"When people come to me and they ask, "How to meditate?" I tell them, "There is no need to ask how to meditate, just ask how to remain unoccupied. Meditation happens spontaneously. Just ask how to remain unoccupied, that's all. That's the whole trick of meditation – how to remain unoccupied. Then you cannot do anything. The meditation will flower."
"When you are not doing anything the energy moves towards the center, it settles down towards the center. When you are doing something the energy moves out. Doing is a way of moving out. Non-doing is a way of moving in. Occupation is an escape. You can read the Bible, you can make it an occupation. There is no difference between religious occupation and secular occupation: all occupations are occupations, and they help you to cling outside your being. They are excuses to remain outside.
"Man is ignorant and blind, and he wants to remain ignorant and blind, because to come inwards looks like entering a chaos. And it is so; inside you have created a chaos. You have to encounter it and go through it. Courage is needed – courage to be oneself, and courage to move inwards. I have not come across a greater courage than that – the courage to be meditative.”
Osho, Just Like That, Talk #6
“Then what is meditation? Meditation is just being delighted in your own presence; meditation is a delight in your own being. It is very simple – a totally relaxed state of consciousness where you are not doing anything. The moment doing enters you become tense; anxiety enters immediately. How to do? What to do? How to succeed? How not to fail? You have already moved into the future.
“If you are contemplating, what can you contemplate? How can you contemplate the unknown? How can you contemplate the unknowable? You can contemplate only the known. You can chew it again and again, but it is the known. If you know something about Jesus, you can think again and again; if you know something about Krishna, you can think again and again. You can go on modifying, changing, decorating – but it is not going to lead you towards the unknown. And “God” is the unknown.
“Meditation is just to be, not doing anything – no action, no thought, no emotion. You just are. And it is a sheer delight. From where does this delight come when you are not doing anything? It comes from nowhere, or, it comes from everywhere. It is uncaused, because the existence is made of the stuff called joy. It needs no cause, no reason. If you are unhappy you have a reason to be unhappy; if you are happy you are simply happy – there is no reason for it. Your mind tries to find a reason because it cannot believe in the uncaused, because it cannot control the uncaused – with the uncaused the mind simply becomes impotent. So the mind goes on finding some reason or other. But I would like to tell you that whenever you are happy, you are happy for no reason at all, whenever you are unhappy, you have some reason to be unhappy – because happiness is just the stuff you are made of. It is your very being, it is your innermost core. Joy is your innermost core.”
Osho, Dang Dang Doko Dang, Talk #5
"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 mind becomes empty of thoughts; but you are not falling asleep, you are becoming more alert, more aware.
"As the mind becomes completely empty, your whole energy becomes aflame of awakening. This flame is the result of meditation. So you can say meditation is another name of watching, witnessing, observing – without any judgment, without any evaluation. Just by watching, you immediately get out of the mind."
"Whatever Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and other people like him are doing is good, but they are calling something meditation which is not. That's where they are leading people astray. If they had remained sincere and authentic and told people that this will give you mental health, physical health, a more relaxed life, a more peaceful existence, it would have been right. But once they started calling it 'transcendental meditation' they have raised a very trivial thing to an ultimate significance which it cannot fulfill. People have been in transcendental meditation for years, and in the East, for thousands of years. But that has not become their self-knowing, and that has not made them Gautam Buddhas.
"If you want to understand exactly what meditation is, Gautam Buddha is the first man to come to its right, exact definition – that is witnessing."
Osho, The Invitation, Talk #21
What is meditation?
“Meditation is a state of no-mind. Meditation is a state of pure consciousness with no content. Ordinarily, your consciousness is too much full of rubbish, just like a mirror covered with dust. The mind is a constant traffic: thoughts are moving, desires are moving, memories are moving, ambitions are moving – it is a constant traffic! Day in, day out. Even when you are asleep the mind is functioning, it is dreaming. It is still thinking; it is still in worries and anxieties. It is preparing for the next day; an underground preparation is going on.
This is the state of no meditation – just the opposite is meditation. When there is no traffic and thinking has ceased, no thought moves, no desire stirs, you are utterly silent – that silence is meditation. And in that silence truth is known, and never otherwise. Meditation is a state of no-mind.
“And you cannot find meditation through the mind because mind will perpetuate itself. You can find meditation only by putting the mind aside, by being cool, indifferent, unidentified with the mind; by seeing the mind pass, but not getting identified with it, not thinking that “I am it.”
“Meditation is the awareness that “I am not the mind.” When the awareness goes deeper and deeper in you, slowly slowly, a few moments arrive – moments of silence, moments of pure space, moments of transparency, moments when nothing stirs in you and everything is still. In those still moments you will know who you are, and you will know what the mystery of this existence is.
Osho, Philosophia Perennis, Vol. 2, Talk #5
"What is meditation? Is it a technique that can be practiced? Is it an effort that you have to do? Is it something which the mind can achieve? It is not.
"All that the mind can do cannot be meditation – it is something beyond the mind, the mind is absolutely helpless there.
"The mind cannot penetrate meditation; where mind ends, meditation begins. This has to be remembered, because in our life, whatsoever we do, we do through the mind; whatsoever we achieve, we achieve through the mind.
"And then, when we turn inwards, we again start thinking in terms of techniques, methods, doings, because the whole of life's experience shows us that everything can be done by the mind. Yes – except meditation, everything can be done by the mind.
"Everything is done by the mind except meditation. Because meditation is not an achievement – it is already the case, it is your nature. It has not to be achieved; it has not only to be recognized, it has only to be remembered. It is there waiting for you – just a turning in, and it is available. You have been carrying it always and always.
"Meditation is your intrinsic nature. It is you, it is your being, it has nothing to do with your doings. You cannot have it. You cannot not have it. It cannot be possessed, it is not a thing.
"It is you. It is your being."
Osho, Ancient Music in the Pines, Talk #7
"The meditation I am talking about is not a meditation on something: rather, it is a state of meditation. So this is what I mean when I am talking to you about meditation as a state. Meditation does not mean remembering someone. Meditation means to drop everything which is in one’s memory and to come to a state where only consciousness remains, where only awareness remains.
"If you light a lamp and remove all the objects surrounding it, the lamp will still go on giving light. In the same way, if you remove all objects from your consciousness, all thoughts, all imagination, what will happen? – only consciousness will remain. That pure state of consciousness is meditation. You don’t meditate on somebody. Meditation is a state where only consciousness remains.
"When only consciousness remains without an object, that state is called meditation. I am using the word meditation in this sense.
"What you practice is not meditation in the real sense; it is only a concept. But meditation will happen on its own through this. Try to understand that what you are practicing at night, exercises involving the chakras, and in the morning, exercises involving the breath, is all a discipline, it is not meditation. Through this discipline a moment will come when the breath will seem to have disappeared. Through this discipline a moment will come when the body seems to have disappeared and thoughts have also disappeared. What will remain when everything has disappeared? That which remains is meditation. When everything has disappeared, that which is left behind is called meditation."
Osho, The Path of Meditation, Talk #6
A state of meditation is an innocent, silent state. You are blissfully unaware of your awareness. You are, but you are utterly relaxed. You are not in a state of sleep; you are fully alert, more alert than ever. Rather, you are alertness.
Osho, Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Talk #1
When I use the words “inner journey”, I simply mean that you have looked at one aspect of the journey in your life called “outer”, now try to look at another aspect of the journey called “inner”. You have been running after money, now run after meditation. You have been running after power, now run after God. Both are running. Once you start running after meditation then one day I will tell you, “Now drop meditation too. Now stop running.” And when you stop running then real meditation happens.
the spring comes
and the grass grows by itself.
So meditation has two meanings. That’s why in India we have two words for it: dhyana and samadhi. dhyana means the temporary meditation, arbitrary meditation; samadhi means you have come home, now meditation is not needed. When even meditation is not needed, one is in meditation – never before it. When one simply lives in meditation, walks in meditation, sleeps in meditation, when meditation is just one’s way of being, then one has arrived.
Osho, The Wisdom of the Sands, Vol. 2, Talk #3