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BODHIDHARMA: THE GREATEST ZEN MASTER

Chapter 6: Understanding comes in mid-sentence

 

Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen            Bodhidharma

 

BELOVED OSHO,

IF YOU ENVISION A BUDDHA, A DHARMA OR A BODHISATTVA AND CONCEIVE RESPECT FOR THEM, YOU RELEGATE YOURSELF TO THE REALM OF MORTALS. IF YOU SEEK DIRECT UNDERSTANDING, DON'T HOLD ONTO ANY APPEARANCE WHATSOEVER, AND YOU'LL SUCCEED. I HAVE NO OTHER ADVICE.      ...DON'T CLING TO APPEARANCES, AND YOU'LL BE OF ONE MIND WITH THE BUDDHA.
BUT WHY SHOULDN'T WE WORSHIP BUDDHAS AND BODHISATTVAS?
DEVILS AND DEMONS POSSESS THE POWER OF MANIFESTATION. THEY CAN CREATE THE APPEARANCE OF BODHISATTVAS IN ALL SORTS OF GUISES. BUT THEY'RE FALSE. NONE OF THEM ARE BUDDHAS. THE BUDDHA IS YOUR OWN MIND. DON'T MISDIRECT YOUR WORSHIP.
BUDDHA IS SANSKRIT FOR WHAT YOU CALL AWARE, MIRACULOUSLY AWARE. RESPONDING, PERCEIVING, ARCHING YOUR BROWS, BLINKING YOUR EYES, MOVING YOUR HANDS AND FEET, IT'S ALL YOUR MIRACULOUSLY AWARE NATURE. AND THIS NATURE IS THE MIND. AND THE MIND IS THE BUDDHA. AND THE BUDDHA IS THE PATH. AND THE PATH IS ZEN. BUT THE WORD ZEN IS ONE THAT REMAINS A PUZZLE. SEEING YOUR NATURE IS ZEN.
EVEN IF YOU CAN EXPLAIN THOUSANDS OF SUTRAS AND SHASTRAS, UNLESS YOU SEE YOUR OWN NATURE, YOURS IS THE TEACHING OF A MORTAL, NOT A BUDDHA. THE TRUE WAY IS SUBLIME. IT CAN'T BE EXPRESSED IN LANGUAGE. OF WHAT USE ARE SCRIPTURES? BUT SOMEONE WHO SEES HIS OWN NATURE FINDS THE WAY, EVEN IF HE CAN'T READ A WORD .... EVERYTHING THE BUDDHA SAYS IS AN EXPRESSION OF HIS MIND. BUT SINCE HIS BODY AND EXPRESSIONS ARE BASICALLY EMPTY, YOU CAN'T FIND A BUDDHA IN WORDS.      ...THE WAY IS BASICALLY PERFECT. IT DOESN'T REQUIRE PERFECTING. THE WAY HAS NO FORM OR SOUND. IT'S SUBTLE AND HARD TO PERCEIVE. IT'S LIKE WHEN YOU DRINK WATER. YOU KNOW HOW HOT OR COLD IT IS. BUT YOU CAN'T TELL OTHERS. OF THAT WHICH ONLY A TATHAGATA KNOWS, MEN AND GODS REMAIN UNAWARE. THE AWARENESS OF MORTALS FALLS SHORT. AS LONG AS THEY'RE ATTACHED TO APPEARANCES, THEY'RE UNAWARE THAT THEIR MIND IS EMPTY. AND BY MISTAKENLY CLINGING TO THE APPEARANCE OF THINGS, THEY LOSE THE WAY.
IF YOU KNOW THAT EVERYTHING COMES FROM THE MIND, DON'T BECOME ATTACHED. ONCE ATTACHED, YOU'RE UNAWARE. BUT ONCE YOU SEE YOUR OWN NATURE, THE ENTIRE CANON BECOMES SO MUCH PROSE. ITS THOUSANDS OF SUTRAS AND SHASTRAS ONLY AMOUNT TO A CLEAR MIND. UNDERSTANDING COMES IN MID-SENTENCE. WHAT GOOD ARE DOCTRINES?
THE ULTIMATE TRUTH IS BEYOND WORDS. DOCTRINES ARE WORDS. THEY'RE NOT THE WAY. THE WAY IS WORDLESS. WORDS ARE ILLUSIONS. THEY'RE NO DIFFERENT FROM THINGS THAT APPEAR IN YOUR DREAMS AT NIGHT, BE THEY PALACES OR CARRIAGES .... DON'T CONCEIVE ANY DELIGHT FOR SUCH THINGS. THEY'RE ALL CRADLES OF REBIRTH. KEEP THIS IN MIND WHEN YOU APPROACH DEATH. DON'T CLING TO APPEARANCES, AND YOU'LL BREAK THROUGH ALL BARRIERS. A MOMENT'S HESITATION AND YOU'LL BE UNDER THE SPELL OF DEVILS. YOUR REAL BODY IS PURE AND IMPERVIOUS. BUT BECAUSE OF DELUSIONS, YOU'RE UNAWARE OF IT. AND BECAUSE OF THIS, YOU SUFFER KARMA IN VAIN. WHEREVER YOU FIND DELIGHT, YOU FIND BONDAGE. BUT ONCE YOU AWAKEN TO YOUR ORIGINAL BODY AND MIND, YOU'RE NO LONGER BOUND BY ATTACHMENTS.

The understanding of Bodhidharma and his insight into the secrets of human consciousness is so profound that it certainly can be said it is perfect. Nothing can be added to it and nothing can be edited out of it. He speaks telegraphically, uses only the most essential words.
You will see how a man can express something which eludes expression, something which has always been known as inexpressible. But Bodhidharma comes very close to expressing it. If you don't understand, it is your fault.
Otherwise it is very difficult to find a master of the stature of Bodhidharma. In the whole legendary past of masters, Bodhidharma stands very aloof, very alone; his way of life, his way of teaching, everything is his own. Never before was there anybody like Bodhidharma, and there has never been another after him who can be called exactly equal in insight, in understanding, in profundity. And yet he does not use a jargon; he is not a philosopher, not a theologian. He is a very simple man. He uses direct words that go just like arrows into your heart. All that is needed on your part is to keep the doors of your heart open. He will not come uninvited within you, but invited he is sure to reach to your heart. Your receptivity is ultimately going to be the decisive factor.
In the sutras this evening, except for a few mistakes by the disciples who have taken the notes, almost everything seems to be authentically Bodhidharma's.
IF YOU ENVISION A BUDDHA, A DHARMA, OR A BODHISATTVA, AND CONCEIVE RESPECT FOR THEM, YOU RELEGATE YOURSELF TO THE REALM OF MORTALS.
According to Bodhidharma, everybody is essentially a buddha. But if you start imagining buddhas and worshiping them, then you are doing tremendous harm to yourself. It means you have not understood the basic teaching. There is no one to be worshiped, no one to be envisaged, because you are a buddha yourself.
It is because of this point that Gautam Buddha denies the existence of one God. His denial is so great that its significance has not been understood. He denies one God, not because he is an atheist; he denies one God because he respects every living being as a god. There are as many gods as there are living beings. A few have attained to the realization of who they are, and most of the people among the living beings are still asleep. They do not know who they are but their ignorance does not change their nature.
So the first sutra is: IF YOU ENVISION A BUDDHA, YOU RELEGATE YOURSELF TO THE REALM OF THE MORTALS. You unnecessarily degrade yourself. Every worshiper in every temple, in every synagogue, in every church, is humiliating himself and is humiliating the god within. The god within needs no other god to be worshipped. All that it needs is an awakening, awareness, a consciousness of one's own being.
The moment one becomes conscious of himself, he is no longer a mortal; he becomes an immortal. He has always been an immortal but because of his misunderstanding, he degraded himself into being a mortal, into someone who is going to die. Although the life within you and the consciousness within you is eternal and immortal, still you go on being afraid of death because you see somebody dying every day. And everybody's death reminds you of your own death.
The poet sings, "Never ask for whom the bell tolls, the bell tolls for thee." In Christian villages, it is an ancient custom that when somebody dies, the church bell starts tolling, informing the whole village, the people who have gone to the farms, or the people who have gone to the orchards, or the people who have gone to their wine presses, to come back; somebody has died.
The poet is saying, "Never ask for whom the bell tolls, it always tolls for thee." He has some truth to convey to you. Every death is symbolic. It shows that you are standing in the same queue and the queue is becoming shorter and shorter. Every day you are coming closer and closer to death. In fact the day you were born was not the day of your birth; it was the day you started dying. And since then you have been dying every day. Every birthday, your death has come one year closer.
It is an absolutely certain fact that people die, animals die, trees die, birds die. How can you avoid the fact that you are also going to die -- maybe tomorrow, maybe the day after tomorrow? It is only a question of time.
But still, those who are aware of their being know that nobody dies.
Death is an illusion.
You have seen people die; have you ever seen yourself dying? And when you see somebody dying, are you really seeing somebody dying? All that you are seeing, and all that your medical science can see is that the man has stopped breathing, that his pulse has disappeared, that his heart beats no more, and they declare that he is dead.
Just a few days ago, a man in the part of Kashmir occupied by Pakistan, for the third time deceived his friends, his colleagues, his family. At the age of one hundred and thirty-five, he died for the third time. People were very suspicious because two times before he had played the trick; he died. Diagnosed by the doctors as dead, certified as dead, he woke up, opened his eyes and started laughing. So when he died this time, people were very cautious. Doctors were very cautious, but there was every certainty of his death; there was no question.
They said, "Perhaps before he may have deceived you, but this time he is certainly dead. As far as medical science can know, he fulfills every requirement of a dead man." And the moment the certificate was signed by three doctors, the man opened his eyes, started laughing and said, "Listen, next time when I am going to die, I am going to REALLY die. I just thought one time more ...."
That part of Kashmir occupied by Pakistan has the longest living people in India and Pakistan. One hundred and twenty is very ordinary, normal. One hundred and fifty you can find; it is not so normal, but still there are hundreds of people who have passed one hundred and fifty. And there are a few rare cases who have reached one hundred and eighty years of age and they are still young; they are still working in their fields.
And this man has been questioned by newspapers, by journalists from all over the world, because he is a rare man; three times certified dead and three times he has defied all medical knowledge, all medical science. And they asked, "What have you been doing? What happens?"
He said, "Nothing -- because I am not my body. I know it; and I am not my breathing, I know it; and I am not my heart, I know it -- I am beyond all these. I simply slip into the beyond. The heart stops, the pulse stops, the breathing stops, and you are all befooled. Then I slip back again into the body, the blood starts running again, the pulse starts working again and the heart starts beating again."
He is a simple man, a farmer. He is not a yogi; he has never practiced anything. But just when he was a very young child, not more than seven or eight years old, he came in contact with a Sufi mystic who told him that death is an illusion. And he was so innocent that he accepted it.
The Sufi mystic said to him, "There is a very simple way to slip out of your body. Just watch it from inside; watch the body and suddenly there will come more and more distance between you and your body. Soon the body will be miles away. Watch the mind and the same will happen with the mind.
"You simply remain a watcher and you will be able to slip out of the body, out of the mind, out of this whole personality. And it is within your control to come back. Because you have slipped out, you know the way you slipped out. So you know the way to come back in. And the way is that by watching, you slipped out -- now stop watching. Become identified with the body. Say, `I am the body, I am the mind, I am the breathing, I am the heart beating.' Immediately the distance will disappear. You will come closer and soon you will slip back into the body."
Identifying yourself with the body, you become the body. Then you are a mortal. Then there is fear of death. Non-identifying with the body, you are just a watcher, you are just a pure consciousness, a no-mind. And there is no death and there is no disease and there is no old age. As far as your witnessing is concerned, it is eternal and it is always fresh and young and the same.
The authentic religion does not teach you to worship. The authentic religion teaches you to discover your immortality, to discover the god within you. And that's what Bodhidharma is saying.
IF YOU SEEK DIRECT UNDERSTANDING, DON'T HOLD ONTO ANY APPEARANCE WHATSOEVER, AND YOU WILL SUCCEED. I HAVE NO OTHER ADVICE.
His advice is very simple, but it never fails. He is advising not to get identified with any appearance: the body is an appearance, the mind is an appearance, the world is an appearance. The only thing that is absolutely real is your consciousness. Everything else goes on changing. That which goes on changing is an appearance -- don't get identified with it. You are the unchanging divine, you are the unchanging godliness. And Bodhidharma says: I HAVE NO OTHER ADVICE.      ...DON'T CLING TO APPEARANCES, AND YOU WILL BE OF ONE MIND WITH THE BUDDHA.
The sutra says: YOU WILL BE OF ONE MIND WITH THE BUDDHA. That is the misunderstanding of the person who has been taking notes of Bodhidharma's statements. I have to make the correction from "mind" to "no-mind."
As minds, you can never be one with the buddha. Just try to understand, because it is infinitely significant. Here, if you are all minds, then there are as many people as there are minds. But if you all become silent, with no thoughts, then there is only one no-mind -- then all the distinctions disappear. Whether you are a man or a woman, a young child or old, educated or uneducated, rich or poor, it does not matter.
All distinctions disappear the moment mind is transcended. All distinctions are made by the mind. Beyond the mind is just a silent sky, a pure space. In that pure space with the buddha, you are all one with existence.
You are one with the whole.
I call this oneness with the whole, the only holiness.
The disciple asks Bodhidharma: BUT WHY SHOULDN'T WE WORSHIP BUDDHAS AND BODHISATTVAS?
The disciple seems to be of a very mediocre mind, because Bodhidharma has already answered. And now what he gives as Bodhidharma's answer, I deny absolutely that it can be the answer of Bodhidharma. It is so stupid that Bodhidharma cannot say it. So first I will read what the disciple writes, then I will tell you what exactly Bodhidharma must have said.
DEVIL AND DEMONS POSSESS THE POWER OF MANIFESTATION. THEY CAN CREATE THE APPEARANCE OF BODHISATTVAS IN ALL SORTS OF GUISES. BUT THEY'RE FALSE. NONE OF THEM ARE BUDDHAS. THE BUDDHA IS YOUR OWN MIND. DON'T MISDIRECT YOUR WORSHIP.
The disciple is saying that worshiping a buddha is denied because the devils can pretend to be buddhas. If you worship, the appearance will be of the buddha, and in fact there is a devil hiding behind the appearance. This cannot be the answer of Bodhidharma.
A man who does not believe in God cannot believe in devils. A man who is capable of denying God is certainly capable of denying all devils. And his only answer could have been the one which he gave in the basic sutra. Without any doubt his answer would have been, "You should not worship any buddhas because you are a buddha. It is simply ridiculous that a buddha worships another buddha."
I am reminded of another Zen master. He must have been a man of some similar qualities to Bodhidharma; he was a disciple in the same lineage. He was staying in a Buddhist temple on a winter night -- the priest, knowing that he was a great master had allowed him to stay in the temple. But in the middle of the night the priest woke up. Suddenly there was so much light. He looked inside the temple ...because his room was by the side of the temple. The master he had allowed to stay in the temple was enjoying burning a beautiful statue, a wooden statue of Gautam Buddha.
The priest was simply mad. He said, "Are you insane or something? You have burnt the statue of Gautam Buddha." The master took his staff and started searching for something in the ashes of the burned statue. The priest said, "What are you searching for?" He said, "I am looking for the bones."
Even the priest had to laugh, although he was angry and his most beautiful statue had been burned. But he said, "You are really insane. But how can a wooden statue have bones?"
The master said, "That's what I have been showing you; that if there are no bones inside it, it is not the statue of Buddha. It is not Buddha; it is just wood cut into a certain shape. Don't be deceived by it. The night is long and it is too cold and I am so tired of this long journey. If you can be of some help ...you have still got three more statues. One is enough for worshiping, two you can give me. The night is really cold. Moreover I am a living buddha. For a living buddha it is absolutely right to burn a wooden buddha to have a little heat. It is too cold in this temple."
The priest became very afraid that this man seemed to be absolutely dangerous and thought, "If I go to sleep, he is going to burn all my statues." In the middle of the night he threw the master out of the temple. The master was insisting, "This is not right. Listen, you will repent of it. You are throwing a living buddha into the darkness of the night, into the cold winter night. And you are protecting wooden buddhas. Are you mad or something?"
The priest said, "I don't want to discuss it with you. I know who is mad. You just get out."
In the morning the priest opened the door to see at what had happened to the master. He was sitting by the side of the road. He had picked a few wild flowers and he had put those wildflowers on a milestone. He was worshiping, "BUDDHAM SHARANAM, GACHCHHAMI. SANGHAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI. DHAMMAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI."
The priest could not believe it. "He is really mad. Last night he burned a buddha, so costly" -- it was made of sandalwood -- "and now that madman is worshiping a milestone as a buddha." The priest came close to him and said, "What are you doing?"
The master said, "My morning prayer." The priest said, "But you look a strange type. Last night you destroyed my buddha and now you are worshiping a milestone."
He said, "You don't understand. It is only our visualization. If you visualize that this is a buddha, this is a buddha. You visualized a buddha in the wooden statue -- it became a buddha. It is all a mind game. I don't believe in prayers. It was just for you that I waited and was worshiping the milestone -- just to show you that whatever you worship, you are worshiping something wrong, because you are the buddha. The worshiper is the buddha, not the worshiped. Can I come in the temple again tonight?"
The priest said, "No, although you appear to be right and perhaps I am wrong, I cannot follow your great understanding -- it is dangerous. It will be good if you leave this place and do your act in some other temple. I am a poor priest; you have already destroyed one of my most beautiful buddhas; now I cannot -- even though you convinced me -- I cannot allow you inside the temple."
The master said, "It is not a question ...but I can see that you have understood rightly, and one day you will come searching for me. I can see in your eyes the light of understanding, a ray of understanding. Don't let me in ...but I am already within you."
And after two years the priest had to come to the master to give an apology, and he brought the remaining three statues, saying, "You can burn them whenever you need. I have understood. Since that night, I have not been able for a single moment to forget you -- your beauty, your grace, your peace, your silence and your great effort to make me understand that what I had been doing was stupid. And I misbehaved with you; I threw you out in the dark night, on a cold night. Still you waited for me next morning, to give me another opportunity to understand. And I was so foolish that I missed that opportunity too.
"But two years are enough. You have been haunting me. Now I have come, knowing perfectly well that the buddha is within; he is not in the statues of the temples, and the statues of the temples and the milestones are not different."
That reminds me: when for the first time in India, the British government created the roads and put the milestones, they painted those milestones red, because red is a very brilliant color and you can see it from far away. Particularly in contrast to the greenery of the fields and the forest, it looks separate. Any other color may get mixed, but red stands absolutely separate.
The British engineers who were working on the roads were surprised that the villagers started worshiping them! They thought that these were statues of Hanuman. It was a great problem for the engineers to tell those villagers that they were just milestones. But the villagers insisted, "They may be milestones for you, but for us, it is perfectly good. They look so beautiful, and we are not doing any harm to you. We will just be worshiping them."
I have been reading the history ...when the roads were first made in India, the British engineers were shocked. They could not prevent the villagers who had said, "You can think of them as milestones, but what is the harm if we worship them? To us they look just the statues of Hanuman."
Bodhidharma's answer cannot be what the disciple has noted here. His answer can only be: Remember your own buddhahood, awaken to your own buddhahood, and this awakening will make your no-mind one with the buddha. Don't misdirect your worship. You have to worship your own innermost consciousness. You are the temple, you are the worshiper, and you are the worshiped.
BUDDHA IS SANSKRIT FOR WHAT YOU CALL AWARE, MIRACULOUSLY AWARE. RESPONDING, PERCEIVING, ARCHING YOUR BROWS, BLINKING YOUR EYES, MOVING YOUR HANDS AND FEET, IT IS ALL YOUR MIRACULOUSLY AWARE NATURE. AND THIS NATURE IS THE no-MIND. AND THE no-MIND IS THE BUDDHA. AND THE BUDDHA IS THE PATH. AND THE PATH IS ZEN. BUT THE WORD ZEN IS ONE THAT REMAINS A PUZZLE. SEEING YOUR NATURE IS ZEN.
The word ZEN remains a puzzle because it comes from a Sanskrit root; it comes from the word DHYAN. Buddha used the contemporary language of his people -- which was a revolutionary step, because Sanskrit has always been the language of the scholars. Buddha brought a revolution by using the people's language, not the language of the scholars. He used Pali so that every villager could understand. In Pali, DHYAN is changed into a little different form; it has become ZH'AN.
And when Bodhidharma reached China, he talked about ZH'AN. But in Chinese, it took another change; it became CH'AN. And then from China, it reached Japan; from CH'AN it became ZEN. Far away it lost the original root. Now in Japanese there is no root for ZEN; the word is foreign to Japanese. For CH'AN there is no root in Chinese; the word is foreign.
That's why it is a riddle; what is Zen? But if you can come back to the root, things become simple; the puzzle disappears. DHYAN means going beyond the mind, going beyond thought process, entering into silence, utter silence where nothing moves, where nothing disturbs, where everything is absent -- only a pure emptiness. This space is zen; this space is meditation. There is no riddle about it.
But only in this country can the root of zen be found. Zen was born here in this country; it blossomed in Japan. The flowers came in Japan and they were a riddle, because they could not find where the root is, where the tree is. They could only see the flowers and the fragrance. The roots were far away in this country, and it is such an unfortunate thing that DHYAN flowered to its ultimate in Japan, and in India it disappeared almost completely.
The Indian embassies have been informed by the Indian government that anybody from any country of the world who wants to come to India to learn meditation, should not be given any tourist visa.
The government does not know anything about meditation. Politicians cannot afford to be meditators, because the foundation of meditation is to be non-ambitious, non-desiring, non-achieving. A politician cannot afford to be a meditator. Hence, in Indian universities there is no provision for meditation, which is India's greatest contribution to the world. And people who want to come to India to learn meditation are prevented by Indian embassies all over the world. They are allowed visas to come if they just want to see the Taj Mahal, temples of Khajuraho, go for honeymoon to Kashmir, or for any absurd reason, but not for meditation.
It is one of the unfortunate incidents that has happened in India. India created the greatest meditators in the world, and from India the whole of Asia learned meditation. It still is alive in the monasteries of Japan; but in India there is no support from any source for India's own greatest contribution to human progress. But the reason is clear: the people who are in power don't understand even the ABC of being silent. They know only a tense mind, anxieties and worries, ambitions, cunningness, pulling each other's legs, sabotaging each other's power. Their whole concern is a tremendous ambition for being in power.
Meditation is totally different; not only different, but a diametrically opposite dimension. It is the way of the humble man, it is the way of the simple heart. It is the way of those who want to rejoice in disappearing just like a dewdrop disappears in the ocean.
EVEN IF YOU CAN EXPLAIN THOUSANDS OF SUTRAS AND SHASTRAS, UNLESS YOU SEE YOUR OWN NATURE, YOURS IS THE TEACHING OF A MORTAL.
You may understand the holy scriptures, you may know the VEDAS, you may know the UPANISHADS, you may know THE HOLY BIBLE, you may know the holy KORAN, or the holy GITA, but if you don't know yourself, your teaching is just a repetition, a mechanical repetition like a parrot. And perhaps parrots are also more intelligent than your pundits.
I have heard about a bishop who had two parrots, and for years he trained them to recite the official Christian prayer. He made small golden beads for the parrots; they were holding the beads and reciting the prayer, and any guest who used to come was simply amazed. Their recitation was so perfect and they looked almost like saints, with their beads in their hands.
Finally, because he had been praised so much for what he had done in teaching the parrots, the bishop thought he would purchase one more parrot and train him also. So he bought another parrot and put that new parrot between those two sages, reciting the prayer with their beads. As the bishop went in, one parrot said to the other, "George, now drop the beads. Our prayers have been heard; our beloved has reached us."
It was a female parrot. Even parrots seem to be more intelligent ....
A man who does not know himself should feel ashamed teaching others just because he knows scriptures. Scholarship has no meaning at all in the authentic world of religion. It is a world of experience, not of explanations. The man who teaches according to the scriptures is:      ...A MORTAL, NOT A BUDDHA. THE TRUE WAY IS SUBLIME. IT CAN'T BE EXPRESSED IN LANGUAGE. OF WHAT USE ARE SCRIPTURES? BUT SOMEONE WHO SEES HIS OWN NATURE, FINDS THE WAY, EVEN IF HE CAN'T READ A WORD .... EVERYTHING THE BUDDHA SAYS IS AN EXPRESSION OF HIS no-MIND. BUT SINCE HIS BODY AND EXPRESSIONS ARE BASICALLY EMPTY, YOU CAN'T FIND A BUDDHA IN WORDS.      ...THE WAY IS BASICALLY PERFECT. IT DOES NOT REQUIRE PERFECTING. THE WAY HAS NO FORM OR SOUND. IT IS SUBTLE AND HARD TO PERCEIVE. IT IS LIKE WHEN YOU DRINK WATER. YOU KNOW HOW HOT OR COLD IT IS, BUT YOU CAN'T TELL OTHERS. OF THAT WHICH ONLY A TATHAGATA KNOWS, MEN AND GODS REMAIN UNAWARE. THE AWARENESS OF MORTALS FALLS SHORT.
You have a little awareness -- but very little. If your whole being can be taken into account, then nine parts of it are in darkness and in unconsciousness. Only one part out of ten is conscious, just a very superficial layer which can easily be disturbed. Somebody insults you and you forget all about humbleness, you forget all about being nice, you immediately become enraged. Suddenly your barbarousness comes up. Just a little scratch and the animal starts showing its reality from your very being.
Your civilization is so superficial. It is just like your clothes; you can drop them any moment. And you all know that there are moments when you drop all your civilization, all your culture, all your religion, all your great qualities that you talk about; within a second, they disappear. Your consciousness is so small.
THE AWARENESS OF MORTALS FALLS VERY SHORT. It cannot reach to the heights of a fully awakened human being. That's why a buddha is bound to be misunderstood. Whatever he will do is so far away from you -- he is almost on a sunlit peak of the Himalayas and you are in the dark valleys. Even if what he says reaches you, it is no longer the same. You hear only resounding valleys. Something of it reaches you and you interpret according to your own mind.
One night it happened: Gautam Buddha used to say to his disciples every night, after his discourse, "Now it is time; go and do the last necessary thing. Don't forget before you go to sleep." His hint was about the last meditation before you go into sleep. But one night it happened, there was a thief in the congregation and there was a prostitute too. When Buddha said, "Now it time you go and do the last thing before you go to sleep," the prostitute thought, "My God, he knows that I am here, and that it is time for my profession. I should go, hurry up."
The thief said, "I am hiding in dark corners, because nobody knows .... This man, he may recognize that I am a thief, and he has recognized. He is saying to me, `Now go, and do the last thing, before you go to sleep. It is time.' My God, this man is really strange. I have to run now; it is late and it is time to finish my work; otherwise I won't have any sleep tonight."
Thousands of the sannyasins went to meditation. The prostitute went to her marketplace. The thief started searching for his work. Buddha said one thing, but there were different interpretations according to everybody's own mind.
AS LONG AS THEY ARE ATTACHED TO APPEARANCES, THEY ARE UNAWARE THAT THEIR no-MIND IS EMPTY. AND BY MISTAKENLY CLINGING TO THE APPEARANCE OF THINGS, THEY LOSE THE WAY.
IF YOU KNOW THAT EVERYTHING COMES FROM no-MIND ...
Everything comes from nothingness, and disappears again into nothingness. And you see it happening every day; from a seed a tree arises. You just cut the seed and see -- you will not find any tree, you will not find any branches, you will not find any foliage, you will not find any fragrance, any fruits -- nothing, just emptiness.
But from a seed, which is nothing but emptiness, a great tree arises with great foliage, with many flowers, with many fruits and with millions of seeds. And from each seed, again millions of seeds. The scientists who study trees, vegetation, say that a single seed can make the whole earth green. It has so much potential, although you cannot see by cutting it -- you will not find anything there.
Everything comes out of nothingness and goes back into nothingness. Hence there is no need for attachment, because attachment will bring misery. Soon it will be gone. The flower that has blossomed in the morning, by the evening will be gone.
Don't get attached; otherwise in the evening there will be misery. Then there will be tears, then you will miss the flower. Enjoy while it is. But remember, it has come out of nothing, and it will go back to nothing. And the same is true about everything, even about people.
You love a man, you love a woman; from where have they come? From very small seeds which cannot even be seen by bare eyes. If they are put in front of you, they will not be bigger than the full stop. And you will not recognize that this is you, or that one day you were like this, that this is your old photograph.
One day you will disappear on a funeral pyre -- just into nothingness, as smoke. Don't get attached to anything. This attachment takes you away from your real being; you become focused on the thing to which you are attached. Your awareness gets lost in things, in money, in people, in power. And there are a thousand and one things, the whole thick jungle around you, to be lost in.
Remember, non-attachment is the secret of finding yourself, then awareness can turn inwards because you don't have anything outside to catch hold of. It is free, and in this freedom you can know your self-nature.      ...DON'T BECOME ATTACHED. ONCE ATTACHED, YOU ARE UNAWARE. BUT ONCE YOU SEE YOUR OWN NATURE, THE ENTIRE CANON BECOMES SO MUCH PROSE.
Then all the scriptures are useless. You have seen the holiest of the holy; the very source of the UPANISHADS, the very source of the VEDAS, the very source of all so-called holy scriptures. When you have found the source, who bothers about scriptures? They are so much prose, nothing else.
ITS THOUSANDS OF SUTRAS AND SHASTRAS ONLY AMOUNT TO A CLEAR no-MIND. UNDERSTANDING COMES IN MID-SENTENCE.
This is such a beautiful statement. Understanding does not come through words, but through gaps -- in the moments of silence.
UNDERSTANDING COMES IN MID-SENTENCE. WHAT GOOD ARE DOCTRINES?
THE ULTIMATE TRUTH IS BEYOND WORDS. DOCTRINES ARE WORDS. THEY ARE NOT THE WAY. THE WAY IS WORDLESS. WORDS ARE ILLUSIONS. THEY ARE NO DIFFERENT FROM THINGS THAT APPEAR IN YOUR DREAMS AT NIGHT, BE THEY PALACES OR CARRIAGES .... DON'T CONCEIVE ANY DELIGHT FOR SUCH THINGS. THEY ARE ALL CRADLES OF REBIRTH. KEEP THIS IN MIND WHEN YOU APPROACH DEATH. DON'T CLING TO APPEARANCES, AND YOU WILL BREAK THROUGH ALL BARRIERS.
This is a great statement to be remembered because everybody is going to pass through the gates of death someday. If you can remember that you are only pure consciousness -- not the body, not the mind, not the heart, not your money, not your prestige, not your power, not your house, but just pure consciousness -- then you can pass through the barrier of death unscratched. Then death cannot make even a dent in you.
Death has power over you only if you are attached.
You are not afraid of death. The basic psychology is you are afraid of death because it will take you away from all your attachments. If it were possible that you could take your wife and your children and your house and your money and your power and everything that you think belongs to you, with yourself when you are dying, I don't think you would be afraid. You would rejoice; a great adventure -- going with the whole caravan. But death cuts everything away from you, leaves you utterly naked -- only as a consciousness ....
In the UPANISHADS there is an ancient story that I have always loved. A great king named Yayati became one hundred years old. Now it was enough; he had lived tremendously. He had enjoyed all that life could make available. He was one of the greatest kings of his time. But the story is beautiful ....
Death came and said to Yayati, "Get ready. It is time for you, and I have come to take you." Yayati saw Death, and he was a great warrior and he had won many wars. Yayati started trembling, and said, "But it is too early." Death said, "Too early! You have been alive for one hundred years. Even your children have become old. Your eldest son is eighty years old. What more do you want?"
Yayati had one hundred sons because he had one hundred wives. He asked Death, "Can you do a favor for me? I know you have to take someone. If I can persuade one of my sons, can you leave me for one hundred years more and take one of my sons?" Death said, "That is perfectly okay if somebody else is ready to go. But I don't think .... If you are not ready, and you are the father and you have lived more and you have enjoyed everything, why should your son be ready?"
Yayati called his one hundred sons. The older sons remained silent. There was great silence, nobody was saying anything. Only one, the youngest son who was only sixteen years of age, stood up and he said, "I am ready." Even Death felt sorry for the boy and said to the young man, "Perhaps you are too innocent. Can't you see your ninety-nine brothers are absolutely silent? Someone is eighty, someone is seventy-five, someone is seventy-eight, someone is seventy, someone is sixty -- they have lived -- but they still want to live. And you have not lived at all. Even I feel sad to take you. You think again."
The boy said, "No, just seeing the situation makes me completely certain. Don't feel sad or sorry; I am going with absolute awareness. I can see that if my father is not satisfied in one hundred years, what is the point of being here? How can I be satisfied? I am seeing my ninety-nine brothers; nobody is satisfied. So why waste time? At least I can do this favor to my father. In his old age, let him enjoy one hundred years more. But I am finished. Seeing the situation that nobody is satisfied, I can understand one thing completely -- that even if I live one hundred years, I will not be satisfied either. So it doesn't matter whether I go today or after ninety years. You just take me."
Death took the boy. And after one hundred years he came back. And Yayati was in the same position. And he said, "These hundred years passed so soon. All my old sons have died, but I have another regiment. I can give you some son. Just have mercy on me."
It went on -- the story goes on to say -- for one thousand years. Ten times Death came. And nine times he took some son and Yayati lived one hundred years more. The tenth time Yayati said, "Although I am still as unsatisfied as I was when you came for the first time, now -- although unwillingly, reluctantly -- I will go, because I cannot go on asking for favors. It is too much. And one thing has become certain to me, that if one thousand years cannot help me to be contented, then even ten thousand will not do."
It is the attachment. You can go on living but as the idea of death strikes you, you will start trembling. But if you are not attached to anything, death can come this very moment and you will be in a very welcoming mood. You will be absolutely ready to go. In front of such a man, death is defeated. Death is defeated only by those who are ready to die any moment, without any reluctance. They become the immortals, they become the buddhas.
A MOMENT'S HESITATION WHEN DEATH COMES AND YOU WILL BE UNDER THE SPELL OF DEVILS. YOUR REAL BODY, your real being IS PURE AND IMPERVIOUS. BUT BECAUSE OF DELUSIONS, YOU ARE UNAWARE OF IT. AND BECAUSE OF THIS, YOU SUFFER IN VAIN. WHEREVER YOU FIND DELIGHT, YOU FIND BONDAGE. BUT ONCE YOU AWAKEN TO YOUR ORIGINAL BEING AND no-MIND, YOU ARE NO LONGER BOUND BY ATTACHMENTS.
This freedom is the goal of all religious search.
Freedom from attachment is freedom from death.
Freedom from attachment is freedom from the wheel of birth and death. Freedom from attachment makes you capable of entering into the universal light and becoming one with it. And that is the greatest blessing, the ultimate ecstasy beyond which nothing else exists. You have come home.

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Osho.

 


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