What is Meditation actually?
First of all: Meditation is not the technique. It is a state of being. Meditation simply means to be present in the here and now. Being present with what is. No matter if you are angry, happy, sad, bursting with anger or sitting relaxed in lotus posture and watching your breath. You may think that meditation is just that: to sit cross-legged and focus your attention entirely on the breath. No. This is 'just' ONE of the many techniques for practicing the state of meditation. But even mindful walking can help you to practice meditation. Mediation is observing what is, observing yourself, including your thoughts and feelings, but also observing what is happening in your environment. It is the ability to be fully present with everything that shows up within you and around you.
Today, meditation is part of the standard program of anyone who has any regard for him or herself. Mindfulness is hip. And now it is even considered a panacea that can help with everything, be it annoying colleagues, depression, stress, aftercare post surgery and god knows what else. Fact is, more and more people want to solve their problems through mindfulness.
But is that so? Does mindfulness really help with everything? Or is it simply an acceptable reason to take an urgently needed break in an increasingly hectic world? And is it the break that we might not otherwise allow ourselves to have that makes all the differents? Is this what causes the well-being that is being reported?
And beyond that, we have to ask ourselves why so many of us still find it difficult to just sit silently and watch the breath. About a dozen years ago I tried everything under the sun to make myelf sit still for at least 10 Minutes. I tricked myself, I rewarded myself, I punished myself in order to suceed, to no avail. Do you feel the same way? I think you are not alone.
The Solution: Active Meditation
In late 2008 I discovered my personal solution: Active Meditation. Without being aware, I had already known it. When I cycled around New Zealand on my pushbike in 1999, I - unknowingly discovered active meditation as I was cycling, especially up those nasty hills. That was active meditation, I just didn't know it. Today I know for sure, it was meditation. I was alone on my bike for 4 months, exposed to wind and weather every day and sweating blood and tears. The constant movement, the struggle, brought up all kinds of stuff. And no-one to talk to. If I had known that...
But today I am glad I had done it. It was the beginning of my inner journey and the beginning of meditation. Meditation? Yes, because meditation is simply being present with what is. And that's what I had to do. I learned to do. Without resistance, without suppressing feelings or thoughts. It is the ability to be here completely and to allow everything to be there that shows up. Whether it's feelings, like anger, sadness or fear, or thoughts that go round in circles for the hundredth time. Meditation is the capacity to accept, what is and to leave it as it is.
Curious how you too can get there too? Without cycling through New Zealand for 4 months? Read on.
Active Meditation - mindful Movement as Meditation?
What does that mean - active meditation? Active meditation simply means that we include the body with mindful movement. This can be very dynamic, but also mindful.
The body thus becomes an instrument: 15 minutes of intensive activities like running on the spot, dancing, shaking, jumping and the likes, and then 15 minutes of silence. The movement activates the body and the sympathetic nervous system and then, and only then, can deep relaxation occur. First everything is brought to a boiling point, then it can relax.
This is possible because the inner restlessness, tension and fidgeting, which has accumulated through our hectic everyday life, can be released through dynamic but attentive movement.
Especially as a beginner you will probably find it difficult to sit still, right? Tingling here, itching there - these are all tricks of our hyperactive mind trying to keep in control.
An Indian mystic named Osho said:
"As far as modern man is concerned, I insist on active meditation instead of silent meditation. Because your energy wants to be acted out, it needs catharsis. You have too much energy and no actions for the energy... Let the energy flow. Through action you merge with existence. And when the energy is gone and you relax, then be still." (Osho)
There are numerous active meditation techniques and they are indeed a very effective tool to achieve a meditative state. These methods work quickly and effectively.
Here is a great article on the subject. The title: "Don't just sit there!". That should give us something to think about...
Curious? Try it out for yourself. There's plenty of opportunities out there, for example, at our Nature Retreats. There are also free meditation events online. Click on the button to keep posted about our online meditation events. You could also google "Osho active meditation" in your city, perhaps you will find a suitable offer in your neighborhood. There are also instructions on YouTube and in written form for the most popular Osho Active Meditations, if you want to try it alone at home. A good source for this is this page: osho.com/en/meditation/osho-active-meditations.
Another active meditation I would like to recommend is the Heart Chakra Meditation by Karunesh.
Here is a YouTube video that explains the meditation:
youtube.com/watch?v=SBg5IEZwLIQ&t=29s. You can also find the accompanying music on YouTube. youtube.com/watch?v=-ZRe439pgGU
OSHO Meditative Therapies
What Is Meditative Therapy
The Osho approach to therapy is that it can never be the ultimate solution to human problems. Osho knew that ultimately, one would need to dis-identify from the mind, from the personality structure, and discover his ‘true face’.
The Meditative Therapies – a name coined by Osho – are processes for freeing old, stuck energies, to renew vitality and to create space for silence. They are individual processes, done collectively. They work energetically, by-passing the conscious, analytical mind. All of them are basically meditations – even in the active phase, one is in a moment-to-moment encounter with oneself. Therapy happens by itself – without interference by the facilitator – as we are bypassing the conscious, analytical mind and breaking through the conditioning. No interference of the facilitator is needed (except in rare circumstances where guidance is necessary) as you are “the surgeon and patient” both.
Uniquely simple and effective, these methods involve a minimum of interaction among the participants or the facilitator and yet they work as therapy, even though they are meditations. The process itself is highly therapeutic.
“To be in the mind is to be out of yourself. To be out of the mind is to be in your own being.” (Osho)
If this inspires you, get in touch with me to find out more.
(c) Osho International Foundation
Who is OSHO
Osho was a contemporary Indian mystic, born in 1931 in Kuchwada in Central India.
He advocated meditation for everyone, but his technique was revolutionary. The meditations he designed don't start with stillness and silence but with activity and movement to release suppressed energy and emotions, which can then lead to a state of calmness in which meditation will happen naturally.
He was a master unhampered by tradition, a guru who could quote Voltaire, and Sartre, Heraclitus and Marx, and who believed in capitalism, technology, and sex.
Numerous subjects of interest were taken up by Osho in this intriguing series of talks - from esoteric topics to more well-known subjects like politics, parenting, relationships, child-rearing, or religion.
He cites Jesus, Buddha, Mahavira, Lao Tzu, Sufi and old Zen masters with astonishing memory, translating them with a freshness and directness as though they were talking today, as though they were wearing sneakers.
"Osho is a thoroughly modern man as much at home with Marx and Engels and humanistic psychology as with the mystical traditions of the East. Indeed, he uses Marx and Maslov, Plato and Heidegger, Freud and Beckett and Lenny Bruce, Playboy jokes as well as Zen and Sufi teaching stories, to make telling critiques of political and religious, psychological and sexual orthodoxies," writes James Gordon of Washington Post, USA.
Osho's commune in Pune still exists and is visited by 100,000 people every year. He died in 1990 aged 59.
Read more about Osho here.
And this is what Osho says about himself:
"Always remember, whatsoever I say to you, you can take it in two ways. You can simply take it on my authority, 'Because Osho says so, it must be true' – then you will suffer, then you will not grow."
“Whatsoever I say, listen to it, try to understand it, implement it in your life, see how it works, and then come to your own conclusions. They may be the same, they may not be. They can never be exactly the same because you have a different personality, a unique being."
“Whatsoever I am saying is my own. It is bound to be in deep ways rooted in me. You may come to similar conclusions, but they cannot be exactly the same.
“So my conclusions should not be made your conclusions. You should try to understand me, you should try to learn, but you should not collect knowledge from me, you should not collect conclusions from me. Then your mind-body will grow.”
OSHO Mystic Rose
3 hours a day for 21 days; for the first week we laugh for 3 hours a day for 7 days, the second week we cry for 3 hours a day for 7 days, and for the third week, we sit silently, for 3 hours a day for 7 days.
The first and most central of these Meditative Therapies is the OSHO Mystic Rose. Osho would like “all his people” to do it. He speaks of how our vitality has been squashed by lifetimes of repressed laughter and repressed pain and sadness, that hang around us, layer upon layer. By digging through these layers we will regain our life energy and our innocence.
Osho explains: “Whenever any experience is not fully lived in the moment, it leaves a residue inside us. It may be a small thing or something really significant but those residues or scars stay in the unconscious blocking our natural ability to flower to our full potential.”
“Whatever is left in the unconscious remains, waiting for an opportunity to be expressed, accepted, and resolved.”
“When we allow all our un-laughed laughter, our un-cried tears, and our un-lived silence to be experienced, we can allow whatever is in the unconscious to flow freely and be lived now – and be resolved forever.”
“The laughter, tears, and silence do their work without the need for words, discussion, or analysis as is typical of conventional therapy. You just participate with totality and sincerity, and the rest happens by itself.”
If this inspires you, get in touch with me to find out the dates for the next OSHO Mystic Rose
OSHO No Mind
2 hours a day for 7 days; for the first hour we speak Gibberish and the second hour we sit silently.
Osho said: “I am dealing with the contemporary man, who is the most restless being that has ever evolved on the earth. But people do become silent; you just have to allow them to throw out their madness, insanity, then they themselves become silent.” And so he created this process called Osho No Mind.
In the first hour of this course, we have the perfect opportunity to throw out the gibberish of the mind. As Osho explains, “Gibberish is one of the most scientific ways to clean your mind”.
What Is Gibberish?
Osho told us: “Just say everything that you ever wanted to say and have not been able to say because of civilization, education, culture, and society. Be very passionate, as if you are talking, as if your whole life is at stake. You are talking nonsense and there is nobody except you, but be passionate, be in a passionate dialogue. Saying anything that is moving in your mind, all kinds of rubbish – throw it out.”
“And say it in any language you don’t know! Use Chinese, if you don’t know Chinese. Use Japanese if you don’t know Japanese. Don’t use German if you know German. Shouting, laughing, crying, making noises … making gestures …. Sounds will come – utter them – and one sound will lead into another. Soon you will be speaking Chinese and Italian and French, languages that you don’t know. Simply allow whatever comes to your mind without bothering about its rationality, reasonability, meaning, or significance. For the first time enjoy that freedom — the same as all the birds have.”
If this inspires you, get in touch with me to find out the dates for the next OSHO No Mind.
OSHO Born Again
2 hours a day for 7 days; The first hour is for entering into your childhood and doing what you always wanted to do. The second hour is for sitting silently in meditation.
This process was created by Osho to rediscover the freshness and innocence of childhood without going into psychological issues.
Osho about the first part of the process:”Remember this: regain your childhood. Everyone longs for it but no one is doing anything to regain it. Everyone longs for it! People go on saying that childhood is paradise and poets go on writing poems about the beauty of childhood. Who is preventing you? Regain it! Take this opportunity to regain it. Poetry will not help, and just remembering that it was paradise is not of much use. Why not move into it again? Why not be a child again? I say to you that if you can be a child again you will start growing in a new way. For the first time, you will be really alive again. And the moment you have the eyes of a child, the senses of a child – young, vibrating with life – the whole of life vibrates with you.”
“Be childlike and enjoying, not thinking of the past. A child never thinks of the past. Really, he has no past to think about. A child is not worried about the future; he has no time-consciousness. He lives totally unworried. He moves in the moment, he never carries any hangover. If he is angry then he is angry and in his anger, he will say to his mother, “I hate you.” And this is not just words, this is a reality. Really, in that moment he is in total hate. The next moment he will come out of it and he will be laughing and he will give a kiss to his mother and he will say, “I love you.” There is no contradiction. These are two different moments. He was total hate and now he is total love. He moves just like a river goes on moving, zigzag. But wherever he is – wherever the river is – he is total, flowing.”
“For these days be like a child – total. If you hate, hate; if you love, love; if you are angry, then be angry; and if you are festive, then be festive and dance. Do not carry anything over from the past. Remain true to the moment, do not hanker for the future. For these days, drop out of time. Drop out of time! That is why I say do not be serious: because the more serious you are, the more time conscious you are. A child lives in eternity; for him, there is no time. He is not even aware of it. These days will be real meditation if you drop out of time. Live the moment and be true to it. Be playful.”
“It will be difficult because you are so structured. You have an armor around you and it is so difficult to loosen it, to relax it. You cannot dance, you cannot sing, you cannot just jump, you cannot just scream and laugh and smile. Even if you want to laugh you first want something there to be laughed at. You cannot simply laugh. There must be some cause, only then can you laugh. There must be some cause, only then can you cry and weep. Put aside knowledge, put aside seriousness; be absolutely playful for these days. You have nothing to lose. If you do not gain anything, you will not lose anything either. What can you lose in being playful? But I say to you: you will never be the same again.”
“My insistence on being playful is because of this: I want you to go back to the very point from where you stopped growing. There has been a point in your childhood when you stopped growing and when you started being false. You may have been angry, a small child in a tantrum, angry, and your father or your mother said, “Don’t be angry! This is not good!” You were natural but a division was created and a choice was there for you. If you were to remain natural then you would not have the love of your parents.”
“In these days I want to throw you back to the point where you started being ‘good’ as against being natural. Be playful so your childhood is regained.”
“It will be difficult because you will have to put aside your masks, your faces; you will have to put aside your personality. But remember, the essence can assert itself only when your personality is not there, because your personality has become an imprisonment. Put it aside. It will be painful, but it is worth it because you are going to be reborn out of it. And no rebirth is possible without pain. If you are really determined to be reborn, then take the risk.” (Osho, Meditation: The First and Last Freedom)
If this inspires you, get in touch with me to find out the dates for the next OSHO Born Again