My Belly has Become My Best Friend – Osho

Eleven years ago, when I first sat in front of you, I was so overwhelmed by your energy, by your love, by you, that I could do nothing but cry and bow down to your feet in silent expression; and yet I felt very much understood by you. At that time you told me to keep my energy inside and bring it to my hara. Since then this suggestion stays with me, and my belly has become my best friend, and the place below my navel a mirror of my feelings. In all this time tears and laughter of joy and gratitude for being able to spend this life with you have kept back most of my words. My beloved master, I feel that behind this small suggestion of yours lies more than I can imagine Would you please say something more about the hara, and guide me further?

Deva Radhika, hara is the center from where a life leaves the body. It is the center of death. The word hara is Japanese; that’s why in Japan, suicide is called hara-kiri. The center is just two inches below the navel. It is very important, and almost everybody in the world has felt it. But only in Japan have they gone deeper into its implications. Even the people in India, who had worked tremendously hard on centers, had not considered the hara. The reason for their missing it was because they had never considered death to be of any significance. Your soul never dies, so why bother about a center that functions only as a door for energies to get out, and to enter into another body? They worked from sex, which is the life center. They have worked on seven centers, but the hara is not even mentioned in any Indian scriptures.

The people who worked hardest on the centers for thousands of years have not mentioned the hara, and this cannot be just a coincidence. The reason was that they never took death seriously. These seven centers are life centers, and each center is of a higher life. The seventh is the highest center of life, when you are almost a god.

The hara is very close to the sex center. If you don’t rise towards higher centers, towards the seventh center which is in your head, and if you remain for your whole life at the sex center, then just by the side of the sex center is the hara, and when then life will end, the hara will be the center from where your life will move out of the body.

Why have I told Radhika this? She was very energetic, but not aware of any higher centers; her whole energy was at the sex center, and she was overflowing. Energy overflowing at the sex center is dangerous, because it can start releasing from the hara.

And if it starts releasing from the hara, then to take it upwards becomes more difficult. So I had told her to keep her energy in, and not to be so expressive: Hold it in! I simply wanted the hara center, which was opening and which could have been very dangerous, to be completely closed.

She followed it, and she has become a totally different person. Now when I see her, I cannot believe the expressiveness that I had seen at first. Now she is more centered, and her energy is moving in the right direction of the higher centers. It is almost at the fourth center, which is the center of love and which is a very balancing center. There are three centers below it, and three centers above it.

Once a person is at the center of love, there is very rarely a possibility for him to fall back down, because he has tasted something of the heights. Now valleys will be very dark, ugly; he has seen sunlit peaks, not very high, but still high; now his whole desire will be….

And that is the trouble with all lovers: they want more love, because they don’t understand that the real desire is not for more love, but for something more than love.

Their language ends with love; they don’t know any way that is higher than love, and love does not satisfy. On the contrary, the more you love the more thirsty you become.

At the fourth center of love, one feels a tremendous satisfaction only when energy starts moving to the fifth center. The fifth center is in your throat, and the sixth center is your third eye. The seventh center, the sahastrara, is on the top of your head. All these centers have different expressions and different experiences.

When love moves to the fifth center then whatever talents you have, any creative dimension, is possible for you. This is the center of creativity. It is not only for songs, not only for music; it is for all creativity.

Hindu mythology has a beautiful story. It is a myth, but the story is beautiful, and particularly for explaining to you the fifth center. Indian mythology says that there is a constant struggle between evil forces and good forces. They both discovered that if they made a certain search in the ocean they could find nectar, and that whoever drank it would become immortal. So they all tried to find it.

But as life balances everywhere, there too…. Before they found the nectar they found poison which was hiding the nectar underneath it. Nobody was ready to test it; even the very sight of it created sickness. One of them thought that the first hippie of the world, perhaps might be willing — he was the god Shiva. So they asked Shiva, “You test it.” He said, “Okay.”

He not only tested it, he drank it all, and it was pure poison. He kept it just in his neck, at the fifth center. The fifth center is the creative center. It became completely poisoned, and Shiva became the god of destruction. So Hindus have three gods: Brahma who creates the world, Vishnu who sustains the world, and Shiva who destroys the world. His destructiveness came from his creative center being poisoned. And the poison was so great that it cannot be a small destruction; he can only destroy the whole of existence.

When Vishnu is tired of maintaining it, Shiva destroys it. By that time Brahma has forgotten — millions of years have passed since he created the world; he again starts creating it — just an old routine! Brahma is the creator god, but in the whole of India there is only one temple devoted to Brahma, because who cares about him? He has done his work; it is futile to say anything to him. Vishnu has millions of temples, because he is the sustainer god. Krishna and Rama are all incarnations of Vishnu.

But nobody can compete with Shiva. Shiva has more shrines to him than anybody else.

He is a hippie, so he does not need very great temples or anything — just anywhere, under any tree. Just put a round stone, oval shape, and he does not ask much — a few leaves, not even flowers. A few leaves you can drop there, a few drops of water on his head, just to keep him cool… so people have created devices; they just hang a small pot on top of his head with a small drip, drip, drip. It keeps him cool, so he does not get annoyed with anybody and destroy the world.

Everybody is afraid of him, so naturally he has many more worshipers, many more temples, and many more shrines. In every small village you will find at least a dozen Shiva shrines, because they cost nothing; any poor man can afford it. And he has to be concerned about it because Shiva can destroy. Keep him satisfied! And he does not ask much; just keep his head cool. Flowers are costly, but any two leaves and his worship is finished.

Shiva became the destroyer of the world because his fifth center had accumulated the whole poison of existence in it. It is our creative center, that’s why lovers have a certain tendency to creativity. When you fall in love, you suddenly feel like creating something—it is very close. If you are guided rightly, your love can become your great creative act.

It can make you a poet, it can make you a painter, it can make you a dancer, it can make you reach to the stars in any dimension.

The sixth center which we call the third eye is between the two eyes. This gives you a clarity, a vision of all your past lives, and of all the future possibilities. Once your energy has reached your third eye, then you are so close to enlightenment that something of enlightenment starts showing. It radiates from the man of the third eye, and he starts feeling a pull towards the seventh center.

Because of these seven centers, India never bothered about hara. Hara is not in the line; it is just by the side of the sex center. The sex center is the life center, and hara is the death center. Too much excitement, too much un-centeredness, too much throwing your energy all over the place is dangerous, because it takes your energy towards the hara. And once the route is created, it becomes more difficult to move it upwards. Hara is equally parallel to the sex center, so the energy can move very easily.

It was a great discovery by the Japanese: they found that there was no need to cut your head off, or shoot your brains out to kill — they are all unnecessarily painful; just a small knife forced exactly at the hara center, and without any pain, life disappears. Just make the center open and life disappears, as if the flower opens and the fragrance disappears.

The hara should be kept closed. That’s why, Radhika, I had told you to be more centered, to keep your feelings inside, and to bring it to your hara. “Since then this suggestion stays with me, and my belly has become my best friend, and the place below my navel a mirror of my feelings.”

If you can keep your hara consciously controlling your energies, it does not allow them to go out. You start feeling a tremendous gravity, a stability, a centeredness, which is a basic necessity for the energy to move upwards.

You are asking, “I feel that behind this small suggestion of yours lies more than I can imagine.” Certainly, there is much more….

A Pole is walking down the street, and passes a hardware store advertising the sale of a chain saw that is capable of cutting seven hundred trees in seven hours. The Pole thinks that it is a great deal and decides to buy one.

The next day he comes back with the saw, and complains to the salesman, “The thing did not come close to chopping down the seven hundred trees that the ad said it would.”

“Well,” said the salesman, “let us test it out back.” Finding a log, the salesman pulls the starter cord, and the saw makes a great roaring sound.

“What is that noise?” asked the Pole.

So he must have been cutting by hand and it was an electric saw!

Radhika, your hara center has so much energy that, if it is rightly directed, enlightenment is not a faraway place.

So these two are my suggestions: keep yourself as much centered as possible. Don’t get moved by small things — somebody is angry, somebody insults you, and you think about it for hours. Your whole night is disturbed because somebody said something…. If the hara can hold more energy, then naturally that much more energy starts rising upwards.

There is only a certain capacity in the hara, and every energy that moves upwards moves through the hara; but the hara should just be closed.

So one thing is that the hara should be closed. The second thing is that you should always work for higher centers. For example, if you feel angry too often you should meditate more on anger, so that anger disappears and its energy becomes compassion. If you are a man who hates everything, then you should concentrate on hate; meditate on hate, and the same energy becomes love.

Go on moving upwards, think always of higher ladders, so that you can reach to the highest point of your being. And there should be no leakage from the hara center. India has been too concerned about sex for the same reason: sex can also take your energy outside. It takes… but at least sex is the center of life. Even if it takes energy out, it will bring energy somewhere else, life will go on flowing.

But hara is a death center. Energy should not be allowed through the hara. A person whose energy starts through hara you can very easily detect. For example, there are people with whom you will feel suffocated, with whom you will feel as if they are sucking your energy. You will find that, after they are gone, you feel at ease and relaxed, although they were not doing anything wrong to you.

You will find just the opposite kind of people also, whose meeting you makes you joyful, healthier. If you were sad, your sadness disappears; if you were angry, your anger disappears. These are the people whose energy is moving to higher centers. Their energy affects your energy. We are affecting each other continually. And the man who is conscious, chooses friends and company which raises his energy higher.

One point is very clear. There are people who suck you, avoid them! It is better to be clear about it, say goodbye to them. There is no need to suffer, because they are dangerous; they can open your hara too. Their hara is open, that’s why they create such a sucking feeling in you.

Psychology has not taken note of it yet, but it is of great importance that psychologically sick people should not be put together. And that is what is being done all over the world.

Psychologically sick people are put into psychiatric institutes together. They are already psychologically sick, and you are putting them in a company which will drag their energy even lower.

Even the doctors who work with psychologically sick people have given enough indication of it. More psychoanalysts commit suicide than any other profession, more psychoanalysts go mad than any other profession. And every psychoanalyst once in a while needs to be treated by some other psychoanalyst. What happens to these poor people? Surrounded by psychologically sick people, they are continually sucked, and they don’t have any idea how to close their haras.

There are methods, techniques to close the hara, just as there are methods for meditation, to move the energy upwards. The best and simplest method is: try to remain as centered in your life as possible. People cannot even sit silently, they will be changing their position. They cannot lie down silently, the whole night they will be turning and tossing. This is just unrest, a deep restlessness in their souls.

One should learn restfulness. And in these small things, the hara stays closed. Particularly psychologists should be trained. Also, psychologically sick people should not be put together.

In the East, particularly in Japan in Zen monasteries, where they have become aware of the hara center, there are no psychologists as such. But in Zen monasteries there are small cottages, far away from the main campus where Zen people live, but in the same forest or in the same mountain area. And if somebody who is psychologically sick is brought to them, he is given a cabin there and he is told to relax, rest, enjoy, move around in the forest — but not to talk. Anyway there is nobody to talk to! Only once a day a man comes to give food; he is not allowed to talk to that man either, and even if he talks, the man will not answer. So his whole energy is completely controlled. He cannot even talk; he cannot meet anybody.

You will be surprised to know that what psychoanalysis cannot do in years is done in three weeks. In three weeks’ time the person is as healthy as normal people are. And nothing has been done — no technique, nothing. He has just been left alone so he cannot talk. He has been left alone so he can rest and be himself. He is not expected to fulfill somebody else’s expectations.

Radhika, you have done well. Just continue whatever you are doing, accumulating your energy in yourself. The accumulation of energy automatically makes it go higher. And as it reaches higher you will feel more peaceful, more loving, more joyful, more sharing, more compassionate, more creative.

The day is not far away when you will feel full of light, and the feeling of coming back home.

-Osho

From The Golden Future, Chapter Three

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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When My Mind is the Cause of Unhappiness – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have heard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He said, “Nowhere.”

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

He said, “I am this guy’s neighbor.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No,” groaned the patient.

“No snakes or alligators?” the doctor asked.

“No,” the drunk said.

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

But Mulla Nasruddin was worried.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What is up?” he asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She said, “But the sun is up.”

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

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

But there was nobody to give.

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

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

-OSHO

From Dang Dang Doko Dang, Chapter Six

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

This is the Existential Centering – Osho

You said that awareness created centering and crystallization, but I personally feel that awareness brings a feeling of deep void within me. Please explain the relationship between centering and inner void.

As man is, he is without a center – without a real, authentic center. He has a center, so to speak, but the center is false. He only thinks he has a center. The ego is a false center. You feel that it is there, but it is not. If you go to find it, you will not find it at all.

Bodhidharma reached China 1100 years after Buddha. He was a Buddha himself. The Emperor Wu came to receive Bodhidharma. When no one was there, he asked Bodhidharma, “I am very, very disturbed. My mind is never at ease. What can I do? Tell me. Make my mind at peace, at ease. I am in deep conflict; an inner struggle continues – so do something.” Bodhidharma said, “I can do something. Come early in the morning at four o’clock, but remember to bring your self.”

The Emperor felt: “Either this man is mad or I have not understood what he is saying.” He said, “Of course, I will come. I will come with my self.”

Bodhidharma still insisted, “Do not forget. Bring your self with you. Otherwise, whom am I going to put at ease?”

The whole night the Emperor could not sleep. It was such a strange thing. I looked weird. What does this man mean? And then he began to feel doubtful about whether to go or not, and it was to be in the early hours, at four o’clock in the morning. And Bodhidharma had said to come alone: “Let your self only be with you; no one else.” So no one could know what he was going to do, and he looked mad. It was even dangerous. But still, he was tempted. This man was really a different type of being. He attracted! He was magnetic! So the Emperor couldn’t stay at home, he came. When he was coming near, Bodhidharma said, “You have come, but where is your self?”

Wu said, “You make me puzzled. The whole night I couldn’t sleep. What do you mean by ‘my self’? I am here.”

So Bodhidharma said, “Give me your self. I will make it silent, at peace, at ease. Close your eyes and find out where it is. Point it out to me and I will make it disappear totally, and there will be never any problem again.”

So the Emperor Wu closed his eyes and sat before Bodhidharma. The morning was absolutely silent. No one was there. He could even hear his own breath; he could hear his own heartbeat. And Bodhidharma was there constantly telling him, “Go in and find out where it is. If you cannot find it, then what can I do?” And he searched and searched and searched for hours together. Then he opened his eyes, and he was a different man.

He said, “I do not find it anywhere. It is all void. There is no self.”

Bodhidharma said, “If there is no self and there is void, are you disturbed now? Is someone at a dis-ease inside? Now where is the anguish you were talking about? So much talking about it, and now where is it?”

Wu said, “It is nowhere, because the person has disappeared, so how can dis-ease exist without him? I tried and tried, but it is nowhere to be found. Really, I was myself in deception. I always thought ‘I’ am inside. I tried to find it, and it is not there. There is simply a void – shunya – an emptiness, a nothingness.”

So Bodhidharma said, “Now go to your home, and whenever you feel that something is to be done with your self, first find out where it is.”

It is a false entity. Because we have never searched for it, it seems to exist. Because we have never gone in, we go on talking about the “I”. It is not there. So the first thing to be understood is that if you meditate, if you become silent, you will feel a void, because you cannot find the ego. The ego was all the furniture; now the furniture has disappeared. You are just a room – rather, a room-ness.

Even the walls have disappeared. They were part of the ego. The whole structure has disappeared, so you will find a void.

This is the first step – when the ego disappears. It is a false entity; it is not there. It only appears to be, and you go on thinking that it is there. It belongs to your thinking, not to your being. It belongs to your mind, not to your existence. Because you think it is there, it is there. When you go to find it, it is not found. Then you feel the void, emptiness. Now persist in this emptiness, remain in this void.

The mind is very cunning. It can play games. If you begin to think and observe this, this voidness, if you begin to think, you will fill it again. Even if you say, “This is void,” you are out of it, already out of it. The void has disappeared – you have come in. Remain with the void; remain void. Do not think. It is difficult, very frightening. One gets dizzy. It is an abyss – an infinite abyss. You are falling down and falling down with no bottom to reach. One gets dizzy; one begins to think. The moment you think, you have found the ground again. Now you are not in the void.

If you can be in the void without escaping it by any thinking whatsoever, suddenly the void will also disappear, as the ego has disappeared – because, really, it is because of the ego that it looks like a void. Ego was the thing which was fulfilling. That was the furniture, and there was no void. Now the ego has disappeared; that is why you feel it as a void. This feeling of emptiness is just because something which was always there is now not there.

If you see me in this chair, then suddenly if you do not find me in the chair, the chair will look empty – not because the chair is empty, but simply because someone was there filling it and now he is no more there. So you see the void, not the chair. You see the void because the absence of something looks like an emptiness. You are still not seeing the chair. You were seeing a person there; now you are seeing the absence of the person. But the chair is still not seen. So when the ego disappears, you feel the void. This is only a beginning, because this void is also the negative part of the ego – the other aspect. This void must also disappear.

It is reported about Rinzai, a Zen Master, that when he was learning with his Teacher, the Teacher always insisted that he should attain the void, the nothingness, the shunya. So one day he came; he had attained it. It was a long effort. To dissolve the ego is a long effort. It was a long journey – difficult, sometimes virtually impossible – but he had attained. So he came, laughing, dancing, happy in ecstasy. He fell down ar his Master’s feet and said, “I have attained. Now the void is there.”

The Master looked at him very unsympathetically and said, ”Now you go and throw this void also. Do not bring it here. Throw this void also. Throw this nothingness, because if you have nothingness it becomes something again.”

Even a void is something. If you can feel it, it is something; if you can know it, it is something; if you can observe it, it is something. Even nothing becomes something if it is in your hands. The Master said, “Throw this void out. Only come to me when even nothingness is not there.”

Rinzai wept. Why couldn’t he see it himself? A void is an attainment, it is something. If you have achieved nothingness, nothingness becomes a thing. When you go deep in the void – without any thinking, without any vibration in the mind – if you remain in this, suddenly the void just disappears and then the Self is known. Then you are centered. Then you have come to the real center. There is the false center, the absence of the false center, and then the real center. By “centering” I mean the ground, the very ground of Being. It is not your center, because you are the false center.

So it is not your center. It is the center – just the center of Being. The very Existence is centered in it. You are the false center; you will disappear. But even in your disappearance, if you begin to feel fulfilled with void, the ego has returned in a very subtle way. In a very subtle way, it has come back. It will say, “I have attained this void,” so it is still there.

Do not allow it to come back. Remain in the void. Do not do anything with the void: do not even think about it, do not even feel anything about it. The void is there: be at ease; let it be there. It will disappear. It is just a negative part. The real thing has disappeared. It is just shadow. Do not catch the shadow; do not cling to the shadow. because the shadow can remain only if the real thing is nearby. Only then can the shadow remain. Ultimately the void disappears, and then there is centering. Then for the first time you are not and YOU ARE – not as you, but as pure Being; rather, as the All. And this point must be noted carefully – that it is not Your center; it is the center of All.

Forget your false center. Go in and dig for it: then it dissolves. It is never found. It is not, so you cannot find it. Then a more arduous thing befalls you: you encounter the void. It is very silent. Compared to the ego world, it is very silent. You are in a deep peace. But do not be satisfied with it. It is false, because it is part of the ego. And if you feel satisfied, the ego will re-enter; it will come back. A part of it was still there. That part will bring it back again, whole. Remain with the void without any thinking.

That is just deathlike. One is dying before one’s own eyes – everything dissolving in a great abyss. And soon you will disappear and only the abyss will be there – not even the knower of the abyss, not even the observer of the abyss, but just the abyss. Then you are centered – centered in the Cosmic Center: it is not your center. For the first time, you are.

Now language will have a different meaning. You are not and you are. Here, yes and no lose their traditional difference, their customary meaning. You are not there as you. Now you are there as the Divine – as the Cosmos itself. This is the existential centering – the centering in the Existence.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.2, Chapter Two

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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Without Boundaries – Osho

Things are there around you because of you. You attract them. If you feel hell around you, it is you who has attracted it. Don’t be angry about it and don’t start fighting with it; it is useless. You attracted, you invited – you have done it! And now your desires are fulfilled: whatsoever you needed is around you. And then you start fighting and getting angry. You have succeeded!

Remember always that whatsoever is happening around you is rooted in the mind. Mind is always the cause. It is the projector, and outside there are only screens – you project yourself. If you feel it is ugly then change the mind. If you feel whatsoever comes from the mind is hellish and nightmarish, then drop the mind. Work with the mind, don’t work with the screen don’t go on painting it and changing it. Work with the mind.

But there is one problem, because you think you are the mind. So how can you drop it? So you feel you can drop everything, change everything, repaint, redecorate, rearrange, but how can you drop yourself That is the root of all trouble. You are not the mind, you are beyond mind. You have become identified, that’s true, but you are not the mind.

And this is the purpose of meditation: to give you small glimpses that you are not the mind. Even for a few moments the mind stops… you are still there! On the contrary, you are MORE, overflowing with being. When the mind stops it is as if a drainage which was continuously draining you has stopped. Suddenly you are overflooded with energy. You feel more!

If even for a single moment you become aware that the mind is not there but “I am,” you have reached a deep core of truth. Then it will be easy to drop the mind. You are not the mind, otherwise how can you drop yourself? The identification has to be dropped first, then the mind can be dropped.

The whole Gurdjieff method is how to get unidentified. When next time when a desire comes, look at it. Say within yourself, “Okay, I will watch where this mind is moving.” And you will feel a distance, you are looking at it. Who is this looker, the spectator? And the desire moves and creates dreams.

Sometimes you may forget, sometimes you may become one with the desire. Pull yourself together again, look at the desire again: the desire is moving on its own. It is as if a cloud has entered, a thought has come into the sky of your being. Just look at it, watch it. And remember, if you can be unidentified even for a fragment of a second – the desire is there and you are here and there is a distance – suddenly there is illumination, a light has happened to you.

Now you know that the mind works on its own, it is a mechanism. You can drop it! You may not use it, you may use it; you are the master. Now the slave, the mechanism, is put in its place; it is no more the master. Then dropping is possible. When you are different from it, only then is dropping possible.

Meditation, witnessing, silently sitting and looking at the mind, will be of much help. Not forcing, simply sitting and looking. Not doing much, just watching as one watches birds flying in the sky. Just Lying down on the ground and watching, nothing to do, indifferent. Not your concern really, where they are going; they are going on their own.

Remember, thoughts are also just like birds: they are moving on their own. And sometimes it happens that people who are around you, their thoughts enter into your sky, your thoughts go on entering into their sky. That’s why sometimes you feel that with some man suddenly you become sad; with some other man suddenly you feel an upsurge of energy and happiness and delight. Just looking at somebody, being near to him, something changes in your mood.

It happens even with places. You go into a house and suddenly a gloom settles on you. You go in another house, and suddenly you feel light as if wings have come to you, you can fly, you are weightless. You enter a crowd and you are no more yourself, something has changed. You enter another crowd, again something has changed.

This is the base of satsang: being with a Master who has no thoughts. Just being with him, sometimes his no-thought, his no-mind, will knock at your door. In some moments… it cannot be manipulated, one has to wait, one has just to pray and wait and watch. It cannot be forced because it is not a thought. A thought is a thing; it can be thrown at you. No-thought is not a thing, it cannot be thrown.

A thought has its own movement and propulsion. Whenever you are near a person who has too many thoughts, he will fill you with his thoughts. Just being near he will go on pouring his mind in you – whether he speaks or not, that is not the point. Continuously, thoughts, like sparks, are falling from his head all around – you catch them.

And sometimes you are even aware that this is not your thought. But when it comes you become filled with it, you become identified even with that. This is not your anger; somebody else was angry and you felt something within you. Somebody was hateful and the hate hit you. Everything is infectious, and mind is the most infectious disease in the world. No flu can compete with it, it goes on infecting people all around.

If you can see, you can see just sparks falling from the head of a person. They have different colors.

That’s why so many mystics became aware of auras, because if a gloomy person comes he brings a gloomy aura. You can see it if your eyes are clear. You can see when a happy person comes around you. Even if you have not seen him – he is coming from behind you, you have not seen him – but suddenly you feel something happy is happening around.

Thoughts are not your own, they are not you. When you die your thoughts are scattered all around. It has happened, and next time you go near a dying man, watch – it is an experience in itself. When a man is dying, just sit and watch what happens to your mind. You will be surprised; thoughts which have never been there, thoughts you are not accustomed to, thoughts which are unknown, suddenly bubble up in you – pop! The man is dying and he is throwing his thoughts all around, like a dying tree throwing its seeds. It is in a panic; before the tree dies it should throw seeds so other trees come up.

Never go near a man who is dying if you are not aware, because then the dead will influence you. Basically, never be near a man where you feel gloomy, sad, unless you are aware. If you are aware then there is no problem. Then the gloom comes and passes; you never get identified with it.

Have you ever felt, going in a church, people praying, you feel immediately different. So much prayer, even not very real, just a Sunday prayer, but still they are doing it, even for a few moments the windows open – they are different. A fire catches you, you feel sudden changes within you.

Be aware! And then see how thoughts enter in the mind, how you get identified and become one with them. And they are moving so fast, the speed is so great, because there is nothing more speedy than thought. It is not possible to create anything more speedy than thought. It takes no time to reach anywhere. It jumps from one infinity to another; space doesn’t exist for it.

Thoughts are there, moving with fast speed. Because of the fast speed you cannot see two thoughts separately. Sit, close your eyes, slow down all processes of the body. Breathing slows, heartbeat slows, blood pressure slows. You slow down everything; you relax, because if everything slows, thought has to slow down, because it is a compact whole. When everything is slow, thought has to get slow.

That’s why in deep sleep thought stops; because everything is so slow and thought is so speedy a thing that there comes a breaking – the process cannot continue. The man is so slow and thought is so speedy, they cannot get together. Thought disappears. In deep sleep, only for a few hours, two hours at the most in the night, thought stops, because you are completely relaxed.

Relax and just watch: as the thought process slows you will be able to see gaps. Between two thoughts there is an interval – in that interval is consciousness. Between two clouds there is an interval – in that interval is the blue sky.

Slow down the thought process and look in the intervals, and pay more attention to the intervals than to the clouds. Shift the attention, change the gestalt. Don’t look at the figure, look at the background.

If I put a blackboard, a big blackboard the size of this wall here, and mark it with a white point and ask you what you see, ninety-nine percent the possibility is you will not see the blackboard, you will see the white dot – because we see the figure, not the background.

Such a big blackboard, but if I ask you, “What do you see there?” you will say, “I see a little white spot.” Such a big blackboard is not seen and only a little white spot, which is almost invisible, is seen? Why? Because this is the fixed pattern of the mind: to look at the figure, not at the background; to look at the cloud, not at the sky; to look at the thought, not at the consciousness.

This gestalt has to be changed. Pay more attention to the background and less attention to the figure. You will be nearer reality. In meditation this has to be done continuously. The mind, because of old habit, will look at the figure. You just shift again… Look at the background.

You are here, I am here. We can look at each other in two ways. I can look at the background; in the background are the trees, plants, greenery, the sky – the vast universe is your background. Or I can look at you, you are the figure. But mind always looks at the figure.

That’s why it happens if you go to a person like Sosan, Jesus or Buddha, you feel that their eyes are not looking at you. You are just the figure and they are looking at the background. Their gestalt is different. You may feel that their eyes are cold because they are not paying attention to you.

You are just a cloud. Persons like Buddha, when they look; you are there, but just as a small part of the background. And vast is the background, and you are just a dot. But you would like somebody to look at you, at the small dot, as if you are the universe, as if nothing exists beyond you.

Buddha’s love will look cold. You need a hot love, eyes which look at you and forget the whole. That is not possible for a Buddha. You have your place, but you are still a small dot. Howsoever beautiful, you are just part of a vast background – whole attention cannot be given to you.

That’s why the ego feels very much hurt near a Buddha, because the ego wants the whole attention: “Look at me, I am the center of the world.” But you are not the center of the world. Really there is no center in the world, because the center is possible only if the world is limited. If it is a finite circle then the center is possible – and it is an infinite circle.

It is absurd to think of a center. There is no center in the world; the world exists without any center. And it is beautiful. That’s why everybody can think, “I am the center.” If there is a center then it is impossible.

That’s why Mohammedans and Christians and Jews will not allow Hindu assertions that “I am God – Aham Brahmasmi.” They say, “This is heresy. What are you saying? Only God is the center. Nobody else is the center.” But Hindus can assert playfully that “I am God,” because they say there is NO center, or everybody is the center.

But when you ask that the whole attention should come to you, this is the mind, the old habit of the mind, not to look at the background, just to look at the figure.

In meditation you have to shift from the figure to the background, from the star to the sky. The more this shift happens, the more you will feel you are not the mind, the more you will feel easily it can be dropped…

It is just like dropping a dress. You have made it so tight that it feels like a skin. It is not, it is just like a dress you can drop it easily. But one has to understand that one is the background, not the figure. And when this mind drops, says Sosan, then the objective world simply vanishes.

What does he mean? Does he mean that if you are in deep meditation, if you have reached the goal of no-mind, then these trees will disappear, vanish? Then this house will no more be here? Then you will not be sitting here? If I have attained, will this chair I am sitting on vanish?

No. Objects disappear as objects; not this chair, not that tree – they remain, but they are no more limited. Now they have no boundaries. Then this chair is meeting with the sun and with the sky, then the figure and the background has become one. There is no figure separate from the background, their identities are lost. And they are no more objects, because you are no more a subject there.

Krishnamurti goes on saying something very beautiful: that in deep meditation the observer becomes the observed. This is true, but you will feel that this looks absurd. If you are looking at a flower, does Krishnamurti mean that you become the flower? Then how will you get back home? And somebody may pluck you and you will be in trouble.

“The observer becomes the observed.” Does it mean that you become the flower? No – but still, in a sense, yes. You don’t become the flower in the sense that you can be plucked and somebody can carry you and you are no more a man. No, not in that sense. But when there is no mind, there is no boundary to you which separates you from the flower, no boundary to the flower which separates it from you. You have both become a subjective pool, you are merging and meeting. You remain you, the flower remains the flower, nobody can mistakenly pluck you – but there is a merging.

It happens only in your life sometimes in a few moments when you love a person. That too is rare, because man’s mind never leaves him even in love. It goes on creating its own nonsense, creating its own world. And the lover is no more allowed such closeness that he reaches to the background. The figure, the ego, always stands in between. But a few times it happens.

Of course, it must be happening in spite of you. It is so natural that even if you have made all the arrangements, sometimes the reality bumps into you. With all your arrangements, with all your dreams, sometimes it penetrates you; sometimes you are not on guard. Sometimes you forget, or you are so much occupied in a certain thing that a window opens and you are not looking at that window and the reality enters in.

A few moments, in love, this happens, when the observer has become the observed. This is a beautiful meditation: if you love a person then sit with the person and look into each other’s eyes – not thinking anything, not thinking who he is, not creating a thinking process, just looking into each other’s eyes.

There may be a few glimpses when the observer will become the observed, when you will be lost and you will not know who you are – whether you have become the beloved or the beloved has become you. Eyes are beautiful doors to enter into each other.

And why do I say only in love it is possible? Because only in love are you not on guard. You relax. You are not afraid of the other, you can be vulnerable, you can afford it. Otherwise you are always on guard, because you don’t know what the other will do; you don’t know whether he will hurt you. And if you are not on guard the hurt can go very deep.

In love you can look into each other’s eyes. There will be some glimpses when the background and the figure dissolve into each other. You will be shaken to your very foundations. Suddenly you will have a glimpse: you are not, still you are. Somewhere deep there has been a meeting.

This happens to a real meditator with the universe itself – not that he becomes a tree, but still he becomes a tree. When he is with a tree, boundaries are not there. And when he becomes tuned to this no-boundary land, then he moves without boundaries.

-Osho

From Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Chapter Five

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.

Natural You Are – Osho

Enlightenment is my true nature; there is no need to do anything.

Only when effort is completely exhausted and one feels utterly useless does grace come.

What is all this? I am confused. What should I do? Should I continue with meditation or should I just sit and let things happen?

Pleas guide me.

Shiv-Priyanand, if you are confused then you will have to continue meditations. Confusion is the illness: meditation is medicinal. Both the words – meditation and medicine – come from the same root. If you are confused, you will have to go on meditating. When you see the point without any confusion, then there is no need. But meditation will prepare you, meditation will force you to see the point that there is no need to do anything. Only meditation can do that.

Just listening to me… I have told you that to be natural is to be enlightened. Now you think, “So, that is great! I can sit silently and do nothing.” But can you really sit silently and do nothing? If you can really sit silently and do nothing, then this question would not have arisen. You would have sat and known and you would have bowed before me and thanked me. There would have been no question. You would have come dancing to me, not with a question and a confused mind.

If you can sit silently doing nothing, what else is needed?

That’s what Buddha was doing under the Bodhi Tree – sitting silently doing nothing… and then it happened. That’s how it happened to me! That’s how it always happens!

But not to do is not so easy. Because you have become so accustomed to doing something or other, even sitting will be a doing to you. You will have to force yourself in a yoga posture and you will sit strained, still, in control, holding, trying to sit silently and not do anything – and boiling within, to do a thousand and one things, and thousands of thoughts will clamor around, will distract you.

Can you just sit and do nothing? That is the ultimate. That’s what nirvana is, samadhi is.

It can happen; just listening to me also it can happen, but great intelligence is needed then. Then, simply, you have seen the point – that to be natural is all. Then where is the confusion? From where can it come? Then what is the confusion? You have seen it, or you have not seen it. If you will sit silently, you will walk silently, you will eat silently, you will talk silently. You will become a non-doer, you will become a natural being.

But if you have not seen it, then you will need a few more crazy things; you will have to go through them. Those meditations will force you to see the point. Either you see just by listening and sitting by my side, or you will have to see the hard way.

Buddha meditated for six years, and meditated intensely, totally. Then this realization arose in him: “What am I doing? Trees are perfectly happy, birds are perfectly happy – what am I doing? And these trees are not meditating, and these birds have never thought about meditation, and they have not read Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and they don’t do yoga asanas and they don’t chant any mantras. And the whole existence is so tremendously ecstatic! What am I doing standing on my head and fasting and all that nonsense?”

He saw it, but six years it took for him to see this. And he was no ordinary man. He was tremendously intelligent. It took six years for him to see the point. But the moment he saw it, he relaxed under the Bodhi Tree. He fell asleep and the next morning he was awakened. Not only physically he opened his eyes – spiritually his eyes were opened. Next morning when he opened his eyes, he was totally a different man – the real man had arisen. And just a glimpse of the real man, says Ikkyu, and you are in love. And the moment he saw his real man, he started living a life of compassion and love. There was no other way now, no choice. He became a natural man.

So, if you feel confused, then go on meditating. Meditation is not for enlightenment: meditation is for confused people. Meditation does not lead you to enlightenment; it simply makes you fed up with your confusion. Just see the point: meditation is not a way to enlightenment – it is just a way to get rid of confusion. And when there is no confusion, enlightenment comes of its own accord.

Meditation’s work is negative. It takes things away from you. It does not give you anything; it simply goes on taking things away from you. Anger disappears, greed disappears, desire disappears, and you start losing whatsoever you had. You become every day poorer and poorer.

That’s what Jesus means when he says: Blessed are those who are poor in spirit.

Anger is not there, greed is not there, ambition is not there. Slowly, slowly, chunks of your being are cut from you. And one day suddenly nothing is there – or, only nothing is there. That very moment, light penetrates. All those things greed, anger, passion, lust, hatred, ambition, ego – they were hindering the path. They were not allowing the light to penetrate in you. They were functioning like a rock between you and God. All those removed… suddenly God enters into you and you enter into God.

If you understand me, there is no need for any meditation. But if you don’t understand me… to understand me meditation will be needed. Then go on doing it.

I understand your confusion, your trouble. You can do it only if it leads to enlightenment. That’s what your problem is. You have not said it so clearly, but that’s exactly where the problem is. You can do it if I emphasize that it will lead you to enlightenment – that I cannot do, because that is not true. You want me to promise you so that you can go on doing meditation. You want me to hypnotize you, you want me to go on supporting your desires, your goals, that you want to become enlightened, that you want to become natural… now look at the whole absurdity of becoming natural! How can one become natural? Natural you are! All becoming will lead you towards unnatural structures.

Becoming cannot bring you to being natural. Becoming means becoming unnatural.

Natural you are, but you want me to support you because you cannot sit silently. You cannot sit, really; you need something to think about, something to do. You want some goal. And if I take the goal away you ask, “Then why should I do meditation if it is not needed?” It is still needed. Needed, not for enlightenment – needed just to destroy this constant restlessness in your mind.

It is like this: if you live in a room with closed doors the sun will not penetrate, although opening the door is not creating the sun. By opening the door you don’t create the sun – the sun is there. But by opening the door, you become available to the sun. Meditations are just like opening the door.

So right now if you sit, you will be sitting in confusion, and the confusion will grow more and more if you sit. You will gather it; it will become almost impossible to bear it. And you will have to go to the movie or to the radio or the TV or to the club – you will have to go somewhere.

Meditations are cathartic. They throw all the rubbish that you contain inside. They simply cleanse you. They open the doors, they open the eyes – the sun is there. Once you are available, it starts penetrating you.

Then you will never say, “I became natural.” You will say, “I was natural. The problem was not how to become natural – the problem was how not to go on becoming unnatural.”

-Osho

From Take It Easy, Chapter Six

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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The Goal Comes to You – Osho

What is Joshu’s single note? This is the single note – emptiness. This is the lotus flower that Buddha transmitted to Mahakashyap. And this is what all of the Buddhas have been teaching through the ages – be empty. The ego wants to be All. The All happens, but it happens through emptiness, and therein lies the difficulty, the impossibility of it. You can become perfect, but if perfection is the ideal, then you will miss it. You can become perfect through being totally empty. That seems inconceivable for the mind, because the mind says: To be perfect one has to make much effort, to be perfect one has to create an ideal in the future, and one has to make effort to reach the goal. The goal happens.

Perfection comes to man, man need not go there. The goal comes to you. Nobody has ever gone to the goal. It has always been otherwise; the goal comes to you when you are empty. And to be empty is just the opposite, just the opposite of all efforts towards perfection, because perfection means you would like to be God himself. Perfection means you would like yourself eternally, infinitely, spread all over. Emptiness is just the opposite – you have to destroy yourself utterly. Not even a trace should be left behind. When your house is empty, the guest comes. When you are no more, the goal has been attained.

So don’t make perfection your goal, the goal happens indirectly. You be empty, and you have created the situation for it to come. Because nature abhors emptiness, nothing can remain empty. If you empty yourself completely, you will be filled by the Unknown. Suddenly, from all directions the Divine rushes towards you. You have created the situation; it has to be filled. When you are not, God is.

So remember, there cannot be any meeting between you and God. There has never been, and there will never be. When you are not, God is; when you are, God is not. They both cannot be together.

Here you disappear, and suddenly the Total, the Perfect, the Whole appears. It has always been there. But you were filled by yourself so much that there was no space for it to come in. It was all around, but you were not empty.

You are just like a house without doors – just walls and walls and layers and layers of walls. And remember, a house is in fact not the walls but the doors. Lao Tzu says: What is a door? – A door is nothing, it is an emptiness; and from the door you enter. The wall is something, the door is nothing.

And have you observed that the house is not the walls but the emptiness within? The very word ‘room’ means emptiness, space. You don’t live in the walls, you live in the space, in the emptiness.

All that exists, exists in emptiness. All that lives, lives in emptiness.

You are not your body. Within your body, just like within your house, space exists. That space is you. Your body is just the walls. Think of a person who has no eyes, no ears, no nose, no windows, no doors in the body – he will be dead. Eyes and ears and nose and mouth, they are the doors, they are emptinesses. And through that emptiness, existence enters into you. The outer and the inner meet, because the outer space and the inner space are not two things, they are one. And the division is not a real division.

It is just like, you can go to the river, and you can fill an earthen pot with water. When the water is moving in the earthen pot, the river outside and the water inside the pot are the same. Only an earthen wall exists, and even that earthen wall is porous; water is continuously flowing out and in.

Your body is also porous; existence is continuously flowing in and out. What is your breathing? – It is existence coming in and going out. And scientists say, millions of holes in the skin are continuously breathing in and out. You are porous. If your whole body is painted thickly, and only the nose is allowed to remain open, you can go on breathing, but within three hours you will be dead. Because the whole body breathes – it is porous. Existence continuously renews you.

And inside who are you? Inside is an emptiness. When one realizes this emptiness, the ego simply disappears – it is a myth, it is a dream, it is a fallacy. Because you have never looked within, you have created a false ego.

There is a necessity, because no man can live without a center. And you don’t know your own center. So the mind creates a false center; that false center is the ego. When you move inwards and look for the ego, you will never find it there. The deeper you go, the more you will laugh because the ego is not there. You are not there. Sometimes, just close your eyes and look for the ego. Where are you? Who are you? And emptiness surrounds you from everywhere; nobody is there inside. And this moment is the most beautiful and ecstatic moment possible when you feel that there is no ego.

When there is no ego, you are empty. And when you are empty, the Divine rushes towards you. You have created the situation.

-Osho

From Returning to the Source, Chapter Two

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

The Garden of Tathagata – Osho

What is the goal of meditation? 

Prageeta, there is no goal of meditation. Meditation is the dropping of all goals; hence it can’t have a goal of its own; that would be against its very nature. Goals exist in the future; meditation is to be in the present. There is no meeting ground between the present and the future – the future exists not – how can the non-existential meet the existential? That is impossible. The future is our creation, it is our imagination. We create it for a certain purpose; the purpose is to avoid the present. We don’t want to be in the present, we want to escape from the present. The future gives us an escape. To live in the future is to be an escapist.

Whatsoever the goal – it does not matter what that goal is – it may be God-realization, it may be attainment of nirvana – still it is a goal and any goal is against meditation. But our whole mind exists in the future; our mind is against the present. In the present the mind dies. How can the mind exist in the present? If you are utterly now, utterly here, there is no question of mind. You cannot think because thinking needs space and the present has no space in it. It is just like a needle point: it cannot contain anything, not even a single thought.

Hence if you want to live in the mind, either you have to live in the past or in the future; these are the two ways. The old-fashioned, the orthodox, the conventional – the Christians, the Mohammedans, the Hindus – they live in the past, and the so-called revolutionaries, the progressives, the avant-garde, they live in the future. The communists, the socialists, the Fabians, the utopians, all kinds of idealists, they live in the future. On the surface they seem to be very different – the Catholic and the communist seem to be antagonistic – t deep down they are not antagonistic at all. They belong to the same category, they are doing the same work: they both are escaping from the present.

The Hindu lives in the golden age that has passed; his golden age was somewhere far far away in the past, it is only a memory, it has never been there. That past is simply a creation of imaginative people, but it helps them to escape from the present. Hindus call it ramrajya – the kingdom of God. It existed in the past and since then man has been falling down. Hence Hindus cannot agree with Charles Darwin, with the idea of evolution. Hindus have a totally different idea: the idea of involution, not evolution. Man is not progressing, man is regressing Man is falling every day, man is going downhill. The peaks are left in the past – the golden peaks, the sunlit peaks.

The communist lives in the future; his golden age has still to come. It will come one day, somewhere far away in the future when the state withers away, when the society becomes classless, when there is no exploitation when there is no need for any government, when people live in equality. That will be the kingdom of God – but that is in the future; that too is never going to happen.

The communist and the Hindu both are doing the same thing; they are partners in the same business: the business is how to escape from the present, how not to live in the present. Hence you will see a strange thing happening: Hindus are against me, Mohammedans are against me, Christians are against me, communists are against me. On one thing they all agree – at least on one thing they all agree. At least I am happy that I give them one point to agree about! But in fact they agree because my insistence is against the past and against the future, my insistence is on being in the present. Hence meditation cannot allow any desire for goals.

I can understand your question, Prageeta, because the mind always asks, “Why are you doing it?” It can’t do anything simply, spontaneously – the “why” is always there. You don’t know any action in your life which is spontaneous, you don’t know any response. All that you do is not action in fact but reaction. You do it because there are reasons for doing it, there are motives for doing it, there are desires behind it. Something is either pushing from behind or pulling from the front. You are never acting out of freedom, you are a slave. Hence you always ask “Why?”

A man was sent by his psychiatrist to the mountains just for a change to rest, to relax, to enjoy nature. The next day his telegram arrived: “I am feeling very happy. Why?”

One cannot accept anything without asking “Why?” Now one thing about happiness has to be understood: misery may have causes, happiness has no cause. And if it has a cause it is nothing but misery masquerading as happiness. When happiness is true – that’s what is meant by bliss – it has no cause, no causality. It is beyond cause and effect; it is beyond the chain of cause and effect. You cannot answer why.

Buddha was asked many times, “Why are you so blissful, so peaceful?” And he always said, “Such is the nature of awareness – tathata. ”

Now his answer has to be deeply pondered over. He says, “There is no ‘why’ to it – such is the case. The trees are green and the flowers are red, and the man who is awakened is blissful. There is no ‘why’ to it.”

But the people who were asking again and again…. I think he must have been asked the same question thousands of times by different people. The people may look different from the outside, but deep down they are all unconscious, so the same question arises again and again out of their unconscious mind: “Why? There must be some reason. Have you discovered some treasure? Have you found some Kohinoor? Have you found some alchemy so that you can transform baser metal into gold? Have you found some secret that can make you immortal? Why are you so blissful?”

The people who are asking are saying something about themselves; they are not really asking why Buddha is blissful – they can’t understand Buddha – they know only themselves. They know they are miserable and that their misery has a cause, and once in a while when they feel happy that happiness is also caused by something. You win a lottery and you are happy; without the lottery how can you be happy? And Buddha has not won any lottery. In fact he has renounced his palace and kingdom and all the riches. The people must be searching, trying to find out: “There must be something that he has found which he is hiding and not telling us. What is it? Why do you look so happy?”

Prabhu Maya has asked me a question – the same question that Buddhas have always been asked is being asked again and again here too. She asks, “Osho, I have recently been discovering the phoniness behind the smile I sometimes wear. Now I wonder about you – the same face, the same smile every morning, year in, year out. Is it for real?”

I can understand her question because whenever she is smiling she knows it is phony, and I am constantly smiling. Naturally, year in and year out, it must be phony; otherwise there must be some hidden cause for it which is not visible to you. Either it is phony or I have discovered something which I am not telling you, which I am hiding from you.

Even Ananda, Buddha’s closest disciple, asked one day when they were walking through a forest. It was autumn and leaves were falling from the trees and the whole forest was full of dry leaves and the wind was blowing those dry leaves about and there was a great sound of dry leaves moving here and there. They were passing through the forest and Ananda asked Buddha, “Bhagwan, one question persists. I have been repressing it, but I cannot repress it anymore. And today we are alone; the other followers have been left behind so nobody will know that I have asked you. I don’t want to ask it before others. My question is: Are you telling us all that you have discovered or are you still hiding something? – Because what you are telling us does not clarify your bliss, your peace. It seems you are hiding something.”

And Buddha laughed and he showed a fist to Ananda and asked, “Ananda, do you see what it is?”

He said, “Yes, I can see it is a fist – your hand is closed.”

Buddha said, “A Buddha is never like a fist.” He opened his hand and he said, “A Buddha is like an open hand – he hides nothing. There is nothing to hide! I have said everything, I am absolutely open.”

Ananda still insisted, “But we cannot explain your constant bliss – and I have been watching you day in, day out. In the day you are blissful; in the night when you go to sleep you are blissful. Your face seems so innocent even in sleep. Even in sleep you look so peaceful, so serene, so tranquil, so calm, as if not a dream is passing within you. You are always a still pool with no ripples. How is it possible? I have also tried, but I can do only a little bit and then I feel tired.

If you are trying you will feel tired.

Prabhu Maya, if you try to wear a smile you will feel tired because wearing a smile means making great effort. You have to practice it like Jimmy Carter… then it is not a smile at all; your mouth is simply open, your teeth are simply showing, that’s all.

I have heard that his wife has to close his mouth every night because once a rat went in his mouth. She phoned the doctor and the doctor said, “I am coming, but it will take time. Meanwhile you hang cheese in front of his mouth.”

When the doctor came he was very surprised: she was hanging up another rat! He said, “What are you doing? I told you to hang cheese in front of his mouth!”

She said, “That’s right, but a cat has entered behind the rat, so first the cat has to be taken out!”

Since then she has to close his mouth every night forcibly. It is dangerous! And the White House is an old building – it has many rats. In fact, who lives in the White House except rats? Who is interested in living in the White House? And because rats live there, cats also live there.

Meditation has no goal; it has no desire to attain anything. The dropping of the achieving mind is what meditation is all about. The understanding of desire and the understanding of the constant ambition for goals for achievement, for ambition brings you to a point, a point of tremendous awareness, when you can see clearly that all goals are false, that you need not go anywhere, that you need not attain anything to be blissful, that to be blissful is your nature. You are missing it because you are running here and there, and in that running, in that hustle and bustle, you go on forgetting yourself.

Stop running here and there and discover yourself. The discovery of yourself is not a goal. How can it be a goal? A goal needs a distance between you and itself.  The discovery of yourself is not a goal because you are already it! All that is needed is that you stop running here and there, you sit silently, you relax, you rest. Let the mind become calm and cool. When the mind is no longer running towards the past and towards the future, when all running has disappeared, when there is no mind as such, when you are simply there doing nothing just being, this is meditation. Suddenly you know who you are. Suddenly you are overflooded with bliss overwhelmed by light, by eternity. And then your life becomes a natural phenomenon. Then you need not wear smiles – a smile becomes natural. Then you need not pretend to be happy.

Only an unhappy person pretends to be happy. A happy person has no idea even that he is happy, he is simply happy. Others may think that he is happy; he has no idea. He is simply just being himself.

Yoka says:

Those who understand always act naturally.

Out of his understanding his actions are natural – his laughter is natural, his smile is natural, his whole life is natural. Your whole life is artificial, arbitrary. You are always trying to do something which is not really there. You are trying to love. Now, trying to love is to start in a wrong way from the very beginning. You are trying to be happy. How can you be happy? It is not a question of trying. You are making all kinds of efforts to be graceful. Now, grace is not an effort; if there is effort, there is no grace. Grace is an effortless beauty. The really graceful person knows no effort.

Yoka says:

Those who understand always act naturally. Most men live in impermanence, the unreal, but the man of Zen lives in the real.

You live in the phony, in the unreal, and when you come across a man of Zen – remember the man of Zen means the man of meditation – then there is a problem for you. Never try to understand the man of Zen according to your ideas; they are irrelevant. You can understand the man of Zen only through meditation. Learn the art of meditation, of being here and now – not for peace, not for bliss, not for anything. Effort without goal… that’s what meditation is: effort without goal.

Now, you only know effort when there is goal. Otherwise you will ask, ”This is illogical – effort without goal? Then why should we make an effort?” You have been making efforts for goals – what have you attained? It is time to try something else. Enough is enough!

Yoka says:

Effort without goal is quite different

Quite different from all that you have done up to now.

It opens the door of truth which leads to the garden of tathagata.

The word tathagata comes from the same word I used just a few moments ago: tathata. Buddha says, “I am peaceful because this is my suchness, my tathata.” Ask him anything and he always says, “This is my nature my tathata.” Slowly slowly it became known to his disciples that tathata is his most important word, his key word. Hence he is called tathagata: one who lives in suchness, one who lives now and knows no other time one who lives here and knows no other space.

If you can also be here and now,

It opens the door of truth which leads to the garden of tathagata. A true student of Zen ignores the branches and the leaves, and aims for the root.

What is the root of your misery? This goal-oriented mind. What is the root of your misery? This constant escape into goals. What is the root of your misery? Your mind is the root of your misery. But you never cut the root; you go on pruning the branches, you go on pruning the leaves. And remember, the more you prune the leaves and the branches, the thicker will be the foliage the tree will become stronger.

I have initiated more than one hundred thousand sannyasins and I have been teaching meditation for twenty years to millions of people, but not a single person has come with a root question to ask. They all come with “How to cut this branch?” and “How to cut this leaf?” Somebody says, I am suffering from anger. What should I do with it?” And somebody says, “I am suffering from too much greed. What should I do about it? How can I drop greed?” Somebody is suffering from jealousy and somebody is suffering from something else – and these are all branches and leaves. Nobody comes and says, “I am suffering from my mind. How should I get rid of it?” And that is the root question.

The day you see the root, things are very easy. Cut the root and the whole thing withers away of its own accord. Anger and greed and sexuality and jealousy and possessiveness – everything disappears.

But you don’t want to cut the root. You are living a very paradoxical life: you go on watering the root, you go on training and refining your mind, you go on making your mind more informed, more nourished, and on the other hand you go on desiring that there should be less anger, less ambition, less greed, less ego. “How to be humble?” you ask. And you go on giving water and you go on giving fertilizers to the roots and you go on cutting the leaves. You cut one leaf and three leaves will come in its place. The tree immediately accepts your challenge and instead of one it brings three leaves!

Hence a society that has been against sex becomes morbid, becomes sexually obsessed. It has happened in India; you will not find such a sex-obsessed country anywhere else for the simple reason that they have been cutting the leaf again and again. They are constantly cutting that leaf and the tree goes on growing more leaves. So sexuality has penetrated in such subtle ways that unless you are very alert you will not be able to see how it has penetrated in different ways, how the Indian mind has become more and more sexual than that of anybody else.

Do you know? India was the first country to think about sexual postures. The Kama Sutra was written in India – the first treatise on sexology. Sigmund Freud came after five thousand years. And Masters and Johnson, and other researchers into sex, are just breaking ground in the West. And they have not yet the sophistication which Vatsyayana’s Kama Sutra has – even the French are not as sophisticated. Vatsyayana has discovered almost everything about sex; nothing is left – his treatise is almost complete. And it is a “how to” book; it gives you all the techniques.

Why did India discover the Kama Sutra? The country which has been celebrating celibacy for centuries, which has been teaching and preaching celibacy, this country discovers the Kama Sutra. This country gives birth to a man like Vatsyayana. And then came Pundit Koka, another Vatsyayana. Now, modern pornography is nothing compared to Koka! Modern pornography is very ordinary. Pundit Koka is a perfect pornographer.

But why were these people born in India? And thousands of temples are devoted to the shivalinga; that is a phallic symbol. No other country worships phallic symbols except India. And it is both; it represents man and woman – both. If you go to a Shiva temple observe well. It represents the feminine sexual organ, it represents the masculine sexual organ, and it represents them in a state of meeting, in a state of orgasm. And this is worshipped.

People have completely forgotten what they are worshipping. If you look into Indian scriptures you will be surprised. You will find them so obsessed with sex: on the one hand continuously condemning, and on the other hand continuously, in subtle ways, depicting it. No other country has temples like Khajuraho, Konarak, Puri. Why? Why did this have to happen in India? For the simple reason that if you cut one leaf, three arrive. You cut three and nine leaves arrive. You cut nine – remember it – twenty-seven leaves will arrive. Nature believes in the magic number three. It believes in trinity.

This is not the way to transform a man, this is a way to deform humanity.

So on the surface the Indian tries to show that he is not interested in sex at all and deep down he is boiling with sexuality, he is constantly looking for sexuality. His whole mind is full of sexuality. If we could make windows in the heads of people, then Indian heads would be really worth seeing!

This was bound to happen. Whatsoever you repress, whatsoever you cut, if it is not cut at the roots, it is bound to grow, it is bound to grow in subtle ways. It may start asserting itself in morbid and perverted ways.

Yoko says:

A true student of Zen ignores the branches and the leaves, and aims for the root. Like the image of the moon reflected in a jade bowl I know the true beauty of the jewel of freedom, for myself and for others.

There is only one freedom: the freedom from all goals.

Prageeta, don’t ask me what the goal of meditation is. Try to understand why you are constantly hankering for goals, and in that very understanding meditation will arise in you, meditation will flower in you.

Meditation is not something that you can enforce, that you can practice; it is something very mysterious, tremendously vast. It comes only when your heart opens its doors to understand everything with no prejudice, with no a priori conclusions.

Being here with me, learn to be without goals. My sannyasins have to know perfectly well that we are not working for any goal at all. Our whole point is to live in the present moment so totally that all past and all future disappear. Who cares about that which is already gone? And who cares about that which has not come yet? Enough is the moment unto itself. And that is the way of meditation: enough is the moment unto itself. Living the moment in its totality, in joy, diving deep into it without holding anything back, is bliss. Getting rid of all goals – worldly and other-worldly, material and spiritual – one knows the taste of meditation. It is the taste of absolute freedom.

-Osho

Excerpt from Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter Ten

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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