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Post  pravin kumar Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:24 am

The Path of Meditation
When Alexander was returning from India he wanted to take a sannyasin back with him so that he could show people in Greece what an Indian sannyasin looks like. There were many sannyasins who were ready and eager to go. Who wouldn't want to go when Alexander was inviting and greeting them with royal honours? But Alexander did not want to take just anyone who was eager, because one who was eager would not be a true sannyasin. He was looking for a sannyasin who had some authenticity.

When he was crossing the border regions, he found out about one particular sannyasin. People told him, "There is a sannyasin who lives on the bank of the river in the forest. You should take him with you."

He went there. First he sent his soldiers to bring the sannyasin to him. The soldiers went to the sannyasin and said, "You are fortunate. Thousands of other sannyasins have begged Alexander to take them but he did not choose any of them. Now the great Alexander has showered his favor on you and he wants you to go with him. You will be taken to Greece in royal style."

The sannyasin said, "Nobody has the power or the courage to force a sannyasin to go anywhere. "

The soldiers were shocked. They were the soldiers of the mighty Alexander, and a naked sannyasin dared to talk to them like this? They said, "Don't say that again, or you will lose your life."

But the sannyasin said, "Nobody can take away a life that I have already dropped on my own. Go and tell your Alexaner that his power may conquer everything, but it cannot conquer those who have already conquered themselves."

Alexander was amazed. The words were strange, but significant too because he felt that he had found the sannyasin that he had been searching for. Alexander himself went, naked sword in hand, and he told the sannyasin, "If you don't come, I will cut off your head."

And the sannyasin answered, "Do it. And just as you will see that you have cut the head off this body, I also will see that the head has been cut off the body. I will also see it, I will also be watching this happening. But you will not be able to kill me, because I am the watcher." And he went on, "I also will see that the head has been cut off -- so don't be under the wrong impression that you can hurt me in some way. I am beyond the point where anyone can hurt me."

This is why Krishna has said, "That which fire cannot burn, which an arrow cannot pierce, which a sword cannot cut, that is-ness, that being is within us. The integrated being which fire cannot burn and an arrow cannot penetrate is within us."

The awareness of that being and the dropping of the identification with the body, the dropping of the feeling that you are the body, is bodilessness. But you will have to do something to drop the identification. You will have to learn how to drop it. And the more pure the body is, the more easy it will be to drop the identification with the body. The more the body is in a state of purity, the more quickly you can become aware that you are not the body. This is why body purity is the basis and bodilessness is its ultimate fruit.

How can you learnt hat you are not the body? You will have to experience it. If standing, sitting, sleeping and waking you try to remember, if there is a little right-mindfulness, if there is a little awareness of the functions of the body, you will have taken the first step towards creating emptiness.

When you are walking along a path, look deeply inside yourself and you will see that there is someone in there who is not walking. You are walking, your hands and feet are moving, but there is something within you which is not walking at all, which is just watching you walk.

When you have some pain in your hand or foot, when you have hurt your foot, then look inside with awarenesss -- are you hurt, or is it that your body is hurt and you are getting identified with the pain? When there is some pain in the body become aware if the pain is happening to you or whether you are simply witnessing the pain, whether you are a witness to the pain.

When you feel hungry, look with awareness to see if you are hungry, or your body is hungry and you are simply witnessing this. And when there is happiness, also watch and feel where this happiness is actually happening.

With all that is happening in your life, while you are standing, sitting, walking, sleeping and walking, what needs to be remembered is to be aware to make a constant effort to see where things are actuallly happening. Are they actuallly happening to you or are you just a witness?

Your habit of identification is deep. You may even start to cry while you are watching a movie or a play, you may start to laugh. When the lights in the theater come on you secretly wipe away your tears so that nobody sees them. You cried, you became identified with the movie. You became identified with the hero, the character -- something painful may have happened to him, and you identified with this pain and started to cry.

A mind which thinks that whatever is happening to the body is happening to you is in misery and pain. And there is onlly one cause for all your misery , and that is your identification with the body. And there is also only one cause for happiness, and that is that your identification with the body breaks and you become aware that you are not the body.

For that, right - rememberance is needed. Right rememberance of the activities of the body, right-awareness, right-observation of the activities of the body are needed. It is a process: bodilessness will happen through right-observation of the body.

It is necessary to observe the body. When you go to bed at night, it is important to be aware that your body is going to bed, not you. And in the morning when you get out of bed, it is important to be aware that your body is getting out of bed, not you. It was not you that has slept, it was only your body that slept. When you eat, be aware that your body is eating, and when you wear clothes be aware that the clothes only cover the body, not you. Then when somebody hurts you, with this awareness you will be able to remember that the body is being hurt, not you. In this way, with constant reminders, at some point there will be an explosion and the identification will be broken.

Do you know that when you are dreaming you are not aware of your body? And do you know that when you are in deep sleep you remain unaware of your body? Do you remember your face? The deeper you go within yourself, the more you forget your body. In a dream you are not aware of your body; and in very deep sleep, in a state of unconsciousness, you are not aware of the body at all. When consciousness starts returning, your identification with the body gradually starts to return. In the morning, when you suddenly wake up, look inside, and you will clearly be able to see that your identification with the body is also waking up.

There is an experiment to break this identification with the body. If you go on doing it once or twice a month, it will help you to break the identification. Now try to uderstand this experiment.

Relax the body in the same way as we did for the night meditation: by making the room dark, giving suggestions to each chakra, relaxing the body, and entering into meditation. When the body is relaxed -- when your breathing has become relaxed and your being has becomes silent -- feel as if you have died. And become aware within yourself, since you are dead, which of your loved ones are gathering around you. Watch their images gathering around you -- what they do, which of them cries, who screams, who grieves -- watch them with great clarity; they will be visible to you.

Then see that all the people from the neighborhood, the locality, as well as all your loved onces have gathered and tied your dead body onto the bier. Watch that also. See the people carrying the bier, and let it reach the cremation ground; then let them put it on the funeral pyre.

Watch all this. All this is imagination, but if you experiment with all this in your imagination you will be able to see it very clearly. And then see that they have put your dead body on the funeral pyre; the flames have risen and your dead body has disappeared.

When your imagination reaches the point where the dead body has disappeared and the smoke has risen into the sky, the flames have disappeared into the air and only ashes are left, immediatelly, with total awareness, look inside yourself at what is happening. At that moment you will suddenly find that you are not the body; at that moment the identification will be totally broken.

After doing this experiment many times, when you get up after doing it, when you walk, when you talk, you will know that you are not the body. We have called this state the bodiless state. Someone who comes to know himself through this process becomes bodiless.

If you do this all the time, for twenty-four hours a day - walking, getting up, sitting down, talking and remaining aware that you are not the body -- then the body will be just an emptiness. And to know that you are not the body is rare. It is absolutely rare, nothing is more precious than this. To become disidentified with the body is absolutely rare.

After your body, your thoughts and your emotions have been purified, if you do this experiment with bodilessness, it will happen. And then many changes will start to happen in your life. All your mistakes, all your unconscious acts are connected to the body. You have not made one mistake or done one wrong act which was not connected to the body. And if you become aware that you are not the body, there is no longer any possibility for misery in your life.

Then if somebody stabs you with a sword you will see that he has cut your body with the sword, and you will be aware that nothing has happened to you. You will remain untouched. At that moment you will be like a lotus leaf in the water. The moment you become aware of your bodilessness your life will become peaceful, undisturbed. Then any outside events, any thunder or storms will not touch you because they can touch only the body. Their impact is only on the body; they affect only the body. But you think, mistakenly, that the impact is on you -- this is why you suffer and feel pain or happiness.

This is the first stage of spiritual discipline: you learn to become free from the body. It is not difficult to learn, and those who make the effort will definitely experience it.

The second element of spiritual discipline is freedom from thoughts. Just as I said that bodilessness happens through the right-observation of the body, freedom from thoughts happens through the right observatin of your thoughts. The basic element of spiritual discipline is right-observation. In these three stages you have to look with right-awareness and right-observation at the body, the mind and the emotions.

Become an observer of the currents of thought that flow through your consciosness. Just like someone sitting by the side of a river watching the river flow by, sit by the side of your mind and watch. Or just as someone sits in the forest and watches a line of birds flying by, just sit and watch. Or the way someone watches the rainy sky and the moving clouds, you just watch the clouds of thoughts moving in the sky of your mind. The flying birds of thoughts, the flowing river of thoughts ...... in the same way, silently standing on the bank, you simply sit and watch. It is the same as if you are sitting on the bank, watching the thoughts flowing by. Don't do anything, don't interfere, don't stop them in any way. Don't repress in any way. If there is a thought coming don't stop it, if it is not coming don't try to force it to come. You are simply to be an observer.

In that simple observation you will see and experience that your thoughts and you are separate -- because you can see that the one who is watching the thoughts is separate from the thoughts, different from them. And as you become aware of this, a strange peace will envelop you because you will not have any more worries will not be yours. You can be in the midstof many problems but the problems will not be yours. You can be surrounded by the thoughts but you will not be the thoughts.

And if you become aware that you are not your thoughts, the life of these thoughts will begin to grow weaker, they will begin to become more and more lifeless. The power of your thoughts lies in the fact that you think they are yours. When you are argying with someone you say, "My thought is ...." No thought is yours. All thoughts are different from you, separate from you. You must be a witness to them.

I will tell you a story so that you understand this more deeply. It happened to Buddha.......

A prince had been initiated, and on the very first day he went to beg for alms. He begged for food at a door where Buddha had told him to go. He received the food, ate and returned. But when he went back he said to Buddha, "Forgive me, but I will not be able to go there again."

Buddha asked, "What happened?"

He said, "When I went, I had to go two miles and on the way I thought of the food I would like to eat. And when I got to the door, the shravika, a lay follower of Buddha had prepared this very food. I was surprised. Still, I thought it was a coincidence. But then it happened that when I sat down to eat, the thought came to my mind that when I was at home I used to rest for a few minutes every day. And I thought: who will ask me now if I would like to rest today? And just as I was thinking this, the shravika said, 'Brother, if you would stay for a while after you have eaten and rest, I would be obliged and grateful, and my house would be purified.'

"I was really surprised -- but then again I thought it must be a coincidence that the thought came to my mind and she also mentioned it. So I lay down and was about to rest when the thought came to my mind: today I have no bed of my own and no shelter of my own; today I am under someone else's roof, lying on someone else's mat. And at that moment the shravika said from behind me, 'Oh monk, the bed is neiher yours nor mine; and the shelter is neither yours nor mind.' Then I became afraid.

"It was difficult to believe that these coincidences could happen again and again, so I said to the shravika, 'Do my thoughts reach you? Are you aware of the thought/waves arising in me?' And the shravika answered, 'Meditating continuously, my thoughts have disappeared, and now I can see other people's thoughts.' Then I got really scared and came running here to you. Plese forgive, but I will not be able to go there again tomorrow."

Buddha asked, "But why not?"

And he answered, "Because ..... how can I say it? Forgive me, just please don't ask me to go there again."

But Buddha insisted so he had to tell him: "Seeing this beautiful woman, soome lustful thoughts arose in me -- and she must also have been able to read these thoughts. Now how can I face her? How will I be able to stand at her door? I cannot go there again."

But Buddha said, "You will simply have to go there. It is part of your meditation. Onlly in this way you will become aware of your thoughts."

He was helpless ...... he had to go there the next day. But the next day it was not the same man who went there. The first time he had walked along the path asleep: he had not been aware of what thoughts were going through his mind. The next day he went with awareness, because now there was fear. He went there consciously. And when he arrived at her door, he waited for a moment before climbing the steps. He made himself aware and he focussed his awareness inwardly. Buddha had said, "Just look inside and don't do anything -- simply be aware that no thought is unseen. Simply be aware that no thought passes you without your seeing it."

He climbed up the steps, watching within himself. He could almost see his breathing. He could even see the movement of his hands and feet. And as he ate, he was aware of each and every bite. It was as if someone else was eating the food and he was simply watching.

When you start to watch yourself there will be two currents within you: one which is doing and one which is only watching. There will be two parts within you: one is the doer and one is only a watcher.

He was eating his food, yet there was one person eating the food and someone else watching. In India we say -- and all the people in the world who have known say -- "The one who is watching is you, and the one who is doing is not you."

He watched. He was surprised. He returned to Buddha dancing and he said to him, "This is great. I have discovered something. I have had two experiences: one experience is that when I am totally aware, thoughts stop. When I look inside with total awareness, thoughts stop. The second experience is that when the thoughts stop I see that the doer is different from the watcher."

Buddha said, "That is the key. And the one who finds it has found everything."

The above piece is taken from "The Path of Meditation" By Osho.

pravin kumar

Posts : 5187
Join date : 2010-09-30
Age : 76
Location : Bombay

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