Deceptions of the Mind

Discourse by Osho/Rajneesh
4 October 1972 pm in Woodlands, Bombay
Chapter 4 from Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol. 1

Question:

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT BY SIMPLY BECOMING AWARE AT A PARTICULAR POINT IN THE BREATHING PROCESS ONE CAN ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT? HOW IT IS POSSIBLE TO BECOME FREE FROM THE UNCONSCIOUS BY JUST BEING AWARE OF SUCH A SMALL AND MOMENTARY GAP IN THE BREATHING?

This question is significant, and this question is likely to have occurred to many minds, so many things have to be understood. First, it is thought that spirituality is a difficult attainment. It is neither: that is, it is neither difficult nor an attainment. Whatsoever you are, you are already spiritual. Nothing new is to be added to your being, and nothing is to be discarded from your being; you are as perfect as possible. It is not that you are going to be perfect sometime in the future, it is not that you have to do something arduous to be yourself. It is not a journey to some other point somewhere else; you are not going somewhere else. You are already there. That which is to be attained is already attained. This idea must go deep, only then will you be able to understand why such simple techniques can help.

If spirituality is some attainment, then of course it is going to be difficult – not only difficult, but really impossible. If you are not already spiritual, you cannot be, you never can be, because how can one who is not spiritual be spiritual? If you are not divine already then there is no possibility, there is no way. And no matter what effort you will make, effort made by one who is not already divine cannot create divinity. If you are not divine, your effort cannot create divinity. Then it is impossible.

But the whole situation is totally opposite: you are already that which you want to attain. The end of longing is already there, present in you. Here and now, this very moment, you are that which is known as divine. The ultimate is here; it is already the case. That is why simple techniques can help. It is not an attainment, but a discovery. It is hidden, and it is hidden in very, very small things.

The persona is just like clothes. Your body is here, hidden in clothes; in the same way your spirituality is here, hidden in certain clothes. These clothes are your personality. You can be naked just here and now, and in the same way you can be naked in your spirituality also. But you do not know what the clothes are. You do not know how you are hidden in them; you do not know how to be naked. You have been in clothes so long – for lives and lives and lives you have been in clothes – and you have been so identified with the clothes, that now you do not think that these are clothes. You think these clothes are you. That is the only barrier.

For example, you have some treasure, but you have forgotten or you have not yet recognized that this is a treasure, and you go on begging in the streets… you are a beggar. If someone says, ”Go and look inside your house. You need not be a beggar, you can be an emperor this very moment,” the beggar is bound to say, ”What nonsense you are talking. How can I be an emperor this very moment? I have been begging for years and still I am a beggar, and even if I go on begging for lives together, I am not going to be an emperor. So how absurd and illogical your statement is, ‘You can be an emperor this very moment.’”

It is impossible. The beggar cannot believe it. Why? Because the begging mind is a long habit. But if the treasure is just hidden in the house, then from simple digging, removing the earth a little bit, the treasure will be there. And immediately he will not be a beggar again, he will become an emperor.

It is the same with spirituality: it is a hidden treasure. Nothing is to be achieved somewhere in the future. You have not yet recognized it, but it is there already in you. You are the treasure, but you go on begging.

So simple techniques can help. Digging the earth, removing a little bit, is not a big effort, and you can become an emperor immediately. You have to dig a little bit to remove the earth. And when I say remove the earth, it is not only symbolically that I am saying it. Literally your body is part of the earth, and you have become identified with the body. Remove this earth a little bit, create a hole in it, and you will come to know the treasure.

That is why this question will occur to many. Really, to everyone this question will occur: ”So small a technique like this – being aware of your breathing, being aware of the incoming breath and the outgoing breath, and then realizing the interval between the two – is this enough?” Such a simple thing! Is this enough for enlightenment? Is this the only difference between you and Buddha, that you have not realized the gap between two breaths and Buddha has realized it – only this much? It seems illogical. The distance is vast between a Buddha and you. The distance seems infinite. The distance between a beggar and an emperor is infinite, but the beggar can immediately become an emperor if the treasure is already hidden.

Buddha was a beggar like you; he was not a buddha always. At a particular point the beggar died, and he became the master. This is not a gradual process really; it is not that Buddha goes on accumulating and then one day he is not the beggar and he becomes the emperor. No, a beggar can never become an emperor if it is going to be an accumulation, he will remain a beggar. He may become a rich beggar, but he will remain a beggar. And a rich beggar is a bigger beggar than a poor beggar.

Suddenly, one day Buddha realizes the inner treasure. Then he is no more a beggar, he becomes a master. The distance between Gautam Siddharth and Gautam Buddha is infinite. It is the same distance that is between you and a buddha. But the treasure is hidden within you as much as it was hidden in Buddha.

Take another example…. One man is born with blind eyes, diseased eyes. For a blind man, the world is a different thing. A small operation may change the whole thing, because only the eyes have to be made all right. The moment the eyes are ready, the seer is hidden behind and he will begin to look from the eyes. The seer is already there, only windows are lacking. You are in a house with no windows. You can break a hole in the wall, and suddenly you will look out.

We are already that which we will be, which we should be, which we are to be. The future is already hidden in the present; the whole possibility is here in the seed. Only a window has to be broken, only a small surgical operation is needed. If you can understand this, that spirituality is already there, already the case, then there is no problem concerning how such a small effort can help.

Really, no big effort is needed. Only small efforts are needed, and the smaller the better. And if you work effortlessly it is still better. That is why it happens, many times it happens, that the more you try, the harder it is to attain. Your very effort, your tension, your occupiedness, your longing, your expectation, becomes the barrier. But with a very small effort, an effortless effort as they call it in Zen – doing as if not doing – it happens easily. The more you are mad after it, the less is the possibility, because where a needle is needed you are using a sword. The sword will not be helpful. It may be bigger, but where a needle is needed a sword will not do.

Go to a butcher – he has very big instruments. And go to a brain surgeon: you will not find such big instruments with the brain surgeon. And if you do find them, then escape immediately! A brain surgeon is not a butcher. He needs very small instruments – the smaller the better.

Spiritual techniques are more subtle; they are not gross. They cannot be, because the surgery is even more subtle. In the brain the surgeon is still doing something with gross matter, but when you are working on spiritual planes the surgery becomes more and more aesthetic. No gross matter is there. It becomes subtle – that is one thing.

Secondly, the questioner asks, ”If something is smaller, how can a bigger step be possible through it?” This concept is irrational, unscientific. Now science knows that the smaller the particle, the more atomic, the more explosive – the bigger really. The smaller it is, the bigger the effect. Could you have conceived before 1945, could any imaginative poet or dreamer have conceived that two atomic explosions would wipe out completely two big cities in Japan – Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Two hundred thousand people were simply wiped out of existence within seconds. And what was the explosive force used? An atom! The very smallest particle blew up two big cities. You cannot see the atom. Not only with your eyes can you not see, you cannot see by any means. The atom cannot be seen with any instrument; we can only see the effects.

So do not think that the Himalayas are bigger because they have such a big body. The Himalayas are just impotent before an atomic explosion. One small atom can wipe out the whole Himalayas. Size in gross material is not necessarily power. On the contrary, the smaller the unit, the more penetrating. The smaller the unit, the more intensely it is filled with power.

These small techniques are atomic. Those who are doing bigger things do not know atomic science. You will think that a person who is working with atoms is a small person working with small things, and a person who is working with the Himalayas will look very big. Hitler was working with great masses; Mao is working with great masses. And Einstein and Planck, they were working in their laboratories with small units of matter – energy particles. But ultimately, before Einstein’s research politicians were just impotent. They were working on a bigger canvas, but they did not know the secret of the small unit.

Moralists always work on big planes, but these are gross. The thing looks very big. They devote their whole lives to moralizing, practicing this and that, to SANYAM – control. They go on controlling; the whole edifice looks very big.

Tantra is not concerned with this. Tantra is concerned with the atomic secrets in the human being, in the human mind, in human consciousness. And tantra has achieved atomic secrets. These methods are atomic methods. If you can attain them, their result is explosive, cosmic.

Another point is to be noted. If you can say, ”How is it that with such a small, simple exercise one can become enlightened?” you are saying this without doing the exercise. If you do it, then you will not say that this is a small, simple exercise. It looks this way because within two or three sentences the whole exercise has been given.

Do you know the atomic formula? Two or three words, and the whole formula is given. And with those two or three words, those who can understand, those who can use those words, can destroy the whole earth. The formula is very small.

These too are formulas, so if you just look at the formula it will look to be a very, very small, simple thing. It is not! Try to do it. When you do it, then you will know that it is not so easy. It looks simple, but it is one of the deepest things. We will analyze the process; then you will understand.

When you take your breath in, you never feel the breath. You have never felt the breath. You will immediately deny this. You will say, ”This is not right. We may not be conscious continuously, but we feel the breath.” No, you do not feel the breath, you feel the passage.

Look at the sea. Waves are there; you see the waves. But those waves are created by air, wind. You do not see the wind, you see the effect on the water. When you take breath in it touches your nostril. You feel the nostril, but you never know the breath. It goes down – you feel the passage. It comes back – again you feel the passage. You never feel the breath, you just feel the touch and the passage.

This is not what is meant when Shiva says, BE AWARE. First you will become aware of the passage, and when you have become completely aware of the passage, only then will you begin, by and by, to be aware of the breath itself. And when you become aware of the breath, then you will be capable of being aware of the gap, the interval. It is not so easy as it looks.

For tantra, for all seeking, there are layers of awareness. If I embrace you, first you will become aware of my touch upon your body; not of my love, my love is not so gross. And ordinarily we never become aware of love. We are aware only of the body in movement. We know loving movements, we know non-loving movements – but we have never known love itself. If I kiss you, you become aware of the touch, not of my love; that love is a very subtle thing. And unless you become aware of my love the kiss is just dead, it means nothing. If you can become aware of my love, then only can you become aware of me, because that again is a deeper layer.

The breath goes in. You feel the touch, not the breath. But you are not even aware of that touch. If something is wrong, only then do you feel it. If you have some difficulty in breathing, then you feel it; otherwise you are not aware. The first step will be to be aware of the passage where breath is felt to be touching; then your sensitivity will grow. It will take years to become so sensitive that not the touch, but the movement of breath is known. Then, says tantra, you will have known PRANA – the vitality. And only then is there the gap where breath stops, where breath is not moving – or the center where the breath is touching, or the fusion point, or the turning where the breath, the ingoing breath, becomes outgoing. This will become arduous; then it will not be so simple.

If you do something, if you go into this center, only then will you know how difficult it is. Buddha took six years to come to this center beyond the breath. To come to this turning, he had a long, arduous journey of six years; then it happened. Mahavir was working on it for twelve years; then it happened. But the formula is simple, and theoretically this can happen this very moment – theoretically, remember. There is no barrier theoretically, so why should it not happen this very moment? YOU are the barrier. Except for you this can happen this very moment. The treasure is there; the method is known to you. You can dig, but you will not dig.

Even this question is a trick not to dig, because your mind says, ”Such a simple thing? Don’t be a fool. How can you become a buddha through such a simple thing? It is not going to be.” And then you are not going to do anything, because how can this happen? Mind is tricky. If I say this is very difficult, the mind says, ”This is so difficult it is beyond you.” If I say this is very simple, the mind says, ”This is so simple that only fools can believe in it.” And mind goes on rationalizing things, always escaping from doing.

Mind creates barriers. It will become a barrier if you think this is so simple, or this is too difficult – then what are you going to do? You cannot do a simple thing, you cannot do a difficult thing. What are you going to do? Tell me! If you want to do a difficult thing, I will make it difficult. If you are going to do a simple thing, I will make it simple. It is both – it depends on how it is interpreted. But one thing is needed, that you are going to DO. If you are not going to do then the mind will always give you explanations.

Theoretically, it is possible here and now; there is no actual barrier. But there are barriers. They may not be actual, they may simply be psychological – they may just be your illusions – but they are there. If I say to you, ”Do not be afraid – go! The thing that you are thinking is a snake is not a snake, it is just a rope,” still the fear will be there. To you it appears to be a snake.

So whatsoever I say is not going to help. You are trembling; you want to escape and run away. I say it is just a rope, but your mind will say, ”This man may be in conspiracy with the snake. There must be something wrong. This man is forcing me toward the snake. He may be interested in my death, or something else.” If I try to convince you too much that this is a rope, that will only show that I am somehow interested in forcing you toward the snake. If I say to you that theoretically it is possible to see the rope as a rope this very moment, your mind will create many, many problems.

In reality there is no dilemma; in reality there is no problem. There never has been, there never will be. In mind there are problems, and you look at reality through the mind; thus, the reality becomes problematic. Your mind works like a prison. It divides and creates problems. And not only that, it creates solutions which become deeper problems, because in fact there are no problems to be solved. Reality is absolutely unproblematic; there is no problem. But you cannot see anything without problems. Wherever you look, you create problems. Your ”look” is problematic. I told you this breath technique; now the mind says, ”This is so simple.” Why? Why does the mind say this is so simple ?

When for the first time the steam engine was invented, no one believed it. It looked so simple – unbelievable. Just the same steam that you know in your kitchen, in your kettle, the steam running an engine, running hundreds and hundreds of passengers and such a load? The same steam that you are so well-acquainted with? This is not believable.

Do you know what happened in England? When the first train started, no one was ready to sit in it – no one! Many people were persuaded, bribed, they were given money to sit in the train, but at the last point they escaped. They said, ”Firstly, steam cannot do such miracles. Such a simple thing as steam cannot do such miracles. And if the engine starts, that means that the devil is at work somewhere. The devil is running the thing, it is not the steam. And what is the guarantee that once the thing starts you will be capable of stopping it?”

No guarantee could be given because this was the first train. Never had it stopped before, it was only probable. There was no experience, so science could not say, ”Yes it will stop.” Theoretically it will stop… but the people were not interested in theories. They were interested if there was any actual experience of stopping a train: ”If it never stops then what will happen to us who will be sitting in it?”

So twelve criminals from the jail were brought as passengers. Anyhow they were going to die, anyhow they were sentenced to death, so there was no problem if the train was not going to stop. Then the mad driver who thought that it was going to stop, the scientist who had invented it and these twelve passengers who were anyhow going to be killed, they alone would all be killed. ”Such a simple thing as steam,” they said at that time. But now no one says this, because now it is working and you know it.

Everything is simple – reality is simple. It seems complex only because of ignorance; otherwise everything is simple. Once you know it, it becomes simple. The knowing is bound to be difficult not because of reality, remember, but because of your mind. This technique is simple, but it is not going to be simple for you. Your mind will create difficulty. So try with it.

Another friend says, IF I TRY THIS METHOD OF BEING AWARE OF MY BREATHING, IF I PAY ATTENTION TO MY BREATHING, THEN I CANNOT DO ANYTHING ELSE, THE WHOLE ATTENTION GOES TO IT. AND IF I AM TO DO ANYTHING ELSE THEN I CANNOT BE AWARE OF MY BREATHING.

This will happen, so in the beginning choose a particular period in the morning, or in the evening, or at any time. For one hour just do the exercise; do not do anything else. Just do the exercise. Once you become attuned to it, then it will not be a problem. You can walk on the street and you can be aware.

Between ‘awareness’ and ‘attention’ there is a difference. When you pay attention to anything it is exclusive; you have to withdraw your attention from everywhere else. So it is a tension really. That is why it is called attention. You pay attention to one thing at the cost of everything else. If you pay attention to your breathing, you cannot pay attention to your walking or to your driving. Do not try it while you are driving because you cannot pay attention to both.

Attention means one thing exclusively. Awareness is a very different thing; it is not exclusive. It is not paying attention, it is being attentive; it is just being conscious. You are conscious when you are inclusively conscious. Your breathing is in your consciousness. You are walking and someone is passing, and you are also conscious of him. Someone is making noise on the road, some train passes by, some airplane flies by – everything is included. Awareness is inclusive, attention exclusive. But in the beginning it will be attention.

So first try in selected periods. For one hour just be attentive to your breathing. By and by you will be able to change your attention into awareness. Then do simple things – for example, walking, walk attentively with full awareness of walking and also of breathing. Do not create any opposition between the two actions of walking and breathing. Be a watcher of both. It is not difficult.

Look! For example, I can pay attention to one face here. If I pay attention to one face, all the faces will not be here for me. If I pay my attention to one face, then all the rest are bracketed out. If I pay attention only to the nose on that face, then the whole face, the remaining face, is bracketed out. I can go on narrowing down my attention to a single point.

The reverse is also possible. I pay attention to the whole face; then eyes and nose and everything are there. Then I have made my focus wider. I look at you not as individuals, but as a group. Then the whole group is in my attention. If I take you as different from the noise that is going on the street, then I am bracketing out the street. But I can look at you and the street as one whole. Then I can be aware of both you and the street. I can be aware of the whole cosmos. It depends on your focus – on its becoming greater and greater. But first start from attention and remember that you have to grow into awareness. So choose a small period. The morning is good because you are fresh, energies are vital, everything is rising; you are more alive in the morning.

Physiologists say that not only are you more alive, but your height is a little more in the morning than in the evening. If you are six feet tall, then in the morning you are six feet and one half inch and in the evening you go back to six feet. Half an inch is lost because your spine settles down when it is tired. So in the morning you are fresh, young, alive with energy.

Do this: do not make meditation the last thing on your schedule. Make it the first. Then when you feel that now it is not an effort, when you can sit for an hour together completely immersed in breathing – aware, attentive – when you only know this, that you have achieved attention of breathing without any effort; when you are relaxed and enjoying it without any forcing, then you have attained it.

Then add something else – for example, walking. Remember both; then go on adding things. After a certain period you will be capable of being aware of your breath continuously, even in sleep. And unless you are aware even in sleep you will not be able to know the depth. But this comes, by and by this comes.

One has to be patient and one has to start rightly. Know this, because the cunning mind will always try to give you a wrong start. Then you can leave it after two or three days and say, ”This is hopeless.” The mind will give you a wrong start. So always remember to begin rightly, because rightly begun means half done. But we start wrongly.

You know very well that attention is a difficult thing. This is because you are totally asleep. So if you start being attentive to breathing while you are doing something else, you cannot do it. And you are not going to leave the task, you will leave the effort of being attentive to breathing.

So do not create unnecessary problems for yourself. In twenty-four hours you can find a small corner. Forty minutes will do… so do the technique there. But the mind will give many excuses. The mind will say, ”Where is the time? There is already too much work to be done. Where is the time?” Or the mind will say, ”It is not possible now, so postpone it. Sometime in the future when things are better, then you will do it.” Beware of what your mind says to you. Do not be too trusting of the mind. And we are never doubtful. We can doubt everyone but we never doubt our own minds.

Even those who talk so much of skepticism, of doubt, of reason, even they never doubt their own minds. And your mind has brought you to the state you are in. If you are in a hell, your mind has brought you to this hell, and you never doubt this guide. You can doubt any teacher, any master, but you never doubt your mind. With unflinching faith, you move with your mind as the guru. And your mind has brought you to the mess, to the misery that you are. If you are going to doubt anything, doubt first your own mind. And whenever your mind says something, think twice.

Is it true that you do not have any time? Really? You do not have any time to meditate – to give one hour to meditation? Think twice. Ask again and again to the mind, ”Is this the case, that I do not have any time?”

I don’t see it. I have not seen a man who does not have more than enough time. I go on seeing people who are playing cards, and they say, ”We are killing time.” They are going to the movies and they say, ”What to do?” They are killing time, gossiping, reading the same newspaper again and again, talking about the same things they have been talking about for their whole lives, and they say, ”We don’t have any time.” For unnecessary things they have enough time. Why?

With an unnecessary thing mind is not in any danger. The moment you think of meditation, mind becomes alert. Now you are moving in a dangerous dimension, because meditation means the death of the mind. If you move into meditation, sooner or later your mind will have to dissolve, retire completely. The mind becomes alert and it begins to say many things to you: ”Where is the time? And even if there is time, then more important things are to be done. First postpone it until later. You can meditate at any time. Money is more important. Gather money first, then meditate at your leisure. How can you meditate without money? So pay attention to money, then meditate later on.”

Meditation can be postponed easily, you feel, because it is not concerned with your immediate survival. Bread cannot be postponed – you will die. Money cannot be postponed – it is needed for your basic necessities. Meditation can be postponed, you can survive without it. Really, you can survive without it easily.

The moment you go deep in meditation, you will not survive on this earth at least – you will disappear. From the circle of this life, this wheel, you will disappear. Meditation is like death, so the mind becomes afraid. Meditation is like love, so the mind becomes afraid. ”Postpone,” it says, and you can go on postponing ad infinitum. Your mind is always saying things like this. And do not think I am talking about others. I am talking particularly about YOU.

I have come across many intelligent people who go on saying very unintelligent things about meditation. One man came from Delhi; he is a big government official. He came only for the purpose of learning meditation here. He had come from Delhi, and he stayed seven days here. I told him to go to the morning meditation class on Chowpatty beach in Bombay, but he said, ”But that is difficult. I cannot get up so early.” And he will never think over what his mind has told him. Is this so difficult? Now you will know: the exercise can be simple, but your mind is not so simple. The mind says, ”How can I get up in the morning at six o’clock?”

I was in a big city, and the collector of that city came to meet me at eleven o’clock at night. I was just going to my bed, and he came and said, ”No! It is urgent. I am very disturbed. It is a question of life and death,” he told me. ”So please give me at least half an hour. Teach me meditation; otherwise I might commit suicide. I am very much disturbed, and I am so frustrated that something must happen in my inner world. My outer world is lost completely.”

I told him, ”Come in the morning at five o’clock.” He said, ”That is not possible.” It is a question of life and death, but he cannot get up at five o’clock. He said, ”That is not possible. I never get up so early.”

Okay,” I told him, ”Then come at ten.”

He said, ”That will also be difficult because by ten-thirty I am to be present at my office.”

He cannot take one day’s leave, and it is a question of life and death. So I told him, ”Is it a question of your life and death or my life and death? Whose?” And he was not an unintelligent man, he was intelligent enough. These tricks were very intelligent.

So do not think that your mind is not playing the same tricks. It is very intelligent, and because you think it is your mind you never doubt it. It is not yours, it is just a social product. It is not yours! It has been given to you, it has been forced upon you. You have been taught and conditioned in a certain way. From the very childhood your mind has been created by others – parents, society, teachers. The past is creating your mind, influencing your mind. The dead past is forcing itself upon the living continuously. The teachers are just the agents – agents of the dead against the living. They go on forcing things upon your mind. But the mind is so intimate with you, the gap is so small, that you become identified with it.

You say, ”I am a Hindu.” Think again, reconsider it. YOU are not a Hindu. You have been given a Hindu mind. You were born just a simple, innocent being – not a Hindu, not a Mohammedan. But you were given a Mohammedan mind, a Hindu mind. You were forced, encaged, imprisoned in a particular condition, and then life goes on adding to this mind and this mind becomes heavy – heavy on you. You cannot do anything; the mind starts forcing its own way upon you. Your experiences are being added to the mind. Constantly, your past is conditioning your every present moment. If I say something to you, you are not going to think about it in a fresh way, in an open way. Your old mind, your past will come in between, will begin to talk and chatter for or against.

Remember, your mind is not yours, your body is not yours; it comes from your parents. Your mind is also not yours; it also comes from your parents. Who are you?

Either one is identified with the body or with the mind. You think you are young, you think you are old, you think you are a Hindu, you think you are a Jain, you are a Parsee. You are not! You were born as a pure consciousness. These are all imprisonments. These techniques which look so simple to you will not be so simple, because this mind will create constantly many, many complexities and problems.

Just a few days before, a man came to me and he said, ”I am trying your method of meditation, but tell me, in what scripture is it given? If you can convince me that it is given in my religious scripture, then it will be easier for me to do.” But why will it be easier for him to do if it is written in a scripture? Because then the mind will not create a problem. The mind will say, ”Okay! This belongs to us, so do it.” If it is not written in any scripture then the mind will say, ”What are you doing?” The mind goes against it.

I said to the man, ”You have been doing this method for three months. How are you feeling?” He said, ”Wonderful. I am feeling very wonderful. But tell me… give some authority from the scriptures.” His own feeling is not an authority at all. He says, ”I am feeling wonderful. I have become more silent, more peaceful, more loving. I am feeling wonderful.” But his own experience is not the authority. The mind asks for an authority from the past.

I told him, ”It is not written anywhere in your scriptures. Rather, many things which are against this technique are written.” His face became sad. And then he said, ”Then it will be difficult for me to do it and to continue it.”

Why is his own experience not of any value?

The past – the conditioning, the mind – is constantly molding you and destroying your present. So remember, and be aware. Be skeptical and doubting about your mind. Do not trust it. If you can attain to this maturity of not trusting your mind, only then will these techniques be really simple, helpful, functioning. They will work miracles – they can work miracles.

These techniques, these methods cannot be understood intellectually at all. I am trying the impossible, but then why am I trying? If they cannot be understood intellectually, then why am I talking to you? They cannot be understood intellectually, but there is no other way to make you aware of certain techniques which can change your life totally. You can understand only intellect, and this is a problem. You cannot understand anything else; you can understand only the intellect. And these techniques cannot be understood intellectually, so how to communicate?

Either you should become capable of understanding without intellect being brought in, or some method should be found so that these techniques can be made intellectually understandable. The second is not possible, but the first is possible.

You will have to start intellectually, but do not cling to it. When I say ”Do,” try doing. If something begins to happen within you, then you will be capable of throwing your intellect aside and reaching toward me directly without the intellect, without any effort, without the meditator. But start doing something. We can go on talking for years and years, your mind can be stuffed with many things, but that is not going to help. Rather, it may harm you because you will begin to know many things. And if you know many things you will become confused. It is not good to know many things. It is good to know a little and to practice it. A single technique can be helpful; something done is always helpful. What is the difficulty in doing it?

Deep down somewhere there is fear. The fear is that if you do it, it may be that something stops happening – that is the fear. It may look paradoxical, but I have been meeting so many – so many persons – who think they want to change. They say they need meditation, they ask for a deep transformation, but deep down they are also afraid. They are dual – double; they have two minds. They go on asking about what to do, never doing it. Why then do they go on asking? Just to deceive themselves that they are really interested in transforming themselves. That is why they are asking.

This gives a facade, an appearance that they are really, sincerely interested in changing themselves. That is why they are asking, going to this guru and that, finding, trying, but they never do anything. Deep down they are afraid.

Eric Fromm has written a book, FEAR OF FREEDOM. The title seems contradictory. Everyone thinks that they like freedom; everyone thinks that they are endeavoring for freedom – in this world and in ”that world” also. ”We want MOKSHA – liberation – we want to be freed from all limitations, from all slaveries. We want to be totally free,” they say. But Eric Fromm says that man is afraid of freedom. We want it, we go on saying that we want it, we go on convincing ourselves that we want it, but deep down we are afraid of freedom. We do not want it! Why? Why this duality?

Freedom creates fear, and meditation is the deepest freedom possible. You are not freed only from outward limitations, you are freed from inner slavery – the very mind, the base of slavery. You are freed from the whole past. The moment you have no mind, the past has disappeared. You have transcended history; now there is no society, no religion, no scripture, no tradition, because they all have their abode in the mind. Now there is no past, no future, because past and future are part of the mind, the memory and the imagination.

Then you are here and now in the present. Now there is not going to be any future. There will be now and now and now – eternal now. Then you are freed completely; you transcend all tradition, all history, body, mind, everything. One becomes free of the fearful. Such freedom? Then where will YOU be? In such freedom, can you exist? In such freedom, in such vastness, can you have your small ”I” – your ego? Can you say ”I am?”

You can say, ”I am in bondage,” because you can know your boundary. When there is no bondage there is no boundary. You become just a state, nothing more… absolute nothingness, emptiness. That creates fear, so one goes on talking about meditation, about how to do it, and one goes on without doing it.

All the questions arise out of this fear. Feel this fear. If you know it, it will disappear. If you do not know it, it will continue. Are you ready to die in the spiritual sense? Are you ready to be NOT?

Whenever anyone came to Buddha he would say, ”This is the basic truth – that you are not. And because you are not you cannot die, you cannot be born; and because you are not you cannot be in suffering, in bondage. Are you ready to accept this?” Buddha would ask, ”Are you ready to accept this? If you are not ready to accept this, then do not try meditation now. First try to find out whether you really are or you are not. Meditate on this first: is there any self? Is there any substance within or are you just a combination?”

If you manage to find out, you will find that your body is a combination. Something has come from your mother, something has come from your father, and all else has come from food. This is your body. In this body you are NOT, there is no self. Contemplate on the mind: something has come from here, something from there. Mind has nothing that is original. It is just accumulation.

Find out if there is any self in the mind. If you move deep, you will find that your identity is just like an onion. You peel off one layer and another layer comes up; you peel off another layer and still another layer comes up. You go on peeling layers off, and ultimately you come to a nothingness. With all the layers thrown off, there is nothing inside. Body and mind are like onions. When you have peeled off both body and mind, then you come to encounter a nothingness, an abyss, a bottomless void. Buddha called it SHUNYA.

To encounter this shunya, to encounter this void, creates fear. That fear is there. That is why we never do meditation. We talk about it, but we never do anything about it. That fear is there. You know deep down that there is a void, but you cannot escape this fear. Whatsoever you do, the fear will remain unless you encounter it. That is the only way. Once you encounter your nothingness, once you know that within you are just like a space, shunya, then there will be no fear. Then there cannot be any fear, because this shunya, this void, cannot be destroyed. This void is not going to die. That which was going to die is no more; it was nothing but the layers of an onion.

That is why many times in deep meditation, when one comes nearer to this nothingness, one becomes afraid and starts trembling. One feels that one is going to die, one wants to escape from this nothingness back to the world. And many go back; then they never turn within again. As I see it, every one of you have tried in some life or other some meditative technique. You have been near to the nothingness, and then fear gripped you and you escaped. And deep in your past memories, that memory is there; that becomes the hindrance. Whenever you again think of trying meditation, that past memory deep down in your unconscious mind again disturbs you and says, ”Go on thinking; do not do it. You have done it once.”

It is difficult to find a man – and I have looked into many – who has not tried meditation once or twice in some life. The memory is there, but you are not conscious of it, you are not aware of where the memory is. It is there. Whenever you begin to do something that becomes a barrier, this and that begin to stop you in many ways. So if you are really interested in meditation, find out about your own fear of it. Be sincere about it: are you afraid? If you are afraid, then first something has to be done about your fear, not about meditation.

Buddha used to try many devices. Sometimes someone would say to him, ”I am afraid of trying meditation.” And this is a must: the master must be told that you are afraid. You cannot deceive the master… and there is no need – it is deceiving yourself. So whenever someone would say, ”I am afraid of meditation,” Buddha would say, ”You are fulfilling the first requirement.” If you say yourself that you are afraid of meditation, then something becomes possible. Then something can be done because you have uncovered a deep thing. So what is the fear? Meditate on it. Go and dig out where it comes from, what the source is.

All fear is basically death-oriented. Whatsoever its form, mode, whatsoever its shape, name, all fear is death-oriented. If you move deep, you will find that you are afraid of death.

If someone came to Buddha and said, ”I am afraid of death, I have found this out,” Buddha would say, ”Then go to the burning ghat, go to the cemetery, and meditate on a funeral pyre. People are dying daily – they will be burned. Just remain there at the MARGHAT – cemetery – and meditate on the burning pyre. When their family members have gone, you remain there. Just look into the fire, at the burning body. When everything is becoming smoke, you just look at it deeply. Do not think, just meditate on it for three months, six months, nine months.

”When it becomes a certainty to you that death cannot be escaped, when it becomes absolutely certain that death is the way of life, that death is implied in life, that death is going to be, that there is no way out and you are already in it, only then come to me.”

After meditating on death, after seeing every day, night and day, dead bodies being burned, dissolved into ashes – just a smoke remains and then disappears – after meditating for months together, a certainty will arise: the certainty that death is inevitable. It is the only certainty really. The only thing certain in life is death. Everything else is uncertain: it may be or it may not be. But you cannot say that it may be or it may not be for death. It is; it is going to be. It has already occurred. The moment you entered life, you entered death. Now nothing can be done about it.

When death is certain there is no fear. Fear is always with things which can be changed. If death is to be, fear disappears. If you can change, if you can do something about death, then fear will remain. If nothing can be done, if you are already in it, then it is absolutely certain that fear will disappear. When fear of death had disappeared, Buddha would allow you to meditate. He would say, ”Now you can meditate.”

So you also go deep into your mind. And listening to these techniques will be helpful only when your inner barriers are broken, when inner fears disappear and you are certain that death is the reality. So if you die in meditation there is no fear – death is certain. Even if death occurs in meditation, there is no fear. Only then can you move – and then you can move at rocket speed because the barriers are not there.

It is not distance that takes time, but the barriers. You can move this very moment if there is no barrier. You are already there but for the barrier. It is a hurdle race, and you go on putting up more and more hurdles. You feel good when you cross a hurdle; you feel good that now you have crossed the hurdle. And the idiocy of it, the foolishness of it, is that the hurdle was placed there by you in the first place. It was never there. You go on putting up hurdles, then jumping over them, then feeling good; then you go on putting up more hurdles, then jumping. You move in a circle and never, never reach to the center.

Mind creates hurdles because mind is afraid. It will give you many explanations as to why you are not doing meditation. Do not believe it. Go deep, find out the basic cause. Why does a person go on talking about food and yet never eat? What is the problem? The man seems mad!

Another man goes on talking about love and never loves, another man goes on talking about something else and never does anything about it. This talking becomes obsessive; it becomes a compulsion. One goes on, one sees talking as a doing. By talking you feel that you are doing something, so you feel at ease. You are doing something – at least talking, at least reading, at least listening. This is not doing. This is deceptive; do not fall into the deception.

I will be talking here about these one hundred and twelve methods not to feed your mind, not to make you more knowledgeable, not to make you more informed. I am not trying to make you a pundit. I am talking here in order to give you a certain technique which can change your life. So whichever method appeals to you, do not start talking about it – do it! Be silent about it and do it. Your mind will raise many questions. Just inquire deeply first before asking me. Inquire deeply first whether those questions are really significant or if your mind is just deceiving you.

Do, then ask. Then your questions become practical. And I know which question has been asked through doing and which question has been asked just through curiosity, just through intellect. So by and by I will not answer your intellectual questions at all. Do something – then your questions become significant. These questions which say, ”This exercise is a very simple one,” are not asked after doing. This is NOT so simple. In the end I must repeat again:

You are already the truth.
Only a certain awakening is needed.

You are not to go anywhere else. You are to go into yourself, and the going is possible this very moment. If you can put aside your mind, you enter here and now.

These techniques are for putting your mind aside. These techniques are not really for meditation; they are for putting the mind aside. Once the mind is not there, YOU ARE!

I think this is enough for today, or even more than enough.

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Published by

Dev Jacobsen

Musician, author and yogi, developer of Palingenics.

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