Two Difficulties on the Path of Meditation – Osho

What are the difficulties on the path of meditation and how can we overcome them?

There are only two difficulties on the path of meditation: one is the ego. You are continuously prepared by the society, by the family, by the school, by the church, by everybody around you, to be egoistic.

Even modern psychology is based on strengthening the ego. The whole idea of modern psychology, modern education, is that unless a person has a very strong ego he will not be able to struggle in life, where there is so much competition that if you are a humble man anybody will be able to push you aside. You will always remain backward. You need a very strong steel ego to fight in this competitive world. Then only can you become a success in any field. It may be business, it may be politics, it may be any profession – you need a very assertive personality. Our whole society is geared to produce an assertive personality in the child.

From the very beginning we start telling him, “Come first in your class.” And when the child comes first in the class, everybody praises him. What are you doing? You are feeding his ego from the very beginning. You are giving him a certain ambition: “You can become the president of the country; you can become the prime minister of the country…” And he starts the journey with these ideas. His ego goes on becoming bigger and bigger as he succeeds.

In every way the ego is the greatest disease that can happen to man. If you succeed, your ego becomes big – that is a danger, because then you will have to remove a big rock which is blocking the path. Or if the ego is small – you have not been successful, you have proved to be a failure – then your ego will become a wound. Then it hurts, then it creates an inferiority complex. Then too it creates a problem: you are always afraid to enter into anything, even in meditation, because you know you are a failure, you are going to fail. That has become your mind because everywhere you have failed. And meditation is such a great thing, you cannot succeed.

If you enter into meditation with this idea that failure is bound to happen and that is your destiny, that is your fate, then of course you cannot succeed. So if the ego is big it prevents; if the ego is very small it becomes a wound, then too it prevents. In each case the ego is one of the problems.

The second problem… and after stating both the problems I will tell you how to get rid of them. It is not difficult, but first you have to understand the problem in all its complexity….

The second hindrance on the path of meditation is your constantly chattering mind. You cannot sit even for a single minute. The mind goes on chattering: relevant, irrelevant, meaningful, meaningless… thoughts go on. It is a constant traffic and it is always rush hour. Whenever you close your eyes there are so many thoughts running in all directions, that if you sit down for ten minutes and write down whatever is going on in your mind – without any editing, because you are not going to show this to anybody, so don’t be worried…! Close the door, lock it from inside so that nobody comes in, and just write exactly what goes on in the mind for ten minutes. And after ten minutes read it.

And you will be surprised: “Is it my mind or has somebody gone mad?” Just because you have never looked at it, you have never thought about what is going on.

And if you try, as many people try, because studying books on meditation they think that if you can stop the thoughts by chanting a mantra or the name of God then perhaps the mind can be vacated from thoughts… The books are mostly written by people who have never meditated. I know many people who have written books on meditation. They came to me to ask how to meditate, and I said, “But in my library I have your book.”

They said, “Yes, we studied a few books on meditation and wrote the book just to help others.”

I said, “But first you should have tried what you have written. If you cannot help yourself, on what grounds do you think you can help others? You may have destroyed many people’s peace of mind.”

And there are so-called teachers of meditation who will also give you a mantra, that chanted, chanted fast, or any name… Close your eyes, do a certain ritual, take a bath, sit in a lotus posture, start the meditation, and go on as fast as you can – faster and faster, repeating the same name, “Krishna, Krishna, Krishna…” Do it as quickly as possible. After five to seven minutes, you will be in a state of what is scientifically known as autohypnosis. It is not meditation, but it does no harm. After ten to twelve minutes, when you come out of it you will feel a certain peace, a certain well-being; you will feel good, but this is not meditation.

I am not against it if you are trying to do it only to feel good. You can do it, but don’t think that by doing it you are going to realize your godliness. That is not possible because this is simply a deliberately created sound sleep. When you repeat a certain word continuously, fast, the mind has no way to go on chattering. You don’t give it any gap to put its thoughts into. Your chanting is so fast that the mind has to remain almost in a situation of a crossroads where the policeman has stopped the whole traffic. Your continuous chanting creates the situation of a policeman stopping the whole traffic, but the traffic is still there, it has not gone; in fact, more traffic has gathered on all the roads.

And the moment you come out of meditation your mind will have such a rush as it has never had – naturally, because all the traffic that you have stopped will have to pass. This is not meditation.

One more thing before I tell you what exactly is the problem with the mind. A few teachers of meditation – and particularly in this part of the world, in the East – are saying, “Keep your mind fixed on something. Start from something outer – a black dot on the wall – and then slowly, slowly close your eyes, and with closed eyes look at the black dot.”

And if you have been staring at the black dot for a few minutes, naturally with closed eyes you will see the black dot. Just the impression takes time to disappear. It is the negative of the positive black dot; it is part of the science of photography. It is the negative that you have created inside. Now look at this negative black dot and if you can continue looking at it, the same thing will happen after five to seven minutes – auto-hypnosis. You will feel good, and that is the danger. Because you feel good, afterwards you feel a certain well-being; you think you are on the right path – not necessarily.

And these things are also not easy – chanting continuously for five to seven minutes is not easy. A few thoughts will enter in and disturb it.

Keeping your mind fixed on one dot is also not easy. Thoughts may come, move across and disturb you.  And if you ask your teachers they will say, “This is your past karma; you will have to wait.” There is no question of past karma, your method is simply wrong.

If you are learning to ride a bicycle and you go on falling again and again, and you ask somebody and he says, “It is because of your past karma…” It is simply that you don’t know how to ride the bicycle. It has nothing to do with past karma or past life. You simply need the right technique.

I have heard of a story….

A man was very much interested to attain miraculous powers. Wherever he went they said, “First you have to learn meditation. Without meditation you cannot have miraculous powers.”

Finally, he found a very wise old man about whom he had heard, “He is the greatest meditator alive, but you will have to serve him and not to be in a hurry. You just serve him; whenever the time is right he will give you the meditation and his blessing. You should not ask for it.”

The poor man served the man for one year and he was getting tired: “This is too much. The second year has begun and the old man still says, ‘No sign.’” He was getting fed up and thinking of running from that temple. The day he was thinking to run, the old man said, “Listen. I was waiting for the right time, but you cannot wait. The time is not right, but because of your hurry I will give you the method. It is very simple and very suited to you.”

The man said, “My Lord, my God!” He touched his feet. He said, “I was waiting for this day. I am a fool for having such bad thoughts about you. Just forgive me.”

He said, “Don’t be worried about it. This is the method; you go home” – he had written on a small piece of paper just a small mantra and he gave him that. “This is the mantra. You have to chant it for ten minutes. Just remember one thing: while chanting, don’t let any monkey come into your mind.”

The man said, “You must be mad! Monkeys have never come into my mind. In my whole life not a single monkey has come into my mind – why should a monkey come into my mind?”

The old man said, “I don’t know, but this is the condition that goes with this mantra.”

The man said, “There is no problem.” But he was worried. As he was coming down the steps of the temple, he already started seeing monkeys. He would close his eyes – and there were the monkeys.

He said, “My God! I have not even started!”

He went home. He took a good bath and sat in padmasana. But as he closed his eyes, and before he could start the mantra, the monkeys started coming – not one! In a line… giggling…!

The man said, “What happened?” He tried hard, but by the morning he was utterly tired. He went to the master. He said, “Take your mantra back. If this is the condition then I cannot fulfill it ever because of those monkeys. There is not one – you had said one – I don’t know how many there are.

I have been counting – they go on coming! And I am going mad! I simply don’t want any miraculous power, and I don’t want any meditation. I simply want to go home. Just help me to get rid of the monkeys. I am giving your mantra back – but who knows about the monkeys?”

If you try forcibly to keep something out of your mind, it is bound to come. This is a universal law.

Seeing the false methods, understanding that the mind is a constant process of thought, I want to explain to you something very simple, without any conditions. All that you have to do… no special posture is needed; whether you have taken a bath or not does not matter. It does not mean that at a certain time, at a certain place you should do it. No, you can do it anywhere, any time. I want it to be so easily possible for you that it mixes with your ordinary life and you don’t have to take some time out of your life specially given to meditation.

The process is witnessing.

The thoughts are moving in the mind – you have nothing to do with those thoughts. You are not to prevent them, you are not to chant a mantra, you have just to be a watcher. You have just to see that thoughts are passing, and you are standing by the side of the road looking at the traffic, unconcerned. Whether a bullock cart passes or an elephant passes or a camel passes… it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to make any judgment. You are just sitting by the side watching the whole scene.

It takes a few days, because of your old habit to make judgments. Something comes, you say, “This is very good” – and you have lost your capacity of being a watcher, you have already given judgment.

Something comes and you say, “This should not come, this is evil” – you have already fallen back.

Good or evil, beautiful or ugly, you are separate. You are the witness, you are just a mirror. Anything that passes by does not affect the mirror at all. Something good – the mirror reflects. Something bad – the mirror reflects. When they have gone, the mirror is as empty as ever.

Your consciousness is a mirror, and your consciousness is neither good nor bad. Your consciousness may have lived thousands of years, but not even a scratch is possible on your consciousness. It only reflects; its function is reflection. That’s why I say the divine between you and me is the same – there is no difference at all. I just have recognized that the witnessing is a pure mirror, eternally pure – and you get identified, you forget. […]

Once you get the knack of witnessing without judgment you will be surprised: the moment you are utterly a witness all the thoughts disappear. There is simply a plain white screen and no thoughts.

This is the first experience, that you have come to the door of meditation. Just go on looking at the white screen. Don’t do anything. Consciousness has a nature – if it cannot find any object which prevents it, then it goes round and comes back to you.

In existence everything moves in a circle. Remember that: nothing moves in a straight line. If there is no obstacle, the consciousness comes back to its own source. And the consciousness coming back to one’s own source, for the first time sees who is there, who has always been there. That is your real being.

You can call it godliness, you can call it divineness, you can call it truth. Any name will do because it has no name; it is a nameless reality. But once it is realized then there is nothing else left. You have attained to the ultimate flowering of your being. This is enlightenment.

So put your ego aside – whether it is big or small, don’t be worried – and just be a witness to your mind. Wait and be patient. Don’t be in a hurry. It may take a few days for you to get the knack. It is a knack! It is not an art!

If it was an art, it would have been very simple to teach, but because it is a knack you have to try. Slowly you get it.

How do you learn to swim? It is not an art. If it was an art you could have learned it in your bedroom. Just on your bed you could have done all the exercises that are prescribed in the book. But it is not an art; you have to go to water. And you will have to face death a few times, but that is part of the progress. Each time you face death, each time you learn something – the knack slowly comes to you. Within two or three days you will be able to swim.

One Japanese professor of psychology is trying to teach six-month-old children to swim, and he has succeeded. Then he tried with three-month-old children, and he has succeeded. Now he is trying with the newly born, and I hope that he succeeds. There is every possibility because it is a knack. It does not need any other kind of experience, age, education… it is simply a knack.

And if a six-month-old or a three-month-old baby can swim, that means we are naturally endowed with the idea of how to swim. We just have to discover it. Just a little bit of effort and you will be able to discover it.

The same is true about meditation… more true, than swimming. You just have to make a little effort.

And if you don’t succeed, don’t be worried. You are losing nothing – just a little rest.

And whenever you are going to sleep you can try – just lying in bed, or in the morning when you are awake, wait for a minute. Give it a try and then wake up. While taking a shower you can try it, because it is a question of witnessing.

You can witness anything, and anywhere.

There are one hundred and twelve methods of meditation, exhaustive. No more methods can be added to them. And these one hundred and twelve methods are written by Shiva himself perhaps ten thousand years ago. The name of the book is Vigyana Bhairava Tantra. It simply describes one hundred and twelve methods, each method in two lines.

I have tried all the methods, and the most surprising experience was that the basic thing in each of the methods is witnessing. Their strategies differ, but their soul is just witnessing.

So I have reduced the one hundred and twelve methods of Shiva into a single method. I am giving you the essential method which no meditation can afford to drop – it is the most essential. You can add any other structure to it, but I have dropped the whole structure. I am giving you the very soul of meditation. You just try, give it a chance. And if I can succeed, I don’t see why you cannot succeed.

Millions have succeeded in the past. We have just forgotten completely the greatest science of discovering ourselves. It has to be rediscovered and it has to be again spread all over the earth if we want the world to be saved, if we want the world not to be destroyed.

One of my professors, Doctor S.K. Saxena, loved me very much. Most days I used to stay with him instead of in the hostel, because he would not allow me to go to the hostel.

I asked him, “Why do you insist…? Because I am of no use to you – I simply sit in the garden and meditate.”

He said, “That is the reason I want you to be here. I am getting old, I have never meditated. Most of my life I have been a professor in America. I have never given any thought to meditation.”

Despite this, he had written for his doctoral thesis a book, History of the Evolution of Consciousness. He said to me, “When you are here I feel something settling in me. When you sleep in my house” – he lived alone – “I have a better sleep. I don’t know why, but just your presence somehow helps me to be more together.”

I said, “I can tell you why. But rather than depending on me, why don’t you start meditating?”

And by chance, today it happens that his son is present in the audience. S.K. Saxena is dead. I received a message that he wanted to see me before he died. He wanted that I should be present by his side when he died. But I received the message after he had died, months after. Perhaps he wanted to die in the same peaceful silent atmosphere that he had found around me. I feel sad for him, sorry for him, that what he could have attained himself he unnecessarily depended on somebody else for.

Meditation is something that is your birthright. Claim it! Make it a decision, a commitment that whatever happens, you will not die before you have attained to a meditative state. It is only a question of a firm determination. And if you can attain to meditation, your life will become real life, and your death will become a door to the divine.

It will no longer be a death; it will no longer be an end. It will just be freedom from the body and entering into the universal, unlimited, infinite.

Okay?

-Osho

From The Sword and the Lotus, Chapter Eight

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

The Awakening of Meditation

We have all gathered to hear a talk on the awakening of meditation. But before we begin talking about the awakening let us first consider what we are awakening from.

Most of us live our life with very little sense of our own being. We simply react to stimuli. There are well laid down patterns in which our behavior travels. We live almost as if we are sleep- walking. We walk around the day in a dream. We rarely have any contact with the real world, the world without the screen of mind.

Even when we are walking in nature, because we desperately want that connection to what is ‘real’, we walk in a dream. We are constantly preoccupied with our thoughts. Occasionally something shakes us momentarily from our slumber; it may be the sound of a bird or the sight of a meadow. But even then, very quickly the mind rushes in and compares to some previous experience. Some memory rushes in and we are taken away to another time and place.

For most of us it is often some tragedy that shakes us to our roots and brings us back out of our dreams, face to face with reality. Some unexpected event throws our life in turmoil and we are brought into the moment away from our itinerary of life. It is in these moments that there is a great opportunity to change our course, to reexamine our priorities and to begin an inquiry into the essential questions of life. But more often than not it is only a brief alteration of our life-program and once the crisis passes we are once again living our life in the world of dreams.

A more potent opportunity for transformation comes when one has lived life fully and has been successful in following one’s dream only to find in the end that one is as empty as when one began. There is more possibility for change here because one has already pursued dreams to the very end. All that energy that was being projected out chasing rainbows suddenly collapses onto itself and a real conversion is possible.

Others have looked deeply into life and seen through the illusions that becoming brings. A keen intelligence can see through the fallacy of the promise of becoming. For them, even the ‘concept’ of living in the now has an appeal.

No matter how we arrived, by being at a talk on “the awakening of meditation” we show that we are hungering for an awakening. We know that the life we are living is not the life of bliss, is not the life of love and laughter, is not the life of celebration, is not the life of enlightenment that we have heard is possible. So we are interested in hearing what the speaker has to say about awakening and about meditation.

The title of this talk has been deliberately chosen because there is ‘an awakening of meditation’ that takes place and it is meditation that brings about that awakening.

In order for us to make the journey out of ‘becoming’ and into ‘being’ we must first come to see how we are continually propping up the straw man of becoming. We must see how we are continually projecting our consciousness out into the idea of a person. We must see how we are reinforcing the identification with a separate limited body-mind.

So we begin by creating the witness. We begin by bringing our attention back home and we find that when we are engaged in any mindful act we have less unconsciousness lying about. We are both stopping sending out energy into unconsciousness and we are creating the witnessing, the awareness. We are beginning the journey home.

With this newfound presence we are ready to begin the journey in.

This is a journey from the outer body to the inner body. What is the outer body? The outer body is the body that everyone sees. It is an image. It is fat or it is trim. It is tall or it is short. It may be male or it may be female. It is the you that everyone sees.

But there is a body that only you can know. It is the inner body. From the outer body you make contact with the outside world through your senses. You feel the floor beneath your feet. You feel the warmth or the coolness of the room. You hear the sounds around you. But with the inner body you just feel, you sense. It is a global sensing. It is not divided into the five senses. It is a total sensing. It is more subtle than your body sensing. We feel a sense of ourselves without any definition. It is being. It is beingness.

It is here in this interiority that we are able to move deeper into meditation, into witnessing. It is here at our center that we learn the knack of watching the traffic of our mind without either rejecting and pushing away or grabbing and rushing into. It is here that we simply watch the flow of the river of thinking. We are not controlling. We are more interested in the watching itself rather than the content of what is being watched. We are becoming familiar with the witnessing, with the watcher. The stronger that the witness becomes the more that we are at home, but this is not part of becoming. In fact it is the opposite of becoming. We have simply stopped the becoming; we have stopped the outward flow of consciousness and energy. Our attention is remaining at home and the more that the outward flow ceases the more the at-homeness increases, the more we are aware of our Self.

When this witness crystallizes, then for the first time ‘we are’, then for the first time the ‘master’ is at home. Then for the first time we know the “Awakening of Meditation.”

Buddha has said that there are only two mistakes one can make on the path. The first is not to begin the journey and the second is not to complete it. So we must begin from wherever we are but we should not stop until the awakening.

We are all part of a global sangha, a global community of those who are moving on the journey. And we can, within this global sangha support each other, we can prod each other, we can challenge each other until each of us comes to our own awakening.

There are many pitfalls along the way and so to guard against falling victim we can share in the wisdom from those who have gone before. And the biggest pitfall that we are warned against is the ‘illusion’ of awakening. The mind is very capable of appropriating the language of awakening and deceiving us into thinking that we have attained. It is very possible to come to an intellectual understanding, and in fact it is helpful to come to this understanding, but it is possible to come to this understanding and think ‘aha, I have attained.’

The real awakening we have been told is found in silence. It is not in language, it is not in words. If we need the use of language for our own experience of awakening then we can know well it is intellectual. When we arrive at the moment when we are able to ‘be’ just ‘be’ in silence without the traffic of the mind, without having to describe to ourselves our situation then it is no longer intellectual. It is ‘being understanding’.

There are many techniques that have been designed to aid us in moving into our interiority and these can be helpful in bringing us to the place where witnessing begins. These techniques have been created in order to help remove the obstacles to our own meditation they are not teaching us meditation but they are helping to make meditation possible. They help to create the space in which our own natural meditativeness blossoms.

Once the witness is awakened then it is only awareness that will carry us on. Then just sitting doing nothing the spring comes by itself is appropriate but not before. First we must clear away that which is preventing us from ‘just sitting, doing nothing.’

The greatest meditation and the core of all meditation is watching. It is the witness, just watching all that presents itself without being drawn out in a fight for or against. Without our involvement eventually the mind loses steam. It is our involvement that powers it on. By just watching the mind; slowly, slowly it begins to break apart and the blue sky begins to appear. By and by the gaps appear and we are left in our pure awareness. This is the “Awakening of Meditation.”

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama

Attention Between Eyebrows – Osho

Attention between eyebrows, let mind be before thought. Let form fill with breath essence to the top of the head and there shower as light.

This was the technique given to Pythagoras. Pythagoras went with this technique to Greece, and really, he became the fountainhead, the source of all mysticism in the West. He is the father of all mysticism in the West.

This technique is one of the very deep methods. Try to understand this: Attention between eyebrows… Modern physiology, scientific research, says that between the two eyebrows is the gland which is the most mysterious part of the body. This gland, called the pineal gland, is the third eye of the Tibetans – shivanetra: the eye of the Shiva, of the tantra. Between the two eyes there exists a third eye, but it is non-functioning. It is there, it can function any moment, but it does not function naturally. You have to do something about it to open it. It is not blind; it is simply closed.

This technique is to open the third eye.

Attention between eyebrows… Close your eyes, then focus both of your eyes just in the middle of the two eyebrows. Focus just in the middle, with closed eyes, as if you are looking with your two eyes. Give total attention to it.

This is one of the simplest methods of being attentive. You cannot be attentive to any other part of the body so easily. This gland absorbs attention like anything. If you give attention to it, both your eyes become hypnotized with the third eye. They become fixed; they cannot move. If you are trying to be attentive to any other part of the body it is difficult. This third eye catches attention, forces attention; It is magnetic for attention. So all the methods all over the world have used it. It is the simplest to train you in attention because not only are you trying to be attentive, the gland itself helps you; it is magnetic. Your attention is brought to it forcibly. It is absorbed.

It is said in the old tantra scriptures that for the third eye attention is food. It is hungry; it has been hungry for lives and lives. If you pay attention to it, it becomes alive. It becomes alive! The food is given to it. And once you know that attention is food, once you feel that your attention is magnetically drawn, attracted, pulled by the gland itself, attention is not a difficult thing then. One has only to know the right point. So just close your eyes, let your two eyes move just to the middle, and feel the point. When you are near the point, suddenly your eyes will become fixed. When it becomes difficult to move them, then know you have caught the right point. […]

Attention between eyebrows, let mind be before thought… If this attention is there, for the first time you will come to experience a strange phenomenon. For the first time you will see thoughts running before you; you will become the witness. It is just like a film screen: thoughts are running and you are a witness. Once your attention is focused at the third eye center, you become immediately the witness of thoughts.

Ordinarily you are not the witness, you are identified with thoughts. If anger is there, you become anger. If a thought moves, you are not the witness; you become one with the thought, identified, and you move with it. You become the thought; you take the form of the thought. When sex is there you become sex, when anger is there you become anger, when greed is there you become greed.

Any thought moving becomes identified with you. You do not have any gap between you and the thought.

But focused at the third eye, suddenly you become a witness. Through the third eye you become the witness. Through the third eye you can see thoughts running like clouds in the sky or people moving on the street.

You are sitting at your window looking at the sky or at people in the street; you are not identified. You are aloof, a watcher on the hill – different. Now if anger is there you can look at it as an object. Now you do not feel that you are angry. You feel that you are surrounded by anger – a cloud of anger has come around you – but you are not the anger. And if you are not the anger, anger becomes impotent, it cannot affect you; you remain untouched. The anger will come and go and you will remain centered in yourself. […]

This fifth technique is a technique of finding the witness. Attention between  eyebrows, let mind be before thought. Now look at your thoughts; now encounter your thoughts. Let form fill with breath essence to the top of the head and there shower as light. When attention is focused at the third eye center, between the two eyebrows, two things happen. One is, suddenly you become a witness.

This can happen in two ways. You become a witness and you will be centered at the third eye. Try to be a witness. Whatsoever is happening, try to be a witness. You are ill, the body is aching and painful, you have misery and suffering, whatsoever – be a witness to it. Whatsoever is happening, do not identify yourself with it. Be a witness, an observer. Then if witnessing becomes possible, you will be focused in the third eye.

The vice versa is the case also. If you are focused in the third eye, you will become a witness. These two things are part of one. So the first thing: by being centered in the third eye there will be the arising of the witnessing self. Now you can encounter your thoughts. This will be the first thing. And the second thing will be that now you can feel the subtle, delicate vibration of breathing. Now you can feel the form of breathing, the very essence of breathing. […]

By being focused in the third eye, suddenly you can observe the very essence of breath – not breath, but the very essence of breath, prana. And if you can observe the essence of breath, prana, you are at the point from where the jump, the breakthrough happens. […]

When you are focused in the third eye, just imagine that the essence of prana is showering from the top of the head, just as if you are sitting under a tree and flowers are showering, or you are just under the sky and suddenly a cloud begins to shower, or you are just sitting in the morning and the sun rises and rays begin to shower. Imagine, and immediately there is a shower – a shower of light falling down from the top of your head. This shower recreates you, gives you a new birth. You are reborn.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #5

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Attention Between Eyebrows.

Osho’s Book of Secrets Meditations

All 112 of Shiva’s meditation techniques (Vigyan Bhairava Tantra)

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.

Body Approach, a Guided Relaxation – Jean Klein

Feel the contact of your feet on the floor.

Give up the weight of your legs. Put all the weight on the contact with the ground.

Feel the contact of your bottom on the chair. Put all the weight on this contact.

Feel the lower part of your lumbar region. Feel the spinal cord. Let the feeling rise up step by step, vertebra by vertebra. In other words, let your spinal cord become straight through the feeling.

Contact the left knee with your left hand; contact the right knee with your right hand. Put all the weight on this contact with the knee. You have three contacts: with the ground, with the chair, with your knees. Let it be one contact.

Feel your shoulder and shoulder blades. Let your left elbow and right elbow go down as far as you can, so that the shoulders are taken with them. In other words, explore how far down your shoulders can go. Be aware, when you feel the rising up of your spinal cord, that simultaneously your shoulders go down. Feel the cervical region. Bring your neck a little backwards horizontally like opening a drawer. Feel as though you touch the wall behind you. And the chin goes a little in the direction of the sternum. Have the feeling now of the whole body structure.

Feel the cavity of your left eye. Feel the left eye itself. Be aware of the tension, the defense there. Feel the cavity of your right eye. The right eye itself. Feel the left and the right eyes dropped several inches down in front, detached from their cavities.

Feel your right brain. Feel the top of your head. Make it a feeling. Feel it in the same way as you listen to waves. Feel the left side in the same way. Feel the waves of the left brain.

Feel the left brain and right brain like water falling down over the neck to the shoulders. Feel your eyes and both sides of your brain taking rest on your shoulders.

Feel the space in your mouth. Feel all the walls which constitute your mouth. Let them be feeling. Feel the roots of your tongue. Let the tip of your tongue rest behind the lower teeth.

Feel your left ear. Feel the architecture of your left ear. Go deep in. Be aware if there is any tension, grasping, taking.

Feel the architecture of your right ear. Go deep in, in the ear canal. Let the music of the sound waves come to you. Let the feeling come up that the left ear occupies the whole of the left part of your body and the right ear occupies the right part of your body, in other words, the whole body becomes one ear. Hear with your whole body the sound of the waves. Hear now the sound waves without any selection, without any choice.

Be only awareness, only hearing without a hearer. There is nothing heard, only hearing.

-Jean Klein

From The Book of Listening, pp.183-184.

The One in Which Everything Appears

In order to dis-identify ourselves from the body/form we make the body an object and watch our activities. We watch the body in the world without judging it and by doing so we become aware of the One in which all bodily activities appear.

In order to dis-identify ourselves from the mind we make the mind an object and witness the activity of the mind without judging, without jumping into the fray and by doing so we become aware of the One in which all activities of the mind appear.

In order to dis-identify ourselves from the heart we make the heart an object and feel the emotions, the moods without judging, without pushing away and without grasping. By doing so we become aware of the One in which all activities of the heart appear.

When we are able to let go of all identification and remain conscious, all objects disappear and we become aware of consciousness itself, consciousness without an object. And it is here that we experience,not as an object but as experiencing, the One in which everything appears. This is the non-dual.

-purushottama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Osho speaks on this dis-identification in Make Thoughts Your Objects.

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama.

No Time Left for Any Device – Osho

In the last few weeks you have been talking a lot about the world running fast towards a dead end, without showing any more hope that things will ever change. On the other hand, up to one month ago, you talked on the possibility that the presence of two hundred enlightened people, or even one, could save the world. Why this shift of emphasis? Did you give up on the other possibility? Dis something happen within the last few weeks that made your vision change?

Chidananda, it is true that I have been talking a lot about the world running fast towards a dead end. The reason is, factually it is running towards an end. But it was running towards its end before, too. Now I want it to be absolutely emphasized on your consciousness, so that you stop postponing your own transformation. Man’s mind is so stupid that if there is a little possibility to postpone, then he will postpone for tomorrow – unless he comes to a dead-end street where there is no way to go forward and he has to take an absolute about-turn.

But things in the world are not visible to you. You may go on sleeping and the world may die. It is urgent that you take it seriously that the world may not be there tomorrow. You don’t have time to waste for anything else other than your own awakening.

I still know if there are two hundred enlightened people in the world, the world can be saved; but I have never told you that just one enlightened man can save the world. It is a heavy load. One single enlightened man cannot carry it; two hundred is the minimum. But from where to bring those two hundred people? They have to be born amongst you – YOU have to become those two hundred people. And your growth is so slow, there is every fear that before you become enlightened the world will be gone.

You are not putting your total energy into meditation, into awareness. It is one of the things that you are doing, amongst many; and it is not even the first priority of your life. I want it to become your first priority. The only way is that I should emphasize, deeply into your consciousness, that the world is going to end soon.

And if you are not awakened before its end, you will be lost in a long journey, because evolution will start from the very beginning on some other planet. On this planet it took four billion years for man to arrive. His life began in the ocean as a fish. On another planet, if this planet is destroyed, life will continue, but it will have to begin from the very beginning – and after four billion years you may be again a human being. It is a great risk to take.

Nothing has changed in the world; everything is going exactly in the direction of death – a little faster of course – and the moment of total annihilation is coming very close. It all depends on what your priorities are. If being awakened has become your priority, and you are ready to sacrifice everything for it, then there is hope.[…]

I have been telling you that two hundred enlightened people can save the world. Existence is very generous; it cannot destroy two hundred awakened people, who have reached to the highest peak of consciousness – which has taken four billion years of evolution. But you have to become those two hundred people! To wake you up, I have been insisting that the end is very close. And this time it is not a parable.

Jesus used it as a device, that the end of the world is very close and the last judgment day is very close. His disciples asked him at the time of his departure – before the enemies got hold of him and when it was certain that he would be crucified the next day, their last question was, “When will we be seeing you again?” He said, “In this very life, because the end of the world is very close – but do what I have told you.”

And even Christians don’t know what he has told them. The last night before he was caught they were in the mountains and he told his disciples, “This may be the last night we are together, and I am going to do my prayer. While I am praying behind the bush you should remain awake. It is absolutely essential, to support my prayer, that you are awake. Don’t fall asleep.”

In the middle of his prayer he came back – and almost all were fast asleep. He woke them up and said, “Have you not heard me? I had told you, you have to remain awake. Can’t you remain awake just one night? – because I will not be here with you again. Even my death tomorrow cannot help you to remain awake?” They were very sorry. They said they would try, and he went again. This went on four, five times – he would come back and they would all be fast asleep.

According to me this was his last teaching: to remain awake. But Christianity has completely forgotten about it. And I have not seen a single commentary by Christians on the implications of why Jesus was so insistently saying, “Be awake!” He was trying his hardest because once he was gone, there was every possibility they would all fall asleep, just as the whole of humanity is asleep, and they would start doing in their dreams things that are not t be done. But things that are not to be done can be prevented only when you are aware, alert.

His last teaching was awareness, but the disciples failed him – not only those twelve intimate disciples failed him, for two thousand years all his disciples have failed him. The very word “awareness” has disappeared from the Christian idea of transforming human beings. Jesus was continually saying, “The end is very close.” That was a device because if you feel that there is enough time, why not sleep a little more? What is the hurry? But if there is no time left at all, perhaps the shock of it may wake you up.

What was only a device to Jesus, to me is not a device. It is a reality. The world is going to end.

I have been giving you hope, because I have to do two things: on the one hand I have to make it clear to you that the world is coming to its final suicide; and on the other hand, I have to give you the hope that still there is a possibility at least for you to become awakened.

Your awakening is of tremendous importance; it has never been so important before – neither with Jesus nor with Gautam Buddha – because there was enough time. Time has run out. We are at the far end of time.

To make you aware of the reality – so that you can make some effort to remain awake, to make some effort to be more conscious and not to get lost in trivia – is absolutely necessary. That’s why my insistence will go on growing, because every day the end is approaching closer.

Man is so asleep he is almost in a coma, and all his actions are arising out of this state of coma, otherwise, there is no necessity for the world to end. But we are carrying nuclear weapons within our souls. The end is going to come because of our own ignorance, our own deep sleep. […]

Such is the situation of humanity. At least YOU have to come out of it – and you need a constant hitting on your head to remind you that the times are no longer ordinary. And there have never been, in the whole history of man, such dangerous moments as those through which we are passing. It is no time for quarreling, arguing about theological matters; it is not intelligent to console yourself that some miracle will happen and the world war will be postponed. It is not only the world war – the attack is multidimensional.

The ecology of the earth is breaking down.

There are thousands of submarines moving around the earth in the ocean – and each submarine is carrying nuclear weapons so powerful that even the whole energy that was used in the Second World War is nothing compared to the energy of one submarine carrying nuclear missiles. The Soviet Union has its own submarines; America has its own submarines. Just by accident two submarines can collide, and the whole life on the planet will evaporate into smoke. And the politicians of the world are continually piling up more and more nuclear weapons.

The population of the world is growing so fast that just the growth of population will be enough to kill half of humanity out of hunger and thirst.[…]

These are the multi-dimensional ways that death is approaching the earth.

Because we have cut so many forests, a thick layer of carbon dioxide has gathered on top of our atmosphere, miles away from the earth, where the air ends. The layer is so thick that it has already increased the temperature more than it has ever been on the earth; and that rise of temperature is melting the ice of the north and south poles. If that ice goes on melting – and there is no way to prevent it – all the oceans of the world will rise four feet higher. And all your big cities are ports; they will be flooded with water, will become unlivable.

If this carbon dioxide becomes a little thicker, then the Himalayas and the Alps, which have eternal snow which has never melted, will start melting. The Himalayas alone have so much ice that if it melts completely, it will raise all the oceans of the world forty feet higher. All your cities will be drowned, and this is not a flood that is going to recede.

One of the most dangerous things happening is that carbon dioxide is going to accumulate more and more. The trees go on inhaling carbon dioxide. If you cut the trees you are cutting two things: the supply of oxygen for your life, and the place for carbon dioxide to be absorbed. It is a double-edged sword – and absolutely unnecessary.

Man has been trying to reach to the moon and to Mars, and before that, we were never aware that where the air ends, miles above earth… all around the earth there is a thick layer of a certain gas, ozone, O3, which is a very protective layer. Because of that ozone, life has been possible on earth. That ozone has only one function: it does not allow any sunrays which are destructive to life; it returns them. It allows only those rays which are life-giving.

Because of our rockets moving towards the moon and towards Mars, we have made holes, for the first time, in the layer of ozone. Now those holes are allowing in all the rays of the sun towards the earth –and death-rays are also included.

So when I say the end is not very far away, it is not like when Jesus says it – just a device. By the end of this century, you will see all these dimensions bringing death to you. It has to be emphasized: unless you become absolutely clear about death, you are not going to concentrate your whole energy on transforming your being.

People change with difficulty; they find it easier to remain as they are – just like stones,  like rocks. Change means a determined effort, a commitment to transform your energies, to take your being in an absolutely serious manner – it has not to be wasted in stupid things.[…]

Being alert means you have to stop being robots. Change your routines, move more consciously; let every act become an object of awareness. Then even these few years that are left are enough – more than enough. If you put your total energy into transformation, the destruction of the earth will not be your destruction. If you can die consciously, you have found the key to a higher life, to an eternal life, to a divine life.

-Osho

From The Hidden Splendor, Discourse #14

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.

Underlying Great Doubt there is Great Satori – Osho

Zen is the only revolutionary religion in the world. All the other religions are traditional, orthodox, superstitious, fundamentally based on belief. Any religion that is based on belief is a fiction, because belief simply means a repressed doubt.

Zen is an exception: it does not believe in anything – not even in the scriptures, not even in the sutras of Gautam Buddha. Belief, as such, is denied completely. I agree with it, without any condition; that has been my own whole approach.

Truth has to be experienced, not believed. Once you believe in it you will never experience it. Truth has to be searched for. Out of necessity, you have to doubt all the theories and ideologies propounded by the scriptures and others. If you don’t doubt them, you will be in a sheer confusion. If you believe in them you will stop there, at your belief. Your god will be a belief, not a truth. Your own very self will be just a belief, not something that you have lived, not something that you have danced, not something that you have touched. All beliefs take you away from yourself.

To find out the truth, you have to learn the art of disbelief.

Hence Zen has a very special position. Atheists also disbelieve, but they stop at their disbelief, just as theists stop at their belief. The atheist’s disbelief is only negative belief; it is nothing different. But when Zen talks of disbelief or doubt, it simply means a challenge to explore; not something to settle at, but to begin from there. You have discarded and eliminated all beliefs, all disbeliefs: then your pure consciousness asserts itself on its own accord. And the beauty of spontaneous flowering is the only beauty in the world.

Hakuin says – and Hakuin is one of the masters to be listened to very carefully – My humble advice to you distinguished persons who study the profound mystery of the  Buddha-dharma is this: your close examination of yourself must be as urgent as saving your own head were it ablaze. 

He is saying that your inquiry should be so intense and total… as if it is a question of life and death. If you don’t find it, your life is futile and fruitless. Unless you find it, you cannot blossom and dance and sing in joy. There will not be any rejoicing, any celebration, any festivity in your life. Your life will be a dark, unending night where the sun never rises.

Your efforts to penetrate into your own nature must be as tireless as the pursuit of an indispensable thing; your attitude toward the verbal teachings of the buddhas and patriarchs must be as hostile as that toward a deadly enemy. 

This can be said only by a great master, a buddha himself. He is saying that your attitude toward the verbal teachings of the buddhas and patriarchs must be as hostile as that toward a deadly enemy. The implication is that you should not believe in the word, but look for the experience. The word may be coming from the greatest master, but still, it is a word. And howsoever Buddha may have found himself, his nourishment is not going to be your nourishment. If he has quenched his thirst, all that he can say is, “Water has helped me to quench my thirst.” You can go on repeating ”H20” as a mantra but your thirst will not be quenched.

Zen says: Think of all the great words and great teachings as your deadly enemy. Avoid them, because you have to find your own source.

You have not to be a follower, an imitator. You have to be an original individual; you have to find your innermost core on your own, with no guide, no guiding scriptures.

It is a dark night, but with the intense fire of inquiry, you are bound to come to the sunrise. Everybody who has burned with intense inquiry has found the sunrise. Others only believe. Those who believe are not religious, they are simply avoiding the great adventure of religion by believing. 

In Zen, he who does not bring strong doubt to bear upon the koans is a dissolute, knavish good-for-nothing. Therefore it is said: “Underlying great doubt is great satori; where there is thorough questioning there will be a thorough-going experience of awakening.”

This is a unique quality of Zen. It says that hidden behind a great doubt is your satori, your enlightenment.

What exactly is doubt? Doubt means eliminating anything that is borrowed. It is not saying that something is not true, it says that “It is not my truth. And unless something is my truth, I am not going to discontinue my search.”

Doubt means a great love for truth, which never compromises for any cheap beliefs which are available in the marketplace, in every temple, in every church, in every synagogue. All the religions are telling you just to believe and you will be saved. This is pure nonsense, because millions of people have believed and nobody seems to be saved.

Millions of people are believing today, but the world is a mess. Their belief does not change the world, their belief does not change them, their belief makes no difference at all in their character. It does only one thing: it functions as an umbrella. It keeps them hiding from a great inquiry that is our basic right. They go on repressing the inquiry with belief, saying, “What is the point of knowing the truth? – Krishna has known it. Just read Shrimad Bhagavadgita every day, and that’s all.” Why should you bother to inquire yourself?

Or they say that Buddha has found it and he has told it: now there is no need for you to find it again.

This is what belief means. It takes your individual inquiry away from you. But remember, with the inquiry gone, the individuality is also gone. All the religions together have conspired to take away the dignity of man, because they have taken man’s individuality. They have made people into a crowd, a crowd of believers.

Zen wants you to be an individual seeker. Throw away all the scriptures, burn all the scriptures, never take anybody’s word as your truth. It is a great challenge, and it needs strength, it needs integrity, it needs a love for truth at any cost. Only those who gamble everything for truth are the blessed ones.

The world of religion is not the world of the businessman. It is the world of the gambler, who risks everything on the unknown – he does not know what is going to happen.

I am reminded… A Japanese actor earned much money in Hollywood, and after earning so much money he thought to go back home and relax: “Enough is enough – there is no point to going on earning. There is a little time before death knocks on the doors, and it will be good to rest.”

But before returning to Japan he thought he should go around the world to have a look before he settled in Japan. He went to Paris, and in a gambling place he risked everything that he had earned – millions of dollars, just in one go. Even the owner was trembling, every gambler there was perspiring: “My God, what kind of man is this?”

He did not save a single dollar, he gambled everything, and lost. And then he went to his room and went to sleep.

The next morning, in the newspapers, there was news that a Japanese man had jumped from the seventh floor of a building and had killed himself. In the hotel everybody thought that it must be the Japanese who risked everything, but in this hotel there were not seven stories. And he had gone to his bed, so they went and knocked on the door. The man opened the door. Those people were shocked to see him – he was perfectly alive. They said, “Have you seen the morning newspaper?”

He said, “Yes, I see that some Japanese has committed suicide from a seventh floor. And I knew you all would think I was going to commit suicide, but I’m not the one to accept defeat. I will earn money again, and I will come back to this hotel to put down just as much money – more than this time!”

And he went back to Hollywood. When he came back after earning enough money, more than the first time, that gambling place had closed. It was too risky. The man said, “What is the matter? Just a day before you were open and now you are closed.”

They said, “You can gamble somewhere else. There are many gambling places in Paris, but don’t frighten us. You are a man of strange steel.”

A man who can gamble everything for the unknown result – that’s exactly the situation of a religious man. You are renouncing all the scriptures and all the great masters’ words, and you are going into your own inner world without any guide, without any map, without any companion, alone, on a path never walked by anybody. Your inner path is your path; nobody else can walk on it.

But if one can doubt totally, denying all that is not his own, it creates an immense purity and creates great power, it gives a tremendous freedom – all which are absolutely necessary to inquire into your own being. What is there? Nobody can say it. Only you have to go there, and only you can go there. Hakuin is saying that there will be a thorough-going awakening where there is thorough-going questioning.

Go on questioning everything that the religions have been telling you to believe. Belief is the greatest barrier to the religious man. But just the contrary has been preached: faith and belief are praised by all religions. And the world that we see is the result of this stupid teaching – believing and having faith. Out of a thousand years of believing what have you gained? Where are you? The world has never been in more of a mess than it is today. If you want to get out of the mess, please throw out all that you have believed up to now.

Be utterly naked of belief, and the truth is not very far away. Just turn in and it is there. It does not come by faith, it comes by turning in. Faith is outside, belief is outside. Only turning in brings a transformation in being. 

Do not say, “Since my thoughts are always flying about in confusion, I lack the power to apply myself to genuine concentration on my koan.” 

Suppose that, among the dense crowd of people in the hurly-burly of the marketplace, a man accidentally loses two or three pieces of gold. You will never find anyone who, because the place is noisy and bustly or because he has dropped his pieces of gold in the dirt, will not turn back to look for them. He pushes any number of people about, stirs up a lot of dust, and weeping copious tears rushes around searching for his gold. If he doesn’t get it back into his own two hands, he will never regain his peach of mind.

Hakuin is saying that the loss of even two or three pieces of gold is enough to make you look for them, but you don’t know what a treasure is hidden inside you, what a splendor you are carrying. 

Do you consider the priceless jewel worn in the hair, your own inherent, marvelous Tao, of less value than two or three pieces of gold?

You never bother about who is hidden inside you, what is the source of your being.

Those who have known the source, they are unanimously in agreement that it is the most precious experience that can happen in this world. It is the most universal which gives you a deathlessness, and which gives your life a tremendous freshness, and in each moment a radiance, a grace, a beauty. Your whole life becomes a celebration.

And this is something that nobody can steal away. This is something that nobody can destroy. Even death is incapable of touching it. It is your eternal treasure. From eternity to eternity, it is yours – but you never look at it.

Dangai wrote:

Earth, river, mountain:
Snowflakes melt in air.
How could I have doubted?
Where is North? South? East? West? 

Once you know, doubt commits suicide on its own accord. Never believe; let the doubt die. That is a totally different situation. When you believe, doubt remains alive – in fact, very forcibly alive.

One Christian missionary, Stanley Jones, said to me, “My faith in Jesus Christ is absolute!”

I said, “You simply analyze your own statement. Is not faith enough? Has it to be absolute? What is the purpose of the word ‘absolute’? Faith is enough, if it is there. But it is not there. Just by the side of faith are disbelief, unfaith, doubt – all are there. To cover them up you have to bring a bigger umbrella. Absolute faith simply shows that your doubt is very great. Ordinary people have small doubts; their faith is small. You are a learned scholar, a world-famous scholar – naturally your doubt is going to be very great.”

He said, “I had never looked from this angle, but perhaps you are right.” He was a very honest man. He said, “I will have to think it over.”

When somebody says to somebody else, “I love you absolutely,” then you have to be aware. Don’t get caught in absolute love affairs – just temporary is good. Absolute is going to be a constant murder!

The real lovers don’t even say “I love you.” They will not use the word ‘love’ for their great experience. The word is very small and used too many times; it has lost its freshness. It is my experience that when love starts disappearing, people start saying to each other, “I love you very much.” It is only when love starts disappearing, when they become aware that love is no more there, now only words can continue the misery that they used to call love. Now they have to repeat it continuously.

But if you know, then the moment you have dropped all belief, including disbelief; when your doubt is total, suddenly there is an explosion, as if the fire of your being, which was hidden, has come to its fully-fledged form. Its flames are even reaching out of you. You are on fire! In this case there is no question of doubt and there is no question of belief. You simply know.

Once a Western journalist asked Shri Aurobindo, “Do you believe in God?” It is a very common question. Shri Aurobindo said, “No.”

The man was very much puzzled. He had come to see him from far away just because he had heard that he was a man of God. So the journalist was not going to just leave Shri Aurobindo at that.

He asked, “What do you mean by saying no?”

Aurobindo said, “When you know something, you do not believe. Do you believe in the sun? Do you believe in the starry night? Do you believe in the roses? You see they are there: there is no question of belief.”

Belief arises only in darkness, when you don’t know. And belief keeps you in darkness – because of belief you never try to discover on your own what is the truth.

A haiku:

Butterflies setting out
To cross the sea,
Have disappeared:
My self comes back to me.

He is saying that all our thoughts are nothing but butterflies trying to cross the sea: they will disappear somewhere. Have you watched your thoughts? If you have lived forty or fifty years, how many million thoughts have crossed the sea and disappeared? Every day, you go on creating new thoughts and they go on disappearing into the dust. Only one thing remains with you, and that is your am-ness. Only you remain.

As a Zen poet has said, “Clouds come and go and the sky remains.” It never goes anywhere, it never comes from anywhere. You are the sky. Anything that happens in this sky is just a traffic – no need to be concerned about it, no need to be identified with it.

-Osho

From Turning In, Discourse #6

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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