WITNESSING – An Incomplete Teaching

Osho emphasised witnessing, a meditative watching of thoughts, emerging emotions and states of being, and here Lokesh maintains there’s a lot more to come beyond that…

“Just remember one thing, just the one thing that is the only quality of the buddha — witnessing. Witness that you are not the body. Witness that you are not the mind. Witness that you are not the other subtle bodies, layer upon layer. You are only a witness, nothing else. 

The moment you are simply a witness, you are a buddha. This buddha has been hiding deep within you for millions of lives. He has to be brought out. He has to change your whole life. He has to bring his grace to your gestures, beauty to your eyes, agelessness to your being, to your feeling. But first make sure that you are simply a witness.”


Witnessing has always been a key element in Osho’s teachings. Due to Osho’s influence I practised witnessing for many years. Then, twenty years ago, I came across a transcript in a Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj book where someone told SNM that he was practising witnessing. The master asked the person, who could have easily been a Rajneesh sannyasin, where he had learnt this from. The man replied that he had been taught this by his guru. SNM then said, “You have been given an incomplete teaching.” 

 An incomplete teaching? That stayed with me and over the years I have studied what it is that makes witnessing an incomplete teaching. Here’s my take on it.

When it comes to mapping out the twisting paths, pitfalls, and whatever is to be encountered on one’s journey through the mountains and valleys of the inner world, I find that Buddhism, in particular Tibetan Buddhism, has drawn up the clearest charts. The foundation of Buddhism is the understanding of ego. How ego is formed is the subject of what are called ‘skandhas’. As far as my understanding goes, there are five skandhas to go through until the ego is fully formed. It is a complex and mechanical process wherein it can be said that the primordial intelligence, which hums along in the background for all eternity, is being employed by the dualistic fixation, ignorance.

What exactly does that mean? You are an ego, a product of ignorance. I do not mean that in a negative way. In a certain sense ignorance is intelligent, albeit a two-way intelligence that reacts to projections rather than seeing what is. 

It appears that we have fallen foul of an illusionary state which makes us believe that we are concrete entities, selves, egos, when in reality we are something beyond that. It is as if a vast flowing river has become frozen solid. Whatever you want to call the nature of our true being it is not the witness, for being a witness requires someone, something, to know that witnessing is taking place. Who or what  might that be? The ego, of course. Very spiritual and beyond it all, but it is still the ego. 

Osho understood this. Nonetheless, he insisted that we become witnesses. Watchers in the hills. I suspect that he did this because he knew that one day something would pop and the real point of witnessing would reveal itself, wherein there is only awareness with no centralized ‘I’. A field of pure awareness with nobody to lay claim to it.     

The doors of the fifth skandha factory rumbles open and rolling off the end of a conveyer belt comes yet another brand new ego, as perfect and glittering as a golden ball-bearing studded in diamonds. Its name is ME NUMBER ONE. The time to party hearty and rock n’ roll has arrived. I know it’s only rock n’ roll. but I like it, like it, yes I do! 

If you are an intelligent and discerning ego you one day tire of the material and sensual pleasures of this world. It’s all so transient. There must be something more to life than this. There must we some way outta here, said the joker to the thief. The good news for the ego is that there is. The world of mental and psychological pleasures beckons, a place where the ego can maintain its solid form, expand its horizons beyond the horizon to include the whole cosmos and maybe go beyond death. Far out! Sounds groovy. Where to begin? 

There are many starting places. The way is one but the paths are many. A common one is Hatha Yoga, sometimes known as sitting bolt upright in the full lotus posture, while remaining fast asleep. I need a good yoga teacher. Or maybe you take some LSD when a hookah-smoking caterpillar gives you the call and disappear down a rabbit hole and reappear in an ashram in India, chanting “Om” in a magic circle and saying “Namaste” to everyone you meet. I need a guru, a fully realized being to steer me on the right course. You hear about Osho and run, run, run to his feet, even if singing the song hurts your teeth.

One of the things you adore about Osho is how easy he makes everything sound. Easy is right, right? Osho says, “The moment you are simply a witness, you are a Buddha.” Wow! The lazy man’s guide to enlightenment. I like the sound of that. Impress your friends with the ultimate accolade. “I am a Buddha.” You start wearing orange clothes, join The Way of  The White Cloud Club and become a diligent watcher on the hills. You begin by watching your thoughts, then on to emotions, tricky because they move much faster than thoughts, and pretty soon you graduate to watching infinite inner space with an all-knowing smile pasted on your face. You can’t get enough of this limitless space shit. It’s pure bliss! 

Osho gives you a spiritual name. ‘Your new name will be Anand…’ The sky is not the limit. Limitless space gives way to limitless consciousness. Yahoo! You, the ego, have become huge, a bit of a beast, but so what? Osho says… You can always find a suitable Osho quote to back you up if you find yourself on shaky ground. The size of your inner empire knows no boundaries. It includes everything and is so unimaginably vast it cannot be defined as this or that. Sound familiar? Let me be who I am and kick out the jams. 

You start to dwell on the idea of not, not this and not, not that. Yes, yes, enlightenment, the ultimate golden carrot, is almost within reach. Follow your feelings. I can feel it, so it must be true. What is really happening is that you have reached the greatest achievement that your confused mind can attain. You are actually so delusional that you have managed to convince yourself that you have attained Buddhahood. Once in a while you get the sneaky suspicion that you are missing something important. You look around and find yourself in a Buddhafield, surrounded by thousands of budding Buddhas wearing white robes, just like you. You have made it. There is so much magnificence…

Meanwhile,  Zorba the Buddha sits in his air-conditioned cave, flicking through the latest Rolls Royce catalogue. He looks up, gazes through a triple-glazed window at the rose garden outside, smiles and thinks to himself, “Nobody can say I didn’t warn them. They did not read the small print, wherein I told them that witnessing is only the beginning and that they must become acquainted with the essence of the witnessing consciousness before they strike real gold. 

Why, just the other day I spoke about how as long as the ‘I’ is growing, as long as you still feel you are the doer, you have made no contact at all with the witness. When one is really empty, there is nothing other than emptiness, not even the awareness of emptiness. 

Maybe, just like my cousin Jesus, I am casting pearls before swine, no matter how lovable the silly creatures are. Don’t they understand I have work to do, that I am endeavouring to bring a new element of spirituality into this dark world? That requires numbers. Big numbers of people to get my crazy wisdom out there. Only those who have gone beyond the world can really change the world for the better. Really, if it were just up to me, I would only have a few disciples and get right down to brass tacks by telling those disciples that there is no witness, because there is nothing to be witness to. Dealing with the masses I have to keep it simple. Oh well, what the fuck!”  

“Mmmmmh”, Osho intones, “Great word, ‘FUCK’. Maybe I should compose an anecdote about the word ‘fuck’ for tomorrow morning’s discourse. That should be good for a few laughs. The master looks away from the window and calls out, “Will somebody hurry up and bring me a cup of hot chai! I’m  freezing my fucking nuts off in here!”             




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75 Responses to WITNESSING – An Incomplete Teaching

  1. shantam prem says:

    Irony, Sarcasm and Intelligence (ISI), these and similar few hallmark qualities mixed with love and meditation makes unique USP of Osho. Without them, Osho is like a snake whose poisonous gland has been removed.

    This piece of Lokesh comes very close to the genius of Osho.

    Opium of devotion has made us forget the humanness of the master; humans are wonderful but fallible.

    • Lokesh says:

      ‘This piece of Lokesh comes very close to the genius of Osho.’

      Thanks for the comment, Shantam.

      Osho really was a genius. Who else do you know with so many published books?
      I have three and so far no real publisher is interested in them.
      That about sums it up.

      • swamishanti says:

        Lokesh has sailed off in his boat into the deep blue sea again and has thrown down a line and some hooks. Let’s see who takes the bait.

        Nisargaddatta taught what he knew, and what his guru had taught him. And what his guru’s guru had taught him too. That All is Brahman. You are That . Tat twam asi. That Art Thou. The book is great and it is a powerful teaching that can open the mind very quickly, if a meditator is ripe.

        In that tradition the self enquiry method is known as ‘the way of the bird’. Because it is fast. As opposed to meditation and witnesssing which they label “the way of the ant”. There was a group in Pune, ‘Satori Intensive’, where meditators sat for days and asked themselves, “Who is in? Who am I?”

        I’ve read some great books from Ramesh Balsekar, who Nisargaddatta Maharaj had personally asked to teach others.

        But personally, I prefer reading from some of the work of Ranjit Maharaj, who Maharaj also refered to as a jnani, who shared the same guru as the the Beedie baba and used to visit him in his little Bombay flat that was conveniently situated close to the red light district, a facility which Nisargaddata was said to have utilised, according to some of those who were close to him.


        Speaking of sannyasins visiting Nisargaddatta, according to David Godman, who had spent time with both Ramana and Nisargadatta , Nis was sometimes quite harsh with them but respected Osho`s state. In fact. Maharaj is quoted as telling some visiting sannyasins:
        “Rajneesh [Osho] is not a small personality or small principal. He is tremendous ‒ he is very big. He is a great sage.

        When you already have a guru [Rajneesh], why do you visit other sages? Since you already have a great sage as your guru, you should not sit here or come here. I do not like those shiftings from gurus to gurus. I do not like wanderers. What is the difference between Maharaj and Rajneesh [Osho]? Once you remove the letters (that is, the names) what is the difference?”
        (From ‘Consciousness and the Absolute’, 1981)

        Osho was not so kind to the Beedie Wallah. He said that in India in every village there is a Beedie Wallah.
        “What the Beedie Wallah taught is a powerful method to open the mind. However, it does have its drawbacks.
        Followers of this method often have awakenings of non-duality and realise that there is only the One, but scores of these people confuse this with enlightenment. If the glimpse fades relatively quickly, then it is easier to judge that the awakening isn’t permanent.“

        However, sometimes followers of the advaita method get confused by a longer-lasting state , known as satori in Zen, where they are able to move in and out of the mind at will, yet the ego has not yet dissolved. Other teachers, including Osho, have referred to these states as the highest state of mind.

        “There is one false samadhi that has to be recognized also. It occurs in the fourth body, but is not samadhi though it seems like it. In Japan the Zen Buddhist term for it is satori. It is false samadhi. It is that state which a painter or a sculptor or a musician reaches when he is completely immersed in his art; he experiences a great bliss. This is a happening on the fourth – the psychic plane. If when looking at the morning sun or listening to a melody or looking at a dance or looking at the opening of a flower the mind is completely drowned in the happening, a false samadhi takes place.”
        (Osho: ‘In Search of The Miraculous’)

        In the `90s Poonja ‘popped’ many visitors out of their heads and helped them realise their consciousness using the self-enquiry method as taught by Ramana Maharishi.

        However, he just sent people away from him, believing they were enlightened. There were scores of them, coming away from Papaji thinking, “This is great! Now I’m enlightened and it’s time to start teaching.” Often these states faded with time and many of those began to doubt themselves or realised that their awakening wasn’t permanent, even if it had lasted for months or years.

        Others got into delusional states.

        I’ve heard good reports about Mooji. He may be one of the ones who was with Poonja whose awakening matured into enlightenment.

        The difference with Osho is that he would always point out when a sannyasin was deluded or confusing satori states with enlightenment. Somendra, Teertha, Santosh, all sannyasins deceived by these states were pointed out by the master. Sometimes they would accept his advice, some of them chose to ignore it.

        But Osho had been very clear in certain talks about the different planes of consciousness that a meditator can pass through:
        “So there are four types of samadhi. Actually there are three authentic samadhis and they happen in a sequence. The fourth is an absolutely false experience that appears like samadhi. In this there is no actual experience – only a feeling of samadhi that is misleading. Many people are misled by satori. This false samadhi occurs in the fourth – the psychic plane. It is not the transitional process between the fourth and the fifth plane; it happens well within the fourth body. The three authentic samadhis occur outside the bodies in a transitional period when we pass on from one plane to another. One samadhi is a door, a passage.

        So there are actually three samadhis. The first you may call atma samadhi, the second brahma samadhi, and the last nirvana samadhi. The very first and false samadhi you may call satori. This is the one you should guard against, because it is very easily attainable.”

        This was very similar to Buddha, who also taught witnessing as his main method and, like Osho, also spoke of different types of enlightenment.

        The first initial awakening of unlimited consciousness is not the same as the Brahman, or permanent enlightenment, according to Buddha and Osho. Both spoke of different types of enlightenment, and both spoke of a state that was beyond even the Brahman, that is the realisation of the Void.

        Buddha called that state Vajrabhed, ‘the piecing of the Diamond Thunderbold’. Osho said it related to the non-being or the Seventh plane.

        While Nisargaddatta Maharaj and other advaita teachers tend to work with words and `I am that`, Osho was more comfortable working in silence, with a heart transmission.

        Devotion, or Bhakti, is a bit of a polluted word but like Krishna’s bhaktas will say, “Krishna exists as the Paramatma in the heart of the devotee.”

        • frank says:

          I`m guessing that every spoken or written teaching must be an “incomplete teaching” if only because words are just not the same as reality….

        • Lokesh says:

          Shanti’s latest post is excellant, highly informative and very well put together. Thanks for that.

          It is interesting to note that unlike most gurus Osho did not belong to a lineage or carry on a tradition.Going by his claims it appears that self-enquiry was the route that brought him home. I reckon Osho invented all his meditation techniques partly because he understood that people, especially Westerners, needed to have something to do…dynamic, kundalini etc. kept people busy. Eventually, it was probably hoped that disciples would reach a point whereby they could sit quietly and do nothing.

          I do not believe for a moment that every village in India has a beedie wallah. If that were true, India would not be in the mess it is today. Osho liked to slag off the competition, even if they were not in competition with him. I kind of feel sorry about that because I allowed Osho to put me off visiting other gurus. I have a few friends who visited the beedie wallah…they all agreed that something very powerful was happening around him, with the minimum of fuss.

          Fortunately, thanks to my wife, I met Poonjaji. What a treat. Yes, it was relatively easy to imagine you were enlightened hanging out with him. Thanks to my training with Osho I did not need to wander down that particular garden path. It was a high point in my life though.

          The beedie wallah’s story has got to be one of the most amazing of all and if I need some form of guidance in relation to something I am going through I inevitably turn to the words of Nisargadatta for help. ‘I am That’ is like the essence of every Osho book squeezed into one. Of course, others will disagree. When the shoe fits!

          • swamishanti says:

            There is a beedie wallah, aka cigarette/pan/beedies/possible others under the counter/seller in every Indian village. If they all have the same understanding as Nisargaddatta Maharaj, I doubt it.

            I have heard, by the way, that the books of his talks have been edited quite a bit from the original Marathi to English by the translators, because as a beedie wallah he was a common man and his language was quite often coarse and vulgar and he used swearwords and sometimes incorporated sexual overtones and slang into his pointers.

            As far as Osho’s own path was concerned, I have heard that he sat for hours every day, I believe that witnessing was his main method, although he probably experimented with many techniques and at some stage quite a bit of self-enquiry, as you point out.

            One of his brothers, Nikalank, has said somewhere that as a youth Osho always appeared to be acting out of a high level of awareness, whether it was folding his handkerchief, taking care of plants in the garden, drawing water from the well, painting a picture or playing on his flute.

        • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

          Thank you for your contribution, Swamishanti. You appear here as such a good chronicler!

          You opened up your post with: “Let´s see who takes the bait.”

          Seeems to me that we all are born into this body with a “bait” already (as a kind of evolutionary and as well as very unique ‘compass’) to seduce us then for all kinds of trial and error stuff to walk our path of life.
          There are some teachers who call it the ´Path of Love´.

          Althouth I´m with Frank (in this case) who says that any spoken or written teaching must be an ´incomplete teaching´, there is no doubt about it (for me) that there exists an ´echolot´ (in the deep blue…) being attached to the quality of Silence from where our words then come into existence.

          Yesterday late evening I listened to a famous Canadian author(ess) Margret Attwood sharing her take on ´religion´ with a friend. It was all familiar for me like some of these ´Love Osho´ podcasts I´m enjoying too.

          It´s amazing how a good echo in the ´deep blue’, as it is called here just now, is working. (By chance is working…if not being disturbed by technical interferences…).

          Thanks again for the effort you took, Swamishanti.
          Good chroniclers are needed.

          (Being in awe about it).

          Madhu, what is an “echolot” (parag. 5), please?

          Mods, I didn´t use the word ´echolot´ (German for ‘echo sounder’) in a scientific way; for me it’s just like a compass in the ´deep blue´by a sound apparently inaudible, if you allow me that kind of nebulous expression.

          You know, I´m always in awe about the whales and other inconceivale creative fellow beings living under water, finding their ways and their lovers too, when they are singing their whale-songs, utterly unique ones…

          …and that´s not the only happening on this ´blue planet’ I´m living on, that puts me in wonder.

          • swamishanti says:

            Thanks, Madhu. I’ve enjoyed listening to some of the Love Osho podcasts too, although I have not listened to every one.

            I reckon Swaram should create a book out of the interviews.

            “Although I´m with Frank (in this case) who says that any spoken or written teaching must be an ´incomplete teaching´, there is no doubt about it (for me) that there exists an ´echolot´ (in the deep blue…) being attached to the quality of Silence from where our words then come into existence.’

            Yes, I also agree that these dimensions beyond the realm of the mind could not be summed up adequately with mental descriptions or words. And as Osho has indicated in some of his more esoteric talks, the further one goes, the harder it becomes to attempt to put it into words. Because ultimately, there is no-one left to articulate it.”The further you go, the less you know” – I can’t remember who sang that.

            I like what you mention about the whales and I am also in awe. Did you hear that the blue whales or other species can communicate with each other from thousands of miles away under the ocean?

            I remember spending an an hour in a floatation tank, floating in the darkness once, whilst listening to a tape of the whalesong.

            • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

              Yes Swamishanti,

              one can listen to the whales songs on audio and there is indeed a lot of other material gathered from lovers of this species, who is in danger ( also by ´´our´´technical´´so called improvements to misuse not only the ´The Ground beneath our feet´`but also the ´Oceans´.
              I´m concerned about it. For quite a while also about the latter.
              As we ourselves (up to now ?) are quite a watery species, aren´t we ? ( 90 percent or so ….)

              It´s party time here where I just came home. I hear a laughing stock in the courtyard.

              Beautiful saturday late evening….
              I had a nice day in the daytime outside here.


              • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

                PS ( to Swamishanti),

                No – I wouldn´t think it is a good idea to make a ´book´out of these podcasts.
                As it is/ was quite important to listen to the ways all – including Swaram – are using their voices ….or are being used by it….

      • bob says:

        “Osho really was a genius. Who else do you know with so many published books?
        I have three and so far no real publisher is interested in them. That about sums it up.”

        But remember, Lokesh, Osho also had a very hard time finding outside publishers for his books. It was the in-house money and publishing set-up that produced the vast quantity of Osho books. That all came from the ashram/commune/resort revenues, ultimately from the base strata of sannyasins – both the working poor ones and the ones with mucho moolah in their purses and wallets.

        And too, the number of books don’t necessarily make them worthy ones…L.Ron Hubbard wrote hundreds of sci-fi novels, most quite forgettable, and the women who write those supermarket romances paperbacks – bad/wild boy tamed and cleaned up by compassionate, loving girl – one after another by the template method, surely are not geniuses in anybody’s book.

        You need to find your people, or more accurately, they need to find you. Good luck.

        Good article on “beyond witnessing”, all in all, and I hope to come back to comment on it, when I have a bit more time, in the next few days.


      • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

        No, Lokesh (13 September 2019 at 1:58 pm), books or no books or three books…that about doesn´t sum anything up, I´d suggest.

        Just wondering what depths it is/was (?) that brought you to spill the following lines into the SN/UK Chat about ´Witnessing´:
        “Meanwhile, Zorba the Buddha sits in his air-conditioned cave, flicking through the latest Rolls Royce catalogue. He looks up, gazes through a triple-glazed window at the rose-garden outside, smiles and thinks to himself. “Nobody can say, I didn´t warn them, they did not read the small print, wherein I told them that witnessing is only the beginning and that they must become acquainted with the essence of witnessing consciousness before they strike real gold.”

        And on and on you further go (before and after these words) in your indeed complex and rather personalized statements re the topic (small lettered chapters changing with chapters of bigger ones included..).

        We all know you weren’t there at the time (phase) your ´creative writing´ I quoted is pointing to. Others were, who have been reading and/or writing sometimes in this special Chat.

        We also came to know sporadically that you seem to have had deeply appreciated what you´ve got by having been able to meet the Mystic occasionally and personally , times and times ago in so-called Pune One.

        Acknowledging this, I simply don´t get it: what is your utter cynicism rooted in (which shows up in the (quoted) lines ?

        I met many who dump it on the Mystic or a just go into ´Guru-hopping’, to cover up pain. Also, cynicism is a masquerade for pain, sometimes for deep pain, in my view.

        Please enlighten me about your arousal of cynicism every now and then, as it aims in the HERE-and-NOW towards many who read and some who write. Incognito – or not. And who may be very interested to understand some authors like you. I am – interested, I mean.


        • Lokesh says:

          Madhu, it sounds to me like you are sadly lacking a sense of humour.

          • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

            Lokesh, if that requires what you call humour, to go with the chapter of your topic text I quoted, then I´m missing humour in your eyes, indeed.

            And btw, you didn´t respond to my question, what is cynicism all about, in your case?



            • Lokesh says:

              Madhu, I am not a cynic, as in believing that people are motivated purely by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity. Then again, one does have to take into account that people often are are motivated purely by self-interest. It is therefore that I limit my more personal social contacts to people I have learned to trust and love and respect. As for the rest, well, I tend to like people because it makes life run more smoothly.

              Of course, a cynic will view that as me being motivated purely by self-interest. That’s the thing about seeing others as being cynical, it is often a sign that there is a cynic living inside of you. Ironic, wouldn’t you say?

              • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

                It´s okay, Lokesh, you drew a line here, didn´t you?

                And reminded me of the time where any, any questioning of somebody else’s habits (patterns) to see something has been habitually countered as “projection”. (Was more than less a hidden competition of wannabe ´psychologists´ and simply denying to relate…yawn..).

                No, you´re not ironic in my eyes, as you asked in your last line. You simply draw a line through what you don´t want to relate to. That´s okay, for sure, more so as we are in a viral chat here.

                Could be valid information (for you?) that I´m about same age as our late editor was, having had also similiar ´education´ before sannyas. That may be the reason I never fest disrespected by him (at least on the viral plane).

                We can leave it like that with your response: that we don´t meet sometimes in terms of ´humour´. And that we have a different understanding about it.


                • Lokesh says:

                  Madhu, I think you mean virtual, not viral as in caused by or relating to a virus or viruses. Unless you have the ‘flu. I just tell you that because my German partner likes me to correct her English if she makes a mistake, even though she speaks better English than most Brits.

                • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

                  Yes, yes, Lokesh & and your Beloved; I meant “virtual!”
                  But the kind of mixture of some of my spelling mistakes makes me ´chuckle´…
                  Thanks for the correction.

        • satchit says:

          Madhu, this article seems to be page 13 in a spiritual novel Mr.Lokesh is trying to write. So it’s all his fantasy and not written from the perspective of a devotee or even student.

  2. frank says:

    Witnessing is one of those zen things where the guru gives you an impossible task you keep trying at `till you realise its not possible then…poof! You get it and your ego gets flushed down the bog.

    Trouble is, in reality, one half of people realise it’s a trick but that doesn’t really help and they don`t lose their ego, it`s still there, floating.

    Meanwhile, the other half are desperately trying to flush it away but with no success. They tend to get `religious` and bang on about “the mind” in condemnatory tones etc.

    The occasional geezer claims he`s got a new plunger and out of desperation to get rid of the offending ego, a bunch from both sides join up and so it goes on….

    It`s all a bit daft, really. But, when you think about it, probably a decent distraction from being stuck on a planet with billions of fellow borderline-psycho apes who could kick off and/or top themselves at the drop of a hat.

    Enlightenment probably stems from the realisation of how utterly strange, weird and odd the whole malarkey is in the first place.

    • satchit says:

      From my experience, “witnessing” is incomplete because it is only one side of the coin. The other side is being totally in action without witnessing at all.

      Witnessing is like sitting on the bank of the river, watching things floating by. Nobody can do this for 24 hours and it would be unnatural as well.

      • Lokesh says:

        Satchit shows his unity with sleeping humanity by confessing that he is “totally in action without witnessing at all.”

        Then he quickly moves onto the subject of “watching things floating by” and describes that as unnatural.

        Despite Satchit speaking from what he describes as his experience I have to disagree and wonder what his experience is actually based on and how far it extends. If one watches events come and go, surely that is an aspect of our true nature and it is not in the least bit unnatural.

  3. Kavita says:

    “Really, if it were just up to me, I would only have a few disciples and get right down to brass tacks by telling those disciples that there is no witness, because there is nothing to be witness to. Dealing with the masses I have to keep it simple. Oh well, what the fuck!”

    Lokie, if it was up to me, best would probably be not to have any disciple as perhaps then there would be no Dealing at all!

    But then, now I/we at least can thank Osho and his Sangha, which to me includes you,for being here & now!

  4. Shantam prem says:

    The title itself is misleading as every teaching is incomplete, every technique is flawed.

    If there was really some kind of inner engineering, Earth will have thousands of Oshos and jaggi jis and Moojis etc.

    • satyadeva says:

      That’s not a bad point, Shantam, as far as it goes, although perhaps you and others might well tend to turn such a view into a belief that makes a perfect excuse to do very little ‘inner work’: “All teachings are partial truths, all methods are limited, therefore what’s the point?”

      But one needs enough first-hand experience of teachings and methods to be able to say that with any authenticity. Theories and ideas are one thing, life’s another, surely?

  5. Jivan Alok says:

    ‘I Am That’ by Maharaj, to me, was a great discovery, too. The Advaita Vedanta stuff has become welcome to me recently. It comes as fresh air from different sources, and mentally I kind of accept what is stated as non-dual.

    Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj mentions “earnestness” in the book quite often. Among plenty of brilliant ideas, this term “earnestness” was like a keynote throughout his dialogues. One of the phrases was “It is the earnestness that liberates and not the theory”. All right, but please explain in plain English or Sanskrit what the heck does being earnest imply for one?

    From ‘I Am That’:
    “Q: If all is dreaming, what is waking?
    M: How to describe the waking state in dreamland language? Words do not describe, they are only symbols.”

    Perfectly okay, we have all read Tao Te Ching, at least verse 1, that’s enough. What would Osho answer to this question? Wouldn’t he recommend that before you knew what waking is, realise that you are sleeping, that all you think you do is mechanical. Then watch your thoughts in everyday meditations…emotions…motions…then watch the watcher..?

    Osho’s point, to me, was witnessing not just intellectually, but in meditation as a practice you need to do every day as you brush your teeth, and with time, do it constantly, during sleep and in the market place. There was a method. In fact, many methods, for morning, evening, smoking, walking, eating, dying and whatnot. Perhaps it’s true that witnessing may cause the rise of ego. Then who lets it rise? The teacher? The method? Or the witness?

    Lokesh, your experience of witnessing is of huge interest. Please could you shed more light? You say:
    “Whatever you want to call the nature of our true being it is not the witness, for being a witness requires someone, something, to know that witnessing is taking place. Who or what might that be? The ego, of course.”

    Wait! Will it be that damn ego when I find it? I mean your statement that “the ego, of course”, is someone, something to know that witnessing takes place, must be wrong! Don’t ask me who or what that is, instead of ego. It must be real, not imaginary. Otherwise, why try at all? But let’s see and maybe talk to each other from atop of the two hills, shall we?

    • Arpana says:

      The witness/watcher is your conscience, which judges; but through witnessing, watching, eventually recognises how it is judging, eventually recognizes itself; and so the witnessing/watching becomes, can become, free of condemning, through the ongoing owning of the condemning, so moving towards purer and purer witnessing.

    • Lokesh says:

      Some very good comments. Easy one to respond to is Jivan’s, wherein he enquires, “All right, but please explain in plain English or Sanskrit what the heck does being earnest imply for one?”

      We are complex beings living in an increasingly complex world. It is therefore hardly surprising that we tend to complicate things.

      Being earnest means exactly what Osho meant when he said, “Be total.” It means put your heart, soul and being into what you are applying yourself to. In the beedie wallah’s case I think he meant make your enquiry a wholehearted one.

      In our complex world we oftentimes miss the simple. When focused on the ‘I am’ that the BW talks about it requires a total commitment. It is a very simple technique whereby one has to merge with the fact that you are awareness. It works for me in my daily life. If the chattering mind becomes too much I become the I Am and the mind stills itself and I experience peace. You can take it as far as you want to go to the point of feeling something is going to pop.

      It is that simple.

      I do not think that any wise man’s words will benefit you unless you take what is being communicated to heart and practise what is being taught.

      Each to his or her own. The ways are many but the destination is the same and it’s the journey that counts. Everyday life is the path.

      • Jivan Alok says:

        Lokesh, thank you for your response regarding earnestness and comments about the I am technique. To be total, earnest and wholehearted in one’s commitment is what both Osho and Maharaj taught.

        Still I don’t see any ego trip in witnessing as you travel your journey. Ego may be there along the way, but when witnessed, is it not disabled and vanishes??

        • Lokesh says:

          Jivan, witnessing is something we all do all the time. As long as you are aware of something being witnessed you have to be witness to it. Consciously watching the clouds pass, disolve into nothing etc. is a step in the right direction but it is not the ultimate step by a long shot. It is a mistake to believe that you have stepped into some sort of enlightened state merely because you believe you are witnessing everything.

          I am off to sleep now. I will do my nightly routine of telling my mind to shut up and leave me in peace. Then I lie in the dark just being aware. It is not a state remotely buddhalike. But it usually guarantees a good night’s rest. I also enjoy to wake up during the night and just groove on being nobody…just an aware presence.

        • satyadeva says:

          Here’s American spiritual teacher Byron Katie (in ‘A Mind At Home With Itself’) on witnessing, the elusive nature of the present and the freedom implicit when “no thought is believed”:

          “What’s it like to live without a self? Nothing happens, not even life. Everything you see, hear, touch, smell, taste, and think is already over before the action begins. My foot just moved, and as I watched it, I was only watching the past. It appeared to be happening now, but the now was gone even as I watched it. This is the power and the goodness of mind realized.

          I can’t even swallow my tea; it’s gone before it happens, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I look at the poster on the wall, of my beloved Stephen beside the gold mask on the jacket of his Gilgamesh, and my eyes remain on the poster, the gaze is held, it seems to exist, and yet as much as I love it, it’s an illusion. When there’s no thought, there’s no world. When no thought is believed, there’s no time, no space, no reality. My life is over, and I understand that it never began.”

          “As we do The Work we come to understand that when we are upset, we are either anticipating or remembering.
          Past and future thoughts give the present a bad reputation.
          My strength simply comes from the amazing grace of simply knowing the difference.”

          • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

            JUCHUH, Satyadeva (at 1:07 pm)!

            You knew who to hold the bow and let the arrow fly…and what a joy is that happening!
            Even though – and that for sure – also this very moment (and along with the ‘vid’ of my fantasy about it, is gone, gone, gone beyond, when I follow the joy of responding.

            And again, thank you for THIS.


            • frank says:

              My reading of Bidi Maharaj`s rap is, as briefly as possible:

              There is a sense of “I am” that we all have which is extremely persistent. Maharaj recommended to focus/meditate on this sense of “I am”.

              Now, this sense of “I am” which seems to be part and parcel of being human (whether by nature or nurture can never be completely established) has the effect of giving the impression that it precedes being, that is to say is primary in relation to the existence of the person. This is bolstered by language as every day we say “I am this, I am that etc.”

              In fact, reality is the other way round. The “I am” is really an ‘add-on’, not the source. Like an add-on or an app, it is only really functional in certain situations.

              The meditation or witnessing is simply noticing all this and seeing how much that this is so.

              • Lokesh says:

                Ehm…like…where can you buy the ‘I AM THAT’ app?
                Good post, Frank.

              • Tan says:

                Hiya Frank boy,
                My life coach, Ma Ananda Shoola, always teaches us that the inwardly self is just memories and conditioning.

                The self is just an illusion because we are not individuals, which goes against Osho’s teachings, he always told us that we are individuals.

                So, we are in a pickle, in whom to believe? The best thing would be to sort it out ourselves, right?

                Cheers and kisses to Yogi.

                • frank says:

                  Hi Tan,

                  Maybe we are just a collection of memories and conditioning. But there appears to be a persistent sense of “I am” that holds it all together.

                  How else could it be that every day we wake up and know that we`re the same person as the one that crashed out last night?

                  It might all be an illusion, but who would it be that knows that it is an illusion?

                • Lokesh says:

                  If you believe or doubt it makes no difference if the understanding is not yours.

                  Osho saying that he was all for the individual does not mean to say we are actually individuals when you get down to the nuts and bolts of reality.

                  Shoola saying that the self is just memories and conditioning is true up to a point but who is it that understands that?

          • Levina says:

            Thanks, Satya, for the piece on B.K; whenever I get stuck in a belief about myself or “others”, I find the “work” works!

  6. Prem Ritvik says:

    After years of witnessing you realized it was incomplete, having heard it from someone else. That, to put this within perspective, means that you have not somewhere practised it wholly, because if you had, then instead of hearing from a third party, you would have realized it on your own.

    So I will disagree with you of it being incomplete, because you have not spoken on your own authority. I do agree that it might have turned out to be ineffective for a certain individual.

    • Jivan Alok says:

      Prem Ritvik, you seem to have misunderstood. Lokesh did try it himself and shared his experience as he himself judges it, not a third party. The third party you refer to was perhaps a support to the conclusion that the author had arrived at himself.

  7. Levina says:

    I heard Osho say: ‘Just watch, observe, whatever comes along, whether in the inner or outer world, until the observer becomes the observed.’

    Observing has been my path, and it has gone through many stages, as with all of us I guess. The main obstacle, however, is that I think I do the observing, and therefore it requires some point, chakra, centre in the body to do that. But that is really only a (yoga) technique in order to help the mind to focus and not get identified with its own madness.

    Still, I found and find this observing technique very helpful, but at the same time a burden when ‘the doing myself’ becomes too much. When that happens, all of a sudden there is the realistion that the observing goes by itself, there is no doer anymore, until, alas, the moment comes when the doer rears its head again and says: “Oh no, no, no, we can’t have that, I am in control.”

    It’s beginning to dawn though that perhaps both states, doing observing, and not doing observing, are also being observed, seen, known. That these states are also just experiences. And that the silence and well-being that accompanies the ‘non-doing’ observer are also just experiences.

    I always thought that they were the Divine, not a flavour of the Divine or God or whatever, and was therefore always trying to hold on to them and so disappointed when it all disappeared again.

    • frank says:

      From ‘Witness Protection’
      by Tupak Chakra.

      “If you wanna wake up and cure your sleeping sickness
      Make sure you get your ego high up on your hit-list
      Watch thoughts go by just like some floating numbus
      Cos the witness is the litmus of your spiritual fitness.
      Some moments you feel the sweetness, but then you feel listless
      When you get too religious, you know you got altitude sickness.
      If your mind gets too vicious you can always puff some nitrous
      If the stillness gives you stiffness, smoke a bidi, drink a Guinness.
      But keep on keeping on, don`t stay witless
      Cos a witness is for life, not just Christmas.”

      • frank says:

        On a more serious note…

        A friend of mine, who is really into Zazen, Zen sitting, recommended this video.
        He said he used it as a test for his witnessing capacities and found that when he could sit through it and watch his breath in equanimity, he had eached a very good level.
        I know it looks a little odd at the beginning, but stick with it.


        • Kavita says:

          I have not yet seen the video, Frankie, but just loved your ”I know it looks a little odd at the beginning, but stick with it.”

        • Kavita says:

          Now that is magnanimity!

        • bob says:

          Frank, trolling the Lower Depths of YouTube again, eh? What’s the censorship rating on that one? It’s not an R, not an X…maybe an OMG!

          I wonder if the guy who doubled as a stand-in for that scene had a good insurance policy for any psychological damage incurred while filming…deserves an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Scene Filmed in a Hostile Environment.

      • bob says:

        “Witness Protection”…
        Great title…with all this increased security we see worldwide nowadays, I guess we have to expect the witness would get covered too.

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      YES, Levina,
      How convenient in my eyes, that you are bringing the Wisdom of Truth re ´Impermanence´ into the Chat and re the topic.

      And how we – everyone – in his or her existential trials and errors is played with, as we cannot get hold of a moment to make our ´home’ there, if it is in particular blissful, for instance. (If we are unhappy though, we like to apply it, don´t we?).

      But alas, Truth is not a corruptive element…and so we have to endure it; go through it anyway, as ancient Buddhist Wisdom shared/shares with us.

      And somehow, deep inside, we are in a knowing about this, aren´t we? Impermanence, yet sometimes by practising (paradoxically-wise by remembrance of that Truth – coping better with that knowing), sometimes not so well (we are hooked in the past) the least to say! Even sometimes maybe seeing Impermanence as an enemy.

      Yet it´s simply the Truth of all that comes into existence and disappeares again, not unlike the waves in the ocean.

      And yet, and yet: There have been/are Mystics, Artists, or even everyday-Humans who – by chance – have been or are met by moments: how a fabulous singer did express it in a song: “There are moments”, he sang, “moments when ´Eternity penetrates Time” he composed and shared with us, or we may even say, composing and sharing was happening.

      I agree. One cannot discuss the latter. It will stay very ´private´, even in facebook and times like this. That´s very good news.

      We have to cleanse our inner ´receiving´, Arpana reminds us here. I can relate to that.

      We have to put it right, says Tan here, that Osho wrote no books, but His talks with His Lovers have been published (now compiled…unfortunately)…so many moments with Him and His expressions penetrated time for me. And I was grateful for her coming up with that in this Chat!

      And as it is said also, we have to leave one cosy (familiar) ´family’ after another while walking our Path of Life.

      It’s intrinsic to the Truth of Impermanence. I´m deeply appreciaring that you brought that IN, Levina.
      Grateful for your Being. Here.


  8. Tan says:

    Hi Lokesh,
    Thanks for the new thread! But I don’t think you are being fair with Osho. The man really hammered on witnessing, mainly at the final stage of his work, that’s how he called it.

    Very simple, just go to google and ask for ‘meditation, witnessing and Osho’. He really explained a lot about it. What I gathered is that the witness and the witnessed are the same, both are product of thought. And to perceive that you have to do it intensely, with all your being, till you get the knack. It is just a knack, like swimming: when you get it, you have it and finished! If I am not mistaken, it is in the ‘Rajneesh Bible’.

    Now, I do believe that there are many holy men in each street of India. That’s the explanation of all the shit that is going on there.

    By the way, Osho never, ever, wrote a book! Just his talks were published.


    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      Wow! Here you are, Tan. Again. And like a fresh breeze.
      Very welcome-d.


    • Kavita says:

      “By the way, Osho never, ever, wrote a book! Just his talks were published.”

      Cheers Tan!

      • samarpan says:

        Witnessing is not “an incomplete teaching.” Witnessing is not a teaching at all. Witnessing is simply knowing you are here…and that you are here, now, is beyond doubt. You do not need a guru, a mirror, or a book to tell you that you are here. That you are a witness to your own being is beyond doubt. You are always perceiving present moment sounds, sights, tastes, smells, sensations. Witnessing is simple, natural, obvious, inevitable. You cannot go through your day and not perceive. Something so ordinary and natural is not a technique; is not “an incomplete teaching.”

        • satyadeva says:

          “Witnessing is simple, natural, obvious, inevitable.” Which seems to suggest that witnessing is just simply being conscious, self-conscious, ie that capacity that distinguishes us from the rest of the species. Is that what you’re saying, Samarpan?

          If so, then everyone’s ‘doing’ it, aren’t they? So why would Osho have continually emphasised it as a ‘must’?

          You’ve left out self-observation, the capacity to detach from and watch thoughts and feelings, emotions, etc. I don’t think everyone in the world is doing that, because it’s not “inevitable” at all, it requires conscious decision, choice, a deliberate switch of attention, ie a modicum of effort (although essentially ‘effortless’ in itself). Consequently, it’s a ‘practice’ and therefore may be considered a ‘teaching’, or part of a teaching.

          Besides, the state of the world is convincing enough evidence that although relatively “simple, natural” this, unfortunately, is not something that everyone is ‘doing’.

        • satchit says:

          I see, Samarpan, you have a radical approach. This presses some spiritual buttons here.

          One could also ask, why should it be an incomplete teaching? Maybe it was only some rationalisation of Lokesh’s mind to drop doing it. Maybe he was just on the edge that something would explode and he escaped.

          • satyadeva says:

            So what do YOU understand by ‘witnessing’, Satchit? And why do you think Osho emphasised its importance, if, as Samarpan indicates, it’s always effortlessly available to all anyway, as part of everyone’s daily experience?

            • satchit says:

              What I understand of witnessing? That one does things consciously.

              One can pick up an apple from the ground by witnessing one’s bodily behaviour in detail. Or one can just pick it up, finished.

              Personally, I think it takes much effort to witness every thought and feeling and whatever.

              But maybe it is a technique to create inner fire.

              Okay, now I witness having written this comment and push the comment button, which is pressed.

              • satyadeva says:

                What do mean by “inner fire”, Satchit?

                You say, “Personally, I think it takes much effort to witness every thought and feeling and whatever.”
                Perhaps that’s why Osho felt he had to emphasise its importance, knowing how lazy we tend to be, how ‘naturally’ sleepy, unconscious?

                But maybe you don’t feel a need for much of that, with no over-intrusive thoughts or emotions that might threaten to trouble you or others, as you’re pretty much ‘all right’ as you are, ‘comfortable’, as it were? Or, perhaps, “comfortably numb”?!


                • satchit says:

                  Conscious meditative energy.

                  By witnessing you slow things down.

                  Is it not strange that Osho emphasised the importance of witnessing and never spoke of it being incomplete?

                • satchit says:

                  I would not call it “comfortable”, SD.
                  I accept myself.

                  I have no desire to become enlightened.

                • satyadeva says:

                  What do you mean by “myself”? Whatever that is, if ‘you’ are not comfortable with ‘it’ then it seems you’re rather uncomfortably split. Or somewhat uncomfortably numb, maybe?

                  By the way, who is this “I” that has “no desire to become enlightened”? What on earth are you talking about?!

                • satchit says:

                  Sorry that I did confuse you, SD, it was not my desire.

                  You need not make so much thoughts about my-self! Better make thoughts about you.

                  Btw, how is Arsenal going?

                • satyadeva says:

                  Well, my sense was that you were confused, Satchit, confused in rather a superficially ‘self’ (whatever that is)-comforting way Still is in fact.

                  And what is the relevance of Arsenal to this ‘discussion’, please? Are you attempting to inveigle me into admitting to an attachment to the fortunes of something outside myself (whatever ‘myself’ might be) over which ‘I’ (whatever that might be) have absolutely zero influence? Perish the very thought of the thought! Thank God for the Witness!

                  Oh, there’s one at the door right now….

                • satchit says:

                  The relevance of Arsenal is that you can witness how you react to this question, SD.

                  Basically, I am not in the mood to answer high-spiritual questions on this lazy Sunday afternoon.

                  But to have a bit of entertainment and comments ping-pong is fine.

  9. Levina says:

    Frank, blimey, witnessed meself laughing ’bout that all right, no trouble at all, mate!

    • frank says:

      You are clearly at an extremely advanced level, grasshopper.
      May the farce be with you.

      • satchit says:

        You have so many negative thoughts with you, Frankie Boy. I don’t know how you can live with yourself!

        • Lokesh says:

          Satchit, to say to someone, “I don’t know how you can live with yourself!” is an extremely negative comment. So, who are you to point the finger at someone in terms of negativity, when you are obviously coming from a negative standpoint yourself?

          • satchit says:

            Lokesh, you need not protect your Frankie friend, he is not a kid.

            “Negative comment” is just your judgement. The statement is very neutral. Seems he can very well live with himself and his alter ego.

  10. Lokesh says:

    Satchit, basically I ask myself why I bother to respond to any of your comments.

    You tend to react on what others say rather than respond to the thread. Even when you do manage to comment on the thread you rarely add anything of worth.

    You seem to be involved in a pretty weak game of spiritual oneupmanship, try to outsmart others, deliver weak jibes and cliches. It is boring, man.

    Of all the bloggers on this site your contribution is virtually zilch. You share nothing about who you actually are, live, circumstances etc.

    I know I would enjoy to meet everyone else on this site, except you, Satchit. I have not a clue who you are and going by what you have to say for yourself I really am not missing anything.

    Take care, man.

  11. satchit says:

    Now this really flatters my ego, Lokesh, that you would like to meet everyone else, except me – makes me special.

    Are you the great judge here to say what is “worth” and what not? Come on, witness your stupid statement!

    I am how I am. I am not the only one here who is a bit “faceless” as old Shantam would say.

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