The Master of the Shouts – Osho

A little note about Rinzai, master of the irrational.

Rinzai, also known as Lin-Chi, was born in the early ninth century and was to become the founder of one of the most significant schools of Zen.

Brilliant as a child, later, when Rinzai became a priest, he studied the sutras and scriptures. Realizing the answer did not lie within them, he went on pilgrimage, visiting Obaku and Daigu, two great masters. After his enlightenment he became priest of a small temple on the banks of the Hu-t’o River.

Maneesha has asked:

Our beloved master, Rinzai became known as the master of the shouts. His specialty consists . . . he used shouts as a method to silence you – a sudden shout. You are asking about God, you are asking about heaven, you are asking about great philosophical or theological problems and the master immediately shouts. Your mind gets a shock, almost an electric shock. For a moment you are not, only the shout is. For a moment the mind stops, time stops – and that is the whole secret of meditation.

Many mystics around the world have used sounds, but in a very superficial way. Rinzai used shouts in a tremendously deep way. His shouts would become just like a sword entering in you, piercing to the very center.

You can understand . . . when you shout Yaa-Hoo! your mind disappears. Yaa-Hoo! has no meaning, but shouting it you get suddenly thrown to your own center, and once you have touched your own center, even for a simple glimpse, your life has started changing.

Rinzai would shout at the disciples to give them a first experience of their centering. You are both a circumference and a center. You live on the circumference; the shout simply pushes you to the center. Once you experience being at the center you suddenly see the whole world changing. Your eyes are no more the same; your clarity and transparency are absolute. You see the same green leaves greener, the same roses rosier, the same life as a festival, as a ceremony. You would love to dance.

And then the disciples, once they learned that the shout can help them to reach to their very center . . . It was a strange sight when Rinzai started accepting disciples near the river. The disciples would be shouting around the whole valley, and the valley would resound with shouts. You could tell from miles away that you were somewhere close to Rinzai. It was not only that he was shouting, but that shouting was a method to throw you from the circumference to the center.

There are many ways to throw you to the center. Every way is valid if you reach to your center, because your center is the only immortal part in you. Everything else is going to die.

Today Professor Barks is here. He has done a tremendous job in translating Rumi. He has come as close as possible, but I don’t think he knows that Rumi’s whole effort by whirling is to find the center. If you whirl for hours, you will see slowly that something at the very center is not moving at all, and that is you. Your body is whirling, but your consciousness is a pillar of light.

Rumi attained his first enlightenment by whirling for thirty-six hours continuously. People thought he was mad. Even today a small group of his followers continues. They are called whirling dervishes. But the point is the same: whirling, your whole body becomes a cyclone, and your witnessing self becomes the center. Everything moves around you, but the center remains unmoving. To know this unmoving center is to know the very master key of all the mysteries of life.

Rinzai had no idea about Rumi, neither did Rumi have any idea about Rinzai, but both were working on the same strategy – somehow to force you to the center. As your consciousness becomes deeper, as it becomes an easy thing to go to the center just like you go in your house and come out, you have become a buddha.

Then slowly, slowly your center starts changing your circumference. Then you cannot be violent, then you cannot be destructive; then you are love. Not that you love – you are love. Then you are silence, then you are truth, although the old you has disappeared. That was your circumference, that was the cyclone that is gone. Now, only the center remains.

Rinzai’s method is far simpler than Rumi’s. Very few people will be able to whirl for hours, but shouting is a simpler method. Anybody can shout and can shout wholeheartedly, and it can be very intense and urgent. Whirling you will take hours to find out the center; shouting, a split second and you are at the center.

The anecdote…

Rinzai became known as the master of the shouts. On one occasion a monk asked, “What about the cardinal principle of the Buddha-dharma?”

Now, he is asking something important. What is the cardinal principle of the religion of Buddha?

Rinzai shouted – the monk bowed.

“Do you say that’s a good shout?” Rinzai asked.

The monk commented: “The thief in the grass has met complete defeat.”

“What is my offence?” Rinzai asked.

The monk replied, “It won’t be pardoned a second time.”

Rinzai gave another shout.

The first shout of Rinzai was perfectly good. The monk bowed down because he felt a great relief by moving from the circumference to the center. But Rinzai was a little suspicious. Because everything in this world becomes traditional, it had started becoming traditional that Rinzai will shout and you have to bow down to show that you have understood it, that it has reached to your center. It was becoming a tradition.

This is very unfortunate. Everything becomes a habit, a ritual, a tradition, and loses all meaning. Now, his bowing down may be true or may be just a mannerism. That’s why Rinzai asked, “Do you say that’s a good shout?”

The monk commented: “The thief in the grass has met complete defeat.”

What does he mean by this? The monk is saying, “You have been found being unsuccessful. Your shout missed.”

The monk commented: “The thief in the grass has met complete defeat.”

“What is my offense?” Rinzai asked.

The monk replied, “It won’t be pardoned a second time.”

The monk is saying, “Your shout missed.” He is not saying that shouting at him a second time will not be pardoned; he is saying, “Your being a failure will not be pardoned – It won’t be pardoned a second time. The first time I forgive you; you missed, you did not reach to my center. I bowed down because you tried, you tried hard. But the second time it will not be pardoned.”

Anybody reading it will think that he is saying, “If you shout a second time it will not be pardoned.” That is not the case. He is saying, “Your failure will not be pardoned a second time.”

Rinzai gave a shout – and the anecdote ends suddenly. After the shout there is silence. The second shout succeeded. Now the monk is silent, Rinzai is silent.

There have been long progressions for reaching to yourself, like yoga. But devices like Rinzai’s are very simple, don’t require any discipline as a prerequisite. Anybody . . . no need of having a certain character; good or bad, sinner or saint, it does not matter. What matters is to reach to the center, because at the center you are neither a sinner nor a saint. Your being a sinner or a saint are all on the periphery. Our whole society lives on the periphery; all our divisions are very superficial.

I am reminded of a great follower of Buddha, Nagarjuna. He lived naked. Perhaps Nagarjuna is the greatest logician that has walked on the earth. Aristotle is no comparison to him, neither is Shankara; Nagarjuna’s argumentation is the most refined. But he used to live naked – a beautiful man – and even kings and queens were disciples to him. In a certain capital the queen was his disciple. She asked him, “You will have to give me a favor. I want to take away your begging bowl.”

He said, “That is not a problem. You can have it.”

She said, “That is only half of it. I have prepared a begging bowl for you. This one you give to me; it will be a present, the most precious to me in the whole world. And I have made a begging bowl which you cannot reject, you have to accept it.”

He said, “I have not seen it either.”

She said, “Seeing or not seeing is not the question. First, give me the promise that you will not reject it.”

So he said, “Okay, I will not reject it.”

She brought out the bowl, and it was made of solid gold, studded with diamonds. Nagarjuna said, “You don’t understand the situation. Whether I reject it or not, I will not be able to keep it even for a few hours. A naked man carrying a begging bowl made of solid gold, studded with great diamonds – do you think I will be able to keep it? But I have promised, so I will accept it.”

A thief was watching the whole transaction. He followed Nagarjuna. He knew that this fellow lives outside the city in a dilapidated temple, and every afternoon after he has taken his food, he goes to sleep. This is a very good time to take this begging bowl away. Anyway, somebody is going to take it away . . .

So he went and he was hiding behind a wall by the side of a window watching that somebody else does not enter inside. Nagarjuna made his place to sleep and he had complete awareness that somebody had been following him.

“Why keep him unnecessarily waiting? Anyway, I am going to sleep and he will take the begging bowl. It is better to give it him. Why make him a thief?” So he threw the begging bowl outside the window where the thief was sitting.

The thief could not believe it. This is really a strange man. A strange desire arose in the thief that it would be good to have a little time to sit at this man’s feet, so he asked from the window, “Can I come in?”

Nagarjuna said, “What do you think I have thrown the begging bowl for? – to bring you in. Come in. That was just an invitation.”

The thief could not understand, but was very much impressed by the man.

Nagarjuna said, “I did not want to make you a thief, that’s why I have thrown the begging bowl. Now you can have it.”

The thief said, “It is so precious; you are a man of great mastery over yourself. I also hope one day I will not be a thief but a master like you.”

Nagarjuna said, “Why postpone it? It is a very simple secret. You can become a master.”

He said, “You don’t understand. I am a thief; I am a born thief. I cannot resist the temptation.”

Nagarjuna said, “It does not matter at all. You can remain a thief. I will give you a small meditation: whatever you do, even if you go to steal in the palace, just be a witness of what you are doing. I don’t want you not to be a thief; do whatever you want to do, but do it with full awareness. Just be a witness.”

He said, “This seems to be simple. I have been going to many saints. They say, ‘First you drop stealing, otherwise you cannot be religious.’ You are the first man who is not asking me to drop stealing.”

Nagarjuna said, “Those saints that you have met are not saints. No saint will ask you to drop stealing. Why? Do it perfectly well. Just remain a witness.”

The thief could not understand the strategy. After the third or fourth day he came back to Nagarjuna and said, “You are very clever. In these four days there have been so many opportunities to steal, but as I go to steal, to take something, immediately my hand relaxes. The moment I witness myself stealing it seems to be so embarrassing that I pull my hand back. For four days I have not been able to steal anything.”

Nagarjuna said, “Now it is your problem; I have nothing to do with it. You can choose. You can choose witnessing, or you can choose stealing.”

The man said, “Only in these four days have I been able to feel my own dignity. I cannot drop witnessing. I am coming with you.”

What witnessing does is again throw you back to your center. At the center you are a buddha. On the periphery, who you are does not matter. Once you start living at the center, slowly, slowly your circumference will start changing its colors. It will become as pure as you are at the center. It will become as compassionate as you are at the center. It will take all the fragrance of the center in all your activities.

The authentic religion does not preach morality. Morality comes on its own accord. The authentic religion teaches you to be centered in yourself. Then everything that is good follows, and what is bad simply does not arise. It is not a question of choice; choicelessly you are good. It is not that you are being good; you cannot be otherwise.

This is the miracle of Zen.

Zen simply means witnessing.

These shouts throw you to the center, and once you have learned to be at the center, you will know that on the periphery you are always a beggar, and at the center you are always an emperor. And who wants to be a beggar?

Religion is the alchemy of transforming beggars into emperors.

A great Zen poet, Ikkyu, wrote:

Crazy madman,
Blowing up a crazy wind,
Wandering here and there,
Amidst brothels and wine shops.

Is there an enlightened monk
Who can match me
Even for a single word?

I paint the south; I paint the north;
I am painting the west and east.

He is saying “People think I am crazy . . . ” Crazy madman, blowing up a crazy wind, wandering here and there, amidst brothels and wine shops.

An authentic buddha is not afraid of brothels and wine shops. The saints who are afraid are really repressed people; they are not transformed beings.

Is there an enlightened monk who can match me?

A buddha can move with absolute freedom in the marketplace. Those who renounce the world are the cowards, the escapists, and they have destroyed all the religions of the world. All the religions are in the hands of the cowards.

An authentic religious man is a lion, and he is so centered in himself that he is not worried about being anywhere. He is so certain of his purity, of his eternity, of his divinity that he knows that if a thief comes to him, it is the thief who will have to change; if a prostitute comes to him, it is the prostitute who will have to change.

Our so-called saints are so much afraid. Their fear shows their repressions. A repressed man is not a religious man; he is simply sick, he needs psychiatric treatment.


From Rinzai: The Master of the Irrational, Discourse #1

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Sakshi Means the Witness – Osho

That which is aware of the creation and dissolution of the knower, the known and the knowable, but is itself beyond creation and dissolution is called the sakshi or the witnessing self.

That which dwells in the minds of all beings, from brahma(the creator) down to an ant, and which lives everlastingly even after the destruction of their gross and subtle bodies is called the kutastha or the crest indweller.

From among the kutastha and its different forms, the self, for the sake of the realization of its nature, permeates the body like a thread threading a necklace, and it is called antaryami or the imminent.

-Sarvasar Upanishad

Now, two more diseases, two more complexes, two more illusions. We discussed three in the night: mind, lust for life, and desiring. Now the fourth is sattva – it means virtue. It means an inner accumulation of being good.

This feeling of being good is also a disease – for so many reasons. One is: you cannot feel you are good, unless you feel others are bad. Mm? that’s impossible. You cannot feel you are good unless you feel others are bad, and the feeling that others are bad is a disease; the feeling of good is just a relative term. So a person who wants to feel good is bound to condemn others as bad; and the more you condemn others as bad, the more you can feel you are good. So these so-called good men go on condemning everyone.

Bertrand Russell has criticized Jesus for this reason. He says, “Everything is divine, everything looks holy, except one thing: why Jesus condemns the sinners so much – that they should be thrown into hell, and they should be condemned? Jesus cannot feel good unless he condemns.” I don’t think that Jesus ever condemned – a person like Jesus cannot condemn. The condemnation has come through the tradition; it is really St. Paul who speaks through Jesus, and he is one of the most deeply involved personalities who feels himself to be good. But whosoever it may be – whether Jesus says so, or St. Paul puts is in Jesus’ mouth – the criticism is valid.

A good man can never be good if he is condemning others as bad, but you can never feel good unless you condemn. So a good man must be unaware of his goodness; only then it is not a disease. He must not be aware at all that he is good; only then is he not aware that others are bad. No religion other than Hinduism has condemned even goodness – even goodness becomes a sin, because it is ego-strengthening. It feeds your ego – of course with very pure food. But sometimes poisons can also be pure, so purity in itself is not something to be hailed. Poisons can also be pure, and when the ego becomes strengthened by purity, by virtue, by being good, it is pure poison – it is dangerous. That’s why you can never feel at ease with any so-called good man. Around him there is always restlessness; no one can feel at ease. and unless you can feel at ease, the man is not good, not good at all.

So around mahatmas you cannot feel at ease – never. There is a very strained atmosphere, because their feeling of goodness can exist only if they create a very tense atmosphere around them. Everyone is bad, and they are on the high pedestal. Only they are good; everyone is bad.

That’s why two mahatmas condemn the other. They have always condemned. So only confirmed sinners, only persons who feel themselves inferior, who are suffering from an inferiority complex, can be around them. Two mahatmas cannot meet, because that is the meeting of two diseases, two strong egos – purified, poisonous. These are the pious sinners.

This disease must cease. Not that goodness is bad, but to feel good is bad, because to feel good is comparative; it is always in relation to someone else. And anything that is related to someone else is not of any worth for the inner journey. And man is so cunning and so deceptive that he can go on being cunning, he can go on being deceptive. He may change methods, he may change devices, but the basic disease remains the same.

For example, one can even boast of one’s humility. This is the deceptiveness: one can boast even of one’s humility, one can say, “There is no one more humble than me!” Now, through humility, ego is strengthened – I am again asserting my superiority in humility! But the contradiction is never seen. You can even say, “I am just a sinner,” and feel good about it.

Tolstoy remembers that once he went to a church early in the morning. The streets were dark and there was no one in the church, only Tolstoy. Then the richest person of the city came. He didn’t know that Tolstoy was there; Tolstoy was praying. This rich man began to pray and confess. He began to say, ‘I am one of the most fallen, deeply fallen, from the right path. I am a sinner. Forgive me” – and he began to relate his sins.

Tolstoy was just bewildered, because this man was known as one of the most virtuous. He listened silently; then the darkness withered away, and the rich man felt someone’s presence. He looked around and he saw that Tolstoy was there. So he said, “Were you here when I was confessing?” Tolstoy said, “I was already here. When you came, I was here; I was praying.” So the man said, “Look, I must make you aware of the fact that I have confessed to God, not to you. So please forget whatsoever I have said! And don’t talk about it in the city, because this was a dialogue between me and my God.”

This is the deceptiveness of the mind. Really, he is confessing so as to feel good. He is not authentic – he is not feeling that he is a sinner. By confessing his sins he is now feeling a very holy man. This is a disease.

The fifth disease is punya – the feeling of holiness, the feeling of serving others, the feeling of doing good to others. And there is a difference: To be good is one thing, and to feel that one is doing good to others, is another. Punya means doing good to others. There are so many do-gooders. Really, the world would be less confused and in less conflict if there were less do-gooders, because their do-gooding just creates more mischievousness in the world. They are not concerned with good at all, really. They are concerned to be doers of good – so anyhow they must do good.

Kirkpatrick has written a book; a very strange statement is in it. He says, “If there will be no poverty, then what will we do service to others?” So poverty must remain, because when you cannot do Service . . . And without service, these scriptures say, you cannot go to heaven. So if poverty is completely destroyed on the earth, then there is no bridge from the earth to the heaven. Kirkpatrick is a good man, and whatsoever he is saying, he means it. It is not just a statement, he means it. He feels it, that if there is no poverty, then how can you serve others? And service is such a necessary thing, that even poverty is needed for service to remain, it must remain.

This is a disease. Then service itself becomes the end, not the served one – he is irrelevant. There are social workers, servants of the people; and psychologists say, “It is their need really – not the need of the people. They cannot remain without doing good to someone else; they cannot remain without serving others. This is an occupation for them.” What will happen to them if a society is really there which needs no service? This has happened so many times.

Revolutionaries are chronic revolutionaries. By “chronic” I mean, if they succeed and their revolution succeeds, they become anti-revolutionary. Stalin had to face these revolutionaries, and he killed all of them. The phenomenon was that those revolutionaries were just chronic revolutionaries. A Trotskyite is a chronic revolutionary; he cannot be without a revolution around him. The revolution must be there; otherwise, where will the revolutionary be?

So there are only two possibilities; whenever there is a revolution, a social revolution, there are two possibilities. If the revolution succeeds, then there are two possibilities: either the revolutionary has to turn traditionalist and orthodox and anti-revolution, or he has to continue his revolution. Stalin chose the first alternative; he became one of the most orthodox minds possible. Not even a czar was such as Stalin was – he became a czar.

Trotsky chose the other, or was forced to choose the other. He continued to be a revolutionary. And how then can you be a revolutionary? You have to go against your own revolution. Trotsky made endeavors for this revolution, and then he was against it. He was trying for a proletarian dictatorship, and then he was against it. And Stalin was doing the same. Stalin, in a way, is more consistent; but he himself turned anti-revolutionary. He was for the revolution he had started, but then he became anti-revolutionary, because no revolution could now be allowed. So Russia, after the great revolution, has been the country without revolutions. So the chronic revolutionaries had to escape and they continued there.

If really, there is a society where no one needs your help and your do-gooding, your service and your revolution and reformation, then all these do-gooders will be just mad, insane – they cannot do anything.

This fifth disease doesn’t mean don’t do good to others – it doesn’t mean that – but don’t be a do-gooder. Let it be just a spontaneous thing. Don’t make it a plan, don’t seek it, don’t go for it; let it be just your spontaneous behavior. Whenever there is a situation, do whatsoever you feel; but don’t plan it, don’t make it a scheme. Don’t sacrifice yourself, because persons who sacrifice themselves are very dangerous: when they sacrifice themselves they begin to sacrifice others. And they have a right because they can say, “We have sacrificed ourselves, so now we have the right to sacrifice others.” They become violent. Persons who have been violent to themselves in doing good to others, ultimately turn to being violent to others. But now they have the credit of being good, and their violence can continue in the garb of being good. And when someone is good and violent, it is the most criminal, the deepest criminal combination.

If the father is good, then he can be a criminal to his son. If the mother is good, then she can be a criminal. This happens daily. Women are more good than men; not that there is any inner necessity, but they are more fearful of being bad, more suppressed. That’s why wives become dictatorial, because the husband feels a bit inferior. He is bad in many ways: he smokes, he drinks, he looks all around at other beautiful faces.

Then the wife becomes dictatorial; she becomes a do-gooder. Now she can sacrifice her husband; now she can virtually kill. And because she is good, the husband is just helpless – he cannot argue. Smoking is bad – of course; and he is smoking, so he is bad. And really, to smoke is not so bad as to feel good on account of someone smoking. It is deeply criminal . . . it is deeply criminal; it is very violent. This is the disease.

Don’t feel good on account of others, and don’t try to be a do-gooder. Be good, simply naturally. That is completely different. If someone feels restless around you, know that you are not a good man, just a do-gooder.

I have read somewhere about a Tibetan mystic, Milarepa. It is written that Milarepa was a saint, because sinners could feel at ease with him – at ease, totally at ease. There was no condemnation in his eyes, in his words, in his behavior. Really, a saint means this: one with whom sinners can feel at ease, friendly; otherwise, the do-gooder is there. That is the ego, and the ego is always destructive of others. And you can destroy in such good ways that you may not even be aware what you are doing. A good mother can destroy the whole life of the child, just by being good – too good.

This, the rishi says, is the fifth disease. And if one is identified with these five diseases, there comes into existence a personality which is not your being. That personality is known a lingasharir – the subtle personality.

This word “personality” is very meaningful. It is a Greek word; it is derived form “persona.” Persona means a mask. Actors use masks in Greek drama; that mask of the actors is known as persona. You are not that, but you use a mask and become that. Mm? You are not a lion, but you use a mask of a lion and you behave like a lion.

Personality is not your being, it is a mask. This mask is very subtle, and this mask is created by being identified with these five diseases. If you become totally identified, and feel that you are this – this disease of the mind, this disease of desiring, this disease of being good, this disease of being virtuous – if you begin to feel that you are a combination of all these five, these five classifications, then you create a persona, a personality. That personality is known as lingasharir – the subtle body. And behind this subtle body, lingasharir – behind this identification, behind this barrier – is the knower.

So to dissolve the personality, to withdraw yourself from the personality, to renounce the personality, is the essential renunciation. That is what is sannyas: to renounce . . . not the world, because how can you renounce the world? – It has never belonged to you. Mm? What nonsense talking about renouncing the world. When? When you are master of it? – it has never belonged to you. Really, again the trick of the ego: one says, “I renounce the world,” and feels very good that one has renounced the world. A beggar renouncing the empire, renouncing the throne, the palace – renouncing everything . . .  It has never belonged to him, so how can he renounce it?

So really, a sannyasin doesn’t mean a person who renounces the world. A sannyasin means a person who renounces the personality – that belongs to you! You are the creator of it, so you can renounce it. Nothing else! You cannot renounce anything that doesn’t belong to you. The personality belongs to you; you can renounce it, but you can renounce only when you begin to be aware that you are not the personality. This is known as kshetragya, the knower of the field. The field is personality, and the knower, the center which becomes aware of this personality. If you become aware of the center, of the knower, then there is not difficulty in renouncing the personality. It is just a clothing, just a clothing, and very dirty and very diseased.

Now, three situational dimensions of the being: We discussed personalities; we discussed bodies; we discussed complexes of diseases. Now the enquiry into the being itself. What is the being? Behind all, beyond all, transcending all – what is the being itself? Three definitions have been given. One is called sakshi; sakshi means the witness. Another is called kutastha; kutastha means the eternal, the indestructible, the immortal. And the third is named antaryami: the innermost, the inner one. It is good and helpful for the seeker to understand these three definitions. They define the one and the same, but they define indifferent contexts.

First is the witness. This is the essential character, the essence, the very essence of the being. Whatsoever is named is never the knower; whatsoever is objectified is never the subject. The moment we know something, we are different form the known, from the object, because the knower cannot be the known, the observer cannot be the observed. A distance is created by knowledge, by knowing. Knowing is the bridge between the known and the knower.

The being is not, and never is the known; it is always the knower – always and always the knower. Whatsoever you know, remember one thing certainly – that you are not that. This much is certain, that whatsoever you have known and experienced, you are not that. That’s why the Upanishads say, “Neti, neti – not this not that.” Whatsoever you say, the Upanishads say, “No, not this, not that – never!” This is the nature of the being; it always transcends objects. It is pure subjectivity, and this pure subjectivity can never be turned into any object. So in a way, you can never know yourself in the same way as you have known all else. So “self-knowledge” is in a way, a very contradictory word, because really the self cannot be made an object of knowledge. But still, self-knowledge exists. But that knowledge has to be defined and guarded, and defined in a specific way. Self-knowledge means: where all knowledge stops. Self-knowledge means: where there is no self.

Self-knowledge means: the knower is not, the known is not, the knowledge is not. But when I say that you are never the known, then one thing must be understood: if you are not the known, how can you be the knower – because the knower is just in reference to the known. The knower is just in reference to the known. If you are never the object, how can you be called a subject? – because subject means in relation to object; it means the other end of the object. That’s why the Upanishads say, “It is just a witness – not even a knower.”

It witnesses all the three: the known, knowledge, the knower. They come up, they dissolve, and the witnesser remains. It will be better not to call it even a “witnesser,” but a witnessing, because when we say “witnesser,” a subtle crystallization comes into the world, a subtle feeling of the ego and “I.” So it is better to say “witnessing.” Then there is simply a process of knowledge without any ego, without any “I” crystallizing it.

And then in the world, there are not things, but processes. This is the difference between a materialist and a spiritualist. This! – a materialist sees in the world, and a spiritualist sees in the world events – not things. The difference is not whether matter is or not; the difference is not whether mind is or not. The difference is basically this: a spiritualist sees in the world energy, processes – energy processes, events, alive events – not dead things.

Now physicists are ready to accept this as far as matter is concerned. They say now, “There is no matter. Matter is dead; matter is not there – only energy waves, only quanta, only processes.” Even a stone is just a process, it is not static; it is dynamic, it is moving. Not only is a river moving, the Himalayas also.

A Zen fakir, Bankei, has said, “I have not seen only rivers moving, I have seen bridges also moving. And once it happened that the river was not moving, and the bridge was moving.” He means by this that there are not things – static, dead – but movement, continuous processes, waves and waves and waves; and each wave is turning into the other. This is what is meant by a spiritual attitude.

So matter is energy, waves. Inside also there is no knower as fixed, as “I,” because the ego is a thing – dead. So it is better to call it not the witnesser, but witnessing – with no center really, just a process.

Buddha says, “There is rebirth, but you are not.” So how can rebirth be? Ordinary logic will say, “How can rebirth be? If you are not, if there is no ego to be reborn, then how is rebirth possible?” Buddha says, it is just a process – a process just like a flamelike process. In the evening you see the flame: the lamp is burning and there is a flame. In the morning you blow it out. You say, “I am blowing out the same flame.” Buddha says not, because the flame is constantly changing. It is a process, it is not a thing, so it cannot be the same. In the evening you saw one thing; this is something else – flame has been constantly changing and going into nothingness, and new flames are being  replaced continuously.

It is continuity. The flame is not a thing, it is a continuity. Every moment the flame is changing, so whatsoever you are blowing out is not the same flame you saw in the night. It is the same continuity – a continuum.

Witnessing is there just like a flame.

It is a continuum.

This is the first situational definition. The rishi talks about it first, because it can be made a means; it can be used as a device; it can become a vehicle towards your being, your center.

The second is kutastha; it means: the eternal, the immortal, that which cannot be destroyed, indestructible. What can be destroyed really? What is destructible? – only the form and the name, namrup. Within these two words is the whole Eastern standpoint: namrup – name and form – can be destroyed, are destructible. Your name can be changed and your form – nothing else.

The ice is transforming itself into water, and the water is evaporating. What changes? – not the essence, but only the form and the name. Now it is ice; now it is water; now it is vapor. What is changing? The essence remains the same, but the name and form change.

This whole world is just name and form. Everything is changing: the child becoming the adult; the adult becoming the old man; life turning into death; birth turning into death; health turning into disease; disease turning into health – everything is changing. Even opposites are not really opposites, because they can change into one another. The north becomes the south, the south becomes the north. The east is also the west, and the west is also the east. It depends. It depends on where you are looking.

Someone asked Mulla Nasruddin, “Where is your house on the road? On the left or on the right?” He said, “It depends: sometimes it is on the left, and sometimes it is on the right. It depends from where you are coming.”

Life is a movement, but name and form change; the essence remains the same. But when I say the essence remains the same, I don’t mean it is a static thing. I mean it is a dynamic force, but still the same. Dynamic and the same must be remembered; otherwise, God becomes just a static phenomenon – dead, with no opening.

Kutastha doesn’t mean a dead thing, it means a dynamic force, essentially remaining the same, but changing its name and form all the time. Beyond name and form, the essential one is known as the kutastha. If you destroy everything – every form and every name – the remaining is the kutastha. If all my five bodies are destroyed, if all my five diseases are destroyed, then the remaining will be the kutastha – that is the essential being which cannot be destroyed. This always is.

This is the end definition; the first one was a means definition. If you proceed by being a witness, you will reach the kutastha, the eternal, but both are far away. Neither we are using witnessing, nor are we standing in the eternal. Then it is, therefore, the third definition: it is called antaryami, the innermost.

This definition belongs to us here and now, as we are. A link must exist between the kutastha, the eternal, and us; otherwise, there can be no traveling towards it, no journey towards it. Somehow, we must be linked in all these bodies, in all these diseases, in all these ignorances. Still the innermost being is here; it is just hidden. it is hidden just like the thread of the beads: the beads are apparent, but the thread is hidden. You cannot see directly, immediately; you have to make a gap between two beads, and then suddenly in the gap is the thread – the innermost running force, the innermost running energy.

So whenever one has to go deep into oneself, one has to make a gap between two diseases or between two bodies or between two thoughts. Wherever you can create a gap between two things inside you, suddenly you become aware of the thread.

For example, there are thoughts in the mind – continuously one thought is followed by another. Bring a gap between two thoughts. There IS a gap, because two thoughts cannot exist without a gap: an interval is a basic necessity. One thought is followed by another, but there is a subtle gap. Be aware of the gap.

We are aware only of the thoughts. From one thought we jump to another, and the gap is lost. Remain in the gap, stand in the interval, slow down your thought process and you will feel a gap. One thought has gone, another has yet to come – there is a gap, a sudden silence. In this silence you will become aware of the thread; that thread is known as antaryami. It is here and now, and we cannot proceed otherwise; we have to proceed from here and now.

So antaryami is the definition for us. Then sakshi, witnessing is the method; then kutastha, the eternal one is the end.


From That Art Thou, Discourse #10

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So Be It – Osho

Ikkyu wrote:

Whether I elevate this message
Or put it down,
Everything under the heavens
Is the imperial domain.
I salute and say,
“So be it . . . so be it.”

That is another version of total relaxation with existence, another version of let-go, another version of suchness, thisness, isness.

He is saying, “Whether I elevate this message or put it down, everything under the heavens is the imperial domain. I salute and say, ‘So be it . . . so be it.’ Whatever happens, my absolute determination, my absolute commitment is that whatever happens is good. So be it.”

It may seem sometimes that something is a misfortune – but still Ikkyu is right. Many times blessings come in disguise, and those who are ready to accept even misfortunes joyfully, they transform the misfortune into a joy. Just by accepting them, without any resistance, is the way of transforming them into a beautiful space.

So be it.

Whatever happens, don’t have any grudge, don’t have any complaint against existence. That is the purest message of Zen.


From Rinzai: Master of the Irrational, Discourse #8

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There is no Final Destination – Osho

Ikkyu wrote:

Myself of long ago,
In nature
No final destination,
Nothing of any value.

He is giving you the very manifesto of Zen. Myself of long ago, in nature . . . I have disappeared in nature, I don’t know when, I have not kept a diary and I don’t remember that I was anything else at any time.

Myself of long ago, in nature non-existent: I don’t find myself, I find only nature. No final destination . . . I am going nowhere. There is no final destination, because final destination will mean death.

Life is a continuity always and always. There is no final destination it is going towards. Just the pilgrimage, just the journey in itself is life, not reaching to some point, no goal – just dancing and being in pilgrimage, moving joyously, without bothering about any destination. What will you do by getting to a destination? Nobody has asked this, because everybody is trying to have some destination in life. But the implications…

If you really reach the destination of life, then what? Then you will look very embarrassed. Nowhere to go . . . you have reached to the final destination – and in the journey you have lost everything. You had to lose everything. So standing naked at the final destination, you will look all around like an idiot: what was the point? You were hurrying so hard, and you were worrying so hard, and this is the outcome.

I have told you about one of Rabindranath’s stories. It is a song. The story says in song, “I have been searching for God for centuries. Sometimes he was around the moon, but by the time I reached there he had moved to some other star. I saw him at another star, but by the time I reached there he had moved again. This went on and on, but there was great joy in that he is there, and one day I am going to find him. How long can he hide? How long can he escape?

“And it happened that one day I reached a house where there was a board saying that this was the house of God. I had a great sense of relief that my destiny was fulfilled. I went up the steps and I was just going to knock on the door when I became aware that, ‘Just wait, have a second thought! What are you going to do if God comes and opens the door? What will you do next?’”

Your whole life has been a journey, a pilgrimage, finding, searching. You are trained as a runner since millions of years, and suddenly you meet God and you don’t have anything to say. What will you say?

Have you ever thought that if you meet God by chance, neither will you have anything to say, nor will he have anything to say? You unnecessarily burned yourself out, finished. Final destination means ultimate death.

Ikkyu is right when he says, “No final destination, nothing of value” – everything is just to enjoy and dance and sing. But don’t ask about value; don’t ask what is virtue and what is good. Rejoice in everything, and go on in different pilgrimages knowing perfectly well that life is not going to end anywhere, the journey will continue, the caravan will continue. There is no place where the road ends.

Maneesha has asked:

Our beloved master,

When there is nothing to perceive – no input from the body or the mind and so one has nothing by which to define oneself – is what is left witnessing? There does not even seem to be a witness, but just the awareness that there is no one there.

That’s exactly right. There is no witness, there is only witnessing. There is only consciousness, but no personality to it, no form. There is only awareness, like a flame arising from nowhere and disappearing into nowhere, and just in the middle you see the flame.

Have you watched a candle, where the flame goes? Gautam Buddha himself used as the word for the ultimate experience, blowing out the candle. Nirvana means blowing out the candle. Nothing is, just a pure awareness, not even confined into your individuality, but just a floating cloud, no firm shape – a tremendous isness, a great joy.

But it is not your joy; you are absent. Then arises in your absence the joy, the blissfulness. The moment you are not, then the witnessing is pure. And this witnessing brings the greatest benediction possible. This witnessing is the buddha.


From Rinzai: Master of the Irrational, Discourse #7

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The Sky of Completion – Osho

I heard you say that we sometimes carry other people’s wounds.

What does this mean?

Is another person’s wound simply their thought pattern that we adopt? If we can so easily accept someone else’s wound then why is it so difficult to accept our own buddhahood?

It is a very complicated question, but if you are ready to understand I am willing to answer. Everybody is carrying other people’s wounds. In the first place, you are living in a sick society where people are angry, full of hate, enjoy to hurt – that is the superficial level which can be understood easily. But there are subtle levels, there are so-called religious saints who are creating feelings of guilt in you, who are condemning you to be a sinner. They are giving you an idea which will create misery around you.

And the older the idea is, people accept it more easily. Everybody around the world is saying, “We are living in sin . . .  all these people cannot be wrong.” I am alone in declaring to you that you have chosen to live in misery; it is your choice. You can drop it immediately and dance in joy, in blissfulness.

But the wound is deep. And one becomes very much familiar with one’s misery. One clings to it as if it gives you a certain coziness, but it only gives you a life of hell. But your hell is supported by everybody. If you are miserable everybody is sympathetic to you. Have you ever gone into the matter? When you are miserable, those who are sympathetic to you are nursing your misery. Have you ever seen anybody sympathetic to you when you are dancing with joy? When you are blissful, people are jealous, not sympathetic.

According to me, the whole foundation of life has to be changed. People should be sympathetic only when there is pleasure and joy and rejoicing, because by your sympathy you are nourishing. Nourish people’s joy, don’t nourish their sadness and their misery. Be compassionate when they are miserable. Make it clear that this misery is chosen by yourself.

On a deeper level . . . perhaps the questioner has not asked me to go that deep, but the answer will remain incomplete if I don’t go deep enough.

The very idea of reincarnation, which has arisen in all the Eastern religions, is that the self goes on moving from one body to another body, from one life to another life. This idea does not exist in the religions that have arisen out of Judaism, Christianity and Mohammedanism. But now even psychiatrists are finding that it seems to be true. People can remember their past lives; the idea of reincarnation is gaining ground.

But I want to say one thing to you: the whole idea of reincarnation is a misconception. It is true that when a person dies his being becomes part of the whole. Whether he was a sinner or a saint does not matter, but he had also something called the mind, the memory. In the past the information was  not available to explain memory as a bundle of thoughts and thought waves, but now it is easier.

And that’s where, on many points, I find Gautam Buddha far ahead of his time. He is the only man who would have agreed with my explanation. He has given hints, but he could not provide any evidence for it; there was nothing available to say. He has said that when a person dies, his memory travels into a new womb – not the self. And we now can understand it, that when you are dying, you will leave memories all around in the air. And if you have been miserable, all your miseries will find some location; they will enter into some other memory system. Either they will enter totally into a single womb – that’s how somebody remembers one’s past. It is not your past; it was somebody else’s mind that you have inherited.

Most people don’t remember because they have not got the whole lump, the whole heritage of a single individual’s memory system. They may have got fragments from here and there, and those fragments create your misery system. All those people who have died on the earth have died in misery. Very few people have died in joy. Very few people have died with the realization of no-mind. They don’t leave a trace behind. They don’t burden anybody else with their memory. They simply disperse into the universe. They don’t have any mind and they don’t have any memory system. They have already dissolved it in their meditations. That’s why the enlightened person is never born.

But the unenlightened people go on throwing out, with every death, all kinds of misery patterns. Just as riches attract more riches, misery attracts more misery. If you are miserable, then from miles, misery will travel to you – you are the right vehicle. And this is a very invisible phenomenon, like radio waves. They are traveling around you; you don’t hear them. Once you have the right instrument to receive them, immediately they become available. Even before the radio was there, they were traveling by your side.

There is no incarnation, but misery incarnates. Wounds of millions of people are moving around you, just in search of somebody who is willing to be miserable. Of course, the blissful does not leave any trace. The man of awakening dies the way a bird moves into the sky, without making a track or a path. The sky remains empty. Blissfulness moves without making any trace. That’s why you don’t get any inheritance from the buddhas; they simply disappear. And all kinds of idiots and retarded people go on reincarnating in their memories and it becomes every day thicker and thicker.

Today, perhaps, it has come to the point to be understood and to be dissolved; otherwise it is too thick to allow you to live, to allow you to laugh.

Your own consciousness has no wounds.

Your own consciousness knows nothing of misery.

Your own consciousness is innocent, utterly blissful. To bring you in touch with your own consciousness, every effort is being made to detract you from the mind. The mind contains all your misery, all your wounds. And it goes on creating wounds in such a way that, unless you are aware, you will not even find how it creates them. […]

Don’t keep the past burning you. You have come into an open space, now learn the ways of freedom and love and friendliness. And you all have the capacity; there is no question of being miserable for any reason. No reason is valid to make anyone miserable. In fact, we have to search for a valid reason to be miserable. Otherwise people will ask, “Are you mad? Without any reason and you are miserable?” So somehow you go on inventing reasons. But remember, those are only invented reasons. Nobody asks you when you are happy, “Why are you happy?” There is no reason to be happy. Happiness is our nature. To be joyful needs no reason, no cause.

This commune has to be a commune of understanding, awareness, looking into one’s own mind patterns and remembering that they are not yours. You are simply the watcher, and the watcher is outside the mind.

I teach you the watcher.

The only way to get out of misery patterns, whether ancient or new, is witnessing. I say it is the only way, because nobody has escaped from the mind without becoming a witness. Just witness, and suddenly you will start laughing at your own misery. All our miseries are so superficial – and most fundamentally, they are all borrowed.

And everybody is giving his misery to everybody else he comes in contact with. People are talking continuously about their miseries, about their troubles, about their conflicts. Have you ever heard anybody talking about his joyous moments? About his dances and songs? About his silences and blissfulness? No, nobody talks about these things. People go on sharing all their wounds, and whenever you are talking about your misery to somebody, without your knowing, you are transferring a miserable pattern. The person may be thinking that he is only listening to you, but he is also catching the vibe of misery, the wounds.

When I said that you carry other people’s wounds, my statement meant that your own consciousness has no wounds. If everybody becomes alert, meditative, there will be no wounds in the world. They will simply disappear. They will not find any house, any shelter. This is possible. If it is possible for me, it is possible for everybody.

And in your question you also ask why “we can so easily accept someone else’s wound,” and why it is “so difficult to accept our own buddhahood.”

You can accept somebody’s wounds because you also have wounds. You understand the language of wounds, miseries, sufferings.

And you ask why we cannot accept the idea of being a buddha.

In the first place, you rarely come across a buddha. Very rarely does a buddha exist in the world, so even if you meet him you will not understand his language. Most probably you will misunderstand him. You know misery, and he is talking about bliss. You know wounds, and he is talking about eternal health. You know only death, and he is talking about eternity.

In the first place, it is difficult to find a buddha. In the second place, it is difficult to understand his language because it is not your language. Otherwise, this must be the simplest thing in the world – to understand one’s buddhahood. It is so obvious. Your very being is already a buddha, but you have forgotten the path to your inner being. You have traveled long on many paths, but they all lead outside. And slowly, slowly you have forgotten that there is a small space within you which you have not explored.

Meditation is nothing but an exploration of your ignored inner space. That small space will suddenly remind you that you are a buddha. And unless it becomes a mindfulness in you that you are a buddha . . . It is not a concept; nobody can convince you that you are a buddha . . . you cannot be otherwise.

If you simply go in, the very experience of the interior space explodes in the recognition and remembrance of your buddhahood. It is not a philosophy, it is an existential experience.

The second question:

What is the relationship between Zorba and Zen?

The whole past of humanity has tried to keep them separate, and this has been an unfortunate experiment. The Zorba has remained incomplete, just superficial. And Zen has remained incomplete; it has only the inner world, and the outer is missing.

My Manifesto of Zen is that Zorba and Zen are not antagonistic to each other. The Zorba can melt into Zen, and only then will both be complete.

The man who has lived outside has lived very superficially, and the man who does not know anything about the inner, knows nothing about the existential, about the eternal. And on the other hand, the man who knows something of the inner starts thinking that the outer is illusory.

Nothing is illusory.

The outer and the inner are part of one existence.

I want Zorbas to be buddhas and vice versa. And unless this becomes possible, there will not be many buddhas, and there will not be many Zorbas either. In the completion of Zorba and Zen, a tremendous quality comes to your life: you relish every moment of the outside world, every flower of the outside world. And you relish simultaneously the inner freedom, the inner joy, the inner drunkenness. There is no question of any division. But humanity has lived in a divided way, and that has been a catastrophe.

It is time for Zorba to start meditating, and it is time for the people who are meditators not to allow themselves to escape from the world. They have to come to the world with all their juice, with all their ecstasy… to share.

It seems very difficult to understand, because the whole tradition of the world goes against it. But I don’t see any difficulty.

In myself I have joined Zorba and Zen together; hence I don’t see any difficulty. I am in the world, and yet I am not of the world.

I rejoice in the birds, the flowers, the trees.

I rejoice in myself, in my silence, and I don’t see there is any difference. The inner and the outer slowly have become melted into one whole. And unless your inner and outer become one whole, you will remain incomplete – and incompletion is misery.

Only in completion is there bliss.

Only in completion have you come home.

You have come to existence without any conflict, in tremendous ease, relaxed.

The Zorba in the past has been tense and worried that perhaps he is not the right person. And the man of Zen has been with the tension that he has to avoid this, he has to avoid that – that he has to become a recluse far away in the mountains. But the very fear of the world shows your misunderstanding.

The world has not to be feared, it has to be loved.

We are the world.

There is no question of escaping from anything. Every moment everything has to be enjoyed without any guilt, without any inhibition. But all the religions have been against it.

I proclaim with this manifesto a totally new sky for religious consciousness: the sky of completion, the joining of the inner and the outer, of the material and the spiritual, of Zorba and the buddha.

The third question:

I understand from listening to you that although Mahavira and Buddha were enlightened, they still retained something of their former Hindu conditioning which colored their expression of truth.

In the therapies here, through your discourses, are you cleansing our minds from all conditioning so that we emerge as Buddhas who are absolutely free of conditionings?

It is unfortunate, but it is true that even a Buddha or a Mahavira remained within the conditioning of their social structure. That is a flaw in their enlightenment. It is not as high as it can be; some weights go on dragging them down.

My effort here is to destroy all conditioning – Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, Jewish . . . It does not matter what kind of conditioning you are carrying; I want you to drop it. It is a weight.

And through all the therapies, I am trying to do something else which the West has not understood yet. Through therapies they try to bring you to normal humanity. Their psychoanalysis brings people to what they call sanity.

My therapies here, and all the psychoanalytic methods used, have a different purpose. It is not to make you into normal, average, so-called sane people, it is to cleanse you of all traps, all theories, all religions, all kinds of conditionings. All these therapies here are deprogramming you, and leaving you free without any program.

The negative part is being done by the therapies – they destroy your programming. And the positive part is done by meditation. As your minds are deprogrammed there is a danger, because you have become accustomed to live according to a pattern, a life-style. If it is taken away you will immediately jump into another life-style, into another prison. You cannot live alone.

Therapies are doing the negative part, and meditation is giving you the joy of living in freedom, the joy of living in awareness – not according to any scripture, and not according to anybody, but according to your own light.

The day you start living according to your own light, your buddhahood is far more complete than even Gautam Buddha’s. He is a good pioneer. He started a process, but in the beginning perhaps it was impossible to do it completely. After twenty-five centuries it is possible now to complete the process of Gautam Buddha, and not to create buddhas as against Zorbas, but to transform the Zorba into a buddha, make the Zorba the foundation of the temple of the buddha.

Man is not to be divided, and man has to be given the total freedom of being himself. But this is possible only when, first, therapies cleanse you of all the garbage that society has forced upon you, and when meditation takes you inwards so you don’t have to look into any scripture for guidance.

The scripture is within you.

And you don’t have to borrow light, the light is burning always inside you, the inner flame. Once you have found your inner flame, you have found the whole universe in its completion.

You are the complete man.

The new man has to be the complete man.

A little biographical note:

When Tanka was eighty, he went to Mount Tanka and made a hut which attracted hundreds of seekers. Within three years a big monastery had grown.

The sutra:

Beloved Osho,

Once Hotetsu – a disciple of Ma Tzu – and Tana Tennen, were on a Zen tour visiting various Zen Masters to ask questions.

It is part of the Zen world that even masters go on traveling to different monasteries to ask questions. Questions are asked all over the world, but not the way it is being done in Zen. Masters who have arrived, who know the answer, just playfully go on traveling from monastery to monastery to ask questions to see whether this master is just a pretender. And out of their questions, a whole beautiful tradition has arisen: masters pulling each other’s legs, and after finding that both know it, rejoicing in it like children dancing on the beach.

Hotetsu – a disciple of Ma Tzu – and Tanka Tennen, were on such a tour to ask Zen masters questions, and both were already enlightened.

One day, Hotetsu saw fish in a pond and motioned to them with his hand. Tanka said , “Tennen.”

The word tennen has been given to Tanka because he was one of the most natural, simple, innocent persons.

When Hotetsu saw fish in a pond and motioned to them with his hand, Tanka simply said, “Tennen” – it is natural; don’t feel embarrassed. A great buddha playing with the fish . . . don’t be worried. Tanka said. “It is natural.”

The following day, Hotetsu asked Tanka, “What is the meaning of what you said yesterday?”

Tanka threw his body to the ground and lay there, face down.

What is he saying? “A fish is born out of the water, lives in the water, disappears in the water – it is natural. And now if you ask me again, ‘What is the meaning of what you said yesterday?’. . . ”

Zen masters are not recorded to repeat their answers, they respond: Tanka threw his body to the ground and lay there, face down. He is saying, “I am also a fish made of the earth, and one day I will disappear into the earth. I am not anything more special than a fish.”

On his last day, Tanka said to his disciples, “Prepare a bath for me – I am now going.”

Then he put on his straw hat, held a stick in his hand, put on his sandals and took a step forward. But before his foot touched the ground, he had died.

What a way of dying! – with such clarity. Death is coming – be prepared for a journey. And the people who saw him standing with one foot up, could not see that that foot was indicating towards the invisible. He had left the body, and the consciousness had become part of the cosmos.

But a man of meditation becomes aware to leave the body when the time is ripe, or when the body is trying to get rid of his consciousness. A Zen man dies consciously, hence his death is not a death but an entry into immortality.

And Tanka Tennen would be the right figure – with his straw hat on, holding his stick in his hand, putting on his sandals, and taking a step forward . . . But before his foot touched the ground, he died, standing, ready for the eternal journey. This shows an intense awareness of one’s being. And it also shows that the man is free of the mind.

Only a man free of mind has the clarity to see things as they are going to happen. And he is always ready, even for death. Most of the people are not found ready for death. If you ask them, “Are you ready for death?” they will say, “Wait, there are so many things to do.” Only a man of meditation is always ready. He has done everything in each moment with such totality, with such completion, that he will not ask death to wait.

Tanka ordered his disciples to prepare a bath. They had no idea why he was asking for a bath. They had no idea why he was putting on his straw hat. Where was he going? He did not say anything. The only thing he said was, “Prepare a bath for me – I am now going.” Going where? Going into nowhere, going into the cosmos: “Enough I have lived in the body. Now I am going to dissolve like ice dissolves in the ocean” – a beautiful way of dying.

Zen is both a beautiful way of living, and a beautiful way of dying.

A haiku:

Autumn wind.
The strength of the lotus
In a single flower.

There is a strong autumn wind, but that does not make the lotus flower freak out, although it is very fragile. The strength of the lotus in a single flower . . . a small stem.

Such is life. Any moment the strong autumn wind – and the lotus flower is gone. But go the way the lotus flower goes, without any misery, without any fear, without any concern. Existence is our home. Whether we are in the body or not in the body, it does not matter; in fact, not to be in the body gives you a tremendous space. You are everywhere. Once you used to be somewhere.

Now if you ask about Tennen’s address, it will be “care of nowhere,” or “care of everywhere” – both mean the same thing. But he died so naturally, just as he lived.


From The Zen Manifesto #5

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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Go on Digging – Osho

The word ‘zazen’ has to be understood before I can start discussing the sutras that you have brought. Zen I have explained to you. It comes from the Sanskrit dhyan. Buddha never used Sanskrit as a part of his revolution. Sanskrit was the language of the learned, it has never been a language of the masses. Buddha broke away from tradition and started speaking in the language of the masses. It was a revolt against scholarship, learnedness, the pundits, the rabbis, the people of the scripture, whose whole heart is in their books. And because of those books they cannot see the reality.

Buddha started speaking in the language of his province, Pali. In Pali, dhyan changes its form a little bit. It becomes jhan. When Bodhidharma reached China, jhan again changed, into Chinese; it became ch’an. And when the school of Rinzai took the same message to Japan from China, the word ch’an came very close to the very original Pali, jhan. It became in Japan, zen.

In English there is no equivalent word. There are words like concentration, contemplation . . . but they are all of the mind. Dhyan means going beyond the mind. It is not concentration, it is not contemplation; it is just letting the mind be put aside and looking at reality and your own existence directly, without the mind interpreting it.

Have you ever tried small experiments? Watching a rose flower, can you watch the rose flower without the mind saying, “How beautiful”? Can you just watch the rose without the mind saying anything at all? In that moment you are in the state of dhyan, or zen.

I am reminded of a story. Twenty-five centuries ago it was a great coincidence that in Greece there was Socrates and in India were Gautam Buddha and Mahavira, and in China there were Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu – all expressing the existential truth, indicating towards it. It is very strange that suddenly, all over the world, there were at least six people fully awakened. Their words may be different because their languages are different, but their indication is to the same moon. That is absolutely certain.

Dhyan means looking, either outside or inside, without thinking – just looking straight forward. Your eyes become only a mirror. The mirror never says anything to anybody. Neither does it condemn the ugly nor does it appreciate the beautiful; it is simply non-judgmental.

Dhyan is, exactly, a non-judgmental state of mirror-like consciousness, just seeing and not saying anything. Then seeing becomes total. And in that seeing is the truth, is the good, is the beauty.

Because of this phenomenon, in the East there is no equivalent word for ‘philosophy’. In the East the word that has become equivalent is darshan, but darshan refers to a totally different dimension than philosophy. Philosophy means love of wisdom. It is love of knowledge. And darshan means just the opposite: not the love of wisdom or of knowledge, but of seeing. Darshan means seeing.

Dhyan is the method, the path; and darshan, seeing the truth with your own eyes, is the goal of the whole Eastern effort.

What is zazen? Zen is, just once or twice a day . . . in the early morning when the sun is rising and the birds are singing, you sit silently by the side of the ocean or the river or the lake. It is not something that you have to do continuously. It is just like any other activity. You take your bath – that does not mean that for twenty-four hours you have to continue taking a shower. Zazen exactly means that: taking a shower continuously. Zen is a periodic effort to see the truth. Zazen is a twenty-four hour, around-the-clock remaining aware, alert, in the state beyond mind. Your activities should show it, your words should show it. Even your walking should show it – the grace, the beauty, the truth, the validity, the authority.

So zazen is an extension of Zen around the clock. Just because of zazen, monasteries came into existence. Because if you are living an ordinary life of a householder you cannot manage to contemplate, to be in the state of Zen twenty-four hours a day. You have to do many other things.

And there is every possibility that while you are doing other things you may forget the undercurrent.

So monasteries came into existence. The society decided that the people who want to go deeper into their being are doing such a great experiment for the whole humanity, because if even one man becomes a buddha, with him the whole humanity rises a little bit in consciousness.

It may not be apparent. It is just like when the Ganges . . . a big river, so big that by the time it reaches to meet the ocean its name, from Ganga, becomes Gangasagar, “the ocean of Ganges.” It becomes oceanic – so vast. As it moves into the ocean, the ocean certainly rises a little bit. The ocean is so vast that even hundreds and thousands of rivers never create a flood in the ocean, but certainly even a single dewdrop raises the level. At least you can comprehend it: a single dewdrop losing itself in the ocean, and the ocean is something more than it was before – one dewdrop more.

The people of those days were certainly more subjective, of more clarity that the real evolution of man is not in developing machines, technology; the real evolution has to happen in the consciousness of man. His consciousness has to become a pinnacle, an Everest, a peak that rises high above the clouds. If even a single man succeeds, it is not only his success, it is also the success of all men – past, present, future – because it gives a clear-cut indication that we are not trying; otherwise, we could also be buddhas. Those who have tried, have become. It is our intrinsic nature.

The society supported the monks, supported the monasteries. There were thousands of monasteries with thousands of monks who were not doing anything. Society allowed them – “We are engaged in production. We will provide you with food and clothes. You go totally into your effort of reaching the highest peak of consciousness. Your success is not going to be only your success.

If thousands of people become buddhas, the whole humanity, without any effort, will find a certain rise in consciousness.”

This was a great insight. And society took over the burden of thousands of monks, of thousands of monasteries; all their needs were fulfilled by the society. Today, that society has disappeared because today even the concept that you are a hidden buddha has disappeared. A strange idea has caught humanity, that every man is an island. And that is sheer nonsense. Even the islands are not islands. Just go down a little deeper and they are joined with the continent.

Everybody is joined, it is just a question of going a little deeper. Our roots are entangled with each other, our source of life is the same.

It was a tremendous insight of those days that they decided – particularly, for example, in Tibet: every family had to contribute one child to the monastery, and in the monastery, he had to do only zazen. He had no other work to distract him.

But now that possibility does not exist. Hence, I have managed different devices in which you can remain in the world – no need to go to a monastery, because there is nobody to support you. You can be in the world and yet manage an undercurrent of fire that slowly, slowly becomes like your breathing. You don’t have to remember it.

Maneesha has asked:

Beloved Osho,
On one occasion, Joshu said to his monks: I have single heartedly practiced zazen in the Southern Province for thirty years.

He is referring to those thirty years with his master, Nansen. He is saying, “I have singleheartedly practiced zazen for thirty years continuously, without ever bothering about how far away enlightenment is.” Is it going to happen or not? Is it a truth or just a mirage? Is it something real or only a fiction created by dreamers? Without any doubt, how can one sustain for thirty years the same routine around the clock – walking, sitting, sleeping?

The whole heart is devoted to one thing: how to become more conscious, how to become a witness, how to remain a witness whatever happens. It is possible only if you have come in contact with a master, exceptions not included. The master is an example that the dream can be fulfilled. That it is not a dream, it is a reality – it is just that we have not tried in the right way.

Joshu could continue for thirty years just because he saw Nansen. The very presence of Nansen filled him with a great explosion of joy. “It is possible! If it is possible for Nansen, it is possible for me.”

Nansen had asked him, “Do you have a master or not?” and he did not reply to exactly the question that was asked. He said, “I am with the master.” He said, “My master is in front of me,” indicating Nansen, who was lying down meditating. And he addressed Nansen as “Tathagata.”

Tathagata is the most lovely word used for Gautam Buddha. Just out of respect, the disciples don’t use the name Gautam Buddha, they use the word “Tathagata.” And tathagata is very meaningful.

It comes from tathata. Tathata means thisness, just here and now – a man who always remains here and now, never wavering towards past or future, is a tathagata. He neither goes anywhere nor comes back, he simply remains here. Time passes by, clouds pass by, but nothing touches him. His being here is from eternity to eternity. That is the most cherished word the followers of Buddha used to address him.

Joshu said to Nansen, “Tathagata, I am with my master.” And in that moment something happened – just in silence. Nothing was said, nothing was heard, but something transpired, something was transferred. In Zen they call it “transmission of the lamp.” And Nansen never asked him to be initiated; neither did Joshu ask to be initiated. The initiation had happened without any ceremony and without anybody ever knowing it. The moment he called him “Tathagata” . . . that moment was very precious.

“I am with my master.”

Nansen accepted him, without saying anything. He simply called the head monk of the monastery and told him, “Take care of this new fellow. He is going to become ripe very soon. If he can recognize me as tathagata, he has already moved half the way. It won’t take long for him to recognize himself as tathagata. He has the right vision, the right direction . . . just a question of a little time.”

But that “little time” took thirty years. Those days of patience are gone. Now you need quick things, the quicker the better. Because of this strange idea of quickness all things that grow very slowly and very silently have disappeared. Consciousness is one of those things which you cannot grow quickly. Thirty years sitting in zazen, Joshu became enlightened. What Nansen said was, “He will take just a little time.” In the eyes of Nansen, thirty years are just a little time compared to the eternity of existence on both sides. What is thirty years? Nothing, not even a little time.

Joshu was talking to his disciples:

“If you want to realize enlightenment, you should realize the essence of Buddhism, doing zazen.”

The essence of Buddhism is not in the scriptures, not in the words of Buddha. It is something to be understood, because it has far-reaching implications. Whatever Buddha has said is as close to truth as possible, but even being close to truth, it is not true. Even closeness is only a kind of distance. So you cannot find the essence of the experience of Buddha through the scriptures. […]

To realize the essence of Buddhism is to realize what Buddha realized, is to go as deep into yourself as Buddha went in. That’s what we are doing here. And we are not Buddhists, we don’t belong to any dead tradition or any dead orthodoxy. There is no need. We are all carrying the buddha within us – why go on searching anywhere else?

That is the purpose of zazen, to search through all the garbage that you have accumulated down the centuries. You have been here on the earth for four million years in different shapes, in different bodies, in different species. You have gathered so much around your small buddha that you will have to dig as deep as possible. And don’t waver in digging.

One great Sufi mystic, Jalaluddin Rumi, one day took his disciples to a field where a farmer had been trying for months to dig a well. The disciples were feeling a little reluctant – what is the point in going there? Whatever he wants to say, he can say here. But Jalaluddin insisted: “You come with me. Without coming you will not understand.”

What the farmer had done was, he would start digging in one place, go ten feet, twelve feet, would not find water and would start digging in another place. He had dug eight holes and now he was working on the ninth. He had destroyed the whole field.

Rumi told his disciples, “Don’t be like this idiot. If he had put all this energy into digging one hole he would have found water, howsoever deep it is. He has wasted his energy unnecessarily.” And that’s what everybody is doing. You start, you go a little bit, and then you start again sometime later, or some years later. You go a little bit from a different direction.

These little bits are dangerous. Your effort should be concentrated, and once you start, and you have a master in whom you can trust and in whom you can see the realization of a buddha, then there is no going back. Then go on digging, even if it takes thirty years.

That’s what Joshu is saying:

In the course of three, five, twenty or thirty years, if you fail to grasp the way, you may cut off my head and make it into a ladle to draw urine with.

I promise you, at the risk of my head, that if you continue . . . one never knows. Three years, five years, twenty years, thirty years – one never knows how much garbage you have gathered. Sometimes it can happen in a single moment. Sometimes it can take years. It all depends on the thickness of the layers of dust, past memories, future aspirations, and how courageous you are to cut the whole thing in a single blow.

Without any rest, go on digging. The water is certainly everywhere; so is the buddha-consciousness in every living being. Only man is so fortunate that he can understand it. Other animals are also on the way . . .Scientists think that the theory of evolution is Charles Darwin’s concept. In the scientific field it is true, but they are not aware of the Eastern concept of evolution. A very different concept – far more relevant and far more valid. It is not that one monkey simply becomes man. It is very difficult. You can force him, massage him, stretch him, operate on his tail, put his tie right, but a monkey is a monkey. I don’t think that suddenly one day some monkey got the idea, jumped out of the tree, stood on his two feet, and started becoming man. If so, all the other monkeys would have become man. They don’t become, they are still there in the trees.

The East does not mean by evolution that a monkey becomes a man, but the consciousness of a monkey may be born into a human being. It is not the body that evolves; it is the consciousness within that goes on taking higher forms, goes on reaching towards higher peaks. Man up to now is the highest peak of all that the animals have been trying to be, unconsciously. This is the fortunate situation for man, that he can do consciously some work that other animals cannot do. It is impossible to teach meditation to a buffalo, although buffalos look more meditative than man. But nothing can be taught, and even if there are a few birds, or a few animals who can be taught a few tricks, that does not become their evolution. They simply become actors. A few animals have the capacity to imitate, but only to imitate. Neither can they add anything nor can they delete anything. […]

The essence of Buddhism is not in the Buddhist scriptures, the essence of Buddhism is in being a buddha.” And one becomes a buddha if he reaches his own center. Joshu is completely certain; otherwise he would not have made such a statement: In the course of three, five, twenty or thirty years . . . because in thirty years he became enlightened.

He thinks, “If a man like me can become a buddha, then anybody can become. There are more intelligent people than me, more courageous people than me. Somebody may become in three years, somebody in five years.”

The question of time is irrelevant. The real thing is to begin now, don’t postpone for tomorrow. Deeper somewhere, there is a life source – that much is certain. You are alive, you are breathing, you are listening, your heart is beating. You are perfectly alive, so there must be a source from where life is coming to you. This much can be said with an absolute guarantee, that you are connected with the universe and that connection is your buddhahood.

Joshu is also reported to have said: Thousands upon thousands of people are only seekers after Buddha, but not a single one is a true man of Tao.

To be a seeker in a lukewarm way, thinking that buddhahood is certain . . . “If I don’t work it out today, there is tomorrow.” The seeker without an urgency – there are thousands of people around the world. There are even more cases now than at the time of Joshu – there are millions of people who have a certain idea that one day they will turn inwards, but that day has not come yet. There are so many other things to be done. There are always, there have always been thousands of people interested, but not interested enough to risk their whole life. And unless you risk your whole life, unless it becomes such an urgency that it has to be done whatever the consequences – whatsoever the losses, you have to know yourself – unless this becomes such a total thirst, you will not become a buddha. Or a man of Tao – which are not two things; a man of Tao is the Chinese expression for the same experience as becoming a buddha.

Before the existence of the world the self-nature remains intact. Now that you have seen this old monk – Joshu is pointing at himself. Now that you have seen this old monk, you are no longer someone else, but a Master of yourself.

If you have seen me clearly, you have seen yourself clearly, because I am nothing but a mirror. Only a blind man can pass without seeing himself in me, his own image.

The master’s basic, fundamental function is to be a mirror to the disciple so the disciple can have a certain idea of what a man of Tao means, what it means to be a buddha.

Joshu, with a lion’s roar, is saying, “When you have seen this old monk, you are no longer someone else but a master of yourself.” A master only reflects your masterhood. He reflects your potentiality, he reflects what originally you are and you have forgotten.

What is the use of seeking another in the exterior?

Joshu is saying, “If you cannot see the buddha in me, then don’t waste your time. You will not be able to see it anywhere.” This certainty comes with self-experience.

I have called this book Joshu – The Lion’s Roar. Normally, buddhas are very humble. Joshu is also very humble but he cannot help but say with absolute authority that “once you have seen me, you have looked into a mirror. If you cannot find your master here, then you will be wasting your time wandering around the world, and you will think that you are a seeker. There is no need to seek; just see that you are fortunate to have come across a master.”

This authority arises out of absolute experience.

Once a monk asked Joshu, “What is your family’s tradition?”

By “family” is not meant the ordinary family; by “family” is meant your master, your master’s master. Once you have become a buddha, you are reborn. Now there is no question of your ordinary family, your ordinary parents. Your master has become the one closest to you. Your master has become a rebirth for you. So, “What is your family’s tradition?” someone asked Joshu.

Joshu responded . . . and you have to learn how these Zen masters respond, they don’t reply.

They don’t repeat. Their response . . . perhaps the questioner has never dreamt that somebody will respond to his question in this way.

Joshu responded: “I have nothing inside, and I seek for nothing outside.

This is the tradition of my family. Inside, an empty heart asking for nothing. Outside, no desire, no ambition. This is the tradition of my family.”

This is the tradition of all the buddhas. This has to become your tradition too.

Ryushu, a Zen poet, wrote:

Three, two, one, one, two, three –
How are you ever going to probe
The mysteries of Zen?

Spring birds busy on my roof
After the rain
Try out some new sound,
Tweeting and chirping.

What does Ryushu mean by three, two, one? Man begins either from the concept of three . . .  just like the Hindu trimurti, three faces of God, or like the Christian trinity. The words ‘trinity’ and ‘trimurti’ both come from the same root, tri. The word ‘three’ comes from tri. Either one can begin from three – the knower, the known and the knowledge, the seeker, the sought and the search – or one can begin in a contrary way: One, two, three. One can start from oneself; then he finds the other, he witnesses it. The other can be anything in your inner experience. And then the third: the third is the very witnessing. The one who witnesses, the other, which is witnessed, and the process of witnessing is the third.

Ryushu is saying: Whatever you do, this way or that, you will not reach to the ultimate. These are all games, which philosophers tend to play. It is better not to get involved in games of spirituality, but just be silent and watch what is happening around you.

Spring birds busy on my roof after the rain – watch these small things, the rain and the mist that it has left behind, and the fragrance that comes from the earth. And the birds who are busy on the roof – they are trying new sounds, tweeting and chirping. Ryushu is saying there is no need to be very serious about the search. You can become a witness of ordinary things – the witnessing is the same, whether you witness a bird chirping or you witness your mind chattering.

Whether you witness a sunrise outside or you witness your innermost being, witnessing is the same. Ryushu is saying, rather than getting involved in controversial philosophies, start from small things. Learn from small things one art – the art of witnessing. And then use that same art inwards. It is easier to learn it in the outside world.

It is because of this that Zen became a very artistic religion. No other religion is so artistic: their monasteries are beautiful gardens, with beautiful ponds, birds, great trees, thick forests, mountains . . .  and all this is for zazen. You sit under an ancient tree and nothing has to be done: just watch.

You know the famous haikus:

Sitting silently,
Doing nothing,
Spring comes
And the grass grows by itself.

Ancient pond,
A frog jumps in
The sound

– of the frog, and then the great silence. And you are just sitting by the side of an ancient tree.

Zen has made the spiritual search very aesthetic. First learn it from outside, watching the flowers and the sunrise and the sunset. The effort is not concerned with the object, the effort is to learn the art of watching without any interpretation, without any judgment. A non-judgmental, mirror-like witnessing . . . if you have learned it from outside, it will be easy for you to enter in with the same art.


From Joshu: The Lion’s Roar, Discourse #4

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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Go Like an Arrow – Osho

Maneesha, Hakuin is one of the most respected Zen masters. His respect is because of his ability to express the inexpressible, to create devices that somehow can manage to give you a glimpse of the unknown. He is basically concerned with the method. If a right method is used in the right time and ripe time, it is not going to fail. If you are on the right way, it may take some time to reach, but you will reach. The whole question before Hakuin is: the right way, the right method, the right beginning.

It was Gautam Buddha’s habitual way of expression. All the great qualities that he has called for in an experienced, self-realized man, all begin with the word ‘right’. For example, he will not say simply samadhi. He will say samma samadhi. Samadhi can go wrong, people can mistake similar experiences for samadhi and get lost.

That’s what happened to Aldous Huxley when he took LSD. He was a man of tremendous knowledge, particularly of the East, and most of the saints of the East he knew well. He immediately said that, “The experience of LSD is samadhi, the same experience that Patanjali has described, the ultimate phenomenon.”

This gives a clear illustration that Buddha was right not to use simply the word samadhi. It is dangerous. You can find something else and think it is samadhi; there are similar phenomena. There are people who have become addicted to opium, or hashish, or marijuana. And these drugs have been used for centuries, from the very beginning of man. It is nothing new.

The reason why they became addicted is because the drugs gave them a glimpse of something . . . how things should be. They are temporary glimpses, and they are produced by chemicals so they don’t go beyond the mind. But mind gets a glimpse, just as the lake reflects the faraway moon. And the experience is so beautiful that not to repeat it again and again becomes impossible.

All the societies have been fighting against drugs but the fight has not been successful. It will never succeed the way the society is. It can succeed only if you give people the right experience of samma samadhi — ‘samma samadhi’ means right samadhi — so that they can make a differentiation, a discrimination between what is right and what is wrong. Those who have known their buddha-nature are not addicted to drugs, do not need drugs for their experience. Their experience is not caused by any chemicals; their experience is caused by turning their whole energy in towards the center of their being. That has nothing to do with chemicals. But chemicals can give you an illusion, something very similar.

Hakuin has adopted Buddha’s habit. Buddha never spoke about anything without adding the word ‘right’ first, because his understanding was — and he is correct — that everything can go wrong if you get caught up with something similar which is illusory. And you cannot make the distinction because you don’t know the real. Unless you know the real, how can you expect to make a discrimination between the unreal and the real?

It was a great contribution of Gautam Buddha that he would talk about all the qualities using the word ‘right’ first. Samma means right. Because everything can be taken for granted as right if you don’t have any experience of it. Then any illusion, any hallucination . . . and these hallucinations will drag you through life after life.

A man like Aldous Huxley, one of the most intelligent men of this century, got caught into it. He became addicted to LSD and he preached that what he was experiencing was the same as what Buddha experienced and Kabir experienced. This is definitely going beyond the limitations. Aldous Huxley has no way to know what Kabir experienced, he has no way to know what Buddha experienced. Buddha’s experience was not dependent on any LSD, it was an inner experience dependent only on his own consciousness.

LSD gives you unconsciousness, not consciousness. If you are in a good mood LSD can give you paradise; LSD is simply a magnifying glass. If you are in a good mood, a loving mood, and you take LSD, you feel the whole world is filled with love. You will even touch your chair with a loving hand. All around everything will be beautiful, nothing will be wrong.

But it lasts only for a few hours and when you wake up, you wake up in a far worse world than the one you had been in before you took the LSD, because you have seen something beautiful and now you see an ordinary world which has lost its luster. You have seen in LSD rainbows all around; suddenly they have all disappeared. You have seen people having auras and now they are just so ordinary. But even to imagine that they had an aura looks stupid.

But Buddha or Kabir, once they become enlightened . . . this enlightenment is not something that has to be renewed every year like a license. Once it has happened, it has happened. It may become bigger and more mature, but there is no way of going back. That is the criterion of whether you are hallucinating through drugs or you are authentically meditating.

The word ‘right’ has to be understood. Many people have been worried about why Buddha continually uses the word right about every quality. They are not aware that for every real quality there is a phony quality available — “made in U.S.A.” That phony quality is cheap, but it serves only for a few hours, and then you are caught in it because it is so beautiful — again and again . . . And every time you take it, you have to take it in a bigger dose because your body becomes immune. A moment comes when no LSD can make any difference; your body has become completely immune.

India is far more experienced with drugs because for ten thousand years at least it has been trying to use all kinds of drugs and poisons to create a cheap imitation of the ultimate experience. They have gone even to the point . . . even today there are monasteries in Ladakh where they keep cobra snakes.

When a person becomes so accustomed to all the drugs that no drug helps anymore, then the last thing is a cobra bite. The cobra bites on his tongue, then he feels a little samadhi. Otherwise a cobra bite usually means the end. And you will be surprised: there are cases of the cobra dying, because the man is so full of poison.

It has been used in India for centuries. Each great king used to raise a beautiful girl, and from her very childhood she was given poison — from smaller doses to bigger doses. It made her so immune that she was able to absorb any dose of poison without falling unconscious. And the final stage was, when she became a young girl, blossomed in her youth, she could be sent to the enemy king. There was no difficulty in it, she had just to move to the other capital and the king himself would become interested in her. Those girls were chosen from thousands of beautiful girls; they were unique specimens. Immediately the king would become aware that there was a beautiful girl he had never seen before, and just a kiss from that girl was enough to kill the man.

It is good that nowadays you don’t find such trained and disciplined girls. They were available at the time of Gautam Buddha. And it was not something that you use one time and then throw away, in the American way. They would kill the king and they would come home ready to be sent somewhere else, because nobody could think that the kiss of the girl had killed the king.

Aldous Huxley and his colleagues are not aware of the whole history of drugs. And why was the girl ready to take it? It gave such a good feeling, such a joyful feeling. She was not thinking about what she was being prepared for, but she was floating in a euphoria.

Buddha is right when he says samma samadhi. He will not accept Aldous Huxley’s samadhi as a right samadhi. It is an illusion.

But I wonder that nobody has criticized Aldous Huxley. All the governments are against drugs; obviously they should criticize Aldous Huxley first. But they don’t have either the intelligence or the experience. That man at least had the experience of the illusory — the governments don’t have the experience even of the illusory. But down the ages, although every government has been against drugs, this has not made any change. No prohibition ever makes any change; on the contrary it increases your interest in the things prohibited.

I am against all prohibition. My own understanding is that if LSD can give some glimpse of samadhi, then all its bad aftereffects should be removed, because it is a chemical and it is in our hands. Those bad aftereffects are the problem. They should be removed and an LSD number two should be made — clean, taken in complete awareness that it is going to give you only a glimpse. Its addictiveness can be taken out, and when you know it is going to give you only a glimpse there is no harm. It may lead you to the search for the real.

Rather than prohibiting the drugs, what is needed is to produce drugs which lead people to samadhi, which give an indication: if a chemical drug can be such a blessing, what will the real thing be? It is just a dewdrop in comparison with the real oceanic feeling, the oceanic ecstasy.

But nobody listens to any right approach. Thousands of people are unnecessarily in the jails. The number may be millions, not thousands, and most of them are underage; even six-year-olds have been found taking drugs. Nobody has suggested any solution for it.

And once a boy or girl, whatever their age, takes the drug, they cannot forget the experience. Everything else becomes just rotten; the mind continuously hankers for the drug.

It is the duty of the governments of the whole world, through their chemical drug research, to produce drugs which are not harmful, which are not addictive. Any bad aftereffects have been removed, and only that part which gives a joyous feeling, a desire to dance and a desire to find something real is left, because that feeling will disappear within hours.

These drugs can be used in a right way. Everything can be used in a right way and everything can be used in a wrong way, but it is still the same thing.

Hakuin said to his disciples:

The study of Zen is like drilling wood to get fire.

An old, ancient method.

The wisest course is to forge straight ahead without stopping. If you rest at the first sign of heat and then again as soon as the first wisp of smoke arises, even though you drill for three asamkhyeye kalpas . . .

Asamk means innumerable, and kalpas means yugas, or ages. If you drill for asamk, for innumerable ages, you will never find a spark of fire.

What he is saying is that there are things which have to be done fast. If you do them slowly, at the most you may create smoke but not fire. To create fire you have to drill hard and without resting. If, seeing that the wood is becoming hot, you say, “Let us rest a little,” the wood will become cool again. If, seeing that the wood is smoking, you say, “Now the fire is not far away we can rest a little,” the smoke will disappear, the wood will become cool again. The fire is hidden in the wood but you have to be very continuous until you find the spark, the flame jumping up from the wood.

This is a very good example for meditators. You go a little while and then you say, “I have to go tomorrow again, what is the hurry? It is enough, now rest — and if finally, everybody has to become a buddha, what does it matter whether it is Sunday or Saturday? There are only seven days; someday I will become a buddha.” But if you think in terms of going slowly, in a lousy way, taking rests, you will never reach.

Although the path is very short, it is short only for those who go like an arrow. The arrow does not stop on the way, there are no stations for the arrow. It does not rest a little while in the air and then go again, it simply goes straight without halting on the way. And that should be remembered by every meditator.

I have been using the word ‘arrow’ purposely so that you can understand that going into yourself is not a morning walk — that you can return from anywhere. It is not something that you can do in parts; you have to do it one day in a single quantum leap. Whenever you decide, then don’t look back, just go ahead.

Certainly it needs guts and courage because you are moving in a dark and unknown space. You don’t have with you even a lamp — no companion, you don’t have any map. And meditation demands that you go with the speed of light, so fast that the journey of thousands of lives is completed in a single moment.

Hakuin says:

My native place is close to the seashore, barely a few hundred paces from the beach. Suppose a man of my village is concerned because he does not now the flavor of sea, and wants to go and taste it for himself. If he turns back after having taken only a few steps, or even if he returns after having taken a hundred steps, in either case when will he ever know the ocean’s bitter salty taste?

You have to go to the ocean; one hundred feet or two hundred feet, that is not the question. You have to go all the way.

But, though a man comes as far as the mountains of Koshu or Shinshu, Hida or Mino, if he goes straight ahead without stopping, within a few days he will reach the shore, and, the moment he dips the tip of one finger into the sea and licks it, he will instantly know the taste of the water of the distant oceans and the nearby seas and of the southern beaches and the northern shores. In fact of all the sea water in the world.

But the question is of going to the sea, not just going in a lukewarm way: “Today a few steps and then we will see tomorrow.” But tomorrow you will have to take these few steps again. And if this becomes your habit — “A few steps today and then we will see tomorrow” — if this becomes your pattern then you will never reach. Always you will be going on those few steps, and then the decision that, “It is enough, now we will see tomorrow.”

For the meditator there is no tomorrow.

Future is not the concern of meditation. Future is the concern of the mind; mind cannot live without future. If suddenly all future disappears, mind will be at a loss what to do. Future is the space in which mind goes on weaving imaginations, projects, ideas: what one is going to become, what one is going to achieve. All ambitions are laid out in the future. But if the future completely disappears — suddenly you come to the point where you see that there is no future — either your heart will stop or you will run away backwards, thinking that at least the past will be there. But the past is not there.

The past and the future both are in your mind.

Existentially there is only this moment.

So when you meditate today, do it as if this is the last day. You may not have any chance to meditate again, so go all the way to the seashore. And once you have got the taste of your being — the rejoicing, the dancing, the blessing, the ecstasy — then there is no problem, you know the way. It is not far, it is just within you, just a few inches away from your mind. But once you have to know it. Just once you have to know it, then there is no problem. Then you cannot forget it, then you cannot go away against it; then it becomes your very life. And when meditation becomes one’s very life, there is nothing more in this existence to make you richer, to make you more of a splendor. The secret is hidden within you.

A Zen poet wrote:

With a pierced net — a net with holes.

With a pierced net
I’ve caught
All the butterflies
Of the universe.

He is not talking about butterflies; neither is he talking about a pierced net. He is talking about your mind, which is certainly pierced — so many holes, so many loopholes, so many stitches here and there, so many cracks. But the poet is saying, don’t be worried:

With a pierced net
I’ve caught
All the butterflies
Of the universe.

Just know the secret. And the secret is to go beyond the pierced net. Be a master of your mind, then even a pierced net is capable of catching all the butterflies of the world. Right now your mind catches nothing. From all the holes and loopholes everything goes on leaking out. Have you seen that you are leaking continuously? I don’t think . . . but now you will see.

Basho says, sitting silently . . . It is right, but he does not know that when you sit silently it is not necessarily true that the grass grows by itself. What seems to be more likely is that the mind leaks by itself. Basho’s experience is a great experience, but this is a very simple experiment that you can do. Just sitting in your room with closed eyes, see: thoughts are rushing this way and that way, everything is leaking.

When I say go beyond the mind, I mean go beyond all this leaking so that you can find something solid to stand upon. Before you take the jump, you need to find a spot at least to stand on, from which to jump into the darkness, into the unknown territory of your own being.

Buddha is reported to have said that everything that is great is bitter in the beginning and very sweet in the end — and vice versa. That which is very sweet in the beginning, for example a honeymoon, is very bitter in the end. Meditation may be entering into darkness, unknown territory, but it ends up in self-illumination, in a great explosion of light. And once the explosion has happened, you remain the buddha forever; you cannot go back. The mind has gone, just as a shadow disappears. You function now from no-mind, and any action from no-mind is good, is a blessing to the world.

Maneesha has asked:

Our beloved Master,

Hakuin said, “The wisest course is to forge straight ahead without stopping.” But if we knew where straight ahead was, would we need to walk it?

It is just a way of saying it. There is no problem in it when Hakuin says, The wisest course is to forge straight ahead. He is talking to the disciples, not to the students; he is talking to the meditators.

When I say to you, go straight in, you don’t ask me, “Where is this ‘in’?” You don’t consult an encyclopedia or a map of the world — where is this ‘in’? You understand, you know perfectly well where it is, just you have not gone that way before.

So, Maneesha, you know perfectly well where you have to go. Just go straight ahead. Walking will not do, not even running. That’s why I have used the word ‘arrow’ — with the speed of light. I have used the words ‘quantum leap’. One moment you were not a buddha and another moment you are a buddha — so fast.

There is no distance between you and your buddhahood, only a misunderstanding. It is something like, two plus two is four but by some mistake you have been calculating that two plus two is five, and I tell you that this is a mistake: two plus two is not five, it is four. Do you think you will have to do something? Immediately you see the point.

It is said that psychotics are ones who think two plus two is certainly five. They are very fundamentalist. All fundamentalists are psychotics. They know everything — where God is . . . They know that the Holy Ghost committed a crime, and rather than hanging God on the cross, the Jews hung the poor boy Jesus — it was not his fault.

The Holy Ghost and God are not separate. The Holy Ghost seems to be God’s personality, his mask. Not to say directly that God committed adultery, and with a poor virgin, Mary, they say that the Holy Ghost did it. And the poor boy who was born out of this criminal act, they crucified. They should have crucified God, but the difficulty is . . . In fact everybody would like to crucify God, but where to find him? They found the only begotten son, so they said, “It is near enough. Crucify this fellow at least.”

The psychotics cannot be convinced that two plus two is not five; the neurotics are those who think that perhaps two plus two is four, but they are very uncertain of it, very worried why is it four? Why is it not five? With five they were perfectly at ease. This is the way psychologists find out who is a psychotic and who is a neurotic.

You cannot remove the psychotic from his position, whatever position he has taken. The neurotic you can remove, but he will remain always worried: “This seems to be right, but who knows? Perhaps I was right before, because then I was at ease. Here, with two plus two making four it creates such an anxiety.”

There is no distance between you and your ultimate reality. Just an about turn . . . just, rather than looking outwards, close your eyes and look in. In a single instance, when you have forgotten the outside world completely — the past, the future, everything — and you remain only in this moment, looking inwards, the happening, the transformation, the arrival of the buddha . . .

Maneesha is also asking:

Is not our uncertainty, our groping, because we have to discover for ourselves what is straight ahead and what is going off track?

If you look in you cannot go off track, because there are no tracks. There are not two ways even. It is the outside world where if you don’t know, naturally you will have to grope around. In the inside world you don’t even have hands with which to grope. The inside world is a pure seeing.

In this country we have called this seeing darshan. Darshan means just seeing. And that does everything, you don’t have to do anything else.


From The Language of Existence #2

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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The Whiskers of the Pebble – Osho

What is religion? It is not the howling of the wolves at the moon, but that’s what it has become to the masses. If the masses are right, then animals have a great religious sense – wolves howling, dogs barking at the moon, at the distant, at the faraway.

Paul Tillich has defined religion as the ultimate concern. It is exactly the opposite: it is the immediate concern, not the ultimate concern. In fact, the immediate is the only ultimate there is.

Religion is not a desire for the distant, a curiosity for the faraway. It is an inquiry into one’s own being.

That’s why Buddhism is not concerned with God at all. It is concerned with you, with your reality. It’s whole process is like peeling an onion. Buddhism continues to peel your reality; layer upon layer, it goes on destroying the illusions, the dreams. And just as happens when you peel an onion, ultimately only nothing is left in your hands. That nothing is the source of all. Out of that nothing all arises and slowly, slowly disappears back into that nothing.

Now physicists are coming very close to it. They call that nothing ‘the black hole’ – matter disappears into black holes, is utterly annihilated, and becomes nothing. Now, after black holes, there is talk in scientific circles about white holes too. Out of white holes, matter arises. It seems black holes and white holes are just two aspects of the same reality – like a door. On one side of the door is written ‘Entrance’; the other side of the same door is called the ‘Exit’.

When things appear out of the womb of nothingness, the door is called the white hole – white because it gives birth, white because life comes out of it. By calling it white we are appreciating it, we are valuing it. One day every-thing disappears back into the same door – then we call it black. We have always called death black. Man has always been afraid of the black, of the dark, of death.

But it is the same reality! From one side it is ‘black hole’, from the other side it is ‘white hole’. Buddha calls it sunyata.

There is every possibility that modern physics will come every day more and more close to Buddha. It has to come. It has to recognize Buddha’s insight into reality, because nobody else ever dared to call nothingness the source of all. How did Buddha stumble upon the fact? He was not a physicist. He was not working into the deepest reality of matter, but he was working into the deepest reality of his own psychology.

You have to be reminded of that also: Buddhism is not a metaphysics. Metaphysics is always a concern with the ultimate. Meta’ means beyond – beyond physics, beyond that which can be seen; beyond the earth, beyond the visible, the tangible, the sensuous. Metaphysics means always the faraway, the distant reality, the God.

Buddhism is basically purely a psychology; it is not concerned with metaphysics. Its concern is with the reality of the mind, how the mind functions, what constitutes the mind. And it goes on penetrating deeper into the layers of the mind, and finally comes to the realization that deepest, at the bottom core, there is nothingness.

Buddha was not believed by people, because who can believe in nothingness? Who wants nothingness in the first place? Modern physics is also puzzling people, driving them crazy. But reality is as it is; whether you like it or not is not the question. Your liking or not liking is not going to change it. Your liking and disliking can only keep you in illusions. Reality has to be seen as it is. And to be capable of seeing that is all that is needed to become religious: the courage to see reality in its naked truth, in its nakedness, undisguised, uncovered, undressed.

And once you have seen reality as it is, once you have had a glimpse of the real man, a great transformation happens of its own accord – that very insight transforms you, transmutes you. You are never again the same, because all illusions disappear. Seeing the reality, how can you continue to delude yourself? How can you continue to dream? How can you continue in your prejudices? How can you go on keeping false opinions? How can you carry on with doctrines and philosophies and scriptures? Seeing the reality, all simply disappears, only reality is there. And to be with that reality is liberation.

Jesus is right when he says: Truth liberates. Truth is liberation. There is every possibility that Jesus learnt the secrets of the truth through Buddhist masters. There is every possibility that before he started his work in Israel, he was in India, in Nalanda, with Buddhist masters. Nalanda was one of the most ancient Buddhafields, a great university of monks. Never before and never after has something like that ever existed again.

I am hoping to create something like that again, on a wider scale, a bigger scale. Nalanda was a great experiment, an experiment with truth, an experiment to see truth as it is. Ten thousand monks continuously meditated, worked, penetrated, with no prejudices, with no a priori ideas. They were not bent upon proving anything; they were real seekers.

The unreal seeker is one who is bent upon proving something from the very beginning. The unreal seeker is one who, says, “I am in search of God” – one thing he has accepted, that God exists.  Without knowing? If he knows, then why search? If you don’t know, then how can you search for God? Who knows? – God may exist, may not exist. The search is already based on an a priori belief.

In Nalanda, those ten thousand monks were not searching for God, they were not searching for any heaven. They were not searching in reality for something a priori. They were simply searching into their own being with no idea of what they were searching for. Their search was pure. They were just looking into reality . . . to see what is there. And because they were not preoccupied by any idea, they stumbled into nothingness, they came to know nothingness.

If you are preoccupied by some idea, then you are bound to create the illusion of your own idea in that nothingness, and that nothingness is capable of supporting any idea. Any dream that you are carrying in you can be projected on the screen of nothingness. If you are searching for Krishna, you will find him, and it will be just a projection. If you are searching for a Jewish God, you will find. If you are searching for a Hindu God, you will find. Whatsoever you search for you will find, but it will not be truth and it will not liberate you. It will be your imagination.

Remember, this is one of the most important things in life, that if you start a search with a fixed idea, a fixed attitude, you are bound to find it – and then there is a vicious circle. When you find it you think, “Of course, it is because I have found it.” Then it enhances your belief even more, then you start finding it more, and so on and so forth . . . it becomes a vicious circle. The more you believe, the more you find it; the more you find it, the more you believe. And you go on pouring reality into a dream, and one can go on wasting lives together.

Search without any idea – that is Buddha’s message. Look, just clean your eyes and look. Don’t look for some-thing in particular, just look, a pure look into things, into the suchness of things. The eyes have to be clean and pure, otherwise they can project; even a small particle of dust and it will show on the screen of nothingness. Just a little liking, disliking, a little choice, and you will create reality.

Buddha’s approach is such an absolute experiment – simple once you understand, not complicated. But if you don’t understand, you can go on deluding yourself. […]

The Buddhist approach has been to look into reality without any idea so that reality can reveal itself. Allow reality to reveal itself; don’t enforce anything upon it. All other religions have been enforcing something or other – hence they go on missing. Their work becomes metaphysical; in fact, their work becomes a kind of autohypnosis. Buddhism de-hypnotizes man. Buddha’s work is de-hypnosis: how to drop all kinds of hypnosis, all kinds of suggestions given by the society, by the people. And when you are utterly silent, with no conditioning, truth becomes known. That truth liberates.

If it rain, let it rain;
If it rain not, let it not rain;
But even should it not rain,
You must travel
With wet sleeves.

Now the sutras:

One very precious word in Buddha’s approach towards life is samata. Samata means equanimity, equilibrium, balance, choicelessness. Don’t move to the extremes, avoid extremes.

Pain and pleasure are two extremes – don’t choose. Don’t avoid either and don’t cling to either. Just remain in the middle of it, watching, looking at it, unattached. Pain comes, let it come – you just be a watchful consciousness. You just be awareness. There is a headache, you just watch it. Don’t say no to it, don’t start fighting with it; don’t deny it, don’t avoid it. Don’t try to engage yourself somewhere else so you are distracted from it. Let it be there: you simply watch. And in watching it, a great revolution happens.

If you can watch it without like and dislike, suddenly it is there but you are out of it, you are no more in it. You are standing there unbridged to it. Choicelessness unbridges you from all kinds of moods, from all kinds of minds. That is samata.

Pleasure comes, let it come. Don’t cling to it. Don’t say, “I would like to have you for ever and ever.” If you cling to pleasure, then you will avoid pain. And don’t go to the other extreme: don’t start denying pleasure, don’t start escaping from pleasure, because that is the same. If you start escaping from pleasure, you will start clinging to pain. That’s what ascetics do.

The indulgent person clings to pleasure, avoids pain. And the ascetic person avoids pleasure and clings to pain. Both approaches are wrong; in both you lose balance. Buddhism is neither indulgence nor asceticism. It does not teach anything – it simply says watch!

And that’s what Jesus goes on repeating again and again: Watch! Be watchful! Keep alert, keep awake.

You try it! This is an experiment in psychology – nothing to do with God. And you will be surprised and immensely benefitted. The day you can see that you are neither pain nor pleasure is a great day, is the greatest day – because from then onwards things will be different.

If it rain, let it rain…
If there is pain, let it be so.
If it rain not, let it not rain

If there is no pain, let it be so. If there is pleasure, let it be so. But you don’t get identified with anything.

But even should it not rain,
You must travel
With wet sleeves.

But remember one thing: even if your life has been of convenience, comfort, pleasure, and there have not been great pains, great miseries, then too you must travel with wet sleeves. Why? Because still you will become old, still you will have to die one day. So one can live a very pleasant life, but old age is coming, and death is coming. Death cannot be avoided; there is no way to escape from it; it is inevitable. So whether you lived a painful life or you lived a pleasant life will not make much difference when death comes. And death is coming.

Death has come the day you were born. In the very idea of birth, death has entered in you.

I have heard a very beautiful anecdote about one of the most famous Zen masters, Bankei:

Bankei had a terrible fear of death from his earliest age. When he was a small child, his mother created the fear of death in him. He says that at the age of three, his mother, as a punishment, constantly frightened him with death. Not only that: sometimes, because Bankei had committed something which was not right, she pretended that she had become dead. She would lie down with closed eyes and stop her breath, and the small child would cry and weep around her and would call her, “Come back! And I will never do such a thing again.” Only then would she start breathing.

So from the very childhood the fear of death had entered into him. He was constantly afraid. Maybe that’s why when he was young he became interested in Zen – because Zen people say there is no death. He entered a monastery and way overdid the austerities. Whatsoever was said, he overdid it, out of the fear of death. He wanted to see that there is no death; he wanted to overcome death, he wanted to conquer it. He practiced zazen sitting for such long periods at a time that the places where he sat became covered with sores and boils. He became so ill, he nearly lost his life! Then he withdrew for a few months to recuperate.

It was during a feverish period of his convalescence that he had his first satori. And this consisted of an instantaneous realization that he could not die for the simple reason that he had never been born! The crux of the matter was that he had never been born.

Now, Bankei knew as well as you know and everybody knows that his body emerged from his mother’s womb, that his body had been born. Yet he realized that he had never been born.

With the idea of birth, the idea of death arises. They go together, aspects of the same coin. Unless you get rid of the idea of birth, you will not get rid of the idea of death.

That’s why Zen people insist: Go deep into your being and see your face that you had before birth. If you can have one small glimpse of that original face which you had before birth, then death has disappeared. Attached to birth you are going to die – don’t be attached to birth, then you need not be afraid of death. Watch birth and you will be able to watch death too.

And the greatest experience of life is to die watching death. But you have to prepare for it. If you cannot even watch a headache, if you cannot even watch a small pain in the stomach, if you cannot watch these small things, you will not be able to watch death.

Buddhism says: Watch! Let every moment of life become an experience in watchfulness – pain, pleasure, everything; love, hate, everything; good, bad, everything. Go on watching. Let one taste spread on your being: the taste of watchfulness, and samata arises out of it. One becomes utterly balanced in the middle of the polarities.

In that balancing . . . just like a tightrope walker walks balanced on the tightrope. He remains in the middle, does not lean to the left or to the right; or whenever he finds himself leaning to one side, he immediately balances himself. Between pain and pleasure, day and night, birth and death, go on balancing . . . and then that very balancing will give you an insight of the reality you are.

That reality has never been born. This body has been born; this body is going to die . . .

Another Zen master, Bokoju, was asked by a man . . . Bokoju was ill, old, just on the verge of death, and this stranger came and asked, “Master, where will you be when you are dead?”

And Bokoju opened his eyes and said, “I will be in the grave! All my four limbs raised towards the sky.”

A strange answer. And you will miss the point if I don’t remind you. When Bokoju is saying, “I will be lying in my grave with all my four limbs raised to the sky,” what is he actually saying? He is saying, “The body will be in the grave and I will be watching it lying in the grave with four limbs raised to the sky. I will still be watching, I will still be a watcher. I have always been a watcher. The body was born and I was watching. The body became young and I was watching. And the body became old and I was watching. And one day it will die and I will be watching. I am my watchfulness.”

This Buddha calls samasati – right awareness.

If it rain, let it rain;
If it rain not, let it not rain;
But even should it not rain,
You must travel
With wet sleeves.

So don’t be deceived by your comfortable, convenient life – because death is coming to disrupt all, to destroy all. Prepare yourself!

And the only preparation is balance.

Look at the cherry blossoms!
Their colour and scent fall with them,
Are gone forever,
Yet mindless
The Spring comes again.

Life repeats itself mindlessly – unless you become mindful, it will go on repeating like a wheel. That’s why Buddhists call it the wheel of life and death – the wheel of time. It moves like a wheel: birth is followed by death, death is followed by birth; love is followed by hate, hate is followed by love; success is followed by failure, failure is followed by success. Just see!

If you can watch just for a few days, you will see a pattern emerging, a wheel pattern. One day, a fine morning, you are feeling so good and so happy, and another day you are so dull, so dead that you start thinking of committing suicide. And just the other day you were so full of life, so blissful that you were feeling thankful to God that you were in a mood of deep gratefulness, and today there is great complaint and you don’t see the point why one should go on living. And tomorrow again that blissful moment will come. The cherry blossoms will come again, and there will be fragrance and the singing of birds, and the sunlit days . . . and again the cloudy days, and the dark nights of the soul. And it goes on and on, but you don’t see the pattern.

Once you see the pattern, you can get out of it. Once you see the pattern; that it goes on and on mindlessly, it does not need you . . . People ordinarily think that when they are angry, somebody has created the anger in them. That is utterly wrong! Even if you were alone and there was nobody, you would have been angry in that moment. That has something to do with your inner wheel, with your inner periodicity, inner rhythm – it has nothing to do with somebody outside.

The outside is just an excuse, because it is so ugly to think, “I am creating my anger myself.” The excuse feels good, it relieves you of a burden. Then someday, meeting a friend, you feel so happy and you think, “The coming of the friend has made me so happy” – that too is false. Even if you were sitting alone in that moment, you would have been happy.

That is one of the great realizations that comes to people who move into isolation for a few days. That’s a good meditation, to move into isolation for a few weeks and just to be alone for a few weeks. You will be surprised! Out of nowhere . . . one day you are feeling good – nobody is there and nobody has done anything to you. And one day you are feeling so bad. One day you are dancing, another day you are crying. And then you can see that you create your own states.

Once this is seen you stop throwing responsibilities on others and life becomes a different life. Otherwise, we are all throwing our responsibilities on others. We are making others feel guilty: “It is because of you that I am angry or sad.” And naturally the others have to accept it because they are doing the same thing themselves. And they have to accept it for another reason too, because sometimes they are praised because they make people happy too.

Once you know that you can’t make anybody happy, you have never made anybody happy, and nobody can make you happy and nobody can make you unhappy – once this insight has become settled in your heart, you will never be throwing responsibility on anybody. All struggle, futile struggle, disappears. Then you know that you have an inner wheel that goes on moving. Sometimes one spoke is on top, sometimes another spoke comes on top.

And it moves mindlessly, remember. So the only way to get out of it is mindfulness. It is a robot; it is a mechanical thing; it is an automaton. So all meditations are nothing but de-automatization. All the processes that have become automatic in you have to be de-automatized. Anything that de-automatizes helps immensely.

For example, you walk at a certain pace. Buddha told his disciples: Walk slowly; change the pace. Just walk very slowly. And suddenly you will be surprised: if you walk slowly, you become aware of your walking. In fact, you can walk slowly only if you remain aware. The moment you lose awareness, you will gather speed; then you will become again an automaton.

Buddha’s meditations are to make you aware about life’s activities. Eating, eat with full awareness; chew with awareness of what you are doing. Walking, each single step has to be taken with full awareness of what is happening, what you are doing. Not verbally! but there has to be a consciousness behind: “I am raising my left foot” – not that you have to repeat it, “I am raising my left foot.” That is stupid. There is no need to repeat it. But you can watch it: “I am chewing. I am standing under the shower. The water is cool. It is too hot and the body is perspiring.” Not that you have repeat these words: you have just to be watchful. Then slowly, slowly a new integration happens in you, a mindfulness arises. That mindfulness can take you out of the wheel – nothing else.

Look at the cherry blossoms!
Their colour and scent fall with them,
Are gone forever,
Yet mindless
The Spring comes again.

How many times has it happened to you? You had fallen in love with a woman or with a man, and then there was great frustration and great misery, and you suffered and there was anguish, and you thought you were finished for ever – never again! And after just a few days, again the spring comes, again you are feeling love blossoming in you, again you are falling into the same rut and routine. Again you are saying the same stupid things to another woman. Again you are whispering those sweet nothings, and you are hearing those sweet nothings. And again you are in a dream world, and you have completely forgotten the old experience.

And this will happen again and again! The spring goes on coming. Don’t think you are very much different from a cherry tree. You are angry – and this is so about all your moods – you are angry and you feel the fire of it and the poison of it and the destructiveness of it, and you suffer. And you decide, “No more again. It is ugly and it is foolish and it is a sheer wastage of energy. So why should I be in anger again?” And you decide, and you decide very strongly, “This is the last time. Now I am going to avoid.” And one day, mindlessly, it comes again. Just a small thing triggers it, and you are again on fire, again red, again doing destructive things. And later on you will remember. You will become mindful, but always later on. Then it is of no sense, no meaning. It is impotent.

Mindfulness means in the moment. Everybody is wise when the moment has passed, remember this. Really wise are those who are wise in the moment. When something is happening – you are sad – this is the moment to become so watchful that you are unbridged from sadness, that you are disconnected from sadness; that sadness is there, you are here, and there is no connection. You are no more identified. You are simply seeing it.

You are not sad, you are the seer. Then you are wise.

When sadness has gone, then you think, “It was not good to become sad. It was so trivial, so foolish; there was no meaning in it. Next time I am not going to become so sad. There is no point.” But you will become sad again because awareness can be practiced only in the moment. This repentance is not on the right track.

Everybody repents, and things go on happening the same way they have always been happening. There is such a vicious circle that sometimes you think you are doing the opposite and you are not really doing the opposite but the same thing.

An angry person can decide, “I will never be angry,” and can go on repressing anger. Then by repressing anger, one day he has so much anger that it is uncontrollable, it explodes. If he had not repressed, he may not have been so angry. Now he is more angry because he tried not to be angry.[…]

This happens. You can go on thinking that you are doing something else, something contrary. But if you are mindless, something else is going to happen.

Your life is not lived by you – it is lived by a very mindless process. You are not really living it: you are being lived by a mindless existence. You are born, you are young, you become old; you have emotions, ideas – and they all are happening in you just like the cherry blossoms. And you go on repeating the same, year in, year out; you go on moving in a wheel. To see it, to see it totally, to see it as it is, is Buddha’s way of becoming aware.

The vicious circle of birth and death has to be broken, but it can be broken only if you start looking into things which happen to you in a detached way, in a non-passionate way. What scientists call ‘a detached observation’ is really a Buddhist discovery.

Scientists have been trying this only for three hundred years – in their labs they simply watch, without any prejudice, without for or against. They simply note down the facticity of it. But this is an ancient Buddhist meditation: the same way one has to watch one’s own mind, one’s own mind’s functionings, structures, and slowly, slowly you start becoming aware of a wheel that goes on moving inside you. And you are not moving the wheel; it moves on its own. The spell can be broken only if in this mechanical process of life something of awareness penetrates.

De-automatize yourself.

Buddhism is the shaved part of the saucepan,
The whiskers of the pebble,
The sound that accompanies
The bamboos in the picture.

Still Buddhism is not an ‘ism’, it is not a philosophy. It does not give you any idea of what reality is – because once the idea is given to you of what reality is like, you immediately jump upon it, you start clinging to it. And you will make reality like your idea, you will create it.

Buddhism simply takes all ideas away from you, it is negative. It does not give you any positive notion. It does not say what truth is: it only says what truth is not. It eliminates, it goes on eliminating. It is very severe. It does not allow you any nook and corner to cling to. It takes all, everything that you possess away from you. Only then one thing is left, which cannot be taken away – that is your awareness. Then uncontaminated awareness is left; you become a mirror. In that mirror the reality is reflected. So Ikkyu says:

Buddhism is the shaved part of the saucepan,
The whiskers of the pebble,
The sound that accompanies
The bamboos in the picture.

So Buddhism as an ‘ism’ is as false as The sound that accompanies

The bamboos in the picture, or as false as The whiskers of the pebble. As an ‘ism’ Buddhism is false.

Then what is it? If it is not a philosophy, then what is it?

It is just an approach towards reality, an opening. It is not a belief system. It is utterly devoid of beliefs; it negates beliefs. It is not a positive philosophy. And that is the beauty of it – because all positive philosophies are nothing but creations of the mind.

And people are very much interested in positive philosophies. They appeal – because they enhance your mind, they nourish your mind. They give you great ideas how to live your life, how to achieve more, how to become more, how to be enlightened, and all that.

Buddhism simply says: Just drop your ideas and you are enlightened. Just drop your mind and you are divine.

But Buddha was very, very careful even about saying that, because people are hankering so much to cling to something. He was very careful about making even a single statement positively. If you ask him, “What will happen when all has disappeared and one has become a mirror?” he says, “There will be no pain”; but he never says, “There will be bliss.” Never for a single moment, for a single time does he become positive.

People used to insist to him, because they had heard it down the ages that when the ultimate happens you will be blissful. And Buddha says, “You will not be miserable” – that’s all. “Why don’t you say,” they would ask him, “that we will be happy and blissful?” And he would say, “If I say that you will be happy, then it is never going to happen – then you will search for happiness! And you will fall into new dreams and new imaginations, heaven and paradise and so on and so forth. And you will create your own ideas of what happiness is. And all that you know is misery. So I say only: There will be no misery – and let me keep absolutely quiet about what there will be. You just drop misery and see what is.”

It didn’t appeal to ordinary, mediocre minds. The mediocre mind wants something to possess; he wants some keys which can open new doors to new treasures. Buddha simply takes all the keys out of your hands. He leaves you utterly alone . . . but in that utter aloneness, something immense happens, something infinite happens, something unimaginable happens, something inexpressible happens. And the first condition for it to happen is that you should not think about it, that no idea should be given to you about it – otherwise it will never happen because the idea will prevent it.

Buddhism is the shaved part of the saucepan,
The whiskers of the pebble,
The sound that accompanies
The bamboos in the picture.

Then what is Buddhism? Just a gesture, just a painted picture. There is no sound in it, no wind is blowing. Just Indian ink is there and nothing else – no sound, no wind. You just imagine sound and wind, you imagine movement – nothing is moving there. So people have created Buddhism out of their own imagination.

The religion that exists in the name of Buddhism is just a painted religion. Buddha never delivered this thing to the world. It is a creation of the people; because people cannot live with nothingness they created something.

What I say to you, you may not hear it, it may be too much for you. You may hear something which I have not said at all, because that you can manage. You may hear a few fragments. You may delete something, you may add something; you may create something out of what I am saying; you may create something out of it which is absolutely yours.

That’s how Buddhism has happened. That’s how Christianity has happened. That’s how all the religions have happened. The original expression has been lost in interpretations. What exists in the name of Buddhism is not what Buddha had said. What Buddha had said caul be experienced only if you become a Buddha – there is no other way.

What I am saying to you can be experienced only in the same state of mind, in the same state of awareness. It is impossible to convey it. Once it leaves one state of consciousness and enters into another kind of state, it is transformed, it is translated, it becomes polluted, it is never the same again.

If you can also become silent, quiet, unprejudiced, with no opinion in your mind, then things can happen. But people carry opinions in their minds – such opinions! amazing opinions!

Just the other day I was reading an article by Ashoka. Now he feels doubtful about my enlightenment because sometimes I look at the clock. “How can an enlightened person look at a clock? Can’t he know what time it is? And if he can’t even know what time it is, what else can he know?” And this type of thing continues. It is not only in Ashoka’s mind – in many people’s minds, because minds are minds.

But you have not looked at it without prejudice. You have some idea of how an enlightened person should be. You have some idea – in that idea it is implied that he will know without looking at the clock what time it is. The reality is just the contrary.

You may be able to know what time it is without looking at the clock, but an enlightened person cannot – because for him time has disappeared. For him there is no more time! For him there is only eternal now. Nothing moves. All has stopped. His clock has stopped! Now there exists no calendar in him anymore. He has to look to know what time it is. You can feel the time because your clock, inside clock, is working; you can have a certain inference about what time it must be. And within minutes you will be right; at the most, within ten minutes you will be right. Your mind can calculate. You know what time is; you know how much it feels when one hour passes by.

But to the enlightened consciousness, nothing passes. All simply is . . . and always is. There is no way to infer what time it is. Hence, I have to look at the clock again and again.

Sometimes Vivek becomes very much puzzled, because just five minutes before I had looked at the clock and I look again. And she says, “Just five minutes before you had looked, and you are looking again.” And I can understand her puzzlement: anybody can infer, any child can infer, that only five minutes have passed. But nothing is passing for me. Even for the day I have to inquire what day today is, what date today is.

But you have your mind, your idea, and naturally you can look only from your mind and from your idea. You will go on missing that way. You have to drop your prejudices; you have to drop all ideas. Why bother how an enlightened person should be when an enlightened person is with you? Why not look directly? Rather than having an idea, why not look directly?

You have a certain idea how a rose should be. Maybe you have never seen a black rose, and you think that a rose has to be only red. And there is a black rose, and you will say, “This is not a rose because a rose has to be red, has to be rosy. This is not a rose! It is not rosy – it is black. How can it be a rose?”

Drop the idea. Come close. Smell the flower. Sit silently with the flower. Let its fragrance give you the message. Let it have a communion with you! and you will know. And that will be far better, far truer. Otherwise, this goes on happening.

Buddha was there, and what he was saying people were not listening to – they were listening to something else. They were translating. Please, don’t translate me; otherwise, sooner or later I will be just The whiskers of the pebble, the sound that accompanies the bamboos in the picture.

Don’t create a picture! While the reality is here, why can’t you have a contact with the reality? Why can’t you bridge yourself? What is preventing you? A priori prejudices, opinions that you have gathered.

A Christian comes, and he looks at me and he wants to find Christ in me. And if he can’t find Christ he says, “This man can’t be enlightened!” A Buddhist comes, he looks for Buddha in me. A Jain comes, he looks for Mahavir in me. And if he can’t find . . . and he cannot find, because I am myself.

This rose flower is black, that rose flower is yellow, another rose flower is red – there are thousands of rose flowers. Don’t be too much concerned with the color, with the shape, with the form. But the roseness is the same, that flowering is the same.

There were people in Buddha’s time who followed Jain philosophy. They would look at him, and because he was not naked they would think he was not yet enlightened – because Jains have the idea that when a person becomes enlightened he drops all clothes. It is a beautiful idea, but clothes don’t mean clothes literally. He drops all clothes, he becomes nude, utterly nude, but not literally. But who is going to prevent people from being literal? And Buddha was not nude, so he was not an enlightened person.

Buddha was one kind of rose flower. Jesus was another kind. Bodhidharma, Buddha’s disciple, was a third kind. Buddha was silent and Bodhidharma was laughing. But I say to you: the taste of Bodhidharma’s laughter was the same as Buddha’s silence. But if you have seen Buddha sitting silently under his Bodhi Tree, you will not believe in Bodhidharma because he will be rolling on the floor. Such mad laughter! And you will say, “What is happening? This man must be mad – how can he be enlightened? An enlightened person always sits under a Bodhi Tree and never looks at a clock!”

Your ideas continuously interfere. You can miss this opportunity. It all depends on you. You can use this opportunity. You can be transformed by this opportunity . . .

The puppet-player hangs them
Round his neck, not his heart;
He can take out a devil,
He can take out a buddha.

Buddha has said that mind is a magician. All that it creates is magic work. You must have seen our sannyasin magician, Avinash. He can produce things out of empty boxes . . .  Mind is a conjurer. Once you have a certain idea in the mind, it becomes a seed and the seed starts growing, and soon it will become a reality for you. […]

Buddha says mind is a conjurer; it creates illnesses, it can create cures. Mind creates all kinds of illusions – beauty and ugliness, success and failure, richness and poverty . . . mind goes on creating. And once the idea settles in you, your whole life energy functions to create it, to make it a reality. Every thought becomes a thing, and every thing in the beginning was only a thought and nothing else. You live in a kind of hypnosis.

Buddha says this hypnosis has to be broken, and no other religion has tried so hard to break this hypnosis. Man has to be de-hypnotized. Man has to be made aware that all is mind: pain and pleasure both, birth and death both. All is mind.

And once this has been seen absolutely, the conjurer disappears . . . and then what is left is truth. And that truth liberates.

The puppet-player hangs them
Round his neck, not his heart;
He can take out a devil,
He can take out a buddha.

A tremendously important statement. You can become a Devil, you can become a Buddha – it is all mind game. You can become a sinner, you can become a saint; you can become a criminal, an Adolf Hitler, or you can become a great mahatma – and it is all mind game. In both the ways it is mind playing.

Then who is a real Buddha? If the Devil is a mind thing and the Buddha is a mind thing, then who is a real Buddha? The real Buddha is one who is no more the mind, who has come to see all the games of the mind and has retired from all the games of the mind. That is renunciation, that is sannyas: retiring from all games of the mind, playing no more new games.

Zen people say Buddha was never born, never lived, never uttered a word, never died, never attained enlightenment – and they are right. And obviously wrong too, because Buddha was born, he lived for eighty-two years, he is a historical person, he is not a myth only. He has left immense marks on the sense of time. He was born, he became enlightened, and he uttered millions of words. For forty-two years continuously he was teaching. These are obvious facts.

When Zen people say: Buddha was never born, never lived, never uttered a word, never died, never attained enlightenment, they are not denying these historical facts. Remember it. They are uttering something of more value. They are saying: Yes, he said many things but he never uttered a word – his real reality remained silent. Yes, he was born to a certain mother, to a certain father, in a certain place, but that birth was only a mind phenomenon, a dream that he lived through. But in his reality he was never born.

And, in reality, you are not born either. And in reality he never died, because how can you die if you are not born? Who can die? Who is there to die? And, of course, when you are not born and you cannot die, how can you become enlightened? Who is there to become enlightened? There is no one; there is nobody to become a Buddha.

This is Buddhahood, this is enlightenment: seeing the fact that there is nobody, that the house is utterly empty, that there has lived nobody ever, that we were only playing games of the mind, that we were creating shadows, that we were fast asleep and dreaming things . . . then all disappears.

When in the morning you wake up, it is not only that the bad dreams were wrong or false – the good dreams were also false. Whether you dream in the night that you were a thief or you dreamt that you were a yogi doesn’t matter in the morning – both are false. Whether you dreamt that you were Adolf Hitler or you dreamt that you were a Gautam Buddha doesn’t matter in the morning – when you are awake, all is finished. Gone is Adolf Hitler, gone is Gautam Buddha – all is gone. And what is left has always been there as the substratum. That eternal, that formless, that attributeless, that nirguna, that conditionless, is your reality. On that conditionless all kinds of conditions have been imposed; on that unconditional a thousand and one conditions have been put together. Those conditionings together are called the mind. And the only way to get out of the mind is to see the mind, to be aware of it.

Slowly, slowly, the more you become aware of the dream, the dream starts dissipating, the dream starts receding back. When awareness is perfect, dream has disappeared. Then you are neither a Buddha nor a man nor a woman, neither this nor that. Who are you then? – nothing can be said about it. Only one thing can be said about it: A glimpse of the real man, and you are in love, and you are love.


From Take It Easy, Discourse #7

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There is Only One Watcher – Osho

You can watch the mind because you are not the mind.

That is the whole reason to watch it: To become aware that you are separate.

Existentially, no problem arises because you cannot watch this watcher. You have come to the very end of the rope; in the very first step you have completed the journey.

Logically, you can manage to create the problem. Watcher one watches the mind; watcher two watches the watcher number one . . . and then go on ad absurdum. Don’t make it a puzzle. That will be risking your own possibility of becoming aware.

It is not a logical conclusion.

Logic has no dominance over existence.

There is only one watcher; you cannot go behind it. If you can go behind it, then it was not the watcher, it was part of the mind — mind was befooling you. A part of the mind can watch the other part. But if you have become completely unidentified with the mind and you are simply a watcher — not a thinker, not part of the mind in any way — you have come to the end of the rope in the very beginning. There is no beyond it; however you try, you will not be able to go beyond it, you will always remain the same watcher.

It is the experience of the meditators — they have all tried — that perhaps behind the watcher, they may find some other watcher. But the watcher as a word creates the problem. It is not watcher; it is really watching. It is a process; it is complete in itself. You cannot jump out of it and watch it. You are it, so you cannot go behind yourself.

It is possible to watch the mind because you are not the mind, so you can step back and have a look at the mind. And this stepping back and having a look at the mind, is the greatest transformation that can happen to man. Freed from mind, you are freed from all that was binding, imprisoning, enslaving — your miseries, your sufferings, your desires, your fears.

The watcher has no disease; the watcher is simply a mirror, reflecting. And the miracle of the process is that the more you become clearly distinct from the mind, the mind starts disappearing. That is the elimination.

Mind exists with your support; it has no source of nourishment other than your support. And the support you can give to the mind is of identity; you have to become one with the mind. Then mind as a parasite goes on living. But the moment you are separate from the mind, the parasite dies. You can see it disappearing just like smoke, into thin air. Only watching remains.

You cannot watch it, you are it.

You know it, but you don’t watch it; you feel it, but you don’t watch it; you live it, but you don’t watch it, because you cannot go behind it. It will be still the same watcher.

It is good that existence is not logical; otherwise, there would have been no buddhas, no awakened people. There would have been number one, number two, number three . . . There are unending numbers, and the whole process would become tedious. But the process does not exist; it is only mind that can create the problem and can stop you from going into existential experience.

So to eliminate you is the only way, Rashid. To illuminate you, to make you enlightened, the only way is to kill you, to kill you as an identity with the mind.

As the mind is left — like a snake leaves its old skin and slips out of it — you have done the whole pilgrimage from darkness to light, from the finite to the infinite, from death to deathlessness.


From The Invitation, Discourse #8, Q1

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

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All Beings are from the Very Beginning Buddhas – Osho

I was thinking what should I give to you today? Because this is my birthday, I was incarnated into this body on this day. This is the day I saw for the first time the green of the trees and the blue of the skies. This was the day I for the first time opened my eyes and saw God all around. Of course the word ‘God’ didn’t exist at that moment, but what I saw was God. I was thinking what should I give to you today? Then I remembered a saying of Buddha: sabba danam dhamma danana jnati – the gift of truth excels all other gifts. And my truth is love.

The word ‘truth’ looks to me a little too dry and desert-like. I am not in much tune with the word ‘truth’ – it looks too logical, it looks too ’heady’. It gives you the feeling of philosophy, not of religion. It gives you the idea as if you have concluded – that you have come to a conclusion, that there has been a syllogism behind it, argumentation and logic and reasoning. No, truth’ is not my word, love’ is my word. Love is of the heart. Truth is partial, only your head is involved. In love you are involved as a totality – your body, your mind, your soul, all are involved.

Love makes you a unity – and not a union, remember, but a unity. Because in a union those who join together remain separate. In a unity they dissolve, they become one, they melt into each other. And that moment I call the moment of truth, when love has given you unity. First, love gives you unity in your innermost core. Then you are no more a body, no more a mind, no more a soul. You are simply one – unnamed, undefined, unclassified. No more determinate, definable, no more comprehensible. A mystery, a joy, a surprise, a jubilation, a great celebration.

First, love gives you an inner unity. And when the inner unity has happened the second happens on its own – you are not to do anything for it. Then you start falling in unity with the whole beyond you. Then the drop disappears in the ocean and the ocean disappears into the drop. That moment, that moment of orgasm between you and the whole, is where you become a Buddha. That moment is the moment Buddhahood is imparted to you. Or, better, revealed to you – you have always been that, unaware.

My word is love. So I say: My beloved ones, I love you. and I would like you to fill the whole world with love. Let that be our religion. Not Christianity, not Hinduism, not Islam, not Jainism, not Buddhism, but love. Love without any adjective to it. Not Christian love – because how can love be Christian? It is so stupid. How can love be Hindu? It is ridiculous. Love is simply love. In love you can be a Christ. in love you can be a Buddha – but there is no Buddhist love and there is no Christian love.

In love you disappear, your mind disappears. In love you come to an utter relaxation. That’s my teaching to you, I teach love. And there is nothing higher than love.

Then I thought I should give you something beautiful on this day. And I remembered Hakuin’s Song of Meditation. It is a very small song, but a great gift. Hakuin is one of the greatest Zen masters. His song contains all: all the Bibles and all the Korans and all the Vedas. A small song of few lines, but it is like a seed – very small, but if you allow passage to it to your heart, it can become a great tree. It can become a Bodhi tree – it will have great foliage and much shade and thousands of people can sit and rest underneath it. It will have big branches and many birds can come and have their nests on it.

See: I have become a tree. You are the people who have come to make their nests on my tree. You can also become this. Everybody should become this – because unless you become this you will go on missing your fulfillment. Unless you become a great tree which has come to its foliage, flowers and fruits – which is fulfilled – you will remain in discontent. Anguish will go on gnawing in your heart, misery will linger around you. Bliss will be only a word, signifying nothing. God will be just gibberish.

When you have fulfillment then there is grace and then there is God. In your fulfillment you come to realize the benediction of existence.

This is a song of meditation. Hakuin has called it ‘song’ – yes, it is a song. If meditation is without a song it is do and dead – it does not beat it does not breathe. It is a song and a dance: sing it and dance it. Just don’t think upon it – then you will miss the messages you will miss its content. You will find this song and its meaning only when you are singing and dancing. When the music of life has overtaken you, has possessed you.

Hakuin’s song is so small and yet so vast, it is unbelievable. How can a man condense so much truth and so much love and so much insight into so few words? But Hakuin was a man of few words, a man of silence. For years he would not speak at all, and then he would speak a word or two.

Once the Emperor of Japan invited him to deliver a sermon in the palace. And the queen and the king and the prime minister and the ministers and the high officials and the generals, they all had gathered with great respect to listen. Hakuin came, stood there for a single moment, looked around, and left the hall. The king was puzzled. He asked his prime minister, ‘What is the Matter with this man? We had come to listen.’ The old prime minister said, ‘This is the greatest sermon that I have ever heard. He has said it! You had asked him to come and teach you about silence. He has taught it! He stood there in silence, he was silence. What more do you ask? What more do you demand? He was pure silence, standing there for those few seconds. He was utter silence. He was silence, throbbing, pulsating. But you were looking to hear some words.’

But about silence nothing can be said. And all that is said about silence will be wrong. How can you say anything about silence? To say something will be falsifying it. That’s why Lao Tzu says Nothing can be said about Tao – and if something is said, in the very saying of it, it has become untrue. Tao is silent. But that silence is not the silence of a cemetery. It is the silence of a garden where trees are alive breathing and yet there is utter silence. It is not a dead silence; it is an alive silence. Hence, he has called it ’The Song of Meditation’.

Buddha says: My approach to reality is not of belief but of seeing. His religion has been qualified as ‘Ihi passika: Come and see.’ Not as ‘Come and believe.’ Buddha says ‘Come and see: Ihi passika.’ It is here, present – you just come and see. He does not require you to believe. He is the only great teacher in the world who dropped belief – and with dropping belief he transformed religion from a very low childish stature to a very mature thing. With Buddha religion became young. Otherwise it was childish. It was a kind of belief – belief is superstition, belief is out of fear. And belief is blind. Buddha has given eyes to religion. He says: See, and there is no need to believe. And when you have seen then it will not be a belief, it will be knowing.

In this song of Hakuin you will see the way of seeing – how to open the eyes. Because truth is always there, has been always there. It is not that the truth has to be produced. Buddha says: Yatha bhutam – It is! It is already there, it is confronting you! It is in the east, it is in the west, it is in the north, it is in the south. It surrounds you – it is without and it is within. But you will have to see it: Ihi passika. Your eyes are closed, you have forgotten how to open them.

Meditation is nothing but the art of opening your eyes. The art of cleansing your eyes. the art of dropping the dust that has gathered on the mirror of your consciousness. It is natural, dust gathers. Man has been traveling and traveling for thousands of lives – dust gathers. We are all travelers, much dust has gathered – so much so that the mirror has completely disappeared. There is only dust upon dust, layers and layers of dust, and you cannot see the mirror. But the mirror is still there – it cannot be lost, because it is your very nature. If it can be lost then it will not be your nature. It is not that you have a mirror: you ARE the mirror. The traveler is the mirror – he cannot lose it, he can only forget it. At the most, forgetfulness.

You have not lost your Buddhahood. Buddha hood means the mirror clean of dust. The mirror again fresh, again reflecting, again functioning – that’s what Buddhahood is. Buddha hood means a consciousness which has become awakened. The sleep is no more and the dreams are no more and the desires have disappeared. The dust gathers, it is natural. But you cling to the dust – your desire functions like a glue.

And what is your desire? That has to be understood. If you have understood your desire you have understood all. Because in the understanding of desire, desire ceases. And when desire ceases, suddenly you have a totally new feel of your being; you are no more the old. What is the desire? What are you searching? What are you seeking?

Happiness. Bliss. Joy. That’s what you are seeking. And you have been seeking for millennia, and you have not found it yet. It is time, the right time, to think again, to meditate again. You have been seeking so hard, you have been trying so hard – perhaps you are missing just because you are trying? Maybe it is trying that keeps you away from happiness? Let us think over it, brood over it. Give a little pause to your search, recapitulate.

You have been searching for many lives. You don’t remember other lives, no need – but in this life you have been searching, that will do. And you have not found it. And nobody has ever found it by searching. Something is wrong in the very search. In the search naturally you forget yourself; you start looking everywhere, everywhere else. You look to the north and to the east and to the west and to the south, and in the sky and underneath the seas, and you go on searching everywhere. And the search becomes more and more desperate, because the more and more you search and you don’t find, great anxiety arises – ’Am I going to make it this time, or am I again going to miss it?’

More and more desperation, more and more misery, more and more madness. You go nuts. And the happiness remains as far away as ever – in fact it recedes farther away from you. The more you search, the less is the possibility to get it. Because it is inside you.

Happiness is the function of your consciousness when it is awake. Unhappiness is the function of your consciousness when it is asleep. Unconsciousness is your mirror burdened with great dust and luggage and past. Happiness is when the burden has been dropped and the mirror has been found again. And again your mirror can reflect the trees and the sun and the sand and the sea and the stars. When you have again become innocent, when you again have again become innocent, when you again have the eyes of a child – in that clarity you are happy.

I was reading a few lines of Michael Adam. They are beautiful.

‘Perhaps trying even makes for unhappiness. Perhaps all the din of my desiring has kept the strange bird from my shoulder. I have tried so long and so loud after happiness. I have looked so far and wide. I have always imagined that happiness was an island in the river. Perhaps it is the river. I have thought happiness to be the name of an inn at the end of the road. Perhaps it is the road. I have believed that happiness was always tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Perhaps it is here. Perhaps it is now. I have looked everywhere else.

‘So: here and now.’

But here and now is clearly unhappiness. Perhaps then no such thing as happiness. Perhaps happiness exists not, it is just a dream created by an unhappy mind. Certainly it cannot be as I unhappily imagine it. Here and now there is not happiness. So happiness is not. I need not therefore waste myself on what is not. I can forget about happiness then; I can cease to care and instead concern myself with something that I do know, can feel and fully experience. Happiness is an idle dream: now it is morning. I can awaken and stay with unhappiness, with what is real under the sun this moment. And now I see how much of my unhappiness came from trying to be happy; even I can see that trying is unhappiness. Happiness does not try . . .

‘At last, I am here and now. At last, I am what I am. I am unpretending, at ease. I am unhappy – so what? . . . But is this what I ran from? Is this really unhappiness? . . . ’

Think over it, meditate over it.

‘And when I cease to try to be happy or anything else, when I do not seek anymore, when I do not care to go anywhere, get anything, then it seems I am already arrived in a strange place: I am here and now. When I see that I can do nothing, that all my doing is the same dream, in the moment that I see this, my mind the old dreamer and wanderer is for the moment still and present.’

Naturally. If you are not searching, not seeking, not desiring, not dreaming, for a moment the mind falls into a silence. It is still. There is nothing to hanker about, nothing to make a fuss about, nothing to expect and nothing to be frustrated about. For a moment the mind stops its constant chasing. In that moment of stillness you are in a strange place, you are in a strange space, unknown, never known before. A new door has opened. For the moment the mind is still and present.

‘For the moment, here and now, the real world shows, and see: here and now is already and always all that I had sought and striven after elsewhere and apart. More than that: I have hunted after shadows; the reality is here in this sunlit place, in this bird-call now. It was my seeking aster reality that took me from it; desire deafened me. The bird was singing here all the while. . . .

‘If I am still and careless to find happiness, then happiness it seems is able to find me. It is, if I am truly still, as still as death – if I am thoroughly dead, here and now.’

Happiness suddenly jumps upon you. When desire disappears, happiness appears. When the striving is no more, for the first time you see who you are. That knowing is what Buddha means: Come and see – Ihi passika. From where is he calling you: ‘Come and see’? He is calling you from your desires. You have gone far away from your home, you have lost your home base. You are not where you appear to be. Your dream has taken you to faraway worlds – imaginary; illusory, your own creation.

Zen people have a special word for meditation, they call it ‘fu-sho’. Fu-sho means ‘unproduced’. You cannot produce it, you cannot do anything to bring it. You have to be passive, in a state of non-doing – then it comes. Then it comes suddenly, from nowhere, from the blue. And in that coming, in that shower of silence and stillness, is the transformation. It is nothing special, Zen people say. How can it be special? It is everybody’s nature, so how can it be special? It is utterly ordinary, everybody has it. You may know, you may not know – that is a different thing – but you have it. Not for a single moment have you missed it. Not for a single moment has it been taken away from you. It has been there, lying and lying and waiting for you to come back home.

Another word Zen people use for meditation is ‘wu-shi’. It means ’nothing special’ or ‘no fuss’.

Now this song of Hakuin.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

This one sentence is enough. It is the beginning and the middle and the end. It is all. The alpha and the omega.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

You are Buddhas. Never for a single moment have you been otherwise. You cannot. You cannot really go away from your Buddhahood, you can only dream. You can only dream that you have gone away, but while dreaming you will still remain here now. This is impossible, to lose your Buddhahood, because God is involved in everything and every being. And when Hakuin says, ‘All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas,’ don’t think that he is talking only of human beings. Animals are included, so are included the birds and the trees and the rocks. All that is, is included.

The English word ‘being’ comes from a Sanskrit root ‘bhu’. Bhu means ‘that which grows’. All that grows is God. The trees grow, the birds grow, the rocks grow. All that grows is God. And everything grows in its own pace. Remember, the root of ‘being’, the word ‘being’, is BHU. It simply means that which breathes, that which grows, that which has life – howsoever rudimentary, howsoever primitive. All is included.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

And what is the meaning of a Buddha? ‘Buddha’ means a consciousness that has come back to itself – is no more wandering in dreams, is no more thinking of the future, is no more thinking of the past. A consciousness that is not possessed by memories or possessed by imagination. A consciousness that has got rid of the past and rid of the future, a consciousness that has only present. A consciousness that lives in the moment, utterly here now. Alert, awake, radiant.

All beings are Buddhas. Zen people call this single sentence ‘The Lion’s Roar’. It is. In a single stroke Hakuin has delivered you, has saved you from yourself. There is no more salvation needed. A single statement is enough to release you from all bondage. You are a Buddha. But remember you are not a Buddha in any special sense. Everybody is – your dog and your cow and your buffalo and your donkey, everybody is! So don’t take it in an egoistic sense, that ‘I am a Buddha’. Don’t make it ambitious, don’t go on an ambition trip. ALL is Buddha. Life is Buddha, being is Buddhahood, existence is Buddhahood.

Just think of it. One of the greatest statements ever made:

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

Hakuin has finished in one sentence. The remaining song will be a repetition, really. The remaining song will be for those who cannot understand the first statement. It is said, when Hakuin was writing this song and he wrote his first sentence – ‘All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas’ – one of his disciples was sitting there and he said, ‘Stop now. Now there is no more to say.’ He left the room, the disciple left the room. He said, ‘Now there is no point. You have finished in the first sentence – this should be the last sentence!’

But still the song is beautiful. It will help you from different directions to come to the same truth. It will help you to see the point from different vantage points, from different windows. You will see the same Buddha sitting, from every window of the temple. But it is good, because from some window there may be more light falling on the Buddha, from some window the green of the trees may be reflected in the Buddha’s face, from some other window a star may be looking at the Buddha, from some other window something else – a bird may be sitting and singing a song.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

The universe is made of the stuff called ‘God’. So God is not in the end. God is in the beginning, in the middle, and the end. Only God is. But let me remind you, when I use the word ‘God’ I mean godliness.

It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.

Hakuin says: It is like water and ice. There is no difference between water and ice, and yet a sort of difference. If you have gone to the market to purchase ice, you will not purchase water. You will purchase ice – you will insist. If somebody says, ‘Take this water,’ you will say, ‘I have come for the ice.’ There is a sort of difference. But not much, not really – only on the surface. The ice will melt and will become water, and the water can become frozen and can be turned into ice. They are two phases of one phenomenon.

You are like ice and Buddha is like water. You are frozen, he has melted. And let me repeat: There is no other alchemy then love to help you melt. Love melts, because love is warmth. People melt only in love. When they are not in love they become cold, and in the cold they freeze. And you must have watched it, even in your small ways. When you are loving you are flowing. When you are flowing you are glowing. When you are loving you expand. When you are not loving you shrink. When you are loving you have warmth around you. When you are not loving you are surrounded by a cold wind – you are freezing, and anybody who comes close to you will freeze.

There are people, if they look at you with their cold eyes you will feel a shivering. And there are people, when they look at you with their warmth, with their love, you suddenly feel this is your home. There are eyes which give you the feeling of being at home, and there are eyes which stare at you and make you aware that you are a stranger here.

Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.

So Buddha hood is nothing but a state of merger. Frozen Ness is gone. Your definition has disappeared. You are no more limited, you are no more confined. At the deepest core, you are no more. Because if you are then there will be some kind of frozenness in you. If you are then you cannot be flowing – something will be hindering and something will be stuck and something will be obstructing. When you are not at all . . . That’s why when two lovers are in deep embrace there are not two persons. There is only one energy, revolving. When two lovers are really in deep embrace there comes a moment, the woman forgets whether she is woman or man and the man forgets whether he is man or woman. If that moment has not come then you have not loved.

In deep love you disappear. Still something is there, a kind of presence – but nobody is present. There is no center as frozen ice, there is no self. That’s why Buddha has very much insisted that your self is the root cause which is hindering you from being a Buddha. The feeling that ‘I am’ makes you ice, icy and cold. If this feeling ‘I am’ disappears, there is no problem. Ice will melt.

It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.

The Buddhist doctrine talks about Buddha’s three bodies. They have to be understood. The first body is called the body of truth, the universal body, the divine body. You can call it God. The second body is called the bliss body – the bridge between the first and the third. You can call it the soul. And the third body is the physical body.

You know only your physical body. You have not known your second body, the bliss body. And unless you know the second body you will not be able to know the third, the deepest – your universal body, your cosmic body, your Buddha body.

This is the Buddhist trinity – the father, the son and the holy ghost. Or, this is the Buddhist trimurti – the three faces of God. Buddha says everybody has these three bodies. The first, the physical, is very frozen. The second is in a state of liquidity. And the third is vaporous. First the ice has to melt into water and then the water has to evaporate. Have you watched? The ice has definition, boundaries; the water has no definition, no boundaries. You pour the water into any jug, into any pot, it takes the shape of the pot. It is non-resistant, it is non-aggressive, it does not fight. It is liquid, it adjusts.

The man of compassion and love is like water, he adjusts. He has no resistance, he does not enforce his form on anybody. He accommodates, he is accommodative, he is spacious.

And then the third, when the water has evaporated and has disappeared and become invisible. Now you cannot even pour it into a pot. It has become part of the sky, it has moved into the eternal, into the infinite.

These are the three states of water, and these are the three states of consciousness too. You have become too gross because you have become too much identified with your first body. As if a man has be fooled himself in believing that the walls of his house are his house. The walls of the house are not the house, you have to go a little in. You have to find the innermost core of your being – and that innermost core is invisible. That innermost core is almost like emptiness.

The first body is essence, the second body is form, the third body is action. People who live only in the physical body live only in doings – what to do, what not to do. Their whole life is just swerving, swaying, between this and that. Their life consists of doing; they don’t know anything else.

The second body is of form. A man starts seeing glimpses of non-action. That’s what happens in meditation – when you are sitting silently doing nothing, great joy arises. From nowhere, for no cause. You don’t know from where it is coming but great joy arises, as if out of nothing. Miraculously, magically. This is the second, the form. The joy takes form.

And then there is the third. If you go on following and go on moving inwards, one day you reach to the essence. That, Buddha calls the body of truth. There, no action and no no-action. All has disappeared, the whole duality has disappeared, you have come to the very essence of existence. That essence is liberating. That essence is nirvana. And you are not to go anywhere to find it, you are carrying it all along.

All beings are from the very beginning buddhas.
It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.
Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar. What a pity!

And if you go on seeking afar for that which is near, you will go on missing. Nobody is at fault. Before you go into the four comers of the world to search for it, first go into yourself. If you don’t find it there, then you can go anywhere you like. But people don’t go within, they start by without. And the without is vast – you can go on and on, you can search all over the earth. And people are searching. People come to me and they say, ‘We have been searching for our whole lives. And we have been to here and there, and we have been to Japan and to Ceylon and to Burma and to Thailand, and we have travelled all over the East. And we have not found it yet.’

The East is within you! It is not in Thailand, it is not in India. And you will not find it anywhere. At the most, if you accidentally come across an enlightened man, he will throw you to yourself. Not that he will give it to you. Nobody can give it to you. It is already there; there is no need to give it.

And because in the modern world communication has become easy, traveling has become easy, people are becoming even more mad. They go jumping from one city to another, from one airport to another airport. They are driving themselves crazy. And to reach home you need not enter into any aeroplane, into any train, into any car. You only need to enter into yourself. And ticket less – no ticket is needed. And nobody is there to debar you; it is your territory.

I have heard:

A party of Americans happened to arrive at Mount Vesuvius during one of its more spectacular eruptions. ‘Say!’ exclaimed one of the Yanks in an awed tone, ‘doesn’t that beat all Hell!’ ‘Sapristi!’ said the Italian guide. ’How you Americans-a travel!’

Now even Hell is in danger, afraid of the tourists.

People go on searching and seeking for something which needs no search, which can be found only when search stops. And I am not saying that you strive to stop it – then again you have started it. If you strive to stop it, then you have missed the point. You have just to see the point of it, that striving will take you away from you, that striving will create more and more tension. Seeing the fact – Ihi passika. Seeing this, striving disappears and there is suddenly a stillness. In that stillness the first glimpse will come of bliss. You will enter into your second body. And when you have entered into the second body then it will be more and more easy, very lucid, to slip into the central most core – the essential body, the body of truth.

Once you have tasted something of your inner bliss then you have the vision where to really search for, where to go now. Disappear into your innermost being and you will find it. Seek, and you will miss. Don’t seek, and find.

Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar. What a pity
It is like one in the water who cries out for thirst;
It is like the child of a rich house
Who has strayed away among the poor.

And has forgotten that he is rich – may have become a beggar. You are rich, infinitely rich. You are all emperors and empresses, gods and godesses. Just recognize. Don’t get too much into begging – and desire creates the beggar. Even a man like Alexander is a beggar, because the desire is there. A man like Napoleon is a beggar, because the desire is there. See the richest people of this earth and you will see just beggars and nothing else. And sometimes it happens, you come across a beggar and you see the emperor sitting there under the tree – having nothing, trot possessing anything.

Just possess yourself and you have possessed all. Be the master of yourself and you have become the master of all. Possessing things, you will remain a beggar. And people go on changing but not really transforming. You possess one thing, then you start possessing another thing, then you possess a third thing. Sometimes you start possessing other-worldly things, but nothing changes. Just form changes. Somebody possesses money and somebody starts possessing virtue. Now it is the same, not much difference. […]

I am not saying start striving to stop striving, otherwise you will simply change the name of your madness and you will remain the same. You will just change the label of your neurosis. There are people who are greedy for money and there are people who are greedy for God. It makes no difference at all, they are the same people. Greed is greed. It makes no difference about what greed is, for what greed is. Greed is greed.

Just see the point that striving is meaningless, that going anywhere is meaningless. Not because I am saying it – you have to see it: Ihi passika. You have to see it, you are not to believe it. Believing won’t help; believing is just a whitewash on the surface. Seeing brings transformation.

It is llike one in the water who cries out for thirst . . .

Hakuin says: You are crying for happiness, and you are like a fish in the water crying for water and crying, ‘I am thirsty.’ You have it! And you are begging everywhere.

It is like the child of a rich house
Who has strayed away among the poor.
The cause of our circling through the six worlds
Is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.
Dark path upon dark path treading,
When shall we escape from birth-and-death?

What is the dark path of ignorance? Looking outward. The farther you look, the more darkness. Because the light burns inside you. Looking closer and closer, and there is more light. That’s why we call a Buddha ‘enlightened’ – he has come to know and realize his light. It is a perpetual light – without any fuel it is there, it cannot be exhausted. Suns will be exhausted and the moons will be exhausted and the stars will be exhausted. But the light that burns inside you as consciousness is inexhaustible. It is eternal. […]

That’s why Buddhas go on giving you whatsoever they have attained, go on shaking. Because the beauty of it is in sharing. That’s why Hakuin has sung this song. That’s why I am here, sharing my being with you, my joy with you, my celebration with you. It is something that has to be shared to keep it alive. It is something that has to be given. The more you give it, the more you have of it.

Never be a miser in your love and in your understanding. Share it. And you will have more and more of it. Don’t hoard it, otherwise you will miss it. One day you will find it has disappeared and there is nothing but stink left. Instead of fragrance there will be stinking. Share your love with everybody and anybody. Don’t make conditions to your love. And the best way to share is to share your understanding, to share your meditation.

Hakuin is doing that in this song. He’s sharing his Buddhahood. What he has known, he is singing about it, he is praising it. He is making it clear to people who have not yet attained but CAN attain. Maybe somebody hears the song, somebody is struck by it, stabbed in the very heart by it. It is a lion’s roar: somebody may be awakened out of his sleep.

The cause of our circling through the six worlds
Is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.
Dark path upon dark path treading,
When shall we escape from birth and death?

Birth means getting attached to the physical body. Death means the frustration of that attachment to the body. Getting free of birth and death means getting free of the physical body. But how can you be free from the physical body? Unless you know the second body you will not be free from the physical body. So it is not a question of being free from the physical body; the basic question is how to enter into the second body. Once you are in the second you are free from the first. And once you are in the third you are free from the second too.

That’s why you don’t see Buddha laughing. Not that he didn’t laugh, but he has not been shown as laughing. Because in the third body, the body of truth, even bliss is meaningless. First, the body, the physical body, is the body of misery. Attached to the physical body you remain miserable. The second body is the body of bliss. Once you reach to it, all misery disappears, you are blissful. But bliss is the opposite of misery – part of duality. The body of truth goes beyond both, it is transcendental. Misery has disappeared, so what is the point of keeping bliss? When there is no misery, there is no point in bliss. When poverty has disappeared what is the point of holding richness? Even that can be dispossessed.

When all duality disappears – pleasure and pain, happiness, unhappiness, day and night, life and death – then for the first time you are in God.

The Zen meditation of the Mahayana
Is beyond all our praises.
Giving and morality and the other perfections,
Taking of the name, repentance, discipline,
And the many other right actions,
All come back to the practice of meditation.

Hakuin says: All that has been done in the name of religion down the ages, can be reduced to one single thing, and that is meditation – dhyana. And what is dhyana? Becoming aware of your physical body – the first dhyana, the first step of meditation. Becoming watchful of your physical body. Watch yourself walking, watch yourself eating, watch yourself running, talking, listening. Watch. And through watching you will see you are different from the physical body. Because the watcher cannot be the watched, the observer cannot be the observed, the seer cannot be the seen, the knower cannot be the known.

Watch the physical body, and the second body will arise. It is there – but you will start feeling. You will start recognizing it, it will start penetrating you. This is the first step of meditation: watch the physical body. Then the second step, and the last, is: watch the bliss body. Watch your ecstasy. And then you will suddenly see, the watcher cannot be the watched. ‘Ecstasy is there, but I am far away from it. Bliss is there, but I am the knower of it.’

Then you start getting into the third body, the body of truth. Then you become a pure witness – sakshin. And that is liberation. Hakuin says it happens through meditation that you discover, or rediscover, your Buddhahood.

By the merit of a single sitting
He destroys innumerable accumulated sins.
How should there be wrong paths for him?

And just in a single sitting it can happen. Hakuin does not preach the gradual path, Hakuin preaches the sudden path. It can happen in a single moment. It can happen now. You need not postpone it for tomorrow. Who knows? Tomorrow may never come. It never comes, really. It can happen this very moment. If your awareness is lucid, if your awareness is there, clear, crystal-clear, it can happen this very moment. This very sitting, and you can become a Buddha. And nobody is hindering the path except yourself. Nobody is the enemy except yourself, and nobody is the friend either.

By the merit of a single sitting
He destroys innumerable accumulated sins.

Hakuin says: Don’t be worried about sins and your past karma. In a single sitting of meditation, all that can be burnt. The fire of meditation is so potential, it can burn your whole past in a single moment. There is no need to be worried about past karma – ‘I have done some bad, so I have to suffer. I have done something, so I have to go to Hell.’ If you want to go, you will have to go! But these are all rationalizations that you are trying to find. If you wish, it is your wish – it will be fulfilled. This existence is very obliging. It goes on obliging – if you want to go to Hell, it supports. It says, ‘Go! I am all with you.’

But if you decide that ‘Enough is enough, and I have suffered enough,’ a single moment of meditativeness is enough to burn all your millions of past lives and millions of future lives too. You are released.

Start meditating. First on the body. Then on your inner feelings of bliss, joy. And go moving inwards. And one day the song of Hakuin will burst forth in you too. You will flower. And unless you flower you have not lived, or lived in vain. You are here to bloom. And unless you bear much fruit and much flowers you will go on missing the meaning of life.

People come to me and they ask, ‘What is the meaning of life’ As if meaning is there somewhere sold in the market. As if meaning is a commodity. Meaning has to be created. There is no meaning in life. Meaning is not a given thing; it has to be created. It has to become your inner work. Then there is meaning – and there is great meaning.

Love and meditate and you will attain to meaning. And you will attain to life, and abundant life.


From This Very Body the Buddha, Discourse #1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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