First, the questions from the sannyasins.
The hara center is the source of all your energy. It can grow
just like a tree grows from the roots into different branches.
According to a different calculation of Patanjali, the energy can be
divided into seven centers, but the original source remains the hara.
From the hara it can go up.
The seventh center is in the head, and the sixth center is what you call the third eye. The fifth center is in our throat, and the fourth center is exactly in the middle: the heart. Below the heart there are three centers, above the heart there are three centers. But all these seven centers grow like a tree from the original source of the hara. That′s why, in Japanese, suicide is called hara-kiri. People don′t cut their throats, they don′t cut their heads. They simply pierce a small knife into the hara center - just exactly two inches below the navel - and the person dies. And you will not know at all that somebody has committed suicide. Just the energy is released from the body, the source is opened.
I am trying to take you to the very original source. From there, it is up to you to bring your energy into any center you want. Between the first center, the hara, and the seventh center in the head, the energy can move just like the energy moves into different branches of a tree - from the roots to the uppermost flowering. The hara is the source. When it blossoms, it reaches suddenly to the seventh center, piercing your heart, your throat, and at the seventh center it blossoms as a lotus. Man is also a flowering tree.
These are different ways of looking at things. Patanjali′s yoga is one of the ways; Zen is a totally different approach. To me, Zen seems to be more scientific, while Patanjali seems to be more intellectual and philosophical. Zen begins from the very source. The buddha is not lying anywhere else other than in the hara; he is not lying in the heart. The energy can be brought to the heart, then the expression will be love. The energy can be brought to the third eye, then you will be able to see things which are not ordinarily visible - auras of people, auras of things, a certain kind of X-ray energy that goes deeper into things. If the same energy moves into the seventh center, according to Patanjali, samadhi is attained - you become enlightened. But these are different calculations.
Rather than talking about samadhi, I would rather encourage you to enter into the source of energy from where everything is going to happen. I don′t like to talk about the flowers much, because that talk will remain simply conceptual. My approach is more pragmatic. I want you to experience your sleeping energy. And the moment you reach there, it awakens. It sleeps only if you are not there. If your awareness reaches to the source, it wakes up, and in its waking is the buddhahood. In its waking you become for the first time part of existence: no ego, no self, a pure nothingness. People are afraid of the word "nothingness".
In the second question that fear is clear.
With whom are you going to melt outside? You don′t know even who
you are. And who has told you that Zen is a "stark beauty of the
desert"? Zen is perhaps the most beautiful path, full of flowers,
songs, joy and laughter. But the idea of nothingness creates a
certain fear of dissolving into a desert. It is just your mind that
makes the difference between emptiness and fullness. In realizing
either, you will be realizing the other too, because they are two
aspects of one thing, of one phenomenon which can either be called
nothingness, or can be called fullness.
Zen has chosen rightly to call it nothingness, because fullness can give you misunderstandings. The moment you think of fullness you start imagining. The moment you think of melting into someone outside, immediately a God, a paradise, a heaven, and all kinds of imaginations arise. And those imaginations will prevent you from going anywhere. I am not helping your imagination at all. I am trying to uproot your imagination in every possible way. I want to leave you without images, in utter silence, in nothingness, because that is the only way to attain fullness. When the dewdrop disappears in the ocean, it is not that it becomes nothing. Yes, it becomes nothing but it also becomes the ocean. In its disappearing as a dewdrop, on the other side it is also becoming the whole ocean. So the fullness and nothingness are not two things, only two concepts of the mind, but in reality, only two ways of saying one thing. Emptiness, or nothingness, is better because it does not allow any imagination to arise.
Fullness is dangerous. If rightly used there is no problem. Fullness will also dissolve God, and paradise, and heaven and hell, and incarnation. But mind is capable of using the idea of fullness in a way that it cannot use the word ′nothingness′. To prevent the mind from using the word ′fullness′ and preventing you from realizing the reality, from Gautam Buddha onwards the word ′nothingness′ has been chosen. But nothingness is not absence; nothingness is not dead. Nothingness is fullness, but so full that you cannot define it, and you cannot make a limit or a boundary to it.
Unbounded fullness and nothingness, in experience, mean exactly the same. But for the beginner, the word ′fullness′ is dangerous - and everybody is a beginner.
Begin with something which is less capable of taking you astray from reality. Fullness can be used only by a master who knows that nothingness and fullness are synonymous. But for the beginner it is dangerous, because for him fullness means something opposed to nothingness. If ′fullness′ is synonymous with ′nothingness′, then there is no problem. Then the desert becomes the ocean, then there is only beauty and song and dance.
Nothingness gives the idea to the mind that everything will be lost. You will be lost, but the truth is, the moment everything is lost, including you, you have gained the whole universe - all the stars within you, and the vast universe inside your heart. It is not losing anything, so don′t be worried about nothing.
The questioner goes on:
There is no question of type. All types are just superficial. At
the innermost core there is only one existence. The Zen Manifesto is
not for a particular type, it is for all - for men and for women,
and for black and white, and for Hindu and Mohammedan, and for
Christian and Buddhist. It does not matter what kind of conditioning
you have been brought up in, Zen is simply a technique of entering
into your veryness. The entrance is so deep that nothing remains,
and all is found.
Gurdjieff has written a book, All And Nothing. I would like to withdraw the word ′and′, because all is nothing; there is no question of ′and′. Whatever type you are - introvert, extrovert - it does not matter, you are all part of the same existence. And when you relax into existence, all your differences disappear, only oneness remains. You can call that oneness whatever you like, but basically it is nothingness. You can give it any color, you can call it by any name, but don′t start calling it by another name from the beginning, because that can take you astray. Somebody may think that he can call it God, then he will start worshipping a God which is man manufactured.
For the beginner, nothing is the most secure path to avoid the mind playing games. Nothing is beyond the reaches of the mind, so it cannot play games with it. But anything else you name it, mind is capable of playing games with it. The whole effort of meditation is not to allow the mind to play games. It has been playing games for centuries. One has to come to the point of seeing all the games of the mind: all the gods, all the messiahs, all the prophets, all the religions, all the philosophies. Existence is available to a silent being, not to the learned, not to the well informed, not to the scholar. It is available to the innocent, and meditation is a way of becoming innocent again. Getting back your childhood, being reborn, knowing nothing, a silence, a joy, a blissfulness arises which is indestructible, which is eternal.
All your questions arise out of your mind, and I am trying to
take you beyond the mind. Beyond the mind there is no question,
there is nobody to ask. But if you start thinking about meditation,
that is not meditation. If you start thinking, "What happens when
awareness witnesses the wholeness of existence?" - if you start
thinking, you are moving inside the mind, in a circle, in a vicious
circle, you may find some answer, but that answer is not the truth.
You have to go beyond thinking, beyond questioning. Just be silent and you will know. You are not, only the universe is. You are just a ripple in the river, arisen in a certain moment and dissolved back again, but not for a single moment separate from the river. This whole existence is nothing but a vast ocean in which all kinds of ripples, tidal waves, arise and disappear, and the ocean remains. That which remains is your authentic reality. That which comes and goes is just a dream, or just a phenomenal, illusory reality. For a moment the tidal wave can think, "I am separate from the ocean." But you know, however the wave may be tidal, it is not separate from the ocean. Even when it is thinking it is separate - and it looks separate - deep down it is part of the ocean.
I am taking you deep down into the ocean. In that ocean nobody is separate. Suddenly a tremendous joy arises that you are eternal, that you are oceanic, that you have always been and you will always be, but not those small personalities that you have taken again and again. This time you stop taking personalities and simply become the whole. The whole feels more cozy than nothingness, but they are simply two ways of saying the same thing. The whole appears cozy, it seems you are becoming more than you were before. And nothing seems dangerous - you are becoming even less than you were before. You were at least something, now you are becoming nothing. But becoming whole, you have to become nothing. Becoming part of this vast existence, you have to relax the separateness, the individuality.
The questioner goes on asking:
The dewdrop disappearing into the ocean feels for the first time
a vast life. Only the boundaries that were making it a small dewdrop
have disappeared. The dewdrop is still there, but it is no longer a
dewdrop, it has become the ocean.
I have told you about Kabir, one of the most important mystics of the East. When he became enlightened he wrote down a small statement: "The dewdrop has disappeared into the ocean - Bund Samani Samund Mein." But before dying, he called his son Kamal, and told him, "Please correct it. It was my first experience, now I know better. The dewdrop has not entered into the ocean; on the contrary, the ocean has entered into the dewdrop. So write it down that the ocean has entered into the dewdrop."
Both mean the same, but one is the experience of the beginner. The dewdrop disappearing into the ocean feels like you are going into a vast nothingness. But once you have reached into that vastness, when you are no more, suddenly that vastness is you. There will be no self, no sense of I, but a sense of totality, of wholeness.
It is difficult to bring it into language. That difficulty is shown in Kabir′s changing the statement. In fact, no statement is right. Whether you say the dewdrop has entered into the ocean, or you say the ocean has entered into the dewdrop, you are still talking of two things: the dewdrop and the ocean. If I had been present there, I would have said, "It is better to cancel both. Whatever has happened has happened, nothing can be said about it. One thing is certain, there is no more separation. So what has entered into what does not matter. There have been two, now there are not two."
Maneesha, Wilhelm Reich was one of the unique intelligences born
in this century. What he has found has been known to the East as
You must have seen around the statues of Buddha or Mahavira or
Krishna - a round aura around the head. That round aura is a reality.
What Wilhelm Reich said was authentically true, but the people to
whom he said it were not the right people to understand it. They
thought he was mad because he described life as an energy
surrounding the body. It is exactly true.
Life is an energy that surrounds your body. Not only your body, but
flowers, trees, everything has its own aura. And that aura, that
energy surrounding you shrinks and expands, in different situations.
Any situation where your energy shrinks, should be thought bad, sick. And every situation where your energy expands, should be respected and loved. In love your energy reaches out, you become more alive. And when you are in fear, your energy shrinks, you become less alive.
Now, poor Wilhelm Reich was thought by Americans to be mad, because he was not only magnifying that energy - he had found a few exercises in which that energy magnifies - he was even catching that energy in boxes, big boxes in which a man could enter. And if the man was sick he would come out whole and healthy. Naturally such a man should be thought mad. He was selling those boxes, empty boxes - but they were not empty. He had found ways to collect the energy which is available in the atmosphere. Around a tree you can find that energy showering, but with your bare eyes you cannot see it.
After he was declared mad and imprisoned, another man in the Soviet Union even managed to photograph it. And now it has become a recognized psychology in the Soviet Union, that life has an aura. And the man, Kirlian, has developed a certain sensitive plate to photograph it. He would photograph the hand, and the hand would come with an aura around it. In a very strange way his photographs even showed if a man would be sick within six months: "Right now he does not show any pattern of sickness, but his aura is shrinking at a certain point." And if at a certain point the aura is shrinking, maybe the person will become deaf, or blind if the aura around the eyes is shrinking. And all his photographs proved to be right. When he said, "This man is in danger of losing his eyesight," there was no visible sign, there was no reason to believe it, but within six months that man became blind.
Now in Soviet psychology, Kirlian photography is recognized by the government. It is spreading into other countries also. A man can be cured before he becomes sick. Kirlian photography is very predictive. It shows, at least six months ahead, what is going to happen.
In the East, it has been known for centuries that before your death - six months before - you stop being able to see the tip of your nose. Because your eyes start turning upwards, they cannot see the tip of your own nose. The moment you recognize you cannot see the tip of your nose means that within six months your energy will shrink, go back to its source. And the aura, without any photographic technology, has been recognized by yoga for five thousand years. But now, it can be accepted on scientific grounds.
Wilhelm Reich was a unique genius. He could manage to see and feel what is not ordinarily possible. But if you are very meditative, you will start seeing the auras of people, even your own aura. You will see your own hand with the light rays around it, radiating. And when you are healthy you will feel your aura expanding. When you are sick you will feel your aura shrinking - something is shrinking within you.
When you are by the side of a sick person, you will have a strange feeling that he somehow makes you feel sick, because the sick person exploits the auras of the other without his knowing. He needs more life, so whoever has life and comes around him - he takes his life.
And you know by experience, without understanding, that there are people you want to avoid, because meeting them you feel sick, meeting them you feel that something has been taken away from you. And there are people you want to meet, because meeting them you feel an expanding, you feel more alive.
Wilhelm Reich was right, but unfortunately the masses never accept their own geniuses; on the contrary, they condemn them. Because if Wilhelm Reich is right, then everybody else is almost blind. And in anger he wrote the book, ′Listen, Little Man′. But that book is beautiful, and his anger can be forgiven because he was mistreated by ′the little man,′ by the masses. He was first thought to be mad, then forced into a madhouse, and he died in a madhouse.
In the East, he would have become a Gautam Buddha. He had the quality, the insight. But a wrong society, a society of very little men, of very small people, small-minded, who cannot conceive the vast, who cannot conceive the mysterious...
The whole atmosphere is full of life. And if you understand your own sources of life, you will be suddenly aware that birds are alive, trees are alive, grasses are alive - everywhere there is life! And you can dance with this life, you can start having a dialogue with the atmosphere. Of course, people will think you are mad, because people are still the same. The same people crucified Jesus, the same people forced Wilhelm Reich into a madhouse, the same people poisoned Socrates, but those little people are in the majority.
Wilhelm Reich′s anger is right, but still I would say, rather than anger, the little man needs compassion. He was angry because they misbehaved with him, they destroyed his whole life. Rather than understanding him - he would have opened a new door to experiencing, to loving, to living - they destroyed the man completely. Obviously he became angry.
In the East, the same little men are there, but the Eastern genius has never been angry with them. Rather than being angry, it has shown compassion, it has felt compassion for their blindness, and it has tried in every way to bring light to them, a little understanding to their hearts.
It is time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh.
Close your eyes and feel your bodies to be completely frozen. This is the right moment to enter in. Gather all your energies, your total consciousness, and rush towards the center of your being, just two inches below the navel inside you - the hara center - with an urgency as if this is the last moment of your life.
Faster and faster, deeper and deeper.
As you are coming close to the center of your being, a great silence descends over you, and a peace that you have never known, and a light fills your whole interior. From the very center you can do one thing which is not possible otherwise - witnessing.
Witness that you are not the body.
Witness that you are not the mind.
Witness that you are only a witnessing consciousness, a pure consciousness, eternal, immortal. This is your being and everybody′s being.
To deepen this witnessing:
Relax, but remember the source of hara - the very source of
your life - and flowers will start showering on you.
You are melting into a consciousness which is vaster than you.
Gautama the Buddha Auditorium has become an ocean of consciousness.
Ten thousand buddhas are no longer ten thousand, but a single, a
non-dual, pure consciousness without any ripples in it.
This is your buddha nature. Out of this buddha nature arises all
ecstasy, all blessings, all blissfulness.
This is only an experiment - it has to become your very life. You have to be a buddha around the clock, alert, aware, compassionate, loving, rejoicing in life, expanding life, making it a dance. Zen is not a renunciation, it is a rejoicing. It is the manifesto of dance and celebration.
Collect all these experiences which are happening inside you, you have to bring them to your everyday life. And ask the flame, which is symbolized by the face of Gautam Buddha, to come behind you. The face of Gautam Buddha is everybody′s original face. It will come behind you. It has been waiting for you to request it.
First, it will come following you. Soon you will find you are following it. And at the third stage, the final stage, you will disappear, only the buddha remains. The buddha is your nothingness, and it is your fullness. It is your wholeness. You can call it any name, but remember it is universal. It has nothing to do with you and me.
Come back, but come back as buddhas - silent, peacefully, with
a grace, and a beauty.
Just for a few moments, remember where you have been, the space that
you entered, the center that you touched, the flame that you have
Slowly slowly, meditation becomes your very life, your very heartbeat. That day is the most blessed day when you don′t have to meditate - you are meditation. Your very being, whatever you are doing or not doing, is silent, peaceful, loving, alert and aware of its eternity.
This experience is the only sacred experience. This experience brings back again your childhood, a pure silent consciousness, rejoicing in everything that it does. The whole universe becomes a celebration and life is no longer a misery. Every moment existence is available for you to rejoice, sing, dance, love, and expand your life energies.
Mind only thinks, meditation lives. Mind is a very small thing. Meditation is as vast as the whole universe. I teach you the vastness, I teach you universality, I teach you eternity. You are not what you appear in the mirror, you are much more. You are vast, as vast as the whole universe.
This declaration is the Zen Manifesto.
Yes, Osho.(Thus spake Osho the seventh part of The Zen Manifesto (chapter 7)