LISTEN TO OSHO SPEAK ON
JUST AS YOU HAVE THE IMPULSE TO DO
All these techniques are concerned with
stopping in the middle. George Gurdjieff made these techniques very
well-known in the West, but he was not aware of
VIGYANA BHAIRAVA TANTRA. He learned these techniques in Tibet from Buddhist lamas. He
worked on these techniques in the West, and many, many seekers came to
realize the center through these techniques. He called them stop
exercises, but the source of these exercises is
VIGYANA BHAIRAVA TANTRA.
Buddhists learned from
Sufis also have such exercises; they are also borrowed from
VIGYANA BHAIRAVA. Basically, this is the source book of all techniques which
are known all over the world.
Gurdjieff used it in a very simple way.
For example, he would tell his students to dance. A group would be
dancing -- a group of, say, twenty people would be dancing -- and
suddenly he would say, "Stop!" And the moment Gurdjieff
would say stop, they would have to stop totally. Wherever the pause
would fall, they would have to stop then and there. No change could be
made, no adjustment could be made. If one of your feet was above the
earth and you were just standing on one foot, you would have to remain
that way. If you fell, that was another thing, but you were not to
cooperate with the fall. If your eyes were opened, they had to remain
opened. Now you could not close them. If they closed by themselves,
that was another thing. But as far as you were concerned, consciously
you had stopped, you had become just like a stone statue.
Miracles happened because in activity,
in dance, in movement, when suddenly you stop, a gap happens. This
sudden stoppage of all activity divides you into two: your body and
you. Your body and you were in movement. Suddenly you stop. The body
has the tendency to move. It was in movement, so there is momentum;
you were dancing, and there is momentum. The body is not ready for
this sudden stop. Suddenly you feel that the body has the impulse to
do something, but you have stopped. A gap comes into existence. You
feel your body as something distant, far away, with the impulse to
move, with momentum for activity. And because you have stopped and you
are not cooperating with the body and its activity and its impulse,
its momentum, you become separate from it.
But you can deceive yourself. A slight
cooperation and the gap will not happen. For example, you feel
uncomfortable, but the teacher has said, "Stop!" You have
heard the word, but still you make yourself comfortable and then you
stop. Then nothing will happen. Then you have deceived yourself, not
the teacher, because you missed the point. The whole point of the
technique is missed. Suddenly, when you hear the word
"Stop!" instantly you have to stop, not doing anything.
Perhaps the posture was inconvenient,
you were afraid you might fall down, you might break a bone. But
whatsoever happens, now it is not your concern. If you have any
concern, you will deceive yourself. This suddenly becoming dead
creates a gap. The stopping is at the body and the stopper is the
center; the circumference and the center are separate. In that sudden
stopping you can feel yourself for the first time; you can feel the
center. Gurdjieff used this technique to help many.
This technique has many dimensions; it
can be used in many ways. But first try to understand the mechanism.
The mechanism is simple. You are in activity, and when you are in
activity you forget yourself completely; the activity becomes the
center of your attention.
Someone has died, and you are weeping
and crying, and tears are falling down. You have forgotten yourself
completely. The one who has died has become the center, and around
that center this activity is happening -- your weeping, your crying,
your sadness, your tears. If I suddenly say to you, "Stop!"
and you stop yourself completely, you will be totally taken away from
your body and the realm of activity. Whenever you are in activity, you
are in it, deeply absorbed in it. Sudden stoppage throws you off
balance; it throws you out of activity. This being thrown leads you to
Ordinarily, what are we doing? From one
activity we move to another. We go on from one activity to another,
from A to B and from B to C. In the morning, the moment you are awake
activity has started. Now you will be active the whole day. You will
change to many activities, but you will not be inactive for a single
moment. How to be inactive? It is difficult. And if you try to be
inactive, your effort to be inactive will become an activity.
There are many who are trying to be
inactive. They sit in a Buddha posture and they try to be inactive.
But how can you try to be inactive? The very effort is again an
activity. So you can convert inactivity also into activity. You can
force yourself to be quiet, still, but that forcing is an activity of
the mind. That is why so many try to go into meditation but never
reach anywhere -- because their meditation is again an activity. They
can change... If you were singing an ordinary song, you can now change
to a BHAJAN, to a devotional song. You can sing slow now, but both are
activities. You are running, you are walking, you are reading -- these
are activities. You can pray -- that too is an activity. You move from
one activity to another.
And with the last thing in the night,
when you are falling into sleep, you are still active; the activity
has not stopped. That is why dreams happen, because the activity goes
on. You have fallen asleep, but the activity continues. In the
subconscious you are still active -- doing things, possessing things,
losing things, moving. Dreaming means you have fallen asleep because
of exertion, but the activity is still there continuously.
Only sometimes, for a few moments --
and these have become more and more rare for the modern man -- only
for a few moments dreaming stops and you are totally asleep. But then
that inactivity is unconscious. You are not conscious, you are fast
asleep. The activity has ceased; now there is no circumference, now
you are at the center -- but totally exhausted, totally dead,
That is why Hindus have always been
SUSHUPTI -- dreamless sleep -- and
SAMADHI -- the ultimate
ecstasy -- are similar, the same, with only one difference. But the
difference is great: the difference is of awareness. In sushupti, in
dreamless sleep, you are at the center of your being -- but unaware.
In samadhi, in the ultimate ecstasy, in the ultimate state of
meditation, also you are at the center -- but aware. That is the
difference, but it is a great difference, because if you are unaware,
even if you are at the center it is meaningless. It refreshes you, it
makes you more alive again, it gives you vitality -- in the morning
you feel fresh and blissful -- but if you are unaware, even if you are
at the center your life remains the same.
In samadhi you enter yourself fully
conscious, fully alert. And once you are at the center fully alert,
you will never be the same again. Now you will know who you are. Now
you will know that your possessions, your actions are just on the
periphery; they are just the ripples, not your nature.
The mechanism of these techniques of
stopping is to throw you suddenly into inactivity. The point must come
suddenly, because if you try to be inactive you will turn it into
activity. So do not try, and suddenly be inactive. That is the meaning
of "Stop!" You are running and I say, "Stop!" Do
not try, just stop! If you try, you will miss the point. For example,
you are sitting here. If I say stop, then stop immediately then and
there; not a single moment is to be missed. If you try and adjust, and
you settle down and then say, "Okay, now I will stop," you
have missed the point.
SUDDENLY is the base, so do not make any effort
to stop -- just stop!
You can try it anywhere. You are taking
your bath -- suddenly order yourself to "Stop!" and stop.
Even if it is only for a single moment, you will feel a different
phenomenon happening within you. You are thrown to the center and
suddenly everything stops -- not only the body. When the body stops
totally, your mind stops also. When you say, "Stop!" do not
breathe then. Let everything stop... no breathing, no body movement.
For a single moment remain in this stop, and you will feel you have
penetrated suddenly, at rocket speed, to the center. And even a
glimpse is miraculous, revolutionary. It changes you, and by and by
you can have more clear glimpses of the center. That is why inactivity
is not to be practiced. Use it suddenly, when you are unaware.
So a master can be helpful. This is a
group method. Gurdjieff used it as a group method because if you say
"Stop!" you can deceive yourself easily. First you make
yourself comfortable and then you say "Stop!" Or even if
consciously you have not made any preparation for it, unconsciously
you may be prepared. Then you may say, "Now I can stop." If
it is done by the mind, if there is a planning behind it, it is
useless; then the technique will not be of any help. So in a group it
is good. A master is working with you, and he says, "Stop!"
He will find moments when you are in a very inconvenient posture, and
then a flash happens, a sudden lightning.
Activity can be practiced; inactivity
cannot be practiced -- and if you practice it, it becomes just another
activity. You can be inactive only suddenly. Sometimes it happens that
you are driving a car, and suddenly you feel there is going to be an
accident, that another car has reached near yours and in just a moment
there will be a crash. Suddenly your mind stops, breathing stops,
everything stops. So many times in such accidents one is thrown to the
center. But you may miss the point even in an accident.
I was in a car and there was an
accident, and one of the most beautiful accidents possible. Three
persons were with me, but they missed the whole thing completely. It
could have been a revolution in their lives, but they missed. The car
went down into a river bed, into a dry river bed, from a bridge. The
car was totally upside down, and the three persons with me began
crying; they began weeping.
One woman was there and she was crying.
She was just beside me and she was crying, "I am dead! I am
I told her, "If you were dead,
then no one would be here to say this."
But she was trembling, and she said,
"I am dead! What will happen to my children?" Even after we
carried her out of the car she was trembling and saying the same
thing: "What will happen to my children? I am dead!" It took
at least half an hour for her to calm down.
She missed the point. It was such a
beautiful thing: suddenly she could have stopped everything. And one
couldn't do anything. The car was falling from the bridge, so her
activity was not needed at all. One couldn't do anything. But still
the mind can create activity. She started thinking about her children,
and then she began crying, "I am dead!" A subtle moment was
missed. In dangerous situations the mind stops automatically. Why?
Because mind is a mechanism and it can work with only routine things
-- that which it has been trained to do.
You cannot train your mind for
accidents, otherwise they would not be called accidents. If you are
ready, if you have passed through rehearsals, then they are not
accidents. `Accident' means that the mind is not ready to do anything.
The thing is so sudden, it leaps from the unknown -- mind cannot do
anything. It is not ready, it is not trained for it. It is bound to
stop unless you start something else, unless you start something for
which you are trained.
This woman who was crying about her
children was not at all attentive to what was happening. She was not
even aware that she was alive. The present moment was not in her focus
of consciousness. She had moved away from the situation to her
children, to death and to other things. She had escaped. As far as her
attention was concerned, she had escaped from the situation
But as far as the situation was
concerned, nothing could be done; one could only be aware. Whatsoever
was happening was happening. One could only be aware. As far as the
present moment is concerned, in an accident what can you do? It is
already beyond you, and the mind is not prepared for it. The mind
cannot function, so the mind stops.
That is why dangers have a secret
appeal, an intrinsic appeal: they are meditative moments. If you race
a car and it goes beyond ninety miles per hour, and then beyond one
hundred and then beyond one hundred and ten and beyond one hundred and
twenty, then a situation comes in which anything can happen and you
will not be able to do anything. Now really, the car is beyond
control, going beyond control. Suddenly the mind cannot function; it
is not ready for it. That is the thrill of speed -- because a silence
creeps in, you are thrown to the center.
These techniques help you to move to
the center without any accidents, without any danger. But remember,
you cannot practice them. When I say you cannot practice them, what do
I mean? In a way you can practice them: suddenly you can stop. But the
stopping must be sudden, you must not be prepared for it. You should
not think about it and plan it and say that "At twelve o'clock I
will stop." Let the unknown happen to you when you are
unprepared. Move in the unknown, the uncharted, without any knowledge.
This is one technique:
JUST AS YOU HAVE THE IMPULSE TO DO
This is one dimension.
For example, you have the impulse to
sneeze. You are feeling that the impulse is coming, you are feeling
the sneeze coming. Now a moment comes when you cannot do anything --
it will happen. But in the very beginning of the feeling, when you
feel the sensation of a sneeze coming to you, the moment you become
aware, stop! What can you do? Can you stop the sneeze? If you try to
stop the sneeze, the sneeze will come sooner, because stopping will
make your mind more conscious about it and you will feel the sensation
more. You will become more sensitive, your total attention will be
there, and that attention will help the sneeze to come out sooner. It
will become unbearable. You cannot stop the sneeze directly, but you
can stop yourself.
What can you do? You feel the sensation
that the sneeze is coming: stop! Do not try to stop the sneeze, just
you yourself stop. Do not do anything. Remain completely unmoving,
with not even your breath going in or coming out. For a moment, stop,
and you will feel that the impulse has gone back, that it has dropped.
And in this dropping of the impulse a subtle energy is released which
is used in going toward the center, because in a sneeze you are
throwing some energy out -- in any impulse.
`Impulse' means you are burdened with
some energy which you cannot use and cannot absorb. It wants to move
out, it wants to be thrown out; you want a relief. That is why after
you sneeze you will feel good, a subtle well-being. Nothing has
happened, you have simply released some energy which was superfluous,
a burden. Now it is no more there; you are relieved of it. Then you
feel a subtle relaxation inside.
That is why physiologists, Pavlov, B.
F. Skinner and others, say sex is also like sneezing. They say
physiologically there is no difference, sex is just like sneezing. You
are overburdened with energy; you want to throw it out. Once it is
thrown out your mechanism relaxes, you become unburdened. Then you
feel good. That good feeling is just a release, according to
physiologists, and as far as physiology goes they are right. Whenever
you have some impulse,
JUST AS YOU HAVE THE IMPULSE TO DO SOMETHING,
STOP! Not only with a physiological impulse, any impulse can be used.
For example, you were going to drink a
glass of water. You have touched the water, the glass -- suddenly
stop. Let the hand be there, let the desire to drink, the thirst be
there inside, but you stop completely. The glass is outside, the
thirst is inside; the hand is on the glass, the eyes are on the glass
-- stop suddenly. No breathing, no movement, as if you have become
dead. The very impulse, the thirst, will release energy, and that
energy is used for going to the center. You will be thrown to the
center. Why? Because any impulse is a movement outward. Remember,
`impulse' means energy moving outward.
Remember another thing: energy is
always in movement -- either going out or coming in. Energy can never
be static. These are the laws. If you understand the laws, then the
mechanism of the technique will be easy. Energy is always in movement.
Either it is moving out or moving in; energy can never be static. If
it is static it is not energy, and there is nothing which is not
energy, so everything is moving somewhere.
When an impulse, any impulse, comes to
you, it means energy is moving out. That is why your hand goes to the
glass -- you have moved out. A desire has come to do something. All
activities are movements toward that which is without from that which
is within -- movements from within to without.
When you stop suddenly, the energy
cannot be static in you. You have become static, but the energy cannot
be static in you, and the mechanism through which it was moving out is
not dead, it has stopped. So what can the energy do? The energy cannot
do anything other than move inward. Energy cannot be static. It was
going out. You have stopped, the mechanism has stopped, but the
mechanism which can lead it toward the center is there. This energy
will move inward.
You are converting your energy and
changing its dimension every moment without knowing it. You are angry,
and you feel to beat someone or to destroy something or to do
something violent -- try this. Take someone -- your friend, your wife,
your child, anyone -- and hug, kiss or embrace him or her. You were
angry, you were going to destroy something; you wanted to do some
violent thing. Your mind was destructive; the energy was moving toward
violence. Love someone immediately.
In the beginning you may feel that this
is just like acting. You will wonder, "How can I love? How can I
love in this moment? I am angry!" You do not know the mechanism.
In this moment you can love deeply because the energy has been
aroused, it has arisen. It has come to a point where it wants to be
expressed, and energy needs movement. If you just start loving
someone, the same energy will move into love and you will feel a rush
of energy that you may not have ever felt.
There are persons who cannot go into
love unless they are angry, unless they are violent. There are people
who can only go into deep love when their energy is moving violently.
You may not have observed, but it happens daily: couples will fight
before they make love. Wives and husbands fight, become angry, become
violent, and then they make love, and they may not have understood
what was happening. Then it becomes a mechanical habit -- whenever
they fight they will love. And the day they do not fight they will not
be able to love.
Particularly in Indian villages, where
wives are still beaten, if a certain husband stops beating his wife it
is known that now he has stopped loving her. And even wives understand
that if the husband has become totally nonviolent toward them, it
means the love has stopped. He is not fighting, so it means he is not
Why? Why is fight so associated with
love? It is associated because the same energy can move in different
dimensions. You may call it "love" or "hate." They
look opposite, but they are not so opposite, because the same energy
is moving. So a person who becomes incapable of hate becomes incapable
of love, according to your definitions of love. A person who cannot be
violently angry becomes incapable of the love which you know. He may
be capable of a different quality of love, but that is not your love.
A Buddha loves, but that love is totally different. That is why Buddha
calls it compassion; he never calls it love. It is more like
compassion, less like your love, because your love implies hate,
Energy can move, can change directions.
It can become hate, it can become love -- the same energy. And the
same energy can move inward also, so whenever you have the impulse to
do something, Stop! This is not suppression. You are not suppressing
anything, you are just playing with energy -- just playing with energy
and knowing the workings of it, how it works inwardly. But remember,
the impulse must be real and authentic; otherwise nothing will happen.
For example, when there is no thirst
you move to a glass of water and then suddenly you stop. Nothing will
happen because there is nothing to happen -- the energy was not
moving. You were feeling love toward your wife, your husband, your
friend. You wanted to hug, to kiss -- stop! But the impulse must be
there authentically. If the impulse is not there and you were just
going to console someone, to kiss because the kiss is expected, and
then you stop, then nothing will happen because nothing was moving
So first remember, the impulse must be
authentic, real. Only with a real impulse does energy move, and when a
real impulse is suddenly stopped the energy becomes suspended. With no
dimension from where to move out, it turns in. It has to move, it
cannot remain there.
But we are so false that nothing seems
real. You eat your meal because of the clock, because of the time, not
because of hunger. So if you stop, nothing will happen because there
was really no hunger behind it, no impulse. No energy was moving
there. That is why if you take your meal at one o'clock, at one
o'clock you will feel the hunger. But the hunger is false; it is just
a mechanical habit, just a dead habit. Your body is not hungry. If you
do not eat you will feel something is missing, but if you can remain
for one hour without eating you will forget it, the hunger will have
A real hunger will grow more; it is
bound to grow. If your hunger was real, then at two you will feel more
hungry. If the hunger was false, then at two you will have completely
forgotten. Really, there will be no hunger at two. Even if you want to
eat, now you will not feel hungry. The hunger was just a false,
mechanical feeling. No energy was moving, it was just the mind saying
to you that now this is the time to eat, so eat.
If you are feeling sleepy, stop! But
the feeling must be real; that is the problem. And that is the problem
for us now. It was not so in Shiva's time. When the
TANTRA was preached for the first time, it was not so. Man was
authentic, humanity was real, pure, nothing was false about it. With
us everything is false. You pretend that you love; you pretend that
you are angry. You go on pretending and then you forget yourself
whether you are pretending or whether anything real is left. You never
say what is in you, you never express it. You go on expressing what is
not there. Watch yourself and you will come to know it.
You say something, but you feel
something else. Really, you wanted to say quite the opposite, but if
you say the real thing you will become totally unfit -- because the
whole society is false, and in a false society you can exist only as a
false person. The more adjusted, the more false, because if you want
to be real you will feel a maladjustment.
That is why renunciation came into
existence, because of a false society. Buddha had to leave not because
it had any positive meaning, but only a negative meaning -- because
with a false society you cannot be real. Or at every moment you are in
a constant struggle, unnecessarily and dissipating energy. So leave
the unreal, leave the false, so that you can be real. That was the
basic reason for all renunciation.
But watch yourself, how unreal you are.
Watch the double mind. You are saying something, but you are feeling
quite the contrary. Simultaneously, you are saying one thing in your
mind and something else without. Thus, if you stop anything which is
not real, the technique will not help. So find something authentic
about yourself and try to stop that. Not everything has become false,
many things are still real. Fortunately, everyone is real sometimes;
in some moment everyone is real. Then stop it.
You are feeling angry, and you feel it
is real. You are going to destroy something, beat your child, or do
something: Stop! But do not stop with a consideration. Do not say,
"Anger is bad, so I should stop" -- no ! Do not say,
"This is not going to help the child, so I should stop." No
mental consideration is needed, because if you consider, then the
energy has moved into consideration. This is an inner mechanism.
If you say, "I should not beat my
child because it is not going to do any good to him, and this is not
good for me also. This is useless and this never helps," the same
energy which was going to become anger has become consideration. Now
you have considered the whole thing, and the energy has subsided. It
has moved into consideration, into thinking. Then you stop, but then
there is no energy to move in. When you feel angry, do not consider
it, do not think about it being good or bad; do not think at all.
Suddenly remember the technique and stop!
Anger is pure energy... nothing bad,
nothing good. It may become good, it may become bad -- that will
depend on the result, not on the energy. It can become bad if it goes
out and destroys something, if it becomes destructive. It may become a
beautiful ecstasy if it moves within and throws you to the center; it
may become a flower. Energy is simply energy -- pure, innocent,
neutral. Do not consider it. You were going to do something -- do not
think, simply stop and then remain stopped. In that remaining you will
have a glimpse of the inner center. You will forget the periphery and
the center will come into your vision.
Just as you have the impulse to do
something, Stop! Try it. Remember three things... One, try it only
when a real impulse is there. Secondly, do not think about stopping,
just stop. And thirdly, wait! When you have stopped, no breathing, no
movement -- wait and see what happens. Do not try. When I say to wait,
I mean do not try now to think about the inner center. Then you will
again miss. Do not think of the self, of the atman. Do not think that
now the glimpse is there, now the glimpse is coming. Do not think,
just wait. Let the impulse, the energy move by itself. If you start
thinking about the brahman and the atman and the center, the energy
will have moved into this thinking.
You can waste this inner energy very
simply. Just a thought will be enough to give it a direction; then you
will go on thinking. When I say stop, it means stop totally, fully.
Nothing is moving, as if the whole time has stopped. There is no
movement -- simply you are! In that simple existence, suddenly the