Not counting the discourses, is twenty minutes of meditation a day enough to see me along the path and lead me to experience the satyam shivam sundaram you are pointing us toward?
“Vimal, first you cannot be allowed not to count the discourses because your meditations cannot happen without these discourses. These discourses are the foundations of your meditation. I am crazy, but not that crazy that I should go on speaking four hours a day if it does not help you in meditation! Do you think I am trying to distract you from meditation?
“And then you are such a miser, Vimal. I never thought you were so miserly that just twenty minutes in twenty-four hours…not even twenty-four minutes!
And you have missed my basic standpoint completely. I don’t want you to think of meditation within limits. I want meditation to become your very life.
“In the past this has been one of the fallacies: you meditate twenty minutes, or you meditate three times a day, you meditate five times a day – different religions, but the basic idea is that a few minutes every day should be given to meditation.
“And what will you do in the remaining time? Whatever you will gain in twenty minutes… What are you going to do in the remaining twenty-three hours and forty minutes? – something anti-meditative? Naturally your twenty minutes will be defeated. The enemies are too big, and you are giving too much juice and energy to the enemies and just twenty minutes for meditation. No, meditation in the past has not been able to bring a rebellion in the world because of these fallacies.
These fallacies are the reason I want you to look at meditation from a totally different standpoint. You can learn meditation for twenty minutes or forty minutes – learning is one thing – but then you have to carry whatever you have learned day in, day out. Meditation has to become just like your heartbeat.
“You cannot say, ‘Is it enough, Osho, to breathe for twenty minutes every day?’ – the next day will never come. Even while you are asleep you continue breathing. Nature has not left the essential functions of your body and life in your hands. Nature has not trusted you because if breathing were in your hands you would start thinking how much to breathe and whether it is right to breathe while you are sleeping. It looks a little odd doing two things together – sleeping and breathing. Breathing seems to be a kind of disturbance in sleeping. But then the sleep will be eternal!
“Your heartbeat, your blood circulation are not under your control. Nature has kept everything that is essential in its own hands. You are not reliable, you can forget, and then there is no time even to say, ‘I am sorry, I forgot to breathe. Just give me one more chance.’ Even that much opportunity is not there.
But meditation is not part of your biology, your physiology, your chemistry; it is not part of the ordinary natural flow.
“If you want to remain just a human being for eternity, you can remain there. Nature has come to a point of evolution where more than this is not needed by nature: you are perfectly capable of reproducing children and that’s enough. You will die, your children will continue. Your children will carry on the same stupidities that you were doing. Some will be coming into the congregation, into the churches; some other idiot will be giving sermons, and the whole thing will continue – don’t be worried.
“Nature has come to a point where now, unless you take individual responsibility, you cannot grow. More than this nature cannot do. It has done enough. It has given you life, it has given you opportunity; now how to use it, it has left it up to you.
Meditation is your freedom, not a biological necessity. You can learn meditation in a certain period of time every day to strengthen it, to make it stronger – but carry the flavor of it the whole day.
“First, while you are awake, from the moment you wake up, immediately catch hold of the thread of remaining alert and conscious because that is the most precious moment to catch the thread of consciousness. In the day you will forget many times – but the moment you remember, immediately start being alert. Never repent because that is a sheer wastage of time. Never repent, ‘My God, I forgot again!’
“In my teachings there is no place for any repentance. Whatever has happened is gone. Now there is no need to waste time on it. Catch hold again of the thread of awareness. Slowly, slowly you will be able to be alert the whole day: an undercurrent of awareness in every act, in every movement, in everything that you are doing or not doing. Something underneath will be continuously flowing.
“Even when you go to sleep, leave the thread only at the last moment when you cannot do anything because you are falling asleep. And this is one of the laws, that whatever is the last thing before you fall asleep will be the first thing when you wake up. Try it. Any small experiment will be enough to prove it.
“Just repeat your own name while you are falling asleep: half awake, half asleep, go on repeating, “Vimal, Vimal, Vimal.” Slowly, slowly you will forget repeating because the sleep will grow more and more and the thread will be lost. It is lost only because you are asleep, but underneath your sleep it continues. That’s why in the morning when you wake up, just look around. The first thing you will remember will be “Vimal, Vimal.” You will be surprised: Why? What happened? You slept eight hours, but there has been an undercurrent.
And as things become deeper and clearer, even in sleep you can remember that you are asleep. Sleep becomes almost a physiological thing and your spirit, your being becomes a flame of awareness, separate from it.
“It does not disturb your sleep; it simply makes your sleep very light. It is no longer the sleep of the old days, when your house was on fire and you went on sleeping. That was almost like a coma: you were so unconscious.
“Your sleep will become thin, a very light layer, and your inside will remain alert. Just as it has been alert in the day, it will finally be even more alert in the night because you are so silent, so relaxed; the whole nuisance world completely silent.
Patanjali, the first man in the world to write about meditation, says that it is almost like dreamless sleep, but with one difference. In dreamless sleep you are not aware. In samadhi, in the ultimate state of meditation, there is just a little difference: you are aware.
“Vimal, you can continue for twenty minutes every day to learn, to refresh, to give more energy and more roots – but don’t be satisfied that that’s enough. That’s how the whole of humanity has failed, although the whole of humanity has tried in some way or other. But so few people have been successful that by and by many people stopped even trying because success seems to be so far away. But the reason is that just twenty minutes or ten minutes won’t do.
“I can understand that you have many things to do, so find time. But that time is not meditation, that time is only to refresh yourself – and then again you will have to work, earn, do your job and a thousand and one things. Just remain alert whether it is still there inside or it has disappeared.
“This continuity then becomes a garland of twenty-four hours. Only then, Vimal, will you be able to experience satyam shivam sundaram – not before it.
“A lion was walking through the forest taking a poll to determine who was the greatest among all the wildlife animals. When he saw the hippopotamus, he inquired, ‘Who is king of the forest?’
“‘You are,’ said the hippopotamus.
“Next he met a giraffe. ‘Who is king of the forest?’ he inquired.
“’You are,’ said the giraffe.
“Next he met the elephant. He gave him a good rap on the knee and said, ‘And who is the king of the forest?’
“The elephant picked him up in his trunk and swung him against the tree. As the lion slid down, brushing himself off, he said, ‘You don’t have to get so mad just because you don’t know the right answer.’
“Vimal, unfortunately I know the right answer. I will not get mad at you, but certainly I will tell you where you are wrong and where you are right.
First, sitting with me in these discourses is nothing but creating more and more meditativeness in you. I don’t speak to teach something; I speak to create something. These are not lectures. These are simply devices for you to become silent because if you are told to become silent without making any effort you will find great difficulty.
“That’s what Zen teachers have been telling their disciples: ‘Be silent, but don’t make any effort.’ Now, you are putting the person into such a difficult fix: ‘Don’t make any effort and be silent.’ Now, if he makes any effort he is wrong – and there is no way to be silent without making any effort. If it were possible to be silent without any effort there would have been no need of any master, there would have been no need to teach meditation. People would have become silent without any effort.
“I have gone as deep into Zen efforts as possible. They have been working for almost fourteen centuries, since Bodhidharma. They are one of the greatest groups in the world, totally devoted to a single thing and that is meditation. There is no other experiment anywhere that has been done for so long a time continuously. But still there are not many Zen masters.
“Yes, there are more masters in the stream of Zen than in any other stream in the world, but still they are very few compared to the people who have been working. I have been searching out what was the basic mistake. This is the basic mistake, Vimal: those Zen masters told them the right thing but not in the right way.
I am making you aware of silences without any effort on your part. My speaking is being used for the first time as a strategy to create silence in you.
“This is not a teaching, a doctrine, a creed. That’s why I can say anything. I am the most free person who has ever existed as far as saying anything is concerned. I can contradict myself in the same evening a hundred times. Because it is not a speech, it has not to be consistent. It is a totally different thing, and it will take time for the world to recognize that a tremendously different experiment was going on.
“Just a moment – when I became silent, you become silent. What remains is just a pure awaiting. You are not making any effort; neither am I making any effort. I enjoy talking; it is not an effort.
I love to see you silent. I love to see you laugh, I love to see you dance. But in all these activities, the fundamental remains meditation.
“This is for you all, absolutely unrelated with anything.
“Hymie and Becky Goldberg are with their teenage son, Herschel, on holiday in California. Herschel is jogging down the beach when he happens to see someone drowning, not far from the shore. Rushing into the surf, he pulls the man out. Much to his surprise it is Ronald Reagan.
“The president sits up in the sand, and when he finally manages to catch his breath, he says, ‘Young man, that was a heroic deed you just did. In such uncertain times as today, with the stock market crash and the Middle East crisis, the world can’t do without me. Tell me son, if there is anything I can do for you, just let me know.’
“Herschel thinks for a minute, ‘You know there is one thing.’
“‘Name it,’ Ronald Reagan urges.
“’I would like to be buried with my surfboard in Surfers’ Paradise Beach, here in California.’
“The request takes Ronald Reagan by surprise. ‘I don’t understand,’ he says. ‘From the looks of you, you’re in perfect health.’
“’Oh, I am,’ answers Herschel. ‘But when my father Hymie Goldberg finds out whose life I just saved, he’s gonna kill me!'”
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Satyam Shivam Sundaram – Truth Godliness Beauty, Talk #28 – Authentically Enjoy Your Aloneness