My Approach is Individual – Osho

Many small groups of sannyasins are forming around the world. Would you comment on Gurdjeff’s words, that people who want to wake up, and who are living together in a group, can function as alarm clocks for each other?

George Gurdjieff is right, but right only about his own system. It is true: if you are following Gurdjieff’s ideology and his methods, then a group is an absolute necessity; you cannot work alone.

Then people can function as alarm clocks to each other. If somebody starts falling asleep, somebody can shake him up. When you are starting to fall asleep, somebody else can shake you up and wake you.

Gurdjieff’s method is a school method. He himself was trained in different schools of the Sufis. They are all school methods. School methods have a difficulty – that you have to depend on the group, that if the group is not the right group they can function in just the opposite way: rather than being alarm clocks, they can all become drugs for each other. You may have watched it: if one person starts falling asleep, immediately something in you also starts falling asleep.

Sleep is contagious.

Awakening is not.

It is possible that twenty people may remain asleep and one person awake, but his awakening is not going to be contagious. Most probably, seeing twenty people asleep he will himself fall asleep. So unless you have a very awakened master, the group method is not going to help much.

But in Gurdjieff’s system the group is absolutely necessary; alone you cannot do it. For example, he had his school near Paris…. He told one of the new disciples to dig a trench. The whole day, from the morning – from sunrise to sunset – he was not allowed to go to eat or leave for anything; he had to dig the trench. That was the most important thing.

Now, it needs somebody to watch; otherwise the man may rest sometimes. The whole day is a long time, a hot day… he may go to have a drink or to eat something; or under the tree there is such beautiful shade and coolness… he may fall asleep.

Gurdjieff himself walked continuously the whole day, just by the side of the man. Now, when Gurdjieff himself was walking by his side continuously, the whole day, of course the man could not leave. By sunset he had made the big trench. And Gurdjieff said, “This is only half the work: now you fill it, and then you can go and sleep.”

This was too much. Through great effort the whole day, against all temptations to leave it, he managed, because of Gurdjieff’s presence, to continue, knowing one thing, that it could not kill him: “I cannot die by just not eating for one day or not drinking water. I cannot die – that much is certain. So let us try.”

Now Gurdjieff says, “It is only half the work – you have now to fill it completely, as it was before you started digging. Then you can go and do whatsoever you want.” And Gurdjieff remained there. It took a few hours for the man again to fill the trench – by midnight he was freed.

That new disciple remembers that that night was the most precious in his life; and only after that night could he understand Gurdjieff’s methods.

Man’s energy has layers. The first layer is for day-to-day work. It is soon exhausted, and you start feeling tired. If you don’t listen to this tiredness, and you continue, then the second layer of energy – which is an emergency reservoir of energy – starts functioning. Suddenly you will feel an onrush of new energy becoming available to you, which refreshes you continuously. You cannot believe what has happened: all tiredness is gone. You are more fresh than you were before you started the work.

But the emergency reservoir also is not very big; it is only for emergency situations which don’t last for long. So for one hour or two hours you will be full of energy, more than ever; then again the tiredness comes – and this is a greater tiredness than the first one. 

If you don’t listen to this tiredness… it is really difficult not to listen to it, almost impossible. But if you manage not to listen – and that’s what Gurdjieff wants, that you continue – then you touch the third layer, which is vast, which is universal. And once that layer becomes available to you, you are a new man. Just within a day Gurdjieff could take you to the emergence of the basic power, of the basic energy, the universal energy in you.

But for this kind of method you need a group. If twelve persons are working, then everyone is watching you. Then each person is watched by eleven persons; you cannot escape easily. Alone, it is impossible; you will stop after your day-to-day energy is finished, and you will feel immensely tired, hungry…. That will be the stoppage because there is nobody who can prevent you or whose presence can prevent you; nobody is watching you. So for Gurdjieff’s methods it is perfectly true that groups are needed.

My method can be used in a group, but the group is not necessary; you can use it alone. Any group can become a dependence – so that you can work only in the group. Out of the group, you are back to your usual self. When you are in the group you are a certain person; when you leave the group you are a different person.

I don’t want my sannyasins to be dependent.

It is perfectly good to have small groups, but the methods I have given to you are individual; you can work alone. You don’t need anybody to watch you, because my method is that you have to be the watcher.

Under somebody’s watching eye, out of fear of somebody – and of course when Gurdjieff himself is watching you, you cannot escape – but it is something like slavery. Although he is taking you towards deeper layers of your energy, there is some kind of violence, some kind of enforcement, enslavement.

It is possible for you to do almost the impossible in such a situation. But once Gurdjieff is not there, you will become an ordinary person as you have been before. That has happened to almost all his disciples. Even though they have small groups, they are all mediocre, the same.

Rather than helping each other to be awake, they help each other to fall asleep. When one starts snoring, rather than being an alarm clock, he helps you to snore too.

It can function both ways. The group can be a space where you can become more alert; it can be a space where you can become more asleep. And because people started becoming more asleep in Gurdjieff’s groups after Gurdjieff’s death, those groups have disappeared. People have moved alone. But alone you cannot do those methods.

This is a very spiritual kind of slavery.

The master cannot guarantee to be with you forever; sometime he will be leaving. Then you should not be left in a space where you cannot function without him. And for that, a preparation is needed: from the very beginning you work alone. Even if you are working in a group, you are not dependent on the group; your work, your method, is basically individual.

So my approach is individual.

I am not giving you school methods:

I am giving you individual methods, which can be done together with friends, which can be done alone. So you have freedom.

But there is nothing wrong if sannyasins are making small groups, because those small groups cannot hinder the methods that I have given to you or the work that you have to do upon yourself. It is available in both situations – alone or in groups.

But Gurdjieff had no idea – because he was trained always in schools. Sufis don’t have individual methods; all the methods are group methods. He was trained by Sufis, and he went from one school to another; he learned much from those schools, and he developed and polished many methods which had become old and were not contemporary.

But he could not help many people, for the simple reason that he was the only person who was really awake. All the persons were working under him, under pressure – not out of freedom and joy – working with the motivation that someday they will become awakened like Gurdjieff.

He was certainly a very strange and powerful man. When he was dying, he got up from his bed and started walking in the corridor. His disciples said, “What are you doing? You are so sick – it is better to rest.”

He said, “It is not sickness, it is death – and I don’t want death to find me a weak person. I want to meet death not lying on the bed, but walking on the verandah.”

He died walking. To the last moment he was still working. And he was certainly very awake because he could see death, he could see it was very imminent. But he was a very proud man – he did not like to die like every ordinary man, in the bed, he wanted to die in his own way.

Whenever he was sick, he would go driving, and he would drive as fast as the car could manage. And everybody in the car was just freaking out, afraid that, “Now there is going to be an accident; now it is going to be…” because he never cared about any rules, the lights on the crossroads or anything. He would just drive in a mad way.

Just ten years before he died, he had a very great crash. To avoid a truck, he crashed against a rock by the side of the road. He had so many fractures that it was an impossibility… doctors could not believe that a man with so many fractures could walk home. He came out of the car and walked miles with so many fractures. The doctors could not believe that a man could move even a few feet – and within fifteen days all those fractures were settled. He had immense power.

All his methods are to bring you to the basic source of power. If that basic source of power becomes available to you continuously, it will transform your whole being. But it was not continuously available even to him.

One of his disciples, Bennett, after the Second World War, went to him very tired. He was coming from the war, utterly tired, almost ready to die, willing to die.

Gurdjieff was very old, and it was just five years before he died. He asked Bennett to come close to him, and he took hold of both his hands. Bennett remembers in his biography that it was almost as if Gurdjieff was charging a battery from an electric source.

“I could feel the energy rushing through me, but I also could see that Gurdjieff was becoming pale. I was feeling full of energy, all my tiredness gone, as if I had never been to the war. And there was a great desire to live and a great desire to achieve the ultimate – within seconds. And then Gurdjieff staggered, pale, as if he was going to fall, and went into the bathroom. After ten minutes he came back. He was okay. He was back to his usual health.”

Bennett asked him, “What happened? You have given so much to me.”

Gurdjieff said, “I can give you energy, but I am not yet continuously in touch with the original source, so I gave my own energy to you. And then I had to do a certain exercise in the bathroom to get in touch with the original source; otherwise you can live – I will die!”

This is a totally different path than what I am teaching to you. It is a path of power.

What I am teaching to you is the path of awareness.

… Because the path of power has great dangers in it. It can crystallize your ego. It can make you feel very egoistic because you have so much power – you can do this, you can do that. And that is a danger.

To avoid the ego even in ordinary life is so difficult. If you get in touch with extraordinary sources of power, it will become more and more difficult to get rid of the ego, because the ego will take possession of all your powers.

My work is totally different: you have to be aware. And awareness is not a power. You have to be aware even of your powers. If you come across them, you have to be aware, and you have to remain detached, only a watcher.

That’s where Gurdjieff and I use different words. His methods can be described as “self-remembering.” That’s what he uses – the word “self-remembering.” I do not want to use that word. It is dangerous because the self can be just the ego – it is playing with fire. I simply use the word “witnessing,” with no place for self, ego, or even a faraway cousin.

Just to avoid the most probable possibility, you have just to be a witness. It may not lead you to power – there is no need – but it will lead you to understanding. That is what is needed.

Gurdjieff’s disciples became power-oriented and forgot completely about just being watchful. But he was not telling them to be just watchful. There is a possibility of somebody becoming enlightened through his path also, but it goes in a very zigzag way, with more possibility of being lost than of reaching.

What I have been telling you is something which cannot be misused in any way by you.

And witnessing is a purely individual phenomenon.

-Osho

From Light on the Path, Chapter 29

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Meditation: An Experience of Death in Life – Osho

There is nothing comparable to the death experience in life, except deep meditation.

So those who know meditation, they know something of death—that’s the only way to know before dying.

If I am saying there is no more significant experience in life than death, I am saying it, not because I have died and come back to tell you, but because I know that in meditation you move into the same space as death—because in meditation you are no more your physiology, no more your biology, no more your chemistry, no more your psychology. All those are left far away.

You come to your innermost center where there is only pure awareness. That pure awareness will be with you when you die because that cannot be taken away. All these other things which can be taken away, we take away with our own hands in meditation.

So meditation is an experience of death in life.

And it is so beautiful, so indescibably beautiful that only one thing can be said about death: it must be that experience multiplied by millions.

The experience of meditation multiplied by millions is the experience of death.

And when you pass on you simply leave your form behind. You are absolutely intact, and for the first time out of the prison of physiology, biology, psychology.

All the walls are broken and you are free.

For the first time you can open your wings to the existential.

-Osho

From Ignorance to Innocence, Chapter Five

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

 

From Orange Sunshine to Meditation

In early fall of 1968 a good friend of mine, Michael and I rented a house in a predominately African-American neighborhood of Kansas City, MO east of Prospect on the corner of 69th St. and College. Before we rented it, the house had been used as a neighborhood church. It had a big front room, which had been the meeting room, two bedrooms, one bathroom, a small kitchen and a room that was used as a living room. The house was painted pink and had a somewhat flat roof, hence we called it the Pink Flat.

Immediately the house started gathering a commune within its walls. Michael and I would go around to building sites after dark and pick up discarded plywood, two by fours and whatever else we could find and bring it back to the house. We then constructed a loft around the perimeter of the big room so that there were two levels of sleeping spaces and it began to fill.

We all made an effort to keep the house neat and tidy. Sometimes that required posting reminders. Some would remind us to wash our dishes, others would remind us to keep the bathroom clean. And all in all it remained remarkably clean considering the number of people who lived there.

Sometime in late spring or early summer of 1969 the extremely pure form of LSD, Orange Sunshine, appeared on the scene in Kansas City. Orange Sunshine was unlike any LSD that had preceded it.

One evening I took a dose of Orange Sunshine at the Pink Flat. It turned out to be my most significant LSD experience and laid the groundwork for a lifetime with meditation at the center.

Once the LSD started affecting me I left the house and walked around the neighborhood alone. I was a couple of blocks away from the house in some neighbor’s yard when I started to experience hallucinations and paranoia. This was unusual for me, it was rare for me to experience paranoia and I was not prone to hallucinations. But on this occasion it was happening. At some point it clicked that I was the one who was creating the hallucinations and the paranoia. And immediately with that realization the energy being projected from the mind started to go in reverse. It was literally as if I was reeling in the mind. And when all the energy that had been projected out returned home there was peace, a clarity, an At Homeness that I had never experienced so profoundly before. I was experiencing Being. I was at home, the ground of being.

It also became clear through this experience that I had had this realization as a result of taking the LSD but the truth of the experience of At Homeness was because of an ending of mental projection. The seeing of this was enabled by the heightened state of consciousness from the LSD but the realization that took place was beyond the chemistry. I had seen, quite literally, how the projecting mind works.

This new found at homeness lingered for weeks, perhaps even a month or more because I found I could return home by stopping the journey away from home. And the summer of 1969 continued to be a summer of awakening.

Most everyone in our Pink Flat commune began selling copies of The Kansas City Free Press, the local underground newspaper, on street corners as a means of income for the house. While I was creating a sales chart for our house sales I experienced the “witness” as I watched myself (from beyond the me) draw the columns.

A couple of months later after we had closed the house and everyone dispersed I was on The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City selling the Free Press on a street corner when a man named Charlie walked up and introduced me to Meher Baba. And through Meher Baba I was introduced to Tratak meditation.

Seven years later, in 1976, I would find myself being initiated by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) in the city that Meher Baba had been born and grown up in, Poona, India. And through Osho a much wider world of meditation opened before me.

If I remember correctly I took LSD one more time in that seven years after the Orange Sunshine experience and before I arrived in Poona and that was, as I saw it, some kind of self-check-up.

It is only within the last year that I came to know that the creator of Orange Sunshine, Nicholas Sand, also went to Poona, India in 1978 and was initiated by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) and became Deva Pravasi. Ironically his sannyas darshan with Osho is recorded in the darshan diary titled Turn On, Tune In and Drop the Lot.  Our paths crossed a few times at Rajneeshpuram  but I didn’t know that he hadbeen the creator of Orange Sunshine.

I am extremely grateful to Pravasi and his gift of chemistry for giving me a glimpse of the workings of the mind and that first experience of no-mind which helped propel me to meeting my Master, Osho.

Osho introduced me to the Meditation of watching the mind and by and by I discovered that the heightened state of consciousness that I had experienced with Orange Sunshine was none other than my “natural state”. I discovered that this “natural state” is clouded with mind, with desire, with thought, with identity and that it is possible to come clear of the clouds by watching directly the comings and goings of the mind. But the important ingredient to this watching is watching without grasping or rejecting, watching without judging, watching without jumping into the fray. And as one watches without interference the energy that is involved in thought begins to return home and the mind is reeled in, not by any effort and not by chemistry, but by no longer being a party to the creation of the me.

Of course as long as there are impressions remaining within the mind one is drawn out again and again but also it becomes easier and easier to return. This is the gift of meditation and this is the gift of Osho.

-purushottama

For more info see:

Osho News story on Pravasi

Osho – The Attraction for Drugs is Spiritual

The documentary: The Sunshine Makers available on Netflix

Osho – LSD, A Shortcut to False Samadhi

NY Times story: Nicholas Sand, Chemist Who Sought to Bring LSD to the World, Dies at 75

Just Learn to be Aware in all Situations – Osho

Relaxation has always been one of the most valuable states of being for me. “Watchfulness” seems to be possible only then, or at least so much easier. Beloved Master, would you like to comment on how “relaxation” is connected to “awareness”?

Sadhan, they are not only connected with each other, they are almost two sides of the same coin. You cannot separate them. Either you can begin with awareness, and then you will find yourself relaxing… What is your tension? Your identification with all kinds of thoughts, fears, death, bankruptcy, the dollar going down… all kinds of fears are there. These are your tensions, and they affect your body also. Your body also becomes tense, because body and mind are not two separate entities. Body-mind is a single system, so when the mind becomes tense, the body becomes tense.

You can start with awareness; then awareness takes you away from the mind and the identifications with the mind. Naturally, the body starts relaxing. You are no more attached, and tensions cannot exist in the light of awareness.

You can start from the other end also. Just relax… let all tensions drop… and as you relax you will be surprised that a certain awareness is arising in you. They are inseparable. But to start from awareness is easier; to start with relaxation is a little difficult, because even the effort to relax creates a certain tension.

There is an American book – and if you want to discover all kinds of stupid books, America is the place. The moment I saw the title of the book, I could not believe it. The title is, You Must Relax. Now if the ‘must’ is there, how can you relax? The must will make you tense; the very word immediately creates tension. ‘Must’ comes like a commandment from God. Perhaps the person who is writing the book knows nothing about relaxation and knows nothing about the complexities of relaxation.

Hence, in the East we have never started meditation from relaxation; we have started meditation from awareness. Then relaxation comes on its own accord, you don’t have to bring it. If you have to bring it there will be a certain tension. It should come on its own; then only will it be pure relaxation.

And it comes….

If you want to, you can try from relaxation, but not according to American advisors, but in the sense of experience of the inner world.  America is the most childish place on the earth. Europe is a little older – but the East has lived for thousands of years in the search for its inner self.

America is only three hundred years old – in the life of a nation three hundred years are nothing – hence, America is the greatest danger to the world. Nuclear weapons in the hands of children… Russia will behave more rationally; it is an old and ancient land and has all the experiences of a long history. In America there is no history. Everybody knows his father’s name, forefather’s name and that’s all. There your family tree ends.

In India it is very difficult. One of the scholars of this very city, Lokmanya Tilak, proved – and his proof has not yet been disproved by any argument by other scholars. Now almost the whole century has passed, but his evidence is such that it cannot be disproved.

The Western scholars used to argue that Rigveda, the most ancient book in the world, is five thousand years old. There was a difficulty because according to Christianity God created the world four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ, so now it is only six thousand years old. Now they have to put everything, fit everything into six thousand years; beyond that they cannot go. Going beyond means going against Christianity, against The Bible, against Jesus Christ, and it is too risky.

Lokmanya Tilak proved with intrinsic logic that in Rigveda there is a description of a certain constellation of stars about which astronomers are absolutely certain that it happened ninety thousand years ago. There is no way to describe it unless these people had been the observers of that constellation, and it has not happened since then.

Lokmanya Tilak proved that Rigveda may not be older, but it is certainly ninety thousand years old. And one thing brings another thing in. In Rigveda, the founder of Jainism, Adinatha, is mentioned with great respect. That means that if Hinduism is ninety thousand years old, Jainism must be even older, because nobody talks with such respect about contemporaries – particularly contemporaries who are not willing to agree with you.

Adinatha did not agree on any point with Hinduism; that makes it certain that he was not a contemporary. Perhaps by the time Rigveda was written, he had been dead for a thousand years. People have a certain tendency to be respectful about the dead, and the longer they are dead, the more respectful they become. So I am giving you a recipe: if you want to become respectable, be dead, and everybody will be respectful to you.

Have you watched? – When somebody dies, nobody speaks anything against him. It is simply etiquette and mannerism.

In one small town a man died. The tradition is that before a man is lowered down into his grave somebody should say some good things about him. Everybody looked at each other – but because he was such a rascal they could not find single word. He had tortured almost everybody in the town; he was such a harassment that everybody was deep down very happy that finally he had died: “Now we can relax a little.” So nobody was ready to say something good about the man, because everybody knew that people would laugh if they said something good.

Finally one man stood up and said, “Compared to his other four brothers he was an angel. His other four brothers are still alive; you should not forget that fact.” And it was true; those other four brothers were even more nasty, more dangerous. But he managed to say something good about the man – that compared to the four brothers he was an angel. 

Rigveda mentioning Adinatha with deep respect can mean only one thing, that Adinatha was dead long before. About contemporaries, it is very difficult, it hurts your ego… and particularly for those who are not in agreement with you. Not only that, but their arguments are far superior to yours and you cannot even answer them. Then it becomes very difficult to respect them, and condemnation comes on them from all sides. But Rigveda has a whole passage devoted just to making Adinatha almost a god, with not a single word of criticism.

On this point Jainism can be said to be even older than ninety thousand years. Now, these people have history. America is just a baby – or not even a baby, just in pregnancy. Compared to ninety thousand years… maybe it has just been conceived. It is dangerous to give these people nuclear weapons.

There are political, religious, sociological, economical problems, all torturing you. To begin with relaxation is difficult; hence, in the East we have never started from relaxation. But if you want to, I have a certain idea how you should start. I have been working with my Western sannyasins and I have become aware of the fact that they don’t belong to the East and they don’t know the Eastern current of consciousness; they are coming from a different tradition which has never known any awareness.

For the Western sannyasins especially, I have created meditations like dynamic meditation. While I was taking camps of meditators I used a gibberish meditation and the kundalini meditation. If you want to start from relaxation, then these meditations have to be done first. They will take out all tensions from your mind and body, and then relaxation is very easy. You don’t know how much you are holding in, and that that is the cause of tension.

When I was allowing gibberish meditation in the camps in the mountains… It is difficult to allow it here because the neighbors start going mad. They start phoning the police and the commissioner, saying, “Our whole life is being destroyed!” They don’t know that if they would participate in their own houses, their lives would come out of the insanity in which they are living. But they are not even aware of their insanity.

The gibberish meditation was that everybody was allowed to say loudly whatever comes into his mind. And it was such a joy to hear what people were saying, irrelevant, absurd – because I was the only witness. People were doing all kinds of things, and the only condition was that you should not touch anybody else. You could do whatever you wanted…. Somebody was standing on his head, somebody had thrown off his clothes and become naked, running all around – for the whole hour.

One man used to sit every day in front me – he must have been a broker or something – and as the meditation would begin, first he would smile, just at the idea of what he was going to do. Then he would take up his phone, “Hello, hello…” From the his corner of his eyes he would go on looking at me. I would avoid looking at him so as not to disturb his meditation. He was selling his shares, purchasing – the whole hour he was on the phone.

Everybody was doing the strange things that they were holding back. When the meditation would end there were ten minutes for relaxation and you could see that in those ten minutes people fell down – not with any effort, but because they were utterly tired. All the rubbish had been thrown out, so they had a certain cleanliness, and they relaxed. Thousands of people… and you could not even think that there were a thousand people.

People used to come to me and say, “Prolong those ten minutes, because in our whole life we have never seen such relaxation, such joy. We had never thought we would ever understand what awareness is, but we felt it was coming.”

So if you want to start with relaxation, first you have to go through a cathartic process. Dynamic meditation, latihan, kundalini or gibberish. You may not know from where this word gibberish comes; it comes from a Sufi mystic whose name was Jabbar – and that was his only meditation. Whoever would come, he would say, “Sit down and start” – and people knew what he meant. He never talked, he never gave any discourses; he simply taught people gibberish.

For example, once in a while he would give people a demonstration. For half an hour he would talk all kinds of nonsense in nobody knows what language. It was not a language; he would go on teaching people just whatever came to his mind. That was his only teaching – and to those who had understood it he would simply say, “Sit down and start.”

But Jabbar helped many people to become utterly silent. How long you can go on? – the mind becomes empty. Slowly, slowly a deep nothingness… and in that nothingness a flame of awareness. It is always present, surrounded by your gibberish. The gibberish has to be taken out; that is your poison.

The same is true about the body. Your body has tensions. Just start making any movements that the body wants to make. You should not manipulate it. If it wants to dance, it wants to jog, it wants to run, it wants to roll down on the ground, you should not do it, you should simply allow it. Tell the body, “You are free, do whatever you want” – and you will be surprised, “My God. All these things the body wanted to do but I was holding back, and that was the tension.”

So there are two kinds of tension, the body tensions and the mind tensions. Both have to be released before you can start relaxation, which will bring you to awareness.

But beginning from awareness is far easier, and particularly for those who can understand the process of awareness, which is very simple. The whole day you are using it about things – cars, in the traffic – even in the Poona traffic you survive! It is absolutely mad.

Just a few days ago I read about Athens. Athens is even worse than Poona. The government made a special seven day competition for the taxi drivers and they had put golden trophies for those who were the best at following traffic rules, the second and the third. But in the whole of Athens they could not find a single person. The police were getting worried; the days were almost finished, and the last day they wanted to find anyhow three – they may not be perfect, but those prizes had to be distributed.

One man they found was following the traffic rules exactly, so they were very happy. They rushed towards him with the trophy, but seeing the police coming towards him the man went against a red light. Who wants to get unnecessarily into trouble? The police were shouting, “Wait!” – but he did not listen, he was immediately gone, against the light. They tried with two other people, but nobody would stop, seeing the police. So after seven days’ effort, those three prizes are still sitting in the headquarters of the police, and Athens is going on as rejoicingly as ever.

You can have a little taste in Poona, but still you survive because you remain alert, aware. Perhaps the worst traffic situation is in Italy. That’s why I was telling you the other day that the people who sell cars have come to the conclusion that if the man first tries to look at the engine of the car he is a German. If the man first looks at the beautiful lines and curves of the car he is French. But if the man first looks at the horn, whether it works or not, he is an Italian – because the real thing is the horn, otherwise you cannot survive.

You are using awareness without being aware of it, but only about outside things. It is the same awareness that has to be used for the inside traffic. When you close your eyes there is a traffic of thoughts, emotions, dreams, imaginations; all kinds of things start flashing by.

What you have been doing in the outside world, do exactly the same with the inside world and you will become a witness. And once tasted, the joy of being a witness is so great, so other-worldly that you would like to go more and more in. Whenever you find time you would like to go more and more in.

It is not a question of any posture; it is not a question of any temple, of any church or synagogue.

Sitting in a public bus or in a railway train, when you have nothing to do just close your eyes. It will save your eyes being tired from looking outside, and it will give you time enough to watch yourself. Those moments will become moments of the most beautiful experiences. And slowly, slowly, as awareness grows your whole personality starts changing. From unawareness to awareness is the greatest quantum leap.

Hymie Goldberg was on holiday in Ireland, driving his new Mercedes. He came to a small farm where the road went right through a large puddle. Paddy was standing next to it, so Hymie leaned out and asked if the puddle was shallow.

Paddy said, “Yes,” so Hymie drove on, only to have his car sink slowly out of sight.

Spluttering with rage and dripping wet, Hymie shouted at Paddy, “You idiot! Why the hell did you tell me it was shallow enough to drive through?”

Paddy scratched his head and said, “I don’t understand it. The water only came half way up my ducks.”

Just learn to be aware in all situations. Make a point of using every situation for awareness.

A man rushed into the Pig and Whistle pub in great agitation.

“Does anyone own a great big black cat with a white collar?” he said in a nervous voice. There was no reply.

“Well, does anyone know of a large black cat with a white collar?” asked the man again, raising his voice above the general noise of the bar. But still there was no answer.

“Oh dear!” muttered the man, “I think I’ve just run over the priest.”

The difference between a politician and an English lady…

When a politician says yes, he means maybe. When he says maybe, he means no. If he says no, he’s no politician.

When an English lady says no, she means maybe. When she says maybe, she means yes. If she says yes, she’s no lady.

-Osho

From Satyam Shivam Sundram, Chapter 25

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

The End is Always Buddhahood – Osho

What is the best way to encourage people in meditation? 

The first thing: for a patient to go to the doctor you must make him realize that he is sick; otherwise there is no need to go to the doctor.

So the people you want to encourage into meditation: first you have to make them aware that they are frustrated, perhaps for so long that they have forgotten that they are sad. They cannot remember when they laughed from their very hearts. They have become robots – they do things because they have to be done but there is no joy in doing them.

They are living an accidental life. Their birth is accidental, their marriage is accidental, their children are accidental, their job is accidental. Their life has no sense of intrinsic growth and direction. That’s why they cannot feel like rejoicing.

So first you have to make them aware where they are – and almost everybody is in the same situation. Death is coming close – you cannot even rely on your being here tomorrow. And your life is an absolute desert – it has not found any oasis, it has not felt any meaning, any significance – and death may destroy all possibilities in the future.

So first you have to make them aware of their meaningless, accidental, frustrated life. They know it, but they try to suppress their knowing in many ways, because to know it continuously is a torture. So they go to the movies to forget it. They go to parties, they go to picnics, they drink alcoholic beverages; they do everything – just to somehow not remember the reality of their life, their hollowness, futility.

This is the most important part – to remind them. And once a person remembers all this, then to lead him towards meditation is a very simple thing, because meditation is the only answer to all the questions of man. It may be frustration, it may be depression, it may be sadness, it may be meaninglessness, it may be anguish: The problems may be many but the answer is one.

Meditation is the answer.

And the simplest method of meditation is just a way of witnessing. There are one hundred and twelve methods of meditation, but witnessing is an essential part of all one hundred and twelve methods. So as far as I am concerned, witnessing is the only method. Those one hundred and twelve are different applications of witnessing.

The essential core, the spirit of meditation is to learn how to witness.

You are seeing a tree: You are there, the tree is there, but can’t you find one thing more? – That you are seeing the tree, that there is a witness in you which is seeing you seeing the tree.

The world is not divided only into the object and the subject. There is also something beyond both, and that beyond is meditation.

So in every act… and I don’t want people to sit for one hour or half an hour in the morning or in the evening. That kind of meditation is not going to help, because if you meditate for one hour, then for twenty-three hours you will be doing just the opposite of it.

Meditation can be victorious: witnessing is such a method that it can spread over twenty-four hours of your day.

Eating, don’t get identified with the eater. The food is there, the eater is there, and you are here, watching. Walking, let the body walk but you simply watch. Slowly, the knack comes. It is a knack, and once you can watch small things….

This crow, crowing… you are listening. These are two – object and subject. But can’t you see a witness who is seeing both? – The crow, the listener, and still there is someone who is watching both. It is such a simple phenomenon. Then you can move into deeper layers: you can watch your thoughts; you can watch your emotions, your moods.

There is no need to say, “I am sad.” The fact is that you are a witness that a cloud of sadness is passing over you. There is anger – you can simply be a witness.  There is no need to say, “I am angry.” You are never angry – there is no way for you to be angry – you are always a witness. The anger comes and goes; you are just a mirror. Things come, get reflected, move – and the mirror remains empty and clean, unscratched by the reflections.

Witnessing is finding your inside mirror.

And once you have found it, miracles start happening. When you are simply witnessing the thoughts, thoughts disappear. Then there is suddenly a tremendous silence you have never known. When you are watching the moods – anger, sadness, happiness – they suddenly disappear and an even greater silence is experienced.

And when there is nothing to watch – then the revolution. Then the witnessing energy turns upon itself because there is nothing to prevent it; there is no object left. The word “object” is beautiful. It simply means that which prevents you, objects you. When there is no object to your witnessing, it simply comes around back to yourself – to the source. And this is the point where one becomes enlightened.

Meditation is only a path: the end is always Buddhahood, enlightenment. And to know this moment is to know all.

Then there is no misery, no frustration, no meaninglessness; then life is no longer an accident. It becomes part of this cosmic whole – an essential part. And a tremendous bliss arises that this whole existence needs you.

Man’s greatest need is to be needed. If somebody needs you, you feel gratified. But if the whole existence needs you, then there is no limit to your bliss. And this existence needs even a small blade of grass as much as the biggest star.

There is no question of inequality. Nobody can substitute for you. If you are not there, then existence will be something less and will remain always something less – it will never be full. That feeling – that this whole immense existence is in need of you – takes all miseries away from you.

For the first time, you have come home.

-Osho

From Light on the Path, Chapter One

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

 

After Awakening Before Enlightenment

Back in 2011 the essay Awakening Before Enlightenment came gushing out onto the computer screen. I was very reluctant to edit it much at all because it didn’t feel like my writing. It just poured out.

Now almost seven years later it seems like perhaps it is time for a check-up.

In the last paragraph it was written:

So here we come to the point that has been the fuel for this inquiry for all these years. Without exposure to the presence of an Enlightened Master and, unfortunately for some, even with, it is very easy to believe that the “awakening of the witness” is the end of the journey, is itself enlightenment. Some fellow travelers might very well believe that there is no ending of the mind, because that is the limitation of their own experience.

What is the landscape now at this time? What has changed?

Through these last years I have spent even more time exploring coming out of mind. I have experimented with many of Shiva’s 112 Meditation Techniques explained by Osho in The Book of Secrets. And with each I have discovered that same core that Osho points us to again and again, witnessing.

And it is from here that the mind is witnessed, that one sees all the ways to get entangled, and these are not just seen once or twice but again and again. But each time that seeing happens the strength of the proclivity is lessened. It becomes easier to come out, easier to let go of grasping, easier to remain with that which may be uncomfortable.

And yes, there do come more moments, and longer in duration, where one is without thought.

When thought subsides one is capable of exploring the region of feeling. Not feeling with a tour guide who is naming all the sights but feeling just in feeling. Feeling the very sensation of moods, sometimes the feeling of burbling, gushing raw emotion of some long forgotten happening.

And yes there also comes moments when all thought and feelings subside and one is left with only a sense of being.

And this sense of being, this wavering in the belly, is witnessed, is seen and in that very seeingness, when the seeing is total even that sense of being, that ripple comes to rest. In these moments there is “an ending of mind.”

Surely this momentary “ending of mind” is “samadhi with seed.” It is seed because the seed remains and because the seed remains it invariably re-sprouts. Nevertheless in this moment I am refreshed.

So now I can revisit the post and still say yes, for me, it is true that “awakening of the witness” is not “the end of the journey.” In fact it is the real beginning. The beginning of the end of “me.” And in this witnessing there is “a knowingness” that exists without any support. It is self-evident.

It is also important to emphasize that “the ending of me” does not come about by any doing on my part. I am not dissolving or evaporating my mind.  Any such activity would only strengthen the doer, the “me.” The mind does dissolve, it does evaporate not because of any doing on my part, on the contrary it does so because in those moments I am no longer contributing to its survival. My energy is with that “knowingness.” And because I am residing at home (in those moments) there is no energy feeding the “me.” And I am perfectly happy to let all of the un-entangling, all of the exposing, all of the evaporation proceed without any interference and bask in the moments of “now-here” that appear on their own.

And still the refrain, “charaiveti, charaiveti .”

-purushottama

Here you can find  Awakening Before Enlightenment.

Right-mindfulness is the Flavor – Osho

Please explain ‘right-mindfulness’. If not a goal or something to practice, what is it? 

Sambuddha, right-mindfulness is a strange word.

First: there is no mind in it – hence it is called ‘right-mindfulness’. Secondly, there is nothing right and wrong in it – hence it is called right-mindfulness. This is a Buddhist way of saying things.

It can’t be a goal, because when there is a goal you are always in the wrong. Why are you in the wrong when there is a goal? Because when there is a goal there is desire, when there is desire you are unhappy, discontented. When there is desire, there is anxiety – whether you will be able to make it or not? Will it be possible or not?

When there is desire there is future, and with the future anxiety enters into your being. With the desire you have lost contact with the present.

Right-mindfulness is not a goal, cannot be a goal – because when all desires disappear and all goals disappear and you are here-now… that is the moment of right-mindfulness.

Why is it called ‘right’? It is called right be-cause it knows no division between right and wrong.

Nothing is wrong! And nothing is right. All judgements have disappeared. One is utterly innocent.

When you see a rose flower, does the idea arise in you: “It is right, it is wrong”? When you see the morning star disappearing, does the idea arise in you: “Is it right or is it wrong?” When you start looking at life with no judgement, with no prejudice, then you are in the state of right-mindfulness.

Jesus has said: Judge ye not. Jesus has also said: Resist not evil – not even evil has to be resisted, then arises right-mindfulness. When you are neither moral nor immoral, when you are amoral like trees and animals and birds and beasts, when you are like a small innocent child who has just opened his eyes, with no ideas… then, in that silence, in that purity, it is right-mindfulness.

Why is it called right? It is called right be-cause now it knows nothing as right and wrong – it knows no division, it is indivisible. The acceptance is total! – that’s why it is called right. You have fallen into the suchness of existence. You are no longer standing there like a judge.

Judging is wrong. To be in a state of non-judgement is right. Right, NOT against wrong right because all wrong and right have disappeared. You have no opinion. You don’t carry a philosophy in the mind.

You are simply a mirror! 

When you come before the mirror, the mirror does not say, “You are beautiful, you are ugly” – it simply reflects. It reflects without condemnation, without appreciation – it reflects choicelessly. It just reflects.

When your consciousness has become a mirror and simply reflects whatsoever is the case, it is right-mindfulness. That mirror-like quality….

And it is not a goal, because every goal will bring dust on the mirror. Every goal will stir desires, and desires surround your mirror like mist – then reflection is not true, then suchness is not reflected.

When you have some idea, you cannot be true to reality. You distort reality according to your idea.

You try to mold reality according to your idea. You are to modify reality. You go on looking for your idea. You are searching for support: you would like reality to support your idea, you would like reality to agree with you – -and then you distort. Then you start seeing things which are not there, and you stop seeing things which ARE there. Then you start living in a mind-world.

To live in the mind is wrong. To live without mind is right, because without mind, the consciousness exists in its purity, mirror-like – it simply reflects. It says nothing! It has no interpretation.

It interprets not.

And why is it called mindfulness? This is the translation of a Buddhist term sammasati. Samma means right – the translation is not very correct, cannot be. Samma is a very strange word, very significant, has many meanings; ‘right’ is only one of its meanings. Samma is the root from where samadhi arises; the word samadhi comes from samma.

Samma means many things. One: tranquility, silence, equanimity, balance, undisturbedness, undistractedness, centredness, groundedness – they are all aspects of samma. ‘Right’ is a very poor translation of samma.

And sati  – sammasati. Sati can mean mindfulness, can mean remembrance, can mean reflection, can mean recollectedness, can mean presence. All those meanings are involved in it. Mindfulness is only one of the meanings. It is a very potential and pregnant word—sammasati. It is the seventh step in Buddha’s eight steps – you are very close to reality. The eighth is samadhi.

The seventh is sammasati. You have come very, very close; you are just on the threshold of reality – it has to be very, very significant. When you are utterly present in the presence, when you don’t have any past and don’t have any future… when this cuckoo calling, this train passing, this dog barking, is all… when THIS is all and there is no that, when the word ‘here’ is your whole reality and there is no there, when now contains ALL time and there is no then… then you are in the state of sammasati.

That’s what I go on calling ‘here-now’ – that is sammasati. Then you are utterly present, absolutely present. When something is going on in your mind about the past, you are not here; a part of you is travelling towards the past, and a part of you is travelling towards the future – only a small fragment is here.

When ALL the parts of your being are here, when you are totally at home, nothing is missing, when you are integratedly here, then it is right-mindfulness. In that moment you will reflect reality – as it is, without any distraction, without any distortion. Because you don’t have any thought in the mind, how can you distort it? Thought distorts, thinking is destructive. It goes on imposing – it does not allow you to see that which is.

Right-mindfulness is a state of no-mind, no-thought!

And remember: it is also a state of no-feeling – otherwise, you may think it is a state of feeling. No, it is not – because feeling again creates ripples and the surface of the lake is disturbed, and again the moon is not reflected as it is.

Neither thought disturbs you, nor feeling.

These are the three states: one is thinking – the most disturbed state; second is feeling – less disturbed than thinking, but still disturbed; third is being – no disturbance at all. One is in the head, second is in the heart, third is in your guts. Right-mindfulness is a gut-state: no head, no heart. You are simply there undefined, undefinable.

Sambuddha, you ask me:

Please explain ‘right-mindfulness’. If not a goal or something to practice, what is it? 

And, yes, it is not a practice. You cannot practice it, because practice brings goal! Practice is desire, practice is mind. And remember: whenever you practise something, you are imposing something against yourself, otherwise why practise it? Against whom are you practicing? When you practise truth, what will you do? You will repress the untruth – but the untruth will remain there, deep inside you, ready to explode any moment. It will go on accumulating.

When you practice love, what will you do? You will repress hatred. When you practice compassion, what will you do? You will repress anger. And all that is repressed will go on remaining in you, and all that is practiced will remain on the surface, and all that is rejected will go deep into your being. The rejected will become part of your being and the practiced will remain just a coating, a painting on the surface.

And remember: whenever you practice anything, you are angry at it. Naturally so – because all practicing divides you, makes you schizophrenic.

One part of you is trying to manipulate the other part. One part of you is trying to enforce some ideas on the other part. And the part that is trying to enforce is a very impotent part, but articulate – your head. It has no power, but it is very articulate, very clever, very cunning, very argumentative.

And the head goes on imposing on your body, on your heart, which are far more potential, far more powerful; they have energy sources, but they are not articulate, they are not argumentative – they are silent. And the head goes on pretending that it has practiced… and then a situation arises and all practice is thrown away – because the head has no energy.

You think for years that you will never be angry, then one day somebody insults you and in a single moment you have forgotten all that practice. And YOU ARE angry! By the time you come to know that you are angry, anger has already happened. You are burning, you are fire. From where does this fire come? And years of practice! That practice was just on the surface. Mind was pretending; because there was no situation provoking you, mind was able to pretend. Now the situation has arisen and mind is not able to pretend. The reality asserts itself.

That’s why down the ages, through the ages, the so-called religious people have been escaping from society, from life. Why? They are escaping from situations where their practice can be proved wrong; nothing else are they doing. Going to the Himalayas they are simply escaping from the world – because the world brings situations! And their so-called practice and their religion and their discipline is broken again and again. Somebody insults, or a beautiful woman passes by, and all their celibacy and all their brahmacharya and all their ideas are gone. A single beautiful woman is enough to destroy all their years of celibacy.

They escape from women, they escape from the world, they escape from money and the market – they know that they can be moral and religious and saintly only when there is no situation which provokes their reality. Then the mind can go on playing the game in a monastery. When there is no challenge, mind seems to be the master. When there is challenge, mind is no more a master.

Whatsoever you practice remains false. Never out of practice has anything real happened. Beware of this. The real happens only through understanding, not through practice. And what is the difference?

Understanding will say: Remain where situations arise, remain where challenges surround you. Be there where provocations and temptations exist. Test yourself there. Go into situations!

Understanding will say: If anger comes, then go into anger and see what it is. See yourself – don’t trust anybody else’s judgement about it. Go into it! Be burnt by it. Let it leave scars on your being – because one learns only through the hard way. Only your experience will tell you again and again and again that anger is stupid – not that it is a sin! It is simply stupid. And as the understanding grows deeper, anger will be coming less and less. One day… the understanding has touched your very core of being, the light has penetrated you. You have seen through and through that anger is futile: in that very moment anger has disappeared and there has not been any repression.

Remember this: repression is the pitfall for ALL those people who want to transform their lives – they have to avoid repression. Indulgence is not so bad, because indulgence can one day bring understanding, but repression can never bring understanding. How can you understand something which you go on repressing and you don’t look into? – you go on covering it, go on throwing it in the basement of your being.

And remember: the more you practice, the more you pretend, the more you are angry at your own practice. Your real parts, your guts are angry.

The intellectual young man was telling off his girlfriend. “Jane,” he remonstrated, “I don’t think you are the girl for me. My interests are in art, literature and in music. You are only concerned with sports, with gambling and with common activities that are altogether alien to me. In fact, to be blunt about it – you are downright uncouth!”

“Uncouth!” she exploded. “Me?! What are you talking about? Uncouth? Didn’t I go along with you to them operas, them concerts, them lectures, and all that sort of shit?!”

That’s what will happen. You can go on practicing, but deep down you know that you are repressing, that you are rejecting, that you are denying some essential parts of your being. Right-mindfulness is the flavor of understanding, not the outcome of practice. Right-mindfulness is the fragrance – the fragrance of seeing into things deeply, the fragrance of insight.

-OSHO

From Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind, Chapter Nine

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.