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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy
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Chapter 6: Moving Deeply into the Known

Tension begins with a desire for that which is not. It is a tension between the past and the future. You are like a bridge between two things, and whenever two things are connected, tension will be there. Man is a bridge - a bridge of desires - but it is a rainbow bridge, not a steel bridge; it can evaporate.

When I say relaxation is existential, I mean by this: understand the tension; don’t do anything with it, just understand it.

You can understand tension, but you cannot understand relaxation; that is impossible. You can only understand tension, so understand what it is, how it is, from where it comes; how it exists, by what means it exists. Understand tension totally, and the minute you understand it, a moment is created in which there is no tension. Then it is not only the body which is relaxed, the whole being is relaxed.

To relax the body is really not very difficult, but it has become more difficult with the advance of civilization because the contact with the body is lost. We do not exist in the body; our existence has become basically cerebral, mental.

You do not even love with your body, you love with your mind; the body follows just like a dead weight. When you touch someone, it is not the body you touch; the sensitivity is not there. The mind touches, but since minds cannot really touch, two bodies meet, but there is no communion. The bodies are dead, so you can embrace, but it is only two dead bodies embracing. They come near, but they are not really near. Nearness can only be there if you exist in the body, if you are inside the body.

We are outside our bodies, just like ghosts; around and around, but never inside. The more man has become civilized, the less he is in contact with his own body. The contact is lost; that is why the body is tense.

Body has its own automatic mechanism to relax. The body is tired, it is on the bed, but because you are not there, it cannot relax. You must be in it, otherwise, the automatic mechanism becomes ineffective; it cannot work without your presence. It needs you; it cannot go to sleep by itself. Sleep is lost, relaxation is lost, because the contact with the body is lost.

You are not in your body, so your body cannot function adequately; it cannot function with its own wisdom. It has a genetic, inborn wisdom of centuries, but because you are not in it, there is tension. Otherwise, the physical body is basically automatic, it works automatically. You only have to be there; your presence is needed, then it starts working.

Our minds are also full of tension. They need not be; the mind is tense because you are always creating confusion. For example, a person who is thinking about sex is creating confusion because sex is not something to be thought about; the mind center is not made for that. Sex has its own center, but you are doing the work of the sex center through your mind. Even when you are in love you think about it, you do not feel it; the feeling center is not working.

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