What Is Meditation?
Today we start with a basic question: What is meditation?
Osho’s response suggests that meditation is a quality we are born with, and that our task is simply to remember and reconnect with that quality we had as a child.
After each Insight section there will be a meditation and awareness exercise by Osho.
You can experiment with it in your own time, perhaps before you go to sleep tonight.
Meditation is a state of no-mind. Meditation is a state of pure consciousness with no content. Ordinarily, your consciousness is too much full of rubbish, just like a mirror covered with dust. The mind is a constant traffic: thoughts are moving, desires are moving, memories are moving, ambitions are moving--it is a constant traffic, day in, day out. Even when you are asleep the mind is functioning, it is dreaming. It is still thinking; it is still in worries and anxieties. It is preparing for the next day; an underground preparation is going on.
This is the state of no meditation--just the opposite is meditation. When there is no traffic, and thinking has ceased--no thought moves, no desire stirs, you are utterly silent--that silence is meditation. In that silence truth is known, and never otherwise. Meditation is a state of no-mind. And you cannot find meditation through the mind because mind will perpetuate itself. You can find meditation only by putting the mind aside, by being cool, indifferent, unidentified with the mind; by seeing the mind pass, but not getting identified with it, not thinking that “I am it.”
Meditation is the awareness that “I am not the mind.”
When the awareness goes deeper and deeper in you, slowly, slowly, a few moments arrive--moments of silence, moments of pure space. Moments of transparency, moments when nothing stirs in you and everything is still. In those still moments you will know who you are, and you will know what the mystery of this existence is.
And once you have tasted those few dewdrops of nectar, great longing will arise in you to go deeper and deeper into it. Irresistible longing will arise in you, a great thirst. You will become afire!
When you have tasted a few moments of silence, of joy, of meditativeness, you will like this state to become your constant state, a continuum. And if a few moments are possible, then there is no problem. Slowly, slowly, more and more moments will be coming. As you become skillful, as you learn the knack of not getting involved in the mind--as you learn the art of remaining aloof, away from the mind, as you learn the science of creating a distance between you and your own thoughts--more and more meditation will be showering on you. And the more it showers, the more it transforms you. A day comes, a day of great blessings, when meditation becomes your natural state.
Mind is something unnatural; it never becomes your natural state. But meditation is a natural state--which we have lost. It is a paradise lost, but the paradise can be regained. Look into the child’s eyes, look and you will see tremendous silence, innocence. Each child comes with a meditative state, but he has to be initiated into the ways of the society. He has to be taught how to think, how to calculate, how to reason, how to argue; he has to be taught words, language, concepts. And, slowly, slowly, he loses contact with his own innocence. He becomes contaminated, polluted by the society. He becomes an efficient mechanism; he is no more a man.
All that is needed is to regain that space once more. You had known it before, so when for the first time you know meditation, you will be surprised--because a great feeling will arise in you as if you have known it before. And that feeling is true: you have known it before. You have forgotten. The diamond is lost in piles of rubbish. But if you can uncover it, you will find the diamond again--it is yours.
It cannot really be lost, it can only be forgotten.
We are born as meditators, then we learn the ways of the mind. But our real nature remains hidden somewhere deep down like an undercurrent. Any day, a little digging, and you will find the source still flowing, the source of fresh waters. And the greatest joy in life is to find it.
A child is born; the child comes ready with great energy. The child is nothing but pure energy embodied. And the first thing the child has to seek and search for is the mother’s breast, obviously. The child is hungry. For nine months in the mother’s womb the child was fed automatically; the child lived as part of the mother. Now he is cut from the mother; he has become a separate entity in himself--and the first thing, the first necessity, is to search for food. That’s how the outward journey begins.
The entry into the world is through the breast. And the breast did two things: it nourished the child--and the first thing was to survive. And the breast was the food, the breast was life. And the second thing: the breast gave warmth to the child, shelter to the child, love to the child. That’s why food and love have become so much associated.
That’s why whenever you are not feeling loved, you start eating too much. The people who become addicted to food are the people who are missing love. They start substituting with food. If you are really loved, you cannot eat too much.
Meditation means becoming aware that the source of life is inside. The body depends on the outside, true--but you are not the body alone. You don’t depend on the outside. You depend on the inner world. These are the two directions: to move outwards or to move inwards. Meditation is the recognition that “There is an inner world too, and I have to search for it.”
Meditation is mind turning towards its own source.
Mind is a way to understand the object: meditation is a way to understand the subject. Mind is a concern with the contents, and meditation is a concern with the container, the consciousness. Mind becomes obsessed with the clouds, and meditation searches for the sky. Clouds come and go: the sky remains, abides.
Search for the inner sky. And if you have found it, then you will never die.
The Meditation: Everyday Awareness
The following is adapted from The Book of Secrets by Osho. It is a simple technique to give you a taste and experience of bringing awareness to activities you do every day. As you experiment with this technique, you can start to reclaim your natural meditative state from all the noise and traffic of the mind.
When I say that awareness cannot be attained by mind, I mean that you cannot attain it by thinking about it. It can be attained only by doing, not by thinking.
So don’t go on thinking about what awareness is, how to achieve it or what will be the result. Don’t go on thinking—start doing it.
When walking on the street, walk with awareness. It is difficult, and you will go on forgetting, but don’t be discouraged. Whenever you remember again, be alert.
Take every step with full alertness, knowingly.
Remaining with the step, not allowing the mind to move somewhere else.
While eating, eat. Chew your food with awareness.
Whatever you are doing, don’t do it mechanically. For example, I can move my hand mechanically. But then I can also move my hand with full alertness. My mind is conscious that my hand is being moved.
Do it, try it—right now. Reach for an object nearby, and pick it up as you would normally do, mechanically. Now put it back again.
And now . . . become aware of your hand, feel it from the inside out. If there is any tension in the hand, in the fingers, let the tension go.
Remaining with the awareness of your hand, with your full attention on your hand, reach for the object again. Pick it up. Feel the texture of it, the weight of it. How it feels in your hand. See how your hand wants to respond to this object . . . to turn it over, to weigh it, to play with it . . . or simply to hold it still. With alertness, awareness of each movement.
Now put it down, staying alert and aware of the movement of your hand.
You will feel the change. The quality of the action changes immediately.
For example, if you eat with awareness, then you cannot eat more than is needed by the body.
The quality changes. If you eat with awareness, you will chew more. With unconscious, mechanical habits, you simply go on pushing things into your stomach. You are not chewing at all, you are just stuffing yourself. Then there is no pleasure. And because there is no pleasure, you need more food in order to get the pleasure. There is no taste, so you need more food.
Just be alert and see what happens. If you are alert, you will chew more, you will feel the taste more, you will feel the pleasure of eating. And when the body enjoys, it tells you when to stop.
Experiment with this awareness technique today and in the coming days, in different situations--no need to set extra time aside for this meditation. The point is to just meditate, in a relaxed and playful way, while doing these normal, everyday activities. Ordinary things that you normally do without thinking, this time do them in a space of awareness.
Quote of the Day
When mind knows, we call it knowledge.
When heart knows, we call it love.
And when being knows, we call it meditation.