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Meditation is not introspection*

Introspection is thinking about yourself. Self-remembering is not thinking at all: it is becoming aware of yourself. The difference is subtle, but very great.


Western psychology insists on intro­spection, and Eastern psychology insists on self-remembering. When you introspect what do you do? For example, you are angry: you start thinking about anger how it is caused. You start analyzing why it is caused. You start judging whether it is good or bad. You start rationaliz­ing that you had been angry because the situation was such. You brood about anger you analyze anger, but the focus of attention is on the anger, not on the self. Your whole con­sciousness is focused on the anger: you are watching, analyzing, associating, thinking about it trying to fig­ure out how to avoid, how to get rid of it how not to do it again. This is a thinking process. You will judge it “bad” because it is destructive. You will take a vow that “I will never commit the same mistake again.” You will try to control this anger through will. That’s why Western psychology has become analytical: analysis, dissection.

Eastern psychology says, “Be aware. Don’t try to analyze anger, there is no need. Just look at it, but look with awareness. Don’t start thinking.” In fact if you start think­ing then thinking will become a barrier to looking at the anger. Then thinking will garb it Then thinking will be like a cloud surrounding it; the clarity will be lost. Don’t think at all. Be in a state of no thought and look.

When there is not even a ripple of thinking between you and the anger the anger is faced, encoun­tered. You don’t dissect it You don’t bother to go to its source, be­cause the source is in the past. You don’t judge it because the moment you judge it thinking starts. You don’t take any vow that “I will not do it” because that vow leads you into the future. In awareness you remain with the feeling of anger, exactly herenow. You are not inter­ested in changing it, you are not in­terested in thinking about it - you are interested to look at it directly, face to face, immediate. Then it is self-remembering.

And this is the beauty of it: that if you can look at anger it disappears. It not only disappears in that mo­ment - the very disappearance of it by your deep look gives you the key - there is no need to use will, there is no need to make any deci­sion for the future, and there is no need to go to the original source from which it comes. It is unneces­sary. You have the key now: look at anger and anger disappears. And this look is available forever. When­ever anger is there you can look; then this looking grows deeper. There are three stages of looking. First, when the anger has already happened and gone; as if you look at a tail disappearing - an elephant has gone; only the tail is there. When the anger was there, you were so deeply involved in it you could not really be aware. When the anger has almost disappeared, ninety-nine percent gone - only one percent, the last part of it, is still going, disappearing into the far horizon — then you become aware. This is the first state of awareness - good, but not enough.

The second state is when the ele­phant is there - not the tail - when the situation is ripe. You are really angry to the peak, boiling, burning then you become aware.

Then there is still a third stage: the anger has not come, is still coming not the tail but the head. It is just entering your area of conscious­ness and you become aware, then the elephant never materializes. You killed the animal before it was bom. That is birth control. The phenomenon has not happened; then it leaves no trace.


* - Excerpt from OSHO. Meditation – the first and last freedom.

Updated on 03-06-2019

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