Blessed are Those who Doubt – Osho

Can you say something about doubt and negativity? What is the difference?

The difference between doubt and negativity is great. They look alike; on the surface they have the same color, but deep down the difference is unbridgeable. First, doubt is not negativity; neither is it positivity.

Doubt is an open mind, without any prejudice. It is an inquiring approach.

Doubt is not saying anything, it is simply raising a question. That question is to know, to find what the truth is.

Doubt is a pilgrimage.

It is one of the most sacred values of human beings.

Doubt does not mean no. It simply says, “I do not know, and I am prepared to know. I am ready to go as far as possible, but unless I myself come to know, how can I say yes?”

Negativity has already said no. It is not inquiry. It has come to a conclusion, the same way somebody has come to the conclusion to say yes. One man says God is; his statement is positive. The other says there is no God; his statement is negative. But both are sailing in the same boat, they are not different people. They have not inquired. Neither the theist has doubted nor the atheist has doubted; both have accepted borrowed knowledge.

Doubt says that, “I myself would like to know, and unless I know for myself, it is not knowledge. Only my experience is going to be decisive.” He is not arrogant, he is not denying anything. He is just open for inquiry.

Doubt is not disbelief – that’s how religions have been confusing people. They confuse doubt with disbelief. In fact, disbelief and belief are exactly the same. Both accept knowledge from others, from books, from masters. And remember, anything that you do not know, yet you have started believing or disbelieving in it… you have missed a great opportunity for inquiry. You have closed the doors already, by yes or by no. You have not traveled.

It is easier to say yes, it is easier to say no, because there is nothing you have to do.

But to doubt needs guts.

To doubt needs courage to remain in the state of not-knowing, and go on questioning everything till the moment you yourself arrive at the reality. When you come to the reality there is no negativity, no positivity. You simply know – it is your experience. I will not say it is positivity because positivity always has the other pole of negativity. An experience goes beyond both; the whole world of polarities is transcended. That is true wisdom.

Doubt is the way to truth.

No or yes are not ways, they prevent you.

It will look very strange, that yes does the same thing as no. In dictionaries they are opposites, but in reality they are not. They look opposite only, but both have not asked the question. Both have not tried to find out what the case is.

The communist believes, exactly as the catholic believes. The communist believes that there is no God. You can call it disbelief, but it is his belief. He has not inquired, he has not meditated; he has done nothing to find out that there is no God. The theist says there IS God. He has also done nothing. Both have chosen without moving an inch towards truth. That’s why a very strange thing happens: the person who is a theist, a believer, can become a disbeliever, an atheist, in a single moment; and vice versa.

Before the revolution in Russia, Russia was one of the most theistic, religious countries of the world. Millions of people in Russia could have sacrificed their life for God. After the revolution, when the authority changed, when the priest changed, when The Holy Bible was replaced by the holy Das Kapital, within ten years the whole country became atheist.

It was amazing! People who had believed their whole life that there is God started disbelieving. Even communists could not understand that these people are the same people who could have died for God – and now they are ready to die for no-God.

Nobody has analyzed the situation up to now, what happened there. This is the analysis of the fact: negativity and positivity are both belief systems.

Doubt is against both. Doubt is the insistence of the individual that he wants to taste, to experience the truth. He is not ready to accept it from anybody else, this way or that.

They are very, very rare people who doubt.

But let me say to you: Blessed are those who doubt, because they shall inherit the kingdom of truth.

It is arduous to doubt, it is risky, it is dangerous. One is going into the unknown, with no preparation, with no prejudice. He is entering into the dark hole, not even believing that there will be the other end of the tunnel, and he will again come out of Darkness. There is no belief; he simply takes the challenge.

There is only a quest, a question.

He himself becomes a question.

It is very consoling to have the answer, and if it is freely available, as it is…. Jesus says, “Just believe in me and you need not bother: I will take care. I will choose you at the day of judgment. I will recommend you to God: ‘These are my people – they should be allowed in paradise.’ All that you have to do is believe.”

A real shortcut – simple belief. That’s why thousands of people around the world have believed, and thousands of others have disbelieved. Their sources are different but the basic approach is the same.

In India there has been a very ancient philosophy, charvaka. That philosophy says there is no God, no heaven, no hell, no punishment for your bad actions and no reward for your good actions. And thousands have believed in it. It is negative, absolutely negative, but very comfortable. You can steal, you can murder, you can do anything you like; after death nothing survives.

In many ways the West has lagged behind the East, particularly as far as religion, philosophy, culture, are concerned. Charvaka is a five-thousand-year-old ideology; Karl Marx just in the last stage of the previous century said there is no God. He was not aware of charvaka, he thought he had come to a great discovery. For five thousand years charvakas have already been saying that; but they had not inquired.

The man who created the philosophy was Brihaspati – must have been a man of charismatic personality. He convinced people that you can do anything you want to because the thief, the murderer, the saint, all fall: dust unto dust. And after death nothing is left; the saint disappears, the sinner disappears. So don’t bother at all about afterlife, there is none.

This is not inquiry, because charvakas and their master Brihaspati have never gone beyond death. According to their philosophy, if they had gone they would have not come back – so on what grounds do they say that there is nothing left? Nobody has visited the land. But it is very easy to believe. His famous statement is worth quoting.

Brihaspati says, “Rinam kritva ghritam pivet:” “Even if you have to borrow money, borrow it, but drink ghee as much as you can” – because after death you are not going to be questioned, punished. The person who had given you money cannot drag you into the court of God; there are no such things. His whole philosophy is simply, “Eat, drink and be merry.” You can believe in it – the theists will call it disbelief.

And that’s what Karl Marx did for the communists, he said that there is no soul, no consciousness. It is a by-product of matter, so when the body falls apart, nothing is left. This became a very dangerous attitude, because communists could kill people without thinking twice.

Their belief is that by killing you are not committing any sin. There is nobody inside a person; there is no inside. A man is chemistry, biology, physiology – but there is no soul. Joseph Stalin could kill almost one million people after the revolution without feeling even a slight doubt about what he was doing.

In Soviet Russia man has been reduced to a mechanism. You can kill – nothing is killed, because there was nobody in the first place. It is just like a clock functioning. It moves, it shows you the time; that does not mean that there is somebody inside. You can take the clock apart and you will not find anything.

I have heard…. Once Mulla Nasruddin’s clock stopped. It was an old clock, and some day everything has to stop. He opened the clock and found there a fly, dead. He said, “Now I know the clock is dead – this is the clock’s soul!” He was just going to bury the clock in the garden when his wife caught hold of him.

She said, “What are you doing? Have you gone mad? Clocks are not buried; graves are not made for them!”

Nasruddin said, “Those people have never known what I have come to know. The clock stopped; certainly I thought it was dead. I looked at it, opened it, and found its soul dead. This is the soul” – he was holding the fly in his hand; he said, “This is the soul.”

The wife said, “You are simply an idiot, and you will always remain an idiot! Bring that clock out. Perhaps it needs oiling, some repair work – it is an old clock. And clocks don’t die, because to die first one has to live: clocks don’t live!”

But that’s what Karl Marx has preached to the communists, that man is also just like a clock. And now almost half the world believes in Karl Marx. Strange – these same people had believed in God. Russians, Chinese, Indians, Mohammedans – all kinds of people change their yes to no. To change yes into no is so easy because they are not different. Basically they give you a consolation without the arduous journey to truth.

I have asked many communists, very old communists…. In India, S.A.Dange was a member of the international communist party along with Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin. He was an eyewitness of the Russian revolution. I asked him, “Have you ever meditated?”

He said, “Meditated – for what? Why should I meditate?”

I said, “If you have never meditated, then you don’t have the authority to say that there is no soul, no God, no consciousness. Without going inside yourself, how can you say that there is nobody? And see the absurdity of it: who is saying that there is nobody? Even to deny you will have to accept that there is somebody. Even to say that there is nobody, somebody has to be assumed.”

The same is the situation of religions.

Nobody has encountered God – no Christian, no Hindu, no Mohammedan – but they have all said yes because the crowd in which they were born was the crowd of theists. To say no amongst that crowd would have created difficulties for them. Yes was simply the accepted rule of the game. They have worshipped, they have prayed, not knowing why they were doing it. But everybody else is doing it so it must be right.

When the crowd changed – for example in Russia, the same people who were so certain of God became uncertain. It took ten years to change from one certainty to another certainty… an interval of uncertainty, but uncertainty is not doubt.

Doubt is simply a question, and doubt says, “I want to know.”

It has no ideology.

Doubt is absolutely pure quest.

You have asked, “What is the difference between doubt and negativity?”

Negativity and positivity are both the same.

Doubt is different from both.

It does not make you a theist, it does not make you an atheist.

Positivity makes you a religious believer, a theist; negativity makes you an unbeliever, irreligious, an atheist.

Doubt does not make you anything. It simply makes you an inquirer.

And that is the dignity of man.

I teach you doubt because I know if you can doubt to the very end you will realize the truth of your own being, and simultaneously the truth of the whole existence. And that will be liberation, that will be freedom.

Doubt is neither Christian nor Hindu, nor American nor German. Yes may be Hindu, yes may be Mohammedan, yes may be Christian; no may be communist, no may be fascist – but doubt is simply a quest, an individual quest.

Yes and no both belong to the crowd.

Doubt makes you assert your individuality.

You start finding your path on your own. You don’t accept the maps given you by others.

In India I have seen in Jaina temples, maps hanging which show seven hells, seven heavens, and the ultimate, moksha. Between seven hells and seven heavens is the earth. They show you exactly who goes where, what route he follows, what sufferings he comes across.

Even in my childhood I used to ask the priest, “Do you know where Constantinople is?”

He said, “Constantinople? That has nothing to do with religion.”

I said, “That has nothing to do with religion, but it has something to do with maps. You don’t know Constantinople and you know seven heavens, seven hells? Just be kind enough to tell me, how many have you visited? Who has made this map?” And for thousands of years Jainas have believed in this map.

People who had no idea that the earth is round were able to know how many hells there are, how many heavens there are; and each according to his action goes to a certain space, certain place. They had no idea of the earth they were living on but they had ideas about things which are just fictions.

Now slowly, slowly those maps are disappearing from the temples, because even followers have started asking embarrassing questions. But it continues. One small sect in India is that of Radhaswamis. They divide the whole existence into fifteen parts; the earth is the lowest.

I have been to their temple in Agra. They are very egoistic people; they have been trying for almost one hundred years to make the temple better than the Taj Mahal. They have poured immense amounts of money into it, but only one story is complete. They have done tremendous work. Certainly if they succeed in making all the three proposed stories, the Taj Mahal will look very pygmy before that temple.

The Taj Mahal is also in Agra, and Radhaswamis originated in Agra; their founder was there. And from all over the world tourists come to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Radhaswamis wanted to make something so that the Taj Mahal becomes secondary. And seeing what they have done – it is only one-third complete in one hundred years, but even that much is enough to show you they have transcended the Taj Mahal already.

In their temple, this half-built temple, they have engraved in golden letters the fifteen levels of existence. And they have marked – for example, Jesus Christ has only reached up to the sixth. A long journey is still ahead for that poor carpenter carrying his cross. How many times he will be crucified, nobody knows.

Mohammed is still on the fourth, Moses on the fifth, Mahavira on the seventh, Buddha on the ninth. And their own master is on the fifteenth.

When I had gone to visit their temple, their priest welcomed me, he showed me everything. He showed this description of fifteen stages and he said, “What do you think about it?”

I said, “There is no question of thinking, I know your master is on the fifteenth.”

He said, “How do you know?”

I said, “Because I am on the sixteenth – and he is trying hard, but I go on pushing him back. I won’t allow anybody else to be on the sixteenth.”

He was very much shocked, but I said, “If you can just imagine fifteen, what is the trouble? On what authority do you put Buddha under your master? On what authority do you put Jesus… what grounds have you got?”

They said, “Our master said it.”

So I said, “I am a master, and I say to you, make a place also for me on the sixteenth. And of course your master could only talk about the fifteenth because he has never entered the sixteenth. I will not allow him to enter! I am alone there.”

These are your theists who simply believe.

It is cheap to believe, it is cheap to disbelieve.

But it is really a dangerous journey to know.

I would like my sannyasins neither to be negative nor to be positive, but open, available, with a quest, a question mark, and to go on searching.

Many times your mind will say it is good to believe – because the journey is arduous, and one never knows where one is going, whether one is going to find anything or not. But don’t listen to the mind.

Mind has created all these “yes” philosophies, “no” philosophies.

Doubt has never created any philosophy; doubt has created science.

And doubt is going to create religion.

They are exactly the same – the same application of doubt in different fields. About objects, the outside world that spreads to millions of stars, doubt has given tremendous insight just within three hundred years. You are carrying another world within yourself, which is in no way smaller than the world you see outside; perhaps it is bigger.

Why do I say that perhaps it is bigger? I am including the word ‘perhaps’ so that you should not believe. I know it is bigger, for the simple reason that you know the stars, you know the sun, you know the moon – but the moon does not know you, the sun does not know you. The stars are great, the universe is vast, but you are the only knower. You have something more than the whole universe.

That’s why I say inside you are carrying something bigger than the universe, more than the universe. Just inquire.

One of the most beautiful men of this century was Maharishi Raman. He was a simple man, uneducated, but he did not accept the ideology, the religion in which he was born. When he was only seventeen years of age he left his home in search of truth. He meditated for many years in the hills of Arunachal in south India, and finally realized himself.

After that his whole teaching consisted only of three words, because those three words had revealed to him the whole mystery of existence. His philosophy is the shortest. What are those three words? Whoever came to him – because as he became slowly, slowly known, people started coming to him from all over the world – his whole teaching was to sit silently and ask only one question: “Who am I?” and go on asking that question.

One day the question will disappear, and only you will be there. That is the answer.

Not that you will find the answer written somewhere; you will find yourself. You just go on digging with this question – this question is like digging – but do you see the question? It is a doubt: Who am I? It does not accept the spiritualist who says you are a soul. It does not accept the materialist who says there is nobody, don’t waste time; eat, drink and be merry. He doubts. Those three words are followed by a question mark: Who am I?

And he says this is enough. If you can go on and on and on patiently, one day the question suddenly disappears and what is left is your reality. That is the answer.

And the moment you know yourself you have known everything that is worth knowing.

-Osho

From From Death to Deathlessness, Discourse #24

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I am Not Asking You to Start Seeing God in Everything – Osho

The method that you have shown us for realizing the truth or the universal self is of negating everything and knowing oneself. Is the opposite of it not also possible: that we try to see the universal self in all, that we feel it in the whole?

It will be helpful to understand this.

One who cannot realize godliness within himself can never realize it in all. One who has not yet recognized godliness within himself can never recognize it in others. The self means that which is nearest to you; then anyone who is at a little distance from you will have to be considered as being farther away. And if you cannot see godliness in yourself, which is nearest you, you cannot possibly see it in those far from you. First you will have to know godliness in yourself; first the knower will have to know the divine — that is the nearest door.

But remember, it is very interesting that the individual who enters his self suddenly finds the entrance to all. The door to one’s self is the door to all. No sooner does a man enter his self than he finds he has entered all, because although we are outwardly different, inwardly we are not.

Outwardly, all leaves are different from each other. But if a person could penetrate just one leaf, he would reach to the source of the tree where all the leaves are in unison. Seen individually, each leaf is different — but once you have known a leaf in its interiority, you will have reached to the source from which all leaves emanate and into which all leaves dissolve. One who enters himself simultaneously enters all.

The distinction between “I” and “you” remains only so long as we have not entered within ourselves. The day we enter our I, the I disappears and so does the you — what remains then is all.

Actually, “all” does not mean the sum of I and you. All means where I and you have both disappeared, and what subsequently remains is all. If “I” has not yet dissolved, then one can certainly add “Is” and “yous,” but the sum will not equal truth. Even if one adds all the leaves, a tree does not come into being — even though it has had all the leaves added to it. A tree is more than the sum of all the leaves. In fact, it has nothing to do with addition; it is erroneous to add. Adding one leaf to another, we assume each one is separate. A tree is not made of separate leaves at all.

So, as soon as we enter the I, it ceases to exist. The first thing that disappears when we enter within is the sense of being a separate entity. And when that I-ness disappears, you-ness and the other-ness both disappear. Then what remains is all.

It’s not even right to call it “all,” because “all” also has the connotation of the same old I. Hence those who know would not even call it all; they would ask, “The sum of what? What are we adding?” Furthermore, they would declare that only one remains. Although they would perhaps even hesitate to say that, because the assertion of one gives the impression that there are two — it gives the idea that alone one has no meaning without the corresponding notion of two. One exists only in the context of two. Therefore, those who have a deeper understanding do not even say that one remains, they say advaita, nonduality, remains.

Now this is very interesting. These people say that “Two are not left.” They are not saying “One remains,” they are saying “Two are not left.” Advaita means there are not two.

One might ask, “Why do you talk in such roundabout ways? Simply say there is only one!” The danger in saying “one” is that it gives rise to the idea of two. And when we say there are not two, it follows that there are not three either; it implies that there is neither one, nor many, nor all. Actually, this division resulted from the perception based on the existence of “I.” So with the cessation of I, that which is whole, the indivisible, remains.

But to realize this, can we do what our friend is suggesting — can we not visualize God in everyone? To do so would be nothing more than fantasizing and fantasizing is not the same as perceiving the truth. Long ago some people brought a holy man to me. They told me this man saw God everywhere, that for the last thirty years he had been seeing God in everything — in flowers, plants, rocks, in everything. I asked the man if he had been seeing God in everything through practice because if that were so then his visions were false. He couldn’t follow me. I asked him again, “Did you ever fantasize about or desire to see God in everything?” He replied, “Yes indeed. Thirty years ago I started this sadhana in which I would attempt to see God in rocks, plants, mountains, in everything. And I began to see God everywhere.” I asked him to stay with me for three days and, during that period, to stop seeing God everywhere.

He agreed. But the very next day he told me, “You have done me great harm. Only twelve hours have passed since I gave up my usual practice and I have already begun to see a rock as a rock and a mountain as a mountain. You have snatched my God away from me! What sort of a person are you?”

I said, “If God can be lost by not practicing for just twelve hours, then what you saw was not God — it was merely a consequence of your regular exercise.” It is similar to when a person repeats something incessantly and creates an illusion. No, God has not to be seen in a rock; rather, one needs to reach a state in which there is nothing left to be seen in a rock except God. These are two different things.

Through your efforts to see him there, you will begin to see God in a rock, but that God will be no more than a mental projection. That will be a God superimposed by you on the rock; it will be the work of your imagination. That God will be purely your creation; he will be a complete figment of your imagination. Such a God is nothing more than your dream — a dream which you have consolidated by reinforcing it again and again. There is no problem seeing God like this, but it is living in an illusion, it is not entering truth.

One day, of course, it happens that the individual himself disappears and, consequently, he sees nothing but God. Then one doesn’t feel that God is in the rock, then the feeling is “Where is the rock? Only God is!” Do you follow the distinction I am making? Then one doesn’t feel that God exists in the plant or that he exists in the rock; that the plant exists and, in the plant, so does God — no, nothing of the kind. What one comes to feel is “Where is the plant? Where is the rock? Where is the mountain?”… because all around, whatever is seen, whatever exists is only God. Then seeing God does not depend upon your exercise, it depends upon your experience.

The greatest danger in the realm of sadhana, of spiritual practice, is the danger of imagination. We can fantasize truths which must otherwise become our own experience. There is a difference between experiencing and fantasizing. A person who has been hungry the whole day eats at night in his dream and feels greatly satisfied. Perhaps he does not find as much joy in eating when he is awake as he does when he is dreaming — in the dream he can eat any dish he wants. Nevertheless, his stomach still remains empty in the morning, and the food he has consumed in his dream gives him no nourishment. If a man decides to stay alive on the food he eats in dreams, then he is sure to die sooner or later. No matter how satisfying the food eaten in the dream may be, in reality it is not food. It can neither become part of your blood, nor your flesh, nor your bones or marrow. A dream can only cause deception.

Not only are meals made of dreams, God is also made of dreams. And so is moksha, liberation, made of dreams. There is a silence made of dreams, and there are truths made of dreams. The greatest capacity of the human mind is the capacity to deceive itself. However, by falling into this kind of deception, no one can attain joy and liberation.

So I am not asking you to start seeing God in everything. I am only asking you to start looking within and seeing what is there. When, to see what is there, you begin to look inside, the first person to disappear will be you — you will cease to exist inside. You will find for the first time that your I was an illusion, and that it has disappeared, vanished. As soon as you take a look inside, first the I, the ego, goes. In fact, the sense that “I am” only persists until we have looked inside ourselves. And the reason we don’t look inside is perhaps because of the fear that, if we did, we might be lost.

You may have seen a man holding a burning torch and swinging it round and round until it forms a circle of fire. In reality there is no such circle, it is just that when the torch is swinging round with great speed, it gives the appearance of a circle from a distance. If you see it close up, you will find that it is just a fast-moving torch, that the circle of fire is false. similarly, if we go within and look carefully, we will find that the “I” is absolutely false. Just as the fast-moving torch gives the illusion of a circle of fire, the fast-moving consciousness gives the illusion of I. This is a scientific truth and it needs to be understood.

You may not have noticed, but all life’s illusions are caused by things revolving at great speed. The wall looks very solid; the rock under your feet feels clearly solid, but according to scientists there is nothing like a solid rock. It is now a well-known fact that the closer scientists observed matter, the more it disappeared. As long as the scientist was distant from matter, he believed in it. Mostly it was the scientist who used to declare that matter alone is truth, but now that very scientist is saying there is nothing like matter. Scientists say that the fast movement of particles of electricity creates the illusion of density. Density, as such, exists nowhere.

For example, when an electric fan moves with speed, we cannot see the three moving blades; one cannot actually count how many there are. If it moves even faster, it will appear as if a piece of circular metal is moving. It can be moved so fast that even if you sat on top of it, you wouldn’t feel the gap between the blades; you would feel as if you were sitting on top of solid metal.

The particles in matter are moving with similar speed — and the particles are not matter, they are fast-moving electric energy. Matter appears dense because of fast-moving particles of electricity. The whole of matter is a product of fast-moving energy — even though it appears to exist, it is actually nonexistent. Similarly, the energy of consciousness is moving so fast that, because of it, the illusion of I is created.

There are two kinds of illusions in this world: one, the illusion of matter; second, the illusion of I, the ego. Both are basically false, but only by coming closer to them does one become aware they don’t exist. As science draws closer to matter, matter disappears; as religion draws nearer I the I disappears. Religion has discovered that the I is nonexistent, and science has discovered that matter is nonexistent. The closer we come, the more we become disillusioned.

That’s why I say: go within; look closely — is there any I inside? I am not asking you to believe that you are not the I. If you do, it will turn into a false belief. If you take my word for it and think, “I am not; the ego is false. I am atman, I am brahman; the ego is false,” you will throw yourself into confusion. If this merely becomes a repetitive thing, then you will only be repeating the false. I am not asking you for this sort of repetition. I am saying: go within, look, recognize who you are. One who looks within and recognizes himself discovers that “I am not.” Then who is within? If I am not, then someone else must be there. Just because “I am not,” doesn’t mean no one is there, because even to recognize the illusion, someone has to be there.

If I am not, then who is there? The experience of what remains after the disappearance of I is the experience of God. The experience becomes at once expansive — dropping I, “you” also drops, “he” also drops, and only an ocean of consciousness remains. In that state you will see that only God is. Then it may seem erroneous to say that God is, because it sounds redundant.

It is redundant to say “God is,” because God is the other name of “that which is.” Is-ness is God — hence to say “God is” is a tautology; it isn’t correct. What does it mean to say “God is”? We identify something as “is” which can also become “is not”. We say “the table is,” because it is quite possible the table may not exist tomorrow, or that the table did not exist yesterday. Something which did not exist before may become nonexistent again; then what is the sense in saying “it is”? God is not something which did not exist before, nor is it possible that he will never be again; therefore, to say “God is” is meaningless. He is. In fact, another name for godliness is “that which is.” Godliness means existence.

In my view, if we impose our God on “that which is,” we are pushing ourselves into falsehood and deception. And remember, the Gods we have created are made differently; each has his respective trademark. A Hindu has made his own God, a Mohammedan has his own. The Christian, the Jaina, the Buddhist — each has his own God. All have coined their own respective words; all have created their own respective Gods. A whole great God-manufacturing industry abounds! In their respective homes people manufacture their God; they produce their own God. And then these God-manufacturers fight among themselves in the marketplace the same way the people who manufacture goods at home do. Everyone’s God is different from the other’s.

Actually, as long as “I am,” whatsoever I create will be different from yours. As long as “I am,” my religion, my God will be different from other people’s because they will be the creation of I, of the ego. Since we consider ourselves separate entities, whatever we create will have a separate character. If, to create religion, the appropriate freedom could be granted, there would be as many religions in the world as there are people — not less than that. It is because of the lack of the right kind of freedom that there are so few religions in the world.

A Hindu father takes certain care to make his son a Hindu before he becomes independent. A Mohammedan father makes his son a Mohammedan before he becomes intelligent, because once intelligence is attained, a person won’t want to become either a Hindu or a Mohammedan. And so there is the need to fill a child with all these stupidities before he achieves intelligence.

All parents are anxious to teach their children religion right from childhood, because once a child grows up he will start to think and to cause trouble. He will raise all sorts of questions — and not finding any satisfactory answers, will do things difficult for the parents to face. This is why parents are keen to teach their children religion right from infancy — when the child is unaware of many things, when he is vulnerable to learning any kind of stupidity. This is how people become Mohammedans, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Christians — whatsoever you teach them to become.

And so, those we call religious people are often found to be unintelligent. They lack intelligence, because what we call religion is something which has poisoned us before intelligence has arisen — and even afterwards it continues its inner hold. No wonder Hindus and Mohammedans fight with each other in the name of God, in the name of their temples and their mosques.

Does God come in many varieties? Is the God Hindus worship of one kind, and the God the Mohammedans worship of another? Is that why Hindus feel their God is desecrated if an idol is destroyed. Or Mohammedans feel their God is dishonored if a mosque is destroyed or burned?

Actually, God is “that which is.” He exists as much in a mosque as he does in a temple. He exists as much in a slaughterhouse as he does in a place of worship. He exists as much in a tavern as he does in a mosque. He is as present in a thief as he is in a holy man — not one iota less; that can never be. Who else is dwelling in a thief if not the divine? He is as present in Rama as he is in Ravana — he is not one iota less in Ravana. He exists as much within a Hindu as he does within a Mohammedan.

But the problem is: if we come to believe that the same divinity exists in everyone, our God manufacturing industry will suffer heavily. So in order to prevent this from happening, we keep on imposing our respective Gods. If a Hindu looks at a flower he will project his own God on it, see his God in it, whereas a Mohammedan will project, visualize his God. They can even pick a fight over this, although perhaps such a Hindu-Mohammedan conflict is a little far-fetched.

Their establishments are at a little distance from each other — but there are even quarrels between the closely related “divinity shops.” For example, there is quite a distance between Benares and Mecca, but there is not much distance in Benares between the temples of Rama and Krishna. And yet the same degree of trouble exists there.

I have heard about a great saint… I am calling him great because people used to call him great, and I am calling him a saint only because people used to call him a saint.

He was a devotee of Rama. Once he was taken to the temple of Krishna. When he saw the idol of Krishna holding a flute in his hands, he refused to bow down to the image. Standing before the image, he said, “If you would take up the bow and arrow, only then could I bow down to you, for then you would be my Lord.” How strange! We place conditions on God also — how and in which manner or position he should present himself. We prescribe the setting; we make our requirements — only then are we prepared to worship.

It is so strange we determine what our God should be like. But that’s how it has been all along. What, up to now, we have been identifying as “God”, is a product based on our own specifications. As long as this man-made God is standing in the way, we will not be able to know that God who is not determined by us. We will never be able to know the one who determines us. And so we need to get rid of the man-made God if we wish to know the God which is. But that’s tough; it’s difficult even for the most kindhearted person. Even for someone we otherwise consider a man of understanding, it’s hard to get rid of this man-made God. He too clings firmly to the basic foolishness as much as a stupid man does. A stupid man can be forgiven, but it is difficult to forgive a man of understanding.

Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan arrived in India recently. He is preaching Hindu-Mohammedan unity all over the country, but he himself is a staunch Mohammedan; about this, there is not the slightest doubt. It doesn’t bother him that he prays in the mosque like a loyal Mohammedan, yet he is going about preaching Hindu-Mohammedan unity. Gandhi was a staunch Hindu, and he also used to preach Hindu-Mohammedan unity. As the guru, so is the disciple: the guru was a confirmed Hindu; the disciple is a confirmed Mohammedan. And so long as there are confirmed Hindus and confirmed Mohammedans in the world, how can such unity come about? They need to relax a little, only then unity is possible. These zealous Hindus and Mohammedans are at the root of all the trouble between the two religions, although the roots of these troubles are not really visible. Those who preach Hindu-Mohammedan unity do not have the vaguest idea how to bring it about.

As long as God is different things to different people, as long as there are different places of worship for different people, as long as prayers are different and scriptures are different — Koran being father for some and Gita being mother for others — the vexing troubles between religions will never come to an end. We cling to the Koran and the Gita. We say, “Read the Koran and teach people to drop enmity and to become one. Read the Gita and teach people to drop enmity and to become one.” We don’t realize, however, that the very words of Koran and Gita are the root cause of all the trouble.

If a cow’s tail gets cut off, a Hindu-Mohammedan riot will break out, and we will blame ruffians for causing the fight. And the funny thing is that no hoodlum has ever preached that the cow is our sacred mother. This is actually taught by our mahatmas, our holy men, who put the blame for creating riots on “hoodlums”. … Because when the tail does get cut off, then for the mahatmas’ purpose, it is not the tail of the cow, it is the tail of the holy mother! When they bring this to people’s attention, the riots begin, in which the hoodlums get involved and are later blamed for starting them.

So the people we call mahatmas are in fact at the root of all such troubles. Were they to step aside, the hoodlums would be harmless, they would have no power to fight. They get strength from the mahatmas. But the mahatmas remain so well hidden underground that we never ever realize they could be at the root of the problem.

What is the root of the problem, really? The root cause of all the trouble is your God — the God manufactured in your homes. Try to save yourselves from the gods you create in your respective homes. You cannot manufacture God in your homes; the existence of such a God will be pure deception.

I am not asking you to project God. After all, in the name of God, what will you project? A devotee of Krishna will say he sees God hiding behind a bush holding a flute in his hand, while a devotee of Rama will see God holding a bow and arrow. Everyone will see God differently. This kind of seeing is nothing but projecting our desires and concepts. God is not like this. We cannot find him by projecting our desires and our concepts — to find him we will have to disappear altogether. We will have to disappear — along with all our concepts and all our projections. Both things cannot go hand in hand. As long as you exist as an ego, the experience of godliness is absolutely impossible. You as an ego will have to go; only then is it possible to experience it. I cannot enter the door of the divine as long as my I, my ego, exists.

I have heard a story that a man renounced everything and reached the door of the divine. He had renounced wealth, wife, house, children, society, everything, and having renounced all, he approached the door of the divine. But the guard stopped him and said, “You cannot enter yet. First go and leave everything behind.”

“But I have left everything,” pleaded the man.

“You have obviously brought your ‘I’ along with you. We are not interested in the rest; we are only concerned with your ‘I’. We don’t care about whatever you say you have left behind, we are concerned with your ‘I’,” The guard explained. “Go, drop it, and then come back.”

The man said, “I have nothing. My bag is empty — it contains no money, no wife, no children. I possess nothing.”

“Your ‘I’ is still in the bag — go and drop it. These doors are closed to those who bring their ‘I’ along; for them the doors have always been closed,” said the guard.

But how do we drop the I? The I will never drop by our attempts to do so. How can “I” drop the very itself? This is impossible. It will be like someone trying to lift himself up by his shoelaces. How do I drop the I? Even after dropping everything, I will still remain. At the most one might say, “I have dropped the ego,” and yet this shows he is still carrying his “I.” One becomes egoistic even about dropping the ego. Then what should a man do? It’s quite a difficult situation.

I say to you: there is nothing difficult about it — because I don’t ask you to drop anything. In fact, I don’t ask you to do anything. The I, the ego, becomes stronger because of all the doing. I am merely asking you to go within and look for the I. If you find it, then there is no way to drop it. If it always exists there, what is there left to be dropped? And if you don’t find it, then too, there is no way to drop it. How can you drop something which doesn’t exist?

So go within and see if the I is there or not. I am simply saying that one who looks inside himself begins to laugh uproariously, because he cannot find his I anywhere within himself. Then what does remain? What remains then is God. That which remains with the disappearance of the I — could that ever be separate from you? When the I itself ceases to exist, who is going to create the separation? It is the I alone which separates me from you and you from me.

There is the wall of this house. Under the illusion that they divide space into two, walls stand — although space never becomes divided in half; space is indivisible. No matter how thick a wall you erect, the space inside the house and the space outside are not two different things; they are one. No matter how tall you raise the wall, the space inside and outside the house is never divided. The man living inside the house, however, feels that he has divided the space into two — one space inside his house and another outside it. But if the wall were to fall, how would the man differentiate the space within the house from the space without? How would he figure it out? Then, only space would remain.

In the same way, we have divided consciousness into fragments by raising the walls of I. When this wall of I falls, then it is not that I will begin to see God in you. No, then I won’t be seeing you, I’ll only be seeing God. Please understand this subtle distinction carefully.

It will be wrong to say I would begin to see godliness in you — I won’t be seeing you any more, I will only be seeing the divine. It’s not that I would see godliness in a tree — I would no longer see a tree, only the divine. When somebody says godliness exists in each and every atom he is absolutely wrong, because he is seeing both the atom and godliness. Both cannot be seen simultaneously. The truth of the matter is that each and every atom is godliness, not that godliness exists in each and every atom. It is not that some God is sitting enclosed inside an atom — whatever is, is godliness.

Godliness is the name given out of love to “that which is.” “That which is,” is truth — in love we call it godliness. But it makes no difference by which name we call it. I do not ask, therefore, that you begin to see godliness in everyone, I am saying: start looking inside. As soon as you look within, you will disappear. And with your disappearance what you’ll see is God.

-Osho

From And Now and Here, Discourse #3

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

 

Resources to Nourish Our Inner World

During these extraordinary times when many of us are self-isolating or in quarantine we have a unique opportunity to gather our energies and explore and nourish our inner world.

We are extremely fortunate that there are so many resources at our fingertips, here are a few.

Enjoy and Be Well!

Reading:

Osho reading library

OshoWorld discourse PDF’s

Osho Books hardcopy

Ramana Maharshi resources

O-Meditation Sangha posts

O-Meditation downloads

Listening:

Osho.com audio downloads

OshoWorld audio downloads

O-Meditation downloads

The entire J. Krishnamurti audio collection

Meditating:

Osho Active Meditation CD’s

Osho Book of Secrets Meditations

Osho No-Mind Meditations

 

Do We Not Look?

Most of us spend almost all of our time in becoming. We are constantly moving to the next great thing. We are projecting out into the world towards a goal in the future. We are rarely here at home in this moment, in being.

What is driving this movement? What is powering this constant chase for the next? Is it not the hope of being happy sometime in the future? If we were happy now, would we still be chasing the future?

I wonder why it is that we are not happy now. Is there something that we have to obtain first and then we will be happy? Is there something that we have to do first, to make our claim on contentment? Or is it the chasing that is the source of our discontent? Is it not the desire for more, that is not only the driving force for tomorrow but also the seed of our discontent today?

If we truly see the situation that we are in, do we need to do something to get ourselves out of it? How did we get in? If we bang our head into the wall, do we not change course the next time to avoid the pain? So if we continue on a course that has never brought any real happiness, it must be that we have not really seen the situation. We have perhaps thought about it a bit, but not existentially seen what is going on.

So, how to see? What do we do if we want to see something? Do we not Look?

So, let’s Look, and that is where meditation comes in. Meditation is simply giving some space to Look, to see what the situation is. We create an opportunity for life to expose itself, life itself, not our projection of life, but life as it is. We give space for reality to blossom.

And the miracle is – when we give that space and we Look at what life is offering at this very moment – then we are no longer in becoming. We are no longer, in that moment, chasing dreams. We are in this moment – Being. And Being Is Happiness.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama.

An Experiment in Awarefulness

Ultimately, we are told, meditation is samadhi, total relaxation in total awareness. And we have heard, “The kingdom of God is within,” “Be a light unto yourself.” But for most of us this is not our experience at this moment. It is only theoretical, philosophical, hypothetical.

So in order to determine the validity of such statements we have to take them only as a hypothesis and we have to experiment scientifically.

All meditation techniques are scientific experiments to discover our own inner landscape; they are tools to remove the tensions that prevent a natural relaxed state and to return unawareness into its natural state of awakened consciousness.

To be able to enter into this scientific experiment we must first put all the hypotheses aside. We have to look without prejudice and see for ourselves.

We begin by entering the inner body. We know the outer body. It is the body that we see in the bathroom mirror and mistakenly think that is who we are. It is the body that is an image in our mind made up of what everyone else has said about it or how we imagine others see us.

But to enter the inner body we must sense the body from the inside. We scan the body from the inside and discover any points of tension and make them objects of our awareness. We sense the body’s interiority and discover its wholeness as an object which appears within awareness.

With this strengthened awareness we watch the breath. We watch and follow the breath through its journey in and out of the body. We don’t try to manipulate the breath but just watch its movements. In watching the breath closely we discover the turning points where breath moves from out to in and from in to out. In watching the totality of the movement of breath as an object we discover that it too appears within awareness.

Next we listen, first to the sounds around us. And second to the thoughts passing by and finally to our feelings.  We listen to the sounds around us without rejecting them, without judging them. We watch the movements of the mind without judging, without analyzing, without rejecting and without grasping. We feel the emotions and subtle moods, again, without judging, without analyzing, without rejecting and without grasping. And by this listening we find that both the objects of sound, thought and feelings appear within awareness.

With each of these steps we feel that awareness has been strengthened when the reality is that the identification, the unawareness has been reduced revealing the underlying naturalness of awarefulness. Slowly, slowly we begin to bask more and more in this awarefulness without objects.

By our own scientific inquiry we have shined the light unto ourselves and discovered that indeed the kingdom of God is within.

Now it is up to us to bring this awarefulness into our daily life, chopping wood, carrying water.  And in those times that it seems difficult to be aware we can return to any of the steps of this experiment whenever we wish and rebuild our awarefulness.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama

Grace and Effort – Osho

Does one attain to meditation through God’s grace?

It will be useful to understand this thing, because it has led to lots of misunderstandings and mistakes. A good number of people have thought that if meditation is attained through God’s grace then there is no need to do anything, and they did not do a thing. You are grievously mistaken if you mean by God’s grace that you don’t have to do anything.

Another misunderstanding that flows from it is that God’s grace is not equally available to everybody, that some persons receive more of it and others less. But in fact, no one is God’s chosen one; no one is his favorite. And if even God has his favorites then there is no hope for justice in the world. If you mean by God’s grace that God is kind to some and unkind to others then you are wholly mistaken.

But the statement that one attains to meditation through God’s grace is quite correct in another sense. Really it is not the statement of those who have yet to attain to meditation. It is the statement of the enlightened ones – those who have attained to it. It is so because when it happens, when one comes to it, the efforts he had made seem to be utterly irrelevant. In the context of the attainment, which is so immense, the efforts look so petty that one simply can’t say that he came to it through them. When one comes to it he feels so overwhelmed with its immensity that he says, “How could it have happened through my efforts? What had I done to find it? What price had I paid? What had I staked on it? Did I have a thing that I could have offered? Nothing.” When God’s bliss showers on anyone he just exclaims, “It is through thy compassion, O Lord, it is through thy grace, that I come to thee! Otherwise it was beyond me, impossibly beyond me.”

But remember that this is the statement of the blessed ones, the enlightened ones. If the unenlightened, the initiates cling to it they will be misled forever. Efforts are essential; one must make efforts.

The happening of meditation or enlightenment or whatsoever you call it is like opening the doors of a house in darkness to let in the sun. Although the sun has risen in the east, if we keep the doors of our house shut we will be always in the dark. And if we open the doors and wait, the sun will come in on his own. No other effort is needed to bring the sun in; we cannot put him or his light in a container and take it to our house. He comes on his own accord. The irony is that while our efforts cannot bring him, they can certainly keep him out, prevent him from coming. If we shut the doors or close our eyes, even the sun will be powerless to do anything. We can keep the sun out of our houses, we are capable of stopping the sun; but we are not capable of ushering him in. Only let the door open, and he will come in. And when the sun is in, we cannot say that we brought him in, we cannot take that credit. We can only say that it was his kindness that he came into our house. And we can only say that we were merciful to ourselves that we did not shut our doors.

Man can only be an opening, a door for God to come in. Our efforts only open the door; his coming depends on him, on his compassion. And his compassion is infinite, it is forever present at every doorstep. But what can he do if he finds many doors closed to him? God knocks at every door and goes back when he finds the doors shut. And we have closed our doors so firmly. So whenever he comes and knocks, we rationalize it, we explain it away in so many ways, and we remain content with it.

I would like to tell you a story that I love to tell. There is a great temple with a hundred priests to look after it. One night the chief priest went to bed and dreamed that God has sent word that he will visit their temple the next day. He did not believe it, because it is difficult to come across people who are more disbelieving than the priests. He did not believe his dream for another reason, too. People who trade in religion never come to believe in religion. They only exploit religion, which never becomes their faith, their truth. No one in the world is more faithless than one who turns faith into a means of exploitation. So the chief priest could not believe that God would really this temple.

The priest had never believed in such things, although he had been a priest for long years. He had worshipped God for long and he knew that God had never visited his temple even once. Each day he had offered food to God, and he knew that he had in reality offered it to himself. He had also prayed to God every day, but he knew well that his prayers were lost in the empty sky, because there was no one to hear them. So he thought that the message was not true, it was just a dream, and a dream rarely turns into a reality.

But then he was afraid, too, lest the dream should come true. At times what we call a dream turns into a reality and a reality as we know it proves to be a dream. Sometimes what we think to be a dream really becomes a reality. So the chief priest ultimately decided to inform his close colleagues about his last night’s dream. He said to the other priests, “Although it seems to be a joke, yet I should tell you about it. Last night I dreamed that God said that he would visit us today.” The other priests laughed and they said, “Are you mad that you believe in dreams? However, don’t tell others about it; otherwise they will take you to be crazy.” But the head priest said, “In case he should come, we should be prepared for it. There is no harm if he does not turn up, but if at all he comes, we will not be found wanting.”

So the whole temple and its premises were scrubbed, washed and cleaned thoroughly. It was decorated with flowers and flags and festoons. Lamps were lit and incense burned. Perfumes were sprayed and every kind of preparation made. The priests tired themselves out in the course of the day, but God did not turn up. Every now and then they looked up the road, they were disappointed, and they said, “Dream is a dream after all; God is not going to come. We were fools to believe so. It was good that we did not inform the people of the town; otherwise they would have simply laughed at us.”

By evening the priests gave up all hope, and they said, “Let us now eat the sumptuous food cooked for God. It has ever been so: what we offer to God is consumed by us in the end. No one is going to turn up. We were crazy enough to believe in a dream. The irony is that we knowingly made fools of ourselves. If others go mad, they can be excused, because they don’t know. But we know God never comes. Where is God? There is this idol in the temple; it is all there is to it. And it is our business, our profession to worship him.” And then they ate well and went to bed early as they were tired.

When it was midnight a chariot pulled up at the gate of the temple, and its sound was heard. One of the sleeping priests heard it and thought that it was God’s chariot. He shouted to others, “Listen friends and wake up. It seems he, whom we expected all day, has arrived at long last. The noise of the chariot is heard.” The other priests snubbed him saying, “Shut up, you crazy one. We have had enough of madness all through the day, now that it is night let us sleep well. It is not the sound of a chariot, but the rumblings of the clouds in the skies.” So they explained the thing away and returned to their beds.

Then the chariot halted at the gate, and someone climbed the steps of the temple and knocked at its door. And again one of the priests woke up from sleep and shouted to his associates, “It seems the guest has arrived whom we awaited the whole day long. He is knocking at the door.” The other priests berated him as they had done with the first. They said, “Are you not crazy? Won’t you allow us to sleep? It is just the dash of winds against the door and not a knock of a caller.” So they again rationalized and went back to their beds.

The next morning they woke up and walked to the gates of the temple. And they were astounded to see a few footprints on the steps of the temple. Surely enough someone had climbed them during the night. And then they noticed some marks of a chariot’s wheels on the road, and there was now no doubt at all that a chariot had arrived at the gate in the night. And strangely enough the footprints on the steps were absolutely uncommon and unknown. Now the priests burst into tears and fell down and began to roll on the ground where the chariot had halted. And soon the whole village was at the temple’s gates. Everybody in the crowd asked with bewilderment, “What is the matter?” The priests said, “Don’t ask what the matter is. God knocked at the door of our temple last night, but we rationalized everything. We are now damned. He knocked at the door and we thought that it was the flapping sound of the winds. His chariot came, and we thought that it was the rumble of thunder in the sky. The truth is that we did not understand anything. We only explained them away, because we wanted to enjoy our sleep.”

God knocks at every door. His grace visits every home. But our doors are shut. And even when we hear a knock we immediately rationalize it and explain it away. In the old days they said that “A guest is God”. There is a slight mistake in this maxim. The truth is that God is the guest. God is waiting as a guest at our doorsteps, but the door is closed. His grace is equally available to all. Therefore don’t ask whether one attains through his grace; one attains through his grace alone. And as far as our efforts are concerned, they are a help in opening the door, in removing the hurdles from the way.

When he comes, he comes on his own accord.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, Discourse #6, Q1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

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

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