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Chapter-8 Meditation

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But meditation is a natural state — which we have lost. It is a paradise lost, but the paradise can be regained. Look into the child’s eyes, look and you will see tremendous silence, innocence. Each child comes with a meditative state, but he has to be initiated into the ways of the society — he has to be taught how to think, how to calculate, how to reason. how to argue; he has to be taught words, language, concepts. And, slowly slowly, he loses contact with his own innocence. He becomes contaminated, polluted by the society. He becomes an efficient mechanism; he is no more a man.

All that is needed is to regain that space once more. You had known it before, so when for the first time you know meditation, you will be surprised — because a great feeling will arise in you as if you have known it before. And that feeling is true: YOU HAVE known it before. You have forgotten. The diamond is lost in piles of rubbish. But if you can uncover it, you will find the diamond again — it is yours.

It cannot really be lost: it can only be forgotten. We are born as meditators, then we learn the ways of the mind. But our real nature remains hidden somewhere deep down like an undercurrent. Any day, a little digging, and you will find the source still flowing, the source of fresh waters. And the greatest joy in life is to find it.
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(Excerpted from: PhilosophiaPerennis, Vol-2, Chap-5, Q-2)
The first question:
Question 1
Surely meditation is for mystics. Why do you propose it for ordinary people and their children?
First, I have never come across an ordinary person; they do not exist. They are only created by egoistic people. The egoist has to create the ordinary — that is the only way the ego can exist, persist. Not a single human being is ordinary because each human being is so unique. Each human being is created by God — how can he be ordinary? God never creates the ordinary. All his creation is rare. Each individual is so unique that he is never repeated. You never were before, you will never be again. You cannot find anybody who is just like you.

Forget about human beings…. Not even animals, not even trees, not even pebbles on a seashore — not even two pebbles — are alike. Wherever you find God’s signature, it is always the original, never the ordinary.
God is not a manufacturer, he is a creator. He does not manufacture people like Cars on an assembly line. You can have many Ford cars exactly alike — that’s the difference between a machine and a man. A machine can be duplicated, a man cannot be duplicated. and the moment you start duplicating, imitating, you become more like a machine — then you are no longer respectful towards your humanity. That’s how robopathology is created.

You ask me: SURELY MEDITATION IS FOR MYSTICS. It is for mystics, surely, but everybody is a born mystic — because everybody carries a great mystery within him which has to be realised, everybody carries a great potentiality which has to be actualised. Everybody is born with a future. Everybody has hope. What do you mean by a mystic? A mystic is one who is trying to realise the mystery of life, who is moving into the unknown, who is going into the uncharted, whose life is a life of adventure, exploration.

But every child starts that way — with awe, with wonder, with great enquiry in his heart. Every child is a mystic. somewhere on the way of your so-called growing you lose contact with your inner possibility of being a mystic, and you become a businessman or you become a clerk or you become a collector or you become a minister. You become something else. And you start thinking that you are this. And when you believe it, it is so.
My effort here is to destroy your wrong notions about yourself and to liberate your mysticism. Meditation is a way of liberating the mysticism, and it is for everybody — without any exception, it knows no exception.

SURELY MEDITATION IS FOR MYSTICS. WHY DO YOU PROPOSE IT FOR ORDINARY PEOPLE AND THEIR CHILDREN?
There is no one ordinary, and children are the most capable. They are natural mystics. And before they are destroyed by the society, before they are destroyed by other robots, by other corrupted people, it is better to help them to know something of meditation.
Meditation is not a conditioning, because meditation is not indoctrination. Meditation is not giving them any creed. If you teach a child to become Christian you have to give him a doctrine; you have to force him to believe things which naturally look absurd. You have to tell the child that Jesus was born out of a virgin mother — that becomes a fundamental. Now you are destroying the natural intelligence of the child. If he does not believe you, you are angry, and of course you are powerful and you can punish the child. You can torture the child in many ways. If he believes you it goes against his intrinsic intelligence. It looks like nonsense to him, but he has to compromise with you. And once he has compromised he starts losing his intelligence, he becomes stupid.

If you teach a child to be a Mohammedan, then again you will have to teach him a thousand and one absurdities. And so is the case with Hinduism and with all kinds of creeds, dogmas. If you teach a child meditation you are not indoctrinating him. You don’t say he has to believe anything, you simply invite him to an experiment in no-thought. No-thought is not a doctrine, it is an experience. And children are very, very capable because they are very close to the source. They have just come from God! They still remember something of that mystery. They have just come from the other world, they have not yet forgotten it completely. Sooner or later they will forget, but still the fragrance is around them. That’s why all children look so beautiful, so graceful. Have you even seen an ugly child?

Then what happens to all these beautiful children? Where do they disappear to? Later in life it is very rare to find beautiful people . Then what happens to all beautiful children? Why do they turn into ugly persons? What accident, what calamity happens on the way?
They start losing their grace the day they start losing their intelligence. They start losing their natural rhythm, their natural elegance and they start learning plastic behaviour. They no longer laugh spontaneously, they no longer cry spontaneously, they no longer dance spontaneously. You have forced them into a cage, a strait-jacket. You have imprisoned them.

The chains are very subtle, they are not very visible. The chains are of thought — Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan. You have chained the child and he cannot see the chains, so he will not be able to see how he is chained. And he will suffer his whole life. It is such an imprisonment. It is not like throwing a man into a jail. It is creating a jail around a man, so wherever he goes the j ail continues around him. He can go to the Himalayas and sit in a cave, and he will remain a Hindu, he will remain a Christian — and he will still think thoughts.

Meditation is a way to go within yourselves to that depth where thoughts don’t exist, so it is not indoctrination. It is not teaching you anything, in fact, it is just making you alert to your inner capacity to be without thought, to be without mind. And the best time is when the child is still uncorrupted.
(Excerpted from: Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1, Chapter #10, Q-1)

Beloved Osho,
A curious thing happened to me once when I was a little girl — perhaps eleven or twelve years old. During recess time at school I was in the bathroom and looked into the mirror to see if I looked tidy. Then suddenly I found that I was standing halfway between my body and the mirror, watching myself looking at my reflection in the mirror.
It amused me to see the three I’s, and I thought it must have been a trick one could learn.So I tried to show my girlfriend and I tried it again myself — without success.it didn’t, in retrospect, feel like witnessing; It felt like my essential self had stepped out of my physical form. Is it of any value to understand what happened to that little girl?

It happens to many children, but because the atmosphere around is not supportive of awareness, those experiences are not nourished by the parents, the school, the friends, the teachers. And if you say that it has happened to you, people will laugh — and you yourself will think that something has gone wrong, that it was not right.

For example, all children in every culture around the world like to whirl. And every parent stops them from whirling and says, “You will fall down.” It is true, there is a possibility they may fall down. But that falling down is not going to harm much.
But why do children like whirling? While the body is whirling, small children can see it whirling. They are no longer identified with it, because it is such a new experience.
With everything they are identified — with walking they are identified, with eating they are identified, with anything they are doing, usually they are identified. This whirling is such an experience that the faster the body moves, whirls, the less is the possibility of their remaining identified.

Soon they are lagging behind; the body is whirling but their being cannot whirl. It stops at a point and starts seeing its own body whirling. Sometimes it can come out of the body too. If the whirling child is not staying at one place but goes on moving — whirling and moving around the place — then his essential self can come out and watch it.

Such activities should be helped, nourished, and the child should be asked, “What are you experiencing?” and told, “This experience is one of the greatest in life, so don’t forget it. Even if you fall, there is no harm; there is not much that can be harmful. But what you can gain is invaluable.” But they are being stopped in this and in many other things.

My own experience in childhood was… the flooded river of my town — nobody used to cross it by swimming when it was flooded. It was a mountainous river. Ordinarily, it was a small river, but in rainy times it was at least one mile wide. The current of the water was tremendous; you could not stand in it. And the water was deep, so there was no way to stand anyway.

I loved it. I waited for the rainy season because it always helped… there would come a moment when I would feel that I was dying, because I was tired and I could not see the other shore, and the waves were high and the current was strong… and there was no way to go back, because now the other shore was as far away. Perhaps I was in the middle; it was the same either way. I would feel so completely tired and the water would take me down with such a force that there would come a time when I would see, “Now there is no possibility of living any more.” And that was the moment when I would suddenly see myself above the water and my body in the water. When it happened the first time, it was a very frightening experience. I thought I must have died. I had heard that when you die, the soul goes out of the body: “So I have gone out of the body and I am dead.” But I could see the body was still trying to reach the other shore, so I followed the body.

That was the first time I became aware of a connection between your essential being and the body. It is connected just below the navel — two inches below the navel — by something like a silver cord, a silver rope. It is not material, but it shines like silver. Each time I reached the other shore, the moment I reached the other shore my being would enter into the body. The first time it was frightening; then it became a great entertainment.

When I told my parents, they said, “Someday you are going to die in that river. This is enough of a sign. Stop going into the river when it is flooded.”

But I said, “I am enjoying it so much… the freedom, no force of gravitation, and seeing one’s own body completely away separate.”
Then I moved to the university and there it happened once. I have talked about it. Just behind the university campus there was a hillock with three trees. I used to love those trees because it was impossible to sit silently in the hostels. So I used to go and climb up a tree. The middle tree was very comfortable to sit in — the way its branches were — and I would sit there for hours in silence.
One day — I don’t know what happened — when I opened my eyes I saw my body lying down on the ground. It was the same experience that had happened in the river many times, so there was no fear.

But in the river, it used to happen automatically that when the body reached the shore, my being would enter into the body. I had no idea how to enter the body; it had always happened of its own accord. So I was stuck. I had no idea. I could see the cord joining me to the body, but how to enter the body, from where to enter? I had never learned any technique from anybody. I simply waited. There was nothing to do.

A woman who used to bring milk to sell to the hostel students came by, and she saw my body lying down. She was puzzled. She just touched my head to see whether I was alive or dead, and the moment she touched my head I entered into my body with such a quick force that I still can not get the idea of how it happens.

But one thing became certain: if a man’s being is out, a woman’s touch to the body will help him to come into the body. And vice versa: if a woman’s body is away from her being, then a man’s touch — and particularly on the forehead where the third eye is…. It was just by accident that she touched me on my head to see whether I was alive or dead, to see what had happened. She had no idea that I was sitting in the tree seeing everything that she was doing. When I opened my eyes she was shocked.

She said, “What are you doing here?”
I said, “I was going to ask you what you are doing here touching my head.”
She said, “I was thinking perhaps some accident had happened or something. You looked almost dead.”
I said, “I was almost dead, and I am grateful to you that you helped me. It was because of your touch that I came into the body.”
She said, “You mean you were sitting in the tree?”
She got so frightened of me. She used to give me milk. She stopped coming to my barrack. She simply said, “I don’t want to face that person. He is dangerous. What he was doing I don’t know, but he was doing something dangerous.”

I had to catch hold of her and tell her, “You need not be worried. I was not doing anything. I was just meditating and the body fell. You helped me, and I am grateful. And there is nobody who brings such good milk as you, so you cannot stop doing it. If you stop doing it, I will start sitting in the same tree where you have to pass, coming and going — remember! And my body will be lying down, and I will be sitting in the tree.”
She said, “Don’t do it again. I will give you milk — pure milk without water — but don’t do it again, at least not while I am passing by, because that hill is empty… there is nobody there, and I have to pass by it to go to my village.” The village was beyond the hill.
So I said, “Remember, if you stop coming and delivering milk, then I am going to do the trick there. I can even come to your village; just in front of your house I can do it.”
She said, “I am a poor woman. Don’t create any trouble for me.”
What happened to you was just accidental. If you had pursued it, it would have come back.

In fact, to watch in the mirror is one of the methods prescribed by the tantra system — but to watch long enough so that you become so identified with the reflection in the mirror, that when you step back, your body remains in the old position. And for women, it is more possible, because nobody wastes as much time in front of the mirror.
MullaNasruddin was killing flies, and his wife said, “Now it is enough. For one hour you have been killing them. How many have you killed?”
He said, “Only two: one male, one female.”
His wife said, “How did you manage to find out which one was male and which one was female?”
He said, “One was sitting on the mirror for the whole hour; no male can do that. The male was also sitting there once in a while; but the female remained stuck on the mirror.”
But it is a method prescribed in the scriptures, that you watch in the mirror long enough so that you become identified with the reflection in the mirror. Then you step back. Your body will not step back, but your being will step back. Then you can see three bodies.

By the way, if you go on looking into the mirror every day for a particular period of time, one hour every day just looking into your own eyes, in a few days, a few weeks — it depends on each individual — one day you will suddenly see that the mirror is empty. You are standing before it, but the mirror is empty. That, too, is a great experience. When it happens you will feel tremendous silence and a peace you have never known — as if you have gone beyond all reflections and you have come back to the real.
But it was good… it happens to many children. Many people have reported it to me, but nobody persists. So once in a while it happens, and then one forgets it, or one thinks perhaps one imagined it, perhaps it was something, just a fancy, a dream. But it is a reality. You had walked out of yourself, and what you saw is a kind of awareness outside the body.
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(Excerpted from: The Transmission of the lamp, Chap- 3, Q-4)
[To a sannyasin, whose son had just been initiated into sannyas, Osho said that one should respect one’s child, and that now her son was a sannyasin, she should regard him as a brother…
What is an easy way for children to start meditation?
A child is born to you, but he does not belong to you. Always remember that he has come through you. He has chosen you as a passage, but he has his own destiny.
So giving him sannyas does not mean that you have to structure him. You are not to force anything on him. Sannyas is freedom, so give him freedom to be himself, and be alert not to impose anything. Love him as much as you can, but don’t give your thoughts to him. When you meditate, just persuade him to be with you. Sometimes dance with him.
And children can go into meditation very easily — one just has to know how to help them towards it. They cannot be coerced; that’s impossible. Nobody can ever be coerced into meditation, because coercion is violence. How can one coerce meditation? It comes when it comes. But you can persuade.

You can just invite him with tremendous respect. Dance with him, sing with him, sit in silence with him. By and by he will start imbibing it. By and by he will start enjoying the play of it. It cannot be a work for him. It cannot be a serious thing for him — it should not be for anybody. It can only be a play. So help him to play meditation… Let it be a game. Make it a game with him, and by and by he will start loving it. He will start asking you ‘When are we going to play meditation?’ And once he starts learning some ways of silence, then meditation has started working on him, and one day you will see that he is deeper in meditation than you had ever expected. So you have to make a meditative atmosphere.

To make somebody a Christian is easy. You have just to impose a certain ideology, a catechism. You have to teach him that God is a trinity, and that Jesus is God’s son and things like that, which can be learnt very easily, and which are very destructive, because the person will never be free to explore. These prejudices will always be there.
So when I give sannyas to a child, it is not that you have to impose an ideology on him. You have just to persuade him towards meditativeness. It has nothing to do with any ideology — christian, hindu, mohammedan; they are all irrelevant. It is more like love… it is a feeling. And if he can learn something of it, then it starts growing on its own. One day he will be grateful for it — that you helped him. Right now he cannot understand, so the whole responsibility is yours.

And this is my observation — that if grownups are a little more meditative, children imbibe the spirit very easily. They are so sensitive. They learn whatsoever is there in the atmosphere; they learn the vibe of it. They never bother about what you say. What you are — they always respect that. And they have a very deep perceptivity, a clarity, an intuitiveness.

You may be smiling but they will immediately know that it is false, because your eyes will be saying something else — and even more than that, your whole body will be saying something else, your gesture will be saying something else — that you are angry, that you are just pretending, that it is just a policy.

They may not be able to formulate it in so many words, but they immediately feel it. So never be untrue with children because they will immediately know it. And once a child comes to know that his parents are untrue, his whole trust is lost. That is his first trust in life, his very base, and if that is lost he will become a sceptic. Then he cannot trust anybody. He cannot trust life, he cannot trust God, because those are very far away things. Even the father deceived, even the mother deceived; even they were not reliable, so what to say of anything else now?
Once a child learns… and every child is going to learn; it is impossible to deceive a child. There is no method discovered up to now on how to deceive a child. He simply knows where you are, who you are. It is intuitive — it has nothing to do with his intellect. In fact, the more intellectual he will become, the more he will lose this intuitiveness, and he will not be able to see things as they are. Right now a child is immediate. He simply looks through and through. He looks at you and you are transparent. So never be deceptive.

Love him and allow him to be a little meditative, and much is possible.

(Excerpted from: The Passion for the Impossible, Chap-20)

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Society can be transformed totally if small children start meditating. They are not serious so they are very ready for meditation. They are joyful, playful. They take everything in fun. Sometimes it happens that when a small child comes to take sannyas and I tell him ‘Close your eyes’ he closes the eyes and he enjoys it as nobody else enjoys it. The very idea that he has been taken so seriously rejoices him. He sits silently. Sometimes I have seen grown-up people looking, just opening their eyes a little to see what is happening. But small children, when they close their eyes, they really close them. They close them very hard because they are afraid they will open if they don’t do it hard. They really do it hard. They bring their total energy there because they know that if they are not doing it totally then the eyes will open and they will start looking to see what the matter is, what is going on. I have seen them really closing their eyes. And to see a child sitting silently is one of the most beautiful things you can come across.

Children can be taught meditation more easily because they are not yet spoiled. When you have been spoiled the hard work is to help you to unlearn.

I have heard that whenever anybody came to Mozart, the great composer and musician, he would ask, ‘Have you learnt music anywhere else before?’ If the man had, then he would ask double fees. If he had not learnt music at all then he would say, ‘That is okay. Even half the fee will do.’

People were very puzzled because this was illogical — ‘When a fresh man comes, who has not known anything about music, you say half the fee, and when somebody who has been working for ten years comes you say double the fee!’ Mozart said, ‘There is a reason. First I have to clean the slate. That is the harder work. To destroy all that the person is carrying is harder than to teach.’

Teaching is very easy if you are available. With a virgin heart, teaching is very simple — and a child is a virgin heart.

(Excerpted from: Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol-2, Chap-12, Q-4)

I am twelve years old; can I Start meditating?

Dhyana means meditation. And this is the right age when you should start meditating, just when you are coming closer to your fourteenth year. You