alive, more reflective, instead of making them more mirror like, pure, you make them full of ideas…layers and layers of dust. And then it becomes impossible for them to see that which is. They start seeing that which is not and they stop seeing that which is.

Hence, to be really religious means a rebirth: again becoming like a child, dropping all that the society has given to you.

Religion is a rebellion — a rebellion against all that has been forced upon you, a rebellion against being reduced to a computer. Just look inside! Whatsoever you know, you have been told; it is not your knowing, it is not authentic. How can it be authentic if it is not yours? You are not a witness to it, you are just a victim — a victim of circumstances.  It is just an accident to be born in India or to be born in England. It is just an accident to be born in a Hindu family or in a Christian family. Because of these accidents your essential nature has been lost — you have been forced to lose it. If you want to regain it you will have to be reborn.

That’s precisely what the meaning is when Jesus says to Nicodemus, “Unless you are born again you will not enter into the Kingdom of God.” He does not mean that you actually have to die, commit suicide, and then be born again. That won’t help, because again you will be born to some parents in a certain society, within a certain church, and again the same stupidity is going to be done to you.

Jesus means by ‘rebirth’ that deliberately, consciously, now you are capable of dropping all that has been taught to you. Drop your knowledge and become innocent. And that is the only way to become innocent. Knowledge is a contamination. To be in a state of not-knowing is innocence, and to function from that state is the only way to know the truth.

Meditate over these tremendously significant sutras of Gautama the Buddha. He says:

Mistaking the false for the true

and the true for the false,

you overlook the heart

and fill yourself with desire.

Mind is nothing but desire. The heart knows no desire. You will be surprised to hear it, that all desires belong to the head. The heart lives in the present; it pulsates, beats, in the here-now. It knows nothing of the past and it knows nothing of the future. It is always now, here.

And I am not talking about a certain philosophy. I am simply stating a fact so simple you can observe it within yourself: your heart is beating now. It cannot beat in the past, it cannot beat in the future. The heart only knows the present, hence it is utterly pure. It is not polluted by the past memories, by knowledge, by experience, by all that you have been told and taught, by the scriptures, by the traditions. It knows nothing of all that nonsense! And it knows nothing of the future, of the morrow. For it, past exists no more, the future not yet. It is utterly here. It is immediate.

But the mind is just the opposite of the heart: the mind is never now, here. Either it thinks of beautiful experiences of the past or it desires the same beautiful experiences in the future. It goes on shuttling between past and future, it never stops at the present. It is utterly unaware of the present. For the mind, the present exists not. See the point: the present is the only thing that exists, but for the mind the present is the only thing that exists not. Past is nonexistential, future is nonexistential, but those are the things which are existential for the mind.

The head is the problem… and the heart is the solution. The child functions from the heart. As you start growing, you start moving from the heart to the head. When you graduate from the university you have completely forgotten about the heart. You are hung up in the head, your whole energy has moved to the head. Now you don’t know anything of reality. You are full of garbage — scholarly garbage, academic nonsense. You may be a Ph.D., a D.Litt. You know much, knowing nothing at all! — because real knowing happens in the heart, not in the head. And the universities exist to distract your energies from the heart to the head.

All the universities in the world up to now have been enemies of humanity. Their whole function is to serve the state and the church. They are agents of the status quo, they are agents of the vested interests. They don’t serve you, they serve the powers, the masters, the oppressors, the exploiters. Whosoever happens to be in power the universities serve. They are not in the service of humanity yet.

If they were really in the service of humanity, then the university would be the place to learn rebellion. The university would create revolutionaries. The university would not create conventionalists, conformists; the university would create nonconformists, nonconventional people. It would create rebels — adventurous, ready to risk their lives for truth. That has not happened yet.

It is a sad fact that in the name of education something ugly is continued, something very ugly. Behind a facade, something very criminal continues. And this is the crime: that they divert your energies from the heart to the head, they destroy your capacity to love and they force you to learn logic. Logic is more important than love for them, thinking is more important than sensitivity. This is just putting the bullocks behind the cart. It is totally topsy-turvy.

That’s why humanity is in such a mess: the untrue seems to be true and the true seems to be untrue. They have succeeded in distorting your vision. The buddhas have been fighting against all these vested interests.

Buddha says:

Mistaking the false for the true

and true for the false,

you overlook the heart

and fill yourself with desire.

Mind is desire, and you go on filling yourself with more and more desire, more and more ambition, more and more longing for power, prestige, wealth. And you completely forget that there is a heart beating within you which already lives in God, which is already part of the ultimate law — Aes Dhammo Sanantano — which is already part of the inexhaustible, eternal law. You are joined from the heart to God. Your hearts are the roots in the soil of God.

Your hearts are still being nourished by God, by truth, but you are not there. You have vacated the place. You live in your head. Day in, day out, you live in your head; you never descend from there. Even in the night while asleep you go on rumbling in the head… dreams, and dreams upon dreams. In the day thoughts, in the night dreams. They are not different.

The dream is only a translation of thinking in the language of sleep, and vice versa: thinking is nothing but a translation of dreaming in the language of the day. You go on moving between these two: dreaming and thinking. Both are desiring. What do you think? What is there to think except desire? And what do you dream except desire?

Buddha says the false appears to be true because you have become false to your own truth, to your own heart. Come back to the heart, and then you will be able to know the truth as the truth and the false as the false. That is enlightenment, that is coming home.

See the false as false.

But from where to begin? Begin from seeing the false as the false. That’s why all the buddhas appear to be negative, all buddhas appear to be destructive. They negate. Jesus negates. He says again and again: It has been told to you in the past, but I say to you…. And he changes the whole standpoint.

For example, he says: It has been told to you in the past that tit for tat is the law. If somebody throws a brick at you, react by throwing a rock. But I say unto you, if somebody hits you on one cheek, give him the other cheek too. And if somebody takes away your coat, give him your shirt too. And if somebody forces you to go one mile with him, go two miles.

Mohammed is against all kinds of images of God, because his people were worshipping for centuries; they had three hundred and sixty-five gods — one god for every day of the year. The Kaaba of Mohammed’s days was one of the greatest temples on the earth — dedicated to three hundred and sixty-five gods! Mohammed destroyed all those idols. It looks negative….

Buddha says: There is no truth in the Vedas, in the Upanishads. Beware of beautiful words, beware of philosophic speculation. Don’t waste your time with hairsplitting, with logic. Be silent! Throw the Vedas out of your head, only then can you be silent. He looks negative, he looks nihilistic, he look dangerous, but that is the only way you can be helped.

You have to be told the false is false. You have to begin with this: neti, neti — neither this nor that. The master has to say to you, “This is false, that is false.” He has to go on pointing out to you whatsoever is false first, because when you have known all that is false, suddenly a transformation happens in your consciousness. When you have become aware of the false, you start becoming aware of the true.

You cannot be taught what is truth, but you can certainly be taught what is not truth. You have been conditioned, you can be unconditioned. You have been hypnotized — as Hindus, Mohammedans, Christians, Jainas…. The function of a master is to dehypnotize you. Once you are dehypnotized, suddenly you will be able to see the truth. The truth need not be taught.

See the false as false, the true as true.

Look into your heart.

Follow your nature.

One of the most significant statements ever: Look into your heart. Follow your nature. He is not saying follow scriptures. He is not saying follow me. He is not saying follow certain rules of conduct. He is not teaching you any morality. He is not trying to create a certain character around you, because all characters are beautiful prison cells. He is not giving you a certain way of life. Rather he is giving you courage, encouragement, to follow your own nature. He wants you to be brave enough to listen to your own heart and go accordingly.

“Follow your nature” means flow with yourself. You are the scripture… and hidden deep down within you is a still, small voice. If you become silent you will be guided from there.

The master has only to make you aware of your inner master. Then his function is fulfilled. Then he can leave you to yourself; he can throw you back upon yourself. A master is not to enslave the disciple; a master is to free him, to give him total freedom. And this is the only possibility of attaining total freedom: Follow your nature. By “nature” Buddha means dhamma. Just as it is the nature of water to flow downwards and it is the nature of fire to rise upwards, so there is a certain nature hidden in you. If all the conditionings that have been put around you by the society are removed, suddenly you will discover your nature. Your nature has become God. Aes dhammo sanantano — this is the eternal, inexhaustible law: your nature is to become God.

Man is a potential god — a bodhisattva. Man is meant to become a god. Less than that won’t satisfy you, less than that is of no use. You can have all the money in the world, all the power, all the prestige possible, and still you will remain empty — unless your divine nature flowers, opens its buds, unless you become a lotus, a one-thousand-petaled lotus, unless your divinity is revealed to you, you can never be contented.

The ordinary religious person is told to remain satisfied, contented, with whatsoever is the case. The so-called religious saints go on teaching people: Be satisfied. Satisfaction is one of their fundamental teachings. That is not the way of the true masters.

The true master creates discontent in you — and such a discontent that nothing of this world can ever satisfy it. He creates such a longing in you, that unless you attain to the ultimate you will remain aflame, afire. He creates pain in your heart, he creates anguish… because life is slipping by every moment, and each moment gone is gone forever, and you have not attained to God yet, and one day is over.

He creates such a deep longing in you, such pain in the heart! He creates tears in your eyes, because only through such divine discontent will you move, will you take the quantum leap, the ultimate jump into the unknown. It is only through such divine discontent that you will gather together all your energies, and you will risk, and you will go on the ultimate adventure of finding who you are.

Follow your own nature. Your nature is consciousness. But you have been told by the priests: follow certain rules of conduct, the Ten Commandments, follow certain principles — not your nature. Priests are very much afraid of your nature, because if you follow your nature you will get out of their grip, you will be a slave no more. You won’t go to the churches and the temples and the mosques, and you won’t listen to your stupid priests, politicians, the so-called leaders. I call them “so-called leaders” because what is actually happening is that blind people are leading other blind people.

You won’t listen to them anymore if you listen to your own nature. If you know your own inner voice you will become free. Your inner voice has to be crushed, destroyed, utterly destroyed — at least distorted so much that even if you hear it you can’t understand it. And they have succeeded. Unless you struggle hard against them there is no possibility of succeeding. Their exploitation is so old, their oppression is so ancient, their strategies are so cunning… and they have infinite power in their hands. And what are you against them as an individual?

But if you go in, if you listen to your heart, you will attain to such power that no power on the earth can enslave you again.

Follow your nature.… But how to follow your nature if you don’t know what it is? And you are not allowed to know it! You are given precise instructions as to what to do: what to eat, when to get up in the morning, when to go to bed. You have been given precise instructions. Those instructions, if followed, make you a slave. If not followed, they make you a criminal. If followed, you become a saint —but a slave. People will worship you, respect you, but all that respect is a mutual understanding: “If you follow our instructions, we will respect you. If you don’t follow, you will be thrown into jail.”

Either you are made a slave spiritually or a prisoner physically: these are the two alternatives the society gives to you. And it never lets you become aware that there is a source of infinite guidance within you, from where God speaks.

God still speaks, he has not stopped speaking. He is not partial — it is not that he spoke to Mohammed and to Moses and he does not speak to you. He is speaking to you as much as he was speaking to Mohammed. The only difference is, Mohammed was ready to listen and you are not ready to listen. Mohammed was available and you are not available.

To become available to your inner nature is what I call meditation.

Remember these two words. ‘Character’ is an invention of the politicians and the priests; it is a conspiracy against you. Consciousness is your nature. Yes, a man of consciousness has a certain character, but that character follows his consciousness. It is not imposed by anybody else on him; it is his own decision. And he is not encaged in it; he is totally free to change it any moment. As circumstances change, his consciousness gives him different directions and he changes his character.

The man of character — the so-called man of character — is encaged. Even if circumstances change he goes on repeating the same character, although it is no longer relevant, it does not fit. The context in which it was meaningful has disappeared, but he goes on repeating the same nonsense. He is like a parrot. He is a machine: he does not respond, he only reacts.

A man of consciousness responds, and his responses are spontaneous. He is mirror like: he reflects whatsoever confronts him. And out of this spontaneity, out of this consciousness, a new kind of action is born. That action never creates any bondage, any karma. That action frees you. You remain a freedom if you listen to your nature.

But this simple advice seems to be very difficult for people. It should be the simplest thing in the world. Each child is born following his nature, but as you grow up, slowly you lose contact with it — you are forced to lose contact with it. The contact can be regained, it can be rediscovered. Later on, when you become very knowledgeable, encaged in a certain character, utterly blind to your own heart and nature, you start asking such questions.

Just the other day Prem Vijen asked:

“Beloved Master, what do you mean when you say ‘Go in’?” Such a simple statement — “Go in” — and you ask me, “What do you mean?” Can’t you understand these simple words, ‘go in’? I know you understand the words, but going in has become so difficult because you have been taught only how to go out. You can only go out, you only know how to go out. Your consciousness has been turned towards others; it has forgotten the way to itself. You go on knocking on others’ doors, and whenever it is said to you, “Go home,” you say, “What do you mean by ‘going home’?” You know only others’ houses, but you don’t know your own home. And you are carrying it within yourself. You have been forced to become extroverts. One has to learn again ways of inwardness.

Soren Kierkegaard has said: Religion means inwardness — going into your own interiority. But the simple words, ‘go in’, have become so difficult to understand. Mind only knows how to go out; it has no reverse gear in it.

I have heard that when Ford made his first cars they had no reverse gear. It was a later addition. Without a reverse gear it was really a problem: whenever you wanted to come back you had to go miles unnecessarily, you had to go round. Even if you wanted to go a few feet back, you might have to take a journey of miles. Then Ford became aware that a reverse gear was needed.

I am teaching you here that the reverse gear is there, built in, you have just forgotten about it. You know how to go out. Nobody asks, “What does it mean when you say ‘Go out’?” But everybody wants to ask, “What do you mean when you say ‘Go in’?” Simple words!

Thinking is going out: non-thinking is going in. Think, and you have started moving away from yourself. Thought is the way leading you farther away. Thought is a project. No-thought… and suddenly you are in. Without thought you cannot go out, without desire you cannot go out. You need the fuel of desire and the vehicle of thought to go out.

Sitting silently, doing nothing… not even thinking, not even desiring… and where will you be?

Going in is not really going in. It is simply stopping going out… and suddenly you find yourself in.

Prem Vijen, you need not go in because if you go you will always go out. Going means going out. Stop going! Stop going anywhere! Can’t you sit silently without going anywhere? Yes, physically you can sit, that is not very difficult. You can learn a yoga posture and you can make your body almost a statue, but the problem is — what are you doing inside? Desires, thoughts, memories, imagination, all kinds of projects? — stop them too.

How to stop them? Just become indifferent to them, unconcerned. Even if they are there, don’t pay attention to them. Even if they are there, don’t give them any importance. Even if they are there, let them be. You sit silently inside — watching. Remember that word ‘watching’ — witnessing, just being alert.

.

Don’t start looking in the dictionaries or in the Encyclopedia Britannica. It is not a question of words! Words are simple to understand; when I say “Go in,” that’s exactly what I mean — go in! Don’t start asking about the words — listen to the hidden message; otherwise you will miss the train.[…]

If you become too much interested in words —”What does it mean to go in? What does it mean, verbally, linguistically?” — Vijen, you are going to miss the train. Don’t waste time with words!

And it is a particularly new kind of disease that has gripped the intellectuals of the world. For at least fifty years the philosophical world has become too much interested in words, linguistic analysis. They don’t ask anymore what God is. They don’t ask anymore whether God exists or not. The contemporary philosophers ask, “What does it mean when you use the word ‘God’?” It is not a question of whether God exists or not. It is not a question of what God is. It is not a question of how to attain God. Now the question has taken a very new turn: “What do you mean when you use the word ‘God’?”

What do you mean when you use the word ‘rose’? Now it is easy: you can take hold of the philosopher, force him to go to the garden, and you can show him the rose: “This is what I mean when I use the word ‘rose’.” But this cannot be done with the word ‘God’ — and this cannot be done with the word ‘meditation’ and this cannot be done with the words ‘going in’. These are subtle phenomena. Don’t become linguistically interested. I am not here to teach you linguistic analysis.

My whole approach is existential. If you really want to know what it means to go in, go in! And the way is: watch your thoughts and don’t get identified with them. Just remain a watcher, utterly indifferent, neither for nor against. Don’t judge, because every judgment brings identification. Don’t say, “These thoughts are wrong,” and don’t say, “These thoughts are good.” Don’t comment on the thoughts. Just let them pass as if it is just traffic passing by, and you are standing by the side of the road unconcerned, looking at the traffic.

It does not matter what is passing by — a bus, a truck, a bicycle. If you can watch the thought process of your mind with such unconcern, with such detachment, that moment is not very far away when one day the whole traffic disappears… because the traffic can exist only if you go on giving energy to it. If you stop giving energy to it….  And that’s what watching is: stopping giving energy to it, stopping energy moving into the traffic. It is your energy that makes those thoughts move. When your energy is not coming they start falling; they cannot stand on their own.

And when the road of the mind is utterly empty, you are in. That’s what I mean, Vijen, when I say “Go in.” And that’s what Buddha means when he says: Follow your nature.

-Osho

From Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha V.1, Chapter Three

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

The Doctrine of Sameness – Osho

I consider the doctrine of sameness as the absolute ground of reality.

Buddha says: Things are not different, they are the same; they only look different, they only appear different. The tree there, and the rock, and you, and the animals and the stars, are not different. At the innermost core, reality is one and the same. Substance is one and the same, there are no distinctions. Distinctions are dreams.

Physicists call that one reality ‘electricity’ or ‘energy’. Materialists, Marxists, communists, call that reality ‘matter’. idealists call that reality ‘mind’. Yogis call that reality ‘consciousness’. Buddha calls that reality ‘nothingness’.

Now, this word ‘nothingness’ is very important. ‘Nothingness’ means: no-thing-ness. No thing is. All things are just forms, dreams. We are different only in form, and forms are just dreams. It is as if out of gold you can make many sorts of ornaments. Those forms, different ornaments, are just dreams, because the gold is the reality. Behind all the forms is gold; behind all the forms is one reality. Buddha says: That sameness is the absolute ground of reality.

If you go in, you leave the form. First you leave the form of the body. Have you observed it? — people who are close to me and meditating, come again and again to that insight — and these sayings can be understood only if you have certain insights of your own. Otherwise, it is impossible to understand them. When you are meditating, many times it happens that you forget your form, your body; you don’t know who you are and how you look. You forget your face. In fact, in deep meditation, you completely become oblivious of your body. When you close your eyes, you are formless. Your mind also has form. You are a Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan, Jain, Buddhist; then you have a form of the mind: you think in terms of being a Christian, you have a certain identity, dogma defines you. But if you go still deeper, mind also disappears. Then you are no more a Christian.

At the deepest core you are neither a body nor a mind. Then what are you?

Buddha says: Nothingness, no-thing-ness: now you are not a thing, now you are universal. Now you are not confined in any idea, you are infinite. You are that which has always been there and will remain always. You are eternal. Then there is no birth to you and there is no death to you. You are like the sky: clouds come and go and the sky remains untouched by them. Millions of times clouds have come and gone, and the sky has remained pure and virgin. It has not been corrupted or polluted by them. You are the inner sky. And when all forms disappear, the inner and the outer also disappear — because they are also forms. Then there is nothing inner and nothing outer… oneness, sameness.

Buddha does not call it ‘God’ — because to call it ‘God’ you may start thinking again of form. But that’s exactly what the word ‘God’ means, or should mean — God is that sameness that exists in all. ‘God’ means existence, isness. The tree is, the rock is, the cloud is, the man is — forms are different but isness is the same. As far as isness is concerned, a tree and you are the same. The form is different: the tree is green and you are not green, and the tree has flowers and you don’t have any flowers, and the bird can fly into the sky and you cannot fly; but these are differences of the form. But isness is the same. To look into that isness is what meditation is all about. And to come to realize that isness is nirvana.

This is the last message, the last sutra of this Sutra of Forty-Two Chapters. This is the forty-second sutra, Buddha’s ultimate message. I don’t think you will be able to understand it right now. Intellectually of course you can understand it, but the real understanding has to be existential. That will come only if you follow the path of inner discipline to the point where you can drop it. If you follow the path of meditation to the point where even meditation becomes a hindrance, and you drop it…. It is as if you move on a staircase from one floor to another, but when you have reached to the next floor you get off the staircase. You don’t cling to it. All methods are staircases — or in Buddha’s terminology: All methods are like boats; you cross the river, then you leave the boat, and you forget all about it.

Methods have to be used and then dropped. It has to be remembered from the very beginning — because there is every possibility that you may become too attached to the method. You become so attached that the method becomes a clinging: you start possessing it and it starts possessing you. Then the medicine has become a disease.

It happens: you are ill, you take medicine. Then illness goes but you cannot leave the medicine now. You have become accustomed to the medicine, to the drug. When the illness has gone, throw the medicine immediately.

Meditation is a medicine — because you are ill you have to use it. When wellness has come, then drop it immediately.

All devices have to be dropped one day, and all scriptures have to be dropped one day. This is the greatness of Buddha: that he says that even his teachings, his methods, have to be dropped.

When Zarathustra was saying goodbye to his disciples, the last thing that he said to his disciples has to be remembered. Keep it in your heart. This is what Buddha is saying in the last sutra. Said Zarathustra to his disciples, “Now I am going and this is my last message: Beware of Zarathustra!” And he left.

Beware of Zarathustra? Beware of the Master… because you can fall in love too much. You can become too much attached. The real Master is one who helps you to fall in love, and then helps you to stand on your own so that you can leave the Master. A real Master never becomes a crutch for you. Never! Before he sees that you are clinging too much, he starts getting out of your life — because the ultimate goal is freedom —freedom from all crutches, freedom from all props, freedom from every discipline, doctrine, method. Freedom from all: that’s the goal.

Always remember that goal. Remembering that goal will help you not to go astray.

A small story and I will finish this discourse. It is a Hassid story: The Three Prisoners.

After the death of Rabbi Uri of Istalisk, who was called ‘The Seraph’, one of the Hassidim came to Rabbi Birnham and wanted to become his disciple. Rabbi Birnham asked, “What was your teacher’s way of instructing you to serve?”

“His way,” said the Hassid, “was to plant humanity in our hearts. That was why everyone who came to him, whether he was a nobleman or a scholar, had first to fill two large buckets at the well in the marketplace, or to do some other hard and menial labor in the street.”

Rabbi Birnham said, “I shall tell you a story….

“Three men, two of them wise and one foolish, were once put in a dungeon black as night, and every day food and eating utensils were lowered down to them. The darkness and the misery of the imprisonment had deprived the fool of his last bit of sense, so that he no longer knew how to use the utensils; he could not see. One of his companions showed him, but the next day he had forgotten again. And so his wise companion had to teach him continually. But the third prisoner sat in silence and did not bother about the fool.

“Once the second prisoner asked him why he never offered his help. ‘Look,’ said the other, ‘you take infinite trouble and yet you never reach the goal because every day destroys your work. But I, sitting here, am not just sitting. I am trying to bore a hole in the wall so that the light and sun can enter, and all three of us can see everything.’ ”

Now, there are two types of Masters in the world. The first type I call the teacher. He teaches you things: disciplines. virtue, character, but next day you forget. Again he teaches you the same, and next day you forget again. The second I call the Master. He does not teach you virtue, he does not teach you character, he does not teach you ordinary humility, humbleness, poverty — no. He bores a hole into your being so that light can penetrate, and you can see yourself. He tries to make you aware, full of light. That’s the real Master. In the East we call him Satguru, the right Master. Teachers are many; Satgurus are very few and far between. Remember this distinction.

If you are with a teacher you may become a good man, but you cannot become enlightened. And your goodness will always remain on a volcano; it can erupt any moment. If you are with a teacher he will teach you outward things — how to discipline yourself, how to be good, how to be a servant, how to serve people, how to be non-violent, how to be loving, kind, compassionate. He will teach you a thousand and one things.

If you come to a Master, he teaches only one thing — that is: how to become aware, how to bore a hole into your being so light can enter into your imprisonment. And in that light, everything starts happening of its own accord.

And when things happen of their own accord, they have a beauty to them. Then there is great benediction.

-Osho

From The Buddha Said…, Chapter 22

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Also published as The Discipline of Transcendence V. 4, Chapter Eleven

 

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

 

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

 

Wakefulness is the Way to Life – Osho

One of the most important things to be understood about man is that man is asleep. Even while he thinks he is awake, he is not. His wakefulness is very fragile; his wakefulness is so tiny it doesn’t matter at all. His wakefulness is only a beautiful name, but utterly empty.

You sleep in the night, you sleep in the day; from birth to death you go on changing your patterns of sleep, but you never really awake. Just by opening the eyes don’t befool yourself that you are awake. Unless the inner eyes open, unless your inside becomes full of light, unless you can see yourself, who you are, don’t think that you are awake.

That is the greatest illusion man lives in. And once you accept that you are already awake, then there is no question of making any effort to be awake.

The first thing to sink deep in your heart is that you are asleep, utterly asleep. You are dreaming, day in, day out. You are dreaming sometimes with open eyes and sometimes with closed eyes, but you are dreaming, you are a dream. You are not yet a reality.

And, of course, in a dream whatsoever you do is meaningless, whatsoever you think is pointless, whatsoever you project remains part of your dreams and never allows you to see that which is. Hence Buddha’s insistence… and not only Gautama the Buddha but all the buddhas have insisted on only one thing: Awake! Continuously, for centuries, their whole teaching can be contained in a single word: Be awake!

And they have been devising methods, strategies, they have been creating contexts and spaces, and energy fields in which you can be shocked into awareness. Yes, unless you are shocked, shaken to your very foundations, you will not awaken. The sleep has been so long, it has reached to the very core of your being; you are soaked in it. Each cell of your body and each fiber of your mind has become full of sleep. It is not a small phenomenon. Hence great effort is needed to be alert, to be attentive, to be watchful, to become a witness.

If on any one single theme all the buddhas of the world agree, this is the theme: that man as he is is asleep, and man as he should be should be awake. Wakefulness is the goal, and wakefulness is the taste of all their teachings. Zarathustra, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Buddha, Bahauddin, Kabir, Nanak — all the awakened ones have been teaching one single theme, in different languages, in different metaphors, but their song is the same. Just as the sea tastes of salt whether the sea is tasted from the north or from the east or from the west, the sea always tastes of salt — the taste of buddhahood is wakefulness.

But you will not make any effort if you go on believing that you are already awake; then there is no question of making any effort. Why bother? And you have created religions, gods, prayers, rituals, out of your dreams — your gods are as much part of your dreams as anything else. Your politics is part of your dreams, your religions are part of your dreams, your poetry, your painting, your art — whatsoever you do, because you are asleep, you make it according to your own state of mind.

The Bible says God created man in his own image — the truth seems to be just the opposite: man has created God in his own image. Your gods are false because you are false. Your religion is pseudo because you are pseudo. Your scriptures cannot have any significance because you don’t have any significance.

Two priests are playing golf. The younger one misses an easy putt and says, “Shit!” The older one berates him for this, saying that if he continues to use profanity like that God will certainly blast him with a thunderbolt. They keep playing and the younger priest misses another putt, and again says, “Shit!”

The skies suddenly open: a thunderbolt flashes out, and strikes the older priest dead. There is a pause, and the heavenly voice is heard saying in accents of thunder, “Shit!”

Your gods cannot be different from you. Who will create them? Who will give them shape and color and form? You create them, you sculpt them; they have eyes like you, noses like you — and minds like you! The Old Testament God says, “I am a very jealous God!” Now who has created this God who is jealous? God cannot be jealous. And if God is jealous, then what is wrong in being jealous? If even God is jealous, why should you be thought to be doing something wrong when you are jealous? Then jealousy is divine.

The Old Testament God says, “I am a very angry God! If you don’t follow my commandments, I will destroy you. You will be thrown into hellfire for eternity. And because I am very jealous,” the God says, “don’t worship anybody else. I cannot tolerate it.”

Who created such a God? It must be out of our own jealousy, out of our own anger, that we have created this image.

A Jew who has a long run of bad luck goes out into the woods and lifts his voice in prayer and recrimination. “Oh, God,” he asks heaven tearfully, “haven’t I always been a good Jew? Haven’t I always given charity, even to those damn goyim? Didn’t I bring up my family decent? Never drink, swear, gamble; no bad women, nothing! Why do you do this to me God? Why? Why?”

A dark cloud suddenly appears overhead, and a tremendous voice replies, “You piss me off!”

The God certainly cannot be different from you. It is your projection, it is your shadow. It echoes you and nobody else. That’s why there are so many gods in the world. The Hindus have a certain idea about God — the Hindu idea — it reflects the Hindu mind.

If you go back into Hindu scriptures you will be surprised. You will not be able to believe what kind of gods Hindus have created — very sexual. Adultery is very common amongst Hindu gods, and not only do they play their games of adultery in the Hindu paradise, they can’t even leave the earth alone; they come to the earth too, to rape women, to seduce simple women. They don’t even leave the wives of the great seers alone. And because they have infinite power they can even appear as the husbands, they can look like the husbands. And the women have no idea who is hiding behind the facade.

Who has created these gods? — it must have been deep down a very sexual mind.

And the same is the case with all other gods of all other religions. It is because of this that Buddha never talked about God. He said: What is the point of talking about God to people who are asleep? They will listen in their sleep. They will dream about whatsoever is said to them, and they will create their own gods — which will be utterly false, utterly impotent, utterly meaningless. It is better not to have such gods.

That’s why Buddha is not interested in talking about gods. His whole interest is in waking you up.

It is said about a Buddhist enlightened master who was sitting by the side of the river one evening, enjoying the sound of the water, the sound of the wind passing through the trees….  A man came and asked him, “Can you tell me in a single word the essence of your religion?”

The master remained silent, utterly silent, as if he had not heard the question. The questioner said, “Are you deaf or something?”

The master said, “I have heard your question, and I have answered it too! Silence is the answer. I remained silent —that pause, that interval, was my answer.”

The man said, “I cannot understand such a mysterious answer. Can’t you be a little more clear?”

So the master wrote on the sand “meditation,” in small letters with his finger. The man said, “I can read now. It is a little better than at first. At least I have got a word to ponder over. But can’t you make it a little more clear?”

The master  wrote again “meditation.” Of course this time he wrote in bigger letters. The man was feeling a little embarrassed, puzzled, offended, angry. He said, “Again you write meditation? Can’t you be a little clear for me?”

And the master wrote in very big letters, capital letters, “MEDITATION.”

The man said, “You seem to be mad.”

The master said, “I have already come down very much. The first answer was the right answer, the second was not so right, the third even more wrong, the fourth has gone very wrong” — because when you write “MEDITATION” with capital letters you have made a god out of it.

That’s why the word ‘God’ is written with capital ‘G’. Whenever you want to make something supreme, ultimate, you write it with a capital letter.

The master said, “I have already committed a sin.” He erased all those words he had written, and he said, “Please listen to my first answer — only then I am true.”

Silence is the space in which one awakens, and the noisy mind is the space in which one remains asleep. If your mind continues chattering, you are asleep. Sitting silently, if the mind disappears and you can hear the chattering birds and no mind inside, a silence…this whistle of the bird, the chirping, and no mind functioning in your head, utter silence…then awareness wells up in you. It does not come from the outside, it arises in you, it grows in you. Otherwise remember: you are asleep.

A husband and wife were asleep. About 3 AM the wife dreamt of secretly meeting another man. Then she dreamt she saw her husband coming.

In her sleep she shrieked, “Heavens, my husband!”

Her husband, waking suddenly, leapt out of the window.

And remember, it is not a laughing matter; it is the reality, it is how you are living. It is how man exists in his ordinary state.

A wife tries to win back her husband’s love, on the advice of a woman friend, by bringing him his slippers and pipe when he comes home late one night, giving him a tall drink, cuddling up in his lap dressed only in a silk dressing gown, and ending with the murmured offer, “Let’s go upstairs, darling!”

“I might as well,” says her bemused husband, “I’ll get hell when I get home anyway!”

We go on living absolutely inattentive to what is happening around us. Yes, we have become very efficient in doing things. What we are doing, we have become so efficient in doing that we don’t need any awareness to do it. It has become mechanical, automatic. We function like robots. We are not men yet; we are machines.

That’s what George Gurdjieff used to say again and again, that man as he exists is a machine. He offended many people, because nobody likes to be called a machine. Machines like to be called gods; then they feel very happy, puffed up. Gurdjieff used to call people machines, and he was right. If you watch yourself you will know how mechanically you behave.

The Russian psychologist Pavlov, and the American psychologist Skinner, are ninety-nine point nine percent right about man: they believe that man is a beautiful machine, that’s all. There is no soul in him. I say ninety-nine point nine percent they are right; they only miss by a very small margin. In that small margin are the buddhas, the awakened ones. But they can be forgiven, because Pavlov never came across a buddha — he came across millions of people like you.

Skinner has been studying men and rats and finds no difference. Rats are simple beings, that’s all; man is a little more complicated. Man is a highly sophisticated machine, rats are simple machines. It is easier to study rats; that’s why psychologists go on studying rats. They study rats and they conclude about man — and their conclusions are almost right. I say “almost,” mind you, because that point one percent is the most important phenomenon that has happened: a Buddha, a Jesus, a Mohammed. These few awakened people are the real men, but where can B.F. Skinner find a buddha? Certainly not in America.

I have heard:

A man asked a rabbi, “Why didn’t Jesus choose to be born in twentieth-century America?”

The rabbi shrugged his shoulders and said, “In America? It would have been impossible. Where can you find a virgin, firstly? And secondly, where will you find three wise men?”

And without a virgin mother and three wise men, how can Jesus be born?

I have heard:

In a church, the priest asked the audience, “Please stand up, all the women who are virgins!”

Just one woman with a small baby girl stood up. Certainly she was a mother, and the priest said, “Do you think yourself to be a virgin? You are a mother!”

She said, “Yes, I am — but this girl is a virgin, and she cannot stand on her own.”

Where is B.F. Skinner going to find a buddha? And even if he can find a buddha, his preconceived prejudices, ideas, will not allow him to see. He will go on seeing his rats. He cannot understand anything that rats cannot do. Now, rats don’t meditate, rats don’t become enlightened. And his conception of man is only a magnified form of a rat. And still I say that he is right about the greater majority of people; his conclusions are not wrong. And buddhas will agree with him about the so-called normal humanity: the normal humanity is utterly asleep. Even animals are not so asleep.

Have you seen a deer in the jungle — how alert he looks, how watchfully he walks? Have you seen a bird sitting on the tree — how intelligently he goes on watching what is happening all around? You move towards the bird — there is a certain space he allows; beyond that, one step more, and he flies away. He has a certain alertness about his territory. If somebody enters into that territory then it is dangerous.

If you look around you will be surprised: man seems to be the most asleep animal on the earth.

A woman buys a parrot at an auction of the furnishings of a fancy whorehouse, and keeps the parrot’s cage covered for two weeks to make it forget its profane vocabulary. When the cage is finally uncovered, the parrot looks around and remarks, “Awrrk! New house. New madam.” When the woman’s daughters come in, he adds, “Awrrk! New girls.”

When her husband comes home that night, the parrot says, “Awrrk! Awrrk! Same old customers. Hello, Joe!”

Man is in a very fallen state. In fact, that is the meaning of the Christian parable of the fall of Adam, his expulsion. But why were Adam and Eve expelled from paradise? They were expelled because they had eaten the fruit of knowledge. They were expelled because they had become minds, and they had lost their consciousness. If you become a mind you lose consciousness — mind means sleep, mind means noise, mind means mechanicalness.

If you become a mind you lose consciousness. Hence, the whole work that has to be done is: how to become consciousness again and lose the mind. You have to throw out of your system all that you have gathered as knowledge. It is knowledge that keeps you asleep; hence, the more knowledgeable a person is, the more asleep.

That has been my own observation too. Innocent villagers are far more alert and awake than the professors in the universities and the pundits in the temples. The pundits are nothing but parrots; the academicians in the universities are full of nothing but holy cow dung, full of absolutely meaningless noise — just minds and no consciousness.

People who work with nature , farmers, gardeners, woodcutters, carpenters, painters — they are far more alert than the people that function in the universities as deans and vice-chancellors and chancellors. Because when you work with nature, nature is alert, trees are alert; their form of alertness is certainly different, but they are very alert.

Now there are scientific proofs of their alertness. If the woodcutter comes with an axe in his hand and with the deliberate desire to cut the tree, all the trees that see him coming tremble. Now there are scientific proofs about it; I am not talking poetry, I am talking science when I say this. Now there are instruments to measure whether the tree is happy or unhappy, afraid or unafraid, sad or ecstatic. When the woodcutter comes, all the trees that see him start trembling. They become aware that death is close by. And the woodcutter has not cut any tree yet — just his coming….

And one thing more, far more strange: if the woodcutter is simply passing by there with no deliberate idea to cut a tree, then no tree becomes afraid. It is the same woodcutter, with the same axe. It seems that his intention to cut a tree affects the trees. It means that his intention is being understood; it means the very vibe is being decoded by the trees.

And one more significant fact has been observed scientifically: that if you go into the forest and kill an animal, it is not only the animal kingdom around that becomes shaken, but trees also. If you kill a deer, all the deer that are around feel the vibe of murder, become sad; a great trembling arises in them. Suddenly they are afraid for no particular reason at all. They may not have seen the deer being killed, but somehow, in a subtle way, they are affected — instinctively, intuitively. But it is not only the deer which are affected — the trees are affected, the parrots are affected, the tigers are affected, the eagles are affected, the grass leaves are affected. Murder has happened, destruction has happened, death has happened — everything that is around is affected.

Man seems to be the most asleep….

These sutras of Buddha have to be meditated on deeply, imbibed, followed.

Wakefulness is the way to life.

You are alive only in the proportion that you are aware. Awareness is the difference between death and life. You are not alive just because you are breathing, you are not alive just because your heart is beating. Physiologically you can be kept alive in a hospital, without any consciousness. Your heart will go on beating and you will be able to breathe. You can be kept in such a mechanical arrangement that you will remain alive for years — in the sense of breathing and the heart beating and the blood circulating. There are now many people around the world in advanced countries who are just vegetating in the hospitals, because advanced technology has made it possible for your death to be postponed indefinitely — for years, for centuries, you can be kept alive. If this is life, then you can be kept alive. But this is not life at all. Just to vegetate is not life.

Buddhas have a different definition. Their definition consists of awareness. They don’t say you are alive because you can breathe, they don’t say you are alive because your blood circulates; they say you are alive if you are awake. So except for the awakened ones nobody is really alive. You are corpses — walking, talking, doing things — you are robots.

Wakefulness is the way to life, says Buddha. Become more wakeful and you will become more alive. And life is God — there is no other God. Hence Buddha talks about life and awareness. Life is the goal and awareness is the methodology, the technique to attain it.

-Osho

Excerpt from Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, V.1, Chapter Five

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Right-mindfulness is the Flavor – Osho

Please explain ‘right-mindfulness’. If not a goal or something to practice, what is it? 

Sambuddha, right-mindfulness is a strange word.

First: there is no mind in it – hence it is called ‘right-mindfulness’. Secondly, there is nothing right and wrong in it – hence it is called right-mindfulness. This is a Buddhist way of saying things.

It can’t be a goal, because when there is a goal you are always in the wrong. Why are you in the wrong when there is a goal? Because when there is a goal there is desire, when there is desire you are unhappy, discontented. When there is desire, there is anxiety – whether you will be able to make it or not? Will it be possible or not?

When there is desire there is future, and with the future anxiety enters into your being. With the desire you have lost contact with the present.

Right-mindfulness is not a goal, cannot be a goal – because when all desires disappear and all goals disappear and you are here-now… that is the moment of right-mindfulness.

Why is it called ‘right’? It is called right be-cause it knows no division between right and wrong.

Nothing is wrong! And nothing is right. All judgements have disappeared. One is utterly innocent.

When you see a rose flower, does the idea arise in you: “It is right, it is wrong”? When you see the morning star disappearing, does the idea arise in you: “Is it right or is it wrong?” When you start looking at life with no judgement, with no prejudice, then you are in the state of right-mindfulness.

Jesus has said: Judge ye not. Jesus has also said: Resist not evil – not even evil has to be resisted, then arises right-mindfulness. When you are neither moral nor immoral, when you are amoral like trees and animals and birds and beasts, when you are like a small innocent child who has just opened his eyes, with no ideas… then, in that silence, in that purity, it is right-mindfulness.

Why is it called right? It is called right be-cause now it knows nothing as right and wrong – it knows no division, it is indivisible. The acceptance is total! – that’s why it is called right. You have fallen into the suchness of existence. You are no longer standing there like a judge.

Judging is wrong. To be in a state of non-judgement is right. Right, NOT against wrong right because all wrong and right have disappeared. You have no opinion. You don’t carry a philosophy in the mind.

You are simply a mirror! 

When you come before the mirror, the mirror does not say, “You are beautiful, you are ugly” – it simply reflects. It reflects without condemnation, without appreciation – it reflects choicelessly. It just reflects.

When your consciousness has become a mirror and simply reflects whatsoever is the case, it is right-mindfulness. That mirror-like quality….

And it is not a goal, because every goal will bring dust on the mirror. Every goal will stir desires, and desires surround your mirror like mist – then reflection is not true, then suchness is not reflected.

When you have some idea, you cannot be true to reality. You distort reality according to your idea.

You try to mold reality according to your idea. You are to modify reality. You go on looking for your idea. You are searching for support: you would like reality to support your idea, you would like reality to agree with you – -and then you distort. Then you start seeing things which are not there, and you stop seeing things which ARE there. Then you start living in a mind-world.

To live in the mind is wrong. To live without mind is right, because without mind, the consciousness exists in its purity, mirror-like – it simply reflects. It says nothing! It has no interpretation.

It interprets not.

And why is it called mindfulness? This is the translation of a Buddhist term sammasati. Samma means right – the translation is not very correct, cannot be. Samma is a very strange word, very significant, has many meanings; ‘right’ is only one of its meanings. Samma is the root from where samadhi arises; the word samadhi comes from samma.

Samma means many things. One: tranquility, silence, equanimity, balance, undisturbedness, undistractedness, centredness, groundedness – they are all aspects of samma. ‘Right’ is a very poor translation of samma.

And sati  – sammasati. Sati can mean mindfulness, can mean remembrance, can mean reflection, can mean recollectedness, can mean presence. All those meanings are involved in it. Mindfulness is only one of the meanings. It is a very potential and pregnant word—sammasati. It is the seventh step in Buddha’s eight steps – you are very close to reality. The eighth is samadhi.

The seventh is sammasati. You have come very, very close; you are just on the threshold of reality – it has to be very, very significant. When you are utterly present in the presence, when you don’t have any past and don’t have any future… when this cuckoo calling, this train passing, this dog barking, is all… when THIS is all and there is no that, when the word ‘here’ is your whole reality and there is no there, when now contains ALL time and there is no then… then you are in the state of sammasati.

That’s what I go on calling ‘here-now’ – that is sammasati. Then you are utterly present, absolutely present. When something is going on in your mind about the past, you are not here; a part of you is travelling towards the past, and a part of you is travelling towards the future – only a small fragment is here.

When ALL the parts of your being are here, when you are totally at home, nothing is missing, when you are integratedly here, then it is right-mindfulness. In that moment you will reflect reality – as it is, without any distraction, without any distortion. Because you don’t have any thought in the mind, how can you distort it? Thought distorts, thinking is destructive. It goes on imposing – it does not allow you to see that which is.

Right-mindfulness is a state of no-mind, no-thought!

And remember: it is also a state of no-feeling – otherwise, you may think it is a state of feeling. No, it is not – because feeling again creates ripples and the surface of the lake is disturbed, and again the moon is not reflected as it is.

Neither thought disturbs you, nor feeling.

These are the three states: one is thinking – the most disturbed state; second is feeling – less disturbed than thinking, but still disturbed; third is being – no disturbance at all. One is in the head, second is in the heart, third is in your guts. Right-mindfulness is a gut-state: no head, no heart. You are simply there undefined, undefinable.

Sambuddha, you ask me:

Please explain ‘right-mindfulness’. If not a goal or something to practice, what is it? 

And, yes, it is not a practice. You cannot practice it, because practice brings goal! Practice is desire, practice is mind. And remember: whenever you practise something, you are imposing something against yourself, otherwise why practise it? Against whom are you practicing? When you practise truth, what will you do? You will repress the untruth – but the untruth will remain there, deep inside you, ready to explode any moment. It will go on accumulating.

When you practice love, what will you do? You will repress hatred. When you practice compassion, what will you do? You will repress anger. And all that is repressed will go on remaining in you, and all that is practiced will remain on the surface, and all that is rejected will go deep into your being. The rejected will become part of your being and the practiced will remain just a coating, a painting on the surface.

And remember: whenever you practice anything, you are angry at it. Naturally so – because all practicing divides you, makes you schizophrenic.

One part of you is trying to manipulate the other part. One part of you is trying to enforce some ideas on the other part. And the part that is trying to enforce is a very impotent part, but articulate – your head. It has no power, but it is very articulate, very clever, very cunning, very argumentative.

And the head goes on imposing on your body, on your heart, which are far more potential, far more powerful; they have energy sources, but they are not articulate, they are not argumentative – they are silent. And the head goes on pretending that it has practiced… and then a situation arises and all practice is thrown away – because the head has no energy.

You think for years that you will never be angry, then one day somebody insults you and in a single moment you have forgotten all that practice. And YOU ARE angry! By the time you come to know that you are angry, anger has already happened. You are burning, you are fire. From where does this fire come? And years of practice! That practice was just on the surface. Mind was pretending; because there was no situation provoking you, mind was able to pretend. Now the situation has arisen and mind is not able to pretend. The reality asserts itself.

That’s why down the ages, through the ages, the so-called religious people have been escaping from society, from life. Why? They are escaping from situations where their practice can be proved wrong; nothing else are they doing. Going to the Himalayas they are simply escaping from the world – because the world brings situations! And their so-called practice and their religion and their discipline is broken again and again. Somebody insults, or a beautiful woman passes by, and all their celibacy and all their brahmacharya and all their ideas are gone. A single beautiful woman is enough to destroy all their years of celibacy.

They escape from women, they escape from the world, they escape from money and the market – they know that they can be moral and religious and saintly only when there is no situation which provokes their reality. Then the mind can go on playing the game in a monastery. When there is no challenge, mind seems to be the master. When there is challenge, mind is no more a master.

Whatsoever you practice remains false. Never out of practice has anything real happened. Beware of this. The real happens only through understanding, not through practice. And what is the difference?

Understanding will say: Remain where situations arise, remain where challenges surround you. Be there where provocations and temptations exist. Test yourself there. Go into situations!

Understanding will say: If anger comes, then go into anger and see what it is. See yourself – don’t trust anybody else’s judgement about it. Go into it! Be burnt by it. Let it leave scars on your being – because one learns only through the hard way. Only your experience will tell you again and again and again that anger is stupid – not that it is a sin! It is simply stupid. And as the understanding grows deeper, anger will be coming less and less. One day… the understanding has touched your very core of being, the light has penetrated you. You have seen through and through that anger is futile: in that very moment anger has disappeared and there has not been any repression.

Remember this: repression is the pitfall for ALL those people who want to transform their lives – they have to avoid repression. Indulgence is not so bad, because indulgence can one day bring understanding, but repression can never bring understanding. How can you understand something which you go on repressing and you don’t look into? – you go on covering it, go on throwing it in the basement of your being.

And remember: the more you practice, the more you pretend, the more you are angry at your own practice. Your real parts, your guts are angry.

The intellectual young man was telling off his girlfriend. “Jane,” he remonstrated, “I don’t think you are the girl for me. My interests are in art, literature and in music. You are only concerned with sports, with gambling and with common activities that are altogether alien to me. In fact, to be blunt about it – you are downright uncouth!”

“Uncouth!” she exploded. “Me?! What are you talking about? Uncouth? Didn’t I go along with you to them operas, them concerts, them lectures, and all that sort of shit?!”

That’s what will happen. You can go on practicing, but deep down you know that you are repressing, that you are rejecting, that you are denying some essential parts of your being. Right-mindfulness is the flavor of understanding, not the outcome of practice. Right-mindfulness is the fragrance – the fragrance of seeing into things deeply, the fragrance of insight.

-OSHO

From Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind, Chapter Nine

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.