For a few years we have used as a tag-line for Osho’s talks the phrase ‘silence shared in words’, indicating toward something that appears at first glance to be a contradiction, but in fact can help to understand that these talks are something very different from intellectual statements, academic lectures, or anything else that our minds are bombarded with all the time. Osho has often shared that his actual message is a message of silence and that his talks are an opportunity for us to share in this experience.
Perhaps only now in the 21st Century is it becoming so obvious, as more and more people realize that we actually have no ‘time-out’ anymore, that there is almost no time in our busy lives where we can ‘switch off’ and recover. Osho created his daily meditation events by speaking – so that we can be silent. One would think that could also happen while watching TV or a sunset, or listening to the radio or to an audiobook. Perhaps it could, but it is very unlikely from experience. We all know how quickly the mind and its inner chatter can drag us into some past memory or future imagination – away from whatever is happening now.
Many people who consciously look for an experience of silence have realized that it is easier to become silent while listening to Osho than in any other meditation. The moments of silence he creates in the flow of his talking allow us to get a glimpse of what meditation can be. Perhaps Osho could envision this time, and created these talks not only for his audience at the time but for all of us today. The first obvious impression is that Osho speaks slowly – absolutely against any current trends in contemporary media or in our own ways of communication. Osho says that “my speaking is really one of my devices for meditation” … and his long-term view becomes clear when he says “and it is not only here, but far away… anywhere in the world where people will be listening to the video or to the audio, they will come to the same silence.” He has himself given the instructions, the ‘how-to’ for listening to an OSHO Talk:
“My success is not to convince you, my success is to give you a real taste so that you can become confident that meditation is not a fiction, that the state of no-mind is not just a philosophical idea, that it is a reality; that you are capable of it and that it does not need any special qualifications.
“As you listen to music, listen to me that way. Don’t listen to me as you listen to a philosopher; listen to me as you listen to the birds. Listen to me as you listen to a waterfall. Listen to me as you listen to the wind blowing through the pines. Listen to me, not through the discursive mind, but through the participant heart.
“Put the mind aside. While listening to me, don’t try to understand, just listen silently. Don’t figure out whether what I am saying is true or not true. Don’t be bothered with its truth or untruth. I am not asking you to believe in it, so there is no need to think about its truth or untruth.
“Listen to me just as you listen to the birds singing or the wind passing through the pine trees or the sound of running water. Modern technology and the Internet are wonderful tools today, which allow us to experiment with these talks that were mostly recorded in a beautiful open-air auditorium, surrounded by bamboos and the sound of the birds, the wind and rain, and the faraway sound of the morning train from Pune to Mumbai … all are part of the experience.”1
Osho’s talks were first made available by Osho International Foundation through tapes and CDs, but now the digital age has really opened new doors for many more people around the globe to share in this experience.
Today these talks are not only published by the Foundation OSHO.com, but also published and distributed by big media companies including Amazon’s audio publishing entity AUDIBLE.com and Apple’s iTUNES platform. What started decades ago with a single person – Osho speaking in India, searching for people who are interested to listen to his message of silence, is now in the 21st Century becoming a meditation tool for a world-wide audience. Osho talked to every possible kind of mind, to every type of conditioning to create a door for everybody to enter into meditation. One can start with ‘OSHO Singles’, individual talks in which Osho speaks about a specific issue or subject, or start directly with a full series of ‘OSHO Talks’, given over consecutive days, which can be amount to 15 hours or even 30 hours and allow everybody to have a full experience of what Osho offered to the world.
By Amrit Sadhanna
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1 Osho, The Invitation, Talk #14 – Silence Is the Right Soil