You need not go anywhere, just SEE.

Osho on Dhyana

These sutras are of immense value because they give you the technique in the simplest terms possible. And the method is really simple — unless you are determined to make it complex.

The mind always turns simple things into complexities. Beware of that, because the mind cannot exist with the simple; it is not needed. If things are really simple, what is the need of the mind? The mind is needed only when things are complex. Then you have to depend on the mind because then the mind will find the way out of the riddle. But if there is no riddle, the mind is utterly useless; you can discard it. So the investment of the mind is in complexity.

Remember it — these sutras are very simple. Truth is always simple, utterly simple.


What is contemplation? A moment of no-thought. The English word ‘contemplation’ does not give the right idea of DHYANA.

In English there is no word which can translate the word DHYANA. There are three words available. One is ‘concentration’, which is very far-off, because concentration means effort, tension; a forced state, not a flowing spontaneous state. And DHYANA is a flowing spontaneity. There is no strain in it, so the word ‘concentration’ cannot be its translation. Then the other word is ‘contemplation’. But in English, contemplation gives the idea of thinking. When you say somebody is contemplating, you mean thinking about something. Or the third word is ‘meditation’, but that too means thinking: to meditate upon something. Of these three words no word carries the meaning of DHYANA. DHYANA means a state of no-thought, a state of silence, a state of being conscious, but without any content. The mirror is there but reflecting nothing, nothing whatsoever. Just like the mirror, the consciousness is there, but nothing is occupying it. That unoccupied awareness IS DHYANA.

Taoists use the word ‘contemplation’ to translate it. It is only because some word has to be used. So remember the meaning — it is not the meaning in the dictionaries. If you look into the dictionaries you will have a totally false idea of contemplation. In fact that is what THE SECRET OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER calls ‘false contemplation’. False contemplation means thinking about something. It may be God — that’s what Christians mean by contemplation — thinking about God, thinking about holy things, transcendental things. But things are things; whether they are holy or unholy makes no difference. And thinking is thinking; whether you think about sex or samadhi makes no difference.

A state of no-thought, an interval… And it is always happening, but you are not alert about it; otherwise there is no problem in it. One thought comes, then another comes, and between these two thoughts there is always a small gap. And that gap is the door to the divine, that gap is contemplation. If you look into that gap deeply, it starts becoming bigger and bigger. The mind is like a road full of traffic; one car passes by, then another car passes by, and you become so concerned with the cars that you don’t see the gap that is always there between two cars. Otherwise they would collide. They don’t collide; something is there between them that keeps them separate. Your thoughts don’t collide, they don’t run over each other, into each other. They don’t even overlap in any way. Each thought has its own boundary, each thought is definable, but the procession of thoughts is so fast, so speedy, that you cannot see the gap unless you are really waiting for it, searching for it.

Contemplation means changing the gestalt. Ordinarily we look at thoughts: one thought, another thought, another thought. When you change the gestalt you look at one interval, another interval, another interval. Your emphasis is no longer on the thoughts but on the interval. For example, you are sitting here. I can look at you in two ways: either one person, another person, another person — my emphasis is on persons, I can count how many people there are — or I can forget about the persons and I can count the gaps between the persons, how many gaps are there. This is the change of gestalt. If you count the gaps you will be surprised: persons become vague, you don’t see them clearly because you are looking into the gaps, you are counting the gaps. Standing by the side of the road some day, just count how many gaps pass by and you will be surprised: you don’t see the colour of the cars, you don’t see the make of the cars, you don’t see the drivers and the passengers in the cars, but you do see gaps — one gap gone, another gap gone. You go on counting the gaps. Your gestalt is different.

Contemplation is the change of gestalt; not jumping from one thought to another thought, but jumping from one gap to another gap. Slowly slowly you become very very aware of the gaps. And that is one of the greatest secrets of life, because it is through those gaps that you will fall into your own being, into your own centre.


Perceiving, just perceiving… what in India we call DARSHAN. Seeing brings one to the goal, not going anywhere. You need not go anywhere, just SEE. Once you start looking into the intervals, into the gaps, you will be able to see who you are. And you are the goal, you are both the source and the goal, the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega. You contain all that you have ever longed for, you have all that you have ever desired. You need not be a beggar. If you choose to look into the gaps you will be an emperor, if you continue to look into the thoughts you will remain a beggar.


Not even a single step has to be taken beyond yourself because God is already within you, God is already the case. It is your innermost core. God is not there above, somewhere in the sky; God is within you, somewhere where thoughts no more disturb you, where silence prevails, where utter unoccupied consciousness is present, reflecting nothing. Then you experience your own taste for the first time, then you are full of the fragrance of your own being. The Golden Flower blooms.


The thought is the manifest; the no-thought is the unmanifest. If your gestalt consists only of thoughts you will not know anything more than the ego. The ego is called ‘the self-conscious heart’. You remain nothing but a bundle of thoughts. That bundle of thoughts gives you a consciousness of the self, ‘I am’. Descartes, the father of modern Western philosophy, says, ‘I think, therefore I am.’ His own meaning is very different because he is not a meditator, but the statement is beautiful; in a totally different context it is beautiful. I give it a different meaning. Yes, I am only if I think. If thinking disappears, the I also disappears. ‘I think, therefore I am.’ This I-amness, this self-conscious heart is nothing but a continuum of thoughts. It is not really an entity, it is a false entity, an illusion. It is just like taking a torch in your hand and if you start revolving the torch in your hand you will see a fire circle which is not there. But the torch is moving so fast that it creates an illusory circle of fire, it creates the illusion of a fire circle. It is not there. Thoughts are moving so fast that they create the idea of I.

Lu-tsu says one has to move from the self-conscious heart to the unself-conscious heart. One has to move from ego to egolessness, one has to move from self to no-self. The self is the manifest part — tiny, very small, gross. The unself is the unmanifest part — infinite, eternal. The self is a temporal phenomenon, born one day, will have to die one day. The unself, what Buddha calls ANATTA, no-self, is part of eternity, never born and never going to die. It abides forever.


And within your six-foot body you have that original quality still alive, vibrating, that original quality that was there before heaven and earth were made. Zen people call it ‘the original face’ — when nothing was born, not even earth or heaven; all was unmanifest; when all was silence and no sound was born; when there was no form and all was formless, all was in seed. You have that original silence in you. Hindus call it ANAHAT NAD. Buddhists have a special expression for it, ‘the sound of one hand clapping’. It is within you, it is your reality. To taste it is to become immortal, to taste it is to be golden. Then dust is transformed into the divine.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse Series: The Secret of Secrets, Vol 1

Chapter #11

Chapter title: The Whole and Holy Circle

21 August 1978 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on ‘consciousness, awareness, silence, DHYANA, Darshan, spontaneity’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 4
  2. From Misery to Enlightenment
  3. From Unconciousness to Consciousness
  4. I Am That
  5. The Hidden Splendor
  6. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega
  7. Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 1, 2, 3
  8. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2
  9. The Invitation
  10. Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master
  11. The Book of Wisdom
  12. Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol 1, 2
  13. The Tantra Vision, Vol 1, 2
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  • Someshwar
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