Osho on technique of Gazing - Tratak
Question - What is the difference between Gazing at an open clear sky, Gazing at an Enlightened master’s photo, and Gazing at the darkness?
Osho - The technique of gazing is not concerned really with the object; it is concerned with gazing itself. Because when you stare without blinking your eyes, you become focused, and the nature of the mind is to be constantly moving. If you are really gazing, not moving at all, the mind is bound to be in a difficulty.
The nature of the mind is to move from one object to another, to move constantly. If you are gazing at darkness or at light or at something else, if you are really gazing, the movement of the mind stops. Because if the mind goes on moving, your gaze will not be there; you will go on missing the object.
When the mind has moved somewhere else, you will forget, you will not be able to remember what you were looking at. The object will be there physically, but for you it will have disappeared because your are not there; you have moved in thought.
Gazing means, TRATAK means, not allowing your consciousness to move. And when you are not allowing the mind to move, in the beginning it struggles, struggles hard, but if you go on practising gazing, by and by the mind loses struggling. For moments it stops. And when mind stops there is no mind, because mind can exist only in movement, thinking can exist only in movement. When there is no movement, thinking disappears, you cannot think, because thinking means movement – moving from one thought to another. It is a process.
If you gaze continuously at one thing, fully aware and alert... because you can gaze through dead eyes. Then you can go on thinking – only eyes, dead eyes, not looking at... just with dead men’s eyes you can look, but your mind will be moving. That will not be of any help. Gazing means not only your eyes, but your total mind focused through the eyes.
So whatsoever the object.... It depends: if you like light, it is okay. If you can like darkness, good. Whatsoever the object, deeply it is irrelevant. The question is to stop the mind completely in your gaze, to focus it, so the inner movement, the fidgeting, stops; the inner wavering stops. You are simply looking at, not doing anything. That deep looking will change you completely. It will become a meditation.
And it is good; you can try it. But remember that your eyes and your consciousness should meet in the focusing. You must be really looking through the eyes; you must not be absent there. Your presence is needed – totally present. Then you cannot think, then thinking is impossible. There is only one danger: you may become unconscious, you may fall asleep. Even with open eyes it is possible that you may fall asleep. Then your gaze will become stony.
In the beginning the first trouble will be that you will be looking at, but you will not be present. This is the first barrier. Your mind will move. Your eyes will be fixed, your mind will be moving – there will be no meeting of the eyes and the mind. This will be the first difficulty. If you win over it, the second difficulty will be that gazing with no movement, you will fall asleep. You will move into auto-hypnosis, you will be hypnotized by yourself. That’s natural, because our mind knows only two states: either the constant movement or sleep.
The mind knows only two states naturally: constant movement, thinking, or falling into sleep. And meditation is a third state. The third state of meditation means your mind is as silent as a deep sleep, and as alert and aware as in thinking – both these must be present. You must be alert, completely alert, and as silent as if deep in sleep. So Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras say that meditation is a sort of deep sleep, with only one difference – that you are alert.
Patanjali equates sushupti and samadhi: deep sleep and ultimate meditation. The difference is only that in deep sleep you are not aware, and in meditation you are aware, but the quality of both is deep silence – unrippled, unwavering silence, unmoving silence.
In the beginning it may happen that through staring you may fall asleep. So if you have become capable of bringing your mind to your focus and the mind is not moving, then remain alert, don’t fall asleep. Because if sleep comes, you have fallen in the abyss, the ditch. Just between these two ditches – constant thinking and sleep – is the narrow bridge of being in meditation.
Source : from Osho Book "Vigyan Bhairav Tantra Volume 2"