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Osho on watching the Mind

Question: How do we reach the state of blessedness when the mind is empty of Chatter, defenses, plans and games, and god is?

 If you ask how, you ask a wrong Question. The how brings the chatter in; the how, the technique, brings the future in. The how brings the methodology and the mind in. So it is not a question of How do we reach the state of blessedness when the mind is empty of Chatter, defenses, plans and games, and god is?

It is not a question of how, it is not a question of technology at all. Meditation is not a technique. Once you ask how, you bring All that you want to drop. How means it cannot happen right now; the how will need time – tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, this life or after this life. Because the Hindus created so many techniques for meditation, they had to suppose many lives; it was a necessary corollary. One life was not enough to do Patanjali’s Yoga.

Many more lives were required; it was a basic requirement – because it is impossible to conceive of a man doing so many techniques in one life. You need more time. And when you need more time, you need more mind. Time and mind are not two things. Mind exists with time. Time is exactly what mind is! Ask the how and you have brought future in. Ask the how and you have brought postponement. Ask the how and you say, ”It cannot be done right now; first I have to prepare and get trained and disciplined and all that, and then I will do it.”

And then what will you do, and who will do it? Who will be trained by the how? – the mind itself will be trained. The mind will become skillful, the mind will become very efficient. The mind can become so efficient that it can even pretend that the no-mind has arrived. The mind can manage a kind of stillness and can deceive you that this is what Samadhi is.

A stillness that is brought by any technique.... Those techniques can be of many kinds: they can be chemical, they can be drugs; or they can be concerned with your physiology, they can be hormonal; or they can be through breathing – but that too is chemistry. You can change your inner balance of oxygen and carbon-dioxide and you will find changes happening. You can practise certain postures of the body and that will change your mind too, because mind and body are not two; you are psychosomatic.

You are one – these are two aspects of the same coin, they affect each other. When you ask how you are bringing in the whole jargon of technique, yoga, mind and all kinds of games. The real understanding does not need any technique; understanding is enough unto itself. And who will do these techniques? – the mind will do. And if mind is the doer, you cannot get out of the mind. The more the mind becomes a doer, the more strengthened it is. To get out of the mind you cannot take the help of the mind. No, not at all.

You ask: How do we reach the state of Blessedness...?
And secondly: it is not something which you have to reach. It is already there, it is already the case – it has happened! It is not somewhere far away that you have to reach. It is not a goal! God is not a Goal! The moment you make God a goal, you create desire. And from desire God is far away. God is not a goal. It is not something that has to be achieved. It is something that is present there, and you are keeping your eyes shut. It is something that is already there, and you are avoiding!

It is not a question of how to reach God; the only question is how not to Avoid, how not to escape, how not to go on pretending that you don’t know that God is – how to be just open. That which is... one can be open to it, or one can be closed to it. And the best way to remain closed to that which is, is to remain in the future – somewhere, a faraway goal, distant, in the Himalayas, or somewhere in the seventh heaven, in the skies. It is so far away that you can go on desiring. And with desiring the chatter will exist, the defences will exist, plans and games will exist.

So two things: There is no how in real religion; Zen knows no how. And second: the essential religion knows that God is already the case. There is not even an inch’s distinction between you and God. Even to say that God is close is not right, not exactly right – because closeness, after all, shows a certain distance; closeness is distance. God is not close – God is you: you are God. We are already in it just as the fish is in the ocean – we are in it.

Kabir has said: ”I laugh very much when I see the fish thirsty in the ocean.” We ARE in it. God is... or call it blessedness, or call it samadhi, or you name it... is the ocean in which we are existing. It surrounds us within and without. Only it is.

How do we reach the state of blessedness when the mind is empty of Chatter, defenses, plans and games, and god is? If you start working for the how you start forcing the mind to stop chattering. That can be done; many tricks have been invented down the ages, shortcuts. Transcendental Meditation will do. You can repeat a mantra continuously. If you repeat a mantra it creates a sort of lullaby, it creates a kind of sleep. Beautiful and nice! and I am not against it, because sleep is as much a spiritual activity as any other.

A good sleep is very good, but it has nothing to do with samadhi. If you repeat a single word constantly... any word will do; it need not be a very, very traditionally worshipped sound: Aum, Ram, Allah– any word will do. You can repeat your own name and that will do. Just the whole thing is: repeat it fast so there is no gap between two repetitions – Ram Ram – there should not be any gap between the two, so that in the gap nothing can enter. Make the gap smaller and smaller. Let Rams overlap each other, go fast, go madly into it. Go on repeating.

It will create a lullaby. The mind will be shut forcibly, because the mind cannot do two things together. If you are repeating a mantra then the mind cannot think; that is not possible – for the mind to do two things. If you think, you will forget the mantra. If you do the mantra, you will forget thinking. But mantra itself is a kind of thinking – and a very stupid kind at that. You are thinking it may be valuable, but mantra is very stupid. The East has suffered very much from the mantra; it turned the whole Eastern consciousness very stupid.
That’s why the East is not so creative – not so creative in art, not so creative in science, not so creative in anything – a kind of dullness, a kind of stupor. And you can see it. A man who has been doing a mantra for a few years, you can see around him a kind of stupidity. You can go around India and you will find many mahatmas who are simply stupid. But their stupidity is worshipped. They have managed one thing: somehow they have forced the mind to be silent; Any how they have forced the mind to be silent.

They have been trying to force the mind into silence through fasting. If you don’t give enough food, by and by energy becomes less and less. And when the energy is superfluous, only then does it move into the head, otherwise not – because the head is a luxury in your body. First other organs have to be taken care of. If there is a conflict between the heart and the head, the body will give to the heart first; the head can wait – the head is not so essential.

If there is a kind of conflict between the stomach and the head, the stomach will get the energy first; the head can wait. So whenever you give less energy than is needed by your body, than your body needs to consume, naturally the head will not get enough energy. Hence, fasting became one of the tricks down the ages: Fast! Don’t give enough energy to the body! When the body is not getting enough, the mind will not get it. When the mind is not getting, there will be no thoughts. But this kind of state is a Negative stillness, it is not positive.

It is not alive, it is not vibrant with the unknown; it is just dull and dead. The man has no energy. The man is really impotent – Dont call it Bhahmacharya! Don’t call it celibacy. If you fast too much, sex energy will disappear; a kind a celibacy will appear – which is false! because it is simply a lack of energy. And the same way it happens in the head. If the energy is not enough, the mind will not function. But non-functioning of the mind is not the thing! The mind Should function perfectly, should hum like a perfect car, and still should not spin and weave unnecessary thoughts.

The mind should remain alive and creative, and yet should be capable of moving into silence when-ever it wants to. That’s mastery. When you want to think, you can think; when you don’t want to think, you can go into non-thinking. A real Master is one who can do both. There are two kinds of slaves in the world: the ordinary man who cannot go into non-thinking, who constantly thinks – he is a slave of the mind.

Then there is another kind who forces the mind into not thinking by depriving it of energy, aliveness, opportunity, challenge, struggle – deprives it of all possibilities. But then this man cannot think. If some situation arises he will be simply dumb. I am not for this dumbness. Then what to do?
My whole Approach is non-technical. You have to watch your chattering. Don’t be in a hurry to stop it, just watch it. Watch all the defenses that are there. Don’t be judgemental, don’t say they are not needed.

And don’t stop playing games – go on playing, but become more and more watchful. Bring a new consciousness which goes on watching everything that is happening to you – inside and outside. You are playing a game? – play it. Nothing is wrong in the game. Play it perfectly, skillfully, become a good actor, but deep down remain alert. Know perfectly well that you are playing – a mirror like reflectiveness inside. Let the mind chatter... you be watchful. It is not going to be easy; mantra is easy.

It is going to be arduous, it is going to be hard, because you will forget again and again. The chattering mind is so much that you will be lost into it again and again. But nothing to be worried about. The moment you remember, come back, again start looking at it. And don’t feel guilt that you missed, and don’t feel condemned, and don’t start feeling frustrated. This is natural. For lives together we have trained the mind to think. Now you will have to watch this whole mechanism functioning as you have trained it.


Watching, parallel to the mind something new arises in you. Remember it: parallel to the mind the witnessing arises in you. That witnessing has no chattering in it. It is something Higher than the mind. When you repeat a mantra you are using the mind. Nothing parallel arises in you; you are simply forcing the mind. When you watch, something higher than the mind arises – a watcher on the hills. You are sitting on the top of a hill and you can watch the whole valley.

You are not against the valley; the valley is perfectly beautiful as it is – but you are beyond it. Let it be repeated: The watcher has nothing to do with the mind. The watcher is something new; the watcher is a new growth in your being. It is not mind forced to be still, it is not mind disciplined to be still. It is something new, an invitation to something new, which is hiding inside you and you have not invited before. Invite the watcher.

First it will be very shy, naturally. Sometimes it will come and again it will disappear. But even if it comes for single moments, those moments are of tremendous value. Even in twenty-four hours, if you can become a watcher for a single moment – enough that will do – that will do the miracle. By and by, that watching will start getting rooted in you. Mind will continue on its own plane. There is no need to bother with it. It is perfectly good as it is. Don’t be against the poor mind; it has been a great help to you. Without it, you would not have survived.

It is the mind that has helped you to survive up to now – it is a survival measure. If in the East, particularly in India, you find it so ugly – poverty, starvation – can’t you see the reason? India has not developed the mind, which is a survival measure. It has been against it, too much against it, very antagonistic towards the mind. And the ultimate result is an ugly society, starving people, poor. This should not be so. There is no need. Mind can be used, it can be one of the most intricate mysteries of God.

I am not against anything, not even against mind. It has to be used in its own way, it has its own plane. Just You have to grow above it! You have to find something which is higher than the mind in you. And then you start sitting on that top and from there you watch the mind. You become a great master! When you want that the mind should stop, because you would like to listen to the birds and not to the chattering, you simply say to the mind, ”Keep quiet! That’s enough. Halt!”... and it halts.

It will be difficult for you right now to understand what I am saying. Exactly like that! You simply say ”Halt!” and it halts. You say ”Stop!” and it stops. The master has come, the servant listens. Dont fight with the servant – bring the master in! The very Presence of the master, and the servant immediately understands. The witness is the master. You invoke the witness, you invite the witness, you search for the witness, you discover the witness in you.

Don’t become too much entangled with the mind, otherwise your whole energy will be pouring into that fight, and that becomes a constant inner war. And whenever a person is in conflict with himself.... It may be sex that he is in conflict with, it may be thought that he is in conflict with, but When ever you are in conflict with yourself, you are a schizophrenic, you are split in two. And constantly at war with yourself, you are dissipating your energy. It is not going to create something new in you, it will simply dissipate you; it will simply make you weaker and weaker
and weaker.

I am not in favour of making you weak, so don’t fight with the mind. Rise above the mind! There is something which is already there in you, non functioning. Start its functioning. That is what Zen people call the opening of the third eye. It is there, potentially it is there. Even physiologists agree that there is something in the head which is not functioning. And it is a mystery, because why should nature create it? Nature creates something only when it is needed. There is something in the head, in the brain, which is not functioning.

A major part, a very major part is non-functioning. When you bring the witness in, that part starts functioning. Our situation is like this – it happened: A primitive tribe came across an aeroplane – a small air-craft in the Second World War left by the soldiers. They could not understand what use it could be put to. They knew only bullock-carts, so they used it as a bullock-cart, with four bullocks. And they enjoyed it very much – it was a beautiful vehicle!

Then somebody with a more intelligent mind started looking inside it – there were so many gadgets – and he started thinking, ”This cannot be just a bullock-cart because these gadgets are not needed for the bullock-cart.” So he started fooling around, and one day, he just accidentally stumbled upon... and the engine started purring. So they started using it as a truck. Then somebody else one day was fooling around with it – because for a truck, also, so many things are not needed – and only then, one day, they discovered that it could fly.

That is exactly the case with the human being: we have been using it as a bullock-cart. Don’t fight with the bullock-cart: there are other gadgets – look for them. You can use it as a truck, but there is no need to be stuck there. You can use it as a flying machine. It can go to the utmost peak of existence. So fight is not my way. Befriend the mind! Watch it with great friendliness, like a mother watches her own child. Watch the mind with great friendliness, with great love and compassion. It is your machine! Don’t be angry with it. Don’t be foolish and don’t fight with a mechanism.

How do we reach the state of blessedness when the mind is empty of Chatter, defenses, plans and games, and god is?
Whenever you are alert about it, the mind stops chattering. The mind is very, very respectful about awareness. That is the secret. You sometimes try! The mind is chattering – do one small thing – the mind is chattering, you cannot go to sleep, you cannot do anything and it is constantly running there like a mad dog. You just do one thing: you sit silently in the chair, relax your body, and say to the mind, ”Okay – now I will listen.

Tell me what you want to say.” And for a single moment you will be surprised – the chattering stops. The moment you say, ”I will listen. Okay....” It will be only for a single moment, but you know the secret. What happened when you said, ”I will listen”? – you became aware. And mind is very respectful towards awareness. Wherever awareness is, the master is – and the slave simply follows. Yes, soon the mind will start chattering, but then you can watch. The Moment you lose that listening attitude, the mind will start chattering.

If the listening attitude continues, the mind will not chatter. So a miracle happens when you watch: by and by the mind stops chattering of its own accord. And when mind stops of its own accord, there is great beauty, there is great life, radiant, vibrating, pulsating. It is not a dull state. Buddha is not a dull man. Buddha is not a stupid man. Bud&a is not negatively silent – Buddha is absolutely positively silent. The silence is not just the absence of thoughts – the silence is the presence of awareness.

Source: "Zen: The Path of Paradox, Volume 3" - Osho

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