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Meditation is a knack*

Meditation is such a mystery that it can be called a science, an art, a knack, without any contradiction.

From one point of view it is a science because there is a clear-cut technique that has to be done. There are no exceptions to it, it is almost like a scientific law.

But from a different point of view it can also be said to be an art. Science is an extension of the mind - it is mathematics, it is logi, it is rational. Meditation belongs to the heart, not to the mind - it is not logic, it is closer to love. It is not like other scientific activities, but more like music, poetry, painting, dancing; hence, it can be called an art. But meditation is such a great mys­tery that calling it ‘science’ and ‘art’ does not exhaust it. It is a knack - either you get it or you don't get it. A knack is not a science, it cannot be taught. A knack is not an art. A knack is the most mysteri­ous thing in human understanding.

In my childhood I was sent to a master; a master swimmer. He was the best swimmer in the town, and I have never come across a man who has been so tremendously in love with water. Water was god to him, he worshiped it and the river was his home. Early - at three o’clock in the morning - you would find him on the river. In the evening you would find him on the river and at night you would find him sit­ting, meditating by the side of the river. His whole life consisted of being close to the river.

When I was brought to him - I wanted to learn swimming - he looked at me, he felt something. He said, “But there is no way to learn swimming; I can just throw you in the water and then swimming comes of its own accord. There is no way to learn it, it cannot be taught. It is a knack, not knowledge.”

And that’s what he did - he threw me in the water and he was standing on the bank. For two, three times I went down and I felt I was almost drown­ing. He was just standing there, he would not even try to help me! Of course when your life is at stake, you do whatsoever you can. So I started throwing my hands about - they were haphazard, hectic, but the knack came. When life is at stake, you do whatsoever you can do... and whenever you do whatsoever you can do totally, things happen!

I could swim! I was thrilled! “Next time,” I said, “you need not throw me into it - I will jump myself. Now I know that there is a natural buoy­ancy of the body. It is not a question of swimming, it is only a question of getting in tune with the water ele­ment. Once you are in tune with the water element it protects you.”

And since then I have been throw­ing many people into the river of life! And I just stand there... Al­most nobody ever fails if he takes the jump. One is bound to leam.

It may take a few days for you to get the knack. It is a knack! It is not an art! If meditation were an art it would have been very simple to teach. Because it is a knack, you have to try; slowly you get it. One of the Japanese professors of psycholo­gy is trying to teach small children, six months old, to swim, and he has succeeded. Then he tried with chil­dren three months old - and he has succeeded. Now he is trying with the newly bom, and I hope that he succeeds. There is every possibility because it is a knack. It does not need any other kind of experience: age, education... it is simply a knack. And if a six-month or three-month old baby can swim, that means we are naturally endowed with the idea of “how” to swim... it is just that we have to discover it. Just a little bit of effort and you will be able to discover it. The same is true about meditation - more true than about swimming. You just have to make a little effort.

* - excerpt from OSHO. Meditation - the First and Last Freedom.


Updated on 01-07-2019

Ojas Meditation Center

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