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 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.

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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?”

I was in a big city, and the collector of that city came to meet me at eleven o’clock at night. I was just going to my bed, and he came and said, “No! It is urgent. I am very disturbed. It is a question of life and death,” he told me. “So please give me at least half an hour. Teach me meditation; otherwise I might commit suicide. I am very much disturbed, and I am so frustrated that something must happen in my inner world. My outer world is lost completely.”

I told him, “Come in the morning at five o’clock.” He said, “That is not possible.” It is a question of life and death, but he cannot get up at five o’clock. He said, “That is not possible. I never get up so early.”

“Okay,” I told him, “Then come at ten.”

He said, “That will also be difficult because by ten-thirty I am to be present at my office.”

He cannot take one day’s leave, and it is a question of life and death. So I told him, ”Is it a question of your life and death or my life and death? Whose?” And he was not an unintelligent man, he was intelligent enough. These tricks were very intelligent.

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.

You say, “I am a Hindu.” Think again, reconsider it. You are not a Hindu. You have been given a Hindu mind. You were born just a simple, innocent being – not a Hindu, not a Mohammedan. But you were given a Mohammedan mind, a Hindu mind. You were forced, encaged, imprisoned in a particular condition, and then life goes on adding to this mind and this mind becomes heavy – heavy on you. You cannot do anything; the mind starts forcing its own way upon you. Your experiences are being added to the mind. Constantly, your past is conditioning your every present moment. If I say something to you, you are not going to think about it in a fresh way, in an open way. Your old mind, your past will come in between, will begin to talk and chatter for or against.

Remember, your mind is not yours, your body is not yours; it comes from your parents. Your mind is also not yours; it also comes from your parents. Who are you?

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 Parsi. 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.

Just a few days before, a man came to me and he said, “I am trying your method of meditation, but tell me, in what scripture is it given? If you can convince me that it is given in my religious scripture, then it will be easier for me to do.” But why will it be easier for him to do if it is written in a scripture? Because then the mind will not create a problem. The mind will say, “Okay! This belongs to us, so do it.” If it is not written in any scripture then the mind will say, “What are you doing?” The mind goes against it.

I said to the man, “You have been doing this method for three months. How are you feeling?” He said, “Wonderful. I am feeling very wonderful. But tell me… give some authority from the scriptures.” His own feeling is not an authority at all. He says, “I am feeling wonderful. I have become more silent, more peaceful, more loving. I am feeling wonderful.” But his own experience is not the authority. The mind asks for an authority from the past.

I told him, “It is not written anywhere in your scriptures. Rather, many things which are against this technique are written.” His face became sad. And then he said, “Then it will be difficult for me to do it and to continue it.”

Why is his own experience not of any value?

The past – the conditioning, the mind – is constantly molding you and destroying your present. So remember, and be aware. Be skeptical and doubting about your mind. Do not trust it. If you can attain to this maturity of not trusting your mind, only then will these techniques be really simple, helpful, functioning. They will work miracles – they can work miracles.

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? Is there any substance within or are you just a combination?”

If you manage to find out, you will find that your body is a combination. Something has come from your mother, something has come from your father, and all else has come from food. This is your body. In this body you are not, there is no self. Contemplate on the mind: something has come from here, something from there. Mind has nothing that is original. It is just accumulation.

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. And deep in your past memories, that memory is there; that becomes the hindrance. Whenever you again think of trying meditation, that past memory deep down in your unconscious mind again disturbs you and says, “Go on thinking; do not do it. You have done it once.”

It is difficult to find a man – and I have looked into many – who has not tried meditation once or twice in some life. The memory is there, but you are not conscious of it, you are not aware of where the memory is. It is there. Whenever you begin to do something that becomes a barrier, this and that begin to stop you in many ways. So, if you are really interested in meditation, find out about your own fear of it. Be sincere about it: are you afraid? If you are afraid, then first something has to be done about your fear, not about meditation.

Buddha used to try many devices. Sometimes someone would say to him, “I am afraid of trying meditation.” And this is a must: the master must be told that you are afraid. You cannot deceive the master… and there is no need – it is deceiving yourself. So whenever someone would say, “I am afraid of meditation,” Buddha would say, “You are fulfilling the first requirement.” If you say yourself that you are afraid of meditation, then something becomes possible. Then something can be done because you have uncovered a deep thing. So what is the fear? Meditate on it. Go and dig out where it comes from, what the source is.

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.

If someone came to Buddha and said, “I am afraid of death, I have found this out,” Buddha would say, “Then go to the burning ghat, go to the cemetery, and meditate on a funeral pyre. People are dying daily – they will be burned. Just remain there at the marghat – cemetery – and meditate on the burning pyre. When their family members have gone, you remain there. Just look into the fire, at the burning body. When everything is becoming smoke, you just look at it deeply. Do not think, just meditate on it for three months, six months, nine months.

“When it becomes a certainty to you that death cannot be escaped, when it becomes absolutely certain that death is the way of life, that death is implied in life, that death is going to be, that there is no way out and you are already in it, only then come to me.”

After meditating on death, after seeing every day, night and day, dead bodies being burned, dissolved into ashes – just a smoke remains and then disappears – after meditating for months together, a certainty will arise: the certainty that death is inevitable. It is the only certainty really. The only thing certain in life is death. Everything else is uncertain: it may be or it may not be. But you cannot say that it may be or it may not be for death. It is; it is going to be. It has already occurred. The moment you entered life, you entered death. Now nothing can be done about it.

When death is certain there is no fear. Fear is always with things which can be changed. If death is to be, fear disappears. If you can change, if you can do something about death, then fear will remain. If nothing can be done, if you are already in it, then it is absolutely certain that fear will disappear. When fear of death had disappeared, Buddha would allow you to meditate. He would say, “Now you can meditate.”

So you also go deep into your mind. And listening to these techniques will be helpful only when your inner barriers are broken, when inner fears disappear and you are certain that death is the reality. So if you die in meditation there is no fear – death is certain. Even if death occurs in meditation, there is no fear. Only then can you move – and then you can move at rocket speed because the barriers are not there.

It is not distance that takes time, but the barriers. You can move this very moment if there is no barrier. You are already there but for the barrier. It is a hurdle race, and you go on putting up more and more hurdles. You feel good when you cross a hurdle; you feel good that now you have crossed the hurdle. And the idiocy of it, the foolishness of it, is that the hurdle was placed there by you in the first place. It was never there. You go on putting up hurdles, then jumping over them, then feeling good; then you go on putting up more hurdles, then jumping. You move in a circle and never, never reach to the center.

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. Why does a person go on talking about food and yet never eat? What is the problem? The man seems mad!

Another man goes on talking about love and never loves, another man goes on talking about something else and never does anything about it. This talking becomes obsessive; it becomes a compulsion. One goes on, one sees talking as a doing. By talking you feel that you are doing something, so you feel at ease. You are doing something – at least talking, at least reading, at least listening. This is not doing. This is deceptive; do not fall into the deception.

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.

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The Awakening of Meditation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama

No-Mind and Being Present – Osho

Is there any difference between the state of no-mind and being present?

Shunyam Kaveen, it is an intellectual question, nothing to do with your experience; because if you have experienced even a glimpse of no-mind, all questions including this will simply disappear.

Questions belong to the territory of the mind. No-mind means absolute silence – no question, no answer, no thought at all. Hence we call it no-mind.

First you have to understand the mind, because that’s where you are, that’s from where the question is arising. Unless you understand your space – the point from where you are raising the question – you will not be able, even intellectually, to comprehend some difference between no-mind and being present. There is no difference in experience, just two names for the same experience from two different aspects, two different angles.

No-mind is experienced within you. Nobody else can see it; it is purely subjective. With no-mind comes tremendous presence. When you are in the mind you are almost absent. The quantity of your presence or absence has to be measured by your consciousness. You have such a small layer of consciousness – that’s your only presence. Otherwise, ninety percent you are absent.

But the man of no-mind is one hundred percent present. You can feel his presence from the outside.

You cannot see his no-mind. The presence of his being is a radiation of a silent state within. That is beyond you, but if you are available, receptive, you can experience something of the tremendous presence of his being. In each of his gestures, in each of his looks, in each of his words, or even in his silence, you can be touched by his presence of being.

The presence of being comes into existence only when the person as such disappears. It is the melted state of the person – the presence – as if the flower has disappeared and only the fragrance has remained. You cannot catch hold of it, but you can be surrounded by it. Such people who have their being absolutely present – one hundred percent alert – are known in the world of language as having charisma. There is no other charisma. There is only one charisma and one charismatic aura and that aura comes from no-mind. But no-mind is the center within and the aura is the circumference of that mind, that no-mind.

When inside you everything becomes silent, you are no more as you used to be – a person. Now you are just a fragrance, a presence … But your presence has deepened. It has become a solid pillar of light.

Anybody who is intelligent is bound to feel something new that he has never experienced before. So these are two viewpoints: one is the inner experience of no-mind, and the other is from outside. It is the by-product of no-mind, the presence of being.

But first you have to understand the mind, because that’s where you are and that’s from where the journey has to start towards no-mind, culminating finally into a beautiful fragrance – awareness – a magic aura around you.

People have named it in different ways, because people are different. Somebody will say, “It is a hypnotic force.” Somebody will say, “It is something like magnetism.” Somebody will say, “It is mesmerism.” Somebody will say, “It is charisma.” Somebody will say, “We don’t know exactly what it is.” One thing is certain: it has a tremendous gravity, it pulls you towards itself. And if you ar courageous you can be drowned in it and you can be transformed in that drowning. It will be your death and your resurrection, both. As you are, you will die, as you should be, you will be born.

But mind is a very dark place. To comprehend light from there is almost like a blind man trying to comprehend light.

A young English gentleman returns from a stay at a stately home.

“How was your weekend?” asks a friend.

“Well,” he replies, “if the soup had been as warm as the wine, and the wine had been as old as the chicken, and the chicken had been as tender as the maid, and the maid had been as willing as the duchess, it would have been a perfect weekend.”

This is how the mind functions. If you look into your mind you will start laughing at your own mind. It is never in the present. It can’t have presence because the basic quality is missing. It is never in the present. Either it is in the past, which is no more – just a memory, a faded memory, a faraway echo; perhaps a dream that you had seen sometime, but not more than that – signatures on the water.

You have not even completed your signature and it has disappeared. That’s how the past goes on disappearing. You have not even lived it and it slips out of your hands. And then the mind goes on thinking about it.

So either the mind is past-oriented or it is future-oriented. Because it has missed the past, out of sheer necessity a projection arises about the future. The past is no more in your hands, it is gone, and gone forever. There is no way to bring it back. All that you can do is to project into the future whatever you wanted to do, however you wanted to live … Naturally, while you are thinking about the future, making it fuller than your yesterdays, you are missing the present moment.

Your mind moves like a pendulum from the past to the future, from the future to the past. It never stops just in the middle, where reality is. You are always real, but your mind is always unreal. You are always in the present, you cannot be anywhere else. But your mind is never here, it is all over the world. It will not be just at the point where you are. Except for that place, it can roam all over the world. It can go to the moon, it can go to Everest … Everything is possible for it, whether it is memory or imagination, but the mind has no contact with the present. Your body is far more present; it is totally different from your mind.

And very strangely, all the religions have condemned the body, not the mind; because they themselves were using the mind for the faraway future, farther away than ordinary people think about. You think about tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, or the next year at the most. But all the religions were thinking about a future beyond death. Their heaven and their hell and their God are all so far away from the present moment.

And remember: you will always be in the present moment. And the distance between you and those imaginary spaces in the future will remain the same. It won’t change.

Because all the religions were using mind as their foundation, they had to deny the body. It is very unfortunate, but nothing can be done about it. It has happened.

Your consciousness is exactly in the present, just like your body. So I am in favor of your body, because it shares one thing in common with your being: your being is in the present, your body is also in the present. Only the mind is continuously moving here and there, never coming home.

There is a reason for it not to come home: in the present the mind has no function. What can the mind do in the present? The mind’s capacities consist of memory, which is the past, or imagination, which is the future. That is the whole capacity of your mind. There is no place for the present moment. The mind will not know what to do.

In the present you cannot remember, you cannot imagine; in the present you can be! But in the present you can be only when mind is no longer functioning. Hence, my approach is totally different from all religions: I want you to respect your body, because it is in the present, and that will give you the clue – a direct route to your being; because the being is also in the present.

Just leave the mind aside … But we are against the body, we are very condemnatory of the body, not knowing at all that this condemnation of the body is breaking the bridge to your being. A man of authentic spirituality is deeply in love with his body, because he knows body shares many things with being. Mind shares nothing, either with body or with being. It is an absolute stranger that has been forcibly put into you by the culture, the religion, the society. They are using the mind to enslave you.

And because you are in the mind you continuously go on asking about things of which you have no experience. You don’t know what no-mind is, except a word. You don’t know what presence of being is, except that you have heard about it. Just words won’t do.

Move away from the mind … And when I say to move away from the mind, I am saying to move away from the inner chattering. That is the only disturbance that is preventing you from knowing yourself and this beautiful existence. Because your body is in the present, you are in the present, existence is in the present … They are all here-now. Only the mind is a strange phenomenon. But you have been manipulated by others so much … Your educational systems, your friends, your family – everybody is trying to make you a great mind. In other words, everybody is trying to pull you away from the present moment. […]

The mind is very impotent in a way. It cannot give you any existential juice, any existential experience, and that is the only thing that matters. So please move away from mind. Don’t ask the difference, because there is no difference between no-mind and being present. No-mind is the inner subjective experience and being present is available for everybody. It is the circumference and no-mind is the center. But they are both together. Neither the circumference can be without the center nor the center can be without the circumference.

But the circumference can be experienced, and that’s what has attracted millions of people to a man like Gautam Buddha or Chuang Tzu or Jesus or Moses … It was their integrity, their individuality, their solidity. In comparison to them, people felt hollow. They had immense presence. Other people looked just like shadows, without any souls.

George Gurdjieff started saying to his disciples for the first time in the whole of history – he just died in the year nineteen hundred and fifty … He started saying a very strange thing, and although it is not right, he is not wrong. He started saying to people, “You don’t have souls.” What he meant was: “You don’t have any presence, your being is hollow. Inside you there is nothing but darkness, unconsciousness, absence. Everything is absent.”

You have been told for centuries that you are born with a soul. It is absolutely wrong according to Gurdjieff. I know and he knows that what he is saying is not the truth, but it is a device. He is making you aware of your hollowness, of your emptiness, and he has chosen the best way to hit the nail on the head. He is saying, “You don’t have souls! Forget all that nonsense that tradition has been telling you. That was a deception, but you accepted the tradition that, ‘We have souls already, there is no need to seek and search.’”

He said, “You will have to create the soul, you cannot have it just through birth! Through birth you get only the body. Through your upbringing you get your mind. And through a conscious effort to transcend into the beyond, you will achieve the soul.”

He said definitively that only a very few people have lived with souls. And without a soul, what are you? A cabbage, a cauliflower? I have heard there is some difference between cabbages and cauliflowers. And the difference is that the cabbage is uneducated and the cauliflower has college degrees. But that does not make much difference – both are vegetables. Your life is a vegetation.

Of course I cannot agree with Gurdjieff as far as the truth is concerned. But I agree with him and his compassion – that he did not bother about the truth, he bothered more about you. He wanted to make you aware that unless you do something, you are not going to create a soul. Soul is your own creation. But he went too far. I am not ready to deny you the soul; I only deny you the awareness of it. You are born with the soul as you are born with the body. Mind is a social product. You are not born with the mind. That’s why a Mohammedan has a different mind and a Hindu has a different mind and a Christian has a different mind. You can see their differences of mind. […]

Every person gets a mind ready-made, and that mind is being forced into him by all methods and means. That is the only part that has not been given to you by existence. Existence has given you the body: love the body, rejoice in the body, let the body dance without any guilt and without any fear of these religions, and you will be coming closer to your being through the body.

Nobody has come closer to the being through the mind. Mind is the most arbitrary, artificial creation by the society to subdue the individual, to destroy his individuality, and to destroy the discovery of his own being.

You are born with the soul, but you are absolutely unaware of it – because of the mind. The mind never allows you to be in the present. That’s the reason my insistence on meditation is so strong – because meditation simply means a method to get rid of the mind.

The moment the mind is not there, suddenly you are in a new space: so fresh, so beautiful, so blissful. That is your soul; that is your no-mind. And once you have entered that space, that space starts growing around you and creates a certain energy field. That becomes your presence of being.

-Osho

From Sat Chit Anand, Discourse #19

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.

Make Your Mind as Sharp as Possible – Osho

Since I have been a sannyasin, I have thought that I needed to use my mind less if I was to be in touch with my heart. Yet I heard you say the other day that we should train our minds to keep our intelligence alive and help it become sharper and sharper. Could you please clarify this?

Life is not so simple as you think; it is very complicated. It is true that if you want to be in touch with me, you will be more and more in the heart, not in the mind, because the mind has no qualities for inner growth. It has immense powers for outer research, for objective, scientific work. But for religious growth, it is absolutely impotent.

So if you listen to me through the mind, then what I am saying to you is lost in a desert. It will never reach to your heart. That’s why I have always insisted: put the mind aside and be with me with your heart, with your love, with your trust.

But that is only one part of the story. When I said I would like you to make your mind as sharp as possible, that is a totally different dimension, because unless your mind is sharp enough you are going to be enslaved by the society. You are already enslaved by the society because your mind has not fought against it; it has been obedient to it.

Both these statements belong to different contexts, so don’t get mixed up. When I say be with me with your heart, put the mind aside, it is one thing, one context, that of being a disciple. And if you can really do it totally you can reach to the highest peak that is of being a devotee.

These are the three stages. The student listens only from the mind; he will collect knowledge, but he will not become a knower. The disciple tries to put the mind aside and listen from the heart. He is making an effort. The mind will come again and again in between; the effort will not be total, but still, if something reaches to the heart, even a few seeds, soon it will change the whole color of your being. The season will not be far away when the heart will start blossoming. That is the point when you reach to the boundary line of being a devotee.

Now you are capable of putting the mind completely, totally, away without any interference… as if you are not a mind at all. You are just heart and heart. Your every fiber is simply vibrating with love, openness, vulnerability. The devotee and the master start melting into each other. The disciple once in a while gets a glimpse, but the devotee becomes totally one with the master.

The disciple can fall back, can get into the mind again. The devotee has broken the bridge that leads to the mind. He cannot go back; the past is finished. He has become part and parcel of the master’s energy.

This is one context. And you are mixing it with another context. As far as the society, the outside world, the religions, the governments are concerned, you have to be very sharp and very intelligent; otherwise they will enslave you. They will exploit you. They have been doing it for centuries. They have not allowed millions of people to go beyond the age of thirteen as far as the mind is concerned.

The person may be seventy years old; he has the mind of a thirteen-year-old child. This is what I mean by retardedness.

Society does not want you to grow up; it simply wants you to grow old. It wants you to function as a machine, a robot – absolutely obedient, no argument, no question. It needs you only to be efficient.

To the society you are not an individual to be respected but only a mechanism to be used, and there is no other insult, no other humiliation more ugly than using people as machines, as things.

Against the society, use the mind. Mind is a perfect means to keep you independent, to keep you alert. It is a good fighter, but it is not a lover. So when there is need to fight, when there is need to stand up for your liberty, use the mind; heart will not be of any use. Heart knows no way to fight.

But the context is totally different, and I call that man conscious who can use his capacities in their right context and does not get mixed up. Eyes are for seeing – you cannot hear from them. And ears are for hearing – you cannot see from them. So use them whenever the need is there, and don’t let them come in each other’s way.

Mind is a beautiful instrument. It has to be sharpened, but remember its limitations. It should remain a servant to the heart. The moment it becomes the master, the heart simply dies. In slavery, the heart cannot exist.

So there is no contradiction in what I have said – just two different contexts. And your consciousness is different from both, so a conscious person can use his heart when needed, can use his mind when needed, can put both to silence when he wants to be absolutely in a state of nirvana, where neither the mind is needed nor the heart. When he wants simply to be himself, both are not needed.

If you are the master of your instruments, there is no problem. If you have a flute and I ask you, “Can you stop playing on it for a few moments – I want to talk to you,” and you say, “I cannot do it; the flute won’t stop,” what will be thought about you? You are insane. The flute won’t stop? So you are not playing the flute, the flute is playing you. When you want to stop the mind, just say, “Stop” – it has to stop. If it moves even a little bit, that means something has to be done urgently. This is dangerous: the servant is trying to be the master. The servant should be the servant, and the master should be the master. And beyond both is your being which is neither servant nor master… which simply is.

That ‘isness’ is the goal of all meditations.

-Osho

From The Path of the Mystic, Chapter 37

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

 

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

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

Living in Consciousness

Consciousness has been at the center of my life for almost 50 years, as it has been for so many of us. But, I am a practical sort of guy and so am not very interested in the conceptual “consciousness.” On the contrary, the consciousness that I am interested in is the “being consciousness.” There are many neo-advaita teachers around who tell us that we are always consciousness. And, since we are always awareness, consciousness, there is nothing to be done. Osho is much more compassionate. He too tells us that we are already Buddhas but he also reminds us that the difference between us and him is that he is aware of his Buddhahood. He is experiencing his Buddhahood and we are unawake to its splendor.

In his compassion, he introduced 112 meditation techniques. He created active meditations to prepare the ground for meditation to take root and, he distilled all meditation techniques down to the key element of witnessing.

For me personally, I have found that the best way to become aware—to awaken the witness—is to begin by being aware of my unconsciousness, my unawareness, my dreaming mind.

Most every morning I wake up around 3:30 a.m., meaning at around that time I become aware that I am no longer sleeping. Immediately I begin to look at the activity of the mind, the tail end of the dreaming cycle. I find that it is this seeing the unconscious that enables becoming more conscious or we could say less unconscious.

As I continue lying in the bed, looking directly at the tail of the dream, this awakeningness becomes more pronounced. I find this to be the best time to get up and sit in meditation.

This sitting in meditation is more of the same but now I am sitting erect and perhaps more attuned to the watching.

At first while I am watching I catch thought streams, some thought about this or that, but as I watch without grasping the thought and without rejecting the thought but just looking directly at the movement of thought, it becomes less defined, more opaque.

At this point, it is the energy of the mind that is being seen rather than individual thoughts. At the same time, I am now aware of the watching itself rather than that which is being seen. With my awareness of the watchingness, the previous objects of consciousness begin to slip out of view.

 

This is not a permanent situation.  At some point some thought appears and either I am dragged off until I remember again or I am awake enough to catch it at the beginning and again without grasping or rejecting there is the remembrance of watching and the watched subsides.

I find that the unconscious stream is in an inverse relationship to how conscious I am in that moment. The more conscious, the less of the stream. The less conscious, the more present the stream. So, it is by seeing my unconscious that I become more conscious.

My understanding of Ramana Maharshi’s method of inquiry is a thought appears, one inquires to whom does the thought appear and the answer is to me. Then one inquires more deeply “Who am I?” I see that as another way of saying what I described above.

Osho’s is even simpler, it is watching, witnessing. Watching without judgement, without jumping onto the back of the thought and without pushing away in rejection. Just watching and as we watch without reaction the other steps that I described above happen naturally. As thought becomes less, I automatically become aware of my self, provided that I haven’t fallen asleep.

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

Watch your mind.

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

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

-Osho, from The Invitation, Discourse 21

So, this has been my experience. By understanding and seeing my un-consciousness, un-consciousness is transformed into consciousness, from unconsciousness to consciousness. This is how I come out of mind. This is not enlightenment; it is an awakening before enlightenment. It is nothing special and we are all capable of coming out of mind. It is just a question of seeing the identification with what we are Not that we discover that which we Are.

Along the way, a couple of points have become clear and perhaps they could be helpful for someone else.

Number one and this is of course obvious but nevertheless important to state. In order for the transformation of consciousness to take place, we have to look directly at the mind. It is not enough to know about meditation, we have to meditate. We have to get to know intimately how we perpetuate unawareness. We have to meditate, did I already say that. We have to meditate.

 

A second point that one day became clear is, we are not to do anything with the mind, or any content of consciousness. Transformation happens but not by anything we do. Our job is to become conscious and again we do that by watching our unconscious. It is through watching the unconscious that the energy becomes conscious. I used to feel that it was the content that was important in the watching. Somewhere along the way a shift happened so that it is the watcher that is of importance not what is being watched. We watch our unconsciousness simply to become conscious.

And thirdly, it is by watching without reacting that we begin to become aware of being conscious, of awareness itself, not as an object but as a living, existential, experiencing.

Finally, these awakenings, this watchfulness that arises in meditation, has to be taken into daily life.  With this watchingness, there are more moments of action and fewer of reaction, but when reaction appears, it is watched without judgment just like the watching of thought. And, it is here in this daily life that the watchingness is crystalized into Being conscious. And that truly is a splendor.

-purushottama

This has been published in the Viha Connection Magazine, March/April 2019, Volume XXX II-Two and also in Osho News.

 

 

 

Become a Blissful Buddha – Osho

[A visitor is hesitant to take sannyas: I keep hearing you talk how your old self dies when you become a sannyasin…]

But a new self is born! And the old you have known already, so what is the point of keeping it? You have lived it, you have experienced it. It has no more any significance; going on living it will be just repetition. You should be able to die every moment so that the new becomes possible; then only do you live. That is not a difficulty! And what is there to cling to in the old? The old means that which is gone, which exists only in your memory and is nowhere else, which is no more a reality, is not part of existence; there is no point in it. And if you are too burdened with it and too attached to it, it will not allow you to live this moment. It will interfere, it will take you backwards.

It is as if you are driving a car and you go on looking in the rear view mirror; the car is going ahead and you are looking in the rear view mirror, out the back, at the road that is gone. You are in danger, because you have to look ahead! It is good that drivers don’t follow this rule, otherwise there will be only accidents and nothing else. But people follow this rule in their lives, that’s why life is full of accidents and nothing else. People move forwards and look backwards.

If god wanted you to look backward he would have given you eyes at the back (laughter) but he has not done that. He wants you to remain looking ahead, towards the new. Say good-bye to the old! You are already sannyasin… unnecessarily creating trouble. Become a sannyasin. Close your eyes… close your eyes!

Look! – You have died to the past, there is no problem.

Anand means bliss, Amido is the Japanese name for Buddha. The Sanskrit name is Amitabh; it means infinite light, light and light and light. The name moved from India to Tibet, from Tibet to China, from China to Korea, from Korea to Japan, and this much change has happened: it has become Amido. But it is a beautiful change: it has become more soft, more round, more feminine. Amitabh looks more masculine, Amido looks more feminine: and Buddha is a feminine personality.

So become a blissful Buddha!

And it is just the idea that the past is valuable which creates the problem. The past is not valuable; the value is in the present. Out of the present the future is born. And we should not burden the present too much with the past, we should allow the present to have its own space. That’s all that I mean by dying to the past and being born to the new.

You can move easily; I don’t see that there is much of a problem in it. Just a decision on your part and you will become new.

-Osho

From Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast, Chapter 19, February 19, 1978

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

 

Mind is the Unreal – Osho

It seems as if everything I perceive in or out of meditation is my own creation or projection. I can’t distinguish between what I see, feel or am creating.

Osho, what is?

There is no need to distinguish between thoughts, dreams and reality. If you try, you will feel more confused. There is no way to distinguish, because as far as mind is concerned everything appears in the mind as a thought. It may be real, it may not be real; but the moment anything appears in the mind it appears in the form of thought.

You cannot distinguish, and there is no need. And don’t go on that journey, because that journey becomes a journey of thinking, and meditation is lost. Rather, on the contrary, remain centered in your witnessing. Don’t be worried by the objects in the mind; whatsoever they are, they are mind stuff. You simply remain more centered in your witnessing. Just be the watcher. Don’t try to distinguish. Whatsoever appears in the mind, just watch it. Watch it appearing, watch it being there, watch it disappearing.

Sooner or later, when you are really centered… and this can happen any moment. That moment remains always unpredictable. Whenever you feel centered the whole mind disappears: thought, dreams, reality – all. Suddenly you are in emptiness; there is no object for you. In the mind there is nothing – pure emptiness. Then open your eyes and look: whatsoever there is, is real.

When you are a witness and the mind has completely dropped, then only is known that which is – call it God, the real, the truth, or whatsoever you like to call it. Mind will never allow you to know the real. Mind is the disturbance. And if you get too much caught in it, then you will be trying to solve puzzles. You can go on solving and creating and solving and creating new ones, but it never comes to any end. Thinking is not going to lead you to reality; a no-thought awareness is. So don’t try to distinguish. Just watch, irrespective of what it is. Mind is the unreal.

For example: if you are standing before a mirror, something appears in the mirror. It may be real; it may be a reflection of something real outside the mirror, but in the mirror it is just a reflection; it may not be real at all. You may be seeing your own dream reflected. You may be projecting. That too is unreal. Whatsoever appears in the mirror is unreal, because the mirror simply reflects. The mind is a mirror, it only reflects. Drop the mind, drop the mirror, and then see. Whatsoever there is, is real, because now the disturbing factor is no longer there.

My whole effort here is to help you to become witnesses.

So please don’t try to get into thinking, contemplation; otherwise you will become more and more confused. And there is no way to get out of thinking through thinking. It goes on creating itself endlessly. The only way is not to get into it. So watch, and remain alert. Whatsoever passes the mind, don’t try to decide what it is. Watch as if everything is a dream. That is the concept of the Hindu notion of maya – illusion. Everything is unreal. So there is no need to be worried, there is no need to distinguish. Whatsoever appears in the mind, because it appears in the mind it is unreal. Mind is the faculty of the unreal.

So drop the mind. Be more centered in the witnessing soul. Just be a watcher. By and by silence will pervade, will permeate your soul. By and by you will come closer and closer to home. By and by everything will fall in line and you will center into yourself. Any moment the centering happens. Suddenly the mind is not there and your eyes are clear, clear of the mind. Then whatsoever you see is real. And this world that you have seen before will not be there as you have seen it before. It will be totally new. It will be something never known before. Everything will be the same and yet not the same – because you have changed. You are no more drunk with the mind. You are alert, aware.

So, let me say it in this way: the more aware you are, the more reality you can know; the less aware, the less is the possibility to know the reality. So the basic thing hangs on being aware. If you are totally aware, whatsoever you know is the reality.

-Osho

From The Search, Discourse #8

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.