Osho on Meditation and Master Presence

Question – Beloved Osho, Sitting in your presence, meditation is really at its best. If asked why, i would say that it is because your blissful presence is contagious and somehow motivates me to be as total as possible. Beloved Osho, would you please explain again how it is possible to be in such a nice meditation when not being in your presence?

Osho – My presence has to be only a lesson. Once you have learned the art of opening, the art of being silent, it does not matter whether I am present or not. If you have really learned it, it will happen anywhere. It may be a little difficult in the beginning, but soon you will get the knack of it.

It is almost like swimming. The teacher who teaches swimming just gives you courage and trust, and is there so that nothing goes wrong. Just in three or four days’ time, one hour each day, you start swimming. And the moment you start swimming you are surprised — why didn’t you start it from the very beginning?There is nothing to it. It’s just that in the beginning you were not moving your arms artfully, it was haphazard. Just in three or four days you have learned to move your arms more smoothly, more harmoniously; now the teacher is not needed. Now you can go anywhere, for any distance, because the depth of the bottom does not matter; you are swimming on the surface. The depth can be one thousand feet, ten thousand feet, five miles deep; it does not matter, because you are always swimming on the surface.

And once you have learned… it has not been heard of in the whole history of humanity that anybody who has learned swimming has forgotten it. You may not swim for fifty years, and when again somebody pushes you into the swimming pool, you start swimming. You cannot say, “For fifty years I have not practiced” — it is not a question of practice at all. It is a knack: once you have known it, you have known it; there is no way not to know it anymore.

Meditation is also a knack. You are not to become attached to the presence of the master, because that will be learning something wrong. You have to learn how you are opening. Forget about the master; that is his business, to be present or not to be present. Your business is to see how you are opening, what happens in your opening, and then try on your own, when you are alone to see whether it can happen or not. It is bound to happen.

Maybe in the beginning you will feel that it is a little difficult; a certain attachment grows, unconsciously. But you cannot say that the teacher has to follow you everywhere, wherever you go swimming. That will not do. Then each swimmer will need one teacher; it will be too much. Each meditator will need one master with him; it will be too costly, and there is no need at all. You just have to see what is happening in you, and let the same happen when the master is not present.

Or, you can visualize. He will be present somewhere, a few miles away. Here, it is a few feet away. It is only a question of visualizing — just visualize that your master is a few feet away….

Space makes no difference, but you have to learn what happens in you so that you can repeat it in the absence of the master. Otherwise, one can become attached to things which were to help you… but now they will hinder you. The presence of the master was to help you; now it has become a hindrance — because the master is not there, so you cannot meditate.

Remember: no attachment should grow, no clinging should grow. They are all against your independence, your freedom, your individuality. And whatever is happening here can happen anywhere; it just needs a little understanding of how it happens here.

Just try. Even if you fail a few times, don’t be worried. It is a knack which will come to you. And once it happens without any support from outside — even the smallest support, such as the presence of the master — you will feel a great joy, because a great freedom has happened. Now there are no barriers for you. Wherever you are you can be in meditation, you can be in silence, you can be peaceful. Now you can carry your paradise within you. And unless that happens, a disciple has not matured.

Source – Osho Book “Beyond Enlightenment”

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