I was just talking to a friend who had just returned from a month-long meditation retreat at Mooji’s place in Portugal. She said she was very impressed by the spiritual vibes and the energy level created in the commune there. This came as no surprise to me as she is a prime example of a spiritual seeker. I respect her because she walks the walk and gives positive vibes wherever she goes.

Concerning positive vibrations, I often hang out with a small group of individuals at my local gym who consciously try to create a positive vibe there. Some days it works better than others. A couple of weeks ago, I went to the gym with a head full of steam and jagged thoughts arising from a business deal I was involved in. I needed a strenuous workout. The positive vibes gang were there, and their energy certainly gave me a lift. I left the gym a new man.

There is much to be said for a positive attitude. I recently met a charming and intelligent man who had just published a book. He gave me a copy. It is a book about the power of affirmation and how to proceed along a path that will lead to a positive and fruitful outcome. It looks like the author’s affirmations worked out well for him. He is a happy and financially successful man.

I’ve never believed in writing lists about what I want from life to make it happen. Yes, I could have been more successful in life, although I do not see myself as a failure. There is nothing new about the affirmation mindset. I recall a little painted sign outside Buddha Hall in Poona One that declared, ‘Be positive and transcend mind. Be negative and self-destruct.’ What strikes me about the people who usually promote the idea of affirming what you want is that they are all already successful. I’ve never heard a beggar or a disabled person say they affirmed in their mind how they wanted their life to turn out.

Can we think things into reality? Can we visualize what we want to make it happen? I’ve been visualizing winning the Euromillions jackpot to fund a commune for decades, and it still hasn’t manifested. Am I getting something wrong?

Somewhere down the line, I adopted something from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. I read in ‘I am That’ that one must learn to embrace whatever life brings and love animals, which will bring me to my true self. Has it worked? I don’t know. Have I arrived at my true self? I don’t know that either, which brings me to my ultimate question: How do you know when you have reached your true self?   

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88 Responses to POSITIVE VIBRATIONS, by Lokesh

  1. Nityaprem says:

    Nice article, Lokesh, appreciate it and it gives one lots to write about.

    I have a friend who is bipolar and has been suffering from a kind of pulsing tinnitus for the last year. She has taken to talking about all her problems at the drop of a hat — any conversation you have is likely to involve a listing of all the things that are going wrong. Now recently she has been getting depressed as well.

    I’ve told her, this kind of talking creates a negative spiral. You talk about all the things going wrong and it just gets worse and worse, these things grow bigger in your mind’s eye, until eventually you do add depression, illness and suicidal thoughts to the list.

    The thing is, this property of the mind, that the things you think and talk a lot about get larger in your mind’s eye, can also be leveraged into a positive spiral. If you spend minimal attention on the bad and focus yourself on the good, you will find yourself mostly thinking about good things, leading to increased happiness, peace and better rest.

    I don’t think affirmations work as a magical system for getting what you want, nobody has ever gotten a Ferrari just by wishing for one, but positive thought has a lot of benefits.

    • Nityaprem says:

      The thing is, I studied mechanical engineering after I came out of the commune, and learned quite a lot about cars, but I was never really a gearhead (I think that’s what car enthusiasts call themselves these days) and have actually avoided cars in favour of public transport most of my life. Go figure…

      But I understand the desire for a beautiful car. I love the styling of Porsche, Ferrari, and so on. It’s part of just appreciating beauty, whether that’s in a well-designed and printed book, a photograph or a car.

      I’m currently reading ‘Be As You Are’ by Ramana Maharshi, a book put together from his lectures, and am finding it very good.

  2. Lokesh says:

    Ramana wasn’t a petrolhead. He was more of a walking stick type of chap.

  3. dominic says:

    A positive mindset and being around positive, life affirming people is a wonderful thing. Having said that it can have a dark side if it becomes pollyanna-ish i.e. naive, foolish, uninformed and seeing the world only through rose-tinted specs.

    Lokesh says,
    “I was just talking to a friend who had just returned from a month-long meditation retreat at Mooji’s place in Portugal. She said she was very impressed by the spiritual vibes and the energy level created in the commune there.”

    I’m sure she had a lovely time and there were things to learn. I also spent time with Mooji, before he went superstar, and it was pleasant, although I saw some sides to him I didn’t appreciate.

    He has good advait-y pointers and is engaging and a good storyteller. He has attracted sannyasins and seems to have copied some Osho-like styles.

    There are also 260 pages on him on cult education with first-hand Portugal reports, and some videos worth considering if one is curious, and Rick Archer removed his interviews from Batgap.
    You also cannot comment on his youtube stuff.

    It’s a bit like Sannyas, if all you’re busy with is getting high or feeling good, then you can just drink the kool-aid, enjoy being in community, have life structured for you, believe what you’re told, and ignore the other stuff as ‘negativity’ and carry on. Sooner or later though, it might bite you in the bum.

    So ‘take the best and leave the rest’ and don’t be an ostrich…or a parrot.

    As far as all the affirmations and positive thinking stuff, not really my cup of tea, although I appreciate a can-do attitude.

    One has to watch all the junk the mind churns out that can bring you down, comparison, judgement, low self-worth etc., see it for what it is and keep going and follow your heart and what you love.

    No-one has all the answers, and everyone is improvising their way through life, as best as they can.

    “My true self” is never not here. It’s not a biggie anymore with fireworks, as dramatic as that is, or what we have been conditioned to believe from spiritual ‘superstars’ and traditions.
    For me now, it’s just the simple background of wordless being…subtle, quiet, plain, non-conceptual. I might leave home and go on some mental journeys a thousand times a day, but eventually I find my way back there.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Oh come on, Dominic, that all sounds very considered and somewhat cynical. Having to see all the dark sides of the earth just to avoid sounding naive is also not the answer, because as you look at the dark sides you find yourself getting used to it, conditioned by it. Just to be aware that dark sides exist, on the level of once a day reading the newspaper headlines, is good enough.

      I’m a big fan of positive vibrations, which includes limiting my media intake. It’s mostly useless stuff anyway. Apart from sannyasnews, which is very important, obviously.

      As far as the true self is concerned, I have found it to be in being and accepting, in silence, in rest, in awareness. Prolonged periods of reading the words of the enlightened and meditating on them have let the mud settle at the bottom of the glass of water. The Greeks were not far off when they said, “know thyself”.

      • dominic says:

        NP, I don’t get what you think is cynical or what’s wrong with having a considered opinion.
        I’m just saying be informed, be thoughtful, trust your intuition, and have some healthy scepticism whether it’s government spin, the latest ideological fad, or some of the grandiose facades of enlightened superheroes.

        Disillusioned with the world, people put their trust into religion and spiritual groups, and look what happens.
        You might end up drinking kool aid and offing yourself.

        There’s no excuse today not to be in the know.
        So for example, if you’re thinking of joining the Hare Krishnas or Scientologists or Mooji or Amma or anyone, have a little read first, or not, and don’t believe any of it, just jump in. Good luck to you.

        If you think the government has your best interests at heart, take the vaccine, open the borders, proclaim gender ideology, buy an electric car, be a good sheeple.

        You can still be peaceful and have good vibes, while acknowledging the dark. I don’t believe you become it by looking at it, quite the opposite, but know your limits.

        You don’t have to see all the dark sides, if you did you’d go mad, just the things that are relevant to you or interest you.

        • Nityaprem says:

          A considered opinion is only based on the hearsay of others. If you feel the impulse to go see Mooji in Portugal, do you go and read up on him first? Even an imperfect guide may be the guide you need right now.

          The thing is, back in the day the reports of Osho were also largely negative…would you have wanted to miss out on sannyas just because of reading some editor’s biased slant on Osho’s communes?

          In the end your only guide is your own sensitivity; being ‘informed’ should be playing a distant second fiddle to that.

          • dominic says:

            NP, I see we have a different understanding of ‘considered opinion’.

            I spent a fair amount of time with Mooji, including a retreat, before his meteoric rise, and the internet stuff, and his interviews being removed from Batgap.
            I saw him in Tiru with all the devotional hoopla and also was bored by then.
            I’m not trying to diss the guy, and as you say, you might get something out of an imperfect guru. He may also have cleaned up his act, who knows?”

            With so much baggage around religion and spiritual groups, I would say “buyer beware’.
            The internet is a tool which has opened my thinking in ways not previously available on everything, when all I had was the mainstream media, and the spin any group puts out to boost attraction.

            We obviously have a different approach, as I said earlier, mind and heart go together for me.
            You read a lot it seems, but mostly, it appears to me, to wrap yourself in a high-minded cocoon of romantic spiritual ideals, avoiding the gap between the ideal and the reality of what goes on, taking everything on face value, except for the internet which appears as a dark rabbit hole to you, full of bias and deception.

            Maybe you don’t like to be discomfited or have your illusions shattered and just go on ‘feels’, it’s certainly easier. Although, earlier on you took a swipe at Mooji, as a not good outcome from Papaji.

            FOMO or fear of missing out doesn’t control me. Getting to the ‘truth’, warts and all, like a good movie, is more interesting.
            If I hadn’t gone through sannyas something else would have emerged, no problem.

            I sometimes wonder if your father was largely absent for you (as for most of us I’m guessing) as you jump from one paternal authority figure to another, never quite settling and having arrived, and being your own hero.

            • Nityaprem says:

              Considered opinion has its uses, as does the internet, as do books. But in the case of spiritual teachers I encourage people to judge for themselves. My earlier remark about Mooji was based on videos I have seen of him, which gave me a feel for the kind of guru he is. It’s only my opinion.

              So, I think there is such a thing as being “too considered”. It reeks of an excess of caution, of not being Zorba and being too connected to mind and not enough to life. We live in a time when most people’s first impulse on conceiving of a retreat option is to go Google the heck out of it. And by the time they’re done they don’t feel so much like going anymore.

              Every person who puts information out of the internet has an agenda, mostly it’s about money, and the best you can do is be aware of that and learn to judge people’s faces and their “feel” as well as you can. That doesn’t mean avoid it altogether, but be aware that it is of limited use. I usually try to get as close to the source of information as I can.

              Clarity of vision and of purpose is most important, I think. I think the romantic is to be preferred to the grim or dark, I don’t think it is particularly necessary to accede to the completists who feel seeing all the ‘warts’ all of the time is required. Sometimes it’s necessary to be meticulous, but once you’ve seen a bit of the world you can usually fill in the gaps.

              And I have a close and very good relationship with my father. We often go on beach walks and talk about baseball.

            • Nityaprem says:

              I think in some ways I have been lucky, although my parents divorced early in the sannyas adventure both of them loved me, and we kept in touch through the years.

              If you look at Tim Guest’s ‘My Life in Orange’ or Lily Dunn’s ‘Sins of My Father’ (to name two of the more well-known stories) my life was a bit more positive, although it wasn’t always easy and I did my share of early growing up.

  4. Lokesh says:

    Dominic says, ‘“My true self” is never not here. It’s not a biggie anymore with fireworks, as dramatic as that is, or what we have been conditioned to believe from spiritual ‘superstars’ and traditions.”

    Yes, I have to agree. A Ramana quote is perhaps appropriate:
    “Your duty is to be and not to be this or that. ‘I am that I am’ sums up the whole truth. The method is summed up in the words ‘Be still’. What does stillness mean? It means destroy yourself. Because any form or shape is the cause for trouble. Give up the notion that ‘I am so and so’. All that is required to realize the Self is to be still. What can be easier than that?”

    • dominic says:

      Yes, I’m never quite sure with some of Ramana’s phrasing if it’s the translation or what he actually said.
      Some of the talk about “destroy yourself, because any form or shape is a cause for trouble” seems dated and a bit aggressive.

      Even to “Be still” comes across as an act of will, as if you can do it on command, with the downside of feeling like a failure and more self-flagellation if you can’t: “Oh, if only I could be still, it’s so easy, I’m such an idiot!”

      People used to talk like that more, you know: “kill the ego” etc.
      These days it’s much softer than that, “Relax into the stillness, silence, peace, I Am, Awareness, spaciousness, background (whatever you want to call the nameless) etc. that is already here.”
      You don’t need to “destroy yourself” which sounds impossible and scary anyway.

      Also to emphasise that it’s an ‘alive’ felt presence that infuses form with its aliveness, not a retreat from life, as sometimes advaita can appear to be, imo.

    • satchit says:

      Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God”!
      Jewish scriptures.

      Was Ramana a thief?

      • dominic says:

        Well, Ramana did kidnap souls and steal a lot of hearts.

        Most religions and spiritual groups are founded by men.
        I wonder if male psychology, which is more goal- and conquest-oriented, has a part to play in the way the spiritual quest has been framed, and as western society has become more feminised that emphasis on self-conquest, as in sitting for ten hours a day and being hit with a stick, has softened.

        • Nityaprem says:

          Hmm. That is quite an old-school framing of the difference between male and female; if you asked a millennial to rephrase that for you you’d get something quite different.

          Spiritual teachers have for the most part been male, even recently, and we will have to see what a teacher for the next generation will come up with.

  5. satchit says:

    I am not interested in this affirmation stuff.

    Basically it is a kind of self-hypnosis and goal-oriented.

    Success for what? At the end of the day success is an Illusion and you will be a failure anyway.

    For the true self, you have to walk the middle way.
    Neither this nor that.

  6. Nityaprem says:

    Lokesh wrote, “I left the gym a new man.”

    Isn’t it funny how the feeling of agency, of being able to do something about our lives, makes us feel better? I decided to do something about the excess weight I am carrying, and have been losing a number of kilograms steadily over the past month, and it’s become a little joy to step on the weighing scales each morning and note that another chunk had come off.

    In a way, when we are very young and learning the joy of crawling around on hands and knees, that is similar. For the first time in your life you are learning to move under your own power, investigate things, encounter the world. And in essence that never stops, there are always new things to encounter.

  7. Nityaprem says:

    Lokesh wrote, “…which brings me to my ultimate question: How do you know when you have reached your true self?”

    It’s a tricky one. My experience of the spiritual search has been one of a gradual unfolding. Each new bit of meditation, each new wisdom, each new moment of mindfulness, has led to greater clarity, less trauma remnants, a greater understanding of my inner world. It has gone with some falling down and getting back up, but I feel clearer and happier.

    There have been many experiences, mostly on the edges of sleep, often short while waking up or longer going back to sleep after waking in the middle of the night. I am no stranger to encountering voices or entities, catching fragments of their discussions. Doctors tell me I suffer from hypnagogic hallucinations, which Thomas Edison did as well. It’s a fairly rare condition, and on the spiritual quest sometimes it has been a hindrance and sometimes a help. To me it seems more like sometimes being in touch with the astral plane.

    So in short, the spiritual quest has brought me happiness and inner peace. Whether it made me realise my “true self”, I wouldn’t put it in such grandiose terms, there has been no heavenly revelation or such. As I said, there has been a gradual unfolding.

    Most recently I came across a short passage in the Ramana book, ‘Be As You Are’, where he says, “you are all already That. It is just the faulty assumption that you are the body which is obscuring your ability to realise it.” Something new to consider and ruminate over. The unfolding does not yet seem to be complete.

    • satyadeva says:

      Isn’t one’s “true self” that which is impossible to define except by saying what it isn’t? As discovered during a successful ‘enlightenment intensive’, for example, where one is left with the simple awareness of being: “I am”.

      As for hearing disembodied voices, that happens to me occasionally too, although only a phrase or so from a single voice while half-asleep, not a conversation. They usually sound innocuous enough, but I still find them disturbing and often take a pee break to break up any potential momentum it might generate.

      • Nityaprem says:

        On the subject of hearing voices, the Dutch psychiatrist Marius Romme once did a check on a radio show in the UK to see how many people who heard voices actually had a history with psychiatry, and he found that nearly 80% of all voice hearers were perfectly fine without psychiatric assistance, hearing a voice or a fragment here or there, often of a loved one.

        It’s funny but recently, the last few years, there seems to be more of a movement to bring mental health issues out in the open. There used to be this heavy stigma, not to talk about it, but things like the statistic that 40% of adults will have some form of mental health issue during their lives is making clear how common these things are.

  8. Lokesh says:

    At my local gym, we have a neurotic cleaner who happens to be a sweet person. She talks out loud to herself a lot. She also constantly checks her phone, although I have never seen her make or receive a call. She speaks rapidly to herself in incomprehensible Spanish. I ask my friends what she is saying, and they tell me, “A lot of nonsense.”

    It often reminds me of Eckhart Tolle’s story and how he came to a realization after observing someone talking out loud to himself. Yes, we are all constantly talking to ourselves. It is just that we keep quiet about it.

    We all constantly hear and listen to a voice or voices in our mind. Whether we are aware of it or not. It’s no big deal. It’s normal.

    Therefore, I treat the gym’s cleaning lady with respect and don’t treat her like a nut job. She senses my attitude and is always friendly towards me, in between one-way conversations with invisible people.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Osho often talked about neurosis as a kind of general dysfunction which is commonly found in people, but that is a bit outmoded. These days there are a lot of terms from the DSM V (diagnostics and statistical manual, 5th edition) being bandied about, you’ve got to know your bipolar from ADHD. It’s been said there are so many conditions in the DSM V that hardly anyone would get away without one.

      But it occurs to me that Osho never seemed to refer anyone to a therapist, or say they had some kind of condition. In the Q&A books he would just dispense guidance and anecdotes. He never made anyone feel less than healthy.

      I think it has to do with the spiritual path, that if you’re focussed on illness and becoming healthy you are not directing your attention towards meditating.

      • Lokesh says:

        “Osho never seemed to refer anyone to a therapist.”
        Osho must have referred more people to therapists than anyone else in recorded history.
        NP, what on earth are you talking about? Are you writing from the DMZ?

        You conclude, “I think it has to do with the spiritual path, that if you’re focussed on illness and becoming healthy you are not directing your attention towards meditating.”
        Whatever brought you to such a conclusion?

        • Nityaprem says:

          In all the books I have read of his I’ve never yet seen Osho refer anyone to a therapist…but those are discourses, maybe he did in darshans, not sure about that.

          As far as the spiritual path and illness is concerned, I was taking an example from my friend with bipolar, who refuses to combine the two. But some people do, I know.

          Is it also so hot where you are? It was over 20 degrees last night, I woke up at 4.15 and was unable to sleep a wink after that. I’m all discombobulated.

          • Lokesh says:

            NP, Osho often sent people to do groups. Those groups were run by therapists. How could he have done that in discourses? Pointed to someone in the first row and said, “Hey, you, with the stupid smile on your face. Go and do primal therapy.”

            Of course it wasn’t like that. For years in darshan he sent people to groups and therapists. People also wrote to him and he told them to do hypnotherapy, gestalt, encounter etc. I suggest you do, ‘Think about it therapy’ with Swami Yoosyer Noggin from Hungary, he’ll sort you out.

            You say, “As far as the spiritual path and illness is concerned, I was taking an example from my friend with bipolar, who refuses to combine the two.”
            Of course you were. That was obvious.

            • Nityaprem says:

              No, but he could have taken a question in a discourse and said, this person really needs another enlightenment intensive…but of course, he didn’t.

              “Q: Will not right conduct be enough to secure salvation?
              A: Salvation for whom? Who wants salvation? And what is right conduct? What is conduct? And what is right? Who is to judge what is right and what is wrong? According to previous samskaras, each one regards something or other as right. Only when the reality is known can the truth about right and wrong be known. The best course is to find out who wants this salvation. Tracing this `who’ or ego to its original source is the right conduct for everyone.”

              (Question asked of Ramana Maharshi)

    • Nityaprem says:

      Are you a fan of Eckhart Tolle, Lokesh? I recall reading ‘The Power of Now’ and ‘A New Earth’, but I haven’t followed his recent offerings, it all seems to be behind pay walls.

  9. Lokesh says:

    I’m not a fan of Mr Tolle. He seems like a nice enough guy, though.

    Many years ago, I was visiting the Dominican Republic, where I lived with a small group of old sannyasin friends. One morning I went over to a neighbouring house to do a breathing meditation. When the meditation was over an Eckhart Tolle talk was played. Something that was said affected me deeply and I began to cry. That is the most I ever got out of the man’s words and it left me with a fond memory.

    These days, I rarely listen to or read spiritual material and tend to concentrate on my own work.

    • Nityaprem says:

      It’s true, listening to or reading a lot of spiritual material tends to turn one into a parrot, if you don’t take the time to digest it, make it your own and throw out the chewed-up remains. But if you do it right it can be transformative.

      For example, I spent a lot of my professional career in software development in computer games. I played them a lot, I designed them, I led teams making them. Then I started suffering health problems, and I had to take a lot of time off to recover. I stopped playing games, and during this recovery I returned first to listening to Osho, then later to Buddhism, and for the first time in my life I got seriously involved in the spiritual search.

      This led me eventually to do a series of retrospectives over my career in games, and what I found wasn’t very positive. It may be a little controversial but I came to the conclusion that computer games and spirituality have a hard time co-existing, for many reasons, and that if you’re serious about spirituality you’re better off dropping games.

      So in a way spirituality did transform me. Those years of study and practice allowed me to view my past from a new perspective, and are encouraging me to map out a new direction going forward.

      • Lokesh says:

        NP, you say, “Encouraging me to map out a new direction going forward.”
        Associated thoughts being what they are, upon reading your words, I was reminded of something that happened around Poonjaji in Lucknow back in ’91.

        The old boy tended to have a theme in his talks that sometimes ran for several days. One time he got onto a topic about throwing away your compass because you don’t need a compass to be here now. There is no direction and no moving forward. These are concepts based on a linear timeline that moves from here to there. This is two-dimensional thinking. Logically speaking, it is all very well. As far as the inner world goes, it is just baggage.

        If you want to play the spiritual game, you need to drop that baggage because you are already where you need to be. Just be and forget about the rest. If you wish to live a normal life, continue mapping out directions and moving forward. That is perfectly okay and understandable. It is also what most people in the world imagine they are doing. It’s all good. Ultimately, it is a question of balance, which reminds me of The Moody Blues.

        • Nityaprem says:

          The thing is though, spirituality is not a game. It is to be approached with sincerity and genuine honesty, and that is what distinguishes it from games. Only then can you expect to get something from it, not by playing at it from some imagined position of safety.

          Yes, you are already That, but ignorance, greed and bad habits still cloud your view. The spiritual path involves a lot of looking with balanced and clear insight, a great deal of letting go and purification, coming to terms with many adolescent dreams. As Nisargadatta said, knowing you are god is only the beginning.

          The world is full of spiritual entrepeneurs, people making a business out of mindfulness. It is a plague of this time…

          • Lokesh says:

            NP declares, “spirituality is not a game” which is, of course, a matter of opinion.
            Osho often referred to what was happening around him as a game, the MAD game, the master and disciple game. Like any game, there were winners and losers, who, according to Osho, were actually the only ones capable of winning the game by being losers.

            NP goes on to say, “It is to be approached with sincerity and genuine honesty, and that is what distinguishes it from games.”
            Again this is a matter of opinion. Osho’s approach had more to do with a playful and non-serious approach. NP’s opinion sounds like it was formed from reading Nisardgadatta.

            The idea that one can ‘expect to get something from it’ is a misguided one because being host to expectations carries the seeds of disappointment. Disappointment can only arise when there are expectations.

            NP concludes, “The world is full of spiritual entrepreneurs, people making a business out of mindfulness. It is a plague of this time…”

            Perhaps it is just a sign of our times. I would hardly view it as a plague. There are far worse things going on in this world today. If you don’t like such things, ignore them. Why make it your business? People will do what they will do, if they make a mistake perhaps that mistake was needed for them to learn something.

            • Nityaprem says:

              Hmm. Anything written or heard is just someone’s opinion, until you test it against your understanding and the feeling of your heart.

              You apparently don’t agree with me that sincerity is a key component of the spiritual search, but I can’t help but see it as the lodestone giving weight to the entire enterprise.

              You’ve made a point of saying you no longer read much spiritual material, so has your search ended, or have you become a disciple of U.G. who said he wanted no disciples because there was no goal?

              • Lokesh says:

                NP, you say, “You apparently don’t agree with me that sincerity is a key component of the spiritual search.”

                I am neither agreeing nor disagreeing. I am pointing out that there are other perspectives beside the one that you are offering. The theme of ‘earnestness’ is a recurring one in Nisardgadatta’s books. On the level he is operating from that is perfectly understandable and valid. Other teachers promote different attitudes. When the shoe fits.

                You enquire, “Has your search ended, or have you become a disciple of U.G.?”
                I’m nobody’s disciple, especially not UG’s. His books have a place on the shelf and that is about it. I find the whole spiritual search thing to be a mind set that I don’t particularly relate to right now. Life is for living and I’m not searching for anything just now. That could change and may well do. The past is gone and tomorrow never comes. Today gives me enough to be going on with.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  It’s certainly one way to live life, focussing on the issues at hand. It’s the whole “chop wood, carry water from the well” routine which even the enlightened don’t escape. Although Osho did pretty well there…

                  I’m still reading U.G. with some pauses, I find him very refreshing. It’s a bit like drain cleaner for the mind, you read a book of his and you find yourself throwing out all your cultural baggage.

  10. Nityaprem says:

    “I am speaking for many people of many types.
    You have to find out what is right for you. If you start doing everything that I am saying, you will get in a mess.
    You simply do that which your heart supports.
    And the heart is never wrong, remember. The mind can be right, can be wrong. The heart is always right, there is no question of it’s being wrong.
    If you are feeling silence, peace, a beautiful energy through spontaneity, through relaxation, through let-go, then that is your way.”
    (Osho, ‘Beyond Enlightenment’)

    For me this was a great quote, and an answer to a question I’ve long had about Osho’s discourses. Because he does give different advice and answers to different people, how do you tell what is right for you?

    Sometimes it’s like your superconscious gives you a little nudge, telling you, this is right so pay attention. But often you can’t tell, and perhaps listening to the state of your mind in relaxation and let-go can provide a clue.

    • satchit says:

      “And the heart is never wrong, remember.”

      Sounds nice, but the truth is many people were cheated because they trusted their heart.

      • satyadeva says:

        Cheated in Sannyas, Satchit? Or in ‘normal’ circumstances?

        Do you speak from personal experience?

        • satchit says:

          Cheated in Sannyas?
          Would be interesting to know how many people took Sannyas because they were in an emotional crisis, SD.

          If the heart is vulnerable, one can easily manipulate it.
          This happened also in Hitler-Germany.

          Every child has the experience that an open heart can be cheated.

          • satyadeva says:

            Being cheated means being manipulated to have unrealistic expectations, in short to be told lies for the benefit of those doing the lying.

            Can you be more specific, please, Satchit? How exactly were many people in Sannyas cheated? And were you one of them?

            • satchit says:

              “Being cheated” is just a thought.
              And it is me who can give energy to this thought or not.

              Or I can give energy to a different thought like:
              “Sannyas is a wonderful journey.”

              So, you see, it all depends on me.

              People were told that there is “enlightenment”.

              Fact is, there is no enlightenment.

              • satyadeva says:

                Satchit, you have stated that “many people were cheated” because they “trusted their heart.” Who was responsible for spreading what you declare is an untruth, a lie?

                And what concept of “enlightenment” are you referring to?

                • satchit says:

                  Oh. sorry, SD, I was cheated.

                  It was not a lie, it was a device.

                • satyadeva says:

                  So you’re saying that you were cheated by being given a false concept of “enlightenment”, which was in fact a “device”? So “cheated” would be the wrong term here as it implies being tricked for the benefit of the one leading you astray, the ‘cheat’. Whereas a “device” is created for the spiritual benefit of the disciple/devotee.

                  However, to further clarify your viewpoint, I’m still not clear what exactly you mean by stating earlier that many emotionally vulnerable people took sannyas, their condition making them prone to being “cheated”, ie exploited. Exploited by a deliberately misleading (according to you) concept of “enlightenment”. Or do you view this as a perfectly valid teaching given in order to create commitment, purpose, hope?

                • satchit says:

                  SD, I admit, this ‘cheated’-stuff was a mindgame.

                  I feel neither being cheated by Sannyas, nor by life.

                  Anyway, it would be interesting how life would have moved without this sannyas-trip.

                • satyadeva says:

                  What about all the others you said were “cheated”? (See my post of yesterday, 1.47pm).

                • satchit says:

                  How can I say something about others?

                  If somebody feels cheated, it’s their problem, not mine.

                  Certainly maybe a few feel cheated, also because of the things that happened on the Ranch.

                  Do you feel cheated?
                  No wish for a different life?

                • satyadeva says:

                  Satchit, you opened this sub-topic by implying a certain kind of exploitation and consequent disillusion were common experiences for sannyasins:
                  “Cheated in Sannyas?
                  Would be interesting to know how many people took Sannyas because they were in an emotional crisis, SD.
                  If the heart is vulnerable, one can easily manipulate it.
                  This happened also in Hitler-Germany.
                  Every child has the experience that an open heart can be cheated.”

                  Seems as if you don’t want to be responsible for this statement after all.

                • satchit says:

                  You should know me by now, SD.

                  Certainly I am responsible for what I
                  wrote yesterday, but I don’t care for what I wrote yesterday.

                  In this way, I am like Osho.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Or, put another way (since the truth, as you so well know, is multi-facted and invariably contradictory) writing the first thing that comes in your head and, if it becomes inconvenient, hard to justify, take refuge in a ‘spiritual-sounding’ rationalisation that reeks of self-indulgent irresponsibility, not to mention delusionary conceit.

                • satchit says:

                  Yes, right, it was “the first thing that comes to my head” to help the dry river of SN to move a bit.

                  Thanks that you played your role in this!

                • satyadeva says:

                  Ah, yes, a man who publically sacrifices his own integrity for the sake of a ‘Higher Cause’. And so very unselfishly allows another to share the limelight. What a Device! Back in the day you’d have been a credit to the Reich, Herr Satchit, Dr Goebbels would have been proud of you!

                • satchit says:

                  I see your ego must be very hurt that you mention the Reich.

                  Don’t worry, be happy!

                • satyadeva says:

                  That’s right, Satchit, keep rolling out the cliches. No need to be consistent or coherent, all that’s for spiritually unevolved dummies.

              • Nityaprem says:

                The spiritual journey is a journey towards truth, freedom and self-discovery. If you approach it in that way, you will never be cheated.

                All the parts of the path where you think you may have been cheated, through false promises and such, ultimately are just opportunities to observe new parts of yourself.

      • Nityaprem says:

        Well, maybe that was what they needed, an experience they had to go through.

  11. Nityaprem says:

    “God or Enlightenment is the ultimate pleasure, uninterrupted happiness. No such thing exists. Your wanting something that does not exist is the root of your problem. Transformation, moksha, and all that stuff are just variations of the same theme: permanent happiness. The body can’t take uninterrupted pleasure for long; it would be destroyed. Wanting a fictitious permanent state of happiness is actually a serious neurological problem.”

    There is actually part of the problem with Buddhism, that focus on wanting to overcome suffering. The chasing of enlightenment, a state of non-suffering, seems to me a bit ungrateful. Life is a mixture of pleasant and unpleasant and various messy, mixed-up states; why not be grateful for what is there?

    You stay positive, focus on the good and allow it to grow large in your attention, engaging a virtuous spiral which takes you upward to good moods and happiness, not permanently, but more often than not.

    Life is a gift….

    • satchit says:

      NP, I was always thinking that Buddhism is for choiceless awareness.

      Maybe you can explain what is choiceless in choosing the positive?

      • Nityaprem says:

        Satchit, it depends very much what stream of Buddhism you decide to go with. Buddhism is big and quite varied, with Theravada in Thailand, Pure Land in China and Zen in Japan, and many smaller streams besides, and they all put an emphasis on different teachings.

        For example, Gautama the Buddha once said to a noble woman that all she had to do was say the name of Buddha Amitabha three times, and after her death he would accept her into his Pure Land where she would study the dharma until she was enlightened. So now there is a large stream of adherents of “Pure Land” Buddhism which holds you repeat the name to be accepted…It was based on only three sutras.

  12. Nityaprem says:

    “There are one hundred and twelve methods of meditation, exhaustive. No more methods can be added to them. And these one hundred and twelve methods are written by Shiva himself perhaps ten thousand years ago. The name of the book is VIGYANA BHAIRAVA TANTRA. It simply describes one hundred and twelve methods, each method in two lines.

    I have tried all the methods, and the most surprising experience was that the basic thing in each of the methods is witnessing. Their strategies differ, but their soul is just witnessing.

    So I have reduced the one hundred and twelve methods of Shiva into a single method. I am giving you the essential method which no meditation can afford to drop – it is the most essential. You can add any other structure to it, but I have dropped the whole structure. I am giving you the very soul of meditation. You just try, give it a chance. And if I can succeed, I don’t see why you cannot succeed.

    Millions have succeeded in the past. We have just forgotten completely the greatest science of discovering ourselves. It has to be rediscovered and it has to be again spread all over the earth if we want the world to be saved, if we want the world not to be destroyed.”
    (Osho, ‘The Sword and the Lotus’)

    I found this really interesting that the cornerstone of meditative techniques should be witnessing. I wonder if Osho ever discussed the difference between witnessing and just observing?

  13. Nityaprem says:

    “In my childhood I had a beautiful river by my village. And my tailor was in great difficulty, because I had to force him to make as many pockets on my dress as possible. He said, ”But you go on telling everyone that I am your tailor, and if they see all these pockets they will think I have gone mad. So if you promise me that you will say that the tailor across the street is your tailor, I am ready. But don’t mention my name to anybody.”

    He said, ”And for what do you need so many pockets?”
    I said, ”You will not understand. You can ask my father.”

    The need was that around the river there were such beautiful coloured stones, so shining in the sun, that I would collect them and fill all my pockets. I would come home and my mother would be very angry: ”You spoil your dress. You make a mockery of all of us having so many pockets. Nobody has ever heard…your dress is just pockets and pockets. And then you come with all kinds of useless stones. What is the purpose of these stones?”
    I said, ”I have never thought about the purpose – I love them.” And that was enough.

    I love life, but there is no purpose.
    I love people, but there is no purpose.”

    (Osho, ‘The Sword and the Lotus’)

    • Lokesh says:

      Osho claimed that he was not a sentimentalist. Yet reading the above post, I can’t help feeling, not for the first time, that Osho was sentimental about his childhood. I also thought this when reading ‘Glimpses of a Golden Childhood’. For me, one of his best books, even though Osho, in true Sagittarian style, exaggerates.

      The post concludes with, “I love people, but there is no purpose.”
      I reflected on that. I love a few people. There is no purpose driving that love. One just loves people, and that is it. So, I do not find anything special about what Osho is saying in this case. Pretty normal, if you ask me.

    • satchit says:

      Nobody knows if this tailor pocket story is true or invented. You can believe it or not. He did much of his teaching by telling stories.

      Fact is, Sannyas is also a very purposeless enterprise.

      • Nityaprem says:

        You know, I don’t think Sannyas was purposeless. It gave a different impulse to spirituality in the West, which still persists in places like the new age, hippy communities, spiritual festivals and so on.

        • satchit says:

          The places you mentioned did already exist before Neo-Sannyas.

          Sannyas is a play that has no purpose.
          It is not a game that has a goal.
          The beauty is there because it has life and death.

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