Insights for a new Way of Living
THE KEY TO LIVING IN BALANCE
Everyone has experienced moments of awakening when time seems to stop and you are suddenly aware of every movement, every sound, every thought. Awareness, says Osho, is the key to being self-directed, centered, and free in every aspect of our lives.
In this book, Osho teaches how to live life more attentively, mindfully, and meditatively, with love, caring, and consciousness.
START FROM THE CENTERA "silent mind" is a contradiction in terms. If mind is there. it cannot be silent; and if it is silent, it is no more. That is why Zen monks use the term "no-mind", never "silent mind". No-mind is silence! And the moment there is no-mind you cannot feel your body, because mind is the passage through which body is felt. If there is no-mind, you cannot feel that you are a body; body disappears from consciousness. So in prayer there is neither mind nor body -- only pure Existence. That pure Existence is indicated by silence -- mouna.
`One thing to be understood is that silence is not part of mind. So whenever we say, "He has a silent mind," it is nonsense. A mind can never be silent. The very being of mind is anti-silence. Mind is sound, not silence. So when we say: "He has a silent mind," it is wrong. If he is really silent, then we must say that he has no mind.'
How to attain to this prayer, to this silence? How to be in this prayer, in this silence? Whatsoever you can do will be useless; that is the greatest problem. For a religious seeker this is the greatest problem, because whatsoever he can do will lead nowhere -- because doing is not relevant. You can sit in a particular posture: that is your doing. You must have seen Buddha's posture. You can sit in Buddha's posture: that will be a doing. For Buddha himself this posture happened. It was not a cause for his silence; rather, it was a by-product.
When the mind is not, when the being is totally silent, the body follows like a shadow. The body takes a particular posture -- the most relaxed possible, the most passive possible. But you cannot do otherwise. You cannot take a posture first and then make silence follow. Because we see a Buddha sitting in a particular posture, we think that if this posture is followed then the inner silence will follow. This is a wrong sequence. For Buddha the inner phenomenon happened first, and then this posture followed.
Look at it through your own experience: when you get angry, the body takes a particular posture, your eyes become blood-red, your face takes a particular expression. Anger is inside, and then the body follows. Not only outwardly: inwardly also, the whole chemistry of the body changes. Your blood runs fast, you breathe in a different way, you are ready to fight or take flight. But anger happens first, then the body follows.
Start from the other pole: make your eyes red, create fast breathing, do whatsoever you feel is done by the body when anger is there. You can act, but you cannot create anger inside. An actor is doing the same every moment. When he is acting a role of love, he is doing whatsoever is done by the body when love happens inside -- but there is no love. The actor may be doing better than you, but love will not follow. He will be more apparently angry than you in real anger, but it is just false. Nothing is happening inside.
Whenever you start from without, you will create a false state. The real always happens first in the center, and then the waves reach to the periphery. That is why this sutra says that prayer is silence. The innermost center is in prayer. Start from there.
If you just put a watch with a second hand in front of you and keep your eyes on the second hand, you will be surprised: you cannot continue to remember even for one minute completely. Perhaps fifteen seconds, twenty seconds, at the most thirty seconds, and you will forget. You will get lost in some other idea -- and then suddenly you will remember that you were trying to remember.
Even to keep awareness continuous for one minute is difficult, so one has to be aware that it is not child's play. So when you are trying to be aware of the small things of life, you have to remember that many times you will forget. You will go far away into something else. The moment you remember, don't feel guilty -- that is one of the traps.
If you start feeling guilty, then you cannot come back to the awareness that you were practicing. There is no need to feel guilty, it is natural. Don't feel repentance. It is simple, and it happens to every seeker. Accept it as natural; otherwise you will be caught in repentance, in the guilt that you cannot remember even for a few moments and you go on forgetting.
Mahavira is the first man in history who has actually worked out that if a man can remember, be aware for forty-eight minutes continuously, that's enough -- he will become enlightened, nobody can prevent him. Just forty-eight minutes... but it is difficult even for forty-eight seconds -- so many distractions.No guilt, no repentance -- the moment you remember that you have forgotten what you were doing, simply come back; simply come back and start working again.
My emphasis is: simply come back. Don't cry and weep for the spilled milk, that is stupid.
It will take time, but slowly you will become aware that you are remaining alert more and more, perhaps for a whole minute, perhaps two minutes.
And it is such a joy that you have been aware for two minutes -- but don't get caught in the joy.
Don't think that you have attained something. That will become a barrier. These are patterns where one is lost. Just a little gain and one thinks one has come home. Go on working slowly, patiently. There is no hurry -- you have eternity at your disposal.
Don't try to be speedy. That impatience will not help. Awareness is not like seasonal flowers that grow in six weeks' time and are then gone. Awareness is like the cedars of Lebanon which take hundreds of years to grow; but they remain for thousands of years and rise to one hundred and fifty feet, two hundred feet high in the sky. They are really very proud people.
Awareness grows very slowly, but it grows. One has to just be patient.
As it grows you will start feeling many things which you have never felt before. For example, you will start feeling that you are carrying many tensions in your body of which you have never been aware because they are subtle tensions. Now your awareness is there you can feel those very subtle, very delicate tensions.
So wherever you feel any tension in the body, relax that part. If your whole body is relaxed, your awareness will grow faster because those tensions are hindrances.
As your awareness grows even more, you will be surprised to know that you don't dream only in sleep; there is an undercurrent of dreaming even while you are awake. It goes just underneath your wakefulness -- close your eyes any moment and you can see some dream passing by like a cloud in the sky. But only when you become a little more aware will it be possible to see that your wakefulness in not true awakenedness.
The dream is floating there -- people call it daydream. If they relax in their chair for a moment and close their eyes, immediately the dream takes over. They start thinking that they have become the president of the country, or they are doing great things -- or anything, which they know at the very moment they are dreaming is all nonsense. You are not the president of the country, but still the dream has something in it, that it continues in spite of you.
Awareness will make you aware of layers of dreams in your waking state. And they will start dispersing, just as you bring light into a dark room and the darkness starts dispersing.
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