Inscape – The Ultimate Annihilation – Osho

Apparently sex was used by some Zen masters – for example, Ikkyu – as a way to transform energy. However, in no translation to date does evidence of this appear. It seems disciples excluded from their records about their master any mention of sex, for fear that their master would be misunderstood. Would you like to comment?

It is a long story . . .

Zen has moved from one country to another country, from one climate to another climate. It was born in India.

Hinduism, as such, in its early stages, was very natural, very existential. It had no taboos about sex, its seers and saints had wives. Celibacy was not an imposition; it came on its own accord through the natural experience of sex. Hinduism in its early stages was a very natural, very existential approach – almost like Zen.

But then there was another tradition which is represented by Jainism. It is a very puzzling question, and historians are almost silent, because nobody wants to stir any controversy. It is left to me to create all kinds of controversies.

Jainism is not a part of Hinduism; it is far more ancient than Hinduism. […]

And Jainism has never indicated that it belongs to Hinduism. Its whole approach is different. […]

Jainism has nothing in common with Hinduism. Its language is different, its conception about the world is different, it has no God. It does not have any yoga system, it does not have any Tantra. It is absolutely against sex, it is repressive of sex. But this repressive tradition of Jainism influenced the whole of India.

Of course, their saints looked far more deeply holy than the Hindu saints who were married, who had children. And not only children, but they were allowed to have concubines. These saints were just householders and lived in the forests, they had all the possessions that anybody can have. In fact, they had more possessions than ordinary people, because thousands of disciples brought presents to them. Each seer had become almost a university in himself. Around him thrived hundreds of teachers, disciples, visitors. But compared to the Jaina saint, these Hindu saints looked very ordinary.

Because of this comparison, Hinduism also became contaminated with the idea of repression of sex. Otherwise, you can see beautiful statues of men and women in deep embrace, in different postures even in the temples in Khajuraho, in Konarak, in Puri. Such beautiful sculpture you cannot find anywhere else. These temples were Hindu. Of course, sex was accepted by the Hindus – not only accepted, but a system of transforming the sexual energy, Tantra, was developed by the Hindu saints.

Jainism has remained a very small current, but very influential. It is one of the very important things to understand: the more miserable your saint, the holier he seems. If the saint is happy, joyous, loves life, and enjoys everything that existence allows him, you cannot think of him as very holy. To be holy, one has to be miserable.

In short, pleasure in any direction is condemned. Jaina saints looked more saintly, more holy, and Hindus felt that they had to change – and by and by, they did change, but not consciously. They started respecting the repressed person. Tantra became taboo, and Hindus became completely disoriented from their own sources. It happened again when Christianity came, and Hindus became even more repressed.

Gautam Buddha is the original source of Zen. He was born into a Hindu family, but he lived a very different life than is possible for ordinary people. From his very childhood he was allowed everything that he wanted; he was kept surrounded by beautiful girls; he was married. His whole life up to the age of twenty-nine years was wrapped in pleasure, in dancing, in music, in women, in wine, because the astrologers had predicted that this boy either would become a great saint or would become a great conqueror of the world.

And of course, his father was concerned and worried – he did not want him to become a saint. He was his only son, and he wanted him to become a world conqueror. He asked the astrologers how to prevent him from becoming a saint. Those idiots advised that he should be surrounded with pleasure: “Don’t let him know that there is misery. Don’t let him know that there is sickness, old age, death. Don’t let him know at all about these things. Just let him be drowned in music, in dancing, surrounded by beautiful girls. Make three palaces in different places for different seasons: a cooler place when it is summer, and a warmer place when it is winter . . . ”

And the father followed all the instructions of all those so-called wise men; in fact, their advice made him a saint. Twenty-nine years of continuous luxury – he became fed up. And suddenly, when he saw one sick man, it was a shock, because for twenty-nine years he had been kept unaware of sickness, old age, or death. And when he saw these things… how long can you prevent? Even twenty-nine years must have been very difficult for the father to manage him not to see a flower dying, or a pale leaf falling from the tree. In the night, the garden had to be cleaned of all dead flowers, dead leaves. Gautam Buddha should not know that there was something like an ending.

But this created exactly the situation in which he became first, exhausted, bored . . . so many beautiful women. By the age of twenty-nine years, he became as old as a man cannot experience in three hundred years. In twenty-nine years, he saw everything of luxury, of sex, of licentiousness. And when he suddenly came to know old age, and saw the body of a dead man being carried, he was shocked. He would not have been shocked if from the very beginning he had known that people become old – it is natural. These twenty-nine years of protection proved dangerous. When he saw the dead man, he inquired of his charioteer, “What has happened to this man?”

The charioteer said, “I am not allowed . . . in fact, the whole city has been told that you are passing by this road, so no old man, no sick man, no dead man, should be allowed on this path. How he has entered . . . but I cannot be untruthful, he is dead.”

And the second question immediately was, “Is the same going to happen to me?” And the charioteer said, “I don’t want to say it, but the truth is, it happens to all. Nobody is an exception.”

And just then he saw a sannyasin in orange robes. He asked, “What kind of man is this, and what kind of uniform . . . ?”

The charioteer said to him, “This man is in search of the eternal. He has become aware that this life is momentary, made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. Hence, he has started a search to see whether there is something inside him which will survive even death, or if there is nothing. He is an inquirer.”

Gautam Buddha was going to inaugurate the annual festival of youth. He told the charioteer, “Take me back home. I am no longer interested in the festival. I have been cheated. For twenty-nine years I have not been allowed to know the truth.”

That very night he escaped from the house. And because he was bored and fed up, those who followed him after his enlightenment obviously thought that sex was dangerous because it keeps you attached to the world. Naturally those who followed Gautam Buddha became escapists. For Buddha it was right, it was not an escape; it was simply getting out of the prison. But for others, it was not getting out of the prison. They had not even lived in the prison, they did not know the prison, they had not explored the prison. It had not come to their consciousness that it was a bondage. They simply followed Gautam Buddha. For them, sex became repressive, pleasure became contaminated.

But fortunately, Bodhidharma took Gautam Buddha’s message to China. That was a different climate. Tao was the climate in China, and Tao is very life affirmative. So in China, a new development happened: the meeting of Bodhidharma and Tao, a totally new concept. Zen is not just Buddhism; in fact, the orthodox Buddhists don’t accept Zen even as Buddhism, and they are right. Zen is a crossbreed between Gautam Buddha’s insight and Lao Tzu’s realization, the meeting of Buddha’s approach, his meditation, and Tao’s naturalness.

In Tao, sex is not a taboo; Tao has its own Tantra. The energy of sex has not to be destroyed or repressed, it is not your enemy. It can be transformed, it can become a great help in the search of your ultimateness. So in Zen, the idea of celibacy was dropped. There was no insistence on it, it was your choice, because the question is meditation. If you can meditate and live your life in a natural way, it is acceptable to Tao.

And then another transformation happened: Zen reached from China to Japan, where Shinto, the native religion, was very natural. There it became absolutely affirmative; hence it is not even talked about. There is no need, it is not a question.

You are asking, “Apparently sex was used by some Zen masters – for example, Ikkyu – as a way to transform energy. However, in no translation to date does evidence of this appear.” That does not mean that sex was a taboo. It was so natural that there was no need to discuss it. You don’t discuss urination. That does not mean you have stopped urinating. You start discussing things only when you start going against nature. If you are natural, there is nothing to discuss.

Life is to live, not to discuss.

Live as deeply and intensely as possible.

Ikkyu is certainly known to have used Tantra as a way of transformation. The sexual energy is nothing but your very life energy, it is only the name. You can call it sex energy, but by it ‘sex’, it does not become different, it is life energy. And it is better to call it life energy, because that is a wider term, more inclusive, more comprehensive. When you are going deeper into your center, that experience can be explained in many ways. It can be explained the way Hindus have explained it: it is realization of the ultimate, brahmabodh. But Brahma is not a person. The word is dangerous; it gives an idea as if we are talking about a person.

Brahma is simply the whole energy of the existence.

Jainas will call it self-realization, atmabodh, but their self is not synonymous with the ego. It is synonymous with Brahma. You are no more – in your self-realization you are no more. Buddha and Mahavira were contemporaries, and Buddha insisted again and again, that if you are no more, then why do you call it self-realization? That gives a very distorted description. Call it no-self realization. But Mahavira has his own reasons not to call it no-self realization – people are afraid of no-self realization; if you are going to be nothing, then it is better to remain something. And Mahavira knew that it does not matter whether you call it self-realization or not, you are going to disappear. But keep a positive word which is more attractive.

I can see Mahavira’s compassion in it, but I also can see Buddha’s truthfulness. He says, “If it is really no-self realization, then call it what it is. Don’t deceive people.”

Tantra will call it samadhi.

The names are different, but it is exactly life, pure life without any contamination. Once you reach to your center you can think in different categories. You can use the yoga method, then you can say this is the very center of your being: sambodhi. You can use the Tantra method, then you can say this is the center of your sex energy. And sex energy in Tantra is equivalent to life energy. These words have unnecessarily kept people discussing and discussing.

The reality is one. It is better to experience it.

Zen masters don’t talk about it for the simple reason Zen is a very natural phenomenon. It is not anti-life; it is not escapist. But most of the Zen masters have left their household life. Tired, seeing no point in the marketplace, they moved to the mountains. It was not against the marketplace, it was simply that the mountains were more silent, more peaceful. They allowed you to be yourself without any interference.

Sex is not mentioned in the records, for the simple reason that there is no reason to record it, it is accepted. If one has lived it, and there comes a time when you have outgrown it, then there is no point to go on and on, tired and disgusted. While it is beautiful, enjoy, and when it becomes a tiring, disgusting phenomenon, then just leave it for others. But there is no reason to condemn it.

A natural person simply passes beyond stages without condemnation. He has lived life, he has known life, now he wants to know something more. He wants to know something of the eternal. He has reproduced children, now he wants to know who he is in his innermost core. He has lived the world of the outside, he has been a Zorba. Now a moment comes of turning in. The outside reality has been explored without any inhibition, then you will naturally one day turn inwards.

It is the inhibition, the repressive mentality, that goes on forcing you to think of sex, because you have never lived it. Your Christianity, your Jainism, did not allow it, or allowed it and then created guilt in you that you were doing something which should not be done. Then you are living halfheartedly.

And when a thing is lived halfheartedly you never transcend, you never go beyond it. Dance to the moment when you stop automatically.

Live everything in life so you can transcend joyfully without any guilt. That is difficult for people who have been programmed with taboos: sex should not even be mentioned; death should not be mentioned either.

Sex and death are the two points: one is the beginning, the other is the end. People are kept unaware of both. About sex, it is dirty; about death, it is dangerous and gloomy . . . don’t talk about it. It is always somebody else who dies, don’t be worried. But in reality, you are born out of sex, and you are going to die. That which is born out of sex is going to disappear in death. Sex and death are the two points of the same energy. That which appears in sex, disappears in death. And both have to be understood, because both are the most important points in your life, and both have to be accepted and lived.

But religions like Christianity and Jainism are very repressive. Their very repression makes people guilty, sinners. They cannot live their life with totality, intensity, and they cannot meditate, because meditation’s first condition is to be total, to be total in everything. Then everything becomes meditation. Even making love, if you are total, then it becomes a meditation.

My own understanding about meditation is that in the beginning it must have happened to someone while making love, because that seems to be the only thing in which you can come to such a totality that time stops, mind stops, and everything becomes absolutely silent.

But that silence can be created by meditation also. The secret is known through sex, that if there is no time and no mind, you have entered into the ultimate. Through sex you enter for a single moment, and you fall back into the temporary. Through meditation you can remain in the ultimate, twenty-four hours around the clock, in an orgasmic joy. Your every moment becomes a dance. Knowing that you are not, there is nothing to fear.

Knowing that you are the whole, there is nothing to lose.

Sex is not talked about by Zen masters, simply because it is taken for granted.

One of our sannyasins has been working with John Stevens, author of One Robe, One Bowl.

He claims to have found ancient manuscripts never before published, in which Zen masters speak of sex as a tool for transformation. He has compiled a book of this material, which he is calling Lust for Zen. He anticipates that he is going to “upset Buddhists everywhere” by publishing this material.

Do it quickly, because without upsetting, it is very difficult to bring people to come to a settling. First upset, only then can they settle down in a zazen.

But there is nothing upsetting to the real Zen masters; only Buddhists may be upset. The Buddhists of India will be upset, because they have borrowed the sex-repressive idea from Jainism, from Hinduism, and from Buddha’s own experience.

But you cannot afford Buddha’s experience, because he was first a Zorba. Even Zorba was not such a Zorba as Buddha. His father found as many beautiful girls as possible from his whole kingdom . . .  and he became tired.

One night after much drinking and dancing, everybody had fallen asleep. He looked around – those beautiful faces… Foam was falling from their mouths, their makeup was upset, their hairdo was not in the right place . . . and it was disgusting. But that kind of experience is not available to everybody.

It should be available to everybody, then at the age of thirty everybody is going to escape from the world. But this escape will not be out of fear.

This escape needs a new name. It is inscape. One has lived outside, now one wants to live inside. One is bored of repetition, but because of the guilty, life-negative religions predominating over humanity, nobody ever comes to meditation through his love life. Nobody comes to an orgasmic experience where time stops, where mind stops, where suddenly a new sky opens its doors.

Tantra has used the method in India. And in China, Tao has used its own different technique of Tantra to bring people through sexual experience to a meditative state. But it is not a necessity that you should come to a meditative state through sexual experience. You can come by the direct route, by the immediate . . . this very moment, through meditation.

Sex is a long way. Nothing is wrong if somebody chooses the long way; if he enjoys the journey, there is no harm. But if somebody wants a shortcut, then meditation is available as a shortcut. It is really reaching to the same experience, but by a shortcut.

And as far as my sannyasins are concerned, there is no question of renouncing anything unless something renounces you. Many things will renounce you. By and by, you will start seeing – “Why go on playing these games . . . ?” Sooner or later, you will be sitting silently, doing nothing, rejoicing in the ultimate annihilation, disappearing into the ocean, losing all your boundaries.

[…]

The sutra:

Beloved Osho,

A monk asked Daiten, a disciple of Sekito, “How is it when one meets the person-in-there?”

Daiten replied, “The person is not in there anymore.”

When you go in, you don’t meet any person, you simply meet the whole; you simply meet the impersonal existence. You are only on the surface; once you go deeper you disappear. The deeper you go, the less you are. And when you are not, then only have you touched the real depth.

You don’t meet any person, you simply meet the impersonal existence.

Daiten was right when he said, “The person is not in there anymore if you go in.” It is only when you don’t go in . . . it is a conception, an idea. If you remain in the mind, you remain a person. The moment you go beyond the mind, the person starts melting. There comes a point you are no more, everything is – you have become one with the whole.

The monk asked, “What is ‘in there’? If there is no person, then who is there?”

Mind cannot conceive of nothingness; it can only conceive of something limited. If the person is not there, then who is there? God is there?

Buddha is reported to have said, “If you meet me in you, immediately kill, immediately cut my head! Because you have loved me, when you meditate, the image of your master may come to you. It is just an image, don’t let that image prevent you from meeting the whole. Cut the head.”

The monk asked, “What is ‘in there’?”

Daiten said, “Don’t ask that question. That is the only question that cannot be answered. You better go in and see who is there.”

Daiten is a very clear master. Without much philosophy he simply says, “Don’t ask that question. Simply go in and see.”

The monk then asked, “In the ocean of misery, the waves are deep. With what can we make a boat?”

Daiten replied, “Make a boat with wood.”

The monk said, “If we do, can we go across the ocean?”

Daiten replied, “The blind are still blind, the dumb are still dumb.”

He is showing his frustration. This monk cannot understand. You don’t have to go to the other shore of the ocean, you have to melt in the ocean. You don’t need a boat for melting. The other shore will be just like this shore. You can change places, but that is not going to change your inner space.

Hence, he said, “Whatever the masters say, people still remain blind and still are dumb.” They don’t change. They go on listening. If it is a philosophy, they can understand it, but if it is an existential experiment, they simply remain blind, deaf and dumb.

Going in is not a philosophical question. Who is there inside you? What is the point of asking when the inside is yours? Go in and see who is there. You will not find any person. You will find a pure nothingness, an existential grace, a beauty, a song without sounds, a great drunkenness, a tremendous ecstasy. You will not find any person, just experiences, but those experiences are going to transform you. Those experiences are going to change your individuality, because you will now know there is absolute silence inside, no individuality.

Then, if somebody insults you, you will not feel insulted, because you don’t exist. He is throwing stones at nothing. Then even in your ordinary life you will function like a buddha – aware, alert, compassionate.

On another occasion a monk from Korea came to see Daiten. When the monk unrolled the sitting mat to make a bow, Daiten said, “Before you leave your country, get the single phrase!”

The monk had no answer. He could not understand what Daiten was saying to him. He is saying, “Before you leave your country, get the single phrase!” By “country” he does not mean Korea. By country he is meaning, before you go from your personality, the boundary that you have lived in, get one phrase. What is that phrase?

Rather than asking, the monk had no answer. He could not understand Daiten. That single phrase is zazen. Before you leave your personality and your individuality and your mind, remember to sit silently without asking any question, and without creating any hallucination, and without creating any dream.

Just get one thing: sitting silently.

In Japanese it is one word: zazen.

Daiten then came forward and said, “If you ask about the single phrase here,

I will answer with two phrases.”

He is saying that if you don’t go in by yourself, and somebody else has to show you the way, the oneness of inside becomes two, a duality of the mind. Anything said is dual; only the unsaid is non-dual.

You say day and it includes night; you say life and it includes death. You say man and it includes woman.

You say this – and it includes that.

You cannot say anything without implying its opposite. But inside, you can experience oneness without any duality – a pure silence not against sound, a beauty not against ugliness, a truth not against lies.

The function of the master is not to tell you what is in, but to lead you inwards, force you inwards. All that is said is in the service of that which cannot be said.

Basho wrote:

The wild heron
Sleeping –
Undisturbed nobility.

Have you seen a wild heron sleeping? Basho says, “undisturbed nobility.” That’s what you are when silence happens to you – an undisturbed nobility. Suddenly you become an emperor. The insight gives you the whole universe. It takes away all that is false, and it gives you all that is truth, all that is beauty, all that is grace, all that is sheer joy.

A man like Basho – a man of deep meditation – will start seeing it everywhere. Even in a heron sleeping, he will see an undisturbed nobility. In a wild bird on the wing, he will see immense freedom.

In the sky, he will see his own nothingness.

He will start having a new sight about everything – even a wildflower will become more beautiful.

Jesus says, “Look at the wild lilies in the field. They are more beautiful than even Solomon the emperor was in all his splendor.”

Solomon was an ancient Jewish king of great beauty, and of great understanding. In the whole of the Holy Bible, only his song, Solomon’s Song, has some truth; otherwise, everything is ordinary. But Jesus says, “These wild lilies are more beautiful even than the splendor of the great King Solomon.”

To the man of meditation, everything becomes totally new and fresh, young, alive. He radiates love and compassion and joy.

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, Discourse #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.

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The Sky of Completion – Osho

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

What does this mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your own consciousness has no wounds.

Your own consciousness knows nothing of misery.

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

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

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

I teach you the watcher.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The second question:

What is the relationship between Zorba and Zen?

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

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

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

Nothing is illusory.

The outer and the inner are part of one existence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only in completion is there bliss.

Only in completion have you come home.

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

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

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

We are the world.

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

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

The third question:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The scripture is within you.

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

You are the complete man.

The new man has to be the complete man.

A little biographical note:

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

The sutra:

Beloved Osho,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A haiku:

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

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

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

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

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto #5

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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Go on Digging – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maneesha has asked:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I am with my master.”

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

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

Joshu was talking to his disciples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s what Joshu is saying:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is the use of seeking another in the exterior?

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

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

This authority arises out of absolute experience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ryushu, a Zen poet, wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You know the famous haikus:

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

Ancient pond,
A frog jumps in
The sound

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

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

-Osho

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

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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.

What Is, Is, What Ain’t, Ain’t – Osho

Veet Kalpu means – and it has to be remembered by and by – that you start dropping your imagination. What is, is, what ain’t, ain’t. Let that be your mantra.

Do all meditations that are available here, but I am giving you a special meditation too: a zazen method.

Every day at least for one hour, sit silently anywhere — go to the river, or to the garden, or here in the ashram, somewhere where nobody is disturbing. Relax the muscles of the body; don’t strain. With closed eyes, tell the mind, ‘Now go on. Do whatsoever you want to do. I will witness and I will watch.’

And you will be surprised — for a few moments you will see that the mind is not working at all. For a few moments — sometimes just for a second — you will see that the mind is not working at all, and in that gap you will have a feel of reality without imagination. But it will be only for a moment, a very small moment, and then the mind will start working.

When the mind starts working and thoughts start running and images floating, you will not become aware immediately — only later on, after a few minutes, will you become aware that the mind is working and you have lost your way now. Then again hold your attention; tell the mind ‘Now go on, and I will be just a witness’ and again the mind will stop for a second.

Those seconds are tremendously valuable. Those are the first moments of reality… first glimpses of reality, first windows… very small. Just small holes and they come and go, but in those moments you will start having the taste of reality.

So continue other meditations, you have to do a few groups, but this is a special method that you have to do on your own. And slowly, slowly, by and by, you will see that those intervals are bigger and bigger. They will happen only when you are tremendously alert.

When you are tremendously alert the mind does not function, because the attention itself functions like a light in a dark room. When the light is there, darkness is not there. When you are present, the mind is absent — your presence is the mind’s absence. When you are not present, the mind starts functioning. Your absence is the mind’s presence.

So when you are present there is no imagination. When imagination is there, you are not there — and you both cannot be together. That has never happened and cannot happen by the very nature of things.

So just do this method on your own, and as I told you, this name will take your whole life to decode… because if you can come to know reality as it is without imagination, you have come home! Then there is nothing else to be achieved .

— Osho

From What Is, Is, What Ain’t, Ain’t, Chapter One

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.

 

A Revolution in Religion – Osho

When I first heard you say, “Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself,” my Western mind thought this was a metaphor, and sought to find the meaning. Then I thought you really meant to sit silently—and I felt it was impossible. Now, sitting silently in your presence, doing nothing I find is pure hedonism—and the grass is growing by itself. Beloved Master, I am amazed, and my gratitude is beyond words.

The East and the West have gone so far away from each other that there is always misunderstanding: neither the East understands the West nor the West understands the East. But in the final reckoning, the West is the loser.

For ten thousand years the East has chosen a path which is not of the mind – which is not intellectual, which is not rational, which is not logical, which is not scientific. And the West has chosen just the opposite.

The West is still far away from reaching the final heights of rational flight. And perhaps it will never be able to reach the end, because its enquiry is about the objects outside you. There is an infinity of universe, and the deeper science goes the more it finds that it knows nothing. Its knowledge only helps it to know that much more is to be known and there seems to be no end in view.

On the other hand, the East has reached its goal: it has attained to the ultimate consciousness. In a certain way, it has reached inner perfection. This creates new difficulties of misunderstanding, because the East speaks from the heights of final realization and the West can understand only relative truths which are changing every day.

They have also chosen to speak in different ways. The East speaks in poetic metaphors; the West speaks in terms of mathematics. The East speaks intuitively; the West, only intellectually.

It is one of the greatest problems to be solved – how East and West can come together. Their meeting is absolutely necessary; otherwise, whatever has been attained in the East, or in the West, will all disappear into nuclear smoke.

I can understand Kaveesha’s question. When she first heard the famous haiku – “Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself” – it was natural for her to understand it as poetry, as metaphoric expression. The mind trained in the Western way cannot think otherwise. It is impossible to think this is a description of a reality.

There is no metaphor involved. It is not poetry. Haiku is not poetry. Its formation is poetic, but what it contains is reality. Only its container is poetic, but the content is absolute reality.

But it is difficult, for the simple reason… first, sitting silently is against the Western mind. The West has the proverb, “The empty mind is the devil’s workshop.” Sitting silently, you will be empty. And from your childhood you have heard that the empty mind is the devil’s workshop. The East knows something totally different. It is a workshop – not of the devil but of the divine.

The first sentence creates great hurdles. Everybody in the West is taught to think, and thinking pays in life – sitting silently won’t pay. It is not a qualification; maybe it can be called a dis-qualification. If you apply for a job and tell the employer that your qualification is sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself, he will be simply amazed! They will simply throw you out of the office – “You sit somewhere else, because we don’t want the grass to grow here!” In their eyes, you must be mad.

The West has never developed any meditation – it is poor in that way, very poor. It knows only prayer, which is not even a faraway echo of meditation. Even the so-called prophets and saviors and messiahs have never been able to go beyond prayer – prayer is the last thing, because God is the ultimate goal.

Meditation is a revolution in religion.

It simply drops God, without even arguing against it. It is not even worthy of that, because it is a hypothesis – unproved, unexperienced; it does not deserve to be considered.

I had a friend, Professor Wilson, who was teaching in a theological college in Jabalpur. He could not understand that there can be a religion which has no God, which has no prayer. The West, for the last four or five centuries, has never conceived that religion is possible without God, without prayer. In fact it is only possible without them. They are the disturbances, obstructions on the way to religious revolution. They are the enemies.

The devil has not done any wrong in the world – he does not exist. God also does not exist, but he has done immense harm. God has kept man’s mind focused on something outside, and when you are focused on the outside, you remain in the mind. Meditation cannot be focused outside; only mind has the capacity to be focused outside. Mind cannot be focused inside; only meditation can do that. So meditation and mind go diametrically opposite ways.

It is not without reason that people of meditation have called their path the path of no-mind. But with the mind being dropped, gods, all kinds of theologies, devils, heaven and hell and their details, the ideas of sin and virtue – they are all dropped because they are all part of the mind. And the West has remained mind-obsessed – as if you are only mind and nothing more, your existence consists of mind-body, and that’s all.

Trained in the Western ways, Kaveesha thought that it must be some metaphor, or perhaps there is some meaning in it. ‘Meaning’ is a mind word: if there is some meaning in it, then think about the meaning, find out the meaning of it.

You cannot find any meaning in it. It comes from an inner source of your being, where meaning itself has no meaning, where things simply are – with great splendor, with tremendous beauty, but no meaning. Meaning is a logical concept, and logic is a mind product. Existence knows nothing about it.

So first she thought it may be a metaphor. Obviously, this will come to the Western mind. But a metaphor also has to have some meaning. It must indicate towards something; it must be a metaphor for something, a representative, a pointer. But what meaning is there? Seen with an attitude which is searching for meaning, the haiku is meaningless. It is an experience. And it actually describes everything that happens to consciousness – just in those few words.

And that is the beauty of haiku. It uses the minimal amount of words. You cannot take a single word out of it, it has been already taken: only the most essential has been left.

Sitting silently – there are two words. It starts with sitting, it starts with the body. If the body can sit restfully, relaxed, it helps immensely for the mind to become silent. If the body is restless, tense, then the mind cannot be silent. So the haiku is starting from the very foundation: “sitting” simply means relaxed, restful, at ease, at home, no tensions.

You see millions of statues of Buddha all over Asia – and Buddha himself said before he died, “Don’t make a statue of me.” For almost three hundred years the disciples, generation after generation, resisted the temptation. But as the physical presence of Buddha became far away – four hundred years, five hundred years – the temptation to have at least a marble statue sitting in the same posture as Buddha… It does not matter whether it is a photographic representation or not; that is irrelevant. What matters is that it will help to give you inspiration, understanding of how to sit.

And for that, the marble statue is even better than a real Buddha, because it is completely relaxed – no tensions, no movement. They gave it such proportion, such beauty, such aesthetic sensibility, that if you sit by the side of a Buddha statue, you would like to sit in the same way. And the miracle you will feel is that as you start sitting in the same way, the mind starts settling… as if the evening has come and the birds are coming back to their homes, to their trees. Soon it will be night and all the birds will have settled in their nests, fallen asleep.

And if you are fortunate to be in the presence of a living, awakened being, his restful body will create a synchronicity with your bodies, because it is of the same matter. All bodies are made of the same matter and function on the same wavelength.

If the sitting is right, silence descends on you just as the evening comes and then all becomes dark.

Sitting silently… The second thing is the mind. The body should be non-tense, and the mind should be without any thought.

Sitting silently, doing nothing… This is very significant to understand. Even the idea that you are doing meditation is a disturbance, because every “doing” makes the mind active. Mind can remain passive only when you are in a state of non-doing, doing nothing…

This small haiku contains the whole philosophy of the Eastern approach. It is not even a meditation; you are not doing anything, you are simply rejoicing in rest. You are enjoying the peace that comes on its own; it is not your doing. You are simply waiting, not doing… waiting for things to happen. There is no hurry, there is no worry.

The Spring comes… Remember, existence has no obligation to fulfill your desires; hence, the sentence, the Spring comes… You may be in a different season, and the grass may not grow. Don’t complain that “I was sitting silently and the grass was not growing.” You were out of tune with existence.

You have to follow existence. The spring comes – you have to wait for the spring to come, you cannot bring it, you cannot manufacture it; it is not in your hands. The spring comes – it comes – and the grass grows by itself. And suddenly everything becomes green; suddenly, everywhere grass is growing. Nobody is doing anything, just the spring has come and its coming is enough for the grass to grow.

You are sitting silently, doing nothing, simply waiting for the spring to come. Just as the outside spring comes, the inside spring also comes. There are inner seasons of life. So don’t be worried – the spring is bound to come.

And at the time the haiku was written, the spring used to come exactly the same day every year; for centuries that had been the routine. In my childhood in India, every season was coming exactly on the same day. There was no question about what day the rains would begin, on what day the rains would end. But because of atomic explosions… they have disturbed the whole ecology. Now nothing is certain: sometimes rains come, sometimes they don’t come at all; sometimes they come too much, too early. The old rhythm, the old balance, is there no more.

But fortunately, atomic explosions cannot disturb your inner world. They cannot reach there. There, the spring comes exactly when you are ready. The Egyptian saying is, “When the disciple is ready, the master appears.” The master has to appear when the disciple is ready. The disciple need not worry about the master; he has just to be ready. His readiness is enough to give a call to the master.

And it is absolutely true: the master appears when the disciple is ready. Sitting silently, doing nothing, you are getting ready. No desire, no worry whether the spring will come or not – it always comes, it has never been otherwise. The moment you are ready, it is there.

And when the spring comes to your inner world, as if thousands of flowers have opened up, the whole air changes: it is fresh and fragrant, the birds start singing. Your inner world becomes a music unto itself, a fragrance unto itself – and the grass grows by itself.

By “the grass” is indicated your life, your life force. Green is the symbol for the living. In connection with spring, everything becomes green. And once you have experienced this phenomenon, you have known the greatest secret there is – that there are things which you cannot do, but can only allow to happen.

So it is possible, Kaveesha: sitting here just doing nothing, the spring may come at any moment, and for the first time you will understand the significance of the haiku, because something in you starts growing, so alive – it is pure life. It is you, it is your being. But there is no way to intellectually understand it.

In the East for thousands of years, disciples have been sitting by the side of the master, just doing nothing. It looks strange to the Western mind: what is the point of sitting there? If you go to a Sufi gathering, the master is sitting in the middle and all around his disciples are sitting silently – nothing is happening, the master is not even saying anything. Hours pass…

But something transpires – they all feel a fulfillment. When they come out, they are radiant. The master has not done anything; neither have they done anything. They just fall in tune because both were not doing anything, both were silent.

It is possible that now you understand the haiku. Sitting here every day, just listening to me, a silence descends on you and suddenly there is spring and the grass is growing.

The East has to be understood in its own ways. If somebody tries to interpret it intellectually, he has missed the point from the very beginning.

-Osho

From The Path of the Mystic, Discourse #24

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.

What is Meditation – Osho

What is meditation? Is it a technique that can be practiced? Is it an effort that you have to do? Is it something which the mind can achieve? It is not.

All that the mind can do, cannot be meditation. It is something beyond the mind, the mind is absolutely helpless there. The mind cannot penetrate meditation; where mind ends, meditation begins. This has to be remembered, because in our life, whatsoever we do, we do through the mind; whatsoever we achieve, we achieve through the mind. And then, when we turn inwards, we again start thinking in terms of techniques, methods, doings, because the whole of life’s experience shows us that everything can be done by the mind.

Yes. Except meditation, everything can be done by the mind; everything is done by the mind except meditation. Because meditation is not an achievement. It is already the case, it is your nature.. It has not to be achieved; it has only to be recognized, it has only to be remembered. It is there waiting for you — just a turning in, and it is available. You have been carrying it always and always.

Meditation is your intrinsic nature. It is you, it is your being, it has nothing to do with your doings. You cannot have it, you cannot not have it, it cannot be possessed. It is not a thing. It is you. It is your being.

Once you understand what meditation is things become very clear. Otherwise, you can go on groping in the dark.

Meditation is a state of clarity, not a state of mind. Mind is confusion. Mind is never clear. It cannot be. Thoughts create clouds around you — they are subtle clouds. A mist is created by them, and the clarity is lost. When thoughts disappear, when there are no more clouds around you, when you are in your simple being-ness, clarity happens. Then you can see far away; then you can see to the very end of existence; then your gaze becomes penetrating, to the very core of being.

Meditation is clarity, absolute clarity, of vision. You cannot think about it. You have to drop thinking. When I say, ‘You have to drop thinking,’ don’t conclude in a hurry, because I have to use language. So I say, “Drop thinking,” — but if you start dropping, you will miss, because again you will reduce it to a doing.

“Drop thinking” simply means: don’t do anything. Sit. Let thoughts settle themselves. Let mind drop on its own accord. You just sit gazing at the wall, in a silent corner, not doing anything at all. Relaxed. Loose. With no effort. Not going, anywhere, as if you are falling asleep awake. You are awake and you are relaxing but the whole body is falling into sleep. You remain alert inside but the whole body moves into deep relaxation.

Thoughts settle on their own accord, you need not jump amongst them; you need not try to put them right. It is as if a stream has become muddy…what do you do? Do you jump in it and start helping the stream to become clear; you will make it more muddy.

You simply sit on the bank. You wait. There is nothing to be done. Because whatsoever you do will make the stream more muddy. If somebody has passed through a stream and the dead leaves have surfaced and the mud has arisen, just patience is needed. You simply sit on the bank. Watch indifferently: the stream goes on flowing, the dead leaves will be taken away — and the mud will start settling because it cannot hang forever.After a while, suddenly you will become aware the stream is crystal-clear again.

Whenever a desire passes through your mind the stream becomes muddy. So just sit. Don’t try to do anything. In Japan this ‘just sitting’ is called zazen; just sitting and doing nothing. And one day, meditation happens. Not that you bring it to you; it comes to you.And when it comes, you immediately recognize it; it has been always there but you were not looking in the right direction. The treasure has been with you but you were occupied somewhere else: in thoughts, in desires, in a thousand and one things. You were not interested in only one thing — and that was your own being.

When energy turns in — what Buddha calls parabvrutti: the coming back of your energy to the source — suddenly clarity is attained. Then you can see clouds a thousand miles away, and you can hear ancient music in the pines. Then everything is available to you.

-Osho

Excerpt from Ancient Music in the Pines, Discourse #7

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt What Is Meditation.

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

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The Ultimate in Meditation – Osho

We are to stand and let the waters settle on their own, why all the active meditations?

If you can sit, there is no need for meditations. In Japan, for meditation they have the word zazen. It means just sitting, doing nothing. If you can sit, not doing anything, this is the ultimate in meditations. There is no need for any other thing.

But can you sit? There is the crux of the whole problem. Can you sit? Can you just sit doing nothing? If that is possible – just sit, do nothing – everything settles by itself, everything simply flows by itself. You are not needed to do anything. But the problem is – can you sit?

It happened on a small hillock near a village, a man was standing. Just it was morning and the sun has arisen, and three persons had gone just for a morning walk and they looked at the man. And, as minds go, they started talking about what this man was doing there. One man suggested that he must be there looking for his cow. “Sometimes his cow gets lost. Then he goes to the hilltop and looks for it. From there you can look on all sides.” The other man said, “But he is not looking on all sides. He is simply standing, so that cannot be the cause. I feel he must have come for a morning walk with a friend, and the friend has been left behind, so he’s waiting for him.” The third one said, “This is not right. Because if you are waiting for someone, sometimes you look back. He’s not looking back at all.” The third said “I think he is meditating. And look at his robes; he is a sannyasin. He must be meditating.” Their discussion become so hot that they said, “Now we will have to go to the hilltop and ask this man himself, ‘What are you doing here?’ ”

They walked miles to reach to the hilltop. The first man asked, “What are you doing here? I think you have lost your cow and you are looking for it.” The man opened his eyes and he said, “No.” The second man stepped forward and asked, “Then I must be right. Are you waiting for somebody who has been left behind?” He said, “No.” Then the third was happy. He said, “Then I was absolutely right. Are you meditating?” The man said, “No.” All the three were at a loss, and they all three said, “What are you saying? You say ‘no’ to everything. Then what are you doing?” The man said, “I am just standing here doing nothing.”

If it is possible, this is the ultimate in meditation. If it is not possible, then you will have to use techniques because through techniques only this will become possible. Through techniques, one day you will realize the whole absurdity. All techniques of meditation are just like pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. Meditation is absurd but one has to realize it. It is a great realization. When one realizes that his meditation is absurd, then it simply drops.

There is Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: technique-oriented, as if technique is all. And there is Krishnamurti, absolutely against techniques. And here I am – for techniques, and against also.

A technique leads you to a point where you can drop it. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is dangerous. He will start many people on the path, but they will never reach the goal because the path is thought to be so important. He will start millions of people on technique, and then the technique becomes so important, and there is no way how to drop it. Then there is Krishnamurti-harmless, but useless also. He can never harm anybody. Because how can he harm? – He never starts anybody on the path; he talks about the goal, and you are very, very far away from the goal. You will fall in the trap of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Krishnamurti may appeal to you intellectually, but will not be of any help. He cannot harm. He’s the most harmless man in the world.

And then I am here. I give you a path just to take it away. I give you a technique – not a technique, many techniques – like toys to play with. And I wait for a moment when you will say to all the techniques, “Swaha, go to the fire!”

-Osho

From Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V. 3 (retitled Yoga: the Mystery Beyond Mind), Discourse #4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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.

Just Being is Zazen – Osho

When energy goes inward it turns into thoughts, feelings, emotions, and when energy goes outward it turns into relationships with beings and nature. But when energy does not move inward or outward, it is just there pulsating, vibrating. Then it is one with the existence, one with the whole. Is this Zazen?

Exactly. When the energy is just there – not going anywhere, just pulsating at the original source, just radiating its light there, blossoming like a lotus, neither going out nor going in – it is simply here and now.

When I say go inward, I am simply saying don’t go on moving in the head.

The whole society forces your energy to move in the head. All education consists of the basic technique of how to pulsate the energy only in the head – how to make you a great mathematician, how to make you a great physician. All the education in the world consists of taking the energy into the head.

Zen asks you to come out of the head and go to the basic source – from where the educational system around the world has been taking the energy, putting it into the head, and turning it into thoughts, images, and creating thinking. It has its uses. It is not that Zen is not aware of the uses of energy in the head, but if all the energy is used in the head, you will never become aware of your eternity. You may become a very great thinker and philosopher, but you will never know, as an experience, what life is. You will never know as an experience, what it is to be one with the whole.

When the energy is just at the center, pulsating… When it is not moving anywhere, neither in the head nor in the heart, but it is at the very source from where the heart takes it, the head takes it… pulsating at the very source – that is the very meaning of Zazen.

Zazen means just sitting at the very source, not moving anywhere. A tremendous force arises, a transformation of energy into light and love, into greater life, into compassion, into creativity. It can take many forms, but first you have to learn how to be at the source. Then the source will decide where your potential is. You can relax at the source, and it will take you to your very potential. It does not mean that you have to stop thinking forever, it simply means you should be aware and alert and capable of moving into the source. When you need the head you can move the energy into the head, and when you need to love, you can move the energy into the heart.

But you need not think twenty-four hours. When you are not thinking you have to relax back into your center – that keeps the Zen man constantly content, alert, joyful. A blissfulness surrounds him; it is not an act, it is simply radiation.

Zazen is the strategy of Zen. Literally it means just sitting. Sitting where? Sitting at the very source.

And once in a while, if you go on sitting in the source, you can manage all mental activities without any disturbance; you can manage all heart activities without any difficulty. And still, whenever you have time, you need not unnecessarily think, you need not unnecessarily feel, you can just be. Just being is Zazen.

And if you can just be – only for a few minutes in twenty-four hours – that is enough to keep you alert of your buddhahood.

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself, Discourse #11

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Just Being Is Zazen.

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 Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva

Hardbound edition just released!
I am happy to announce that the hardbound edition of the book that Amido and I created, From Lemurs to Lamas is now available.
 
All told there are four different versions to choose from: by far the hardbound is the nicest with many color photos bringing to life the words on the pages; the paperback edition with b&w photos; the Kindle e-book, and for those friends in the U.S. there is even a deluxe paperback edition also with color photos.
 
Whichever edition that you choose I do hope that you enjoy the journey, From Lemurs to Lamas. Love.
 

From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva is a travelogue of the heart, a diary of the soul, and a handbook for meditation. Combining From Lemurs to Lamas with the author’s second book, Here to Now and Behind, and adding some new content, makes this a collection of stories, essays, poems, and insights spanning more than fifty years of inquiry.

The book first relates stories of the mysteries of life and travels on an overland journey through Africa, Madagascar, Nepal, and India, finally arriving at the Shree Rajneesh Ashram in Poona. There are stories of the magic of Being in the Poona ashram, the opening of a Rajneesh Meditation Center in the heart of the USA, and the transformation of living life to its fullest in Osho’s Rajneeshpuram, Oregon commune of Wild Wild Country fame.

In addition to the stories of the journey to Osho, and life in his communes, the book relates stories of meeting several masters, teachers, and misfits, including: the 16th Karmapa, Jean Klein, U.G. Krishnamurti, and Vimala Thakar.

Layered throughout the book are essays, poems, insights, and photos that have occurred along the Way, on this journey, Here to Now and Behind.

From the Foreword:

As the editor of From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva, I have had the pleasure of reading this book several times, from varying perspectives. I coined the term ‘mediting’ to describe attempts to really get to the meaning of the more potent essays. Before I could even attempt to consider what little tweaks I could make to optimize readability and comprehension, I had to first accept the invitation to consider a slew of questions that occur on the pathless path.

Purushottama from at an early age experiences the futility of a life spent in the material world, the outer world where ambition, wealth, power, etc. beckon. He has a glimpse of the riches found in the interior, through grace, through LSD, through discovering a heart connection with Meher Baba. This prompts a leap into the unknown – into a life of more immediate experience – embarking on a journey that took him to India where he met the living master he sought.

From Lemurs to Lamas details the insights that occur in all stages of his life. Descriptions of life in the Buddhafield that emanated from Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, later named Osho, evoke the very presence itself, the magic and the melting. Every aspect of life in the ashram in Poona, India, and later at the ranch in Oregon — from the therapy groups to the actual assigned job to interactions with fellow workers and bosses, not to mention daily discourses and occasional darshans – supported a deeper understanding and an opening of the heart.

The second section of this book distinctly turns from out to in. The gifts of the master and commune have been embraced and internalized. Now Purushottama finds the inner guru. His musings, poetic expressions, aphorisms, and essays are compelling. He thoroughly examines the questions that arise from his inward exploration, for example, what is turning in.  With impeccable logic he uncovers the meaning of I am not the body. He acknowledges the human desire to help others and illuminates the pitfalls of such intent.

The most significant overarching theme, however, is the steady encouragement for each of us to begin the journey, or to pick it up again if it has paused, that permeates these essays. He so clearly conveys that in meditation one is always beginning for it is the reverse of accumulation. Wherever we are on the journey is the place to begin.

-Amido

Now available in four editions.

There are many ways you can read From Lemurs to Lamas, the newly released hardbound edition, two paperback versions and the Kindle e-book. Not all of the editions are available in every market. All of the editions are available in the United States. To see which editions are available elsewhere check these Amazon sites: Amazon.com; Amazon.in; Amazon.co.uk; Amazon.de; Amazon.fr; Amazon.es; Amazon.nl; Amazon.co.jp; Amazon.com.br; Amazon.ca.

Just released hardbound edition!

Hardbound edition now available in the U.S. and E.U.

 

Paperback edition

 

Kindle E-Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And for our friends in the U.S. there is also a deluxe paperback edition with color photos.

special color photo Paperback edition

 

If these editions are not available to you in your country or if you feel that you cannot afford to buy a copy, here you can download a PDF copy of From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a BodhisattvaEnjoy!

 

 

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