Experience of the Beyond
National Sports Day
National Sports Day is commemorated in India on 29 August every year. It signifies the birth anniversary of the star hockey legend Dhyan Chand Singh who led India’s first Olympic gold medal hat-trick in 1928, 1932, and 1936. This day brings awareness to the importance of physical activity and sports in routine life through sporting events, workshops, and seminars throughout the nation.
In today’s era of digital life, physical and sporting activities are more important than ever to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is scientifically proven that any sort of movement throughout an individual’s day contributes to better mood, habits, and health through a boost of serotonin in the body. Osho speaks prolifically of the significance of physical movement toward meditation – since we spend most of our time in an inactive state, it is crucial to have a means of expelling energy and introducing a flow in our bodies. It is through this flow that we can actually enter into an experience of meditation.
Osho talks about new forms of meditation, “It happens many times that runners…. You will not think of running as a meditation, but runners sometimes have felt a tremendous experience of meditation. They were surprised, because they were not looking for it — who thinks that a runner is going to experience God? — but it has happened, and now running is becoming more and more a new kind of meditation. It can happen in running. If you have ever been a runner, if you have enjoyed running in the early morning when the air is fresh and young and the whole world is coming back out of sleep, awakening, and you were running and your body was functioning beautifully, and the fresh air, and the new world again born out of the darkness of the night, and everything singing all around, and you were feeling so alive…. A moment comes when the runner disappears, there is only running. The body, mind and soul start functioning together; suddenly an inner orgasm is released.
Runners have sometimes come accidentally on the experience of the fourth, turiya, although they will miss it because they will think it was just because of running that they enjoyed the moment; that it was a beautiful day, that the body was healthy and the world was beautiful, and it was just a certain mood. They will not take note of it. But if they take note of it, my own observation is that a runner can more easily come close to meditation than anybody else. Jogging can be of immense help, swimming can be of immense help. All these things have to be transformed into meditations.
Drop old ideas of meditations, that just sitting underneath a tree with a yoga posture is meditation. That is only one of the ways, and may be suitable for a few people but is not suitable for all. For a small child it is not meditation, it is torture. For a young man who is alive, vibrant, it is repression, it is not meditation. Maybe for an old man who has lived, whose energies are declining, it may be meditation.”
OSHO TODAY IN THE SAMADHI TANK I COULD HAVE SWORN I FELT YOUR PRESENCE FOR A FEW MOMENTS. I BECAME QUITE FRIGHTENED. OTHER PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN OF FEELING YOUR PRESENCE EVEN AS FAR AWAY AS ENGLAND. WHAT IS THIS? IS IT IMAGINATION? OR PROJECTION? OR SOMETHING ELSE?
Frank, IT CAN BE A PROJECTION, it can be imagination, but it can also be something else… it depends on you. And only you can decide what it is. For example, were you thinking about me before it happened? Were you desiring that it should happen? Was there imagination functioning somewhere inside you? Were you fantasizing? Then it is imagination, then it is projection. But if it was out of nowhere, you were not thinking about me at all, you were taken by surprise, you were shocked, you could not believe it, then it is something else. And that’s what has happened to you. You say: I BECAME QUITE FRIGHTENED. If it had been your own imagination, you would not have become frightened at all — you would have known that it was your imagination. If it was just a projection of your mind, you would have known. You became frightened only because it had nothing to do with your mind at all.
You say: I COULD HAVE SWORN I FELT YOUR PRESENCE FOR A FEW MOMENTS. Such experiences happen, and it can happen more easily in isolation. It happens to many people when they are alone in the mountains. It happens to many people when they are in a certain strange space in which they have never been before; the very strangeness of the space makes them aware of certain things to which they have remained always asleep. It happens to runners. If you run for a few miles, a moment comes when suddenly the runner disappears and only running remains. At that moment you become aware of many things you have never been aware of: subtle fragrances in the air — your senses are very alert, very alive — certain presences around you, even certain presences so tangible that you can touch or you can be touched by them.
It happens to people in many situations, but those situations have to be something extraordinary — because we have become so accustomed to the ordinary situation that things go on happening around us and we remain unaware. The Samadhi tank gives you a very special space: darkness, isolation, no sound, and you are floating in water. You are back in the mother’s womb; the Samadhi tank is just a scientific way to have the experience of the mother’s womb again. The foetus in the mother’s womb floats in liquid. In the Samadhi tank you float in the same kind of liquid, with the same chemicals. Hence, you cannot drown in it. And the darkness of the womb, and it is so out of the ordinary — no sound, no light — you are thrown into such a new space that your sensitivity, your awareness, your intuitiveness, all start functioning. You become as intuitive as the small child in the womb, you become as innocent as the small child in the womb and in that innocence something can happen which is not part of ordinary time and space.
Space and time, both can disappear. Yes it is possible you can feel my presence — in fact I am surrounding each of my sannyasins. You may feel it, you may not feel it. In a certain moment of attunement you will feel it. Then it doesn’t matter whether you are in England or in Japan — it does not matter: space, distance, make no difference. By giving you Sannyas I am making you entitled to feel me wherever you are. Now all depends on you. My presence will be with you, surrounding you; in life, in death, I will be with you just by your side. But you may see, you may not see. You may remain unconscious.
Frank, something beautiful has happened. Remain available to strange experiences in life, and don’t try to deny the strange experience, because that’s how many people go on denying tremendous opportunities. For example, one day in the night you are suddenly awake, alone in your room, all is silent and dark. And you become aware of a certain presence… maybe a dead friend, maybe one of your ancestors, maybe your dead mother. But you become so frightened — in that fear you lose that perceptivity, that perception. The presence remains there, but you are disconnected. You put the light on, you become occupied in doing something, you start reading a book, or you turn the radio on, just to disconnect yourself from the strange experience that was happening. Don’t be afraid! This existence is yours. This existence is very friendly and there are immense mysteries waiting for you — to be known, to be experienced. This was a beautiful moment for you. Now that it has happened, you can make it happen again and again — and there is no necessity to go into the Samadhi tank. It can happen in your room in the night when you are alone. It can happen anywhere if you ALLOW it to happen.
One of the greatest calamities that has befallen the modern man is that he has become very very mundane. He takes only that which is explainable, he accepts only that which is definable, he accepts and recognizes only that which can be scientifically and objectively proved. But then you remain on the lowest rung of existence, because the higher the rung is, the more indefinable it becomes, the more unexplainable, the more and more elusive — you cannot catch hold of it, you cannot have it in your fist, and you cannot show it to somebody else. It becomes more and more intimate, less and less public, more and more private. Many people experience such things but they don’t tell others, because others will think they are crazy. That’s my own observation: many people have told me their experiences and they have said that they have never told anybody else before, because they have always been afraid that they may be thought crazy, or people will think that they hallucinated, or people will think that something is wrong — their nuts and bolts are a little loose. And not only will others think this — they themselves think, “Something is wrong with me, because this is not ordinarily experienced by others, then why me? Something is wrong with me — deny this experience, forget about it!”
If you ask people sympathetically, lovingly, many people will reveal mysteries to you. The mystic experience is not as rare as people think, and the mystic experience has nothing to do with religion as such. It happens in many spaces which are not thought to be religious at all. It happens to mountaineers, many times, because climbing in the mountains, alone, in a dangerous situation, suddenly the mountaineer becomes aware of a presence by his side — not only that but mountaineers have talked and the presence has helped and the presence has said, “I am a friend, don’t be worried. I am protecting you. There is no danger — go on climbing.”
Sometimes a man is lost in the jungle and after one or two days, or three days — no food, no possibility seems to be available to get out of the jungle, tired, exhausted — suddenly he becomes aware of a presence, a very protective presence, which says, “Don’t be afraid! You are on the right track, you will get out — don’t be worried.” But these people never say these things to others.
In sports many times mystic experiences happen; runners and joggers particularly have known many experiences. In the new commune there are going to be facilities for runners and joggers. I would like hundreds of sannyasins to run for miles every morning — just completely abandoned into running. After half an hour or one hour, even if you are tired, tiredness disappears. It is strange, very strange, very illogical. You wanted to go to sleep, you were so tired, but you went for a six-mile run. After the second or third mile, suddenly all tiredness has disappeared and you are so full of energy — as you have never been. You are so weightless, air-borne. And you start feeling that it is not you who are running now — some other energy has taken possession of you. And the experience of unity with existence, and the experience of a deep, warm, orgasmic energy surrounding you…. It happens to surfers, it happens in many sports, even in wrestling. That’s why in Japan particularly, many martial arts were developed by meditators. It looks strange: why should meditators develop martial arts — judo, aikido, karate, and so many others? They were developed for a certain reason. If you really go deep into them, the ego disappears and you enter into a new space — unknown to you, unexplored by you. And suddenly you are not functioning on your own but as if possessed by God.
One thing I would like to emphasize: whenever such things happen, accept, don’t deny them; don’t start calling them imagination, projection, hallucination, deception. These are tricks of the mind. And I am not saying that there are not hallucinations — there are — and I am not saying there are not people who suffer from neurotic illusions — there are — but just because of them, just because there are false coins, don’t deny the real coins. In fact, false coins only prove that the real coins exist. Remain available to the dimension of the strange, the mysterious, and that will help you tremendously. If you remain available, more and more experiences of this kind will start happening.
A man went into a bar and ordered a beer. After he had been served, he reached into his breast pocket and lifted out a perfectly formed little figure four inches tall. Then he produced a thimble. “A beer for my friend Paul, here, too,” he requested, “and go easy on the head.”
Is he for real?” asked the bartender.
“He is,” said the man.
“Can he talk?” persisted the barkeep.
“He can,” replied the man. “Paul,” he went on, “tell this guy about the time we were on that expedition and you called the witch doctor a black son-of-a-bitch.”
Don’t think that life ends with arithmetic — there is magic too. And by ‘magic’ I simply mean that the strange also happens. ‘Magic’ is now a condemned word, because we have forgotten the magical dimension of life. The word ‘magic’ comes from a very great mystic; his name was Magi. Before Christianity, Magi’s religion was the greatest religion spread all over Europe. That religion was called ‘Magic’. Christianity destroyed much that was valuable. And one of the most valuable things that Christianity destroyed was the tradition of the Magians — the tradition of Magic. I would like you to be magicians again. Arithmetic is good as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. Logic is good as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough — and there is much more to life than logic. Don’t be satisfied with Aristotle. The modern mind is much too satisfied with Aristotle, and because of it there is so much boredom. People look very dull, because the sense of the mysterious is no more there which goes on keeping you fresh, young, which goes on keeping you wondering. And if a man is capable of wonder he is capable of knowing God; if a man is capable of awe, he is capable of knowing God.
Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.
Discourse Series: The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty Chapter #15
Chapter title: Disappearing you will feel such Freedom
25 April 1979 am
Osho has spoken on ‘Sports, Mystic, Experience, Running, mystery, Energy’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
- From Misery to Enlightenment
- The Invitation
- The New Dawn
- Satyam Shivam Sundram
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra
- When the Shoe Fits
- Zen: The Special Transmission
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty
- The Guest
- The New Dawn
- The Osho Upanishad
- Sufis: The People of the Path