As I look in your eyes I never see you there - as if you are absent. You exist absently, and this is the core of all suffering. You can be alive without being at all present, and if you are not present your existence will become a boredom. And this is what has happened. So when I look in your eyes I don't find you there. You have yet to come, you have yet to be. The situation is there, and the possibility is there - you can be there any moment - but yet you are not.
To become aware of this absence is to begin the journey towards meditation, towards transcendence. If you are aware that somehow you are missing . . . you exist but you don't know why, you don't know how, you don't know even who exists within you. This unawareness creates all suffering, because, unknowing, whatsoever you do will bring suffering. It is not what you do that is basic; it is whether you do it with your presence or with your absence that is significant.
Whatsoever you do, if you can do it with total presence, your life will become ecstatic; it will be a bliss. If you do something without your presence there, absently, your life will be a suffering - bound to be. Hell means your absence. So there are two types of seekers: one type of seeker is always in search of what to do. That seeker is on a wrong path, because the question is not of doing at all. The question is of being - what to be, how to be. So never think in terms of action and doing, because whatsoever you do, if you are absent it will be meaningless.
Whether you move in the world or you live in a monastery; whether you function in the crowd or you move to an isolated spot in the Himalayas will make no difference. You will be absent here and you will be absent there, and whatsoever you do - in the crowd or in the isolation - will bring suffering. If you are not there, then whatsoever you do is wrong.
The second type, and the right type of seeker, is not in search of what to do, he is in search of how to be. The first thing is how to be.
One man came to Gautam Buddha. He was filled with much compassion, with much sympathy, and he asked Gautam Buddha,, What can I do to help the world?'
Buddha is reported to have laughed and said to the man, you cannot do anything because you are not. How can you do anything when you are not? So don't think of how to serve the world, how to help others.' Buddha said, First be - and if you are, then whatsoever you do becomes a service, it becomes a prayer, it becomes compassion. Your presence is the turning point. Your being is the revolution.'
So these are the two paths: the path of action and the path of meditation. They are diametrically opposite. The path of action is basically concerned with you as a doer. It will try to change your actions; it will try to change your character, your morals, your relationships, but never you. The path of meditation is diametrically opposite. It is not concerned with your actions; it is directly and immediately concerned with you. What you do is irrelevant. And that is basic and primary, because all action springs from you.
Remember, your actions can be changed and modified, can even be replaced by diametrically opposite actions, but they are not going to change you. Any outward change will not bring the inner revolution, because the outward is superficial, and the innermost core remains untouched; by what you do it remains untouched. But the vice versa brings the revolution: if the innermost core is different, the surface automatically changes. So think a basic question; only then can we enter these techniques of meditation.
Don't be concerned with what you are doing. That may be a trick, that may be a device to escape from the real problem. For example, you are violent. You can make every effort to be non-violent, thinking that by being non-violent you will become religious; by becoming non-violent you will come closer to the divine. You are cruel, and you may make every effort to be compassionate.
You can do it, and nothing will change and you will remain the same. Your cruelty will become a part of your compassion - and that is more dangerous. Your violence will become a part of your non-violence - that is more subtle. You will be violently non-violent. Your non-violence will have all the madness of violence, and through your compassion you will be cruel.
You can even kill through your compassion; people have killed. There are so many religious wars - they are fought in the mood of compassion. You can kill very compassionately, very non-violently; lovingly you can kill and murder, because you are killing for the sake of the person you are killing. You are killing him for himself, for his own sake, to help him. You can change your actions, and this effort to change the actions may be just a device to escape the basic change. The basic change is this - first you must be. You must become more alert, more conscious of your being, only then a presence comes to you.
You never feel yourself, and even sometimes when you feel, you feel through others - through excitement, through stimulation, through reaction. Someone else is needed, and via someone else you can feel yourself. This is absurd. Alone, without excitement, with no one there to become a mirror, you fall in sleep, you get bored. You never feel yourself. There is no presence. You live absently.
This absent existence is the non-religious mind. To become filled with your own presence, with the light of your own being, is to become religious. So remember this as a basic point: that my concern is not with your actions. What you do is irrelevant. What you are - absent, aware, unaware - that's my concern. And these techniques we will bring you here and now.
Either someone else is needed for you to feel yourself, or the past is needed - through the past, through past memories, you can feel your identity. Or the future is needed - you can project in your dreams. You can project your ideals, future lives, moksha. Either you need past memories to feel that you are, or you need a future projection, or someone else, but you alone are never enough. This is the disease, and unless you alone become enough, nothing will be enough for you. And once you alone have become enough unto yourself, you have become victorious, the struggle is over. Now there will be no suffering any more. A point of no return has come.
Beyond this point there is beatitude, eternal bliss. Before this point you are bound to suffer, but the whole suffering, strangely, is your own doing. It is a miracle that you create your own suffering. No one else is creating it. If someone else is creating it then what can you do? But because you can do, it means no one else is creating your suffering - it is your own nightmare. And these are the basic elements of it.
The first thing: you go on thinking that you are, you believe that you are. This is simply a belief. You have never encountered yourself, you have never come face to face with yourself; you have never met yourself, there has been no meeting. You simply believe that you are. Throw this belief totally. Know well that you are yet to be, that you are not, because with this false belief your whole life will become false.
Gurdjeff used to say to his disciples, Don't ask me what to do. You cannot do anything, because to do something first you will be needed. And you are not there, so who will do it? You can think about doing, but you cannot do anything.' These techniques are to help you, to bring you back; to help you to create a situation in which you can meet yourself. Much will have to be destroyed - all that is wrong, all that is false. Before the real arises the false will have to leave; it must cease. And these are the false notions - that you are. These are the false notions - that you are a soul, atma, you are Brahma. Not that you are not, but these notions are false.
Gurdjeff had to insist that there is no soul in you. Against all the traditions, he insisted, Man has no soul. Soul is simply a possibility - it can be, it may not be. It has to be achieved. You are simply a seed.'
And this emphasis is good. The possibility is there, the potentiality is there, but it is not yet actual. And we go on reading the Gita and the Upanishads and the Bible, and we go on feeling that we are the soul - the seed thinking that it is the tree. The tree is hidden there, but it is yet to be uncovered. And it is good to remember that you may remain a seed, and you may die a seed - because the tree cannot come, the tree cannot sprout by itself. You have to do something consciously about it, because only through consciousness it grows.
There are two types of growth. One is unconscious, natural growth: if the situation is there, the thing will grow. But the soul, the atma, the innermost being, the divine within you, is a different type of growth altogether. It is only through consciousness that it grows. It is not natural, it is supernatural.
Left to nature itself it will not grow; just left to evolution it will never evolve. You have to do something consciously, you have to make a conscious effort about it, because only through consciousness it grows. Once the consciousness is focused there, the growth happens. These techniques are to make you more conscious.
Now we will enter the techniques.
The first technique:
In summer when you see
the entire sky
enter such clarity.
In summer when you see the entire sky endlessly clear, enter such clarity. Mind is confusion; there is no clarity. And mind is always crowded, always cloudy; never the open sky, cloudless, empty. Mind cannot be that. You cannot make your mind clear; it is not the nature of the mind to be so. Mind will remain unclear. If you can leave the mind behind, if you can suddenly transcend the mind and come out of it , clarity will happen to you. You can be clear but not the mind. There is not such a thing as a clear mind; never has been and never will be. Mind means the unclarity, the confusion.
Try to understand the structure of the mind, and then this technique will be clear to you. What is the mind? A continuous process of thought, a continuous procession of thoughts - associated, non-associated, relevant, irrelevant - many multidimensional impressions gathered from everywhere. The whole life is a gathering, a gathering of the dust. And this goes on and on.
A child is born. A child is clear because the mind is not there. The moment mind appears, the unclarity; the confusion enters. A child is clear, a clarity, but he will have to gather knowledge, information, culture, religion, conditioning - necessary, useful. He will have to gather many things from everywhere, many sources - opposite, contradictory sources. From thousands and thousands of sources he will gather. Then the mind wil become a market-place, a crowd, and because of so many sources, confusion is bound to be there. And whatsoever you gather, nothing is certain, because knowledge is always a growing affair.
I remember, someone related an anecdote to me. He was a great searcher, and he told me this about his professor who taught him for five years in a medical college. The professor was a great scholar of his subject. The last thing he did was to gather his students and tell them, One thing more I have to teach you. Whatsoever I have taught you is only fifty percent correct, and the remaining fifty percent is absolutely wrong. But the trouble is , I don't know which fifty percent is incorrect - I don't know.'
The whole edifice of knowledge is such. Nothing is certain, no one knows, everyone is groping. Through groping we create systems, and there are thousands and thousands of systems.. Hindus say something, Christians say something else, Mohammedans still something else - all contradicting each other; no agreement, no certainty - and all these sources are the sources for your mind. You collect: our mind becomes a junk-yard; confusion is bound to be there. Only a person who doesn't know much can be certain. The more you know, the more uncertain you will become. People, primitive people, were more certain and apparently appeared to be more clear. There was no clarity - simply unawareness of facts which could contradict them. If the modern mind is more confused, the reason is that the modern knows more. If you know more you will be more confused, because now you have more knowledge, and the more you know, the more uncertain you become. Only idiots can be certain, only idiots can be dogmatic, only idiots will never hesitate. The more you know, the more the earth is taken away from your feet., the more hesitant you become. What I mean to say is, the more the mind grows, the more you will know the nature of the mind is confusion.
When I say only idiots can be certain, I don't mean that a buddha is an idiot - because he is not uncertain. Remember the difference. He is not certain, he is not uncertain - he is simply clear. With the mind, uncertainty; with the idiotic mind, certainty. With no mind both disappear - certainty and uncertainty.
Buddha is clarity, a space, open space. He is not certain - there is nothing to be certain. He is not uncertain, becasue there is nothing to be uncertain. Only one who is seeking certainty can be uncertain. Mind is always uncertain and always seeking certainty; always confused and always seeking clarity. A Buddha is one who has dropped the mind; and with the mind all confusion, all certainty, all uncertainty, everything is dropped.
Look at it in this way: your consciousness is just like the sky and your mind is just like the clouds. The sky remains untouched by the clouds. They come and go; no scar is left behind. The sky remains virgin: no record, no footprints, nothing of the clouds, no memory. They come and they go; the sky remains undisturbed. This is the case within you also; the consciousness remains undisturbed. Thoughts come and go, minds evolve and disappear. And don't think that you have one mind; you have many minds, it is a crowd. Your minds go on changing.
You are a communist, so you have a certain type of mind. You can leave it and you can become anti-communist. Then you have a different mind; not only different, quite the opposite. You can go on changing your minds just like you dress. And you go on changing. You may not be aware of it - these clouds come and go. Clarity can be achieved if you become aware of it - these clouds come and go. Clarity can be achieved if you become aware of the sky; if your focus; if your focus changes. You are focused on the clouds if you are unfocused on the sky. Unfocus on the clouds and focus on the sky.
This technique says:
In summer when you see
the entire sky
enter such clarity.
Meditate on the sky; a summer sky with no clouds, endlessly empty and clear, nothing moving in it, in it's total virginity. Contemplate on it, meditate on it, and enter this clarity. Become this clarity, this space-like clarity.
If you meditate on open unclouded sky, suddenly you will feel that the mind is disappearing, the mind is dropping away. There will be gaps. Suddenly you will become aware that it is as if the clear sky has entered in you also. There will be intervals. For a time being, thoughts will cease - as if the traffic has ceased and there is no one moving.
In the beginning it will be only for moments, but even those moments are transforming. By and by the mind will slow down, bigger gaps will appear. For minutes together there will be no thought, no cloud. And when there is no thought, no cloud, the outer sky and the inner sky become one, because only the thought is the barrier, only the thought creates the wall; only because of the thought the outer is the outer and the inner is the inner. When the thought is not there, the outer and the inner lose their boundaries, they become one. Really, boundaries never existed there. They appeared only becouse of the thought, the barrier.
To meditate on the sky is beautiful. Just lie down so you forget the earth; just lie down on your back on any lonely beach, on any ground, and just look at the sky. But a clear sky will be helpful - unclouded , endless. And just looking, staring at the sky, feel the clarity of it - the uncloudedness, the boundless expanse - and then enter that clarity, become one with it. Feel as if you have become the sky, the space.
In the beginning, if you only meditate on the open sky, not doing anything else, intervals will start appearing, because whatsoever you see enters you. Whatsoever you see stirs you within; whatsoever you see is pictured, reflected. You see a building. You cannot simply see it; something immediately starts happening within you. You see a man, a woman; you see a car - you see anything. It is not just outside, something has started within, the reflection, and you have started reacting to it. So everything you see moulds you, makes you. Modifies you, creates you. The without is constantly related with the within.
To look into the open sky is good.. Just the expanse is beautiful, with no boundaries there. Your own boundaries will disappear, because the no-boundary sky will reflect within you. And if you can stare without blinking your eyes. . . because if you blink your eyes your thought-process will continue. Stare without blinking the eyes. Stare in the emptiness, move into that emptiness, feel that you have become one with it, and any moment the sky will enter within you.
First you enter into the sky and then the sky enters you. And there is a meeting: the inner sky meeting the outer sky. In that meeting is realization. In that meeting there is no mind, because the meeting can happen only when the mind is not there. In that meetinng you are for the first time not your mind. There is no confusion. Confusion cannot exist without the mind. There is no misery, because it also cannot exist without the mind.
Have you observed this fact anytime or not - that misery cannot exist without your mind? You cannot be miserable without your mind. The very source is not there. Who will supply you with this misery? Who will make you miserable? And the same is true from the opposite direction also: you cannot be miserable without your mind and you cannot be blissful with your mind. The mind can never be the source of bliss.
So if the inner and outer sky meet and mind disappears, even for a moment, you will be filled with a new life. The quality of that life is absolutely different. It is life eternal, uncontaminated by death, uncontaminated by any fear. In that meeting you will be here and now, in the present - because past belongs to thoughts. Past and future are part of your mind. Present is existence - it is not part of your mind.
This moment doesn't belong to your mind. The moment that has gone belongs; the moment that has to come belongs to your mind. This moment never belongs to you. Rather, you belong to this moment. You exist here, right now here. Your mind exists somewhere else, always somewhere else.
I was reading one Sufi mystic. He was travelling on a lonely path, the way was deserted, and he saw a farmer with his bullock-cart. The cart was stuck in mud. The road was rough. The farmer was carrying a big load of apples in his bullock-cart, but somewhere on the rough road the tailboard of the wagon became unfastened and the apples were scattered. But he was not aware of it; the farmer was not aware of it.
When the cart got stuck in the mud, first he tried to bring it out somehow, but all efforts were in vain, so he thought, Now I must unload my cart, then maybe I can pull it out.' He looked back. Hardly a dozen apples were left - the load was already unloaded. You can feel his misery. The Sufi reports in his memoirs that the exasperated farmer made a remark. He said, Stuck by heck! Stuck! - and not a damn thing to unload!' The only possibility was that if he could unload the cart it could come out; but now - nothing to unload!
This technique - to look into the clarity of the sky and to become one with it - is one of the most practised. Many traditions have used this. And particularly for the modern mind it will be very useful, because on earth nothing is left. On earth nothing is left to meditate on - only the sky. If you look all around, everything is man-made, everything is limited, with a boundary, a limitation. Only the sky is still, fortunately, open to meditate on.
Try this technique, it will be helpful, but remember three things. One: don't blink - stare. Even if your eyes start to feel pain and tears come down, don't be worried. Even those tears will be a part of unloading; they will be helpful. Those tears will make your eyes more innocent and fresh - bathed. You just go on staring.
The second point: don't think about the sky, remember. You can start thinking about the sky. You can remember many poems, beautiful poems about the sky - then you will miss the point. You are not to think about' it - you are to enter it you are to be one with it - because if you start thinking about it, again a barrier is created. You are missing the sky again, and you are again enclosed in your own mind. Don't think about the sky. Be the sky. Just stare and move into the sky, and allow the sky to move in you. If you move into the sky, the sky will move into you immediately.
How can you do it? How will you do it? - this moving into the sky? Just go on staring further away and further away. Go on staring - as if you are trying to find the boundary. Move deep. Move as much as you can. That very movement will break the barrier. And this method should be practised for at least forty minutes; less that that will not do, will not be of much help.
When you really feel that you have become one, then you can close the eyes. When the sky has entered in you, you can close the eyes. You will be able to see it within also. Then there is no need. So only after forty minutes, when you feel that the oneness has happened and there is communion and you have become part of it and the mind is no more, close the eyes and remain in the sky within.
The clarity will help the third point: enter such clarity. The clarity will help - the uncontaminated, unclouded sky. Just be aware of the clarity that is all around you. Don't think about it; just be aware of the clarity, the purity, the innocence. These words are not to be repeated. You have to feel them rather than think. And once you stare into the sky the feeling will come, because it is not on your part to imagine these things - they are there. If you stare they will start happening to you.
The sky is pure, the purest thing in existence. Nothing makes it impure. Worlds come and go, earths are there and then disappear, and the sky remains pure. The purity is there. You need not project it; you are simply to feel it - to be vulnerable to it so you can feel it - and the clarity is there. Allow the sky to happen to you. You cannot force it; you can only allow it to happen.
All meditations are really allowing something to happen. Never think in terms of aggression, never think in terms offorcing something. You cannot force anything. Really, because you have been trying to force, you have created all misery. Nothing can be forced, but you can allow things to happen. Be feminine. Allow things to happen. Be passive. The sky is absolutely passive: not doing anything at all, just remaining there. Just be passive and remain under the sky - vulnerable, open, feminine, with no aggression on your part - and then the sky will penetrate you.
In summer when you see the entire sky
enter such clarity.
But if it is not summer what will you do? If the sky is clouded, not clear, then close your eyes and just enter the inner sky. Just close your eyes, and if you see some thoughts, just see them as if they are floating clouds in the sky. Be aware of the background, and be indifferent to thoughts.
We are too much concerned with thoughts and never aware of the gaps. One thought passes, and before another enters there is a gap - in that gap the sky is there. Then, whenever there is no thought, what is there? The emptiness is there. So if the sky is clouded - it is not summer-time and the sky is not clear - close your eyes, focus your mind on the background, the inner sky in which thoughts come and go. Don't pay much attention to thoughts; pay attention to the space in which they move.
For example, we are sitting in this room. I can look at this room in two ways. Either I can look at you, so that I am indifferent to the space you are in, the roominess, the room you are in - I look at you, I focus my mind on you who are here, and not on the room in which you are - or, I can change my focus: I can look into the room, and I become indifferent to you. You are there, but my emphasis, my focus, is on the room. Then the total perspective changes.
Just do this in the inner world. Look at the space. Thoughts are moving in it:be indifferent to them, don't pay any attention to them. They are there; note it down that they are there, moving. The traffic is moving in the street. Look at the street and be indifferent to the traffic. Don't look to see who is passing; just know that something is passing and be aware of the space in which it is passing. Then the summer sky happens within.
There is no need to wait for the summer, because our minds are such that they can find any excuse. They will say, Summer is not here, and even if it is summer, the sky is not clear.'
The Book of Secrets vol IV
'How to Be'
Discourses given between May and July 1973 in Bombay India
© Osho International Foundation
For other titles of Osho's books (in German & English) visit the Osho Bibliography site created by Sw Anand Rudra Osho's Bibliography Database
Part 2 - The second technique will be in the next issue of Osho's HeartBeats