When My Mind is the Cause of Unhappiness – Osho

When my mind is the cause of my unhappiness either I don’t know how to come out of mind or I must still enjoy being in my mind, dreams, fantasies.

If the house is on fire and you see the flames of fire you will escape. And you will know how to escape, you will find a way. When the house is on fire who worries whether you are getting out of the right door or whether you are getting out of the back door or getting out of the window? Who bothers? Once you feel that the house is on fire you will not even think about how to get out. You will get out first and then you will think. And then you will wonder how it happened.

Buddha used to say that you ask about techniques because you are not yet aware that the house is on fire.

When you come across a snake on the path do you ask how to get out of the way? And you may not have come across a snake in your whole life. This may be for the first time.

And you may never ever have heard anybody talking about how to get out of the way of a snake, but still you will get out of the way — you will jump. You will not sit there and think about what to do, how to do it, whom to consult, where to find a guru. You will not think, you will simply jump.

The questioner says, When my mind is the cause of my unhappiness either I don’t know how to come out of mind or I must still enjoy being in my mind, dreams, fantasies.

When my mind is the cause of my unhappiness…. Still it is not clear to you.

You may have heard me saying again and again that mind is the cause of all unhappiness. You have listened to me, you have become like a parrot — now the question arises. But you have not yet felt it. If you have felt that mind is the cause then you will jump out of it, you will know the way. The way is there, the way has always been there. It is not your realization. And you must still be enjoying your dreams, your fantasies, because the mind stops immediately, the moment you stop enjoying it. There is no other way to stop it. It is just like a bicycle: you go on pedaling it, it goes on moving. If you stop pedaling it, it may go a little further because of the past momentum but then it will stop.

Mind needs constant co-operation, constant infusion of energy from your side, constant identification. The mind needs your help, it is a mechanism, it cannot run on its own accord. Deep down you are helping it. When the body lies there and the soul has disappeared, the mind stops instantly. It cannot work without you.

You must be enjoying it. In fact, religion is also one of your fantasies; God is your biggest dream. Listening to religious people, seeing their ecstasy, watching their grace, greed has arisen in you. Your mind fantasizes. It would be beautiful to be in nirvana, it would be beautiful to be enlightened. Your mind starts dreaming about it. Then you come to hear that the mind has to be dropped.

Three persons were talking. One said, “If in a dream you get one million rupees, what are you going to do? As far as I am concerned, I am going for a world tour. That has been my dream from my very childhood. What are you going to do?”

The other said, “If I get one million rupees, I am not going anywhere. I am just going to rest in my house. Why bother? I am going to stop going and just rest and relax and enjoy. Who bothers to go from here to there?”

And they asked the third man, “If you get one million rupees in a dream, what are you going to do?”

He said, “I will immediately close my eyes and sleep again, to dream more to get many more millions. If you can get one million rupees in one dream, I will dream the same dream again to get one million more.”

Your mind is your dream, your fantasy. You are still in it. Even when you are thinking about how to get out of the mind, that too is a mind fantasy. And you must be enjoying it.

I have heard.

Mulla Nasruddin stormed out of his office and yelled, “Something has got to be done about those six phones on my desk. For the past five minutes I have been talking to myself.”

Mind is nothing but talking to yourself. What else is it? The inner talk, the inner chattering, the rehearsing for the future, the chewing again and again the past experiences—you are talking to yourself. It is a monologue. With nobody else to talk to, you talk to yourself.

If windows were possible into your mind and people could look inside, or there was a system…. Someday there may be. Science will find a way to magnify your mind. Your mind can be attached, wired, to an instrument and the instrument will start broadcasting what is going on inside your mind. Then you will be simply amazed to see that you are mad. You will not allow anybody to connect your mind to an instrument. Sometimes write down what goes on in your mind on some blank paper. Close the doors and windows so nobody comes in and just write it down. Don’t deceive, because nobody will ever see, you can burn it immediately. Just write down whatsoever goes on. Don’t improve upon it, don’t add something, don’t delete anything. Photographically simply write down the way the mind goes on. Within ten minutes you will see how mad you are, you will see what is going on?

But we never look. We look outside; we never look into the mind. Looking into the mind is what meditation is all about.

Bodhidharma, the real founder of Zen, used to say, “Looking face to face with the mind is all. Looking directly into your mind is all.” Once you start looking directly you will be surprised. You will come to know that you are carrying a madman; not one really, a madhouse—many madmen inside, running hither and thither, all against each other, fighting, struggling, warring.

If you look deep inside into the mind directly, first you will be amazed, mystified as to why you go on carrying this mind.

And the second thing you will realize is that you are not the mind, you are the looker, the watcher, the witness, who is seeing into the mind. And that will give you a freedom that you have not yet known. You are confined in the body, then you are confined in the mind. Once you come to know that you are neither the body nor the mind, suddenly you become unconfined — you are as big, as vast as the sky. Then there is no boundary line around you; then you are one with this ocean of life; then you are one with God. “That art Thou” –“Tat twamasi.” Then you come to know that “I am That”, the witness.

So the only thing you can do is just to look deeply inside the mind. It will have two aspects. First you will feel very, very crazy, going mad. Don’t try to escape from that madness because if you escape, again you will escape outside. Stick to it, let it be mad but go on looking into it, go on looking into it. Sometimes it takes months, sometimes it takes years but it is worth it, even if it takes lives. If you go on looking, unwaveringly, not getting distracted here and there, then one day the second aspect arises in you—that you are a witness. Your mind looks very, very far away, very distant, on some other planet, only sounds are heard, a few flickering waves come to you. The more you become a witness, the more the energy gathers together in becoming a witness, the more and more energy is taken away from the mind. The mind starts withering. One day you are there all alone without any mind. Then you are in a state of nowhereness.

I have heard about two hobos who were caught by the police and were brought to the court. The policeman suspected they had not committed anything wrong, but their way of life, their style was suspicious.

The magistrate asked the first hobo, “Where do you live?”

He said, “Nowhere.”

He asked the second, “Where do you live?”

He said, “I am this guy’s neighbor.”

The first guy lives nowhere, the other is the neighbor—the answer is pure Zen.

When you come to know yourself, you come to know that you are nowhere, “nowhen”, because there is no time, no space. Suddenly you are the whole, spread all over reality.

This is what we in the East call moksha, absolute freedom.

But you must be enjoying your mind, that’s why you are asking how to get out of it, what the way is to get out of it. These are the questions of people who are trying to deceive themselves. You don’t want to get out of it so you ask “how?” because with the “how?” postponement is possible. The “how?” cannot be done right now, you will have to practise it; it can happen only tomorrow, it cannot happen right now. The “how?” gives you time—tomorrow. And then you say, “Okay, so we will do it tomorrow. It cannot happen right now.”

People ask me, “Can enlightenment happen right now?” If I say “yes”, they say, “Then why is it not happening?” Then they think it is not going to happen to them because if it was going to happen, it would have happened already. It happens right now! If I say to them, “You will have to work for it, you will have to do hard, arduous work, you will have to move in deep discipline,” then they say, “Then it is okay. So somewhere in the future it will happen.” And they are relieved. So it is not going to happen right now—someday—so what is the hurry?

Whether it is tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, it makes no difference—it is tomorrow. Both ways they find a way to postpone.

Now let me give you a paradox to meditate on: it always happens right now but one has to work for it. It never happens in the tomorrow, it always happens today, because there is no tomorrow. But one has to work hard; one has to gather together all one’s energies and to put them at stake. If all your energies are together right now, if you desire intensely, passionately, if your desire has become almost a flame and you are aflame with one desire, only with one desire to attain to enlightenment it can happen right now. If you are so thirsty that you disappear and only thirst remains, then God starts pouring into you. Then you have earned, you have earned the capacity. You have become receptive.

When my mind is the cause of my unhappiness…. Never ask such questions.

You still think it is not so. This is a hypothetical question; when, if, etc., are hypothetical questions.

When my mind is the cause of my unhappiness…. No, either it is or it is not, there is no question of “when.” Either you know that it is the cause of unhappiness or you know that it is not the cause of unhappiness. Decide. If it is not the cause of unhappiness, then things are clear: there is nothing to be done with mind. In fact, if it is not the cause of unhappiness, then the cause must lie somewhere outside you. That’s what Communists say—Marx and Mao. That’s what they say—that the cause of happiness is somewhere outside you not inside you: in the structure of the society, the economic system of society, in the political world—somewhere outside you. If your misery comes from outside there is no way to get out of it. Because the cause is outside you, how can you destroy it?

Because of this fact, Freud by and by became very despondent in his later life and finally, before he died, he wrote in a letter: Man can never be happy; it is impossible. Man’s desire to be happy is an impossible desire. Man can never be happy because it is not in his hands to be happy.

But Freud is wrong. I am here and I say to you that I am happy. So it is not a question of my belief. It is not a belief that I am happy. Buddha is happy, Krishna is happy, Jesus is happy. But Freud—why does he think that man cannot be happy? And he is not a man to make meaningless statements. He is a very sincere man. Forty, fifty years of deep observation has brought him to make the statement that man cannot be happy. The reason is that he was also looking for the cause somewhere beyond man.

Marx looks for it in the social structure; Freud looks for it in the unconscious. But the very definition of unconscious is that which is not available to you, that of which you are not conscious. It is outside you, you are in your consciousness. It is outside you, it is somewhere you don’t know where. From where does your misery come? How can you change it?

Religion takes a radically and diametrically opposite standpoint: you are the cause. It makes one sad in the beginning that ‘I am the cause of my misery’ but really one should be happy. If I am the cause, then there is a possibility, then there is hope because I can stop it. I can try not to be the cause of my unhappiness.

With religion, man becomes responsible; with communism, man becomes irresponsible.

With religion, man becomes a free agent in this world; with communism, man becomes a mechanical thing, a robot-like thing. With religion, you attain to being a soul, you become a soul; with communism, the soul disappears, you are no more there. If the cause of happiness is outside, if the cause of misery is outside, then your soul is outside—it is not within you. Then you are to be manipulated by the state, then you are nothing but a hollow puppet and the strings are somewhere in the Kremlin—somebody is manipulating from there. Then life is almost meaningless, not only meaningless, but horrible. Man is not a hollow puppet; man has a substantial being in him.

So when you say, when my mind is the cause of my unhappiness, you have taken my statement as true without realizing it, without becoming a witness to it. Never do that, otherwise questions arise unnecessarily. It is better not to answer hypothetical questions because they will create more hypothetical questions. If you are unhappy because of your mind, recognise the fact.

Somebody insults you. Do you think you are unhappy because somebody insulted you or do you think you are unhappy because you have a very subtle ego which felt hurt by this insult? Now the possibilities are only two. Either you are unhappy because he insulted you. If that is the possibility, the only possibility, then you can never be happy because the world is vast and how can you manage that nobody will insult you ever? It is beyond you. If it is your ego which feels hurt, then the possibility exists that you can drop the ego. Then let the whole world insult you, you can go on laughing, it makes no difference.

Mulla Nasruddin and one of his friends had been drinking all evening in a bar. The friend finally passed out and fell to the floor. The Mulla called a doctor who rushed him to a hospital.

When he came to, the doctor asked him, “Do you see any pink elephants or little green men?”

“No,” groaned the patient.

“No snakes or alligators?” the doctor asked.

“No,” the drunk said.

“Then just sleep it off. You will be all right in the morning,” said the doctor.

But Mulla Nasruddin was worried.

“Look, doctor,” he said, “that boy is in bad shape. He said he could not see any of them animals and you and I know the room is full of them.”

What I say will not make much difference if you know the room is full of them. Finally you are going to be the deciding factor. So watch your mind. Is your mind the cause of misery? If it is not then you cannot be a religious man. Then one day or other you are going to be a communist. These are the two alternatives: religion and communism.

Everybody has to decide. And I would suggest to you that if you feel that your mind is not the cause of misery, then become a communist—nothing wrong in it, be sincere.

Sooner or later you will be frustrated, and a frustrated communist becomes religious very easily. Many people need that frustration because then that alternative is finished. Then there is only one alternative. Never hang between the two, never be in the limbo.

Many people are in the limbo. They go to the church but their heart is communistic. When I say communistic I don’t mean they belong to the communist party, I mean that they believe that the cause of their misery is outside.

A stubborn old Dubliner stepped into the dentist’s office with a terrific toothache. He could not, however, muster up enough courage to have the tooth pulled. So the dentist gave him a glass of whisky to bolster him.

Then the dentist said, “Right, ready now?”

“’Not quite,” said the man smacking his lips.

Two more drinks of whisky and finally he finished up the entire bottle.

“Now step into the chair,” the dentist begged.

The Irishman came out swinging into the middle of the room.

“I would like to see the swine who would dare to touch my tooth now!”

You are almost drunk with your mind. And I am going to touch your teeth, remember.

You have to become a little sober; you have to become a little more aware. Once you have a little awareness you will start seeing that it is your mind, nothing else but your mind that goes on spinning new webs of misery. It is just like a spider: he goes on creating a net and goes on being caught into himself.

The first thing to be decided is whether you realise the fact that your mind is the cause of your misery, of your unhappiness. Once this is decided everything becomes clear. Then there is no need, really, to ask how to get out of it. And if you have not yet decided and I help you in some way to get out of it, I will be in trouble. Let me tell you one anecdote to make the thing clear.

The woman bather had got into a hole and she could not swim, nor could the young man on the end of the pier. But when she came up the first time and he caught sight of her face he could yell, and he did. Just then a big fisherman walked by.

“What is up?” he asked.

“There!” hoarsely cried the young man. “My wife, drowning. I can’t swim. A hundred dollars if you save her!” In a moment the fisherman was in the water; in another he was out of it with the rescued woman.

He approached the young man. “Well, what about the hundred dollars?”

If the young man’s face had been ashen-gray before, now it was dead white as he gazed upon the features of the rescued woman.

“Yes I know,” he gasped, “but when I made the offer I thought it was my wife who was drowning and now, now it turns out it was my wife’s mother!”

“Just my luck,” said the fisherman sadly, thrusting his hand into his trouser pocket. “How much do I owe you?”

So first you decide whether your mind is your wife or your mother-in-law. Then only can something be done about it. Otherwise you will be angry with me. If I pull you out of your mind and you were still fantasizing and dreaming, you will be tremendously angry and annoyed and irritated. And if you were dreaming sweet dreams, then more so, because you were hoping that something was just going to be fulfilled.

One day Mulla Nasruddin’s wife woke him up in the morning and he became very, very angry and he said, “You foolish woman. Is this the right time?”

She said, “But the sun is up.”

He said, “It has nothing to do with the sun. I was dreaming about a man who was offering me a hundred rupees and just at the moment I was going to take it, you came. You have destroyed the whole thing.”

He tried again to create sleep, tried to close his eyes, turned this way and that, but you cannot catch hold of a dream. Once it is gone it is gone. And he started saying, “Okay, I will accept even ninety, eighty, seventy, whatsoever you give, I will accept, but give it!”

But there was nobody to give.

If you are dreaming, then dream a little more. Nobody is ever fulfilled by dreaming but one has to figure it out oneself –“Enough is enough. I have dreamed enough, fantasized enough, and nothing comes except misery, except frustration.” Each desire brings more frustration, each expectation turns finally into frustration.

Once you understand it, there will be no need to take you out of it; once you understand it, the very understanding becomes the coming out of it. The very understanding means freedom from mind.

-OSHO

From Dang Dang Doko Dang, Chapter Six

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.

Sannyas is Like a Funnel

Sannyas like so many words in India has layers and layers of meanings.

Sannyas is like a funnel. At the top of the funnel and on the periphery are being part of a larger group, the personal love affair with a Master etc. and at the bottom of the funnel, the spout, is initiation into ones own being. Here at the spout all of the outer edge of the funnel is pouring down into the spout.

We have been blessed in this life to have been initiated by our Master into sannyas and so should not squander this opportunity. Sannyas is a door. It is not a conveyor belt. It is not that we just step on the conveyor belt like at an airport and we are deposited at our gate. No it requires us to be vigilant as to what is continuously taking us out through that door. It is not a door that we need to pass through. It is a door which we already are passing through all the time. We pass through the door in search of happiness. But through sannyas we become aware of the door itself and by doing so we discover that it is indeed a door opening into freedom but to our surprise we discover that we have been passing through the wrong side. We have been going out of the door instead of remaining in.

From its very beginning till the very end sannyas is an initiation. It is an initiation into the whole, an initiation into our very own being which for most of us was beyond our experience. Sannyas gave us a taste of life outside of the confines of the ego-mind. Sannyas gave us a glimpse of our dissolution from which we would be reborn living consciously as part of the whole.

Some of us were first attracted by the teachings that were conveyed through one of the hundreds of Osho books or perhaps we heard a discourse. Some of us were attracted by the crazy community that we encountered when we were drawn into the net. And certainly all of us were attracted by the center of that cyclone, Osho, who we saw as a beautiful, amazing and mysterious presence.

But slowly, slowly those attractions began to reveal to us what truly lies at the center of sannyas. We find that each of those attractions began to point to our very own dissolution. The dissolution of separate waves into the ocean of existence.

Sannyas is a movement from the periphery to the center. On the periphery we find community, being a part of something greater than ourselves. On the periphery we are attracted to celebration which we see as dance, song and play. We are attracted to a presence that we see as some kind of mysterious being outside of ourselves which too is on the periphery.

And as we move into these aspects of sannyas we discover that there is less and less of what we began with. We find that more and more of the baggage of conditioning that we came with slowly, slowly starts dropping away. And in this sannyas from time to time we find moments when we find ourselves standing in awareness without any confines of ego-mind. We experience glimpses of life without the shackles of self-identification.

Because Osho has made sannyas so accessible we were able to enter into a land in which we may never have journeyed otherwise. Because of the community that he surrounded himself with, because of the mind-blowing being of truth from which he serenaded us, and because of his simple beauty and grandeur we were able to embark on the greatest journey of all. We were able to begin the return journey to our very own being.

Sannyas is an invitation to make the return journey. It is initiation into our very own being.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama.

This Coolness is Your Meditation – Osho

[A sannyasin asked about watching ‘a lot of shit going through his head]

It is natural, so don’t feel in any way depressed by it. If you do, it is impossible to get rid of it because you lose all energy in it. People who become interested in meditation, sooner or later start feeling hopeless, because the chatter of the mind seems non-ending; it goes on and on, and the more you try to finish with it, the more it bubbles up. Don’t be in a hurry, and don’t take any negative attitude about it.

Even shit can be used; it can become good manure. So don’t be negative about it. We are going to use it. There is no better fertilizer than it, and when you see a rose flower coming, it is out of a fertilizer. Meditation arises out of the mind. It is no-mind but it is based in the mind. It is just like a lotus born out of mud, just ordinary mud.

And the second thing: don’t try to stop it. Be loose. Tell the mind to just go on and to finish its trip. Remain unconcerned, as if it is none of your business, as if it is just a traffic noise—and it is. It is an engine that goes on continuously from the time of your birth to your death. It goes on making noises, chattering, rehearsing, projecting, remembering the past, desiring the future. Accept it in aloofness.

By and by you will see that there arises a distance and the distance between you and the noise of the mind goes on becoming bigger and bigger and wider and wider. One day suddenly you realize that it is not there. There is a tremendous silence. For moments you will realize that everything stops, and then starts again, but you remain aloof. Remain aloof even to the stopping, because if you rejoice too much in it you are immediately distracted. The mind will come in again and the whole functioning will start. If it stops that is okay. If it starts again, that too is okay.

But this is how the distance is created—and this distance is meditation. As I see it, nothing is needed. Simply be unconcerned and watch. That word ‘watch’ is a little too positive—watchfulness plus aloofness. Then the danger of that positive watching is avoided—a passive watchfulness.

Much is going to happen. Change to orange and forget the old identity. Now you are part of my family.

This word himalaya is very meaningful. Him means cool, ice-cool, and laya means a house—a house of coolness. That’s why we call the mountain Himalaya—the house, the very abode of ice-coolness. And anand means bliss.

Bliss and coolness go together. If you attain to bliss you will become cool, and if you attain to coolness you will attain to bliss. Bliss has no excitement in it. It is simple coolness, silence. It has no fever, no passion in it. So remember these two things – they are going to help you.

Remain cool whatsoever the situation, whatsoever the excitement, suddenly remember that you have to be cool, and relax, and catch hold of your inner coolness. If somebody is insulting you, remember that you have to be cool, and this man is giving you an opportunity. Be thankful to him and don’t be distracted by him. If you can remain cool and indifferent where ordinarily you get easily excited and passion is aroused, when anger comes and distracts you and you become feverish, suddenly you will see that bliss is showering all around you.

You manage coolness, God manages bliss. You take one step, and he takes one step towards you immediately. It is fifty/fifty.

This coolness is your meditation.

.. It is flowing… it is not deadness. Just remain cool like a cool breeze. The moment that you see that your flowing is becoming feverish, stop, because then you are going out of your being. Flow to the extent that you can retain your coolness, and then there is no problem.

Prem means love and dhyana means meditation, and love is going to be your meditation—love meditation.

Be loving as much as you can. Just go on remembering that you have to be loving – to the trees, to the rocks. Even if you are sitting in an empty room, be loving to the empty room. But whatsoever you do and wherever you move, carry a climate of love around you, and by and by you will start feeling it working.

It is everybody’s capacity. Nothing is to be learned about it. Everybody is born with it, just as we are born with the capacity to breathe. But somehow society has destroyed the capacity to love, because love is very dangerous for the society. It is the greatest rebellion there is. Society cannot exist, or this society cannot exist, if people are really loving.

Wars and exploitation and all nonsense will be impossible if people are loving, so society does not want anybody to be loving. But unless you love, God remains unavailable, and unless you move deep in love, you cannot move in God.

So let this be your constant remembrance. Even when you touch things, even a chair, touch them as if they are your beloved. In the beginning it will look crazy, but by and by you will get the knack of it, and everything else will become crazy.

-Osho

From Nothing to Lose but Your Head, Chapter Twelve

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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.

From In a Thought to Out of Mind

In a thought.
Watch a thought.
Watch mind.
Out of mind!

In a thought.

Ordinarily we live in thought. So even “in ‘a’ thought” is a step, because with ‘a’ thought there is already enough awareness separate to recognize having been in ‘a’ thought. But when we are in thought we are simply lost. But it is through this recognizing “in a thought” that we are gradually gaining strength of consciousness for the next step.

 

Watch a thought.

With this newfound seeing we begin to witness, we begin with watching a thought. It is however very fleeting. Either we enter into the stream of the thought and are lost until we remember and are once again at the beginning, or by watching the thought; the thought peters out and vanishes.

Watch mind.

There is a big shift that happens when we move from watching a thought to “watching mind.” Watching mind means we are not getting into the separate thoughts but watching the energy of mind, the movement of mind. It is seen as an object, as a whole. It is in this seeing the whole of mind that we find ourselves in the next step.

Out of mind!

It is from this “out of mind” that we are able to let all the contents of mind unpack itself and still remain the witness.

The sages don’t talk of no-mind in order to create a far off goal to be reached but rather so that it can be recognized when we stumble into it.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama.

 

Sitting for the Sheer Joy of It

That which sees is not the mind. That is why Osho has us begin with watching anything. In the beginning it is helpful to watch the clouds passing, watch the leaves falling, watch a stream flowing or even watch the traffic of cars. This is watching the outside world but it is the beginning.

We can then move to watching the activities of the body, watching without identification. This is the magic of the walking meditation. It is allowing us to experience watching the body walking which is strengthening the watcher, the one that sees.

Watching the breath is another way to strengthen this watchingness. We watch the coming and going of the breath and we are coming out of the identification with breathing.

Moving deeper we begin to watch the comings and goings of the mind. The very effort to watch the mind while we are still identified is how we begin to come out of mind. It does not need to be a serious affair, we are not against the mind. We are just interested in finding, discovering the One who sees. This One who sees is always present in watching. The mind does not watch. The ego cannot watch. Our identification with someone who we perceive watching cannot watch. Always in the background the One who sees is present. We have the power to come out of mind because we have the power to identify with mind. It is not that some power makes us identify, we do that ourselves. Watching the activity of the mind without grasping, without rejecting, without judging we begin to become less identified. Slowly, slowly the One who sees becomes less identified.

Osho has said that if we are able to witness the mind without identification then we can easily move into watching the subtle feelings, the heart, also without grasping. Without choosing the feelings we like, without rejecting the feelings that we find hard to witness and without judging ourselves when we forget again and again.

The above description is Osho’s directions but it has also been my own experience of meditation.

Although I must say that there was a long period of time in which I thought I didn’t need to meditate regularly because I meditated all day long, that was a delusion. Although it was not harmful because it was just an extended period of watching the outside. But at some point I could no longer ignore the quiet invitation to begin to sit and watch the inner world on a regular basis. I was not watching because of some duty to practice; I was watching as an exploration as an experiment. Now I am sitting for the sheer joy of it.

So we can begin from exactly where we are, this very moment, by watching what we are capable of, and slowly, slowly the watchingness deepens. We are also very fortunate because Osho has devised his active meditations to jumpstart this awakening and he has illustrated 112 meditation techniques, that are doors in. And finally he has distilled all meditation down to the art of watching, witnessing.

This is the incredible gift that Osho has left us.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama.

 

 

Meditation is the Bridge Between Yoga and Advaita

Hakuin begins his Song of Meditation, “All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.” Nisargadatta Maharaj tells us to take as a hypothesis that we are the “absolute”, because it is not yet our experience. Osho begins his discourse series on The Heart Sutra with these words, “I salute the Buddha within you. You may not be aware of it, you may not have ever dreamed about it — that you are a Buddha, that nobody can be anything else, that buddhahood is the very essential core of your being, that it is not something to happen in the future, that it has happened already.” But he goes on to say “But you are fast asleep, you don’t know who you are. Not that you have to become a Buddha, but only that you have to recognize it, that you have to return to your own source, that you have to look within yourself.”

This paradox that we are already Buddhas but that we do not recognize it is at the heart of much confusion today. It is here where those who are professing a neo-advaitan philosophy clash with the gradualists, with the yogis. But there should be no conflict. It is just that each side is only seeing half of the situation. We Are already enlightened but it is Not yet our experience. We have not Realized our enlightenment and until we do Realize our natural state then the work continues.

It is important for the neo-advaitans to understand that just intellectually knowing that we are already enlightened does not a Buddha make. And in order to uncover that sleeping Buddha there is a transformation yet to take place. And it is also important for the yogis to understand that we are from the very beginning Buddhas and that our work is not to make us into something that we are not already, but to uncover our already existing true nature. Hence it is not a question of becoming but of uncovering.

So what is the bridge between this gulf of understanding?  What is needed for the transformation from the potential to the realized to take place? When Nisargadatta Maharaj was asked what he did before his enlightenment was realized, he said that he accepted the words of his guru “that he was the absolute” and he meditated on the “I am” for three years.  J. Krishnamurti has said that “seeing is transformation.” He says that it is the observation of the mind itself that is the transformation. And Osho’s entire life work was to illuminate ‘meditation’ as the bridge between our current state of living in the mind and the awakened life of no-mind.

So if my enlightenment is only in words, only in concepts and not in my daily life then perhaps it would be best to continue on the journey back to Self and that journey must pass through no-mind.  On the other hand if I see enlightenment as a goal in the future of becoming then too it would be good to come home to Being and out of the goals in the world of mind.

Meditation is the way in.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama.

The More He Kills Me, The More Grateful I Become – Yoga Chinmaya

An interview Maneesha conducted with Yoga Chinmaya around 1977, which was published in the darshan diary, The Buddha Disease.

Chinmaya was one of the first disciples of Osho and has been living in the ashram with the two dozen or so other Indian sannyasins for some years now. Over the past year particularly, he as come to be regarded – not unkindly – as the ashram’s pundit, or Mulla Nasrudin alternately. The questions he puts to Osho in the morning discourse are invariably lengthy and very intellectual, setting Chinmaya up for the inevitable Zen whack from Osho and friendly chaffing from fellow-sannyasins!

Well-loved – particularly by Indian sannyasins – Chinmaya has something of a following himself, and has established a reputation for being able to produce deeply significant and highly esoteric reasons for the most innocent of happenings around Osho!

It was interesting to talk with him about his first meeting with Osho because at that time Osho was professor at the University of Jabalpur.

Coming from a family who followed the orthodox Hindu tradition Chinmaya remained discontent with that way of life and started searching intently by himself…

Chinmaya: In 1965, I came across a very small article written by Osho – he used to write articles for magazines and newspapers, Sunday articles. I came across this article – ‘Love, non-violence, meditation and samadhi’ – and it struck me very deeply because I was well-acquainted with previous literature about yoga and bhakti and had been in contact with a few yogis and wandering monks.

I immediately caught the quality and joyousness of Osho and felt that I had to meet this man. I read his first book of meditation ‘The Path of Self-Realisation’ originally in Hindi, so I had grasped this basic attitude towards religious experience, about an approach to life that was against all techniques, all gurus, scriptures, traditions, patterns, disciplines, and I was a very staunch student to yoga, so I became more curious. This man seemed to be very much a stirrer-up of debate and yet very charismatic.

Chinmaya procured Osho’s address and made his way to where he lived…

Chinmaya: Finally I was in front of his bungalow and read the name-plate ‘Acharya (teacher) Rajneesh’, and I relaxed.

Slowly I opened the gate and entered into the beautiful rose garden which he himself used to maintain and has mentioned many time. I entered the main building and just gave a sharp knock on the door and hear the sound, “Please come in.” I pushed the door open and just in front of me Osho was sitting.

I was attracted immediately because he was so healthy and shiny and beautiful… and so young! He was writing on a pad – perhaps some article for a magazine. Immediately he put his pen aside and welcomed me.

He asked what my occupation was and what I practised in religion and he listened very carefully to my description of what I was practising. I told him that I had read a few of his articles and books and that I had many questions that I would like to ask him because I was a yoga student and he was so much against techniques. He was against even concentration, all physiological techniques, breath techniques, meditation techniques, visualisation techniques, feeling and sound techniques.

He slowly explained how the techniques are harmful, how they are violent, how they manipulate the human brain and how risky that is.

So he talked for about one and a half hours and then he said, “Enough for today!” I said, “No! I still have half my questions unanswered!” He said to come again next morning.

Maneesha: Can you describe a little more about him as a person?

Chinmaya: He used to always sit on a mattress bed and visitors would sit with him on the same mattress. He used to always have a bare chest and wear a white lunghi.

I found him tremendously magnetic and just radiating energy, bubbling over with energy. It was as if you were near a cyclone of energy. He was so robust and healthy and strong that you completely forgot who you were, where you were… the past just disappeared because he took your attention completely at every level. He was so refreshing, so rejuvenating to be near, that all problems, all the past, was completely forgotten. For the first time you felt that you could solve everything in life and I felt for the first time that here was a man who could reply to all my thousands of questions!

I used to meditate about life, about problems, existence, different kinds of life, about the causes of misery, and for over ten years I used to write diaries about my contemplations. My diaries were full of queries – one query leading to another and one question leading to deeper and deeper and deeper questions. I used to raise my hands in a lovely place far away from the city and used to pray, “Who is there on earth who can reply to my questions?”

In questioning I used to go deeper and deeper and came to a point of futility and helplessness. Then I used to be left in silence and nowhereness.

Later on I became aware that I was following a very specific meditation procedure – that was the ‘koan’, a Zen method. After the questioning and relaxing into silence I used to go into meditation and I had many experiences which I would not decode at that time – I used to feel my head becoming bigger and bigger and bigger.

Maneesha: Osho felt to you to be absolutely unique at that time?

Chinmaya: Yes. Later on I became aware that he was working on the minds of people for the first ten, twelve years of public contact after enlightenment and postgraduation. He had in his mind how he would go step by step dealing with the consciousness of Indian citizens who were in contact with him.

At that time he was using negation and debate, challenging people and their ideas and beliefs, challenging the intelligentsia of the nation – and hitting hard. He used to disturb them terribly – just as if he wanted to wash out the rubbish from their minds so that he could put out his new vision and ideas.

Maneesha: What was so disturbing about him, if in effect what he was saying at this stage was not unlike what Krishnamurti was saying?

Chinmaya: His life was entirely different from Krishnamurti’s. For many years – at least twenty years – Osho used to live in guru fashion – long hair, lungis and a big cover sheet over his chest and wooden sandals. He looked like a spiritual man. By all means, the outer appearance and the inner personality – he was the perfect spiritual man, whereas Krishnamurti looked very much like a layman.

Osho used to talk more about god; he used the words ‘god’ and ‘mukti’ and he used to emphasize meditations more than Krishnamurti did. He used to say that the relaxation of body and mind is a very gradual process which leads to the inner silence and emptiness.

He used to have deeper public contact – like going to religious festivals, religious discourses, where many spiritual heads would be; he was entering the traditional fields of religion in India. He would meet different spiritual leaders on the stage as one of them but always against them – firing!

He was more into the practical problems of religion rather than remaining aloof and just talking. He used to take initiative on the practical dimension – holding meditation camps, going for spiritual tours. And he was talking not only to the very sophisticated but moving into lower public life too.

Krishnamurti was always very reserved and limited in his contact whereas Osho – Acharya Rajneesh he used to be called at that time – would even go to inaugurate a shop, a juice drink shop! He would go for picnics with his students when he was a professor and would attend many seminars of his students and professors and philosophers. He used to go for drives to the forest, to picnics and boating and would always take groups with him.

He always attracted young people to him and they started slowly becoming crazily in love with him.

Chinmaya continued to explore everything of a spiritual nature for he felt that Osho had no practical approach at that time that one could use in everyday life. He visited gurus and pundits in the Himalayas and stayed for some time at Muktananda’s ashram but decided he was coming too confined to a specific system.

In 1968 he was asked by a group of Osho’s followers to conduct yoga classes in Mumbai – a move supported by Osho.

Osho had resigned from his post as professor in August 1966 and begun to travel extensively around India. By 1970 Osho had moved his headquarters to Mumbai…

Chinmaya: Before coming to Mumbai to make his headquarters he had been talking to a group of sixty thousand about being aware of socialism, and in the mornings was leading meditation classes.

One morning he came and we were expecting the old techniques – ‘relax your body, relax your breathing, relax your thoughts’ and this and that, but he said, “Today I’m going to introduce you to a completely new method of meditation!” We became alert and then he described his first chaotic meditation. Suddenly there were explosions – cries and noises and sounds of panting and falling down and dancing and banging into each other! People were even tearing at their clothes – people were crazy in the second stage.

We were shocked completely by this sudden experience with a new technique, but he encouraged us to continue it.

At the end of April, 1971, just before visiting Ahmedabad, Osho called me and said that a new phase of his spiritual work would start – the work between master and disciples. He said that we should find a new name for him and especially asked me to bring a list of possible names. He liked the name ‘Bhagwan’ and immediately ordered me to change his names in recent publications and called me one evening to announce the change of name in public and to explain why he had changed from Acharya Rajneesh to Bhagwan Rajneesh.

It caused much controversy all over India because the word ‘Bhagwan’ is highly respected; no man would dare to call himself god. Many articles appeared against the change and Osho received hundreds and hundreds of letters against it. After one month he suddenly wrote a press note of about fifteen lines, saying:

“I am nobody – only he is. Whatsoever, the existence, the infinite reality, states, I just respond to it. So I am not a person. Not a messiah, not a teerthanka – but I am nothing less!”

The excitement continued for about eight months and then everybody settled.

Chinmaya said that the outcry was, in part, because Osho had become such an active, social figure and a threat to many…

Chinmaya: About three-quarters of the intelligentsia were focused on him. They were disturbed – and magnetised – by him. Everyone became alert that this man would do something explosive and every field was thinking that he belonged to their field.

Politicians used to think that he would take over the Government of India, educationists were thinking he would start hundreds of educational institutions all over India. Culturists, literary people, thought of him as the top authority but they were not completely adjusted to him.

They used to regards him as a genius, as a scholar, a revolutionary, a unique thinker – unparalleled – but they were not ready to accept him as a god or as a buddha or as someone other-worldly. Those who were opposing him on religion were popes – shankaracharyas – who had vested interest in religion, and he was trying to uproot them from the establishment.

Osho closed himself in his Mumbai residence, only meeting seekers, devotees, disciples. He stopped all interviews to VIP’s and press reporters and he was not in any way interested in scholars. Then he started having thousands of disciples. Those who were deeply into religious life and practical spirituality were feeling his divinity even in his lectures on life problems, on education and culture. He used to bring the flowering of god-consciousness to everything.

Chinmaya became Osho’s secretary for three years, organizing lectures, meditation programmes and camps…

I used to see him a lot at this time – I used to sit with him for approximately one to two hours a day and I used to have conversations and consultations with him. In the first early years I also used to travel with him for lectures and camps.

Before residing with him I was living in his ideas, his expressions, in the world of his words and, a little bit, the world of his meditation. But then I started living with him, my relationship became of being to being, the words and his wisdom became secondary and a spiritual closeness became deeper and deeper. Slowly, slowly I started dropping scholarship and knowledge and mind trips and became concerned with inner silence and spiritual questions.

Maneesha: You must be the most-often-mentioned sannyasin in Osho’s discourses now! Do you think Osho is saying certain things about you as a device for you?

Chinmaya: Osho wants to explode my ego forever. I constantly feel that he’s on my head all the time just like a volcano trying to explode and wash out my ego forever. His compassion, which is also a divine fire, is burning me so that the impure gold is being passed through the furnace of spiritual fire so that in the final process only absolutely pure gold comes out.

The more he kills me, the more grateful I become… tears of gratefulness overflow from my eyes.

Text and photos from The Buddha Disease, Chapter 10

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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

This was first seen on Osho News.

You can read more about Yoga Chinmaya here.