From the introduction to
OSHO: Meditation – The First and Last Freedom Paperback: 320 pages, St. Martin’s Griffin – ISBN-13: 978-0312336639. Available as eBook: Kindle Nook
by Dr. Amrito
Just as the science and technology that has transformed our outer lives has been largely a Western phenomenon, so the East has provided the main source of the science that can transform our inner lives.
Today, just like the light bulb, meditation is a universal phenomenon — one helps illuminate our outer world, the other our inner world.
But in the process of becoming universal, many misconceptions about meditation have arisen: that it is “religious,” that it is about sitting in difficult postures, perhaps with your ankle round your neck with a holy look on your face to hide the discomfort, maybe even humming, or chanting some esoteric-sounding mantra. If that doesn’t appeal to you, then this book is for you.
Here meditation is made simple, ordinary, and the natural component of a contemporary life-style. And increasingly, an essential component too.
Meditation in its essence is the art of being aware, aware of what is going on inside you and around you.
Although meditation itself is not a technique, there are many methods here to help you learn this awareness, and as you acquire this knack, it can be your companion wherever you are — at work, at play, wherever.
Most of us have been taught that in order to be successful in life we need to struggle, to fight, to focus, to concentrate. The trouble with this approach is that the more we struggle, the more tense we become. And the more tense we are, the worse we perform. The meditative approach is to understand that in order to be at our best, in order to give each moment our best — and to receive the best from each moment — we need to be as aware as possible. And to be aware we need to be relaxed.
Usually we think that in order to relax, we have to go out. Meditation offers another possibility: to go in to relax.
Such are the pressures of modern life that there has never been a more restless world to live in. Never have people been so tense. It is exactly for the modern mind that these techniques have been devised — a contemporary approach to suit contemporary people.
If you are a high-energy individual, for example, for whom “just sitting” seems impossible, then try the Osho Active Meditations, Osho Dynamic Meditation or Osho Kundalini Meditation. Exert yourself to the maximum and let the relaxation follow on its own accord. Perhaps your pent-up emotions make it difficult to sit quietly? Or you feel too tired and lethargic to stay awake while trying to sit? Or perhaps you just want to move your body. Then again these Active Meditation are just for you.
The knack of remaining relaxed in the midst of our busiest day is what has been called “alertness with no effort” — the essential experience of meditation. So even if you are convinced you have absolutely no time to set aside for meditation, you’ll find plenty of techniques in this book that can be seamlessly integrated into your day.
Meditation is based on a simple understanding. That rather than fighting with darkness, which is impossible anyway, switch on the light. Rather than fighting with ourselves, trying to improve ourselves, trying to live up to others’ ideas of who or what we should be, we can start by simply accepting ourselves as we are now.
Osho often reminds people that if existence has invited them to be here, who else’s permission do they need to accept themselves as they are.
Once we relax into this acceptance, once we stop pretending to be other than how we are, once we stop struggling to impress others (who are struggling equally hard to impress us), once we stop trying to defend ourselves, justify ourselves.… Once we stop trying to hide our wounds, even from ourselves, but rather open them to the air and the light, the healing happens on its own.
More on meditation by Osho: www.youtube.com/oshointernational
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