This Very Place the Lotus Paradise – Osho

Man lives in illusion. Man lives through illusion. Man lives for illusion. In short, man lives because of illusion. Hence the fear of truth. Nobody wants truth, although everybody goes on seeking for it. That seeking is a deception, that seeking is an avoidance. To seek truth means to avoid truth.

It has to be understood – how the seeker goes on avoiding truth. To seek means to look far away, to seek means to look somewhere else, to seek means to go on a trip. To seek means to postpone – to seek means it will happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, it is not happening right now. It is not here, it is there. It is not this, it is that.

Man goes on living in illusion. But to live in illusion one needs to avoid truth, because if truth comes it will shatter all your illusions and all your so-called life and all your so-called love. Truth looks like a calamity. And Friedrich Nietzsche is right in a sense when he says: Please don’t give truth to humanity. Otherwise, you will destroy people’s joy, you will destroy their enthusiasm, you will destroy their gusto. Don’t give truth to humanity, otherwise all that they have will disappear. Because all that they have is a kind of dream. Don’t wake humanity, otherwise the dreams will be shattered. And they may be seeing beautiful dreams – or hoping to see, somewhere, sometime.

That’s why Christ is crucified, Socrates is poisoned, Buddha is stoned. They bring truth to people who have become almost illusory. They bring light to people who live in darkness and dream in darkness. And their dreams depend on darkness – when somebody brings light into the darkness the darkness disappears and the dreams and the desires.

One feels hurt by a Buddha or a Christ. The Christ looks not like the saviour but like the enemy. Otherwise, why should you crucify Christ? There is no other reason. The basic reason is: he uproots you, he shatters you. This has to be understood very deeply. And when you live in illusion, you search for truth. That is a double deception, so that you can go on telling yourself and consoling yourself that ‘I am searching. Look what great efforts I am making, how much I am putting my energy into the search – look!’

The search for truth arises out of your lie. It is the lie that puts you on the search for truth. It is a protection for the lie, it is the way of the lie to survive. It says: Go and search for truth. It is there far away in some distant land. You will have to travel, and the travel is long and the travel is not going to be finished soon. It will take lives and lives, it will take millennia, but go! Go on searching, one day you will find it. The lie gives you hope, it gives you a future, it gives you future dreams. Your God is somewhere far away. It has to be far away, because close by He will be dangerous. […]

But in your very destruction is the possibility of a new birth. Out of the ashes the new is going to be born. The myth of the phoenix is not a myth, it is a metaphor for man’s rebirth. You have to die first to be reborn. […]

But if you come close to me – and initiation means coming close, initiation means coming as close as possible – you will be burned. You will be burned to ashes. You will disappear.

But that is the only real hope. If you disappear as you are, you will be born as you really are. Only the disappearance of the lie that you have become can be the birth of truth. And truth is not far away, it is just hiding within you. And you are clinging to the lie. Your personality is the lie. And because of the personality you cannot move towards the essence. The personality is taught by the society; the society creates lies. Lies are very, very convenient. Lies function like lubricants, lies make life smooth. You see somebody and you smile. And the smile is a lie – because it is not coming from your heart, it is just painted there on the lips. You have created it, you have managed it, it is a kind of exercise of the lips. But it lubricates relationship, the other man starts smiling.

If you are true, if you are as you are, it will be difficult, the relationship will become difficult. Psychologists say that if every person starts revealing what is in his heart, friendship will disappear from the earth, love will disappear from the earth. That is true. It will be impossible to find friends if you simply say what is in your heart. If you say what is in your heart your beloved will leave you and your lover will leave you.

You go on keeping it in the heart, and you go on playing something which is not really there – you do something else, just the opposite. You may be angry but you smile. You may be hurt but you smile. You may be boiling within but you smile. You may want to scream but you go on singing. You may want to do something else but it is not feasible, it is not practical, it is not the right thing to do.

The society creates this persona, this mask around you, this personality.

There are three you’s in you. You-1 – that is the personality. The word personality comes from a Greek root ’persona’. In the Greek drama they used to use masks, and the voice would come from the mask. ’Sona’ means voice, sound, and ’per’ means through the mask. The real face you don’t know – who the real actor is. There is a mask, and through the mask comes the voice. It appears as if it is coming from the mask, and you don’t know the real face. The word ’personality’ is beautiful, it comes from Greek drama.

And that’s what has happened. In the Greek drama they had only one mask. You have many. Masks upon masks, like layers of an onion. If you put one mask away there is another, if you put that away there is another. And you can go on digging and digging and you will be surprised how many faces you are carrying. How many! For lives you have been collecting them. And they are all useful, because you have to change many times. You are talking to your servant, you cannot have the same face that you have when you talk to your boss. And they may be both present in the room: when you look at the servant you have to use one mask and when you look at your boss you have to use another mask. You continuously change. It has almost become automatic – you need not change, it changes itself. You look at the boss and you are smiling. And you look at the servant and the smile disappears and you are hard – as hard as the boss is to you. When he looks at his boss, he smiles.

In a single moment you may be changing your face many times. One has to be very, very alert to know how many faces one has. Innumerable. They cannot be counted.

This is your first you, the false you. Or call it the ego. It has been given to you by the society, it is a gift from the society – from the politician and the priest and the parent and the pedagogue. They have given you many faces just to make your life smooth. They have taken away your truth, they have given you a substitute. And because of these substitute faces you don’t know who you are. You can’t know, because the faces change so fast and they are so many, you cannot trust yourself. You don’t know exactly which face is yours. In fact none of these faces is yours.

And the Zen people say: Unless you know your original face you will not know what Buddha is. Because Buddha is your original face. You were born as a Buddha and you are living a lie.

This social gift has to be dropped. That is the meaning of sannyas, initiation. You are a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan, that face has to be dropped. Because it is not your own face – it has been given to you by others, you have been conditioned for it. And you have not even been asked, you have not even been requested. It has been imposed forcibly, violently.

All parents are violent and all educational systems are violent. Because they don’t take any note of you. They have a-priori ideas, they already know what is right. And they put the ‘right’ on you. You squirm, you scream inside, but you are helpless. A child is so helpless and so delicate, he can be molded in any way. And that’s what the society does. Before the child becomes strong enough it is already crippled in a thousand and one ways. Paralyzed, poisoned.

The day you want to become religious you will have to drop religions. The day you want to relate to God you will have to drop all ideologies about God. The day you want to know who you are, you will have to drop all the answers that have been given to you. All that is borrowed has to be burnt.

That’s why Zen has been defined as: ‘Direct pointing to the human heart. Seeing the nature and becoming Buddha. Not standing on letters. A separate transmission outside the scriptures.’ A separate transmission outside the scriptures: the Koran cannot give it to you, neither can the Dhammapada nor the Bible nor the Talmud nor the Gita. No scripture can give it to you. And if you believe in the scripture you will go on missing truth.

Truth is in you. It has to be encountered there. ‘Seeing the nature and becoming Buddha. Direct pointing to the human heart.’ You are not to go anywhere. And wherever you go you will remain the same, so what is the point? You can go to the Himalayas; it is not going to change anything. You will carry all that you have with you. All that you have become, all that you have been made, you will carry all your artificiality. Your synthetic faces, your borrowed knowledge, your scriptures, will go on clinging inside you. Even sitting in a cave in the Himalayas alone you will not be alone. The teachers will be there around you, and the priests and the politicians and the parents and the whole society. It may not be so visible but it will be there inside you crowding you. And you will remain a Hindu there or a Christian or a Mohammedan. And you will go on repeating words like parrots. It will not change, it cannot change. […]

Wherever you go you will be yourself. Even in Heaven or in the Himalayas. You cannot be otherwise. The world is not outside you; you are the world. So wherever you go you take your world with you.

The real change has not to be of place, the real change has not to be outside, the real change has to be inner. And what do I mean by real change? I don’t mean that you have to improve upon yourself, because improvement is again a lie. Improvement means you will go on polishing your personality. You can make it immensely beautiful – but remember, the more beautiful it is, the more dangerous, because the more difficult it will be to drop it.

That’s why it happens that sometimes a sinner becomes a saint. But your so-called respectable people never become. They cannot become – they have such valuable person-alities, so much decorated, polished, and they have put so much investment in the personality, their whole life has been a kind of polishing. Now it is too costly to drop those beautiful personalities. A sinner can drop it, he has no investment in it. In fact he is fed-up with it, it is so ugly. But how can a respectable person drop it so easily? It has been paying him so well, it has been such a profit. It has been making him more and more respected, he is going higher and higher, he is reaching the pinnacle of success. It is very difficult for him to stop going on this ladder of success. It is a non-ending ladder, you can go on and on for ever. […]

When you are succeeding in the world it is difficult to stop. When you are becoming richer it is difficult to stop, when you are becoming famous it is difficult to stop. The more refined personality you have, the more it clings to you.

So I am not saying that you have to improve upon yourself. All the great masters, from Buddha to Hakuin, nobody has said to improve. Beware of the so-called ’improvement books’. The American market is full of those books: beware. Because improvement is not going to lead you anywhere. It is not a question of improvement, because by improvement the lie will be improved. The personality will be improved – will become more polished, will become more subtle, will become more valuable, will become more precious – but that is not the transformation. The transformation comes not by improvement but by dropping the personality utterly.

The lie cannot become the truth. There is no way to improve upon the lie so that it becomes the truth. It will remain the lie. It will look more and more like the truth but it will remain the lie. And the more it looks like the truth, the more you will be engrossed in it, rooted in it. The lie can look so much like the truth that you can even become oblivious of the fact that it is a lie.

The lie tells you: Search for the truth. Improve your character, your personality. Search for the truth, become this, become that. The lie goes on giving you new programs: Do this, and then everything will be good and you will be happy for ever. Do this, do that. This has failed? Don’t be worried, I have other plans for you. The lie goes on giving you plans, and you go on moving in those plans and wasting your life.

In fact the search for truth also comes out of the lie. That will be hard to understand but it has to be understood. The search for truth comes from the lie itself. It is the lie’s way to protect itself – it gives you even the search for truth, now how can you be angry with your personality? And how can you call it a lie? It propels you, it enforces you, it pushes you to search for truth.

But the search means going away. And truth is here, and the lie pushes you to go there. And truth is now, and the lie says ‘then’ and ‘there’. The lie always speaks either of the past or of the future, it never speaks of the present. And the truth is the present. This very moment! It is herenow. That’s what Hakuin means when he says:

This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

So the first ‘you’ is the lie, the act. The pseudo-personality that surrounds you. The public face, the phoniness. It is a fraud. The society has imposed it upon you and you have become a cooperator with it. You have to drop your cooperation with the social lie. Because only when you are utterly nude are you yourself. All clothes are social. All ideas and all identities that you think you are, are social – given by others. They have their motives to give those ideas to you. It is subtle exploitation.

The real exploitation is not economic or political, the real exploitation is psychological. That’s why all the revolutions up to now have been failures. Hitherto, no revolution has succeeded. The reason? Because they have not looked at the deepest exploitation which is psychological. They only go on changing superficial things. A capitalist society becomes communist, but it makes no difference. A democracy becomes dictatorial, a dictatorial society becomes democratic, it makes no difference. These are just superficial changes, like a whitewash, but the structure remains deep down the same.

What is the psychological exploitation? The psychological exploitation is that nobody is allowed to be himself. That nobody is accepted as himself or herself. That nobody is respected. How can you respect people if you don’t accept them as they are? If you impose things upon them and then you respect, you respect your own impositions. You don’t respect them as they are, you don’t respect their nudity. You don’t respect their naturalness, you don’t respect their spontaneity, you don’t respect their real smiles and real tears. You respect only phoniness, pretensions, actions. Their actings you respect.

This you-1 has to be utterly dropped. Freud helped much to make humanity aware of the pseudoness of personality, of the conscious mind. His revolution ii far deeper than the revolution of Marx, his revolution is far deeper than any other revolution. It goes deep, although it does not go far enough. It reaches to the second you, you-2. It is the repressed you, instinctive you, unconscious you. It is all that the society has not allowed, it is all that the society has forced inside your being and locked in there. It comes only in your dreams, it comes only in metaphors, it comes only when you are drunk, it comes only when you are no more in control. Otherwise, it remains far away from you. And it is more authentic, it is not phony.

Freud has done much to make man aware of it. And the humanistic psychologies and particularly growth groups, encounter and others, have helped tremendously to make you aware of all that is screaming inside you, all that has been repressed, crushed. And that is your vital part. That is your real life, natural life. Religions have condemned it as your animal part, they have condemned it as the source of sin. It is not the source of sin; it is the source of life. And it is not lower than the conscious. It is deeper than the conscious, certainly, but not lower than the conscious.

And nothing is wrong if it is animal. Animals are beautiful, so are trees. They still live naked in their utter simplicity. They have not yet been destroyed by the priests and the politicians, they are yet part of God. Only man has gone astray. Man is the only abnormal animal on the earth – otherwise all animals are simply normal. Hence the joy, the beauty, the health. Hence the vitality. Have you not seen it? When a bird is on the wing have you not felt jealous? Have you not seen it in a deer running fast into the forest? Have you not felt jealous of the vitality, of the sheer joy of energy?

Children: have you not felt jealous? Maybe because you feel so jealous, that’s why you go on condemning childishness. You go on condemning. Montague is right when he says that instead of telling people ‘Don’t be childish’ we should start telling people ‘Don’t be adultish’. He is right, I agree. A child is beautiful, the adult is what ugliness is. He is no more a flow; he is blocked in many ways. He is frozen, he is dull and dead. He has lost zest, he has lost enthusiasm, he is simply dragging. He is bored, he has no sense of mystery. He never feels surprised, he has forgotten the language of wonder. Mystery has disappeared for him. He has explanations, mystery is no more there. Hence he has lost poetry and the dance and all that is valuable and all that gives meaning and significance to life, all that gives flavor to life.

This second ‘you’ is far more valuable than the first. That is where I am against all the religions, that is where I am against all the priests, because they cling to the first, the superficial most. Go to the second. But the second is not the end – that is where Freud falls short. And that is where humanistic psychology also falls short – goes a little deeper than Freud but still does not go deep enough to find the third.

There is a third ‘you’, you-3. The real you, the original face, which is beyond you-1 and you-2, both. The transcendental. The Buddhahood. It is undivided pure consciousness. The first you is social, the second you is natural, the third you is divine. Or, if you want to use Hakuin’s terms, the first you is the physical body, the second you is the bliss body, and the third you is the essential body. These are the three bodies of Buddha.

And remember, I am not saying that the first is not at all useful. If the third exists then the first can be used beautifully. If the third exists, the second can be used beautifully. But only if the third exists. If the center functions well then the periphery too is okay, then the circumference too is okay. But without the center, only the circumference, is a kind of death.

That’s what has happened to man. That’s why in the West so many thinkers think that life is meaningless. It is not. It is only because you have lost touch with your source from where meaning arises.

It is as if a tree has lost its contact with its own roots. Now no flowers come. Now the foliage starts disappearing, the leaves fall and no new leaves arrive. And the juice stops flowing, the sap no more exists. The tree becomes dead, the tree is dying.

And the tree may start philosophizing, the tree may become existentialist, a Sartre or somebody else, and the tree may start saying that there are no flowers in life. That life has no flowers, that there is no fragrance, that there are no more any birds. And the tree may even start saying that it has been always so, and the ancients were only befooling themselves that there are flowers – they were imagining. ‘It has always been so, the spring has never come, people have only been fantasizing. These Buddhas and these Jinas, they have been simply imagining, fantasizing, that flowers bloom and there is great joy and birds come and sunlight. There is nothing. All is darkness, all is accidental, and there is no meaning.’ The tree can say it.

And the real thing is not that there is no meaning, not that there are no more flowers, not that flowers don’t exist, not that fragrance is fantasy, but simply that the tree has lost contact with its own roots.

Unless you are rooted in your Buddhahood you will not bloom. You will not sing, you will not know what celebration is. And how can you know God if you don’t know celebration? If you have forgotten how to dance how can you pray? If you have forgotten how to sing and how to love then God is dead. Not that God is dead. God is dead in you, only in you. Your tree is dry, the sap has disappeared. You will have to find roots again. Where to find these roots? Roots have to be found here and now. That is the whole message of Hakuin’s song of meditation. Before we enter into the song, a few things.

A man can seem to be the sum total of his days, of all that he does from the beginning to the end. But this is not the true man. What you do is just on the periphery. What you feel goes a little deeper. What you are is really at the roots. A man is not the sum total of his acts. A politician IS the sum total of his acts, because he lives only on the circumference. That’s why it is easy to write history about the politicians. It is difficult to write history about Buddhas, because they live at such depth where we cannot reach them. They live in such eternity that time takes no record of them. They exist in such a transcendental way that they leave no traces on the earth. They are like birds in the sky: they fly but no footprints are left.

Politicians leave footprints. They live in the mud, in the dirt, they drag themselves in the mundane reality. They leave many footprints; they leave much bloodshed behind them. A Buddha exists as if he has never existed. He exists so absently, he exists like a space, empty space.

Remember, a man is not a sum total of his actions. And if he is, he is not yet a man; he is just a fiction, he is living in illusion. You are not what you do. So don’t be too much concerned with your doing, start going deeper into being. That’s why all meditations are basically a way to sit silently – so silently that all action stops. On the physical plane, on the mental plane, action stops, thought stops. Because thought is also action on the mental plane – you are doing something. When all doing disappears and you are simply there, just there, a presence, then the meditation has happened.

Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

That is the meaning of the word ‘zazen’. ‘Za’ means sitting doing nothing. And ‘zen’ means: in that sitting when you are not doing anything you fall upon yourself, you encounter yourself, you see yourself. That is zen, dhyana, meditation. The word ‘zazen’ is beautiful. ’Sitting and looking into yourself’ – that is the meaning of it.

Man is more than the sum total of his acts, his thoughts, his feelings. Behind the acts, thoughts and feelings there is another man – that which is, that which essentially IS. But many seldom if ever show themselves in their essential being. Very few ever reach to that point of their essential being-hood, to their very ground of being. Those who reach, only they know that life is a benediction. A sheer joy, eternal celebration.

But if you remain on the surface, you know only misery, nothing else. Agony, nothing else. Let me say it in this way: You-1 knows only misery and agony. You-3 knows ecstasy of being and joy of being. And You-2 neither knows ecstasy nor knows agony. It knows pleasure/pain, it is just in the middle. Ecstasy is exceeding joy without any bounds to it, infinite joy. Agony is infinite misery, no bounds to it. Just between the two exists the animal and the child. It knows play, it knows pleasure/pain. It knows neither agony nor ecstasy. It does not know infinity.

If the child moves towards the first, which society forces him to do, he will know agony. If he finds somebody who can help to move him towards the third, he will know ecstasy. To find a master is nothing but to find a man who has known his essential being, so that he can help you to go towards your own essential being.

A master is not to be followed, a master is not to be imitated, a master is only to be understood. In that very understanding is the revolution.

A man’s true life is the way in which he puts off the lie imposed by others on him. Stripped, naked, natural, he is what he is. This is a matter of being, and not of becoming. The lie cannot become the truth, the personality cannot become your soul. There is no way to make the non-essential the essential. The non-essential remains non-essential and the essential remains essential, they are not convertible. And striving towards truth is nothing but creating more confusion. The truth has not to be achieved. It cannot be achieved, it is already the case. Only the lie has to be dropped.

All aims and ends and ideals and goals and ideologies, religions and systems of improvement and betterment, are lies. Beware of them. Recognize the fact that as you are, you are a lie. Manipulated, cultivated, by others. Striving after truth is a distraction and a postponement. It is the lie’s way to hide. See the lie, look deep into the lie of your personality. Because to see the lie is to cease to lie. No longer to lie is to seek no more for any truth – there is no need. The moment the lie disappears, truth is there in all its beauty and radiance. In the seeing of the lie it disappears and what is left is the truth.

To see the lie of striving after truth is to fall into an eternal silence. A stillness comes when you see the lie of your personality. There is nothing more to do. Hence the stillness – what can you do?

Just the other night, a sannyasin was saying ‘What can I do? Whatsoever I do, I fail. What can I do?’ There is nothing really to be done. Doing is not going to help, doing will be again the same rut. Only being is going to transform you, not doing. So when one fails again and again and again, only then the insight arises that ‘Doing is never going to lead me anywhere.’ The day that sword has hit you – that ‘Doing is not going to lead me anywhere’ – what will you do? Nothing is left to do.

In your utter helplessness, the surrender. And silence and stillness. This is the silence that transforms – not the silence that somehow you impose upon yourself by repeating a mantra or doing TM; that is not the real silence, that is a created silence. Any silence that you manage to create will belong to the personality. It will not be of much use, it will not go deeper than that – how can your doing go deeper than you? When you have utterly failed, when you have seen your ultimate failure and you have seen that there is no possibility and no hope for you to succeed, what will you do in that silence? You will just be there. All has stopped. The mind no more spins any thoughts.

And in that very moment the door opens. And that silence is being, that silence is Buddha.

This stillness is not the opposite of action, it is not brought about by will or by withdrawal from the world. One cannot withdraw from the world; one is the world. The want to escape keeps us imprisoned – because the wish to be without desire is still desire, and the will to be still is disturbance. You cannot will your silence, will is the base of all disturbance. Will has to disappear. You can only see into the futility of it. Doing, willing, improving, bettering yourself, achieving, reaching – all these words are just projections of the lie.

When the lie has been seen in its totality . . . the illumination, the enlightenment.

Now Hakuin’s sutras.

The pure land paradise is not far.

Zen people call the state of no-mind ‘the pure land paradise’. So please don’t interpret it in Christian ways. Paradise, to a Christian, is somewhere there in the sky. For a Buddhist, particularly for a man like Hakuin, it is the state of no-mind.

The pure land paradise is not far.

Stop thinking and you are there. And in fact that is the Biblical meaning of the parable of Adam’s expulsion. He has not been expelled, there is nobody to expel him. He has only eaten the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge – he has become a mind. The more knowledge you accumulate, the more of a mind you become. Adam has become knowledgeable, he has become a mind, and that is the expulsion from the paradise. If he can drop his mind he will suddenly find himself again in the paradise, and he will also find that he has been always there. Even when he was thinking he had lost it, it was not lost. It was only forgotten. He became too much obsessed with knowledge, that’s why it was forgotten.

The day the child starts becoming knowledgeable he loses paradise. Each Adam loses it again and again. And don’t think that it happened once in history, and we are suffering for that ancient Adam. No. It has happened to our life – to each life, to each child. For a few months the child lives in the Garden of Eden. He knows nothing. Without knowing, he is a no-mind – he simply exists moment to moment, he has no worries. When he feels hungry, he cries, when he feels satisfied, he falls asleep. When he is happy, he smiles, when he is angry he screams. But he has no ideas about anything. He neither praises a smile nor condemns screaming. He neither feels shy about crying and weeping nor feels very good that he has been a good boy today. He knows nothing about all this nonsense. He knows nothing good, nothing bad, he makes no distinctions. He lives utterly one with reality. And whatsoever happens, happens; there is no rejection.

But by and by he will become knowledgeable, he will start learning things. The day he starts learning things he is trapped by the snake. Now he has started eating the fruit of the tree, sooner or later the paradise will disappear. Beaches will be there but no more beautiful. Butterflies will be still floating in the wind but for the child they don’t exist anymore. What exists is arithmetic, geography, history. Flowers still bloom but they don’t bloom for the child any more, he is too much into his homework. Once in a while still he hears the bird singing on the window, but only once in a while. And the whole society tries to drag him away from that.

The teacher will say ‘Look here at the blackboard! What are you doing there? Concentrate on me!’ The child was concentrating. The birdcall was so beautiful outside the window, the child was in concentration, utter concentration. This teacher has distracted him; now he has to look at the blackboard. And there is nothing to look at it, just a blackboard. But by and by we will manage to distract the child.

The expulsion is not by God but by the society. The society drags each Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. And once you have become too much of the head it is very difficult to enter back into that purity, that pure land paradise. Zen masters say, just like Jesus said: Unless you are like small children you will not enter into the kingdom of God.

A Christian missionary went to a Zen master and started reading the Sermon on the Mount. The Zen master listened and he said ‘Whosoever has said it must be very close to Buddhahood.’ The Zen master had never heard about Christ, he had never read the Bible, but he said ‘Whosoever has said it must be very close to Buddhahood.’ And when the missionary read ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God’ the Zen master said ‘Now stop. Now there is no more to read. Now there is no need to read any more. Whosoever has said it is a Buddha.’

‘Poor in spirit’ means empty of mind. ‘Poor in spirit’ means empty – all thoughts have disappeared. Then you are again back in paradise.

The pure land paradise is not far.

It is just there! Beating in your heart. Your each breath goes and touches the pure land paradise, each moment. You live from it. Every night when you fall asleep and dreams disappear, you are in it again. That’s why in the morning you feel so fresh, again young, rejuvenated. You have been on a short trip to the pure land paradise.

When in reverence this truth is heard even once,
He who praises it and gladly embraces it
Has merit without end.

Hakuin says ‘When in reverence this truth is heard even once.’ The question is not of hearing the truth many times. If you hear even once, if you have understood it even for a single moment in deep trust and reverence, it is yours forever. Doubt distracts. Doubt does not allow you to understand, doubt does not allow you to see it. Listen in reverence, in love. Be en rapport.

That is the way to be with a master – be en rapport, be bridged. But small things, very small things, distract you. Very small things which mean nothing – but you are distracted by those small things, and doubt arises. And doubt becomes a cloud and you become blind.

. . . In reverence this truth is heard even once,

It is enough.

How much more he who turns within . . .

Even hearing the truth is a deliverance. ‘How much more he who turns within’ – who not only hears it but looks within and sees it . . .

And confirms directly his own nature,
That his own nature is no-nature . . .

When you look deep into yourself you will not find anything there obstructing your vision. It is pure space. Your nature is no-nature. It is emptiness, sunyata.

Such has transcended vain words.

Only when you look into your nature . . . and find nothing. You only find an empty infinity there. Words will not have any meaning any more, you have transcended words. You have looked into your nature and now you know no word can explain it, no word can define it, no word can even indicate it. All scriptures become meaningless.

The gate opens, and cause and effect are one . . .

When you look inside yourself and there is no content, and the no-nature has been felt and you have seen your inner sky . . .

The gate opens, and cause and effect are one.

And the source and the goal are one. Now you are not to go anywhere, you have come to your source. And to be at the source is to be at the goal. To be at the beginning is to be at the end.

Straight runs the way – not two, not three.
Taking as form the form of no-form,
Going or returning, he is ever at home.

And once you have seen the form of no-form, once you have seen the thought of no-thought, once you have seen the nature of no-nature, you are a totally new being. What happens . . .

Going or returning, he is ever at home.

Then wherever you are, you are at home. In the prison you are at home, in the temple you are at home, in the shop you are at home, in the Himalayas you are at home, in the marketplace you are at home. You are simply at home. once you have seen your center, your essential being, your Buddhahood, has been glimpsed. Then wherever you are you are at home, because all is your home. Then there is no need to leave the world.

Zen people are not against the world. They say: To be against the world is still to be attached to the world. To go to the opposite extreme is not transformation. When you no more choose between two extremes, you settle in the middle. And the middle is the way.

Straight runs the way – not two, not three.

It is a simple way – one.

Going or returning, he is ever at home.
Taking as thought the thought of no-thought,
Singing and dancing, all is the voice of truth.

Then whatsoever you do, you express truth. Whatsoever. Eating, you express truth. Walking, you express truth. When a Zen master hits a disciple he is expressing truth. When Kabir sings he is expressing truth, when Meera dances she is expressing truth. Jesus expresses truth dying on the cross, and Krishna expresses truth singing on his flute. Whatsoever you do, there is no way to avoid expressing truth. You are truth. The lie has been dropped.

Singing and dancing, all is the voice of truth.
Wide is the heaven of boundless samadhi,
Radiant the full moon of fourfold wisdom.
What remains to be sought?
Nirvana is clear before him,
This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

Remember the word ‘This’.

This very place the lotus paradise

And once you have known your source, wherever you are, you are in the lotus paradise.

This very place the lotus paradise,
And this very body the buddha.

And whatsoever you do – whatsoever, without any conditions – is the expression of truth.

I have heard a beautiful story about Roshi Taji, a great Zen master.

As Roshi Taji approached death, his senior disciples assembled at his bedside. One of them, remembering the roshi was fond of a certain kind of cake, had spent half a day searching the pastry shops of Tokyo for this confection which he now presented to Roshi Taji. With a wan smile the dying roshi accepted a piece of the cake and slowly began munching it. As the roshi grew weaker, his disciples leaned close and inquired whether he had any final words for them.

‘Yes’ the roshi replied.

The disciples leaned forward eagerly. ‘Please tell us!’

‘My, but this cake is delicious!’ And with that he died.

Meditate over it. What a man! What manner of man! A Buddha. Each act and each word and each gesture becomes the expression of truth. In that moment only that was true, the taste of the cake. In that moment anything else would have been false, untrue. If he had talked about God, that would not have been true. If he had talked about nirvana, that would not have been true. In that moment the taste on his tongue was still alive. In that moment that was his authentic gesture.

He said ‘My, but this cake is delicious.’ This cake.

This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

Zen people talk about four wisdoms.

Wide is the heaven of boundless samadhi,
Radiant the full moon of the fourfold wisdom.

The first wisdom is called ‘the wisdom of the mirror’. When there is no thought you become a mirror. This is the first wisdom, becoming like a mirror. The second wisdom is called ‘the wisdom of sameness’. When you become a mirror without any thought, all distinctions in the world disappear. Then it is all one. Then the rose and the bird and the earth and the sky and the sea and the sand and the sun are all one, it is one energy.

When you are a mirror – the first wisdom – the second wisdom arises out of the first: the wisdom of sameness. Duality disappears. And out of the second arises the third wisdom, the wisdom of spiritual vision. When you have seen that all over the world it is one energy, then only can you see inside yourself that you are also that energy. Then the seer and the seen become one, the observer and the observed become one. That is the third wisdom, the wisdom of spiritual vision. Buddha has a special word for it, he calls it dhamma chakkhu – the eye for truth, or the truth-eye. The spiritual vision opens – what yogis call ‘the third eye’. What Christ also calls ‘the one eye’, when two eyes become one. Dhamma chakkhu opens, the wisdom of spiritual vision is attained.

And out of the third arises the fourth, the wisdom of perfection. When you have seen that all is the same, and when you have looked within and seen that without and within are also the same, you have become perfect. In fact, to say that you have become perfect is not true, you have always been perfect. Now it is revealed to you – it is only a revelation. In that moment one knows . . .

This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Discourse #6

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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All Beings are from the Very Beginning Buddhas – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘So: here and now.’

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

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

Think over it, meditate over it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now this song of Hakuin.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

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

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

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

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

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

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

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

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

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

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

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

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have heard:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Discourse #1

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.

All Moons in the One Moon

I cannot understand the philosophy of Zen. What should I do to understand it?

Baula, Zen is not a philosophy at all. To approach Zen as if it were a philosophy is to start in a wrong way from the very beginning. A philosophy is something of the mind; Zen is totally beyond the mind. Zen is the process of going above the mind, far away from the mind; it is the process of transcendence, of surpassing the mind. You cannot understand it by the mind; mind has no function in it.

Zen is a state of no-mind; that has to be remembered. It is not Vedanta. Vedanta is a philosophy; you can understand it perfectly well. Zen is not even Buddhism; Buddhism is also a philosophy.

Zen is a very rare flowering – it is one of the strangest things that has happened in the history of consciousness – it is the meeting of Buddha’s experience and Lao Tzu’s experience. Buddha, after all, was part of the Indian heritage: he spoke the language of philosophy; he is perfectly clear, you can understand him. In fact, he avoided all metaphysical questions; he was very simple, clear, logical. But his experience was not of the mind. He was trying to destroy your philosophy by providing you with a negative philosophy. Just as you can take out a thorn from your foot with another thorn, Buddha’s effort was to take out the philosophy from your mind with another philosophy. Once the first thorn has been taken out both thorns can be thrown away and you will be beyond mind.

But when Buddha’s teachings reached China a tremendously beautiful thing happened: a crossbreeding happened. In China, Lao Tzu has given his experience of Tao in a totally non-philosophical way, in a very absurd way, in a very illogical way. But when the Buddhist meditators, Buddhist mystics, met the Taoist mystics they immediately could understand each other heart to heart, not mind to mind. They could feel the same vibe they could see that the same inner world had opened they could smell the same fragrance. And they came closer, and by their coming closer, by their meetings and mergings with each other, something new started growing up; that is Zen. It has both the beauty of Buddha and the beauty of Lao Tzu; it is the child of both. Such a meeting has never happened before or since.

Zen is neither Taoist nor Buddhist; it is both and neither. Hence the traditional Buddhists reject Zen and the traditional Taoists also reject Zen. For the traditional Buddhist it is absurd, for the traditional Taoist it is too philosophical, but to those who are really interested in meditation, Zen is an experience. It is neither absurd nor philosophical because both are terms of the mind; it is something transcendental.

The word “zen” comes from dhyan. Buddha used a certain language, a local language of his times, Pali. In Pali dhyan is pronounced “jhan”; it is from jhan that “zen” has arisen. The word comes from jhan; jhan comes from the Sanskrit dhyan.

To understand Zen you need not make a philosophical effort; you have to go deep into meditation. And what is meditation all about? Meditation is a jump from the mind into no-mind, from thoughts to no-thought. Mind means thinking, no-mind means pure awareness. One simply is aware. Only then, Baula, will you be able to understand Zen – through experience, not through any intellectual effort.

Yoka says:

There is one nature, perfect and penetrative, present in all natures, one reality which includes all, comprising all realities in itself. The one moon is reflected wherever there is water. And all moons in water are comprised in the one moon.

The moment you move beyond the mind, suddenly you have moved from the many to the one. Minds are many, consciousness is one. On the circumference we are different, at the center we are one. That one can be called Brahma, can be called God, the absolute, the truth, nirvana.

Zen calls it no-mind for a particular reason. If you call it God, then people start thinking in terms of a person, they start imagining a person – of course the supreme most person, but their idea of personality is derived from human personality; it is a projection, it is not truth.

The Bible says God created man in his own image; that is not true. Man has created God in his own image; that is far more true. The God that we have created is our idea, it is anthropocentric. If horses were philosophers, then God could not be a man, then God would be a supreme horse.

If donkeys were philosophers – and who knows? – they may be; they look very serious, always brooding, as if in deep contemplation, thinking of great things . . .  Watch a donkey and you will be certainly aware of this simple fact that donkeys are great thinkers. They are constantly somewhere else far away, involved in great esoteric things; that’s why people think they are fools. They are not fools; they are philosophers. If donkeys think, if they are theologians, theosophists, philosophers, then God will be a supreme donkey. God cannot be a man, that’s impossible. They cannot imagine God to be a man.

Hence Zen avoids any anthropocentric terminologies, any words that can become associated with our circumference. It does not call God Brahma because that is a philosophical term; maybe the best philosophical term, but even the best philosophical term is still philosophy, and philosophy is something of the mind – you can think about Brahma.

In India we have been thinking about Brahma for centuries and there are as many interpretations of Brahma as there have been philosophers. Shankara interprets it in one way, Nimbarka in another, Ramanuja still in a different way, and so on and so forth. Not even two philosophers agree and the dispute still continues. Philosophers go on quarreling. They never come to any conclusions, they cannot, because mind has no capacity to conclude about the One.

Even Shankara, the greatest non-dualist, remains a dualist deep down. He talks about Brahma, the One, but to talk about the One he has to bring in maya, illusion; then One becomes two. If you want to talk about the real you will have to talk about the unreal; that is a necessity, an absolute necessity. Without talking about the unreal you cannot talk about the real; without the unreal the real loses all meaning. Human languages are dualistic, hence Shankara got into trouble, great trouble. He tried to sort it out but he could not, and for one thousand years many philosophers who have followed Shankara have tried to find a way out, but they have not been able to. Even if you say that maya means illusion, maya means that which does not exist, you have to talk about it. To define Brahma, you have to use illusion as a support, otherwise who will define it? How will you define it? The One remains indefinable; the One needs something else to define it. So, although the philosophy of Shankara is thought to be non-dualist, it is not. No philosophy can be non-dualist.

Zen is neither dualist nor non-dualist; it is not a philosophy at all. It simply says, “Move from the mind into the no-mind and see.” It believes in seeing.

Yoka says:

The spirit operates naturally through the organs of sense. Thus, the objective world is perceived. This dualism mists the mirror. But when the haze is removed, the light shines forth. Thus, when each individual spirit and the objective world are forgotten and emptied suchness affirms truth.

When all words are gone, your mirror has no more dust on it, no more mist on it. When you look at things you collect impressions; that is the dust – that’s what you call thinking. When you see a rose flower, the rose flower is outside you but it makes a reflection inside you. The rose flower will fade away by the evening, the petals will fall and disappear, but the inner rose flower, the rose that has become imprinted in your memory will continue. It will remain forever with you, you can always remember it. And if you are a sensitive, aesthetic, artistic person you can visualize it again and again; you can imagine it as if it is true. In fact, if you try you will be surprised: you can even experience the fragrance of the rose again. If you create the whole situation in your imagination: the garden, the green grass, the dew on the grass, and you are walking with naked feet on the grass . . . and the sweet smell of the earth and the cool air and the birds singing; you just create the whole atmosphere… and then suddenly you discover a beautiful rose flower hidden behind a bush . . . and the fragrance! And then suddenly you will see: the fragrance has come back to you; the imprint is there. The outer rose is gone, but the inner rose is alive.

Now scientists, particularly brain experts, have discovered that if certain spots in the brain are touched by electrodes, certain memories become immediately active. Those memories are Lying there deep frozen; touched by the electrode they start becoming alive. A very strange experience. If your brain is touched by an electrode at the point where the rose memory is lying deep, suddenly you will forget the present; you will be again in the same garden. Maybe twenty years have passed, but it will be again as real as if you were in the garden again: the same smell, the same wind, the same coolness, the same flower. And if the electrode is taken out, the memory disappears. Put the electrode back again in the same spot and again the memory starts revealing itself.

And one thing more has been discovered: you can do it thousands of times. Again and again the same memory comes, and again and again the memory repeats itself from the very beginning. The moment you remove the electrode it seems that there is an automatic rewinding; the memory coils back into the same original state. Touch it again with the electrode and as the electricity starts flowing the memory begins from the beginning: you are entering the garden again . . . and the same sequence of events. And this can be done thousands of times. In fact, scientists say there is no limit to it; it can be done millions of times.

The outer reality goes on changing, but the mind goes on collecting dust. Your consciousness is a mirror, and you are carrying so much dust from this life and from other lives – such a thick layer of dust! That’s why you cannot understand Zen: because you cannot understand yourself, because you cannot understand life, because you cannot understand existence. Zen is not philosophy; it is existential, not philosophical.

 . . . When the haze is removed, says Yoka, the light shines forth. Thus when each individual spirit and the objective world are forgotten and emptied suchness affirms truth.

When all is emptied – you have forgotten all the memories, you have forgotten even your individual existence, your separate existence; you are no more an island, you have melted into the whole; you are not like an ice cube floating in the water, you have become water itself – this is what Zen is. Then suddenly truth is revealed.

Vision is clear, says Yoka.

These four lines are of tremendous importance.

Vision is clear. But there are no objects to see. There is no person. There is no buddha.

This is the ultimate declaration of Zen. This is the lion’s roar!

Vision is clear.

This is a strange phenomenon. When there are objects to see, your vision is not clear because those objects are making impressions on you. Your vision cannot be clear; it is full of mist. When vision is clear, there are no objects at all, just clarity, just pure consciousness with no content, just seeing and nothing to see, just watchfulness and nothing to watch. A pure observer, a pure witness and nothing to witness.

There is no person.

And when there is nothing to witness, nothing to see, you cannot exist as a separate entity. The “In can exist only with the “thou”; if the “thou” disappears, the “I” disappears. They are part of each other, they are always together like two sides of a coin; you cannot say ”one.” This is what many stupid religious people go on doing: they go on saying to God, “I am not. Thou art.” That is sheer stupidity. In the very saying you are, otherwise who is saying “Thou art”?

There is a famous poem of Jalaluddin Rumi; I agree with him up to a point and then my disagreement starts. On the really essential point I cannot agree with him. My feeling is he must have written that poem before he became enlightened. He was an enlightened man, but the poem is decisive – it must have been written before he became enlightened. The poem is beautiful, because sometimes poets say things almost like seers, but remember they are almost like seers. There is bound to be some flaw, it can’t be flawless. You may not be able to find the flaw.

Listen to the story of the poem.

Jalaluddin says:

A lover comes to his beloved’s home, knocks on the door.

The beloved asks, “Who is there?”

And the lover says, “I am – your lover.”

The beloved says, “The house of love is so small, it cannot contain two, so please go back. When you are no more, then come again. The house of love cannot contain two, it can only contain one.”

So far so good!

The lover goes to the forest, he becomes an ascetic. He meditates, he prays to God. His prayer is only one: “Dissolve me!” Many moons come and go, months pass, years pass, and one day he comes back. He knocks again on the door, and the beloved asks the same question: “Who is there?”

And he says, “Now I am no more, only you are.”

And Rumi says:

The doors open and the lover is received in the home of love.

There I don’t agree – it is too early! Then who is the person who is saying “I am no more”? Even to say that “I am no more,” you are needed. It is as foolish as if you went and knocked at somebody’s house and he leaned out of the window and said, “I am not at home.” That is self-contradictory; you cannot say that. To say it is to prove that you are.

Jalaluddin must have written this poem before he became enlightened. He should have corrected it. But these enlightened people are crazy people. He may have forgotten all about the poem, but it needs correction. I can do the correction. I would like to say that the beloved says, “Go back again because you are still there. First you were positively there, now you are negatively there, but it makes no difference.”

The lover goes back. Now there is no point in praying because prayer has not helped. In fact, prayer cannot help: in prayer the duality persists. You are praying to somebody; God becomes your “thou.” God cannot help. Now he becomes a Zen monk – not a devotee but a real meditator. He simply goes deep within himself, searching and seeking. “Where is this ‘I’?” He tries to find out where it is. And anybody who goes in is bound not to find it because it is not there; it is non-existential; it is only a belief. So he searches and searches and finds it nowhere.

So he comes back, knocks on the door. The beloved asks the same question: “Who is there?” And there is no answer because there is nobody to answer. Just silence. She asks again, “Who is there?” but the silence deepens. She asks again, “Who is there?” but the silence is absolute. She opens the door. Now the lover has come, but he is no more; there is nobody to answer. He has to be taken inside the home, taken by the hand. He is completely, utterly empty.

This is what Zen people call “emptied suchness.”

Vision is clear. But there are no objects to see. There is no person. There is no buddha.

Everything has disappeared. Zen has achieved the ultimate peak of enlightenment; hence it can say that there is no enlightenment either because if the enlightened person goes on thinking, “I am enlightened,” he is not enlightened. If he claims enlightenment then he is not enlightened, because every claim is an ego claim. Enlightenment is not a claim, it is a silent presence.

Baula, don’t try to understand Zen. Go within yourself to find out who you are, where you are. You will not find anybody there, just pure emptiness. And then vision is clear. No person, no Buddha. All is silent, utterly silent. There is nothing to say. In that silence one becomes truth. Not only that one knows truth, one becomes truth. That is the only way to know it.

-Osho

From Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Discourse #16

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.

Consciousness Minus Thinking is Samadhi – Osho

In the search for the first principle, silence is the door – the only door. And except it there is no way to approach the first principle. The first principle can be known only when you move to the primordial state of your being. Thinking is secondary. Existence precedes thinking, existence comes first. First you are, and then you start thinking. Thinking is secondary. Thinking is a shadow activity; it follows you. It cannot exist without you, but you can exist without it. Through thinking you can know secondary things, not the primary things. The most fundamental is not available to thinking; the most fundamental is available to silence.

Silence means a state of consciousness where no thought interferes.

The first principle is not far away, it is not distant. Never think for a single moment that you are missing it because it is very far away. No, not at all. It is the closest thing to you. It is the obvious thing. It surrounds you. It surrounds you just like the ocean surrounds a fish. You are in it. You are born in it and born out of it. You live in it, you breathe in it, and one day you disappear in it. It is not far away, not that you have to travel to it. It is there. It is already there around you, within and without. It is your very existence, that first principle.

Zen people call it the first principle; other religions call it God. There is no difference. The Zen approach is far better because with the word “God,” trouble starts. The first principle becomes personified; then you can create an image. You cannot make an image of the first principle, but that’s what all the religions do. They say, “God is the first cause, the uncaused cause, the most fundamental, the substantial, the substratum.” Zen people call it the first principle. It is beautiful to call it the first principle because nothing preceded it. Everything has followed it.

So if you want to have a communion with the first principle, you will have to seek and search for a reality within yourself which is original, which has not been preceded by anything else.

Silence is primordial. Sound exists in silence. Sound comes and goes, silence remains. Sound is like light, and silence is like darkness. Darkness remains; light comes and goes. Light needs some cause to be. Darkness needs no cause. No fuel is needed for darkness; it simply exists without any fuel. It exists as primordial existence. Darkness is eternal; light is momentary. In the morning the sun rises and there is light. By the evening the sun is gone, the light is gone. Don’t think that the darkness comes. Darkness never comes; it is always there. Light comes and goes. You burn a lamp and there is light. You blow out the lamp and light is gone. Not that darkness comes; darkness is there. Light is accidental; darkness is existential.

Silence is there. You can create sound; you cannot create silence. The moment sound is no more created there is silence. Thinking is sound; meditation is silence. So all the religions of the world have been searching for and seeking in one way or another that silence which has not been preceded by anything else, which is the first.

Now a few things before we analyze this state of silence.

First thing. Man is missing this first principle not because he is not a skilled thinker but because he is, not because he is not a trained logician but because he is. Thinking creates a screen around you, a screen of smoke, and because of that smoke the obvious is lost. To see the obvious, you need clarity, not thinking, not logic. You simply need clarity, you need transparency. Your eyes should be completely empty, naked – naked of all clothes, naked of all concepts, empty, empty of all thoughts. When the eyes are just empty, you can see the first principle, and not only can you see it as an object outside you, you see it as your own interiority, as your own subjectivity.

In fact, it is thinking that creates the distinction between the subject and the object. It is thinking that creates division. It is thinking that creates a split. It is thinking that makes things separate. Once thinking is dropped, existence is one, it is one unity, it is one orgasmic experience where duality is totally lost. All boundaries lose themselves into each other, merge into each other. Everything is joined to everything else. The smallest leaf of grass is joined to the greatest star. And then there is nothing high, nothing low, nothing good, nothing bad, because all is joined together. The greatest saint is joined to the greatest sinner; they are not separate.

Nothing is separate. With the disappearance of thinking, schizophrenia disappears, this existential schizophrenia of dividing everything: this is man, this is woman, this is good, this is bad, this is beautiful, this is ugly, this is mine, this is thine. All distinctions create neuroses. Man is mad because he thinks too much, and he goes on missing the obvious.

God is very obvious.

I have heard about a great philosopher:

He married a beautiful girl many years his junior. After a while he began to be torn by doubts as to her faithfulness

Natural for a philosopher to be torn by doubts. A philosopher lives in doubts; doubt is his trade. He doubts, and he goes on doubting. Through doubt he creates questions and then answers, and through doubt he makes more questions out of the answers. His whole life is a procession of doubts. Naturally, “he began to be torn by doubts as to her faithfulness.”

. . . So he hired a private detective to watch her while he left on a trip. On his return he called the detective.

“Out with it, out with it!” shouted the philosopher. “I can take it. It is the element of doubt that is driving me crazy.”

“It looks bad,” said the detective. “As soon as you left the house a handsome fellow called for your wife. I followed them to a night dub. They had four or five drinks and then danced – and very close. Then they went back to their table and held hands. Finally they took a cab back to your house. The lights were on, and I saw them walk into the bedroom and embrace. Then the light went out and I could not see any more.”

“What did I tell you?” shouted the philosopher. “That damned element of doubt!”

Now, even the obvious – “That damned element of doubt! ” Even the obvious is not obvious to a philosopher. The greater the philosopher, the more doubts he has. He has doubts about everything. He doubts even his own existence – which in fact cannot be doubted. How can you doubt your own existence? Even to doubt, you are needed to be there. The doubt cannot exist in the air. The doubt cannot exist without you. The doubt can exist only if you are there, but philosophers have been doubting even their own existence: Who knows whether we are or we are not?

Doubt is the only outcome of thinking. Non-thinking gives you trust, non-thinking gives you faith, non-thinking brings you closer to reality, face to face with reality. So the first thing to be understood: thinking is not a way to the first principle. Not through philosophizing will you arrive at the first principle, because philosophy is secondary. You can know secondary things through the secondary. To know the primary, you will have to achieve the primary within yourself. You can know only that which you are.

If you live in thinking, you will be able to know only secondary things. You will be able to know the shadow world, what Hindus call the world of maya. Through the mind you can know only the world of maya, the shadow world, the world of illusions. You will be surprised. In Sanskrit we have two terms. One is vidya; vidya means “knowledge”. Another is avidya; avidya means “nonknowledge”. And you will be surprised, in Sanskrit “science” is called avidya – “nonknowledge”. Science is called avidya. Why? Science knows more than anything else, but in Sanskrit they call science avidya. Why? Because science knows only the shadow world – knows the secondary, the nonessential; knows the object, misses the subject; knows the body, misses the soul; knows the world, misses God; knows the secondary.

To know the primary, you will have to become primary. You will have to fall into that wavelength where the primary pulsates, that silence. That is the state of no-mind. No-mind preceded your mind.

A child is born. He comes without any mind whatsoever; he simply exists. His existence is pure, unhampered by any thought, unhindered by any cloud. Look into the eyes of a child. They are so innocent, they are so transparent, so crystal clear. From where comes this clarity? This clarity comes from no-thought. The child still has not learned how to think, how to accumulate thoughts. He looks, but he cannot classify. If he looks at the trees, he cannot say they are trees, he cannot say they are green, he cannot say they are beautiful. He sees the trees, but no classification, no category. He has no language yet to be clouded with. He simply sees. Color is there, but he cannot say is color; green is there, but he cannot say it is green. Everything is purely clear, but he cannot label it. Hence the innocence of the eyes.

A man of understanding again attains the same eyes. He again becomes a child, as far as the clarity is concerned. Jesus is right when he says, “Become like small children; only then will you be able to enter into my kingdom of God.” He is not saying become foolish like children; he is not saying become childish; he is not saying learn tantrum again; he is not saying that a child is the last stage. No, he is saying simply one thing. He is not saying become a child; he is saying become like a child. How can you become a child again? But you can become like a child. If you can drop thinking, if this cloak of thinking is dropped and you become nude, again you will have the same clarity.

It happens sometimes through drugs. Not a very good way to attain it – very dangerous, very costly, and illusory – but it happens. Hence the appeal of the drugs down the ages. Drugs are not new in the world; even in the Vedas they talk about soma. Soma seems to be one of the most powerful drugs ever discovered by man. It must be something like LSD. Aldous Huxley has said that in the future, when the ultimate drug will be known, we will call it soma. From the Vedas, the ancient most book in the world, to Timothy Leary, man has always been attracted by drugs – alcohol, marijuana, opium. Why this attraction? And all the moralists have been against it, and all the puritans have been against it, and all the governments have tried to curb and control, but it seems beyond any government to control it. What has been the cause of it? It gives something … it gives a glimpse into the innocent mind of the child again.

Through chemical impact, the mind becomes loosened for a few moments or a few hours. Under the impact of the drug your thinking slips. You start looking into reality without thinking; again the world is colorful, as it is for the child; again in a small pebble you can see the greatest diamond; ordinary grass looks so extraordinary; an ordinary flower looks so tremendously beautiful; an ordinary human face looks so divine. Not that anything has changed. The whole world is the same. Something has changed in you – and that too only temporarily. Through the forceful drug your mind has slipped down. You don’t have the mask; you can see into things with clarity. That is the appeal of the drugs down the ages.

And unless meditation becomes available to millions of people, drugs cannot be prevented.

Drugs are dangerous because they can destroy your body’s equilibrium, they can destroy your nature, they can destroy your inner chemistry. You have a very delicate chemistry. Those strong drugs can destroy your rhythm. And more and more drugs will be needed and you will become addicted – and less and less will be the experience. By and by, the mind will learn how to cope with the drugs, and then, even under the drug, you will not attain to the state of innocence. Then you will need even stronger drugs.

So this is not a way.

The mind can be put aside very easily. There is no need to depend on anything chemical, on anything artificial. There is a natural possibility to get out of the mind, because we were born without minds. Deep down we are still no-minds. The mind is only on the periphery. That’s why I say it is just a cloak, a dress that you are wearing. You can slip out of it.

And one moment of slipping out of it will reveal to you a totally different world: the world of the first principle.

So the real fight in the future is going to be between meditation and drugs. In fact, that has always been the case: the real fight is between drugs and meditation, either drugs or meditation.

So it is not coincidental that when you start meditating by and by the pull of the drug becomes less and less. If it is not becoming less and less, then know well you are not meditating yet, because when you know the higher, the lower is dropped automatically.

But one thing has to be understood. Drugs do something; they UNDO something in you. They help you to get out of the mind. They give you courage to look into reality without thinking. For a moment the curtain slips, and suddenly you are aware that the world has a splendor. It had never had it before. You had passed through the same street and you had looked through the same trees and at the same stars and the same people, and today now everything suddenly is so luminous and everybody is so beautiful and everybody is afire with life, with love. A saint – one who has attained – lives in that state continuously, without any effort.

You were born as a no-mind. Let this sink into your heart as deeply as possible because through that a door opens. If you were born as a no-mind, then the mind is just a social product. It is nothing natural; it is cultivated. It has been put together on top of you. Deep down you are still free; you can get out of it. One can never get out of nature, but one can get out of the artificial any moment one decides to.

Existence precedes thinking. So existence is not a state of mind; it is a state beyond. To be is the way to know the fundamental, not to think. Science means thinking, philosophy means thinking, theology means thinking. Religion does not mean thinking. The religious approach is a nonthinking approach. It is more intimate, it brings you closer to reality. It drops all that hinders, it unblocks you; you start flowing into life. You don’t think that you are separate, looking. You don’t think that you are a watcher, aloof, distant. You meet, mingle, and merge into reality.

And there is a different kind of knowing. It cannot be called “knowledge”. It is more like love, less like knowledge. It is so intimate that the word “knowledge” is not sufficient to express it. The word “love” is more adequate, more expressive.

In the history of human consciousness, the first thing that evolved was magic. Magic was a combination of science and religion. Magic had something of the mind and something of the no-mind. Then out of magic grew philosophy. Then out of philosophy grew science. Magic was both no-mind and mind; philosophy was only mind; and then mind plus experimentation became science. Religion is a state of no-mind.

Religion and science are the two approaches to reality. Science approaches through the secondary; religion goes direct. Science is an indirect approach; religion is an immediate approach. Science goes round and round; religion simply penetrates to the heart of reality.

A few more things. Thinking can only think about the known – it can chew the already chewed. Thinking can never be original. How can you think about the unknown? Whatsoever you can manage to think will belong to the known. You can think only because you know. At the most, thinking can create new combinations. You can think about a horse who flies in the sky, who is made of gold; but nothing is new. You know birds who fly in the sky, you know gold, you know horses; you combine the three together. At the most, thinking can imagine new things, but it cannot know the unknown. The unknown remains beyond it. So thinking goes in a circle, goes on knowing the known again and again and again. It goes on chewing the chewed one. Thinking is never original.

And the first principle means to come upon reality originally, radically, to come upon reality without any mediator, to come upon reality as if you are the first person to exist and you come upon reality. That is liberating. That very newness of it liberates.

And when you come to know reality directly, it is never reduced to the known; the mystery remains. In fact, it becomes a deeper mystery than ever. The more you know, the more you feel that you don’t know. The more you know, the less you feel you know. The more you know, the more vast is the mystery of it. Religion is mysticism, religion is magic, because religion is a no-mind approach.

Thinking can think only about the known; it is repetitive. Philosophy is repetitive. You can go into the books of philosophy, into the history of philosophy, and you will see the same thing being repeated again and again – new phraseology, new words; new terms, new definitions, but nothing fundamentally different. From Thales to Bertrand Russell you can go on, but you will find the same thing being repeated again and again. The wheel moving: the same spokes come to the top again and again.

Science can experiment only with the objective; experimentation is possible only with the objective. You cannot experiment with the experimenter himself; there is no way. The subjective reality remains outside science. Einstein may know much about matter, but he does not know anything about himself. Newton may know much about gravitation, but he does not know who he is. One goes on accumulating knowledge about the objective world, and one remains in deep darkness within one’s own self. One’s own light is not yet there, and one goes on groping, experimenting.

Science can experiment only with the objective, philosophy can think only about the known, and the reality is beyond both. The reality is unknown – not only unknown, but unknowable – and the reality contains the subjective element. So the very methodology of philosophy and science prohibits coming to the fundamental, to the first principle. To come to the fundamental, you will have to find another door, a door other than science and philosophy. That door is religion.

And religion can be reduced to one word, and that word is “meditation,” or call it silence – to be in such a silence that you are almost not, there is no noise within you, the stillness is absolute. Only in that stillness something stirs, only in that stillness do you start hearing the still, small voice of the first principle – call it God or call it soul. Only then life calls forth life. Only then the source calls forth the source. Only then are you close to reality, hand in hand with the fundamental. And that is the search, that is what we are seeking; and without knowing it, without realizing it, there is going to be no fulfillment.

The last thing; then we enter into this small parable. When thinking disappears you are left with the first principle. It has always been there; you were not there just because of thinking. Now you are also there: two presences meet. Ordinarily you are absent, you are somewhere else. In your thoughts you are lost. When there is no thought you are here-now; then there is no way to go from here-now. Thought functions as a bridge to go away from yourself. The moment a thought has come in, you are already far away from yourself. When there is no thought, where can you go, how can you go? When there is no thought you have to be in the present. Thought can take you to the past, thought can take you to the future; no-thought brings you to the present. And only the present is. This moment is all there is.

When you are here-now, absolutely here-now, how can you miss the real, how can you miss God? When thinking disappears you are left with the first principle.

But when I say “when thinking disappears,” I am not saying “when you fall asleep,” because in deep sleep thinking does disappear. In the East we have divided human consciousness into four phases. The first phase we call “waking”, jagrat. Waking means “consciousness plus thinking”; you are conscious, but your mind is crowded with thoughts. The second state we have called “dreaming”, swapna. The second state means “unconsciousness plus thinking”; you fall asleep, but the thinking continues so there is dreaming. Dreaming is a way of thinking in sleep, and thinking is a way of dreaming while awake. Thinking and dreaming are not two separate things. Dreaming is only thinking in a very primitive language – the language of images. Then the third state we call sushupti: sleep, deep sleep, dreamless deep sleep. The third state is “unconsciousness minus thinking”; you are unconscious – you don’t know where you are, who you are, all consciousness has disappeared, you are at rest – and with the consciousness has disappeared thinking too, dreaming too.

These three are ordinary states: waking, dreaming, sleeping. We all know these three. The fourth is the state of meditation. The fourth is called samadhi, turya. It means” consciousness minus thinking”.

So four stages: consciousness plus thinking is waking, consciousness minus thinking is samadhi, unconsciousness plus thinking is dreaming, unconsciousness minus thinking is sleep.

So samadhi has something similar to waking and something similar to sleep; hence Patanjali has defined samadhi as “waking sleep” – sleep and yet not sleep. Sleep in the sense that there are no thoughts now, no dreams. And not sleep in the sense that you are perfectly aware, that the light of your awareness is there, that you are conscious, that you know that there is no knowledge now, that you are aware that all thinking has disappeared, that you are aware that now there is no dream lurking in your field of consciousness, that you are absolutely zero, shunyam.

This is the state that the East has been trying to achieve. The West has been too involved with science; hence it has missed religion. The East’s involvement is with samadhi: hence it has missed science.

These four states can be thought of in some other ways also. Consciousness plus thinking means waking. Science is a waking activity, so is philosophy, so is theology. Second, dreaming: unconsciousness plus thinking. That is what art is, poetry, painting, music. It is a dream activity, so it is not just accidental that we call the poets dreamers, that we call the artists dreamers, that we don’t trust them much – they are not reliable, they cannot be the guides to reality. We enjoy them, it is fun, but we cannot accept them as guides to reality – they are not. They live in fantasy. They dream while awake. Their eyes are full of dreams. So waking is science, philosophy, theology, logic; and art, all kinds of art, is dream activity.

Unconsciousness minus thinking means sleep. Of course all activity ceases in sleep, so nothing is born out of sleep – no science, no art.

Consciousness minus thinking is samadhi. Samadhi gives birth to religion. When Jesus attained to samadhi Christianity was born. When Nanak attained to samadhi Sikhism was born. When Buddha attained to samadhi Buddhism was born. Religion is born out of samadhi, the fourth state. What is samadhi? If you can stop your thinking and yet remain alert and don’t fall asleep. Difficult, arduous, one of the most difficult things, almost impossible. It is easy to be awake and thinking, it is easy not to think and fall asleep, but to remain awake and not think is the most difficult thing, because it is not part of evolution. It is a revolution. It is not given by nature automatically. You have to attain it.

That is the task man has to solve. That is the challenge given to man, and very few have accepted that challenge. And those who have accepted it, only they are man; others are man only for the name’s sake. We exist as potential man, not as actual man. It is our potentiality. We can become a Buddha or a Christ, but it has not happened yet. We are just seeds. That’s our misery because a seed can never be satisfied unless it becomes a tree and blooms. A seed will remain miserable because there is a feeling deep down that “I am not yet that which I am meant to be; my destiny is not fulfilled.”

Have you not observed this in you? If you had not observed it, you would not be here. You are here only because you feel something is missing. You are here only because you continuously feel that something has to happen and it is not happening, that something is just there by the corner and yet you cannot grasp it, seems to be not very far away, yet seems to be beyond reach. The tree is not very far away from the seed. If the seed finds the right soil, falls into the soil, relaxes, surrenders to the soil, dissolves into the soil, dies into the soil, then the tree is not very far away. In the right season the seed will sprout, a tender plant will be born, and the seed will be able to see the light.

Only when the seed has become a plant will it be able to feel the wind and the ecstasy that the wind is and be able to feel the sunrays and the ecstasy that the sun brings and be able to live and be able to accept the challenges and start growing. Come storm, come wind, come rains, and the small, tender plant will become stronger and stronger. Every challenge will give it strength and integration; and one day there will be a great tree whispering to the skies, it will bloom, and the fragrance will be released to the winds in all directions. Then there will be jubilation.

When Jesus says again and again to his children, to his disciples, “Rejoice!” what he is saying is true because he has become a tree and he has bloomed. But his disciples must have looked here and there, they must have thought, “What does he mean? Why does he go on saying again and again, ‘Rejoice’?” They are seeds; how can they rejoice?

When I say to you, “Celebrate!” you start thinking, “For what? Why? What have we got to celebrate?” You cannot celebrate because celebration is possible only when you bloom. I know it! But I go on saying, “Celebrate!” And Jesus knows it and he goes on saying, “Rejoice!” In fact, he wants to create such a thirst in you to know what this rejoicing is that out of that thirst you start seeking and searching for the right soil.

To find a right Master is to find a right soil because only through the Master will you be able to dissolve, only through the Master will you be able to surrender. A seed needs to surrender. A seed has to die; only then is there a new life born out of it. Death makes it possible. Death is tremendously beautiful: it makes it possible that a man can be new, a man can be reborn.

Samadhi is celebration, samadhi is rejoicing. Samadhi is your gratitude towards God, your thanksgiving.

How can you thank God right now? You have nothing to thank him for. You can complain, you cannot thank him; so your prayers are more of complaints, less of thanks. You cannot say, “Thank you.” How can you? For what? In fact, you are very angry with God. Why has he given birth to you? Why has he created so much misery? Why has he put you in such anguish and turmoil? Why in the first place? What wrong have you done? If suddenly you come across God you will jump upon him. That’s why he goes on hiding. You will kill him. You will say, “What have you been doing? For what are we suffering? What wrong have we done? Why did you make us in the first place? Not to be would have been better – no anxiety, no anguish. Not to be would have been more peaceful. Why did you create us?”

The whole existence seems to be mischievous. It seems as if somebody, a sadistic God, is sitting there, torturing people, creating a thousand and one ways to torture them.

Right now, you cannot thank him because right now you are not. When you are, you will be able to thank him. And the way to be goes through death, through surrender. And the way goes through silence. But it is not easy to be silent; it is the most arduous thing to be silent.

-Osho

From The First Principle, Discourse #3

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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My “Now” Contains “This” and “That” – Osho

In lecture yesterday you spoke about the Master’s work: keeping his disciples from settling for less than “freedom from the self”. In the West, much is made of the experience that “This is it,” that nothing can be different than it is – right now!

Is this a copper mind experience?  How can there be anything else?

Deva Sambuddha, I also say This Is It, but when I say this is it, it has a totally different meaning. It is not the same statement as it is being made in the West. The statement in itself has no meaning of its own; the meaning comes through your experience.

Man can live on different planes. When Gautam the Buddha says “This is it!” he is using the same words as you use. The words are exactly the same and the dictionary meaning is the same, but the existential meaning is totally different; it may be even diametrically opposed to your meaning.

In the West it has become fashionable to say that this is all, to live right now is all there is. But the people who are saying it have no idea of meditativeness, have no idea of absolute silence, thoughtless awareness, they have not experienced witnessing. Hence what they are saying – “This is it” – is nothing more significant than their mind.

So if your mind is full of lust, your “this is it” will be only lust and nothing else. If your mind is full of greed, full of anger, full of jealousy, then how it can have the same meaning as it has when Chuang Tzu says “This is it”? It is not possible to have the same meaning. Meaning comes from the person, his presence, his realization.

The West has got clichés from the East. Now Zen has become very fashionable in the West, not that the West is capable yet to understand Zen. Zen, the very word “Zen”, comes from dhyana. Buddha never used himself Sanskrit language; he was the first enlightened person in India who used the language of the people. That was one of the things that made the priesthood, the brahmins of India, to be antagonistic to Buddha. Amongst many things that was one of the major, because the priests of India have always used Sanskrit as their language, it was their property. And only the scholarly people could understand it; the masses were absolutely ignorant about it. Hence what was written in the scriptures was known only to the few priests, and of course through that knowledge they were powerful. And they never wanted it to be known by the masses, otherwise their power will be lost, their vested interests will be destroyed.

Buddha was the first man who dynamited their whole establishment. He used the language of the people; the language of the people in Buddha’s time was Pali. In Pali, dhyana is pronounced as jhana. Because Buddha used the word jhana it changed its color. When it reached China through Bodhidharma it became Ch’an, because in Chinese jhana cannot be written; in Chinese there is no alphabet. The Chinese is a pictorial language, so the closest picture that they had which could express the word jhana was ch’an or ch’ana.

And from China it reached Japan. They use the same pictorial language, but their pronunciations are different. In Japan it became Zen; in a way it came back to the original place. It came closer to Buddha’s Jhana; it became Zen.

Now the West has not yet understood what it is all about, but Zen has an appeal for the simple reason because it is very absurd, illogical, paradoxical. And the West has become fed up with logical philosophies – with Kant, Hegel, Fichte, Bertrand Russell, Wittgenstein – it has become fed up. From Aristotle to Wittgenstein, two thousand years of logical thinking has not led anywhere except to a point where West feels that life is absolutely meaningless and accidental. Now this is the right situation for any illogical philosophy to become fashionable.

The western painting has become illogical. You can see it in Picasso, Dali, Cezanne and other painters: the painting has become absolutely illogical, absurd. The poetry has become illogical – Ezra Pound and others. You can read it, but you will not find any meaning in it. The novels, the plays, all other art forms have taken a turn; they have become very illogical. This illogicalness is the outcome of two thousand years of logical effort which has completely failed: it has not provided any significance and meaning to man’s life.

In the same flood of illogicalness, Zen also has become influential, but the reasons for its influence are totally different. It is not that the West has experienced meditation – it is simply a reaction against logic that Zen has become a great appeal. The absurd anecdotes. the absurd lives of the Zen Masters – seems to be appealing because it has no logical construction.

A great Zen Master, Ryokan, is known in Japan as the Great Fool – a great Master, of the same caliber as Buddha, is known as the Great Fool for the simple reason because his whole life was absurd, unpredictable. If you ask him a question he may hit you on the head; if you don’t ask him a question he may hit you on the head. He used to say, “Ask me a question and I will beat you; don’t ask me a question and I will beat you!” He used to throw his disciples…

Once he cut one of his disciples’ finger with a knife, and when the finger was cut and the disciple was in deep agony, he said, “This is it!” And in that moment the disciple became enlightened – because he was meditating for twenty years. Don’t forget those twenty years! In the West those twenty years are completely forgotten. Those twenty years have brought this climax. At the right moment the Master gave the last push. He wanted to bring him to the present, and cutting the finger is so painful that you cannot think of the past, you cannot think of the future, you cannot fantasize any more. For a moment everything stops. It is like an electric shock – you are suddenly here-now. But those twenty years of meditation had created a different quality: the shock became a satori. Just by cutting somebody’s finger, you cannot make him enlightened, but Ryokan did the miracle.

Ryokan lived in such a way that anybody will call him a fool, an idiot, and he enjoyed the word “idiot” very much; he himself used to call himself an idiot. He will forget his robe; will reach to the marketplace naked – with his shoes on! He will forget about everything.

He had written a list of things that he has to take when he goes out, and he has pasted the list on the door so that he can look at the list, that what things he had to carry: his staff, his robes, the shoes, the cap. And even this was written: “Where you have to put the cap – on the head.” Otherwise he will forget, he may put the shoes on the head! But still the same thing continued – because he will forget to read the list.

This Ryokan helped many people to become enlightened. His illogical ways, his absurd methods proved of tremendous help. Now in the West people will love Ryokan; they will feel at ease with him. They are fed up with Aristotle. Aristotle has become “Aristotlitis” – a great disease! They don’t want to do anything with Aristotle; they want something more alive, something more paradoxical because life is paradox; it is not logic.

Remember it, that life is not logical and cannot be understood by just logic. Life is far more than logic, far bigger than logic. It is not arithmetic. So there are planes to understand.

The West is not yet capable of being here-now; he has only heard the word. And there are different motives why the western youth, particularly the new generation, has become infatuated with Zen-like things. The Third World War is gathering around. Life seems to be very fragile; it had never been so before. Wars have always been there – in three thousand years we have fought five thousand wars – so war is not a new thing, but something new has happened. The Third World War will be the last war, it will be a total war. It will destroy not only humanity but all life from the earth. And the clouds are becoming darker and coming closer every day. It is creating a great fear. The western new generation is freaking out.

And now because the world can end, the whole future Zen seems to be appealing: Live here and live now because there is no future. Tomorrow may never arrive. This is a totally different reason why West has become interested in right now.

Sambuddha, this has to be remembered: the motive is different. The eastern mystics, from Buddha to Ryokan, were talking about the beauty of now-here for totally different reasons. Not that there is no future – there is infinite future, eternity – but the future never comes. All that comes is now; now is the only reality. When future comes, it also comes in the form of now. When tomorrow comes it will come as today, so you have to learn the art of being here, living today, because tomorrow will come but it will also be another today. And if you know how to live this day you will know how to live that day which will be coming. This was a totally different vision.

These are the four planes which have to be understood. First is the body. On the bodily plane, the man who lives identified with the body, if he says, “This is it,” he will only mean food and sex and nothing else. His “this is it” will contain only of two things, food and sex, which are not very different either. Food is nourishment for you; you cannot survive without food. And sex is nourishment for the coming generations; they cannot survive without sex. Your parents’ sex has created you; your sex will create your children. The society needs sex as food; it is food, it is survival for the society, just as food is your survival.

Food and sex are deeply connected. Hence it always happens if somebody starts controlling sex, becomes a celibate, he will start eating more; he will substitute his sexuality by food. It almost always happens when women get married they start becoming fatter, for the simple reason that before marriage they are interested in sex, after marriage they become fed up with it. They start feeling as if the man is exploiting their bodies. Reluctantly they go into it, but they are fed up. Then their interest changes towards food.

And the people who starve themselves for any reason – maybe naturopathy, dieting, or some religious reason, fasting – the people who will starve themselves will become full of sexual fantasies. Hence Jain monks are more full of sexual fantasies than anybody else, because of the fasting. It is a natural change: their energy starts moving from one pole to another.

Sambuddha, anybody who knows only his body, his “this is it” simply means food and sex. That’s what is happening in institutes like Esalen – food and sex. That’s what is happening all over America. Sambuddha comes from America.

The second plane is mind. With food and sex, you can have pleasure and pain. On the body level, if your body is satisfied, you will have a pleasant feeling; if it is not satisfied you will feel pain. The second phenomenon above the body is mind. Mind goes a little higher than pleasure; it starts experiencing happiness and unhappiness. With body there is only duality, food and sex, only two dimensions; with mind there are many dimensions. Mind opens up a greater world: music, poetry, painting, dance, et cetera, et cetera. It opens up many dimensions; you can enjoy more.

With the first you are just like an animal; your “this is it” will be nothing but animalistic. With the second, if you know that you are more than the body, higher than the body, you will have many dimensions, more richness. You become human; you rise above animals. When you say, “This is it,” now it will be music, poetry, painting, dance; it will have a totally different meaning.

On the third plane is the soul, the self. With the body the duality; with the mind, manyness, multitude; with soul only oneness, and that is meditation. You will know the real meaning of “this is it” only when you arrive at the third point.

And with the fourth… In the East we have called it the fourth, simply “the fourth”, turiya; we have not given it any name because no name is possible, it is inexpressible. With the fourth, turiya, there is neither two nor many nor one. You can call it either wholeness or nothingness. Buddha used the word “nothingness”, Isa Upanishad uses the word “wholeness”; they mean the same thing. The zero symbolizes both, nothing and the whole. This is the state of bliss, ecstasy.

On the body level pleasure is opposed by pain; on the mind level happiness is opposed by unhappiness; on the soul level joy is opposed by misery. But on the fourth, bliss is not opposed by anything; bliss has no polar opposite to it.

Where you are on these four planes will make the difference. When I say, “This is it,” I am talking from the fourth plane. And when in America, in the institutes like Esalen, people are talking about “this is it,” they are talking about the first plane, the body.

You ask me, In the West, much is made of the experience that “This is it,” that nothing can be different than it is – right now!

Yes, nothing can be different than it is, but you can be different. The world is the same – to the Buddha, to the enlightened, to the unenlightened – but you are different and that makes the difference. That’s the difference that makes the difference. The world is the same – Buddha moves here, you move here, gods live here, dogs live here – it is the same world. But because their awareness is different, their depth and height is different, their “this is it” will be different too, their now will also be different.

So, when I am talking about now, my “now” contains “this” and “that” both. When in the West people are talking about now, their now only contains “this”.

Remember what the Isa Upanishad says: This is whole. That is whole. The whole comes from the whole, still the whole remains behind.

This is the fourth state, turiya, the ultimate state beyond which nothing happens. Unless you have reached to it, Sambuddha, you are living at the copper mine. You have to move to the silver mine, then to the gold mine, and then to the diamond mine, and then to the beyond.

-Osho

From I Am That, Discourse #14

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.

Like the Empty Sky it has no Boundaries – Osho

And now this profound sutra.

Like the empty sky it has no boundaries, yet it is right in this place, ever profound and clear.

Replace ‘it’ by ‘God’ and you will immediately understand – but Zen people don’t use the word ‘God’, they say ‘it’.

Like the empty sky it has no boundaries, yet it is right in this place, ever profound and clear.

If you start looking for the sky you will never find it. If you start searching and you become very serious you will never find the sky. Where will you find the sky? The sky is not somewhere, it is everywhere and that which is everywhere cannot be searched for. You cannot locate it; you cannot say it is in the north, you cannot say it is in the south, you cannot say it is there – because it is everywhere. That which is everywhere cannot be found somewhere. And where will you search? You will be rushing into the sky itself, here and there. And it is all sky. God is like the sky, like the empty sky.

It has no boundaries so it cannot be defined. You cannot say where it begins and where it ends. It is eternal, it is infinite – yet it is right in this place, just in front of you. If you are relaxed it is there; if you become tense it disappears.

A Zen Master used to say, ‘It is clear and so it is hard to see. A dunce once searched for a fire with a lighted lantern. Had he known what fire was he could have cooked his rice much sooner.’

Now with a lighted lantern you are searching for fire and you are carrying fire in your hands all the time. Yes, the Zen Master was right: had he known what fire was he could have cooked his rice much sooner. You could have always cooked your rice much sooner. And you are hungry, and you have been hungry for centuries, for eternity. And you have been searching for fire with a lighted lantern in your hand.

People go on asking where God is and he is just in front of you. He surrounds you. He is in and he is out because only he is. But Zen people call it ‘it’ so that you don’t get trapped into the word ‘God’.

When you seek to know it, you cannot see it.

Why? Because when you want to know it your very wanting becomes a tense state of affairs. You become narrow. You become concentrated. When you seek to know it, you cannot see it. You miss – because it can be seen only when you are utterly relaxed, when you are open from everywhere, when you are not concentrated.

Listen to it. Ordinarily people who don’t know what meditation is, write that meditation is concentration. There are thousands of books in which you will find this statement, this utterly stupid statement – that meditation is concentration. Meditation is not concentration – it is the last thing that meditation can be. In fact, concentration is just the diametrically opposite. In concentration you are very tense, focused, looking for something. Yes, concentration is good if you are looking for tiny things. If you are searching for an ant, concentration is perfectly good – but not good for God. God is so vast, so tremendously vast. If you look with concentration, you will find an ant, not God. For God you have to be utterly open, unconcentrated, open from every side, not searching, not looking. An unfocussed consciousness is what meditation is – unfocussed consciousness. […]

When you seek to know it, you cannot see it.

So the very effort to see it, the very desire to see it becomes a barrier. Don’t seek God. Don’t seek truth. Rather, create the situation of unfocusedness and God comes to you, it comes to you. It is there. […] God is unconditionally available.

When you seek to know it, you cannot see it.

You cannot take hold of it, but you cannot lose it.

See the beauty of this statement. You cannot take hold of it. If you want to possess God you will not be able to. God cannot be possessed. […]

Life cannot be possessed because life is God. Existence cannot be possessed because existence is God.

You see a beautiful flower – a rose – on a bush, and you immediately take it away from the bush. You want to possess it. You have killed it. Now you put it in your buttonhole – it is a dead flower, it is a corpse, it is no more beautiful. How can a dead thing be beautiful? It is just a memory and it is fading. It was so alive on the bush; it was so beautiful on the bush. It was so young and so happy and there was dance in it and there was a song around it. You killed all. Now you are carrying a dead flower in your buttonhole.

And this is what we are doing in everything. Whether it is beauty, love, God, we want to possess.

You cannot take hold of it – remember.

But you cannot lose it.

So beautiful. Yes, you cannot possess it, but there is no way to lose it either. It is there. It is always there. If you are just silent you will start feeling it. You have to fall in tune with it. You have to become silent so you can listen to it. You have to become silent so the dance of God can penetrate you, so God can vibrate in you, so God can pulsate in you. You have to drop your rush, your hurry, your ideas to go somewhere, to reach, to become, to be this and that. You have to stop becoming. And it is there; you cannot lose it.

In not being able to get it, you get it.

In not being able to get it, you get it. The moment you understand that you cannot possess it, and you drop your possessiveness, it is there – and you have got it. The moment you understand that love cannot be possessed, a great understanding has arisen in you. And now you will have it, and you will have it forever. You cannot exhaust it.

But you will have it only when you have got the point that it cannot be possessed, that there is no way to get it.

This is the Zen paradox – Zen is the path of paradox. It says that if you want to possess God, please don’t possess him – and you will possess him. If you want to possess love, don’t possess, and it is there and it is always yours. You cannot lose it; it is not possible to lose it.

When you are silent, it speaks; when you speak, it is silent. […]

Either you speak’ and God is not there, or God speaks and you are not there. If you dissolve, disappear, then you hear him. Then he is speaking from everywhere – from every chirping of every bird and from every murmur of every brook and from every wind passing through every pine. He is everywhere – but you fall silent.

When you are silent, it speaks; when you speak, it is silent.

The great gate is wide open to bestow alms, and no crowd is blocking the way.

There is no competition, there is nobody blocking your way, there are no competitors. You need not be in a hurry. You need not make any effort to grab. There is nobody competing with you and there is nobody standing in front of you – only God, only God. You can relax. You need not be afraid that you will miss it. You cannot miss it in the very nature of things. You cannot lose him. You relax.

All these statements are just to help you to relax. God cannot be lost – relax. There is nobody blocking the way – relax. There is no hurry because God is not something in time – relax.

There is nowhere to go because God is not distant on some star – relax. You cannot miss in the very nature of things – relax.

The whole message of all these paradoxical statements is – relax. It can be condensed into one thing – relax. Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t knock, don’t demand – relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it.

That’s what Zen calls satori . . . utter relaxation of your being; a state of your consciousness where there is no becoming left; when you are not an achiever anymore; when you are not going anywhere; when there is no goal; when all goals have disappeared and all purposes have been left behind; when you are, simply are. In that moment of isness you dissolve into totality and a new tick arises that has never been there. That tick is called satori, samadhi, enlightenment. It can happen in any situation – whenever you fall in tune with the whole.

-Osho

From Zen: The Path of Paradox, V.1, Discourse #1

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.

Zen is not a Theology – Osho

Zen is not a theology, it is a religion – and religion without a theology is a unique phenomenon. All other religions exist around the concept of God. They have theologies. They are God-centric not man-centric; man is not the end, God is the end. But not so for Zen. For Zen, man is the goal, man is the end unto himself God is not something above humanity, God is something hidden within humanity. Man is carrying God in himself as a potentiality.

So there is no concept of God in Zen. If you want you can say that it is not even a religion – because how can there be a religion without the concept of God? Certainly those who have been brought up as Christians, Mohammedans, Hindus, Jews, cannot conceive of what sort of religion Zen is. If there is no God then it becomes atheism. It is not. It is theism to the very core – but without a God.

This is the first fundamental to be understood. Let it sink deep within you, then things will become clear.

Zen says that God is not extrinsic to religion, it is intrinsic. It is not there, it is here. In fact there is no ‘there’ for Zen, all is here. And God is not then, God is now – and there is no other time. There is no other space, no other time. This moment is all. In this moment the whole existence converges, in this moment all is available. If you cannot see it that does not mean that it is not available – it simply means you don’t have the vision to see it. God has not to be searched for, you have only to open your eyes. God is already the case.

Prayer is irrelevant in Zen – to whom to pray? There is no God sitting there somewhere in the heavens and controlling life, existence. There is no controller. Life is moving in a harmony on its own accord. There is nobody outside it giving it commandments. When there is an outside authority, it creates a kind of slavery . . . a Christian becomes a slave, the same happens to a Mohammedan. When God is there commanding, you can be at the most a servant or a slave. You lose all dignity. Not so with Zen. Zen gives you tremendous dignity. There is no authority anywhere.

Freedom is utter and ultimate.

Had Friederich Nietzsche known anything about Zen he might have turned into a mystic rather than going mad. He had stumbled upon a great fact. He said, “There is no God. God is dead – and man is free.” But basically he was brought up in the world of the Jews and the Christians, a very narrow world, very much confined in concepts. He stumbled upon a great truth: “There is no God. God is dead, hence man is free.”  He stumbled upon the dignity of freedom, but it was too much. For his mind it was too much. He went mad, he went berserk. Had he known anything like Zen he would have turned into a mystic – there was no need to go mad.

One can be religious without a God. In fact, how can one be religious with a God? That is the question Zen asks, a very disturbing question. How can a man be religious with a God? – Because God will destroy your freedom, God will dominate you. You can look into the Old Testament. God says, ‘I am a very jealous God and I cannot tolerate any other God. Those who are not with me are against me. And I am a very violent and cruel God and I will punish you and you will be thrown into eternal hell fire. How can man be religious with such a God? How can you be free and how can you bloom? Without freedom there is no flowering. How can you come to your optimum manifestation when there is a God confining you, condemning you, forcing you this way and that, manipulating you?

Zen says that with God, man will remain a slave; with God, man will remain a worshipper; with God, man will remain in fear. In fear how can you bloom? You will shrink, you will become dry, you will start dying. Zen says that when there is no God there is tremendous freedom, there is no authority in existence. Hence there arises great responsibility. Look . . . if you are dominated by somebody you cannot feel responsible. Authority necessarily creates irresponsibility; authority creates resistance; authority creates reaction, rebellion, in you – you would like to kill God. That’s what Nietzsche means when he says God is dead – it is not that God has committed a suicide, he has been murdered.

He has to be murdered. With him there is no possibility to be free – only without him. But then Nietzsche became very afraid himself. To live without God needs great courage, to live without God needs great meditation, to live without God needs great awareness – that was not there. That’s why I say he stumbled upon the fact, it was not a discovery. He was groping in the dark.

For Zen it is a discovery. It is an established truth: there is no God. Man is responsible for himself and for the world he lives in. If there is suffering, you are responsible; there is nobody else to look to. You cannot throw off your responsibility. If the world is ugly and is in pain, we are responsible –there is nobody else. If we are not growing we cannot throw the responsibility on somebody else’s shoulders. We have to take the responsibility.

When there is no God you are thrown back to yourself. Growth happens. You have to grow. You have to take hold of your life; you have to take the reins in your own hands. Now you are the master. You have to be more alert and more aware because for whatsoever is going to happen you will be responsible. This gives great responsibility. One starts becoming more alert, more aware. One starts living in a totally different way. One becomes more watchful. One becomes a witness.

And when there is no beyond . . . The beyond is within you, there is no beyond beyond you. In Christianity the beyond is beyond; in Zen the beyond is within. So the question is not to raise your eyes towards the sky and pray – that is meaningless, you are praying to an empty sky. The sky is far lower in consciousness than you.

Somebody is praying to a tree . . . Many Hindus go and pray to a tree, many Hindus go to the Ganges and pray to the river, many pray to a stone statue, many pray towards the sky or many pray towards a concept, an idea. The higher is praying towards the lower. Prayer is meaningless.

Zen says: only meditation. It is not that you have to kneel down before somebody. Drop this old habit of slavery. All that is needed is that you have to become quiet and silent and go withinwards to find your centre. That very centre is the centre of existence too. When you have come to your innermost core you have come to the innermost core of existence itself. That’s what God is in Zen. But they don’t call it God. It is good that they don’t call it God.

So the first thing to remember is that Zen is not a theology, it is a religion – and that too with a tremendous difference. It is not a religion like Islam. There are three fundamentals in Islam: one God, one book, and one prophet. Zen has no God, no book, no prophet. The whole existence is God’s prophecy; the whole existence is his message.

And remember, God is not separate from this message either. This message itself is divine. There is no messenger – all that nonsense has been completely dropped by Zen. Theology arises with one book. It needs a Bible, it needs a holy Koran. It needs a book which pretends to be holy, it needs a book which tries to say that it is special – that no other book is like this, this is a Godsend, a gospel.

Zen says everything is divine so how can anything be special? All is special. Nothing is nonspecial so nothing can be special. Each leaf of every tree and each pebble on every shore is special, unique, holy. It is not that the Koran is holy, not that the Bible is holy. When a lover writes a letter to his beloved that letter is holy.

Zen brings holiness to ordinary life.

A great Zen Master, Bokoju, used to say, “How wondrous this. How mysterious. I carry fuel, I draw water.”

“How wondrous this. How mysterious.” Carrying fuel, drawing water from the well and he says, “How mysterious.” This is the Zen spirit. It transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. It transforms the profane into the sacred. It drops the division between the world and the divine.

That’s why I say it is not a theology. It is pure religion. Theology contaminates religion.There is no difference between a Mohammedan and a Christian and a Hindu as far as religion is concerned but there is great difference as far as theology is concerned. They have different theologies. People have been fighting because of theology.

Religion is one; theologies are many. Theology means the philosophy about God, the logic about God. It is all meaningless because there is no way to prove God – there is no way to disprove either. Argumentation is just irrelevant. Yes, one can experience but one cannot prove – and that’s what theology goes on doing. And theology goes on doing such stupid things – logic chopping. When you look at it from a distance you will laugh. It is so ridiculous.

In the Middle Ages, Christian theologians were very much concerned, very much troubled, puzzled about problems which will not look like problems to you. For example, how many angels can stand on the point of a needle? Books have been written about it – great argumentation.

Mulla Nasrudin, the owner of two lovebirds, sent for a veterinarian. “I’m worried about my birds,” he announced. “They haven’t gone potty all week.”

The doctor looked inside the cage and asked, “Do you always line this thing with maps of the earth?”

“No,” answered Mulla Nasrudin, “I put that in last Saturday when I was out of newspapers.”

“That explains it!” replied the vet. “Love-birds are very sensitive creatures. They’re holding back because they figure this planet earth has taken all the crap it can stand!”

Theology is crap. And because of theology, religion becomes poisoned. A really religious person has no theology. Yes, he has got the experience, he has the truth, he has that luminosity, but he has no theology. But theology has been of great help to scholars, pundits, the so-called learned people. It has been of great interest to the priests, to the popes, to the shankarcharyas. It has been of great benefit to them. Their whole business depends on it.

Zen cuts the very root. It destroys the very business of the priest. And that is one of the ugliest businesses in the world because it depends on a very great deception. The priest has not known and he goes on preaching; the theologian has not known but he goes on spinning theories. He is as ignorant as anybody else – maybe even more so. But his ignorance has become very, very articulate. His ignorance is very decorated – decorated with scriptures, decorated with theories; decorated so cunningly and cleverly that it is very difficult to detect the flaw. Theology has not been of any help to humanity but certainly it has helped many people: the priests. They have been able to exploit humanity in the name of foolish theories.

Two psychiatrists meeting in a busy restaurant got to talking and one said he was treating a rather interesting case of schizophrenia.

At that the other analyst balked. “What’s so interesting about that? Split-personality cases are rather common, I would say.” “This case is interesting,” responded his colleague. “They both pay!”

That’s how theologians have lived. Theology is politics. It divides people. And if you can divide people you can rule them.

Zen looks at humanity with undivided vision – it does not divide. It has a total look. That’s why I say that Zen is the religion of the future. Humanity is growing slowly towards that awareness where theology will be dropped and religion will be accepted purely as an experience.

In Japanese they have a special word for it. They call it konomama or sonomama – ‘Thisness’ of existence. This – capital ‘This’ – is it. This isness of life is God. It is not that God is, but the very isness is divine: the isness of a tree, the isness of a rock, the isness of a man, the isness of a woman, the isness of a child. And that isness is an undefined phenomenon,  undefinable. You can dissolve into it, you can merge into it, you can taste it. “How wondrous! How mysterious!”

But you cannot define it, you cannot pinpoint it logically, you cannot formulate it into clear-cut concepts. Concepts kill it. Then it is the isness no more. Then it is a mind-construction. The word God is not God, the concept God is not God. Neither is the concept love nor is the word food. Zen says a very simple thing. It says: remember that the menu is not the food. And don’t start eating the menu. That’s what people have been doing down the centuries: eating the menu.

And of course, if they are undernourished, if they are not flowing, if they are not vital, if they are not living totally, it is natural, it is predictable. They have not lived on real food. They have been talking too much about food and they have completely forgotten what food is. God has to be eaten, God has to be tasted, God has to be lived – not argued about.

The process of ‘about’ is theology. And that ‘about’ goes round and round, it never comes to the real thing. It is a vicious circle. Logic is a vicious circle. And Zen makes every effort to bring you out of that vicious circle.

How is logic a vicious circle? The premise already has the conclusion in it. The conclusion is not going to be something new, it is contained in the premise. And then in the conclusion the premise is contained. It is like a seed: the tree is contained in the seed and then the tree will give birth to many more seeds and in those seeds trees will be contained. It is a vicious circle:  seed, tree, seed. It goes on. Or, egg, hen, egg, hen, egg . . . it goes on ad infinitum. It is a circle.

To break out of this circle is what Zen is all about – not to go on moving in your mind through words and concepts but to drop into existence itself.

A great Zen Master, Nanin, was cutting a tree in the forest. And a professor of a university came to see him. Naturally the professor thought that this woodcutter must know where Nanin lived in the hills, so he enquired. The woodcutter took his axe in his hand and said, “I had to pay very much for it.”

The professor had not enquired about his axe. He was enquiring where Nanin lived; he was enquiring if he would be in the temple if he went there. And Nanin raised the axe and said, “Look, I had to pay very much for it.” The professor felt a little puzzled and before he could escape, Nanin came even closer and put his axe just on the head of the professor. The professor started trembling and Nanin said, “It is really sharp.” And the professor escaped.

Later on, when he reached the temple he came to know that the woodcutter was nobody but Nanin himself. Then he enquired, “Is he mad?”

“No,” the disciple said. “You had asked if Nanin was in and he was saying yes. He was showing his inness and isness. That moment he was a woodcutter; that moment, axe in his hand, he was totally absorbed in the sharpness of the axe. He was that sharpness in that moment. He was saying ‘I am in’ by being so immediate, by being so totally in the present. You missed the point. He was showing you the quality of Zen.”

Zen is non-conceptual, non-intellectual. It is the only religion in the world which preaches immediacy; moment to moment immediacy; to be present in the moment, no past, no future.

But people have lived with theologies. And those theologies keep them childish, they don’t allow them to grow. You cannot grow by being confined in a theology, by being a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan or even a Buddhist. You cannot grow; you don’t have space enough to grow. You are confined very much, in a very narrow space; you are imprisoned.

A young priest took a hundred thousand dollars from the church safe and lost it on the stock market. Then his beautiful wife left him. In despair he went down to the river and was just about to jump off the bridge when he was stopped by a woman in a black cloak with a wrinkled face and stringy gray hair.

“Don’t jump,” she rasped. “I’m a witch, and I’ll grant you three wishes if you do something for me!”

“I’m beyond help,” he replied.

“Don’t be silly,” she said. ,”Alakazam! The money is back in the church vault. Alakazam! Your wife is home waiting for you with love in her heart. Alakazam! You now have two hundred thousand dollars in the bank!”

“That’s w-w-wonderful,” stuttered the priest. “What do I have to do for you?”

“Spend the night making love to me.”

The thought of sleeping with the toothless old hag was repellent, but certainly worth it, so they retired to a nearby motel. In the morning, the distasteful ordeal over, the priest was dressing to go home when the bat in the bed said, “Say sonny, how old are you?”

“I’m forty-two!” he replied. “Why?”

“Ain’t you a little old to believe in witches?”

That’s what happens. If you believe in God you can believe in a witch, it is the same package. If you can believe in one kind of nonsense, you can believe in all kinds of nonsense. But you never grow. You remain juvenile.

Zen means maturity. Zen means drop all wishes and see what is the case. Don’t bring your dreams into reality. Clean your eyes completely of dreams so that you can see what is the case. That isness is called konomama or sonomama. Kono or sonomama means the isness of a thing – reality in its isness. All ideologies prevent you from seeing. Ideologies are all blindfolds, they obstruct your vision. A Christian cannot see, neither can a Hindu, nor a Mohammedan. Because you are so full of your ideas you go on seeing what you want to see, you go on seeing what is not there, you go on projecting, you go on interpreting, you go on creating a private reality of your own which is not there. This creates a sort of insanity. Out of a hundred of your so-called saints, ninety-nine are insane people.

Zen brings sanity to the world, utter sanity. It drops all ideologies. It says: “Be empty. Look without any idea. Look into the nature of things but with no idea, with no prejudice, with no pre-supposition.” Don’t be preoccupied – that is one of the fundamentals. So theology has to be dropped otherwise you remain preoccupied.

Can you see the point? If you have an idea, there is every possibility that you will find it in reality – because the mind is very, very creative. Of course, that creation will be only in imagination. If you are seeking Christ you may start having visions of Christ, and they will be all imaginary. If you are seeking Krishna you will start seeing Krishna, and they will be all imaginary.

Zen is very down-to-earth. It says that imagination has to be dropped. Imagination comes out of your past. From childhood you have been conditioned for certain ideas. From childhood you have been taken to the church, to the temple, to the mosque; you have been taken to the scholar, to the pundit, to the priest; you have been forced to listen to sermons – all kinds of things have been thrown into your minds. Burdened with all that, don’t come to reality – otherwise you will never come to know what reality is.

Unburden. That unburdening is Zen.

A minister of the Gospel was conducting religious services in an asylum for the insane. His discourse was suddenly interrupted by one of the inmates crying out wildly, “I say, have we got to listen to this tommyrot?”

The minister, surprised and confused, turned to the keeper and said, “Shall I stop speaking?”

The keeper replied, “No, no, keep right on, that won’t happen again, not at least for seven years. That man has only one sane moment every seven years.”

It is really very difficult to be sane in an insane world.

Zen is simple and yet difficult. Simple as far as Zen is concerned – it is the most simple thing, the simplest, because it is a spontaneous thing – but very difficult because of our conditioned minds, because of the insane world in which we live, by which we have been brought up, by which we have been corrupted.

The second thing: Zen is not a philosophy, it is poetry. It does not propose, it simply persuades. It does not argue, it simply sings its own song. It is aesthetic to the very core, it is not ascetic. It does not believe in being arrogant, aggressive, towards reality, it believes in love. It believes that if we participate with reality, reality reveals its secrets to us. It creates a participatory consciousness. It is poetry, it is pure poetry – just as it is pure religion.

Zen is very, very concerned with beauty – less concerned with truth, more concerned with beauty. Why? Because truth is a dry symbol. It is not only dry in itself but people who become too much concerned with truth become dry also. They start dying. Their hearts shrink, their juices flow no more. They become loveless, they become violent, and they start moving more and more in the head.

And Zen is not a head thing, it is a total thing. Not that the head is denied, but it has to be given its right place. It is not given any dominant status. It has to function with the totality. The guts are as important as the head, the feet are as important as the head, the heart is as important as the head. The total should function as an organism. Nobody should be dominated.

Philosophy is head-oriented; poetry is more total. Poetry has more flow to it. Poetry is more concerned about beauty. And beauty is non-violence and beauty is love and beauty is compassion.

The Zen seeker looks into reality to find out the beautiful . . . in the songs of the birds, in the trees, in the dance of a peacock, in the clouds, in the lightning, in the sea, in the sands. It tries to look for the beautiful.

Naturally, to look for the beautiful has a totally different impact. When you are searching for truth you are more male; when you are searching for beauty. you are more female. When you are searching for truth you are more concerned with reason; when you are searching for beauty you have to be more and more concerned with intuition. Zen is feminine. Poetry is feminine. Philosophy is very male, very aggressive. It is a male mind.

Zen is passive – that’s why in Zen, sitting became one of the most important meditations. Just sitting – zazen. Zen people say that if you simply sit doing nothing, things will happen. Things will happen on their own; you need not go after them, you need not seek them, you need not search for them. They will come. You simply sit. If you can sit silently, if you can fall into a tremendous restfulness, if you can ‘unlax’ yourself, if you can drop all tensions and become a silent pool of energy, going nowhere, searching nothing, God starts pouring into you. From everywhere God rushes towards you. Just sitting, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

And remember, when Zen says ‘just sitting’ it means just sitting – nothing else, not even a mantra. If you are repeating a mantra you are not just sitting, you are again getting into some tommyrot, again into some mind thing. If you are not doing anything whatsoever. . . . Thoughts are coming, coming; they are going, going – if they come, good; if they don’t come, good. You are not concerned with what is happening, you are simply sitting there. If you feel tired you lie down. If you feel your legs getting tense you spread them. You remain natural. Not even watching. Not making any effort of any kind. That’s what they mean by just sitting. Just sitting it happens.

Zen is the feminine approach and religion is basically feminine. Science is male, philosophy is male – religion is female. All that is beautiful in the world – poetry, painting, dance – has all come from the feminine mind.

It may not have come from women because women have not been free to create yet. Their days are coming. When Zen becomes more and more significant in the world, the feminine mind will have a great upsurge, a great explosion.

Things move in a togetherness. The past has been male-dominated – hence Islam and Christianity and Hinduism. The future is going to be more feminine, more soft, more passive, more relaxed, more aesthetic, more poetic. In that poetic atmosphere Zen will become the most significant thing in the world.

Philosophy is logic; poetry is love. Philosophy dissects, analyses; poetry synthesizes, puts things together. Philosophy is basically destructive; poetry is life-giving. Analysis is the method of philosophy – and it is the method of science, the method of psychoanalysts. Sooner or later psychoanalysis will have to be replaced by the more profound psychosynthesis. Assagioli is far more right than Sigmund Freud because synthesis is closer to truth. The world is one. It is a unity. Nothing is separate. Everything pulsates together. We are joined with each other, interlinked. The whole life is a net. Even the small leaf around this Chuang Tzu auditorium is joined with the farthest star. If something happens to this leaf something is going to happen to that farthest star too. Everything is together, this togetherness. Existence is a family.

Zen says don’t dissect, don’t analyze.

A farmer, who was a witness in a railroad case up in Vermont, was asked to tell in his own way how the accident happened.

“Well, Jake and me was walking down the track and I heard a whistle, and I got off the track and the train went by, and I got back on the track and I didn’t see Jake. But I walked along and pretty soon I seen Jake’s hat, and I walked on and I seen one of Jake’s laigs, and then I seen one of Jake’s arms, and then another laig, and then over on one side Jake’s head, and I says, ‘By crickey! Something musta happened to Jake!’”

That’s what has happened to humanity. Something has happened. Man has been cut into parts. There are now specialists: somebody takes care of the eyes and somebody takes care of the heart and somebody takes care of the head and somebody takes care of something else. Man is divided.

Zen says man is a total organism.

In modern science a new concept is becoming very prevalent – they call it androgeny. Buckminster Fuller has defined androgeny as the characteristic of a whole system, an organism. An organism has something which is not just the sum total of its parts. It is called synergetic – that is, more than the simple sum of its parts. When these parts are united in a functioning whole, in a working order, a synergetic dividend appears – the ‘tick’. You can open a clock and you separate everything – the tick disappears. You put the parts together again in a functioning order – the tick appears again. The tick is something very new. No single part can be made responsible for it; no single part had it. It is the whole that ticks.

That tick is the soul. You take my hand away, you take my leg away, you take my head away, and the tick disappears. The tick is the very soul. But the tick remains only in an organic unity.

God is the tick of this whole existence. You cannot find God by dissecting, God can be found only in a poetic vision of unity. God is a synergetic experience. Science can never reveal it; philosophy can never come to it – only a poetic approach, a very passive, a very loving approach, can. When you fall en rapport with existence, when you are no more separate as a seeker, when you are no more separate as a watcher, when you are no more separate as an observer, when you are lost into it, utterly lost it is there, the tick.

The third thing: Zen is not science but magic. But it is not the magic of the magicians, it is magic as a way to look into life. Science is intellectual. It is an effort to destroy the mystery of life. It kills the wonder. It is against the miraculous. Zen is all for it – for the miraculous, for the mysterious.

The life mystery has not to be solved because it cannot be solved. It has to be lived. One has to move into it, cherish it. It is a great joy that life is a mystery. It has to be celebrated.

Zen is magic. It gives you the key to open the miraculous. And the miraculous is in you and the key is also in you.

When you come to a Zen Master he simply helps you to be silent so that you can find your key which you are carrying all along the way, and you can find your door – which is there – and you can enter into your own innermost shrine.

And the last fundamental: Zen is not morality, it is aesthetics. It does not impose a code of morality, it does not give you any commandments: do this, don’t do that. It simply makes you more sensitive towards the beautiful, and that very sensitivity becomes your morality. But then it arises out of you, out of your consciousness, Zen does not give you any conscience as against consciousness; it simply gives you more consciousness and your more consciousness becomes your conscience. Then it is not that Moses gives you a commandment, it is not that it comes from the Bible or Koran or Vedas . . . it is not coming from outside. It comes from your innermost core.

And when it comes from there it is not slavery, it is freedom. When it comes from there it is not that you are doing it as a duty, reluctantly. You enjoy doing it. It becomes your love.

-Osho

Excerpt from Zen: The Path of Paradox, V.1, Discourse #1

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.

My Deepest Secret

What to do when my heart and mind are in the midst of tremendous turmoil, confusion, anger, disappointment?

I find a not uncomfortable place to sit and in that sitting just give a little space and time for all of the turmoil to completely reveal itself, the swirling thoughts, the clouds of despair, the murkiness of confusion, the fire of anger, and without turning away, I remain staying with it all. And the key, the most important key, is that I do not try to end any of this. I do not engage in thought to rationalize, I do not push away that which is uncomfortable, nor judge my feelings, I do not analyze why all of this is happening, nor jump onto the bandwagon and go for a ride into the maelstrom, but simply allow all of the thoughts and even more importantly all of the sensations and feelings that come along. And these too are allowed without judging, without hanging on to those that I like and without pushing away those that are uncomfortable. There is no spiritual bypassing of anything that arises. It is all welcome.

But of course, this is not true, I do, do all of those things. I do judge, I do push away, I do grasp, I do analyze, but by seeing that I am doing them, a little space opens up for love. And again, I am back to watching the whole drama but with just a little bit more awareness, a little bit freer of the grasping clutches of mind and emotion. But once again, the cycle repeats itself, not just once or twice but many times. But with each return to center the gap has widened.

And sometimes, there does come those special moments when the thoughts subside completely, when the hot feelings turn into “a peace that passeth all understanding.” In those moments there are no conclusions, just a remaining in a vast unknownness, and there is a gratefulness to all that has preceded, all that has contributed to creating this opportunity, to all that has led to this moment and I bow down to existence.

This secret is the art of watching, the art of witnessing, and it is the greatest gift that I received from Osho, but it is not unique to him. Below is a post where the Zen Master, Charlotte Joko Beck, who lived for some time in Prescott, AZ, describes a similar process which she names, get “a bigger container.”

-purushottama

A Bigger Container – Charlotte Joko Beck

Be a Light Unto Yourself – Osho

Is Zen the path of surrender? Then how come the basic teaching of Buddha is ‘Be a light unto yourself’?

The essential surrender happens within you, it has nothing to do with anybody outside you. The basic surrender is a relaxation, a trust — so don’t be misguided by the word. Linguistically, surrender means to surrender to somebody, but religiously, surrender simply means trust, relaxing. It is an attitude rather than an act: you live through trust.

Let me explain. You swim in water — you go to the river and swim. What do you do? You trust water. A good swimmer trusts so much that he almost becomes one with the river. He is not fighting, he does not grab the water, he is not stiff and tense. If you are stiff and tense you will be drowned; if you are relaxed the river takes care.

That’s why whenever somebody dies, the dead body floats on the water. This is a miracle. Amazing! The alive person died and was drowned by the river, and the dead person simply floats on the surface. What has happened? The dead person knows some secret about the river which the alive person did not know. The alive person was fighting. The river was the enemy. He was afraid, he could not trust. But the dead person, not being there, how could he fight? The dead person is totally relaxed with no tension — suddenly the body surfaces. The river takes care. No river can drown a dead person.

Trust means you are not fighting; surrender means you don’t think of life as the enemy but as the friend. Once you trust the river, suddenly you start enjoying. Tremendous delight arises: splashing, swimming, or just floating, or diving deep. But you are not separate from the river, you merge, you become one.

Surrender means to live the same way in life as a good swimmer swims in the river. Life is a river. Either you can fight or you can float; either you can push the river and try to go against the current or you can float with the river and go wherever the river leads you.

Surrender is not towards somebody; it is simply a way of life. A God is not needed to surrender to. There are religions which believe in God, there are religions which don’t believe in God, but all religions believe in surrender. So surrender is the real God.

Even the concept of God can be discarded. Buddhism does not believe in any God, Jainism does not believe in any God — but they are religions. Christianity believes in God, Islam believes in God, Sikhism believes in God — they are also religions. The Christian teaches surrender to God; God is just an excuse to surrender. It is a help, because it will be difficult for you to surrender without any object. The object is just an excuse so that in the name of God you can surrender. Buddhism says simply surrender — there is no God. You relax. It is not a question of some object, it is a question of your own subjectivity. Relax, don’t fight. Accept.

The belief in God is not needed. In fact, the word “belief” is ugly. It does not show trust, it does not show faith — belief is almost the very opposite of faith. The word ‘belief’ comes from a root “lief” — “lief” means to desire, to wish. Now let me explain it to you. You say, “I believe in God the compassionate.” What exactly are you saying? You are saying, “I wish there was a God who is compassionate.” Whenever you say, “I believe,” you say, “I intensely desire.” But you don’t know.

If you know, there is no question of belief. Do you believe in the trees here? Do you believe in the sun which arises every morning? Do you believe in the stars? There is no question of belief. You know that the sun is there, that the trees are there. Nobody believes in the sun — if he did, you would say he is mad. If somebody came and said, “I believe in the sun,” and tried to convert you, you would say, “You have gone mad!”

I have heard an anecdote.

A certain lady, Lady Lewis, was appointed ambassador to Italy by the United States of America. She was a recently converted Catholic, and, of course, when people become converted, they are very enthusiastic. And she was boring everybody. Whosoever she came into contact with, she would try and make him a Catholic.

The story goes that when she went to Italy as the ambassador, she went to see the Pope. A long discussion followed — it went on and on. A press reporter slipped closer and closer, just to hear what was going on. The Pope had never given so much time to anybody, and the discussion seemed to be very heated and hot. Something was going on. When the Pope talks so long to the ambassador of the richest and the strongest nation in the world, there is going to be some news.

Just to overhear, he came closer and closer. He could hear only one sentence. The Pope was saying in a faltering English, “Lady, you don’t understand me. I am already a Catholic!”

She was trying to convert the Pope!

If somebody comes and says to you, “Believe in the sun,” you will say, “I am already a Catholic. I already believe. You don’t be worried about it.” You know.

Somebody asked Shri Aurobindo, “Do you believe in God?”

He said, “No.”

Of course the questioner was very shocked. He had come from far away, from Germany, and he was a great seeker of God and he was hoping for much. Then this man simply says a flat no. He said, “But I was thinking that you have known him.”

Aurobindo said, “Yes, I have known him, but I don’t believe in him.”

Once you know, what is the point of belief? Belief is in ignorance. If you know, you know. And it is good that if you don’t know, know that you don’t know — the belief can deceive you. The belief can create an atmosphere in your mind, where, without knowing, you start thinking that you know. Belief is not trust, and the more strongly you say that you believe totally, the more you are afraid of the doubt within you.

Trust knows no doubt. Belief is just repressing doubt; it is a desire. When you say, “I believe in God,” you say, “I cannot live without God. It will be too difficult to exist in this darkness, surrounded by death, without a concept of God.” That concept helps. One doesn’t feel alone; one doesn’t feel unprotected, insecure — hence belief.

Martin Luther has written, “My God is a great fortress.” These words cannot come from a man, who trusts. ‘My God is a great fortress’? Martin Luther seems to be on the defensive. Even God is just a fortress to protect you, to make you feel secure? Then it is out of fear. The thinking that “God is my greatest fortress”, is born out of fear, not out of love. It is not of trust. Deep down there is doubt and fear.

Trust is simple. It is just like a child trusts in his mother. It is not that he believes — belief has not yet entered. You were a small child once. Did you believe in your mother or did you trust her? The doubt has not arisen so what is the question of belief? Belief comes only when the doubt has entered; doubt comes first. Later on, to suppress the doubt, you catch hold of a belief. Trust is when doubt disappears; trust is when doubt is not there.

For instance, you breathe. You take a breath in; then you exhale, you breathe out. Are you afraid of breathing out, because who knows, it may not come back? You trust. You trust it will come. Of course there is no reason to trust, what is the reason? Why should it come back? You can at the most say that in the past it has been happening so — but that is not a guarantee. It may not happen in the future. If you become afraid of breathing out because it may not come back, then you will hold your breath in. That’s what belief is — clinging, holding. But if you hold your breath in, your face will go purple and you will feel suffocated. And if you go on doing that, you will die.

All beliefs suffocate and all beliefs help you not to be really alive. They deaden your being.

If you exhale, you trust in life. The Buddhist word ‘nirvana’ simply means exhaling, breathing out — trusting. Trust is a very, very innocent phenomenon. Belief is of the head; trust is of the heart. One simply trusts life because you are out of life, you live in life, and you will go back again to the source. There is no fear. You are born, you live, you will die; there is no fear. You will be born again, you will live again, you will die. The same life that has given you life can always give you more life, so why be afraid?

Why cling to beliefs? Beliefs are man-made; trust is God-made. Beliefs are philosophical; trust has nothing to do with philosophy. Trust simply shows that you know what love is. It is not a concept of God who is sitting somewhere in heaven and manipulating and managing. Trust needs no God, the infinite life, this totality, is more than enough. Once you trust, you relax. That relaxation is surrender.

Now, “Is Zen the path of surrender?” Yes. Religion, as such, is surrendering, relaxing. Don’t cling to anything. Clinging shows that you don’t trust life.

Every evening, Mohammed used to distribute whatsoever he had collected in the day.

All! Not even a single pai would he save for the tomorrow because he said that the same source that had given today, would give to him tomorrow. If it has happened today, why be untrusting about tomorrow? Why save?

But when he was dying and he was very ill, his wife became worried. Even at midnight a physician may be needed, so that evening she saved five rupees, five dinars. She was afraid. “Nobody knows — he may become too ill in the night, and some medicine may be needed and in the middle of the night, where would I go? Or a doctor may be needed and the fee would have to be given.” Not saying anything to Mohammed, she’d saved five dinars.

Near about midnight, Mohammed opened his eyes and he said, “I feel a certain distrust around me. It seems something has been saved.”

The wife became very much afraid and she said, “Excuse me, but thinking that something may be needed in the night, I have saved just five dinars.”

Mohammed said, “You go out and give it to somebody.”

She said, “In the middle of the night who is going to be there?”

Mohammed said, “You just listen and let me die peacefully, otherwise I will feel guilty, guilty against my God. And if he asks me. I will feel ashamed that at the last moment I died in deep distrust. You go out!”

The wife went out, unbelieving of course, but a beggar was standing there.

When she came back, Mohammed said, “Look, he manages well, and if we need something, then a donor will be standing outside the door. Don’t be worried.”

Then he pulled up his blanket and died immediately, relaxed totally.

Clinging to anything, anything whatsoever, shows distrust. If you love a woman or a man, and you cling, that simply shows that you don’t trust. If you love a woman and you say, “Tomorrow also, will you love me or not?” you don’t trust. If you go to the court to get married, you don’t trust. Then you trust more in the court, in the police, in the law, than in love. You are preparing for tomorrow. If this woman or this man tries to deceive you tomorrow or leaves you in the ditch, you can get support from the court and the police, and the law will be with you and the whole society will support you. You are making arrangements, afraid.

But if you really love, love is enough, more than enough. Who bothers about tomorrow? But deep down there is doubt. Even while you think you are in love, doubt continues.

It is reported that when Jesus was resurrected after his crucifixion, the first person to see him back alive was Mary Magdalene. She had loved him tremendously. She ran towards him. In the New Testament it is said that Jesus said, “Don’t touch me.”

I became a little suspicious because Jesus saying, “Don’t touch me,” does not look right. Something somewhere has gone wrong. Of course it is okay if a pope says, “Don’t touch me,” but a Jesus saying, “Don’t touch me.” Almost impossible.

So I tried to find the original. In the original the Greek word can mean both touch or cling. Then I found the key. Jesus says, “Don’t cling to me,” not “Don’t touch me,” but the translators have interpreted it as, ‘Don’t touch me.” The interpreter has entered his own mind in it. Jesus must have said, “Don’t cling to me,” because if there is trust, there is no clinging if there is love, there is no clinging. You simply share without any clinging; you share in deep relaxedness.

Surrendering means surrendering to life; surrendering to the source from where you come and to where one day you will go back again. You are just like a wave in the ocean: You come out of the ocean, you go back to the ocean. Surrendering means trusting in the ocean — and of course, what can a wave do except that? The wave has to trust the ocean and whether you trust or not, you remain part of the ocean. Non-trusting, you will create anxiety — that’s all. Nothing will change. only you will become anxious. tense, desperate.

If you trust, you flower. you bloom. you celebrate. knowing well that deep down is your mother, the ocean. When tired, you will go back and rest in her being again. When rested, you will come back again to have a taste of the sky and the sunlight and the stars.

Surrendering is trusting and it has nothing to do with any concept of any God, any ideology of any God. It is an attitude.

Then you can understand the meaning of Buddha s last utterance. Be a light unto yourself. When he says. Be a light unto yourself. he means: if you have surrendered to life you have become a light unto yourself. Then life leads you. Then you always live in enlightenment. When he says. “Be a light unto yourself,” he is saying don t follow anybody, don’t cling to anybody. Learn from everybody but don’t cling to anybody. Be open, vulnerable, but remain on your own, because finally the religious experience cannot be a borrowed experience. It has to be existential; it has to be your own. Only then it is authentic.

If I say something and you believe in it, it is not going to help. If I say something and you search, and you surrender, and you trust, and you also experience the same — then it has become a light unto yourself. Otherwise my words will remain words; at the most they can become beliefs. Unless you experience the truth of them, they cannot become trust, they cannot become your own truth. My truth cannot become yours, otherwise it would have been very cheap. If my truth could be yours then there would be no problem.

That is the difference between a scientific truth and a religious truth. A scientific truth can be borrowed. A scientific truth, once known, becomes everybody else’s property. Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity. Now there is no need for everybody to discover it again and again and again. That would be foolish. Once discovered, it has become public. Now it is everybody’s theory. Once discovered, once proved, now even a school child can learn it. Now no genius is needed — you need not be an Albert Einstein. Just a mediocre mind will do; just an ordinary mind will do. You can understand it and it is yours. Of course, Einstein had to work for years — then he was able to discover it. You need not work. If you are ready to understand and put your mind to it, in just a few hours you will understand.

But the same is not true about religious truth. Buddha discovered, Christ discovered, Nanak and Kabir discovered, but their discovery cannot become your discovery. You will have to rediscover it again. You will have to move again from ABC; you cannot just believe in them. That won’t help. But that is what humanity has been doing: mistaking religious truth for scientific truth. It is not scientific truth, it can never become a public property. Each individual has to come to it alone, each individual has to come to it again and again. It can never become available in the market. You will have to pass through the hardship; you will have to seek and search and follow the same path. A shortcut cannot even be made. You will have to pass through the same austerities as Buddha, the same difficulties as the Buddha; you will have to suffer the same calamities on the path as the Buddha and you will have to be in the same hazards as the Buddha. And one day, when the clouds disappear, you will dance and be as ecstatic as the Buddha.

Of course, when an Archimedes discovers something, he runs naked in the streets, “Eureka! I have found it!” You can understand Archimedes within minutes, within seconds, but you will not be ecstatic — otherwise every school child would run naked in the streets, crying, “Eureka!” Nobody has done that since Archimedes did it. It happened only once. For Archimedes it was a discovery; since then it has become public property.

But it is good that the religious truth cannot be transferred to you otherwise you would never achieve the same ecstasy as Buddha or Jesus or Krishna. Never, because you would learn it in a school textbook — any fool could transfer it to you. Then the whole orgasmic experience will be lost.

It is good that religious experience has to be experienced individually. Nobody can lead you there. People can indicate the way but those indications are very subtle — don’t take them literally. Buddha said, “Be a light unto yourself.” He is saying, ‘Remember, my truth cannot be your truth; my light cannot be your light. Imbibe the spirit from me, become more thirsty from me, let your search be intense and be totally devoted to it, learn the devotion of a truth-seeker from me — but the truth, the light, will burn within you. You will have to kindle it within you.”

You cannot borrow truth, it cannot be transferred, it is not a property. It is such a subtle experience that it cannot even be expressed. It is inexpressible. One at the most tries to give a few hints.

-Osho

From Ancient Music in the Pines, Discourse #4, Q1

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.

Zen is just Zen – Osho

Zen is just Zen. There is nothing comparable to it. It is unique—unique in the sense that it is the most ordinary and yet the most extraordinary phenomenon that has happened to human consciousness. It is the most ordinary because it does not believe in knowledge, it does not believe in mind. It is not a philosophy, not a religion either. It is the acceptance of the ordinary existence with a total heart, with one’s total being, not desiring some other world, supra-mundane, supra-mental. It has no interest in any esoteric nonsense, no interest in metaphysics at all. It does not hanker for the other shore; this shore is more than enough. Its acceptance of this shore is so tremendous that through that very acceptance it transforms this shore—and this very shore becomes the other shore:

This very body the Buddha;
This very earth the lotus paradise.

Hence it is ordinary. It does not want you to create a certain kind of spirituality, a certain kind of holiness. All that it asks is that you live your life with immediacy, spontaneity. And then the mundane becomes the sacred.

The great miracle of Zen is in the transformation of the mundane into the sacred. And it is tremendously extraordinary because this way life has never been approached before, this way life has never been respected before.

Zen goes beyond Buddha and beyond Lao Tzu. It is a culmination, a transcendence, both of the Indian genius and of the Chinese genius. The Indian genius reached its highest peak in Gautam the Buddha and the Chinese genius reached its highest peak in Lao Tzu.

And the meeting . . . the essence of Buddha’s teaching and the essence of Lao Tzu’s teaching merged into one stream so deeply that no separation is possible now. Even to make a distinction between what belongs to Buddha and what to Lao Tzu is impossible, the merger has been so total. It is not only a synthesis, it is an integration. Out of this meeting Zen was born. Zen is neither Buddhist nor Taoist and yet both.

To call Zen “Zen Buddhism” is not right because it is far more. Buddha is not as earthly as Zen is. Lao Tzu is tremendously earthly, but Zen is not only earthly: its vision transforms the earth into heaven. Lao Tzu is earthly, Buddha is unearthly, Zen is both—and in being both it has become the most extraordinary phenomenon.

The future of humanity will go closer and closer to the approach of Zen, because the meeting of the East and West is possible only through something like Zen, which is earthly and yet unearthly. The West is very earthly, the East is very unearthly. Who is going to become the bridge? Buddha cannot be the bridge; he is so essentially Eastern, the very flavor of the East, the very fragrance of the East, uncompromising. Lao Tzu cannot be the bridge; he is too earthly. China has always been very earthly. China is more part of the Western psyche than of the Eastern psyche.

It is not an accident that China is the first country in the East to turn communist, to become materialist, to believe in a godless philosophy, to believe that man is only matter and nothing else. This is not just accidental. China has been earthly for almost five thousand years; it is very Western. Hence Lao Tzu cannot become the bridge; he is more like Zorba the Greek. Buddha is so unearthly you cannot even catch hold of him—how can he become the bridge?

When I look all around, Zen seems to be the only possibility, because in Zen, Buddha and Lao Tzu have become one. The meeting has already happened. The seed is there, the seed of that great bridge which can make East and West one. Zen is going to be the meeting point. It has a great future—a great past and a great future.

And the miracle is that Zen is neither interested in the past nor in the future. Its total interest is in the present. Maybe that’s why the miracle is possible, because the past and the future are bridged by the present.

The present is not part of time. Have you ever thought about it? How long is the present?

The past has a duration, the future has a duration. What is the duration of the present?

How long does it last? Between the past and the future can you measure the present? It is immeasurable; it is almost not. It is not time at all: it is the penetration of eternity into time.

And Zen lives in the present. The whole teaching is: how to be in the present, how to get out of the past which is no more and how not to get involved in the future which is not yet, and just to be rooted, centered, in that which is.

The whole approach of Zen is of immediacy, but because of that it can bridge the past and the future. It can bridge many things: it can bridge the past and the future, it can bridge the East and the West, it can bridge body and soul. It can bridge the unbridgeable worlds: this world and that, the mundane and the sacred.

-Osho

From Ah, This!, Discourse #1

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.

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