Chapter 21: To Know Oneself and to Be Oneself
Transcendental meditation is representative of all the meditations which mind has suggested to you; it is a cunning way to take you astray. Mind remains safe, not only safe, but becomes stronger. All these techniques are of concentration. You concentrate on some word, holy word - the name of God, or any mantra - and you repeat it as fast as you can, just inside your mind. The faster you can do it the better; the speed helps two things. The mantra or the name of God - even your own name will do; it has nothing to do with God - any meaningless word will do because the technique depends on something else. It depends on fast repetition, so fast that there are no gaps left in between. Because there are no gaps, thoughts cannot arise; thoughts need a little space.
This is one thing: that you go on repeating a word faster and faster, and as you go on doing it for years, you really become an expert. So one thing it does is that it does not give a chance for any idea to enter into your mind. The second, more fundamental thing it does is that it creates tremendous boredom. Obviously, anything continuously repeated is going to create boredom, and boredom is the basis of auto-hypnosis.
When you become bored, you start falling into a sleep, which is not exactly sleep because it is deliberately created; hence it has a different name - hypnosis. Hypnosis means sleep, with a difference, that it is deliberate.
Sleep comes naturally - on its own, spontaneously. Hypnosis is deliberate sleep - you create a situation in which it is bound to happen. This deliberate sleep is immensely healthy, and even ten or fifteen minutes in a hypnotic state gives you a good relaxation which hours of ordinary sleep cannot give. And when you come out of it, you will feel very fresh.
I absolutely agree that if you are doing it only for this purpose - relaxation, a freshness comes, but it never takes you beyond the mind. How can it take you beyond the mind, because mind itself is repeating? By repetition, it does not need to think; repetition itself becomes a substitute for thoughts. And by repetition it falls into a deep sleep - dreamless sleep, which gives you immense freshness, rejuvenation.
Naturally, you can be deceived that this is meditation - you can go on doing it your whole life. It is healthy, it is good, it is nourishing, but it is not meditation.
Meditation starts by being separate from the mind, by being a witness. That is the only way of separating yourself from anything. If you are looking at the light, naturally one thing is certain, you are not the light, you are the one who is looking at it. If you are watching the flowers, one thing is certain, you are not the flower, you are the watcher.
Watching is the key of meditation:
Watch your mind.
Don’t do anything - no repetition of mantra, no repetition of the name of God - just watch whatever the mind is doing. Don’t disturb it, don’t prevent it, don’t repress it; don’t do anything at all on your part. You just be a watcher, and the miracle of watching is meditation. As you watch, slowly, slowly mind becomes empty of thoughts; but you are not falling asleep, you are becoming more alert, more aware.