Not Twoness

One summer day when I was Junior High School age, I must have been 13 or 14, I was sitting across the street from the house of two brothers who were friends of mine. They were eating lunch and I was waiting for them to finish so that we could continue on our day’s routine of playing in the neighborhood, riding our bikes, smoking in the woods, all the things that we liked to do.

While I was sitting on the ground under a big tree with stick in hand and drawing circles in the dirt, time stopped, and for a brief moment a window of nowness opened. In that moment, all movement of time came to a standstill, and I was being in the eternal now. It was as if a portal into reality had opened. I knew it was significant but that was all I knew. It only lasted a couple of moments, seconds probably, but it made a deep impression in my consciousness. Of course, at the time, I would not have used such terminology as eternal now, portal, consciousness. In fact, I didn’t even mention the experience to my friends when they came out of their house, but this was my first experience of what we could call Oneness. In that moment, there was no separation, no demarcation, only beingness, conscious beingness.

Looking back, I can see that this experience unconsciously became a litmus test, a North Star, that guided my life on through experimentation with drugs, psychedelics, and finally, to discovering meditation. I would be willing to bet that every one of us who has found themselves interested in a life of discovery, anyone who is reading this now, has had some brush with naked reality.

It is clear that this reality I stumbled upon is always present, it is only that most of the time I am not present to meet it and dissolve into it. Meditation has been the key to shining a light on what it is that is standing between my consciousness and this experience of nowness, and that is mind, thought. It is thought, the me, which obscures the perception of reality. It has been my experience that through meditation the movement of thought becomes illuminated. And it is this ‘seeing’ of thought that is the exit.

For many years following this first awakening, I was unconsciously searching to replicate that profound happening, beginning with becoming unconscious through alcohol. Unconsciousness is a type of oneness, as is sleep, but it is unconscious, and so is missing a key element of the experience that had happened years before. Next it was on to smoking marijuana, certainly much closer to the happening but dependent on a foreign substance, not a natural state. Then it was on to psychedelics, which were incredibly helpful in seeing how mind works, first in seeing thought in action, and then in seeing that I was the one who was supporting the movement of thought through identification.

This discovery of the workings of mind inevitably led to discovering meditation, first through the teachings and being of Meher Baba, and eventually, of course, to Osho.

I arrived in Poona in 1976 and every nook and corner of the Ashram was exuding Oneness. Upon entering the gate, one was absorbed into the vastness that lived in Lao Tzu house. We sang in Music Group and were lost in ecstasy. We did our groups and had glimpses of being outside of our little ego selves. We did the active meditations and rays of sunshine would find their way out from the center of our being. And, of course, we sat in discourse and darshan and the sun itself lovingly dismantled all the clouds obscuring the brilliance of our inner light, the Oneness within.

At the Ranch we witnessed Oneness in action. We saw what could happen when a group of meditators worked without the need for approval or compensation. We worked and loved the working, but this oneness was a group oneness, a collective. It did give us another opportunity to experience a certain type of oneness, but because it was a group oneness, it was a oneness that was by definition opposed to the ‘not group,’ to the outside, and therefore could not be sustainable, definitely could not be eternal.

It was after the Ranch that I realized I had to dive deep into inquiry, into meditation. I had to find that oneness that had been experienced so many years before for myself, without the aid of drugs or others. I had to rediscover exactly what was standing in the way of my own experiencing of oneness in this moment.

And so, it was time for doubling down on meditation. It was time to discover for myself what is this ‘witnessing’ that Osho keeps talking about. Do I really know for myself? And in this quest, I became deeply attracted to self-inquiry and the path of advaita, non-duality.

In one of the discourses where Osho is talking about advaita, he says something that had a strong impact on me. He says, and I am paraphrasing here, that advaita means not-two, and so it is easy to translate that as one, or oneness, but he says that there is a difference in how the two words or phrases feel or act on you. When you say or think the word ‘one’ or ‘oneness,’ there is a contraction, a solidification, it feels like an object. But when you say ‘not-two,’ there is a letting go, and so is a much better pointer to the actual experiencing of oneness.

Similarly, in a workshop that Jean Klein, a Western Advaita teacher gave in Boulder, Colorado, in one of those moments when meditation is exuding all around, I asked Jean, “So is this it, just more and more subtle?” And Jean responded, “I would say less and less conditioned.”

And that is the key. It is not that we need to be searching for this thing called ‘oneness,’ but that we have to simply see what it is that is preventing us from Being in this Eternal Now that we refer to as oneness, or perhaps better described as not twoness. And that takes me back to meditation.

By meditation, I mean closing my eyes, sitting in a not uncomfortable but alert position and watching whatever appears on the screen of my consciousness. Sometimes it is a cacophony, and sometimes it is just a meandering quiet stream. But whichever, I watch, and every time that I forget and I become aware that I have forgotten, I am back to watching. Slowly, slowly I discover how to watch without judging, without grasping, without rejecting, and without analyzing. And in this watchingness, the flow of traffic decreases and occasionally gaps appear, gaps in which there are no thoughts. And when there are no thoughts, there is no movement of time, there are no obstructions to experiencing this same Eternal Now that was stumbled upon so many years ago. But this time it is conscious, it is not accidental, and it does not depend on any circumstance, substance, or any other person. And these moments cannot but infuse our everyday life with more lightness of being.

-purushottama

This is from the collection of stories, essays, poems and insights that is compiled to form the book From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva. Download a PDF or order the book Here.

Seven Concentric Circles – Osho

Man is a bridge between the known and the unknown. To remain confined in the known is to be a fool. To go in search of the unknown is the beginning of wisdom. To become one with the unknown is to become the awakened one, the Buddha.

Remember, again and again, that man is not yet a being — he is on the way, a traveler, a pilgrim. He is not yet at home, he is in search of the home. One who thinks that he is at home is a fool, because then the search stops, then the seeking is no longer there. And the moment you stop seeking and searching, you become a stagnant pool of energy, you start stinking. Then you only die, then you don’t live at all.

Life is in flowing; life is in remaining a river — because only the river will reach the ocean. If you become a stagnant pool then you are going nowhere. Then you are not really alive. The fool does not live, he only pretends to live. He does not know, he only pretends to know. He does not love, he only pretends to love. The fool is a pretension.

The wise lives, loves, the wise inquires. The wise is ready, always ready, to go into the uncharted sea. The wise is adventurous. The fool is afraid.

When Buddha uses the word ‘fool’ you have to remember all these meanings of the word. It is not the ordinary meaning that Buddha gives to the word ‘fool’. For him, the fool means one who lives in the mind and knows nothing of the no-mind; one who lives in information, knowledge, and has not tasted anything of wisdom; one who lives a borrowed life, imitative, but knows nothing of anything that arises in his own being.

By ‘the fool’ Buddha means one who is well acquainted with the scriptures, but has not tasted a single moment of truth. He may be a great scholar, very learned — in fact, fools are scholars; they have to be because that is the only way to hide their foolishness. Fools are very learned people; they have to be, because it is only through learning words, theories, philosophies, that they can hide their inner ignorance, that they can hide their emptiness, that they can believe that they also know.

If you want to find the fools, go to the universities, go to the academies. There you will find them—in their utter ignorance, but pretending to know. They certainly know what others have said, but that is not real knowing. A blind man can collect all the information there is about light, but he will still remain blind. He can talk about light, he can write treatises on light; he may be very clever in guessing, in fabricating theories, but still he remains a blind man and he knows nothing of light. But the information that he collects may not only deceive others, it may deceive himself too. He may start thinking that he knows, that he is no longer blind.

When Buddha uses the word ‘fool’ he does not mean simply the ignorant, because if the ignorant person is aware that he is ignorant, he is not a fool. And it is more possible for the ignorant person to be aware that he is ignorant than it is for the so-called learned people. Their egos are so puffed up; it is very difficult for them to see — it goes against their investment. They have devoted their whole lives to knowledge, and now, to recognize the fact that all this knowledge is meaningless, futile, because they have not tasted truth themselves, is difficult, is hard.

The ignorant person can remember that he is ignorant — he has nothing to lose; but the learned, he cannot recognize that he is ignorant — he has much to lose. The knowledgeable person is the real fool. The ignorant person is innocent; he knows that he knows not, and because he knows that he knows not, because he is ignorant, he is just on the threshold of wisdom. Because he knows he knows not, he can inquire, and his inquiry will be pure, unprejudiced. He will inquire without any conclusions. He will inquire without being a Christian or a Mohammedan or a Hindu. He will simply inquire as an inquirer. His inquiry will not come out of ready-made answers, his inquiry will come out of his own heart. His inquiry will not be a by-product of knowledge, his inquiry will be existential. He inquires because it is a question of life and death to him. He inquires because he really wants to know. He knows that he knows not — that’s why he inquires. His inquiry has a beauty of its own. He is not a fool, he is simply ignorant. The real fool is one who thinks he knows without knowing at all.

Socrates was trying to do the same thing in Athens: he was trying to make these learned fools aware that all their learning was false, that they were really fools, pretenders, hypocrites. Naturally, all the professors and all the philosophers and all the so-called thinkers . . . and Athens was full of them. Athens was the capital of knowledge in those days. Just as today people look towards Oxford or Cambridge, people used to look towards Athens. It was full of the learned fools, and Socrates was trying to bring them down to the earth, was shattering their knowledge, was raising such questions — simple in a way, but difficult to be answered by those who have only acquired knowledge from others.

Athens became very angry with Socrates. They poisoned this man. Socrates is one of the greatest men who has ever walked on the earth; and what he did very few people have done. His method is a basic method. The Socratic method of inquiry is such that it exposes the fools as fools. To expose a fool as a fool is dangerous, of course, because he will take revenge. Socrates was poisoned, Jesus was crucified, Buddha was condemned.

The day Buddha died, Buddhism was thrown out of the country, expelled from the country. The scholars, the pundits, the brahmins, could not allow it to remain. It was too uncomfortable for them. Its basic attack was on the brahmins, the learned fools, and naturally they were offended. They could not face Buddha, they could not encounter him. They waited for their opportunity in a cunning way: when Buddha died, then they started fighting the followers. When the light was gone, then it was the time for the owls, the learned fools, to reign over the country again. And since that time they have reigned even up to now — they are still in power. The same fools!

The world has suffered much. Man could have become the glory of the earth, but because of these fools… and because they are powerful they can harm, and because they are powerful they can destroy any possibility, any opportunity for man to evolve. Man has been moving in circles, and these fools would not like man to become wise, because if man becomes wise these fools will be nowhere. They won’t be in power anymore — religiously, politically, socially, financially, all their power will be gone. They can remain in power only if they can go on destroying all possibilities of wisdom for man.

My effort here is to create a Socratic inquiry again, to ask again the fundamental questions that Buddha raised.

In the new commune we are going to have seven concentric circles of people. The first, the most superficial circle, will consist of those who come only out of childish curiosity, or out of already accumulated prejudices, who are, deep down, antagonistic — the journalists, etcetera.

They will be allowed only to see the superficial part of the commune – not that anything will be hidden, but just because of their approach they will not be able to see anything more than the most superficial. They will see only the garments. Here also the same goes on happening. They come and they see only the superficial.

Just the other day I was reading a journalist’s report; he was here for five days. He writes, “for five days,” as if it is a very long time to be here; five days, as if he has been here for five lives! Because he has been here for five days he has become an authority. Now he knows what is happening here because he has watched people meditating. How can you watch people meditating? Either you can meditate or not, but you cannot watch people meditating. Yes, you can watch people’s physical gestures, movements, dance, or their sitting silently under a tree, but you cannot see meditation! You can see the physical posture of the meditator, but you cannot see his inner experience. For that, you have to meditate, you have to become a participant.

And the basic condition for being a participant is that you should drop this idea of being a watcher. Even if you participate, if you dance with the meditators, with this idea that you are participating only to watch what happens, then nothing will happen. And, of course, you will go with the conclusion that it is all nonsense — nothing happens. And you will feel perfectly right inside yourself that nothing happens, because you even participated and nothing happened.

That man writes that he was in darshan and much was happening to sannyasins – so much was happening that after a deep energy contact with me they were not even able to walk back to their places — they had to be carried away. And then he mentions, “But nothing happened to me.” That is enough proof that all that was happening was either hypnosis, or people were pretending just because the journalist was there, or it was just an arranged show, something managed — because nothing was happening to him.

There are things which can happen only when you are available, open, unprejudiced.

There are things which can happen only when you put aside your mind.

The journalist writes again, “The people who go there, they leave their minds where they leave their shoes — but I could not do that. Of course,” he says, “if I had left my mind behind, then I would have also been impressed.” But he thinks the mind that he has is something so valuable — how can he leave it behind? He feels himself very clever because he didn’t leave his mind behind.

Mind is the barrier, not the bridge. In the new commune, the first concentric circle will be for those who come like journalists — prejudiced people, who already know that they know. In short, for the fools.

The second concentric circle will be for those who are inquirers — unprejudiced, neither Hindus nor Mohammedans nor Christians, who come without any conclusion, who come with an open mind. They will be able to see a little deeper. Something of the mysterious will stir their hearts. They will cross the barrier of the mind. They will become aware that something of immense importance is happening — what exactly it is they will not be able to figure out immediately, but they will become aware vaguely that something of value IS happening. They may not be courageous enough to participate in it; their inquiry may be more intellectual than existential, they may not be able to become part, but they will become aware — of course, in a very vague and confused way, but certainly aware — that something more is going on than is apparent.

The third circle will be for those who are sympathetic, who are in deep sympathy, who are ready to move with the commune a little bit, who are ready to dance and sing and participate, who are not only inquirers but are ready to change themselves if the inquiry requires it. They will become aware more clearly of deeper realms.

And the fourth will be the empathic. Sympathy means one is friendly, one is not antagonistic. Empathy means one is not only friendly; one feels a kind of unity, oneness. Empathy means one feels with the commune, with the people, with what is happening. One meets, merges, melts, becomes one.

The fifth circle will be of the initiates, the sannyasins – one who is not only feeling in his heart but who is ready to be committed, to be involved. One who is ready to risk. One who is ready to commit, because he feels a great, mad love — mad, mad love — arising in him. The sannyasin, the initiate.

And the sixth will be of those who have started arriving — the adepts. Those whose journey is coming closer to the end, who are no longer sannyasins only but are becoming siddhas, whose journey is coming to a full stop, is getting closer and closer to the conclusion. The home is not far away, a few steps more. In a way, they have already arrived.

And the seventh circle will consist of arhatas and boshisattvas. The arhatas are those sannyasins who have arrived but are not interested in helping others to arrive. Buddhism has a special name for them: arhata – the lonely traveler who arrives and then disappears into the ultimate. And the bodhisattvas are those who have arrived but they feel a great compassion for those who have not yet arrived. The bodhisattva is an arhata with compassion. He holds on, goes on looking back and goes on calling forth those who are still stumbling in darkness. He is a helper, a servant of humanity.

There are two types of people. The one who is at ease only when he is alone; he feels a little uncomfortable in relationship, he feels a little disturbed, distracted, in relationship. That type of person becomes an arhata. When he has arrived, he is finished with everything. Now he does not look back.

The bodhisattva is the second type of person: one who feels at ease in relationship, in fact far more comfortable when he is relating than when he is alone. He leans more towards love. The arhata leans more towards meditation. The path of the arhata is of pure meditation, and the path of the bodhisattva is that of pure love. The pure love contains meditation, and the pure meditation contains love – but the pure meditation contains love only as a flavor, a perfume; it is not the central force in it. And the pure love contains meditation as a perfume; it is not the center of it.

These two types exist in the world. The second type – the follower on the path of love – becomes a bodhisattva. The seventh circle will consist of arhatas and bodhisattvas.

Now, the seventh circle will be aware of all the six other circles, and the sixth circle will be aware of the other five circles – the higher will be aware of the lower, but the lower will not be aware of the higher. The first circle will not be aware of anything other than the first circle. He will see the buildings and the hotel and the swimming pool and the shopping center and weaving and pottery and carpentry. He will see the trees, the whole landscape . . . he will see all these things. He will see thousands of sannyasins, and he will shrug his shoulders: “What are these people doing here?” He will be a little puzzled, because he was not thinking that so many mad people can be found in one place: “All are hypnotized!” He will find explanations. He will go perfectly satisfied that he has known the commune. He will not be aware of the higher – the lower cannot be aware of the higher. That is one of the fundamental laws of life – Aes dhammo sanantano – only the higher knows the lower, because he has passed from the lower.

When you are standing on the sunlit mountain peak, you know everything down in the valley. The valley people may not be aware of you at all, it is not possible for them. The valley has its own occupations, its own problems. The valley is preoccupied with its own darkness.

The fool can come to a master but will remain unbenefited because he will see only the outer. He will not be able to see the essential, he will not be able to see the core. The fool comes here too, but he listens only to the words and he goes on interpreting those words according to his own ideas. He goes perfectly satisfied that he knows what is happening.

There are many fools who don’t come here – they don’t feel the need. They simply depend on other fools’ reports. That’s enough. Just one fool can convince thousands of fools, because their language is the same, their prejudices are the same, their conceptions are the same . . . there is no problem! One fool has seen, and all the other fools are convinced. One fool reports in the newspaper and all the other fools read it early in the morning, and are convinced.

-Osho

From The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, V.2, Discourse #7

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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Negative Projection, a Technique of Visualization – Osho

Mind itself means projection, so unless you transcend the mind, whatever you come to experience is projection. Mind is the projecting mechanism. If you experience any visions of light, of bliss, even of the divine, these are all projections. Unless you come to a total stopping of the mind you are not beyond projections; you are projecting. When mind ceases, only then are you beyond the danger. When there is no experience, no visions, nothing objective – the consciousness remaining as a pure mirror with nothing reflected in it – only then are you beyond the danger of projections.

Projections are of two types. One type of projection will lead you to more and more projection. It is a positive projection; you can never go beyond it. The other type of projection is negative. It is a projection, but it helps you to go beyond projections.

In meditation, you use the projecting faculty of the mind as a negative effort. Negative projections are good: it is just like one thorn being pulled out by another thorn or one poison being destroyed by another poison. But you must be constantly aware that the danger remains until everything ceases, even these negative projections, even these visions. If you are experiencing something, I will not say it is meditation; it is still contemplation, it is still a thought process. However subtle, it is still thinking. When only consciousness remains with no thought – just an unclouded, open sky – when you cannot say what “I” am experiencing, this much can be said: I am.

The famous maxim of Descartes, “Cogito ergo sum – I think; therefore, I am,” in meditation becomes “Sum ergo sum – I am; therefore, I am.” This “I am-ness” precedes all thinking; you are before you think. Thinking comes later on; your being precedes it, so being cannot be inferred from thinking. You can be without thinking, but thinking cannot be without you, so thinking cannot be the basis upon which your existence can be proved.

Experiences, visions, anything felt objectively is part of thinking. Meditation means total cessation of the mind, of thinking, but not of consciousness. If consciousness also ceases, you are not in meditation but in deep sleep; that is the difference between deep sleep and meditation.

In deep sleep projection also ceases. Thinking will not be there, but simultaneously, consciousness will also be absent. In meditation projections cease, thinking ceases, thoughts are no more there – just like in deep sleep – but there is consciousness. You are aware of this phenomenon: of total absence around you, of no objects around you. And when there are no objects to be known, felt and experienced, for the first time you begin to feel yourself. This is a nonobjective experience. It is not something that you experience; it is something you are.

So even if you feel the divine existence, it is a projection. These are negative projections. They help – they help, in a way, to transcend – but you must be aware that they are still projections, otherwise you will not go beyond them. That is why I say that if you feel you are encountering bliss, you are still in the mind because duality is there: the duality of the divine and the nondivine, the duality of bliss and nonbliss. When you really reach to the ultimate, you cannot feel bliss, because nonbliss is impossible; you cannot feel the divine as divine because the nondivine is no more.

So remember this: mind is projection, and whatever you do with the mind is going to be a projection. You cannot do anything with the mind. The only thing is how to negate the mind, how to drop it totally, how to be mindlessly conscious. That is meditation. Only then can you know, can you come to know, that which is other than projection.

Whatever you know is projected by you. The object is just a screen: you go on projecting your ideas, your mind, upon it. So any method of meditation begins with projection – with negative projection –and ends with nonprojection. That is the nature of all meditation techniques, because you have to begin with the mind.

Even if you are going toward a state of no mind, you have to begin with the mind. If I am to go out of this room, I have to start by going into the room; the first step must be taken in the room. This creates confusion. If I am just going in a circle in the room, then I am walking in the room. If I am going out of the room, then again I have to walk in the room – but in a different way. My eyes must be on the door and I must travel in a straight line, not in a circle.

Negative projection means walking straight out of the mind. But first, you have to take some steps within the mind.

For example, when I say “light,” you have never really seen light. You have only seen lighted objects. Have you ever seen light itself? No one has seen it; no one can see it. You see a lighted house, a lighted chair, a lighted person, but you have not seen light itself. Even when you see the sun you are not seeing light. You are seeing the light returned.

You cannot see light itself. When light strikes something, comes back, is reflected, only then do you see the lighted object and because you can see the lighted object, you say there is light. When you do not see the lighted object, you say it is dark.

You cannot see pure light, so in meditation I use it as a first step – as a negative projection. I tell you to begin to feel light without any object. Objects are dropped, there is just light. Begin to feel light without any objects . . . One thing has been dropped, the object, and without the object you cannot continue to see light for a long time. Sooner or later the light will drop, because you have to be focused on some object.

Then I tell you to feel bliss. You have never felt bliss without any object; whatever you know as happiness, bliss, is concerned with something. You have never known any moment of bliss that is unconcerned with anything. You may love someone and then feel blissful, but that someone is the object. You feel blissful when you listen to some music, but then that music is the object. Have you ever felt a blissful moment without any object? Never! So when I say to feel blissful without any object, it seems to be an impossibility. If you try to feel blissful without any object, sooner or later the bliss will stop, because it cannot exist by itself.

Then I say to feel divine presence. I never say, “Feel God,” because then God becomes an object. Have you ever felt presence without someone being present there? It is always concerned with someone: if someone is there, then you begin to feel the presence.

I drop that someone totally. I simply say, feel the divine presence. This is a negative projection. It cannot continue for long because there is no ground to support it; sooner or later it will drop. First I drop objects, and then, by and by, projection itself will drop. That is the difference between positive and negative projection.

In positive projection, the object is significant and the feeling follows, while in negative projection the feeling is important and the object is simply forgotten, as if I am taking the whole ground from under your feet. From within you, below you, from everywhere, the ground has been taken and you are left alone with your feeling. Now that feeling cannot exist; it will drop. If objects are not there, then the feelings that are directly connected to objects cannot continue any longer. For a while you can project them, then they will drop. And when they drop you alone remain there – in your total aloneness. That point is the point of meditation; from there meditation begins. Now you are out of the room.

So meditation has a beginning in the mind, but that is not real meditation. Begin in the mind, so that you can move toward meditation, and when mind ceases and you are beyond it, then real meditation begins. We have to begin with the mind because we are in the mind. Even to go beyond it, one has to use it. So use the mind negatively, never positively, and then you will achieve meditation.

If you use the mind positively, then you will only create more and more projections. So whatever is known as “positive thinking” is absolutely anti-meditative. Negative thinking is meditative; negation is the method for meditation. Go on negating to the point where nothing remains to be negated, and only the negator remains; then you are in your purity, and then you know what is. Everything that is known before that is just the mind’s imaginings, dreamings, projections.

-Osho

From Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy, Appendix 1

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.

For Such a Mind, Self-inquiry will Become Easy – Ramana Maharshi

11. What is the means for constantly holding on to the thought ‘Who am I?’

R.M. When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: ‘To whom do they arise?’ It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should inquire with diligence, “To whom has this thought arisen?”. The answer that would emerge would be “To me”. Thereupon if one inquires “Who am I?”, the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will become quiescent. With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the skill to stay in its source. When the mind that is subtle goes out through the brain and the sense organs, the gross names and forms appear; when it stays in the heart, the names and forms disappear. Not letting the mind go out, but retaining it in the Heart is what is called “inwardness” (antarmukha). Letting the mind go out of the Heart is known as “externalisation” (bahir-mukha). Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the ‘I’ which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self which ever exists will shine. Whatever one does, one should do without the egoity “I”. If one acts in that way, all will appear as of the nature of Siva (God).

12. Are there no other means for making the mind quiescent?

R.M. Other than inquiry, there are no adequate means. If through other means it is sought to control the mind, the mind will appear to be controlled, but will again go forth. Through the control of breath also, the mind will become quiescent; but it will be quiescent only so long as the breath remains controlled, and when the breath resumes the mind also will again start moving and will wander as impelled by residual impressions. The source is the same for both mind and breath. Thought, indeed, is the nature of the mind. The thought “I” is the first thought of the mind; and that is egoity. It is from that whence egoity originates that breath also originates. Therefore, when the mind becomes quiescent, the breath is controlled, and when the breath is controlled the mind becomes quiescent. But in deep sleep, although the mind becomes quiescent, the breath does not stop. This is because of the will of God, so that the body may be preserved and other people may not be under the impression that it is dead. In the state of waking and in samadhi, when the mind becomes quiescent the breath is controlled. Breath is the gross form of mind. Till the time of death, the mind keeps breath in the body; and when the body dies the mind takes the breath along with it. Therefore, the exercise of breath-control is only an aid for rendering the mind quiescent (manonigraha); it will not destroy the mind (manonasa).

Like the practice of breath-control. meditation on the forms of God, repetition of mantras, restriction on food, etc., are but aids for rendering the mind quiescent.

Through meditation on the forms of God and through repetition of mantras, the mind becomes one-pointed.  The mind will always be wandering. Just as when a chain is given to an elephant to hold in its trunk it will go along grasping the chain and nothing else, so also when the mind is occupied with a name or form it will grasp that alone. When the mind expands in the form of countless thoughts, each thought becomes weak; but as thoughts get resolved the mind becomes one-pointed and strong; for such a mind Self-inquiry will become easy. Of all the restrictive rules, that relating to the taking of sattvic food in moderate quantities is the best; by observing this rule, the sattvic quality of mind will increase, and that will be helpful to Self-inquiry.

13. The residual impressions (thoughts) of objects appear wending like the waves of an ocean. When will all of them get destroyed?

R.M. As the meditation on the Self rises higher and higher, the thoughts will get destroyed.

14. Is it possible for the residual impressions of objects that come from beginningless time, as it were, to be resolved, and for one to remain as the pure Self?

R.M. Without yielding to the doubt “Is it possible, or not?”, one should persistently hold on to the meditation on the Self. Even if one be a great sinner, one should not worry and weep “O! I am a sinner, how can I be saved?”; one should completely renounce the thought “I am a sinner”; and concentrate keenly on meditation on the Self; then, one would surely succeed. There are not two minds – one good and the other evil; the mind is only one. It is the residual impressions that are of two kinds – auspicious and inauspicious. When the mind is under the influence of auspicious impressions it is called good; and when it is under the influence of inauspicious impressions it is regarded as evil.

The mind should not be allowed to wander towards worldly objects and what concerns other people. However bad other people may be, one should bear no hatred for them. Both desire and hatred should be eschewed. All that one gives to others one gives to one’s self. If this truth is understood who will not give to others? When one’s self arises all arises; when one’s self becomes quiescent all becomes quiescent. To the extent we behave with humility, to that extent there will result good. If the mind is rendered quiescent, one may live anywhere.

15. How long should inquiry be practised?

R.M. As long as there are impressions of objects in the mind, so long the inquiry “Who am I?” is required. As thoughts arise they should be destroyed then and there in the very place of their origin, through inquiry. If one resorts to contemplation of the Self unintermittently, until the Self is gained, that alone would do. As long as there are enemies within the fortress, they will continue to sally forth; if they are destroyed as they emerge, the fortress will fall into our hands.

-Ramana Maharshi

From Who Am I?

Without any Breaks – Annamalai Swami

Q: Are there no breaks at all in the jnani’s awareness of the Self? For example, if he is engrossed in reading a good book, will his full attention ‘be always on the book? Will he simultaneously be aware that he is the Self?

AS: If there are breaks in his Self-awareness this means that he is not yet a jnani. Before one becomes established in this state without any breaks, without changes, one has to contact and enjoy this state many times. By steady meditation it finally becomes permanent.

It is very difficult to attain Self-abidance, but once it is attained it is retained effortlessly and never lost. It is a little like putting a rocket into space. A great effort and great energy are required to escape the earth’s gravitational field. If the rocket is not going fast enough, gravity will pull it back to earth. But once it has escaped the pull of gravity it can stay out in space quite effortlessly without falling back to earth…

-Annamalai Swami

From Living by the Words of Bhagavan, p. 284

This Witness is Our Truth – Osho

A few days ago, I heard you say that the voice speaking inside of us is always the mind, so I wonder who in me is hearing this voice. When I try to find the answer, I only find silence.

Chidvilas, the moment you look into your self you only find silence. But are you not aware that you are also there? Who finds the silence? Silence itself cannot find itself; there is somebody as a witness who is finding the silence. Just your focus is wrong; you are still focusing on the object. It is just an old habit, perhaps cultivated for many, many lives, that you always focus yourself on the object, and you always forget yourself.

An ancient Eastern story is that ten blind men crossed a stream. The current was very strong, so they took hold of each other’s hands because they were afraid somebody may be taken away by the current. They reached the other shore, and somebody amongst them suggested, “It is better we should count because the current and the stream were really dangerous. Somebody may have slipped, and we may not even be aware.”

So they started counting. It was a great shock, and they were all crying and weeping; everybody tried, but the count was always nine—because nobody was counting himself.

Naturally, he would start counting, “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine….

My God, one has gone!” So they all were crying.

A woodcutter was watching all this drama and he said… he had never seen ten blind men together, in the first place. Second, what a stupid idea these people had. What was the need to cross the stream when it was so strong and flooded? And, above all, now they were counting, and crying and weeping for someone — they did not know who, but certainly someone had been taken away by the current. Watching them counting, he was simply amazed how was it possible that they were ten persons, but the count always came to nine?

Some help was needed, so he came down from his tree and he said, “What is the matter?”

They all said, “We have lost one of our friends. We were ten, and now we are only nine.”

The man said, “I can find your tenth man. You are right, you used to be ten, but there is a condition.”

They said, “We will accept any condition, but our friend….”

He said, “It is not a very big condition, it is a simple condition. I will hit on the first man’s head; he has to say “one.” Then I will hit on the second person’s head two times; he has to say “two.” Then I will hit on the third person’s three times; he has to say “three.” As many times as I hit, the person has to speak the number.”

They said, “If this is the way to find the lost friend, we are ready.”

So he enjoyed hitting very much, and he hit them in turn. When he had hit the tenth man ten times he said “ten.” All the nine said, “You idiot, where have you been?

Unnecessarily we have all been beaten! Where you have been hiding up to now?”

He said, “I was standing here, I was myself counting, and it always came to nine. This man seems to be a miracle man; he managed to find the tenth man.”

The story is significant for the simple reason that it has become our habit not to count ourselves. So when you are watching your thoughts, inside, you are not aware that there is a watcher too. When you are watching silence, you are not aware that you cannot watch silence if you are not there.

Chidvilas, you are asking, “A few days ago I heard you say that the voice speaking inside of us is always the mind, so I wonder who in me is hearing this voice?” Certainly I am not hearing it, and as far as I know nobody else is hearing it. You must be the guy who is hearing this voice. Everybody else has his own problem!

“When I try to find the answer I only find silence.” But then too the question arises: Who finds the silence? It is the same guy who was hearing the voice. His name is Chidvilas.

You have to become more subjective, more alert to yourself; we are always alert to everything around us.

Pat followed his friend Mike’s example and left Ireland to work in England. Though they had since lost contact, Mike had mentioned how easy it was to get a job at Whipsnade Open Zoo, so Pat applied. Unfortunately they had no keeper’s jobs available; there was not even the position of a sweeper vacant.

“But I tell you what, Pat,” the manager said, “the gorilla died a couple of days ago, and what is a zoo without a gorilla? But we have kept his pelt entire; now if you crawl into that skin and take over his enclosure, we will feed and house you, and pay you handsomely as well.”

Pat had a look over the lovely field that was the gorilla enclosure; he surveyed the comfortable gorilla house, and tested the bed provided. He agreed to take the job. Very soon Pat had become a great favorite with visitors to the zoo. Being a bit of an extrovert, he would always put on a good act,  tumbling, chest-thumping, and growling. But the climax of his performance was most popular. Whenever there was a good crowd, Pat would scale a large oak tree at the side of his enclosure where it adjoined the lion’s pen and pelt the lioness with acorns. The big-maned lion, in particular, would roar with rage and stamp about, and the crowd would roar with delight.

One public holiday a particularly large crowd had gathered, and Pat was aloft and reaching the peak of his performance. He had just finished off the acorn pelting with a bit of chest-thumping when the branch he was balanced on broke; he fell to the ground at the lion’s feet. Pat jumped up, shouting for help, and was about to scarper when the lioness whispered, “Hold your tongue Pat, do you want to lose us the best jobs we have ever had?”

Here, everybody has different skins only; inside is the same consciousness. Whether you are hearing a voice, or you are hearing silence, remember more about yourself—who is the watcher? Who is the witness?

In every experience, when you are angry, when you are in love, when you are in greed, when you are in despair, it is the same key: just watch—are you really in danger, or are you only a witness. Here we are, just sitting. Deep down, who are you? Always a witness.

Whatever happens on the outside, you may be young, you may be old, you may be alive, you may be dead—whatever happens on the outside, inside is the same witness.

This witness is our truth. This witness is our ultimate reality, our eternal reality. So all your work is concerned with shifting your focus from the object to the subject.

Don’t be bothered about anger, or silence, or love. Be concerned about whom all this is happening to, and remain centered there. This centering will bring you the greatest experience of your life. It will make you a superman.

-Osho

From The Golden Future, Discourse #3

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.

The Eternal Present – Jean Klein

The “eternal present”, our theme in these meetings, lies within the depth of ourselves. It is the eternal awareness of the self.

Seen from the Ultimate, the world projected by the mind appears and disappears, in other words, it “becomes”. When we talk of time and space, it must be thoroughly understood that their reality is relative, it is a reality in the world of becoming. But beyond space- time is that stillness which knows no becoming.

If the background is to be revealed, first of all we must ask the essential question: “Who Am I?”

When we say “I”, we are identical with the background and this “I” expresses our most intimate self. Each time we say “I think”, “I see”, “I hear”, we qualify it. We associate the “I”, the subject, with an object of consciousness, with which we identify ourselves. But if we manage to keep the “I” clear of this identification, then appears the Self, the non-dual, everlasting, un changeable reality.

I would like the questions put during these talks to be spontaneous, not elaborated. This spontaneity comes if you adopt an attitude of true listening to yourself.

We obviously have to make use of language, as we use words, to remain open and to transcend them and feel out the ideas in their true reality, beyond the verbal plane. The hearer may then experience a genuine reaction enabling him to put questions which are truly pertinent.

The path which is here advocated is the direct path. Its process is the elimination of the known, since the experience of the Self, of our true nature, is for the moment unknown to us. The Self can only be described negatively since no positive concept, no part of anything we know, can be applied to it. All thoughts are fragmentations which place us in duality; they set themselves before the Self, thus making unitive knowledge impossible.

It is therefore by discarding the known, that is to say our thoughts, perceptions and emotions, that integration with the ultimate “I”, the everlasting present, is possible. The man who experiences this return, who has broken down the limitations set up by the ego, ceases to be tormented by desire and fear. He is in no way diminished by the loss of his individuality; he knows himself to be “out of time”. Only such a timeless “I” is entitled to say: “I am”.

Whether thoughts appear or not, the eternal Presence remains, transcending the three states (waking, dreaming and deep sleep). Nothing can cause the Sage to return to the level of duality. He is established in an undifferentiated state where the Atman, having realized its identity with the Brahman, shines its own light.

-Jean Klein

From Be Who You Are, pp. 29-30

Self-consciousness is Not Consciousness of the Self – Osho

For years I am most of the time witnessing and I feel like it is a disease. So is it that there are two kinds of witnessing and mine is wrong? Tell me.

It must be wrong; otherwise it cannot be felt like a disease. Self-consciousness is not consciousness of the self, and there is the problem. Consciousness of the self is totally different. It is not self-consciousness at all; in fact, self-consciousness is a barrier for consciousness of the self. You can try to watch, observe with a very self-conscious mind. That is not awareness; that is not witnessing, because this will make you tense. […]

If you are continuously thinking in terms of the ego, then even your witnessing will become a disease, then your meditation will become a disease, then your religion will become a disease. With the ego everything, becomes a disease. The ego is the great inconvenience in your being. It is like a thorn in the flesh; it goes on hurting. It is like a wound.

So, what to do? The first thing, when you are trying to watch, the first thing that Patanjali says is: concentrate on the object and don’t concentrate on the subject. Start from the object – dharana, concentration. Look at the tree, and let the tree be there. You forget yourself completely; you are not needed. Your being there will be a continuous disturbance in the experience of the greenery, of the tree, of the rose. You just let the rose be there. You become completely oblivious of yourself – you focus on the rose. Let the rose be there: no subject, just the object. This is the first step of samyama.

Then the second step: drop the rose, drop the emphasis on the rose. Now emphasize consciousness of the rose – but still no subject is needed, just the consciousness that you are watching, that there is watching.

And only then can the third step be taken, which will bring you close to what Gurdjieff calls self-remembering, or Krishnamurti calls awareness, or the Upanishads call witnessing. But first the two steps have to be fulfilled; then the third comes easy. Don’t start doing the third immediately. First the object, then the consciousness, then the subject.

Once the object is dropped and the emphasis on the consciousness is no longer a strain, the subject is there but there is no subjectivity in it. You are there but there is no “I” in it, just being. You are, but there is no feeling that “I am.” That confinement of “I” has disappeared; only amness exists. That amness is divine. Drop the “I” and just be that amness. […]

-Osho

Excerpt from Secrets of Yoga, Discourse #10, Q3 (Previously titled Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.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.

Meditation, an Experiment with Death – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our morning session of meditation is now over.

-Osho

From And Now and Here, Discourse #2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

There is no Easy Solution – Annamalai Swami

Q: Sometimes everything is so clear and peaceful. There are times when it is easy to look at the workings of the mind and see that what Swami says is true. At other times no amount of effort makes any impression on our chaotic minds.

A.S.: Whenever we are in a meditative state, all is clear. Then vasanas which have previously been hidden within the mind arise and cover this clarity. There is no easy solution to this problem.

You have to keep up the inquiry, ‘To whom is this happening?’ all the time. If you are having trouble, remind yourself: ‘This is just happening on the surface of my mind. I am not this mind or the wandering thoughts.’ Then go back to the inquiry ‘Who am I?’ By doing this you penetrate deeper and deeper and become detached from the mind. This will only come about after you have made an intense effort.

If you already have a little clarity and peace, when you make the inquiry ‘Who am I?’ the mind sinks into the Self and dissolves, leaving only the subjective awareness ‘I-I’.

Bhagavan explained all this to me in great detail when I was going for his darshan between 1938 and 1942.

From Living by the Words of Bhagavan, p. 350, David Godman