Friday, 22 February 2013

Osho on Dhyana – A non-thinking awareness is what dhyana is, a contentless consciousness

Osho – Deva means divine and dhyana means the state of meditation – divine state of meditation. The word ’meditation’ is not as adequate as dhyana, because nothing like dhyana has ever existed in the West so no western language has any appropriate word for it. Meditation comes closest but still misses the target. Meditation means contemplation, to think about, and dhyana means not thinking at all, just being.
So meditation is an activity and dhyana is a state of being. Meditation is still thinking – maybe more concentrated. Christians say ’meditate upon god.’ We cannot say that in the East, because if you meditate upon something it is no more meditation. You will think about god – what else will you do? You will think of the attributes of god, the qualities of god – that god is compassionate, that god is infinite, that god is this and that. What else will you do? Whenever there is an object you will think about the object.
In the east we say that dhyana is a state of non-thinking, of being fully aware, fully alert, not asleep, but with no object, no content in the consciousness. A non-thinking awareness is what dhyana is, a contentless consciousness is what dhyana is. One simply is. There is no activity, neither bodily nor mental. It is absolute passivity – nothing is happening, nothing is being done; one simply is. Out of dhyana, out of this sanskrit word came ’chan’ in China and ’zen’ in Japan, but they come from the same root ’dhyana’.
There are a few things to be understood – because I would like you to become a real ’dhyani’… and the possibility is there! If you act totally, if you really become involved in it, it is going to happen. The mind has three layers: the first layer is of thoughts – the most superficial layer. The second layer is of emotions – a little deeper, but not yet deep enough. The third layer is of silence, soundlessness, no thought, no emotion. The first layer consists of the head, the second layer consists of the heart, the third layer consists of your being.
You are not existing even in the first layer. The first layer is there: thoughts go on rushing around inside but you are not conscious of them. You remain outside even the outermost layer. You are not even in the porch of your building – you are standing outside the porch – and you don’t look back. Just behind you a great circle of thoughts is continuously moving. Within that there is another wheel, a wheel within a wheel: the wheel of emotions, sentiments, of the heart. And within that wheel is the hub of silence, the centre of the cyclone. When one becomes aware of the first layer, that is the first step towards dhyana – to turn in and to start looking at your thoughts.
When people start meditating for the first time, they are puzzled – they think that there have never been so many thoughts in their mind as there are now! That’s a misunderstanding. Thoughts have always been there but they were not aware of them.
When you turn your focus on your thoughts, suddenly you become aware of a great crowd and a continuous crowd moving day and night. There is never any rest: the body sometimes goes into rest but this thought-process continues. And it is always a rush-hour there. The traffic is always jammed, and each thought is trying to compete with another thought. There is great conflict, struggle; thoughts are very violent things.
So when one turns one’s focus or one’s torch on the first layer, one becomes puzzled, a little worried too, because one has never known so many thoughts. One had always thought: ’Yes, they are there; sometimes they come.’ One was only very dimly aware of them – as if they were very distant. When you focus on them they come very close and you become aware of layer upon layer, queues of thoughts – irrelevant, absurd, meaningless, futile, rubbish… all kinds of things jumbled, like a
junkyard, with no organic unity.
This layer creates madness, and one who has not become aware of this layer can become a victim of madness any day, any time. If you don’t turn consciously towards it and transform it, it is there getting ready. Any day it can explode, any day it can throw you into a volcano, and then it will be difficult to come out of it. If it explodes on its own, you are helpless. If you go with your searchlight, by and by you are in control, you become your master.
Sigmund Freud has done one of the greatest services to the western world in that he has made people aware of this first layer, but his psychoanalysis ends there – with the first layer. It is an analysis of thoughts; it does not go very deep, but he started at least! Jung went a little deeper – he ends with the second layer: visions, sensitivity, smells, light, the world of myth and the world of dream and the world of heart. He went a little deeper than Freud, but a meditator has to go even deeper than that; and he stopped there. He was very much afraid of the third layer.
Freud was very much afraid of the second layer. It was natural that he must have become aware of it: when you analyse the first layer too much, the second is just close by. Some fragments are bound to enter from the second layer into the first. That’s why he started analysing dreams too; but he was very much afraid. He put all those dreams in the service of thoughts; he remained analytical and confined to the thought-process. Psychoanalysis helps people to sort out their thoughts.
Jung took a little more courage, took a little more risk and entered into the world of feelings, but then he became afraid. He started feeling the third layer close by. The third layer is like death because it is absolute silence: nothing to grab onto – neither thought nor feeling – nothing to analyse, nothing to think about… one simply disappears into emptiness.
Freud was against Jung because Jung was taking a risk which was dangerous. Jung was against the eastern meditative techniques because he thought that those techniques were dangerous. Who knows what will happen if you enter into a dark silence? You may not be able to come back; you may be lost. He was very much against meditative techniques. He insisted that one should remain confined to the second layer: think about dreams, think about feelings, love, visions, myths, but don’t go beyond that. Beyond that is a danger point.
Yes, there is a danger point because beyond that is god himself… and god is the most dangerous experience! That third layer is the layer of dhyana, of real meditation. So you will have to start by becoming aware of your thoughts, be more and more alert. Whenever you are sitting, just close your eyes and watch with no judgement, with no evaluation: don’t say that this thought is good and this thought is bad. All thoughts are simply thoughts; there is no distinction of good and bad. A thought is a thought is a thought; it has nothing to do with good and bad.
Once you say ’this is good’. you start clinging to it; once you say ’this is bad’, you start pushing it out. Then conflict arises, then you cannot remain detached, you cannot remain distant, you cannot become a witness – you become involved. So no friendship, no enmity, neither for nor against – just a detached observation of what goes on.
Don’t label, don’t say ’This is absurd – why should it be there?’ Whatsoever is, is. It is not going to be changed by labelling it good or bad, absurd, relevant or irrelevant, consistent or inconsistent, meaningless or meaningful. It is not going to change by your labelling it, by categorising it, so don’t pigeonhole anything – simply watch.
Watching in this way for a few weeks, one day you will start seeing that thoughts have gone a little further away. Yes, they are there, distant, you can hear the noise, but they are not very close by. A new layer arises into your vision; you start feeling feelings, emotions arise. Sometimes you find yourself crying for no reason at all, and sometimes you find yourself laughing for no reason at all. Allow that too. Sometimes you feel yourself full of love and sometimes full of hatred – not directed towards anybody; it is simply there, undirected.
Watch it, again remember: no justification, no rationalisation, no criticism, no appreciation – nothing. Remain aloof and go on watching. That too is a game of the mind – subtler than the first but still the same game on a different plane.
Then after a few weeks you will start feeling that that too is going far away; you are coming closer home. Then sometimes gaps of silence will come. Suddenly the road is empty and nobody is walking, neither thought nor feeling. Emptiness passes by, and it will come like a breeze, it will refresh you, it will make you new, it will give you a new birth and a new way of living. That’s exactly what sannyas is! So this is just a hypothetical sannyas, this is just a hope and a promise – now it has to be worked out!

Source – Osho Book “This Is It”

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