Freedom and Interdependence – Osho

For forty-five years I lived in prison, mostly made by myself. Now I know it is possible to become more and more free. But what to do, when you feel you need a safe place, a good climate to grow? Another prison? How to be free anywhere, any time? I feel sorrow and rebellion in me about that.

Yvonne, freedom has nothing to do with the outside; one can be free even in an actual prison. Freedom is something inner; it is of the consciousness. You can be free anywhere—chained, in a jail, you can be free—and you can be unfree outside the jail, in your own home, visibly absolutely free, but you will be a prisoner if your consciousness is not free.

You are confusing outer freedom with inner freedom. As far as the outside is concerned you can never be absolutely free—let it be clear once and forever. As far as outside is concerned you are not alone, so how can you be absolutely free? There are millions of people around you. On the outside, life has to be a compromise. If you were alone on the earth you would have been absolutely free, but you are not alone.

On the road you have to keep to the left. And Yvonne will feel this is a great bondage: “Why? Why should I be forced to be on the left? I am a free man. If I want to walk on the right I will walk on the right. If I want to walk in the middle of the road I will walk in the middle of the road.” In India you can do it—India is a free country, remember! It is the greatest democracy in the world, so right, left, middle, anywhere you can walk!

But one man’s freedom becomes so many people’s problem. You are free to be yourself, but you should not be an interference in other people’s lives.

A man of understanding will respect his freedom as much as he will respect others’ freedom, because if nobody respects your freedom, your freedom will be destroyed. It is a mutual understanding: “I respect your freedom, you respect my freedom, then we both can be free.” But it is a compromise. I have not to interfere with your being, I am not free to trespass on you.

You want to sing loudly in the middle of the night. Of course you are a free person, and if you cannot sing loudly in your own house, what kind of freedom is this? But the neighbors have to sleep too; then there has to be a compromise.

On the outside we are interdependent. Nobody can be absolutely independent. Life is an interdependence. Not only with people are you interdependent, you are interdependent with everything. If you cut all the trees you will die because they are constantly supplying you with oxygen. You are dependent on them—and they are dependent on you because you are constantly giving them carbon dioxide. We take oxygen in and exhale carbon dioxide; the trees do just the opposite, they exhale oxygen and inhale carbon dioxide.

So when people like Mahendra are smoking, trees must be feeling tremendously happy because more carbon dioxide is being created for them! Listening to me these trees will be feeling very sad that I am telling you to go to the root cause of it and then smoking will disappear. That means trees won’t get as much carbon dioxide as they were getting before!

We are interdependent, not only with the trees—with the sun, with the moon, with the stars. Everything is an interdependence.

Just tomorrow there is going to be a solar eclipse, a total eclipse. It will have tremendous effects on the life on earth. If you look at the sun directly you can go blind forever. Avoid looking at the sun—in fact, don’t come out. There will be every temptation to come out because in the middle of the day, near about four-thirty in the afternoon, you can see stars in the sky; just as in the night you have always seen them, in the middle of the day you can see stars. There will be great temptation to come out and see, but avoid it, don’t come out. It is dangerous to the eyes, it is dangerous to your nervous system, it is dangerous to your mind mechanism. Many people will go berserk, many people will go blind. Women who are pregnant should avoid coming out absolutely because the child in the womb is very very vulnerable. He has no safeguards yet; he is soft, so soft he can be affected by anything. And in the solar eclipse, when it is total, dangerous rays enter into the atmosphere.

So when the eclipse happens I would like all my sannyasins to go inside their rooms, close the doors, sit in deep meditation. It will last only a few minutes. Avoid the temptation of coming out, and don’t try to find out devices through which you can see it without being harmed. No device is absolutely foolproof; it is better to avoid it.

Now life is so interdependent… the sun is so far away. It takes ten minutes for the rays of the sun to reach to the earth, and rays move with tremendous speed—one hundred eighty-six thousand miles per second. But we are related to other suns and other solar systems too. Everything in existence is interdependent, so you cannot be absolutely free on the outside—and there is no need either.

Enjoy this interdependence. Don’t call it bondage. It is not dependence, it is INTER-dependence. You are dependent on others, others are dependent on you. It is a brotherhood, it is relatedness. Even the smallest grass leaf is related to the greatest star.

But in the inner world, in the inner kingdom, you can be absolutely free. So the whole question is of the inner. And then, Yvonne, you will not feel sad and rebellious; there is no need. Understand that the outer interdependence is a must, it is inevitable; nothing can be done about it. It is part of how things are. Accept it. When nothing can be done about it, acceptance is the only way. And accept it JOYOUSLY, not as a resignation. Accept it! This is our universe; we are part of it. We are not islands, we are part of the whole continent. We are not egos.

Yvonne, your idea of freedom is rooted somewhere in the idea of the ego. We are not egos. The ego is a false entity—because we are not separate, how can we have egos? It is good as far as language is concerned; it is utilitarian to use the word ‘I’, but it has no substance in it. It is pure shadow, utterly empty. A useful word, utilitarian, but not real.

But inner freedom IS possible. It happens as you go deeper and deeper into awareness. Watch your body, watch your thought processes.

Just the other day Buddha was saying: Watch, witness the whole process of your thoughts. And slowly, slowly, you will see you are neither anger nor greed, neither Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Christian, neither Catholic nor communist. Slowly, slowly, you will be aware that you are not any thought—you are not mind at all. You are a pure witness. The experience of pure witnessing is the experience of total freedom, but it is an inward phenomenon. And a man who is inwardly totally free has no hankering to be outwardly free. He is capable of accepting nature as it is.

Yvonne, create inner freedom through witnessing. Sannyas is only for the inner freedom. And live out of inner freedom and then you will be able to see the interdependence on the outside. It is beautiful and it is a blessing. There is no need to rebel against it. Relax into it, surrender to it. And remember: only a person who is really free can surrender.

-OSHO

From The Dhammapada, the Way of the Buddha, V.9, Chapter Four

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Silence and Blissfulness – Osho

Can you talk about the relationship between silence and blissfulness? Is silence all that is needed? Does everything else follow?

Prem Samarpan, there is no relationship between silence and blissfulness; they are two names of the same thing.

Silence is blissfulness, not in the dictionaries, but in actual experience. And I don’t see that in actual experience it can be different to different people. As you become silent, you cannot be worried, you cannot be tense; you cannot be miserable, you cannot be noisy, you cannot be chattering continuously. Otherwise, how can you be silent?

And when all these stupid activities are gone, silence simply clears the ground for blissfulness to be discovered. They are almost the same phenomenon because they happen simultaneously. As you become silent, a certain sweetness, a certain fragrance, a certain beatitude spontaneously arises in you.

But your silence should not be a repressed stillness; you should not be silent by force. If you are silent by force, if you have repressed your mind then rather than doing meditation you are doing gymnastics, fighting with the mind. It is possible you can force the mind to be silent, but then there will be no blissfulness. There will be just emptiness and a silence of the graveyard, not the silence of the garden; something empty, not something overflowing.

The silence that comes out of meditation is not an empty experience, it is very positive—it is overflowingly positive. And what is there to overflow in silence except blissfulness? So, please check. If your silence is not bringing blissfulness then you are trying to have a wrong kind of silence—blissfulness is the criterion—then stop doing what you are trying to do.

In meditation, silence comes on its own accord. You simply go on watching the mind without any control, without any repression, and silence comes suddenly just like a breeze, and with the silence, the fragrance of the flowers—that is your blissfulness; it is your own fragrance which you were not capable of knowing because there was so much noise.

The mind was creating so much fuss, thoughts were creating so many dark clouds, emotions and moods, it had become a thick barrier between you and your real self. When the barrier is removed, it is as if you have removed a rock which was preventing a stream, a fountain.

And the moment you remove the rock, suddenly the fountain bursts forth in a great dance of joy. Your blissfulness is not something that comes from outside, it springs from within you. Just the rock of your mind—thoughts, miseries—has to be removed. It is not that you have to repress it, because by repressing it you will be repressing the fountain behind it too.

So the question can arise, Samarpan, if your silence is a wrong kind of silence. You are asking, “Is silence all that is needed?” Yes, absolutely yes. Silence is all that is needed, and everything else follows on its own accord.

-OSHO

From The Invitation, Chapter Twelve

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Meditate for Forty-eight – Osho

Can a person meditating an hour a day gain enlightenment in this life? 

It has been found by all the great meditators of the world that just forty-eight minutes, exactly forty-eight minutes, are enough to make you enlightened. But to meditate for forty-eight minutes – I’m not even making it sixty, I’m giving you the exact time – is not an easy thing.

Even to meditate for a single minute, a whole single minute, sixty seconds, is a difficult thing – but not impossible. You can try it to check. Just put a small watch in front of you with a second hand, and start looking at the second hand the moment it moves from twelve. Just keep watching the second hand and see how long you can manage watching it.

At the most, somewhere between ten to twelve seconds you will have missed, you will have gone somewhere else. And by the time you come back, a few seconds are lost, the hand has moved. If you do it daily, then in a few days it is possible to remain for sixty minutes silently watching.

The same is the process of vipassana. You have to watch your breathing – that is the method that Buddha used, a very simple and very scientific method. You just watch the breath going in, you go with it; it is coming out, you come out with it. You don’t forget at any time the watching; you don’t go astray.

If you can manage it for forty-eight minutes, that very day you will become enlightened, in this life!

There is no need to wait for another life and there is no need even to wait for one hour. Those twelve extra minutes may be too difficult. Just forty-eight is the exact right time.

To attain those forty-eight minutes may take years, but it need not be postponed for another life, it can happen in this life.

It all depends on your intensity.

It all depends how much you are ready, willing, open, receptive, vulnerable.

-OSHO

From The Sword and the Lotus, Chapter Eleven

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Being Aware Is Enough – Osho

It is said again and again that being aware is enough for transformation. How does it work?

It is a significant question, because if you are aware of your cancer, the cancer will not be cured by just being aware of it – that is true. But as far as psychological transformations are concerned, the moment you are aware of them they disappear – because they do not exist as realities, they exist only as illusions.

You have seen a ghost standing in the dark: now you bring light, and you say there is nobody. Just the shape of the tree was giving you the false impression that somebody was standing there. The ghost has disappeared, because in the first place the ghost was not there.

Awareness helps, brings transformation, because the illusions that you are suffering from are not realities. If you become aware of a rock, the rock is not going to disappear. But if you become aware of the ego, the ego is going to disappear, because the ego is not a reality.

If you become aware, fear is going to disappear, because fear is not a reality. If you become aware, death is going to disappear, because death is a lie, it is not a reality.

Awareness functions in two ways. One: if something is real and you become aware of it, it becomes tremendously beautiful, it becomes psychedelic, it becomes very colorful. If it is unreal, it disappears. If it is real, it becomes more real; if it is unreal, it becomes absolutely unreal.

Awareness is a light. If you bring light into the dark room, darkness will disappear, but the paintings on the wall will appear. When the room was dark, the paintings were not there; although they were there, you could not have seen them – for you they were not there and darkness was there. When you bring light, darkness is there no more and the paintings have appeared.

Something disappears when you become aware, and something appears. Death disappears, deathlessness appears. The ego disappears, egolessness appears. You disappear as a separate entity: God appears. God means, “I am no longer separate.”

“Was you ever in love, Dusty?” asked Walker Long of old Dusty Rhodes one day as they were picking up and putting them down on a railroad right-of-way.

“Yeah, once when I was a young squirt, I was in love,” answered old Dusty.

“Well, you never did get married, did you?” pursued Walker Long.

“Nope, I never did marry,” vouchsafed old Dusty.

“How did that happen?”

“Well, it was like this. The gal I was in love with wouldn’t marry me when I was drunk, and I wouldn’t marry her when I was sober.”

Awareness has its own ways. If you are aware, you will not be able to do many things you have been doing up till now, and you will be able to do many things you have never thought of doing before. If you are aware, you cannot be angry, because anger can exist only in a state of unawareness: that is a prerequisite for anger to exist.

If you are aware, anger is impossible and compassion becomes a natural outcome: the same energy that was becoming anger becomes compassion. If you are aware, sex disappears and love arises: the same energy that was becoming sexuality through unawareness takes on a new manifestation of love through awareness.

As far as psychological transformation is concerned, awareness is enough, analysis is not needed.

That is the difference between Eastern and Western psychology: Western psychology is too concerned with analysis. In the East, for five thousand years psychology has existed; it is the most ancient science in the East. But its concern is totally different; it is not at all interested in analyzing, the whole thing seems to be unnecessary.

And now Western psychology is also becoming aware of the fact that analysis leads nowhere. Have you ever come across a person who is totally analyzed? Even Sigmund Freud was not. Nobody can be totally analyzed. You can analyze one dream, but another day another dream arises. You can go on analyzing – people go to the analyst for years, but dreams don’t disappear, they go on coming; analysis does not make them disappear.

But in the East we know the art of making them disappear. So who bothers? It is as if you see a ghost in the dark – there is no ghost, just the form of the tree – and you start analyzing. You never come close to the tree, you never bring light; you start analyzing the form from far away. You can go on analyzing: nothing is going to happen out of that analysis.

Eastern psychology says: Light a candle, bring the candle to the place, and first see whether the ghost exists at all. If the ghost does not exist, then why bother? Why many, many years of analysis? The analyzed goes on pouring out rubbish, and the analyst goes on dissecting, analyzing, labeling and categorizing the rubbish. Much work goes on, and all futile, much ado about nothing.

Western psychology is based on analysis, Eastern psychology is based on awareness.

Just watch. There is no need to analyze. Become more and more intensely alert. And if you are aware of a problem, half the problem is already solved just by becoming aware of it. Just a slight awareness of the problem, and half the problem is already solved, because you have taken some energy out of it: that energy has become awareness. Become more aware, and the problem becomes dissolved.

Chunk by chunk, the problem disappears as you become aware, because you are pulling back energy which you had been pouring into the problem – that was creating the problem. You are taking your energy back, you are not cooperating any more. You were the creator of the problem: you have taken your energy back.

When all energy has been taken back, a moment comes when the problem flops. First become aware of a problem and then become more and more alert. Nothing else is needed; you need not go to any psychoanalyst.

It is one thing to have a problem, but it is another not even to be aware that you have a problem. That is like the eighty-year-old I heard about in Miami. He was vacationing with another octogenarian in Florida. During their stay they both made the acquaintance of some ladies younger than themselves. They both fell in love and decided to get married in Florida in a double ceremony. Following the wedding night, they are both in their rocking chairs after breakfast.

The one says, “You know, I better see a doctor.”

The other says, “Why?”

“Well,” the first said, “I couldn’t consummate the marriage.”

“Oh,” said the second. “I better see a psychiatrist.”

“Why?” said the first.

“I didn’t even give it a thought.”

First become aware of your problem, and then go on becoming more and more aware of it. Don’t judge; judgment is an obstacle in becoming aware. Don’t call it any names, don’t evaluate. Don’t say it is good, don’t say it is bad, don’t label, don’t categorize. Just be alert: whatsoever it is, simply mirror it.

If you take a stand and you say, “This is bad,” then you have already blocked your awareness. You have concluded – now you are no longer impartial, you have already made a decision. And the moment you say something is bad, you cannot look at it eye to eye. When you say some man is bad, you can’t face him, you can’t encounter him; you avoid him. When you say something is good, you become positively attached; when you say something is bad, you become negatively attached.

Observation means no attachment at all, this way or that, neither negative nor positive. You are simply an impartial mirror-like reflection, you simply reflect whatsoever is. In that awareness, problems melt. In that awareness, lies, falsities and fallacies disappear. And in that awareness, when falsities and appearances have disappeared, reality comes with radiant colors.

You need not take LSD or marijuana or psylocybin. Take a dose of awareness – and life is so beautiful, it is so utterly glorious, it is such an incredible splendor, that no LSD, no marijuana, can add anything to it. All that you need is awareness, and life becomes such a beautiful experience that you cannot imagine that there could be anything better. Ordinary life becomes so luminous. The ordinary tree that you have passed your whole life – coming home, going to the office, you have always been passing the tree – for the first time you see the greenery of it. For the first time you see the luminous presence of the tree, the utter beauty of it.

Life is such a gift, and we go on missing it. And the reason is, between us and life there are so many lies crowding. Your awareness will destroy those lies: they will disappear, and reality will be nakedly encountered.

And to know reality in its utter nakedness is to know God.

-OSHO

From Unio Mystica, V.2, chapter 15

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Watching is not Doing – Osho

Being with you I feel so blissful and liberated, and there seems to be no end to it. You must have tricked me. What is your secret?

I am a simple man without any secret. I am just an open book, and a book in which nothing is written. If you like to call it a secret it is your choice, but it is a very open secret.

If you want to be, learn the art of being: Not to be.

Let me repeat it, because I know you are deaf. If you want really to be, the only way is to learn not to be. Disappear. Just as God disappears from existence, you have to disappear from your life. Let life flow of its own accord.

It is the simplest art in the world, to be silent. It is not a doing, it is a non-doing. How can it be difficult?

I am showing you the way of enlightenment through laziness. Nothing has to be done to attain it, because it is your nature. You have already got it. You are just so busy with outer business that you cannot see your own nature.

Deep within you is exactly the same as outside you: the beauty, the silence, the ecstasy, the blissfulness. But please, sometimes be kind to yourself: just sit down and don’t do anything, either physically or mentally. Relax, not in an American way… because I have seen so many American books titled How to Relax. The very title says that the man knows nothing about relaxation. There is no “how.”

Yes, it is okay – “How to Repair a Car”; you will have to do something. But there is no doing as such as far as relaxation is concerned. Just don’t do anything. I know you will find it a little difficult in the beginning. That is not because relaxation is difficult, it is because you have become addicted to doing something. That addiction will take a little time to disappear.

Just be, and watch. Being is not doing, and watching is also not doing. You sit silently doing nothing, witnessing whatsoever is happening. Thoughts will be moving in your mind; your body may be feeling some tension somewhere, you may have a migraine. Just be a witness. Don’t be identified with it. Watch, be a watcher on the hills, and everything else is happening in the valley. It is a knack, not an art.

Meditation is not a science. It is not an art, it is a knack – just that way. All that you need is a little patience.

The old habits will continue; the thoughts will go on rushing. And your mind is always in a rush hour, the traffic is always jammed. Your body is not accustomed to sitting silently – you will be tossing and turning. Nothing to be worried about. Just watch that the body is tossing and turning, that the mind is whirling, is full of thoughts – consistent, inconsistent, useless – fantasies, dreams. You remain in the center, just watching.

All the religions of the world have taught people to do something: stop the process of thought, force the body into a still posture. That’s what yoga is – a long practice of forcing the body to be still. But a forced body is not still. And all the prayers, concentrations, contemplations of all the religions do the same with the mind: they force it, they don’t allow the thoughts to move. Yes, you have the capacity to do it. And if you persist you may be able to stop the thought process. But this is not the real thing, it is absolutely fake.

When stillness comes on its own, when silence descends without your effort, when you watch thoughts and a moment comes when thoughts start disappearing and silence starts happening, that is beautiful. The thoughts stop of their own accord if you don’t identify, if you remain a witness and you don’t say, “This is my thought.”

You don’t say, “This is bad, this is good,” “This should be there….” and “This should not be there….” Then you are not a watcher; you have prejudices, you have certain attitudes. A watcher has no prejudice, he has no judgment. He simply sees like a mirror.

When you bring something in front of a mirror it reflects, simply reflects. There is no judgment that the man is ugly, that the man is beautiful, that, “Aha! What a good nose you have got.” The mirror has nothing to say. Its nature is to mirror; it mirrors. This is what I call meditation: you simply mirror everything within or without.

And I guarantee you…. I can guarantee because it has happened to me and to many of my people; just watching patiently – maybe a few days will pass, maybe a few months, maybe a few years. There is no way of saying because each individual has a different collection.

You must have seen people collecting antiques, postal stamps. Everybody has a different collection; the quantity may be different, hence the time it takes will be different – but go on remaining a witness as much as you can. And this meditation needs no special time. You can wash the floor and remain silently watching yourself washing the floor.

I can move my hand unconsciously, without watching, or I can move it with full awareness. And there is a qualitative difference. When you move it unconsciously it is mechanical. When you move it with consciousness there is grace. Even in the hand, which is part of your body, you will feel silence, coolness – what to say about the mind?

With your watching and watching, slowly the rush of thoughts starts getting less and less. Moments of silence start appearing; a thought comes, and then there is silence before another thought appears. These gaps will give you the first glimpse of meditation and the first joy that you are arriving home.

Soon the gaps will be bigger, and finally the gap is always with you. You may be doing something, the silence is there. You may not be doing anything, the silence is there. Even in sleep the silence is there.

For a meditator there are no dreams; dreams and thoughts are cousin-brothers, there is not much difference. If thoughts disappear, dreams disappear. And if for twenty-four hours a day you are surrounded by silence you will come to know what my secret is.

If you go near a lake, you start feeling cool. There is no secret in it – it is the milieu. You go to the forest and you feel the difference in the atmosphere. You are the same but the atmosphere around you is different.

When you come closer to me… and to come closer to me you are not to walk and sit by my side. To come closer to me is to be not a Christian, not a Hindu, not a Mohammedan, not a Buddhist, not a communist. To come close to me means that you don’t cling to any ideology, you don’t go on holding onto the past. To come close to me means you start living moment to moment.

Neither the past means anything to you, nor are you worried about the future. This very moment becomes the only reality. In fact it is the only reality. And if you can be in this moment, you can be on a faraway star but you will be close to me and you will feel a serenity, a silence, a lovingness such as you have never known.

I am not doing anything, remember, so don’t be grateful to me. I am a non-doer – I am just being available. That is not much of a doing. I am available, like the trees in the forest and the lakes and the ocean, and the sun and the moon. I am available. Now it is up to you to come close to me, or go away from me.

If you can come close to me you will start feeling things that have been unknown to you, and soon you will realize that what you are feeling close to me you can feel yourself wherever you are. That is the greatest moment of happiness for a master, when his disciple can be on his own.

You must know the meaning of being a disciple, people have forgotten; it comes from “discipline.”

And all the religions have corrupted the meaning of discipline; its root meaning is learning.

Coming close is learning.

What I have got, you have got.

I am aware of it, you are not aware of it.

-OSHO

Excerpt from From the False to the Truth, Chapter Three

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

 

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

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

Ending Thought – J. Krishnamurti

Questioner: I wonder what you really mean by ending thought. I talked to a friend about it and he said it is some kind of oriental nonsense. To him thought is the highest form of intelligence and action, the very salt of life, indispensable. It has created civilization, and all relationship is based on it. All of us accept this, from the greatest thinker to the humblest labourer. When we don’t think we sleep, vegetate or daydream; we are vacant, dull and unproductive, whereas when we are awake we are thinking, doing, living, quarrelling: these are the only two states we know. You say, be beyond both – beyond thought and vacant inactivity. What do you mean by this?

Krishnamurti: Very simply put, thought is the response of memory, the past. The past is an infinity or a second ago. When thought acts it is this past which is acting as memory, as experience, as knowledge, as opportunity. All will is desire based on this past and directed towards pleasure or the avoidance of pain. When thought is functioning it is the past, therefore there is no new living at all; it is the past living in the present, modifying itself and the present. So there is nothing new in life that way, and when something new is to be found there must be the absence of the past, the mind must not be cluttered up with thought, fear, pleasure, and everything else. Only when the mind is uncluttered can the new come into being, and for this reason we say that thought must be still, operating only when it has to – objectively, efficiently. All continuity is thought; when there is continuity there is nothing new. Do you see how important this is? It’s really a question of life itself. Either you live in the past, or you live totally differently: that is the whole point.

Questioner: I think I do see what you mean, but how in the world is one to end this thought? When I listen to the blackbird there is thought telling me instantly it is the blackbird; when I walk down the street thought tells me I am walking down the street and tells me all I recognise and see; when I play with the notion of not thinking it is again thought that plays this game. All meaning and understanding and communication are thought. Even when I am not communicating with someone else I am doing so with myself. When I am awake, I think, when I am asleep I think. The whole structure of my being is thought. Its roots lie far deeper than I know. All I think and do and all I am is thought, thought creating pleasure and pain, appetites, longings, resolutions, conclusions, hopes, fears and questions. Thought commits murder and thought forgives. So how can one go beyond it? Isn’t it thought again which seeks to go beyond it?

Krishnamurti: We both said, when thought is still, something new can be. We both saw that point clearly and to understand it clearly is the ending of thought.

Questioner: But that understanding is also thought.

Krishnamurti: Is it? You assume that it is thought, but is it, actually?

Questioner: It is a mental movement with meaning, a communication to oneself.

Krishnamurti: If it is a communication to oneself it is thought. But is understanding a mental movement with meaning?

Questioner: Yes it is.

Krishnamurti: The meaning of the word and the understanding of that meaning is thought. That is necessary in life. There thought must function efficiently. It is a technological matter. But you are not asking that. You are asking how thought, which is the very movement of life as you know it, can come to an end. Can it only end when you die? That is really your question, isn’t it?

Questioner: Yes.

Krishnamurti: That is the right question. Die! Die to the past, to tradition.

Questioner: But how?

Krishnamurti: The brain is the source of thought. The brain is matter and thought is matter. Can the brain – with all its reactions and its immediate responses to every challenge and demand – can that brain be very still? It is not a question of ending thought, but of whether the brain can be completely still. Can it act with full capacity when necessary and otherwise be still? This stillness is not physical death. See what happens when the brain is completely still. See what happens.

Questioner: In that space there was a blackbird, the green tree, the blue sky, the man hammering next door, the sound of the wind in the trees and my own heartbeat, the total quietness of the body. That is all.

Krishnamurti: If there was recognition of the blackbird singing, then the brain was active, was interpreting. It was not still. This really demands tremendous alertness and discipline, the watching that brings its own discipline, not imposed or brought about by your unconscious desire to achieve a result or a pleasurable new experience. Therefore during the day thought must operate effectively, sanely, and also watch itself.

Questioner: That is easy, but what about going beyond it?

Krishnamurti: Who is asking this question? Is it the desire to experience something new or is it the enquiry? If it is the enquiry, then you must enquire and investigate the whole business of thinking and be completely familiar with it, know all its tricks and subtleties. If you have done this you will know that the question of going beyond thought is an empty one. Going beyond thought is knowing what thought is.

-J. Krishnamurti

From The Urgency of Change

 

Total Relaxation is Paradise – Osho

Will you say something more about relaxation? I am aware of a tension deep at the core of me and suspect that I have probably never been totally relaxed. 

When you said the other day that to relax is one of the most complex phenomena possible, I glimpsed a rich tapestry in which the threads of relaxation and let-go were deeply interwoven with trust, and then love came into it, and acceptance, going with the flow, union and ecstasy….

Anurag, total relaxation is the ultimate. That’s the moment when one becomes a buddha. That is the moment of realization, enlightenment, Christ-consciousness. You cannot be totally relaxed right now. At the innermost core a tension will persist.

But start relaxing. Start from the circumference—that’s where we are, and we can start only from where we are. Relax the circumference of your being—relax your body, relax your behavior, relax your acts. Walk in a relaxed way, eat in a relaxed way, talk, listen in a relaxed way. Slow down every process. Don’t be in a hurry and don’t be in haste. Move as if all eternity is available to you—in fact, it is available to you. We are here from the beginning and we are going to be here to the very end, if there is a beginning and there is an end. In fact, there is no beginning and no end. We have always been here and we will be here always. Forms go on changing, but not the substance; garments go on changing, but not the soul.

Tension means hurry, fear, doubt. Tension means a constant effort to protect, to be secure, to be safe. Tension means preparing for the tomorrow now, or for the afterlife—afraid tomorrow you will not be able to face the reality, so be prepared. Tension means the past that you have not lived really but only somehow bypassed; it hangs, it is a hangover, it surrounds you.

Remember one very fundamental thing about life: any experience that has not been lived will hang around you, will persist: “Finish me! Live me! Complete me!” There is an intrinsic quality in every experience that it tends and wants to be finished, completed. Once completed, it evaporates; incomplete, it persists, it tortures you, it haunts you, it attracts your attention. It says, “What are you going to do about me? I am still incomplete—fulfill me!”

Your whole past hangs around you with nothing completed—because nothing has been lived really, everything somehow bypassed, partially lived, only so-so, in a lukewarm way. There has been no intensity, no passion. You have been moving like a somnambulist, a sleepwalker. So that past hangs, and the future creates fear. And between the past and the future is crushed your present, the only reality.

You will have to relax from the circumference. The first step in relaxing is the body. Remember as many times as possible to look in the body, whether you are carrying some tension in the body somewhere—at the neck, in the head, in the legs. Relax it consciously. Just go to that part of the body, and persuade that part, say to it lovingly “Relax!”

And you will be surprised that if you approach any part of your body, it listens, it follows you—it is your body! With closed eyes, go inside the body from the toe to the head searching for any place where there is a tension. And then talk to that part as you talk to a friend; let there be a dialogue between you and your body. Tell it to relax, and tell it, “There is nothing to fear. Don’t be afraid. I am here to take care—you can relax.” Slowly, slowly, you will learn the knack of it. Then the body becomes relaxed.

Then take another step, a little deeper; tell the mind to relax. And if the body listens, mind also listens, but you cannot start with the mind—you have to start from the beginning. You cannot start from the middle. Many people start with the mind and they fail; they fail because they start from a wrong place. Everything should be done in the right order. If you become capable of relaxing the body voluntarily, then you will be able to help your mind relax voluntarily. Mind is a more complex phenomenon. Once you have become confident that the body listens to you, you will have a new trust in yourself. Now even the mind can listen to you. It will take a little longer with the mind, but it happens.

When the mind is relaxed, then start relaxing your heart, the world of your feelings, emotions—which is even more complex, more subtle. But now you will be moving with trust, with great trust in yourself. Now you will know it is possible. If it is possible with the body and possible with the mind, it is possible with the heart too. And then only, when you have gone through these three steps, can you take the fourth. Now you can go to the innermost core of your being, which is beyond body, mind, heart: the very center of your existence. And you will be able to relax it too.

And that relaxation certainly brings the greatest joy possible, the ultimate in ecstasy, acceptance. You will be full of bliss and rejoicing. Your life will have the quality of dance to it. The whole of existence is dancing, except man. The whole of existence is in a very relaxed movement; movement there is, certainly, but it is utterly relaxed. Trees are growing and birds are chirping and rivers are flowing, stars are moving: everything is going in a very relaxed way. No hurry, no haste, no worry, and no waste. Except man. Man has fallen a victim of his mind.

Man can rise above gods and fall below animals. Man has a great spectrum. From the lowest to the highest, man is a ladder.

Anurag, start from the body, and then go, slowly, slowly, deeper. And don’t start with anything else unless you have first solved the primary. If your body is tense, don’t start with the mind. Wait. Work on the body. And just small things are of immense help.

You walk at a certain pace; that has become habitual, automatic. Now try to walk slowly. Buddha used to say to his disciples, “Walk very slowly, and take each step very consciously.” If you take each step very consciously, you are bound to walk slowly. If you are running, hurrying, you will forget to remember. Hence Buddha walks very slowly.

Just try walking very slowly, and you will be surprised—a new quality of awareness starts happening in the body. Eat slowly, and you will be surprised—there is great relaxation. Do everything slowly… just to change the old pattern, just to come out of old habits.

First the body has to become utterly relaxed, like a small child, then only start with the mind. Move scientifically: first the simplest, then the complex, then the more complex. And then only can you relax at the ultimate core.

You ask me, Anurag, “Will you say something more about relaxation? I am aware of a tension deep in the core of me and suspect that I have probably never been totally relaxed.”

That is the situation of every human being. It is good that you are aware—millions are unaware of it. You are blessed that you are aware, because if you are aware then something can be done. If you are not aware, then nothing is possible. Awareness is the beginning of transformation.

And you say, “When you said the other day that to relax is one of the most complex phenomena possible, I glimpsed a rich tapestry in which the threads of relaxation and let-go were deeply interwoven with trust, and then love came into it, and acceptance, going with the flow, union and ecstasy….”

Yes, Anurag, relaxation is one of the most complex phenomena—very rich, multidimensional. All these things are part of it: let-go, trust, surrender, love, acceptance, going with the flow, union with existence, egolessness, ecstasy. All these are part of it, and all these start happening if you learn the ways of relaxation.

Your so-called religions have made you very tense, because they have created guilt in you. My effort here is to help you get rid of all guilt and all fear. I would like to tell you: there is no hell and no heaven. So don’t be afraid of hell and don’t be greedy for heaven.

All that exists is this moment. You can make this moment a hell or a heaven—that certainly is possible—but there is no heaven or hell somewhere else. Hell is when you are all tense, and heaven is when you are all relaxed. Total relaxation is paradise.

-OSHO

From The Dhammapada, the Way of the Buddha, V.1, Chapter 8

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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