How to Stop the Chattering Mind!

no-mind and zen bull
No-Mind: A Zen Bull

How can I stop my chatterbox mind?

“The mind is simply a biocomputer. When the child is born, he has no mind; there is no chattering going on in him. It takes almost three to four years for his mechanism to start functioning. And you will see that girls start talking earlier than boys. They are bigger chatterboxes. They have a better quality biocomputer.

“It needs information to be fed into it; that’s why if you try to remember your life backwards, you will get stuck somewhere at the age of four if you are a man, or at the age of three if you are a woman. Beyond that is a blank. You were there; many things must have happened, many incidents must have occurred, but there seems to be no memory being recorded, so you cannot remember. But you can remember back to the age of four or three very clearly.

Mind collects its data from the parents, from the school, from other children, neighbors, relatives, society, churches… all around there are sources.

“And you must have seen little children, when for the first time they start speaking, they will repeat the same word many times. The joy!  – a new mechanism has started functioning in them.

“When they can make sentences they will make sentences so joyously, again and again. When they can start asking questions, then they will ask about each and everything. They are not interested in your answers, remember! Watch a child when he asks a question; he is not interested in your answer, so please don’t give him a long answer from the Encyclopedia Britannica. The child is not interested in your answer; the child is simply enjoying that he can question. A new faculty has come into being in him.

“And this is how he goes on collecting; then he will start reading… and more words.

And in this society, silence does not pay; words pay, and the more articulate you are, the more you will be paid.

“What are your leaders? What are your politicians? What are your professors? What are your priests, theologians, philosophers, condensed to one thing? They are very articulate. They know how to use words meaningfully, significantly, consistently, so that they can impress people.

“It is rarely taken note of that our whole society is dominated by verbally articulate people. They may not know anything; they may not be wise, they may not even be intelligent. But one thing is certain: they know how to play with words. It is a game, and they have learned it. And it pays in respectability, in money, in power – in every way. So everybody tries, and the mind becomes filled with many words, many thoughts.

And you can turn any computer on or off – but you cannot turn the mind off. The switch does not exist.

“There is no reference about it, that when God made the world, when he made man, he made a switch for the mind so that you could turn it on or turn it off. There is no switch, so from birth to death it continues.

“You will be surprised that the people who understand computers and who understand the human brain have a very strange idea. If we take out the brain from the skull of a human being and keep it alive mechanically, it goes on chattering in the same way. It does not matter to it that it is now no longer connected to the poor person who was suffering from it; it still dreams. Now that it is connected to machines, it still dreams, it still imagines, it still fears, it still projects, hopes, tries to be this or that. And it is completely unaware that now it can do nothing; the person it used to be attached to is no longer there.

“You can keep this brain alive for thousands of years attached to mechanical devices.

“And it will go on chattering, round and round, the same things, because we have not yet been able to teach it new things. Once we can teach it new things, it will repeat new things.

“There is an idea prevalent in scientific circles: It is a great wastage that a man like Albert Einstein dies and his brain also dies with him. If we could save the brain, implant the brain into somebody else’s body, then the brain would go on functioning. It doesn’t matter whether Albert Einstein is alive or not; that brain will continue to think about the theory of relativity, about stars and about theories. The idea is that just as people donate blood and people donate eyes before they die, people should start donating their brains too so that their brains can be kept. If we feel that they are special brains, very qualified – and it is sheer wastage to let them die – then we can transplant them.

Some idiot can be made an Albert Einstein, and the idiot will never know.

“Because inside the skull of man there is no sensitivity; you can change anything and the person will never know. Just make the person unconscious and change anything you want to change in his brain – the whole brain you can change – and he will wake up with the new brain, with the new chattering, and he will not even suspect what has happened.

“This chattering is our education, and it is basically wrong because it teaches you only half of the process – how to use the mind. It does not teach you how to stop it so that it can relax – because even when you are asleep it goes on continuing. It knows no sleep. Seventy years, eighty years, it has worked continuously.

“If we can educate… and that’s what I am trying to impress on you – that it is possible. We call it meditation.

It is possible to put a switch on the mind and turn it off when it is not needed.

It is helpful in two ways: it will give you a peace, a silence, which you have never known before, and it will give you an acquaintance of yourself which, because of the chattering mind, is not possible. It has always kept you engaged.

“Secondly, it will give the mind rest also. And if we can give the mind rest it will be more capable of doing things more efficiently, more intelligently.

“So on both sides – on the side of mind and on the side of being – you will be benefited; you just have to learn how to stop the mind from functioning, how to say to it, “It is enough; now go to sleep. I am awake, don’t be worried.”

Use the mind when it is needed, and then it is fresh, young, full of energy and juice.

“Then whatever you say is not just dry bones; it is full of life, full of authority, full of truth, sincerity, and has tremendous meaning. You may be using the same words, but now the mind has collected so much power by resting, that each word it uses becomes afire, becomes power.

“What is known in the world as charisma is nothing… it is simply a mind which knows how to relax and let energy collect, so when it speaks it is poetry, when it speaks it is gospel, when it speaks, it need not give any evidence or any logic – just its own energy is enough to influence people. And people have always known that there is something… although they have never been able to exactly pinpoint what it is that they have called charisma.

Perhaps for the first time I am telling you what charisma is, because I know it by my own experience.

“A mind that is working day and night is bound to become weak, dull, unimpressive, somehow dragging. At the most it is utilitarian; you go to purchase vegetables – it is helpful. But more than that it has no power. So millions of people who could have been charismatic remain poor, unimpressive, without any authority and without any power.

“If this is possible – and this is possible – to put the mind to silence and only use it when it is needed, then it comes with a rushing force. It has gathered so much energy that each word uttered goes directly to your heart. People think that these minds of charismatic personalities are hypnotic; they are not hypnotic. They are really so powerful, so fresh… it is always spring. This is for the mind.

“For the being, the silence opens up a new universe of eternity, of deathlessness, of all that you can think of as blessing, as benediction. Hence my insistence that meditation is the essential religion, the only religion. Nothing else is needed. Everything else is nonessential ritual.

Meditation is just the essence, the very essence. You cannot cut anything out of it.

“And it gives you both worlds. It gives you the other world – the divine, the world of godliness – and it gives you this world too. Then you are not poor. You have a richness but not of money.

“There are many kinds of richness, and the man who is rich because of money is the lowest as far as the categories of richness are concerned. Let me say it in this way: the man of wealth is the poorest rich man. Looked at from the side of the poor, he is the richest poor man. Looked at from the side of a creative artist, of a dancer, of a musician, of a scientist, he is the poorest rich man. And as far as the world of ultimate awakening is concerned, he cannot even be called rich.

Meditation will make you ultimately rich by giving you the world of your innermost being.

“And also relatively rich, because it will release your powers of mind into certain talents that you have. My own experience is that everybody is born with a certain talent, and unless he lives that talent to its fullest, something in him will remain missing. He will go on feeling that somehow something is not there that should be.

“Give mind a rest – it needs it! And it is so simple: just become a witness to it. And it will give you both things.

“Slowly, slowly mind starts learning to be silent. And once it knows that by being silent it becomes powerful, then its words are not just words; they have a validity and a richness and a quality that they never had before – so much so that they go directly, like arrows. They bypass the logical barriers and reach to the very heart.

Then mind is a good servant of immense power in the hands of silence.

Then the being is the master, and the master can use the mind whenever it is needed and can switch it off whenever it is not needed.”


Excerpted from Osho, Beyond Psychology, Talk #25 – The Mind Collects Power by Resting

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