When I meditate, I usually repeat a mantra or a namokar, but the mind remains restless. How can one best occupy one's mind while meditating?
The need to occupy time is the need of the non-meditative mind, so you should first understand why you have this need. Why can't you be unoccupied; what is this need to be occupied constantly? Is it just an escape from yourself?
The moment you are unoccupied you have only yourself; you fall back on yourself. That is why you have to be occupied. This need to be occupied is just an escape, but this is a necessity for the non-meditative mind.
The non-meditative mind is constantly occupied with others. When others are not there, then what is to be done? You do not know how to be occupied by yourself. You are not even aware that you can live with yourself. You have always lived with others, so now, in meditation, when you are not with others and you are alone though it is not really being alone you begin to feel lonely.
Loneliness is the absence of others; aloneness is the presence of oneself.
You begin to feel lonely, and you have to be filled with something. A namokar can do that; anything can do that. But unless you have a meditative mind, if you continue a namokar or any other repetition it is just a crutch and it has to be thrown.
If you are doing something of this sort, it is better to use a one-word mantra, such as rama or aum than something long like a namokar. With one word you will feel less occupied than with many words, because with the changing of words, the mind also changes. With one word you will be bored, and boredom is good because then it is easy to drop the whole thing at some point. So rather than using a namokar, it is better to use one word, and if you can use a word that is meaningless it is still better, because even the meaning becomes a distraction.
When you have to throw something out, then you should be aware that you have to throw it. You must not be too attached to it. So use one word, one thing, something that is meaningless for example, "Hoo." It has no meaning. "Aum" is basically the same, but it has begun to have meaning now because we have been associating it with something divine.
The sound should be meaningless, just a meaningless word. It must not convey anything, because the moment something is conveyed the mind is fed. The mind is fed not by words but by meanings. So use some word like Hoo; it is a meaningless sound.
Really, Hoo is more than a meaningless sound, because with Hoo an inner tension is created. With the sound Hoo something is being thrown out. So use a word that is throwing something out, which is throwing you out, not one that is giving you something.
Use Hoo. With Hoo you will feel that something is being thrown out. Use the word when the breath is going out and then make the incoming breath the gap. Balance it: Hoo, then the incoming breath as the gap... then again, Hoo. The word should be meaningless; it should be a sound rather than a word. And emphasize the outgoing breath. The word, the sound, has to be thrown in the end, so it should not be taken in with the ingoing breath. This is very subtle. Just throw the sound out as if you are throwing out some excreta, as if you are throwing something out of you; then it cannot become food.
Remember always, and remember deeply, that anything which goes in with the ingoing breath becomes food anything, even a sound, becomes food and everything which goes out with the outgoing breath is excreta. It is just thrown out. So with the ingoing breath always be vacant, empty; then you are not giving the mind any new food.
The mind is taking in subtle foods even with sounds, words, and meanings...with everything. Experiment with this. When you are feeling sexual, when you are in a sexual fantasy, use this Hoo with the outgoing breath. Within moments you will feel beyond sex, because something is being thrown out; a very subtle thing is being thrown out. If you are angry then use this sound, and within seconds there will be no anger.
If you are feeling sexual and you use this same sound with the ingoing breath, you will feel more sexual. If you are feeling angry and you use this same Hoo with the ingoing breath, you will feel angrier. Then you will become aware of how even a simple sound affects your mind, and how it affects it differently with the ingoing breath or the outgoing breath.
When you see someone beautiful, lovely, someone who is your beloved, and you want to touch her body, touch it with the outgoing breath and you will feel nothing; but touch her with the ingoing breath and you will feel a fascination. With the ingoing breath the touch becomes a food, but with the outgoing breath it is not a food at all. Take someone's hand in yours and only feel the hand with the ingoing breath. Let the outgoing breath be empty. Then you will know that touch is a food.
If you eat your meal with an emphasis on the outgoing breath, then no matter how good the food is, it will not be a food for your body. Even if you eat very much, there will be no nutrition if your emphasis is on the outgoing breath. So eat with the ingoing breath and let there be a gap when the breath is going out. Then, with a very small quantity of food, you can be more alive.
Remember this sound Hoo with the outgoing breath. It destroys the restlessness of the mind. But this, too, is a crutch and soon, if you are doing meditation regularly, you will feel that there is no need for it. Not only is there no need, but it will become a disturbance, a positive disturbance.
Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy
Osho: " Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy "
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