In the Fire of Dancing Stillness

A review of In the Fire of Dancing Stillness – Reflections with Vimala Thakar

A film by Renata Keller

Renata Keller introduces the life and teachings of Vimala Thakar in an extraordinarily accessible way, so very much in tune with Vimala herself.  The opening scene sets the stage for the intertwining of the elements and nature as both background and enhancement.  Waves form, play, and disappear. The boatman intently watches as he punts his craft along the shore, and soaring over this peaceful scene is the crystal-clear voice of Vimala.

Renata uses a delicate touch to tell Vimala’s story, guided by profound gratitude, for Vimala recognized her longing for wholeness, and by so doing changed her life.  This tribute, made some twenty years after this meeting, interweaves interviews with Vimala’s colleagues and friends; an exploration of places she worked and taught; and powerful excerpts from those teachings. Interspersing these scenes is the slow evolution of a chalk image into the goddess Durga.

Vimala is described as a philosopher, spiritual revolutionary, and social activist.  She engaged in land distribution, persuading rich landowners to donate part of their land to landless laborers so all could live in dignity.  She reached out to, and taught, girls and women, encouraging their independence and development of self-respect.  She explains her work as taking care of suffering at all levels.

Vimala’s capacity for love and light extends far beyond her social activism.  J. Krishnamurti invited her to visit him for some healing sessions after a car accident severely damaged one of her ears.  These meetings engendered an upheaval in her consciousness.  Vimalaji wrote, “Something within has been let loose. It can’t stand any frontiers. The invasion of a new awareness irresistible and uncontrollable has swept everything away. The freshness and awareness keep one ever alert, ever keen and ever insecure. Though the journey has come to an end, I have not arrived.  Perhaps there is nowhere to arrive.  Perhaps there is no static destination.  It seems to me that life is its own purpose. Life is its own direction.  Life is dynamic, and those who live are on an eternal voyage.”  Krishnamurti strongly encouraged Vimala to start giving talks from her understanding.

This movie exudes the vast love and concern Vimala felt for the whole of humanity, the global family we are becoming as so much of our way of living is changing.  Vimalaji has tremendous hope in the new generation, in all of us, that though we live in turbulent times, such challenges create the possibility to “emanate out of our being a new human culture” based on truth, love and compassion.

Vimalaji explains how we have become separate from the sacred in life due to the way we live apart from nature, apart from each other, interacting with the manmade. Vimala points out how so much of what is considered human can now be done by artificial intelligence; it has become memory, thought, and even feeling.  She asks, is there something that is untransferable, something that artificial intelligence cannot do?  And this is the search.  What is it that cannot be transferred to a machine?  Let us find out! And this dovetails into another frequent theme.  How can we relate to life without the interference of the mind? Can we learn to look at life in a fresh way born of silence, from emptiness, in touch with the sacred?  Vimala encourages us all to experiment, dive within, disinfect ourselves of knowledge, and find out.

And the threads of this tapestry – scenes of flowing rivers and still lakes, a bird aloft in the vast sky, the beauty of trees, of humanity – the interrelatedness of it all woven together with exquisite music, and the patient creation of the goddess Durga from chalk; and shortly after completion, the destruction.

-Amido

In the sanctuary of silence
Beauty comes to life.
On the altar of silent beauty
Humility plays with life.
In the light of dancing humility
Innocence opens itself.
Freedom is the blossom
Love is the perfume
Compassion its graceful way of walking.

-Vimala Thakar

Download or watch the video: In the Fire of Dancing Stillness.

Here is a link to explore more from Vimala Thakar.

Has Anyone Seen Osho?

Understanding the phenomenon called “Osho” has proved strangely elusive. Perhaps that is inevitable because at root Osho represents the greatest potential paradigm shift in the history of humanity. “Seeing” this is the first step.

The first major misunderstanding is the meaning of Osho. A little over a year before he leaves the body, he announces that he was dropping all names and would like to be addressed as “the beloved friend.” Then later, when the people around him found this too difficult, he offers to accept the name “Osho,” if everyone “votes” for it. Which everyone did.

The only statement we have from Osho about the meaning of his name is in a message he dictated that was to be put inside all the books which had been transcribed from his talks, and which now had the “wrong” name on. He dictates the following message, that “his name is derived from William James’ word ‘oceanic’ which means dissolving into the ocean.  “Oceanic” describes the experience, he says, but what about the experiencer?  For that, we use the word “Osho.” And finally, he later makes the comment in his room that Osho “was not his name, but a healing sound derived from William James’ oceanic.”

What is the relevance of all this you might ask? Well, the more you listen to what he is actually saying, the more you discover that he has carefully anticipated a time when he would no longer be present, a time when the traditional ideas of an “Indian guru” or “master” – who leaves his disciples behind when he leaves the body – would naturally be projected onto his work.

In contrast to this view, we discover that he proposing something totally different:

“In the first place, I am not a guru.

“That is a dirty word. Because all gurus have been just exploiting people in the name of spirituality.

“I don’t belong to that gang. And I am not an Indian in the sense that I don’t believe in nationalities. I simply believe that the whole earth is one.” 1

About his being a Master, Osho talks about Buddha’s declaration that Maitreya, the friend, will return in twenty-five centuries. He explains the significance of this:

“What he meant was that the ancient relationship between the master and the disciple would become irrelevant in twenty-five centuries. It was his clarity of perception – he was not predicting anything – just his clarity to see that as things are changing, as they have changed in the past and as they go on changing, it would take at least twenty-five centuries for the master and disciple relationship to become out of date. Then the enlightened master will be only the friend.

“I had always wanted not to be a Master to anybody. But people want a Master, they want to be disciples; hence, I played the role. It is time that I should say to you that now many of you are ready to accept me as the friend…

“It is exactly twenty-five centuries after Buddha’s death…. It is going to change the very flavor of our whole movement. And you have to rise up so that what I want the movement to become, it becomes. So that the dream is realized.

“Don’t let me down. Okay?” 2

And perhaps most penetratingly, Osho specifically deals with how he would like to be remembered:

“I would simply like to be forgiven and forgotten. There is no need to remember me. The need is to remember yourself!

“People have remembered Gautam Buddha and Jesus Christ and Confucius and Krishna. That does not help. So what I would like: forget me completely, and forgive me too — because it will be difficult to forget me. That’s why I am asking you to forgive me for giving you the trouble. Remember yourself.” 3

And on another occasion when asked whether he would like to be remembered, as a mystic, a spiritual leader, a philosopher? He replies, “Just a nobody. I would like it to be as if I had never been.”

And even when specifically addressing the people around him, he continuously insists that they have to understand this work is not about him, it is about them:

“You must learn to work without me.

You cannot be here always, you will have to go far away; you cannot hang around me forever, you have other work to do. You have come from different countries all over the world; you will have to go. For a few days you will be here with me, but if you become addicted to my physical presence, then rather than being a help it may become a disturbance, because then when you go away you will miss me. Your meditation here should be such that it can happen without my presence; then wherever you go the meditation will not be in any way affected.

“And this too has to be remembered: I cannot always be in this physical body with you; one day or another the physical vehicle has to be dropped. My work is complete as far as I am concerned. If I am carrying this physical vehicle, it is just for you; someday it has to be dropped.

“Before it happens you must be ready to work in my absence, or in my nonphysical presence, which means the same. And once you can feel me in my absence you are free of me, and then even if I am not here in this body the contact will not be lost.

“It always happens when a buddha is there: his physical presence becomes so meaningful. Then, when he dies, everything is shattered.” 4

So, the fundamental paradox emerges. We imagine there is someone out there called Osho who is going to change us for the better. Then we discover that Osho is doing nothing but holding up a mirror so we can see ourselves. As he puts it:

“My approach to your growth is basically to make you independent of me. Any kind of dependence is a slavery, and spiritual dependence is the worst slavery of all.

“I have been making every effort to make you aware of your individuality, your freedom, your absolute capacity to grow without any help from anybody. Your growth is something intrinsic to your being. It does not come from outside, it is not an imposition; it is an unfolding.

“All the meditation techniques that I have given to you are not dependent on me – my presence or absence will not make any difference – they are dependent on you.

“It is not my presence, but your presence that is needed for them to work. It is not my being here but your being here, your being in the present, your being alert and aware that is going to help.” 5

And the essential ingredient of all these meditations has nothing to do with the outside. As he says so often, the key is to “look in” and rediscover the witness, the experiencer, “Osho” – on the inside.

So, how does all this fit together? Firstly, Osho is basically putting humanity on the couch and unraveling its every madness. He surgically dissects all that is insane in the world around us and how those outer lunacies are simply expressions of our own inner schizophrenia. And vice versa. He takes all our inner distortions and shows how these create the outer barbarity that passes for “civilization.” And at every turn, he explains – and demonstrates with his presence – the fundamental medicine for the disease, meditation.

Turning the world around on a dime was never going to be easy, or quick.

Perhaps that is why he says that he “would be contemporary in two centuries.” Long after his listeners were dead and gone.

Osho always starts with exactly what existence offers him. And that is you and me, his listeners on any particular day. And unless he could entertain us, intrigue us, connect with us in some way that kept us sitting there long enough to hear his real message of meditation, we would miss the real reason for his speaking.

But the more successful he was at this, the more his listeners become attracted to him, the longer we sit with him, came all the usual dangers that we would become “addicted to him.”

No matter how often he would explain that he was just a device, a finger pointing to the moon, that we should not become attached to the finger but look at the moon….

What to do? Not an easy finger to let go of. No matter how many times he would describe himself like a window frame, whose only function was to allow us to see the stars beyond…. No matter how many times he would explain that the answer lay within not without, the temptation to keep looking out, at him in particular, remained the ultimate pitfall.

Osho is clear that this same pitfall has destroyed every previous attempt at provoking consciousness. In fact, Osho describes two previous “quantum leaps” in this process. The first, twenty-five centuries before Buddha, happened around Adinatha, an ancient Jaina, inner explorer whose efforts “got lost in a desert of austerities and self-torture.” Osho explains, “This was the first quantum leap: God was disposed of.” But Adinatha “did not drop organization. And because there was no God, the organization created rituals.”

So people ended up looking outwards not inwards.

The second quantum leap occurred around Buddha.

“It is Buddha’s insight to see that God has been dropped; now the gap should be filled, otherwise the gap will destroy man. He puts in meditation – something really authentic, which can change the whole being. But he was not aware – perhaps he could not be aware because there are things you cannot be aware of unless they happen – that there should be no organization, that there should be no priesthood, that as God is gone religion should also be gone. But he can be forgiven because he had not thought about it and there was no past to help him to see it, it came after him.

“The real problem is the priest, and God is the invention of the priest.

“Unless you drop the priest, you can drop God, but the priest will always find new rituals, he will create new gods.” 6

Despite Buddha insisting, “be a light unto yourself,” the Buddhists end up looking outwards, and upwards, and not inwards.

So, Osho proposes the next step, the third quantum leap:

“My effort is to leave you alone with meditation, with no mediator between you and existence.

“When you are not in meditation you are separated from existence and that is your suffering. It’s the same as when you take a fish out of the ocean and throw it on the bank – the misery and the suffering and the tortures he goes through, the hankering and the effort to reach back to the ocean because it is where he belongs. He is part of the ocean and he cannot remain apart.

“Any suffering is simply indicative that you are not in communion with existence, that the fish is not in the ocean.

“Meditation is nothing but withdrawing all the barriers, thoughts, emotions, sentiments, which create a wall between you and existence. The moment they drop you suddenly find yourself in tune with the whole; not only in tune, you really find you are the whole.”

Osho continues about what happened to Adinatha and Buddha’s work, and how to avoid these failures in future:

“Buddha, seeing what had happened to Jainism, that it had become a ritualism, dropped God. He dropped all rituals and single-pointedly insisted on meditation, but he forgot that the priests who had made rituals in Jainism are going to do the same with meditation. And they did it, they made Buddha himself a God. They talk about meditation but basically, Buddhists are worshippers of Buddha – they go to the temple and instead of Krishna or Christ, there is Buddha’s statue….

“The priests had to create the statue – God was not there, ritual was difficult, around meditation ritual was difficult. They created a statue and they started saying – in the same way all religions have been doing – have faith in Buddha, have trust in Buddha, and you will be saved.

“Both the revolutions were lost. I would like that what I am doing is not lost. So I am trying in every possible way to drop all those things which in the past have been barriers for the revolution to continue and grow.

“I don’t want anybody to stand between the individual and existence.

“No prayer, no priest, you alone are enough to face the sunrise, you don’t need somebody to interpret for you what a beautiful sunrise it is.” 6

Or as he put it more bluntly on another occasion:

“It is such an absurd effort to force living human beings to worship the dead rather than finding the deeper layers of life within themselves. Giving them teddy bears outside, consolations – ugly consolations, degrading consolations.…” 7

And:

“As far as I am concerned, I am simply making every effort to make you free from everybody — including me — and to just be alone on the path of searching.

“This existence respects a person who dares to be alone in the seeking of truth. Slaves are not respected by existence at all. They do not deserve any respect; they don’t respect themselves, how can they expect existence to be respectful toward them?

“So remember, when I am gone, you are not going to lose anything.

“Perhaps you may gain something of which you are absolutely unaware. Right now I am only available to you embodied, imprisoned in a certain shape and form. Right now you have to come to me. When I am gone, where can I go?

“I will be here in the winds and in the ocean; and if you have loved me, if you have trusted me, you will feel me in a thousand and one ways.

“In your silent moments, you will suddenly feel my presence. Once I am unembodied, my consciousness is universal.” 5

If you thought Osho’s analysis of the state of the world was radical, including his insights about sex, power, the family, education, the environment, democracy, the state, politics, religion…. If you thought that his insight that all the human stupidities you read about in the newspapers every day are simply a projection of all our personal stupidities was radical…. Then you haven’t heard the half of it. His proposal for how the individual can change him or herself is even more radical. The “third quantum leap” in the history of consciousness is the basic understanding of we can also affect radical change by dropping all those same stupidities which keep the world so retarded.

If Osho is right, and the mess of the world around us is in our hands, then instead of always looking to the priests and the politicians, to the media and the pundits, and all the other people trying to brainwash us to believe that they know what they are doing and have all the answers – now we know the solution is in our hands. The choice is ours. In the process, of course, we realize why all those “influencers,” the ones who benefit from the status quo and will do anything to resist change, all want to persuade us not to look for Osho. If we do, we will be able to happily ignore those apologists for what they call “civilization” – and they will have to look for a job!

And if like most of us, you haven’t really seen Osho yet, now you know where he suggests we look.

-Prem Amrito MD

From Osho Times

To continue reading and see all available formats of these talks:

Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 3, Talk #5 – This Moment Is Enough for Me
Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 3, Talk #25 – Religion, Religiousness, and Religio
Osho, The Transmission of the Lamp, Talk #29 – Just like Ripe Fruit
4 Osho, A Bird on the Wing, Talk #1 – Empty Your Cup
5 Osho, Beyond Enlightenment, Talk #11 – Harmony: The Birthplace of Love
6 Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 5, Talk #16
7 Osho, Isan: No Footprints in the Blue Sky, Talk #5 – Empty Your Mind

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

This Very Place the Lotus Paradise – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now Hakuin’s sutras.

The pure land paradise is not far.

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

The pure land paradise is not far.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The pure land paradise is not far.

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

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

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

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

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

It is enough.

How much more he who turns within . . .

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

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

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

Such has transcended vain words.

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

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

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

The gate opens, and cause and effect are one.

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

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

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

Going or returning, he is ever at home.

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

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

Straight runs the way – not two, not three.

It is a simple way – one.

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

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

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

Remember the word ‘This’.

This very place the lotus paradise

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

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

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

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

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

‘Yes’ the roshi replied.

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

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

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

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

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

Zen people talk about four wisdoms.

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

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

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

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

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

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Discourse #6

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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All Beings are from the Very Beginning Buddhas – Osho

I was thinking what should I give to you today? Because this is my birthday, I was incarnated into this body on this day. This is the day I saw for the first time the green of the trees and the blue of the skies. This was the day I for the first time opened my eyes and saw God all around. Of course the word ‘God’ didn’t exist at that moment, but what I saw was God. I was thinking what should I give to you today? Then I remembered a saying of Buddha: sabba danam dhamma danana jnati – the gift of truth excels all other gifts. And my truth is love.

The word ‘truth’ looks to me a little too dry and desert-like. I am not in much tune with the word ‘truth’ – it looks too logical, it looks too ’heady’. It gives you the feeling of philosophy, not of religion. It gives you the idea as if you have concluded – that you have come to a conclusion, that there has been a syllogism behind it, argumentation and logic and reasoning. No, truth’ is not my word, love’ is my word. Love is of the heart. Truth is partial, only your head is involved. In love you are involved as a totality – your body, your mind, your soul, all are involved.

Love makes you a unity – and not a union, remember, but a unity. Because in a union those who join together remain separate. In a unity they dissolve, they become one, they melt into each other. And that moment I call the moment of truth, when love has given you unity. First, love gives you unity in your innermost core. Then you are no more a body, no more a mind, no more a soul. You are simply one – unnamed, undefined, unclassified. No more determinate, definable, no more comprehensible. A mystery, a joy, a surprise, a jubilation, a great celebration.

First, love gives you an inner unity. And when the inner unity has happened the second happens on its own – you are not to do anything for it. Then you start falling in unity with the whole beyond you. Then the drop disappears in the ocean and the ocean disappears into the drop. That moment, that moment of orgasm between you and the whole, is where you become a Buddha. That moment is the moment Buddhahood is imparted to you. Or, better, revealed to you – you have always been that, unaware.

My word is love. So I say: My beloved ones, I love you. and I would like you to fill the whole world with love. Let that be our religion. Not Christianity, not Hinduism, not Islam, not Jainism, not Buddhism, but love. Love without any adjective to it. Not Christian love – because how can love be Christian? It is so stupid. How can love be Hindu? It is ridiculous. Love is simply love. In love you can be a Christ. in love you can be a Buddha – but there is no Buddhist love and there is no Christian love.

In love you disappear, your mind disappears. In love you come to an utter relaxation. That’s my teaching to you, I teach love. And there is nothing higher than love.

Then I thought I should give you something beautiful on this day. And I remembered Hakuin’s Song of Meditation. It is a very small song, but a great gift. Hakuin is one of the greatest Zen masters. His song contains all: all the Bibles and all the Korans and all the Vedas. A small song of few lines, but it is like a seed – very small, but if you allow passage to it to your heart, it can become a great tree. It can become a Bodhi tree – it will have great foliage and much shade and thousands of people can sit and rest underneath it. It will have big branches and many birds can come and have their nests on it.

See: I have become a tree. You are the people who have come to make their nests on my tree. You can also become this. Everybody should become this – because unless you become this you will go on missing your fulfillment. Unless you become a great tree which has come to its foliage, flowers and fruits – which is fulfilled – you will remain in discontent. Anguish will go on gnawing in your heart, misery will linger around you. Bliss will be only a word, signifying nothing. God will be just gibberish.

When you have fulfillment then there is grace and then there is God. In your fulfillment you come to realize the benediction of existence.

This is a song of meditation. Hakuin has called it ‘song’ – yes, it is a song. If meditation is without a song it is do and dead – it does not beat it does not breathe. It is a song and a dance: sing it and dance it. Just don’t think upon it – then you will miss the messages you will miss its content. You will find this song and its meaning only when you are singing and dancing. When the music of life has overtaken you, has possessed you.

Hakuin’s song is so small and yet so vast, it is unbelievable. How can a man condense so much truth and so much love and so much insight into so few words? But Hakuin was a man of few words, a man of silence. For years he would not speak at all, and then he would speak a word or two.

Once the Emperor of Japan invited him to deliver a sermon in the palace. And the queen and the king and the prime minister and the ministers and the high officials and the generals, they all had gathered with great respect to listen. Hakuin came, stood there for a single moment, looked around, and left the hall. The king was puzzled. He asked his prime minister, ‘What is the Matter with this man? We had come to listen.’ The old prime minister said, ‘This is the greatest sermon that I have ever heard. He has said it! You had asked him to come and teach you about silence. He has taught it! He stood there in silence, he was silence. What more do you ask? What more do you demand? He was pure silence, standing there for those few seconds. He was utter silence. He was silence, throbbing, pulsating. But you were looking to hear some words.’

But about silence nothing can be said. And all that is said about silence will be wrong. How can you say anything about silence? To say something will be falsifying it. That’s why Lao Tzu says Nothing can be said about Tao – and if something is said, in the very saying of it, it has become untrue. Tao is silent. But that silence is not the silence of a cemetery. It is the silence of a garden where trees are alive breathing and yet there is utter silence. It is not a dead silence; it is an alive silence. Hence, he has called it ’The Song of Meditation’.

Buddha says: My approach to reality is not of belief but of seeing. His religion has been qualified as ‘Ihi passika: Come and see.’ Not as ‘Come and believe.’ Buddha says ‘Come and see: Ihi passika.’ It is here, present – you just come and see. He does not require you to believe. He is the only great teacher in the world who dropped belief – and with dropping belief he transformed religion from a very low childish stature to a very mature thing. With Buddha religion became young. Otherwise it was childish. It was a kind of belief – belief is superstition, belief is out of fear. And belief is blind. Buddha has given eyes to religion. He says: See, and there is no need to believe. And when you have seen then it will not be a belief, it will be knowing.

In this song of Hakuin you will see the way of seeing – how to open the eyes. Because truth is always there, has been always there. It is not that the truth has to be produced. Buddha says: Yatha bhutam – It is! It is already there, it is confronting you! It is in the east, it is in the west, it is in the north, it is in the south. It surrounds you – it is without and it is within. But you will have to see it: Ihi passika. Your eyes are closed, you have forgotten how to open them.

Meditation is nothing but the art of opening your eyes. The art of cleansing your eyes. the art of dropping the dust that has gathered on the mirror of your consciousness. It is natural, dust gathers. Man has been traveling and traveling for thousands of lives – dust gathers. We are all travelers, much dust has gathered – so much so that the mirror has completely disappeared. There is only dust upon dust, layers and layers of dust, and you cannot see the mirror. But the mirror is still there – it cannot be lost, because it is your very nature. If it can be lost then it will not be your nature. It is not that you have a mirror: you ARE the mirror. The traveler is the mirror – he cannot lose it, he can only forget it. At the most, forgetfulness.

You have not lost your Buddhahood. Buddha hood means the mirror clean of dust. The mirror again fresh, again reflecting, again functioning – that’s what Buddhahood is. Buddha hood means a consciousness which has become awakened. The sleep is no more and the dreams are no more and the desires have disappeared. The dust gathers, it is natural. But you cling to the dust – your desire functions like a glue.

And what is your desire? That has to be understood. If you have understood your desire you have understood all. Because in the understanding of desire, desire ceases. And when desire ceases, suddenly you have a totally new feel of your being; you are no more the old. What is the desire? What are you searching? What are you seeking?

Happiness. Bliss. Joy. That’s what you are seeking. And you have been seeking for millennia, and you have not found it yet. It is time, the right time, to think again, to meditate again. You have been seeking so hard, you have been trying so hard – perhaps you are missing just because you are trying? Maybe it is trying that keeps you away from happiness? Let us think over it, brood over it. Give a little pause to your search, recapitulate.

You have been searching for many lives. You don’t remember other lives, no need – but in this life you have been searching, that will do. And you have not found it. And nobody has ever found it by searching. Something is wrong in the very search. In the search naturally you forget yourself; you start looking everywhere, everywhere else. You look to the north and to the east and to the west and to the south, and in the sky and underneath the seas, and you go on searching everywhere. And the search becomes more and more desperate, because the more and more you search and you don’t find, great anxiety arises – ’Am I going to make it this time, or am I again going to miss it?’

More and more desperation, more and more misery, more and more madness. You go nuts. And the happiness remains as far away as ever – in fact it recedes farther away from you. The more you search, the less is the possibility to get it. Because it is inside you.

Happiness is the function of your consciousness when it is awake. Unhappiness is the function of your consciousness when it is asleep. Unconsciousness is your mirror burdened with great dust and luggage and past. Happiness is when the burden has been dropped and the mirror has been found again. And again your mirror can reflect the trees and the sun and the sand and the sea and the stars. When you have again become innocent, when you again have again become innocent, when you again have the eyes of a child – in that clarity you are happy.

I was reading a few lines of Michael Adam. They are beautiful.

‘Perhaps trying even makes for unhappiness. Perhaps all the din of my desiring has kept the strange bird from my shoulder. I have tried so long and so loud after happiness. I have looked so far and wide. I have always imagined that happiness was an island in the river. Perhaps it is the river. I have thought happiness to be the name of an inn at the end of the road. Perhaps it is the road. I have believed that happiness was always tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Perhaps it is here. Perhaps it is now. I have looked everywhere else.

‘So: here and now.’

But here and now is clearly unhappiness. Perhaps then no such thing as happiness. Perhaps happiness exists not, it is just a dream created by an unhappy mind. Certainly it cannot be as I unhappily imagine it. Here and now there is not happiness. So happiness is not. I need not therefore waste myself on what is not. I can forget about happiness then; I can cease to care and instead concern myself with something that I do know, can feel and fully experience. Happiness is an idle dream: now it is morning. I can awaken and stay with unhappiness, with what is real under the sun this moment. And now I see how much of my unhappiness came from trying to be happy; even I can see that trying is unhappiness. Happiness does not try . . .

‘At last, I am here and now. At last, I am what I am. I am unpretending, at ease. I am unhappy – so what? . . . But is this what I ran from? Is this really unhappiness? . . . ’

Think over it, meditate over it.

‘And when I cease to try to be happy or anything else, when I do not seek anymore, when I do not care to go anywhere, get anything, then it seems I am already arrived in a strange place: I am here and now. When I see that I can do nothing, that all my doing is the same dream, in the moment that I see this, my mind the old dreamer and wanderer is for the moment still and present.’

Naturally. If you are not searching, not seeking, not desiring, not dreaming, for a moment the mind falls into a silence. It is still. There is nothing to hanker about, nothing to make a fuss about, nothing to expect and nothing to be frustrated about. For a moment the mind stops its constant chasing. In that moment of stillness you are in a strange place, you are in a strange space, unknown, never known before. A new door has opened. For the moment the mind is still and present.

‘For the moment, here and now, the real world shows, and see: here and now is already and always all that I had sought and striven after elsewhere and apart. More than that: I have hunted after shadows; the reality is here in this sunlit place, in this bird-call now. It was my seeking aster reality that took me from it; desire deafened me. The bird was singing here all the while. . . .

‘If I am still and careless to find happiness, then happiness it seems is able to find me. It is, if I am truly still, as still as death – if I am thoroughly dead, here and now.’

Happiness suddenly jumps upon you. When desire disappears, happiness appears. When the striving is no more, for the first time you see who you are. That knowing is what Buddha means: Come and see – Ihi passika. From where is he calling you: ‘Come and see’? He is calling you from your desires. You have gone far away from your home, you have lost your home base. You are not where you appear to be. Your dream has taken you to faraway worlds – imaginary; illusory, your own creation.

Zen people have a special word for meditation, they call it ‘fu-sho’. Fu-sho means ‘unproduced’. You cannot produce it, you cannot do anything to bring it. You have to be passive, in a state of non-doing – then it comes. Then it comes suddenly, from nowhere, from the blue. And in that coming, in that shower of silence and stillness, is the transformation. It is nothing special, Zen people say. How can it be special? It is everybody’s nature, so how can it be special? It is utterly ordinary, everybody has it. You may know, you may not know – that is a different thing – but you have it. Not for a single moment have you missed it. Not for a single moment has it been taken away from you. It has been there, lying and lying and waiting for you to come back home.

Another word Zen people use for meditation is ‘wu-shi’. It means ’nothing special’ or ‘no fuss’.

Now this song of Hakuin.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

This one sentence is enough. It is the beginning and the middle and the end. It is all. The alpha and the omega.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

You are Buddhas. Never for a single moment have you been otherwise. You cannot. You cannot really go away from your Buddhahood, you can only dream. You can only dream that you have gone away, but while dreaming you will still remain here now. This is impossible, to lose your Buddhahood, because God is involved in everything and every being. And when Hakuin says, ‘All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas,’ don’t think that he is talking only of human beings. Animals are included, so are included the birds and the trees and the rocks. All that is, is included.

The English word ‘being’ comes from a Sanskrit root ‘bhu’. Bhu means ‘that which grows’. All that grows is God. The trees grow, the birds grow, the rocks grow. All that grows is God. And everything grows in its own pace. Remember, the root of ‘being’, the word ‘being’, is BHU. It simply means that which breathes, that which grows, that which has life – howsoever rudimentary, howsoever primitive. All is included.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

And what is the meaning of a Buddha? ‘Buddha’ means a consciousness that has come back to itself – is no more wandering in dreams, is no more thinking of the future, is no more thinking of the past. A consciousness that is not possessed by memories or possessed by imagination. A consciousness that has got rid of the past and rid of the future, a consciousness that has only present. A consciousness that lives in the moment, utterly here now. Alert, awake, radiant.

All beings are Buddhas. Zen people call this single sentence ‘The Lion’s Roar’. It is. In a single stroke Hakuin has delivered you, has saved you from yourself. There is no more salvation needed. A single statement is enough to release you from all bondage. You are a Buddha. But remember you are not a Buddha in any special sense. Everybody is – your dog and your cow and your buffalo and your donkey, everybody is! So don’t take it in an egoistic sense, that ‘I am a Buddha’. Don’t make it ambitious, don’t go on an ambition trip. ALL is Buddha. Life is Buddha, being is Buddhahood, existence is Buddhahood.

Just think of it. One of the greatest statements ever made:

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

Hakuin has finished in one sentence. The remaining song will be a repetition, really. The remaining song will be for those who cannot understand the first statement. It is said, when Hakuin was writing this song and he wrote his first sentence – ‘All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas’ – one of his disciples was sitting there and he said, ‘Stop now. Now there is no more to say.’ He left the room, the disciple left the room. He said, ‘Now there is no point. You have finished in the first sentence – this should be the last sentence!’

But still the song is beautiful. It will help you from different directions to come to the same truth. It will help you to see the point from different vantage points, from different windows. You will see the same Buddha sitting, from every window of the temple. But it is good, because from some window there may be more light falling on the Buddha, from some window the green of the trees may be reflected in the Buddha’s face, from some other window a star may be looking at the Buddha, from some other window something else – a bird may be sitting and singing a song.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

The universe is made of the stuff called ‘God’. So God is not in the end. God is in the beginning, in the middle, and the end. Only God is. But let me remind you, when I use the word ‘God’ I mean godliness.

It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.

Hakuin says: It is like water and ice. There is no difference between water and ice, and yet a sort of difference. If you have gone to the market to purchase ice, you will not purchase water. You will purchase ice – you will insist. If somebody says, ‘Take this water,’ you will say, ‘I have come for the ice.’ There is a sort of difference. But not much, not really – only on the surface. The ice will melt and will become water, and the water can become frozen and can be turned into ice. They are two phases of one phenomenon.

You are like ice and Buddha is like water. You are frozen, he has melted. And let me repeat: There is no other alchemy then love to help you melt. Love melts, because love is warmth. People melt only in love. When they are not in love they become cold, and in the cold they freeze. And you must have watched it, even in your small ways. When you are loving you are flowing. When you are flowing you are glowing. When you are loving you expand. When you are not loving you shrink. When you are loving you have warmth around you. When you are not loving you are surrounded by a cold wind – you are freezing, and anybody who comes close to you will freeze.

There are people, if they look at you with their cold eyes you will feel a shivering. And there are people, when they look at you with their warmth, with their love, you suddenly feel this is your home. There are eyes which give you the feeling of being at home, and there are eyes which stare at you and make you aware that you are a stranger here.

Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.

So Buddha hood is nothing but a state of merger. Frozen Ness is gone. Your definition has disappeared. You are no more limited, you are no more confined. At the deepest core, you are no more. Because if you are then there will be some kind of frozenness in you. If you are then you cannot be flowing – something will be hindering and something will be stuck and something will be obstructing. When you are not at all . . . That’s why when two lovers are in deep embrace there are not two persons. There is only one energy, revolving. When two lovers are really in deep embrace there comes a moment, the woman forgets whether she is woman or man and the man forgets whether he is man or woman. If that moment has not come then you have not loved.

In deep love you disappear. Still something is there, a kind of presence – but nobody is present. There is no center as frozen ice, there is no self. That’s why Buddha has very much insisted that your self is the root cause which is hindering you from being a Buddha. The feeling that ‘I am’ makes you ice, icy and cold. If this feeling ‘I am’ disappears, there is no problem. Ice will melt.

It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.

The Buddhist doctrine talks about Buddha’s three bodies. They have to be understood. The first body is called the body of truth, the universal body, the divine body. You can call it God. The second body is called the bliss body – the bridge between the first and the third. You can call it the soul. And the third body is the physical body.

You know only your physical body. You have not known your second body, the bliss body. And unless you know the second body you will not be able to know the third, the deepest – your universal body, your cosmic body, your Buddha body.

This is the Buddhist trinity – the father, the son and the holy ghost. Or, this is the Buddhist trimurti – the three faces of God. Buddha says everybody has these three bodies. The first, the physical, is very frozen. The second is in a state of liquidity. And the third is vaporous. First the ice has to melt into water and then the water has to evaporate. Have you watched? The ice has definition, boundaries; the water has no definition, no boundaries. You pour the water into any jug, into any pot, it takes the shape of the pot. It is non-resistant, it is non-aggressive, it does not fight. It is liquid, it adjusts.

The man of compassion and love is like water, he adjusts. He has no resistance, he does not enforce his form on anybody. He accommodates, he is accommodative, he is spacious.

And then the third, when the water has evaporated and has disappeared and become invisible. Now you cannot even pour it into a pot. It has become part of the sky, it has moved into the eternal, into the infinite.

These are the three states of water, and these are the three states of consciousness too. You have become too gross because you have become too much identified with your first body. As if a man has be fooled himself in believing that the walls of his house are his house. The walls of the house are not the house, you have to go a little in. You have to find the innermost core of your being – and that innermost core is invisible. That innermost core is almost like emptiness.

The first body is essence, the second body is form, the third body is action. People who live only in the physical body live only in doings – what to do, what not to do. Their whole life is just swerving, swaying, between this and that. Their life consists of doing; they don’t know anything else.

The second body is of form. A man starts seeing glimpses of non-action. That’s what happens in meditation – when you are sitting silently doing nothing, great joy arises. From nowhere, for no cause. You don’t know from where it is coming but great joy arises, as if out of nothing. Miraculously, magically. This is the second, the form. The joy takes form.

And then there is the third. If you go on following and go on moving inwards, one day you reach to the essence. That, Buddha calls the body of truth. There, no action and no no-action. All has disappeared, the whole duality has disappeared, you have come to the very essence of existence. That essence is liberating. That essence is nirvana. And you are not to go anywhere to find it, you are carrying it all along.

All beings are from the very beginning buddhas.
It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.
Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar. What a pity!

And if you go on seeking afar for that which is near, you will go on missing. Nobody is at fault. Before you go into the four comers of the world to search for it, first go into yourself. If you don’t find it there, then you can go anywhere you like. But people don’t go within, they start by without. And the without is vast – you can go on and on, you can search all over the earth. And people are searching. People come to me and they say, ‘We have been searching for our whole lives. And we have been to here and there, and we have been to Japan and to Ceylon and to Burma and to Thailand, and we have travelled all over the East. And we have not found it yet.’

The East is within you! It is not in Thailand, it is not in India. And you will not find it anywhere. At the most, if you accidentally come across an enlightened man, he will throw you to yourself. Not that he will give it to you. Nobody can give it to you. It is already there; there is no need to give it.

And because in the modern world communication has become easy, traveling has become easy, people are becoming even more mad. They go jumping from one city to another, from one airport to another airport. They are driving themselves crazy. And to reach home you need not enter into any aeroplane, into any train, into any car. You only need to enter into yourself. And ticket less – no ticket is needed. And nobody is there to debar you; it is your territory.

I have heard:

A party of Americans happened to arrive at Mount Vesuvius during one of its more spectacular eruptions. ‘Say!’ exclaimed one of the Yanks in an awed tone, ‘doesn’t that beat all Hell!’ ‘Sapristi!’ said the Italian guide. ’How you Americans-a travel!’

Now even Hell is in danger, afraid of the tourists.

People go on searching and seeking for something which needs no search, which can be found only when search stops. And I am not saying that you strive to stop it – then again you have started it. If you strive to stop it, then you have missed the point. You have just to see the point of it, that striving will take you away from you, that striving will create more and more tension. Seeing the fact – Ihi passika. Seeing this, striving disappears and there is suddenly a stillness. In that stillness the first glimpse will come of bliss. You will enter into your second body. And when you have entered into the second body then it will be more and more easy, very lucid, to slip into the central most core – the essential body, the body of truth.

Once you have tasted something of your inner bliss then you have the vision where to really search for, where to go now. Disappear into your innermost being and you will find it. Seek, and you will miss. Don’t seek, and find.

Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar. What a pity
It is like one in the water who cries out for thirst;
It is like the child of a rich house
Who has strayed away among the poor.

And has forgotten that he is rich – may have become a beggar. You are rich, infinitely rich. You are all emperors and empresses, gods and godesses. Just recognize. Don’t get too much into begging – and desire creates the beggar. Even a man like Alexander is a beggar, because the desire is there. A man like Napoleon is a beggar, because the desire is there. See the richest people of this earth and you will see just beggars and nothing else. And sometimes it happens, you come across a beggar and you see the emperor sitting there under the tree – having nothing, trot possessing anything.

Just possess yourself and you have possessed all. Be the master of yourself and you have become the master of all. Possessing things, you will remain a beggar. And people go on changing but not really transforming. You possess one thing, then you start possessing another thing, then you possess a third thing. Sometimes you start possessing other-worldly things, but nothing changes. Just form changes. Somebody possesses money and somebody starts possessing virtue. Now it is the same, not much difference. […]

I am not saying start striving to stop striving, otherwise you will simply change the name of your madness and you will remain the same. You will just change the label of your neurosis. There are people who are greedy for money and there are people who are greedy for God. It makes no difference at all, they are the same people. Greed is greed. It makes no difference about what greed is, for what greed is. Greed is greed.

Just see the point that striving is meaningless, that going anywhere is meaningless. Not because I am saying it – you have to see it: Ihi passika. You have to see it, you are not to believe it. Believing won’t help; believing is just a whitewash on the surface. Seeing brings transformation.

It is llike one in the water who cries out for thirst . . .

Hakuin says: You are crying for happiness, and you are like a fish in the water crying for water and crying, ‘I am thirsty.’ You have it! And you are begging everywhere.

It is like the child of a rich house
Who has strayed away among the poor.
The cause of our circling through the six worlds
Is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.
Dark path upon dark path treading,
When shall we escape from birth-and-death?

What is the dark path of ignorance? Looking outward. The farther you look, the more darkness. Because the light burns inside you. Looking closer and closer, and there is more light. That’s why we call a Buddha ‘enlightened’ – he has come to know and realize his light. It is a perpetual light – without any fuel it is there, it cannot be exhausted. Suns will be exhausted and the moons will be exhausted and the stars will be exhausted. But the light that burns inside you as consciousness is inexhaustible. It is eternal. […]

That’s why Buddhas go on giving you whatsoever they have attained, go on shaking. Because the beauty of it is in sharing. That’s why Hakuin has sung this song. That’s why I am here, sharing my being with you, my joy with you, my celebration with you. It is something that has to be shared to keep it alive. It is something that has to be given. The more you give it, the more you have of it.

Never be a miser in your love and in your understanding. Share it. And you will have more and more of it. Don’t hoard it, otherwise you will miss it. One day you will find it has disappeared and there is nothing but stink left. Instead of fragrance there will be stinking. Share your love with everybody and anybody. Don’t make conditions to your love. And the best way to share is to share your understanding, to share your meditation.

Hakuin is doing that in this song. He’s sharing his Buddhahood. What he has known, he is singing about it, he is praising it. He is making it clear to people who have not yet attained but CAN attain. Maybe somebody hears the song, somebody is struck by it, stabbed in the very heart by it. It is a lion’s roar: somebody may be awakened out of his sleep.

The cause of our circling through the six worlds
Is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.
Dark path upon dark path treading,
When shall we escape from birth and death?

Birth means getting attached to the physical body. Death means the frustration of that attachment to the body. Getting free of birth and death means getting free of the physical body. But how can you be free from the physical body? Unless you know the second body you will not be free from the physical body. So it is not a question of being free from the physical body; the basic question is how to enter into the second body. Once you are in the second you are free from the first. And once you are in the third you are free from the second too.

That’s why you don’t see Buddha laughing. Not that he didn’t laugh, but he has not been shown as laughing. Because in the third body, the body of truth, even bliss is meaningless. First, the body, the physical body, is the body of misery. Attached to the physical body you remain miserable. The second body is the body of bliss. Once you reach to it, all misery disappears, you are blissful. But bliss is the opposite of misery – part of duality. The body of truth goes beyond both, it is transcendental. Misery has disappeared, so what is the point of keeping bliss? When there is no misery, there is no point in bliss. When poverty has disappeared what is the point of holding richness? Even that can be dispossessed.

When all duality disappears – pleasure and pain, happiness, unhappiness, day and night, life and death – then for the first time you are in God.

The Zen meditation of the Mahayana
Is beyond all our praises.
Giving and morality and the other perfections,
Taking of the name, repentance, discipline,
And the many other right actions,
All come back to the practice of meditation.

Hakuin says: All that has been done in the name of religion down the ages, can be reduced to one single thing, and that is meditation – dhyana. And what is dhyana? Becoming aware of your physical body – the first dhyana, the first step of meditation. Becoming watchful of your physical body. Watch yourself walking, watch yourself eating, watch yourself running, talking, listening. Watch. And through watching you will see you are different from the physical body. Because the watcher cannot be the watched, the observer cannot be the observed, the seer cannot be the seen, the knower cannot be the known.

Watch the physical body, and the second body will arise. It is there – but you will start feeling. You will start recognizing it, it will start penetrating you. This is the first step of meditation: watch the physical body. Then the second step, and the last, is: watch the bliss body. Watch your ecstasy. And then you will suddenly see, the watcher cannot be the watched. ‘Ecstasy is there, but I am far away from it. Bliss is there, but I am the knower of it.’

Then you start getting into the third body, the body of truth. Then you become a pure witness – sakshin. And that is liberation. Hakuin says it happens through meditation that you discover, or rediscover, your Buddhahood.

By the merit of a single sitting
He destroys innumerable accumulated sins.
How should there be wrong paths for him?

And just in a single sitting it can happen. Hakuin does not preach the gradual path, Hakuin preaches the sudden path. It can happen in a single moment. It can happen now. You need not postpone it for tomorrow. Who knows? Tomorrow may never come. It never comes, really. It can happen this very moment. If your awareness is lucid, if your awareness is there, clear, crystal-clear, it can happen this very moment. This very sitting, and you can become a Buddha. And nobody is hindering the path except yourself. Nobody is the enemy except yourself, and nobody is the friend either.

By the merit of a single sitting
He destroys innumerable accumulated sins.

Hakuin says: Don’t be worried about sins and your past karma. In a single sitting of meditation, all that can be burnt. The fire of meditation is so potential, it can burn your whole past in a single moment. There is no need to be worried about past karma – ‘I have done some bad, so I have to suffer. I have done something, so I have to go to Hell.’ If you want to go, you will have to go! But these are all rationalizations that you are trying to find. If you wish, it is your wish – it will be fulfilled. This existence is very obliging. It goes on obliging – if you want to go to Hell, it supports. It says, ‘Go! I am all with you.’

But if you decide that ‘Enough is enough, and I have suffered enough,’ a single moment of meditativeness is enough to burn all your millions of past lives and millions of future lives too. You are released.

Start meditating. First on the body. Then on your inner feelings of bliss, joy. And go moving inwards. And one day the song of Hakuin will burst forth in you too. You will flower. And unless you flower you have not lived, or lived in vain. You are here to bloom. And unless you bear much fruit and much flowers you will go on missing the meaning of life.

People come to me and they ask, ‘What is the meaning of life’ As if meaning is there somewhere sold in the market. As if meaning is a commodity. Meaning has to be created. There is no meaning in life. Meaning is not a given thing; it has to be created. It has to become your inner work. Then there is meaning – and there is great meaning.

Love and meditate and you will attain to meaning. And you will attain to life, and abundant life.

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Discourse #1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

My Deepest Secret

What to do when my heart and mind are in the midst of tremendous turmoil, confusion, anger, disappointment?

I find a not uncomfortable place to sit and in that sitting just give a little space and time for all of the turmoil to completely reveal itself, the swirling thoughts, the clouds of despair, the murkiness of confusion, the fire of anger, and without turning away, I remain staying with it all. And the key, the most important key, is that I do not try to end any of this. I do not engage in thought to rationalize, I do not push away that which is uncomfortable, nor judge my feelings, I do not analyze why all of this is happening, nor jump onto the bandwagon and go for a ride into the maelstrom, but simply allow all of the thoughts and even more importantly all of the sensations and feelings that come along. And these too are allowed without judging, without hanging on to those that I like and without pushing away those that are uncomfortable. There is no spiritual bypassing of anything that arises. It is all welcome.

But of course, this is not true, I do, do all of those things. I do judge, I do push away, I do grasp, I do analyze, but by seeing that I am doing them, a little space opens up for love. And again, I am back to watching the whole drama but with just a little bit more awareness, a little bit freer of the grasping clutches of mind and emotion. But once again, the cycle repeats itself, not just once or twice but many times. But with each return to center the gap has widened.

And sometimes, there does come those special moments when the thoughts subside completely, when the hot feelings turn into “a peace that passeth all understanding.” In those moments there are no conclusions, just a remaining in a vast unknownness, and there is a gratefulness to all that has preceded, all that has contributed to creating this opportunity, to all that has led to this moment and I bow down to existence.

This secret is the art of watching, the art of witnessing, and it is the greatest gift that I received from Osho, but it is not unique to him. Below is a post where the Zen Master, Charlotte Joko Beck, who lived for some time in Prescott, AZ, describes a similar process which she names, get “a bigger container.”

-purushottama

A Bigger Container – Charlotte Joko Beck

Don’t Miss this Opportunity – Osho

I feel so much resistance against meditation and I don’t have this desire for God that you speak about. Is this the right place for me?

If you feel much resistance against meditation, it simply shows that deep down you are alert that something is going to happen which will change your total life. You are afraid of being reborn. You have invested too much in your old habits, in the old personality, in the old identity.

Meditation is nothing but trying to clean your being, trying to become fresh and young, trying to become more alive and more alert. If you are afraid of meditation, it means you are afraid of life, you are afraid of awareness, and the resistance comes because you know that if you move into meditation, something is bound to happen. If you are not resisting at all it may be because you don’t take meditation very seriously. you don’t take meditation very sincerely. Then you can play around. What is there to be afraid of? It is exactly because you are resisting that this is the right place for you. This is precisely the right place for you. The resistance shows that something is going to happen. One never resists without any cause.

You must be living a very dead life. Now you are afraid that something is becoming alive, something is changing. You resist. Resistance is an indication; resistance is a very clear indication that you have suppressed much. Now in meditation that suppression will surface, it will be released. You would also like to be released of the burden but in that burden, there are investments.

For example, you may be carrying pebbles in your hands but you think they are diamonds. And then I tell you, ‘Clean yourself. Drop these pebbles. They have become a burden and you cannot move because of them.’ You would like to be unburdened but then you are afraid that your diamonds will be lost. And they are not diamonds. Look again at your diamonds. If they were really diamonds, you should be happy. If they were really diamonds, you would not have come to me at all. There is no need. If you have come, it shows that you are seeking. You may say that you are not interested in God — I am also not interested in God — but you are interested in yourself. Are you interested in yourself?

Forget all about God. If you are interested in yourself. then this is precisely the place for you. If you are interested in your own being, in your own wholeness and health; if you are interested in becoming a blossomed flower, then forget all about God — because in that blossoming you will know what God is. When your fragrance is released then you will know what God is. God is your ultimate flowering, your final flowering; your destiny fulfilled is what God is all about.

A woman seeing Turner’s pictures said once, ‘Making a lot of fuss over him, are they not? I never saw anything in him myself.’ And another woman said to Turner himself, ‘But you know, Mr. Turner, I never see sunsets like yours.’ She received the mild yet devastating reply, ‘No. Don’t you wish you could?’

When a Turner paints a sunset of course he sees a sunset in a totally different way to you. He brings all his sensitivity, his whole being, to see it. In fact, you may not have ever seen a sunset the way a painter looks at it. Turner says rightly, ‘Don’t you wish you could?’

I’m here. I know you can’t see what I am talking about, but don’t you wish you could? I know that many things I am saying are almost nonsense to you because to see them you will have to attain different eyes, you will have to clarify your being; to see them you will have to pacify your turmoil within. I know you cannot see the green that I am seeing in the trees. Your green is bound to be very dusty because your eyes are full of dust.

It happened once, that a man was staying with a friend at somebody’s house. The host and the guest were standing near the window — the window was closed — and in the neighbor’s house, clothes were hanging out to be dried.

The host said, ‘These people are very dirty. Look at their clothes.’

The man looked, he came closer to the window and he said, ‘Those clothes are not dirty.

Your window glass is covered with dust.’ They opened the windows and it was so. Those clothes were not dirty.

Life is tremendously beautiful. It is Divine. When we say ‘Life is God’ we simply say that life is so tremendously beautiful that one feels a reverence for it. That’s all. Life is so tremendously beautiful that one feels like worshipping it. That’s all we mean when we say ‘Life is God.’ When we say ‘Life is God’ we only mean, ‘Don’t see that life is ordinary. It is extraordinary. There is tremendous potentiality. Just open your eyes.’ I have never seen a person who is not interested in God — although he may not know it — because I have never seen a person who is not interested in happiness. If you are interested in happiness, you are interested in God; if you are interested in being blissful, you are interested in God.

Forget all about God. You just try to be blissful, and one day, when you are dancing in your inner bliss. when the inner juices are flowing, suddenly this life is no longer ordinary. Everywhere some unknown force is hiding and you will see God in the flowers and in the stones and in the stars. I talk to you just to plant a seed, a song, a star. If you can become happy, you become religious. A happy person is a religious person — let that be the definition. A religious person is not one who goes to the church or the temple if he is unhappy, he cannot be religious. A religious person is happy. Wherever he is, he is in the temple. A happy person carries his temple around him. I know it because I have been carrying it. I need not go to any temple. Where I am is my temple. It is a climate. It is my own inner juice overflowing. God is nothing but you realized, reached, fulfilled.

Yes. I say to you, I have never seen a man who is not interested in God. There cannot be. That man is not possible. Even people who say they don’t believe in God, who are atheists, are not uninterested in God. They are interested. Their denying, their saying that they don’t believe may be just a trick of the mind to protect themselves; because once you allow yourself to be possessed by God you disappear, only God remains. So people who are afraid of being, of disappearing, of moving into non-being, people who are too egoistic and cannot allow their drop to drop into the ocean, say there is no ocean. That is the trick of their mind so that they can protect themselves. They are fearful people, afraid, scared of life.

If you are interested in being happy, this is the place for you. And you are already here. Nobody has brought you; nobody has forced you; you have come on your own. Some inner search that you may not be aware of has brought you here. Maybe something is in the heart and your head does not know anything about it. There are desires of which the head is completely unaware — the head is concerned only with rubbish. The heart may have brought you here.

Break that resistance — and when you are here, be really here. Don’t miss this opportunity.

In the New Testament the Greek word for sin is antinomic or anomeia. It means to miss the point; or, as in archery, to miss the mark. The word ‘sin’ comes from a root which means to miss the point, to miss the mark. If you are here and you miss me, that will be a sin. If you are here then why waste time? Be totally here. Drop the resistance. Or if you cannot be totally here, then go away from here. But go totally away. Then never again remember me, otherwise that will be a sin.

The word ‘sin’ is beautiful. It has been badly corrupted by Christianity. It has nothing to do with guilt, nothing to do with something bad, evil. It has nothing to do with morality but it has something to do with consciousness. If you are here, be consciously and totally here; your unconscious heart has brought you here. Groping in the dark you have come to me, now don’t miss this opportunity. Either be totally here, or go away. Turn your back against me and never remember me again; because going away, if you remember me, then you will not be totally there — wherever you are going. Wherever you are, be totally there, that’s the only way to open the secrets and mysteries of life.

And don’t be worried about whether you are interested in the concept of God or not. In fact, people who are too interested in the concept of God will not be able to know him. I have come across a very beautiful book, written somewhere in the Middle Ages by a certain man known as Dionysius Exegius. His book is Theologica Mystica. He says in that book that the highest knowledge of God is through what he calls in Greek agnostos, which means unknowing. You must have heard the word ‘agnostic’, it comes from the same root, agnostos. Agnostos means unknowing. And this Dionysius says that God is known only by unknowing. No need to be worried about the concept; no need to accumulate knowledge, theories, doctrines about God; forget all about the word and the theory. You be simply interested in your happiness, in your bliss, and one day you will find God has entered in you. It is another name for ultimate bliss.

-Osho

From Ancient Music in the Pines, Discourse #4, Q3

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Not Twoness

One summer day when I was Junior High School age, I must have been 13 or 14, I was sitting across the street from the house of two brothers who were friends of mine. They were eating lunch and I was waiting for them to finish so that we could continue on our day’s routine of playing in the neighborhood, riding our bikes, smoking in the woods, all the things that we liked to do.

While I was sitting on the ground under a big tree with stick in hand and drawing circles in the dirt, time stopped, and for a brief moment a window of nowness opened. In that moment, all movement of time came to a standstill, and I was being in the eternal now. It was as if a portal into reality had opened. I knew it was significant but that was all I knew. It only lasted a couple of moments, seconds probably, but it made a deep impression in my consciousness. Of course, at the time, I would not have used such terminology as eternal now, portal, consciousness. In fact, I didn’t even mention the experience to my friends when they came out of their house, but this was my first experience of what we could call Oneness. In that moment, there was no separation, no demarcation, only beingness, conscious beingness.

Looking back, I can see that this experience unconsciously became a litmus test, a North Star, that guided my life on through experimentation with drugs, psychedelics, and finally, to discovering meditation. I would be willing to bet that every one of us who has found themselves interested in a life of discovery, anyone who is reading this now, has had some brush with naked reality.

It is clear that this reality I stumbled upon is always present, it is only that most of the time I am not present to meet it and dissolve into it. Meditation has been the key to shining a light on what it is that is standing between my consciousness and this experience of nowness, and that is mind, thought. It is thought, the me, which obscures the perception of reality. It has been my experience that through meditation the movement of thought becomes illuminated. And it is this ‘seeing’ of thought that is the exit.

For many years following this first awakening, I was unconsciously searching to replicate that profound happening, beginning with becoming unconscious through alcohol. Unconsciousness is a type of oneness, as is sleep, but it is unconscious, and so is missing a key element of the experience that had happened years before. Next it was on to smoking marijuana, certainly much closer to the happening but dependent on a foreign substance, not a natural state. Then it was on to psychedelics, which were incredibly helpful in seeing how mind works, first in seeing thought in action, and then in seeing that I was the one who was supporting the movement of thought through identification.

This discovery of the workings of mind inevitably led to discovering meditation, first through the teachings and being of Meher Baba, and eventually, of course, to Osho.

I arrived in Poona in 1976 and every nook and corner of the Ashram was exuding Oneness. Upon entering the gate, one was absorbed into the vastness that lived in Lao Tzu house. We sang in Music Group and were lost in ecstasy. We did our groups and had glimpses of being outside of our little ego selves. We did the active meditations and rays of sunshine would find their way out from the center of our being. And, of course, we sat in discourse and darshan and the sun itself lovingly dismantled all the clouds obscuring the brilliance of our inner light, the Oneness within.

At the Ranch we witnessed Oneness in action. We saw what could happen when a group of meditators worked without the need for approval or compensation. We worked and loved the working, but this oneness was a group oneness, a collective. It did give us another opportunity to experience a certain type of oneness, but because it was a group oneness, it was a oneness that was by definition opposed to the ‘not group,’ to the outside, and therefore could not be sustainable, definitely could not be eternal.

It was after the Ranch that I realized I had to dive deep into inquiry, into meditation. I had to find that oneness that had been experienced so many years before for myself, without the aid of drugs or others. I had to rediscover exactly what was standing in the way of my own experiencing of oneness in this moment.

And so, it was time for doubling down on meditation. It was time to discover for myself what is this ‘witnessing’ that Osho keeps talking about. Do I really know for myself? And in this quest, I became deeply attracted to self-inquiry and the path of advaita, non-duality.

In one of the discourses where Osho is talking about advaita, he says something that had a strong impact on me. He says, and I am paraphrasing here, that advaita means not-two, and so it is easy to translate that as one, or oneness, but he says that there is a difference in how the two words or phrases feel or act on you. When you say or think the word ‘one’ or ‘oneness,’ there is a contraction, a solidification, it feels like an object. But when you say ‘not-two,’ there is a letting go, and so is a much better pointer to the actual experiencing of oneness.

Similarly, in a workshop that Jean Klein, a Western Advaita teacher gave in Boulder, Colorado, in one of those moments when meditation is exuding all around, I asked Jean, “So is this it, just more and more subtle?” And Jean responded, “I would say less and less conditioned.”

And that is the key. It is not that we need to be searching for this thing called ‘oneness,’ but that we have to simply see what it is that is preventing us from Being in this Eternal Now that we refer to as oneness, or perhaps better described as not twoness. And that takes me back to meditation.

By meditation, I mean closing my eyes, sitting in a not uncomfortable but alert position and watching whatever appears on the screen of my consciousness. Sometimes it is a cacophony, and sometimes it is just a meandering quiet stream. But whichever, I watch, and every time that I forget and I become aware that I have forgotten, I am back to watching. Slowly, slowly I discover how to watch without judging, without grasping, without rejecting, and without analyzing. And in this watchingness, the flow of traffic decreases and occasionally gaps appear, gaps in which there are no thoughts. And when there are no thoughts, there is no movement of time, there are no obstructions to experiencing this same Eternal Now that was stumbled upon so many years ago. But this time it is conscious, it is not accidental, and it does not depend on any circumstance, substance, or any other person. And these moments cannot but infuse our everyday life with more lightness of being.

-purushottama

This is from the collection of stories, essays, poems and insights that is compiled to form the book From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva. Download a PDF or order the book Here.

Negative Projection, a Technique of Visualization – Osho

Mind itself means projection, so unless you transcend the mind, whatever you come to experience is projection. Mind is the projecting mechanism. If you experience any visions of light, of bliss, even of the divine, these are all projections. Unless you come to a total stopping of the mind you are not beyond projections; you are projecting. When mind ceases, only then are you beyond the danger. When there is no experience, no visions, nothing objective – the consciousness remaining as a pure mirror with nothing reflected in it – only then are you beyond the danger of projections.

Projections are of two types. One type of projection will lead you to more and more projection. It is a positive projection; you can never go beyond it. The other type of projection is negative. It is a projection, but it helps you to go beyond projections.

In meditation, you use the projecting faculty of the mind as a negative effort. Negative projections are good: it is just like one thorn being pulled out by another thorn or one poison being destroyed by another poison. But you must be constantly aware that the danger remains until everything ceases, even these negative projections, even these visions. If you are experiencing something, I will not say it is meditation; it is still contemplation, it is still a thought process. However subtle, it is still thinking. When only consciousness remains with no thought – just an unclouded, open sky – when you cannot say what “I” am experiencing, this much can be said: I am.

The famous maxim of Descartes, “Cogito ergo sum – I think; therefore, I am,” in meditation becomes “Sum ergo sum – I am; therefore, I am.” This “I am-ness” precedes all thinking; you are before you think. Thinking comes later on; your being precedes it, so being cannot be inferred from thinking. You can be without thinking, but thinking cannot be without you, so thinking cannot be the basis upon which your existence can be proved.

Experiences, visions, anything felt objectively is part of thinking. Meditation means total cessation of the mind, of thinking, but not of consciousness. If consciousness also ceases, you are not in meditation but in deep sleep; that is the difference between deep sleep and meditation.

In deep sleep projection also ceases. Thinking will not be there, but simultaneously, consciousness will also be absent. In meditation projections cease, thinking ceases, thoughts are no more there – just like in deep sleep – but there is consciousness. You are aware of this phenomenon: of total absence around you, of no objects around you. And when there are no objects to be known, felt and experienced, for the first time you begin to feel yourself. This is a nonobjective experience. It is not something that you experience; it is something you are.

So even if you feel the divine existence, it is a projection. These are negative projections. They help – they help, in a way, to transcend – but you must be aware that they are still projections, otherwise you will not go beyond them. That is why I say that if you feel you are encountering bliss, you are still in the mind because duality is there: the duality of the divine and the nondivine, the duality of bliss and nonbliss. When you really reach to the ultimate, you cannot feel bliss, because nonbliss is impossible; you cannot feel the divine as divine because the nondivine is no more.

So remember this: mind is projection, and whatever you do with the mind is going to be a projection. You cannot do anything with the mind. The only thing is how to negate the mind, how to drop it totally, how to be mindlessly conscious. That is meditation. Only then can you know, can you come to know, that which is other than projection.

Whatever you know is projected by you. The object is just a screen: you go on projecting your ideas, your mind, upon it. So any method of meditation begins with projection – with negative projection –and ends with nonprojection. That is the nature of all meditation techniques, because you have to begin with the mind.

Even if you are going toward a state of no mind, you have to begin with the mind. If I am to go out of this room, I have to start by going into the room; the first step must be taken in the room. This creates confusion. If I am just going in a circle in the room, then I am walking in the room. If I am going out of the room, then again I have to walk in the room – but in a different way. My eyes must be on the door and I must travel in a straight line, not in a circle.

Negative projection means walking straight out of the mind. But first, you have to take some steps within the mind.

For example, when I say “light,” you have never really seen light. You have only seen lighted objects. Have you ever seen light itself? No one has seen it; no one can see it. You see a lighted house, a lighted chair, a lighted person, but you have not seen light itself. Even when you see the sun you are not seeing light. You are seeing the light returned.

You cannot see light itself. When light strikes something, comes back, is reflected, only then do you see the lighted object and because you can see the lighted object, you say there is light. When you do not see the lighted object, you say it is dark.

You cannot see pure light, so in meditation I use it as a first step – as a negative projection. I tell you to begin to feel light without any object. Objects are dropped, there is just light. Begin to feel light without any objects . . . One thing has been dropped, the object, and without the object you cannot continue to see light for a long time. Sooner or later the light will drop, because you have to be focused on some object.

Then I tell you to feel bliss. You have never felt bliss without any object; whatever you know as happiness, bliss, is concerned with something. You have never known any moment of bliss that is unconcerned with anything. You may love someone and then feel blissful, but that someone is the object. You feel blissful when you listen to some music, but then that music is the object. Have you ever felt a blissful moment without any object? Never! So when I say to feel blissful without any object, it seems to be an impossibility. If you try to feel blissful without any object, sooner or later the bliss will stop, because it cannot exist by itself.

Then I say to feel divine presence. I never say, “Feel God,” because then God becomes an object. Have you ever felt presence without someone being present there? It is always concerned with someone: if someone is there, then you begin to feel the presence.

I drop that someone totally. I simply say, feel the divine presence. This is a negative projection. It cannot continue for long because there is no ground to support it; sooner or later it will drop. First I drop objects, and then, by and by, projection itself will drop. That is the difference between positive and negative projection.

In positive projection, the object is significant and the feeling follows, while in negative projection the feeling is important and the object is simply forgotten, as if I am taking the whole ground from under your feet. From within you, below you, from everywhere, the ground has been taken and you are left alone with your feeling. Now that feeling cannot exist; it will drop. If objects are not there, then the feelings that are directly connected to objects cannot continue any longer. For a while you can project them, then they will drop. And when they drop you alone remain there – in your total aloneness. That point is the point of meditation; from there meditation begins. Now you are out of the room.

So meditation has a beginning in the mind, but that is not real meditation. Begin in the mind, so that you can move toward meditation, and when mind ceases and you are beyond it, then real meditation begins. We have to begin with the mind because we are in the mind. Even to go beyond it, one has to use it. So use the mind negatively, never positively, and then you will achieve meditation.

If you use the mind positively, then you will only create more and more projections. So whatever is known as “positive thinking” is absolutely anti-meditative. Negative thinking is meditative; negation is the method for meditation. Go on negating to the point where nothing remains to be negated, and only the negator remains; then you are in your purity, and then you know what is. Everything that is known before that is just the mind’s imaginings, dreamings, projections.

-Osho

From Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy, Appendix 1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Now Wake Up! – Osho

Kabir says:

My inside, listen to me, the greatest spirit,

the teacher, is near,

wake up, wake up!

The original is:

Parmatma guru nikat viraje,

jag jag man mere . . .

Your real Master, your God, is very close by. You need not go to Kaaba or to Kashi in search of him. He is so close by that even to say that he is close by is not right, because closeness also shows a little distance. He is exactly you! God asleep – that’s what you are. If you awake you need not go anywhere else.

The difference between you and a Buddha is not the difference of any physical distance, is not the difference of any quantitative changes. The distance is only of one thing, otherwise you are exactly the same: you are asleep, he is awake. Open your eyes and you are a Buddha, be awake and you are a Buddha.

Parmatma guru nikat viraje . . .

For whom are you searching? He is just within you, and He is the real Master. The outer Master only functions as a mirror; he simply shows you who you are. He does not impose anything upon you, he only reflects.

The pseudo-Master imposes things upon you. He teaches you this and that, he conditions you, makes you a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian, creates great greed in you for the other world, for heavenly pleasures, makes you afraid of hell. He is using a very psychological strategy.

That’s what the most materialistic school of psychologists goes on teaching, the school of the behaviorists – Watson, Skinner, Pavlov. Their whole teaching is that man can be conditioned only by two things, and those two things are fear of punishment and greed for reward – punishment and reward. That’s how they go on working on rats, and when they succeed in conditioning a rat they think the same can be done with man. They don’t give you more respect than they give to the rats.  And in a way they are right; about ninety-nine percent of you they are right. They are not right only when a person is awake; they are not right about a Buddha. Otherwise, humanity works almost like rats, there is not much difference. The rats function through punishment and reward, and that’s how man functions.

The false Master simply makes you afraid of hell, greedy for heaven, and through this strategy he exploits you. The real Master does not make you afraid and does not make you greedy either. Then what is the function of a real Master?

The function of the real Master is to be a pure mirror so you can see your own face, so that you can recognize your own face. Once you have seen your own heart throbbing in the mirror, your own being reflected, you will become aware of the inner Master.

The function of the outer Master is to make you aware of the inner Master. Once that is done then the outer mirror is no longer needed. You may remain grateful to it because it helped you, you may remain thankful to it for ever and ever, but it is no longer needed. The real Master works hard so that he is no longer needed. His success will simply make him unneeded.

The false Master works in such a way that he is always needed, that without him you cannot move a single inch. He makes you dependent on him. He does not give you awareness, eyes to see, to function; he gives you ready-made formulas. And of course, life goes on changing, and those formulas become out-of-date every day. […]

The real Master never gives you principles, he gives you only insights. He gives you understanding, not commandments. He simply makes you more aware so whatsoever the situation is you can always respond to the situation on your own. You need not follow a certain fixed principle. He makes you more fluid, more flexible, because life goes on changing and if you are very, very inflexible you will suffer.

Parmatma guru nikat viraje

Jag jag man mere. . . Kabir says: The only thing worth doing is to wake up my mind. The God, the real guru, is inside. The word ‘guru’ is untranslatable. Neither does the word ‘teacher’ nor the word ‘Master’ have that beauty. In fact, the phenomenon of the guru is so deeply Indian that no other language of any country is capable of translating it. It is something intrinsically Eastern. The word ‘guru’ is made of two words, ‘gu’ and ‘ru’. ’Gu’ means darkness, ‘ru’ means one who dispels it. Guru literally means ‘the light’. And you have the light within you, yes! If you come across a Buddha or a Jesus or a Krishna or a Mahavir, it will be of tremendous help to you in finding your inner guru, because seeing Buddha, suddenly a great enthusiasm and hope will arise in you: “If it can happen to Buddha” – who is just like you, the same body, the same blood, bone, marrow – “if it can happen to this man, why not to me?” The hope is the beginning. Meeting with the Master on the outside is the beginning of a great hope, a great aspiration.

And this can happen only if you meet a living Master. It cannot happen just by reading about Buddha, because who knows whether this man was really historical or not? And the way the story is being told is such that nobody can believe that he was historical.

The followers always go on creating more and more unnecessary stories about their Masters. Maybe they do it with good intentions, but even good intentions coming out of unconscious people are of no use; they are harmful. Maybe they want to impress people so people can become more attracted, but what really happens is just the opposite.

Now the Buddhist story is that when Buddha was born, the mother was standing, was walking in a garden. Buddha was born while the mother was walking. And not only that, the first thing that he did was that he himself walked seven steps. The first thing the child did – he walked seven steps! Not only that, the second thing that he did after the seventh step was that he declared, looking at the sky, “I am the awakened one, I am the great Buddha! Nobody has ever been like me and nobody will ever be like me.”

Now these stupid stories naturally make intelligent people suspicious. And one thing is absolutely certain: that Buddha is not like us, so maybe, perhaps, he became enlightened, but he gives no hope to us. Jesus is born of a virgin mother – nonsense, patent nonsense! But how can you become enlightened? You are not born of a virgin mother. Krishna is born as God, he is an incarnation of God; you are not an incarnation of God.

Rather than these stories creating a hope in you, they create a kind of hopelessness.

You need living Masters who have not yet become myths. You need living Masters who are just like you and yet different, just like you but with something plus, something mysterious surrounding them in every other way the same as you, but only in one respect different: they have a certain understanding which is missing in you, they have a certain luminosity which is missing in you, they have a certain grace, a certain climate which is missing with you. But in every other way they are exactly like you: they fall ill, they need food, they become thirsty, they are tired, they have to go to sleep; they are just exactly like you in every possible way. Then great hope arises: maybe the ‘one plus’ thing that has happened to them is also latent in you and can become manifest.

The outer Master is simply a mirror so that you can see your face, so that you can see that you also have the same face, the same possibility, the same potential. And once this has settled in your heart, that “I have also the same potential, the same seed,” a great journey has started. You will never be the same again. Looking into the eyes of a living Master, something synchronizes in you, something is triggered in your being, a process has already started.

My inside, listen to me, the greatest spirit the teacher, is near, wake up, wake up!

But we have been asleep so long, for millions of years, for millions of lives, that sleep has become a deep-rooted habit, almost our nature. So it is possible that you may even be with a living Master and miss, because the mind goes on creating new ways to go on sleeping, new rationalizations. The mind will say, “Now I have found the guru, I have found the Master. Now what more is needed? It is enough. Now by his blessings I will become enlightened one day.”

Now this is a trick of the mind. Blessings are of immense help, but only blessings will not make you enlightened. Otherwise one Master would make the whole earth enlightened, because his heart is not miserly about blessings. He can bless the whole world – he blesses the whole world – but just his blessings won’t do.

But the mind can give you these ideas – that there is no need for you to wake up. The mind always thinks in its own old patterns.

A teacher was checking her children’s knowledge of proverbs.

“Cleanliness is next to what?” she asked. “Impossible!” a small boy replied with great feeling.

Now the boy knows that the most difficult thing is cleanliness, just next to impossible. His response comes out of his experience.

When you are with a living Master your responses are bound to come from your own experience. There is every possibility you may distort. The Master may mirror your real face, but you may close your eyes, you may start dreaming about your face, you may project something else.

“What did you learn in school today?” a mother asked her young son.

He replied, “We learned that one and one, the son of a bitch makes two. Two and two, the son of a bitch makes four. Four and four, the son of a bitch makes eight.”

The mother was shocked. She went to school and complained to the teacher, “How could you teach your class such a terrible thing?”

“Madam,” said the teacher, “I taught them ‘one and one, the sum of which makes two’.”

The real Master can also be misunderstood, misinterpreted. He may reflect your face, but you may go on seeing something else. You have been asleep so long that you will need to be shocked again and again.

Hence a constant companionship with the Master is needed; it can’t be a hit-and-run affair. A few people come here and they say, “We have come here for three days. Is something possible?” They don’t see the absurdity of it. They don’t see how long they have been asleep; they want to be awakened within three days. In fact, by the way they say that they are here for three days, it seems as if they are obliging me by being here for three days. Even if in three lives you become awakened, that would be too early.

And yes, still I say it can happen in a single moment – it depends on you. […]

My inside, listen to me, the greatest spirit

the teacher, is near,

wake up, wake up!

Run to his feet –

he is standing close to your head right now.

The original is:

Dhaya ke pitam charanam lage, sai khada sir tere . . .

The original has some beauty in it:

Dhaya ke pitam charanam lage. . . Don’t waste time, not even a single moment. Run, fall at the feet of the beloved. He has been standing there for so long, waiting and waiting for you. For lives and lives God has been waiting for you; His patience is infinite. There are only two things that are infinite: God’s patience and man’s stupidity!

If you are fortunate enough to be in the presence of a Master, look into his eyes and RUSH inwards. Don’t waste time! Dhaya ke pitam charanam lage . . .

The beloved is within you, the worshipper is the worshipped. The beloved is within you; you just need to go to the very core of your being. Descend from the head to the heart, and from the heart to the being. Move from thinking to feeling and from feeling to being. Just be! and that is the meeting with the beloved. And the meeting has already been happening, you are just not aware, you are just unconscious.

Run to his feet – He is standing close to your head right now. And without finding Him you will remain dissatisfied, discontented. Whatsoever you do, everything is doomed to fail. Except God, nothing succeeds. They say, “Nothing succeeds like success,” and I say to you: Nothing fails like success. Once you succeed in your so-called worldly matters – money, power, prestige, respectability – then you will know that all has failed. The money is there and so is your inner poverty; it has not changed even an iota. In fact because of the richness now you will become more and more aware of your inner poverty; in contrast, you will be able to see it more.

That’s why poor people look a little more satisfied than the rich – not that the poor people are satisfied, not that poverty has something spiritual about it, not that poverty has to be preached. Enough of all those stupid things that have been told to people down the ages! But the poor person looks a little satisfied for a totally different reason. The reason is, he has nothing to compare himself with, he has no contrast. He is a white line drawn on a white board. The rich man is a white line drawn on a blackboard . . .  the contrast.

The richer a country gets, the more frustrated it becomes. Indians brag very much; they think their satisfaction, their so-called contentment, has something to do with spirituality. It has nothing to do with spirituality at all! It is a simple psychological fact: you are so poor you cannot afford even to be discontented. Only rich people can afford to be discontented. Only rich people really become aware of discontentment.

But one thing is certain: whatsoever you attain – you can become rich, you can become respectable, you can become virtuous, you can become a so-called saint, a mahatma, worshipped by thousands of people – but if you have not attained the inner beloved you will remain poor, you will remain in misery deep down, you will remain in darkness.

No one is ever satisfied. Poor men wish they were rich, rich men wish they were handsome, bachelors wish they were married, and married men wish they were dead, and so on and so forth, it goes and it goes . . .

Have you ever come across a person who is really contented? If you come across a person who is really contented, then be with him, then imbibe as much of the vibes of his being as possible, because that is the only way to find your inner beloved. The person who is contented must have found him.

Buddhas are surrounded by tremendous contentment, a great silence, almost tangible; you can touch it, you can feel its texture. Buddhas are surrounded by great grace; if you are not closed you will be overwhelmed by it. Buddhas are just pure love; if your hearts are open and beating, if you are still alive, then immediately a great dance will arise in your being. You will start celebrating immediately, because seeing the Buddha you will become immediately aware of the inner Buddha that has been asleep so long. But so what? Even if you have been asleep for millions of lives it makes no difference, you can wake up right now, this very moment.

You have slept for millions and millions of years

Says Kabir –

Why not wake up this morning?

Jugan jugan tohi sobat bita ajahu na savere? . . .

Don’t be foolish anymore! The time has come, This is the time!

Buddhas always speak of this moment.

Ajahyu na jag sabere? . . .  The morning has come. THIS is the morning for which you have been waiting for so long, This is the moment! Buddhas know only one time, that is now, and only one place, that is here. Their time is always now and their space is always here. They don’t talk about the yesterdays and they don’t talk about the tomorrows.

Ajahyu na jag sabere?. . . The morning has come, and you are still asleep? Are you not going to wake up? Are you not going to wake up and see the sun rising? You have missed so long, so long, but forget all about it; you can still wake up, it is still early. Whenever you wake up, it is early.

But the weight of the old habits is not easy to throw away. You listen, you may even feel a little understanding arising, but still your investment is in the sleep. You have been dreaming such beautiful dreams in your sleep, and now suddenly Kabir comes, and he says, “Wake up!” You would like to awake, but not right now – and the insistence of the Masters is RIGHT NOW. They don’t want to wait; they start shaking you. You feel angry, naturally. All the great Buddhas of the world have created great anger in people against them for a simple reason: they disturb your sleep, and who wants to be disturbed? and particularly in the early morning when it is cold, and you would like to have a turnover and pull the blanket and tuck yourself in again just a little more, and you are having such a beautiful dream. Particularly in the early morning, people have beautiful dreams. You have become the president of America or something, and here comes Kabir and says, “Wake up!”

Ajahyu na jag sabere?. . . The morning has come. And what are you doing here? You would like to tell him, “Shut up! Is this the moment to wake me up? It has been a hard, hard struggle for me to become the president of America. Somehow I have managed, now here you come. Where had you been before?” The weight of the dreams, of the sleep, of all the investments is great.

A man arrived at the Pearly Gates, and on being asked his name replied, “Charlie Graball.” “I don’t think we have any notice of your coming,” he was informed. “What was your occupation in earthly life?”

“Scrap metal merchant,” the visitor said.

“Oh,” said the angel, “I will go and enquire.”

When he returned Charlie Graball had disappeared. So had the Pearly Gates.

Old habits! . . .  A scrap metal merchant . . . even at the gate of heaven! Who cares about heaven? When you can escape with the gate, who bothers about heaven?

And this is the reason why people go on finding new excuses to go on sleeping. You cannot believe how much you have invested in your sleep. And the most cunning thing that the mind can do is to make you convinced that you are not asleep at all, that you are already awake: “Kabir must be talking to somebody else.”

That’s what happens when I am talking here – you always think that I must be talking about other people. I am talking about you! Sometimes it happens that when I go on looking for two, three seconds at one person, he starts looking here and there: I must be looking at somebody else – because nobody can think that he is Charlie Graball, no. It is always somebody else. This is one of the most powerful strategies of the mind to keep you asleep.

Gurdjieff used to tell a story again and again:

There was once a magician who had many sheep. Every day one fat sheep was to be killed for him, and of course – sheep are not so foolish as man! – they became alert. One thing was certain, that everybody was to be killed one day or other. They started escaping into the hills, into the forest. The magician was at a loss as to what to do; the sheep were becoming aware about their destiny.

Then he invented a strategy: he gathered all the sheep, hypnotized them, and told every sheep different things. For example, he told a few, “You are exceptional, you are not ordinary. What happens to others is never going to happen to you.” Since that day those sheep stopped escaping. You could have killed another sheep in front of them, but they were not afraid any more because they knew they were exceptional.

Just watch your mind deep down – you all have that idea, that “I am exceptional.”

One Arabian proverb says that when God creates a man and sends him into the world, before He drops him, He always whispers one thing in his ear: “You are unique, exceptional.” He goes on playing that joke, and every person carries that deep down in his heart, that “I am exceptional.” That’s why you go on seeing people dying, but you never think, “I am going to die.” It is always somebody else who dies, it is never I – “I am exceptional.”

. . . To a few other sheep that he hypnotized, he told, “You are lions, you are not sheep at all.” And since that day they stopped escaping; they started roaring like lions.

To a few other sheep he told, “You are not sheep, you are men. You are here to keep all the other sheep imprisoned. You are to help me; you are my friends.” Since that day those sheep became detectives against their own friends. They would inform the magician that a certain sheep was trying to escape.

To a few others he even told, “You are magicians – not only men but magicians. You can do miracles! You are immortal!”

Once he had done these strategies no sheep were escaping, and every day they were butchered.

And every day you are butchered. Every day somebody dies, somebody is killed, somebody is murdered, somebody commits suicide. Every day it is going on, but somehow, deep down, you go on believing you are exceptional. When somebody goes mad you think, “Poor fellow.” You don’t think that you can also go mad . . . because the difference between you and mad people is not much; it is very nominal, very minimal, only of degrees. Maybe you are at ninety-nine degrees and he is at a hundred and one; just one degree more and you cross the boundary, and you are mad. Just one day before that other person was also as normal as you are – now he is mad. Today you are normal, tomorrow you can be mad. But in our deep sleep we have auto-hypnotized ourselves. This auto-hypnosis is what is meant by sleep, metaphysical sleep.

Jugan jugan tohi sobat bita ajahu na savere? How long have you remained auto-hypnotized, in a deep metaphysical slumber? And the dawn has come. Now wake up! It is time! Now don’t postpone any more, you have postponed enough.

Why not wake up this morning?

There is a flag no one sees blowing in the gagan,

 in the sky temple.

A blue cloth has been stretched up,

it is decorated with the moon and many jewels.

Gagan math gaib nisan ure

chandrahar chandva Jahan tange, mutata -manik marhe. . .

. . . If you wake up, you will be surprised that you are living in such a tremendously beautiful world. But how can you know the beauty of it if you are asleep? You are not aware of the splendor that is showering all around. You are not aware of the glories of life, of the benediction that life is. How can you be aware of it? You are so deeply asleep, you are dreaming your private dreams, utterly unaware that the whole existence is a constant celebration.

There is a flag no one sees blowing in the sky temple. A blue cloth has been stretched up, it is decorated with the moon and many jewels.

It is a very mysterious existence. You cannot conceive more mystery, more miracles, more splendor, more beauty. It is the ultimate in all that one can imagine, but we are missing it. It is like a man who is asleep in the garden and cannot see the rose blooming and cannot hear the distant call of a lonely bird, and cannot see a bird on the wing, cannot see the sun and the moon and the stars. He is fast asleep. The fragrance from the roses comes to his nostrils but he cannot be aware of it; the fragrance of the wet earth, but he is unaware; the dewdrops shining like pearls in the morning sun, but he is unaware of it, he is fast asleep. This is our situation.

Why not wake up this morning? Ajahu na jag sabere? . . .

. . . The morning is knocking on the door, the sun is rising, the call has come, and you go on sleeping? This is the Master’s work: to go on hammering his disciples, to go on hammering; in some moment maybe . . . the disciple will wake up. There are moments when you are more vulnerable; there are moments when you are very hard, impossible to penetrate. There are moments when you are more flexible, more feminine. Hence the Master goes on hammering every day. He goes on, without taking any note of whether you listen or not. He knows one thing: that ultimately everybody has to listen. Finally, everybody HAS to listen.

The sun and the moon can be seen in that place;

when looking at that, bring your mind down to silence.

Mahima tasu dekh han thir kar, ravi-sasi jot jare.

Says Kabir: If you can do only one thing, if you can attain to silence, you will know the splendor of God.

Mahima tasu dekh . . . You can see that splendor; you can see that infinite beauty. That joy is yours. Just do one thing: become silent. It is another way of saying wake up – because the mind remains asleep because of so many thoughts. Sleep simply means a continuous thought process inside you, a procession of thoughts, a continuous traffic. And it is always rush hour there: day in, day out, thousands of thoughts and desires and imaginations and projections and memories go on rushing in a crowd. You are always surrounded by a big crowd; this is your sleep.

This inner talk has to stop. You can call it being awake, you can call it being silent – it is the same thing. To be silent is the way to be awake, or, to be awake is the way to be silent; both methods have been used.

Buddha uses the method of being silent so that you can be aware. Krishnamurti uses the method of being aware so that you can be silent. They both are two aspects of the same coin; if you have one you will have the other automatically.

Mahima tasu dekh man thir kar . . . Stop this constant traffic of the mind, stop this thought process. Then you can see the infinite Beauty . . . ravi-sasi jot jare . . . You will see the sun and the moon and the stars inside yourself. The whole sky is yours. Even the sky is not the limit – you are all. If you are ready to die as a drop you will become the ocean.

I will tell you the truth:

the man who has drunk from that liquid

wanders around like someone insane.

This world is almost a madhouse. To be sane here will look like becoming insane. […]

Kabir says: I will tell you the truth. I will not tell you to wake up without telling the truth. He is saying, “Let me tell you the truth: if you decide to wake up one thing is certain – you will be thought mad. You have to take that risk. Otherwise go on sleeping, go on dreaming, remain part of the mad crowd. Please don’t blame me later on.” That’s why Kabir says: I will tell you the truth.

If you decide to wake up . . . Maybe listening to Kabir or to Buddha or to me, you start deciding to wake up. The truth has to be told beforehand, before you decide to wake up. The man who has drunk from that liquid wanders around like someone insane.

You have to risk your so-called sanity. It is insanity! but you will have to risk it, and you will have to be ready to accept the world of the few sanest people. But they are very few – Mansoor and Jesus and Buddha and Kabir and Farid and Nanak…. They are very few, they can be counted on the fingers. If you wake up you will become part of that small, fortunate minority, but you will be thought insane by the people.

Kahe Kabir piye joi jan, mana firat mare.

Not only that you will live like a madman in the world, you will also die like a madman. But it is worth it; the risk is worth taking. It is better to be mad like Kabir than to be sane like Morarji Desai. It is better to be mad like Jesus than to be sane like Pontius Pilate. It is a great decision; guts are needed, great courage is needed.

Sannyas – initiation into the world of truth – is not for the cowards. Cowards can go on rationalizing, cowards can go on sleeping, dreaming. Cowards can even start dreaming that they are awake, but they will not risk. They will remain part of the mob, of the insane crowd. And of course their lives will remain of misery, of pain, of agony.

If you want to be ecstatic, risk – risk all. Only by risking all does one attain the all. Blessed are those who are drunk with God. Blessed are those who are mad for God. Blessed are those who are no more part of the insane crowd but have learned a new way of insanity – the way of the Buddhas. Kahe Kabir piye joi jan . . .

It is very rare that somebody decides, because it is very rare to be so courageous, so brave . . . mana firat mare

Then he lives like a madman, in utter ecstasy, in absolute benediction, and he dies in utter ecstasy, in an absolute benediction. Life can be a celebration and death too, but you will need to risk.

And that’s what my whole effort here is: to seduce you into risking all for God. Remember, you have slept enough and you have not found anything, you have dreamt enough and your hands are empty, you have thought enough and where have you arrived? Now wake up.

Friend, now wake up!

Enough for today?

-Osho

From The Guest, Discourse #10

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Buddhaghosa

Buddhaghosa was a 5th-century Indian Theravada Buddhist commentator, translator and philosopher. He worked in the Great Monastery Mahāvihāra) at Anurādhapura, Sri Lanka of the Vibhajjavāda school and in the lineage of the Sinhalese Mahāvihāra.

His best-known work is the Visuddhimagga (“Path of Purification”), a comprehensive summary of older Sinhala commentaries on Theravada teachings and practices. According to Sarah Shaw, in Theravada this systematic work is “the principal text on the subject of meditation.” -from Wikipedia

At the Ranch, in Rajneeshpuram, I worked in the Buddhaghosa department. Which is the name that Osho gave to the department that was responsible for the sale and distribution of all of Osho’s books. Part of that work included the warehousing of all of Osho’s books. We had three co-ordinators, Ma Prem Gatha, Ma Prem Gyano and Swami Rama. They were a triumvirate of coordination.

Some of the sannyasins who worked there were, Ma Yoga Rabya, Swami Red Hawk, Shailandra and Amit (Osho’s brothers), Swami Keerti, Ma Dharma Jyoti, Ma Prem Kaveesha and these are just a few, there were many others.

So where is everybody these days: Gatha lives full time at the Ramana Ashram in Tiruvanamalai, India. Gyano lives and works at the Insight Mediation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. Swami Rama worked closely with the American Advaita teacher Robert Adams in Sedona, Arizona, before Robert’s passing, and has himself passed on a few years ago. Ma Yoga Rabiya lives at a retirement home in Ashland, Oregon, she must be in her 90’s and is still going strong. Red Hawk is a renown poet and author of eight books. Shailandra is leading meditation meetings. Amit is living and working at Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune. Swami Keerti started OshoWorld, is the author of numerous books, and leads meditation camps around the world. Jyoti lives and works at OshoDham in Delhi and also leads meditation workshops. Kaveesha started the Osho Academy in Sedona, and passed away in 1999. And myself, I am maintaining the blogsite Sat Sangha Salon at o-meditation.com which posts the words of many buddhas, mostly from Buddha Osho.

Buddhaghosa was quite the greenhouse for sprouting meditation and interestingly, the word buddhaghosa means voice of the Buddha in Pali.

-purushottama

Here you can download a PDF copy of Buddhagosa’s Visuddhimagga (The Path of Purification).

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