The Center of the Cyclone

Osho on Witnessing

All communication has disappeared from the world. Everybody is living a lonely life — lonely in the crowd; the crowd is becoming bigger and bigger every day. The world population is exploding; there have never been so many human beings as there are today — and man has never been so lonely. Strange! Why are we so lonely amidst such a crowd?

Communication has failed.

Gaffney staggered into a bar crying. “What happened?” asked Brady the bartender.
“I did a horrible thing,” sniffed the drunk. “Just a few hours ago I sold my wife to someone for a bottle of Scotch.”
“That’s awful,” said Brady. “Now she is gone and you want her back, right?” “Right,” said Gaffney, still crying.
“You are sorry you sold her because you realized too late that you love her, right?” ”
Oh, no,” said the Irishman, “I want her back because I am thirsty again!”

It is becoming more and more difficult to understand people, because such thick, dense indifference surrounds everybody that even if you shout you can’t be heard, or they hear something which you have not said at all. They hear that which they want to hear or they hear that which they CAN hear. They hear not what is said but what their mind interprets…

You understand that which you can understand. Your mind is always there to interpret, and the interpretation is yours. It has nothing to do with what you have been told. People are becoming more and more lonely, and out of desperation they are trying every possible way to communicate. Nothing seems to help. Nothing can help unless they start learning the art of silence. Unless a man and woman know what silence is, unless they can sit together in deep silence, they cannot merge into each other’s being. Their bodies may penetrate each other, but their souls will remain far apart. And when souls meet there is communion, there is understanding.

Indifference makes you dull, makes you mediocre, makes you unintelligent. If you are indifferent your sword will lose all sharpness. That’s how it happens to the monks in the monasteries. Look at their faces, in their eyes, and you can see that something is dead. They are like corpses walking, doing things robot-like because those things have to be done. They are not really involved; they have become utterly incapable of getting involved in anything. This is a very sad situation, and if it continues, man has no future. If it continues, then the third world war is bound to happen — so that we can commit a global suicide; so there is no need to commit suicide retail, we can commit it wholesale. In one single moment the whole earth can die.

Hence meditation has become something absolutely needed, the only hope for humanity to be saved, for the earth to still remain alive. Meditation simply means the capacity to get involved yet remain unattached. It looks paradoxical — all great truths ARE paradoxical. You have to experience the paradox; that is the only way to understand it. You can do a thing joyously and yet just be a witness that you are doing it, that you are not the doer. Try with small things, Nicolaas, and you will understand. Tomorrow when you go for a morning walk, enjoy the walk — the birds in the trees and the sunrays and the clouds and the wind. Enjoy, and still remember that you are a mirror; you are reflecting the clouds and the trees and the birds and the people.

This self-remembering Buddha calls sammasati — right mindfulness. Krishnamurti calls it ‘choiceless awareness’, the Upanishads call it ‘witnessing’, Gurdjieff calls it ‘self- remembering’, but they all mean the same. But it does not mean that you have to become indifferent; if you become indifferent you lose the opportunity to self-remember. Go on a morning walk and still remember that you are not it. You are not the walker but the watcher. And slowly slowly you will have the taste of it — it is a taste, it comes slowly. And it is the most delicate phenomenon in the world; you cannot get it in a hurry. Patience is needed.

Eat, taste the food, and still remember that you are the watcher. In the beginning it will create a little trouble in you because you have not done these two things together. In the

beginning, I know, if you start watching you will feel like stopping eating, or if you start eating you will forget watching. Our consciousness is one-way — right now, as it is — it goes only towards the target. But it can become two-way: it can eat and yet watch. You can remain settled in your center and you can see the storm around you; you can become the center of the cyclone. And that is the greatest miracle that can happen to a human being, because that brings freedom, liberation, truth, God, bliss, benediction.


Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.

Discourse Series: Be Still and Know Chapter #5

Chapter title: Watch this! Stranger than fiction 5 September 1979 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on ‘meditation, witnessing, mindfulness, self remembering, awareness, sammasati’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

    1. The Book of Wisdom
    2. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
    3. The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
    4. A Bird on the Wing
    5. Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master
    6. Satyam Shivam Sundram
    7. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra
    8. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega
    9. The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself
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