Your House is on Fire – Osho

I have heard one anecdote. In a conservative party rally, Lord Mancroft was invited to speak. He came right on time, reached the rostrum and said to the public – he was looking a little flustered – he said, ‘Forgive me for shortening my speech a little, but the fact is that my house is on fire.’ And that fact is everybody’s fact. Your house is also on fire, but you don’t even seem a little flustered. Everybody’s house is on fire, but you are not aware – not aware of death, not aware that your life is just passing through your hands. Every moment you are dying, every moment you are losing an opportunity which cannot be regained. The time that is lost, is lost: nothing can be done to regain it, and your life becomes shorter and shorter every moment.

This is what I mean when I say that your house is also on fire. But you don’t seem even a little flustered. You don’t even seem to be worried about it. You are not aware of the fact that the house is on fire. The fact is there, but your attention is not there. And everybody thinks that there is enough time to do something. There is not enough time, because whatsoever has to be done is so much that the time is never enough.

Once it happened that the Devil was waiting for years and years and nobody was coming to hell. He was waiting to welcome people, but the earth was running so well and people were so good that no one was coming to hell. Of course he became very worried. He called an emergency council. His greatest disciples gathered together to discuss the situation. Hell was passing through a great crisis and this could not be tolerated. Something had to be done. So he asked for advice: ‘What should we do?’

One disciple suggested, ‘I would go to the earth and I would talk to people and try to convince them that there is no God and religions are false, and whatsoever the Bible, the Koran and the Vedas say is nonsense.’

The Devil said, ‘This won’t do, because we have been doing this since the very beginning and it has not influenced people very much. Through such teaching you can convince only those who are already convinced. So it is of no use; it is not of much use.’

Then the second disciple, subtler than the first, said, ‘I will go and teach people and try to convince people that whatsoever the Bible, the Koran and the Vedas say is right. There is heaven, there is God, but there is no Devil and no hell, so don’t be afraid. And if we can make them less afraid, they will not bother about religion at all, because all religion is based on fear.’

The Devil said, ‘Your proposal is a little better. You may be able to, you may succeed in convincing a minority, but the majority will not listen to you. They are not as much afraid of hell as they are greedy of heaven. Even if you convince them that there is no hell, they will still want to enter into heaven, and they will try to be good for that. So this also won’t do much.’

Then the third disciple, the subtlest of them all, said, ‘I have an idea. Give me a chance to try it. I will go and say that whatsoever religion says is absolutely true – there is God and there is Devil and there is heaven and there is hell – but there is no hurry.’

And the Devil said, ‘Right? You have the right system. You go!’

And it is said that since then there has never been a crisis in hell. Rather, they are worried about the over-population.

This is how our minds are functioning: we always think there is no hurry. These techniques we are talking about will be of no use if your mind thinks there is no hurry. Then you can go on postponing and death will come first. That day will not come when you think there is a hurry, when you think that now the moment has come. You can go on postponing. This is what we have been doing with our lives.

You have to be decisive to do something. You are in a crisis – the house is on fire. Life is always on fire because death is always there hidden behind it; any moment and you may not be any more.

And you cannot argue with death. You cannot do anything. When death happens, it happens. Time is very short. Even if you live for seventy years or for a hundred years, it is very short. What you have to do with yourself to transform, to mutate, to become a new being, is such a great work. Don’t go on postponing.

Unless you feel it as an emergency, a deep crisis, you will not do anything. Unless religion becomes a very critical process for you, and you feel that unless something is done to transform you, your whole life is just wasted…. If you feel this very keenly and deeply and honestly, only then will these techniques be of any help. Because you can understand them – understanding is of no use unless you do something about it. Really, unless you do something about it, you have not understood them, because understanding must become action. If it is not becoming action then it is only  acquaintance, not understanding.

Try to understand this distinction. Acquaintance is not understanding. Acquaintance will not force you to actions. It will not force you to any change. It will not force you to do something about it. You will gather it in the mind; it will become information. You will become more knowledgeable. But at death everything stops. You go on collecting many things, never doing anything about them. They become just a burden on you.

Understanding means action. When you understand a thing, immediately you start working on it, because if it is right and you feel it is right, you have to do something about it. Otherwise everything remains borrowed, and borrowed knowledge cannot become understanding. You can forget that it is borrowed – you would like to forget that it is borrowed, because to feel that it is borrowed means that your ego is hurt. So you go on forgetting that it is borrowed. By and by you start feeling that it is your own. That is very dangerous.

I have heard an anecdote. The congregation of a church was very bored by the minister. A point came when the members of the church said directly to the minister, ‘Now you have to leave.’ The minister said, ‘Give me one more chance, only one chance, and if then you say so, I will leave.’ So next Sunday the whole town gathered in the church to see what that minister was going to do now that only one chance was given to him. They never suspected, they never imagined, that such a beautiful sermon was going to be delivered on that day. They had never heard such a thing. Surprised, delighted, they enjoyed it, and when the sermon was finished, they gathered around the minister and they said, ‘You need not leave. You remain here. We have never heard such a thing before – never in our lives. Be here and remain here, and of course, with an increase in your stipend.’

But then one man, a very prominent member of the congregation, asked, ‘Tell me one thing only. When you started your lecture, you raised your left hand with two fingers raised, and when you closed your lecture you raised your right hand, again with two fingers raised. So what is the meaning of this symbol? The minister said, ‘The meaning is easy. Those fingers are symbolic of quotation marks. That sermon was not mine – it was borrowed.’

Always remember those quotation marks. It is very good to forget them, you feel good, but all that you know is within quotation marks; it is not your own. And you can drop those quotation marks only when something has become your own experience.

These techniques are to change knowledge into experience. These techniques are to change acquaintance into understanding. That which belongs to a Buddha or to a Krishna or to a Christ, through these techniques can belong to you – that can become your own. And unless it becomes your own, no truth is true. It may be a grand lie, a beautiful lie, but no truth is true unless it becomes your experience – individually, authentically your own.

Three things. First: always remember that your house is on fire. Second: don’t listen to the Devil. He will constantly say to you that there is no hurry. And thirdly: remember, acquaintance is not understanding.

Whatsoever I am saying here will make you acquainted. It is needed, but it is not enough. It starts you on a journey, but it is not the end. Do something so that knowledge doesn’t remain knowledge, doesn’t remain as memory, but becomes your experience and your life.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #61

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.

 

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.

The Fire of Awareness – Osho

When I become more and more aware, my attention develops and there remains a feeling that I exist, I am present, I am aware. Please explain how this feeling can be dissolved into an egoless state of just awareness. 

This is again a supposed question. When I become more and more aware, my attention develops and there remains a feeling that I exist, I am present, I am aware.

This never happens, because as awareness grows, the I decreases. In full awareness, you are, but there is no sense that I am. In words, at the most, this can be said – that you feel a subtle amness, but there is no I.

You feel existence, and you feel it in abundance, a fulfilled moment, but the I is not there. You cannot feel I exist; you cannot feel I am present; you cannot feel I am aware. That I is part of unawareness, inattention; part of your sleeping state. It cannot exist. It cannot exist when you are really alert and aware and conscious.

This is how supposed questions can arise. You can go on thinking about them, and nothing will be solved. If this happens – that you feel I am; I am aware – then you only have to note one thing, and that is that you are not alert, you are not aware. Then these feelings – I am aware, I am conscious, I exist – these are thoughts, you are thinking them. They are not realized moments. You can think I am aware; you can go on repeating I am aware – that will not do. Awareness is not this repetition. And when you are aware, there is no need to repeat I am aware. You are simply aware; the I is no more.

Try awareness. Right now, be alert. Where is the I? You are – rather, you are more intensely – but where is the I, the ego? In the very intensity of consciousness, the ego is no more. Later on, when you lose awareness and thinking starts, you can feel I am, but in the moment of awareness there is no I. Right now, experience it. Silently you are here, you can feel your presence, but where is the I? The I never arises. It arises only when retrospectively you think. When you lose awareness the I arises immediately.

Even if for a single moment you can experience simple awareness, you are, and the I is not there. When you lose awareness, when the moment has slipped, gone, and you are thinking, the I comes back immediately. It is part of the thought process. The very concept of I is a thought, it belongs to thinking. I am is a thought.

When you are alert and there is no thought, how can you feel that I am? The amness is there – but that too is not a thought, it is not thinking. It is there existentially; it is a fact. But you can turn the fact into thinking immediately, and you can think about this gap that existed where there was no I. And the moment you think, the I has come back. With thinking, the ego enters – thinking is the ego. With no-thinking, the ego is not. 

So, whenever you want to ask a question, first make it existential. Before giving me the question, test whether whatsoever you are asking is relevant or not. Such questions look relevant, just verbally, but they are like this: I say that the light has been put on, and then I ask, ‘The light has been put on and still the darkness remains, so what is to be done with darkness?’ The only thing is that the light is still off, it has not been put on, otherwise how can the darkness remain? And if the darkness is there, then the light is not there. And if the light is there, then the darkness is not there. They cannot be both together.

Awareness and the ego cannot be together. If awareness has come on, if it is there, the ego has disappeared. This is simultaneous; there is not even a single second’s gap. The light is on and the darkness has disappeared. It is not that it disappears by and by, in steps, gradually. You cannot see it going outside; you cannot say that now the darkness is going out.

The light is there, and the darkness is immediately not there. There is not a single moment’s gap, because if there is a gap then you can see darkness moving out. And if there is a single moment’s gap, then there is no reason why there can’t be a gap of one hour. There is no gap. The act is simultaneous. Really, the coming of the light and the going out of the darkness are two aspects of one phenomenon.

The same happens with awareness: when you are aware, the ego is not. But the ego can go on playing tricks, and the ego can say, ‘I am aware.’ The ego can say, ‘I am aware,’ and can befoul you. Then the question will arise. And the ego wants to accumulate everything, even awareness. The ego not only wants wealth, power, and prestige; it wants meditation also, it wants samadhi also, it wants enlightenment also.

The ego wants everything. That which is possible must be possessed. The ego wants to possess everything – even meditation, samadhi, nirvana. So, the ego can say, ‘Now I have achieved meditation,’ and then the question will arise. The meditation has been achieved, the awareness has come, but the ego remains, the misery remains. The whole burden of the past remains. Nothing changes.

The ego is a very subtle braggart. Be aware of it. It can deceive you. And it can use words, it can verbalize things. It can verbalize anything, even nirvana.

I have heard that once it happened that two butterflies were winging their way through the canyons of New York. Just passing near the Empire State Building, the male butterfly said to the female, ‘You know, if I wanted to, just with one blow I could cause this Empire State Building to collapse.’

One wise man happened to be there who heard this remark, so he called that male butterfly and asked, ‘What were you saying? You know very well that you cannot cause that Empire State Building to collapse with a single blow. You know it well, there is no need to tell you, so why did you say such a thing?’

The male butterfly said, ‘Excuse me, sir. I am very sorry. I was just trying to influence my girlfriend.’

The wise man said, ‘Don’t do it,’ and dismissed the butterfly. 

The male butterfly went back to his girlfriend. Of course, the girl friend asked, ‘What was the wise guy saying to you?’

So, the male braggart said, ‘He begged me and said, “Don’t do it!” He was so afraid, trembling, nervous. He had heard that I was going to cause this Empire State Building to collapse, so he said, “Don’t do it.”’

The same is happening continuously. Those words were uttered by the wise man with a very different meaning. He meant, ‘Don’t say such things,’ but the ego exploited him. Your ego can exploit anything, it is deeply cunning. And it is so experienced in cunning – experiences of millennia – that you cannot even detect where the cunning enters.

People come to me and they say, ‘The meditation has happened. Now what to do about my worries?’ This is how the ego goes on playing tricks – and they are not even aware of what they are saying. ‘The meditation has happened; the kundalini has arisen – so what to do? The worries still continue.’

Your mind wants to believe things, so without doing anything you go on believing, deceiving – wish fulfillments. But the reality doesn’t change by your wish-fulfillments: the worries continue. You can deceive yourself; you cannot deceive the worries. They will not just disappear because you say, ‘The meditation has happened and the kundalini has arisen, and now I have entered the fifth body.’ Those worries will not even hear what you are saying. But if meditation really happens, where are the worries? How can they exist in a meditative mind?

So, remember this: that when you are aware, you are, but you are not the ego. Then you are unlimited, then you are infinite expanse, but with no center. There is no focused feeling of I; just unfocused existence, beginning nowhere, ending nowhere – just infinite sky. And when this I disappears, automatically the you disappears, because the you can exist only in reference to the I. I am here; that’s why you are there. If this I disappears from me, you are no more there. You cannot be. How can you exist?

I don’t mean that you will not be there bodily, that you will not be there physically. You will be there as you are, but for me, you cannot be you. The you is meaningful in reference to my I; my I creates the you. One part disappears; the other disappears for me. Then simple existence is there; all the barriers have dissolved. With the ego disappearing, the whole existence becomes one. The ego is the divider – and the ego exists because you are inattentive. The fire of awareness will destroy it.

Try it more and more. Suddenly become alert. Walking on the street, immediately stop, take a deep breath, become alert for a moment. And when I say alert, I mean simply alert of whatsoever is happening – the traffic noise, people passing and talking, everything that is all around. Simply become alert. You are not there in that moment: existence is and the beauty of it.

Then the traffic noise doesn’t appear to be noise, it doesn’t look like a disturbance, because there is no one to resist it and fight it. It simply comes to you and passes; it is heard and heard no more. It comes and passes. There is no barrier against which it can strike. It cannot make a wound in you, because all wounds are made in the ego. It will pass. There will be no barrier to it on which it can strike; there will be no fight, no disturbance.

Remember this: the noise on the street is not the disturbance. When the noise of the street struggles against you, when you have a fixed notion that it is a disturbance, it becomes disturbance. When you accept it, it comes and passes. And you are simply bathed by it; you come out of it more fresh. And nothing tires you then. The only tiring thing, that which goes on dissipating your energy, is this resistance which we call the ego.

But we never look at it in this way. The ego has become our life, the very gist of it. Really, there is no ego. If I say to someone…. Many times, it happens. If I say to someone to dissolve this ego, immediately he stares at me as if with the question, the nude question, that ‘If ego is dissolved, then where is life? Then I am no more’.

I have heard that one very great politician, a big leader of a country, was asked, ‘You must be getting tired. The whole day, wherever you move, there is a crowd of autograph seekers.’

That politician, that leader said, ‘It almost kills me – but this is only half of the truth.’ He must have been a very rare, honest man. He said, ‘It almost kills me – but almost. If there was no one seeking my autograph, it would kill me completely. This continuous crowd almost kills me, but the other thing would be more dangerous. It would kill me completely if there was no one to ask for my autograph.’

So howsoever tiring the ego, howsoever wearing, you still feel it is life, and if the ego is not there, you feel life will disappear from your mind. You cannot conceive how life can exist without you, without there always being a reference point of I. It is logical in a way, because we have never lived without it. We have lived through it, we have lived around it; we know only one type of life, which is based on ego. We don’t know any other life.

And because we have lived through it, we have not been really able to live. We are simply struggling to live, and the life never happens to us, it just by-passes us. It is always just in the reach, in the hope – just tomorrow, the next moment, and we will be living. But it never comes, it is never achieved. It always remains a hope and a dream – but we go on moving. And because it is not coming, we move fast. That too is logical: if life is not happening to us, the mind can think only one thing – that we are not moving fast enough. So, make hurry, be in a speed.

Once it happened that one of the great scientists, T.H. Huxley, was going to deliver a talk somewhere in London. He came to the station, to the suburban station, but the train was late, so he jumped into a cab and told the driver, ‘Hurry! Go at top speed!’

They were racing fast, when suddenly he realized that he had not given the address. But then he also remembered that he had himself forgotten the address. So he asked the driver, ‘Cabby, do you know where I am supposed to be going?’

He said, ‘No, sir. But I am going as fast as possible.’

This is happening. You are going as fast as possible. Where are you moving? Why are you moving? What is the destination? – the hope that someday life will happen to you. And why is it not happening right now? You are alive – why is it not happening right now? Why is the nirvana always in the future, always in the tomorrow? Why is it not today? And the tomorrow never comes – or whenever it comes it will always be the today and you will miss again. But we have lived only in this way. We know only one dimension of living – this so-called living we are already living – just dead, not alive at all, just pulling together anyhow, just waiting.

With the ego it will always remain a waiting – and a hopeless waiting. You can do it fast, you can make haste, but you will never reach anywhere: just by hurrying you will dissipate energy and you will die. And you have done that so many times. You have always been in a hurry, and in that hurry dissipating energy, and then only death comes and nothing else. You are hurrying for life, and only death comes and nothing else. But the mind, because it is accustomed to only one dimension, because it has known only one way – which is not even a way, but just appears to be a way – will say that if there is no ego, where is life?

But I say to you, if there is ego, there is no possibility of life, only promises. The ego is a perfect promise-maker. It goes on promising you. And you are so unaware – no promise is ever fulfilled, but again you believe. When the new promises are given, you again believe.

Look back! The ego promised many things, and nothing has been achieved through it. All the promises have fallen down. But you never look back, you never compare. When you were a child there were promises for youth: life will be there when you are young. Everyone was saying it, and you also were hoping that when you become young, all that was to happen would happen. Now those days have passed, the promise remains unfulfilled, but you have forgotten. You have forgotten the promise, you have forgotten that is has not been fulfilled. It is so painful to look at it that you never look at it.

Now you hope for the old age – that in old age the sannyas will flower, the meditation will happen to you. Then the worries will be over: your children will have gone to the college, and everything will have become established. Then there will be no responsibility on you. Then you will be able to seek the divine. Then, in the old age, the miracle is going to happen. And you will die unfulfilled.

It is not going to happen, because it never happens in the hope, it never happens with the hope. It never happens with the promise of the ego. It can happen right now. It can only happen right now. But then a very intense awareness is needed, so that you can throw all the promises, and all the hopes, and all the future programs, and all the dreams, and look directly here and now at what you are.

In that returning to yourself – your consciousness not moving somewhere ahead but returning to yourself – you become a circle of consciousness. This moment becomes eternal. You are alert and aware. In that alertness, in that awareness, there is no I; simple existence, simple being. And simplicity comes out of that awareness.

Simplicity is not a loin-cloth, simplicity is not living in poverty, simplicity is not becoming a beggar. Those are very complex and very cunning things, very calculated. Simplicity is born when you have achieved a simple existence where no I exists. Out of that, simplicity arises; you become humble. Not that you practice it, because a practiced simplicity can never be simplicity. A practiced humbleness is just a hidden ego.

It happens: if you can be aware, it starts flowing through you. You become humble; not against the ego, because a humbleness against the ego is again a different sort of ego – a more subtle ego and more dangerous, more poisonous. It is humbleness as the absence of ego; not as the opposite of the ego, just the absence. The ego has disappeared. You have come to yourself and known that there is no ego: simplicity arises, humbleness arises – they simply flow. You have not done anything for them; they are by-products – by-products of intense awareness.

So, this type of question is foolish. If you feel that you are aware and still the I remains, know well that you are not aware. Make effort to be aware. And this is the criterion: when you are aware, the I is not; when you are aware, the I is not; when you are aware, the I is not found there. This is the only criterion.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #54, Q2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt The Fire of Awareness.

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.

Take Your Destiny in Your Hands – Osho

In the natural course, after millions of years and lives, one will be enlightened. But we might have already passed through millions of years and lives and yet are not enlightened. Why?

You cannot ask why. You can ask why only if you are doing something. If nature is doing something you cannot ask why; it is up to nature. And nature is not responsible; it is not going to answer you. It is completely silent. And for nature, millions of lives are nothing; for nature it may be just seconds. To you, millions of lives and years is a long history; for nature it is nothing. Nature is not worried, and nature is not interested in you particularly. Nature goes on working – someday it will happen, but you cannot ask why, because nature is silent.

If you are worried about why it has not happened yet, then you have to do something. If worry has entered you, then you have to do something. Only your doing will help you to come to a point where enlightenment can happen. Nature’s ways are very patient, slow. There is no hurry, because for nature there is no limit to time. It is eternal. There is no beginning and no end. But man has come to a point: he has become conscious; he has started asking.

A tree never asks – even the Bodhi tree under which Buddha became enlightened. The tree will never ask, ‘Why have I not become enlightened? – because I have also been existing for as many millions of years as you have existed, Gautam. Why?’ The tree will never ask. The tree is absolutely natural. The questioning makes man unnatural. The unnatural has entered in you: you have started questioning why – why it has not happened yet.

This questioning is good, because it can lead you to a decisive moment where you can start working upon yourself. And man cannot leave it to nature, because man has become conscious. You cannot leave it to nature now. That’s why man has created religions. No animal has any religion. There is no need: they are not asking; they are not in a hurry. In nature everything is unhurried – moving so slowly as if not moving at all; continuously repeating the same pattern, infinitely repeating the same circle.

Man has become conscious. Man has become conscious of time, and the moment you become conscious of time, you are thrown out of eternity. Then you are in a hurry. So as man’s consciousness evolves more, he is more hurried, he becomes more and more time conscious. Go to a primitive society: they are not time conscious. The more civilized a society, the more time conscious. A primitive society is nearer nature: unhurried, it moves slowly. Just as nature moves, it moves. The more you become civilized, the more you become conscious of time. Really, time can be the criterion: how civilized a society is can be known by how time conscious it is. Then you are in a hurry, then you cannot wait, then you cannot leave it to nature. You have to take it in your own hands.

And man can take it in his own hands: he can do something and the process can be finished sooner. It can even be finished in a single moment. All that millions of years have not done, have not been able to do, you can do in a single moment. In that single moment you can become so intense that millions of years and millions of lives are traveled simultaneously.

That’s possible – because it is possible you are worried. Your worry is a symptom that something which is possible you are not making actual – that is the worry, that is the human dilemma. You can do it and you are not doing it – that creates an inner worry, anguish. When you cannot do it the question never arises, there is no worry. The worry shows that it is possible now that you can jump – many lives which are unnecessary you can just by-pass – and you are not by-passing. You have become conscious, and you have come above nature.

Consciousness is a new phenomenon. You have come above nature and now you can consciously evolve. Conscious evolution is revolution. You can do something about it. You are not just a victim, not just a puppet. You can take your destiny in your hands. That is possible, and because it is possible and you are not doing anything, it creates inner anxiety. And the more you become aware that this is possible, the more the anxiety will be felt.

A Buddha is very worried; you are not so worried. Buddha was very worried, in deep anguish, suffering. Unless he attained, he would live in hell, because he was perfectly aware that something was absolutely possible, was just at hand, just by the corner, and he felt, ‘Still I am missing it. If I just stretch my hand it will happen – and my hand is paralyzed. Just a step and I will be out of it – and I cannot take that step. I am afraid of taking a jump.’

When you are near the goal, and you can feel it and you can see it and still you go on missing, then you feel anguish. When you are very far away and you cannot feel it, you cannot see it, you are not even aware that there is a goal, you are perfectly unaware of any destiny, then there is no anxiety. Animals are not in anguish. They appear happy – happier then man. What is the reason? Trees are even more happy than animals. They are perfectly unaware of what can happen, of what is possible, of what is just near at hand. They are blissfully unaware. There is no anxiety. They drift. Man becomes anxious, and the greater a man, the more anxiety will be there.

If you simply live, you are living an animal existence. Religious anguish arises the moment you become aware that something is possible – The seed is there and I have to do something. I have to do something and the seed will sprout. The flowers are not very far away, and I can reap this crop’ – but still nothing is happening. A very impotent state is felt.

That was the Buddha’s condition before he became a Buddha. He was just on the verge of committing suicide. You will have to pass through that. And you cannot leave it to nature; you have to do something about it – and you can do. And the goal is not very far.

So don’t be depressed if you feel anxiety. If you feel a very tense anguish within you, a suffering, agony, don’t feel depressed about it – that’s a good sign. That shows you are becoming more and more aware of that which is possible, and now you will never be at ease unless it becomes actual.

Man cannot leave it to nature because man has become conscious. Only a very minor part of his being is conscious, but that changes everything. And unless your total being becomes conscious, you cannot know again the simple happiness of the animal or of the trees. There is only one way to know it now: to become more and more alert, more and more aware, and more and more conscious. You cannot regress. There is no process for going back; no one can go back. You can either remain where you are and suffer, or you have to go forward and go beyond suffering. You cannot go back.

Total unconsciousness is blissful, total consciousness is blissful – and you are in between. A part of you has become conscious, and the major part of you is still unconscious. You are divided. You have become two, you are not one. The integration is lost. Animals are integrated and then saints are integrated. Man is disintegrated: a part remains animal and a part has become saintly. There is a struggle, conflict, and whatsoever you do you can never do with one heart.

So there are two ways. One is just to deceive yourself – that is to become totally unconscious again. You can take drugs, you can take alcohol, you can take intoxicants – you fall back to the animal world. You drug the part that has become conscious; you become totally unconscious. But this is a temporary deception; you will arise again. The effect of the chemical will be lost and your consciousness will become conscious again. The part which you have forcibly suppressed with alcohol or drugs or something else will arise again, and then you will feel more suffering, because then you can compare. You will feel more suffering.

You can go on drugging yourself. There are many methods – not only chemical. There are religious methods. You can use a japa, a mantra: you can chant it and create an intoxicating effect. You can do many things which can make you unconscious again, but that is going to be temporary, you will have to come out – and you will come out with a deeper suffering with you, because then you will be able to compare. If in unconsciousness this is possible, what will be possible in total consciousness? You will become more hungry for it, you will feel more starved.

Remember one thing: totality is bliss. If you are unconscious totally then too it is bliss, but you are not aware of it. Animals are happy but they are not aware of their happiness. So it is futile. It is just like when you are asleep you are happy, and whenever you are awake you are unhappy. Totality is bliss.

You can be total in consciousness also. Then there will be bliss and you will be perfectly aware of it. This is possible through sadhana, through methods, through practicing techniques which increase your consciousness. You are not enlightened because you have not done anything for it, but you have become aware that you are not enlightened. This has been done by nature; in millions of years nature has made you aware.

You may not be aware of the fact that man has stopped growing as far as body is concerned. We have skeletons that are millions of years old, but there is no visible change; they are similar to our skeletons. So for millions of years there has been no growth in the body, it has remained the same. Even the brain has not grown; it has remained the same. As far as body is concerned, evolution has done whatsoever could have been done. In a sense, man is now responsible for his own growth. And the growth is not going to be of the physical; the growth is going to be of the spiritual.

The skeleton of a Buddha and your skeleton are not basically different, but you and Buddha are absolutely different. Evolution is working horizontally; methods, techniques, religions, they work vertically. Your body has stopped: it has come to a point, an omega point. Now there is no further growth for it. Horizontally, evolution has stopped; now a vertical evolution starts. Now, wherever you are, you have to take a jump vertically. That vertical evolution will be of consciousness, not of body. And you are responsible for it.

You cannot ask nature why, but nature can ask you why you are not enlightened yet, because everything is provided now. Your body has all that which is needed; you have a Buddha’s body. Exactly whatsoever is needed for the buddha to happen to you, you have got. Only a new arrangement, a new synthesis of all the elements that are given, and the buddha will happen to you. Nature can ask you why you are not enlightened yet, because nature has provided you with everything.

And nature asking you will not be irrelevant, but you asking nature is absurd. You cannot be allowed to ask. Now you are aware and you can do something. All the elements are given to you. The hydrogen is there, the oxygen is there, the electricity is there; you have to just make certain efforts and experiments and the water will happen.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #58, Q2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Take Your Destiny in Your Hands.

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.

A Small and Momentary Gap – Osho

How is it possible that by simply becoming aware at a particular point in the breathing process one can attain enlightenment? How it is possible to become free from the unconscious by just being aware of such a small and momentary gap in the breathing?

This question is significant, and this question is likely to have occurred to many minds, so many things have to be understood. First, it is thought that spirituality is a difficult attainment. It is neither: that is, it is neither difficult nor an attainment. Whatsoever you are, you are already spiritual. Nothing new is to be added to your being, and nothing is to be discarded from your being; you are as perfect as possible. It is not that you are going to be perfect sometime in the future, it is not that you have to do something arduous to be yourself. It is not a journey to some other point somewhere else; you are not going somewhere else. You are already there. That which is to be attained is already attained.

This idea must go deep, only then will you be able to understand why such simple techniques can help. If spirituality is some attainment, then of course it is going to be difficult – not only difficult, but really impossible. If you are not already spiritual, you cannot be, you never can be, because how can one who is not spiritual be spiritual? If you are not divine already then there is no possibility, there is no way. And no matter what effort you will make, effort made by one who is not already divine cannot create divinity. If you are not divine, your effort cannot create divinity. Then it is impossible.

But the whole situation is totally opposite: you are already that which you want to attain. The end of longing is already there, present in you. Here and now, this very moment, you are that which is known as divine. The ultimate is here; it is already the case. That is why simple techniques can help. It is not an attainment, but a discovery. It is hidden, and it is hidden in very, very small things.

The persona is just like clothes. Your body is here, hidden in clothes; in the same way your spirituality is here, hidden in certain clothes. These clothes are your personality. You can be naked just here and now, and in the same way you can be naked in your spirituality also. But you do not know what the clothes are. You do not know how you are hidden in them; you do not know how to be naked. You have been in clothes so long – for lives and lives and lives you have been in clothes – and you have been so identified with the clothes, that now you do not think that these are clothes. You think these clothes are you. That is the only barrier.

For example, you have some treasure, but you have forgotten or you have not yet recognized that this is a treasure, and you go on begging in the streets… you are a beggar. If someone says, “Go and look inside your house. You need not be a beggar, you can be an emperor this very moment,” the beggar is bound to say, “What nonsense you are talking. How can I be an emperor this very moment? I have been begging for years and still I am a beggar, and even if I go on begging for lives together, I am not going to be an emperor. So how absurd and illogical your statement is, ‘You can be an emperor this very moment.’”

It is impossible. The beggar cannot believe it. Why? Because the begging mind is a long habit But if the treasure is just hidden in the house, then from simple digging, removing the earth a little bit, the treasure will be there. And immediately he will not be a beggar again, he will become an emperor. It is the same with spirituality: it is a hidden treasure. Nothing is to be achieved somewhere in the future. You have not yet recognized it, but it is there already in you. You are the treasure, but you go on begging.

So simple techniques can help. Digging the earth, removing a little bit, is not a big effort, and you can become an emperor immediately. You have to dig a little bit to remove the earth. And when I say remove the earth; it is not only symbolically that I am saying it. Literally your body is part of the earth, and you have become identified with the body. Remove this earth a little bit, create a hole in it, and you will come to know the treasure.

That is why this question will occur to many. Really, to everyone this question will occur: “So small a technique like this – being aware of your breathing, being aware of the incoming breath and the outgoing breath, and then realizing the interval between the two – is this enough?” Such a simple thing! Is this enough for enlightenment? Is this the only difference between you and Buddha, that you have not realized the gap between two breaths and Buddha has realized it – only this much? It seems illogical. The distance is vast between a Buddha and you. The distance seems infinite. The distance between a beggar and an emperor is infinite, but the beggar can immediately become an emperor if the treasure is already hidden.

Buddha was a beggar like you; he was not a buddha always. At a particular point the beggar died, and he became the master. This is not a gradual process really; it is not that Buddha goes on accumulating and then one day he is not the beggar and he becomes the emperor. No, a beggar can never become an emperor if it is going to be an accumulation, he will remain a beggar. He may become a rich beggar, but he will remain a beggar. And a rich beggar is a bigger beggar than a poor beggar.

Suddenly, one day Buddha realizes the inner treasure. Then he is no more a beggar, he becomes a master. The distance between Gautam Siddharth and Gautam Buddha is infinite. It is the same distance that is between you and a buddha. But the treasure is hidden within you as much as it was hidden in Buddha.

Take another example…. One man is born with blind eyes, diseased eyes. For a blind man, the world is a different thing. A small operation may change the whole thing, because only the eyes have to be made all right. The moment the eyes are ready, the seer is hidden behind and he will begin to look from the eyes. The seer is already there, only windows are lacking. You are in a house with no windows. You can break a hole in the wall, and suddenly you will look out. We are already that which we will be, which we should be, which we are to be. The future is already hidden in the present; the whole possibility is here in the seed. Only a window has to be broken, only a small surgical operation is needed. If you can understand this, that spirituality is already there, already the case, then there is no problem concerning how such a small effort can help.

Really, no big effort is needed. Only small efforts are needed, and the smaller the better. And if you work effortlessly it is still better. That is why it happens, many times it happens, that the more you try, the harder it is to attain. Your very effort, your tension, your occupiedness, your longing, your expectation, becomes the barrier. But with a very small effort, an effortless effort as they call it in Zen – doing as if not doing – it happens easily. The more you are mad after it, the less is the possibility, because where a needle is needed you are using a sword. The sword will not be helpful. It may be bigger, but where a needle is needed a sword will not do.

Go to a butcher – he has very big instruments. And go to a brain surgeon: you will not find such big instruments with the brain surgeon. And if you do find them, then escape immediately! A brain surgeon is not a butcher. He needs very small instruments – the smaller the better.

Spiritual techniques are more subtle; they are not gross. They cannot be, because the surgery is even more subtle. In the brain the surgeon is still doing something with gross matter, but when you are working on spiritual planes the surgery becomes more and more aesthetic. No gross matter is there. It becomes subtle – that is one thing.

Secondly, the questioner asks, “If something is smaller, how can a bigger step be possible through it?” This concept is irrational, unscientific. Now science knows that the smaller the particle, the more atomic, the more explosive – the bigger really. The smaller it is, the bigger the effect. Could you have conceived before 1945, could any imaginative poet or dreamer have conceived that two atomic explosions would wipe out completely two big cities in Japan – Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Two hundred thousand people were simply wiped out of existence within seconds. And what was the explosive force used? An atom! The very smallest particle blew up two big cities. You cannot see the atom. Not only with your eyes can you not see, you cannot see by any means. The atom cannot be seen with any instrument; we can only see the effects.

So do not think that the Himalayas are bigger because they have such a big body. The Himalayas are just impotent before an atomic explosion. One small atom can wipe out the whole Himalayas. Size in gross material is not necessarily power. On the contrary, the smaller the unit, the more penetrating. The smaller the unit, the more intensely it is filled with power.

These small techniques are atomic. Those who are doing bigger things do not know atomic science.

You will think that a person who is working with atoms is a small person working with small things, and a person who is working with the Himalayas will look very big. Hitler was working with great masses; Mao is working with great masses. And Einstein and Planck, they were working in their laboratories with small units of matter – energy particles. But ultimately, before Einstein’s research politicians were just impotent. They were working on a bigger canvas, but they did not know the secret of the small unit.

Moralists always work on big planes, but these are gross. The thing looks very big. They devote their whole lives to moralizing, practicing this and that, to sanyam – control. They go on controlling; the whole edifice looks very big.

Tantra is not concerned with this. Tantra is concerned with the atomic secrets in the human being, in the human mind, in human consciousness. And tantra has achieved atomic secrets. These methods are atomic methods. If you can attain them, their result is explosive, cosmic.

Another point is to be noted. If you can say, “How is it that with such a small, simple exercise one can become enlightened?” you are saying this without doing the exercise. If you do it, then you will not say that this is a small, simple exercise. It looks this way because within two or three sentences the whole exercise has been given.

Do you know the atomic formula? Two or three words, and the whole formula is given. And with those two or three words, those who can understand, those who can use those words, can destroy the whole earth. The formula is very small.

These too are formulas, so if you just look at the formula it will look to be a very, very small, simple thing. It is not! Try to do it. When you do it, then you will know that it is not so easy. It looks simple, but it is one of the deepest things. We will analyze the process; then you will understand.

When you take your breath in, you never feel the breath. You have never felt the breath. You will immediately deny this. You will say, “This is not right. We may not be conscious continuously, but we feel the breath.” No, you do not feel the breath, you feel the passage.

Look at the sea. Waves are there; you see the waves. But those waves are created by air, wind. You do not see the wind; you see the effect on the water. When you take breath in it touches your nostril. You feel the nostril, but you never know the breath. It goes down – you feel the passage. It comes back – again you feel the passage. You never feel the  breath, you just feel the touch and the passage.

This is not what is meant when Shiva says, Be aware. First you will become aware of the passage, and when you have become completely aware of the passage, only then will you begin, by and by, to be aware of the breath itself. And when you become aware of the breath, then you will be capable of being aware of the gap, the interval. It is not as easy as it looks.

For tantra, for all seeking, there are layers of awareness. If I embrace you, first you will become aware of my touch upon your body; not of my love, my love is not so gross. And ordinarily we never become aware of love. We are aware only of the body in movement. We know loving movements, we know non-loving movements – but we have never known love itself. If I kiss you, you become aware of the touch, not of my love; that love is a very subtle thing. And unless you become aware of my love the kiss is just dead, it means nothing. If you can become aware of my love, then only can you become aware of me, because that again is a deeper layer.

The breath goes in. You feel the touch, not the breath. But you are not even aware of that touch. If something is wrong, only then do you feel it. If you have some difficulty in breathing, then you feel it; otherwise you are not aware. The first step will be to be aware of the passage where breath is felt to be touching; then your sensitivity will grow. It will take years to become so sensitive that not the touch, but the movement of breath is known. Then, says tantra, you will have known prana – the vitality. And only then is there the gap where breath stops, where breath is not moving – or the center where the breath is touching, or the fusion point, or the turning where the breath, the ingoing breath, becomes outgoing. This will become arduous; then it will not be so simple.

If you do something, if you go into this center, only then will you know how difficult it is. Buddha took six years to come to this center beyond the breath. To come to this turning, he had a long, arduous journey of six years; then it happened. Mahavir was working on it for twelve years; then it happened. But the formula is simple, and theoretically this can happen this very moment – theoretically, remember. There is no barrier theoretically, so why should it not happen this very moment? You are the barrier. Except for you this can happen this very moment. The treasure is there; the method is known to you. You can dig, but you will not dig.

Even this question is a trick not to dig, because your mind says, “Such a simple thing? Don’t be a fool. How can you become a buddha through such a simple thing? It is not going to be.” And then you are not going to do anything, because how can this happen? Mind is tricky. If I say this is very difficult, the mind says, “This is so difficult it is beyond you.” If I say this is very simple, the mind says, “This is so simple that only fools can believe in it.” And mind goes on rationalizing things, always escaping from doing.

Mind creates barriers. It will become a barrier if you think this is so simple, or this is too difficult – then what are you going to do? You cannot do a simple thing, you cannot do a difficult thing. What are you going to do? Tell me! If you want to do a difficult thing, I will make it difficult. If you are going to do a simple thing, I will make it simple. It is both – it depends on how it is interpreted. But one thing is needed, that you are going to d0. If you are not going to “do” then the mind will always give you explanations.

Theoretically, it is possible here and now; there is no actual barrier. But there are barriers. They may not be actual, they may simply be psychological – they may just be your illusions – but they are there. If I say to you, “Do not be afraid – go! The thing that you are thinking is a snake is not a snake, it is just a rope,” still the fear will be there. To you it appears to be a snake.

So whatsoever I say is not going to help. You are trembling; you want to escape and run away. I say it is just a rope, but your mind will say, “This man may be in conspiracy with the snake. There must be something wrong. This man is forcing me toward the snake. He may be interested in my death, or something else.” If I try to convince you too much that this is a rope that will only show that I am somehow interested in forcing you toward the snake. If I say to you that theoretically it is possible to see the rope as a rope this very moment, your mind will create many, many problems.

In reality there is no dilemma; in reality there is no problem. There never has been, there never will be. In mind there are problems, and you look at reality through the mind; thus, the reality becomes problematic. Your mind works like a prison. It divides and creates problems. And not only that, it creates solutions which become deeper problems, because in fact there are no problems to be solved. Reality is absolutely unproblematic; there is no problem. But you cannot see anything without problems. Wherever you look, you create problems. Your “look” is problematic. I told you this breath technique; now the mind says, “This is so simple.” Why? Why does the mind say this is so simple?

When for the first time the steam engine was invented, no one believed it. It looked so simple – unbelievable. Just the same steam that you know in your kitchen, in your kettle, the steam running an engine, running hundreds and hundreds of passengers and such a load? The same steam that you are so well-acquainted with? This is not believable.

Do you know what happened in England? When the first train started, no one was ready to sit in it – no one! Many people were persuaded, bribed, they were given money to sit in the train, but at the last point they escaped. They said, “Firstly, steam cannot do such miracles. Such a simple thing as steam cannot do such miracles. And if the engine starts, that means that the devil is at work somewhere. The devil is running the thing, it is not the steam. And what is the guarantee that once the thing starts you will be capable of stopping it?”

No guarantee could be given because this was the first train. Never had it stopped before, it was only probable. There was no experience, so science could not say, “Yes it will stop.”

Theoretically it will stop… but the people were not interested in theories. They were interested if there was any actual experience of stopping a train: “If it never stops then what will happen to us who will be sitting in it?”

So twelve criminals from the jail were brought as passengers. Anyhow they were going to die, anyhow they were sentenced to death, so there was no problem if the train was not going to stop.

Then the mad driver who thought that it was going to stop, the scientist who had invented it and these twelve passengers who were anyhow going to be killed, they alone would all be killed. “Such a simple thing as steam,” they said at that time. But now no one says this, because now it is working and you know it.

Everything is simple – reality is simple. It seems complex only because of ignorance; otherwise everything is simple. Once you know it, it becomes simple. The knowing is bound to be difficult not because of reality, remember, but because of your mind. This technique is simple, but it is not going to be simple for you. Your mind will create difficulty. So try with it.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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.

If I Say Surrender You Ask How – Osho

Techniques are shortcuts, revolutions, but are not these against tao, swabhav, the nature?

They are. They are against tao, they are against swabhav. Any effort is against shabhav, tao; effort as such is against tao. If you can leave everything to swabhav, tao, nature, then no technique is needed, because that is the ultimate technique. If you can leave everything to tao, that is the deepest surrender possible. You are surrendering yourself, your future, your possibilities. You are surrendering time itself, all effort. This means infinite patience, awaiting.

If you can surrender everything to nature then there is no effort, then you don’t do anything. You just float. You are in a deep let-go. Things happen to you, but you are not making any effort for them – you are not even seeking them. If they happen, it is okay; if they don’t happen, it is okay – you have no choice. Whatsoever happens, happens; you have no expectations and of course, no frustrations.

Life flows by, you flow in it. You have no goal to reach, because with the goal effort enters. You have nowhere to go, because if you have somewhere to go, effort will come in; it is implied. You have nowhere to go, nowhere to reach, no goal, no ideal; nothing is to be achieved – you surrender all.

In this surrendering moment, in this very moment, all will happen to you. Effort will take time; surrender will not take time. Technique will take time; surrender will not take time. That’s why I call it the ultimate technique. It is a no-technique. You cannot practice it – you cannot practice surrender.

If you practice, it is not surrender. Then you are relying on yourself; then you are not totally helpless; then you are trying to do something – even if it is surrender, you are trying to do it. Then technique will come in, and with technique time enters, future enters.

Surrender is non-temporal; it is beyond time. If you surrender, this very moment you are out of time, and all that can happen, will happen. But then you are not searching for it, not seeking it; you are not greedy for it. You have no mind for it at all: whether it happens or not, it is all the same to you.

Tao means surrender – surrender to swabhav, to nature. Then you are not. Tantra and Yoga are techniques. Through them you will reach to swabhav, but it will be a long process. Ultimately after every technique you will have to surrender, but with techniques it will come in the end; with tao, in tao, it comes in the beginning. If you can surrender right now, no technique is needed, but if you cannot, and if you ask me how to surrender, then a technique is needed. So, rarely in millions and millions of men, one can surrender without asking how. If you ask ‘how’, you are not the right type who can surrender, because the ‘how’ means you are asking for a technique.

These techniques are for all those who cannot get rid of this ‘how’. These techniques are just to get rid of your basic anxiety about ‘how’ – how to do it. If you can surrender without asking, then no technique is needed for you. But then you would not have come to me, you could have surrendered any time, because surrender needs no teacher. A teacher can teach only technique.

When you seek, you are seeking technique; every seeking is a seeking for technique. When you go to someone and ask, you are asking for a technique, for a method. Otherwise there is no need to go anywhere. The very search shows that you have a deep need for technique. These techniques are for you. Not that without technique it cannot happen. It can happen, but it has happened to very few persons. And those few persons are also really not rare: in their past lives they have been struggling with techniques, and they have struggled so much with techniques that now they are fed up, they are bored. A saturation point comes when you have asked again and again ‘How? How? How? – and ultimately the ‘how’ falls. Then you can surrender.

In every way technique is needed. A Krishnamurti, he can say that no technique is needed – but this is not his first life. And he couldn’t have said this in his past life. Even in this very life many techniques were given to him, and he worked on them. You can come to a point through techniques where you can surrender – you can throw all techniques and simply be – but that too is through techniques.

It is against tao, because you are against tao. You have to be deconditioned. If you are in tao then no technique is needed. If you are healthy then no medicine is needed. Every medicine is against health. But you are ill; medicine is needed. This medicine will kill your illness. It cannot give you health, but if the illness is removed, health will happen to you. No medicine can give you health. Basically every medicine is a poison – but you have gathered some poison; you need an antidote. It will balance, and health will be possible.

Technique is not going to give you your divinity, it is not going to give you your nature. All that you have gathered around your nature it will destroy. It will only decondition you. You are conditioned, and right now you cannot take a jump into surrender. If you can take it, it is good – but you cannot take it. Your conditioning will ask, ‘How?’ Then techniques will be helpful.

When one lives in tao, then no yoga, no tantra, no religion is needed. One is perfectly healthy; no medicine is needed. Every religion is medicinal. When the world lives in total tao, religions will disappear. No teacher, no Buddha, no Jesus will be needed, because everyone will be a Buddha or a Jesus. But right now, as you are, you need techniques. Those techniques are antidotes.

You have gathered around yourself such a complex mind that whatsoever is said and given to you, you will complicate it. You will make it more complex, you will make it more difficult. If I say to you, ‘Surrender,’ you will ask, ‘How?’ If I say, ‘Use techniques,’ you will ask, ‘Techniques? Are not techniques against tao?’ If I say, ‘No technique is needed; simply surrender and God will happen to you,’ you will immediately ask, ‘How?’ – your mind.

If I say, ‘Tao is right here and now: you need not practise anything, you simply take a jump and surrender,’ you will say, ‘How? How can I surrender?’ If I give you a technique to answer your ‘how’, your mind will say, ‘But is not a method, a technique, a way, against swabhav, against tao? If divinity is my nature, then how can it be achieved through a technique? If it is already there, then the technique is futile, useless. Why waste time with the technique?’ Look at this mind!

I remember, once it happened that one man, a father of a young girl, asked composer Leopold Godowsky to come to his house and give an audition to his daughter. She was learning piano. Godowsky came to their house; patiently he heard the girl playing. When the girl finished, the father beamed, and he cried in happiness and asked Godowsky, ‘Isn’t she wonderful?’

Godowsky is reported to have said, ‘She is wonderful. She has an amazing technique. I have never heard anyone play such simple pieces with such great difficulty. She has an amazing technique. Playing such simple pieces with such great difficulty, I have never seen anyone do before!’

This is what goes on happening in your mind. Even a simple thing you will make complicated, you will make difficult for yourself. And this is a way of defense, this is a defense measure, because when you create difficulty you need not do it – because first the problem must be solved and then you can do it.

If I say surrender, you ask how. Unless I answer your ‘how’, how can you surrender? If I give you a technique, your mind immediately creates a new problem. ‘Why the technique? Swabhav is there, tao is there, God is within you, so why this endeavor, this effort?’ Unless this is answered, there is no need to do anything.

Remember, you can go on in this vicious circle continuously for ever and ever. You will have to break it somewhere and come out of it. Be decisive, because only with decision is your humanity born. Only with decision do you become human. Be decisive. If you can surrender, surrender. If you cannot surrender, then don’t create philosophical problems; then use some technique.

In both the ways the surrender will happen to you. If you can surrender right now, it is okay. If you cannot surrender, then pass through techniques – that training is needed. It is needed because of you, not because of swabhav, not because of tao. Tao needs no training. It is needed because of you. And the techniques will destroy you. You will die through the techniques, and the innermost nature will evolve. You have to be shattered completely. If you can shatter it in a jump – surrender. If you cannot, then piecemeal – through techniques work on it.

But remember one thing: your mind can create problems which are tricks – tricks to postpone, to postpone decision. If the mind is not settled, you don’t feel guilty. You feel, ‘What can I do? Unless something is absolute, clear-cut, transparent, what can I do?’ Your mind can create clouds around you, and your mind will not allow you to be transparent ever – unless you decide. With decision clouds disappear. Mind is very diplomatic, mind is political, and it goes on playing politics on you. It is very tricky, cunning.

I have heard, once Mulla Nasrudin came to visit his son and daughter-in-law. He had come for three days, but then he stayed for one week. Then the one week passed, and he stayed for one month. Then the young couple started worrying – how to get rid of the old man? So they discussed how to get rid of him, and they hit upon a plan.

The husband said, ‘Tonight you prepare soup, and I will say that there is too much salt in it, it cannot be eaten, it is impossible to eat. And you have to say that there is not enough salt in it. We will argue and we will start quarrelling, and then I will ask my father what his opinion is, what he says. If he agrees with me, then you get mad and tell him to go away. If he agrees with you, I will get sore and I will tell him to go away immediately.’

The soup was prepared, and as it was planned, they started quarrelling and arguing. And then the climax came. They were just on the verge of hitting each other and Nasrudin was sitting silently watching. And then the son turned towards him and said, ‘Pa, what do you say? Is there too much salt or not?’

So Nasrudin dipped his spoon in the soup, tasted it, meditated a moment upon the taste, and then said, ‘It suits me perfectly.’ He didn’t take any side. The whole plan was futile.

Your mind goes on working in this way. It will never take any side, because the moment you take a side, action has to be there. It will not take any side; it will go on arguing. It will never decide anything; it will be always in the middle. Whatsoever is said will be argued, but it will never become a decision. And you can argue ad infinitum; there is no end to it. Only decision will give you action, and only action will become transformation.

If you are really interested in a deep revolution within you, then decide – and don’t go on postponing. Don’t be too philosophical; that is dangerous. For a seeker it is dangerous. For one who is not seeking really but just passing time, it is good, it is a good game. Philosophy is a good game if you can afford it. But I don’t see that anyone can afford it because it is wasting time.

So be decisive. If you can surrender, then surrender. Then there is no ‘how’ to it. If you cannot, then practice some technique, because only then through technique will you come to a point where surrender will happen.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #58, Q1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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All 112 of Shiva’s meditation techniques (Vigyan Bhairava Tantra)

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The Deceptions of the Mind – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why is his own experience not of any value?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is why many times in deep meditation, when one comes nearer to this nothingness, one becomes afraid and starts trembling. One feels that one is going to die, one wants to escape from this nothingness back to the world. And many go back; then they never turn within again. As I see it, every one of you have tried in some life or other some meditative technique. You have been near to the nothingness, and then fear gripped you and you escaped. And deep in your past memories, that memory is there; that becomes the hindrance. Whenever you again think of trying meditation, that past memory deep down in your unconscious mind again disturbs you and says, “Go on thinking; do not do it. You have done it once.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mind creates hurdles because mind is afraid. It will give you many explanations as to why you are not doing meditation. Do not believe it. Go deep, find out the basic cause. Why does a person go on talking about food and yet never eat? What is the problem? The man seems mad!

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

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

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

Only a certain awakening is needed.

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

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

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

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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.

Surrender and 112 Meditation Techniques – Osho

On the path of surrender, how does the seeker come to the right technique out of one hundred and twelve methods? 

On the path of will there are methods – these one hundred and twelve methods. On the path of surrender, surrender itself is the method, there are no other methods – remember this. All methods are non-surrendering, because a method means depending on yourself. You can do something; the technique is there, so you do it. On the path of surrender, you are no more, so you cannot do anything. You have done the ultimate, the last: you have surrendered. On the path of surrender, surrender is the only method.

All these one hundred and twelve methods require a certain will; they require something to be done by you. You manipulate your energy, you balance your energy, you create a center in your chaos. You do something. Your effort is significant, basic, required. On the path of surrender only one thing is required – you surrender. We will go deep into these one hundred and twelve methods, so it is good to say something about surrender because it has no method.

In these one hundred and twelve methods there will be nothing about surrender. Why has Shiva not said anything about surrender? Because nothing can be said. Bhairavi herself, Devi herself, has reached Shiva not through any method. She has simply surrendered. So this must be noted. She is asking these questions not for herself, these questions are asked for the whole humanity. She has attained Shiva. She is already in his lap; she is already embraced by him. She has become one with him, but still she is asking.

So remember one thing, she is not asking for herself; there is no need. She is asking for the whole humanity. But if she has attained, why is she asking Shiva? Can she herself not speak to the humanity? She has come through the path of surrender, so she doesn’t know anything about method. She herself has come through love; love is enough unto itself. Love doesn’t need anything more. She has come through love, so she doesn’t know anything about any methods, techniques. That is why she is asking.

So Shiva relates one hundred and twelve methods. He also will not talk about surrender because surrender is not a method really. You surrender only when every method has become futile, when you cannot reach by any method. You have tried your best. You have knocked on every door and no door opens, and you have passed through all the routes and no route reaches. You have done whatsoever you can do, and now you feel helpless. In that total helplessness surrender happens. So, on the path of surrender there is no method.

But what is surrender and how does it work? And if surrender works, then what is the need of one hundred and twelve methods? Then why go into them unnecessarily? – the mind will ask. Then okay! If surrender works, it is better to surrender. Why go on hankering after methods? And who knows whether a particular method will suit you or not? And it may take lives to find out. So, it is good to surrender, but it is difficult. It is the most difficult thing in the world.

Methods are not difficult. They are easy; you can train yourself. But for surrender you cannot train yourself… no training! You cannot ask how to surrender; the very question is absurd. How can you ask how to surrender? Can you ask how to love?

Either there is love or there is not, but you cannot ask how to love. And if someone tells you and teaches you how to love, remember, then you will never be capable of love. Once a technique is given to you for love, you will cling to the technique. That is why actors cannot love. They know so many techniques, so many methods – and we are all actors. Once you know the trick how to love, then love will not flower because you can create a facade, a deception. And with the deception you are out of it, not involved. You are protected.

Love is being totally open, vulnerable. It is dangerous. You become insecure. We cannot ask how to love; we cannot ask how to surrender. It happens! Love happens, surrender happens. Love and surrender are deeply one. But what is it? And if we cannot know how to surrender, at least we can know how we are maintaining ourselves from surrendering, how we are preventing ourselves from surrendering. That can be known and that is helpful.

How is it that you have not surrendered yet? What is your technique of non-surrendering? If you have not fallen in love yet, then the real problem is not how to love. The real problem is to dig deep to find out how you have lived without love, what is your trick, what is your technique, what is your structure – your defense structure, how you have lived without love. That can be understood, and that should be understood.

First thing: we live with the ego, in the ego, centered in the ego. I am without knowing who I am. I go on announcing, “I am.” This “I-am-ness” is false, because I do not know who I am. And unless I know who I am, how can I say “I”? This “I” is a false “I”. This false “I” is the ego. This is the defense. This protects you from surrendering.

You cannot surrender, but you can become aware of this defense measure. If you have become aware of it, it dissolves. By and by, you are not strengthening it, and one day you come to feel, “I am not.” The moment you come to feel “I am not,” surrender happens. So try to find out whether you are. Really, is there any center in you that you can call your “I”?. Go deep down within yourself, go on trying to find out where is this “I”, where is the abode of this ego.

Rinzai went to his master and he said, “Give me freedom!” The master said, “Bring yourself. If you are, I will make you free. But if you are not, then how can I make you free? You are already free. And freedom,” his master said, “is not your freedom. Really, freedom is freedom from ‘you’. So go and find out where this ‘I’ is, where you are, then come to me. This is the meditation. Go and meditate.”

So the disciple Rinzai goes and meditates for weeks, months, and then he comes. Then he says, “I am not the body. Only this much I have found.” So the master says, “This much you have become free. Go again. Try to find out.” Then he tries, meditates, and he finds that “I am not my mind, because I can observe my thoughts. So the observer is different from the observed – I am not my mind.” He comes and says, “I am not my mind.” So his master says, “Now you are three-fourths liberated. Now go again and find out who you are.”

So he was thinking, “I am not my body. I am not my mind.” He had read, studied, he was well informed, so he was thinking, “I am not my body, not my mind, so I must be my soul, my atma.” But he meditated, and then he found that there is no atman, no soul, because this atma is nothing but your mental information – just doctrines, words, philosophies.

So he came running one day and he said, “Now I am no more!” Then his master said, “Am I now to teach you the methods for freedom?” Rinzai said, “I am free because I am no more. There is no one to be in bondage. I am just a wide emptiness, a nothingness.”

Only nothingness can be free. If you are something, you will be in bondage. If you are, you will be in bondage. Only a void, a vacant space, can be free. Then you cannot bind it. Rinzai came running and said, “I am no more. Nowhere am I to be found.” This is freedom. And for the first time he touched his master’s feet – for the first time! Not actually, because he had touched them many times before also. But the master said, “For the first time you have touched my feet.”

Rinzai asked, “Why do you say for the first time? I have touched your feet many times.” The master said, “But you were there, so how could you touch my feet while you were already there? While you are there how can you touch my feet?” The “I” can never touch anybody’s feet. Even though it apparently looks like it touches somebody’s feet, it is touching its own feet, just in a round-about way. “You have touched my feet for the first time,” the master said, “because now you are no more. And this is also the last time,” the master said. “The first and the last.”

Surrender happens when you are not, so you cannot surrender. That is why surrender cannot be a technique. You cannot surrender – you are the hindrance. When you are not, surrender is there. So you and surrender cannot cohabit, there is no coexistence between you and surrender. Either you are or surrender is. So, find out where you are, who you are. This inquiry creates many, many surprising results.

Raman Maharshi used to say, “Inquire ‘Who am I?’” It was misunderstood. Even his nearest disciples have not understood the meaning of it. They think that this is an inquiry to find out really “Who am I?” It is not! if you go on inquiring “Who am I?” you are bound to come to the conclusion that you are not. This is not really an inquiry to find out “Who am I?” Really, this is an inquiry to dissolve.

I have given many this technique, to inquire within “Who am I?” Then a month or two months later, they will come to me and say, “I have still not found ‘Who am I?’ The question is still the same; there is no answer.”

So I tell them, “Continue. Someday the answer will come.” And they hope that the answer will come. There is going to be no answer. It is only that the question will dissolve. There is not going to be an answer, that “You are this.” Only the question will dissolve. There will be no one to ask even “Who am I?” And then you know.

When the “I” is not, the real “I” opens. When the ego is not, you are for the first time encountering your being. That being is void. Then you can surrender; then you have surrendered. You are surrender now. So there can be no techniques, or only negative techniques like this inquiry into “Who am I?”

How does surrender work? If you surrender, what happens? We will come to understand how methods work. We will go deep into methods, and we will come to know how they work. They have a scientific basis of working.

When you surrender you become a valley; when you are an ego you are like a peak. Ego means you are above everyone else, you are somebody. The others may recognize you, may not recognize you – that is another thing. You recognize that you are above everyone. You are like a peak; nothing can enter you.

When one surrenders, one becomes like a valley. One becomes depth, not height. Then the whole existence begins to pour into him from everywhere. He is just a vacuum, just a depth, an abyss, bottomless. The whole existence begins to pour from everywhere. You can say God runs from everywhere to him, enters him from every pore, fills him totally.

This surrender, this becoming a valley, an abyss, can be felt in many ways. There are minor surrenders; there are major surrenders. Even in minor surrenders you feel it. Surrendering to a master is a minor surrender, but you begin to feel it because the master begins to flow into you immediately. If you surrender to a master, suddenly you feel his energy flowing into you. If you cannot feel energy flowing into you, then know well you have not surrendered even in a minor way.

There are so many stories which have become meaningless for us because we do not know how they happened. Mahakashyap came to Buddha, and Buddha just touched his head with his hand, and the thing happened. And Mahakashyap began to dance. So, Ananda asked Buddha, “What has happened to him? And I have been for forty years with you! Is he mad? Or is he just fooling others? What has happened to him? And I have touched your feet thousands and thousands of times.”

Of course, to Ananda, this Mahakashyap will either look like he is mad or as if he is just deceiving. He was with Buddha for forty years, but there was a problem. He was his elder brother, Buddha’s elder brother; that was the problem. When Ananda came to Buddha forty years before, the first thing he said to Buddha was this: “I am your elder brother, and when you will initiate me, I will become your disciple. So allow me three things before I become your disciple, because then I cannot demand. One, I will always be with you. Give me this promise, that you will not say to me, ‘Go somewhere else.’ I will follow you.

“Secondly, I will sleep in the same room where you sleep. You cannot say to me, ‘Go out.’ I will be with you like your shadow. And thirdly, if I bring anyone at any time, even at midnight, you will have to answer him. You cannot say, ‘This is not the time.’ And give me these three promises while I am still your elder brother, because once I become your disciple I will have to follow you. You are still younger than me, so give me these promises.”

So Buddha promised, and this became the problem. For forty years Ananda was with Buddha, but he could never surrender, because this is not the spirit of surrender. Ananda asked many, many times, “When am I going to attain?” Buddha said, “Unless I die, you will not attain.” And Ananda could attain only when Buddha died.

What happened to this Mahakashyap suddenly? Is Buddha partial – partial to Mahakashyap? He is not! He is flowing, constantly flowing. But you have to be a valley, a womb, to receive him. If you are above him, how can you receive? That flowing energy cannot come to you, it will miss you. So bow down. Even in a minor surrender with a master, energy begins to flow. Suddenly, immediately, you become a vehicle of a great force.

There are thousands and thousands of stories… just by a touch, just by a look, someone became enlightened. They do not appear rational to us. How is this possible? This is possible! Even a look from the master into your eyes will change your total being, but it can change only if your eyes are just vacant, valley-like. If you can absorb the look of the master, immediately you will be different.

So these are minor surrenders that happen before you surrender totally. And these minor surrenders prepare you for the total surrender. Once you have known that through surrender you receive something unknown, unbelievable, unexpected, never even dreamed of, then you are ready for a major surrender. And that is the work of the master – to help you in minor surrenders so that you can gather courage for a major surrender, for a total surrender.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #2

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.

Attention Between Eyebrows – Osho

Attention between eyebrows, let mind be before thought. Let form fill with breath essence to the top of the head and there shower as light.

This was the technique given to Pythagoras. Pythagoras went with this technique to Greece, and really, he became the fountainhead, the source of all mysticism in the West. He is the father of all mysticism in the West.

This technique is one of the very deep methods. Try to understand this: Attention between eyebrows… Modern physiology, scientific research, says that between the two eyebrows is the gland which is the most mysterious part of the body. This gland, called the pineal gland, is the third eye of the Tibetans – shivanetra: the eye of the Shiva, of the tantra. Between the two eyes there exists a third eye, but it is non-functioning. It is there, it can function any moment, but it does not function naturally. You have to do something about it to open it. It is not blind; it is simply closed.

This technique is to open the third eye.

Attention between eyebrows… Close your eyes, then focus both of your eyes just in the middle of the two eyebrows. Focus just in the middle, with closed eyes, as if you are looking with your two eyes. Give total attention to it.

This is one of the simplest methods of being attentive. You cannot be attentive to any other part of the body so easily. This gland absorbs attention like anything. If you give attention to it, both your eyes become hypnotized with the third eye. They become fixed; they cannot move. If you are trying to be attentive to any other part of the body it is difficult. This third eye catches attention, forces attention; It is magnetic for attention. So all the methods all over the world have used it. It is the simplest to train you in attention because not only are you trying to be attentive, the gland itself helps you; it is magnetic. Your attention is brought to it forcibly. It is absorbed.

It is said in the old tantra scriptures that for the third eye attention is food. It is hungry; it has been hungry for lives and lives. If you pay attention to it, it becomes alive. It becomes alive! The food is given to it. And once you know that attention is food, once you feel that your attention is magnetically drawn, attracted, pulled by the gland itself, attention is not a difficult thing then. One has only to know the right point. So just close your eyes, let your two eyes move just to the middle, and feel the point. When you are near the point, suddenly your eyes will become fixed. When it becomes difficult to move them, then know you have caught the right point. […]

Attention between eyebrows, let mind be before thought… If this attention is there, for the first time you will come to experience a strange phenomenon. For the first time you will see thoughts running before you; you will become the witness. It is just like a film screen: thoughts are running and you are a witness. Once your attention is focused at the third eye center, you become immediately the witness of thoughts.

Ordinarily you are not the witness, you are identified with thoughts. If anger is there, you become anger. If a thought moves, you are not the witness; you become one with the thought, identified, and you move with it. You become the thought; you take the form of the thought. When sex is there you become sex, when anger is there you become anger, when greed is there you become greed.

Any thought moving becomes identified with you. You do not have any gap between you and the thought.

But focused at the third eye, suddenly you become a witness. Through the third eye you become the witness. Through the third eye you can see thoughts running like clouds in the sky or people moving on the street.

You are sitting at your window looking at the sky or at people in the street; you are not identified. You are aloof, a watcher on the hill – different. Now if anger is there you can look at it as an object. Now you do not feel that you are angry. You feel that you are surrounded by anger – a cloud of anger has come around you – but you are not the anger. And if you are not the anger, anger becomes impotent, it cannot affect you; you remain untouched. The anger will come and go and you will remain centered in yourself. […]

This fifth technique is a technique of finding the witness. Attention between  eyebrows, let mind be before thought. Now look at your thoughts; now encounter your thoughts. Let form fill with breath essence to the top of the head and there shower as light. When attention is focused at the third eye center, between the two eyebrows, two things happen. One is, suddenly you become a witness.

This can happen in two ways. You become a witness and you will be centered at the third eye. Try to be a witness. Whatsoever is happening, try to be a witness. You are ill, the body is aching and painful, you have misery and suffering, whatsoever – be a witness to it. Whatsoever is happening, do not identify yourself with it. Be a witness, an observer. Then if witnessing becomes possible, you will be focused in the third eye.

The vice versa is the case also. If you are focused in the third eye, you will become a witness. These two things are part of one. So the first thing: by being centered in the third eye there will be the arising of the witnessing self. Now you can encounter your thoughts. This will be the first thing. And the second thing will be that now you can feel the subtle, delicate vibration of breathing. Now you can feel the form of breathing, the very essence of breathing. […]

By being focused in the third eye, suddenly you can observe the very essence of breath – not breath, but the very essence of breath, prana. And if you can observe the essence of breath, prana, you are at the point from where the jump, the breakthrough happens. […]

When you are focused in the third eye, just imagine that the essence of prana is showering from the top of the head, just as if you are sitting under a tree and flowers are showering, or you are just under the sky and suddenly a cloud begins to shower, or you are just sitting in the morning and the sun rises and rays begin to shower. Imagine, and immediately there is a shower – a shower of light falling down from the top of your head. This shower recreates you, gives you a new birth. You are reborn.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #5

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Attention Between Eyebrows.

Osho’s Book of Secrets Meditations

All 112 of Shiva’s meditation techniques (Vigyan Bhairava Tantra)

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.

At the Start of Sneezing be Uninterruptedly Aware – Osho

At the start of sneezing, during fright, in anxiety, above a chasm, flying in battle, in extreme curiosity, at the beginning of hunger, at the end of hunger, be uninterruptedly aware. 

It looks so simple: at the start of sneezing, during fright, in anxiety or before hunger or after hunger, be uninterruptedly aware. 

Many things have to be understood. Very simple acts like sneezing can be used as devices, because howsoever simple they look, they are very complex, and the inner mechanism is a very delicate thing. Whenever you feel that a sneeze is coming become alert, and the sneeze may not come at all. It may simply disappear, because a sneeze is a non-voluntary thing – unconscious, non-voluntary.

You cannot sneeze voluntarily; you cannot “will” it. How can you? How helpless man is! You cannot “will” a single sneeze. Howsoever you may try, you cannot bring it out. A single sneeze – such a small thing, but you cannot will it. It is non-voluntary; volition is not needed. It does not happen because of your mind; it is because of your total organism, your total body.

And the second thing: when you become alert, when the sneeze is coming – you cannot bring it, but when it is coming – if you become alert, it may not come, because you are bringing something new to the process: the alertness. It may disappear, but when the sneeze disappears and you are alert, there is a third thing. First, a sneeze is non-voluntary. You bring in a new thing – alertness. When the alertness comes, the sneeze may not come. If really you are alert, it will not; it may not happen at all. Then a third thing happens. The energy that was going to be released through a sneeze, where does it move? It moves to your alertness. Suddenly there is a flash, a lightning. You become more alert. The energy, that was going to be thrown by the sneeze moves into alertness. Suddenly you become more alert.

In that flash, in that lightning, even enlightenment is possible. That is why I say that these matters are so simple, they look absurd. Their promise seems to be too much. Just through sneezing, how can one become enlightened? But sneezing is not just sneezing; you are totally involved in it.

Whatsoever you do or whatsoever happens to you is a total involvement. Observe again: whenever a sneeze happens, you are totally in it with the whole body, the whole mind. It is not just your nose in which the sneeze is happening; every fiber, every cell of your body is involved in it. A subtle trembling, a subtle wavering goes all over the body, and with it the whole body becomes concentrated. And when the sneeze has happened, the whole body relaxes. But it is difficult to bring alertness to it. If you bring alertness to it, it will not happen, and if it happens you can know that the alertness was not there. That is why you should be alert.

At the start of sneezing…, because if it has started, nothing can be done. The arrow has gone; you cannot change it now. The mechanism has started. The energy is on its way to being released, it cannot be stopped. Can you stop a sneeze in the middle? How can you stop it in the middle? By the time you are ready, it has already happened. You cannot stop it in the middle.

Just at the beginning, become alert. The moment you feel the sensation that it is coming, become alert. Close your eyes and be meditative. Bring your total consciousness to the focus just where you are feeling the sensation of an oncoming sneeze. Just at the beginning, remain alert. The sneeze will disappear, and the energy will be transformed into more alertness. And because in the sneeze the whole body is involved, the whole mechanism is involved – it is a release mechanism and you are alert at this moment – there will be no mind, there will be no thought, no meditation.

In a sneeze, thinking stops. That is why so many people like snuff. It unburdens them, their minds feel more relaxed because for a moment thinking stops. Snuff gives them a glimpse of no-thinking. Through snuff, when the sneeze comes, they are not minds, they become bodies. The head disappears for a single moment, but it feels good.

If you become habituated to snuff, it is very difficult to leave it. It is more penetrating a habit than smoking; smoking is nothing before it. It penetrates more deeply, because smoking is conscious and sneezing is unconscious. To leave snuff is more difficult than to leave smoking. And smoking can be changed, substitutes can be found – but there is no substitute for snuff, because, really, sneezing is a very unique phenomenon in the body.

The only other thing that can be compared and which has been compared is the sex act. Those who think in terms of physiology, they say that the sex act is just sneezing through the sex organ – and the similarity is there. It is not one hundred percent right because much more is involved in sex, greater things are involved in it. But in the beginning, just in the beginning, the similarity is there.

Something is thrown out from the nose and you feel relieved, and something is thrown out from the sex organ and you feel relieved. And both are non-voluntary. You cannot move into sex with will. If you try, you will be a failure – particularly men, because man’s sex organ has to do something. It is active. You cannot “will” its act, and if you try, then the more you try, the more it will be impossible.

It can happen, but you cannot make it happen. Because of this, in the West sex has become a problem. This half century in the West sex knowledge has developed, and everyone has become so conscious about it that the sex act is becoming more and more impossible.

If you are alert, sex will be impossible. If a man is alert while making love, the more he is alert, the more it will be difficult. He will not be able to get an erection. It cannot be willed, and if you will it you will lose it. The same method, the same technique, can be used in sex. Just in the beginning, when you feel the sensation of an erection just coming to you but it has not yet come, you just feel the vibration, become alert. The vibration will be lost, and the same energy will move into alertness.

Tantra has used this. It has tried in many ways. A beautiful naked woman will be there just as an object for meditation, and the seeker, the meditator, will sit before the nude woman meditating on her body, her form, her proportions, just waiting for the first sensation in his sex center. The moment the sensation is there, he will close his eyes. He will forget the woman. He will close his eyes, and he will become alert of the sensation. Then sex energy is being transformed into alertness.

He is allowed to meditate on the nude woman only up to the point when the sensation is felt. When he has to close his eyes and move to his own sensation and become alert there, the same as is done in sneezing. And why does this flash happen? Because mind is not there. The basic thing is that if the mind is not there and you are alert, you will have satori, you will have the first glimpse of samadhi.

Thought is the barrier. So if thought disappears in any way, the thing will happen. But thought must disappear; only then is alertness there. Thought can disappear even in sleep; thought can disappear when you go unconscious; thought can disappear when you take some drug. Thought disappears, but then there is no alertness to be aware of the phenomenon that is hidden behind thought. So I define meditation as thoughtless consciousness. You can become thoughtless and unconscious; then there is no meaning. You can be conscious with thought; you are already that.

Bring these two things together – consciousness and thoughtlessness. When they meet, meditation happens, meditation is born. And you can try with very small things because nothing is really small. Even a sneeze is a cosmic phenomenon. In existence, nothing is great and nothing is small. Even a minute atom can destroy the whole world, and even a sneeze, a very atomic phenomenon, can transform you.

So don’t see things as small or big. There is nothing small and nothing big. If you have the penetrating eye, then very small things are vital. Between atoms universes are hidden, and between the universe and an atom you cannot say which is great and which is small. Even a single atom is a universe in itself, and the greatest universe is nothing but atoms. So don’t think in terms of great and small. Just try. Don’t say, “What can happen in a sneeze? I have been sneezing the whole life, and nothing has happened.”

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #41

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Also see Follow the Sneeze IN

Osho’s Book of Secrets Meditations

All 112 of Shiva’s meditation techniques (Vigyan Bhairava Tantra)

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.