A U M MEDITATION : and only the universal sound remains…
Doing this there will be moments – and they will be the most beautiful moments – when you will not be repeating and everything has stopped. Suddenly you will become aware that you are not chanting and everything has stopped. Enjoy it. If thoughts start coming, again start chanting …
“ If you have a musical ear, if you have a heart which can understand music – not only understand but feel , then a mantra will be helpful, because then you can become one with the inner sounds, then you can move with those sounds to more and more subtle layers.Then a moment comes when all sounds stop and only the universal sound remains. That is AUM.” ~OSHO
FIRST STEP, but the body: saying OM – ten minutes
SECOND STEP, but the mind: silent repetition of OM – 10 minutes
THIRD STEP, listening to the resonance of OM within – 10 minutes
“Take this ultimate mantra along with you and carry out the experiment. If you do it with total patience for three months you will be filled with a sweet nectar, and then it will be what Kabir calls the taste of 'raw sugar to the dumb' -- what can never be spoken of.
When you have tasted of it, wherever you are you are alright, whatever you do is alright. Then the world becomes like a dream for you, and all of life is no more than a drama; you become a witness and that itself is Shivahood……
“ The first layer is the body, so the mantra practice should begin on the body; you are in the body, so it is there that the cure must begin. If you skip this layer your illness will remain, and in due course you will find yourself with unripe fruit on your hands. Remember, you can only start from where you are; if you start somewhere else you are merely dreaming. Tight now you think you are the body, so you have to begin the mantra experience with the body.
Understand the technique. First, you have to sit quietly for ten minutes, but before you sit you have to purge yourself off all your restlessness by being totally active for five minutes; dance, jump, skip and run, whatever is required to satisfy your restlessness. It must be cleansed from every pore, from every part of the body; only then can you sit in silence for ten minutes. This catharsis is necessary before you begin to sit in silence; it will require from five to ten minutes, depending on the extent of your restlessness. Let your body shake, totally, completely, in every possible way, so that for ten minutes it will have no more desire to more to satisfy its craving for activity. Then sit down -- so still that there is not even a hint of movement. Keep the eyes half-closed.
Do not attempt this practice in an open place. A closed room, preferable small and empty, is ideal. There should be nothing inside the room. A church or temple or mosque is ideal because of its emptiness. If this is not possible, clear out a corner of your room; let there be nothing in it. Remove all the pictures of gods and goddesses, for they too can create problems.
Only emptiness is God. All else is a play of the mind. And the mind is so crazy! Look for yourself at the shrines that people set up in their houses to worship in. You will find pictures of gods and goddesses hanging all over the walls. They may be cut out of the newspaper or they may be calendar pictures; it is the same thing. The walls are plastered with them. By looking at their walls you can tell what goes on in people's minds.
When people worship their household gods they hurriedly enter the shrine room, sprinkle a little over the whole collection of deities, fold their hands and believe that they have satisfied every one of them. None of them has been worshipped. If you try to satisfy them all, you haven't paid homage to any of them; but if you truly pay homage to one, they are all satisfied. Achieve one and you have achieved all; and the one is within, not without!
The emptier the site, the better it is; fir the search is for that very emptiness; the room will be the symbol for your internal emptiness. The room should be small; that helps the mantra. And it should also be empty; that also helps. Let the eyes be half-open; for when the eyes are fully opened you stand at the door with your back to the house and face towards the outer world. You cannot make a complete about-face, for a complete change is not easy. So keep the eyes half-open and half-closed; let them be half-closed to the world and half-opened to your inwardness. Begin here!
Remember, there is no hurry. When the eyes are half-opened you experience a state of drowsiness. Keep looking at the tip of your nose; keep your eyes open only to that extent. You are not to concentrate.
Observer the tip of your nose with a feeling of peace within. Then begin to say 'Om' loudly. You are using the body, you start from the body, because that is where you are right now.
Repeat 'Om' loudly, so that the sound strikes the walls and rebounds and falls back on you. This is why an empty room is essential, for that resonance is only possible in an empty room, and the greater the resonance the better it is.
Christian cathedrals were designed for mantra; whatever is spoken reverberates and echoes a thousand fold from all sides. The Hindu temple is also constructed for meditation; the dome serves the same purpose. No vibrations can escape from a circular place; the sound turns inward.
Sit and repeat 'Om' as loudly as possible. Remember, you have to use the body. Your whole body should be bathed in the vibrations of 'Om'. You should feel that you have expended all your life-energy in that 'Om'. Hold nothing back; treat it as a matter of life and death. The mantra cannot be complete with anything less than this.
If you repeat it softly, half-heartedly, then it is of no use. You have to say it with all your strength, and all your being, as if you very life depended on it; unless you say 'Om' with all you might you will die. Stake you all! Let 'Om' roar like a lion from within you. Eyes half-closed... half-opened... and a loud repetition of 'Om'. Remember, the vibrations are created like ripples in a pool when a stone is thrown. Similarly, your 'Om' will create ripples and vibrations everywhere; it will strike the walls and come back to you.
Also, repeat the 'Om' quickly, so that each repetition overlaps the previous one. Leave no interval between this, no space. Exert all you strength, until you are bathed in perspiration. In a few days you will find that the whole room is filled with 'Om'.
You will find that the room is assisting you; all the sound will be coming back to you. If you can find a circular room it will be very good; if you find one with a dome, even better! The room should be absolutely empty, so that the vibrations rain on you from all sides. You whole body should be bathed in those vibrations. Then you will find a wonderful freshness that is unattainable even after bathing in water.
Scientists are carrying out extensive research on vibrations. They have discovered the plants flower and bear fruit earlier when they have been exposed to music of a particular vibration. In Russia and in America music has been used in agriculture to promote richer and earlier harvests; the results have been quite successful.
Ravi Shankar used his sitar in an experiment in Canada. He played the sitar when seeds of different plants were sown. When the plants come up the most astonishing thing was that they are all leaning towards the place where Ravi Shankar had played. When they grow taller they were still leaning in the same direction, just as a deaf person leans forward and brings his ear closer in order to hear better. All the plants have their ears to the sitar! And they grew twice as quickly! A plant is a gross body in which everything is asleep, unconscious; but even so, the body vibrates with sound an begins to sway.
When 'Omkar' -- the sound of 'Om' -- begins to shower on you from all sides the vibrations will from a circle. You will find that every pore of your body is filled with joy, and all the bodily illnesses are draining away; you will find a peace, a profound sense of well -being. It will surprise you how many body illnesses will disappear on their own, for it is a profound cleansing that penetrates you deeply.
The body is a concentration of vibrations, and there is no vibration more wonderful than 'Omkar', the repetition of 'Om'. Repeat 'Om' loud for ten minutes, using the medium of the body to its maximum. Then close your eyes. The tongue should touch the roof of the mouth, which should be completely closed. Now you have to use the tongue and lips no more.
The next step is to repeat 'Om' inside, in your mind. Until now the room was outside, surrounding you on all four sides; now the body surrounds you on all four sides; now the body is the room. Let the mantra reverberate within the body for the next ten minutes. You are not to use the lips or tongue or throat at all. The mind should repeat 'Om... Om... Om...' but you must keep it the same rapid rate, the same speed. As you filled the room with omkar, so you fill the body, leaving it trembling with vibrations from head to toe. Allow no gap between two OMs, so that the mind has no chance to intrude. The mind cannot think two thoughts at the same time.
If your repetition is so fast and intense that there is no gap between two repetitions, no thoughts will come in between.
If you relax your peace is the slightest, thoughts will creep in. So, repetition without any gaps! Do not worry about overlapping of the repetitions. Let them pile up on top of one another like railway cars in an accident.
Remember, you are not to use the body anymore; therefore now the eyes have to be closed. The body must now be very still.
The 'Om' vibrations should hit the walls of the body from within and fall on the mind, just as in the beginning they hit the walls of the room and were then reflected back to the body, which purified the body, just as the internal vibrations cleanse the mind. As the vibrations deepen you will find that the mind is beginning to fade. You begin to experience a deep silence that you never before tasted.
Keep this up for then minutes; then drop your head until the chin touches the chest.
For a few days you might feel a strain in the neck, but pay no attention to it, and soon it will disappear.
So in the third step you drop your chin on to your chest, as if the neck is cut off, lifeless. Now, no more repetitions -- not even in the mind. Now just listen, as if the 'Omkar' is reverberating within and you are only the listener, not the doer. You can only step completely out of the mind when you abandon all sense of the doer. Become only the witness. Put all your effort into this. Let you head hang down all the way to your chest, and try to listen to the 'Om' resonate within.
There is a famous verse by Galib:
THE BELOVED PICTURE IS ON THE MIRROR OF THE HEART.
WHENEVER I CHOOSE, I MERELY BOW MY HEAD TO SEE IT.
This bowing of the head is necessary. No sooner does the neck band than the picture of the beloved appears before the eyes.
But alas, you do not yet know how to band your head. You take pains to cultivate a stiff neck. When the question of bowing your head arises, you become even more stiff. If you failed until now to attain God the only reason is that you are not prepared to bow your head; you are not prepared to surrender.
Bowing the head is merely a symbol. Hang your head down as if it is severed from the body; this is only so that you may bow down. No sooner does the head bow down, then it becomes easier to see; no sooner dies the neck bend, then thinking becomes difficult.
Now just try to listen. Until now you were repeating the mantra, first with the body, then with the mind. Now you try to become a witness to the mantra. You will be surprised; there is a very subtle sounding of the mantra going on within. It is exactly like 'Om' though is it not 'Om', for it is difficult to express it in any language. If you listen very silently you are bound to hear it.
Now you are standing apart from the body. The first step severed your connection with the body; the second step severed your connection with the mind; now the third step is the witnessing attitude, the feeling that 'I am the witness'.
No mantra is greater than 'Om'; no mantra is more wonderful. Ram, Krishna, Mahavir, Buddha are all beautiful sounds, but they cannot take you beyond the mind, for they have an image, a form; whereas 'Om' is formless.
Besides, you have a relationship with Buddha, Krishna and Jesus; you have feelings of love, attachment, fondness, affection. These will not allow you to step out of your mind.
'Om' is absolutely meaningless. It is unique. It has no meaning, no form, no image -- not even an outline. And it is not a part of the alphabet. It is closest to the sound which is actually continuously resonating within you, which is the very nature of your existence. Just as the brook does not babble, but its very flow causes the babbling sound; just as when the wind passes through the branches and the leaves rustle in the same way, your being is such that 'Om' resounds within you. It is the sound of your being.
Hence, 'Om' does not belong to any religion. It is neither Hindu nor Jaina nor Christian, nor Buddhist, nor Moslem. It is the non-sectarian mantra. You will be surprised to know that the Jainas, the Muslims, the Christians all make use of this mantra, though there are slight variations: the Muslims say amin, the Christians say amen. These are only altered forms of 'Om'. On the course of its journey from India to distant lands this mutation took place. 'Om' is not connected with any thought. Whoever was observed into the no-thought state, heard it.
For the first two steps you will pronounce the mantra, and in the third step you will just listen to it. You will be the listener, the witness. In the first two steps you are the doer, for the body and mind are parts of the doer; the third is the witness state. In it you listen, just listen. The body is cut off, so is the mind; the layers of the onion are peeled off, and only pure existence remains -- only you! And that is Shivahood!
Also, once you get the taste, you will thirst for more and more. The taste will draw you, pull you inside; it becomes like a magnet. We are drawn towards things that appeal to us and we naturally go towards them.
The trouble only arises of you do not get the taste; you meditate but you do not enjoy it. This is because you have not yet got the taste of meditation. Once you get the taste there is no difficulty; for then the mind hovers there by itself. Whenever you are free, even for a short time, your eyes will close, your head will drop and you will see the beloved's face in the mirror of your heart. Then it does not matter where you are, in the house or in the marketplace, it is all the same.
It is only the first step that is very difficult. It amounts to one-half the journey hover there like a bee, ever thirsting for more and more. It is the mind's nature to go again and again to the place of pleasure. It is only because you have not yet enjoyed the pleasure that you have to find ways to turn the mind towards meditation.
Now your mind keeps saying, "Why not go to the market! Why waste time just sitting here! You can do all that later on when you have the time; now is the time for the shop or the office!" The mind takes you to the place where it gets pleasure. The mind is not to be blamed for this. Once you have the taste within, you will find it more and more difficult to focus the mind outward. first it was difficult to draw it in; now it is difficult to draw it out.
Sariputra, Buddha's disciple, attained the taste for 'Omkar'. He attained the highest state of the mantra; he heard the supreme mantra within.
When this happened Buddha ordered him to go out and preach to the people. He told Buddha, "Now I have no desire to go out." Buddha replied, "That is exactly why I want you to go. First you were caught by the outside; that was one form of bondage. Now don't let the 'within' bind you."
The perfect, enlightened soul is one who has no difficulty either way. He goes in and out like a gust of wind. Now the in is no longer in, and the out is no longer out; they have become one.
Just as you go easily in and out of your house, life is like your house; you should have no difficulty going in and out of it. There are people who are attached to the world and there are people who are attached to the soul; both are in bondage. They have yet not reached the ultimate salvation. The knowing one has no ties-neither inside nor outside. He flows naturally in and out!
You should try to maintain this third stage of the mantra for as long as possible. The first stage is to sit silently. The prelude it is to shake up the body by dancing, jumping, wriggling, for about ten minutes, so as to get rid of all the body's restlessness. The body is filled with restlessness; that is simply a scientific fact.
If you want to slap someone your body energy immediately flows into your hand. That is why someone who is quite weak can give you a hard blow; his hand does not remain in the ordinary state but is filled with energy. suppose for someone reason you cannot slap this person. There may be many reasons; life is very complex. Perhaps you are indebted to him, or maybe you want to use him to get something, so you restrain yourself; but the energy that has accumulated in your hand is blocked and has no way to go back.
Recent scientific research reports that there are ways to discharge the energy from the body, but there is no way to draw the energy back into the body; so if you do not hit somebody or something, the energy will remain in the hand. It does not matter whom you slap; even if you hit empty space, you will discharge that energy; but there are no channels to draw that energy back to the center. In this way energy gets blocked in various parts of the body.
In any twenty-four hour period energy will be blocked in many different parts of the body, and that blocked energy is bound to hinder you.
It is responsible for the feeling of numbness in your feet, or the feeling of ants crawling on your legs, or you back beginning to hurt, or suddenly feeling itchy.
These things are not your imagination; they are really happening, but you have perhaps never noticed them before because your energy was always occupied and you never sat doing nothing before. Now that you sit doing nothing, wherever energy has been blocked causes restlessness.
Tell any little child to sit quietly for five minutes and you sense how cruel you are being to him, how difficult it is for him to sit quietly. Sometimes he lifts a foot, sometimes he presses his hands together, or he moves his lips or twitches his eyes; he will do anything in order to move. The energy flows on all sides. The legs want to run, the hands want to move, the eyes want to see, the ears want to listen. These are all old habits. That is the way that energy has always flowed.
That is why I always insist on catharsis before any meditation. It is very helpful. Run, jump and skip around for ten minutes to eject all the blocked energy, then sit for meditation.
The peace that follows catharsis is the calm that follows the storm; the body becomes light, it loses its restlessness. These ten minutes are only preparation, not an actual stage in the meditation of mantra. It is the step outside of your house. The real journey occurs inside the house.
FIRST STEP, BUT THE BODY: SAYING 'OM' -- TEN MINUTES
SECOND STEP, BUT THE MIND: SILENT REPETITION OF 'OM' -- TEN MINUTES.
THIRD STEP, LISTENING SILENTLY TO THE RESONANCE OF 'OMKAR' WITHIN -- TEN MINUTES.
Repeating Rama, Krishna or Buddha will not be suitable for this journey, for they can only take you up to the second step; they cannot go any further, for in the third step the actual resonance in the head is the sound of 'Om'. Sometimes a person repeating 'Ram... Ram... Ram...' can attain the third stage. It is like when you are traveling by train, you hear the wheels saying anything you fancy. You might think they are saying 'Ram-Ram-Ram' or 'Allah-Allah-Allah', but the fact remains that the sound of the wheels is actually 'Chucka-Chucka-Chucka'.
'Om' is that pure sound. If you repeat Ram you will also hear Ram, but this is just a superimposition, which indicates that the mind is still alive and working to some extent. We should experience only that which is. We should see only that which is, without giving it our own colour. Hence, the ultimate mantra is 'Omkar'; all others are secondary, inferior. They only take the seeker as far as the second step. In actual fact they become an obstruction in the third step.
Use 'Om' as I have specified. For at least three months without worrying at all about results. You are not to even think of results; just carry out the practice. Do not worry whether you are progressing or not progressing. Fix a date; in exactly three months you can start to think about the results, not before! If you can summon this much patience you will succeed.
A little child digs a hole, puts in a mango seed and covers it up. After half an hour his curiosity makes him dig it out to see whether it has begun to sprout. He is disappointed. He puts the seed back in the hole. After another half-hour his patience again runs out and he digs up the seed. Now he is really miserable, for nothing has happened. Now the seed will never sprout. Everything has its own timetable. A seed must lie in the dark earth for a specific period of time before it can sprout.
It is for this very reason that your meditation also fails to bear fruit. You are too impatient for results. Jesus said, "Let not your left hand know what the right hand is doing." Act the same way! Bury the mantra deep inside you. This is why the mantra is referred to as a seed. All it means is that you should not keep digging it up over and over again to examine its progress. It has its own rhythm. It will sprout in its own good time. Your impatience can only spoil thing for you.
Take this ultimate mantra along with you and carry out the experiment. If you do it with total patience for three months you will be filled with a sweet nectar, and then it will be what Kabir calls the taste of 'raw sugar to the dumb' -- what can never be spoken of.
When you have tasted of it, wherever you are you are alright, whatever you do is alright. Then the world becomes like a dream for you, and all of life is no more than a drama; you become a witness and that itself is Shivahood. “
The Great Path, Chapter 10 - The Eternal Spring (20 September 1974 am in Chuang Tzu Auditorium)