Anything else I should know about meditating?
Boredom, Bliss and the Blues
Once negativities have been allowed expression it is easier to watch when they do resurface from time to time. You’ve let off the pressure, so they won’t have as great a hold on you. Boredom is another feeling that commonly occurs. Just recognize it as a symptom of the mind and yet another passing mood to be watched, without becoming involved in it, without acting on it.
We’d all like to be able to be detached from our pain, our hurt, and our boredom, but not from the good times, the lovely experiences. However, the secret to learning the art of detached observation is to start practicing with positive feelings. Once you’ve mastered that, it is easier not to be dragged down by the negative. Remember, all experiences are of the mind – and the way lies far beyond the confines of the tiny mind.
The old habits of the mind can make themselves felt even when you are meditating. For example, you might start competing with yourself – urging yourself to go beyond your limits, even if your body is in pain. [Of course the mind can also try and sabotage your intention to meditate by telling you that you have reached your limit before you’ve barely begun!]
…Yet Going For It
If there is a key word to guarantee success in your meditative practice it’s totality or wholeheartedness. So for example, when you are dancing in Osho Nataraj Meditation, really dance – not just going through the movements with your mind engaged in something completely different, such as what you are going to do later, or ruminating over a conversation you had yesterday. Be present, on every level of your being.
Follow the instructions of the method given, but then gauge for yourself, by tuning into your body and staying in contact with yourself, how much to exert yourself. There is a fine line between totality and over-zealousness to the point of causing yourself physical harm. By and by your level of awareness and sensitivity will be heightened, and will act as reliable barometers. At the same time the habit of your interfering mind will begin to loosen its hold on you.
This is an Osho introduction to meditation as a way of life rather than a method only approach::
My only work is to give you a clear-cut idea how you can become more conscious; I call it meditation – working, walking, sitting.
I don’t believe in what others call meditation, that ten or twenty minutes you do it and then just be your ordinary self for twenty-four hours and again for twenty minutes meditate. This is stupid. It is like saying to a person that every day in the morning breathe for twenty minutes and then forget all about it, because you have to do many other things. Then the next morning you can breathe twenty minutes again. To me, meditation is exactly like breathing. So whatsoever you are doing and wherever you are, do it more consciously.
For example, I can raise this hand without any consciousness, just unconsciously, out of habit. But you can raise your hand with full awareness, and you can see the difference between the two. The act is the same: one is mechanical, the other is full of consciousness, and the quality is tremendously different. Try it, because it is a question of taste and experience. Walking, just try for a few minutes to walk consciously. Each step be alert, and you will be surprised that the quality of your walk is totally different; it is relaxed. There is no tension and there is a subtle joy that is arising out of your relaxed walking. The more you become aware of this joy, the more you would like to be awake.
Eating, eat with awareness. People are simply throwing food into their mouths, not even chewing it, just swallowing it. People who are suffering from obesity, fatness, cannot resist eating more and more. No doctor is going to help them, unless they become aware while they are eating, if they become aware. A few things happen as a by-product of awareness. Their eating will be slowed down. They will start chewing, because unless you chew your food you are putting an unnecessary burden on your whole system. Your stomach has no teeth. One has to chew each bite exactly forty-two times; then anything that you are eating becomes liquid.
A man of awareness only drinks, because before he swallows he has changed the solid food into liquid. And the strange thing is that when you chew forty-two times you enjoy the taste so much. One bite of an unconscious man gives forty-two times more taste to the conscious man. It is simple arithmetic: the unconscious man will have to eat forty-two bites just to have the same taste, and then he becomes fat and is still unsatisfied. Still he feels to eat more. The man of awareness eats only as much as his body needs. He immediately feels that now there is no need; the hunger is gone, he is content…doing anything.
My meditation is a totally different kind of approach. It has to be spread all over your twenty-four hours. Even falling asleep, remain alert how sleep is descending on you, so slowly, so silently, but you can hear the steps. The darkness is growing, you are relaxing – you can feel the muscles, the body, the tense parts which are preventing sleep – and soon you will see the whole body has relaxed and sleep has come. But slowly, slowly a great revolution happens. Sleep comes to you, but something deep inside you goes on remaining awake, even in sleep.
The situation is: you are asleep even when you think you are awake, and I am awake even when you think I’m asleep. Unless a man becomes aware in his sleep he is not aware, not awake; that is the criterion. There are so many by-products that you can judge by. Dreams disappear, because dreams need you to be completely unconscious; they come from the unconscious mind. But if you are conscious they cannot come.
Sigmund Freud would have been immensely enriched if he had come to a man like me who has no dreams. He would have been puzzled also and he would have had to change his whole idea of psychoanalysis. But he only came across people who were asleep. He himself was asleep – he had no idea of any spiritual awakening; otherwise he would certainly have realized that there is a space when man is conscious, just conscious, and there are no dreams at all.
If dreams disappear in the night, the second thing will happen to you: thoughts will disappear in the daytime. That does not mean you will become incapable of thinking; that simply means you will not just go on thinking mechanically, unnecessarily. You will be capable of thinking if you want to think, otherwise you will be silent. And a man who can remain silent for hours is gathering energy so whenever he wants to think his thinking has some strength, some power, some tremendous energy. Ordinary people’s thinking is just impotent, their thoughts are just vagrant…clouds floating in their mind.
A man of meditation will find that dreams disappear, and then sleep is incomparable beauty. Then sleep becomes spiritual; to transform sleep into spirituality is religion. Then your whole day becomes a day of silence. You will talk but something deep down in you will remain a silent witness. So you will not say things which will unnecessarily create trouble for you and trouble for others. You will say only that which is absolutely needed. You will say only the truth; otherwise you will be capable enough to say, 'I do not know.' You will not believe in anything. Either you will know it or you will not know it.
Belief is a deception: you don’t know, yet you pretend as if you know. All these people in temples, in churches, in synagogues, what are they doing? To whom are they praying? They don’t know God. Their priest does not know God. They don’t know that any prayer has ever been heard by anybody. They don’t know that any prayer has ever been answered by anybody. Still, they are praying to a god….
Religion is a very simple phenomenon. Theology has nothing to with religion. It makes things unnecessarily complex. Religion is a simple awareness of whatever you are doing, wherever you are. And when this awareness surrounds you always like a luminous aura, you become aware for the first time of the universe – its beauties, its music, its eternal song. And to me, that is the religious experience. In religious experience you don’t encounter a god. There is nobody there, just this pure existence. But it is all alive – these flowers, these birds on the wing, these stars – everything is alive, but because you are asleep you cannot experience the aliveness that surrounds you.
And we are not islands. No man is an island. We are part of this whole living, infinite continent. Those flowers are part of us just as we are part of them. Those faraway stars are within us as we are within the universe. That experience of unity, of at-onement, is liberation.
So my teaching is very simple: meditation is the key, becoming totally aware is the result. Experiencing oneness with the whole is the reward.
This is my trinity: meditation, awareness, oneness.