September 21 is observed as International Day of Peace around the world. It is an occasion for mankind to commit to Peace. The United Nations urges everyone to celebrate this day by spreading compassion, kindness and hope. The UN General Assembly has also unanimously voted in 2001 to observe this day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.
The 2021 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”. As we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience, and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier. The pandemic has been accompanied by a surge in stigma, discrimination, and hatred, which only cost more lives instead of saving them: the virus attacks all without caring about where we are from or what we believe in. Confronting this common enemy of humankind, we must be reminded that we are not each other’s enemy. To be able to recover from the devastation of the pandemic, we must make peace with one another. And we must make peace with nature too.
Osho says heaven and hell are not geographical, they are psychological. And this is not a question to be decided on the day of Judgment. Heaven and hell are here and now. Every moment you go on wavering between heaven and hell. Every moment the door opens – Silence is the door. Inner peace is the door. Non-violence is the door. Love and compassion are the doors.
RESEARCH OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS HAS SUGGESTED THAT CERTAIN STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS BROUGHT ABOUT BY MEDITATION TECHNIQUES APPEAR TO EVOKE SPECIFIC BRAINWAVE PATTERNS. THESE STATES ARE NOW BEING CREATED BY ELECTRONIC AND AUDITORY STIMULATION OF THE BRAIN, AND THEY CAN BE LEARNED THROUGH BIOFEEDBACK. THE TRADITIONAL `MEDITATIVE STATE’ — SITTING SILENTLY (OR AT LEAST QUIETLY ALERT) IS COMPOSED OF BILATERAL, SYNCHRONOUS ALPHA WAVES. DEEPER MEDITATION ALSO HAS BILATERAL THETA WAVES. A STATE CALLED `LUCID AWARENESS’ HAS THE BILATERAL SYNCHRONOUS ALPHA AND THETA WAVES OF DEEP MEDITATION, PLUS THE BETA WAVES OF NORMAL THOUGHT PROCESSES. `LUCID AWARENESS’ CAN BE LEARNED THROUGH BIOFEEDBACK, USING THE MOST MODERN EQUIPMENT. ARE THESE KINDS OF STIMULATION AND BIOFEEDBACK USEFUL TOOLS FOR THE MEDITATOR? WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP OF THESE TECHNOLOGICAL TECHNIQUES TO THE MEDITATION BEYOND TECHNIQUE? IS THIS AN EXAMPLE OF BRINGING SCIENCE TOGETHER WITH MEDITATION? I WOULD LIKE TO EXPERIMENT WITH THESE NEW TECHNOLOGIES — BOTH PERSONALLY IN MY OWN MEDITATION, AND PROFESSIONALLY IN MY WORK AS A PHYSICIAN. DO I HAVE YOUR BLESSINGS?
It is a very complex question.
You will have to understand one of the most fundamental things about meditation — that no technique leads to meditation. The old so-called techniques and the new scientific biofeedback techniques are the same as far as meditation is concerned. Meditation is not a byproduct of any technique. Meditation happens beyond mind. No technique can go beyond mind.
But there is going to be a great misunderstanding in scientific circles, and it has a certain basis. The basis of all misunderstanding is: When the being of a person is in a state of meditation, it creates certain waves in the mind. These waves can be created from the outside by technical means. But those waves will not create meditation — this is the misunderstanding. Meditation creates those waves; it is the mind reflecting the inner world.
You cannot see what is happening inside. But you can see what is happening in the mind. Now there are sensitive instruments… we can judge what kind of waves are there when a person is asleep, what kinds of waves are there when a person is dreaming, what kinds of waves are there when a person is in meditation. But by creating the waves, you cannot create the situation — because those waves are only symptoms, indicators. It is perfectly good, you can study them.
But remember that there is no shortcut to meditation, and no mechanical device can be of any help. In fact, meditation needs no technique — scientific or otherwise. Meditation is simply an understanding. It is not a question of sitting silently; it is not a question of chanting a mantra. It is a question of understanding the subtle workings of the mind. As you understand those workings of the mind a great awareness arises in you which is not of the mind. That awareness arises in your being, in your soul, in your consciousness.
Mind is only a mechanism, but when that awareness arises it is bound to create a certain energy pattern around it. That energy pattern is noted by the mind. Mind is a very subtle mechanism. And you are studying from the outside, so at the most you can study the mind. Seeing that whenever a person is silent, serene, peaceful, a certain wave pattern always, inevitably appears in the mind, the scientific thinking will say: if we can create this wave pattern in the mind, through some biofeedback technology, then the being inside will reach the heights of awareness. This is not going to happen. It is not a question of cause and effect. These waves in the mind are not the cause of meditation; they are, on the contrary, the effect. But from the effect you cannot move towards the cause. It is possible that by biofeedback you can create certain patterns in the mind and they will give a feeling of peace, silence and serenity to the person. Because the person himself does not know what meditation is and has no way of comparing, he may be misled into believing that this is meditation — but it is not. Because the moment the biofeedback mechanism stops, the waves disappear, and the silence and the peace and the serenity also disappear. And you may go on practicing with those scientific instruments for years; it will not change your character, it will not change your morality, it will not change your individuality. You will remain the same.
Meditation transforms. It takes you to higher levels of consciousness and changes your whole lifestyle. It changes your reactions into responses to such an extent that it is unbelievable that the person who would have reacted in the same situation in anger is now acting in deep compassion, with love — in the same situation. Meditation is a state of being, arrived at through understanding. It needs intelligence, it does not need techniques.
There is no technique that can give you intelligence. Otherwise, we would have changed all the idiots into geniuses; all the mediocre people would have become Albert Einsteins, Bertrand Russells, Jean-Paul Sartres. There is no way to change your intelligence from the outside, to sharpen it, to make it more penetrating, to give it more insight. It is simply a question of understanding, and nobody else can do it for you — no machine, no man…
When you throw a pebble into the lake, it is not that ripples start moving. You can check it by putting a small flower on the water. You will be surprised: the flower remains in the same place. If the waves were moving and going towards the shore, they would have taken the flower with them. The flower remains there. The waves are not moving, it is just the water going up and down in the same place, creating the illusion of movement. The depths of the lake will not know anything about it. And there is going to be no change in the character, in the beauty of the lake by creating those waves.
Mind is between the world and you.
Whatever happens in the world, the mind is affected by it; and you can understand through the mind what is happening outside.
The mind is the mediator. Just as when it is affected by the outside, the inner consciousness can read it — what is happening outside –
what the scientists are trying to do is just the same: they are studying meditators and reading their wave lengths, the energy fields created by meditation. And naturally, the scientific approach is that if these certain patterns appear without any exception when a person is in meditation, then we have got the key; if we can create these patterns in the mind, then meditation is bound to appear inside.
That’s where the fallacy is. You can create the pattern in the mind…. And if the person does not know about meditation, he may feel a silence, a serenity — for the moment, as long as those waves remain. But you cannot deceive a meditator because the meditator will see that those patterns are appearing in the mind…. Mind is a lower reality, and the lower reality cannot change the higher reality. The mind is the servant; it cannot change the master. But you can experiment. Just remain aware that whether it is a biofeedback machine or a chanting of OM, it does not matter; it only creates a mental peace, and a mental peace is not meditation.
Meditation is the flight beyond the mind. It has nothing to do with mental peace.
One of America’s great thinkers, Joshua Liebman, has written a very famous book, PEACE OF MIND. I wrote him a letter many years ago when I came across the book, saying that “If you are sincere and honest, you should withdraw the book from the market because there is no such thing as peace of mind.
Mind is the problem. When there is no mind then there is peace, so how there can be peace of mind? And any peace of mind is only fallacious; it simply means the noise has slowed down to such a point that you think it is silence. And you don’t have anything to compare it with.”
A man who knows what meditation is cannot be deceived by any techniques, because no technique can give you understanding of the workings of the mind. For example, you feel anger, you feel jealousy, you feel hatred, you feel lust. Is there any technique that can help you to get rid of anger? of jealousy? of hatred? of sexual lust? And if these things continue to remain, your lifestyle is going to remain the same as before.
There is only one way — there has never been a second. There is one and only one way to understand that to be angry is to be stupid: watch anger in all its phases, be alert to it so it does not catch you unawares; remain watchful, seeing every step of the anger. And you will be surprised: that
as awareness about the ways of anger grows, the anger starts evaporating. And when the anger disappears, then there is a peace. Peace is not a positive achievement. When the hatred disappears, there is love. Love is not a positive achievement. When jealousy disappears, there is a deep friendliness towards all.
Try to understand…. But all the religions have corrupted your minds because they have not taught you how to watch, how to understand; instead they have given you conclusions — that anger is bad. And the moment you condemn something, you have already taken a certain position of judgment. You have judged. Now you cannot be aware. Awareness needs a state of no-judgment.
And all the religions have been teaching people judgments: this is good, this is bad, this is sin, this is virtue — this is the whole crap that for centuries man’s mind has been loaded with. So, with everything — the moment you see it — there is immediately a judgment about it within you. You cannot simply see it, you cannot be just a mirror without saying anything. Understanding arises by becoming a mirror, a mirror of all that goes on in the mind… In pure awareness the mind cannot drag you down into the mud, into the gutter. In anger, in hatred, in jealousy, the mind is absolutely impotent in the face of awareness. And because the mind is absolutely impotent, your whole being is in a profound silence — the peace that passed understanding.
Naturally that peace that silence, that joy, that blissfulness will affect the mind. It will create ripples in the mind, it will change the wave lengths in the mind, and the scientist will be reading those waves, those wave patterns and he will be thinking, “If these wave patterns can be created in someone by mechanical devices, then we will be able to create the profoundness of a Gautam Buddha.”
Don’t be stupid. All your technical devices can be good, can be helpful. They are not going to do any harm; they will be giving some taste of peace, of silence — although very superficial, still it is something for those who have never known anything of peace. For the thirsty, even dirty water does not look dirty. For the thirsty, even dirty water is a great blessing. So you can start your experiments with all my blessings, but remember it is not meditation that you are giving to people — you don’t know meditation yourself. You may be giving them a little rest, a little relaxation — and there is nothing wrong in it. But if you give them the idea that this is meditation then you are certainly being harmful — because these people will stop at the technical things, with the superficial silence, thinking that this is all and they have gained it. You can be helpful to people. Tell them that “This is just a mechanical way of putting your mind at peace, and mind at peace is not the real peace — real peace is when mind is absent. And that is not possible from the outside, but only from the inside. And inside you have the intelligence, the understanding to do the miracle.”
It is good for people who cannot relax, who cannot find a few moments of peace, whose minds are continuously chattering — your technical devices are good, your biofeedback mechanisms are good. But make it clear to them that this is not meditation, this is just a mechanical device to help you relax, to give you a superficial feeling of silence. If this silence creates an urge in you to find the real, the inner, the authentic source of peace, then those technical devices have been friends, and the technicians who have been using them have not been barriers but have been bridges. Become a bridge.
Give people the little taste that is possible through machines, but don’t give them the false idea that this is what meditation is. Tell them that this is only a faraway echo of the real;
if you want the real, you will have to go through a deep inner search, a profound understanding of your mind, an awareness of all the cunning ways of the mind so that the mind can be put aside. Then the mind is no longer between you and existence, and the doors are open. Meditation is the ultimate experience of blissfulness. It cannot be produced by drugs, it cannot be produced by machines, it cannot be produced from the outside.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Beyond Enlightenment
Chapter title: I am crazy but you are crazier!
1 November 1986 pm in Buddha Hall, Pune.
Osho has spoken on ‘peace, meditation, silence, witnessing, ecstasy, love, in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The Golden Future
- The Hidden Splendor
- The Rebel
- The Invitation
- Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
- The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself
- The Path of Love
- The Rebellious Spirit
- The Book of Wisdom