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

Explore the Body-Mind – Jean Klein

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

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

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

-Jean Klein

From The Book of Listening, pp. 177-178

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

 

A Symphony of Fireflies

New River

A few weeks ago, Amido and I were camping on the bank of the New River in New River State Park, North Carolina, and in the early morning I stepped out of the tent for a sitting meditation and was surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of lightning bugs. In this show of twinkling light I realized the tremendous potential in these strange days of COVID-19.

In these times, unprecedented in our lives, we are faced with both a challenge and an opportunity for deepening our meditation.

It is a challenge for many reasons. The most obvious is that it has disrupted our routines. If we had ongoing gatherings for meditation, they have come to a standstill for the most part. And it is also a challenge because of all the distractions that this pandemic has created. We are bombarded with not just the news but also sharings from our friends giving advice and, in some cases, creating confusion as to what course of action we should take. As we get engulfed in the maelstrom of information overload, we may very well overlook the one sure way to bring some clarity and peace into our lives, which is meditation.

But this time has also presented some unique opportunities. First of all, the sheer magnitude of chaos helps remind us of the tools that we already have at hand. As sannyasins we are extremely fortunate to be more prepared than most for such a calamity. We remember the sweetness and joy of a good sit and are inspired to spend more time with our old friend, meditation.

So the suggestion that we stay at home, shelter in place, have minimal contact with others, gives us all the more opportunity to experiment, to explore our inner world. Perhaps in the past we had become accustomed to meditating with friends, in person, in groups. And now that door is not open. But even though we may not be able to go to our usual gatherings because of this pandemic, there are hundreds of opportunities that didn’t exist before but are now available. So many Zoom meditation meetings have sprung up. Many of the Osho meditation centers are offering weekly meditations online. Our local Osho Meditation Atlanta Meetup group is hosting daily meditations, and others are offering a variety of activities.

So, whatever your heart’s desire concerning meditation, music, Osho active meditation, silent sitting – all are available online. And I was surprised to discover how intimate these online meetings can be.

In our O-Meditation Sangha weekly meditation meetings on Saturdays, we have decided to focus on Osho’s The Book of Secrets (Vigyan Bhairav Tantra) and Osho’s meditation of witnessing. The meetings are approximately two hours in length with an Osho discourse and satsang meditation. It is sometimes astounding how profound the silence of here and now can reach. We have a group of regular attendees, but the meditation is open to everyone.

These are only a sampling of what is available for us to rekindle (if necessary) our lamp of meditation. It sometimes brings tears to my eyes when I hear or read our friends referring to “those good old days of Pune or Rajneeshpuram” as if the best days were behind us.

Osho has left us with the greatest gift possible, the gift of being able to come out of this chaos of the mind. And surely it is more important than ever to be able to slip out for some time every day and make contact with the heart, with the whole, with existence in its majesty. Osho has left us such a treasure trove of doors with which to enter into meditation. He created unique active meditations to jumpstart our inner journey. He gave us 80 discourses on Shiva’s 112 meditation techniques in The Book of Secrets, which contain approaches for every conceivable type of human being to enter meditation. And He simplified and made accessible the sometimes-mysterious subject of meditation into its very core, witnessing.

And, for me, the greatest door to meditation is that of witnessing, watching whatever appears, witnessing that which is. First, by watching the body, watching the activities of the body, watching with a two-pointed awareness each and every act I take – walking on the road, drinking a cup of tea, making love, being angry at a customer service representative in a foreign country, taking a shower – all without judging myself, without analyzing.

Second, I have found that by witnessing the wild gyrations of thought, watching the thoughts pass by without judging, without analyzing, without rejecting, and without grasping, I see the difference between thinking and watching thought. I experience existentially how I feel differently with thinking and with watching, and it becomes my own experience.

As I move to witnessing the heart more deeply, I can sometimes allow every mood, every feeling, every repressed emotion to expose itself without judging, without analyzing, without choosing. Watching, without choosing the ones I like and rejecting the ones I don’t, I can allow all to appear, and remain the watcher. And it is in this “seeing” without acting that the identification with my impressions begins to lessen. I don’t know about you, but I find that I forget thousands of times and find myself drawn back into the fray, but with each return my meditativeness is enhanced, and the patterns or ruts of conditioning are filled in. The washboard surface begins to be smoothed out.

Slowly, slowly as my awareness begins to dis-identify with all that it is not – body, mind, and heart – it begins to become aware of being aware, simple Awarefulness.

Recently I came across Osho saying:

Unless something becomes a crystallized experience in your life, it is going to be lost – you will have to start from the very beginning. There will be a little difference, and that will be that in your unconscious a shadow of your past life, a faraway echo – as if you have seen something – will remain. (The Golden Future, Discourse #2)

I think this includes meditation. So, we are fortunate to have this time for a reboot, a time to reenergize, to deepen. Not only do we have more time at home in which to do this, but the world around us makes the invitation to meditation even more alluring. And for many of us, this opportunity couldn’t come too soon. Years are passing by, and one by one many of our loved ones, comrades in dance and celebration, are disappearing into the night.

So, yes, we are fortunate to have a reprieve, to have this reminder and the space in which to rekindle our own individual inner lights. There are many doors with which to enter meditation, but we need to walk through them.

As I was sitting along the river watching the fireflies dance, I imagined sannyasins with their inner flames alight dancing in the darkness of the night, each with their individual lights shining. And what at first appeared as chaos, revealed itself to be a symphony, a symphony of fireflies.

May our inner flame illuminate the way

from darkness to light,

from unconsciousness to consciousness,

from becoming to being.

And from the outer body to the inner body to no body,

from the many to the one and beyond.

Om shanti, shanti, shanti.

-purushottama

This article is published in the Viha Connection Newsletter, November/December 2020.

If you would like to join in our online meditation meetings here is the information:

Osho Dhamma and the Art of Awarefulness

O-Meditation Sangha is hosting Osho discourse, meditation and dialog weekly online meditation meetings on Saturdays from (4-6 PM EDT, New York/1-3 PM PDT, San Francisco/9-11 PM, London GMT+1). These are offered free of charge.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81208323098…

Zoom meeting ID: 812 0832 3098

Passcode: devalayam

In these meetings we will explore and experiment with Osho’s The Book of Secrets (Vigyana Bhairava Tantra) meditation techniques and Osho’s meditation of witnessing.

You can also find many more online meditation meetings at Osho Meditation Atlanta.

Turning Inward Toward the Real – Osho

Civilization is a training in how to become unreal. Tantra is the reverse process – how to prevent yourself from becoming unreal, and if you have already become unreal, how to touch the reality which is hidden within you, how to contact it again, how to be again real. The first thing to be understood is how we go on becoming unreal, and once this process is understood many things change immediately. The very understanding becomes mutation.

Man is born undivided. He is neither a body nor a mind. He is born undivided, as one individual. He is both body and mind. Even to say that he is both is wrong. He is body-mind. Body and mind are two aspects of his being, not two divisions – two polarities of something which we may call life, energy or anything – X,Y,Z – but body and mind are not two things.

The very process of civilization, education, culture, conditioning, starts with the division. Everyone is taught that he is two, not one, and then, of course, one begins to be identified with the mind and not with the body. The very thinking process becomes your center and the thinking process is just a periphery. It is not the center because you can exist without thinking. Once you existed without thinking: thinking is not a necessity to exist. If you go deep in meditation you will be, and there will be no thinking. If you become unconscious you will be, but there will be no thinking. Moving into deep sleep you will be, but there will be no thinking. Thinking is just on the periphery; your being is somewhere else – deeper than thinking. But you are being taught continuously that you are two, body and mind, and that, really, you are the mind and you possess the body. The mind becomes the master and body becomes the slave, and you go on struggling against the body. This creates a rift, a gap, and that gap is the problem. All neurosis is born out of that gap; all anxiety is born out of that gap.

Your being is rooted in your body, and your body is not just something separate from existence. It is part of it. Your body is the whole universe. It is not something limited, finite. You may not have observed it, but try to observe where your body really ends – where! Do you think that your body ends where your skin ends?

If the sun which is so far away just goes dead, instantly you will be dead here. If the sun rays stop coming, you will be no more here. Your body cannot exist without the sun being there so far away. The sun and you are somehow deeply related. The sun must be included in your body; otherwise you cannot exist. You are part of its rays.

In the morning you see flowers open: their opening is really the rising of the sun. In the night they will close: their closing is the setting of the sun. They are just rays that are spread out. You exist here because there, so far away, the sun exists. Your skin is not really your skin. Your skin goes on spreading; even the sun is included. You are breathing: you can breathe because the air is there, the atmosphere is there. Each moment you exhale and inhale the atmosphere in and out.

If for a single moment there were no air, you would be dead. Your breath is your life. If your breath is your life, then the whole atmosphere is part of you. You cannot exist without it. So where does your body really end? Where is the limit? There is no limit! If you observe, if you go deep, you will find there is no limit. Or, the limit of the universe is your body limit. The whole universe is involved in you, so your body is not just your body; it is your universe and you are grounded in it. Your mind too cannot exist without the body. It is part of it, a process of it.

Division is destructive, and with the division you are bound to become identified with the mind. You think, and without thinking there is no division. You think, and you become identified with your thinking. Then you feel as if you possess the body. This is a complete reversal of the truth. You do not possess the body; neither is the body possessing you. They are not two things. Your existence is one, a deep harmony of opposite poles. But opposite poles are not divided, they are joined together. Only then can they become opposite poles. And the opposition is good. It gives challenge, it gives stamina, it creates energy. It is dialectical.

If you were really one, without opposite poles within, you would be dull and dead. These two opposite poles, body and mind, give you life. They are opposite and at the same time complementary – and basically and ultimately one. One current of energy runs in both. But once we get identified with the thinking process, we think that we are centered in the head. If your legs are cut, you will not feel that you are cut. You will say, “My legs are cut.” But if your head is cut, you are cut. You are murdered.

If you close your eyes to feel where you are, immediately you will feel you are in your head. You are not there – because when for the first moment you entered life in your mother’s womb, when the male and female atoms met, there was no head. But life was started. You were there, and there was no head. In that first meeting of two alive cells, you were created. The head came later on, but your being was there. Where is that being? It is not in your head. Really, it is nowhere – or everywhere in your body. It is nowhere; you cannot pinpoint where it is. And the moment you pinpoint it you miss the whole thing. It is everywhere. Your life is everywhere, it is spread out all over you. And not only all over you; if you follow it, you will have to go to the very ends of the universe. It is everywhere!

With the identification that “I am my mind,” everything becomes false. You become unreal because this identity is false. This has to be broken. Tantra techniques are to break down this identity. The effort of tantra is to make you headless, uncentered, everywhere or nowhere. And why does humanity, why do human beings become false and unreal with the mind? Because mind is an epiphenomenon – a process which is necessary, useful, but secondary; a process which consists of words, not of realities. The word ‘love’ is not love; the word ‘god’ is not God. But mind consists of words, of a verbal process, and then love itself becomes less significant than the word ‘love’. For the mind, the word is more significant. God becomes less significant than the word ‘God’. For the mind it is so. Words become more meaningful, significant. They become primary, and we start living in words. And the more you live in words the more shallow you become, and you will go on missing the reality which is not words. Reality is existence.

Living in the mind is as if someone is living in a mirror. In the night, if you go to a lake and the lake is silent and there are no ripples, the lake becomes a mirror. You can look at the moon in the lake, but that moon is false – just a reflection. The reflection comes from the real, but the reflection is not real. Mind is just a reflecting phenomenon. The reality is reflected in it, but reflections are not real. And if you get caught in reflections, you will miss reality completely. That is why, with the mind, with mind reflections, everything wavers. A slight wave, a slight wind, will disturb your mind. Reality is not disturbed, but the mind is disturbed by anything. Mind is a reflecting phenomenon, and we are living in mind.

Tantra says come down. Descend from your thrones, come down from your heads. Forget the reflections and move towards the reality. All the techniques which we are discussing are concerned with this: how to be away from the mind so that you can move into reality.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #35

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.