You can live meditation — that is the only way to convey some fragrance

You can live meditation — that is the only way to convey some fragrance of it and some fragmentary indications about it. But talking about it … the words are too small.

And words are meant for the marketplace, not for the temple. The temple knows only the language of silence, and when you try to convert silence into sound, everything that was living in it disappears and what is left in your hands is a dead word. And the difficulty is multiple. First, you cannot bring your experience into words; secondly, the person who hears them hears according to his own conditioning.

A Japanese scholar had come to see me a few years ago, and I told him that all his problems needed only one solution, and that is meditation. If you try to solve each single problem separately it will be like pruning the leaves of a tree — you go on pruning, and new leaves will go on coming up. Meditation is like uprooting a tree; the very foundation is demolished. This much he understood, but the word `meditation’ created a problem. Immediately he asked, “I am ready to meditate, but tell me, on what?”

That is our whole mind’s approach — objective. Even meditation has to be on something — a name, a form, a god, a chanting, a mantra, but something has to be there. Otherwise how are you going to meditate? On what?

The reality is, English has no word to translate exactly the Sanskrit word dhyana. English has three words: concentration, contemplation, meditation. But they are all objective. In concentration you put your whole mind energy on one subject. It is a useful technique for all scientific research. No science can grow without concentration.

Contemplation is thinking about a subject but not going astray. If you are thinking about beauty then you go on thinking about beauty, of its different aspects, heights and depths, but you confine yourself to one object. In concentration you are static; in contemplation you move but you move almost the way a train moves, on the same track; it does not go on running into fields and streets. Out of contemplation was born all philosophy. Without contemplation there would be no philosophy at all.

And meditation, in the Western world, is a special kind of concentration, or a special kind of contemplation. When you concentrate or contemplate about ordinary, worldly things it is not meditation. When you contemplate about the other world — God, heaven and hell, the existence of the soul — then it becomes meditation. It is a particular specialization of contemplation and concentration. But there is no word which can convey the meaning of dhyana.

And it is not a new phenomenon. When Buddha spoke, he was not speaking in Sanskrit he was speaking in the living language of his people. The language was Pali, but he had to take the word dhyana, from Sanskrit; Pali had no word for it of its own. But it changed its form. Instead of dhyana, in Pali it became zana. And when Bodhidharma took the message to China, in Chinese there was no word with a parallel meaning to zana, so they took the word itself, and in Chinese it became ch’an — but it is dhyan.

When from China it went to Japan, again there was the same problem. They figured it out, what was more suitable for them as far as pronunciation was concerned. But the word dhyan continued — in zana, in ch’an, and in Japanese it became zen. It is a very interesting history of a word which has never been found in any other language — for the simple reason that nowhere else has it been developed. And unless you develop something, you cannot have a word for it. It was always exported: from India to China, from China to Japan.

In English they thought the word `meditation’ will do; it was a wrong decision. The translators have been using `meditation’ and now it has become established, but the meaning has to be changed. If you are not going to change the word, you will have to change the meaning.

Meditation means no object, no concentration, no contemplation, but an absolute silence … nothing on the screen of the mind, just a tabula rasa.

In this situation — only when you are neither thinking, nor concentrating, nor contemplating — the energy of your awareness has no involvement with any object. And energy has an intrinsic quality. It cannot remain static, it is basically dynamic; it moves, it is movement. When it cannot find any object … and you have to understand the meaning of the word `object’: that which hinders, that which prevents. It is an objection, it is a wall. Awareness goes and is objected by the wall; it shows the wall, it shows the details of the wall. But meditation is when there is no object, the energy goes on moving.

Source: OSHO

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