What is Freedom – Anand Amido

Krishnamurti inspires a person to tackle human challenges personally, not to accept what either he has said on the topic or how your society defines such concepts. For Krishnamurti such questions burn and he encourages everyone to examine from every which side such questions as they emerge. No one has the answer for all because there really is no such thing as an answer.  There is only living the question and in so doing, one can live that which emerges in immediacy from a place beyond, before, encompassing the mechanical mind.

To begin with, I think of freedom as being able to do what I want to do!  This, of course, presupposes that I know what I want to do!  I experience disappointment, resistance, resentment, smoldering anger even, when I am thwarted from following my desires.  So what really is going on?  Someone wants me to go somewhere with him/her.  I don’t really want to; I am engaged in some other activity.  It is the person I love.  I want them to be happy.  I agree to go but have to monitor the underlying feelings!  I am not going cleanly, freshly, with joy!

So I look and look at all the thoughts and emotions that emerge and cause the pot to simmer ceaselessly.  I look some more.  Bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble!  Distractions occur but I return to the topic.  The question changes.  What is preventing me from living a fresh life filled with joy?  What am I hanging onto and why am I hanging onto it?  The idea that I wanted to do this rather than that?  What is that all about?  When my gaze becomes steady, looking within, sustained, something changes and nothing changes.  All contradictions die in the pool of now, the soundless, I am no longer identified with my small petty mind, my casual desires that pull me from all directions and really are not the avenue to joy but truly the road to hell!  In the steady silence there is no space for choice.  Love pervades that vibrant energetic nothingness and out of there right action, choiceless awareness.

Is this my own experience I wonder or do I simply have a geometric understanding from reading the books of those who live in such grace?  I can only say that once in a while grace descends or expands, or overwhelms.  Love fills the heart and I am home.

-Anand Amido

This post is from Amido’s blogsite.

When My Mind is the Cause of Unhappiness – Osho

When my mind is the cause of my unhappiness either I don’t know how to come out of mind or I must still enjoy being in my mind, dreams, fantasies.

If the house is on fire and you see the flames of fire you will escape. And you will know how to escape, you will find a way. When the house is on fire who worries whether you are getting out of the right door or whether you are getting out of the back door or getting out of the window? Who bothers? Once you feel that the house is on fire you will not even think about how to get out. You will get out first and then you will think. And then you will wonder how it happened.

Buddha used to say that you ask about techniques because you are not yet aware that the house is on fire.

When you come across a snake on the path do you ask how to get out of the way? And you may not have come across a snake in your whole life. This may be for the first time.

And you may never ever have heard anybody talking about how to get out of the way of a snake, but still you will get out of the way — you will jump. You will not sit there and think about what to do, how to do it, whom to consult, where to find a guru. You will not think, you will simply jump.

The questioner says, When my mind is the cause of my unhappiness either I don’t know how to come out of mind or I must still enjoy being in my mind, dreams, fantasies.

When my mind is the cause of my unhappiness…. Still it is not clear to you.

You may have heard me saying again and again that mind is the cause of all unhappiness. You have listened to me, you have become like a parrot — now the question arises. But you have not yet felt it. If you have felt that mind is the cause then you will jump out of it, you will know the way. The way is there, the way has always been there. It is not your realization. And you must still be enjoying your dreams, your fantasies, because the mind stops immediately, the moment you stop enjoying it. There is no other way to stop it. It is just like a bicycle: you go on pedaling it, it goes on moving. If you stop pedaling it, it may go a little further because of the past momentum but then it will stop.

Mind needs constant co-operation, constant infusion of energy from your side, constant identification. The mind needs your help, it is a mechanism, it cannot run on its own accord. Deep down you are helping it. When the body lies there and the soul has disappeared, the mind stops instantly. It cannot work without you.

You must be enjoying it. In fact, religion is also one of your fantasies; God is your biggest dream. Listening to religious people, seeing their ecstasy, watching their grace, greed has arisen in you. Your mind fantasizes. It would be beautiful to be in nirvana, it would be beautiful to be enlightened. Your mind starts dreaming about it. Then you come to hear that the mind has to be dropped.

Three persons were talking. One said, “If in a dream you get one million rupees, what are you going to do? As far as I am concerned, I am going for a world tour. That has been my dream from my very childhood. What are you going to do?”

The other said, “If I get one million rupees, I am not going anywhere. I am just going to rest in my house. Why bother? I am going to stop going and just rest and relax and enjoy. Who bothers to go from here to there?”

And they asked the third man, “If you get one million rupees in a dream, what are you going to do?”

He said, “I will immediately close my eyes and sleep again, to dream more to get many more millions. If you can get one million rupees in one dream, I will dream the same dream again to get one million more.”

Your mind is your dream, your fantasy. You are still in it. Even when you are thinking about how to get out of the mind, that too is a mind fantasy. And you must be enjoying it.

I have heard.

Mulla Nasruddin stormed out of his office and yelled, “Something has got to be done about those six phones on my desk. For the past five minutes I have been talking to myself.”

Mind is nothing but talking to yourself. What else is it? The inner talk, the inner chattering, the rehearsing for the future, the chewing again and again the past experiences—you are talking to yourself. It is a monologue. With nobody else to talk to, you talk to yourself.

If windows were possible into your mind and people could look inside, or there was a system…. Someday there may be. Science will find a way to magnify your mind. Your mind can be attached, wired, to an instrument and the instrument will start broadcasting what is going on inside your mind. Then you will be simply amazed to see that you are mad. You will not allow anybody to connect your mind to an instrument. Sometimes write down what goes on in your mind on some blank paper. Close the doors and windows so nobody comes in and just write it down. Don’t deceive, because nobody will ever see, you can burn it immediately. Just write down whatsoever goes on. Don’t improve upon it, don’t add something, don’t delete anything. Photographically simply write down the way the mind goes on. Within ten minutes you will see how mad you are, you will see what is going on?

But we never look. We look outside; we never look into the mind. Looking into the mind is what meditation is all about.

Bodhidharma, the real founder of Zen, used to say, “Looking face to face with the mind is all. Looking directly into your mind is all.” Once you start looking directly you will be surprised. You will come to know that you are carrying a madman; not one really, a madhouse—many madmen inside, running hither and thither, all against each other, fighting, struggling, warring.

If you look deep inside into the mind directly, first you will be amazed, mystified as to why you go on carrying this mind.

And the second thing you will realize is that you are not the mind, you are the looker, the watcher, the witness, who is seeing into the mind. And that will give you a freedom that you have not yet known. You are confined in the body, then you are confined in the mind. Once you come to know that you are neither the body nor the mind, suddenly you become unconfined — you are as big, as vast as the sky. Then there is no boundary line around you; then you are one with this ocean of life; then you are one with God. “That art Thou” –“Tat twamasi.” Then you come to know that “I am That”, the witness.

So the only thing you can do is just to look deeply inside the mind. It will have two aspects. First you will feel very, very crazy, going mad. Don’t try to escape from that madness because if you escape, again you will escape outside. Stick to it, let it be mad but go on looking into it, go on looking into it. Sometimes it takes months, sometimes it takes years but it is worth it, even if it takes lives. If you go on looking, unwaveringly, not getting distracted here and there, then one day the second aspect arises in you—that you are a witness. Your mind looks very, very far away, very distant, on some other planet, only sounds are heard, a few flickering waves come to you. The more you become a witness, the more the energy gathers together in becoming a witness, the more and more energy is taken away from the mind. The mind starts withering. One day you are there all alone without any mind. Then you are in a state of nowhereness.

I have heard about two hobos who were caught by the police and were brought to the court. The policeman suspected they had not committed anything wrong, but their way of life, their style was suspicious.

The magistrate asked the first hobo, “Where do you live?”

He said, “Nowhere.”

He asked the second, “Where do you live?”

He said, “I am this guy’s neighbor.”

The first guy lives nowhere, the other is the neighbor—the answer is pure Zen.

When you come to know yourself, you come to know that you are nowhere, “nowhen”, because there is no time, no space. Suddenly you are the whole, spread all over reality.

This is what we in the East call moksha, absolute freedom.

But you must be enjoying your mind, that’s why you are asking how to get out of it, what the way is to get out of it. These are the questions of people who are trying to deceive themselves. You don’t want to get out of it so you ask “how?” because with the “how?” postponement is possible. The “how?” cannot be done right now, you will have to practise it; it can happen only tomorrow, it cannot happen right now. The “how?” gives you time—tomorrow. And then you say, “Okay, so we will do it tomorrow. It cannot happen right now.”

People ask me, “Can enlightenment happen right now?” If I say “yes”, they say, “Then why is it not happening?” Then they think it is not going to happen to them because if it was going to happen, it would have happened already. It happens right now! If I say to them, “You will have to work for it, you will have to do hard, arduous work, you will have to move in deep discipline,” then they say, “Then it is okay. So somewhere in the future it will happen.” And they are relieved. So it is not going to happen right now—someday—so what is the hurry?

Whether it is tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, it makes no difference—it is tomorrow. Both ways they find a way to postpone.

Now let me give you a paradox to meditate on: it always happens right now but one has to work for it. It never happens in the tomorrow, it always happens today, because there is no tomorrow. But one has to work hard; one has to gather together all one’s energies and to put them at stake. If all your energies are together right now, if you desire intensely, passionately, if your desire has become almost a flame and you are aflame with one desire, only with one desire to attain to enlightenment it can happen right now. If you are so thirsty that you disappear and only thirst remains, then God starts pouring into you. Then you have earned, you have earned the capacity. You have become receptive.

When my mind is the cause of my unhappiness…. Never ask such questions.

You still think it is not so. This is a hypothetical question; when, if, etc., are hypothetical questions.

When my mind is the cause of my unhappiness…. No, either it is or it is not, there is no question of “when.” Either you know that it is the cause of unhappiness or you know that it is not the cause of unhappiness. Decide. If it is not the cause of unhappiness, then things are clear: there is nothing to be done with mind. In fact, if it is not the cause of unhappiness, then the cause must lie somewhere outside you. That’s what Communists say—Marx and Mao. That’s what they say—that the cause of happiness is somewhere outside you not inside you: in the structure of the society, the economic system of society, in the political world—somewhere outside you. If your misery comes from outside there is no way to get out of it. Because the cause is outside you, how can you destroy it?

Because of this fact, Freud by and by became very despondent in his later life and finally, before he died, he wrote in a letter: Man can never be happy; it is impossible. Man’s desire to be happy is an impossible desire. Man can never be happy because it is not in his hands to be happy.

But Freud is wrong. I am here and I say to you that I am happy. So it is not a question of my belief. It is not a belief that I am happy. Buddha is happy, Krishna is happy, Jesus is happy. But Freud—why does he think that man cannot be happy? And he is not a man to make meaningless statements. He is a very sincere man. Forty, fifty years of deep observation has brought him to make the statement that man cannot be happy. The reason is that he was also looking for the cause somewhere beyond man.

Marx looks for it in the social structure; Freud looks for it in the unconscious. But the very definition of unconscious is that which is not available to you, that of which you are not conscious. It is outside you, you are in your consciousness. It is outside you, it is somewhere you don’t know where. From where does your misery come? How can you change it?

Religion takes a radically and diametrically opposite standpoint: you are the cause. It makes one sad in the beginning that ‘I am the cause of my misery’ but really one should be happy. If I am the cause, then there is a possibility, then there is hope because I can stop it. I can try not to be the cause of my unhappiness.

With religion, man becomes responsible; with communism, man becomes irresponsible.

With religion, man becomes a free agent in this world; with communism, man becomes a mechanical thing, a robot-like thing. With religion, you attain to being a soul, you become a soul; with communism, the soul disappears, you are no more there. If the cause of happiness is outside, if the cause of misery is outside, then your soul is outside—it is not within you. Then you are to be manipulated by the state, then you are nothing but a hollow puppet and the strings are somewhere in the Kremlin—somebody is manipulating from there. Then life is almost meaningless, not only meaningless, but horrible. Man is not a hollow puppet; man has a substantial being in him.

So when you say, when my mind is the cause of my unhappiness, you have taken my statement as true without realizing it, without becoming a witness to it. Never do that, otherwise questions arise unnecessarily. It is better not to answer hypothetical questions because they will create more hypothetical questions. If you are unhappy because of your mind, recognise the fact.

Somebody insults you. Do you think you are unhappy because somebody insulted you or do you think you are unhappy because you have a very subtle ego which felt hurt by this insult? Now the possibilities are only two. Either you are unhappy because he insulted you. If that is the possibility, the only possibility, then you can never be happy because the world is vast and how can you manage that nobody will insult you ever? It is beyond you. If it is your ego which feels hurt, then the possibility exists that you can drop the ego. Then let the whole world insult you, you can go on laughing, it makes no difference.

Mulla Nasruddin and one of his friends had been drinking all evening in a bar. The friend finally passed out and fell to the floor. The Mulla called a doctor who rushed him to a hospital.

When he came to, the doctor asked him, “Do you see any pink elephants or little green men?”

“No,” groaned the patient.

“No snakes or alligators?” the doctor asked.

“No,” the drunk said.

“Then just sleep it off. You will be all right in the morning,” said the doctor.

But Mulla Nasruddin was worried.

“Look, doctor,” he said, “that boy is in bad shape. He said he could not see any of them animals and you and I know the room is full of them.”

What I say will not make much difference if you know the room is full of them. Finally you are going to be the deciding factor. So watch your mind. Is your mind the cause of misery? If it is not then you cannot be a religious man. Then one day or other you are going to be a communist. These are the two alternatives: religion and communism.

Everybody has to decide. And I would suggest to you that if you feel that your mind is not the cause of misery, then become a communist—nothing wrong in it, be sincere.

Sooner or later you will be frustrated, and a frustrated communist becomes religious very easily. Many people need that frustration because then that alternative is finished. Then there is only one alternative. Never hang between the two, never be in the limbo.

Many people are in the limbo. They go to the church but their heart is communistic. When I say communistic I don’t mean they belong to the communist party, I mean that they believe that the cause of their misery is outside.

A stubborn old Dubliner stepped into the dentist’s office with a terrific toothache. He could not, however, muster up enough courage to have the tooth pulled. So the dentist gave him a glass of whisky to bolster him.

Then the dentist said, “Right, ready now?”

“’Not quite,” said the man smacking his lips.

Two more drinks of whisky and finally he finished up the entire bottle.

“Now step into the chair,” the dentist begged.

The Irishman came out swinging into the middle of the room.

“I would like to see the swine who would dare to touch my tooth now!”

You are almost drunk with your mind. And I am going to touch your teeth, remember.

You have to become a little sober; you have to become a little more aware. Once you have a little awareness you will start seeing that it is your mind, nothing else but your mind that goes on spinning new webs of misery. It is just like a spider: he goes on creating a net and goes on being caught into himself.

The first thing to be decided is whether you realise the fact that your mind is the cause of your misery, of your unhappiness. Once this is decided everything becomes clear. Then there is no need, really, to ask how to get out of it. And if you have not yet decided and I help you in some way to get out of it, I will be in trouble. Let me tell you one anecdote to make the thing clear.

The woman bather had got into a hole and she could not swim, nor could the young man on the end of the pier. But when she came up the first time and he caught sight of her face he could yell, and he did. Just then a big fisherman walked by.

“What is up?” he asked.

“There!” hoarsely cried the young man. “My wife, drowning. I can’t swim. A hundred dollars if you save her!” In a moment the fisherman was in the water; in another he was out of it with the rescued woman.

He approached the young man. “Well, what about the hundred dollars?”

If the young man’s face had been ashen-gray before, now it was dead white as he gazed upon the features of the rescued woman.

“Yes I know,” he gasped, “but when I made the offer I thought it was my wife who was drowning and now, now it turns out it was my wife’s mother!”

“Just my luck,” said the fisherman sadly, thrusting his hand into his trouser pocket. “How much do I owe you?”

So first you decide whether your mind is your wife or your mother-in-law. Then only can something be done about it. Otherwise you will be angry with me. If I pull you out of your mind and you were still fantasizing and dreaming, you will be tremendously angry and annoyed and irritated. And if you were dreaming sweet dreams, then more so, because you were hoping that something was just going to be fulfilled.

One day Mulla Nasruddin’s wife woke him up in the morning and he became very, very angry and he said, “You foolish woman. Is this the right time?”

She said, “But the sun is up.”

He said, “It has nothing to do with the sun. I was dreaming about a man who was offering me a hundred rupees and just at the moment I was going to take it, you came. You have destroyed the whole thing.”

He tried again to create sleep, tried to close his eyes, turned this way and that, but you cannot catch hold of a dream. Once it is gone it is gone. And he started saying, “Okay, I will accept even ninety, eighty, seventy, whatsoever you give, I will accept, but give it!”

But there was nobody to give.

If you are dreaming, then dream a little more. Nobody is ever fulfilled by dreaming but one has to figure it out oneself –“Enough is enough. I have dreamed enough, fantasized enough, and nothing comes except misery, except frustration.” Each desire brings more frustration, each expectation turns finally into frustration.

Once you understand it, there will be no need to take you out of it; once you understand it, the very understanding becomes the coming out of it. The very understanding means freedom from mind.

-OSHO

From Dang Dang Doko Dang, Chapter Six

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

This Coolness is Your Meditation – Osho

[A sannyasin asked about watching ‘a lot of shit going through his head]

It is natural, so don’t feel in any way depressed by it. If you do, it is impossible to get rid of it because you lose all energy in it. People who become interested in meditation, sooner or later start feeling hopeless, because the chatter of the mind seems non-ending; it goes on and on, and the more you try to finish with it, the more it bubbles up. Don’t be in a hurry, and don’t take any negative attitude about it.

Even shit can be used; it can become good manure. So don’t be negative about it. We are going to use it. There is no better fertilizer than it, and when you see a rose flower coming, it is out of a fertilizer. Meditation arises out of the mind. It is no-mind but it is based in the mind. It is just like a lotus born out of mud, just ordinary mud.

And the second thing: don’t try to stop it. Be loose. Tell the mind to just go on and to finish its trip. Remain unconcerned, as if it is none of your business, as if it is just a traffic noise—and it is. It is an engine that goes on continuously from the time of your birth to your death. It goes on making noises, chattering, rehearsing, projecting, remembering the past, desiring the future. Accept it in aloofness.

By and by you will see that there arises a distance and the distance between you and the noise of the mind goes on becoming bigger and bigger and wider and wider. One day suddenly you realize that it is not there. There is a tremendous silence. For moments you will realize that everything stops, and then starts again, but you remain aloof. Remain aloof even to the stopping, because if you rejoice too much in it you are immediately distracted. The mind will come in again and the whole functioning will start. If it stops that is okay. If it starts again, that too is okay.

But this is how the distance is created—and this distance is meditation. As I see it, nothing is needed. Simply be unconcerned and watch. That word ‘watch’ is a little too positive—watchfulness plus aloofness. Then the danger of that positive watching is avoided—a passive watchfulness.

Much is going to happen. Change to orange and forget the old identity. Now you are part of my family.

This word himalaya is very meaningful. Him means cool, ice-cool, and laya means a house—a house of coolness. That’s why we call the mountain Himalaya—the house, the very abode of ice-coolness. And anand means bliss.

Bliss and coolness go together. If you attain to bliss you will become cool, and if you attain to coolness you will attain to bliss. Bliss has no excitement in it. It is simple coolness, silence. It has no fever, no passion in it. So remember these two things – they are going to help you.

Remain cool whatsoever the situation, whatsoever the excitement, suddenly remember that you have to be cool, and relax, and catch hold of your inner coolness. If somebody is insulting you, remember that you have to be cool, and this man is giving you an opportunity. Be thankful to him and don’t be distracted by him. If you can remain cool and indifferent where ordinarily you get easily excited and passion is aroused, when anger comes and distracts you and you become feverish, suddenly you will see that bliss is showering all around you.

You manage coolness, God manages bliss. You take one step, and he takes one step towards you immediately. It is fifty/fifty.

This coolness is your meditation.

.. It is flowing… it is not deadness. Just remain cool like a cool breeze. The moment that you see that your flowing is becoming feverish, stop, because then you are going out of your being. Flow to the extent that you can retain your coolness, and then there is no problem.

Prem means love and dhyana means meditation, and love is going to be your meditation—love meditation.

Be loving as much as you can. Just go on remembering that you have to be loving – to the trees, to the rocks. Even if you are sitting in an empty room, be loving to the empty room. But whatsoever you do and wherever you move, carry a climate of love around you, and by and by you will start feeling it working.

It is everybody’s capacity. Nothing is to be learned about it. Everybody is born with it, just as we are born with the capacity to breathe. But somehow society has destroyed the capacity to love, because love is very dangerous for the society. It is the greatest rebellion there is. Society cannot exist, or this society cannot exist, if people are really loving.

Wars and exploitation and all nonsense will be impossible if people are loving, so society does not want anybody to be loving. But unless you love, God remains unavailable, and unless you move deep in love, you cannot move in God.

So let this be your constant remembrance. Even when you touch things, even a chair, touch them as if they are your beloved. In the beginning it will look crazy, but by and by you will get the knack of it, and everything else will become crazy.

-Osho

From Nothing to Lose but Your Head, Chapter Twelve

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

When You are a Witness then You are Not – Osho

This word “witnessing” is a most significant word. There are hundreds of techniques to achieve centering, but witnessing is bound to be a part, a basic part, in every technique. Whatsoever the technique may be, witnessing will be the essential part in it. So it will be better to call it “the technique of all techniques”. It is not simply a technique. The process of witnessing is the essential part of all the techniques.

One can talk about witnessing as a pure technique also. For example, J. Krishnamurti: he is talking about witnessing as a pure technique. But that talk is just like talking about the spirit without the body. You cannot feel it, you cannot see it. Everywhere the spirit is embodied; you can feel the spirit through the body. Of course, the spirit is not the body, but you can feel it through the body.

Every technique is just a body, and witnessing is the soul. You can talk about witnessing independent of any body, any matter; then it becomes abstract, totally abstract. So Krishnamurti has been talking continuously for half a century, but whatsoever he is saying is so pure, unembodied, that one thinks that one is understanding, but that understanding remains just a concept.

In this world nothing exists as pure spirit. Everything exists embodied. So witnessing is the spirit of all spiritual techniques, and all the techniques are bodies, different bodies. So first we must understand what witnessing is, and then we can understand witnessing through some bodies, some techniques.

We know thinking, and one has to start from thinking to know what witnessing means because one has to start from what one knows. We know thinking. Thinking means judgment: you see something and you judge. You see a flower and you say it is beautiful or not beautiful. You hear a song and you appreciate it or you don’t appreciate it. You appreciate something or you condemn something.

Thinking is judgment. The moment you think, you have begun to judge. Thinking is evaluation.

You cannot think without evaluation. How can you think about a flower without evaluating it? The moment you start thinking you will say it is beautiful or not beautiful. You will have to use some category because thinking is categorizing. The moment you have categorized a thing – labeled it, named it – you have thought about it. Thinking is impossible if you are not going to judge. If you are not going to judge, then you can just remain aware – but you cannot think.

A flower is here, and I say to you, “See it, but don’t think. Look at the flower, but don’t think.” So what can you do? If thinking is not allowed, what can you do? You can only witness; you can only be aware. You can only be conscious of the flower. You can face the fact. The flower is here – now you can encounter it. If thinking is not allowed you cannot say, “It is beautiful. It is not beautiful. I know about it,” or, “It is strange – I have never seen it.” You cannot say anything. Words cannot be used because every word has a value in it. Every word is a judgment.

Language is burdened with judgment; language can never be impartial. The moment you use a word, you have judged. So you cannot use language, you cannot verbalize. If I say, “This is a flower– look at it, but don’t think!” then verbalization is not allowed. So what can you do? You can only be a witness. If you are there without thinking, just facing something, it is witnessing. Then witnessing means a passive awareness. Remember – passive. Thinking is active. You are doing something. Whatsoever you are seeing, you are doing something with it. You are not just passive, you are not like a mirror – you are doing something. And the moment you do something, you have changed the thing.

I see a flower and I say, “It is beautiful!” I have changed it. Now I have imposed something on the flower. Now, whatsoever the flower is, to me it is a flower plus my feeling of its being beautiful. Now the flower is far away. In between the flower and me is my sense of judgment, my evaluation of its being beautiful. Now the flower is not the same to me. The quality has changed. I have come into it. Now my judgment has penetrated into the fact. Now it is more like a fiction and less like a fact.

This feeling that the flower is beautiful doesn’t belong to the flower, it belongs to me. I have entered the fact. Now the fact is not virgin. I have corrupted it. Now my mind has become part of it. Really, to say that my mind has become part of it means: my past has become part, because when I say, “This flower is beautiful,” it means I have judged it through my past knowledge. How can you say that this flower is beautiful? Your experiences of the past, your conceptions of the past, that something like this is beautiful – you have judged it according to your past.

Mind means your past, your memories. The past has come upon the present. You have destroyed a virgin fact; now it is distorted. Now there is no flower. The flower as a reality in itself is no more there. It is corrupted by you, destroyed by you. Your past has come in between. You have interpreted. This is thinking. Thinking means bringing the past to a present fact. That’s why thinking can never lead you to the Truth – because Truth is virgin and has to be faced in its total virginity. The moment you bring your past in you are destroying it. Then it is an interpretation, not a realization of the fact. You have disrupted it. The purity is lost.

Thinking means bringing your past to the present. Witnessing means no past, just the present; no bringing in of the past. Witnessing is passive. You are not doing anything – you are! Simply, you are there. Only you are present. The flower is present, you are present – then there is a relationship of witnessing. When the flower is present and your whole past is present, not you, then it is a relationship of thinking.

So start from thinking. What is thinking? It is the bringing of the mind into the present. You have missed the present then you have missed it totally! The moment past penetrates into the present, you have missed it. When you say, “This flower is beautiful,” really, it has become the past. When you say, “This flower is beautiful,” it is a past experience. You have known, you have judged. When the flower is there and you are there, even to say that this flower is beautiful is not possible. You cannot assert any judgment in the present. Any judgment, any assertion, belongs to the past. If I say, “I love you,” it has become a thing that is past. If I say, “This flower is beautiful.” I have felt, I have judged – it has become past.

Witnessing is always present, never the past. Thinking is always the past. Thinking is dead, witnessing is alive. So the next distinction: first, thinking is active – doing something; witnessing is passive – non-doing, just being. Thinking is always the past, the dead which has gone away, which is no more; witnessing is always the present – that which is. So if you go on thinking, you can never know what witnessing is.

To stop, end thinking, becomes a start in witnessing. Cessation of thinking is witnessing. So what to do? – Because thinking is a long habit with us. It has become just a robot like, mechanical thing.  It is not that you think; it is not your decision now. It is a mechanical habit – you cannot do anything else. The moment a flower is there, the thinking has started. We have no non-verbal experiences; only small children have. Non-verbal experience is really experience. Verbalization is escaping from the experience.

When I say, “The flower is beautiful,” the flower has vanished from me. Now it is my mind, not the flower I am concerned with. Now it is the image of the flower in my mind, not the flower itself. Now the flower itself is a picture in the mind, a thought in the mind, and now I can compare with my past experiences and judge. But the flower is no more there. When you verbalize, you are closed to experience.

When you are non-verbally aware, you are open, vulnerable. Witnessing means a constant opening to experience, no closing. What to do? This mechanical habit of so-called thinking has to be broken somewhere. So whatsoever you are doing, try to do it non-verbally. It is difficult, arduous, and in the beginning it seems absolutely impossible, but it is not. It is not impossible – it is difficult. You are walking on the street: walk non-verbally, just walk, even if just for a few seconds, and you will have a glimpse of a different world – a non-verbal world, the real world, not the world of the mind man has created in himself.

You are eating: eat non-verbally. Someone asked Bokuju – Bokuju was a great Zen Master – “What’s your sadhana?”

So Bokuju said, “My sadhana is very simple: when I am hungry, I eat; when I am sleepy, I sleep –and this is all.”

The man was just bewildered. He said, “What are you saying? I also eat and I also sleep, and everyone is doing the same. So what is in that that you call it sadhana?”

Bokuju said, “When you are eating you are doing many things, not only eating. And when you are sleeping, you are doing everything else except sleeping. But when I eat, I simply eat; when I sleep, I simply sleep. Every act is total!”

Every act becomes total if you are non-verbal. So try to eat without any verbalization in the mind, with no thinking in the mind. Just eat, and then eating becomes meditation – because if you are nonverbal you will become a witness. If you are verbal you will become a thinker. If you are non-verbal you cannot do anything about it, you cannot help it – you will be a witness, automatically. So try to do anything non-verbally: walk, eat, take a bath or just sit silently. Then just sit – then be a “sitting”! Don’t think. Then even just sitting can become meditation, just walking can become meditation.

Someone else was asking Bokuju, “Give me some technique of meditation.”

Bokuju said, “I can give you a technique, but you will not be able to meditate – because you cannot practice a technique with a verbalizing mind.”

Your fingers can move on a rosary, and you can go on thinking. If your fingers just move on the rosary with no thinking, it becomes a meditation. Then, really, no technique is needed. The whole life is a technique. So Bokuju said, “It would be better if you be with me and watch me. Don’t ask for a method. Just watch me – and you will come to know.”

The poor fellow watched for seven days. He began to be more confused. After seven days he said, “When I came, I was less confused. Now I am more confused. I have watched you for seven days continuously – what is there to be watched?”

Bokuju said, “Then you have not watched. When I walk, have you seen? – I simply walk. When you bring tea in the morning for me, have you watched? – I simply take the tea and drink it: just drinking there is NO Bokuju – just drinking. No Bokuju – just drinking of the tea. Have you watched? If you have watched, then you must have felt that Bokuju is no more.”

This is a very subtle point – because if the thinker is there, then there is ego; then you are a Bokuju or somebody else. But if only action is there with no verbalization, no thinking, there is no ego. So Bokuju says, “Have you really watched? Then there was no Bokuju – just drinking of the tea, walking in the garden, digging a hole in the earth.”

Buddha, because of this, has said, “There is no soul” – because you have not watched, you go on continuously thinking that you have a soul. You are not! If you are a witness, then you are not. The “I” forms itself through thoughts. So one thing more: accumulated thoughts, piled-up memories, create the feeling of ego – that you are.

Try this experiment: cut your whole past away from you – no memory. You don’t know who your parents are; you don’t know to whom you belong – to which country, to which religion, to which race. You don’t know where you were educated, whether you were educated or not. Just cut the whole past – and remember who you are. You cannot remember who you are. You are, obviously. You are, but who are you? In this moment, you cannot feel an “I”. The ego is just accumulated past. The ego is your thought condensed, crystallized.

So Bokuju says, “If you have watched me, I was not. There was drinking of the tea, but no drinker.  Walking was there in the garden, but no walker. Action was there, but no actor.”

In witnessing, there is no sense of I; in thinking there is. So if the so-called thinkers are so deeply rooted in their egos. It is not just a coincidence; artists, thinkers, philosophers, literary persons if they are so egoistic, it is not just a coincidence. The more thoughts you have, the greater the ego you have. In witnessing there is no ego, but this comes only if you can transcend language. Language is the barrier. Language is needed to communicate with others; it is not needed to communicate with oneself. It is a useful instrument – rather, the most useful instrument. Man could create a society, a world, only because of language – but because of language, man has forgotten himself.

Language is our world. If for a single moment man forgets his language, then what remains? Culture, society, Hinduism, Christianity, communism – what remains? Nothing remains. If only language is taken out of existence, the whole humanity with its culture, civilization, science, religion, philosophy, disappears.

Language is a communication with others; it is the only communication. It is useful, but it is dangerous – and whenever some instrument is useful, it is in the same proportion dangerous also.  The danger is this: that the more mind moves into language the farther away it goes from the center: So one needs a subtle balance and a subtle mastery to be capable of moving into language, and also to be capable of leaving language, of going out of language, of moving out of language.

Witnessing means moving out of language, verbalization, mind. Witnessing means a state of no-mind, no-thinking. So try it! It is a long effort, and nothing is predictable – but try, and the effort will give you some moments when suddenly language disappears. And then a new dimension opens. You become aware of a different world – the world of simultaneity, the world of here and now, the world of no-mind, the world of reality.

Language must evaporate. So try to do ordinary acts, bodily movements, without language. Buddha used this technique to watch the breath. He would say to his bhikkhus, “Go on watching your breath. Don’t do anything: just watch the breath coming in, the breath going out, the breath coming in, the breath going out.” It is not to be said like this – it is to be felt. Mm? The breath coming in, with no words. Feel the breath coming in, move with the breath, let your consciousness go deep with the breath. Then let it move out. Go on moving with your breath. Be alert!

Buddha is reported to have said, “Don’t miss even a single breath. If a single breath is missed physiologically, you will be dead; and if a single breath is missed in awareness, you will be missing the center, you will be dead inside.” So Buddha said, “Breath is essential for the life of the body, and awareness of the breath is essential for the life of the inner center.”

Breathe, be aware. And if you are trying to be aware of your breathing, you cannot think, because the mind cannot do two things simultaneously – thinking and witnessing. The very phenomenon of witnessing is absolutely, diametrically opposite to thinking, so you cannot do both. Just as you cannot be both alive and dead, as you cannot be both asleep and awake, you cannot be both thinking and witnessing. Witness anything, and thinking will stop. Thinking comes in, and witnessing disappears. Witnessing is a passive awareness with no action inside. Awareness itself is not an action.

-Osho

Excerpt from The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol. 1, Chapter 15

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can read the entire discourse question from which this is an excerpt Witnessing: The Base of all Techniques.

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

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

From In a Thought to Out of Mind

In a thought.
Watch a thought.
Watch mind.
Out of mind!

In a thought.

Ordinarily we live in thought. So even “in ‘a’ thought” is a step, because with ‘a’ thought there is already enough awareness separate to recognize having been in ‘a’ thought. But when we are in thought we are simply lost. But it is through this recognizing “in a thought” that we are gradually gaining strength of consciousness for the next step.

 

Watch a thought.

With this newfound seeing we begin to witness, we begin with watching a thought. It is however very fleeting. Either we enter into the stream of the thought and are lost until we remember and are once again at the beginning, or by watching the thought; the thought peters out and vanishes.

Watch mind.

There is a big shift that happens when we move from watching a thought to “watching mind.” Watching mind means we are not getting into the separate thoughts but watching the energy of mind, the movement of mind. It is seen as an object, as a whole. It is in this seeing the whole of mind that we find ourselves in the next step.

Out of mind!

It is from this “out of mind” that we are able to let all the contents of mind unpack itself and still remain the witness.

The sages don’t talk of no-mind in order to create a far off goal to be reached but rather so that it can be recognized when we stumble into it.

-purushottama

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Sitting for the Sheer Joy of It

That which sees is not the mind. That is why Osho has us begin with watching anything. In the beginning it is helpful to watch the clouds passing, watch the leaves falling, watch a stream flowing or even watch the traffic of cars. This is watching the outside world but it is the beginning.

We can then move to watching the activities of the body, watching without identification. This is the magic of the walking meditation. It is allowing us to experience watching the body walking which is strengthening the watcher, the one that sees.

Watching the breath is another way to strengthen this watchingness. We watch the coming and going of the breath and we are coming out of the identification with breathing.

Moving deeper we begin to watch the comings and goings of the mind. The very effort to watch the mind while we are still identified is how we begin to come out of mind. It does not need to be a serious affair, we are not against the mind. We are just interested in finding, discovering the One who sees. This One who sees is always present in watching. The mind does not watch. The ego cannot watch. Our identification with someone who we perceive watching cannot watch. Always in the background the One who sees is present. We have the power to come out of mind because we have the power to identify with mind. It is not that some power makes us identify, we do that ourselves. Watching the activity of the mind without grasping, without rejecting, without judging we begin to become less identified. Slowly, slowly the One who sees becomes less identified.

Osho has said that if we are able to witness the mind without identification then we can easily move into watching the subtle feelings, the heart, also without grasping. Without choosing the feelings we like, without rejecting the feelings that we find hard to witness and without judging ourselves when we forget again and again.

The above description is Osho’s directions but it has also been my own experience of meditation.

Although I must say that there was a long period of time in which I thought I didn’t need to meditate regularly because I meditated all day long, that was a delusion. Although it was not harmful because it was just an extended period of watching the outside. But at some point I could no longer ignore the quiet invitation to begin to sit and watch the inner world on a regular basis. I was not watching because of some duty to practice; I was watching as an exploration as an experiment. Now I am sitting for the sheer joy of it.

So we can begin from exactly where we are, this very moment, by watching what we are capable of, and slowly, slowly the watchingness deepens. We are also very fortunate because Osho has devised his active meditations to jumpstart this awakening and he has illustrated 112 meditation techniques, that are doors in. And finally he has distilled all meditation down to the art of watching, witnessing.

This is the incredible gift that Osho has left us.

-purushottama

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The Journey from non-being to No-Being

We must first come to the recognition that we live outside of our center. We live outside of our body. We know our body from the exterior. We know our senses by sensing objects. Without objects we have no knowledge of ourselves. By our contact with outside objects our body exists. If we had no contact we would have no knowledge of ourselves.

Somewhere along the way our center has been touched and we have become aware of its existence. It may just be a dim flame but we know deep down that it is there. We have the power to move into our center. It is only because of what interests us that we remain on the periphery.

We can move to the center by retracing our steps out. We have made and do make the journey out all day long. Our attention moves from our center out through the senses and chases dreams. Our mind is the sixth sense. By becoming aware of the outward movement of our energy and attention it comes to a halt. When the movement is seen in awareness, the movement ceases.

From where does the thought of “I” arise. What is it pointing to? Is it pointing to this body that people see from the outside? Does it point to this collection of memories, thoughts and dreams that are circulating and referred to as “mind?” Is it not pointing to somewhere deep inside?

Let’s make contact there. Let us feel what it is like to inhabit our bodies. We need not worry about reincarnation let us first learn to incarnate this body here and now. We can move our attention to our interiority. We can feel our bodies from the inside. We can sense ourselves behind the senses. We can find ourselves behind the mind.

It is from this interior position that we are able to allow the unconscious mind to let go of all of its content. By not getting involved but remaining a witness the mind lets go of all of its collectibles, all of its memories, dreams and fears. Without either rejecting or grasping, without judging, we remain a witness and stay rooted in our center, in our interiority, in our being.

It is in this center that the witness grows, that we create our soul. Up until this point we have had no soul. We have had no center. There was not anyone home. Now the fire is lit and we are tending the flame.

The next step will be to let go of this center but we cannot let go of what we do not have. We must first become crystallized. We must first come into Being before we can let go into No-being.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama.