What are the right conditions? And what is the right space?

ONE MUST NOT SIT DOWN (TO MEDITATE) IN THE MIDST OF FRIVOLOUS AFFAIRS.

You should find a place which enhances meditation. For example, sitting under a tree will help, rather than going and sitting in front of a movie house or going to the railway station and sitting on the platform; going to nature, to the mountains, to the trees, to the rivers where Tao is still flowing, vibrating, pulsating, streaming all around. Trees are in constant meditation. Silent, unconscious, is that meditation. I’m not saying to become a tree; you have to become a buddha! But Buddha has one thing in common with the tree: he’s as green as a tree, as full of juice as a tree, as celebrating as a tree, of course with a difference — he is conscious, and the tree is unconscious. The tree is unconsciously in Tao, a Buddha is consciously in Tao. And that is a great difference, the difference between the earth and the sky.

But if you sit by the side of a tree surrounded by beautiful birds singing, or a peacock dancing, or just a river flowing, and the sound of the running water, or by the side of a waterfall, and the great music of it…

Find a place where nature has not yet been disturbed, polluted. If you cannot find such a place then just close your doors and sit in your own room. If it is possible have a special room for meditation in your house. Just a small corner will do, but especially for meditation. Why especially? — because every kind of act creates its own vibration. If you simply meditate in that place, that place becomes meditative. Every day you meditate it absorbs your vibrations when you are in meditation. Next day when you come, those vibrations start falling back on you. They help, they reciprocate, they respond.

That’s the idea behind temples and churches and mosques; the idea is beautiful. The idea is that it may not be possible for everybody to have a special room for prayer or meditation, but we can have a special place for the whole village — a temple surrounded by trees on the bank of a river where crowds don’t gather, where mundane affairs are not done. When one wants to meditate one can go to the temple. And everybody knows that he is in the temple, he is not to be disturbed.

A sacred place is nothing but a right space for meditation and right conditions. If you are feeling very angry, that is not the time to meditate: it will be going against the flow. If you are feeling very greedy this is not the time to meditate, you will not find it easy. But there are moments when you are easily available to meditation: the sun is rising and you have seen the sun rising, and suddenly all is silent within you, you are not yet part of the marketplace — this is the moment to meditate. You have been feeling good, healthy, you have not been fighting with anybody today — this is the time to meditate. A friend has come and you are full of love — this is the time to meditate. You are with your woman and you both are feeling tremendously happy — sit together and meditate, and you will find the greatest joy of your life happening if you can meditate with your beloved, with your friend.

Find the right conditions, and they are always available. There is not a single man who cannot find right conditions. In twenty-four hours’ time many moments come which can be transformed into meditation very easily, because in those moments you are naturally going inwards. The night is full of stars: lie down on the ground, look at the stars, feel in tune, and then meditate. Sometimes it is good to go for a holiday into the mountains — but don’t take your radio with you, otherwise you are taking the whole nonsense with you. And when you go to the mountains don’t give your address and your phone number to anybody, otherwise there is no need to go anywhere. When you go to the mountains forget all about the world for a few days. That is the meaning of a holiday: it has to be holy, only then is it a holiday. If it is not holy, if it is not in tune with the sacred, it is not a holiday. People carry their world with them.

Once I went to the Himalayas with a few friends, and then I had to ask them to leave me because they had brought their transistor sets and their newspapers and magazines, and the novels that they were reading. And they were constantly talking, talking about things that they had always been talking about. So I told them, “Why have you come to the Himalayas? You were saying these things at your home perfectly well, and again you are talking the same things, the same gossipping, the same rumors.”

And whenever they would go with me to some beautiful spot they would take their cameras, they would take pictures. I told them, “You have come here to see. You have not brought your camera to see the Himalayas!”

But they said, “We shall make beautiful albums, and later on we will see what beautiful places we had visited.” And right there they were not there, they were just clicking their cameras. This stupidity has to be left behind.

And it is good once in a while to go to the mountains. And

I am not saying to start living there; that is not good, because then you become addicted to the mountains and you become afraid of coming back to the world. The holiday has to be just a holiday: then come back into the world and bring all the peace and the silence and the experience of the sacred with you. Bring it with you, make an effort so that it remains with you in the marketplace.

These suggestions are for the beginners. When a person has really become a meditator, he can meditate sitting before a picture house, he can meditate on the railway platform.

For fifteen years I was continuously travelling around the country, continuously travelling — day in, day out, day in, day out, year in, year out — always on the train, on the plane, in the car. That makes no difference. Once you have become really ROOTED in your being, nothing makes a difference. But this is not for the beginner.

When the tree has become rooted, let winds come and let rains come and let clouds thunder; it is all good. It gives integrity to the tree. But when the tree is small, tender, then even a small child is dangerous enough or just a cow passing by — such a holy animal — but that is enough to destroy it.

When you are beginning, remember, Lu-tsu’s suggestions are of immense importance.

THAT IS TO SAY, THE MIND MUST BE FREE OF VAIN PREOCCUPATIONS. ALL ENTANGLEMENTS MUST BE PUT ASIDE. ONE MUST BE DETACHED AND INDEPENDENT.

When you are trying to meditate, put the phone off the hook, disengage yourself. Put a notice on the door that for one hour nobody should knock, that you are meditating. And when you move into the meditation room take your shoes off, because you are walking on sacred ground. And not only take your shoes off, but everything that you are preoccupied with. Consciously leave everything with the shoes. Go inside unoccupied. One can take one hour out of twenty-four hours. Give twenty-three hours for your occupations, desires, thoughts, ambitions, projections. Take one hour out of all this, and in the end you will find that only that one hour has been the real hour of your life; those twenty-three hours have been a sheer wastage. Only that one hour has been saved and all else has gone down the drain.

NOR MUST THE THOUGHT BE CONCENTRATED UPON THE RIGHT PROCEDURE.

And the second thing to be remembered: don’t become too preoccupied with the right procedure, otherwise that becomes a preoccupation — that one should sit in a certain posture. If you can sit, good, but if it becomes an unnecessary preoccupation, drop it. For example, if you cannot sit in a full lotus posture — which is difficult for people who have been sitting for their whole lives on chairs; it is difficult because their musculature has developed in a certain way — then your Legs will not feel good. They will go to sleep or they will start creating trouble for you. They will constantly hanker for attention, so there is no need to force a lotus posture. A lotus posture, if easy, is good. Otherwise any posture is a lotus posture.

If you cannot sit on the ground, if it is difficult, sit on the chair. Meditation is not afraid of chairs; it can happen anywhere.

Just the other day Renu had asked one question: “Can enlightenment happen on a rocking horse?” It can happen. It can even happen to the rocking horse! You need not be worried about it.

So, Lu-tsu says: NOR MUST THE THOUGHT BE CONCENTRATED UPON THE RIGHT PROCEDURE.

Just take a little care, that’s all, but don’t become too worried about it — whether the spine is absolutely erect or not, whether your head is in line with the spine or not, whether your eyes are exactly as Lu-tsu wants them. Now you have a different kind of eyes than Lu-tsu; you know the Chinese and their eyes. In fact they always seem to look at the tip of the nose. Their eyes are only half-open. When I give sannyas to a Chinese, then I have much difficulty looking into their eyes.

You have different kinds of eyes. Everybody has different kinds of eyes and different kinds of noses, so don’t become too occupied with these minor things. They are just indications. Understand them, absorb them, and go on your way. Find out your own way. The basic note to be remembered is: you have to be comfortable and relaxed.

THIS DANGER ARISES IF TOO MUCH TROUBLE IS TAKEN. I DO NOT MEAN THAT NO TROUBLE IS TO BE TAKEN, BUT THE CORRECT WAY LIES IN KEEPING EQUAL DISTANCE BETWEEN BEING AND NOT BEING.

One has to be exactly in the middle. People either become too active or become too inactive. If they become too active, anxiety is created, a kind of rush, hurry, speed, restlessness; if they become too inactive, sleep, a kind of lethargy, indolence. Be in the middle. This being in the middle is a criterion to be used always. Don’t eat too much, don’t starve too much. Don’t sleep too much, don’t sleep less than needed. Remember always to be in the middle. Excess is prohibited. All kinds of extremes have to be dropped, because only in the middle is there a relaxed state of mind.

IF ONE CAN ATTAIN PURPOSELESSNESS THROUGH PURPOSE, THEN THE THING HAS BEEN GRASPED.

If one can attain this kind of balance, between effort and effortlessness, between purpose and purposelessness, between being and no-being, between mind and no-mind, between action and no-action…

… IF ONE CAN ATTAIN PURPOSELESSNESS THROUGH PURPOSE effortlessness through effort, inactivity through action — THEN THE THING HAS BEEN GRASPED. NOW ONE CAN LET ONESELF GO, DETACHED AND WITHOUT CONFUSION, IN AN INDEPENDENT WAY.

This is the basic: then one can allow oneself to flow with the flow of things. One can let oneself go.

FURTHERMORE, ONE MUST NOT FALL VICTIM TO THE ENSNARING WORLD. THE ENSNARING WORLD IS WHERE THE FIVE KINDS OF DARK DEMONS DISPORT THEMSELVES. THIS IS THE CASE, FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN AFTER FIXATION ONE HAS CHIEFLY THOUGHTS OF DRY WOOD AND DEAD ASHES AND FEW THOUGHTS OF THE BRIGHT SPRING ON THE GREAT EARTH.

Remember, the greatest problem for a religious person is not to be too serious; the greatest problem for the religious person is not to be sad; the greatest problem for the religious person is not to be negative, because ordinarily that happens — religious persons become very sad, very serious, very life-negative. They forget all about spring, they only think of dry wood and dead ashes. They have lost balance. A few thoughts of the bright spring on the great earth have to be remembered.

The really religious person is one who knows the sense of humor. The really religious person is sincere but never serious, utterly devoted to his work but never with that attitude of ‘holier-than-thou’, NEVER; never feeling any superiority because of it, but humble. The really religious person is one who can dance with the wind and the rains, who can smile and giggle with children, who can feel at ease with all kinds of situations in life. That is freedom, that is freedom from the ego. Ego makes one serious.

IN THIS WAY ONE SINKS INTO THE WORLD OF THE DARK.

If you become too serious you will sink into the world of the dark, into the negative world.

THE ENERGY IS COLD THERE, BREATHING IS ROUGH, AND MANY IMAGES OF COLDNESS AND DECAY PRESENT THEMSELVES.

Remember, you are not to become cold. You will find your so-called saints very cold: they have misunderstood the whole point. Become cool, but never become cold — and there is a lot of difference between the two, and a very deep paradox is there. I call it ‘cool’: compared to the heated state of passion, it is cool; it is warm compared to the coldness of death. It is warm compared to the coldness of death and it is cool compared to the passionate lust for life. It is warm and cool both. A really religious person is cool because he has no lust, and he is warm because he is not sad, he is not serious.

IF ONE TARRIES THERE LONG, ONE ENTERS THE WORLD OF PLANTS AND STONES.

And if you become too cold, sooner or later you will become a rock, you will become unconscious. You will fall from humanity. Many of your saints, in my observation, are people who have fallen from humanity. They have not become superhuman, they have become sub-human. They belong to the worlds of rocks and stones.

NOR MUST A MAN BE LED ASTRAY BY THE TEN THOUSAND ENSNAREMENTS. THIS HAPPENS IF AFTER THE QUIET STATE HAS BEGUN, ONE AFTER ANOTHER ALL SORTS OF TIES SUDDENLY APPEAR. ONE WANTS TO BREAK THROUGH AND CANNOT. ONE FOLLOWS THEM AND FEELS AS IF RELIEVED BY THIS.

This is where psychoanalysis has gone wrong. Psychoanalysis has become the method of free association of thoughts. You can go on and on. One thought leads to another, ad infinitum. One should remain detached from the procession of thoughts. They will come, they will surround you from everywhere. They will be like clouds; even the little bit of sky will be lost. And when there are too many thoughts, the natural instinct is to fight with them, because you have read that meditation means thoughtlessness. But by fighting one never become. thoughtless. If you fight, you will be defeated. The very fight becomes the cause for your defeat. You cannot fight with shadows, otherwise you will be defeated. Try fighting with your own shadow and you will be defeated — not that the shadow is very powerful, but because the shadow is NOT. And fighting with something which is not, how can you win? Thoughts are shadows, don’t fight with them.

And if you don’t fight then the other alternative opals up — that’s what psychoanalysis has chosen: then move with them, then let them move wherever they move — free association of thoughts. Then one thought is tied with another and with another and with another, and it goes on and on ad infinitum, ad nauseam. This will feel like a kind of relaxation. That’s why out of psychoanalysis PEOPLE feel helped, saved. They are not saved, they are not helped; just the fight disappears. Because you fight you become tense. When you don’t fight the tension disappears — and that disappearance of the tension gives you the feeling as if you are saved.

Mulla Nasruddin uses very tight shoes, two sizes less than he needs. The whole day he complains, and the whole day he is angry with the shoes.

I asked him one day, “Why don’t you change these shoes? Why do you go on complaining? Who is forcing you to wear these shoes? You can purchase another pair.”

He said, “That I cannot do! Never!”

I said, “Why?”

“Because,” he said, “this is my only solace. When after the whole day’s struggle with the shoes I come home and throw these shoes away and lie down on my bed, it feels so good!”

It will feel good. When you fight with your thoughts and you cannot win, then you drop fighting and you allow the thoughts to move and you start moving with them, it feels good. That’s what the whole secret of psychoanalysis is. Psychoanalysis does not help at all: it simply makes you feel good because it helps you to drop fighting.

Lu-tsu says, “Both are not right. There is no need to fight, there is no need to allow the thoughts and become a follower of them. You remain a watcher, a witness.”

THIS MEANS THE MASTER HAS BECOME THE SERVANT.

If you follow the thoughts, the master has become the servant.

IF A MAN TARRIES IN THIS STAGE LONG, HE ENTERS THE WORLD OF ILLUSORY DESIRES._

The master has to be claimed back. You have to be the master, not the servant. And what is mastery? — to be a witness is to be a master. Just watch those thoughts; utterly calm and quiet, watch. Let them come, let them go, let them arise, let them disappear. You simply take note — the thought is arising, the thought is there, the thought is gone — and soon you will come to a point where they arise less and less and less; and then one day, the gap… all thoughts have disappeared. In that gap, the first experience of God.

AT BEST ONE FINDS ONESELF IN HEAVEN, AT THE WORST, AMONG THE FOX-SPIRITS. SUCH A FOX-SPIRIT, IT IS TRUE, MAY BE ABLE TO ROAM IN THE FAMOUS MOUNTAINS, ENJOYING THE WIND AND THE MOON, THE FLOWERS AND FRUITS, AND TAKING HIS PLEASURE IN CORAL TREES AND JEWELLED GRASS. BUT AFTER HAVING DONE THIS, HIS REWARD IS OVER AND HE IS BORN AGAIN INTO THE WORLD OF TURMOIL.

If you succeed in meditation you are born in heaven, in eternal bliss. If you don’t succeed, if you go astray… That going astray in Taoism is called: “At worst, one is born among the fox-spirits.”

A fox-spirit is the spirit of a poet. The fox-spirit is the spirit of imagination. Even if you fail in your meditations something will be gained. This will be your gain: you will enjoy the trees more and the flowers more, and the world and the beauty more. But sooner or later the energy that had been created by meditation will disappear and you will have to fall back again to the old turmoil.

Remember, if you succeed in meditation the joy is eternally yours. But even if you fail you will find a few moments of beautiful joy and poetry. Those who fail in meditation become poets, those who succeed become seers. Seers are poets of the eternal, poets are the poets of the momentary.

That’s why sometimes it happens: a little bit of meditation and you feel so good that you stop meditating. You think all is attained. Trees are greener, roses are rosier, love is going beautifully, things have started happening — why bother? But soon the energy that had been created will disappear: you have become a fox-spirit. That’s what is happening through drugs all over the world: drugs only create fox-spirits. But meditation, if not completed, can also do the same.

Once the decision has been taken, then it is a commitment: YOU HAVE to go to the very end of it. It is a challenge. Accept this challenge and go for this most beautiful journey of your inner search. And never stop in the middle anywhere unless you have arrived, unless you have arrived to the center of the cyclone.

Source: OSHO

Comments

  1. Nick says:

    I like the text, but you have gone too far with this one not really sticking on it’s meaning :/
    I’m true Christian and this sentence ” Iā€™m not saying to become a tree; you have to become a buddha!” for me is so wrong.. :/ That is very wrong because there are a lot Christians not meditating to become buddha, they meditate to make them self calm and have clear mind.

    Thank you for some tips šŸ™‚ Cheers

wp