Dhammapada

The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 05 ~ Osho
12 April 2012 - 3 May 2012 at Wellbeing Meditation Kingston and New Malden 

"I am using words just to create silent gaps. The words are secondary; the silences between those words are primary. This is simply a device to give you a glimpse of meditation. And once you know that it is possible for you, you have traveled far in the direction of your own being." 

Osho explains that these sutras are concerned with aspects of man’s unawareness, and that Buddha’s whole message is concerned with the raising of our consciousness. These sutras were compiled by Buddha’s disciples to contain the essence of all his teachings. This was the last turning of the Wheel of Dharma, 2,500 years ago. At the beginning of his commentaries on these sutras, Osho says he is setting the Wheel of Dharma in motion again. 

Part 1 - The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 5
Chapter #1: The world is on fire. 11 October 1979 am in Buddha Hall


12 April 2012 - Wellbeing Meditation Kingston and New Malden 

THE WORLD IS ON FIRE:
AND ARE YOU LAUGHING?
YOU ARE DEEP IN THE DARK.
WILL YOU NOT ASK FOR LIGHT?

The most fundamental question before Gautama the Buddha was, "What is wisdom?" And the same is true for everyone. Down the ages the sages have been asking, "What is wisdom?" If it can be answered by you, authentically rooted in your own experience, it brings a transformation of life. You can repeat the definitions of wisdom given by others, but they won't help you. You will be repeating them without understanding them, and that is one of the pitfalls to be avoided on the path. Never repeat what you have not experienced yourself. Avoid knowledge, only then can you grow in wisdom.

Knowledge is something borrowed from others, wisdom grows in you. Wisdom is inner, knowledge outer. Knowledge comes from the outside, clings to your surface, gives you great pride and keeps you closed, far far away from understanding. Understanding cannot be studied; nobody can teach it to you. You have to be a light unto yourself. You have to seek and search within your own being, because it is already there at the very core. If you dive deep you will find it. You will have to learn how to dive within yourself -- not in the scriptures, but within your own existence.

The taste of your own existence is wisdom. Wisdom is experience, not information. Buddha renounced the world; it is reported in all the scriptures, but the report is not given in the true context. It is reported that the Buddha renounced the world because he was against the world -- because unless you renounce the world you cannot gain the eternal, the other world, the other shore. This is giving a totally false interpretation to Buddha's great renunciation.
He certainly renounced the world, but not to gain anything in the other. If there is any motive in your renunciation, it is not radical enough, it is not a revolution. It is again the same old business, the same old bargaining mind; it is based in desire and desire is the world. The world does not consist of things, the world consists of motives, desires, ambitions.

If you renounce the world to gain something, whatsoever it is -- nirvana, enlightenment, moksha, freedom, truth or God, whatsoever it is -- if you renounce the world to gain something, it is not renunciation. Hence I will not say that Buddha renounced the world to attain something. The very idea of attaining something IS the world. The very idea of attaining something is to live in imagination, is to live in the future. And a man of understanding lives in the present, not in the future. A man of understanding does not really renounce the world -- the world simply falls from him, the world simply becomes irrelevant; it loses meaning. His insight is such that he can see through and through the falsity of all desire -- not to attain something, but seeing the futility of desire, desiring ceases. That is true renunciation.

That's what Buddha did. In fact to say he did it is not right. Language creates so many problems. When you start talking about the buddhas, language is not an adequate vehicle; it becomes very inadequate. To say Buddha renounced the world is not exactly the truth. It will be better if we say the world disappeared from his vision. It was not an act but a happening. When he became aware, alert, watchful, a witness, when he saw the absurdity of desire, desire ceased on its own. It is not an act. How can you go on desiring if you see the absurdity of it? You will not try to pass through a wall. Seeing that it is a wall, you will not try to pass through it. If you are still trying to pass through a wall, hitting it hard with your head, that simply shows your eyes are closed. And you are not seeing it as a wall -- somewhere you are imagining that it is a door. You are hoping to get through it. The moment you see it as a wall the transformation has happened.

To understand is enough -- there is no need to practice it. People practice only because they don't understand. Many come to me and ask, "Give us a certain discipline to practice." For centuries they have been given disciplines to practice. I give you no discipline -- because you can practice a discipline, you can become very skillful, you can become very artful, crafty; still deep down you will remain the same person, because it is not a question of practicing a discipline.

The question is of SEEING, the question is of understanding your life, its unconscious motives. The question is to understand the darkness in which you are living. And the miracle is that if you can understand the darkness in which you are living, suddenly there is light, because understanding is light.
Buddha has been very much misunderstood, not only by his enemies but by his friends too -- in fact by friends more than by enemies. The enemies can be forgiven, but the friends cannot be forgiven. 

Millions have followed him for these twenty-five centuries with a wrong understanding. Their very first step is wrong. The Buddhist monk has not been able to understand what Buddha is really pointing at. He has completely forgotten the moon which the finger of Buddha is pointing at. He is clinging to the finger, he is worshipping the finger, he has become obsessed with the finger. He has completely forgotten that the finger is only a means to point at the moon. Forget the finger and look at the moon. You cannot look at the moon if you cannot forget the finger.

Part 2 - The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 5
19 April 2012 - Wellbeing Meditation Kingston and New Malden

Thousands and thousands of commentaries have been written on these beautiful sutras. But if the first step is wrong then everything goes wrong. The first wrong step all the commentaries have taken is saying that Buddha renounced the world. It is not true. The world simply fell; it ceased to have any meaning for him. The night he moved away from his palace to the mountains, when he was crossing the boundary of his kingdom, his charioteer tried to persuade him, tried to convince him to go back to the palace.

The charioteer was an old man, he had known Buddha from his very childhood; he was almost of the same age as Buddha's father. He said, "What are you doing? This is sheer madness. Have you gone insane or what? Look back!" It was a full-moon night and his marble palace was looking so beautiful. In the full moon the white marble of his palace was a joy to see. People used to come from faraway places just to have a glimpse of Buddha's palace in the full moon, just as people go to see the Taj Mahal. White marble has a tremendous beauty when the moon is full. There is some synchronicity between the full moon and white marble, a certain harmony, a rhythm, a communion. The charioteer said, "Look back at least once at your beautiful palace. Nobody has such a beautiful palace."

Buddha looked back and told the old man, "I don't see any palace there but only great fire. The palace is on fire, only flames. Simply leave me and go back; if you see the palace, go back to the palace. I don't see any palace there -- because death is arriving every moment, and I don't see any palace there because all palaces disappear sooner or later. In this world everything is momentary and I am in search of the eternal. Seeing the momentariness of this world I can no longer befool myself." These are his exact words, "I cannot befool myself anymore." Not that he is renouncing the world! What can he do? If you see something as rubbish, if you see that the stones that you have carried all along are not real diamonds, what are you going to do with them? It will not need great courage to drop them, to throw them away; it will not need great intelligence to get rid of them. They will immediately fall from your hands. You were not clinging to those stones but to the idea that they were diamonds. You were clinging to your fallacy, your illusion.

Buddha has not renounced the world, he has renounced his illusions about it. And that too is a happening, not an act. When renunciation comes as a happening it has a tremendous beauty, because there is no motive in it. It is not a means to gain something else. It is total. You are finished with desiring, you are finished with future, you are finished with power, money, prestige, because you have seen the futility of it all. Seeing is transformation. Remember this as the very fundamental; then these sutras will have a totally different meaning to you. The meaning depends on the context. If you place these sutras in a wrong context they will have a different meaning, and that's what has happened to Buddha. I repeat: he has been misunderstood more than anybody else in the world. And the reason is that he is one of the most profound masters of the world. His insight is so deep that it is bound to be misunderstood.

Jesus speaks to the common masses in parables, in simple language. He is not a philosopher; he is not very educated or cultured either. He is a son of the earth. He had been working for years with his father as a carpenter -- carrying wood from the forest, cutting wood, helping the old man. Buddha is a totally different kind of person. He is not a son of the earth, he is a prince. He has never mixed with the crowds, he does not know their language. He speaks a language which can be understood only by the very sophisticated. He tried hard to bring it to the level of the masses, but it is almost impossible. And it is not only a question of language either. Jesus talks about prayer, which is simple to understand, because prayer is a duality and the whole world consists of dualities. 

Prayer is a duality because it is a dialogue between you and an imaginary God, but still a dialogue. In prayer you are again desiring, asking to be forgiven for your sins, to be rewarded. Your prayer is a demand; you are a beggar when you are praying. And the prayer is based on the idea of God, and God is nothing but a projection of the human mind. God is anthropocentric. The Bible says God created man in his own image. The truth is just the contrary: man has created God in his own image. Your God simply represents you, your ambitions, your ideals. Your God is a projection of your mind. It is easy to talk about God, and it is easy to be understood when you talk about God; it is easy to talk about prayer, and easy to be understood when you talk about prayer, because everybody is living on that plane.

Buddha talks about meditation, not about prayer. Prayer has no place in his vision. Buddha never talks about God because he knows perfectly well that God has been manufactured by man either out of fear or out of greed; that God is the greatest desire of man and it is because of God that man remains in bondage, never becomes a light unto himself, always remains a beggar, dependent, a slave. Buddha wants you to become emperors, not beggars. He wants you to be free of all projections -- God, paradise, the other world, all are included in your projections. Buddha wants you to get rid of mind itself, because that is what meditation is all about: entering into the world of no-mind. This is something very subtle, of immense depth; it is not easy to be understood.

Once Buddha was gone, great misunderstanding arose around him. The day he died his followers became divided into thirty-six sects. And what was the reason for their division, and so soon? The reason was that everybody was trying to impose his interpretation on Buddha, and of course they all had their own interpretations. I am not interpreting Buddha at all because I am not a Buddhist, I am not a follower. I have experienced the same truth as Gautama the Buddha, so when I am speaking on Buddha it is as if I am speaking on myself. It is not a commentary, it is not an interpretation. Buddha is just an excuse to speak to you, a beautiful excuse to communicate my own realization to you. Let it be remembered that it is my own experience that I am talking about. I am using Buddha as a peg to hang my own understanding and experience on. And I love the man, I am in immense love with this man, because nobody else has ever touched such depths and such heights as Gautama the Buddha. He remains the Everest, the highest peak human consciousness has ever reached.

Be very meditative while you are listening to these sutras; that is the only way to understand them. Not analysis, not thinking, not a logical approach, but a meditative silent listening, JUST listening. And truth has a mystery about it: if you can listen silently you will see whether it is true or not, it will be a vision. Immediately. It will strike your heart if it is truth, something will start vibrating in your heart, your heart will immediately respond. It is not a question of the mind. When you are listening meditatively you are not listening from the mind at all. Of course the words are very ancient -- twenty-five centuries have passed -- Buddha speaks in the language of his day. Don't be deceived by the language, don't be distracted by his language. It is natural because there is a gap of twenty-five centuries between you and him. He can't speak the language that you understand. That's why I am talking about him, on him -- to give you a new version, a twentieth-century version of the same experience, of the same understanding, of the same transformation.

Part 3 - The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 5
26 April 2012 - Wellbeing Meditation Kingston and New Malden

The first sutra:
THE WORLD IS ON FIRE....

What does Buddha mean by fire? He means anguish. What Soren Kierkegaard means by anguish, anxiety, despair, misery, that's what Buddha means by fire. It is a symbol. Everybody is on fire because everybody is divided, split, schizophrenic. Everybody is on fire because there is great anxiety in the world; the anxiety of "whether I am going to make it this time or not." There is great anguish in every heart -- the anguish of not knowing oneself, the anguish of not knowing from where we are coming and to where we are going, and who we are and what this life is all about. What is the meaning of life? -- this is our anguish, our agony.

Life seems to be so futile, so utterly meaningless, a mechanical repetition. You go on doing the same things again and again -- for what? The anguish is that man feels very accidental; there seems to be no significance. And man cannot live without experiencing some significance, without experiencing that he contributes something meaningful to the world, that he is needed by existence, that he is not just a useless phenomenon, that he is not accidental, that he is required, that he is fulfilling something tremendously significant. Unless one comes to feel it, one remains on fire. The existentialist thinkers have made many words well-known. One of those words is 'anguish'; anguish is spiritual agony. It is not that everybody feels it; people are so dull, so stupid, so mediocre. Then they will not feel the anguish, they will go on doing small things their whole lives and they will die. They will live and they will die not knowing what life really was.

In fact when people are dying they become aware for the first time that they have been alive; in contrast to death they become alert: "I have missed an opportunity." That is the pain of death. It has nothing to do with death directly but only indirectly. When one is dying one feels great pain; the pain has nothing to do with death. The pain is: "I was alive and now all is finished and I could not do anything meaningful. I was not creative, I was not conscious, I lived mechanically, I lived like a somnambulist, a sleepwalker." The mediocre mind goes on living without being worried. He seems to be happier than the intelligent person; he laughs, he goes to the club and to the movies, he has a thousand and one occupations, and he is very busy without any business. The more intelligent you are, the more sensitive you are, the more you will feel that this life -- the way you are living it -- is not the right way, is not the right life; something is wrong in it.

The unintelligent person lives like driftwood; he becomes so much concerned with sightseeing that he forgets all about the ultimate, he forgets all about the goal, he forgets all about the journey. He becomes too absorbed in sightseeing. He is curious but his curiosity is superfluous. He never inquires, because inquiry needs guts, inquiry is risky. Inquiry means you will be facing great problems, you will be coming across ultimate problems, and who knows whether you will be able to solve them or not? He remains only curious. The curious person is the stupid person; his curiosity keeps him occupied, his curiosity keeps him engaged, so he never becomes aware of the real problems. 

Marty and his wife Louise sat at the bar of a Chicago hotel. Marty pointed to a striking blonde sitting at the other end and said, "That's a hooker."
"I don't believe it," said Louise.
"I will show you," said Marty. He walked over and chatted with the blonde -- five minutes later they were in his room.
"How much?" asked Marty.
"Fifty bucks."
"I will give you twenty."
"Forget it," said the prostitute as she walked out the door.
A few minutes later Marty rejoined his spouse at the bar. The call girl walked over and tapped him on the shoulder. "You see," she said, "that's what you get for twenty dollars."

The stupid mind remains curious about such things, about others -- who is who, and they never ask, "Who am I?" They never ask the real question for the simple reason that the real question will take them on an arduous journey. They may have to drop many many things on the way: their prejudices, their ideologies, their philosophies, their religions, their churches -- because if you really want to know who you are, you have to drop being a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan, you have to drop being a communist or a fascist. If you really want to know who you are you have to forget all about your being white or black, Indian or American, Chinese or Japanese, because these are just accidental things. They don't constitute your essence.

Your soul is neither Christian nor Hindu nor Mohammedan; your soul is not even male or female. Your innermost center is beyond all concepts. All that has been told to you, all that has become your identity, has to be dropped. To raise the real question means to pass through an identity crisis; you will have to forget all about what you think you are. And there is going to be an interval, a gap when you will not know who you are -- and that is a painful experience.

The Zen people say: Before one meditates, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers. When one goes deep in meditation, mountains are no longer mountains and rivers are no longer rivers. That is a great crisis when mountains are no longer mountains and rivers are no longer rivers. You are passing through an identity crisis. The old is lost and the new has not been found. You have left the old shore and the new shore is not even visible. And the Zen people say: When the meditation is complete, when you have entered into no-mind, mountains are again mountains and rivers are again rivers; of course on a totally different plane, but things are again things. Everything settles again, crystallizes again, but now with a difference. First others had told you that mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers, now YOU know -- and that makes the real difference. Information is never transformation.

Part 4 - The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 5
3 May 2012 - Wellbeing Meditation Kingston and New Malden

Buddha says: 
THE WORLD IS ON FIRE! 

Fortunate are those who can understand it, not only intellectually but existentially. Can't you see your life is nothing but anguish? Now there are two ways to get rid of this anguish, this fire; one is to become so involved in meaningless things that you can forget your anguish, so that the anguish cannot raise its head because you are so occupied: the whole day occupied with money, power, prestige, running after shadows, and when you come back home you are so utterly tired that you fall asleep. And then too you remain engaged in your dreams. Dreams are nothing but reflections of your day; the same game continues in your sleep. 

People pass their whole lives in this way. People cannot sit silently even for a few minutes. And the whole Buddhist approach is that unless you are capable of sitting silently for hours together, doing nothing, just being, you will never know who you are and you will never go beyond your anguish. So the first way is to become occupied, involved in anything, whatsoever it is, the only purpose being that you can keep the ultimate question of your life repressed. There is no time. 

People come to me, I tell them to meditate. They say, "But we don't have any time." And these are the same people who are sitting for hours in the movies and they have time. And these are the same people who go to the Rotary Club and just go on doing stupid things. These are the same people whom you will find in the hotels, at football matches; these are the same people who will be playing cards and chess, and if you ask them they will say, "We are playing just to kill time." Time is killing you and you think you are killing time. Nobody has ever been able to kill time: time kills everybody. 

And when you tell them to meditate the immediate response is, "But where is the time to meditate?" And it is not that they are consciously saying it; it is a very unconscious reaction. It is not that they are deceiving, they are deceived. It is not that they are just trying to deceive you by saying, "I don't have any time," they really feel, they think, that they don't have any time. 

THE WORLD IS ON FIRE: 
AND ARE YOU LAUGHING? 
The world is on fire and you are playing cards?... and you are playing chess? The world is on fire and you are reading a detective novel? The world is on fire and you are gossiping? The world is on fire and you are going to a movie? And remember YOU ARE the world Buddha is talking about. 

But sometimes it happens... Soren Kierkegaard has a beautiful parable. He says: once in a circus it happened that suddenly the tent of the circus started burning. Somebody may have thrown a lit cigarette or... nobody knows what happened but the tent was on fire. The clown of the circus came to announce it; he announced that "The tent is on fire!" and people laughed. They thought, "He is playing a trick on us." And they clapped and applauded the clown and the clown was shocked. He said, "I'm not joking. The tent IS on fire." And people clapped more and laughed more. The clown was at a loss as to what to do! He started beating his chest and saying, "Believe me! THE TENT IS ON FIRE, YOU ARE IN DANGER!" But nobody believed him; people continued laughing. And many were burned. 

This is not a parable: this is reality. Buddhas have been calling to you that the world is on fire, but you think they may be just taking things too seriously. "My beautiful foxy lady," whispered the suave dude, "you are the only chick for me. I dig you, I am crazy about you, I am nuts about you. I can't make it through the night without your love." "Hey, wait a minute," protested the bashful girl. "I don't want to get serious." "Hell, baby," he queried, "who's serious?" 

Nobody seems to be serious. Everybody is clowning, everybody is laughing -- or at least pretending to laugh, at least pretending to be happy, at least bragging about his pleasures, the joys of life, and maybe not only deceiving others but being deceived by his own bragging. One may start believing in one's own lies: then they start appearing almost like truths. Buddha is saying: 

ARE YOU LAUGHING? 
AND THE WORLD IS ON FIRE! 

Certainly it shows only one thing: 
YOU ARE DEEP IN THE DARK. 
WILL YOU NOT ASK FOR LIGHT? 

This is ancient language. Now, since Sigmund Freud, we can translate darkness as unconsciousness and light as consciousness. That will be easier to understand, because when you talk about darkness and light it looks poetic, and Buddha is very scientific though he is full of poetry. But his poetry is not mere poetry, it has a great science in it, great alchemy in it. His poetry is because of his experience, but his poetry is not just to entertain you. His poetry is out of his grace, his very being is poetic, but his message is scientific, as scientific as it can be. He is talking about the unconscious and the conscious. 

He says you are deep in the dark if you are not aware that the world is on fire, that people are living in anguish -- and they may not even be aware of it. That way the anguish is doubled or multiplied, because if you are aware of your anguish you can get out of it. When the house is on fire and you are asleep, the danger is far more. If the house is on fire and you are awake, the danger is far less -- you can escape, you can get out of the house. Neighbors can help you to come out, you can make a phone call to the fire department. You can do something! At least you can jump out of the window. But if you are asleep then things are more difficult. 

YOU ARE DEEP IN THE DARK. 
Buddha says: Looking at you it seems you are not conscious at all, you are living an unconscious life. Now it is a psychological truth. The whole contemporary psychology, whether Freudian or non-Freudian, Adlerian or Jungian, ALL the schools of modern psychology agree upon one thing: that only a very small part of man is conscious, a very tiny part. The major part of his being is unconscious, is in darkness; you see only the tip of the iceberg, the rest is in darkness. And from that dark continent which is your unconscious come all the motives, desires, instincts, urges -- and the conscious has to follow them. The conscious is only a servant, it is not a master; it is in the service of the unconscious. The unconscious becomes angry and the conscious follows suit; the unconscious becomes full of a sexual urge and the conscious follows it. And the conscious has become very clever in rationalizing. It rationalizes everything. The conscious believes that it is the master and the unconscious laughs at it. 

Just watch yourself. If you are angry you never say, "I was angry because of my unconsciousness." You say, "I was angry because anger was needed. I was deliberately angry. I HAD to be angry; otherwise people would start taking advantage of me. And the person had to be punished, he had to be taught a lesson. I was angry because I WANTED to be." 

This is rationalization. You were angry because you could not be otherwise; you were not the master of the situation. It was not within your hands to choose to be angry -- or not to be angry. You were driven by anger and it came from some basement of your being. It came like a cloud, it came like great smoke and you were blinded by it. You were surrounded by the cloud and you drifted with it, but later on just to save your face, your ego, your pride, you start rationalizing. You say, "I did it." You have NOT done it: you were FORCED to do it. Watch your sexual desire, watch your greed, watch your anger, and you will be convinced of what Buddha is saying.

Part 5 - The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 5
10 May 2012 - Wellbeing Meditation Kingston and New Malden

The psychiatrist was telling his patient, "It took us three years, but now you are cured. This is your last treatment."

"Thanks, Doc," said the patient. "But before I leave, kiss me."
"I tell you that you're cured. You are a healthy person again."
"I know, Doc, but kiss me."
"You don't understand. I got rid of all those crazy ideas. You are cured."
"Sure," his patient persisted, "but just kiss me."
"Kiss you? I shouldn't even be on the couch with you!"

Now, the psychiatrist and the patient, the helpers and the helped, the guide and the guided are all in the same boat.

Unless you can find a Buddha you will be following some other blind person. Unless you are with a man like Buddha, Jesus, Zarathustra, Lao Tzu, you will be with people who are just like you. That is one of the greatest calamities that is happening to the modern mind, to the modern man. The spiritual guides have disappeared -- long ago they disappeared. They were replaced first by the priests. Now the priests are being replaced by the psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, psychologists. The priests were blind, now the psychiatrists, the psychoanalysts are blind. They don't know what they are doing, they don't know where they are. They go on helping people and they are unconscious, sometimes even more than the patient. They are insane, sometimes more so than the patient, but they are professional experts, they have studied, they are full of information. They know everything about light without ever having experienced any light. They know everything about what integration is, but it is only ABOUT -  they don't have any inner integration. Their own beings are in fragments, falling apart.

One can be helped only by a Buddha, by one who is awakened, because only the awakened can wake those who are fast asleep. If you are asleep and your psychoanalyst is asleep, who is going to wake you up?

In the ancient days people searched far and wide for a Buddha; they travelled thousands of miles just in search of a master. Not that they were not aware of many knowledgeable people who knew all about the Vedas and the Upanishads and the Gitas and the Korans and the Bibles; they knew about the scholars, but they had a clear-cut distinction between one who knows on his own authority and one who knows on the authority of the scripture. They never followed the man who had no authentic experience of his own, who had not encountered his self, who was not a flame. And it takes time to search.

You will come across hundreds of masters; ninety-nine point nine percent will be pseudo, false coins. But the only way to seek and search is to go on seeking and searching and whenever you come across a pseudo master, watch! Is what he is saying wisdom or knowledge? Is what he is saying his own or is it within quotes? And it is not very difficult; just a little patience is needed and you will know the pseudo as pseudo.

Harold started hitchhiking and in just a few moments he was picked up by Eleanor, a luscious-looking librarian.

"Would you like a cigarette?" he asked.
"No, thanks," she replied. "I don't smoke!"
They rode in silence for a short time and Harold said, "I know a nice bar up the road here; would you like to stop and have a drink?"
"Thank you, no," said Eleanor. "I don't drink!"
Ten minutes later, Harold took a wild shot and said, "Why don't we stop at the next motel and make love?"
She said, "Alright!"
They stopped, made it like mad for two solid hours, and then were back driving in her car.
"Say, I'm curious," said Harold. "When I asked you to have a smoke, you said no. When I offered to buy you a drink, you turned me down. Yet you went to the motel with me. How come?"
"Well," said the librarian, "I always practice what I preach. I tell my Sunday school that you don't have to smoke or drink to have a good time!"

You will come across such preachers everywhere who practice what they preach, but what they preach is not their own experience; what they preach is all borrowed. It may look like wisdom but it is not. And you cannot avoid it. You will have to knock on many doors before you find the right one. That's the only way, that's how things are. And it is good to knock on many doors because knowing many pseudo masters, slowly slowly you will become aware of what it is to be a real master. By knowing the false you will become capable of knowing the real. To know the false as false is a great step towards the real.

THE WORLD IS ON FIRE:
AND ARE YOU LAUGHING?
YOU ARE DEEP IN THE DARK.
WILL YOU NOT ASK FOR LIGHT?
And to ask for light is to ask for meditation.

Modern psychology has still not arrived at that point; it is still entangled with analysis. Analysis cannot bring light in. You can go on analyzing darkness for years, for lives, for centuries; by analyzing darkness you will not arrive at light. How can you arrive at light by analyzing darkness? You will have to find someone who knows how to create light -- that has nothing to do with darkness! When the light is created, darkness disappears, darkness is no longer found. But vice versa is not true: don't start pushing away darkness in order to attain to light -- you will be wasting your life, your energy, your opportunity. Don't fight with darkness! Psychoanalysis is still fighting with darkness, with disease.

And that is the difference between religion and psychoanalysis. Religion is a positive effort to create light; psychoanalysis is a negative effort to dispel darkness -- at the most it can help you to be normally abnormal, that's all. At the most it can help you to adjust to a society which itself is ill. It can help you to be in working condition again. That's all the society needs and requires of you, that you should be a good doctor or a good engineer or a good stationmaster or a good clerk or a good collector. That's all that society asks; society is not concerned with your inner health, with your wholeness. Society wants you to be a perfect machine.

And if you are doing the work given to you well, efficiently, that's enough. Society is not at all interested in your transformation; on the contrary, it is very much afraid of your transformation, because if you become transformed society will not be so easily able to oppress, exploit you. It will not be so easy to enslave you. If you become transformed, if you become full of light, you will be rebellious. Light brings rebellion.

Darkness is very helpful for those who have vested interests because darkness never allows you to escape out of your prison. When you are in the dark you can be convinced that it is not a prison, that it is your house or even that it is a temple of God.

But when there is light nobody can deceive you. You will be able to see that you have been forced to live in a prison cell. And once you have seen that you have been forced to live in a prison cell, you are going to do everything possible to get out of it. Society is very much afraid of Buddha’s -- hence the crucifixion of Jesus, the poisoning of Socrates, the murder of Mansoor. Many attempts were made on Gautam Buddha's life.

It is strange that man has always been against those who could have helped humanity; you have been against those who would have taken you to the heights of life and consciousness, those who would have helped you to be fulfilled. Why have you been against these people? You are part of a great slave system -- the state, the society, the church. You function as a Christian, as a Hindu, as a Mohammedan; these are names of slaveries, beautiful labels on ugly things.

A really religious person is neither Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Christian -- he cannot be! He is simply a human being. His religion has no adjective to it, he is simply religious. Seek light! And the only way to seek light is to learn how to meditate, how to be aware, how to be more watchful.

Buddha's way was VIPASSANA -- vipassana means witnessing. And he found one of the greatest devices ever: the device of watching your breath, just watching your breath. Breathing is such a simple and natural phenomenon and it is there twenty-four hours a day. You need not make any effort. If you repeat a mantra then you will have to make an effort, you will have to force yourself. If you say, "Ram, Ram, Ram," you will have to continuously strain yourself. And you are bound to forget many times. Moreover, the word 'Ram' is again something of the mind, and anything of the mind can never lead you beyond the mind.

Buddha discovered a totally different angle: just watch your breath - the breath coming in, the breath going out. There are four points to be watched. Sitting silently just start seeing the breath, feeling the breath. The breath going in is the first point. Then for a moment when the breath is in it stops - a very small moment it is - for a split second it stops; that is the second point to watch. Then the breath turns and goes out; this is the third point to watch. Then again when the breath is completely out, for a split second it stops; that is the fourth point to watch. Then the breath starts coming in again... this is the circle of breath.

If you can watch all these four points you will be surprised, amazed at the miracle of such a simple process - because mind is not involved. Watching is not a quality of the mind; watching is the quality of the soul, of consciousness; watching is not a mental process at all. When you watch, the mind stops, ceases to be. Yes, in the beginning many times you will forget and the mind will come in and start playing its old games. But whenever you remember that you had forgotten, there is no need to feel repentant, guilty - just go back to watching, again and again go back to watching your breath. Slowly slowly, less and less mind interferes.

Part 6 - The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 5
17 May 2012 - Wellbeing Meditation Kingston and New Malden

And when you can watch your breath for forty-eight minutes as a continuum, you will become enlightened. You will be surprised -- just forty-eight minutes -- because you will think that it is not very difficult... just forty-eight minutes! It it is very difficult. Forty-eight seconds and you will have fallen victim to the mind many times. Try it with a watch in front of you; in the beginning you cannot be watchful for sixty seconds. In just sixty seconds, that is one minute, you will fall asleep many times, you will forget all about watching -- the watch and the watching will both be forgotten. Some idea will take you far far away; then suddenly you will realize... you will look at the watch and ten seconds have passed. For ten seconds you were not watching. But slowly slowly -- it is a knack; it is not a practice, it is a knack -- slowly slowly you imbibe it, because those few moments when you are watchful are of such exquisite beauty, of such tremendous joy, of such incredible ecstasy, that once you have tasted those few moments you would like to come back again and again -- not for any other motive, just for the sheer joy of being there, present to the breath.

Remember, it is not the same process as is done in yoga. In yoga the process is called PRANAYAM; it is a totally different process, in fact just the opposite of what Buddha calls vipassana. In pranayam you take deep breaths, you fill your chest with more and more air, more and more oxygen; then you empty your chest as totally as possible of all carbon dioxide. It is a physical exercise -- good for the body but it has nothing to do with vipassana. In vipassana you are not to change the rhythm of your natural breath, you are not to take long, deep breaths, you are not to exhale in any way differently than you ordinarily do. Let it be absolutely normal and natural. Your whole consciousness has to be on one point; watching.

And if you can watch your breath then you can start watching other things too. Walking you can watch that you are walking, eating you can watch that you are eating, and ultimately, finally, you can watch that you are sleeping. The day you can watch that you are sleeping you are transported into another world. The body goes on sleeping and inside a light goes on burning brightly. Your watchfulness remains undisturbed, then twenty-four hours a day there is an undercurrent of watching. You go on doing things... for the outside world nothing has changed, but for you everything has changed.

A Zen master was carrying water from the well and a devotee who had heard about him and had traveled far to see him asked him, "Where can I see so-and-so, the master of this monastery?" He thought this man must be a servant, carrying water from the well -- you cannot find a buddha carrying water from the well, you cannot find a buddha cleaning the floor.

The master laughed and he said, "I am the person you are seeking."

The devotee could not believe it. He said, "I have heard much about you but I cannot conceive you carrying water from the well."

The master said, "But that's what I used to do before I became enlightened. Carrying water from the well, chopping wood -- that's what I used to do before and that's what I continue to do. I am very proficient in these two things: carrying water from the well and chopping wood. Come with me; my next thing is going to be chopping wood -- watch me!" Dhammapada Vol 5 Osho

The man said, "But then what is the difference? Before enlightenment you used to do these two things, after enlightenment you are doing the same two things -- then what is the difference?"

The master laughed, he said, "The difference is inner: before, I was doing everything in sleep, now I am doing everything consciously. That's the difference: activities are the same, but I am no longer the same. The world is the same, but I am not the same. And because I am no longer the same, for me the world is also no longer the same."

The transformation has to be inner. This is real renunciation: the old world is gone because the old being is gone.

FOR BEHOLD YOUR BODY --
A PAINTED PUPPET, A TOY,
JOINTED AND SICK AND FULL OF FALSE IMAGININGS,
A SHADOW THAT SHIFTS AND FADES.

Buddha says, don't be too much attached to the body, don't get identified with the body, beware! That is a bondage. Live in the body, use the body, but be alert -- it is not you.

FOR BEHOLD YOUR BODY.... If you want to create light in yourself, this is the beginning: BEHOLD YOUR BODY -- A PAINTED PUPPET, A TOY, JOINTED AND SICK AND FULL OF FALSE IMAGININGS, A SHADOW THAT SHIFTS AND FADES.

How many people have lived on the earth? And they have all faded away, dust unto dust, they have all disappeared -- as if they had never existed at all. And the same is going to happen to you, to everybody. Today you are here, tomorrow you are gone. And then it is only in a few people's memories that you will live for a few days; they will remember you -- just a memory, a picture in their minds. And then those people will die and even the memory will fade away. After two thousand years, do you think there will be anybody who will know that you had ever existed? It is just a shadow, momentary; even though the moment lasts for seventy years, eighty years, it doesn't matter.

Buddha says truth is eternal, and whatsoever is not eternal is a dream -- beware of the dreams! And your mind is also part of your body; that's why he says beware of false imaginings. Your mind goes on giving you false ideas; it says, "Look how healthy I am, how strong I am, look how beautiful I am." It goes on deceiving you, it goes on telling you that death always happens to others, not to you. Nobody is an exception. And the mind is such a deceiver, so cunning, so crafty that it can make you believe anything. It can make you believe in money, and you will have to leave all your money when you go. But you cling to money, people are ready to die for money.

In fact, that's how many people die: their whole lives are spent accumulating money; they sell their lives just to accumulate a few pieces of gold. That gold will remain here and you will be gone, and the gold has no attachment to you. It is you who have created all kinds of attachments.And the mind always goes on creating a future; it goes on saying to you, "What has not happened yet is going to happen tomorrow -- wait!" It keeps you hoping, it keeps you trying in new ways, in new pastures. If this woman has not satisfied you then the mind says, "It is because this woman is such -- find another!" And this will go on and on. If this man is not satisfactory, the mind says, "It is because this man is wrong." But the mind never allows you to see the fact that no man, no woman, can ever satisfy anybody. Satisfaction is not possible in this world. Contentment is possible only when you move into your state of being, when you become a no-mind. Contentment is the flavor of no-mind.

And when you can manage, mind gives you fantasies, foolish, stupid, absurd. But mind is a great seducer....

Muriel and Tina were discussing their recent experiences over cocktails.
"Say," asked Muriel, "how did you make out with that eccentric millionaire you met yesterday?"
"He gave me five hundred dollars," said Tina. "That screwball wanted to make it in a coffin."
"No kidding!" exclaimed Muriel. "I'll bet that shook you up?"
"Yeah, but not as much as the six pall-bearers."

The mind can seduce you into anything, into any stupid thing. And once anything gets into your mind, it tortures you, it haunts you. You have to do it -- it seems that is the only way to get rid of it. But before you get rid of it, mind gives you another idea. Mind is very inventive as far as imagination is concerned. Mind can go on inexhaustibly creating new ideas for you; that's what has been happening for centuries, for lives. You have lived in this world for so many lives repeating the same kinds of things again and again, maybe a little bit different but the things are the same... and still you go on hoping.

Buddha says beware of the false imaginings; the body is a shadow, you have to leave it one day. You are not it.

Part 7 - The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 5
24 May 2012 - Wellbeing Meditation Kingston and New Malden

HOW FRAIL IT IS! 
FRAIL AND PESTILENT,
IT SICKENS, FESTERS AND DIES.
LIKE EVERY LIVING THING
IN THE END IT SICKENS AND DIES. 

Remember death, never forget it for a single moment! Because of this insistence, many people have thought Buddha is death-obsessed; he is not. You may be life-obsessed but he is not death-obsessed. He is simply bringing everything to a balance. He says, as much as you are involved in life you have to remember death too, then there will be a balance, an equilibrium. He used to send his disciples, his sannyasins, to watch whenever a dead body was being burned: "Just go, sit there, meditate and watch and remember this is going to happen to your body too." 

Death has to be meditated upon; otherwise life can go on giving you false hopes. If you remember death, life cannot deceive you anymore. Death will keep you alert. Buddha is not death-obsessed, but he has come to know one thing: that it is only by becoming aware of death that one gets rid of the obsession with the body, the obsession with food, the obsession with sex, the obsession with money, the obsession with the world. You have to live in life, but let there be a consciousness, constantly, that this life is slipping out of your hands and death is coming closer every moment. That will not allow you to be a victim of false desires and false hopes. 

BEHOLD THESE WHITENED BONES,
THE HOLLOW SHELLS AND HUSKS OF A DYING SUMMER.
AND ARE YOU LAUGHING? 

YOU ARE A HOUSE OF BONES,
FLESH AND BLOOD FOR PLASTER.
PRIDE LIVES IN YOU,
AND HYPOCRISY, DECAY AND DEATH. 

That's why people don't want to watch their lives. They don't want to go deeper into their beings because what they find is not soul, God, freedom, light. What they find in the beginning is ego, hypocrisy, decay and death. Yes, if you enter inside, first you will find these things. They are the first layers. But if you go on moving in spite of death, ego, decay, hypocrisy -- you go on moving courageously, then soon things start changing. Instead of death you start entering into eternal life, into life that is timeless; and instead of ego you come across your real self, your supreme self; and instead of death you come across immortality. But one has to go deeper. 

The first penetration will make you afraid, you will become scared -- darkness all around and death. And people escape from that first layer. They become so afraid that they never try again. The great English philosopher, David Hume, has written, "Reading again and again in the scriptures, 'Know thyself,' one day I tried. I closed my eyes and tried to go in. What I found was darkness, many many crazy thoughts, imagination, memory, desires, so many things crowding around, much noise and turmoil, but I could not find any immortal self." Just one day he tried, and that was that -- as if one becomes a buddha in one day. And not even one day, it must have been one hour or half an hour -- not twenty-four hours. Even a man of such keen intelligence as David Hume could not see a small point: who is the watcher? 

He said, "I found memories, ideas, and so on and so forth, many things, but I did not find any self." You see the absurdity of the statement? Who has found the ideas and the imagination and the memory? Who is this witness? That is the self! It is SO simple. You cannot be the idea; you are seeing the idea -- how can you be it? The seer can never be the seen, the watcher can never be the watched, the subject cannot be the object. But even a man like David Hume thinks that there is no soul, there is no self, and all these buddhas have been talking nonsense. And he never tried again. The experience must have been ugly, it IS ugly in the beginning; hence you need a master so that you don't escape from the first layer of your being. 

THE GLORIOUS CHARIOTS OF KINGS SHATTER.
SO ALSO THE BODY TURNS TO DUST.
BUT THE SPIRIT OF PURITY IS CHANGELESS
AND SO THE PURE INSTRUCT THE PURE. 

If you go on diving deeper and deeper into your being you will come to a pure consciousness which is changeless, timeless, deathless. This is what has been taught by the buddhas to the potential buddhas: AND SO THE PURE INSTRUCT THE PURE. It can be understood only in deep purity of the heart; it cannot be understood by the cunning mind, it can be understood only by the innocent heart. The buddhas can be understood only through the heart, through love, not through logic. 

THE IGNORANT MAN IS AN OX.
HE GROWS IN SIZE,NOT IN WISDOM. 

Man is born only as a potential. If you don't develop your potential, if you don't grow spiritually, you are just like an ox. The body will go on becoming bigger and bigger, but that is not growth. Growing old is not growing up, growing physically is not growing spiritually. And unless you grow spiritually you are wasting a precious opportunity. 

Man is the only being on the earth who can attain to buddhahood. Elephants and lions and tigers can't become buddhas. Only man can become a buddha, only man can become a thousand-petaled lotus, only man can release the fragrance called God. Don't waste a single moment in anything else. Do the necessary things, the essential things, but pour more and more energy into watchfulness, awareness. Wake up! 

Unless you become a buddha you have not lived at all, because you will not know the great poetry of life, the great music of existence. You will not know the celestial celebration that goes on and on, you will not know the dance of the stars. It is for you to become part of this celebration. This bliss is for you! All these flowers and all these songs and all these stars are for you. You are entitled to miracles -- but grow up, wake up! 

Enough for today.