time a child is born, an Adam is born. He lives in paradise because
he trusts life, enjoys small things, pebbles on the shore or sea shells
and he does not know how to create misery. Everything is a sheer fascination
to him from the dew drops in the morning sun, flowers, butterflies
to the moon and stars at night. This period, Osho says, is very short
and it is becoming shorter and shorter because children nowadays are
taught from the beginning to struggle and become more ambitious.
Sharing His insight Osho says, as we start
educating the child's intellect, we should also teach him meditation.
Just as the child comes to understand science, he should simultaneously
understand religion. "As is head grows brighter let his heart
also grow full of light. Let him not grow up only to know about, let
him grow up also to be. Let it not be only his possessions that grow,
let him grow too! Let not only his exterior
expand, let his interiority also have a depth, just as the trees rise
up in the sky but their roots go deep underground. The deeper the
roots go underground the higher the tree rises in the sky."
Sharing His vision with parents Osho says, "give your children
meditation as well as thinking. Thinking will help them to be successful
in the world, and meditation will help them towards success in the
divine. Give them thought to sharpen their intellects, give them meditation
to nurture the sacred in their hearts. The most important phenomenon
in the world happens where sacredness of the heart meets the activeness
of the intellect. In that meeting, activity and inactivity balance
each other, the day and the night both cease to be, and you start
catching glimpses of that which lies beyond both life and death."
Bringing out the essence of education, Osho divides education into
five dimensions. The first being informative like languages, history,
geography and many other subjects that can be dealt by television
and computers. The second dimension is the sciences, which can be
imparted again by television and computers with the guidance of a
human guide. Love, laughter and an acquaintance with life, its wonders,
its mysteries and a reverence for life is the third dimension of Osho's
vision. The forth dimension is art and creativity where the student
can choose from the whole rainbow of creative art and become a part
of existence. The fifth dimension of Osho's vision of education is
the art of dying which includes all meditations so that the child
can become aware of the eternal life within him.
"The young child is free of fear; children are born without any
fear. If the society can help and support them to remain without fear,
can help them to climb the trees and the mountains, and swim the oceans
and the rivers, if the society can help them in every possible way
to become adventurers, adventurers of the unknown, and if the society
can create a great enquiry instead of giving them dead beliefs, then
the children will turn into great lovers, lovers of life -- and that
is true religion. There is no higher religion than love."
Children and Meditation
We live in a very fast-paced society wherein our time is valued only for how much we
can do or produce during it. It is not surprising, therefore, that most of the children indulge in a variety of extra-curricular activities and sports (i.e. swimming, skating,
scouts, ballet, etc.) and so much so that after homework or dinner is through few have time to really catch their breath before it is time for bed.
Parents have in some cases overwhelmed their kids with so many new and different endeavors that they have not had the opportunity to learn how to repose. Contrary to our society's energetic values, meditation can actually create a renewed sense of motivation and well-being. Moreover, it allows a person to turn inwards, become acquainted with oneself, and ultimately become at peace with oneself.
Meditation basically helps children to learn how to connect with their inner-self,
including their imagination and the real essence of who they are. Meditation gives young children power over their thinking and their emotions, not by repressive self-control, but by enhanced self-understanding and self-acceptance.
Osho says, "If we can help children to be meditative we can change the whole world -- its energy, its consciousness. But we teach them something else, never meditation -- geography, history, and all kinds of nonsense which is absolutely useless. "
Children are closer than adults to the state of innocence. Because society -- in the form of parents, teachers and priests -- has not managed yet to fill their minds with conditioning, with beliefs and ideals. They tend to use their minds just or practical reasons; not to philosophize and plan and create problems.
They are more in touch with their bodies, with their contact with the earth. Osho has said that because of this state of innocence, of artlessness, non-mind-ness, often children can spontaneously fall into a state of meditation.
Osho further adds, "Children should be taught to meditate -- how to remain calm, serene, silent; how to reach the state of
no-mind. Children can learn to accomplish this very, very quickly. Every home should have a scheduled program to help children move into silence. And that will only be possible, when you, as parents, also practice with them. A daily hour of sitting silently should be compulsory in every home. One should even do away with a meal if necessary, but an hour of silence must be observed at all costs. It is wrong to call that house a home where an hour of silence isn't observed daily. It can not even be called a family".
Osho recommended meditations for children:
Tell the children to close their eyes and then start speaking gibberish -- any meaningless sort of sound. One sound will lead to another, just start anywhere. As they gibber they can let their bodies move -- maybe their hands want to move, or their body starts swaying, dancing, or jumping up and down. And they can do it as loudly as they like.
Let them do this for 10 minutes. Afterwards they will have quieted down, become centered inside. And you will feel terrific!
Children enjoy this very much because they get a great kick. Parents never allow their children to whirl. It is not good: they should be allowed -- rather, encouraged. And if you can make them aware of inner whirling also, you can teach them meditation through their whirling. They enjoy it because they have a bodiless feeling. When they whirl, suddenly children become aware that their body is whirling but they are not. Inside they feel a centering which we cannot feel so easily, because their bodies and souls are still a bit apart; there is a gap.'
Osho Speaks on Children and meditation
"The only thing to make man really and authentically cultured is to bring up children in their innocence, and help their bodies to be healthy and their innocence to be meditative. The child can reach his center very easily because he has
nothing to obstruct him, no ideas, no thoughts, no prejudices. He is not Catholic, he is not Hindu; he knows nothing. So when you say, "Go in," he simply goes in. And the road is clean, because no Bibles, no Korans, no Bhagavadgitas are standing like a China Wall preventing him. Children can learn meditation more easily than anybody else.
So my suggestion in response to your question is that every child is born innocent. Neither barbaric nor a very cultured and religious person -- just innocent. And all that the child needs from the parents and the society is not knowledge, but a deepening of innocence. Meditation is the only way of deepening innocence, and if a child grows with his center blossoming you will have for the first time a society which is cultured, a society of the buddhas, the awakened ones. That's my whole effort here."
Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind
Chapter title: Wolves in a sheep's skin
"We will teach children to look at the floating clouds, at the rising sun, at the moon at night. We will teach them how to love, and we will teach them not to create barriers against love, meditation, prayer; we will teach them to be open and vulnerable, we will not close their minds. And we will of course teach words but simultaneously we will teach silence, because once words get into the base, silence becomes difficult."
The Empty Boat
Chapter title: Means and Ends
"Society can be transformed totally if small children start meditating. They are not serious so they are very ready for meditation. They are joyful, playful. They take everything in fun. Sometimes it happens that when a small child comes to take sannyas and I tell him 'Close your eyes' he closes the eyes and he enjoys it as nobody else enjoys it. The very idea that he has been taken so seriously rejoices him. He sits silently. Sometimes I have seen grown-up people looking, just opening their eyes a little to see what is happening. But small children, when they close their eyes, they really close them. They close them very hard because they are afraid they will open if they don't do it hard. They really do it hard. They bring their total energy there because they know that if they are not doing it totally then the eyes will open and they will start looking to see what the matter is, what is going on. I have seen them really closing their eyes. And to see a child sitting silently is one of the most beautiful things you can come across.
Children can be taught meditation more easily because they are not yet spoiled. When you have been spoiled the hard work is to help you to unlearn."
Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol 2
Chapter title: Stand in Your Son's Shoes
"Each child in his tender years should be taught meditation, should be instructed in meditation. False teachings against sex should be abolished, and meditation should be taught. Meditation is a positive door; it is a higher opening. A choice between sex and meditation must be made, and meditation is the superior alternative. Do not condemn sex; teach children to meditate.
Being opposed to teaching children about sex only alerts them to its existence. And this is a highly dangerous approach. Later, it leads to the perversions of immature sexuality. As yet, when no door has opened, when both the doors are shut, when the energy is still safe, either door can be pushed open -- but this constant harping against sex is like knocking on sex's door.
A supple young plant can be bent in any direction; it can also bow humbly of its own accord. But as it grows, it hardens. If you try to bend it then, it will become misshapen, it will break. The case here is the same.
It is very difficult to attain the state of meditation when one is older. Older people trying meditation is like sowing seeds after the season is over. The seed of meditation can easily be sown in children, but man, as he is, only shows interest in meditation towards the end of his life. He is anxious to meditate then -- when his energy has ebbed, when all the possibilities of progress have dried up. Only then does he inquire about meditation and yoga. He wants to reform himself when the die has already been cast, when transformation is very difficult indeed. A man with one foot in the grave asks if anything can be done to attain freedom through meditation. This is strange. The notion is quite mad.
This planet can never be at peace until we launch a journey into meditation in every young mind. But it is futile to try this with people who are at the end of the road,
with people who are in the evening of their lives. Even if it were to be attempted by them it would demand enormous effort and, also, would not be to much advantage. But it could have been achieved had it been attempted earlier in life, when it does not call for so much effort.
So the first step towards the transformation of sex is to begin meditation in small children -- to coach them to be calm and to keep their own counsel, to teach them to be silent and to enlighten them about the state of no-mind. Although children are already calm and peaceful by adult standards, if they were guided in the right direction and taught to practice reticence and serenity even for a little while each day, a new door would open before they were fourteen years of age. Then, when sex rears its head, when the energy wells up and is about to spill over, it would flow through the new door that has already been opened. They would already have realized the serenity, the bliss, the joy, the timelessness and egolessness of meditation long before the experience of sex. This familiarity would prevent their energy from moving into wrong channels; it would divert it onto the right path.
Instead of teaching the tranquility of meditation, we teach children to abhor sex. "Sex is sin, sex is dirty," we say. We tell them it is ugly and bad; we say that it is hell. But name-calling does nothing whatsoever to alter the actual situation. On the contrary, children become curious; they want to know more about this hell, about this evil, about this dirty thing that makes their parents and teachers afraid and panic-stricken. They look anywhere and everywhere for the answer; they are anxious to understand what the commotion is all about."
From Sex to Superconsciousness
Chapter title: The pinnacle of meditation
"Secondly, children should be taught to meditate -- how to remain calm, serene, silent; how to reach the state of no-mind. Children can learn to accomplish this very, very quickly. Every home should have a scheduled program to help children move into silence. And that will only be possible, when you, as parents, also practice with them. A daily hour of sitting silently should be compulsory in every home. One should even do away with a meal if necessary, but an hour of silence must be observed at all costs. It is wrong to call that house a home where an hour of silence isn't observed daily. It can not even be called a family.
A daily hour of silence will conserve energy. And then, at the age of fourteen, it will surge in a tide and push open the door of meditation -- that state of meditation where man touches timelessness and
egolessness, where he glimpses the soul, where he glimpses the Supreme. A meeting with that summit before the experience of sex would put a stop to the mad rush after sex; the energy would have found a better, more blissful, more exalted path.
This is the first stage in the process of celibacy: to transcend sex. And the way is meditation.
The second fundamental is love. Children should be taught love from infancy. The common fear is that teaching love will lead man into the labyrinths of sex. But this fear is groundless. Teaching sex can lead man to love, but teaching love will never drag him into sexuality. The truth is at odds with the general belief. The energy of sex is transformed into love.
A man is able to spread love to those around him in direct proportion to the love that grows within him. Those who are empty of love are filled with sex. And sex-minded they remain. The less a man loves, the more he hates; the less love there is in a man's life, the more spiteful his life will be. And those who are devoid of love are filled with jealousy to the same degree. The less a man loves, the more strife he will know. People are worried and unhappy in direct proportion to the lack of love in their lives. And the more a man is engulfed by worry, jealousy, vanity, lies and the like, the more his energies will weaken, will become frail and feeble; he will be tense all the time. And the only outlet for this crude, crass, low and debased group of emotions is sex.
Love transforms energies. Love is fluid, creative, flowing; it fulfills. And the gratification of love is much deeper and much more valuable than that obtained through sex. One who knows that contentment will never look for any substitute, just as the man who acquires jewels will never search for stones."
From Sex to Superconsciousness
Chapter title: The pinnacle of meditation
"If only the child's intellect is educated he will be partially paralyzed; there will be no fullness, no totality in his life. One of his legs will always be crippled, and his life will be a limping. It is only because all others are lame too that no one recognizes the fact. Children have a game called lame race in which one of their legs is tied to another child's leg, so only one of their legs can run free. This is virtually the way our life is organized, so that we are running on one leg only. It is hardly surprising that we fail, collapse, break down!
Meditation is the second leg. We should teach children meditation as we start educating their intellect. Just as the child comes to understand science, he should come to understand religion simultaneously. As his head grows brighter let his heart also grow full of light. Let him not grow up only to know about, let him grow up also to be. Let it not be only his possessions that grow, let him grow too! Let not only his exterior expand, let his interiority also have a depth, just as the trees rise up in the sky but their roots go deep underground.
The deeper the roots go underground the higher the tree rises in the sky."
Nowhere To Go But In
Chapter title: None
DOES EDUCATION LEAD TO MEDITATION? PLEASE EXPLAIN EDUCATION AND RELIGION.
"Ordinarily that which is called education is almost against meditation. It should not be so but it is so. The original meaning of the word 'education' is not against meditation. The original meaning is: to draw out. To educate means to draw out; whatsoever is hidden in the individual has to be drawn out. The individual has to flower -- that is the original meaning of education.
That is what meditation is too: you have to flower in your own being. You don't know what you are going to be, you don't know what flowers will come to you, what will be their color and what will be their perfume -- you don't know. You move into the unknown. You simply trust life-energy. It has given birth to you, it is your foundation, it is your being. You trust it. You know that you are a child of this universe, and this universe, if it has given birth to you, will take care too. When you trust yourself you trust the whole universe also. And this universe is beautiful. Just see... so many flowers are born in this universe; how can you mistrust it? Such tremendous beauty is all around;
how can you mistrust it? Such grandeur, such grace, from a small dust particle to the stars; such symmetry, such harmony; how can you mistrust it?
Basho has said, "If flowers are born out of this universe, then I trust it." Right? That is enough logic, a great argument: "If this universe can give birth to so many beautiful flowers, if a rose is possible, I trust it. If a lotus is possible. I trust it." Education is a trust in yourself and in existence, allowing whatsoever is hidden in you unfoldment; bringing whatsoever is in, out. But that is not true of the so-called education that goes on in the world. Rather than bringing out, it forces things in. It simply pours in information. Again that word 'information' is wrong; it should not be used -- it is 'out-formation'. 'Information' means: formation inside you. Something should grow in you -- then it is information. But nobody is bothered about you. The society is bothered about its own ideas, ideologies, prejudices, technology; they go on forcing you. Your head is used as a hollow place, so they have to provide the furniture. Ordinarily education, or whatsoever is available in the name of education, is nothing but stuffing your mind with knowledge - because knowledge has some utility. Nobody is bothered about you, nobody is bothered about your destiny They need more doctors, they need more engineers, they need more generals, they need more technicians, plumbers, electricians. So they need them; they force you to become a plumber, or they force you to become a doctor, or they force you to become an engineer.I am not saying there is something wrong with being an engineer or a doctor, but there is certainly something wrong if it is forced from the outside. If somebody flowers into a doctor, then you will see a great healing happening around him. Then he will be a born healer. He will really be a physician, his touch will be golden. He is born to be that. But when it is forced from the outside and one takes it as a profession,
because one has to live and one has to learn and earn one's living, one takes it over. Then one is crippled and crushed under the weight. One simply goes on dragging and dragging, and one day, dies. There has never been a moment of celebration in that life. Of course, he will leave much money for his children to become doctors in their own turn, to go to university, to the same university where he was destroyed. And his children will do the same to their children, and this is how things go on being transferred from one generation to another. No, I don't call this education. It is crime. It is really a miracle that in spite of this education sometimes a Buddha flowers in the world. It is a miracle. It is simply unbelievable how somebody can escape out of it: it is a methodology to kill you, it is arranged in such a way. And small children are caught in the mechanism of it, not knowing where they are going, not knowing what is being made of them. By the time they become aware, they are completely corrupted, destroyed. By the time they can think about what to do with their lives, they are almost incapable of moving in any other direction. By the time you are twenty-five or thirty, half the life is gone. Now to change seems to be too risky. You have become a doctor, your practice is going well; suddenly one day you realize that this is not the thing you were meant to be. This is not for you -- but now what to do? So go on pretending that you are a doctor. And if the doctor is not happy in being a doctor, he is not going to help any patient. He may drug the patient, he may give medicine, but he is not going to really be a healing force. When a doctor is really a doctor, a born doctor... and everybody is a born something. You may miss it, you may not even know it. Somebody is a born poet; and you cannot make a poet. There is no way to manufacture poets. Somebody is a born painter; you cannot manufacture painters.
But things are very wrongly placed: the painter is working as a doctor, the doctor is working as a painter. The politician is there: maybe he could have been a good plumber but he has become a prime minister or a president. And the person who could have been a prime minister is a plumber. This is why in the world there is so much chaos: everybody is wrongly placed, nobody is exactly where he should be. Right education will exactly be a path to meditation. Wrong education is a barrier to meditation because wrong education teaches you things which don't fit with you. And unless something fits with you and you fit with it, you can never be healthy and whole. You will suffer. So ordinarily when an educated person becomes interested in meditation he has to unlearn whatsoever he has learned. He has to go back to his childhood again and start from there, from the ABC's That's why my insistence is for certain meditations in which you can again become a child. When you dance you are more like a child than like a grown-up person. That's why you don't see dignitaries coming to me and to my meditations.
Somebody is a commissioner, a collector -- he cannot come, because he cannot dance. He is a commissioner, or he is a governor -- how can he dance with ordinary people? But if you cannot dance, you may be a governor, but you are dead I If you cannot sing like a child. you are a burden on the earth. It is better if you commit suicide. At least you will vacate some space for somebody else to grow and flower. You are not going to flower; that is certain. Men who have some respectability become very stuck because they cannot do anything -- they cannot risk their respectability. They are afraid. They are not happy, they don't know what bliss is, they don't exactly know what being alive means -- but they are respectable. So they cling to their respectability, and then die. They never live; they die before they ever start living. They are many people who die before they have ever lived. My meditations are to bring you back to your childhood -- when you were not respectable, when you could do crazy things, when you were innocent, uncorrupted by the society, when you had not learned any tricks of the world, when you were other-worldly, unworldly. I would like you to go back to that point; from there, start again. And this is your life.
Respectability or money are booby prizes, they are not real prizes. Don't be deceived by them. You cannot eat respectability, and you cannot eat money, and you cannot eat prestige. They are just games: meaningless, stupid, mediocre. if you are intelligent enough you will understand that you have to live your life and you are not to bother about other things. All other considerations are meaningless: it is your life. You have to live it authentically, lovingly, with great passion and with great compassion, with great energy. You have to become a tidal wave of bliss. Whatsoever is needed to do for it, do. Unlearning will be needed. Unlearning means that you stop those wrong routes, you stop moving in those wrong ways that the society has forced persuaded you, seduced you to go in. You take charge of your own life; you become your own master.
That is the meaning of sannyas. That's why I call sannyasins SWAMI. 'SWAMI' means: one who has become a master of his own life. It has nothing to do with orthodox SWAMIS; they are not masters of their own lives. They are again on the same train, with the same society, with the same stupid power, prestige, politics.
A real sannyasin is one who does not care about others' opinions, who has decided to live his life as he wants to live it. I don't mean for you to be irresponsible. When you start living your life responsibly, you not only care about yourself, you care about others also -- but in a totally different way. Now you will take every care that you don't interfere in anybody else's life -- this is what responsibility is. You don't allow anybody to interfere in your life, and naturally, you will not interfere in anybody's life. You don't want anybody to guide your life, you don't want your life to be a guided tow. A guided tour is not a tour at all. You want to explore on your own. You want to move in the forest without any map, so that you can also be a discoverer, so that you can also come to some fresh spots for the first time. If you carry a map you always come to the spot where many have come before.
It is never new, it is never original, it is never virgin. It is already contaminated, corrupted. Many have moved on it: a map even exists. When I was a child, in the temple that my parents used to visit, I was surprised: there were maps of heaven and hell and MOKSHA. One day I told my father, "If maps exist about MOKSHA, then I am not interested in it."
He said, "Why?" I said, "If maps exist, then it is already rotten. Many people have reached there, even map-makers have reached there. Everything is measured, and they know every spot, named and labelled. This seems to be just an extension of the same old world. It is nothing new. I would like to move in a world which has no map. I would like to be an explorer." That day I stopped going into the temple. My father asked me, "Why don't you come now?"
I said, "You remove those maps. I cannot tolerate those maps there. They are very offensive. Just think about it: even MOKSHA IS measured? Then is there nothing immeasurable!"
And all the Buddhas have said that truth is immeasurable; all the Buddhas have said that truth is not only unknown, it is unknowable. It is an uncharted sea: you take your small boat and you go into the uncharted sea. You take the adventure. It is risky, it is dangerous. But in risk and danger the soul flowers, becomes integrated. To me, if education is right it will be just a part of meditation; meditation will be the last point in it. If education is right, then universities should not be against the universe. They should be just training-places, jumping-boards into the universe. If education is right, then it will not be concerned about money, and it will not be concerned about power and prestige. Then it will not be political at all.If education is right it will be concerned about your bliss, your happiness, music, love, poetry, dance. It will teach you how to unfold. It will not go on simply throwing information into your head. It will help you to come out of your being, to flower, to grow, to spread, to expand. It will be a totally different education.
And naturally if education becomes involved with meditation it becomes religious. I don't call an education religious because it teaches the dogma of Christianity, or it teaches Hinduism. It is not religious. Education is religious if it makes you courageous enough to accept yourself, and live your life, and become an offering to God in your own way, in your own unique way."
The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 4
Chapter title: Go on moving
5 November 1976 am in Buddha Hall