In “Why Are We Rushing toward Oblivion,” we looked at why we are such a restless species. In “What Does It Mean to Do Nothing” we really drilled down into the confusion around what it means not to be restless, and instead just do nothing.
Now we are going to give you a simple way to discover the art of doing nothing for yourself.
As we have explained in the previous articles, the most significant experiences of our lives all happen only when we “allow” them – and cannot be accessed by our “doing.”
In fact, it is our “doing” that prevents these natural phenomena – from relaxation to bliss – from happening by themselves.
As Osho explains:
“Sleep comes when you are not there. Enlightenment also follows the same rule – it comes when you are not there. But when you are doing, how will you be absent at the same time? If you are doing something you will be there. Action feeds the ego. When you are not doing anything, the ego cannot be fed. It simply disappears, it dies, it is not there. And when the ego is not there, the light descends.
“So whatsoever you are doing wilfully will be the barrier.” 1
So, let us welcome you to OSHO Kundalini Meditation. This is a one-hour OSHO Active Meditation which is accompanied by music that is specifically arranged by Osho for this process.
There are four stages of fifteen minutes each. The instructions for the first stage are:
Be loose and let your whole body shake, feeling the energies moving up from your feet. Let go everywhere and become the shaking.
Your eyes may be open or closed.
Osho is very clear about how to approach his meditations:
“In my meditations here, do them, but not wilfully. Don’t force them; rather, let them happen. You float in them, you abandon yourself in them. Be absorbed, but not wilfully.
“Don’t manipulate, because when you manipulate you are divided, you become two: the manipulator and the manipulated.
“Once you are two, heaven and hell are created immediately; then there is a vast distance between you and the truth. Don’t manipulate, allow things to happen.” 1
And in particular about OSHO Kundalini Meditation:
“If you are doing the Kundalini Meditation, allow the shaking – don’t do it! Stand silently, feel it coming, and when your body starts a little trembling, help it, but don’t do it!” 1
Now the questions about what “non-doing” means can end. Here you have the opportunity to experience it for yourself. Then you “know” what it means, without any words. It is what it is. A knack, a quality… that you can experiment with in your daily life. From sleep to enlightenment, you can discover how those doors open.
The mind is so clever that it sees the danger ahead. Meditation? Is that No-mind?
You mean you are considering living without me being in charge! I beg your pardon. No way.
So, it turns “allowing the shaking” into a goal. Ok, says the mind, now you are talking. Goals I understand, like ambition, competition, rewards… that is my territory. We definitely want to be a great shaker! The best in the class. Add that to my CV in jiffy.
In this way the mind has slipped in by the back door and has turned the shaking back into a goal a “doing” – in the process making sure that the shaking can’t happen.
Now you are “trying” to shake, which is the exact opposite of allowing yourself to shake.
So, you are standing there, with no shaking happening, feeling very frustrated. So maybe you just go ahead and “do” the shaking. You just fake it – after all, Osho does say, “Help it” and I am only helping. And at least I won’t look like a noodle standing still while everyone else is shaking away.
But then, if you fake it and just “do” the shaking, you hit another roadblock:
“If you force, it will become an exercise, a bodily physical exercise. Then the shaking will be there, but just on the surface. It will not penetrate you. You will remain solid, stone-like, rock-like within.
“You will remain the manipulator, the doer, and the body will only be following. The body is not the question, you are the question.
“When I say shake, I mean your solidity, your rock-like being should shake to the very foundations, so it becomes liquid, fluid, melts, flows.” 1
Aha. Not so easy to fake that!
So, maybe you just “Stand silently” and wait till you “feel it coming.” Because it is true, he says to “help it,’ only “when your body starts a little trembling.”
This is tricky. How can I allow something that is not happening? What is missing?
A little hint.
In one sense, the mind and the body never meet. If you have an itch, it is happening now. You can’t have an itch tomorrow.
Just like you cannot be hungry yesterday. If you are hungry, it can only be now. So, you already know that all bodily experiences are in the present.
It happens that all the mind experiences are in the past or future. So, if you are totally in your body, as the instructions suggest, so you “become the shaking,” the mind cannot join you! It cannot continue to drive you mad with endless verbalization about the shaking.
So, just allow yourself to feel your body. The feet on the floor, the sound of the music, the sensation of your clothes against the skin, the breath going in and out, the legs with the knees unlocked, at ease, going nowhere. As the instructions say, “Let go everywhere,” relaxing….
Then you might even allow yourself to see how funny this is.
Every creature on the planet knows how to relax – except man.
Here we are, the smart species, going around in circles wondering why we are so uptight and unable to let go and just shake. Is that the reason we are the only species that knows how to laugh? – we are often so ridiculous.
Maybe, instead of being a “serious meditator” involved in something “very significant,” we could laugh at ourselves for a moment, and see this as a fun game that we would have loved to play as a child.
As Osho explains:
“Enjoy it, feel blissful about it, allow it, receive it, welcome it, but don’t will it.” 1
If there are kids around, they will show you in a second how to enjoy playing this game!
Have you heard about the little kid running across the room, and the adult says, “And where are you running to?” The kid stops and looks up. Confused by how an adult could ask such a dumb question. “Running to? I am just running.”
As you dissolve into the bodily sensations, freed from the mind, relaxation naturally happens. As you relax, and all “trying” stops, the shaking also naturally happens.
It is just like love:
“Just wait, and let your inner energy move, and follow that energy wherever it leads. It may take a little time, but when love comes it overtakes you. You are no longer there.
“Love is there but there is no lover. Love happens as an energy, but it has no ego within it.
“Then it is tremendous, then it is a great release. And then love becomes an ecstasy, and you know something that has been known to those who have come to the divine. You know a fragment of it, a drop of the ocean. You know a ray – and then the taste comes to you.” 1
Aha, so discovering this art of non-doing is the first step in being “no longer there.”
This first stage is also preparing the ground for the second stage:
“Shaking the body means letting the energy melt wherever it is repressed; letting the energy flow from where it is blocked.
“If you allow your body to shake rightly for fifteen minutes then all the repressed energy will begin to manifest and flow.” 2
After fifteen minutes, the music changes, and the second stage begins:
Dance … any way you feel, and let the whole body move as it wishes.
Your eyes may be open or closed.
Then Osho continues:
“The second stage is dancing. Dancing means the energy that has now spread everywhere gets transformed into bliss. Dance as if you are celebrating, as if something tremendous has happened, as if a light has descended into your life. Dance with joy because the more blissful you are, the more energy moves upward; the more energy moves upward, the more blissful you become.” 2
Just like in the first stage when we “become the shaking” and “shake to the very foundations,” the dancing also has to be total:
“Suppose you were intoxicated and started dancing as if you had drunk the entire tavern dry, would you dance like a miser? It wouldn’t happen. Dancing like a miser would mean dancing as if you have to do it: ‘What to do, I just got caught here…’ Or as if you are just observing, expecting that perhaps something will happen by dancing this way! No, that won’t work. Such lukewarm efforts won’t work. You need intense passion! Dance like a madman.” 2
Just like there is “no shaker,” now there is also no dancer either:
“At the highest peak of dancing, the dancer disappears into the dance – there is no dancer but only dance.
“That is the experience of meditation: when you dissolve yourself into existence, when the dewdrop slips into the ocean and becomes the ocean.” 3
And from that totality the energy moves upward:
“Without madness you cannot attain the ultimate. If you move with your mind, then you will remain where you are. You need to go a little beyond your mind. And when your whole energy becomes ecstatic, when it begins to flow upward… To be ecstatic means the energy is moving upward – because a feeling of joy and bliss is experienced once the energy has begun to flow vertically.” 2
About this totality, again Osho is very specific:
“In the meditations, don’t do them partially, don’t do them half-heartedly. Nothing will come out of it. Meditation is not mathematical. Don’t think, ‘If I do fifty percent, then at least fifty percent will be the outcome.’ No, zero will be the outcome.
“Only a one-hundred percent effort can bring you any results; less will not do.
“It is just like heating water. At a particular degree, a hundred degrees, it evaporates. Don’t think that at fifty degrees half will evaporate. It will not evaporate at all; it will just become lukewarm. I don’t want you to become lukewarm here. Be either hot or cold. If you are cold, then leave. No need to make any effort unnecessarily. Why tire yourself? If you are a hundred percent hot, be here and you will evaporate. I guarantee that; that’s absolutely certain.
“If you make a hundred percent effort, if you don’t withhold yourself, if you melt in the process completely and forget yourself, abandon yourself completely in it, the thing for which you have been hankering for lives together can happen. It can happen in a single moment – only a totality of abandonment is needed.” 4
Now you have lost me again. You say I have to shake to the “very foundations” and “dance like a madman.” And now that “Only a one-hundred percent effort can bring you any results.” But I thought I was meant to doing nothing with no goals!
Welcome to what the Paradoxical world of Zen. To what the Zen Masters have called, “effortless effort,” what the Chinese call wu-wei.
Osho explains it this way when answering an equally confused mind:
The other day you said that effort is dangerous, but hard work is needed in the meditations. For my German mind, effort equals hard work. Is there hard work without effort?
“The point is delicate. Effort is always half-hearted, effort is always partial. You are doing it because you don’t see any way without doing it that you can attain the result that you desire. If there was any way you would drop the effort and jump to the conclusion…. One is never totally in his effort, cannot be because the idea is of the future, the end result. Effort is future-oriented, result-oriented. One is doing it only for the sake of some future result, some profit, some greed, some good pay-off.
“That’s why Zen masters say effortless effort is needed. What do they mean by effortless effort? They say hard work is needed, but it should not be future-oriented. You should enjoy it not for some other goal; even if nothing is attained through it, it is beautiful in itself. And that is the hardest thing for the human mind to do. That’s why I call it hard work.
“The hardest thing is to do something for its own sake, to sing a song for its own sake, to meditate for its own sake, to love for its own sake.
That is the hardest thing for the human mind because mind is future-oriented. It says, ‘For its own sake? Then why? What is going to happen out of it?’” 5
As that little child says, “Running to? I am just running.”
Just shaking or dancing in the present moment for its own sake with no future orientation so that “the energy has begun to flow vertically.” By contrast with this experience of the vertical, the mind is always horizontal.
Moreover, you just discovered another gold mine. An experience of an insight from Osho that changes your life forever:
“Remember, whenever you will a thing you cannot enjoy it. They are reverse, opposites; they never meet.
“If you will a thing you cannot enjoy it, if you enjoy it you cannot will it.” 1
For example, Osho continues:
“You cannot will love. If you will, the whole beauty is lost, the whole thing becomes mechanical. You go through the whole ritual, but nothing happens. There is no ecstasy – it is something to be done and be finished. It never reaches to your center, it never shakes your foundations, it never becomes an inner dance. It is not a throbbing of your being, it is just an act on the periphery.
“Remember, love cannot be willed, and neither can meditation.” 1
In these 30 thirty minutes, we have experienced what non-doing means to the point there is “no shaker” and “no dancer” and we can “be absent” – the necessary precondition so that everything that is valuable in our lives can happen by itself.
As Osho explains this in relation just to dancing:
“Dance more and more, and remember to be lost in it, don’t hold back. Go wholeheartedly into it so that only dance remains and there is no dancer.
“Whenever that happens you have come to know the very secret of all meditations. Then you can use the same key in any other activity: cooking food or taking a shower or going for a walk. You can use the same key to unlock all the doors. It is a master key.” 6
The music changes again for the third stage:
Close your eyes and be still, sitting or standing…witnessing whatever is happening inside and out.
“Stop and either remain standing or sit down so that the energy has a total opportunity to flow. It is useful to sit, so that only the spine remains; the whole body disappears and only the spine remains. The energy moves upward through the spine and all the energy gathers in the spine.” 6
Then the fourth and final fifteen minutes:
Keeping your eyes closed, lie down and be still.
“Once you are alert, then the waiting.
“Waiting is meditation – waiting with full awareness.
“And then it comes, it descends on you, it surrounds you, it plays around you, it dances around you, it cleanses you, it purifies you – it transforms you.” 7
The talks that are excerpted in this article, and published, can be read in full by following these links:
- 1. Osho, Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Talk #2 – The Way Is Perfect
- 2. Osho, The Fabric of Life, Chapter 9
- 3. Osho, The Goose Is Out, Talk #7 – Only One Time: Now
- 4. Osho, The Supreme Doctrine, Talk # 1 – Toward the Awakening
- 5. Osho, Dang Dang Doko Dang, Talk #10 – Happiness Is Always Herenow
- 6. Osho, Dance ‘til the Stars Come Down from the Rafters, Talk #2
- 7. Osho, I Say Unto You, Vol. 2, Talk #6 – God as Father Is Dead