What is Surrender? – Osho

What is surrender? I used to think I knew. Now it is a mystery.

Prem Prabhat, the false knowledge de-mystifies existence; the true knowledge re-mystifies it. Knowing, if authentic, makes life more of a mystery than it has ever been before. Knowledge certainly covers your eyes with dark clouds, creates a wall of thick smoke, and you start feeling you know. In fact, you are going deeper into ignorance. To be knowledgeable is to be more ignorant than even the ignorant ones.

The Upanishads have a tremendously significant statement. They say: The ignorant man is lost in darkness, but the knowledgeable is lost in deeper darkness than the ignorant – because the knowledgeable lives in an “as if” world. He thinks he knows, but he knows not. He only believes; he has not seen. He believes in God, he believes in love, he believes in surrender, but belief is always a cover-up. Your wound is covered, but it is not healed that way. In fact, the more you cover it, the less is the possibility of its ever being healed. Expose it to the sun, to the wind, to the rain – expose it to the healing forces that surround you.

Mahavira standing naked under the sky is simply saying, making a silent statement: “Be naked! Drop all your clothes! Don’t hide! ” And we are not only wearing clothes on the body – they are not that important – we are wearing clothes and clothes, layers and layers of knowledge, which are really hiding our truth from ourselves.

To be really naked before God is to know, but that knowing is totally different from knowledge. It is closer to feeling than to knowledge. It is closer to love than to logic. It is closer to experiencing than to believing. It is existential.

The blind man believes in light; the man of eyes sees it. And when there is seeing, no question of believing arises only the blind believe; the seers have no need to believe – they know! But to know life is to know that it is unknowable. To know life is to know that it is an unfathomable mystery, immeasurable.

The word “matter” means the measurable; it comes from ”measure.” Science is wrong because it thinks that life can be measured, fathomed, de-mystified. Knowledge believes that life can be divided into two departments: the known and the unknown. That which is known today was unknown yesterday; that which is unknown today will become known tomorrow. The unknown will go on receding; the unknown will go on disappearing. The known will go on becoming bigger and bigger, and one day all will be known.

The Buddhas, the awakened ones, have divided life into three planes: the known, the unknown and the unknowable. The known and the unknown are not different, not very different. They belong to the same category: they are measurable. That is the world of matter. The unknowable is the world of life, consciousness, love, light, truth, God.

It is beautiful, Prem Prabhat, that you say: What is surrender? I used to think I knew. Now it is a mystery.

This is the beginning of real knowing, when all life becomes a mystery, when you come to a state of not knowing at all – agnosia in the words of Dionysius…. Or remember the words of Socrates: I know only one thing, that I know nothing. Or the words of the Upanishads; the Upanishads say: The person who thinks he knows, knows not; the person who knows he knows not, knows.

To enter into the unknowable is the greatest adventure, the greatest ecstasy, but one feels afraid; one feels that one is losing something. You can lose only that which you have not got. Let me repeat. You can lose only that which you have not got. You can never lose that which you have got; there is no way to lose it, that which you have got. If your knowledge has disappeared, that simply means it was not real knowing.

Now is the beginning – Athato Brahma Jigyasa – now begins the enquiry into God.

Surrender is the quantum leap from mind to no-mind, from ego to egolessness. And in a single step the whole journey is contained. It is not a long journey from you to God, it is a single-step journey. It is not a gradual phenomenon; it is not that slowly, slowly, gradually you come to the divine. It is a quantum leap! One moment you were in darkness and the next moment all is light. All that is needed is to put the ego aside.

Zusya, the great Hassid mystic, was dying. His old uncle came to see him and said, “Zusya, have you made peace with God?”

Zusya opened his eyes, laughed, and said, “How many times have I said to you that I have never been in conflict with him? I have never fought with him, so why should I make peace with him? For what? There is no reason for it! I have always been at peace with him.”

Nobody had ever seen him praying – there was no need for him to pray. Nobody had ever seen him going to the synagogue – there was no need for him to go! No one had seen him reading the scriptures – there was no need for him to. He had done the real thing: he had put his ego aside.

And the moment you put the ego aside, the curtain disappears. God is not hidden, only your eyes are closed. Open your eyes!

Surrender means opening your eyes. Surrender means dropping a false idea that “I am separate from the whole.” It is a false idea, so in fact you are not dropping anything.

You are calculating wrongly: you are doing some arithmetic, two plus two is four, but you are putting five. The moment you realize that two plus two is NOT five but four, are you dropping something? Are you renouncing something? Are you losing something? Will you feel that it is a loss? – it was five and now it is only four. No, it is not a loss because it was never five; it was ALWAYS four. When you were thinking it was five, then too it was four. Not even for a single moment was it five. You were in a delusion.

Ego is a hallucination. You are not separate from the whole – trying to be, of course, hence the whole misery. Trying to do something which is not possible, which is impossible, is bound to create misery. Misery is unnatural; it is your invention. Misery does not exist; it is your hallucination. It is a nightmare created by you. It is your great work!

Bliss is natural. Bliss is the very nature of the way things are. Aes Dhammo Sanantano, says Buddha: bliss is the way things are. But you are trying to be something which is not possible: you are trying to be separate, you are trying to be an island, and you belong to the continent, the vast, infinite continent of God or godliness.

Surrender means seeing that “I am not separate” – just SEEING that ”I am not separate.” Nothing is surrendered, nothing is dropped; just a nonsense idea, a dream is no more there because you are awake.

Two young couples had decided to spend their honeymoon at the same hotel. The first morning the two young men came into the hall at the same time and met at the elevator.

One turned to the other and said, “Say, where’s your wife?”

“Oh, she’s in her room, smoking. Where’s yours?”

“Oh, she’s hot too, but she’s not smoking!”

Just a misunderstanding.

An Irishman, on the night that his wife was confined in childbirth, went out a bit prematurely to celebrate the addition to his family, with a few chosen cronies. He did not return home to his family until three o’clock in the morning.

He was barely in the house when the nurse rushed up and uncovered a bundle of blankets, showing the bewildered Irishman triplets. At this very moment the clock struck once, twice, three times.

“One, two, three… sure, an’ I could count ’em myself, small thanks to ye,” Pat addressed the clock solemnly. “An’ one thing more – I’ll be thanking the good God I didn’t come home at twelve!”

Ego is a state of blindness, of drunkenness, of dreaming. Just waking up is surrender. Either wake up and surrender happens, or surrender and you are awake. They are two sides of the same coin.

But the moment you are awake, the whole becomes a mystery. Suddenly all knowledge evaporates like dewdrops in the early morning sun. For the first time your eyes are full of wonder like a child. It IS a second birth! In India we have called the man who comes to know the mystery of existence, dwij – twice-born.

Jesus says to Nicodemus, “Unless you are born again you will not enter into my kingdom of God.” He also says, “Unless you are like a child you will not enter into my kingdom of God.” What does he mean? He simply means that a rebirth is needed. The way you have lived is the way of the ego. You have to drop that whole life-style. You have lived believing that you are separate from the whole.

It is like a leaf on the tree believing that it is separate from the tree, although believing makes no difference in reality – it is still part of the tree. But its belief will create much misery for it because the moment the leaf starts believing “I am separate,” it starts dreaming of separate aspirations of its own. It starts thinking in terms of achieving something. It becomes ambitious; it has to reach some goals. It starts deciding its own goals – which are not possible, because when the wind comes and the whole tree sways and dances, this small leaf wants NOT to dance. Now there is frustration. It HAS to dance with the whole tree.

Hence the proverb: Man proposes and God disposes. God really never disposes. The problem is you, the problem is in you; the problem is in your very proposal. The leaf is proposing that I want to be still, and the whole tree is dancing. Now, it is not possible. The leaf of course will think the leaf proposes and the tree disposes. And then what can the tree do? The tree is part of the earth, of the sky, of the sun. The tree cannot exist without the sun, without the wind, without the rain – it is part of it. What can the tree do? The wind is blowing; it is swaying with the wind. The tree is part of a bigger phenomenon. Everything is part of something bigger. Ultimately we are part of one organic unity; we are rooted in existence.

But our whole effort, our whole education, our whole so-called religion, culture, they all give us the idea that “You are separate.” Even the so-called religion which goes on talking about dropping your ego on the one hand, on the other hand goes on nourishing and feeding your ego. ”Be virtuous and you will be respected,” they say. You will be respected, remember. ”Be virtuous, be knowledgeable, and you will be respected – not only here but even after death, in the other world too. You will go to paradise, to heaven. And those who are not virtuous will fall into hell.” As if we are separate!

Buddha has said: “The moment I became enlightened, the whole existence became enlightened with me.” Now, there is something of tremendous significance in it. What does he mean by this statement? Certainly you are not enlightened, but he is saying, “The moment I became enlightened I came to know that I am not separate. And if I am enlightened, the whole existence is enlightened, because there is no separation anywhere, there is no demarcation. Either the whole is enlightened or I am not enlightened; there is no other possibility.”

And Buddha is right; the same is my experience. I see you all as enlightened – not only you but the trees and the mountains too. The whole existence is enlightened! But man has one privilege: he is free to choose, he is free to believe. He is free to forget who he is, he is also free to remember it.

Think over the word “remembering.” It really means becoming part again of the whole, becoming a member again of the family that existence is: “re-member.” It means that we suddenly learn the language that we had forgotten. It is like a name forgotten: you see somebody on the road, you recognize him, you feel that you know who he is, but you cannot remember his name. You have forgotten, although you can remember this much: that you have known him before. You say, “His name is just on the tip of my tongue.” But if it is on the tip of your tongue, then why is it not coming? You feel absolutely certain; the name is just on the tip of your tongue. And then you try hard: the harder you try, the more difficult it becomes, because whenever you try to do something very hard you become tense, you become closed. Your consciousness becomes narrower and narrower. And it becomes more and more difficult in such tension, in such anxiety, to remember.

Then you drop the whole project, thinking that it is not possible. You forget all about it. You start listening to music or you go into the garden and you sit under a tree, or you start doing something else, sipping tea or talking to somebody… and then suddenly from nowhere the name surfaces.

This is the whole secret of enlightenment: it happens in relaxation, it happens in a deep state of rest. Surrender means relaxing. Ego means tension, carrying a load of anxiety, and unnecessarily.

I have heard that one woman, an old woman, was traveling on a bus, and she was trembling and continuously asking what stop it was.

The stranger sitting by her side said, “Relax, don’t be worried. The conductor will go on announcing what stop it is, and if you are too worried I will call the conductor. You can tell him where you want to get off so he can keep a note of it. And you relax!”

He called the conductor and the woman said, “Please remember. I don’t want to miss my stop. I have to reach somewhere very urgently.”

The conductor said, “Okay, I will make a note of it, although even without your asking I will be announcing it. But I will make a note of it and I will come to you particularly and tell you whenever your stop comes. But you relax. Don’t be so worried about it!”

She was perspiring and trembling and looked so tense. So she said, “Okay, you note it down – the bus terminus.”

Now if it is the bus terminus, why should you worry? How can you miss it? There is no way of missing it!

The moment you rest, the moment you relax, you know that existence is already going, moving, reaching towards higher peaks. And you are part of it. You need not have separate ambitions. You need not think of yourself in terms of a person. You are not a person.

This is surrender: relaxing, resting, dropping all private goals, dropping the whole achieving mind, all the ego projections. And then life is a mystery. Your eyes will be full of wonder; your heart will be full of awe. And to me that is authentic religiousness: wonder and awe. The man who is full of wonder and awe is the only religious person – not the Christians, not the Hindus, not the Mohammedans. They are too full of knowledge; they are too full of rubbish, junk. They are simply repeating scriptures like parrots.

Hindus go on reciting the Gita. Of course, if you go on reciting the Gita you will become acquainted with words, but not with meanings. You can go on repeating them for millions of lives, but the moment of understanding will never come. In fact, the more you repeat, the more mechanical you become. The more you repeat, the more you lose the quality that can bring you closer to awakening. Repetition helps you to fall asleep.

That’s the whole secret of lullabies. Every woman knows it, every mother knows it. She simply sits by the side of the child, tucks him underneath the blanket, and starts a monotonous lullaby – just one line again and again and again. Of course the child falls asleep – he HAS to fall asleep. It is so boring! He wants to escape somewhere and there seems to be no way out, so he escapes into his sleep. The lullaby is the ancient most form of hypnosis.

And there are methods for grown-ups too, for example Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation. It is just a lullaby – a little sophisticated. It is meant for grown-ups, for adults. It is a process of auto-hypnosis. The mother is no more there and your wife certainly is not going to sing a lullaby to you. She can freak out, but she cannot sing a lullaby! She can throw pillows at you, but she cannot sing a lullaby! She will say, “I am not your mother!” And you cannot ask her either, “Please sing a lullaby,” because that will hurt your male chauvinist ego.

So you start repeating a mantra. It has to be in some dead language which you don’t understand – Sanskrit, Arabic, Latin, Greek, Chinese, anything that you don’t understand. If you understand you will not get into it. If you understand, doubts will arise. If I say, “Just repeat ’Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola’,” you will repeat it two or three times, and then you will say, “What nonsense I am doing!” But a Sanskrit mantra is just like “Coca-Cola,” nothing special in it. But you don’t understand so you believe that there must be some secret in it, some great mystery in it, and you go on repeating it. You are singing a lullaby to yourself; soon you will fall into sleep.

Transcendental Meditation and methods such as it have become more important in the West for the simple reason that the West is losing the art of how to fall asleep. People are suffering from sleeplessness more and more; they have to depend on tranquillizers. Transcendental Meditation is a non-medicinal tranquillizer. And nothing is wrong if you know that you are using it as a tranquillizer, but if you think that you are doing something religious then you are stupid. If you think this is going to lead you to meditation you are a fool, an utter fool, just a simpleton.

It is not going to take you into meditation because meditation means awareness. It is taking you towards just the opposite of awareness: it is taking you towards sleep. I am not against sleep – a good sleep is a healthy thing. And I prescribe TM for all those who suffer from sleeplessness, from insomnia. It is perfectly good, but remember that a good sleep has nothing spiritual about it. It is good for the body, it is good for the mind too, but it has nothing to do with the spiritual dimension. The spiritual dimension opens up only when you are awake, fully awake. And the only way to be awake is to drop all sleep and all dreaming.

The ego is the center of all your sleep and all your dreaming. If you can put the ego aside… seeing that it is a false thing, why go on carrying it? – put it aside. In fact, there is no need to put it aside – seeing that it is false; it drops of its own accord. And the moment it drops a tremendous explosion happens in you. For the first time you are awake, fully awake, totally awake. There is no unconscious in you, there is no darkness in you. All becomes light; hence the word “enlightenment.” You are pure light, made of light, eternal light. And when you open your eyes and look at existence, the whole existence is made of light!

This is the only point on which physicists and mystics agree, the only point where science and religion meet. Physicists say matter is made of light – electrons in their jargon; mystics say, in a more simple way, that everything is made of light. This is the only meeting-point, but from this meeting-point much more is possible. It can become the triggering-point for a deep communion between science and religion in the future. It is pregnant with immense possibilities.

But neither the mystics have recognized the point yet nor the physicists. One can forgive the physicists because they exist on a lower level, they exist in the valley. But one cannot forget and forgive the mystics: they are on the top of the hill, they are on the peaks – from there they can have a more inclusive view of things, from there they can see far more; the valley is included in their vision. The physicist may not be able to see the peak. He may be too occupied with material, objective investigations. He may be looking at the earth too much; he may not look at the peak at all. He may even be afraid of the peak.

There is an Arabian saying that camels don’t like to go near the mountains, that’s why they exist in the deserts. Obviously, no camel would like to go to a mountain, because seeing a mountain for the first time he feels utterly humiliated. In the desert HE IS the mountain! Standing by the side of a mountain he is just like an ant, utterly reduced, disgraced. His ego feels hurt.

Man does not want to look at the peaks. That’s why persons like Friedrich Nietzsche say God is dead – not that God is dead, but Nietzsche is an egoist. The very idea that God exists is not acceptable to him, because if God exists then the camel is standing by the side of the Himalayas. Then who is Nietzsche? Then nobody is anybody in particular. Then you have to drop the ego; then you cannot go on carrying it. It becomes utterly futile, foolish. It is better to kill God. Nietzsche is speaking for your egos; he represents your egos.

I have heard that somewhere on the earth there are two graves with two tombstones. On one is written: “God is dead,” signed “Friedrich Nietzsche”; and on the other is written: “Nietzsche is dead,” signed, “God.”

But it is too late: Nietzsche went mad. That is the logical consequence of going to the very end of the ego. He is very representative: he represents the contemporary mind, the twentieth-century mind. He is far more representative of this age than anybody else. One hundred years ahead of you he had said God is dead – and now everybody feels it. You may not say so because you may not have the courage to go to the logical end of your argument, but that’s what is really happening in smaller degrees to everybody; the difference is only of degrees. Nietzsche is a stubborn person: he follows the track to the very end, where the road ends; he goes to the very point where the abyss has to be encountered… and he goes mad.

More and more people are going mad, more and more people are becoming insane, more and more people need psychotherapy. More and more people are just on the brink, for the simple reason that that is ego’s ultimate result: you go insane, you go mad. Surrender’s ultimate result is: you go sane. In fact, for the first time you know what sanity is, what wholeness is, what health is. Your wounds are healed. It is a mystery.

It is a good beginning, Prem Prabhat. Don’t shrink back. Go on moving into the mysterious. It is the mysterious which will melt you, merge you like a river moving into the ocean. It is the mysterious which will transform you and will make your darkness luminous. It is the mysterious which will open your one-thousand-petalled lotus of consciousness. Allow it to happen.

People are very much afraid of the mysterious, because the mysterious means the unknowable – not only the unknown but the unknowable. People are even afraid of the unknown, what to say about the unknowable? The religious person needs guts; it is only for the courageous few. Religion is not for the cowards.

Religion is not a mass phenomenon; it is not for the crowds. The crowds can only be Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans; the crowds can never be religious. Only very courageous people like Jesus, Zarathustra, Lao Tzu, Buddha – only very courageous people can be religious. It is not for the cowards.

Cowards create a pseudo religion for themselves, a toy religion; they go on playing with it. They go every Sunday to the church and they think it is enough – a Sunday religion! The church is not more than a club. A few people go to the Rotary Club, a few people go to the Lions Club, a few people go to the church. It is not very different – it is a social affair. It is something formal. It is good: it functions like a lubricant; it makes you more adjusted to the crowd. The crowd feels good that you belong to it, you feel good that you belong to the crowd. The church is just a meeting-place where you talk sweet nothings – beautiful things, but they are meant only for the church. They don’t change your life; they don’t transform you. In fact, they prevent transformation.

Encountering the mysterious is the beginning of religion, the beginning of God.

You are blessed, Prem Prabhat. Go on. Buddha says: Charaiveti, charaiveti – go on, go on. Never stop, because life is a constant movement, a continuum, a process. It is not a noun, it is a verb.

-Osho

From Guida Spirituale, Chapter 14

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Conscious While Dreaming – Osho

Will you please explain to us what are some of the other factors which can make one conscious while dreaming?

This is a significant question for all those who are interested in meditation, because meditation is really a transcending of the process of dreaming. You are constantly dreaming – not only in the night, not only while you are asleep; you are dreaming the whole day. This is the first point to be understood. While you are awake you are still dreaming.

Just close your eyes at any time of the day. Relax the body and you will feel that the dreaming is there. It never disappears; it is only suppressed by our daily activities. It is like the stars in the day. In the night you see the stars. In the day you cannot see them, but they are there always. They are simply suppressed by the sunlight.

If you go into a deep well, then you can see the stars in the sky even in the day. A certain darkness is needed to see the stars. So go into a deep well and look from the bottom, and you will be able to see the stars in the day also. The stars are there. It is not that in the night they are there and in the day they are not, they are always there. In the night you can see them easily. In the day you cannot see them because the sunlight becomes a barrier.

The same is true with dreaming. It is not that you dream while you are asleep. In sleep you can feel dreams easily because the activity of the day is no more there; thus that inner activity can be seen and felt. When you get up in the morning, the dreaming continues inside while you start acting on the outside.

This process of activity, of daily activity, simply suppresses the dreaming. The dreaming is there. Close your eyes, relax in an armchair, and suddenly you can feel: the stars are there; they have not gone anywhere. The dreams are there always. There is a continuous activity.

The second point. If the dreaming continues, you cannot be said to be really awake. In the night you are more asleep, in the day you are less asleep. The difference is relative, because if the dreaming is there you cannot be said to be really awake. Dreaming creates a film over the consciousness. This film becomes like smoke – you are surrounded by it. You cannot be really awake while you are dreaming, whether in the day or in the night. So the second thing: you can only be said to be awake when there is no dreaming at all.

We call Buddha the awakened one. What is this awakening? This awakening is really the cessation of inner dreaming. There is no dream inside. You move there, but there is no dream. It is as if there were no star in the sky; it has become pure space. When there is no dreaming, you become pure space.

This purity, this innocence, this non-dreaming consciousness, is what is known as enlightenment – the awakening. For centuries spirituality all over the world, East or West, has said that man is asleep. Jesus says this, Buddha says this, the Upanishads talk about this: man is asleep. So while you are asleep in the night you are just relatively more asleep; in the day you are less asleep. But spirituality says that man is asleep. This has to be understood.

What is meant by this? Gurdjieff, in this century, emphasized this fact that man is asleep. “In fact,” he said, “man is a sort of sleep. Everyone is deeply asleep.”

What is the reason for saying that? You cannot know, you cannot remember who you are. Do you know who you are? If you meet a person in the street and you ask him who he is and he cannot reply, what will you think? You will think that he is either mad, intoxicated, or just asleep. If he cannot answer who he is, what are you going to think about him? On the spiritual path everyone is like that. You cannot answer who you are.

This is the first meaning when Gurdjieff or Jesus or anyone says that man is asleep: you are not conscious about yourself. You do not know yourself; you have never met yourself. You know many things in the objective world, but you do not know the subject. Your state of mind is as if you had gone to see a film. On the screen the film is running, and you have become so absorbed in it that the only thing you know is the film, the story, whatsoever is appearing on the screen. Then if someone asks you who you are, you cannot say anything.

Dreaming is just the film – just the film! It is the mind reflecting the world. In the mirror of the mind the world is reflected; that is what dreaming is. And you are so deeply involved in it, so much identified with it, that you have completely forgotten who you are. This is what being asleep means: the dreamer is lost in the dreaming. You see everything except yourself; you feel everything except yourself; you know everything except yourself. This self-ignorance is the sleep. Unless dreaming ceases completely, you cannot awaken unto yourself.

You might have felt it sometimes while looking at a film for three hours, and suddenly the film stops and you come back to yourself. You remember that three hours have passed, you remember that it was just a film. You feel your tears… you have been weeping because the film was a tragedy to you, or you were laughing, or you were doing something else, and now you laugh about yourself. What nonsense you were doing! It was just a film, just a story. There was nothing on the screen – just a play of light and shadow, just an electrical play. Now you laugh: you have come back to yourself. But where were you for these three hours?

You were not at your center. You had moved completely to the periphery. There, where the film was moving, you had gone. You were not at your center; you were not with yourself. You were somewhere else.

This happens in dreaming; this is what our life is. The film is only for three hours, but this dreaming is running for lives and lives and lives. Even if suddenly the dreaming stops you will not be able to recognize who you are. Suddenly you will feel very faint, even afraid. You will try to move again into the film because that is known. You are acquainted with it; you are well adjusted to it.

For when the stopping of the dreaming happens there is a path, particularly in Zen, which is known as the path of sudden enlightenment. There are techniques in these one hundred and twelve methods, there are many techniques which can give you sudden awakening. But it can be too much, and you may not be capable of bearing it. You may just explode. You may die even, because you have lived with dreaming so long that you have no memory of who you are if there is no dreaming.

If this whole world should suddenly disappear and you alone are left, it would be such a great shock that you would die. The same would happen if suddenly all dreaming disappeared from the consciousness. Your world will disappear, because your world was your dreaming.

We are not really in the world. Rather, “the world” consists not of outside things to us, but of our dreams. So everyone lives in his own dream world.

Remember, it is not one world that we go on talking about. Geographically it is, but psychologically there are as many worlds as there are minds. Each mind is a world of its own. And if your dreaming disappears, your world disappears. Without dreams it is difficult for you to live. That is why sudden methods are not used generally, only gradual methods are used.

It is good to note this: gradual methods are used not because there is any need of gradual processes. You can suddenly jump into realization this very moment. There is no barrier; there has never been any barrier. You are already that realization, you can jump this very moment. But that may prove dangerous, fatal. You may not be capable of bearing it. It is going to be too much for you.

You are attuned only to false dreams. Reality you cannot face; you cannot encounter it. You are a hothouse plant – you live in your dreams. They help you in many ways. They are not just dreams, for you they are the reality.

Gradual methods are used not because realization needs time. Realization needs no time! Realization needs no time at all. Realization is not something to be attained in the future, but with gradual methods you will attain it in the future. So what are the gradual methods doing? They are not really helping you to “realize realization,” they are helping you to bear it. They are making you capable, strong, so that when the happening happens you can bear it.

There are seven methods through which immediately you can force your way into enlightenment. But you will not be capable of bearing it. You may go blind – too much of light. Or you may suddenly die – too much of bliss.

This dreaming, this deep sleep we are in, how can it be transcended? This question is meaningful in transcending it:

Will you please explain to us what are some of the other factors which can make one conscious while dreaming?

I will talk about two methods more. One we discussed yesterday. Today, two more that are even easier.

One is to start acting, behaving as if the whole world is just a dream. Whatsoever you are doing, remember this is a dream. While eating, remember this is a dream. While walking, remember this is a dream. Let your mind continuously remember while you are awake that everything is a dream. This is the reason for calling the world maya, illusion, dream. This is not a philosophical argument.

Unfortunately, when Shankara was translated into English, German and French, into Western languages, he was understood to be just a philosopher. That has created much misunderstanding. In the West there are philosophers – for example, Berkeley – who say that the world is just a dream, a projection of the mind. But this is a philosophical theory. Berkeley proposes it as an hypothesis.

When Shankara says that the world is a dream it is not philosophical, not a theory. Shankara proposes it as a help, as a support for a particular meditation. And this is the meditation: if you want to remember while dreaming that this is a dream, you will have to start while you are awake. Normally, while you are dreaming you cannot remember that this is a dream; you think that this is a reality.

Why do you think that this is a reality? Because the whole day you are thinking everything is a reality. That has become the attitude, a fixed attitude. While awake you were taking a bath – it was real. While awake you were eating – it was real. While awake you were talking with a friend – it was real. For the whole day, the whole life, whatsoever you are thinking, your attitude is that this is real. This becomes fixed. This becomes a fixed attitude in the mind.

So while you are dreaming in the night, the same attitude goes on working, that this is real. So let us first analyze. There must be some similarity between dreaming and reality; otherwise this attitude would be somewhat difficult.

I am seeing you. Then I close my eyes and I go into a dream, and I see you in my dream. In both seeings there is no difference. While I am actually seeing you, what am I doing? Your picture is reflected in my eyes. I am not seeing you. Your picture is mirrored in my eyes, and then that picture is transformed through mysterious processes – and science is still not in a position to say how. That picture is transformed chemically and carried somewhere inside the head, but science is still not able to say where – where exactly this thing happens. It is not happening in the eyes; the eyes are just windows. I am not seeing you with the eyes, I am seeing you through the eyes.

In the eyes you are reflected. You may be just a picture; you may be a reality, you may be a dream. Remember, dreams are three-dimensional. I can recognize a picture because a picture is two dimensional. Dreams are three-dimensional, so they look exactly like you. And the eyes cannot say whether whatsoever is seen is real or unreal. There is no way to judge; the eyes are not the judge.

Then the picture is transformed into chemical messages. Those chemical messages are like electrical waves; they go somewhere in the head. It is still unknown where the point is that the eyes come in contact with the surface of seeing. Just waves reach to me and then they are decoded. Then I again decode them, and in this way I know what is happening.

I am always inside, and you are always outside, and there is no meeting. So whether you are real or just a dream is a problem. Even this very moment, there is no way to judge whether I am dreaming or you are really here. Listening to me, how can you say that really you are listening to me, that you are not dreaming? There is no way. That is why the attitude which you maintain the whole day is carried over into the night. And while you are dreaming you take it as real.

Try the opposite; that is what Shankara means. He says that the whole world is an illusion, he says the whole world is a dreaming – remember this. But we are stupid people. If Shankara says, “This is a dream,” then we say, “What is the need to do anything? If this is just a dream, then there is no need to eat. Why go on eating and thinking that this is a dream? Don’t eat!” But then remember – when you feel hunger, it is a dream. Or eat, and when you feel that you have eaten too much, remember, this is a dream.

Shankara is not telling you to change the dream, remember, because the effort to change the dream is again falsely based on the belief that it is real; otherwise there is no need to change anything. Shankara is just saying that whatever is the case is a dream.

Remember this: do not do anything to change it, just remember it constantly. Try to remember for three weeks continuously that whatsoever you are doing it is just a dream. In the beginning it is very difficult. You will fall again and again into the old pattern of the mind, you will start thinking that this is a reality. You will have to constantly awaken yourself to remind yourself that “This is a dream.” If for three weeks continuously you can maintain this attitude, then in the fourth or fifth week, any night while dreaming you will suddenly remember that “This is a dream.”

This is one way to penetrate dreams with consciousness, with awareness. If you can remember in the night while dreaming that this is a dream, then in the day you will not need any effort to remember that this is also a dream. You will know it then.

In the beginning, while you are practicing this, it will be just a make-believe. You start just in faith… “This is a dream.” But when you can remember in dreaming that this is a dream, it will become a reality. Then in the day, when you get up you will not feel that you are getting up from sleep, you will feel you are simply getting up from one dreaming to another. Then it will become a reality. And if the whole twenty-four hours becomes dreaming, and you can feel and remember it, you will be standing at your center. Then your consciousness will have become double-arrowed.

You are feeling dreams, and if you are feeling them as dreams you will start to feel the dreamer – the subject. If you take dreams as real, you cannot feel the subject. If the film has become real, you forget yourself. When the film stops and you know that it was unreal, your reality erupts, breaks out; you can feel yourself. This is one way.

This has been one of the oldest Indian methods. That is why we have insisted on the world being unreal. We do not mean it philosophically; we do not say that this house is unreal so you can pass through the walls. We do not mean that! When we say that this house is unreal, it is a device. This is not an argument against the house.

So Berkeley proposed that the whole world is just a dream. One day, in the morning, he was walking with Dr. Johnson. Dr. Johnson was a hardened realist, so Berkeley said, “Have you heard about my theory? I am working on it. I feel that the whole world is unreal, and it cannot be proved that it is real. And the burden of proving it is on those who say that it is real. I say it is unreal – just like dreams. Johnson was not a philosopher, but he had a very astute logical mind.

They are on the street, just walking in the morning on a lonely street. Johnson then takes one stone in his hand and hits Berkeley’s leg. Blood oozes out, and Berkeley screams. Johnson says, “Why are you screaming if the stone is just a dream? Whatsoever you say, you believe in the reality of the stone. What you are saying is one thing, and your behavior is something different and contrary. If your house is just a dream, then to where are you returning? Where are you returning after the morning walk? If your wife is just a dream, you will not meet her again.”

Realists have always argued this way, but they cannot argue this way with Shankara because his is not a philosophical theory. It is not saying anything about the reality; it is not proposing anything about the universe. Rather, it is a device to change your mind, to change the basic fixed attitude so that you can look at the world in a different, an altogether different way.

This is a problem, continuously a problem for Indian thought – because for Indian thought everything is just a device for meditation. We are not concerned about its being true or untrue. We are concerned about its utility in transforming man.

This is emphatically different from the Western mind. When they propose a theory they are concerned with whether this is true or untrue, whether this can be proved logically or not. When we propose anything we are not concerned about its truth; we are concerned about its utility, we are concerned about its capacity, its capability to transform the human mind. It may be true, it may not be true. Really, it is neither – it is simply a device.

I have seen flowers outside. In the morning the sun rises and everything is just beautiful. You have never been outside, and you have never seen flowers, and you have never seen the morning sun. You have never seen the open sky; you do not know what beauty is. You have lived in a closed prison. I want to lead you out. I want you to come out under the open sky to meet these flowers. How am I to do it?

You do not know flowers. If I talk about flowers, you think, “He has gone mad. There are no flowers.” If I talk about the morning sun, you think, “He is a visionary. He sees visions and dreams. He is a poet.” If I talk about the open sky, you will laugh. You will start laughing, “Where is the open sky? There are only walls and walls and walls.”

So what am I to do? I must devise something which you can understand and which helps you to go out, so I say that the house is on fire and I start running. It becomes infectious: you run after me and go out. Then you will know that what I said was neither true nor false. It was just a device. Then you will know flowers and then you can forgive me.

Buddha was doing that, Mahavir was doing that, Shiva was doing that, Shankara was doing that. We can forgive them later on. We have always forgiven them because once we go out we know what they were doing. And then we understand that it was useless to argue with them because it was not a question of arguing. The fire was nowhere, but we could not understand only that language. Flowers were, but we could not understand the language of the flowers, those symbols were meaningless for us.

So this is one way. Then there is a second method at the other pole. This method makes one pole; the other method makes another pole of the same thing. One method is to start feeling, remembering, that everything is a dream. The other is not to think anything about the world, but just to go on remembering that you are.

Gurdjieff used this second method. This second method comes from the Sufi tradition, from Islam. They worked on it very deeply. Remember “I am” – whatsoever you are doing. You are drinking water, you are eating your food – remember, “I am.” Go on eating and go on remembering, “I am, I am.” Do not forget it! It is difficult because you already think that you know you are, so what is the need to go on remembering this? You never remember it, but it is a very, very potential technique.

When walking remember, “I am.” Let the walking be there, go on walking, but be constantly fixed in this self-remembering of “I am, I am, I am.” Do not forget this. You are listening to me – just do it here. You are listening to me. Do not be so much merged, involved, identified. Whatsoever I am saying, remember, go on remembering. Listening is there, words are there, someone is talking, you are – “I am, I am, I am.” Let this “I am” be a constant factor of awareness.

It is very difficult. You cannot remember continuously even for a single minute. Try it. Put your watch before your eyes and look at the hands moving. One second, two seconds, three seconds… go on looking at it. Do two things: look at the movement of the hand which is showing seconds, and continuously remember “I am, I am.” With every second go on remembering “I am.” Within five or six seconds you will feel that you have forgotten. Suddenly you will remember that “Many seconds have passed and I have not remembered ‘I am.’”

Even to remember for one complete minute is a miracle. And if you can remember for one minute, the technique is for you. Then do it. Through it you will be capable of going beyond dreams and of knowing that dreams are dreams.

How does it work? If the whole day you can remember “I am,” then this will penetrate your sleep also. And when you will be dreaming, continuously you will remember, “I am.” If you can remember “I am” in the dream, suddenly the dream becomes just a dream. Then the dream cannot deceive you, then the dream cannot be felt as reality. This is the mechanism: the dream is felt as reality because you are missing the self-remembering; you are missing ”I am.” If there is no remembering of oneself, then the dream becomes reality. If there is the remembering of oneself, then reality, the so-called reality, becomes just a dream.

This is the difference between dreaming and reality. For a meditative mind, or for the science of meditation, this is the only difference. If you are, then the whole reality is just a dream. If you are not, then the dreaming becomes reality.

Nagarjuna says, “Now I am, for the world is not. While I was not, the world was. Only one can exist.” That doesn’t mean that the world has disappeared. Nagarjuna is not talking about this world, he is talking about the world of dreaming. Either you can be or the dreams can be – both cannot be.

So the first step will be to continue remembering ”I am” constantly; simply, ”I am.” Do not say “Ram,” do not say “Shyam.” Do not use any name, because you are not that. Simply use, “I am.”

Try it in any activity and then feel it. The more real you become inside, the more unreal becomes the surrounding world. The reality becomes “I”, and the world becomes unreal. The world is real or the “I” is real – both cannot be real. You are feeling that you are just a dream now; then the world is real. Change the emphasis. Become real, and the world will become unreal.

Gurdjieff worked on this method continuously. His chief disciple, P. D. Ouspensky, relates that when Gurdjieff was working on him with this method, and he was practicing for three months continuously this remembering of “I am, I am, I am,” after three months everything stopped. Thoughts, dreaming, everything stopped. Only one note remained inside like eternal music: “I am, I am, I am, I am.” But then this was not an effort. This was a spontaneous activity going on: “I am.” Then Gurdjieff called Ouspensky out of the house. For three months he had been kept in the house and wasn’t allowed to move out.

Then Gurdjieff said, “Come with me.” They were residing in a Russian town, Tiflis. Gurdjieff called him out and they went into the street. Ouspensky writes in his diary, “For the first time I could understand what Jesus meant when he said that man is asleep. The whole city looked to me as if it was asleep. People were moving in their sleep; shopkeepers were selling in their sleep; customers were buying in their sleep. The whole city was asleep. I looked at Gurdjieff: only he was awake. The whole city was asleep. They were angry, they were fighting, they were loving, buying, selling, doing everything.”

Ouspensky says, “Now I could see their faces, their eyes: they were asleep. They were not there. The inner center was missing; it was not there.” Ouspensky said to Gurdjieff, “I do not want to go there anymore. What has happened to the city? Everyone seems asleep, drugged.”

Gurdjieff said, “Nothing has happened to the city, something has happened to you. You have been undrugged; the city is the same. It is the same place you moved around in three months ago, but you couldn’t see that other people are asleep because you were also asleep. Now you can see because a certain quality of awareness has come to you. With three months of practising “I am” continuously, you have become aware in a very small measure. You have become aware! A part of your consciousness has gone beyond dreaming. That is why you can see that everyone is asleep, dead, moving, drugged, as if hypnotized.”

Ouspensky says, “I couldn’t bear that phenomenon – everyone asleep! Whatsoever they are doing, they are not responsible for it. They are not! How can they be responsible?” He came back and he asked Gurdjieff, “What is this? Am I deceived somehow? Have you done something to me that the whole city seems asleep? I cannot believe my own eyes.”

But this will happen to anyone. If you can remember yourself, then you will know that no one is remembering himself, and in this way each goes on moving. The whole world is asleep. But start while you are awake. Any moment that you remember, start “I am.”

 

I do not mean that you have to repeat the words “I am,” rather, have the feeling. Taking a bath, feel ”I am.” Let there be the touch of the cold shower, and let yourself be there behind, feeling it and remembering “I am.” Remember, I am not saying that verbally you have to repeat “I am.” You can repeat it, but that repetition will not give you awareness. Repetition may even create more sleep. There are many people who are repeating many things. They go on repeating “Ram, Ram, Ram…” and if they are just repeating without awareness then this ”Ram, Ram, Ram…” becomes a drug. They can sleep well through it.

That is why Mahesh Yogi has so much appeal in the West, because he is giving mantras for people to repeat. And in the West sleep has become one of the most serious problems. Sleep is totally disturbed. Natural sleep has disappeared. Only through tranquilizers and drugs can you sleep; otherwise sleep has become impossible. This is the reason for Mahesh Yogi’s appeal. It is because if you constantly repeat something, that repetition gives you deep sleep; that is all.

So the so-called transcendental meditation is nothing but a psychological tranquilizer. It is nothing – just a tranquilizer. It helps, but it is good for sleep, not for meditation. You can sleep well, a more calm sleep will be there. It is good, but it is not meditation at all. If you repeat a word constantly it creates a certain boredom, and boredom is good for sleep.

So anything monotonous, repetitive can help sleep. The child in the mother’s womb sleeps for nine months continuously, and the reason for this you may not know. The reason is only the “tick-tock, tick-tock” of the heart of the mother. Continuously there is the beat, the heartbeat. It is one of the most monotonous things in the world. With the same beat continuously repeating, the child is drugged. He goes on sleeping.

That is why whenever the child is crying, screaming, creating any problem, the mother puts his head near her heart. Then suddenly he feels good and goes into sleep. Again it is due to the heartbeat. He becomes again a part of the womb. That is why even if you are not a child and your wife, your beloved puts your head on her heart, you will feel sleepy from the monotonous beat.

Psychologists suggest that if you cannot sleep, then concentrate on the clock. Just concentrate on the clock’s tick-tock, tick-tock. It repeats the heartbeat, and you can fall asleep. Anything repetitive will help.

So this “I am,” the remembering of “I am,” is not a verbal mantra. It is not going to be repeated verbally – feel it! Be sensitive to your being. When you touch someone’s hand do not only touch his hand, feel your touch also, feel yourself also – that you are here in this touch, present totally. While eating, do not only eat, feel yourself eating as well. This feeling, this sensitivity must penetrate deeper and deeper into your mind.

One day, suddenly, you are awake at your center, functioning for the first time. And then the whole world becomes a dream, then you can know that your dreaming is a dreaming. And when you know that your dreaming is a dreaming, dreaming stops. It can continue only if it is felt as real. It is stopped if it is felt as unreal.

And once dreaming stops in you, you are a different man. The old man is dead; the sleepy man is dead. That human being which you were, you are no more. For the first time you become aware; for the first time in the whole world that is asleep, you are awake. You become a buddha, an awakened one.

With this awakening there is no misery, after this awakening there is no death, through this awakening there is no more fear. You become for the first time free of everything. To be free of sleep, to be free of dreaming, is to be free of everything. You attain freedom. Hate, anger, greed disappear. You become just love. Not loving, you become just love!

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Chapter Six

The Book of Secrets

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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The Mystery of Meditation – Osho

What is meditation?

Meditation is not an Indian method; it is not simply a technique. You cannot learn it. It is a growth: a growth of your total living, out of your total living. Meditation is not something that can be added to you as you are. It can come to you only through a basic transformation, a mutation. It is a flowering, a growth. Growth is always out of the total; it is not an addition. You must grow toward meditation.

This total flowering of the personality must be understood correctly. Otherwise one can play games with oneself; one can occupy oneself with mental tricks. And there are so many tricks! Not only can you be fooled by them, not only will you not gain anything, but in a real sense you will be harmed. The very attitude that there is some trick to meditation – to conceive of meditation in terms of method – is basically wrong. And when one begins to play with mental tricks, the very quality of the mind begins to deteriorate.

As mind exists, it is not meditative. The total mind must change before meditation can happen. Then what is the mind as it now exists? How does it function?

The mind is always verbalizing. You can know words, you can know language, you can know the conceptual structure of thinking, but that is not thinking. On the contrary, it is an escape from thinking. You see a flower and you verbalize it; you see a man crossing the street and you verbalize it. The mind can transform every existential thing into words. Then the words become a barrier, an imprisonment. This constant transformation of things into words, of existence into words, is the obstacle to a meditative mind.

So the first requirement toward a meditative mind is to be aware of your constant verbalizing and to be able to stop it. Just see things; do not verbalize. Be aware of their presence, but do not change them into words. Let things be, without language; let persons be, without language; let situations be, without language. It is not impossible; it is natural. It is the situation as it now exists that is artificial, but we have become so habituated to it, it has become so mechanical, that we are not even aware that we are constantly transforming experience into words.

The sunrise is there. You are never aware of the gap between seeing it and verbalizing. You see the sun, you feel it, and immediately you verbalize it. The gap between seeing and verbalizing is lost. One must become aware of the fact that the sunrise is not a word. It is a fact, a presence. The mind automatically changes experiences into words. These words then come between you and the experience.

Meditation means living without words, living non-linguistically. Sometimes it happens spontaneously. When you are in love, presence is felt, not language. Whenever two lovers are intimate with one another they become silent. It is not that there is nothing to express. On the contrary, there is an overwhelming amount to be expressed. But words are never there; they cannot be. They come only when love has gone.

If two lovers are never silent, it is an indication that love has died. Now they are filling the gap with words. When love is alive, words are not there because the very existence of love is so overwhelming, so penetrating, that the barrier of language and words is crossed. And ordinarily, it is only crossed in love.

Meditation is the culmination of love: love not for a single person, but for the total existence. To me, meditation is a living relationship with the total existence that surrounds you. If you can be in love with any situation, then you are in meditation.

And this is not a mental trick. It is not a method of stilling the mind. Rather, it requires a deep understanding of the mechanism of the mind. The moment you understand your mechanical habit of verbalization, of changing existence into words, a gap is created. It comes spontaneously. It follows understanding like a shadow. The real problem is not how to be in meditation, but to know why you are not in meditation. The very process of meditation is negative. It is not adding something to you; it is negating something that has already been added.

Society cannot exist without language; it needs language. But existence does not need it. I am not saying that you should exist without language. You will have to use it. But you must be able to turn the mechanism of verbalization on and off. When you are existing as a social being, the mechanism of language is needed; but when you are alone with existence, you must be able to turn it off. If you can’t turn it off – if it goes on and on, and you are incapable of stopping it – then you have become a slave to it. Mind must be an instrument, not the master.

When mind is the master, a non-meditative state exists. When you are the master, your consciousness is the master, a meditative state exists. So meditation means becoming a master of the mechanism of the mind.

Mind, and the linguistic functioning of the mind, is not the ultimate. You are beyond it; existence is beyond it. Consciousness is beyond linguistics; existence is beyond linguistics. When consciousness and existence are one, they are in communion. This communion is meditation.

Language must be dropped. I don’t mean that you have to suppress it or eliminate it. I only mean that it does not have to be a twenty-four-hour-a-day habit for you. When you walk, you need to move your legs. But if they go on moving when you are sitting, then you are mad. You must be able to turn them off. In the same way, when you are not talking with anyone, language must not be there. It is a technique to communicate. When you are not communicating with anybody it should not be there.

If you are able to do this, you can grow into meditation. Meditation is a growing process, not a technique. A technique is always dead, so it can be added to you, but a process is always alive. It grows, it expands.

Language is needed, but you must not always remain in it. There must be moments when there is no verbalizing, when you just exist. It is not that you are just vegetating. Consciousness is there. And it is more acute, more alive, because language dulls it. Language is bound to be repetitive so it creates boredom. The more important language is to you, the more bored you will be.

Existence is never repetitive. Every rose is a new rose, altogether new. It has never been and it will never be again. But when we call it a rose, the word ‘rose’ is a repetition. It has always been there; it will always be there. You have killed the new with an old word.

Existence is always young, and language is always old. Through language, you escape existence; you escape life, because language is dead. The more involved you are with language, the more deadened you will be by it. A pundit is completely dead because he is nothing but language, words.

Sartre has called his autobiography ’Words’. We live in words. That is, we don’t live. In the end there is only a series of accumulated words and nothing else. Words are like photographs. You see something that is alive and you take a picture of it. The picture is dead. Then you make an album of dead pictures. A person who has not lived in meditation is like a dead album. Only verbal pictures are there, only memories. Nothing has been lived; everything has just been verbalized.

Meditation means living totally, but you can live totally only when you are silent. By being silent I do not mean unconscious. You can be silent and unconscious but it is not a living silence. Again, you have missed.

Through mantras you can auto hypnotize yourself. By simply repeating a word you can create so much boredom in the mind that the mind will go to sleep. You drop into sleep, drop into the unconscious. If you go on chanting “Ram Ram Ram” the mind will fall asleep. Then the barrier of language is not there, but you are unconscious.

Meditation means that language must not be there, but you must be conscious. Otherwise there is no communion with existence, with all that is. No mantra can help, no chanting can help. Auto hypnosis is not meditation. On the contrary, to be in an auto-hypnotic state is a regression. It is not going beyond language; it is falling below it.

So drop all mantras, drop all these techniques. Allow moments to exist where words are not there. You cannot get rid of words with a mantra because the very process uses words. You cannot eliminate language with words; it is impossible.

So what is to be done? In fact, you cannot do anything at all except to understand. Whatever you are able to do can only come from where you are. You are confused, you are not in meditation, your mind is not silent, so anything that comes out of you will only create more confusion. All that can be done right now is to begin to be aware of how the mind functions. That’s all – just be aware. Awareness has nothing to do with words. It is an existential act, not a mental act.

So the first thing is to be aware. Be aware of your mental processes, how your mind works. The moment you become aware of the functioning of your mind, you are not the mind. The very awareness means that you are beyond: aloof, a witness. And the more aware you become, the more you will be able to see the gaps between the experience and the words. Gaps are there, but you are so unaware that they are never seen.

Between two words there is always a gap, however imperceptible, however small. Otherwise the two words cannot remain two; they will become one. Between two notes of music there is always a gap, a silence. Two words or two notes cannot be two unless there is an interval between them. A silence is always there but one has to be really aware, really attentive, to feel it.

The more aware you become, the slower the mind becomes. It is always relative. The less aware you are, the faster the mind is; the more aware you are, the slower the process of the mind is. When you are more aware of the mind, the mind slows down and the gaps between thoughts widen. Then you can see them.

It is just like a film. When a projector is run in slow motion, you see the gaps. If I raise my hand, this has to be shot in a thousand parts. Each part will be a single photograph. If these thousands of single photographs pass before your eyes so fast that you cannot see the gaps, then you see the hand raised as a process. But in slow motion, the gaps can be seen.

Mind is just like a film. Gaps are there. The more attentive you are to your mind, the more you will see them. It is just like a gestalt picture: a picture that contains two distinct images at the same time. One image can be seen or the other can be seen, but you cannot see both simultaneously. It can be a picture of an old lady, and at the same time a picture of a young lady. But if you are focused on one, you will not see the other; and when you are focused on the other, the first is lost. Even if you know perfectly well that you have seen both images, you cannot see them simultaneously.

The same thing happens with the mind. If you see the words you cannot see the gaps, and if you see the gaps you cannot see the words. Every word is followed by a gap and every gap is followed by a word, but you cannot see both simultaneously. If you are focused on the gaps, words will be lost and you will be thrown into meditation.

A consciousness that is focused only on words is non-meditative and a consciousness that is focused only on gaps is meditative. Whenever you become aware of the gaps, the words will be lost. If you observe carefully, you will not find words; you will only find a gap. 

You can feel the difference between two words, but you cannot feel the difference between two gaps. Words are always plural and the gap is always singular: “the” gap. They merge and become one. Meditation is a focusing on the gap. Then, the whole gestalt changes.

Another thing is to be understood. If you are looking at the gestalt picture and your concentration is focused on the old lady, you cannot see the other picture. But if you continue to concentrate on the old lady – if you go on focusing on her, if you become totally attentive to her – a moment will come when the focus changes and suddenly the old lady has disappeared and the other picture is there.

Why does this happen? It happens because the mind cannot be focused continuously for a long time. It has to change or it will go to sleep. These are the only two possibilities. If you go on concentrating on one thing, the mind will fall asleep. It cannot remain fixed; it is a living process. If you let it become bored it will go to sleep in order to escape from the stagnancy of your focus. Then it can continue living, in dreams.

This is meditation Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Style. It’s peaceful, refreshing, it can help your physical health and mental equilibrium, but it is not meditation. The same thing can be done by autohypnosis. The Indian word ‘mantra’ means suggestion, nothing else. To take this as meditation is a serious mistake. It is not. And if you think of it as meditation, you will never search for authentic meditation. That is the real harm that is done by such practices and propagandists of such practices. It is just drugging yourself psychologically.

So don’t use any mantra to push words out of the way. Just become aware of the words and the focus of your mind will change automatically to the gaps.

If you identify with words, you will go on jumping from one word to another and you will miss the gap. Another word is something new to focus on. The mind goes on changing; the focus changes. But if you are not identified with words, if you are just a witness – aloof, just watching the words as they go by in a procession – then the whole focus will change and you will become aware of the gap. It is just as if you are on the street, watching people as they pass by. One person has passed and another has not yet come. There is a gap; the street is vacant. If you are watching, then you will know the gap.

And once you know the gap, you are in it; you have jumped into it. It is an abyss – so peace-giving, so consciousness-creating. It is meditation to be in the gap; it is transformation. Now language is not needed; you will drop it. It is a conscious dropping. You are conscious of the silence, the infinite silence. You are part of it, one with it. You are not conscious of the abyss as the other; you are conscious of the abyss as yourself. You know, but now you are the knowing. You observe the gap, but now the observer is the observed.

As far as words and thoughts are concerned, you are a witness, separate, and words are the other. But when there are no words, you are the gap – yet still conscious that you are. Between you and the gap, between consciousness and existence, there is no barrier now. Only words are the barrier. Now you are in an existential situation. This is meditation: to be one with existence, to be totally in it and still conscious. This is the contradiction, this is the paradox. Now you have known a situation in which you were conscious, and yet one with it.

Ordinarily, when we are conscious of anything, the thing becomes the other. If we are identified with something, then it is not the other, but then we are not conscious – as in anger, in sex. We become one only when we are unconscious.

Sex has so much appeal because in sex you become one for a moment. But in that moment, you are unconscious. You seek the unconsciousness because you seek the oneness. But the more you seek it, the more conscious you become. Then you will not feel the bliss of sex, because the bliss was coming from the unconsciousness.

You could become unconscious in a moment of passion. Your consciousness dropped. For a single moment you were in the abyss – but unconscious. But the more you seek it, the more it is lost. Finally a moment comes when you are in sex and the moment of unconsciousness no longer happens. The abyss is lost, the bliss is lost. Then the act becomes stupid. It is just a mechanical release; there is nothing spiritual about it.

We have known only unconscious oneness; we have never known conscious oneness. Meditation is conscious oneness. It is the other pole of sexuality. Sex is one pole, unconscious oneness; meditation is the other pole, conscious oneness. Sex is the lowest point of oneness and meditation is the peak, the highest peak of oneness. The difference is a difference of consciousness.

The Western mind is thinking about meditation now because the appeal of sex has been lost.

Whenever a society becomes non-suppressive sexually, meditation will follow, because uninhibited sex will kill the charm and romance of sex; it will kill the spiritual side of it. Much sex is there, but you cannot continue to be unconscious in it.

A sexually suppressed society can remain sexual, but a non-suppressive, uninhibited society cannot remain with sexuality forever. It will have to be transcended. So if a society is sexual, meditation will follow. To me, a sexually free society is the first step toward seeking, searching.

But of course, because the search is there, it can be exploited. It is being exploited by the East.

Gurus can be supplied; they can be exported. And they are being exported. But only tricks can be learned through these gurus. Understanding comes through life, through living. It cannot be given, transferred.

I cannot give you my understanding. I can talk about it, but I cannot give it to you. You will have to find it. You will have to go into life. You will have to err; you will have to fail; you will have to pass through many frustrations. But only through failures, errors, frustrations, only through the encounter of real living, will you come to meditation. That is why I say it is a growth. Something can be understood, but understanding that comes through another can never be more than intellectual. That is why Krishnamurti demands the impossible. He says, “Do not understand me intellectually” – but nothing except intellectual understanding can come from someone else. That is why Krishnamurti’s effort has been absurd. What he is saying is authentic, but when he demands more than intellectual understanding from the listener, it is impossible. Nothing more can come from someone else, nothing more can be delivered. But intellectual understanding can be enough. If you can understand what I am saying intellectually, you can also understand what has not been said. You can also understand the gaps: what I am not saying, what I cannot say. The first understanding is bound to be intellectual, because the intellect is the door. It can never be spiritual. Spirituality is the inner shrine.

I can only communicate to you intellectually. If you can really understand it, then what has not been said can be felt. I cannot communicate without words, but when I am using words I am also using silences. You will have to be aware of both. If only words are being understood then it is a communication; but if you can be aware of the gaps also, then it is a communion.

One has to begin somewhere. Every beginning is bound to be a false beginning, but one has to begin. Through the false, through the groping, the door is found. One who thinks that he will begin only when the right beginning is there will never begin at all. Even a false step is a step in the right direction because it is a step, a beginning. You begin to grope in the dark and, through groping, the door is found.

That is why I said to be aware of the linguistic process – the process of words – and to seek an awareness of the gaps, the intervals. There will be moments when there will be no conscious effort on your part and you will become aware of the gaps. That is the encounter with the divine, the encounter with the existential. Whenever there is an encounter, do not escape from it. Be with it. It will be fearful at first; it is bound to be. Whenever the unknown is encountered, fear is created because to us the unknown is death. So whenever there is a gap, you will feel death coming to you. Then be dead! Just be in it, and die completely in the gap. And you will be resurrected. By dying your death in silence, life is resurrected. You are alive for the first time, really alive.

So to me, meditation is not a method but a process; meditation is not a technique but an understanding. It cannot be taught; it can only be indicated. You cannot be informed about it because no information is really information. It is from the outside, and meditation comes from your own inner depths.

So search, be a seeker, and do not be a disciple. Then you will not be a disciple of some guru, but a disciple of the total life. Then you will not just be learning words. Spiritual learning cannot come from words but from the gaps, the silences that are always surrounding you. They are there even in the crowd, in the market, in the bazaar. Seek the silences; seek the gaps within and without, and one day you will find that you are in meditation.

Meditation comes to you. It always comes; you cannot bring it. But one has to be in search of it, because only when you are in search will you be open to it, vulnerable to it. You are a host to it. Meditation is a guest. You can invite it and wait for it. It comes to Buddha, it comes to Jesus, it comes to everybody who is ready, who is open and seeking.

But do not learn it from somewhere; otherwise you will be tricked. The mind is always searching for something easier. This becomes the source for exploitation. Then there are gurus and gurudoms, and spiritual life is poisoned.

The most dangerous person is the one who exploits someone’s spiritual urge. If someone robs you of your wealth it is not so serious, if someone fails you it is not so serious, but if someone tricks you and kills, or even postpones, your urge toward meditation, toward the divine, toward ecstasy, then the sin is great and unforgivable.

But that is being done. So be aware of it, and don’t ask anybody, “What is meditation? How do I meditate?” Instead, ask what the hindrances are, what the obstacles are. Ask why we aren’t always in meditation, where the growth has been stopped, where we have been crippled. And do not seek a guru because gurus are crippling. Anyone who gives you ready-made formulas is not a friend but an enemy.

Grope in the dark. Nothing else can be done. The very groping will become the understanding that will liberate you from darkness. Jesus said: “Truth is freedom.” Understand this freedom. Truth is always through understanding. It is not something that you meet and encounter; it is something you grow into. So be in search of understanding, because the more understanding you become, the nearer you will be to truth. And in some unknown, expected, unpredictable moment, when understanding comes to a peak, you are in the abyss. You are no more, and meditation is.

When you are no more, you are in meditation. Meditation is not more of you; it is always beyond you. When you are in the abyss, meditation is there. Then the ego is not; then you are not. Then the being is. That is what religions mean by God: the ultimate being. It is the essence of all religions, all searches, but it is not to be found anywhere ready-made. So be aware of anyone who makes claims about it.

Go on groping and don’t be afraid of failure. Admit failures, but do not commit the same failures again.

Once is all; that is enough. The person who goes on erring in the search for truth is always forgiven. It is a promise from the very depths of existence.

-Osho

From The Psychology of the Esoteric, Chapter Two   Psychology of the Esoteric

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Discipline and Meditation – Osho

Can you please speak on discipline and meditation?

Niten, it is a very strange question because every day, morning and evening, I am speaking on discipline and meditation. If anybody reads your question, he will think that for the first time I have to speak on discipline and meditation! Where have you been for so long?

You remind me of two old friends; they meet on a street in Leningrad…

“How is life treating you,” asks one.

“Just great,” replies the other.

The first one looks at him dubiously and says, “Have you been reading the papers?”

“Of course,” replies the other, “how else would I know!”

People know about their own lives by reading newspapers, and I have been telling you every day about meditation and nothing else, and you are asking…!

Okay…

A little old Jewish lady sits down on a plane next to a big Norwegian. She keeps staring and staring at him. Finally she turns to him and says, “Pardon me, are you Jewish?”

“No,” he replies. A few minutes go by and she looks at him again and says, “You can tell me — you are Jewish, aren’t you?”

He answers, “Definitely not.”

She keeps studying him, and says again, “I can tell you are Jewish!”

In order to get her to stop annoying him, the gentleman says, “Okay, I am Jewish.”

She looks at him and shakes her head back and forth and says, “Really, you don’t look it!”

I am wondering from where to begin! Niten, meditation is the only contribution the East has made to humanity. The West has made many contributions, thousands of scientific inventions, immense progress in medicine, unbelievable discoveries in all the dimensions in life. But still, a single contribution of the East is far more valuable than all the contributions of the West.

The West has become rich; it has all the technology to be rich. The East has become poor, immensely poor, because it has not looked for anything else except for one thing, and that is one’s own inner being. Its richness is something which cannot be seen, but it has known the highest peaks of bliss, the greatest depths of silence. It has known the eternity of life; it has known the most beautiful flowering of love, compassion, joy. Its whole genius has been devoted to a single search — you can call it ecstasy.

Meditation is only a technique to reach to the ecstatic state, to the state of divine intoxication. It is a simple technique, but the mind makes it very complex. Mind has to make it very complex and difficult, because both cannot exist together. Meditation is the death of the mind.

Naturally, mind resists every effort for meditation. And if you go on without listening to the mind… It is clever and cunning enough to give you false directions and call them meditation.

Just today I was informed about one of the people who has been for many years a disciple of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He is now here meditating, but he continues his master Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s meditation too.

What Maharishi Mahesh Yogi calls transcendental meditation is neither transcendental nor meditation. It is a mind trick. Just one thing is missing in it — I have been telling you about the monkey — and the person who is here should remember it! Transcendental meditation works only if you don’t remember the monkey. So from tomorrow morning, be careful! The slightest remembrance of the monkey and transcendental meditation is meaningless.

In fact, after eighteen years being with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and doing his transcendental meditation, what is the need to come here? But mind is so cunning that he is consoling himself that perhaps it is his master, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who has sent him here. But why should he send you here? I don’t consider that he knows anything at all about meditation. What Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is teaching in the name of meditation has been known for centuries in the East by almost everybody that it is a psychological trick. It is not harmful. On the contrary, it can give you a little rest; it can give you a good feeling as if you have taken a shower. But it is not meditation, because it cannot take you beyond the mind.

Any effort made by the mind cannot take you beyond the mind. This is a very fundamental rule to remember. The so-called transcendental meditation is just an example. There are many of the same kind prevalent all over the East, but they don’t bring enlightenment. They don’t bring awakened consciousness and that is the only criterion to decide whether they are right or not. A tree is known by its fruits, and a technique is known by what it achieves.

Transcendental meditation is representative of all the meditations which mind has suggested to you; it is a cunning way to take you astray. Mind remains safe, not only safe, but becomes stronger. All these techniques are of concentration. You concentrate on some word, holy word — the name of God, or any mantra — and you repeat it as fast as you can, just inside your mind. The faster you can do it the better; the speed helps two things. The mantra or the name of God — even your own name will do; it has nothing to do with God — any meaningless word will do because the technique depends on something else. It depends on fast repetition, so fast that there are no gaps left in between. Because there are no gaps, thoughts cannot arise; thoughts need a little space.

This is one thing: that you go on repeating a word faster and faster, and as you go on doing it for years, you really become an expert. So one thing it does is that it does not give a chance for any idea to enter into your mind. The second, more fundamental thing it does is that it creates tremendous boredom. Obviously, anything continuously repeated is going to create boredom, and boredom is the basis of auto-hypnosis.

When you become bored, you start falling into a sleep, which is not exactly sleep because it is deliberately created; hence it has a different name — hypnosis. Hypnosis means sleep, with a difference, that it is deliberate.

Sleep comes naturally — on its own, spontaneously. Hypnosis is deliberate sleep — you create a situation in which it is bound to happen. This deliberate sleep is immensely healthy, and even ten or fifteen minutes in a hypnotic state gives you a good relaxation which hours of ordinary sleep cannot give. And when you come out of it, you will feel very fresh.

I absolutely agree that if you are doing it only for this purpose — relaxation, a freshness comes, but it never takes you beyond the mind. How can it take you beyond the mind, because mind itself is repeating? By repetition, it does not need to think; repetition itself becomes a substitute for thoughts. And by repetition it falls into a deep sleep — dreamless sleep, which gives you immense freshness, rejuvenation.

Naturally, you can be deceived that this is meditation — you can go on doing it your whole life. It is healthy, it is good, it is nourishing, but it is not meditation.

Meditation starts by being separate from the mind, by being a witness. That is the only way of separating yourself from anything. If you are looking at the light, naturally one thing is certain, you are not the light; you are the one who is looking at it. If you are watching the flowers, one thing is certain, you are not the flower, you are the watcher. Watching is the key of meditation:

Watch your mind.

Don’t do anything — no repetition of mantra, no repetition of the name of God — just watch whatever the mind is doing. Don’t disturb it, don’t prevent it, don’t repress it; don’t do anything at all on your part. You just be a watcher, and the miracle of watching is meditation. As you watch, slowly, slowly mind becomes empty of thoughts; but you are not falling asleep, you are becoming more alert, more aware.

As the mind becomes completely empty, your whole energy becomes a flame of awakening. This flame is the result of meditation. So you can say meditation is another name of watching, witnessing, observing — without any judgment, without any evaluation. Just by watching, you immediately get out of the mind.

The watcher is never part of the mind and as the watcher becomes more and more rooted and strong, the distance between the watcher and the mind goes on becoming longer and longer. Soon the mind is so far away that you can hardly feel that it exists… just an echo in faraway valleys. And ultimately, even those echoes disappear. This disappearance of the mind is without your effort, without your using any force against the mind — just letting it die its own death.

Once mind is absolutely silent, absolutely gone, you cannot find it anywhere. You become for the first time aware of yourself because the same energy that was involved in the mind, finding no mind, turns upon itself. Remember: energy is a constant movement.

We say things are objects, and perhaps you have never thought why we call things objects. They are objects because they hinder your energy, your consciousness. They object; they are obstacles. But when there is no object, all thoughts, emotions, moods, everything, has disappeared. You are in utter silence, in nothingness — rather in no-thingness; the whole energy starts turning upon itself. This returning energy to the source brings immense delight.

Just the other day, I quoted William Blake, “energy is delight.” That man, although he is not a mystic, must have found some glimpse of meditation. When meditation comes back to its own source, it explodes in immense delight.

This delight in its ultimate state is enlightenment.

Anything that helps you to go through this process of meditation is discipline: perhaps taking a good bath, being clean and cool; sitting in a relaxed posture with eyes closed, neither hungry nor overloaded; sitting in a posture which is most relaxing… having a look at the whole body, every part and whether there is any tension. If there is any tension, then change the posture and bring the body into a relaxed state.

In the East it has been found, and found rightly, that the lotus posture — the way you must have seen the statues of Buddha; that is called the lotus posture… It has been a discovery of thousands of years that that is the most relaxed state of the body. But for Westerners who are not accustomed to sitting on the ground, the lotus posture is a nightmare! So avoid it, because it takes almost six months to learn the lotus posture; it is not necessary.

If you are accustomed to sitting on a chair, you can find a way, a posture, a chair made in a certain way that helps your body to relax all its tensions. It does not matter whether you are sitting in the chair or in the lotus posture or lying down on the bed. Sitting is preferable because it will prevent you from falling asleep.

The lotus posture was chosen for many reasons. If one can manage it without torturing himself, then it is the best, but it is not a necessity. It is certainly the best situation in which you can enter into watchfulness. The legs are crossed, the hands are crossed, the spine is straight; it gives many significant supports to being watchful. First, in this position, gravitation has the least effect on the body because your spine is straight. So the gravitation can effect a very small portion. When you are lying down, gravitation effects your whole body. That’s why for sleeping, lying down is the best posture. Gravitation pulls the whole body, and because of its pull, the body loses all tensions. Secondly, when you are lying down, if the purpose is to sleep then you should use a pillow because the less blood reaches to your mind, the less the mind will be active. The less blood reaches to the mind, the more possibility to fall asleep.

A lotus posture is a great combination. It has the least effect of gravitation, and because the spine is straight a lesser amount of blood reaches to the mind, so mind cannot function. In that posture you cannot fall asleep easily. And if you have learned the posture from your very birth, it becomes so natural. The crossing of the legs, the crossing of the hands have a significance. Your body energy moves in a circle; the circle is not broken anywhere in a lotus posture. Both your hands… one hand gives the energy to the other hand; your one foot gives energy to the other foot — and the energy goes on moving in a circle. You become a circle of your bio-energy.

Many things are of much help. Your energy is not being released so you don’t get tired. Your blood is reaching in a lesser amount so the mind does not function too much. You are sitting in such a position — your legs are locked, your hands are locked and your spine is straight — sleep is difficult. These are just supports; they are not essential.

It is not that one who cannot sit in a lotus posture cannot meditate, meditation will be a little difficult but the lotus posture is only helpful, not absolutely needed. And for the people from colder countries where sitting on the ground is not possible — their bodies for centuries; their parents and their parents’ parents from Adam and Eve… Have you seen any picture of Adam and Eve sitting in a lotus posture? In fact, it would have been very good for them, because sitting in lotus posture they could sit naked and yet nobody would have been very much aware of their nakedness. That’s how the Jaina monks sit, always in lotus posture. You cannot see their genitals. Their legs are crossed, their hands are crossed; this functions almost as a protection for their nakedness.

But if for centuries people have never sat, then it will unnecessarily create trouble; your body structure has taken a certain mode. It is better to follow the body and its wisdom: use a chair. The whole thing is you should be comfortable so that the body does not draw your attention. That’s why tension has to be avoided, because if you have a headache then it will be difficult to meditate. Again and again, your attention will go to the headache. If your leg is hurting, or if there is any slight tension anywhere in the body, it immediately alarms you. It is natural and it is part of the body’s wisdom.

If it does not alarm you then there is danger: a snake may be biting you, and you may go on sitting; your clothes may catch fire, your body may be burning, and you may not be aware of it. So the body immediately alarms wherever there is any trouble. That’s the reason to create a relaxed position in which the body need not alarm you, because every alarm will be a disturbance in your meditation.

So the first thing of discipline is a relaxed body and closed eyes, because if you have open eyes, then so many things are moving around, they can be a disturbance. It is perfectly right for the beginners to use a blindfold, so that you are completely inside, because it is your eyes, your senses that take you outside. Eyes take eighty percent of all your outgoing contact — eighty percent is through the eyes, so close the eyes.

For the beginners, it is good if they can use earplugs. Close the ears so no noise from the outside disturbs you. It is only for the beginners; all the precautions are for the beginners. And then just watch your mind as if the mind is nothing but a traffic of thoughts or a film — a movie passing on the TV screen. You are just a neutral observer.

This is the discipline. And if this discipline is complete, watching comes very easily, and watching is meditation. Through watchfulness mind disappears, thoughts disappear. And that moment is the most blessed moment: when you are fully awake and there is not a single thought, just a silent sky of your inner being.

This is the moment when energy turns inwards; the turning-in is sudden, abrupt. And as the energy turns inwards, it brings immense delight, orgasmic delight. Suddenly your awareness becomes so rich because the energy is nourishment to your awareness. The energy coming back creates almost a flame of your being. You see all around pure light, silence — utter silence, and an immense centering. You are now at your very center.

At the right moment, when you are exactly centered — the explosion. That explosion, we call enlightenment. This enlightenment brings you all the treasures of the inner world, the whole splendor. It is the only miracle in the world: to know oneself and to be oneself, and to know that one is deathless, one is beyond the body, beyond the mind; one is just pure consciousness.

So the discipline is just a support, the essential thing is witnessing, watching — that is meditation. But in the name of meditation, there are hundreds of so-called teachers who go on exploiting people. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi became well known in the West, because the West was not aware that in the East, even the villagers are doing the so-called transcendental meditation. Everybody chanting, repeating the name of God — it is an enjoyable exercise. I am not against it; it is perfectly good, but don’t call it meditation and don’t call it transcendental. Those are wrong words for it.

It is hypnotic auto-suggestion and nothing more. It will never give you the light that Kabir talks of, “As if thousands of suns have arisen all around.” It will not give you what Rumi calls as if the whole sky is showering flowers, and the whole being is filled with perfume, unearthly, not of this world.”

It will not give you the ecstasy that Patanjali, the founder of Yoga, continuously insists on in his yoga sutras. He says that samadhi, ecstasy is very similar to sleep with only one difference that it is alert. If sleep can be awake, if sleep can be full of awareness, then it is samadhi, it is ecstasy. It will never give you the buddha nature. It gives you ordinary mental rest — physical relaxation; hence, I am not against it.

Whatever Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and other people like him are doing is good, but they are calling something meditation which is not. That’s where they are leading people astray. If they had remained sincere and authentic and told people that this will give you mental health, physical health, a more relaxed life, a more peaceful existence, it was right. But once they started calling it transcendental meditation they have raised a very trivial thing to an ultimate significance which it cannot fulfill. People have been in transcendental meditation for years, and in the East, for thousands of years. But that has not become their self-knowing, and that has not made them Gautam Buddhas.

If you want to understand exactly what meditation is Gautam Buddha is the first man to come to its right, exact definition — that is witnessing. Learn from Gautam Buddha witnessing, and learn from Patanjali the discipline that can be helpful for meditation. This way, yoga and meditation can become a synthesis. Yoga is a discipline, just an outer support — immensely helpful but not absolutely needed. And Gautam Buddha has given to the world the very fundamental and the most essential thing: witnessing as meditation.

Niten, your question will not be solved until you start on the path a little bit; otherwise, you will ask again, “What is meditation?” Just my explaining it to you is not enough; you will have to move on the path.

Hymie and Becky Goldberg are about to take their first flight on an airliner. Hymie spends a while enjoying his comfortable, reclining seat and watching the pretty stewardess walking up and down the aisle. Next he looks out of the window and says excitedly, “Becky, look at those people down there, they look like ants.” Becky leans over, has a look and then says, “They are ants, you idiot… we haven’t left the ground yet!”

Hymie Goldberg was so interested in watching the pretty girls going up and down the aisle, he had completely forgotten that the airplane was still standing — it had not moved! So looking at the ants, he thought they must be people from such a height. That’s why you meditate with closed eyes!

-Osho

From The Invitation, Chapter 21   The Invitation

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An excerpt from this question containing the very essence of meditation can be found at This Delight is Meditation.

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

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

 

The Ultimate in Meditation – Osho

We are to stand and let the waters settle on their own, why all the active meditations?

If you can sit, there is no need for meditations. In Japan, for meditation they have the word zazen. It means just sitting, doing nothing. If you can sit, not doing anything, this is the ultimate in meditations. There is no need for any other thing.

But can you sit? There is the crux of the whole problem. Can you sit? Can you just sit doing nothing? If that is possible – just sit, do nothing – everything settles by itself, everything simply flows by itself. You are not needed to do anything. But the problem is – can you sit?

It happened on a small hillock near a village, a man was standing. Just it was morning and the sun has arisen, and three persons had gone just for a morning walk and they looked at the man. And, as minds go, they started talking about what this man was doing there. One man suggested that he must be there looking for his cow. “Sometimes his cow gets lost. Then he goes to the hilltop and looks for it. From there you can look on all sides.” The other man said, “But he is not looking on all sides. He is simply standing, so that cannot be the cause. I feel he must have come for a morning walk with a friend, and the friend has been left behind, so he’s waiting for him.” The third one said, “This is not right. Because if you are waiting for someone, sometimes you look back. He’s not looking back at all.” The third said “I think he is meditating. And look at his robes; he is a sannyasin. He must be meditating.” Their discussion become so hot that they said, “Now we will have to go to the hilltop and ask this man himself, ’What are you doing here?’ ”

They walked miles to reach to the hilltop. The first man asked, “What are you doing here? I think you have lost your cow and you are looking for it.” The man opened his eyes and he said, “No.” The second man stepped forward and asked, “Then I must be right. Are you waiting for somebody who has been left behind?” He said, “No.” Then the third was happy. He said, “Then I was absolutely right. Are you meditating?” The man said, “No.” All the three were at a loss, and they all three said, “What are you saying? You say ’no’ to everything. Then what are you doing?” The man said, “I am just standing here doing nothing.”

If it is possible, this is the ultimate in meditation. If it is not possible, then you will have to use techniques because through techniques only this will become possible. Through techniques, one day you will realize the whole absurdity. All techniques of meditation are just like pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. Meditation is absurd but one has to realize it. It is a great realization. When one realizes that his meditation is absurd, then it simply drops.

There is Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: technique-oriented, as if technique is all. And there is Krishnamurti, absolutely against techniques. And here I am – for techniques, and against also.

A technique leads you to a point where you can drop it. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is dangerous. He will start many people on the path, but they will never reach the goal because the path is thought to be so important. He will start millions of people on technique, and then the technique becomes so important, and there is no way how to drop it. Then there is Krishnamurti-harmless, but useless also. He can never harm anybody. Because how can he harm? – He never starts anybody on the path; he talks about the goal, and you are very, very far away from the goal. You will fall in the trap of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Krishnamurti may appeal to you intellectually, but will not be of any help. He cannot harm. He’s the most harmless man in the world.

And then I am here. I give you a path just to take it away. I give you a technique – not a technique, many techniques – like toys to play with. And I wait for a moment when you will say to all the techniques, “Swaha, go to the fire!”

-Osho

From Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V. 3 (retitled Yoga: the Mystery Beyond Mind), Chapter Four  

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

A Copyright on Stupidity – Osho

Just don’t misunderstand me. Whatever I say is possible always to be misunderstood, because I am not talking about the ordinary world of things and objects. I am talking about the inner world of consciousness and being.

Just today a letter has arrived from Germany. Our sannyasins are doing a meditation called The Four Directions. The letter says, “In your commune people are doing a meditation called The Four Directions, and we have the copyright over it.”

I have told Neelam, my secretary, to write to them, “Things can be copyrighted, thoughts cannot be copyrighted, and certainly meditations cannot be copyrighted. They are not things of the marketplace.”

Nobody can monopolize anything. But perhaps the West cannot understand the difference between an objective commodity and an inner experience.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has copyrighted transcendental meditation and just underneath in a small circle you will find written TM – that means trademark!

For ten thousand years the East has been meditating and nobody has put trademarks upon meditations. And above all, that transcendental meditation is neither transcendental nor meditation… just a trademark.

I have told Neelam to reply to these people, “You don’t understand what meditation is. It is nobody’s belonging, possession. You cannot have any copyright. Perhaps if your country gives you trademarks and copyrights on things like meditation, then it will be good to have a copyright on stupidity. That will help the whole world to be relieved… Only you will be stupid and nobody else can be stupid; it will be illegal.”

I am going to direct my people here that they do the meditation called The Four Directions. But there are eight directions not four! Start doing the meditation Eight Directions – and certainly under eight directions, their four directions also come in. But apart from their stupid letters and their stupid government which gives copyrights for such inner experiences, the truth is that consciousness cannot be either four directions or eight directions. Consciousness is a circle: no directions. It is neither directing to the north nor directing to the south.

It simply is a circle. So my suggestion to you is that the best will be to call it “No Directions.”

We are going to sue those idiots who think they have a copyright over consciousness, in the courts in Germany. Then we can get a copyright over enlightenment. Then nobody can become enlightened, unless we license him.

-Osho

Excerpt from Om Shantih Shantih Shantih, Chapter 26

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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