A practical handbook in simple andclear language which is ideal foreveryone from complete beginners toexperienced meditators. The bookcontains a scientific explanation ofmeditation, a humorous discussion ofobstacles to watch out for, answers toquestions from meditators and 60step-by-step descriptions ofmeditation techniques. Sometechniques have been drawn fromancient traditions such as Zen, Sufi,Tantra, Tao, and the Upanishads,others include the revolutionarytechniques created by Oshoespecially for the modern man whofinds it difficult to quieten his mind.
W; train a child to focus his mind, to concentrate,because without concentration he will not be able tocope with life. Life requires it; the mind must be able toconcentrate. But the moment the mind becomes able toconcentrate, it becomes less aware. Awareness means a mindthat is conscious but not focused. Awareness is a consciousnessof all that is happening.
Concentration is a choice. It excludes all except its objectof concentration; it is a narrowing. If you are walking on thestreet, you will have to narrow your consciousness in order towalk. You cannot ordinarily be aware of all that is happeningbecause if you are aware of everything that is happening youwill become unfocused. So concentration is a_ need.Concentration of the mind is a need in order to live — tosurvive and exist. That is why every culture, in its own way,tries to narrow the mind: of the child.
Children, as they are, are never focused; their consciousnessis open from all sides. Everything is coming in, nothing is beingexcluded. The child is open to every sensation, every sensationis included in his consciousness. And so: much is coming in!That is why he is so wavering, so unstable. A child’sunconditioned mind is a flux — a flux of sensations — but hewill not be able to survive with this type of mind. He mustlearn how to narrow his mind, to concentrate.
The moment you narrow the mind you become particularlyconscious of one thing and simultaneously unconscious of somany other things. The more narrowed the mind is, the moresuccessful it will be. You will become a specialist, you willbecome an expert, but the whole thing will consist of knowingmore and more’ about Jess and less.
The narrowing is an existential necessity; no one isresponsible for it. As life exists, it is needed, but it is notenough. It is utilitarian, but just to survive is not enough; justto be utilitarian is not enough. So when you become utilitarianand the consciousness is narrowed, you deny your mind muchof which it was capable. You are not using the total mind, youare using a very small part of it. And the remaining — the majorportion — will become unconscious.
In fact, there is no boundary between conscious andunconscious. These are not two minds. ''Conscious mind''‘means that part of the mind that has been used in thenarrowing process. ''Unconscious mind'' means that portionthat has been neglected, ignored, closed. This creates adivision, a split. The greater portion of your mind becomesalien to you. You become alienated from your own self; youbecome a stranger to your own totality.
A small part is being identified as your self and the rest islost. But the remaining unconscious part is always there asunused potentiality, unused possibilities, unlived adventures.This unconscious mind — this potential, this unused mind — willalways be in a fight with the conscious mind; that is why thereis always a conflict within. Everyone is in conflict because ofthis split between the unconscious and the conscious. But onlyif the potential, the unconscious, is allowed to flower can youfeel the bliss of existence; otherwise not.
If the major portion of your potentialities remainsunfulfilled, your life will be a frustration. That is why the moreutilitarian a person is, the less he is fulfilled, the less he isblissful. The more utilitarian the approach — the more one is inbusiness life — the less he is living, the less he is ecstatic. Thepart of the mind that cannot be made useful in the utilitarianworld has been denied.
The utilitarian life is necessary but at a great cost: you havelost the festivity of life. Life becomes a festivity, a celebration,if all your potentialities come to a flowering; then life is aceremony. That is why I always say that religion meanstransforming life into a celebration. The dimension of religionis the dimension of the festive, the nonutilitarian.
The utilitarian mind must not be taken as the whole. Theremaining, the greater — the whole mind — should not besacrificed to it. The utilitarian mind must not become the end.It will have to remain there, but as a means. The other — theremaining, the greater, the potential — must become the end.That is what I mean by a religious approach.
With a nonreligious approach, the businesslike mind, theutilitarian, becomes the end. When this becomes the end,there is no possibility of the unconscious actualizing thepotential; the unconscious will be denied. If the utilitarianbecomes the end, it means that the servant is playing the roleof the master.
Intelligence, the narrowing of the mind, is a means towardsurvival, but not toward life. Survival is not life. Survival is anecessity — to exist in the material world is a necessity — but theend is always to come to a flowering of the potential, of all thatis meant by you. If you are fulfilled completely, if nothingremains inside in seed form, if everything becomes actual, if youare a flowering, then and only then can you feel the bliss, theecstasy of life.
The denied part of you, the unconscious part, can becomeactive and creative only if you add a new dimension to yourlife — the dimension of the festive, the dimension of play. Someditation is not a work, it is a play. Praying is not a business,it is a play. Meditation is not something to be done to achievesome goal — peace, bliss — but something to be enjoyed as anend in itself.
The festive dimension is the most: important thing to beunderstood — and we have lost it totally. By festive, I mean thecapacity to enjoy, moment to moment, all that comes to you.