Be Like a Hollow Bamboo – Osho

Now we will enter into the sutra.

Do nought with the body but relax; shut firm the mouth and silent remain; empty your mind and think of nought. Do nought with the body but relax. 

Now you can understand what relaxation means. It means no urge to activity in you. Relaxation doesn’t mean lying down like a dead man; and you cannot lie down like a dead man – you can pretend only. How can you lie down like a dead man? You are alive; you can only pretend. Relaxation comes to you when there is no urge to activity; the energy is at home, not moving anywhere. If a certain situation arises you will act, that’s all, but you are not finding some excuse to act. You are at ease with yourself. Relaxation is to be at home.

I was reading one book a few years ago. The title of the book is You Must Relax. This is simply absurd, because the “must” is against relaxation – but such books can only sell in America. “Must” means activity, it is an obsession. Whenever there is a “must” an obsession is hidden behind it. There are actions in life, but there is no “must,” otherwise the “must” will create madness. “You must relax” – now relaxation has become the obsession. You have to do this posture and that, and lie down, and suggest to your body from the toes to the head; tell the toes, “Relax!” and then go upwards.

Why “must”? Relaxation comes only when there is no “must” in your life. Relaxation is not only of the body, it is not only of the mind, it is of your total being.

You are too much in activity, of course tired, dissipated, dried up, frozen. The life-energy doesn’t move. There are only blocks and blocks and blocks. And whenever you do something you do it in a madness. Of course the need to relax arises. That’s why so many books are written every month about relaxation, and I have never seen a person who has become relaxed through reading a book about relaxation – he has become more hectic, because now his whole life of activity remains untouched. His obsession is there to be active, the disease is there, and he pretends to be in a relaxed state so he lies down. All turmoil within, a volcano ready to erupt, and he is relaxing, following the instructions from a book: how to relax.

There is no book that can help you to relax – unless you read your own inner being, and then relaxation is not a must. Relaxation is an absence, absence of activity, not of action. So there is no need to move to the Himalayas. A few people have done that: to relax, they move to the Himalayas. What is the need to move to the Himalayas? Action is not to be dropped, because if you drop action you drop life. Then you will be dead, not relaxed. So in the Himalayas you will find sages who are dead, not relaxed. They have escaped from life, from action.

This is the subtle point to be understood: activity has to go, but not action – and both are easy. You can drop both and escape to the Himalayas, that’s easy. Or, the other thing is easy: you can continue in the activities, and forcing yourself every morning, or every evening, for a few minutes, to relax. You don’t understand the complexity of the human mind, the mechanism of it. Relaxation is a state. You cannot force it. You simply drop the negativities, the hindrances, and it comes, it bubbles up by itself.

What do you do when you go to sleep in the night? Do you do something? If you do, you will be an insomniac, you will move into insomnia. What do you do? You simply lie down and go into sleep. There is no “doing” to it. If you “do,” it will be impossible to sleep. In fact, to go into sleep all that is needed is, the continuity in the mind of the activities of the day has to discontinue. That’s all! When the activity is not there in the mind, the mind relaxes and goes into sleep. If you do something to go into sleep, you will be at a loss, then sleep will be impossible. Doing is not needed at all.

Says Tilopa, Do nought with the body but relax. Don’t do anything! No yoga posture is needed, no distortions and contortions of the body are needed. ”Do nought!” – only absence of activity is needed. And how will it come? It will come by understanding. Understanding is the only discipline. Understand your activities and suddenly, in the middle of the activity, if you become aware, it will stop. If you become aware why you are doing it, it will stop. And that stopping is what Tilopa means: Do nought with the body but relax.

What is relaxation? It is a state of affairs where your energy is not moving anywhere, not to the future, not to the past – it is simply there with you. In the silent pool of your own energy, in the warmth of it, you are enveloped. This moment is all. There is no other moment. Time stops – then there is relaxation. If time is there, there is no relaxation. Simply, the clock stops; there is no time. This moment is all. You don’t ask for anything else, you simply enjoy it. Ordinary things can be enjoyed because they are beautiful. In fact, nothing is ordinary – if God exists, then everything is extraordinary.

People come to me and ask, “Do you believe in God?” I say, “Yes, because everything is so extraordinary, how can it be without a deep consciousness in it?” Just small things …. Walking on the lawn when the dewdrops have not evaporated yet, and just feeling totally there – the texture, the touch of the lawn, the coolness of the dewdrops, the morning wind, the sun rising. What more do you need to be happy? What more is possible to be happy? Just lying down in the night on the cool sheet on your bed, feeling the texture; feeling that the sheet is getting warmer and warmer, and you are shrouded in darkness, the silence of the night …. With closed eyes you simply feel yourself. What more do you need? It is too much – a deep gratitude arises: this is relaxation.

Relaxation means this moment is more than enough, more than can be asked and expected. Nothing to ask, more than enough, than you can desire – then the energy never moves anywhere. It becomes a placid pool. In your own energy, you dissolve. This moment is relaxation. Relaxation is neither of the body nor of the mind, relaxation is of the total. That’s why buddhas go on saying, “Become desireless,” because they know that if there is desire, you cannot relax. They go on saying, “Bury the dead,” because if you are too much concerned with the past, you cannot relax. They go on saying, “Enjoy this very moment.”

Jesus says, “Look at the lilies. Consider the lilies in the field – they toil not and they are more beautiful, their splendor is greater than King Solomon. They are arrayed in more beautiful aroma than King Solomon ever was. Look, consider the lilies!”

What is he saying? He is saying, “Relax! You need not toil for it – in fact, everything is provided.” Jesus says, “If he looks after the birds of air, animals, wild animals, trees and plants, then why are you worried? Will he not look after you?” This is relaxation. Why are you so much worried about the future? Consider the lilies, watch the lilies, and become like lilies – and then relax. Relaxation is not a posture; relaxation is a total transformation of your energy.

Energy can have two dimensions. One is motivated, going somewhere, a goal somewhere; this moment is only a means and the goal is somewhere else to be achieved. This is one dimension of your energy, this is the dimension of activity, goal-oriented. Then everything is a means; somehow it has to be done and you have to reach to the goal, then you will relax. But for this type of energy the goal never comes, because this type of energy goes on changing every present moment into a means for something else, into the future. The goal always remains on the horizon. You go on running, but the distance remains the same.

No, there is another dimension of energy: that dimension is unmotivated celebration. The goal is here, now; the goal is not somewhere else. In fact, you are the goal. In fact, there is no other fulfillment than of this moment – consider the lilies. When you are the goal and when the goal is not in the future, when there is nothing to be achieved, rather, you have just to celebrate it, you have already achieved it, it is there. This is relaxation, unmotivated energy.

So, to me, there are two types of persons: the goal-seekers and the celebrators. The goal-oriented, they are the mad ones; they are going, by and by, crazy, and they are creating their own craziness. And then the craziness has its own momentum: by and by, they move deeper into it – then they are completely lost. The other type of person is not a goal-seeker – he is not a seeker at all, he is a celebrator.

And this I teach to you: Be the celebrators, celebrate! Already there is too much: the flowers have bloomed, the birds are singing, the sun is there in the sky – celebrate it! You are breathing and you are alive, and you have consciousness – celebrate it! Then suddenly you relax, then there is no tension, then there is no anguish. The whole energy that becomes anguish becomes gratitude; your whole heart goes on beating with a deep thankfulness – that is prayer. That’s all prayer is about: a heart beating with a deep thankfulness. 

Do nought with the body but relax.

No need to do anything for it. Just understand the movement of the energy, the unmotivated movement of the energy. It flows, but not towards a goal, it flows as a celebration. It moves, not towards a goal, it moves because of its own overflowing energy.

A child is dancing and jumping and running around; ask him, “Where are you going?” He is not going anywhere – you will look foolish to him. Children always think that adults are foolish. What a nonsense question, “Where are you going?” Is there any need to go anywhere? A child simply cannot answer your question because it is irrelevant. He is not going anywhere. He will simply shrug his shoulders. He will say, “Nowhere.” Then the goal-oriented mind asks, “Then why are you running?” – because to us an activity is relevant only when it leads somewhere.

And I tell you, there is nowhere to go: here is all. The whole existence culminates in this moment, it converges into this moment. The whole existence is pouring already in this moment; all that is there is pouring into this moment – it is here, now. A child is simply enjoying the energy. He has too much. He is running, not because he has to reach somewhere, but because he has too much; he has to run.

Act unmotivated, just an overflow of your energy. Share, but don’t trade, don’t make bargains. Give because you have, don’t give to take back – because then you will be in misery. All traders go to hell. If you want to find the greatest traders and bargainers, go to hell, there you will find them. Heaven is not for traders. Heaven is for celebrators.

In Christian theology, again and again, for centuries it has been asked, “What do angels do in heaven?” This is a relevant question for people who are goal-oriented: “What do angels do in heaven?” Nothing seems to be done, nothing is there to do. Somebody asked Meister Eckhart, “What do angels do in heaven?” He said, “What type of a fool are you? Heaven is a place to celebrate. They don’t do anything. They simply celebrate – the glory of it, the magnificence of it, the poetry of it, the blooming of it, they celebrate. They sing and they dance and they celebrate.” But I don’t think that that man was satisfied by Meister Eckhart’s answer, because to us an activity is meaningful only if it leads somewhere, if there is a goal.

Remember, activity is goal-oriented, action is not. Action is overflowing of energy; action is in this moment, a response, unprepared, unrehearsed. Just the whole existence meets you, confronts you, and a response comes. The birds are singing and you start singing – it is not an activity. Suddenly it happens. Suddenly you find it is happening, that you have started humming – this is action.

And if you become more and more involved in action, and less and less occupied in activity, your life will change and it will become a deep relaxation. Then you “do” but you remain relaxed. A buddha is never tired. Why? – because he is not a doer. Whatsoever he has, he gives, he overflows.

Do nought with the body but relax; shut firm the mouth and silent remain.

The mouth is really very, very significant, because that is where the first activity landed; your lips started the first activity. Surrounding the area of the mouth is the beginning of all activity: you breathed in, you cried, you started groping for the mother’s breast. And your mouth remains always in a frantic activity. That’s why Tilopa suggests: “Understand activity, understand action, relax, and… shut firm the mouth.”

Whenever you sit down to meditate, whenever you want to be silent, the first thing is to shut the mouth completely. If you shut the mouth completely, your tongue will touch the roof of your mouth; both the lips will be completely closed and the tongue will touch the roof. Shut it completely – but that can be done only if you have followed whatsoever I have been saying to you, not before it.

You can do it! Shutting of the mouth is not a very big effort. You can sit like a statue, with a completely shut mouth, but that will not stop activity. Deep inside the thinking will continue, and if thinking continues you can feel subtle vibrations in the lips. Others may not be able to observe it because they are very subtle, but if you are thinking then your lips quiver a little – a very subtle quivering.

When you really relax, that quivering stops. You are not talking, you are not making any activity inside you. Shut firm the mouth and silent remain. And then don’t think.

What will you do? Thoughts are coming and going. Let them come and go, that’s not the problem. You don’t get involved; you remain aloof, detached. You simply watch them coming and going, they are not your concern. Shut the mouth and you remain silent. By and by, thoughts will cease automatically – they need your cooperation to be there. If you cooperate, they will be there; if you fight, then too they will be there – because both are cooperations: one for, the other against. Both are sorts of activity. You simply watch.

But shutting of the mouth is very helpful. So first, as I have been observing many people, I will suggest to you that first yawn: open your mouth as wide as possible, tense your mouth as wide as possible, yawn completely; it even starts hurting. Two or three times do this. This will help the mouth to remain shut for a longer time. And then for two or three minutes, say loudly gibberish, nonsense. Anything that comes to the mind, say it loudly and enjoy it. Then shut the mouth.

It is easier to move from the opposite end. If you want to relax your hand, it is better to first make it as tense as possible. Clench the fist and let it be as tense as possible, do just the opposite and then relax – and then you will attain a deeper relaxation of the nervous system. Make gestures, faces, movements of the face, distortions, yawn, say two or three minutes nonsense – and then shut. And this tension will give you a deeper possibility to relax the lips and mouth. Shut the mouth and then just be a watcher. Soon a silence will descend on you.

There are two types of silences. One, silence that you can force upon yourself. That is not a very graceful thing, it is a violence; it is a sort of rape on the mind, it is aggressive. Then there is another sort of silence that descends on you, like night descends. It comes upon you, it envelops you. You simply create the possibility for it, the receptivity, and it comes. Shut the mouth, watch, don’t try to be silent. If you try, you can force a few seconds of silence, but they will not be of any value – inside you will go on boiling. So don’t try to be silent. You simply create the situation, the soil, put the seed and wait. 

Empty your mind and think of nought.

What will you do to empty the mind? Thoughts are coming, you watch. And watching has to be done with a precaution: the watching must be passive, not active. These are the subtle mechanisms and you have to understand everything, otherwise you can miss anywhere. And if you miss a slight point, the whole thing changes its quality. Watch; watch passively, not actively.

What is the difference? You are waiting for your girl, or your lover – then you watch actively. Then somebody passes by the door and you jump up to look whether she has come. Then, just leaves fluttering in the wind, and you feel maybe she has come. You go on jumping up; your mind is very eager, active. No, this will not help. If you are too eager and too active this will not bring you to Tilopa’s silence or my silence. Be passive as you sit by the side of a river and the river floats by, and you simply watch. There is no eagerness, no urgency, no emergency. Nobody is forcing you. Even if you miss, there is nothing missed. You simply watch, you just look. Even the word “watch” is not good, because the very word “watch” gives a feeling of being active. You simply look, not having anything to do. You simply sit by the bank of the river, you look, and the river flows by. Or, you look in the sky and the clouds float, and passively.

This passiveness is very, very essential; that is to be understood, because your obsession for activity can become eagerness, can become an active waiting. Then you miss the whole point; then the activity has entered from the back door again. Be a passive watcher.

Empty your mind and think of nought.

This passivity will automatically empty your mind. Ripples of activity, ripples of mind-energy, by and by, will subside, and the whole surface of your consciousness will be without any waves, without any ripples. It becomes like a silent mirror. 

Like a hollow bamboo rest at ease with your body.

This is one of Tilopa’s special methods. Every Master has his own special method through which he has attained, and through which he would like to help others. This is Tilopa’s specialty: Like a hollow bamboo rest at ease with your body.

A bamboo: inside completely hollow. When you rest, you just feel that you are like a bamboo: inside completely hollow and empty. And in fact this is the case: your body is just like a bamboo, and inside it is hollow. Your skin, your bones, your blood, all are part of the bamboo, and inside there is space, hollowness.

When you are sitting with a completely silent mouth, inactive, tongue touching the roof and silent, not quivering with thoughts, mind watching passively, not waiting for anything in particular, feel like a hollow bamboo – and suddenly infinite energy starts pouring within you, you are filled with the unknown, with the mysterious, with the divine. A hollow bamboo becomes a flute and the divine starts playing it. Once you are empty then there is no barrier for the divine to enter in you.

Try this; this is one of the most beautiful meditations, the meditation of becoming a hollow bamboo. You need not do anything else. You simply become this – and all else happens. Suddenly you feel something is descending in your hollowness. You are like a womb and a new life is entering in you, a seed is falling. And a moment comes when the bamboo completely disappears.

Like a hollow bamboo rest at ease with your body.

Rest at ease – don’t desire spiritual things, don’t desire heaven, don’t desire even God. God cannot be desired – when you are desireless, he comes to you. Liberation cannot be desired because desire is the bondage. When you are desireless, you are liberated. Buddhahood cannot be desired, because desiring is the hindrance. When the barrier is not, suddenly Buddha explodes in you. You have the seed already. When you are empty, space is there – the seed explodes.

Like a hollow bamboo rest at ease with your body. Giving not nor taking, put your mind at rest.

There is nothing to give, there is nothing to get. Everything is absolutely okay – as it is. There is no need for any give and take. You are absolutely perfect as you are.

This teaching of the East has been very much misunderstood in the West, because they say, “What type of teaching is this? Then people will not strive, and then they will not try to go higher. Then they will not make any effort to change their character, to transform their evil ways into good ways. Then they may become a victim of the devil.” In the West, “Improve yourself” is the slogan; either in terms of this world, or in terms of the other, but improve. How to improve? How to become greater and bigger?

In the East we understand it more deeply, that this very effort to become is the barrier – because your being you are already carrying with you. You need not become anything – simply realize who you are, that’s all. Simply realize who is hidden within you. Improving, whatsoever you improve, you will always be in anxiety and anguish because the very effort to improve is leading you on a wrong path. It makes future meaningful, a goal meaningful, ideals meaningful, and then your mind becomes a desiring.

Desiring, you miss. Let desiring subside, become a silent pool of non-desiring – and suddenly you are surprised, unexpectedly it is there. And you will have a belly-laugh, as Bodhidharma laughed. And Bodhidharma’s followers say that when you become silent again, you can hear his roaring laugh. He is still laughing. He has not stopped laughing since then. He laughed because, “What type of joke is this? You are already that which you are trying to become! How can you be successful if you are already that, and you are trying to become that? Your failure is absolutely certain. How can you become that which you are already?” So Bodhidharma laughed.

Bodhidharma was just exactly a contemporary of Tilopa. They may have known each other, maybe not physically, but they must have known each other – the same quality of being.

Giving not nor taking, put your mind at rest. Mahamudra is like a mind that clings to nought.

You have achieved if you don’t cling; nothingness in your hand – and you have achieved.

Mahamudra is like a mind that clings to nought. Thus practicing, in time you will reach buddhahood.

What is to be practiced then? To be more and more at ease. To be more and more here and now. To be more and more in action, and less and less in activity. To be more and more hollow, empty, passive. To be more and more a watcher – indifferent, not expecting anything, not desiring anything. To be happy with yourself as you are. To be celebrating.

And then, any moment, any moment, when things ripen and the right season comes, you bloom into a buddha.

-Osho

From Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, Discourse #4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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All Feelings of Self are False – Osho

The void needs no reliance, Mahamudra rests on nought.

You cannot find more significant words ever uttered. Try to understand every nuance of what Tilopa is trying to say.

The void needs no reliance….

If there is something, it needs a support, it needs a reliance. But if there is nothing, emptiness, there is no need for any support. And this is the deepest realization of all the knowers: that your being is a non-being. To say it is a being is wrong because it is not something, it is not like something. It is
like nothing: a vast emptiness, with no boundaries to it. It is an anatma, a no-self; it is not a self inside you.

All feelings of self are false. All identifications that “I am this and that” are false.

When you come to the ultimate, when you come to your deepest core, you suddenly know that you are neither this nor that – you are no one. You are not an ego, you are just a vast emptiness. And sometimes if you sit, close your eyes and just feel who you are – where are you? And go deeper and you may become afraid, because the deeper you go, the deeper you feel that you are nobody, a nothingness. That’s why people become so scared of meditation. It is a death. It is a death of the ego – and the ego is just a false concept.

Now physicists have come to the same truth through their scientific research deepening into the realm of matter. What Buddha, Tilopa and Bodhidharma reached through their insight, science has been discovering in the outside world also. Now they say there is no substance – substance is a parallel concept of self.

A rock exists; you feel that it is very substantial. You can hit somebody’s head and blood will come out, even the man may die; it is very substantial. But ask the physicists: they say it is a no-substance, there is nothing in it. They say that it is just an energy phenomenon; many energy currents crisscrossing on this rock give it a feeling of substance. Just as you draw many lines crisscrossing on a piece of paper: where many lines cross a point, a point arises. The point was not there; two lines crossing and a point arises: many lines crossing and a big point arises. Is that point really there? Or just lines crossing give an illusion of a point being there?

Physicists say that energy currents crisscrossing create matter. And if you ask what are these energy currents – they are not material, they have no weight, they are non-material. Non-material lines crisscrossing give an illusion of a material thing, very substantial like a rock. Buddha achieved this illumination twenty-five centuries before Einstein, that inside there is nobody; only energy lines crisscrossing give you a feeling of the self. Buddha used to say that the self is just like an onion: you peel it, one layer comes off, another layer is there. You go on peeling, layer by layer, and what remains finally? The whole onion is peeled and you find nothing inside.

Man is just like an onion. You peel layers of thought, feeling, and finally, what do you find? A nothing.

This nothingness needs no support. This nothingness exists by itself. That’s why Buddha says there is no God; there is no need for a God because God is a support. And Buddha says there is no creator because there is no need to create a nothingness. This is one of the most difficult concepts to understand – unless you realize it.

That’s why Tilopa says:

Mahamudra is beyond all words and symbols.

Mahamudra is an experience of nothingness – simply you are not. And when you are not, then who is there to suffer? Who is there to be in pain and anguish? Who is there to be depressed and sad?

And who is there to be happy and blissful? Buddha says that if you feel you are blissful you will become again a victim of suffering, because you are still there. When you are not, completely not, utterly not, then there is no suffering and no bliss – and this is the real bliss. Then you cannot fall back. To attain nothingness is to attain all.

My whole effort with you is also to lead you towards nothingness, to lead you to a total vacuum.

The void needs no reliance, Mahamudra rests on nought. Without making an effort, but remaining loose and natural, one can break the yoke – thus gaining liberation.

The first thing to understand is that the concept of self is created by the mind – there is no self in you.

It happened: a great Buddhist, a man of enlightenment, was invited by a king to teach him. The name of the Buddhist monk was Nagasen, and the king was a viceroy of Alexander. When Alexander went back from India, he left Minander as his viceroy here; his Indian name is Milanda. Milanda asked Nagasen to come and teach him. He was really interested, and he had heard many stories about Nagasen. And many rumors had come to the court: “This is a rare phenomenon! Rarely it happens that a man flowers, and this man has flowered. He has an aroma of something unknown around him, a mysterious energy. He walks on the earth, but he is not of the earth.” He became interested; he invited him.

The messenger who went to Nagasen came back very much puzzled, because Nagasen said, “Yes, if he invites, Nagasen will come – but tell him there is no one like Nagasen. If he invites I will come, but tell him exactly that there is no one like ‘I am.’ I am no more.” The messenger was puzzled, because if Nagasen is no more, then who will come? And Milanda was also puzzled. He said, “This man talks in puzzles. But let him come.” And he was a Greek, this Milanda, and the Greek mind is basically logical.

There are only two minds in the world, the Indian and the Greek. The Indian is illogical, and the Greek is logical. The Indian moves into the dark depths, wild depths, where are no boundaries, everything is vague, cloudy. The Greek mind walks on the logical, the straight, where everything is defined and classified. The Greek mind moves into the known. The Indian mind moves into the unknown, and even more into the unknowable. The Greek mind is absolutely rational; the Indian mind is absolutely contradictory. So if you find too many contradictions in me, don’t be bothered. It is the way… in the East contradiction is the way to relate.

Milanda said, “This man seems to be irrational, gone mad. If he is not then how can he come? But let him come, I will see. I will prove: just by coming he is proving that he is.”

Then came Nagasen. Milanda received him at the gate and the first thing he asked, he said, “I am puzzled: you have come and still you said that you are not.”

Nagasen said, “Still I say. So let us settle it here.”

A crowd gathered, the whole court came there, and Nagasen said, “You ask.”

Milanda asked, “First tell me: if something is not, how can it come? In the first place it is not, then there is no possibility of its coming – and you have come. It is simple logic that you are.” Nagasen laughed and he said, “Look at this ratha” – the bullock cart on which he had come. He said, “Look at this. You call it a ratha, a cart.”

Milanda said, “Yes.”

Then he told his followers to remove the bullocks. The bullocks were removed and Nagasen asked, “Are these bullocks the cart?”

Milanda said, “Of course not.”

Then, by and by, everything from the cart was removed, every part. Wheels were removed and he asked, “Are these wheels the cart?”

And Milanda said, “Of course not!”

When everything was removed and there was nothing, then Nagasen asked, “Where is the cart I had come in?… and we never removed the cart, and all that we have removed you confirmed that this is not the cart. Now where is the cart?”

Nagasen said, “Just like this Nagasen exists. Remove parts and he will disappear.” Just crisscrossing lines of energy: remove the lines and the dot will disappear. The cart is just a combination of parts.

You are also a combination of parts, the “I” is a combination of parts. Remove things and the “I” will disappear. That’s why when thoughts are removed from consciousness, you cannot say “I,” because there is no “I” – just a vacuum is left. When feelings are removed, the self disappears completely.

You are and yet not: just an absence, with no boundaries, emptiness.

This is the final attainment, this state is Mahamudra, because only in that state you can have an orgasm with the whole. Now there is no boundary, no self exists; now there is no boundary to you to divide.

The whole has no boundaries. You must become like the whole – only then there can be a meeting, a merger. When you are empty, you are without boundaries. Suddenly you become the whole. When you are not, you become the whole. When you are, you become an ugly ego. When you are not, you have all the expanse of existence for your being to be.

But these are contradictions. So try to understand: become a little like Naropa, otherwise these words and symbols will not carry anything to you. Listen to me in trust. And when I say listen in trust, I mean I have known this. This is so. I am a witness, I bear witness for it. This is so. It may not be possible to say it, but that doesn’t mean that it is not. It may be possible to say something, that doesn’t mean that it is. You can say something which is not, and you may be incapable of saying something which is. I bear witness about it, but you will be able to understand me only if you are a Naropa, if you listen in trust.

I am not teaching a doctrine. I would not have been at all concerned with Tilopa if this was not my own experience also. Tilopa has said it well:

The void needs no reliance Mahamudra rests on nought.

On nothing Mahamudra rests. Mahamudra, the literal word, means the great gesture, or the ultimate gesture, the last that you can have, beyond which nothing is possible. Mahamudra rests on nothing. You be a nothing, and then all is attained. You die, and you become a god. You disappear, and you become the whole. Here the drop disappears, and there the ocean comes into existence.

Don’t cling to yourself – that’s all you have been doing all your past lives: clinging, afraid that if you don’t cling to the ego, then you look down: a bottomless abyss is there….

That’s why we cling to tiny things, really trivial, we go on clinging to them. The clinging shows only that you are also aware of a vast emptiness inside. Something is needed to cling to, but your clinging
is your samsara, is your misery. Leave yourself in the abyss. And once you leave yourself in the abyss, you become the abyss itself. Then there is no death, because how can an abyss die? Then there is no end to it, because how can a nothingness end? Something can end, will have to end –
only nothing can be eternal. Mahamudra rests on nothing.

Let me explain it to you through some experience that you have got. When you love a person, you have to become a nothing. When you love a person, you have to become a no-self. That’s why love is so difficult. And that’s why Jesus says God is like love. He knows something about Mahamudra –
because before he started teaching in Jerusalem, he has been to India. He has been to Tibet also. He met people like Tilopa and Naropa. He remained in Buddhist monasteries. He learned about what it is that these people call nothingness. Then he tried to translate his whole understanding into
Jewish terminology. There everything got messed up.

You cannot translate Buddhist understanding into Jewish terminology. It is impossible, because the whole Jewish terminology depends on positive terms, and the Buddhist terminology depends on absolutely nihilistic terms: nothingness, emptiness. But here and there in Jesus’ words there are
glimpses. He says, “God is love.” He is indicating something. What is the indication? When you love, you have to become nobody. If you remain somebody, then love never happens.

When you love a person – even for a single moment love happens and flows between two persons – there are two nothingnesses, not two persons. If you have ever had any experience of love, you can understand.

Two lovers sitting by each other’s side, or two nothingnesses sitting together – only then the meeting is possible because barriers are broken, boundaries thrown away. The energy can move from here to there; there is no hindrance. And only in such a moment of deep love is orgasm possible.

When two lovers are making love, and if they are both no-selves, nothingnesses, then orgasm happens. Then their body energy, their whole being, loses all identity; they are no more themselves – they have fallen into the abyss. But this can happen only for a moment: again they regain, again they start clinging. That’s why people become afraid in love also.

In deep love people are afraid of becoming mad, or going to die – of what will happen. The abyss opens its mouth, the whole existence yawns, and you are suddenly there and you can fall into it. One becomes scared of love, then people remain satisfied with sex and they call their sex “love.”

Love is not sex. Sex can happen in love, it can be a part, integral part to it, but sex itself is not love – it is a substitute. You are trying to avoid love through sex. You are giving yourself a feeling that you are in love, and you are not moving into love. Sex is just like borrowed knowledge: giving a feeling of knowing without knowing; giving a feeling of love and loving without loving.

In love you are not, the other is also not: then only, suddenly, the two disappear. The same happens in Mahamudra. Mahamudra is a total orgasm with the whole existence.

That’s why in Tantra – and Tilopa is a Tantra master – deep intercourse, orgasmic intercourse, between lovers is also called Mahamudra, and two lovers in a deep orgasmic state are pictured in tantric temples, in tantric books. That has become a symbol of the final orgasm.

-Osho

Excerpt from Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, Discourse #1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Remaining Loose and Natural – Osho

Without making an effort, but remaining loose and natural….

And this is the whole method of Tilopa, and the whole method of Tantra: Without making an effort… because if you make an effort, the ego is strengthened. If you make an effort, you come in.

So love is not an effort, you cannot make an effort to love. If you make an effort, there is no love. You flow into it, you don’t make an effort, you simply allow it to happen, you don’t make an effort It is not a doing, it is a happening: Without making an effort…. And the same is the case with the total, the final: you don’t make an effort, you simply float with it… But remaining loose and natural. This is the way, this is the very ground of Tantra.

Yoga says make an effort, and Tantra says don’t make any effort. Yoga is ego-oriented, finally it will take the jump, but Tantra is, from the very beginning, non-ego-oriented. Yoga, in the end, attains to such significance, such meaning, such depth, that it says to its seeker, “Now drop the ego” – only in the end; Tantra from the very beginning, from the very first step….

I would like to say it in this way, in such a way: where Yoga ends, Tantra starts. The highest peak of Yoga is the beginning of Tantra – and Tantra leads you to the ultimate goal. Yoga can prepare you for Tantra, that’s all, because the final thing is to be effortless, “loose and natural.”

What does Tilopa mean by “loose and natural”? Don’t fight with yourself, be loose. Don’t try to make a structure around yourself of character, of morality. Don’t discipline yourself too much; otherwise your very discipline will become the bondage. Don’t create an imprisonment around you. Remain loose, floating, move with the situation, respond to the situation. Don’t move with a character jacket around you, don’t move with a fixed attitude. Remain loose like water, not fixed like ice. Remain moving and flowing; wherever the nature leads you, go. Don’t resist, don’t try to impose anything on you, your being.

But the whole society teaches you to impose something or other: be good, be moral, be this and that. And Tantra is absolutely beyond society, culture and civilization. It says if you are too much cultured you will lose all that is natural, and then you will be a mechanical thing, not floating, not flowing. So don’t force a structure around you – live moment to moment, live with alertness. And this is a deep thing to be understood.

Why do people try to create a structure around them? So that they don’t need alertness – because if you have no character around you, you will need to be very very aware: because each moment the decision has to be taken. You don’t have a prefabricated decision, you don’t have an attitude.
You have to respond to the situation. Something is there, and you are absolutely unprepared for it – you will have to be very very aware.

To avoid awareness people have created a trick, and the trick is character. Force yourself into a certain discipline so that whether you are aware or not, the discipline will take care of you. Make a habit of always saying the truth; make it a habit, then you need not be worried about it. Somebody asks, you will say the truth, out of habit – but out of habit a truth is dead.

And life is not so simple. Life is a very very complex phenomenon. Sometimes a lie is needed, and sometimes a truth can be dangerous – and one has to be aware. For example, if through your lie somebody’s life is saved, and through your lie nobody is harmed and somebody’s life is saved, what will you do? If you have a fixed mind that you have to be true, then you will kill a life.

Nothing is more valuable than life, no truth, nothing is more valuable than life. And sometimes your truth can kill somebody’s life. What will you do? Just saving your own old pattern and habit, your own ego that “I am a truthful man,” you will sacrifice a life – just being a truthful man, just to be that? This is too much, you are completely mad! If a life can be saved, even if people think that you are a liar, what is wrong in it? Why bother too much about what people say about you?

It is difficult! It is not so easy to create a fixed pattern because life goes on moving and changing, and every moment there is a new situation and one has to respond to it. Respond with full awareness, that’s all. And let the decision come out of the situation itself, not prefabricated, not imposed. Don’t carry a built-in mind just remain loose and aware and natural.

And this is how a real religious man is; otherwise, the so-called religious persons are just dead. They act out of their habits, they go on acting out of their habits – this is a conditioning, this is not a freedom. Consciousness needs freedom.

Be loose: remember this word as deeply as possible. Let it penetrate you. Be loose – so in every situation you can flow, easily, water-like; so if the water is poured into a glass, it takes the shape of the glass. It doesn’t resist, it doesn’t say, “This is not my form.” If the water is poured into a jar, into
a jug, it takes the shape of that. It has no resistance, it is loose. Remain loose like water.

Sometimes you will have to move south and sometimes north, you will have to change directions; according to the situations you will have to flow. But if you know how to flow, it is enough. The ocean is not very far away if you know how to flow.

So don’t create a pattern – and the whole society tries to create a pattern, and all the religions try to create a pattern. Only very few enlightened persons have been courageous enough to say the truth – the truth that: Be loose and natural! If you are loose you will be natural, of course.

Tilopa doesn’t say, “Be moral,” he says, “Be natural.” And these are completely, diametrically opposite dimensions. A moral man is never natural, cannot be. If he feels angry he cannot be angry because the morality doesn’t allow it. If he feels loving he cannot be loving because the morality is there. It is always according to the morality that he acts; it is never according to his nature.

And I tell you: if you start moving according to moral patterns and not according to your nature, you will never reach the state of Mahamudra, because it is a natural state, the highest peak of being natural. I tell you: if you feel angry, be angry – but perfect awareness has to be retained. Anger
should not overpower your consciousness, that’s all.

Let anger be there, let it happen, but be fully alert to what is happening. Remain loose, natural, aware, watching what is happening. By and by, you will see many things have simply disappeared, they don’t happen any more – and without making any effort on your part. You never tried to kill them and they have simply disappeared.

When one is aware, anger by and by disappears. It becomes simply stupid – not bad, remember, because “bad” is a loaded value. It becomes simply stupid! It is not that because it is bad you don’t move into it, it is simply foolish; it is not a sin, but simply stupid. Greed disappears, it is stupid.
Jealousy disappears, it is stupid.

Remember this valuation. In morality there is something good and something bad. In being natural there is something wise and something stupid. A man who is natural is wise, not good. A man who is not natural is stupid, not bad. There is nothing bad and nothing good, only wise things and foolish things. And if you are foolish you harm yourself and others, and if you are wise you don’t harm anybody – neither others, nor you. There is nothing like sin and there is nothing like virtue – wisdom is all. If you want to call it virtue, call it virtue. And ignorance is there if you want to call it sin – that is the only sin.

So how to transform your ignorance into wisdom? That is the only transformation – and you cannot force it: it happens when you are loose and natural.

... Remaining loose and natural, one can break the yoke – Thus gaining liberation.

And one becomes totally free. It will be difficult in the beginning, because constantly the old habits will be there forcing you to do something: you would like to be angry – but the old habit simply starts a smile on your face. There are people that, whenever they smile, you can be certain that they are
angry. In their very smile they show their anger. They are hiding something, a false smile spreads on their faces. These are the hypocrites.

A hypocrite is an unnatural man: if anger is there he will smile; if hate is there he will show love; if he feels murderous, he will pretend compassion. A hypocrite is a perfect moralist – absolutely artificial, a plastic flower, ugly, of no use; not a flower at all, just a pretension.

Tantra is the natural way: be loose and natural. It will be difficult because the old habits have to be broken. It is difficult because you will have to live in a society of hypocrites. It will be difficult because everywhere you will find a conflict with the hypocrites – but one has to go through it. It will be arduous because there are many investments in false, artificial pretensions. You may feel completely alone, but this will be only a passing phase. Soon others will start feeling your authenticity. And remember, even an authentic anger is better than a pretended smile, because at least it is authentic. And a
man who cannot be authentically angry, cannot be authentic at all. At least he is authentic, true to his being. Whatsoever is happening, you can rely on him that it is true.

And this is my observation: that a true anger is beautiful and a false smile is ugly; and a true hate has its own beauty, just like true love – because beauty is concerned with truth. Neither is it concerned with hate, nor with love – beauty is of the true. Truth is beautiful in whatsoever form. A truly dead
man is more beautiful than a falsely alive man, because at least the basic quality is there of being true.

Mulla Nasruddin’s wife died, and the neighbors gathered, but Mulla Nasruddin was standing there completely unaffected, as if nothing had happened. Neighbors started crying and weeping and they said, “What are you standing there for, Nasruddin? She is dead.”

Nasruddin said, “Wait! She is such a liar – at least for three days I have to wait and see whether it is true or not.”

Remember this – that beauty of truth, authenticity. Become more authentic and you will have a flowering. And the more authentic you become, by and by you will feel many things are falling away – of their own accord. You never made any effort to do it; they are falling of their own accord. And
once you know the knack of it, then you become more and more loose, more and more natural, authentic. And, says Tilopa:

One can break the yoke – Thus gaining liberation.

The liberation is not very far away, it is just hidden behind you. Once you are authentic and the door is open – but you are such a liar, you are such a pretender, you are such a hypocrite, you are so deeply false; that’s why you feel that the liberation is very very far away. It is not! For an authentic
being, liberation is just natural. It is as natural as anything.

As water flows towards the ocean, as vapor rises towards the sky, as the sun is hot and the moon is cool, so for an authentic being is liberation. It is nothing to be bragged about. It is nothing that you have to tell people that you have gained something.

When Lin Chi was asked, “What has happened to you? People say that you have become enlightened,” he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Happened? Nothing. I cut wood in the forest, and carry water to the ashram – carry water from the well, cut wood because the winter is approaching.” He shrugged his shoulders – a very meaningful gesture.

He is saying, “Nothing has happened. What nonsense you are asking! It is natural: carrying water from the well, cutting wood in the forest. Life is absolutely natural.” Says Lin Chi, “When I feel sleepy, I go to sleep; and when I feel hungry, I eat. Life has become absolutely natural.”

Liberation is your being perfectly natural. Liberation is not something to be bragged about, that you have attained something very great. It is nothing great, it is nothing extraordinary. It is just being natural, just being yourself.

So what to do?

Drop pretensions, drop hypocrisies, drop all that you have cultivated around your natural being – become natural. In the beginning it will be a very very arduous thing, but only in the beginning. Once you get attuned to it, others will also start feeling something has happened to you, because an
authentic being is such a force, such a magnetism. They will start feeling something has happened: “This man no more moves as part of us, he has become totally different.” And you will not be at a loss, because only artificial things will drop.

And once the emptiness is created by throwing away artificial things, pretensions, masks, then the natural being starts flowing. It needs space.
Be empty, loose and natural. Let that be the most fundamental principle in your life.

-Osho

Excerpt from Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, Discourse #1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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