Meditation in Action
t is natural and easy to keep alert when you are in movement. When you are just sitting silently, the natural thing is to just fall asleep. When you are lying on your bed it is very difficult to keep alert because the whole situation helps you to fall asleep. But in movement naturally you cannot fall asleep, you function in a more alert way. The only problem is that the movement can become mechanical.
It happens many times to runners. You might not think of running as a meditation, but runners sometimes have felt a tremendous experience of meditation. And they were surprised, because they were not looking for it who thinks that a runner is going to experience God? But it has happened. And now, more and more, running is becoming a new kind of meditation. It can happen when running.
If you have ever been a runner, if you have ever enjoyed running in the early morning when the air is fresh and young and the whole world is coming back from sleep, awakening you were running and your body was functioning beautifully, the fresh air, the new world born again out of the darkness of the night, everything singing all around, you were feeling so alive. . . A moment comes when the runner disappears, and there is only running. The body, mind and soul start functioning together, suddenly an inner orgasm is released.
Runners have sometimes come accidentally on the experience of the fourth, turiya,* although they will miss it they will think it was just because of running that they enjoyed the moment: that it was a beautiful day, the body was healthy and the world was beautiful, and it was just a certain mood. They will not take note of it but if they do take note of it, my own observation is that a runner can come close to meditation more easily than anybody else.
Jogging can be of immense help, swimming can be of immense help. All these things have to be transformed into meditations.
Drop the old ideas of meditations that just sitting underneath a tree in a yoga posture is meditation. That is only one of the ways, and it may be suitable for a few people but it is not suitable for all. For a small child it is not meditation, it is torture. For a young man who is alive and vibrant it is repression, it is not meditation.
Start running in the morning on the road. Start with half a mile and then one mile and come eventually to at least three miles. While running use the whole body; dont run as if you are in a straitjacket. Run like a small child, using the whole body hands and feet and run. Breathe deeply and from the belly. Then sit under a tree, rest, perspire and let the cool breeze come; feel peaceful. This will help very deeply.
Sometimes just stand on the earth without shoes and feel the coolness, the softness, the warmth. Whatsoever the earth is ready to give in that moment, just feel it and let it flow through you. And allow your energy to flow into the earth. Be connected with the earth.
If you are connected with the earth, you are connected with life. If you are connected with the earth, you are connected with your body. If you are connected with the earth, you will become very sensitive and centered thats what is needed.
Never become an expert in running: remain an amateur so that alertness may be kept. If you feel sometimes that running has become automatic, drop it; try swimming. If that becomes automatic then try dancing. The point to remember is that movement is just a situation to create awareness. While it creates awareness it is good. If it stops creating awareness, then it is no more of any use; change to another movement where you will have to be alert again. Never allow any activity to become automatic.
* Turiya, or fourth, refers to a transcendental state beyond mind, heart or body.
Osho, from Meditation the First and Last Freedom