Loose Change

On Meditation – Osho

Posted in Osho, Spirituality by Neeraj on 05/26/2010

I first made this post on 06/21/2007. It is an excerpt from the book From Misery to Enlightenment. I’ve always felt that this is one of the most lucid expositions on meditation that Osho has ever given. Although it’s rather a long post, I would encourage you to go through it in its entirety. There are some really interesting points that Osho makes.

For instance, he talks a bit about his constant refrain (in discourses) to pay attention not to his words but to the gaps between them. I couldn’t understand what he meant at first. I thought that he wanted us to digest his words — to mull them over — in the pauses when he was speaking. But I’ve come to realize that this is not what he was indicating. His true intent was to signal to us to listen to our own mind, as we (by habit) digested his (or anyone else’s) words in the pauses. If we were able to become aware of the different contradictions or interpretations evoked in our mind by Osho’s words or the different spin that our mind put on those words, we would be one step closer to understanding the evasive nature of the mind. Perhaps this is why Osho always spoke in that extremely slow, measured cadence. It irritated me at first but once you know the intent behind it, you can come to terms with it.

Another very important distinction that Osho makes is the difference between meditation and concentration. This is all the more germane now because most people today confuse the two. If you have ever searched the Internet for meditation techniques, you will find a lot of methods that actually teach you how to concentrate (e.g., on an image or a word) and call it meditation. But this is not meditation. (Some religious traditions like Nichiren Buddhism or Bhakti Hinduism also use a similar technique, but in those cases concentration is used only as a crutch to develop the art of true meditation. Most Western or modern techniques that stress concentration treat it as the end goal or even more precisely, to be meditation). However, meditation is not the ‘narrowing of consciousness’ (as Osho terms it) but a broadening. He explains it very beautifully with the help of two parables in the passage below.

Lastly, the third important point that Osho makes (again, with the help of a beautiful parable) is that the phenomenon of meditation is not an activity but a state of being. Someone who understands this has understood meditation completely.

So, lots of goodies in this excerpt. I would love to know if anyone out there found this post helpful. Please leave a comment. In any case, peace and love to you all.

P.S. Here is another post on Osho and meditation that you may find interesting: Watching the Mind – Osho.

To say something about meditation is a contradiction in terms. It is something which you can have, which you can be, but by its very nature you cannot say what it is. Still, efforts have been made to convey it in some way. Even if only a fragmentary, partial understanding arises out of it, that is more than one can expect.

But even that partial understanding of meditation can become a seed. Much depends on how you listen. If you only hear, then even a fragment cannot be conveyed to you, but if you listen…. Try to understand the difference between the two.
Hearing is mechanical. You have ears, you can hear. If you are getting deaf then a mechanical aid can help you to hear. Your ears are nothing but a certain mechanism to receive sounds. Hearing is very simple animals hear, anybody who has ears is capable of hearing — but listening is a far higher stage.
Listening means: when you are hearing you are only hearing and not doing anything else — no other thoughts in your mind, no clouds passing in your inner sky — so whatever is being said reaches as it is being said.
It is not interfered with by your mind; not interpreted by you, by your prejudices; not clouded by anything that, right now, is passing within you — because all these are distortions.
Ordinarily it is not difficult; you go on managing just by hearing, because the things that you are hearing are common objects. If I say something about the house, the door, the tree, the bird, there is no problem. These are common objects; there is no need of listening. But there is a need to listen when we are talking about something like meditation, which is not an object at all; it is a subjective state. We can only indicate it; you have to be very attentive and alert — then there is a possibility that some meaning reaches you.
Even if a little understanding arises in you, it is more than enough, because understanding has its own way of growing. If just a little bit of understanding falls in the right place, in the heart, it starts growing of its own accord.
First try to understand the word “meditation.” It is not the right word for the state about which any authentic seeker is bound to be concerned. So I would like to tell you something about a few words. In Sanskrit we have a special word for meditation, the word is dhyana. In no other language does a parallel word exist; that word is untranslatable. It has been recognized for two thousand years that this word is untranslatable, for the simple reason that in no other language people have tried it or experienced the state that it denotes; so those languages don’t have that word.

A word is needed only when (more…)

Watching the Mind – Osho

Posted in Osho, Spirituality by Neeraj on 05/25/2010

A discourse by Osho that will be interesting to anyone who has ever tried meditating.

P.S. Here is another post on Osho and meditation: On Meditation – Osho.

I HAVE BEEN THINKING ALL DAY OF A WAY TO ASK THE QUESTION: HOW TO STOP THINKING?

THINKING cannot be stopped. Not that it does not stop, but it cannot be stopped. It stops of its own accord. This distinction has to be understood, otherwise you can go mad chasing your mind. No-mind does not arise by stopping thinking. When the thinking is no more, no-mind is. The very effort to stop will create more anxiety, it will create conflict, it will make you split. You will be in a constant turmoil within. This is not going to help. And even if you succeed in stopping it forcibly for a few moments, it is not an achievement at all — because those few moments will be almost dead, they will not be alive. You may feel a sort of stillness, but not silence, because a forced stillness is not silence. Underneath it, deep in the unconscious, the repressed mind goes on working. So, there is no way to stop the mind. But the mind stops — that is certain. It stops of its own accord. So what to do? — your question is relevant. Watch — don’t try to stop. There is no need to do any action against the mind. In the first place, who will do it? It will be mind fighting mind itself. You will divide your mind into two; one that is trying to boss over — the top-dog — trying to kill the other part of itself, which is absurd. It is a foolish game. It can drive you crazy. Don’t try to stop the mind or the thinking — just watch it, allow it. Allow it total freedom. Let it run as fast as it wants. You don’t try in any way to control it. You just be a witness. It is beautiful! Mind is one of the most beautiful mechanisms. Science has not yet been able to create anything parallel to mind. Mind still remains the masterpiece — so complicated, so tremendously powerful, with so many potentialities. Watch it! Enjoy it! And don’t watch like an enemy, because if you look at the mind like an enemy, you cannot watch. You are already prejudiced; you are already against. You have already decided that something is wrong with the mind — you have already concluded. And whenever you look at somebody as an enemy you never look deep, you never look into the eyes. You avoid!

Watching the mind means: look at it with deep love, with deep respect, (more…)

The Immediate is the Ultimate – Osho

Posted in Osho, Spirituality by Neeraj on 05/22/2010

This is the first of a series of posts I plan to republish from my old posts that have gradually gotten relegated to obscurity over time. This post was originally published by me on Nov 3, 2008. It is an excerpt from the book The Wild Geese and the Water. In it, Osho addresses a question by one of the sannyasins who is not feeling very alive or excited about his life (something we can all identify with at one point or another). As always, Osho’s answer is simple and yet penetrating. Also, as always, Osho’s suggestions are harder to apply in practice than it seems (not because they are hard by nature but because our conditioning makes us resist them).


OSHO,
I HAVE NOT GOT ANY INTEREST IN ANYTHING. IT ALL SEEMS TO BE MEANINGLESS. NOTHING, EXCITES, PROVOKES OR CHALLENGES ME. THERE IS NO JUICE, NO ZEST. I HAVE FELT LIKE THIS ALL MY LIFE. WHY SHOULD I DO THIS OR THAT WHEN NOTHING FULFILLS ME ANYWAY? I AM ALWAYS TRYING TO BE JOYFUL – PRETENDING TO FEEL, TO BE EXCITED, INTERESTED AND ALIVE. I AM ALWAYS TRYING TO BE COURAGEOUS, TO JUMP OVER SOME OF MY FEARS. BUT FOR WHAT? I AM TIRED I FEEL THAT “I AM NOT” – AND EVEN THAT I DON’T REALLY FEEL.
OSHO, WHERE AM I?
DEVAGYAN,

Are you a Jew or something? The question is very Jewish.
You say: I HAVE NOT GOT ANY INTEREST IN ANYTHING.
What do you want? How much interest?

Little Moishe asked his father,”Father, how do you say ’one hundred percent profit’ in Yiddish?”
”It is Yiddish, my boy,” the father replies.
Hundred percent profit – it is Yiddish!

Moishe fell overboard and was eaten by a shark. In an endeavor to beat the shark off while Moishe was rescued, the passengers had pelted it with oranges, boxes and anything they could lay hands on. The cook in the galley waited until the shark was near, and hurled a kitchen table at it. The shark was stunned and was eventually killed.
When it was drawn aboard, there was an instant clamor for souvenirs, so the shark was cut open. Inside, Moishe was discovered – he had set up shop on the kitchen table and was selling oranges at cut prices!

You say, Devagyan: I HAVE NOT GOT ANY INTEREST IN ANYTHING. IT ALL SEEMS TO BE MEANINGLESS.
Has it to be meaningful? Why you are expecting it to be meaningful? That very expectation is creating trouble. There is no meaning. In fact, because there is no meaning, joy is possible. Because there is no meaning, playfulness is possible. Because there is no meaning, dance is possible. Listen to the birds – do you think there is any meaning? There is no meaning! But why there should be? See to the trees, the flowers, the stars – is there any meaning? But why there should be?

(more…)