A practical handbook in simple and
clear language which is ideal for
everyone from complete beginners to
experienced meditators. The book
contains a scientific explanation of
meditation, a humorous discussion of
obstacles to watch out for, answers to
questions from meditators and 60
step-by-step descriptions of
meditation techniques. Some
techniques have been drawn from
ancient traditions such as Zen, Sufi,
Tantra, Tao, and the Upanishads,
others include the revolutionary
techniques created by Osho
especially for the modern man who
finds it difficult to quieten his mind.
W; train a child to focus his mind, to concentrate,
because without concentration he will not be able to
cope with life. Life requires it; the mind must be able to
concentrate. But the moment the mind becomes able to
concentrate, it becomes less aware. Awareness means a mind
that is conscious but not focused. Awareness is a consciousness
of all that is happening.
Concentration is a choice. It excludes all except its object
of concentration; it is a narrowing. If you are walking on the
street, you will have to narrow your consciousness in order to
walk. You cannot ordinarily be aware of all that is happening
because if you are aware of everything that is happening you
will become unfocused. So concentration is a_ need.
Concentration of the mind is a need in order to live — to
survive and exist. That is why every culture, in its own way,
tries to narrow the mind: of the child.
Children, as they are, are never focused; their consciousness
is open from all sides. Everything is coming in, nothing is being
excluded. The child is open to every sensation, every sensation
is included in his consciousness. And so: much is coming in!
That is why he is so wavering, so unstable. A child’s
unconditioned mind is a flux — a flux of sensations — but he
will not be able to survive with this type of mind. He must
learn how to narrow his mind, to concentrate.
The moment you narrow the mind you become particularly
conscious of one thing and simultaneously unconscious of so
many other things. The more narrowed the mind is, the more
successful it will be. You will become a specialist, you will
become an expert, but the whole thing will consist of knowing
more and more’ about Jess and less.
The narrowing is an existential necessity; no one is
responsible for it. As life exists, it is needed, but it is not
enough. It is utilitarian, but just to survive is not enough; just
to be utilitarian is not enough. So when you become utilitarian
and the consciousness is narrowed, you deny your mind much
of which it was capable. You are not using the total mind, you
are using a very small part of it. And the remaining — the major
portion — will become unconscious.
In fact, there is no boundary between conscious and
unconscious. These are not two minds. "Conscious mind"
‘means that part of the mind that has been used in the
narrowing process. "Unconscious mind" means that portion
that has been neglected, ignored, closed. This creates a
division, a split. The greater portion of your mind becomes
alien to you. You become alienated from your own self; you
become a stranger to your own totality.
A small part is being identified as your self and the rest is
lost. But the remaining unconscious part is always there as
unused potentiality, unused possibilities, unlived adventures.
This unconscious mind — this potential, this unused mind — will
always be in a fight with the conscious mind; that is why there
is always a conflict within. Everyone is in conflict because of
this split between the unconscious and the conscious. But only
if the potential, the unconscious, is allowed to flower can you
feel the bliss of existence; otherwise not.
If the major portion of your potentialities remains
unfulfilled, your life will be a frustration. That is why the more
utilitarian a person is, the less he is fulfilled, the less he is
blissful. The more utilitarian the approach — the more one is in
business life — the less he is living, the less he is ecstatic. The
part of the mind that cannot be made useful in the utilitarian
world has been denied.
The utilitarian life is necessary but at a great cost: you have
lost the festivity of life. Life becomes a festivity, a celebration,
if all your potentialities come to a flowering; then life is a
ceremony. That is why I always say that religion means
transforming life into a celebration. The dimension of religion
is the dimension of the festive, the nonutilitarian.
The utilitarian mind must not be taken as the whole. The
remaining, the greater — the whole mind — should not be
sacrificed to it. The utilitarian mind must not become the end.
It will have to remain there, but as a means. The other — the
remaining, the greater, the potential — must become the end.
That is what I mean by a religious approach.
With a nonreligious approach, the businesslike mind, the
utilitarian, becomes the end. When this becomes the end,
there is no possibility of the unconscious actualizing the
potential; the unconscious will be denied. If the utilitarian
becomes the end, it means that the servant is playing the role
of the master.
Intelligence, the narrowing of the mind, is a means toward
survival, but not toward life. Survival is not life. Survival is a
necessity — to exist in the material world is a necessity — but the
end is always to come to a flowering of the potential, of all that
is meant by you. If you are fulfilled completely, if nothing
remains inside in seed form, if everything becomes actual, if you
are a flowering, then and only then can you feel the bliss, the
ecstasy of life.
The denied part of you, the unconscious part, can become
active and creative only if you add a new dimension to your
life — the dimension of the festive, the dimension of play. So
meditation is not a work, it is a play. Praying is not a business,
it is a play. Meditation is not something to be done to achieve
some goal — peace, bliss — but something to be enjoyed as an
end in itself.
The festive dimension is the most: important thing to be
understood — and we have lost it totally. By festive, I mean the
capacity to enjoy, moment to moment, all that comes to you.
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