Osho on Empty Mind and Meditation

Osho – Without meditation one is bound to live in misery. One can cover it up, one can find a few consolations, one has to find a few consolations otherwise life would be intolerable. One has to remain occupied so that one does not feel the inner emptiness. And people find a thousand and one occupations just to keep themselves engaged. They are very much afraid to be left alone, to be left empty.

These are the people who have invented the proverb that an empty mind is the devil’s workshop. It is not so. The empty mind is the only door to god. The mind which is continuously occupied with thoughts is the devil’s workshop. Out of an empty mind no harm has ever happened. Adolf Hitler is not an empty mind, neither is Joseph Stalin, nor is Alexander the Great, nor Ivan the Terrible. These are people full of thoughts, great thoughts of changing the whole world, of bringing a revolution.

Buddha is an empty mind, Lao Tzu is an empty mind. And out of these empty people — Buddha, Lao Tzu, Basho — god has been experienced. They have been able to sing songs of joy. Their life is a festival, a festival of lights; their life is a continuum of celebration.

Meditation means making the mind empty, empty of all thoughts, discarding all thoughts, remembering that ‘I am not these thoughts,’ that ‘I am separate,’ that ‘I am just a watcher, a watcher on the hills, looking at the valley.’ Creating a distance between the thoughts and your awareness is the whole process of meditation.

The more distance there is, the better, because when the distance is great you cannot feed those thoughts and they start dying of their own accord. They need your co-operation, your continuous co-operation. And meditation means withdrawing your co-operation, you are not fighting with the thoughts, you are allowing them to move, to have their life, but you are no more co-operating, no more nourishing them, no more getting identified with them. And as you become unidentified, Just a watcher on the hills, they start dying.

They are no longer getting any feedback, they are no longer invited guests. They start turning away. A moment comes when the mind is utterly empty — and that is the moment when the heart explodes into songs, because songs need space and the mind is taking up the whole space with all kinds of junk and furniture, rotten furniture. But people are such that they call rotten furniture antique. They go on collecting antiques. The more rotten it is, the more old it is, the more valuable. And the mind is full of all kinds of nonsense — relevant, irrelevant, contradictory. Nothing has to be chosen out of the mind, all has to be categorically rejected: I am not it.

In the East we have defined meditation as a process of neti-neti. The word ‘neti-neti’ means neither this nor that; ‘I am neither this nor that.’ One goes on denying: “I am neither this nor that,’ and a moment comes when there is nothing to be denied any more. A vast emptiness surrounds you, infinite emptiness surrounds you. Only that much emptiness, that much space, can help the heart to open up for the first time. The heart needs infinite space, it needs the whole Sky, only then is there bliss and there is singing and there is dancing. And that singing, that dancing, that blissful state, is the ultimate goal of sannyas.

Source – Osho Book “I Am Not As Thunk As You Drink I Am”

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