Maha Vipassana is an “impossible” dream that has now come true – twice.
I am here in OshoMiasto with eighty people – people with the sincerity and the courage and a touch of craziness – to sit for seven days in silence watching their breath. There is nothing to do but watch the breath, whenever we can of course, as between the breath there is our minds that like wild beasts who have always ruled us, now require some training.
The training consists of coming back to the breath again and again from the habitual chattering of the mind. Each time we choose to bring our awareness to the breath, then that much energy is not feeding the thinking process. We are creating new pathways for our energy to follow and our mind becomes weaker. The sun is shining, blue sky, the colours of atumn are just appearing in the trees and the air is pure and silent. Each day feels so new and different – just a small breeze and the world around us feels and looks different. The silence brings an intensity to everything that is happening. For the meditators, nothing is happening – no reading or writing, or input of any information at all, other than what being in nature brings, and listening to Osho.
We are on a great voyage together.
I look at the faces of these people relaxing into themselves, or maybe wrestling with their thoughts and my eyes fill with tears. I then remember that Vipassana is a Buddhist meditation, – it is the middle path, neither repressive or expressive. Emotions come and without getting lost in them, or without repressing them we learn to observe – and come back to the breath.
At the end of the afternoon there is a possibility for people to check in with me if they have any questions about the technique and to express how they are. This is the only time that silence is broken and so each word is precious.
“How do I know that I am not manipulating my breath?”
The questioner goes on to describe how she is feeling more calm, and her breath is slowing down. Thoughts are less……and I support her in recognizing that everything is going perfectly well, and to see how ‘the mind’ wants to make a problem.
My breath appears to go so slow it almost stops. Is this ok?
When this happens naturally, it is a good sign. Sometimes it may seem like minutes pass before each breath. And you watch. And the body takes care.
Is it possible to think and watch the breath at the same time? Because I seem to be doing that.
This is an interesting question because I have heard Osho say that if we are totally watching the breath then no thought is possible. Although sometimes we may be with the breath and yet pictures, or unrelated words float past. When we take no notice of the irrelevant words or pictures and stay with the breath, then we are in the moment seeing both. If we are not involved in any way with the thoughts, they just pass like clouds.
I can only be with the breath for a few seconds at a time and then I am dreaming.
Exactly like this is how it happens. I encourage this person to keep going, and be aware not to be judgmental about her meditation, or about the type of thoughts that come. All is just something to watch – good or bad – all the same. Whenever we come back to the technique of feeling, or watching, the breath, then that much energy has not gone to the mind – even if it is just for a few seconds – that is already something.
I feel anger.
This happens and again, I can only say it is something to watch. By ‘watch’ I mean allow it, feel it, where in the body is it? Be aware of it, and don’t reject it. And when you can – come back to your breath. It sometimes helps to name the emotion – “anger, anger”. That may help you to dis-identify from the emotion, or the thoughts that go with it. Save the expression for Osho Dynamic tomorrow morning.
I am full of sexual fantasies.
This is also quite common. After all we are building up energy by just sitting doing nothing and the thoughts will go all over the place. Feel it, let the energy of sex be there without repressing. Let the mind do its thing but don’t get lost in it. Maybe you can silently give a name to the thoughts, i.e. “sexual, sexual”. This helps to take distance. Not so easy though, because our judgmental mind will arrive and say that this is not right. Then you can silently say to yourself “judgments, judgments” and come back to the breath.
“I have had an insight that without my personality, my name, my work, my clothes, everything that I think I am, life simply passes through me and there is just a feeling of ‘I Am.’ There is just “I am”– even the “I” drops and what is left is a feeling of ‘am-ness’.”
Vipassana is know as an “insight meditation”, and insights, or understandings such as this is one of the great gifts.
There was a great support team both inside the Vipassana and the Miasto people who lovingly and silently went about their work as though part of the retreat. The Maha Vipassana generated an energy that was not only felt by the participants but was felt by the people taking care of the kitchens, cleaning, offices and all. I heard someone said that: “The ‘watching’, as well as being spontaneous and easy, persisted in the meditations,work, and even when I went out in the car from Miasto. Vipassana was in and around me and accompanied me throughout the day just like the warm rays of the late summer sun.”
Many people doing these seven days were doing a retreat for the first time, in fact were even doing Osho’s meditations for the first time. We bring with us to meditation our ambition and our goal-oriented mind, of course. This is how we have lived through our childhood, school and at work. We have the idea we must ‘succeed’. The great challenge in Vipassana is realizing and accepting that there is nothing to achieve. There is no success and no failure. Whatever we are watching is the meditation. It is essential when remembering this, that we have a loving attitude towards ourself.
Many times I repeat the Buddhist sutra:
Love Yourself, and Watch, Today, Tomorrow and Always”
“On your part great patience is needed, and a trust that the whole existence
is in support of all those who are trying to grow spiritually.
It is not you who are trying to grow spiritually;
it is existence who, through you, is trying to reach to its utmost heights.”
Osho: The Golden Future chp.4