Freedom and Interdependence – Osho

For forty-five years I lived in prison, mostly made by myself. Now I know it is possible to become more and more free. But what to do, when you feel you need a safe place, a good climate to grow? Another prison? How to be free anywhere, any time? I feel sorrow and rebellion in me about that.

Yvonne, freedom has nothing to do with the outside; one can be free even in an actual prison. Freedom is something inner; it is of the consciousness. You can be free anywhere—chained, in a jail, you can be free—and you can be unfree outside the jail, in your own home, visibly absolutely free, but you will be a prisoner if your consciousness is not free.

You are confusing outer freedom with inner freedom. As far as the outside is concerned you can never be absolutely free—let it be clear once and forever. As far as outside is concerned you are not alone, so how can you be absolutely free? There are millions of people around you. On the outside, life has to be a compromise. If you were alone on the earth you would have been absolutely free, but you are not alone.

On the road you have to keep to the left. And Yvonne will feel this is a great bondage: “Why? Why should I be forced to be on the left? I am a free man. If I want to walk on the right I will walk on the right. If I want to walk in the middle of the road I will walk in the middle of the road.” In India you can do it—India is a free country, remember! It is the greatest democracy in the world, so right, left, middle, anywhere you can walk!

But one man’s freedom becomes so many people’s problem. You are free to be yourself, but you should not be an interference in other people’s lives.

A man of understanding will respect his freedom as much as he will respect others’ freedom, because if nobody respects your freedom, your freedom will be destroyed. It is a mutual understanding: “I respect your freedom, you respect my freedom, then we both can be free.” But it is a compromise. I have not to interfere with your being, I am not free to trespass on you.

You want to sing loudly in the middle of the night. Of course you are a free person, and if you cannot sing loudly in your own house, what kind of freedom is this? But the neighbors have to sleep too; then there has to be a compromise.

On the outside we are interdependent. Nobody can be absolutely independent. Life is an interdependence. Not only with people are you interdependent, you are interdependent with everything. If you cut all the trees you will die because they are constantly supplying you with oxygen. You are dependent on them—and they are dependent on you because you are constantly giving them carbon dioxide. We take oxygen in and exhale carbon dioxide; the trees do just the opposite, they exhale oxygen and inhale carbon dioxide.

So when people like Mahendra are smoking, trees must be feeling tremendously happy because more carbon dioxide is being created for them! Listening to me these trees will be feeling very sad that I am telling you to go to the root cause of it and then smoking will disappear. That means trees won’t get as much carbon dioxide as they were getting before!

We are interdependent, not only with the trees—with the sun, with the moon, with the stars. Everything is an interdependence.

Just tomorrow there is going to be a solar eclipse, a total eclipse. It will have tremendous effects on the life on earth. If you look at the sun directly you can go blind forever. Avoid looking at the sun—in fact, don’t come out. There will be every temptation to come out because in the middle of the day, near about four-thirty in the afternoon, you can see stars in the sky; just as in the night you have always seen them, in the middle of the day you can see stars. There will be great temptation to come out and see, but avoid it, don’t come out. It is dangerous to the eyes, it is dangerous to your nervous system, it is dangerous to your mind mechanism. Many people will go berserk, many people will go blind. Women who are pregnant should avoid coming out absolutely because the child in the womb is very very vulnerable. He has no safeguards yet; he is soft, so soft he can be affected by anything. And in the solar eclipse, when it is total, dangerous rays enter into the atmosphere.

So when the eclipse happens I would like all my sannyasins to go inside their rooms, close the doors, sit in deep meditation. It will last only a few minutes. Avoid the temptation of coming out, and don’t try to find out devices through which you can see it without being harmed. No device is absolutely foolproof; it is better to avoid it.

Now life is so interdependent… the sun is so far away. It takes ten minutes for the rays of the sun to reach to the earth, and rays move with tremendous speed—one hundred eighty-six thousand miles per second. But we are related to other suns and other solar systems too. Everything in existence is interdependent, so you cannot be absolutely free on the outside—and there is no need either.

Enjoy this interdependence. Don’t call it bondage. It is not dependence, it is INTER-dependence. You are dependent on others, others are dependent on you. It is a brotherhood, it is relatedness. Even the smallest grass leaf is related to the greatest star.

But in the inner world, in the inner kingdom, you can be absolutely free. So the whole question is of the inner. And then, Yvonne, you will not feel sad and rebellious; there is no need. Understand that the outer interdependence is a must, it is inevitable; nothing can be done about it. It is part of how things are. Accept it. When nothing can be done about it, acceptance is the only way. And accept it JOYOUSLY, not as a resignation. Accept it! This is our universe; we are part of it. We are not islands, we are part of the whole continent. We are not egos.

Yvonne, your idea of freedom is rooted somewhere in the idea of the ego. We are not egos. The ego is a false entity—because we are not separate, how can we have egos? It is good as far as language is concerned; it is utilitarian to use the word ‘I’, but it has no substance in it. It is pure shadow, utterly empty. A useful word, utilitarian, but not real.

But inner freedom IS possible. It happens as you go deeper and deeper into awareness. Watch your body, watch your thought processes.

Just the other day Buddha was saying: Watch, witness the whole process of your thoughts. And slowly, slowly, you will see you are neither anger nor greed, neither Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Christian, neither Catholic nor communist. Slowly, slowly, you will be aware that you are not any thought—you are not mind at all. You are a pure witness. The experience of pure witnessing is the experience of total freedom, but it is an inward phenomenon. And a man who is inwardly totally free has no hankering to be outwardly free. He is capable of accepting nature as it is.

Yvonne, create inner freedom through witnessing. Sannyas is only for the inner freedom. And live out of inner freedom and then you will be able to see the interdependence on the outside. It is beautiful and it is a blessing. There is no need to rebel against it. Relax into it, surrender to it. And remember: only a person who is really free can surrender.

-OSHO

From The Dhammapada, the Way of the Buddha, V.9, Chapter Four

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Learn the Art of Listening – Osho

Sometimes in discourse, I suddenly come to consciousness and realize that I don’t know where I’ve been, and yet the discourse is coming to a close. Your words were coming through, but I’m not sure if I was awake. If I’m not conscious, am I asleep? Are these the only two possibilities? Is there some stage in between? How to tell the difference?

Mary Catherine, the question you have asked is the question everybody needs the answer for. Man is asleep, but it is no ordinary sleep; he is asleep with open eyes. His sleep is spiritual, not physical.

Just as in physical sleep your consciousness is filled with dreams, in spiritual sleep your consciousness is filled with thoughts, desires, feelings—a thousand and one things. It is not that you are unconscious in the sense of being in a coma; you are unconscious in the sense that your consciousness is covered with too much dust. It is exactly like a mirror: if covered with many layers of dust, it will lose the quality of reflecting, will lose the quality of being a mirror. But the mirror is there; all that is needed is to remove the dust. Your consciousness is there—even while you are physically asleep your consciousness is there, but now more covered than when you are awake.

You are asking, “If I’m not conscious, am I asleep? Are these the only two possibilities? Is there some stage in between? How to tell the difference?”

You are not unconscious in the sense a person falls into a coma; you are not conscious in the sense a Gautam Buddha is conscious. You are in between. A thick layer of thoughts does not allow you to be in the present. That’s why, while you are listening to me, you are listening and yet the listening is very superficial because deep down there are so many thoughts going on. You are listening but it is not reaching you, and as I stop speaking, suddenly you realize that you have been listening, certainly, but you have not understood it. It has not penetrated you; it has not become part of your being. Something has prevented it, like a China Wall. Those thoughts are transparent, but they are thicker than any China Wall can be.

You are neither asleep nor awake, you are in between—awake as far as your day to day mechanical activities are concerned, and asleep as far as a clear consciousness is concerned. A pure consciousness, a deep innocence like an unclouded sky, is absent.

The pope was sitting with his cardinals signing papers and proclamations. The phone rang and his secretary answered. “Your holiness,” she said. “It is about the abortion bill. A reporter wants to talk to you.”

“Don’t bother me,” the pope interrupted.

“But he wants to know what you are going to do about the bill.”

“Just pay it,” the pope replied. “Pay it quick!”

In what position will you put the pope? Asleep or awake? He is in between; he has heard the word bill, but he has interpreted it in his own way. He has forgotten completely that the bill is about abortion, and certainly he has not been aborted, and he has not to pay any bill.

But this is the situation of us all. We hear what we want to hear; we hear only that which adjusts with our preconceived notions, prejudices.

You will be surprised to know… the scientific research is almost unbelievable: it says ninety-eight percent of what you hear is prevented from reaching to you—ninety-eight percent! Only two percent reaches you. It has to pass through so many thoughts, conceptions, beliefs, conditionings, and they go on cutting it according to themselves. By the time it reaches you, it is something totally different than was said, than was heard. It is a long process of screening, and we are all screening. If something falls in tune with our mind, that means with our past, we hear it. But if it goes against it, we certainly hear the sound but we miss the meaning.

To listen is a great art.

People only hear; very few people are able to listen.

One man had reached Gautam Buddha. He was a well-known philosopher of the day and he had defeated many philosophers in discussions about the ultimate, the truth, God. He had come to defeat Gautam Buddha too—that would be the crowning victory. He had brought with him five hundred chosen disciples to see Gautam Buddha defeated. But Gautam Buddha asked a very strange question. He asked, “Do you understand the meaning and the difference between hearing and listening?”

The man was at a loss. He had come to discuss great things, and this was a small matter. And there was no difference… as far as language is concerned, dictionaries are concerned, hearing is listening. The man said, “There is no difference at all, and I had hoped you would not ask such an ordinary question.”

Gautam Buddha said, “There is a great difference. And unless you understand the difference, there is no possibility of any dialogue. I will say something; you will hear something else. So if you really want to have a dialogue with me, sit by my side for two years. Don’t speak a single word, just listen. Whatever I’m telling others, be unconcerned; I’m not telling you. So you need not be worried about whether it is true or untrue, whether you have to accept it or not. You are just a witness; your opinion is not required.

“After two years, you can have the dialogue, the discussion you have come for. And I would love to be defeated, so this is not to postpone defeat; it is just to make the dialogue possible.”

At that very moment, Mahakashyap, a great disciple of Gautam Buddha; perhaps the greatest, laughed. He was sitting under a tree far away, and the philosopher thought, “That man seems to be mad. Why is he laughing?”

Buddha said, “Mahakashyap, this is not mannerly; even for an enlightened man this is not right.”

Mahakashyap said, “I don’t care about right and wrong; I’m just feeling sorry for the poor philosopher.”

And he turned to the philosopher and said to him, “If you want to have a discussion, have it right now; after two years, there will be just silence and no dialogue. This man is not trustworthy. He deceived me; I also came with the same idea as you, to defeat him, and he cheated me. He said, `Sit down for two years by my side, and listen. Learn first the art of listening. And because you are not concerned at all, your mind need not function.'”

And two years is a long time; the mind starts forgetting how to think, how to function. The very presence of Gautam Buddha is so peaceful, so silent, that one starts rejoicing in the silence. And to listen to his words… which are not addressed to you, so you are not worried whether they agree with your prejudices, your philosophy, your religion—with you, or not. You are indifferent. You listen to him as if you are listening to the birds singing in the morning when the sun rises.

“And two years… the mind disappears. And although those words are not addressed to you, they start reaching to your heart. Because the mind is silent, the passage is open—the door is open, the heart welcomes them. So if you want to ask anything, if you want to challenge this man, challenge now. I don’t want to see another man cheated again.”

Gautam Buddha said, “It is up to you; if you want to defeat me now, I declare my defeat. There is no need to talk. Why waste time? You are victorious. But if you really want to have a dialogue with me, then I’m not asking much, just two years to learn the art of listening.”

The man remained for two years, and even forgot completely that after two years he had to challenge Gautam Buddha for a debate. He forgot the whole calendar. Days passed, months passed, seasons came and went away, and after two years he was enjoying the silence so much that he had no idea that two years had passed.

It has to be remembered that time is a very elastic thing. When you are in suffering, time becomes longer; suddenly all the watches and clocks of the world start moving slowly—a great conspiracy against a poor man who is in suffering. Time moves so slowly that sometimes one feels as if it has stopped.

You are sitting by the side of someone you love who is dying, in the middle of the night; it seems time has stopped, that this night is not going to end, that your idea that all nights end was a fallacy… this night is not going to have a dawn, because time is not moving. And when you are joyful, when you meet a friend after many years, when you meet a beloved, a lover for whom you have waited long—suddenly, again the conspiracy. All the clocks, all the watches, start moving faster; hours go like minutes, days go like hours, months go like weeks. Time is elastic: time is relative to your inner condition.

The man had enjoyed those two years of silence so deeply that he could not conceive that two years had passed. Suddenly, Buddha himself asked him, “Have you forgotten completely? Two years have passed; this is the day you had come two years ago. Now if you want to challenge me to a debate, I’m ready.”

The man fell to the feet of Gautam Buddha.

And Mahakashyap laughed again, and said, “I had told you, but nobody listens to me. I have been sitting under this tree for almost twenty years, preventing people from falling into the trap of this man; but nobody listens to me. They fall into the trap, and each person gives me two occasions to laugh.”

The man went, after touching Gautam Buddha’s feet, to touch the feet of Mahakashyap too, saying, “I am grateful to you. I have learned the distinction between hearing and listening. Hearing had made me a great knowledgeable man, and listening has made me innocent, silent— a peace that passeth understanding. I don’t have any questions, and I don’t have any answers; I am utterly silent. All questions have disappeared, all answers have disappeared. Can I also sit by your side under the tree?” he asked Mahakashyap.

Mahakashyap said, “No, I don’t accept disciples; that is the business of Gautam Buddha—you just go there. Don’t crowd around my tree, because even here there is nothing to listen to, only once in a while a laughter when somebody comes and I see that he’s falling into the trap. You have fallen into the trap; now be initiated, become a sannyasin.” Not only did the man become a sannyasin, his five hundred followers who were also sitting and listening for two years, had also become silent.

Mary Catherine, you are well-educated; perhaps too much—well-read; perhaps too much. Your mind is so full of thoughts. Those thoughts are creating a state which is neither consciousness nor unconsciousness. Everything seems to be so full of noise in you that if I shout, perhaps my words may reach you, but what about my whispers? And truth cannot be shouted, it can only be whispered. In fact, it can be said only in silence; even whispering is too much verbiage.

Put your educated mind aside. Here you have to be innocent, like small children playing on the beach making castles of sand, running after butterflies, collecting seashells, looking at everything with so much wonder that each and every thing in existence becomes a mystery.

Listening to me is only a beginning; then you have to listen to the trees, to the mountains, to the moon, to the faraway stars—they all have messages for you. To the sunrises, to the sunsets… they all have been waiting for so long. Once you start listening, the whole existence starts speaking to you. Right now you only speak to yourself, and nobody listens.

Three Soviet citizens; a Pole, a Czech, and a Jew were accused of spying and sentenced to death. Each was granted a last wish.

“I want my ashes scattered over the grave of Karl Marx,” said the Pole.

“I want my ashes scattered over the grave of Lenin,” said the Czech.

“And I,” said the Jew, “want my ashes scattered over the grave of Comrade Gorbachev.”

“But that is impossible!” he was told. “Gorbachev is not dead yet.”

“Fine,” said the Jew, “I can wait.”

You should not wait. Start from this moment to listen, to be silent, because the next moment is not certain. Gorbachev may die, may not die. Tomorrow it may not be so easy as it is today, because in twenty-four hours you will have gathered more garbage in your head; so the sooner the better, because you cannot sit silently. If you don’t start now, you will be doing something or other….

Don’t postpone it. Every postponement is suicidal—particularly of those experiences which belong to the beyond.

-OSHO

From The Golden Future, Chapter 16

Golden Future

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 Invitation – Osho

Can you say who you are?

 Maneesha, I am an invitation for all those who are seeking, searching, and have a deep longing in their hearts to find their home.

I am an answer to the question that everybody is, but cannot formulate—a question that is more a quest than a question, more a thirst than a verbal, mental inquiry; a thirst that one feels in every cell and fiber of his being, but has no way to bring to words and ask.

I am an answer for that question which you cannot ask and you cannot expect that it could be answered. When I say I am the answer, I don’t mean that I can give you the answer… yes, if you are ready, you can take it. I am just like a well, ready for you to throw your bucket and draw the water for yourself. I have it but I cannot reach to you without your efforts.

Only you can reach to me.

It is a strange invitation.

It will take you on a long pilgrimage and it will end only where you already are. You will have to move many steps and on many paths just to come to yourself, because you have gone far away from yourself. You have completely forgotten the way back. I am a reminder, a remembrance, of the lost home.

As a person I do not exist.

As a person I only appear.

I exist as a presence.

Since the day I came to know myself, the person disappeared. There is only a presence, a very living presence that can quench your thirst that can fulfill your longing. Hence, in one word I can say I am an invitation, of course just for those who have a deep longing in their hearts that they are missing themselves—a deep urge, that unless they find themselves, everything else is meaningless. Unless it is your a priori concern, your ultimate concern, such that if it is needed you are even ready to lose everything for it, but you cannot drop it….

There are thousands of desires, but as far as longing is concerned there is only one: to come back home, to find your reality. And in that very finding, you have found all that is of any value—blissfulness, truth, ecstasy.

Jesus used to say, “If you have eyes to see, see. If you have ears to hear, hear.” Of course, he was not talking to the blind and to the deaf. He was talking to people just like you. Perhaps he was talking just to you, because you are not new.

You are as ancient as the whole existence.

You have always been here.

You may have come across many masters; you may have come close to many buddhas, but you were too much engaged in trivia. You were not aware of your longing.

I am an effort to provoke the dormant in you, to wake up the asleep. The fire is there, but is burning very low because you have never taken any care of it.

My invitation is to make you aflame, and unless you know a life which is luminous and aflame all your knowledge is just a deception. You are gathering it to help you forget that the real knowledge is missing.

But however great is your accumulation of the other, the objective, the world, it is not going to become a substitute for your self-knowing. With self-knowing suddenly all darkness disappears, and all separation from existence.

I am an invitation to take a courageous jump into the ocean of life. Lose yourself, because that is the only way to find yourself.

-OSHO

From The Invitation, 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.

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This is Called Turning In – Osho

What is turning inwards?

Turning inwards is not a turning at all. Going inwards is not a going at all. Turning inwards simply means that you have been running after this desire and that, and you have been running and running and you have been coming again and again to frustration. That each desire brings misery, that there is no fulfillment through desire. That you never reach anywhere, that contentment is impossible. Seeing this truth, that running after desires takes you nowhere, you stop. Not that you make any effort to stop. If you make any effort to stop it is again running, in a subtle way. You are still desiring – maybe now it is desirelessness that you desire.

If you are making an effort to go in, you are still going out. Any effort can only take you out, outwards. All journeys are outward journeys, there is no inward journey. How can you journey inwards? You are already there, there is no point in going. When going stops, journeying disappears, when desiring is no more clouding your mind, you are in. This is called turning in. But it is not a turning at all, it is simply not going out.

But in language it is always a problem to express these things.

There is an ancient parable: It was a beautiful afternoon, and a tortoise went for a walk on the land. And he rested under sunlit trees and he roamed around in the bushes just for the delight of it. Then he came back to the pond. One of his friends, a fish, asked ‘Where have you been?’ And he said ‘I went for a walk on the land.’ And the fish said ‘What do you mean by “a walk on the land”? You must mean swimming.’ And the tortoise laughed and he said ‘No, it was not swimming, it was nothing like swimming. It was a walk on the solid land.’ And the fish said ‘Are you kidding or something? I have been to every place, you can swim everywhere. I have never seen a place where you cannot dive and swim. You are talking nonsense. Have you gone mad?’

You understand the difficulty of the fish? She has never been on the land, walking on the land makes no sense. If the tortoise wants to make sense of his statement he will have to say ‘I went swimming on the solid land.’ Which will be absurd. But only the word ‘swimming’ can be understood by the fish.

A mind full of desires can only understand desire. Hence the desire for God. It is absurd, you cannot desire God. God comes to you when desire leaves. The cessation of desire is the coming of God to you. Again, I am using the word ’coming’, which is not true. Because God is already there – you only recognize when the desire has ceased. Nothing ever comes, nothing ever goes, all is as it is. That’s what Buddha means when he says: yatha bhutam – things are as they are. Nothing has gone wrong, nothing needs to be put right. Things are as they are, and they always remain as they are. The trees are green and the roses are red and the clouds float in the sky. Everything is where it has always been, the way it has always been. That is the meaning of the word ‘nature’ – yatha bhutam.

But man has a capacity to dream, to desire. That capacity to dream is the problem. Then you start moving into the future, then you start planning for the future. You remain here, but your mind can move into the future. It is like a dream. You fall asleep in Poona but you can dream of Calcutta or Chicago or Washington or Moscow. You are here the whole night – in the morning you will not wake up in Moscow or Chicago, you will wake up in Poona. And then you will laugh, ‘I have been roaming too much.’ While you are dreaming of Moscow you have not reached there, you remain here.

You always remain here. Here and now is the only reality, there is no other. But desire can create a dream. And in desire you go on moving outwards.

Now, what does it mean to turn inwards? Tao’s question is significant, it is very relevant. What does it mean to turn inwards? It means seeing the futility of desire, seeing the futility of dreaming, seeing the illusoriness of dreaming. In that very seeing, desire disappears. In that clarity, desire cannot exist. And when you are with no desire, you are in. Not that you have to turn in. Not that first you have to stop desiring, then you have to turn in. The cessation of desire is the turning, the transformation – what Jesus calls ‘metanoia’, the conversion. Suddenly another gestalt opens. It was there, but you were not aware of it because you were too much obsessed with the desire. The desire for money, the desire for power, the desire for prestige, does not allow your meditation to bloom. Because the whole energy goes down the drain in desires.

Once the energy is not moving anywhere… Remember, I repeat again, turning in is not moving in. When the energy is not moving at all, when there is no movement, when everything is still, when all has stopped – because seeing the futility of desire you cannot move anywhere, there is nowhere to go – stillness descends. The world stops. That’s what is meant by ‘turning in’. Suddenly you are in. You have always been there, now you are awake. The night is over, the morning has come, you are awake. This is what is meant by Buddhahood – to become aware, awake, of that which is already the case.

Remember Hakuin’s saying: From the very beginning all beings are Buddhas. From the very beginning to the very end. In the beginning, in the middle, in the end, all are Buddhas. Not for a single moment have you been anybody else. But the emperor is having a nightmare of becoming a beggar, and is tortured by the nightmare.

-OSHO

From This Very Body the Buddha, Chapter Nine

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

this-very-body-the-buddha

 

 

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.

He is the Breath Inside the Breath – Osho

Kabir says, ‘Student, tell me, what is God?

He is the breath inside the breath.’

Whenever you ask about God you ask as if God is there like a problem to be encountered. You ask as if you are standing outside God and speculating, observing Him. You ask as if God is an object. God is not an object, God is your subjectivity. God is not there outside, God is your interiority, your innerness. That is the meaning when Kabir says:

He is the breath inside the breath. 

Watch your breath and you will come to know what he means – you will see one thing which cannot be seen unless you watch your breath. Buddha made it a great technique for meditation, watching the breath, because through watching it you will come to know the breath inside the breath.

The word ’breath’ means life. In Sanskrit the word for breath is prana: prana means life. In Hebrew the word for breath means spirit. In all the languages of the world, breath is thought to be synonymous with life or spirit or soul. But breath is not the real soul – you will come to this experience only when you watch.

Try a small experiment: sitting silently, just start watching your breath. The easiest way to watch is from the entrance of the nose. When the breath comes in, feel the touch of the breath at the entrance of the nose – watch it there. The touch will be easier to watch, breath will be too subtle; in the beginning just watch the touch. The breath goes in, and you feel it going in: watch it. And then follow it, go with it. You will find there comes a point where it stops. Just somewhere near your navel it stops – for a tiny, tiny moment, for a pal, it stops. Then it moves outwards again; then follow it – again feel the touch, the breath going out of the nose. Follow it, go with it outside – again you will come to a point, the breath stops for a very tiny moment. Then again the cycle starts.

Inhalation, gap, exhalation, gap, inhalation, gap. That gap is the most mysterious phenomenon inside you. When the breath comes in and stops and there is no movement, that is the point where one can meet God. Or when the breath goes out and stops and there is no movement.

Remember, you are not to stop it; it stops on its own. If you stop it you will miss the whole point, because the doer will come in and witnessing will disappear. You are not to do anything about it. You are not to change the breath pattern, you are neither to inhale nor to exhale. It is not like pranayama of yoga, where you start manipulating the breath; it is not that. You don’t touch the breath at all – you allow its naturalness, its natural flow. When it goes out you follow it, when it comes in you follow it.

And soon you will become aware that there are two gaps. In those two gaps is the door. And in those two gaps you will understand, you will see, that breath itself is not life – maybe a food for life, just like other foods, but not life itself. Because when the breathing stops you are there, perfectly there – you are perfectly conscious, utterly conscious. And the breath has stopped, breathing is no more there, and you are there.

And once you continue this watching of the breath – what Buddha calls vipassana or anapanasati you – if you go on watching it, watching it, watching it, slowly, slowly you will see the gap is increasing and becoming bigger. Finally it happens that for minutes together the gap remains. One breath goes in, and the gap… and for minutes the breath does not go out. All has stopped. The world has stopped, time has stopped, thinking has stopped. Because when the breath stops, thinking is not possible. And when the breath stops for minutes together, thinking is impossible, absolutely impossible – because the thought process needs continuous oxygen, and your thought process and your breathing are very deeply related.

When you are angry your breath has a different rhythm, when you are sexually stimulated you have a different breath rhythm, when you are silent a different breath rhythm again. When you are happy a different breath rhythm, when you are sad a different rhythm again. Your breathing goes on changing with the moods of the mind. The vice versa is also true – when the breath changes, the moods of the mind change. And when breath stops, mind stops.

In that stopping of the mind the whole world stops – because the mind is the world. And in that stopping you come to know for the first time what is the breath inside the breath: life inside life. That experience is liberating. That experience makes you alert of God – and God is not a person but the experience of life itself.

-OSHO

From The Revolution, Chapter Three

The Revolution

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt He is the Breath Inside the Breath.

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.

Awareness is a Pure Presence – Osho

The essence of the religion of Buddha is awareness. There is no prayer in it, there cannot be — because there is no God. And there cannot be any prayer in it because prayer is always motivated. Prayer is a form of desire, a form of lust.

Prayer has deep down hidden in it the very cause of misery. The cause of misery is that we are not contented as we are. The cause of misery is that we would like a different type of life, a different situation, a different world, and the world that is before us pales down before our imagination. The cause of misery is imagination, desire, hope. And in prayer all the causes are present, so there is no possibility for prayer in Buddha’s religion. Only awareness is the key. So we have to understand what awareness is.

When you pray, you ask for something. When you meditate, you meditate upon something. But when you are aware, you are simply centred in your being. The other is not important at all.  The other is irrelevant. You are simply aware.

Awareness has no object to it. It is pure subjectivity. It is a grounding in your being, it is a centering in your being. Standing there inside your being, you burn bright. Your flame is without any smoke. In your light the whole life becomes clear.

In that clarity is silence. In that clarity, time ceases to be. In that clarity, the world disappears. Because in that clarity there is no desire, no motivation. You simply are… not wanting anything whatever. Not wanting any future. Not wanting any better world. Not wanting heaven, moksha. Not wanting God. Not wanting knowledge, liberation. You simply are.

Awareness is a pure presence, a centered consciousness. Buddha’s whole effort is how to make you centered, grounded, a flame without smoke, a flame which knows no wavering. In that light, everything becomes clear and all illusions disappear and all dreams become non-existential. And when the dreaming mind stops, there is truth.

-Osho

From The Buddha Said, Chapter Thirteen

The Buddha Said

Also published in The Discipline of Transcendence V.3, Chapter Three

The Discipline of Transcendence, V.3

 

 

 

 

 

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 Rebel: The Very Essence of Religion – Osho

What is the difference between a rebel and a revolutionary?

Maneesha, there is not only a quantitative difference between a rebel and a revolutionary; there is also a qualitative difference. The revolutionary is part of the political world. His approach is through politics. His understanding is that changing the social structure is enough to change the man.

The rebel is a spiritual phenomenon. His approach is absolutely individual. His vision is that if we want to change the society, we have to change the individual. Society in itself does not exist; it is only a word, like ‘crowd’, but if you go to find it, you will not find it anywhere. Wherever you will encounter someone, you will encounter an individual. Society is only a collective name, just a name, not a reality – with no substance. The individual has a soul, has a possibility of evolution, of change, of transformation. Hence the difference is tremendous.

The rebel is the very essence of religion. He brings into the world a change of consciousness – and if the consciousness changes, then the structure of the society is bound to follow it. But vice versa is not right – and it has been proved by all the revolutions, because they have all failed.

No revolution has yet succeeded in changing man; but it seems man is not aware of the fact. He still goes on thinking in terms of revolution, of changing society, of changing the government, of changing the bureaucracy, of changing laws, political systems. Feudalism, capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism – they are all in their own way revolutionary. They all have failed, and failed utterly, because man has remained the same.

A Gautam Buddha, a Zarathustra, a Jesus – these people are rebels. Their trust is in the individual. They have not succeeded either, but their failure is totally different than the failure of the revolutionary. Revolutionaries have tried their methodology in many countries, in many ways, and have failed. But a Gautam Buddha has not succeeded because he has not been tried. A Jesus has not succeeded because Jews crucified him and Christians buried him. He has not been tried – he has not been given a chance. The rebel is still an un-experimented dimension.

My sannyasins have to be rebels not revolutionaries. The revolutionary belongs to a very mundane sphere. The rebel and his rebelliousness are sacred. The revolutionary cannot stand alone, he needs a crowd, a political party, a government. He needs power, and power corrupts – and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

All the revolutionaries who have succeeded in capturing power have been corrupted by the power. They could not change the power and its institutions; the power changed them and their minds and corrupted them. Only names became different, but the society continued to remain the same.

Man’s consciousness has not grown for centuries. Only once in a while a man blossoms, but in millions of people the blossoming of one man is not a rule, it is the exception. And because he is alone, the crowd cannot tolerate him. He becomes a kind of humiliation; his very presence becomes insulting, because he opens your eyes, makes you aware of your potential and your future. And it hurts your ego that you have done nothing to grow, to be more conscious, to be more loving, to be more ecstatic, to be more creative, to be more silent – to make a beautiful world around you.

You have not contributed to the world, your existence has not been a blessing here but a curse. You introduce your anger, your violence, your jealousy, your competitiveness, your lust for power. You make the world a war field; you are bloodthirsty and you make others bloodthirsty. You deprive humanity of its humanness. You help man to fall below humanity, even sometimes below animals.

Hence a Gautam Buddha or a Kabir or a Chuang Tzu hurts you because he has blossomed, and you are just standing there. Springs come and go, nothing blossoms in you; no birds come and make their nest on you, and sing their songs around you. It is better to crucify a Jesus and poison a Socrates – just to remove them – so that you need not feel in any way spiritually inferior.

The world has known only very few rebels.

But now is the time: if humanity proves incapable of producing a large number of rebels – a rebellious spirit – then our days on the earth are numbered. Then this century may become our graveyard. We are coming very close to that point.

We have to change our consciousness, create more meditative energy in the world,  create more lovingness. We have to destroy the old man and his ugliness, his rotten ideologies, his stupid discriminations, idiotic superstitions, and create a new man, with fresh eyes, with new values; a discontinuity with the past – that’s the meaning of rebelliousness.

These three words will help you to understand…

Reform means a modification. The old remains, you give it a new form, a new shape – a kind of renovation of an old building. Its original structure remains; you whitewash it, you clean it, you make a few windows, a few new doors.

Revolution goes deeper than reform. The old remains, but more changes are introduced – even in its basic structure – not only changing its color and opening a few windows and doors, but perhaps making new stories, taking it higher into the sky. But the old is not destroyed, it remains hidden behind the new; in fact, it remains the very foundation of the new. Revolution is a continuity with the old.

Rebellion is a discontinuity. It is not reform, it is not revolution; it is simply disconnecting yourself from all that is old. The old religions, the old political ideologies, the old man – all that is old, you disconnect yourself from it. You start life afresh, from scratch. And unless we prepare humanity to begin life again – a resurrection, a death of the old and a birth of the new…

It is very significant to remember that the day Gautam Buddha was born, his mother died; as he was coming out of the womb, his mother was going out of existence. Perhaps this was historical, because he was brought up by his mother’s sister – he never saw his mother alive. And now it has become a traditional idea in Buddhism that whenever a buddha is born, his mother dies immediately, his mother cannot survive. I take it as a symbolic and very significant indication. It means the birth of a rebel is the death of the old.

The revolutionary tries to change the old; the rebel simply comes out of the old, just as the snake slips out of the old skin, and never looks back. Unless we create such rebellious people around the earth, man has no future. The old man has brought man to his ultimate death. It is the old mind, the old ideologies, the old religions – they have all combined together to bring about this situation of global suicide. Only a new man can save humanity and this planet, and the beautiful life of this planet.

I teach rebellion, not revolution. To me, rebelliousness is the essential quality of a religious man. It is spirituality in its absolute purity.

The days of revolution are over. The French revolution failed, the Russian revolution failed, the Chinese revolution failed. In this country we have seen the Gandhian revolution fail, and it failed in front of Gandhi’s own eyes. Gandhi was teaching nonviolence his whole life, and in front of his own eyes the country was divided; millions of people were killed, burned alive; millions of women were raped. And Gandhi himself was shot dead. That is a strange end of a nonviolent saint.

And he himself forgot all his teachings. Before his revolution was secured, Gandhi was asked by an American thinker, Louis Fischer, “What are you going to do with the arms, armies, and all the different weapons, when India becomes an independent country?”

Gandhi said, “I’m going to throw all the arms into the ocean, and send all the armies to work in the fields and in the gardens.”

And Louis Fischer asked, “But have you forgotten? Somebody can invade your country.”

Gandhi said, “We will welcome him. If somebody invades us, we will accept him as a guest and tell him, ‘You can also live here, just the way we are living. There is no need to fight.’”

But he completely forgot all his philosophy – that’s how revolutions fail. It is very beautiful to talk about these things, but when power comes into your hands… First, Mahatma Gandhi did not accept any post in the government. It was out of fear, because how was he going to answer the whole world? What about throwing the arms into the ocean? What about sending the armies to work in the fields? He escaped from the responsibility for which he had been fighting his whole life, seeing that it was going to create tremendous trouble for him; he would have to contradict his own philosophy.

But the government was made up of his own disciples, chosen by him. He did not ask them to dissolve the armies, on the contrary. When Pakistan attacked India, he did not say to the Indian government, “Now go to the borders and welcome the invaders as guests.” Instead, he blessed the first three airplanes that were going to bomb Pakistan. The three airplanes flew over the villa where he was staying in New Delhi, and he came out into the garden to bless them. And with his blessings they went ahead to destroy our own people, who just a few days before were our brothers and our sisters. Unashamedly, without ever seeing the contradiction…

The Russian revolution failed in front of the very eyes of Lenin. He was preaching according to Karl Marx, that “When the revolution comes, we will dissolve marriage, because marriage is part of private property; as private property goes out, marriage will also go out. People can be lovers, can live together; children will be taken care of by the society.”

But as the revolution succeeded, he saw the enormousness of the problem: to take care of so many children… who is going to take care of those children? And to dissolve marriage… for the first time he saw that your society depends on the family. The family is a basic unit – without the family, your society will be dissolved. And it will be dangerous – dangerous to creating a dictatorship of the proletariat, because people will become more independent if they don’t have the responsibilities of the family.

You can see the logic. If people have the responsibilities of a wife, of an old father, an old mother, of children, they are so burdened they cannot be rebellious. They cannot go against the government, they have too many responsibilities. But if people have no responsibilities, if the old people are taken care of by the government – as they had been promising before the revolution – if children are taken care of by the government, and people can live together for as long as they love each other, they don’t need permission for marriage, and they don’t need any divorce; it is their private personal affair and the government has no business to interfere….

But when it came about that the power was in the hands of the Communist Party, and Lenin was the leader, everything changed. Once power comes into their hands, people start thinking differently. Now the thinking was that to make people so independent of responsibilities is dangerous – they will become too individualistic. So let them be burdened with a family. They will remain enslaved just because of an old mother, an old father, a sick wife, or children and their education. Then they don’t have the time or the courage to go against the government in any matter.

The family is one of the greatest traps that society has used for millennia to keep man a slave. Lenin forgot all about dissolving families.

It is very strange how revolutions have failed. They have failed at the hands of the revolutionaries themselves, because once the power comes into their hands, they start thinking in different ways. Then they become too attached to the power. Then their whole effort is how to keep the power forever in their hands, and how to keep the people enslaved.

The future needs no other revolutions. The future needs a new experiment which has not been tried yet. Although for thousands of years there have been rebels, they remained alone – individuals.

Perhaps the time was not ripe for them. But now the time is not only ripe… if you don’t hurry, the time has come to an end.

By the end of this century, either man will disappear, or a new man with a new vision will appear on the earth. He will be a rebel.

-OSHO

From The Rebel, Chapter One

The Rebel

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.