An Indian man has come a little earlier this evening to talk to Osho about a frightening experience he had recently while meditating. As people enter at the usual time, Osho is saying:
(one gets really scared. Really, it came too early and you weren’t yet ready. It can happen that suddenly a key fits, and then the experience of deep meditation is exactly like death.
The problem is created because one gets scared. Meditation leads you deep into yourself. Beyond a certain point it is felt like drowning, sinking, suffocating. If you accept it and cooperate with it and simply say that you are ready to die, then you don’t create the opposite process of trying to come out of it. Then there comes a peak where all disturbance disappears. Something has happened – but you are still there. In fact for the first time you are there – and everything becomes blissful.
Before it comes to the peak there is pain and anguish, and it is natural that one starts thinking about how to get out of it somehow. In the getting out, that cooperation is broken, so you are moving now in two ways. Something you have done in meditation is taking you deep, while you are trying to cling to the surface. In that confusion and conflict the whole body can feel in turmoil. It was not really because of the experience, but because you created this conflict.
This phenomenon has to be faced one day by anyone who is moving into meditation; there is no way to avoid it. When it happens one naturally becomes afraid to meditate again. So, don’t do this method for a few days; do something else. Humming is good. It is very slow, and will subdue the energy.
Do a meditation camp, and if something happens then I am here, so you can rely on me more easily. You could rely on me there too(but it was for the first time, so you were not aware of what was happening.
Next time it happens simply take the locket in your hand, and leave it to me. Simply say that you are ready to die, and relax. Sink, and allow it. Once you allow it, the whole of the energy is moving in one direction so there is no inner conflict; and because there is no conflict there is no anxiety. The whole body will feel rejuvenated. Otherwise you create a disturbance.
It is just as when you are driving a car. You go on pushing the accelerator, and at the same time you brake: the whole engine feels the shock because you are doing two contradictory things, racing and braking simultaneously. That’s what you have done. The meditation turned the energy inwards – and it is a tremendous experience, deeper than any death.
We are accustomed to live on the surface, and we think that that is life. We have forgotten our own depths completely. So, when we encounter death for the first time it is like an abyss, and fear takes over, because if one falls(it is bottomless.