On Hearing This, Kyozan was Enlightened – Osho

Once when he was still with his Master, Kyozan said to Isan, “Where does the real  Buddha dwell?”

Isan replied, “By means of the subtlety of thoughtless thought, contemplate the boundless spiritual brightness. Contemplate it until returning to the ground of being, the always abiding nature, and its form of the undichotomous principle. This is the real Buddha.”

On hearing this, Kyozan was enlightened.

It is a very strange incident.

Western education everywhere has made us very limited and one-dimensional. So if you read this you will simply laugh. You can understand each word and its implications, but that is not the real thing that is happening between Isan and Kyozan.

Once when he was still with his Master, Kyozan said to Isan, “Where does the real  Buddha dwell?”

Isan replied, “By means of the subtlety of thoughtless thought, – when the mind is thoughtless and just empty, that is the temple of the buddha – contemplate the boundless spiritual brightness. Contemplate it until returning to the ground of being, the always abiding nature, and its form of the undichotomous principle. This is the real Buddha.”

Always move into unity with the cosmos. Dichotomy is division; undichotomy is no division, no division of any kind. Contemplate it, and this very contemplation . . . you will not find the buddha; you will find you are the buddha. There will not be two, because that will create dichotomy. There will not be you standing looking at buddha. You will merge in silence, disappear in the oceanic experience of consciousness, the eternal serenity of existence. There is no knower and nothing is known, but everything is. This ‘isness’ is buddha.

On hearing this, Kyozan was enlightened.

This makes difficulty for the modern mind. How can one become enlightened just by listening to a few lines? You can go on reading these lines again and again, you will not become enlightened; you will simply become crazy.

Underneath, something else is happening. While the master is speaking, the disciple is not only listening because he has ears. The disciple is listening with his total being, every fiber of his being; not only with ears, he is also listening with his eyes, looking at the master; he is also feeling the master, his vibe. It is a total phenomenon. He has forgotten himself and disappeared in the tremendous statement.

The moment you forget yourself and only a silent consciousness remains, you have come home. Enlightenment is not something special; it is hidden in you, your hidden splendor. It is just that you are so much occupied with the outside world that you can forget anything, particularly those things which are very obvious.

In the first world war rationing was introduced and everybody had to appear before the rationing officer to get a ration card. Thomas Alva Edison, a world-famous figure – all your facilities and comforts, most of them are because of Edison; he discovered one thousand things – he was also standing in the queue. And as he was coming closer to the top of the queue, people were leaving, taking their cards, and finally the clerk shouted, “Now it is time for Thomas Alva Edison.”

Edison looked here and there; he could not see anybody. A long queue was behind him. Somebody from the back said, “As far as I know, the man who is standing in front of you is Thomas Alva Edison.”

Edison said, “Perhaps I may be, but for fifty years nobody has used my name in front of me.” He was so famous; in the university he was called ‘the professor’, nobody used his name. And he was so engrossed and engaged in his experiments, he had no time to meet people, to talk to people. He was a man who was absolutely alone in the crowd. He had forgotten his own name – fifty years is a long time.

If nobody uses your name, you will also forget, or you may think, “Perhaps I have heard this name somewhere far away, far back, as an echo, but I cannot guarantee it. I have to find witnesses.”

Now, if your name is not used by others out of respect and love, you are not going to use it yourself. Naturally, not being used for fifty years – and a name is an arbitrary device – Edison forgot his.

But you have forgotten your innermost being. His loss was not much of a loss, just a label. Your loss is far deeper and greater. For centuries you have lived, but you don’t know who you are.

The explosion of enlightenment is: Suddenly you become aware of your eternal being.

-Osho

From Kyozan, A True Man of Zen, Discourse #1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Are You Self-Realized – Osho

Are you self-realized? And how do you explain your relationship with existence and with people?

The word you say, “self-realized,” is not right, because realization always means a transcendence of the self. The word “self-realization” is, therefore, contradictory. If you realize, you know there is no self. If you do not realize, then there is the self. Whereas selfhood is non-realization, realization is non-selfhood. So I cannot say I am self-realized. I can only say there is no self now!

There was a self. That was only up to the door. The moment you enter the temple of realization, you find it no more. It is a shadow which follows you up to the door, and not only follows you but clings to you. But only up to the door. It cannot enter the temple. If you have to save it you will have to remain outside. The self is the last thing one has to throw. And one can throw everything, but to throw the “self” is so impossible because the effort for self-realization, the endeavor for self-realization, is an effort “of the self for the self”. The moment you realize, “you” will not be; you will not try.

So all the great preachers have used words which are fallacious. “Self-realization” is a fallacious word. But you do not understand if they say “no-self realization”. It will become absurd. But that is the real thing — no-self realization. Only Buddha used anatta, no-self. Anatta. Only Buddha used it. That is why Buddha was uprooted from India. He was just thrown out, and Buddhism could not get roots unless Buddhism began to use the word “self-realization”. In China and Japan it again came back, and they began to use “self-realization”. Buddha used “no-self realization”. I am also using no-self realization. That is the only realization. The moment there is no self you have become cosmic.

It is not realizing something. It is a great game. To know the self is the only, no doubt the greatest, the ultimate, game. The self is not something which is to be protected. It is something to be destroyed. It is something which is the barrier toward your ultimate potentiality, toward your ultimate realization.

So I cannot say I am self-realized. I will say, I am no-self realized, and that is the only realization that is possible. No other realization exists. The emphasis of all who claim self-realization is on the “self” and not on realization. My emphasis is on realization. That is why I emphatically deny the “self”.

How am I related to the cosmos and to other people?

Relationship exists between two selves. I am one who is not related, one who is not in relationship. Relationship is always between two. This may look paradoxical, but in every relationship you remain unrelated. Howsoever you are related, you will remain unrelated, because relationship exists between two. The two will be there. So relationship is only a facade to hide the duality. For moments you delude yourself that you are related, but again you are. You have fallen back to yourself and there is no relationship.

For example, when we are in so-called “love” we appear to be related. We create the fallacy of relationship, but, in fact, we are just deceiving ourselves. The two will remain two. However near, the two will always remain two. Even in a sex communion, they will be two. The twoness only creates a fallacy of oneness. Oneness can never exist between two selves. Oneness can only exist between two non-selves.

So as far as I am concerned, I am not related to the cosmic reality, not related at all, and by that I do not mean that I am isolated. By that I mean there is no one who can exist in relationship. As far as the cosmic reality is concerned, I am one, and the cosmic reality is one with me. From my side, I am one, but as far as people are concerned, I am not one from their side. They are related. Someone is related as a friend, someone is related as an enemy, someone is related as a brother, and someone is related as a disciple. They may be related to me, but I am not related to them. And the whole happening in me is to make them unrelated. But there cannot be any effort on their part. That only can be a realization of no-self.

If they know that there is no one who can be a disciple and who can be a guru, if they know that there is no one who can be related to anyone, only then the self falls and your emptiness is naked. And there are no clothes which give you a boundary, a self. In your total nakedness, when you know that there is no self, you are but a space, an inner sky — emptiness. Then you become one, or I may say then you really become related, but then there is no relation. When one is really related, then there is indeed no relationship, and when there is relationship, then one is not really related. When oneness happens, then one’s self is not.

You have asked me how I am related to the cosmic and to the people. To me they are not two things — the cosmic and the people. The cosmic happens in so many ways, and one of the ways is the people. The cosmic happens in so many ways, such as: the sun, the stars, the earth, the trees, the animals, the people. Only frequencies differ. The divinity is the same. So to me, the cosmic and the people are not two things. Whatever I have said before is not from thinking; it is a fact. But if I think — and I have to think if I am to understand your side — then you are related to me because you are and as long as you are, you will be related. That creates a very difficult situation. Daily, moment to moment, it creates a difficult situation.

You feel yourself related to me. You feel that you belong to me. Then you begin to expect that I should belong to you. Because you feel that you are related to me, you begin to expect that I should be related to you. Because of that expectation, I know that you are bound to be frustrated. Even with a person who is a “self”, it is bound to be frustrating, but it may take a greater time gap. If you are with a person who is a “no-self”, it will not take even a time gap. Every moment will be frustrating because there will be no fulfillment of your expectations. There is no one to fulfill them.

So I am very irresponsible because there is no one who can be responsible. There are responses, but no one who is responsible; and each response, therefore, is atomic. It cannot be a sequence. So you cannot expect anything from the moment that will follow. I even do not know. The response is going to be atomic, each complete in itself, not in any way related with the past or with the future.

The ego is a series of events, happenings and memories. It is so because you exist in a series, and you try to win with me, to take me as a series; but that becomes difficult. So everyone will feel, sometime or other, angry with me, because my response is atomic and not a serial one. The serial response becomes responsibility. Then you can rely.

I am very unreliable. You can never rely on me. I myself cannot rely on me. I do not know what is going to happen. I am completely open and accepting to anything that happens. And I never think in terms of relationship. I cannot think; rather, I live in terms of oneness.

Whenever you are near me, it does not mean that I am related to you. It is that I become one with you. And this oneness you interpret as love. But this oneness is neither love nor hate, because all that is known as love can change into hatred any moment. But this oneness can never change into hate. You may be near, you may be far; you may be a friend, you may be an enemy; it makes no difference. As far as I am concerned, you may come to me or go from me. It makes no difference.

Relationship is conditional; oneness is non-conditional. Relationship is always with conditions. Something changes in the condition, and the relationship will change. Everything is always on a volcano. Every relationship is always in a wavering state, always in a dying process, always changing. So every relationship creates fear, because always there is the danger of its being broken. And the more there is fear, the more you cling. And the more you cling, the more fear you create.

But oneness is quite diametrically opposite. Oneness is unconditional. It exists not because of any condition, not any expectation, not any fulfilment, not I am consciousness, I am freedom any future result, is hoped. It is neither conditioned by the past nor oriented to the future. It is a momentary, atomic existence, unrelated with the past, unrelated with the future.

So I feel oneness with the cosmic and with the people also. But from the cosmic the feeling is the same, as I feel one with it. From the cosmic the feeling is of the oneness. Once I was not feeling this, but I now know that the cosmic has always been in the same feeling towards me.

Oneness is always flowing. It has always been flowing. There has been an eternal waiting for the cosmic. Now I feel it toward the cosmic. I feel it also toward the people. The moment someone feels this oneness toward me, he becomes a part of the cosmic. He is then not a person. He becomes cosmic. And once you feel oneness, even with one person, you have known the taste; you have known the taste of ecstasy. Then you can jump into the all.

So this is what is happening around me. I do not say I am doing. This is happening around me.

I will call you near just to give you a taste of oneness. And if you can realize this even for a single moment, then you will never be the same again. This is a very patient effort — very unknown, unpredictable. No one can say when the moment is near. Sometimes your mind is so tuned that you can feel the oneness. That is why I insist on meditation, because it is nothing but tuning the mind to such a peak that you can jump into the oneness.

Meditation to me means tuning of the mind toward oneness, opening of the mind toward oneness. This can only happen when your meditation has gone beyond you. Otherwise, it can never happen. If it is below you, you are doing it, you are the controller. Then it cannot happen, because you are the disease. So I persuade you toward meditation in which, beyond certain limits, you will not be. Meditation will take you over. By and by you will be pushed. Of course, you will begin the meditation, because there can be no other way. You will have to begin, but you will not end the meditation. You will begin, but you will not end it. In between somewhere the happening will happen. The meditation will catch hold of you. You will be thrown, and the meditation will come in. Then you will be tuned to the infinite. Then you will be tuned to the cosmic. Then you will be one.

Oneness is important, not relationship. Relationship is sansar, relationship is the world. And because of relationship we have to be born again and again. Once you have known oneness, then there is no birth, then there is no death. Then there is no one except you. All are included. You have become the cosmic. The individual must go before the oneness comes. The ego must go before the divine comes.

Ego is the source of all relationship. The world is the relationship. God is not a relationship. The divine is not a relationship. The divine is not-selfness. This means you cannot become one with it. So a bhakta, a devotee, can never reach the cosmic, because he thinks in terms of relationship — God the father, God the lover, God the beloved. He thinks in terms of relationship. He goes on thinking in terms of “self” and the “other”. He can never transcend the ego. This is something very subtle, because the devotee is always struggling to surrender. Devotion, the path of devotion, is the path of surrender. He is trying to surrender, but to someone.

If you try to surrender to someone, the other is there. And the other cannot exist if you are not; so you will go on existing in the shadows. You will forget yourself, but forgetting yourself is not surrender. You remember the divine so much that you cannot remember yourself now. But you are in the back; you exist in the shadows. Otherwise, God cannot exist as the other.

So the path of devotion, as it exists, cannot lead you to the transcendental, to the cosmic, to the one. To me, it is not a question of surrendering to someone. It is just a question of surrendering the self — not at someone’s feet — just surrendering yourself. If there is no self, then you have become one.

The self can go on creating the seeds, it can go on creating the deception. And the greatest and most certain deception is that of the devotee and God — a religious deception. Any deception which becomes religious can be dangerous, because you cannot even deny it. Even to deny it will create guilt. You will feel guilty to deny selfhood to the divine. But to the divine the selfhood is the projection of your self. The moment you are not-self, there is no self as far as God is concerned. The whole existence has become selfless. And when the whole existence has become selfless, then you are one with it.

Selflessness is the path.

Selflessness is the real devotion.

Selflessness is the authentic surrender.

So the problem is always of the self. Even if we think of liberation, moksha, we think of freedom of the self, not freedom from the self. We think that then we will be free. But then you cannot be free. Moksha is not the freedom of the self, but it is freedom from the self. So I exist in a selflessness, in a flux, in a process of selflessness. Neither am I a self nor is anyone else a self. No one is a self . . . waves in the ocean, but each wave misconceives itself as separate from the ocean. It appears to be separate; it can deceive itself: There are so many waves around and each wave appears different. If my wave is higher and your wave is lower, or my wave is lower and yours higher, how can they be the same? And waves cannot look deep down in the sea. Only the surface is known. Your wave is dying and my wave is young and rising. Your wave has reached the shore and I am far off. How can I think that we both are the same? But yet, whether we think so or not, we are the same.

So the wave that is known as me is not an ego. It is not a self. This wave has known that the ocean is the wave. The wave is just a surface phenomenon: a surface appearance; a surface movement. This wave that I call “I” has not known that wavelessness — the waveless ocean — is the real. And that is one. Even your wave is not different.

I have known that which joins all. You may call it self-realization. I will not. I will call it no-self realization, because this is the essence of all realizations. This is no-selfness.

I think you understand what I mean. Whatsoever I said may not be what I mean and what I mean may not be what I said. So do not confuse my sayings with my meanings, but always look into the deep. Always listen to that which has not been said but indicated. There are things which cannot be said but shown, indicated. And all that is deep and all that is ultimate can only be shown and never said. And I am saying things which cannot be said. So do not think of my words. Always throw the words as meaningless. Then go deep down to the wordless meaning, to the silent meaning. It is always there behind the words. The words are always dead, the meaning is always living. One can be open to the words, but one can never be open through the intellectual understanding. You can be open with your total being, not with only your intellect. It is not that the intellect sometimes misunderstands. It is like this: that the intellect always misunderstands. It is not that the intellect sometimes errs. It is that the intellect is the error. It always errs.

So whatsoever is being said, be sympathetic with it. Do not try to understand it. Let it go deep in you. Be vulnerable, open to it. Let it go deep into the heart. Do not create intellectual barriers to it. Then, with your full being in participation, you will know. You may not understand, but you will know. And understanding is not enough. Knowing is needed. And sometimes you understand or think that you have understood. Thus, you create a barrier to the knowing. The intellect understands. The being knows. The intellect is just a part. It is your being that is the real.

When you know, you know with your blood, you know with your bones, you know with your heartbeats. But if you understand, you understand only with the mechanism of the mind which is not so deep. It is only a device, a utilitarian device, which is needed to survive, which is needed to be related, but which becomes a barrier toward oneness and toward spiritual death and resurrection. It is only a natural device to survive. It is not meant to reveal the ultimate truth. It is not meant to know the hidden mysteries, and the mysteries are hidden.

So whatsoever I am saying, do not think about it. Go home and sleep over it. Just let it go in. Let it penetrate. Do not guard yourself. Be open. Each guarding is against knowing. And only when it has reached your innermost being will it be known and really understood. That is what is meant by shraddha — faith. It does not mean belief. Belief is intellectual. One can believe intellectually; one can disbelieve intellectually. Both are intellectual. Faith is not belief; faith is not intellectual at all. It is the total mystic participation. It is being one with the hidden mysteries. It is a jump.

So whatsoever I am saying, I am not interested in any theory at all. I am not interested in any philosophies at all. I am interested in the existential jump. When I say something, it is only to lead you to that which cannot be said; and when I use words, I use them only to lead you toward silence. When I assert something, it is only to indicate the unassertable. My expression is not really to express something, but to indicate the inexpressible.

So be sympathetic, because only sympathy can be the opening. Let whatever I said drop into you. It will have a flowering. If the seed goes into the depths, it will have its flowering.

When the flower comes, you will know that which has been said but could not be said. You will know that which has been said but yet remains unsaid.

-Osho

From I Am the Gate, Discourse #1, Q2

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Ripe Plum – Osho

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

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

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

This small anecdote is very significant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buddha said, “Then why are you crying?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you do, the Tao is immovable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What is it then?” Asked Ta-mei.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Takuan wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

How serene the water of Hirosawa!

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

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

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

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

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

Maneesha has asked:

Our beloved master,

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

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

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

-Osho

From Ma Tzu: The Empty Mirror, Discourse #3

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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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Centering is the Method, Not the Result – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #14, Q1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

The Emptiness of the Heart – Osho

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

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

Bukko said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This at-homeness is meditation.

Utter silence and peace prevails.

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

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

This is beyond all concepts . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why cling to the dewdrop?

What are you gaining by it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The emptiness of the heart makes the buddha.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This beyond is the buddha.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maneesha has asked:

Our beloved master,

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Osho

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

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

This Very Place the Lotus Paradise – Osho

Man lives in illusion. Man lives through illusion. Man lives for illusion. In short, man lives because of illusion. Hence the fear of truth. Nobody wants truth, although everybody goes on seeking for it. That seeking is a deception, that seeking is an avoidance. To seek truth means to avoid truth.

It has to be understood – how the seeker goes on avoiding truth. To seek means to look far away, to seek means to look somewhere else, to seek means to go on a trip. To seek means to postpone – to seek means it will happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, it is not happening right now. It is not here, it is there. It is not this, it is that.

Man goes on living in illusion. But to live in illusion one needs to avoid truth, because if truth comes it will shatter all your illusions and all your so-called life and all your so-called love. Truth looks like a calamity. And Friedrich Nietzsche is right in a sense when he says: Please don’t give truth to humanity. Otherwise, you will destroy people’s joy, you will destroy their enthusiasm, you will destroy their gusto. Don’t give truth to humanity, otherwise all that they have will disappear. Because all that they have is a kind of dream. Don’t wake humanity, otherwise the dreams will be shattered. And they may be seeing beautiful dreams – or hoping to see, somewhere, sometime.

That’s why Christ is crucified, Socrates is poisoned, Buddha is stoned. They bring truth to people who have become almost illusory. They bring light to people who live in darkness and dream in darkness. And their dreams depend on darkness – when somebody brings light into the darkness the darkness disappears and the dreams and the desires.

One feels hurt by a Buddha or a Christ. The Christ looks not like the saviour but like the enemy. Otherwise, why should you crucify Christ? There is no other reason. The basic reason is: he uproots you, he shatters you. This has to be understood very deeply. And when you live in illusion, you search for truth. That is a double deception, so that you can go on telling yourself and consoling yourself that ‘I am searching. Look what great efforts I am making, how much I am putting my energy into the search – look!’

The search for truth arises out of your lie. It is the lie that puts you on the search for truth. It is a protection for the lie, it is the way of the lie to survive. It says: Go and search for truth. It is there far away in some distant land. You will have to travel, and the travel is long and the travel is not going to be finished soon. It will take lives and lives, it will take millennia, but go! Go on searching, one day you will find it. The lie gives you hope, it gives you a future, it gives you future dreams. Your God is somewhere far away. It has to be far away, because close by He will be dangerous. […]

But in your very destruction is the possibility of a new birth. Out of the ashes the new is going to be born. The myth of the phoenix is not a myth, it is a metaphor for man’s rebirth. You have to die first to be reborn. […]

But if you come close to me – and initiation means coming close, initiation means coming as close as possible – you will be burned. You will be burned to ashes. You will disappear.

But that is the only real hope. If you disappear as you are, you will be born as you really are. Only the disappearance of the lie that you have become can be the birth of truth. And truth is not far away, it is just hiding within you. And you are clinging to the lie. Your personality is the lie. And because of the personality you cannot move towards the essence. The personality is taught by the society; the society creates lies. Lies are very, very convenient. Lies function like lubricants, lies make life smooth. You see somebody and you smile. And the smile is a lie – because it is not coming from your heart, it is just painted there on the lips. You have created it, you have managed it, it is a kind of exercise of the lips. But it lubricates relationship, the other man starts smiling.

If you are true, if you are as you are, it will be difficult, the relationship will become difficult. Psychologists say that if every person starts revealing what is in his heart, friendship will disappear from the earth, love will disappear from the earth. That is true. It will be impossible to find friends if you simply say what is in your heart. If you say what is in your heart your beloved will leave you and your lover will leave you.

You go on keeping it in the heart, and you go on playing something which is not really there – you do something else, just the opposite. You may be angry but you smile. You may be hurt but you smile. You may be boiling within but you smile. You may want to scream but you go on singing. You may want to do something else but it is not feasible, it is not practical, it is not the right thing to do.

The society creates this persona, this mask around you, this personality.

There are three you’s in you. You-1 – that is the personality. The word personality comes from a Greek root ’persona’. In the Greek drama they used to use masks, and the voice would come from the mask. ’Sona’ means voice, sound, and ’per’ means through the mask. The real face you don’t know – who the real actor is. There is a mask, and through the mask comes the voice. It appears as if it is coming from the mask, and you don’t know the real face. The word ’personality’ is beautiful, it comes from Greek drama.

And that’s what has happened. In the Greek drama they had only one mask. You have many. Masks upon masks, like layers of an onion. If you put one mask away there is another, if you put that away there is another. And you can go on digging and digging and you will be surprised how many faces you are carrying. How many! For lives you have been collecting them. And they are all useful, because you have to change many times. You are talking to your servant, you cannot have the same face that you have when you talk to your boss. And they may be both present in the room: when you look at the servant you have to use one mask and when you look at your boss you have to use another mask. You continuously change. It has almost become automatic – you need not change, it changes itself. You look at the boss and you are smiling. And you look at the servant and the smile disappears and you are hard – as hard as the boss is to you. When he looks at his boss, he smiles.

In a single moment you may be changing your face many times. One has to be very, very alert to know how many faces one has. Innumerable. They cannot be counted.

This is your first you, the false you. Or call it the ego. It has been given to you by the society, it is a gift from the society – from the politician and the priest and the parent and the pedagogue. They have given you many faces just to make your life smooth. They have taken away your truth, they have given you a substitute. And because of these substitute faces you don’t know who you are. You can’t know, because the faces change so fast and they are so many, you cannot trust yourself. You don’t know exactly which face is yours. In fact none of these faces is yours.

And the Zen people say: Unless you know your original face you will not know what Buddha is. Because Buddha is your original face. You were born as a Buddha and you are living a lie.

This social gift has to be dropped. That is the meaning of sannyas, initiation. You are a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan, that face has to be dropped. Because it is not your own face – it has been given to you by others, you have been conditioned for it. And you have not even been asked, you have not even been requested. It has been imposed forcibly, violently.

All parents are violent and all educational systems are violent. Because they don’t take any note of you. They have a-priori ideas, they already know what is right. And they put the ‘right’ on you. You squirm, you scream inside, but you are helpless. A child is so helpless and so delicate, he can be molded in any way. And that’s what the society does. Before the child becomes strong enough it is already crippled in a thousand and one ways. Paralyzed, poisoned.

The day you want to become religious you will have to drop religions. The day you want to relate to God you will have to drop all ideologies about God. The day you want to know who you are, you will have to drop all the answers that have been given to you. All that is borrowed has to be burnt.

That’s why Zen has been defined as: ‘Direct pointing to the human heart. Seeing the nature and becoming Buddha. Not standing on letters. A separate transmission outside the scriptures.’ A separate transmission outside the scriptures: the Koran cannot give it to you, neither can the Dhammapada nor the Bible nor the Talmud nor the Gita. No scripture can give it to you. And if you believe in the scripture you will go on missing truth.

Truth is in you. It has to be encountered there. ‘Seeing the nature and becoming Buddha. Direct pointing to the human heart.’ You are not to go anywhere. And wherever you go you will remain the same, so what is the point? You can go to the Himalayas; it is not going to change anything. You will carry all that you have with you. All that you have become, all that you have been made, you will carry all your artificiality. Your synthetic faces, your borrowed knowledge, your scriptures, will go on clinging inside you. Even sitting in a cave in the Himalayas alone you will not be alone. The teachers will be there around you, and the priests and the politicians and the parents and the whole society. It may not be so visible but it will be there inside you crowding you. And you will remain a Hindu there or a Christian or a Mohammedan. And you will go on repeating words like parrots. It will not change, it cannot change. […]

Wherever you go you will be yourself. Even in Heaven or in the Himalayas. You cannot be otherwise. The world is not outside you; you are the world. So wherever you go you take your world with you.

The real change has not to be of place, the real change has not to be outside, the real change has to be inner. And what do I mean by real change? I don’t mean that you have to improve upon yourself, because improvement is again a lie. Improvement means you will go on polishing your personality. You can make it immensely beautiful – but remember, the more beautiful it is, the more dangerous, because the more difficult it will be to drop it.

That’s why it happens that sometimes a sinner becomes a saint. But your so-called respectable people never become. They cannot become – they have such valuable person-alities, so much decorated, polished, and they have put so much investment in the personality, their whole life has been a kind of polishing. Now it is too costly to drop those beautiful personalities. A sinner can drop it, he has no investment in it. In fact he is fed-up with it, it is so ugly. But how can a respectable person drop it so easily? It has been paying him so well, it has been such a profit. It has been making him more and more respected, he is going higher and higher, he is reaching the pinnacle of success. It is very difficult for him to stop going on this ladder of success. It is a non-ending ladder, you can go on and on for ever. […]

When you are succeeding in the world it is difficult to stop. When you are becoming richer it is difficult to stop, when you are becoming famous it is difficult to stop. The more refined personality you have, the more it clings to you.

So I am not saying that you have to improve upon yourself. All the great masters, from Buddha to Hakuin, nobody has said to improve. Beware of the so-called ’improvement books’. The American market is full of those books: beware. Because improvement is not going to lead you anywhere. It is not a question of improvement, because by improvement the lie will be improved. The personality will be improved – will become more polished, will become more subtle, will become more valuable, will become more precious – but that is not the transformation. The transformation comes not by improvement but by dropping the personality utterly.

The lie cannot become the truth. There is no way to improve upon the lie so that it becomes the truth. It will remain the lie. It will look more and more like the truth but it will remain the lie. And the more it looks like the truth, the more you will be engrossed in it, rooted in it. The lie can look so much like the truth that you can even become oblivious of the fact that it is a lie.

The lie tells you: Search for the truth. Improve your character, your personality. Search for the truth, become this, become that. The lie goes on giving you new programs: Do this, and then everything will be good and you will be happy for ever. Do this, do that. This has failed? Don’t be worried, I have other plans for you. The lie goes on giving you plans, and you go on moving in those plans and wasting your life.

In fact the search for truth also comes out of the lie. That will be hard to understand but it has to be understood. The search for truth comes from the lie itself. It is the lie’s way to protect itself – it gives you even the search for truth, now how can you be angry with your personality? And how can you call it a lie? It propels you, it enforces you, it pushes you to search for truth.

But the search means going away. And truth is here, and the lie pushes you to go there. And truth is now, and the lie says ‘then’ and ‘there’. The lie always speaks either of the past or of the future, it never speaks of the present. And the truth is the present. This very moment! It is herenow. That’s what Hakuin means when he says:

This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

So the first ‘you’ is the lie, the act. The pseudo-personality that surrounds you. The public face, the phoniness. It is a fraud. The society has imposed it upon you and you have become a cooperator with it. You have to drop your cooperation with the social lie. Because only when you are utterly nude are you yourself. All clothes are social. All ideas and all identities that you think you are, are social – given by others. They have their motives to give those ideas to you. It is subtle exploitation.

The real exploitation is not economic or political, the real exploitation is psychological. That’s why all the revolutions up to now have been failures. Hitherto, no revolution has succeeded. The reason? Because they have not looked at the deepest exploitation which is psychological. They only go on changing superficial things. A capitalist society becomes communist, but it makes no difference. A democracy becomes dictatorial, a dictatorial society becomes democratic, it makes no difference. These are just superficial changes, like a whitewash, but the structure remains deep down the same.

What is the psychological exploitation? The psychological exploitation is that nobody is allowed to be himself. That nobody is accepted as himself or herself. That nobody is respected. How can you respect people if you don’t accept them as they are? If you impose things upon them and then you respect, you respect your own impositions. You don’t respect them as they are, you don’t respect their nudity. You don’t respect their naturalness, you don’t respect their spontaneity, you don’t respect their real smiles and real tears. You respect only phoniness, pretensions, actions. Their actings you respect.

This you-1 has to be utterly dropped. Freud helped much to make humanity aware of the pseudoness of personality, of the conscious mind. His revolution ii far deeper than the revolution of Marx, his revolution is far deeper than any other revolution. It goes deep, although it does not go far enough. It reaches to the second you, you-2. It is the repressed you, instinctive you, unconscious you. It is all that the society has not allowed, it is all that the society has forced inside your being and locked in there. It comes only in your dreams, it comes only in metaphors, it comes only when you are drunk, it comes only when you are no more in control. Otherwise, it remains far away from you. And it is more authentic, it is not phony.

Freud has done much to make man aware of it. And the humanistic psychologies and particularly growth groups, encounter and others, have helped tremendously to make you aware of all that is screaming inside you, all that has been repressed, crushed. And that is your vital part. That is your real life, natural life. Religions have condemned it as your animal part, they have condemned it as the source of sin. It is not the source of sin; it is the source of life. And it is not lower than the conscious. It is deeper than the conscious, certainly, but not lower than the conscious.

And nothing is wrong if it is animal. Animals are beautiful, so are trees. They still live naked in their utter simplicity. They have not yet been destroyed by the priests and the politicians, they are yet part of God. Only man has gone astray. Man is the only abnormal animal on the earth – otherwise all animals are simply normal. Hence the joy, the beauty, the health. Hence the vitality. Have you not seen it? When a bird is on the wing have you not felt jealous? Have you not seen it in a deer running fast into the forest? Have you not felt jealous of the vitality, of the sheer joy of energy?

Children: have you not felt jealous? Maybe because you feel so jealous, that’s why you go on condemning childishness. You go on condemning. Montague is right when he says that instead of telling people ‘Don’t be childish’ we should start telling people ‘Don’t be adultish’. He is right, I agree. A child is beautiful, the adult is what ugliness is. He is no more a flow; he is blocked in many ways. He is frozen, he is dull and dead. He has lost zest, he has lost enthusiasm, he is simply dragging. He is bored, he has no sense of mystery. He never feels surprised, he has forgotten the language of wonder. Mystery has disappeared for him. He has explanations, mystery is no more there. Hence he has lost poetry and the dance and all that is valuable and all that gives meaning and significance to life, all that gives flavor to life.

This second ‘you’ is far more valuable than the first. That is where I am against all the religions, that is where I am against all the priests, because they cling to the first, the superficial most. Go to the second. But the second is not the end – that is where Freud falls short. And that is where humanistic psychology also falls short – goes a little deeper than Freud but still does not go deep enough to find the third.

There is a third ‘you’, you-3. The real you, the original face, which is beyond you-1 and you-2, both. The transcendental. The Buddhahood. It is undivided pure consciousness. The first you is social, the second you is natural, the third you is divine. Or, if you want to use Hakuin’s terms, the first you is the physical body, the second you is the bliss body, and the third you is the essential body. These are the three bodies of Buddha.

And remember, I am not saying that the first is not at all useful. If the third exists then the first can be used beautifully. If the third exists, the second can be used beautifully. But only if the third exists. If the center functions well then the periphery too is okay, then the circumference too is okay. But without the center, only the circumference, is a kind of death.

That’s what has happened to man. That’s why in the West so many thinkers think that life is meaningless. It is not. It is only because you have lost touch with your source from where meaning arises.

It is as if a tree has lost its contact with its own roots. Now no flowers come. Now the foliage starts disappearing, the leaves fall and no new leaves arrive. And the juice stops flowing, the sap no more exists. The tree becomes dead, the tree is dying.

And the tree may start philosophizing, the tree may become existentialist, a Sartre or somebody else, and the tree may start saying that there are no flowers in life. That life has no flowers, that there is no fragrance, that there are no more any birds. And the tree may even start saying that it has been always so, and the ancients were only befooling themselves that there are flowers – they were imagining. ‘It has always been so, the spring has never come, people have only been fantasizing. These Buddhas and these Jinas, they have been simply imagining, fantasizing, that flowers bloom and there is great joy and birds come and sunlight. There is nothing. All is darkness, all is accidental, and there is no meaning.’ The tree can say it.

And the real thing is not that there is no meaning, not that there are no more flowers, not that flowers don’t exist, not that fragrance is fantasy, but simply that the tree has lost contact with its own roots.

Unless you are rooted in your Buddhahood you will not bloom. You will not sing, you will not know what celebration is. And how can you know God if you don’t know celebration? If you have forgotten how to dance how can you pray? If you have forgotten how to sing and how to love then God is dead. Not that God is dead. God is dead in you, only in you. Your tree is dry, the sap has disappeared. You will have to find roots again. Where to find these roots? Roots have to be found here and now. That is the whole message of Hakuin’s song of meditation. Before we enter into the song, a few things.

A man can seem to be the sum total of his days, of all that he does from the beginning to the end. But this is not the true man. What you do is just on the periphery. What you feel goes a little deeper. What you are is really at the roots. A man is not the sum total of his acts. A politician IS the sum total of his acts, because he lives only on the circumference. That’s why it is easy to write history about the politicians. It is difficult to write history about Buddhas, because they live at such depth where we cannot reach them. They live in such eternity that time takes no record of them. They exist in such a transcendental way that they leave no traces on the earth. They are like birds in the sky: they fly but no footprints are left.

Politicians leave footprints. They live in the mud, in the dirt, they drag themselves in the mundane reality. They leave many footprints; they leave much bloodshed behind them. A Buddha exists as if he has never existed. He exists so absently, he exists like a space, empty space.

Remember, a man is not a sum total of his actions. And if he is, he is not yet a man; he is just a fiction, he is living in illusion. You are not what you do. So don’t be too much concerned with your doing, start going deeper into being. That’s why all meditations are basically a way to sit silently – so silently that all action stops. On the physical plane, on the mental plane, action stops, thought stops. Because thought is also action on the mental plane – you are doing something. When all doing disappears and you are simply there, just there, a presence, then the meditation has happened.

Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

That is the meaning of the word ‘zazen’. ‘Za’ means sitting doing nothing. And ‘zen’ means: in that sitting when you are not doing anything you fall upon yourself, you encounter yourself, you see yourself. That is zen, dhyana, meditation. The word ‘zazen’ is beautiful. ’Sitting and looking into yourself’ – that is the meaning of it.

Man is more than the sum total of his acts, his thoughts, his feelings. Behind the acts, thoughts and feelings there is another man – that which is, that which essentially IS. But many seldom if ever show themselves in their essential being. Very few ever reach to that point of their essential being-hood, to their very ground of being. Those who reach, only they know that life is a benediction. A sheer joy, eternal celebration.

But if you remain on the surface, you know only misery, nothing else. Agony, nothing else. Let me say it in this way: You-1 knows only misery and agony. You-3 knows ecstasy of being and joy of being. And You-2 neither knows ecstasy nor knows agony. It knows pleasure/pain, it is just in the middle. Ecstasy is exceeding joy without any bounds to it, infinite joy. Agony is infinite misery, no bounds to it. Just between the two exists the animal and the child. It knows play, it knows pleasure/pain. It knows neither agony nor ecstasy. It does not know infinity.

If the child moves towards the first, which society forces him to do, he will know agony. If he finds somebody who can help to move him towards the third, he will know ecstasy. To find a master is nothing but to find a man who has known his essential being, so that he can help you to go towards your own essential being.

A master is not to be followed, a master is not to be imitated, a master is only to be understood. In that very understanding is the revolution.

A man’s true life is the way in which he puts off the lie imposed by others on him. Stripped, naked, natural, he is what he is. This is a matter of being, and not of becoming. The lie cannot become the truth, the personality cannot become your soul. There is no way to make the non-essential the essential. The non-essential remains non-essential and the essential remains essential, they are not convertible. And striving towards truth is nothing but creating more confusion. The truth has not to be achieved. It cannot be achieved, it is already the case. Only the lie has to be dropped.

All aims and ends and ideals and goals and ideologies, religions and systems of improvement and betterment, are lies. Beware of them. Recognize the fact that as you are, you are a lie. Manipulated, cultivated, by others. Striving after truth is a distraction and a postponement. It is the lie’s way to hide. See the lie, look deep into the lie of your personality. Because to see the lie is to cease to lie. No longer to lie is to seek no more for any truth – there is no need. The moment the lie disappears, truth is there in all its beauty and radiance. In the seeing of the lie it disappears and what is left is the truth.

To see the lie of striving after truth is to fall into an eternal silence. A stillness comes when you see the lie of your personality. There is nothing more to do. Hence the stillness – what can you do?

Just the other night, a sannyasin was saying ‘What can I do? Whatsoever I do, I fail. What can I do?’ There is nothing really to be done. Doing is not going to help, doing will be again the same rut. Only being is going to transform you, not doing. So when one fails again and again and again, only then the insight arises that ‘Doing is never going to lead me anywhere.’ The day that sword has hit you – that ‘Doing is not going to lead me anywhere’ – what will you do? Nothing is left to do.

In your utter helplessness, the surrender. And silence and stillness. This is the silence that transforms – not the silence that somehow you impose upon yourself by repeating a mantra or doing TM; that is not the real silence, that is a created silence. Any silence that you manage to create will belong to the personality. It will not be of much use, it will not go deeper than that – how can your doing go deeper than you? When you have utterly failed, when you have seen your ultimate failure and you have seen that there is no possibility and no hope for you to succeed, what will you do in that silence? You will just be there. All has stopped. The mind no more spins any thoughts.

And in that very moment the door opens. And that silence is being, that silence is Buddha.

This stillness is not the opposite of action, it is not brought about by will or by withdrawal from the world. One cannot withdraw from the world; one is the world. The want to escape keeps us imprisoned – because the wish to be without desire is still desire, and the will to be still is disturbance. You cannot will your silence, will is the base of all disturbance. Will has to disappear. You can only see into the futility of it. Doing, willing, improving, bettering yourself, achieving, reaching – all these words are just projections of the lie.

When the lie has been seen in its totality . . . the illumination, the enlightenment.

Now Hakuin’s sutras.

The pure land paradise is not far.

Zen people call the state of no-mind ‘the pure land paradise’. So please don’t interpret it in Christian ways. Paradise, to a Christian, is somewhere there in the sky. For a Buddhist, particularly for a man like Hakuin, it is the state of no-mind.

The pure land paradise is not far.

Stop thinking and you are there. And in fact that is the Biblical meaning of the parable of Adam’s expulsion. He has not been expelled, there is nobody to expel him. He has only eaten the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge – he has become a mind. The more knowledge you accumulate, the more of a mind you become. Adam has become knowledgeable, he has become a mind, and that is the expulsion from the paradise. If he can drop his mind he will suddenly find himself again in the paradise, and he will also find that he has been always there. Even when he was thinking he had lost it, it was not lost. It was only forgotten. He became too much obsessed with knowledge, that’s why it was forgotten.

The day the child starts becoming knowledgeable he loses paradise. Each Adam loses it again and again. And don’t think that it happened once in history, and we are suffering for that ancient Adam. No. It has happened to our life – to each life, to each child. For a few months the child lives in the Garden of Eden. He knows nothing. Without knowing, he is a no-mind – he simply exists moment to moment, he has no worries. When he feels hungry, he cries, when he feels satisfied, he falls asleep. When he is happy, he smiles, when he is angry he screams. But he has no ideas about anything. He neither praises a smile nor condemns screaming. He neither feels shy about crying and weeping nor feels very good that he has been a good boy today. He knows nothing about all this nonsense. He knows nothing good, nothing bad, he makes no distinctions. He lives utterly one with reality. And whatsoever happens, happens; there is no rejection.

But by and by he will become knowledgeable, he will start learning things. The day he starts learning things he is trapped by the snake. Now he has started eating the fruit of the tree, sooner or later the paradise will disappear. Beaches will be there but no more beautiful. Butterflies will be still floating in the wind but for the child they don’t exist anymore. What exists is arithmetic, geography, history. Flowers still bloom but they don’t bloom for the child any more, he is too much into his homework. Once in a while still he hears the bird singing on the window, but only once in a while. And the whole society tries to drag him away from that.

The teacher will say ‘Look here at the blackboard! What are you doing there? Concentrate on me!’ The child was concentrating. The birdcall was so beautiful outside the window, the child was in concentration, utter concentration. This teacher has distracted him; now he has to look at the blackboard. And there is nothing to look at it, just a blackboard. But by and by we will manage to distract the child.

The expulsion is not by God but by the society. The society drags each Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. And once you have become too much of the head it is very difficult to enter back into that purity, that pure land paradise. Zen masters say, just like Jesus said: Unless you are like small children you will not enter into the kingdom of God.

A Christian missionary went to a Zen master and started reading the Sermon on the Mount. The Zen master listened and he said ‘Whosoever has said it must be very close to Buddhahood.’ The Zen master had never heard about Christ, he had never read the Bible, but he said ‘Whosoever has said it must be very close to Buddhahood.’ And when the missionary read ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God’ the Zen master said ‘Now stop. Now there is no more to read. Now there is no need to read any more. Whosoever has said it is a Buddha.’

‘Poor in spirit’ means empty of mind. ‘Poor in spirit’ means empty – all thoughts have disappeared. Then you are again back in paradise.

The pure land paradise is not far.

It is just there! Beating in your heart. Your each breath goes and touches the pure land paradise, each moment. You live from it. Every night when you fall asleep and dreams disappear, you are in it again. That’s why in the morning you feel so fresh, again young, rejuvenated. You have been on a short trip to the pure land paradise.

When in reverence this truth is heard even once,
He who praises it and gladly embraces it
Has merit without end.

Hakuin says ‘When in reverence this truth is heard even once.’ The question is not of hearing the truth many times. If you hear even once, if you have understood it even for a single moment in deep trust and reverence, it is yours forever. Doubt distracts. Doubt does not allow you to understand, doubt does not allow you to see it. Listen in reverence, in love. Be en rapport.

That is the way to be with a master – be en rapport, be bridged. But small things, very small things, distract you. Very small things which mean nothing – but you are distracted by those small things, and doubt arises. And doubt becomes a cloud and you become blind.

. . . In reverence this truth is heard even once,

It is enough.

How much more he who turns within . . .

Even hearing the truth is a deliverance. ‘How much more he who turns within’ – who not only hears it but looks within and sees it . . .

And confirms directly his own nature,
That his own nature is no-nature . . .

When you look deep into yourself you will not find anything there obstructing your vision. It is pure space. Your nature is no-nature. It is emptiness, sunyata.

Such has transcended vain words.

Only when you look into your nature . . . and find nothing. You only find an empty infinity there. Words will not have any meaning any more, you have transcended words. You have looked into your nature and now you know no word can explain it, no word can define it, no word can even indicate it. All scriptures become meaningless.

The gate opens, and cause and effect are one . . .

When you look inside yourself and there is no content, and the no-nature has been felt and you have seen your inner sky . . .

The gate opens, and cause and effect are one.

And the source and the goal are one. Now you are not to go anywhere, you have come to your source. And to be at the source is to be at the goal. To be at the beginning is to be at the end.

Straight runs the way – not two, not three.
Taking as form the form of no-form,
Going or returning, he is ever at home.

And once you have seen the form of no-form, once you have seen the thought of no-thought, once you have seen the nature of no-nature, you are a totally new being. What happens . . .

Going or returning, he is ever at home.

Then wherever you are, you are at home. In the prison you are at home, in the temple you are at home, in the shop you are at home, in the Himalayas you are at home, in the marketplace you are at home. You are simply at home. once you have seen your center, your essential being, your Buddhahood, has been glimpsed. Then wherever you are you are at home, because all is your home. Then there is no need to leave the world.

Zen people are not against the world. They say: To be against the world is still to be attached to the world. To go to the opposite extreme is not transformation. When you no more choose between two extremes, you settle in the middle. And the middle is the way.

Straight runs the way – not two, not three.

It is a simple way – one.

Going or returning, he is ever at home.
Taking as thought the thought of no-thought,
Singing and dancing, all is the voice of truth.

Then whatsoever you do, you express truth. Whatsoever. Eating, you express truth. Walking, you express truth. When a Zen master hits a disciple he is expressing truth. When Kabir sings he is expressing truth, when Meera dances she is expressing truth. Jesus expresses truth dying on the cross, and Krishna expresses truth singing on his flute. Whatsoever you do, there is no way to avoid expressing truth. You are truth. The lie has been dropped.

Singing and dancing, all is the voice of truth.
Wide is the heaven of boundless samadhi,
Radiant the full moon of fourfold wisdom.
What remains to be sought?
Nirvana is clear before him,
This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

Remember the word ‘This’.

This very place the lotus paradise

And once you have known your source, wherever you are, you are in the lotus paradise.

This very place the lotus paradise,
And this very body the buddha.

And whatsoever you do – whatsoever, without any conditions – is the expression of truth.

I have heard a beautiful story about Roshi Taji, a great Zen master.

As Roshi Taji approached death, his senior disciples assembled at his bedside. One of them, remembering the roshi was fond of a certain kind of cake, had spent half a day searching the pastry shops of Tokyo for this confection which he now presented to Roshi Taji. With a wan smile the dying roshi accepted a piece of the cake and slowly began munching it. As the roshi grew weaker, his disciples leaned close and inquired whether he had any final words for them.

‘Yes’ the roshi replied.

The disciples leaned forward eagerly. ‘Please tell us!’

‘My, but this cake is delicious!’ And with that he died.

Meditate over it. What a man! What manner of man! A Buddha. Each act and each word and each gesture becomes the expression of truth. In that moment only that was true, the taste of the cake. In that moment anything else would have been false, untrue. If he had talked about God, that would not have been true. If he had talked about nirvana, that would not have been true. In that moment the taste on his tongue was still alive. In that moment that was his authentic gesture.

He said ‘My, but this cake is delicious.’ This cake.

This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

Zen people talk about four wisdoms.

Wide is the heaven of boundless samadhi,
Radiant the full moon of the fourfold wisdom.

The first wisdom is called ‘the wisdom of the mirror’. When there is no thought you become a mirror. This is the first wisdom, becoming like a mirror. The second wisdom is called ‘the wisdom of sameness’. When you become a mirror without any thought, all distinctions in the world disappear. Then it is all one. Then the rose and the bird and the earth and the sky and the sea and the sand and the sun are all one, it is one energy.

When you are a mirror – the first wisdom – the second wisdom arises out of the first: the wisdom of sameness. Duality disappears. And out of the second arises the third wisdom, the wisdom of spiritual vision. When you have seen that all over the world it is one energy, then only can you see inside yourself that you are also that energy. Then the seer and the seen become one, the observer and the observed become one. That is the third wisdom, the wisdom of spiritual vision. Buddha has a special word for it, he calls it dhamma chakkhu – the eye for truth, or the truth-eye. The spiritual vision opens – what yogis call ‘the third eye’. What Christ also calls ‘the one eye’, when two eyes become one. Dhamma chakkhu opens, the wisdom of spiritual vision is attained.

And out of the third arises the fourth, the wisdom of perfection. When you have seen that all is the same, and when you have looked within and seen that without and within are also the same, you have become perfect. In fact, to say that you have become perfect is not true, you have always been perfect. Now it is revealed to you – it is only a revelation. In that moment one knows . . .

This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Discourse #6

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Consciousness Minus Thinking is Samadhi – Osho

In the search for the first principle, silence is the door – the only door. And except it there is no way to approach the first principle. The first principle can be known only when you move to the primordial state of your being. Thinking is secondary. Existence precedes thinking, existence comes first. First you are, and then you start thinking. Thinking is secondary. Thinking is a shadow activity; it follows you. It cannot exist without you, but you can exist without it. Through thinking you can know secondary things, not the primary things. The most fundamental is not available to thinking; the most fundamental is available to silence.

Silence means a state of consciousness where no thought interferes.

The first principle is not far away, it is not distant. Never think for a single moment that you are missing it because it is very far away. No, not at all. It is the closest thing to you. It is the obvious thing. It surrounds you. It surrounds you just like the ocean surrounds a fish. You are in it. You are born in it and born out of it. You live in it, you breathe in it, and one day you disappear in it. It is not far away, not that you have to travel to it. It is there. It is already there around you, within and without. It is your very existence, that first principle.

Zen people call it the first principle; other religions call it God. There is no difference. The Zen approach is far better because with the word “God,” trouble starts. The first principle becomes personified; then you can create an image. You cannot make an image of the first principle, but that’s what all the religions do. They say, “God is the first cause, the uncaused cause, the most fundamental, the substantial, the substratum.” Zen people call it the first principle. It is beautiful to call it the first principle because nothing preceded it. Everything has followed it.

So if you want to have a communion with the first principle, you will have to seek and search for a reality within yourself which is original, which has not been preceded by anything else.

Silence is primordial. Sound exists in silence. Sound comes and goes, silence remains. Sound is like light, and silence is like darkness. Darkness remains; light comes and goes. Light needs some cause to be. Darkness needs no cause. No fuel is needed for darkness; it simply exists without any fuel. It exists as primordial existence. Darkness is eternal; light is momentary. In the morning the sun rises and there is light. By the evening the sun is gone, the light is gone. Don’t think that the darkness comes. Darkness never comes; it is always there. Light comes and goes. You burn a lamp and there is light. You blow out the lamp and light is gone. Not that darkness comes; darkness is there. Light is accidental; darkness is existential.

Silence is there. You can create sound; you cannot create silence. The moment sound is no more created there is silence. Thinking is sound; meditation is silence. So all the religions of the world have been searching for and seeking in one way or another that silence which has not been preceded by anything else, which is the first.

Now a few things before we analyze this state of silence.

First thing. Man is missing this first principle not because he is not a skilled thinker but because he is, not because he is not a trained logician but because he is. Thinking creates a screen around you, a screen of smoke, and because of that smoke the obvious is lost. To see the obvious, you need clarity, not thinking, not logic. You simply need clarity, you need transparency. Your eyes should be completely empty, naked – naked of all clothes, naked of all concepts, empty, empty of all thoughts. When the eyes are just empty, you can see the first principle, and not only can you see it as an object outside you, you see it as your own interiority, as your own subjectivity.

In fact, it is thinking that creates the distinction between the subject and the object. It is thinking that creates division. It is thinking that creates a split. It is thinking that makes things separate. Once thinking is dropped, existence is one, it is one unity, it is one orgasmic experience where duality is totally lost. All boundaries lose themselves into each other, merge into each other. Everything is joined to everything else. The smallest leaf of grass is joined to the greatest star. And then there is nothing high, nothing low, nothing good, nothing bad, because all is joined together. The greatest saint is joined to the greatest sinner; they are not separate.

Nothing is separate. With the disappearance of thinking, schizophrenia disappears, this existential schizophrenia of dividing everything: this is man, this is woman, this is good, this is bad, this is beautiful, this is ugly, this is mine, this is thine. All distinctions create neuroses. Man is mad because he thinks too much, and he goes on missing the obvious.

God is very obvious.

I have heard about a great philosopher:

He married a beautiful girl many years his junior. After a while he began to be torn by doubts as to her faithfulness

Natural for a philosopher to be torn by doubts. A philosopher lives in doubts; doubt is his trade. He doubts, and he goes on doubting. Through doubt he creates questions and then answers, and through doubt he makes more questions out of the answers. His whole life is a procession of doubts. Naturally, “he began to be torn by doubts as to her faithfulness.”

. . . So he hired a private detective to watch her while he left on a trip. On his return he called the detective.

“Out with it, out with it!” shouted the philosopher. “I can take it. It is the element of doubt that is driving me crazy.”

“It looks bad,” said the detective. “As soon as you left the house a handsome fellow called for your wife. I followed them to a night dub. They had four or five drinks and then danced – and very close. Then they went back to their table and held hands. Finally they took a cab back to your house. The lights were on, and I saw them walk into the bedroom and embrace. Then the light went out and I could not see any more.”

“What did I tell you?” shouted the philosopher. “That damned element of doubt!”

Now, even the obvious – “That damned element of doubt! ” Even the obvious is not obvious to a philosopher. The greater the philosopher, the more doubts he has. He has doubts about everything. He doubts even his own existence – which in fact cannot be doubted. How can you doubt your own existence? Even to doubt, you are needed to be there. The doubt cannot exist in the air. The doubt cannot exist without you. The doubt can exist only if you are there, but philosophers have been doubting even their own existence: Who knows whether we are or we are not?

Doubt is the only outcome of thinking. Non-thinking gives you trust, non-thinking gives you faith, non-thinking brings you closer to reality, face to face with reality. So the first thing to be understood: thinking is not a way to the first principle. Not through philosophizing will you arrive at the first principle, because philosophy is secondary. You can know secondary things through the secondary. To know the primary, you will have to achieve the primary within yourself. You can know only that which you are.

If you live in thinking, you will be able to know only secondary things. You will be able to know the shadow world, what Hindus call the world of maya. Through the mind you can know only the world of maya, the shadow world, the world of illusions. You will be surprised. In Sanskrit we have two terms. One is vidya; vidya means “knowledge”. Another is avidya; avidya means “nonknowledge”. And you will be surprised, in Sanskrit “science” is called avidya – “nonknowledge”. Science is called avidya. Why? Science knows more than anything else, but in Sanskrit they call science avidya. Why? Because science knows only the shadow world – knows the secondary, the nonessential; knows the object, misses the subject; knows the body, misses the soul; knows the world, misses God; knows the secondary.

To know the primary, you will have to become primary. You will have to fall into that wavelength where the primary pulsates, that silence. That is the state of no-mind. No-mind preceded your mind.

A child is born. He comes without any mind whatsoever; he simply exists. His existence is pure, unhampered by any thought, unhindered by any cloud. Look into the eyes of a child. They are so innocent, they are so transparent, so crystal clear. From where comes this clarity? This clarity comes from no-thought. The child still has not learned how to think, how to accumulate thoughts. He looks, but he cannot classify. If he looks at the trees, he cannot say they are trees, he cannot say they are green, he cannot say they are beautiful. He sees the trees, but no classification, no category. He has no language yet to be clouded with. He simply sees. Color is there, but he cannot say is color; green is there, but he cannot say it is green. Everything is purely clear, but he cannot label it. Hence the innocence of the eyes.

A man of understanding again attains the same eyes. He again becomes a child, as far as the clarity is concerned. Jesus is right when he says, “Become like small children; only then will you be able to enter into my kingdom of God.” He is not saying become foolish like children; he is not saying become childish; he is not saying learn tantrum again; he is not saying that a child is the last stage. No, he is saying simply one thing. He is not saying become a child; he is saying become like a child. How can you become a child again? But you can become like a child. If you can drop thinking, if this cloak of thinking is dropped and you become nude, again you will have the same clarity.

It happens sometimes through drugs. Not a very good way to attain it – very dangerous, very costly, and illusory – but it happens. Hence the appeal of the drugs down the ages. Drugs are not new in the world; even in the Vedas they talk about soma. Soma seems to be one of the most powerful drugs ever discovered by man. It must be something like LSD. Aldous Huxley has said that in the future, when the ultimate drug will be known, we will call it soma. From the Vedas, the ancient most book in the world, to Timothy Leary, man has always been attracted by drugs – alcohol, marijuana, opium. Why this attraction? And all the moralists have been against it, and all the puritans have been against it, and all the governments have tried to curb and control, but it seems beyond any government to control it. What has been the cause of it? It gives something … it gives a glimpse into the innocent mind of the child again.

Through chemical impact, the mind becomes loosened for a few moments or a few hours. Under the impact of the drug your thinking slips. You start looking into reality without thinking; again the world is colorful, as it is for the child; again in a small pebble you can see the greatest diamond; ordinary grass looks so extraordinary; an ordinary flower looks so tremendously beautiful; an ordinary human face looks so divine. Not that anything has changed. The whole world is the same. Something has changed in you – and that too only temporarily. Through the forceful drug your mind has slipped down. You don’t have the mask; you can see into things with clarity. That is the appeal of the drugs down the ages.

And unless meditation becomes available to millions of people, drugs cannot be prevented.

Drugs are dangerous because they can destroy your body’s equilibrium, they can destroy your nature, they can destroy your inner chemistry. You have a very delicate chemistry. Those strong drugs can destroy your rhythm. And more and more drugs will be needed and you will become addicted – and less and less will be the experience. By and by, the mind will learn how to cope with the drugs, and then, even under the drug, you will not attain to the state of innocence. Then you will need even stronger drugs.

So this is not a way.

The mind can be put aside very easily. There is no need to depend on anything chemical, on anything artificial. There is a natural possibility to get out of the mind, because we were born without minds. Deep down we are still no-minds. The mind is only on the periphery. That’s why I say it is just a cloak, a dress that you are wearing. You can slip out of it.

And one moment of slipping out of it will reveal to you a totally different world: the world of the first principle.

So the real fight in the future is going to be between meditation and drugs. In fact, that has always been the case: the real fight is between drugs and meditation, either drugs or meditation.

So it is not coincidental that when you start meditating by and by the pull of the drug becomes less and less. If it is not becoming less and less, then know well you are not meditating yet, because when you know the higher, the lower is dropped automatically.

But one thing has to be understood. Drugs do something; they UNDO something in you. They help you to get out of the mind. They give you courage to look into reality without thinking. For a moment the curtain slips, and suddenly you are aware that the world has a splendor. It had never had it before. You had passed through the same street and you had looked through the same trees and at the same stars and the same people, and today now everything suddenly is so luminous and everybody is so beautiful and everybody is afire with life, with love. A saint – one who has attained – lives in that state continuously, without any effort.

You were born as a no-mind. Let this sink into your heart as deeply as possible because through that a door opens. If you were born as a no-mind, then the mind is just a social product. It is nothing natural; it is cultivated. It has been put together on top of you. Deep down you are still free; you can get out of it. One can never get out of nature, but one can get out of the artificial any moment one decides to.

Existence precedes thinking. So existence is not a state of mind; it is a state beyond. To be is the way to know the fundamental, not to think. Science means thinking, philosophy means thinking, theology means thinking. Religion does not mean thinking. The religious approach is a nonthinking approach. It is more intimate, it brings you closer to reality. It drops all that hinders, it unblocks you; you start flowing into life. You don’t think that you are separate, looking. You don’t think that you are a watcher, aloof, distant. You meet, mingle, and merge into reality.

And there is a different kind of knowing. It cannot be called “knowledge”. It is more like love, less like knowledge. It is so intimate that the word “knowledge” is not sufficient to express it. The word “love” is more adequate, more expressive.

In the history of human consciousness, the first thing that evolved was magic. Magic was a combination of science and religion. Magic had something of the mind and something of the no-mind. Then out of magic grew philosophy. Then out of philosophy grew science. Magic was both no-mind and mind; philosophy was only mind; and then mind plus experimentation became science. Religion is a state of no-mind.

Religion and science are the two approaches to reality. Science approaches through the secondary; religion goes direct. Science is an indirect approach; religion is an immediate approach. Science goes round and round; religion simply penetrates to the heart of reality.

A few more things. Thinking can only think about the known – it can chew the already chewed. Thinking can never be original. How can you think about the unknown? Whatsoever you can manage to think will belong to the known. You can think only because you know. At the most, thinking can create new combinations. You can think about a horse who flies in the sky, who is made of gold; but nothing is new. You know birds who fly in the sky, you know gold, you know horses; you combine the three together. At the most, thinking can imagine new things, but it cannot know the unknown. The unknown remains beyond it. So thinking goes in a circle, goes on knowing the known again and again and again. It goes on chewing the chewed one. Thinking is never original.

And the first principle means to come upon reality originally, radically, to come upon reality without any mediator, to come upon reality as if you are the first person to exist and you come upon reality. That is liberating. That very newness of it liberates.

And when you come to know reality directly, it is never reduced to the known; the mystery remains. In fact, it becomes a deeper mystery than ever. The more you know, the more you feel that you don’t know. The more you know, the less you feel you know. The more you know, the more vast is the mystery of it. Religion is mysticism, religion is magic, because religion is a no-mind approach.

Thinking can think only about the known; it is repetitive. Philosophy is repetitive. You can go into the books of philosophy, into the history of philosophy, and you will see the same thing being repeated again and again – new phraseology, new words; new terms, new definitions, but nothing fundamentally different. From Thales to Bertrand Russell you can go on, but you will find the same thing being repeated again and again. The wheel moving: the same spokes come to the top again and again.

Science can experiment only with the objective; experimentation is possible only with the objective. You cannot experiment with the experimenter himself; there is no way. The subjective reality remains outside science. Einstein may know much about matter, but he does not know anything about himself. Newton may know much about gravitation, but he does not know who he is. One goes on accumulating knowledge about the objective world, and one remains in deep darkness within one’s own self. One’s own light is not yet there, and one goes on groping, experimenting.

Science can experiment only with the objective, philosophy can think only about the known, and the reality is beyond both. The reality is unknown – not only unknown, but unknowable – and the reality contains the subjective element. So the very methodology of philosophy and science prohibits coming to the fundamental, to the first principle. To come to the fundamental, you will have to find another door, a door other than science and philosophy. That door is religion.

And religion can be reduced to one word, and that word is “meditation,” or call it silence – to be in such a silence that you are almost not, there is no noise within you, the stillness is absolute. Only in that stillness something stirs, only in that stillness do you start hearing the still, small voice of the first principle – call it God or call it soul. Only then life calls forth life. Only then the source calls forth the source. Only then are you close to reality, hand in hand with the fundamental. And that is the search, that is what we are seeking; and without knowing it, without realizing it, there is going to be no fulfillment.

The last thing; then we enter into this small parable. When thinking disappears you are left with the first principle. It has always been there; you were not there just because of thinking. Now you are also there: two presences meet. Ordinarily you are absent, you are somewhere else. In your thoughts you are lost. When there is no thought you are here-now; then there is no way to go from here-now. Thought functions as a bridge to go away from yourself. The moment a thought has come in, you are already far away from yourself. When there is no thought, where can you go, how can you go? When there is no thought you have to be in the present. Thought can take you to the past, thought can take you to the future; no-thought brings you to the present. And only the present is. This moment is all there is.

When you are here-now, absolutely here-now, how can you miss the real, how can you miss God? When thinking disappears you are left with the first principle.

But when I say “when thinking disappears,” I am not saying “when you fall asleep,” because in deep sleep thinking does disappear. In the East we have divided human consciousness into four phases. The first phase we call “waking”, jagrat. Waking means “consciousness plus thinking”; you are conscious, but your mind is crowded with thoughts. The second state we have called “dreaming”, swapna. The second state means “unconsciousness plus thinking”; you fall asleep, but the thinking continues so there is dreaming. Dreaming is a way of thinking in sleep, and thinking is a way of dreaming while awake. Thinking and dreaming are not two separate things. Dreaming is only thinking in a very primitive language – the language of images. Then the third state we call sushupti: sleep, deep sleep, dreamless deep sleep. The third state is “unconsciousness minus thinking”; you are unconscious – you don’t know where you are, who you are, all consciousness has disappeared, you are at rest – and with the consciousness has disappeared thinking too, dreaming too.

These three are ordinary states: waking, dreaming, sleeping. We all know these three. The fourth is the state of meditation. The fourth is called samadhi, turya. It means” consciousness minus thinking”.

So four stages: consciousness plus thinking is waking, consciousness minus thinking is samadhi, unconsciousness plus thinking is dreaming, unconsciousness minus thinking is sleep.

So samadhi has something similar to waking and something similar to sleep; hence Patanjali has defined samadhi as “waking sleep” – sleep and yet not sleep. Sleep in the sense that there are no thoughts now, no dreams. And not sleep in the sense that you are perfectly aware, that the light of your awareness is there, that you are conscious, that you know that there is no knowledge now, that you are aware that all thinking has disappeared, that you are aware that now there is no dream lurking in your field of consciousness, that you are absolutely zero, shunyam.

This is the state that the East has been trying to achieve. The West has been too involved with science; hence it has missed religion. The East’s involvement is with samadhi: hence it has missed science.

These four states can be thought of in some other ways also. Consciousness plus thinking means waking. Science is a waking activity, so is philosophy, so is theology. Second, dreaming: unconsciousness plus thinking. That is what art is, poetry, painting, music. It is a dream activity, so it is not just accidental that we call the poets dreamers, that we call the artists dreamers, that we don’t trust them much – they are not reliable, they cannot be the guides to reality. We enjoy them, it is fun, but we cannot accept them as guides to reality – they are not. They live in fantasy. They dream while awake. Their eyes are full of dreams. So waking is science, philosophy, theology, logic; and art, all kinds of art, is dream activity.

Unconsciousness minus thinking means sleep. Of course all activity ceases in sleep, so nothing is born out of sleep – no science, no art.

Consciousness minus thinking is samadhi. Samadhi gives birth to religion. When Jesus attained to samadhi Christianity was born. When Nanak attained to samadhi Sikhism was born. When Buddha attained to samadhi Buddhism was born. Religion is born out of samadhi, the fourth state. What is samadhi? If you can stop your thinking and yet remain alert and don’t fall asleep. Difficult, arduous, one of the most difficult things, almost impossible. It is easy to be awake and thinking, it is easy not to think and fall asleep, but to remain awake and not think is the most difficult thing, because it is not part of evolution. It is a revolution. It is not given by nature automatically. You have to attain it.

That is the task man has to solve. That is the challenge given to man, and very few have accepted that challenge. And those who have accepted it, only they are man; others are man only for the name’s sake. We exist as potential man, not as actual man. It is our potentiality. We can become a Buddha or a Christ, but it has not happened yet. We are just seeds. That’s our misery because a seed can never be satisfied unless it becomes a tree and blooms. A seed will remain miserable because there is a feeling deep down that “I am not yet that which I am meant to be; my destiny is not fulfilled.”

Have you not observed this in you? If you had not observed it, you would not be here. You are here only because you feel something is missing. You are here only because you continuously feel that something has to happen and it is not happening, that something is just there by the corner and yet you cannot grasp it, seems to be not very far away, yet seems to be beyond reach. The tree is not very far away from the seed. If the seed finds the right soil, falls into the soil, relaxes, surrenders to the soil, dissolves into the soil, dies into the soil, then the tree is not very far away. In the right season the seed will sprout, a tender plant will be born, and the seed will be able to see the light.

Only when the seed has become a plant will it be able to feel the wind and the ecstasy that the wind is and be able to feel the sunrays and the ecstasy that the sun brings and be able to live and be able to accept the challenges and start growing. Come storm, come wind, come rains, and the small, tender plant will become stronger and stronger. Every challenge will give it strength and integration; and one day there will be a great tree whispering to the skies, it will bloom, and the fragrance will be released to the winds in all directions. Then there will be jubilation.

When Jesus says again and again to his children, to his disciples, “Rejoice!” what he is saying is true because he has become a tree and he has bloomed. But his disciples must have looked here and there, they must have thought, “What does he mean? Why does he go on saying again and again, ‘Rejoice’?” They are seeds; how can they rejoice?

When I say to you, “Celebrate!” you start thinking, “For what? Why? What have we got to celebrate?” You cannot celebrate because celebration is possible only when you bloom. I know it! But I go on saying, “Celebrate!” And Jesus knows it and he goes on saying, “Rejoice!” In fact, he wants to create such a thirst in you to know what this rejoicing is that out of that thirst you start seeking and searching for the right soil.

To find a right Master is to find a right soil because only through the Master will you be able to dissolve, only through the Master will you be able to surrender. A seed needs to surrender. A seed has to die; only then is there a new life born out of it. Death makes it possible. Death is tremendously beautiful: it makes it possible that a man can be new, a man can be reborn.

Samadhi is celebration, samadhi is rejoicing. Samadhi is your gratitude towards God, your thanksgiving.

How can you thank God right now? You have nothing to thank him for. You can complain, you cannot thank him; so your prayers are more of complaints, less of thanks. You cannot say, “Thank you.” How can you? For what? In fact, you are very angry with God. Why has he given birth to you? Why has he created so much misery? Why has he put you in such anguish and turmoil? Why in the first place? What wrong have you done? If suddenly you come across God you will jump upon him. That’s why he goes on hiding. You will kill him. You will say, “What have you been doing? For what are we suffering? What wrong have we done? Why did you make us in the first place? Not to be would have been better – no anxiety, no anguish. Not to be would have been more peaceful. Why did you create us?”

The whole existence seems to be mischievous. It seems as if somebody, a sadistic God, is sitting there, torturing people, creating a thousand and one ways to torture them.

Right now, you cannot thank him because right now you are not. When you are, you will be able to thank him. And the way to be goes through death, through surrender. And the way goes through silence. But it is not easy to be silent; it is the most arduous thing to be silent.

-Osho

From The First Principle, Discourse #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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Please Don’t Try and Watch Others – Osho

Sometimes as I watch people playing the same old games over and over, my eyes feel ancient and jaded and my heart weary and cynical. I guess it’s because I’m feeling more and more my own games and tricks and I hear your maddening voice between my ears saying, “That’s okay – just you have to accept and love yourself; and there is no problem.”

JUST????

I think if you say this word again, I will scream. Wasn’t I happier when I thought there was a goal?

The question is from Ma Deva Anando. It is significant. The question can be that of almost everybody who is present. Listen to it. It simply shows a situation that every seeker has to pass.

First, Anando says, “Sometimes as I watch people playing the same old games over and over, my eyes feel ancient and jaded and my heart weary and cynical.”

Please don’t try to watch others – that is none of your business. If they have decided to play the old games, if they want to play the old games, if they are happy in playing their old games, who are you to interfere? Who are you even to judge?

This constant hankering to judge others has to be dropped. It does not help others. It harms you; it only harms you. Why should you be bothered? That has nothing to do with you. It is others’ joy if they want to remain the old and they want to move in the same rut, in the same routine. Good! It is their life and they have every right to live it their own way.

Somehow we cannot allow others to have their own way. In some way or other we go on judging. Sometimes we say they are sinners, sometimes we say they are bound to go to hell, sometimes we say they are this and that – criminals. If all that has changed, now a new evaluation that they are playing old games and ’I am tired’. . . Why should you be tired of their games? Let them be tired of their games if they want; or if they don’t want, that too is their choice. Please don’t watch others.

Your whole energy has to be focused on yourself. Maybe you are condemning others for their old games just as a trick because you don’t want to condemn yourself. It always happens; it is a psychological trick: we project on others. A thief thinks everybody is a thief – that is very natural for him; that is a way to protect his ego. If he feels the whole world is bad, he feels good in comparison. A murderer thinks the whole world consists of murderers – that makes him feel good and at ease. It is convenient to think the whole world consists of murderers; then he can murder and there is no need to have any guilt feeling, there is no need to have any prick of conscience.

So we go on projecting on others whatsoever we don’t want to see in ourselves. Please stop that! If you are really tired of old games then this is the old game – the oldest. For many lives you have been playing it: projecting your defects onto others and then feeling good. And of course you have to exaggerate, you have to magnify. If you are a thief, you have to magnify others’ images, that they are greater thieves than you. Then you feel good; in comparison, you are a far better person.

That’s why people go on reading the newspapers. Newspapers help you very much. Early in the morning, before you have even taken your tea you are ready for the newspaper. And the newspaper brings nothing like news, because there is nothing new. It is the same old rotten thing. But you feel good: somewhere, somebody has been murdered, somewhere there has been a Watergate, and somewhere something else, and somewhere somebody has stolen, and somebody’s wife has escaped with somebody else . . . and so on and so forth. Watching all that, you relax; you feel, “So, I am not so bad – the whole world is going to the dogs. I am a far better person. I have not yet escaped with the wife of the neighbor. I have not killed anybody yet – although I think of it, but thinking is not a crime where people are actually doing things.” You feel good. And the moment you feel good, you remain the same.

Please don’t watch others. It is not going to help you. You use your energy, your observation, on yourself.

And there is something tremendously transforming in observation. If you observe yourself, things will start changing. If you start observing your anger, one day you will suddenly find the anger has no more energy the way it used to have; it is no more so fiery. Something has gone dead in it.

If you start watching yourself, you will see, by and by, the negative is dying and the positive is becoming more and more alive; that misery is disappearing and bliss is entering into your life; that you smile more, sometimes even for no reason; that a sense of humor is arising in you – if you start watching – that old depressed, long face is disappearing. A sense of humor is born. You start taking life more playfully, if you watch; seriousness becomes more and more irrelevant. More and more you become innocent, trusting, less and less doubtful.

I am not saying that your trust will always be respected. No, that is not the point. You may be deceived more, because when you are trusting you can be deceived more. But even when you are deceived, your trust will not be destroyed by it – in fact, it may even be enhanced. You may start thinking that even if you are deceived – somebody has taken a little money and deceived you – you will be able to see that you have saved the far more valuable thing, that is trust; and something almost valueless, the money, is gone.

You could have saved the money and the trust would have gone – that would have been a far greater loss, because nobody has ever been found to be happy just because of money. But because of trust, people have lived like gods on earth. Because of trust, people have enjoyed life so totally that they could feel grateful to God. Trust is a benediction. Money, at the most, can give you a little comfort, but no celebration. Trust may not give you much comfort, but will give you great celebration.

Now, to choose comfort against celebration is simply stupid – because that comfortable life will be nothing but a comfortable death. Conveniently you can live and conveniently you can die, but the real taste of life is possible only when you are celebrating at the optimum, at the maximum, when your torch is burning from both ends together. Maybe only for a single moment . . . but the intensity of it, but the totality of it, but the wholeness of it! And this happens only through observation. Observation is one of the greatest forces of transformation.

Start observing yourself. Don’t waste your energy for observation on others – that is a sheer wastage! And nobody will ever thank you for it; it is a thankless job. And whomsoever you observe will feel offended – because nobody likes to be observed; everybody wants to have a private life. Good or bad, stupid or wise, but everybody wants to have his own private life. And who are you to interfere? So don’t be a peeping tom, don’t go to people’s keyholes, and don’t watch. It is their life. If they want and if they love to play the old game, let them play!

So the first thing: please stop watching other people; turn the whole energy on yourself.

Second thing you say: “I guess it’s because I’m seeing more and more my own games and tricks and I hear your maddening voice between my ears saying, ‘That’s okay – just you have to accept and love yourself, and there is no problem.’”

I have to repeat it: There is no problem. I have never come across a real problem – not up to now. And I must have listened to thousands of people and their thousands of problems. I have not come across a real problem yet. And I don’t think that it is ever going to happen – because the real problem exists not. ‘Problem’ is a created thing. Situations are there: problems are not there. Problems are your interpretations of situations. The same situation may not be a problem to one person and may be a problem to somebody else.

So it depends on you whether you create a problem or you don’t create a problem but problems are not there. Problems are not in existence: they are in the psychology of man.

Just look next time you are having some trip and riding a problem just watch. Just stand aside and look at the problem. Is it really there? or have you created it? Look deeply into it, and you will suddenly see it is not increasing, it is decreasing; it is becoming smaller and smaller. The more you put your energy into observation, the smaller it becomes. And a moment comes when suddenly it is not there . . . and you will have a good laugh.

Whenever you are having a problem, just look at it. Problems are fictitious, they don’t exist. Just go around the problem, look from every angle – how can it be? It is a ghost! You wanted it, that’s why it is there. You asked for it, that’s why it is there. You invited it, that’s why it is there.

But people don’t like it if you say their problem is not a problem – they don’t like it. They feel very bad. If you listen to their problems, they feel very good. And if you say, “Yes, this is a great problem,” they are very happy. That’s why psychoanalysis has become one of the most important things of this century. The psychoanalyst helps nobody – maybe he helps himself, but he helps nobody else. He cannot. But still people go and pay. They enjoy – he accepts their problems; whatsoever absurd problem you bring to the psychoanalyst, he listens to it very sincerely and seriously, as if it is there. He takes it for granted that you are suffering greatly, and he starts working on it and analyzing it. And it takes years!

Even after years of psychoanalysis the problem is not solved-because in the first place the problem has never been there, so how can anybody solve it? But after years of psychoanalysis, you get tired; and you get finished with the old problem, you want some new problem now. So one day you suddenly say, “Yes, it is no more there, it is gone,” and you thank the psychoanalyst. But it is simply time that has helped, that has healed. It is not psychoanalysis. But there are people who would not like simply to wait and watch.

When you bring a mad person to a Zen monastery, they simply put him in a corner, in a small hut, far away from the monastery; they give him food and they tell him, “Just be there, quiet.” Nobody goes to talk to him; food is supplied, his comforts are looked after, but nobody bothers about him. And what psychoanalysis does in three years, they do in three weeks. Within three weeks the person simply comes out and he says, “Yes, the problem is finished.”

For three weeks you are left with your problem – how can you avoid seeing it? And no analysis is given, so there is no diversion; you are not distracted. The psychoanalyst distracts you! The problem may have died on its own within three weeks, but it will not die now because with the support of the psychoanalyst it will live for three years, or even more. It depends how rich you are. If you are rich enough, the problem can continue for your whole life. That means it depends how much you can afford.

Poor people don’t suffer from many problems. Rich people suffer they can afford to; they can enjoy the game of having great problems. The poor person cannot afford and cannot enjoy that game.

Next time you are having a problem, look into it, look hard into it. No need for any analysis; don’t analyze it, because analysis is a way of diversion. When you start analyzing, you don’t look at the problem. You start asking why? from where? how did it come? – in your childhood, your mother’s relationship with you, your father’s relationship with you. You have gone astray. Now you are not looking into the problem itself. Freudian psychoanalysis is really a mind-game and played with great expertise.

Don’t go into the causes! There is no need because there is no cause. Don’t go into the past; there is no need because that will be going away from the present problem. Look into it as a herenow thing, just enter into it. And don’t think about causes, reasons. Just watch the problem as it is.

And you will be surprised that looking hard into it, it starts dispersing. Go on looking into it and you will find it has gone.

Problems are not there. We create them – because we cannot live without problems. That is the only reason why we create them. To have a problem is to have an occupation. One feels good; something is there to do. When there is no problem you are left alone, empty – what to do next? All problems finished.

Just think: one day comes God and says, “No problems any more – finished! All problems gone.” What will you do? Just think of that day. People will be stuck; people will start getting very angry about God. They will say, “This is not a blessing! Now what are we supposed to do? No problems?” Then suddenly the energy is not moving anywhere; then you will feel stagnant. The problem is a way for you to move, to go on, to carry on, to hope, to desire, to dream. The problem gives so many possibilities to remain occupied.

And to be unoccupied, or to be capable of unoccupation, is what I call meditation: an unoccupied mind who enjoys a moment of unoccupation is a meditative mind.

 Start enjoying some unoccupied moments. Even if the problem is there – you feel it is there, I say it is not, but you feel it is there – put the problem aside and tell the problem, “Wait! Life is there, the whole life is there. I will solve you, but right now let me have a little space unoccupied by any problem.” Start having a few moments unoccupied, and once you have enjoyed them you will see the fact that problems are created by you because you were not capable of enjoying the unoccupied moments. So problems fill the gap.

Have you not watched yourself? Sitting in a room, if you have nothing to do you start feeling fidgety, you start feeling uncomfortable, you start feeling restless – you will turn the radio on, or you will turn the TV on, or you will start reading the same newspaper you have read three times since the morning. Or, if there is only one way, you will fall asleep so that you can create dreams and again remain occupied. Or you will start smoking. Have you watched it? Whenever you are not having anything to do, it becomes very difficult to be, just to be.

I will say again: There is no problem, Anando. Look into the fact of it that there is NO problem in life. If you want to have it, it is your pleasure – you enjoy with all my blessings but the truth is that there is no problem.

Life is not a problem at all – it is a mystery to be lived and enjoyed. Problems are created by you because you are afraid to enjoy life and you are afraid to live life. Problems give you a protection – against life, against joy, against love. You can say to yourself, “How can I enjoy? – I am having so many problems. How can I enjoy? I am having so many problems, how can I love a man or a woman? I am having so many problems, how can I dance and sing? – impossible!” You can find some reasons not to sing, not to dance. Your problems give you a great opportunity to avoid.

Look into the problems and you will find they are fictitious.

And even if you are having a problem and you feel it is real, I say it is okay. Why do I say it is okay? Because the moment you start feeling it is okay, it will disappear. The moment you say to a problem that it is okay; you have stopped giving energy to it. You have accepted it! The moment you accept a problem, it is no more a problem. A problem can be a problem only when you go on rejecting it, when you say it should not be so . . . and it is. Then the problem is strengthened.

That’s why I say it. People come to me with their big problems and I say, “It is okay, it is very good, you accept it.” And I say, “Just you have to accept and love yourself.” And I understand, Anando says, “It is very maddening, your voice continuously saying, “That’s okay . . . and there is no problem.”’

“JUST???!”

And Anando says, “I think if you say this word again I will scream.”

You have been screaming your whole life – whether you scream or not is not the point – you have been screaming your whole life. You have not done anything else up to now. Sometimes loudly, sometimes silently, but you have been screaming. That’s how I see people – screaming people, their heart is screaming, their being is screaming. But that will not help. You can scream but that will not help.

Try to understand rather than screaming. Try to see what I am telling you. And what I am telling you is not a theory – it is a fact. And I am saying it because I have known it that way. If it can happen to me that there is no problem, why cannot it happen to you? Take the challenge of it! I am just as ordinary a man as you are; I don’t claim any extraordinary miraculous powers.

I am very ordinary, just as you are. The only difference between me and you is you don’t say okay to yourself and I have said an absolute okay to myself – that is the only difference. You are continuously trying to improve yourself and I am not trying to improve myself. I have said: Incompletion is the way life is. You are trying to become perfect and I have accepted my imperfections. That is the only difference.

So I don’t have any problems. When you accept your imperfection, from where can the problem come? When whatsoever happens you say “It is okay,” then from where can the problem come? When you accept limitations, then from where can the problem come? The problem arises out of your non-acceptance. You cannot accept the way you are, hence the problem. And you will never accept the way you are, so the problem will always be there. Can you imagine yourself some day accepting, totally accepting the way you are? If you can imagine, then why don’t you do it right now? Why wait? For whom? For what?

I have accepted the way I am, and that very moment all problems disappeared. That very moment all worries disappeared. Not that I became perfect, but I started enjoying my imperfections. Nobody ever becomes perfect – because to become perfect means to become absolutely dead. Perfection is not possible because life is eternal. Perfection is not possible because life goes on and on and on – there is no end to it.

So the only way to get out of these so-called problems is to accept your life as you find it right this moment, and live it, enjoy, delight in it. The next moment will be of more joy because it will come out of this moment; and the next to that will be of even more joy because, by and by, you will become more and more joyous. Not that you will become joyous through improvement, but by living the moment.

But you will remain imperfect. You will always have limitations, and you will always have situations where, if you want to create problems, you can immediately create. If you don’t want to create problems, there is no need to create. You can scream but that won’t help. That’s what you have been doing – that has not helped.

Even primal therapy has not proved of much help. It allows people to scream – yes, it feels a little good, it is a tantrum therapy. It allows you to vomit. It feels a little good because you feel a little unloaded, unburdened, but then within a few days that euphoria disappears; again you are the same, again accumulating. Again, go to the primal therapy – you will feel good for a few days . . . again the same.

Unless you understand that one has to stop creating problems, you will go on creating problems. You can go into an encounter group, you can do primal therapy, you can do thousands of other groups, and after each group you will feel tremendously beautiful, because you dropped something that was on your head – but you have not dropped the mechanism that creates it.

You have dropped something which you were having, but you have not dropped the very factory that goes on creating it. Again you will create. It will not be of much use. It will give you a respite, a rest.

But if you really understand the thing, the thing is that you have to stop creating problems – otherwise you can go from one group to another group, from one psychoanalyst to another psychoanalyst, from one psychiatrist to another psychiatrist, from one therapy to another therapy . . . and everybody will give you a little respite, a little rest, and again you are doing the same thing.

My whole effort here is to cut the problem from the very roots. Please don’t create problems – they are not, they exist not.

And the last thing Anando says, “Wasn’t I happier when I thought there was a goal?”

Yes, you were happier and you were more miserable too – because your happiness was in the hope; it was not a true happiness. So I say you were happier and more miserable too. Miserable you were here in the present, and happy you were in the future – but how can you be in the future? The goal is in the future.

Unhappy you were here; happy you were there. ‘There’ exists not – it is all here. It is always here. Everywhere it is here! ‘There’ exists only in the dictionary. So it is with ‘then’. It is always now. ‘Then’ exists not. Yes, you were happier in your dreams of thinking of a goal, of thinking of a beautiful future. But why does a person think about a beautiful future? – because he is miserable in the present.

I don’t think about a beautiful future. I cannot conceive how it can be more beautiful! How can it be more beautiful than it is right now this moment? How is existence going to be more happy and joyous than it is this moment? Have a look – how can it be more happy, more joyful? But that’s a trick, again a trick of the mind: to avoid the present we go on thinking about the future so that we need not see the present. And the present is all there is.

So you are right – you were happier, happier in your dreams. Now I have shattered all your dreams. Happier in your hopes – now I am trying in every way to create the state of hopelessness, so there is no hope left. I am trying to bring you to the present. You have been wandering in the future; I am pulling you back to herenow. It is hard work. And to take goals away one feels very angry.

You are sometimes very angry with me. I have taken your hope, your dreams, or I am trying, you are clinging to them; you are so addicted to your hope that you even start hoping through me.

You start hoping through me: “Osho will do this.” This man is not going to do anything. You start hoping that “Now I am with Osho so there is no need to be afraid. Sooner or later I am going to become Enlightened.” Forget all about it! Enlightenment is not a hope! It is not a desire and it is not in the future. If you start living right this moment, you are Enlightened. I am trying to make you Enlightened every day, and you say, “Tomorrow.” Then as you will . . . but tomorrow it will never happen. Either it is now or never!

Become Enlightened right now! And you can become because you are . . . simply deluded, simply thinking that you are not.

So don’t ask how. The moment you ask the how, you start hoping. So d0n’t ask the how, and don’t say, “Yes, we will become.” I am not saying that. I am saying you are.

The goose is out. The goose has never been in. One just has to be alert in the moment. Just a single moment of alertness, a shock, and you are free.

Every day I am trying to make you Enlightened, because I know you are Enlightened. But if you want to go on playing the game of samsara, you can go on playing.

Happier, certainly, you were – and miserable too. I have taken your happiness because you cannot hope any more. If you allow me a little more, I will take your misery too. But first the happiness has to go, because misery exists as a shadow to the hope of happiness. So first the hope of happiness has to go, only then will the shadow go.

So you can scream if you want to scream, but I will repeat a thousand and one times: Anando, there is no problem. Just you have to accept and love yourself – yes, JUST.

-Osho

From The Tantra Vision, V.1, Discourse #2, Q3

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Surrender is Understanding – Osho

My surrender is goal-oriented. I’m surrendering in order to win freedom, so it is not real surrender at all. I’m watching it, but the problem is: it is always “I” who is watching. Therefore, every realization out of that watching is reinforcement of the ego. I feel tricked by my ego.

You have not understood what surrender is.

The first thing to remember about surrender is: you cannot do it; it is not a doing. You can prevent it from happening, but you cannot manage for it to happen. Your power about surrender is only negative: you can prevent it, but you cannot bring it.

Surrender is not something that you can do. If you do it, it is not surrender, because the doer is there. Surrender is a great understanding that, “I am not.” Surrender is an insight that the ego exists not, that, “I am not separate.” Surrender is not an act but an understanding.

In the first place you are false, the separation is false. Not for a single moment can you exist separate from the universe. The tree cannot exist if uprooted from the earth. The tree cannot exist if the sun disappears tomorrow. The tree cannot exist if no water is coming to its roots. The tree cannot exist if it cannot breathe. The tree is rooted in all the five elements – what Buddhists call skandhas, the five groups we were talking about the other day. Avalokita . . . when Buddha came to the transcendental vision, when he passed through all the stages, when he passed through all the rungs of the ladder and came to the seventh – from there he looked down, looked back – what did he see? He saw only five heaps with nothing substantial in them, just emptiness, shunyata.

The tree cannot exist if these five elements are not constantly pouring energy into it. The tree is just a combination of these five elements. If the tree starts thinking, “I am,” then there is going to be misery for the tree. The tree will create a hell for itself. But trees are not so foolish, they don’t carry any mind. They are there, and if tomorrow they disappear, they simply disappear. They don’t cling; there is nobody to cling. The tree is constantly surrendered to existence. By surrendered it means it is never separate, it has not come to that stupid idea of the ego. And so are the birds, so are the mountains, so are the stars. It is only man who has turned his great opportunity of being conscious into being self-conscious. Man has consciousness. If consciousness grows, it can bring you the greatest bliss possible. But if something goes wrong and consciousness turns sour and becomes self-consciousness, then it creates hell, then it creates misery. Both alternatives are always open; it is for you to choose.

The first thing to be understood about ego is that it exists not. Nobody exists in separation.

You are as much one with the universe as I am, as Buddha is, as Jesus is. I know it, you don’t know it; the difference is only of recognition. The difference is not existential, not at all! So you have to look into this stupid idea of separation. Now if you start trying to surrender you are still carrying the idea of separation. Now you are thinking, “I will surrender, now I am going to surrender” – but you think you are.

Looking into the very idea of separation, one day you find that you are not separate, so how can you surrender? There is nobody to surrender! There has never been anybody to surrender! The surrenderer is not there, not at all – never found anywhere. If you go into yourself you will not find the surrenderer anywhere. In that moment is surrender. When the surrenderer is not found, in that moment is surrender. You cannot do it. If you do it, it is a false thing. Out of falsity only falsity arises. You are false, so whatsoever you do will be false, more false. And one falsity leads to another, and so on and so forth. And the fundamental falsity is the ego, the idea, “I am separate.”

You ask: “My surrender is goal-oriented.”

The ego is always goal-oriented. It is always greedy; it is always grabbing. It is always searching for more and more and more; it lives in the more. If you have money it wants to have more money; if you have a house it wants to have a bigger house; if you have a woman it wants to have a beautiful woman, but it always wants more. The ego is constantly hungry. It lives in the future and in the past. In the past it lives as a hoarder – “I have this and this and this.” It gets a great satisfaction: “I have got something” – power, prestige, money. It gives a kind of reality to it. It gives the notion that, “When I have these things, I must be there.” And it lives in the future with the idea of more. It lives as memory and as desire.

What is a goal? A desire: “I have to reach there, I have to be that, I have to attain.” The ego does not, cannot live in the present, because the present is real and the ego is false – they never meet. The past is false, it is no more. Once it was, but when it was present, ego was not there. Once it has disappeared, is no longer existential, ego starts grabbing it, accumulating it.

It grabs and accumulates dead things. The ego is a graveyard: it collects corpses, dead bones.

Or, it lives in the future. Again, the future is not yet – it is imagination, fantasy, dream.

Ego can live with that too, very easily; falsities go together perfectly well, smoothly well.

Bring anything existential and the ego disappears. Hence the insistence of being in the present, being here-now. Just this moment… If you are intelligent there is no need to think about what I am saying; you can simply see into it this very moment! Where is the ego? There is silence, and there is no past, and there is no future, only this moment . . . and this dog barking. This moment, and you are not. Let this moment be, and you are not. And there is immense silence, there is profound silence, within and without. And then there is no need to surrender because you know you are not. Knowing that you are not is surrender.

It is not a question of surrendering to me, it is not a question of surrendering to God. It is not a question of surrendering at all. Surrendering is an insight, an understanding that, “I am not.” Seeing, “I am not, I am a nothingness, emptiness,” surrender grows. The flower of surrender grows on the tree of emptiness. It cannot be goal-oriented.

The ego is goal-oriented. The ego is hankering for the future. It can hanker even for the other life, it can hanker for heaven, it can hanker for nirvana. It doesn’t matter what it hankers for – hankering is what it is, desiring is what it is, projecting into the future is what it is.

See it! See into it! I’m not saying think about it. If you think about it you miss. Thinking again means past and future. Have a look into it – avalokita! – look into it. The English word look comes from the same root as avalokita. Look into it, and do it right now. Don’t say to yourself, “Okay, I will go home and do it.” The ego has entered, the goal has come, the future has entered. Whenever time enters you are falling into that falsity of separation.

Let it be here, this very moment. And then you suddenly see you are, and you are not going anywhere, and you are not coming from anywhere. You have always been here. Here is the only time, the only space. Now is the only existence. In that now, there is surrender. “My surrender is goal-oriented,” you say; “I’m surrendering in order to win freedom.”

But you are free! You have never been unfree. You are free, but again there is the same problem: you want to be free, but you don’t understand that you can be free only when you are free from yourself – there is no other freedom. When you think about freedom, you think as if you will be there and free. You will not be there; there will be freedom. Freedom means freedom from the self, not freedom of the self. The moment the prison disappears the prisoner also disappears, because the prisoner is the prison! The moment you come out of the prison, you also are not. There is pure sky, pure space. That pure space is called nirvana, moksha, liberation.

Try to understand rather than trying to achieve.

“I am surrendering in order to win freedom.”

Then you are using surrender as a means, and surrender is the goal, is the end unto itself. When I say surrender is the goal, I’m not saying that surrender has to be achieved somewhere in the future. I’m saying that surrender is not a means, it is an end unto itself. It is not that surrender brings freedom, surrender is freedom! They are synonymous, they mean the same thing. You are looking at the same thing from two different angles.

“So it is not real surrender at all.”

It is neither real nor unreal. It is not surrender at all. It is not even unreal.

“I am watching it, but the problem is it is always ‘I’ who is watching. Therefore every realization out of that watching is a reinforcement of the ego. I feel tricked by my ego.”

Who is this ‘I’ you are talking about who feels tricked by the ego? It is the ego itself. The ego is such that it can divide itself into fragments, into parts, and then the game starts. You are the chaser and you are the chased. It is like a dog trying to catch hold of its own tail, and goes on jumping. And you look and you see the absurdity of it – but you see the absurdity, the dog cannot see it. The more he finds it is difficult to catch hold of the tail, the more he becomes crazy, the more he jumps. And the faster and the bigger the jump, the more the tail jumps faster and bigger also. And the dog cannot conceive what is happening: he’s such a great catcher of everything, and this ordinary tail, and he cannot catch hold of it?

This is what is happening to you. It is ‘I’ who is trying to catch, and who is the catcher and the caught both. See the ridiculousness of it, and in that very seeing be free of it.

There is not a thing to be done – not a thing, I say, because you are already that which you want to become. You are Buddhas, you have never been otherwise. Seeing is enough.

And when you say that, “I am watching,” it is again the ‘I’. Watching, the ‘I’ will be created again, because watching again is an act, there is effort involved. You are watching – then who is watching? Relax. In relaxation – when there is nothing to be watched and nobody as a watcher, when you are not divided into a duality – there arises a different quality of witnessing. It is not a watching, it is just passive awareness; passive, I say – remember. It has nothing aggressive in it. Watching is very aggressive: effort is needed, you have to be tense. But be non-tense, relaxed. Just be there. In that consciousness when you are simply there, sitting doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

That is the whole Buddhist approach: that anything that you do will create and enhance the doer – watching also, thinking also, surrendering also. Anything that you do will create the trap. Nothing is needed to be done on your part. Just be . . . and let things happen. Don’t try to manage, don’t try to manipulate. Let the breeze pass, let the sunrays come, let life dance, and let death come and have its dance into you too.

This is my meaning of sannyas: it is not something that you do, but when you drop all doing and you see the absurdity of doing. Who are you to do? You are just a wave in this ocean. One day you are, another day you will disappear; the ocean continues. Why should you be so worried? You come; you disappear. Meanwhile, for this small interval, you become so worried and tense, and you take all the burdens on your shoulders, and you carry rocks on your heart – for no reason at all.

You are free this very moment!

I declare you enlightened in this very moment. But you don’t trust me. You say, “That’s right, Osho, but just tell us how to become enlightened.”

That becoming, that achieving, that desiring, goes on jumping on every object that you can find. Sometimes it is money, sometimes it is God. Sometimes it is power, sometimes it is meditation – but any object, and you start grabbing it. Non-grabbing is the way to live the real life, the true life, non-grasping, non-possessing.

Let things happen, let life be a happening, and there is joy, there is rejoicing – because then there is no frustration, ever, because you had never expected anything in the first place. Whatsoever comes is good, is welcome. There is no failure, no success. That game of failure and success has been dropped. The sun comes in the morning and wakes you, and the moon comes in the evening and sings a lullaby and you go to sleep. Hunger comes and you eat, and so on and so forth. That’s what Zen masters mean when they say: When hungry, eat, when sleepy, sleep, and there is nothing else to do.

And I’m not teaching you inaction. I’m not saying don’t go and work, I’m not saying don’t earn your bread, I’m not saying renounce the world and depend on others and become exploiters; no, not at all. But don’t be a doer. Yes, when you are hungry you have to eat, and when you have to eat you have to earn the bread – but there is nobody doing it. It is hunger itself that is working; there is nobody else doing it. It is thirst itself that is taking you towards the well or towards the river. It is thirst itself moving; there is nobody who is thirsty. Drop nouns and pronouns in your life and let verbs live.

Buddha says: The truth is that when you see a dancer, there is no dancer but only a dance. When you see a river, there is no river but only rivering. When you see a tree, there is no tree but only treeing. When you see a smile, there is nobody who is smiling, there is only smile, smiling. When you see love, there is nobody who is a lover but only loving. Life is a process.

But we are accustomed to thinking in terms of static nouns. That creates trouble. And there is nothing static – all is flux and flowing. Flow with this, flow with this river, and never be a doer. Even when you are doing don’t be a doer. There is doing but there is no doer. Once this insight settles in you there is nothing else.

Enlightenment is not something like a goal that has to be attained. It is the very ordinary life, this simple life that surrounds you. But when you are not struggling, this ordinary life becomes extraordinarily beautiful. Then trees are greener, then birds sing in richer tones, then everything that is happening around is precious . . . then ordinary pebbles are diamonds.

Accept this simple, ordinary life. Just drop the doer. And when I say drop the doer, don’t become a dropper! Seeing into the reality of it, it disappears.

-Osho

From The Heart Sutra, Discourse #2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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Without any Breaks – Annamalai Swami

Q: Are there no breaks at all in the jnani’s awareness of the Self? For example, if he is engrossed in reading a good book, will his full attention ‘be always on the book? Will he simultaneously be aware that he is the Self?

AS: If there are breaks in his Self-awareness this means that he is not yet a jnani. Before one becomes established in this state without any breaks, without changes, one has to contact and enjoy this state many times. By steady meditation it finally becomes permanent.

It is very difficult to attain Self-abidance, but once it is attained it is retained effortlessly and never lost. It is a little like putting a rocket into space. A great effort and great energy are required to escape the earth’s gravitational field. If the rocket is not going fast enough, gravity will pull it back to earth. But once it has escaped the pull of gravity it can stay out in space quite effortlessly without falling back to earth…

-Annamalai Swami

From Living by the Words of Bhagavan, p. 284

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