Meditation is used by every culture of every age, so whether it's more utilitarian or more mystical depends upon you. Osho's Book of Wisdom
is a free, simple and effective means of understanding, beginning or refining this practice.
Getting Past Semantics
English has three words for this: concentration, contemplation, meditation.
Concentration is unnatural. It is enforced, a regimentation. It is something military-like; violently forcing the mind to remain pinpointed on one thing. And the nature of the mind is constantly flowing, moving. It is natural for the mind to move, it is a dynamic process, and you are trying to make this dynamic process stagnant.
Because it is against nature any excuse and the mind will immediately jump in and start moving. Even if you force the mind to be still for long periods you will be sitting on a volcano. It will be like a small child: you can force the child by saying, 'I will not give you food today. Sit in the corner and sit silently.' He can do it. You can tell him 'Close your eyes,' and he can. But just see: he is fidgeting, he is screwing up his eyes, afraid to open them but with every desire to. You can see the turmoil that is inside, but he is somehow holding himself back. He is in great trouble. That is the situation, when one is in the process of concentration.
Meditation is not concentration; it is not contemplation either. Contemplation means you are a little more fluid, a little more flowing, but you have to remain tethered to a particular subject. In concentration you have to remain pinpointed; in contemplation you have a little longer rope.
In English even “meditation” gives a wrong idea; it is as if you have to meditate upon something. But “dhyana,” the word in Sanskrit out of which the Japanese word “zen” has come, means there is no object, no subject, no concentration, no contemplation. You are simply sitting silently, witnessing whatsoever is. A dog starts barking, you witness it – it is not a distraction. Music is being played, you listen to it – it is not a distraction because you are not making any effort to concentrate. You are all-inclusive, nothing is excluded. The freedom is absolute. The only thing that has to be remembered is not to get identified with anything. Listen to the music but don't become the music, remain a witness.
So meditation can be defined as witnessing, not getting identified. Now this is a totally different phenomenon; there is no question of concentration, no question of contemplation.
You just remain alert, aware, watchful.
And then a miracle starts happening: you start becoming aware of godliness in everything. Even the barking of the dog starts having a divine quality to it. Maybe the dog is a little bit upside-down, but still the dog is god – just written wrongly, that's all. You have to read it the other way, otherwise there is no difference. And then everything starts having a new message, a new feel, a new splendor.
When the whole is transformed through your witnessing it becomes fragrant. There is no flower but there is immense fragrance. You have entered into the unmanifest.
Meditation is a way of settling in oneself, at the innermost core of your being. Once you have found the center of your existence, you will have found both your roots and your wings.
Silencing and Centering
If you ask a Zen monk, "From where do you think?" he puts his hands on his belly. When Westerners came into contact with Japanese monks for the first time they could not understand. "What nonsense! How can you think from your belly? But the Zen reply is meaningful. Consciousness can use any center of the body, and the center that is nearest to the original source is the navel. The brain is furthest away from the original source, so if life energy is moving outward, the center of consciousness will become the brain. And if life energy is moving inward, ultimately the navel will become the center. Chaotic methods are needed to push the consciousness to its roots, because only from the roots is transformation possible. Otherwise you will go on verbalizing and there will be no transformation. It is not enough just to know what is right. You have to transform the roots; otherwise you will not change.
We are continuously moving on the circumference, always somewhere else far away from our own being, always directed towards others. When all this is dropped, when all objects are dropped, when you close your eyes to all that is not you –even your mind, your heartbeats are left far behind – only a silence remains.
In this silence you will settle slowly into the center of your being, and then the roots will grow on their own accord, and the wings too. You need not worry about them. You cannot do anything about them. They come on their own.
You simply fulfill one condition: that is, to be at home – and the whole existence becomes a bliss to you, a benediction.
Meditation simply means learning to forget all that you have learned. It is a process of deconditioning, a process of dehypnosis.
The society has burdened everybody with thousands of thoughts. Meditation simply helps you to come out of that world of thoughts, into a state of silence. It is a process of cleaning your slate completely, it is emptying all that has been forced and stuffed inside you.
Once you are empty, spacious, silent, clean, the revolution has happened, the sun has risen; then you live in its light! And to live in the light of your inner sun is to live rightly. In fact that is the only way to live. Others are only dying, just dying slowly, moving in a queue that goes on becoming shorter and shorter every moment, and any moment you may be the first in the queue. In fact everybody is trying to be first in the queue; a great desire to be the first everywhere.
Meditation Enhances Life
The ordinary life is only called life – it is not. It is only so-called life. It is a process of gradual death or to be more accurate, a process of gradual suicide.
The moment you become silent and aware and clear and your inner sky is full of delight, you know the first taste of true life. One can call it god, one can call it enlightenment, one can call it liberation; the experience of truth, love, freedom, bliss – different names but the phenomenon is the same.
be totally active, and then passivity comes. It follows like a shadow, it has to come. Think perfectly and then no-thinking comes. You cannot drop thinking. Nothing can be dropped which is incomplete, only the perfect can be dropped. In fact, the perfect drops itself automatically.
Be active. The activity itself creates the situation in which passivity happens. If you have been active the whole day, totally active whatsoever you were doing – digging a hole in the garden or working in a factory or in a shop or teaching in a school. Whatsoever you are doing, do it totally, and when the evening comes and the sun sets you will have a passivity descending upon you. That passivity is beautiful, it is as beautiful as activity. Nothing to choose! Both are beautiful and both are needed.
Don’t try to be passive. How can you try to be passive? You can sit like a buddha, but that passivity will just be skin deep. Deep down you will be in a turmoil, you will be boiling, a volcano – you can erupt at any moment. You can force the body to sit silently – how will you force the being? The being goes on and on and on. That’s why you cannot stop thinking. People sit in zazen for years, twenty years, twenty-five years, sitting for six hours, continuously just trying to make the mind silent, and it goes on working, goes on working, goes on working.
Hence my emphasis on active meditations. That’s a balance. First, be active so totally that passivity follows automatically. When you have been active and the whole energy has moved, you would like to rest. If you have not been active, how can rest follow?
If your mind is feeling angry, allow your body to be angry. If your mind is feeling happy, allow your body to dance. Do not create a division. Let yourself come deep down into the body, and allow the body to flow to your innermost core. Become a flow.
• What is meditation?
• Will meditation help me to be happy?
• What is the connection between inner and outer beauty?
• What will meditation do to solve my problems?
• Is meditation for me?
• There are so many, very different kinds of techniques. Do they have some common meeting ground?
• How to know when to change methods?
• What are these different “paths,” like Yoga, Tantra, Devotion and so on?
• Is it good to start with a sitting meditation or an active meditation?
• Is it always necessary to close my eyes while meditating?
• Does meditation have anything to do with religion?
• At what point can catharsis be dropped?
• What about any aches or pains I might feel during or after meditating?
• How to deal with distractions like pain and itching during meditation?
• Anything else I should know about meditating?
• How does the Osho approach to meditation differ from that of TM?
• Is there a connection between sports like running and meditation?
• Is creativity somehow related with meditation?
• What is vipassana?
• When and how often do I need to meditate?
• Is it possible to meditate without any technique?
• Meditation or therapy ― sex, love, and death?
• What is the role of therapy in meditation?
• What is the relationship between consciousness and energy?
• Is meditation a belief?
• Does meditation have anything to do with morality or sin?
• What is the wisdom of the heart?
• What is meant by “the head?” And what is “the way of the heart?”
• Is meditation just another program or conditioning?
• I don’t understand what is meant by "mind" and "no-mind."
• Are mind and consciousness two separate things or is the silent mind what is called consciousness?
• Does the mind have to be thrown out?
• Isn’t the mind the source of our sanity?
• What do we do with our thoughts?
• Is there a time to use the mind?
• What is the meaning of "identification?"
• What has meditation to do with wisdom?
• Do I need to make an effort to be aware?
• Silence with no effort...
• What is the purpose of the Osho talks?
This 1-hour meditation is a fast, intense and thorough way to break old, ingrained patterns in the bodymind that keep one imprisoned in the past, and to experience the freedom, the witnessing, silence and peace that are hidden behind these prison walls.
The meditation is meant to be done in the early morning, when “the whole of nature becomes alive, the night has gone, the sun is coming up and everything becomes conscious and alert.”
This 1-hour “sister meditation” to the OSHO Dynamic is best done at sunset or in the late afternoon. Being fully immersed in the shaking and dancing of the first two stages helps to “melt” the rock-like being, wherever the energy flow has been repressed and blocked. Then that energy can flow, dance and be transformed into bliss and joy. The last two stages enable all this energy to flow vertically, to move upwards into silence. It is a highly effective way of unwinding and letting go at the end of the day.
Nataraj is the energy of dance. This is dance as a total meditation, where all inner division disappears and a subtle, relaxed awareness remains. There are three stages, lasting a total of 65 minutes.
Nadabrahma is the humming meditation – through humming and hand movements conflicting parts of you start falling in tune, and you bring harmony to your whole being. Then, with body and mind totally together, you “slip out of their hold” and become a witness to both. This watching from the outside is what brings peace, silence and bliss. The meditations lasts 1 hour.
In this 1-hour meditation a gentle, unfamiliar language moves and speaks through the meditator, who becomes an empty vessel. It deeply relaxes the mind and creates inner peace. If done last thing at night, it also creates a profound sleep.
Osho says that if the breathing is done correctly in the first stage of this 1-hour meditation, the carbon dioxide formed in the bloodstream will make you feel as high as Gourishankar (Mt. Everest).This “high” is carried into the subsequent stages of soft gazing, soft and spontaneous movement, and silent stillness.
Every circle contains a center. In the first three stages of this 1-hour energetic and powerful technique “centering” is the aim, through the creation of a circle of energy. Then, in the fourth stage, the relaxation.
Whirling is an ancient Sufi technique. While your whole body is moving you become aware of your very being, the watcher at the center, which is unmoving. You learn to be an unidentified witness at the center of the cyclone.
This 1-hour meditation is best done on an empty stomach, on bare feet and wearing loose clothing.
NO DIMENSIONS MEDITATION
This 1-hour active centering meditation is based on Sufi techniques, further developed and expanded by Osho. Using the breath and a series of coordinated body movements followed by whirling, your energy becomes centered in the hara, the “life energy” center below the navel. From there you can watch the mind and experience awareness and wholeness – the body moving in all directions, the center unmoving.
THE ART OF LISTENING
The Osho audio talks are keys to understanding silence. For the first time in history, talking is used to provide an experience of listening, not to gain knowledge but to directly experience one’s own center of stillness, silence and relaxed awareness.
GIBBERISH and LET-GO
A method of release using sound and body movement, Gibberish has been described by Osho as “one of the most scientific ways to clean your mind.”
It is followed by a guided relaxation into a state of complete let-go.