My Journey Through Osho's Meditations:

discovering meditation with Osho

by Ma Dhyan Amiyo

n my early years with Osho I thought I understood meditation. Now I find it harder to say what it is. Although Osho has given us many techniques, he says that meditation isn't something you do, but something that happens.

This is very mysterious, and for me it gets more mysterious all the time.

It's hard to believe now how bizarre I found Osho's meditations when I went to the Poona ashram in 1980. I'd thought that meditation was sitting silently in one place with closed eyes. Surrounded in Buddha Hall by hundreds of madly shaking orange-clad bodies in the first stage of Kundalini, I wondered what kind of movie I'd dropped into. The second stage was even stranger: dancing was a meditation?

I'd thought that to meditate I needed to withdraw myself from life. Now I was moving madly in the thick of it, and my old ideas were shattering like glass.

Before taking sannyas I'd done a lot of a meditation called Vipassana. Sitting for one hour, walking slowly for 15 minutes, sitting again, walking again, 12 hours a day, all day long, in silence. This was arduous and painful, but to grow spiritually I thought I had to suffer and try hard. Now all of a sudden I was dancing around Buddha Hall having a great time and my new master was telling me that this was meditation.

Dynamic Meditation, on the other hand, was not fun. Six in the morning, barely awake, trying to breathe deep, everyone around me wheezing like steam engines – what did this have to do with spiritual growth? Then the second stage: catharsis. Me? Scream? Pound? I thought being spiritual was about not doing these things. I didn't have any negative emotions to express like the like the orange bodies throbbing and pounding and screaming all around me. The second stage of Dynamic made me really uncomfortable.

One evening after a group in an outlying house I walked back to the ashram. The sun was setting; huge pink and orange clouds billowed up in the eastern sky. They were so beautiful that, watching them, I became silent inside.
It began to rain. The last strains of Nataraj – the dancing meditation – sounded in Buddha Hall. I began to dance on the path outside, each note finding an expression through my body. I was aware of the wetness on my face, the marble under my feet, the fragrance of the flowers in the moist evening air.

Outside Buddha Hall that night, I suddenly entered the present moment and tasted meditation.

What did Kundalini and Dynamic have to do with this? A lot, but I didn't know it then.

During my early years of sannyas I didn't understand that the active stages of such meditations – the shaking, the dancing, the catharting – were meant to empty me of all the garbage I'd collected inside. I didn't know that I had to become silent inside before meditation could happen to me.

In October 1988 I returned to Poona after a long absence. Arriving at the front gate too late to get into discourse, I had to sit in the garden. As Osho spoke, I was aware of his presence even though I couldn't see him.

No one had told me what to expect. A drumbeat sounded. Suddenly everyone in the garden just went nuts. I sat there absolutely stunned as they roared, gibbered, chirped, screamed and cackled all around me. The drum beat again. Out of the sudden silence, Osho's voice seemed to pierce into my core as he said, "Now look inwards, with your total consciousness, with an urgency as if this is the last moment of your life."

The shock was so great that I just let go and dropped inside.

There was a silence, a vastness, an emptiness. I heard Osho telling me that I was this empty space. "At the centre you are the Buddha," he said, and in that moment I knew what he meant. This was my second taste of meditation.

Later I learned that gibberish threw out our mental garbage so we could go inside. But it was the sheer surprise that had stunned me into silence.

For years I heard Osho say that the essence of meditation is witnessing. I heard him talk about watching my body, mind and emotions to disidentify from them. But what was identification? I didn't understand. Was I really something beyond this mind that I thought I was? And what did he mean when he talked about no-mind, when thoughts stop? Since I was stuck in the mind, unaware of the witnessing consciousness behind it, I didn't have a clue.

I first tasted the witness in Mystic Rose. This meditation is devastatingly simple. Laughing, crying, sitting – one week of each, three hours a day. While laughing I suddenly pulled away from all my oh-so-serious problems: my dramas became totally hilarious. I knew that I was not my mind.

After laughing and crying for two weeks, I was much quieter inside. As I sat silently, tastes of no-mind started to emerge. It's hard to describe because nothing happened. Happening stopped.

I wish I could say that since then no-mind is familiar but of course it's not that simple. Most of the time I'm still stuck in my mind, unable to witness, identified with my dramas.
But I know that I've tasted what's real, and that taste is transforming my whole life.

What you have to understand is the process of identification, how one can get identified with something which one is not. Right now you are identified with the mind. You think you are it. From there comes the fear. If you are identified with the mind, then naturally, if the mind stops you are finished, you are no more. And you don't know anything beyond mind.

The reality is that you are not mind, you are something beyond mind; hence, it is absolutely necessary that the mind stops so that for the first time you can know that you are not mind – because you are still there.

Mind is gone, you are still there; and with greater joy, greater glory, greater light, greater consciousness, greater being.
– Osho

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