Meditation Means No-Mind – Osho

You said last night that the more the mind grows, the more we know that the nature of the mind is confusion. But isn’t it true that this growth of the mind also leads to clarity?

Whatsoever I was just saying is related to this.

Yes, it leads to clarity, because only when you have a very mature mind do you become aware that you are confused. Even to become aware that mind is confusion, a very developed mind is needed. Those who are not aware that their mind is confusion are really not mature minds. They are childish, juvenile, still developing. Only a very mature mind can become aware of the quality of the mind, that it is confusion. And when you have developed the mind, only then is meditation possible, because meditation is the opposite goal.

Meditation means no-mind. But how can you achieve a no-mind if you have not achieved a mind? So, achieve a mind just to lose it. And don’t think that if ultimately one has to reach the state of no-mind, then what is the use of achieving a mind? – because if you don’t achieve a mind, the ultimate is not going to happen to you. It can happen only if the mind is there. So I am not against mind, I am not against intellect. Really, I am not against anything. I am for everything, because everything can be used to reach the opposite pole.

There is a polarity, and the opposite pole cannot be reached if the polarity is not there. A madman cannot meditate. Why? Because he has no mind. But this no-mind is not the no-mind of Buddha. No-mind can have two dimensions: below mind and above mind. The above mind is also no-mind, and the below mind is also no-mind. You can fall down from the mind: the mind is not there, but it is not meditation. You have to go beyond mind, only then is the Buddha’s no-mind achieved. And always remember it, because they are so similar you can misunderstand the whole thing. They are so similar.

For example, a child is innocent. A saint is also innocent – a Jesus or a Krishna – but their innocence is not childish. It is childlike, not childish; because a child is innocent only because he is ignorant. He is innocent only as a negative thing, just the absence. Sooner or later everything will erupt; he is a volcano waiting to erupt. The innocence is just the silence before the volcano erupts. A saint is one who has gone beyond. The eruption has happened; the volcano is silent again. But this silence is different. The first silence was very pregnant; something was present there. The silence was just on the surface; deep down that child was getting ready to be disturbed. The saint has passed the disturbance. The cyclone has gone. This silence, the innocence, appears similar, but there is a deep difference.

So sometimes an idiot can also appear to be saint-like. And idiots are saint-like. They are not cunning; to be cunning, intelligence is needed. They are not calculating; to be calculating, mind is needed. Idiots are simple, innocent, non-cunning, non-calculating. They cannot deceive anyone. Not that they would not like to; they cannot. The very capacity is not there. They look like saints, and sometimes saints look like idiots, because the same thing has happened again, in a different, altogether different, dimension.

You can fall down below the mind: then too, a no-mind happens, but it is not meditation. You have simply lost even that mind which was going to become a step towards meditation. So I am not against mind. Develop mind, develop intellect, but remember well – this is just a means, and a means which has to be forsaken, thrown away. It has to be used like a boat. You reach the other shore; you leave the boat. You forget about the boat completely.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #50, Q3

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Ignorance of Mind – Osho

The whole ignorance of mind consists in not being in the present. Mind is always moving: into the future, or into the past. Mind is never here and now. It cannot be.

The very nature of mind is such that it cannot be in the present, because mind has to think, and in the present moment there is no possibility to think. You have to see, you have to listen, you have to be present, but you cannot think.

The present moment is so narrow that there is no space to think about. You can be, but thoughts cannot be. How can you think? If you think, it means it is already past, the moment has gone. Or you can think if it has not come yet, it is in the future. For thinking space is needed, because thinking is like a walk — a walk of the mind, a journey. Space is needed. You can walk into the future, you can walk into the past, but how can you walk in the present? The present is so close, really not even close – the present is you. Past and future are parts of time; the present is you, it is not part of time. It is not a tense: it is not at all a part of time, it doesn’t belong to time. The present is you; past and future are out of you.

The mind cannot exist in the present. If you can be here, totally present, mind will disappear. Mind can desire, can dream— dream a thousand and one thoughts. It can move to the very end of the world, it can move to the very beginning of the world, but it cannot be here and now—that is impossible for it. The whole ignorance consists in not knowing this. And then you worry about the past, which is no more—it is absolutely stupid! You cannot do anything about the past. How can you do anything about the past which is no more? Nothing can be done, it has already gone; but you worry about it, and worrying about it, you waste yourself.

Or you think about the future, and dream and desire. Have you ever observed? – The future never comes. It cannot come. Whatsoever comes is always the present, and the present is absolutely different from your desires, your dreams. That’s why whatsoever you desire and dream and imagine and plan for and worry about, never happens. But it wastes you. You go on deteriorating. You go on dying. Your energies go on moving in a desert, not reaching any goal, simply dissipating. And then death knocks at your door. And remember: death never knocks in the past, and death never knocks in the future; death knocks in the present.

You cannot say to death, “Tomorrow!” Death knocks in the present. Life also knocks in the present. God also knocks in the present. Everything that is always knocks in the present, and everything that is not is always part of past or future.

Your mind is a false entity because it never knocks in the present. Let this be the criterion of reality: whatsoever is, is always here and now; whatsoever is not is never a part of the present. Drop all that which never knocks in the now. And if you move in the now, a new dimension opens—the dimension of eternity.

Past and future move in a horizontal line: A moves to B, B to C, C to D, in a line. Eternity moves vertically: A moves deeper into the A, higher into the A, not to B; A goes on moving deeper and higher, both ways. It is vertical. The present moment moves vertically, time moves horizontally. Time and present never meet. And you are the present: your whole being moves vertically. The depth is open, the height is open, but you are moving horizontally with the mind. That’s how you miss God.

People come to me and they ask how to meet God, how to see, how to realize. That is not the point. The point is: how are you missing him? — Because he is here and now knocking at your door. It cannot be otherwise. If he is the real, he must be here and now.

Only unreality is not here and now. He is already at your door—but you are not there. You are never at home. You go on wandering into millions of words, but you are never at home. There you are never found, and God comes to meet you there, reality surrounds you there, but never finds you there. The real question is not how you should meet God; the real question is how you should be at home, so that when God knocks he finds you there. It is not a question of your finding him, it is a question of him finding you.

So it is a real meditation. A man of understanding does not bother about God or that type of matter, because he is not a philosopher. He simply tries to be at home, meditates on how to stop worrying about the future and the past, thinking about future and past; he meditates on how to settle here and now, how not to move from this moment. Once you are in this moment, the door opens. This moment is the door!

I was staying once with a Catholic priest and his family. It happened one evening that I was sitting with the family: the priest, his wife, and their young child who was playing in the corner of the room with a few blocks, making something. Then suddenly the child said, “Now everybody be quiet, because I have made a church. The church is ready, now be silent.”

The father was very happy that the boy understood that in a church one has to be quiet.

To encourage him he said, “Why is it one needs to be quiet in a church?” “Because,” said the boy, “the people are asleep.”

The people are really asleep, not only in the church, but on the whole earth, everywhere.

They are asleep in the church because they come asleep from out-side. They go out of the church, they move in sleep—everybody is a sleepwalker, a somnambulist. And this is the nature of sleep: that you are never here and now, because if you are here and now you will be awake!

Sleep means you are in the past, sleep means you are in the future. Mind is the sleep, mind is a deep hypnosis—fast asleep. And you try many ways, but nothing seems to help you because anything done in your sleep will not be of much help, because if you do it in sleep it will not be more than a dream.

I have heard that once a man came to a psychoanalyst, a very absentminded psychoanalyst—and everybody is absentminded because mind is absent-mindedness, not at home; that’s what absent-mindedness means. A man went to this very absentminded psychoanalyst and told him. “I am in great trouble. I have knocked at the doors of all types of doctors but nobody could help me, and they say that nothing is wrong. But I am in trouble. I snore so loudly in my sleep that I wake myself up. And this happens so many times in the night: the snoring is so loud that I wake myself up!

Without exactly listening to what this man was saying, the psychoanalyst said, “This is nothing. A simple thing can change the whole matter. You simply sleep in another room.”

You understand? — This is exactly what everybody is doing. You go on changing rooms, but sleep continues, snoring continues, because you cannot leave it in another room. It is not something separate from you; it is you, it is your mind, it is your whole accumulated past, your memory, your knowledge—what Hindus call samskaras, all the conditionings that make your mind. You go in another room, they follow you there.

You can change your religion: you can become a Christian from a Hindu, you can become a Hindu from a Christian—you change rooms. Nothing will come of it. You can go on changing your masters  from one master to another, from one ashram to another: nothing will be of much help. You are changing rooms; and the basic thing is not to change rooms but to change you. The room is not concerned with your snoring; the room is not the cause, you are the cause. This is the first thing to be understood; then you will be able to follow this beautiful story.

Your mind, as it is, is asleep. But you cannot feel how it is asleep because you look quite awake, with open eyes. But have you ever seen anything? You look wide awake with your open ears, but have you ever heard anything?

You are listening to me so you will say, yes! But are you listening to me or listening to your mind inside? Your mind is constantly commenting. I am here, talking to you, but you are not there listening to me. Your mind constantly comments, “Yes, it is right, I agree;” “I don’t agree, this is absolutely false;” your mind is standing there, constantly commenting. Through this commentary, this fog of the mind, I cannot penetrate you. Understanding comes when you are not interpreting, when you simply listen.

In a small school the teacher found that one boy was not listening. He was very lazy and fidgety, restless. So she asked: “Why? Are you in some difficulty? Are you not able to hear me?”

The boy said, ‘Hearing is okay, listening is the problem. ‘

He made a really subtle distinction. He said, “Hearing is okay, I am hearing you; but listening is the problem”—because listening is more than hearing; listening is hearing with full awareness. Just hearing is okay, sounds are all around you—you hear, but you are not listening. You have to hear, because the sounds will go on knocking at your eardrum; you have to hear. But you are not there to listen, because listening means a deep attention, a rapport not a constant commentary inside, not saying yes or no, not agreeing, disagreeing, because if you agree and disagree, in that moment how can you listen to me?

When you agree, what I said is already past; when you disagree, it is already gone. And in the moment you nod your head inside, say no or yes, you are missing—and this is a constant thing inside you.

You cannot listen. And the more knowledge you have the more difficult listening becomes. Listening means innocent attention—you simply listen. There is no need to be in agreement or disagreement. I am not in search of your agreement or disagreement. I am not asking for your vote, I am not seeking your following; I am not in any way trying to convince you.

What do you do when a parrot starts screeching in a tree? Do you comment? Yes, then too you say, “Disturbing.” You cannot listen even to a parrot. When the wind is blowing through the trees and there’s the rustling noise, do you listen to it? Sometimes, maybe; it catches you unawares. But then too you comment, “Yes, beautiful!”

Now watch: whenever you comment, you fall asleep. The mind has come in, and with the mind the past and future enter. The vertical line is lost — and you become horizontal. The moment mind enters you become horizontal. You miss eternity.

Simply listen. There is no need to say yes or no. There is no need to be convinced or not convinced. Simply listen, and the truth will be revealed to you—or the untruth! If somebody is talking nonsense, if you simply listen the nonsense will be revealed to you without any commentary from the mind. If somebody is speaking the truth, it will be revealed to you. Truth or untruth is not an agreement or a disagreement of your mind, it is a feeling. When you are in total rapport, you feel, and you simply feel that it is true or it is untrue—and the thing is finished! No worrying about it, no thinking about it! What can thinking do?

If you have been brought up in a certain way, if you are a Christian, or a Hindu, or a Mohammedan and I am saying something which happens to agree with your upbringing, you will say yes. If it doesn’t happen so, you will say no. Are you here or is only the upbringing here? And upbringing is just accidental.

The mind cannot find what is true, the mind cannot find what is untrue. The mind can reason about it, but all reasoning is based on conditioning. If you are a Hindu you reason in one way, if you are a Mohammedan you reason in a different way. And every type of conditioning rationalizes. It is not really reasoning: you rationalize.

Mulla Nasruddin became very aged; he attained one hundred years. A reporter came to see him, because he was the oldest citizen around those parts. The reporter said, “Nasruddin, there are a few questions I would like to ask. One is, do you think you will be able to live a hundred years more?”

Nasruddin said, “Of course, because a hundred years ago I was not so strong as I am now.”

A hundred years before, he was a child, just born, so he said: “A hundred years ago I was not so strong as I am now, and if a small child, helpless, weak, could survive for a hundred years, why shouldn’t I?”

This is rationalization. It looks logical, but it misses something. It is a wish-fulfillment. You would like to survive longer, so you create a rationale around it: you believe in the immortality of the soul. You have been brought up in a culture which says that the soul is eternal. If somebody says, “Yes, the soul is eternal,” you nod, you say, “Yes, that’s right.”

But that’s not right — or wrong. You say yes because it is a deep-rooted conditioning in you. There are others: half the world believes, Hindus, Buddhists and Jainas believe that the soul is eternal, and there are many rebirths. And half the world, Christians, Mohammedans, Jews, believe the soul is not eternal and there is no rebirth, only one life and then the soul dissolves into the ultimate.

Half the world believes this, half the world believes that, and they all have their own arguments, they all have their own rationalizations. Whatsoever you want to believe, you will believe, but deep down your desire will be the cause of your belief, not reason. Mind looks rational, but it is not. It is a rationalizing process: whatsoever you want to believe, the mind says yes. And where does that wanting come from? It comes from your upbringing.

Listening is a totally different affair, it has a totally different quality to it. When you listen, you cannot be a Hindu, or a Mohammedan, or a Jaina, or a Christian. When you listen you cannot be a theist or an atheist; when you listen you can’t listen through the skin of your -isms or scriptures. You have to put them all aside; you simply listen.

I’m not asking you to agree, don’t be afraid! Simply listen, not bothered by agreement or disagreement, and then a rapport happens.

If the truth is there, suddenly you are drawn—your whole being is drawn as if by a magnet. You melt and merge into it, and your heart feels “This is true,” without any reason, without any arguments, without any logic. This is why religions say reason is not the way to the divine. They say it is faith, they say it is trust.

What is trust? Is it a belief? No, because belief belongs to the mind. Trust is a rapport. You simply put aside all your defense measures, your armor; you become vulnerable. You listen to something, and you listen so totally that the feeling arises in you as to whether it is true or not. If it is untrue, you feel it. Why does this happen? If it is true, you feel it. Why does this happen?

It happens because truth resides in you. When you are totally non-thinking your inner truth can feel wherever truth is—because like always feels out like: it fits. Suddenly everything fits, everything falls in a pattern and the chaos becomes a cosmos. The words fall in line… and a poetry arises. Then everything simply fits.

If you are in rapport, and the truth is there, your inner being simply agrees with it — but it is not an agreement. You feel a tuning. You become one. This is trust. If something is wrong, it simply falls from you, you never pay it a second thought, you never look at it a second time: there is no meaning in it. You never say, “This is untrue”; it simply doesn’t fit, you move! If it fits, it becomes your home. If it doesn’t fit, you move.

Through listening comes trust. But listening needs hearing plus attention. And you are fast asleep — how can you be attentive? But even fast asleep a fragment of attention remains floating in you; otherwise there would be no way. You may be in a prison, but possibilities always exist — you can come out. Difficulties may be there, but it is not impossible, because prisoners have been known to escape. A Buddha escapes, a Mahavira escapes, a Jesus escapes — they were also prisoners like you. Prisoners have escaped before — prisoners have always escaped. There remains somewhere a door, a possibility; you simply have to search for it.

If it is impossible, if there is no possibility, then there is no problem. The problem arises because the possibility is there — you are a little alert. If you were absolutely un-alert, then there would be no problem. If you were in a coma, then there would be no problem. But you are not in a coma; you are asleep — but not totally. A gap, a leakage exists. You have to find within yourself that possibility of being attentive.

Sometimes you become attentive. If somebody comes to hit you, the attention comes. If you are in danger, if you are passing through a forest at night and it is dark, you walk with a different quality of attention. You are awake; thinking is not there. You are fully in rapport with the situation, with whatsoever is happening. Even if a leaf creates a sound you are fully alert. You are just like a hare, or a deer — they are always awake. Your ears are bigger, your eyes are wide open, you are feeling what is happening all around because danger is there. In danger your sleep is less, your awareness is more, the gestalt changes. If somebody puts a dagger to your heart and is just going to push it in, in that moment there is no thinking. Past disappears, future disappears: you are here and now.

The possibility is there. If you make the effort you will catch the one ray that exists in you, and once you catch the one ray, the sun is not very far; then through the ray you can reach the sun—the ray becomes the path.

So remember: find attention, let it become a continuity in you twenty-four hours a day, whatsoever you do. Eat, but try to be attentive: eat with awareness. Walk, but walk with awareness. Love, but love fully aware. Try!

It cannot become total just in one day, but even if one ray is caught, you will feel a deep fulfillment — because the quality is the same whether you attain to one ray or the whole sun. Whether you taste a drop of water from the ocean or the whole ocean, the salty taste is the same — and the taste becomes your satori, the glimpse.

Here, listening to me, be alert. Whenever you feel that you have gone again into sleep, bring yourself back: just shake a little and bring yourself back. When walking on the street, if you feel you are walking in a sleep, shake a little; give a little shake to the whole body. Be alert. This alertness will remain only for a few moments; again you will lose it, because you have lived in a sleep for so long, it has become such a habit, that you cannot see how you can go against it.

I was traveling once from Calcutta to Bombay in a plane, and one child was creating a great nuisance, running from one corner of the aisle to the other, disturbing everybody — and then the stewardess came with tea and coffee. The boy ran into her, and everything was a mess. Then the mother of the child said, “Now listen, I have told you many times, why don’t you go outside and play there?”

Just old habit. She was sitting just by my side and was not aware of what she had said. I listened as she spoke, and she never became alert to what she had said. Only the child made her alert. He said, “What do you mean? If I go out I am finished!”

A child is more attentive of course, because he has less habits. A child is more alert because he has less armor around him, he is less imprisoned. That’s why all religions say that when a man becomes a sage he has some quality of a child: the innocence. Then habits drop. … Because habits are your prison, and sleep is the greatest habit.

-Osho

From And the Flowers Showered, Discourse #7

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.

Three Tickets for Titsburgh – Osho

Lately, I feel that the longing inside to go beyond the mind and experience something more is growing. It seems like such a long process – Does it have to take a long time? 

Atit Yama, the longing to go beyond the mind is the only longing worthwhile. All that man desires and hopes for is utterly meaningless. In success, in failure, in every possible way it leads you nowhere.

It is not only that you feel the pain in failure—the pain and the defeat and the agony. Those who succeed also feel the same pain in a different way, perhaps more deeply than those who have failed, because they have succeeded in what they wanted and yet their inner being is as dark and as empty as ever. They have everything on the outside and nothing inside. In fact, all that they have succeeded in attaining, in achieving, becomes a contrast and shows their inner emptiness more clearly than those who have failed to attain.

It is just as if you write with white chalk on a white wall: it doesn’t show. You have to write it on a blackboard and then it shows clearly. The emptiness, meaninglessness shows more clearly on the blackboard of success than it shows on the mind and its screen of failure. In failure there is still hope; in success there is no hope. You have already arrived, and your arrival is the death of all your hoping.

It is a very strange experience that the only successful lovers are those who never meet, are never allowed to meet by the society, by the parents, by the situations. They are the only successful lovers; the world remembers them for centuries. But once the lovers meet, then all hope and all romance from life simply evaporates.

There is one longing amongst all longings, and that is the longing to go beyond mind. But there is a contradiction in this longing, because all longing belongs to the mind: how can the mind long, desire, to go beyond itself? So the longing to go beyond mind has not to be understood in the same way as any other desire, any other ambition.

In fact to call it longing is not right. It is an understanding more than a desire. It is an understanding of the agony and the pain of mind that makes one feel it is better to go beyond. It is not something in the faraway future as a goal, but something that has to be allowed to happen right now.

If you can see what mind has done to you and what it is continuously doing to you, how much misery and how much suffering it goes on creating, then the very understanding of the misery of mind is enough to go beyond. You don’t ask how to go beyond; you simply cannot remain in the mind. You are in the mind because you are not clear that your misery is caused by the mind. You go on throwing the responsibility on something or other.

Jean-Paul Sartre has said—and when a man like Sartre says something it is significant; his statement has become immensely famous: “The other is hell.” In an ordinary way it appears to be right, because you always suffer because of others: your wife deserts you; your husband does not love you; your children are turning into hippies. It is always the others who are creating misery; otherwise, you would be in paradise.

In this ordinary sense his statement has meaning, and that’s why it has become so famous and so important. But deep down it is rooted in ignorance. The other is not hell; the other is only a mirror. The other only reflects your mind, your face.

I have heard an ancient parable…

A woman who was very ugly was against mirrors. She was so much against mirrors that she did not allow any mirror in her own home. Her antagonism was so deep that if she saw a mirror in somebody else’s house the first thing she did was to break the mirror. And people asked, “What is the matter, why have you broken the mirror?”

She said, “The mirror makes me ugly; otherwise, I am perfectly well. If there was no mirror, I would not have been ugly.”

The same is the situation when Jean-Paul Sartre says that the other is hell. It is you, it is your mind. And because Sartre goes on depending on this understanding, a man of his caliber and genius never transcends mind, never even thinks of it. It is unfortunate that such beautiful people with such sharp intelligence remain unaware of a simple fact that in your relationships it is your mind that is reflected. In your misery it is your mind; in your jealousy it is your mind; in your hate it is your mind; in your lust for power it is your mind.

Once you see the multidimensional capacity of the mind to create hell for you, the very understanding takes you out of it. You don’t have to long; you don’t have to desire; you don’t have to do anything else other than understand the mind.

Yama, you are saying to me, “I feel that the longing inside to go beyond the mind and experience something more is growing.” Superficially, anybody will say that a spiritual desire has taken possession of you, but I am going to be a little hard on you.

First, the feeling is part of the mind, the longing is part of the mind, to have some experience is a desire of the mind… and to have something even more is the very nature of mind. It can be reduced to a simple statement: Mind always asks for more. It may be money or it may be meditation, it doesn’t matter —mind goes on asking for more.

Even if you get God himself, the mind will still ask the same thing: something more. What are you going to do with this God? Now you are stuck forever. Just think of yourself getting stuck with God forever! The mind may even suggest to you, “It is better to lose this fellow rather than to remain stuck with him; either get something more… or even less will do, but a change is absolutely needed.” Mind is a continuous thirst for more. It never finds fulfillment.

So you have to understand one thing, that this longing should not be part of the mind. This desire to experience something more should not be mind deceiving you in the name of religion, in the name of spirituality.

The only way to avoid the mind and its deceptions—and they are very subtle—the only way is to drop these words: ‘longing’, ‘experience’, ‘more’. Rather try to understand the mind, what it is. Look into every nook and corner of the mind, from where all desires arise, all longings arise, from where all passions arise. Just look into this source of all your life.

With the very understanding that the mind is the hell, you will find yourself beyond it; you will not have to go beyond it.

It is almost like when you find your house is on fire. When you see it on fire, you don’t think and contemplate what to do. You don’t consult Holy Scriptures for right instructions. You simply jump out of the house—whether it is a door or a window it doesn’t matter; whether you are properly dressed or not it doesn’t matter. You know a great crowd is waiting, but if you are in your bathroom and suddenly find the house is on fire, you will jump out of the window naked. You will forget to take even the towel with you. It is not a time to think of all these trivia and the crowd is not going to be angry with you, even in Poona. Even the police commissioner is not going to take any action against you. In such a situation ordinary laws don’t apply.

The transcendence from mind has happened only to a very few people in the world. And the reason is that most people get deceived by the mind. The mind itself starts asking for transcendence, for going beyond, for searching the truth, and you forget that these are subtle devices of the mind to take you astray from one single thing: that is a deep understanding of mind itself.

Neither transcendence is needed nor going beyond is needed nor any spiritual experience is needed. What is needed is a total understanding of your mind and its structure and its functioning. And that very understanding, without any effort on your part, will become the transcendence, will take you beyond, will give you the experience that mind was only dreaming about and deceiving you.

Your question is certainly arising from the mind, because the next thing it says is: “It seems like such a long process.” Understanding is not a long process. Understanding is immediate. You come across a snake on the road—understanding does not take a long time. You simply jump out of the way without even thinking what you are doing. […]

You say it is a long process, “such a long process—does it have to take a long time?”

Somebody has sent me the Ashram’s Law of Shortcut: The shortest distance between two points is always under construction.

It is very difficult to find any shortcut here… but there is no need either if you follow rightly my understanding, my approach. Time is not involved at all; neither is any kind of distance.

This very moment you can look at your mind, and you can see all that your mind contains. And that will be enough just to be finished with it. It is not a question of time; it is not a question of effort. It is only a question of clear understanding.

That’s what we don’t do. We fight with anger, we fight with jealousy, we fight with everything, but fighting never helps because it takes time. And fighting shows one thing absolutely: that you don’t understand that by fighting you cannot go beyond mind. Fighting is simply one part of mind fighting with another part. It is like making both my hands fight with each other. Do you think any hand is going to win? It depends on me; I can make the right-hand win or I can change the idea and make the left-hand win. But I know perfectly well that it is within my power: both hands are mine.

Any conflict in your mind, any split in your mind is just a game. You have become two teams, football teams or… And you can go on playing the game and you can enjoy that you are on a spiritual pilgrimage, that you are a great seeker — but you are just playing football. And you are playing for both sides; there is no question of any victory, no question of any defeat.

That’s what so-called religious people have been doing and are still doing. Their rituals, their prayers, their austerities certainly take time. And not only do they take time, they never arrive anywhere, they remain the same persons. Maybe they have repressed their sexuality, but the sexuality is there. Repressed, it becomes more dangerous because it becomes more deep-rooted in your unconscious, from where it will create a thousand and one perversions.

I have heard that three rabbis were standing on the railway station. They were going somewhere, obviously. And finally, the youngest one said, “Now it seems the train is going to come and I should get the tickets.”

So he went to the window and saw a beautiful woman working on her register. The young rabbi said to the woman, “Lady, how much will it cost for Titsburgh?” He forgot that he is going to Pittsburgh.

The woman was very angry, and said, “You are a religious man…” The rabbi felt very ashamed. He came back and told the other rabbis, “You can purchase the ticket because I am feeling very nervous, and in my nervousness, I have said something wrong.”

They said, “But tell us what you have said wrong.”

He said, “I cannot repeat it. And don’t make me feel more guilty; I am feeling very bad.”

So the second rabbi, more elderly than the first, said, “I’m going. What kind of nervousness is this? Just purchasing the ticket…” And the moment he saw those beautiful tits he forgot everything—his old age, his austerities, his rituals, his prayers; all were forgotten. And of course, because he was older he committed more mistakes because his unconscious and his repression were greater. He said, “Just give me three tickets for Titsburgh and the change you can give me in nipples.”

The woman was outraged. She said, “You rascals! You are pretending to be rabbis? The first one came and now you have come, and you are worse than the first.”

And the second rabbi came back trembling. Then the oldest rabbi said, “What is the matter with you idiots? Just purchasing a ticket… What happens on the window?”

The second one said, “You go and see yourself. Something goes wrong. I was not thinking that I can do such a stupid thing, but it simply came out.”

The old rabbi said, “That window seems to be mysterious. But let me try.” And of course he was a very strict disciplinarian, a perfectionist, and the oldest of all. He kept himself very alert seeing that two persons have failed and something is wrong there. He saw the tits but he understood immediately, Okay, so this is the problem: Pittsburgh must be becoming Titsburgh!

He took the right approach and said, “Lady, how much will it be for Pittsburgh?”

The lady said, “You are really a religious person. Those two fellows are so ungentlemanly. They should not be accepted as rabbis.”

The rabbi said, “You are right. I will put them right, but I’m going to put you right too! You are not dressed properly. And remember, when you die Saint Finger on the gate of heaven will show his peter at you!”

The old man became angry…

But you cannot get away from the repressed; it is going to come in some way or other. Now Saint Peter becomes Saint Finger, and the poor finger becomes peter.

Perversions are the only achievement of the repressed approach of all your religions. It has created a very perverted humanity. I will not say to you to do something to transcend mind—I will say to you: the only scientific approach is to understand. First understand mind, which is your reality. Why be in such a hurry of going beyond it without understanding it? Understand it and the very understanding is transcendence. The moment you have understood your mind you are beyond it. You will find yourself beyond it within a split second; it won’t take any more time. It is not a process, it is a quantum leap.

My effort is to continuously emphasize that meditation is nothing but watching the mind, understanding the mind, seeing all its subtle and cunning ways. And once you have become perfectly aware of all its conscious, subconscious and unconscious layers you are already out of it. In your very watching you have gone beyond. And beyond the mind there is no desire for more, because beyond the mind you go on growing more and more into infinity. There is no need to desire, it happens spontaneously.

So the first thing is an understanding of the mind and the second thing is to rejoice in spontaneous growth.

The young nun rushed into the mother superior’s office and exclaimed, “We have got a fresh case of syphilis in the convent!” The mother superior looked up and said, “Thank God. I’m sick to death of red wine!”

It is a little difficult. The nun has reported to the superior mother that they have received a fresh case of syphilis. And the superior mother said, “Thank God. I’m sick to death of red wine. Always red wine, red wine… At least something fresh has come.”

A doctor received an urgent phone call. “Doctor,” said the voice. “My wife swallowed my fountain pen two hours ago.” “Why did not you phone me sooner?” asked the doctor.

“I have been using my pencil up to now,” replied the husband, “but the lead has broken and I don’t have a sharpener.”

Life is so ridiculous and so hilarious, that if you just try to understand your mind, you will have a great laugh at yourself and what you have been doing.

Once one of the girlfriends of Pablo Picasso said, “If my boyfriend would ever meet a woman on the street who looked like the women in his paintings he would fall over in a dead faint.”

But Picasso is not aware what he is painting. The girlfriend is saying, “If some day on the road he meets the women he paints, he will forget all painting; he will faint and fall over on the road.” But Picasso is not aware that all his paintings are nightmarish. And he has been working so hard on those paintings all his life. And he was a genius, but he must be absolutely unconscious of what he is doing.

What are you doing? What goes on in your mind? What kinds of paintings do you make? What kinds of dreams come to you? What things make you jealous? What things make you infatuated? Just watch. You have been given, free of charge by your biology, a whole television set which needs no change of any batteries or any electricity; it runs continuously from the cradle to the grave. And who knows it may be running even in the grave.

Brain surgeons have become aware of the fact that the brain can be taken out from your skull and put into a mechanical head. All that it needs is oxygen and blood for everything to run through the mechanical head exactly as it used to run in your head on your body. Your brain continues to function. It does not know that the man has changed. It goes on dreaming, it goes on thinking; it goes on making plans, it goes on being jealous.

Brain surgeons have been very shocked that the brain does not need you at all; it goes on by itself. And it is very frightening that a brain without a body, just mechanically supported for its nourishment is perfectly well and it goes on doing the same old exercises.

You are being used by your brain almost like a mechanical support, nothing much more. This brain certainly has to be transcended, but to transcend it you are not to fall into the trap of taking any support from the same brain. If you take any support from it, you will never be able to get out of its trap. The only way not to take support is just to watch, wait and see all its functions. And you will feel immensely relieved immediately, because it has nothing to do with you, it is just a biocomputer.

And this understanding that “I am separate” is the transcendence, is what you mean by going beyond.

-Osho

From The Invitation, Discourse #13

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.

Meditation, an Experiment with Death – Osho

Before we move into the meditation, let us understand a few things. First of all, you have to let yourself go completely. If you hold yourself back even a tiny bit, it will become a hurdle in meditation. Let yourself go as if you are dead, as if you have really died. Death has to be accepted as if it has already arrived, as if all else has died and we are sinking deeper and deeper within. Now only that which always survives will survive. We will drop everything else which can die. That’s why I have said that this is an experiment with death.

There are three parts to this experiment. The first is, relaxation of the body; second, relaxation of breathing; third, relaxation of thought. Body, breathing and thought — all these have to be slowly let go of.

Please sit at a distance from each other. It is possible that somebody may fall, so keep a little distance between yourselves. Move a little back or come a little forward, but just see to it that you don’t sit too close to each other; otherwise the whole time you will be busy saving yourself from falling over Somebody.

When the body becomes loose, it may fall forwards or backwards; one never knows. You can be sure of it only as long as you have a hold over it. Once you give up your hold on the body, it automatically drops.

Once you loosen your grip from within, who will hold the body? — it is bound to fall. And if you remain preoccupied with preventing it from falling, you will stay where you are — you won’t be able to move into meditation. So when your body is about to fall, consider it a blessing. Let go of it at once. Don’t hold it back, because if you do you will keep yourself from moving inward. And don’t be upset if someone falls on you; let it be so. If someone’s head lies in your lap for a while, let it be so; don’t be bothered by it.  

Now close your eyes. Close them gently. Relax your body. Let it be completely loose, as if there is no life in it. Draw all the energy from your body; take it inside. As the energy moves within, the body will become loose.

Now I will begin my suggestions that the body is becoming loose, that we are becoming silent…. Feel the body becoming loose. Let go. Move within just as a person moves inside his house. Move inside, enter within. The body is relaxing…. Let go completely… let it be lifeless, as if it is dead. The body is relaxing, the body has relaxed, the body has completely relaxed…

I take it that you have totally relaxed your body, that you have given up your hold over it. If the body falls, so be it; if it bends forward, let it bend. Let whatever has to happen, happen — you relax. See that you are not holding anything back. Take a look inside to be sure that you are not holding your body back. You ought to be able to say, “I am not holding back anything. I have let myself go completely.” The body is relaxed, the body is loose. The breath is calming down, the breath is slowing down. Feel it… the breathing has slowed down… let it go completely. Let your breathing go too, just give up your hold on it completely. The breath is slowing down, the breath is calming down…. The breathing has calmed down, the breathing has slowed down….

The breathing has calmed down… thoughts are calming down too. Feel it. Thoughts are becoming silent… let go…. You have let the body go, you have let the breathing go, now let thoughts go as well. Move away… move within totally, move away from thoughts also.

Everything has become silent, as if everything outside is dead. Everything is dead… everything has become silent… only consciousness is left within… a burning lamp of consciousness — the rest is all dead.

Let go… let go completely — as if you are no more. Let go totally… as if your body is dead, as if your body is no more. Your breathing is still, your thoughts are still — as if death has occurred. And move within, move totally within. Let go… let everything go. Let go totally, don’t keep anything. You are dead. Feel as if everything is dead, as if all is dead — only a burning lamp is left inside; the rest is all dead. Everything else is dead, erased. Be lost in emptiness for ten minutes. Be a witness. Keep watching this death. Everything else around you has disappeared. The body is also left, left far behind, far away — we are just watching it. Keep watching, remain a witness. For ten minutes keep looking within.

Keep looking inside… everything else will be dead outside. Let go… be totally dead. Keep watching, remain a witness…. Let everything go as if you are dead and the body on the outside is dead. The body is still, thoughts are still, only the lamp of consciousness is left watching, only the seer is left, only the witness is left. Let go… let go… let go totally…

Whatever is happening, let it happen. Let go completely, just keep watching inside and let the rest go. Give up your hold completely….

The mind has become silent and empty, the mind has become totally empty…. The mind has become empty, the mind has become totally empty. If you are still holding back a little, let that go also. Let go totally, disappear — as if you are no more. The mind has become empty… the mind has become silent and empty… the mind has become totally empty…

Keep looking inside, keep looking inside with awareness — everything has become silent. The body is left behind, left far away; the mind is left far away, only a lamp is burning, a lamp of consciousness, only the light is left burning….

Now slowly take a few breaths. Keep watching your breath…. With each breath the silence will go deeper. Take a few breaths slowly and keep looking within; remain a witness to the breathing also. The mind will become even more silent…. Take a few breaths slowly, then gently open your eyes. If anyone has fallen, take a deep breath first and then get up slowly. Don’t rush if you are unable to rise, don’t rush if you find it difficult to open your eyes…. First take a deep breath, then open your eyes slowly… rise very softly. Don’t do anything with a sudden movement — neither rising nor opening your eyes….

Our morning session of meditation is now over.

-Osho

From And Now and Here, Discourse #2

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.

Explore the Body-Mind – Jean Klein

When there is teaching, you must follow the line free from expectation and anticipation — as in the same way when you trace the route on the map it brings you to your destination. It is very deeply rooted in the body- mind that there is something to achieve, to become, to attain, and this brings us absolutely away from what we are. It takes us in the opposite direction. So we must first face our body- mind, accept it, explore it, get to know it. In this exploration there comes a moment when you are no longer interested in what you explore but live in the exploring itself. The explored is in the exploring, but the exploring is not in the explored. In other words, the known is in the knowing, but the knowing is not in the known. Otherwise, there could not be knowing.

By “explore the body-mind” I mean sense the body-mind. And by “sense” I mean have the sensation of it. Systematically go through all the parts and let each part become sensitive. In this way you become aware of your body. The body is only known through the five senses so let it come up to your five senses. The most obvious of all the sense faculties is sensation or feeling. We know our bodies mostly through sensation. In sensing the body you become free from the reactive body, free from mechanical functioning. So the moment you explore, sense, your body you no longer feed its conditioning. There’s no longer an accomplice to it, to its tension, expectation, aggression. There’s a letting-go, a deep relaxation. Then there’s a moment when there’s no more emphasis on the object, the body-mind, and there’s a switchover so that the observer-subject-explorer is emphasized. You find yourself objectless, no longer in relation of subject to object— abiding completely in stillness, in beingness. That is self-knowing.

Become free from undertaking, from doing. Not doing is also an undertaking. Doing and not doing are movements in the mind. And the mind, like all objects, has its roots in the self, in our highest principle. It is only in this higher principle that there is a conversion between doing and not doing. In this conversion there is no more left and right, yes and no, like and dislike, doing and not-doing; you are free from duality, there is really wholeness, completeness. It no longer has anything to do with the mind.

-Jean Klein

From The Book of Listening, pp. 177-178

Excerpts from Dialogue, Santa Barbara, California: February 16, 1992

 

Beware of Thinking! – Osho

Once a doctor, a very well-known historian and an eminent scholar, was staying in a village. The postmaster, the old postmaster of the village, became curious about this old man, this doctor. He was curious to know what kind of doctor he is, so one day he asked, ‘What kind of doctor are you sir?’

The man said, ‘Doctor of Philosophy.’

The old man had never heard about it. He was puzzled and he said, ‘I have never heard of any case of this disease here.’

Don’t laugh about it, because that old postmaster was right in a way – philosophy is a kind of disease. Of course, doctors of philosophy are not doctors; rather, they are the perfect victims of a disease.

Philosophy is not a specific disease, so you cannot think of it in terms of cases. It is born with the human being. It is as old as humanity or the human mind. And every human being is a victim, more or less – because thinking leads nowhere; or, it leads you in circles, vicious circles. You move much, and if you are expert you can move fast, but you reach nowhere.

This has to be understood very deeply, because if you cannot understand and feel this, you cannot take a jump into meditation. Meditation means the very anti approach – anti to philosophy. Philosophy means thinking and meditation means a state of non-thinking. They are polar opposites.

This is just human – to think about questions and to try to find out answers. But philosophy comes to no answers. Science comes to certain answers, religion comes to certain answers, but philosophy comes to no answers. And all the answers that philosophy appears to come to are just facades: if you dig deep in them you will find more questions and nothing else. So every answer leads to more questions – and this goes on and on.

Science comes to certain answers, because science depends not on thinking but on experimentation. Thinking is used as a help only, but the base is experimentation. That’s why science has given some answers. Philosophers, known and unknown, have been working and working for centuries, but not a single answer, not a single conclusion has been achieved. It cannot be achieved. The very nature of thinking is such that if you use thinking as a help towards experimentation, something can be achieved; that’s why science comes to certain answers.

But religion also comes to certain answers, because religion is also experimentation. Science experiments with the object, religion experiments with the subject, but both are experimentations and both depend on experiment. Between these two is philosophy – just pure thinking, abstract thinking, with no experiment. You can go on, you can go on, but you reach nowhere. Abstract thinking, speculative thinking, is thinking ad infinitum. You can enjoy, you can enjoy the journey, but there is no goal.

Religion and science are similar in a way – both believe in experiment. Religious experiment is of course deeper than scientific, because in science the experimenter himself is not involved. He is working with tools, working with things, working with objects; he remains aloof, he remains out of the experiment. Religion is a deeper science, because the experimenter himself becomes the experiment. There are no tools which are apart from him, no objects which are outside him. He is both – his tools, his objects, his method; he is everything. And he has to work upon himself.

It is arduous. Because you are involved, it is arduous. And because you are involved, the experiment will become experience. In science, the experiment will remain an experiment. The scientist will not be touched by it, will not be transformed by it. The scientist will remain the same. But in religion, passing through the experiment, you will be a different man altogether. You cannot come out the same; you are bound to change. That’s why religious experiment becomes experience.

Remember this: you can go on thinking about God, about soul, about the other world, and you may make believe that you know something about God just by thinking ‘about’. That will be false. You cannot know anything about God – the word ‘about’ is absurd. You can know God, but you cannot know ‘about’ – that ‘about’ creates philosophy.

How can you know about God? Or, for example, how can you know about love? You can know love, you cannot about love, because ‘about’ means someone else knows and you believe in his knowledge. You collect and gather opinions. You say, ‘I know something about God.’ All knowledge which is ‘about’ is false, dangerous, because you can be deluded by it.

You can know God, you can know love, you can know yourself, but forget that ‘about’. That ‘about’ is philosophy. The Upanishads say something, the Vedas say something, the Bible says something, the Koran says something, but for you, all that will become ‘about’. Unless it becomes your experience it is futile, wasted.

This point must go deep within you, because you can go on thinking, and the mind is such that you can start thinking about meditation. You can make anything an object for meditation, for thinking. Even about meditation you can think, and you can go on thinking about it – nothing will happen.

I am talking about so many methods. There is a danger: you may start thinking about these methods, you may become knowledgeable. That won’t do, that is of no use. Not only is it of no use, it is dangerous – because meditation is experience, knowing ‘about’ is worthless.

Remember this word ‘experience’. Life’s problems, all the problems of life, are existential, they are not speculative. You cannot solve them by thinking; you can solve them only by living them. Through living the future opens. Through thinking the future never opens. On the contrary, even the present closes.

You may not have observed: whenever you think, what happen? Whenever you think, you are closed. All that is present drops. You move on a dream-path in your mind. One word creates another, one thought creates another, and you go on moving. The more you move in thinking, the further away you go from existence. Thinking is a way to go away. It is a dream-way; it is dreaming in concepts. Come back to the earth. Religion is very earthly in this sense; not worldly but very earthly, substantial. Come back to existence.

Life’s problems can be solved only when you become deeply rooted in existence. Flying in thoughts you move away from the roots, and the further away you are, the less is the possibility of solving anything. Rather, you will confuse everything, and everything will become more entangled. And the more entangled, the more you will think, and the further away you will move. Beware of thinking!

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #51

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.

Freedom is Being – Anand Amido

Fall leaves fallen

Fallen fall leaves

This offering has been pondered over, allowed to slosh around in my mind, in my interiority, and even spilled over onto a white page to be fiddled with, adjusted, and examined for tone.  (Light but not pedantic!)  No fight picking here, simple exploration, seeking understanding, and then deeper understanding.

When I sit of a morning, Japanese style since my knees protest the least in such a pose, fragments of thought cruise, gallop, creep seemingly through my skull!  Little strips of data from last night’s TV viewing, an old memory of something that jars and gnaws and has to be forgiven and laid to rest (again and again), self-reminders to watch my breath, closely followed by some genuine breath watching, until off I go again climbing onto that endlessly spinning merry-go-round.

At a certain point, my legs suggest we have all been sitting for quite long enough.  Now my legs respond very gracefully to a little wiggle, a little twitch, and we all settle down again.  But then, the mind with some considerable force declares, “Let’s stand up.”  At that point, I have to be really alert and not automatically follow its dictates! For, I have recently read Osho saying that we always stop “meditating” before something happens.  So, I ignore my mind.  Rude of course, but when someone doesn’t have your best interests at heart, is one obliged to listen carefully to their point of view and respond as your upbringing dictates?!  Sorry mind.  If I engage with you, I am lost, and so I turn away!

So then, I settle and yummy is the best word to describe it.

-Amido

The Deceptions of the Mind – Osho

If I try this method of being aware of my breathing, If I pay attention to my breathing, then I cannot do anything else, the whole attention goes to it. And if I am to do anything else then I cannot be aware of my breathing.

This will happen, so in the beginning choose a particular period in the morning, or in the evening, or at any time. For one hour just do the exercise; do not do anything else. Just do the exercise. Once you become attuned to it, then it will not be a problem. You can walk on the street and you can be aware.

Between ‘awareness’ and ‘attention’ there is a difference. When you pay attention to anything it is exclusive; you have to withdraw your attention from everywhere else. So it is a tension really. That is why it is called attention. You pay attention to one thing at the cost of everything else. If you pay attention to your breathing, you cannot pay attention to your walking or to your driving. Do not try it while you are driving because you cannot pay attention to both.

Attention means one thing exclusively. Awareness is a very different thing; it is not exclusive. It is not paying attention, it is being attentive; it is just being conscious. You are conscious when you are inclusively conscious. Your breathing is in your consciousness. You are walking and someone is passing, and you are also conscious of him. Someone is making noise on the road, some train passes by, some airplane flies by – everything is included. Awareness is inclusive, attention exclusive. But in the beginning, it will be attention.

So first try in selected periods. For one hour just be attentive to your breathing. By and by you will be able to change your attention into awareness. Then do simple things – for example, walking, walk attentively with full awareness of walking and also of breathing. Do not create any opposition between the two actions of walking and breathing. Be a watcher of both. It is not difficult. Look! For example, I can pay attention to one face here. If I pay attention to one face, all the faces will not be here for me. If I pay my attention to one face, then all the rest are bracketed out. If I pay attention only to the nose on that face, then the whole face, the remaining face, is bracketed out. I can go on narrowing down my attention to a single point.

The reverse is also possible. I pay attention to the whole face; then eyes and nose and everything are there. Then I have made my focus wider. I look at you not as individuals, but as a group. Then the whole group is in my attention. If I take you as different from the noise that is going on the street, then I am bracketing out the street. But I can look at you and the street as one whole. Then I can be aware of both you and the street. I can be aware of the whole cosmos. It depends on your focus – on its becoming greater and greater. But first start from attention and remember that you have to grow into awareness. So choose a small period. The morning is good because you are fresh, energies are vital, everything is rising; you are more alive in the morning.

Physiologists say that not only are you more alive, but your height is a little more in the morning than in the evening. If you are six feet tall, then in the morning you are six feet and one half inch and in the evening you go back to six feet. Half an inch is lost because your spine settles down when it is tired. So in the morning you are fresh, young, alive with energy.

Do this: do not make meditation the last thing on your schedule. Make it the first. Then when you feel that now it is not an effort, when you can sit for an hour together completely immersed in breathing – aware, attentive – when you only know this, that you have achieved attention of breathing without any effort; when you are relaxed and enjoying it without any forcing, then you have attained it.

Then add something else – for example, walking. Remember both; then go on adding things. After a certain period you will be capable of being aware of your breath continuously, even in sleep. And unless you are aware even in sleep you will not be able to know the depth. But this comes, by and by this comes.

One has to be patient and one has to start rightly. Know this, because the cunning mind will always try to give you a wrong start. Then you can leave it after two or three days and say, “This is hopeless.” The mind will give you a wrong start. So always remember to begin rightly, because rightly begun means half done. But we start wrongly.

You know very well that attention is a difficult thing. This is because you are totally asleep. So, if you start being attentive to breathing while you are doing something else, you cannot do it. And you are not going to leave the task, you will leave the effort of being attentive to breathing.

So do not create unnecessary problems for yourself. In twenty-four hours you can find a small corner. Forty minutes will do… so do the technique there. But the mind will give many excuses. The mind will say, “Where is the time? There is already too much work to be done. Where is the time?” Or the mind will say, “It is not possible now, so postpone it. Sometime in the future when things are better, then you will do it.” Beware of what your mind says to you. Do not be too trusting of the mind. And we are never doubtful. We can doubt everyone but we never doubt our own minds.

Even those who talk so much of skepticism, of doubt, of reason, even they never doubt their own minds. And your mind has brought you to the state you are in. If you are in a hell, your mind has brought you to this hell, and you never doubt this guide. You can doubt any teacher, any master, but you never doubt your mind. With unflinching faith, you move with your mind as the guru. And your mind has brought you to the mess, to the misery that you are. If you are going to doubt anything, doubt first your own mind. And whenever your mind says something, think twice.

Is it true that you do not have any time? Really? You do not have any time to meditate – to give one hour to meditation? Think twice. Ask again and again to the mind, “Is this the case, that I do not have any time?”

I don’t see it. I have not seen a man who does not have more than enough time. I go on seeing people who are playing cards, and they say, “We are killing time.” They are going to the movies and they say, “What to do?” They are killing time, gossiping, reading the same newspaper again and again, talking about the same things they have been talking about for their whole lives, and they say, “We don’t have any time.” For unnecessary things they have enough time. Why?

With an unnecessary thing mind is not in any danger. The moment you think of meditation, mind becomes alert. Now you are moving in a dangerous dimension, because meditation means the death of the mind. If you move into meditation, sooner or later your mind will have to dissolve, retire completely. The mind becomes alert and it begins to say many things to you: “Where is the time? And even if there is time, then more important things are to be done. First postpone it until later. You can meditate at any time. Money is more important. Gather money first, then meditate at your leisure. How can you meditate without money? So pay attention to money, then meditate later on.”

Meditation can be postponed easily, you feel, because it is not concerned with your immediate survival. Bread cannot be postponed – you will die. Money cannot be postponed – it is needed for your basic necessities. Meditation can be postponed; you can survive without it. Really, you can survive without it easily.

The moment you go deep in meditation, you will not survive on this earth at least – you will disappear. From the circle of this life, this wheel, you will disappear. Meditation is like death, so the mind becomes afraid. Meditation is like love, so the mind becomes afraid. “Postpone,” it says, and you can go on postponing ad infinitum. Your mind is always saying things like this. And do not think I am talking about others. I am talking particularly about YOU.

I have come across many intelligent people who go on saying very unintelligent things about meditation. One man came from Delhi; he is a big government official. He came only for the purpose of learning meditation here. He had come from Delhi, and he stayed seven days here. I told him to go to the morning meditation class on Chowpatty beach in Bombay, but he said, “But that is difficult. I cannot get up so early.” And he will never think over what his mind has told him. Is this so difficult? Now you will know: the exercise can be simple, but your mind is not so simple. The mind says, “How can I get up in the morning at six o’clock?” […]

So do not think that your mind is not playing the same tricks. It is very intelligent, and because you think it is your mind you never doubt it. It is not yours; it is just a social product. It is not yours! It has been given to you, it has been forced upon you. You have been taught and conditioned in a certain way. From the very childhood your mind has been created by others – parents, society, teachers. The past is creating your mind, influencing your mind. The dead past is forcing itself upon the living continuously. The teachers are just the agents – agents of the dead against the living. They go on forcing things upon your mind. But the mind is so intimate with you, the gap is so small, that you become identified with it.  […]

Either one is identified with the body or with the mind. You think you are young; you think you are old, you think you are a Hindu, you think you are a Jain, you are a Parsee. You are not! You were born as a pure consciousness. These are all imprisonments. These techniques which look so simple to you will not be so simple, because this mind will create constantly many, many complexities and problems. […]

These techniques, these methods cannot be understood intellectually at all. I am trying the impossible, but then why am I trying? If they cannot be understood intellectually, then why am I talking to you? They cannot be understood intellectually, but there is no other way to make you aware of certain techniques which can change your life totally. You can understand only intellect, and this is a problem. You cannot understand anything else; you can understand only the intellect. And these techniques cannot be understood intellectually, so how to communicate?

Either you should become capable of understanding without intellect being brought in, or some method should be found so that these techniques can be made intellectually understandable. The second is not possible, but the first is possible. 

You will have to start intellectually, but do not cling to it. When I say “Do,” try doing. If something begins to happen within you, then you will be capable of throwing your intellect aside and reaching toward me directly without the intellect, without any effort, without the meditator. But start doing something. We can go on talking for years and years, your mind can be stuffed with many things, but that is not going to help. Rather, it may harm you because you will begin to know many things. And if you know many things you will become confused. It is not good to know many things. It is good to know a little and to practice it. A single technique can be helpful; something done is always helpful. What is the difficulty in doing it?

Deep down somewhere there is fear. The fear is that if you do it, it may be that something stops happening – that is the fear. It may look paradoxical, but I have been meeting so many – so many persons – who think they want to change. They say they need meditation; they ask for a deep transformation, but deep down they are also afraid. They are dual – double; they have two minds. They go on asking about what to do, never doing it. Why then do they go on asking? Just to deceive themselves that they are really interested in transforming themselves. That is why they are asking.

This gives a facade, an appearance that they are really, sincerely interested in changing themselves. That is why they are asking, going to this guru and that, finding, trying, but they never do anything. Deep down they are afraid.

Eric Fromm has written a book, Fear of Freedom. The title seems contradictory. Everyone thinks that they like freedom; everyone thinks that they are endeavoring for freedom – in this world and in “that world” also. “We want moksha – liberation – we want to be freed from all limitations, from all slaveries. We want to be totally free,” they say. But Eric Fromm says that man is afraid of freedom. We want it, we go on saying that we want it, we go on convincing ourselves that we want it, but deep down we are afraid of freedom. We do not want it! Why? Why this duality?

Freedom creates fear, and meditation is the deepest freedom possible. You are not freed only from outward limitations, you are freed from inner slavery – the very mind, the base of slavery. You are freed from the whole past. The moment you have no mind, the past has disappeared. You have transcended history; now there is no society, no religion, no scripture, no tradition, because they all have their abode in the mind. Now there is no past, no future, because past and future are part of the mind, the memory and the imagination.

Then you are here and now in the present. Now there is not going to be any future. There will be now and now and now – eternal now. Then you are freed completely; you transcend all tradition, all history, body, mind, everything. One becomes free of the fearful. Such freedom? Then where will you be? In such freedom, can you exist? In such freedom, in such vastness, can you have your small “I” – your ego? Can you say “I am?”

You can say, “I am in bondage,” because you can know your boundary. When there is no bondage there is no boundary. You become just a state, nothing more… absolute nothingness, emptiness. That creates fear, so one goes on talking about meditation, about how to do it, and one goes on without doing it.

All the questions arise out of this fear. Feel this fear. If you know it, it will disappear. If you do not know it, it will continue. Are you ready to die in the spiritual sense? Are you ready to be not?

Whenever anyone came to Buddha he would say, “This is the basic truth – that you are not. And because you are not you cannot die, you cannot be born; and because you are not you cannot be in suffering, in bondage. Are you ready to accept this?” Buddha would ask, “Are you ready to accept this? If you are not ready to accept this, then do not try meditation now. First try to find out whether you really are or you are not. Meditate on this first: is there any self?  […]

Find out if there is any self in the mind. If you move deep, you will find that your identity is just like an onion. You peel off one layer and another layer comes up; you peel off another layer and still another layer comes up. You go on peeling layers off, and ultimately you come to a nothingness. With all the layers thrown off, there is nothing inside. Body and mind are like onions. When you have peeled off both body and mind, then you come to encounter a nothingness, an abyss, a bottomless void. Buddha called it shunya.

To encounter this shunya, to encounter this void, creates fear. That fear is there. That is why we never do meditation. We talk about it, but we never do anything about it. That fear is there. You know deep down that there is a void, but you cannot escape this fear. Whatsoever you do, the fear will remain unless you encounter it. That is the only way. Once you encounter your nothingness, once you know that within you are just like a space, shunya, then there will be no fear. Then there cannot be any fear, because this shunya, this void, cannot be destroyed. This void is not going to die. That which was going to die is no more; it was nothing but the layers of an onion.

That is why many times in deep meditation, when one comes nearer to this nothingness, one becomes afraid and starts trembling. One feels that one is going to die, one wants to escape from this nothingness back to the world. And many go back; then they never turn within again. As I see it, every one of you have tried in some life or other some meditative technique. You have been near to the nothingness, and then fear gripped you and you escaped. […]

All fear is basically death-oriented. Whatsoever its form, mode, whatsoever its shape, name, all fear is death-oriented. If you move deep, you will find that you are afraid of death. […]

Mind creates hurdles because mind is afraid. It will give you many explanations as to why you are not doing meditation. Do not believe it. Go deep, find out the basic cause. […]

I will be talking here about these one hundred and twelve methods not to feed your mind, not to make you more knowledgeable, not to make you more informed. I am not trying to make you a pundit. I am talking here in order to give you a certain technique which can change your life. So whichever method appeals to you, do not start talking about it – do it! Be silent about it and do it. Your mind will raise many questions. Just inquire deeply first before asking me. Inquire deeply first whether those questions are really significant or if your mind is just deceiving you.

Do, then ask. Then your questions become practical. And I know which question has been asked through doing and which question has been asked just through curiosity, just through intellect. So by and by I will not answer your intellectual questions at all. Do something – then your questions become significant. These questions which say, “This exercise is a very simple one,” are not asked after doing. This is not so simple. In the end I must repeat again: You are already the truth.

Only a certain awakening is needed.

You are not to go anywhere else. You are to go into yourself, and the going is possible this very moment. If you can put aside your mind, you enter here and now.

These techniques are for putting your mind aside. These techniques are not really for meditation; they are for putting the mind aside. Once the mind is not there, YOU ARE!

I think this is enough for today, or even more than enough.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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How Not to Get Identified – Osho

Not to be identified with mind and body – still I don’t know how to do it. I tell myself: You are not the mind, don’t listen to your fear, love yourself, be content, etc., etc. 

Please explain again how not to get identified or, at least, why I still don’t understand you.

It’s not a question of telling yourself that you are not the mind, you are not the body, because the one who is telling it is the mind. That way you are never going to get out of the mind. All telling is done by the mind itself, so you will be emphasizing the mind more and more. The mind is very subtle; you have to be very, very alert about it. Don’t use it. If you use it you strengthen it. You cannot use your mind to destroy your mind itself. You have to understand that this mind cannot be used for its own suicide.

When you say, “I am not the body,” it is the mind saying so. When you say, “I am not the mind,” it is again the mind saying so. Look into the fact; don’t try to say anything. Language, verbalization, is not needed. Just a deep look. Just look inside. Don’t say anything. But I know your trouble. From the very beginning we are taught not to see but to say. The moment you see the rose flower you say, “How beautiful!” Finished. The rose flower is gone – you killed it. Now something has come between you and the rose. “How beautiful it is!” – These words now will function as a wall.

And one word leads to another, one thought to another. And they move in association, they never move alone. You will never find a single thought alone. They live in a herd; they are herd animals. So when once you have said, “How beautiful is the rose!” you are on the track; the train has started moving. Now the word “beautiful” will remind you of some woman you once loved. Roses forgotten, the beautiful is forgotten, now the idea, a fantasy, imagination, memory, of a woman. And then the woman will lead to many other things. The woman you loved had a beautiful dog. Here you go! And now there is no end to it.

Just see the mechanism of the mind, how it functions, and don’t use the mechanism. Resist that temptation. It is a great temptation because you are trained for it. You work almost like a robot; it is automatic.

Now the new revolution that is coming into the world of education has a few proposals. One proposal is that small children should not be taught language first. First they should be allowed time to crystallize their vision, to crystallize their experiencing. For example, there is an elephant, and you say to the child, “The elephant is the biggest animal.” You think you are not saying anything nonsensical, you think it is absolutely reasonable and the child has to be told about the fact; but no facts need to be told. It has to be experienced. The moment you say, “The elephant is the biggest animal,” you are bringing something which is not part of the elephant. Why do you say the animal is the biggest animal? Comparison has entered, which is not part of the fact.

An elephant is simply an elephant, neither big nor small. Of course, if you put it by the side of a horse, it is big, or by the side of an ant it is very big; but you are bringing the ant in the moment you say the elephant is the biggest animal. You are bringing something which is not part of the fact. You are falsifying the fact; comparison has come in.

Just let the child see. Don’t say anything. Let him feel. When you take the child to the garden, don’t say the trees are green. Let the child feel, let the child absorb. Simple thing, “The grass is green” – don’t say it.

This is my observation, that many times when the grass is not green you go on seeing it as green – and there are a thousand and one shades of green. Don’t say that the trees are green, because then the child will see just green – any tree and he will see green. Green is not one color; there are a thousand and one shades of green.

Let the child feel, let the child absorb the uniqueness of each tree, in fact of each leaf. Let him soak, let him become like a sponge who soaks reality, the facticity of it, the existential. And once he is well grounded and his experience is well-rooted, then tell him the words; then they will not disturb him. Then they will not destroy his vision, clarity. Then he will be able to use language without being distracted by it. Right now your language goes on distracting you.

So what is to be done? Start seeing things without naming them, without labeling them, without saying “good,” “bad,” without dividing them. Just see and allow the fact to be there in your presence without any judgement, condemnation, appreciation whatsoever. Let it be there in its total nudeness. You simply be present to it. Learn more and more how not to use language. Unlearn the conditioning, the constant chattering inside.

This you cannot do suddenly. You will have to do it by and by, slowly. Only then, at the very end of it, can you simply watch your mind. No need to say, “I am not this mind.” If you are not, then what is the point of saying it? You are not. If you are the mind, then what is the point of repeating that you are not the mind? Just by repeating it, it is not going to become a realization.

Watch, don’t say anything. The mind is there like a constant traffic noise. Watch it. Sit by the side and see. See this is mind. No need to create any antagonism. Just watch, and in watching, one day, suddenly the consciousness takes a shift, changes, a radical change – from the object suddenly it starts focusing on the subject, if you are a watcher. In that moment you know you are not the mind. It is not a question of saying, it is not a theory. In that moment you know – not because Patanjali says so, not because your reason, intellect, says so. For no reason at all, simply it is so. The facticity explodes on you; the truth reveals itself to you.

Then suddenly you are so far away from the mind you will laugh how you could believe in the first place that you were the mind, how you could believe that you were the body. It will look simply ridiculous. You will laugh at the whole stupidity of it.

“Not to be identified with mind and body – still I don’t know how to do it.” Who is asking this question, “How to do it?” See it immediately; who is asking this question, “How to do it?” It is the mind who wants to manipulate, it is the mind who wants to dominate. Now the mind wants to use even Patanjali. Now the mind says, “Perfectly true. I have understood that you are not the mind” – and once you realize that you are not the mind you will become a super mind. The greed arises in the mind; the mind says, “Good. I have to become a super mind.”

The greed for the ultimate, for bliss, the greed to be in eternity, to be a god, has arisen in the mind. The mind says, “Now I cannot rest unless I have achieved this ultimate, what it is.” The mind asks, “How to do it?”

Remember, the mind always asks how to do a thing. The “how” is a mind question. Because “how” means the technique. The “how” means, “Show me the way so I can dominate, manipulate. Give me the technique.” The mind is the technician. “Just give me the technique and I will be able to do it.”

There is no technique of awareness. You have to be aware to be aware. There is no technique. What is the technique of love? You have to love to know what love is. What is the technique of swimming? You have to swim. Of course in the beginning your swimming is a little haphazard. By and by you learn… but you learn by swimming. There is no other way. If somebody asks you, “What is the technique of bicycling?” – And you do bicycle, you ride on the cycle – but if somebody asks, you will have to shrug your shoulders. You will say, “Difficult to say.” What is the technique? How do you balance yourself on two wheels? You must be doing something. You are doing something, but not as a technique; rather as a knack. A technique is that which can be taught, and a knack is that which has to be known. A technique is that which can be transformed into a teaching, and a knack is something which you can learn but you cannot be taught. So learn by and by.

And start from less complicated things. Don’t suddenly jump to the very complicated. This is the last, the most complicated thing: to become aware of the mind, to see the mind and see that you are not the mind. To see so deeply that you are no longer the body and no longer the mind, that is the last thing. Don’t jump. Start with small things.

You are feeling hungry. Just see the fact. Where is the hunger? In you, or somewhere outside you? Close your eyes, grope in your inner darkness, try to feel and touch and figure out where the hunger is.

You have a headache. Before you take the aspirin do a little meditation. It may be that the aspirin is not needed then. Just close your eyes and feel where the headache is exactly, pin it, point it, focus on it. And you will be amazed, that it is not such a big thing as you were imagining before, and it is not spread all over the head. It has a locus, and the closer you come to the locus, the more you become distant from it. The more diffused the headache, the more you are identified with it. The more clear, focused, defined, demarked, localized, the more distant you are.

Then there comes a point where it is just like a needle point, absolutely focused; then you will come to have a few glimpses. Sometimes the needle point will disappear; there will be no headache. You will be surprised, “Where has it gone?” Again it will come. Again focus; again it will disappear. At the perfect focusing, the headache disappears, because at the perfect focusing you are so far away from your head that you cannot feel the headache. Try it. Start with small things; don’t jump to the last thing so immediately.

Patanjali also has travelled a long way to come to these sutras of viveka, discrimination, awareness. He has been talking about so many things as preparatory, as basic requisites, very necessary. Unless you have fulfilled all that, it will be difficult for you just to non-identify yourself with the mind and body.

So never ask “how” about it. It has nothing to do with “how.” It is a simple understanding. If you understand me, in that very understanding you will be able to see the point. I don’t say you will be able to understand it. I say you will be able to see it. Because the moment we say “understand,” intellect comes in, the mind starts functioning. “Seeing it” is something which has nothing to do with the mind.

Sometimes you are walking on a lonely path and the sun is setting and the darkness is descending, and suddenly you see a snake crossing the path. What do you do? You brood about it? You think about it, what to do, how to do it, whom to ask? You simply jump out of the way. That jumping is a seeing; it has nothing to do with mentation. It has nothing to do with thinking. You will think later on, but right now it is just a seeing. The very fact that the snake is there, the moment you become aware of the snake, you jump out of the way. It has to be so because mind takes time and the snake won’t take time. You have to jump without asking the mind. The mind is a process; snakes are faster than your mind. The snake will not wait, will not give you time to think what to do. Suddenly the mind is put aside and you function out of the no-mind, you function out of your being. In deep dangers it always happens.

That is the reason why people are so attracted to danger. Moving in a speedy car, going one hundred miles per hour or even more, what is the thrill? The thrill is of no-mind. When you are driving a car one hundred miles per hour, there is no time to think. You have to act out of no-mind. If something happens and you start thinking about it, you are lost. You have to act immediately; not a single moment is to be wasted. So the greater the speed of the car, the more and more the mind is put aside, and you feel a deep thrill – a great sensation of being alive – as if you have been dead up to now and suddenly you have dropped all deadness and life has arisen in you.

Danger has a deep, hypnotic attraction, but the attraction is of no-mind. If you can do it sitting just by the side of a tree or a river or just in your room, there is no need to take such risk. It can be done anywhere. You have just to put the mind aside – wherever you can put the mind aside – and just see things without the mind interfering.

I have heard:

An anthropologist in Java came across a little-known tribe with a strange funeral rite. When a man died, they buried him for sixty days and then dug him up. He was placed in a dark room on a cool slab, and twenty of the tribe’s most beautiful maidens danced erotic dances entirely in the nude around the corpse for three hours.

“Why do you do this?” the anthropologist asked the chief of the tribe who replied, ”If he does not get up we are sure he is dead!”

That may be the attraction of forbidden things. If sex is forbidden it becomes attractive. Because all that is allowed becomes part of the mind. Try to understand this.

All that is allowed becomes part of the mind; it is already programmed. You are expected to love your wife or your husband; it is part of the mind. But the moment you start becoming interested in somebody else’s wife, it is not part of the mind; it is not programmed. It gives you a certain freedom, certain freedom to move off the social track, where everything is convenient, where everything is comfortable – but every. thing is also dead. You become deeply interested in somebody else’s woman. He may be fed up with that woman, he may be just trying to find out some other way to become alive again – he may even get interested in your wife.

The question is not of a particular woman or man. The question is of the forbidden, the not allowed, the immoral, the repressed – that it is not part of your accepted mind. It has not been fed into your mind.

Unless man is completely capable of becoming a no-mind, these attractions continue.

And this is the absurdity of the whole thing: that these attractions were created by the people who think themselves moral, puritan, religious. The more they reject something, the more attractive it becomes, more inviting; because it gives you a chance to get out of the rut, it gives you a chance to escape somewhere which is not social. Otherwise the society goes on and on, crowding you everywhere. Even when you are loving your wife the society stands there watching.

Even in your privacy the society is there, as much as anywhere else, because the society is in your mind, in the program that it has given to your mind. From there it goes on functioning. It is a very cunning device.

Once in a while everybody feels just to do something which is not allowed, just to say yes to something for which always one has been forced to say no – just to go against oneself. Because that “oneself” is nothing but the program that the society has given to you.

The more strict a society, the more possibility of rebels. The more free a society, the less possibility for rebels. I will call a society revolutionary where rebels disappear because they are no longer needed. I will call a society free when nothing is rejected, so there is no morbid attraction in it. If the society is against the drugs, drugs will attract you, because they give you an opportunity to put the mind aside. You are burdened with it too much.

Remember, this can be done without being suicidal. The thrill that comes to you when you are doing something which the society does not allow is coming from a state of no mind, but at a very great cost. Just look at small children hiding somewhere behind a wall smoking. Watch their faces – so glad. They will be coughing and tears will be coming to them because taking smoke in and throwing it out is just foolish. I don’t say it is a sin. Once you say it is a sin it becomes attractive. I simply say it is stupid, it is unintelligent. But watch a small child puffing a cigarette – his face. Maybe he is in deep trouble, his whole breathing system is feeling troubled, nauseous, tears are coming, and he is feeling tense – but still glad he can do something which is not allowed. He can do something which is not part of his mind, which is not expected. He feels free.

This can be attained very easily through meditation. There is no need to move on such suicidal paths. If you can learn how to put the mind aside….

When you were born you had no mind; you were born without any mind. That’s why you cannot remember a few years of your life, just the beginning years, three, four, five years. You don’t remember them. Why? You were there, why don’t you remember? The mind was not yet crystallized. You go backwards, you can remember something that happened near the age of four, and then suddenly there is a blank, then you cannot go more deeply. What happened? You were there, very alive. In fact more alive than you will ever be again, because scientists say that at the age of four a child has learned, known, seen, seventy-five percent of all his knowledge that is going to be there in his whole life. Seventy-five percent at the age of four! You have lived seventy five percent of your life already, but no memory? Because the mind was not yet crystallized. The language was to be learned, things were to be categorized, labeled. Unless you can label a thing you cannot remember it. How to remember it? You cannot file it in your mind somewhere. You don’t have a name for it. So first the name has to be learned; then you can remember.

A child comes without mind. Why am I insisting on this? To tell you that your being can exist without the mind; there is no necessity for the mind to be there. It is just a structure that is useful in the society, but don’t get too fixated with the structure. Remain loose so you can slip out of it. It is difficult, but if you start doing it by and by you will be able to.

When you come home from the office, on the way try to drop the office completely. Remember again and again that you are going home, no need to carry the office there. Try not to remember the office. If you catch yourself red handed remembering something of the office again, drop it immediately, get out of it, slip out of it. Make it a point that at home you will be at home. And in the office forget all about the home, the wife, the children, and everything. By and by learn to use the mind and not to be used by it.

You go to sleep and the mind continues. You again and again say, “Stop!” but it doesn’t listen because you have never trained it to listen to you. Otherwise the moment you say, “Stop!” it has to stop. It is a mechanism. The mechanism cannot say, “No!” You put the fan on, it has to function; you put it off, it has to stop. When you stop a fan, the fan cannot say, “No! I would like to continue a little longer.”  It is a biocomputer, your mind. It is a very subtle mechanism, very useful; a very good slave but a very bad master.

So just be more alert, try to see things more. Live a few moments every day, or a few hours if you can manage, without the mind. Sometimes swimming in the river, when you put your clothes on the bank, then and there put the mind also. In fact make a gesture of also putting the mind there and go into the river alert, radiant with alertness, remembering continuously. But I am not saying verbalizing, I am not saying that you go on saying to yourself, “No, I am not the mind,” because then this is the mind. Just nonverbal, tacit understanding.

Sitting in your garden, lying down on the lawn, forget it. There is no need. Playing with your children, forget it. There is no need. Loving your wife, forget it. There is no need. Eating your food, what is the point of carrying the mind? Or taking a shower, what is the point of taking the mind in the bathroom?

Just by and by, slowly… and don’t try to overdo, because then you will be a failure. If you try to overdo, it will be difficult and you will say, “It is impossible.” No, try it in bits.

Let me tell you one anecdote:

Cohen had three daughters and was desperately looking around for sons-in-law. One such young man came on the horizon and Cohen grabbed him. The three daughters were paraded in front of him after a lavish meal. There was Rachel, the eldest, who was decidedly plain – in fact she was downright ugly. The second daughter, Esther, was not really bad looking but was decidedly plump – in fact she was disgustingly fat. The third Sonia, was a gorgeous, lovely beauty by any standards.

Cohen pulled the young man aside and said, “Well, what do you think of them? I have got dowries for them – do not worry. Five hundred pounds for Rachel, two hundred fifty pounds for Esther, and three thousand pounds for Sonia.”

The young man was dumbfounded: “But why, why have you got so much more dowry for the most beautiful one?”

Cohen explained, “Well, it is like this. She is just a teeny-weeny itsy-bitsy little bit pregnant.”

So start getting a little bit pregnant every day – with awareness. Don’t just become pregnant in a wholesale way. A little bit, by and by. Don’t try to overdo, because that too is again a trick of the mind. Whenever you see a point, the mind tries to overdo it. Of course you fail. When you fail the mind says, “See, I was all the time saying to you this is impossible.” Make very small targets. Move one foot at a time, inch by inch even. There is no hurry. Life is eternal.

But this is a trick of the mind. The mind says, “Now you have seen the point. Do it immediately – become non-identified with the mind.” And of course the mind laughs at your foolishness. For lives together you have been training the mind, training yourself, getting identified; then in the sudden flash of a moment you want to get out of it. It is not so easy. Bit by bit, inch by inch, slowly, feeling your way, move. And don’t ask too much; otherwise you will lose all confidence in yourself. And once that is lost, the mind becomes a permanent master.

People try to do this many times. For thirty years a person has been smoking, and then suddenly one day, in a crazy moment, he decides not to smoke at all. For one hour, two hours he carries on, but a great desire arises, a tremendous desire arises. His whole being seems to be upset, in a chaos. Then by and by he feels this is too much. All his work stops; he cannot work in the factory, he cannot work in the once. He is almost always clouded by the urge to smoke. It seems too disturbing, at such a great cost. Then again in another crazy moment he takes the cigarette out of the pocket, starts smoking, and feels relaxed; but he has done a very dangerous experiment.

In those three hours when he didn’t smoke, he has learned one thing about himself: that he is impotent, that he cannot do anything, that he cannot follow a decision, that he has no will, that he is powerless. Once this settles, and this settles in everyone by and by…. You try once with smoking, another time with dieting, and another time with something else, and again and again you fail. The failure becomes a permanent thing in you. By and by you start becoming a driftwood; you say, “I cannot do anything.” And if you feel you cannot do, then who can do?

But the whole foolishness arises because the mind tricked you. It always told you to immediately do something for which a great training and discipline is needed; and then it made you feel impotent. If you are impotent the mind becomes very potent. This is always in proportion: if you are potent, the mind becomes impotent. If you are potent, then the mind cannot be potent; if you are impotent, the mind becomes potent. It lives on your energy, it lives on your failure, it lives on your defeated self, defeated will.

So never overdo.

I have heard about one Chinese mystic, Mencius, a great disciple of Confucius. A man came to him who was an opium taker, and the man said, “It is very, very impossible. I have tried every way, every method. Everything fails finally. I am a complete failure. Can you help me”’

Mencius tried to understand his whole story, listened to it, came to understand what had happened: he has been overdoing. He gave him a piece of chalk and told him, “Weigh your opium against this chalk, and whenever you weigh, write “one,” next time write “two,” again write “three,” and go on writing on the wall how many times you have taken opium. And I will come after one month.”

The man tried. Each time he took opium he had to weigh it against the chalk, and the chalk was disappearing by and by, very slowly, because each time he had to write “one,” then with the same chalk “two,” “three”…. It started disappearing. It was almost invisible in the beginning; each time the quantity was reduced, but in a very subtle way. After one month when Mencius went to see the man, the man laughed; he said, “You tricked me! And… it is working. It is so invisible – that I cannot feel the change, but the change is happening. Half the chalk has disappeared – and with half the chalk, half the opium has disappeared.”

Mencius said to him, “If you want to reach the goal never run. Go slowly.”

One of the most famous sentences of Mencius is: “If you want to reach, never run.” If you really want to reach, there is no need even to walk. If you really want to reach, you are already there. Go so slow! If the world had listened to Mencius, Confucius, Lao Tzu, and Chuang Tzu there would be a totally different world. If you ask them how to manage our Olympics, they will say, “Give the prize to the one who gets defeated fast. Give the first prize to one who is the slowest walker, not for the fastest runner. Let there be a competition, but the prize goes to one who is the slowest.”

If you move slowly in life, you will attain much, and with grace and grandeur and dignity. Don’t be violent; life cannot be changed by any violence. Be artful. Buddha has a special word for it; he calls it upaya, “Be skillful.” It is a complex phenomenon. Watch every step and move very cautiously. You are moving in a very, very dangerous place, as if moving between two peaks on a tightrope, like a tightrope walker. Balance each moment, and don’t try to run; otherwise failure is certain.

“Not to be identified with mind and body – still I don’t know how to do it. I tell myself: you are not the mind, don’t listen to your fear, love yourself, be content….” Stop all this nonsense. Don’t say anything to the mind, because the sayer is the mind. You rather be silent and listen. In silence there is no mind. In small gaps when there is no word there is no mind. Mind is absolutely linguistic, it is language. So start slipping into the gaps. Sometime just see, as if you are an idiot, not thinking just seeing. Sometimes go and watch people who are known as idiots. They are simply sitting there – looking but not looking at anything. Relaxed, perfectly relaxed, their face has a beauty. No tension, nothing to do, completely at ease, at home. Just watch them.

If you can sit for one hour like an idiot every day, you will attain.

Lao Tzu has said, “Everybody seems to be so clever except me. I look like an idiot.” One of the most famous novelists, Fyodor Dostoevski, has written in his diary that when he was young he had an epileptic fit, and after the fit, for the first time he could understand what reality is. Immediately after the fit everything became absolutely silent. Thoughts stopped. Others were trying to find medicine and the doctor, and he was so tremendously glad. The epileptic fit had given him a glimpse into no-mind.

You may be surprised to know that many epileptics have become mystics and many mystics used to have epileptic fits – Ramakrishna even. Ramakrishna will go into a fit. In India we don’t call it a fit. We call it samadhi. Indians are clever people. When one is going to name a thing, why not name it beautifully? If we call it “no-mind” it looks perfectly good. If I say, “Be an idiot,” you feel disturbed, uneasy. If I say, “Become a no mind,” everything is okay. But it is exactly the same state.

The idiot is below mind, the meditator is above mind, but both are without any minds. I am not saying that the idiot is exactly the same, but something similar. The idiot is not aware that he has a no-mind, and the no-mind man is aware that he has a no-mind. A great difference, but a similarity also. There is a certain similarity between mad people and the realized ones. In Sufism they are called “the mad ones”; the realized ones are known as the mad people. They are mad in a way: they have dropped out of mind.

By and by, learn it slowly. Even if you can have a few seconds of this superb idiocy, when you are not thinking anything, when you don’t know who you are, when you don’t know why you are, when you don’t know anything at all and you are deep in a non-knowledge state, in deep ignorance, in the deep silence of the ignorance; in that silence the vision will start coming to you, that you are not the body, you are not the mind. Not that you will verbalize it! It will be a fact, just as the sun is shining there. You need not say that there is the sun and the shine. As the birds are singing – there is no need to say that they are singing. You can just listen and be aware and know that they are singing, without saying it.

Exactly the same way, prepare yourself slowly, and one day you will realize you are neither the body nor the mind – nor even the self, the soul! You are a tremendous emptiness, a nothingness – a no-thingness. You are, but without any boundary, with no limitation, with no demarcation, with no definition. In that utter silence one comes to the perfection, to the very peak of life, of existence.

-Osho

From Secrets of Yoga (Previously titled Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega V.8), Discourse #8

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt How Not to Get Identified.

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 established patterns in which our behavior travels. We live almost as if we are sleep-walking. We walk around all day in a dream. We rarely have any contact with the real world, the world without the screen of mind.

Even when we walk 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 it to some previous experience. Some memory intrudes 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 begin an inquiry into the essential questions of life. But more often than not it is only a brief alteration in 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 arrive, 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 a life of bliss, is not a life of love and laughter, is not a 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 the emitting of 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 the witness becomes the more we are at home, but this is not part of becoming. In fact, it is the opposite of becoming. We have simply stopped becoming; we have stopped the outward flow of consciousness and energy. Our attention is remaining at home, and the more 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, and 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 to guard against falling victim, we can share in the wisdom of 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 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 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 into 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 appears. By and by, the gaps appear, and we are left in our pure awareness. This is the “Awakening of Meditation.”

-purushottama

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