Self Help

Learning to Silence the Mind - Osho

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Matheus Puppe

· 8 min read

• Meditation transcends the repetitive inner dialogue of the mind. It is not achieved by forcefully stopping thoughts. Forcing thoughts to stop can lead to dullness, not meditation.

• Meditation leads to greater clarity, intelligence, creativity, and sensitivity. It is not a state of paralysis or insensitivity. Mere suppression of thoughts is not meditation.

• We accumulate words and thoughts as we age. In early childhood, before age 4, we have few words and thoughts. In death, words and thoughts drop away again. Silence is our original nature.

• Shifting attention from words to the gaps between words, and from thoughts to silence, is the key. A mantra can create boredom with words to help slip into silence. But stay alert, don’t just fall asleep.

• Understanding the mind helps in transcending it. The mind constantly chatters to keep itself alive and active. Slipping into meditation happens naturally by sitting silently without interference.

• Words are like figures, silence is the background. We are born into silence, accumulate words, then return to silence. Meditation is a glimpse of returning to that original silence by letting words fade into the background.

• Use the spaces between words and thoughts as doorways to silence. Look at the silence, not the words or thoughts. Let the mind settle and become clear, like mud settling in a stream.

• Meditation comes to you; you don’t achieve it. It is your being waiting to be recognized. Relax into it. Make no effort to drop thoughts. That only strengthens the mind. Just sit silently and do nothing.

• The mind cannot understand meditation. Meditation is clarity, not of the mind. The mind produces confusion. When thoughts cease, clarity arises.

So in summary, meditation requires recognizing the silence underlying the mind’s constant chatter, not forcing the mind to stop. Glimpses of meditation come in the gaps between words and thoughts. Understanding the mind’s mechanisms helps, but ultimately one relaxes into meditation by siting silently and doing nothing. Meditation arises; it is not achieved. Silence, not the mind, is clarity. The mind cannot understand meditation.

• Meditation makes one more alive and sensitive. It helps one gain awareness and mastery over the repetitive, conditioned mind.

• The mind is like an automated machine that operates based on past conditioning and inputs. It has no inherent intelligence or consciousness. One should not follow it blindly. Doing novel and creative acts helps loosen its grip.

• Creative people can attain meditation more easily since they live less repetitively. A repetitive life strengthens the mind’s control. Changing habits and patterns helps weaken this control.

• The key is to remain alert and watchful of the mind rather than become its slave. One should transcend the mind’s chatter to achieve an alive, intelligent silence. Meditation is escaping the mind’s grip to become awake and aware.

• One must watch the mind’s motivations and rationalizations. The mind deceives us and makes excuses to hide its real motivations. Seeing these helps gain mastery over the mind.

Does this summary cover the essence of the key ideas and perspectives on meditation and transcending the mind according to the given points? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of the summary.

The mind tends to repeat the same thoughts and dreams. The concept of transplanting intelligent brains is concerning as the host may not have control over the mind. Education teaches how to use the mind but not rest it. Meditation provides the ability to slow and rest the mind.

Views of time differ in Christianity and Eastern philosophies. Christianity sees time as linear with one life and afterlife. This creates anxiety and hurry. Eastern views see time as cyclical with reincarnation, so less hurry. Christianity focuses on facts and history. The East focuses on eternal themes in myth. The linear Christian view led to studying history and Jesus. The cyclical Eastern view led to less concern for facts.

Enlightened beings like Buddha were respected in the East for being, not doing. Being is valued over doing. Sitting in silence is respected. In the West, doing and productivity are valued more. Sitting in silence seems like wasting time. The notion of “time is money” causes pressure to always be busy in the West. But time is not actually scarce.

Diogenes was a mystic who searched for truth. He found only pretenders. He told Alexander ambition and conquering the world were foolish. True rest comes from within. Diogenes and Alexander died the same day, showing their connection though opposites.

Psychoanalysis focuses on the mind. Its goal is normality and coping. But normality lacks meaning or insight. Transcending the mind, as in Buddhism, cuts the roots of problems. Mind cannot be mended, only transcended. This leads to ecstasy and awakening. Courage is needed to transcend the mind into the unknown, which becomes known. Mind separates us from the divine.

Self-consciousness stems from ego and insecurity. Self-awareness stems from mindfulness and detachment. The self-conscious depend on others’ opinions for self-worth. The self-aware have an internal sense of identity. The self-conscious have no real self, just reflections from others. The self-aware have an internal self. Self-consciousness causes anxiety. Self-awareness brings tranquility. Egocentrism is self-consciousness. Mindfulness is self-awareness.

Dynamic meditations release inner chaos so silence can happen. Life once allowed catharsis. Now comfort lacks release, building chaos. Activities involving hands release energy. Head activities accumulate energy and can cause madness.

• Modern society tends to value intellectual and rational activities more highly than intuitive, creative and spiritual activities. However, creativity and intuition arise more from silence than ambition.

• Engaging in small creative acts, like writing, painting or dancing, helps nourish one’s inner silence. Worrying and restlessness cut one off from silence. One should celebrate and express one’s silence through creativity.

• Practicing cathartic meditations and celebration helps one enter into silence. Silence then becomes the source of creativity and positive transformation.

• Osho recommends:

  1. Practicing dynamic meditations to release inner chaos and restlessness.

  2. Nourishing one’s inner silence through small creative acts of self-expression.

  3. Allowing the silence to transform one from within through its own creativity.

• This approach helps overcome the lack of catharsis in modern society and connects one with silence and creativity. The key is valuing one’s unique expression over ambition and fame.

• New meditation techniques are needed today because the contemporary mind is:

  1. Constantly tense, anxious and disturbed. Ancient techniques were developed for a silent mind.

  2. Aggressively intellectual and rational. It needs weakening through catharsis before meditation.

  3. Conditioned by materialism, science and speed. It needs support to move inward, unlike the simple minds of the past.

  4. Irreligious. Meditation is a luxury, not a necessity as in the past. New techniques bridge the gap.

  5. Scientific. New techniques need a scientific basis to appeal to the modern mind.

• The summary outlines Osho’s view that meditation techniques should suit the cultural mindset. Ancient techniques don’t suit the modern Eastern and Western mindsets. New cathartic techniques release repressed energies. Openness to perceiving beauty and sexuality is needed. Cultural influences have both positive and negative impacts.

Does this summary accurately reflect the key ideas and arguments presented regarding meditation, spirituality and culture? Please let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand the summary in any way. I am happy to revise it.

• Our experiences of the world are shaped by changes in our body’s chemistry. There is no “pure” experience of reality.

• Whether through drugs, meditation, fasting, or other means, altering our body chemistry leads to altered perceptions and experiences. These can seem very real but are illusory.

• For example, hallucinations from prolonged fasting or the experiences of taking LSD arise from chemical changes, not reality. The experiences of addicts or meditators are also chemically-induced, though in different ways.

• All experiences, mundane or religious, emerge from our body’s chemistry. But the goal of religion is to go beyond experiences to pure consciousness. Experiences are a means to an end.

• During meditation, imagination can distract and mislead. One must avoid getting trapped in imagination, no matter how real or pleasant it seems. Remain a witness without getting involved.

• Gurdjieff said awakening during dreams shows progress, as life itself is a kind of shared dream. Techniques like repetition and autosuggestion can increase dream awareness.

• If you become aware during a dream, the dream fades. Awakening in a dream, you see life more clearly. But be wary of imagination and stories which perpetuate illusions.

• Deeper meditation reveals deeper imagination. Avoid both pleasant and frightening visions. Only when meditation transcends imagination does real progress occur.

• Powerful imagination creates experiences that seem real, like smelling absent flowers. But these are still imagination, however real they appear.

• Accept sexuality and seek loving relationships. Repression causes problems. Love and sex are part of life. Face rejection and find a mirroring partner. Live fully and authentically.

• Desire for meditation or experience hinders them. Relax and watch your mind indifferently. Be grateful for what comes. Meditation happens when you relax into it, not by forcing it.

• Remain an “amateur” and avoid becoming an “expert.” Osho developed active meditations involving activity, catharsis and watching. They chemically alter your perception. Chanting, humming and circular hand movements induce meditation.

• The Osho Meditation Resort in Pune provides opportunities for meditation and creativity. Programs incorporate Osho’s vision of “Zorba the Buddha.” Meditations include active, passive, traditional and new. Multiversity and Basho Spa also offer opportunities for growth and relaxation. Beautiful surroundings enhance the experience.

The Osho Meditation Resort offers accommodations ranging from rooms to long-term living-in programs. The center promotes the teachings of Osho, a spiritual leader who covered a wide range of topics from individual meaning to social issues. Osho’s works blend ancient wisdom and science. He developed Active Meditations to release stress before stillness. Osho saw himself helping create “Zorba the Buddha” - someone enjoying life yet silent like Buddha.

Osho’s books include his autobiography and glimpses of his childhood. His works cover life, insights, love, wellness, secrets, mysticism, zen, yoga, tarot, meditation, the body and mind. His audio titles address various topics.

In summary, the Osho Meditation Resort provides a place to learn Osho’s meditations and teachings. Osho offered a contemporary take on ancient wisdom, meditation and mysticism.

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About Matheus Puppe