"Meditation is a single lesson of awareness, of no-thought, of spontaneity, of being total in your action, alert, aware. It is not a technique, it is a knack. Either you get it or you don't." - Osho
MEDITATION is not concentration. In concentration there is a self concentrating and there is an object being concentrated upon. There is duality. In meditation there is nobody inside and nothing outside. It is not concentration . There is no division between the in and the out. The in goes on flowing into the out, the out goes on flowing into the in. The demarcation, the boundary, the border, no longer exists. The in is out, the out is in; it is a no-dual consciousness.
Concentration is a dual consciousness; that's why concentration creates tiredness; that's why when you concentrate you feel exhausted. And you cannot concentrate for twenty-four hours, you will have to take holidays to rest. Concentration can never become your nature. Meditation does not tire, meditation does not exahaust you. Meditation can become a twenty-four hour thing - day in, day out, year in, year out. It can become eternity. It is relaxation itself.
Concentration is an act, a willed act. Meditation is a state of no will, a state of inaction. It is relaxation. One has simply dropped into one's own being, and that being is the same as the being of All. In Concentration the mind functions out of a conclusion: you are doing something. Concentration comes out of the past. In meditation there is no conclusion behind it. You are not doing anything in particular, you are simply being. It has no past to it, it is pure of all future, It what Lao Tzu has called wei-wu-wei, action through inaction. It is what Zen masters have been saying: Sitting silently doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself. Remember, 'by itself - nothing is being done. You are not pulling the grass upwards; the spring comes and the grass grows by itself. That state - when you allow life to go on its own way. When you don't want to give any control to it, when you are not manipulating, when you are not enforcing any discipline on it - that state of pure undisciplined spontaneity, is what meditation is.
Meditation is in the present, pure present. Meditation is immediacy. You cannot meditate, you can be in meditation. You cannot be in concentration, but you can concentrate. Concentration is human, meditation is divine.
About the Founder
Osho was born Rajneesh Chandra Mohan in 1931 in Kuchwada, a small village in India. He is currently in a state of disembodiment, or death, having left his body in l990. From an early age he questioned everything, a process which became more and more intense until the age of 21, when he became enlightened, or arrived at the ultimate consciousness/self-knowing he says is the birthright of us all.
He completed his university degree and took a post teaching philosophy, actually getting paid for his favourite outward activities, expounding and questioning. Over the years, his lecturing became more of a traveling affair, to the point where he would criss-cross India many times a year. He acquired a notoriety as a speaker with outrageous views on everything and atttracted enormous crowds.
Seeing, however, that those who came only to hear his words were not being transformed, he changed his tack and started working with an intimate group of disciples, who practiced his meditations and were willing to experiment with their lives. When he settled in Bombay seekers from around the world started arriving. He had been preparing for them for years by devouring up to ten books a day: literature, religion, philosophy and psychology, whatever it took to speak the language of these seekers.
It wasn't long before this group needed much more space, so he moved to the leafy and wealthy enclave of Koregaon Park, 100 miles away in Poona. Big-name therapists from all over the world came, along with thousands and thousands of other seekers of all kinds. This was the therapy era; the "Shree Rajneesh Ashram" became known as the biggest and most intense growth facility on the planet and "Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh" was at the centre of it.
At its peak, he pulled the rug out from everybody's feet by suddenly moving to America to conduct his biggest experiment, Rajneeshpuram, a city built from scratch in the Oregon desert. He called his communes an experiment to provoke God. Rajneeshpuram was called, depending whose "side" you were on, an affront to Oregon's land-use laws, an ecological model years ahead of its time, a fascist concentration camp, a four-year therapy group to help us learn to deal creatively with authoritarian structures by recognizing dominance/ submission patterns in ourselves. And much, much more. Hundreds of millions of dollars and as many people-hours were invested in this city-experiment and then…
He pulled the rug again, flying off the Ranch as rumours of his arrest and a National Guard buildup were making a Waco-style bloodbath imminent. He was arrested anyway, sans bloodbath, 3000 miles away in North Carolina, and held for ten days without bail, including several days incommunicado during which, he said later, he was poisoned with thallium, a heavy metal with an insidious long-term toxicity, like mercury or lead. All this for alleged immigration offenses. He had pushed a few buttons.
Back in India after a successful world tour – where success is measured by the number of countries (21) that closed their doors to him because of America pressure – he revived the Poona ashram. His repeated pulling of the rug had scattered and disorganized his disciples, alienating more than a few, but within two years the Poona commune had tripled its original size, was as vibrant as ever and bursting with seekers who understood that a Zen master's shocks are to help them wake up.
Osho's last great rug event was the fairly ordinary one – in that everyone does it eventually – of leaving the body. He gave no explicit warning that this was coming, but signs were abundant in his last year. He changed his name several times – giving his publishers more than a few grey hairs – dropping the "Bhagwan" that had offended Indians for so long, and finally settling on the simple "Osho." He stopped speaking publicly, ending his last discourse with "The last word of Buddha was, ‘Sammasati.' Remember that you are a buddha – sammasati." In his last five months he introduced and led a new nightly meditation/ celebration/energy event with everybody wearing white robes.
He left the body in a very ordinary way shortly after his 58th birthday. What was not ordinary was the tremendous celebration that followed, with thousands of disciples dancing and singing as never before, while his body was in the meditation hall, while it was being burned, and when his ashes were brought back to the commune.
This set the stage for the continuation of his movement. More people than ever are coming to Poona, feeling his presence still there, especially in the nightly White Robe celebration. The commune's size has again doubled, now including five marble pyramids, a twelve-acre Zen park and a magnificent swimming pool, along with its multitude of therapy, creativity, work and meditation programs. Central to all the programs and processes is meditation, but not necessarily as something formal or stylized. The very vibe or ambience of the place encourages peering into one's inner nature, discovering one's inner truth, no matter what the activity. Dancing, painting, primal screaming, eating, working, sitting, talking, 1001 other things are all excuses and opportunities to look inside. In fact this can happen anywhere, but a buddhafield – an energy field created around an enlightened mystic – is a more supportive environment. With considerable justification, the Poona commune calls itself the largest spiritual health club in the world.
The key is Osho's presence, still tangible, and his unique approach to the growth/ consciousness game. Leaving no religious gasbag unpunctured, he makes sure that we approach the game with as few preconceptions as possible. And the most stubborn preconceptions are those inculcated by groups: nation, religion, class, race, gender, whatever. It is the individual, Osho says, that is real, not some artificial social construct – not even the commune that has formed around him. This approach allows for the diversity of processes available in his tent, and the refreshing absence of stultifying ideology. There is no worship of poverty or seriousness or consistency or tradition, no elevation of men over women, none of the encumbrances of business-as-usual religion.
It may seem evasive to say what Osho is not, but to me it feels better than to try to define him by saying – what? That he stands for freedom? Yeah, sure, but we have so many preconceptions about freedom cluttering our minds, it's better not to start down that path. His whole life, he has tried to destroy the expectations and belief structures we hold as a result of our conditioning. I should at least not add to that.
It is not easy to convey anything of significance about Osho – or anyone, for that matter – with mere biographical factoids. But the richness and diversity of his approach should be apparent in the other articles in this paper, for in their own individual ways, they are also "the real Osho." Of course, for the really real Osho, there is only first-hand experience.