[A 70-year-old Sannyassin asks if he is too old to meditate. (The Marquis of Bath, known as an eccentric in England.) Osho says he is not old. The Sannyassin replies:... once I very nearly did meditate unconsciously. That was in the war. I was lying on my bed and twice I stopped breathing -- and I was frightened. I didn't breathe in or out.]
That's perfectly how it should be.
... If meditation goes deep, breathing stops, completely stops. But there is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, in those moments when breathing completely stops, you are in eternity. You are no more part of time. Those moments are very nourishing because you are closer to God than ever. You are alive but in a different way.
Ordinarily we depend on breathing. That is the natural way to be alive. When breathing stops, that is the supernatural way to be alive. Then you are not connected with nature. You are connected with God. Those are rare moments. But whenever they happen, everybody gets afraid, because we think that breathing is life. It is not. It is just a fragment of life, and that, too, a very lower fragment. But there are higher ways to be alive.
This is very good -- if you can become so silent by sitting or lying down that the breathing stops. Then there is no need to do any other meditation. Simply go on doing this twice a day. And don't be afraid. Those moments will give you the first glimpses of the deathless. And once you get in tune with them, then there is no death. Then the body will die, but You will live.
So that's very good -- that it happened naturally. Allow it to happen. Sitting against the wall is very good. You can also lie down but sitting is better, because in Lying down, there is the possibility that you may fall asleep. When the breathing is so slow that it has almost stopped and thinking is silent, the possibility is that you may fall asleep. It is good -- there is nothing wrong in it -- but if in those moments you remain aware, then many more things will be revealed to you.
The benefit will be there if you fall asleep too, but it will be an unconscious benefit. It will be as if a person is asleep and we take him on a stretcher into the garden. Of course he is benefited by the fresh air but he is fast asleep. He cannot enjoy it.
So it is better to sit. That's why for centuries all the meditators have been sitting. That's an effort to avoid sleep. And a few meditators -- one, the founder of Jainism, Mahavir -- used to meditate standing. For his whole life, Mahavir stood and meditated. When you sit for many years you become so accustomed to sitting, that you can fall asleep -- even sitting.
[Osho described how he should meditate -- sitting facing the wall, either looking at the wall with eyes opened or closed. Breathing should be as slow as possible.... ]
... and allow the breathing to stop. When it stops don't be afraid, because nobody has ever died in that state. That state is so beautiful and so alive and you are so close to the very source of life that you cannot die. It has never happened.
Down through the centuries, millions of people have meditated and millions of people have come to this point where breathing stops completely, but nobody has ever died. So the fear is just unbased -- but it comes and one has to tackle it. This will be very beneficial. And you are young so you can do it.
Only young people come to me. Old people cannot come. It is not a question of physical age. It is a freshness of the mind.
I can see that you have a fresh mind, an open mind. Hence you are here; otherwise there is no possibility. You are young as these people [indicating the small group around him] Some of the people may be even older than you !
[The Sannyassin says he has a confession: I drink too much. I need to stop it?]
No, no, no need to stop it now. It has become such a long habit that stopping it will create trouble. It has gone into the body. There is no need to be worried about it. Just take it for granted and don't feel guilty about it.
Give at least two hours every day for meditation and then by and by you will become so silent and so happy, so unworried, that the desire to drink will start disappearing. When the desire starts disappearing, you start reducing your intake; not before it. If you do it before, it will be destructive to the body. If you force it, it will create a conflict inside. And whatsoever we repress is going to take revenge.
So if for two or three days you repress it, on the fourth day you will drink, and you will drink too much. It is futile. So don't be worried about it. Rather than fighting with it, start meditating. Drinking simply shows that there have been problems, problems that you could not solve... worries from which there was no escape. The only way you could find is to become unconscious. That is a shortcut to get out of the problems and the worries. And there are worries and problems in life.
So now the only thing that can be helpful is to forget all about it. Even this idea -- that one has to drop it -- drop that too. Accept it. It has happened, and now the past cannot be changed, so don't be worried. Don't create a new worry. Simply meditate and become more and more silent. Then you will see that the desire to drink by and by disappears.
I have seen it disappear in many people. A moment comes when you cannot drink -- only then drop it, not before. In fact you are not dropping it; it is dropping on its own accord then.
I am always for a very natural way about everything. I am against all guilt feelings and I don't want to create guilt feelings in anybody. This is how life has happened to you. What can you do? There is no point in fighting with it, but there is a way to change the inner vision.
For example. if you become more happy and more silent you will not be able to drink much, because for drinking one needs to be very very unhappy. Deep down some unhappiness is needed; only then can we drown it in drinking. The drinking feels as if it gives a certain happiness. It doesn't. It simply drowns the unhappiness so a false happiness is created. But if you become happy you will stop drinking, because then drinking will drown your happiness and it will make you unhappy. Then the whole process reverses.
So don't think about it in terms of confession. It is not a sin. There are errors in life, mistakes, but nothing is a sin. And everybody has to pass through many mistakes because that is the only way to learn and to grow. So simply accept yourself. In these last days of your life there is no need to create any conflict inside. Just accept whatsoever is. Be natural about it and don't try to change yourself in any outward way. Continue to meditate and many things will start happening. When they happen, then it's okay.
If you continue to meditate before you leave this body, you will be completely free of drinking and other things. There is no problem about it. But if you try to leave them, you will never be free. You may condition your mind so much that in your next life you may be drinking.
A conflict divides you. One part of you wants to drink and another part of you says, 'Don't drink.' It is as if I am trying to fight with both my hands. Sometimes I can let the right hand win, and sometimes I can let the left hand win because both are my hands. Victory is not possible. And it is simply foolish to fight because both are you. The one who drinks and the one who says that you would like to leave it or who feels guilty, both are you.
Don't divide. Division is not going to lead anywhere. It will create friction and dissipation of energy. Now in these last days of your life, you will need more energy, so dissipation is not good. And it is foolish also. It has helped nobody.
So simply accept both and let them be one. Simply say, 'This is the way I am.' Don't make it a confession, because the very word carries some sort of guilt in it. There is no need to confess. This is the way you are or this is the way God made you and you accept it.
My whole emphasis is on meditation, not on character, because character is an outward thing. If the inner changes, the outer follows it, but not vice versa. You can change the outer but the inner will not follow, because the inner is more powerful than the outer. It is just as when you walk, your shadow follows. The character is like a shadow. But the vice versa is not possible -- that the shadow walks and you follow. That's not possible. The shadow cannot walk, in the first place. And in the second place, even if it walks there is no necessity that you should follow it. Why?
Ordinarily religions have emphasised character. That's why they have created hypocrisy and nothing else. People cannot change their character -- and religions go on forcing them to. So the only thing that is possible, humanly possible, is that they show one face and have another. They drink, and they will never say in public that they do. They do things in their private life and they have a public face.
This is how the whole of humanity has become hypocritical -- a crowd of pretenders, inauthentic, insincere -- and the responsibility is with the churches and religions and the priests. My emphasis is not on character at all. I say that character will take care of itself. Simply try to contact your innermost core, your essential being. That is the most basic thing. Once you are in contact with it, things start changing in your life -- and without any effort; that's the beauty. If you change with effort, it is forced. It is as if you are forcing a bud to open. You can force it and it will look like a flower!, but it will not be a real flower.
So let the flowering be spontaneous; you simply meditate. And I will go on helping you.
[The previous Sannyassins elderly wife says that she enjoys the nature and dancing and lovely things, but she can't bear the idea of dying and leaving all the beautiful things in life.]
I understand... I understand. But the problem arises because you can't see that even more beautiful things are waiting. When you leave life, one door closes, but another opens which leads into a far more beautiful world. But because we cannot see that... we can only see this door that closes and cannot see that there is any other life beyond that -- that is creating the trouble.
The world is so beautiful.... This cuckoo singing... it is beautiful. It makes one sad that one day one will not be able to listen to this cuckoo singing. 'Cuckoos will be singing and I will not be here to listen. The sun will rise and the moon will be there; the world will remain as beautiful, and I will not be here.'
We cannot see that death is just a door. It is an opening of a new life.
We can only see the crucifixion, we cannot see the resurrection; that's the trouble. Unless you try hard to go deep inside yourself, you will not be able to see it. But a greater life is waiting. A higher life is waiting. A more blissful life is waiting. And this is just a preparation for it. But just by my saying you will not feel it. That's why my insistence on meditation.
If you can see something within you which cannot die, then all fear disappears. Ordinarily we are too attached with the body. The body is going to die -- that's certain. You will not be in this body, that's certain. But there is nothing to be worried about. Just as you change your clothes and there is no worry, bodies are changed. But you have to find existentially something within you which you can separate from the body, which you can see is absolutely separate from the body. Then that fear disappears.
Do a few meditations -- they will help tremendously. You have such a good heart. That's why you feel so sad for all the beautiful things of life. You have a very sensitive heart. Good. It can be a help in moving inwards.
[Osho suggested that she do the same meditation that he had described to her husband, saying not to be perturbed when thoughts came, but just to watch them, unconcerned.... ]
... but if for a few moments thoughts don't come, you will be able to see -- and it becomes so transparent -- that you are not the body. You are something transcendental. In that moment the certainty is so absolute that fear never grips again. That certainty is so total that you cannot die.
Once that point has been touched, then another door becomes visible. Then one waits for death, and when death comes one welcomes it. That too is beautiful.
In fact death is not the end of life -- it is the very pinnacle. It is the very peak. It is life at its climax. There is a turning then... another world starts.
So it is good to enjoy the beautiful things of life, but not enough. One has to go a little deeper.
[Osho recounted the story of two Sufi mystics -- Rabiya and Hassein.
Hassein was staying in Rabiya's hut and one morning called to Rabiya to come outside to where he was enjoying the early morning sun, the flowers, the cool breeze; to come and join him in seeing the beauty of what God had given them that morning.
Rabiya, meditating inside her hut, replied that rather than her going outside, Hassein should come into the hut and discover the beauties of another world. 'You are seeing the day that God has created. I am seeing Himself. I am seeing the creator.']
The world is beautiful... the sunset and the sunrise are beautiful. The dewdrops, the ocean, are beautiful, but nothing compared with the beauty of the creator.
This is just poetry. You have not seen the poet yet. This is just the song. You have not seen the singer yet. This is just the rumour. You have not seen the real yet.
So try to meditate, and some day it dawns and a new door opens.
Cypress in the Courtyard.
Wednesday 23rd. 1976