To the modern mind,
hyped up by CNN, cellular phones and cyberspace, the idea of sitting in
silent meditation, as Buddha's disciples did 2500 years ago, seems a
remote possibility. Recognizing this, Osho has created active
A former sociology professor describes how
Dynamic Meditation revitalizes modern man and 21st century society.
It is seven o'clock. My son leaves
for school, and I change out of my pajamas into gym shorts and a
T-shirt. More is not needed; soon I will feel warm enough. For I am
about to meditate – meditate dynamically, that is.
Dynamic is a very curious meditation,
particularly if seen from the outside. Is has little to do with images
of bald-shaven monks sitting for hours on cold stone floors, even less
with the chanting of sacred mantras, or contemplations on holy matters.
Its time is the early morning, and its message is simple: wake up!
Because that is easier said than done, as it meets with so much
resistance within ourselves, it employs massive, energetic, and
strenuous means to shake us awake.
Our so-called modern enlightened consciousness
is, it seems, a very unhappy consciousness. The more developed a
civilization is, the more neurotic, the more psychologically ill, the
more addicted, the more suicidal are its members. After all the great
social visions of our age have popped like soap bubbles – the latest
being the breakdown of socialism – life seems to have fizzled down to
something we simply must get through, or, to use a phrase coined by Max
Weber "to bear like a man." Which is OK if you are on the side of the
fence where the fleshpots are full. But the flesh in the pots is
getting putrid, even affluence doesn't hold what it once promised – and
deep down we all know it, however much we are dying to have it.
We love our dreams and it hurts when they are
broken. But that's how it is and we have no say in it. All we can do is
repress the pain, close our eyes and hearts in order to avoid it. But
one day it catches up with us, when some unforeseen event – an illness,
an accident, a war, a natural catastrophe, a human encounter, even our
own end – rips a gap in our personal preoccupations and we ask
ourselves in anguish: "Was that it? Was that really it?" Every time a
dream is destroyed, it is revealed as just a dream and, shattered to
pieces, we are on the point of awakening.
But the question is: Do we want to wake up? Do
we really want to be disillusioned? Or do we prefer to hold on to our
illusions until the bitter end? Basically, we have no alternative.
Anybody who just pauses a moment and takes an unblinkered look at the
state of the world, sees this huge nightmare for what it really is,
knows that that this nightmare will explode sooner rather than later –
and all our private little dreams will explode along with it.
Do we, do you, do I want to wake up?
While the tape with the music that accompanies
Dynamic Meditation is being rewound on my tape deck, I mechanically do
my preparations: I pull a foam rubber mattress in place so that I won't
hurt myself in case I feel like throwing a fit, and I blow my nose as
thoroughly as I can. For the nose must be free, otherwise nothing is
possible. Then I start the tape: a loud gong resounds, and already the
drums start. I stand there – feet firmly on the ground, but otherwise
as loose as possible, and breathe as fast and deep and chaotically as
possible, through the nose. The mouth is closed firmly, and so are the
eyes. Anyway, that's what the instructions say. Today I feel better
than during the last few days, but the breathing doesn't come
particularly fast, let alone deep. My nostrils are blown wide open, but
hardly any air seems to come in.
The left nostril is– like it always is in the
first few minutes – almost shut, and the right one also feels pretty
narrow. True, I usually take it easy at first, allowing myself
approximately one minute warming-up time before really getting into the
huffing and puffing, but this time I feel more low than loose. But
didn't I feel particularly fit just now? Ah, that's it! I am feeling
well enough, and precisely because of it I'm afraid that this small
amount of well being might get disturbed if I really get going; I
would like to cling to it a little longer and not enter into the shit
Often enough we don't want to really
wake up. Yes, we want to get rid off the bad dreams, the nightmares,
but the beautiful ones?...
...Who are you? That's the only question the
remains: Who am I?
Here I am getting up early in the morning and
breathing like crazy through my nose. Is that a way to find the answer?
Really, it looks more like losing your marbles than finding your
senses. But is it really less sensible than say, for argument's sake,
what the philosopher Immanuel Kant was doing? He spent all his life in
his Ksnigsberg ivory tower, torturing his brain and churning out long-
winded sentences nobody can understand, replacing the Ten Commandments
with Kantian Imperative intended to guide man in his moral action. But,
in fact, it didn't change him one iota. Or is it less sensible than
what Marx was doing when he was planning the salvation of man in the
Reading Room of the British Museum?
These thinkers may have done the most sensible
and best thing possible in their time, but now it is high time to have
a good look at ourselves: in person, not in theory. After all, it is
the sum total of all of us that's creating our history. And for that no
books are needed.
In books, all we can find are other
people's thoughts. rehashing the thoughts of yet other people. What is
needed is a mirror that helps us look within ourselves...and Dynamic
Meditation is just such a mirror. That's why I stand here, huffing
and puffing like an express train.
When I note my half-heartedness, I change to a
higher gear. My nose is still damned narrow, but I know this will
change soon. Within minutes I have reached a speed that leaves my
thoughts painting behind. That is one of the purposes of the exercise:
the mind is blown away – fear nothing, it will come back! All I hear
now is a staccato of massive outbreaths, driven on by frenzied drums.
I realize that even more is possible (more is
always possible), and breathe even more deeply. I think nothing, there
is only breathing: deeper, faster, madder. It's totally far out. When a
pang of pain shoots up somewhere. I just take note of it, and then I am
back with the breathing. From a certain speed limit, a certain speed
limit, a certain intensity on, I a simply in it, and it is fun to go
for the maximum. The drums build up to a climax. Then the gong: end of
The first phase of Dynamic Meditation is
the awakening to a new life. "Wake up, man!" it seems to be shouting at
us. "Come out of your ancient sleep, step out of the maze of your
dreams, be they sweet or nightmarish. Stop letting yourself be trapped
by these dreams, drop your limitations and live! Breathe! Breathe and
Open yourself for the breath of life;
take in as much of it as you can possibly take! Stop philosophizing
about life, stop losing yourself in the dreams of others, stop dreaming
of Day X, when you will really, start living! Do it yourself, do
it now! LIVE."
Deep, fast breathing dissolves the
cemented patterns of our psyche, makes everything move and tingle, and
charges the body with oxygen and life energy, blowing apart our
psychosomatic structure, the order that was created by the
circumstances of our birth and our background conditioning. We are
coming closer to life in is original wildness, unpredictability, power.
We lost our innocence long ago, and we
want to find it again. And we will to find it again if we want
to enjoy, to really celebrate life and not go dragging on alone.
Osho Dynamic Meditation is a shock therapy.
All meditation techniques are tricks, attempts to put the mind to sleep
without consciousness falling asleep with it... to allow a glimpse of
no-mind, the dimension beyond the mind.
Whether or not a technique works is a question
of who uses it. But the people for whom the ancient techniques were
developed are no more. We live in a totally different world today.
Dynamic Meditation is a method for modern man
as he is: neurotic, speedy, confused. It helps to bring all the mess of
the modern mind to a boil so that it can evaporate. With these methods,
thanks to the ingenuity and genius of Osho who invented them, a new
path to meditation has been hewn through the jungle of today's mind,
which is thicker and more tangled than ever before in the evolution of
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