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Awareness is Let-Go

You spoke convincingly about awareness being the only virtue and unawareness the only sin. How can an ordinary unenlightened being find enough energy to stay in awareness as much as possible?

In fact, more energy is needed to be miserable than to be blissful, because blissfulness is a state of nature. No energy is needed to be blissful! It is natural. Energy is needed to be miserable, because it is unnatural. The more natural you are, the less energy is needed; the more unnatural you want to be, the more energy will be needed.

If you are standing on your feet, it needs less energy; try to stand on your head, it needs more energy. Wherever you see more energy is needed, know well that you are trying to do something unnatural.
Meditation needs no energy! because meditation is passive, inaction, silence. You are not doing anything - why should you need any energy?
Anger needs energy, thinking needs energy, violence needs energy - because you are doing something against nature, you are fighting against nature. It is like you are trying to swim upstream.
If you are going with the river, then no energy is needed. You can go and try in the river: if you go with the river, what energy? for what? The river takes you.... But if you are trying to go upstream, then great energy will be needed - because you will be fighting with the stream.

Mulla Nasruddin was sitting in front of his house. It was raining and somebody came running and he said, "What are you doing here? Your wife has fallen in the river!"
Mulla rushed to the river. A great crowd had gathered, but nobody was daring enough to jump into the river - it was so dangerous, it was such a big flood. Mulla immediately jumped - and started swimming upstream.
The crowd laughed and people said, "Mulla, what are you doing? Why are you trying to swim upstream?" He said, "You keep quiet! - I know my wife. If she has fallen in the stream, she must have gone upstream, she cannot go downstream. She can never do anything naturally. I know my wife."

But when you go upstream, you will have to fight. Why do people look so tired? They are all fighting. Your religion teaches you to fight. Your whole upbringing is based on conflict, because it is only through fight that ego can be created. When you relax, ego disappears. To relax means to become egoless. If you go with the river, you cannot create the ego. The ego is an unnatural phenomenon; it needs great energy to create it. And it needs great energy to go ON creating it; it needs great energy to maintain it then. It is a very expensive phenomenon to have an ego. Your whole life is wasted in it.

So the first thing I would like to tell you: awareness does not need energy. You will be surprised: unawareness needs energy. Meditation does not need energy: thinking needs energy. Relaxation needs NO energy! Tension needs energy; anguish, anxiety needs energy.
So, let it be clear from the very beginning: the enlightened person lives with no conflict - he need not have any energy. And because he is not in fight and because he is not dissipating his energy, a miracle happens: God's energy starts flowing through him. When you are not fighting with the river, the river takes you on her shoulders. When you are not fighting with life, God takes you on his shoulders. Don't push the river - the river is not your enemy - and great energy will be released in you.

The second thing you say:

How can an ordinary unenlightened being....?

Nobody is an ordinary being - enlightened or unenlightened, but nobody is an ordinary being. Nothing can be ordinary, because everything is full of God -- how can God be ordinary? God can be asleep, I can understand, but cannot be ordinary. The difference between you and a Buddha is not of ordinariness and extraordinariness, but only of a very simple thing: you are fast asleep snoring, he is awake. He is extraordinary, you are extraordinary; or, if you love the word ′ordinary′, then he is ordinary and you are ordinary.
Either the whole existence is extraordinary or it is ordinary - you can choose any word you like. I am not interested in the word ′extraordinary′. But remember, the whole existence has a single taste to it; don't divide it into ordinary and extraordinary. Why do we go on dividing? That is again the way of the ego. Great things we want to do, so we have to divide into what is great and what is not great.

Just the other night...

I was reading a memoir of David Manners...

He writes:

On one occasion, a friend brought up to my desert hut a ′holy man′, an old Zen monk: Zenzaki San. The friend put him into a chair in my room and left him there while I was seriously engaged in the little bathroom from which all sounds could be heard in the other room. I had never felt such a deep shame and embarrassment. Such a greeting for a ′holy man′! Finally, I had the nerve to come out and present myself, but the old monk jumped to his feet, whisked off his coat and said, "Now, I go," and made a beeline for the bathroom. I had to laugh and that laugh took all my shame. I began to admire this old monk before I had said a word to him.

In fact, the Master must have done it knowingly - just to take the shame away.
Nothing is unholy... even the sounds that are coming from the bathroom are not unholy. Everything is divine, holy. In fact, even your sleep is divine and holy, your unawareness is divine and holy. These are two ways of being - unaware or aware - but the being is always the sacred, the holy. Whatsoever name you want to give it you can give, but remember the taste of life, the whole life, is one.

You spoke convincingly about awareness being the only virtue and unawareness the only sin. How can an ordinary unenlightened being find enough energy to stay in awareness as much as possible?

You have missed the point. It is not a question of making efforts to be aware. If you make efforts to be aware, you will create tensions inside yourself - all efforts bring tensions. If you TRY to be aware, you are fighting with yourself; there is no need to fight. Awareness is not a by-product of effort: awareness is a fragrance of let-go: awareness is a flowering of surrender, of relaxation.
Just sit silently in a relaxed state, doing nothing... and awareness will start happening. Not that you have to pull it up from somewhere, not that you have to bring it from somewhere. It will shower on you from nowhere. It will well up from within your own sources. You just be silent, sitting.
But I understand your problem. It is very difficult to sit silently; thoughts go on coming. So let them come! Don't fight with thoughts and you will not need any energy. Just let them come - what can you do? Clouds come and clouds go; let the thoughts come and let them go whenever they want to go. Don't be on guard, and don't be in a certain attitude that thoughts should come or should not come - don't be judgemental. Let them come, and let them go whenever they want. You be utterly empty. Thoughts will pass, they will come and go, and slowly slowly you will see that you remain unaffected by their coming and going. And when you are unaffected by their coming and going, they start disappearing, they evaporate... NOT BY YOUR EFFORT! but by your cool, calm emptiness, your relaxed state.
And don't say that relaxation will need great energy. How can relaxation need great energy? Relaxation simply means you are not doing anything.

Sitting silently,
Doing nothing,
The spring comes
And the grass grows by itself...

Let this mantra sink into your heart. This is the very essence of meditation!... Sitting silently... doing nothing... the spring comes... and the grass grows by itself.... Everything happens! You are not to be a doer.
Don't make awareness your goal, otherwise you have missed my point. I have simply defined. I have said: awareness is virtue, unawareness is sin. Now what has happened in the asker's mind - he started thinking, "If awareness is virtue, then how to attain it? And if unawareness is sin, then how to drop it?" Then the question of energy arises - when you ask how, you have already asked for more energy.
And then the problem arises, "I don't have enough energy to fight with unawareness. And I don't have enough energy to grow into awareness." And then the question: "I am an ordinary unenlightened person - what can I do? These things can be done by Buddhas..." But do you know? - Buddha was just as ordinary as you are and as unenlightened as you are. He was not always a Buddha.

One day it happened, and it is worth relating AGAIN, that it happened the day he was sitting, utterly relaxed under the tree, not doing a thing. For six years he had been making great efforts to become enlightened, and he was failing again and again. And those six years were nothing but utter frustration, and he had done everything that was possible to do: fasting, yoga postures, breathing... all the kinds of methodologies that were available in India. He had done all! He had almost destroyed himself by long fasts.
He was so tired and so frustrated that evening, that fateful full-moon night, that he came to a decision: "It is all futile. The world is futile, I have seen it" - he HAD seen enough of it. He was a son of a king. "I renounced the world, it was meaningless. And now I renounce all this nonsense of being an ascetic. I renounce this search for truth too; that too is nonsense. There is nothing to gain, this way or that, here or there. There is nothing to gain! It is ALL futile, meaningless."

It must have been a tremendous frustration to have dropped the search for truth.

That night he must have breathed deeply, relaxedly. All is finished - nowhere to go, nothing to be done. And it happened. It happened that night.
Early in the morning when he opened his eyes, the last star was disappearing from the sky, and as the star disappeared, something, the last trace of ego, disappeared in him too. That disappearing star triggered something in him - a synchronicity - and the last trace, the shadow of the ego, disappeared. There was no longer any doer left. And, immensely, the whole existence showered on him. The story says flowers showered from the sky. Gods danced around him. Celestial musicians played music. It was a great celebration for the whole existence. And Buddha was sitting there for seven days silently, not moving.

Do you think energy was needed for it? How can energy be needed for it? It was not a doing at all. It was a non-doing. And when the time came, when the spring came, the grass, of its own accord, grew. You need not pull the grass from the earth.
No energy is needed. You ARE perfectly capable of becoming aware as you are, but you will have to learn the ways of relaxation and let-go, not the ways of conflict, fight, struggle.

(Osho - Philosophia Perennis, vol. 2 #4)

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