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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   From Misery to Enlightenment
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Chapter 2: Meditation: A Jumping Board to Your Being

That was his life-long practice: just to read for five minutes, then he was on the track. He knew the Gita verbally, he could repeat it without the book. Once he started going into the Gita then he was really in the Gita; his mind was there - it left his body totally.

That operation made news all over the world; it was a rare operation. But the same mistake was committed again. Every newspaper had it that the rajah, the king of Varanasi, was a man of great meditation. He was a man of great concentration, not of meditation.

He also was in the same confusion; he also thought that he had reached to the state of meditation. It was not. It is just that your mind is so focused that everything else falls out of its focus; you are unaware of it. It is not a state of awareness, it is a state of narrowed consciousness - so narrowed that it becomes one-pointed and the rest of existence falls out of it.

So before I answer your question, What is meditation? you have to understand what it is not. First: it is not concentration. Second: it is not contemplation.

Concentration is one-pointed; contemplation has a wider field. You are contemplating about beauty.. There are thousands of things which are beautiful; you can go on moving from one beautiful thing to another. You have many experiences of beauty; you can go on from one experience to another. You remained confined to the subject matter. Contemplation is a wider concentration, not one-pointed, but confined to one subject. You will be moving, your mind will be moving, but it will remain within the subject matter.

Philosophy uses contemplation as its method; science uses concentration as its method. In contemplation also you are forgetting everything else other than your subject matter. The subject matter is bigger, and you have more space to move; in concentration there is no space to move. You can go deeper and deeper, narrower and narrower, you can become more pointed and more pointed, but you don’t have space to move around. Hence scientists are very narrow-minded people. You will be surprised when I say this.

One would think that scientists would be very open-minded. That is not the case. As far as their subject is concerned, they are absolutely open-minded: they are ready to listen to anything contrary to their theory, and with absolute fairness. But except in that particular matter, they are more prejudiced, more bigoted than the ordinary, common man, for the simple reason that they have never bothered about anything else: they have simply accepted whatsoever society believes in.

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