Whole Life is Yoga – Osho

Sri Aurobindo says somewhere that the whole life is yoga – and it is so. Everything can become a meditation. And unless everything becomes a meditation, meditation has not happened to you.

Meditation cannot be a part, a fragment. Either it is – and when it is you are wholly in it – or it is not. You cannot make a part of your life meditative. That is impossible, and that is what is being tried everywhere.

You can become meditative, not a part of you; that is impossible because meditation is a quality of your being. It is just like breathing: you go on breathing whatsoever you are doing. Irrelevant of what you are doing, you go on breathing. Walking, sitting, lying, sleeping, you continue breathing. You cannot arrange it in such a way that sometimes you breathe and sometimes you don’t breathe. It is a continuum.

Meditation is an inner breathing, and when I say “an inner breathing,” I mean it literally; it is not a metaphor. Just as you are breathing air you can breathe consciousness, and once you start breathing consciousness in and out you are no more just a physical body. And with that start, beginning with a higher breathing – a breathing of consciousness, of life itself, as it were – you enter a different realm, a different dimension. That dimension is metaphysics.

Your breathing is physical; meditation is metaphysical. So you cannot make a part of your life meditative. You cannot meditate in the morning and then forget it. You cannot go to a temple or to a church and meditate there and come out of your meditation as you come out of the temple. That is not possible, and if you try it you will be trying a false thing. You can enter a church and you come out of it, but you cannot enter meditation and come out of it. When you enter, you have entered.

Wherever you go, now meditation will be you. This is one of the basic, primary, elemental facts to be remembered always. Secondly, you can enter meditation from anywhere because the whole life is in a deep meditation.

The hills are meditating, the stars are meditating, the flowers, the trees, the elements are meditating, the very earth is meditating. The whole life is meditating, and you can enter it from anywhere; anything can become an entrance. This has been used. That is why there are so many techniques; that is why there are so many religions; that is why one religion cannot understand another – because their entrances are different. And sometimes there are religions which are not known even by the name of religion. You will not recognize certain persons as religious because their entrance is so different.

For example, a poet. A poet can enter meditation without going to any teacher, without going to any temple, without in any way being religious, so-called religious. His poetry, his creativity, can become an entrance; he can enter through it. Or a potter who is just creating earthen pots can enter meditation just by creating earthen pots. The very craft can become an entry. Or an archer can become meditative through his archery, or a gardener, or anyone can enter from anywhere.

Whatsoever you can do can become a door. If the quality of awareness changes while you are doing something, it becomes a technique. So there can be as many techniques as you can imagine.

Any act can become a door. So the act, the technique, the way, the method, is not primary, but the quality of consciousness that you bring to the act is the basic thing.

Kabir, one of India’s greatest mystics, was a weaver, and he remained a weaver even when he attained. He had thousands and thousands of disciples, and they would come and they would tell him, “Now stop your weaving. You don’t need it. We are here and we will serve you in every way.” Kabir would laugh and he would say, “This weaving is not just weaving. I am making clothes – that is the outer act – but something goes on within me simultaneously that you cannot see. This is my meditation.” How can a weaver be a meditator through weaving? If the quality of the mind that you bring to weaving is meditative, then the act is not relevant; it is irrelevant.

Another mystic was a potter; his name was Gora. He worked on earthen pots, and he would dance and he would sing while he was making his pots. While he was making a pot on the wheel, as the pot would center on the wheel he would also center within himself. One would see only one thing: the wheel was moving, the earthen pot was emerging and he was centering the earthen pot. You were seeing only one centering. Another centering was happening simultaneously: he was also being centered. While centering the pot, while helping the pot to emerge, he was also emerging in the unseen world of inner consciousness. When the pot was created, that was not the real thing he was working on; he was also creating himself.

Any act can become meditative, and once you know how an act becomes meditative you can transform all your acts into meditation. Then the whole life becomes yoga. Walking on the street or working in the office or just sitting and not doing anything – just idling, or anything – can become meditation. So remember, meditation doesn’t belong to the act; it belongs to the quality you bring to the act.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Chapter 39

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He is the Breath Inside the Breath – Osho

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

He is the breath inside the breath.’

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

He is the breath inside the breath. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-OSHO

From The Revolution, Chapter Three

The Revolution

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

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And Being IS Meditation – Osho

I thought that meditation was a simple thing. But seeing people doing Vipassana, I am losing all hope of ever becoming a successful meditator. Please give me a little encouragement.

Meditation is simple. Precisely because it is simple, it looks difficult. Your mind is accustomed to dealing with difficult problems, and it has completely forgotten how to respond to the simple things of life. The more simple a thing is, the more difficult it looks to the mind, because the mind is very efficient in solving difficult things. It has been trained to solve difficult things; it does not know how to tackle the simple. Meditation is simple, your mind is complex. It is not a problem that meditation is creating. The problem is coming from your mind, not from meditation.

Vipassana is the most simple meditation in the world. It is through Vipassana that Buddha became enlightened, and it is through Vipassana that many more people have become enlightened than through any other method. Vipassana is the method. Yes, there are other methods also, but they have helped only very few people. Vipassana has helped thousands, and it is really very simple; is not like yoga.

Yoga is difficult, arduous, complex. You have to torture yourself in many ways: distort your body, contort your body, sit this way and that, torture, stand on your head – exercises and exercises…but yoga seems to be very appealing to people.

Vipassana is so simple that you don’t take any note of it. In fact, coming across Vipassana for the first time, one doubts whether it can be called a meditation at all. What is it? – no physical exercise, no breathing exercise; a very simple phenomenon: just watching your breath coming in, going out…finished, this is the method; sitting silently, watching your breath coming in, going out; not losing track, that’s all. Not that you have to change your breathing – it is not pranayam; it is not a breathing exercise where you have to take deep breaths, exhale, inhale, no. Let the breathing be simple, as it is. You just have to bring one new quality to it: awareness.

The breath goes out, watch; the breath comes in, watch. You will become aware: the breath touching your nostrils at one point, you will become aware. You can concentrate there: the breath comes in, you feel the touch of the breath on the nostrils; then it goes out, you feel the touch again. Remain there at the tip of the nose. It is not that you have to concentrate at the tip of the nose; you have just to be alert, aware, watchful. It is not concentration. Don’t miss, just go on remembering. In the beginning you will miss again and again; then bring yourself back If it is difficult for you – for a few people it is difficult to watch it there – then they can watch the breath in the belly. When the breath goes in, the belly goes up; when the breath goes out, the belly goes in. You go on watching your belly. If you have a really good belly, it will help.

Have you watched? If you see Indian statues of Buddha, those statues don’t have real bellies – in fact, no belly at all. Buddha looks a perfect athlete: chest coming out, belly in. But if you see a Japanese statue of Buddha you will be surprised: it does not look buddhalike at all – a big belly, so big that you cannot see the chest at all, almost as if Buddha is pregnant, all belly. The reason why this change happened is that in India, while Buddha was alive, he himself was watching the breath at the nose, hence the belly was not important at all. But as Vipassana moved from India to Tibet to China to Korea to Burma to Japan, slowly, slowly people became aware that it is easier to watch in the belly than at the nose. Then Buddha statues started becoming different, with bigger bellies.

You can watch either at the belly or at the nose, whichever feels right for you or whichever feels easier for you. That it be easier is the point. And just watching the breath, miracles happen.

Meditation is not difficult. It is simple. Precisely because it is simple you are feeling the difficulty. You would like to do many things, and there is nothing to do; that is the problem. It is a great problem, because we have been taught to do things. We ask what should be done, and meditation means a state of non-doing: you have not to do anything, you have to stop doing. You have to be in a state of utter inaction. Even thinking is a kind of doing – drop that too. Feeling is a kind of doing – drop that too. Doing, thinking, feeling – all gone, you simply are. That is being. And being is meditation. It is very simple.

In your mother’s womb you were in the same space. In Vipassana you will be entering again into the same space. And you will remember, you will have a déjà vu. When you enter into deep Vipassana, you will be surprised that you know it, you have known it before. You will recognize it immediately because for nine months in your mother’s womb you were in the same space, doing nothing, just being.

You ask me, “I thought that meditation was a simple thing, but seeing people doing Vipassana I am losing all hope of ever becoming a successful meditator.”

Never think about meditation in terms of success, because that is bringing your achieving mind into it, the egoistic mind into it. Then meditation becomes your ego trip. Don’t think in terms of success or failure. Those terms are not applicable in the world of meditation. Forget all about that. Those are mind terms; they are comparative. And that’s the problem: you must be watching others succeeding, reaching, ecstatic, and you will be feeling very low. You will be feeling silly, sitting and looking at your breath, watching your breath. You must be looking very silly and nothing is happening. Nothing is happening because you are expecting something to happen too much.

-Osho

From The Guest, Chapter Fifteen

The Guest

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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The Eternity of Your Being – Osho

What does it mean when you say, “Just be yourself”? How can I be myself when I don’t know who I am? I know many of my preferences, likings, disliking and tendencies, which seem to be the outcome of a programmed biocomputer called the mind. Does just being oneself mean that one totally lives out the whole content of the mind as watchfully as possible?

Yes, it exactly means that—to live as an awareness: awareness of all the programs the mind has been conditioned for, awareness of all the impulses, desires, memories, imaginations… all that the mind can do.

One has to be not part of it, but separate—seeing it but not being it—watching it. And this is one of the most essential things to remember, that you cannot watch your watchfulness. If you watch your watchfulness, then the watcher is you, not the watched. So you cannot go beyond watchfulness. The point that you cannot transcend is your being. The point that you cannot go beyond is you. You can watch very easily any thought, any emotion, any sentiment. Just one thing you cannot watch—and that is your watchfulness. And if you manage to watch it, that means you have shifted: the first watchfulness has become just a thought; now you are the second watcher.

You can go on shifting back, but you cannot get out of watchfulness because it is you: you cannot be otherwise.

So when I say, “Just be yourself,” I am saying to you, “Just be unprogrammed, unconditioned awareness.” That’s how you had come into the world, and that’s how the enlightened person leaves the world. He lives in the world but remains totally separate.

One of the great mystics, Kabir, has a beautiful poem about it. All his poems are just perfect—nothing can be better. One of his poems says, “I will give back the soul that was given to me at the time of my birth as pure, as clean, as it was given to me. I will give it back that way when I die.” He is talking about awareness, that it has remained unpolluted. The whole world was there to pollute it, but he has remained watchful.

All that you need is just to be watchful, and nothing will affect you. This unaffectedness will keep your purity, and this purity has certainly the freshness of life, the joy of existence—all the treasures that you have been endowed with.

But you become attached to the small things surrounding you and forget the one that you are. It is the greatest discovery in life and the most ecstatic pilgrimage to truth. And you need not be an ascetic, you need not be anti-life; you need not renounce the world and go to the mountains. You can be where you are, you can continue to do what you are doing. Just a new thing has to be evolved: whatever you do, you do with awareness—even the smallest act of the body or the mind—and with each act of awareness you will become aware of the beauty and the treasure and the glory and the eternity of your being.

-Osho

From Beyond Psychology, Chapter 22

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Flowering, Awakening, Self-realization and Enlightenment – Osho

A short time ago you said that spring has come and many sannyasins are ready to flower. Do “flowering,” “awakening” and “self-realization” all mean enlightenment, the ultimate truth? Or is there a difference? And can a person, after attaining, fall back into identification with the mind?

Mukto, there is a difference between flowering, awakening, self-realization, and enlightenment. Enlightenment is the ultimate truth—the seeker disappears but the truth is found. The pilgrim disappears but God is found. It is important to understand the differences…

From enlightenment there is no possibility of falling back, because you are no longer there to fall back. As long as you are, there is a possibility.

Only your absence is the guarantee that you cannot fall back.

Flowering is just the beginning of entering within yourself—just as you enter into a garden. It is immensely important, because without entering you are never going to reach to the center. But in flowering, for the first time you recognize your potential, your possibility. In flowering is the transition period, from human to divine. But one can fall back, because the flowering is so new and so fragile and your past is so old and so strong—it can pull you back; it is still there.

Awakening is getting very close to your center. And as you get closer to the center, falling back becomes more and more difficult because your new experience is gathering power, strength, experience, and the old is losing. But the old is still there; it has not disappeared. Ordinarily people don’t fall from awakening, but the possibility remains: one can fall.

Self-realization is reaching to your center. Many religions have believed that self-realization is the end—for example, Jainism—you have come to your ultimate truth. It is not true. Self-realization is only a dewdrop which has become aware, alert, contented, fulfilled. It is almost impossible to fall back from self-realization—but I am saying almost impossible, not absolutely impossible, because the self can deceive you; it can bring your ego back.

The self and the ego are very similar. The self is the natural thing and the ego is the synthetic, so it happens sometimes that a self-realized man becomes a pious egoist. His egoism is not going to harm anyone, but it certainly prevents him from dropping into the ocean and disappearing completely.

Enlightenment is the dewdrop slipping from the lotus leaf into the vast, infinite ocean. Once the dewdrop has fallen into the ocean, now there is no way even to find it. The question of turning back does not arise.

Enlightenment, hence, is the ultimate truth. What begins as flowering moves on the path of awakening, reaches to self-realization. Then one quantum leap more—disappearing into the eternal, into the infinite.

You are no more, only existence is.

I have told you about Kabir, India’s greatest mystic. When he was young, he became self-realized and he wrote a small couplet:

Herat, herat he sakhi
Rahya, Kabir, herai

“Searching and searching and searching, oh my friend, the searcher is lost. Seeking and seeking and seeking, the seeker is lost.”

Bund samani samund mein
Sokat herijai

“The dewdrop has slipped into the ocean; now there is no way to get it back.”

But it was too early to say that. The dewdrop was still there, slipping towards the ocean, but it had not yet fallen into the ocean.

When Kabir was dying, he became enlightened. He called his son Kamaal and told him, “I have written something wrong. At that moment, that was my feeling—that I had come to the ultimate. Before I die, you write this down, and change it.”

The change is very small in words, but in experience it is tremendous. He has used again the same words:

Herat, herat he sakhi
“Oh beloved, seeking and searching, the seeker is lost.”

Samund samund bund mein
Sokat herijai
“And the ocean has fallen into the dewdrop; now it is impossible to find it.”

Just a little difference in the words… “The dewdrop has fallen into the ocean” – something of the self has remained in it. But “the ocean has fallen into the dewdrop”… that is the tremendous experience and explosion of enlightenment. The first statement was about self-realization; the second statement is about enlightenment.

From enlightenment, falling is simply impossible. You are gone—and gone forever; not even a shadow or a trace of you is left behind.

Up to self-realization the possibility remains—it becomes less and less, but it remains.

You can start being egoistic about your self-realization: “I have known, I am a realized person.

I am a saint, I have encountered God’—but that “I” is there, howsoever pious. Even its shadow is dangerous; it can pull you back.

I have heard a very beautiful story about Jesus…

Jesus was walking through Jerusalem when he saw an angry crowd shouting and screaming at a woman. He came closer and heard the mob accusing the woman of adultery. Jesus strode to the front of the mob, held up his arms and said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

The crowd fell silent, but one little old lady pushed to the front, picked up a huge rock, and hurled it at the sobbing woman. Jesus gently took the old lady by the arm and said quietly,

“Mother, why do you always embarrass me?”

Jesus’ mother! She is a virtuous woman—so virtuous that she has given birth to Jesus without any contact with another human being. She stands alone in the whole of history with the claim—even after the birth of the son, of being the VIRGIN Mary. That idea must have got into the old woman’s mind too much. Her virtue, her piousness—God has chosen her to be the mother of His only begotten son-has become a subtle ego in her. The others were not pious. The moment Jesus said, “The first stone has to be hurled by one who is virtuous,” the mob stopped. They were all in the same boat.

And you can see it in your saints… a strange but very subtle ego. Spirituality has become their achievement. Somebody has all the riches of the world, somebody is the most beautiful person, somebody is the strongest, and somebody is the most pious. The question is not what it is by which the ego can get nourished—any idea can make you fall.

One has not to stop until he has reached the point when he is not: when there is no claimer, when one has moved the full circle and has come back to the world, just nobody. Perhaps people may not recognize him as a great saint… and this is my understanding, that the greatest of saints have remained unrecognized, because you understand only the language of the ego. You don’t understand the language of egolessness.

The greatest sage will appear to you just an ordinary man, nothing special, with no claim for any talent, for any possession, for any power, for any genius, for any knowledge – no claim at all. He has become absolutely a zero. But the zero is not negative, it is full of godliness, overflowing with godliness.

-OSHO

From The Hidden Splendor, chapter 16

The Hidden Splendor

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An 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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